mem oirs (mem'warz) 1. an autobiography 2. a record of events based on the writer's personal observation and knowledge

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

El Fin and a Sneak Peek

I finished the wreath! Whaddya think?

And... a SNEAK PEEK into a big design team project at Paper Pals. Be sure to visit the Design Team blog sometime around the new year to learn more about some limited edition kits available to YOU! More info to come!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

In Progress

I'm in the middle of creating a paper Christmas wreath-- thanks to friends Becky and Anita who inspired me with their wreaths.

I am using SEI's Holly Lane line of christmas papers that I purchased at CKC--Seattle in November.

I was drawn to the colors and paper designs, but once I got home with the kit I wasn't sure how to use them. Then I realized the colors are what I love for home decor, so that's what got me started on the wreath.

Now we'll see if I can complete it in time for the Big Day...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mysterious Ways...

My friend Carrie refers to moments in life where you KNOW God is working as "God Sightings". And she was with me tonight to share in a little "God Sighting" treat!

After a crazy day and a desire to have some time "away", I got the last-minute chance to go to the Cougar/Gonzaga game tonight. Seats for this game were coveted... and I had simply written off the chance to go.

But I got to go! And I had a great friend (Carrie) who was also free to go at the very last minute (even with us leaving two husbands and 8 children behind)!

So this was a treat. I was so thankful for the chance.

Then, the GOD SIGHTING. Carrie and I sat down in our seats, and I noticed there was one free seat available in the row directly beneath me. At my knees. Lucky me... I had a less obstructed view of the court.

No, no such luck. Here comes someone to take the seat. Wait... I recognize her... it's MY SISTER!!! My sister Suzanne (who lives up near Spokane) was sitting DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME FOR THE WHOLE GAME! I'd only hoped to text her and find a minute to track her down in the full colesium for a hug. But instead I got to spend the game next to a great friend and just up from my own sister.

What a super treat. Thanks, God.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Come Meet My Family!

Tis the season for sharing family news via christmas cards and newsletters.

But rather than writing a newsletter, I'm putting my efforts and energies into a more visual, oral, interactive and hopefully appealing version of the traditional Christmas Newsletter. After all, this IS 2008.

So, in hopes that you disagree that a full page written letter is preferential for obtaining your information about my family (if you even care at all)... I'm creating several holiday year-in-review posts over at my family's blog, Lenssen-Palousa. I will share new photos, video and information there several times between now and Christmas.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Completed Projects

It has taken awhile, but I completed a couple of the projects I started at the CKC convention in Seattle. (Thanks for the "giddyap", Heather!) Here's what I've done:

Two 12x12 layouts from the Scheming Around class-- making multiple layouts with the same basic roadmap... I liked the style of these projects. We were instructed to bring photos of particular sizes so that we could throw them onto the page as we created the layouts. There's a third layout that I haven't finished... maybe I'll post it sometime soon.

A make-and-take from the SEI booth-- it's going to be a christmas present for my M.I.L. At the booth they had it dangling on a tabletop ornament hanger... does anyone have ideas of where I could find such a darling addition for my mini album???

Ah, the satisfaction of completing something I started... onward ho!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CKC-- Seattle

Okay, as promised... some photos and info on my recent trip to Bellevue for the Creating Keepsakes scrapbook convention!!!

It was the greatest time... a girls weekend/roadtrip with 6 friends from the area... riding in a minivan... heading to Scrapbooking Heaven... woot, woot!

A little info on the photos:
Posted by Picasa

1.Friend Angela working on a layout in our class "Scheming Around" (which was sponsored by Simple Scrapbooks and taught by creative editor Wendy Smedley)--fun uses of circles in this class!

2. ME and Jennifer prepped and waiting for my first class to start-- "2008 Latest and Greatest with Basic Grey" (isn't Jennifer gorgeous? She's even wearing a new outfit she bought on our previous night's shopping spree at Bellevue Square-- oh yeah!)

3. Our "Group"... Pullman and Moscow-ites that are crazy enough to travel hundreds of miles for scrapbooking goodness...

4. A shot inside the Vendor Faire... essentially a room with 70 scrapbook stores in it. Yup. Dangerous on the pocketbook! Good thing I was saving $$$ for this one!

5. Anita and Barb chatting before our "Scheming Around" class.

6. My LOOT. I've never bought so much scrapbooking stuff in a day's time... or a year's time for that matter...

7. The projects I made. Some were "make-and-takes" at exhibitor booths, some were layouts I created in classes (including a full 20 page 8x8 album by SEI done in a one hour class!)

8. Anita and I with Mandy Douglass... she's the new Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooker of the Year. (Elizabeth Karchner was last year's winner.) Mandy's stuff will start showing up in the 2009 issues of CK.

9. A shot of the readerboard as we arrived at the Meydenbauer Center... we were so silly excited!

So, for those of you who "get this" and wish you could have joined us, plan on it next year! First weekend in November! We're there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Daddy's Turn

While Mommy had a Girls Weekend (look for a post about it soon!), it was "Daddy's Turn" to run the household for three days.

And I was impressed! And amazed. And so thankful. (Oh, and am ready to leave again soon if this is what happens while I'm away!)

I bet I can count 10 unexpected good things that happened at my house while I was away. Let's see...

1. Cooked dinner using a new recipe... using Pheasant (a first in our household).
2. The chimney swept.
3. The woodstove cleaned out.
4. Chocolate chip cookies made from SCRATCH.
5. The garage swept out.
6. A trip to the park.
7. Multiple rounds of the game Sequence for Kids.
8. Piano practiced.
9. New light fixtures installed.
10. Basketball tickets sacrificed to get kids to bed on time.

Isn't that incredible? Thanks so much, dear! I love you!

Monday, November 3, 2008

{F}ive {F}all {F}aves!

1. Scarves. Now I just need tips on HOW to wear them.
2. Grande Nonfat Pumpkin Spice Latte w/ Light Whip from 'Bucks. Mmmmmm...
3. Playing in the leaves (and great photos that come with it! Isn't this the sweetest photo of S-Bug???)
4. Scrap Camp. See other posts for more on this one! (photo from last year)
5. The privilege to vote. Have you voted yet???

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Only 354 More Days...

... until we meet again! Scrap Camp at the Palouse Divide is over, but already on the calendar for next year.

We CRIED with a friend who went through a HORRIBLE ordeal a few months back (but she is super strong about it all! You're the best, "Kelby"!) and we LAUGHED with another friend who is the best story teller ever (my stomach muscles were sore from bustin' a gut the night before) and we SCRAPPED like crazy!

I did a variety of paper crafting projects, but here's a smattering of the layouts I produced while away on my favorite weekend of each year. My main goal was to USE some older products that I've had sitting around for ages by combining them with some fun new items... a good challenge and economical too! Here's what I came up with:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can't Wait!

Tomorrow I'm headed up to the Palouse Divide to attend my favorite annual scrapbooking retreat. It's a 4 day long retreat in the beautiful Idaho mountains... here's a photo of the view while sitting at a table scrapping away!

CRAZY fun happens up there. It's the only time each year that I get to see some of these women, and we all mark our calendars a year in advance to be sure to be there.

This year we were encouraged to bring goodies to share with everyone, and so I had to share my new fave... Cinnamon Vanilla Macadamia Nuts from Safeway. I never knew a nut could be so tasty! Here's a pic of the little gift baggies I created for all of the women.
BEWARE: for those of you that are inspired to try them out... consider yourselves warned!

The digital scrapping elements I used on the tag were from a fun FREE digital kit by Cherie Mask on the Two Peas in a Bucket site-- it's called Thrilling October.

Next Scrapping Adventure... CKC-Seattle in November! My fall is filled with fun!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FREE Jessica Sprague Online Class... Oh yeah!

Check this out! We all have the chance to take a FREE online class from Jessica Sprague! Here's the info so you can sign up with me:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sneak Peek of Mya Layout

Here's just a peek at the layout I recently finished for Paper Pals. I got a few good photos of my niece Mya (who's growing every day... see her here!) and I just had to make a special layout featuring her! You can see the whole layout on the Paper Pals Design Team Blog.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Post at Paper Pals

Instead of duplicating posts w/ the hybrid pages I'm making for my LSS, Paper Pals, I think I'll just let you know here on my blog when I've added a new post to the Paper Pals Design Team blog right HERE. This time I posted a Pumpkin Patch layout. So check it out if you're interested in seeing what I'm creating!

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Big Boy" Room...

We've been making gradual changes to my little guy's bedroom as he's transitioned from a nursery to a "big boy" bedroom, and the most recent was the completion of wooden letters on the wall.

I'd seen ribbon hanging so many of these things to a wall, but there was simply no ribbon to be found that matched my son's personality. SO-- to the hardware store and dollar store I went! I bought some links of chain and two dollar store race cars with cool wheels (bummer... 5-letter name required TWO cars...) and this is what I came up with:

The best part...

Not even one whole hour after I was finished and Grant was playing with a three-wheeled car, he decided to "fix" the car. Next time I find him he's pulled a dining room chair onto his full size bed, crawled up on it and pulled one of the wheels off the wall to re-attach to the car. Seriously, I'm surprised we didn't have an emergency room visit with that stunt.

Then today, he continued to prove that he's ALL BOY. I had the van in the driveway, windows open but doors locked. Grant likes to play inside the vehicle WAY TOO MUCH to risk leaving doors unlocked. When I noticed the quiet (and all Moms know there's trouble then!), I checked on him... but all I saw was his red wagon next to the van. Pretty soon I heard him, and realized he was inside the van... but the doors were still locked! Then I thought like an almost three year old BOY thinks... and discovered that a little red wagon was in just the right height and position to allow one to crawl in through the open window of a van!

Clever, he is. In trouble, I am.

Friday, September 19, 2008


That's one word for it.

I'm flattered. Humbled. Amazed. And REALLY excited!

On a whim (and after some really great encouragement from the store manager... Thanks, Shawna!) I decided to submit my scrapbook design work to my LSS, Paper Pals.

And officially today,I was introduced as a new member on their Design Team! I have 6 months to use their products to CREATE, PLAY, ENJOY, and (a little nervous about this one) DISPLAY my work at their store. Wowzaa. Did I already say that?

So, keep your eye out for more stuff from me on my blog plus on the Paper Pals Design Team Blog. And you'll also have the chance to see the talented work of other local women on design team with me who are designing some crazy cool things.

Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To Pay or Not to Pay...

That is the question.

Tomorrow is school portrait day. Eck.

For a mom who's constantly shooting my kids (photos of them, that is...), I have a hard time wanting to spend money on the traditional school photo. Tomorrow's photo shoot will consist of 5 or 10 seconds spent with my child (times two because both of my girls are at school now)to capture a "genuine" smile. They'll be herded like little calves and given as much personal attention as a calf being branded.

Okay, so that's a bit morbid, but really... do the photographers have any interest in the internal workings and true personalities of my beautiful girls? Not really. And I guess I wouldn't either if I had the job of photographing hundreds of kids every day (against some NASTY lookin' backgrounds!?! Seriously. Let's upgrade from 1985.).

As a mom, I most cherish the photos that show more of my children than just a forced toothy grin. (And I found one of these classic photos of me when I was about 5 years old that I figured would be fun to share. Yep. I used to be blonde. And do you just love the little gingham dress I'm wearing? My mom made it... the talented woman. And my sister had one to match, too!)

But because the grandparents have photo frames ready and I rarely order actual candid prints anymore (they mostly remain as digital files on my computer), I think I'll shell out the bucks to get some prints to pass to family. And I confess, they're framed here at my house too. But over the years I've come to realize that most my money at formal portrait studios is wasted. And my exploration with my own point and shoot is really where the magic happens.

Say Cheese!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pie and Pals

Mmmmm... gotta share!

My great Aunt Betty of New Zealand once made this pie for me, and I just had to have the recipe. The combination of pears, sour cream and almond extract (oh, and some sugar and butter too...) create one of my favorite flavors in a fruit pie. Here's the recipe-- try it sometime!

Creamy Pear Pie
From Aunt Betty in New Zealand

Mix together:
3-4 lg. pears (Bartlett good), peeled and diced
1/3 c. sugar
2 T flour or tapioca
1 egg slightly beaten
Add and place in unbaked pie crust:
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
¼ c. flour
2 T. melted butter
½ tsp. almond extract
On top place mixture of:
2 T. brown sugar
¼ c. flour
2 T. melted butter
Bake 400 degrees for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350
for 45 minutes more.

And, since I was at risk of eating the whole pie myself, I decided to share it with my dinner guests. We had the pleasure of hosting friends from "way back"... Katie K (my GPB sorority pledge sister and birthday-sharing buddy)with her husband Mike and their adorable kiddos Lauren and Will... and Angela H (best friend ALL through elementary and secondary school years) with her hubby Mathew and sweet chillins Jacob and Chesney. They'd all been at the UI football game (Go Vandals!) and made time to come hang out with us and share a meal. Ah... fun times and great pie!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Sugar Bowl is Open for Biz!!!

And you better get there before winter comes when ice cream just doesn't sound as good!
As a first day of school treat, one of my greatest friends CARRIE and her five fantastic kiddos came up with the plan to meet at the newly opened ice cream shop.

After doing my "photo shoot" of their signage with the logo I created, I got to sample one of their Custom Creations. I forget the actual name of it... but it was choc full o' brownies, fudge, peanut butter and chocolate ice cream... mmmm.... sweet chocolatey goodness! I took a picture of the deliciousness... and her cute apron too! I want one!
The kids enjoyed their treats too, and were on a crazy sugar high for hours after. Yoikes!

Fun with Photography

I always like to try new things with my camera, and I had a perfect opportunity the other day.

My girls were jumping on the trampoline at G&G's house. But the best view for the photo was looking directly into the sun. So, instead of sacrificing the great view by facing a different direction, I decided to GO WITH IT and take some blackout shots right into the sun. I think they turned out really fun! What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Picture Frame for Mya

I saw this project on a scrapbooking show and just had to try it out for my new niece, Mya. Isn't it great to have four spots for photos that can be added over time yet the whole frame is pretty enough to leave up as artwork until we get the precious photos as she grows???

Thanks to some professional advice from my friend Anita and some great product from my LSS- Paper Pals, I think the frame turned out really great!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ice Cream, You Scream...

We all scream for ice cream!

One of the best families in the world (and really great friends too) are soon to be opening a new ice cream store at a local mall here. We're so excited for them... plus we'll get to enjoy some sweet creamy yumminess!!! The store is called The Sugar Bowl, and it will feature mix-ins to go with their Dreyer's Ice Cream... Coldstone-style. Mmmm... drooling on my keyboard...

ANYWAY, our friends that are opening the store entrusted me to design a logo for their new ice cream shop. I've been doing various revisions through the summer, but I believe we have a final draft that I can now share with you!So if you can... visit the Sugar Bowl in Moscow, get yourself a yummy treat, see my artwork "up in lights", and say a friendly HELLO to our friends the owners!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I like to check out Jessica Sprague's blog and web sites frequently as she has some great tips on using Photoshop software. Recently she posted a fantastic way to add a little spark to your good photos making them GREAT! She calls it "ShaZAM", and if you check it out, you'll see why!

Here's a photo I took and applied her techniques to it.
See the BEFORE and AFTER? Now I'm one step closer to getting fabulous photos like Jessica takes!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Registered to Vote Yet???

Two things I'm passionate about: Voting and Francesca Battistelli's music. Here's an article I'm sharing that promotes both. Take a look.

Election 2008 Theme Song
By Liza Porteus Viana
Jul 2nd 2008 8:49AM
Filed Under:eDemocrats, Republicans, 2008 President, 2008 Senate, 2008 House

It often seems there are few things agreed on when it comes to politics. But this year - whether it be the historical support Barack Obama has received on the campaign trail, the distance John McCain is trying to put between himself and President Bush on many issues to convince us a vote for him is not a vote for "more of the same," or the ousting of many congressional incumbent Republicans around the country - I think we can all agree that "CHANGE" is a good a theme as any in this year's elections.

So if any of you Democratic or Republican convention planners need a good theme song this year, I've got one for you: "It's Your Life" by 23-year-old Francesca Battistelli.

Battistelli, a Native New Yorker who now lives in Nashville, is like a breath of fresh air amid a political process becoming more filled with rancor every day. "It's Your Life" was influenced, in part, by the importance of this year's election and the need for everyone to get up and get involved in changing their own lives and the state of our country. She has a debut performance in New York City Tuesday, July 8. Details after the jump.

Here's what Battistelli tells Political Machine:

"Voting is so important, and it distinguishes our country from others in the world where so many people don't have a voice. It's a way to be heard and contribute to creating a better future on a local and national level.

"We so often complain about one thing or another as far as the government is concerned, but many of us don't do anything about it. Health care, the environment, education--the list seems endless. But if you're not willing to stand up and make your voice heard by voting, you shouldn't really be complaining.

"'It's Your Life' is about using your voice, your abilities, and your life to stand for what you believe in. Your vote could turn the tide of the election. One small step could change the course of your life. It's your life, what are you going to do?"

Battistelli's debut performance will be next Tuesday, July 8, at 5 p.m. The full invitation can be found here. The live performance will also be webcast. made a splash on the political scene with his "Yes We Can" song and video - the viral nature of the Internet had the video, which echoed Obama themes of hope and change, bouncing around thousands of home and work computers in no time. He also had star power on his side. Battistelli is on MySpace, Facebook, and everywhere else her handlers can promote her.

This reads like a promo, I know, but the song really is good, and she has a great voice. And, of course, it might be a nice change of pace from the usual U2, Bruce Springsteen (not that I don't love them) and other known quantities at this year's conventions. Listen to her. Show up next Tuesday. Make up your own mind.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Couple New Digi-layouts

Just have a couple of fun digital layouts that I've just finished up...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm Letting Go

Okay... long post, but a big story!

I've found a new christian artist that I absolutely LOVE-- Francesca Battistelli! I've been groovin' and singin' along to her tunes this week, but really took one to heart today.

It all started when my husband suggested we drive to Steptoe Butte with the family today. I made some grumpy comments at his suggestion... driving to a hill in the middle of nowhere isn't my thing. But, knowing my husband would love it and so would my kids, so we packed a lunch and loaded up the truck.

To keep my spirits up, I popped in my Francesca EP and started really listening to the words of "I'm Letting Go". Check it out for youself, it's a catchy tune!

When we had almost reached the top of the butte, we noticed some guys w/ parachutes preparing to paraglide. No way!?! We were actually going to witness something amazing from the top of this hill in the middle of nowhere! It looked like so much fun, but such a risk, too. Here's some photos:

So... things began to come full circle. The lyrics... the paragliding... a decision I've been contemplating...

How are they connected? Well, first some more about "the decision".

I've been a stay at home mom for 4 years. Recently I've been feeling the pull to get back into the workforce-- mainly to help pay for GAS and groceries. Ugh.

During my "stay at home" time, I've kept myself extremely busy at my church in various children and family ministries (as well as my favorite times singing with the praise band). I've loved serving, and feel that God has called me to work with families at the church and in our community to have safe, fun, faith-based activities together.

So when a new opportunity to lead the mom's group at EBC came up, I pushed the idea aside knowing I was starting a job hunt.

But my heart kept turning toward the group. Could I actually do it? I've never been a leader of a christian study group... and am I a good enough christian and mom to set an example to these other godly women? Do I have the time to put my best effort into the group? Will taking it on be good for my family? It seems it's a clear direction for God's will for me... but is the risk worth it?

Now... back to the paragliding. Sure, there is a serious risk involved in throwing yourself off the top of a rocky hill, but I get the feeling that once those men were airborne their view of the Palouse was even more glorious than when standing on the road at the top of the butte. So was their risk worth it? You bet!

And now the tie-in of the lyrics from her song:

My heart beats, standin' on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge.
Like an acrobat, there's no turning back...

I'm letting go
of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I'm losing control of my destiny

It feels like I'm falling
and that's what it's like to BELIEVE

So I'm letting go...

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace...

The fear of the unknown, beyond my comfort zone

giving in to YOUR gravity...
knowing YOU are holding me...
I'm not afraid!

Okay God. I'm listening. Those were MY plans of getting a job because I just didn't think we could live without more income... not Your plans. No job opportunities have popped up, but a great chance to further Your kingdom has come up. And I'm going to take it. I'm going to take that leap of faith. And I trust that You're going to catch me!