Sunday, August 31, 2008

Are they improved or just different?

Its one thing to just be playing around, but I want to sell these as prints and cards... SOOO, what do you think. Which would you be more likely to buy? I've been second guessing myself since my hubby doesn't seem to like the "swirly's" like I do.















Friday, August 29, 2008

My newest hat, computer graphics guru.

We all wear our many hats. A few of mine include Mom, wife, daughter, niece, taxi driver, nurse, seamstress, gardener, and artist.

Well, I have one to add to the list. Check out what I can do with the right program on the computer!!

I can take this























and turn it into THIS!


Next up, this sweet angel needed an environment fit for her halo...














I think this does quite well. ;)

And last up, my favorite accomplishment so far on photoshop, I took this . . .












and turned it into this!!


I LOVE this tree!!! I've even listed it on etsy even though its not my usual style because it just turned out so great. Feedback would be welcome!! What do you think?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What was I thinking?

So, school began last week as you know. So did the spreading of millions of germs. My goose stayed home from school on Friday with a stomach bug, which then passed on to Sweetie for a lovely sunday of sickness.

The question is, why in the world did I think we were done?

Poor Tank woke up with her turn at 2am last night. We're going to have a lazy movie day together. I'm thinking "Enchanted" and maybe Mary Poppins. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And it begins... school that is.



I can't believe its really that time again. Goose and Sweetie had their first day of school today. Goose is in 3rd grade and Sweetie is in 1st. If I hadn't been babysitting this morning, I think I would have cried. All my kids like to help with the baby, but Sweetie is a very natural mother. She holds and loves him in a way that he likes it too! She is also Tank's playmate every day. They play house together, polly pockets, little people etc. Hmm... I guess I'm losing my babysitter in a way, lol! But enough whining by me, the kids had a GREAT day at school. So far they love their teachers and Goose's best friend is in his class. What could be better. They were excited to get off the bus and tell me all about it.
What can I say, they grow up too fast.

Our last summer fling

Ok, I'm a little slow on getting the pictures on here, but last week we went to Wisconsin Dells and we had a BLAST!! It was probably one of our best vacations ever. We had the added bonus of bringing my parents and my sister and her husband along, so we had extra hands to help with my kids. We spent day one swimming at a great hotel, as well as taking a "Duck" ride and go-kart run.(above is probably one of my favorite pictures EVER of Goose)Day 2 has no pics, because we were too busy having fun at Noah's ark. (That and none of us remembered to bring the camera. small detail) The kids loved the play area (see illustration below), and everyone took turns going on the "big rides". I was SOOOO grateful to have some extra hands along to help us out. THANKS MOM & DAD AND KELLI & JONATHAN!!!Day 3 was just our little family. We played again at the hotel pool before heading home.
We also went to see Wall-E as a last summer vacation fling, but I have to ask, why didn't anyone tell me this movie stunk? I have say, I hadn't heard ANYTHING about it, but let me be the one to tell you, don't bother. At least that's my opinion. I felt like I was sort of being preached to about all the garbage we produce and the lifestyles we live leading to obesity. Add that to Tank's crying through nearly the whole movie, and it was not a fun experience. (first she was sad because wall-e was lonely, then because the new friend starting blasting him, then it was scary . . . you get the point).

Anyway, to sum things up, we had an awesome time at the dells and are trying already to figure out when we can go back, and how we can have an extra set of helpers again. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

If you say it enough, people will believe.


I've come to the conclusion that my darling little pink Tank has a hard time figuring out what to talk to adults about. It all started near the beginning of the summer. Tank told one of my friends who was over that:

"My Mom makes the best mac and cheese in the world."

Not too long later, the nursery leader at church told me that she had made the same comment to her. She asked me what my secret was.

"Uh, the blue box?"

On another occasion my kids were lucky enough to have a sleepover with all of their cousins. They were all in the same room, so you can imagine the mayhem. When my sister-in-law went in to check on them, Tank was the last one awake, and she told her, "My Mom makes the best mac and cheese in the world." yes, yes, now go to sleep.

Pretty much every adult or child she comes into contact is told about my infamous mac 'n cheese. Whenever i'm asked about my secret, I divulge the truth... buy kraft macaroni and cheese, then follow the directions on the box.

So the story continues. Last week a few of my kids cousins met up at my parents house to play. We thought we would be eating lunch together, so I made a box of mac n cheese. The other family had already eaten when they got there, so we reheated it for dinner. As I'm sure you can all agree, reheated mac n cheese is just not quite as good as the first time, but all the kids had some of "Cheryl's famous" and enjoyed it.

My sister in law made some mac n cheese for her kids a day or two later and just told me this GREAT conclusion to the story. Apparantly her oldest, who is 9, took one bite of that mac n cheese and asked her, "So how does Aunt Cheryl make Mac n Cheese?"

I laughed so hard I cried. Tank got to her. Now I just have to figure out how she got programmed with that and reprogram her to tell everyone something that will work to my advantage. Something like, "My Mom makes the most beautiful art" or something like that...

In the mean time, anyone want to come over for some of the "best mac n cheese in the world"?

Friday, August 8, 2008

and the fridge *was* stinky

Just a quick note today. Our power came on Wednesday night after about 72 hours without. We pretty much lost everything in the refrigerator, it was warm. The freezer was about as cold as our fridge should have been, so we lost most of that too. A heap of garbage and an expensive trip to the grocery store later . . . that problem is solved. Unfortunately, the crawlspace had about 10 inches of standing water in it, so we think our furnace was damaged. The last time our crawl flooded, it was $700 before our furnace would start. Of course, that was in the dead of winter. At least we have a month or so before it is vital we fix it.

*sigh*

But, on the bright side, we were not swept up by a tornado, right?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I sit in darkness.


Ok, not really. However, it makes you want to read more doesn't it? Monday night a nasty storm came through the Chicago area. Here's my version of the story.
My family and I were all walking peacefully through Costco on Monday night. Picking up a few diapers and other necessities. We walked right by a generator for $1000. If we had anywhere near that amount available to us at the moment, we may have been tempted. As we continued around the store, I heard what I thought sounded like a tornado siren. However, no one else seemed to be noticing the sound. We continued shopping. 2 minutes later, I turned to Benson and said, that *IS* a tornado siren and its really creeping me out, we need to go. So, we checked out. As we were walking out, I asked the nice man who highlights my reciept if the sound really was a tornado siren. He said yes, I think its bad out west. It was still clear and light as we continued to walk out the door. Then I turned around.
I've seen blue skies, red skies, purple, orange and even ominous green skies. The sky behind us was none of the above. The only color I would describe it as is BLACK. And I could tell it was coming up on us FAST. So, I grabbed the girls hands and said, in my calmest "I'm actually scared senseless" voice said, "ok, lets run to the car". We jumped in, got the purchases thrown in the back, and buckled in just in time for the rain to start coming down . . . sideways. My poor little sweetie is just horribly scared of storms anyway. This was NOT helping. We sat in the car at the parking lot of Costco for about 20 minutes. My kids all took turns saying prayers. As images of the movie "Twister" shot through my mind, I said my own prayers too. After the 20 minutes was up, we decided we could see well enough to start the venture home. The lightning show was more than just a little spectacular. It was just stunning. As we drove home, I wondered if I would have a home to go to, or if our large old trees had survived.
If you watched the news, you know there were 3 tornado's that touched down with this storm, and none were near my home. (thank heaven) The lightning knocked out power to nearly 600,000 homes, including mine. We all slept by candlelight that night. Let me remind you, this storm was monday, and today is wednesday. We are currently still without power at my home. I am lucky enough to have my parents living close by, and they kept power... so we've set up camp over here now. Hopefully power will be restored soon and we can go home to clean things up.
In the mean time, I'm sure grateful that no one was hurt. I'm grateful our car was not swept away by a tornado from Costco's parking lot. (maybe that's implied in my first statement) I'm grateful my kids know to say prayers when they are scared. I'm grateful for the knowledge this has left me with about how much more prepared I need to be in case of an emergency. I'm grateful my house is standing, even if it is with a stinky fridge full of rotten food, and standing water in the crawlspace. And I'm especially grateful for my parents and their generosity because I might not feel *quite* as grateful if I was stuck in my powerless home for the last few days.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Reminiscing

This time of year always brings my mind to the City of Joseph Pageant that was performed in Nauvoo for many, many years. I made so many friends there, gained a testimony of Christ there, and met my husband there. Guess I have good reason to love the place. :) We would go down to Nauvoo, IL and learn the dances and everything in less than a week, then perform for the next week. Let me also reminise over the weather in August in Nauvoo, hot, muggy, hot, hot and humid. I always stayed at what is now the Joseph Smith Academy. No air conditioning either. Cold showers and industrial fans were my friends.


Just before "rolling down" for the second half of the pose. This one always caused bruises.

like these...

1995Blast off! Somehow, I loved being thrown. Of course, I was lucky enough to always be caught on the other end. I loved the dramatic "oooh!" from the audience. :)

1996 The pyramids were always spectacular! Don't bother looking for Benson, he is surely in the back ready to catch the girls at the top, he had a reputation for never dropping a girl.

1996 My partner that year was awesome...


1996 But I sort of had a crush on this other guy. :) (can you find us?) We always had to sqeeze a large number of us into a small place to get our makeup done. It was a great time to bond.

1997 Sealed the deal for us. We got married a year later.

In 1999, we went back to perform in the pageant.


Even though there is a 1 foot height difference, we got to dance as partners.



We always thought we would go back someday to perform in the pageant with our own family, but 2004 was announced to be the last year of the City of Joseph Pageant. I understand there is a new "Nauvoo" pageant, but I will always remember the City of Joseph, and miss it this time of the year when we performed.