This Is Us

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ha ha ha ha ha

This is a great website.... I know if I dug deep I could find a few that would be deserving enough to go up there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Here is a page I created the other day... of Myka and Josh on Easter in 2004 - so he was 3. Wow how time flies. Myka got bubbles in his basket and Josh was showing him how to blow bubbles...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I love CVS

Did you know that with a little time, and some planning, you can get some great household neccessities at CVS for FREE or next to nothing?

It's true. Shocking, I know. Nothing these days is cheap.... but last summer I heard the buzz on "CVS-ing" where you match coupons with their specials that give ECB's (extra care bucks - money to spend at CVS later). I did this last summer and got tons of things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, bodywash, etc etc for mostly free or for pennies. Once school started, I just didn't have the time to keep up with it, though I wish I had.

So I started back up collecting the coupon inserts and this is what I just got at CVS:

2 tubes of Crest toothpaste for $1.16, and earned $4 in CVS extra care bucks to use next time.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

FREE at last!

Until August 20-something anyhow....

I officially finished my first year of Nursing school last week. And it took me a darn week to recoop, I tell ya. Finals wore me out,but thankfully they went very well, and I managed two A's and 1 B (in mental health... go figure - ha!). But in the stuff that KEEPS YOU ALIVE - I got A's - so I am hopin' that's a a good sign?

--> This time next year I will have graduated and I can't believe how fast it's going! YAY!

Anyhow, so now that the semester is over, I have the summer off and I have great aspirations for what I want to accomplish this summer. Here's a brief list:

1. Trip to Missouri end of June. Driving. Sanity stealer? Probably. But I'll recoop once I get to catch up with the fam there.
2. Buy a NCLEX-RN book and take practice questions daily ( 5 or 10 MOST!). This is the big test you have to take to get your license.
3. Get my 16 volunteer hours in that I have to have before graduation.
4. Go through the bazillion and one toys Myka has - and sell some, donate some.
5. Clear out clutter.... and I have lots.
6.Join the gym. Like I should have done that last week. But still plan to.
7. Read more good books. I am in a book reading frenzy.
8. Garage Sale. This helps with #4 and #5.
9. Get Organized. Ha.
10. Scrapbook more. Take some cool online classes and attempt digital photography in the *gasp* manual mode.
11. I have more, I just know it....

SO there's the plan.

The End.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

PreK 2006-2007

Here are the pages to Myka's prek scrapbook. If you are a scrapbooker too, and want to know the products I used, click this link and it will take you to my DigiShopTalk gallery. It may take a few days for all these pictures to be in that gallery but I'll have all the layouts there with a list of the products I used if anyone is interested.

I am *hoping* that once I get several examples done, that I can start creating albums for other people. With these of Myka's, I am going to have them printed at a photo lab, and slip them into a traditional scrapbook. But you can also have them printed into board books, etc so I am really excited to get this going.

Thanks for looking :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools...

Ok. I make a promise to post on my blog at least once a day.


Ha. Ok that was dumb but I always have good intentions to post regularly. There is so much cool stuff I have been doing but I havent been doing any blogging.... other than reading lots of other blogs.

Anyhow, a few things I wanted to mention, first today of course is April 1st - and April is Autism Awareness Month and tomorrow, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day This is a cause that is really important to me. While Myka has not been diagnosed with Autism he definitely has some special needs including his social skills, and learning how to deal with his anxiety or frusturation. Just knowing that your child may not fit into that perfectly square box that society has created for them - it is really frusturating. Autism is such a broad spectrum. More and more children are being diagnosed, and there needs to be more research, support, and progress towards helping the children of our future generations.
Now... onto what has kept me so busy the last week or so (besides school, a big GI test last week -scored 94% by the way, work, keeping up with Myka and his homework, etc) I have been working on "digital" scrapbooking. I finally finished Myka's preK album and will post it all here in the next day or so, and then tonight I worked on a layout for my super cool sister Caitlin. I am going to put together an album for her of pics of her and her super cool boyfriend, Thiago.

So.... here is what I did tonight, and I am super happy with myself and am LOVING this new way of scrapbooking!
Product used: Wishes & Dreams kit from Oscraps

Yay me! On top of finishing Myka's album and then doing this one, I actually feel a ...gasp...sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT! Instead of my usual feeling of never getting anything done...
So, there ya have it. And I'll add Mykas album pics up here soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I love Photoshop

So those of you know know me (that is, IF anyone even reads this darn thing besides me?)... you know I scrapbook. Well....back it up. I USED to scrapbook, years ago, I started right after Myka was born, loved it, then started an online business with it, and (thank God) the business took off like crazy - dang near overnight it seemed.

So I never seemed to have much time to actually scrapbook then, and that went on for a few years while I continued to hoard super cool supplies and papers and stickers and embellishments along the way. I knew one day I would get to scrapbook again.

Then in 2007 I sold the business, and thought "Yes! Finally, I will be able to scrapbook for myself again!".

And then one day in October of that year I got this wild, crazy, semi-mad idea that I wanted to go back and get my Nusing degree. I say go back, because I had originally started this process those early years after Myka was born, until the business took off and I had no time to go to school. So, in a brief moment of insanity, I registered again for school, and got into the program. So.... since then I havn't picked up one piece of scrapbook paper to do anything with.

Honestly, I haven't even printed pictures for the last few years (thanks to my Nikon D70 and a FreeAgent 750GB hard drive). But I have been secretly admiring the new world of scrapbooking - the digital version where you create your pages in a photo editing program (Photoshop CS2 for me) and then print them out and slip 'em into an album.

Well I FINALLY started this process awhile back and though it's been slow going, I have almost completed my first project: Myka's PreK album. WHOOO HOO!!! Pop the champagne!

So here is a page I did tonight, and I thought I'd make it my photo for the day - and then I'll post all of it when I am done, hopefully next week sometime. Or next year. Who knows.

xOxO Kit from Oscraps
Template (I Love My CT3) by Darcy Baldwin from Sweet Shoppe Designs

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Week half over...whew!

Myka and MiMi playing Wii - boxing to be specific. This thing is great. We just got one a few weeks ago, and my mom just got one, so we were showing her how to use it, and she was pretty good at the boxing - pulled a TKO on Myka.

Myka watching his Derby car race to the finish line...

A good team - after getting the 2nd place ribbon. Later that night, before bed, Myka said "We made a good team Dad!" (I went and got a tissue to wipe my eyes...snif)

(Greatest) Grandpa, Grandma, Papa, and Grandpa Larry at the Derby

FIRST PLACE! In this race... overall Myka's car finished 2nd in his Tiger Cub Den, and he got to go to the finals, which consisted of the top 3 cars in each Den, so a total of 12 in the finals, and his car finished 5th there. So we were all pretty proud. And it was a great experience for Myka to see how his effort paid off.

Whew - halfway through the week. Amen. Only 6 more weeks of school for me. Watching American Idol - wishing I could sing other than belting it out in the car. Should be going to bed since I was up at 5:30am for clinicals, but I am stubborn.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The super fast Derby car...

Well, still no luck with the lost pictures. I think my CF card for the camera became corrupt. If so, better the CF card than the camera. So I am still working on getting pics...
In the meantime, here is the car with a finished paint job. The thing had enough coating or whatever it was that it probably could have slid down the track just like this, but we did put some wheels on it.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, crap.

I forgot to put up a picture last night, because I was so tired when we got home from dinner at my moms. But here is a picture I TOOK last night so that should count for something...


And today was a HUGE day for us, because it was the Pinewood Derby for Mykas Cub Scout pack. Myka and Josh worked so hard on the car, and Myka did a ton of it himself, which in and of itself is a big acomplishment - he had a great time doing it. And it paid off for him today. But I won't tell you how just yet because I have (had?) some great pictures from today, BUT something really screwy is going on with either my camera or my memory card so I am working on getting some pictures, then I'll make a nice post about our big "Derby Day".

We also had some special visitors here for it as well, Greatest Grandma and Greatest Grandpa from Georgia, and Papa came to watch.

THEN, later tonight about 7:45pm we were going out for celebratory ice cream, and we saw the SPACE SHUTTLE that had just launched. It was very cool! No I didn't have the camera, but I wish I did. But, trust me, it was super cool to be able so see it, even though we're on the other side of the state! It was just a stream of orange smoke, then we saw the flash of the rocket after it broke apart from the boosters.

So, all in all, a great day, but I am having some "Oh, crap" moments here hoping I can get my pictures back. Thank goodness Josh's dad was there taking pics too, so if I lost mine, I can get a copy of his.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Getting it done

3.13.09 - Myka came home the other day after Tae Kwon Do and with the time change, it is still so light out, that everyone was outside in the yard so he hopped up on Josh's truck and started his homework.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lego creation & and some fun

So I have had a Nikon D70 for about 3 years now, and it is a great camera (so they say). It is the best darn thing on automatic... well since that's all I knew how to do on it until now. I have always wanted to really learn the SLR cameras and lenses so I could take those pictures that make you say "Wow!" instead of my normal ones of "What is that?"

So today, thanks to The Pioneer Woman's Tutorials on basic photography, I have figured out what the aperture and the shutter speed mean and do. So it was a baby step forward, and one I hope I remember tomorrow. So below is my pic of the day, and then the rest are others I took today playing with my new found knowlegde.

Myka's Lego contraption we built - it's a real candy dispenser. Fill it up in the top hole there, and push that thingymajig on the right, it goes in, candy falls into a smaller hole, and when the thingymajig pops back out - TA DA: you have some candy.

My fist picture not on full auto-mode. "Bear Cub" is our newest family member and 100 millionth stuffed animal. At church, each child got a stuffed animal with a tag attached that had a child's name on it, who was living at a childrens home. We bring it home and pray for the child who's name is on the tag.

I had fun getting creative with this one in Photoshop, but this one I used a f-stop of 4.5 on the camera to get Josh in focus and the background blurry. I used the A (aperture priority) mode on the camera since I am too scared to go full manual. Thanks again to Pioneer Woman's great tutorials for walking me through how to do this.

This was Myka 70 years ago, when cell phones were only for the cool kids who liked to talk on the phone. Yeah, so another fun Photoshop action, and this was tonight when Myka talked to Greatest Grandma & Grandpa about their upcoming visit this Sunday.

Whew. So nothing spectacular but I am having fun playing with pictures now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10 minute escape...

Sometimes, when the going gets tough, the tough (me) goes to Starbucks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Photo a day... give or take

Ok so I have been really inspired by a cool trend in the online blogging world: something a day. Well most of the ones I have seen are a photo a day, a.k.a. Photo 365, etc. So, while I am scared to commit myself to a photo a day for a whole dang year, I figure I'll just call mine a photo a day...or so.

This way it kinda forces me to work on my photo taking skills, and I get to play in Photoshop more.

3/09/09 Here is my Photo from YESTERDAY (nothing like starting off a day late). My sweet boy fresh and ready for school on Monday morning (note the HAPPY smile!)

3/10/09 And here is todays. One of my newest time consuming things: The 7th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. One of the most fun series I have read!

All Together Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 7)

Now, I mentioned some other cool once a day bloggers, and here are my two favs at the moment:

If you have kids, especially boys (or a husband - they count the same for this site) you need to check out A LEGO A Day

And if you like to crockpot, this one is worth checking out too A Year of CrockPotting

Ok.. off to finish a care plan so I can finish my book, and sleep somewhere in there too. And watch American Idol.

Downhill for now...

Ok well my resolution to post regularly on here has pretty much gone down the tube so far...

But I'll fill in the blanks a little, and will tell you that the time since my last post (about the 3rd week in Jan) until about the third week in February was probably one of the hardest times I've gone through - well at least from what I haven't blocked out LOL Joking.

So anyhow here is a run down of what was going on in the course of a few weeks but note it all started at the same time.
1. I got a PT job at the hospital - while happy, I wonder what I was thinking to take this on.

2.I started semester #3 of Nursing: MedSurg/Adult I, Advanced Phamacology, and Intro to Mental Health. Not to mention I still have clinical days and the infamous care plans.

3. We thought Josh was being held hostage by a beligerant customer. No Joke. BUT thankfully the guy settled down, apologized, and bought a bigger shed. No idea what was going on is his world but the guy wasn't right.

4. Got a nice big tire blowout on the way home one day. Yeah. Lovely.

5. Myka was having a really hard time at school, more bad days than good days, and we were all frusturated, stressed, and feeling like we didn't know what to do. I was crying all the time, and it was so bad I didn't even want to send him to school....

Which leads us to the major development.....

6.In our long journey to find out what's going on in his little world, we did some testing on several IQ "categories". We discovered things he really good at and scored high on, but others he didn't. With all the mumble jumble of what it means, right brain this/left brain that, we discovered that they way he is processing the info to get it "out" is where the trouble is occuring.

The result ------> Learning Disabilities. Hmmmm, FINALLY we figured out that THIS is probably contributing to the frusturation, crying, anxiety, esteem issues, etc We even went to a neurologist in Dec because motor tics started occuring. But thanks to our fantabulous child psychologist, Dr. Pete, who has been helping us along the way - we finally got some solid answers.

Good News -------> Answers

Bad News -------> Found out that as a result, we needed to move Myka from his Christian school which we loved, to a public school that had the resources to help him. FULL panic mode because I have been scared to death of the public school system here. Not to mention we really needed to move him now, because time couldn't be wasted getting him in an environment best for him...

So this is where major stress occured - I didn't know where to begin. I was sad, mad, happy, confused, hopeful, disappointed, and everything in between. PLUS remember #1 - that new Part Time job? Yeah, well training started the week this all happened. So I had school M-W, training all day Thurs and Fri. NO time to try and make calls, go to schools, handle this & that, etc. Several crying sessions took place during this time.

But by Gods Grace everything fell into place for us. Doors opened, people reached out, prayers were answered, and we were able to get him in a top notch public school that had tons of great resources to teach him the way he learns and does best. And would you know?

HE IS SO HAPPY! He's like a different kid when I pick him up from school. He feels good about himself, so far no major anxiety or frustration, and no more motor tics and angry moods in the car on the way home. And he doesn't feel like a failure. WOW. AMEN! that this is all behind us, I feel like I can breathe again! I look back, and know there is no way we would have made it through all that without God. I look back and can't believe I didn't become a major alcoholic after that. Joking. Again. But still - I can't believe we got through it.

So that is kind of a catch up. Now I am off to bed.... I have a good book waiting. No drink. But a good book.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is my favorite song at the moment, and it reminds me that no matter how tough things seem to be at any given moment, God always has a plan.

I haven't posted in a week, because there have been a lot of things going on, and we finally got some answers this week in our goal to helping Myka. We all had such a hard week last week, and had a big scare over the weekend, then this week I started my new job orientation/training which makes a full week on top of school. And dang it if it seems like it is one thing after the other for us lately.

So Monday night on my way home from my first day of orientation for my job, I miss a turn and have to drive WAY out of my way home. THEN about 2 miles from home "POP" - I hear that lovely sound while I am driving and the next thing I know my tire light is on so I pull over into the nearest gas station and sure enough...that sucker is flat as can be. So while I am waiting for Josh to come rescue me, I throw my head back on my seat and just cry. And then this song comes on the radio station.

Wow! This is one of my favorite songs, and I first heard it on the Christian station WayFM and everytime I hear it, I know that no matter what, even if the world is falling apart, we'll be found in Jesus and he'll be standing when nothing else is. So I truly think it wasn't just a coincidence that this song came on at that very moment....

I'll go into more detail later about the recent events, but I am so tired. I just want to go to bed! But say a prayer for us if you can. Love you all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cancer sucks....but I learned a lot today

Today was our first clinical day of this semester, Adult I/Med Surg I (our 2nd out of 4 semesters). I am at a different hospital this semester than I was last semester. Our assigned unit is a cancer unit but we also get general med surg patients too.

I learned today that cancer is a nasty disease. Not that I didn't already know that, but to see the effects and learn more about them was a little depressing for me. Makes me wonder why people have to get cancer. I have thought for the last six months or so about the possibility of going into pediatric oncology after school. I know it would be incredibly hard, but at the same time I like oncology because I feel like I would make a big difference in the lives of the patients. Not that a nurse doesn't make an impact in the lives of any patient, but that's where my heart tends to be tugging me at the moment. But I know that may change as I finish out school.... But I was a little bummed tonight thinking about cancer, and how any one of us can get it. Scary.
I did, on the bright side, have a great learning experience. Not only did I become more aware of the specifics of the type of cancer I was working with, but I also got to see a few procedures done. Our clinical instructor was great in getting us all to observe a PICC line insertion. Basically a IV line that goes through the upper arm into a vein and to the heart area. We all got to observe this and it was a cool experience to see a new (to me) procedure being done. Then another student and I went down to radiology and got to watch a chest tube insertion procedure. Again, it was a great learning experience, and everyone there the nurse, radiology tech, dr, etc were all great and explained a lot to us.
It made for a great day, where I really felt like I got to take good care of a patient, make a difference (even if small), and got to learn a lot and see some new stuff too. Already this semester I feel more confident in what I am doing, but still have so much to learn.

In a few weeks I get to do an OR rotation which I am totally excited about, and then in March I get to do a rotation in a specialty unit for the day. So I think this will be a good semester of learning experiences!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not such a good fishing day...

So today we got out on the boat after months of not going fishing. Myka got a ton of fishing gear for Christmas: his own Columbia fishing shirts, his own tackle box, and lots of "stuff" to go inside the tackle box. This entire past week Josh was painting some type of rubber paint stuff on the seats of the John boat so that it isn't so hot and not as slippery. So all week we were all looking forward to going out.

We decided to try a new place, down south of Fort Myers beach, called Lover's Key. I caught a sheephead 1/2 inch too small to keep, and Josh caught a great snook (his favorite) that was 2 inches shy of the 24" keep mark, but it's not even Snook "season" until March, so we couldn't have kept him anyhow. And then.... that was it! NOT even a bite other than those two. Myka didn't catch a thing, but that also may have been related to the periodic bouts of boredom and impatience....

So kind of a bummer fishing day but the weather was awesome - 70's all day IN JANUARY! Here's a pic of Josh and the snook - the catch of the day for sure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Body of Evidence

Body of Evidence (Scarpetta Book 2) Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am breezing right through these books. I decided to go back to the beginning of the series and read them all the way through. So I finished Body of Evidence a few nights ago (only to pick up the third book the next day). Again, another great novel from Patricia Cornwell. I don't think there is much more to say other than all of the Kay Scarpetta novels are a good read, and suspenseful. This was involved a bit more from a psychological standpoint which was interesting. So if I were to be in the field of forensics, I would want to be just like Dr. Scarpetta!

View all my reviews.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bring it up to date...

Ok. So, lets see what's gone on in the Massing household since September when I last updated. Whew. Lots really. So I'll go chronologically.... as best I can remember. Since I have lots of pics to share, I'll use some cool slideshows to save space!

The three of us went "hiking" at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve here in town. It was actually pretty cool - and we did get to see lots of neat things including several gators (baby ones too) and snakes. That's when that trusty zoom lens comes in handy. Then of course we had the normal Halloween festivities - Myka was a "army guy" and our annual pumpkin carving produced a Pirate pumpkin for Myka, and a ghost one for Josh. Then, I love the pics included below of Myka out in the yard catching butterflies. It's hard to see the butterflies in the pics but there are TONS of yellow ones all over!

Myka started Tiger Cubs back at the beginning of the school year and he LOVES it (not sure who is enjoying it more, Josh or Myka??) He's earned several beads, beltloops, badges and such. It's a great thing for the two of them to do together. We've done some cool activities like the Space Derby (had to build a rocket that would launch using rubber bands along a line), Cub/Parent camping trip, BB Gun shooting, and Woodworking project. They also have some cool things coming up where they'll go to a Radio station, and then next month a police station or something similar. In December, Josh and Myka planned the December activities for an Outdoors theme, and they planned leaf rubbing cards to deliver to Nursing home residents, and a trip to the Preserve where they learned from a guide about how animals adapt to the florida ecosystem. Pretty cool, so these are some pics from recent activities (there's quite a few).

Also in October Myka did his belt test is Tae Kwan Do to test for his yellow belt! He did awesome! I was so proud of him. It was such a big accomplishment for him. Unfortunately I lost most of my pics, my Josh's dad took some, I just don't have them on my computer.

We had a great time going to Albany, GA for Thanksgiving to visit Grandma & Grandpa Harris, and the Harris family in Macon, GA too! I love seeing family and even though it was a short trip, we really had a great time! My uncle Mike and his wife Vienna litterally built their house themselves, and it is beautiful! Thats where we had Thanksgiving dinner, the food was fantastic!

Whew! I finally finished my second semester of Nursing School and thankfully got all A's (praise the Lord!). I got a month's break before I just started my thrid semester this week. In December I also was able to get a PRN student nurse position at the hospital, will be about 1 or 2 days a week (8 hr shifts) and will be a good experience while in school, but not too much pressure. I do want to keep my grades up, and I know this semester will be even more challenging. But I had fantastic professors and I really learned so much. I just want the next 3 semester to go by quickly...
Myka got a two week break and our Christmas was pretty good, we even slept in a LOT (some days Myka and I slept in past 10am!). Josh's sister Jenn, & her boyfriend Ivan were here, so we had a houseful but it was great! Santa made a special appearance a few days before Christmas, and then he lost a bell off his suit right on our roof Christmas Eve! We spent Christmas morning here with Josh's family, then headed over to Mom's for Christmas dinner.
For Christmas, Myka really wanted this HUGE Hans Solo Star Wars ship. We had been telling him for a few months that it was very expensive, and we didn't think Mommy & Daddy would be able to get it. He even got teary eyed on Santa's lap about it this year (broke my heart!) but the good man pulled through and Myka was so excited to see that on Christmas Day!

It was hard to get back in the routine this week though, back to reality... So here it is, first week of January has come and gone. I start my full schedule of classes next week (Advanced Pharmacology, Adult I, and Mental Health in Nursing). I have two days of classes, one day of clinicals each week. Then I start my new job here in a few weeks so pray for me that I don't loose my sanity. Myka is back in the swing of school, and Josh's business is starting to pick up a bit. So from here on out, I'll try to keep posting regularly!