Sunday, July 13, 2014

He is a Blessing

Today I remember going to the hospital on a hot July day......... 9 months pregnant and a basket of nerves; as I was in labor with my first child. I was so young and felt very overwhelmed with the new adventure my life was about to take on. My husband was with me, along with my parents ......I still remember my father pacing the floor and coming into the labor room (yes, the days of the "suites" had not yet come) to check on me. The labor was long and when everything was over ......I cradled a sweet red headed baby boy. My oldest son Lee Michael........I gave him my father's name for his middle name.

Lee is a joy........now a man I am so very very proud of and love so very much.

Lee is an adventurer, not one to sit idle for too long........from the day he began to walk and explore the world I knew he would always strive to be more than average. He loves living life to the fullest; is not afraid of the unknown; respects and honors his country, fellow man, woman child and animal; he reaches out to help others (strangers included) in time of need; and is always ready with a quick come back when joking with friends. He is a rock with a tender heart.

I think about the days when he pulled his little red wagon around the yard (even back then he loved anything with wheels!); the days I now laugh at as he went through those teenage years of "don't tell Mom." .......we both laugh at so many of the "coming of age" antics boys go through. "It's all good," as Lee says......fun times of innocent youth.

Yet today I think about the chubby little guy with the big grin; his first birthday party and him sitting on the lap of his Dad while diving both hands into his cake. I think about the day of his birth and how the years have flown by now that he is a man.........a man I am blessed and proud to say is my son; a man I love so very much. My oldest, my first born, the one that made me realize just how special it is to be a Mom.


Happy Birthday Lee...........you are one of my greatest accomplishments. I say it all the time.........but I will never tire of saying, "I love you."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fun in the Sun and on the Beach

Tis the season for fun in the sun and on the beach!! Hope everyone is having a great summer thus far. The 4th of July (my favorite holiday!!) is just days away. I've been gearing up for a big party on Friday and creating decorations for a Flotilla parade on Saturday.  Pinterest has been my friend and has been giving me all sorts of ideas and inspiration.

In the meantime, I have a bit more inspiration for you using the new Discover Collection at Weeds and Wildflowers Design. This first page I used a combination of The Discover Collection and The Happiness Collection. It's the one thing I love most about Weeds and Wildflowers, all the kits coordinate with each other, and it's like having one huge collection! The 2nd page highlights more of The Discover Collection.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Time to Discover

There is a new collection at Weeds and Wildflowers and it is perfect for summer and vacations! The Discover Collection is HUGE.  If you only want parts of the collection you can create your own kit by using Gina's new DIY with each item only $1.00!

Here are some of my CT layouts and the collection preview.  I'm still working on more pages, as this kit is full of variety with lots of potential for different page theme (for a lack of a better way to say it - LOL)

Take a look!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

O The Summer Time!

Life is good.........summer is here, gardening is in full swing, and there is a full pitcher of iced tea always in the frig. I've been kayaking on the lake every evening and it feels wonderful to be on the water. I best enjoy these carefree days as life is about to get very busy and change is on the way. I can't spill the beans for fear I'll jinx it!

On a scapbook note, Weeds and Wildflowers will be releasing a new collection this weekend and you're going to love it. The Discover Collection is geared toward vacations and the summer! Here is a sneak peek :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Canoe Kind of Day

Last weekend was my birthday weekend. When asked what I wanted to do, of course my first thought was......"go canoeing." I LOVE to canoe. Gliding through the water quietly, in a beautiful area, on a warm sunny day, is one of my favorite things to do.

So me and the kids got up early on Sunday, packed a cooler, the sunscreen, life jackets and off we went. The weather could not have been better!

We drove an hour to get to Chain-O-Lakes state park in northern Indiana. A perfect place to spend the day in a canoe........lots of little lakes all chained together by channels, no motorized boats and no high volume of people venturing to explore the farthest lake and channel areas. It is a quiet and beautiful place full of wildlife.

The park also has a nice swimming area on one of the largest lakes (the busiest place in the summer), adorable cabins, a great camping area, and lots of trails to explore. What makes the place so special is all the lakes are "kettle" lakes.........that is they were formed during the last ice age as the glaciers retreated. The lakes are spring fed and surrounded by multiple protected wetland areas..........therefore the wildlife habitat has remained intact. It's a wonderful place for birding, so if you ever happen to chance by the area be sure to have a pair of binoculars at your side.

Lilly

This was Lilly's first experience in a canoe and she had a blast! Not once did she get antsy or ask 'are we there yet' - she enjoyed looking for and watching the songbirds and waterfowl. Of course she kept an eye out for damselflies and dragonflies........as in her words, "I want to be an Entomologist when I grow up." Go figure, a 7 yr old girl wanting to be an Entomologist! Most little girls think insects are gross and icky.......not Lilly, she is fascinated by them. Who knows.....maybe she'll be the next EO Wilson, only in female form.

It was a fun day for everyone and I especially enjoyed the relaxing time on the water. It was a wonderful birthday........a day spent doing something I love, surrounded by the beauty of our natural world.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Memorial Day Weekend in the Books

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I do hope you took a moment to remember the reason for this holiday, as it's important to salute the men and women in uniform, both active military and veterans.

As a military "Mom" I am always reminded and very proud to say both of my sons have and are serving this great country. My youngest Cory is now out of the Navy after his 5 year term and my oldest son Lee is still active duty with the Army. To say I am proud of both of them is an understatement; I have never been able to find enough words to describe the pride I feel for their dedication, honor, and accomplishments. 

So besides really missing the kids being together this weekend, I spent the warm sunny days tending to flower beds, going antiquing (got a new antique galvanized watering can! yay), being on the water, spending time with friends, and laying in the sun listening to the radio (I haven't done that in sooooooo long). It was a productive yet relaxing weekend.

The coming week will be a busy one, lots of things to do and projects to complete. I'm thankful I was able to have a bit of R&R before all the craziness starts.........and so blessed the weather was perfect!

Just a few photos of my sons with their units and of course individually.

In Afghanistan - Lee is 2nd row, first on the right with hands on hips.
Lee in Afghanistan
Submarine Crew - Cory is 3rd row up, first on the right.
Cory in Washington at an Awards Banquet




Saturday, May 17, 2014

Master Templates for Your Life 365 Projects

Gina has created a new Life in a Box master templates for your Project 365 and they are great to work with. Not only can you quickly and easily scrap tons of photos for a 365 project, but you can move things around, be creative and create pages for anything. If you've never used a template before there is also a great tutorial on the Weeds and Wildflower Site. It's easy peasy!!

Check out my CT page using the template and the CT team has some great inspiration in the Gallery at Weeds & Wildflowers.


 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scorpio

Her name is Scorpio and she's a Peregrine Falcon. She was one of six Peregrines hacked in Muncie, Indiana by the Ball State University student chapter of The Wildlife Society. I was the Program Coordinator, President of the Organization, all around manager of the release project.

The project was a huge deal and we gained the support of the University, Department of Biology, Businesses, Local Conservation groups, and the general public. I worked for 2 years to bring the project to fruition..........from development to procure funds, jumping through hoops with the state and federal government (Peregrines were listed as Endangered at that time), educating myself on medicinal procedures by attending training, researching past releases, conducting pre-release surveys, garnering relationships with local businesses, politicians, government officials, renown raptor breeders and researchers, recruiting and coordinating volunteers and University students, presenting the project to the media, conservation groups, schools, business organizations, etc........and that was all before the falcons even arrived on the scene. I could list a multitude of other responsibilities and tasks I was in charge of or responsible for, but the short list gives you an idea of the work that went into the project.

The story is a long one and I am so very proud of the outcome.

Once the falcons are mature and have left the area, you always wonder where they are and what happened to them. Imagine my surprise and delight when I got a phone call that Scorpio had settled in Davenport, Iowa. She has been there since, with her mate P/D and I have continued to keep track of her.

Scorpio is once again in the nest box and beginning another year of raising chicks. She has laid 4 eggs and as of this writing one has hatched. Isn't it adorable!

It gives me great pride to know the project was worth every single second I put into it.

The chicks will be banded the first week of June and if all goes according to plan, I hope to be there again this year to see my "girl" and help with the banding.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

I won't be with my mother today and it saddens me a great deal. I sent her flowers to let her know how much I love her.

I have a complex relationship with my mother. One minute she is making me crazy and driving me up the wall and the next minute I'm turning to her and telling her my deepest feelings about life. She and I are very different; I love to be active, out of doors, work with my hands, be adventurous and not afraid to go places and try new things and she is an indoor person, that has always taken on the traditional "woman's role in the home." I'm much more like my father was (he has been gone 10 years now and I miss him very much.)

Yet today is Mother's Day and I miss Mom a great deal.

Being a Mother is the greatest joy I have ever experienced. From the moment your child is born you gain a love and instinct unlike anything in the world. I feel very blessed to have wonderful kids. The years have flown by and I miss them being little, always busy, always discovering something new, always putting a smile on my face. I believe that life is defined by little moments and those little moments are the ones I miss the most when I think about the kids.

"The Gift of an Ordinary Day" by Katrina Kenison reflects my thoughts exactly .......... it could not be more true than if I had written it myself.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Beautiful Week

The weather has been wonderful! and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

I love walking through the woods. The wildflowers are popping up, plus the birds are in full swing building and tending to nests. All is peaceful and seems right with the world when I'm alone in the woods. I don't mind the solitude because it gives my mind a chance to think, to wander, to enjoy the littlest things I happen to run across. I'm never in a hurry and time and place seem to disappear..... I fear nothing, but respect everything.

.......the only bad thing?  having to leave and return to civilization and the crazy things in life.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 2 of NSBD

Hope you're finding lots of fun freebies this weekend. I'm posting this early since it's already Sunday morning across the pond.

As promised here is my 2nd quick page to celebrate National Scrapbook Day. This is another page using The Love Collection.  Just click on the preview to take you to the file on 4Shared. (Don't click yet! - keep reading because you may be interested in a FREE collection by W&W)

There is a challenge going on over on the Weeds and Wildflowers Facebook page where you can win the collection of your choice! Just post your 4 challenge layouts to our FaceBook page and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. You have until midnight on Monday May 5th to complete the challenges!

If you haven't already done so, stop over at Weeds and Wildflowers and pick up the other free stuff the creative team members have for you. Be sure to follow me here because I'll have more freebies in the future.

Hope you have enjoyed our little Blog Hop and be sure to scroll down to the previous post and catch the quick page from yesterday (if you happen to have missed it.)


Enjoy!

http://www.4shared.com/zip/fTLgZ2LLce/WWNSBDQP02.html
http://www.4shared.com/zip/fTLgZ2LLce/WWNSBDQP02.html

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy iNSBD Weekend

It's that time of year for great deals and freebies in digi land and the CT team at Weeds and Wildflowers has created some fantastic goodies for you.

 First you'll need to check the Weeds and Wildflower Blog off and on through the weekend, new freebies will be showing up and you don't want to miss them. Gina also has a great sale going on with 50% off all products (excluding the DIYs for 1.00). We also have a little Blog Hop for you to join and pick up some great stuff using WW products!

Be sure to follow me on Google+ because I'll have more freebies in the future. Leave a comment and let me know how you're spending your day in Digi land! and........check out the Weeds and Wildflowers page on Facebook - we're hosing challenges throughout the day and yep....prizes! YAY

http://weedsandwildflowersdesign.com/happy-insd-weekend/

I'm your third stop on the Blog Hop and I have a freebie QP for you today and one for tomorrow - so be sure to check back!! Today's QP was created using The Love Collection. If you haven't added this kit to your collection yet, this weekend is a great time to do so! Can't beat 50% off.

http://www.4shared.com/zip/jPz8fqd6ce/WWNSBDQP01.html

http://www.4shared.com/zip/jPz8fqd6ce/WWNSBDQP01.html

The next stop on the Blog Hop is Jessica - you can find her 'HERE

The previous Blog Hop Links are: