Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Checking In

I just felt I should post quickly and say thanks to those checking in on us plus give a little update.
We are about 15 -20 minutes south of Ferguson, Missouri by highway.
It is a community right next to where I graduated from college, so I spent a lot of time there.
My grandmother lived right next to Ferguson in Berkley for a long time so we went shopping there a lot.
On Tuesday night, there was a lot of destruction and chaos due to rioting. Cars burned. Businesses looted and burned. Hard for me to understand.

Not too long after what happened with Michael Brown, a young man was shot in our community. He had a gun and shot at the police officer. So there have been protests but mostly peaceful ones.
I believe as a result though of that shooting, on Tuesday, the night the little shopping district in walking distance from our house was targeted with vandalism. Broken windows and looting. No fires thank goodness, but it was bad enough.

I loved our communities response. People came out to help clean up, shop in the stores to show support, and help board windows. And the best, local artists went to work painting all the boarded up windows.
Erin and I went up there for a little bit to get some Bread Company (Panera) for dinner. She was taking it all in for sure. She doesn't understand really only being seven, but we have had some talks about good and not so good choices. How to express ourselves when angry. We talked about Martin Luther King and how most of the protests in our neighborhood were peaceful marches. How a few people make not good choices and that is why we see the broken windows and other damage to property.
Protesting can bring about peaceful change. I truly believe that.
What happened in Ferguson and on Grand has the opposite affect. People are not open to change when they see that type of destruction. It just sadly reinforces misguided beliefs.

When I showed the photos to Evan of the artists, he immediately wanted to go up and help! As it was getting dark, I told him not such a great idea since we had no idea what last night would bring.
Thankfully, nothing happened on Grand except artists working long and hard and community coming together to talk.

We have not had any issues personally in our neighborhood thankfully and we are fine.
I am not sure what is next for St. Louis.
There are many wonderful things about this city we call home.
Ferguson is one small community close by. But it is still a part of our city.
And it's obvious that some changes need to be made.
I support officer Wilson.
I am sad for a family that lost their son as well.
I am learning more about the issues and why change needs to happen.
But I cannot support violence and chaos.
And I do not believe (as the media tried to portray) that Ferguson was a community destroying itself. Many of those people rioting were not from Ferguson.

For those celebrating, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
I know we have a lot to be thankful for and I am counting my blessings every day for sure!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday

1. Feeling a little anxious about the upcoming grand jury announcement regarding Officer Darren Wilson and how it will affect St. Louis and Ferguson which is only about 20 minutes from our home. My grandma's house used to be in Berkley which is right next door to Ferguson and I spent a lot of time in both places while in college.
It also is frustrating hearing all the junk being said in the media.
People are so quick to judge depending on their experiences, beliefs and agendas. Which I suppose is normal. But frankly, hearing people spout off whatever without really knowing the story or finding out facts is getting old.

2. Evan was pretty sick with a bad cold this week so he missed four days of school. That is a lot in junior high as far as school work goes. But despite feeling sick, he managed to get some of the work brought home for him done each day. I felt so bad for him because he was pretty miserable though. Thankfully, my mother in law was able to stay with him on Monday when I had a substitute teaching job. The other three days, I was able to be with him. And so glad he is feeling so much better today!

3. Currently reading this book...

and am liking it. It's a series of older short stories by the author that were published after her death.
It's a quick and easy read and set in Ireland. Three pluses for me right there. :)

4. Some fun photos posted to Facebook this week...
for throwback Thursday (my sister, brother and I November, 1979) Lots of 70's orange here and a Shaun Cassidy tshirt. Definitely dating myself. :)

Some more of my son's amazing artwork. This is The House of Usher for his Literature project.
My daughter trying to brush her naturally curly hair straight. Well at least it's getting her hair brushed. She hates when I comb out her hair at night.

5. Finally, my scrapbook office...
is a ginormous mess again as I clean, purge and organize. And we are talking a major purge. I am putting together several priority mail boxes to giveaway and a few to sell. That will be coming up in the next week or two. I just need to clear some out so I don't feel so overwhelmed!

And so disappointed that U2 had to cancel their week on The Tonight Show due to Bono being injured. Glad he is ok though! But man, I was looking forward to it. Hope they reschedule.

And I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Journaling in my Summer Pocket Pages Album

So I guess we all used to call this type of scrapbooking "Project Life".
But I heard through many sources that Becky Higgins prefers if those using product other than her Project Life brand, refrain from calling it just that.
I've seen many people refer to it as pocket page scrapbooking so that is what I am going with! :)

I have been working on a 2013 summer version for a while. What is slowing me down a bit here is finally adding the journaling. I could choose to hand write everything which would make it so much faster. But frankly, I like the look of typed print in this album. So I am plugging along adding it after the pages are done.
I am primarily using Simple Stories summer lines and a variety of product lines by October Afternoon thrown in for fun.
And I am using a combination of pre made and home made cards for my journaling.
The one you see above was cut from a piece of 12x12 paper. After adding the text by running it through my printer, I attached a strip of patterned paper at the top, a "time to celebrate sticker, and a die cut inked around the edges and adhered using a pop dot.

Here is an example of some of the pre made cards I am using. Both of the cards with journaling came just like they look except for my text which I created in Microsoft word and added later.
I am doing quite a few simple home made ones as well. This one includes a strip of patterned paper at the top and a small sticker at the bottom.
This card was even simpler. I found this quote on a sheet of stickers by October Afternoon and the colors and saying were perfect for the page.

I am finding that what keeps it quick ironically is simple.
But every once in a while, I like a more embellished card. So I am adding those every few pages are so for a little more visual interest.

Eventually I will finish this album so I can start working on Summer 2014! :)
But I have a scrapbook getaway weekend set up in January, and a 12 hour crop day in February.
So I know I will have some scrapbook time then after the holidays!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Little Help From Pinterest

Man, I love Pinterest! I really do go back to older pins and use them.
This past week I actually tried two pins from my Food board.
Open-Faced Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
This recipe was from the Clean Eating website, and I really liked it. I think Mike did, too, and Evan even admitted he liked the chicken.
I will admit that I changed it from whole grain buns to ciabatta rolls and made them full sandwiches.
I only ate half a sandwich which was plenty for me.
One thing I would change. I was short on time so only marinated for the 30 minutes. It does recommend marinating for a full day if possible. I think that would be even better.

Shredded Beef Tacos
I liked this one, Mike not so much.
Evan didn't try it all. But Erin ate some so that was good.
I probably won't fix it again though since it wasn't a hit with anyone but me. I like a lot of Mexican type food though.

I also pinned this as well
U2 plays the Tonight Show for one week!
Starting next Monday. Cannot wait! They will be the musical guest every night and we are so looking forward to it. :)

Another recent pin
This sketch off the Studio Calico blog.
It's simple and I think my style.
It's the next layout I am going to try even though I am working on my Summer Pocket page album still from 2013.

And this last pin is an older pin, but I have never shared it.

I want a space very similar to this in our bedroom when we finally get around to redoing it. We still have the basement bathroom and a few other things to finish. But someday, right?

Thank you Pinterest! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween Photos

A few days after the holiday, but better late than never, right?
You may recall me saying on this post that Erin wanted to be a scary clown like the one she saw at Six Flags Fright Fest. So we found a costume on line, added some leggings, a white shirt to go underneath and her boots. Plus, I gave her some fun makeup and she was good to go.

In the background there, you can see a few of the gravestones, the biohazard yellow tape, a drum barrel Mike brought from the job site with the toxic waste symbol he put on it. Mike had glow in the dark "toxic" waste (water) rigged up to run into the barrel. It was pretty cool.

I posted this one on Instagram so I know a few of you have seen it already. Me. The zombie worker victim from the job site. Mike dressed up as well but opted not to have his photo on the blog. :)
I have to say though, he put a lot of effort into this set up and we were all so happy he could be home for Halloween this year!

Another worker victim who didn't make it. Although since he was wearing a gas mask, he didn't become a zombie apparently. Mike and Evan stuffed one of the suits we were wearing with newspaper.

Just another shot of our decorations.
And Evan himself. He was pretty excited about his costume. He also kind of got his idea from Fright Fest at Six Flags. This dude here inspired him...
and I would say, Evan did a pretty good job pulling it all together. He was a little disappointed in the chainsaw Mike and I found for him at Party City because it wasn't a real chainsaw. Not authentic enough I guess. But we thought it best to not hand over a real chainsaw of any size to a twelve year old. Even one without the chain. And Evan was so excited Halloween night, that disappointment was soon gone.

We also hosted a small open house potluck with a few of our good friends and neighbors that live right by us. Here are a few photos of the kids. All who have known each other since they were babies!

I thought the Minecraft costume was super clever :)
Had a lot of fun on Halloween night for sure!