Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Makin' an elf of myself

Ok, someone just sent it to me, and well, I couldn't resist.
click here
and you'll get a laugh or two.
Make sure to try it yourself.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just a Monday/Tuesday in My World

What happens when publication day for the print issue falls right after a holiday weekend? Well, if you have my life, you get to write an editor's column (because my columnists both had unexpected and unavoidable delays and couldn't e-mail anything in) and a movie review, because the movie review guy didn't get to see a movie over the weekend.
So here's my editor's column.
My movie review will follow.
Have fun.
Print it out and line a bird cage or two. They might enjoy it.

Starting a new year off right
In less than two days (depending upon when you read this), we'll be saying goodbye to 2006 and hello to 2007.
It seems like only yesterday we were sitting around worried about the end of the world as the calendar rolled to 2000.
Seems silly now, how everyone put together Y2K packs and prepared for the worse case scenario as 2000 came in with a mixture of fear and apprehension.
I can hardly believe it's time for a new year. I don't feel another year older. But as I watch the days click off the calendar, it plainly true -- another year, filled with clutter and junk, is almost over, and while the New Year is ready to start, providing a clean canvas full of numerous opportunities and a variety of potential.
As I ponder life in 2007, I my mind is filled with a variety of questions -- What will I do different in 2007? How will I make a difference? What changes will I make?
I'll admit, I haven't made any resolutions. But I am pondering what I will do in 2007 that will make a difference in my life.
If anything, I'm still finding ways in which my trip to Brazil continues to impact me even though I've been home for almost two months.
It's made me want to focus less on the frantic lifestyle Americans take for granted and instead make do with less fluff and stuff.
It makes me want to focus on what is important-spending time with friends and family members.
That spirit of giving crosses over and makes me want to find ways to give back to my community, through service and non-profit ventures.
This past year, I've met numerous people who have done things to help others in need. The list is endless, but includes:
• Rebekah Walters and Madison Wilson, Irving elementary students who snipped off their long hair off for Locks of Love;
• Kim Bannasch and Shirley Eyraud who began a chapter of The Compassionate Friends of the Four States after experiencing the premature deaths of their children;
•Debbie Mayberry and others in Joplin who work to help orphans and abandoned children in Maceio, Brazil; and
• Teachers and administrators at Joplin High School, including Keith White, Vallie Cook and Jeannetta Moss, who work every day to help young men and women find ways to stay in school despite numerous obstacles.
Most recently I met Kerry Freeman. Freeman is the mother of Christina Freeman, a Joplin student killed in 2006 by a drunk driver.
Freeman, and her family, has turned their grief over Christina's untimely death into a call to action.
Since February, Kerry has spent at least eight evenings standing alongside the road providing hot drinks and food for the officers conducting DWI checkpoints in Joplin, Webb City and adjacent counties.
Kerry said her goal is to show the officers that someone does care about their efforts to stop people from causing alcohol related injuries or deaths.
People like these inspire me to do my best to stop complaining about my life, and instead increase my efforts to help others.
So here's to 2007, may it bring health and happiness and a chance to make a difference in other's lives.

Friday Flicks: A change from the typical holiday flick
Call it my quest to find something beyond the typical Hollywood flick.
Ever since a friend turned me onto documentaries, I've been searching for different movies to watch that are not mainstream releases.

I've even had to turn to an on-line source to find the DVD's, because the films are not typically found on the shelves of my neighborhood rental store.
Last week I had a chance to watch Born into Brothels a documentary following children who live within the red light district of Calcutta, India.
Photographer Zana Briski spent several years working and living with the children who call the brothels home.
Initially, Briski wanted to photograph the women living in the brothels, but found the children to be more accepting of her presence in their lives.
Using point and shoot cameras, Briski worked with a group of students, teaching them about photography before turning them lose within their neighborhoods to shoot pictures.
Briski, along with film director Ross Kauffman, later filmed the children at work and play, documenting their lives.
The effort later won numerous awards, including a well-deserved Academy Award for feature film documentaries during the 77th Awards ceremony.
In addition to the children's photographs, which make up the core of the film, the documentary also highlights Briski's struggle to help her students move beyond the limits placed upon them by India society.
It shows the efforts she goes through to help the children become enrolled in boarding school - move which would not only provide them with a strong education but remove them from the negative influences found within the brothels.
For some of the girls, education will be the only thing, which keeps them from joining "the line" - prostitutes who line the streets of the red light district waiting for work.
Briski finds that many of the schools will not accept the children because their parents are involved in illegal activities.
The film does more than simply show the children's lives; it pulls the viewer into the world found hidden within Calcutta.
It leaves you wanting to help the children succeed, cheering when they do and crying when things just don't go well.
You see how the actions of adults may impact a child's life for years to come, when one parent decides their child cannot attend school-even after the lengths Briski and others went to ensure his admittance.
The film also highlights the beginning of Briski's non-profit organization, Kids With Cameras, which strives to help children in third world locations through photography lessons and more.
While the movie does not have a Hollywood ending, it does leave viewers with hope. One of the DVD extras provides an update on where the children are, three years later.
Additional updates, through November 2006, can be found on-line at
The movie may not be "pretty" and it does contain some gritty language (from adults no less) and images. Watching it was well worth the time, energy and effort it took to find the DVD. In the end, it's a movie that sticks with you, almost hauntingly.

Friday, December 15, 2006


For Digi's Challenge, which was to do a layout featuring how you got your name.
So here's mine.
Kay + Lea + Marie = Judith Kay, Janice Lee & Joan MarieThe story behind my name is it was Lee for 24 hrs, then mom changed it to Lea, because it looked better on the birth certificate.

Photo - From Beky & Jimmy Moody's Wedding,
Paper - Ashley Olson Bundled Up pp1 (from
Fonts - CK Journaling & Architect
Doodles - Gift for Asher

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Sweet Christmas Card

I made this for a friend. This is her son, daughter-in-law and their new baby (yes, another of the baby pics...but isn't she just adorable!?)


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Simple Scrapbook Layout Submissions

Here are my layouts, I'll post the credits for pages on Wednesday. I was taking advantage of wifi to get these posted (I'm supposed to be writing a story...ugh, school board).

The General Page Call
Love: I Will Love You No Matter What

You Are The Apple Of My Eye

Mudstock 2006

Mary Beth's First Love: Soccer

You Are In My Way!

Wedding Page Call
Love You For Always
Love You For Always Take 2
New Beginnings
It's Your Life... Dream It.

Monday, December 11, 2006

This day is done

Well, I wanted to post some of my layouts, that I submitted for the Simple Scrapbook Digi Magazine call (I submitted 9, five for the general call, and four for the wedding call).

But, it was a day, with four stories coming in after 3 p.m.

So, it's 11 p.m., and I'm just finishing up my last story. The founding academic dean at Ozark Christian College died this morning. I just finished the obituary story and posted it at

He sounded like an amazing man. Why is it we don't always hear about people like Seth Wilson until after they die? Sometimes, I'd rather hear about men and women of integrity, rather than Brittney Spears and Nicole Richie...

Anyway, I hope to post some layouts on Tuesday (in between getting print edition stuff done and writing like crazy for the web). If not, I'll have time on Wednesday.

Besides, I still have to buy Christmas gifts!! (UGH)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Photo sessions, creating layouts

Well, in the last week, I've held two photo sessions.
The first, I spent some time having fun with Syd, a young friend, making her "model" in the snow. Some of the pics turned out great, even if she froze (ok, so did I).

The other session took place at my local scrapbook store, when I took pics of wee ones visiting St. Nick. I only had one little one, appropriately named Kaylee, go nuts and cry when we tried to get her to sit on Santa's lap.

My youngest customer came when I had a chance to take a few pics of a friend's newborn granddaughter. She is quite adorable. I think we're going to try to take some pics of her in the next few weeks, when she's a bit more alert.

Anyway, here are some of the photos (on layouts I just finished), ready to show off. One of te things you'll notice is some groovy word art on the layouts.
Sue Cummings, a digi-designer at, asked me to be on her creative team. This means I get to play with all of her stuff, showing off her graphics with my pics. Talk about a great partnership.

Anyway, on to the layouts.

"Expressions of You"

Credits: Photo by kaytebug photography.
Template: The weekly challenge #13
Kit - Merry Little Christmas by Leah Riordan,;
Words - [define]ingyourself-misc, by Sue Cummings,
Fonts - CK Elsie & CK Doodles

You've Taught Me ...

Photo - kaytebug photography;
Kit - Melissa Rose, Christmas Spirit Freebie,
Word art - Chalkboard Christmas Words 3, Sue Cummings,;
Christmas Joy Frame, Chalk Frames, Sue Cummings,;
Font: CK Bella; CK Diva

Love You Always...

Photo - Ari & Derrick's Wedding, August 2006, kaytebug photography;
Template - Vicki Stegall,; Kit - Heartfelt Jen Cantrel,;
Word Art & Poem - chalkboard love buscaglia, Sue Cummings,;
Font - CK Magnificant

Our Christmas Gift ...

Photo - kaytebug photography;
Template: based upon weekly challenge #16
Kit - Melissa Rose, Christmas Spirit Freebie,
Word art - Chalkboard Christmas Words 3, Sue Cummings,;
Christmas Joy Frame, Chalk Frames, Sue Cummings,;
Font: CK Bella; CK Diva

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Oh the Weather outside is frightful

Southwest Missouri had 10 to 14 inches of snow...depending upon who you ask.
(The public works guys measured 10 inches).

I had a snow day on Thursday, and then on Friday, as I was getting ready for a second one, when the Carthage Press sent out an SOS...Davison was snowed in in Joplin.

So, the two of us switched places for the day....I'm not sure how much Davison could do, since he was snowed into his neighborhood.

(Look, they did deliver my paper for me!)
I've got a few pics of the snow (I was carless until this afternoon, when my brother and his friend helped dig me out).

Anyway, I spent today at the scrapbook store taking santa pics. I think this one, with Karen's granddaughter is my favorite. We had a few "takers" even though the weather was still crazy.

Have a happy day.
I'll post more.
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