Quote of the Week

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Laugh In The Sunshine

 Just a Note
The following post contains some very personal stuff.  I placed it at the end so that you wouldn't have to read it if you are only here for craftiness:)

Good Morning!  I hope you are having a great start to your weekend.  I know that I have been a bit absent.  I apologize.  I had my first Scentsy party this week and was busy prepping for that.  I started a a template by Adela and haven't quite finished it.  Hopefully by Monday.  The weekends are very precious here.  We spend them with my dear husband.  So, there will be no crafting until the weekend is over.

I did want to share a card I made inspired by my mom.  At my LSS, I saw this stamp set by Inky Antics.  I couldn't resist getting it because the wording encompasses something that my mom loved.  Flowers and Sunshine!

among the flowers
with the petals
in the sunshine

This is a card I made a few weeks ago using the scrap from an Amy Butler 5X7 pad.  I also used a a stamp from Thankful Accents by Verve to adorn the sentiment panel.  Each end is topped with a tiny green rhinestone.  The puffy flowers in each corner were a great find at a dollar store...can you believe it?  I colored them with a paintbrush and distress ink very lightly and topped each center with stickles.  You can click on the photo if you'd like a closer look....don't be too critical though.  Pretty sure the stickles aren't dry in the photo.  I love stickles, but man, they take forever to dry!

I would like to mention that I am getting rid of almost EVERY STAMPIN UP INK PAD.  It will have a reinker that goes with it.  I would love to sell them as a set, but might consider selling them as individuals.  I might even have the paper that goes with the color.  

I am also selling every Stampin Up Marker, except red.  That one is a goner:)  I do have the red journaling  marker to replace it.  I also have included a versamarker and a watercolor brush.

Here is the picture.

Cost is $75 plus the cost of shipping.

You can email me (sidebar) and I will figure out shipping to your area.

I also have all this paper....

It does not include the two smaller pads.  These pictures show the same stack of paper from different angles.  There must be at least 200 sheets.  I think that is a very LOW estimate, but I'm not going to count:)  These are 12x12 of SU colors.  Some of the edges are rippled since they have been sitting in racks.  I would suggest them to a cardmaker if that is an issue for a scrapbooker.

Cost is $25 plus shipping to your area.  

Again the SMALL PADS are NOT included.  My friend took those.

I have lots more stuff, but it's just not ready to put up.

One more thing to share on a personal note.  I debated writing anymore about my grief.  However,the one thing I have realized through blogging and reading people's blogs is that you never know how you may be helping someone else.
Something that you say, or write, may be just the thing that someone else needed to hear.  So I will share and the great thing is YOU have the option to stop reading:)

I have had two really good days.  Days of smiling and even laughing again.  It has been a LONG time.  I had such a great time at the Scentsy party and was able to get 3 more parties scheduled from that.  Out of 6 guests, that's a GREAT thing!  I was so happy!   Until yesterday morning when I realized the person I wanted to share that with was not here.  I asked her if she knew.  Did she know how great that was? Does she know that I'm donating a percentage of my earnings to her fund?  Does she know how we are honoring her by donating coats?  Does she see that my dog is shedding like crazy?

Remember this dog that you hugged and loved and commented on how she didn't really shed.

Do you know that your granddaughter is plucking her own eyebrows now?  Do you see how big she is getting?

Does she know all this stuff that I want to tell her?

All these silly things that I need to share with her.  Things that someone else wouldn't care to hear.  I know she would listen to it all...with so much interest.  I miss her voice and her laughter.

And I CRIED!  

I was putting my suitcases away in room.  I always keep them in her closet now.  I had been in and out of there several times.  I managed to just cry and do the things I needed to do.  I had to go into her room one more time.  I was going to sweep (cause there's a lot of dog hair here) and my dog had left her half eaten chew toy on the floor in my mom's room.  As I bent down to pick it up, there was one of her earrings.  Do you believe in signs?  I do.  That earring was not there.  We have been in and out of her room everyday.  We like to go in there.  That earring was not there.  You could say that it dropped out of the closet, but I don't know how.  There are only a few of her clothes left in there.  I do have her earrings, but they are in my room, in a jewelry box at the other end of the hall.
That was the first of several signs yesterday that she was answering my questions.  She is here.  I got another piece of mail addressed to her yesterday.  Her Rite Aid card was sitting out on my counter.  My mom hasn't lived her in over a year and a half.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  Last night I got on Facebook and there was a song that I will share.  I had to write a friend back who was checking on me.  Her mom died the same day as mine...eleven years earlier.  If you are on FB you know that your friends pictures will pop up on the right side.  As I was writing my friend back, I looked up and there was my mom's picture and photo album of her and my kids.  I took that as another sign.  Some may say I'm reaching.  That's ok.  Even if I am, it brings me comfort.

I just wanted to share that story because it helps me and it may help someone else. 
Here is the song that I heard yesterday....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Candy Winner X 2

It is still technically Wednesday.  Sorry!  The day got away from me.

I had hoped to post another Creation by AR, but I didn't get it done.  Hopefully by this weekend.

Without further ado, my winner for the Made With Heart Blog Hop is:

Patricia said...I really like the way you changed up the girl on the first card so she wouldn't look so much like a cheerleader! Very clever. You did a fantastic job coloring the images, too.

Patricia, please email me (left sidebar) so I can get your goodies out to you.

My winner for the Creations by AR Blog Hop is:

Patti B
Patti B said...
Love the heart box. You have done a great job. Thanks for the hop

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments and fun.
Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thinking Out Of The Box

..........and MAKING a Box

Today I'm going to share a very SIMPLE tutorial on making a box using The Fireplace Card that was released by Creations By AR back in November.  I apologize for the delay.  My life took an unexpected turn.  I'm getting  back into the swing of things.  Again, that you for your patience.

Here is the box and card I made back in November...

To make this box, you will need:

The FIREPLACE CARD TEMPLATE ( printed on copy paper and cut out)
1 ~ 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of cardstock
bone folder
strong adhesive (Scor tape is what I use)

(I always apologize in advance for the pictures. Fluorescent lighting and one handed photography are a bit tricky:)  You will also note that my hands are in the pictures.  That is to protect the copyright of this template.)



Place template on the cardstock and trace top and bottom except for the area that has the GIANT "X".

Leave off that part of the template for now.
See Photo Below

This is a bad photo...it only shows the top part of the traced template.  Make sure you trace the bottom straight across to the marked point that is shown in the middle photo

Step 2.  Flip the template upside down and line up where you stopped tracing with the marks on the above photo.  (See how I just took the template and flipped it over so that the top is now the bottom?  I hope that makes sense.)

Step 3. Trace the right side of the template.  This is the section that had the BIG "X" on it in the first step.

Step 4.  Cut out this "new" traced template.

It should look like this when you are done .....

Does this make sense?  I hope:)

Step 5. Now lay your original template over the top of the cut out template and score where all the "tick" marks are located.  The exception is the middle marks where I have "x'd" on the picture.   Don't forget to turn it around and score the other tab that is at the bottom of the template too.

( As I was writing this out, I remembered my idea for another way to make this a box and for it you have to score ALL the tick marks on the side, but not at the top of the box....I will show you at the bottom of this post the variation. )

Step 6.  Fold on all score marks and then apply adhesive to the small flap on the left ( see X's) and adhere.

Step 7. This picture shows the bottom closure of the box.  It is optional to apply adhesive here.  However, if you are going to put anything inside with some weight, I would recommend it.  Otherwise, the contents may fall out.

Step 8.  Decorate box:)  or not...the choice is yours.

This box is just the right size to add some mini candy bars or a small bag filled with red hots, M&M's...you get the idea.

Here is the variation of scoring all 3 tick marks for the side.  Then at the top, only score the line closest to the body of the box. 

This creates more of a triangular shaped box from the side.  You could close this by tying with a ribbon or applying a temporary adhesive on the under side.  Put a giant flower in the front and have the tab tuck into it even.  This sample is just a mock up because the paper I used did not score well:)

Please let me know if you have any questions.  My email is on the left side bar.

Have a Fabulous day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Creations by AR New Release Blog Hop

Good Morning!  Today is another fun blog hop sure to inspire you this week.
Creations by AR is a fantastic template store for all your 3D projects.  Adela is so amazing and sweet.  Today the design team will share a few ideas with  SEVERAL templates that are being released TODAY. 

Join in the fun!  One winner will be chosen from each blog and announced on Wednesday.  So make sure you leave a comment along the way.

If you are arriving here from MARIA'S Blog, then you are on the right track.

Today you will see samples from various new releases.

 I made two samples using the Heart Box.

I used some papers by Jenni Bowlin.  I loved how the flower centers were heart shaped.  I also colored some prima flowers with an R89 copic and then went over it with an R35.  That pushes the darkest color to the edges for a slight, two toned, effect.  I also used some Bazzil mini pom pom trim.  I love the mini pom poms.  My sentiment is from VERVE'S Heart's Afire

Here is the inside:

 ( I SWEAR that is  my "pointer" finger:)

These boxes are incredibly easy to make.

Here's another sample:

For this one I used two different Verve sets...Thankful Accents and a Plain Jane.  I also added some tea dyed trim to the edge of the top heart.

Here is a side shot:

Thanks so much for popping in today.  I PROMISE that I will have my tutorial for making a box out of the Fireplace Template tomorrow.... 

I will also have more creations this week using the other templates so make sure to pop back over to see those.

 Now hop on over to see what fabulous thing Silvia has made.  Don't forget to leave a comment along the way for a chance to win a template of your choice

Here is the blog hop list, in case you lose your way.
Nikki Schmaltz   That's ME:D

Many Blessings!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 10

If you are here to see the MADE FOR HEART Blog Hop Project then please scroll through this post.  THANK YOU!

Happy Birthday!

I have lots of birthdays coming up in the new year and I'm trying to get a jump start on a few.  I find that if I don't make it way ahead of time then I'm scrambling at the last minute.  However, sometimes I FORGET that I made the card or I can't find it.  Ahhh, my life!  But at least I can say that I tried:)

This is a card I made using this week's MFT Sketch challenge.  It's not exactly the sketch, but it's close.  Even though close doesn't count in football, I think it might in Sketch Challenges.  I also made this for my LSS store.  I'm still on the design team there and I got to work with several cute PI images.  That's why you've seen so many on my blog this week.  There really are so cute.

A few details about this card.  First, it's an Easel card done using a variation in size.  The tutorial for that is on Splitcoast HERE

I used Basic Grey Marjolaine papers.  It makes me incredibly happy to take somewhat feminine papers and make a masculine card.  I also used scraps of I Believe Christmas paper as one of the circles.  
My background Prism paper was embossed with the Cuttlebug Star EF.  I also cut out the grass using the MFT Dienamics.  I even dug into my scrapbook supplies and pulled out some stickers to use.  I have had a goal to do more scrapbooking and so you may see a few pages pop up here on the blog.  They may not be very good, but my family will love them.  

Alright, now I can share the story of my really bad week.  Remember how I've felt like Charlie Brown?  Well, it's continuing.  I'm not telling you to feel sorry for me.  I'm telling you because I know that one day I will think of all this and laugh.  You have to laugh at yourself.  So, maybe it will make you chuckle.  Somehow, the world is trying to tell me something will all this bad luck.  I just haven't figured it out completely yet.
Here goes...

Last Sunday, my son had some boys spend the night.  They were sooo good.  I decided after taking them home I would clean my husband's truck.  I had been trying to wash it for several days, but was so nervous about driving it through the automatic ones.  I am short, people and his truck is BIG.  I have to sit on something to even see to drive it.  
Twice I have pulled into a line to wash it in the automatic wash and then left because I just felt it was too small and I was worried it would scrap the sides of the truck.

In my little town, everything is little.  The roads are very narrow, the alleys are tiny, the parking lots are small and to my (not so) surprised mind so is the car wash bay.  I decided to just spray wash the darn thing and be done with it.  Well, the bay was so small and one side was a SHEET of ice so I couldn't even step on the passenger's side to wash it.  There is literally enough room for you to extend the small hose out and have just enough room for your body.  As I was pulling out I noticed these big, concrete posts that made the exit seem even smaller.  I was worried that the vehicle would slide on that sheet of ice right into the concrete.  So, I decided to back out instead.  No one was in line behind me. 

I was being sooooooo careful.  Going slow.  Checking my mirrors.  Taking my time. Then I noticed that the truck was hesitating.  Kind of like when you are going too slow over a bump.  You have to give it a bit of gas to get over it.   Well, I figured I was going over a piece of ice and gave it a little gas.  

That's when I watched my side mirror go AIRBORNE and land at the front of the bay.  The hose had hooked onto my mirror as I was backing out and pulled my mirror off.  That was the hesitation.  Now you may be thinking, "Why didn't you move it out of the way.  How could that big hose not be seen or heard as it brushed up against your mirror?"  

First, there was no hook on the wall to keep it out of the way.  I looked.  I know, crazy right?  AND the hose was very thin so I didn't even notice it happening.  AND NO, the car wash would take no responsibility in helping to pay for damages.  

I have never been, nor shall I visit again, such a small, accident- waiting- to- happen, car wash.

I am pretty sure I have never felt so defeated.  They told me if it had happened in the AUTOMATIC car wash THEN they would have PAID.  Oh, the irony.  There are just so many things wrong with that story, don't you think?
 Insurance is handling it.

Then 2 days later, I was taking stuff back to the library in the truck.  As I stuck the library bag in the front seat it clipped the CD that I had been listening to and had just taken out.  It broke....oh yes, THAT was the library's.  So, now I will have to pay for that.

Does anyone see the sign?  Can you help me out?  Trying to stay positive, but it's getting tough.  Yes, I know it could be worse.  I'm hoping it doesn't get that way though.

I had to wait to share that until I told my husband.  He was away at work and I didn't want to stress him out all week.  

My van is getting fixed and I'm pretty sure I'm taking it back:)  It won't matter if it is covered in salt.  It is really old, but it fits my behind to a "T."  Besides, if I yanked off the mirror on that, I'd probably just tape my hand mirror to side and call it GOOD!  (Kidding!...maybe)

Monday is another Blog Hop...don't forget to stop by.  Hoping to have my tutorial up tomorrow.  

One last thing.... Back in December I had to step down as a DT member for DCRU.  With all that was happening to me, I couldn't give everything of myself to them.  Claudia continues to be so supportive of me.  She has changed her store's name to Claudia and Co and she is having a PHENOMENAL sale for Pre-CHA.  I still love that store and support them every chance I get.  Go check it out and land yourself a few GREAT bargains!
 Stamps: A Boy and His Football PI, Happiness Message HA
Ink: Memento Black, Vintage Photo
Paper: Marjolaine, I Believe, Prism, Text Black, Xpress Blending
Other: Circle Nesties, star punch, dienamics grass, foam tape, sticker, chipboard stickers, black brads, star EF,
Copics: B0000, BG0000, 18,72, C0,G82, YG11, E51,49,57,55,79, colorless blender, special black
Prismacolor Pencils

Friday, January 21, 2011

Made With Heart Hop

Good Morning!  Welcome to the Made With Heart Blog Hop.  I was really excited to have one of my former DT members from Stamptacular Sunday Challenge contact me to ask me to participate.  I can't wait to see for myself all the great ideas along the hop.
I have a few projects made using those cute Pure Innocence Stamps from My Favorite Things.

 This card was created using the PI Cheerleader stamp.  I decided to try and give it a big more versatility.  To me it looks like she is running up to give you a hug.  I decided to "change" the cheerleader skirt by inking up the edge of the skirt only using a black memento pen.  I stamped it, colored with Copics and Primsacolor Pencils, cut it out and adhered it over the original cheerleader skirt.   I also wanted to try and add bangs to the little girl.  You can see a card with the original image that I made yesterday HERE.
I used all kinds of different companies to make this card.  Love that.  My papers include PTI''s Kraft.  It is simply THE best kraft paper ever.  I also colored on Xpress Blending paper.  If you are new to Copics then try this.  It will make coloring a bit easier.  I also used the Love Collection from American Crafts.  My glittery heart is a clearance find, but you can get that fun, red Baker's Twine from Claudia and Co.  I also used a Hero Arts set called, Happiness Messages and embossed with white EP.

I forgot to take a picture of the inside, but it says, " From Your Biggest, Biggest, Biggest Fan!"

I have one more project to share.

Here's a cute box I made using a template by Creations by AR.  It's the fireplace card.  I will have a small tutorial on that this weekend.

This box uses many of the same supplies except I used the cute "Make Mine a Double" PI girl.  Her ice cream cone is topped with Liquid Applique for a bit of dimension.  I also painted a chipboard heart with some Red Gloss paint   ( another clearance find...lol)  Oh and don't you love that twill ribbon?  I never would have thought to use these colors together if not for the fabulous world of crafting.

So hop along and see what inspiration you can find along the way.  I'm sure there will be quite a bit.

I also have a small bit of blog candy to offer up.  Just leave me a comment telling me what you love most about paper crafting.  For me it is the quiet moments of creating and then making someone feel happy when I give them something I made with my heart.

Stop back this weekend for a small tutorial and another fun filled hop on Monday.  

Here is the blog hop list for today.  ENJOY! and thanks for stopping by!!!

Kristin: http://lilsweetpeasplace.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So sorry!

( I don't know what is up with blogger today, but it has compressed my entire post and won't let me change it...ugh!)

 Sorry for the delay.  Weather changes have brought about migraines and working on this computer seems to trigger them more.

I would like to announce that ANNE is the winner of my blog candy.  I had my daughter pick a number and after removing duplicate comments # 27 was Anne

anne said...
I am sorry about your loss... she was an inspiration to us all...I will help spread the word of the fund you have set up in her honor. I have posted a short blog about your site and fund on my website.. I was blessed in my life by a dear friend for at least 3 years of my life, unfortunately she passed away from stomach cancer last Feb.. she was like mother, a sister and a friend wrapped up in one...I will try to be more like her this year in the fact that she was always helpful and never complained... again i am sorry for your loss.. Thanks again to all of you for the nice words and encouragement.  I know that for a long time I will come back to this post and these comments for comfort. I do have a card to share today....
 This is a tent card I made using so many fun things.  I pulled out the glitter and some crepe paper for extra pizzaz on this card.  I used a Pure Innocence Cheerleader stamp and this Cosmo Cricket Pixielicious paper.  I don't think you can tell just how shimmery it is with the glitter in this picture.  I didn't have the right color purple paper to go with this DP.  Soooo, I just colored some Neenah white with my copics (the same color I used on her little outfit) and VOILA!  It matches perfectly now. These cards are super easy and fun to make.  There's a tutorial at Splitcoast HERE.
So what are we celebrating with the "YEAH" card????  
I'm so happy to announce that with a little under $250 I was able to get FIFTEEN coats (boys and girls) and 5 pairs of gloves with 2 hats.  They are in these bags here and I will be delivering them to various schools over the next month.  They may help a kid this year or next.
Edited to add:  I forgot to mention the story.  I got TWO pieces of mail a few weeks ago that were addressed to my mom.  It's been a quite awhile since that has happened.  It's been a year and a half since she lived with me.  I found that "interesting."  Almost like her saying, "hi" to me.  The one piece of mail was from Kohl's.  It was a coupon.  I got one and so did she.  My coupon was for 15% off and her coupon was for 30% off.  She always did get the better coupon:)  I don't know why because she needed no encouragement to shop.  I was able to buy all these coats with her Fund money because Kohl's had their coats on clearance for 70% off.  I got the additional 30% off with her coupon.  I loved the coincidence of it all.  It made me smile and cry.  Most of the coats were under $15 a piece.  THAT is an AMAZING deal.  I love Kohl's and so did my mom.  The bonus was I got $30 in Kohl's bucks that I get to take in tomorrow and buy another few coats:)  My total savings on all those coats was around $650!!!  How's that for being a bargain shopper.  I'm working on making tags to put inside so that children know the coats were a gift from an angel.  That was my step dad's fabulous idea. So, go check out your Kohl's and buy a kid a coat for next year.  At those prices you really can't find an excuse. My blogging friend, Stacie and her mom donated a box full of hats and scarves that her mom makes.  Thank so much Stacie.  They are so pretty and feel so warm.  I'm happy to include them.
The link to my Mom's Fund will remain on my blog.  This is something the family and I would love to continue for years to come.  I will be donating a portion of my commission from my Scentsy business to this fund as well.  
Thanks again.  Pop back here tomorrow for a Valentine Blog Hop.  I'll also be posting a tutorial this weekend AND participating in another Blog Hop on Monday.  


Monday, January 17, 2011

Thanks So Much

Thanks SOOOO much for all of the wonderful comments that you have been leaving me in regards to my mom.  It means so much.  I am comforted by hearing the wonderful stories of the kindness of others or how my story touched you.  It does not make my life feel better, but I am comforted to know that I am not alone.  I think only time will make things feel better.

I know it has been too long since my last post.  I've had a card made for awhile.  It's been a tough week.  I did not realize that each day is different as you heal.  I am happy to say that the PTO is donating the money from popcorn sales in January to my Mother's Fund.  I also got so many coats last week that will be delivered to various schools this week. I will share pictures of that too. It has been amazing....the support.  Still, my week was tough.  I imagine that will continue to happen. 

I have some things to share.  First, I will be drawing for my blog candy and announcing the winner tomorrow.  There is still time to enter HERE.

Second, I am taking place in a "JUST FOR FUN" Valentine Blog Hop with an old friend of mine from my very first Design Team ever.  That will be so fun.  I LOVE making Valentines.  This year my daughter is old enough that she is only making a few of her own and my son is helping with his.  That makes it even better when you don't have to make 50:D

The blog hop will take place this Friday and go all weekend.  There will be a few prizes along the way.  So stay tuned for that.

  My card today uses the sketch from Verve's VLV weekly challenge.  I love Verve.  Think I may have mentioned that before...*wink*  It has been so long since I have been able to participate in these weekly challenges.  I really hope I can win a free set from the new release.  That would be nice considering that black cloud is still hovering over me.  Really!  I can't say more now, but I truly need some prayers in that department.  OAI!  I'm still trying to find the "silver lining" Sally:)

I used some Amy Butler papers that were on clearance at Joann's and combined them with some old Linen Closet papers by DCWV.  I also paired my favorite Verve stamp set, Thankful Accents, with a PTI set.  This greenish blue color is becoming such a favorite of mine.  It's very soothing.  I also used some Kiwi Kiss satin ribbon that I've had forever.  My goal in the new year is to use more scraps and old stuff. 

I should have another card to share tomorrow using the scraps from this card and a story to share tomorrow.  Also the announcement of the BLOG CANDY WINNER tomorrow.  See you then!  Tomorrow...did I mention tomorrow...lol.  Sometimes I go back and re read my post and realize how redundant I am.  I decided to leave it and just laugh at myself;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dotted Hugs

I love the snow!  Some of my favorite memories are of sledding when I was a kid.  We would go to this place called Dead Man's Hill.  How's that title to get your heart pumping?  Basically, it was this huge crater in the Earth.  People would sled to the middle from all four sides.  Legend has it that someone died sledding down that hill.  Of course, that could just be something my dad told us to get us spooked.

I still love to sled and ice skate.
Building snowmen and making snow angels is probably the one thing that can transport any adult into a kid again.  When my little girl was 3 we made a bunch of snow people.  She named one Sara.  This card reminds me of that moment.

I made it using the My Favorite Things Sketch.
I just love these Pure Innocence Stamps.  My papers are by Echo Park and the sentiment is a Hero Arts set.  I'm not sure if you can see in the picture, but I punched out 4 vellum circles and sewed them on under the sentiment.  I love it because the vellum came from an envelope that I got in the mail.  AND the ribbon at the top is off of my daughter's new sweater.  You know those loops they put inside to hang them on the hangers?  That's what it is!  Perfect use of recycling and I used it up within a few weeks.  Yeah me!

Here are the Copics I used:

On a side note.... I would love a few extra prayers these next few weeks.  My husband isn't able to come home due to a weekend work project.   Today I will be presenting an idea at the PTO meeting to honor my mom and her Clothing Fund.  She is the person who planted the idea in me to pop popcorn each month for our school.  It averages over an extra 1,000 dollars for the PTO each year. (very tiny school so this is a nice amount) I'm going to ask them to take the proceeds from January to put towards my mom's fund.  I'm sure it will be very emotional for me.  Prayers of strength would be fabulous.  Thank you!!!!

Tomorrow I will have another project to share!  See you then!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Gift of My Mother and a Give Away

This post will remain at the top of my blog until Jan 17th.  Please scroll down for current posts.  Thank you!

It's been so long, I know.  I've had a rough couple of months.  Back in November we had quite a bit of illness that came through our house.  In the midst of trying to get our home up for sale, my husband became very ill and only a few weeks in between, so did I.  We always travel to Michigan to hunt in November.  It's a family tradition.  I became so ill that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to drive my kids up to meet with their dad and grandpa to hunt.  I did though.  I felt better for a few days and was able to go see my Aunt and Mom.  My daughter and I  had planned an overnight stay.  My Mom made the trip from Washington and scheduled it so we could all see each other.  On that Friday, I became very ill again and ended up going to the ER on Saturday because I could not break my fever of 102.5. 

   I ended up with pneumonia.  My husband had to come and bring my son and stay with us.  It was quite cozy.  My Aunt's house is very tiny and we had 6 people and 2 dogs.  I was so sick that I missed my husband being sworn in at his new job as Fire Chief.  I felt like such a burden to my family and so awful that I couldn't be there to support my husband.  We ended up staying 5 days with my Mom, Aunt and her husband.  I remember crying because I just felt so bad and my mom rubbing my face and telling me it was ok.  I kept thinking, "Why is this happening?  Why am I so sick and why did I miss out on seeing my husband start the beginning of his new career?"

Those 5 days ended up being a blessing.  Getting sick gave us 4 extra days with my Mom.

My beautiful, amazing Mom died on December 6th.
She died in her sleep at the age of 59.

I never thought that my pneumonia would be a blessing, but it was.  My kids got to spend time with her, my husband got to see her and I got to feel her rub my face and care for me like she did when I was little.

She got to see her family...the thing that made her most happy.

This is the last picture I have of her.  She didn't want me to take it because she didn't think she looked that great.  I'm so glad I made her. 

My mom was always beautiful.  INSIDE and out.  She always did things for people.  Random Acts of Kindness were part of her everyday life.  I said that she had the gift of making OTHER PEOPLE feel beautiful.  She did.  She was loved by so many.

Before she came home she told me a "story."  
She said, " I made a new friend out here."
"That's good, Mom!"
She then proceeded to tell me about the woman that was living in her neighbors' house for the winter.  This women was "down on her luck" and had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  She had no one to take her to the doctor appts.  My mom ended up driving this woman all over to get the test results and then treatment.  She was the person that helped this woman when she was scared and didn't understand or know what she should do.

I told my Mom that it was so great of her to do this.  She just replied, "It's good for me too.  I have a new friend."
My Mom never wanted any glory for her kindness.  She never said, "Hey!  Guess what I'M doing?"  She just did....quietly.
What makes this even more amazing is that my Mom HATED to drive.  She overlooked her fears to do something for someone else.  That was just her way.

When she died, we found out that my Mom used to buy coats and clothing for little kids that would come into the Elementary School where she was a secretary.  If she noticed that they didn't have adequate clothing she would head out after work and buy them something.  I never knew this.  None of us ever knew this....just her husband.  She was a quiet Angel on Earth.

We are honoring her giving, loving way.  We have set up a fund to continue to buy coats, gloves, hats, clothing for those in need at Elementary Schools.  If you would like to donate to my Mother's Fund you can find the link at the top left sidebar on my blog.

The Debi Johnson Clothing Fund For Children

My mom liked to make cards.  She didn't stamp, but she made some beautiful cards with Sizzix dies.
She called me a the week before she died to sing me, "Happy Anniversary."  She said she had made a card for Dave and I, but hadn't sent it yet.  She never was late with a card.  I told her she was beginning to sound like me.  (I am terrible about sending cards.  It is the one regret I'm trying to live with now.)  I told her it was no big deal.  I appreciated her calling since my hubby wasn't around.

On the day she died, I got her card in the mail.  It is the MOST BEAUTIFUL card she has ever made me.  The inside was so full of loving words.

What a blessing!  A gift from her to me on the day I would need it most!
I'm trying to focus on the blessings!  I have always believed in thinking positive.  Even when I cry everyday and feel my heart may never be whole again, I know she would want me to be positive.  To continue my life in a positive way.  To continue her legacy and live my life giving to others and teaching my children the same.  Random Acts of Kindness.

Many people want to do something.  I hear each day someone say, "Let me know if there is anything I can do."
My response:
Do something for someone else.  In honor of my mother, look for someone in need.  Give a kind word, a loving gesture, food for someone who is hungry, clothing for someone who is cold.  Do for others.  If everyone in this world were as kind as my Mother, all the world would be a good place.

She lived her life the way we all should.  I will continue to live her legacy.  Please consider donating to her fund.  If you cannot then just go out and do a good deed for someone.

For months now, I have had some BLOG CANDY to give away.

Please spread the word about my Mother's Fund and the blog candy.  Leave me a comment telling me about how you have been blessed in your life and how you will bless someone else this year.
I will draw a name on January 17th. ( Martin Luther King Day)

As for me, I've been blessed with 2 wonderful parents.  Even after divorce, they remained friends and continued to teach their children the greatest lessons in life.  To do for others, to live your life well, to laugh and love and never take your family for granted.

 I have been blessed with the MOST AMAZING FAMILY! God blessed me with a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful children.  They shoveled the neighbors driveway the other day, just to be nice.  Their Grandma Debi would be so proud.  She lives in them.

I will continue to live my life doing as my mother did.  Leading by example and knowing she is there to guide me.  I feel her and know she is smiling at me and cheering me on.  She always did.  She was my biggest fan.

I wish you all a Happy Holiday!
I'd like to leave you with some words that a family friend left on my Momma's Funeral Guestbook.
I imagine these are the words that will help me get through

I do not believe we ever understand the impact people have on us until they are gone. The subtle memories,the fleeting moments that at the time seem like nothing but then flood to your mind when you hear someone you once cared for has passed. Mrs. Johnson was a true blessing. I have more memories of her smile and soft voice than I can count at the moment. Her beautiful smile, her words of encouragement, her genuine love for her children. She was like another mother to me during my high school years. Death is a very difficult thing to understand. You are torn between so many different emotions. Sorrow, anger, frustration, doubt to the point where to no longer feel anything. I want to share these words with the family left behind and any that read this, life was not given for you to achieve, or gain anything. It was given so you could give. I pray you will not focus on the loss the world is showing you but rather rejoice in the blessing God has given you. Debbie did her part, she was not perfect as none of us are but she gave, she loved, and she forever changed the lives of those she met. May you make these days about that blessing and not about loss, may your prayers and energy be focused on the lessons she taught. May you be strengthened by your trust in God, not to question Debbie's passing but rather embrace her life. Death was never designed to be the end, but merely a time of rest until Christ unites His beloved again. Until then my friend, I for one will continue your work of love. I look forward to seeing your beautiful smile and hearing your angelic voice once again.