gorgeous snow

November 17th, 2011

I had much to do today.  But just like every other day, I shut off the TV.  We always have Good Morning America on in the morning, but as soon as the house is empty and I’ve had my breakfast, I turn the TV off.   I love the quiet, love love love it.  I have thought about it before how much I love it now, but I’m sure when the girls are gone, that will change.  But today for some reason, I played music all day and it was so inspiring.   Then shortly after I started the music, I looked outside to find this.






and then I saw these 2 had found a cozy spot to spend their day




Delaney saw that I had taken pictures of today’s snow and she thought I was weird.   Where has she been all of her life?  I was taking pictures of trees and snow before she was born and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be taking pictures of everything I find in my sight for quite some time.

After a day of music and gorgeous snowy weather, I’m officially in the Christmas mood.




November 15th, 2011

We’re back.  I appreciate the notes and emails.  I love hearing from you.

We had something come up that relates to internet safety and so, we decided to take the blog down for a bit while we deciphered things.    People do strange things and I know that having an internet presence can contribute to that.  But we feel good about bringing it back and the best part is that I have missed blogging.  I have decided to get back to sharing more through my blog and less through Facebook.   I think those that are reading here are much more interested in what they might find whereas I’m not sure that I can say that about Facebook (I won’t go on about that though.)

So today here’s what is going on in our world:

  • Delaney is playing 7th grade basketball (she doesn’t think she is very good, so consequently she doesn’t like it.)  She has always been one to do only the things she feels good at, but there are a few things I commit her to anyway so she can learn those lessons that come from not being the best and working hard to better yourself.   So many rewards.
  • Delaney’s first love over all else she does is volleyball.  She plays pretty much year around.  So she just finished trying out for a traveling Club Team.  32 girls from the region tried out and they were good.  She was worried, but received a spot on the team of 16.  So she’s doing volleyball now too, which will last until end of March.
  • After much back and forth (and I mean a LOT) McKinley stepped down from her team gymnastics.  She was up to 8 hours a week practicing, with 3 more hours on the road.  She LOVES gymnastics and loves her coaches and team, but does not love competition.  She almost has too soft of a heart for it.   So she let that go and has every day after school FREE, except church night.  She is the happiest kid.  She has lists of things she wants to play and do.  I don’t think I’ve ever known a kid who loves to play as much as she does.  She still misses the girls and the all the movement, but doesn’t miss the committment.  This also allowed us to go to all of Delaney’s 7th grade games as a family.
  • We have always been pretty active in sports.  I loved sports as a kid, couldn’t get enough, but I have always payed careful attention to when is enough.  I read a great blog post earlier today from someone in regards to girls playing sports and I couldn’t agree more with it.   I know that being involved in sports has taught my girls and myself so many valuable life skills.   I don’t think if McKinley would have done gymnastics she would have ever had the courage to do many of the things she can now do.  Doing a routine on the balance beam in front of an entire gym is quite a feat for a kid who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight.
  • I have started doing a limited amount of Photo Shoots for clients.   I have a family session today after school and a Senior one tomorrow.  I’m not sure why I am doing this other than I feel pulled in that direction creatively.  So I’m just going to go with it for now and keep it simple.  It has to be simple to work for me.
  • I am working on sports scrapbooks.  Dance, gymnastics, and a combined middle school activities book.   I like things in our scrapbooks organized by type.  I don’t like it all mixed up.  So I will put all of Delaney’s extra-curricular in one album.  I special ordered an 8×11 post ring album and with custom mongram.  She’ll get it for Christmas.  Funny thing, it came and they spelled our school name wrong.  You should have seen how fast I got to the computer to see if it was my mistake or theirs.  Thank goodness it was not my mistake.  So I have a new one coming.   I am trying to print photos as the year goes.  I have learned to not put it off or it may never get done (funny how it works much like laundry.)
  • I have recently learned that cooking good food is a big priority in this family.  I get emails from Delaney during the day (which I love) and almost all of them include something about food.  You can tell that she is a growing kid (she is almost my size and that is hard to accept some days.)  So when she shows me her real age in other ways, not all of which are good, I’m actually happy to be reminded she is only 12.
  • I am excited to get back to blogging.  I’m going to go back and do some catching up, so check back often.
  • Last night the TV landed on ELF and the girls and I were all in the living room watching.  I can’t tell you when the last time that happened.  We’ve been so busy doing better things.  But it warmed my heart when BOTH girls started talking about how excited they were for Christmas, talking about what things specifically they were looking forward to.  McKinley mentioned all the decorations and having a fire at night.  Delaney said she couldn’t wait for all the Hallmark movies and time with family and NOT at school.  I didn’t hear one mention of presents.  (Maybe they are just a little less materialistic than I wonder sometimes?)

It wouldn’t be a blog post without a photo.  I noticed I took over 12,000 photos so far this year, ouch!   This is from last week.  McK’s school held a Red Ribbon anti-drug week and one of these days was crazy hair.  She’s been wanting rainbow hair for a while, so this was the perfect day for it.  This kids LOVES colored hair so much, I can only imagine what she’s going to do with her hair when she’s older.  Her personality is so gentle, but her sense is style can be so loud.

I’m glad to have the blog back, thanks for reading.



Send me a note!

August 31st, 2011

 Please send me a message and let me know if you would like to continue reading my blog, that is hearing from me now that school is back in session.   I will explain later.  You can comment here and reach me through email or otherwise.  Most of you reading have a way to reach me.  Much thanks to you.

new CHA Summer 2011 products: Art Warehouse Danelle Johnson

July 20th, 2011

June ranks as the busiest for our family and July comes in second.  I love being with the girls and enjoy  all they want to do.  I have finally learned to really savor it because it won’t be long and they won’t need my company any longer.  So I happily take on the role of  taxi driver, cold lunch maker, bag packer and uniform cleaner for the summer.  Sometimes being able to swing it all is a challenge, but there is so much growth and time with people we love during the summer that the girls wouldn’t change a thing.  

So,  there are some things that have to take a back seat, like my blog and being caught up with laundry.  The rest of the year, things are pretty smooth, but it’s a wild couple of months in the summer.  I still  find time to get to my design work, which I really enjoy and is a full time job in itself.  I’m glad it’s somewhat flexible because I’m often workign late at night.

I wasn’t able to attend CHA in Chicago because of some conflicts with Marty’s work, but I do have some new Art Warehouse products being shown. We have a new collection called Simply Sentiments which is made for cardmaking.  It’s about quick and easy elements to make card making fun and affordable.  

There are four different styles to cover most card making needs, each one includes a 6×6 paper pad, 2 double sided 12×12 papers, double sided cardstock die cuts, themed epoxy and stickers, gems and die-cut card packs. 

Brights:  for birthday, celebration, congrats, good luck, everyday

Neutral:  for Wedding, Anniversary, Classical themes

Modern:  Thinking of You, Get Well, Sympathy, First Communion, Baptism, Religious, Confirmation, Thank you

Masculine:  for the men in your lives

This will be shipping October to stores, but you can contact Creative Imaginations if you would like to order this for your store.

a big deal for a little girl

May 10th, 2011


She has been waiting for this for a couple of months.  Last Friday was finally the day for her to get her hair cut.   She’s had long hair forever and decided a few months back she wanted to get it cut short (or short to her.)  So we waited until after the last gymnastics meet for the year to get it cut.


Leading up to the day, she became more and more excited and just couldn’t wait.  I was hoping all the while that she loved it since it was so anticipated for her.  With swim team just around the corner, putting all that hair in a swim cap was not going to be missed by either of us.


So finally on Friday, it was time and she couldn’t stop smiling.  AND she did indeed love it, more than I imagined, so much that she hasn’t stopped talking about it since.  She was so excited to go to school on Monday, she planned the perfect outfit or 2 or 3 and told me about each one.   For church on Mother’s Day, she loved it so much she said she wanted it fixed like this everyday (same as it was the day before, but apparently she thought it was even better.)    By bed time, she was sure that it had already grown some (seriously she really does make me smile.)  I wish I could bottle her sweetness and innocence and keep it with her forever.  It’s one of those things that is just the most precious thing about her.



In church on Mother’s Day during the sharing of the peace, she had something incredibly important to tell me.  I thought something was urgent.  She said, “Mom, I want to start doing my hair by myself.”  She told me at least 3 more times before church was over.    I think she just loved her hair and you know, I loved that she was so happy.


I wanted to be sure to get this written down  so that I never forget how much this simple thing meant so much to her.

summer is coming

May 9th, 2011



This weekend I could tell that summer is just around the corner.  The weather is finally starting to feel like it’s coming.   We’ve had such a strangely cooler dry spring, that it’s been kind of confusing.  One day it feels like spring and the next like late Winter.  But we spent much of the weekend outside and it finally feeling like summer is near (today’s forecast is for 100 degrees???!!!!)  What happened to a gradual warm up?  Kansas weather is so unpredictable and crazy.



That in itself makes me excited and yet makes me  panic at the same time.  The girls have such a crazy summer schedule and I would love to just take the entire summer to be with them, running them to activities and enjoying it.   However, I have deadlines to make with so much more added on top of that.  So I’m constantly feeling pulled in 100 directions, more than usual.  So one minute I get excited about summer because there are so many things we love to do together and the other, I’m starting to freak  every time the girls mention the daily countdown to the last day of school.  I know though, my days with them home are numbered so I will work like crazy when I can and even late at night sometimes to catch up, just so I can enjoy this time together.



Our weekend was a little lazy, some flower planting, riding the horse, cooking for Mother’s Day, weeding and celebrating Marty’s birthday and really just enjoying being outside as you can see from these photos of the girls.   I looked out my kitchen window to see this on Saturday.

This is Buddy.  He is often found laying on his back.  Mostly he’s trying to get someone to scratch his belly.  2 weeks ago, he had 25 stitches in his face after running in to some animal on one of his excursions to the river.  We think probably it was a badger.  It tore a big hole in his face and he bled really bad.  McKinley found him and was pretty upset.  Felt really bad for him, but he apparently wasn’t feeling too bad when he was right back at the river 2 days later.  Stitches came out and he’s much better.  Just hope he’s a little smarter now and stays away from the badger next time.





This is McKinley and one of her good friends. They are in the same class and are both on the same gymnastics team.  They have the MOST fun playing outside.  They can play for hours, always getting along so well.  They are both kind of quiet but love playing hard outside.  It’s not uncommon to find them out there for hours.  They might be climbing trees or in the fort or on the hammock eating an apple they picked from the orchard.   But almost always they play cards, sometimes for hours at a time.   But they are always happy together and never want the day to end.     What’s funny about them is they can look just alike, on the right day.   On the softball field, I have a hard time telling which one is which at times.









I still have birthday party pictures I hope to get posted this week AND will draw the winner of the Ditto Giveaway by Friday.  Leave a comment this week to get your name entered again if you would like to.  I will enter every comment from this week for the drawing on Friday.

family photo

May 2nd, 2011


While in Florida, we got a few family pics taken.  One of my favorites…..

I’m wrapping up some designs for scrapbooking, so back to work for me.

Ditto: Archiver’s Newsletter

April 27th, 2011

I got this newsletter from Archiver’s with Ditto in it a few days ago.  Really enjoyed all the ideas.  Reminds me I have a give away to do.  If you haven’t gotten your name in on the giveaway.  Leave a comment to this post and I’ll include your name in the drawing.   I am loving using the Ditto stuff I received, and I’ve love to share it.


Also, I saw that you can now also find Ditto at 2Peas.


There is also a really nice Video that shows close ups of the products and how they work together.  Kind of cool.


If by chance you would like the coupon, it’s only good through April 27th, but you can get it here

Happy Easter

April 25th, 2011

Our Easter was just right.  The weather turned out to be much nicer than we thought, loved seeing the sun.  Saturday here was totally freezing, so we were all prepared for a very cold Easter, but we got a nice surprise.



Sunday School and an Easter Egg hunt at church.



Delaney’s class helped hide the eggs and the little kids enjoyed finding them.





We had dinner with BOTH sets of grandparents (and I wish I had taken a photo of the girls with their grandparents) but I didn’t.  We ate at the College, so probably why I didn’t think of it.  I tend to get very dirty looks & grumpy kids if I have my camera too much.






This was where McKinley bailed on photos and went to the barn to play with her new kitties.



We spent time with grandparents and did an Easter egg hunt early evening back at home.  We sometimes do it in the dark, but decided it would be too cold this year (even in late April.)  Was funny because at first McKinley said I made it to easy, but when she asked me to help her find the last 5, she had decided maybe it wasn’t so easy.  Delaney decided to grab this hat on the way outside.  She’d been at the barn cleaning the horse pen and so I guess it was fitting.



I love Sundays because McKinley always leaves her jewelry on after church.  Not sure if she forgets or if she just likes wearing it, but I love the t-shirt/pearl thing anyway.




Buddy (our youngest golden retriever) ran in to something on Friday and was tore up.  He ended up with over 20 stitches in his face.  It was pretty bad, but surprisingly it didn’t slow him down much because yesterday he was right back at the river and tore his stitches open.  Delaney is giving him a little lovin’.



Counting her eggs to see how many she has.



Our eggs have initials on them so someone doesn’t end up with all of the eggs (which would totally happen)  and then we’d have some tears.  So instead Delaney will walk around saying I know where McKinley’s eggs are.  Then McKinley will do the same if she can find one of Delaney’s (just to get even.)   In the end, they both had to help each other find the last of their eggs.  Inside, sour starburst jelly beans and some Reeses Peanut Butter eggs, some coins, a couple of $1 bills and 1 $5.   I (loathe) the candy part of holidays but they each got a little candy.



I loved catching this photo of Marty smiling, even if he was saying something about “woman found killed by camera strap.”



Hope your Easter was a good one.

spring break: part 2

April 19th, 2011







I found it’s easier to post a bunch of photos in this gallery mode.  If you click on them they will open up to the full image.

Some notes about the photos:

We ate crab legs 3 nights in a row.  It’s one of our favorite things.  We usually go to a local restaurant that has all you can eat, but we weren’t there on the right night for it.  So instead they had an item on the menu for 2 lbs of crab legs.  Can you believe that both the girls ate 2 full pounds.  McKinley and I started sharing a 2lb order and she ate as much as I did.  So 6 lbs of crab for the 3 of us.  Marty ate some other seafood platter.  He doesn’t quite have the patience to shell them like the rest of us.  But he ate a few pieces off the girls.  After the third night of crab, I didn’t even want to be in a seafood restaurant.  The last night I had a salad.


Across the street from the hotel was a new store called 4 Monkeys Candy, named after a family with four kids.  Cute fun store that the girls went NUTS over.  When Mckinley made her list of her favorites from the trip (I always have them do this on the way home) the candy store was high on the list.


We rented a car, which Marty knew immediately of this car commerical.  The girls knew just what he was talking about (I had no clue.)  So he kept singing the song the whole trip and the car was a big joke.  We barely fit all the luggage in, but they all insisted we get photos of the car.   So this is what he was rapping (hilarious since he can’t rap)



It was so cute after we got home, McKinley didn’t want to wash any of her clothing because it all smelled like the beach.  She got a t-shirt and the transfer started peeling off and she cried.  Their memories of this place are so special to them.  I wish we could visit every year, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be going back for as long as we can.