Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning Musings - Exhaustion among other things

I have been so dang tired lately!  I know it's normal and will only get worse after the baby is born with the complete lack of sleep.  It seems like every time I sit down, I end up snoozing within five minutes!  I've even been assigning errands I usually love to do to Derek so I don't have to get up and get "real" clothes on.  Oh well, I guess it could be worse.

Can you believe that August is pretty much gone?!  Seems like I felt this way about July just a couple days ago!  The thing that's freaking me out the most is my due date range is in September (4th-24th).  That's, like... now!  Not in the distant future anymore!!  Aaahh!

And that's all I really think about anymore these days.  Sleeping, napping, and having a baby soon.  Oh, and the occasional digi-scrapping/bookmaking projects.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

ColorInc Gallery Wrap Contest, Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics. Awesome giveaway!  When I was in 7th grade, my parents ordered a family picture on a canvas-like something.  It looked so cool, but they still needed a frame.  With a gallery wrap, the picture is printed on canvas and then wrapped around a wooden frame.  Picture frame needed!  I want this so bad!!!

PS: I've got a couple fun baby polls on the sidebar. Check 'em out! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Plant Pullin' Husband

I walked by my front room this morning, and what did I see right outside the window?  My husband pulling out the nasty prickly plants we have/had growing in the planter box.  Hooray!  I tried pulling out all the plants we had out there a week or so ago.  They were so ugly!  But the combination of being 8.5 months pregnant and weird, invisible-until-they-stick-in-your-hands-and-arms stickers made me quit halfway through.  Those stickers are the most irritating things I've ever experienced!  Not only do they sting when they're stuck in you, they leave minuscule cuts in their wake that burn for hours after!

I really wished I had my camera out and ready because Derek was so cute.  At the time I happened to walk by, he was taking a break to pull the mini-stickers out of his hands.  He is a pretty tough guy with nice callouses all over his hands so he doesn't usually use gloves for working, but I guess the mini-stickers were too much for him, too! :)  I got him the same dish-gloves I used before I pooped out before.  They worked surprisingly well. 

Thanks Derek for braving the nasty plants for me!  I love you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Being Musical in Korea

While we lived in Korea, the members of our church tried some clever ways of keeping us involved in what was going on without using language.  Most of the members didn't speak enough English to be able to translate for us, and we didn't speak enough Korean to participate on our own.  The missionaries were excellent at translating, but in a small branch, they were really busy.  Since music doesn't really depend on a common language--just it's own--that's how they got my participation.

When we first got there, I thought that since they were a small branch that maybe they would need a pianist.  But they didn't.  One of the teenage girls played beautifully.  But that didn't stop them from asking me to play for baptisms and relief society.  The only problem was I wasn't able to read the Korean at the speed they were singing while I was playing, and I have this bad habit of not paying attention to how many verses there are in a song.  I usually wait until the last measure or two and figure out what verse they are on by what they are singing.  Couldn't do that in Korean.  And they didn't have a chorister so I usually had to have someone give me a signal to stop. 

Then they gave me a calling (or assignment), branch chorister.  No problem, that was easy... or so I thought.  First of all, I wasn't super familiar with how to lead.  Plus, I had to sing in Korean while leading.  Hard!  I had to concentrate on two very different and equally brain power consuming things at once! 

Good thing nobody ever looked at me during the song.  Except one really cute little girl.  She was probably 3 or 4 years old.  She'd sit there and try to copy me, giggling and waving her arms all around.  I had a hard time keeping a straight face!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Slighly Odd Things I Do

The mail came this morning and I have to admit, I got really excited.  Not because I was expecting anything to come, but just because the mail came!  And that made me think.  What other weird things do I do...

Top 10 Slightly Odd Things I Do

  1. Go check the mail.  Everyday.  I love it, and I get a little miffed if someone else gets to it before I do.  I'm like a little kid running out there!

  2. Choose which book to read based on how it feels in my hands.  By this I mean if there is more than one edition of a book I'm interested in reading, I'll pick the best sized one.  They're usually the older, hard backed ones.

  3. Read Wikipedia articles.  I don't do this as much as I used to, but I love it!  I love it because the more I read, the more I know.  And the more I know, the more I'll be able to participate intelligently in conversations.  And that's a good feeling.

  4. Check on my flowers everyday.  Sometimes I make a special trip of it, sometimes it's in conjunction with checking the mail.  I only go out to look at how pretty they are.  I don't do any weeding or watering (the sprinklers take care of that).  Well, I guess I do some weeding... once the weeds are way taller than the flowers.

  5. Share odd stuff about myself online.  I taught a mini class on blogging a week ago and realized just how odd that really is!  I got a lot of weird looks from people when I told them what kinds of things were on my blog.  Oh well, I'm comfortable with it!

  6. Download a bunch of digi-scrapping supplies... and then never use them.  A couple months ago I knew I wanted to get into digital scrapbooking, so I found a couple freebie sites and started downloading papers, fonts, word art, templates, embellishments, etc.  The only problem?  I had NO idea how to use them.  But I kept collecting knowing I'd figure it out later.  Then I discovered another problem, hard drive space.  I had unknowingly filled the rest of my computer's hard drive with all my stuff.  I had 25GB of supplies!  Yikes!  Well, I've figured out how to digi-scrap on PSE and I've slowed down the downloading.  But it's still a temptation.

  7. Sniff my cat.  I have never had such a good smelling cat before.  She has beautiful, soft, fluffy fur that always smells so nice and clean.  I am selective about where I sniff her though.

  8. Peel a grapefruit and eat like an orange.  I'm not sure if this one is odd or not.  I haven't seen anyone else do it and my husband gives me really weird looks every time I come over to the couch with a plastic bag and a whole grapefruit.

  9. I organize my clothes according to color...  but only in the closet.  It's too much work with the folded clothes. 

  10. I talk to my cat.  Sometimes we meow back and forth; sometimes I talk, she meows.  This one might not be just me either, but it sure feels weird when I do it. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Morning Musings - Thoughts

I woke up this morning with a couple of things on my mind.  One quite a bit odder than the other.  The first thought was as my radio alarm was going off at 8:07am and 8:14am and 8:21am.  I thought to myself, "Wow!  Everyone of these songs tells a great story!"  Yesterday was a little weirder.  My first thought as I woke up to my alarm was, "I can digi scrap this song!"  Hmm...  wonder what I've been obsessed with lately.

The second thought I had this morning, when I was a little more awake, was how grateful I am that time never goes backwards.  I've had this feeling before in Korea near the end of our time there.  It was fun.  I enjoyed teaching English in a foreign country, but there were just some really difficult things that I'm glad didn't get stretched out any longer than they already were.

I'm kind of in that stage again now.  I've officially got another month until my due date; although I'm hoping to go earlier.  It's been fun.  Being pregnant is, um, interesting and... full of surprises?  But I'm sure as heck glad that time never ever, ever goes backwards!  The unknown events of the future are a little scary sometimes, but I've been able to handle all my life events so far--some more gracefully than others--so why not life events yet to happen?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Enrichment Meeting

I had a great time at Enrichment Meeting this week.  Teaching a class was a bit stressful, but it was about a topic that I really enjoy, blogging!  I'm afraid that I was a bit disorganized in my teaching style, and I probably confused a lot of the ladies there, but I hope that I at least helped them see that blogging can be fun, useful and educational!

And since blogging is such an online thing, I brought my brother's Clearwire modem to the church building so we could have internet.  It made the class a bit more interesting to be able to actually see the blogs and see how to use them.

As fun as it was to teach my class, I was sad that I wasn't able to attend the other classes being taught at the same time!  We've got to find some way of being able to do that! :)  I think everybody wanted to attend all four classes.

I am really thankful that the Relief Society program includes an Enrichment night.  It's really fun to get together with friends from the ward and learn new things!!  I'm so excited for next month's Enrichment.  Basic Couponing Yeast 101 here I come!  Unless I'm having a baby right then...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - The Blessings of Scripture Study

When we first got to Korea to teach English and realized that most of my classes were full of kids, my first thought was, "What was I thinking?!  This has the potential to be a great experience for me, but I don't really like kids!  I don't know what to do!"  That coupled with the stress of being in a new country with a foreign language caused a lot of anxiety for me.

I felt like no matter what I did, I wasn't able to get a handle on teaching my students because of the fact that we spoke different languages and the fact that they were children.  I felt really overwhelmed and lost.

So I thought of ways to do better.  Since I felt like I was doing everything I knew to do as a teacher, I thought of ways to turn to Heavenly Father for help.  The thing that stuck out the most to me was personal scripture study.  I knew that I could receive many blessings from reading, and I thought that just maybe it could help in my situation.

I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me have better days teaching as I read the scriptures daily.   I had a good feeling about my plan, and knew it was something I should be doing anyway, so I started.  Reading everyday wasn't very easy for me.  Scripture study has always been my weak point, but I found a good time in the morning to do it.

I think I read the scriptures just about everyday that we were in Korea, and as I read I noticed that teaching English was getting easier!  I wasn't dreading going to work each day!  My students seemed easier to manage and I felt like I was really improving my communication skills.  I didn't have any more disaster days.  What a huge blessing in my life!

I know that feeling like and being a better teacher was directly related to my faith in daily personal scripture study and I'm really glad that I took the time to do it!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Traveling

I've got a bit of the traveling bug today, but I haven't the money to do anything about it. Bummer!

Top 10 Places I'd LOVE to Travel
  1. Yellowstone National Park:  I've been there many times, but I can't get enough of it!  To me, it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to.

  2. Glacier National Park:  I've heard amazing things about this National Park, and the pictures are wonderful! 

  3. Banff National Park (Canada):  I've heard great things about this park, too.  It would be part of the gigantic road trip that would include Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks.   Oh, and the Ortons too.  They just don't know I'm planning them into my giant vacation yet.

  4. Sokcho, South Korea:  Derek and I lived there for a year and a half.  We didn't really know it then, but it was a major stop for tourists.  Sokcho sits right in between some of the best beaches  and one of the most famous National Parks in South Korea.  10 minutes to either one!

  5. The Trans-Siberian Railroad: Someday, Derek and I will take a huge around the world trip on a budget.  The Trans-Siberian Railroad will be one of the legs of that trip.  We'd like to take the route that goes through China, Mongolia, and Russia. 

  6. Africa, somewhere:  Anywhere in Africa would be fine.  Well, almost anywhere.  Africa's a huge place with so many different cultures and environments.  I think I'd love it all!

  7. The Oregon Coast:  This is another vacation I have planned in my head.  We've heard the Oregon coast is beautiful, and once I saw a picture of the Devil's Punchbowl I knew I had to go!  Maybe we could hitMt. Saint Helens somehow on the trip, too... that might be tricky though.  I don't think it's anywhere near the coast

  8. Arches National Park:  Another National Park I've previously been too, but I didn't have my great, amazing, wonderful camera with me.  We're definitely going again.  Oh!  And I have that cool National Parks passport thing.  It doesn't get me in for free or anything.  I just get to stamp it at every National Park I go to.

  9. St. Johns, Arizona:  This teeny, tiny town is where my Aunt, Uncle and Grandparents live.  They're really the only things in town worth seeing!  They are so fun!  And I've got to see the bathroom Derek remodeled for them earlier this year.

  10. Alaska, the whole thing:  I think I would start with a cruise--they are SO worth it--and then make my own way around to see all the other amazing things in Alaska.  Maybe I could get my blogger buddy Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit to point me in the right directions! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Morning Musings -

I'm excited for another new week.  Not because I'm doing anything important or exciting though.  I'm just happy to be one week closer to not being pregnant anymore!  It's not all bad and I'm enjoying most of it, but I am getting tired of some of the well meaning yet insulting comments like, "Oh, WOW, are you going to pop?" or "You sure are getting big," or "Are you sure you aren't having twins?"  Comments like those aren't helpful or uplifting when you officially have 6 weeks until your due date!  I guess every pregnant woman gets those around this time, right?

But there are plenty of nice people who say things like, "Look how cute you are," or "Are you getting excited?" or "Do you need any more baby things?"  I always appreciate those!  Thank you nice people!

I was pretty excited to have my brother come to Sunday School with me yesterday.  He often works on Sundays, so the times he's there are really great!  I really like it when he comes with me.  He's fun to have around.  Plus, he holds the cute babies.  I'm not a baby holder... yet, but I do like to watch them.  It would have been nice for us both to have our spouses with us, but they're both in Primary.

There are a million things I'm hoping to get done this week.  We'll see if I get to them all. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Henhouse, Awkward Family Photos.  Probably the most bizarre prom photo I've ever seen!

A Double Dose of Joo Seong-Ha on Euna Lee and Laura Ling, Ask a Korean.  I love Ask a Korean.  He's great.  This post is an excerpt from a North Korean blog.  I tend to agree with what both these bloggers say.  It's also interesting to read what a typical college lecture in North Korea would be like!

Oh, Go Fly A Kite, Cute Overload.  Sorry for linking to yet another picture... well, not really.  This one is also pretty funny!

Jessica from Color Me UnTypical posted this on her FB page this week.  It's pretty amazing that one girl can do so many accents!  

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday - My Blog

Ha! I pre-posted this with just a title fully intending to post earlier in the day. Guess that didn't happen.

So, I'm thankful for my blog today.  I know keeping a journal is really important and have felt a lot of pressure to write in a journal, but haven't done it until my blog!  For some reason, blogging keeps me interested in journaling and I don't feel so overwhelmed with the task.  I probably has a lot to do with typing rather than pen and paper.  And a blog is much cuter than a notebook.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Lazy Susan

Today's Way Back When Wednesday includes a newly made scrapbook page!!! Derek made a great lazy susan for my mom's birthday last year. We've all been enjoying it since!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Photoshop Elements

I've been enjoying Photoshop Elements lately. Probably a bit too much.  Just ask my husband how often I talk to him about digi scrapping with PSE.  So today's top ten post is...

Top 10 Things I Love About Photoshop Elements

  1. The number of free and not so free resources available.  There are tons: YouTube videos, websites, magazines, books, etc!  I don't have to find a tutorial for a similar program and then try to figure out how to use the techniques in my program. 

  2. Clipping Masks. Alt-click.  What more can you ask for?  A whole new world of template use opened up to me when I learned that trick! 

  3. Blending Modes.  I love all the different looks that these give you.  It makes digi scrapping just that much more personal

  4. Everything is Free Until Printing.  Well, almost free.  PSE isn't free by any means, but I got a really good deal on my copy, and you could pay for fonts, brushes, textures, word art, digi kits and the like, but with sites like Scrapping with the IkeaGoddess, why pay?

  5. PSE is User Friendly.  While PSE isn't exactly easy to use, it is very user friendly.  Once I figured out a few things, other things just came naturally.

  6. Editing Photos IN a Layout.  If the layout still has all it's layers, you can still do some editing to each photo individually.  This is nice because sometimes, you can't tell how much editing your photo needs until it's in with all the colorful stuff on the page.

  7. It's Easy to Upload Fonts.  This is probably true with other programs as well, but right now I only really know PSE.  All I have to do is download the font, install it on my computer, and there it is in PSE!

  8. Adobe Bridge.  Lately, mine has been acting up a little, but I still love it!  Adobe Bridge came with my PSE.  It's an organizer of sorts.  I am a very visual person.  I like to see my choices.  Bridge makes that possible.  AND I can adjust the size of the previews.  Cool!

  9. Brushes.  PSE comes with a bunch of brushes that I'm learning new and really cool ways of using.  It's also really easy to load custom brushes.

  10. I Know How to Use PSE.  Kind of lame, I know.  But I'm one of those people who will always prefer something I know, or something I learned/experienced first.  Even if the alternative is better.  Does that make me lazy?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning Musings - A Birthday Photo Scavenger Hunt

We had some great fun with our friends the Ortons last week. For Tanya's birthday, they had a photo scavenger hunt. I considered bringing my big camera, but Derek convinced me that our cell phone cameras would be perfect because they would be quicker to use.  And they were great for the scavenger hunt, but the photo quality is really bad and some of our pictures are really worth saving so I'm a little sad...  Oh well, lesson learned!!

The list the Ortons made was great, but was a little hard for just the two of us to do, so we modified a few of the things.  Here are three of the pictures

A model pose on a pedestrian bridge.
The Toyota jump high-five near a town landmark.  There weren't enough of us to do the jump and take a picture, so Derek high-fived a big clock tower thing.

Puddle jumping.  I think this is the best of all the pictures we took.  I love how itty-bitty the puddle is and how seriously Derek's jumping into it!

Derek was so great to humor me by being the subject in all the photos.  I was probably a little too bossy and/or demanding about each shot, but he was really good about it!  Thanks Derek!  You're the greatest!  I heart you so much! :D

Friday, August 7, 2009

I haven't been so good lately...

I made a goal about a year ago to blog every weekday.  At first, I was mostly interested in attracting readers and becoming a "real" blogger and a better writer.  But recently, I realized that my blog was more for me.  And I like that!  I've found my motivation for posting has been for my own record keeping and eventually to make a great big, giant blog book/scrapbook rather than to attract new readers. 

Another realization I came to was that I enjoy hanging my laundry (not the dirty stuff, that's secret!!) out to dry on my blog.  I've got nothing to hide.  I like entertaining people and making them laugh at my series of unfortunate--and fortunate--events.  Weird, huh?

This week, I've been feeling guilty because I haven't been blogging regularly and I don't have a good excuse for it.  I've just been feeling bleh about actually using my brainpower for writing, and I felt bad that I wasn't writing for my readers. Then I remembered that first and foremost, this blog is for me.  As lame as it sounds, I really like to go back and read my own blog; it makes me laugh. 

So I decided if it doesn't bother me that I haven't been writing, then I shouldn't feel guilty at all!  And now I don't.  This week has been a nice break for the blehs, but there's been lots of things happening that I need to record.  I'm promising myself that next week, I'll get back into it again!  And I've got great stuff to write about with pictures too!

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

ScrapVillage Fonts. A great free font site!!! Hooray!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Morning Musings - Is this real life?

Hey, what do you know?  A Monday Morning Musing on Monday morning!  That hasn't happened for a while!

As my pregnancy progresses, I've become very aware of my body, and it's often on my mind.  As of today, I'm approximately 32 weeks along.  Some body parts that I've become aware of I had no idea I had, or had no idea they would change to the way they are!  Sometimes I think about what-can-I-do-to-get-my-body-through-the-day, and other thoughts are just self conscious.  I know that I'm lucky, and have had it pretty easy so far.  And I'm grateful for that.  But I'm a wuss.  A big--and getting bigger--wuss! :D

So you can imagine, how grateful I was when I got up from the couch the other day and as I was walking away, Derek--who was sitting next to me on the couch--said, "You have such a sweet butt!" Or maybe you can't...  Maybe it's just me.

Before getting pregnant, comments like that were flattering, but... a little much for me most of the time.  But that day, I was so happy!  I didn't say anything right then, but I think I've thanked him for the butt comment just about everyday since then! :)

And on a completely different note, here's some pages I've recently finished!!!