Wednesday, December 30, 2009

White Christmas!

We actually had a white Christmas!! I think it's the first time since Mark and I have lived here. We've only had actual snow accumulation a few times over those last 18 years, and it's usually in January or February. This time it started coming down on the afternoon of the 24th mixed with rain, and then it was all snow, but there was a wicked wind. At first the snow was all melting right away, but it kept up through the night, and by morning there was an inch or so on the ground.

So Christmas morning after gifts and breakfast, we went outside and let the kids play in it. It wasn't good packing snow, so about all they could do was pick it up and throw it... mostly at Mark; I was safe since I had the camera. LOL

Once again, I was more than a bit shutter-happy. Basically, I kept shooting until I filled the card. We were outside about 40 minutes, and took 329 pics. (Ok, a few of them are from when I slipped a bit on the snow and accidentally fired. LOL) I have lots of action shots (the kids were running around almost non-stop the entire time), but the main thing that made it hard for me to choose which to post was just how much fun they were having in all of them. :)

Excuse the slightly weird colors in some of these. There was bright sunlight, but the part of the yard we were in was mostly in shade, so I did a quick and dirty edit on some of the deeper shadows.

The snow starts flying...






Kaylee decided to make snow angels.


Matthew winds up to launch at an unsuspecting Mark.


Look at that snow fly!


After the snow angel thing, Mark teased Kaylee about having snow all over her butt. She decided to get even by deliberately sitting in the snow and then rubbing it off on Mark. This scene was repeated several times. Crazy girl's backside must have been completely frozen. LOL


Loading up with a good handful...


I think Kaylee was on the receiving end of a snowball to the back in this one. LOL


I love how Mark plays along with all the kids' antics. Here's a shot of him dramatically over-reacting to Kaylee's attack.


I shot this one from across the yard, but I believe Mark was daring her to throw it in his face. Yeah, sometimes it's like I have one extra really big kid. LOL


The snow was mostly all melted by early to mid-afternoon, but it was cool to be able to say we had a white Christmas. :)

That's it for tonight! We were out all afternoon/evening, and now the kids are in bed and Mark is over at a friends' house, so I think I'll grab the rare opportunity to snag some TiVo time! :D G'night! :)

Christmas Morning

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was very nice – in spite of Mark and I only getting 4 hours of sleep. We were up 'til 1a.m. getting everything ready, and then about 2a.m. an overly-excited Kaylee started waking up every hour or so and wanting to get up. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! LOL We finally caved and let her (all of us) get up at around 6 o'clock. I think those movies that show the kids streaming out of their rooms excitedly in full morning light are a pretty big stretch of fiction. We've never managed to make it to dawn on either Christmas or Easter. Everything's pretty much over by the time the sun is up around here. Makes for horrible pictures. LOL

Speaking of pictures, I went a little crazy snapping them. Here are a few random favorites out of the 272 I took that "morning"! (Can you call it morning if it's still pitch dark out?) LOL

The kids, fresh out of bed, Matthew still a bit sleepy, checking out what Santa left...




Kaylee, excitedly pointing out that Santa ate the chocolate and cookies we left him...


Matthew digging into his stocking...


I love his reaction to getting this game...


Kaylee was excited that she got a note from Santa explaining that he'd given her not one, but TWO of the Barbie Three Muskateers dolls, since she'd had a hard time deciding which to put on her list.


Another great reaction shot from Matthew as Kaylee shows him the Pez collection she got. I love how expressive Matthew's face is. There are several more pics like this. I may just do a layout entitled "The Many Faces of Matthew on Christmas Morning". LOL


All in all, it was a wonderful morning. I just love seeing how excited the kids get by it all. :)

Next up, Christmas Morning Part 2! :)

Layouts!!

I'm so behind posting here again! I decided that instead of one ginormous post, I'm going to do a bunch of small ones, so I should have at least 2 more post either tonight or tomorrow. I'm sure there will still be stuff I'm skipping over. Maybe I can be a better blogger in 2010. :)

So the layouts... first up is my other ScrapDish layout for December. I got to play with Correen's from my Scrap Drawer: Collection # 1 and Crafty Colored Papers for this one! There was so much to choose from in the elements collection! I will definitely be using more later. :)

Kaylee loves to make silly faces when I take her picture. I love this shot of her with her eyes squeezed shut and her nose all scrunched up. :)


Credits: from my Scrap Drawer: Collection # 1 and Crafty Colored Papers by Correen Silke at ScrapDish.
Fonts: Pea Anderson, Broken 15.


I have one other CT layout that I can show you tonight. Unfortunately, Jessica Bolton is taking a design break, so without more of her wonderful inspirational designs (hint, hint, Jess) to keep me going, I decided to go ahead and take a shot at another CT, and was accepted! I'm thrilled to be creating for Pamela Donnis!! She has a fun, whimsical style that just makes me smile every time I see her products. :) I just got the news right before Christmas, and have had time so far to put together one layout. I can't wait to dig into more of her shop! :)

Here's a little page I did detailing our adventures in Christmas cookies last week. :)


Journaling: We always try to leave some fresh cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. We’re not big bakers, so normally we do something super easy, like slice-and-bake holiday themed cookies, but this year we got brave and cut out shaped cookies (still using store-bought dough). It took a bit of trial and error to get the dough rolled out and the cut out cookies transferred to the pan (Mark actually ended up taking over that part), but eventually we got the hang of it, and the kids had a blast cutting and decorating them... and, of course, being able to gobble up the extra cookies was a nice reward too.

Kit: Homemade Happiness {Collab with Danielle Engebretson} in Pamela Donnis' shop @ The Digichick.
Fonts: LD Remington Portable, Pea Anderson, Dirty Ego.


That's it for now. Next up... Christmas morning! :)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Layouts!!

I have a bunch of CT layouts to show you tonight. :)

First up are a couple with PixelWorks' latest releases for the new Artist to Artist coordinating products at ScrapArtist. I loved the snowy, wintry look of some of the pieces, so I went back to these pics of Matthew from 2004... the last time we had any appreciable snow. LOL


PixelWorks' Artist to Artist: December at ScrapArtist - Blustery Day Mini-kit, All the Trimmings, Fa-la-la Frames, Bits & Baubles, Wintry Alpha.
Fonts: Century Gothic, Calisto MT


And then a layout using the pic of the kids that we put in our Christmas newsletter last year.


PixelWorks' Artist to Artist: December at ScrapArtist - Elegant Holiday, Fa-la-la Frames, Bits & Baubles, Clip-tionary: Holidays. (title work cut from Clip-tionary pieces)
Font (date): Pea Swimmy Script


My friend Tania Shaw is guesting at The Digichick this month! I was thrilled to get to use her fun new Christmas kit, Krafty Xmas, to do these next two. :) The first uses a photo from the same shoot as the layout just above. :)


Journaling: Kaylee and Matthew wearing Christmas hats and their very best smiles during our annual newsletter photo shoot.
Kit: Krafty Xmas by Tania Shaw, December Guest @ The Digichick.
Fonts: LD Remington Portable, Dirty Ego.


This one uses a shot of our mantle after Santa filled the stockings last year.


Journaling: We found these adorable stockings at a little shop in the mall when Matthew was just a baby. Knowing we eventually hoped to have another child, and that we wanted to have the stockings all coordinate, we bought four. We took three of them down to the embroidery shop to have the names put on, and brought the fourth back three years later, after Kaylee was born. The stockings have hung on our mantle every year since, just waiting for Santa to fill them with goodies.
Kit: Krafty Xmas by Tania Shaw, December Guest @ The Digichick.
Fonts: Elegance, Times and Times again.

Finally, here's one I did today with one of my kits for ScrapDish this month. I was looking through some of my photos from this fall that I hadn't scrapped yet and knew this kit by Candice Wong would be perfect for this shot of Kaylee. :)


Journaling: Kaylee, in spite of your recent claim that you don’t like drawing very much, you still often become engrossed in it, spending long stretches of time with your Magnadoodle or paper and pencil or crayons. You create such fun, unique, and detailed drawings. I’m always delighted to see what you come up with and get a peek into your imagination. Photo 9/5/09, journaled 12/4/09
Kit: My love never expires by Candice Wong at ScrapDish
Font: Pea Anderson


That's about it for now. We're just trying to stay warm (it's 34°F here now, anything below 60°F is cold to me LOL) and get ready for Christmas. We rearranged furniture today to make room for the tree and pulled all the boxes out of the attic. We're hoping to get the bulk of the decorating done tomorrow. :)

Have a great weekend! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catching up... layouts, pics, products

The past month completely got away from me! So settle in for a good long catch up post! :)

Lets go with new products first, so if you're just here for that stuff, you'll be able skip the rest. ;)

I have a huge collab out that I'd been working on with a bunch of friends for quite a while. It was so fun to see everyone's styles come together. We finally got everything organized and into the store. I love the way it turned out!

Girlfriends is brought to you with love by Amy Knepper, Jessica Bolton, Kim Jensen, Melinda Staley, Robin Cabana, our friend Rose, Tania Shaw, and Tracy Blankenship. It's available in my shop in several options - papers, elements, templates, alphas, or full collection. There are some great sample layouts by Robin, Jess, and Raji there too. :)

Next up is a fun new alpha! Burst My Bubble is hand cut with a knife from a bubble-lined kraft envelope. It was quite a challenge to get this extracted, but I wanted something with a realistic edge to it. I'm so jazzed with the way it turned out!



It's on sale now through Monday, November 23rd at 40% off! And if you are a member of my Yahoo group, you can grab a coupon for an extra 25% off!!

Now on to layouts and stuff! :)

My second ScrapDish layout for October was using Caroline B's Earth Angel. I went waaay back and pulled a pic of Kaylee at about 11½ months old and just had fun playing. :)


Fonts: Hotel Coral Essex, Pea BethC

For November, I got to work with this fun kit by Shelly, Wintry Daze, and a template by our newest designer, Daniela.


Journaling: Just a sweet shot of Matthew when he was actually being cooperative and wanted his picture taken. 2/18/09
Fonts: Pea BethC, LD Letterpress


For my second November ScrapDish layout, you'll need to read all my rambling below and see it in context. LOL

PixelWorks came out with an awesome new kit that I just couldn't wait to get my hands on. Rebel Rock was so much fun to play with that I just had to do two layouts!


Journaling: Kaylee rockin' out in her Hannah Montana hair color. Age 6, 8/17/08
Credits: Rebel Rock by PixelWorks at Scrap Artist. Font: Pea BethC



DD was bright blue from her teeth to her chin after eating a ring pop from her Easter basket. :)
Credits: Rebel Rock by PixelWorks at Scrap Artist.
Font: VNI-HLThuphap
Ring pop doodle by me, based on image from ringpop site.


Now general stuff...

A few more shots of Kaylee from the previously mentioned red ribbon week. October 27 was pajama day and just also happened to be the day Kaylee got called to the principal's office. She had no idea why and was quite nervous, but it turned out that she was asked to down there to sign her name in the "Good Book" as recognition for a little "Stick Man" comic book she had drawn and written all on her own as a gift for her teacher. The teacher loved it, they read it to the class, and then she sent it on down for the principal to see.

The names of the kids who sign the "Good Book" are drawn at random to get to have pizza with the principal, and Kaylee was lucky enough to be drawn, so it was another nice treat for her. In my day, I don't think eating with the principal would have been considered a reward, but these kids love it. :)

October 30 was Kaylee's class' "Wacky Day". Here's the look we ended up putting together for her. :)


And a close up of the back of her hair, along with proof that she had her shirt on backwards, since the buttons are really the only way to tell. LOL


Now on to Halloween... first, the bad news in the form of my other ScrapDish November layout...


Journaling: Poor Kaylee broke out quite suddenly in a very mysterious, painfully itchy rash on Halloween afternoon. It started on her back and spread from there. She was terribly disappointed that she was unable to go trick-or-treating. As a bit of a consolation, Mommy went with Matthew and filled Kaylee’s bucket for her while she stayed home with Daddy. Photo 11/1/09
Kit: Spooky Mini kit by Red Leaf DigiScrapping at ScrapDish
Fonts: Pea Anderson, Bernard MT Condensed


We never did figure out exactly what caused the rash/hives. Our best guess is a contact allergy from concentrated detergent that didn't get rinsed well enough from her clothes. (I've been double rinsing everything since.) She never ran a fever, but the hives kept changing, moving from one spot to another. She'd get about two hours of relief out of every four-hour dose of Benedryl, and was so very miserable in between. The hives were still making random appearances on Monday, and there were a few minor flare-ups on Tuesday, but she was able to finally return to school on Wednesday.

Back to Halloween night, here is Matthew as Megatron defending his haul of candy...








Since Kaylee was unable to go trick-or-treating, we had little mini-party for her the following weekend. We had Bagel Bite pizzas and brownies with Halloween sprinkles, and then we all got dressed up and played games.

Here are Mummy Mark and the Glinda and Megatron in full Halloween gear...


And here I am with the kids, looking our most ferocious. ;)


I have some old costumes buried somewhere in my closet, but it's quite a mess, and by the time I found one, the party would have been over, so I just put on some creepy dark lipstick and grabbed a spooky old t-shirt from my brother's high school garage band. (I did say it was old. LOL) The kids were more interested in the lipstick, since I never wear makeup of any sort, let alone something that... um... blatant. :-b

The game of the night was In a Pickle. My folks had picked it up for us a while back, but we thought Kaylee was too young for it, so we just opened it for the first time that night. Kaylee still needed some help with a few of the words and strategy, but it was a lot of fun, and we played several more times after that. :)

I guess that's it for now. I'm sure I've skipped over a lot of stuff that's happened in the past month, but this post is more than long enough! I'll try not to wait so long next time. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Popu-lei-rity

The kids' school is having Red Ribbon Week this week. Each day they have a different fun theme to emphasize making good choices and living drug-free. Monday's theme was...


(This is the sticker they gave all the kids.)

Kaylee was insistent that she needed to have a brightly colored lei to wear. Rather than drive across town to buy her a lei at one of the party or toy stores, Mark decided we (meaning mainly me) could make her one using some paper flowers he had as extra refills for a magic trick. Turned out to be waaaaay easier said than done. After much experimentation, I finally managed to attach the flowers to one of Kaylee's bead necklaces, and the result was this...





It turned out pretty cute and was a big hit at school. She got lots of compliments on it, and her PE coaches at the end of the day told her it was the best lei they had seen all day. Kaylee was grinning and so excited talking about it. I completely cracked up when she told me... "It hurt my neck, but I couldn't take it off, because I didn't want to give up my popularity!" I guess all the hassle for me and discomfort for her was worth it. ROTFL

Finally she had enough of me taking pictures of her...



But she was back begging for more a few minutes later, when I took her hair down and she saw the crazy waves that had resulted from it being put up damp in a "circle pony tail". LOL





And then, just because she was being cooperative, a couple more gratuitous shots...





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Yesterday Kaylee brought home an art project from school that she was especially proud of. Introducing, straight from the door of our refrigerator, Mrs. Scull! (Kaylee's spelling. ;) )



She said the legs were bent because she ran out of room on the paper, but I thought it was fun because it looks like it's jumping. The whole project is so cute, but I think my favorite part is Mrs. Scull's bow and eyelashes. :D



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Wow, after all those photos, I'll have to do a mega-Matthew photo post sometime soon! He's been keeping busy mostly with schoolwork. He has a major history fair project due soon, and has just had lots of other homework in general.

Last night we spent a couple of hours studying state names, abbreviations, and capitols for the southeastern states for a quiz today. The previous region they studied was the southwest, and he only had four states to memorize, so the 12 states on this week's list was a big jump. Poor kid was so discouraraged when we started practicing, thinking he was never going to get them, especially having to also spell them all correctly. But this morning when I quizzed him, he pretty much rattled them all off instantly, only getting stuck for a moment on one of them. He was so proud! It was so great to see him conquer that. :) I hope the quiz goes smoothly for him!