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March 2012

Posts from January 2012

Update on Bella

12-27-2011 (141)
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I normally just share creative projects and very little personal information.  However, this post will be different.  So many of you have emailed, called, texted, facebooked, etc. that I wanted to try to answer as many questions as possible here for those that want to know what is going on in our lives.

Bella, our 5-year old daughter, started having some tummy problems about six months ago.  She had experienced some major changes---start of preschool and her child-care provider retired--so we assumed she was just adjusting to those changes.  As chiropractors, we know quite a bit about nutrition, so we started her on some probiotics and made some necessary dietary changes.

Now, I know that 6 months sounds like a long time, but she would have periods of improvement, then everything would flare-up again for a short time before returning to "normal".  None of her symptoms were what we would call "red flags", until about 2-1/2 weeks ago.

After she returned to school from the holiday break, she started running a low fever (100 degrees or less) each night for about 2 hours.  It would go away almost as quickly as it came on.  She wanted to be held while she had the fever, but would get down to play as soon as she felt better.  We also noticed that she was starting to become more lethargic; however, she has always been a sleepy child.  It wasn't unusual for her to tell us it was her bedtime and put herself to bed.  Even at 5-years old, she still takes a good nap daily.

Last week, she started having some difficulty in the morning before school...crying, wanting to be held more, not eating well.  By Wednesday, we decided to call her doctor.  My husband picked her up from school and when she got home, she crawled up in my lap like a limp doll and fell asleep before eating lunch.  We knew something was wrong and the doctor's office told us to bring her in right away.

Her doctor was off that day, so we saw a physician's assistant.  All of the normal stuff was checked---ears, throat, rapid strep test, blood work, urinalysis.  Her fever spiked to 104 degrees while we were there, so they knew something was wrong, but wouldn't know anything definitive until some of the lab results came back.  We were told to bring her back on Friday for a recheck with her doctor.

On Friday, her doctor went over the lab results with us and it was decided to send her immediately to the local ER for IV fluids to stabilize her vital signs.  She would then be transported to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis to be admitted.  Needless to say, it was a long and stressful day.

She was allowed to rest on Friday night, but on Saturday the process of truly finding out what was wrong had begun.  A pediatric GI doctor has been assigned to her case and performed an upper and lower GI in the afternoon.  It confirmed that she has advanced Crohn's Disease, which is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting various parts of the gastro-intestinal tract. 

Her lab results on Sunday gave us the big picture.  She is VERY SICK.  She is malnourished and will remain in the hospital for at least a week before being allowed to go home.  We have a long road ahead of us.

Now, let me just tell you that in spite of this, I feel so very blessed.  We have had outstanding care throughout this ordeal.  It seems like the right people have been in the right place at the right time for all of our needs. 

The nurses here are AMAZING!!!  I could not do their job and I have so much respect for them.  I would not have made it through the weekend without Sarah and Suzanne.  Sharon allowed us to get lots of sleep last night for which I am thankful.

You may have heard that doctors and chiropractors don't get along.  We have not found that to be true at all.  There is mutual respect and the doctors have explained everything to our satisfaction.  We are confident that they have a well-planned course of treatment and that they are doing everything possible to return Bella back to her happy self.

Our friends and family have been great support.  That includes all of my blog readers, newsletter subscribers, facebook fans, and twitter followers.  I've read every comment and email, and I apologize for not responding to each one.  Just know that your kind thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Now I have just a few stamping loose ends to tie up and I'll be done:

  • The Sweet Treats class scheduled for January 28th will be cancelled.  I still have every intention of having the rescheduled Celebrations Stamp-a-Stack on January 29th.  If something changes, I will let you know.
  • Virtual Stamp Club--the online class will most likely be delayed this month.  I need to be home a few days to shoot the videos for the class.  My plan is to have access to the class available on or before January 31st.  Therefore, anyone that places an order of $35 or more this month, will be given a VSC class pass.
  • Obviously I won't be attending Leadership Conference this week.  I'll miss all my Stampin' friends, but I am where I am suppose to be.  San Antonio is one of my favorite places to visits, so I know it will be great.
  • And guess what?  Yesterday, I celebrated my 10 year anniversary as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  Hooray!  I can't believe it has been that long.  My plan was to offer a 10% discount on all purchases made this week:  January 15th--January 22nd.  Here is how it will work:  If you've placed or will be placing an online order, I will send you a rebate check for the 10% amount next week.  If you prefer, you can email me your order and we can make payment arrangements.  I now have wi-fi and she is more stable, so I can check my email more often.  Now, more than ever, I appreciate those orders.  So, thank you in advance.

And thanks again, for all your love and support.  Hopefully, we'll have Bella lighting up the world with her silly, toothless smile again soon.

12-27-2011 (109)

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Sweetest Ever


When I saw the Sweetest Ever digital download (item #129009), I knew it would be perfect for creating treats for Valentine's Day.  It includes a 2-page 8-1/2" x 11" designer template.  All you have to do is print up the templates on Whisper White card stock, cut the pieces apart, then create treat toppers, cards, and more!

Sweetest EverHere are close-ups of the individual treats that I made:





And then I was able to create some gift tags:


Finally, I was able to use some of the leftovers to create a card for this week's Mojo Monday sketch challenge.

Just a quick note.....Posting on my blog will probably be a little erratic for a short time.  My 5 year old daughter has been sick recently and is undergoing a lot of tests to find out what is wrong.  Most of my free time is spent holding her, rather than stamping.  Hopefully things will start to turn around soon and our routines will go back to normal.  Thanks for your understanding!

Happy Stampin'



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Occasions Mini Catalog


View the Occasions Mini Catalog pdf

Occasions Mini Catalog (Flash player version)

Ready to shop?  My Online Store


I told you there would be a lot of exciting changes at the beginning of the year, and this catalog is full of fresh, new products to delight you!

NEED A CATALOG?  If you prefer a print copy of the Occasions Mini or Sale-A-Bration Catalogs and don't have a relationship with another demonstrator?  Email me ( your name and address (U.S. only) and I'll send them to you free and fast!  Local customers may pick up a copy on Saturday at the Super Sale.

Happy Stampin'


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Quilted Scrapbook Layout

Today, I get to share a special project with you.  This is a 12" x 12" layout that I designed for the current session of UStamp with Dawn & Friends.  All of the projects this round use the Simply Scored, so it's a great way to get familiar with this fabulous new tool!


If you would like the directions for this project and 40 more....simply click the link below to be taken to the UStamp website.

On Monday, I announced the new Virtual Stamp Club.  The project above is an excellent example of what you can expect from the upcoming online classes.  There will be a new scrapbook layout and coordinating card available each month.  Feel free to email if you would like more information or if you are ready to sign up!

Did you notice the new profile pic?  Our family had a very fun photo shoot last week with Stephanie of Steph's Photography.  She is also responsible for the photos in the layout above and I think she does a fantastic job!  You'll be seeing more of her work in the next few weeks as I start designing with this year's photos.

Happy Stampin'



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Exciting Changes for 2012

Happy New Year!  This is always an exciting time and I'm very happy to be introducing some new programs for my customers and avid blog readers.  There will be several announcements this week, so stay tuned.

For awhile now, I've been looking for a way to reward my regular customers and I believe I have come up with a great plan......the Virtual Stamp Club or VSC.  It's an exclusive monthly online class for customers that spend $35 or more on Stampin' Up! products through my website or at local events. 

Anyone that places an order of $35 or more before the 20th of the month will receive access to the class website.  If you would also like to receive hard copies of the current catalogs, simply commit to a 6-month membership.

Each month the class will feature a 2-page 12" x 12" scrapbook layout and coordinating card with video tutorials and instructional pdfs to download.  You will receive access to the class website on the 25th of the month.

If you would like to sign up, simply send me an email at with your name and address.  Then you can place your order online anytime on or before January 20th.

The local class schedule has been updated for January and February.  You can view it here.  I would love to have you join me for some stamping fun!


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