Monday, December 31, 2007

Wow, I had no idea

I installed a counter on my blog for kicks a couple of days ago and it is already over 200 hits. I had no idea that many people were actually reading my blog. I am also thrilled to see how many people have responded to my post about resolutions. In honor of that wonderful bit of knowledge, I am offering a second rak. I now have a Prima bitty bag of flowers to give away. Just leave me a comment and tell me how you found me. If you are on one of the message boards I frequent, tell me your MB name. If you found me on someone else's site, tell me who they are. I know I've found several blogs just clicking on people's names who leave comments on my favorite blogs, too. I will choose that winner on the 2nd, too. I hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve. See you next year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A RAK to end the year

Santa left a Heidi Swapp clear stamp in my stocking that I already own so I thought I'd share it with one of my friends. You can see it here. I just couldn't get a good picture of it. Just tell me whether you set goals or make resolutions each year and I will randomly draw a name on Jan 2. I am not a resolution maker, myself. I do occasionally set goals for myself but I don't restrict that to the beginning of any year. I'm hoping to get some deals today as I'm going shopping armed with gift cards and 50% off coupons. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Puzzle pieces keep coming in!

This one is from Heather. Simply beautiful, isn't it? Thanks, Heather.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fun Stuff

Had a great couple of days. I hope all of you did, too. We had our family Christmas on Christmas Eve so Seth could wake up to Santa Claus at his house on Christmas morning. He was even more fun this year than last year. He was excited about everything, even clothes. He kept saying things like "another present for me?! Oh my gosh!" In years past, I have been the stuffer of stockings and only occasionally would someone remember to put something in mine so I always throw a couple of things in there for myself. This year, though, both of my girls separately put lots of scrappy stuff in there and I was very pleased. Those babies of mine sure turned out well. Here are a few pictures.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

We have an announcement

Karen got engaged today. I'm going to be a mother in law. Joe gave her a jewelry box for Christmas and put the ring inside so she found it when she opened the drawer. He then got down on one knee and proposed. She called me crying to tell me about it. We are thrilled. He is a really nice guy. He loves her and he loves Seth. She has been so happy since they've been together and this will be great. No date has been set but it looks like my next year will be spent planning a wedding. Any cost cutting measures or hints will be greatly appreciated!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Remember Traditions

A fast easy page. I just printed my blog entry from here and pasted it on my page. Al the paper is Scenic Route. The trees are left over from my Christmas cards. They are Super T's stamps.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Awesome mail day!

I got two puzzle pieces in the mail today! Both are just incredible, too. The owl one is from Samantha, my friend from the CKMB and the paisley one is from Betty who I also met on the CKMB but we now play together at Scrapbook Playground. It is really starting to come together. I have decided on a title and will be decorating the middle pieces very soon to tie them all together.

It's Santa Baby!

I've been hoarding my pages for the last couple of months in case they could be used for HOF. I did this one yesterday and he is just so darn cute, I had to share. Curtis is such a good sport. I put the hat on him and said, smile for me, baby! He actually posed for several shots and most of them turned out pretty cute. I have company coming this weekend to stay so I probably won't be back on for a few days. I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I thought I would share my annual Christmas letter and photo collage I sent out with my Christmas cards this year. Since I consider all of you wonderful people who take the time to visit me here as my friends, you should also benefit (or suffer) from my love of the written word. Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope your holidays are wonderful.

Dear friends and family,

It is time for the annual year in review letter from the Owens family and this year finds Curtis and me happily celebrating our 30th anniversary living in the proverbial empty nest. Until a couple of weeks ago, the two extra bedrooms were completely empty except for the few abandoned prom and banquet dresses hanging in one closet. We bought a new bed for ourselves and put our old one into one of the bedrooms so Allison would have somewhere to sleep when she came home for Thanksgiving. Those empty bedrooms served us well in October, though, when we had several of Allison’s friends stay with us during Texas-OU weekend. They brought sleeping bags and camped out in the back of our house. We had a great time with all those young people in the house.

Karen and Seth moved out in May and are living nearby in a small duplex. Karen has changed jobs and is the accounting manager for a small cleaning company that contracts out the cleaning of office buildings. She has been going to school two nights a week and we watch Seth on those nights. She is also seeing a very nice guy named Joe who makes her very happy and that makes us happy, too.

Seth is four, a very handsome little guy, and loves anything that has to do with balls. He especially loves football right now and he and Curtis toss the ball back and forth outside until it gets dark every time he comes over. He also loves superheroes and is obsessed with being big and strong.

Allison is at the University of Texas in Austin working on a biology degree. She is enjoying her third year there and is on track to graduate in May of 2009. She was awarded a full tuition scholarship from the Hartman Foundation at the start of this past semester. They are a group who work to encourage future math and science teachers. She also received another scholarship from the Austin Independent School District. With the extra money, she doesn’t have to work as much as she did last year. She has moved into an apartment with a friend from high school and plans to stay in Austin until graduation and maybe even afterwards to teach in the Austin school district. She is involved with the University Catholic Center and belongs to a group called STRONG who put on weekend retreats for teenagers in the Austin area. She is also working a couple of days a week at the River City Youth Foundation, an after school program for low income kids.

Curtis has been promoted to plant manager at Southern Star Concrete. He is thriving on all of the extra responsibility and doing well. He loves being a grandpa to his favorite little boy and he enjoys visits from his girls.

I am still plugging away at Tom Thumb. I love scrapbooking and am doing well with it. I’ve even won a few contests. I’ve made some new friends through it and am having such a great time. I also really enjoy photography and am learning to use my new fancy camera. I want to find a class to take. Be warned. Anybody who comes near me best be ready to have their picture taken!

I hope 2008 is good for all of you and that you enjoy many blessings.

Love, Curtis and Detta

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Growing up as the oldest of seven children, there were always a lot of stockings hanging from our mantel at Christmas time. As we grew up and began marrying, new stockings began crowding onto that small block of wood. It didn’t take long until there was so many that that had to be tacked onto the wall above the fireplace and around it. This year, there are thirty six stockings including two for family members who have passed away in the last four years. Before my dad died, my mother took joy in filling them and we looked forward to seeing what “Santa” would bring to Grandma’s house. After the lottery came to Texas, everyone over 21 got a ticket and it was a fun contest to see who won the most money. After dad died, Mom lost a little of her spirit and found shopping a chore. She asked if we minded that she not do them anymore. We were aghast at the thought! My youngest sister was especially upset because she was pregnant with her first children (twins) and she wanted them to know the tradition that all of the older cousins had grown up with. My siblings and I have taken over this job and it is so much fun. I spent all year looking at markdown bins and the dollar area at Target looking for things that could go into 35 stockings. My sisters did the same thing. So, even though I will know what I am putting in, I will still be surprised by whatever the others contribute. We might have to start hanging stockings on window sills as the grandkids start marrying but it is a tradition that means Christmas to me.

The stocking display at my house is a bit smaller in scale. Curtis and my stockings are still the originals from when we got married and I made the girls for them when they were each born. I made Seth's a couple of years ago and the one with no name, yet, is for Joe, Karen's boyfriend. I also always have several generic stockings on hand and trinkets to put in them for whomever the girls might bring home for our annual Christmas Eve dinner.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I scrapped!

I have hardly accomplished any of the goals I set for myself this week while I've been on vacation. I was going to get three of these books done. I was going to make two mini albums for my sister to put pictures of her girls in and I was going to move into a bedroom with all my scrap stuff. Iwas going to work on HOF. I got the move mostly done. I got enough done, at least, to have an empty table to scrap on so I whipped this up this morning. It is for my in laws in Alabama. I guess I will have to mail priority, now. LOL. So much for best made plans.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quote for the day

When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything YOU gave me.'

Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gingerbread house

I think more icing and candy went into and onto Seth than went on the house. How did that child get so dirty?!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another puzzle piece has arrived

This one came from Joscie in Hawaii. The little hula girl is adorable and I love that she added a tiny picture of her family. She also sent Hawaiian candy. Yum. It is painted silver. I'm not sure you can see that. The flash picture reflected back on me but when I didn't use a flash, the piece looked green. It is raining outside so I can't go out there to take the picture. Thanks, Joscie.

Monday, December 10, 2007

30 years ago today

Thirty years ago today, two desperately love sick 18 year olds started their life together despite (or maybe in spite of) all of the advice they received not to. They began married life with hardly any money but lots of dreams and hopes for the future. They honestly believed all they needed was each other.

The years ahead were not all wine and roses. Two years after their wedding, their first baby girl was stillborn. They named her Melissa Nicole and buried her on a cold February morning. They cried together and went on with their lives a little sadder than they were before but still in love.

Two years later, a beautiful and healthy baby girl was born. They named her Karen Michelle and they began a new life as parents. Five years after that, an equally beautiful Allison Rose made her appearance and their little family was complete.

Over the years, there was much heartache mixed in with the joy but the love got bigger and stronger as the years went by. There were struggles, some pretty big ones. They fought and made up. They loved. They laughed. They cried. They laughed some more. They raised those two baby girls to be happy self sufficient women who make them very proud. They’ve built a life together that is comfortable and exciting and filled with fun.

While some of the credit for the longevity of their relationship can be attributed to pure stubbornness, the real reasons they are still together are because they want to be and because they are still as love struck as they were when they were kids. He tells her she is beautiful every day and she laughs at him. She still meets him with a kiss at the door each day when he comes home from work. They compliment each other. They were meant for each other. Life is good. Their love is strong.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas fun with my camera

I bought this decoration the other day with the sole intention of hanging it in my tree and photographing it. I went outside at 7 am when the sun first started coming up and just kept shooting until I liked the light.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

YES!!!! I won!

I am beyond excited. My layout got picked as the winner at Unpubbed. I have followed their challenges almost religiously since I found them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A girl after my heart

Allison emailed me these pictures last night. She called all excited about how she and her room mate have decorated their apartment. They have a pink Christmas tree! She said that if there was a decorating contest for their apartment complex, they would win! LOL. I think it is fun how excited she was. She was especially proud that they made their own wreath for the front door just like we've done in years past at home. When I asked if she actually owned a glue gun, her answer was, "of course!" Too funny. Here are her pictures. On another note, Seth asked me last night when I was going to come to his house and see his tree. I guess I need to go over there and see that, too.

Speaking of Seth, yesterday when I picked him up from day care, he asked me if I could buy a truck with no back seat so he could ride up front with me. Isn't that cute?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The view from my front door

My friend, Heather, has asked me to post the view from my front door. When she asked me last night, it was dark outside and the view was just black with a few Christmas lights from across the street. Today at 3:30 in the afternoon, I have this lovely view as I look down my sidewalk toward the street. Our big old oak tree has finally decided that it is cool enough to turn fall colors even though it is already December and the temperatures are in the 70s. This is about the extent of fall colors I ever see around here. I have not decorated for Christmas, yet, so those flower pots are empty. Next weekend, I will put poinsettias in them. Curtis and I have always decorated the weekend closest to our anniversary which is Dec 10. We got married and then decorated that first year so it has just always been our tradition. This will be the 31st Christmas we spend together as it will be our 30th anniversary.