Thursday, November 29, 2007

Extra! Extra!

I just came back from the gym. Tonight was the night they closed early and by the time my babies' daddy got home I only had 18 minutes to work out.

I almost changed my mind and kept driving but decided to go in anyhow.

I booked on the elliptical for 16 minutes and then did a quick weigh in - I'm down 2 more pounds for a total of 30 pounds lost in 16 weeks!!! And I wasn't even leaning forward on the scale this time!!!

Yay me!

21 more to my first goal (or the halfway point).

Flash Back to 1980

Funny thing happened today.

I was checking out my blog visitors and saw I had a hit from Italy.

Now that's odd... who the heck would know me from Italy?? So I checked the entry page they had come from and it led me to another scrapbooker (that I didn't know). So I looked around her blog a bit - admiring her work and noticed that she's a desingn member over at Scrap Jacked.

I've visited Scrap Jacked before - My BF and sis-in-law Shari has it blogmarked on her blog and it's a cool spot. Someday I'll do a jack and get in the running... Someday when I'm caught up, have time and can see the flat surface of my scrappy room counter top.

So I'm looking around at Scrap Jacked now and looking over the names of the scrappy gals that have been "jacked". And this name pops out at me... Ashley Wren.

Wow - I haven't heard that name for decades...
Ashley Wren...? Ashley Wren...?
I'm pretty sure that Ashley Wren was the girl that lived in the house across the little creek in our backyard - back in 1980 when we lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for one short year.

We were both in the fifth grade and we used to skate together in her driveway and in my basement to the crooning of Barry Manilow. We learned cool tricks like crouching low on one foot while sticking the other out in front - balancing all the way down the curved driveway being careful to swing to the side before we hit the garage door. She had cool roller skates - the kind that looked like sneakers... Mine looked like sneakers too - but the kind of sneakers that had a metal skate buckled to them...

Ashley Wren is the one that first introduced me to the white gloved "king of pop" and Thriller - about 43 plastic surgeries ago when he was still black and before he looked like a girl. (Thanks?) And together we'd go over to Tomi White's house and we'd all three read the book Tomi's mom had gotten her about how girls are different than boys... (gross!) But Tomi was so cool - her mom let her wear make-up and she even wore a bra! She didn't have any boobs - but she had a bra.

So I'm still over at Scrap Jacked and I click on Ashley Wren's name which takes me to her blog... And there's her mini profile at the top - she's in KNOXVILLE! Could this be the SAME Ashley Wren???

I clicked on the link to the rest of her profile and while I waited for it to load I went in the kitchen and called my mom.

"Hey mom? What was the last name of the people that lived behind us in Knoxville?"
"Wren you say?...well you'll never believe this..."
And I told her all about how I'd found the blog after doing an internet "Billy" from Family Circus (you know you've done it too... don't lie...) And I arrive back to my puter chair and plop myself down.

This Ashley Wren is only 27... So unless she's REALLY lying about her age, it's not the same one. wow... This Ashley Wren was BORN in 1980... yikes. 40 is gettin' closer and closer...

Oh well. She does really nice scrap work though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It's been awhile since I gave a progress report on the weight loss. It's been 15 weeks since I started taking measurements (16 weeks since I started exercising and changing my intake) and there's no denying that a change is happening.

As of today I'm down 28 pounds and a total of 32 1/4 inches.
  • 4 inches from my bust
  • 6 1/2 inches from my waist
  • 5 1/2 inches from my lower abs
  • 5 inches from my hips
  • 2 1/4 inches from each upper thigh
  • and a bunch of others I'm too lazy to list here.
When I started, I could barely do 3 minutes on the elliptical machine - now I'm up to 30 minutes - and I'm really bookin' on it!

At the rate I'm going - I'll be at my ultimate goal weight by my 40th birthday. I think THAT alone would deserve a party...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Come Ye Thankful People, Come

Happy Thanksgiving - And Happy Bloggy Anniversary to me! It's been a year - how'd that happen so quick?

Yesterday I took the kids to the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall. It's a favorite spot of ours and the drive is doable. Our favorite part of the ranch is the Sauer-Beckmann farm. It stands still in time at 1915.
It was a gorgeous afternoon - the landscape was golden as the sun was headed toward the horizon and it was crisp and cool. We were the only family there to look around.
The kids gathered eggs and chased the sheep around. There was the sweetest baby lamb - so new that it still had its' umbilical cord.

I had to laugh when I saw this turkey "hiding out" in the chicken house the day before Thanksgiving.

"Turkeys? No turkeys in here... only us chickens..."

We hosted dinner at church today for anyone that wanted to join us. We did a traditional dinner as traditional you can when the turkey is made of soy beans. The best part is always the leftovers and we had plenty! It won't be a totally turkey-less holiday though. I bought a little 10-pounder the other day and mom will roast it up for the weekend so we'll feast all over again. Can't complain about that.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hark - The Theatre Calleth

Just a quick share of my boy - He makes me so proud most of the time. He just finished his first "performance" in a Shakespeare play - A Midsummer Night's Dream. He had the part of Demetrius. Even when he lay down at the beginning of his scene (he was asleep in the forest before the potion was put on his eyes...) he was careful not to let the audience see up his "dress". I don't have a lot of photos to share. Instead I took video tape so Dad could watch it later.

The performance was very abbreviated - just a short section that had all of the actors in it - as part of the "sharing time" at the conclusion of our Homeschool Co-Op classes. He had nine weeks in the class studying the play, time period, and general writings of Shakespeare. He really enjoyed it. It seems like he's always had a bit of an affinity for Shakespeare - a couple of years ago he got up at about 1 a.m., so I thought I'd bore him back to sleep with a movie - Much Ado About Nothing... Nope - he stayed awake for ALL of it and followed the whole story!

I've been so busy teaching a class myself that I waited until the night before to finally sew his costume together. I decided to not try to take a nap before the last class since it was 6 a.m. when I finished it (the pattern said 2 hours!) It was just a "Robin Hood" costume, but we changed the colors up a bit and added a pirate sword from Disney World and the cowboy boots. I think the boots totally make the outfit... Don't you?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy 25-Hour Day

My most favorite holiday of the year. 25-Hour Day or Do Over Day.

For someone like me who is always struggling to find enough hours in the day to accomplish what I need to PLUS what I want to - 25-hour day is the best day all year long.

Once a year we receive one extra hour in our day (some call it the end of Daylight Savings time.) I've never seen the clear logic in daylight savings... Why in the world do we care if the sun comes up an hour earlier? It's still an ungodly hour...

And don't get me started on adding to the whole thing by padding it with two weeks at the beginning and another week at the end. All this has done is screw me up even more. Apparently my computer and bedside "I-set-myself" alarm clock never got the memo. We entirely missed a church function on Friday evening because I was sitting at the computer thinking I had another hour to get ready to go. I was diligently checking the clock in the lower right hand corner of the monitor but the computer had in already fallen back an hour the weekend before - when it was scheduled to - back in 2000 or whenever it was made... Same with the alarm clock. So much for technology making life easier.

So what did you do with your 25-hour day? How did you spend that extra hour? I believe I slept mine away - probably like most of the rest of you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happily Ever After Began...

A week ago today when we were at a very special wedding. The daughter of our best friends tied the knot in a beautiful (though HUMID) outdoor ceremony in Florida. We've watched Veronica grow up - Brian since she was a teeny baby - me since she was 4 and lived next door to us. She was 7 years old at our wedding nearly 17 1/2 years ago. And now she's MARRIED! But, she couldn't have picked a nicer guy than Berkley - he's a keeper for sure.

We made the 1,300 mile trip in 22 hours - almost to the minute. We couldn't have taken another piece of paper with us - we were packed to the gills in our Honda Odyssey. The kids were wonderful the entire drive - didn't have to pull over and beat them once, or even swing blindly at the back seats. Praise the Lord for books on tape and in-car DVD players!

Veronica was a radiant bride in a very simple pure white gown set off with a dramatic deep red sash. Her attendants wore the same red, that normally wouldn't have been anything special - but set against the lush green surroundings of the bankside ceremony it was strikingly beautiful.

Over the years she's proven herself and has quickly moved "up the ladder" at her job. She was promoted (again), shortly before the wedding, to assistant store manager at Publix. This left her with precious little time after working 50 hours a week (some really odd hours sometimes) in which to pull a wedding together. But she knew what she wanted and had a plan on paper and (with a little physical help) managed to pull it all together in the last couple of weeks before.

One detail she hadn't really covered was the wedding program, so I took that on for her. Thankfully, her dad was there with his laptop and expertise and we spent many hours researching wedding program etiquette, finding and downloading fonts that matched what we'd used on the invitations, and hammering out the details. Ronni wanted it simple and suggested it be done as a third of an 11 x 8 1/2 piece of cardstock, but everything didn't fit well enough - or at least fit at a font size that was readable by the naked eye. Also - with the "S" monogram at the top and all the names underneath it looked like a fancy perfume bottle when you held it out. So after some tweaking and purchasing a few more supplies, this little book style program is what I came up with. With a team effort we got 160 of them assembled in the last couple of days before the wedding, (last bow tied at about 6 a.m. the morning of...) It was funny to stand up on the hill above the guests and see all the little programs flapping back and forth - they were great little fans!

Here are the guts of the little books and a photo of Chris taken by Lucinda. Chris stepped in a tended the programs and many, many other things. She and her husband, Mark, really worked hard on the details for Ronni and Berkley.

All three of our kids were part of the ceremony. It was very special - Ronni held each one of them when they were just hours old, she's baby-sit on them, fed them and changed all their diapers - even the stinky ones! She holds a special place in each of their hearts. Michaela was flower girl, Jacob, ring bearer and Zachary, Junior Groomsman. (He felt quite grown up hangin' out with the big guys...) It was a very long "aisle" to walk down - I'd say it was nearly the length of a football field. The photo above shows my vantage point from up on the hill on the "bride's side" where I was giving cues. The men came in from the opposite side to the right of that large tree and in front of the chime choir (which played beautifully). Because the ceremony site was so narrow, they processed across the front - it was very unique and a nice break from tradition. By the time I cued Ronni and her Dad in I was able to run around and take a seat with my hubby. You can see us below on the outside end of the second row - we're wearing red :0) It was a little weird to sit "alone", but all our kids were up front trying not to catch our eyes... The photo directly below and the one a little further down of the reception tent were both taken by their professional photographer, Chad, of CMS Photography out of Sarasota.The kids performed their tasks very well and aside from 1) Michaela banging on the bottom of her basket (to be sure it was empty) once she arrived on her mark, 2) Jacob lifting the pillow up and down during the ceremony by opening his arms wide while holding the ends of the ribbons, and 3) Zachary being on the roof (observation deck really) of the house when they called for the bridal party to enter the reception, I have no complaints. Unless I'm allowed to complain that I didn't get to visit nearly enough - I missed talking with many old friends and didn't sufficiently catch up!
Since we were staying in the "un-sold" and empty home of our friends, I needed to haul quite a bit along just for general living for the week we were there - like a small TV and DVD player, air mattresses, pillows and blankets, and kitchen supplies. It was basically air-conditioned camping. Fortunately, our friend Susan was able to loan us a folding dining table and linens. So I had room in the van to take a major stash of scrapping supplies and tools (including a 2 x 4 foot folding table.) I was able to do several last minute wedding paper-crafty tasks, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of the unique ideas that Ronni came up with was to do away with the traditional guest book. Instead she wanted individual photos of the wedding guests and to have them sign a small card with their names and whatever sentiment or advice they'd like to give. This way, later she can scrapbook the guests photos and their card together. There were a lot of paper scraps left over when we made her wedding invitations last spring. That's what she planned to use for the cards - in several different sizes to give the guests creative options. She had me ink the edges for her and with her permission, I stamped several different swirly designs with my acrylic stamps. There were HUNDREDS of cards and my fingers had red ink on them for a day or so - but they looked nice in the basket at the reception. Maybe she can use some of the extras for journaling blocks in her scrapbook. Lucinda took the photo on the left of Marcia signing the guest cards.

I also made some time to put together this quick 6x6 inch card and cover this paintcan to wrap our gift of "first Christmas" ornaments. I think the paper is Foofala, some of the ribbon is Making Memories and May Arts, there are red Stickles accenting the stamped swirl on the card, but I can't begin to say what the other supplies were. EXCEPT for my adhesive in that mondo roll from 3M - that stuff holds like nobody's business! Even on the metal. Can't recommend it enough - though I did eat through an entire roll of it putting together the wedding programs. But at $2.99 for 36 yards I can't complain about that either.

And this was only part of the trip - we ended it with a two and a half day trip to Walt Disney World. What a blast that was - but I'll save that for another post - this one has become a novel :0)
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