Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all...

I hope you all enjoy this time with loved ones!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

'tis the season... be jolly! Fa la la la la, la la la la! Ha!

I LOVE Christmas!!! And, now that we have gone and chopped down our lovely tree at the tree farm, enjoyed some hot cocoa and spiced cider by the fire, trimmed the tree and did a bit of shopping, I feel that the spirit of Christmas has finally hit me! I love this time of year! Just the joy of being with family and giving to others is wonderful to me. And, I can not wait to see the sparkle in our children's eyes on Christmas morning. It really is the best thing in the world!

Here are a couple of pics of our trip to the tree farm:

Haleigh & Brian with our "perfect" little tree...

Dakota loading it up

Heading up to the barn for them to prepare the tree (and so that we can pay for it!)

A surprise visit from Santa at the tree farm!!! Dakota sat here for the pic, pretty much just to make me happy, and to help keep the "secret" from his little sister, although she said she didn't want to talk to him because he's not the "real" santa... :)

Our candy-themed Christmas tree~!!!

I'm actually thinking about doing one of the "December Daily" albums but, making it just the last two weeks before Christmas. We'll see if I actually go through with it! ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

17 days until Christmas...

can you believe it?????? I can't! Am I the only one that is NOWHERE NEAR done shopping??? And, the sad thing is, we CAN'T finish our shopping until the weekend right before Christmas! Crazy, I know! And, I still have cards to make, pictures to on and so on...but, the decorations are up, we're getting our tree this coming weekend and the kids are SUPER excited!

I don't particularly see scrapping in the next two weeks so, I will fall short of my 150 layouts for the year goal for sure. Unless I find time to come up with 20 or so between now and the end of the year! Ha!

So, if I don't come back to my blog for the next 2.5 weeks...I hope you and your families have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

(lots of caps in this post! :) )

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nothing like last minute...

I always *plan* on participating in the American Crafts weekly blog challenge but, I rarely seem to get it done! This week, despite all the craziness that has gone, I decided to take a few minutes to come up with a layout for this past week's challenge. It's a picture that I wanted to use for a "thankful" layout before this challenge so, it worked out really well!!! So, here it is, finished at 9:30 PM EST on Thursday night! :)

Products used:
American Crafts "Marge Hemmingway" Craft Fair pattern paper
American Crafts "Made with Love" Craft Fair flair
American Crafts "Patchwork" thickers
American Crafts "Nutmeg" thickers

Monday, November 30, 2009

happy monday!

I just wanted to share a few photos from the holiday...

Haleigh dressed up as an Indian for her 3rd grade Thanksgiving play! She had the most colorful paperbag costume of all!

Thanksgiving at my Mom's house. The kids had a great time playing with their 2nd cousins, Aiden and Sara. There's a pic of Greg with Buddy, Aunt Cheryl and her family, and some of the family playing Blockus.

Thanksgiving get together at Alyssa's house, for Dad, Aunt Becky and Michele. Dad was enjoying some football in another room. Brian & Dakota messing around. Becky & Michele hanging out in the kitchen (which seems to be all the women's favorite spot). A "festive" pic of Billy & Alyssa and what I think is going to be our Christmas card photo...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving (a couple days late)...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had dinner at my Mom's house and I got to see my Aunt and Uncle from western Illinois (they are my age) and their two little ones, Aiden and Sarah. Sarah is the funniest little 2 1/2 year old I've ever met! All of my immediate family was there as well, including my Grandma and another Aunt and her family. The food was good and it was nice being around everyone.

Unfortunately (or fortunately to some), we didn't get to do any Black Friday shopping. Brian did go out and get the "big" present for Dakota and he picked up one of the gifts that I wanted to get for my sister but, that's it. Our big days of shopping will be Dec. 18th & 19th! I'm kinda hoping to get something crafty done for Christmas but, I'm just not feeling it. Kinda sad really.

So, today is Thanksgiving #2 with my Dad at my sister's house. It will be a VERY small gathering and we're having ham instead of turkey but, I think that it will be a great time! I will also be enjoying some yummy white russians!!!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So much to do...

so very little time! I can't believe that Christmas is only FIVE WEEKS AWAY!!! And, let's not forget that Thanksgiving is literally around the corner! My gosh! Where does the time go? The sad thing is that I had a goal of completing 150 layouts this year and I'm not quite sure if I'm going to make it. I went away for another weekend and completed 12 more, getting me closer but, I feel that I'm running out of time! I still have to make my Christmas cards!!! Ahhh!!!

I did manage to complete a layout for the challenge over at the American Crafts blog (I love these challenges - so many cool creations from others to see). This week's challenge was to complete a layout or a card using two or more products from their Junior line. I was in luck, as I had just 2 sheets of paper from this line (and a package of flair)!'s the layout:

Materials used:

American Crafts Junior paper - Blastoff! (in the "O")
American Crafts Junior paper - Boom
American Crafts Subway thickers

I wish that I had more to choose from but, I haven't yet had the chance to purchase any! I really NEED the thickers from this line! They are awesome!

I'll be back later this weekend to post more of the layouts that I got completed...including a TWO-PAGER! Yep, you heard me right! I think it's been at least 5 years since I've done one of those!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I am SO proud!!!

I meant to post this last week but, things have been a little crazy around here! We received an invitation for an honor roll/merit roll assembly for the first quarter recipients!!! And BOTH of our kids were on it! Merit was 3.0 to 3.5 GPA, Honor was 3.5 to 3.99 GPA and SUPER honor roll was a straight 4.0. Dakota made the Honor roll and Ms. Haleigh made SUPER honor roll!!! Haleigh also had perfect attendance and she rated #1 on the ISTEP for her grade so she got a $10 gift card to Walmart! We also took them out to Wally World to buy something little and took them out to KFC. Not super exciting for some but, we don't do that very often!!!

I will also say that it was SO nice to see that a MAJORITY of the 3rd through 6th graders made at least MERIT. I love that my kids are in such a small school now with a lot more kids (and parents) like our family. Coming from a school where it seemed like the majority of the parents could really care less. It's just nice. It's also nice that the kids get recognized and commended for good grades! In their old school, it was that no one did great or did bad. That's how things were graded. Those kids will get into the real world and think that mediochre is ok. So sad.

Anyway, here's a pic of my super happy honor roll getting kids!

I love these two!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Home of the sickies...

Yep. We are all sick. I had a sore throat starting on Thursday, which turned into a cold/sinus thing. Dakota came home from school on Friday and shortly after he got home, starting actually getting sick. We thought it was possibly food poisoning. Nope. Brian and Haleigh have both got the same thing today! I can deal with the cold/sinus thing but, I'm really keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I don't get what they all have! I'm actually supposed to be leaving town this weekend so, I'm really hoping I get through this week with no worries!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another AC challenge..

and it's a Halloween one!!! Perfect! I took so many pics of the decorations, party, kids in costume....This was the perfect chance to get something scrapped! I turned some of my decor pics black and white and made a collage of them...just to make it easier to scrap. Simple. I live for it!

Materials used:

American Crafts "Howl" Halloween paper
American Crafts "Horror" Halloween paper
American Crafts "Creepy" Color Halloween sticker
American Crafts "Dolce" fabric thickers

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Party time!!!

So, we decided that we are going to have a Halloween party for our kids this year! Pizza, cupcakes, games and "scary" movies! I've only ever hosted a handful of birthday parties so, this should be interesting! I let them each invite 7 friends. That should be 14 kids, with a good chance of at least 4 not coming. So, I figure 10 kids (plus Haleigh & Dakota), right??? Well, it turns out that EVERYONE is excited about this party and apparently want to come! There are a couple of kids that will not be here but, a couple of the kids that are....they are bringing their sibling. Oy. What have I gotten myself into???

I think that it will be a great time, regardless. I was hoping the rain would stay away so that some of the events could be taken outside. But, that's not looking like it's going to happen. So, 2 adults and at least 14 children will be crammed inside our little house!!!

I'll post some pics in a couple of days!!! Wish me luck! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

As promised...

here are a couple more of my layouts that I created last weekend at our annual SAL DT Retreat! The first one was completely inspired by my friend, who is also on the SAL design team, Jen Erickson. I envy her style!

So, another weekend is here! This Saturday will be our last soccer games for the season (at least for this soccer club! :) ). Dakota will start indoor with his school next week! But, I am completely okay with indoor soccer! No cold, crappy, rainy weather! No hot, melt in your seat, getting swamped by mosquitoes weather! But, we'll be back to regular outdoor for both the kids before I know it!!!

We will also hopefully be heading to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch. We always have a great time there! I love hay rides and love the yummy things that they bake in their little shop!!! Plus, it always makes for great pictures ;)!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

American Crafts!

American Crafts posts weekly challenges on their blog that I love! I rarely find the time to actually complete them but, this week, I have some mojo left over from the SAL Sweet DT Retreat and I took advantage of it! So, the challenge this week was to use two American Crafts products with a black and white photo!

I used papers from the Craft Fair line, Halloween line and the Kids line. I also used felt thickers, fabric thickers and some Flair from the Junior line. This really was a fun layout to do!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm baaaaccckkkkk!!!

I made it home, safe and sound!!! I pulled up at about 8:30 last night. The drive wasn't too bad, except for the idiots on the road (one in particular that ticked me off for a good 45 minutes.....two words.....CRUISE's an amazing concept).

So, I completed 11 layouts!!! Yep, you heard me right....ELEVEN! I just did a recount....I actually thought that I did 12. Bummer. But,'s 11 more down!!! I need to fix a couple of things on a couple of them and actually do the journaling on one but, here are the ones that are totally done!

I really had so much fun!!! It was great seeing my friends that I only get to see once a year! I really wish that we lived a LOT closer! And Carla was the best hostess!!! She made wonderful food and made sure that we all had good time!

Once I get the rest of the layouts completed, I'll upload them here!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm outta here...

tomorrow, that is!!! I'm heading up to Michigan for the annual Sweet DT Retreat for the SAL design team!!! And I can not wait! Scrapbooking for a weekend and seeing my scrappy friends from other parts of the US! It's always a good time!

I'll post some pics when I get back! See you soon!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Picture time...

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, which is not always best when one wants to take pictures! We went to IMA and took some fall pictures of the kids. It was so nice, perfect temperature, clear skies and sunny! But, all that sun can be a real pain when trying to get a nice picture. Here are a couple of faves from the day:

Dakota actually took this one! I think that he did a great job!!!

I hate how blogger doesn't really allow for you to move your pictures around!

Anyway, as you can see, it was a beautiful day! I really wanted to get some shots with some pumpkins so, I may have them throw these clothes back on today and head out to Beasley's and get some shots. While we're there, we'll pick up a couple of pumpkins and some apples!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Latest stuff...

So I've been in a rut when it comes to scrapbooking. For a LONG time. But, I think I'm starting to feel my mojo creeping back!!! I worked on a couple of layouts for the heck of it this weekend and I am super happy with how they turned out.

I totally love that picture of Brian and Haleigh! I've been holding onto it since July and all of a sudden, this past weekend, I had an idea. So, now it is scrapped and I am happy with it!

The kids are keeping us busy with soccer. We've had one practice for each this week and one more for Dakota tomorrow. Then, they both have morning games on Saturday. And it will be nice and cold! I will be the one with the hood up, coffee cup and blanket wrapped around me!!! :) I'll upload some pics of them playing over the weekend for sure!

On another note, I'm getting ready to go away for our annual Scrap-A-Latte Design Team Retreat in Michigan!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see my friends! I can't wait to get my scrap on! And I can't wait to relax and have a great time, as we always do!!! But, until then, I'll be running around here like a chicken with her head cut off getting ready. I hate packing. ugh. It's of course totally worth it though!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

So proud!!!

Just a quick note to talk about my kiddos! As most of you know, they started a new school this year. It's a charter school so, it's a bit different than standard public schools, and it's been quite the change! This is the first year our kids have actually been held accountable for their work, actions and non-actions. Not to say that they have ever had problems in the past (proud to say that teachers loved having my kids in their classrooms). But, it's been a challenge.

Haleigh, surprisingly, adapted very well. She's not a huge fan of change but, she's done it. And done it well. A+'s in all subjects!!! SO PROUD!!! And the teacher said that she is a model student! I just love that I can count on her for that!

Dakota, well, it's been hard. He's never really taken a test other than standardized testing for the state. He had NO clue how to study. And, didn't realize that if he didn't answer questions, it actually counts against him. This has been his downfall. He had A's in all classes but one. He had a C in Social Studies. All because of tests. But, I'm very proud to say that he has worked VERY hard and has brought that grade to a B! And, he still hopes to make at least an A- before then end of quarter! I wouldn't doubt it if he did. When he gets something stuck in his head, he doesn't stop!

Okay, so maybe not so quick! But, what can I say?!? I'm proud of them both!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October is here!

And it makes me very happy!!! I love fall! Blue jeans, hoodies, apple cider, changing it. All of it!

We've been fairly busy around here, getting things gathered for our upcoming Halloween party, soccer and school. Dakota has an "out-of-town" school field trip to Cincinnatti on the 17th, which he is psyched about. Plus, I'm leaving town in TWO WEEKS...going to Michigan for the annual SAL DT retreat with all of my SAL design team friends! I totally CAN NOT WAIT!!!

I haven't been scrappin' much. I hoped to get more down during the online crop but, didn't happen. I do hope to maybe work on something tonight though! Plus, tomorrow is "World Card-Making Day", which just makes me feel that I need to at least make one card! Don't ya think?!?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Halloween is around the corner...

and I'm working on decorating! I found that I really have hardly any decorations for Halloween! Or, Fall for that matter! It's really kinda sad! So, since we decided to have a Halloween party for the kids this year, I decided that I really needed to step up my decorations this year! Haleigh and I decided to make a banner together and it was really a lot of fun! I've seen so many cute ones out there and thought that I should give it a try. I have enough Halloween supplies from the last couple of years that I needed to use up somewhere!!!

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out! I think that I needed longer ribbon because this wasn't big enough to stretch all the way across but, I ran out so, this will do for this year!

We've also purchased a few things such as cobwebs, a bucket with Halloween images, a small skeleton, a small hay bale for him to sit on and several other odds and ends. The kids are really looking forward to this party, as am I!!!

Now that I have this project complete, I think that I can finally sit down to scrap and enjoy some of the challenges at the SAL crop!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Come join us!!!

This Saturday, Sept. 26, will be the kick off of crop season at Scrap-A-Latte!!!

Sarah Martinez will be hosting a "School of Scrap" cyber crop!!! There are sure to be lots of fun challenges and cool prizes!!!

Be there or be square! ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girls weekend...

I'm finally getting back to this! So, the weekend before last, my sister, Mom, sister's Mother-in-Law and myself went down to French Lick, IN, to stay in my Mom's and step-Dad's camper for the weekend. We spent Saturday in Jasper then headed back to French Lick to hit an antique store, a couple of beautifully restored hotels and a casino (which didn't last very long - lost all of my $16 quickly!). It also happened to be the weekend that the Porsche club was there, showcasing classic, old Porsches, and they were sweet!!! On Sunday, we stopped at Oliver Winery on the way home to enjoy some wine tasting. We were lucky enough to be there on the day that they had an open house at their vineyard. We went on the tour of the winery and then off to the tour of the vineyard, 4 miles away. It really was a fantastic weekend!!! I look forward to doing it again!