Family Feed

Stampin' Up! What's Carol Been Up To?

Hey there! What have I been up to? I've been busy busy, but not stamping. I belong to a women's prayer group at church called Ladies Friendship Circle that meets monthly. Earlier this year I volunteered to host the Christmas meeting at my house. Now, I have stampers in for classes every month, and my family is here several times a week, but for a Christmas gathering you kind of need to up your game a little bit, ya know? So every day this week, Monday through Thursday, someone has helped me dress the house for Christmas. Monday it was Maddie Kate & Ava, my two oldest granddaughters. They decorated my tree. Tuesday Alisa hung lights all over my dining room/living room. Wednesday Logan and his best girl, Faith, helped dress the rest of the house with my collection of Christmas decor, and Logan helped Mark put up lights outside. Thursday Mark helped with general cleanup to put the finishing polish to the house. I couldn't have done it all without my sweet family's help! Oh, I think I forgot to mention I babysat Darcy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with Darcy's first dentist visit on Monday, Tuesday School on Tuesday, and Dance/Tumbling Classes on Wednesday!

Here's my little nest:


I know it's a humble abode, but this is the place where I raised all 6 of my babies and the place where my grandchildren play on cold or rainy days. We gather here almost every Sunday after church for lunch and then relaxing together!

The only other thing I need to tell you today is that the Year End Close Out has begun! Retiring items from the Holiday Catalog, as well as select Annual Catalog products are on sale through January 2nd, but everything is while-supplies-last, so don't wait to place your order! Click on the graphic below to go to my online store, click "Shop Now", then click on "Year End Closeout".


After you get click on the closeout you will have two choices:

CM10091S    OR   CM10092S

After you have selected the products you are ordering, be sure to add Host Code:

Call me:  618-237-6281
Email me: [email protected]

Until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! day!

All images ©Stampin'Up!™1990-2018


Stampin' Up! Ivory Zora Has Arrived!

Hey there! Baby Ivory Zora has arrived! It was a long night, but Ivory didn't make us wait all day to see her! She arrived at 11:20 a.m. yesterday, October 7, 2016! Amazingly, I had picked her birthday months ago! Shortly after all of our grandbabies' coming is announced, a family poll is taken. Everyone guesses the date we think the baby will arrive. I think this is the first of all 9 grandbabies that I got it right! Here she is!


Her color is PURPLE, in case you haven't guessed it! She has some hair, about the amount her mother had when she was born.

A mama and daughter selfie, just a few hours after her birth!


With biggest brother Oakley. Lando was in too much motion to get a pic with his baby sister, although he seems to think she is pretty great!


My first chance to hold her!

Ivory  Grammie

We were all happily exhausted by the time she arrived. I have been blessed to be present for all three of Alisa's babies' births. Truly a miracle from God, and we are so thankful!

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, but I hope to be back tomorrow morning with a Sunday Swap Day for you!

Until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! day!



No baby yet!

Hey there! No stamping today. We are at the hospital awaiting the birth of grand-girl #4. Pretty sleepless night, but she is more than half-way to the finish line. We hope to greet our little girl in a few hours. All is going well, but please pray for a safe and healthy delivery for mommy and baby.


Will keep you posted. I have a little stack of projects waiting to share with you in the next few days, so I'll be back! And of course I will share some pics of her too!


Until then, have a Stampingrox! day!

Stampin' Up! Back to Blogging Tomorrow!

Hey there! We are heading home from Branson, MO, today. Mark & I usually take a little anniversary trip this time of year. Our anniversary is September 10th. We will be married 39 years!

I was successful blogging on the first three days of our trip, but we had to change hotels on Saturday and they internet here is not conducive to uploading pictures to the blog. ugh.

Just wanted to let you know I will be back to blogging tomorrow. I still have fun things to share with you, so please don't give up on me!

Until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! day!



Stampin' Up! Baby Monkey Ball!

Hey there! I have just a quick post this morning. This afternoon the Mediterranean Achiever's Blog Hop starts at 4 p.m., so please back then to take the hop! ok?

I stamp monthly with a group of friends in Marion, IL. Each gal has unique personalities and talents, and I love stamping with them, but their talents are not limited to just stamping cards.

Last month, Kristine McCurdy gifted me with one of the fun little "baby balls" she makes for friends and family with new babies and small children. She knows with 8 grandchildren and another one on the way, it will get played with a lot!

Monkey ball 1

She even packaged it up festively and used her Stampin' Up! dies and card stock to create the tag!

Monkey ball 2

I just love it! I love the colors she used and the adorable little monkey fabric!

Monkey ball 3

I've actually wished I could make one of these. I may have to ask her to be my teacher!

Monkey ball 4

That's all I have until this afternoon when the blog hop starts. Our theme is Weddings, so I'm sure we will have lots of beautiful and inspiring things to share. I really like my project and can't wait to share it with you!

To place a Stampin' Up! order, go to my online store:

Remember while shopping:

All orders of any amount (except Online Class Orders) will receive a Thank You Project Packet in the mail.

Check the Weekly Deals and Clearance Rack for savings ranging from 25% to 60%.


When your order is at least $35 (before tax & shipping) and you use the March Hostess Code: PWN39NN2 you will receive the March Online Class; six cards, two each of three designs, with envelopes and instructions, FREE!

When your order (before tax & shipping) reaches $150, DON’T USE THE HOSTESS CODE, because you can choose free Stampin' Rewards starting at 10% of the total. You will still receive the monthly online class cards.
***During Sale-a-bration (Jan 5-March 31, 2016 all orders of $250 or more will receive $25 in EXTRA Stampin’ Rewards!!!!!

That’s all for now, until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! Day!

All images ©Stampin' Up! ™1990-2016

Stampin' Up! Christmas Chaos!

Hey there! Just a quick post today. I am hosting my team Christmas party tonight at my house and I have a lot to get ready!

I spent last Friday sewing with Alisa. It was her birthday back in the middle of October and we hadn't been able to find a day that we could get together until then. I will have some pics of our projects we worked on soon!

Saturday was our annual "Payne girls" Christmas shopping  trip. It's pretty much our only day that we can all get together, just us four girls:


I am so thankful that God blessed me with my three daughters!

Yesterday was church in the morning and the evening, of course, and in between we had three of Jessica's for the afternoon while Maddie Kate competed in a cheer competition. She is a freshman cheerleader at Sesser-Valier. Here she is with her mommy Jessica yesterday:


I DO have some cute projects to share with you, so check back here for that and new Weekly Deals tomorrow! Until then, I just wanted to remind you that the Year-End Sale is still going on. You can check it all out and shop in my online store:

Four things to remember while you are placing your order in my online store:
1. All orders of any amount (except for Online Class Orders) will receive a Thank You Project Packet in the mail.
2. Be sure to check out the Weekly Deals and Clearance Rack while you’re shopping for savings ranging from 25% to 60%.

 11202585_10153844992314684_1880635686066867430_n - Copy

3. When your order is at least $35 (before tax & shipping) and you use the December Online Hostess Code: 37GUXJKT you will receive the December Online Card Class cards, six cards, two each of the 3 designs,with envelopes and instructions, FREE! Here's two of the three cards for the December Class. I will be posting the third one here on my blog tomorrow:

Stampin_up_botanicals_for_you_1 - Copy Stampin_up_picture_perfect_1 - Copy

4. When your order (before tax & shipping) reaches $150 choose free Stampin' Rewards starting at 10% of the total.With new Stampin’ Rewards you get credit for every dollar you spend!

That’s all for now, until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! Day!

All images ©Stampin' Up! ™1990-2015


Stampin' Up! An English Garden Sunday Swap Day!

Hey there! It's time for Sunday Swap Day again! yay!

I want to share with you a little of my day yesterday. Some of you may remember that I'm the baby sister in my family. Our parents are long gone, and my brother and sister live about 3 hours away in Decatur, IL, so I don't get to see them very often. They are getting older, which of course I am too, so I treasure every chance I get to spend a little time with them.

Every time we take a picture together, my brother, Don, always says, "I'm just the rose between two thorns"! He's also the only person who calls me "kiddo" and gets away with it!

My sister, Connie, and I just love our big brother to pieces!


As we headed home, my family indulged me in a little trip down my memories' lane. This is the school I attended through 6th grade, Oak Grove. I really think this is the same chain link fence that was in place when I attended there in the 60's. My daughter, Alisa, who was with us, commented, "Decatur is a Wonder Years town"!

8-8-15 Oak grove

We stopped by the house I lived in until I was 11 1/2. It doesn't look anything like it did back then (who painted over the soft butter yellow?), but the maple tree out front is still there. Oh, how many times did my mother make me get down from that tree because I wasn't supposed to be climbing it?

8-8-15 1067 N Summmit

A really neat thing happened while I was taking this picture. A lady sitting on her porch next door started calling, "Hellooooo, can I help you?" and when I answered her that I was just checking out the house because I lived there when I was a little girl, she asked me who I was. When I told her my maiden name, she remembered me! Turns out she lived next door to me back then, only she was a teenager! Who would've guessed that over 40 years later someone I know would still live next door?

We drove through Fairview Park so I could show my family the "bikini tree". This tree has been wearing a painted "bikini" for over 50 years! She's not lookin' too bad for an old lady, eh?

8-8-15 bikini tree

We also stopped by the church I attended faithfully with my parents when I was little. This church is responsible for my early training in my belief in God and the Bible. I'm also a fan of pipe organ music because of the marvelous instrument this church has!

8-8-15 central christian

I always had an excellent view of the church service. . . from the balcony! Apparently I was quite the squirmy chatterbox, so rarely did we sit on the main floor.


If you've lasted this long, THANK YOU and congratulations! Now you get to see some swaps!

First, Mary Waring stamped the Watercolor Thank You stamp with Tuxedo Black ink on English Garden Designer Paper, adding an Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack flower in Rose Red and stamping Crumb Cake  on the Crumb Cake card base with the splatter stamp from Perpetual Birthday Calendar:


Next, Sue Berreth combined English Garden and Farmer's Market Designer Paper with the Brick Wall Folder and a Bold Butterfly framelit. She partially stamped a phrase from Me = Grateful, cutting it out with a Tags & Labels Framelit.


Sue stamped the rest of the sentiment on the inside for a simple yet effective finish:


Third, Barbara Nagle combined the English Garden paper with the Watercolor Wings set for her tag card punched with the Scalloped Tag Topper Punch:


Finally, Rhonda Bassler used one of my favorite color combos: Blushing Bride, Whisper White, and Soft Suede, adding a pop of Old Olive with the Garden in Bloom set. Can you see the little strip of English Garden paper peeking out from behind the layers cut with the Tags & Labels Framelits?


You can order all of your stampin' supplies from my online store:

Three things to remember when placing your order:

1. All orders of any amount will receive a Thank You Project Packet in the mail from me!

2. Be sure to check out the Weekly Deals Link and Clearance Rack Link while you are shopping for savings ranging from 25% to 60% off!

3. When your order (before tax & shipping) reaches $150 choose free Stampin'  Rewards starting at 10% of the total.With new Stampin’ Rewards you get credit for every dollar you spend!


That’s all for now, until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! Day!


All images ©Stampin' Up! ™1990-2015

Stampin' Up! Monday Morning Mess!

Hey there! I was unable to get back home in time yesterday to add the names of the Sunday Swap Day card creators because the transmission went out in my car on the way home from TN yesterday. I know God was watching over me because:

1. The transmission went out AFTER I got through all of the construction/car wreck zone on I-24. If it had went out during the hour or so of just crawling along at 10 mph I would have had no where to go to get out of the way.

2. When I pulled over to the side of the road, I was only about 1/4 of a mile from an exit and it was DOWNHILL all the way to the exit! I was able to coast my car to the exit. When I got to the end of the off-ramp there were no cars coming and I was able to coast the car right into a filling station!

3. After we determined it was the transmission (my husband & I via the phone) my husband was able to borrow his brother's trailer to drive down and get the car and me. I was still about three hours from home, so I was prepared to wait.

4. I didn't have to wait by myself very long. My husband is the song leader at our church, so he had to call our pastor to let him know he would be missing the evening service and why. Our pastor's father-in-law, Tom Malone, lives just minutes away from where I was stranded. He called his FIL, who then called me. Bro. Tom picked me up from the filling station, took me to the evening service at his church, then he & his family took me out for a snack and kept me company until Mark arrived to load the van.

5. Mark had help from Bro. Malone and his son-in-law, Rick, to get the van loaded  and safely secured on the trailer, so we were on our way back to IL a little before 10 p.m.!

6. We arrived safely home around 1:30 a.m.

Needless to say, I slept in a little the morning, but when I got up I found this going on in my yard:


I immediately snapped this picture, which prompted one of the workers to knock on the door to see if I was upset with them. They had tried to knock on the door and even rang the doorbell, but I was sound asleep until I work up "thinking" I had heard the doorbell. I think they thought I was a little bit crazy because I told them I just thought it was funny and ironic that on the day we have to leave my van out in the drive instead of under the carport is the day the tree trimmers come to trim our trees for the power company!

Another funny thought, isn't the "WORK AREA AHEAD"  sign they put in my yard supposed to be set up on a road????

Anyway, they were able to get the trees trimmed without any damage to my van, so it's all good!

That's all for now. I had a MOUNTAIN of laundry waiting for me when I got up this morning. My guys are pretty good about keeping things together around here when I'm gone, but the laundry got the best of them, I guess!

I'm going to go add the creator's names to yesterday's post and then get busy with my day! I have two parties this week and a presentation to make at the Spring Into Stamping event in Champaign, IL on Saturday! I have a lot to do!

Until tomorrow, have a Stampingrox! day!


All images ©Stampin' Up! ➩1990-2015

Stampin! Up! Zoo Babies for Lando!

Hey there! You've probably already heard. I've been shouting about it on Facebook for a few days, but in case you haven't, my newest grandson, Lando Ronan Hiller, has arrived! He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz. Mommy & Lando are doing great! I'm staying with her for a couple of weeks to mostly help out with Lando's "big brother", Oakley, who will be 18 months in a couple of days.

Now I can FINALLY finish his card:

Stampin­_up_zoo_ babies_for_lando_1

I added his name using Simply Pressed Clay and the new Alphanumeric Mold in the Occasions Catalog. After the letters dried, I colored them first with my Lost Lagoon marker, then added the "stitching" with a White Chalk Marker. I attached the letters to the card front with Crystal Effects. The letters were not completely flat, so I put a couple of heavy books on top of them until the Crystal Effects was dry.


After stamping the Whisper White Medium Evelope with Zoo Babies images and Lost Lagoon ink, I used the Envelope Liner Thinlet Dies to cut the Sweet Dreams Designer Paper to embellish the inside flap of the envelope.

You can check out the supply list for this card in my post last month HERE.

Here are the additional supplies I used to create and attach Lando's name. Place your order in my Online Store HERE.

The instructions and tips to make the Alphanumeric Letters with the Simply Pressed  will be included in my next newsletter scheduled to go out next Tuesday. If you are not subscribed, be sure to sign up using this feature on the right side of my blog!

Until tomorrow, which is the monthly Stamper's Dozen Blog Hop, have a Stampingrox! Day!

All images ©Stampin' Up!™1990-2015

NSR: A Generation Has Passed . . .

This post has nothing to do with Stampin' Up! but everything to do with my family and who we are because of today's subject. Please bear with me. If you are not interested in hearing about a life event from 1987, then come back tomorrow and I will have new cards for you to view.

Yesterday our family received word via Facebook that a murderer had been executed in Texas. This fact brings both relief and closure for a chapter in our lives that left an indelible mark on our family. 

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1987, I received a call from a friend, checking to see if I was interested in babysitting for a young family she knew were looking for a sitter for their little boy. I was a SAHM with 4 young children at the time: a daughter in kindergarten, a daughter in 3rd grade, a 4 year-old son, and a 6 month-old baby girl. After affirming that, yes, I was interested in babysitting, I received a call from the couple. In less than 30 minutes we were meeting Keith and Elaine Dardeen and their adorable little boy Pete.

My husband and I took an instant liking to both Keith & Elaine, and Pete fell instantly into hero worship of our 4 year-old son, Troy. After visiting with the family and working out the details of their needs and my availability, we all knew this was going to be a great "fit" for all of us.

Elaine was working part-time, so Pete never grew tired of coming to our house. He was a very intelligent, articulate child. If he ever objected to anything he was asked to do or not do, all I had to say was "Troy wants you to . . " and he was with the program!

The next 6 months were an enjoyable interlude for our families. I cared for Pete while his mother worked, and sometimes more often than not when Keith came to pick him up they would take Troy home "just to play" for a few hours.

When Pete turned 3 during the summer our family was invited to his birthday party. During the party it was announced that Pete would be a big brother in January. Everyone was excited.

As the fall drew to a close, Elaine told me they were looking into the possibility of having an older woman come to their house to care for Pete and the new baby after the birth. In mid-November she told me they were planning to have a lady come to the house soon to start getting Pete used to her. We were saddened to have this chapter of our lives come to a close, but knew we would still be friends.

Late in the morning of November 18, 1987 I received a puzzling phone call from Keith's supervisor at his work. Keith had not shown up for work, which was unusual, as Keith was a very loyal and punctual employee. In the early afternoon I received another phone call, this time from Keith's mother. She had received an identical phone call from Keith's supervisor, and asked if I knew anything about their whereabouts. I assured her that although I had thought I was going to babysit Pete that day, when they did  not drop him off and I didn't hear from them I had assumed they were trying out the new babysitter.

I tried calling their home as well, but the phone just rang and rang. I then called a family friend who worked for the State Police. I asked him what could be done to find a missing family. His advice was that there really wasn't anything to be done "if someone wants to disappear, they can".

Early in the evening I received another call from Keith's mom, asking me to please meet the Jefferson County Sherriff's deputys at the trailer. She wanted them to know where the key to the trailer was hidden.

When I arrived at the home, there were several police cars in the drive and in the yard. I pulled in, told them who I was, and why I was there. I was asked to pull in further and would I mind speaking with a Detective? I agreed, and spent the next hour with a Detective in his car in the driveway. The trailer was dark, but I could see that there were flashlights moving around inside.

After asking me many questions about Keith & Elaine, their relationship, and my impressions of them as a couple, the Detective gently informed me that Elaine and Pete were inside the trailer. He never expressly told me they were dead, but I knew.

No other details were imparted to me at that time, other than they were looking for Keith, as his car was missing. At that moment Keith was the prime suspect. I told the detective I did not believe it could ever be Keith to have done such a thing. I trusted Keith and Elaine. They were fellow believers in Christ, and I had trusted my children to play at their home many times, apart from the babysitting I did for them.

The subsequent news that not only were Elaine and Pete murdered, but Elaine's unborn baby, later named Casey by close family members, had been born during the attack and killed as well, and that Keith had been found murdered just a few miles away stunned and horrified my husband & I.

How to explain to our children, aged 9, 6, & 5 (our baby-girl was only 13 months at the time) that their little playmate was dead? As carefully as we could we told them that the family had died. Of course there were a million questions over the next months. We tried to keep the gory details from them as much as we could, but it was especially hard for our oldest as she heard all kinds of wild stories at school. She and our son, Troy, were hit the hardest.

When we attended the visitation for the family we were advised by some very wise people to not expect to "get over" this horrifying incident quickly. We were told that it would take at least a year, maybe more, before we would start to heal.

They were right. Not a day went by for more than an year that I didn't think and grieve for them. During that time I was approached by several newspapers and t.v. stations for an interview, but I just couldn't. I was too scared for my family's safety. I didn't want anyone to know that I had been "the babysitter". I didn't want whoever was still out there to think I might know something about the case. Our church family and community were also supportive, refusing to reveal to the press who "the babysitter" was. We were grateful for that.

Jessica had trouble going to sleep at night for years. She experienced separation-anxiety any time she was away from us, even if it was only to drop her off at school in the evening for a basketball game. She was afraid her parents were going to be murdered while she was away from us. She is in her thirties now, with children of her own. When she heard the news that the murderer had been executed, she noted that one of her two daughters is now 8, almost the same age she was when this tragedy occurred.

Troy, of course, didn't know as much as Jessica did, but he thought about and missed his little "shadow" greatly. Several times he expressed a desire to be able to help capture the person who had hurt his friend.

The F.B.I. came to our home a few weeks after the murders to ask Troy and I a few questions. It was very surreal when two men in suits sat down with us, showed us a few photos, asked us a few brief but pointed questions, and then left with no additional comment. We never knew if our responses helped the case at all.

Our family lived in fear for a very long time. My husband started blocking our door with a steel bar at night. It was several years before we felt safe enough to put the steel bar aside.

So a generation has passed since November 1987. My children are all grown, with lives and families of their own. But for me Pete is still the same adorable little boy who followed Troy around. Pete and his sister could have had families of their own by now. Keith and Elaine could have known the joy Mark & I find in being grandparents.

In spite of it all, I'm thankful for the time we were allowed to know Keith, Elaine, and Peter. Thankful for the friendship my son enjoyed with Pete. Thankful for the faith in God that carried us through even when we were too devastated to ask for His help.

And lastly, I'm thankful for the state of Texas for finally ending this story for us.

Until tomorrow . .