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.