McCain VS Obama

If you're undecided on who to vote for, or just want to play around, take this little quiz. It will give you a better idea on which way you're leaning...

How to Make Beautiful Wall Art

I came across this on SugarDoodle when I was looking for Conference Packets. It looked like something I might need to take upon myself and do one of these days. Check it out:

How to Make Beautiful (and Affordable) Wall Art
by Emily Norton from the Little Window Shoppe

What you Need to Get Started: (All materials may be obtained at your local craft store)

Styrofoam: 1″ x 12″ x 36″ blocks of Styrofoam

Other Materials:

Scrapbook paper: 12″ x 12″ (or 12″ x 12″ Photos or 12″ x 12″ squares of fabric)
Ribbon, 1″ or 7/8″ matte ribbon (you will probably need about 12 yds)
Sharp pencil
Serrated knife
Thick, white craft glue or Elmer’s Cement Glue
Straight pins (optional)
Nine Sawtooth picture hangers or foam adhesive squares
1-2 hours to complete

{Photo Steps by DIY Maven from Curbly}

1. If you want to include photos in your collage, decide which photos you want to use and then crop them to 12″ x 12″ at 300 dpi. You can also go to a photo lab if you need a little help getting your pictures formatted just right. Coordinating colors, black and white photos or sepia tones seem to work best so that your colors do not clash.

2. Choose matching colored designer scrapbook papers at your local craft store. (Or visit these links to find cute paper: Luxe Classic Black or Black Berry Paper).

3. Buy 12″ x 36″ x 1″ blocks of Styrofoam and cut them into 12″ x 12″ blocks with a utility knife, be sure to keep the lines as straight and perfect as possible. You may want to use foam board for this instead, but if you like the depth, Styrofoam would be best.

4. Set the photos and papers how you want them. Spread white craft glue on the foam square (or Elmer’s cement glue may be better - this is supposed to help keep your paper from rippling), center your 12″ x 12″ paper or photo, and adhere it to the foam. Repeat, covering all foam squares. Once you have glued, press the Styrofoam upside down against a flat surface to obtain good adhesion.

5. Pin or glue your ribbon around the edges. You’ll want to pull it as tight as possible and once you pin it, you may want to color the pins to match the ribbon.

6. Finally, after it’s dry, attach it to your wall: You can either use a small saw-tooth picture hook for the back of each Styrofoam block, or if you want to skip the nails altogether you can attach foam adhesive squares to each corner and press them onto the wall. Foam corners don’t adhere very well to Styrofoam, so you may need to glue them to the Styrofoam for extra strength.

My inspiration and tutorial information for this project came from two helpful sources. The top photo is courtesy of Myra from We Make Three and Moon and Back Studios. I loved her personal touch to this wall art collage with her family photos included and I thought that her hands-on tutorial was really thorough. The second photo comes from Dow Crafts, where they also include a basic tutorial and list a variety of additional craft projects that you can make out of Styrofoam.

Wedding Bells

My younger brother, Duncan finally did it! Not only is he the youngest in our family, but he's the last of the 10 of us kids to get married. And, might I add, we're all still married! That's quite an accomplishment!
We got to spend a week in Alpine at my Mom's house enjoying the old stompin' grounds and being amazed at how much everything has changed. I did miss seeing my cat, Fluffy. He died within the last few months. He was such a good kitty and LOVED to give head butts. The kids LOVED playing at Grandmas house. It's huge (it had to be to house ten kids) and has a fun loft to hide out and play in, and she has a great big yard to run around in. My younger brother Dallin and his family live in the basement apartment at my Mommas, where we once lived. Their place was a hit too, since they have a big LCD TV and a Wii. I did have a couple of Dr. Mario tournaments with my sis, Deb. We used to play a lot when I lived with her for a summer while working at Bullocks in Northridge, CA.
It was fun to see everyone's families and catch up, although with so many, it can be a challenge too. I wish we had spent one more week there. There wasn't enough time! All the cousins loved spending time with each other and we loved watching them. What a great group of kids!
Duncan and Kaitlyn got married on Thursday, Sept. 18th in the SLC Temple. They are so perfect together and I'm so blessed that I get to enjoy them living up here in Bremerton, not too far away.
Salt Lake City Temple:

Yay! We did it!!!

One of Duncan's goof-ball friends:

There was some competing going on for Apollo's attention.
So many ladies, so little time...

Some of the older nieces and nephews:

After the wedding pics were taken, there was a luncheon across from the Governer's Mansion in Salt Lake, catered by my Mom's friend, Connie Zarbock. They did a wondeful job.

Later on, the wedding reception was held in Lindon at a place called My Noahs. It was amazingly beautiful! Parts of the ceiling opened up into the sky. They had a string quartet playing and more amazing food. Kaitlyn's Momma was so sweet and welcoming (I know where Kaitlyn gets it from). Also, on the bottom floor there was a big room that had a raquetball court in it and a computer with internet and a fridge full of drinks and pizza that was delivered. We didn't see much of the nieces and nephews that evening.

My Noahs:
Duncan wanted to honor our Dad by setting up this special tribute table. It was placed close to the entrance as people would walk in. He passed away at the young age of 54 after suffering from a stroke. Duncan was only 8 years old. They were spittin' images of each other. If you're wondering why there's a stack of graham crackers, it's because that was one of my Dad's favorite things to eat. My siblings have been known to put graham crackers and milk at my Dad's grave site.

Greeting guests:

Beautiful Wedding cake:
There are better pics on Steve's laptop so when I get the time, I'll post more.

Craig Keeps Making Progress, Yay!

Here's the latest update about Craig Brown, my amazing neighbor. It was sent in an e mail to me from a good friend of Craig's. I do miss seeing Craig since he's moved back over to Seattle again. It's more of a challenge to visit. It might not be too much longer until he gets to come back over here again. Yay!!!
Read below:

Hi Everyone

Its been a while since I have sent out an up-date on Craig's progress and its always nice to send out good words and information on his condition.

We have some really super improvement news on our good friend Craig. It was reported today that he walked 190 feet on his own with only a safety belt and two attendants, this is great news since Craig has only been in the intensive therapy program for two weeks and has Approx. a little more then two weeks to go in the program. He has learned to set up by himself and get in and out of bed with little or no assistance.

We have learned that most of Craig's lack of functions is caused from, Brain Damage, Spinal Cord Injury and Brachial Plexus, to learn more about (Brachial Plexus) click on the site shown below:

Craig is making superior progress in re-learning common skills again and we all support his tiring efforts, as his therapy sessions are very long and difficult every day, except Sunday's when he can rest and relax only to start another week of intensive workouts.

Craig's spirits are high and has a good sense of humor in spite of his injuries. Last week several of his friends got together and we called him and everyone had a chance to talk to him and wish him well and encouraged him to continue his fight to improve. Just incredible the how far he has come form that awful day in July when I saw him after the fall in the Intensive Care Unit at Harborview.

I went to visit Craig on Friday on my way back form Yakima, he was resting peacefully after a hard day of therapy. He woke up as I approached his bed, he was in good spirits and rather talkative so I lend an ear.
It is better to listen then talk in many cases, this way you get a better understanding on his progress. I could not stay very long as I had already been up for some 14 hours and was as tired as Craig after his hard day. Its always a joy to be able to visit with him and see how well he's coming along. I gave him many words of encouragement from all his friends and said I would call him on Sunday when the gang got together for breakfast.

You can send messages of encouragement to Craig at: or

Craig is in room 453. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


Birthday Songs

This website will tell you what the number #1 song was on the day you were born.

Here's mine: Locomotion by Grand Funk Railroad

Here's Steve's: Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler

Here's Sarah's: All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo:

Embedding wasn't allowed for this video, so here's the link. I love this song:

Here's Sascha's: Maria Maria by Santana (another good song)

Apollo's song I haven't even heard of:

This Is Why I'm Hot by Mims.


Ever since Apollo was born I've given him the pet name of Pun'kin. He answers to that name as well as he answers to Apollo. So one day we were looking through one of his picture books that shows all different foods, shapes, animals, etc... He would point to a picture and I would say what it was. So when it came to this particular page, he pointed to the pumpkin and when I said, "pumpkin," he just laughed and laughed. He would point to something else and then right back to the pumpkin again so he could hear me say it again while laughing each time I would say "pumpkin." He thought that was so hilarious that this big orange, round object could have the same name as his.

What A Good Boy Am I

Apollo and I had been out and about shopping all morning which usually doesn't happen at that time of day because I like him to take his morning nap, and then later, his afternoon nap. But since I needed to pick up grandpas medication I decided to get some shopping done while I was out. Apollo was very well behaved the whole time. Part of the reason could have been the smarties I let him snack on toward the end of the shopping trip.

We hadn't had lunch so I stopped at J in the B for a chicken sandwich. He was starting to nod off as we were in the drive-thru and then perked up to eat. I wanted to stop by my friend Cami's house on our way home to say thanks for keeping an eye on our cat while we were gone. We ended up chatting for quite a while at her front door. I was sure Apollo was asleep in the car by now. When I got back into the car I turned around and there he sat , wide awake with a huge giggly smirk on his face which was all covered in plum, and he was holding a half-eaten plum in his hands. I couldn't help but laugh. While I was chatting with Cami he had somehow reached down into one of the grocery sacks to snag the bag of plums. Silly Pun'kin!

Visiting Craig

Craig continues to make progress each day. He did make a trip over to Seattle a few days ago to meet with his surgeon and have x-rays taken. Apparently it was a hot (Craig is like an oven and gets hot easily) and long (ferry over and ferry back again) excursion. Joanie accompanied him in the back of the ambulance for the whole trip. The x-rays showed that his neck is crooked. He'll need another test done to see in detail more. Hopefully it's something that can be fixed. He always seems to be leaning toward the right whenever I've visited him, although today they actually had him up straight for a change. Anyway, he's eating three meals a day now which is great because he'll be able to have the stomach feeding tube removed as soon as he can keep his caloric intake up to a certain amount each day. They have been helping him up to use the bathroom as well. When I went in today to visit he was wearing a patch on one eye. The reason is because he's seeing double which is bothersome for him. The patch seems to help. I'm sure the medication (muscle relaxants and pain meds) probably contributes to the double-vision.

Also, he let me know that he was in a weird position earlier with his legs totally off the bed on one end and his head upside down on the other. I thought maybe he was speaking a random thought (which happens on occasion) but when the nurse came in while I was there to help him sit up to eat, she let me know that sure enough, he was all skiddywampus on the bed earlier. Apparently he wasn't able to reach the nurse "call button" when he had fallen over so he started yelling out for help. His roommate heard him and pushed his own button so the nurses could come help Craig. I wish I had been there earlier to help out but I'm glad everything worked out okay. He's quite the trooper. He thought he could slide his legs off the bed and sit up, but realized it didn't work that way. I hope he obeys the nurses orders and calls for help before he decides to move around like that again. Anyway, I got to feed him his dinner, which I haven't had the chance to do yet. I'm glad I was there to do that. I fed him about a quarter of the calzone and a few bites of salad before he decided he was finished. He did want his cookie for dessert though. Sarah and Sascha were with me to visit and got to go help themselves to the snack station which the nurse informed them about. They had an apple and hot chocolate. I think they wished they knew about that perk sooner since they've come with me several times before to visit.

Before I left, Craig told me that he knew how I must feel because he used to visit a friend who was in a similar facility, and was always glad when it was time to go. I let him know that he couldn't be more further from the truth and that I wished I could've stayed longer and that I always love coming to visit.

What a wonderful man Craig is and to see him so anxious to get out of bed when he can't is heartbreaking. I feel that he's becoming more aware of his condition and being the worker bee that he is, it's extremely frustrating for him. He hasn't been much of a TV watcher, or crossword puzzler, or card player, etc... I know he wishes he were working in his wood shop or playing with his cameras. I wish I had a magic wand to make things all better again. It still seems like a bad dream and that I'll wake up one day and see Craig out front walking Coconut around the cul-de-sac again. My heart goes out to Craig and Joanie and their families. What a challenging time! I know that Joanies son and his wife are expecting a baby and day now (first grandbaby!) and that Craigs son and fiance' are getting ready for their wedding, and Joanie's trying to hold the fort down on her own, take care of Coconuts health and her own, and is having to deal with some other new issues. Please keep praying for their whole family. I know they can use all the prayers they can get in dealing with these challenging times. We love you guys!!!

On a lighter note:
What's all that laundry doing in the hallway (how embarrassing for me to show this!)?

Hey, who are you calling laundry?

Some cute pics of Coconut when I was babysitting her:

My Sweet Pea

Babies are especially sweet while they're sleeping. It makes you just want to eat them up! Sascha insisted on taking this picture of Apollo. I'm glad I let him. He is usually in his crib while he's sleeping but on this particular occasion he fell to sleep in the car. It wasn't quite time for him to go to bed for the night so we let him rest a little on the couch and then woke him up.

Lately Apollo has been showing signs of separation anxiety. If he hears me say that I need to go to the bathroom, he immediately runs after me and makes sure he gets to come in too. Also, if he ever sees me head for the door to go downstairs he does the same. He doesn't always get his way though.
Here's some books that Apollo LOVES. Whenever he takes site of one of these books he squeals and yells, "yeah!" The author is David A. Carter. I would eventually love to get the whole collection. They're fun pop-up books. These three are the ones that I have: