Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Be a Big Shot Gardener

Big Shot!  Two words that just make me SMILE!
I have to say that this is one of the best tools that's come out in a very long time.  I love how versatile it is and all the things that I keep discovering I can create with it.



This Garden Stake is a project I saw online that was created by Laura Haffke, another Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.  They are so adorable and so easy to make.
If you'd like to make one to brighten up your garden, send me a note and I'll make it happen.

Happy Summer,
Michelle

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Stampers!

Happy Father's Day to all the amazing Dad's out there.  We're having a "low key...laid back" day here and we're loving it.  Since Mike has been traveling for the last 4 weeks and has one more looooong week to go, it's nice to have time together and just be able to chill.

So....June seems to be flying on by (ok...part of me isn't TOO sad about that because that means Brittany will be coming home from her study abroad to Spain next week!!!  YAY!) and I have so much "Stampin' Stuff" to share.
Today I'm scheduling the next couple stamp camps and I hope you (or you and your friends) will come and join in the fun here with me.  Here are the details....

"One Sheet Wonder" - An Oldie But a Goodie

If you've never heard of the "One Sheet Wonder" technique you are in for a treat.  It's an awesome way to make 9 beautiful cards for all occasions using this great technique. I'll be offering 2 sessions.  You can come and make a different set at each session if you'd like.  :-)

**SPECIAL - Anyone who schedules a Stampin' Up! workshop with me for the month of July will get the "One Sheet Wonder" class for FREE....AND I will reserve your FREE copy of the New Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalog as an added bonus!!

Class #1:  Wednesday, June 22nd - 7 p.m.
Class Fee:  $20.00 - All supplies are included
RSVP no later than:  Tuesday, June 21st

Class #2:  Saturday, June 25th - 11 a.m.
Class Fee:  $20.00 - All supplies are included 
RSVP no later than:  Thursday, June 23rd 
_________________________________________________________________

"Retirement Party"

There are only 2 short weeks left until the BRAND NEW STAMPIN' UP! IDEA BOOK AND CATALOG debuts.  It's such an exciting time and there are some AMAZING new products coming.  The list of the stamp sets and accessories that are retiring has been released and I will be featuring some of them at this Retirement Party Stamp Camp.

Come and make 5 beautiful cards and  see my retired sets that I'll be selling at a discount.  Don't let those stamps and accessories you've wanted to add to your craft stash slip away.  Come and make sure you get them before they're gone.


**SPECIAL - Anyone who schedules a Stampin' Up! workshop with me for the month of July will get the "Retirement Party" class for FREE....AND I will reserve your FREE copy of the New Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalog as an added bonus!!


Class Date:  Wednesday, June 29th - 7 p.m.
Class Fee:  $15.00 - All supplies are included
RSVP no later than:  Sunday, June 26th

So....come and stamp and have tons of fun with me!   
Bring a friend and receive $2.00 off your class fee!!

Have a magical day!
Michelle

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Did you see it?"

This is one of those posts where I guess I should warn you I'm typing through teary eyes...
GOOD TEARS!!!

When I came home today Zach came bounding out the door to greet me and led me into the kitchen.  Before I knew what was going on....before I even put my purse down..... he said, "Did you see it????" very excitedly.
I said, "See what?" and he reached into his backpack and took out this.....

It's a latch hook rug that he made by himself at school!!!
How AWESOME is THAT??

I can't tell you how loud I squealed and how much of  a big deal I made of it but suffice it to say that he was laughing, smiling and bouncing all at the same time with more pride in his face than I've seen in a long time.
Not only did I LOVE the rug but I was even more thrilled that he TALKED to me and asked me an appropriate question!!  It made my heart sing!

This is a very PROUD Zach with his creation....


To God be the GLORY.....
GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE!!!

Blessings,
Michelle

Monday, June 13, 2011

Show and Tell...

Happy Monday Peeps!

I had a wonderful day today at Mayfield's "Field Day 2011 " painting faces.  What glorious weather we had and it was SO great to spend the day seeing all my school friends and the kids. I miss everyone so much and have been really bummed to not be able to see them since my surgery.  Today was the best medicine!  
Smiles all around.

  This past Saturday I had a "Just Cards" Stamp Camp here at my house and I thought I'd share the cards with you.  I hope you like them.

This card is a fold that I love.  It's so versatile and it's really simple too.  
See!  How cool is THAT?  Ooooh.....Aaahhhh....!


This one just makes me smile.  The front is embossed on the Big Shot with the Polka Dot Embossing Folder and then I punched out a "window" to see the fish inside.  The greeting and the fish are embossed with that rockin', new embossing powder from the Summer Mini.   I'm kind of addicted!  No lie!


The bubbles just "pop" with the Crystal Effects.  So cool!


This is just so fresh and clean.  I know....more of that embossing powder!  :-)  Looooove it!


Love those pearls!


This baby card "onesie" is not a new idea but always so fun to make.  


Ok...this was one of those cards that when I finished I thought "Wow!"  I love this!!  I love the Designer Series Paper and this color combo isn't one of my "go to's" usually but I think it definitely will be now.
The pocket card is just a really fun design and I love making them.


Here's the inside of the card pulled out of the pocket. 

So there you have it.....all five cards we made.  I'm already planning the next few stamp camps and I hope you can come stamp and play.  

Have a magical Monday!
Michelle

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You are not alone....

I haven't blogged in a week or so and tonight I read something that made me want to post this.  I follow a few blogs written by really awesome, faithful women.  One of the blogs I follow is "Kelly's Korner Blog".  Every Friday she posts "Show Us Your Life.....(insert subject here)"  One week might be "Show Us Your Life - Kitchens" or "Show Us Your Life - Kids' Rooms".  Other times she might have "Show Us Your Life - Appetizers".  So lots of other bloggers add their blog link to the post and share their ideas/stories/recipes for that week's topic.  It's really cool.

This past Friday Kelly's post was "Show Us Your Life - Special Needs Families".  I read several of them and some I read through tears.  I found myself feeling humbled that these women would share their lives and their hearts.  It reminded me that for all the times I let fear get the best of me when I think of the future for Linz and Zach there are many other moms out there who are dealing with autism too (and lots more...) and that fear really has no place here in my heart.  God is in control...not me.  God made all three of my beautiful children and He holds them (and us) in the palm of His hand.  I pray everyday that He will lead me where He wants me to go....show me the things that I need to do...and that He will help me be the best mother I can be.  I pray for all of the special needs families represented on Kelly's blog and many, many more.  I pray for peace that passes ALL understanding.

For those who say, time and time again, that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle", I know you mean well but to those families out there fighting the fight....many days it seems like it is WAY more than they can handle.  And you know what?  That's okay. God still loves them and is always there.

Thank you for keeping all of us in your prayers.  I'm re-posting this blog entry I posted over a year ago called, "Dear Autism".  I had someone recently tell me that it touched their heart and made them feel like they aren't alone.  God bless.
____________________________________________________

Dear Autism -

I've thought about writing you for quite some time. Last night I lay in bed thinking about something my daughter said to me....You know her. Quite well. She is such a joy. She is smart, creative, funny and has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met in my life. She can draw things she sees without even sketching them first. She loves music and is quite a jokester. She is getting ready to graduate from high school this June. What she does after that ...well, we're not sure yet.

Last night she saw a commercial on tv with this beautiful mother and her baby and she said to me, "Aw, that's so sweet. I wonder if I'll have a cute baby like that one day?" No....thanks to you.

Another person that I'm sure you know even more in depth is my son. He's 16....6'4"....and so handsome and kind. He smiles a lot and tries hard to say a few words to get his point across. He is an ACE at all things computer related and a whiz at video games. He can type faster than anyone I've ever seen. He loves to give hugs. I wish constantly that he could, if only for a few minutes, be able to have a conversation with me. Even if it's just to tell me that he thinks you SUCK too and how he wishes people would stop staring at him.

So, you may be asking why I'm telling you these things that you already know..... Well, I want you to know that YOU are a horrible, disgusting and ugly thing that has continually robbed my children of the people they may have become. Don't get me wrong..... YOU HAVEN'T WON.

You are there at times when I least expect it. You take my breath away when we have new realizations of things they can't enjoy like other kids their age. Will they ever have a first kiss...no. Will they ever drive...no. Will they ever have friends to do things with....not yet. Will my husband ever get to walk her down the aisle like her sister.....no. Will my son ever be able to really have a conversation so we can know what is is he's actually thinking.....no. No....no....NO! Still...YOU HAVEN'T WON!

Just when I think I'm ok....just when I think I've accepted all the pain you have inflicted in my mother's heart....I've mourned it and moved on......YOU come at me again with brand new things that cause me to mourn all over again. I lay awake at night at worry about what happens to my two autistic children if something should happen to me and my husband. Who will love them like WE do?

They have an incredible older sister who is in college right now. She IS and ALWAYS has been their BIGGEST fan and advocate. She has a bright future and I pray she knows how much they love her.

So....I want you to know that.you will NEVER win! You are NOT the end of their story....just the beginning. We know that God is in control of them....not you. He has a plan for them. They are both joys in our lives and you can NEVER take that away You were never invited into our family and we hate that you are ever present but you will NOT define our children and their futures. God will. We pray without ceasing that YOU, Autism, will one day be just a dark and nasty dream of the past and never rob families of their children ever again. It's NOT over. YOU HAVEN'T WON!

And you NEVER will.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Put your best boot forward....

Hooray for today! Hooray....Hooray....HOORAY!!

Today the last cast came off!  I know...you know that already because it's all I talk about lately.
I know there are people with REAL problems...people who are REALLY suffering.....and I know I'm just a whiner....  Sorry.
But today...sitting in the casting room with Mom...feeling the last parts and pieces of that cast come off and feel my leg just out in the open again was honestly exhilarating!  No lie.
Right where she's been the whole time....right beside me.
My favorite casting guy was there and he was all smiles when he saw how I had decorated the cast.  He said, "Now I have to tell you that in the 20+ years I've been doing this...THIS is the coolest and most creative cast I've every seen!!".  Then he got out the trusty saw!

I had forgotten how much other "stuff" was under there....It only took a few minutes but layer by layer he got it all off.
See how FAST he is??  It's a blur!  LOL

And then....VOILA!  My leg was freeeeeee!
I'll spare you the close up.....It's is NOT a pretty sight.  Ugh.  I don't even like looking at it.

The Dr. G came in and took into the imaging room for a scan and things are mending nicely.  He showed me where he'd taken bone from on my heel to build up the fractured spot....and he told me a lot more than I really needed wanted to know!  Kinda made me nauseous.  Grrrrross!
He said that I have to remain "non-weight bearing" for two more weeks but with the removable cast (boot) I can take it off to shower and to do the exercises he showed me.  He took off the dressing from my incision and said it looks "great".....um, ok.....if you say so.  Blech
Still a LOT of swelling!!!  Geez Louise!

Hopefully when I go back in two weeks I will be able to start walking on it.  He sounded very hopeful.  YAY!

So....that's the news from here.  Thanks for all your prayers...and cards....and emails....and the "Meals on Wheels".  You have blessed me and our family more than you can imagine.

Much love to you and yours,
Michelle

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So Long...Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

Do you know what today is???  It's not just another beastly hot, 100 degree day here in Virginia!!  No sirree!
Today is June 1st and that means that it's the day that Stampin' Up's Retirement List comes out!
Now you might be thinking, "So? Is that a big deal?".  and I would say,
"Um, YES!!!""
Ahhhh!  Retirement feels good!

Every year on June 1st Stampin' Up!, in preparation for the premiere of the NEW Idea Book and Catalog, announces the stamp sets, accessories and other goodies that will not be coming back (or retiring....).
So...the best way to make sure you don't miss out on any of the retiring goodies is to visit my Stampin' Up! website and grab them before they're gone.  Supplies are limited so don't wait.  :-)

I'm SO excited about all the NEW products!!  I'm busy making my list of PreOrder items to have here to share with all of you.  WOO HOOO!!!!

Stampin' Smiles!
Michelle