Still playing around with photos I can access easily on Facebook. I love this photo of my son. We were at my mom’s house for his first year, and it is inherently cold in her house, so we are always trying to keep warm. As my sister Lauren puts it, “He posed like this in his hat for like 5 minutes,” so she could take pictures. If there’s one piece of scrapbooking advice I can give, it’s this: Scrapbook photos that you love! You can scrapbook them once or even multiple times in different ways. I find certain photos always pulling me back for more.
As for credit, let me work on that one. I find that since I didn’t start posting until long after I downloaded these freebies, things are not nearly as organized as they should be in my folders. If you see something I miss giving credit for, just let me know so I can post it! Hopefully one day soon I’ll be using my own designs too.
This sample picture I just did last night and I absolutely love the colors here. I am working on ways to log the supplies I use, which won’t be such a daunting task when I’m using my own designs. Here I’ve used papers and embellishments from “Bloom” by R. Dickson and some letters and embellishments by Colleen Silke (the name of the kit is abbreviated ATP in my digi scrap program). I use Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist to create most of my pages, and I got it for free on a day when Amazon.com was selling it for $o.oo! Lucky break. It has a few bugs, like it freezes when I try to upload too many files to the digikits folder, but it’s been easy peasy to work with!
Finally, today, I went scrapbooking with my girls at the Burlington Center Mall, and let me say that it was not the most productive session I’ve ever had, but I love those ladies. I really do have some wonderful and amazing friends in this life. Something about the social interaction of the scrapbooking crop is so appealing to me. We people-watch and eavesdrop on conversations (not to be judgmental, but for the sheer comic value of the things you hear, when taken out of context) and catch up on gossip and talk about our families and share stories, many of which are utterly personal. It’s a bonding moment and something that we should all have at some point because it just feels good.
I made ONE page (count ’em–ONE) for my own books, but my main project was an 8″x8″ album for my dear friend Amy, who just had a darling little girl, whom I have not yet met in person. I think I completed 7 pages or so, a good start at least. I’d like to give it to her tomorrow when I go there to visit. I think I’ll miss her and my bestie Ariane most of all when I finally do leave here. I’m almost crying at the mere thought! I do love them like sisters, I don’t know why I keep saying I don’t have any family here. At any rate, I suppose that was productivity enough. I hope she likes it. I keep trying to recruit her into my scrapbooking clique, but she’s been a tough sell. Maybe now, with a new baby, she will see the light…
In the beginning of May, I not only played a trumpet gig in Center City with my best friend from college Joey Mc, but I also ran the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. It was one of the most self-satisfying things I have ever done, hands-down. It was FUN to run. Now, granted, I walked more than half of that 10 miles, but I FINISHED and that’s 10 miles more than most people I know ran that day. Although, with 30,000 runners there, I probably saw more people on Broad Street than I actually know. I am so thankful for my running club, the Pineland Striders, because they stuck around until the bitter end when I finished. The one image I can’t get out of my head is the very first downhill, where I looked out over a sea of runners as far as I could see. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done and I hope to do it again next year–ALL of it at a run.
The other amazing part about the Broad Street Run is that it goes through the entire City of Philadelphia, from north to south. I didn’t grow up in Philadelphia, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I went to college for three years there and I loved living in the city and my trumpet-playing days. Running through all those neighborhoods, seeing the places from my wilder days and seeing the people along the sides of the street cheering me on was incredibly emotional for me. I know most of those people won’t ever get to see my blog, but I want to thank them, because they kept me going at times when I thought I couldn’t go the whole way. Especially touching were the moments when I saw people with Back on My Feet signs. Last summer, I volunteered to support my friends Amy and Wil in their 24-hour ultra-marathon event, in which they ran as many miles as they could in 24 hours. The money raised from the race is used to help the homeless get back on their feet, and it really makes you think about how helpful that can be to somebody who HAS NOTHING. Seeing people on Broad Street who had been affected by that program made me choke back my tears while I ran. It’s humanity at its best and I am thankful to be a part of it all.
After I spoke at the school board meeting in March (basically to say, “Hey, we should all be on the same page here, and you can start by attending our events to see what wonderful things are really happening in our district.”) I had my spring concert in mid-April, featuring a food theme and ALL the kids in school, grades K-4. It’s rough putting that many kids in a show, simply because it’s impossible to fit all their parents in the cafetorinasium. Some get all grumpy about it, but when your school district cuts budgets, the music teachers don’t get replaced when they retire. We had three retire last year and there are four of us left to cover 9 schools. So each school had one concert for the whole school year this time around.
It’s a damn shame they take away these musical experiences from the kids and even more of a shame that they want us to teach AND parent these kids for less and less money every year. My district has been working without a contract for the whole year, and although I agree some changes need to be made to the system, there has to be a better way than denying us (remember we have a whole lot of education and preparation under our belts to perform this job, NOT TO MENTION the actual personality you have to have in order to survive teaching) fair raises and decent benefits. I love the email that’s going around that details how much teachers would be paid if we stopped paying property taxes and just paid the teachers $3 an hour for just the hours contracted during the school year. It comes out to around $108k and I don’t know any teachers who make that kind of money. But I’d take it and pay my benefits and all my other deductions out of it and STILL make a lot more than I do now as a teacher of 10 years. Holy politics, where did that all come from??!
First of all, my baby turned 5 back in March. I am the luckiest lady, because I have two of the most kind and compassionate boys of all time. They are great sons and grandsons and they are the best of friends as brothers go. Anyway, he turned 5, and with all that was going on, we had his birthday party (drum roll, please) AT SCHOOL! Yes, I decorated the white board with Ellison die cuts and wrote his name on it. I made a Luigi cake (cool cakes with homemade butter cream are my claim to fame around birthday times) and brought it in to school. We invited my best friend and her family and my other great school friends and we all celebrated. I’m the music teacher, so he got an official music teacher piano-plunking out the chords to the tune and everything! Woo hoo! He opened his gifts–one was a whoopie cushion, a prank he LOVES to play on people even still. And then we all cleaned up and went our separate ways.
Ok, so it sounds a little lame, but I honestly think we all had a good time! I was tickled pink that all the teacher friends came in, and I think he was too!