7 Things I'm Grateful For

7 Things I'm Grateful For

Wow, so much has happened last week/will be happening this week that I'm going to be posting a couple times this week. For today, because it's Monday, because it's been a while, and because I'm much better at posting these moments on Instagram and Facebook than keeping my blog updated, here's a 7 Things summary of what's been going on.



Yesterday was the four-month anniversary of Levi's heaven birthday. Thanks to some wonderful friends, I got to spend the weekend at a scrapbooking retreat, and chose to use that time to add pages to Levi's memory album. And while doing so, I remembered the reasons I have to be thankful.

That's the Reason Why

Not long after the boys started school this past fall, Jude and Noah earned three weeks of grounding from any sort of "screen time"--Netflix, iPod, video games, even computer research were all "off-limits", weekends included. Needless to say, with his older brothers looking to actually play, Jabin didn't have much screen time, either, not really seeing the need.

When their time was finally up (it was actually finished when they had memorized I Corinthians 13--the "Love Chapter"--and could recite it to me three days in a row, as the grounding was instigated by an altercation the two of them had on the playground at school), Jason and I had realized that NOT having them think of nothing but screen time every weekday evening had made our school nights go so much more smoothly that we introduced a new rule: no screen time from Monday night to Thursday night.

I have not ever regretted that decision. Most nights, the boys don't have time to do anything besides eat supper and do their homework and chores before it is time to hit the hay, anyway. On those rare occasions when there is actually time for something else, they tend to read (yay!) or get creative with things to do--sometimes they get artistic, or play board games, or just simply play with each other, either inside or outside. That isexactly what we were hoping for when we implemented the "no week-night screen time" rule.

A couple of weeks ago, while Jason was away for the week doing work-related training in Edmonton, the boys "discovered" the scrapbooks. Now, these scrapbooks are always accessible, and the boys always knew where they were, but they haven't looked through them in years, if ever.

But Jude had just taken an old photo of his cat, Tigger, out of a frame to replace it with a new one of himself and the cat together, and asked me, "What should I do with this picture of Tigger, Mom?"

"You could scrapbook it," I replied. Jude has his own scrapbook that he started a few years ago, although he rarely adds to it, and it only has a few pages in it so far. This particular Tuesday evening, though, he thought that was a great idea.

Jude hauling out his scrapbooking stuff to make a page inspired the other boys to haul out scrapbooks to peruse old photos of themselves, going all the way back to babyhood and before. The years 2000-2007 are extremely well-represented in my scrapbook gallery, as my "peak scrapbooking years" were between 2002-2009. Some of the years have every photo I took that I thought worth including on a scrapbook page included--"finished scrapbooks." (Those are rare.) Several of the years past this "peak time" have a fairly good number of pages scrapbooked, but they are all digitally done and have yet to be printed and put on the shelf.

Watching the boys flip eagerly through these books, asking questions about the pictures and reading every little note I included about them (and yes, sometimes even admiring my artwork) made me realize--that was why I spent all that time, money, and effort in creating these memory albums. (Well, besides the required "sanity time" I needed when my boys were all so little.) And it also made me wish that I was doing more scrapbooking now.

But then I remind myself that I have other priorities right now--I sew more clothes for the kids and myself these days, and when I was "a scrapbooker", I rarely sewed anything that wasn't layers of paper. I also design knitting patterns now, which I didn't do then. I have started pursuing my interest in creative writing (both for songwriting and writing fiction) more, and am taking some courses to increase my skill. And my saddle pad business usually has several orders a day, now, while back then, I was just getting started and was lucky to get that in a week.

So, I blog. I try to remember to take photos of everyday things, not just special ones. And I tell the story of those photos here--so that someday, when my interests and passions cycle again (as I know they will), I will still remember at least some of the stories that made those moments special. And that means my kids will, too.

But sometimes, I still miss going to bed with ink on my fingers.

From the archives: A digital title page for my 2009 "picture-a-day" album, which I have only completed to about March. I don't think I quite managed a photo a day for the whole year, either. C'est la vie.

Scrap a Little More...

I have a new battery for my laptop. Okay, it's not new anymore. But it lasts a really, really long time when it is not plugged in.

That meant that on my way home from Sylvan Lake yesterday, since Jason was driving, I got to scrapbook some more. That's a first for me, scrapbooking in the van. :-)

Scrapbook Saturday

Haven't done this for a while. I'm hoping that I'll have more time for it again soon! :-)

Classy and Green

Classy and Green

I am teaching two classes this upcoming weekend at our local scrapbooking retreat. One is about Journaling, and one is called "Recycled Embellishments". I have just finished the class project demo layout for the Embellishment class, and am now displaying it for your viewing pleasure.

Random Shuffle

I admit it. I have been having an extended engagement with Jane Austen, which has prevented me from having any desire to post to my blog this week. Okay, there has been a small amount of desire, but not enough to get me to put down Mansfield Park long enough to do it! However, I have put it down long enough to scrapbook a few pages this week. Here is one I did last night that I am particularly happy with. (Click to see more detail.)


(I just wish I could claim actual credit for the idea, instead of owning that I completely scraplifted this page from a Lisa Bearnson layout in Creating Keepsakes magazine.) The kids pictured with mine belong to my dear friend Dawn.

Earlier in the week, I was pleased to see an article on the Newstarget site about the good and bad kinds of milk. In the past, I have been disappointed that Mike Adams has dismissed cow's milk carte blanche, instead of differentiating between what should and shouldn't be consumed, milk-wise. Well, it looks like the man has been educated, and other than his still very pro-vegetarian stance, I think he's pretty on-track as far as what is healthy to put into your body.

For the low-down on processed & raw cow's milk, soy milk, and almond milk, please see the article.

Also, if you would like to skip--or at least minimize--the effects of "cold and flu season," which many just take for granted, please check out this page on Dr. Mercola's website for an education on the benefits of a good probiotic supplement. If you have no really comprehensive probiotic available locally, you can purchase his probiotic, but if you are not on one already, I highly recommend that you get on one, NOW!

I've been consuming a very potent probiotic 2-3 times a day as part of the body-repairing regimen I have been on since April, and have seen a drastic decrease in the amount of yeast in my blood, an increase in energy, and have had only one cold in that time. (This is good, considering that my body was, in times past, so run-down as to be getting a cold fairly frequently, and to almost always have a runny nose.)

I find my kids are much more resistant to the neighbourhood germs when I have them regularly (a few times a week) taking an infant acidopholus supplement, as well as taking Cod Liver Oil daily, especially in the winter. I highly recommend the Garden of Life brand of Cod Liver Oil--the taste is only mildly fishy, as compared to the green toxic goo many cod liver oils seem to resemble. My kids actually ask for it! Getting your kids to regularly consume kefir or live-culture yogurt (minus the sugar!) made from whole milk is another good way to keep those positive intestinal flora thriving.

Anyhoo, in addition to these basic precautions as the "back-to-school" germ-exchange-fest comes on, you may want to consider using Oil of Oregano or Young Living's Thieves blend in a diffuser in your home to minimize air-borne bacteria, viruses, and fungi. While it is good to be exposed to a small amount of that, to keep your immune system up, those of us in northern climes too often find our immune systems not running under optimal conditions as the days get shorter and we spend more time inside, out of direct sunlight.

That's all for now, friends! I hear my craft table calling me. (I am glutting myself on reading and scrapping right now, because I know in two weeks my leisure time will be a rare thing, indeed.)

Hugs to you all!