Monday, November 15, 2010

Becoming an American

Well last week I got to take my friend Tina to her citizenship ceremony here in Salt Lake. I didn't really know what to expect as I've never been to one. On the way there she was so excited and yet she said she was so emotional. She started to cry and I finally realized what a great day this would be for anyone. We take our country and freedoms too much for granted.
A little back story on Tina. She is from the west African country of Cameroon. She was beaten and put in jail for speaking against their government. She finally escaped and got to Germany. She had internal injuries that she had some surgery for in Germany. She lived in a refugee house when my father and mother in law met her. They taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and she got baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My in laws left Germany and Tina was left there. They got a letter from her telling them that she was deported back to Cameroon. Political refugees can only stay in European countries for so long and then they are sent back. Tina said that she feared for her life so she ran from the plane as soon as it landed and ran into Nigeria, a neighboring country, and was hiding out there. When I heard her letter I just cried. I couldn't believe that is this day and age people still lived this way.
Well luckily there was a woman in Utah who came to know Tina in Germany and she had helped other people to flee their countries. She arranged for Tina to get a passport and a plane ticket to American. Tina told me how scary it was when she came into New York and she was still afraid that someone was going to come and get her and take her back. She finally arrived in Utah. She stayed with some relatives of my in laws and it was arranged for her to have some more surgery. They got doctors and hospitals to donate their services for free. Because Tina had been beaten she had a huge tumor in her uterus. Because she loves children so much she was concerned and told them to save as much as possible so she could have children. Well that was not to be. Tina found out that in Germany they had taken out one of her ovaries. And everything was so damaged it had to removed. Tina had a super hard time coming to the realization that she wouldn't have biological kids as in Africa to not have children was almost thought of as a curse. I told her that in America a man will love you for who you are and not if you can have children.
Around that time is when Tina came to live with us. My daughter was about 3 and my first son was 1. Tina became my son's second mom. He would put his hand up to her and say Tine Tine for her to pick him up. She lived with us for 6-8 months and then went to live in Vernal for a while then back to Salt Lake. She got her own apartment living with a local family. And now has her very own apartment.
She then got her CNA degree and worked in many elder care facilities until she hurt her back. Then she started college and got her Associates Degree this last May. I was at her graduation of course. IT was a hard road but she wanted to get her education.
Tina feels like she's my sister and not just my friend. She's had a hard life but she's pretty tough and I hope that life just gets better and better for her.
I told her that now she's a real African American. LOL!
Here's some pics from her ceremony

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pinewood Derby-Three posts in one day-Whew! Almost caught up.

Well my birthday night was spent with my family. My boys had their big pinewood derby and they had some sweet looking cars. It was quite the effort between the boys, Dad and Mom. But we finally got it done and they looked better than ever.

Josh got 3rd overall and he was pretty stoked.

Everyone came home with a trophy and got a treat so all is well in the Catmull household.

B-day stuff

Well for my birthday my husband had a beautiful cake made for me (those flowers are made of sugar and who knows what else-but they were tasty too) Red Velvet inside-YUM!
For my gift he had one of our newest family pictures made into a painting. Awesome gift. The pic it not the greatest but I'll take another one once it gets framed and is on my wall.

Museum Madness

I decided to take my kids to the Museum of Natural History on the University of Utah campus. Not only for a great activity but the first Monday of each month it is free and that's talking my kind of language. Sydney brought a friend Selena and I think they had a good time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catching Up is Hard to Do.

Well yes I've been a slacker but in my defense I have been teaching a lot, working out a lot and just not computering a lot.
Anyway, here's some pics of Halloween time.
Josh as a bum or HOBO as love to say.

Nick as a Werewolf (again) he loves anything to do with Wolves.
More Craziness
Maybe the most craziness. Me as a wild witch.
Out on the Candy Hunt
My good little Fairy.
Lil Red and the Pink Fairy

The good Fairy the bad fairy and the little girl in between.
Since they are sooooo old now this may be their last trick or treating. We'll see about that next year.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Monster Mania

Well I've seen these dolls and I just HAVE to have them and of course they are sold out all over. I think that's the company's plan to make them hard to get so you want them more. I've seen them at some online stores but they are WAY overpriced.  I'm a doll lover and these ones are not only cute but fun and creepy too. I will keep on the prowl for them. I specially need the Frankenstein one and the Blue Lagoona one.
I did get the Vampire one for my daughter and I might need one for myself too.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Girl Fun!

I've been making some fun things for all the girls going up to Midway for a girls retreat next weekend. Can't show too much or it'll ruin the surprise.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Family Photo Session

 We had some new photos taken and here are a few of my favs. Natalie Lyman is my photographer is you would like to check her out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Freebie Flying

Well I've found a new site to go looking for digital freebies. It's here and from there I found this great site that has all these great graphics and I made a little quick highlight with some of the darling pics. You can check out the blog here

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's not the 4th of July?

Well yes I'm actually the slowest scrapper around. These are some 4th of July pics and I used them in some cute quick pages from "The Ettes" and it only took 2 months to get them done. I know it's lame but hey I at least did some.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clipboards Cookies and Sadness.

Two days before school was suppose to start last week I got a call to substitute for my son's 5th grade class. His teacher's 21 yr old son had been killed in a car accident and needless to say she needed to be elsewhere. So I had to try and set up the class and make the plans for the 7-8 days before she would return. I've never been a real teacher just a sub but willing to give it a good try. The crazy thing is I was asked to do the "Back to School" night too for the parents which was 4 days after school started. Because I was a manager in retail for so long I'm sort of use to talking in front of people and it doesn't really make me nervous. I just didn't have a lot of answers for them. I hope I did OK.
Well the class is great and I've really enjoyed my time with them. They feel like my class and I'm going to be sad to leave them. The teachers younger son who is 10 is also in our class and came back on Thursday and Friday. We made cards for both the teacher and her son and then we decorated the room with balloons and a big welcome back sign on the board and all the kids signed it too.
She will be back on Tuesday and I will be working half a day to get her caught up on all we've done and make the transition.
So I decided that my son would bring her a few welcome back gifts. We had already made zucchini bread and planned on taking it the first day of school but since she wasn't there then we changed it up a little. We made some big batches of cookies (two varieties) so we bagged some up for her. Then added a box of pencils for the classroom. I made the cute tag from a premade album page- I just made it small. Then I made the fun clipboard by using the kit "Study Hall" from Krystal Hartley. I mod podged it on the plain clipboard and added lots of fun ribbon. I hope our small gifts will help make her sadness a little less noticable for at lease a little while.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School Cool

Well my daughter who is starting middle school this week actually asked me to make her a personalized composition notebook. I love making these with all my fun digi designs then printing and mod podging them on the book and adding the fun touches of ribbon and extras. I used the new kit by Amy Stoffel called Preppy Girl.(she has a preppy boy one too that I bought) sooo perfect for school stuff.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mini Vacation

Well we got back today from our condo in Midway. We did a little bit of boating, movie watching and just all around relaxing.
They stayed on the tube for hours

A little down time.