Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Check it out!

Super excited about this!!! I was asked to create a free template for the DigiLovely blog. I use templates whenever I can to jumpstart a layout and save oodles of time. If you'd like this one for free, go to here now to download. (It's a Photoshop Elements file). I'd love to see what you create with it, so post it in the gallery when you're done.

Here is my take on the template:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dad and Mom in Malaysia

Click here to view this photo book larger

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Wanna Be A Cowgirl

I loved this day. Maya put on my cowboy hat and boots and was instantly transformed in to a singing sensation. She started throwing out "y'all" and "yee-haw" and the song she made up is precious. I adore this girl.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Life is Beautiful

This really isn't my style of scrapbooking. As you can see from my last page post, I put a whopping 20 photos on my layout. Occasionally I do a page with just one photo, but it's rare. I used some blending modes and textures on this page and really put some skills I've been learning lately to use. I love the way it turned out. I was actually trying to photograph Ethen on this day. He just wouldn't cooperate or sit still. Maya, however would. She is really turning into a beautiful girl, growing up before my very eyes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Maya's Quote of the Day

Maya just came up to me and very seriously said, "Mommy, while Daddy is gone I need you to do two important things for me. Water my plants and wash my panties."

Dave is leaving for a week to go to Switzerland. We would have gone with him, except this is an all work no play kind of trip.

So, we opted to have my parents come and visit for a couple of weeks. We are super excited to have them here.

Luckily I won't have to fill the apparently large shoes that Dave fills around here by myself.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

April 1-15

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bird Park

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife – or both – may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s bread winning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs – Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life.

One young mother wrote recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts. One was that whenever she heard talks on LDS motherhood, she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task. Secondly, she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” Thirdly, she often felt people were sometimes patronizing, almost always without meaning to be, because the advice she got or even the compliments she received seemed to reflect nothing of the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.

But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.

“It is this realization,” she says, “that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming.

“Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious,” she said, “and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,” she concludes. “It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.”

In light of that kind of expression, it is clear that some of those shadows under [mothers’] eyes come not just from diapers and carpooling but from at least a few sleepless nights spent searching the soul, seeking earnestly for the capacity to raise these children to be what God wants them to be.

Moved by that kind of devotion and determination, may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He knows that your giving birth to a child does not immediately propel you into the circle of the omniscient. If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.

Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well.

“Because She Is A Mother,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 1997, 35–37

One of my favorites that now strikes home to me. Happy Mother's Day. You are all amazing.

March 16-31

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy National Scrapbook Day

In honor of the day I'm posting some recent pages. I hope to spend the day scrapbooking a bit, but we'll see what it brings.

This page is good ole paper/scissors. So simple. So classic. So easy.

I made the following hybrid page for Maya's album. Then I realized I wanted a copy of it for Ethen's. I didn't have enough of the supplies left, but many designers are now providing digital papers in addition to their print. Crystal Wilkerson is one of these, and I was able to duplicate the page almost exactly for Ethen.

This page was made for FREE! Each Tuesday, DigiLovely is giving away a free template. You can have it too! Just go download it. And watch this site, in a couple of weeks I'll be making my debut with a free template that I've created. (I think May 31).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Maya's 5th First Day of School

She's not even in kindergarten yet, but Maya is no stranger to the first day of school. I sent her off today to preschool for the 5th time. She has now been to 5 different schools in 4 different countries in 2 different languages. She's a trooper.

Though today was the only time I had a hard time sending her away. The school is about 45 minutes away, and she had to ride the bus by herself. No parents allowed. She was so brave, getting on board and waving goodbye to us. I could tell she was nervous, but no tears -- at least from her.

In contrast, I spent all 13 grades with the same kids I grew up with. And still I was nervous each First Day of school. Now I get to be nervous all over again for my kids.

It's a horrible picture, but the rest only had the back of Dave's head :) Her "bas sekolah" is nice and equipped with seatbelts and a/c. Here you can barely see the teacher buckling her in the front seat. Hopefully I'll get a better shot on the way home.