Monthly Archives: November 2010

Easy Scrapbook Layouts for Thanksgiving Part I

Need I remind you that Thanksgiving is right around the corner?  You better get going!  Like Halloween, it is a high volume picture taking day.  The thing about Thanksgiving is that we always wind up taking the same photographs and too many of them…pictures of the table, the food, the kids, the guests.  To make life easier on yourself, choose only the pictures you really would like to keep.  File the remainder in a photo safe box for future viewing.

I’ve put together some quick and easy layout ideas that you can use.  Get them ready so when Thanksgiving is a thing of the past and Christmas is lining up, you can get them in your scrapbook really fast.  Make it one less thing you need to stress about during this busy, busy time of year!  By the way, have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Take the time to BE thankful and scrap those things that MAKE you thankful, like your children, close friends and family.

Thanksgiving Leaves










The photos on this layout can be “laid out” many different ways.

  1. Choose 1 or 2 of your fave photos from Thanksgiving and place them centered on the mat.
  2. Cut 3 photos down to 3″x 4″ and place immediately next to eachother
  3. Make a collage of several different photographs in different sizes
  4. Double rows of 3″x2.5″ photos

This layout was used with leftover scraps of paper and stickers.  The background is a 12″x12″ piece of brown cardstock.  Use the open space on the bottom for your journaling.

The Thanksgiving Table










If you are like me, you have a terrible habit of taking pictures of the set table.  Why not scrapbook them?  What a great way to look back and remember how you did the table from the year before.  In the space for journaling, jot down the names of the guests in attendance, anything different you may have served and special memories.

Thanksgiving Collage







Do you love the Thanksgiving Day shots you took and want to use nearly all of them?  Make a double layout collage.  This alleviates the need for multiple pages of this wonderful holiday.  I’ve done this on 8″x8″ pages.

Stop by next week for more Thanksgiving layout ideas.  In the meantime, enjoy!


Age 10 – The King is Dead and A Little Southern Snow

Major Event #1:  It was August 16, 1977 and I was sitting in my living room watching Bugs Bunny.  I do not know why I was allowed to stay in to watch TV.  The rule around our house was that we had to be outside.  The only exception was rain or vomit, and I don’t remember either occurring.  My cartoons were suddenly interrupted by a “Breaking News” announcement.  Being 10, I was immediately annoyed because my favorite cartoon was disrupted…and by the news no less!  My annoyance quickly turned to astonishment when the newscaster announced that Elvis, the King of Rock N’ Roll, was dead.  I sat there in complete disbelief.  When I finally came out of shock, I ran to my mother, who was on the phone talking to a friend.  I was frantically trying to tell her about the untimely death of the greatest singer ever, but she kept shooing me away.  I couldn’t believe the way she was reacting!  How could she continue on with her conversation when ELVIS had died?  Her world should have stopped like mine did.  I was hysterical and I wasn’t getting any sympathy from her.  Our neighbor Paula fainted upon hearing the news.  She understood my anguish.  She was supposed to see him in concert at the end of August and she claimed that I was going to go with her (my mom now says that she never would have allowed me to).  I was devastated; it completely rocked my little world.

I went to bed crying that evening.  I remember praying to Elvis really hard to show me a sign that he was with me.  I had a rocking chair in my room and I suddenly heard it creak.  A real, audible creak!  Oh my goodness, he had come!  THE Elvis had come to see little ole’ me, his biggest fan!  I ran to my parent’s room to tell them the wonderful news.  You can only imagine how that went.  It took a couple of weeks, but I started to get over the major trauma of his death.  For months, my dad would do an impression of Elvis for me — the DEAD Elvis.  That impression would send me running to my room sobbing.

Major Event #2:  A week before Christmas of that year, we had a major snow storm that closed our schools until mid-February.  The state didn’t have snow removal equipment, so we had to wait until it all melted.  My brothers and I were so excited to not have to go to school.  It was every child’s dream!  We got to go out and play in the beautiful white stuff — making snowmen and igloos, having snowball fights and making snow angels.  It was the best fun ever.  It never occurred to us that maybe we’d have to make up for lost class time.  Our excitement was soon muddied by Saturday school days that seemed to last forever.  That was the worst.  Almost as bad as Elvis dying!


I wasn’t kidding about the state not having snow removal equipment. Check out our home-made shovel. Go Dad!




Age 9 – Birds, Pigs and Witches

That’s me smack in the middle. Like my “Garanimals?”

We moved back to the States in December of 1974.  We transferred to Maryland for 6 months and then moved to Tennessee in August of 1975, when I was still 8.  I have to say, out of all the places we moved, Tennessee was my favorite.  We lived there for 3 years and they were probably some of the best 3 years of my childhood.  It was during this time that I began to emerge, albeit slowly, out of my shell.  I made many friends and joined some clubs (Girl Scouts and 4H).  School was still a struggle, as usual, but aside from that, I finally felt like I belonged.  I mean really, really belonged.


This little guy is very similar to my Finnegan


Birds – I had wanted a parakeet for a long time.  My grandmother had one and she taught it to say fun phrases, like “Bottle of Booze, Bottoms up.”  For my 9th birthday, my parents broke down and bought one for me.  I was drawn to the quietest parakeet sitting all alone in the back of the cage at the store.  My heart went out to him, he looked so sad and I was going to make him happy.  I named him Finnegan, and I soon came to realize that he must have been depressed.  He never tweeted and every time I opened the cage to pet him, he always found a way to escape.  I spent more time trying to get that bird back in his cage than I care to remember.  I should have changed his name to Houdini.

I had a book on how to take care of Parakeets and I read it from cover to cover.  I was determined to teach him how to talk.  Every single day I would put a towel over both his cage and my head and repeat over and over again, “Polly want a cracker?”  It didn’t work.  Even though he was pathetic and stubborn, I loved him to death.

One day, I brought his cage into the garage to clean it out.  I told my brothers not to come in and out because I didn’t want my little escape artist to get away.  Well, boys will be boys and they opened the garage door anyway.  Out Finnegan went, free as a “bird” to be one with the sky for eternity.  I threw myself on the ground and screamed my bloody head off.  I was devastated.  I kept calling him to come back, but he never did.  I remember looking up in the trees for months, hoping that he would come to his senses and return home where he was loved.  It actually took a really long time to get over his loss.  My parents probably should have gotten me therapy.

Pigs – We lived on a quiet street with a farm abutting our property.  The farm housed a family of the biggest pigs I ever saw.  When I say big, I mean BIG.  Those pigs could dwarf a rhino!  During the rainy season, we would have so much mud in our backyard that you needed waders to get through it.  These pigs must have had mud radars, because they came running after every rain storm.  We would go outside only to be met with swine rolling around in our yard and having the time of their lives.  I remember my dad chasing them out of the yard on many an occasion.

The Bell Witch Cavern

Witches – When my friends and I would get together for slumber parties, we would always hold séances with levitations — Ouija boards and all.  We also would try to conjure up the “Bell Witch”.  I didn’t know much about her, but the deal was you had to go into the bathroom with the lights off and eyes closed.  After chanting “Bell Witch” while spinning, you had to quickly open your eyes and her image would appear in the mirror.  Now of course, we did this several times and she never showed herself.  I have to say, I’m not quite sure what I would have done if she did.  Years later, my family and I went back to Tennessee to visit our old house and stomping grounds.  During the trip into town, we passed a sign that read “The Bell Witch Caverns.”  I couldn’t believe it!  I made my dad turn the car around so that I could further investigate.  It turns out that the Bell Witch is an actual evil spirit and is a legend in Tennessee.  Apparently, it’s the most documented haunting in all of America.  All those years, I thought it was a folktale and we were just some silly kids having fun.  We were probably playing a dangerous game, but it was the most fun at the time and makes for a great story!

My Eighth Year Brings Angel #2

It was during my 8th year and we were at the end of our assignment in Germany.  My mom was coming home from her bowling league.  She was sitting at a stop light, with her friend Sheila in the car ahead of her.

In the meantime, my brothers and I were being watched by a family friend in the same apartment building we lived in.  On this particular afternoon, I remember looking out the window for my mother.  It was getting late and I specifically remember feeling very anxious with this funny feeling at the pit of my stomach.  It was almost as if I knew something had happened.  I remember praying to God that she get home safely.  I was really into praying during this stage of my life, mainly because I had formed this irrational fear of death.   My intuition would prove to be true.  Suddenly I saw my mom’s Vega enter the parking lot being pulled by a tow truck. The back end was practically sitting in the front seat.


My mom's Vega in front of our apartment building


Seatbelts were very new to vehicles at the time and she wasn’t wearing hers…yet.  For some reason, something in her head kept telling her to put it on.  So, she took a second and clicked in her lap belt.  The vehicle that hit her was a garbage truck and behind the wheel was a man under the influence of alcohol.  My mom’s head was severely thrown into the steering wheel.  The innards of her chin were — for lack of a better word — hanging out, and she needed several stitches.

Later, when she found an English speaking doctor, she was told that she was lucky she had her lap belt on.  Apparently, because the man was so drunk, he didn’t understand what he had hit.  His reaction was to back up and drive forward again and again into my mom’s car.  Had mom not had on her belt, she would have been thrown out of the vehicle by way of the windshield and would have been crushed between her car and the car in front of her.

My Mom


My mom said the scene was ridiculous.  The language barrier was exasperating.  Passersby, the police, the ambulance driver – none of them spoke a word of English.  Can you imagine her frustration?  I guess the blood flowing freely from her face wasn’t enough to get help immediately.  It would have been funny, had she not been injured and frightened.  Finally, an ambulance arrived and she was loaded into it (which, by the way, was manned by only the driver, no attendant).  The ambulance driver was driving erratically, turning back to my mom and back at the road, swerving all over the place.  My mom’s friend (the one in the car in front of her) and my mom were begging him to slow down.  I guess the sight of her chin guts upset him and he was in a bit of a hurry to get her some help.  Gray’s Anatomy it was not.

I like to believe that while I was praying for my mom’s safety, an angel whispered in her ear to put her seat belt on.  After all, an angel came through for us once before, why not again?