Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creative License

The Creativity Project with Lisa Day

I'm joining this project for the month of March . . . I know I have way more on my plate that I could ever accomplish but that's the problem . . . all of it seems like "work" and not fun although shouldn't we make everything fun or at least try to? Scrapbooking is my hobby not my life or my work and I want to create with my scrapbook stuff almost everyday but it rarely happens anymore. Actually as of lately, it seems not much of anything happens here creatively anymore . . . boring. Makes me feel lazy and frustrated and just tired all the time. This isn't necessarily about doing "projects" as it is taking the everyday ordinary things and putting a creative spin on it and adding fun and energy into your life . . . I need that a lot right now! Stacy Jullian (scrapbooking celeb) turned me on to this. I think it's one of those things that the hard part is getting started but once you get going I think it will easily springboard from one area to another. So I'll start tomorrow and I think we may have a picnic on the living room floor for dinner . . . sure my husband will grumble at first and the kids will spill things but how fun and as I think ahead to it I'm sure I will add more fun to the whole process. So this isn't necessarily about being craft as it's thinking about doing things differently with a spin of fun and new ideas. People look at things I'm doing and say "I wish I was creative like you" and I really don't understand why people think they aren't creative. Creativity is about inventiveness, your ideas, your way, sometimes it turns out and sometimes it doesn't but the process should be enjoyable so all you Negative Nellies stop saying you're not creative and join in on the fun! Let me know if you're joining and be sure to let Lisa (the idea originator for the creativity project) know on her blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scrapbooking Struggles & a Giveaway

Ever since the kids got sick a few weeks ago with those ear infections, I didn't have much of a chance to scrapbook except when they went to bed by then I was too exhausted to do anything but lay in bed and stare at the TV until I was out (about 5 minutes). Then they got better, it was valentines crafts and then I started painting their room again so once they were in bed I was too tired to do any scrapbooking although I wanted to and I thought I had fab ideas but if I did go up there I would just shuffle stuff around not sure what to do and it didn't take long before I was frustrated and felt like I was wasting time. Today I decided I would scrap during Reese's morning nap as a "present" to myself since yesterday I wasn't home much at all and spent most of the day running errands and driving kids places.

Once again, I felt like I was at a loss and I was up there working on my bedroom floor when all of sudden I was like hey! why am I sitting on the floor when I have this nice space I created???? I realized although it's not a total mess I just had some stuff sitting up there that hadn't made it's way back to it's proper place and I need a good amount of table to work (just ask Keely). While I should have probably stopped and cleaned a little I didn't want to give up my me time to organizing/cleaning once again. So I kept on truckin' and got this done. I like it. I still need to do the journaling.

This afternoon I will venture up there and put away all my stuff so I can get back to scrapping when I want without the mess. That's the key to most everything in my life -- I can't create very well in chaos. It bugs me. Now I want that creative bug to get me going.

And if you're feeling like you have the creative bug going on and want to get hold of some new cool stuff, check out Creek Bank Creations Blog. My sister, Keely, works there and is helping out with their blog and they are doing a giveaway right now with some of their own new products.
That tree book is pretty neat. Paint it, cover it in paper, ink it, how cool would it be with some park, spring, or fall photos. Even if you're not a scrapbooker, that tree book would make a cool journal (I'd paint it with acylic paint and write on top of the paint or cover it with notebook paper) or just give it to your kids and see what cool thing they do with it. I know Addison would love to do a "project"(as she calls it) like that. I think they may add more to their giveaway as more people comment so go to it, be sure to mention my name so they know I'm out there promoting them!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Me at 38

I always do age posts about the kids I thought since today is my birthday I'd do one for me!

*I love to cook but hate to make the menu and lists of what to buy. Lately it hasn't been too much of a problem as I am only shopping the store sale fliers and coupons thus we eat what is on sale. We have saved a ton of money in groceries by doing this.

*I love reality shows. American Idol, Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and {I hate to admit} Rock of Love with Brett Michaels are my favorites at the moment. I can't wait for Celebrity Apprentice to begin next week!

*Brad Paisley became a lot hotter when he had kids and I love his music but I'm really digging Gary Allen a lot and he's not to bad to look at either. I do not find Brett Michaels attractive in any way and I think I just watch that show to figure out why all those women want to be his girlfriend. I do not see the enticement of it all.

*Donuts are my crack and Diet Mountain Dew is my alcohol. I decide almost everyday that I am not going to eat donuts anymore. But if I know where they are in a store and I always do. You'll find me there staring at them and I'll buy one and eat it in the store or the van. I don't like to share with the kids.

*I haven't been to the Y since December. We are going back next week.

*I have been in a funk the last few weeks. I think it's cabin fever in addition to the fact that Ethan doesn't take naps there's not much time left for "me" lately. . . that's the way it goes.

*Being a mom is hard, sometimes harder than others. I love it though even the hard times.

*I hate winter . . . I don't remember feeling this strongly about it in the past but it's really on my nerves. Cold, cabin fever, boots, coats, mittens, hats, scarves, snowpants, buckling car seats over all that while freezing my rear end off times 4 -- Uggghhh!

*I haven't been scrapbooking for several weeks and every night I intend to do it and look forward to it but never have the energy. I think I have been sleeping way too much. I do best if I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night lately I've been going to bed at 10 and getting up at 7. That's way too much and makes me feel so sluggish all day long.

*I have been working on being less annoyed with people this year. It's working . . . why get all stirred up about people who I have no control over and aren't going to change anyway?

*I really hate answering the phone so I don't that's what my answering machine is for.

*Flavored Hershey Kisses are another one of my vices -- the Orange Creme ones I just bought today are really good, so are the the NY cheese cake and the raspberry creme and the cherry cordial . . . I need bigger jeans because of them.

*I know my husband spoils me. He does all the dishes, cleans up the supper table every night, bathes the kids, stays home with all the kids (even overnight) any time I ask, and the last two Sundays he's done all the laundry (and there's a lot of laundry here). My neighbor Neal told Aaron to keep me away from his wife so she doesn't get any ideas.

*Aaron bought me these rain boots. I love them and plan on wearing them all the time and you will see me out there splashing in the puddles with the kids -- come on spring!

*I really am considering a tattoo but I have 2 problems what to get and where to put it. I can't think of anything I would love to be on my body forever (except a flat tummy). Like right now I really like owls but do I want an owl on me in 10 years or twenty years . . . and where does one put an owl. When I was in 6th grade I loved Garfield. I hate Garfield now. What if I had gotten a Garfield tattoo when I was 12? Hmmmm . . . No place seems good to put one either . . . I don't want it showing all the time like people who get them on their face and necks but if it's covered all the time what's the point . . . maybe this is the sign I shouldn't get a tattoo.

*I love reading blogs and writing on mine. I am real on mine. I don't move stuff out of the shot before I take a photo, I don't apologize for my mess or lack of decorating. What you see is what you get and lately that's how I handle visitors too. I don't stress or clean up before someone comes -- this is my life and how I live and if you come over here, you get to experience it first hand.

*No matter how much complaining or how tired I am, I would have to say that this is the happiest time of my life. The path I have traveled to get where I am has been rough at times but this is exactly what I wanted and I wouldn't change one thing about my life (except that flat stomach thing).

Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sewing Bug

I'm done painting the kids' walls and trim . . . then I ran out of paint for the ceiling. The part I can't wait to start is making quilts for all of them. There's the fabrics I have so far for the girls and I plan on getting a few more too . . . you can never have too much fabric. I have a couple things for the boys so far but it's definitely harder to find fabrics I like for them. My resources are limited too since I'm trying to save money and using coupons at JoAnn's and they have a lot of fabrics but there is so much more out there . . . I've been browsing on-line something I shouldn't do . . . cute, cute, cute stuff but I'm not paying $13 or more a yard for fabric! I just can't wait to start sewing but really I should have all my fabrics before I start. It's hard to wait though, we all know how I love to START a new project that's all that is probably. I have been wanting to sew lately. I read a lot of crafty blogs where people are making the cutest clothes for their kids and themselves. Then I was at JoAnn's on Friday and at the checkout, the cashier talked me into buying this Fashion magazine for a couple bucks because it had all these coupons on the back. She said "I know you don't want this for the fashions" maybe it was my stained t-shirt or my too tight jeans giving me the ever so attractive muffin top or my Goodwill green coat (that I love) that made her say that, I don't know but when I came home I looked through it and saw it said fashions inspired by Project Runway (I loved that show!) however I would never fit into anything they stick on those stick models but the key word was inspired. I tore out several pages of things I might try to make. I would love to make some tops and skirts. I have trouble finding clothes that fit me right so maybe making my own would be better. For some reason they just don't make clothes for "mummy tummy". Anyway I might give it a go, I see a lot of sewers find a pattern they love and make it several times in different fabrics and it looks like a different top or skirt every time. I've never been big into making clothes but lately I'm feeling all Little House on the Prairie like -- I need to be Mindy Homemaker or something. Why not make all our clothes? I need more going on don't I?

So back to the kid's room, I'm almost done except I need to paint their bunk bed and the 4 (yes, four!) doors in their room but they have to all be primed too so that's a warm weather project to do outside which may never happen since I don't think it will ever be warm here again -- we just got some more snow last night. I need to order some things I have in mind for their walls too and paint the closets add the accessories I have to paint for closets. And do something to the front of their dresser . . . and sew the four quilts . . . then I'm done. I hope you're not holding your breath waiting for the reveal as that may be a few years down the road!

and don't forget I have to make two sets of curtains too . . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's a Process

A few weeks ago we brought down Addison's dollhouse from the upstairs play closet. I put in on a chest so Reese wouldn't eat the small pieces and "mess up" Addison's house. Addison couldn't reach the third and fourth floors very easily so she brought out the bench to the vanity Cathi gave us last year. When we clean up I put it back. Reesey is so smart that she goes and gets the bench and carries all the way from the playroom so she can use it to reach the dollhouse. She hasn't eaten anything so far. She likes to put the baby in the bed and say "nigh nigh baby" then "shhh . . . shhh" The second I put that bench back here she comes carrying it back out again. She'll do it tens time a day if she has too.

Today she found me to show me that she put her hat on all by herself. I can't believe all the things she can do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Me too!

Reese must do everything the older kids do -- if they have popcorn then she better get some too or she'll let you know. Good thing I remembered to buy the "baby" kind (corn pops or whatever they are called). I got them plastic popcorn boxes at the Target Dollar Spot -- I had three in hand and then remembered Reese will want one too, so I picked up another or that would have been another protest.
No school today for President's Day --- I haven't done a lot except a second coat of brown paint in their room during Reese's nap (now I have 3 walls and the ceiling to go) and bathed them all. Other than that they are destroying the house and running and screaming and I think I will prepare dinner now and we will eat the minute Aaron comes home then I think I will exit upstairs to do some scrapbooking which is long overdue and hopefully make me feel a little more energized. I must remember this for summer since they don't nap anymore . . . I need to have the day more planned out with projects and activities especially on days we stay home all day: structure is the key to my sanity or what's left of it. It will be easier in the summer when we can go outside . . . I hope!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

S+H: A New Beginning

My cousin, Scott, got married yesterday. Aaron's mom had a slumber party for her 6 grandkids so we got to go. It was a really nice wedding and we had a lot of fun at the reception. We stayed until they kicked us out which was only 9 but still it's unusual for us. I think I've been to one other wedding since I got married and Aaron's been to two. We just don't get out much!

I took some photos. I have a lot to learn about photography and my camera but I think I got some nice shots of them. I remember back to my wedding some of my favorite photos are the candids that guests took of us . . . we could have skipped paying a photography I think . . . but 8 years ago, wedding photography was a bit different. I really like the fun shots that I've seen recently. Anyway here are some of the moments I captured:

Congrats, Scott and Heather!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy {Heart} Day!

We are blessed to have stacks of love here at our house (even though these pancakes tasted yucky -- not using Bisquick to make pancakes ever again!)

We are off to my cousin's wedding today and we even have a sitter for overnight! Aaron's mom is keeping all of them so we can enjoy the wedding without hurrying back for the kids. I even got a new dress and the best part is was mark downed to $5 at Kohls. Aaron asked me a few minutes ago what we were doing after the wedding reception . . . I thought coming home was the answer however he must want to go paint the town red . . . we'll see how long I can wear my high heeled boots and stay awake!

Have a great Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Central

Holiday time again! We have been working away the last week creating all kinds of fun stuff.

The kids needed a box to hold their valentines at school so Addison did a panda one,
Ethan made a dog one (of course),

and Caden had a race car.

We made our valentines too. I make the kids help too. Of course, since they are 4 they can't do all of them but I find jobs for them to do.

Addison wrote her name on all 28 of her valentines. Caden put alien faces on his. He was burnt out near the end but he finished them all. Ethan helped face parts on his little dog cards.

Reesey even made some valentines today. I painted her hands for handprint hearts and she loved it and was so patient to sit there and do it over and over. Another art project loving girl. They have all come so far in being able to help do stuff like that.

At the beginning of the school year I signed up for treat bags for Caden and Addison's classroom. So I found some fun ideas.

I melted some old crayons in silicon ice cube trays to make swirly heart crayons.

I also made candy cane heart suckers. This was a bonus project as Aaron was instructed to buy some mini candy canes for our gingerbread party at Christmas, all he could find was a box of 100. So we had some leftover candy canes and I used them all up to make these cute suckers.

I found this awesome idea for teacher gifts. Newspaper roses . . . yup, these are made of newspaper!

I love them. The teachers did too. I wonder what else can be made of newspaper?

Of course, doing all that didn't leave me a lot of time to do anything like the 38 projects I saved for things to make at home . . . heart garlands to mobiles to a valentine countdown calendar. I was going to make valentines to give to family with photos of the kids. I did get to the photo shoot today.

I didn't even attempt a group photo just individual ones. I got some cute ones and some crazy ones!
I didn't have time to make paper valentines so I threw together a digital version which I'll share later. I can still make some really cute scrapbook pages with the photos if I ever get around to doing anything I want to do.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Boob Man

Boobs. Boobs. Booooooooooooooobs. Caden cannot stop saying "boobs". I don't know why but he just loves to say it. He thinks it's hilarious. I hope it's just one of those boy things that will soon be forgotten (yeah, right, what male forgets boobs?). I'm sure I'll hear way more than "boobs" later on. I'm trying to ignore it because I figure if I get upset or annoyed, he'll do it even more. Aaron thinks it's funny . . . so if there's a call from school about "boobs" he gets to go.

What the heck is a sub woofer for anyway?

My husband, like a lot of men, is obsessed with all things electronic. Bigger and louder are better is his motto in that department. I could care less about hearing a movie in stereo or seeing a show in HDTV. I can barely operate our DVD/VHS player. We own lots of ugly man equipment that according to me does nothing but take up valuable space in our home, attract dust, and have lots of appealing buttons and lights for little hands. Apparently we own a sub woofer (a space taker upper), I found this out on Sunday.

On Sunday Aaron was on a mission, well it was more like a rampage about picking up the house. He expected three 4 year olds to suddenly have the ability and more importantly, the will to help clean up. There was a lot of yelling and crying and the baby was following everyone undoing what had just been done. For some reason when the cleaning was done and we were finishing up Caden thought it would be helpful to mention that there was trash in the sub woofer that sits next to the playroom TV. It has a nice round hole on the front, sort of looks like the top of trash receptacle you might see outside a mall or movie theater. Aaron's hand wouldn't fit in there and neither would mine. But Caden's hand fit perfectly . . . hmmmmm.

At first he extracted a small pile of cracker wrappers, empty fruit snack bags, an old lifesaver, and a dried up baby wipe.

Then it grew to this.

And this is the ending result.

Let's just say Daddy wasn't happy and is surprised we don't have large rats sleeping in bed with us. Caden denied doing it but most of the items found are from things he eats as snacks. Addison throws her stuff away and Ethan stuffs his trash behind the playroom coach or just randomly tosses trash on the floor and Caden was the one who knew it was in there. So guilty as charged is our verdict. Aaron unscrewed the back just to make sure we got everything . . .

besides a rock, yes, a rock, it was basically just an empty box. I say why not throw trash in there, what wasted space . . . I keep saying we need more storage place in this house . . . something should go in there!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Her First Date

Daddy took Addison to the Daddy-Daughter Dance at the YMCA on Saturday night. Addison was so excited to go.

It was a 70s Disco theme and Aaron really wanted to dress the part (he loves to dress up, no kidding) but I didn't think ahead enough so we found a dress in the closet and just had to get some new shoes. Aaron said they had a great time and Addison is a good dancer.

They made a cupcake, dipped marshmallows in the chocolate fountain, danced, got her goody bag (with chocolate cupcake lipgloss) and after 45 minutes of the 2 hour event Addison announced she was ready to go. They went to McDonalds for dinner and then to the grocery store for a few things for Mommy.
Since we didn't think of a getting a corsage for our 4 year old, Aaron got her a flower at the grocery store which she loved.

Daddy had a great time too and says next year it will be a double date with Reese too. Daddy scored big points with Mommy for taking photos at the dance too . . . scrapbook page to be made, ya know.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My heart breaks as little Cora went to be with Jesus today. I know this family could use more prayers . . .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Worn Out

I just put 3 kids to bed 10 minutes early because I couldn't stand to listen to them argue, fight, hurt, each other anymore. I thought I might have about 1/2 hour to clean up, eat some leftover something before Aaron brought the 4th kid home from his Daddy-Daughter Dance Date. No such luck as I shove the first bite of reheated baked beans in my mouth I hear the van door slam -- yeah, they're home. Our house is a wreck, I tried to pick up tonight but as soon as I get one thing put away, all of them are making a new mess. One mess cleaned, three more made. I took Ethan to the doctor this morning: ear infection, big surprise. My BFF, I mean pediatrician, said I get the award for being there the most in the shortest amount of time (the prize having 4 antibiotic bottles on my counter -- seriously consider buying some stock in the stuff). I been there 4 times in the last 10 days! Aaron are are wiped out from the kids being sick. Last night they went to bed at 8, their normal time and I said to him, "Let's go to bed too." He was appalled, "I haven't gone to bed this early EVER and I'm not doing it" as he laid down on the bed by me within 10 minutes he was snoring and I was asleep right after. Tomorrow I have to make some sort of order out of this house. I can't even function at this moment with such chaos. I wanted to started repainting the kid room 3 weeks ago, still haven't even bought the paint. Maybe if they all are healthier next week I can accomplish a few things and get Reese back on some schedule. Of course I'll be missing my pediatrician but I have an appointment with her the next week. So tonight I'll call it a night early -- I made it to 8:30 tonight -- what a party animal I am!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not Complaining

So I took sick kid number 3 to the doctor today after a rough night of waking about every 45 minutes, trying to have her sleep in our bed only she wanted to touch my face and kick me every other minute, I finally got her back in bed just in time for Caden to crawl between us. To me things always seem so much worse during the night no matter what it is but I hadn't seen our pediatrician since Monday and I was having withdrawals so I figured we go. Same old, same old: ear infection, antibiotic, get back home just in time to get Ethan from school (not really I was about 5 minutes late). So I was going to complain about having sick kids for 2 straight weeks. I'm good about complaining about the kids and all the mommy things that go along with them but I'm not going to do it.
2 weeks of kids with ear infections is tiring and everyone is grouchy and I haven't gotten to do anything "fun" for myself; it's nothing compared to this blog I ran across yesterday. I don't "know" this family but I decided just to check it out and within minutes of seeing photos and reading through their archives of the past 2 weeks I was crying. Cora is about 11 months old and during a follow-up appointment for ear infections it was discovered her liver was enlarged. The next day she was having surgery to remove a mass by her kidneys that turned out to be some kind of stage 4 cancer. She's gone through her first round of chemo and now is not doing very well due to an infection and has been put on a ventilator. All this just happened to this family. They went for that ear recheck on January 22. This is one of my biggest fears as a parent -- for one of my children to become seriously ill. I'm sure all parents worry about it at times but it's one of those things I try not to think about because I can become hysterical and won't be able to sleep if I dwell on it. There have been a few times with the kids that we weren't sure about their health when they were born and beyond and I have lived through that not knowing, the uncertainty, the giving of your child's whole life into the hands of other people you don't know. Leaving your baby at the hospital all alone, hoping they are doing everything to get them better. So know even though I don't know the McClenahans and I just learned of their little family yesterday, I am emotionally invested. I am praying for Cora and for them therefore I'm not going to complain about my children with ear infections that are getting better and that my life hasn't been in it's normal routine for the past couple weeks -- it's nothing compared to Cora. I'm sure the McClenahans would welcome your prayers too. Miracles happen. Here's my three miracles tonight:

If pictures had volume, you'd be turning down the volume on your computer for sure when you "heard" this picture. To quote my mother-in-law: "At least it's happy noise!"