Friday, June 30, 2006




I hope you enjoy my barb wire element! I had created this look for my banner, when in speaking with Kristin - aka Wyowoman - she mentioned this would be a great element to create. The downloadable one is 12 inches long and can stretch across an entire scrapbook page - or alternately, you may want to use it in smaller pieces. I also took the drop shadow off the png - so you can add your own depending on your Layout!

Busy, busy I tell you! Did not even have time to phone our Aunt Rose last night and wish her a Happy Birthday - but will try that tonight. If you're reading this Aunt Rose then Squee Squee Squee for you.

James doing the Graduation 'NANO NANO'

I was invited to a small folks graduation yesterday! My young friend James graduated out of preschool - cap and gown and all. The young grads entertained us with several poems and songs ( with actions, no less! ) Guess when you grow up you no longer have to do the songs and things. Thanks for inviting me James! I've created an online gallery of the festivities, and you may visit it by clicking HERE.

Alison with the Babe-licious Smile!

I spent a good chunk of time helping my sweet friend Alison get her banner up on her blog - looks GREAT Ali! I am so proud of you for sticking it out even though we both would have liked to toss Photoshop into the trash lol!

I won't QUOTE a scripture here, but instead, I point you to the right and up a bit of this entry, where you see the bible gateway scripture of the day. In case you have not noticed yet, you can click onto the little audio icon ( MAKE SURE YOUR VOLUME IS ON! on your computer ) and the entire PASSAGE will be read to you in a really expressive way!


Mess-less Spray Painting

This is a hint for those smaller items you want to spray. Simply place the item inside a large paper shopping bag - yes, they still exist - then spray! The bag will keep the extra paint inside. Leave your item inside to dry. Once dry, remove your item and throw the bag away!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Well, I certainly started this morning off on the wrong foot. My sweet husband asked me for something and I near bit his head off. That is a bit of an exaggeration - but not too far removed. His request took me by surprise and I did not react gracefully. I think it is due to two factors:
a) I am not a morning person
b) I could not control the situation (it came out of the blue)
I need caffeine to function before a certain time in the morning. Sorry, but my fun-factor rises with my caffeine levels. Am I addicted? Meybe - perhaps this is something I'm going to have to examine.
Thank goodness Miles is so loving and patient. His caring manner is a balm to my prickly pre-morning personality. He's developed techniques such as Lion tamers must use to deal with difficult felines.
His love is what changes me. Used to be a time it was easy for me to stay angry and ugly. When he was firm with me it enabled me to stay in a snit out of indignity, because by then we would BOTH be acting silly. When he began this 'being nice' bit I could no longer stay mad without looking and feeling ridiculous. His love is like a mirror on his personality - I begin to see how stupid I must look and am able to humble and correct myself. His gentle words calm me.
Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
And rather than dealing out what I DESERVE, he instead leaves it to God to deal with my heart:
Romans 12:19
Do not take revenge, my friends,
but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:
"It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"
says the Lord.
How I appreciate the way he is to me. You see, there is a worldly saying out there: "don't tell anyone your troubles, because 1/2 won't care, and the other 1/2 will be glad you have 'em" Thank Goodness my husband has a heart of God and goes beyond what he sees on the surface, to truly care.
I am invited to a very special event today. My young friend James is graduating from his preschool today. I am very excited to be part of this milestone in his childhood. What a week - going from being part of the Learning Centre's Graduation where we had a Granny - Graduate, all the way down to a preschool graduation. By the way, if you would like to view a slideshow of the Learning Centre's graduation just visit this link and clik on the link to the right of the screen.
Myself and some designer friends are planning a multi giveaway special treat for Canada Day, July 1st. You won't want to be missing this!
Clean, Professional Brochures
While helping fold programs for the graduation the other night, I discovered a trick to making them look clean and professional. When you fold, run the edge of a metal ruler down the folded crease - it makes it crisp and causes the brochures to lay completly flat - stacking is neat and tidy and takes up way less room.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006




I'm noticing new folks are stopping by for a visit I would like to take a moment to explain exactly what my daily downloads are. I guess I have been posting them, and scrapping for so long I simply assume people know what my downloads are for. These elements I post, are embellishments or kits or papers for digital scrapbooking. If you would like to learn more about digital scrapbooking I highly recommend a visit to Scrapbook-Bytes Basically it is the same as traditional scrapbooking without using the physical things. I save all my elements in PNG format, which allows you to use the elements on a transparent layer. I'm sure you can use these elements for loads of other projects, including Power Point presentations etc. I will tell you also, that I will be travelling the summer, but I do plan on hovering close to wifi connections and uploading when I can.

One HAPPY Grad!

It was graduation for the Okanagan Similkameen Learning Centres. My husband Miles has been an instructor there for the past 11 years. The Learning Centres are a school for adult students... either youth who don't fit into the regular school system, or for adults coming back to enrich and complete their Grade 12 education. Its a very inspiring place to be and every ceremony here is special. We see young grads from teens all the way up to Grammas and Grampas. With only 17 graduates from the three centres, its a very personal and awesome time. We had a graduate this year who passed away from cancer a few months shy of the ceremony. For her husband it was an opportunity for closure, and an opportunity for him to share what learning meant to her - that you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up (Winston Churchill)

Our Tireless, Inspiring Principal - Bev Hansen

Being that I am not a student (I AM a past graduate OF the Learning Centre) and I am not staff (though I do volunteer tutor when needed) I have the blessing of being a help somewhere in between those roles. This was my help with the grad this year:

1. Decorating - Brenda Zachall, the secretary from the Oliver Learning Centre engineered the plan for the grad decorations. She gleaned from several local businesses for props and plants - both living and silk. She brought enough mini lights to decorate a christmas tree several times over and even had an electrician come to help us from being electrocuted. She organized a fleet of vehicles to transport it all and took care of countless other details such as getting keys etc. I merely had to be there and help move and hang and tape etc. All the teachers helped with the decorating in some way.

2. Folding Brochures - Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes... the brochures had to be revised and reprinted several times by Miles, and I was the folder... learned how to make crisp, professional folds - after all, don't we teach desktop publishing at the Centre - got to make a good impression for the school.

3. Greeting - What a joy to see grads and their families and friends arrive. Handing out brochures, providing missing pens for the guestbook.

4. Taking pics - I did not take the 'official' grad pics - but tried to fill in some of the ones that didn't seem to be getting pics taken of. You can't have too many pics of a once in a life event...

5. The most unique help of all - holding someone's socks.

"Barb, I need your help!"

"Anything, whats the problem?"

"I need a pin, my mother insisted I wear these black knee high socks, and I did not realize the graduation gown would gap from above the knees and everyone will see I have socks on!"

"Oh dear, I see what you mean! "

After a frantic search for a safety pin, and after discarding the idea of a stick pin from a corsage - it may have poked the grad... someone suggested (well, they ARE taught to think quickly on their feet) the universal answer, duct tape. How convenient I had been in charge of the duct tape part of decorating and was able to put my hands on it quickly. However, after a bit of fiddling around trying to seam the gown's gap together only to find it too wide... I chose the logical solution...

"Why don't you just take your socks off?"

"Take them off?"

"Yes, take them right off - you are wearing sandals, after all - and its like a bazillion degrees in here - and you won't have to worry at all!"

"Are you sure it will look alright?"

"Positive! There, see, you have lovely little toes, and your feet will be cool, and you will not have to worry if your gown opens to the knees."

"Oh, will you hold my socks, please?"

"I will keep them right here in my camera bag"

Several hours later... the festivies are over... there are only a trickle of people left. We are getting prepared to leave when she approaches. We hug and wish each other a great summer. She's turned, ready to leave when she suddenly turns back and says "You've got something of mine, remember, my socks?"

Though it was a small thing, it was a special moment for me. You just never know where you will be needed.

Secretaries Brenda Zachall and Linda Lobb

Our Bubbly, Ever Inspiring, Gramma Grad, Linda James!

(and Student of the Year for the Osoyoos Centre, too!)

My thought on all this - from a spiritual view? The word GRADUATE. Somehow when you attend the ceremony you have the impression that that to graduate is to COMPLETE something, and while this is entirely true, its also a beginning. Graduating really means you are ready for a new level. For the NEXT thing. Life goes on and you build on what you've learned.

This is how I feel our spiritual life is. When you die you don't just END. When you die, you are GRADUATING to something, you are going somewhere, either heaven or hell. Life is the school, so knowing you are graduating to either heaven or hell, you better do the studying and practicing here on earth, because you can't arrive at your destination unprepared. Burying your head in the sand to say you won't arrive somewhere is merely denial - so make your choice for heaven - learn and live it here on earth. And its not just head knowledge, its what you DO with it, and what you do with your very life to prepare. Solomon, the wisest man ever, learned this the hard way:


12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,

and also madness and folly.

What more can the king's successor do

than what has already been done?

13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,

just as light is better than darkness.

14 The wise man has eyes in his head,

while the fool walks in the darkness;

but I came to realize

that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I thought in my heart,

"The fate of the fool will overtake me also.

What then do I gain by being wise?"

I said in my heart,

"This too is meaningless."

16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;

in days to come both will be forgotten.

Like the fool, the wise man too must die!


Uses for Oranges

Did you know that dried orange peels make a terrific kindling? They smell wonderful and don't produce creosote. The flammable oils in them make them burn much longer than paper.

To freshen your kitchen, toss a few orange peels and 1/2 tsp cinnamon into a small dish and zap it into the microwave for a few mins on med power. Watch it does not boil over.

Rub fresh orange or lemon peels over your skin for a natural mosquito repellent!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


With the weather sizzling - hovering close to 40 degrees Celcius, the water draws people like a magnet. We live on the shores of beautiful Osoyoos Lake - you can see here at a nearby hotel thru the webcam at the Sandy Beach Motel. Once you get to this Osoyoos Webpage just click the Osoyoos webcam link, located top left of the page.
As the heat builds, and we start to sweat, our bodies cry out for liquid. There are entrire markets built on trying to slake our thirsts. Yesterday, as we were watching the news, we noticed a shift in the commercials. Whereas during the cooler, rainy weather, there were generally mostly food commercials. Comforting, warm food. Now that we've had a certain number of 'degree' days - days over a certain number of degrees, the big companies are paying big bucks to monopolize your screen in hopes you will rush out of your house screaming for Coke, Pepsi, Juice and....yes, in this day and age, water.
Now, I'm middle aged, and I have a real hard time with the concept of buying water. In my lifetime you always just turned on the tap, and there you have it. Water. It was what you drank because you couldn't afford pop or juice or whatever. It was not something you went about flashing the lable of your drink container, anyways. And, somehow we've come to the conclusion that the water that comes from our tap is inferior to the water that comes neatly bottled - that its better to drink and toss than simply fill up a glass. In my way of thinking, if you don't trust your tap water, thats an issue worth correcting!
Its sort of funny, really, that companies get us to pay for drinking water. I always envision someone on the other end, filling new bottles from their garden hose or tap, packaging it, and here we are drinking it and feeling like its special cuz it has a fancy label on it that promises it is crystal, or glacier or pure.
Real Water.
When it all boils down (pun intended) the only thing that matters is that it IS water - when you become GENUINELY thirsty water is what quenches. Oh, they may ADD things to the water, but it all CONTAINS water in the first place, no?
We drink when we are not thirsty. We fill ourselves up with all sorts of liquids, and don't have to thirst. Its like life today. But doesn't water take on a whole new aspect when you drink it when you are thirsty? Jesus wants us to thirst for His word and he promises to slake it ... completely.
You know, when I started this blog, I didn't really know exactly what it would be, but I offered it up to the Lord, and asked Him to use it for whatever purpose He had in mind for it. He has used it to create a thirst in me. I do not PLAN out what will be written here, I trust He will provide me with what should be here daily - my thirst, His water!
JOHN 7:38
Whoever believes in me,
as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him


glitter alpha: Kristin CB

stick pins: Jenn Star

intensity Kit: Lauren Grier

Congratulations to our Grads at the Okanagan Similkameen Learning Centre, where my dear husband instructs!

The Centre is a place where adults attend on a drop-in basis to complete their highschool. Ages range from teens to 80 and upwards! I know firsthand the value of the Centre as I graduated a mere 6 years ago! There are Centres in three communities - Keremeos, Oliver and our own town of Osoyoos. I would especially like to congratulate our Osoyoos grads - Miles says Rob Tunnel has worked hard for his certificate, and there's a soft spot there for him. Patty and I've enjoyed 'Scrapping' together (scrapbooking, that is...we DON'T fight in school...) I look forward to working with you more, Patty!

Linda James - what a sweetie! Linda is a Gramma who has been not only attending school for this past decade, she's also held a job down at a local cafe. She just bubbles and glitters with happiness - WAY TO GO Linda, you deserve this so much!!

Val Scheer. Your not HERE - but you will be with each of us tonight. You worked SO hard. School was a passion with you. You lost a valiant battle with cancer, but you won over going passively. We love and miss you Val. Just 3 months short of your celebration day - we will have a space reserved for you tonight, center stage ... in our hearts. You were a HUGE inspiration to all, teachers and staff and students. We will look out for your husband, Gary in his time of need. We are so glad he will have an opportunity to share tonight what a special person you are, and what school meant to you.

Please pray for the Grads of our school as they accept their awards today.



This is a way you can use a paper clip to pit a cherry - Over a bowl or sink, unfold a paper clip at the center, and depending on the size of the cherry, slide either the clip's big or small end throught the top. Loosen the pit and pull! You can even leave a stem on your cherry, for decoration - simply insert the clip from the bottom. Be careful, as cherry juice stains!

Monday, June 26, 2006




I really hope you all had a great weekend! I know my friend Gina did... she had the mega yard sale of all yard sales! Sounds like she turned half her household 'junk' into some cold hard cash - smart lady. She was trying to make some money to buy some nice, new, trendy furniture - well, by the sounds of it she can call in Debbie Travis now, he he! You can check out her adventures HERE.

I want to thank you all for your AWESOME comments - they really make me smile - inside and out!

Our Pastor spoke on SELFISHNESS yesterday. It was a terrific, home-hitting message. This bit of scripture is what inspired his message:

Mark 4:36

Leaving the crowd behind,

they took him along,

just as he was, in the boat.

There were also other boats with him.

So, you see, his point was just this - when the storm arose, the first thing the disciples in the boat thought about was....THEMSELVES - even though there were other boats out in the water (and in Pastor's version of the bible it said they were "other LITTLE boats"... so the disciples were thinking of themselves first! This is SO human nature! No wonder Jesus was annoyed when he awoke to find them in a panic, and thinking only of themselves... when the crunch came they thought of themselves first. It must have been frustrating in the sense that Jesus had been working with these guys for quite a while, but they had a relapse to their human nature the moment a problem arose. Now, when he awoke, He not only calmed the storm, He also rebuked the disciples. I know I published these song lyrics not so very long ago, however I would like to share them yet again as they perfectly demonstrate this message:

Sometimes He Calms The Storm


All who sail the sea of faith

Find out before too long

How quickly blue skies can grow dark

And gentle winds grow strong

Suddenly fear is like white water

Pounding on the soul

Still we sail on knowing

That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm

With a whispered peace be still

He can settle any sea

But it doesn't mean He will

Sometimes He holds us close

And lets the wind and waves go wild

Sometimes He calms the storm

And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial

That we pass through in life

And though we're shaken

We cannot be pulled apart from Christ

No matter how the driving rain beats down

On those who hold to faith

A heart of trust will always

Be a quiet peaceful place

If you would like to copy just this song, here's a little trick. Simply highlight over just the text you would like to print, go up to FILE, click PRINT and when the print dialouge box opens, check off SELECTION...this way you won't print all sorts of 'extra' stuff.

And my last thought on selfishness - one that I'm grateful to have learned, can be demonstrated in this thought on marriage.

A world marriage is when someone marries and thinks "I have married someone who can serve me for the rest of my life" and the REAL marriage is when someone marries and thinks "I am marrying someone who I CAN SERVE for the rest of my life" - If your not thinking this way, you meybe would like to explore this thought.... marriage is not 50/50 its 100/100

Local Flora Emerging

Its a great time to use rocks for hobbies. I enjoy painting on rocks, and kids love it too! Its an inexpensive hobby for them. The following site will get you started. HOW TO PAINT ROCKS There is even two sets of brief instructions on some simple projects. I would also suggest searching your library for more books.


Summer Rocks!

I got this idea from a Reader's Digest Hint book - You can make pretty paperweights or shiny rocks for the base of plants (cactus especially) Find some palm size, smooth clean rocks. Put 1/2 inch water into a flat dish, like a pie plate, put 1 drop of clear nail polish into the water. The polish will spread out over the water surface. Holding a rock with your fingertips, slowly roll it in the water to coat it with the polish. Lay it on a newspaper to dry.

I would LOVE to see if you make any of these things!

Nail polish is not an ancient concept. Chinese nobility, as early as 3000 B.C. are believed to have colored their nails using polishes concocted of gum arabic, beeswax, gelatin and pigments. Nobility got to wear the cool shades, like gold, silver, red or black, while the 'lower downs' could only choose pastel shades. Egyptians, also, often dyed their nails with henna or stained them with berries. Polish wasn't just for women, either. In both Rome and Egypt, military commanders painted their nails red before going into battle. even though my husband's background takes him back to Italy...I somehow don't think I can imagine him wearing red toe-nail polish...

Sunday, June 25, 2006




Miles made this element for you! I mentioned I don't have enough 'guy' elements so he took time out to make something appropriate. I don't know how he whips 'em up so effortlessly - and I learn something every time he does! I am so glad we have the same interests and hobbies. When I was going to the Learning Centre, I used to resist his efforts to interest me in computer programs, but now I just lap it up!

Mariposa Lily

The Mariposa Lilies are out in our local area. A poultice of mashed bulbs applied to the skin for poison ivy by the Okanagan-Colville Indians. The bulb was eaten by the Yakama Indians. In case you are new to my blog, I live in Southern BC, Canada, in Canada's only Pocket Desert, so we enjoy some unique flora and fauna here.

I had a thought cross my mind yesterday, as I watched my husband working with web development. When he creates a graphic for a website, he has to consider not only what appears on HIS computer screen and MY computer screen, he has to consider ALL possiblities - people have all different shapes and sizes of monitors....not only that, people use different browsers - so you have to check what you are trying to show will be displayed clearly and attractively in their settings. This causes me to parallell it to my Christian view. What I see may not be clear to everyone else. When I listen to people, I should try to discern more than just the words they are using - I need to make a greater effort to understand WHERE they are speaking from. I think there is a great danger in ASSUMING we all think the same, come from our own viewpoint. What do you think about this? I would love to hear from you.

When I saw this dandilion, fully ripened, it explained how I feel right now - poised to fly off in little bits when the wind comes along! I really seek out The Word daily now, to keep me grounded.


sung by CeCe Winans

We thirst for You

We search for You

In a dry and barren land

W're longing for Your hand

To guide us to

A place where You

Can cleanse us with Your rain...

Baptize us once again

We thirst for You

Oh Lord we are waiting

Let Your river flow

Come flood our hearts again

Quench our thirsty souls

I'm going to sign off here, as we have a young couple coming to share our afternoon after church. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by today!


Stop Slipping!

To stop a broom from slipping when you lean it up against the wall, cut the finger off of a rubber glove and slip it over the end of the broomstick!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I enjoyed a lovely day with my friend Alison yesterday - even set her up with her own BLOG! She is very talented in music and photography and her site should be a treat for the eye and ear as it develops. She made me the most AMAZING sandwhich for lunch, so good, in fact I encouraged her to take a pic for this blog, but I don't have it here yet, so I will post it tomorrow. Thank you sweet friend, it was special to 'break bread' with you. If your food was good, your company was awesome!
I am making the vacation list - checking it twice, thrice etc... Thing is, most things, if you forget them can be substituted or replaced inexpensively, but some things just cannot (like the lists of phone numbers of phone numbers and addresses of friends and family...) 'The List' always begins on one page and end up running onto several more by the time we leave.
Now is about the time we are firming up our vacation plans, deciding where exactly we are headed, while leaving it open ended so we don't HAVE to be somewhere. We made that mistake one year and ended up HAVING to rush to places to meet deadlines. Thats no vacation at all. That's just organized time off!
When we camp we use two great resources which have stood us in great stead. One is a copy of Don Wrights Guide to FREE campgrounds This book is amazing - it is very true and we've found many nice places to camp for very inexpensive. He gives good directions and descriptions. He puts out a version for the West and the East. The other resource we use is the Free Campgrounds Website I hope these help you to find that perfect place to camp - hey if you see us, come on over for a coffee round the campfire.
While saying that... I have a dear friend Sonya Johnston, fellow scrapper and yapper - we talk daily, who lives in California - only three hours from Yosemite it turns out. I've been leaving brochures and information 'bout the park around for my husband...hoping...Maybe..... yes, Son, I am workin' on it, giggle!
I have a prayer today, that the Lord keep me pure in this chaotic time of preparation. I find myself on edge a bit, expecting more of my husband in a time he needs more of me. I can feel how easily I might slip into bad habits, cut corners, 'make do' in my Christian walk... Its my prayer the Lord would hear my cry to help me be pure and holy and helpful in this time. Keep me strong and firm and grounded in Your Holy word.

Psalm 1

Psalms 1-41
1. Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2. But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3. He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Marshmallows - For More Than Roasting!
I figured I will give the marshmallow tips I found, keeping with the camping theme. Some of these are pretty funny, but they make sense at the same time, you know?
1. Separate your toes when you are painting your nails. (I'll be sure to blog THIS one when I do it, ok?)
2. Keep brown sugar soft. Toss a 'mallow in with your brown sugar overnight and the sugar will soften.
3. Stop dripping ice cream cones. Pop a 'mallow into the bottom of a cone before filling!
4. Keep wax off Birthday cakes. Put the candle into a marshmallow, PLACED onto the cake! Voila!
5. Quick cake frosting! Put a 'mallow on cupcakes a minute or two before they come out of the oven!

Friday, June 23, 2006





When I made these star elements I was reminded that our Creator made each and ever single star - what sparkly fun that must have been. I get so used to all that is around me that I fail to fully appreciate the miricle of it all. This is one thing I especially enjoy on summer vacation - the opportunity each night to sit and simply ponder the stars - lay under that blanket of diamonds on velvet and thnk about the reason for it all. When I do this, I realize how trivial are my own small worries and trials. I am a mere speck in His vast creation, yet he treasures each of us! One song that comes to mind when I think of stars and creation is My Redeemer by Nicole C Mullen. You may watch her video Redeemer HERE and the words are:


Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?

And who told the ocean you can only come this far?

And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?

whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my redeemer lives

I know my redeemer lives

All of creation testifies

this life within me cries

I know my redeemer lives

The very same Godthat spins things in orbit

runs to the weary, the worn and the weak

and the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken

they conquered death to bring me victory



I had a special request from my friend Alison to make a hummingbird element, so I created this one in ArtRage - its digitally hand painted using the oil paints. I'm not sure where you might use it, but I would love to see if you do! I am spending the day with Ali - a rare treat!


Oil Your Legs!

This is very handy for me on vacation - if I run out of shaving cream while we are camping I won't use soap as it can be very drying to my skin. I will instead, use Olive Oil. It makes it easier for the blade to glide over the skin, but it also moisturizes!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Song of Solomon 2:16
My lover is mine and I am his
I will be brief today as I want to scoot away to Painters group - most likely my last time this year. I created this element with black in the inner parts so you can use it two ways. You can either select the black middle part with your magic wand and delete it, then insert your own pics behind the locket, or you can select the middle black parts, copy, paste on a new layer and then use the middle shapes as a TEMPLATE for cutting out your photos, to fit in. If this is french to you, you may want to wander over to and seek out a tutorial for this. They have so many wonderful tutorials!
I also would like to leave the following links for you moms and grand - moms, who will be needing to find things to do with the young children you come in charge with over the summer:
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
HOW TO MAKE PAPER AIRPLANES (who can't want to make paper airplanes? this young fella (like 12 yrs old) has created his own set of step-by-step online videos to walk you through!)
FAMILY FUN - a veritable wealth of good ideas for all ages of kids (but don't YOU dare have a good time yourself doing it with them lol! )
Chances are good that during the summer you carry lip balm with you already. If so there are many ways you can use that lip balm other than on your lips! You can use it to:
a) prevent windburn
b) remove a stuck ring
c) groom wild eyebrows (yeah they get unruly if you waterski, I bet!)
d) smother shaving cuts
e) lubricate a sticky zipper
f) carpenter's helper - rub some on screws and nails before putting in and they will go in easier
g) slick a lightbulb - rub some lip balm on the threads to prevent sticking and make removal easier - specially outdoor bulbs!
h) if its a medicated lip balm, rub some on your temples to dispell a headache

Wednesday, June 21, 2006




Happy Summer Everybody! According to Global TV anyways - they inform me that summer began this very morning at 5:26 a.m. Did you wake up and smell the beach? Are you going on vacation? Our little community swells to twice it's size during the summer season, as we have an influx of pickers come to pick our bountiful fruit crop!

Leviticus 26:4

I will send you rain in its season,

and the ground will yield its crops

and the trees of the field their fruit.

Janice and I and Zach had a lovely day at the beach yesterday. We took ourselves to the library to load up on back issues of magazines, gathered a blanket, towel, beverage and 'digger tools' for Zach and drove to the Centennial Park - a quiet family-oriented place.

Zach in the Tube!

Zach had a hoot on the playground toys while Janice and I painted our nails and chatted.

Janice's Golden Raisin Toesies!

We did have an 'incident' while there... Janice had filled Zach's sippie container with Pop...and forgetting what we learned in science class in school, flipped it's lid while it was heated up - ooops! Janice diligently dug out her tide-to-go stick...but that would not have touched the gigondo stain that had erupted over her facade...she eventually had to borrow a shirt and soak it in laundry detergent. Two things of note - Shoppers Drug Mart, Life Brand Sparkling Soda's look to be 100% food coloring...but the Shoppers Drug Mart Life Brand Laundry Soap is amazing...completely cleaned Janices shirts!

Janice Tackling a Major Stain!

(Tide To Go is her Best Friend!)

CBC radio locally, each day has a feature called "Good Question". My conscience promted me to call in yesterday with my question. What happens to the fish in our lakes in the summer, when everyone on the beach who is slathered and coated in various sunscreens/lotions enter the water in droves? Have these compounds ever been tested directly on fish? With the lake heating up like bathwater and the bacteria multiplying like rabbits in the peak season - when its so hot more people are in a lake than out - what impact are we having on these fish. If we fish, are we eating these chemicals they ingest? Besides having to put up with loss of cover due to construction gone insane, and the increase of motorboats and personal water craft...does a poor carp even have a chance these days? Or will we have to wipe them out to learn. I'm not sure when they will air my question, but the program comes on sometime between 7:30 to 8 a.m. What do you think?


Staying Wired! For Free!

Friends of our are snowbirds, and I've often asked them if they encounter internet or wifi connections along the way. They were not aware of many at all! I decided to do research on my own - after all, I plan to check in on you-all every two weeks at the very least during vacation ;) I found a terrific resource which I will share with you! Not only is it the listings, its' FREE wifi listings, all over the place. I also notice at the top of the page there is a link to a blog which will list any recent additions to the listings. Just click on the following words:


Tuesday, June 20, 2006




I'm starting to get tense about summer vacation. This happens every year - a huge part of me is saying "Squeee, Squeee!" with excitement about going away, while the other half is thinking about how comfortable it is to stay home, how we will miss our friends and family and church family - then there's the thousand countless things to be done in preperation. Toss in the year's end school graduation and tying up loose ends... Almost seems easier to stay, guess thats it. However, my sweet husband has worked his little fingers off this year and deserves a romantic honeymoon/vacation away from it all. Do any of you feel this way about a big holiday away? Do you have any helpful suggestions to help me get ready?

I know, I am obsessive about my one sunflower - but it is not just a flower to me. Its a symbol that vacation time is near. By the time we are ready to leave, the second blossom will be out. I think sunflowers are so cool. They are also a symbol of my faith as the flower physically tracks the sun all day. In the same way, I would like my face to be to the Son all day!

Proverbs 23:26

My son, give me your heart

and let your eyes keep to my ways,

My friend Amalia came over yesterday and brought samples of material to make curtains for our van... now, we have the choice of brown w/ elephants, funky chunky brown pattern, USA marine pattern or some exotic ocean theme... hmmmm... At least our van will be conspicous enough not to get stolen, he he!

Gotcha! Camera Happy Husband


Don't Get Stung!

- but if you do...

It is estimated that between one and two million people in the United States are severely allergic to stinging insect venom. Each year 90 to 100 deaths from sting reactions are reported, but many more deaths may be occurring, mistakenly diagnosed as heart attacks, sunstrokes or attributed to other causes. More people die each year from the effects of insect venom than from spider or snake bites. Extreme human sensitivity to stings resulting in serious or fatal reactions is confirmed almost entirely to cases involving bees, wasps, hornets, bumble bees and ants (Order Hymenoptera). Unlike most other allergies, insect allergy can cause a life-threatening disruption to breathing and circulatory systems called anaphylactic shock. For one person in 100, the sting of an insect can be fatal.

Since perfume, hair spray, hair tonic, suntan lotion, aftershave lotions, heavy-scented shampoos, soaps and many other cosmetics attract insects, they should be avoided. Avoid shiny buckles and jewelry. Wear a hat and closed shoes (not sandals). Don't wear bright, colored, loose-fitting clothing, which may attract and trap insects. Flowery prints and black especially attract insects. To avoid stings, the beekeeper wears light-colored (white) clothing, preferably cotton (never wool).

Normal Reaction Sting Treatment

For stings causing itch, irritation, redness and swelling at the sting site, the following may be useful:

1. Ice
2. Baking Soda
3. Meat Tenderizer--for people not allergic to bee stings. Use any brand with Papain. Make a paste with a few drops of water to a teaspoon of meat tenderizer and quickly apply to the sting to reduce pain and inflammation (breaks down components of sting fluid).
4. Ammonia Solution--Apply a 1 to 2.5 percent solution no more than three to four times daily.
5. Oral Antihistamines--Tablets may be chewed for faster relief, but liquids are more readily absorbed after oral ingestion (Chlortrimeton, Dimetane, Teldrin).
6. Epinephrine Inhaler (Bronkaid mist, Primatene, Medihaler-Epi)
7. Topical Steroids (Cortaid, Dermolate, Lanacort, etc.)
8. Local Anesthetics (Benzocaine, Americaine, Dermoplast, Bactine, Foille, Lanacaine, Solarcaine) 9. Oral Steroids--Prescription only.

These medicines can be located in a tackle box, in camping gear, in the car and in the home. Store at room temperature away from room lighting or sunlight.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I had an opportunity to toss together a layout for the SBB chat last night - as when I saw Sonya online she told me there was 25 minutes left. The wooden 'frame' is one of the brushes I captured from the boardwalk at the Desert Center
last night. The barb wire, nails and the chipboard alpha are my own creations(chipboard alpha downloadable free - Desert Pastel Kit - in the Free Stuff section at the Desert Center link) and the paper was from Sonya Johnston from another chat - a freebie! What a generous Gal!


First things first. First Miles needed me to wrap a few photographs (six feet long!) so, bleary eyed and half awake he set me loose with scissors and scotch tape... what a brave soul. He actually asked me to wrap one, there were three. I figured (in the side of the brain us women think on) that I may as well do all three as one, and hoping to be praised later on, I went ahead, took initiative and wrapped all three. I managed not to cut myself or the carpet - I wrap on a clean sheet on the floor so the pics don't gather dust, oils etc - nor mummify myself in the process. I stumbled back into the office where Miles was scurrying like a caffinated mouse getting ready for work. I confessed my wonderful deed and his response was to inform me that he needed one 'not wrapped' for a demo....sheesh!
The second priority was to be available for my sweet friend Amalia who came over to measure our van for new curtains. She's an awesome seamstress and I am looking forward to the new look of our home away from home. She's brought several samples of material she has on hand... some that interests me has brown elephants on it. he he! We will see what Miles thinks.
Miles made a very sad call last night. One of our students at the school, Val, who should have graduated this year died of cancer a few short months ago. She will still graduate, she's just not with us anymore :( Miles phoned her husband last night and spoke with her husband. He's very broken up and this time is especially hard for him. The school meant a great deal to Val, she attended right up to the very end. In some ways the school kept her looking ahead even though she knew she was not going to be here. She will be much missed.
We went out to the Desert Center last night and took photos. I found myself taking pictures purely to make brush textures in Photoshop.... how geekish am I these days? I don't think I can post another pic in this blog, so I will post the page I created in the Scrapbook-bytes chat above this entry. Here's one of the pics I took to create a brush:
Don't Get Burned!
Keep the grease from splattering. Sprinkle a little salt in your frying pan before cooking.

Sunday, June 18, 2006




We took a few hours out yesterday and enjoyed an evening drive west of our town. The weather has been unusually rainy this year so the hills are lush and green, whereas in previous years toward summer they would be beginning to turn brown. It was beautiful seeing the sun stream in shafts through gaps in the clouds, lighting up little pockets of land here and there. Sometimes in God's presence I feel like that, as if the rest of the world is storming, yet I'm standing in that on bit of sunshine.

Can never get enough of our Osoyoos View!

We 'paid' (pun) a BIG visit to Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday. We recieved a flyer in the mail that said shopping this Saturday would give 20 times the 'points' than usual. There were also many good buys on. I have been clutching on to two coupons for months now, and I used this opportunity to cash in on them. Actually, in thinking about it, they work against each other, he he. One was for Oreo Cookies, regularly $3.79, discounted to $1.97 and using my coupon reduced them to $1.47. The other is the Crest Whitestrips regularly $24.99, discounted to $19.99 and using my coupon for $7 took it down to $12.99. I came away with 15,000 points!

Gotta get that PERFECT shot!

By the way, I got the coupons in a magazine I recieve from Kraft. You can sign up for their magazine by going to their website - and remember that the Canadian site is separate from the US site. The magazines are delivered four times a year and are simply beautiful, full of good recipes etc.

Me, with Bessy and Bossy


Eliminate the fat from soup and stew. Drop a few ice cubes into the pot and stir. The fat will cling to the cubes. Just throw away the ice cubes before they melt!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Ayep! Our chariot is repaired. To celebrate we will take a few hours out this afternoon to go for a drive/photography cruise - even though it will entirely bite into Miles jam-packed schedule. The conditions outside are ideal for picture taking, as the weather has been unusually rainy and the hills are velvety green. We've heard a rumour the cactus are in bloom...
I am working on a winter scrapbook layout as both Miles and I would like to submit a layout each for consideration in a new scrapbooking magazine, for publication. I'm enjoying playing with some new brushes, and the metal doodads were created to use on my page as well.
With Father's Day coming on Sunday my mind and heart turn to my own father. He passed away several years ago. My Dad and I did not always have an ideal relationship - sometimes it was very distant. See I inherited an undisirable trait, severe stubborness. I spent a lot of time being angry at Dad for what I considered an unbending attitude. I misread his firmness as anger AT me. It was not until it was all over, till it was too late, till my Daddy was gone, that I realized what his 'anger' really was. Now that I am a parent, now that I can remove 'myself' from those long past situations, as a parent I can see what was really going on.
My Daddy was trying to protect me from making stupid mistakes and bad decisions. He saw me making some of the same mistakes he himself had made, but the thing is, he felt unable to stop me because he had not 'set the example' himself. How could he tell me not to do the things that were (some of them) still happening in his own life. I can see now, that my Dad lived with a lot of guilt for our broken family. And most heartbreaking of all, I now see that he wanted so much more for me. When he saw me faltering he felt anger, all right, but I now believe it was as much anger at himself for being unable to influence me to do better. I was a very headstrong person and I sometimes just barrelled on ahead without considering what my Dad was really doing.
And isn't it the same now with God? I know what He expects of me, and I know why He wants me to obey - because He has me in His heart, and only through willing submission can I gain the blessing that is mine in Him.
I know my Dad forgave me for every stupid mistake I made, took the blame on himself - just as God still loves me and never gives up on me. Well, my Dad is gone, but my heavenly Father is always with me. I can't change the past, but I am a new creation in Him, and I desire to do what pleases Him.
The following article came to me via my email, from a newsletter I recieve from ALLWORSHIP.COM (I highly recommend signing up!) It gives us a clear overview, through scripture, what God's love means to us:

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is.Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.

Father's Love Letter used by permission
Father Heart Communications Copyright 1999-2006
Portion Control
I can't take personal credit for this tip as I recently read it in a magazine, but I simply have to share it with you. If you have children this is especially handy. When the children clamour for a snack, put the portions onto coffee filters. The filters ensure a portion size, they save on bowls, and you can toss them out after. They will also eventually be recycled into nature!

Friday, June 16, 2006


He's on a long journey. Its hot and humid outside, the air quivering with moisture. He's dressed in a t-shirt, layered over by a light cotton short sleeved shirt, dark pants and comfortable walking shoes. The problem is, he's carrying a large, leather bag which weighs at least twenty pounds. This is my husband, and he's on his way to an appointment with a business and he's taking his laptop with him. His laptop is a widescreen and will not fit in the conventional backpacks made for this purpose, and we have yet to find one for him. Our van is STILL in the garage, awaiting parts which were lost during order....sigh. I am sure all this unexpected excersize is beneficial, and is a good preperation for our summer vacation, for hiking, but those good qualities are lost on him as he trudges up highway 97... If you see him, would you be so kind as to offer him a ride, as I did not put sunscreen on the poor thing.


Paper: Kim Christianson -Duo Launch Pack

Alpha: Kristin CB -Glitzy Alpha

Element: Sonya Johnson -Beaded Circle

Element: Me, my own, Glitter Edge and Silvery Moon

Figured it was time I made a layout of me and my sweetie-bottom, something from a past vacation - get us exctied for leaving soon. I thank Sonya for showing me how to wrap the text around the edges of the picture!

As I was typing this up, I heard a knock at the door, and on answering it found my friend Darlene lighting up the doorway. She was returning a small vase I'd sent home with her a while ago, and she had filled it with some beaded jewellery she had picked out for me, and a silk flower pin. I am so overwhelmed that over the past few weeks I have had friends dropping stuff off left right and center and I suddenly find myself surrounded with physical reminders that I am much loved. What a blessing this is, with us leaving for six weeks. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness. I will miss you dearly.


Husbands, love your wives,

just as Christ loved the church and

gave himself up for her

I heard a wonderful radio segment this morning by Denis Rainey and Bob Lepine, called " Understanding and Honoring Your Wife. On today's broadcast, renowned speaker and author Dennis Rainey gives practical suggestions for loving your wife and honoring her in a way she'll truly understand. " You are able to revisit the site and listen to it - why not take time today, make your husband his favorite beverage and snuggle up and listen to it together? Perhaps these gentlemen can say to your husband what you cannot say as well. It can be found HERE.


Park Perfectly!

Our own van is too tall to fit in the garage, but our landlords do this trick and its very useful: Hang a tennis ball on a string from the garage ceiling so it will hit the windshield at the spot where you should stop your car.

Thursday, June 15, 2006




Things are both heating up and cooling down at Miles school, with graduation just around the corner. I tutored there last night and was exposed to two grads (hey, its a little center, ok?) and they were pretty excited about it all. One of them, Linda, is a grandmother and she is as nervous as a little bee! It was sweet to listen to an essay she had written for her english course and to encourage her about her provincial exams, coming soon. I can't wait to see her up there on the stage! The feeling is still fresh for me, as I returned to school and graduated a mere 5 years ago! Our daughter graduated from her highschool the very next day - it was such an amazing feeling!

Mum with her Birthday Book!

Mum recieved her birthday book yesterday, in England, and Alicia says there was much 'blubbing' (crying) going on...gosh, I hope the book gets all tear stained! :) I felt like family!

Gina's Lavender Scones

Yesterday was a day for goodies, for me. In preperation for my weekly lunch visit with my friend Alison, a highlight for me, I baked some of Gina's Lavender Scones. They were simply delish! You may visit her blog to find the recipe HERE. I tried to feed one to Miles, but he's not a Lavender type guy, and thought I was trying to poisin him. sigh...

Alison's Homemade Rhubarb Custard Pie

Alison, on the other hand, brought me a sumptuous treat - her homemade Rhubarb Custard Pie - simply mmmm.... heavenly! Miles did not eat this either, not even to be polite. He said for her not to be offended, that even if I baked it and dressed up to the 'nines' and begged him, he would not let one bit of Rhubarb Pie ever pass his lips... She has generously provided her recipe for you:

Alison's Rhubarb Custard Pie

Beat slightly 3 eggs

2 2/3 Tbsp of milk

Mix together and stir in 2 cups sugar

4 Tbsp flour

3/4 tsp of nutmeg

mix in 3-4 cups of cut-up rhubarb

pour into unbaked pie crust

dot filling with 1 Tbsp of butter

cover with a lettuce pastry top.

Temp 400 turn down to 350

Bake for 50-60 min, or until set.



For pastry and scones your recipes require you to cut butter or shortening into your flour. To make this easy and uniform, ensure your butter or shortening is well chilled and then use your cheese grater, on the larger side, to grate the amount in, stirring gently into the dry ingredients.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006



Well, I need'nt have worried about babysitting Zach... He took command of the ship immediately after his mother left. He got himself set up with a big bowl of juicy, sticky watermelon and created a series of table/chairs furniture using a mega lego storage container and a kitchen stool. He was as happy as a clam. Go figure. His mom arrived back with James and his frozen little mouth an hour later and we went on with our day. Janice and I had hoped to go out to the desert center but the weather was not good enough, so we just settled in and redecorated the world from the comfort of the couch.
I found this very funny video on the internet last night. I did not know that Diet Coke and Mento's candys cause a reaction! Miles, as a science teacher, was very amused and so I hope you will be:
As you may have noticed, their display was meant to mimic a fountain show which is featured at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. It really is quite something to see. Miles and I travelled through Las Vegas a few years ago. We do not gamble and we probably left an entire $4.00 in the city, at a McDonalds, no less. You see, when we gave our lives over to God, we no longer have the need to try to better our lives by gambling. Suddenly, for me, the funds He has given us are now precious, to be used for His Kingdom. How could I feel good about throwing His money into a slot machine.
1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money
is a root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, eager for money,
have wandered from the faith
and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Trust me, we've done a lot of research into this area and its shown that nothing good has ever come of gambling. I could not enjoy any funds that He does not specifically bless into my life, and if I continually mess with His plan, by gambling for that 'million' everyone seems to want to 'win', then I can't truly know His blessing in what He does give me. My life is no longer measured in monetary funds; having what He wants me to have keeps me walking closer with Him. There is a wonderful resourse about the consequences of gambling HERE at the Focus on the Family website.
Get The Floss Out!
I once heard a survival expert, on the radio, extoll Dental Floss as the essential, miricle thing you MUST have along when you are out in the wilderness. Floss has incredible strength and comes packaged at a small size. Keep some in your purse at all times! I take some when we vacation and find it can be used for kite string, a clothes line, repair tents or backpacks, repair mesh screening, sew on buttons, and cut cheese, among many other uses.

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