Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'M ON A ROLL...NOT A DINNER ROLL THOUGH!

click on this preview to see it bigger!
I am on a roll with this kit-creating...I am sure my steam will run out soon - I know my time will for sure. I'm learning new things every hour it seems with encouragement and instruction from the best and most handsomest tutor ever: Prince Sniggles aka Mowse aka Mr. Miles aka Miles, my sweet and loving husband. Without his patience and guidance I would not be making these things. You may download this kit at the following link:
Today is packing day. I'm going to hunt up the "Big Camping List" which I have created. If you've read our blog before you will know that we own a Volkswagen camper van which becomes our home away from home for the entire summer vacation. Over time I've compiled a master list of items which should be stocked at all times. You don't want to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere without water, toilet paper or matches! All this explaining is keeping me from packing (as we may attempt a night away soon...) so without further ado I will sign off. I would love to recieve your comments and thank you so much for those of you who have already - means a lot to me ( *wink* Judy!)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

SHARING MY JOY - A FREEBIE FOR YOU!

click to see larger

Its sunny and beautiful outside today and it makes me just want to share the joy! On a day like this the expression 'God is Good' permeates my very being. I challenge you all today - you may not be a scrapper but we have all been given gifts and talents unique to us, share yours with someone who could use a touch of sunshine in their lives today. Give an old friend a call, give a stranger a flower or do a kind deed. Believe me, you will recieve more of a happy 'zingle' than you could ever give! O Happy Day!

For this see-thru button just visit the following link - and since I'm a newbie at all this giving away stuff I will tell you that I shamelessly thrive on comments! I would love to hear what your 'joy-giving' deed will be! - Barbara

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

IF YOU CAN'T READ THIS!

It came to my attention through a sweet friend that my blog is a tad hard to read because the font is so small. I not only hear you, but I also am here to ejumakate you on how to make it bigger on your own computer! I know that I could choose to make the type larger to start, but then it takes up a ton of room, so I hope you forgive my selfishness in this area. So, the solution:

On the top menu bar of your internet browser, go to View, choose Text Size and then choose either larger or largest! Its this simple!

We had a good soak in the night, which I fully anticipated seeing as how I went out with the watering can yesterday and gave my tiny little garden it's first drink, and also hung out a big batch of sheets and towels.

I spent Monday getting caught up on chores around the house. It seemed so quiet with my sweet husband back at school. I know it sounds corny and impossible in this day and age, but he's truly my best friend and I actually enjoy spending time together more than anything else. I get very cranky with him the day before he goes back to school after any kind of an extended time off. It took me quite a while to figure out it was a self protection device of my own that I developed to make that seperation easier for him...I guess somehow in my convoluted thinking he would be glad to get back to school...lol. I must run as I have my friend Janice and her sweet boys coming, bread rising and must change out of my pajamas - well I don't HAVE to but I would look funny downtown, no?

Monday, March 27, 2006

MY FIRST KIT - A FREEBIE TO YOU!

click on preview to see it bigger!
I've been a busy girl over this past week. One of my tasks has been to write some Computer Scrapbooking tutorials for my sweet Miles. While there are some way generous folks who've (is that really a word?) given me permission to use their stuff for this educational use - with appropriate credit, of course ( and you know who you-all are) I still thought this would be a good time to 'bite the bullet' and create a kit of my own. This is what I've come up with - and I want to share it with you. I am not sure exactly how long the link will be good for so strike while the iron is hot. You may use the kit for whatever you would like except for profit or copy! I would love your feedback. You may download my kit at the following link:

http://s15.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1R546RU4VWGJN09RDGXSP8DOU9


Friday, March 24, 2006

GOOD NEWS ABOUT JUSTIN!

Valerie sent me the following email this morning:

Some Neato News!Mar. 23rd, 2006 10:19 pmmood: happy happy

We got a call from the hospital that Justin purposefully responded to some commands this morning! The doctor asked him to open his eyes, and he did.She asked him to stick out his tongue, and he did. She asked him to nod"yes", and he did! A close friend to the family had stopped by this morningand the doctor called them in to see if Justin would respond to theircommands. He looked over when they asked if he could hear them, and triedhis best to squeeze (he wiggled his fingers lightly) when he was asked to squeeze their hand!I am sure you can all imagine how excited we were to get the news this morning! Of course, this is not to say that he will always respond to commands from now on.
He was more out of it this afternoon and his healing process will still have its up and down days. And, although this is such an incredible baby-step in the -right- direction for Justin, it's still an uphill climb and a long road ahead for all of us. It's just that little ray of hope... What a gift today!
Please keep Justin in your thoughts and prayers, and thank you again for being there for all of us.
Valérie :)

And what is new in the Mr and Mrs. Miles household?

On a very sad note - our friend Val Scheer passed away on Tuesday after a long, brave battle with cancer. Val was a student at the Learning Center - she should have graduated this year. Unfortunately we did not see Val in the hospital before she slipped away, and for that we are very sad. I keep saying "If only" but cannot change the fact. Why do we wait, letting life's little details get in the way?

Yesterday we had to go back up to Kelowna! Miles computer has been crashing on a regular basis lately and it finally was crashing so frequently there was more time it was crashed than working. He'd tried everything to solve the problem, but in the end realized it was beyond us. We took the computer up to Kelowna and dropped it off yesterday. Bonus: we had a visit with our daughter Melanie and found an exceptional bakery. We also stopped at Welkmart - a variety store with a funky feel, where I stocked up on the little essentials of life: eg: cottage candles, blank greeting cards and an exquisite minature rose.

This week has not been anything like what we had visioned it would be, but in hindsite we can see why its better (thank you, Lord! Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.) As Miles says, if we were at the cabin we were supposed to have, he would not be able to compose his music, which was a thing he was desiring to do; the computer would not have gotten in to be fixed. And... we would not have our shiny new bikes.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

OUR TALENTED NIECE KARLY


click on this picture to see it larger
This is our Niece Karly. Karly used to hate having her picture taken. Just a few years ago she would put up quite a fuss when the lens was turned her way! Nowadays we can snap pics all over the place and she does not flinch an eyelash. We love you Karly!
One of those Angels would look awfully nice in our house, Karly...
I've used the Laura's Pocket Kit by Deb F for this layout, with the exception of the bow which was created by TLC Janna.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A MONDAY THAT WAS ANYTHING BUT MUNDANE!

We had our day planned.

Miles got up early and worked out. He came home and we got ready to go downtown as I had an appointment. When we opened the door to our courtesy car we realized there were neat little piles of the car's contents stacked on various seats. The car had been broken into during the night and the vandal had thouroughly sorted through it. He/she must have taken their time as everything was left very tidy. I must confess it upset me. See, we had made plans to go away over this week for a romantic little getaway, but I'm not feeling so comfortable leaving home now. Our landlords will return from the south soon and we will be able to go away without worries in the future. Originally we had use of a cabin for this week, however when we went to get the key we found out the cabin is completely snowed in and there is no way our vehicle would make it in!

We went downtown, and after my appointment we went to the O'Delights bakery for a snack. We parked just beside and behind the restaurant on the same block. We exited the car, walked up to main street, crossed over and did some banking. Then, we crossed back over the road and went to the restaurant. We had a delicous snack and returned to our car. NO KEY!

We searched our pockets. We searched our pockets twice. We retraced our steps to the bank and checked inside. We crossed back to the restaurant and checked there. NO KEY! We went back to the car. We checked our pockets twice more. We went back to the bank and had them check the trash. We went back to the restaurant. NO KEY! We went to the locksmith, ironically 2 doors down and were informed it would cost $100 to get a key made. I returned to the restaurant and I meticulously went through the *ugh* trash while Miles went to the school (had those keys on a different ring) and called the service station who loaned us the courtesy car. NO KEY!

In the end we called BCAA and had ourselves towed all the way up to Summerland (1.5 hrs) where we got our sweet van back again. Our mechanic told us not to worry, if the key did not turn up, or if they could not find a second one, they would throw another ignition into the courtesy car...at no cost. Wow, thats service.

The van runs beautifully!

At this point we faced the reality our romantic getaway was going to take on an entire different meaning. After a deep discussion we have decided to stay home (but we are NOT answering phones) where we will be cozy and Miles can play and record music for one entire day. And...we decided to invest the money it would have cost to get away into new bikes for ourselves. I'd noticed Canadian Tire and WalMart both had bikes on, so we went to both places. Canadian Tire won hands down. We got a TERRIFIC deal on them. We will be whizzing around this week, should be fun.

I hope your Monday was less eventful than ours. :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

SLIDE SHOW INSTRUCTIONS

You may have noticed (you must have noticed!) the newest addition to my blog - the slideshow! The wonders of technology. I hope you enjoy the pictures, and I promise to juggle them around now and again as I create new scrapbook layouts or find something beautiful to share with you!

While you view the slideshow, you may click on the + or - buttons located on the bottom left of the slide veiwer and this will allow you to slow down or speed up the show. Also, if you click on any of the pictures in the viewer it will allow you to see that picture at a larger size. Enjoy!

OUR NIECE RACHEL THE MOUNTAINEER

click picture for a bigger view!
This is my latest layout. Our niece Rachel spent some time at a place which has a climging wall...who knows where she might end up later in life tho? Mt. Everest? DREAM BIG RACHEL!
I used the Michelle Colman Colorhappy Kit for the papers.

Friday, March 17, 2006

AN UPDATE ON JUSTIN

Valerie forwarded me a link regarding JUSTIN LEGER - her cousin who was hit and run and is in a coma. To read his story just click on the following link:

http://www.barkingdogs.org/news/node/155

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A POSTER OF HOPE



click on the picture to see it larger!
I created this poster for a friend, for her cousin who is the victim of a hit and run car accident. We are praying for and counting him coming out of his coma. This poster will print to 12 x 18 inches and will hang where he can see it easily, to remind him we are all hoping for him for a good recovery! My friend who asked me to create this said he liked eclectic things...so included a whole wack of things...so now comes the fun part hey? To give tribute for everything I've used in this layout. Here goes:

Papers: Michelle Coleman, MCO Colorhappy KitElements: pink flower, hunibuni @ SBBgreen flower, Kim Christensenship, Ronnie McCray, Maritime Kitbuttons - various, Ronna Penner @ SBBbow - gold, Nikki @SBBcool cool block and ring with thingies, Ali Chico Mini Kit @ SBBpaperclip, staple, star, stitches, blue ribbons, Charlene Runge @ SBB

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FIRST WEEK OF SPRING BREAK


Its the first week of our Spring Break from school. This first week may do just that - break us! Miles has several websites in the fire at the moment...and I've finally faced the fact that I don't like doing webstuff. I do like creating graphics and there are many other things I not only like but also excel at. In the meantime he's feeling very alone in his arduous work. On the other hand I have been working on some things around the house to help with what I do best. I've made this huge list on my desktop of chores and believe it or not, the list is slowly decreasing! One thing that was a big relief was unloading our old bikes. We've had some terrific adventures on our bikes in the past but for the past year they remained chained up outside, unused. Miles bike in particular had perpetual flat-tire syndrome due to a noxious weed we have here called Puncture Vine. You can find more about it here: http://www.lib.ksu.edu/wildflower/puncture.html
The bikes have also deteriorated with the elements and we finally faced the reality (after consulting bike repair places) that it may be cheaper for us to buy new bikes than have ours fixed. We only need basic bikes to travel with, can buy them for $100 at Walmart or Canadian Tire. If we have cheap ones it won't be so bad if they get stolen on our vacations.

On Sunday our church held a special dinner. I did not realize our church family is very small, only around 30 people (though there are always more present for services) Our tiny church is doing BIG things. We already have a satellite church over in Rock Creek going - a Cowboy Church. We have several exciting ministries, but most important of all - our church body is a true family. It gives me a warm feeling to be part of this group. There were many presentations that night and I recieved recognition and a rose, and it really moved me.

I best get busy and tackle a few more things on my BIG LIST! Miles and I have some SPECIAL PLANS for next week and the list will not be getting accomplished then! Have a great day!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

HOORAY - DIM SUM DAY!




Click on these Pictures to see them LARGER!

I'm so glad you can share out Dim Sum with us today!

This is the sweet couple who run our local O'Delights Bakery. They are always happy-go-lucky, with a quick joke or smile to brighten your day. They call us Mr and Mrs Miles :)

What is Dim Sum? A Cantonese term, Dim Sum translates into "to touch your heart". Literally meaning "to touch your heart," dim sum consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other goodies such as the famous egg custard tarts. They are similar to hors d'oeuvres, the hot and cold delicacies served at French restaurants. Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of "yum cha" or drinking tea. Travelers journeying along the famous Silk Road needed a place to rest, so teahouses began springing up along the roadside. Rural farmers, exhausted after long hours working in the fields, would also head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and relaxing conversation. Still, it took several centuries for the culinary art of dim sum to develop. It was originally considered inappropriate to combine tea with food - in fact a famous 3rd century Imperial physician claimed this would lead to excessive weight gain. However, as tea's ability to aid in digestion and cleanse the palate became known, tea house proprietors began adding a variety of snacks, and the tradition of dim sum was born.

I've copied this info from the following site...please visit it to read the rest of the history, its fascinating!

http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa070700a.htm

Now I must go help my patient husband work on some graphics! Have a wonderful Day!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A PAINTING DAY WITH TWO SWEET FRIENDS



Clicking on the pictures above will display them larger!
I had a wonderful day today! Thats in spite of myself, actually... I was chatting with my friend Sonya this morning and I told her I was not completely sure that I wanted to paint today. But, the day moved on disregarding my negative feelings and it seemed like no time at all had passed and here I was smack in the middle of a great painting session. Janice came first, with her sweet boys, then Rose (the one with the georgeous red hair!) We painted all afternoon and the time simply flew by! I knew that when Janice's lil guy came back from pre-school the paintbrushes and paints would be a huge temptation so I diverted the children's attention with a big play-doh kit I'd picked up from the thrift store a while back. What a big oopsie! I'm still picking play-doh out of the fibres...
My painting is mainly a watercolor but I have to class it as a mixed media as I used a few dabs of guache as well. The title is 'broken' and the idea was given to me last week. It is meant to signify that no matter what our circumstance, God has His hand on us. I put the vessel in - broken - like we are inside sometimes, a cross - where He has already taken our sins for us, and His shed blood (top right hand corner) I hope you like it - would love your feedback!

A LAYOUT IN THE MAKING

click on this photo to see it larger!
This is a scrapbook layout in the making. I love this technique that allows you to leave some of the picture colored. This one will be called The Bribe....yes, I shamelessly bribed this child to clean up the toys using the sucker that my sister-in-law Judy gave me for Valentines....good sacrifice, no? (Sorry Jud...got more?)

MY LATEST LO - AND WORKING ON ANOTHER!


click on the picture to get a larger view!
This is Louis, my friend Valerie's little guy. Wow! Look at the stomach muscles on him! Watch out all you body builders!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

AN O'DELIGHTFUL DAY


Miles invited me along with him to work today. He had to work over in Keremeos, a small community about 45 minutes east of us. He teaches at Learning Centers and I often come to work with him. The Learning Center is very dear to my heart as I graduated from a learning center not so long ago. At the age of 43 I graduated with a full Dogwood Certificate - a day before our daughter graduated from her high school. The Learning Center is a wonderful inspirational place to be!

After graduating I still volunteer my time when I can be of help. I love to help people get started using the graphics tablets and painting software and to see the wonder they experience with what technology has to offer in this way. I also love to introduce folks to digital scrapbooking. People really catch onto the software when they 'scrap' on the computer because they are so involved emotionally with what they are creating, that learning seems to be a secondary thing!

Anyways, I am so blessed to do what I love to do - and be with my dear Husband as well. What more could I ask for? This morning before we left to drive over to Keremeos Miles stopped in at the wonderful little bakery we have here called "O'Delights" run by a sweet oriental couple (see my earlier blog on Dim Sum)...and he bought me this adorable little bird-nest merangue cookie! I hardly wanted to eat it - but of COURSE I did!

When we got home I went to the local thrift store and found a nifty little device for cleaning my mini blinds. I HATE CLEANING THEM! But this little machine is very cool. It is about 6 inches wide and has 'fingers' covered with sheepskin. You lace the slats in between the fingers and brush it back and forth. Works great - especially for 50 cents.

I also picked up some veggies and made a HUMUNGOUS pot of beef veggie soup and homemade buns because Miles rates my soup top of his personal favorites list. We will be able to feed off it for the next few days. The soup turned out very tasty...but I always add far too many noodles. I will have to 'water' it down before serving it to guests.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Melanie if you read this....Mermy wishes she could shove a bun through the internet to you...when we come to visit meybe we will bring you a big ball of dough! :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

GALLERY SHOW OPENING!





Click on pictures for a bigger view!
Our local art gallery and our Painters and Potters - known formally as Studio89, opened our own show this evening, titled "My Favorite Things"
The show is a loving effort of many of our members. One cannot appreciate the planning and effort involved in organizing and 'hanging' a show! This particular show was 'hung' by Mina Battigan and Bobbie Mortensen who did a 'bang up' job - (kidding ladies, it looks wonderful!) Behind the scenes are many others who help and turn out to make visitors feel warm and welcome. What a talented bunch we have! By the way, the food was superb, thanks to all who contributed.
In the pictures you may see my dearest Husband (in the red shirt) whom I had to sneak up on to get his photo. He is standing with Barb and Paul Hofer. Barb is one of our talented artists. Another photo features our dear friend Alison - NO, she did not paint the pears - they ARE lovely, are'nt they. (you are too, Ali!)
I am not sure who all else is in the pictures, though I think I see Annie Molenkamp in an intense conversation with another visitor by some pottery. Please forgive me if I'm misnaming anyone, or missing out on someone.
We stayed for about 1/2 hour, just long enough to keep breathing, after all it was so well attended it was almost belly-to-belly in there! Our Gallery does not seem so small until you put so many people inside.
I just want to say that I am moved to be part of such a talented, warm and generous group of people! I look forward to many more openings in our future.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A SMALL COMMISSION

click on this pitcture to get a closer look!

My dear friend and nieghbor Amalia has asked me to create a card for her niece. Her niece is turning 15, and it is a BIG deal! Amalia gave me a greeting card to use as a reference - mostly to show me the style of dress she wanted. The dress in the original is a bit more elaborate, and it was lilac - the niece wanted 'electric' blue. It was also fun fitting the dress onto her image! These invitations will be mailed to our UPS store to be printed. I am not doing this for money - just as a personal favor.
The papers used on this invitation are from the hawtstuffminikit by ali at www.scrapbook-bytes.com


I had a funny thing happen the other day while Miles and I were shopping for groceries. We were at the till with a huge load of groceries. I noticed that I had not picked up rice so Miles encouraged me to run and get it while the rest of the items were being rung through. I rushed off down the aisles like a mouse after cheese. Halfway down a lengthly aisle I brushed by a cart to avoid a display set out partially in my way. I guess as I swept by, an elastic from the bottom of my winter coat snagged the cart and I began pulling it with me! Imagine the surprise on the face of the carts owner. I hastily unhooked and returned to the laughing man. I retrieved the rice and headed back for the till and Miles (waiting patiently). As I came near the same man in another area of the store on my trek back, he quickly moved his cart FAR off to the side with a smile and a wink.

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