Sunday, December 28, 2008

December's Last Sunday

Today is December's last Sunday. And I ended up staying home from church. I was so hoping I could at least go and sit in the foyer and enjoy the talks and music from our Ward and the Young Adult Ward after us. Stephen is teaching his lesson in High Priest Group and I wanted to be there to support him. But my wheezing has been bad at night and when I'm trying to go to sleep it keeps me awake. Plus it was very cold this morning. Low, low 40's with a windchill of 35 degrees. It's 52 degrees right now but the windchill is 47 degrees. So it's best if I stay home and try to keep warm.
I don't know that I'm contagious. No one ever seems to catch this bug from me. It's like it belongs just to me. My own special Bug! I get it every year in time for the holidays. Usually just before Thanksgiving and then it hangs on til January some time. This year it is late coming. I got it the day before Christmas Eve. Not fun! Especially when there were so many things I wanted to do and then couldn't do because of it.
Anyway! I wanted to be at Church so I could enjoy the sweet spirit that is always there. But I didn't want to take the chance of maybe giving this bug to someone else or catching another bug from another person there. So I'm home by myself. Of course the wheezing eases up as soon as I get up and moving around some. But the cough is still there off and on and it doesn't sound real good. Everyone would be thinking - WHY is she HERE! Giving all of us her BUG!! How RUDE!! And I didn't want that to happen.
Today is a special day. Grandbaby #23 is getting blessed and receiving her name. I so wish we could be there for her special day. But Utah is a long ways from here. And no money and no vacation time make it impossible to go up there. I hope Kodi takes lots of pictures of everyone for us to see when she gets home. And she will be home on January 10th!
Also today, daughter-in-law Rachel's dad is being made Bishop of his Ward in Salt Lake. So Rachel and the girls are there with her family for that while Kyran and the boys stayed at home in Logan to be there for Chris and Melany and their baby's blessing day. Split family for two special reasons.
I'm loving this cold WINTER weather!! There should be snow on the ground when it's this cold though, don't you think? That's what I've always said and I'm sticking to it. A few Decembers ago when I went to Logan for Uncle Jerry's funeral, there was snow on the ground special for me. And there were ICICLES!! Everywhere!! I had forgotten how delightful icicles are. Or maybe I hadn't realized it before because you just kind of take icicles for granted when there is snow around. But I don't take them for granted anymore. They truly are delightful. Beautiful really. Heavenly Father makes the most wonderful things for us to enjoy if we just look around us and SEE them!
I was reading Shye's blog this morning. She approaches life in such a delightful way. She feels it, and lives it, and shares it with those around her. I think that being around her day and night must be such a fun thing. Her family is very blessed to have her. And those of us watching her are, also. Thanks, Shye, for being who you are!
Well, I need to decide what to fix for dinner today. Nothing has sounded good to me since I got sick and poor Stephen has had to kind of fend for himself most of the week. Or put up with quick and simple meals made by me. It's nice we got to have Christmas Eve dinner out at Queen Creek with the kids. And the great Mexican potluck dinner at his family's gathering last Sunday evening. At least we had TWO great dinners during all of this! Next week WILL be better!
Enjoy your Sabbath Day. Love your families. Take time to look for the simple pleasures around you. And have a great day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Day After Christmas!

Happy Day After Christmas, Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year. We enjoyed going out to Queen Creek to be with our kids and grandkids out that way. Dinner was good and we played a fun game, had the gift exchange game and watched the video "A King Is Born". Christmas Day I just slept half the day away - I caught my yearly bug - just in time to celebrate Christmas with me. So it has been a rough couple of days with that but I'm doing much better now. I'm hoping I'm over the worst of it.
Here are some new layouts using the kits from SAS. These first two are from the kit First Friends by Cathy Cher.

These next two were made using the kit Merry Days by Booland Designs.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Week!!

Well, it's Christmas Week here in Mesa! It started out nice with our Merkley Family get together on Sunday evening. Mexican food potluck dinner - which was sooooooo yummy, as always! Someone brought homemade tamales this year. They were sooooo good! Lots of family came - about 50-75 of us total. Santa arrived after dinner and pics were taken of everyone.

It's trying to rain again today. We are supposed to have it off and on all week. Another winter storm moving in from Alaska. So it's cold. We only made it up to 55 degrees today. Right now it's 52 with a wind chill of 49 degrees. I'm loving it.

Here are pics from last night!

The little Princess' first visit with Santa - isn't this a precious pic?

And now my latest scrapbook layouts for SAS. These were done using Yule Tide by Booland Designs. It's a very pretty earthtone Christmas kit.

And just to prove that Christmas isn't just for kids - here is a photo to show that!

I hope you take time to enjoy the Christmas Season. Count all of your blessings. We are truly blessed in many ways that we all just take for granted. Gather your families around and share the love that you have for one another. I know this year is a hard one for many of us due to the economy. But that's okay. We are having an old fashioned Christmas at our house. Lots of great company, good food to eat, Christmas music and movies, time to play games, do puzzles or hobbies, or just sit and read for a while. I'm really looking forward to it. It's amazing how the stress lifted from my shoulders when we decided to not worry about gifts and buying things. The hustle and bustle of this busy season has just passed us by and we have been able to relax and enjoy our time together as a family. I kind of like that!! It's about time we all got back to the real meaning of Christmas. The birth of our Savior was a glorious event and we need to remember Him and all that He has done for us.
Merry Christmas to all of you! May you feel great joy this Christmas Season!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Friday Night - Late!

It's cold here at my house! Not like where there is snow. But I figure when I feel this cold we should have some of that white stuff to be enjoying!! Doesn't seem fair to be so cold and not have any!

Here are some new layouts. The first few are made using the kit called Baby Genius Mega Kit by Sherrah Kraan at SAS. I love the bright colors. It's such a cheerful kit and has a lot of fun elements. These little girls are our 2008 babies in our family. Such precious cuties to add to our collection of grandchildren!

These next two are made using Boo's kit Snow In Love. It's full of sparkly things and pastel wintery papers.

I can't believe there are only five more days til Christmas. This year feels so strange to me. With Kodi in Utah and Stephen and I alone for the holidays it just isn't the same.
We went to Stephen's work party last night. It was really nice. They served us ham and turkey, baked beans, rolls, a veggie tray, chips and crackers and dips, lots of different beverages to choose from - no alcohol for which we were grateful - and several different desserts. We didn't get a bonus again this year. We didn't really think we would, but it would have been such a great blessing if we had gotten one. I guess Heavenly Father feels we are doing okay without it. And we are being blessed so I can't complain.
Well, gotta run. I hope all of you have a great weekend. Will have more layouts to show you next week. One thing about being on this CT - I post a lot more often than I did before!! LOL

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Scrapbooking Layouts!

Well, it's very early Wednesday morning. I should be sleeping but I'm still up and working on things. Will be tooooooo tired again tomorrow. But at least I have all my scrapbooking layouts posted now and up to date on the kits I have finished for SAS. One of the requirements for receiving the free kits is to post my layouts here on my blog. This first one is made using the December 2008 Mega Kit. I really love how this page turned out. I did it for a scraplift challenge. The photos are from our trip home from Indy a few years back.

The next layouts are made with the kit In My Life by Cathy C. at SAS. It's a beautiful kit.

I still have two more kits to do layouts for before I can request any more. Will be working on them the rest of this week. Hope you all have a great day today!

The Most AWESOME Simple Pleasure This Morning!!!

Good Morning, All! I saw the most AWESOME Simple Pleasure this morning! Nikki and I were waiting for her bus to come and we saw some birds flying south for the winter! Not just a few, but HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of them!! We could hear them chirping and they just kept coming and coming! They flew right over the top of us! They are such wonderful creatures. We watched as they flapped their little wings and then they would just glide for a second or two. And then they would flap their wings like crazy again and then just glide. It took a good five to 10 minutes for them to fly over us and it got to where it was just little straggly groups of them at the tail end. It was such a beautiful thing to see!
It's cold here. Actually, it's warmer than yesterday. 52 degrees at the moment and we are supposed to reach 55 today. It's very overcast and we've had some rain the past couple days off and on. I'm loving it.
Okay. Here are four new layouts. The kit I used is the December 2008 Mega Kit from SAS. It's a gorgeous kit. I love all the browns and creams and greens in it. Kind of a different kind of holiday kit. More country and woodsy and wintery than anything else. Check it out. I have used it to scrap some of our Christmas in Indy trip photos from several years ago. I love the way the pages are turning out.
These pics are from the return trip home. We got caught in the biggest storm they had had in years. We tried to get to St. Louis before it hit us but because we took a wrong turn on the freeway and traveled a half hour in the wrong direction - toward Chicago - and then had to come back, the storm hit us about an hour out of St. Louis. Interesting. Anyway, there was an ice storm along with it and everything was soooooo beautiful. But the roads were terrible. We stopped for the night in Oklahoma I think it was...and the next morning the car doors were frozen shut and so was the trunk. People were having to pour water over their locks and everything just to get the ice to melt enough to open everything. We just took our time that morning. The roads were so thick with ice that we didn't want to travel on them until it melted enough to make traveling safer. So we headed on over to The Crackerbarrel for a nice breakfast. They had Black Jack Gum in their little country store!! I was so excited to see it that I had to buy some. My Great Grandpa Mainwaring loved Black Jack Gum. He always shared it with us kids. But only half a piece. I remember that. Some of the gum I bought that day is still in my journal. Anyway, the pics are of when we were at the motel and at the restaurant.
Kodi outside the motel room.

Stephen and Kodi at The Crackerbarrel. I loved the ice on the trees in all of these photos. The wind was blowing and the branches and twigs would hit together making a little tinkling sound. And it was sooooooo cold!

Have a great day, Everyone! Look for the Simple Pleasures and enjoy them!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Tuesday!!

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! It's a beautiful cool day here in Mesa. 66 degrees at the moment and I love it. Things are going good in my part of the world today.
Talked to Kodi yesterday. She's doing good and seems to be enjoying her stay in Utah. I sure do miss her though. I try not to call her everyday but it's really hard! So it's okay if I get teased about calling her so much. What can I say. I'm a mom and I love my kids and have to be in touch with them.
I made two double batches of cookie dough this afternoon. Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. We are going home teaching this evening and Stephen wants to take his families a Christmas goodie. We make a great team when it comes to making cookies. I don't mind making the dough but hate to do the baking part. And Stephen doesn't mind the baking part. So he helps me do that. We'll get some baked up right before we go tonight.
I still want to make some Melt Aways. They have a cream cheese frosting and are sooooooo rich and yummy. And I want to make sweet rolls and a batch of fudge. AND more dinner rolls and a batch of bread. And it would be nice to have some banana bread, too. Am I making you hungry?
I got eight more layouts done using two new kits that I requested. I'm pleased with how they turned out. So here they are. 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 sizes. These first pages are made using the kit Cottage Dreams by Mitsybelle and you can get it at SAS. I love the soft colors.

These pages were made using Soothing Daisy by Piggy Scraps and that kit can be found at SAS also. I really love the flowered and gingham papers in this kit and plan on using them to make some cards.

I especially love how this page turned out. And I'm having a hard time deciding which size I like the most. Sometimes the 12 x 12 looks really great and other times the additional papers I use to make the 8.5 x 11 just make it so much nicer. Funny how that is. This layout just feels so "country" to me. The smaller page more so than the bigger one.

Simple Pleasures for today:
  • Seeing all the dogs being walked by their owners when Nikki and I are out waiting for the bus to arrive. I met "Abigail" today. Such a pretty colored dog.
  • Having the cooler weather
  • Knowing that two batches of cookies are ready to bake!
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Petting Snowflake and knowing she loves the attention I give her. Poor kitty - she lost part of her beautiful tail! Don't know how, but it is definitely shorter than it used to be.
  • Knowing there will be Christmas movies on again tonight!!


I hope you all have a great day! I'll be back soon with more pages to show you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday - Very Early Morning

Hi, Everyone! This week has gone by so fast! And Christmas is only three weeks away now. How exciting is that! I have been busy finishing up layouts for the CT work I do for Stone Accents Studio (SAS). Here they are:
These first layouts were done using Day Break by Booland Designs. You can get it at SAS. As always, have put the 12 x 12 and also the 8.5 x 11 sizes. Remember to click on the image if you want to see it up closer.

These next pages were made using Magical Winter by Monika Designs which you can also get at SAS.

The candle photo on the last two layouts was taken by Ian Britton at
Simple Pleasures for today - actually yesterday as it is now very early Friday morning:
  • It was a beautiful cool day.
  • Seeing leaves fall off the tree by the drive into our condo complex.
  • Being outside while waiting for Nikki's school bus to come.
  • Talking to my youngest son on the phone.
  • Drinking orange juice. Yum!!
  • Eating tacos for dinner - home cooked not Taco Bell!
  • Listening to Christmas music.
  • Leaving the tree lights on day and night. They make a perfect nightlight for the whole house.


I hope you all have a great Friday! My favorite day of the week!! And my Honey doesn't have to work today, which is rough for the paycheck but wonderful for extra time to spend together! Maybe we will make sweet rolls this weekend!! He's a great helper with projects like that.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


CT stands for Creative Team. As a CT member I take digital scrapbooking kits that the designers at SAS make and I use them to make layouts. It helps to advertise their kits for them and gives me a lot of neat stuff to work with! Thank you for your comments. I'm glad to see someone is enjoying my blog!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!

I've been tagged! So here goes!!

The Rules:
  • 1. Link to the person who tagged you. That would be Diana at - she is the one who tagged me! Thanks, Diana!!
  • 2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading).
  • 3. List 6 random things about yourself.
  • 4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
  • 5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

Six Random Things About Me

  • 1. I love stormy, rainy, snowy, windy, cold weather. Our monsoon season is my favorite part of summer here in Arizona.
  • 2. Carpenter bees live in the logs just outside my front door and I consider them to be my little friends. The logs hold my potted plants.
  • 3. A skunk rode on our school bus all the way to school and back one day. Oh, my!! What a very stinky adventure that was!!
  • 4. I played "Fur Elise" by Beethoven (on the piano) at my 8th grade graduation ceremony. I was so brave back then. Sigh.....
  • 5. I have five boys, one daughter, 23 grandchildren, 1 dog, and the very sweetest husband ever!
  • 6. I am a country girl at heart living in the city.

I'm tagging:

And there you have it! Thanks, Diana, for tagging me!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Ours is being a little cold and rainy so far but we welcome both the cool temps and the rain. Besides, being with family makes us warm and cozy again. We have truly LOVED having Chris and Ky and their families here this week. They are staying out with Chad and Stephen R. and their families and we have been able to go out to Queen Creek to visit with everyone. Will be going out there again tomorrow to spend a good part of the day.
We are hoping to go see Twilight this weekend. Don't know yet if it's going to be a girl's afternoon out with the Dads and Grandpa babysitting all the kids, or whether it will be a date night for the grownups. But we plan on going one way or the other while we are all together. Should be a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to it.
This Grandma feels content again. Being able to finally see the new little granddaughters for the first time and being able to cuddle them and love them has filled me up inside. Having three of them gives us lots of babies to share when we are all together. Plus seeing the older grandkids too. All of them are sooooo precious to me. I really LOVE being a Grandma. I just long to live closer to all of them and miss them so when we can't see them. Having us all together again has been like Christmas come early for me. The only thing that could make it any better is if Shane and Sherri and their family could be here too. But that isn't possible right now. So phone calls over the holiday will have to do.
I've been super busy with my new job as CT member for Stone Accents Studio. So far I have requested three kits and have made all the required layouts and got them posted everywhere. You can see them here. I put both the 12 x 12 sizes and the 8.5 x 11 ones. It's hard to decide which ones to post. So many times the smaller sizes look nicer with the extra papers and all. Anyway, here they are. You can click on them to bring them up bigger.
This is the Winter Wonderland Mega Kit which is a collab kit made by several of the designers at SAS. You can click on the SAS link over there on the right hand side in my Favorite Places To Visit list to go check out the full kits and see all the fun going on over at SAS. I only did the 12 x 12 size on these first two layouts.

These next few layouts are done with the Fairyland kit by Monika Designs.

These next few are made using the Noah Kit by Digitreats. I really love this kit. There are so many cute papers and elements to use on boy pages. And I love the colors.

And that's about it for this time! Simple Pleasures in my life right now:
  • Having five of my children and their families all together for Thanksgiving.
  • A telephone to call Shane and Sherri on!
  • The RAIN!!!
  • Cooler weather - it actually feels like fall and winter today!
  • Having Christmas up! Yes, I actually got us decorated early this year!!
  • White twinkle lights on the tree to leave on all night from now til whenever we take the tree down.
  • Being able to listen to Christmas music.
  • All the neat Christmas and Thanksgiving programs on TV.
  • Stephen coming home from work a little early today and having a four day weekend for us to enjoy having him with us.
  • Getting to take Frankie out to run at his trainer's house tomorrow. He needs the exercise and loves going out there. And I don't have to worry about us being away from home and him being home alone for so many hours when we can take him there. So it's my treat too!


Happy Thanksgiving!!