Monday, November 12, 2012

Hello Monday!

It is Monday, November 12th, and here in the US, yesterday was officially Veteran's Day, though we're "observing" it today. So, I'd like to start off with saying . . . 

Hello ... to all the brave men and women, past, present and future, who so selflessly put themselves in harm's way to defend our way of life. Your service to your country and your fellow countrymen is so greatly appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Hello . . . to another week of Bible study with my family! We are spread over two countries right now, and several states -- we meet each Monday on a conference call for prayer and study. Currently, we're studying "Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver. 

Hello . . . to Operation Christmas Child! Our boxes are packed, and good thing! It's National Collection Week! Haven't heard of Operation Christmas Child? Visit the link, and check out this fantastic program for yourself!! 

Hello . . . to the amazing {mo}tography course taught by Jessica Sprague and Heidi Swapp! I'm joining hundreds of other women in learning to make to most of "mobile photography" -- i.e., my camera phone! It's always handy, and with technology today, it's a no-brainer to carry your phone and use it for the everyday photos. Ones you wouldn't normally capture, because, really, does your DSLR fit in your purse? Not mine! LOL! Want to see what I'm learning? Check out my NEW Instagram feed in the right hand sidebar -- and click on the Follow me link to follow my Instagram feed! 

Hello . . . to getting ready for Thanksgiving. What -- you haven't heard of it? It's that nearly forgotten holiday between Halloween and Christmas. The day we celebrate all in our life that we're grateful for. And I have so much. So many blessings to be thankful for. We'll be spending our day with family and friends.  

What are you saying hello to this week? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! 

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice. 
The Hello Monday header is courtesy of Katrina Simeck.

 Until next time, 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Constant Campaign!

Hi! Just dropping in to let you know about an awesome deal this month from Close to My Heart. We always feature a Stamp of the Month -- a "D" sized stamp set that is exclusive and only available for one month -- you can see information about November's set, Capture the Date, in my sidebar, and learn how to get it (a $17.95 value) for only $5. This month, we're taking it one step further. We're giving you the opportunity to get another stamp set for 50% off, when you qualify to purchase the SOTM for $5.00. BAM! Great way to get a little somethin' extra for, well, just a little somethin'! It's like two promotions in one! We like to call it "Capture the Savings."

Visit my website to shop today -- when you purchase $50 or more in qualifying product and the Stamp of the Month at $5, you will be asked to choose a stamp set for 50% off before you check out. As an added bonus, Close to My Heart wants to help out those affected by Hurricane Sandy -- so for each SOTM set purchased in November as part of this promotion, CTMH will donate $1 to relief efforts. Yep. That's the kind of caring company I work for, and I love it! Link over and visit my website today!

Until next time,


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Missing in Action!

Hello! I have been missing in action the past few months, and for that I apologize. I was just looking at my statistics, and realized that there might be a few people out there who missed me! Let me sum up August, September and October in a few short sentences:

August:  Big trip. We went to Alaska with my husband's family for 10 days. Absolutely loved it. Want to go back. Actually, I'd love to live there! (Yes, even in winter!) Will post soon with more details about the trip and photos. Think salmon, and whales, and mountains, and glaciers. So amazingly beautiful. Here's a teaser: 

Those king salmon now reside in my freezer. ;) We no sooner got back from Alaska then I had to have my gallbladder removed. Just a short note: do not believe the Dr.'s if they tell you it's a quick and easy surgery. Well, the surgery isn't so bad, but the recovery is the pits. It was a full two months before I felt almost normal again.

September: I was so blessed and fortunate to be able to attend Brave Girl Camp in the beautiful state of Idaho. It was an absolutely exquisite experience, one I'm anxious to repeat. Melody, Kathy and all the Brave Girl Staff were wonderful, and the other 16 ladies that attended are now forever friends. I'll be sure to write up a post about this experience, but will give you a just a taste of it, for now:

If you ever have this opportunity, or the opportunity to take their online classes, DO IT. You won't regret it.

October: Nothing really exciting, honestly, other than working on my projects from Brave Girl Camp and trying to catch up with all the online classes I'm taking. I'm pretty sure I'm going to take a break with those for awhile, once I finish these up! You'll be seeing posts over the next few months about some of those classes, as well as photos of my projects. We did visit the pumpkin patch, my sweet hubby and I, and carved 5 pumpkins this year. 

Thank you for checking in -- I hope to do so much better keeping you all informed along the way. If you like what you see/read, I hope you'll share with your friends, and ask them to visit, as well!

Until next time,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Let the Games Begin!!

Once again, it is time for the summer Olympics. I'm excited. Who isn't?? The swimming, the gymnastics, the ping pong . . . ok, I'm kidding about that last one (but it IS an Olympic sport!). It's so neat to watch as the world comes together peacefully to compete -- wouldn't it be wonderful if we could live like that all the time?

We've been touched a couple of times by the Olympics. I was at the announcement party when it was announced that Salt Lake City would host the 2002 Winter Olympics -- and of course, we lived here during that time, so it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to attend some of the events. This year, we were touched by them in an out-of-the-ordinary way. My husband works for, and has worked for, Kennecott Utah Copper since we moved here in 1995. This year, Rio Tinto, a world leader in finding, mining and processing the earth's mineral resources that is based in London and the parent company of Kennecott, is the exclusive provider of metal for the 2012 Olympics, with most of the metal coming from Kennecott. You can read more about their process if you click on the link above.

My sweet hubby holding the 2012 Olympic medals provided by Rio Tinto.

Here are a few interesting Olympic Medal Facts you might not know: 
  • This is the largest medal (size and weight) in the history of the summer games. 
  • The IOC requires a minimum of 6 grams of gold per medal. 
  • The front of the 2012 Olympic medal features Nike, the goddess of sport/victory; the back of the medal represents an amphitheater crossed by the River Thames, as well as the 2012 Olympic logo.
  • The front of the 2012 Paralympic medal depicts the wings of Nike and the depicts the area close to her heart and represents the heart of a champion. 
  • The last pure gold medals were awarded in 1912.
  • It wasn't until the St. Louis Olympics in 1904 that the gold medal was introduced as the prize for first place.  
  • The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold, and the remainder copper.
  • The silver medal is 92.5% silver and the remainer copper.
  • The bronze medal is 97.0% copper, 2.5% zinc, and 0.5% tin.  
  • The Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic games by the host city's organizing committee.  
  • The ore for the 2012 medals was mined on opposite sides of the world -- the Kennecott Mine in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.  The metal's journey, from extraction to production, took a month and a half and involved a team of over 2,000.  
Photo of the front side of the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, for the Olympics (top) and the Paralympics (bottom).

We are proud to be part of the bigger picture, and proud that Rio Tinto was given this opportunity.  We are also proud of all the athletes who have trained so hard to participate in these 2012 Olympic games.  So, we'll see you there, I suppose, in front of the television these next two weeks, as we watch with awe and admiration these athletes who have given so much to be the best at what they do.  Let the Games begin!  Until next time,


Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Monday!

Ah. Hello, Monday! Hello July! Here are some things I'm saying hello to this week: 

Hello, yummy Bountiful Basket! I wish I had taken a photo -- we have cherries, cantaloupe, squash, bananas, mangoes, grape tomatoes, lettuce, celery, grapes, onions, LOTS of numminess!!  I can't wait to try out a few new recipes to use up this harvest!!  If you haven't heard of Bountiful Baskets, click on the link above and see if they're available in your area!!

Hello, sweet friends!!  We have visitors this week, friends who moved to TX several years ago and whom we haven't seen in about 5 years!!  I'm so excited to see Amy and her beautiful girls -- who are growing SO big!  We're getting together tomorrow night for dinner.  *Happy Dance!*

Hello, Independence Day!  Of course, here in the US, July 4th is our Independence Day.  So excited, because it means my hubby gets a day off, and we can just veg.  No plans, really, except to bar-b-Que with a close friend and then set off fireworks after dark.  I'm excited for the sparklers, and for trying some fun new DSLR Camera techniques to try to capture some awesome fireworks photos!

Hello, Coffee Date!  Looking forward to meeting my good friend for coffee on Thursday, catching up on life and sharing some laughs. 

Hello, Hoard.  Yes. You read that right.  Have you seen this?

Unfortunately, it works the opposite on me.  I watch that show, and realize I have those tendencies!  So, I'm in the process of purging my house, one room at a time.  Donating, throwing, shredding, reorganizing; whatever it takes to NOT be invited onto the show!  LOL! 

Hello, heat.  Blerg.  I don't like when it's so hot -- especially when said heat (and resulting dryness) leads to the horrific wildfires that are burning all over the western U.S.  Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have lost everything -- or anything -- and pray for cooler temps and cleansing rain. 

What are you saying hello to this week?

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice.
Hello Monday header is provided by Katrina Simeck

Until next time,


Welcome to July at Close to My Heart!

It's July! It's summer! It's HOT! And that means we have some "hot" specials this month with Close to My Heart! Of course, there is the AWESOME new SOTM, titled "Live Out Loud." (Is that good advice, or what?) Here is an amazing card, made by the talented Annette Green -- a fellow consultant and someone I want to be when I grow up: 

You can, of course, get this wonderful set for only $5.00 by shopping my website and ordering $50 worth of qualifying product -- or, you can purchase it outright at the low price of $17.95.  This is the final month for ordering out of the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book, so this is a great time to buy those stamp sets or ink colors that you've had on your "rainy day" list!!  BUT WAIT!  It only gets better! 

The Perfect Pair

 Spend at least $75 before shipping and tax on my CTMH website and you'll qualify for a popular paper packet and coordinating accessory for FREE! (A retail value of up to $17.90) Pairs are available on different dates throughout the month, so you'll want to place more than one qualifying order to snatch several Perfect Pairs. Here are the dates and freebies for each:

July 1 - 5 Mischief Paper Packet & Midnight Felt Shapes

July 6 - 10 Dreamin' Paper Packet and Harvest Charms 

July 11 - 15 Fanfare Paper Packet and Fanfare Level 2 Assortment

July 16 - 20 Lucky Paper Packet and Lucky My Stickease 

July 21 - 25 Mayberry Paper Packet and Mayberry My Stickease 

July 26 - 29 Sophia Paper Packet and Sophia My Stickease

July 30 - 31 Believe Paper Packet and Holiday Pockets
 Wonderland Paper Packet and Wonderland My Stickease.

I hope you'll join me in celebrating summer this month!  Until next time,


Monday, May 21, 2012

Hello Monday!

Ah, May 21st.  One month to the longest day of the year!!  Hard to imagine -- time just seems to fly by!

Hello, Annular Eclipse.  Yes, I'm in UT, although the Northern part.  And no, I didn't drive 4 hours to Southern UT to get the best view of the eclipse.  I guess I'm just not that dedicated.  The pictures on the internet did it justice.  (Although, if my DH had "suggested" the drive, I probably would have gone!) 

Hello, Vacation! It's hard to believe that over the next two weekends, two dear, dear ones to me and my husband will be graduating from high school. (Since we were unable to have children of our own, we live vicariously through our friends and relatives!)  
  • First,  Hello, Bailee.  We've known Bailee since she was about 18 months old.  Mike went to college with her dad.  And her mom and I have been BFFs for, like, ever.  (Well, ever since about 1995.)  And we're godparents to her younger brother. She'll be going to college in the fall majoring in nursing.  She is sweet and funny, and we are so proud of her!  Isn't she gorgeous?  
  • Second, Hello, David.  Our nephew.  This one, we've known since before he was born.  We officially met when we drove down and helped out my sister right after his birth.  And, oh, did I fall in love!!  Such a sweet, cuddly, happy baby!  (I'd post pictures, but I don't want to embarrass him!)  We lost his mom two years ago, and while I know it's been difficult for him, he has become such a wonderful young man.  Handsome, responsible, funny, kind, and compassionate.  I know my sister is proud of the young man he's become, and so are we!! See the breast cancer pin he's wearing?  That's in honor of his mom.  When I asked Debbie (the photographer) who's idea that was, she said it was his.  That he wanted to honor his mom in the pictures, and that he feels that she is with him.  Sniff.  (Side note -- he looks so much like her in this photo!)  Can't wait to get to spend 5 days with him and his dad! Here is his senior photo, courtesy of  Romeyn Photography.

Hello, "31 Things".  with Ali Edwards.  Check out the link (click on "31 Things") to read all about the class.  I'm having fun journaling along with her, telling 31 stories about my life.  Can't wait to put my album together when I'm through.  (I know, just what I needed.  Another online class. It's an addiction, I tell you!)

Hello, Laundry. Didn't I mention this last Monday?  Funny thing, there's more.  And since we're leaving on a jet plane, it kinda has to get done.  Soon.  Maybe I should try to invent self-cleaning clothes.  And self-ironing.  And self-folding.  Yeah.  I'm right on top of that, Rose.  (Name that movie!!)

Hello, Rain.  We had a lovely few days of cooler weather towards the end of last week, with wonderful, drenching rain.  My flowers on my back porch, and the roses in my garden out front, LOVED it.  Me, it's a love/hate relationship.  I love the rain, but not so much the mud that the girls drag in.  'Cause, you know, digging in the mud with all four paws is FUN, Mom!

Hello, HIDA scan.  Yes, unfortunately it would appear that I might have gallstones. Meh.  SO, off I go in the morning for this lovely "nuclear medicine test."  Doesn't that just sound pleasant??   As if gallstones aren't bad enough. 

What are you saying hello to this week??

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice.  
Hello Monday header is courtesy of Katrina Simeck

Until next time,


Monday, May 14, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello May 14.  As in, yay, we're done with Mother's Day.  I know.  I'm a bad person, but I really hate Mother's Day -- especially now that my mom and MIL are both gone.  But for me, whose goal in life was to be a mom, after struggling with 10+ years of infertility and treatments, and just this past year having my tubes tied and an ablation done so there is no more possibility of being said mom, it's a day I can well do without. (If that was an over-share, I apologize.)

Hello, yummy, tasty Mango Salad.  Made for dinner last night with items from our bountiful basket.  Seriously, a new fave. 

Hello, healing puppy.  Our Sadie-bug, (75 lb. lab/shepherd mix) has been suffering from skin allergies the past couple of weeks, and then on Thursday, had a cyst on her back that ruptured.  Therefore, hello trip to the vet to have it lanced and cleaned.  Looks much better after a weekend of meds and ointment -- but she looks funny with the big shaved spot on her back!  (Shh, don't tell her I said that!)   

Hello, beautiful rosebuds!  My rosebushes are being slow to bloom this spring, but are FULL of buds getting ready to bloom!  I just hope we get to see some of them before we leave for graduations! 

Hello, sweet great-niece!  You are growing so fast -- I wish you lived closer so I could just squish those sweet cheeks and hug that sweet little body!  (And, yes, the sand is blue.  Apparently, Crayola makes colored sand.  Who knew??)

Hello, frozen coffee.  (Frozen mocha, if we're being technical, with peppermint and and extra shot of espresso.)  Lovely little local place.  AWESOME coffee.  Although my hubbs would disagree that this actually qualifies as coffee.  But with 80* weather this week, I'm thinking frozen sounds pretty dang good. 

Hello, recumbent bike.   Hoping to get my grove on and build strength in my legs and back in preparation for our summer trip to AK this year.  Of course, this means cleaning out our downstairs to make room for the bike . . . trust me.  You don't want to see those photos.  I don't need any of you reporting me to Hoarders.  

What are you saying hello to this week?  

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice.  
Hello Monday header is courtesy of Katrina Simeck. 

Until next time,


Sunday, May 13, 2012

For the Love of Mothers

To all the wonderful women I know who are mothers -- Happy Mothers Day.  You are so blessed to have children, and they are blessed to call each of you "mom."  

And most especially, to my mom, and to my mother-in-law -- you were both such shining examples of what being loving, caring, selfless mothers should be.  You both brought such joy into our lives, showed us how to live, raised us in godly homes, healed our hurts, enjoyed our successes, encouraged our dreams.  You are both dearly missed, today and every day, and we send you love and hugs and kisses. 

Until next time,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hello Monday

Can you believe it's already the 7th of May??  I can't!  The year is almost half over!  Here are some things I'm saying hello to today:

Hello strawberries!  I picked up a flat with my Bountiful Basket on Saturday, and have been rinsing and cutting all afternoon!  I LOVE strawberries!  (Apparently, so do the puppies!  LOL!)

Hello laundry.  How can two people create so much laundry?  It's beyond me.  Well, that, and I tend to let it pile up, because I don't like to do it.  But that's beside the point.  

Hello menu making.  I'm still trying to get better about planning a weekly menu and going grocery shopping once a week, especially now that we're getting most of our produce through (awesome program, BTW -- you should check it out!). 

Hello haircut!  I'm off to see my own personal wizard, Cindy Lou, tomorrow, for a trim -- just in time for our 2 week graduation trip coming up!

Hello soreness.  I cannot tell a lie.  We cut down our cherry tree on Saturday.  Why, you ask?  Well, it just had . . . issues.  The biggest of which was that there are apparently not enough "male" bing cherry trees in our neighborhood, so we didn't get a lot of flowers or fruit.  So, a "Stella" will be replacing the Bing in short order.  Apparently, "Stella" doesn't need a man.  ;)  But sawing all those branches down to fit in the pickup?  Oh, my aching shoulder!

Hello barbeque!  SO excited for warmer weather and full propane tanks!  That means yummy grilled dinners -- tonight it's bratwurst.  Along with the fresh produce, it makes for a yummy meal! 

Hello Bible Study.  So happy to be able to join in with my family this afternoon on our Bible Study.  I've been out of the loop for a couple of weeks, and it feels good to be back in the Word!  

Hello Blue Skies!  Looks like perfect weather this week.  Sunny, and in the low to mid 70s.  Perfect.  Yep.  Lovin' it.  :)

What are you saying hello to this week?  

Hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice.  Like the cute header??  It's made, and used with permission, by Katrina Simeck


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May is National Scrapbooking Month!

Happy May Day!

Of course, among my favorite things about May, beyond the whole "April Showers bring May Flowers" thing, is, it's National Scrapbooking Month!  Whoo hoo!  And THAT, of course, means that Close to My Heart has a stinkin' ADORABLE paper packet that you can get for next to nothing!!!  The entire month!!  Just look at this yumminess:

Did you read the fine print there?  You can get the Dotty For You Paper Packet for just $5 with a qualifying purchase.  FIVE DOLLARS.  For 24 sheets of high-quality 12x12 scrapbook paper.  THAT, my friends, is just 21 cents a sheet.  How can I get this goodness, you ask?  Well, let me tell you!  

For every $35 in products you purchase from the Spring/Summer 2012 Idea Book (through May 31, or while supplies last) you qualify for a Dotty for You paper packet ($19.95 value) for just $5. Dotty for You includes 24 specially designed, cardstock weight, coordinating B&T Duos® sheets (2 each of 12 patterns) and an artwork idea insert.  I know.  WOW!  Right?  But read on:

There are also two ways you can get this darling paper packet FREE!
  • Hostesses will receive a free Dotty for You paper packet when their Gathering sales total $400 or more (excluding tax, shipping/handling, and Operation Smile donations). This would be a great time to book a gathering, have a fun girls night with some friends, and earn FREE product!  Email me to book a gathering today!
  • Anyone who signs up as a new Consultant with CTMH from now through May 31 gets one FREE with their kit (which is a STEAL!  It's only $99 and you get over $300 in products). To sign up, head to my website, click on "Opportunities" and then "Be a Consultant."
Stay tuned over the next few days, as I'll be sharing some cute artwork I've created with the Dotty for You paper pack.  Until next time,


Monday, April 9, 2012

Hello Monday!

Hello Spring! Hello beautiful lilacs! I've been waiting all winter for your yummy fragrance!

Hello Cherry Blossoms. Your beautiful, fluffy presence all over the valley makes me smile.

Hello . . . winter? Just for a day!

Hello play at the Desert Star. Hello, my love. Hello dinner at Olive Garden with friends, and a fun Saturday evening out.

Hello, Easter Sunday. Hello, Risen Christ! Allelujah!

Hello, Monday!
Hello pedicure with my bestie.
Hello spring cleaning.
Hello taxes. Really. We're in the final stretch!
Hello "beauty salon" appointment for the girls. Bath and brush {hopefully} = less dog hair in my house!
Hello tapering off medication; therefore, hello brain zaps. Don't ask.

What are you saying hello to this Monday? I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard! Let me know what you're up to this week! Until next time,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed . . .


What a glorious day!! Today we celebrate. We celebrate the culmination of the last 40 days. We celebrate that this man, the Son of God, gave His life on a cross for us. For our sins. Mine. Yours. Ours. His Father, our Father, sacrificed His Son so that all His children could become sinless. Forgiven. We get a do-over. Whether we deserve it or not. And all He asks? Is for faith. For us to believe in Him, and in Christ, His Son. (John 3:16) Pretty sweet deal, eh? That's how much He loves us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39).

For Christ is risen. The tomb is empty

He is Risen. 

He is Risen indeed. 


Wishing you and yours a very Blessed Easter.  Until next time,  


Monday, April 2, 2012

Hello, Monday!

Hello, Monday! And Hello, April 2nd! I've been MIA for a month, and this will be a new feature on my blog. I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard over at Lisa Leonard Designs Blog .

Hello Daddy. Today would be your 82nd birthday. And though you've been gone 20 years, I still miss you! Thinking of you today, and every day. I love you! 

Hello laundry.  Meh.  

Hello menu planning and grocery shopping.

Hello phone calls for dr. appointments.

Hello Project Life.  It's been awhile.  I hope to start catching you up on things!

Hello Taxes.  We're down to the nitty gritty, and I have to get you done.  

Hello haircut -- hopefully you'll help my curls behave!

Hello Holy Week -- beginning the journey to the cross with Christ.  But that's okay -- I know how the story ends!

What are you saying hello to this beautiful Spring Monday?  

Until next time,


Thursday, March 1, 2012

#30 Days of Lists March 2012

It's here!!  The March 2012 version of #30 Days of Lists!!  I'm so excited . . . and it's not too late for you to sign up and play along!  Simply visit their blog at and click on the "Register Now" button.  The cost is only $8, and it doesn't take anything special -- a simple notebook will do.  You can play along in two ways . . . you can download the entire months worth of prompts right away, and work on it as you can, or (and this is how I do it) you can visit the class page daily to receive the prompt for that day, and see examples from the teachers and other students.  There is a Flickr group, as well, where we all share our pages and thoughts each day.  So, it's fun, takes hardly any time, and at the end of the month, you have a cute little journal to look back on!  Some of the lists are fun, some really make you think. 

This go round, I created my own little mini journal, using papers and scraps I had around the house.  It's a take off of the journal I bought last year from Monika Wright for the September 2011 #30 Days of Lists.  There is a link on her page to her Etsy site . . . I believe she may have one or two left of her March 2012 edition if you want to purchase one!  Here is an image of the supplies I used in my journal:

And here is my finished product:

I do hope you'll click over and join me.  Until next time,