Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dear Beaner...

After reading the new post that was left on my site today, I felt that it was necessary to write a quick thank you note to a here it is:

Dear Beaner,
Thank you for the clarification on the correct terminology for geeky online game playing. I especially like the part where you define the different meanings for different spellings...that rocked! You are a the kind of friend that makes a person's life complete. (insert smiley here).

P.S. In the future, I will try my hardest not to blog while you are in the middle of a game. I know how important your games are.

LOVE YA!!! Tell that gorgeous wife of yours I said hi!

Snow Angels

Wow, today was just a ROUGH one for me! I woke up in a 'touchy' mood, to say the least, and struggled for patience most of the day. Between hauling everyone to wait in a crowded doctor's office, to running Sebastian to school because we got home late from the doctor's office, to dealing with sick kids & doing bills...I guess you could say this hasn't been my favorite day ever. There was, however, one moment that redeemed the entire day - that made all of the gross yucky grumpy stuff worth it. A good heartfelt romp in the snow - all 5 of us (well, Lucas mostly was clearing the driveway, but we were all together, so it counts!). We have been cooped up inside for so long! It was WONDERFUL to go outside and PLAY! (Meagan got to finally test out her new snow suit from Christmas.) Sebastian taught Isaac and Meagan both how to make snow angels - that was the cutest thing EVER, watching Meagan try to watch & imitate her brothers! What she wouldn't give to do everything they can do! She took several face-dives in the snow, leaving her with extra-rosy cheeks! But, as cold as she had to have been, she was more than a little resistant when I said it was time to go in. Hopefully we can go back out again soon!

Monday, January 29, 2007

The breakfast chef

What a sweetheart! I came downstairs this morning to find Sebastian in the kitchen, a chair pulled up to the counter, making something. He had gotten out grapes and pretzel sticks and was making Grape Snowmen.
At church yesterday, he got a paper that had a diagram to make Food People using a grape for the head, cheese cubes for the torso, and pretzels for arms & legs (and 1 to hold it all together). From there, he got the idea to make grape snowmen, and that's exactly what he did. Gordon Ramsey watch out!!

To Bed with her Boots on

Last night, Lucas took Meagan upstairs to get her ready for bed. When they reemerged, she had on her pink long underwear PJs & her BOOTS! I didn't even have to ask because I already knew. The girl is OBSESSED with shoes - but especially those boots! (Wonder where she gets that?) Yesterday morning, I got her all ready for church - shoes & everything. We came downstairs, and what does she do? She digs her boots - the very same ones - out of the closet, hands them to me and says, 'boots, no shoes.' Then she plopped down right in front of me, so I could change them for her. Then later in the afternoon, while we were playing in the basement, she disappeared upstairs for a second. When she came back down, she had one black MaryJane in her hand. I put it on her, at her request. Then she ran off for the other one. She may not act girly in very many ways, but the love of shoes she definitely has mastered! That's my girl!

Halloween in January

Yes, I'm just now getting around to doing my first Halloween layout. I guess it's pretty obvious that I don't scrap in order. I did this layout for an on-line challenge to use one picture & one word for the title (I added the, so I guess it's technically 2 words...oh well). Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Hero!

Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due. Lucas saved my backside today! I was trying to reformat a DVD to use for backing up my digital scrapbook stuff. Well, there were some layouts already on the disk, and when all was said & done, they were nowhere to be found.....or so I thought. Near tears, thinking that I had lost 5 of my recent layouts (ones that I happen to be partial to), I went upstairs & told him what I had done. I was totally expecting some sympathy from the man. Instead I get, "Well, it's nothing to cry about." (????) Are you kidding me? What if you lost all of your ranks on your game & had to start all over as a nube? You'd cry!!! Ah well. I figured it was one of those things that men just don't 'get' so I moved on. A little later, he calls down to me & says "hey do you have a minute?" I reluctantly stopped what I was doing to go up to see what he wanted. And there on our upstairs computer is the most beautiful sight! All of my missing files!!! He, being the smart computer geek that he is, had made another (quite redundant, actually) backup file before transferring them to the downstairs computer. So, in the end, nothing was lost! And, he knew about it the whole time. I guess that's his idea of a little fun! But, in this case, I forgive him!

Supernannie & Dog Whisperer

I'm HOOKED! I can't seem to peel myself away from the TV when these 2 shows are on. I was getting ready to leave for the grocery yesterday, and I happened to come across an episode of The Dog Whisperer. I don't even have a dog!!! But I just can't help being fascinated by that guy's skills! If it hadn't been for TiVo, and the fact that I knew I could record it & watch it later (which I did), I may have skipped the grocery all together!
So, while I was grocery shopping, I couldn't help but think & wonder...why am I so drawn to those 2 shows? I mean, I guess the Supernannie is kind of an obvious one, since I have 3 kids...but, with no dogs to be found, what's the deal?
But I did come up with an answer...what is the one thing that Supernannie & Dog Whisperer have in common (other than they both speak with an accent)? They both have an amazing understanding of their area of focus. I've never seen an episode where either of them just threw up their hands & said, 'nope, can't fix this one!' They just make it look so easy - so simple - when the rest of us are left sitting & scratching our heads thinking "What am I supposed to do with these kids" (or this dog for those of you with dogs like Rockne!). I've had my share of days when I've considered writing to Jo Frost for some assistance. And, I've even wondered if some methods that work on dogs might work on kids (LOL!). You know what they say...desperate times call for desperate measures!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Why I Love Him...

I hadn't planned on posting today, actually. Not a lot to report on, for the 2nd day in a row. The most interesting thing that happened to me today (if you can call it that) was that I spent the entire afternoon chasing down a 'smell' which I discovered to be living in the microwave. Hardly worth the post...but, here I am posting.
I was just sitting at my computer doing some scrapping (surprise surprise), and I came across this layout that I did a few weeks ago. Since this is supposed to be serving as my sort of daily 'journal,' I wanted to include this layout & the journaling on it. It's some of my favorite work I've done lately. Probably because I really like how the layout originated & I love the journaling. So, hope you enjoy...don't get overwhelmed in sappiness! (Oh, by the way, this was another bit of good scrapping news for me in the past few weeks. The manufacturer of the paper I used -Basic Grey - included this layout in their online gallery).

One night about 2 weeks ago, Lucas came home from work with a 'challenge' - do a page about us (we really don't have very many of those actually). This is what I came up with. The journaling is a little long, but I'll share.

  • 'I'm pretty sure the motivation was that you wanted the computer tonight, but 1 of the 1st things you said when you got home was, 'I have a challenge for you. Do a page about us.' Well, I accept your challenge. The 1st hurdle was the picture, since we really don't have any recent pics of us that are scrap-worthy. So after lots of browsing through our picture files, I chose this one. Now, I know you won't like it because it's not 'us' & you don't like pictures of yourself. but, you're just gonna have to deal. Because right now, this IS us...always together but generally holding the hands of 1 of the kids instead of holding each others' hand. Well, then that got me it sad that this is what we are? 2 parents of 3 small children instead of 2 people walking hand-in-hand? But, my answer is NO. Not sad at all. Sure, I know we both wish for more time to ourselves. We'd give anything for a fancy date. But, that's just how we spend our time, not who we are. And I love who we are together. We're a team. We work together. We have balance. We have a system. We are each a source of strength & support for the other. I know your 'it's been a rotten day' look, just like you know my 'I'm on screaming kid overload' look. You're there to hold me when I've hit my limit. and I am a sounding board for your frustrations. You, above anyone, can make me relax & not take myself so seriously. You keep me grounded. You help me keep perspective. And, even though you don't always like it, I help you see the other side of the I guess I help keep your perspective too. And the best thing, you make me laugh. you are such a source of joy in my life. I often think, when we're cleaning up after dinner, laughing & playing around - I wonder if anyone ever looks in the window as they drive by. If so, chances are, they'll see us smiling or laughing or playing or hugging, kissing, dancing. And, to me, that's who we are. And I love that about us. Love, Me'

Thursday, January 25, 2007

One for Grandma & Grandpa

Not a lot to report today. Another successful bedtime last night. AND, as a bonus, the penny trick is working for our THUMB issues as well. Yea!!! Only time will tell if this will work long-term.

Other than that, today has been pretty slow around here. I did finish a layout the other day, though, that I wanted to finally get posted here. I thought you might like to see it. It's the Ohio Caverns trip from last summer.

Also, I wanted to let you know that you are all welcome to leave posts now. I changed the settings on the page to allow anyone to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you! Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Being Published!

What a week this has been for unexpected emails! Last night I got another one! This time it was from a lady who is putting together a book "Doodling for Papercrafters." She wants to include this layout in her book. I've never had anything of mine published before, so this was quite a surprise!

Buying Back Bedtime

Let's just tell it like it is...bedtime has been AWFUL lately. I've had no control whatsoever, and I've ended many evenings feeling completely frustrated. A friend of mine had given me an article on getting your kids to stay in bed. It had some cute ideas, but nothing that felt quite like the right solution. Then, my neighbor gave me a suggestion that sparked an I decided to buy back bedtime!

I gave the boys each a dish with 3 pennies in it to leave out in the hallway before bed. I told them that each time I had to go up to tell them to be quiet or to stay in bed, they would lose a penny. If they had any pennies left in the morning, they could buy computer time - 5 minutes per penny. HOLY COW! Worked like a charm! Last night I didn't have to say ANYTHING! I just got to sit on the couch & enjoy time with Lucas (watching American Idol & Hockey All-star skills game) SILENCE! Too bad I hadn't had this idea Monday Night. Maybe I would have actually been able to watch Prison Break without interruption!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Yesterday it happened...

I remember very clearly the day I came home from Kindergarten and told my mom I was going to read her a story. I went to my room to pick a book (A Sister for Sam - Carebears), and she waited on the couch. She later told me that she was fully expecting a 5-year-old's retelling of a story from memory, but she was floored to find that I was actually READING. So, yesterday, the tables turned. Sebastian walks in from getting off the bus, and the first thing he says to me (in the usual very-matter-of-fact Sebastian way) is, "Mom, I can read." He got a little reader book out of his bookbag & started in. I could tell it wasn't from memory (because he got hung up sounding out a few words...'there' and 'hide' were doing him in every time!). He was READING!
Confession - I was totally unprepared for this. I don't know why I wouldn't have been expecting it, since he has been going to school for several months now...I just wasn't. Then, this morning, as we were watching for the school bus together, he looks at me and says, "Mom, pretty soon when I'm more grown up, I won't need your help getting on the bus." I know, Buddy, don't remind me.

Big People Never Laugh

We had soup today for lunch, and Isaac was trying to teach Meagan how to say ZOOOOP - it's from 'Today is Monday,' and Eric Carle book. We started talking about how hard Sebastian laughed at that silly word the first time we read that book. Then Isaac says, "But, Mom, big people never laugh, do they?" An honest observation of a 4-year-old...

Yikes!!! Are we really all a bunch of sour pusses? Is it really so far gone that we can't find humor in the silly little day-to-day stuff? Why is it that kids have an amazing gift of laughter that seems to be totally lost on adults? And as it sunk in, it started to feel like a punch in the gut...I am his main example of 'big people.' Wow...looks like it's time to lighten up!

Monday, January 22, 2007

More Bang for your Buck

Okay, so the other day I got a very unexpected email that just made my day. It was from a lady named Tenika who has a scrapbook blog dedicated strictly to multi-photo layouts (3 or more pics). She had seen a layout of mine in an on-line gallery, and wanted to know if she could post it on her blog. Um, SURE! (here's the link to her blog: )
Here's the layout she requested...I'll let you know when it's up on her site.

So, I started thinking about my scrapbook style, and realized that quite a few of my pages have 3 or more pics. Not all of them, but a lot. And probably for a lot of reasons...
1) It just seems to feel right to me. You've heard of the rule of 3? Well, I don't see why it can't apply to pictures...sometimes a certain # of pictures just feels more balanced.
2) With 3 kids, nearly 7 years of marriage (with 3 homes & a few pets mixed in) I don't have time to scrap 1 photo at a time...I may never get 'caught up' as it is!
3) I don't have room to store a gazillion layouts! I don't care to have that many albums! So I better put more than 1 pic on a page, or I just won't have space to keep it!
4) Sometimes it seems to me that several pictures can tell the visual story much more effectively than just one great picture...even if those 'extra' pictures aren't the perfect shot, or aren't in focus, or whatever else we look for in photography. Sometimes it's more about the progression of events that tells the story or sparks our memories, rather than the great professional quality of that one gigantic-sized picture in the focus of a layout. I'm not always willing to give up that progression for the sake of dramatic impact.
In short, I think multiple photos just gives you more bang for your buck! I want to post a few of my favorite layouts that fit in this category, so that some day I can look back at this post & see where I was in my scrapping, and what was on my list of fav's.


I did this page for the Queen of Paradise contest in 2006. It was the result of a series of horrific mistakes! I finished the page, hated it, cut it apart, finished it again, screwed up the last 3 things that I'd done, and cut it apart again. This is the third layer of attempts to get it right...It's TOTALLY outside of my normal style, but I think that's part of why I like it so much. It just sort of HAPPENED. It wasn't planned. And the photos are some of my favorites of me with each of the kids. But, above all, the journaling communicates to my children a part of me that I may never have shared had I not been pushed to scrap this page. Definitely one of my favorites - and 6 photos!


Another 'contest' page...I had no real idea where I was going with this when I first started. The assignment was to use the title 'When I see you smile...' Well, as I thought it through, I couldn't pick just ONE person to focus on. So, I decided to focus on the family! This, more than any other scrapbook page I've ever done, has served the purpose it was created to serve. When I finished, Lucas and I sat for almost an hour looking back at each individual photo (there are 31!!) and remembering the moment - where we were, what were some of the fun characteristics of our children at that time, etc. Isn't that what we scrap for? For that reason alone, I could easily say this was one of my favorites.

Okay, one more for now...


I ADORE these pictures of Meagan and Lucas together! Look how happy she is getting Daddy's attention all to herself. I went a little crazy with the camera when I was photographing this moment of the 2 of them, but, let's face it, a girl can never have too many pictures with her daddy! However, when it came to scrapping them, I didn't want to leave any out, but I didn't want a gigantic page FULL of such similar pictures. So I picked the ones I thought best told the story to use as the focal point. The rest of them I left smaller, so they still show the progression of their time together without taking away from the bigger pictures. I just LOVE her expressions! She's soooo HAPPY!
(11 pictures)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Family Movie & Pizza Night

When the New Year rolled around, we were talking at dinner about our resolutions. Sebastian & Isaac decided they wanted to make resolutions, too. Isaac's was to stop sucking his thumb (although I think he's abandoned that one already). Sebastian was very thoughtful for a minute, and then said, "We need to spend more time doing things together." "All of us as a family?" I asked. "Yes, more family time is what I want to do." Well, you can't be any more clear than that, kiddo. So, I've borrowed an idea from a friend of mine, and tonight will be our first official Saturday Family Movie & Pizza Night. We've settled on Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets for our movie, and we've got 2 pizzas & some popcorn ready & waiting. And so far, it seems to be working quite well as an incentive to lay down quietly at nap time this afternoon...BONUS!! The plan is to make this a regular part of our Saturday evenings. Hopefully this will help Sebastian out in keeping his resolution!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Until Now

Okay, until now, I've been totally against blogging. I'm just being honest - it just seemed like time waisted - more time on the computer than necessary - too much information going out to complete strangers! And yet, here I am writing up my first ever blog posting. What brought about the change of heart??? I don't think I can pin point one particular reason...just simply that I've come to realize that this may be a pretty effective way of getting my thoughts on the record somewhere where I can access them in the future. I've always had intentions of keeping a journal for myself, but I never seem to remember to keep up on it...and quite truthfully, I'm too hand cramps after writing half of what I feel like saying, and then I give up. Kinda defeats the purpose of a journal I suppose. So maybe this will work better for me...Plus, this could be a good way to keep the family in touch with our day-to-day stuff, since we don't always get to talk to them as often as we would like to (darn work schedules!!) I guess we'll see how it goes!