Saturday, September 30, 2017

First Day of School

I had some fun playing around with this layout. I really like the photo which shows John's shadow as he and Oliver follow Caleb, his mommy and Julia to school on the first day back.

Caleb will be in second grade with Mrs. Ellendorff.  I'm happy he goes to the IB school.

It seemed like a short summer, since he started it off with an operation. But he recovered well and enjoyed some soccer and basketball. He certainly looks ready with that cool backpack.

Why did I enjoy making this page so much?  I loved the papers available to me at Scrapgirls. com. They were designed by Syndee Nuckles in a pack called 1-2- Buckle My Shoe. I rarely use just one kit, so the elements, like the 2nd grade medal I found in the kit Old School on Misty Cato Designs. I even found a paper in a free kit, called Schoolin/ Freebie by Kate Teague on Two Peas in a Bucket, that repeated the phrase BACK TO SCHOOL over and over. I overlayed the photo with it. You may not even  see it unless you click on the photo to view it larger. It is just a touch of interest, which was in a class I found on  today.

I'm happy that I have a large family and many pictures with which to work. It keeps me from focusing too long on the state of the world.

Please continue to pray for this nation, that we come together in love and work out our  problems.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Jungle Rapid's Family Fun Park

I can't tell you anything about this excursion, but I really appreciate this picture of Leah. I used another picture I found of the park as the back ground.

It's been an excellent day today, since I got to have lunch (one that fit into my new diet) with my friends in ORU, at least with most of us still in OH. One of us was not able to be there. Robin was nauseous and had to miss our 'meeting'.  She missed us and we missed her.

I am quite disappointed that we didn't get a picture of the group. The area outside Rochnes, where we ate, was quite beautiful, a perfect backdrop for a photography session. We need to schedule our next get together and make sure we include photo shots.

My blogs gets shorter and shorter as I get tired earlier. I'm almost afraid to write, having no idea what I might type as I fall asleep.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Make Life Interesting

Greg and Wes made a film for a big meeting at HCS where they work. He was dressed as Edgar Allen Poe. I'd say, that's one way to make work interesting.  Way to go, Greg.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

She Likes a Chicken


Ava was dressed in her Princess Belle gown. It was her birthday party. Otherwise, I doubt she would dress this way to pick up chickens, but It worked out fine. She looks really cute, with that big hen and her beautiful dress and big smile. She was absolutely delighted with that chicken. She likes chicken and now she likes a chicken.

Many of us are actually like chickens these days. We  see with all the divisions among our citizens and don't speak up about it. It is absolutely mean to see people divided because of something they cannot control, like race, and not do anything about it...not even speak up about it. All of us have red blood.  It is wrong to pit people against each other for any reason. We need to pull together as a nation instead of pushing anyone who is not 'like' us away. We need to love our fellow man.

Some good news tonight. We are about to get a new tax code so that it will be much easier to file our own taxes. They will be simplified! Hallelujah. Taxes for most of us will also be lower.  As in Reagan's  presidency we will profit much by lowering  our taxes and watching the money be repatriated into our society. We really need it to grow our economy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Before and After

On the 22nd of this month, I posted this top layout and told how I had been taught to never go back and redo a layout, for I would never get much done. Well, I don't always abide by that advice. I have
changed it...just a little bit...but enough to make me satisfied with the final layout.

And here is another one that did not satisfy me at first. It sat in my files and I winced each time I noticed it. Well, I've added only one thing and now I am publishing it here.

The addition was simply the black line around the edge on the page.

Tonight I am welcoming Julia and her family back home to the USA. They just got home from Bulgaria. I can hardly wait to hear about their experiences there.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Cuddly Chickens

Caleb still loves 'his' chickens at Laughing Buck Farm.

I wish I had known at his age how very wonderful it is to hold a chicken. I had no idea until he handed me a hen at the farm. They are so amazingly soft and cuddle worthy. Thanks, Caleb. You made my day back then. I'll never look at a chicken the same again.

I have to say, I will so happy tomorrow. I can hardly wait to find out more about what he has been doing this past two weeks. I wonder if he has seen any chickens...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Think Positively

I was amazed to see a video of Brittanie flipping five times consecutively. I knew she could earlier, but I just hadn't thought that she could still do it. WOW, DOUBLE WOW. It makes it even more fun now to see Ava starting to develop her  gymnastic skills. 

I've always been concerned with those who stuck their heads in the sand to avoid knowing the terrible things that were going on around focus on the positive. I realize we should focus on the positive, but it is not good to be completely ignorant of the ugly things going on around oneself. We need to know in order to help keep evil from multiplying in and around our lives and affecting our society as a whole.

Knowing this and having known most of my life, I am having more and  more thoughts about hiding myself...could I be a snowflake? Could it be that in my old age I am reverting to childish behavior and feel defenseless against those who might say  or do things that might affect me adversely?

Pray for me and I will pray for you...We can stand up tall with Christ, who can do it all. Jesus is Lord and He wins in the end.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


This scene is a perfect example of serenity. Sweet children sitting calmly, quietly watching the ducks on the still waters of the lake at City Park in Ft Collins, CO.  It isn't often one sees the three like this. Activity generally rules at this stage of life.

They are in a learning stage, not that we should ever quit learning, but it is especially true with young children.

As I read Romans 5:3-4 this morning, it struck me differently than it has in the past. This is what it says:  "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.

I have gone through the process of suffering, persevering, building character and now I am hopeful. I'm hopeful for a home in heaven when I've passed through this world. It is a good place to be, even though, there will be more suffering and more perseverance to come, hopefully making me even stronger, and making me even more ready to go on to my next home.

Hoping that all of us can learn to appreciate God's plan for building our character and making us strong individuals.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Never Go Back?

I was told years ago that one should never go back and make improvements on a layout. Otherwise a person would never ever be done. She who is the perfectionist will never finish her work. Well, I have followed that advice somewhat.There have to be exceptions to the rule. For example here  I have two separate layouts. The one on top is much more pleasing to the least to my own. I will probably end up changing the second one before I publish it in a book. 

As you might  guess we generally take more than one picture in order to get all of us facing the camera and smiling at the same time. Sometimes, it is quite a trick to get us all with our mouths closed at the same time because, generally we are all talking at the same time.....or at least 1/2  of us at any given time. 

When someone has her eyes closed, I can remedy that by switching heads from one photo to another.

I'm not sure what Robin was telling Phyllis in the top photo, but I will have to ask her. I hope she can remember. 

Lydia is Paulette's granddaughter, whom I imagine, will want to start her very own chapter of ORU (Opinions R Us)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ava's Mommy

Yesterday, I posted a cute little picture of Ava eating her soup. Today, I want to share this layout of Ava's mother, Brittanie. Now you will know that she looks much like her Mommy.

As I am already falling asleep at the computer, I'll call it a day.

Please continue to pray that God sees our nation turn from sin and start to follow Him again.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Yummy Soup

I love this picture of Ava. She was really enjoying her  soup. What a cutey!  

It has been a rough couple of days here. We have been without cable. There just isn't anything around here to do without the internet, except work. There is plenty of that to be done...but it just doesn't hold my attention anymore. 

At one time, I was sticking to Fly Lady's plan for housekeeping and everything was so well ordered. It had become easy because I followed her plan so closely that I didn't get behind. You notice I did say, that was in the past. In just the few years I've been back sliding, several areas of my home have become stuffed with stuff. I have some things that don't even have a specified place here. It is sad, very sad. I've been thinking of trying to get back to it; but I move so slowly that I doubt it will ever be possible again.

I also need to lose weight to ease my arthritis a bit. But I've become quite undisciplined in my old age.  

My advice if you are younger than I, shape up and keep it that way. You will look and feel much better and be able to take care of your home better.

If you are a snowflake, just forget it, you'll never make it this just don't have what it takes.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy Birthday, Triplets!

Things have changed since these pictures were taken back in July. Mason has gotten a haircut.
School has started. The triplets are now 15 years old.

When Chelle, their mother and my daughter, was young, she was introduced to Dairy Queen cakes by me, most notably because I can't bake, never had the desire to bake. My mother never baked when I was a child, because she had to fight her weight so hard. Low on thyroid, she gained  if she ate what was normal for most people. I have had that problem as an adult myself.  We found ice cream cakes to be quite delicious and easy to pick up at a Dairy Queen not far from home.

Chelle has baked and  so have the triplets, but this time, they chose Dairy Queen. 

Just looking at it makes me want to run out and get one. After  all, I have not had one this year. I didn't get one for my birthday this year and that is really what I prefer. It is helpful that I have a summer (June) birthday.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

West Fest Mountain Stage

I read that  Bohemian Nights at the new West Fest Mountain Stage in held in the Old Town part of Fort Collins, CO annually. This is the first I've heard of it. I am still not familiar with all the involved activities, but I do have these pictures of Caleb and Oliver  trying out some  instruments.  Even though, Caleb seems to be a trumpet natural ( just my thought after seeing the pictures), I really enjoyed seeing him with the saxophone. His father played the sax well while in high school. It was sad to me, when it was stolen from him his freshman year in college. 

It was a gorgeous day today, but we were both so tired that we just stayed inside and rested. Getting old is not for sissies.

We've been treated to a skunk attack tonight. I'm not sure how close to the house it is, but it smells very close. I'm hoping I can sleep and that the smell dissipates by morning. This would probably be a good time to have a C-pap machine like Ron. He has already strapped his on and is in a dream world.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Time Passes

Our grand daughter, Brittanie, spent quite a bit of time on our boat when her father came up to visit from Florida in August. I love her bright smile.

It's just been a month, but it seems like forever in some ways. Even though we've had a couple of nice days, I haven't seen any swim suits out on the lake this week. It certainly doesn't seem like it is warm enough ...and the trees are turning color early. Worst of all, it is getting dark so very early.

Time is passing so quickly, I'm sure I'll wake up in a few days, and it will be Christmas...and I won't be ready for it. Is there no remedy for this other than getting younger? I need to know, because I've tried that and it just  doesn't work. Not at all!!!

For the news. This is a local thing. Our church has a Ladies' Class that meets on Thursdays through the school year. Our classes for the next three months will be a study of Hosea by Jennifer Rothschild. I had not heard of her before, but I am duly impressed after having seen this video of her life. I have to share it will you:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hanging Out, Hammock Style

You may need to click on this picture to enlarge it. The detail is overridden by the beautiful spots of sun and shadows. There is a play of light on the kids that tickles me. I would actually like to paint this scene because of all that light play on the bright colors.

As their mother said here, Oliver and Julia will definitely miss their big brother when he goes back to school.  Well school did start, and she was right.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mother and Daughter

I love this photo of Beth and Julia. It is good to see them both sitting, looking at ease. Being a Mom to three children aged 16 months, 3 years and 7 years is definitely a full time job. There isn't much time to sit. And Julia is not one to sit still for long. I wish I had been there to count the minutes, or perhaps just seconds she sat in the chair.

We've been so concerned lately for friends and relatives in Texas and then Florida. This is the first day in a while I haven't been thinking almost constantly about those states and the people caught up in the scene. We are happy now that our son and grandson and many friends made it through without too much hassle. Yet there are those, like our daughters in laws, who have quite a bit of damage, which will not be easily remedied.

Lord, we pray all those who are cleaning up after the storm either for themselves or for others will be strengthened.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where's Caleb? Looking for Waldo

I have to admit, that I have more fun making some layouts than others. This is one of those. 

Many pictures do not lend themselves to interesting layouts. A couple of reasons are, they can be more serious subjects, or beautiful, which lead to layouts that emphasize the photo, more than anything else.

This picture of Caleb in a book store is perfect for 'going a little wild' with the layout. Caleb is quite at home in a book store. This day, he had found Waldo. The store provided this clever photo opportunity.

Back to the news. There are still people I know who stayed in Florida, from whom I am still waiting to hear. It is consoling that the storm wasn't anywhere near as bad as predicted. However there is still a lot of damage. Chelle reported that her inlays in St Augustine have quite a bit of water damage and they had just finished all the repairs and replacements from the last hurricane that hit there. But at least they are all safe. 

I'm anxious to hear from my cousin. I understand that power is out in many areas, which can  prohibit contacting those outside the area.

Just keep praying. Clean up will not happen overnight. It will be a long haul.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

It's a New Look for Mason

This look is not entirely new for Mason. When he was younger, he  sported shorter hair than he has had the past few years. It seems it would be much more comfortable out of his eyes. It sure looks neater.   (You look great, Mason.)   This should be a good year.

Meanwhile, South East of Mason's family today lies Florida where most of its citizens have either evacuated the state or are in shelters. Mason's grandparents, his uncles and cousins live there and have followed suit. He has one uncle who is a police officer who must remain there through the storm. Thank God for policemen, who risk their lives for the safety of others.

We have relatives and friends in both categories... some have left and some are sheltered. It is good to have them out of harm's least they should be safe now. We are still praying though, not only that they will be safe, but their friends will be as well and their property will not have much damage, preferably none.

While the storm should hit Florida tomorrow, Texas is busy putting their lives back together.

Praying God will take mercy on us all.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Out of Character

He is definitely out of character here. You probably wouldn't recognize him, if I did not tell you his name. This is our smiling athlete. I'm not  sure where he got that shirt, but he is acting the part.
He should be an actor. If I didn't know better, I would believe that shirt.

Good job, Caleb.

Praying for all those in Texas who are trying to reclaim their  lives and those in Florida who are preparing for Irma in one way or another...especially our close friend who with her sister are trying to get our of it's path without running out of gas. Praying they find a safe place to spend the nights.

Also praying for our son and my cousin who live there and have decided to stay.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Very good for an active girl...gymnastics. Ava, like her mother before her, has taken up gymnastics.
I will have to make and post a layout of her mother Brittanie soon. She can still show her skills.

It is really good for children to be active. It is more difficult these days, since it is not always safe for kids to play outdoors like they used to while their mothers were busy indoors. There are other things taking their attention as well, like TV and video games. We are glad to see Ava enjoy herself like this.

Please pray for the families in Texas as they try to reclaim their lives and for those in Florida, where many are evacuating their homes now.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Lily Lake

Yesterday, I posted a layout about a senior guide at Lily Lake  in the Rocky Mountain National Park...tonight I'm posting related layouts. One has everyone in the car ready for the trip and one of Lily Lake itself

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Letter

Caleb, Oliver and Julia had cousins visiting from Ohio. John had to work, but Beth, Sarah and Michael took the kids... including their own two, Katy and Patrick, up to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  This is one of the people they met at Lily Lake. He was a very interesting old fellow, who had lived near Lily Lake since he was nine years old.

That was in July.   Today is Labor Day.  That gives you some idea how behind I am with my scrapbooking. 

In my inbox this morning, I found this letter from Jim Chilton, a friend of my husband...and of myself, of course. I've copied it in its entirety because it is so well written:

"Labor Day was established to celebrate the advances brought on by the Labor Movement in America.  Labor unions were born in a climate of adverse conditions for laborers.  Before the Labor Movement, there was a huge child labor problem, very poor working conditions where literally thousands of workers died, and virtually no rights or protection for those who worked by the hour.  The first Labor Day celebration was in New York in 1882 led by a machinist union.  By 1884, Labor Day became an official holiday.

        Labor Day also marks the end of summer and a time of rest from our labors.  How do you define rest?  Sitting in a recliner in front of your television?  Being up North in a cabin next to a beautiful lake?  Biking, hiking, or water skiing?  The New Testament definition of the word “rest” simply means to be “refreshed” even as you work.

        Children understand this concept.  They play until they drop, but the activity is refreshing to them.  Playing hard all day is never a burden to them.  We shouldn’t be childish, but maybe we should be more childlike.

        Jesus’ take on rest is found at Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burnout out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take real rest.  Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (The Message).

        The Jews were a tired and frustrated people, not unlike our culture today.  Daily life was hard enough, but those rascal Pharisee, made it even harder with their demands.  People were not satisfied with their lives and much less with their religion.  Jesus came along and gave the people a new perspective of God’s Word and how to live it.  People were refreshed.  Today, stress from every direction is impeding our ability to rest.  Jesus offers a sustaining peace that enables us to avoid being crushed or driven to despair.  The Bible is still the same.  Life is still difficult, but Jesus provides a new way to see self and God’s Word will new eyes."

Thank you, Jim. We appreciate your ability to teach.