Category Archives: scrapbooking

We Have a Winner!

You all know that I recently did another Close To My Heart Gathering as a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, and that I was going to do a drawing, giving one entry for every $25.00 spent (before tax/shipping). Well, with this gathering, we raised $73.43 for Deputy Key’s fund! 🙂

As promised, I asked one of Deputy Key’s children to draw the winner for the contest.

Here is Deputy Key‘s eldest daughter with me, getting ready to make the draw . . .

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Who’s name will be on that paper?

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And the winner is . . .

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Rose Yates, of Rio Ranch, NM!

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Rose has chosen a set of note cards for her prize, and as soon as they are completed and given to her, I will post pictures so you can see what they look like.

Stay tuned, there will be a drawing from my next gathering, later this month, as well!

As always, I’d love to have you follow my blog via email! Just click the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and enter your email, and never miss an update! 🙂

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, paper crafting, scrapbooking, Shannon Key

Changes . . . and a benefit to help a Sheriff’s Deputy!

Recently, I needed to put together a two page scrapbook layout as a sample of one of our new Close To My Heart paper packets and Workshops on the go Scrapbooking Kits, which made me really realize just how far I have come from the beginning of my bariatric journey. I chose to use the Workshops on the Go Sarita Scrapbooking Kit, because I really like both the papers and the theme. I felt the theme, although shown in the idea book as a romantic layout, also perfectly fit the changes I have gone through over the past two and a half years, and since I’ve done very little scrapbooking about myself (because I so hated pictures of me), it would be fitting to use this layout to showcase what I have done, for me and for my health.

The left side of the two page layout shows pictures of me from January, 2011, the day before my bariatric surgery.

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And this one, which is the right side of the two page layout, shows pictures of me from Christmas 2011, and May of 2012, which is when I was honored at the Centurian Awards Ceremony held at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit MI, and received my Centurian pin, given to those who have lost at least 100 pounds and/or reached a healthy BMI. I had done both! 🙂

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If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger than they are on the blog post.

I am so pleased with the difference this has made in my health, and in my physical abilities. With four special needs children, I NEEDED to get healthier, and I have. I am no longer taking two different versions of insulin, whereas before surgery I was on a short acting insulin shot before every meal and a long acting insulin shot before bed each night. I no longer take blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication. I am no longer restricted to shopping in plus size clothing stores, having gone from a size women’s 28 down to a Misses size 12 – 14, depending upon the style and manufacturer. I have lost 157 pounds, and I intend to never, ever go back to what I was when I weighed in at 320 pounds!

Now, after years of avoiding putting pictures of myself into the scrapbooks I love to make, I want to make one documenting my own journey from before weight loss to now. Close To My Heart is going to help me do that, with the beautiful, quality products available, which are extremely easy to use for anyone. Trust me, if *I* can stamp and not mess it up, so can you, and the CTMH scrapbooking and card making products are so beautiful, I know you’ll love using them as much as I do!

While you can, of course, use the Workshops On The Go Kits exactly as they are pictured in the idea book, as you can see by what I did, they are certainly adaptable to whatever theme you want to make them into.

I would love it if you would consider me for your paper-crafting wants needs. You can go directly to my CTMH website and shop to your heart’s content! There will often be a gathering listed on the site. If you click on the link by “join one of Lori’s gatherings”, you can join that gathering to shop. Even if there is no current gathering, you can still shop directly from the site and your products will be shipped directly to you!

There is currently a gathering listed as “New Idea Book Open House”, which will be closing as of this Friday, August 30, 2013. If you’re interested in purchasing from Close To My Heart, this would be the perfect gathering for you to join, because not only will you receive the yummy August Stamp of the Month Set “A Chocolate Affair” absolutely free with your $50.00 order, this gathering is actually a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, a Deputy with the Bernalillo County NM Sheriff’s Department, who is a deacon in our church. You can read more about his ongoing battle with brain cancer here, in a series of articles and news stories.

If you order from the current gathering (New Idea Book Open House” on my Close To My Heart Site and get your order in by this Friday afternoon (August 30, 2013), then you will also be eligible for my prize drawing. With every $25.00 (pre-shipping/tax) on your order, you will have one entry in a drawing for your choice of a set of hand-crafted by me note cards (value $25.00), a retired paper packet (value $19.95) or a retired stamp set (value varies). The winner will be drawn by one of Deputy Key’s children, and will be able to choose which prize they prefer. If you book your own online gathering with me, and date it within the next month, I will give you an additional entry and set you up with E-Zinvite, so that you can invite all of your guests via email, and you can also make it an even on your Facebook page. Your party will have its own link on my site, your guests will receive their product shipped directly to them, and you’ll receive generous hostess rewards. What a win/win for you!

I hope to hear from you very soon, and I hope many of you will want to help Deputy Key by making an order on the current gathering “New Idea Book Open House”. All of my commission from this gathering is being donated to the Deputy Shannon Key Fund to help with the many costs associated with the treatment he must undergo, and to help his family during this time. Please consider this a worthy cause, and help out by ordering from this gathering. You’ll be helping someone who is very humble and deserving of your aid, and also making yourself more able to beautifully document the “changes” in your OWN life! 🙂

As always, I would love to have you join me on all of my “journeys through life” by following my blog. To receive a notice each time there is a new post, just go to the “sign me up” button at the top right of this page, click on it and enter your email. Hope to have you join me on “my journeys”!

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, card making, changes, Close to My Heart, health, just me, scrapbooking, stamping, weight loss

“A Trip to the Library” (In the Hands of a Child Lapbook Review for T.O.S.

I must confess, my kids and I have had previous (a long time ago) experience with the company In The Hands Of A Child“, and had even at one time, had a Super Membership that I purchased when attending a mega-curriculum fair back in Michigan. However, back then, I found many of the Project Packs to be too much for my kids, so we haven’t done any from In The Hands of a Child for quite some time. As you’ll see from my review, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better they did with a Project Pack from this company now than they did several years ago!

In The Hands Of A Child was created and is still run, by a pair of home-schooling moms. You can read about them here. Whenever possible, if I am buying materials for my home-schooling, I do prefer to support fellow home-schoolers, and this is a good one to support, for sure!

When given the list of products to choose from, I chose the Project Pack A Trip To The Library, because when we lived in Michigan, my kids loved going to the library, and even after being here in NM for a year now, we had not yet even found our local library branch, let alone gotten library cards, so I thought this would be a good incentive to get that off of the “to do” list!

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The Project Pack A Trip To The Library is written for students in grades K – 3, and is available right now for $5.00! The regular price is $10.00.

I received a download of this Project Pack, which is the format I prefer, as I can then use it for more than one of my children, and can also save it for use in later years.

When you think about A Trip To The Library, you may be just thinking about getting there, letting your kids choose some books,, a story-time hour if your kids are little, and going on home, but as your children will learn while doing this Project Pack, there is a lot of information about the library that they are capable of understanding.

From the website:

“With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about the library. Libraries have a lot of books, but they also have a lot of other information and resources. Teach your students about the types of libraries, common areas inside a library, library rules, how to find a book, librarians, book classification systems, the parts of a book, and more. Make your lesson planning easy with the Trip to the Library Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 11 Hands-On Activities PLUS 6 Fun Extension Activities, and a 7-page Research Guide to complete a project all about the library!”

You may even download a sample here.

I knew my children would enjoy doing this, because over the past few years as their skills have improved, we have added in more and more lap-booking materials to our educational experience. I am a scrap-booker/card maker, and my kids watch me, and like to take whatever materials I end up not using to create on their own, so it was fun for them to do the cutting, putting together, and laying things out in their file folder books we made.

Here are “The Puzzler”, “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” gluing the definitions to their vocabulary words, which we then put together with brads from my scrap-booking stash . . .

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and here is “The Artist” working on his . . .

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We made quite a mess, with all of the cutting! I decided to just let it all fall to the floor and clean it up at the end of each session. This is just a SMALL part of the mess . . . it grew and grew!

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As I mentioned above, one of the main reasons I chose this particular Project Pack was to use it as an incentive to get moving on finding the library here in our new city, and get library cards. So, one day while we were in the middle of working on A Trip To The Library, since I had some errands to run that morning, we decided to just include a trip to OUR library, once I had searched it on Google so I could use the gps on my phone to get us there (as my husband is fond of saying, I am completely geographically challenged!).

Once we found that there was a branch of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library fairly close to our home, we decided to go on our way home from the errands. What I planned as a QUICK stop turned into a couple of hours, but that was OK, the boys had fun, and we all have our new library cards now. 🙂

Here are the boys, signing their new library cards . . .

“The Batman”

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“The Artist”

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“Mr. Loquacious”

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“The Puzzler”

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All four of the boys working intently on their layouts . . .

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Here is part of the inside of a finished Project Pack . . .

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. . . and the other part of the inside is here . . .

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You can see in the first example above, the boys added the pictures of themselves signing their new library cards. We had also saved all of the little extra illustrations in the Project Pack print out, and they used them to decorate the empty spaces in their file folder books. In this case, it helped with covering the manufacturer’s printed material that was showing on the insides of the folders.

I took all four of their brand new library cards and scattered them onto the copier part of my printer to make a picture for the covers of their file folder books, and then used a cute font I have to make a title for them. This is how we decided it should look . . .

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And here are all four boys showing off their finished Project Packs!

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We did not need to purchase anything extra at all to do this, and you probably won’t, either. I always have a box of file folders on hand. For each file folder book, we took two file folders and folded each into the middle, making it gate-fold into the center. Then, we attached the two together with double-sided tape, which I also keep on hand for various projects. I could not find the brads I had bought at an office supply store the last time we did a lap-book, so I let them use the ones I had in my scrap-booking stash. Of course, we already had on hand pencils, glue sticks, colored pencils & a stapler, so we were good to go!

My kids and I think you should give Project Packs from In The Hands Of A Child a try. They really are a fun, hands on way to learn about a topic, and this company has a TON of topics for you to use! In The Hands Of A Child regularly offers free Project Packs here, so you can even try before you buy!

There is an ever-growing list of their units here, and it ranges from pre-school all the way through the 12th grade, in differing styles from lap-book Project Packs to Note-booking Packages.

Way back at the beginning of this review, I mentioned having had a Super Membership at one time. A Super Membership is a good value, in my opinion. It includes two free Project Packs each month that you are a member, plus 15% off all e-book lap-book units and $10.00 off of the price on custom ordered units. It’s a good deal!

There is a newsletter you can sign up for here, to receive the latest updates, money-saving deals and free tips.

In The Hands Of A Child also has their own blog which you may find helpful as a home-schooling parent.

I do recommend the company In The Hands Of A Child, and not just for home-schoolers, either! They make fine supplemental packages for kids in public or private school, as well as fun, hands-on educational projects for summer vacation or any time your kids would be interested in learning more about a given topic. But when it comes to home-schooling, you really could just about build a whole year curriculum from Project Packs written by In The Hands Of A Child! Take a look at their curriculum page, and just see if they don’t have pretty much any topic you (or your kids!) would like to cover, and you’ll see that learning doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be fun, hands-on, and relatively inexpensive!

Now that my kids are better able to handle these projects, I absolutely plan to delve back into my stock-pile of downloaded Project Packs from many years ago. I think they will be much more able to do them now, and we do enjoy it when we can learn about a variety of topics in a hands-on, fun way! 🙂

My fellow crew members reviewed a variety of products from “In The Hands of a Child” . . . please click below to discover their thoughts!

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Filed under education, family, Hands of a Child Curriculum, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Kids, Lapbooking, paper crafting, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, scrapbooking, TOS Review

Close To My Heart Winner!

I have just begun the final online gathering for the spring/summer 2013 idea book. This is your last chance to score your spring/summer favorites before they retire to make room for luscious new fall/winter product, PLUS, during the month of July, you qualify for the Workshops on the Go “Canvas Art Kit”, item # G1062, priced at $39.95, for only $19.95, with no minimum qualifying order, while supplies last.

In addition, for this gathering there will be another drawing. For every $25.00 on your order, you will again receive an entry into the drawing. This time the winner will receive their choice between a handmade set of note cards with holder (value $20.00) color choices to be determined by winner, or the retired paper pack “Dotty For You”, from our National Scrapbooking promotion of 2012 (value $19.95).

Please, go to my website http://lorimoffit.ctmh.com and scroll down to where it says “join one of Lori’s Gatherings”, then click on “final spring/summer gathering” You may order anytime between today and next Friday, July 26, 2013, which will allow time for the order to be in during July. Note that when you order from an online gathering, you don’t wait for the gathering to close before receiving your product, it will be shipped right away, so that you can play! 🙂

All of that said, let’s get on with the news about the last winner, and pictures!

You may remember my post back in May when I told you about the online Close To My Heart gathering which was a benefit for Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Key. Well, because of my surgery, it took a little bit longer than I anticipated to do the prize drawing and make the winner’s cards. The winner was PJ Pearson of Rio Rancho, NM, and her name was drawn b Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Key’s daughter. I tried to get good photos of everything, but some are a little blurry, sorry about that, I will do better next time!

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And here they all are, encased within the matching holder . . .

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I hope you will consider me for your paper-crafting needs, and remember, beginning with the fall/winter idea book, there will be some other fun crafting options as well, like jewelry!

Have fun crafting!

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, paper crafting, scrapbooking

Fret not…

As my closest friends already know, my biggest spiritual struggle is with worry. An old friend back home in MI used to regularly quote the words “fret not” at me…unfortunately, it’s still a major struggle for me.

My husband is struggling to recover from major spinal surgery, and instead of concentrating on his recovery is having to spend much time on the phone with both the surgeon’s office and the administrator of his medical leave. The surgeon wants him to be recovered more before he goes back to work (his incision isn’t even healed shut yet, and it’s only been one month, today, since his surgery), and the administrating company at this point has only agreed to extend his paid leave through tomorrow. So, I am worried primarily about his recovery, because if they make him go back too soon, I don’t believe he will completely recover, making the surgery a waste. I hate bureaucracy so very, very much…

We’ve been trying ever since we moved here to NM to find out how to transfer our guardianship of our adult, developmentally disabled son to a judge here. I made a call this morning to an organization I was referred to by a lady I met at a Scrapbooking day, but the person I need to speak to is out of the office until next week, so I left a voice mail with our phone numbers, and information about what we need. Hoping they can help, worrying, because we are now running out of time to get this done within the timeframe the original judge gave us.

I miss my best friend. I haven’t seen her since May, when my kids and I visited her for a few days before we left MI, and had three birthday parties in three days, for my twins and two of her kids. I miss getting to spend time with my best friend. I know it will never again be like it was, being able to see each other fairly often, even though we lived 2 1/2 hours apart. Now, it’s about 1700 miles, and several states. I miss having someone to talk with, who understands my life. I miss my other friends, the ones who were there to get together with me for just fun get togethers, even if just to go out for girl’s time… I’m lonely, and I feel like maybe I’m just being selfish.

I miss taking piano lessons, but I had to leave my piano behind when we moved, and we haven’t been able to replace it. I even miss practicing!

I am weary.

Lately, I’ve been very stressed and anxious, and am trying to give it to the Lord, but I have such a hard time leaving it with Him!

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7

This is SO hard for me, the whole “fret not” thing! I do not do well with the whole “just in time delivery” concept, it makes me very anxious. I guess the only thing I can do is keep trying, but it’s just so hard…

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Filed under Birthdays, Christian faith, family, health, scrapbooking

Homeschool park days, in November! :-)

Yet another very cool thing about having moved from MI to NM, Here in Albuquerque, we are still doing homeschool park days, in November, in summer clothes! Today was our weekly park day with the ABQ homeschoolers group,the kids were having a great time, and so was I! I was very included in the conversations with the other moms, and so caught up in the enjoyment, it was 4:00 before I even realized it! We usually leave park days by around 3:00 – 3:30, and do at least one errand on the way home, leaving time for me to get supper going so we can eat shortly after my husband gets home. Fortunately, today I made use of my slow cooker, because even without an on the way home errand, we got home about 15 minutes before my husband did. It was a fun afternoon! Now, if I can just find the time to get to the MVD and get my driver’s license changed to a NM license, then we’ll be able to get library cards, and it will help if any of the museums have lower prices for local residents.

One cool thong we’ve done since moving here is to go to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Tons of fun, and educational, too! There was a Nasa tent, where we watched a good demonstration of why one would have to have a space suit in space. The demonstration was done using peeps, which was kind of fun. 🙂 There was a hot air balloon simulator that all four kids got to go in and “fly” the balloon, seeing on a big screen everything that was happening. We got to meet some of the balloon pilots, and watch all the balloons being inflated and set up for the balloon glow. After that, there was an awesome fireworks show, better than any we’d ever seen, anywhere. Next year, we plan to try to go to both a morning session, when they do the mass ascension of all the balloons, and an evening session, to see the glows and fireworks again. It was an awesome evening, and I highly recommend that if you ever get to Albuquerque during the fiesta, you should make it a point to go. My kids liked it so much, we purchased from amazon.com two books about the first hot air balloon flight and plan to do a lapbook about it.

They’ve also asked to do a unit study about Route 66, because it runs right through our city(Albuquerque), and because the original Cars movie was based on Route 66, so now that we’re getting settled in here, I will find the unit study I had saved on the computer, and they can do it. I’m saving some of thos stuff, though, so that if I can find someone to sit with the kids next month when my husband has surgery (I will need to be at the hospital all day with him), they’ll have something to do. I don’t know any unschoolers who might be willing to keep them that day, so if I find anyone, it will likely be regular homeschoolers, who will have their own kids doing school, so mine will need something schooly to do, too, even though we generally are relaxed/homeschoolers. Lst resort will be having to bring them to the hospital for the day with me, which would NOT be my first, or the best choice.

Another educational thing they want to do is learn about New Mexico, along with each state we drove through on our way here to NM, so we’ll do that before continuing on with our study of all 50 states. My two youngest, for about the past year off and on, on their own, have been making notebooks in which they draw and color each state flag, then label it with the name of the state, the number (1st, 2nd, etc…) of state, and the year it became a state. They are enjoying that, probably because it was their own idea. My stepson has for some time been writing stories for the Fossil Fighters DS game, and drawing pictures to go with them. He’s keeping them in a notebook. Our oldest is most interested in playing baseball on DS, sorting his sports cards, and reading.

I have been considering getting the Write an Adventure Novel in a year curriculum and doing it myself! I had made a goal to learn to knit this year, but then we found out my husband was being transferred to NM, so my time became cosumed with packing and getting us moved. Now it’s November, so if I’m going to meet my goal I will need to find the DVD set I purchased from a homeschool catalog and get going on it, hadn’t I? But first, I need to complete a baby gift I’ve been working on for a new grand niece.

We have my cousin and her teo boys from Ohio coming the first part of next week for a short visit on their trip out west, so the kids and I will be getting the house in order as best as we can (we aren’t completely unpacked as yet) tomorrow and Monday, and while I run errands tomorrow, they’ll be doing their Saturday chores under their dad’s supervision. I think I will call my cousin tomorrow and ask her if she will teach me how to make omelets while she’s here. That way I can buy what I need for them on Saturday while grocery shopping.

Next on my list is getting desks for the computer room, so I can have back the tables I need for cardmaking/stamping/scrapbooking workshops. I’m a consultant for Close to My Heart http://lorimoffit.ctmh.com and am really trying to get my business off the ground now that we are finally here. If any of my readers enjoy scrapbooking, stamping and/or card making, please consider me for your papercrafting needs, and go to my website. I have a current party going, so if you go to the site and scroll down, you’ll see a link for hurricane sandy aid gathering. Click on that to begin shopping. In November, everyone who gets the stamp of the month set can also choose another stamp set for 50% off, plus, with every stamp of the month set, Close to My Heart will donate $1.00 to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief. Get a great deal, and help others at the same time! You can also order when there is o current party, but I do try to have one up each month. If you are interested in having your own party, you can email me at lorimoffit@gmail.com and I’ll set you up with an EZ invite so that you can have your own online gathering, earning free and half price product for yourself. I will also be happy to mail you catalogs to show to your local friends, and your non-local friends can order from your personalized link on my website. Their online order will be sent directly to them, and you still get the credit! 🙂

Well, I think that’s all for today!

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Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, education, family, Kids, scrapbooking, stamping, Travel, unschooling