Saturday, February 28, 2009

before spring returns

well, all but one Saturday this season has been spent on the tubing hill. It's been an absolute blast going both up and down the hill thanks to that OLD 2 seater snowmobile. Today, after tubing, Tyler put it up for sale.

And as you can see, we lost another tube. Those Uncle Bob's Authentic Snow Gear Aqua Leisure tubes are awesome, although I hear that the ones this year are not as fast. So we are keeping it and looking for some more AirStop - works like a charm. The extra large tubes are the best because it's like riding on a cloud - no jarring of the neck, etc. Just a wonderful ride down the hill enjoying our beautiful valley.

And in addition to another tube dying, the last tubing Saturday, and putting the snowmobile up for sale, I went to the garden store today. I bought seeds for my vegetable garden. A couple of different pumpkin varieties, zuchs, crook necks, corn for drying and grinding, cucumbers, carrots, peas, and snow peas. They even have a seed list with detailed info about what will cross pollinate, which are hybrids, when to plant and what to look for in the soil, etc. I am super excited about gardening this year. I have to go back for onions, tomatoes, basil, and potatoes. And I need to get a truck load of compost to till into the soil. Other than that, I think we are well on our way to a great garden. I have all the tomato cages I need along with the essential garden tools and my drip irrigation system. I might need some more gloves this year (we'll see). Although someone suggested I try black tarp to help my tomatoes. I love gardening. It's great therapy - provides lots of vitamin D (the happy sun vitamin) and this year I will have a yard full of grass instead of mud and I won't have to worry about putting in a sprinkler system. I am excited to just work on my garden. The sad thing is, there is still about a foot of snow where my tulips will bloom because they are all in shady areas. Spring will be here soon enough...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I hope that you'll check out these new books we just tried out for our clients. They have these cool lay flat pages and dust covers, setting them above and beyond our expectations. There are lots of photos including close ups. Incredible is all I can say. Our New Signature Guestbooks I am excited about this new product, but are you? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Monday, February 16, 2009

photo session fun!

On Friday I spent the afternoon with my last mission companion, Sonya Abu. I trained her and then she got to be there when I went home after fulfilling 18 months- I think that is cruel and unusual punishment for a greenie but we don't decide our companions on our mission. We had a great time together. She ended up going to school in the valley I live in. And she met her husband at the Institute there. She's from the states and he's from Ghana in Africa. We photographed their wedding at the Logan Temple- their album was the first I designed digitally. And after years of waiting, they adopted. We photographed Rhea last February, not long after she was born. And this February I got to photograph their newborn son. So after we did Rhea's One Year old photos Haeley spent a lot of time playing with her. She was so amazing with her and so sweet. She's got a talent with little ones. And we just happened to get this photo of them hugging. Rhea was playing ball with Haeley and loved her baby dolls and Haeley can't resist a hug. And what an awesome moment. My last mission companion's oldest child and daughter and my oldest child and daughter playing happily together. I am just so happy to have this moment captured to remember forever.

If you want to see more of this cute family and our new baby albums, then go to our photography blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine Project

We made this cute little mailbox for HK to take to school for Valentine's Day. She had a blast and really enjoyed shopping with me for this project.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are you participating in project 365?

I created these albums for my children and wanted to share them with you. They are on sale now at Cottage Arts.

Michelle is even offering some really cool add-ons. There are also instructional videos to help you through the process.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grocery shopping success...

I grew up going to the Commissary, not the Grocery store. My mom never used coupons, the military prices were fantastic, and so I never learned how to use them either ... until recently. A few things led up to this, I have a 6 week menu (I'm not good at the whole day by day thing because I have to be in the mood for what I am going to eat - I just have everything written down that we can have for 6 weeks - and I have a coordinating grocery list). I've been doing that for a little over a year - it's made grocery shopping a snap and I usually have everything I need. I live in the boonies so no running to the store at last minute. We do have to go back for bread and milk every 2 weeks or so. Then at the last general conference I remember hearing the general authorities talking about being thrifty and since my sister in law is so great at that, I thought I could learn a few things myself. I still haven't learned the whole Sunday Newspaper thing, but I have learned how to use the Smart List and the online coupons. The Smart List is GREAT! It's the circular with the sales from my store in a spread sheet and it tells you what is really a good deal and where to get the coupons. Then I look online for any coupons to make the sale even better for me. Anyway, thanks to Marne I have been watching the videos and reading the info at The Obsessive Shopper Blog and have learned tips on coupon-ing and the Smart List. Right now I am learning how to make my own spreadsheet with all the things from my Menu Grocery List so I really can keep better track of where our money is going and what is really a good sale. So yesterday Coleton and I went to the store right after we dropped Haeley off. It took a little over an hour to shop for 6 weeks worth of food. He was really well behaved and I am a really lucky mom. So the girl rang up our groceries and then put in all the online coupons. The store I went to doesn't keep track of your savings (like some of those that use cards), but it did keep track of the coupons. The woman behind me was actually nice and said how impressed she was at what I had saved in just coupons. Just in online coupons I saved $28.05. I can see why my SIL loves doing this - it's downright addicting. I mean - $28.05 in addition to the sale prices. That alone equals hundreds of dollars a year. Aand who doesn't need their money to go a little further these days?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

thinking back

It was 25 years ago that I was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in sacrament meeting by my father. The day before, I stepped into the font in the Cardenas Ward building in Panama (the country) and was baptized by my father. It had been about 10 years since he had joined the church, so it was full circle for him. I remember how cold the water was and that we forgot my towel. My mom made me a beautiful white dress to wear that day but I had to wear one of those white jump suits for the actual baptism. I remember the warm feeling inside, feeling loved by my Heavenly Father. I know deep within that I made the right decision to be baptized then. I can't believe it's been 25 years. 25 more years of scripture study, prayer, church attendance, and serving in church callings. Next year, my daughter will have the opportunity to be baptized herself. And I hope that years from now, she too will know she made the right decision.

I recently got back in touch with one of the families I worked with during my mission in DC. And she showed me photos of her husband (the one we taught and saw baptized) and he was baptizing their oldest at the age of 8. Little H was born just weeks after I returned home from that full time mission. To see it go full circle is such an amazing feeling. And I began to think back on other events. Jerome baptized his daughter as well (she was all grown up at that point). Several of those that I taught have gone to the temple too. Today is a wonderful day as I think back on all the blessings I have received from my Heavenly Father.

I just found this:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Just having FUN!!!

So we went snow tubing yesterday. AGAIN. Big surprise, I know ... but the kids have a blast each and every time and we enjoy their laughter. And then my MIL was telling me her memories of riding on the saucer behind her dad's truck on the back roads in her hometown. She said it was a wonder they were all still alive, but she is grateful she could be a part of these memories for her grandchildren.

And I found these two really old beat up trucks that haven't moved in years in a place no one will really be able to find except if I told you. And I photographed the lichen (sp?) and stuff on the rocks of the nearby broken down homestead. So I added the texture over the truck and then masked out some of it to let the truck show through a little more. Anyway, here are some options I came up with. Just having fun. I think I'll go back in the fall and take a few more photos in the sweet light and once I have the masterpiece I want then I'll put them up in CJs room.