Sunday, January 31, 2010

'09 Valentine

With all the new Valentine-themed kits coming out in the last week or so, I've been itching to actually DO something with the pictures I took at last year's Valentine's Day parties at school. Clearly, this is Meagan's party... I swear every school party feels exactly like the last... but I still love to be there! She is growing up so fast!

I definitely stepped outside of my norm on this layout. Sometimes it's just fun to try something new! Even better when that effort is rewarded in some way... this layout was featured on the Gallery Standouts Blog today! I really did enjoy making this, and will probably do something like it again soon.

Journaling: "Celebrating Valentine's Day at preschool... Friday morning, Meg's class had a party to celebrate the holiday of LOVE. A classroom full of 3 and 4-year-olds running crazy with the anticipation of candy and cookies with sprinkles! They played games. They iced cookies and decorated them with red candy sprinkles and red hots. There was even a game where they had to blow through a straw to melt a heart shaped ice cube to get a colorful heart ring out of it. Although sometimes it can feel like every school party is the same, I still love to go and be a part of it with them. I know that these chances are few, and if I don't take every single opportunity, I will look back with regrets when they are grown and gone. These moments are precious, and so worth the time out of my grown-up day to go and party at the preschool! 2009"

(Click here to view full credits.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The List Grows On

A while ago, Meagan started a list of things she wants to be when she grows up. For quite some time now, the list has consisted of:
  1. A zookeeper
  2. An electrician (yes, really.)

Recently, though, her aspirations for the future have expanded some to also include the following:

  1. A cooker (I believe she means chef)
  2. A queen.

As for the boys, Sebastian has his heart set on the arts. He plans on being an author and illustrator. Isaac has determined that he will be a builder... he just hasn't decided which TYPE of builder. He could either be the guy who designs the buildings or the guy who hits the nails. "Mom, do you have to go to college to be a builder?" he asked me the other day. "If you want to be the one who designs the buildings you do." After a long, thoughtful pause, he said, "Well, I might do that someday, but I think I might be the guy who hits the nails first." I love watching the way his mind works - very entertaining, and good for a chuckle.

It's a Date!

Since we've been making an effort (albeit somewhat unsuccessful lately... breaking bad habits is a slow process I am finding...) to eat less fast food, we have decided to start picking one day a month to plan a special dinner date out. Ours for this month was last night. We went to Steak n' Shake for burgers (or hot dogs, as the kids would have it) and shakes. Nothing fancy, for sure, but definitely an enjoyable dinner date. Plus, since we spent $30, we scored 2 cool glass Coca-Cola drinking glasses. I like.

I'm hoping that as we continue moving further and further away from the crutch of fast food on a much-too-regular basis, these dinner dates will develop more and more into something we all can REALLY look forward to and not take for granted. It's great to have those kinds of things in your life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Change is Gonna Come

What an interesting week we have had. It's easy to forget how quickly one phone call - one bit of news - can redirect the course of life as we know it. As of late, I had lost sight of that a bit. This week, life abruptly reminded me.

Wednesday was really going on as quite a normal, nothing extraordinary, kind of day. Until about 3:45 when I got the first hint of something not-so-normal. I got a text from Lucas that stated 'the big wigs are here,' meaning there were people from corporate visiting the plant where he works. Then, 'we have a 4:00 meeting. I won't be home for a while.' At about 6:00, I got a phone call at home from him saying they had just been informed that the company had decided to close the plant - this plant - the one where my husband works, effective May 1st.

So, fast forward through all of the details..... we are not sure at this moment what that means, other than we will very likely be moving sometime after May 1 (which is the last day of production here at this facility). We don't know where. We don't know when. We don't know much really. Just that change is coming, that God is a good God, and that we are relying on Him and trusting Him to make a way for us. We both feel confident that something good will come out of this, and that we, in the grand scheme of things, will be just fine. So please be praying for us if you are the praying kind... we would appreciate all the prayer possible. I'll keep you all posted as we find out anything new.

Life is an adventure and a story waiting to be written. Although this chapter in our lives seems to be coming to a close, we still have much to experience, and the rest of the story to write. It is an awesome thing to know that the Creator of the Universe holds us in His hands, and that He is guiding every step of our way. So we move forward, not knowing what lies ahead, but knowing with the fullest faith that we can trust Him with it all.

First Kiss Collab

Two of my FAVORITE designers have teamed up this week to bring us one of the most fun collaborative kits I've seen in a while - First Kiss. First, here's a preview of the kit, with links if you're interested...
And here's what I did with it...

This picture of Meagan is from 2007... doesn't she look so little?! Ugh, time flies! Journaling says, 'Who could resist those big blue eyes and that sweet smile? You are so lovable!'

Saturday, January 23, 2010


While waiting for my picture files to transfer to my new external hard drive, I got a chance to play. This is a hodge-podge of stuff from different kits, different designers, just thrown together for fun. I used Simple Solutions Templates by Leora Sanford for the base and then just starting building around it. You know me - I just can't leave things clean & simple.

Anyway, I took this picture of Meagan last week when she was sick. She was crashed out on the couch, snuggling her puppy and fluffy lamb (who didn't make the cut in the picture, I'm afraid, LOL). She just looked so peaceful, I couldn't resist the picture.

(Click here to view full credits.)

1 TB

Just a dumb little thing, but a little thing that makes me happy. I have been wanting to get an external hard drive for a while now. Just to store all of my digital stuff all in one place, so I can get it all tagged and labeled & organized for easier use. Today I got one. One terabyte. Yea! Now I have plenty of room to store my digital supplies and my pictures and back up my layouts.

1/2 Day

Yesterday was a 1/2 day of school. The boys got home around 12:30, so we had a special day together. For lunch we hit up the Pizza Hut buffet and ordered a plate of chocolate bread sticks for desert... YUM!

In the afternoon we worked together to get kids' bedrooms cleaned up and organized (why is this always an ongoing project?). It may not have been a special treat for the special afternoon off of school, but it needed to be done. At least we were in it together I guess!

Then after a quick dinner (dinner IN, I might add), we headed to the Aquatic Center for family swim night. It only cost $1/person to swim, and they played Ice Age up on the big wall of the family pool area. We staid until about 7:15 - just over an hour. By then, we were cold (the water in the big pool, where we spent most of our time, was a little less-than-ideal-temp) and getting tired. So we headed home, got snuggled up in pj's and the kids tucked in for some bedtime movies.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Silly Boys

I FINALLY got my laptop table I've been waiting for! I had asked for one for Christmas, and Lucas got one for me. However, the one he got me had feet that wouldn't fit under the chairs and couches, so we returned it and kept looking. There was one at Wal-Mart I had seen that would work just right, but every time we went to the store, it was out of stock. I mean, I had honestly taken to semi-stalking Wal-Mart. LOL! Finally, after much waiting, and stalking, my persistence was rewarded! They got one in and called me the day it came! I went to Wally World right after work and got my table. Of course, it was then necessary that I try it out that night. So I plopped my back-side on the couch, busted out my new table, and spent the evening making a layout.

Here's my first layout ever created on my new laptop table (LOL).

These pictures are from our family silly string fight back in September.

(Click here to view full credits.)

Est. Dates

One more new thing to share with you today. These Est. Dates by Sahlin Studio are the kind of thing I will use over and over again. Love the style, and the extra brushes that come with it are way too cool to add a little extra to a layout. Here's the preview:

And here's just one of the layouts I've made with these since I got them:

Journaling: Like every June, this one was full of activity! The boys had their last day of school, followed by an afternoon at the park with friends (complete with a water balloon fight). Sebastian celebrated his 8th birthday with a pool party at Grandma & Grandpa H's. And there was plenty of t-ball and baseball to go around. We even got to take a trip with Grandma B. to Ottawa Park and play in the lake there. June is always full of fun!
(Click here to view full credits.)

I *Heart* Books

Kaye Winiecki has a new mini kit out today that I LOVE! She is the guest designer at Scrap Matters this month, so it's available at Scrap Matters until the end of the month.

Here's the layout I did with this kit. The picture may look familiar (from my previous post). Isaac and his book!

Journaling: Isaac is a wonderful reader! He is reading at a high 2nd grade level in 1st grade. For his Christmas book exchange at school, he got a book of Curious George stories. He has read it over and over again since then, and is so proud of himself because it has over 100 pages. What a smarty pants!

(Click here to view full credits.)

Week 1

As with last year, I started out this year with the idea of documenting the entire year with photos. The idea - one photo a day to capture every-day life. The reality - sometimes I forget. Life goes by so quickly sometimes, and I just simply forget to grab the camera, or to stop and take a moment to snap a photo.

Although I have not gotten a photo EVERY day, I still plan to do my best to document each week of this year through a combination of photography and blogging. This should make it much easier to pull together a complete album at the end of the year, having the photos and the stories already captured.

So here is the start of it all.

Week 1: Jan 1 - Jan 7, 2010

Grandma H. cut Meagan's hair. Meagan was not pleased with the whole process. Too much sitting still.

Isaac used the money he had been saving to buy this dragon mountain, among other things. It was, much to my surprise, quite a hit.

She is forever in a costume. Some days, she is in every costume she has at one point or another.

Isaac got a book for his school Christmas book exchange that is a collection of Curious George stories. He is turning into quite the reader.

Meagan had a friend over to play for the afternoon.

Our weekly routine - picking the boys up early so that we can get to gymnastics on time. Our first week of January was full of a steady supply of snow.
Credits: Photo editing utilized Leora Sanford's Photo Overlays: Celebrating Color

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Fun Little Photo Treatment

I have to show you my new-found addiction! Leora Sanford came out with these photo overlays a few weeks ago, and I am HOOKED! It's the easiest thing in the world to do, and it's so much fun to play around. You can get so many different looks just by overlapping colors and playing with blending modes and opacity. Here's an example of a picture I edited using these overlays.



I swear I didn't do anything else to this photo besides apply a couple of overlays and mess around with the blending. I LOVE them! Definitely using these on just about every photo I use from now on!

I Love Your Style

I can't remember if I ever told you... we FINALLY got around to taking Isaac to his birthday movie. Over Christmas break, we all went to see Alvin & the Chipmunks. The kids LOVED it, and are STILL singing the songs and quoting the lines! Anyway, I took this picture just as we were walking out the door - Meagan and her funky style. She had on her little plaid peasant dress with hot pink leggings and hot pink socks and hot pink boots. LOL. Gotta love that girl!

Journaling: Stay true to yourself You are so special & have so much in store!

(Click here to view full credits)


I know I never really got around to posting any pictures of Isaac's birthday. Hopefully this will make up for that in some very small way. I put this layout together to showcase some of the birthday activity.

Journaling: A birthday celebration full of color and fun. Snowman cupcakes, candles and balloons. Family and friends. Not to mention birthday gifts. It was wonderful to see your face light up with joy and excitement. You were happy the whole day through. A day to celebrate YOU.
(Click here to view full credits.)

2 Less Teeth 2 Brush

Journaling: Just before school started, you lost your 2 front teeth. I thought it might make you hesitant to smile, but I couldn't have been more wrong. As far as you were concerned, it was just 2 less teeth to brush. Sept. 2009

(Click here to view full credits)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

they all fall down

It happened. It got us. All of us. We all fell victim to the flu garbage that Meagan had early last week. Our week went something like this...

Sunday: Around 11:00 at night, Meagan started getting sick. She was up ALL NIGHT on the hour. No fun.

Monday: Meagan was home from preschool, therefore I was home from work.

Tuesday: I don't work on Tuesday's so I already had the day free to stay home with Meagan and give her some extra recovery time. Although she had slept through the night, Tuesday morning, she started in again. Tuesday afternoon, the school called and said Isaac had gotten sick on the way to gym class. About an hour later, Lucas walked in the door, home from work early. It had gotten him too. Thankfully, we had cancelled small group. Later that night, it hit me as well.

Wednesday: Meagan and Isaac were home from school. Lucas and I were home from work. We sent Sebastian to school. We all laid in bed all day long. By the end of the day, the kids were starting to show signs of feeling better, although they still hadn't eaten any solid foods. Still, though, I was feeling hopeful for being able to send them to school on Thursday. Until... just before bedtime, Sebastian started in. (Are you freakin' kidding me!! Aaaah!)

Thursday: Well, once more, I knew I was going to be missing work (my third and final work day of the week, now gone). Still, I was planning on sending Isaac to school and Meagan to preschool, giving Sebastian quiet resting time, and hopefully giving me a bit of a chance to get some work done. However, after breakfast, just before the bus came, both Isaac and Meagan got sick yet again. Oh for the love! So, the coats came off, and they all grabbed a couch or chair to plop down and rest. So much for a quiet, peaceful house.

Friday: Finally, both boys returned to school. Meagan was doing much better. I was starting to turn around, and Lucas was back to work for the 2nd day. Still buried in laundry and carpets to scrub clean, but heading in the right direction at least.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Look at the Bright Side

Well, it has been a not-so-great day around here. Last night, around 11:00, Lucas and I were laying in bed watching an episode of Heroes (my Christmas gift!!), when we heard the dreaded sound of vomiting coming from the other room. We both went to see who was the culprit, and found Meagan, still in her bed, getting sick everywhere. Uggh. Lucas scooped her up and took her into the bathroom, while I started stripping the bed, washing the laundry and scrubbing the carpet. We made a bed for her in our room, and attempted to lay back down. However, she was up about every 15 minutes getting sick all over again. It was a long night.

Today has been much more of the same, although it has slowed to about every 45 minutes I would say. She did manage to finally fall asleep around 1:00, and has only woken up a few times to run to the bathroom, do her thing, and then collapse back on her bean bag bed and go back to sleep.

I have been doing laundry and scrubbing bathrooms for most of the day. And there is still MUCH to be done. The kitchen is a mess, and I have 2 more bathrooms yet to do (not to mention that the laundry is nowhere near being finished). Looking at the bright side, though, I DID get to spend the day with my baby girl; and I have one very clean bathroom.