Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing The Garner Family

Grandma Pattee and Grandpa Burton sent us some silly teeth in our Halloween Package. The kids (and Craig) had fun with them last night while we were carving pumpkins. The photos say it all.....
We would like to dedicate this song (on the playlist) to Grandma Pattee...it is one of her favorites!

Pumpkin Party

Last night, we carved pumpkins for Family Night. Sydnee also wanted to try roasting the pumpkin seeds, so we used Candi's recipe. After supper, we dug out all the seeds and put them in the oven to roast...the kids started on their pumpkins and Christian chose a hard pattern, but he stuck with it and got it done! I was very proud of him. Check out their amazing work. Ella had some help from Dad, but Sydnee and Christian carved their pumpkins all by themselves! It was a great night. Trick-or-Treating is tonight (Tuesday) in Davenport, because of the downtown Halloween Parade on Wednesday. So we will have some more pictures to post after tonight!
**Edited: We did use the pumpkin carving tools by Pumpkin Masters...they are very helpful and safe.


Lots of Halloween festivities going on this week. It all started with a Trunk R' Treat on Friday. We thought it was going to rain, but for once the rain stayed away! Christian's costume this year is an Iowa Hawkeye Football Player, Sydnee is a Cheerleader, and Ella is Tinkerbell (you have to say that with a southern accent). I wore my standby witch costume again this year.
It was cold, but everyone had a good time...can you say SUGAR RUSH! My kids are going to be on one for the next week.
What are you going to be for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Years...

Last week, was our two year anniversary of living in Iowa. It has taken some time to adjust to our new surroundings. Just this week I finally found someone that I feel happy with styling my hair. In Utah, my cousin Heather was my hairstylist. She had set the bar pretty high with my hair looking amazing every time she did it. I have now found a stylist that can style my hair almost as good as Heather. Julia at Salon Aria is amazing. She cut my hair in June and last Saturday I went back to have her color it. She is definitely the best in the Quad Cities. And I should know since I have been to all of the "other" salons (William Wesley, Five Star, etc.) in the area. I am so happy to have finally found her. Salon Aria is an Aveda salon. And I LOVE the smell of their products. But that is an entirely different story. So...what do you think?
Last night everyone from Scrapaganza met at The Picture People to have a group photo taken. These are some shots that we took outside while we were waiting to look at our pictures. Say "Hi!" to Megan and Candi. I love working with these gals....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Birthday Season Has Officially Ended

Tonight, I took Sydnee and Ella on their birthday shopping spree sponsored by Aunt Linzi and Aunt Dana and the rest of the Garner clan. First stop: Build A Bear Workshop! Ella immediately picked the Halloween Ghost and named her "Ghosty" (very original), but Sydnee had a little bit harder time deciding. FINALLY she decided on the Winter Bear and named him Jason, with a nickname "Snowy". Because this one is a boy, not a girl like Bunny Hop (her other Build A Bear).
Thanks Uncle Matt, Aunt Linzi, LeXee, Cody, Jade, and London for the fun at BABW!

Next stop: Target! First, we want it to really feel like Aunt Dana is shopping with us, so we stop for a hot chocolate and a lowfat pumpkin spice steamer at Starbucks. Then we head over to the toys where Sydnee has to decide between the Barbie Pet Doctor Set or Littlest Pet Shop. Almost TWO HOURS later Sydnee ends up with the Littlest Pet Shop and a pink glitter purse and wallet from the girls department. The reason why I am giving all the juicy details, is I really wish that you could be with us during these fun birthday times. I know that is not in cards right now, so this will have to do. Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes and fun sprees we were able to have during both Sydnee and Ella's birthday season.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inside Out

I wore my brown t-shirt inside-out today. I had it layered over a white thermal tee. I guess I have been thinking lately that I don't have any style, or I feel that I am in a little bit of a funk and wanted to feel hip and cool. So I wore it inside-out...just because.
Does this feel a little bit like my life?
Yes it does.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mercy Me!

Last Friday, my cousin, Mercy, and her husband, Hal, came by for a visit! They had been visiting the church history sights in Nauvoo and were passing through on their way to Kirtland, Ohio. After several cell phone calls for directions, they made it here! It was so fun to just sit around the table with them and just talk. It reminded me of when my aunts and uncles would come to our house on there way somewhere and my mom and dad would just sit around the table and talk. This short visit really made my day. Since I live so far away from all of my family, these little "stops along the way" really seem to get me through.

When I was younger, Mercy was always one of my cousins that I looked up to. We didn't live near each other, but whenever we visited Cedar City, she would let Kara and I hang out with her friends who were "older". She was fun and care-free, always happy and laughing. These are the times that I wish we lived closer, so our kids could know each other. Craig has already planned next time we come to Utah, we are going to visit Mercy and Hal's home.

Sorry, these pictures are blurry, but we gave the camera to Christian...and well, he has taken better!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Soccer Season

We had a great soccer season for both Christian and Sydnee. Last Saturday, Sydnee had an early game and I thought she wouldn't play very well, but she scored two goals! She loves having friends on her team. Christian had his last game on Saturday and also scored! Christian also loves playing with his team. We love DADS Club Soccer!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I am Two Days Late...

Saturday day was my best friend, Sandee's birthday. One of the reasons that I can say best friend, is because she has been my friend the longest. Our friendship started within the classrooms of Kindergarten with our teachers, Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Hill. I think that was about the same year that she started having the "Sandee Oxley Birthday Party" which is and was the biggest party of the year. It was always a sleepover and fun movies and a good jump on the tramp. There are too many memories about those birthday parties that I don't want to forget, including Icabod Crane and The Headless Horseman, someone getting stuck up in Sandee's tree in the backyard, jumping until I (almost) peed my pants, laughing with Sherry and Kallie (Sandee's older sister and her best friend that never made us feel like we were too young to hang out), and many more memories! Since we have gotten older, she still has an amazing party. One year we even pulled off a little surprise. This weekend, I tried to not really think about it, but it still kept coming to my mind. I am trying not to think about being miles away, but it sounds like they had a great time again this year.
Happy Birthday to a friend that is so genuine, loyal, and true. I have learned more from Sandee than I could ever thank her for. We connect in a way, well, that can only be explained by saying that it all started when we were in Kindergarten....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Just A Thought....Because It Is Not Mother's Day

Someone sent this to me in an email today....and I guess, it was just what I needed to read at that moment. Thanks Sheri...

I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter,never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals -we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.' At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
- Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SyDneE is SiX!

Birthday pancakes: 5 + 1 = 6 candles!
With her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Peterson
Taking a ride on her new wheels!
Blowing out the candles!
Look how she has grown!

I had to hurry up and post something before it is Oct. 9th. Today was Sydnee's birthday! We started the morning with some pancakes and candles... She opened her presents from Grandpa and Grandma Garner...I took some birthday goodies to her Kindergarten class....Dad came home early to put her birthday present together - a new bike! We also had parent-teacher conferences tonight so we were back at the school for a bit and ended the big celebration with brownie sundaes! I guess this is going to be the no-cheesy-birthday cake-year! Here are a few things that I love about our six-year old daughter:

*She has a crazy, spontaneous, contagious personality. She can have you crackin' up when you are supposed to be serious, especially if she is in trouble.

*She is mom's best helper - hands down! She is always emptying and loading the dishwasher, cleaning the mirrors and windows, dusting, vacuuming... but don't ask her to clean her room!

*She is very creative and artistic. She loves to draw and color with markers, especially the permanent ones on her lil' sister's body parts. She is also starting to get the scrapbook bug!

*If it is after 7:00 am, she is always happy. Like her mom, she is not a morning person, but any other time of day she is in a happy-go-lucky mood!

*She loves to show others that she loves them. Big hugs for everyone! Sometimes it feels more like a tackle for the little ones, but she is extremely loveable and if they are smaller than her, Sydnee loves to pick them up and give them a hug.

*Sydnee is someone that could be an example on how to live life - to the fullest! She runs fast, plays hard, loves strong, and lives every moment. Sometimes I wish I could forget the adult life and live the life that she lives, no regrets, no worries. I hope that this is a little something that stays with her until she is sixty!

Sydnee, your dad and I love you. I also know that your big brother has a special place in his heart for you, and Ella is just following your every move. She watches and you are a good example to her, most of the time.

Happy Birthday Sydnee!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I Love Reminisce! And I have been creating for over a month to get all of these projects finished. It has been so much fun and feel my creative spark growing with each project I finish. One of the things I love about Reminisce products is how great they are to layer. I love layering with their paper, stickers, and rubons. I also love their journaling stickers and have used them in some different ways.
Love Banner created with Love Collection 2007 (I made this banner with some leftover paper from my 100 Things I Love/100 Things that Bug Me class.)
Lil' Witch created with Witch's Brew Collection
With the Reminisce stickers, I didn't have black (even though I have every other color) so I painted some others black and used glitter Stickles to cover the paint.
Iowa Cold created with Northern Exposure Collection

Love using the journaling stickers as tabs on top of my pages. I also used a Hambly transparency that looked great with this collection.

This is my first 11 x 8.5 page. Even though you can't see them in the photo, there are Heidi Swapp ghost stars layered with the Reminisce star stickers.

The embellishments were made by punching circles and flowers and scrunching them up to make them pop! The bling stars were found at the dollar spot at Target.

Many of Reminisce papers don't have to be used for the holiday or theme that they were created for. I have found that most of their paper styles can be used in so many different ways, you just have to step out of the box a little bit. Do you love all the layouts? Watch for classes at the store featuring the Reminisce Six! (Six Reminisce Layouts in one class! Wow!)

I made this mini-book with badge-holders from the office supply dept. at Walmart. Super easy and looks great with the double-sided patterned paper in the Stripestock Collection.

Grateful Tag Album created with Shades of Autumn Collection
Each page is also covered on the back with coordinating Shades of Autumn Paper and Journal Stickers, so you can make a list of things you are grateful for.
This is such a fun project and will be a class at the store in November, just in time for Thanksgiving. Start your gratitude list today...
So there is all is! Enjoy and thanks for looking!
Grandkids Brag Book created with Stripestock Collection Lucky Girl created with Green Day Collection 4th of July Fashionista created with Freedom Collection 3 Be Amazed created with Freedom Collection 3 Big Shots created with the newest Genuine Boy Collection

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ella's Birthday

We had a great weekend celebrating Ella's birthday. Last week, I kept asking her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, "Go to the park and slide on the green slide." So that is what we did! Dad picked up dinner and we met him at the park by our house. The kids played and just before dark, we sang "Happy Birthday" and opened her presents. Many of her presents came from family far away. She really enjoyed all of the gifts and is still playing with all her new loot. Our friend, Emily gave her a mini-electric guitar, and she loves "rocking out". We also had many songs on our answering machine from Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Maren, and Aunt Linzi and Jade. She listens to the messages over and over again and says, "Thanks" at the end of each message. So thank you to everyone for loving Ella and wishing her a wonderful birthday. I think that three is going to be a great year...
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