Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

image from
Thanks, girls for an amazing 2010!! I love my little place on the Web. It's so warm and cozy here all because of YOU!!:) I look forward to learning, growing and becoming with you in 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Create this fun little book!

**Note: This is a post from last January. I still have my Little book and love it! It's not filled out yet...but getting there. I wanted to re-post this for anyone who may not have seen it. I encourage you to create your very own book of possibilities for 2011. Enjoy:)

Here it is...MY VERY OWN "Little Book of Possibilities"!!

John Ruskin says...

"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil."

That's what I think about this book I's a place to dream my dreams, set my "lofty" goals and grow and create myself in 2010. The possibilities are so very exciting to me!!

Here's an example of the inside of the book. You can see on the right I've already started listing and dreaming and hoping.

Here's a look at 2 of my favorite pages in the book...I adore butterflies and they are scattered throughout.

Another page...

The book has approx. 144 pages in it along with 12 calendar pages and 12 plastic "sleeves" for photos, notes, whatever. I put decorated cardstock in the sleeves. I will use for photos, lists, handwritten notes I receive, etc.

Here's the back of the book...

When all is said and done this project took about 5 hours total. I used rub-ons, scraps of paper, stickers and stamps. It was a REALLY FUN project!!!

Thanks for looking and let me know if you make one.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Word for 2011

For the past 4 or 5 years I have chosen ONE WORD to focus on throughout the year. Last year's word was POSSIBILITIES. I just tried to open myself up to new things, new ideas and thinking out of the box. Overall I think I did pretty good with this word. I began painting and exploring various art forms. I wrote more than ever while growing my Words of Me blog to nearly 200 Followers. {a big deal for me}. I also began to realize that my life is really just beginning. The possibilities haven't stopped just because I'm in my 40's. I have lots of life left...lots left to do....lots that I want to do.

This years WORD? Well, I have thought about it for the past 2 months. At first CREATE kept coming to mind. But no, I want to do more than just CREATE. I want this WORD of mine to encompass everything I want to accomplish from my weight loss to my creativity to the way I live my life. So after thinking and thinking and thinking here is the WORD that kept popping in my mind....


to invent again or anew, esp. without knowing that the invention already exists.
to remake or make over, as in a different form: At 60, he reinvented himself as a volunteer. We have an opportunity to reinvent government.
to bring back; revive: to reinvent trust and accountability.

Author Lesley Garner says this about self reinvention...

"Do what you love. Do something because you really want to. You can't lose. Your passions can become useful in surprising ways. Each time you have to reinvent yourself you will find that the life you have lived is every bit as important as the job you have been paid for. What lies behind successful self-reinvention is the act of giving value to everything we have done. What should you be doing with your life? You should be doing what you think is valuable"

I chose REINVENT because I want to become a better me. I want to take a look at my life and know that I have been successful in many areas of my life and I know I can use those success's to help me find my way with future goals. I love many parts of me but there are those areas in my life that need help. In 2011 I want to become whole. I want to take my passions that fuel my spirit and fly!!

Goals for 2011


1) Write quality posts at least 3 times a week
2) Become more active in LBS, read other blogs, comment and share ideas
3) Promote women Bloggers on Words of Me Project with "Blogger of the Week" along with interviews
4) Grow "Skinny Me" to 100 plus followers while encouraging women to feel good about who they are and where they are going in this life and to BE HEALTHY!!
5) Support and encourage my friends who blog by reading, leaving comments and promoting their blogs here {see #3}
6) Uplift, encourage and inspire
7) Post more scrapbook ideas, art journaling pages and other projects with directions
8) Write an art journaling with words e-course


1) Write honest posts on "Skinny Me" sharing my journey with others
2) Get my teeth work done as well as the tests I need to start feeling better physically
3) Focus on whole foods rather than processed
4) Cut out diet soda {going on DAY 4 without a diet soda!!}
5) Cut out sugar in my diet {gives me migraines!!}
6) Workout 4 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes


1) Family Home Evenings at least twice a month
2) Be kinder to one another
3) Continue with monthly menus...this helps so much when we are busy!!!
4) Take each Monday as my "Weekly Home Blessing Hour"
5) Remember Fly Lady's "7 in 2011" I can do it!
6) Continue family prayer on our knees every night
7) Take time for a family game night at least 2 to 3 times a month


1) Draw closer to my Savior Jesus Christ by studying His Word, reading the Ensign magazine and prayer


1) Learn and try new painting and art techniques this year
2) Take Soul Restoration starting January 11th and FINISH it!! Do every single activity!! Put the time and effort in!!
3) Share my art on Words of Me Project
4) Give a piece of art to a friend or family member
5) Take time this year to tackle the book "The Artist's Way"
6) Do another "31 Days" creative challenge here {look for this in March!}
7) Submit one piece of art to a magazine or blog for possible publication
8) Submit an article to an on-line magazine

"A grand adventure is about to begin." - Winnie the Pooh

I would love to hear about your goals and your WORD for 2011!! Please share in the comments:)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Peek into My Life

Thought I would share a little peek into my life these few days. Enjoy!!

Jacks and Sarah Hop night. Aren't they cute!!
Jacks and his friends Hop night. It was canceled because of the weather:( They sure look GOOD!
The Ackman Annual Baking Bash with Grams:)

Dave with one of our creations.
Our Missionaries on Christmas Eve with their stockings from us.
Dave surprised us with a Shuffleboard!! This is Christmas Eve.
This is a blast!
Me on Christmas morning frying up some bacon.
Santa brought us a Wii this year!

Even Gizzy got in on the action.
Jacksy got an electric razor from Dad.
I bought Em boots and so did Dave!! LOL!
At Sarah's house. Christmas is also her Birthday!! She made Jacks this blanket.
At Mom's Christmas late afternoon.
Jackson turned 16 December 27th!!
At La Bonita! Happy Birthday in Spanish:)
I sure do love my family!!
That's Alex, Jacks and Sarah lighting his Birthday cake last night.
May all your wishes come true, Son!
I have been blessed with a WONDERFUL Holiday Season!! How was yours?

Our WORD for this last week of 2010 is....


to examine critically, so as to bring out the essential elements or give the essence of: to analyze a poem.
to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.
Take time this week to map out your 2011. Stay tuned for my Goals and my WORD of the year coming up later in the week!! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?

Here we's the week of Christmas!! Love it!! I have been listening to carols, watching holiday movies and baking like crazy:)

Our Word of the Week is very fitting....


–adjective, mer·ri·er, mer·ri·est.
full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit: a merry little man.
laughingly happy; mirthful; festively joyous; hilarious: a merry time at the party.
Archaic . causing happiness; pleasant; delightful.
4. make merry,
to be happy or festive: The New Year's revelers were making merry in the ballroom.

 MERRY fits exactly the way I want to be all week long!! 

I have been doing lots of thinking about my WORD for 2011. Leanne reminded me to get in gear with this one:)  Last year's WORD was Possibilities. Here is an excerpt from last year's post..

"The great poet Emily Dickinson said "I dwell in possibility."

I just love the thought of "dwelling in possibility". Don't you do that? Dream about what could be. What you would like it to be.

As I was thinking about my Word for 2010 my mind kept coming back to this quote and the word
possibility-I love it!"


And while I didn't reach all my goals for 2010
I am pretty happy with the positive changes 
I made
and where I'm at at this time of my life. So much more to do though...

So, like I said...I have been thinking about where I want to go, who I want to be in 2011. The possibilities truly are endless...

Stay tuned for my 2011 Word next week...

Well, ladies I think I'll take the rest of the week off to enjoy time with my family. My kids get out of school Wednesday. Jacks heads to Kansas City that day with his NFL team for a Christmas party, Em goes to Mom's to spend the night while Dave and I will enjoy our annual Christmas Shopping Extravaganza and meal in Kansas City. Can't wait!

Each of you mean so much to me. Thank you for reading my Blog, for leaving such sweet, heartfelt comments and for sharing. I appreciate you!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Treat Must Haves

We haven't even begun our Holiday baking yet...but all is good. Every year we take one day and from sun-up to sun-down we BAKE! Here is our list of goodies....

Em and mine's favorite treat!

 Christmas just isn't Christmas without these little gems...YUM-O! Chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkles. We started making these when my kids were little...not because we liked them but because I was trying to think of something easy the kids could help me with!! Turns out they are HEAVENLY!!

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~ Charles Dickens (1812-1870), English author. From 'A Christmas Carol'.

Another favorite treat of ours was born out of
"easiness to prepare" when my kids were eager little helpers...Ritz Cracker "cookies" Have you ever had these? The Best!

Take two Ritz Crackers, spread a nice amount of peanut butter on one then place the other one on top to create a sandwich. Dip in Almond Bark {my fave} or chocolate. Place on wax and sprinkle with festive colored sugars. Let harden.You will LOVE these!

"At Christmas, all roads lead home." ~ Marjorie Holmes, American writer.

My Grandma Jackson was an amazing cook. Some of my fondness memories spending Christmas at her home and eating the most divine Ginger Snaps you have ever had!!!

When Grams passed away 14 years ago I gathered up all her recipes so I could always have a piece of her here with me. A Christmas never goes by without Grammy's Ginger Snaps. The best roll 'em sugar before baking!!

Aren't these cute? This is an image from

What would Christmas be like without Sugar Cookies?
Just wouldn't be the same, huh?
Once again my Grandma Jackson made the BEST cookies in the world!

Saturday my Mom will be in our home to help us create these goodies....a tradition we've had for 13 years. After all the treats are finished we'll plate them up and take them around to our neighbors. That's always so fun! We plan on watching a few Christmas Movies this day, too. "Jingle All the Way" and maybe "A Christmas Carol". I think I'll make a big pot of soup and bread, too. Yummy!

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness." ~ Bob Hope, American film actor and comedian. 

What kinds of Holiday treats do you bake? Do you bake everything on one day or do you spread it throughout the Season? Please leave a comment. I would love to know!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Last Meal

I love food. So much in fact you could say I have an eating disorder. I eat because food tastes good. I eat when I'm happy, sad, mad, depressed, name the day, the mood, the occasion and food will be a major part of it.

I am, however working hard to get my eating under control {read all about that here, on "Skinny Me"}. I still want to be able to enjoy delicious food but in moderation. So I don't feel any guilt afterwards  ya' know what I'm saying?

 Just for fun the girls over at Lady Bloggers Society are posing the question today...

“You can choose your last meal. What would the menu consist of?”

 So I think I'll go a little nuts and indulge my ultimate food fantasy:)

The Fort Madison River Bridge
I grew up in the Midwest eating your typical, All-American fare. BBQ, pork chops with corn on the cob and hot dogs on a stick. One of my favorite food memories is fried catfish. Growing up on the Mississippi River fishing was one of our favorite past times. Now frying up a mess of catfish was quite the ordeal in the Jackson household.

Rule #1: Never, ever fry up catfish in the house. Oh, heavens no. Makes the house smell like fish for weeks!

Rule #2: Use cornmeal...never flour...never! Cornmeal makes for crunchy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside.

Rule #3: Eat with mountains of lemon and salt. YUM!

I ate one of these everyday on vacation. Heaven!
The ultimate breakfast food...
one that I would eat everyday day of my life
if it was good for me would be the oh, so delightful 
Belgian Waffle.
With strawberries. 
Oh, and cream.
Real cream.
And a touch of Maple syrup. 
Heaven. *sigh*

The Ultimate!

Whenever my wonderful husband and I go out he loves to go to Red Lobster.
 Now, don't get me wrong...I enjoy, too. But secretly I wish he'd just take me out for a good ole burger and fries. Oh my! There is nothing quite a juicy burger piled high with garden fresh tomato, thin slices of red onion, dill pickle chips, crisp lettuce, yellow mustard and ketchup. Gotta have gallons of that stuff. Not only do I sauce up my burger but I dip my burger in it, too. Served up with hot and crispy crinkle cut fries and sea salt...YUM-O!!

To top off my ultimate food fantasy instead of choosing pie or cake or brownies or ice cream this would be the way I'd go...

Juicy, ripe melon with salt:)
Oh and one more thing...the best snack in the entire Universe can only be found in one place on earth...Burlington, Iowa...home of the famous Sterzing's Potato Chips. Heaven!

Add some Prairie Farms onion dip and a large Diet Lime Coke from Sonic and I'm set.

So there you have ultimate food fantasy. Be sure and stop by Lady Blogger's Society today and read what other Women Bloggers are eating!!

What does your favorite meal look like?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's time to Begin

"Giving presents is a talent; to know what a person wants, to know when and how to get it, to give it lovingly and well." -Pamela Glenconner

Christmas is nearly here!! I can't believe it! I am one of those people who waits till the last few weeks to shop. It's more fun. The hustle and bustle of the shops, the music, the husband and I enjoy it so much! And while we aren't spending so much this year...we are giving. It is so much fun:)

Our Word of the Week is BEGIN.

–verb (used with object)
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of (some action): Begin the job tomorrow.
to originate; be the originator of: civic leaders who began the reform movement.
to succeed to the slightest extent in (fol. by an infinitive): The money won't even begin to cover expenses.
There is so much I want to begin in my life. 
I want to begin eating better  {check out my post on Skinny Me
I want to begin growing Words of Me Project
I want to begin being more cheerful and grateful each day
I want to begin my Soul Restoration Class 
I want to begin creating more this year and finding out who I am as an artist
I want to begin cleaning out one cupboard a day {story about this later}
I want to begin reaching out to your blogs, sharing more comments and encouraging you to keep on following your passions and dreams
Begin is a good word for me this week!! 
"Chance does nothing that has not been prepared beforehand."
What will you Begin?