Monday, May 31

090. Memorial Day [Weekend]

First off, let me say that I am forever grateful for the honorable men and women who have served to give, ensure, and protect all of the freedoms I have. I also know that when a soldier goes to war, a family goes to war. I extend my gratitude, condolences, support, and strength (which ever is applicable) to them as well. It takes a tremendous amount of love and sacrifice for all parties involved. An old friend had to recently receive her boyfriend's body last week in our hometown. I caught a news clip of the family, veterans, active military, police and fire department seeing the casket be taken off the plane. I cannot imagine the sorrow they feel for that young Marine. They are all in my prayers. RIP Patrick Xavier.

I hope that everyone had a safe holiday weekend and took the time out to thank those that have fought, whether they are with us or not anymore, and their families. It's not your long awaited day off of work, your break from studying for finals at school, or just another long weekend that you can booze away and do stupid stuff to yourself. Those things are all  possible because of the lives that have been lost or damaged and you would do best to remember that and respect that.

Speaking of, the SO, his brother, and I went to pick up their father at the airport today. He is a vet that had spent the past few days undergoing a Native American ritual in preparation for the Sun Dance this summer. It's very intense and elaborate and I don't believe I could do it justice by trying to describe it here. We brought a mini- care package with us of food, water, and a small US flag that was made in the good ol' US of A. You don't think about that very often, but I do believe that if you're going to buy something and take into consideration where it's manufactured, to make sure that our own flag was made here. We thought we somehow lost or missed him when it didn't list whether the flight had arrived or not. After some time waiting we went to check the displays again and it had disappeared. Luckily, a PA announcement was made about the flight and we hunted him down.

(Our kitty's cousin by relation napping earlier today.)

I think I forgot to mentioned earlier this week that my store is being featured on a lovely website! My Cerebral Palsy- Cystic Fibrosis Awareness bracelet is now being featured by Elegantly Served Parties. Again, I can always customize a bracelet for almost any cause and add a donation of $5 to a related charity. They are hosting parties to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and it's an honor to keep spreading the word.

Tomorrow is the big crafting day for FMIL and I with our first Stampin' Up workshop. Sigh, only I would wake up early to go crafting. Correction, I guess I have coerced her into doing that with me. Regardless, we're both very excited. I think it's two cards and a craft project so I can't wait to show you pictures of that. We also got down to business today and finished creating an origami mobile together. You can check out one that I've made here at my shop. They are forever tedious, no matter how much I try to prepare in advanced, but I do enjoy making them. I enjoy enjoying them after it's all said and done even more. It should be all dry and ready to be photographed by tomorrow, so I'll snag a picture of it then for you to see. : )

I know I recently mentioned getting back to a little bit of scrapbooking again. Here are a few plain pics about that:

The cover to our original scrapbook that is still a work in progress.

This is the cover to the album I recently purchased. It will be the sequel.

I didn't even plan for them to match in terms of color scheme. Florals seem to be so "In" right now that it was hard to find a simplistic but decorative gender-friendly, etc. Anyways, the more I look at it, the more I fall in love with the latest one. I already love the first one. I think I'm morally obligated to because not only did we pick it out together (from the choices we were presented with) but we've put so much hard work into it, lol. I have to. I just think it's cool that they ended up matching in their own way. 

Well, I'm sure I'll think of something to talk about tomorrow. I pointed out to the SO that today was my 90th daily blog post(!) and he asked if I was doing something special for my 100th. It's a good thought and I need to dwell upon it a little. I definitely want to. Maybe a little giveaway for the few people that I know regularly read my ramblings. I shall dwell upon it! : ) 

Until tomorrow, <3

Sunday, May 30

089. Now I Know Why

Now I know why garlic kills vampires. It's almost like the glitter of the food-smells world! I tried to make my favorite food for the first time today:

Fettuccine Alfredo! 

Well, I'm thinking that fettuccine alfredo with chicken is my favorite dish, but I wasn't going to waste good chicken on a sauce that was experimental. No, no, that's no bueno. Lol. As nice as the family was about it, the SO and I agreed that it wasn't all that great in our opinions. Not to say that it sucked or anything, but we are kind of snobby in that we can be quite particular. And occasionally harsh about that, lol. I'm super grateful that we get that way about the same kinds of things. Otherwise, life would... be really hard for us as a team. XD

The other day, FMIL and I picked up some supplies for a couple of gift-making projects we are in the midst of doing. With that, we found some clear decorative rocks at the dollar store and it was just what I've been looking for! Grocery stores have been a bust and I haven't had the time to snag them while at the craft store. But come on, a dollar per bag of different colors and shapes? How could I pass that up? I've always loved those rocks... Anyway, I digress more than usual. Here is the result:

It's Lucy!

A close-up of Lucy the Lucky Bamboo's... um... butt?
Lucy's Home. We'll go with home.
(I just discovered that Blogger has the strikethrough feature! Hooray! Lol)

There's a layer of dark blue squares at the bottom, a cerulean/ sky blue above it, then light sea-foam green/ mint, which is covered by a rich green, some of the former lavender, and all topped with a mixture of cloudy white, opaque white, and clear rocks. Some of the clear rocks have a swirly streak of opaque white in them too. I think she looks a lot prettier in reality, but that's just me. I think I'm her mama. If I somehow kill her, I'm not. 

Don't you just love the little things in life? And when good karma starts to pay off? Well, I felt like that today when FMIL (I only call her that here mostly jokingly because it's a pretty easy nickname to type, btw.) brought home a little something for me during her errands today.


The two tall, mostly primary colored bunches of ribbon are what she found at Target in the dollar bin! I snapped a picture of my budding ribbon collection just because I was excited that it's growing. The ones from today are only 18 inches each but that's enough for at least three cards per spool! Anyway, I think they were really cute and that it was a super kind gesture. Apparently, I'll work ten hour days for lunch and craft supplies. Yeah, that sounds about right. Rofl. Man, just looking at this picture makes me want to crank out a couple of cards! Ugh! So cute. 

As you can probably tell by now, I've more or less have figured out a way to upload and post pictures today that doesn't take a million of years. It took some messing around with my camera for a few minutes, but that's better than hours on end abusing my computer. I should find the camera manual to see if I can permanently change those settings... hm. 

Our kitty had a mini adventure today for a few minutes. He got to go outside because his daddy felt sorry for him, lol. So spoiled. 

The handsome boy.

Covered in dirt sandy ground dust.
Blatantly missing the quail at the bottom of the hill.

He is just too funny/ special. I love how my camera has a bright sunlight mode. I think it really helped these come out nicely. He gets outside and immediately flops on the floor and rolls around. It's as if he's cuddling with the ground to smell like the outdoors or camouflage himself, lol. He almost went a little too far away for comfort when he was next to the pile of mesquite branches, but we wanted to see if he would notice the quail that was maybe fifteen to twenty feet away. As you can see from the last picture, neither would doing a very good job at being vigilant. Aww... hunting fail. Lol. He did notice a few seconds later and crouch down to avidly watch it wandering around. The thing is, we know where his family nests and he was actually trying to distract kitty by moseying in a different direction. Before kitty could fully consider pouncing at the bird, his dad snatched him up and brought him inside. I don't know, it would have been pretty amazing trying to weaving through all the cacti to keep kitty from attempting to kill the quail or vice versa. /end sarcasm. :P

:( I can still smell garlic on my hands. Well, that's it from me for today. Have fun tomorrow but celebrate safely and take time to remember that it's actually Memorial Day and you wouldn't be able to do what you are doing if it weren't for many very brave individuals that are no longer with us. Thank you, <3 and RIP.

Saturday, May 29

088. Is This Thing On?

I am pretty sure that I have spent the majority of my day working on resolving my laptop's issues with my camera. That and watching Steven Raichlen's Barbecue University or Primal Grill on public television. Omg, the food looked so amazing... /drool. It really put us into the mood for home cooking, but we ended up getting good ol' local fried food goodies. Oh the tragedy. : )

Tomorrow should involve some serious amount of crafting. But until then, here's a story as told with pictures!

The cover I made for my first mini scrapbook. I just realized that I didn't take a picture of the aerial view! It's a really cool design that I found.
Alright, for the life of me, I cannot make this rotate properly. This is only half of the sneak peek that I wanted to show you. It's a representation of our kitty wanting to go (me)ooowt!

Okay, same issue. It says "Merci". For a dear person who has recently guided me down the path that I feel that is right for me. I will be forever grateful, no matter what the outcome will be. None of that was supposed to rhyme, I swear. Lol.  Inspired by him and the sunrise because we're both looking at new beginnings. : )

Another card that I've made from the most recent batch.  It didn't sit in my collection for long, but I still loved it just the same.

A blurry sneak peak of a mobile that I have made a little while ago. It will soon be listed in my Etsy shop. :D

Look! It's kitty-take out! This kitty just has a love for boxes. This is especially so after the SO taught him how much fun it was to climb into them. Now, we can't keep him out. :P

The sweet bouquet that one of the families brought in on the last day of class.

So, do you remember the self-inflicted punishment I've been talking about for the past week? :P It was a project I started about organizing all the books in class. This is actually the books all categorized. You might be able to see this very laptop in the background, lol.

This is a snapshot of the master list I finally cranked out. Almost 850 books are cataloged for future reference. I normally don't like to toot my own horn (however, I'll talk about it to kingdom come),
I think that it's a glorious piece of work. All wrapped in a cute binder from Walgreens.

These were the boxes that many of the books plus piles of themed materials were formerly in. I kept the activities and props inside, but removed all of the books and gave them a little bit of a makeover just to, again, make it easier to find and grab in the future. At least until we find a way to get clear plastic tubs to put everything in. :D

A beautiful and really quick sunset last week. By the time I got outside and got my camera all focused, it was almost gone! Of course, this doesn't do it justice, but I still think it's quite stunning.

Well, hopefully I have the picture-camera-laptop dealio all worked out so I never have to spend my Saturday wanting to punch my computer's lights out again. I hope you enjoyed these! I think I actually have something in mind for my post tomorrow. Imagine that! Until then, <3

Friday, May 28

087. Malfunctioning

I had something written up but my computer is having a meltdown and I lost it all. Long story short- last day of volunteering this school year, really scary cat came into my room, and there shall be pictures posted tomorrow. Even if it kills me and I think it has already started that process.

Until tomorrow, <3

Thursday, May 27

086. Serenity

 Today was another long day, but I actually thought it was going decently until halfway through the day.

May I be granted the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change,
The strength to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I don't believe that I want too much for myself. The few things I do want, I feel pretty strong about. I'm meeting people left and right that are trying their best to open not only doors but their arms to me and I really want to take those chances. It's truly a blessing to have so many people want to put their faith in me. The only thing really stopping the whole thing is red tape. I have barely begun this journey and I'm being forewarned constantly about the hardships that I will be facing by choosing this path. Despite all of this, I still want to jump in feet first and take it all on. I really think that this choice may be something I've been meant to find all my life. And I need that question answered. I hope that it continues to go so well.

While some new aspects of my life seem to be coming together and falling into place, others seem to be falling apart. Isn't that the way it usually goes? I'm becoming increasingly frustrated and constantly upset more often and it's not fair to the those around me. On the other hand, I'm also scared and overwhelmed by all of the directions that these desires are pulling me. I want to find a balance and I'm trying to have it all sink in and sort it all out to make some sort of game plan out, but I have no idea if any of ideas are the best for me. I don't want to pour my all into one direction, I want to find the strong balance to make it all happen.

Tomorrow is our very last day of this school year so there's a slight crunch to finish everything in between a few meetings. I finished cataloging the books. Over a 850 unique titles in the collection. I think the master book list came out pretty well. Oh, and pretty. I made it a simple cardstock title page. The book itself is 73 pages long. I'm just a tad proud of the work I put into it this week.

Alright, I need to head off to work on a few more things before I crawl my way into bed. Until tomorrow! <3

Wednesday, May 26

085. Reading About The Finish Line

Before I start rambling about today, I would like to point out that I caught myself with yesterday's title. It read "085. Out Of Order", which was supposed to be a statement about my brain's lack of function, not about anything sequential. Well, it was (and now reads) Day 84. Today is my 85th day of writing in my blog. Good game, me. :P

Lol, anyways. I have not started off this week's mornings well at all. I almost ran out of my room half dressed in order to start making sure I had everything for the day. I decided against it but it was a close call, lol. I think I pretty much woke up about 5 minutes after the ideal time for us to leave. It's only slightly made better by the fact that I'm not the only one that has been waking up later than planned. It reminds me of a FB group that focuses on the fact that when you wake up, read the time, and realize that you've overslept- you tend to fly out of bed like a ninja! XD That has been so true for me this week. I usually drag myself over the edge and labor not to trip over the laundry basket, but I've been making it into the middle of the room and grabbing clothes in one bound. Too great, lol. I was doing so well too when the kids were still in school.

My trek of creating a master list of the books has been going very well. I will actually have the catalog finished and the books packed away by the end of tomorrow! Come hell or high water, lol. I will hopefully be able to also compile a list of subjects that we're a little scarce on as well. We can almost see the end! In the middle of the morning, SO's mom and I attended an... information fair(?) about the particular special education preschool program we're in now. Well, the one I hope to join.

It was a great opportunity for me to network with people that would ultimately decide to hire me and be in my chain of supervisors. Before I could finish shaking hands, she was pimping me out/ peddling me to these people. Saved me the trouble since they seemed to really like her. With as much bias aside, I really do think she has one of the best overall examples of this program and I have not heard anything different from anyone I've come in contact with thus far. The not so great news was that there is only a slim chance of me teaching at the beginning of the next school year. However, the good news that I gathered was that there will be some job waiting for me the second I get my certification in the early fall! I so can't wait. I'm going to study so hard and start hoarding ideas and materials.

We're expecting goodies in the mail tomorrow and I can't wait!! I love getting mail, it's like a mini Christmas. I will go as far as to order free things like catalogs samples just so I can get something I actually want to see in that little metal box. I am so determined to make a habit of making cards and writing notes to the people that I care about and/or appreciate to pass this feeling along. It takes effort and at the same time, it really doesn't. In the time it can take to search for a contact and text your life's story, you could have picked out a card or piece of stationery and written a nice little note. So much more personal. I'm definitely a fan.

With the package that is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, FMIL and I are going to have to convert our work steam into crafting mojo all this weekend and next week. We're making handmade gifts for a particular student who missed out the last few weeks of class and who is just a phenomenal person. I don't want to jinx it or spoil any surprise or whatever, but I'm definitely taking pictures once we finally finish the two masterpieces. I actually meant to write major/ main pieces, but it came out as masterpieces. Eh, why not talk it up some? Lol. They are pretty great ideas.

Next Tuesday we're attending our very first Stampin' Up workshop/ event! I and disgustingly excited. I'm pretty sure I've said that at least five times per entry for the past few days. You must be pretty sick of it by now, but I promise it shall lead to nice eye candy. Maybe inspire me to make another tutorial or two? If there's anything that I can show you how to do (it would really help if it was within my capabilities though, lol), just let me know!

With that, I think I'm going to go hit the hay. I will probably go to bed soon too. :P Until tomorrow! <3

Tuesday, May 25

084. Out Of Order

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Today was a long day of volunteering. I think it was about 10 hours. It doesn't seem like I made as much progress as I did yesterday, but I know I did well today. At least, a significant area of the rug that I have dominated and claimed as my own has been cleared. The plan isn't working out ideally, but it's a massive improvement, imo. The room is just not big enough and we don't have nearly enough bins to put everything into, so we have to scrounge around the school for old boxes and do our best to cram awkward shaped items into awkwardly different receptacles. Not the best of times but I hope it starts to make their lives a little easier over the next few years. Man, it's still a mess though, lol. I need to figure my camera's issue really soon.

I just don't think that I've been getting enough sleep the past few weeks, let alone adequate restful sleep. It shows in my thought and speech patterns. It's like mental flatulence. The brain farts are longer and more frequently and continues to make situations pretty awkward. Or hilarious. Most likely both, lol. It will be nice to play catch up next week though. Even though, this weekend and next week should be pretty full of catching up on things we wanted/ need to do since we're throwing all of our energy into closing up shop in the classroom this week... /frown. I need to stop thinking about work. Especially work that is not earning me any pay. I do, however, get rewarded with chocolate and other yummy goodies from time to time. That's almost just as good! Lol.

I organized my uncut 8x11 cardstock today in a bookend I got from helping out today! It barely fit. Actually, all of it didn't fit but I took out a few pieces in order to make (room/) A2 size card bases in a shade other than my typical Ivory. It's a classy off-white shade but I think with all the new summer lines of paper coming out in the crafting world, my local source of Ivory cardstock has switched over to using Cream! I know this sounds incredibly stupid/ ridiculous but I put a lot effort into finding matching envelopes that didn't cost a ton and this Cream is just a really light yellow. Like lemon filling in a cookie. A sweet color, but if I wanted to use yellow, I would. I specifically chose that soft Ivory because I felt that stark white cards would seem too harsh and attract unsightly smudges and grime. It also means that once I make my cards with it, it's done. Hopefully, I can find a comparable hue soon.

My bottom lip just tingled and that reminded me! I had a paper wasp crawling on and across my mouth while I was asleep last night! UGH! I do Not like it when bugs touch me without my prior consent. Not. At. All. I flipped out (it was half falling into my mouth when I realized that tingly sensation was something living) and swiped at it. It landed briefly on my pillow so I could catch a glimpse of it to identify it.

They're like reddish-brown wasps that are actually quite gentle for wasps. They really avoid stinging you, have a high-pitched buzz when they fly around or into things, and are pretty hardy. I do not where it went after that and was only half conscious. It was still not fun and I cowered a bit under the covers (after shaking them around to make sure the little bugger wasn't in there with me) and, of course, had a hard time falling back asleep. No bueno. It had happened at like 3 o'clock in the morning too. Just :( :( :( It could have been worse so, I guess that was just inconvenient. And creepy.

Back to my paper rant. I was hoping to make sets of stationery too... I'll be really out of luck if I don't count out everything properly ahead of time and run out of that shade before I finish the sets. I think that might be a worse case scenario. Tragic, right? Speaking of the crafting gods hating me just a little lately, if you are remotely interested in purchasing a lovely Cricut machine right now, of any size, I Strongly suggest that you look into it Right NOW! I don't even care if you stop reading the rest of my rant today to do it. Even though I would prefer if you just opened up another tab to keep an eye on both... I really suggest Custom Crops or Hallmark Scrapbook.

They are having phenomenal deals on new and refurbished Cricut machines of the original, Create (medium), and Expression (largest) models! Even the new Cricut Cake machine! That one is just really cool to marvel at too. I have the Create, which I do adore, but I would love the Expression. The extra features and ability to just stick 12x12 paper on the mats to cut (instead of my current max size of 6x12) would just be really nice.

Even has some exclusive promotion of selling a black Cricut machine. Very snazzy, but if you compare the pricing, I would just go with the other two sites. There are pink Expressions (the part that is usually greenish-blue is pink, even the lighting!) and I think those (plus the Pink Journey cartridge that is always additionally included) is sold exclusively at Michael's craft store. Well, I think there are some on eBay, but come on now, it's for a good cause (raise Breast Cancer Awareness). Anyway, it's such a hot time.

The best deal I've seen on them yet, and this includes Black Friday of last year. I think it has to do with their release of the Cricut Cake and that the beginning of summer seems to be the time that papercrafting companies are... how do I put this? Refreshing their inventory? It's just seems like it's the beginning of the year for paper crafts. It's kind of mind blowing and exciting at the same time. You get to start the summer with fresh supplies! Anywho, that's my major piece of advice for the moment.

I haven't been playing my game of WoW lately. The SO started up again today and I watched a little bit, caught up with friends, and he called me out on wanting to pick it back up again. I will, I've always known that I will, I just want a few certain things under my belt first. Sooooon! You devour our souls so completely, I just couldn't stay away for too long.

Sigh. I should head out and hope to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow. Hope really, really hard. Lol. See you tomorrow! <3

Monday, May 24

083. Warning: Graphic Content

I think I'm pretty funny sometimes. Well, most of the time. :D I don't believe I had a game plan for today's post. The majority of my day was spent doing step one of my plan to completely overhaul the children's book collection in the classroom. Everyone who saw it was stunned and called it a mess. /frown. No one was surprised by the fact that there were that many books to make such chaos. I hope I can get what I want to accomplish done in the amount of time we have left in there.

I also forgot my lunch. Twice. Once in the morning at home and once in the afternoon when we were leaving. /facepalm. And I have been doing so well with remembering it too. :( Anywho, I'll be as pleased as punch once this week is over and I can sleep again! I've been waking up at all sorts of crazy times thinking that I over slept when I have plenty of time. Fingers crossed!

Today's life lessons are brought to you by a portion of called GraphJam! But before that, we have a preview of another section called, "My Food Looks Funny":

funny food photos - LOL
see more
I've seen signs like these when I've bought butter at the store.
I usually start giggling instantly and have to point it out to whomever I'm with at the time.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
Oh my high school days of my TI-83+ and Frogger...

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
I thought it was just really funny until I read the last increment on the y-axis.
Then it became genius!

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
I do this way too often.
It's almost as if to say, "What? I'm wearing a shirt today?"

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
Freakishly accurate.
Much to my (and I'm sure practically everyone else's) dismay.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
Sounds about right.
I can't count how many times I just didn't eat because it took too long to cook or seek out food... :(

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
To make this resemble my childhood, 
I'd need to add that my folks would be doing something that couldn't be interrupted while I was in the bathroom and they yelled at me to get the door. The guests would usually just start to walk around our backyard to see if my folks were back there anyways. Or to find/ break their own way in. Good times.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs
I think this is true for any clothing shopping. 
Which is why I can't stand shopping.
Yes, the bleeding feet still apply.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs
One of the cutest things I've seen in a while!
I'll probably copy the formula down and ask the SO to solve it one of these days...
but not before I try to solve it myself. :P

Well, I hope that was just as much fun for you as it has been for me! I had a blast reading a lot of those graphs. You know that most of them there made in the heat of the moment too. Idk, I think griping in graph form makes unreasonable complaints that much more legitimately arguable. ... I think that statement made sense because it kind of does in my head. 

With that, it's my cue to go get some rest. See you tomorrow! <3

Sunday, May 23

082. Memory Fail?

I'm still heading into the classroom tomorrow despite the kids being gone for the summer and I hope to completely overhaul the system for the children's books. I really hope I have enough time because I think it would totally help to have all those picture books sorted and cataloged before being packed away. Wish me luck!

The rest of the gifts that were needed for this week have been 90% taken care of as of this morning so that was great. Then came the much needed (imo [in my opinion]) grocery shopping which resulted in a lot of yogurt and fruits, lol. I also met one of the parents of one of our kids! They have the exact same soft blue eyes; it was so amazing! XD During that trip, we decided to pick up some containers to put cereal in since one of out boxes was recently infested and thrown away nearly full! /cry. They were a bit pricey, but are translucent with user-friendly tops. They are also freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-friendly! I just think the cereal looks cute/ spiffy in them. Yes, I just used the word 'spiffy', get over it, lol.

It made me realize how much I do like organizing and such. It's a little thrilling, I must say. I can't wait to overhaul the kitchen as a surprise later on this summer! I should probably plot out what kind of organizing containers I'll mostly likely need to purchase... Memo to self: explore tangent later. Ha ha! We also picked up some oh-so yummy rotisserie chicken(s) and had that a for a super late breakfast/ late lunch/ early dinner. With plain rice from last night! Because I had made waaay too much for the fried rice! We have leftovers of that too. Hello, this week's lunches! XD

Speaking of organizing, but not really related, I got in the scrapbooking mindset again. I keep saying I've been into paper-crafting lately, but what that has really translated into is card-making. I've been researching and learning ideas for scrapbooking but haven't done any since... December? Holy frioles! I think that's right because that's around the time after I got my Cricut and made a sweet little scrapbook for my best friend before she went to study in Japan for the semester! Something to remember the past four or so years by, :P. I loved how it had turned out! We both did, actually, lol. Whoa. That's pretty bad on my behalf. My first attempt at scrapbooking was chronicling the SO and my first year of dating. I want to say I started that... two Februaries ago. Februarys? Erm... the former spelling seems more fun, so we'll just stick with that for now. :P Oh wait, February of 2009. So.. oh wait. Alright, my original statement was correct. Nevermind!

Ugh, I must be more deliriously tired that I realize with all this finding everything extra funny and wonkiness. Anyways, it's been a while since I've worked on it because we hit roadblocks with ideas for page designs. We started working and making this scrapbook when we lived across the country from each other and before I did any research into layouts and such. I just started picking out a random pad of paper, printing out a ton of pictures, and adding more pages than is probably advisable to the album we picked out. Sidebar: stylized florals on albums and embellishments is so in right now, it's insane! I'm already not a huge flowers girl, but to find an album that was not too frou-frou but not a plain and solid color or expensive like leather bound or child- oriented has been so insane this past year! Ok, back to the regularly scheduled rambling. I've learned a lot or at least have found many resource sites and books now to help with not getting stumped. I still do prefer catering my pages to the pictures I'm using though.

It's two pages from being finished layout-wise, but I picked up the scrapbook again and started to use my beloved Cricut (What else did I get it for?!) to fill in some glaringly empty spots. I still love flipping through it from time to time (and even showing off the unfinished product to friends) because I'm still so proud of it. That thing Will be finished by the end of the year. I also may have finally picked out the album for the next scrapbook. /sheepish grin. I had already started picking out uploaded photos to add to it, but I'm not sure we can make it into a "this is what happened during our second year of dating" sequel deal. Not as many pictures of new field trip-like outings, we have done a lot more of the normal and everyday stuff that we missed out on by living so far away. It should still be fun and as goofy as we are. It will also hopefully be a lot simpler to do this time around. /crosses fingers. One can only hope. Bless the SO's heart, he's quite the trooper trudging along after me when I'm flipping out over organizational tools and crafting goodies. He can be extra supportive with giving input when he wants to be too, lol. I'll think about posting a few sneak peeks of the original book once I figure out what my camera's malfunction is.

Some random good news, well good for me, is that I've calmed down over the recent release of Cricut cartridges. I shall be content with what I have once my latest one arrives in the mail. I need to challenge myself with getting my own creative juices flowing and stop needing someone else to inspire me. I know I have it in me, I'm just so rusty with so much enthusiasm that it's hard to wait for that light bulb  to go off in my head.

Not like it's a bright light bulb or anything. Right now, I think the hamster in my head is rocking the wheel back and forth with his hind legs as he's batting at the flickering light bulb dangling just past his tiny fingertips. I hope he doesn't finally fall out and yank the thing from the ceiling. I wonder if that would hurt. Imeanwhat?

Rofl. I need to head to bed. Agreed? Agreed. Until tomorrow, my dearies, <3

Saturday, May 22

081. WTB Purge

For future reference, "WTB" is WoW slang for "want to buy."

Hm, what did I manage to do today out of the ordinary? Reapplied adhesives to two of my Cricut mats, I'm still not a huge fan of the adhesive removal and tacky adhesive sprays that I have, but I have them so might as well try to use them. Sorted through more of my scraps... I'm pretty sure that the next half dozen paper projects I do will consist of 90% scraps. I keep saving them up and then they get out of control and I don't end up using them when I should and... well, it's the same vicious cycle with any type of odds-n-ends. I was able to clear out more junk or garbage from the kitchen.

In about two weeks I'm planning a huge overhaul for the house. I guess it's spring cleaning. There are just so many things around here that take up way too much space and have little to no use. It's oppressive and has left me in such a cranky mood. At this point, the only way it's going to get done is if I plan ahead, secretly gathering the necessary materials, wait until the majority of the household is away, and then do nothing but purge and clean. It's going to be sucky hard work but it will lift everyone's spirits, I'm sure. It may make me the bad guy for however long, but I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to take that risk. I'm not the most organize or neatest person by far, but... it goes beyond that.

To change the subject before I get really angry again, lol, I did bake some... *runs to get label* wild Pacific salmon. It was pre-marinated in teriyaki sauce and pre-seasoned with idk what, lol. I paired it up with hastily thrown together fried rice. Lots of different flavors and textures going on and a pretty decent outcome from what I'm told. If I had done it correctly, probably 45 minutes to make.

Yesterday was supposed to be the hottest day we've had this year with a high of 99 degrees. Luckily, we only made it to 96. I think that's supposed to be lucky. I do enjoy the fact that it's a dry heat and to me, until we're definitely into the 100's, it feels toasty warm. Much like being wrapped up in a snuggly warm comforter while nursing some hot chocolate. Mmm... Maybe I just need a little bit more chocolate in my life right now, lol. I can be pretty girly sometimes. Well, more times than I'd like to admit. :D We shall leave that alone for now, lol.

I was going to upload pictures of cards that I've made recently, but my laptop is having yet another day-long fit with media. It's making my dream desktop computer more and more appealing with each click. It's also making my trip to my folks increasingly appealing. Maybe I just need a change of scenery for a little while to recharge my batteries and refresh my outlook. I really don't like being such a Negative Nancy. ... What a sad saying for all the Nancies in the world.

Bah, it's hard to think on an empty stomach so I'll leave this be for now. Thank you for keeping up with my rants and ramblings! I'll try to think of something fun to post soon!

Friday, May 21

080. The Hunt For The Ultimate Spork

I'm not sure why I haven't thought about this in depth before, but sporks are pretty wonderful things, aren't they? They are the best of both worlds with the scooping power of a spoon but the digging and ripping power of a fork. Actually, there's a general consensus in the household that a good plastic spork is stronger/ more hurtful than a plastic fork, hands down. With it's pointed tips and sturdy triangle shape on top of the stability offered by it's spoon parts, they have much more staying power.

I'm not quite sure how exactly it was brought up. We did touch upon its uses in a prison setting. Well, the point we were focusing on was the fact that we have only witnessed the might of a plastic spork. After a bit of research, not only did I find out that there are such magical creatures as a rubber and wooden sporks, but that there is, /gasp, "the holy grail of sporks". The Titanium Spork! Dun-dun-dun! It's not rare or expensive by any means, it's just purely awesome. We also found sets of affordable stainless steel sporks so that the everyday average person can have a collection of metal sporks to show off. :D Ebay likes to call them "Stainless Steel Foldable Camping Fork Spoons". Apparently, "metal sporks" was not a good enough search term. It just keeps getting better and better, lol.

On another note, today was the last day for the kids in our class. I'm sure you're well aware of this if you've perused my posts for the past few days. I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have hoped because I was cranking out pages of pictures and labeling them each with captions for each child before they went home. We had a last minute substitute aide come in on the day she was organizing two talent shows that shared the same space as the school art exhibit for the same evening. During their art time, the kids glued glitter on paper stars that decorated the cafeteria wall. Sooo messy. I'm a fan of sheen, sparkles, and shimmer, but not glitter. Yes, there's a difference. Glitter is one of the few things that I believe would survive a catastrophic apocalyptic disaster. Other things include glow-in-the-dark cockroaches and Twinkies. So, since we took her away at the last minute from all her last minute responsibilities, I wanted to pay it forward. I volunteered to help hang up the stars and ended up ushering and supervising the performers once they were done with their acts until it was time for the final curtain call. They were really cute acts and ideas that the kids came up with themselves. One show was put on for several of the classes, some of the parents, and employees right after lunch and another was put on for all the families and parents earlier this evening. There were comedy acts, dances, jump rope routines, singers, poetry recitations, and a group act I didn't get to catch because I was watching the kids backstage. One of the resource teachers, who has done me huge favors very the very short time we've known each other, sang a song to/ for the kids since it was going to be his last year with them. It was very touching. I made it back just in time to say goodbye to the afternoon class. I may have teared up a little but you don't want to freak out the kids when they weren't terribly distraught over moving on to kindergarten, transferring schools, or merely leaving for the summer. I'm going to miss each and every one of those tykes.

I'm so drained that I have no idea what I have planned for this weekend. I hope I either remember soon or that it's not a complete disaster that I'm forgetting. /frown. We'll see. Well, until tomorrow, <3!

Thursday, May 20

079. Greetings

I was much more enthusiastic about starting today's entry earlier but then realized I was still pretty frustrated/ aggravated by the attitudes of some people today. Then that set my mind off on a tangent that left me pretty angry for the remainder of the afternoon. The good news is I learned a few bits and pieces of good news throughout the day!

The kids had fun with the Cricut, I only made a handful of mistakes, lol. A lot of their stuff and memorabilia went home with them today. The FMIL and I are still signed up for the workshop that I've still very excited about. I'm having a hard time choosing what to order, but I can always ask questions and opinions when the time comes. Right now that's one of the biggest things I have to look forward to. After that, I have to really focus on my exam assessment and then... I think the next thing I have to prepare for is my trip back to Florida! Hooray! I'm trying to keep enthusiastic about it. Sigh. Let's just get to some good stuff already! Lol.

First off, my baby brother was accepted into a college! Hooray! I'm so excited for him and proud. We're starting to reconnect and I was getting him to chat online with me and our cousin. At one point we were discussing prom and he pretty much said "A lot has changed with how kids do prom since you've done it!" Excuse me? Since when did I become old? Prom and the things that kids do surrounding it has been the same since it's conception, thank you very much. That, and no terrible pun intended, lol. My cousin noticed and thought it was hilarious how I started putting in phrases like "back in my day" and "whipper-snappers." I enjoy using really dated sayings, even if they were before my time. My brother doesn't go totally teenager with things like "You don't understand anything I'm going through!" on me, but he does get caught up in it from time to time and I find it funny now that I've outgrown enough of it. I'm still quite protective and I do really want him not to make the same mistakes I did, but I know I can't live my life again through/ for him. Good lesson to learn before having kids, aye? It was good to catch up with the younger folk today. I hope to make a healthy habit of it.

Hm, more good news... in the Cricut world it was the beloved 'Hello Thursday'! They also have a 'Green Wednesday' where they launch a sale on select cartridges. Anywho, 'Hello Thursday' is about introducting new product! They have been giving us a sneak peek for a couple of weeks now and the only themes I could identify were feline, power tools, rocker, monster, and cutesy- girly. Well, here is what ended up being introduced today! Click on the pics to learn more about each!

Toy Story! Not picture of the cartridge, obviously, 
but it's just in time for this movie!
What are the odds? *eye roll* Still super cute.

Wall D├ęcor and More. Fairly stylized images and phrases.
(Say that five times fast! Sorry, I had to say that. :P)
has posted all the images from this cart that she cut out in vinyl!

"Freshly Picked" I feel resembles carts like "In My Garden,"
but they just keep getting better and better.
It includes a really cute feature of cutting out seed packets too. : )

"Cindy Loo" reminds me of Cindy Lou Who from
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Lol.
Really sweet and cute images on this card,
complete with 3-D objects like a crown, I believe.

And the one that I'm most excited about:

"Mini Monsters"! 
Ahh!!! Lol.

Just when I thought my life was complete with "Create a Critter" and merely enhanced by the "Robotz" from the last "Hello Thursday," this oh-so-cute cartridge is released! Well, previewed. The "Toy Story" cart is estimated to be released on July, while the rest are scheduled to be released some time during June. I am too in love. Provocraft is jam packing these things with more and more features and images that are really in style but classy and adding 3-D cuts more and more often. I have yet to do one, but I will one of these days! /shakesfist. Lol. I highly encourage you to check out the images that are currently out for these releases. The day they come out, I believe is when they post the digital version of the handbook that comes with the cartridge. The handbook tells you how to use the cart and shows you all the images you can cut. 

"Mini Monsters" has definitely made it to my must-have list, which isn't all that long in all honesty, lol. So many things going on! Yay, I'm all excited and more cheery again. Hooray! Lol. My soul does hurt just a little over not instantly having my top two must-haves of the moment, but I'll give it time and search around for a super good deal. Thanks to The Pink Stamper, I have found out about the great companies of Custom Crops and Hallmark Scrapbook which seem to have great deals on cartridges (among many other various crafting goodies) the moment they come out! Why pay the full $80-90 when you can snag it at any time for $32-45? No need to hound the print ads and then miss out on the best deal because you wanted to hold out just in case there's a better deal around the corner. Nah, if I want- I want it and don't want to play games. Anywho, great resources are fun. :D

So that's what I'm currently obsessing over and that's helping me get through my day today. I hope you enjoy! Until tomorrow, <3!

Wednesday, May 19

078. Baby Mama Drama

 I'm a bit more lucid today than I was yesterday, thank goodness. Just a bit. I spent most of my day off with watching this bird nest out on a beam above the porch. It's the second batch of babies this specific bird couple have raised this spring in that nest. The little ones were fed about five times more than usual today and there was one in particular that was constantly standing on the edge of the next, preening itself, and fluttering its wings. We were sure it was going to take its first flight today and didn't want to miss it/ be able to stave off the dog should it fall. After several false alarms that I would call the SO over to see, he was out there taking a closer peek at them and accidentally goaded the baby bird into flying. And, of course, I missed it. Just my luck! Ugh! *disgusted sigh* XD Well, that baby made it to a bush-tree at the other end of the yard and hung out while the parents continued to call out to its siblings cries of encouragement.

Throughout the day there were tons of avian drama. Other bigger birds hunting for bugs too close to the nest were bombarded by the protective parents. Another bird couple of the same species (it was a little brown-ish bird with a red chest, well the dad  anyways) were eye-balling a half built nest a few beams over and that caused a lot of aerial warfare. I even saw the momma bird trying to bribe her babies to try flying with the promise of food. She eventually gave in to their whining and fed them anyways. Lol, it was all pretty fascinating. At one point, the two kitties were "hunting" all the birds by laying/ crouching by the sliding glass door and doing their chirp calls. Those noises are so hilarious. They sound a lot like: "Eheheheheheh!" and at one point one was cooing in confusion instead. One of these days, those calls will work and a bird will magically open the door and fly itself right into their mouths because that how it's supposed to work, right? XD

Chatted it up with my baby brother for a little while today, which was great. And, after much deliberation and some head banging on the keyboard, I *minor drum roll* booked my flight to visit my family this summer! Hooray! I decided to stay for almost a month! /gasp. It's going to be really weird, but I wanted to have plenty of time to spend with a few people I've really missed since moving out here. Heck, I haven't been able to spend very much time with them for the past 5 years. So, I'm very excited and want to start prepping goodies to bring home. I'm heavily debating just packing up a carry-on duffel bag and bring an empty suitcase home to fill with new things once I get there. :D That may very well be what will actually end up happening. XD

I also did quite a bit of card-making today as part of thank you kits/ gifts for several people at school. I'll try to upload them soon. my computer has had a pretty hard time dealing with any sort of media this week. It's really pretty frustrating. Oh! The kids get to work with the Cricut again tomorrow. I've started prepping cutouts of characters they picked out earlier this week that will go on the covers of their special handmade summer vacation travel logs. Almost half of the kids are moving onto kindergarten next year so that's going to be really sad and tough. The SO's mom and I are putting together kits for all the kids. The copies of "The Tiny Seed" arrive from Scholastic today. They have been paired with tiny baggies full of Butterfly & Bird Wildflower seeds. I think there are gifts bags around here somewhere that will hold the travel log, book with seeds, stickers, various wallet-size photos, and a bunch of their school work that has been hanging from the classroom. Those lucky ducks. I'm going to miss them. Hopefully, I'll get a chance or two to visit next school year and see some of the younger kids in class or the older kids wandering around the school.

On top of prepping the gifts for the kids, we've also been brainstorming and prepping thank you gifts for the adults/ co-workers that have worked with the kids on a regular basis. So far it includes my handmade cards, more wallet-sized pictures, and a mini memory book kit complete with papers, stickers, and embellishments. Next week, most of these people will still be working (the regular classes don't end until next Friday) but there are some that are done this week. So the crunch is totally on. Just trying to keep track of it all in my head is overwhelming! Oye, I actually still have to prep a couple more materials for the next two days worth of activities so I guess I should get back to that now and attempt to go to bed at a semi-decent hour. Here's hoping, right? :P

Until tomorrow! <3

Tuesday, May 18

077. Just A Little Haywire

Quite a few things seem off today. Lol, as I'm trying to gather up my train of thought, a remix of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" starts playing- pretty much in my head. Got to love ear bud headphones.

The pets are all just a little bit special so they always do things a little off if you watch them long enough. When you hold one kitty on his back he automatically starts looking for bugs to hunt on the ceiling. Once he realizes you're trying to cuddle him, he fights you like the dickens. The SO and I were hanging around outside earlier because it was such a nice night and we were trying to sic the dog on each other. She lunges to be pet and usually takes a huge slurpy drink of water that she gobbers all over you. So we're running away/ chasing after each other and but she was getting all confused but excited. She ended up doing laps around the yard and flipping out instead. It's the coyote in her. :D Our kitty didn't feel like being held today but his daddy cuddled him anyways. He protests so loudly but his ears always remain forward and his eyes close as he leans into the chin rubs. He also feels as if we owe him fresh dripping water from the tap and we're not allowed to look him in the eye when we pet him again. He's currently extending a paw to stave off any more pets. Not pushing, just holding it out there. Reminds me of kids making an "X" with their fingers when they don't want to be touched, lol.

FMIL recently received an herb plant that's called Stevia. It has the power to taste 300 times sweeter than sugar when you chew on its leaves! With none of the calories to boot! Well, it's kinda growin' all wonky and sideways today. Not sure what's going on with it. Lucky the lucky bamboo is doing well as far as I can tell. I only accidentally gave her a little tap water once. May the gardenia bonsai is going through some tough times right now. I'll try to remember to take a picture and post it soon. She's blooming now, but the buds and flowers seem to be suspended in every possible level of life/ decay. Some white, some yellow, some still very green. Even some of the leaves are getting in on it. We can't tell if we're over-watering or under-watering, or if she's just traumatized by whatever. :( I hope she gets better soon. She had made the kitchen smell so wonderfully these past few weeks.

Tons of crazy end of the school year projects going on, I don't even know where to begin with that so... I won't at all! :D I came home all tired-drunk. During some errands today, I was trying to tell the SO about a man that was talking to his kid in the passenger seat which almost caused him to swerve into SO's mom and I the other day, but I inserted a story about a pair of quails and a pair of bunnies she and I saw this morning right in the middle of the original story. I didn't even realize it. It has become one of those, I'd rather stand sideways, thanks, days. However, I got the chance to take a nice, long, hot shower after all was said and done. My eyes and nose especially enjoyed all the moisture in the air. I should just boil some water, stick it into a large bowl, and hover my face over it with a towel draped over my head. Porta-sauna. Lol. Idk, I've been told by several people that it works well, especially when trying to alleviate nasal congestion.

Ha ha, the SO is trying to figure out what kind of wasp we've been finding in the house lately. It's kind of small and really brown, and apparently fairly friendly since no one has been stung yet. It very well may be the same kind that the boys found in the evaporative cooler last month. Those guys were pretty peace-loving. I think the conclusion is that it's a type of paper wasp. Fun fun. I still don't want it buzzing around my head trying to attack all the moths that are also trying to attack my head while I attempt to sleep. But maybe that's just me.

Bah, I need to just hit the hay already. There's just too much charitable work to be done tomorrow for me to be stubborn and stay up for no good reason tonight. I'm sure today's post will be much less logical in the morning. :) Until then! <3

Monday, May 17

076. Whoops!

Oh no, I almost crawled into bed to pass out early without stopping by here! I have no idea why I so strongly desire to dive under the covers tonight. Oh wait, because being in bed and/or sleeping is Awesome, duh. Silly me, how could I forget that? Lol. I must be that tired. Dumb getting older, I remember when I could pull an all nighter or two without any caffeine or real reason. Just thinking about it now hurts my soul just a tad.

We ended up hauling in the Cricut today and the kids adored it. I let them choose the colors and push the buttons to create their own little critter. We read the amazing "Round Trip" book and the fact that you could get to the end of the book, flip it upside down, and keep reading really bothered some of the kids. Poor things. One of the things we did today was talk about different modes of transportation. Tomorrow we'll practice prepositions with aforementioned modes in the context of trips the kids have taken. Fingers crossed that it goes well enough!

Listened to more Pandora, but I left it on the generic Teen Pop station. It was truly hilarious to hear all the Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, 98 Degrees, and Christina Aguilera. It kind of surprised me the lack of current teen/ top 40 pop is on the station, but I guess I can turn on a radio to listen to that, lol.

The hamster in my head is trotting half off of the wheel as it reaches for a bowl of Doritos right now so um, I think I'm going to call it a night. XD

Much love- until tomorrow, <3

P.S. Happy Birthday Stina!

Sunday, May 16

075. A Sweet Makeover

I have to say that I really love ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition" so much. We watched the season finale and it featured a family that had two elementary-age children, one of which was born paralyzed from the waist down, and the father was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and coaches the local high school football team. They are all so optimistic and loving. The guest helpers included the family that inspired the movie "The Blind Side." I am guaranteed to cry each episode, it's just a matter of how soon do I start, how long, and how hard I sob.

Lol, they brought in ESPN commentators and analysts and a NFL coach to narrate the demolition. The high school football team to help punch holes and rip out fixtures. Some volunteers have painted their chests and are cheering as the house is annihilated. The family is sent on the vacation to a sports resort in Denver, Colorado. It is here that they meet Demi Lovato, who the kids really like. She sings them an inspiring song about making a difference while the team's locker room is getting a makeover.

Ahahaha, Wilmer Valderrama came towards the end to help out because he is the voice of a Disney character called "Handy Manny". Handy Manny also came to help out too, the little son from the featured family (who is irrepressibly cute and tenacious) really likes him too.

CVS pharmacies and its affiliate that has been fighting to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease, are covering that family's medical debts. Hooray! Yes, I do realize the potential things that can/ will/ have gone wrong with this show, but I have chosen to look at it for the message and stories that it puts out. I'd be a perpetual sourpuss if I didn't try to focus on the silver lining from time to time. :P

The local community has paid off the remaining mortgage on the land and there has been college funds put into place for both the kids. Hooray again! it is quite an expansive house.

Anywho, here's a fun video that I found yesterday!

Getting back to work and research- see you tomorrow! <3

Saturday, May 15

074. Opening Pandora's Box

We were trying to time making dinner tonight for it to be semi-convenient for everyone. It's tacos! Hooray! We grated cheese, sliced lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cooked some beans, and even heated up the shells. Aaand no one felt like eating when SO's mom and I were done. Really? /headdesk. So more of the fresh stuff for her and I. Boys can be so lame sometimes. Lol.

I may have caved in earlier when I went to pick up some more cardstock to bring into class and added a small pack of brads to my basket. I have a weakness for anything shiny... it can be a gemstone or iridescent stickers, I'm not that picky. So, I'll try them out soon and post the results! FMIL and I have also signed up for a Stampin' Up workshop with a local demonstrator after school is finished. We can't wait! I'm pretty sure I've said at least half a dozen times here how beyond excited I am. I should figure out more creative ways of saying it.

Speaking of being creative, a dear friend of mine left me a message saying "I miss you like Barbara Walter misses her "R's"!" And I'm pretty sure I died laughing for a good 8 minutes. Then I told the SO and died again, lol. You are so great, Mr. Phoenix, and thank you for tuning into my blog! I hope you understood my rambling message about Pikachus. I'll feel pretty dumb if you don't. Lol.

Our postman finally got his card today! He even read it right there and left me a note in return. How sweet is that? Through that, we also learned his actual name. I always miss his visits and the boys always forget to ask when they talk to him, lol. Good game. I'm glad he liked it. Oh, I also finally remembered to get stamps! Let the card-sending marathon begin again!

I have recently discovered the wonder that is Pandora internet radio. It works best when you type in a song or artist that sums up your current musical mood, then it breaks down the song into its elements and creates a personalized playlist. You can let it know what songs you didn't agree with and it will remember not to play them again. I love it, the commercials are few and short. It also gives you options to find out more about the artists, reasons why it chose the songs, access to the lyrics, and an opportunity to purchase the songs you really like. It's helped keep me motivated with my catching up of crafting and I'm kind of in love. XD

Speaking of technology, kind of lol, we're going to continue computer building later tonight. It did cheer me up considerably and I found it fun learning more about the various specs. I have to tell you, this dream computer of mine is going to be a a real Beast! I think the best parts of it is the fact that we're building it together (insert gagging noises or aww's here) and that it's a totally attainable dream! We're planning far enough ahead to consider the amount of abuse I'll put it through plus allow plenty of room for the fact that technology changes faster than a lazy frat boy changes his underwear. nice visual aye? Lol, I can't get rid of it either, stupid brain.

On that lovely note, I should get back to work. See you tomorrow! <3

Friday, May 14

073. Sporty

I would be such an athlete if gluttony was a sport.

Sadly, or thankfully, it isn't. We finally went grocery shopping earlier and as we were loading the car: "I only have a fork in my bag! If it was only a spoon I'd be annihilating those pudding-yogurt textured cups in the car right now...*sigh*" Well... within an hour of getting home, I tore through three cups of chocolate pudding and a Nutrigrain bar in 20-30 minutes. For dinner I'm having a free personal pan pepperoni pizza. (Man, I love alliterations, lol.) I can't finish it, I'm so full T_T.

The SO is trying to cheer me up/ spend time with me by helping me research to build my own computer. It's actually a blast and a half while being completely heartbreaking and painfully brain-melting. One of these days I'll be able to do that. I have a penchant for destroying mainstream technology with my nonsense. We are by no means hard core users/ builders or over-clocking like mad. I just really like to run many nice-looking things really well all at once. Always. I feel I know squat about computer parts, but I know what I want it to do and what I would like to eventually try to do with my technology, lol.

I wanted to write something a little bit more substantial today but I have no idea if I'm up for it. I did realize that I forgot to buy my stamps so I could send the rest of my handmade cards out. :( I feel that there is a lot to be said about the power of a letter. Even though one that is personally typed and mailed out can say a lot, writing a note by hand and sending it out says much more. I am a big fan of handwriting cards and letters and I don't do it nearly as often as I should. I hope to start good habits now with keeping up with sending out cards and letters- whatever the lengths- to loved ones to show how much I really care about having them in my life. Even if I don't get to spend a lot of time with you physically or we're able to talk enough on the phone and texting a million messages doesn't quite cut it, I want you to know that I do think of you all often and want to still put forth effort into our friendships. I love getting mail, well not tons of coupons, but sometimes I sign up for newsletters and free magazines just to have that mini- Christmas morning every now and then when I check the mail box.

Any relationship takes effort and with out mind-numbing technology can make us (as well as giving us the potential to be more "efficient") I want to not lose that sense of personal and human communication. Yes, you may have to wait three days for your letter to arrive, a day or so for it to be read and responded to, and another three days to receive our surprise in the mail- but the power of even the simplest of messages is astounding.

This is one of the constant truths (aka life lessons) that I have learned in my life because of what I went through a few years back. I was with someone who was boot camp for three months. In three months I only heard his voice for about 2 minutes and 35 seconds. A lot of that time, I wasn't even allowed to respond back to before he was ordered to hang up. I wrote like mad. My first letter was 15 pages of front and back. Two lines of writing squeezed into each line on the notebook paper. I chronicled some of the simplest things just so he could imagine being there with me. In the end, I tried to mail a letter out almost every day and had written over two hundred pages (they were numbered). We are no longer together, but to this day, I have his thirty-something letters tucked away in a small box from that time in our lives.

I think a life-line is an understatement for what those letters meant. So, I cannot even imagine what it has meant through the years before all this "communication" through our fingertips or during much harder times of war. And I don't want to, nor do I want to wish it upon anyone I remotely cared about. There is a lot to be said about the written word and about the one written by your hand. I'm old-fashioned, I suppose, in a few ways. If I was more awake, I'd probably be able to describe it all a little more. I strongly advise you to try it. Start with something simple like a quick 'Hello' or 'I miss you' on a post it note or napkin. Then, use stationery that is fairly small so that you don't feel obligated to fill in the empty space. It doesn't matter whether or not you feel like you're the next Shakespeare, just write. It will be appreciated.

It may take time to sit down and think of what to write, but the people you write to are worth making time for, are they not? I do my best to keep all the birthday and holiday cards I receive from friends and look back on them from time to time. Even if the messages seem generic or impersonal, you can hear their voice in your head and it can bring you back to that time and dust off other memories you may not have a video or picture of. Those ordinary moments you may have taken for granted. The wonderful experiences you never want to forget. I'm constantly surprising myself with what I find myself writing just when I think I have nothing to say. It helps bleed over into in-person conversation too. I can finally find myself having heartfelt chats out of the blue that are some of the most amazing memories of all. It brings out one's humanity and lavishes it with compassion and attention. It's really quite hard to describe unless you've felt it and realized what you were experiencing. So, try it.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Until tomorrow <3

Thursday, May 13

072. Tumultuous Waters

To start things off, I just want to say that I got absolutely no sleep last night. And I have no idea as to why. Needless to say, I felt increasingly terrible as the day went on. No groceries today :( I was really looking forward to getting more stamps and mailing out more cards.

I pretty much tried to study today after prepping the big project for the last week of class: travel journals for the kids! They'll get to choose which color cover they want, fill in a page or two of drawings of past trips they've taken, and, by the end of the week, my beloved Cricut will make it's classroom debut and we're going to have the kids choose an image to piece together and adhere to their books to make it uniquely theirs. I'm beyond excited for all parties involved.

There is tons of... well, drama happening with all the schools (I'm sure this problem extends across the nation and/or world) concerning drastic budget cuts and shut downs of programs and facilities. The atmosphere was quite tense and apprehensive. Employees are often being bullied into early retirement, monetary incentives are being offered to teachers to switch from their current/ comfort zones into areas and specializations with dire need, and newer teachers are being fired or not even hired. It's... the world of education as it has been for ages. People are trying to force a business model onto something that should not be business. It's quite intriguing to study the history of how formal education as we know it today in America. It has always been a mess. Surprisingly enough, all I can say is: bring it. I know I'm going to do the best darn job I can given the circumstances and obstacles. The kids deserve better than any of this adult nonsense and utter prideful, arrogant, selfish, ignorant, and greedy actions and behaviors.

That all aside, there are some pretty darn good seeds in the bunch. People who do their best, wear a million hats exceptionally well, and are probably the closest thing to ideal. And guess what, a few are in the bunch that are retiring after this school year. /facedesk. Biting my tongue to avoid further ranting- I'm making a few cards:

Masculine- feminine much? Lol. We also received other bad or not so great news today, so yeah, rough waters indeed. Feeling pretty bad right now, so until tomorrow. <3

Wednesday, May 12

071. Might As Well

If you've played Solitaire on the computer and have checked off the options to draw three at a time, keep score Vegas style, and track it cumulatively- it makes it feel that much harder. It kinda shows how much you suck at the game over a period of time. :) Still just as addicting.

Well, I honestly don't feel like writing much today. We've all have been fairly subdued and gone about our businesses. I think we're all just being respective of however we each want to deal with missing Jack. It has started to sink in for the other doggie, she has been kind of lonely and slightly confused because she can't find him in house or out in the yard. We all feel really badly. They weren't inseparable, but it's usually nice to know that someone is constantly nearby, you know?

To not feel like a complete bore, here are a few pictures:

This is about a week after the kids planted chives, parsley, and basil in personally decorated pots as a Mother's Day present. Aren't the baby plants so cute? Look at them go! They used little dirt cookies that are about the size of Oreos that exploded to fill the pots when 1.5 cups of water was added.

Today one of two packages I was expecting from my first purchase through arrived! It contained a book I ordered to use as a study guide for my exam in June and one that is pretty much an idea book for card making. I'm pretty satisfied with both so far! I decided to make this card as a thank you to our postman. He's pretty cool.

Today the SO and I were pretty productive. He gathered materials to change the oil in his beloved bike aka the Other Girlfriend. Actually, I think I'm technically the 'Other Woman', but that's besides the point. :) Here she is with a cigarette butt she picked up coming in. That fat cow. Oops, did I type that aloud? :P

I also finally found offline and in stock the correct sizes of envelopes I've almost desperately needed. After we got home, I realized I only have two stamps left. I can't count how many times in the past two weeks that I've thought to myself, "Oh hey, I should pick up a book or two of stamps. Wait, never mind, I probably still have a million left." /facepalm. Good thing we're going grocery shopping tomorrow. I had enough to mail out what I wanted for at least tomorrow. I was also able to pick up some packs of stickers to use in the classroom too, they were quite cute and I believe they were a decent deal at Office Depot. 

I'm already helping to develop the activities. Next week is the last week for the kids and there's this really cool book we're bringing in. I can't quite remember the name of it, but I'll probably post a picture or two of it next week. It's all black and white about a trip and when you get to the end, you flip the book upside down and keep reading. The pictures turn into completely different scenes! So amazing and well though out. Next week's theme will be [Summer] Vacations/ Trips. I thought of the idea to make the week-long project a travel journal that the kids make. They can draw pictures of vacations or trips they have taken (whether it be camping or visiting relatives or going to the zoo) while leaving a few blank pages at the end. We'll probably jot in a few captions and they can decorate it through out the week. I'm also hauling in my Cricut and a few of my crafting goodies for the kids to play with and make an embellishment or two to their journals. I just couldn't resist partly showing off my baby but it is so user friendly that I know the kids will enjoy choosing pictures, working on pressing the right buttons, and watching the machine cut out/ create their desired item(s). It's going to be a blast and a half!

Tomorrow, one of the activities is practicing taking off and putting on their shoes. Man, I hope that goes smoothly. I'm sure you can imagine the chaos that could ensue. Wish us luck, lol. Until then! <3

Tuesday, May 11

070. A Moment Of Silence

I'm making today short and sweet as well as asking for a moment of silence (as well as some borrowed strength) for the household because today the decision was made to put down the puppy. He wasn't a puppy, was actually several years old, but still. He was one of the family's babies. Those of us who could, brought him into a local animal hospital and we chose to be with him to the very end. It was incredibly hard to let him go. I don't have great pictures of him, especially because whenever I tried to take a picture of either dog, they'd get all excited and give me a: Waitwhat? Areyoulookingatme? Omgpetme! Petmenow!- look and would charge at me so most pictures I have are pretty much of them bowling me over. Since this a recent picture I posted not too long ago when he was not in very good shape, here's a little snippet of his beautiful (and dry) fur from the side:

R.I.P. Harley Urp Jackson
We love you so much.
Good boy, Jack, good boy.

He was very sweet and is in such a better place right now where he doesn't hurt anymore. He can be a puppy again and watch over us until we meet again. It all went pretty quickly, so that was good. I hope his constant companion sister by love will take it well once it sinks in that he won't be back because he's gone home. We may not be terribly religious, but I'll be darn to say we're not very spiritual. The rest of the evening has been subdued but full of sharing memories and talking about all his lovable traits. Such a sweet mini horse. ^_^

I can't keep typing anymore so, until tomorrow. <3

Monday, May 10

069. Fairly Done

A lot of things seem to be fairly done today. Quite a bit of the extra tension is finally coming to an end, so that's always great- some of the kids today were just done with everything and everyone today and lost it- and I also worked on planning and prepping the Father's Day card and gift for the class (on top of what I've had on my agenda).

The sick doggie also has an appointment with the vet tomorrow. :( And of course, he's rallied up over night but we know it's just a matter of hours before he's worse than ever. We shall see what happens there. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. :(

I'm a little too wiped today to feel like a complete jerk for not posting any media today. Lol. Just two more weeks of students and then I can go back to tackling all of those projects at school and at home again. As much as I love what I'm doing, I can't wait for the summer and what it may bring. It has gotten me pretty darn motivated to use my collections of craft supplies and resources much more wisely as well as to really want to tidy up my spots around here. I space take up good. :P

Apparently my brain is pretty done for the day too because I cannot remember what I was going to write about today. Boo. Once I get this consciousness thing right or school ends for the kids, I want to write more than "Dear Diary, Today I..." Maybe I can post some craft projects and such soon?

Keeping my fingers crossed! <3

Sunday, May 9

068. Oh My. / Happy Mother's Day!

More puppy problems today. :( Sadness. He will be taken to a small clinic after school tomorrow. Still stumbling, he got himself caught/ stuck/ upside-down in the homemade doghouse today. It was originally made for a smaller other dog that is no longer with us. Not sure why this doggie was trying to get in there today though. In all the time that I've known him I haven't seen him really try to go in, he's much more happy on the old couch bed. Well, I was working on a project and sitting at the breakfast bar when I heard a weird sound (I was listening to music on my headphones) and turned thinking maybe one of the dogs had seen a snake. The family has been telling me that they took all of their dogs to a training school that them to fear snakes and to alert their owners of the presence of a snake with a specific bark.

I thought that sound might be it, but I saw the dog I expected to be making that noise just sitting at the door begging to be let in. Then she got up and rushed towards the doghouse and I went out to follow her gaze and realized it was our sick dog stuck. I called FMIL for help and she turned him right ways up. He somehow got in, turned around in the back to head out again and must have had too much momentum (again) for his weak joints to handle and fell forward. He head was stuck upside down and his weight on him awkwardly bent under front paws. The sound I heard over my music was his cries from inside. That poor thing. He just can't be trusted to make it up or down any size step. He has always been such the gentle and laid-back giant, but lately he's been very fickle and indecisive but insistent about anything and everything. He has even gone as far as getting into the habit of bullying his way into the house when any of us go out to check on him.

SO's mom spent most of today doing paper work or comforting/ worrying about the doggie. She has been helping him sit, lay down, stand, walk up & walk down steps, wiping up his various goobers, trying to get him to eat or drink more, and petting him. We tried to help her out being on guard duty or at least around the house, but even so, she just wanted to be with him. Completely understandable. I wish we could do more and hopefully the doctors can do something this week.

I have been able to do some organizing between my working on projects today, so I'm somewhat satisfied, lol. Still have a long way to go, so I don't want to be too easy on myself. I did get mildly sidetracked by all this great music I have been finding on YouTube today. /shakes fist at internet. I've only subscribe and watched about two videos for each artist I've found today, I actually stopped myself from obsessively going through each of everyone's videos. It's a step up and a lot coming from me, lol.

Let's get to it!

"Break Your Heart" yet again because it's such a catchy song.

Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" such a beautiful, haunting, and somber song. I'm not sure why I haven't it it before today.

Akon's "Beautiful" on an electric violin! I don't think I knew that that was an instrument. Really cool to see the process of looping!

And just a change of pace:

"Galactic Empire State of Mind" by College Humor. So hilarious- and well written! As usual.

Um... on another pretty cool note, I was able to catch up with my baby brother this evening. It was really cool and we made a pact to keep working on that. I can't believe he's about to graduate! Holy cow, where has time gone. At the most, he's still 12 years old to me. Ugh. I kind of can't handle it, lol. It was a nice talk and I can't wait to go back and visit. /crosses fingers. I hope to make it there this summer. :D

I need to get back to work. Oye. Lol. But before I do:

Wishing all the wonderful mothers a Happy Mother's Day! ♥ 
No matter how time flies, we'll always be your babies and appreciate all that you have done/ continue to do.
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