About Me

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Hi. I"m living in the Northeast with my supportive hubby, 2 great girls and toddler son. I run a home based business around scrapbooking and rubber stamping and love everything about those crafts! I also work p/t as a Physician Assistant in Internal Medicine...back after a 10 year hiatus to take care of the kids--loving that, too!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Feeling better...

Wow, it's been over 2 weeks since my last post and I have to say that although I've had good days and bad days since our sad news in late November, overall, I am feeling better. My body is healing and my mind is focusing on being positive. Mohammed ad I have had several events with the girls in the past couple of weeks, including a visit to Mohammed's firehouse with Leena's Daisy Troop (Yasmeen was there too!), Leena's kindergarten concert, and a gingerbread making session in Leena's classroom that I volunteered for. We've also taken a little time alone to ourselves, and I've even hosted my first Stampin' event since the news this past Friday and had a nice time with some friends.

Our home has yet to sell, but we are hopeful that things will improve in the new year. We've gone out with our realtor to see some larger homes, and it's amazing what a good chunk of money CAN'T get you in NJ! I've been keeping my chin up as my mantra for the New Year is to "Be Positive", but it's hard when you see one house after another that don't even come close to what we had in mind when we wanted to "trade up" from our townhouse. I guess in the end, we'll focus on our main features in a home that we can't live without and endure the rest until we can make improvements on it. Let's see where 2008 takes us...

In the next week, we plan on taking a trip down to North Carolina to visit the in-laws. Initially after our news, we cancelled this trip, but I thought a change of scenery and some much welcomed warm weather would do all of us some good. So, off we go, while the girls are on Winter break. I'll be sure to post some highlights from this trip when we get back.

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a blessed one surrounded by friends and family, and to those who will be celebrating Eid in the next few days, Eid Mubarak, my friends and family! A belated Hannukah wish to everyone else. Whew...this is one busy month!!

Hugs to all,
Janet and the gang!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


It's been over a month since my last post and we have been going through many changes in our household. First, we placed our home on the market and started looking for a bigger house in anticipation of the news that we were expecting baby #3. It was an extremely stressful week prior to listing our home due to all of the preparations that we had to make to show it. From packing up 1/2 our belongings and putting them in storage, to rearranging and moving furniture, to cleaning, organzing, packing and sorting, to buying new accesories like bed sheets and candles...we barely kept it together when we finally signed a contract with Remax! Thankfully, we had already planned to take our last family vacation as a family of 4 to Orlando soon afterwards.

In Orlando, we enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing and fun 6 days together. We visited Shamu at Sea World, made our way around Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and ate at a number of great restaurants!

Upon getting back, the madness of impromptu showings and the task of keeping the house in selling condition began. It hasn't been so bad, but I know I am under a serious amount of underlying stress and it's taken its toll...

Just this past week, I went to my 1st OB appointment at 10 weeks gestation and we were told the awful news that our baby had no heartbeat and stopped growing at about 7 weeks--around the time we were in Florida.

Our family has definitely been an emotional wreck these past 2 days, but we are trying to look forward into the future and are hopeful that when the time is right, we will try again. Sadly, we were all looking forward to welcoming this child into our family and we have all taken the news very hard-most of all myself and Yasmeen. I am trying to take 1 day at a time and keeping an attitude of faithfulness that will see us through this time. It's hard, but we'll make it! I am grateful for the support I have received from so many of you and we sincerely thank you for your concern and thoughtfulness.

Here's to transitions...both good ones and bad ones, but nevertheless necessary ones. For it is through change that we grow and learn to appreciate all that we are blessed with. May the next time I post here be a time filled with good changes and happy news!

Until next time...I'll leave you all with some photos of our happy memories in Florida...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More celebrations taking place...

Well, since the last post, my little Leena celebrated her 6th birthday and my parents celebrated their 46th anniversary. Talk about something to celebrate!! For Leena's birthday, my sister kindly offered to decorate her house for a family party for Leena since Mohammed was going to be out of town and Leena really wanted it there. Aileen did a great job putting up balloons and streamers and even kept to a very PINK and very dainty Princess theme for the event. Leena was shy as first, mostly because her cousin Joey's girlfriend, Miriam, was there. But, guess what! Daddy took an earlier flight back from Chicago and made it back to NJ just in time for cake!! She loved all her gifts-needless to say. Titi gave her, much after my own heart, a Fisher Price digital kid's camera. She was estatic because she had been unfortunate enough to lose her first camera of this type last year after receiving it from her grandparents. Now, all she wants to do is go around taking pictures of anything--well, almost anything--and she catches everyone (especialy me) off guard when she does it. Thank goodness it's a digital and erasing some of those pics is as easy as pressing the little garbage icon-LOL!

As for Mom and Dad...well, their anniversary actually fell on the day we celebrated Leena's birthday (both events are just 1 day apart). So it was 2 celebrations in one-although, I hate to admit that the little Princess may have taken center stage that day! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad...you are a true inspiration to me and I am grateful to have grown up in the home that I did with the example that you 2 have set for us. I know I can speak on behalf of all of your children and grandchildren when I say "WE LOVE YOU" and wish you many more happy and healthy years together!

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's my birthday, and I'll sing if I want to...

Yep, I'm another year older and wiser today! For my special day, I decided I really wanted to take the girls toThe Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Maybe it was the fact that Mohammed is out of town and I was going to eat with kids in tow that made this particular place all the more appealing-after all, what kid doens't enjoy elephants, fish and gorillas--along with the occasional tropical rain storm thrown if for effect? My parents were sweet enough to meet us all out there. We had a great dinner and enjoyed walking around the jungle(but still missed you, Mohammed!). Then I remembered why I loved this place since the first time I had brought the girls here as just toddlers...IT'S FUN! Of course it was even more fun when the servers walked out with this HUGE volcano dessert and sang (shouted) Happy Birthday to me. Even with the 5 of us there, we couldn't finish 1/2 of it! Here are some pictures from our dinner as proof that it was a great evening...despite Yasmeen getting a little freaked out by the gorillas at first!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Love it when I get to see this...

Yesterday, Leena had her first Daisy meeting at our school and it went great. Yasmeen got to tag along for a change, and was great about helping out by taking pictures and escorting the little ones to the bathroom (and don't you know that EVERYONE has to go to the bathroom as soon as we start an activity??!!). So afterwards, we headed out to meet Mohammed at the firehouse while he wrapped up his house and grounds duty, and when we pulled up, I see him in the driver's seat of the firetruck in all his "gear". Yep, I love seeing that! I don't see him "in action" very often, so I think it's great when I get a glimpse of him in uniform--doing his thing. Hey, you know what they say about a man in uniform--especially when it's your hubby ;-). At that point, the girls were so excited to get into the truck with their Daddy, that they hopped out of the van faster than if they'd seen a bug on the window! Daddy backed one of the trucks into the bay and they "helped" him. Then he graciously agreed (sort of) to pose for this picture (and a few more). Thanks, Baby!! Love you!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sick kid, but scrapping MOJO back!

Ok, we've been holed up in the house since Saturday afternoon after Yasmeen came down with a fever of nearly 103 degrees! She's had no energy all day Saturday, but started to look up by Sunday with only a slight fever of 100.5 degrees...then this morning, she spiked back up to 101.8. Needless to say, no school for her today (I'm gonna have a hard time getting Leena out the door this afternoon, I'm sure!) and I've been washing my hands like I have a little OCD. I'm just praying this isn't that nasty bug she got last year with fevers for 7 days straight!! Praying even harder that Leena doesn't come down with it too!

Now, the silver lining to all of this is that since we weren't going anywhere, I decided to pull out some page kits for scrapbooking. I had SCRAMP here Friday night and managed to finish 1 page before everyone got here, and then started another 2 during the night, but the scrap fest wasn't over for me yet! Between Saturday and Sunday I managed to scrap a total of....DRUM ROLL PLEASE...9 layouts (12 pages in all)!!! This is fantastic seeing as how I've been in a scrap funk since last Spring. So happy that I'm scrapping again and not feeling stressed about it! And hey, it isn't over yet, since I'm home today as well ;-)

Ok, as promised, I managed to snap some pictures of the Stampin' Up Regional Seminar samples I made 2 weeks ago. Here they are, along with a layout I did this weekend that was DIRECTLY inspired by the layout we did at Regionals. Oh, did I mention that we got the fabulous stamp set "So Much" for free?!! Well, it's becoming a fast favorite!! Check out the detail piercing along the concentric circles in my gardening layout below.

Ok, stay well and wish us luck here with this virus in the Khashab household!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So pumped about Stampin' Up!

Ok, so I thought I'd share a little about a great Stampin' Up regional seminar I attended in Philadelphia last Friday. It was so motivating and very exhausting. The day began for me at 5:45am-the time I woke up to get ready and meet a fellow demo whom I was hitching a ride with (thanks, Linda!). We got into Philly around 8:15am and it was pretty much non-stop from there. Shelli Gardner, the founder of SU herself, was present and gave an introductory speech. Linda and I even scored a photo op with her, which I'm sure will make it's way into my scrapbooks. So, we started with some business pointers, which were very informative, but the best part were all the make & takes. We made a 12x12 layout, 4 cards, and a 6x6 page. We even got the So Much stamp set for free just for attending. We got to play with so many fun stamps and accesories, but I think my favorite was the new scallop punch. One of the speakers even mentioned that 150 stamps actually work with this punch, so it's ultra versatile. As soon as I get a chance to take some pictures of the projects we made, I'll be sure to post! Until then, Happy Stamping!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 911, and the start of a new school year...

Well, what a day to post. It's the 6th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy and a day I will never forget. I often think of the moment I heard about what had happened. Mohammed called me on my cell phone as I was driving home from a park playdate with my then, 18 month old, Yasmeen tucked safely into her car seat. Hard to believe I was also over 8 months pregnant with Leena on that fateful day. I remember the fear I suddenly felt knowing that my sister worked in the downtown area just blocks from the WTC. I remember hearing later how she feared for her life as police ushered everyone over the bridge by foot, and then quickly yelled that it was the next terrorist target and she was forced to literally run for her life. I remembered watching the news on TV-being glued to it, in fact, and then realizing that my sister-in-law's office building was directly next to the second tower (she witnessed the crash). I remember how senseless and tragic it all was and I felt sorrow for all of those that perished on that day, and even sadder for all the families left behind. I think what got me most was all the pregnant wives who lost their husbands on that day. It hit close to home for me, and I can't help but think about all those babies who were born shortly after 911 (like Leena), and are now entering kindergarten. Hard to imagine it's 6 years later! Hoping that those children have had the memories of their dads passed on to them...and ever so grateful that our family was spared from personal tragedy on that day.

So, here we are beginning a new school year-it's our 4th day, in fact, and it's going strong. Leena is finally in 1/2 day kindergarten (at least it's EVERY day, unlike pre-school). Yasmeen is happily settling into 2nd grade. They both love their teachers and (thankfully) know people in their classes. Even though Leena was worried about the bus ride, she hopped on without any problems and has been doing great. I am happy for them both, and also glad that I didn't break down and shed any tears on that first day--after all, my "baby" is starting kindergarten already and growing up much too fast!

As for me, I've been running non-stop since they started school and haven't had time yet to enjoy my "free" afternoons. Between grocery shopping trips and other miscellaneous errands that are better done sans kids, Girl Scouts, dance classes, and all the rest, I am looking forward to when I finally get a little time to myself. Can't wait to get my creative juices flowing again and get back to SCRAPBOOKING! At least I have these great pictures for motivation!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nine Years and Counting!!

Yesterday, Mohammed and I celebrated 9 years of marriage (plus 2 years of togetherness prior to that). We had a great day! I received a sweet card from hubby with a recording of our actual wedding song in it. I was really touched that he was able to find that...it meant a lot to me. Yes, it helped that I also received an iTunes gift card in it, but it was truly the card itself that really blew me away.

For our day, I asked him to go for a drive (with the girls in tow, since we couldn't secure a sitter for the day) into the "country" (aka: Pennsylvania). We had great weather and a great ride. We saw all sorts of wildlife, including a rather big, black and scary SNAKE laying on a rock, in a nearby creek, sunning itself. After a few minutes of all of us peering at it with combined awe and disgust, it slithered into the water. I'll have to make a mental note NOT to go wading in any creeks nearby!

We eventually decided to make a stop at Sesame Place for the girls. It was unexpected, so water rides were out, but amazingly enough, it was not very crowded and they rode the roller coaster about 5 times in a row before moving on to other rides. Afterwards, we enjoyed a great dinner together and then headed over to Aileen's house for some Anniversary Pictures! My camera is on the fritz (dropped it off for service this morning-and anyone who knows me, knows that is was as hard as dropping off one of my appendages), but luckily, Aileen came through with her snazzy, little Panasonic Lumix. Now, I won't miss the first day of school on Thursday, or any other major event that comes up while my aging baby is away getting repaired. Here are a couple of pictures I took before my camera went down. The last one was courtesy of my sister. Have a great week!

Friday, August 31, 2007

What a week!!

Well, another week has blown by and I can't believe the girls start school this coming Thursday!Our last week of Summer vacation was filled with activity, starting with a trip to the newly re-opened Liberty Science Center last Sunday. Mohammed has a corporate membership through work and we love to go there with the girls. The new layout of the building was unrecognizable, but more fun for the girls than ever. We walked around for several hours and saw an entirely new (live) animal exhibit, along with a "surgery" show. Later in the day, the girls even participated in a real science experiment where they collected DNA (well, wheat germ DNA, that is, but it was still cool!).

Midweek, I finally went in for my thryoid biopsy. I was a little nervous, but I have to say it wasn't all that bad. Better yet, my results were reassuring, as there were no malignant cells present! Now to see what the next step is!

Later in the week, Leena had her Kindergarten orientation. It kind of snuck up on us, and I didn't remind her until the morning of the orientation. Unfortunately, Leena is not as gung-ho as Yasmeen was at this stage in her life. She managed to keep it together long enough to meet her teacher and visit her classroom. They even gave the class a mock bus ride to familiarize them with the bus rules (this was not Leena's favorite part). Thankfully, she met a little girl that had been in her dance class this past year, so the 2 held hands and walked off together! I can't believe my baby is going to start ELEMENTARY school! Time to focus on the next phase in life now, I suppose...

And that brings me to today. Mohammed had to leave for a business trip to LV this morning so the girls and I are going solo for the weekend. We'll miss him, but also look forward to him coming home Sunday morning! Thankfully, we'll be meeting Aileen for dinner later today and keeping busy with school preparation STUFF and getting the house in order before the craziness of fall begins. I hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Birthdays and more Birthdays...

So we've had 3 birthdays in our extended family this month! My SIL, Mona celebrated her day on the 12th, my brother celebrated on the 21st and my nephew just 2 days ago, on the 23rd! I can't believe Joey is 19! I remember when my sister was pregnant and gave birth to him an entire month early. He was so tiny and delicate...well, he's neither now. Joey is a big, strong 19 year old and as handsome as ever (don't kill me for posting this Joey!!). We all stopped by at Aileen's today for a birthday BBQ, but with the heat up to 97 degrees, and the humidity so high that the sweat poured off you like you were jogging in the desert, we pretty much stayed inside the cool AC all afternoon. We missed the cake because of a previous committment, but I just want him to know that we love him very much and that the girls have officially put him on their "ok to get in my bed" list along with the family cats and select family members (thankfully, both Mohammed and I made the list). Here's to many more birthdays to come, and a little flashback of Joey at just a few months old (and this past year).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sleepovers, Scramp night, and more (oh my)!

Well, this past week has been a whirlwind of activity at our home. First, the girls hosted their first sleepover with friends on Wednesday into Thursday. I had several activities tenatively planned, but the whole event went rather smoothly and we actually rushed to get in the last of the planned events before the friends had to go home. We had two five year olds, one 7 year old, and a twelve year old...so it was great that somehow they all managed to make the sleepover work. They played, swam, ran, danced, watched movies, snacked, played some more, did several crafts and at the end of the evening, conked out cold!

Thursday was uneventful, but I started tidying up for the big event in our home that comes around each month-SCRAMP night. This is where a group of women get together in my house and stamp and scrapbook into the wee hours of the morning. It's a great time, and if you haven't scrapbooked, don't knock it...we can hang until 2am just chatting, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, snacking and making cards. Tons of fun and pretty productive most of the time. Since we start at 7pm, we usually take a few hours to get settled in, but by midnight, the party is in full swing, and so is our conversation! But, that's another post...

Friday, I shopped, swept, mopped, cleaned, decluttered, set up shop and scrapbooked. What fun (at least the last part)!

Today was just the girls and I for most of the day. Mohammed was out with the fire department in the morning, and then helping some friends paint their new house--Go Yankos! So...I thought it was just a good a day as any to go back to school/dance classes/tennis lesson shopping today. We made a lot of headway and Leena and Yasmeen scored on all fronts. YIKES--who knew jazz booties could be so expensive! Anyway, they cooperated, and even decided to have a fashion show complete with pictures.

Well, I'm off to finish a layout I started last night and then need to start planning for an upcoming workshop this week, as well as a class at a local craft store for September. Hope you are all keeping just as busy as we are!

Hugs :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Keeping busy...

For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a scrapbooking addict. Well, lately, my mojo has hit the high road and I couldn't get around to doing anything productive when it came to dealing with photos, paper and embellishments. So I started doing something, anything, just to try to break through the creative block I was experiencing. Below you see a little of what has been occupying my time lately. Making tons of page kits (lookout, something creative is coming your way soon) and also doing a lot of photo editing on Photoshop (who needs wrinkles anyway??). I even broke out of my box a little and did this crazy cat layout you see here. The straight and clean lines on the Princess layout is much more my "style", but hey, I can't complain! Little by little my motivation is returning, and for that I am grateful! I don't know what I would do as a sanity saver if I stopped scrapbooking-heck, just writing it is blasphemy in my book! Have a great day...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We finally got our FREAK on!

Yes, we did it! We took a ride to Coney Island this weekend and saw the freak show. What else were you thinking? Well, after having passed it on the way to JFK a couple of weeks ago, Mohammed mentioned that we should really try to come out to CI sometime. Now, CI is one of my childhood haunts. I was born and raised in NYC, and my Mom was always up to taking the F train out to Brighton Beach to spend the day on the beach. That was decades ago, and from what I remember, it was a bit scary back then. I warned the Khashab crew, but they insisted, so off we went! We lucked out with parking (gotta love those broken meters), but I was leary about getting out of the van. It didn't help that we parked about 3 blocks from the actual amusement park area. I grabbed my cell and put it in one pocket and my debit card in another. I wasn't about to take my purse...that was for sure. Ok, if I'm sounding like a sheltered suburbanite, it's because I am, at this point. Hey, when was the last time you were in Brooklyn? Anyway, I digress...we made it up the street just fine and then I spotted it-a JAMAICAN BEEF PATTY stand. Yes, I was back! I hadn't had one of those since college (undergrad, that is) and I wasn't leaving there without one. We walked around for a while, on the boardwalk, taking in the sights (and what a sight it was) and eating some DELICIOUS Nathan's hot dogs. The girls enjoyed the atmosphere, although they can't tell the difference between Coney Island and Point Pleasant (we could!). We heard some sounds of the carribean coming up the boardwalk and saw a Puerto Rican band playing Salsa, which was fun. Then we were ushered into a Freak Show by a very convincing man who nailed a large nail into his nose. Not to be overshadowed, we also saw Serpantina, the lady who pranced around in a very scary outfit while holding a 15 ft albino python. The one in the picture below is just a baby! WOW-what a show...very interesting, Coney Island style for sure. Then the girls rode some rides, we bought the obligatory snacks (cotton candy and italian ice) and headed back to the van. I managed to get that Jamaican beef patty on the way back and boy was it good. Unfortunately, I had heartburn the whole way home, but hey, how often do I get to eat one of those? Hope you had a adventurous weekend too!