Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

Just printed this on my photo printer! Yippee!
Thanks to my techy hubby, it is working....
I am going to also print THIS
Then I am off to make something of it all!
{And in between we are going to eat panang curry & lettuce wraps...yummy!}
Looking forward to a new year, new slate, new opportunities, new me....
Bring on 2009!

photo also by paolo

This is it...

The only picture we have together during this holiday season! {while we were making the gingerbread house...}
One of us is always holding the there are rarely any pictures together.
I just wanted to say...
Have I told you lately that I love you?
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Can't Stop Looking At This...

New Year's Eve...
Happy New Year my sister....

picture by Paolo

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Memory...

After all the presents had been open, and there was wrapping paper everywhere; Sydnee started passing out the gifts that filled her angel stocking. Each one was lovingly wrapped in white copy paper with masking tape. She had several for each person: Dad, Mom, Christian, and Ella. Sydnee had wrapped gifts from her room. All of her favorite treasures she was giving to us. Christian received his Ryan Shupe CD that had been lost for a couple of weeks. Dad received a golf ball {that was actually Christian's}, a ninja, and some change. Mom received a painted dog, a seashell, and a gluestick. Ella received a picture of Jesus and a fossil rock. We each received a drawing of our was a precious memory. Craig and I laughed a bit afterward of all the things she was giving away...I just couldn't go without taking a picture of it all.
The very best part of Christmas time, I'll tell you any day
The very best, happiest part of all is the present you give away...

We Are Here...

I hate to admit it, but I took my Christmas decorations down yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the holiday season, but as soon as it is over, I want to get things organized for the new year. We had a great Christmas! Christmas Eve we had some friends over for dinner, including the missionaries. We exchanged presents and played Rockband. That was probably the highlight of the night! Craig and I continued our tradition of exchanging gifts after the kids are in bed. It is so nice just to focus on each other, while everyone upstairs is trying to drift of to sleep. Christmas morning was also exciting. The kids woke up just before 7:00 am. Everyone enjoyed all their gifts. We kept our tradition of a Cafe Rio dinner, and had some other friends over the share it with. I don't think I will ever get sick of pulled pork burritos with tomatillo dressing. It is delish. So everything around here was pretty low key, but we liked just relaxing, and playing games together. It was a good day...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Nana!

I know she doesn't read my blog...but I have been thinking about her all day. I remember when I was first married, and my work was out by her house. Every week, I would go to her home for lunch. How I wish I could have those days back! Where we would be just talking, laughing, etc...she gave me some of the best advice as I was starting a new part of my life. We were very close then. I miss those simple days...
My kids are thinking about her today too. When Christian woke up this morning he exclaimed, "It's Nana's birthday!"
I hope she has a nice day...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Big Ten

It's All About:
Double Digits
Nerf Guns
Nintendo DS
$$ from Grandparents {and great-grandparents}
Basketball at the Y
Movie with Dad
Walking Tacos {his request for dinner}
M&M Cookie Cake
Ten Years Old...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

At Christmas

A man is at his finest
towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be
when the Christmas season's here;
He's thinking more of others
than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children
is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature
than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him
he come close to the sublime.
-Edgar A. Guest
Tonight I opened a pile of cards that the mailman dropped off for our family. So many friends and family, some that I haven't seen in years {and years}...
I am grateful for the opportunity to just pause for a moment tonight & peek into their lives. To see everyone going through life; many who are smiling and sharing memories of this past year that went by just a little too quickly.
So I am thinking of each & every one of you...even those that I didn't get a card from....wondering how you are and if your year, like mine has been full of joy, happiness, challenges, laughter, and lots of memories.
I hope this season of Christmas brings you all the best...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Preparations

Last-minute work treats...
Ahh...the smell of a new book....

And my favorite:
Old ornaments made new again. {These are some ornaments from a advent calendar that my grandma & mom made many years ago. I have fond memories of counting the days until christmas on the chubby felt tree that we pinned these to. Don't these look great in this frame??? I was thrilled to make this as my newest Christmas decoration.

Christmas Songs We Love

Christian had his Christmas Open House for piano. He was so excited to play and practiced hard all week. This is him with his piano teacher. He played three songs:
When Santa Gets Your Letter
The Night Before Christmas
Jingle Bells
Enjoy the video! {Don't forget to turn off the playlist}

Snow Day

Lots of snow, lots of ice....
Temperatures below freezing...
But the kids love it...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Consider this your Christmas Card...

Nope. I didn't do it this year. I didn't send out Christmas cards...I wish I would have sent each and every one of you a card! I am thinking about all of you and want to wish you happiness, laughter, and joy in the coming year. Have a wonderful holiday season!
{I did get this fabulous picture thanks to my BFF&A...}

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Deck The Halls

A few weeks ago, I asked my Sister-In-Law for some decorating inspiration! She is always decorating her house so simple and stylish. She has really got talent when it comes to decorating. It doesn't matter if it is everyday or a holiday, her place is cozy & I love all the decor that she puts together. So....these pics are for her! I was really proud of how my places came together this year. And I didn't even feel that I had to go buy new, even though I was tempted, I just used what I had!

Monday, December 15, 2008

If a fat guy grabs you and puts you in a bag, don't worry, I told Santa I wanted a good friend for Christmas...

Don't Bother Me...We Are Trying to Celebrate

I know, I know....this blog is never updated anymore. Why? We are busy! We are busy getting into the holiday mood! It has been fun around here. Fun, and FREEZING! {OK I am trying to keep this positive!} This year I let my kids decorate the tree {and I didn't go back and fix it!} We made a gingerbread house {thanks to G&G!} We made a Christmas countdown chain {thanks to the other G&G & preschool.} We have been having some Christmas fun, and we still have lots more to do! So I will try to post more, but I am not making any to make some more hot chocolate...{did I say it was cold here????? 3 degrees while I am typing this....positive, positive thoughts!}

Oh yeah, this is the other reason I have not been blogging....ROCKBAND!

Do You Blog?

I just found this cool new website called Bloggled. There are two cool things about this site. The best thing is you can backup your blog! Did you know Google deleted their own blog? It could happen to anyone. I have had several friends ask me if their blog is backed up on Blogger, and to be honest, I thought it now I am backing it up here. Also you can turn your blog into a book on this same site. I haven't tried this yet, but it is something that I want to do in the future. So check it out!
P.S. They are giving away some cool prizes thought midnight tonight! Ipod Touch or a Cricut if you are blog surfing late {only 2 hours to go!} then register to win!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To Grandma's House We Go...

Last month, we went to Utah, just the 3 kids & I. My kids went to see Grandpa & Grandma; and any other relatives that we could squeeze into a week's time. I went for the Rusty Pickle Retreat and to see as many friends and family that I could squeeze in too. It was a great trip! The kids are still talking about all the things they did with Grandpa and Grandma; the puzzles, the basement toys, the beauty parlor, Wizard of Oz, etc. They LOVED staying at their home, being surrounded by 'cool things' {as Christian says...} Well, I hadn't really put together the proper thank you for my parents. I know that I told them how grateful I was for their grandkids to be able to spend a few days with them...and I know that sometimes living far away, you feel that they don't have the 'grandparent' experience that should happen on a regular basis, and not just once a year. But when my kids came home with the experience like they makes living away just a little easier. It is still so hard, but times like this make it memorable. Well, today I came across this in Christian's journal, and I wanted to share it here, where I could remember....and Grandpa and Grandma could feel his excitement to see them. Thank you for a wonderful week Grandpa & Grandma. We love you!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bad Blogger

Good Scrapper...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Minnesota Report

I went on my last trip for Rusty Pickle the weekend before Halloween. I haven't blogged about it because I really enjoyed this trip {and all my trips this year} and didn't want it to end. I also set a goal for myself and accomplished it on this trip. It felt good, really good. Here are a few of the things that I don't want to forget about Minnesota:
This was the view from my classroom at convention center. I had some amazing classes this convention. Everyone's creative mojo was really going. I don't know if it was the fall weather, the city, or maybe it was just the view out the classroom window; but everyone was wonderful in my classes.

Look who I met ! Can you believe it? She is just as cool in person.... and her son is darling. Go check out Christine's blog. If you have never peeked, it will be inspiring. Promise. Rhonda at The Scrapbook Shop got word that I adored this girl, so she surprised me and had her stop by on Sunday afternoon. I wish we would have had the chance to grab some hot chocolate and talk for time for sure.

This was my 1st class at a scrapbook store outside of the Quad Cities. It was at an awesome store called The Scrapbook Shop. They had so many inspiring layouts and creative projects....I loved teaching there! Nancy, Rhonda {the owner}, and Donna.....I had a wonderful time with you all and I can't wait to come back next year at the new store!
Here is the crew in the Rusty Pickle booth. Alaina {in the middle} is the education coordinator for Rusty Pickle and she has been AMAZING to work with. I have so much fun when I get to travel with her. We get pretty silly together, yet she knows scrapbooking like no other! She is one of the reasons I can't wait for next year....I miss you girl! Her sister worked with us this trip and I hope to see her was good times, good times.
And last, but not least, every time I travel I have something happen that makes me REALLY miss my kids and wish that I had them with me. This time I was at the Mall of America and who do we see? Yep, Sid the Science Kid. Ella adores him, so I had to have my picture taken with him.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Notes

Turkey red
Turkey grey
Turkey says,
have a happy day!
{Written by a 1st grade student with one loose tooth...who also made the turkey above...}
Turkey Notes are a local Thanksgiving tradition. They are said to date back to about 1890 (though this cannot be confirmed), and are considered to be strictly a local custom.
A Turkey Note is a short, three- or four-line poem, using “Turkey” as the first word of the first two lines. Purists use colors for the second word of these first lines, but this is not strictly necessary. The poem can be a compliment, an insult, or just funny (depending, of course, on your sense of humor)...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Be Warm: Inside and Out

Today I felt the warmth of friendship.
Reconnecting with a friend...
Feeling a friend's joy through the phone...
Celebrating with friends...
Laughing with friends...
And a friend knowing you and loving you unconditionally....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-Melodie Beattie
{via Ali's blog}

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