Thanks everyone! This does seem to be a very friendly and supportive group. I'm looking forward to learning more and to the challenges. There are some really great ones here.
To answer the program question, yes I have chosen to use Photoshop which we have had for years since my husband uses it for work. I have tried it on and off for years, but mainly for cutting things out of photos and that frustrated me. So, I have decided to tackle it again and for just creating scrapbooking elements and layouts it is going much easier this time around thankfully.