Sunday, August 30, 2009


UGH! I will be glad when these gianormous molars have finished breaking through. I'm certain it's the cause for Nate's constant waking up and difficulty sleeping, both in naps & at night. Sat. night he woke up twice, needing to pee, refusing to go to the bathroom without our "blessing" & couldn't hold it. So twice I was up scrubbing a soaked carpet. I think I may have to put him in pull-ups for awhile. ha. He doesn't really act like his gums are in pain but it's definitely affecting his mood, obedience & sleep patterns. Don and I usually take turns putting him back to bed but once I'm forced to wake up during the night, I have a heck of a time being awake & functional the next day. That's one reason I was glad I didn't have a baby. Night feedings would've done me in. However, I think it's all coming back to bite me. haha. 

After he woke up the 2nd time, I couldn't find any clean undees for him. I had washed them but hadn't got around to folding clothes so they were in a pile in our room. I was too exhausted to search in the dark so I just sent him to back to bed in the buff. He wasn't thrilled with that but I told him I didn't have anymore undees for him because he kept peeing in them so, he'd just have sleep without them. Surprisingly, he didn't get out of bed until it was time to get up.

Hmmmm.....maybe that's the ticket.   ;-D

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Nate began having mood swings a few weeks minute he was happy and the next he was whiny, crying, mad or very easily irritated. I thought it was because he was nearing the "Trying Threes" stage until I looked at his teeth. Poor kid is cutting his last two BIG molars at the same time...both of his top teeth. I'm sure this has a lot to do with his behavior although nearing the "3" stage is also part of it. His routine has been off again partly because of late night meetings, boredom (we have only 1 working car & no playgrounds or places nearby to release his energy), and stress from the house situation, my work situation, etc etc. 

Over the last month, he has also started getting up 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night. Usually he has a bad dream & comes to our room or outside his door sobbing. Then he'll get up again needing to go to the bathroom. We've tried to encourage to go on his own & that he doesn't need permission to "go", but he won't do it without our permission. If we don't wake up in time, it results in a wet mess! Needless to say, lack of sleep every night does not do well for me so we are BOTH cranky during the day. haha. Again, I don't know if cutting the teeth has anything to do with this but I doubt it helps. *sigh*

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My parents are traveling through Sioux Falls, SD and stopped at a butterfly garden. While they were in the gift shop, my mom spotted my Butterfly flags! She's talking to me on the phone while my dad snapped the photo. haha! Very cool!! Also, some more good news from my agent....SteinMart has picked up my Butterfly Inspirations bath accessories and will be selling it in their stores. Anna's Linens has also picked up the same products, but with a different color scheme...more earth tones...and will be selling it in their stores as well! Sweet!!!

I've had great response since opening my Custom Purse shop. Thanks to all of you for scouting out bags, spreading the word and cheering me on. Exciting times!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Finally! After much planning, stressing and organizing, my custom purse shop is open and ready for orders! All of the orders will be custom....basically, you send me empty bags with your payment and I send you a totally unique, custom designed purse. Check out my shop at my website below.......

Friday, August 21, 2009


I knew this day would be coming. Sure was the day. Nate locked me out of the house! I had to run outside & put the mail in the mailbox. A quick & simple task but no more had I walked out the door when I thought, "I should probably take a key with me". However, I dismissed it because Nate hasn't really messed with the door locks yet....or so I thought. When I came back & tried to open the door, naturally, he had locked it. 

So here I am banging on the door trying to get him to unlock the doorknob. I hear his little voice saying, "Ok mom!" Finally he figures it out and I turn the knob....only to discover he had also locked the deadbolt too! ARGH! So now I'm telling him to unlock the top lock, but in his confusion, he locked the doorknob again! I suppose I should find the humor in this but it was blistering hot outside and I was not very happy with myself for not trusting my instincts. 

FINALLY, after a few minutes he figures it all out & I breathe a sigh of relief that he did. However, the little stinker still got timeout for messing with the locks...a "no-no" that he was well aware of. Next time, I'll definitely remember to take that key!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


A friend loaned me the book, "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang. From the moment I read the first word, I could not put the book down. It's the author's perspective and experience of 3 generations of women in her family in China, from the 1900's to present. I am amazed at the hardships, both physical and emotional that her family and others had to endure during the pre-Communist era and after. Some of the situations seemed unbelievable and yet frightening because much of this happened not too long ago. As a result, in her forward, she states that the book has been banned in China. It is gripping to realize how easily mankind can become corrupted, mis-led, and de-sensitized all because of pride, greed, jealousy, envy.....all the things that God warns about in the Bible. And after reading the horrific consequences and results of these behaviors, it goes to show why God encourages people to be the opposite...selfless, humble, loving, patient, etc. 

Here's a quick review of the book by Amazon: Review
In Wild Swans Jung Chang recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. Chang's grandmother was a warlord's concubine. Her gently raised mother struggled with hardships in the early days of Mao's revolution and rose, like her husband, to a prominent position in the Communist Party before being denounced during the Cultural Revolution. Chang herself marched, worked, and breathed for Mao until doubt crept in over the excesses of his policies and purges. Born just a few decades apart, their lives overlap with the end of the warlords' regime and overthrow of the Japanese occupation, violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve up China, and, most poignant for the author, the vicious cycle of purges orchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions of people, including her parents.

I highly recommend the book. It is heavy reading and yet many lessons can be learned from it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I will be posting all art updates on my new Denise Art Stuff blog so check the latest for some good news!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


On Friday, my hubby's day off, we hopped in the van and took a spontaneous road trip up to Mt. Lemmon. It was awesome going from 98 degrees, to 65 just an hour later! We had a great time hiking and just enjoying the change of scenery for the day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ok, so here it is...da da da new art blog:

Coming to you with my wild & crazy art projects.


I think I'm going to get rid of my Photo Blog and make it an Art blog instead. Most of the photos I take end up here so it sort of defeats the purpose to have a separate photo blog. However, I do so many artsy fartsy things, might as well have a separate blog for it. So, it's bye-bye photo blog, hello Art blog! Now I just have to remember to take photos of all my ongoing art projects...and believe me there are several. ha!

On another note...we are in escrow!!!! After 3-1/2 yrs of renting, we are getting our own pad. The house is in Gladden Farms in Marana, AZ (about 7 miles or so, northwest of us). It's 1955 sq ft, 3b, 2ba, big 18" diagonal tile (except the bedrooms which are carpet) and a steal at $175k. Actually, if the appraisal comes in lower, they will have to give it to us for less! At the height of the market, this home was easily around $300k. Best of all, it is in a community that has a ton of playgrounds, bike trails and young families....translation, playmates for Nate! Not to mention, it has a huge laundry room to store all my art stuff!

No closing date yet but we are guesstimating early Sept. The inspection was yesterday and went well. Here's a photo of the front of the house. More later after we move in. Yay!!


Nate and the gianormous strawberry!

Chugging his chocolate milk at Starbucks. Great view of the mtns!!

When left to his own devices.....

Adding the truck for artistic flair!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Attn all guys!! I have a client who is looking for artwork that appeals to Christian men. So, I need to pick your brains. What kind of art/designs would you like to have printed onto desktop plaques, note pads, paperweights, office access., coasters, etc. Some existing ideas are my golf, Solid Rock series (see example photo)...but I want to know what YOU like! You have the ears of big manufacturer who is willing to create products geared for you in a women-saturated market (sorry ladies, but it's true).

Below is a photo of existing art that I've done, but I need more art ideas for guys. So ladies....ask your men for their input and get back to me. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today marks the 2 year (can you believe it??!!) anniversary of the day Nate was placed in our arms. Where did the time go? It's as though he's been with us forever and yet 2 years has gone by so fast. Nate has developed so much in just the last year, never mind the last two!

He's now fully potty trained, talking in can actually have a conversation with him, dressing himself, spelling simple words like dog/ mom/ dad, reciting memory verses & info about himself, recognizing and remembering people's names & what he did with them, drawing countless ovals and circles on as many sheets of paper that you give him, and wanting to do everything by himself..little Mr. Independent.

I love it when he hears Don driving the truck up to the house & his eyes gets wide as he says, "Dad's home! C'mon mom, let's go see dad!" Or when he does something that makes me smile & shake my head & I say, "Crazy kid!" and he replies, "Crazy mom!" Or joining me when I sing a silly sounding song like "Fish Heads" or "Mambo Italiano" or just making up a tune.

It has been exciting seeing him grow and develop and at the same time, bittersweet. We are fortunate to still be connected with a few of the families we traveled with and it has been fun watching their girls growing up. One of these days, girls, we will have to reunite again!

Happy Gotcha Day Nate! We are so proud of you and love you more every day.

Chinese lunch at Chopsticks! He LOVES his rice.

Red bean ice cream...tasted like strawberry with bits of red beans in it.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Celebrating at Chinese Combo

This is one of the outfits we got for him from China

The group!

They look like they're up to something!



Well, our house situation is still an ongoing mystery. We have had a bid on a 2nd home since June but the banks are being difficult. They gave us a counter offer accepting our bid but requiring us to pay all of the closing costs. Rather than delay the process, we agreed to sign it.

However.........we just found out yesterday that the even though we agreed to both of the bank's terms, they are STILL fighting over the amount. We have no idea if they will ever come to agreement over it. we looked at a couple more homes on the market and found one that I really LOVE! It has nearly everything we were wanting in a home...upgraded fixtures, corian countertops, plantation blinds/shutters, open floorplan, split bedrooms, black/stainless steel appliances (including the fridge!), extended covered patio with a patch of grass for Don (haha), no houses behind it, AND sliding glass doors in the master bedroom that open out to the patio. SWEEEEET!!

The bonus is that although it's 200 sq ft smaller than the 1st & 2nd houses we bid on, it's $10,000 LESS than the 2nd house at $149k! The floorplan is so open, you wouldn't guess that it's any smaller. 

The downer is that it IS another short sale so we could possibly be looking at several more weeks, but fortunately, there's only 1 bank to deal with instead of 2. There is also another offer on the house so we are hoping to outbid them. Something inside me said that this house is the one...even before I saw the inside, so we'll see. 

Hopefully 3rd time's the charm!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Today we had an early Gotcha Day celebration for Nate and invited a few people after church out for chinese food. I wasn't sure how many would come but we had 18 people show up! It was hard finding extra chairs for everyone. Nate wore one of his chinese outfits to church and it fit him perfectly. He wore it last year to my grandma's funeral and I was rolling down the waist & rolling up the legs because his legs were too short. Since he's grown, he's lost a lot of baby fat and is leaner, so the shirt still fits but now the pants are just right. *sniff* He's a little boy now. We watched his Gotcha Day video at the restaurant while waiting for our food and reminisced about China. What a fun afternoon and wish we could've celebrated with everyone. Next year, we will be in our house and able to have a bigger celebration! I will post photos soon.