Sunday, December 29, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Irrational Fears

Irrational fears. 
Almost everybody has one sometimes two.
Mine is checking the mail. A better explanation of it may be of what is in the mail. 
I know it sounds crazy and maybe it is. I will go two or three days and will not peek inside it. 

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Most of the time it's just the usual sale papers and random junk. Other days I get a fantastic prize in the form of a Fingerhut magazine begging me to take advantage of the $400 worth of credit extended to me. I am also given the opportunity to give my money away to various establishments in the form of a bill. 

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I also get regular goodies from Tangie Baxter, Amazon, and Pangea Reptile.
You would think that with wonderful stuff like that coming to my mail I would "get over it". Believe me I do try.  Logically, I know exactly where the irrationality of it all stems from. 

I spent ten years struggling as a single mom. No government assistance. Watching my ex gloat because he could still vacation, go to movies etc where as I could not do any of those things. Every time I opened the mailbox it was another bill that I struggled to pay and in some cases could not. I maxed out my credit cards paying attorney fees for divorce/custody issues. When those could not be paid on time anymore, the collection notices started rolling in. The dread and then the despair associated with what was waiting in the mailbox became more than I could bear some days so I just started to only check it every other day. Bad habits formed and over the years I catch myself not checking the mail but once or twice a week. I guess it's my version of "bury my head in the sand".  Like I said earlier, logically, I know it's silly and irrational but emotionally I still choke up and hold my breath as if what is in it will hurt me. Financially, we do as well as the rest of folks. Pay the regular bills. NO credit cards any more. Haven't had any of those in years. 

I don't really make resolutions for the New Year's but it is my sincere goal to check it daily and quit letting the sight of the mailbox trigger all those old emotions. 

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Passport Dreaming


I can't believe it's been 6 months since I have created anything remotely artsy or art journaly. I think women in general put everyone's needs above their own. I find that I do that and then I am resentful because I don't get any "down" or "me" time. I should not be resentful because it is my own fault. I should learn how to manage my time better, to actually schedule art journal/scrapbook/art time. We all know that knowing something and putting it into practice are two totally different challenges. So ladies (and guys too) what do you say? Do you think we can all band together to get in a least a couple of hours a week to let those creative juices flow or to document the mile stones in your lives? I know I am going to give it an earnest effort!


Soooo....here is the first thing I have created since July. 
My contribution to the 2014 Art Journal Caravan Book. This was my interpretation of the theme "Passport Dreaming". 
I used elements from VooDooHooDo and Wild Blue Yonder by FineCrafted Designs at Deviant Scrap. Little Sky Pirate by Ida Larsen at Deviant Scrap. Her little pirate looks so much like my little niece McKenzie in this pose. The font is Rubia's tiny script by Darcy Baldwin. It's a retired font that I picked up at Sweet Shoppe Designs last Going, Going, Gone Sale


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Monday, December 9, 2013

PostHeaderIcon The Christmas Tree

The tree.
The tree that becomes the center piece of so many family traditions during the holiday season. The tree that stresses out women all over the country to get up and decorated in time to actually enjoy it before the process of taking it down. The Christmas Tree. 

The goal every year in my home is to get it up on Thanksgiving. My reasons for that is (1) my kiddos are 17 and 24 (2) I have to share them with my ex. (3) My 24 yo has his own life and is always so busy and most importantly (4) It makes me ever so happy to look at my tree later and remember what a wonderful day we had decorating it. No amount of money can buy that wonderous warm fuzzy feeling a Mama gets in her heart when it comes to moments like that with her babies (no matter how old they are!)

This year the family tree trimming has been an EPIC fail. Thus far, I have done nothing but work. I came very close to just buying a tiny table top tree so that after all the Christmas celebrations all that would be needed was to pop it on a shelf in the closet. I finally had a full day off Saturday and got the house back in order and caught up on the mundane chores that had piled up like washing linens and mopping floors. My DD was a huge help with the dusting, folding of laundry and vacuuming.  A feeling of accomplishment filled my soul and at that point the tree came out of the closet.  This meant that the living room needed to be rearranged to fit it and the treadmill kicked out and into the art room. 



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After almost giving myself a hernia dragging it out and cutting through the layers of duct tape holding it closed....I got to my prize.  As I looked into that box, I was suddenly rethinking this idea but I had already came this far, so no turning back now. Grinch BEWARE!!!! The tree was going up!!! 

Thank goodness I had my helper with me because I probably would have broken something on me or part of the tree putting the heavy middle piece in the post properly. Funny how 12 months makes you VERY forgetful of how much a pain in the "you know what" something can be to piece back together.
But alas, my helper got distracted by Country Dance 2 on the Wii. 


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And of course when not trying to jump in the box, Ghost thought he had a new hide out built special for him. The other 2 cats were waiting in the wings to see if there would be room for them.



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Because women work smarter than men *wink* I had my DD help me label the correct order of the plugs on our prelit tree when we put it away last year. The first 2 years the husband was home to put it up AND watching him cuss and fuss for an hour really sucked the joy out of the day. *Disclaimer for the hubby's sake* The tree came with ZERO indication of the order of the plugs of which I thought was pretty darn stupid.



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Victory is ours and despite all the internal whining, the tree was up and all the lights working in 15 minutes. *Girls rule! Boys drool!*

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Today marks 16 days until Christmas and this is still how the tree looks. Limbs need to be fluffed and decorations still need to added but that will have to wait until Wednesday when it's not raining and I can get them out of our storage shed. 

Despite all the whining, I do so love my tree and the way my family gathers around it during the Christmas season to just revel in the beauty of the twinkling lights and enjoy just taking time to be in each other's company with no distractions. For just a few moments it's like time stands still, so still it lets your heart and soul beat in tandem so that these perfect moments are so clearly defined and held forever precious. ♥

Monday, December 2, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Gratitude

99 days.
99 days of prayers and waiting for my Daddy to get better and come home. 
His lungs shut down on him and in the first weeks I was not even sure he would pull through. Those were the weeks I did not leave the ICU waiting room or my Mama. The weeks I dragged my daughter around and we slept in the chairs "just in case". A decision was made to replace his intubation tube from the ventilator with a trach. Next came a move to a medical rehab and weaning from the ventilator.  Other hurdles such as learning how to swallow so he could eat and small things as making a fist or moving his feet became monumental victories. One more move to an intense physical rehab was in store. It was the worst experience my Daddy has ever had. He was there to relearn everything from brushing his teeth to walking. They did their job in the therapy part. Nursing wise - much was to be desired. Regardless of that my Daddy is home. He can walk with a walker :-) and tend to his basic needs. 
This Thanksgiving I am humbled with much Gratitude for all the Blessings my family have been given by my Daddy being home. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

PostHeaderIcon .....and life goes on.....

Ahhhh....getting back into the swing of things...school, blogging, work.... the day to day routine of life. One morning I wake up with the whole year ahead of me and it seems like no time flat here I am in September. Where does the time go? So many things planned to do and and only a handful accomplished. Should I celebrate the things done or the things undone? Definitely a conundrum and point of view problem. I most definitely flip-flop between both views. Am I the only one? Surely not!

My Daddy has been in the hospital since August 9th. ICU and on a ventilator. He was diagnosed with emphysema 13 years ago and has managed it very well. The doctor he was using is a quack in my opinion but that is just me. He needed to have been referred to a specialist a long time ago but this doctor just does not do that and my Daddy is not one that actively searches to go in the first place. My Mama barely got him to the ER here in our small town in time to do anything good for him. I demanded a transfer to a larger hospital the next day when the respiratory therapist exhausted all other efforts to help him with his breathing and mentioned that the next step to help him was a ventilator. 

It's breaking my heart to see my Daddy in this condition. He was transferred to a Long Term Acute Care facility on the 30th after having a trach put in on the 29th. It's on the 8th floor of the hospital but it is a separate facility and had to be discharged from the hospital and admitted to it. This was done in the hope that he can get weaned from the ventilator and get physical therapy at the same time so as to not lose his mobility. So far he is still on the vent and we are praying that this is the week he can come off of it. So if you pray, please say a prayer for him and us that we stay blessed with doctors who make the correct decisions for his treatment, nurses who have the love and strength to put up with his stubborness to push him to do what he needs to do and for us (his family) stay healthy, always have the perfect words for the tough moments and to have a thick skin when he gets frustrated with us for not letting him backslide during his recovery. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Sand in the Toes

I am so very excited with the results of our test scores...UP TWO grade levels. It's not where we need to be just yet but we are on the right track!!! 
Around these parts public school has already let out for the summer but as home schoolers we will continue on through the summer. We take plenty of breaks here and there but the easy weekly pace really works for us and as the test scores prove....it it working in our favor.  

We didn't really get to do too much with our school group this year and it's tradition that an end of the year trip overnight is planned. Last year we went to New Orleans. Lack of fundraising and mostly lack of planning and time resulted in us just having a day out at Cypress Bend Park. It's a nice Golf and Fishing Resort on Toledo Bend. We went the cheap and fun way and just paid the $2.00 a person to access the park and boat ramp side, brought the portable BBQ grill, and enjoyed the swimming while catching up with the other families.

The sand felt sooooo wonderful between the toes!!!


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The girls couldn't resist the pretty blue water a minute longer.

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The fishy was a feast for the eyes as we left for home.

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I couldn't have planned a better start to the summer. We all came home tired and bit sunburned but ready to do it again at a moments notice.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Now All We Do is Wait

Earlier in the week we started out our second day of testing being silly while we waited on the rest of the group to show up. No reason to be anxious. I have taught my daughter that's it's a testing of knowledge and progression NOT a test of what we don't know YET

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It wasn't long before it was time to get to work. I left her with our group of high schoolers and went to give our only second grader her test. 

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Testing was over at noon and we were blessed with a gorgeous day to enjoy stress free. Now we just wait for the results and see how our studies are coming along and what we are doing great on and what we need to work on.

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Saturday was iNSD (international) Scrapbook Day. I save my pennies up for all the stuff I add to my wish lists at my favorite scrapbook stores. This year I used my funding to pledge to a dream because I believe dreams help our light shine from within. I am excited to say that the bit I pledged will help make the Artspiration Studio a reality. I have had to pleasure of taking classes with Tangie in real life and the passion and generosity she shares will be a gift to the art community that is priceless. 

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I did sneak in a few purchases from Tumble Fish Studios. I just adore her kits and there was NO WAY I could resist such a wonderful sale. Now the challenge it to use them and not hoard them on my hard drive. Anyone wanna come be my maid for a couple of months?!?!?!?  
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Monday, April 29, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Be a Dream Maker!

I rarely make an actual scrapbook page...something I am striving to remedy. I am looking for balance between my art journaling and scrapping. Tonight I was lucky to be able to get my hands on Tangie Baxter's "BE" kit. It is exclusive to backers of her kickstarter campaign to open an art studio. Tangie is the most generous of teachers and will give selflessly of her talent if this dream of her's were to come true. The campaign ends on May 4th. I know times are hard but with just a $10 contribution you will get this amazing EXCLUSIVE kit among a few other goodies. Plus you will know that you helped make a dream come true.

                                       Tangie's Kickstarter Campaign


Here's what I was inspired to create. I had the most fabulous time with both my kiddo's at Olive Garden last Saturday. I should mention the hubby was there also....but for a Mama it's usually all about the kids. :D Clicking on the photo will pop you right on over to the gallery for the full credits.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Television and Testing

I sit here tonight watching Sunday night television. I have Vikings being DVR'd  while I watch Game of Thrones and The Borgais. I will catch Nurse Jackie after The Bogais'. I find that I can go days of no television but when I get caught up in a series I get obsessive about keeping up with the story line. I don't think I would be watching Game of Thrones if I had not read the book many years ago. I was immediately sucked into the intricate plot line and very impressed with the writing and how George Martin interweaved all the characters together. I am equally impressed in how the series follows the book and does not take off in any weird directions. It's one of the reasons I believe I have continued to watch it.

Tomorrow starts day one of two for my DD's IOWA testing. We don't stress it too much but I have had a heart to heart with her about how important it is for her to do her best. It's the basis on which I choose what levels her school studies get chosen. She is however testing for 10th grade and I am expecting geometry on it. We have done no geometry this year and I have prepared her for it. We unexpectedly decided to redo algrebra. I chose Switched on Schoolhouse algebra last year and it does not do a very good job. This time around I forked over $185 for Teaching Textbooks Algrebra. AMAZING!!!! Also over this past year I have finally broke down and faced the fact that she has ADD and we medicate for that. Not everyday. It's not needed. But when she struggles with comprehension it's like a light bulb gets turned on for her. We will both be saying prayers tomorrow and facing these tests stress free. What will be, will be....right?

♥We won't mind if you say a small prayer also for us.♥

Monday, April 15, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Back to normal....

Between storms and sickness in our home we are slowly getting back to "normal".

The husband took a new job which is good but also bad in the way that he wanted to leave his other job so badly that he only worked a 25 hour week that left me very short on funding for bills. He says he understands the "hardship" he placed me under in budgeting but I just think he was just trying to make nice. I only say that because he was not up front on his short week from the get go. I paid bills that could have waited if I had known what he was up to. I guess if you are not the person budgeting for the expenses it just does not affect you as much. But anyhow he is not working on South Louisiana anymore and is now working in SE Texas.  We are blessed that he did transfer to the new job keeping his current position as a crew foreman and the benefit of a work truck to keep fuel expenses at a minimum for us. This job also allows overtime which is a HUGE blessing and will catch us up to a good place financially. My little job helps but is only a band-aid. :(

Easter was good. We enjoyed a wonderful church service in which the lights went out on us because of severe thunderstom/tornado type weather. Afterwards we came home and snuggled up on the sofa and recliners and napped. I didn't wanna get into cooking a big meal because I was afraid we would lose power also. Thank goodness we didn't! 

I can't let today pass without mentioning the horrible bombing at the Boston marathon. My heart goes out to each and every family that is affected by that horrible and senseless tragedy. 

So I am just gonna keep this posting short and sweet. Thanks for popping by to see me!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Perseverance Pays off and a visit to Oz

Since my last posting I have been on the phone with AT&T tech support four times and sales once. Tech support sent me to sales because according to them it would be cheaper to run me a new line dedicated to my DSL service over sending out a repair tech which would have cost me over a hundred dollars. I did not need sales at all and the girl I spoke to at sales irritated me so badly that I just ended up telling her I did not need her help because she never could understand what I wanted. I immediately called tech support after that. I spoke a tech guy who then recommended a repair person. He transferred me over and after speaking with him we decided that what was being recommended what NOT what was needed and a waste of money. I thanked him for his honesty and he hooked me back up with another tech person. This time I got a girl. She so far has seemed to save the day. I found out from her that the model modem/router that I just got from them was a bad batch. We did try to trouble shoot it anyhow though. We however decided that I just get a new one sent to me and I send the one I had back. I am now using the new one with no problem what so ever. Fingers crossed that this really is the "fix" that I needed. It's only been just a few days since the I installed the new modem/router. 

*I am not sure why no one else ever brought up that problem with the Netgear equipment esp since I had been calling them since January 30th.* 

Needless to say it's been a very frustrating time with it all. I did however find time to do a few pages with SherrieJD's newest kit, Oz - The Whole Enchilada. The pieces are also available in smaller separate kits if you just want a few of them and not the whole thing.



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Monday, March 11, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Slowly getting there....

It seems like I have been cursed with tech problems for all of this year. I think I have gotten my internet worked out to working properly...big emphasis on "think". I have been getting the blue screen of death on my laptop so even though I don't really want to deal with Windows 8 I have gotten a new laptop. I am currently working from my old one. I just don't want to get stuck where I don't have what I "need" on a working laptop. I am not fond of Windows 8 but I think that's only because it's new and I hate having to learn something new especially when what's old is so familiar and easy. I am also still using my old laptop because I can't get photoshop to work properly. I suscribed to the Adobe Cloud with all the wonderfully different programs at my fingertips to use. I was hoping to have gotten to play with CS5 but CS6 had already been released. It's been a challenge and a bit of a learning curve as I have jumped from CS3. Anyhow..what's not working is that all the blend modes are not showing as available..where as I can jump back on this one and they are all there. --->Mental picture of me wanting to pull my hair out when I am in the middle of a project when I find this out.<--->

I think I have chosen a nice laptop though.


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This is me channeling my inner nerd and networking the 2 together. It's something I have never done before and it may sound silly but I felt pretty darn smart being able to do. It made file transferring a breeze!!!


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I am making the jump up from 4GB of memory and 320 hard drive to the 8GB and 1TB. It's very zippy!!! I am also excited about the Beats Audio. I am seriously thinking of saving up for some Beats headphones. They are pricey but I am told they block out all outside noises.  I can totally see myself groovin' to some tunes and art journaling my little heart out. Something I don't seem to be getting to do much of. 


Here's a couple pages I have done this year. Click on the image to see the credits in the SGB Gallery.


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Thanks for taking a few minutes to visit me!!!


Monday, February 18, 2013

PostHeaderIcon He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He LOVES Me!

Valentines Day. Love it or hate it, it comes every February 14th. I have always tried to do something special for my kiddos and I used to do the same for the man but after years of it being a one way street with him, I quit. Seriously...last year I didn't even get him a card. I got tired of being taken for granted. I loved him no less...I just decided to give him as much thoughtfulness as I have I have been shown.  Now you might be thinking that I am some high maintenance chick over here...sorta..but not really. I just wanted a card and for him to take a minute to appreciate what a great wife and friend he has by his side. Without elaborating, I have stood by his side through much more than I think most women would have done. So ummm yeah!!! I want a mushy card and a flower.  This year my fella came through. I won't lie..I loved it..the fact that he remembered...planned ahead to have it delivered to my job and sent my DD flowers gathered him a huge bucket full of bonus points. 

The only downside is that they will die but it's ok. Thoughtfulness was the bigger gift this year and that is much more precious....besides...that's what pictures are for. ♥ 

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*****Now to get him to remember the anniversary!*****


Monday, February 11, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Blessings and Adjustment

Adjustment is hard. I never knew how used I was to not having a time clock to punch into daily. It's not like I sat around and ate bon-bons everyday. November 2012 I started a part-time job. It started out as just two days a week and has now jumped to three. Sadly just six weeks after starting my boss's wife passed away (quite suddenly). Three days may not sound like a lot to some people but with homeschooling duties and church activities, it becomes a balancing act. My boss is a member of my Sunday school class and very much understands my other commitments and hired me on knowing them.  God has blessed me but at the same time challenged me with learning how to balance my time.  


It has come a big blessing that half of the store I work in is a jewelry store. The other half is a Radio Shack and we also process bill payments. The Youth Minister at church has been doing lessons on "Pure Love" and what it means to remain pure until marriage. The lessons included both physical and spiritual repercussions. My boss has been very generous and donated the rings for the Purity/True Love Waits Banquet we are giving the teens. It was never really an issue when I was growing up but it seems now that kids have sex like its no more important than changing into clean underwear.  I have studied a LOT of purity type ceremonies where the girl makes a promise to her physical father here on earth and that is not the way we are conducting ours. It's a promise made to our Heavenly Father and the parents are here to support the decision. Will some make a mistake? I am sure they will. I have discussed this with my DD. Bottom line is that it will be okay and that God will forgive if forgiveness is prayed for. Start the next day anew with a renewed commitment.  I am proud of her for deciding that she wanted to take part in the ceremony and taking a stand that is not the norm these days.

A big event like that required dress shopping. It's a much bigger deal for two of them since they are homeschooled and don't go to proms and other school type dances. I had so much fun with them and the other mom that was with me just watching the excitement of picking them out and trying on all the pretties. The big event is this weekend....please pray for all of our young people as they embark on this stance. No need for names, God knows who they are. ♥



On a much sadder note, it was heartbreaking to hear about all the bad weather during this past week. The DH got the call Sunday evening to go do storm work in Hattiesburg, MS after the tornado that plowed through them. I watched some of the video of the tornado and I just cannot understand why normal (not weathermen or stormchasers) DO NOT get off the road and find cover. So I am not sure when we will see him again...hopefully he will be home by Saturday for the banquet. 



And on that note I bid you a goodnight, work is waiting in the am. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

PostHeaderIcon I've fallen! and I can't get up!!

If you have ever fallen, you can relate to the fact that everything seems to move in super slow motion during the fall when in actual fact it happens so fast nothing nor anyone can prevent it. I had my slip and fall the very next day of my last posting. I felt like a cartoon character during the "event".  I didn't even feel my glasses flying off of my face nor could have predicted them lying 2 feet behind me in the middle of my porch. After catching my breath and realizing I hurt to much to even cry, I realized how wet I was. Why wet? Well it seems that some of that ice that was on the porch ramp started to melt with just a little bit of body heat. I now must get up and move so crawl back up the ramp because I didn't dare chance another fall. Go ahead and laugh...it was quite the comical sight to behold. I will add this disclaimer...I knew there was ice...I was very careful expecting to slip some but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. So the old saying does hold true, "You can never be too careful." I am still nursing a hurt shoulder and I have to be careful how I turn my neck. I probably should have went to a doctor but we have no insurance, so since nothing was broken other than my nails I had just gotten done, I am just being super careful till it gets better.
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I worked really hard to get my laptop back into working order to next end up with internet issues. I thought the stormy weather we have had in our area was some of the reason. NOT! When that was not the problem, I got a new modem. That did not fix the problem either. I traded that for a modem/router combo. That sorta fixed the problem. I was on the phone with AT&T tech support till midnight on Friday. The problem was in my phone lines. I don't know what the tech maintenance person did but with my new modem/router combo and the fixed up broadband connection, things sure are zippy for me now. I can now catch up on all my forums. Iphone browsing has been too frustrating for me. I am pretty confident that I am now back to my regular internet fun and regular postings. 

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My most exciting news for today is that my DD got baptized. This is her second time but she rededicated her life to Christ right before Thanksgiving last year. It's just been so hectic during the holidays at church to schedule her baptism and we were also trying to work around everyone's work schedule. We finally gave up that pipe dream and just let the church pick a date for us and went with. After I found out she rededicated her life to Christ, I asked her why? Her answer was very profound and just brought me to tears with her wisdom. --->We want everything from God, so we should give our everything to Him<--- span="">

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I am so very proud of her!!!!! I am very blessed to be her Mama♥

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Resurrection ~ Holy Moly & Hi! How ya' doin'?


I do so hope it's been a Happy New Year thus far for everyone!!! I do apologize for the absence but when your laptop will not cooperate with ya that's what happens. Blogging from an iPhone just doesn't cut it either. :-(

My New Year's was brought in quietly watching movies. My DH was working and my DD was at a friends house. I have always heard that the the way you bring in the year is how you will spend it. I can surely go along with that. If Quiet = Drama Free, then I am all for it!!!  

For now I am going to share my toasty fire with you. Go grab a cup of hot chocolate and just take a few and relax with me. Be in the moment and remember to enjoy life....especially the little things like hot chocolate and a cracking fire with a friend...because after all, we ARE friends. ♥ God Bless & Happy New Year!!


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About Me

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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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