Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Birthday Preparations....

Today is a big day for miss ella.....6 years old {and she's in charge, so she says}
So I stayed up late last night making some decor. These are my first attempt at the them, but don't love them.
I do LOVE the happy birthday banner made from the Teresa Collins Celebrate paper and embellies!
Well, we had a nice breakfast of cinnamon rolls and opening presents. She is off to school with her pencils & play dough for all her kindergarten friends. I will be taking her some Chik-Fil-A for lunch {her favorite} then we will see what the birthday plans for the evening bring....I think there will be a few surprises {wink!}

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goin' Coconuts

I have been traveling with work for a few years now. And alot has changed since this crazy journey of me 'workin on the weekend' started. Craig has really taken the weekends with dad to another level, especially this year. When all this traveling started, he would keep the kids contained within the walls of the house as much as possible; barely even going out to get the mail. NOW he is a rockstar when it comes to the kids. He takes them to all of their soccer games, basketball camps, birthday parties, play dates, practices, summer activities, field trips, etc. This last week was a tough one for me and I didn't even get the grocery shopping done before I left.
When I called on Friday night, he had gone to the grocery store and done all the shopping.

And he bought a coconut.

This is what I love about Craig and the dad that he is. He buys things at the store that we really don't need, but are just 'fun for the kids'.
Every time I talked to the kids during the weekend they were telling me about this coconut:
"When you get home we are going to crack it open and see what is inside."
"We 'binged' about the coconut and there isn't milk inside, but just water."
"We watched a video on youtube about how to get the coconut open, but since we don't have a machete, we will use a hammer like Grandpa Norman did when he was here a long, long time ago and bought a coconut."
This is my husband, their dad, and I love him.

{P.S. Do you remember the movie 'Goin' Coconuts? When I was growing up, I saw it every summer at Starship Theater . It was a dollar each week during the summer. Back then a dollar included the movie, popcorn, adrink, and a jolly rancher stick!
If you know who is the star of that movie, leave a comment!}

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Create Daily

This is what I have made the past 3 days. Each has only taken less than 10 minutes. I have been cleaning my creative space and instead of throwing away scraps, I have been putting them in little piles and creating cards with them. I want to make something every day, no matter what. Even if it is just a card, a meal for my family, or a folded basket of laundry.
I will create each and every day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom: Celebrate

Three mothers were sitting together at a school ball game. Two of them were gushing about their childrens' talents and latest achievements. One son had recently won an athletic scholarship. And anothers daughter had just been chosen as valedictorian. The third mother's son had no such accompishments but she seemed unruffled, even happy about the success of the other two. She almost sounded as proud of those other children as their own mothers were.

Later, when asked why she hadn't felt jealous she simply explained that it was much easier to celebrate than to compete. She certainly wanted success for her own child as well, but she knew that victories for others don't mean failures for us. She felt confident that her son would excel in his own way and in his own time.

The ability to forget oneself and praise another's achievement is a key to contented living. It's natural to feel pains of envy at another's success as if their success cancels out our own. But, in reality, life is a roller coaster and we each have our ups and downs. When we remember and cherish our own values and growth, we realize we wouldn't trade places with anyone else. When we are confident in the motives of our own hearts, we can then reach out to commend others for a job well done or, good fortune that comes their way.

This big-heartedness is also easier when we adopt the stance of the mother at the ball game. If we can look upon others with an almost parental sense of love then we can rejoice in their achievements the same way a gardener rejoices in stunning flowers that bloom in the garden. We discover that we have surrounded ourselves with winners. And they inspire us, rather than threaten us.

It has been said that one of the marks of true greatness, is the ability to develop greatness in others. If we make it our life's work to bring out the best in others how can we feel anything but personal success when they shine.

-Music and the Spoken Word

I would have to agree with Shannon, there IS enough jealousy & competition in the world, lets just be happy for one another.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


{by Sydnee}


{by Christian}

It is no professional photographer...but sometimes I have to give the camera over to the kids to get a few shots of me and my man!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wildcat Den State Park

We decided to become 'one with nature' over Labor Day Weekend. We went hiking. When I tell people we went hiking in Iowa, they can only think of trekking it through a corn field. Earlier in the week, I googled 'hiking in iowa' and found a list of trails. This park was rated one of the best, and it wasn't far from our house. It was the perfect morning, just after a rain storm.

Iowa is full of beautiful hiking trails. This was one of our first, but definitely not our last. The trail was so green and full of interesting vegetation. The kids found lots of different fungi growing on the ground and in the trees. There is also an old school and mill that were fun to explore.

It was a perfect morning. The only thing I regret is not getting a picture of all 5 of us together. I enjoyed getting away from the cell phones, TV, wii, video games, computer, and just enjoying the world around us.

I really got the itch to go hiking because of holiday weekends growing up and all the adventures that my dad would take us on up in the canyons of Utah. Hiking is inexpensive, and with 6 kids, he was always finding something exciting for us to go and do.

I remember one particular Labor Day, we loaded up the twelve-passenger van ready for a holiday adventure. I invited my best friend, and we drove up Parley's Canyon for the Swiss Day celebration in Midway. My dad could not stop talking about all that he read about in the newspaper; this little town, yummy authentic food, walking, woodworkers selling their wares, games for the kids. When we came to the town, there wasn't a car on the streets. Dad pulled up in front of the main building and went to look around while 8+ anxious kids waited in the car. The celebration ended the Saturday BEFORE Labor Day.
BUT in my dad's true quick thinking, we went swimming at the Homestead, and everyone forgot about the party we missed.

Where do you find adventure and nature? Where are you making those memories that your kids are going to remember when they are grown?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life Is Good {Hi Cinci!}

Didn't make it to Spark this past weekend, and my heart is still a little tender about it. Sigh.
I still have Spark-inspired projects that need some finishing, and I think this is the week to complete them.

Here are a few creations with Echo Park's new Life Is Good paper & embellies. This is my LSS Scrapaganza's Scrappinista Club for September. Have you done a scrapbook page with no pictures before? Try will love it!
Had a great time this weekend, just makin' stuff with lots of creative women in Cincinnati!

Thanks for the good time. Now back to laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

back to school...

Christian started middle school.
Sydnee is in 3rd grade.

Ella started Kindergarten.

All three kids in school, all day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time for fall...

Pumpkins, leaves, cool & crisp air. I am ready for it.
Tomorrow is decorating time.
Tomorrow is also the start of this fun & exciting adventure:

12:30 CST {Click on the picture above and it will take you to the link}

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bucket List

Happy Labor Day Weekend!
We still have a few things to do on our summer bucket is to the official last weekend of summer!!! Yahoo!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I posted this a few days ago on The Story Matters blog. This is for Sydnee to help her with finishing chapter books. I think it is sometimes a difficult transition from short picture books and small chapter books to the longer chapter books. I hope this will get her excited to keep track of the books she reads throughout 3rd grade.
I am in between books right now, looking for another good one. Have you got any suggestions?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Papergirls: Papertalk LIVE

So excited about this....and also a little bit nervous. I am also so honored to be a part of this with so many other gals that inpsire me with their own paperlives.
And do you know what is also amazing?
Everyone can participate and share.
Go to this link to find out how.
This is a call-in show people!

{Ok now the nerves are setting back in.}

Thursday, September 2, 2010

{digging deep....

Over 2 years ago, I read the book Eat, Pray, Love with my sister in law. We would read each week and discuss it over the phone. It was our long-distance book club. I loved the book, but more importantly the conversations with someone that I also love dearly. When we finished the book, I had found many quotes and passages within the book that inspired me. I had plans to make a mini book....but of course never got around to it. Now with all the hype of the movie, I took my book out and created this layout. It was nice to be reminded of the passages that I had forgotten from the book. I thought this self-portrait from our cruise during the same year was fitting for this layout. Many times when we create, we don't reach inside ourselves to create. I really enjoyed making this page. The feelings that I had while making it, are the reflective feelings I wish I had every time I create. Thinking back, remembering, reminding, inspiring, feelings that I need
all over again....
This layout was created from 2 photos that my cousin has on her Facebook wall. I had never see them before, but I recognized the people in them. They are my great-grandparents, grandparents, and aunts! {...and great-aunts, great-uncles, and cousins} I immediately emailed my aunt, who is kind of the head-historian of our family, and she told me who was in the photos and when it was taken. I love these photos, especially as they came by surprise to me. Since I didn't have the room on my creation, to write all the information my aunt gave to me, I just adhered the email to the back of the layout. This way I have the opportunity create something beautiful with theses heritage photos, but also have the documentation I need for my own personal history. Thank you Aunt Janet!

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