Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Super yummy homemade Oreos!

Keeping the kids busy in the summer can be a challenge! 
This is a fun recipe from my daughter-in-law Janene 
to try with those busy little beavers:)

Sand between my toes

Our family's first annual vacation with the tribe ALL married took us to Pensacola. We were willing to drive 7 hours in 3 cars with 6 children just to walk in white sand. We love our home beaches, but they are definitely on the wrong side of the muddy Mississippi river!
This type of lazy vacation suits us:)
Everyone was so excited for our "no schedule for the day" time as a family. 

I smiled with the first squish of the sand between my toes. I felt happy to sit under the umbrella holding the baby, taking pictures and occasionally braving the surf as I wondered...
What is it about the ocean?
About the waves gently crashing on the shoreline?
Why do we flock by the hundreds of thousands to beaches across the world?

When I looked around and saw my husband digging a "swimming pool" in the sand, the boys jumping above the waves, my daughters in law chatting, and the happy squeal of the baby girls, I knew the answer. As the sound of the waves worked their magic on my frazzled and frantic self, I knew the answer. 
The ocean makes us happy.
It is majestic, mysterious and a creation of God.
It is a place of gathering for families and friends, a place of fun and a place of peace...

Imagine all of those feelings just for a bit of sand between my toes:)

 I think we just started a sandy, lazy vacation tradition with this trip... and that is just fine with me:)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Water balloon fight!

The genius that thought of filling up balloons with water should get a medal! They have contributed to summer fun in a big way. Think of the laughter and fun in summer camps, family reunions and backyards across the country ever single summer. Hats off to the sheer joy of launching a bomb in pink or yellow through the sunshine, watching the explosion of water on the back of a cousin or camp mate, and the thrill of trying to dodge the return fire:)
This layout captures the silly fun of water balloons, fun with dad & the cousins and scrapbooking with colorful scraps!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Seeing what they see

I love taking pictures from behind, seeing what they see, getting a glimpse into their world. It reminds me that they see the world differently than I do. Just for a moment I move away from my "window" and look through theirs. For a few seconds I see things differently and new. I am both a traveler and an observer here and sometimes their simple world gives me the hope I need to keep going:)

Four of my grandchildren:)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fire, flood, & bugs that eat your house

In the last month we have had disaster after disaster and I have been on the verge of a breakdown!
This is the list...

*Termites-(the really bad ones that can eat a house in 3 months) at not one but 2 of our leased houses-$900x2

*Giant oak tree that fell in storm-$1200

*I finally got a family into a lease to own house (one with termites and tree down) only to find that every single plumbing things that could go wrong including the washer draining that was draining into the walls of the house for 2 weeks before we caught it-$2000
I want to murder the person responsible but I don't like cramped spaces and look terrible in orange jumpsuits so I will just keep eating more and more chocolate. 

*Rental mobile home burned down because the tenant (who was behind on rent and 3 days late leaving the property) had a friend helping to pack who put a box on the stove, which turned on the burner. The friend threw water on the fire which did not help and so the house is gone. $20K
AND they did not even apologize!

*Fence around pool is still not finished after almost 2 months...grandchildren are here!

*We are in the final stages of building the apartment on our property for daughter & family and construction is stressful!

I keep hoping for a day where everything is in order and nothing needs repairing, renovating or building! 

In of my friends..the kind that you can let it all hang out with and she still loves you, is moving!

Needless to say I have been fairly close to the edge and then to top it off
I got one of those "Honey, I had a wreck but I am okay" phone calls.

A truck plowed into the back of my hubby, pushed him into another car and took off. My husband got the ambulance to take him to work and he worked his 12 hour shift in the ER.
His Mini Cooper is toast. He is okay.

As I was driving to pick him up I realized that none of the other disasters mattered.
My eyes filled with tears and I knew that heaven had intervened.

The key word is perspective. 

The challenge is maintaining perspective when you feel like you are on a roller coaster that never stops. 
It would be nice if we could shop for things we need like perspective, patience, and the ability to be calm in the face of anything. 
My Amazon cart would be full!
I am still hoping for a day with nothing that needs fixing but at least for a while I will look at my hubby & remember that fire, floods, and bugs that eat your house are not the worst problems of all!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


If I had to choose just one favorite word 
it would be CREATE.

This word covers everything I want to do in my life...
Create a happy marriage.
Create a peaceful home environment.
Create close relationships with all of my children.
Create a Grammie camp each summer for the grandchildren:)
Create a beautifully landscaped yard.
Create albums that I can leave as a legacy of family history in photos.
Create joy by making beautiful things out of glue, paper, ribbon, and paint:)
Create a better community by serving in organizations.
Create a more healthy me by juicing more.
The list is endless!

Everything is created, good and bad.
That is why I "created" this fun piece of wall remind me that happiness and joy is created.
Beauty is created.
Successful family life is created.
Fun pieces of wall art are created:)
Polite children are created.
Fabulous meals are created.
Charming & cozy retreat venues like Nellie's Cottage are created!
Character is created.

I want to create a happy life and for me part of that happiness is sitting down with glitter, glue, fabric, ribbon and paper!

I began with glittered letters (Martha Stewart glitter)

Cream burlap was wrapped around an 11x14 canvas and stapled.
Assorted trims were hot glued in borders.
The glittered letters were hot glued to the burlap.

This was a fun piece however, it needed something more! I painted a wooden frame from Michaels in a matte antique gold. The canvas was hot glued to the frame. The project still needed something more so I found this heavy ribbon in my stash and hot glued it to the canvas and frame creating a "wave" look to the ribbon border. Then it looked finished and perfect to me:)

I chose to hang my artwork on a wall in my sewing/craft room wall. I look directly at the piece as I sit creating, how appropriate:)

What is your favorite word?

Monday, July 1, 2013

And the retreat winner is....

Jessica Skelton!
You won our weekend retreat giveaway at the Creating Keepsakes convention in Houston!
I had one of the other vendors draw out of our basket of names.
These are my sweet nieces Loren & Emily who were my assistants for the convention.

Congratulations Jessica:) Call me!

This was the most fun I have had in a bit...visiting with lovely ladies from near and far. Ladies who love embellishing and keeping memories. Ladies who love home and family and friends. Ladies who like me who NEED a retreat!
It was fun watching eyes light up when I told them Nellie's Cottage was my grandmother's home. It was funny to see women drooling over a picture of homemade banana pudding:)

It was so validating to have some of my past retreaters "talking me up" at the convention:) I love what I do because I gather women who gather their families, who treasure their memories and that in itself is a joy.
Ironically I do not have my own group of scrapbooking friends. Sadly my scrapbooking time is severely limited at the moment due to other more pressing jobs and commitments. I do however believe that the preservation of memories however you go about it is a treasure worth more than any millions you could leave behind. Our memories will be the puzzle pieces our future grandchildren put together about themselves. Every time I learn something new about Nellie I find a little piece of myself.
Nellie & Albert Geldard 1940
as they were when they built the home now called Nellie's Cottage

Every time I add a piece of myself to the puzzle called Kimberly I become more interesting, more whole, more of who I hope to be and that makes me more useful, more happy, and a little closer to the best kind of me:)