Sunday, November 22, 2009

And the Award Goes to . . .

Me . . . (and maybe one of you too . . . keep reading to see if you're one of the five I chose!)

Angela, a classmate of mine over at Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class as well as Jessica Sprague's Holidays in Hand class, has honored me with a fun little bloggy award!! I'm glad to know she feels I deserve this Making Smiles on Faces Blog Award!!




In order for me to accept this award, I have to name five random facts about me.
  1. I still love watching Days of Our Lives. While I don't watch it every day, when I have time, it's a little guilty pleasure of mine. I can't believe I watch a soap opera!
  2. Dolphins are my favorite animal. I think living along the coast and always going to Sea World growing up has helped encourage that.
  3. I'm planning on seeing the movie New Moon for the third time this week. :-) As my blogging buddy Cheryl would say, don't judge. You just have to see it. I've never seen a better rendition of a book turned movie. Period.
  4. I got my first vehicle when I was 15 - for Christmas. My daughter will have her 15 Christmas this year, and I think she's expecting a car. I was NOT expecting a car, which is probably why I got one. It was a Ford Ranger pickup in black . . . 8 years old and looked brand new. BUT, it was a truck. Now, I'm not picky, and I was and still am grateful I had a car that early, but I would not have picked a truck for me . . . at all.
  5. I'm hungry at this very moment and I'm going to go now to fix some breakfast. We'll be having nothing seriously exciting, just yummy cereal and fruit on the menu today.
Now for the five people that I'm passing this award on to:
Remember . . . five random facts and then choose five more to pass along to! Thanks for making me smile! :-)


In other news:
It's a rainy day here in my town. It's a good thing I had to take pictures the other day and not lie when the Blog Hop Around the World happened yesterday. It's so gloomy here today it makes me a little sad. Later on this morning, we're putting on some Christmas music and starting to decorate for Christmas in our home! Maybe I'll bake some cookies too! :-)


Thanks for visiting!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blogging Around the World

Have you ever wanted to travel to all kinds of different locations around the world but for whatever reason, you just can't pull it off? What if I told you that TODAY, you could travel all over the world just by sitting on your sofa or at your desk, on your computer!

Today, I'm taking part of a blog hop from Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class, which I've been a part of for the last three weeks. Some of you may have found me from Julie's blog, who happens to live in Atlanta. Atlanta is somewhere I love to travel to when I was younger. They now have the Atlanta Aquarium that I'm hoping to go visit soon!

You now find yourself in Jacksonville, FL (technically, I'm in a suburb of Jacksonville). It's the northernmost city in Florida along the Eastern coast (bordering the Atlantic Ocean). Today, the weather will be in the mid-70s F and sunny. It's one of the great things about living here in Florida: the fact that I'm still wearing shorts and flip flops when part of our country has already had lots of snowfall. We're only about 2 1/2 hours from Orlando (home of the Mickey Ears and Shamu) and about an hour to the Georgia border. We're probably best known for our NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and hosting the Super Bowl a few years back. I feel lucky being able to call this city my home since I was born.



We just moved into our current house at the end of July this year and I'm so happy that we're here. I have a beautifully peaceful backyard, and my very own scrapbook studio to boot. Honestly, it was a few difficult months before we moved in, and in part, it was because we moved less than a mile from our previous home. Out of our front windows (seen above), if you were looking out, you'd see that driveway, and then a street, and then past that, a long row of backyards. I love this because my kids often play at a few of those houses and are frequently in the backyard. All I have to do is look out the window to see that they're playing and having fun!



Even though I have nature to my backyard (which is where most of the windows look out to when I wake up and work in the house - the kitchen, breakfast room, family room, and formal living room), I'm still less than five minutes to a movie theatre, a library, several parks, Wal Mart, Publix (our local grocery store), Target, and all kinds of unhealthy fast food places . . .


This is my favorite happy place in this new house of ours - when it's clean at least. I participated in a Layout a Day challenge back in October and I've not really stepped in there since then. I'm avoiding it like the plague because it's such a disaster.

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting me in Jacksonville, FL!
It's now time for me to send you on your way. I wish you much fun as you continue on your journey! Your next stop is to DragonsLady's Blog over in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. It sounds like it should be an interesting location to learn about!

If you're just joining the hop here at my blog, don't worry. The goal of our blog hopping is to take you on a trip around the world, so each blog will link up to the next - no real beginning or end - and take you in a circle. Eventually you'll find yourself right back here! Please come back and tell me about your trip . . . I'd love to know your favorite destination!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I Wish I Knew . . .

Ali's Yesterday+Today class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking had inspired me to get busy scanning some of my older photos. These photos were inherited from my dad, and I no longer have the originals. I don't have many photos at all before I was born, so this rare glimpse into my family's life, even what few of them there are, are precious to me. Ali has been speaking to us about scrapbooking present layouts with a past perspective. That is, the types of things YOU wish you KNEW about the past . . . and with so little to go on, I have a lot of "what I'd like to knows."





The photo above is of my paternal great-great grandfather and his family. They were a Tennessee farming family with lots and lots of sons; 12 in fact. They owned their land and worked hard and I can not even imagine being the mother of 12 boys - especially knowing the realization that I only have two and can barely handle it. Other than knowing that my great-great grandfather was part Cherokee Indian, I know nothing else about their lives. I imagine theirs was like most farming lives I've read about in history books - a lot of hard labor and no real education, growing most of their food from the land and not making it to the general store very frequently (if there was even one close by) . . .

but I want to know about their relationships and personalities: were they all close? who was the trouble-maker and who was the mamas-boy? were there any close neighbors that they depended on for help when they needed it? How did the parents meet and were they in love or was it more out of obligation?

I want to know about their likes and dislikes: what were their favorite foods? was there a favorite tradition or story they enjoyed telling by the fire? folksongs? colors? what were they able to do in their freetime if all the chores were done?

I want to know abou their hopes and dreams: did any of them leave behind the farm one day and if so, where did they go, what did they want to do? just what were the dreams of men (and children) back in the 1800s?

I want to know about their daily routines: who did what chores? were there any boys that stayed to help grandma around the house since there were 12 of them?

and I want to know some of their history: what was the story of their parents - people I have no record of? were there any other children that had passed away prior to this photo being taken?



The above photo is of my aunt and her first husband, my Uncle Steve. I never had the honor of meeting him because he was decared MIA in the Vietnam War. What I do know is that my dad's family used to talk about the downward spiral my aunt took when he went missing, and once he was declared dead, how her life was forever changed, how she was forever changed. Now, I knew my aunt (granted, she passed away when I was in college and before I really truly got to know her as a person, not just my aunt), and it's just so hard to imagine the life she used to wish for and dream of as a newlywed. She always talked of Steve, long after he was gone . . . long after she had married two more times, only to have them end in divorce . . . long after a horrible bout with alcoholism. I knew my aunt the way she was after this life-changing event, but I'd love to know who she was before and apart from Steve. I'd love to know of their relationship; what my aunt loved to do outside of working (she was a nurse for many years); did she enjoy school; who were her friends. She was the oldest (and only daughter) of my paternal grandparents. I bet my daughter sure would love to know some survival tips too!


There are some other photos I have . . . more of the same questions come from them . . . the everyday life; the traditions; the personalities . . . I can only assume that this same information, this same connection, will be want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will aslo want from me. This perspective will forever be in my mind when I scrapbook; and I will try and give this perspective - my perspective - it's rightful place in my scrapbooks, our family's scrapbooks . . . as I'm the only one who has access to my own memories.



A few tips when you're scanning your own photos:
  • scan at least at 300 dpi (you can scan higher, but it will take up more memory; also 300 dpi is the standard for digital scrapbooking)
  • enlarge as you're scanning. It will save your photos from pixilating the actual digital file later on. I will typically scan at 200% or enough to get me to an 8x10 size. It also makes it easier to crop down the photos.
  • be sure to have some way of notating what you've already scanned if you're replacing these photos back into their original album. Another option could be to have a seperate album for you to transfer scanned images to.
  • when importing into PSE, I change the date right then so that it goes to the earlier section of my catalog. I also tag them as heritage photos and whichever side of the family they're from; maybe also tag who the main people are in the photo too. I don't want these guys getting lost on my hard drive. If you don't know an exact date, PSE allows you to choose ?? as an option for any of the options (month, day, or year). I always will choose a year, and do a best guess on the month (Easter baskets mean March or April for example).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three Years Ago . . . and Now

This week, in 2006, we celebrated Kristen's birthday with her friends, which actually falls in the first several days of November. We had to wait until some movie came out (though now I can't remember for the life of me which one) . . . After looking back at imdb.com I can only imagine that it was Happy Feet or Santa Clause 3 (though that one had been out for a week or two by the time we went). So, the effect of bad journaling . . . guess I learned my lesson to record that info somewhere. Probably information that I thought I'd never forget back then. I bet if I were to ask Kristen, she may actually remember. My guess is I was too busy with the boys to stop and watch the movie! HA!




So, three years later, while we're not planning a "party" to be included with a movie, Kristen and I are anxiously awaiting THIS MOVIE and are planning on going Friday night with a lot of her friends, and moms too. Yes, I know it's a young adult book, but they're magic . . . and it's so nice to see these books come to life . . . even if my least favorite is, in fact, New Moon. I'll live, and Edward and Jacob's "wolf pack" will help me through it all!

Have you caught the Twilight bug?? Are you planning on seeing the movie this weekend?? Inquiring minds want to know!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Values and Goals



I'm taking a class (yes, I hear you . . . another one!) over at Jessica Sprague's website called Holidays in Hand and it's bound to be wonderful. I've heard such great things about the group of ladies there and her teaching style, so I'm really excited! I'm also hoping to complete this project in combination with Ali Edward's concept of a December Daily project.

For our first prompt, Jessica asked us to think about (and journal) our family values and goals this holiday season.

Values:
giving thankfulness togetherness love fun peace happiness

Goals:
  • commit only to what's most important
  • remember the Reason for the Season
  • commit 20 minutes (at least) a day to work on HIH project and DD
  • plan ahead and be more organized this holiday season
  • plan and follow through with some new traditions; and our old ones too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monday Morning Check In

So, how'd your weekend go?? Mine was pretty busy with beautiful and sunny, 75+ degree weather. However, trying to act like I'm in my 20s again by staying up until 2 am with a campout/end-of-season party was not a good way to enter into my Sunday. But I did. And I paid for it. With sleeping in until 9 and then taking a nap before 11. My head felt like it was full of cobwebs all day. And there was no drinking involved, well, of the alcoholic kind. Very odd.

So, tell me, did you do anything fun? Did you get done all YOU had hoped to do this weekend?





Here was my list:
  • Buy cheese and crackers to put together trays for the football party on Saturday - DONE!
  • Search for a camera battery charger - Partially Done
  • Hang a few paintings around my house
  • Start holiday planning with hubby: where are we going, what decor do we want to add? - DONE (the key here is START)
  • Buy more mulch for the front flower beds
As you can see, with only really having today to work with, I didn't accomplish a whole lot in regards to my list. However, I did run to Target and buy THIS New Moon Soundtrack (I can not WAIT for this movie to open on Friday) and THIS (Does anyone else remember playing the original as a child or are you too young to remember??) tonight during a break from helping my children continue to work on their school projects.

In other news:

Feel free to join me today (and every Monday until December 15) in the Big Picture Scrapbooking Reading Room (scroll down and it's the last class on the bottom right side). It's a free "class" that you'll need to login and register for (but you won't have to pay anything). If you aren't already a member, you'll have to register (also free) as a member of BPS. This month, we're reading and discussing Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and in December we'll only read for two weeks and that will be The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I'd love to have you join in the discussions!

I'm planning a camping trip with my boys in the coming weeks/months. I've not camped, I mean, REALLY camped (as in tents . . . though it is at a campground), in YEARS. I'm looking forward to starting again as I know I used to love it, and I think the boys will too. If you have any tips or suggestions, I'm all ears. We're going with two other families and sharing campsites. One family camps quite frequently, but I want to be prepared (isn't that the old Scout motto?). Our tent and sleeping bags should be arriving very soon!





I hope to be back later on today with some crafty goodness to share! I'm making it a point to be in my room for at least an hour today actually WORKING on something!! :-) Be sure to check back later tonight and see!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finish It Friday

Today is Friday the 13th, isn't it? Omy gosh . . . THIS is eerily one of my most favorite days of the year. I love Fridays and my lucky number is 13 (yeah, I know - odd . . . but it was my track number for YEARS), and I have had lots of good things in the past happen to me on the 13th. For example, my hubby's and my first date was on April 13 (which wasn't quite on a Friday, it was a Thursday, but that's still close) way back in 1995. Anyhow, tonight my former high school plays my daughter's current high school. It's a big rivalry for the two schools, as the principal at my daughter's high school was the football coach and former principal at the old high school. (confused? Maybe I'll detail that out a little more later, but I doubt any of you care enough for me to do that.)

On to my Finish It Friday post: (taken from Aby over at Creative Organizing)
  • Buy cheese and crackers to put together trays for the football party on Saturday
  • Search for a camera battery charger that fits EN EL-12 (have one that goes all the way up to 10, but not 12)
  • I REALLY need to hang at least a few paintings around my house. Having paintings sitting on the floor is a disaster waiting to happen with two crazy boys running around my house most of the time.
  • Start holiday planning with hubby: where are we going, what decorations do we want to add
  • Buy more mulch for the front flower beds that we changed the annuals out of last weekend.


I think that's it. Not a whole lot of "work" because I want to make sure there's plenty of time for fun too! We have M's end of season football party on Saturday afternoon/evening so that'll tie up a lot of time. Most of this will have to happen on Sunday, I'm afraid. :-)


Do you have anything to finish this weekend?? Maybe you have something to start too . . . Feel free to share in the comments section!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Morning in Photos


Yesterday morning we had our cinnamon rolls for breakfast before DD was picked up for a shopping day with her Nana.


M painted his Dinos (which he later used the box to create a backdrop for creative play with his dinos and L's dragons)!

L built with his legos while I helped M mix paint colors and open and close the lids.

Then L worked on his dragons. Notice the YELLOW on this dragon? Still fanatical about that color.

Then it became homework time. We did head outside and clean up a bit before this. I didn't take my camera out as it was drizzling pretty badly. I'm hating the weather right now. It's the most depressing time of the year for me. I'm highly "sun-oriented."

It's amazing the difference between L's eagerness for schoolwork and his capabilities from last year to this year. He used to need my help; he used to fight everytime we'd sit down to the table to do homework - always ending in tears. If you ever are considering holding a young boy back because you think he is just too immature, too not ready for school, I would never hesitate or question my judgement again. The second time around is night and day and so much better! He's a leader and his behavior is so much better. Whew!




As the afternoon hit, we played more outside though it was still cloudy and drizzly . . . so no pictures. Then K and M's tutor arrived at the same time (right at 5) and it was time to juggle chaos. I was exhausted. So, we didn't get the entire list accomplished from yesterday, but we stayed busy, threw in a healthy dose of fun, and did what had to be done on a day where the kids had to fit into my normal routine. Hope you enjoyed the snapshot into our life here at home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some Comments Worth Mentioning (and Answering)

How to deal with photos that you don't have digital copies made, yet you've already used them on a layout? Several weeks ago, I posted about how I had used "heritage" photos on a few layouts before I had really made friends with my scanner. Now that I am, a commenter (Laura) suggested a brilliant idea. She said  "Nice job! You can always scan the whole page into your computer and crop the photos out. That's what I plan on doing with some of mine. Some of my stories could be told a little better. I have a lot of pages with no journaling. :)" . . . What a brilliant idea! Thanks Laura for sharing.

Finish It Friday Question: Again, several weeks ago, I posted goals I had for Finish It Friday. Tami thought she'd be cute, and asked a silly question of me. bcre8uv said...I finished my bag of mini Heath Bars today...does that count? ;)

My answer: Sure Tami, anything counts if you WANTED to finish the bag . . .

Jan wanted to know my daughter responded to my son from THIS POST: My daughter came home, and my son couldn't wait to show her the bags of goodies. She was pleasantly shocked and then she bent down and gave him a super hug, picked him up and carried him to the sofa to chat a bit. It was adorable. Thanks for asking, Jan!

From my Sesame Street post, Jeanne wanted to know if I remembered the Schoolhouse Rock videos? You know, I do remember those videos, though I never got to watch them when I was younger. We actually purchased those for my daughter when she was younger and I still really enjoy them. They're quite catchy! :-)

In other thoughts: I want to thank those that have stopped by just to say hi, those who have commented about my story-telling and my thought-provoking posts, and just showing me support while I more faithfully engage in my blogging adventure! I consider it an honor when you decide to take time to leave me a few comments and am glad that you are finding things that we connect over.

The kids and I have been busy, and while we have made a dent in our 10 things to do today list we are apparently not going to finish it all. We had to put in some homework time, and time for lunch too. The boys have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the woods and beside the pond today during breaks from the sprinkles. And if you're thinking that we are not paying proper honor to our soldiers on this solomn day, believe me when I say that we've been honoring them in our household all week and part of last week too (we just had a neighbor soldier who returned from Iraq last week, and the Ft. Hood incident). It was too rainy to make plans to attend a parade . . . and with 6 and 7 year old boys at home, we can't be "solomn" for too long. In fact, today, my 7 year old couldn't wait to color his "Army Veteran Soldier" that he made in class yesterday. More soon!!

Okay, off to play some more before M's tutor gets here . . . and my step-mom and daughter show back up with clothes to show off. (Wish I could go shopping for some girl time . . . and yes, I'll take some cheese with that whine.)

10 FUN Things To Do When the Kids Are Out of School for a Holiday in the Middle of the Week

Ugh, first of all, let me voice my frustration that the kids have TODAY off, in the middle of the week, as Veteran's Day in the past was always observed on the Monday before or the Friday after the holiday. All of the kids have been quite hyper for the teachers this week (not just mine) and they won't be able to accomplish much tomorrow either . . .

I do want to THANK all the soldiers who have stood for our country - in times of war and peace. I don't want my frustration to sound as though I am not grateful. I AM, so very grateful, for all of those lives that have been lost - both in the US and worldwide, in support of FREEDOM.


(this photo was taken by my daughter from her class trip to DC last spring)


BUT, we're going to make the most of today and have some FUN - even with the rain we've got coming down because of "Tropical Depression Ida" that came ashore yesterday and brought with it a lot of clouds too.

So, drum roll please . . . here's what the boys have decided to do for adding some FUN to our day! I'll report back later.

1.   Wii time while breakfast is cooking
2.   Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
3.   a walk in the woods (this one can only happen if we get a break from the rain and it's not too wet).
4.   painting their dino and dragon sets that Nana got them for their birthdays
5.   buy a few new books
6.   jump in rain puddles
7.   put together a puzzle (or two)
8.   make some paper airplanes and have airplane races around the house
9.   build with legos
10. play more Wii

(and of course, life can't all be FUN . . . we do have cleaning to do, as well as homework for the boys.) Like I said earlier, we'll report back with the FUN we had! I hope to cram in some scrapbooking time too, but we'll see how that goes.

Here's to YOU putting a little FUN in your life today!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I AM

a Stay-at-Home Mom . . .

But how in the world did I get here? I had dreams and aspirations that certainly didn't include children before the age of thirty and it DID include a whole lot of travel and seeing the world.

What paths in my life have gotten me where I am?

This someplace I never thought I'd be. As I was sitting here last Thursday afternooon listening to Ali's new audio for her BPS class that I'm in, it was about change and growth, and how we've become the person we are today from yesterday, my mind started to wander.

Now, I get completely that she's talking about our personal journey through our life (and I was reminiscing about that too) but I just could not help my mind from wandering about how my schedule and my life were so different back when I was a mom to only one child and working full time, to a mom of three children, staying at home and being where I am. right now. today.

Strange huh? (okay, maybe not for some of you, but usually, when I'm focused on doing something, I stay focused on it) . . .

so, ten years ago . . .
I was a newlywed . . .
I was a mom to one 5 year old daughter . . .
I worked full-time as a fifth grade teacher . . .
I had never even heard of scrapbooking . . .
I would get up early in the mornings, it was still dark out (usually around 5:30 am) and grab a cup of coffee out of the kitchen (we always set the timer back then). My husband was always still asleep at this time of day.
I would take a shower, get ready for the day, and my daughter would be responsible and often wake up on her own.
I would make sure her clothes matched (she always has had such good taste in clothes) and teeth brushed and face cleaned and we'd head out the door.
Then we'd rush out the door to drop her off at before and after school care. She always ate breakfast there because I didn't want to wake her up too early and there was plenty of time between the 6:30 drop off time and the 7:45 bus for her to eat.
I'd spend my day at school and often stay until 4:30 or 5 - paperwork, cleaning up the room, meetings, lesson plans . . . I was after all a first year teacher, and it seemed like I lived at that classroom (a very cold portable in the back of the school that wasn't in the best area of town).

Around 5 pm, I'd be picking up my daughter and fighting rush hour traffic home from her daycare.
We'd get home and I'd start dinner (but more than likely, we'd head to Mickey D's because it was likely that hubby wouldn't be home on time. He was in the start of his career as well with high aspirations of making it big in the company) and we'd do homework at the kitchen table.
7:00 brought bathtime and story time. My daughter always loved having her hair dryed for her. She'd sit on the floor criss-cross applesauce and I'd sit on the sofa behind her and I'd just brush and dry her hair. She loved it . . . and we'd watch some tv time just for her.
At bedtime, we'd tuck her in, she'd say her prayers, and we'd always have a discussion about who loved who more. I always won because I'd always say "to infinity and beyond" in my best BuzzLightyear voice!
Once I got her into bed, I'd load the dishes up, and pick up the "hot spots" around the house, and work on more grading (or I should have been). Most of the time I just vegged in front of the TV like I was braindead, wondering when my dear husband would be home.

Weekends were spent doing the house and yard work . . . K had her chores, as did hubby and I and we worked . . . and workded some more. K was an easy child - doing her work and then playing with neighborhood friends. We weren't the Saturday sports people back then.

Now . . . Today?

I don't think I could even look at one day now and say that it had the exact same schedule as another day in that entire week.  Now, life is not boring . . . life is crazy. And unpredictable. We're constantly on the go . . . whether to football, swim practice, after-school activities, and constant grocery shopping

(Do you have any idea what two growing boys eat through in just a few short days?? That's another story, I guess.)

As Martha would say, "it's a good thing."

I'm embracing th chaos and joy in my life. It's good that M and L have joined our family . . . and we have a richer, fuller life with them in it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Favorite Sesame Street Memories

With Sesame Street getting ready to celebrate it's 40th anniversary in the next week, I thought I'd relive some of my favorite Sesame Street memories from my childhood! I really credit my love of learning in part to watching Sesame Street every morning while waiting to go to daycare and preschool. I hope you enjoy!

Ahhh, first off, The Ladybug Picnic . . . I loved this. I loved the ladybugs, I loved the idea of a picnic, and I almost think I loved the counting too!




A loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter . . . a sesame street idea on helping kids with their memory. I wish this one had stuck a little more, but I do use this method with my kids, as well as backtracking to help them with theirs!




Red Balls 1, 2, 3 . . . watching those balls go through their little roller coaster ride was very entransing. I could watch it for hours . . . the fact that the balls ended up being cherries in a float was just that much better!




How to Make Crayons: ahh, I love a good box of brand new crayons, and my favorite part in this was watching one color get joined with all the others and placed into that box. Isn't it interesting to see all of the people working in the factory when everything these days is so automated; and they look so happy working in there too!




And . . . . drumroll please . . .

my favorite all-time Sesame Street Memory, the one that just made me laugh every time I watched it (and still does to this day) is C is for Cookie by Cookie Monster!



Thanks for following my walk down memory lane in honor of Sesame Street! Do you have a favorite Sesame Street memory that you'd like to share?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Little Treasure


THIS was the sweetest thing that my son has done for my darling daughter in a LOOOONNNGGG time! I don't know if you can read the note he wrote but it says: for kristen from matthew I hope you like this. You see, his sister, for the first time ever, decided that she would give up trick-or-treating this year for the love of Florida football. The Florida-Georgia football game was Saturday and didn't get over until 7, and therefore, she wouldn't be home until close to 9. Now, a few things you have to understand before you can really appreciate this story is that a) matthew has a major sweet tooth and can never get enough candy, b) these two are 8 years apart and at odds over EVERYTHING, and c) he doesn't like the Florida Gators (at all. I think it's how he's rebellious . . . trying to ruffle feathers in the family and really bug his father) . . . At any rate, what you see there are four bags of candy that, when Matthew came in from trick or treating, specifically set aside for his sister for when she came home. He asked first if she liked it and then if she could eat it (b/c of her braces) and then he'd bag it if it was cleared. It was so stinkin' cute! Just another reminder that I am doing something right, even on days where it seems like my kids just want to test their boundaries and I'm exhausted to no end. I have these little treasures that brighten my day and remind me that it's all worth it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Blogging for Scrapbookers, anyone?

I've decided to take this online class, taught by Shimelle Laine, to hopefully perk up my blogging (and actually give me a reason to come by and get in the habit of posting)! I'm sure all of my readers, both old and new, would appreciate that! Which, btw, through the class, there's a whole lot of new traffic I may be getting, so I want to take a minute to say HELLO to all of my new readers! I hope you'll stop by often, and comment on things you like.

My goals for this class: I may not get a post in EVERY day, but hopefully several times a week. I also want to fit it into my already very busy life, which concerns me because I've already spent way too much time today on Shimelle's forums chatting and blog-hopping to all my classmates blogs (yikes!). I also hope to incorporate this blog for more than recording the "big things" but also little snippets of everyday life that I don't want to forget - in order to incorporate those thngs into my scrapbooks more frequently. Another goal is to start including more photos in my posts . . . I admit, while I take pictures, I only upload to the computer every week or so, and then forget about bringing them into blogger . . . Keep your fingers crossed, because I know posts are more fun with pictures and not just a bunch of words!

Anyhow, if you'd like to join me (maybe you wouldn't mind improving some of the very things I mentioned above) why don't you run quick over to Shimelle's website and sign up! It's only $15 USD and it's been so informative thus far . . . I've made quick friends with my google reader and next button! :-)

In other scrappy news:

I finished a LayOut A Day challenge with Lain - with 100% success nonetheless! I'm pretty impressed. While I knew I could do it (I did it in January 2008 as well), I was amazed that I could do it during the day, fitting in all of my other responsibilities and not leave it until after 11 pm. This made me very happy!


I also won a random drawing contest at ella publishing for submitting this layout based on using the title "I love your smile." I know, I know - it was a random drawing, but I still think this is one of my favorite layouts I've done in the last month. I was channeling my inner Cathy Zielske with her clean linear design and basic neutral background. I also have NEVER won anything in a contest (or drawing) before - EVER - so I was pretty excited. I won a pair of LittleMissMatched socks as a runner-up! Okay, if you've never heard of these socks before, go NOW to this site and check them out! Their colors and patterns have always made me happy, and I was lucky enough to get a pair of flip flops from them this past spring, but I've never splurged on their socks before - so I'm super-uber excited!! Thanks Ella ladies!!

Hope everyone's having a fabulous day! :-)