Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I'm getting ready to go tuck myself in bed for a little nappie with the kids before we head over to my neighbor, friend, and CTMH team member's house (Melissa) for a NYE party.  It's nice to be able to just walk right over there and socialize with our neighbors!  I'm really looking forward to it, plus Ronnie is making his special spinach-artichoke dip!  YUM!  I don't like spinach very much, and certainly wouldn't eat an artichoke if it were on my plate, but, when mixed with mayo, Parmesan cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese, well, it just seems to slip right down!  LOL!  

Do you make resolutions?  I usually make the old stand by ones:  lose weight, be healthy, blah blah blah.  This year I am resolving to make real goals, not just empty promises to myself.  With resolutions I think I would forget about them fairly quickly, so 2009 is my year of goals.  Most of mine are business related, meaning Close to My Heart-related.  Since my long term goal is to quit teaching but not cause my family to lose our house (eekk!!) I have many small goals leading up to the end of my teaching career.  June can't come soon enough but I know it will take lots of hard work to replace my teaching income.  I know that it is possible, and I am fully committed to making it work for me.

I wish you the very best 2009!  Make goals, not resolutions, and put up pictures of them on your walls so you can see them every day!!  I have pictures on my wall of a cruise ship and the beaches of New Zealand-two of CTMH's current incentive trips!  I am one-third of the way to New Zealand!!! WOW!    What a trip that will be!!  Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas! The madness is over...

and we are relaxing.  Here's a before and an after:

Lots of fun!  Maggie's favorite toy was her makeup table (she's been beautifying herself quite a bit!) and Nate's was, of course, Thomas.  He got some new tracks and was just thrilled.  It took Maggie about 45 minutes to rip all the paper off, then she started playing.    Nate took about 2 hours to get all the paper off!  His biggest problem was that he'd unwrap one thing and run off to play.  Finally by the end of it all, I unwrapped a present and said, "Nate, look what Santa brought!".  A little anticlimatic, but we got it done.

Ronnie and I did not do presents for each other this year.  We put the entire budget towards the kids.  My brother in law helped us out and so did my parents and sister.  Ronnie hasn't been to work since October 14th!  It has been rough going.  I think many people are in our same boat.  I think he may be able to go back to work soon-I hope!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have you discovered Facebook yet?

I have just joined facebook! My sister had joined a long time ago, but I held out. Then people were talking about it everywhere-the daycare, at my school, so I thought I'd join to look at their pages.

I can't say I fully understand all of it-sending gifts and hugs and waves, but it is fun to see people who I haven't seen since high school, nearly 20 years ago. I recommend this to anyone who has a good 10 hours to kill in the beginning!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy week, crazy children at school, home parties

I always feel so guilty when I haven't had a chance to update my blog.  Sorry!  The week before a holiday usually makes the children at school go a little crazy, and this past week was no exception.  I really don't know what it is.  I remember being super excited about Christmas and breaks in general, but I didn't go off the wall like kids today seem to do.  It really makes me worry about the future of my own children.  Are they going to be badly behaved or do me proud and behave the way we taught them to?

So far so good, but I know I'm only at the beginning of this road.  

I am watching Real Housewives of Orange County-what trash!  But here they are having a trunk show at one of the housewives' homes.  It's like a CTMH gathering or a TS party, but prices  start at about $1000!  Too unreal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Close to My Heart Winter Special: Key To My Heart

Here is a little peek at Close to My Heart's winter special for January's National Papercrafting celebration!  Featuring our four new gorgeous colors:  sorbet, tulip, creme brulee, and juniper, plus an amazing E-sized stamp set containing a large key, beautiful scroll work stamps, a journaling block, hearts with flourishes on them, a keyhole, and more! 

It is just beautiful and the paper patterns are exquisite too:  polka dots, stripes, plaids, and distressed flourishes in the four new colors, and of  course cardstock!

Beginning today and running through January 31st, you can buy this kit for just $47.95, or even earn it for free.  Also, it will be included in every new consultant kit starting January 1st.  Visit my CTMH website to purchase yours today before they're gone:  www.jennifercox.myctmh.com!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is my WHY!


I was thinking about how much my kids mean to me tonight as I finished creating a little something for my sister Alex.  I can't go into too much detail in case she visits, but suffice it to say that I was looking at many photos and thinking about Maggie and Nate.

Nate turns two later today, he was born around 4:30 pm on December 14th after two days of laying around in the hospital after being induced.  Both of my kids didn't want to come out and I had to be induced both times.  Maggie was a quicker wait in the hospital, but a much harder birth.  She was stuck for quite a while and we almost had to "go in after her", as the docs put it.  But here they are, and I love them so much.

This is my WHY.  In direct sales, and really in anything you do, you need to have a WHY, or your reason for doing what you're doing.  I have no why for teaching school.  I am just there. But my WHY for Close to My Heart is pictured above.  I want to be home for them, be refreshed and not tired for them, to be the room mom, to attend all their school functions without fear that I will get into trouble, and just be the MOM.  That's my reason for working my CTMH business.  Of course, I want to control my income and give myself raises and go on fabulous vacations and socialize with incredible women! But, when it comes right down to it, I want to be home for my kids.  And I will be.  June 2009 is my last month of teaching.  I am so excited about it, I cannot even describe it.  I know, I know, the economy!  But, I say.  But.  The pendulum swings both ways, and my kids are never again going to be 4 years 8 months and just turned 2 years.  Never.  If I miss Maggie's kindergarten play, will I ever see her do it again?  No.  And if I miss Nate's baseball game when he's 11, will I ever get a chance again?  No.  Could I go back someday and teach again?  If I wanted to, sure.  But my kids' lives are too precious and the moments too fleeting to waste my time there instead of HERE.  

I challenge you to think of your why.  Why do you go to your work?  Why are you doing the things you're doing?  Really think about it.  I have, and it changed my life!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank you Thank you Thank you Colleen!

I got home late tonight from my CTMH  upline's house where we had a meeting.  My upline is Colleen, and I have written about her before, and I love going to her meetings and getting all pumped up again about Close to My Heart, which I am already pretty excited about all the time but I get even more excited!  

But tonight was different.  Colleen has just been accepted into a very prestigious program for school counseling at Rider University, and she was unable to continue holding unit meetings at this time.  While I am so happy for her, I know I will miss getting together with this group of women who share my passion and especially with Colleen, as she is very inspirational to me.

Colleen always gives out awards to top sales and new members of her team, and really gets us excited.  Tonight she gave me a very special gift but I didn't open it at her house, and I'm very sorry that I didn't.  As the first manager on her team, Colleen presented me with a beautiful silver necklace with a heart pendant on it, as well as a special CTMH bracelet that she wore or had with her the entire time she was earning the Alaska Cruise a couple of years ago.  She passed it on to me as I work my way towards the Western Caribbean Cruise that is our current incentive program.  Plus Colleen wrote me some wonderful words of encouragement that I will read every day as I travel on my journey to become a leader in this company that I love so much.  

I will take pictures of the necklace and bracelet tomorrow and post them, and I can't wait to call Colleen to thank her for her support and encouragement.  I think you're awesome Colleen!  And I can't wait to make you corn souffle!  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

STILL ON FOR THE FREE CRUISE!

So yes, it was true.  My hubby and I are going on a free cruise to the Bahamas!  We had to listen to a one hour presentation for vacation packages-not time share, but you buy 30 weeks of vacation and can use them any time and any way you want.  Actually it was interesting, but at the moment we literally have NO extra money.  

For our trouble, we did get the cruise.  We ended up laughing hysterically because the lady who did the presentation did a great job-I was very impressed with her sales skills-but when we said no, she brought in the first man.  He gave us a better deal, but we still said no.

Then we went in to see "Back Room Sal".  We have no idea what his real name was, but he was straight out of the Sopranos!  He chatted us up for about 5 minutes then cut the best deal yet.  I could feel Ronnie tensing in his seat, ready to say YES, but we said no one more time.  Then, faster than you can believe, he signed a form, flipped us a thin file with our cruise info, said to call this number if we had questions, and stood up.  Time's up!  We started to go back out the way we came, but he ushered us right out the back door right into the parking lot!  No losers parading through the fancy front room! Right into the lot!  We laughed ourselves silly!

But we got the cruise, and that was fun.  We got to have a night out with entertainment, then went to dinner and did some people watching.  The best table at Olive Garden was the three college students, two males and one female.  At first I thought it was a couple with the unattached guy roomie, then I decided that the unattached guy was gay.  Then as things progressed I thought I might have the wrong two people paired up.  I think I knew for sure who was the couple when the two men got up and went to the bathroom together!  Really!  We were giggling for awhile over that one.  We love to people watch!  


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yeah baby! I WON A CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS!!!

So, I'm sitting in my first period class today, the kids working on their lesson, when my cell phone rings.  I don't turn off the ringer at school because I then forget to turn it back on.  I check the number, don't recognize it, and put it back in my pocket.

Second period I teach with a special education teacher who's awesome, so I told her I needed to check the message.  I went into the stairwell so I had coverage, and listen to the message.  Some lady says she has great news for me.  Call her immediately.  Okay.  I go get paper and a pen, back into the stairwell.  I call this woman and she confirms that it's me, then tells me calmly that I entered a drawing for a new Lexus, but that drawing isn't until February, but instead I have won a cruise.  I have 1 year to book it, everything is included, and it's to the Bahamas.  

Here I am, sitting on the floor of the very dusty and dirty stairwell, saying, "oh, okay, so the car drawing isn't until February?  Okay, so are you serious about the cruise?  What do you mean, I've won a cruise?"  And so forth.  Because I've never won anything in my life like this, you see, and it was a bit strange to get this call at school and then go on with my day as if nothing happened.

The catch is-of course, you knew there would be one-is that we have to drive up to Princeton tomorrow night to hear a one hour presentation and then we can collect the cruise vouchers.  I immediately posted on the Close to My Heart yahoo boards that I belong to, and their opinion was time share presentation.  Okay.  I'll listen to ya, but you aren't getting me to buy no stinkin' time share!  Not that I don't like the idea of them, we just have ZERO extra dollars to spend on time shares.  But I'll certainly sit attentively and watch the power point and look at the brochures and then go on a CRUISE!  WHEEE!!!!  

I will update you on the results of all of this tomorrow night or Saturday, and hopefully I won't regret putting that big cruise ship up on the top there!!!  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Workshop Offered on December 7th



Here is a two page layout workshop I am offering for December 7th.  I try to hold workshops once or twice a month.  This month features Good Times, one of my all time favorite Close to My Heart paper packs.  I think it's perfect for New Year's Eve photos!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and already saw Santa!

Here is the delicious corn souffle that I posted about earlier in the week!  YUM!  I can't post pictures of what it looks like on the inside, as we ate it ALL!  OOOOHHHHH!  So good!  

In other news, we already saw Santa!  On Long Beach Island, where my husband and I both grew up, there is a town called Barnegat Light.  In this town there is a famous lighthouse, aptly named Barnegat Lighthouse.  It is red on the top and white on the bottom, you've probably seen pictures of it.  We saw in our local paper, the Sandpaper, that Santa was arriving by Coast Guard boat in Barnegat Bay and would then be taken by fire truck to town hall to light the Christmas Tree, followed by pictures and refreshments.  So off we went!

Last year's Christmas and Santa picture features Maggie smiling serenely at the camera, while Nate is purple with anger and fright, and I sent those picture cards right out!  Nothing I could do about it, clearly another visit to a different Santa would yield the same results, and everyone loved the photo anyway.  

So, as we waited in a very long, slow, and hot line to see this Santa, we figured another screaming Nate photo was in our future.  I hadn't even dressed the kids in their Christmas outfits since it was so cold outside to see Santa come off the Coast Guard boat.  They were in sweats and thermal shirts!  I'm not sure that I even washed their faces.  Mother of the Year, that's me!  

Maggie had her list in her hand, very excited about it all, and Nate had his list but wasn't sure why.  When it was our turn, Maggie strode right up to Santa, shook his hand (she shakes the hands of all characters like this), and hopped right up on his lap.  My sister Alex asked Nate if he'd like to sit with Maggie and Santa too, and to our shock he said Uh huh!  So up he went!  NO TEARS!  He even smiled a little bit!  YAY!  Maybe this is the year of Santa for Nate.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My hubby-the Bionic Man!

My poor bionic husband!  He's been wearing this arm brace now for three weeks, and has been out of work for five weeks.  At work, he attempted to lift a huge cable reel with another guy and his bicep muscle partially tore.  It's hard to tell how bad the tear is, because it's in the center of his joint.  

So, Ronnie has been collecting workman's comp and will continue to do so for another few weeks at least.  

Yuck.  he hates being home so much, it really drives him crazy. I think he's going to start watching soap operas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast-Corn Souffle!!!

I've been so in love with that song Viva la Vida I didn't want to post and push it down!  LOL!  

Well, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I can't wait!  I LOVE Thanksgiving because all we worry about is eating, no presents, no wrapping, no shopping for gifts that nobody wants, etc.

We make a traditional Thanksgiving:  bird, stuffing (my mother makes the BEST stuffing in the world, no kidding-and my dad's is probably number two!), mashed potatoes, corn souffle, cranberry sauce, peas or broccoli or asparagus-something green-and rolls.  

Oh, you say you don't know what corn souffle is?  Well, you have just stumbled onto the GREATEST dish ever. I can eat it until I am sick, literally.  I eat it cold, hot, warm, right out of the oven with a spoon, hiding the spoon marks-you name it!

It's simple:  eggs, milk, creamed corn, green onions, Ritz crackers, salt and pepper, and melted butter.  Mix it all up together and wowza!!!!!!!  The crackers make a crust but keep the inside moist and yummy......oh, you just have to try it yourself!

Here's the recipe:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
17 oz can creamed corn
1 cup buttery cracker crumbs-not too small, leave some big pieces 
2 tbsp chopped green onions-although I use more because it tastes better!
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Oven 350 degrees
Lightly butter 1 1/2 quart casserole.  In medium bowl beat eggs and milk.  Add rest of the ingredients; blend well.  Pour into casserole.  Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Do not overbake, casserole continues to cook when you take it out of the oven

I actually double the recipe and put it in a bigger casserole and bake it for 60-65 minutes.  Check it for jiggliness-too jiggly and it'll collapse.  Still yummy, but you want it to last and last.

I will post a picture this Thanksgiving of this beautiful creation!  Try it and let me know how much you love it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Viva la Vida!

Okay, my sister is in love with the band Coldplay, and I must admit, I am in LOVE with this song!  Take a listen:



Don't you love it????

Such a happy little song.  I have no idea what he's saying, so I don't know if it's really a happy song.  My sister says he writes some depressing lyrics at times, but I just like that DRUM!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I LOVE this from Stacy Julian

If you have read Simple Scrapbooks Magazine, then you know of Stacy Julian.  I check her blog every day:  http://stacysbigpicture.typepad.com. She is amazing.  

She posted a few days ago words that resonated with me and I need to share them with you because so many women tell me scrapbooking is too hard, too creative, too messy, too time consuming.  Well, read this from Stacy:  

"Let go.  Stop making this so hard.  Stop worrying about whether you are doing it right or whether you are good enough or whether you have the right stuff you need or whether you can keep up or whatEVER.  If your pictures and stuff aren't organized, do something about it.  Stop procrastinating and JUST START telling your stories.  Long stories, short stories, stories from this past summer and stories from when you were little.  Stop leaving blanks on your pages where you will go back and add journaling.  STOP that right now.  Start using your own imperfect handwriting and stop thinking it will ruin your page.  My goodness girls there is so much good that happens in and through this amazing hobby.  Let's just decide to let go and let it happen."

Amazing, right?  I 100% agree with this.  Whatever you do is right.  There are no mistakes, no bad pages, only memories saved for your family.

Stacy wrote this post in response to a young boy who suddenly lost his mother.  She didn't wake up one day.  Gone.  She was a scrapper, and so his faith that he had was still strong, because he could go back and read what his mother had written about him, and he in turn made a scrapbook about her all by himself.  I think that is amazing.  You have to go to her blog and read the whole story, it'll make you cry.  Stop worrying about whether your page is "good enough" or "done right".  Your family will not care about the embellishments you used or didn't use.  They will care about the love you show on your pages and the words that you wrote about the memories you have.  THAT is important.  Don't ever leave journaling off the page.  Never.  

I hope that this strikes a chord in you as it does in me.  

Friday, October 31, 2008


WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!!  I've been promoted!  Welcome to my newest team member, Althea!  She signed up to be a consultant this week, taking advantage of the super sweet Chocolate promotion CTMH had.  She received about $400 worth of amazing products for just $99!  You can't beat that!  Plus for joining my team she also received lots of other goodies too.  

What I love about this company is the incentives they offer us as consultants.  When Althea signed up on my team, I was promoted!  I am now a Manager!  I am so lucky to have found this company and the direct sales industry as a whole.  This is the way to go, people!  Where else can you do the things that I am doing and LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it?????  I am just that much closer to realizing many of the goals I have set for myself and I am loving it.  I also love that I get to help my team members realize their own goals and dreams.  Althea is planning on using her fabulous new discount to keep herself in CTMH style-but who knows what might happen as she shares her passion with her friends?  She might just suddenly have a thriving business on her hands that brings her joy.  I wish her the very, very best and I feel so lucky to be able to be right here as she discovers what kind of business she wants to have, and I also get to help her.  WHEEEEE!!!!!  I love this!  THIS makes me happy!

I hope that your job brings you as much joy as my job (not that I think of it that way!) brings me!

This is Nate last night as Ronnie carved the Jack o' Lanterns!  He was spitting and singing and having a grand ol' time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Looking for a few good scrappers.....

I want you to think about this scenario:

I wanted a new job in the scrapbooking industry, so I went to my LSS and asked for a job.  I outlined the following specifications:  I wanted to have a minimum 22% discount on everything I purchased, with a cap at 50% depending on my monthly sales.  I wanted to have a commission on top of that for every person that I hired at the store and trained, and as that person's sales went up, so would my commission.  I wanted to have access to superior quality products that are trendy and "now", and I wanted them all to coordinate so that I could get as much bang for my buck.  I also demanded to have FREE training on all projects that we offered, as well as FREE training for business, creative, personal, and leadership aspects of the trade.  Oh, and I wanted to work when I want, with who I want, as much as I want, with an unlimited income potential.  Oh Oh!  AND, I want to do all of this from home.  

What do you think the LSS said to me?  Exactly.  Laughed in my face.  Because of course this scenario doesn't exist right?  Where on earth could you find THIS job???

Well, actually, that's easy.  You CAN have this job.  Right now.  With Close to My Heart when you join my team.  Every single thing I listed above is what I can have with CTMH.  Our consultant kit is $99 and through October 31, when you join CTMH you receive an additional $100 in products!  

Want a fabulous job that can take you anywhere you want to go?  It's easy.  Contact me and ask your questions, and we'll sign you right up and start you on a truly wonderful career path that will make you money and give you time with your family and anything you want.  It's yours for the taking.

What are you waiting for??

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've entered Thomas the Tank Engine World!

Well, it's official.  Nate LOVES Thomas.  My sister gave him a little set with Ben and Salty and a round track with a tunnel:  instant LOVE.  When he can't find Salty, he calls around..."Sallllltttttyyy....!"  He is in love.  What a guy.

My mom found this Thomas ride on train-I can just see myself walking him around the block while he rides Thomas.

No, this is not Nate, but it sure looks like him!  Mom, when you see this....NO!  Too expensive!
Thomas® Track Rider  Ride-On Vehicle

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday craziness


My hubby called me today at work saying he had gotten hurt on the job and was on his way home from Delaware.  So I left work early to make sure he went to the doctor's-you know men-and he sprained his elbow lifting a really heavy spool of cable.  So, he's wearing a sling and says he looks like a "tool"!  I laughed!  I will have to sneak a picture of him wearing it and post it!  Tee hee!

I wanted to post this funny picture that I took after Nate arranged it.  He loves potato chips and can eats Lays brand-no veggie oil which contains soy-and I guess he didn't want to eat all of them.  So, he decided to share with his bunny.  He set the bunny up on his little piano that he nicked from my mom, spread out all the chips, and told the bunny to eat!  I had to take a picture of it because it was so cute!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Well, today is Thursday and I took very few pictures for my week in my life challenge!  Boo!  It was very similar to Wednesday so I may have lost some of my enthusiasm.  Here's what I did in a nutshell:

-Up at 5, thought I had forgotten to set my alarm but why else would I be up at 5 am?

- Kids up, got Maggie pancakes at McD's for a treat, was sad because Nate thought he was having HIS cake, which is a milk-, egg-, and soy-free chocolate cake that is really very good. He was upset.

-Went to school, gave one kid lunch detention for telling me to "chill", scrapped on my lunch period, was told by my department head to be careful about leaving school right after the busses leave as the principals are "watching".  Am I not allowed to leave????

-Came home, took a quick nap as the kids were playing outside at school and get mad if I pick them up early.

-Picked up kids and found out that Nate had a rough day all day, and Maggie had a headache after her nap.  

-Made Nate's chocolate cake with both Nate and Maggie "helping".  Nate likes to stir the dry ingredients together-it's pretty funny until he pulls out the whisk and cocoa powder flies all over the kitchen!  We ate lots of batter-no eggs to worry about!!!

-Read my new CK magazine, Nate's meds, and off to tubby and bed time.  Watched a really funny SNL weekend update episode, wished it were Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin-that's WAY too funny!

I promise to add photos to all of this, which is the point!  

Check out my Upline's version of this same challenge-hers is awesome!  See it here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day Two




-Up at 5 am to get ready for school...well, I hit snooze two times so up at 5:09.

-Got Maggie up at 5:35

-Got Nate up at 6 am-he did NOT want to get up today

-Dropped kids off at day care, went to Wawa and got breakfast and gas, drove to school

-Printed out mid-marking period grades, cleaned off my desk, taught three periods, ate lunch, then scrapped at little at my desk on my prep period.  I am finishing a 9 x 9 accordion album for a craft show this weekend and wanted to get the last 4 pages done, but I had forgotten to bring my adhesive, so I cut the paper and inked the edges, but couldn't glue it down.

-Taught two more periods, drove to the post office, then the bank, then home to work on the album for 10 minutes before getting the kids

-Picked up the kids, came home and played outside (got some great shots of Nate throwing stones all over Ronnie's nice clean yard and Maggie swinging super high on her swing), cooked dinner, and read two new scrapping magazines.  Well, "read" is an overstatement!  I glanced through them while reading Thomas to Nate and commenting on Madagascar to Maggie, doing the nebulizer and ear drops, and making the lunches

-Checked my email and blogs, then decided to record Day Two here!  

What did you do today?


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today's Events























I have been inspired by Ali Edwards (www.aliedwards.typepad.com) to document one week in my life.  She suggested taking pictures of everything you do all week long and then make a mini album out of it, sort of a tribute to your life.

So today was my day one.  I did take some photos, but forgot to take the camera with me when I went out, so I think for today I will just list the things I did and upload the photos later.  Here goes:

-Up with Maggie at 7 am, fixed her Lucky Charms and went back to bed with Nate (still sick from surgery yesterday)

-Up at 8 am with Nate, he gave me my glasses to go through his flash cards with him-how could I say no?

-Changed Nate's diaper, gave him crackers, ate a bowl of cereal

-Checked email and read blogs

-Set Maggie up on the computer to play Nick Jr games, put ear drops in Nate's ears (he got tubes yesterday) which made him cry


-Took a shower-Nate kept coming in to give me a shirt!  There's no privacy with little kids!

-Gave Nate his nebulizer and read Corduroy's Party, Corduroy goes to the Doctor, Corduroy's Busy Street, adnd Corduroy's Trick or Treat until treatment was over (takes 20 minutes!)


-Called my mom, told her we needed rice milk

-Met my mom at the store to get rice milk, she helped keep track of Nate in the cart as he kept trying to escape

-Went to my parents' house and ate lunch, kids played with their grandparents, and we relaxed

-Came home, Nate fell asleep in the car, Maggie played outside with the cats, and I read a really interesting article in Rolling Stone on John McCain (read it here)

Now, this is what I have so far and it's 5:14 pm.  My day doesn't end until about 10 or 11 pm but I may not have a chance to keep going today.  I will have to address the pile of dishes in the sink soon and think about dinner, and Nate will need his nebulizer and ear drops again tonight, and I need to make the lunches for tomorrow's day.  Today was not a usual Tuesday for me, though.  I am usually at school on Tuesdays, but with Nate's surgery and my sore throat moving into my chest for a nice cough/chest cold, I thought it a good idea to stay home and rest.  

I challenge you to also document one week of your life!  Don't worry about what you do, if you think it's boring or whatever, just do it.  Everyone has laundry yet I am fascinated with people's blogs about laundry.  It's a photograph of your life in pictures and words.  Tell me what you decide to do!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wintery Cards

I created these cards for a customer who wanted to hold a card workshop instead of a traditional gathering.  She wanted to use Evensong creative basics and Aspen, and the stamp set is Winter Memories.  The design is the same for all cards, from the same Originals pattern, just rotating the design and swapping out two pieces of paper for one longer piece, etc.  I used Twilight ink, Bamboo, Outdoor Denim, and Creme Brulee for the Aspen card.  I used Cranberry, Sorbet, New England Ivy, and Olive inks for the Evensong card.  One of the snowmen is covered in Liquid Glass and it made him smear a little, but I LOVE the effect!  He looks melty.  On another snowman I used black bitty brads for his eyes, but I think the scale is off a little, and I may change those to be his coal buttons.  I can't wait to see what the ladies make at the workshop~everyone always changes the design a little and I love to see what happens!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Did you watch???

I don't really want to get political here, but are you all watching this presidential race???  I am watching the vice presidential debate and I have some serious doubts here!  I won't go into more than that, you can draw your own conclusions about who I have doubts about, but oh my holy heck!  THIS is what we can choose from?????  

I say, let's give them all the Magic Moments kit from CTMH and scrap it out.  May the best scrapper win!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blur!


My daughter Maggie had gymnastics last night and I tried once more to take pictures of her doing her thing, but she is just a blur!  
See what I mean?  She's the blur on the left!  She hops around the entire time in between forwards rolls, backward rolls, and back walk overs (done with help, of course).  She's really pretty good for only having three classes under her belt.  The older girls who practice at the same time watch the little kids and cheer them on, and Maggie just watches them in awe as they toss each other around.  I think I'm going to scrap these blurry photos anyway, and just call it BLUR!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Classic Spritz Cookies

I used this recipe to make some Christmas Cookies for my Christmas card workshop yesterday.  I have been looking for a good spritz cookie recipe for a while-even though they are all very similar, many taste like flour.  This one was pretty good, and the card makers were munching away all day!  Enjoy!

Classic Spritz Cookies:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375.  Thoroughly cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, milk, vanilla, and almond extract; beat well.  Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make dough smooth.  Do not chill.  Shape dough into small logs and place in Cookie Master plus (a cookie press).  Using desired disk, press shapes onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with colored or chocolate jimmies.  Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned around the edges, remove cookies from the sheet.  Cool on rack.
Makes 7-8 dozen cookies.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Busy week!

Wow!  It's been a busy one.  I have my Christmas Card workshop this Saturday and I've been busy cutting paper for my attendees.  They get the new Evensong paper pack already cut for them, as well as all embellishments and ribbon that they need.  Oh, and Sparkles!  I love Sparkles!  All they need to do is come and assemble.  It's going to be awesome.  I'm going to play Christmas carols, have Christmas cookies out, and twinkly lights.  Yay!

I also held three workshops since Friday!  Whew!  My hostess club ladies met on Friday night to make three cards, and we had a great time.  Then, one of my new team members Nicole came over with her Aunt Jen to create the Perfect Day layout.  To top it all off, I had another Perfect Day workshop with Nancy, Monicarol, and Mary Jo.  Nancy pays very close attention, and Monicarol and Mary Jo....?  Well, let's just say we laughed A LOT!  No, they were all great and their layouts were super.  

The layout here is of my DD Maggie, on her first day of Pre-K.  I made it using Notebook paper, which I LOVE!  She is such a funny little girl!  


Saturday, September 20, 2008

My worst nightmare came true today for ten minutes


If you're a mother, then you've had this nightmare:  you turn around in the store/park/amusement park/whatever, and your child is gone.  You can't find him fast enough, and every second you become more convinced he was snatched by a crazy person who will not love him like you do.  What's more, he needs his asthma medication every twelve hours and he can't tell someone because he's too little.  Who knows what happens if he doesn't get his meds for a long period of time?  

We went to Target after visiting my sister, and were picking out some new fall/winter clothes for the kids.  Nate insisted on walking, as 20 month olds are prone to do.  Maggie had been hiding in the clothing racks repeatedly and got in trouble each time.  With my dad in law enforcement, I guess I'm a little overprotective with our kids in stores and other crowded places.  Not to brag, but my kids are gorgeous.  We don't know where that came from!  But seriously, they are noticed all the time and strangers comment all the time.  

Anyway, Maggie held up a dress and said look at me, and we did.  Then Nate was gone.  Poof, just like that.  I charged around the corner, no Nate.  I grabbed Maggie so I wouldn't lose her too and off we went through the toys, figuring that  was the first place he'd go since they were right there.  Ronnie took off for the front of the store so he couldn't go out, and people were helping him check bathrooms in case someone took him in there or something.  The Target people were quick to help, calling in a code yellow immediately.  I got hysterical after about 2 minutes of calling him and running through department after department, clutching Maggie's hand and a pair of brown corduroy pants that I wanted to hold up to Nate to check the length.  

I can't even describe how upsetting this was.  Complete strangers were hunting for him as I yelled his name over and over and what he was wearing-Thank God I could remember what he had on.  At first when someone asked I totally blanked, but then I remembered.  Scary.  

Then someone asked again to describe him and when I did she yelled that she thought she found him.  Maggie and I went running over there and tripped.  We both went down hard and I really hurt my knee but we got right back up and kept running.  The lady was calling "over here" and I yelled Nate's name and there he was!  I grabbed him and crumpled to the floor, with him and Maggie in my arms, sobbing.  Three ladies, the Target lady who called in the code yellow, the lady who found him, and this wonderful black lady just held us and rubbed my back.  One of them kept saying "Thank you Jesus".  Now I am not overly religious or anything, but I tell you what, I was sure thanking Him myself at that moment. I hugged all three of them and we staggered off to find Ronnie, who didn't know he had been found.  

Ronnie was coming around the corner and saw us and I couldn't even stand up again so I knelt in the infant's clothing and held our children some more.

Maggie kept saying the funniest thing, which I could hear on some other level and save it for later when I could actually find it funny.  When we first found him, and were all hugging on the floor and crying, Maggie was rubbing his back and saying so sweetly, "Oh Natey, you could've been taken by some kook."  I guess I've warned her before!

This was truly my worst day of motherhood, even though with Nate we've been to the ER or Urgent Care several times, even worse than the time I thought his eyeball was going to burst or something.  He's allergic to milk, eggs, and soy, and I gave him brown rice without checking the ingredients.  It had milk in it and got in his eye.  Today was worse than that horrible day when I thought I had killed him.  

We're so blessed that he is completely fine and watching Dora right now.  






Sleeping!

Or rather, I wish I were sleeping.  Last night Nate started coughing again.  He'd gone a week without being sick, now we're right back to runny nose and cough.  Sigh.  But when he's sick he wants to sleep with me, so I let him and that way I can monitor the cough as well-he has asthma so it's important to listen for wheezing.  But the side effect is I don't sleep very well with him and then he took my spot in the bed!  We have a great bed-one of those sleep by numbers beds, and Nate must really love it too!  So, I took my pillow and moved down about 3 feet on the bed, so at least half of me was on the bed-although half was not!  I mostly dozed in an L formation the rest of the night.  Then Maggie came in, then Nate fell out of bed, and well, then we were up.  

I had my hostess club last night-ten ladies making cards in my dining room!  It is an awesome group of women who make me laugh every time we meet.  Two of my team members were there too, Amy F. and Melissa B., and we talked for about an hour once the club was over.  I am so happy that I joined CTMH and started doing all of these things that I never would have done before.  Once everyone left, though, I was so wound up I could've scrapped all night!  What I did instead though, was check my favorite blogs.  I listed two of them previously, but here are two more that I check all the time:

Jeanette Lynton's blog:  http://www.jeanettelynton.com
and 

Jeanette Lynton is the founder and CEO of Close to My Heart and she is the sweetest woman!  I have not met her personally-although I tried to meet her at convention-but listening to her speak and reading all of her missives to us is inspiring.  She has really made it in her life and I take a lot from her blog posts and her letters in every Idea Book.  As consultants, we also receive a bi-monthly newsletter from corporate, and she writes to us there too.  It's worth becoming a consultant just to be in this woman's circle.  You know how Oprah inspires a lot of people?  Well, Jeanette is MY Oprah.  Whoo Hoo Jeanette!

Tina S. is another amazing woman that I have met and talked to on the phone.  Boy, I nearly passed out when my cell phone rang on my dad's birthday in July and I heard her voice!  WHEW!  She is the senior executive director of the national team that I belong to, the Scattered Hearts.  She, like me, was a teacher who quit and worked her CTMH business full time.  She inspires me every day as well.

Well, this originally started out about sleep and turned into my CTMH Idols again!  Sorry, but they are really wonderful women and I'm lucky to move in the same circle as them.

Jennifer

OK!

Whew!  Sorry I haven't updated this since I began moving.  I fought for an hour at least the other day trying to get one of those cool looking scrapper backgrounds for my blog and I couldn't get it to work!  Drat!  So my goal this weekend is to do that so it looks more scrapper-ish rather than blah like now!

I'm putting out a shout out to my friend Shannon B on the West Coast who must think  I am stalking her (sorry Shannon, but I am just a little bit LOL!)  and here is her blog:  http://stampinbuds.blogspot.com
  

One of my other favorites that I check all the time is my awesome upline's, Collen R!  So here is her blog too:  http://www.colleenrossi.blogspot.com.  There are several more that I am addicted to, I admit it!  So I will add them as I figure this all out.  

I can't wait for Sunday as I am going to the free crop in my town to play with my pals!  I am going to get all the paper cut for my Christmas Card workshop!  Whoo Hoo!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taking a cue...

from one of my FAVORITE bloggers and fellow CTMH consultant Shannon B!  I am moving my blog over here since as she put it...why pay for something you can get for free???  I had no idea that blogger was free.  So I will be posting here from now on.  I'll post a link from the other site to this one if I can figure that out.  Thanks, Shannon!