Thursday, December 20, 2007

One more thing...

In the all the madness of trying to get everything together for a 2-week Christmas trip, I don't want to forget something very important. It will most likely be after the first of the year before I can post again, so I want to tell you now:

Have a very merry and blessed Christmas. Be safe in your travels, enjoy your families, don't eat too much, and most importantly - remember to thank God for sending His glorious gift to us.

I love you all!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2008 Resolutions

As promised, here's the link to my funky scrapbook page: Resolved. It's easier to see there than it would be if I posted it here.

**EDIT TO ADD: What the heck... here it is anyway. You can still link to it to see it better, if you're that interested. :) **

In case the small print gives you fits - here's the complete & unabridged list (plus one item that I added after I posted to 2ps).

I categorized my resolutions a bit differently this year - adding one major category and merging two others. But enough of the blather. Here ya go:

To read through the entire Bible in the course of a year.
To memorize 100 passages of scripture.
To read six books to help me in my walk with Him.
To devote time to prayer daily - not just when things are really good or really bad.
To create a blessings journal and write at least one thing every day.
To use my talents and abilities to glorify Him.

To lose at least 75 pounds.
To exercise 4 times a week.
To take care of myself - not to let my appearance go because I'm too tired or don't have time.
To re-learn what it means to eat healthy food.
To break my addiction to fast food.

To start my photography business.
To save enough money to buy a professional camera.
To refine my technique, especially in portraiture.
To scrapbook in digital & paper formats weekly.
To write the memories from my childhood.
To blog at least 1/3 of the days of the year.
To submit as many layouts as possible for publication.
To learn four new piano pieces.

To pay off at least half our debts.
To pay for Jeff's school without taking out loans. (might be a stretch)
To save $1000 for an emergency fund.
To curb unnecessary spending.
To make a weekly budget and stick to it.
To communicate with Jeff about all expenses.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Since the time is fast approaching when I'll be heading out of town (and consistent internet access) I am going to post my 2007 resolutions update. Tomorrow you'll get the list for 2008 - and a link to the wicked Andy Warhol-inspired scrapbook page I did about them.

So here's the post-celebration list (in case you've forgotten).

Now for the review.

Photography & Scrapbooking

"I'm hoping later this I year I can buy that Nikon I've been eyeballing for the last several months. Until that happens, I still want to take at least a roll of film every two weeks. "

Hee hee. I got that Nikon in early spring. Now the concept of 24 pictures every two weeks is mind-boggling. I have put well over six thousand pictures through the D40. I didn't get the higher-end D80 that I really wanted, but no matter. What I have been able to learn over the course of the last few months is unbelievable. My photography has improved so much that I'm gearing up to start my own business next year! How crazy is that? I love my camera, and yet I'm already drooling over the high-end professional D300. The way I figure it, I have saved roughly $2500 in film developing costs by switching to digital in the last nine months. That would easily pay for the D300. (Hey, anything to justify a new toy!)

As for the scrapbooking - well, it's been a good year for that, too. Mom & I went to CKC & CKU (Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking conventions). Not counting the layouts I made there, I created 39 for Braeden's book, 22 for the album about myself, 11 for the Christmas album and 4 for the family album. I also made a gift album for Grandma (21 pages) and a 20-page album about our CKU trip. Then there was the 20-page "me right now" album from CKU. I'm probably missing a few, but that makes at least 117 layouts. Even though it wasn't quite 2 a week, it averages out to meeting my resolution for the year.

Also part of the scrapbooking - I am learning how to digi-scrap, and I love it! It's instant gratification. No more waiting for pics to develop. I just load them into the computer and have at it. It's interesting, because my digi style is very different from my paper style. I think I might be better at digi, but the jury's still out on that one.

So overall - this category was a great success. A++ Moving on...

Weight & Health

"After nine months of concentrated effort and another three on-again, off-again, I lost 80 pounds. In less than six months, I gained 70 back. Ouch."

Yeah.... by the summer, 70 had turned to 90. Somewhere around July I realized I'd better quit now, so I began my half-hearted effort to lose it. Again. In August I began yet another blog (because two weren't enough) to chronicle my attempts, hoping that it would spur me on to great things.

Not so much. In spite of myself, I did manage to lose 25 or so pounds, though I've been toying with the same 5 for weeks. With Christmas looming and the promise of more food than I know what to do with, my motivation is quickly fading. And exercise? That last about two months. I haven't done a thing since the end of October.

I'd have to give myself a C- in this category. I'm only not failing because I am still hanging in there, by however thin a thread.


"1) read at least two books a month, 2) read at least six Christian living books, 3) read at least six of the classics, and 4) in general, try to break away from my usual light-headed Christian romance novel."

As you can see by my previous post, this was a big year for books. I met #1 easily, clocking in with 27 books (34 if you count reading through the HP series twice). I got halfway to #2, didn't get #3 at all, and definitely hit #4 - I only read on Christian romance all year.

Grade? B


" first writing goal for this year is to at least begin the elusive novel."


Yeah. That didn't happen. Neither did the autobiography - but - I have somewhat allowed blogging to be my right-here right-now story. This will make entry #115 for the year. It's more than I've done in the past, to be sure.

Gotta give myself a D+ on this one.


Wow. I alternated between devoted follower and borderline agnostic this year. Okay, maybe not quite to that extreme, but I've definitely had my spiritual struggles. I got to the end of February before I quit my nightly Bible readings. (Honestly, I'm a little surprised I made it that far.) My prayer life has been on-again, off-again, but I can say I've done more praising this year.

I took on the teenage girls class this summer, and have loved every minute of it. It's felt so good to be involved with the kids again, and I really do enjoy teaching. It's been good for me.

After the tornado, I learned to take nothing for granted, and every time I drive past the Baptist church, I offer a quick prayer of thanks for his protection.

So... C. Could've been worse, but since I can say I have tried, however inconsistently, I'll give myself a passing grade. (Only in my application of the resolution - not my actual spiritual life.)

There you have it. Resolutions in review.

Coming soon - 2008's big list.

Monday, December 17, 2007

On Computers and Heaters

Incidentally, neither of which work very well...

Last winter, I worked from the laptop so I could sit in the living room. It's much warmer in there. I can bundle up in layers of blankets if needed and huddle on the couch. Sadly, the laptop has died. We bought it used, complete with the Isis virus. . . eventually it could no longer recognize that it even had a wi-fi card. Without internet access, the thing is completely useless. It's too slow to do anything else.

This means I'm freezing half to death in the office. I am wearing two sweatshirts and a long-sleeve shirt, jeans, and a thick fleece blanket, and my butt still feels like a frozen butterball turkey. My fingers are so cold they're numb, and my nose won't quit running. You see, the heater just doesn't quite reach to this room, and it wouldn't matter if it did - there's no insulation in this part of the house, anyway.

To further complicate matters, my desktop PC is about to kick the bucket. It's been beeping and squealing at me for two days, and I know this is not a good sign. I am pretty sure what I will purchase next, but I can't afford it right now - we are barely going to have enough money to get Jeff back into school. So I just have to pray that the darned thing holds on for a couple more months. It wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't need it for my job. I can't really complain, anyway - I use it 12+ hours a day, and for it to be four years old, it has done remarkably well - far better than the Gateway that was its predecessor.

So say a prayer for my computer, and perhaps another that I can stay warm...

Oh, and for the checkbook. Sooner than later we're going to have to replace both of those computers.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Nut

I am such a dork. I accidentally stumbled across instructions on the web to make gift bows, so guess how I spent my afternoon?

Oh, yeah. I'm crazy. Just wait till I start stamping my wrapping paper and making my chipboard tags that convert into ornaments! mwuaaahaaahaahaaa!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Own Personal 2007 Reading List

Like my title?

I didn't think so.

So... here's what I've plowed through this year. As often happens, my reading came in spurts. With two major series coming to an end this year, I found my nose stuck in a book a little more often than usual, and there's no telling how much caffeine I consumed in my attempts to compensate for late nights spent reading.

J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2 times)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2 times)

Terry Goodkind
Wizard's First Rule
Stone of Tears
Blood of the Fold
Temple of the Winds
Soul of the Fire
Faith of the Fallen
The Pillars of Creation
Naked Empire

Karin Evans
The Lost Daughters of China

Katrina Kittle
The Kindness of Strangers

Lori Wick
White Chocolate Moments

C. S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Shaunti Feldhahn
For Young Women Only
For Women Only

Chip Ingram
God As He Longs for You to See Him

Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time

Janet Evanovich
Lean Mean Thirteen

It's quite possible I've left something out - but I figure the list represents several thousand pages of reading. Not too shabby! For 2008, the goal is variety - I'm out of new series material, so I'll have to get into something else. Dunno what just yet...

PSA: Shutterfly

I have a new favorite thing. is the coolest, awesomest, bestest photo store on the web. I got back several items of miscellany today, including regular prints, enlargements, and digi scrapbook pages.

Fabulous, my dear. Simply fabulous. Besides the excellent quality, I received my order 3 days after I'd loaded it to the web. I am amazed that it moved so quickly. The rest of my order will follow.

Check it out. You will be impressed, I promise!

Monday, December 10, 2007


It must be destiny.

I think I will forever be broke. No matter what I do, there is always something . . . whenever I get close to saving a little cash, something inevitably goes wrong.

All the curse words in the world could not express my extreme frustration at the moment. The problem always gets worse around Christmas - why wouldn't it? It's perfectly logical that the one time of the year when I get excited about seeing family and giving gifts to the people I love that I will be forced to endless nights of stressing over the lack of money to do what I want to do.

Grrr.... why do I even bother? Heck, I'm 30, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

Doesn't exactly seem like a bright future, does it?

Okay. Whine over.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007


It would seem I have acquired a new hobby, albeit unintentionally. After designing a small gift album for Grandma for Christmas, I have progressed from dabbling in digital scrapbooking to a full-blown obsession. Though I have no intention of giving up paper scrapping, there is something highly entertaining about using the computer to create effects that you just can't duplicate with a paper, pen, and stickers.

Naturally, this is dangerous territory. I didn't exactly need another hobby to spend $ on - the photography and paper scrapping are bad enough. However, having always been a quick study on the computer, I am learning how to create my own elements using the things I already have.

Unfortunately, I sense a dead computer looming on the horizon. Our laptop gave up its fight earlier this week, and my PC is developing a case of virtual Alzheimer's - or maybe its brain is just farting. Either way, I know that four years is about the most you can expect from a computer - especially when you are on it 10-12 hours a day like I am. I'm just dreading the expense and headache of transferring this huge mess of files, and I'm definitely not looking forward to the bug-laden Windows Vista. If all my stuff wasn't already in Microsoft formats, I think I'd buy a Mac.

Guess I know how our income tax return is being spent.