Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Invisible Mom (a must read for all moms!)...just got this in my email & wanted to share

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe ..

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.

It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Christmas Card Workshop

All these cards use CTMH's Jingle Creative Basics paper set.
Template is from the Wishes card workshop.
Colors are Juniper, Tulip, & Creme Brulee.
I used multiple stamp sets--Holiday Trinkets, Santa's List, Holiday Warmth, Snow Friends, Card Chatter-Christmas, Jingle Borders, All Decked Out

Guests made 5 each of the 10 templates in the Wishes workshop.

I apologize for the unclear pictures--I took them quickly as I was putting them in the envelopes and didn't realize how blurry & dark a couple of them turned out.  Now they are in the envelopes, ready to be mailed, and I can't retake the pictures! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hurry! CTMH is having a Holiday HeyDey Clearance Sale!

Visit my website ( to view exclusive Close to My Heart products at deep discounts...up to 50-80% off!  Click on "Shop Online" and then on "Clearance Sale."

Shop early for the best selection!

Hurry--sale ends Thursday 17 December or while supplies last!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A few recent projects...

This simple card uses the For Every Occasion stamp set (for the sentiment) & the Nature's Vein (leaf).  Techniques include scoring & sanding, & the "rock & roll" stamping method (on the leaf).
Colors are Bamboo, black, & cranberry.  Patterned paper is Silhouette.
The leaf is adhered w/ foam pop-dots for added dimension.

This card uses the Sweet Home paper, a big pinks paper flower, & a dyed paper flower.  Flowers are held on w/ a bigger brad.
Stamp set is from Say it in Style.

This lay-out design is from the Reflections book.
Paper is from the Twitterpated pack.
Leaves are from Nature's Vein stamp set & the journaling block is from Notice the Details (the Dec. 2009 stamp of the month...only available Dec. 1-31, 2009!)

Close-up of the left page

Close-up of the folded "paper ribbon"
held in place w/ a Colonial White edge anchor.

Close-up of the right page

Close-up of the journaling block, inspired by a fellow consultant (Shannon M.)

This card template is from the Wishes Card Confidence program
Paper is Twitterpated.
Stamp set is Thank You.
Accessories are Chocolate Mini-Medley Accents (tiny paper flowers & brads), chocolate eyelet, natural hemp & crystal blue waxy flax.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stop the spread of H1N1 virus...

The wellness company I work with carries the only EPA-approved botanical disinfectant on the market...and it has just been released that their natural disinfectant kills the H1N1 (swine flu) virus!

Get proactive against the spread of this virus!

Scary...did you know...?

Pesticides found in Umbilical Cords

In one study, an average of 200 chemicals and pollutants, including a number of pesticides – many known to be carcinogens or developmental toxins – were found in the blood of umbilical cords.

( Ref: “Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns. Environmental Working Group” July 14, 2005. Available at

Pretty scary!  As moms or moms-to-be, we want the best for our children--we want them to be safe & healthy.  I can help you make your home a healthier place for your family. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stampaganza!! Nov. 3-30 only!

Close to My Heart is offering "Buy 2, Get 1 FREE" on stamp sets from November 3-30 only! 
Buy any 2 A, B, C, D, or E-sized stamp sets & get any A, B, C, or D-sized set FREE!
(Free item will be of equal or lesser value). 
Check out my website for more details:

Also, if you would like to see what stamp sets will be retiring on Dec. 31, 2009, go to my website & click on "Shop Online"--you will be able to view the stamp sets there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Make your home safer & healthier...get started for $1!

If you are interested in having a safer, healthier home, now is a great time to get more information~ 
You can get a one-year wellness company membership for only $1.00! 
They have everything you need to keep your home running--
body care items (for women, men & children), skincare & cosmetics,  vitamins, household cleaning products & so much more--
everything guaranteed NOT to have toxic chemicals in them!
But hurry--this fabulous deal ends Nov. 23rd!!

Halloween & Fall pictures--2009

Matt, playing in the 18" of snow we got last week

Kevin was soooo cold outside!

Our first snowman of the year...and it's only October!

My "hobo" & transformer with their jack-o-lanterns

Matt with his pumpkin--making a "vampire" face to match

Kevin making a smiley face to match his smiley pumpkin

Kevin making a sad face to match his sad pumpkin.
(He insisted on having a 2-faced pumpkin...sad on one side, happy on the other!)

My little Optimus Prime


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not that you really want to see us kissing...Silhouette & cranberry cardstock

I absolutely LOVE CTMH's Silhouette paper pack, especially accented with the cranberry cardstock. These are some photos of my husband & me...I'm always behind the camera & rarely in the pictures, so when we had family pics done, I said I wanted some of Kenny & me...kissing! :-)

Unforgettable paper pack

Life Delights card tin & cards

Friday, October 23, 2009

Football 2009

Just wanted to post a few pictures of my son Matt & his flag football "career" for 2009.  He played really well--the whole team did--especially considering some of the days they had to play were freezing!

Matt's #1 fan...his little brother Kevin, all bundled up to watch the game on a cold Saturday morning

Matt on the field, ready for a play

Matt getting the flag!!
(Gotta love sports mode on the camera!)

Coach Kenny...aka Dad

All 3 of my guys!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poll answer...

My last poll question asked "which is the most common form of poisioning...ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin?"  All votes said ingestion...

Answer: Inhalation!
Most people think of "ingestion" when they think of poisoning. Although this is common, poisoning by inhalation is actually more common. I was surprised to learn this!

When something harmful is swallowed, the stomach actually begins breaking down and neutralizing the poison before it is absorbed through the blood stream.

But when you inhale toxic fumes, the poisons go directly into the bloodstream and quickly travel to organs like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. We breathe 10-20 thousand liters of air every day! Many products in the stores give off toxic vapors that can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, give you headaches, muscle aches, and sinus infections.

Scary--especially when you think that the cleaners & disinfectants we use can leave lingering toxins in the air for days...sometimes weeks...after we use them!  Check out the warning on the back of a Cascade dishwasher detergent bottle--it says "do not breathe fumes."  So the steam coming out of your dishwasher carries the toxins in the detergent into your air, which you & your family then inhale!  Scary!

Isn't it time to make your home a healthier home?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crop-til-You-Drop...this Saturday!

Any Cheyenne (or nearby) locals out there?  I am hosting an all day crop-til-you-drop this Saturday, 17 October, 9 am-9 pm.  Bring your supplies & join us for a fun day of fellowship & scrappin'!

Contact me for more details!

Halloween Layout

Halloween layout (designs from the Reflections book)
 Enchanted paper pack, Autumn Terracota, Sunflower, Black & Garden Green.
Stamp sets are Spooky Smiles & Merry Monsters.

Left page

The "B" is from the Rustic Alphabet set.
The "O"s are pumpkins from the Spooky Smiles set...the faces are embossed using a VersaMark ink pad & black embossing powder.

The monsters are colored in using CTMH's coordinating markers.

The right pages uses a couple of different techniques to make our own backgrounds...
On the far left...1/4" strips of B&T paper are spaced out over the black
In the middle...random stamping (1st & 2nd generation of tone-on-tone stamping)
Far right...hole punched the Sunflower CS to allow the black to show through

I used black grosgrain ribbon w/ garden green brads...
I also tied a ribbon knot w/ sunflower waxy flax tied through it to create a way to hold the monster tag.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working from home...

Have you ever wanted to work from home, even part-time?
  Make a little extra income? 
Have more time to spend with your family? 
I can help you with that--I work with a 24-year old wellness company listed in the BBB Hall of Fame (so you know it's legitimate).  Visit my website at to request more information.  Our team can provide all the support & mentoring you need to get your business started today!

Even if you aren't interested in working from home, but you would like to start using toxic-free products in your home to make it a safer, healthier place for your family...I can help you with that, too!  Contact me today!

Does anyone in your house have asthma?  Eczema?  Allergies?
I would love to share some products with you that may help you with these conditions while making your home a healthier home!
(I don't sell these products--I simply shop at a wellness store & love to share the store with others.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who have you hugged today?

Found this on a medical it!



• Feels good.

• Dispels loneliness.

• Overcomes fears.

• Opens doors to feelings.

• Builds self-esteem; (“Wow! She actually wants to hug me!”).

• Fosters altruism; (“I can’t believe it, but I actually want to hug that old son-of-agun!”).

• Slows down aging; huggers stay younger longer.

• Helps curb appetite; we eat less when we are nourished by hugs—and when our arms are

busy wrapped around others.

• Eases tension.

• Fights insomnia.

• Keeps arm and shoulder muscles in condition.

• Provides stretching exercise if you are short.

• Provides stooping exercise if you are tall.

• Offers a wholesome alternative to promiscuity.

• Offers a healthy, safe alternative to alcohol and other drug abuse (better hugs than drugs!).

• Affirms physical being.

• Is democratic; anyone is eligible for a hug.

• Is ecologically sound.

• Is energy-efficient; saves heat.

• Is portable.

• Requires no special equipment.

• Demands no special setting; anyplace from a doorstep to an executive conference room,

from a church parlor to a football field, is a fine place for a hug!

• Makes happy days happier.

• Makes impossible days possible.

• Imparts feeling of belonging.

• Fills up empty places in our lives.

• Keeps on working to dispense benefits even after the hug’s release.

(Source: The Hug Therapy Book by Kathleen Keating)

A Fall Lay-out

 A fall layout

Uses paper leaves with New England Ivy, Barn Red, Autumn Terracota, & Desert Sand cardstocks--perfect fall colors!

Twill ribbon held on with coordinating bigger brads adds a simple accent to the page.
The journaling spot says "Matt raked a big pile of leaves & both boys had fun jumping & running through the leaves.  Kevin loves to sit in his sled & get pulled in the yard.  Luckily, Matt was happy to help him out!"

Right page...

A close-up of Matt running through the leaves & Kevin trying to get out of the big pile of leaves. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Answer to poll question

The last poll question I had on my blog asked what percentage of children's poisonings take place in the home? Responses were tied between 50% or 93%.

The answer...a shocking 93% of poisoning involving children take place in our own homes! Scary! Most poisonings in the home happen between 4-10 pm., which makes sense--it's when our children are home from school or daycare. And most homes are filled with items that make poisoning a high risk.

Cast your vote for the current poll...and be sure to check back for the well as more art & family pics.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Family layout...It's a Guy Thing paper

This lay-out is from the Reflections book & uses the It's a Guy Thing paper pack...I love the deep, fall colors in this paper. It was perfect for the outdoor family pictures we had done at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, MT right before we moved.
Our neighbor at Malmstrom AFB was a photographer. She did these photos for us shortly before we moved so we could have some nice family pictures in beautiful MT.

Dimensional Elements alphabet set spells out "Jefferson"

close-up of the family picture

Right page...

Kevin & me

Matt & Dad

Kevin & Dad

Matt & me