Saturday, July 25, 2009

Old Friends and New Babies

Twelve years ago today, I lost my friend Nicole Taylor. She was seventeen years old, and she died in a car accident one week before we were to start marching band rehearsals for our senior year of high school. Hers was the first funeral I can remember attending, and I don't think I'll ever go to another open-casket visitation, that upset me so much. Earlier this week I found her sister Jennifer on Facebook (thanks to Jeng for hooking us up) and she's been posting memories of Nicole on there...I have to say, a lot of them are pretty darned funny. To call Nicole "fiercely competitive" would be an understatement, and she was not above the occasional practical joke--I know for a fact that she put hot peppers in the mouthpiece of someone else's French horn when we were in middle school. She painted my fingernails dark green with pink and purple dots and squiggles a couple of times when we were at band camp together (this was before the words "band camp" became a joke thanks to the American Pie movies), so I can just imagine how she would have loved seeing what they do at Cocok's with the silent K...I painted my own fingernails green with squiggles in Nicole's memory for my high school graduation (in most of the pictures they just look black, but I know what it was for). We both loathed and detested our middle school band director...my mom sent me a program from this year's alumni band concert and when I saw that director's bio on the same page as Nicole's on the program, I immediately thought how she'd probably roll her eyes and say something sarcastic if she saw it. She passionately loved music so I think she'd be happy to know that the high school band gives out a scholarship in her name every year. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of Nicole with me here in Okinawa, but I still think of her often. Jennifer looks SO much like her, only with blonde hair whereas Nicole usually dyed hers red. After Nicole died, my mom got me one of those birthstone angel necklaces with Nicole's birthstone and you know what? I still wear it a lot. I have it on right now. So here's to you, Nicole. Still miss you after all these years.

Let's move on to a happier part of life...new babies (well, I assume new babies are happy occasions since everyone on the island seems to be having them!). I've finally finished Tiana's baby book and oh yeah, Lee's information was faulty--she hadn't gone into labor yet. Haven't heard from her this weekend but if she doesn't go into labor on her own before Tuesday, they're going to induce her. Baby Emma, your first year scrapbook is DONE darlin', it's ok to make your entrance already! ;)


Tiana loved all the hot pink stuff she got at her baby shower, and I know Scott loves orange, so I decided to go a little wild with the color combination on this one. For a while I was thinking flamingos, but I talked myself out of that...I like the birthday cake on here. And I think I'll need to buy a zillion packs of that Razzleberry Lemonade patterned paper over the next ten months :)

Here's the boy version for the *other* baby book...

The backgrounds on both are stamped with a confetti-esque stamp. I used the SU color wheel to come up with this color combo, and I like it--I don't think I use Apricot Appeal often enough. So now I just need to do the first and last pages for the boy baby book, and it'll be done too...and I am very much looking forward to scrapping some of my own pictures again, it's been too long :) But anyway, I made my goal of 10 scrapbook pages for the month of July...8 of them were for the baby books :p I've got a lot of work to do on my Japan scrapbooks still.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Ok, so when two out of three blog readers tell me that I need to update so they're not staring at my toes anymore...well, I have to update so they're not staring at my toes anymore. Although my toes are pretty stinkin' cute, I should thank Amber again for talking me into the stripes. Maybe next time I go to Cocok's with the silent k, I'll get the same design but different colors...I'm thinking Cheshire Cat stripes. Or red and white stripes with blue flowers. But I digress, this blog post isn't all about toes!

So today we had a solar eclipse, which means that around 11 o'clock this morning everyone was outside staring at the sun. I'm just kidding...we were all outside, but only some of us were staring at the sun; the rest of us were trying to figure out how to "safely" view the eclipse using a piece of paper with a tiny pierced hole in it (I don't think it worked). But better safe then fried retinas, right? We were supposed to have something like 94% coverage but it didn't seem like it did that much--we all expected it to get much darker than it did. Anyway, it was a good excuse to stand around and not work ;) Hehe!

I had been waiting to update because I wanted to be able to share ALL of Tiana's baby book, part V, but alas I still have not finished up the last layout. But here's the layout for the newborn hospital pics:

And lookie, I made a boy version too for the other baby book I've been making:

I was going to use the girl baby buggy on Tiana's layout but she is in lurve with that little giraffe so I went with that instead. And from what I hear, she'll be needing this layout like NOW because she went into labor this afternoon (I got that thirdhand, so we'll see if the gossip was accurate whenever we find out when the baby's born). So at least the only layout that still needs to be finished is the first birthday one, so no quick deadline on that one ;)

In other news, we're moving. Not sure when yet, but sooner rather than later...the housing office is making us move so they can renovate our current house, and lucky us we get one of the brand spankin' new just renovated houses. It's another quadplex and we keep two of the neighbors that we have now (the third one is moving back to the States soon) but this time we'll be in one of the interior units instead of on the end. So here are a few good points:
1. Less yard to mow, and no hill in the front yard.
2. Much nicer kitchen instead of '70s reject kitchen.
3. Formal dining room, so we'll have tons of space in the living room now. Or maybe we'll buy an air hockey table for that room....bwahahahaaa!
4. We'll be like half a block away from several of our friends.
5. The house is pre-wired so we won't have ridiculously long cables snaking around everywhere.
6. Lee will be able to build himself a workshop in one of the storage spaces out back.
7. We won't be on the main road, so quieter.
8. Carpet. Woohoo!
9. Nicer bathrooms, and no blue tile that Lee hates.

Some bad points...
1. No hill in the front yard, so I might have to mow sometimes...no wait, if I go do the grocery shopping, that's a get out of yardwork free card! Bwahahaaa!
2. No door on the kitchen, so it'll be fun keeping the kids out of there...and I'm sure they'll mosey on in every time Ree and I leave the house.
3. Moving is a pain.
4. Yeah, I got nothin'. No more bad points, other than moving is a pain. It's enough of a pain that it should get TWO points instead of just one. Maybe three.

We just got offered this new house today and I think the housing office is wanting us to move yesterday. As in, they'd be happy if they could throw us in the new house by Friday. So we'll see how that goes.

And now for the best news of all...we're going back to the States for two weeks next month. And I get to see Liz for the first time in like three years!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!


Ok, I feel better now. Color me happy, dude, 'cause I am. I am also excited about getting to see our families, and then I'm excited about Target, and Penney's, and Sonic, and Barnes & Noble. And Tony's...finally, I'll be able to get GOOD Italian food. Please excuse me, I have to go do a happy dance.*

*Walk Like an Egyptian!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going GREEN

So yesterday Amber and I finally got to go to Cocok's with the silent K for pedicures. We had a good time looking through all the designs and trying to choose what to get...they have a picture of one design where the toenail is painted to look like an eye and it has EYELASHES, like fake eyelashes on the top. Weird!! Then there was one that was pink with white on the top on a wavy border, and a teeny red spot on top--I didn't get it at first but it's an ice cream sundae. Ha! I was having a hard time deciding what to get this time and then Amber talked me into doing the same design she got:

Now we're Toe Twinkies! Kinda wild, huh? I like the stripes. It wasn't until about an hour after we left Cocok's with the silent k that I thought hey, those are my college school colors! Bwahaha! Here's a closeup, and no my toes are not that red IRL, the colors just came out funky...

There's gold glitter in the flower centers but it is hard to get a good picture of that. The stripes remind me of a rugby shirt, and now I really want some yellow clothes to go with my toes. Ree would tell me I should only have my toes painted in colors to match the clothes I already have, hehe. I found several purple designs I liked but I thought I should save the darker shades until winter.

So after we got done at Cocok's with the silent k, Amber and I hit up the art store where she got a bunch of Copic markers and I got some adhesive refills for cheap, and then we had lunch at Mike's Tex Mex. It cracks me up that we have a pretty good Mexican restaurant here on Okinawa of all places, but I didn't care much for the Mexican places in North Carolina which is a lot closer to Mexico. And I like the Mongolian barbecue place in NC better than Genghis Khan here, and Okinawa is a lot closer to Mongolia...but anyway. After lunch we went to this three-story gift shop called ETWS (EWTS maybe? I get the letters mixed up) that seems to have everything under the sun except for kokeshi dolls. We found these super-cute hair clips for about $2.50 apiece, and we both got a pink one and a teal one:

Yeah, I'm sure if anyone had been watching me try to take a picture of this hair clip IN my hair that said observer would have been rolling on the floor laughing. This took about six tries.

Cute, no? And the colors I got will go with quite a few things in my wardrobe.

On Friday I had to do a bit of shopping for birthday presents as Arrie's birthday is today and Missy's is tomorrow, and wouldn't you know I just *happened* to see a new kokeshi doll that just begged to be added to my collection...

Isn't she purty? And PURPLE! I showed her to Ree and he said she looks like a mushroom, and then he asked if I was on mushrooms. Snort. Boys are so silly. Anyway, she's sitting on top of my brand spankin' new Twilight-themed stamps that I got from Artful Inkables. So totally awesome, I wanna hurry up and make a card or something with them, but my goal today is to work some more on the last bit of Tiana's baby book. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Mom's Motto

If the shoe fits, buy it in every color! That motto also applies to pretty much every article of clothing too...I found a sweater I really liked at Penney's when we lived in NC, and over the course of a couple of months I bought it in no fewer than six colors, lol! Anyway, check out my cardariffic ode to my mom's wisdom:

This is for today's Bella Show & Tell challenge, to make a card showing what you like to do when you're not working. And here's my explanation of why I chose Imeldabella, as I just posted on Splitcoast:

I love looking at shoes. I love shopping for shoes. I love buying shoes. I don't particularly like to *wear* shoes though, lol! I'm the one who's always got her shoes kicked off under her desk at work. Right now I really want to buy these teal shoes I saw in the JC Penney catalog but I haven't done it yet...they're adorable little peep-toe flats, and did I mention that they're teal? Love 'em! I prefer flats to heels because a.) I'm an Amazon in Japan and b.) I missed the day in school where they taught girls how to walk in heels and apply makeup properly. Plus flats are way more comfy.

I also tend to look at other people's shoes, especially when we're out in a crowd...last weekend I was just amazed at how many women were teetering around on 4" stiletto heels at a festival where you have to walk around a lot. And they have some crazy shoes in Japan, lemme tell ya. I tried to take a picture of some of them, but I was too far away to get a good picture and my DH thought it was a weird thing to be doing so I quit

While I was working on this card and another one for tomorrow's Bellariffic Friday challenge, my little man Vader was hanging out with his buddy Raven:

Sadie mostly keeps to herself because she's a bit snotty. It's hilarious because almost every night, Vader will go lay down right next to her and if he touches her even the slightest bit, she makes a funny noise and hops up immediately to go find a different place to lay down where no one is touching her. Silly girl.

Anyway, it is once again bedtime in Japan. And tomorrow is Friday, so yay! Check you later, peeps!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shake 'n Bake

I need to play my iPod in the kitchen more often. I had a fabulous time tonight shakin' and bakin' :D I made cookies for a care package I'm going to send to my friend Dean, and while I was baking I had my iPod blasting (Lee says there's a reason why I'm half-deaf. I have no idea what he means by that.) And yes, I did indeed shake it like a Polaroid picture! Bwahahahaaaaa! Vader and Raven were looking at me like I'm crazy, which is possible I suppose, but I ignored that. In between batches of cookies and bustin' a move, I worked on my new stitching project that I started last week, but I can't share pictures of it because a.) I haven't taken any and b.) it's a gift for someone, and if I posted pictures of it, that someone would know who it was for. So no photos.

Of course anytime I'm in the kitchen, I have a canine audience hoping that they'll get a treat or something. I tried to take a cute picture of them but...

They're possessed! Dodododododododo.....that's me singing the Twilight Zone theme (or as my aunt used to say when she was little, the Twerlit Zon!)

Yep, no matter what I did I got glaring doggie eyeballs when I took their picture. Not just Raven and Vader, either, Sadie's been possessed too!

Dum dum daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yeah, I think it's past my bedtime. Mwah! G'night everybody!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Warning: long and rambly and possibly nonsensical blog post ahead...I'm pretty tired so I don't know anymore if I'm coherent at all. Can't say I didn't warn you.

We didn't really have any big plans for the holiday weekend, mostly we've been chillin' like villains. This morning Lee got up early to go scuba diving; I got up early and vacuumed up a truly awe-inspiring amount of dog hair, and then Amber came over for a little bit to stamp and yak and hang out and she let me play with her Nestabilities!! Oh yeah, I gotta get some of those. Now I'm thinking I may just splurge next month and buy the Big Shot so I can start collecting the Nesties...and if you're not a paper crafter then you have no clue what I'm talking about but that's ok :)

So the dog hair has been accumulating even more rapidly than usual (and I didn't think that was possible before now!) For the month of July, we're keeping Jamie's dog Raven while she's in the States, so we now have three LBDs (that's Little Black Dogs, not Little Black Dresses, although come to think of it I have three of those too) running around the house. We look like a parade when we take them all for walks. Sadie still likes to keep to herself because that's just how she is, but Raven and Vader are good buddies:

Yep, that's them in my craft room today, just hanging out while I actually worked on a scrapbook layout that I started about two months ago. I have this old comforter on the floor in my craft room as a way to try to get the kids to lay on it out of my way rather than plopping down right behind my chair and then looking affronted when I try to move and their tails get run over. :p

Ree was playing with the kiddos last night and Raven got to be the Top Dog for a bit...I think he had all three of the dogs trying to get up on the chair at the same time but I couldn't get a picture of that because our camera's memory card was full (took care of that today).

I'm estimating that we've got about 200 pounds of dog, somewhere around there. We've got nothin' on Shannan who now has a grand total of 450 pounds...just having Raven around has convinced Lee that we do *not* need a third dog. Not that Raven misbehaves or anything, because he doesn't, it's just that it's a bit crowded with three of them milling around every time you try to leave the room. (After reading Shannan's blog post, I wanna name a dog Misdemeanor!) This is what it looks like at feeding time:

Anyway, this afternoon Lee and I were getting ready to leave for AmericaFest when I saw a butterfly perched on our sliding glass door, lookie:

Pretty, huh?

So here's the scrapbook layout I *finally* finished today...I think I started it at least two months ago, so I am officially the world's slowest scrapper. But hey, now I've done two pages already for this month!

Click the photo to see a larger version. I love the little kimono-wearing Kettos, they're so cute! Ok, so the entire Ketto line is stinkin' adorable, so I'm glad I have a Ketto representative in my scrapbook now. This layout is from Jamie's birthday party this year when we all went to Cocok's with the silent k (my first experience there) and then out to dinner afterwards.

Sooooooo how about a few AmericaFest pictures? Here's one of our patented self portraits:

And then when the fireworks started, we tried another self portrait but this one didn't turn out so good...

So someone offered to take our picture for us, so now I'm actually in the frame :)

I tried to take a few pictures of the fireworks, but it's pretty much a lost cause with a hand-held camera. We were only out at AmericaFest for a couple of hours and I think most of that time was spent waiting in line for hamburgers, but that's okay. We had awesome weather this evening--not too hot or humid, good breeze, clear skies for the fireworks. I think we should go back next year, especially since we didn't get any funnel cakes or fried Oreos...they ran out right when we queued up in line :( I was kinda looking forward to trying a fried Oreo, so maybe next year!

Have a wonderful Fourth, everyone, and stay safe!