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Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Thankful for 2009

As I look back at 2009 I can say that I've truly been blessed. There are so many things to be thankful for...

*my husband and children. They make me laugh on a daily basis-sometimes it's at them other times at myself.

*to live in a country where I understand the language- most of the time anyway, LOL!

*snow days that occur with less than 18 inches of snowfall :-)

*my cat who likes to sneak up and scare me at least once a day-okay maybe not that thankful but she does get my heart pumping that's for sure!

*a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs, cars that work, petrol in the tank, gainful employment and the love of the Lord in our hearts.

Quote of the Day

"One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things."

- John Burroughs

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In case you're wondering...

I've been here at home for the past couple of days taking down Christmas and madly going through the house preparing items for what the military calls non-temp storage (basically permanent storage for the next 3 years). We've managed to get a lot of boxes packed up and ready to ship back to South Dakota (that's where our storage stuff will). Things like my beloved toaster oven will have to go into storage simply because there's just no room for it in my kitchen. Since new and it's a Kitchen-Aid I'll hang on to it, if it wasn't then I would have donated it.

We've taken things to sheep street and have given to local charities and will also take on base and donate items there too.

I'm off to have lunch and then get back to work.

Quote of the Day

When you're riding in a time machine way far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.
–Jack Handey


talk about making me laugh out loud

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

-Winston Churchill

Monday, December 28, 2009

Creating the Ultimate Scrapbooking Room- Organization, tools

When it comes to scrapbook room organization, first and foremost is room layout. Now comes the placement of your tools. Are they easily accessible? Are all of your scrapbooking/paper crafting tools located in one general area or are they spread out all over the place because of poor organization and/or lack of space?

Have you ever heard of the term "rabbit holing it"? It's where you come home with scrapping tools and paper and just "put them" where you have space. I knew someone who would lose items and end up re-buying the exact same things- once she bought the same tool 3 times because she forgot where she put it. My friend has been reformed with help from yours truly (and yes she reads my blog-this will make her laugh). But honestly,there's not a one of us that has not ever has been guilty "rabbit holing". I know that I have and your probably guilty too, LOL!

There are a few different ways to tackle this and the one one that has worked the best for me is to have a designated "work area". Have an assigned place for your tools, from scissors, rulers,paper trimmers to the big paper cutters, Sizzix, Quickutz, Cuttle Bug and Cricut. Does this "work area" have elbow room? Where you can spread out your tools and use them? Is there adequate storage near this assigned work area for your tools- or at least for your frequently used tools? There's lots to think about when creating your work space. Do you have tools that you aren't using? Or ones that you use so infrequently that if you really think about it they are just taking up valuable space?

An easy solution for tool organization is the peg board. We've seen this stuff above our husbands work area in the garage. I had this in my littlest scrapbook nook and loved it! Everything was right there at my finger tips and the hooks were easy to move around to accommodate items of various sizes.. So hunting for scissors or rulers, all my needs where right in front of me. Another tool is the rail system. Through a series of "hooks" that can slide back and forth you can hang your tools and other items such as embellishments- similar in concept to the peg board but not requiring a large block of space but rather a horizontal area long enough to accommodate the rail and items hanging from it. I bought mine at Ikea (in the kitchen section) and was surprised at how inexpensive they were and there's these cool baskets that you can hang from them as well (nothing was more than £3 or $5 US), plus the hooks of course. I have one basket that I'm hanging from my work station for things I want to have right there or things that I can place there that will need to be put away when I'm done using them.

I know that I need to post pictures of these things I'm talking about (that's a New Years Resolution I'm still working on from last 2 years, LOL!). I also need to go on another Ikea run- I've got a cubby space to fill and I know exactly what I want to fill it with :-)

Quote of the Day

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
-King Whitney Jr.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Boy

Several of my readers have e-mailed me in regards to how my son is doing in South Dakota. Apparently they got over 49 inches of snow out there in this last blizzard. My friend Mary is up to her eyeballs in teenage boys all playing video and/or computer games not to mention eating her out of house and home. To be honest, as much as I would complain about the boys staying with me for days on end and eating everything in the house- I miss them all ever so much! I'm sure that our son is having the time of his life having fun with his friends and enjoying a true white Christmas.

Quote of the Day

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Creating the Ultimate Scrapbooking Room- Organization

Organization- getting there is half the fun!

Moving is not for wimps. Having ones entire house packed up and moved across the USA is one thing, moving to a NEW country is quite different.That being said it's time to get
my scrapbook nook reorganization project into high gear!

I love organizing and reorganizing spaces, figuring out how to better utilize a space puts me in my element. I'm once again in a new to me house and am working with the space I have been given-trying hard not to use the kids closets as auxiliary storage spots as I had done in the past. I want everything I use for scrapbooking and paper crafting to be in my scrapbook nook and no place else-no exceptions!

You've seen pictures of my past scrapbook nooks and how I've made them into usable working spaces with the items and resources available to me. If you've not seen them then please check out my webshots page-look in album titled "my scrapbook nook/craft room". Each time I've tried something new and different, this space will be yet again be something new. I will not be painting the walls as I did in my past 2 spaces as I find the buttercup yellow paint color soft and pleasing to the eye while the white crown molding gives it a touch of elegance once doesn't normally find in a craft room.

Craft rooms don't have to be a utilitarian work space- they can be anything we want them to be. I've found inspiration for my scrapbook nook's new look on the internet. While doing research on what others have currently going on in their spaces and combining it with bits and pieces of my past crafting spaces, I've been able to come up with something that I find functional and aesthetically pleasing. Set yourself a plan and work accordingly. Draw up a sketch of the dimensions of your proposed space, consider what you want to put into that space and how you want it to work. Layout your actual working space and the storage space, is there a fluid movement and working connection between the two areas?

Next- Set yourself a budget! I've had more than one friend run into some big problems when they see one thing and they buy it and then they see something else and change their mind from the original plan and get something else. That's why I'm telling you- do some research on the internet, see what works for others in their spaces, if you can, ask them questions on where they bought their items, the sizes and yes even the costs. You'll find that many people already include that information in their descriptions to better help others checking out their websites.

Measure the walls, if you're considering hanging heavy shelving units be sure to locate the wall studs before purchasing the units. Is the floor uneven? check it as you may have to anchor any shelves or drawer units to the walls.


Containers- finding the type of container that works for your space sets the tone of how you will display and in essence organize your tools, embellishments, papers and more. First and foremost it's got to hold your stuff. Make sure to measure where you want the container to go, how will this container be displayed? Will it be stacked with many other containers of the same kind? Or will it be mixed with others of varying sizes? What exactly are you going to be putting into said containers? As you see, there are many things to consider in the purchase of your containers.

Stay tuned for pictures- I've got all kinds of things to take pictures of in my British version of My Scrapbook Nook.

Quote of the Day

The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
-Thomas Carlye

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here I am, having coffee by myself as my cat has decided to "sleep in" this morning. It's Christmas and the family is sleeping in? What's with that? I suppose that it gives me time to get things set up in the other room for picture taking ;-)

Quote of the Day

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

- Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Trivia

The modern Christmas tree was likely born in the 8th century, when St. Boniface was converting the Germanic tribes. The tribes worshipped oak trees, decorating them for the winter solstice. St. Boniface cut down an enormous oak tree, that was central to the worship of a particular tribe, but a fir tree grew in its place. The evergreen was offered as a symbol of Christianity, which the newly converted Germans began decorating for Christmas.

***

Prince Albert, who was German, introduced the Christmas tree to England after his marriage to Queen Victoria in 1840.
German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought Christmas trees to America.

***

The Druids believed mistletoe fell from heaven and grew onto a tree that sprang from Earth. Mistletoe thus represented the joining of heaven and earth, and God's reconciliation with mankind. A kiss under mistletoe symbolized acceptance and reconciliation.

***

Patron saint of children and sailors, Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Asia Minor. He was famous for giving gifts to children. His feast day, December 6, became a children's holiday in Holland, where he is known as Sint Nikolaas. English colonists in New York (previously the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam) called him “Santa Claus” because they couldn't pronounce the Dutch name. The English began celebrating the feast day on Christmas.

***

Kriss Kringle, another name for Santa Claus, developed in Germany around 1600. German Protestants recognized December 25, the birth of the Christ child, Christkindl, as the time to give gifts. “Christkindl” evolved into “Kriss Kringle.”

***

In the Netherlands and Germany, the Santa Claus figure often rode through the sky on a horse to deliver presents to children. He often wore a bishop's robes and was sometimes accompanied by Black Peter, an elf who whipped naughty children. In addition to the tradition of Saint Nicholas, the three Wise Men gave gifts to the baby Jesus, starting the Christmas gift tradition.

Christmas trivia courtesy of Trivia Today ezine@gohpercentral.com

Quote of the Day

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luke 2:8-15

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries.
--W.J. Cameron

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Just the story of my boy and his adventure to get to South Dakota. He left here yesterday around 10am with his Dad to pick up a couple of things then off to the Airport to make his 2 pm flight to the USA. Meanwhile there was an accident on the highway which delayed things and the traffic was so backed up (over 20 miles) that it took close to 3 hours to clear up. What a nightmare! He finally gets to the airport only to learn that his was flight was cancelled 2 hours before he got there. I can only imagine what this poor child must be thinking at this point. Good thing that his Dad was there, because they ended up staying the night in a hotel (provided by the airline) and Andrew got some meal vouchers (thank the Lord because we know how our boy can eat). What an ordeal to go through on your first solo flight. He's never experienced this level of stress with flying (we his parents have always dealt with this kind of stuff).

It's funny how a little bit of snow really puts a whammy on this country. From roads and driving to airline departures. I was reading an news article on this very topic and even the Brit's are fed up with how unprepared their local government is when it comes to dealing with snow removal. Now having just spend 6 years in winter hell I know how to drive in freezing rain, blowing snow and even on black ice. I'm not worried about myself and driving in bad conditions, I'm worried about the other driver who doesn't have my experience in driving in these kinds of weather conditions. Just another reason why I had my Honda minivan shipped here- I know how it handles in these kinds of weather conditions plus it's got traction control- love that feature! Okay so the heated seats and mirrors are another added bonus to the winter package. Even the kids seats in the middle are heated- yes it's a sweet ride to say the least!

So please everyone, if you do not need to be out on the road in this crazy winter weather, please stay home! Stay home and be safe! Stay home and do something fun with your kids like baking cookies and listening to Christmas music.

PS- Please keep us in your prayers as we have to go out in this weather later on as my daughter is having oral surgery today. My husband is driving back from London this morning- I hope that the roads are clear and everyone is not in a hurry.

Quote of the Day

Remember that it is nothing to do your duty, that is demanded of you and is no more meritorious than to wash your hands when they are dirty; the only thing that counts is the love of duty; when love and duty are one, then grace is in you and you will enjoy a happiness which passes all understanding.
-W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), The Painted Veil, 1925

Monday, December 21, 2009

A different kind of Christmas

It’s going to feel strange for us only having Hannah at home for Christmas. It's hard for me to let him go at this time of year, but I know how much Andrew misses “home” and his friends and if he comes back a happier person then the trip was well worth it! His grades have really improved and I’m happy to see him now earning a B average in his AP classes (it’s about time). He fought us night and day about going to school here and well he’s finally taking the grade thing seriously. School here in ways is tougher expectation wise than in the states and I hope that it gives him an insight to other cultures. But when you’re gone from 6:45 am until 6 pm it’s hard to do any kind of socializing never mind making friends. At least they only have 6 required Saturdays for the entire school year instead of having to go to school every Saturday. The last required Saturday is his graduation day, isn't that kind of a cruel joke.

So today our boy will be on his first international trip-alone.You can't even begin to know how worried this makes me, he's never flown alone before, I've always been with him. I suppose we've got to let him spread his wings and do this on his own. Keep him in your prayers for a safe journey.

Now Hannah is not without having things going on- tomorrow she's having oral surgery (yes, it's to do with orthodontics). My poor baby! But at least her mouth should be healed enough to have her British Christmas dinner! Please keep her in your prayers for a quick recovery.

Speaking of having a British Christmas Dinner...went shopping at my FAVORITE grocery store Waitrose. Bought the yummiest things there, from our huge fresh chicken for our Sunday dinner to Sticky Toffee Pudding, Yule log (the Belgian chocolate kind) to Christmas crackers (the non-edible kind) and of course several large bags of Cadbury Buttons for Andrew to take with him and give to his friends! The Fresh Veggies there are the best! We filled the grocery cart full of yummy holiday treats, the ones that can only be described as adding a touch of a European flair. We've got foods from Italy, Belgium, Germany, England, Scotland and of course and America. Needless to say we're having our own Christmas around the World :-) One I hope to repeat every year from now on! What are Christmas traditions but to add to and make your own, right?

Can you see it all made into scrapbook pages? Loads of pictures or maybe just one with tons of journaling about what makes this Christmas so special? I know that I can! January will be a scrapbooking marathon month for me, I can feel it!

Christmas Firsts

Our year of Christmas firsts:

*Our 1st year celebrating Christmas in England.

*Our 1st year of celebrating Christmas w/o our son (who is going to SD to spend the Holidays with his friends).

*Our 1st Christmas (in years) without at least a foot of snow on the ground.

*And it's the first time that we'll be more than a couple hours time difference from our families.

Quote of the Day

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
-Christopher Morley

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmases Past...

What are some things from your childhood that you when you see them now bring huge smiles to your face? For me it's little things like Ribbon candy. My mother would have this in a fancy crystal candy dish that she only put out at Christmas time. I loved how the brightly colored spun "threads" glistened as they stretched throughout the piece of candy as it bent back and forth. To me, this was a sign of Christmas parties. My lovely mother-in-law has been able to bring this little part of Christmas back to me. A few years ago she found a place that sells Ribbon Candy and she sends me a box of it every year...this year is no exception :-) Before we break into it, I'm going to take some pictures of it and make a Christmas scrapbook layout about it. Aaaah, my mother-in-law sure does know how to do Christmas!

And the title will be-" Nothing says Christmas like... " and each page will be about a different piece of Christmas Cheer. I encourage you all to make a page about the little things that bring Christmas into your heart.

Quote of the Day

More important than talent, strength, or knowledge is the ability to laugh at yourself and enjoy the pursuit of your dreams.
-Amy Grant

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is in the Air

With snow swirling around and our little Christmas Tree up and decorated- it is beginning to feel more like Christmas around here :-)

We attended a Christmas party last night and it was wonderful! I loved seeing everyone all dressed up looking posh and sparkly. The meal was excellent as was the service. The entertainment-that ended up being ourselves, the folks putting on the party did a great job! Playing games and laughing - it was a hoot! I laughed throughout the evening, there was not a moment when I didn't have a smile on my face. Now did I bring my camera? No-ugh! I would have loved to have taken some pictures of friends at this event (especially while they were not wearing their usual military garb). I'm smiling even now as I remember what fun we had last night-what a great evening spent with friends.

Quote of the Day

If grass can go through cement, love can find you at every time in your life.
-Cher

Thursday, December 17, 2009

week in review

It's been a busy week to be sure, but it's not to say that I didn't enjoy my time with my husband and daughter.

We've been trying to plan a family mini-tip for some time and when my darling husband came up with the idea of going to Scotland I said sure why not! Well at the last minute our son decided that he would rather stay home and finish up the virtual ton of homework that he was assigned. We tried to convince him to come with us but alas it was to no avail. So off we went- the 3 of us.

Monday- the first stop on our journey took us to RAF Lakenheath for an orthodontic appointment for our daughter. Hannah is now in braces for a 3rd time. My husband and I finally feel that we're with an orthodontist that actually cares for his patients, he's one that looks into all avenues of treatment and care and the long term goal of said treatments and not just one. Hannah has some special circumstances in regards to her orthodontic care. Circumstances that the other orthodontists didn't address, no matter how much I pressured him on the subject. Then when he did, it was for her to have jaw surgery- all I had to say is...um dude there's so many other avenue to explore and jaw surgery is only a last resort. So we've started down a new road with orthodontics and will be having her jaw/teeth crowding issues addressed by someone who actually cares about his patients.

After we did some shopping at the base we headed out for the first leg of our journey. We ended up in the little town of Whetherby and stayed at a brand new hotel (what are the chances of that happening in England?). We ate dinner in a charming local pub and dinner was delightful! After that it was hanging out in our hotel- reading and then off to slumber land-well at least it was for me. Hannah was doing math homework and the spouse was checking on his fantasy football team, LOL!

Tuesday saw us up at the crack of dawn and out the door---we were Scotland bound to say the least! We stopped off at RAF Menwith Hill to get fill up the gas tank then we were off! It was way too early to call on friends that live up there and we really didn't have time to visit with them properly so after filling up the gas tank we were off!

The drive up was full of detours and for a moment I thought I was in the south- were every trucker was out on the road! The weather,it was pretty typical British weather- fog and rain all day long. But that was not about to stop us for going to Scotland and seeing the city of Edinburgh. We arrived around 1:30 pm and after a little walking around, we were ready for lunch! Ate at a pub- it was so-so. More walking around, looking at the sights and later on in the evening we had Indian take out or as they say here in the UK, take away and it was to die for! Oh my gosh it was the BEST Indian food Hannah and I have ever had! And my husband tried Indian food for the very first time, even he liked it (at least he ate like he liked it, LOL).

Wednesday took us to Edinburgh Castle- if you ever come out this way this is a MUST SEE! It was fantastic! Granted it was foggy and raining intermittently throughout the day but we were not about to let that stop us from enjoying our time in Edinburgh! The view of the city from the castle was amazing! You could see for miles! The history is so well preserved, this place is well taken care of and it shows. We dined at the Castle and the food was delicious! The hot soup was delicious and it warmed us right up and the prices were spot on good!

Along the way on the Royal Mile, we went to many different shops and we bought some things to remind us of our special trip to Scotland. For me it was a Diana,Princess of Wales Memorial Tartan Scarf and Tam set. I'll have to wait on getting myself the serape later-maybe for Valentines Day :-) To find out more on the Diana Memorial Tartan- please click on her name.

Hannah- that girl of mine is too darn cute for her own good! My husband is such a softy when it comes to our daughter :-) We bought her an adorable Angora hand knitted cap, it was simple too sweet on her head! It reminds me of a ripe strawberry (her favorite fruit), it's the perfect sort of thing for a teen girl. After touring the tartan shop we came out with such a new appreciation and knowledge of the various tartan weaves. Yup, this is another MUST SEE MUST DO kind of thing!
I can't begin to tell you how much walking we did , it seems that all of our vacations include a great deal of walking(insert small chuckle here). Even in the cold (40º) and intermittently rainy weather we managed to enjoy our time. Our last dinner out in Edinburgh was at a lovely Italian restaurant. The food was out of this world authentic! None of that watered down subdued Italian like I had in Oxford THIS was the real McCoy! From the pasta to the Tiramisu it was all fresh and obviously hand made! The service everywhere in Scotland was top notch.

The B&B we stayed in was great! Would we stay there again? In a heart beat! I'd tell you all the name but I'm afraid that if I do you'll book it up and we'd have no place to say. I will say this, it has a 4 star rating from the Scottish tourist board- and it deserves every star! Its charming decor and friendly inn keepers make this place some place I want to stay at again.

On our last day (Thursday) we awoke to SNOW! Our inn keeper was concerned for us driving in the snow- we let him know where we last lived that this was "nothing" and we know how to drive in the snow ;-) Our drive home was snow filled, but no true accumulation. We ate lunch at a "Road Chef" restaurant- now I had always sneered at these kinds of places but decided to give it a try (our motto-you only live once). I have to say that our meal was pretty good and a good value for the price. We all had the fail safe meal- fish and chips.

Snow, snow and more snow, some blinding sunlight for a while, sleet and more snow. The highway traffic coming home wasn't that bad and I can honestly say that it was no where as bad as it was getting to Lakenheath, that took us a full 3 hours w/o rest stops!

We finally got to see black and brown sheep. I've not seen them here where I live, but they seemed to be everywhere in Scotland. Cute City! I must be the only one who thinks sheep are adorable! I love lambies and have started a small collection of sheep items.

Alright, my family is still sleeping and it's nearly 6 am- should I wake them? Or just enjoy my coffee in peace and quite while sitting in my favorite recliner? I vote for the recliner...I certainly don't need them around pestering me to make them breakfast, LOL!

Quote of the Day

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm outta here!

Off to Scotland for a few days- I'll take pictures and share, later!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

IKEA for organizational tools!

So, there I was, sitting on my freshly vacuumed carpet in my Scrapbook Nook assessing my "needs" for more organizational items from Ikea. I am loving the rail system, now more hiding this stuff in drawers, it's out in the open and now I'll use it because I can see it! I had a hard time using embellishments and rub-on's because they were all tucked away, stacked in drawers making them a pain in the neck to get out and use. The rail system put them out there so they are ready and accessible at the touch of a fingertip.

My Scrapbook Nook is going under some serious renovations and I love it! Every new place gives me an opportunity to try something new- how many of us really get that chance? To move every few years, to pack up everything and reorganize it all in a new to us place. I never even gave painting the walls a thought as I actually enjoy this buttercup yellow paint, I find it refreshing and cheery. I am working on my window treatment- need to get a hammer and some nails ;-) My giant clothes pins are going up and I'll be hanging/displaying some of my scrapbook layouts on the walls. I love the fact that I've gone with white and chrome on the furniture, with black and white storage pieces. It just seems so open now. Now for me to finish getting that room together- it's going to take some time for me to have it thoroughly organized and arranged to be as I want it to be, but I've got time on my side now ;-)

Quote of the Day

Christmas… that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance -- a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.
~Augusta E. Rundel

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the night shift

I went to bed rather early (9pm) only to wake up at 1am to my daughter and husband making noise as they were finally going to bed. You see, they were working in the scrapbook nook. My husband told me that he drilled new holes and put in new molly bolts to secure the Billy shelf units to the wall. Those self units are quiet weighty and they need all of the support that they can get (especially with what I'm going to store on them).

Of course I'm wide awake at 1 am and proceeded to check out what they've gotten done in the room. Both shelf units are up and ready to have items stored in/on them. I went to the dining room and unpacked a box marked "craft room glass"- knowing that that is where my jars of ribbons, buttons and Prima flowers are located. Well time just flew as I was working away organizing stuff in my scrapbook nook and before I knew it, it was 5:30 am-eeek! You know what that means...it's coffee time!

Quote of the Day

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!
-Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Cards

Being that I'm still in the process of moving in ET All- I've not come across our store bought Christmas cards (I use those in case of an emergency). So now I've got to either go out and buy some more OR take my time and make some. I vote for taking a break from unpacking and sitting down to design and make our 2009 Christmas cards! I'll share later what I came up with.

Quote of the Day

Glory to God in the Highest,
and on Earth peace,
good will towards men.
Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keep, Toss, Donate, put into Storage

I've added another part to the basic "Keep/Toss/Donate" concept of moving. It's not that I'm not appreciative of living in this newly renovated house, its just that it is so much smaller than what we are used to. Even though the house was renovated, it was built in the 1930's and is the same size house now as it was then-just with closets and more bathrooms. The issues are that the house was built in the 1930's and our furniture came from well, 2004- just a little difference in the proportions of furnishing from then to now plus from British to American furnishings as well. Somehow I'll make this work but I need to reduce some pieces of furniture to make it work.

Those that have been keeping up with all of the purging I've done this past year; of household items to all of the craft room supplies and basically donating everything under the sun- well here we go again!

My Toss pile is relatively small. basically it's old school work from the kids, clothing that has been worn out and some broken items.

My Donate pile- well it's spread into a couple of large boxes and is still growing. There's also the plastic storage carts that I'm weeding out. It's frustrating for me at this point because I'm pulling out even more stuff and wondering why I didn't push myself father? Then again I was pretty stressed out with this move 7 months ago.

Keeping and putting into Storage- storage would consist of things I do want to keep but frankly just don't have the storage space here to keep it. I'm peeling off some of my pottery and bake-ware and am putting it into storage. Cupboard space here is minimal, so I've got to make some hard choices for what stays here and what goes into storage that I will see after this assignment. It's all kinds of things that I used to have out on display such as Candlesticks, vases, dishes, baskets, teacups, tea pots, serve ware- my list is getting longer by the moment.

Furniture is another thing that will be going into storage. Our living room aka lounge is narrow and rather poky. I'm going to have to put somethings from that room into storage as well. Along with paintings and other art work, some wrought iron pieces will also have to go into storage- there simply is not enough room in this house for all of it. We had a home office in the last house- all of that stuff will go into storage minus the small desk and file cabinet.

Now for me to finish my fruit smoothie and get to work in the laundry room/butlers pantry!

Quote of the Day

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our
past, bridge to our future.
--Alex Haley

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Getting there is half the fun!

Are you wondering what I'm talking about? Organizing my new scrapbook nook that's what! Those Billy wall shelf units are seriously HEAVY!!! And my husbands work schedule only permits him bits of time here and there to complete the project. Trust me, the British version of My Scrapbook Nook would have been completed if it weren't for his schedule. There's no way that I could possibly lift those units over my head and attach them to the wall- that is most definitely mans work! To my knowledge, I have at least one more large box to unpack for my scrapbook nook, it's the one that has all of my jars of Prima Flowers in it and my Christmas Sock Monkey. I hope that none of the jars are broken, that would be an awful mess!

I do need to make another IKEA run, I've already started making a list of what I need to buy. My m-i-l asked my husband what I wanted for Christmas, she suggested to him some quilting or crafting supplies (apparently she had recently seen some fat quarters that caught her eye) and he told her "NO". I had to laugh! After the firm NO he told her that I'm looking for organizational items to help me keep the "crafting items" that I have organized and out of sight and with that said, she's sending money so I can shop at IKEA...got to love that husband of mine!

I went to some charity shops yesterday looking for some organizational items- hat boxes mainly. I've seen some before but not this time around. I found some boxes at WH Smith but they were brown and not black. I'm going to keep looking, I'll eventually find what I'm looking for-I just need to be patient :-)

Quote of the Day

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.
--Ramona L. Anderson

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

my to do list

It's Tuesday morning and I'm having coffee in my jammies...life is good! I'm contemplating the things on my "to do" list.

*Buy umbrellas for both teens
*Buy ornament for exchange tonight
*Fold and put away laundry
*Store seasonal clothes
*Fix son's pants
*Rearrange living room furniture (again) to accommodate Christmas Tree
*Locate Christmas dishes-use them daily for the rest of month


Simple list, lets see how much I get done.

Quote of the Day

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.
~Pablo Picasso

Monday, December 07, 2009

Less is More

I've been known to use that little phrase "Less is More" here and there over this past year. It's mainly been something for me to keep in mind when it came to moving. Now that the move is over, it's about organizing what I have.

I'm happy to be done with plastic carts! They've served their purpose well in my scrapbook nook's at our various assignments over the years and now it's simply time for me to move on. I no longer want everything in clear see-through bins, the more I think about it the more (to me) it felt like chaos behind a glass wall. I want simple clean lines and a more unified look. Granted I'll still have my clear acrylic shoe boxes for my stamps, but those are just stamps-you can see that they are stacked and not something that's just been "tossed in" and the lid closed down on top of it. And glass jars? Well those are for storing ribbon, chipboard, Prima flowers and other colorful embellishments that I don't mind seeing out on display.

I've been thinking about being done with my fishing tackle box for my embellishments as well-although I would repurpose that item for something for my husband. Although I do like it, the box its self is rather cumbersome to take out and go through on a regular basis. I want to simplify and well, the tackle box is on my "hit list" of items to be reduced from my scrapbook nook.

The rail- I can hardly wait to get it up and have embellishments out on it. I have a great many sheets of rub-on letters and phrases, fantastic cardstock stickers and all sorts of wonderful 3-d embellishments that have been tucked away in those plastic cart drawers for the past couple of years. I know that If I was to see there hanging up on a rail that I would actually start using them again! I'm not looking to buy all new supplies, I want to use up what I have on hand! I do not need cardstock for quite some time and I'm limiting myself on stamps. Tools- unless it's something that I feel that I can not live without, I will not be buying any more of them. There is a saturation limit on crafting tools and supplies and to be honest, I think that I've reached mine. Now it's time to see what else I can live without and "reduce" from my stash.

Quote of the Day

Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
--Bette Davis

Sunday, December 06, 2009

It's Ikea for my UK edition of My Scrapbook Nook

I'll be honest, I didn't enjoy my first trip to Ikea, the parking lot and store was packed full of people and we had tired hungry cranky teenagers with us. Add in that were with hundreds of people and all of us acting like we are salmon trying to go upstream not knowing where we are going on the crazy Toys R Us floor plan that's like a maze winding us through the entire store until we finally reach the cashier area. Top it off with having to BUY a bag to put our purchase in and having a fee added to your credit card because you want to use a credit card- well it wasn't the best start to a consumer relationship with that store.

Now the past 2 times I've gone shopping in Ikea with my husband we left the kids at home- believe it or not it made a vast improvement on our shopping experience in the store. Also, knowing what you are looking for helps- we shopped on line, looking at items there and in the catalog.

I've been using google and looking at many different websites, checking out what other scrapbookers and stampers here in the UK are using in their studios and crafting spaces. After looking at and studying some of the sites that have rooms similar in size to mine, I started measuring and seeing what I can do to improve mine and make it a more functional space while improving it's over all look.

So here's my latest haul from Ikea



The wire baskets (above) and rail (below) are from the Bygel collection for the Kitchen. The prices for these will amaze you (yes they are inexpensive). I've been looking at things like for years in scrapbooking magazines and Creating Keepsakes even sold some stuff like this although it was too pricey for me. I've always liked the idea of using a rail but I put that idea on my list of future plans. I bought 2 long and 1 short rail for this room.

I'm also putting one of these rails and 2 of the larger baskets in my kitchen above my stove for store items like my every day spices and kitchen utensils
The Slom jar from Ikea- comes in 4 different sizes, this is the 1.8 size and it's a great size for storing ribbon or pasta (I bought several jars- for each of those things).
The Billy Collection- I'm loving this collection, have bought a few Billy items and they are great! This is going to be mounted on the wall, it's cubbie spaces are perfect for me to store those Slom jars or the Malla baskets (see below). They are 40 inches long and I bought 2 to use in my space.


My new work area- the Fredrik work station. It comes in 3 different colors and I decided to go with white. I'm going with a new clean look. White isn't a busy color, actually it's not a color at all but a clean pallet- so here I am, with a clean pallet to work from.
The new drawer unit- This is from the Alex collection and it the tall drawer unit (there's also a shorter wider version). I'm purging myself of my addiction to plastic carts- I know it's hard to believe right? I want clean lines and a clean look, not a jumbled looking mess. And right now I have plenty going on in the mess department!


The Malla basket-found these gems in the closet organizer section of Ikea. I had looked at these cute crochet baskets but they were just too floppy! I wanted something that was more box like and not like a crocheted tote bag. Granted those crocheted totes were pretty darn cute but just not what I was looking to use for this project- may have to get one for my yarn though ;-)

Smadal Bookcase with glass doors this is where the Malla baskets will go- holding all types of crafting goodies. There's a large drawer on the bottom to house things that you don't want on display.


I do see a good relationship being forged, all because we decided to give Ikea a second try-and frankly I'm glad we did! I'll probably be making another Ikea run soon, I will need another Bygel rail and some more of those nifty baskets to house my scrapbooking embellishments, tools and my little jars of Prima flowers. Now for me to get upstairs and help my husband by clearing out all of the items that we're replacing with furniture from Ikea. Stay tuned for my before and after pictures of my UK version of My Scrapbook Nook.

Quote of the Day

One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power transcendentalist of lighting its own fire.
--John W Foster

Friday, December 04, 2009

Finishing a room

I've been working around this house in circles, trying to finish in a round about way I suppose. I need to just stick with one room and get "IT" done and then work on the next one. I feel as if I'm just spinning my wheels some days and seem to get no where fast.

I realize that I do need to make another trip to Ikea for organizing material if I'm to get anything accomplished in at least 4 rooms. I like this house don't get me wrong, it's just that there was not enough attention to detail when it came to storage. But with help from Ikea, we can fix that! :-)

Now to draw up some plans and work some more on those boxes in our dear daughter's closet...you know, the ones that have "Craft Room" written on them, LOL!

I'm Doing the Happy Dance

As you well know, I've been heartbroken about our bed being broken in this last move. I did some internet searching and after a few hours, I finally found my bed in line! MY Amish made BED, a replacement one just like the one we had! Oh happy happy ME! Thank you Lord for pushing me on when I was getting so discouraged!

And a funny tidbit- Queen sized beds are apparently a US thing.





Quote of the Day

Success is a science; if you have the conditions you get the result.
-Oscar Wilde

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Creating another Scrapbook Nook

Every move gives me an opportunity to create another Scrapbook Nook, this move in no exception. I find myself missing the cabinets that my dear husband installed for me at our last house. So with that thought in mind I've been looking at the Ikea website and searching the internet on what others have bought from Ikea and have used for their scrapbooking and stamping spaces.

When converting the British pound to US dollars, well it can get rather expensive. We may live in the UK but we're still paid in US dollars. The conversion rate changes every day but the average is $1.70 US to every British £1.00- that's a hefty exchange rate. So when I look at something that's only £25.00 in reality for me it's $41.57-ouch! Sales tax where we were last stationed was only 6% and here in the UK it's called VAT (value added tax) which currently it's 15% but starting in January it'll be going back up to 17.5% (ouch). But the British (and other foreign countries in the EU do something that America should adopt- when you look at the price tag and it says 10£ you pay 10£...the sales tax is added into the price. In America we look at the price and see it being $10 we have to add in the sales tax (which varies from state to state and in each country within the state) which makes it $10.60- I can see where this would be very confusing to foreign vacationers- heck it's confusing to many Americans too, LOL!

Oh look at me as I digress from my topic.

So with Christmas upon us, and having bought airline tickets for our son to travel to America to see his friends for the Holidays (I still can't believe that this will be our 1st Christmas and New Years without our son)- well the pocket book is a little tight right now. I've got plans lined out on what I want to do but they will have to wait a bit. I know that I desperately need more storage and I've even gone as far as to start purging even more stuff from my scrapbook nook. If I'm not using it, it's outta here! Then again It's safe to say that I've not been using any of it for 6 months right? LOL! I want to get a new work table, some shelves and cubbies. Basically all of the items that were in my last scrapbook nook just on a smaller scale.

Quote of the Day

Charity sees the need not the cause.
-German Proverb

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Quilting Corner

It's coming along slow but sure....but I've got a quilting corner!!! I'm waiting for my husband to repair my sewing table as it suffered some minor damage in the move. But other than that, everything seems to have arrived in tip top condition!

I seem to work in circles, getting bits done in every room. My quilting corner is in our breakfast room along with our computer and a few other pieces of furniture(I dare say that it's a decent sized room). The armoire is in the formal dining room, and I'll soon have all of my fabrics stored in there -currently the tubs of fabric are out in the garage, which reminds me, it's time to bring them babies inside!

I've been looking at fabrics on line (yes I'm being naughty). As if I don't have enough fabrics or quilt projects going on, LOL! Alright, enough playing...now I need to get a move on and get this place in order!

Pea Soup!

It started off rainy and cold like most mornings do and now that the sun is finally out the FOG has rolled on in! It's getting thicker and thicker and I type! Good thing my kids caught the bus for school or else I'd be stuck driving in this soup! I do have to say that It's warmer today than it was yesterday. For the life of me I could not get warm yesterday.

I'm off, I've got to work some more on those boxes and get things organized before Christmas. And at the pace I'm working, I'll be lucky if everything is out away by New Years Day!

Quote of the Day

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
- Albert Camus

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's only Tuesday-ugh!

I woke up aching all over- that's not a very good sign of how the day will progress. Well it's now about 5:20 pm and well, I'm still aching all over. My girlfriends told me to take it easy today and that's just what I've been doing...sort of.

I've been working on one small project, the laundry room/butlers pantry. I've got the cabinets organized, now to get working on the boxes that are underneath of the counter top and the huge piles of stuff on top of the washer and dryer. I'm doing my keep/toss/donate piles and frankly the toss and donate pile keep getting bigger and bigger. I'm keep toying with the idea of keeping a few things for sending off with Andrew when he goes off to college next year- what I should do is donate all of this stuff and just wait until he gets state side and shop then. Funny thing, I just did a major purge a few months ago in preparation for this move and now here I am...purging again. Funny what we can "let go of" when he have to, LOL! Don't fall over...I'm even purging handbags and shoes, LOL!

Quote of the Day

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 30, 2009

Boxes, Bruises and Bandages

Unpacking those heavy corrugated cardboard dish-pack boxes can be hazardous! I'm sporting bruised knuckles and a bruised elbow because of it! All I can say is OUCH! My knuckles are swollen and achy as well as my elbow, frankly I'm a wreck! I seem to be taking a lot of Motrin lately, all to do with this move and I'm never without an icepack or a heating pad when resting or going to bed. When taking a shower I noticed a new bruise on my thigh- sheesh! This move is certainly taking it's toll on me! I think that I need to wear gloves and thicker trousers!

Now I have made some major breakthroughs in unpacking boxes and my husband has in making/creating storage for us. This is a lovely house but there's just not enough storage in it for us. So I'm purging even more stuff and am also pulling items to have repacked and put into permanent storage. The formal dining room is very recognizable and so is the living room. Now for the rough part, getting the rest of this stuff put away and then decorating for Christmas.

The most frustrating part of this move besides the unrepairable damage) is all of the mislabeled boxes. It's hard enough waiting 5 or more months for ones personal belongings but to open boxes and not have those items in said boxes- well its enough to make you go a little batty after opening say 30 boxes that way. We have been looking everywhere for my husbands ski boots, and the last time we saw them was out in the garage where my husband had put them- next to his skis and poles. Those boots were not in any boxes that were packed in the garage and frankly we were beginning to wonder if those ski boots walked away. And yesterday as my husband and daughter were unpacking boxes in her room they found them- packed in a box labeled "Towels and Lamp"- no mention of ski boots being in the box. But so far the favorite label on boxes is between 2 things it's either marked "craft room" which was starting to get me into hot water with my husband and the other is "Longaberger Baskets". There can be 1 basket in there and suddenly it's plural and the room designation is either the dining room or (yes you guessed it) Craft room. These guys must have thought that the entire house was a Craft Room, LOL! Kitchen cutlery- craft room, husbands winter clothes- craft room Christmas ornaments- now that one was marked for our daughters room, LOL!

Now I've slowed down some today and am taking time to to do some hand-washing of the glassware that I unpacked last night- just the items that won't fit in the dishwasher. There's that and I find the warm water soothing to my hands.

Quote of the Day

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you.
~ Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, November 29, 2009

WORK is a 4 letter word

Today's the day we attack the boxes in this house with a vengeance! Sure it's work, but we've got to get this done! I've got so much going on this month that I really HAVE to knock this out this weekend! So it's work work work for us today!

Quote of the Day

We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.
Agnes Repplier (1855 - 1950), Americans and Others, 1912

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In my element

As I unpack and put things away I feel pieces of myself coming back to me. Creative pieces making their way home. The other day I unpacked a stack of cake plates, it made me want to make cheesecakes! The fancy schmancy ones with chocolate, nuts and all kinds of good things!

So today I'm going to play in my new kitchen. My husband bought me some cool kitchen items like this HUGE wooden cutting board and some drawer organizers too. Friends of ours are having a dinner party and I volunteered to bring dessert :-) I can't begin to tell you how much I adore making and bringing treats to my friends! So the cream cheese has got to be at room temperature by now and I can drink coffee as I bake this special treat. What kind of cheesecake? It's one that I learned in one of my chef classes and one I like to call "A slice of Heaven". It's got 3 different kinds of chocolate. I have one recipe that has chocolate in it 7 different ways- that one is called Death by Chocolate. I'll let you know later how it turns out.

Our Bed

I've been heart broken since the first day the movers showed up with our furniture. Why? Because our beautiful bed was damaged beyond repair some time during the course of the move. I'm not one to go out and just "buy" furniture willy nilly, never have been. Of course there are utility pieces that come from big box stores like my chrome shelves in my scrapbook nook. I did my research on them and thought out and planned on how I would use them. I can tell you where we bought each piece of furniture that is in our home.

I love my friends for trying to console me, trying to cheer me up by telling me that now I can shop for a new bed here in England. For me, buying furniture is not like buying a new scarf, for me it's a process. It's like hunting around in an antique store with a million and one items in it and finding that one little 'gem" of an item be it a teapot, a towel rack or a wine carafe that just speaks to you. The part that no one realizes is that it took us 11 years to find "that bed" our bed. My husband poured his time and soul into finishing the bed, sanding it, staining it finishing it. It was a labor of love. I've made the decision to just get a basic metal bed frame and find a simple headboard and that's it. We'll look again when we get back to the states for a bed.

And yes, this will also get a scrapbook layout made all about it. I've got plans for a series of layouts all to do with the subject of "HOME". How many of us are guilty of taking things for granted? Of over looking something as lovely as a favorite jacket, handbag or pair of shoes? Heaven knows we overlook our furniture all of the time. It's not that I'm at a loss of subject matter to scrap pages about- heaven knows I have even Christmas parties to attend in December that I can make an entire scrapbook about (last count there were 7), LOL! Just remember this...It's the every day things that matter most!

Quote of the Day

A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless.
-May Sarton

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Heart of it all...

Every house has a room or a piece of furniture that is the "heart" of the home, mine is the kitchen table. All great things start there- be it coffee with girlfriends, making out grocery lists or having breakfast with the kids before they dart off to catch the bus for school. It's a gathering place that's always full of love. I've done quilting, scrapbooking, rubber stamping/card-making and book reading at that table. I've written some awesome recipes while sitting at that table and our children do their homework there, make arts and crafts projects for school or scouts at that table and have just hung out with their friends...all at that table. It's a place where we all gather to talk about the start or end of our day. I can't help but to smile when I look at it. As strange as it sounds, I've decided to do a scrapbooking layout on it. Now that My Scrapbook Nook is almost all together, I finally feel as if I can finally get on with my creative side and start some new creative projects. Are you ready for a scrapbooking adventure? I know that I most certainly am!

Quote of the Day

Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition.
Sir William Osler (1849 - 1919), to his students

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

With such a busy day ahead of me the Lord has seen to keep me hoppin! You see, even though I kept saying (and my family had agreed) that we were to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday they all decided last night that they want to celebrate it today. I've already committed myself to serving Thanksgiving dinner to the airmen at our base and I had planned on doing some more unpacking. I'll have to look for the turkey platter as I've not come across it as of yet.

Our son is home sick with a bad stomach bug and he's out for any kind of help. Which leaves my husband- not sure if I want him unpacking my dishes, he's better off organizing the kids bedrooms.

Our house is a cardboard castle. There are opened boxes with things strewn out of them, clutter is everywhere and things are in piles all over the place. I've always been envious of those military wives that can move in and have their entire house organized, pictures hung on the walls and curtains hanging up in a week. Our movers have mislabeled so many boxes I don't know where to begin. One box says Hannah's room but it's stuff from the living room, box marked kitchen is something from a bathroom and so forth.

But Thanksgiving Day it is, regardless of how organized I am (or am not as the case may be). I'm Thankful for so many things in my life. My house will come together soon enough and our friends don't care if things are in boxes and I've got a formal dining room table covered in stacks of dishes and bake ware. They come over to see how we're doing and if they can help...which reminds me- I'm very thankful for the friends we have here in England!

Quote of the Day

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

I love this time of year, it makes one think about all of the things there are to be thankful for in our lives. Some good, some not so good but in the end I am thankful for it all because without it all, I would not be the person I am today.

So today I give thanks...
  1. That my husband has gainful employment
  2. That Our family is here together
  3. That we have food on the table and that our children don't go to bed hungry
  4. That we have a roof over our heads that protects us from the elements
  5. That our children are getting a good education here in England
  6. That we have health care insurance
  7. That we have warm beds to sleep in
  8. That we have clothing that keeps us warm in these cooler months
  9. That our kitty is happy and healthy
  10. That we have working automobiles to drive
  11. That we are members of a terrific Parish
  12. That I have a loving and thoughtful husband
  13. That I have children who make me laugh every day
  14. That I'm able to see the humor in just about everything
  15. That I'm able to create w/ paper, fabric and food...things that delight others
  16. That I am able to be a SAHM
  17. That I can volunteer my time with our military community
  18. That we live in a lovely town that's close to everything but not too busy
  19. That there are people who volunteer their time in charitable organizations
  20. That I am able to make a difference in my community

Quote of the day

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action
-W. C. Cameron

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

waiting for the cable guy

Here I am, waiting for the cable guy. Here just like back in the USA there's that open window of time when the cable guy is expected to arrive. So, with that in mind, I'll be hanging out here at home from the hours of 8 am until 1 pm. Meanwhile I had planned on using that time to go over to the other house and clear out the kids clothing, vacuum the place and clean the refrigerator...but alas that will have to wait. Every room is scary with packing boxes, with the exception of, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the breakfast area (notice how I don't include the entire room, piles of stuff blocking the door is why), the lounge aka family room. Every where else you'll see stacks of boxes, piles of "stuff" and of course packing paper galore! It's finding places for all of the items, getting the boxes of a 16,000 pound shipment (16 crates) to fit into a little 1 car garage that already has stuff in it. Did I mention that today's weather is atrocious? It's not that it's so cold, it's the fog and the pouring rain and according to weather.com, we're supposed to get some very high winds later on (reminds me greatly of South Dakota). Have I mentioned that this house is heated via radiators? Oh yeah and to be honest, the radiators simply do not crank out the heat like central heating can. My house feels cold today and I feel chilled to the bone! Oh how I miss central heat and air! I feel as if we're living in Maine (again), it was radiator heat there too!

One would think that a week of moving was plenty, but as it is, we're into week #2 and we're still in the moving process. Besides all of the things that I shipped here from South Dakota before we (the kids and I) arrived in June. There's the stuff from crate #1, we've also managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. There's all of those school uniforms, shoes (we're all guilty of buying shoes since arriving here- see, it's not just me), a few Portmeirion and Polish Pottery items (wink wink) plus the kids bicycles, the lawnmower, some gardening equpiment it seems as if my list goes on and on. Basically there's not a soul to do the work with exception of myself and since the spouse is at work all day and the kids are in school. None of them will get home until at least 6 pm and of course it's dark and they're tired and hungry! Lets face it-I'm not about to get any work out of them when they're hungry! It's my kids summertime favorite tonight...burgers and dogs!

Quote of the Day

I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace, a connection to well being.
-Oprah

Friday, November 20, 2009

and the move goes on...

I slept well enough, too bad every joint in my body aches today! I suppose that's what Motrin is for right?

So. here I am gathering items from one house and am bringing them over to the other house...ugh! I'll be doing that all weekend long! Got to love having my family members leaving the house at 6:50 am and not returning home until 6 pm and asking me..."So, what have you done today?"

Quote of the Day

You must rouse into people's consciousness their own prudence and strength, if you want to raise their character.
--Marquis De Vauvenargues

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moving is not for Wimps

There is some serious labor involved when moving ones self out of one house and into another. The packing and unpacking is enough, lets add in a couple of sets of stairs, loads of dishes, clothing and shoes and well a little "do it yourself move" from one house to another has a whole new meaning. I am worn out and I've only just started.

Now I did think that I was going to wait on putting together my new scrapbook nook, but alas those boxes need to go (there are a lot of them). The funny thing is, there was this old dude packing us up at the other house and he labeled boxes "craft room" that did not have craft room stuff in it. I've opened up boxes with blankets, sheets, stuffed toys, throw rugs and even a mini Christmas tree. Needless to say I pointed that out to my husband. You see, I was starting to get into hot water with him because of all of those boxes marked "craft room". I'm innocent I tell you!!! I've not spent THAT much money, not to mention that I've not bought any craft items in 5 months!!!

If we get moved into that other house by Sunday it will be a miracle! Now for me to drive my minivan full of stuff over to the other house, unload it, put it away and start all over again.

Quote of the Day

When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.
- Hermann Hesse

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creating the new Scrapbook Nook

For many months now I've been displaced and have felt distracted and basically out of my element due to not crafting. Well that's soon to change! I took the first steps in creating my new and latest version of my Scrapbook Nook. Having the chrome shelves in place and unpacking items right and left has given me joy and a rekindled desire to get back to creating and designing. And frankly right now at 4 am it's all I can think about. I want to get back over to the house and get working on getting a few things rearranged before wave 2 starts and the movers arrive with more crates of household goods.

Since I haven't seen my crafting things in over 5 months I found that I had to go look at my webshots page and see how I had some things arranged. Sad huh? The thing is, this space is a bit smaller than the last but I do have a closet for added storage. Now for the hitch... there's carpeting. I'm going to need a powerful magnet to pick up metal brads and a vacuum cleaner just for cleaning up all of those little paper snip-its! Stay tuned for pictures in the future.

Quote of the Day

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?
- Laurence J. Peter

Monday, November 16, 2009

Let the fun begin!

What do I live for if not for sarcasm? Okay so sarcasm is not my strong suit but it does lift up my spirits up from time to time, LOL!

Today kicks off insanity week for me....

Monday-
get husband and kids out the door and off to work and school
start load of laundry
Drive into town, see butcher about ordering a fresh turkey
Drive out to RAFC- pick up mail and spouse...
attend a farewell luncheon in Banbury
drop husband back off at work and go home and...
pack minivan with first load of household goods from temporary house
do the walk through of new house with housing inspector (get keys then too)
take pictures of empty home
start bringing over items from temp house and put them in new house

Tuesday-
get husband and kids out the door and off to school and work
Bring over a load of items to new house and put away before movers arrive
Movers will arrive at 8am
I'll be at the new place all day

Wednesday-
Same things at Tuesday

Thursday and Friday-
Same things as Tuesday and Wednesday just without the movers bringing over stuff, it's me bringing over stuff from the temp house and unpacking stuff from this house.

To be honest, I'm exhausted looking at all of the work I have to get done this week. There's more good news though...friends of ours has had their move in date moved up as well and they are moving into their house next week! I'm thrilled for them!

At last, we can all get settled into our houses and before the holidays!!!

Quote of the Day

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can!"
-John Wesley

Saturday, November 14, 2009

30,000 blog views!

I had told myself that once I hit the 30,000 mark in views to my blog I was going to offer some blog candy. So stay tuned! I've got some goodies to give away it's just that it's going to have to wait a little now that it's happened and I'm preparing to move on Monday, LOL!

another day...

In the soap opera that's become my life.

Friday was just one theatrical event after another.

* I make that back to back dental appointment for my daughter- well she freaks out on me, she lets me know that she's got some big exam in Science and that she can't possibly make it. So I have to call the dental office cancel and reschedule the appointment.

*It was raining cats and dogs where I live, not to mention that it's pitch black outside and windy. The kids weren't dragging their butts, but with all of the bags they have to carry, and use an umbrella well... I knew there's no way that they will make it to the bus stop on time so I jumped in the minivan and drove them to the bus stop (in my pj's no less). Good thing I did that because they really would not have made it! The bus took off early! It's supposed to wait until 7 am to leave. Five or so minutes may not seem that big of a time difference, but to us parents who would have to drive their children to a school that's 1 hour away- we need all the extra minutes we can get!

* I spent the majority of my day in the kitchen baking. Okay so I'd pop on and off on facebook (I am several hours ahead of my girlfriends back in the states), LOL! But seriously between the 6 loads of laundry, the hand washing of fine washables and making my plans for moving things from this house over to the new house next week, well it was a full day!

*Our base is hosting a multi base Deployed Spouses Event tonight. The drama that goes on behind the scenes sometimes is rather comical. One person gets stressed out because of the amount of dignitaries that will be attending and she sends that stress right on down the line. And alas, it stops here with me. I let all parties know that they're going to do fine! It's not that any of them have not done this before and it's going to go off without a hitch! I think that the stress is coming from all of the hype about the event. What it comes down to is the fear that the event will be a flop and everyone wants to make sure the event lives up to the hype. I say- relax and everything will fall into place.

*I'm baking treats for the Deployed Spouses event that's happening this afternoon and also for church tomorrow. I'm enlisting the help of my daughter to get the blueberry muffin, and the zucchini bread made (Zucchini are Courgettes for those British ladies reading my blog). I just adore zucchini, m'm!

*And the move...it's got me going in 20 different directions. How do you get ready to move out of one house and directly into another without help? It's a challenge to say the least! My husband has already informed me that he will be in meetings and is unable to help me. I kind of figured that something like that would happen since the move in date was moved up a week. So here I am, getting all of this done on my own...again. Kids will be i school, the cat will be in the cottage and I'll be at the manor house with the moving people. First things first, I'm bringing over my electric tea kettle and my coffee pot! I'm not about to be w/o caffeine!

The house walk through is on Monday, I'm bringing my camera (actually I'll bring 2 cameras). I will be tasking more in depth pictures this time around. I want to bring over my kitchen and pantry items plus the bathroom items and get that stuff squared away before the movers arrive. Hand towels, soap and toilet tissue are some of the first things I plan on getting into place. My mind is reeling with all of the stuff I have going on over the next few days but if I remain calm and focused on what I need to get done, it will all fall into place.

Quote of the Day

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing-that's why we recommend it daily.
--Zig Ziglar

Thursday, November 12, 2009

side note

Just when I thought that I "did good" by scheduling the dental appointments for tomorrow - I tell daughter about what happened and she let me know that she can't miss tomorrow because she has a big science exam tomorrow at 8:30 am. Yup, my life is nonstop succession of little emergencies. So tomorrow at 7:30 am I have to call the dental clinic and cancel the double appointment. There are days when I shouldn't even try to get out of bed...this is one of them!

At least the move is still on and we are still scheduled to get the keys on Monday and the movers show up on Tuesday and Wednesday!

you know that you have too much going on when?

When you forget your daughter has a dental appointment...TODAY! Good thing I was able to reschedule it for tomorrow. If I couldn't then it would have had to wait 3 more weeks because of MY schedule-ugh!!!

What can I say about...

how insane the next couple of weeks will be for me.

Take yesterday for instance- child #1 misses the bus, spouse and I are scheduled to be in attendance at another military installation for a Remembrance Day event (husband is part of the event). Our time line changed because our of son and we had to step everything up. I hate getting ready in a rush, something is always forgotten or skipped- this time is was us getting something to eat or drink-ugh! After getting Andrew to school late, we ended up spending 2½ hours on the road yesterday before getting to where "we" needed to be. After all that, we were back home by 1pm and we were both exhausted! I had to take a nap, I could hardly keep my eyes open after all of our running around.

Tuesday's Spouses club meeting went well, we had 5 more ladies in attendance. The club is getting off to a good start (at least I think so). Now for the word to get out and to gain more members. There are things that I would love to do with our group, but alas we need more members if we are to be able to have the social groups such as book club, lunch bunch, scrapbooking, bunco and especially when it comes to volunteering as a group at RAF Croughton.

Today- I'll be spending today making desserts for the Saturday and Sunday events I'm attending. A couple of cheesecakes, some carrot cake, gingerbread cookies and a pound cake. Just call me the baking queen!

Now for my "other news", we got the word and now we're moving in EARLIER into our house!!! Am I excited? You bet I am! But that in its self also causes some other issues to arise, like getting the cable and phone line switched over to the new house which is only up the street and around the corner. BT internet wants 14 businesses days- get real! Sometimes these moves take place in a blink of an eye for military families, we shouldn't be punished because we've waited 7½ months to get our permanent house. Hopefully my husband will have time to work on all of this today. I've got TMO bringing over the furniture on Wednesday/Thursday- was supposed to be Tuesday/Wednesday with the keys in our hands on Monday but that changed because of the AFN being installed on Tuesday (whatever!). Just don't make me move in the week of Thanksgiving is all I ask! As it is, my husband won't be able to be there or to help me with the move - so what's new? LOL! I've got a couple of terrific girlfriends that I can call on to help me out there if I need it :-)

Now for me to start getting things ready for transport over to the new house. My mind is going off in 20 different directions.

I just realized that I need about 2 dozen eggs for my mondo baking session today, and wouldn't you know it- not a single egg to be had in the house! Now to get dressed and buy some eggs!

Quote of the Day

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."

-Elmer Davis

Monday, November 09, 2009

Venice






















What can I say about my weekend trip to venice...PLENTY! It was just as beautiful as I had always imagined it would be. Pictuesque beauty abounds in Venice.