Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4 New Pages

I've been a little bit of a slacker posting layouts as I finish them. I thought I would get caught up. I think I have 4 new pages since I last posted a layout.

This one is another layout I did for a friend of their pictures of their Spring Break trip to Florida this year. Again, I think I may end up swapping out photos and changing up the title a bit so that I can use this layout in my own album as well. Love that! I used a bunch of stuff by Sahlin Studios for this one.

I love this picture of Sebastian taken on his birthday. It just makes me smile. I can't help but look at him and see hope for a bright future. He has so much potential, and I know God has big dreams for him. The journaling reads: 'happy birthday sweet boy. eight years old today! what is it your heart wishes for? i wish for you a life of joy & passion, a life of love & selflessness. i wish to see you truly happy in whatever you do & to see you doing the very thing you were created for. you have such amazing potential. Never settle for less than your best & you will wake up one day to find you are right in the middle of all you have wished for.'

This layout was a quick one I threw together using a Sahlin Studios template. Just a few pictures of Meagan from a few weeks ago. As you can tell, she is climbing the tree in our back yard. The journaling reads: 'What a difference a year can make. Last year you could barely get yourself up on the low fork of the tree trunk. This year you're climbing and hanging from the branches.'

Finally, this layout I did for the latest digi dare. The dare is to scrap something chaotic about my life. The most chaotic part of my life, believe it or not, tends to take place in my own head. I just get so overwhelmed by all the details of daily life that sometimes I get paralyzed by it... you know, too much to do, so I do nothing. It has really been an ongoing struggle for me. The one thing that brings me back to center, clears my mind, and calms me is time with God. The journaling reads: 'My mind fills up with so many things - small things, big things, daily tasks & schedules - details of life. I struggle to keep my head clear, to keep it all straight. It's not long before the sense of being overwhelmed sets in, and I am once again in an inner storm. I am unable to calm this storm on my own. It is too big for me to manage. But You speak softly, and the storm subsides. The waves diminish and peace returns. I am left with nothing to do but thank You for Your faithfulness & grace. You are my peace and my joy.'

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Yesterday, my mom took the kids and I to see the movie Up. I went into the movie expecting nothing more than a fun afternoon with the kids. I must admit, I was unexpectedly impacted by this movie. I keep thinking about it - for many different reasons.

The first thing I noticed about it was that it was very beautifully done. The quality of the animation was wonderful. At times when the main character, Carl, was in his home, there was a sense of watching an old movie reel, with the flicker and glow that only an aged film can give. It evoked an unexpected emotion of familiarity and attachment, even longing.

And one of the coolest animation scenes I've ever seen was seeing the big bunch of colorful balloons against the bright blue sky. They did a great job with things such as the opacity of the balloons, the distortion of the color of overlapping balloons, etc. It was just cool, and more than once I felt the urge to gather up a big - make that enormous - bunch of balloons and float up to the clouds.

There were some very funny parts. In fact, it has been a while since I've laughed out loud at a movie as much as I did at this one. Maybe it's just because of where I am in life, and that I can appreciate the humor that the little boy's character brings to the movie. Maybe. Whatever the reason, I completely enjoyed a good belly laugh - more than once. Love that!

I think, though, the most unexpected element of the movie for me, though, was the emotions it pulled out. I felt the longing and the pain of the main character. I felt how weighed down he felt and how bitter he had become holding onto the past and to old dreams that had never been fulfilled. I felt the effort and the struggle he went through so as not to leave behind any of his past - he went through such pains to haul it all along with him. And I felt the heartbreak as he discovered a closing chapter of an old adventure book, and the possibility of all that could be written in a new book.

There were so many wonderful life lessons I hope my children were able to even remotely glimpse from watching this movie. Some of them, I've already touched on - not being paralyzed by your past, unable to move forward because you are unwilling to let go. Not being so rigid and set on one given idea that you fail to see the possibilities in altering the plan or taking a different route. The amazing potential in unexpected, unplanned, and even unwanted relationships. That life is an adventure, in both the major things and the little things, and that both the big and the small shape our experiences. That sometimes chapters come to a close, but life continues, and new chapters are written. And the fact that some of the greatest blessings and accomplishments come when we stop focusing on ourselves and look toward helping others.

It was a fun day with the kids, yes. But that movie really impacted me like few movies have. It made me think, and keep thinking, about life and the things that are really important, what is really worth dragging around and what is just extra baggage. If you haven't seen it, do. If nothing else, it's a light-hearted, feel-good hour and a half of your time. But I have a feeling, if you look, you may find more in it than you were expecting.

Measure of a Great Dress

In life we measure a lot of things, starting with measuring weight at birth, percentage of growth, height at yearly check-ups, and so on. We measure success. We measure happiness. But did you know you can measure a dress? Not measure it, as in dimensions, but rather in the sense of value-adding quality of the dress. Yes, it's true. Although we may forget it as we grow older, every little girl knows that the measure of a truly great dress all comes down to one factor - how far out it flies when the wearer spins in circles like a princess.

Today, Meagan has on one of the best dresses ever. It flies all the way straight out to the sides when she spins. It even has matching bloomers to go under it, so that the exceptional spinning doesn't reveal anything inappropriate. On the scale of dress measurement, this one is a 10, and she is one happy little girl.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Party 'til you drop!

Thank you all for your prayers. Sebastian felt much better on Friday and was able to enjoy himself on his birthday. He was still experiencing a bit of a headache, and was slightly down, but no fever, and generally feeling better.

For the most part on Friday, we hung around at Grandma and Grandpa's house and took it easy. The kids played, and rested, and just enjoyed being with family. We went to Bob Evan's for a birthday dinner - with Grandma & Grandpa, Shane & Tina. The kids each got an ice cream sundae for desert for a birthday treat.

After dinner, we went back to the house and let Sebastian open his family gifts.

Today was the party. Lucas grilled burgers and hot dogs, and lots of family came to hang out. I love big family events. I love having everyone together and catching up with people I hardly get to see. I love that my kids get to spend time and hang out with cousins and friends. It makes the travel way more than worth it!

After lunch, the kids swam for quite a while before we did the cupcakes and gifts and all that jazz. There were about 15 kids and 50 rafts/floaties in the pool at one point! Very funny watching them all! I think there was a constant flow of splashing from kids jumping in or falling off of rafts. There was definitely not a dry spot on the deck, but it was fun watching them!

Eventually, we took a break from swimming for cake and ice cream, gifts, and pinatas. There were two pinatas (1 for Sebastian and 1 for his cousin who has a birthday near his), so we split them up in a boys' line and a girls' line. The lines were pretty even, but the girls busted their pinata with basically one hit for each girl. On Meagan's second swing, all the candy came crashing to the ground. The girls hit the candy jackpot, and all went racing to the candy pile, while all the boys could do was watch (and wait for the girls to get out of the way). When the girls' pile was finally cleared out, we got back to the action for the boys, thinking they would have theirs busted in a few more hits... NOPE! They each took easily five or six turns (probably five or six boys). We even let the girls hop in and take a few swings each, since their pinata broke so quickly. Finally, after about 60 or so smacks, the thing broke. We all got quite a laugh out of the whole thing - definitely fun!

The only glitch in the whole day came after the party was over. Everyone else had gotten out of the pool (for the second round of swimming, after pinatas and such). At that point, only Isaac and Meagan were left in the pool, so I told them it was time to get out. I had already gotten out, gotten dressed in my regular clothes again, and was ready to get stuff cleaned up and put away. So, Meagan hopped out and headed down to the lower deck to dry off. Isaac was still in the pool, so I asked him to swim around and get the rest of the floats out for me before he got out. As he was handing me floaties, I was putting them in the net at the back of the deck.
He gave me a few bigger floats, so I took them to the back corner and took a few seconds to get them situated in the already-full net. When I turned back around to get another bunch from him, Meagan was back in the water - no floaties - in the middle of the pool - and going under! She was swimming and kicking with all her might, but she just wasn't able to stay above water. Obviously there was no question - in I went, fully dressed, to retrieve my child. She was perfectly fine - a little upset to have ingested so much pool water (plus she DOES NOT like having water in her eyes). Otherwise, fine. When I asked her why she got back in the pool without her floaties, she said she just wanted to help Isaac get the toys out. I'm still trying to figure out how she got into the water in stealth mode because I didn't have my back turned for long (especially since Isaac was still in the water). Thankfully I didn't have my back turned for long! Needless to say, I had to change my clothes after that.
All in all, we had a great day! I think we're all a little tired - I know the kids are, and I am certainly feeling the desire for a nice soft bed! It was a good day for a party!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Birthday Boy

Today he is eight! What a beautiful boy. What a great eight years it has been! Happy Birthday Sebastian! We love you!

If you would, please pray for Sebastian. Yesterday he was running a fever and had a headache and an upset stomach. Today he is doing better...still has a bit of a headache. We really want him to enjoy himself for his birthday today and his party tomorrow. Thanks for the prayers!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The big # 9!!

Today is our NINE year anniversary!! Still alive! Still enjoying life (most of the time, LOL)!

He is out of town today - he has been since Monday, actually, but he should be home this evening. So we'll get to spend about 2 hours of our anniversary together... I guess that's something, right?!

Peek-a-boo I See You

I took these pictures 2 years ago - Spring 2007 (I think maybe it was Sebastian's last day of kindergarten?). Anyway, I was trying to get a good picture of each of them, but Meagan was just not cooperating. She just kept playing! The journaling reads: 'Looking back on this day, these pictures,I can't help but remember I was so frustrated with you because you would not cooperate and let me get just one good picture of you. THEN I was frustrated. NOW I am thankful. It's a much better memory to recall the way you were hiding and playing peek-a-boo I see you! I would take this memory over a good picture any day.'

Monday, June 15, 2009

One Mad Momma!

I think I've cooled off now and found the love again, but I have to admit, about 3 hours ago, I was one mad momma!

To set the scene, here's a little background info... Tonight both boys had baseball games - Isaac at 6:00 and Sebastian at 7:00 (which he is required to be at 15 minutes early, which meant leaving Isaac's game by 6:35 to get to Sebastian's on time). Lucas was out of town today for work, so I was the only chauffeur available. Thankfully, Pastor Mark & Laura (whose son is also on Isaac's baseball team) offered to help out by bringing Isaac over to Sebastian's game after their game was finished. So... Sebastian, Meagan and I headed to Sebastian's game, dropped him off with his team, and then Meagan and I headed up to the front of the fields near the playground to wait on Isaac to get there. So far, no issues.

Isaac arrived sometime after 7:00, and since we were at the playground, he naturally wanted to stay and play there. Well, normally my answer is NO, but there was no one else there except for the people who were at Sebastian's game, and I had a clear visual from the playground to the game and back again. So I let Isaac and Meagan stay at the playground, and I went a little closer to the baseball game, standing somewhere in between for the most part, where I could see both the game and the playground pretty clearly. I could see that there were some other kids on the playground, but everyone seemed to be okay.

Well, as I was packing up our chair and gathering bats and mitts and water bottles, Meagan came running up to me crying and carrying on. At first I really thought she said Isaac had slapped her in the face. So we proceeded to the playground to get Isaac, only to find him there on the slide with no shoes. Well, one shoe happened to be lying on the ground just behind the slide, so I told him to get his shoes on. He said, "I can't because I don't know where they are." At this point I was feeling a little more than aggravated with him for taking his shoes off and not keeping track of them. But, I put all of our stuff down and helped him look. It wasn't long before I realized his other shoe really was nowhere to be found. By this point I was just frustrated.

"Isaac, why on earth did you take your shoes off and not keep track of them?" I ask/yelled.

"I didn't take them off. Someone else did."

Pause to process what he just told me. What? He went on to explain that some kid on the playground was being really mean to them. He stole both of Isaac's shoes from him and hid them or whatever. He also knocked Meagan's hat off of her and slapped her in the face (so it was him and not Isaac she was telling on earlier). I won't go into all of it, but over the course of the conversation, I found out that Meagan yelled at him and tried to fight back to get her hat back, and that Isaac tried to get his shoes back and hit the kid...apparently to no avail.

I'm not kidding you, everything in me was M.A.D. at that bully of a kid who thinks he is so much bigger now that he has managed to steal 1/2 of my child's only pair of tennis shoes. And what a big man he is for hitting a 4-year-old little girl.

What's the answer to that? I mean, we spend so much time teaching our kids not to take, not to hit, play nice, share. Then we tell them if someone hits you, hit them back? It sounds like such a contradiction. Still, I can't stand the idea of my child being hit and them not doing something to defend themselves. Or worse, seeing their brother or sister being hurt and simply standing by? What's the balance? AAAAAHHHHH! Where's the parenting handbook when you need it?! LOL!

So tomorrow we will go shoe shopping to replace a pair of tennis shoes. We had already had plans to exchange a pair of sandals for Sebastian at some point this week anyhow, so it may as well be tomorrow. I don't even know what else to say about it. I hate that my kids, at the ages of 4 and 6, have already encountered a bully. I hate that kids that young are already bullying. I hate that I was watching it happen and didn't realize it. I hate that I failed to protect them. I hate that there will come a point when I will no longer be able to protect them.

But I love that God is in control, and I can trust Him with my kids far more than I can even trust myself. And I'm thankful that He kept them safe, and that they each learned something from this, as did I. I'm also thankful that we can afford to replace his shoes without putting a financial strain on our family. I guess it's life experiences, good or bad, that help us learn how to navigate through life. So while I was mad at the time (and probably could be again if I let myself), I am grateful that nothing too bad came of it and we've each learned and grown from it a bit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunny Day

Here are 3 pics from last summer. I love the one of Sebastian all wrapped up in the bright green towel! I still have a ton of pictures left from this day that I need to scrap, but I liked the way these up-close face shots looked side by side.

Journaling: Your last day of summer break was spent the good old fashioned way - running through the sprinkler in the back yard. Some summer pass-times never go out of style.
Credits: Sahlin Studios Life's a Beach Kit and Life's a Beach Snippettes

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Funky Playground Stuff

I know some of you who follow along are into scrapping, so I like to pass along a good deal when I see one. Today (and every Thursday), Funky Playground has products, both new and older, on sale for $1. There are some pretty cute things on sale today. Plus, one of their designers, Lauraskathi, is having a going-out-of-business sale, and every item in her entire shop is priced at $1. She has some gorgeous full kits, cute alphas, and lots of other mini kits and such. It's worth checking out if you're in the mood for a bargain!
I also have a few layouts that are all 100% Funky Playground products (some of them new and on sale today). Thought I'd share...
This one is Sebastian with 2 of his classmates at their field day back in May.
This picture was taken last summer at Grandma & Grandpa's while they were on vacation. I love their great big smiles!

Like static cling

We are coming up to the close of our first week of summer break (already?!), and I have a few observations. First, for the most part, the kids have been really good, with a few minor skirmishes thrown in. They learned a hard lesson a few weekends back about keeping their toys picked up, so they've been staying on top of that pretty well. And we've had a good deal of outside playing weather, so they've been able to be out in the fresh air, running and burning off pent up energy. Always a plus.

The down side? Meagan has gotten super clingy to me all of a sudden. Don't get me wrong, every mommy in her right mind loves snuggles and cuddle time, but she has reverted to wanting me to carry her everywhere; she's doing lots of baby talk; and she just generally doesn't want me to leave her sight. At first I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Then yesterday it dawned on me (at least I formed a pretty solid theory??). I think it's because the boys have now invaded her Mommy and Meagan time - you know, every day that they're in school and I'm at home with her - just her. Now she's having to share, and I kind of wonder if this is her way of making sure she doesn't get overlooked.

Hopefully I can stay alert and be sure to give her individual attention...and HOPEFULLY the clingyness (is that a word?) will subside...soon. I hope.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I put this layout together relatively quickly the other day - in about 30 minutes or so. I bought this kit from Shabby Pickle. It's a gigantic collaborative kit that is being sold to benefit a family whose child is currently battling cancer. All proceeds are going toward their medical bills, etc.

Anyway, it seemed to come together really easily, and I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I will definitely be using this kit on a few more pages.

Journaling: Life is full of opportunities to dream. Dream big, but always know that God's dreams for you are far greater than anything you could ever imagine. Live HIS dream.


Friday, June 5, 2009

A season ends...

Well, school is now over. Meagan and I went to the school at about 11:50 to spend some time with each of the boys in their classrooms one last time. Sebastian's classroom was kind of chaotic - kids everywhere, cleaning off desks, packing up book bags, handing out last-minute papers from the school year. From there, we headed down to Isaac's classroom, only to find them already lined up in the hallway to leave. He saw us and came running over, all ready to go. I told him to say goodbye to his teacher before we left. So, he ran over to her and gave her a big hug and told her thank you and goodbye. Up 'til this point I was doing okay. But she hugged him, and then had the whole class say 'Goodbye Isaac,' and all of a sudden, my eyes teared up, and I got a big lump in my throat. I'm such a baby! I just can't help but look at all the changes - particularly the new school next year - and I know that it's very likely the last time the boys will really see or interact with these teachers who have poured themselves into my children for the past 10 months. I guess that's life - always changing and moving forward. And it's a truth of life that certain people are in our lives only for a season, while others are much more permanent. I am just thankful that they have each had very loving, positive influences in their lives, even if only for a short season.

And so school comes to a close, and summer vacation begins. Woohoo!!! And next school year is only a few months away, with new opportunity and the start of yet another season. Life is good.


Life's a Beach

A new layout using a GORGEOUS new kit by Krista Sahlin called Life's a Beach. It's brand new today at Scrap Matters. I actually originally did this page for a friend using a picture of her daughter, but when I was done I decided I liked it so much that I wanted to use it for one of our own pics as well. So I found this photo of Isaac & Meagan floating in Grandma & Grandpa's pool last summer. I just simply laid my photo on top of the other one and clipped it to be the same size and placement as the original. One of the gigantic bonuses of digital, that's for sure!

The coolest thing about this layout - that I figured out way after I had it done - is that it will be in the album right next to this layout that I did about a month ago using a completely different kit, but they match perfectly! It's going to look so good!! Often the 2 pages side by side in an album don't actually match, but these 2 look like I did it on purpose! (I know, I get excited about little things!)

Click here to see credits or to leave some love!


It's official! Today is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for the boys! Sebastian was almost giddy this morning! And Isaac actually got up and out of bed without being crabby, which is about as close to giddy as that child can be early in the morning! *LOL*

Thankfully they were ready in time to go out and snap a few last-day pictures before the bus came. We always run into the same problem when we take morning pictures outside - the sun! Since our house faces east, the sun is always blazing bright in the mornings in the front yard, but the back yard is almost entirely covered in shadow until way later in the morning. So, we make due and try to position them with their backs to the sun. There is still squinting in many of the pics, but at least it's something!

I'm always amazed at how quickly time passes! I can't believe that Isaac has finished kindergarten! Yikes!

We have decided to do something fun this afternoon... We were invited to go to the park and have a picnic with some friends after school (it's a 1/2 day today). So I think we're going to go ahead and do that - even though our 'picnic' may very well be made up of Subway! Which also means I will be picking the boys up from school rather than having them ride home on the bus... a slight change in my original plans, but they are REALLY looking forward to it!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Easter Eggs

One more layout to share with you, and then I've got to get back to watching hockey... Go Pens!

A quick one of the kids and their egg coloring. More new goodies from another new designer at Funky Playground. Here's a link to her store if you want to check it out.

Journaling: "3 dozen eggs, 3 packs of coloring tabs, & 6 packs of stickers made for one memorable afternoon of coloring Easter eggs. you were so particular about the color of each egg, so meticulous about the placement of each sparkly sticker. They were almost too pretty to hide!"


Baby Boy

I got the chance to work with an adorable baby kit (Posh Tots) by a new designer at Funky Playground - Tania Shaw. I right away thought of these hospital pictures of Isaac that I've never done anything with. I think I took at least 15 shots of him just laying in his hospital portable crib / bassinet thing. He was just so peaceful (most of the time) just laying there chillin'. You know, all of those pictures look about the same, but I've still never been able to resist snapping those pictures!

Journaling: I confess. From the moment I saw you, I couldn't take my eyes off of you - your tiny little features, your soft little cheeks. Maybe that's why I took so many pictures of you in your hospital bed just lying there all brand new. All the pictures kind of look the same, but they're all so cute.


Now hear this...

Today was Isaac's follow-up appointment with the audiologist and ENT specialist. The results of the visit: his hearing is normal in his left ear and slightly decreased in his right ear. The ENT specialist believes the hearing decrease is due almost entirely to fluid behind his ear. At this point, he just wants to treat Isaac for air born allergies to see if that can decrease the inflammation, which should, in turn, decrease the fluid build-up. I am very thankful that the doctor is looking to avoid surgery to put tubes in. He said today that that would be the last resort if nothing else works. I am believing that by the end of the summer, we will see a drastic improvement in this whole situation, and there won't be any long-term issues for my little man. Please keep Isaac in your prayers if he comes to mind for you. We would certainly appreciate it!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today's theme: LATE

It's Monday.

7:20 am - woke up (20 minutes later than the latest I can wake up and still be on time... translation - RUNNING LATE).

8:10 am - boys on the bus, I FINALLY get in the shower.

8:55 - leave to drop Meagan off at preschool & head to work

9:10 - drop Meagan off at preschool (10 minutes late... mathematically, I suppose you could say I've made up 10 minutes, right? just trying to find the bright side! lol!)

9:15 - Arrive at work (oops, I've lost 5 minutes again, since I made the choice to stop and get some tea and trail mix for breakfast)

2:10 pm - after working through the morning, our staff meeting, and then one other meeting with another lady, I FINALLY grab lunch for about 10 minutes... then back to work so I can finish up... have to leave early today.

3:25 pm - leave to make a bank run and pick the boys up from school so we can attempt to get to Isaac's dr. appointment on time...we'll see...

3:45 pm - school lets out... I'm still waiting in a LOOOONNNGGG line of cars full of parents waiting to pick up their kids... I could be here a while.

3:55 pm - the boys FINALLY get in the car and get buckled... I'm back to being behind schedule

4:30 pm - arrive at the chiropractor (again, 10 minutes late)

5:00 pm - leave the chiropractor

5:30 pm - pick Meagan up from pre-school

5:45 pm - Burger King drive-thru for dinner (at this point, Isaac's game starts in 15 minutes... pretty sure we'll be late to that too)

5:50 pm - sit down and scarf dinner. Not the greatest, but I thank God we're not starving, eat it and move on.

6:05 - Lucas leaves with Isaac & Meagan to go to Isaac's baseball game.

6:10 - Sebastian and I run to Wal-Mart to pick up snacks for his baseball game (which starts at 7:00).

7:00 - we arrive at Sebastian's game just in time for the game to start. Finally, not late for something today!

8:30 - Pull in the driveway after what has felt like the day that would never end.

8:45 - Sebastian finishes his shower, and everyone is finally ready for bed.

9:00 - I decide to go out for a quick attempt at a run... (I didn't do too badly, considering I haven't run since right before I found out I was pregnant with Meagan... yes, it's been 4+ years. My legs currently feel like jell-o, but I'm doing okay!)

10:10 - finish blogging, take a shower, and fall into bed. Will try to get up by 7:00 tomorrow! :)