Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Some of My Favorite Projects from College ... so far

This summer I began a new journey - I headed back to college. It's been both fun and overwhelming and my family has been amazing with the adjustments that we have had to make. I took two classes this summer - Visual Design Principle and Design Technology. Both helped me get familiar with Adobe Illustrator. I love this program and wonder how I ever lived without it. 

Today I'd like to share a few of the assignments I completed this summer that I'm proud of. 

Learning about font types is fascinating and finding the right fonts for these words was very fun. 

This was my favorite project - I love my little owl 

My midterm project was to create a vector magazine cover using a picture of myself. If you had told me that I would be creating this before class started I would have said you were crazy. 

I had to create packaging for a fictional tea company. Would you buy this tea?

I begin 3 new classes in September and can't wait to see what gets thrown at me. 

Until next time,

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What I Lost To ALS

Over the last few weeks my Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with people accepting and challenging friends in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  I’ve watched videos of friends, family, strangers and celebrities, some have made me laugh and some have left a bad taste in my mouth because it seemed their purpose was to only make a video that would go viral. I am beginning to get a sense that the message has been getting lost in the entertaining ways people have been getting wet. When I watch each video I see a special face, the face of someone I have lost to ALS. 

My brother Nick, recently posted on Facebook his thoughts and I hope he doesn’t mind as I share them:
Hey yall, been trying to keep my mouth shut about this but I tired of hearing the hate. My grandmother was diagnosed with ALS when I had just turned 18. I don't know how many of you know the particulars of this disease, so for all you who question whether this is a worthy "trend" or not I'll explain. First, her she lost her speech, then the use of her hands, followed by her arms and legs. Basically a complete inability to move any part of her body. All while completely conscious and fully aware of what was happening. Eventually she passed when her lungs failed to do the job. This was a 3 month process and she passed in our family home. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Point= Please stop the hate, keep the negativity to yourself.

I was so proud of him for standing up for one of the greatest women I’ve know, our grandmother Josephine Veronica Pack.

Grandma and I when I was probably about 4. We were on a road trip to Mexico.

I was newly married when Grandma received her diagnosis; so my life was not as turned upside down as my parents and brother's was, but Jim & I did what we could to give them each a break from care giving.  Our times with Grandma involved keeping her company, helping her if she needed anything and to feed her from a feeding tube that had been inserted in her stomach. What I remember of that time more then anything was the frustration I could see in her eyes when she was trying to communicate a need and I was unable to understand the message. She wanted to speak so badly but her body just wouldn’t let her. I can picture those times so vividly and my heart breaks every time. 

I was very lucky to be able to grow up living with my grandmother and having the privilege of hearing her wisdom daily until the day I was married in 1994.
My favorite lesson from childhood was to never leave the dinner table to use the restroom because your plate might get cleared while your gone. She did it to me every time.  Another dinner time lesson was Grandma always has your back and if you were forced to sit at the dinner table until you to ate all your peas, you’d be sure if you sat long enough and Mom and Dad were gone, Grandma would take care of it for you. I loved that.  My grandma helped me when I was learning to tap dance. Many did not know but she was a professional dancer as a child and young teen. Finally, my grandmother also taught me to never share your dirty laundry in public. I’m sure if she were here today she would be very disappointed in the private, slanderous, unfiltered posts that can be found on Facebook everyday.

One of the last pictures I have of Grandma before she was diagnosed with ALS. This was my wedding day in April 1994.

 My final memory of my Grandmother was a couple days before she died. I had bought her a teddy bear dressed up like an old fashioned granny for Mother’s Day. It was suggested to give it to her early due to the chance that she might not make it to Mother’s Day. I remember giving her the bear and for the first time in a long time we were able to communicate. In her eyes I saw joy, peace and love. I knew she knew I loved her and I knew she loved me too. She died on Mother’s Day evening in 1995. 

My grandmother meant the world to me and when I was able to name my daughter Alexa Josephine I felt I finally had my chance to honor her. Today with this post I am able to do it again.

So for all who have done the ice bucket challenge, what ever your intentions, I thank you for bringing awareness to this disease. Please remember for every face you see cringing in the cold water there is a also a face of someone battling ALS. 

I leave you with this final prayer:
May the Lord watch over those suffering with ALS and their families and to bring wisdom and knowledge to those finding a cure.
Saint John Paul II, Pray for Us.

Until next time,

Friday, August 8, 2014

Day at the de Young

Before Jacob headed back to school we took a day to take in the art at the de Young Museum. The de Young is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Directly across the street from my favorite place The Academy of Sciences. I shared our recent adventure there in my 7 Quick Takes #9 blog post.

This was the first time we have visited the de Young. Art museums are not usually our first choice of places to go but we decide to take a leap into the pool of Art culture and actually found that we enjoyed ourselves very much. 

I gave Jacob the camera and as always he took some wonderful pictures even with the inability to use a flash. 

We each had some favorite pieces, including the statue of the man with his hands on his hips (located bottom left in 1st collage), the wooden waterfall (located bottom right in the 2nd collage) and the still life exhibits. 
Currently the museum is hosting an exhibit called Modernism. Both Jacob and I enjoy it but I have to admit that a few of the pieces we thought looked like something Alexa could have created in preschool. I'm sure with continued study on the subject we would be able to understand what made each artist tick and see the true meaning of their paintings. 

Until next time,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Father's Day Gift Idea Roundup

It's one week until Father's Day and I still have no idea what to do for Jim or my Dad. Thank goodness for some amazing and creative women who have allowed me to share their wonderful ideas.

The Divas at Dating Divas  created this fun candy bouquet. I don't know a man who wouldn't love a bouquet full of chocolate. Jim would be in heaven. In fact I know a lot of women who would love this gift also. 

A Father is a child's first super hero, why not give your's the fuel needed to battle spiders, mice and those monsters under the bed. (The missions most common for our resident superhero.)
This fun idea comes from Alpha Mom and it includes a printable of the labels you will need. 

Sarah and Jessica at Pretty Providence have put together this wonderful gift basket just for your Pop. My kids call my Dad Poppy so this basket screamed a must for me to do. (Mom - if your reading this please don't tell Dad)

I love this sweet and simple picture frame from Kelly at Simply Kelly Designs. This is the type of gift Jim loves to bring to the office to show off the kids. 

So many to choose from, which will it be? I hope these ideas provide you the inspiration needed to have a spectacular Father's Day. 

Until next time,

Friday, June 6, 2014

7 Quick Takes #14

--- 1 ---
The repairs and painting of our house is done. If you listen to my podcast I shared a bit about it in episode 14. What do you think?

--- 2 ---
Look where I'm headed!!!!!

Needless to say I'm very excited.

--- 3 ---

This video was in my email the other day

Life Planners go on sale June 12. I plan to be up bright and early to purchase mine.

--- 4 ---
Jacob is no longer a freshman.... I've never seen him more happy. Apparently it still stinks to be a freshman!

--- 5 ---
Back to my blogging schedule! Woo Hoo! May is a pretty tough month at work, so blogging tends to be put on the back burner. Now it's June so I promise to work hard to continue to bring you fun ideas and posts.
--- 6 ---
My Summer Shape up program at the gym ended this week. I lost 10 pounds!! I still have 20 pounds to go and with my new exercise and eating habits I know I'm well on my way to success.

--- 7 ---

Finally, have you had a chance to listen to my weekly podcast? Beginning in Episode 10 I began a new format, the new concept is to encourage families to become "Domestic Churches". Every Saturday I post a new episode sharing ideas to teach and grow in faith with your family. Please feel free to share the podcast with everyone you know. 

Until next time,

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Five Favorites - The Photo Edition

The beginning of this week I was away on a retreat with my co-workers.  Together we reflected on the successes of the  year and began planning for the future of the our church. Today I would like to share with you my five favorite views from the last three days, taken on my iPhone and edited with my VSCOcam app. 

The view from my room!

Here is another angle of the view from my room.

On Tuesday morning in ran on the beach.  I found a perfect spot on the rocks to enjoy the beauty that was in front of me.

The backyard near our meeting area had a lovely prayer garden. 

We had a spectacular dinner at a resturant called. Shadow Brook. If you are ever in Capitola you must eat there.

Hope you enjoyed the photos from my retreat. Today I'm headed home. As beautiful and as peaceful as this time was, I missed the messy, noisy, chaos of my home.

Until next time,

Monday, May 19, 2014

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Just in time for National Pick Strawberries Day. 

If you're celebrating National Pick Strawberries Day, I have a yummy smoothie recipe you can enjoy with your pickings.

In a blender combine:

1 cup ice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup strawberries
1 banana
1/2 cup mixed berries (I used frozen blackberries, blueberries)
6 leaves of baby spinach (I need the iron)
1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt.

Blend on high until it is just the way you like it. This recipe yields 2 smoothies.

This smoothie is a bit tart. If you prefer to have your smoothie more sweet you can add a teaspoon of honey.

Until next time,

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