Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SO Cool!

Check this out!
What an awesome surprise to find on my doorstep this morning! I had no idea that they were going to do this, but that's my sweet Turner on the cover, goggles and all!
(Check out the post below to see that this year's version of the goggles are bright orange...but still foggy ;))

In other news, I'm still trying to recover from all the activities over the long weekend. Anyone else feeling like they need a weekend to recover from the weekend?!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bring on SUMMER!

Let's hear it! Oh yeah!

The weather is glorious, the pool is now open (not to mention freezing cold!), we're all sporting brand new sunburns (sigh), and the grill has been working overtime. It can't get much better than this!

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Happy

My boys were cooperative with me and my camera for all of 3.2 seconds this weekend. It's not a perfect shot but it sure makes me happy :) Happy Monday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Last Day, First Game and Field Trips!

Just look at this proud Pre-school Graduate, his diploma and his cheesy grin!

Yesterday was Mr. Carson's last day of pre-school and he's so excited to be spending the rest of the summer at home. I, on the other hand, am thrilled he's going to be home full-time, yet heartsick at the thought that my baby is now out of pre-school and will be five soon. Funny how your perspective changes, isn't it? It just goes too fast and I've been all sentimental this week. Add to that having a wicked cold and it makes for one miserable mama.

We did have some less-traumatic events this week too.

On Monday, Ethan had his very first baseball game, and boy did he look so handsome and grown up. He has a true love of all sports and is really in his element in a team environment. It's awesome to see. He hit well, played shortstop when they were out in the field and even scored his first run! So though his team lost pretty decisively, he was pretty happy! And since I love doing sports related layouts, getting some fun pictures made ME happy! ;)

And finally yesterday was also Field Trip day for Mr. Turner. He and his Kindy class went to the zoo for the day. It had to be a rainy day, unfortunately, so this sick mama stayed home and sent Daddy and her camera instead. They had a great time and saw all kinds of animals including this babboon (who I adored - just look at how he's reaching out to touch Turner's hand through the glass) and our 1-year-old baby elephant, Scotty, who only wanted to roll around in all the yummy mud! Let's just say it was a long day though because when they got home, BOTH my boys ended up taking a nap!
It's hard work having fun, apparently! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In Memory....Carrollton Bus Crash

Twenty years ago today, the worst drunk driving fatality ever occurred in Kentucky and not far from my town. It hit home with me particularly hard for many reasons. I was a senior then just graduating from High School and the kids killed were not only around my age, but from a town only 45 miles from my own. They were coming back from a group trip to Kings Island (in Cincinnati) - a trip I took myself so many times with countless groups growing up. A family friend was one of the doctors in Carrollton that day taking care of the victims and their families and I cringe still at the tales I heard from that day.

But it wasn't until I hit college that it hit home even more for me. Carmen, my senior roommate in college was from the Radcliff/Elizabethtown area and most of these names listed below were her friends. Twenty years have come and gone and the memory is still so fresh for me, that I can't imagine what it's like for those who lost their loved ones. I'm thinking of you all today - the survivors, the families, all those beautiful children lost who should be my age today with families of their own...and you, Carmen.

In loving memory of:
Jennifer Arnett
Cynthia Atherton
Sandy Brewer
Joshua Conyers
Mary Daniels
Julie Earnest
Kashawn Etheridge
Shannon Fair
Dwailla Fischel
Rick Gohn
Lori Holzer
Chuck Kytta
Anthony Marks
April Mills
Phillip Morgan
Tina Mustain
William Nichols
Pattie Nunley
John Pearman
Emily Thompson
Crystal Uhey
Denise Voglund
Amy Wheelock
Chad Witt
Joy Williams
Kristen Williams
Robin Williams


About 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday May 14, 1988, Larry Mahoney, a drunk driver in a pickup truck traveling in the wrong direction on an interstate highway in a rural, unincorporated area of Carroll County, Kentucky collided head-on with a gasoline-powered former school bus which was in use as a church bus. The initial crash was exacerbated when the gasoline from the ruptured fuel tank of the bus ignited immediately after impact, which also blocked the front loading door. Difficulties encountered by the victims attempting to evacuate the crowded bus quickly in the smoke and darkness through the only other designated exit, the rear emergency door, resulted in the death of 27 people and injured 34 of 67 passengers. Six passengers escaped without significant injury. Mahoney sustained minor injuries.

In the aftermath of the disaster, several family members of victims became active leaders of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and one became national president (Karolyn Nunnallee). MADD has helped efforts to tighten standards for drinking drivers and alcohol-awareness. There are strong indications that the families and others in MADD have made a difference since 1988. According to the Firehouse.com website, with MADD's significant influence, all 50 states have now passed laws making it a criminal offense to drive with a designated level of alcohol, regardless of whether the driver is impaired or not. MADD then successfully lobbied to lower that original level of .10% down to .08%, and members are actively working to lower it even further. [1]

The standards for both operation and equipment for school buses and similar buses were improved in Kentucky and many other states, notably increased emergency exits, better structural integrity, and less volatile fuel. Other safety issues remains to be addressed. Flammability of materials used in bus seating must also be factored with cost, durability and performance of the foam in impact situations. Another unresolved issue is the lack of requirements for occupant restraints such as seat belts in larger capacity school buses. Some advocates find it ironic that use of the lap seat belts currently available would have likely reduced the number of the 40 occupants who managed to escape the bus in the short time available during the Carrollton incident.

On Interstate 71, the crash site is marked with a highway sign erected by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). Even twenty years later, memorial items such as crosses and flower arrangements are placed at the site by families and friends. As of November 2007, the Carrollton crash remains the worst bus crash in U.S. history tied for fatalities with the Prestonsburg bus disaster which occurred 30 years earlier in Floyd County, Kentucky in 1958.

For those of you wondering what happened to the drunk driver of the pick-up truck, I found this from 2003:

Ten miles and 15 years from the spot where he took 27 lives in the nation's worst drunken-driving accident, Mahoney lives in self-imposed obscurity on a rural Owen County road. About 54 miles southwest of Cincinnati, the road is so remote it isn't marked.

He served nearly 11 years for causing what's become known as "The Carrollton Bus Crash," a horrific accident that took place May 14, 1988. Mahoney was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a Carroll County jury convicted him of 27 counts of second-degree manslaughter, 16 counts of second-degree assault and 27 counts of wanton endangerment.

Because of good behavior - authorities described Mahoney as a model prisoner - Mahoney had nearly six years knocked off his sentence. He served 10 years and 11 months before leaving the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange, outside Louisville, on Sept. 1, 1999.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Positively EUPHORIC!

I have been really excited to share this new line with you, and as of today, it's available for order at www.basicgrey.com (to begin shipping in June). It's our brand new line, Euphoria, and just so you have the full details, the press release goes like this:

Sensational Summer Release!
Enchanting, dreamy, happiness, rapture, pleasure, cheerful, joy, bliss, delight, exhilaration, wonder, charm, transcendent happiness, overwhelming,
It’s not a dream.
You’re not delirious.
You just might be experiencing a little Euphoria™

Splash into summer with the new Euphoria™ line by BasicGrey. This enchanting collection celebrates the light, carefree feeling of relaxing summer days. With its palette of sparkling amethyst, willow green, lagoon blue and verbena pink, Euphoria™ transcends happiness and moves your scrapbook pages into pure bliss.
The rapture, the joy—it’s pure Euphoria.™ Available for order beginning May 12th and shipping in June:

18 patterned papers
Collection pack
6x6 paper pad
Sweets mini-monogram stickers
BasicGrey Original mini-monogram stickers
Alphabet stickers
Element stickers
Coordinating clear stamp set
Chipboard sticker ABC’s
Chipboard sticker shapes
Coordinating colored rub-on booklets
2 Coordinating Two-tone single sheet rub-ons
Coordinating buttons
Coordinating brads
Patterned glazed brads

Are you ready for the party season? Summer means graduations, birthdays and other outdoor parties. Why spend a fortune on cards that never quite say the sentiment you’d like to express? We’re introducing three new BasicGrey Card Kits just in time for summer celebrations! Our wildly popular Cupcake,™ Sultry,™ Archaic™ and Sugared™ collections debut in our Everyday, Celebration and Baby Card Kits. Each kit contains plush patterned paper, die-cuts, printed (and scored) cardstock, BasicGrey rub-ons, printed chipboard and envelopes to create eight amazing cards.

Available for order beginning May 12th and shipping in June:
Birthday Card Kit featuring Cupcake
Everyday Card Kit featuring Sultry
Baby Card Kit featuring Archaic and Sugared
Click on this link to preview these new summer products: Spring 2008 Catalog Supplement . Remember!! You can use your BG Rewards credits towards purchasing these products if you submit your order by June 30th!

Happy Scrappin’,

Don't forget to click on the above catalog link for a full look at all the listed goodies! I know you'll be as excited as I am!
(And a special thank you to my friend, Molly Peckham, for sharing these beautiful photos of her daughter Caitlynn with me for this project. I think these papers were made with this cute little bikini in mind!)

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I know my boys really took care of me complete with flowers, cards, and some work to my scrap space! (They know where my heart is! ;)) And we had a wonderful lunch with my mom in the afternoon.

And speaking of mothers, I want to leave you with one more layout again using Euphoric. I just had to scrap that photo I took of my friend Jennifer and her new son, Jackson, I showed the other day. Jen and I have known each other since she was 3 (she's the sister of a good HS friend) and I have watched her grow into an amazing woman - it's hard to believe she's the mom to three now herself! I hope you enjoy this LO, Jen. :)


Monday, May 05, 2008

I love taking photos

While I'm no professional photographer (but it did give me a kick out of putting my "photography" label on these photos like so many people seem to do ;)), I absolutely love to take pictures. I carry my camera with me everywhere, and I am generally one of the "official" picture takers at most any event I go to.

This weekend's main event was my friend Ange's annual Derby party. We love this party as it's both kid and adult friendly, there's tons of great food and plenty of party beverages of all kinds :) I chased everyone around taking pictures here and there and when the day was done, there were a few that I just fell in love with. The first photo is of my friend Jennifer (I've known her practically her entire life!) and her beautiful 6-month old son, Jackson. I adore the sweet look on both their faces and the love you can just feel.

The handsome boy in the other picture is my friend Liz's son, Ryan. Ryan is probably the sweetest almost-teenage boy on the planet. He's polite, friendly, full of personality and so good with the little kids that always seem to tag along and be at his heels. He saw me taking photos of him and then started to pose. (That right there should tell you how rare he is!) Thanks, Ryan, for being such a cooperative subject.

And because I feel I have to mention it, while it was Derby weekend here and a weekend of festivities and several parties, it was profoundly sad. By now most of you know the triumph of winner Big Brown and the tragedy of the 2nd place finisher, filly Eight Belles. I don't even know what to say except that my heart just breaks for that horse, it's owners, trainers and jockey.