Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Kind of Party (Part II)

Submitted by Linda
Well, it seems I've finally come up for air from the craziness of starting a school year. I always forget how much has to be done, and how little my kindergartners are when they begin their elementary school experience. I've got a neat class of students, and hopefully they will provide some humorous fodder for the blog this school year.

Every September, we are invited to a cousin's home in Carlsbad for our annual Wallace Family Gathering, which is the perfect respite after working hard to prepare for students and begin the teaching year.

Now, I realize that Michelle used this blog title for her post about a beautiful party she attended, but I couldn't help myself from using it again. It so perfectly expresses my sentiments about the party and our family members who host it each year. Pictured below is cousin Julie. She, along with her family, choose a theme and work to implement it in the invitation, menu, decor, etc. This year's theme was "East Meets West" (an Asian theme), as a tribute to all the travels and mission work that many of the Wallaces have done throughout Asia. Julie is at the "check in" table, welcoming everyone and giving away prize tickets.
The menu was amazing- a guy making sushi, chinese chicken salad, grilled shrimp and chicken on skewers, Korean BBQ, and so on. It was a beautiful spread, with various stations set up around the pool area. Here is my sis-in-law, Linda, with her grandaughter Emma.One of the highlights of the day is seeing our faraway family. Pictured below, with Craig, is his Uncle David, sporting the Wallace plaid. He officiated our wedding, so he holds a special place in our hearts. I'd love to talk my boys into wearing the Wallace plaid at their weddings. So far, the big sword that they would get to wear is not enough of an enticement to get them into a kilt.
Each year, a photographer is on hand to take family pictures. This one was snapped with my camera- I'm hoping the real one works out for our Christmas card.
Here are my boys on the putting green, torturing their cousin Sam.
After a sweet time of sharing family stories (in a group of about 80), and singing some favorite hymns together, it was time to go. I snapped this picture in the early evening, after the food was put away, and the kids were all out of the pool. What a beautiful setting. I'm so inspired by the generosity and hospitality of our hosts. We are already looking forward to next September.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's In the Box??

Submitted by Michelle
On Friday night I made an almost 2 hour drive to Corona to attend a stamping event being hosted by my friend Lis Ljung. She is a Stampin' Up! star, having sold over $800,000 so far during her career as a demonstrator and I'm lucky enough to be part of her downline of demonstrators. Lis always has creative and classy ideas and when I saw this box on her blog I had to sign up for the class and make one! This is what is inside:
On the left side of the front flap is a set of post-it notes and next to it, in the smaller sized matchbook, you could keep postage stamps.
In the front two pockets are four 3X3 cards and four tags (2 of each design.)
And in the back pocket are 6 regular sized cards (2 of each design).
So many times I am the leader of an event and it was super fun for me to be part of the group and actually get to make something! I love this stationary kit and Lis had the great idea of using Christmas designer paper to make gifts for the holidays. I can't wait to try that concept out and hold a class for my stampers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

20 Journals for 20 Ladies

Submitted by Linda
The picture above is a tub full of beautiful handmade journals! Don't the spines look so pretty? My friend Rachel and I were invited to make journals for the 20 ladies in our upcoming Bible study, and we decided this was a great way to use up some of her retired Stampin Up Designer papers. We covered the black and white composition books on front and back, and added a contrasting paper for the spine. We used Stampin Up's Glue Stick which I had not used before. This is not your ordinary glue stick - it's square shape gets in all the corners, and is nice and sticky. The final touch was a pretty ribbon and a scripture from the book of Esther.
Everyone got to pick out their journals last night! It was so fun being the "journal elves".
I have a similarly decorated journal by my phone for messages. I just saw the composition books at Staples for 99 cents, and on clearance at Target for about 35 cents. This is a good time to get a couple to have on hand!

Back to School Centerpiece

Submitted by Linda
Hi all! I just thought I'd share this cute and easy centerpiece I put together for our school's "Back to School Kickoff" meeting. We held the meeting at my church, just for a change of scenery, which was great! I needed 6 centerpieces, so I put Chrysanthemum plants in some red tissue, inside the cute picket fence boxes, which I borrowed. And those cute wooden apples up top were at Michael's for 33 cents each! (I hot-glued 2 of them, back to back, with a bamboo skewer in between to poke into the plant). I put it all on a cute cloth napkin and viola!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Celeste Update

Submitted by Michelle

It has been 2 weeks since Celeste's spine surgery and many people have been asking for an update. I am happy to report that she is doing amazingly well.

The surgery itself was a big success. Her surgeon was able to make minimal incisions to get all the hardware in her back and she did not need a blood transfusion which is normally the case. The surgery took about 4 hours and I was able to see Celeste immediately after while she was in recovery. She wasn't doing much talking but she was able to tell me that she had lost one of her front teeth during the surgery and the other was barely hanging on. (By the next day she had wiggled it all the way out. ) The good news is the tooth fairy was able to find Celeste at Loma Linda, though it took a couple of days.

Celeste was in the hospital for 4 days and I visited daily. Though she had an epidural for pain she was very stiff and not wanting to move around at all. Celeste is normally a very sweet and patient child but the hospital brings out a whole other side of her. She did lots of yelling at me and her parents and the nurses in regards to not wanting to eat or drink or move around. It was funny to see her be verbally abusive when that is not her typical demeanor.

Now that Celeste is home she is doing extremely well. She is able to sit up all day long and she is even scooting from room to room in her house. She is off her pain medication and says her back feels much better than it did prior to the surgery. I am doing her home teaching as she is not able to go back to school yet so I see her on a regular basis. Though she does have to wear a brace during the day to support her back and protect her in case she were to fall, she is able to take it off to sleep or bathe and she will be able to go swimming and do all the fun stuff she missed out on when she had a body cast.
Thanks to all of you for holding good thoughts and keeping Celeste in your prayers. I'm hoping that some day soon I'll be able to write a blog about her walking. I know that with the support and prayers of the Front Row Friends behind her it can happen.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bitz of glitz

Submitted by Linda
This is a photo of my brand new school shirt, which is made entirely of rhinestones! The picture doesn't do it justice - it is really beautiful and glitzy!

I like to wear sparkly stuff, and probably will end up being one of those old ladies who wears way too much jewelry. At school, when my girl students comment on something that I'm wearing that they like, I always say, "Well, we need to wear a little sparkle every day!" After awhile, they begin coming into class saying, "Mrs. Wallace, I'm wearing sparkles!"

I'm a big fan of "spirit day" when we wear our school shirts and jeans to school. In fact, some weeks I add a few extra "spirit days" so I can be casual and comfortable. The problem is, sometimes it's hard to wear some sparkle with a screen printed t-shirt. Enter bitzofglitz.org. The owner, Aimee, can customize a shirt for you with any design, logo or phrase. Visit her website to see all the cute options. I was worried about the fit of my t-shirt, so I visited her in Corona to try on the shirt before she pressed the design onto the shirt. I also got this kindergarten rocks shirt! Perfect for a kindergarten teacher!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Note to Self: Back Up Computers!

Submitted by Linda
This boring picture shows you my big Mac (or "computie mac" as my boys say). My computer is set up in the converted closet of our T.V. room. We installed a desktop and drawers, and we can close the closet doors and hide the mess if we want to.

I bought this computer in October of 2007, so it is almost two years old. You folks who follow the blog know that this past spring, I scanned a jillion photos and created a DVD of Tommy's life for his high school graduation.

As time passed, I began to worry about my computer crashing (even though it seems so new), and losing all my photos. I had some of them on cds, but not many. Craig bought me a Maxtor external hard drive, and my Mac guru and Stampin Up friend Rachel came over and helped me back up last April.

Fast forward to August 19, when I booted up my computer to find the horrible symbol of a file folder with a flashing question mark (which means, "I can't find the hard drive- You should start to panic!") After a call to Apple Care, leaving my computer at the Apple Store for repair for a week, I plugged in my computer to start all over. On one hand, it was nice to have a computer with no junk loaded onto it (ie: my boys' random downloads, and their music choices, etc.). On the other hand, it was so sad to see an empty Iphoto.

Well, Rachel came over again to help me see if Maxtor did his job. We dropped my photo library back into Iphoto and it all appeared, as if by magic!!!! I'm surprised that some of you didn't hear us whooping and hollering and high-fiving! I was so relieved and pleased. (And most of the pictures from April through August were still on my camera, or uploaded to CVS photo).

During the week when "Computie Mac" was getting it's new hard drive, Rachel did the legwork to learn that the Maxtor drive didn't have enough memory to work with my "Time Machine" program, which automatically backs up EVERYTHING. She found me (and herself) the best deal around, ordered it for me, and it was ready to go on the day we booted up for the first time since the crash. Within 10 minutes, the "Time Machine" program was doing it's work, and now I'm backing up without having to worry about it. This time it will all be backed up- my Microsoft word docs, itunes, everything!

*If you are a Mac person, I can give you more info on the drive that I bought, and how to get started.
*If you are a PC person, find someone SOON who can help you make it happen.
*There are many options-burn a cd, put stuff on a flash drive, find a website that does it for you.

But, don't wait. I feel so lucky and blessed that I had backed up just a few months before the crash.