Christmas! Oh what a CHRISTMAS! Christmas cookies are baking right now as we are still, "Christmas-ing." Christmas Evening we went to church and when we came out...2" of the white stuff on the ground and it took us 45 minutes to go 5 miles. Brianna was convinced that Santa would be going faster from house to house because of the snow and landing would be easier, so we headed home to continue our traditions of the evening and woke up to a delightful CHRISTMAS DAY!
I have loads to share...but I have cookies in the oven. Tomorrow is back to work! But for now...
What a great Thanksgiving weekend we are all having. Our home is decorated for Christmas. Our bellies continuously full time and time again. Today is a day of creating in my studio and the chores will simply have to wait. We celebrated Thanksgiving with only a few of us but that did not stop the phone calls and texts from family and friends from all across the Southeast. It began to snow here Thanksgiving night and we woke up to a 1/2" dusting of the white stuff and super cold temperatures. Gloriously beautiful Friday! We even went shopping for a few things and Santa's stocking is getting pretty full already. I cannot wait until the week before Christmas. All of our children will be here and two will be bringing "ladies" to our traditions and table this year. It will be wonderful. I just know it.
My heart is full of joy. This year, my present for Christmas is ALL of our family together at Christmas time since 2004! This will be the first Christmas that Zachary has been with us since 2006. Tours of Duty overseas and stationed all around the United States...he is trekking home for the holidays. He arrives on the 20th and Stephen and Lil' Z will be here on Christmas Eve to stay the whole weekend of Christmas. How exciting is this to me? I am over the moon with JOY!
With this said, YES, I have already decorated the house as my time is limited on the weekends with many Seasonal happenings and shopping. The hustle and bustle has already begun. We have had a busy November. We had to head South to Atlanta for a "Celebration of Life." I lost a special sister-in-law to cancer early in the month. It has been hard on several members of our family. But I know that time will heal the hurt and good memories will remain.
Celebrations of babies being born has been a great highlight. Impending births as well keep me shopping for those special gifts to give as new mommy's and daddy's begin the path of ultimate joy and unconditional love.
So, yes. This is a time of magic. A time to celebrate and be thankful for all of those wonderful people in our lives. I gather great solace and joy in knowing life is wonderful and every moment is a time to embrace and live fully.
I am still creating. I just to do not upload most of my creations anymore. They are becoming very personal and are gifts as well for many people in my life. But I promise to share stories and my day to day scrapping as my time allows. So, it is with this thought..."Take time to make the memories." It is truly the greatest gift to give and share with others. Your time.
For a few weeks now I have been thinking about giving up scrapbooking and simply concentrating on my mixed media art. What the FLIPPITY DOO DAH was I thinking? Yesterday, I drove about 40 miles north of Bowling Green and as I was driving and listening to music oh too loud; I had this charge that I had not felt in some time. No, it was not the Auburn University fans with their SUV's all loaded down with tail gating goodies and their loud ORANGE and BLUE that was a caravan on their way to the Kentucky game. It was not the fall colors that were vivid on the trees. It was not even the beautiful sunshine. Was it because I was not alone? Was it because I was not hurried out of state to take care of family business? Was it because I had not a care in the world? I think not...what I was so giddy about was playing with paper! Yes, scrapbooking. I was on a roll and nothing was going to stop me from one thing that gives me great pleasure. Loaded down with my own goodies I was headed north to SHOP and create and it is a wonderful feeling. So, what the FLIPPITY was I thinking when I thought I could give up something that makes me so happy? Clearly, I was having a "not so clear" moment in my life. But baby, I am sniffing glue again! Not literally, but you paper artists know what I mean.
So, without further ado I will share a few things I created in about 5 hours. In that time I shopped and had lunch with some wonderful ladies along with stimulating conversations as well. I love Halloween. It is the one time each year that is pure fun. For a few hours on one night we are NOT in the backyard summoning nature but we are having a grand time dressing as something we are not. It makes me feel like a kid again and well...it is all about the candy, right?
I have a lot more to update everyone on the happenings. Just stay tuned.
Looking back through our summer photos I simply smile when I look at all of the pictures my daughter took on her first Girl Scout Summer Camp experience. It was the first time going away where she did not know anyone. It was the first time I let her take a little camera with her to just take photos of her experience. They are not in focus, they are not of great quality, but through her eyes I was able to relive the week with her and she simply glowed as we looked at each one in detail and she recounted the moment with excitement and most of all, she had an experience that allowed her to make wonderful friends. I thought I would share a few. AHHH, youth and summer. Life is so wonderful.
Photos by MY GIRL!
She was telling me that the counselors went by names like, Lunchbox, Cookie, Nugget, Kiwi, and Pickle.
Many of her counselors were from "across the pond." Girl Scouts exchange American Counselors with other Girl Scout Leaders from all over the world. It broadens their own experience and they can share their cultures with girls from all over the world. Brianna was telling me the flags in their dining hall represent where Camp Pennyroyal had representation from all over the world throughout the years.
Bri said they made SMORE'S in a can. Layers of the SMORE goodies in a 3 pound can and they were, "YUMMY!" Of course it is not camp without nightly campfires. I think she had about 50 of these shots!
I do love that she had a terrific time and most of all, she wants to go back.
Hard to believe...the cooler air is nipping in the morning and summer will soon be no more.
Catching up on my blog reading this morning. I am still getting used to our schedule change around home with work and school. Carving out time for just myself is still one of the priorities. However, it doesn't leave much time for blogging. For kicks and grins, here are some scrappy pages I have created recently.
It looks like rain today. A perfect day for playing in my Art Studio.
Yes, I am still here. I am busy getting settled into my new position as an Legal Assistant for a law firm. I am working about 175 cases and absorbing the routine and tasks before me. I like the people I work with and the atmosphere is really great.
So, I thought I would leave you this Friday with another layout I created for Art Freckles August kit.
Sometimes a simple design is all you need to tell a story.
Over at Art Freckles, this months kit is a delightful addition to scrappy supplies and creating. I love the name of the kit as well as creating with it this month. "An Artful Life" is full of cardstock and double sided papers to woo any scrapper to share a memory or two in their scrapbook.
Here is a sample of what I created with the August Kit, "An Artful Life" from Art Freckles!
This picture was taken the first day of school and I could not resist in using the papers and embellishments from this fabulous kit and alter a frame I have had for years.
Yesterday, I turned the grand age of 45! What does this mean?
Anxiety about my age. My mother passed away at 45. Yes, I think about it. I am healthier at this age than she was at 45. Wow, I said it. "I am 45!" It was not a BLOW OUT Birthday as we are in the beginning of a new school year and my birthday fell in the middle of the week. A small celebration it was. Well, actually I am not sure I celebrated. My daughter did the celebratory acts for me. Children are wonderful and see a birthday as "awesome!" I remember that feeling. I do believe that this is the "Only day of the year to claim as your very own." So, in essence. It is another milestone of life and should be regarded as special. It was. I think.
So, I will share bits and pieces of my thoughts throughout this year. Changing my blog up a bit to share other things that are important and some things that are less important but at least I will have something to blog about. So, today this is what is on my mind. Important? Ummm, maybe. Thoughtless? Not so much. But it is something I am pondering for sure.
This is a picture of my first cousins and me.
It was taken in October 1968 at Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, Georgia. We chose our goodies from the festival of which has changed a great deal over the decades.
We 3 are now the "head" of our family.
Me, 45- Lee, 44- Deborah, 46
Who knew that at this age we would have no family older than us living? I am the only one with children. Lee is the last male of the Thornton Clan out of Alabama. It is kind of sad, really. Deborah and Lee still reside in Georgia. Lee is now the artist and curator of Foxfire Taxidermy on the Thornton Estate. My uncle's legacy lives on at Sweetwater Creek State Park outside of Atlanta. Several of his prize winning Taxidermy Animals are on display. Lee will carry on the tradition. At least I think so. Deborah is into horticulture and pottery and lives in the N.E. Georgia Mountains. We were very close growing up and our family always shared Christmas and special holidays together. We also got together many weekends and shared family vacations when my family was stateside (Army Brat ya know). I just find it so hard to grasp sometimes that we are, "it." We lost Uncle Chuck in April and I know that my cousins must be thinking many of the same things that I now ponder.
I feel that I am blessed. I have 5 children. But the Thornton legacy will be short lived. My grandmother was one of 10 children where many families were born from her siblings. But we are the last of the Thornton's. I think back to many incredible memories and a childhood with lots of experiences shared with my family. I just never knew or realized as we aged that the possibility of no hierarchy being alive when in my 40's. It just does not seem right somehow.
So, this is what is on my mind this morning. Mortality or the lack thereof.
Although it is hot and humid...I still have not gotten my fill of summer. School starts tomorrow and then I am all alone in the house. Well, for at least until August 16th. I was just recently hired at a local law firm and I am pretty happy about that. My hours are great and of course the extra money is even better. When I think of lawyers I immediately think BRIEFCASE. My mother was a lawyer and she carried a briefcase everyday to work. So, this is my image.
I also have images of lawyers with long hair. It's funny how stereotypical our minds become isn't it?
I will be working for a lawyer with longer hair. I will be working for a female lawyer. I am looking forward to the experience and knowledge I will gain. So, yes....I am excited. I really enjoy working in an office atmosphere.
Now, to enjoy this last MONDAY of "our summer" and soak in the love.
Inspiration takes me back to some old photos. A cup of coffee and a morning jaunt on the computer for inspiration also drives me today to get my fanny in my art room and clean it up. I for the life of me cannot create in the chaos. It is really OUT OF CONTROL...so, with this soothing SUMMER photo...I will leave you with a Summer thought.....................
Yes, it opened just a bit ago. CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Convention! Are you there?
Just surfing around this morning while my laundry is churning and I was delighted to see that "overexposed" photography is now considered "OUT!" In my day, this kind of photography was not a consideration for a comment of "well done." In my day, we also used chemicals to process our film, too.
I was just really excited to see that professional photographers all around the world do not care for this type of photography and sees it as always, a "FAD." One blog read, "the overexposed photo fad stemmed from Calvin Klein's Advertisement back in Spring of 2009." WHEW! What a relief. I thought this was going to be the "new" formula for consideration of, "perfect picture."
Well, "fads" are for inspiring and not longevity. They are not for what will remain but they are for what will become. I am so happy about this. I love candid-real photos. Not photo shopped, cropped, or bamboozled in some way to make a shot look different than it truly is. I think this is why many people love "heritage photos." But truly, did we really think that "overexposed photos" were really good?
Housed in a ZIP LOCKED Bag... I have kept a journal of our camping trips since 2003.
It really is fun to read through the journal on camping trips while sitting around the fire in the evenings. We document the silly as well as our adventures. Most importantly, it documents that I remain the "Queen" of the Domino Tournaments we have each and every camping trip!
We arrived at the campsite early morning to set up and get used to our surroundings. Went on a few nature walks and had our traditional first meal at camp, HOBO Dinners. we also started our traditional Domino Tournament in which I still remain "THE QUEEN!"
Overall, I took almost 400 pictures and just made composites to view here on my blog.
Day One Day Two
We awoke to lots of rain that subsided by early afternoon. This is the day we took our tours of the cave and also had breakfast at the restaurant. Considering it was literally a flood in the campgrounds, it was perfect to get dry and enjoy a good meal to the start of our busy day ahead. By the way, our tent was dry but almost everyone in the campground was hanging their gear all over. We were very lucky. Day Three
More hiking on this day. Soaking in the local history and stories of the Sand Cave and the historical death of Floyd Collins that died in the cave. In the year 1925, over 10,000 people came from all over to "picnic" and wait out while a man was under a pile of rock. It was known as, "Carnival Sunday." It is rather a sad story as he ended up dying. Hard to believe this was considered a form of entertainment. I guess it is not much different today, we all see "rubberneckers" on the highways each and every day when tragedy hits.
On this day we walked down to the original mouth of the cave. It was pretty cool to feel the breeze (natural air conditioner) coming from the cave as we hiked down. You could feel it coming from the rock around our feet before reaching the mouth. It was 55 degrees and with a heat index of over 100 degrees outside...the mix was truly refreshing. In the late afternoon we took a short drive and went swimming. We did not have swim suites with us but our shorts and shirts were just fine. The water was very warm. But it kept us cool until late afternoon when we would conclude our trip with our traditional steak and baked potato dinner over the open fire.
In a NUTSHELL?
1. Exciting 2. Fun 3. Historical 4. Hot 5. Humid 6. Roasting Marshmallows 7. Swimming 8. Cave exploration as a family 9. Hiking 10. Great Food
I also keep a journal of our family camping trips. I always take it with us. It is fun to read at night around the campfire of our previous camping trips. Although, our entourage is smaller now. Our memories continue to grow and they are as big and fresh in our memories as the day and moments we lived them. I recommend keeping a journal of these kinds of family activities. It really is quite the entertainment around the campfire to read aloud.
5 Days and 4 nights of camping. No electricity and cooking outside. This is one of my most favorite things to do. We are not CONDO campers. We love our tents. The older I get the more I am thinking we need to buy a POP UP! Okay, do not laugh. We love to rough it. We love the hiking and plan on taking several cave tours. We are excited. When we return, I will share our experience and maybe a photo or two.
Have you ever come across a blog that has run on sentences, improper grammar usage, and incorrect writing all around? I have. Sometimes it bugs me and then I remember that most people write the way they speak. I think this is how I am really. Sometimes a word is inadvertently spelled incorrect or I have dropped a quotation and the very worst, no punctuation to know if it is indeed a statement or exclamation.
I love to read blogs where people are telling a story or their thoughts in that moment. A reflection of a memory or a list where they are sharing bits and pieces about their life. In this day and time the medium of the Internet is astounding in all of its creativity finds, word lovers, and people who just feel like they have something to say. "A rant" if you will.
Stepping outside the artistic world and reading blogs of people I have no connection or common interest is stimulating. It can also be scary as well. I have read some really weird publications on the Internet. I believe it is a type of freedom that is universal to "share" their story or simply believe they are being, "heard." Especially when they might not have anyone they can physically touch "listen" to them.
I love reading blogs because in general, I do love to read. I am not one of those people that can inhale a book and move on to the next one. I spend time reflecting on the book I just finished. It is a process for me. Kind of like a simmering pot. I read bibliographies and history the most. Of course I have a few fictional authors I enjoy, but overall, in the world of "word" I simply prefer to read about real life. "Fantasy" is just not my thing. Although I do enjoy a good movie.
It's funny about blogging. Anything goes; Whether it is politically correct, written well, or just a simple list.
Quite frankly, it has replaced the "People" magazine I used to buy when the cover struck me as interesting.
July's Kit at Art Frecklessimply rocked my world with fun this month. Be sure to check out the designer gallery as well to see all the fun REVEALS "Through the Looking Glass." Here are a few creations I made using this wonderful kit.
"KIT MASTERS CONTEST"
If you love Art Freckles Kit's as much as we do, your going to love our new 'Kit Masters Contest'.
We want to see the very best of what all of YOU are creating with Art Freckles Kits.
You can use any monthly Art Freckles kit ( class/card kits do not qualify, it must be a monthly kit)
Create! Create! Create! - show us what you can create with the kit. Layouts, cards altered.. anything!
Creations must use MINIMUM 80% kit content. Creations must be new for this contest.
Originally posted:Tuesday, August 28, 2007 The Journey Home.... Well, I have been asked many times how long have I been scrapbooking? Well, seriously since 2005 2 years after the birth of my daughter. Before scrapping I had another obsession that was fused by the fabulous world of the World Wide Web. The information highway. My obsession was seeking out friends from my childhood. Although, I was born in Atlanta....I really never had a concrete "staple" answer of "I am from..." Well over 10 years ago I came across a lady named Donna Musil and she was seeking out Military Brats for her documentary. I filled out her questionnaire and intereviewed for a film that has now come full circle. This film is about "the journey home" and the sub-culture of life as a Military Brat that no-one ever really talked about. The documentary has since been viewed in many cities, Armed Forces Television, film festivals, and military bases around America. The documentary is eye opening to a culture of America that lends one to see that not just our soldiers sacrifice but that the dependents of our soldiers, too encounter loss in many ways. It opens the eye of the viewer to know that whatever "we" as "brats" did/do is a direct reflection on our Military Father/Mother.
Many of you are aware by reading my blog that a "Sense of Home" is what grounds me in my scrapbooking. Recounting stories and places where I have been is encompassed within my scrapbooking. I am currently living in a city for the longest I have ever been in one place as an Adult or child for that matter. Home is important and creating roots for my children has been something that is very important to me.
I honestly could talk about this for a long time and bore you with my stories, insights, memories, and move experiences. I have been fortunate to have lived during Vietnam and attend my first day of school in Okinawa, Japan during the change of the YEN. I have also personally seen and touched the Wall of Berlin that seperated the East and West city of Berlin, Germany before it actually came down. Military Life is all I ever knew.
So, now you know. My obsession before scrapping was seeking out relationships/friends that helped mold me the way that I am today. I have found about 14 people from my years as an Army Brat and still continue this search to find my very best friend, Karen Duffy. I have only come across people that remember her or her brother.
I just wanted you to know that this incredible film is worth viewing and absorbing. I am proud to say that I had a small part of sharing my story and if you are still reading this long post and are interested in viewing the trailer and the website of this documentary that has recieved multiple awards then please do so ---> Brats: Our Journey Home.
I am now proud to say that I am a mother of a military man and I sit in the early mornings while gathering my thoughts and my (TAWG) Time Alone With God and am thankful that I experienced more than the "average" American child growing up in the late 1960's and 1970's when politics and pride were openly discussed in our home. So, when my son calls me or writes me of his experiences it always brings a flood of memories to heart and I once again, "remember." Then reality sets in and I realize that the Cycle/Circle still continues and the Military Life is still in evolution and forges on. Family is important. Roots are what they are...."roots." Just sometimes for us Military Families- our roots are those little fibers that can reach miles and while they are not really strong roots they are centered for one purpose. Freedom. Military Families have a special bond that allows us to come together if even for a brief moment in our lives. But the one constant bond we all share is the love for our country and being proud to be an American.
Please take the time to view the website http://www.bratsourjourneyhome.com/ and you will learn about a "sub-culture" that the average American is just now learning about and becoming aware.
I know my post is a day late. But our America Birthday Party was all weekend long. Swimming, cooking out, ice cream making, and watching fireworks.We simply enjoyed our time as we celebrated 234 years of FREEDOM!Attractive, eh? Kaleb and his pants. I refer to them as "Farmers Shorts." He bails hay in these pants and he assures me that he is kept cool while keeping his lower legs safe. I say they need to be burned! Homemade Double Vanilla Ice Cream and Fresh StrawberriesKatie was keeping a vigil over the homemade cream churningKatie and Megan came to visit with their mom, Crystal for the weekend from Ohio. These two cuties were nothing but giggles. I think Brianna was a tad bit jealous. Enjoying the weekend of Birthday Celebration ended with fireworks all around us. They lasted for about 2 hours and we had some sleepy heads for sure!
I hope you had a terrific holiday. There is just something about family, BBQ, homemade ice cream, and fireworks. It's these times when bonds are sealed for sure.