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They held still

  • Wednesday, December 3, 2008
  • Toya

  • We haven't done a kid photo for a long time. The last one was like pulling teeth. While I enjoy my snap shots of my kids, I have wanted a professional photo done. With the new nephew in tow we headed to the mall photo studio. It was painless. Ok, almost painless. We had to convince Jasmine that the 5 missing teeth could not be in the photo. If it were not for molars that child would live off of soup and mashed potatoes. She agreed to a closed smile. I think we have finally reached a point of paying someone else to take their pictures.

    Thanks to Lee Ellen

  • Monday, November 3, 2008
  • Toya
  • The featured layouts on the site are compliments of Lee Ellen. Lee Ellen is a very talented artist. I will be adding more layouts over the next few weeks. If you would like to have your layouts posted on the site let me know.

    Mommy broke tradition and it wasn't good

  • Monday, October 27, 2008
  • Toya
  • I broke the family tradition and I made a little girl very unhappy. Every year we go to the pumpkin patch, do the hay ride, and buy a pumpkin. It makes for great scrapbook shots. Yep, I think about the layouts with each shot I take. Well this year the school sent home flyers about a new pumpkin patch not far from our home. It was a great flyer enticing me with petting area, snack counter, hay rides, and pumpkins. I am all about buying from the small business. I just didn't know how small. We drove out looking for this place only to find a folding table set up with syran wrapped goodies for the snack counter. The petting area had a goat, a sheep, 3 chickens, and a rabbit. I did get good shots of the kids feeding the animals. We got on the wagon and went out to the patch. Once the wagon stopped we looked around to find a large field with about 5 pumpkins. Now I know we waited until the last weekend to get a pumpkin but this was nuts. The pumpkins were either blue in color or rottening. It was pitiful. We settled on a tiny pumpkin that was actually orange and not soft to the touch. My oldest looked like someone ripped her off and I agree with her. We got back in our car and rushed out to the other patch only to find it closing. That is when the tears started. Taylor was crushed. She had been looking forward to this trip for an entire year and the disappointment was more than she could take. We ended up at Walmart and let them pick the two biggest pumpkins Wally World had. By the end of the night we had smiling children but it was touch and go there for a bit.

    The Beach

  • Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Toya
  • We are off to a busy start to the school. This is the first year we are getting homework. I now remember why I'm glad I'm not in school. I am doing the typical mommy run everywhere. While balancing my position as training officer on our Volunteer Rescue Squad, running the online scrapbook store, and teaching cpr; I am running kids to piano practice, art club, doctor appointment, and school functions. When is winter break???

    As always the end of September is convention time. The Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads hold the annual convention in Virginia Beach. It's great because I can take the entire family along while I take classes. This time around proved frustrating from the beginning. We arrived late at the hotel, pulled sleeping children out of the car, and tucked them into the bed. I pulled the covers back on our bed only to find stray hair all over the sheets. EEWWWWWWW!!!! I quickly pulled my clothes back on because this required a face to face with the front desk. The next day did not get any better when I discovered the poor cleaning in the bathroom. I had a long chat with the lady who is in charge. Now usually my husband does school work and beach time with the kids while I'm in rescue classes. Mother Nature did not like the idea of beach time. A Nor'easter came through for the first 2 days with extremely high winds, horizontal rain, and cold temperatures. Did I mention everyone in the family had a cold? My youngest, nicknamed Ebola, shared germs with us. For an extra special touch, he got pink eye the second day in. He was fine all day long but hacked up a lung all night long. Between his hacking and husband's snoring I almost chose to sleep on the balcony with the Nor'easter. The weekend did get better. We got to spend time with the wonderful family who took care of my daughter before we were chosen to be her forever family. That visit is always the highlight of our trip. We didn't just gain a daughter, we gained an entire extended family. The kids were able to check out the aquarium with daddy. We all were able to spend time chasing the waves. As usual, daddy had more fun than the kids. Next year we will need to be in another hotel even if I have to pay the difference. No more yuck place.

    Wow where did the time go

  • Tuesday, September 2, 2008
  • Toya

  • Where did the time go? The summer seemed to rush by. The kids are all in school. Yes, I did do a small happy dance today. The funny thing is I look around and I wasn't the only parent smiling as the bus drove away. I actually saw a mother skip to her car. As much as we love our children, a little separation is good for everybody.

    A few new products arrived today. I fell in love with the 12" flourish by Glitz Designs.

    I can't wait to try it out. I was also curious about Tim Holtz retractable craft knife. I was drawn to the convenience of it being retractable.

    Coming Soon

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2008
  • Toya

  • After waiting for several months Clip it up is finally able to ship the ribbon organizer. If you have been waiting for this organizer as long as I have shoot me an email. I expect to have this organizer in stock next week.

    This is what summer is all about

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2008
  • Toya

  • Fill the pool and layout the slip 'n slide. Let the fun begin! Here are my three angels having a ball in the backyard. I'm sure my water bill went up like crazy but who cares! Did you see those faces?

    My Favorite new things

  • Sunday, July 6, 2008
  • Toya

  • My friend in the big brown truck stopped by this week and dropped off new products. I have to say I absolutely love the page kits by Autumn Leaves. Cuteworld boy and Cuteworld girl are adorable.

    The Amy Butler creativity bag, Dancing Mums, is my favorite tote. Apparently it is your favorite too because I had to add more to my inventory. The selection of masculine products has increased in the scrapbook world and I am adding more to inventory too. Gas Hogs is such a cute stamp set. Who doesn't want to use these on their next project?

    I hope everyone had a great 4th of July holiday.

    Coming Soon

  • Monday, June 30, 2008
  • Toya

  • One of my favorite parts about owning a scrapbook store is being able to buy new things. I look forward to the UPS truck coming up the street. I know I look like a kid on Christmas when my best friend in the brown suit comes with presents. Well, my buddy should be visiting later this week. Here are some of the things he will be bringing.

    The Blue Ridge Crafter's Retreat

  • Sunday, June 22, 2008
  • Toya
  • I had the opportunity to go visit a great retreat. The owner, Julie Wheaton, invited me and a friend to come up for the day to relax and enjoy some time scrappin' and chat'n. This is a great place to go when you are looking for a chance to get away from life and dive into your craft. You can do an all day retreat or entire weekend. She is currently running a 2 for 1 special on all retreats during 2008. We drove up on yesterday afternoon. There was already a wonderful group of ladies who were celebrating a birthday there. This was a fun group. My friend Sarah and I were given a tour of the retreat. She has three bedrooms that sleep 10. The bedrooms looked comfortable and inviting. There was plenty of space for you to stretch out throughout the house and read, nap, or watch a little tv if you wish. Down in the craft room each person has their own table to spread out on. There are a couple of stations set up for you to use with die cutting machines and more stamps than you can dream about. The best part of the experience was the great homemade meal Julie provided. If you are looking for a nice place to get away from it all, I recommend The Blue Ridge Crafter's Retreat. She books up fast and I can see why. I can't wait to go back for an all day trip.

    Hey, get back there

  • Thursday, June 19, 2008
  • Toya
  • I don't have a picture to go with this experience but I wish I did. Today after my husband left for a business trip my 5 year old wanted me to teach her to ride her bike without training wheels. No, this story doesn't end up with a trip to the ER. Yep, I'm surprised it doesn't either! Jasmine is more outgoing than Taylor. She is more willing to try this whole no training wheels thing. The handle is attached to the back to help me hold her up. We got started. Taylor and Jaden are watching us run up and down the empty street. Pretty soon I could tell we both needed a break from this. Taylor stood up and announced she wanted to try. Now you have to know Taylor to know this is a rare thing. She came over and got on Jasmine's bike. I went up and down the street a couple of times to build her confidence. One the third try I let go of the handle. She was going great. I decided to jog next to her and let her know how great she was doing all by her self. She looked over at me, slammed on her brakes and yelled, "Hey mommy get back there". I nearly hurt myself laughing. She didn't care that she was doing well by herself she just needed me to be behind her where I belong. By the end of the experience Taylor is riding 80% by herself and Jasmine is pouting. Tomorrow I will take pictures.

    Happy Friday the 13th

  • Friday, June 13, 2008
  • Toya
  • So this is suppose to be an unlucky number. Let's change that. For the next 48 hours (until 6/15/08) you will receive 13% off your order. So now is the time to get those orders in for your summer vacation layouts.

    New Arrivals

  • Wednesday, April 30, 2008
  • Toya
  • We have some new arrivals in the store. I was really excited when I saw the new Amy Butler creativity bag. It is so cute.

    The wooden stick was getting really old. I'm glad to see that Basic Grey came out with the rub-on roller stylus tool.
    We are taking my scrap space apart to paint and move things around. I am unable to scrap. AHHHHHHHHH! I need my space back soon. This is really driving me nuts.

    Finally spring

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2008
  • Toya
  • I am so happy to finally have consistent warm days. Today I started on my garden. This year the goal is to have a small raised garden. So, Jaden and I went out to Lowes to buy some wood, L brackets nails, and dirt to put the frame together. Ok, this project is costing more than I anticipated. Wood is REALLY EXPENSIVE. I was shocked when my bill came to over $50. If you add how much it cost me in gas to go to Lowes... Jaden is only too happy to help me with the dirt. He is going to have to wait to get dirty. I still have to put this contraption together. This is a chick thing. I don't want daddy's help. If I waited for him the garden wouldn't happen until next summer. Jeff's schedule doesn't allow for much free time. I hope to have this thing put together by the weekend.

    Right now I am sitting at a neighbors house watching her kids for her. Two of my kids decided to join me. It is amazing the damage two 4 year boys and two 5 year old girls can do in such a short period of time. Fortunately I had the good sense to grab Disney's Enchanted on the way out of the door. Oh the power of Disney. They are silent or I just can't hear them over this ipod. I finally have a few minutes to blog and flip through my CK mag.

    Happy Spring everyone. Go outside and enjoy the flowers!

    Scrap Time

  • Friday, February 29, 2008
  • Toya
  • If you live in the New River Valley and you want to get together to scrap, come on out on MARCH 8 from 6:30 PM - 9:30. There is no charge. You will have space to spread out. Bring a snack to share. I will have the Cricut Expression, Wishblade, and Sizzix out for you to use. The crop will be held in the club house in Maple Ridge Subdivision. Send me an email to sign up Come on out and get ideas from each other. Feel free to bring a friend.

    New Store arrivals

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2008
  • Toya
  • This week the store will have some new arrivals. Here are a few examples:The Pinch of Paisley was brought to my attention and I love the design.


  • Monday, February 18, 2008
  • Toya
  • I realized something today. I seriously need some time to get out of the house and crop. I have found a great spot where we can stretch out and crop. If you live in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, or anywhere in the New River Valley and you want to get out of your space and stretch out somewhere else, shoot me an email. I am thinking about a Friday night sometime soon. If I get a good response, I will reserve the club house for us. So, come on ladies time for some "me" time.

    Happy Valentine's Day

  • Thursday, February 14, 2008
  • Toya
  • Ok, I am a bad blogger. I know! I am finding that balancing children, housework, husband (4th child), and work is really difficult.

    I have to share my valentine treat. My sweet hubby tried to surprise me with a spa treatment. Unfortunately there was a problem with my surprise appointment and the spa called and left a message on our home phone yesterday. I am a stay at home mom so that was a huge mistake. You have to understand that Jeff is big on surprises. He is a serious planner and when something goes wrong he is not happy. The spa felt really bad and will give me a discount on the spa treatment. He still gets lots of credit for the surprise. He is super husband.

    I have found some time to work on a few layouts.

    Snow Day

  • Friday, January 18, 2008
  • Toya

  • Yesterday was fun! It has been a while since we've gotten more than 2 inches of snow. We got 6" of snow. The kids were soooooooooooooo excited. I could hardly get the snow suits on fast enough. The new puppy wasn't as excited about this strange white stuff that covered her favorite place to potty. We finally had to put her outside and close the door until she went potty. After a while she began to enjoy the snow with the kids. The funny thing was the snow was almost as tall as Princess.

    New things in my life

  • Friday, January 11, 2008
  • Toya
  • Ok, so I gave in and we now have a new addition to our family. Meet Princess Tinkerbell!
    We got her from the Humane Society. Yep, I'm a sucker! She is as sweet as she looks. She is already better behaved than my human children. Don't even ask about the name. She had so many within the first 3 hours. The name might even change again because I can't bring myself to call her that. I keep calling her poppy. We once tried to have a dog several years ago but it didn't work out. That dog was named poppy. I'm thinking about insisting on calling her that. She looks very similar to the old Poppy. She is a mutt. We know she is part hound. This poor puppy has been a good sport over the last week. My oldest has carried her around like a baby. I keep expecting to see her wearing doll clothes and a bib. Tomorrow a friend is coming by who happens to train search and rescue dogs and help us train Princess. I hope her skills are good enough so I can use them on the children too. :)

    The store has new additions too. You have to surf over and check them out.

    Happy New Year!

  • Friday, January 4, 2008
  • Toya
  • It is really hard to believe we are already in 2008. So much happened in 2007. I started this store. My second child started kindergarten. My baby started preschool. Hubby finished his MASTER'S DEGREE. We spent part of the holidays in Disney. Wow, I'm tired just thinking about last year.

    Well this year is just starting and we are off to a busy year already. Starting January first, I became the first black female officer for Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad. Yep, I just took on a lot more responsibility. I am the training officer. I am looking forward to the year. I have the great responsibility of making sure our squad gets all the training we can get over the next 12 months.

    The store will have some new editions soon. You asked for more page kits and I heard you. You can expect to see more page kits in the next week. Here are just a few kits that will be available for you.

    Let me know if you don't see something that you are interested in. I will try to get it for you. Happy New Year everyone.

    Happy New Year!

  • Toya
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