Friday, December 31, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Happy 2011 and my recap of December 2010

I didn't blog last month cuz I just wanted to focus on family. December ended up being a very emotional month for me and my kids. My Grandmother (I called her Mamaw) died on December 10th, 1995. It's such a bittersweet time of year because it always feels like it was yesterday. I was 7 months pregnant with my DD and it breaks my heart so that they never knew each other.

December 11th marks my Mama's birthday day. No matter how sad I feel I always make sure she gets to celebrate her day. She so deserves it. This year things got done a bit different. We have now named December "Merry Birthday" month for her. I wanted to make sure she got tons of goodies and luvin's all month long. She has just been working so hard lately and I just wanted her to know just how much I ♥ her. I had gotton me a shark mop during a black friday sale and decided to gift her with it and you would have thought I had given her the moon. She told me she had been shopping for one herself. So "YAYYYY ME!" And then throughout the month she got little gifts like gloves, a slice cutter, some thermal shirts for work, a little cross to hang in her car..those sorta things. She was very spoiled by the time things were done.

December 9th marked a funeral for 2 of my kids friends. In a tragic accident the truck rolled and hit a tree head on killing them both instantly. The mother to one of the boys is my DD's math teacher at school. He would have graduated this year and the other had only graduated last year. Both were good boys. The day of the service~which was held in the school gym~it was standing room only and we were standing. My DD had a bit of a breakdown afterwards and was worried about something happening to her brother. They may fight like mad but this child would be devastated w/o him. All month long all I could think when I had my kids near was what a lucky Mama I am to be able to touch, hug, and tell my babies how much I ♥ them. Time with a loved one is never guaranteed and it doesn't follow the natural flow of life to have to bury a child.

This video was done by a young lady by the name of Jordan Miller. RIP Trent Mann and Ethan "Pudge" Urda. God blessed you with us and now you are home with Him.



Decenber has had it's ups though. We have done the usual baking, shopping, wrapping and ripping open of presents at Christmas and all around ate too much to boot.
I got invited to a scrapbook crop and of course all were traditional scrappers except me. I loved being able to just open my few supplies (laptop and EHD) get straight to work. The others never got around to scrapping a thing while I at least got one page almost finished. Still need to title it and journal and I will be done. That was an accomplishment esp since I have not scrapped a single page in MONTHS. It was just what I needed to jump start my creativity.

I am definitely back on the wagon to regularly posting so I be on the lookout for lotsa new gossip and eye candy with new LO's, Couponing deals find and my Project 365 I am embarking upon again.
Till next time!
Balinda

Sunday, December 5, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Thanksgiving and other musings

As much as I love blogging, I cannot believe that I have neglected mine so terribly but I have taken some time to be tech free in a way and about the only thing I have kept current with has been FB and emails.
I was blessed with a most wonderful Thanksgiving ever! Really reconnected with old friends and my husband was the sweetest and most helpful thing ever. This was the very first year that he really "got" how much work goes into a holiday meal. He helped me brine our turkey and even took over some of my easy dessert making. And not to brag on myself but I do believe the cornbread dressing I made this year was some of the best I have ever made.
I didn't go out and do any black friday shopping, me and the hubby just piddled about the house~in fact, I stayed in my pj's all day and we watched movies and ate leftovers~ummm yummmmy~
I have been trying to hone my coupon shopping skills though. I really wanna be one of those crazy coupon ladies with stockpiles of stuff for her family. I am 3 months into and have a very small stock pile of goodies. I do really good at the drugstores (Wags, CVS and Rite-Aid) and I do better at Target than I do Walmart. My big challenge now is to bring the food bill down lower~I have figured out that our local grocery marks down meat between 8 and 9 am and to keep watching the sales and matching coupons to stockpile me up some of my basics that I use everyday.
I did fall off the wagon on my Project 365 but I picked it back up December 1st. Whether I get everyday next year or not will be ok~just doing the project keeps me focused on practicing my photography and grabbing the everyday moments. When I didn't do it, I hardly picked up my camera....not a good think at all!!!
I did indulge in a new Christmas centerpiece for our dining table last Friday. I wasn't sure if I would really and I don't~I LOVE IT! I like that it's on a pedestal to give it some height and it has some english ivy (fake of course) to contrast with the different reds of the berries.


I will be back soon with more pics.
Balinda

Friday, October 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Holy Moly~Doing the Coupon Game

If you are like me, you look for everyway that you can to save money these days with the spiraling of gas prices and the cost of just the basics to keep a household running all the while being thankful to not be among the many homeless souls we have here in Land of Plenty that we call America. I do feel blessed to live in this country with all the freedoms we enjoy but sometimes I feel like the "Land of Plenty" refers to the ones that have "plenty more than they really need". So totally out of character I went to a "How to Coupon" Party given by my friend Samantha. Of course I dragged my sidekick and cohort Shane with me (Shane's a Mama like me, always strapped for cash) I mean really what's so glamorous about cutting paper..I don't even do that when I scrapbook..it's all digital. And who really can get $100 worth of groceries for like $25 or for mere pennies like the morning talk shows always show us. Seriously folks...it's great to see someone do that..but who can really do that in real life? So all in all I went thinking it was going to be SUPER LAME~This is ONE time I am glad to say how glad I am that I went and how happy I am that I was ever so WRONG. Couponing has come a long way since the days my oldest was little and I gave it a shot. I learned that you could stack a manufactures coupon with an ecoupon that you load on your shopping card...who would have thought. I don't do any shopping at CVS, RiteAid or Walgreens because we don't have one in our small town and to drive for just one or two items is not cost effective but I learned about CVS ECB's (basically CVS money you get back to shop again) and well just all sorts of things that made me go WOW! So I just completed my 1st trip to CVS but my 3rd real serious coupon adventure.

Here's how I have done so far...
1. Brookshires
Spent $92 ~ Saved $65 ~ total would have been about $157 (numbers were rounded)
I stacked eCoupons with Manufacturers coupons + it helped that the stored triples to 39 cents and doubles and includes up to 50 cents

2. Walmart
Spent $53 ~ Saved $14 ~ total would have been $67 (numbers rounded)
I didn't think it was too shabby since Walmart doesn't double coupons.

3. CVS ~ my first CVS trip ever to try to work the sales to get the most ECB's and split my purchase so that I could collect some and use them in conjunction with my coupons to pay the least amount of money.
I ended up spliting my products into 3 purchases.
1st purchase ~ Paid $24.33 ~ Saved $21.24 ~ would have paid $45.57 ~ I had no CVS money but I did have awesome coupons.
What I got
2 Fun size bags of MM's $1 off/2 bags @1.50 a bag = 2.00
2 Boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch 2/$6 + $1/2 boxes = 5.00 ( 2 ECB toward next purchase)
1 Colgate Total Advantage toothpaste 2.99 - 1.00 coupon =1.99 ( 2.99 toward next purchase)
1 Revlon lipstick $ 7.89 ~ 2.00 coupon stuck to the lipstick = 5.89 (that was a bonus Ididn't expect)
1 Revlon nail enamel $4.99 Buy the lipstick get the nail polish free so -4.99 = 7.89 ( 4 ECB toward next purchase since I made a purchse totaling at least $10 and it included a Revlon product)
Purex 3 in 1 laundry sheets ~ 7.99 a piece ~ BOGO free though + 1.00 coupon = 6.99
tax 2.46


2nd purchase ~ Paid $29.99 ~ Saved $22.68 ~ would have paid $52.67 ~ I used the 8.99 ECB's from the previous purchase and matched coupons.
What I got
1 Revlon lipstick $7.89 - the bonus 2.00 off coupon that was stuck to the lipstick = 5.89
1 Revlon nail enamel $4.99 ~buy the lipstick get nail polish free so -4.99 ( 4 ECB's toward next purchase since I made a purchase totaling at least $10 and it included a Revlon product)
Colgate Total Advantage toothpaste~2.99 - 1.00 = 1.99 (earns 2.99 ECB's toward next purchase)
2 Covergirl Simply Primers @15.99 apiece = 31.98 - $5 off/2 Covergirl products = 26.98 (earns 6 ECB's toward next purchase)
tax 4.12


3rd purchase ~ Paid $21.25 ~ Saved $28.98 ~ would have paid $50.19 ~ I had 12.99 ECB's and matched coupons.
What I got
Bounty 8 roll pack ~6.99 (reg price 9.99)
average 88 cents a roll
Downy Liquid 51oz size ~ 5.97 - 1.00 off coupon = 4.97
Gain Liquid 100 oz size ~ 10.97 - 1.00 off coupon = 9.97
Charmin ultra soft 16 Big Rolls ~9.99- .25 off coupon = 9.74
tax 2.57
And because I spent $25 on Procter and Gamble products I get $10 back in ECB's toward my next purchase.

So I am quite proud of my purchases. I I had not used my ECB's and coupons I would have spent $148.57. Instead my total spending was $75.57 and may savings was $73.00 and if you add in the 10 ECB I will have to spend like real money next visit that brings my savings up to $83.00.

If I wasn't so tired I would share a photo of all my goodies....I might come back tomorrow when I get some rest and add one to the bottom of the post.

Thanx for popping by!
Balinda

Saturday, October 9, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Paperwork almost complete

Hello again! Can ya's believe it's October?!?! Insane, isn't it? I couldn't belive it was almost 90 degrees here today. HELLOOOO>>>>Mother Nature....it's autumn...time for some cooler weather..hint, hint! I have spent the last couple of weeks running between the hospitol keeping a check on my Grandfather and keeping my DD transported back and forth to school in a timely manner. She has been a super good sport about all with all the quick meals we have been having. He did get released from the hospitol on Tuesday (5th) and went back to the nursing home but because his legs became retracted from not getting out of bed and being so weak he had to travel by ambulance on a stretcher. I felt so horrible about that. I did however get hospice care started and as it stands now all I need to get done is the Medical Power of Attorney done so that I can "officially" make the decisions in the event I have to deal with someone who is not familiar with the fact that I am the one that handles his decisions for him (and that my Mom and Dad won't make a decision w/o my input anyhow).

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing these things for a Grandparent. I sit with him sometimes and just look at his worn and wrinkled hands and before I know it I have one in my hands caressing it. I guess in a way I am trying to imprint his touch to mine. I will brush his hair, wash his face and tell him how handsome he is. I brag on his sparkly eyes eventhough I know he doesn't see well. Sometimes he understands me and sometimes he doesn't. I find myself wanting to hold him close and just not let go. I know my brothers do not have this bond with him. It's special to just me and him. I had this type of bond with my Grandmother (his wife--these are my father's parents) but she died of CHF quite suddenly and to this day there is not a day that goes by I do not think of her and wish for just 5 more minutes with her. I think sometimes that's why I get so emotional after my visits with him. He is my last living Grandparent. He is a WWII veteran. In his day, he was much of a man. He is my link to my past...to all the stories his memory has robbed him of...the stories that my father never got to hear and the ones I have only heard partial ones of that he never got to fnish for me. I ♥ him.

Ok...gotta change the subject before I get too teary eyed. Last Saturday our youth group had a rummage sale at church. So that is what kept me busy for the better part of last week. We did good and raised almost $800. They worked very hard and the donations of baked goods and items to sell were so appreciated from our church members.

I had a great visit with my friend Ebeth all day yesterday. She treated me to Chinese and helped me hang a couple of pictures on my wall and I helped her get her laptop updated some since I have DSL and she can only get dialup in her area. She popped in again today today and instead of me tidying up my bedroom and doing a good cleaning on my bathroom...I just plopped down in the recliner and visited with her all afternoon again. Unfortunately all that is still waiting on me to do. Where's the cleaning fairy when ya need her? That's on the agenda today along with backing up some scraps and photos on disc before I move them to the external drive.

Well, it looks like I have blogged up a storm on here. Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Life in Fast Forward

Well, I knew it had been awhile since I have posted on my blog. I just did not realize just how long. I wish I could say that time flies when you are having fun but sadly that is not the case. Now not to be a party pooper over here let me add the disclaimer that not all this time things have been bad. We have done the usual things that are done at the beginning of each school year. Buy the uniforms. Buy the school supplies. Fill out the what seems like hundreds of forms AGAIN. Of course, as I see online many school systems don't start up until late August or even after Labor Day. Ours however started August 3rd. Whatever horrid person decided that, I would gladly love to make them suck a lemon. This is Louisiana and oh...it's only been a mild 110 degree average kinda day.

Our church had the most awesome revival back in the middle of August. Bro. David Miller was our revival preacher. I had never heard him preach and was told before hand that he had the Bible memorized from cover to cover. Well to have someone tell ya that is one thing but to actually WITNESS it is another. And he had more than over version down to memory. It was a true fire and brimstone, get your life right, Live it for Jesus revival. Pretty preaching is good but there's times when a fire needs to be lit. :}

Our revival ended on a Sunday. Our beloved music leader Ms. Patsy Nichols went to be with the Lord's choir on Tuesday. I had just spoken to her on the Saturday before and told her how much she was missed and how I loved her and couldn't wait for her to come back to to church from her rehab to hear her beautiful voice leading us in song worship. It is a loss I am still working on coming to terms with. My head knows she is with her Lord going ne-ner-ne-ner! I got her first! but my ♥ aches to see her at the podium at our services.

Our new church year also started September 1st. After a big Back to School Bash and the kickoff to our Youth Group (of which there really wasn't one on Sunday evenings) we have somewhat settled into some sort of routine. I and my friend Shane are taking turns leading the lessons each week. I by no means feel quailifed to teach/lead but it seems each week the Lord puts in my hand what we need. So I will continue to have faith and give the credit to Him because he is the Leader with the Message and I am just the lowly messenger.

Last Saturday, we had our Ladies Conference. The Ladies Conference committee had a really hard time finding a speaker this year. From what I understand everyone they tried to book just would not work out. Becky Brown from Little Brown Light Ministries was our speaker. Of all things she spoke about was loss of a loved one. Very appropriate considering we just lost our Ms. Patsy. She has also just marked the 1st anniversary of the loss of her sister. God sent her to us so that we could fellowship and minister to one another. If you ever get a chance to attend and event where she is speaking...PLEASE GO! She is such a delight to listen to and no matter the message, I am sure you will be blessed.

Now this brings us current. Me and my Mama are working on getting hospice set up for my Grandfather. He is not doing well. That topic is not one I am ready to blog about today as it's on the emotional side. This evening I am taking my daughter to a See You At The Pole Rally. Somewhere's during that time I will run into my son. he can't be there when it starts but will definitely attend.

And during all this time....not a single scrapbook page. :0

God Bless if ya read all this.
Balinda

Monday, July 26, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Come Back Summer!

It seems as if our summer has just flown by us. I don't know if it's wishful thinking or a bad memory but I want to say that as a child our summers were much longer. We usually didn't go back until after labor day. Last year my DD went back to school on August 7th...this year...August 4th. Our districts have voted against year round school but it just seems to me that it's being gradually done a few days at a time. Anyway the defense for going back early is that "we are getting more breaks during the school year". What happened to going to school...getting it done and having an awesome summer?!?!? Tha't's just me on my soapbox, I suppose.
I am proud to say that I am still going strong with my Project 365. A big WOOT! WOOT! for me!!!! I am super behind on LO's though...I am seriously contemplating staying behind and just doing a bound book of them from Shutterfly. It's the photos that are important and not all the scrapping pretties.
Here is Shaina on her way to camp. This is her third year going. But this camping adventure does not end when I drop her off. I get a call from her at 10ish that night to come and get her. Her BFF did not show up and she refused to stay. She is painfully shy and all the girls in her cabin had their friends from home. Fourteen is a hard age anyhow w/o being let down like that from a BFF and wayyyy tooo shy to just start conversations with girls you don't know. Her counselor was very sweet and tried to help me talk her into at least staying the night to see if she made a new friend doing some of the group activities...but she was in tears and begging. So she came home, but only on the condition that she be a helper at Vacation Bible School with me. This was an important point because our church is very generous and pays for them to go to camp (it's a Christian camp). I wanted her to give back some of their generosity. She ended up helping with crafts and had the best time. I think maybe it was God's plan for her to be home to do that instead of away.

And here is Shaina's miniature dashaund we got a couple of months ago. Spoiled rotton. I think I took 20 photos to get her looking at me AND her eyes open at the same time.

I helped with the 4th-6th graders at VBS. A very rowdy bunch!!! The teacher I helped gifted me with this beautiful bracelet. I will treasure it always because of the story it tells and because it was gifted to me by the sweetest lady ever.


I have to confess that I get really giddy and silly when I get my scrapbook pages arrive in the mail. They don't truley become real until they are printed. I print at Persinkety Prints. A couple of days ago my Mama was looking at them and the plastic wrap that I they were wrapped in had somehow gotton something sticky on it...which in turn made the top LO sticky. I think it was syrup that transferred to it when I laid them on the counter top. I thought it was ruined and had nothing to lose...so I got a damp cloth and scrubbed..I mean elbow grease scrubbed....the syrup off. No bleeding or smearing. Just as perfect as when I first peeked at it.

I have such a good Daddy. These are goodies from his garden. There's more squash to be gotton tomorrow so these will go into a casserole to be shared with my parents.



Thanx for peeking into my blog today!




Saturday, July 17, 2010

PostHeaderIcon A New LO

Ooopsie! It's been awhile since I have sat down and blogged. And believe me...I sure needed to take some time and do so. I am not really good at keeping a journal so this serves that purpose for me in addition to helping me remember events for my scrapbooking. I am not a prolific scrapper. I can't seem to crank out pages like I see alot of ladies do. I wish I could sometimes and other times I am glad I don't. But isn't that the case, we always want what we don't have.

My Grandfather is still in the hospitol and getting his meds regulated. I miss him and I don't. I think I am just still tired from caring for him. I have yet to pack all his things for the Nursing home. I need to but I keep procrastinating. Maybe because I know that makes it final that he is never going to live with family again. I find myself doing things and thinking that he won't ever be he doing them with me or cooking something and thinking he won't sit and have a family dinner with us again....it just won't ever be the same..I know I can take him out for day visits and take him some of his favorite dishes..but it's not the same. =( And I do know it's for the best that he does not live here. My daughter is still staying at her fathers. She just says she is not comfortable coming home until she knows for a FACT that her Great Grandpa is in the nursing home. I can't blame her as she did witness him having some pretty bizarre behaviors and hallucinations. I have just try to do my best to reassure her that what she feels is very ok and I understand.

I did get a chance to have lunch with my son last Thursday. It seems forever since we got to sit and visit with just me and him. He turned me on to the best onion rings ever at Cheeburger Cheeburger. He wanted to eat there because he wanted an Apple Caramel shake. I tasted it and OMG...it was sooooo good!

Saturday was date nite for me and hubby...considering we having had one in MONTHS! Before we left the house Shaina called and bored at her dad's so we picked her up and she went tot he movies with us. We saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D. Way Awesome! I sorta felt sorry for the Red Queen though. She needed love too.

It was a much needed break for us and we had a great time together.

I am hoping our outing helps me fight these winter blues I seem to have gotton. All I wanna do is sleep here at home but when I go out I am fine. So right now eventhough it's still a little bit chilly, I opened all the windows to let in some fresh air and I am forcing myself to do a bit of spring cleaning.

For the most part I have kept up with my P365 photos but I won't post them all.

Instead...I will post the LO I did Sunday.

Shaina is the one with the glasses =) and you can click on the photo if you want to read the journaling.

Credits:

You Make Me Intensly Happy Kit by Lauren Grier

2 Many Photos 15 by Janet Phillips (Modified)

DJB Gimme Space and Impact Fonts




And wow...if you have read all my ramblings to here...you must really love me =)

Till Next time!

Balinda






Thursday, July 8, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Days 187-189 {P365}

We made it through the 4th all in one piece. We went to church and enjoyed a hamburger/hotdog dinner afterwards. About 8ish the kids got to crank up the fireworks show. I am not sure who had more fun...the adults or the kids. My DD however wanted to play shy and not pop any. Not exactly sure and probably never will~that's how it is with teens sometimes I suppose, so I sorta hung out on the sidelines and kept her company and took pictures. I was the only one with a camera...I could not believe it. I tried taking pictures of everyone to share if anyone wanted any at a later date.
My car is broke down at the moment. It needs a by pass tube from the radiator to the fill take. So while the DH was away working I was sorta stranded at home. Well...I ran out of everything...including food. Big surprise, huh? He got home and of course we never seemed to quite make it to the grocery store...we did go to the movies to see Eclipse on Saturday and ate at Craker Barrel afterwards, then Sunday he ran to Dairy Queen and got us a chicken basket and then we ate at the church, Monday..well..he didn't get me up in time to take him to his second job here at home so that night we ate chinese.....then FINALLY Tuesday I went to Walmart and stocked up. So for my poor hubby..the ONLY home cooked meal he got was some chicken spaghetti that evening. So for that alone I felt it deserved to be the photo of the day..lol!

Day 187
Me and Shaina spend the day with my Mama. She wanted to see Eclipse too and didn't wanna go alone so me and Shaina went again. My daughter definitely did NOT mind seeing it twice. Before we went though we made a detour to see my Papaw in the Nursing Home. He is in the alzheimers unit. It was everything I could do not to just bawl my eyes out when I hugged him. He is so frail and is seems to be wasting away before my very eyes. I want to see him everyday but my heart and emotions would get the better of me.
Day 188


I had an ant invasion in my pantry. I had to toss all my flour and anything open like crackers and chips...very aggravating. But many ugly words and lotsa bleach/lysol concoction later...I got rid of them. The bad part of it all...other than the ants....my pantry was clean and organized so I didn't even get the benefit of "organizing" things.
Day 189

I am now looking forward to a very uneventful Friday...cuz Saturday I gotta start getting things together for DD's week of camp.
Thanx for peeking in!
Balinda




Friday, July 2, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Back on the P365 Wagon...Yippeeee!

I must say I am feeling MUCH better today than yesterday..so it's official...I am on the mend...yippeeee!!! I am so glad too because for months I have had a movie date with my DD scheduled for Eclipse and I really did not want to disappoint. In fact, her and DH are out picking up her cousin for a sleepover/pizza night in a mini celebration of the movie tomorrow. I think after the movie I want to go eat at Craker Barrel. I am craving some lima beans and cornbread and they only have the lima beans on Saturdays at the one we go to. And because my tummy doesn't quite like me so much yet...I am going to get a Chicken and Dumpling plate to bring home to eat. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. Also after much contemplation we have decided to spend the 4th at our church's hamburger cookout. Close to home and more kids for my DD to hang out with. Plus the fireworks are donated to the kids by the Sunday School classes fun money that is added to every Sunday. I just LOVE my church family!!!!!!
I am also super excited that I have gotton back started on my Project 365 photos. It's really a project I did not want to fail at. Mostly because I have so many years in my photo stash where I don't have but just a handful of photos of my family. Some of which have since passed away.
Here is July 1st
My hubby works away from home and sent me flowers to cheer me up while I was sick. It took the florist 3
days to get them to me though. Usually they are much better about deliveries.
July 2nd
Need I say more? We know who my DD is rooting for in the Twilight saga.
Thanx for peeking in!
And if I don't get back before the 4th....Be safe and have a fabby time with ur families!!!
Balinda


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

PostHeaderIcon My LO was showcased on Digitally Inspired =)

I have officially fallen off the Project 365 wagon...but I won't stay that way for long. I will start over on July 1st. June has been a very hard month for me because I developed what I thought was just a summer cold and apparently it when into my chest and ended up giving me a severe infection in my left ear. I finally broke down today and went to the dr. I was was going to go last week but when I woke up I felt somewhat better and just didn't. Dummy me just should have went. I could not get an appt with my PCP so I went to the Quick Care in Shreveport. My husband has went there alot and gotton superior care. I ended up getting a steriod shot and an RX for antibiotics and a very expensive decongestent (that makes me really sleepy but that's kinda ok). I have done a little bit of scrapping when I couldn't sleep at nite. I have made a few pages using some QP's that came with kits. They are way awesome and great when you have ZERO creativity happening. I did come home this afternoon from the dr. visit and checked a couple of my fave forums and a sweet lady left me a comment to let me know that this LO had be Showcased on her blog. What a way to put a smile on my face! None of my LO's has ever been picked for anything like that and to top it off it really is one that was at the top of my favorites.
Here's the blog..It's the first I have ever known of it but it has some really nice LO's and links to freebies on it from what I can see.
You can click on the LO to take you to a larger view and to see the credits.

Thanx for taking a peek at my blog today.
Huggles,
Balinda

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Summer News, Photos and LO's

Wow...I didn't realize that I had been neglecting my blog so badly. I don't like to leave it abandoned as it's sorta my way to keep track of all the activities me and my family indulge in. I have tried keeping a paper diary/record..well those just take up much needed space and someone ususally decides that they need to grab my books when they can't find their own paper to write on.
This past 4 weeks I have been taking a Portaiture class taught by Candice Stringham at the Jessica Sprague forum. I did pick up alot of new tips and information for making subjects in portait photos look more flattering and appealing. I also surprised myself by already knowing alot of the info and a few things I did not know, I did naturally anyhow. I gotta get better at in Camera Cropping and trying not to chop my people off at the joints.
So instead of scrapping I have been photographing. But I did get some scrapbooking in this past couple of weeks. YAY!!!!!
We have also acquired a new furbaby. A sweet minature dashund named Gerty. She was already named when we got her and just decided to keep it. My only complaint is that she apparently has severe seperation anxiety and will NOT quit barking/whining when she is put in her little fence we have set up in the kitchen or even when she has the whole run of the room and can't join the rest of the family. I literally just want to scream! If my daughter did not love her so much, I would just take her back for that reason alone. And yes..I am aware of how bad that sounds.
here's a little bit of eye candy for ya for taking the time to read...just click on the photos for a larger view.

Template by Janet Phillips
Paper and Alpha from Breath of Fresh Air Kit by ScrapKitchen's Designs
Font used is DJB Fill in the Blanks by Darcy Baldwin
All can be found at Sweet Shoppe Designs


Paper from Revolution by Julie Billingsly
Twine Heart and one set of Flourish flowers from Mayberry by Kristin Cronin-Barrow
Alpha and second set of Flourish flowers from Blossom by Kristin Cronin-Barrow
Notebook Paper from Porkchops and Applesauce by Libby Weifenbach
Font used is DJB Gimme Space by Darcy Baldwin
Template from 3 in 1 set by Darcy Baldwin



We had a slipin' slide party for my niece this past Saturday. My Daughter was just taking a few minutes to escape the little kids and hang out with the adults. I just love this photo.

And this is Shaina and Gerty on the ride home. The beginning of SPOILED ROTTEN PUPPY days.

Thanx for peeking in!
Balinda




Friday, May 28, 2010

PostHeaderIcon End of School

Super quick catch up posting with photos to match.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
We have finally gotton the end of the school year stuff rounded up around here.
My niece Makenzie graduated kindergarten. I attended and became the official picture taker.
Here she is with her Mommy, Crystal. She had a really good time at her little party afterwards.

And my sweet little darling Shaina passed on to the 8th grade...How in the world did that happen when it
feels like she should still be home in diapers. Here she is cleaning the last tidbits out of her locker.
I have not scrapped any lately as the mission of getting some old photos scanned and returned to
my Mom has consumed me. But I do believe I am going to have to take a break from it before I get burned out on it.
And last but not least...I was able to get into Candice Stringhams Portrature 101 at the Jessica Sprague forum. I super excited to be in this class cuz I totally suck butt at portaits and posing people for them. But I pleasantly surprised myself today by taking quite a few really great photos of my daughter and her BFF.
here is one of Shaina that I am esp proud of. I made her take her glasses off so that I could really see her beautiful eyes.
And that's about it for now.
Thanx for peeking in!
Balinda


Monday, May 10, 2010

PostHeaderIcon P365 Photos

I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend. Mine went pretty good. Saw my Mom and had my kids with with me...what else could you ask for? I did volunteer my husbands services Saturday to help cut a few limbs from a tree in my parent's yard that was blocking their internet satellite dish. What was to be a simple climb and cut procedure ended up with the whole tree being cut down. I am not sure if my hubby appreciated being volunteered so readily but my Mama really appreciated it. =)
Here is my hubby, Ricky, in his hooks and belt he uses for his regular job for when he climbs to where a bucket truck will not reach. Day 128
My 2 great kids and my Mama.
Day 129
My Giant Mother's Day card from my kids.

Thanx for peeking in today!
Balinda

Friday, May 7, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Photos & Passing along coupon code for M4H

It seems like I have accidentally taken a break from digiscrapping. I got busy scanning the photos my Mama brought over....I just totally immersed myself into that project so I could return her vintagey photos ASAP. Then I with Project 365 and getting my photos taken, I find that I am paying ore attention to the details of everything. I suppose that's part of what the process of the project does. Many times I find myself on my knees in my yard to see if I can capture in the lens what I see with my eyes. I also feel it's helping me with my photographing skills and with manual mode on the camera. The saying is that if you wanna do something well to Practice! Practice! Practice! I have also venture a little bit into using actions on my photos. I love textures but I have yet to learn to use them to their full potential.
Pioneer Woman has some really nice FREE photo actions (available for PSE and PS) as does Coffee Shop, MCP, My 4 Hens and Paint the Moon. My 4 Hens is also having a sale this weekend of 40% off her actions until Monday if you use coupon code m4h40.
Below is a photo I took yesterday. The top of course is SOOC. And the second one is 1)Creatively Cropped 2) the color popped up a little using ACR (adobe camera raw) and 3) a lens flair action by My 4 Hens from Photography Toolbox #2.



and now on to the Project 365 photos.
Today's~Day 127
This little squirrel was playing in the yard when I came home this morning from dropping off Shaina to school. And not shy at all when I started taking a few photos.

Yesterday's~Day 126
For some reason my husband does not throw this away. It was in our yard when we moved in. I could throw it out but I am just fascinated that he doesn't when he mows. Maybe he's recycling.

Thanx for peeking in today!
Balinda





Wednesday, May 5, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Restoration, Nails and Kisses

Today has seemed like it's been the longest day. I was so tired this afternoon that I just laid on the sofa about 5ish and didn't move until after 6. That was only cuz I needed to feed my beautiful rugrat. =) Me and Mama started really early today to head to Coushatta to see my Grandfather and to finish sorting out his dr. appointments. We still have to get his Medicaid papers filled out and had the Social worker look the forms up online for us to have a copy of them since we havn't recieved anything from them yet. We know he quailifies for Nursing Home Medicare because he was recieving it the couple of months he was in the bad nursing home.
My visits with my Grandfather are so bittersweet. I know he doesn't remember me coming to see him. He does know me though when I am there but that's about it. Forget a real conversation...I say something and he comments back with something entirely not related to anything I just said. I persevere though and try not to leave in tears. It's just so heart wrenching to see a loved one slip away from reality and to see his health decline as rapidly as it has since last summer. I just wanna hang on tight and not let him go. I think I am having such a hard time because he is my LAST grandparent alive. When he passes...I don't get to be the Grandbaby anymore. I was my Grandmother's favorite and she passed away 14 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I was not as close to my other grandparents as these. Not because I didn't love them but because I was the first Grandchild for my father's parents. We lived next door to them for the majority of my childhood. So much of who I am is from them. I am so sorry to be so emotional in my postings sometimes but things in RL just spill over and I free write in my postings. If I don't, I don't think I could handle what life throws my way sometimes.
So here we end up at todays photo for Project 365
♥Me huggin-N-luvin' on my Papaw♥
Day 125
Me and Shaina did not get her nails done last night like we wanted so we made up for that tonite. She has never had any artificial nails...and these just tickled her to death to try them out. It's a good thing Walmart has something a little more on the funky side for a non-girly girl.

And here she is giving one of her pretty smiles.
I am also taking a class at Jessica Sprague.com called This Old Photo:Restoring Vintage Snapshots.
This is the first one I have played about with using her techniques. I don't know how to remove the dust and scratches yet...but will soon.
♥This is my Mom and Dad on their Wedding Day♥
Thanx for peeking in tonight!
Balinda




Tuesday, May 4, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Bullies and P365 Photos

We all had a really good weekend. Shaina got off to her cousins wedding fine and me and Ricky just chilled out around here some. After over a month of my daughter staying at her father's, she came home last night. I knew it was getting about time for her to come back home to her Mama but I wanted it to be on her time table since we don't push her to stay for definite periods of time. She's my floater kid. But my house is home base and when I think she has been gone too long I do reel in the reins some so I can keep her grounded.
I am upset though that her father let her go spend the night with a girl she has had a troubled time with. I told him that I did not ever want her to go to this girls house again. But was I listened to...NOPE. Not even a little. Now this girl has broken my daughter's heart, doesn't want to be her friend and is causing her crap at school. The last time my daughter had trouble with her was this time last year and my daughter did aggravate the situation..but this time....it's more this girl. The text messages she sent my daughter...I just wanted to reach through the phone and strangle her.
So this morning I went to walmart and picked up some stuff to do her nails and we will spend some quaility girly time together tonight. Nails being done will be a big deal cuz my Shaina is such a tom boy...so I made sure to pick up some black ones with cute skulls on them. It will be an experience I am sure as I have never let her have artificial nails but she is 14 and quite old enough, I think.
Here's my Project 365 Photos.
Day 122
My nephews always play with the cat toys when they come over. So when I spied the little mice all lined up Sunday....It made me giggle just a little bit at them cuz I knew that they did it.
Day 123
I have been scanning old photos of my Grandmothers. This is one of her tattered albums...tattered it may be..but it held some pretty precious photos.
Day 124
These are my miniature roses. I just thought the morning sun shone on them
quite beautifully this morning.


Thanx for peeking in today with me.
Balinda



Saturday, May 1, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Days 120 and 121

So far we are lucky this weekend...all the bad weather forcasted has been just north of us. I am ever so glad.
My Mom, SIL, neices and nephews stopped by this morning after making a visit to see my Grandfather. Mom told me that he didn't know who they were. I guess I am lucky in that he knows me when I go.
Shaina was attending her cousin's wedding today so I helped her get all dolled up for that. She was supposed to be at her father's at noon. We got there a tad bit early and I snapped a few more photos of her while we waited. This became my Day 121 for Project 365.
Day 120 photo is a bit more boring. I am backing up some more of my photos and needed
some DVD's.
And folks..that's about it for me today. I am perusing the net looking for good iNSD sales I might have missed and just relaxing. I have a bit of a headache today so I will probably call it an early night.


Friday, April 30, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Project 365 Days 118 & 119

Today is the first day I have turned on the central air in almost 2 weeks. We have been very lucky to have had a mild spring despite all the pollen. But today was way too humid and rain is on its way and I just couldn't stand it.
I have been surfing the net and checking out my fave scrapkit designers to see what good sales they will have this weekend for iNSD. Quite a few are having some awesome sales. Others not so good...so that is sorta disappointing...but that's ok.
Here's my photos for P365 for Wed and Thu.
Day 118-Wednesday
Love the honeysuckles in my yard.
I practicing taking photos from a different perspective and thought this one turned out pretty nifty.
Day 119
I thought the evening sun looked really pretty shining through the trees in my driveway.
I think I am also going to go through my links list and all the blogs I like that don't have any regular updates anymore I will be deleting them. Sorry ahead of time to anyone I delete.
Thanx for peeking in today.
Balinda



Thursday, April 29, 2010

PostHeaderIcon iNSD Freebie 4 You ~ Photo Textures

I am one of those "wannabe" photographers. When I grow up...I would like to do that semi-seriously. I devour any info about photography tips and tricks. But in the meantime...I am just having fun. This past year I was very lucky to take Candice Stringham's Oh Shoot! class over at the Jessica Sprague forum. I only had a Kodak bridge camera but I learned so so much about using manual mode. I have since acquired an Olympus E-420. I was hesitant about the purchase cuz it seems everyone leans toward a Nikon or Canon. I, however, am finding that this nifty DSLR is a joy to photograph with. Another thing I learned over at Jessica Sprague forum is how to really use photo textures. They are ever so much fun! Especially if you layer a bunch and play with the opacity levels and blend modes on your layers. So while I was out today taking some photos and contemplating what my photo for Project 365 will be today, I photographed some things in my yard that I thought would be some cool photo textures. Since this weekend is iNSD, I wanted to share. I have met so many generous people on the www that this is my way of "paying it forward".
Now...on to the freebies!!!
This is with textures b+c+d all on overlay blend mode and about 50% opacity.


You can click on the image to view larger.
Download Here if you like them.
And if you need to know how to use photo textures....
Go Here.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Toxic Fridge and the BAM Effect

Ok...I know I am not the ONLY one in the whole world that has let their fridge become toxic. And that's toxic with a capital "T". It's not that mine was really messy...by no means was it cluttered....I was just growing a few science experiments in it. I didn't even wanna clean the dishes...so...thank goodness alot of them were cheapo plastic ware ones and I could just toss them in the garbage. Now the garbage can is on the back porch...lid tightly sealed until it quits raining and I can see how fast I can dump and run into one of our big cans until dump day. Yes...I said dump day...the wonderful day my hubby loads it all up and hauls it to the city dump cuz we don't have trash pickup. I sorta feel bad...but then I start thinking about all the stinky clothes I will wash of his...and it takes me longer to wash than him to drive and dump...so I think it's a fair trade.
Monday night was Progress Report night at my daughters school. She did NOT want me to go. So her father picked her up from school and I went alone. She usually goes with me..but I wanted to see what she might be hiding from me. The answer is NOTHING. Her teachers praised her for working hard and in general just being a great student. She doesn't get the best grades but she works hard for the ones she does get and that's what is mattering to me and the fact that she is learning. School is really hard for her and eventhough she is not officially diagnosed with ADD....I have learned she thrives on routine and I have jumped through numerous hoops and testings for her to get into the schools 504 program. She stays in a regular classroom but has access to multiplication tables and formulas for math and gets longer to take a test if necessary...and a few other things. I didn't want a "free ride" for her because she is very intelligent...I just find that she learns differently and needs more interactive and hands on time. I so wish my ex would agree to let me home school but that's a battle I have long ago lost and now at 14...she will not want to leave her friends.
I am blessed that she has teachers that really care.
On to my Project 365 photos...
Day 116
I think the hummingbirds would like me to clean their feeder before putting them out.


Day 117
I have severe insomnia and do the majority of all my cleaning at night. sometimes ya just gotta go with what works. Well....this didn't work out so well...I broke a pretty wall hanging that my friend Ebeth gave me for my Bday this year. It was just leaned up against the wall on top of the pantry...and I slid the pantry over to sweep and BAM! it broke....I am an sooooo bummed over it. =(..
And My Goodness..if you have read all of my posting...you deserve a cookie!
Thanx for peeking in!
Balinda

Monday, April 26, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Wasps on Wheels and P365

The weekend was good...alot better than what I expected actually. It was forcasted for us to have severe storms/high winds/tornadic type weather. It did blow through but it skirted north of us. We got rain, which I don't mind but the storms...well...I could do without. Since hubby worked his extra job Fri/Sat..that left me and DD some much needed girly time. We mostly just hung out and I let her catch up on her FB, email etc while I did some much needed cleaning on my bathroom. We didn't even turn on the TV until we watched movies Saturday night. It was so peaceful without it blaring. I could go w/o TV....I just don't...but the hubby does keep it blaring when he is home.
Church service was wonderful Sunday. My fave is sunday evening service because we get to pick our own songs to sing. It just has a little bit of a different vibe that I like. I always leave uplifted for the week.
Right after lunch though me and Shaina cleaned some junk outta my car and this was our surprise when we opened the trunk lid. I am thinking they just wanted to hitch hike to walmart or something.

On to the P365 photos though...
This is Day 114.....Movies for movie night.
and Day 115
Shaina loaded down with a few things to go visit her Dad for one more week.


Thanx for peeking in!
Balinda


Friday, April 23, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Azaleas and Roses

Today was super busy. That's what I get for sitting on tushy all day Thursday and not doing anything...well I did do a few things but I sure wasn't breaking a sweat. I was able to get all my banking done which I really wished I had done yesterday....I forget how busy banks are on Fridays. I also ran by walmart to pickup a few items and some photos I had dropped off last week to process. One set was a roll of film and the other was a disposable camera. Film rolls are always a surprise to what's on them and this one was no different. It was Christmas about 3 years ago. I was wondering why I didn't have many photos of that Christmas. Now I know..lol. It was a great find. The disposable was Shaina's from church camp last summer. And believe me, she let me know I was little late in getting them done. LOL! But she was glad to have them.
My hubby started a flower bed for me in the front yard....now ur thinking awwwww how sweet, right. Well the key word is "started" . He laid some boards we had been saving to use for them so it would be a raised bed and he dug all the top layer of grass off of it. That's it. And it's been like that for 6 weeks. I am thinking he is not going to do anything else to it for me. So with that in mind, I scoped out some flowers in the garden center at walmart. I settled on a couple of azalea's that are supposed to bloom spring, summer and fall. With the rain we are getting I am thinking it will be a good time to plant. I will also discard the idea of raised beds on that side of my house. Mainly cuz just digging a hole is easier. I know I will need a couple more to fill my space but I will know better how many I will need after planting the first two.
While I was taking some photos for my picture of the day I snapped a few of my miniature rose bush by my porch walkway. This is such a hardy little bush. I never prune it nor have I fertilized it and it just grows bigger and bigger every year and it's loaded with blooms. If only my larger roses would do this.

Photo of the Day time....Day 112.
This is a photo that I need to scan and return to my Mom. It's me at 7 weeks and was very recently retrieved from my Grandparents house. It has my Grandmothers handwriting on the back of it that I will scan also.
And it won't be long before the photo restoration class at JessicaSprague.com will start and I can put it to good use with this one.

Day 113
My azaleas. I wasn't sure which color I liked the best so I got a light pink one and an orangish redish colored one. I think azaleas ore one of the prettiest things you can plant. And one of the easiest to maintain.

Thanx for visiting and peeking at my photos.
Balinda

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Balinda (RebelChick)
Just an everyday girl trying to find my way in the world to live life fiercely and passionately. I was a signature tagger for several years but art journaling has replaced that passion and it feeds my soul creativiely and spiritually. I also homeschool my DD, scrapbook, play around in photography, spoil my cats and drive my hubby insane on a daily basis. My faith in the Lord helps me juggle all these blessings. I keep this blog because it makes me happy. Sometimes I blog a lot and other times it collects a little dust. Thanks for visiting and being my friend.♥
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