Wheee - More Contest Fun

Beings that I am a crazy scrapbooking woman, I had to jump on board with this one (last minute jumper, but I'm hanging on, nonetheless).

I just met a blogfriend named k8 and she's having a big ol' scrapbook contest. Have you ever seen her blog? Check it out here - it's full of all kinds of monkey, scrappy coolness. And if you're quick, you might be able to jump on board the contest train too.


Digital Camera Give-Away

I knew there was a reason my blog is called Bunny Trails. It's because I spend so much time on them. Last night, I was blog hopping and ended out at a stay-at-home-dad's blog (I really have no idea how I got there, which is usually my response when found on aforementioned trails). Anyway, the guy does web design, search engine marketing, and takes care of his cute little girl, Alex.

Because most blogs I read are authored by women, it's kind of fun to hear a dad's POV. You can check Mike out at Stay At Home Dad, Geek Style.

He also happens to be hosting a very awesome contest. He's giving away a Canon PowerShot SD750. It’s a sweet camera, complete with 7.1 megapixels and a giant 3″ LCD display. You can find out more about it at Stay At Home Dad Digital Camera Give-Away. You have to sign up by tomorrow (8/31) at 11:59 p.m. (he's in Florida).

It would be fantastic to win this (or even one of the runner-up prizes at Smug Mug). So personally, I'm hoping I win. But if not, I hope you do.

A Timeout for Tag?

My sister just called to share this ABSURD article with me. Hello! What on earth are people thinking?!?! Apparently, playing tag (and other chasing games) at school is hazardous to the growth,well-being, and self-esteem of our children. Some schools have even gone so far as to implement "structured recess programs." Good grief.

My heart breaks for these children who will grow up with absolutely ZERO coping skills. In an attempt to eliminate every trial, problem, struggle, and failure, these future men and women will expect a blissful utopia. A place where they can feel good about themselves and everything and everyone all the time. Given that such idyllic paradise doesn't exist here on earth, I would imagine they'll be faced with enormous disillusion and frustration when life ceases to meet their expectations. Sadly, not being trained by parents, teachers, and other influential adults, because the obstacles were all removed, they won't have the ability to deal with life.

It's a part of growing up and life. We do NOT live in utopia. Everything does NOT go our way. It is just as important to learn how to deal with disappointment and frustration as it is to learn to think, cook, and pay bills.

This is one of those issues that, while utterly ridiculous, takes on a new perspective when seen through a spiritual lens. Once again, our culture seeks to do everything contrary to God and His word (which should come as no surprise. God clearly tells us this in His word). They blur the lines of truth. Make them fuzzy so everyone can define his or her own truth and reality. I believe this is yet another way to indoctrinate our children in the ways of a Godless, postmodern world.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Yet another reason that I homeschool my children.

For another thought (from me) on blurring the lines of truth, go here.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday - A Tower

Because so many people want to buy or lease a tall, brick tower.

Check out more wordlessness here


Tales From the Scales - Week #??

Okay, I have TOTALLY lost track of which week we're in. Not that I couldn't go over to the actual Tales From the Scales site, because I could. Like if I just clicked on the link over there in my list. It's really not all that hard.

So it's Week 16. I'm down a pound. That's according to the set of scales with missing number tops - actually I was able to look at the numbers from a slightly different angle and they showed up! Oh, I also found out that if I use the scales on the carpet, I'm down about 30 pounds. Only problem there is that the clothes aren't falling off yet. So back to the scales on a solid floor. While it's nothing astronomical, I think my grand, whopping total for all 16 weeks is about 4 pounds. Now I could be incredibly depressed with such a pathetic loss. I could go drown my sorrows in a box of Little Debbie's Swiss Cake Rolls. Or I could take the high road. The one where the signs read like the old Burma Shave ads:

You could be up
Instead of down

So be happy
Cuz you have less pounds


Hinky dinky
Parley voo

Ditch the Dr. Pepper
And the pounds will ditch you


Eat some veggies
Drink more water

You'll wear shorts
When it gets hotter

So what do you think? Do I have a future in advertising?


The Bug Came Over the Mountain

Do you know what these are? Or more accurately, what they will become? Well, if all goes according to plan (yes, I said "if"), they will become the cutest little santa star ornaments.

The bigger "IF" is IF they actually all get created. If so, I'll have 130 happy little santa stars on my hands!! Yep, I'm just a little crazy.
These are the work of Barb, of course, crafty woman that she is (and I mean that in the most complimentary way!). If you scroll down on this post you can see more of them. She was so sweet to send the pattern to me last year. I purchased everything, started tracing santas, and never got any further. That's because they were to be my 2007 Christmas project. Yeah, that's it. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Now because Barb's already in full holiday swing (once again, scroll down here to see the beginning of her Christmas goodness), the Christmas bug made its way over the Rocky Mountains to my house.

I was even inspired to resurrect my Christmas Notebook again this year (ooh, I'm becoming quite Barb-ish! This would go nicely with her Good Things book.). Maybe I'll post swell pix of my book when it's updated. Gee, Barb, if you ever head over to the Front Range and see someone who appears to be you (except she has long curly brown hair), you'll know it's me! Ha! Ha! Except I really don't want any coconut cake. I greatly dislike coconut. Nor do I have any desire to try a kool-aid pickle. I just don't do pickles - green, red, or any other color. I guess I'll just be me who's occasionally inspired by you!

Just so we're all clear that I'm still me, here's a picture of some of my sewing supplies in desperate need of organizing. This is definitely most un-Barbish. But it's definitely quite Dianne-ish. LOL!


Back to School

Well it's time for a new post. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who left sweet comments about Cody. I really appreciate it.

Yesterday we started back to homeschool. Our first unit (KONOS) this year is Cooperation - Bees. It seemed like a fun place to start and the boys can always learn more about cooperating! We sampled various flavors of honey on toast for breakfast which was fun. Among other things, they're both creating bee pun & joke books, which has definitely brought some laughs.

We'll be heading to a local nature park that has an awesome new bee habitat - the bees come in from outside via a tube and you can check out their honeycomb and all the activity. Should be fun!

I got a new printer today - woo hoo! Our old HP printer/scanner/copier died at the end of the last school year, so I've only had my Canon (no copying or scanning) since then. It wasn't a big deal until it was time to start school and I need a copier again. I really didn't want to have to run to Kinko's on a regular basis (nothing personal) and there were some awesome deals on printers this week. I ended out with a $149 Photosmart printer for $69. Sweet.

Not much else happening. I've just been getting plans together for school. I'm hoping to squeeze in some scrapbooking time soon. I'm having creativity withdrawals.



The past couple of weeks have been very up and down emotionally regarding Cody. At first we thought something was terribly wrong with him, but then the prognosis seemed to be good. He was taking his meds well and the hip didn't seem to bother him so much and things were looking up. The only caveat here is that he wasn't really eating much - other than the lunch meat we gave him with his pills. But he still drank plenty of water and gave the appearance of feeling much better.

Last Saturday, he quit eating altogether. No lunch meat, no canned food, no baby food, nothing. Additionally, his water intake dropped. Following this he became lethargic and seemingly uncomfortable with either standing or lying down. Our emotions came crashing down again.

We got him into the vet for some blood work and it appeared he may have something called Addison's Disease. If that were the case, it's a treatable disease and he'd probably have a few more good years left. In fact, Addison's would explain everything he'd been going through recently. That seemed like a decent option. Emotions are heading back up again.

We got the test results and it was most definitely NOT Addison's. Unfortunately, the alternative was kidney failure. By now, he'd been much more draggy, losing weight, and just not looking so well. He spent the night at the vet so they could get some fluids into him and see if the kidney function would turn around. It wasn't to be. He was uncharacteristically mellow, continued to not eat, and just wasn't perking back up. Emotions were definitely crashing back down - hard.

There was no longer hope of restoring kidney function to an appropriate place. His 14 1/2 year old kidneys were just done.

Thursday was mine & hubby's 21st anniversary. We couldn't bring ourselves to have him put to sleep on our anniversary. He was laid to rest yesterday. It was a very hard decision, yet we know it was the right one. It's been difficult these past couple of weeks watching him go downhill, suffering from arthritis, having no appetite, losing weight, and being generally unhappy.

We've never had to do anything like this before. Praise God we have a fantastic veterinary staff at the hospital we've taken him to. They were compassionate, caring, sweet, and respectful. I don't think they could've done anything better than what they did.

It's hard to imagine our family, our home, without Cody. He's been around since before the boys. We got him at the pound when I was pregnant with our oldest son. He grew up with our two cats (they both died 8 years ago). He's a great dog. He apparently came potty trained. He never had a single accident in the house. Ever. He was so sweet and friendly that we thought he'd never be a good watch dog. Wrong. He was very protective of his family and his home. He would sometimes escape and run around the neighborhood (he liked to socialize with other dogs). When we found him, he was always happy to come back home with us. If we couldn't find him, he'd come home anyway.

We have talked of getting another dog at some point. It just doesn't seem right for our house not to have one. But he'll have some big paw prints to fill. Cody was a fantastic dog. We'll miss him.


Wordless Wednesday - Sunflower

Taken at dusk with Pikes Peak in the background


Tales From the Scales - Week #??

Well, at last I seem to be hanging on to the proverbial wagon instead of lying on the dirt trail. Without any fully-functioning scales, it's been a little hard to assess my success (or lack thereof) on the weight loss journey.

Yesterday at Curves, I did remember to weigh and with my shoes on (I usually weigh without them), I was down a pound. It's a step in the right direction. I'm sure the fact that it's been too stinkin' hot around here has lead to my lack of interest in eating. But that seems to be a good thing.

School starts next week so we'll be back to some regular walking which should also help. Being on a consistent routine also seems to help with better eating.


Friday's Feast - Number 155

What is your favorite kind of pie? Key Lime

Name something that made you smile this week. My 3-year old neice explaining that she's herself in this way, "Look at me. I have this hair!" There you go, what further explanation does one need?

What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid? I don't know - I've never really been where it's humid. Hot, yes. I seek out air conditioning. Or I grab a mister and spray myself. Definitely get my big old hair up and off my neck - it's the equivalent of wearing a wool scarf, double wrapped.

Main Course
You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up? The kitchen/dining room. First and foremost, remove the 70's ORANGE & GREEN wallpaper! Paint the walls a pale off-white. Replace the dark brown tile on the kitchen counters with white tile and a red & white checkered backsplash. New curtains (red & white, of course). Then I could pull out all my red & white cherry decor that's been sadly camouflaged here. Lastly, replace the brown lino with something in the red & white theme. Naturally, we're going to get fantastic deals (hubby knows people) for all that I have going on here with a mere $1,000!! :D

Fill in the blank: My alarm clock says "Get out of bed!" but I hide it under hubby's pillow until it shuts up (he's in the shower, not laying on the pillow) so I can doze off again.

Oops, I forgot to include a link so you can enjoy other feasts! Go here to see what others have to offer!



Catching Up

It seems that days are just zipping past me and I keep missing the bloggy part of them. I haven't even felt all that bloggish recently. But now it's time to hop back on board (in more ways than one).

Tales From the Scales - I have completely fallen off the wagon here. Of course, having a broken set of scales didn't help. But there's still a month left. I'll see if I can drag myself up off the dirt road and hang onto the wagon for the remaining weeks.

The Burn(ed) Brothers - The boys went to the Sand Dunes on a Scout campout this past weekend. They failed to utilize sunscreen on Sunday (the operative word here? SUN!). This would be the day that they played on the dunes, in the creek, and in a pool - pretty much all day. They came home with extremely bad sunburns. So I've been providing them with pain reliever, mists of lavender oil & water, peppermint oil & water, and aloe vera burn relief spray with lidocaine. Oh, and some aloe vera lotion - when they'll allow me to touch them that much. Today has been the worst day. My oldest son woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't get comfortable or back to sleep.

Invalid Dog - Our dog is 14 1/2 years old (chow/husky mix) and he has some issues with arthritis (being treated with rimadyl). He came in yesterday and his right hip seemed to give out completely. He couldn't stand nor walk. He tried - a lot - but just fell or dropped back down. It was a little after lunch, but late enough that I couldn't get him into his regular vet. The local mobile guy had no time available. I ended out just sitting with him on the floor for about 5 hours until the emergency clinic opened so we could take him there after hubby got home from work.

On a happy note, he came home with just a prescription and is doing better. We were kind of freaking out, thinking that we might have to put him down, that this might be it for him. What a huge relief that he gets to hang out with us awhile longer.

Homeschool - I'm finally rolling with homeschool plans for this year. We use KONOS, which is a unit study. I'm pretty much finished choosing our units (to be posted later). Now I need to finalize the other subjects and the schedule. We'll be starting either next week or the week after.

The House - We moved the old, blue recliner out (donated it) as the upholstery was wearing through and it's not very comfortable (for adults, anyway). That enabled us to shift the living room furniture into a better configuration.

Much of the house is cleaned up and in better shape than it's been for awhile. I still have work to do in the family room, but it's also greatly improved. My stamping and scrapbooking supplies are all in one area. I have extra space at my second/third desk which has been helpful for school plans.

We also acquired a free sofa from my sister and brother-in-law which will be used for the entertainment area we have planned for the boys in the family room.

Paperback Books - After reading about PaperBack Swap at SusiePie's place, I promptly joined and am having a great time swapping books! Check it out if you like reading, have too many paperbacks that you don't need anymore, and like the idea of recycling.

There may be more, but it's time to head to bed. So I'm off for now. Maybe I'll play Wordless Wednesday tomorrow.


Wind Sculptures

Pendulum Clock by Starr Kempf

I'm getting in a little scrapbooking today and my next batch of pictures were taken of the Starr Kempf wind sculptures in Cheyenne Canyon. These are some of THE most amazing works of art I have ever seen. Since I don't have a digital version, you can click on the above link and see each of them. They're really beyond words. Here is another link with many more (and very cool) pictures as well as some descriptions. Being at the base of Cheyenne Canyon, there's a gentle breeze that flows down across Starr's property. This is what gives these kinetic sculptures their mobility. It's remarkable to watch these enormous (30-60') pieces of steel sway as gently as a reed in a breeze.

Sadly, a tremendous amount of turmoil and controversy occurred in recent years over these sculptures. The short version is that Starr's daughter (he passed away in 1995) began running commercial tours (complete with big buses) into this quiet little neighborhood. Needless to say, the neighbors were less than thrilled. The streets were never designed for such traffic.

The sculptures actually violate city code as far as their distance from the street and their height. The piece titled "Bird in Flight" is 60 feet tall. However, no one seemed to complain - until the tours got to be too much. After much legal wrangling, a judge ordered four (I think) of the ten sculptures to be removed.

The only sculpture I have posted here is one that's located in downtown Colorado Springs. The other pictures I have are of his works on his property (see above links), but are not digital.

I'm not even sure I can scrapbook these. I just don't really know how I would do them justice. So here I sit, in awe, remembering the warm sun, the light breeze, the gently moving sculptures, as I look at my photos.

BTW - that's my oldest son at the bottom of that sculpture, which is 47' tall. Gives you some perspective, that's for sure. He was 11 at the time.

The Purple Purse

My mom is just the coolest mom ever! She's loads of fun and she's quite talented. One of her many talents is knitting. She's recently made a couple of cute felted purses. I really liked this design so I bought some yarn and buttons and she made this beautiful purple felted purse. I just LOVE it!

Here's a close up of the very cool buttons.

Oh, one last, rather humorous thing. All of this came out of my last purse. No, it wasn't a large purse. Just a little rounder than the purple purse. Oh, the glass, the Dr. Pepper can, and the orange scissors (handle showing in the middle of the picture) weren't in there. But the rest was. Glad I didn't do that "show us what's in your purse" meme that went around awhile back!
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