Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creating Keepsakes Project 365 **my take on it

**Update 3-15-09**I see a lot of traffic that goes straight to this I thought hey, if you're reading this far, why not check out my Project 365 Blog!! I did order the Creating Keepsakes Kit, and I did take on this Project, but I also created an online blog for it as help me keep up! Thanks for looking!And here's the link to my blog . My Project 365

**With all the hype right now with Becky Higgins'/Creating Keepsakes Project 365, it got me to actually thinking. As much as I would love to take this on, and order the kit, and do it, I'm not really 100% sure that I am in a place in my life right now where I can take on such a task, and keep up with it. I thought maybe I would try the picture a day album though. I do always have my camera with me, and since there really is no set theme (and I can't commit to one just yet), that this would be perfect for me. Maybe prepare me for taking the Project 365 on next year. I did some web searching and ran across this article. It gave me lots of ideas, as well as reminders.....looking forward to trying this and taking my first picture tomorrow....wonder what it'll be?

Project 365: How to Take a Photo a Day and See Your Life in a Whole New Way

People will often say that their whole lives flashed before their eyes after they experienced a traumatic event. Perhaps it’s a bit morbid, but we think that sounds pretty incredible.

Why do it?
Taking a photo a day is a big undertaking with big payoffs. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider doing it:

Imagine being able to look back at any day of your year and recall what you did, who you met, what you learned… (Often we find it hard to remember what we did just yesterday or even last night, let alone a whole year ago!)

Your year-long photo album will be an amazing way to document your travels and accomplishments, your haircuts and relationships. Time moves surprisingly fast.

Taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, you’ll start to care about lighting, and you’ll become more creative with your photography when you’re forced to come up with something new every single day.

Tips on How to Do It
Here are six tips on how to create your own Project 365:

Bring Your Camera Everywhere
Yes, everywhere. Get in the habit. Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, and school. Going to a movie theater? Snap a pic of the flick with your phone–there are photo-ops everywhere. If you have one of those tiny tiny cameras, you have no excuse not to have it in your pocket all the time. And if you don’t? Camera phones are a great substitute.

Make Posting Easy
You can install blog software like Movable Type or Wordpress on your own site and create an entry for each photo, but for true ease of use, try a photo sharing site. Flickr will let you post a week’s worth of photos in 2 minutes flat, and fotolog and are geared toward a photo-a-day workflow. Making it fast and easy means you’re much more likely to do it.

Vary Your Themes
Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.

Tell a Story
Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some color.

Don’t Stop, No Matter What
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You will get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place.

There will be times you’ll think there’s nothing interesting left to take a photo of, and times you’ll think you didn’t do anything exciting enough to take a photo of. There’s always a great photo to be made.

Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop.

It helps if you’ve told your friends about the project and asked them to follow along. Their encouragement will keep you going!

Post early, post often
Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And look what I just bought ...

off ebay for Garrett.....he'll be thrilled.

The Webkinz Clown Fish!


OMG, they are the cutest thing ever, and I can’t believe he has actually put his Nintendo DS down long enough to discover them. I bought Garrett two Webkinz for Christmas (both are fish to go with his new found addiction for marine life)…hence the Fish tank with fish for Christmas, and the $30 plus dollars in “fish themed” stickers over the past few weeks. I bought him a Fantail Goldfish, which he has named “goldy”, and a lil’ kinz blue triggerfish, which he has named “spot”. I’ve included pictures for those of you not familiar with them. The pictures really don’t do them justice. He has spent hours on end now playing on the Webkinz website, and has now even found a few friends at daycare that share in his interest with him, and they interact with one another, at daycare, and even at home. It’s really sooo cute. He spends hours trying to earn points to buy things for his fish, and has even gotten me playing a few of the games, which is my reason for posting…..I was taking a break this morning here at work, and actually logged into the Webkinz website, and played a game called solitaire eleven. I’m addicted to it!! Guess his addiction is rubbing off on me too! I’m entertained, and he’s racking up KinzCash!! Just thought I’d share. Have a great day!

What is Webkinz?
Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code. With it, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net!

Makes a Momma Proud.

Jackie and I were just discussing UNC Band pictures yesterday and this morning I woke up to an email from her with several pictures! Isn't she so cute? I really am very proud of her!

And here's another one for a good laugh! Gotta love the Mascot!!

Monday, December 29, 2008


And I was so hoping Nogueira would win!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday the 27th of December

Today Shawn had to be at work by quarter til seven. OUCH!! Glad it was him and not me, he!he!...he's still there now. Poor Guy!! Gotta love the mans dedication to his job!!

Garrett and I ventured out for a bit today. I had promised him that we would go to the Game Stop and let him use his $25 gift card. Boy did I get suckered. We got there and they had a great sale, buy 2 used games and get one for free. Well, the $25 barely covered the first game, much less the second, and he did ask for certain Pokeman' games for Christmas, which I didn't get because I couldn't remember what they of course he found them both there, and had to have I caved....and hey, why not right?? So we wound up with three Pokeman' games and about a twenty five minute wait in line, but hey, he's happy and in his bedroom right now, laying in bed playing one of those new DS games. So high five for mommy, cuz I did good!! :)

Then we ran into AC Moore. I didn't really need anything, but it was nice to just walk around and see what they had. Nothing I needed other than an bathroom, and my bladder was quite thankful!! I did wind up buying some more Bazzill "Just the Edge" Cardstock Strips, and some more fish stickers for Garrett.

Then to Taco Bell for lunch. Not really my favorite place to go, but it was right there and Garrett will eat something there. It was really nice to spend some time with him too!!

Then off to PetSmart to pick out some more fish for his fish tank! We wound up getting some really cute schooling fish, can't remember what they are called, but regardless, they're small and Garrett is happy....

Wanted to get some batteries too while we were out, but it started raining and I just completely forgot. Garrett just reminded me a few minutes ago about the batteries, *hence the post about forgetting them. Shame on me. Maybe I'll venture out again later, as we need some milk too!

Shawn should be home soon, and we're having leftovers, and are gonna spend some much needed family time together this evening. We'll probably play one or two of the new games that we got for Christmas! Going to have FUN! Can't wait!!

The Day after....

We all got to sleep in a bit this morning. Shawn didn't have to be at work until four, and Garrett was still with his dad. Jackie was leaving to go to Charlotte for a Bowl it was just Shawn, Tyler and I. We did decide to venture out a bit today. We went to Dick's Sporting Goods and then to Rack Room shoes, looking for some new dress shoes for Shawn. The two stores were crowded, but nothing like the news made the stores out to be, but then again, we didn't have to return anything, and we weren't at the mall, or Wally World, K-mart, etc. Been pretty much lounging ever since...did some scrapping, and straightening up (my scrap area), but pretty much lounged the whole afternoon.

Once Shawn left for work, he took Tyler with him. Tyler wanted to walk around the mall and spend his gift cards, while he waited on his mom to come pick him up. Then they (Tyler and his mom)came by here and got his stuff.

Garrett came home at six and we started going through his Christmas gifts. With Richie picking him up at two on Christmas Day, it didn't really leave a whole lot of time for him to play with any of his gifts...make up time!! He wanted to play with everything, but settled for making martians/aliens with guts...this is really cool, and I have to admit that I had fun making them with him....we played together off and on for most of the night until I finally went into his room to tell him that it was time for him to go to bed and I found him asleep in his beanbag.

Goodnight Garrett!!

Christmas Day Recap

Woke up this morning to Garrett in my bed with us, asking if he could get up yet? I'm like half asleep still trying to wake up enough to see what time it was...not even seven am yet, so no Garrett you can't get up yet! But the asking to get up doesn't cease and about fifteen minutes later I'm forced to get up. Funny thing is, he just wanted to get up, not even realizing that it was Christmas morning yet! So of course, I get up, brush my teeth and grab the this time he's already in the living room where the light bulb suddenly goes off and he realizes that Santa DID indeed come to see him. Jackie and Tyler continue to sleep through most of the mornings activities.

Santa Came to see us!

Garrett was by no means disappointed this morning. Santa brought him the Hasbro Nerf N Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster, which he insists on calling it by the full name in like 100 words per second. He was completely thrilled.

We then continued opening gifts until they were all opened....Shawns parents sent him some Blueberry flavored coffee which he absolutely loves, so I of course had to take a picture of that....**he's soooo cute!!

Then it was off to cook dinner. I had to have everything done, and we had to have eaten by two o'clock as that was the time that Richie came to pick up Garrett for his Christmas time with him.

Once Garrett was gone, Tyler went into his room and took a nap, Jackie left to go to her Grandma's and Shawn and I watched some tv....or let's say my intentions were to watch tv, but I fell asleep right there on the couch and took a nice long nap.

The plan was to go to Jackie's Grandmas and visit with my ex in-laws and such, but with me falling asleep I never made it over there. I think I woke up about an hour before the hockey game.

Yep, we went to a Fayetteville Fireantz Hockey game on Christmas Night! Absolutely best game that I've ever been too! And I've been to quite a few. There were people being escorted out of the game due to throwing beer on the ice, and the fights were continuous. We all know that we go to the games for the fights, and tonight was no let down. At one time, every single player on the ice at that moment was fighting. They had no idea what to do....put all the players in the penalty box? Stop the game? I think not!! They let them fight it out a bit, then stopped it, and continued on with the game. The Fireantz wound up winning 6-4. Great entertainment!

Then I came home to some really nasty comments on my blog! Merry Christmas to me right! I have been in shock ever since that someone that I thought knew me/that I knew would have the audacity to post what they did. Very insulting and very hurtful. Of course they denied it. All the evidence pointed to them. Not sure what I believe any more. I want badly to believe that they would never do such a thing, but at the same time, the proof was there. Right in front of me. So from now on, if you want to leave comments, I get to approve them first. Takes some of the fun out of it, but this was really quite hurtful, and I'm still trying to figure it out.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Tree

Not really sure how to use my camera and take a "good" picture of the Christmas Tree. It was lit when I took these pictures, but you can't really tell. It's a really very pretty tree this year, and I am pretty proud of mine and Garretts decorating.

Recap of Christmas Eve

Where to begin...

Wednesday after work, I went home and did a few last minute things (mostly cleaned up, wrapped a few things, and put groceries away) before leaving to meet Shawn at the mall. His ex-wife and son were already there. She was bringing him down to spend Christmas with us. Jackie and Garrett were both with Richie at his moms house doing her annual Christmas get together.

So the four of us all went to Applebee's for dinner. One of the few restaurants still open later than six on Christmas Eve. We had a really nice dinner, and hung out for a bit. Shawns Ex and their son then followed us home. She had brought all of Tylers Christmas gifts with her, and he opened them here while she was here, so she could be a part of his Christmas as well. Garrett got home a little after eight and saw Tyler opening his gifts, so I let him open one of his. I knew it was something that he wanted, so I made sure that that was the gift that I gave him. Camera was ready and everything, but he was soooo excited that he started jumping around and dancing that the pictures that I took of him are pretty much a complete sitting still for him. Once he got his new DS game, he was pretty much good to go for awhile.

Of course we did track Santa several times during the evening, and Shawn even sat down with Garrett and showed him a video online as to how they actually did the tracking. Garrett may be doubting this year, but the video that Shawn was showing him had him completely glued to the screen, and all of his attention was focused on tracking Santa, especially once he hit the United States.

When Jackie got home, I convinced the three of them to let me take pictures of them....and this is where it got ugly. Garrett just decided to start pouting and refused to cooperate because he knew I had said that once we took pictures, then he was going to bed, and quite honestly there was still just a little bit too much going on for him at the time to settle down and go to sleep.
Here are a few of the pictures that came out for me. Not the greatest, but we make do right?

I kinda lost my temper a bit, and just told Garrett to go ahead and just go to bed. He was whiny and uncooperative, and I just didn't know what to do, plus it was really way (seriously way) past his bedtime anyways....

I then went in there to talk to him and to tuck him in (with camera in hand). I had told him earlier that as bad as he has been lately and with his behavior that night that I'd be really surprised if Santa even stopped here at all anyways....the video from my previous post was part of our conversation before the actual tucking in. Still think it's really cute because he was genuinely worried. But Santa DID make an appearance and all is well.

After about 5 minutes or so I went back into his room to check on him and he was out cold. Literally. Blankets on the floor, and turned backwards in the bed, but out none the less!

After we were all 100% sure that he was asleep and out for the night..keeping in mind that he sleepwalks, we did the Santa thing. Jackie and I did the setting up, and Tyler and Shawn put the Nerf Gun (the one thing he insisted Santa bring him) together. I will have to admit that the gun is really, really cool!! Of course I didn't realize that it needed batteries, and I'm really usually really good about that, so I'm gonna have to get some....

After the Santa thing was done, I poured out the milk, had Tyler and Jackie eat some cookies, and then took a few pictures....everyone said goodnight, and off to bed we all went....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Afraid Santa Won't Come

Just had to share this....Garrett is a tad bit hard to understand, but it's still cute none the less. He knows he's had a bad behavior streak this year and during our picture taking last night he decided to show his butt again. I of course told him I'd be surprised if Santa even stopped here, and that just completely did him in for the was pout central for the rest of the I figured I'd share this with you all....Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Already Tracking SANTA!

NORAD Tracks Santa
Wanted to go ahead and bookmark this so when Garrett gets home tonight we can track him together before he heads off to bed.

Christmas's finally here!

Well, I'm finally finished with the shopping....still have a tad bit of wrapping to do but that's okay because Garrett won't be home until later this evening and I can try to squeeze some wrapping in when I go home for lunch. Not to mention, I still have to clean out his fish tank and get the water ready for fish. I was really glad that Jackie held on to his Sponge Bob fish tank for me as he’s been pushing for some fish at my house for some time now. And who am I not to give the boy what he wants right? LOL. Thanks Jackie for making the trip for me yesterday.

As for me, I’m here at work until five today. And then I need to run to the grocery store (if they’re still open) to get a few things. I was planning on having ham tomorrow, and with that cole slaw from one of the local restaurants that we love, but when I called today to see how late they were open, they said they were already closed…so there goes that plan. Now I can make my own potato salad, and baked beans, but I really wanted slaw from Bruce and Mickey’s. Not to mention, not really sure how to make it myself. Wonder how late KFC is open today?? Huuummmm.

Tonight, my Ex-MIL will have her traditional Christmas get together. She typically has all the family over and they have Christmas dinner and every one opens their gifts, and takes them when they leave. Garrett and Jackie will be attending this with Richie, and then both of my kids will be home tonight. In the divorce settlement, he agreed to let me have Garrett every Christmas Eve night, so he’ll always wake up with me on Christmas morning. I like that. Plus that’s why playing Santa is so important to me. And with him being the doubting kid already this year, this will probably be the last one that he believes in Santa. *He was so cute the other night when I tucked him in too, he said that he didn’t think he believed in Santa anymore because he had never seen him. So I asked him what he would do if he actually did SEE Santa, and he said that he would talk to him…of course I had an immediate answer to that one….I said that every child in the world would do the same thing, and Santa just didn’t have the time to sit and talk to every single child, and still get everything done in one night….that he’d never finish, and that’s why he just arrives, does what he needs to do, and moves on to the next house. He seemed to buy it for the moment.

Shawn’s son Tyler will be arriving sometime this evening to spend Christmas with us as well. I’m looking forward to seeing him. He hasn’t been down to stay with us since Halloween. He’s got a busy sports schedule, and with Thanksgiving, and Shawn working every single weekend these days, it’s been really hard to plan a visit. But luckily we’ll see him for a few days now, and I know it’ll do Shawn some good to spend some time with him…

Tonight will be total chaos and I’m actually looking forward to it….pictures to be taken, cookies to be made and laid out for Santa, and just much needed family time at my house. Dinner is still up in the air. Shawn wants to take us all to dinner, but he won’t get off until six tonight, and I’m not sure when Garrett will be home (he’ll already be fed though), and at this point, I have no idea who’s even going to be open that late…so I’m thinking if worse comes to worse, we can all have hot dogs and tater tots per his sons request…

Of course, there’s still hope that we’ll close early today and I can get a start on everything that still needs to be done today….wish me luck.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 Days left!!

WOW!! it is really just 2 days until Christmas??? Time flies! I am just about done with my shopping, other than Garrett that is. There is something in me saying that he needs just a few more toys, as I've gotten him so little so far. I don't know what they'll be yet but hopefully they'll jump off the Wal-Mart shelf tonight and into my cart, and if not Wal-mart, then maybe K-mart (again), or Target (again). Yes....I am crazy going to Wal-mart the day before Christmas Eve but I gotta'. Gotta be a good Santa this year....he's doubting so much this year that I want to at least make this a memorable one for him, and really I still have no ideas and it's just two days...I think I said that already, but really, I needed to reiterate that to myself. Oh well, gotta do what I gotta do! Wish me luck!

Monday, December 22, 2008

365 Ten Minute Solutions to Improve your Life

I just read this today and I was like "WOW" when I read it....gonna research the source now, as it looks like something that I may be interested in reading. Just thought I'd share.

It can be overwhelmimg to consider all the sadness and cruelty in this world.
In these moments, try to remember that someone who is overwhelmed by pain can accomplish very little. Instead, feeling warmth and joyfulness inside is the only energy that can bring about positive change. Hold onto your joyfulness not to be happy in a foolish way , but to offer gentle love to everyone you meet.

Plant a different rose bush in your garden for each family member. Roses traditionally mean love. When you tend to the needs of your rose bushes, you'll be reminded to tend to the needs of your family. Even if you and your family are separated by disagreement (work on forgiving and being forgiven to end the disagreement), the rose bush (symbolized by it beautiful flowers and thorns that sometimes draw blood) is a wonderful way to connect with your roots and foster a loving heart. No need to allow thorns to detract from the beauty of the blossoms.

Back to the Daily Grind

well back to work for me today....three more days and I can enjoy a four day weekend. A much deserved four day weekend too. Unfortunately for me at work, there IS work to do, so not really a whole lot of goofing off for me. *Not that I would do that anyways...but still, it would be nice to just have a few laid back days at work as well...

Tonight is my night with Garrett again. We'll be making cookies again! The last batch we made didn't last very long (thanks to Shawn), and Santa just has to have cookies when he visits our house! Jackie honey, you're more than welcome to come over tonight and help'll be fun!

Shawn of course will be working tonight. Bummer I know, but I will get to at least spend lunch with him today. It's amazing how much you miss someone when they're gone all the time...still adjusting, but still not liking it! Oh well, I'm thankful that he's employed....besides, he has a ring to buy!

Well, let me get off here, and get back to work....if anything majorly exciting happens today, I'll be sure to let you all know! Have an awesome day.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Four Days til Christmas!

I must be a glutton for punishment or something....I went shopping last night with Jackie until well after 10 o'clock and then went out again today...and let me say OMG the crowds were awful, traffic was bad, I think people must have literally forgotten how to drive....we went to Target today (had the pleasure of having both my kids with me), and bought a few things. Grabbed the "Fa la la" kit from Making Memories while I was there as well as some really cute, cute pajamas for Garrett....he of course is already wearing them...didn't even make it to the washing machine first. And a Pokemon movie....which is playing right now too....which is why I'm able to sit here peacefully and type this. LOL! Sad thing is, I wasn't able to get what I needed as I had Garrett with me, and then the other things I needed I wound up forgetting....Boy did I get sidetracked today....Then to the mall to see Shawn again, I've literally been to the mall in the last week more than I probably have been the whole year. But if that's what it takes to see Shawn for a few minutes, then that's what I have to do...hopefully his hours will be "normal" once the holiday season is over. Crossing my fingers, and my toes. *wink! *wink! Now I'm about to sit down and try and finish a layout that I started yesterday...wish me luck!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Autumn Blessings

I picked up this kit from Making Memories the other day at Target and really, really wanted to use it! This is what I came up with....still ify about it being finished as Garrett said he thinks I "need words" (journaling), I'm pretty content with it like it is though! Have to admit that it's cool when your seven year old son enjoys looking at his books, and loves to give me comments and ideas!

Friday, December 19, 2008


...wanted to share this one tonight since I have it scanned...It's called Thankful, which I truly am, to have such wonderful kids like these two...

Go Shawn! Go Shawn!

Most of you know all about Shawn and the struggles that we have been through over the past couple of months, but luckily those struggles are quickly disappearing and I (we) can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (even though the train is still coming! LOL! Me and my pessimism)...Shawn got a job a couple of weeks ago in the mall...not really familiar with the retail life style at all (but I'm learning and adjusting), but so far he is completely excelling at this job. I will say that he is one hell of a people person, and he is a go get 'em type of guy! Gotta love that man. Any woo, his job is commission only now, and thank goodness (lots and lots of prayers), he has sold something for every day that he has worked so really makes him feel good...and he really, really needs that right now! He's doing an awesome job and I am really, really proud of that man!

A Little Early Christmas Present to MYSELF!

Last night Garrett and I made a trip to the mall the see Shawn, exchange a belt, to look for a CD for Jackie, buy Garrett some Webkins for Christmas, and for him to ride the carousel yet again...three times in less than a week...Whew! But that's okay, he had a blast, and I got to see "my man" for a few minutes...always a good thing! Any woo, back to my "GIFT"....he he he, made a side trip to AC Moore looking for this particular punch. I'm a bit behind with scrapping products these days, and am slowing but surely trying to catch up. Any ways, this is what I got.....can't wait to use it....

Fiskars Border Punch - Threading Water

And on a side note....I have two more layouts to share with you all. Will be scanning them and posting them either tonight or tomorrow...

So very Proud of him...

My little brother Gene is in the Navy. And last night he re-enlisted again during their Command Christmas Party. My sister in law Rande sent me several pictures from last night so I thought I'd share one with you all as well. Gene has been through some really tough times, and deployments, as well as having to deal with the fact that he has to leave his family behind while he's gone. Military life is hard, that I know as I was once an Army wife myself. But today I want to focus on Gene and his family, and the fact that he serves our country proudly. Today, while you say your prayers, say a little extra one for my brother and his family as well as all the other men and women serving our country today. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just had to share..

and say awww....

Gnell emailed me the pics from this past Saturday, and I just absolutely loved this one! So, I just had to share.

Contemplating this

I want this. Period. I know I haven't consistantly been scrapbooking, but I am scrapping again, and that's what's important! And, I'll say it again, I want this. Can I justify the cost, probably not. Can I spend that kind of money on me, that's the question of the hour...I realize I'm a little behind the times on this, but regardless....I still want it....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Little 80's Eye Candy... get us all feeling a little more "HOLIDAYISH" this season...

Gotta love Duran Duran....

Thank goodness for the DVR

Last night around eleven or so I believe it was when Shawn got home, we got to sit down and watch the season finale of Survivor....Can't say I was really surprised....I was rooting for Bob personally, and Sugar too, to some degree. I thought they both played an awesome game! Congrats to Bob!

57-year-old Bob Crowley emerges as sole 'Survivor'

NEW YORK (AP) — Bow-tied schoolteacher Bob Crowley beat "Survivor" rivals Sugar and Susie to emerge as Sole Survivor on Sunday's season finale.

At age 57 the oldest winner in "Survivor" history, Crowley will take his $1 million prize back home to Portland, Maine. Bearded, wiry and professorial-looking, he teaches high school physics in nearby Gorham.

"My plan was to fly under the radar as long as I could ... and be a nice guy, so that people would like me," Crowley summed up shortly after his name was announced by host Jeff Probst, on a post-game special aired live from Hollywood.

Runners-up were Susie Smith, the gabby 47-year-old hairdresser-homemaker from Charles City, Iowa, and 29-year-old Jessica "Sugar" Kiper, the blond pinup model from Brooklyn.

The winner was chosen by a seven-member jury of previously expelled contestants, to whom the three finalists appealed during their all-important last tribal council. In that voting, Bob edged out Susie, 4 votes to 3, with Sugar snagging no one's support.

"I had to lie — and that's part of the game — several times," Sugar acknowledged while pleading her case between giggles. "And I'm sorry."

Sent packing earlier in the finale were Kenny Hoang, a 22-year-old professional video gamer from Westminster, Calif., and Matty Whitmore, a 29-year-old personal trainer from Pacific Palisades, Calif.

This, the 17th edition of the CBS strategy-endurance game, was set in the West African nation of Gabon, where 18 castaways had come together when the season began.

Tuesday already??

Wow, can't believe how quickly time is flying by right now....of course I see that as being a good thing as well as a bad thing....still so much to do though before Christmas, but plan on handling that today. *gotta get those Christmas cards in the mail about dragging ass!

The weekend is a blur to me at the moment. I know Saturday Garrett and I were busy with shopping, making cookies, decorating the tree and such. By Sunday, my cough was so bad that I pretty much drugged myself all day and wound up not doing much of anything but laying around under a blanket trying to stay warm, and napping off and on throughout the day.

Yesterday, I felt much better. Had to go to work, but that's nothing out of the norm. After work, Garrett and I went on a mission. I went looking for a tree topper at Hobby Lobby and he went for "fish" stickers. *his new obsession (fish that is). One a side note here, I did go down every scrapbook isle in Hobby Lobby and nothing jumped right out at me, NOTHING! I'm taking that as a good thing. Makes my goal of using what I have before I buy anything else a little easier to stick too...

After Hobby Lobby, Garrett and I went across the street to the mall. I promised him on Saturday that I'd take him to Chick-fil-a, so I had to honor that promise. We saw Shawn briefly while we were there, and then I let him ride the carousel, then we headed home. That's a first for me....going to the mall, and not buying anything....Go Tammy!

When I got home, I took it upon myself to try and put my Santa topper on the tree, but it's sooo tall, and I'm sooo short, and I wound up almost knocking our tree over. That awesome man of mine will be taking care of that for me today on his day off! Thanks babe!

After work today, Shawn and I are going to finally go and do some of our Christmas shopping, the bulk of it anyways....definitely looking forward to that, and having him home for a change....

Garrett is out of school now for three weeks, he has a three week intercession due to the fact that he goes to year round school. His Grandmother will be picking him up from daycare sometime this morning to take him on his yearly Christmas Shopping trip...hopefully he'll behave for her and fun will be had by all! Fingers and toes crossed! LOL!

Jackie honey, you need to call your mommy!! I need ideas! ASAP! Really, I do. See you this afternoon....Remember to come sign the Christmas Cards!

**picture taken with my cell phone

Saturday, December 13, 2008


to Kendria....I received these awesome Christmas chipboard buttons in the mail today. They are handpainted and designed by her!! They really are absolutely adorable in real life too!! Can't wait to use them.

Hey, why don't you take a moment and check out her Etsy Shop now!!

Cutsey Glam Designs

The Ultimate Fighter

....and my newest addiction!! Can't wait to watch the finale tonight! Go Phillipe Nover!!

Decorating Cookies

Okay, so as you all know, I'm no cook...and baking isn't for me. If I can't make it out of a box or something, then it doesn't get made. Same with cookies. Lord knows, we like cookies, and need them for Santa, but I just don't know how to make them. So I just buy the rolls, cut them and give them to Garrett to decorate. He was so funny a little while ago....making a mess, but having a complete blast at the same time, so I had to share these pictures!!

And so it begins....

the Christmas Season for me that is. Garrett and I got up early this morning (around seven thirty or so) and got ready to head out the door. We were meeting Gnell, Gary and their kids at the Mall today for our yearly visit to see Santa. The wait was a little over an hour, but well worth it. Garrett was hesitant to talk to Santa for fear that he really IS on Snata's naughty list. I figured I'd play that card in hopes that his behavior will straighten up a bit. So far since the other day, I practically have had an angel on my hands. *Thank you all for your prayers, and emails! He told me that he would sit on his lap and we could take pictures, but he really didn't want to talk to him, but let me tell you....once that boy got up there, he started spilling it! Gnell email me those pictures girl!! We had the pictures made that they take for you, you know, the ones that cost a fortune, but the best ones are on Gnell's camera....of Garrett and Santa just chatting away. Loved it!!

Then we took the kids and let them ride the carousel, and then we did a bit of shopping for Garrett. Poor kid needed some shoes. After that, we went to have lunch, and then met Shawn at the Food Court, and spent some time with him, before he had to go back to work. After that, Garrett and I wound up going upstairs to JC Penneys and getting him some clothes. They had some really great deals today that I couldn't pass up, mark downs, off of already marked down know, the good deals that never come around when you have money!

After that, we went to Target...we were on a mission to find Shawn's daughters Christmas gift so we could get it in the mail by Monday, but what she wanted was no where to be found, so I ordered it online this afternoon and I'm just having it shipped straight to her....

Finally Got a Tree...

Yesterday, after work, I managed to have Jackie and her boyfriend Daniel (thank you guys again) to take me to get a Christmas Tree (Daniel has a truck). Last year Santa had to come to my apartment with no tree. *As I had gotten the keys to my apartment only three days before Christmas, and didn't have the time to get one. But that's okay, because Garrett knows that I sent an urgent message to Santa and told him that we had moved, and to make sure that he came to our apartment! And he indeed did just that! Not only did they take me to get a tree, but they also went and picked up Garrett's Santa gift from me, (yes, it IS the Nerf Gun)!! The box is huge, and I soooo know he's gonna love it! Well, we managed to get the tree up, and I got the lights on of this very moment, I would say it's about 55% decorated. Garrett and I are taking a break! We're flat out tired!

After getting the tree home last night, we lefy and went to Wally World with my friend Gnell and her daughter Savannah, while we waited on her son Dalton to get a hair cut. Afterwards, we all went to dinner....chinese buffet. Good stuff!! Got home around ten thirty last night, put Garrett to bed and began putting the lights on the tree while I patiently waited on Shawn to get home from work...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Complete Frustration

So yesterday, I pick Garrett up from daycare, and Mrs. Sharon the director tells me that she needs to talk to me. I so dread those words, as we’ve had a history with Garrett and behavior issues, and I seem to be the parent that is always getting the “talks”. Apparently yesterday Garrett decided that he wanted to block the bus aisle (the daycare picks them up from school and transports them to the daycare), so no children could get past him to sit down, or get past him to get off. He just flat out wouldn’t listen to them when they told him to move. They even physically moved his legs and he immediately put them back. He then slid down the seat to the floor. Just basically showed his butt. Not surprised, as he does this a lot, and really doesn’t suffer too much repercussion for his behavior. I’m still struggling with being the bad parent. No parent wants that title, but I fill like I’m the only disciplinary parent he has. Of course Shawn helps to some degree, but since we’re not married yet, and Garrett does have an active father in his life, he tries to stay out of it and let us handle it. But honestly the punishment and discipline at my house, never seem to carry over into his time with his dad, so I feel like I’m loosing this battle.

Garrett basically said that he wanted to be expelled from Luv Bugs (the daycare). Flat out told Mrs. Sharon that. Thank goodness she’s not the type to call a parent every time there is a difficult situation with him, because that’s what he’s used too. I used to be called for the least little thing, and since it was a private school, they made no bones about letting me know that Garrett didn’t have to be there, and that they could kick him out at any time. But with these phone calls, also came the “come get him” line. There was no option. Take him home…, he was bad at school, and got to go home. Just what he wanted….

Yesterday, he was hoping for the same. He knew Shawn was off, and was hoping for some time with him. Grant you, Shawn typically does get him early from daycare if he’s home, but with him working so much lately he rarely has any time, and yesterday, he ran so many errands that time just got away from him. So he wasn’t able to get Garrett. Garrett also told Mrs. Sharon that he was bored at Luv Bugs, but couldn’t tell her why. She asked him what he’d do elsewhere, and he couldn’t tell her that either. Thankfully she told him that she would pass the message on to me, but just because he didn’t want to be there, didn’t me that he wouldn’t be there. That he was there for a reason - his parents had to work. He of course had an answer for that. Said that either Shawn, I, or Richie could take him to work with us as we’ve done it in the past. And if we couldn’t then his sissy was gonna come home from college this weekend and she could watch him. But of course, with that being said, Mrs. Sharon also said that even though Jackie is coming home for Christmas, she still has to go back to school…and then what? After our talk was over, she showed me Garrett sitting in the game room, “having fun”. He and two other boys were playing a board game. Funny thing is, this daycare is soooo crowded. Every child wants to go there. There are 15 plus computers, game systems, playground, tv’s, arts & crafts, and games, all to be used while you’re there, whenever you want. It’s fun there, yet he’s bored. Go figure.

Last night once again was his dad’s night, so I had to tell him what had just happened. He wasn’t happy. Apparently with Garrett showing his butt this weekend, and now this, I think he’s getting to the point where enough is enough. *more on the school issues we’re having too later. But before I left him last night, his dad and I both had a talk with him and his dad pretty much told him the life was gonna be hell for him if he didn’t straighten up and behave. And with that I figured it would be enough, because like I said, Richie never really takes much interest in discipline or Garrett’s behavior issues. So I have to admit I was impressed with him for taking charge…..

…but about an hour ago, Garrett’s teacher calls me from the classroom and tells me that she’s having issues with Garrett today. That he refused to do any of his work, so he was unable to attend centers today. She left him in the classroom with his work to complete, but when she came back, the papers had disappeared and he acted like he didn’t know what happened to them. So of course I had to talk to him. Not sure if it did any good or not yet. I through a few threats in there, hoping something would make him realize that school is not a joke and that doing your work is not an option. Of course I’m also wondering if he’s not testing Richie. He tests me all the time, but last night, Richie is the one who put the threat of punishment out there….maybe he’s trying to see if he’ll follow through with it….who knows at this point. I would just love some answers…..

Good thing is that from tonight until next Tuesday night, he’s with me so maybe in the meantime I can talk some sense into the boys head….cross your fingers for me….wonder if Garrett is on Santa’s Nice list still…..think at this point it could go either way….

Just thought I'd share...

Finished this layout at lunchtime today, and thought I'd go ahead and share it with you all. These pictures were taken this past September when we went to Williamsport, Pennslvania and then to Warren, Ohio to pick up Shawn's daughter....I called it Silliness x 3, because they were all acting silly during the drive.

Journaling reads:

It’s amazing what you guys will find to do to entertain yourselves during such a long drive. This time, you even got Shawn to participate in your silliness. The three of you were completely
hilarious making faces at one another and taking pictures- what a laugh riot it truly was! Still can’t decide who was the silliest!
September 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Luck Jackie

**Jackie - this is for you!! I know I just got off the phone with you less than ten minutes ago, but know that I love you, and am praying for you for tomorrow. Good luck baby girl! See you this weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Concert tonight!

Tonight was Garrett's Christmas Concert at school. Not really sure where to begin with this one. The lunchroom was completely full, literally. It was standing room only and hotter than blazes. I know it had to have been 75+ degrees in there easily. For the most part it was very entertaining. Really had to see anything as it was soooo crowded, and you just couldn't get close enough to take any pictures. I had a parent take some for me, and he said he'd email them to me. Hopefully they'll come out decent. I took a few myself, but need to edit them a bit to see if they can be used at all. My ex-husband showed up. But realized that 1. Shawn was with me (yeah! he was able to get off early), 2. It was SOOOO crowded, and 3. the heat was overwhelming, so he decided to leave. I on the other hand realize that this is all a part of parenting and was happy to be there....especially when Garrett came out on stage. We immediately saw him, but it took him a few minutes to find us. Once he did though, it was all smiles, and that made it soooo worth it! Afterwards, we signed him out from his classroom (to make sure each child got home safely) *mentioning this as this was a first for us, but it is a new school for us as well, and then took him to his dad's house, as tonight, once again is his night. *insert pouty face here.

Anywoo, here's the one picture that we were able to take before we left this evening....all the rest of them he wanted to act all goofy (which is typical) in.

Happy Birthday Kylie!

My family got the pleasure of spending time with this little girl during the Thanksgiving holiday. She was absolutely adorable and we all fell in love with her! Garrett and her played very well together, and he was very eager to share his room, his computer, and his toys with her while she was here.

Shawn, Garrett, and I both just want to wish her a Very Happy 7th Birthday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Still in shock...

Okay so after work today, I had to go and get a battery. I was preparing myself for the worst, but OMG $105 dollars for a battery. I mean really, I DIDN'T have $105 dollars, I mean don't have it, especially with Christmas in what, 17 days?? But I guess you have to do what you have to do....I swear, if it isn't one thing it's another...but at least if I go out there right now and crank my car, it'll start!! No more taking that for granted!!

Shawn is working late again tonight. Looking forward to him coming home tonight and spending some much needed quality time with him. I soooo miss him when he's gone. Maybe watch tonights episode of Two and a Half Men that we DVR'd tonight!

What a morning I've had so far

Well, got up this morning, did my typical routine to get ready for work, got Garrett up, fed, and ready for school....go outside to start the car (27 degrees this morning), and nothing. Dead. Dead as a doornail. Luckily Shawn was still here and was able to take Garrett to school for me. Bad news is, we own "NO" jumper cables, and all my neighbors had already left for while Shawn was taking Garrett to school, I wound up calling work to see if one of the guys could help. And luckily they did. Louis came over and applied the jumper cables. My car started immediately. He did say that my battery light was out too! He's convinced it's the battery. I'll find out for sure this afternoon when I get off work. That's another thing I have to buy on an already tight budget. But then again, if it isn't one thing then it's another.

Also this morning, Garrett had his 2nd nine weeks awards ceremony. They don't give grade awards at this school, only for Perfect Attendance, Terrific Kid, and Accelerated Reading. They even send a note home telling you what award your child will be getting, Garrett got one for accelerated reading. I was able to make it to that on time this morning and see Garrett get his award. And see him too! I had warned him that I might not be able to make it because of my car. But I did and life is good. Here's a quick pic I took of him with his award. The lighting in the cafeteria completely sucks....oh well, at least I got this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another much needed day of rest!

Today was practically a repeat of yesterday...minus all the movies and laying in bed. I will admit to watching one Lifetime movie today, but after that, I really did turn the tv off. I actually sat down and scrapped again today...still not real happy with the final product, but it's growing on me. I had made a vow not to buy any new supplies until I used up what I this is the final product. I know the title looks a tad crooked, but it's been fixed since scanning...hey jackie, remember this picture of you?? I even sat down and chatted with my friend Gnell today. It was really nice to have that opportunity too. Seems Shawn is going to be working ungodly hours between now and Christmas and I'm gonna be having lots of time on my Jackie, lots of Jackie and Mommy time, and Gnell, I'll be more than happy to help you get your stuff set up, just gotta let me know!

When Richie brought Garrett home tonight, the first thing that Garrett wanted to do was play Guess Who, so needless to say I had my butt kicked at least ten times if not more...had to literally say I'm done playing. The boy could play this game for hours....**note to self, invest in some different board games. Then we made a trip to Food Lion for a few groceries and home to cook dinner. Fun! Fun!

Now I've got Garrett in bed, Shawn home, clothes ironed for tomorrow, and I'm getting ready to spend a little quality time with Shawn before we head off to bed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wow what a day this has turned out to be...

Shawn and I got up this morning, did our usually stuff, and then he made breakfast (pankcakes Jackie) for us both. We spent the day together pretty much lounging until time for him to go to work....Very nice to get some time with him. Seems like he's always at work lately. Working is a good thing I know, as he went for so long without a job, and the fact that there are so many people out there now without one. But I will say, selfishly though, I liked him here with me all the time, and now that he's not, I'm having a difficult time adjusting, and trying to figure out what to do with myself....I had all these big plans for some decorating, maybe some scrapping, going to visit my friends, and the list went on. Well lazy butt me did none of the above. I laid in bed all day today....literally I did. I think I have watched about four lifetime movies today...and cried throughout each. At nine I finally forced myself to cut the tv off before the next movie started....and to make my "goodnight call" to my son.

I called Garrett (it's his dad's weekend) and was saddened to hear him crying on the phone. I knew his dad was taking him to the Fort Fisher Aquarium today, so I started asking all kinds of questions about that. He said he had a really, really bad time. That he had been to that aquarium many times before (and he has), and that he was just really bored today. He said that they didn't even get to go and feed the sea gulls. My heart hurt for him. He said his dad was mad at him and was making him clean his room. **trust me, it does need cleaned. I told him to let me talk to his dad. Apparently Garrett wasn't crying he said. He said Garrett was pouting. He claims that "Garrett showed his ass" all day, from the time that they left until they got he was a bit frustrated. I understand that, but I have always had more patience, and I could tell that he really got to his dad today. The good news is that I talked to Garrett tonight for longer than his typical two minutes (the boy is not a phone person)...we talked about our plans for the week, and our upcoming weekend together....not to mention Jackie coming home next weekend too! So he was okay when we hung up, and I felt much better. Plus the extra bonus of his dad bringing him home an hour early tomorrow is nice!

Jackie called me tonight too. Gosh I miss her. Sometimes I really wish I could go back and do a do-over with her. There are so many things as her mother that I would change, or do differently. I am very proud of her. I hope she knows that....she's got exams all week, and she is really, really stressing!! Jackie honey, I know you read this, so just know that your Mommy is sending you lots and lots of hugs!! Good luck this week little butt!! See you this coming weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I knew this DAY would come....but not so soon!

Well as most of you know, Richie and I have joint custody of Garrett, and every Tuesday and Wednesday night he is with his dad. Well when Garrett came home last night I showed him the new layout I had done of him and his first loose tooth, and just out of nowhere he says, “Mom I lost another tooth today”. I got all excited. I was like where is it? How did it happen? And what not. What was the most exciting factor for me is the fact that this is his eighth tooth. All the other teeth that he has lost, he’s lost when he was with his dad, and his dad got to be the tooth fairy. This time, I got to be her. Go Mommy! Go Mommy!

Well everything went as planned with Garrett going to bed with his tooth. I played tooth fairy around 12:30 or so, right before I went to bed. He got up on his own this morning and came into my room. I was already up and getting ready for work. I asked him how he had slept and such and he said okay and crawled up in bed with Shawn….typical morning thing….to get as much sleep as he possibly can before I drag him out of bed.

He sat up really quickly when he remembered (on his own) that the tooth fairy should have come. He ran to his room (with me following right behind with the camera) and started looking for $$. He found five one dollar bills. As he was counting his money he was smiling….and just said that that was his typical. Is it me or am I the only one that got either a quarter or fifty cents for my teeth when I was little?

As he was rolling around on his bed he looked at me and flat out said, “you are the tooth fairy mom, aren’t you”? And I looked at him in shock. I really figured that this would be the last year that he believed in Santa, but the tooth fairy thing never even occurred to me. I responded with, “Okay Garrett, if I’m the tooth fairy, then how did I get the money to you when you were at your Dad’s house all the other times”? He thought on that a moment and then said….”then our parents are the tooth fairies”. Then I said, “why would you think that then”? In response he told me that he had a friend at school named John that told him that when he had lost a tooth, he had seen his mother put money under his pillow. So of course, John being like most other children, had to share this with my son. I never really denied his accusation, but I didn’t admit to it either….I just changed the subject. I practically had to beg him to let me take a picture, and this is what I got. His eyes are closed because I turned the lights on and he complained (like every morning) about the lights….can’t wait to scrap this picture. His girlfriend is really gonna love me one day!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is Tight This Year...

Not much going on here today. Typical work day. Shawn is still at work until later this evening. I have Garrett tonight, but he's in his room right now on the computer and watching cartoons at the same that gives me some "Tammy time" for a bit....

as for the title of this post, I just now got a forward from my sister in law Rande and about died laughing as I was reading it....couldn't help but to share it. It really is funny, and we can all use a good laugh!!

My dearest friends,
Somewhat embarrassing to admit, with the economy like it is, I ' m not getting an annual bonus and Christmas is tight this year. I will be making bedroom slippers for you all as gifts. Please let me know your sizes. You ' ll most likely agree that it ' s a splendid idea, and should you wish to do the same, I've included the instructions below.

How to make bedroom slippers out of maxi pads:

You need four maxi pads to make a pair.
Two of them get laid out flat, for the foot part.
The other two wrap around the toe area to form the top.
Tape or glue each side of the top pieces to the bottom of the foot part.

Decorate the tops with whatever you desire, silk flowers (this is most
aesthetically appealing), etc.

These slippers are:
* Soft and Hygienic
* Non-slip grip strips on the soles
* Built in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh
* No more bending over to mop up spills
* Disposable and biodegradable
* Environmentally safe
* Three convenient sizes: (1.) Regular, (2.) Light and (3.) Get out the Sand Bags

Oh come on! LAUGH out loud with me! This is too good!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally Scrapping again.....

and it feels really good. This layout took me several hours to do, but I'm pretty pleased with it! This is an older picture of Garrett, taken last summer before he started loosing his teeth. The journaling on this layout reads:

This little tooth has been wiggly and loose for some time now. It’s been so loose that we were worried that it would fall out unexpectedly on its own while you were either eating or sleeping. We all kept teasing you and telling you to just let us pull it for you, but you wanted to do it on your own. For several days in a row, we would catch you with dental floss wrapped around your tooth. I will definitely say that you are one persistent little boy when it comes to getting that tooth out!
June 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hasbro Nerf N Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster

Okay so it's like this....this will probably be the absolute last Christmas that Garrett believes in Santa Claus. Unfortunately the only thing that he wants from Santa, not Mommy or Dad, or anyone else, but Santa is this gun. He already has about 5 or 6 Nerf guns that shoot out the same suction type bullets, but this one is soooo Cool he says, and it's all he concern is the cost and promoting guns. It's not that I'm against guns, but I'm always yelling at him not to point the ones that he has at others, or in faces, and what not...and this gun has a continous round and it's $45. I suppose that isn't that much considering how much things do cost these days...and I'm really out of ideas for him. And this is all he wants....and how do I make an excuse for Santa not getting it for him when it's all he's asking for.....what to do, what to do??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gingerbread House - Year #2

Last year Garrett and I made our first gingerbread house ever, and this year we set out to do the same....I suppose all the fun is in the decorating, but try as we did, I just could not get the windows or doors to look anything like the box....but fun was definitely had by all, and tons of sugar was consumed in the process. Garrett said the icing was soooo good that he wanted to eat the house too! Not happening son, it's just not happening!! Of course we even got Shawn to help us too! Possibly try and salvage my mess....all and all I think it turned out cute, and it's already out on display.