Sam and Anna are doing so well in Swimming. I am still so impressed with Crawfish Aquatics and what they can do with children in two weeks.

Anna is into stroke classes and actually will have to be teacher approved for future lessons.

Sam has progressed greatly; he floats and does an underwater froggy type swim. Next summer, he will begin actual strokes. I am putting him in a one week swim class the last week of July as a final lesson before fall.

Since we can swim so long in the year, I find it so important.

I am sad by it all, too. Sam and his best friend, Jake, were/are in the same class right now. Chris is their coach. Jake is not were Sam is swimming-wise. Jake was actually scared yesterday and removed from Chris' class and given individual lessons with a pair of women coaches (he told his mom, later, they were mean)...lol. This saddened me, since just the day before he was jumping off the block to Chris.

Anyway, Kay is going to put Jake in another 2 week session later in July. She is right in that Sam and Jake can't do lessons together right now, since they are not on the same level, but it saddens me. They absolutely love each other. Here is a picture from Halloween. They hold hands (they are still young....) and hugs and roughhouse all the time.

I know they will continue to be buddies, and I will be patient for when they play sports.....
"The difference between great people and everyone else is that great
people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their
lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference
between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing."

- Michael E. Gerber

My South (love this email and had to share)

This was written by Robert St. John, executive chef and owner of the Purple-Parrot Cafe, Crescent City Grill and Mahogany Bar of Hattiesburg, MS.

Thirty years ago I visited my first cousin in Virginia. While hanging out with his friend, the discussion turned to popular movies of the day. When I offered my two-cents on the authenticity and social relevance of the movie Billy Jack, one of the boys asked, in all seriousness; "Do you guy have movie theaters down there?" To which I replied, "Yep. We wear shoes too."

Just three years ago, my wife and I were attending a food and wine seminar in Aspen, Colo. We were seated with two couples from Las Vegas. One of the Glitter Gulch gals was amused and downright rude when I described our restaurant as a fine-dining restaurant. "Mississippi doesn't have fine-dining restaurants!" she insisted and nudged her companion. I fought back the strong desire to mention that she lived in the land that invented the 99-cent breakfast buffet.

I wanted badly to defend my state, my region, and my restaurant with a 15-minute soliloquy and public relations rant that would surely change her mind.

It was at that precise moment that I was hit with a blinding jolt of enlightenment, and in a moment of complete and absolute clarity it dawned on me ... my South is the best-kept secret in the country.

Why would I try to win this woman over? She might move down here. I am always amused by Hollywood's interpretation of the South. We are still, on occasion, depicted as a collective group of sweaty, stupid, backwards-minded, racist rednecks. The South of movies and TV, the Hollywood South, is not my South.


My South is full of honest, hardworking people.

My South is the birthplace of blues and jazz, and rock n' roll.

It has banjo pickers and fiddle players, but it also has BB King, Muddy Waters, the Allman brothers, Emmylou Harris and Elvis.

My South is hot.

My South smells of newly mowed grass.

My South has kick the can, creek swimming, cane-pole fishing and bird hunting.

In my South, football is king, and the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference is the kingdom.

My South is home to the most beautiful women (addendum: and gorgeous guys) on the planet.

In my South, soul food and country cooking are the same thing.

My South is full of cornbread, butter beans, fried chicken, grits and catfish.

In my South, our transistor radios introduced us to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones at the same time they were introduced to the rest of the country.

The Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan Show was even on our TV's !

In my South, grandmothers cook a big lunch every Sunday, so big that we call it dinner .. (supper comes later).

In my South, family matters.... deeply.

My South is blackberry cobbler, peach ice cream, banana pudding and oatmeal cream pies.

In my South people put peanuts in bottles of Coca-Cola and hot sauce on almost everything.

In my South the tea is iced and almost as sweet as the women.

My South has air-conditioning.

My South is camellias, azaleas, wisteria and hydrangeas.

In my South, the only person that has to sit on the back of the bus is the last person that got on the bus.

In my South, people still say .. "Yes, ma'am," "No ma'am," "Please" and Thank you"

In my South, we all wear shoes.... most of the time.

My South is the best-kept secret in the country.

Please continue to keep the secret.... it keeps the idiots away.


Scrap: what is there

Well.... I WON!!!!

Yeah me.

I won the next Crop weekend free. You earn tickets as you finish layouts and as my friend, Kay might say - I stuffed the ballor box. I got so much done......

Here are two examples. They happen to be 'homework' for my online Big Picture Classes!

Here is the soccer page describing things we do and why for Stacy Julian

And two of the same page for Lisa Damrosch, using book plates as 'windows'


Am I ready


I so need this weekend. I have so many pages planned for my scrapbook weekend, my fingers are crossed for focused scrapping. We shall see.

Dixon may be taking the kids to his mom's to pick corn. I hope they go. I'd love to have the freezer full. Fresh grilled.....yummy.

My week... crazy. Tons to do at work and then had to leave early twice to pick up Anna and the boys (Sam and Jake) for swim lessons. Swim lessons are running for two weeks. Week one - DONE.

Anna is doing well. Working on her diving, freestyle, back stroke and just starting breast stroke. She is loving it. Her new thing is want to do swim team. Perhaps next summer we can try Gonzales' Team. Sam and Jake are both working very hard on hold their breath and basic survival strokes. Sam is doing a bit better, but that is easily do to his weekend swims at Mack's.
I will get pictures of all that next week......

Sigh, off to drink my tea and sleep to prep for scrap!


About Me

My aunt sent this this morning, but with some tweaking, here you go:

1. What is your occupation? marketeer
2. What color is your underwear? white
3. What are you listening to right now? Yesterday, Beatles
4. What was the last thing you ate? toast
5. Do you wish on stars? yes
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? periwinkle
7. What is the weather right now? warm and muggy
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? on a conference call now!
9. What do you do in your spare time? scrap, read, play with the kids
10. Favorite drink? diet coke with lime and wine
11. Favorite sport to watch? LSU football
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? once, lets not discuss it (I do get it highlighted now)
13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? I have a contact but rarely wear it
14. Pets? Ellie and Indy (labs), Brook-lyn and Jax (cats)
15. Favorite month? April
16. Who is your favorite singer? Nanci Griffith
17. What was the last movie you watched? Cars
18. Favorite day(s) of the year? Christmas
19. What do you do to vent anger? pout and yell
20. What was your favorite toy as a child? pooh bear
21. Fall or Spring? spring22. Hugs or kisses? Don't they kind of go together
23. Cherry or blueberry? blueberries, but love both
24. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? yes
25. Who is most likely to respond? n/a posting for info
26. Who is least likely to respond? again n/a
27. Living arrangements? house with Dixon, the pets, Anna and Sam
28. When was the last time you cried? when I saw X-Men III, 2 weeks ago (a long time for me)
29. What is on the floor of your closet? scrap stuff, shoes, dad's old camera
30. Who's the friend you've had the longest that this email is going to? Nicole, by a few days ;-P
31. What inspires you? my kids, a beautiful sunrise or set (God's gifts), a good song on the radio
32. Favorite smell? chocolate, fresh popcorn, stargazer lilies, roses, puppy breath, baby head
33. What are you afraid of? drowning
34. Plain, onion, blueberry, raisin bagels? plain
35. Favorite Car? British Racing Green Jaguar
36. Number of keys on your key ring? 4
37. How many years at your current job? well, sorta between them now so
38. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
39. How many states have you visited? 17
40. How many cities have you lived in? 5
41. Pet Peeve? liars, selfish people, shoes in the living room and Anna's floor in general
42. Hey what's your name? Shannon

Dream Bed

I love to sleep – naps are the reason for a weekend. I would love to live in the land of siestas. I would love a short nap each day. I KNOW I would perform better in the afternoon slump.

But, back to the bed. I have very specific things I want in a great bed.

1) If I could have FRESH sheets everyday. There is something about slipping into bed, fresh from a shower, into a cool set of soft sheets….. we are so spoiled to over 300 thread count. There is simply no going back on that.
2) Pillows, I have three, I have one body pillow and two others. One of those a down pillow. I will not sleep well without all 3 and very poorly without the down.
3) The comforter, there is something to be said about the ‘weight’ a good comforter adds to sheets. I like a light weight down comforter the most. Makes you feel cocooned and that is what it is all about for me.
4) The bed itself most be moderately soft, yet, firm and king sized. AH!

I definitely have very strong bed feelings. I also like my own sleep space. I am not a snuggly sleeper…..don’t get me wrong, I love the snuggle, just can’t sleep there.

For example, I love ‘baby warm,’ which is the warmth of my children when they get up in the morning. But, I tell you now, there is NO way I could sleep with them on me.

So, thanks Sunday Scribblings. I am still not ready to link to you, but know I appreciate you.


I signed up for ANOTHER Big Picture Scrapbook online course (Product Playground, by Lisa Damrosch). I really think it will actual help in my Stacy Julian's Library of Memories class (LOM), which is kicking my proverbial butt.

I am almost ready for my weekend Cropping Marathon, I hope to finish not only the April book but many additional pages and layouts. I have to do my Things We Do/Why pages for LOM. I won't have access to my first assignment for Product Playground during the weekend, so I will have to see what is up there Sunday when I get home.

I am so ready to scrap again, but I need to work on my photos still. Most are in chronological order but I want to put them in books. I am waiting until after this weekend, b/c I have pulled some I think I will scrap or may scrap if time.

I know I have a huge goal set for me. April itself will be 31 2-page spreads, granted mostly complete, I need to do the photos, which are in day order, yeah me, and the journalling, which is complete just going through an adding some exbellishments, if and where needed.

Then an easy assignment for me - Anna art. I think about 10 2-page spreads, but really slapping the art on a page and putting title and date, if available!

Wish me luck!


Happy Father's Day

I must remember to call my dad's today. I have Dixon's coffee ready to start and pancake batter in the fridge to cook for breakfast.

The kids both did art for him at camp and school. I got I got an 11 x14 and framed it in a cute shadowbox frame. I hope he likes it.

I think we will go and see Cars later and then do a late family lunch.


Quote of the day

I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.

Og Mandino

This I found at Ali Edwards Daily Happiness Blog. She makes me happy.


Crop Canceled

Woohoo and pout all at the same time. I really didn't want to take the time to go, but it has been so long, I miss all the ladies at Memory Mania. I know, I will see them all next weekend at the Camp Crop Alot, but I need encouragement! I hope to get lots done. I want to finish my April is book and from there... NO IDEA!!!

Thanks ladies for all you do!

Cool - La Thanks you

http://www.louisianathanksyou.com/Files/LamarBoard.pdf can't get it to show up, so you will have to click through.

How cool is this. "Louisiana Thanks You!" National Billboard Campaign
Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising is donating 90 billboards across the country from June 1 to Sept. 1.

Sometimes companies just do things that make you proud. I know there are many many more but how cool to SEE it!

Quotes - all stolen from Stacy's blog

Once in awhile it really hits
people that they don't have to
experience the world in the way
they have been told to.
Alan Keightley

It's NOT about the pictures, the pages or even the completed projects -- it's about leading a vibrant, productive, HAPPY lifestyle.

Stacy Jullian

it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work. it means to be in
the midst of those things and still
be calm in your heart.
From a card


Love that Dilbert understands

You know, I found this on another blog (have looked t several this morning, so don't recall whose...sorry). But, I think it is hilarious that scrapping is going mainstream!

I am loving Stacy's class. I have to pull out all my pages and tab them now. I haven't put many into albums so this will help. I will leave the kids albums intact as well as my Christmas card one. I need to glance at the others and see what is what.

I need to do this for me. I agree it will make my scrapping world more fun and less - OMG, I WILL NEVER FINISH. I know that but realizing that it is ok help a great deal.


Sorry away

Still working on all this organization stuff. What a hodge podge of pictures and stuff. I am putting off some of the older pictures until later. I just don't have the strength.

I need to get started on the digitals, too!

And tomorrow I get a new assignment!


All are well, I sprained my foot...random act of just walking.


Class, Let's begin

I got my first Stacy assignment, I so want to be hoem working on it! I am looking forward to all of this but worry on my time at the same moment.

I also signed up for MMU, which is our local scrapbook stores 'university' of class. I am taking 6. 4 are on Tuesdays and 2 on Saturdays, so I won't miss too much going on! What in the world am I thinking!

one of those good emails


There once was a woman who woke up one morning,
looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only
three hairs on her head.
"Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today."?
So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
"H-M-M, " she said, "I think I'll part my hair
down the middle today."?
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and
noticed that she had only one hair on her head.
"Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear
my hair in a pony tail."
So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and noticed that there wasn't a
single hair on her head.

"YEAH!" she exclaimed,
"I don't have to fix my hair today!"
Attitude is everything.


What I won - Thanks Shannon!

I donated $5 to Women for Women (http://www.womenforwomen.org/) and won $50 from KI Memories. I am so thankful to Shannon Tidwell...

Look how GORGEOUS this all is. What am I going to do with the tins? I love them... argh! Must get creative. The paper is absolutely amazing!

Thank you Shannon!

Congratulations!!! You are the lucky winner of a $50 gift box of KI Memories products!!! How lucky are you?! I just wanted to let you know that your box will be shipping from the KI warehouse the week of the 26th!!! Thank you so much for your donation to Women for Women.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Congrats again!

Shannon Tidwell
Special Projects Coordinator
KI Memories

Check out shannon's cute blog: http://www.shannontidwell.com/


Elton John - Your Song

It is so amazing where a song can take you.

It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

Your Song was from high school for me. I remeber dancing with my then best friend at a dance. I miss him terribly. Funny how just a year in my life so long ago, still has me connected to a person I haven't spoken with in years and years. He was such a great guy.

But there are so many songs that do that for me. Not just the old ones, but current ones, too. I will always remember Sam and Anna singing so loudly and off key in the backseat. Don't even get me started on Yesterday by the Beatles or America by Neal Diamond. Any Shrek song will do it too!

Music is and always will be an important part of my life.

Great Quote

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing
new landscapes but in having new eyes" Marcel Proust.


My first memory…..

Sunday Scribblings hit it again.

What is my first memory? Is it an important one or simply a photograph in my mind? With my scrap booking I am trying to begin writing down all those photographs in my mind’s eye so they are not lost forever. It is actually a question I wish I had asked my grandparents and need to ask my parents and write them all down for my kids and their kids.

But a first memory…. Is it really mine or what others have told me? Funny thing is that I don’t remember some of those places and times. Like my Nannie’s house in Florida, I have no memory of that and I spent a great deal of time there, I know. I don’t remember the inside of my house in Charleston but I remember the backyard, my tree house around an actual tree and the next door neighbors 3 story tree house (really a covered lawn mower parking area and then a two story tree house above it). I remember when we took a picture of Ruger on the tree stump when he was just a pup but not my bedroom. I remember more of Africa than I am probably supposed to, but I think that is due to the uniqueness of the experience.

But a first memory, it is a toss up. I was about three. There is a dumb one and a cool one. The dumb one is just dumb. It is looking into my daycare back yard with its high fence and swing set against the back and a good sized tree in the middle with lots of toys and kids running around.

The cool one is easier, in some ways. It is the Atlantic Ocean. I was sitting in the front seat of a car looking through the windshield at the ocean. I remember the beach and palms trees and a gorgeous clear shot of the ocean. I don’t remember the color of the car or who I was with. I remember the dashboard is dark and the sun is barely up in the sky.

Many years later, I asked my father about it and he said it was probably the last time I saw him before I moved away with mom and my new ‘dad.’ That was the day he told me to call dad - Dad. I think perhaps I remember it for that. It has taken many years for me to forgive the feeling of abandonment; I think for him it was simply self-preservation. I am not sure if I hurt anymore. I just know I can never do the same not that I’d want to.

A sad picture… sometimes, but mostly I remember the beauty of the moment now. I love the ocean with its sounds and smells and the permeation of the air into your very soul.


Altered Clipboard

Wow, I am so excited about the Stacy Jullian class.... and she sent me a cool clipboard to alter. I have never attempted such a thing.

front side


What do you think?

I am so looking forward to the class....

read this description:

In this 12-week course, Stacy will walk you through the process of setting up and using A Library of Memories. From selecting and purchasing the organizational products that suit your needs, to corralling years of photos into a usable system, to creating meaningful layouts that feature your pictures in a whole new way, Stacy will help you create a system customized for you. Stacy's goal is simple:"I want to put the fun back into scrapbooking - let's forget the guilt and connect to our true potential as memory makers and story tellers. When that happens, everything else falls into place."

if I simply get my head into this, I will help myself and my scrapping get to a new level... Perhaps accomplishing something. I have done so many pages and have so much stuff, but to use it and archive it all wisely - how cool! I love the idea of her Library of Memories. Not a Sam album and an Anna album, but a Who We Are album and Where we have been... etc.

I am looking forward to the knowledge and seeing what others taking the class can teach me.



So many shells....

My boggie boarder

Opps, he bit that one

Geno and Sam
Me and Celia
One, two, three

All together now.... (Anna, Geno and Celia)

At Ali's graduation party, Sam and his new buddy, Loon.

Two boy and two gameboys.... need I say more?

Final Full Day

Remember, I don't have everyones pictures yet and these are just some highlights....
Our Pool (kind of fuzzy, opps)

Tickle War with Uncle Tom and aided by Aunt Deb!


Love the FLOPS!

Anna and Uncle J (Geno) on the field trip

Graduation, dont' you love the dress Lindsey and I helped Ashley pick?

Cute pic
Deb, Natalia, Ali, and Tom

Friday in Florida

Sam in the morning..... sleepy man

Uncle Tom and Grandma

Natalia and Anna

Anna on the beach

Dinner before grilling

Florida Pictures

Everyone with their own bags

A bit windy

Dusk at the beach

Can you tell we are sisters?

Lost a long old post on the Florida trip

So a skinny here....

Where we stayed: http://www.annamaria.com/default.asp?PID=155

check out the link... neat house.

Our room is the one next to the tower stairs, the bath is on the left and you had to walk down a few stairs to get to the sleeping area.

Sam's first flight

He loved it. After the flight he said, 'Thank you, mommy, that was SO fun.'

Anna does not remember any previous flights she has been on. No mater what she tells you! But she had a great time. Her famous quotes, 'when do we blast off' and 'when do they say 3, 2, 1?' I was laughing out loud. My all time favorite from her, while looking out the window, ' it is like we are on a treasure map.'

I will add more beach and graduation pictures later. But this is where the trip began....

First Love

I am still trying to get the hang of write and using those Sunday Scribblings as a primer and a kick in the pants that I need.

BUT, then this weeks topic is first love.

So, where can I go from here. The first boy I loved or the first thing I remember loving be it chocolate or my Pooh bear.

For me the first love of my life was my Pooh. He was the usual Pooh you got in the 70's.

He was about 6 inches tall with the red shirt with the POOH ironed on to the felt. He was my constant bedtime companion and my when I was in trouble commiserator. I never thought about the fact that Santa brought me a new one each year and the old miraculously disappeared until Sam became VERY attached to his 'puppy', a gift from Aunts' Lindsey and Ashley. A Huggypup Baby Ty....

So, really, I guess my first love was more fickle than I imagined, just a passing love that lasted a mere 365 days and then was replaced by another. Sad really to think that love can simply be removed and replaced with another 'better' 'newer' model. But, really isn't that what happens? I have so many favorite movies and songs. I luv this and I luv that. Is it the word 'love' that is fickle or me. I think perhaps me. My culture has permitted it to be. Similar to I 'hate' this and that. Such a strong word, I know because I am trying to get Anna to stop using it so often and meanly as she does.

The reality is that I think love and hate are too important to use in the flippant fashion that we use them. They are stronger than like and dislike.

So maybe, more simply my first love is chocolate. How can I go wrong there? Nothing to strong in that! All true, I do love chocolate. Hot, cold, in a cookie, plain, frozen, mixed, but without nuts please!