Friday, December 31, 2010

how will YOU be remembered?

My Grandma {Virginia} Johnson lived 82 years and for that, I am so thankful...

She passed away on December 26th, 2010. She had been battling Alzheimer's for quite some time and was slowly getting worse by the year, and within this last year, she was getting worse by the month. We all hurt deeply watching her slip into a body and mind that wasn't her own. But yet, I still cherished the chance to be able to hug her and tell her that I loved her whenever I could...even if she didn't recognize my voice or my face. I was preparing myself for that day I would be forced to say goodbye.

Growing up, my grandparents' home was my second was the place where all 34 of the Johnson clan would meet for holiday get togethers. A place where my siblings and I would go if we were sick and had to stay home, but my mom had to work. It was a place where almost every Sunday night we would go over to their house after church and have apple slices and popcorn. My grandma loved doing anything she could for her grandkids and there was never a moment where I didn't see that. She rarely sat down and was always doing something for someone.

Grandpa & Grandma with 10 out of their 12 grandkids

On Christmas Day 2010 my parents got a phone call that my grandma wouldn't have much longer to live and so for the rest of Christmas evening they went to be with my grandpa as he prepared to say goodbye to the love of his life...she held on just a little bit longer until 11:45 PM on December 26th. My grandpa and grandma had been married for 60+ years! For my grandpa, she was his world, his everything, and he couldn't imagine life without her...even with her slowly slipping away day by day. It was heartbreaking to watch him try so hard to let her go. She didn't know who this man was that came to feed her for every meal, but yet he still never missed a meal if he could help it. This man loved and adored his wife so much that he never failed to tell her that. He would still hold her hand and call her his bride when he went to visit her. All she could do was stare blankly across the room, but I have no doubt that she still heard those words even if she wasn't able to express her love back.

My mom shared with me, that on Christmas night when they went to be with her during what they thought were her final hours, my grandpa leaned over and whispered in her ear that he was finally OK with letting her go and that he would be fine. Part of me believes that she held on for so long just for her to hear those words...that he would be OK with her leaving him here. To me, that's how she showed him that she loved him. She wanted him to be OK without her.

My grandma was an amazing woman. She was selfless in every way imaginable, tender-hearted, caring, full of adventure (she had to be for all the fishing trips and motor home rides she traveled with my grandpa!), always thought of others and wanted to give to others as much as she could. Her smile and laughter is a memory that will never fade. With the passing of my grandma, I have been asking myself A do I want to be remembered? So many special moments and memories have been shared about my grandma and the kind of person she was. She has such an amazing legacy that I am so proud to be her granddaughter...I want to leave the kind of legacy she left. I want to be remembered like that.

I am so thankful I was blessed with 32 years of my life having this wonderful person to call my grandma. She was there when both of my children were born. Her smile would light up when I brought my kids close to her face and would say, "Grandma, these are your great-grandchildren". She loved kids, and in the last years of her life, she often would only smile when there were kids coming to greet her.

I am forever grateful for these pictures...

Grandpa & Grandma with Mikayla

Grandma with Mikayla
Grandpa & Grandma with Austin
Grandma with Austin

Grandma & Grandpa with Mikayla & Austin
Although my heart hurts that I no longer will get to see her here on Earth, I know without a doubt that she is laughing and dancing with Jesus, looking down on all of her family here on Earth smiling and as happy as she could ever be because she no longer has to live in a broken body. She has a new life!

This place was no longer her was time for her to let go.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas is over? SAY WHAT?!

Ummm...yea. I guess I didn't quite get the blogging bug during December. I missed a whole Christmas season worth of fun things to share! However, I did do more of my picture sharing on my Facebook page. Short and sweet. Things just seemed way too busy to be wordy, and for some reason I feel like I can't make a blog post without being wordy. Interesting...

So, now that Christmas is over and all the decorations are down (except for a few snowmen here and there...I'm still hoping for SNOW this winter), what happens next?

One of my first "crafty" projects of 2011 that I would like to accomplish is scrapbooking my Christmas photo cards I receive from family and friends. I blogged about this "way back when" (January 2009 to be exact...seems forever ago!). Here is a sneak peek from that post and click on the picture below if you want all the details. (pssst...can I confess something? I haven't scrapbooked my photos I received for Christmas 2009 yet. Eek! This will definitely be a goal of mine for the month of January to do TWO year's worth!)

{a sample 2008 page from my Christmas album}

This year I hung my Christmas photo cards onto ribbon and put them in the window of our kitchen. By the end of the month, I had so many cards that I could have made a second garland, but didn't get around to it (geez...what's new?). I'll remember that for next year! I used mini clothespins that {for next year} I plan to decorate to make them a little more festive. This year, I just knew that I wanted to get them UP!! And, if I kept waiting to get the clothespins decorated, they never would have gone up, so I just did it and that added little touch will just have to be a "must do" for next year's Christmas planning!

What do you do with your Christmas photo cards, letters, and Christmas cards after Christmas? I'd love to hear!

Be looking for a post (soon, I hope!) to show you my accomplishment of getting both 2009 & 2010 scrapbooked and ready to share!

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I realize Christmas is already over and it's probably too late to share my decor for this year, but let's pretend it's still Christmas for just one more day! ;)

Hope you all had a
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

out with fall and in with winter

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving time with your family! We were able to celebrate it with my dad's side and got to see some family we haven't seen in quite some time. It warmed my heart to see all of the kids running around together...and the grown ups lazying the day away together. It was the first Thanksgiving that my parents have been to in many, many years, so it was extra special to us!

The Fall decorations are coming down tomorrow. Last year, I got a slow start on the Christmas decor, but that's not going to happen this year! I want to be ahead of the game...unlike when I decorated for Fall. Before I started taking down my Fall decor (what little there was of it), I decided to snap a few pictures to say goodbye before I packed it away for yet another year!

And, speaking of bringing in winter...we had our first snow of the season last Tuesday! It wasn't much, but that didn't stop the kids from wanting to bundle up to go out and play in it. 15 minutes later they were back inside ready to get warmed up was fun while it lasted, I suppose!

P.S. I extended the giveaway at my Stuck on Stampin' blog until Sunday! Head on over to enter to win some fun Stampin' Up! goodies!

Monday, November 22, 2010

craft bazaar fun!

**Want to win some Stampin' Up! goodies?
Read through to the end of this post to find out how!**

I have been B-U-S-Y in preparing for a craft 2nd one ever! Last year's bazaar I shared a table with my friend, Andrea, and we both had our Stampin' Up! goods out for sale. This year I had a table of my own, so I had a lot more goodies to prepare. The bazaar was last weekend and I felt like it was really successful and I was extremely pleased with the reaction of all of my goodies. I thought I would share with you some of my crafty creations.

Treat Boxes
Perfect for homemade treats for neighbors, family, and friends!
{currently these treat boxes are online at Stampin' Up! in the Clearance Rack!}

I tied the bow onto the box and made a stamped tag for each of the boxes using Stampin' Up!'s Exclusive Two-Tag Bigz Die for the Big Shot Die-Cut Machine. I used Riding Hood Red & Chocolate Chip.

Peppermint Patties

These were one of the top sellers!
{original idea found here}

"Sandwich" the patties with the scalloped circle punch and add your stamped images to the top. Place them in a pretzel bag and tie them at the top with a pretty ribbon.

Snowman Gift Bags

I made these last year with my MOPS group, as well as a Christmas event I held last year. I had quite a few leftovers, so I decided to put them together for the bazaar. They didn't sell very well, but I may have had the price a little too high. My mother-in-law bought four of them from me after I told her they weren't selling sweet (I did the lower the price just for her!)

Decorative Hand Sanitizers

These were pretty good sellers. I had used this idea for a workshop I had done for a friend of mine using Stampin' Up!'s Decor Elements (vinyls). Each of the gals made one of these for their make n take. I decided that they were so simple and fun to make that I'd whip some up for the bazaar. I got a lot of lookers on this one and sold a handful.

Snowman Kisses

These little cuties I made last year, but I must say I love how this year's came out a lot better than last year's version. These are white Tic Tacs that I made a cover for using this tutorial. I had to tweak it a little since she used the large sized Tic Tacs.

Inside it says:
He's cute, cuddly & full of good wishes.
He wants to give you these snowman kisses!

Reindeer Food

These didn't really sell well last year, but I had a few leftover, so I thought I'd bring them out again and see how they sell. Most of the problem is that I don't think people really knew what it was. This would be a fun activity to do with your kids on Christmas Eve. You sprinkle the reindeer food on the lawn so Santa's reindeer can see your house with the "sparkle"'s made with oatmeal, and green & red sprinkles. People have used glitter in the past, but sprinkles are more "eco-friendly".

Poem on the top of the container:
Sprinkle on the lawn at night,
The moon will make it sparkle bright.
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam,
This will guide them to your home.

Tooth Fairy Tins

I love how these turned out! They are the perfect place for your little one's lost tooth. Stampin' Up! sells the stamp called Tooth Fairy...isn't it perfect? I added a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter for that extra sparkle. I had a small group of moms at the bazaar snag one of these up for their daughters.

Magnetic List Pads

I whipped these out the night before. I had a few leftover pads from an event from last Christmas, so I thought I would use them up for the bazaar. I only had one left by the end of the day. These are list pads that have been cut in half at Staples (they charge a fee per cut). A large magnet is on the back...perfect for the front of your refrigerator to keep your shopping list.

Treat Bags

I thought these would go flying out the door, but I have A LOT of leftovers. Oh well, less work for my next bazaar on December 4th. They didn't take a lot of work, but the candy inside adds up. I used Stampin' Up!'s exclusive Top Note Die as the topper and I has so many bags of candy, I had to keep the decorative part simple.

Hershey Nugget Trays

These were my best sellers! I made some Thanksgiving-themed ones, along with Christmas-themed. I wish I had made more. They were pretty simple. I wrapped Hershey Nuggets (bought in bulk) and then made a "tray" from cardstock and put them in a pretzel bag. I made a tag for each of them and then tied with ribbon. I had seen these from a friend of mine and thought they were adorable!

Jingle All the Way Shadow Box Frames

I decided to see if these might sell and so I made up 5 of the frames from my tutorial using different colored paper for the background. 3 of the 5 frames sold...all to my friends! *wink*

Rudolph's Spares

These were so fun to make, but not one single one sold. I must have had the price right or it's just not what people are looking for. Oh well...I thought they were cute!

Rudolph has a job to do,
On Christmas Eve, it is true.
His nose will always light the way,
for Santa and his big red sleight,
But if his nose should ever go out,
don't cry or whine or even pout.
Take out this bag and use a bit
from Rudolph's Red Nose repair kit.

Purse Post-It Note Holders

I love these!! These were pretty good sellers, too. I took 10 of them and sold 9. They are so it up and there are post it notes inside. I made some for a birthday party I did a month or so ago. The tutorial can be found here. I kept them simple, mostly because I made them the night before!

Christmas Cards
{sold individually}

Christmas Cards

{sold in packages}I also had greeting cards for sale, but don't have a picture.

Here is my set up at the bazaar...

My little "information station"...
Overall, the bazaar was a big success! I am planning on being a part of one more bazaar coming up on Saturday, December 4th. I'll have most everything ready, but will make some more of the big sellers. It's a lot of stress to get ready for bazaars, but ultimately I enjoy the outcome!

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Have you entered into my giveaway yet? Head on over to my Stampin' Up! blog to enter to win the following: "Northern Hearts" wood stamp set, Jingle All the Way Decor Element, and a full spool (10 yards) of Real Red polka dotted grosgrain ribbon. You don't wan to miss out on the chance to win, so head on over right now!

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