A Passion for Scrapbooking

Besides blogging, wine tasting and reading true crime books, I have a passion for scrapbooking.  I have a fortune invested in pictures, so I decided to combine my love for crafts with my pictures and do scrapbooks.  It can become an expensive habit, but I love it.  I decided to purchase the Cricut Expression several months ago, and I absolutely love it.  The cartridges can be expensive, but I’ve been able to purchase mine from ebay at a reasonable amount. 

The layouts are from an airshow that I attended in September with my grandson.  He had a great time watching the USA Air Force Thunderbirds do their thing.  He loves looking at the pictures when he visits, so the scrapbooks are a perfect way to perserve memories of our time together.  

I love using the Cricut for my lettering and die cuts for my scrapbook.  It was a big investment, but well worth the money. I’m currently working on a scrapbook from our visit to the pumpkin patch this fall and a fall wine festival. The two cartridges that I purchased for my fall scrapbooks have great die cuts, so I’m excited about using them.  There are several other cartridges that I’ve placed on my Christmas list.  I’ve been a good girl, so I’m hoping Santa will place a few in my stocking this year.

If you’re a scraper, I would love to hear from you so that we can exchange ideas for layouts and techniques. If you have a Scrapbook Blog, please leave your link. 

Making Memories

Have you visited the Hunt Club in Virginia Beach, VA?  It’s a wonder place to visit if you’re looking for opportunities to make great memories with your children.  They offer so many activities throughout the year from Easter Bunny and egg hunts to pumpkin patches, carnival rides and photo opportunities with Santa Claus.  I’ve taken my grandson there for the past several years to visit the pumpkin patch and the Winter Wonderland.  This is a picture of Xavier’s first pony ride.  His mother was truly bringing up the rear on his journey, lol.  That pony couldn’t take a step without her taking one too.  Neverless, we had a wonder time.  Xavier enjoyed the ride although he said it was “bumpy”. 
I enjoy creating memories with my grandson.  I’m always looking for an opportunity to expose him to all that the world has to offer.  The Hunt Club provides an opportunity to enjoy a family day in a beautiful and safe setting.  I will be taking him to the Winter Wonderland next week-end to visit Santa.  Last year, he wasn’t interested in sitting on Santa’s lap.  He wasn’t having anything to do with him.  In case he decides he doesn’t want anything to do with him this year either, we can still visit the beautiful display of animated characters, a petting zoo with lights and a bonfire for roasting marshmallows.  I don’t know who has the most fun on our journeys, Xavier or me.  If you’re in the area, it is truly worth a visit.  Beware, your children will want to visit again and again.     

I’m A Mountain Momma

It’s been awhile since I’ve attended to my blog.  Just needed to take a break and do me.  During my break, I’ve spent time roaming the local home front taking pictures and scrapbooking which I will share a few photos in a later post.  I love fall, it’s my favorite time of year.  Mother Nature is doing her best work.  The air is crisp and the colors are breath taking.  I thought I would share this photo of the beauty that I’m surrounded by.  So many times I’ve thought of leaving this area and heading toward a more cultured and happening area, but I’ve always found something that made me say it’s worth staying here.  Today its the Blue Ridge mountains.  I’m sure you’re familiar with them, John Denver sung about them in his hit song Country Roads Take Me Home.  Well ladies and gentlemen, this is what he was referring to, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River in the hills of West Virginia.   

Yes, the Blue Ridge Mountains are in my back yard so to speak.  I visit this spot in the fall to clear my head.  As you can see, there’s a breath taking view.  It’s so relaxing and peaceful.  I was never a big fan of John Denver, but I do love his Country Roads song.  It’s a fitting tribute to West Virginia:

Almost heaven, West Virginia   

Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees

Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place, I be-long
West Virginia, mountain momma

We may not be the most cultured state, but we surely have beauty.  Wouldn’t you agree.

Children’s Birthday Party Ideas

Are you planning a birthday party for your child?  Are you tired of the same old Barney and Princess themes?  I am!  My grandson’s third birthday is coming up next month and I really want to do something special.  He loves dinosaurs, so I think I’m going to go with a Dinosaur theme.  He spends hours playing with his dinosaurs and at bedtime, the Dinosaurs books are grabbed immediately.  I can’t think of anything that would excite him more, and believe me I’ve been thinking about it all day. 

I’ve decided to create a small version of Dinosaur Land in my backyard.  I’ve found some great dinosaur party favors and inflatables.  I’m going to place 3 – 4 foot dinosaurs throughout the yard with huge dinosaur eggs and foot prints.         

  
I’ve found a Dinosaur Moon Bounce and slide for entertainment.  The Moon Bounce should give parents a break so they can grab a dinosaur shaped chicken salad sandwich and a drink.  I have dinosaur shaped cookie cutters, I thought I would get some use out of  them with the sandwiches.  The party is at the end of September, so I’m going to use orange and green for the tables and balloons.  I’m unsure if I’m going to do a cake or cupcakes at this point.  I’m leaning  toward cupcakes, they go over well with the kids and they’re easier to handle.  I think I’m going to do 1 game, Fossil Find.  I’m going to bury miniature dinosaurs or pencils in dirt and let the kids dig.  Each will get a prize.

I made a list of unique party themes, just in case he decides dinosaurs are not what he wants.  I thought I would share the list that I put together while deciding on a theme.  Hopefully, you will be able to use one of them for your child’s upcoming party:

  • Tea Party
  • Candy Land
  • Toy Story
  • Runway Models
  • Dragon Tales
  • Paris and Poodles
  • Soldiers
  • Karate Kids
  • Cheerleaders
  • Beach Bums/Surfers
  • Sports – Soccer, Football, Baseball or a favorite basket team  
  • Handy Manny
  • Alice In Wonderland 
  • Sock Hop
  • Pirates
  • Lady Bugs and Butterflies
  • Paint Ball
  • Ballerinas
  • Dr. Suess
  • Hello Kitty
  • Strawberry Shortcake

If you’ve had a dinosaur themed party, I would love to hear from.  If not, please feel free to leave us a comment on any themed parties that you’ve had or considering.  We would love to add to our list.   

Little Tikes Tee Ball Review

I purchased this Little Tikes Tee Ball set for my grandson this summer and he absolutely loves it.  He usually wakes up around 8:00 or 8:30 each morning.  After he gets his bearings, he wants to immediately head outside to play baseball.  Now he is a lover of pancakes and when something is placed before his beloved pancakes, it is a great product. 

The set is nice and thick and sturdy.  It’s a good thing, because my grandson has the ability to play in the majors as we speak.  When he gets positioned and swings, the ball is a goner.  As he says, “I hit a home run Mama”.   As you can see from the picture above, he’s wearing his McQueen PJs.  I was able to get shoes and socks on him before we headed out the door, lol. 

I was quite surprised by the quality of the product for the price that I paid at our local Wal-Mart.  Xavier is able to pick up the tee and steady it when he knocks it over.  I’m not sure if my yard is uneven or if it’s the force behind the batter that knocks the tee over.  Regardless, I will stand behind this product. 

The set is easy to assembly.  It includes the tee, 2 balls and an oversized bat.  When Xavier first used the set, he struggled to hit the ball without knocking the tee over.  It didn’t take him long to learn that he just needed to hit the ball.  The set helps with coordination and batting skills.  He is now learning about bases and sliding.  Where he learned to slide I have no idea.

In addition to teaching Xavier basic skills, the set has provided hours of family fun.  He even managed to get his diva mommy, my daughter, to play ball with him in 4 inch heels.  He got quite a thrill out of that moment.  

The set is worth the purchase and I highly recommended.  I love Little Tikes products and this set is a reminder of why.  Head out and make the purchase, your kids will love you for it. 

Worried About America’s Education System?

Are you worried about America’s Education System?  It’s just not what it used to be.  A contractor hired to paint on a stretch of road near Southern Guilford High School in North Carolina misspelled “School”.  

Thank goodness the mistake has been corrected.  This is surely not what we want our children to see on their way to school.  

Here’s another sign that was spotted in Wisconsin.  Every word is misspelled except Exit.  The misspelled words include ‘Buisness’, ‘Rothschield’, and ‘Schofeild’.  It should say Business, Rothschild and Schofield, lol.

Maybe a spelling test should be administered before these contractors are hired. 

I Got Played

Where you surprised when Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston announced their re-engagement?  I was.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she would want to be with a man who betrayed her in so many ways.  Love makes us behave in strange ways. It makes us tolerate so much than what we would normally put up with.  I guess she was no exception.

I don’t think much of Sara Palin.  I still laugh at her running around the country promoting abstinence-only to teens, and she was unable to persuade her own daughter to abstain.  I don’t believe any parent wants their teenagers involved in any sexual activities, but lets get real it’s more likely than not they will engage.  So, why not have the talk and ensure they are protected if it should happen.   


I do commend her as parent for standing by her daughter, and ensuring that her daughter didn’t become a target by the media while she was on the campaign trail.  I also commend her for seeing Levi Johnston for the creep that he really is.  I can only imagine her grief as a parent when they announced their second engagement.  Unfortunately, as a parent you have to step aside at some point and let your children make their own decisions including mistakes.  You just hope that they don’t make too many mistakes or mistakes that they can’t recover from in the process.      
 
I remember my daughter dating a young man through high school that I did not like.  You don’t know how many times I prayed that she did not end up pregnant.  My prayers were answered, she finally realized that he was not good for her when she went away to college and moved on.  It was literally a mother’s nightmare.  
 
It’s hard to sit back and watch your child be hurt by someone that they love, and there’s nothing that you can do.  Hell it’s hard for adults to be hurt in their relationships by someone they love.  When it comes to your child, it creates an even deeper wound.  Being a mother is such a unique experience.  You want to protect your children forever.  I can truly say that giving birth and raising my daughter has been my most rewarding experience.  There isn’t much that I would change if I had to rewind the past 30 years with her.  I can’t say that I did everything right along my journey, but I tried.  
 
I felt so sorry when Bristol Palin said, “She Got Played”.   It’s tough when you want to believe in someone, but they don’t believe in themselves so you can’t.  Rumor has it Levi confessed to possibly having another baby’s momma.  Baby’s momma is saying he ain’t the baby’s daddy.  It seems Levi confessed to the possibility after they made the announcement that they were re-engaged.  He just couldn’t be honest upfront so she could make an intelligent decision before announcing to the world they were a couple again.  At that point, she saw him for the man that he really is and the man Sara Palin told her that he was, and called off the engagement.  I say, good for her.  She certainly can raise Tripp as a single mother.  I did, and I was around her age when I become a mother.   I’ll save that experience for another post.  Stay tuned. 
 
The sooner she lets go, the sooner she can move on.  I’m sure her parents will continue to stand by her and support her and the baby in every manner possible.  She will look back one day, and ask herself what she saw in that idiot and realize that she made the right decision by moving on.    
 
I would like to wish Bristol and Tripp all the best!      

Hitler Admirers or Just Bad Parents

A court has ruled that Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 3, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 2, will remain in the care of Child Protective Services, they will not return to their parents.  Why, the home is not safe because of domestic violence concerns.  Adolf Hitler Campbell appeared in our homes via TV and blogs last year when Shopright refused to inscribe his name on his birthday cake. 

Apparently, the children were removed from the home because little Adolf was threatening to kill people.  He was mirroring his dad who was supposedly threatening to kill his mother.  A neighbor stated that the mother slipped a note to her once stating she was terrified of her husband because he said he would kill her.

According to court documents, both parents are disabled and unstable.  I don’t see how anyone could not question the sanity of parents who would name their children after a racist who was responsible for the murder of 17 million people. Court records state that both parents were abused as children and neither has received treatment for their psychological problems.  Oh really.    

Who in their right mind would name their children Adolf Hitler, Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie named after Heinrich Luitpold Himmler I believe.  It seems that the Campbells don’t believe the holocaust even happened.  Their home is decorated with swastikas on walls, jackets, pillows and they even had one on their car until it was suggested that they remove it for the safety of their children.

It seems that court room proceedings were a fiasco.  The mother stated that she did give the neighbor the note, but it was a lie.  The note stated that the husband had stabbed her in the hand with a screwdriver and he threatened to kill her among other things.  The foster mother to the three children stated that Adolf Hitler was violent toward his siblings and called her bitches as well as threatened to kill her.  The husband and father has been married to two other women.  One of the ex-wives testified that he threatened to kill her as well.  She also stated that she was unable to bring her son around anyone who was not white because he would say terrible things taught to him by his father.  

The Campbells claim that they children were removed from their home because of their names.  If all that came out in court is true, the children are better off in another home.  I hope that they will be adopted together and their names are changed to more appropriate names.  This will at least give these poor children a chance in the world.  It’s so sad anybody can become a parent, but there’s so many who should be neutered or spayed.   Do you think the right decision was made with these children? 
  

A Day At Shenandoah Caverns

Shenandoah Caverns

Have you ever been to the Shenandoah Caverns in VA?  If you’re in the surrounding area, you have to make a trip.  I took my 2 year old grandson to visit, and I couldn’t get him to leaveNot only do they have the caverns, but they have an American Celebration building that houses floats from the Rose bowl parade and props from several Presidential Inaugurations.  They have the Yellow Barn which houses antiques, a play area, a train ride and a huge tree full of squirrels to delight youngsters.  The third attraction is Main Street Yesteryear, which is filled with window displays of delightful characters.  

The caverns are owned by a gentleman whose family has been building floats since  1946.  Not only do they build floats, they have been involved with every Presidential Inaugural Celebration since 1949.  I wondered what props they would have on display from Clinton and Obama’s Inaugurations The Shenandoah Caverns were on my list of things to do with my grandson this summer, so I was really excited to make the trip.  

It didn’t disappoint.  We started in the American Celebration building.  It almost ended there as well.  Xavier was so thrilled by the floats I couldn’t get him to leave.  It was a room filled with bunnies, ducks, elephants, dogs, Barney, Dumbo and the list goes on.  He pushed buttons over and over to make the animals move and stirred at them in awe.  I must admit, I had just as much fun as he did.  The photos will make a great scrap book of our summer adventure.  I finished the tour with my grandson standing on the stage that was used for Reagan, Bush and Clinton’s inaugurations. They also had Obama and Biden’s Seal on display.  My grandson wouldn’t go near it.  I wonder if that’s a sign that he’s going to be a Republican, lol.

They had several picnic tables on the grounds where you could bring lunch and enjoy the outdoors.  Had I known, I would have packed a lunch for Xavier and me.  Not to worry if you don’t want to go through the trouble, they have a cafe where you can purchase fare.

things to do in Virginia

We moved over to the Yellow Barn, which featured a cute display of squirrels and a play area for the children.  You can also put your child on a train ride here for a $1.00.  A buck doesn’t get you much these days, but here you make a memory for you and your child.  That’s priceless.  They don’t have as many displays in this particular area as they do in the American Celebration building, but Xavier found the play area and once again I couldn’t get him to leave.  They have a rocker that he fell in love with and an old fashioned rocking horse.  I’m glad there weren’t any other children around, I may have had a hard time getting him to share.  He made pancakes on the antique stove, peeped into the squirrel’s tree house, and played with an adorable family of wooden bees.

Virginia Caverns

They also have wine tastings in this building if you need a little refreshment.  You can also purchase jams, jellies, mixes and just relax while your child plays.  You don’t feel rushed and everyone is friendly.  Unfortunately we had to end the day here.  Main Street Yesteryear and the caverns are still on our list of things to do, so we will definitely be making another trip to the Shenandoah Caverns.  They are open every day except Christmas.  It’s a world of make believe that generates lots of giggles and amazement.  It’s the things that make us wish we were children again.  It’s a time for the young and the young at heart.  It’s childhood innocence.  They have truly built an environment worthy of my time, energy and money.  

Stay tuned for my post on Main Street Yesterday and the caverns.  Leave us a comment and let us know where your family has ventured off to this summer.