Golden Anniversary, Plus

My in-laws celebrated 50 years LAST year, but we were able to get the whole family gathered just a few months ago to celebrate!

While they are pretty down-to-earth folk, we wanted to make it fun and festive, so we made these rosettes as decorations. Crafting supplies on hand made it super simple.

These two are unforgettable characters ~ you gotta love ’em ~ and the blue flowers on the cake are symbolic of their two boys being in charge of past cakes. I think the photos sum up their story:


What a way to celebrate! You may be able to figure out who takes after their grandmother (as they are missing from the subsequent photos and setting off the confetti cannon!)


Never a dull moment with this fun family!

Is it Tomorrow Yet?

Well, for all my good intentions, I didn’t get to post “tomorrow” as I had hoped! Last weekend we helped clean out grandma’s pantry and went to watch my boys play Dodgeball in Las Vegas. Their team (The Squirtle Squad) played with honor and heart, but lost to their friends in the semi-final game. However, their friends won the championship, which was almost as good!

My reason for being absent so long in May and June was this:

My beautiful oldest daughter was married to her sweetheart in the St. George Temple for Time & Eternity by her grandfather Derrill Larkin. What a marvelous event! It actually started a few weeks earlier when my husband and I flew out to Washington D.C. to go with her to the Temple for the first time and celebrate Zac’s graduation from Law School at American University:

And a few days after the wedding we held a spectacular reception at Wadley Farms in Lindon, Utah. I wish I had some photos to share of that, but we are still waiting for some from the photographer (my sweet Sister-in-Law Melanie Gardner took pics at the temple and Ken Pak from D.C. came to photograph the reception…both were A.MAZ.ING!!) But I do have one that I love from Ken…it’s my neice Libby as the newlyweds dance in the background:

Yep, pretty adorable.

So that’s 2 kids down, 2 to go! 

I’ll share a few reception pictures later as we get them, but just wanted you to know I had a good excuse for being missing: A wedding is A LOT of work and the recovery time was almost as brutal because it happened at the transition to a new Stampin’ Up! catalog!  I’ll be back to posting SU! stuff now. I have been keeping up on my Creative Juice Facebook page, so make sure to “like” it and choose to get updates! Thanks for stopping by.

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Life Happened (& Card Class)

Sometimes life comes at you all at once! That happened to me last week: A death, a birth, a visit from my daughter, a trip to southern Utah, a card class, a shoebox swap, a stamp day, a funeral, an emergency family council and a red-eye flight to send my girl back to D.C. on the same night as Daylight Savings, followed by early morning church!

I should have snapped a pic at the funeral, but didn’t think of that 😦

All in all, it was a great adventure and one I won’t soon forget!

I’ve learned to stop saying, “When life slows down, I will _______” because life isn’t about to slow down anytime soon! Instead, I make time for the things that are important to me, including creativity. If you need a creative escape this weekend, come on over to my Stamp-a-Stack card class!

(card cased from Andi Potler)

Sale-a-Bration Stamp-a-Stack Card Class
Saturday, March 15th at 1 p.m.
Loni’s House~Spanish Fork, UT
Create 8 lovely greeting cards for $15! Bring scissors & adhesive (SNAIL refills will be available to purchase). Crafting is more fun with a friend and first-timers can attend for 1/2 price, so invite your neighbor, mother and BFF!
Reserve your spot by Thursday, March 13th:
And FYI, click below to check out the newest deals, stamps and downloads:

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Begin Your Stampin’ Up! Journey Today

What’s keeping you from taking the first step in a marvelous creative journey with Stampin’ Up!? Today is the perfect day to start!
Join for 25

When you join my Stampin’ Family, I’ll send you 10 sample cards (samples may vary from photo) to start using in your business.

Other reasons to join my SU! team today:

  • Active Facebook Group for sharing and caring!
  • Personal training…if  you want it!
  • Buy all your Christmas Gifts from yourself!
  • Quarterly Training Meetings (in Spanish Fork)…next on on October 19th!
  • An immediate family of awesome friends!
  • A chance to try Stampin’ Up! on for size 🙂
Ready to take the first step? Start HERE!

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Dodgeball, Trampolines and Tournaments

We’ve often joked that we live in a community where baseball/softball are HUGE and yet not one of our kids has ever swung a bat on a team. My husband was very athletic in school and argues that playing a team sport teaches some essential skills. We have encouraged (maybe even forced) them to try other team skills. Each child has tried something; soccer, basketball or swimming are the ones that have been most successful.

Then along came Dodgeball.

Let me back up a few years. When my oldest children were in high school, they discovered a gymnastics place that had some trampolines to train on and a huge foam pit. Once or twice a week, the place was open for anyone to come play. Being a natural leader, Kayson gathered his friends and took them with him. As parents, we went a few times to observe and even held a few birthday parties there. We were grateful to have a place where people of all levels of athletic ability (or none at all) could do something fun. We could see that there could be opportunities for injury, but not any more than playing on a sports team…and since our kids tended to spend more time on the computer than doing any kind of physical activity, it was a risk we were (and continue to be) willing to take in exchange for some good-old-fashioned EXERCISE.

Here is an early video my son made of their early shenanigans at PPT:

Open Gym was so successful for the business, the owners went on to create Lowe’s Extreme Air Sports where it is open gym most of the time and where we have spent many happy hours.

Fast forward a few years and there is a new gym in town: Get Air Hang Time in Orem, Utah (similar to Lowe’s) and includes a dodgeball “arena” on trampolines. Guess whose kids work there now? Yep, that’s my boys!

With the addition of the dodgeball arena, Kayson and Braden are now pretty darn awesome players and I’ve found that I really love watching this sport! The games are short and sweet and the players are incredibly talented: Is all that eye-hand co ordination from video games paying off in real life after all?!?

Last weekend, the boys took us to Las Vegas where we celebrated Kayson’s 21st birthday by watching the Hang Time teams (Kayson was on team Hang Time and Braden played for The Misfits) compete in a tournament at Sky Zone. Because they needed 10 teams to participate to be able for the winners to qualify for the National tournament (and when we arrived there were only 8 teams registered) we rousted up a few bystanders (including dads, sisters, cousins, coworkers) and created two more teams: The Autistic Avengers and Meat Shields. The team names explain the ability level and purpose, and those two teams ended up 9th and 10th, but the fun was priceless.

How did the other two teams do? AWESOME. And the Hang Time Team won the tournament!

(yes, I know I spelled “shield” wrong in the video, but after 2 hours of editing, I’m not going to fix it)
Here’s the whole group from Utah who participated on the 4 teams:
If you are reading this before August 12, 2013, you can vote to help the Hang Time Team get invited to play for the National Championship next month by clicking here: 

It’s not where we ever expected to go, but we are enjoying Trampolines and Dodgeball right now!
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Making a Difference…for 25 Years & Counting!

It’s an honor to be a part of something that brings joy into so many lives in so many different ways. At Stampin’ Up!, making a difference is part of who we are and what we do. While I can’t completely describe the way salt tastes to someone who has never tasted it, I doubt I’ll be able to convey the feeling that surrounds me when I am enjoying convention…but I’ll try to share a little in this post.

We started out on July 18th (my birthday!) with a visit to the SU! Home Office in Riverton, UT. While I’ve been there many times, it was fun to be with friends who were seeing it for the first time. As we were waiting in line, we looked down and discovered that we all had toenails painted in Stampin’ Up! colors 🙂 Can you name them?

Next we held our annual Stitched Stampers Awards Luncheon & Shoebox Swap at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. This was one of the funnest stamping events we’ve had together and we look forward to re-connecting with our sister Stitched Stampers each year. The swaps were AMAZING and the company was delightful! 
The next few days was filled to overflowing with classes, demonstrations, awards, product announcements, Anniversary parties and prizes galore! 

If you had a chance to step back from the display boards (and IF you were lucky enough to view them without a thousand people crowded around), you could see the samples spelled out the SU! tag line:

At the party after the awards night, we played games, ate cupcakes, took pictures and really rocked out with the Spazmatics who were a hilariously entertaining and surprisingly talented 80’s cover band, so I could sing and dance along, as that is my era! My friend Kelly even won $100 shopping spree at the party, so it was a huge success 🙂 
If this wasn’t enough for you, you can actually watch the opening and closing sessions of convention as well as the highlights video on YouTube! Here are the links to the sessions, and the highlights below. You see that Ryan Innes from The Voice sang our theme song during opening session!
Opening Session (1 hr 41 min)
Closing Session (1 hr 34 min)
I am inexpressibly grateful for the difference Stampin’ Up! has made in my life and would love to share the joy with you. When you are ready to join me in this amazing company, please come join my Stampin’ Family and come to convention in July 2014 with us!

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Cap & Gown: A Gift for Grads

Today was a proud moment for a mother:

As my graduating senior had a few friends graduating with him, I came up with this fun gift which incorporated a few of his favorite things:

There must be an official name for the pocket than hangs off a bottle, but for today’s purpose, we’ll call it a pop-pocket, which I made from the Oval Accent Bigz die, the Big Shot and a few well placed score lines. For the owl, I added a few wings (with a scallop oval punch cut in half) to the owl punch (such a cutie) as well as a cap and tassel to dress him appropriately.

Project Recipe:

  • Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, Whisper White and Smoky Slate card stock.
  • Accessories from Stampin’ Up!: Big Shot (113439), Oval Accent Bigz Clear die (127005), Simply Scored (122334), Brights Brads (119740), Cherry Cobbler Baker’s Twine (123125 Punches: Owl Builder (118074), 1-1/4″ Scallop Circle (127811), 1-1/4″ Circle.
  • Other: Curling Ribbon

With Braden after the ceremony. his dad and I were very grateful for reaching this Milestone! It’s bittersweet to watch your babies grow up.
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Pikachu and Pokeballs…or Food Blogging Dreams Dashed

I’ve often said that if I wasn’t a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I’d probably be doing something with food…because I just can’t live without it (ba-da, bump).

Recently I had an epiphany that confirmed that as much as I love food (especially all things BAKED), I may never make it into the Blogger Stardom of greats such as Bakerella, Our Best Bites or Pioneer Woman. In fact, my baking is probably not even pinworthy…but after I buried any aspiration to those dreams, I thought I would at least share my attempts, because at least they were appreciated by 18 year old boys.

This is my Braden, a sweet kid who still loves to hug his mom, have birthday parties and play video games like Pokemon:

He celebrate his 18th Birthday at the end of March. Since it was the last “friend” party we would host (we alternate years through age 18: Friends one year, Family the next), I wanted to do something special for him, so I decided to make a Pokeball cake, “How hard can fondant be?” I thought to myself…

Luckily, Denise down at Goodies on Main Street saved me from myself and literally took me by the hand to help me create my masterpiece. THANKS DENISE! She worked magic with the fondant and let me put in a plug to grab her new book “The Cake Whisperer” when it comes out this month…and taught me a LOT about fondant. She was so gracious and helped me to the bitter end. 

Sadly, the Pikachu cake pops didn’t fare as well, but I did finish ONE of them to show the boys that this is how he should have looked. I also made him the Pikachu’s out of Red Velvet so it looked cool when they bit into them…and despite looking like they spent too long at the gym, they tasted good.

The boys jumped around at Hang Time in Orem until they were all sweaty (Hooray for having the party somewhere else!) and then we stuffed them with sugar and sent them home to bounce off their own walls. There was also pizza and video games in there somewhere, but it’s all a blur…

Can you see Braden’s “Lucky Shirt” gifted to him by his brother…it explains his sense of humor perfectly. His sister Kiersta earned points for his new Pikachu Game Boy gift and a good time was had by all. Top it off with $$ from his Grandparents and this totally stylin’ Zelda/Link-inspired towel his grandma made for him (had to do a separate photo because I wouldn’t want to be mixing my video game metaphors in a collage to confuse you, dear reader):

Yea…just imagine that hunk of meat walking around in just a towel and you’ll get an appreciation for beef cake! Happy Birthday, Son… I love you. You make our family fun and always make me smile!

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Surprise Party

Last week was my mother’s 70th Birthday. She is a humble, sweet, endearingly good and righteous elect lady in all ways imaginable. She would blush at that compliment and protest that she has many faults, but as her children, we don’t see any. We all feel greatly blessed to have had her as our mother!

My sisters decided that she needed a party…and it needed to be a surprise. And boy, was it ever! Dad played his part perfectly and convinced her they were going to a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration for some friends. She felt a little mortified that there weren’t any other people in the hallway coming to wish the happy couple best wishes and was very afraid that when they opened the door, there would just be a handful of people sitting around a table:

We knew she wouldn’t want a big group, so it was just our family there to give her all the love she so deserves. My sisters really went over the top with tons of pictures of mom blown up all over the walls (“It’s perfect: She’ll hate it!” Megan gleefully proclaimed) and my contribution (since I’m 3 hours away and my family made it just in time for the party) was a Happy Birthday Banner.
While you can see it in the picture with my silly sisters, here’s the banner I made up close: 
I was so tickled to have this picture with all my siblings and parents: I love my family!!
And the whole family (minus 4)):
Funny story: Megan baked Grandma’s delectable German Chocolate birthday cake and the DIVINE Almond Joy cupcakes. My son Braden is a pretty picky eater, but one bite of that cupcake and he ran to his dad and said, “DAD! YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS!!! This cupcake was made by JESUS!” Certainly Jesus would have appreciated Megan’s baking skills and agreed that she is a heavenly baker 🙂 I’m not sure we lighted ALL 70 candles on the birthday cake, since they started lighting them from the outside circle. But it tasted delicious even with a layer of wax!
We played LANA JEOPARDY, broke open a pinata and a great time was had by all. Love you Mom!!
World’s Best Mother: Lana Larkin
Oustanding Actor: Derrill Larkin
Party Planner Extraordinaire: Mindi Clove
Baker from Heaven: Megan Marchant
Pinata Provider: Ryan Larkin
Graced by His Presence: Mike Larkin
Man of the Hour: Russ Clove
Greatest Husbands in a Supporting Role: Neal Marchant, Cody Spendlove
Grandest Kids: Braden,  Kamryn, Kaitlyn, Chandler, Abbey, Mia, Gregory, Emery, Nathan, Madeleine, Cole, Libby
Missing-in-Action: Alison, Kiersta, Kayson, Whitney

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Consider Yourself Part of the Family!

There are a million reasons to become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, but let me share just three today:

1. INSTANT FRIENDS! You’ll find yourself embraced by incredibly talented people who immediately love you and want to help you discover your inner creativity! My Stitched Stamper family is a group of optimistic, fun-loving, artistic, friendly people who love sharing with each other and I’m proud to be their “mom”. There is always room in our family for more!

2. A company you will be PROUD of! On the leading edge of creativity and crafts, Stampin’ Up! continues to lead the way into the CRAFTING ERA. The products are the BEST in the industry and SU! values it’s demonstrators above all. A financially stable, service-oriented, open-hearted, international organization you’ll be grateful for, as I am!

3. 25% MORE FREE…but only through tomorrow!! You can get the starter kit for just $99 and choose $150 in product when you join my Stampin’ Up! family before 11 p.m. on FRIDAY March 22nd. What a great way to get your fingers inky and see the value of our products!

Why not try Stampin’ Up! for a few months and see if you like it? I’m here to help you achieve the success YOU want to achieve, whether it’s to become more artistic or earn an extra income. Click the link below to get started or email to ask questions.

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