Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sometimes Life Takes You.....

I was looking through my blog the other night.  I reminisced about a lot of the memories that I have on here.  It really is a record of my life!  I also looked at all of the fun, "crafty things" that I have worked on in the past.

A lot has changed for Garth, myself, and the kids this past year. We have had so many blessings that it isn't even funny.

I'm not going to go in any particular order throughout this whole year---so just bear with me.

In July, I started filling out applications and sending my resume out.  I did have my doubts that I would find anything.  I would think to myself, "Who the heck is gonna want a stay-at-home mom who works part time at The Pita Pit."  Now, don't get me wrong here, The Pita Pit was a HUGE BLESSING for us this year. It got us through a rough time financially AND I met the BEST people. I still lovingly refer to them as my "Pita Peeps". :)

Anyways- at the end of July, I got a phone call from who would be my future boss. I had put in an application and resume (I think) in online to the Boy Scouts of America.  There was a posting on the local Job Service website that said that the local council Trading Post/Store needed a retail assistant.

So, I went to my interview and got to meet Michelle, my boss and Vickie, my other boss! :) I was so nervous at my interview that I thought that I had messed it up for sure. :) I wanted this job so bad because of the hours and the fact that it was more geared for "family" with the Monday through Friday hours and NO NIGHTS! :)

Well, I must not have messed up too badly because I had a message on my home phone (which funny enough I never check, so I told everyone that I didn't get the job, because I hadn't heard back yet.) and the message was from MICHELLE!!!  She offered me the position and I happily accepted. I did want to give Chrissy, my old boss, 2 weeks though.  She had worked with me through so much and was THE BEST BOSS and a truly awesome friend.

The new job meant more money for us, better hours for me and my family to do things together, and really just a great opportunity.

Well, a better job also meant that we could afford some things that we were thinking about getting. Our first purchase from that list was our FIRST camper.  We really had never gone camping as a family (you know, just me, Garth, and the kids).  We had been camping with my family before I was pregnant with Sasha, but it wasn't a very good experience.

We were only able to get in TWO camping trips before school started, but I wasn't going to complain.:)  I just can't wait until "Camping Season 2013"!  I really am hoping that we can have a fun filled Spring and Summer! :)

Sasha turned 5 in June and this year she was supposed to start Kindergarten in public school.  I had some reservations about this for a few reasons: 1- She just didn't seem "ready" for Kindergarten. AND 2- At the time of registration, she wasn't doing as well in speech as she is now. ***She is now getting transitioned out of speech! We are going to miss Miss Molly horribly though. I am not looking forward to that Good-Bye! Although, since I have been working, Garth has taken Sasha to her appointments.*** We were also having to maybe explore that Sasha may have very well have had a learning disability or worse (they were thinking Asperger's or ADD). I will tell you that during this time I was on bended knee A LOT praying for her.
So, we went around looking for different schools for Sasha.  I asked some friends what they recommended. I was wanting a Kindergarten that I was comfortable with, where I knew she wouldn't fall through the cracks.

A friend that we have known for years suggested Wee Disciples.  I knew they had a preschool program,  but I didn't realize that they also had a kindergarten class too. So, I called and spoke to Debbie (who ended up being Sasha's Kindergarten teacher).  We met and she showed that they go by the same curriculum as the public schools in order to insure that the transition for the kids when they switch, is an easy one. I did share with Debbie that we weren't sure, but thought that Sasha may have some issues and she said that it was fine and she would keep in contact with us and Molly and who ever else needed to know what was going on with Sasha! I will say that Debbie is the closest example of a good Christian person that I can come up with and she has so much patience with all the children. :) She is the best! We are VERY BLESSED to have been able to have her in Sasha's life. :)

So, the First Day of School happened and things went BEAUTIFULLY!!!  Then a week...then a month.....Sasha was SOARING!!!!! She really showed us all that we had underestimated her.  Her wings are growing more beautiful by the day!! :)
Jon has really only had one issue this year and that has been actually wanting to go to school.  We ended up having to meet with his teachers and counselor and he is now doing well. :) He really is a good kid, just stubborn as all get out. It is a blessing and a curse. :)

He made the A team in football this year.  He loves defense and that is where the coaches put him.  Although, I couldn't tell you the position, because I don't know a THING about football.  I can tell you I know what "champions" means and they were Great Falls' City Champs! :)
Garth and I celebrated 15 years of marriage on September 20th! It's funny because it doesn't seem like that long! We have had our ups and downs, but have been able to weather all of our storms and are better and stronger! :)

My only sadness I have is that with work, the kids' activities, family time, Garth time, taking care of the house, etc....I have had zero time for crafting.  That sucks! :(  But hopefully that will soon change for me. I hope to be able to organize some time for it.

So that's it! How have you been??

Thanks for reading!! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Banana Bread Recipe

Hey all! Tonight I decided to NOT let my TEN very ripe bananas go to waste and I actually made 4 batches of banana bread. Now, I don't ever want to brag, but I really don't know of anyone who doesn't like my banana bread. ;) I am always getting compliments on it.

The recipe is really simple and so, so good! :)

The Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of margarine/butter; softened
2 eggs
1&1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
1/3 cup of water
1&2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
****Now as a special note I also add vanilla and cinnamon, but I don't measure them.****
- heat oven to 350*
- grease bottom of loaf pan(s)
- mix sugar and margarine/butter in a 2&1/2 quart bowl
- stir in eggs until blended
- add bananas and water
- stir in remaining ingredients
- pour into pan
- bake for 60-75 minutes (cooking times may vary depending what kind of loaf pan you use. a good rule of thumb is to bake until a toothpick that is inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trying to Figure It Out...........VLOGGING

Hey All..Long time - No blog! LOL! There have been a couple of reasons for that though. I have been busy with just life! I have been working at The Pita Pit, here in Great Falls now since last August. I still really love it there...my body is just not liking it as much.

I turned 35 in April and man, do I feel every year of it. I do attribute that a lot to my weight and the fact that I have not taken care of myself in years! I am thinking a vegetarian or vegan diet may be in the near future for me. The more I look at the positives and negatives, the more I am impressed with BOTH diets AND ways of life. I have been reading A LOT about organic and non-organic and I have to say non-organic is beginning to frighten me a lot. Not only am I worried about the effects some of this non-organic food will have on my children, but sometimes I feel my body is fighting me back for the years of abuse I have put it through.

I also have been enjoying my family. The four of us and of course, our pets.  Also, our extended family! It's sometimes just fun to sit back and watch the whole dynamic of how everyone interacts. I have had issues in the past with piddly things here and there and swore I wouldn't let certain things go, but in the end, it feels better to just enjoy everything and everyone. I am constantly reminded of how short life is. It is sad really. The people we stop talking to, the people we don't want to forgive, the things we waste energy on. Energy that can be spent on better things.

I am also reminded by some of my closest friends that sometimes it's a good idea to try to reach out and help others. I am hoping to do this soon.

My first priority though, is family. My family. Garth, Jon, Sasha, and out pets. I feel that if everyone within my four walls is taken care of then if I have the time and energy to spend on other things and other people then I should and will be able to start helping others.

Now, how to do that? Well, I am not sure. I am wanting to do so much. I am wanting to actually vlog..for many reasons actually. I would love to have something to document our daily lives and the fun and funny things that happen.

I actually started it today but I am not sure it's the vlog I want for our maiden voyage into VLOG WORLD. It's kinda scary to put yourself out there. I am a very out going girl, but I am always uncomfortable with worrying what other's might think. I do have my husband and kids on board for the VLOG. They said it might be fun.

With the vlog, I know it will be all over the place at first. I am thinking of just vlogging my expectations and what I want to share with everyone and what I will keep OUT OF VIEW. I know I want our dinners and bedtimes/rooms to be ours without people seeing those.

Another reason I would like to vlog is if something were to happen to myself or any of us..we will always have the vlog to look at and watch. Our voices, smiles, faces will be preserved for eternity on-line.

Now, online, does scare me. But I am going to try to take safe guards to make sure everything is as safe as if can be for all of us. :)

I have no pics to share at this time, but I have a lot to go through. I have NO LAYOUTS to share either. I haven't scrap booked for so long. :(  Hopefully that will all change. :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Follow Your Heart (originally journaled on January 17-2012)

Hey all! :) I know it has unbelievably long since I blogged. Believe it or not..it has been unbelievably long since I have created too. It was the last part of August when I last created something and to tell you the truth. I can't even remember what that was though.

I decided to subscribe to Unity Stamps, Stamp of the Week. I am NOT the type of girl to subscribe to ANYTHING!!! Seriously! :) But I have always loved Unity's style and their stamps, so I decided what the heck!! :) I have been a part of it for 3 weeks and I have not been disappointed yet. Week One was the set that captured me:

It's no secret that I had a fallout with a good friend last year in August and I had been attacked for something I had no control over. I have been able to move on and can't remember the fight or the hurt, but am starting to remember the goofiness and laughter we had sometimes in our relationship. It brings a smile instead of bitterness. But because she had been such a big part of my life and had a lot to do with the scrapbooking/paper crafting industry, I think I lost my desire to create.

Here is my 1-17-12 journal entry:
You know- I never realized how hard it would be to get back into my creative self. 
I have all the tools (almost) that a girl would need to satisfy the hunger of creating.
Where do I begin? I have so much going on in my head. Things I want to do. Things I need to do.
The stamp of the week for Unity Stamp Company spoke to me.  With some of the things I had to deal with the past year. I questioned myself......a lot.  I questioned my peace, my truth. You see, I got so used to pleasing everyone else and keeping my mouth shut with certain people until I just couldn't take it anymore. There was no peace  for me. I lost who I was by conforming to a lifestyle that seemed fitting at the time.
But it was a lifestyle that wasn't fitting for me.  I'm not a drinker-at all! I do like the occasional drink, but I don't like getting beyond messed up.  That was what I had become in a few short months.
I got to where I didn't love life like I did before certain friendships occurred. I resembled someone sad and lonely....someone not me!
But now, what do I do? Now that I got rid of the toxicity that seemingly stayed in my life a few months too long?
I don't want to craft.....I lost my love for it. But as I look at these 2 stamps that came in the mail.  They are calling me.
They want to be used and I want to use them.
I'm a bit rusty I feel...lol.
I guess now's as good a time as any to start my journey back to my creative spirit. :)

This is what I created:

It was what felt right at that moment and now I am trying to find a place to put it where I can constantly see it. :) Just in case I lose "ME" again. :)
Thanks Unity and thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summertime...and the living is easy! (Colorful Creations Blog Challenge)

Hey all! :) I am so excited because I finally sat down and did a digi layout for the first time in a long time. :) I was kind of at a loss for a paper and a glue layout, so I opened up my PSE and sat down and really had a BLAST! :)

Colorful Creations, one of my design teams I am on, is an online group for scrapbookers and paper crafters. We are all pretty tight knit. We share our lives and our happiness and downfalls too with life. :) I like keeping in touch with the members and love all of my "sisters" on the DT. :)

We have a TON of challenges throughout the month and one of those challenges is a Blog Challenge. :) For our blog click: HERE!

For our group site click: HERE!

The blog challenge for this month is HERE and it was the reason why I did this layout. I have been wanting to scrap this picture and still may do a couple of other projects with it. :)

And being that the prompt for this month was "Summertime and the living is easy (we needed to use this on our layout)..I felt that this was the best picture for it. We also had to use flowers and stripes. :) So, this is what I came up with. :)

What I used: Rachel Dickson (Sassy Elements (4 petal flowers, brads, joy, brads), Paper Pack one and two, and Alpha), Kitschy Digitals (Fresh Blooms Kit-Fabric flowers (fuchsia and blue with pearl), and Mom 2 Moo ("lovely" and pink shiny flower.) Done in Photoshop Elements 7.

Thanks for looking! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Lime Light Sister has some BLOG CANDY and a favor!

Hey all! :) As many of you know, I am on The Lime Light Design Team. This DT is one of the special ones to me because it allows me to make things from my heart and give them to people who need them for whatever reason. Lime Light is a charitable design team and every other month we have a "task" or project that we work on.

The "task" we have right now is to make cards (Birthday, Thinking of You, Miss You, etc) for our soldiers in Afghanistan so they can send them home to their families and loved ones.

Right now, my Lime Light Sister, Joanne is having a BLOG CANDY giveaway on her blog.

Click: HERE for her blog.

Here are the deets from her BLOG:

We are making cards of all kinds for soldiers in Afghanistan that they can send home to their families and friends; miss you, birthday, thinking of you, etc. Here is what to do if you would like to participate:

1. Become a follower of my blog if you aren't already (thanx!)
2. Follow this link to The Lime Light and become a follower there (thanx! again!)
3. Post the picture of my candy on your page along with the following link to my blog to spread the word! (http://bigislandlady.blogspot.com/2011/07/joannes-blog-candy.html)
4. Make a card (or as many as you would like!) for a soldier and please leave it BLANK inside

USE NO GLITTER ON YOUR CARD, Stickles may be used.

5. E-mail me at cardsforourtroops1133@hotmail.com and I will send you my address of where to send your card


I will do a random drawing for the winner and you will win the goodies! So join in and HELP SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!

Here is what she is giving away!!! WHAT A HAUL! :)

So, get over there and start!!! :) Thanks so much! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Pics, Blessings, and a Layout! :) (sorry about the novel)

This little girl.....makes my whole family wonder: "HE made another one?"

My parents know exactly what I am talking about! The mouth (shape and what comes out of it at times!! EEK!), curly hair (although it is blond), smiley eyes.....from the bed head when she gets up in the morning to the fact she doesn't like bedtime....SHE IS ME! Sometimes I am not sure how I feel about this. I thought  Jon was like me with his personality, but hands down....Sasha is the reincarnation of me. :) AND....I love it.
I tell myself this all the time....believe me, being a mom to ME is NOT fun (sorry Mom). When we were trying potty training a few weeks ago. We had this conversation:
Sasha: "Mama? Can I ride a HOR-SEE?" 
Me: "Uh, Sash, I am sorry, but only big girls can ride a horse. And you don't use the potty yet. You don't even try."
You could tell this really burned her britches! And she was not about to let that go...NO WAY...and to be frank...at 4...I wouldn't have either. :) So....
Sasha: "Well, I AM NOT using the potty! Sorry, YOU LOSE!"
Me: *****speechless*****
In fact, I called my mom who told my dad and he started to chuckle at the WHOLE thing! Really? Does no one support me in raising this little girl who has more attitude at 4 than most teens? LOL! :)
Nope....I - AM - TRULY - ON - MY - OWN! But, it's ok.....I have a secret weapon:

That would be my best friend! :) That little girl actually listens to him. She cares what he thinks....and when I am at my wits end with both kids...although Jon (my son) will tell you he does NOTHING to upset his sister! LOL! Which is NOT true! He thinks it's funny to upset her! ANYWAYS...when I am at my wits end....he swoops in like superman and takes over. He will get home from work and actually ASK: "What can I do?"
Before you think he is perfect....he is not without some imperfections....which some of my closest friends and his mom know! ;) BUT.....I think the way he is...totally scratches away whatever may annoy me! :) Besides...Like I said: He deals with literally TWO OF ME! And can still be a dad and a role model for this young man:

Which by the way.....WON'T let me take any pics of just him! 
Now, I can't do a post without a layout or something creative. So, here you go, but I had to write the whole thing because this layout made me think of so much! :) I am truly blessed. :)
What the journaling says: Your daddy and I talk all the time about if you really realize just how funny and beautiful you are! You are so carefree and your spirit is amazing! The light you always have in your eyes makes everyday BRIGHTER!

What I used: Bo Bunny (Patterned Paper), My Mind's Eye (matting paper all chipboard stickers except for the butterfly), ribbon and lace (stash), Heidi Swapp (chipboard butterfly). Photo Editing: PSE 7

Thanks for stopping! :)