The Love Between a Brother and Sister

Some recent photos I took of Andres and Elizabeth reminded me of an older photo and I mixed the two on this layout with lots of journaling to talk about their relationship as brother and sister.  The two tabs on the right both pull out to reveal more journaling;.  In one I talk about the seafoam green crocheted dress that my grandmother made for Elizabeth as well as our condo patio in Studio City.  The slender vellum envelope on the left is actually a note to Andres and Elizabeth about their relationship as brother and sister.  It says: My precious angels — I have talked about this many times….maybe that gives you a clue to how important this is!  It is likely that you will have each other longer than you will have either your father or me (at least on earth). Protect your relationship. Nurture your relationship.  You will know each other better than anyone else knows you. Use that knowledge to help each other not hurt each other. Protect each other, counsel each other (in love), always put theinterests of the other at the heart of your counsel, words and actions. Love, Mom

The journaling on the bottom half reads:

Mom habits die hard.  The other day I asked Elizabeth, “Put your arm around your brother.” These were the photos I got. They were the public response of “I’ll put my arm around him but I won’t touch him” kind of thing.  At 18 & 19 it is a little different than when they were 3 & 4 when it didn’t take much to prompt them to display their love and affection for each other.  The good thing — and I am so grateful — is that they still do deeply care for each other.  You saw it in their eyes in the 1991 photo and it is still there in the 2007 photos — just maybe the public display has changed. Seeing them together warmed my heart then and does today!

Why Journal?

You know why I am always encouraging you to write on your scrapbook layouts? Because it is you putting your hand to that paper to communicate something.  A couple of years ago, my grandfather gave me a letter written by his mother.  I thought she was illiterate but there it was.  It was written in pencil to her daughter in the convent telling her about my grandfather’s wedding in 1930.  It was fascinating in its documenting from her personal perspective that very special day.  She also talked about strange New Mexican customs like trying to hijack the bride!  She also shared insight into her own personality and the love she has for her children as she writes about her table missing so many of her children now that they are grown or her apologizing for not writting more often but that her daughter should remember that she is never forgotten because she is a “piece of her heart.”  It is special because it was written by her own hand.

Read what my favorite scrapbooker has to say on the matter.  Check out her blog at

The thing about journaling is this: When your mom dies and 10 years later you discover something that she wrote… you will cry when you see her handwriting. It will NOT matter to you that she scribbled and did not have and architect’s hand. You will cry because she loved you enough to put her hand to paper and tell you something. About how she loved you, about YOU and what YOU did, about her life and her beliefs and her loves. And that letter will be among your most cherished possessions. THAT is what I want to give my children. And that I will never stop doing.Till tomorrow…
That is pretty convincing, isn’t it? 



Rick Warren, the author of the Purpose Driven Life, speaks at the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment and Design) on the subject of “influence”……an amazing interview. 

[splashcast KVGI4526EQ]



Look at this amazing scrapbooker’s work….definitely a work of he(art).  See how you can express your heart’s desires for your children in a way that they will cherish for all of their lives.  Look at the amazing way she weaves in what is important to her and her husband as parents…..and I especially love the promise section.  Think about doing this for your children.  Can you imagine being a child and reading this from your mom?   Maybe you think you could never be so eloquent as Wilna… what!  Express what is in your heart in a simple way….maybe even in the form of a list….I promise…, I promise….or tell them what you have found in life is important.  Maybe write a rough draft in a journal book or a scratch paper while you are waiting for something somewhere……What you say and how you say it is YOU and that is what is precious to your loved ones….not sounding like someone else.  My advice:  Just do it!  You won’t regret it.

Visit her blog at  For me it is a daily read….it inspires me….it motivates me to share my heart with those around me……

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Patterned Paper, Tags and transparency cut-outs: MME (Bohemia) Photo Corners: Heidi Swapp Pen: Muji gel roller. Rhinestones: Basic Gray (big pink one) and Making Memories. Other: Acrylic paint, transparency, craft paper, string.

Journaling reads:

Dear Girls
Becoming “mom” sure is one of my highest achievements. Being your mom is the greatest blessing on earth. Apart from the great reward there is in raising the three of you, there is also a huge responsibility. Seeing you become such delightful girls leaves me with absolutely no regrets. I do not regret the way your dad and I are training you, for I see a great many fruit in your lives and with that abundant joy. I don’t regret waiting for the right man… and I don’t regret working through the tough times with your dad for I know that great marriages make great parents. I don’t regret being a strict mom… I know at the moment you need the strength of leadership rather than friendship – which will come later on. Dad and I have an ultimate goal in raising you: to be great friends when you are all grown up. I don’t regret instilling morality into your hearts over and over again. How many times have we said: be kind to one another and look out for one another. Teaching you big words like “integrity” and what it means even if you are only four or five years old. But I know in doing it your behavior will follow. I have no remorse to teach you that what you do not desire, do not put before others. That we are all important because God loves us all equally. I am thankful for the moral compass that God has placed in our hearts for I know that to teach you virtue ONE example {ME} is more important than a thousand lectures. I know that allowing you to grow into your new and ever expanding world in an orderly fashion really enhances learning and minimize the need for correction. Being your mom means I lavish you with praise after a job well done and I continually tell you that you are the best and most beautiful because I know that verbal affirmation is never unnecessary. I thank God that He has taught us that wise parenting is far better than power parenting. I have no regrets. I love being your mom. I have no regrets, but I do have some promises. I promise that I will be the best mom to you that I can be. I promise to love and care for you as long as there is life within me. I promise to train you up to be well balanced young ladies. I know that I cannot do it in my own strength but through God who strengthens me. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in His sufficiency. I promise to pray for you. That you will love God and walk with Him everyday. God promise to be there for you. He promise to be your strength, your personal bravery, and your invincible army; He will make your feet like hinds’ feet and will make you to walk, not to stand still in terror, but to walk and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility! I promise to be an excellent example to you of how to be a good wife and mother and friend. I will be there fro you no matter what is going on in your life. I will not judge, criticize or gossip about you. I love you. If you are good I love you and if you are naughty I love you. It’s your WHO and not your Do that is important to me. I will teach you to be fascinating women, who are full of spunk and not ashamed of who they are. I promise to teach you to love yourself and think yourself beautiful. I will apologize when I am wrong and I will continue to remind you how important you are to me. I love being your mom. I love this growth in me becoming it more and more. You are my heart. My life. My greatest achievement ever.

Love you

A brother and sister

Does a dialogue sometimes come to mind when you look at a group of photos you’ve taken?  That happened to me when I got these photos back from Ritz photo of Andres and Elizabeth.  This is how it played out……Mom habits die hard and I asked Elizabeth: ” Put your arm around Andres.”  She pretended to put her arm around him without touching him!  So totally typical of a teenager.  But they have a wonderful relationship and you can see the playfulness of Liz and the tenderness of Andres as he looks at his sister.  That touched my heart.  I hand drew the dialogue bubbles and look closely at what is written on Elizabeth’s tshirt (it is an empty banner in real life but I wrote on the photo with a permanent marker  and added a corresponding message on Andres’ t-shirt!  It was fun and super quick and easy.

The dialogue bubbles read:  1.  Oh, Andres….I’m suave, 2. Cheese!….I think I’ll take a nap.  3.  Ok mom. I’ll put my arm around Andres.

RSVPs coming in for March 31st Day of Creativity

Yes, the Day of Creativity is nearing……make plans to come by on Saturday, the 31st anytime between 10am and 8pm.  Come to scrapbook. Come to learn about scrapbooking. Come to organize photos. Come to have some girl company and girl talk. Just come on over.

We have some new gals joining us. I have already heard from Marita.   By the way, Marita, thanks for your comment on the blog. I will be doing a layout for you!  Bring me 3 or 4 photos of an event…any event….then tell me the story behind the event and the details you want to remember about that day and I will design a layout for you with that set of photos!

Stacey is coming.  I am glad she didn’t feel overwhelmed during her last visit….we helped her semi organize several hundreds of photos.  Remember, we have lots of scrapbooking supplies for you to enjoy……thanks to a donation from Keepsake Company.  So, bring scissors (or a cutter, if you have already purchased one) adhesive and your photos. Email me with any questions:

With the Sanchez family in St. Louis

What a joy to see the Sanchez family again after three years.  I hadn’t yet met my little “sobrina” Ana and she is a beauty.  Lucas is turning 6….it doesn’t seem possible!  

Tracy, new albums with these layouts will be traveling to St. Louis….as a thank you for your kind hospitality and as a gift to Lucas and Ana from Tia Melissa