I'm an accountant by day and crafter at night. I love a decorating challenge, floral arrangements are probably my favorite part when decorating a wedding/party. I'm an independent Longaberger consultant and avid collector (check out my Longaberger website).

My favorite hobby is scrapbooking! Of course scrapping got me into photography, digital photography to be exact. I quickly discovered that I LOVE taking pictures! I just got the Nikon D300....words don't measure up to this camera - well worth the $$. I crochet while I watch tv and mess around on the computer whenever I get a few moments.
If you need to contact me

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Part ONE of Big Announcement....

For the first part of my big announcement - I'm changing my blog!
My new blog is
or you can just click
This will be my last post on this blog, be sure to come check out my new blog. For the second part of my 'big announcement' you'll have to go MY NEW BLOG! See you there.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thankful to those who have served

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day. I started this post yesterday but the upload speed on the internet at home last night wasn't what it should have been and I therefore didn't get this post done.

We went to Maple Hill Cemetery in the morning for the annual Memorial Day ceremony. The SV Band march into the cemetery and play a couple tunes and then the VFW held their short ceremony with the presenting of the wreaths, 21 gun salute and taps.

You'll notice in the pictures below that the band is wearing bright yellow tee-shirts. I'm pretty sure my junior year in high school was the last year we wore uniforms to the cemetery on Memorial Day. Our uniforms were 100% wool and it was over 90 degrees that year with high humidity. We had either 6 or 7 kids pass out from the heat, even though the band director told us not to lock our knees - they did and down they went. The last to fall was the guy holding the cymbals who was over 6 foot tall. Once he fell (face forward with cymbals to his side - kind of like a nestle plug to the ground), Mr. Taylor made the rest of us take the uniforms off and I think that was the last year they wore them there.

For those who haven't been back to Sesser since my grandparents headstone was placed, here it is. My grandfather served in the US Navy!

Uncle, Shane Wheatley - US Army Front of the cemetery, entire frontage is lined with flags.....

Johnathon on the baritone.

Delmar Jones presenting the wreath.

21 gun salute (the little black specks are the shells flying in the air).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stay Tuned....

I have a big announcement coming next week so stay tuned!!
After this announcement I'll be posting more to my blog too.

Life's been hectic as usual. Junior high track ended about a week ago, of course summer baseball has already been practicing for a month now. Every Sesser team kicks off the season with a home game next Saturday, May 29th. So if you're in the area, drop by the new fields you're bound to find at least one relative of mine there (oh yah, Sesser has 4 new ball fields wooo hooo!!!). I'll be the one behind the camera if you have trouble locating me! I have two nephews (Johnathon and Matthew) and one neice (Katie) playing ball this year. Have absolutely no idea how many cousins, if I happen to see them there great - but don't plan to hunt them all down.

I'm determined to get the pictures from baseball edited quickly and posted to my client viewing website.... in the sports section. Be sure to check out the 1st grade basketball if you haven't seen them already. I'll have this years school junior high baseball posted on the client viewing website soon along with the basketball pictures from this year. Next year I'm not going to take 8000 junior high basketball pictures, they take FOREVER to edit. Speaking of that I've been checking out a few seminars that teach more efficient post editing procedures, I need this training in the worst way. If anyone that reads my blog knows of a good seminar to attend pertaining to this let me know.

I'll get pics posted soon from the Steak & Jazz night (Johnathon plays baritone), Chorus Spring concert and Band Spring concert. Tonight is the junior high awards banquet. I thought about skipping it but was specifically asked if I was going to be there to get pictures of him accepting his awards, so I guess I'm going after all. Sunday night is baccalaureate at the high school and graduation is Thursday. I have a cousin graduating and I'm decorating a party at the church for the 9 seniors from Hazel Dell (one of which is my cousin).

Well, I think that's about all I have to report right now. Burned my thumb on hot glue last night making silk floral arrangements for headstones. Since today is Grandma's birthday I did arrangements in none other than PINK for the two urns on her headstone and did matching arrangements for my dad's parents. Grandma's is getting one of the pink flamingo yard stakes from her birthday party that I still have. Also did red,white&blue arrangements for Shane Wheatley and Grandpa Shurtz for next weekend (Memorial Day). Johnathon will be marching with the band from the 4-way stop in Sesser out to the cemetery. I'll be sure to take pictures of the headstone for those living away from here who haven't seen it yet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Mundstocks

Check out my photograhy blog , just click HERE to see the rest of their wedding pictures!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reading a Recipe

I'm glad I had to privilege to learn 'Grandma' recipe language from the Grandma herself. When I asked her for a recipe for her potato salad she informed me what time to be at her house to watch her make it - that was my recipe.

Looking in the fridge I noticed that the leftover Easter ham was still, well leftover. I sent Aunt Eileen a message asking if she knew how to make Grandma's ham salad. Her text back to me:

yep, ham eggs mayo sweet relish and a dash of onion

Now I'm pretty sure most people would ask the obvious question - how much? What kind of recipe is that just telling you what to use. But I knew Aunt Eileen's reply would be.....depends on how much ham you have and when I'd asked Grandma how much mayo she said "until it tastes right", my mother would always say "just add a little more....yah that looks about right".

I found this somewhat frustrating when I was learning how to cook, but after having made potato salad many a time now I realize that it's never the same. Sometimes the potatoes are dry and soak up dressing, the more you add the more they soak it up. I accept that it really does just depend and you mix a little more until it tastes right.

Well, I was able to successfully 'read' the ham salad recipe texted to me and will be having it for supper tonight - thanks for the recipe Aunt Eileen!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I'm having slight separation anxiety, okay it might be a little more than 'slight'!! When we were in Peoria for the boys state basketball playoffs, my bag fell off the chair and crashed onto the concrete floor. This wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that my 24-70mm lens was in my bag and now it won't turn (change focal length). So I sent it in to get fixed which won't cost me a whole lot but they're estimating 4 weeks before I get it back UUUUUGGGGHHHHH I don't think I can go 4 weeks without my most favorite lens in the whole wide world.
I was forced to use a prime lens on my most recent session which turned out well, but I miss my lens. I had to move all over the place to get the shots I wanted instead of just sliding my lens to the focal length that I wanted :( If you've ever used this lens you understand totally and completely what I'm talking about and if you haven't, well you're missing out on one good lens!

So while depressed and feeling sorry for myself I went looking at my WISH LIST again. If anyone would like to ever buy me a gift I'd like the lens on the left Nikon 400mm, 2.8f for a measly $9,000!

If this is too much the one on the right will do, Nikon 300mm 2.8f for the bargain price of $5,200. I'll be extremely grateful for either!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking a stroll down memory lane

They say a dog doesn't have the ability to distinguish time. Which is why they're always happy to see you even if you just walk into the house and then back out again - they can't quantify the passing of time.

I was at work at 6:15 this evening when I got a call that Dad had fallen down the steps at the side of the house (these would be the same steps Mom fell down this winter, remember the post Here Kitty, Kitty). I immediately shut down my computer and headed home since Johnathon was there by himself. Upon arriving home I learned that Johnathon and Dad had been searching for Gator most of the day. Having visited all the neighbors with no luck, they were pumped when the vet called early this evening telling them someone had found Gator.

In the excitement of finding a lost dog, Dad lost his footing going down the steps and landed on the very expensive knee that was replaced about a year ago and hit his shoulder pretty hard on the pavement. So Mom took Dad to the ER to make sure everything was still as it should be.

When I listened to the vets message on the answering machine after being prompted by Johnathon as to what had happened, I called the # of the person reported to have Gator and asked if I could come pick him up. She said 'of course, anytime' and explained to me where she lived. I guess Gator decided to go looking for Aunt Pat this morning. Unable to find her he walked his old path to Grandma's house. He was a block south of Grandma's when a Valier resident spotted this large dog walking very slowly down the road and enticed him into their yard.

They fed and watered him. Determined to not call the pound, they found the tag on his collar and called the vet (who later figured out to call us....Gator's still listed with Aunt Pat as the contact - grateful for a small town today and the fact that they knew who to call). The couple whom Gator spent the day with was very nice and treated him well, but he was super excited to see Johnathon and I and almost knocked me over to get into the truck.

I don't think Gator was running away, he was just taking a stroll down memory lane - searching for ghosts. They say a dog can't quantify time.......he may have thought when he left this morning for Valier that he'd find a couple old friends.
Dad's shoulder is sprained and bruised but nothing appears to be broken and the knee still works. My parents decided on the way home from the ER that hand rails on the side steps needs to go on the top of the 'To Do' list. Gator's home safe and sound, I don't think he found what he was looking for.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fifty seven cents

Johnathon's science fair project was selected with several other projects from Sesser to compete at the regional level today at SIU. He was going to be gone from approximately 7am this morning until 7pm tonight so we sent $40 with him. Money for meals, snacks, bowling, etc....

At around 1 Johnathon called dad and asked if he could buy a video game, they were at the mall and according to him he had enough money. Well, dad told him no which I doubt made him very happy. I mean he's such a deprived child and has hardly any video games (lol!).

While he received a "GOLD" placing on his project today it wasn't selected to compete at the state level in Champaign. Congrats and Good Luck to the few Sesser students who were selected to compete at state!

When Johnathon came home I asked if he spent all his money today. He took something out of his pocket laid it on the table and said "No, I brought home change". He ate an entire plate of lasagna with half a container of cottage cheese and then had one of the cherry turnovers that I made followed by an apple - he acted as though he was starving to death. I thought maybe he hadn't bought much to eat.

When I was getting ready to head to bed I happened to look at the "change" on the table. Now mind you, he is a twelve year old boy and if you give him $40 for a day away from home.......he comes back with 57 cents which I'm assuming wasn't spent to say he brought home change, that or there wasn't anything he could find to buy for only 57 cents!

Boys will be boys!

Oh and on the comment sheet from the judges, the only negative comment they made was on one of the charts that I of course the reason he's not going to state is obviously all MY fault.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wedding flowers

This is what I've been up to the past couple of nights and most the this afternoon.
You can see the rest HERE! I'm delivering them to the bride tomorrow afternoon.
Waiting on my parents to get home with Chinese takeout and the two movies I asked them to buy for me while they were at Walmart 1) New Moon (I know most of you probably already have it but I've been sick for two weeks and could have cared less about a move) and 2) The Blind Side. Can't wait to eat some sushi, egg rolls and maybe a little glass of red wine and watch some movies. Pretty lame for a Saturday night, but hey it is what it is.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Free Range No More!

Well as most of you know my father has chickens. For some time now we've talked about increasing the height of the fence on the coop. The chickens fly out, wondered around the yard (pooping all over the place) and yesterday morning ate the freshly planted lettuce seeds out of the garden. This last act was the end of the line - you don't mess with Pappa Deaner's garden and since it was a warm day, well we tackled the CHICKEN COOP!
In addition to the chickens making a mess of everything outside their coop, dad's only been getting 1-2 eggs a day from all those chickens. I kept suggesting that the chickens were laying elsewhere.....well, we found out one spot yesterday - under the blackberry bush! All kinds of eggs under that thorny, monstrous sized blackberry bush in the back yard. Of course we can't eat the eggs now, but how in the world do we get them out of there so they don't stink to high heaven when the weather warms up a bit? ugggghh
In the beginning......the pen was surround by a once white picket fence. Unfortunately this fence wasn't exactly tall enough to keep the chickens cooped up (as you can see a few escaped ladies).

A few essential tools required for any 'fix it' job.

The building of the door frame.....

Johnathon helping Pappa Deaner set the post, hard work for Johnathon as you can tell!

Johnathon learned how to set a fence post and he so loved helping. He did a great job on the fence posts. Pappa Deaner and I liked not having set them all ourselves. Plus he made a good gofer, well we'll work on the gofer part - has a hard time 'finding' the items he was going for so then I'd have to go show him what we were talking about that was usually right in front of him and exactly where we'd said it was. He'll learn, there are a few more "home improvement" projects scheduled for this spring that he'll get to help with.

In process.....where we were when we took our lunch break
The new door is hung, now we can get into the pen (not sure why anyone would want to be in there, but should you so desire you can get in there easily now).

The new fence/pen is DONE!! And the best part is that this morning there were NOOOOOO chickens in the yard or garden or flower beds or field. All chickens were accounted for inside the coop. WoooooHooooo
....and where we/dad pulled up the old fence that had sunk into the ground and unearthed many a ground worm I learned that chickens LOVE worms. They were quite happy with the freshly tilled dirt and had a heyday with all those worms. The little black and white chicken has hawk eyes, spotting a worm from across the pen and running to retrieve it - somewhat comical to watch.

.....and the chickens! There are yellow, brown (I know these are New Hamp Red's), black, black & white (2 different kinds) and the turkey that showed up one day. No kidding, my parents came home and this turkey was walking around the coop. Dad opened the door, he jumped in and made himself at home. It's not a wild turkey but we're not sure where he came from???
Well, I have a full day so I'd better get to it. Roast is in the oven and is smelling wonderful, need to peel some tators and get them boiling....take a shower....edit a few pictures....arrange some silk flowers for a May wedding....bridal consult at 2pm and finish a baby afghan. I really excited about my to do list, today is the first day in a week that I've felt like well, felt like even getting out of bed. Only made it to work ONE day this week due to a respiratory/sinus/ear infection that settled in last weekend and just wouldn't leave!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I think it's a trick....

Matthew called me tonight to let me know he "lost his tooth". His dad wanted to see how loose it was but told Matthew that he didn't think he was going to get able to pull it.

Of course when Matt relaxed thinking the tooth was going to stay in another day......his father pulled it.

He did say it didn't even really hurt.
His mother sent me a phone pic to prove it's gone.

I hope the tooth fairy doesn't forget to stop by Matt's room tonight!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Calling the Tooth Fairy

It hasn't exactly fallen out yet, nor will he pull it. The one in front hanging at an angle isn't going to be there much longer tooth fairy best get ready and be sure to check under Matt's pillow for the next few nights!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sesser-Valier 1st Grade is Undefeated!

I got to rise and shine early this Saturday morning to attend a basketball game/tourney for the Sesser-Valier Devils 1st Graders and I thought my bleacher days had ended for the season....well, here is the events of the morning.
If you like to see more pictures from the game (there's only about 300 of them) be sure to check out my photography website - just click here.
Matthew had stole the ball from Waltonville (he's #2 by the way)

Oops, he doesn't quite have that dribble thing down yet and ran past the ball.

Defense, Defense

The one smiling in the front is Matt's buddy Michael E. Not sure what Michael found so amusing but he smiled through most of the game.

What more is there to say?
He was running so hard he couldn't stop and ran into his own player :D

Go Matthew Go

If you remember the pictures of Johnathon playing basketball, well I guess the tongue thing is an inherited trait - notice below that Matt's is sticking out.
Stole the ball

Wild dribble and lost the ball....
Give it to me, give it to me
They are only first graders and can't dibble well therefore they let the kids literally carry the ball. The ref's were really only there to make sure they're going in the right direction. Yet Matthew managed to get multiple fouls called on him.....hmmmmm

Not sure what this move is called
Celebrating Michael E (one of his best buds) breakaway lay-up. Good Job Michael!

......and the awards - each child received a metal (Sesser won both games!!)
Your victorious 1st grade Devils!
Great Job today Matthew and congrats on your two wins!