Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cows on Ice

Yesterday, seeing as it was Monday and all, I got up and gave it my best shot at getting through the work day (with ALL 3 KIDS in my office while I worked...we took Wall-E & toys, but it was barely enough to hold their attention...thank goodness for the play money I had stashed in my office for training!). By 10:30, though, Pastor Mark had given me the boot - he kicked me out - I think he said something to the effect of I looked like I was dying (LOL)...which is about how I felt, so he wasn't too far off. I had grossly overestimated my ability to be upright & functional the day after being completely laid out. Oh well, I tried.

So, I cancelled all of my afternoon plans / appointments / etc, and headed home. The only strenuous activity I did for the rest of the day was playing Star Wars the Clone Wars Monopoly with Lucas & the boys. It ended badly for all of us except Lucas (the greedy property hoarder!). Isaac's attention span failed him about 30 minutes into the game, and from there, Sebastian & I went downhill quickly. The only thing that kept me going was that I owned all 4 ships (equivalent to the railroads in the regular game), so I was getting some pretty good rent payments. Lucas, however, owned the Monopoly on the blue properties (you know, like where Board Walk & Park Place usually are), and he had cities on each one. I landed on one once, and I had to pay him $1500. That was it for me...I was done for! After our game, I was worn out again, and went back and plopped on the couch.

I'm feeling SOOOO much better today! I made up one of my appointments this morning that I had to cancel yesterday. So, the kids & I headed to a friend's house, where they played with a bunch of kids while I helped them with some accounting stuff. On our way home (through the country roads), we passed a farm where their cows were all skating along on the top of the frozen pond in the yard. VERY FUNNY!! Who knew cows could ice skate. Considering it has been fairly warm for the last few days, I was wondering what would happen if one of them were to fall through the ice...??? I can only hope no livestock were injured in their ice-capades! It was a rather funny sight, that's all I can really say about it!

This afternoon, I made up the rest of my work from yesterday. Then we all went to Bob Evan's for dinner (which I ate entirely too much, after eating almost nothing for 2 days.... blah!). Now the kids are watching the Tinkerbell Movie before bedtime...tomorrow Grandma & Grandpa H. are headed this way to celebrate Christmas and New Year with us! Although my house is a bit messier than I would prefer for company, I'm excited to see them! Hopefully they will be too into the kids to mind my messy house. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hush Little Baby

Here's an old picture of Meagan right after she was born. I finished this two days ago, but didn't get a chance to post yesterday (due to the fact that I was 100% laid out with some yucky stomach bug...I'm feeling quite a bit better today, although not completely back to normal).

Credits: {Kasia Designs} - Colorful Dreams, {Delmik Designs} - Dreamer's Stars, {Amber Clegg} - Date It & Date Dots

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Yesterday was a great day! I woke up around 8:00. I heard Meagan and Sebastian playing downstairs already, but Isaac wasn't up yet. I decided to let him sleep & take advantage of the opportunity to get myself cleaned up & presentable before Christmas pictures ensued! We probably started our gift opening around 8:30 or 9:00. We finished some time around 10:30 (we had gifts from 2 sets of grandparents, plus we took our time and enjoyed each other).

The kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Other than one gift of clothes - boring jeans and long sleeved t-shirts - nothing was quickly tossed aside. After nearly every present they opened, they asked, "Can we open this now?...Can we watch this now?...Can we play with this now?" get the idea! Let's see, the basic run-down of what they got: ColorWonders, movies, books, games, Indiana Jones toys (the boys only), make-up (Meg only *LOL*), pj's, an outfit, and ATM machines... one of my personal favorite gifts... plus Meagan got a princess scooter, and the boys got Star Wars the Clone Wars the movie & the wii game.

Lucas and the kids got me i-tunes, 2 books, and P.S. I love you (movie). I am really looking forward to starting the books, but I have about 3 books in progress right now... I should probably try to finish those first? Maybe. And my stocking stuffer was 2 wii games - Tetrus Party & Sudoku... since they were downloaded games instead of store-bought games, I had to go on a bit of a scavenger hunt to find them...that was a very original stocking stuffer! We took turns with Tetrus whenever we got a free chance at the TV (between all of the movie-watching that was going on).

Last night some friends of ours came over, and we made homemade pizzas & just hung out. The kids played & watched MORE movies, and the adults played BoomBlox on wii. It was a really good time - we had lots of laughs to say the least. The only bummer to the evening was that Meagan, once again, threw up. She had been pretty hesitant to eat dinner, so I didn't push the issue much...thankfully (sound familiar?). There was really no indication, though, other than her disinterest in eating, that she wasn't feeling well. So we had to kind of keep her away from the other kids for most of the night. (She seems to be feeling better now, although she has been pretty lethargic for most of the day).

This morning, I woke up feeling like I could stand to take it easy I did. Other than getting up to feed children (barely), I hardly moved from my chair. I did some scrapbooking and got a few things taken care of that I needed to finish up. And I lost count of how many more movies we watched today - Tinkerbell, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Narnia, Kung Fu I forgetting any? LOL!

So, here's one page that I got done today. I messed with it for a while. I think if I felt like it, I could stand to mess with it some more, but as it is, I'm just going to leave it for now. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

In keeping with tradition, we had dinner at our 'Christmas Eve Restaurant' again this evening. The bonus was that we had been given Chamber of Commerce gift certificates, so dinner was free! We got there 10 minutes before the kitchen closed (unknowingly, or we would have left MUCH earlier...poor people want to get home to family tonight!). They were very gracious and let us stay and order. We tried to be quick about quick as you can be with three kids who are distracted by Christmas Eve excitement!

When we got home, the kids had to do a quick clean-up of the living room & their bedrooms. I had told them earlier today that it had to be done before any gifts were opened...I really don't like having a messy house before all of the extra mess of Christmas morning starts! They did a good job - and pretty quickly, too! There was, however, some incentive!

Once everything was picked up, we did our second Christmas Eve tradition, which has carried over from my own childhood. We let them open one gift each. They were WAY excited about the prospect of gift opening! This year's gifts were from Grandma & Grandpa Walker. The boys each got a Nerf gun that shoots 6 bullets. Meagan got a Polly Pockets winter clothes set. They all three LOVED what they got, and they are all still sitting here in the living room with me, playing with their new toys!

In about an hour, we have to get ready for Christmas Eve candlelight service at starts at 9:00. Pastor Mark reads a version of the Christmas story, we sing some Christmas songs, and just take some time to be together for about an hour. That will be the grand finale of our night...the cookies are already set out for all that's left is to actually fall asleep!

Sweet dreams! And have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It all starts tomorrow

Tomorrow is the 1st of our Christmas events...Mom & Mike are planning on coming up to spend the day with us and open presents with the kids. (Plus, tomorrow evening, Meagan has gymnastics...AND the 23rd is our Christmas camp-out tradition: the kids set up their tents in front of the tree, watch a Christmas movie, and then sleep by the tree with the Christmas lights on all night long.) Wednesday evening we have our traditional dinner at a local restaurant here in town for Christmas Eve, followed by our candlelight service at church. Of course, Christmas morning we're opening our gifts...can't wait!! Then that evening, friends of ours are going to come over and hang out - we're going to do homemade pizzas and movies or games or whatever. Somewhere in all of this, I will try to find time to get a few pictures (or at least a story or two) posted to keep you all informed! MERRY ALMOST-CHRISTMAS!!

Birthday Blitz

Thursday we celebrated Isaac's birthday - SIX years old! I totally missed blogging about it because we had so much going on.

Thursday during the day was Isaac's school Christmas party, so I left work in the early afternoon & headed to school to party with him! When I got there, he had on a Birthday Boy crown...that totally made his day! Their party lasted about an hour - stories, snacks...the usual school party stuff. When it was over, I headed back to finish up the work day before a busy night of birthday celebration!

For dinner, we went to Chuck E. Cheeze. Nice on a Thursday evening...not nearly as many people, although definitely busier than I had expected. We stayed until a little after seven-thirty then headed home. By the time we got home, the kids were TIRED and MELTING! So, we skipped ice cream cake and just went to bed. About 8:30 or 9:00, I was sitting in the recliner in the living room working on my laptop, when I heard little feet scurrying across the floor, then SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT! (*Oh, crap*) I took off running up the stairs, and found my poor birthday boy in the bathroom...let's just say, clearly he wasn't feeling the best. Thankfully, there was only one incident this time, unlike last week's get-sick 18-hour marathon that Meagan pulled. I got him cleaned up, new PJ's on, and he went back to bed...slept all night & was fine the next day. Just one little glitch in an otherwise GREAT birthday day!

(Just as a side note... Friday there was no school due to CRAZY weather, so Meagan and Sebastian both missed their school Christmas parties, and Christmas break started a day early for the boys. They've got a count-down many more days until Christmas?!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

In the mood for a change

As you have probably already figured out, I was in the mood for change. I decided to take some R&R time tonight, as I was too tired to do anything of any significance. So I decided to revamp my blog. I was kinda getting tired of the darkness...and all the dots! LOL!

I know everyone's computer configurations are different, so please let me know if you're having trouble seeing it. I can resize it to a smaller size (mostly the banner at the top...everything else is set by the layout template). But it looks like the right size on my laptop... anyway, let me know.

Off to bed now, so I can get up to get the kids ready for school tomorrow.


I haven't had time to make a fancy birthday card for you, but I wish I had...hopefully this will do:

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday dear Mom....and Kelli!
Happy Birthday to you!

Love you both! Hope you have had a very happy birthday!

Wednesday through Friday

Since I didn't get to tell you about my week last week, I'll give a quick run-down now. It can pretty much be summed up in one statement: Meagan was sick.

Wednesday night, Meagan refused to eat her dinner. At first I thought she just didn't want to eat what we were having, but I didn't really force the issue (thankfully). I simply said, "That's fine. You may choose not to eat, but you will not get a brownie for desert when the boys get theirs." She said okay, and got up and left the table. I knew something wasn't right.

Not two minutes later, she came back into the kitchen and told me she was really cold and she needed some blankets. Bad sign. So, I snuggled her up in some blankets, and called the church to let them know I would NOT be doing bus that evening...the thought of "sick" on a dirty bus full of kids just wasn't appealing.

I stuck her in the tub after dinner and then got some PJ's on her. About five minutes after her tub, it started....and it kept going and going and going until well into the night. It stopped around midnight, and I had about a three hour reprieve. But, from 3:30 or so until morning, she was okay. She tried a small breakfast, and it started all over again.

So, I spent Wednesday night & all day Thursday doing mountains and mountains of laundry - clothes, blankets, towels, get the idea. I cleaned all the hard surfaces in the house, and sprayed everything - EVERYTHING - with Lysol. And then did it AGAIN after she continued to get sick on the freshly-cleaned floor! Poor baby girl. But, by about 1:00 on Thursday, the activity had started winding down, and she went the rest of the day without incident.

Friday morning, I assumed (you know what they say about that) she was better, since it had been nearly 20 hours since she had been sick. I was wrong. About 9:00 in the morning she got to coughing and made herself sick again. So, I decided it was time for a trip to the doctor. I had a suspicion she had some sinus issues in addition to the stomach bug, and I thought it best not to let it go all weekend...especially with Isaac's birthday party planned for Saturday.

Our doctor confirmed my suspicions - #1 stomach virus, #2 sinus infection mumbo jumbo. He put her on an antibiotic for the infection and encouraged me that I should be seeing the end of the viral issue shortly (as long as no one else in the house caught it, that is). We started the medicine right away, and saw a great deal of improvement even by Saturday morning. I did one last spray-down with the Lysol, and my mom (who was up for the birthday party) helped me out by touching up the bathrooms and such again before the party. I felt comfortable that our house was as disinfected as it was ever going to get until we can open up the windows in the spring and let some fresh air in.

So far, she has been the only one who has really gotten anything. The boys are also on antibiotic, because they had all the same symptoms as her as far as the congestion junk goes. Lucas, Sebastian and I have all had moments where we've not felt the greatest, but nothing ever really comes of it - THANKFULLY!! I am definitely praying that we stay healthy - I'm not a big fan of being sick.

I don't know which is worse...

Okay, so the story I wanted to tell you last Monday that I couldn't because of our technical difficulties:

Monday after work, I headed home to get the boys off of the bus before picking Meagan up from preschool. I often do this on days that I leave work later than intended...that way I make sure I'm home by the time the bus gets to our house...I just have to get Meagan before 6:00, so there's definitely some leeway there.

We picked Meagan up, and headed home to get dinner going and hang out for the evening. As I was driving, Meagan was telling me about her day at school and so on. Then she asked me if she could watch TV when we got home. I told her I would turn TV on for her while I cooked dinner. She seemed pleased with that, and she sat quietly for a few minutes....

During those few minutes, she obviously observed that Isaac had his thumb in his mouth. Being the little sister that she is, she says, "Isaac, no thumb. Your mouth has germs. Now you have to wash it. You're gonna get germs everywhere and make us all sick. Thumbs are for babies. That's gross."

To which he promptly replies, "Oh yeah, well you're gonna get fat because you like to watch too much TV."

Vicious aren't they? They fight like a bitter married couple! Sheesh! Anyway, I'm not sure which is worse...the raking he took for sucking his thumb, or his retaliation to her about getting fat because she wanted to watch Dora.

Needless to say, we then had a discussion about RESPECT. The joys of mothering are never-ending.

The Torture has Ended!!!

Last week Lucas had to go out of town for work. He left Sunday afternoon, and wasn't scheduled to get back until Friday afternoon. Monday evening, after I snuggled the kids in bed, I sat down to do my usual Internet stuff - I even had a good story to blog! However......I COULD NOT GET ONLINE! Our router wasn't working, and I even tried bypassing the router and plugging straight into the DSL luck. I did everything that had been suggested to me - no luck! I was BUMMED! Do you understand the torture of not being able to get on line for a week? That's like taking away my Mountain Dew! :) I had a few brief moments on online time at the library during story hour on Tuesday morning, but that was about it. When he got home on Friday evening, he set to work and, of course, got the problem fixed. He's such a techie geek, but I am definitely thankful he is! I had a glimpse of my life without Internet, and it wasn't pretty! (*LOL*)

So, sorry for the lack of postings, but it just hasn't even been possible for me lately. I'll try to get back in the swing of things soon. We have a bit of a busy week this week, though - tomorrow is gymnastics & Sebastian's school music program. Wednesday is bus & church. Thursday is Isaac's BIRTHDAY!!!! and his school Christmas party. And Friday is Meagan's Christmas party in the morning, Sebastian's in the afternoon, and the last day of school until 2009. YIKES! I will do my best to post as I go, but there's a good chance of one big catch-up post sometime this weekend...just a forewarning!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Reports from the Homefront

I know I have been a total slacker lately. My posts have been spaced out, and it's been at least a week since I've given any real sort of update. So here goes...

We have our Christmas decorations up (and I'm quite pleased with them, all in all) and the boxes put away. We accomplished that last weekend. My only complaint is that the tree is doing a started out very subtle at first, but is definitely growing more noticeable by the day...hoping it doesn't topple completely before Christmas! Meagan randomly walks into it, which I'm sure doesn't help matters. The kids did most of the ornament hanging this year, and, although there are several that aren't well spaced, and even more that are facing in instead of out, they did a great job!

Today after church, it quickly became obvious that everyone was rather tired. So, all three were required to lay down for nap time...and ALL THREE fell asleep and slept for at least 2 1/2 hours! SA-WEET! So I spent the bulk of the afternoon chillin' and reading a new book I just got a few days ago - Drawing Near by John Bevere.

We totally cheated for dinner (no big shocker, as Lucas wasn't eating with us). The kids had breakfast food of some sort - cereal, toast, pop tarts, fruite, etc - and I had a hot pocket. We ate in the living room on tv trays and watched a movie that was on tv until it was time to leave for church. We got home a little while ago, and already everyone is quietly in bed. I was a little worried about bedtime after the extensive naps, but I think they're all just worn out! Hopefully they get rested. I'm feeling a little tired, too, and may just head to bed early tonight.

This week I need to get things ready for Isaac's birthday party, which is this weekend. I have a bit of straightening up to do. I also have to dig his birthday presents out of the monsterous bag of Christmas gifts that is tucked away not-so-very-well in the back of our closet. I also have to plan a menu of some sort for lunch...I may end up doing pizza hut for the sake of simplicity...we'll see what I come up with.

Besides that, this week I need to try to get Christmas gifts wrapped for the kids, Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped for Lucas, and Christmas gifts that I'm making completed and wrapped for everyone who will be receiving a homemade gift this year. Hmmm...not sure how I'm going to pull all this thing at a time, I suppose. Wish me luck!

So that's about it...I know, for an absense of posting for so long, it's not much. Not much out of the ordinary has been going on lately. But life is good. Even uneventful life is good.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

She Dreams of Christmas

Meagan's first Christmas I took a few pictures of her asleep in front of the Christmas tree. This was really the only one that turned out very well. I finished this layout this morning (instead of doing other, much more responsible things around the house!)

I mostly used the Elemental Scraps December Mega Collab Kit - Funky Wonderland, along with a few other things here & there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Quick Page Link

Here's a link to the Quick Page freebie I posted the other day: Elemental Scraps Blog

Grab it to download for free if you'd like!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I won $40!!

Occassionally, I play along with the digi dares (there's a link to the left on my blog list). I played last week with my peace layout, and it was selected as the random winner. My prize was 4 $10 gift certificates - 1 certificate for each sponsored designer's shop for the week. Very exciting!! So, somewhere in the midst of all the Christmas decorating, I spent some time browsing online shops, and buying lots of stuff for free! It was like an early Christmas!

Here are a FEW of the things I got today - I haven't finished downloading them all yet - there are still quite a few downloads I have yet to do. But here are the few I did manage to get downloaded and extracted. Just thought I'd share (pictures are linked to the shops, if you're interested...I think all of them are on sale to some degree for a short time)! Can't wait to put them to use!

Peace in the Sky

Anyone else see a dove taking flight? Creation is beautiful. God is awesome!

Peace in the Sky

Anyone else see a dove taking flight? Creation is beautiful. God is awesome!

Wide Open Spaces

WOW! By lunch time today I had almost lost it! It was one of those days, ya know? At one point today, I actually looked straight at Meagan and told her to go away. Yikes...not the highlight of my mothering career. The kids have just been at each other lately - bickering and picking at each other. The tattling and the whining is almost unbearable at was one of those times. Thankfully, it was quite a warm day (relatively speaking), so I sent them outside to play - and I went out as well. Funny, once I got outside and breathed some fresh, crisp winter air, my head seemed to clear, and I was able to enjoy the kids again. I put up Christmas lights outside while they enjoyed some much-needed room to run and play. They wrestled, chased and tackled. They had adventures. They played on the swing set. They laughed and played and managed NOT to fight for a good 2 hours! LOVE IT!!

So, we got the tree up, the lights on the tree, and one box of ornaments hung. There is still lots to be done as far as decorations go, but for tonight, I'm done. Tomorrow is another day. Tonight we watched Charlie Brown on tv...a sure sign that it's almost Christmas time! I love that they still play that on tv. I remember watching Charlie Brown specials in the evenings when I was little. I love it when memories from my childhood are mirrored in my kids' lives...I know, I'm corny!


Okay, I know it's been 2 days since Thanksgiving, but we've been too busy to sit down & post.

Mom & Mike came up to spend Thanksgiving with us this year. Lucas, of course, had to work - they had shut down & start up within 24 hours...don't get me started. The kids were ecstatic to see Grandma & Grandpa, and dominated most of their time.

Here's a picture of our feast - and of Meagan helping me make the apple pie. She LOVES to help in the kitchen, because it almost always involves taste-testing! The meal turned out really well - there was only one tiny little hiccup...I made a pumpkin pie with caramel whipped topping on top. Well, it was supposed to sit in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to let the topping set up properly, but we were too impatient to, we cut into it earlier than we should have. The topping was a gooey mess and just sort of oozed all over...but it still tasted good! Other than that, all went well.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Here's another layout I finished today. I made it for Elemental Scraps and turned it into a 'quick page' - which is a pre-made scrapbook layout that you can download, add a picture to, and be DONE! It will be available on a freebie blog sometime soon. If I get a hold of the post, I'll post the link for anyone that would like to download it to use for themselves. It's a fast way to get a page done!

This was one of the pictures I took of Isaac at the park this summer. Isn't he growing up so fast? He's turning into one handsome little man!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I did this layout quickly tonight - probably about 45 minutes from idea to finish (I love that!). I am so thankful for this peace. I wouldn't be able to get through many days (including this one) without it. As we count down to Thanksgiving, this is definitely one of my blessings I am counting.

Non-Stop in an Every-Day Way

I know the posting has been pretty slim / non-existent in the last few days. Sorry, but there's just been very little to post about. Life has been non-stop in an every-day sort of way. I've been doing lots of cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning (again), laundry, playing with the kids, bath times, bedtimes, and all other daily mommy jobs there are to be named. Every night for the past few nights, I've come to the end of the day completely exhausted, and ready to crash, having had no real down time or even very much quality time with the kids. It just seems like there's always another urgent matter to tend to. I did, however, manage to squeeze a few puzzles and board games in with Meagan, and the boys and I did get a little bit of chatting time to catch up on what happened at school, etc.

Today I worked. Tomorrow is library, recycling, gymnastics, and small group. Then Wednesday, the kids have no school, but I have to work (since I won't be working Thursday). So the boys are going to go to daycare with Meagan for the day...should be interesting. Wednesday at 4:30 our church is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner outreach for the community. We'll be done serving at 5:30, and daycare doesn't close until 6:00. So I'm thinking I'll take advantage of having a readily available source of child care and I'll leave them at daycare while I'm serving. I should be able to pick them up in plenty of time before 6:00, and I think they will definitely have more fun at daycare than sitting in a corner somewhere coloring at the outreach.

Thursday, my parents are coming up to visit for Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to making Thanksgiving dinner! It's always a lot of fun to pull everything together and sit down to a holiday meal with family. Love that! Am definitely excited!

Maybe this weekend I'll finally take the time to undecorate from Halloween, and we'll get our Christmas stuff out. I love Christmas decorations, but truthfully, I sort of dread the process. I'll spend the next few days getting mentally prepared to dive into all that mess! :)

As for tonight, I'm going to take it easy & maybe scrap a bit. I need a night of winding down. And crashing early.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Count My Blessings

Journaling: I love waking up to a snuggly baby girl. I love that you seek me out for 'nuggles' and 'mooches.' I love being your momma. I am blessed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cheap Stuff!

For those of you who are interested, I thought I'd pass along some links to some WAY discounted digital scrapbook supplies. There are a few sites that I frequent that have a regular day of the week when they sell one, or two, or tons of kits, papers, elements, etc. for REALLY cheap - like $1.00 (or even $.25 in one case). Here's a short list of the ones I know of that are really worth keeping an eye on. If anyone knows of any others that I don't have listed, please feel free to pass them along via the comments...I'd love to know!

Sundays: Designer Digitals has 2 new items for $.25
Thursday: Elemental Scraps and Funky Playground Designs both have $1 deals
Fridays: Scrap Artist has Fab Friday - some things marked to $1, others are discounted nicely.
Ongoing: The Pickle Jar at Shabby Pickle Designs has some very nice kits marked down (usually about 50% off)...worth looking into.

Just thought I'd pass the info along. Today I grabbed a few really cute kits from Elemental Scraps & Funky Playground. Hopefully I'll get some scrap time tonight or tomorrow!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Here's a quick layout I did last night. This picture is from 2006...I forgot they were ever that tiny looking!

Journaling: may you always believe in the true wonder of Christmas: more than Santa Clause; more than the mystery of gifts yet unopened. Believe in the wonder of a Savior. Believe that He came that first Christmas night so long ago. Believe that He came for you. That He came for me. That His love is the motivation for all He does - for all He has ever done. Believe that love is for you, and that it is enough to cover every circumstance. Believe that this love is the truest gift of Christmas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snowball Fight!

This evening, Meagan talked Daddy into playing in the snow with her. It started out as just the 2 of them, but it wasn't long before the boys joined in too. Then, it progressed from playing mildly in the snow to having an all-out snowball fight! They had a blast! Daddy took up base on the back deck, and from there, he launched one giant snowball after another at the kids as they ran by and tried to hit him with snowballs of their own. Very fun to watch! The pictures didn't turn out great - partly because of lighting (it was getting dark quickly), partly because snow kept landing on the lens & making spots, and partly because my camera is slowly fading. Oh well...good pictures or not, we have a great memory from it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Unexpected Turn

The sleepover was a success, all in all. The boys had a great time together - they got a bit of special wii time, which started the day off well. Then, at about 11:30, we headed to McDonald's for lunch. We met Harley's mom & sister there, as well as one of Isaac's friend and his family. It was a rainy drizzly day, so being at an indoor play area was a pretty good place to be.

At the end of our McDonald's stay, though, the day took an unexpected turn. As I was rounding up the kids to get shoes & coats on, I noticed Isaac's top lip was severely swollen. It looked like someone had punched him. I asked him, but he said nothing happened. He said, "I think it's just because I ate too much ice cream" (since it was only about 5 minutes after finishing an ice cream cone...which we NEVER get at McDonald's so it was a fun treat...minus the swollen lip).

So, after dropping the kids off at home with Lucas (who, by the way, is FINALLY home from his work trip!), I headed to the Dr's office with Isaac, where my suspicions of an allergic reaction were confirmed. He (the doctor) said Isaac had swelling on the outer mouth (obviously) as well as about 2/3 of the way back inside his mouth. Thankfully, the swelling did not reach to his throat. By the time we had gotten there, actually, the outer swelling had even started to subside a bit, but was still visible. Anyway, he gave him a dose of steroid to "prevent any 2:00 am surprises." He said it was most likely a topical reaction, rather than a reaction from ingesting anything (aka - it was something that touched his mouth, not something he ate & is allergic to). His best guess was that it was something along the lines of residue from the cleaner they cleaned the ice cream machine with, etc.

Whatever it was, it caused a quick (although, thank God, very brief) reaction. By bedtime tonight, he was no longer showing any signs of swelling. I think he'll be just fine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New First

Tonight we've had a new first in our lives - tonight is the first time ever that one of the kids has had a friend from school sleep over. Sebastian's friend from school, Harley, is spending the night with us tonight. The boys have had a great time playing and visiting this evening, but Harley is having a bit of a tough time settling into our bedtime routine. He'll get there. It's getting pretty quiet right now. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well. Only time will tell.

Tomorrow, the kids do not have school, so we are having a hang-out day. For lunch, we are meeting Harley's mom & little sister, plus a friend of Isaac's from school (Jacob) and his family, at McDonald's. Lunch and play land for the early afternoon. Then I am HOPING that Meagan at least will lay down for a nap. She hasn't had one for the last 2 days that she has been home with me. It's really starting to wear on her.

Also tomorrow, Lucas comes home, after a week away in Toledo for training. I think we are all looking forward to seeing him! (Although I'm not sure we'll see much of him, because the expansion of WOW came out this morning at midnight, so I'm sure he'll have some very important gaming to do!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Adventure Day

What a day! This morning, after the boys got on the bus, Meagan looked at me and said, "Mommy, can we go on an adventure today?" So, we decided on a Christmas shopping adventure. I got almost all of my shopping done for the kids - I even managed to sneak a few purchases in for Meagan without her realizing it (I think this is the last year I'll be able to pull that off though, as she almost busted me a few times).

We just hung out together and had a girly day. She got to take her time and play with the toys at Toys R Us. And we had a fruit snack and water pit stop when we got to Target. There was one near-catastrophe. She had taken her pink kitty into Toys R Us with her, and as we were leaving, she realized that she had lost it somewhere. So, we made a pass through the store with no luck. We were getting ready to leave (again ) without Kitty, when an employee offered to help us look. So, we made a second pass through the store. The employee actually found Pink Kitty - on the shelf with all the Hannah Montana stuff (my daughter is inexplicably obsessed - I have NO idea why she is so fascinated, as she never watches the show, and doesn't own anything HM??). Clearly, Meagan go a little distract by Hannah and forgot all about poor Pink Kitty. Oh well, thankfully Kitty was found, and all ended well.

We had parent-teacher conferences tonight for both of the boys. Their teachers both had nothing but great things to say about them. I was very pleased to hear that Isaac is doing really well in kindergarten. He isn't having trouble keeping his emotions in balance at all, according to his teacher, and he is doing great learning sight words & knowing his letter sounds and such.

Sebastian had a great report too. One of the first things his teacher told me, which I thought was really funny, is that he is the unofficial CD Player guy....and just about any other tech thing that needs to be operated in the room when the teacher is tied up doing something else. He is his father's child - Daddy will be proud of his techy kid! LOL!

Anyway, he's reading at a mid-3rd-grade level, and he is doing really well in all of their subjects. She had no complaints about his behavior. It did come up in conversation though, that he tells her he doesn't like school. She said she wishes she could do something to change that, but she can't make the entire day full of lunch and recess. (hehe...funny kid). She did say that around Christmas time, those who are ready to move on and do some more independent things will have a chance to do that. I think that will help him out, maybe keep his interest since it's something new & different. She mentioned that she wanted to choose a few students to work on doing a monthly class newspaper. That sounds like it is right up Sebastian's alley. He LOVES to write. So, I think that is something for him to look forward to.

We had yet another lazy mommy dinner - grilled cheese & Chef Boyardee. Then the kids put on jammies and watch a movie until bed time. Everyone was tired, and I had to pay bills, so I figured a quiet night of down-time was in order. As soon as bed time rolled around, they all crashed hard. Now I think I'm about ready to do the same. I have to be up early tomorrow - I have to be at work by 8:15. Three of us are heading to Grand Rapids tomorrow for a mini-conference. Anyway, good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bight. (We used to have to say that every night to Sebastian. Along with 'stay in bed sleepy head.' and 'understand rubber band.' Funny that that just came into my thoughts are so random sometimes). Okay, really, good night! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Plant a Frog

The other day, Meagan was playing in the garden, which is little more than a dirt patch since it's been winterized. She took the tools and headed out to dig holes. It's a great pass-time I guess. She was planting funny things, though, like rocks and FROGS. She kept covering her little toy frog up and then digging it back up. I asked her why, and she told me the frog likes the dirt because it's warm. Three-year-old logic!

Really Bad Aim!

Tonight, around 9:00, I was sitting in the recliner in the living room, laptop on my lap, watching tivo'd shows. All of a sudden, I heard someone coming down the stairs, one little thump at a time. Soon, I saw the top of Isaac's little blond hair peeking around the landing wall. I figured he was coming my way to ask/tell me something. Instead, he walked right past me...??? "Isaac, what are you doing buddy?" He answers a very simple, "I don't know." Okay, well, he was headed toward the bathroom, maybe he had to go potty before he asked me whatever he had to ask me...??? Nope, he passed the bathroom and headed into the kitchen. Yes, I'm a little slow, but at this point, I realized that, although his eyes were open, he was sleep-walking. I started to get up to go into the kitchen and help him back to bed.

I was too late! Before I could get all the way out of the chair, I heard splashing. I suspected, but hoped I was wrong... When I got into the kitchen, however, I discovered that my suspicions were true. I found Isaac standing about two inches away from my kitchen cupboard, pj's unzipped, peeing down the front of it. There was a big pee puddle on the floor. What's worse, he was standing so close to the cabinet, that it was actually splashing up, so it was on the counter top as well.

What do you do with that? Nothing to do really, but let him finish, send him back to bed, and get out the Lysol & paper towels. I know boys have a hard time hitting the mark from time to time, but that was REALLY BAD AIM!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why do I do these things?

Today I did something even worse than the random ear-piercing. Lucas has work meetings this week, so he wanted a hair cut - you know, gotta look presentable and all. Then, I figured, while the clippers were out, I would do the boys' hair. THEN...Meagan asked if I would cut her hair. Well...I have been thinking of getting her hair cut for the past few weeks. It has been taking on that stringy straggly little girl hair look, and really needed a touch-up. However, NEVER had it crossed my mind to cut it myself.

Until tonight. My thought process went something like this... Worst case scenario, it doesn't work, and I have to pay Cassie to fix it. No different than paying Cassie to do it in the first place. Right? Hmmm...not sure if that logic really works, but I went with it anyway. So...I cut her hair. I cut a good 2 or 3 inches off at least. It's really actually quite cute, although I'm not sure it's the most even and clean-cut hair-do in the world. I may eventually have Cassie touch it up, but for now it will do.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Phone Etiquette

Yesterday, just as soon as I got into the shower, Lucas called home to chat for a minute. Normally, it would have rung until the answering machine picked up. Yesterday, however, something new happened. Meagan, who was playing in the basement, decided to answer the phone. She talked to her Daddy for a few minutes, then hung up on him. So, he called back right away to see if he could get me on the phone instead of her. She, however, answered again. This time, she picked up the phone and yelled, "What do you want?!" Not exactly proper phone etiquette...gonna have to work on that.

Incidentally, I later asked Meagan why she didn't bring me the phone or tell me that Daddy called. Her answer: "Because the black phone cord doesn't reach all the way to the shower."

Okay. I left it at that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trick or Treat!

As & details of Halloween!

The day started with a party at Meagan's preschool at 9:00 in the morning. They did songs, had snacks, played games, made crafts, and about a hundred other things. We stayed until 11:15, when we finally departed and headed home. We knew that Grandma & Grandpa B. and Grandpa H. were headed up to visit, so we wanted to get home to be there when they arrived.

Just before 1:00, I left Meagan with Daddy and headed to the school for the second round of parties! Isaac's class party started at 1:00 and went until 2:00. There was a little down-time (which I used to clean out my van...yes, right in the middle of the school parking lot, but it desperately needed to be done, and I figured there was no sense in waisting perfectly good time!). Somewhere in that down-time, Grandma & Grandpa B. met me at the school, so they could be there for the next 2:45, the whole school, K through 4th, did an outdoor costume parade. After the parade, we headed to Sebastian's classroom for his party, which lasted right up to the end of the school day. Honestly, by that time, I was T.I.R.E.D. and would have been perfectly happy to go home and go to bed. BUT we still had a night of trick-or-treating to do!

We had a quick Subway dinner (in the interest of not having to cook & clean up in the short window we had for dinner). Then we got the kids back into their costumes once more, and trick-or-treat started at 6:00. We stayed out for about an hour, then came back and watched Charlie Brown movies before bed.

It was a long, but very fun day! We really enjoyed watching the kids trick-or-treat. It was the first year that Meagan really had an awareness of what was happening around her, and she was just beside herself! At EVERY house, she would say, "Trick-or-treat....Thank You...Happy Halloween...(then as she was running down the driveway of the house she was just leaving) Grandma, I got ANOTHER candy!" Every time! Very cute! I love that our kids are still in the stage of being excited and grateful for every piece of candy they receive...I dread the day they switch from excitement and expectation to entitlement. (We won't think about that right now, though).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've not forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten to post Halloween pictures and stories. I just haven't had time. Not sure there will be much time tomorrow, either, but I'll try. If not, then I should definitely be able to get something up on Tuesday. Sorry for the wait. Off to bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Go Long

Tonight at football practice, Sebastian threw a pass for a touchdown! Unfortunately, I didn't see it - Lucas did, though. See, I took Sebastian to practice, along with Isaac and Meagan, because Lucas had to stay over at work. After he got home, he came to the football field to stay until practice was over, and I took the other two home to warm up. It was about 40 degrees and windy today. After about 15 minutes in that kind of weather, out in the middle of an open field, we're pretty much ready to be done. So, while I very much appreciated the relief from the cold, I was bummed that I didn't get to see his pass. I did, however, get to see him run for a touchdown earlier in the practice, so I guess that's something! Only one game left in the season - that's this Saturday. I have really enjoyed watching him play, but I'm not sorry to be done sitting in the cold. :) (Yes, I acknowledge that I am a major wimp.)

This was NOT on our To-Do List Today...

...But we did it anyway! This morning, Meagan asked me if she could get real earrings. She had been playing with her costume jewelry, and one of the earrings kept breaking and falling off. She asked. We talked about it - I was up-front with her about the fact that it hurts for a second. She said she still wanted to do it.

So, after lunch, we headed to Wal-Mart to see what we could see. They had a bunch of different earrings to choose from, and the piercing itself was free. We only had to pay for the earrings. She chose a pair of pink (PINK...she isn't my child!) cubic zirconium studs. Even though they're pink, they're pretty cute.

Two ladies worked together to pierce both ears simultaneously...thankfully, because we would have only gotten through one ear otherwise. For a second, she wrinkled up her nose, squinted her eyes, and whimpered like she was going to cry. But the earring ladies were quick to distract her with a sheet of stickers to choose from. That was all it took. Instantly, she forgot to be upset, and she suckered them out of four or five stickers instead of one. She has a knack for that, ya know?

So for six weeks these have to stay in. But after that, she can change them out if she wants. We just may have to put fancy earrings on the list for stocking stuffers!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trick or Treat - Round 1

Today was round 1 of the trick-or-treat extravaganza that is our week. Meagan had costume & candy day at story hour, so I thought I'd share a few pictures. This is Meagan and her favorite girl in the world, Julia. You may notice that she is not, in fact, the giraffe that I thought she would be. See, when we went costume shopping for the boys this weekend, she went with us. In the process of things, she gave me her very cutest eyes, and her very sweetest pleeeeaase, for the Cinderella dress that she 'really really likes because it's sooo beautiful,' and I caved (without much fight, really). So, she is going to be Cinderella for Halloween (not very different from her princess costume she wore last year...a lighter shade of blue, I suppose). But she's happy, and she's only young once. She may as well dress it up!

A Good Decision

Well, after today, I believe that moving Meagan up to the next class level in gymnastics was a good decision. Today she had her first class with the preschool pre-team girls. I was a little surprised, truthfully, at the content of the class. It was made up of 4 other little girls, all of whom are 5 and 6 years old. When I realized that, I was a little concerned, but I figured I'd watch and see how she did. I was pleasantly surprised.

She got right out there with them and jumped right in. No hesitation. When she didn't know what she was doing, she watched someone else in the class and copied them. She took instruction from her coach really well. She stayed focused the entire time. She even shook it off when she fell and got right back up again. I could tell at about 50 minutes she was getting tired. Just before beam, toward the end of their bars rotation, she was wearing out a little, but she hung in there.

They started on floor and vault (the vault is a spring board, a mat, and a barrel mat to dive over. I was surprised to see that they were doing fundamentals for front handspring vaults already. But she did what she was told, no hesitation, and she did it well. After floor/vault, they moved to bars and girl on the bar at a time, the others at various conditioning stations. They are all working on pull-overs on bars. Again, I was surprised to see that Meagan was really right there with the other girls as far as skill level goes. She was pulling over with just a little spot, which was true for all of the girls in her class. Funny, she wasn't too keen on the sit-ups station (LOL...she's my child!) The last rotation was beam....HIGH beam. They didn't even step foot on low beam. Her coach had 2 girls go first (on 2 separate beams at the same time). Then Meagan was in the second group to go. The first time, she climbed up, and only got as far as her hands and knees. She froze, and was not about to stand on the thing. He helped her up, and helped her get her bearings, then he went to the other end of the beam (where she was headed). First she was just supposed to walk the length of the beam toward him...her walk was definitely a lot more of a foot shuffle than steps...she never picked her feet up...LOL! After 2 passes down walking forward, they did one pass walking backward. Surprisingly, she did better going back than going forward...??? By the time they got to the leg kicks, she was chillin' on the beam, and was telling him she didn't need his help for anything. She got over her uncertainty quite quickly.

So, it was a longer class (by 15 minutes), and she is definitely the youngest in the group, but all in all, it seems like a really good fit for her. When we got in the van to go home, she told me she wanted to stay so she could do gymnastics for a longer and longer and longer time. I guess she likes it. :)

Happy Halloween

As I was laying in bed last night, trying (rather unsuccessfully) to fall asleep, my mind went on a whirlwind rampage and thought about almost everything, including scrapbooking (which, I'm sure, is not all that difficult for you to believe). Anyway, as I was lying there, this layout came together in my head really clearly, so when I got a free minute today, in between everything else that was going on, I threw this layout together in a matter of 10 or 15 minutes total. Love that! I know I've mentioned before that I keep finding myself tending more and more toward simplistic styles, and this layout follows right along with that, as you can very well see.

Journaling: Every year, come Halloween time, I put up a fight against decorating for Halloween. It's really not my favorite holiday, and decorating is just more work than I want to do. But it seems that year after year, much to your delight, Grandma Hilleary makes sure the decorations go up. I admit, the house does look festive with all the orange!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tough Boy

Sebastian is on a kick lately about being tough. The other day, he fell on the stairs and hit his shin on the edge of the step, which normally would send him into high drama (and understandably so...that hurts!) This particular day, however, he just said 'Ow' and moved on. I commented to him about it, and his answer was, "Yeah, well I'm working on being tough."


Tonight, we got in the van to head to his football game, and he fell backwards and landed in between the seats on his back side. I asked him if he was okay, and he said, "Yeah. I'm a boy." Then, when we got to the football field, it was rather muddy from all of the rain we got today. I made a comment along the lines of, 'Yuck, mud.' He was quick to respond, "Well, it doesn't bother me. I'm a football player!"

(In this pic, he's the one on the right running with the ball)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday Football

One more thing before I call it a night. Sebastian's flag football team has a game to make up, and they're doing it this Saturday (November 1) at 9:00 in the morning. If anyone wants to come see him play football and can make it on a Sat, you're welcome to join us. I know a few of you have asked me to let you know if any weekend events ever came up, so considered yourselves told. Love ya! 'Night!

2 more layouts requested!

Holy moly! I guess when it rains it pours! I opened up my email the other night, and there was an email request from the Creating Keepsakes editor. They have requested 2 of my 2-page layouts for a special book they are putting together. I think the book is going to be called Easier Than Ever 2. The premise is to publish a book full of layouts that are quick & easy and can be used over and over without getting old. So 2 more layouts of Meagan - both birthday picture layouts. Very fun. It's funny to me that, for so long, I really really wanted the approval of others when it came to my scrapbook pages, and I wanted more than anything to get my pages published. And the whole time I felt like that, I got nothing. Now that I've let that go and have made it my purpose to scrap for myself and my family, and not to need the approval of others, God has apparently opened up the doors and let His favor fall on my work. Because truly, compared to so many other amazingly talented ladies out there, my layouts are really nothing exceptional. I just do what I do because it's important to me to live a life worth remembering, and to remember the moments that make life worth living. So anyway, it was just a bit of fun news, and I thought I'd share.

Apple Pizza

I made this the other night for desert (mostly motivated by the idea of using our apples before they went bad). I didn't have a recipe handy to go by, so I made something up, which I often do (sometimes it works out better than others). If anyone wants to give it a try, it was pretty tasty. Here's what I did:

  • Unroll a refrigerated pizza crust

  • Coat it with a layer of unsweetened applesauce

  • Dice some apples. In a bowl, coat them with Sugar (about 1/2 cup), cinnamon (about 3 tbs), nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp), and cornstarch(about 3 tbs). Then throw the apples on the pizza

  • Melt some butter in a bowl. Mix in some oats and brown sugar (I have no idea how much...just until it looks & tastes good). Then spread that around over the apples.

  • Bake it according to the crust directions

  • While it's baking, mix powdered sugar & milk to a good drizzly icing consistency (it doesn't take much milk, be careful...I drown my first batch of powdered sugar & had to start over!)

  • When the pizza has cooled, drizzle the icing over it. (I was way too impatient to wait for the cooling part, so you can't really see the icing in my picture, because it melted instantly. oh well. it still tasted good.)

Just thought I'd pass that along for something to try. It was easy & very yummy. Hope you enjoy it!