Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just Married

I almost forgot to post this layout! How could I??? This is one of Great Grandma & Grandpa H.'s wedding pictures... as they drive off into the sunset (LOL). Aren't they cute?!

Credits: {Matahati Designs} - Vintage Charm


Another Meagan layout using another new kit by Bren Boone - the kit is called Power Crafter.

These pictures are also from summer vacation last year. I may end up using them again on another layout because I really like them!

Fun Is Good

Here's a layout I did over the weekend with a new kit by Bren Boone that comes out tomorrow...'The Best Thing Ever.' These pictures are from summer vacation at Grandma & Grandpa H.'s last summer. Grandma took some AMAZING bubble pictures. I know the layout doesn't do the pictures justice, but I liked all of them so much I had to include them all...thus, they're a little small. Oh well. The quote is from Dr. Suess's One Fish Two Fish. "If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good."

Staying Afloat

Every now and then - maybe once a month or so - the school has a 'swim for $1.00' day. After school, instead of coming home, the kids get bussed to the aquatic center for about an hour & a half of swimming. Last Wednesday was that day for March.

I went to pick the boys up a little after 5:00. On the way home, as they were recounting their adventures and fun, Sebastian said, "Mom, I wish I could swim in the deep end, but I'm not allowed to yet." As I talked to him about it a little more, I found out that one of his friends in his class has passed the swim test to be able to swim in the deep end. Sebastian, however, is great at swimming under water, but cannot swim on the surface very well.

This led to conversation about past swim lessons, and led Isaac to offer his two cents on the matter. "Well, I know how to swim because I learned in my swim lessons. I just move my hands and feet around really fast so they're usually works, only sometimes I go under water. But I almost always pop right back up."

LOL! I love that kid. He has such a great outlook on life! I guess it's all in the technique (and in hoping you resurface quickly when the technique fails you!)

Needless to say, I believe we'll be getting them some more swim lessons this spring or early summer. I think Sebastian might be looking for something a little more definite than floppy hands and feet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fever in the moring...

Over the weekend, the kids developed a bit of a cough, but this morning, Meagan woke up with a fever. Bummer. Poor girl, when I went in to get her up to get ready for school, she said, "Mommy, I just want to stay in bed and keep sleeping because I feel sick." I picked her up to carry her downstairs (for the sake of making some form of forward progress), and she felt pretty warm. So, while she was nibbling on a banana and some yogurt, I checked her temp. Not bad - around 100 - but it still qualifies as a fever, so no pre-school for her today....which meant taking her to work with me.

We packed a bag of coloring books, Polly Pockets, DVD's, and a few snacks, and headed out. She actually did rather well...especially considering the wide open potential for all things Meagan! We really only had a few moments of Meagan-ness, and all but one of those were pretty typical 3-year-old goodness. For example, she tried to pour her own water from the water cooler...had a little mishap, so we ended up watering the plant in my office with the overspill. Another example...we were having the carpet laid and finished today at the church, so we were laying out these carpet tiles to find where we wanted to place these accent tiles. Well, Meagan wanted in on the fun, so she picked up the tiles and moved them around a few times. The only incident that made me bust out the full-name, mom-is-serious side of me was when she used my PAID stamp and a black ink pen to decorate a check that I was getting ready to mail out. Needless to say, I had to void that check and rewrite it. Really it was no big deal, and it was my fault for setting all of those things out and then leaving her in my office for a few minutes without supervision....really, what was I thinking?

So, now we're home. We had a late lunch, and a late nap. She's upstairs laying down, and coughing like a maniac. I'm not feeling like the cough medicine is doing so much good, so I have a call into the doctor as of now. Hoping for a good rest (although I'm not holding my breath), and maybe a good night of sleep! Also, hoping no one else comes down with anything. Yuck!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


While our breakfast blueberry muffins are baking (which we're having primarily because we're out of almost every other kind of food), I thought I'd post a few stories that happened through the week.

Meagan and I played hookie from story hour. She wasn't in the mood to go, and, truthfully, neither was I...I figured in those circumstances, it wasn't really worth the struggle. Instead of going to the library, we dropped of recycling and then headed to Wal-Mart to get 'a few things' (does anyone else have those trips when you go for two things and you walk out with several bags? it was one of those days for us). I can't even really remember what we went there for, it was so boring, but as we walked past the clothes section, a dress caught Meagan's eye. She grabbed it off the wrack, hugged it to her, and said in the sweetest little voice ever, "Oh momma, it's the most perfect thing ever!" Uuuuh, how do you say no to that? Anyway, as we went in search of the right size for her most perfect dress ever, I realized that they actually had quite a few really cute dresses and clothes priced really cheap. So, we ended up with probably five or six dresses, a pants/jacket outfit, and a Tinkerbell shirt for Meagan, plus bathing suits for all three kids. And a few other things snuck in for birthdays or Easter.

Last weekend, Sebastian went roller-skating again, so Meagan and Isaac were the only two kids around. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day, so we got out the cars (at their begging and pleading) and let them have an open derby in the yard. They played outside all afternoon, and seemed quite happy. But Lucas said he overheard Isaac at one point having an interesting conversation that went something like this:
(In a nice, not-at-all mean tone of voice) 'Meagan, could you just not talk to me for a while. Sometimes I try to get through the day with nobody talking to me, but it's just like everyone always wants to say stuff to me. I just want to be quiet and not talk.' (Is that Lucas' child, or what! LOL)

Yesterday was the kids' second Friday in a row that they did not have school. Last Friday I gave them the day off to do whatever they wanted, so yesterday I put them to work. For the first part of the morning, they weren't too on-board with the cleaning plan. They SAID they were going to help, but when it came to it, they really just played and tried to look busy. After a little 'talking to,' we had lunch and then continued on with our chores (I had been hoping we would have been done by then, but I had told them that we were going to work until the job was done, no matter how long it took). So back to work we went. I'm not really sure what brought about the change of heart, but they were VERY helpful. They got all the toys out of the living room. Sebastian vacuumed the living room floor, the couch and chairs, and even took the edging tool and vacuumed around the edges of the walls. Meanwhile, I gave Isaac and Meagan a bucket of soapy water and two cloths, and they scrubbed the entire kitchen floor, the cabinet faces, and the closet door. Nice. The also made their beds and picked up their room. Even after we were done and I had released them to playtime, they were still being helpful and NICE to each other. They were sharing, they were helping each other with problems, and they offered to help clean up after dinner!

I don't think I've told you this yet... sorry if it's a repeat. During Super Bowl, I noticed something that struck me as odd. When a commercial came on that caught the kids' attention, they all stopped and watched it....then Isaac cracked up laughing and repeated what he thought he had heard. But whatever he said was nowhere near what had really been said. His repeat words sounded like gibberish.

So the next time I talked with his teacher, I asked her about doing another hearing screening for him. Well, about a week ago, we got a notice from the health department that he had not passed his hearing tests (they did two tests on separate days to see if they get the same results). So yesterday we had our follow-up with our family doctor, who then referred us to a specialist. We go to see the specialist sometime in April. We'll see what happens then.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Catching Flies

I took these pictures of Meagan last summer at the zoo. For some reason (not entirely unlike her), she wouldn't just sit and smile at me. She insisted on making funny faces and sticking out her tongue. What a clown!

Credits: {Ziggle Designs} - Forest Friends, Vintage Square frame; {Katie Pertiet} - between the lines alpha brush set

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Tonight were parent-teacher conferences for the boys. Isaac's was first, and he got to guide us around the room and show us what he does during the school day. We also talked to his teacher for a few minutes. She had lots of good to say - he is a quick thinker, he participates well, he's learning quickly, and he's always helpful. She also made a note to mention that he sometimes has trouble managing his emotions, and she wondered if we have the same issues at home. YES WE DO. So we talked together about some of the things that we find at home that help him settle down. I really like that she wants to work with us so that we're being consistent in both places. She's a sweet lady, and a great teacher!

Sebastian's conference was right after Isaac's. More good stuff to report. He is 'secure' in everything except time management. LOL - He's MY child!! She said he is a little disorganized in his approach to problem-solving or accomplishing tasks. She said he is always running right up to the last minute. (Again, all I can say is, I have a feeling he learned that from watching me...oops). But, seeing as I am trying to work on my how I use my time, maybe we can work on some of those same things with him.

Now the kids are all sitting at the kitchen table doing scribble art together. It's a pretty quiet and peaceful evening around here...kind of nice really. The best part of it, by far is that they are working nicely together, sharing, talking respectfully, and making projects to give as gifts to each other. I'll take more nights like this any time!

Free Digital Kit

I thought I'd pass this along for anyone who is interested. Scrap Orchard's designers all got together and made this great collaborative kit, and they're giving it away for free! It's gorgeous! You just have to work for it (but only a little...doubt you'll even break a sweat). It's a blog train: follow the links, starting at Scrap Orchard, from one blog to the next. At each blog, you can download a piece of the kit. Eventually you'll end up back at the Scrap Orchard blog, and you'll know you've gotten all the pieces of the kit then.

Click on the kit preview to get to the Scrap Orchard blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Up in flames

For longer than I can recall, our microwave has been, shall we say...MALFUNCTIONING. It does all kinds of cool cracking things, for example. In the course of the past six months or so, we have cracked the microwave plate (that came with the thing to put in the bottom to set the food know, the one that's SUPPOSED to be in there) and then another makeshift plate we used to replace the original plate. We've also managed to superheat one of our microwave-safe casserole dishes until it cracked all along the it's a goner!

Cracking porcelain and glass isn't the only trick that thing can do! Oh no! It can also burn holes through popcorn bags and paper plates! A few days ago, I made Isaac a breakfast burrito in the microwave, and his paper plate came out with about a 2-inch diameter brown spot on the one side of it. A few times we've made popcorn and a hole has burnt right through the bag, which leads to popcorn kernels ZOOMING around freely inside the microwave.

And it's popcorn prowess is not limited to merely releasing the kernels from their paper bag prison. There's more! Sometimes, it absolutely refuses to pop the popcorn at will go through the entire 3 minute cycle without so much as a single pop. That's a neat trick. OR, It will burn the kernels in a matter of 90 seconds, leaving us with char-corn...the kids have lovingly dubbed that trick 'cow plop' (mostly because it smells THAT bad in our house after the popcorn burns).

Well, last night, Lucas and I were having a date of sorts, getting caught up on our tivo'd shows, and Lucas asked if I wanted some popcorn. My response was, I don't think we can have popcorn because of our dumb microwave. Well, he, being the determined man that he is, decided HE would be able to magically make the microwave cooperate. So, he stood watch as the popcorn popped. From in the living room where I was waiting and listening, it seemed as though, from the fairly constant popping, that he was having some success. However, just as I heard the microwave door open, I heard him say something along the lines of "Aaahh." Turns out he was too slow, and at the last second, the bag actually caught fire. He put it out quickly and managed to salvage about 1/4 of the popped corn, but it smelled like fire, so we canned the whole thing and resorted to tortilla chips and queso dip (although we were slightly nervous about heating up the dip, so we did it on the stove top).

Needless to say, we deemed our dumb machine to be an official fire hazard. Today we took a family outing to Menards and bought a replacement. Tonight we had popcorn for a snack. No burning. No laser beam holes in the bag. No cow plop.

Life is good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I've been wanting to post about this for a few days now, but haven't had the free time to sit down and actually do it. Tuesday, we were getting ready to leave for story hour at the library. We were all set, with the exception of shoes and coats. I set Meagan on a mission to get her shoes on while I rounded up library books to be returned. It wasn't long before I heard, "Momma, I can't find the other one. Can you help me?"

I turned to see what she needed, and found her with one brown shoe on her foot. The other was shoeless. We looked quickly through the shoe drawer with no luck. I made a suggestion or two as to some other shoes she could wear. She picked one. Not one pair. One shoe. A hot pink one. "I think this one will be fun to wear with my brown shoe," she said. I nearly started to tell her she couldn't do that, and then stopped myself. I realized there was absolutely no really good reason I could offer as to why she couldn't wear two mismatched shoes. So, I simply responded, "If that's what makes you happy." "It does make me happy," she said. That was the end of that. We left for the pink shoe and one brown.

I'd retype the journaling, but it's just a shortened version of everything I just told you! :)

Credits: {Ziggle Designs} - Forest Friends; {Amber Clegg} - Date It stamps; {Katie Pertiet} - buzz brushes; {Something Blue Studios} - worn photo overlays; {Michelle Coleman} - hand stamped alpha

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Working on Time

I've not forgotten about my posting fact, I have a few little things in mind. This, however, is not going to be the time that I post them. I have something else on my mind at the moment.

For the last few months, things in my life have been being rearranged - some very small things, some more significant - from the way I approach laundry to the commitments to outside events, and so on. All of the changes that have taken place, and are still in progress, are leading to one thing: being more intentional and purposeful with my time that I have in each day.

For those of you who know me well, it may not come as a surprise to you when I say that I manage to waste a good deal of time in a day. Without meaning to. But I come to the end of the day, and the time is gone, while the list of things to do is not. Which means one of two things (or a combination of both) : 1) I've got too much in my schedule, or 2) I'm not using my time well. I think it's both. So I've been really thinking trough how I can address this. I'm tired of wasting time. If I have down-time, I want to intend to have down time (in contrast with having down time because I'm being lazy or avoiding something else I would rather not do). I also have to acknowledge that I only have so much time in a day, and I can't do everything, and I can't do it perfectly. So I have to learn to set realistic expectations for myself... a tricky one for me. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist, and it overwhelms me to the point that, instead of doing a 'perfect' job, I do a pitiful job. So, I've resolved to find somewhere in between that works for our family and for what time we have available at the moment.

I sat down tonight and tried (for about the 8-thousandth time) to block out a general schedule day-by-day for the week. Every time I sit down and attempt this, I feel like there's no way I can possibly do everything I want to do or need to do. It's a work in progress... may have to revisit it for tomorrow, but I did enough for tonight.

Anyway, not that this really affects you at all. I just wanted to post it so that I can look back at this later as a benchmark to see where I am in my progress.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrating in small doses

The best part of my birthday was Lucas' coming home from training and finally getting to see him and have more than a 2-minute conversation. The kids were ecstatic to see him again!

Last night our church had an event geared toward married couples. We went to that, and it was a good time! I really enjoyed myself, and so did Lucas I believe. It was a great night all-together, and it was very good to have him home.

Today, the plan was to go out to eat and then go birthday present shopping. We got the first part of that done. We went to Max & Erma's (or Max and Erwin's, according to Meagan), and I got tortilla soup (yum!). However, about half way through dinner, Sebastian turned white as a ghost and completely stopped eating. He was struggling to even sit up, and finally resigned to laying his head down on the table. Truthfully, Lucas wasn't feeling well, either, and we were all relieved to be finished.

So, we abandoned the the rest of our plans and went home for nap time. We'll pick up where we left off eventually, whenever everyone is up on their feet again. In the meantime, I was content to continue celebrating by scrapping while everyone else slept.

Adding to the Albums

A few pages I've gotten done recently that I haven't posted here yet...
Sweet Girl: I took this picture of Meagan on her 1st day of preschool back in September 2008. Everything here is from Pink Ellie Designs - her stuff is so much fun to work with!!
Journaling: a little sassy but oh so sweet!

Expressive: These photos are from Summer vacation 2008 - the day Shane & Sebastian did their dino dig. I love the expressions on his face. He is definitely the kind of kid who can speak volumes with a single look!

This stuff is mostly from the After Five Desings March collaborative kit called Nova Vida. I also used a new alpha from Pink Ellie.

Rain rain go away: Last year at Sebastian's birthday party, we were all outside when, all of a sudden, it started pouring rain. We all escaped to either the garage or the house. Isaac, sat at the very edge of the garage, waiting on his Big Wheel for the first break in the weather so he could go back out and play. He's so cute!

This is Bren Boone's new kit, Paper Rain. The whole kit is gorgeous! I definitely have plans to put a few more of the papers to use!!

Fresh Flowers: Finally, these pics are from Meagan's princess tea party at Julia's house a month or so ago. I loved the fresh (pink) flowers on the table. Makes me long for Spring! Just around the corner, right?

This is Bren Boone's new kit, Spring Fever, and her new Wired Alpha.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Officially 30-Something

Well, today is birthday! I am no longer just plain ol' I'm 30-something! :)

I've been thinking about it a lot lately - how very blessed I am. It's incredible to me the things I am blessed with at such a young age...
  • Seems like, even though marriage is sometimes the hardest thing to do, our marriage is making leaps and bounds in a positive direction... Lucas is my friend; he knows me better than just about anyone; we balance each other; and it seems like, even when we have rough spots, those rough spots work in our favor, opening up communication and bringing us closer together in the end. I'm so thankful for our marriage - nearly 9 years - especially when marriages so often crumble apart somewhere between 5 and 9 years. Very blessed.
  • I am momma to 3 of the coolest kids God has ever created! Also 3 of the most unique and challenging! But God has worked through them to make me a better person in so many ways! Without them, I would still be caught in my (even more) selfish, and (even more) impatient ways!
  • We have a beautiful home, 2 vehicles, and no real lack to speak of. Compared to the rest of the world, we are (statistically speaking, although it's often easy to lose sight of this) in the top 8% for wealth (just owning a car of any type qualifies you for such status!)
  • Going along with that, we have food on the table, and more waiting in the cupboards and freezer. We also have fresh drinking water, and running (hot) water to shower get the point!
  • I have an incredible job and such an awesome network of close friends who genuinely care about me, my family, and others.

I could go on forever... not trying to get all sappy... I'm just very aware that, at a relatively young age (yes, I still count 31 as young!), I can say that I have been very blessed, and that my life has held joy and purpose. That is what I am celebrating today!

Icky Sicky...again

Yesterday Sebastian was home from school with a stomach bug. Still home today, although doing much better. Pray for us...we are definitely looking forward to a continually healthy family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This is just not happiness!

Another challenging day with Meagan - there have been a lot of them lately. I'm just trying to stay positive, and I'm trying to keep a perspective on where she might be coming from. It's been a long two weeks with her, though. I think a lot of factors are playing into the mix: she's been sick and is just coming off of an antibiotic, she hasn't been sleeping well, she's growing (pants no longer reach all the way to her ankles...shorts weather needs to get here quickly!), Lucas has been traveling and she misses her daddy, plus last weekend we traveled which always throws the routine off. Besides that, she is three, and she is female. Enough said.

Today was much the same as the several that came before it: sass, fussiness, grumpiness, and an all-around argumentative nature. That being said, there was a moment this afternoon where I thoroughly enjoyed her right in the midst of all her grumpy glory! We were getting ready to leave for gymnastics. She had (defiantly) gotten her leotard on, and was working on the warm-ups to go over it. She had the pants - those were not an issue. As she was getting her sweatshirt on, though, her wining increased to new heights. I tried to encourage her, redirect her train of thought, and whatever else I could do to get her back to even-keel. Not having it. Finally, I simply asked her, 'Honey, why are you so upset? What is bothering you?'

Her reply (in a cry/shout mix): 'All of this is just not happiness!!'

I cracked a smile, but kept my cool. Not a good idea to laugh at an agitated child (at least in our house).

Me: 'What is not happiness? What's bothering you?'

Her: 'When I put my coat on, my sweatshirt goes like this' (as she demonstrates by shoving her sleeves up to her elbows)!

The smile threatens again...

Me: 'Would you like to take the sweatshirt off and just wear your coat over your leotard?'

She nods. And smiles. Thank You, God!

Crisis averted.