Monday, March 26, 2007

Some layouts from pictures taken last week at Walt Disney World. In the zebra layout, I actually used two pictures and blended them together. The same zebra is probably in both pictures! In the layout of the stunt show at Disney Studios, I used Jen U's out of bounds technique to pop the car out of the frame. Credits for the layouts can be found in my gallery at Kathryn Balint and Friends as well as Jen's tut in the forums. If you visit check out all the wonderful kits in the shop.

The weather in Chattanooga has been wonderful--high of 84 today. Unfortunately, we can't enjoy it!!! They've issued a code red for air quality today. We are seriously low on rain and that's exacerbated the pollen problem. Pollen count today is 1650. As if that wasn't bad enough, there's wildfires burnhing on Signal Mountain and the air is filled with smoke. The smoke isn't that bad where we live although you can smell the wood burning. But today when I got to work I couldn't believe how bad it was. The smoke was like fog. It was hard to see. And it burned your eyes if you were outside for very long.

I was going to do some yard work but decided digiscrapping was a healthier alternative. I feel so bad. LOL!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sorry it's taken me so long to get caught up after vacation. We had a great time and hope to start posting pictures soon or layouts from the pictures. The above layout with the rabbit topiary is a vacation picture. The topiary is in the Epcot World Showcase in the Great Britain section. I want to thank jensurge for posting her out of bounds technique which I used to make the rabbit "pop out" of the frame. Thanks, jen!! If you haven't seen Jen's awesome new kits (she's justr started designing) hop on over to Kathryn Balint and Friends to check her out and the other fab designers over there. In the top layout I used Betty Jo Martin's new Cottage Rose kit and for the rabbit layout I used Kathryn's Rabbit Tales. Full credits for both layouts can be found in the gallery over there.

Alex came home this weekend which is another reason I'm still catching up. But he forgot his laundry so I was off the hook for that. Poor Alex, now he has to do it himself. Teehee.

Major milestone this week. Michael went on his first "solo" drive since getting his license. He and the car came back in one piece. My best friend has kids older than mine so she is a font of knowledge. I remember when the boys were getting their learner's permits I told her of my fears and she confided that the scariest thing was not being in the car with them while they drove but it was standing in the door watching them back out of the driveway for the first time all by themselves. That is the truth!!!!

One good thing is that Michael has always been careful and even more so since his best friend got into an accident about a week ago. He got his license a few days after Michael. He is fine but he totalled his dad's car. So he owes his dad the $500 insurance deductible plus the cost of his citation and any associated court costs. The poor kid will be working all summer just to pay this off. Michael doesn't want that to happen to he's being extra cautious.

Now, that I'm back I hope to be more faithful posting here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Just an FYI -- we're leaving in a few minutes for Disney World!! So I won't be posting until around next week at this time! Visit me then as I hope to have lots of awesome pictures with my new camera. This is my first vacation since getting it. Hope to capture some good animal pics on the safari ride at Animal Kingdom with the 12x zoom!! See ya!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Your Vocabulary Score: B+

You have a zealous love for the English language, and many find your vocabulary edifying.
Don't fret that you didn't get every word right, your vocabulary can be easily ameliorated!
How's Your Vocabulary?

I can't help it!! I am fretting because I didn't get a higher score. My ego has been totally deflated. LOL!! I have always been a lover of language and whenever I come across a word I'm unfamiliar with, I run to my dictionary. I love authors who introduce me to a new word or two when I read their books. I remember reading Isabelle Holland's books and loving every time she threw in an unfamiliar word. I'm also a fan of William Safire.

Michael must have inherited my love because he said he enjoys learning new words then being able to use them. Even as a toddler, he would learn a new word and use it all day. I remember joking and asking him what his "word for the day" was. I should have written some of them down because I've forgotten most of them. I remember him going around all day saying "impossible". LOL! Everything that day was "impossible".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This is my layout for Lifts With A Twist #10. Credits can be found here.

Had some excitement at the backyard bird feeders the other morning. I had a giant woodpecker feeding on the suet. I didn't realize how huge some of them are! I ran upstairs and got my camera and managed to get one picture before he flew away. Unfortunately the picture is very blurry but you can tell the size anyway. I'm going to work on the picture and see if I can clean it up a bit. I told Michael he needs to show me how to zoom in and enhance like on the cop/CSI shows and turn a blurry photo pwerfect. LOL! He said no matter how many algorithms he uses, he can't do that. LOL! I'm hoping the bird will come back so I can get a better picture but he ate all the suet when he was here...there was a good 1/3 to 1/4 of a cake left and when he flew away every bit of it was gone. The poor little downy woodpecker that comes kept coming back looking to eat. So I had to go out and buy more. I have 2 cakes out there now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Here's a layout I did after using a tutorial from Jessica Sprague. Above is the original photo and below is the photo on the layout after I gave it a dreamy, old-fashioned quality then cropped it at an angle and used a frame from Jessica Sprage to soften the edges and then added text to the photo. Credits for the layout can be found here.

Alex is back at school. We took him back yesterday and looked at an apartment complex he's interested in for next year. The one he'd probably go with is a 4 bedroom/2 bath apartment. So he'd have his own bedroom but share a bath with one other person. There's a small kitchen with full size appliances including a dishwasher plus a washer/dryer. There's also a common area with a couch and chairs and stuff. The apts are furnished which is nice. The residents are all students so it's similar to a dorm. It's actually cheaper than r&b at the college but doesn't include food. To come out the same as on campus living, Alex would have about $45-50 a week to eat. I know he'd be much happier because they have actual high speed internet. The one on campus is pathetic--according to Alex anyway. And it might be good for him to budget his grocery money and have to work with that each week. I have been buying him lots of sodas and snacks anyway so if I continue I think he could do okay for that much each week. He says he's been eating a lot of ramen noodles and mac & cheese anyway so it wouldn't be much different. I know these are baby steps but he's on the way to being an independent person. When did he grow up??

My friend who has kids who are older and some younger than mine once said if her kids didn't stop growing up pretty soon they'd be older than her! LOL!!! I know what she means.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I've had this picture for a long time and couldn't decide how to scrap it until I saw Betty Jo Martin's Rusty Skillet kit!

I've been a bad blogger this week. I'd blame the fact that Alex is home on Spring Break but he's been barely home. He's been catching up with his friends and coming home to shower and the occasional meal. I did try to post yesterday but blogger wouldn't let me upload pictures.

And now Alex is finally home and wants to go get sodas, snacks and other essentials to bring back to his dorm.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I did this layout for Janna's template challenge. I have always love this picture of my niece and nephew so decided to use it for this. Can't post a link to credits because I keep getting error message trying to get onto Kathryn's site. But will say that I used Janna Billman's free template and Cyndy McAtee's Bless this Bread kit both available at

Well, it's official--our yearly car insurance has TRIPLED. Thanks to having 2 teenage boys with licenses. And that's with the discounts for Alex living on campus and not having a car and Michael's 4.0 GPA!!! A couple of Alex's friends--who already have cars--have gotten speeding tickets. Can't imagine what their rates must be like!

I went and picked up Alex yesterday for his Spring Break. Finally got to meet his new roommate and he seems very nice. Alex has been going with him to the gym and working out and climbing the rock wall. Alex said he really loves the rock wall and I can totally see that. He's always been strong and agile despite his skinny body.

He was supposed to have come home Friday night and John had planned on going after work since his work is 40 miles closer but Alex said he had plans Friday night. It worked out because Alex and I had to cover up the stuff he wasn't bringing home. They're fogging the dorms this week so I brought some trash bags and we covered up what he couldn't fit in the drawers or closet. I can't imagine the dh having the patience to stop and do that.

So now it feels like I have a bit of Alex's junk in every room of the house. And I couldn't even get the door to the laundry room closed last night because of all the baskets of dirty clothes.

And I swear Alex was home for 2 hours and his computer mouse broke. So last night after we all went out to supper we stopped at Best Buy. Guess who got to pay for the new mouse? He gave me a hug and told me how much he appreciated it so I told him he'd better remember this when I was old and senile. He said it was only a mouse and not that great of a one at that! LOL!!!

Gotta go tackle some more of that laundry.