Monday, June 29, 2009

Adventures with Barbie

Well... you know things aren't looking so good for poor old Barbie when the red monster guy from the competitor's brand is having his way with her on the linen shelf in the upstairs bathroom.

Adventures with Barbie

Will she somehow escape? Will she be rescued by a super hero action figure? Will the red monster guy eat her?! Stay tuned for the next installment of... Adventures with Barbie!

(I have no idea where my kids get their twisted sense of humor.)




Reflections Apparel and Gifts - Family Friendly Shopping

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Looking for a John Calvin 500 gift?

I have a request for those shopping for commemorative John Calvin 500 designs on t-shirts, mugs, mousepads and various other John Calvin 500 gifts. The request is this:

John Calvin 500Please do NOT buy these items from the cafepress marketplace (or ebay or amazon.com - those are not my listings), but instead, purchase them from straight from my shop.

Cafepress has changed their marketplace policy for designers, and every purchase made through their marketplace means the designers are paying literally through the NOSE for that marketplace placement. The way we pay for it, is that we receive a mere 10% commission of each sale of our own designs, rather than the full commission we've established through our own shops. Designers have no control over this at all, this was a cafepress marketplace decision. We can all opt-out of the marketplace completely but that puts us all in a catch-22 position making it hard to find our designs.

So please, if you're shopping for a John Calvin 500 t-shirt, Calvin 500 mug, or any other Calvin 500 gift to commemorate the 500th birthday of John Calvin, make your purchases through my shop, and not the marketplace. In all other areas of t-shirt design as well, please support the designers behind the designs, and buy directly through shops, instead of the CP marketplace or amazon or ebay (those are all "marketplace" listings as well and designers are being substantially shortchanged for their work, when you purchase through those avenues).

I have specifically mentioned the Calvin 500 design as this has been a popular item the past few months and has become even more popular in the last couple of weeks.


Reflections Apparel and Gifts - Family Friendly Shopping

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Me Meme - Again

You may have seen this meme before, or some variation of it. I think I've even done a version of it here before. In any case, it's fun, easy and is sure to make you laugh. I know it's long but trust me, the more items on the list you do, the funnier it gets! It was even funnier that some of the phrases I googgled actually pulled my own blog up! That was boring so I picked a different one for those.

All you do: using the words in bold and replacing your first name with mine, google the phrase, then post the first one on google's list (unless it's vulgar or morbid, then pick the next one):

Carla thinks she's a kid again!
Carla remembers that I made her feel at home
Carla believes that passing this on to lawyers yet today is still good advice
Carla heard Joe Williams at the Blue Note in New York.
Carla wishes she had these products years ago.
Carla denied having told her cellmates that she was going to receive a two-year suspended sentence in return for her testimony
Carla admitted in the letter that she was not a vegetarian
Carla pretended to be caring
Carla hates shopping and would wear the same pair of trousers every day if she could
Carla Loves Photography
Carla said “Mrs. Obama Does Not Wear Fur"
Carla noticed a real need for a service that helped men and women build wardrobes
Carla thought how tiny and precious she looked
Carla saw the Shalako god
Carla went to school wearing two pink ribbons in her hair
Carla was wearing white and got punked
Carla whispered urgently
Carla smelled bad
Carla wrote at 7:58am yesterday
Carla married Pierre
Carla had heart and a great personality
Carla attended Salem Elementary School
Carla prepared all the meals for the family or for guests, and she is an excellent cook
Carla laughed at him and said, "You silly fella! Nobody's going to hurt you here!"
Carla cried, “I don't want to move to Texas!”
Carla looked at Robert, tilted her head and gave him a lovely smile. "Come on" she said, "let's get on with our dinner.
Carla called me at 2am and told me, 'VoilĂ , he's no longer here.'
Carla is "Simply Streisand" in every way.
Carla cannot compete with classy Michelle
Carla has never made it on the top of my favorite list
Carla created the flowers for my daughters wedding
Carla fell in love with classic Swing music from the Big Band era
Carla cooked an awesome chicken, sausage and tasso gumbo for all our friends and family to stop by and eat.
Carla will be speaking at the Women of Power and Influence Panel
Carla can be customized to any foot shape
Carla tried opening the door
Carla failed to bag the role, but surprisingly, she has landed the lead role in the Filipino adaptation
Carla says something in Spanish
Carla wonders if the big blue train out of Tennessee will ever get their due
Carla ran away after a series of sometimes violent arguments caused by her mum's long-standing alcohol problem

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you do the meme and blog it please do let me know, I'd love to read yours! If you don't blog, feel free to leave your list in the comments here. Yes of course it's pointless and takes a few minutes to do, but it's funny and we could all stand a few more laughs these days.


Reflections Apparel and Gifts - Family Friendly Shopping

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gettin' Schooled

Just to update on the Adventures in Education we'll be on come fall 2009:

The kids and I went to the school yesterday to officially register them and take a tour of the school. We met the principle and the secretary and several of the teachers they'll each have, and they were all very friendly people. I noticed that nearly every kid we passed in the hall (we toured just as school was letting out) stopped to talk to the principle and teachers, and genuinely seemed to enjoy that. It was very encouraging to see that.

We toured the entire school, even (briefly) the classrooms they'll likely never be in, just to give them a good sense of the layout at the school. From the brand new gym built just 2 years ago (Samuel was one delighted kid to see that) to the music room, French class, library, computer lab (huge room, with air conditioning - we wanted to hang around in there, it was 85 degrees yesterday) and various other critical areas, such as the playground - which is enormous. Playgrounds matter, when you're 8, 10 and 11, so that was a crucial stop on the tour.

The principle and I had a good talk on the huge amount of extra-curricular activities available for the kids, and they each had several questions for her as well, which she was happy to answer for them.

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience for me and for the kids. I honestly expected to have at least one reservation but I really didn't, and that surprised me. There will be a culture shock adjustment time for them when school starts in the fall, but I don't think it will be nearly as much of a culture-shock as I first thought. Someone asked me last night why we decided to put them into public school after almost 10 years of homeschooling. The simplest answer to that question is: opportunities. A good education is one that is filled with opportunities to explore a wide variety of areas from the basic reading, writing and arithmatics, to languages, music, technology and even sports. In our particular circumstances in homeschooling, we can give them the basics but we can't give them the wide spectrum that this school can. We cannot teach French, or music, or even give them access to decent technology, and I believe they deserve to have those opportunties to grow and learn.

So, we're all pretty excited about this adventure we're on. It will definitely be a big adjustment for Ruth and I being home and homeschooling for one more year, but I think it'll be an awesome time for her to grow up a little bit as well having her own time during the day without the older kids here. I'm happy with this decision we've made, even though I did almost cry a few times the other night sorting through some old folders of the kids lower level grade work. It's a little sad saying goodbye to this part of our life, and I'm pretty sure that's just a normal part of the process.

Oh, and for those who've asked: they will each be placed in their grade level for their age (grades 4, 5 and 7) and have their progress monitored for the first several weeks/months to see where their strengths and weaknesses are. We've always used a curriculum from the states, and while its an awesome curriculum, Canadian schools are a grade ahead of US schools. If we were in the states they'd be entering grades 3, 4 and 6 but here - the kids of the same age are already a year ahead. For the areas where they might need extra help, there is a Learning Support teacher with his own classroom (who we met yesterday, very nice man) they will work with to get them on track if/when they need it.

It's funny, this is the first year ever they've all said to me "I can't wait for school to start in the fall!" They're that excited about attending this school, meeting new friends, and taking part in all the new opportunities. When I told them the computer lab doesn't have dial up like we have here at home, they were extremely delighted.

I'm sure by this time next year the novelty will have worn off and they'll be looking forward to summer vacation just like all the other kids. Although, I wouldn't mind spending some quality time in that computer lab myself. ;-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just for Girls: Keeping it Real

This will not come as a surprise to anyone, but the world we live in is full of monumenally fake people, liars, sneaks and cheats. Whats more, this kind of conduct is actually applauded and held up as good and something us women should aspire to.

Okay so what in the world am I talking about? Yesterday while in the waiting room at the doctor's office I was thumbing through a popular magazine. What struck me about all the ads for cosmetics in this particular magazine, was that the models had perfectly flawless porcelain-like skin. Not a wrinkle, not a mole, not a single natural looking thing about them. Then all the captions telling me its perfectly okay to flat out lie about my age, hide who I really am, and even be ashamed of the way I look and push myself to cover up the natural me for the uber-perfectly-balanced-skin-tone me. Of course none of this comes as a shock to me, but it struck me that these kinds of cosmetics ads seemed way more in-your-face and over the top than the last time I thumbed through a popular womens magazine. The funny thing is that in this magazine there was exactly 1 picture of a real woman. Way in the back, tucked in among all sorts of other miscellaneous stuff was a picture of a heavy set woman in a dress you'd find at any WalMart type store. She was standing in her garden, smiling. She truly looked more real and approachable than any of the porcelain-skinned women in the huge ads all through the magazine.

Now, I'm not someone who is against using make up or other various products to improve one's look. Myself, I have had very dark circles under my eyes since I was about 12 years old, and with the passing of time they just get darker and darker, making me feel like I look like Mom of the Living Dead. Do I really look like that? Probably not, but to me it feels like I do so I use a vitamin oil under my eyes to lighten up those Zombie shadows. It works, and I've seen a rather remarkable improvement since I started using it a few weeks ago. So I'm certainly not someone who is against improvements of this kind. But if there was a product I could put on my face that would take years off my appearance, that actually might creep me out just a little bit. I'm 44 years old and I dont want to look 20. It's not natural and it's not normal.

Its definitely not something new or unique but it also struck me again as I looked at those ads, that it is no wonder we have a culture obessessed with youth and beauty and perfection. Girls with eating disorders and older women that spend (literally) a fortune to make themselves appear 20 years old no matter how old they really are. Its a major headgame the cosmetics industry plays and the saddest thing of all is that it appeals to our vanity and pride and it works. It works to the tune of millions (maybe more, I didn't check) of dollars pouring into the accounts of these companies, and millions of women both young and old, fighting the battle of age. A battle they will lose no matter what they do or how much money they spend. There is no such thing as the Fountain of Youth. You will age and it will show in your face and that's just the way it is.

And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that! Oh I know, the cosmetics industry hires genius marketing people to tell you differently, but they're lying through their teeth and we all know it. So you get a few wrinkles, your upper lids get a little puffy (over the counter stuff does NOT work, do not waste your money), and your skin starts to sag a bit here and there. This is the very normal aging process and it happens to us all. If you can find a product (I use Bio Oil) that can help make the skin a little healthier looking then by all means use it, but to literally obesses over looking and staying young is just the saddest thing women could possibly do because it's a complete illusion, destined for failure.

We all know it when we see those cosmetics ads that these models don't really look like this. We've all seen the tabloid covers where the paparazzi have caught celebritries in the "caught without make up!" mode and many of them look vastly different without it, than what we're used to seeing. Years ago I was in the airport at the ticket counter and ran into a hugely popular actress from the show Melrose Place. The only reason I recognized her was because of her unique hairstyle and smile - but other than that - she was make up free and didn't really look anything like what she did on the show. It struck me how much more real she looked, without all the junk on her face.

So all that, to say this: don't waste your time, money and energy on a losing battle. These are precious resources us women have and where we spend them does matter. Not only that, the younger women around us see us as their examples of how to age gracefully, so lets be good examples to them, and show them it's okay to get older, without going fake.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Well, I'm Happy

You know, life is funny. The longer you live, the more likliehood there is that you will accumulate for yourself, a lot of joy a lot of sorrow a lot of success and triumph and a lot of failure and grief. It's just the way it works, this thing we call life. The longer you live the more seasoned you become by what life has to offer, in that you begin to realize it's not all a bed of roses, and you also begin to realize that the hard times and the painful times will not last. These things come in cycles and at times ordained by the Lord for His glory - even if we can't ever make sense of them in our own minds.

This time of year memories of some of those hard times tend to flood back for me, and it's pretty hard to ignore them. At the same time, there are so many wonderful things going on right now that it's also impossible not to feel so incredibly happy and joyful. My oldest daughter just graduated from college, my third daughter just made me a grandmother for the second time, some of the younger kids get to begin a new adventure with going to public school in the fall, and just last night I had a telephone conversation with a dear friend and his new bride, that just left me grinning from ear to ear.

If you've read Campi's blog lately, you know he just announced his marriage to his gorgeous bride Cindy. I had the blessing of speaking with both of them on the phone last night as they relayed the details of the events of the day (some of which almost made me cry, others which made me laugh outloud). Now, while I am not in the habit of repeating my telephone conversations with others, I know Steve and Cindy will be okay with this because it's just fantastically wonderful news. Kev and I were supposed to be there at the wedding, but due to circumstances out of our control, we were not able to do that. That made me very sad, so hearing all about the wonderful day over the phone last night, just blessed my heart.

As I prayed last night, I thanked the Lord for them both, asked Him to bless their new family abundantly, and also thanked Him for letting me be so truly happy for them, when it would be so easy to set aside their good news for all the private, unpleasant things going on that certainly aren't so joyful to deal with. Like most people I suppose, its pretty common for me to dwell on the bad stuff and not really celebrate the good stuff the way I should. Scripture is crystal clear - if there be any GOOD (and oh dear reader look around, there is massive amounts of good!), think on these things. I just don't do that enough, so in the last several months that has been a diligent prayer of mine and our God has been gracious to steer me that way.

So these days I walk around a little happier. A little more content, and a little more hopeful. I rejoice with my daughter for finishing college, my other daughter in being a new mommy, my younger kids in their anticipation of a new adventure in public school and with Steve and Cindy on the blessed union of their brand new marriage.

There is so much good to dwell on. Find some for yourself and dwell on it today, and tomorrow, and the next day. If you catch yourself smiling, its a real good thing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

One Question: WHY?

why?

Why do this to yourself? (Yes, it's a serious question)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adventures in Education

Back when I was a girl going to school, most parents didn't really have a need to put a great deal of thought and planning into their children's education. Most kids went to public schools, a handful of kids went to private schools, and even fewer were homeschooled.

In the years since my graduating highschool class of 1983, much has changed and it has changed in monumental ways. From the core curriculum in elementary through high school, to the laws pertaining to education for children under 16, to the freedoms and the choices parents now have in determining by whom and how their children will be educated.

Before we made the final decision to homeschool in 1999 we had thoroughly researched it, prayed about it, talked about it, and weighed the pros and cons of a public school education v. a homeschool education. It took almost three years to come to the decision and in the end homeschooling was the best choice for us and our kids.

Now we fast forward ten years.

First, in looking back over the last ten years as a homeschooling family I can say without question it has been one of the hardest things and one of the most incredibly rewarding things I have ever done, in my life. Even though I spent a lot of time reading much material about it before we began, I never had a clue how much work it really was to teach every single day. It isn't just teaching, it's planning, and scheduling, and supervising and constantly staying up to date with new resources and better opportunities. You're not just the teacher, you're the principle, the text book quality control staff, the ordering department, entertainment coordinator and school district superintendent all rolled into one. And that's just on a slow day. If you have even one child with any kind of learning difficulties, it can become even more complicated - very quickly.

At the same time, being in the role of teacher has been an awesomely incredible experience for me. I cannot count the number of times one of my kids had an "ah-ha!" moment and a previously complicated matter became clear to them, and we both rejoiced at the same time. To be able to be a part of that, is nothing short of amazing. To teach my children letter sounds, then blends, then how they all fit together and then how to read word after word, paragraph after paragraph, feels like I've stood at the door of the most incredible adventure EVER, and handed them the key to enter in. Reading is so critical to education and understanding, and to be able to teach someone how to do that is quite humbling.

Just as we researched and talked and prayed before we made an educational decision ten years ago, we've been doing the same thing with each passing year with the four kids at home now. We always knew that eventually we'd want to put them back into public school when the time was right for each of them, so we've been sort of taking the timing-temperature each year.

This past school year that just ended, was officially the last homeschooling year for three of the four kids at home. I have to be honest and say that it's hard to write that without some stinging in my nose and a lump in my throat. Not because I think we're making a poor choice, but because it's the same feeling nearly all parents have when it's "time" for their babies to venture off a bit and spread their wings and grow. For a lot of parents that is kindergarten when their babies are only five, and for other parents its the feeling that comes when the kids head off to college. For this homeschool mom, the time is when three of them are (or will be, by the next school year) 9, 10 and 11.

Part of the deciding factor to homeschool them from the beginning was to give them a solid, Christian based education, and foundation. None of them have ever been to public school and they all began formal schooling at home by the age of four. All of them have in fact received that solid foundation to build on. We have accomplished what we set out to do, and now we believe it's time to allow them (in a limited, grade school setting of course) to make some new choices of their own, have new experiences, new opportunities, meet new people, and begin a new phase of education.

We know it's not going to be an easy transition, and they really don't realize how different homeschooling is from public schooling. Of course we've talked about it and we continue to talk about it each day with them (its the new daily topic of conversation, they have a million questions), and when school actually begins in the fall it will likely be a one-day-at-a-time situation for each of them. They'll have to get used to a new routine, with new rules (lots of new rules) and new expectations. I will likewise have to get used to a new routine as well, wearing the dual-hats I've worn before (when the older girls were in public school and we homeschooled Jessica), being a homeschool mom and a public school mom at the same time, since Ruth will be staying at home for at least one more year. Something she's not entirely happy about, but Kev and I are both in agreement that she really isn't ready for such a transition just yet. The really nice thing is however, is that the school the older kids will be attending is a K-8 school only five minutes from here. That definitely makes this mother a little more at ease, sending her precious babies off somewhere for 6 hours a day. At least it's close and they'll be together, in a sense. If Ruth is ready the following school year, she'll be attending there with them as well.

Over the summer, all the "official" business of going back to school, begins. The registration paperwork, the tour of the school, school clothes, supplies, and all those things homeschool families do a little differently. In some ways I'm dreading it, and in some ways I'm looking forward to it - mostly for the opportunities they'll have that they currently do not have being educated at home. The part I'm dreading is their transition from home to school, and how that might go. I can only pray it goes well, and pray for wisdom to help each of them if and when and how they need it in adjusting. Kids are pretty flexible, so I can only hope they all adjust well to both the academic expectations and the social structure of a public school life.

The other part I very much look forward to (for them) is the sense of community they'll begin to feel, being a part of a local school. All the school functions and events they'll want to take part in will be a lot of fun for them and something they've unfortunately never been able to have while homeschooling. We've never been able to join any kind of HS support/community group because they're all so far away. In many ways this will be a huge blessing to them, and I'm grateful for that. In other ways it will be a challenge, as we'll need to address some of the non-Christian/liberal types of things they'll hear from both adults and other kids, but this is something they are each ready to be exposed to, and know how to give and answer for. I don't expect any of them to be little Johnny Evangelists at their school (even Christian adults don't always have that evangelistic zeal and confidence in their day to day lives) , but I do expect that they will have the opportunity to really begin to think about their own faith and why they believe what they believe. This is important for them, and part of any Christian's spiritual growth. If they do have the opportunity to share that faith with their newfound friends, then praise God for that!

So, this summer begins our last summer of things being the way they are. In a very real way, it's a bittersweet time for me. I'll probably cry the first morning they get on the bus in September, but I think that's okay. I'm going to enjoy my last summer at home with these kids before everything changes so much in the fall.

Your prayers for our family would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Smart is Your Right Foot?

You know those email fwds that you get that you never read? Most people never read them, but I read mine. I'm glad I do, too, because this one's a real gem:

HOW SMART IS YOUR RIGHT FOOT?

You have to try this please it takes 5 seconds. I could not believe this!!! It is from an orthopaedic surgeon............ This will boggle your mind and you will keep you trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't. It's pre-programmed in your brain!

1. Without anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY!!) like while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction. I told you so!!! There's nothing you can do about it! You & I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again...and again.

(for the record, I tried it 3 times and the email is correct)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Since I've moved... sorta...

For those of you who've linked to my Reflections cafepress store at your blogs, sites, etc., I need to ask you a favor.

Since I've branched out to various merchandise suppliers (better range of style selection and prices) I have created www.carlarolfe.com to be the central location for all my designs. Rather than running all over looking at different shops, you and your blog/web visitors can just go to 1 place and look around there. So, what I would like to ask you to do then is to edit the link you have for Reflections Apparel and gifts, and point it instead to www.carlarolfe.com.

There is another reason I'm asking you to do this as well. Now I want to say this without sounding like a disgruntled designer, because the truth is, I'm not. My main shop is cafepress, and I truly love them. Their products have stood the test of time (and improved greatly, I might add), their shipping is FAST, and the customer service is simply excellent. However, they are in business for themselves and they've recently changed a policy as it pertains to the designers that design (and make up the marketplace) and use cafepress's services.

Without going into all the minute details, as of June 1st cafepress has a new policy in affect that effectly lowers (significantly) the profits that designer will make, IF a customer purchases a product with their design on it, from the cafepress marketplace. Essentially what they've done is begun charging us designers a hefty fee to have our products in their marketplace for shoppers to choose from. It's not legally worded that way, but that is the way it works out. You want your products in their marketplace, you get to pay a large fee for that rent space. My products are still there, but I would much prefer it if you (the customer) would browse directly in my shop and avoid the marketplace completely, for purchases of Reflections brand merchandise. The more people that buy directly from my shop, the less money I lose every month to the marketplace "rent". The added bonus is, if you head to www.carlarolfe.com first, you get to select from a much wider variety of product styles and prices! I've partnered with printfection, skreened, zazzle, online shirtstores and more. You'll never even see those styles, if you're going in through the cafepress marketplace.

If you haven't yet linked to my store (or have, and have used the old logos and url), and would like to (google gurus tell me google will like me more if more people link to me), I've added a feature on the goodies page here that will allow you to do that! I do hope you'll consider linking to Reflections and promoting family friendly online shopping. Let me know you've linked in (you can just leave a comment on the very same page), and I'll be happy to list your blog/site on that page and let my customers know where they can find great blogs & resources!

Today is...

• The annual setting up of the pool, day.

• The first buzz cut of the summer for Samuel.

• The day that marks my age at exactly 44.5. Only 6 months left until I turn 45! That feels both weird and cool, at the same time.

• The first day in months I've woken up before 8am, and stayed up. I'm forcing in a new sleep schedule, in efforts to be normal. Ha.

• Clear and sunny and a high of 75. A perfect day for just about any kind of outdoor activity. As soon as I post this, I'm TOTALLY disconnecting from all electronic devices and heading out the door. I will not return until I'm exhausted, and/or the sun goes down, whichever comes first.

I hope YOU have a super-fantastic Friday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How come?

Okay, I have some questions. They're totally random too, so don't expect any kind of theme or anything. Ready? Here we go:

• I clean the kitchen so well, you could eat off the floor, literally. Everything sparkles and it's quite lovely. How come no one ever comes over unannounced right after that, but instead they come over before I've scrubbed and polished everything in sight?

• 10 yr old daughter comes inside and begins a statement this way:

"Mom, while eating lunch and jumping on the trampoline..."

Why is it, that a) this doesn't phase me in the least and b) I know this isn't going to end well?

• What in the world is the reason for airing feminine protection products on cartoon channels between 3 and 5pm, when the target audience watching is primarily 10 and under?

• How do you stop an animal from using the carpet for a toilet? (barring getting rid of the animal and/or carpet)




Find the Reflections Brand apparel and gifts at the following locations:
Cafepress Online Shirtstore • Printfection (• Christian - • Funny - • Kids - • Moms Kitchen) Skreened Zazzle

New Project Time

Over the last year or so, I've had several people ask me if I have 1 site where all my designs can be seen. One location with all the products I design for, and all the designs available on all those products. When I have had to say no, I do not have 1 central location for something like that, the response is always "why not?"

lol... rotflol... oh, I realize its a serious question. Its just that folks that don't know, don't know. What they don't realize is that since I've been doing this for many many years, I have literally thousands of designs out there. At one place alone, I have over 3,000 designs, and I design at many places. So, it would certainly be a monumentally large amount of work to compile a nice organized site, that showcases ALL my work, on all the products, in all the locations they can be found out. Yes, the word 'ginormous' certainly comes to mind, for an undertaking like that. That's the sort of thing people do, who don't have 900 kids, don't homeschool, don't have a household to run and don't sleep. Ever. There is a reason they're called geeks, you know, and you gotta love 'em because they do the ugly, dirty web-work that most of us either don't know how to do, or do know how and don't dare touch because it's so painstaking and time consuming.

However, I've been asked enough times about a site like this that it's pretty obvious folks would very much like to see one. So... the ginormous project has begun and its part of what has been taking every last second of my free time lately. Designing the layout of the site from the ground up is one part, then adding every design at every location is the next part. That should only take... hmmm... a few months? Good thing it's summer vacation!

At any rate, here's the site: carlarolfe.com. So far I only have a handful sections up, but at least its a start. I'll be working on this for a while until it's the comprehensive site folks have been asking for. You'll notice under each design, you can click the different links that direct you where you can purchase that design on a wide variety of merchandise and gifts. In many cases, there are more than one link, because different merchandise providers offer different merch, at varying prices. I'll be fine tuning and tweaking along the way, but the bare bones are in place and it's really easy to remember the name of the site! :-)

I would sure appreciate any feedback, even if you hate the site.

Find the Reflections Brand apparel and gifts at the following locations:
Cafepress Online Shirtstore • Printfection (• Christian - • Funny - • Kids - • Moms Kitchen) Skreened Zazzle

Friday, June 5, 2009

School's Out, For Summer!!

Well, the 2008/09 school year is officially over at Maplewood Academy, and today we had a party to celebrate. More specifically, we had a CUPCAKE party! Someone gave me a pampered chef frosting gun a few years ago, and today the kids (and me too) got to play with it and with numerous vials of multicolored sprinkles to decorate cupcakes & drink too much cream soda & root beer, then play outside with the giant, inflatable dart board! It was a perfect weather day (almost too hot sitting in the sun), perfect cupcake decorating day, and perfect dart tournament day! Here are some pics of today's fun:

With SPRINKLES!
Dart Champions of the Universe

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Monday, June 1, 2009

A Special Treat From Lane & Doc (and supporting cast)

What a treat this was to see. Two of my favorite brothers, talking about one of my favorite little books (that truly changed my understanding of God's sovereignty) and a special surprise at the end of the video. You really oughta watch this. (Whoever said Christians don't have a sense of humor, was hanging around the wrong Christians!)