Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Zoo

Luke LOVES THE ZOO! He always wants to go to the zoo. I'll take a day of vacation to spend with him at the Playhouse's Friday Fundays and he doesn't want to go...he wants to go to the zoo. So in December, on a 17 degree day, Luke and I headed to the zoo. We went through the inside exhibits and get outdoors. The emu/wallaby area is closed, the goats area is closed, the playground area is closed, Africa exhibits are closed, monkeys are not out, etc. You get the picture? On the day in December we were the only visitors on the 17 degree day. Did I mention it was cold? Luke is having a good time but keeps asking where all the people are. The good news is I could let him run to his hearts content and not lose him.

Okay, so you get the idea he likes the zoo? So last Saturday I am babysitting all four grandchildren while the parents go see Spring Awakening and Grandpa goes to Kansas City to go to a train show. I temporarily wondered what I had gotten myself in for but then reminded myself I used to run a day care with six children full time with a couple extra thrown in after school. Of course I was 30 years younger, but I gave myself a kick in the behind and said I could do it! Everything went great until about 4 p.m. Luke was getting tired but I was unable to get him to lay down because I had a sleeping Jaren in my arms. Luke decided he wanted to go outside. It was cold outside (see a pattern here?) and I told him it was too cold. He informed me he had a coat. I told him I had Jaren and couldnt' go outside with him. He told me he could go outside with his sisters. I informed him it wasn't going to happen. He then decided he wanted to go to the zoo. I tried telling him the zoo was closed (I wasn't lying) and he said it they weren't, it was still light outside. I told him I couldn't get 4 car seats in my car; he said to leave Jaren home. (That wasn't going to happen either). Luckily Jeremy, Sarah, and the her parents arrived to rescue me. The twins, Luke, and I were joining them for dinner at the Spaghetti Works. However, Luke didn't want to go...he wanted to go the zoo. All the way to the restaurant he kept insisting he didn't want to go out to eat, he wanted to go to the zoo. When we got to the restaurant he didn't want to get out of the car.

So today, while Grandpa was napping, I wanted to take advantage of the 48 degree temperature so called to see if Luke and his sisters wanted to go to the zoo, which they did. We had a great time. Today there were a few more people there, but still lots of the exhibits were closed. They didn't mind because they got to go to the gift shop and get a present before we left. Thank goodness for warmer temperatures and the Blank Park Zoo.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

American Idol

For the most recent stop on the ADSR 4 Race, we were to scraplift one of our scrapping idols. See post here. I've had some inquiries for more information so I thought I'd share my recollections from Jeremy's 2004 pursuit of being the next American Idol.

It started in early August with his competing in the Iowa Idol at Valley West Mall.

I believe it was eight semi-finalists were selected to perform at the Iowa State Fair on the Bill Riley Stage on opening day. Jeremy was competitor number 6. The crowd went crazy and the whole place was on their feet. It was a fantastic feeling. The winner of this competition (Jeremy) received tickets to Las Vegas and was guaranteed an audition.

Sometime between his first performance at the Valley West Mall and the Iowa State Fair competition, Jeremy and I took a road trip to St. Louis to audition. We arrived around 12:30 a.m.; line ups were not to start until 6 a.m. But people were already lined up so we gathered up our sleeping bags, pillows, and stuff and staked out our place on the cement in front of the arena. It was a lot of fun, but sometime during the night I had dozed off only to about get stampeded when a couple yahoos decided to jump the line and everyone started surging forward thinking the doors were opened. Around 7 a.m. they opened the doors (a whole day earlier than planned but it was quite hot outside). We spent the remainder of that day and night camping out inside the arena.

As for the actual audition--it is not what the TV let's you think the process is. The judges are not even there. Each contestant can only have one other individual with them. The arena was completely packed. The contestants are lined up by section and taken to a separate room (St. Louis) or down to the arena floor (Las Vegas). They are lined up in groups of three across. There will be approximately 12 tables with assistant producers at each table and in groups of three you would go up to one table and sing your 30 second song. So at any given second you have at least 12 people singing with people in the stands talking all at the same time. Crazy. If the judges like what they hear and see, you will be asked to come back later that day. They then narrow it down even more and those individuals will be asked to come back for the judges on another day. In St. Louis the judges wouldn't be back for about 2 weeks as I recall. In St. Louis he didn't make it past round one. It was interesting to talk to the people. There was a girl in St. Louis that had competed for the Missouri Idol and won and she was given a NEW CAR!

Well back to the Iowa Idol...Jeremy won at the Iowa State Fair and received his ticket to Las Vegas. I joined him, along with his friend Richard Zhu, who flew in from New York. This time we didn't have to camp out. We just took a taxi to the venue the morning of the audition. They had a special area set aside for all the Fox affiliate winners. This venue was not prepared for the crowds. They had one concession stand open for thousands of people. I stood in line 40 minutes to get Jeremy a bottle of water. Again Jeremy didn't make it past round one, but it was lots of fun.

You know when you see during the audition shows lots of contestants singing the same song? They hand out the lyrics (no music) and if selected, you will be asked to go in front of the Idol banner and sing it. They then make it look like they are in front of the judges singing it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pics from the birthday party

Just looked at the pictures I took at the birthday party on Sunday and thought I'd post t his group shot of the birthday girls with their cousins.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Girls

My two favorite little girls in the whole wide word will turn seven tomorrow and we celebrated their birthday today.  Love you,


Week 3 in review, part 2

Continuing on in my quest to document 2009 with a picture a day, here is the 2nd half of week 3.

Sunday we went shopping and one of the items we bought was a new comforter for our bed.

Monday was a holiday and I didn't have to work. I spent the morning in my office scrapping this layout for the ADSR 4 race. This is what I saw on my love seat when I left the office to get something to eat.

Tuesday was the inauguration and I spent the day glued to the TV and forgot to take a picture until later that evening, which I was still glued to the TV. So I snapped this picture of the new Prez and his beautiful wife at one of the balls.

Wednesday it had warmed up to 30 degrees (its in the picture) and on my lunch washed my car and then took it in for an estimate to fix the damage from this.

I am using Life 365 Tool Box Collection, available from
Weeds and Wildflowers for this project.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

National Blonde Brownie Day

Did you know today is National Blonde Brownie Day? Supposedly it is a special day set aside to bake and eat blonde brownies, whatever they are. From what I could learn, that you use light brown sugar in the recipe instead of dark brown chocolate. Well, I am a certifiable chocoholic and if the brownie isn't chocolate, I don't eat it, nor do I make it.

The best brownie mix ever as far as I am concerned is this one:

I buy a three-pack at Costco and man are they delicious. Maybe I'll bake and eat some tonight.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love You

I did this layout for CAF-E with Nicole challenge at DSP. CAF-E stands for Create A Freebie for the E! Challenge!!!! This week's challenge was to use Nicole Young's Angel Whispers Page Kit and Blog Freebie.

Today I also learned of the plans for a Midwest Crop here in Des Moines sometime this year--possibly in June. I didn't realize the number of scrappers at DSP from Iowa, including Nicole.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

National Popcorn Day

Did you know that tomorrow is National Popcorn Day? I guess there is some controversy on the actual date--some sources claim the 19th of January and others say it is whatever day the Super Bowl falls on. All I know is that I love popcorn. Some of my favorite memories are visiting my neighbor's house in the evening to watch T.V. Almost every night they would pop up a big metal dish pan of popcorn and then pour on lots of melted butter. Some nights my friend's mother would make a caramel sauce and pour on it. Eileen really could make some good caramel popcorn.

I still love popcorn. These days everyone has bags of microwave popcorn. Although I like it, I much prefer popcorn cooked in a pan in hot oil (peanut oil makes the best), shaking the pan the entire time and then putting butter in this pan to melt before pouring over the popcorn. And don't forget movie theatre popcorn...I've tried to go to the movie and not get it, but I always end up going back out to the concession stand to get some.

In recent years another form of popcorn has become popular--kettle corn--in which sugar is placed in the pan with the popcorn kernels. This is to die for also.

Week 3, part 1

Images from the first half of week three of 2009.

Been shopping this weekend for birthday presents for the granddaughters. Hard to believe they will be seven. Bought each one a toy and then bought some clothes I think are really cute--let's hope they like them. I also did some shopping at Christopher Banks for myself--found three tops off their $9.99 rack. Besides clothes, we bought a new quilt and shams for our bed. The dogs aren't happy that I wouldn't let them up on it tonight.

Note about the pictures: I have been shooting everything in RAW. For these pictures I changed my camera settings back to JPEG. I am not happy with them after working with RAW photos.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2nd week of 2009 in Review

In my attempt to take a photo a day during 2009 and scrap it, here is week 2.

I used Life 365 Tool Box Collection from Weeds and Wildflowers.

I finished my third and fourth layouts for the Amazing Digi Scrapping Race 4. You can check out my LO's here. Challenge 4 was a very emotional one for me to do. We had to do layout with art and soul, the soul being I had to journal something from my soul, which I've never done and I'm not really comfortable doing. When faced with the challenge, I immediately knew what my subject matter would be, the loss of Jason and the ever present regrets of not holding him long enough and never getting a picture of him.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So how was your morning?

Mine wasn't so great. Faust Body Shop here I come. Who'd ever thought I would have a "body shop" I called on a regular basis?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Project 365 -- First Week

So I might have mentioned I am participating in Project 365--take a picture a day and scrap it. I just completed week one.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Challenging myself this month

I am challenging myself this month to do a layout every day. Here is one I did yesterday. I used the theme "Cabin Fever" assigned for challenge 2 for the ADSR 4 race. Judy and I have to work together and create one LO together.

Supplies used were:
Papers: All from Doreen Stolz kit Rustic Fields: papers 2, 3, 16, and 17

Elements: Doreen Stolz Kit Rustic Fields: (1) Tab 02; (2) wrap it bow 3; (3) flower 1; (4) mini flower1; (5) flower 3; (6) flower 4; (7) dunia-LetsGo-journalingtag-01; and (8) STI_DynBrush_DecorStitch_4901 (blanket stitch

Fonts: Hurry Up and Lucida Calligraphy

Actions: Atomic Cupcake Routh Litograph

Styles: AWI_SSStyles_Blended 8201

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Scrapping weekend at home

I'm holding my own private weekend scrap here at home. Stayed up to 3 this morning working on my first layout for the ADSR 4 Race (see it here).

I've also completed a lesson from the eBook, Laying it All Out no. 1 / laser cuts and drop shadows lesson by Cassie Jones. To complete the lesson, instead of using the papers provided, I used papers provided by Katie Pertiet for the Color Challenge over at

Another challenge I completed this weekend was the the Everyday Inspiration Challenge, again at of my hubby. This challenge was based on a Bissell carpet cleaner ad.

The final layout from this weekend (so far) was one with my mother for a challenge I can't even remember at this time: