Friday, December 30, 2005

I hate exercise

I do. I hate it. I know there are some people that love exercising, but I am not one of them. The 40 minutes I force myself to walk the treadmill are the longest, most excruciating 40 minutes of my life. I've never been a physical kind of girl - I never did sports as a child, never worked out, etc. So someone please tell me the secret to loving exercise because at this point I am NOT getting it!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Year in Review - 2005

1. Did you have a new year's resolution this year? Yes, went very generic ... more time with family, lose weight, believe in myself, etc.
2. Who kissed you at midnight? My oldest child, Chase. He was the only one left awake!
3. Did it snow where you live? Didn't snow at all last winter. :(
5. Have you ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop? No, but one day ...

1. Who was your valentine? Brian is my eternal Valentine
2. What did your valentine get you? An "I Love You"
3. When you were little, did you buy valentines for your whole class? Yes

1. Are you Irish? Yes, I have the red hair and temper to prove it. :)
2. Did you wear green on St. Patty's Day? No, I totally forgot
3. What did you do for St. Patty's Day? Normal SAHM stuff

1. Do you like the rain? Yes, you have to if you live in Oregon.
2. Did you play an April Fool's joke on anyone this year? No, I'm no good at those. They always see through me.
3. Did you get tons of candy on Easter? Nope, but the kids did {blushing because I ate 1/2 of it}

1. What's your favorite kind of flower?: Gerber Daisy
2. Do you like the spring? By the time spring hits I'm ready for winter to end. I love all the life starting to grow.
3. Finish the phrase: "April showers bring...": May Flowers
4. What would you think of as a spring color?: Pastel pink and green

1. What year did you graduate from school?: 1992
2. Did you go on any vacations last June?: A long weekend RV-ing at the beach with the in-laws.

1. What did you do on the 4th of July? Watched fireworks at the neighbors since Brian had to work.
2. Did you go on any vacations during this month?: Does Cub Scout camp count? LOL

1. Did you do anything special to end off your summer? Nothing special. We were immersed in football, theater camp and back-to-school shopping
2. What was your favorite summer memory of '05? Our beach trip in June. We have such a great time there each summer
3. Did you go swimming a lot in the summer? More than normal, as the in-laws got the kids a swimming pool for the back yard.
4. Did you go to the beach a lot? Just once. :( I miss it ...

1. Did you attend school/college in '05? No
2. Who is/was your favorite teacher? My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Heth/Blair (she married that year and changed her name).
3. Did you like fall better than summer? I loved the cooler weather, the changing leaves and the return to school.

1. What was your favorite Halloween costume ever? OMG ... I don't even remember any costumes. I used to go as Pippy Longstocking quite a bit because I have long red hair
2. What's your favorite candy? Mon Cheri
3. What did you dress up like this year? Nothing

1. Whose house did you go to for Thanksgiving? Stopped by my Dad's to chat before heading over to my in-laws
2. Do you like stuffing? EEEEEWWWWWWW.
3. What are you thankful for? My wonderful family. There is nothing better.

1. Do you celebrate Christmas? Yes
2. Have you ever been kissed under mistletoe? I don't ever remember being kissed under the misletoe. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened though.
3. What did you want this year for Christmas? My ultimate gift (and I may as well just keep on wishing, because I'm not getting it anytime soon) is a Digital Rebel. *drool* But I also wanted clothes and got those.
4. What's the best present you ever got for Christmas? Chase was a Christmas Eve baby. 'Nuff said.
5. Do you like cold weather? Cold is fine. Much better than hot.
6. How would you rate your year on a scale of 1-10? Seven. Things are going good, but I know they are just getting better and better each year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here I am, 3 days after Christmas and basking in the warmth of my favorite present - CLOTHES.

Yes, clothes. As a kid, I hated getting clothes for Christmas. But now I love it.

I've stayed at home with the kids for the last 9 years. What this means is that I put myself last. Always have. I don't even think about buying clothes for me. As a matter of fact, I don't even walk through the womens clothing deparment. I just head for the kids clothes when we need something. So the only time I get new clothes is from Christmas and birthday.

That's why I enjoy these clothes so much. It's the little things, like my new jeans and soft cotton shirts, that make me feel like a "girl" again and not so much like a frumpy Mom.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Post-Christmas musings

Usually I suffer from post-holiday sadness. You know the feeling - all the work you've put into the holidays and it's over so quickly. But this year I'm not feeling that. It was a great time and the day seemed to last forever. Now, the only sadness I have is that my house still needs more cleaning (and will for days to come, I'm sure. Next year someone get me a post-Christmas maid! LOL).

I was horrible about taking photos yesterday though. I hate all the photos of kids opening their presents, so took only a few. I wish I would have thought to get photos of the kids with all their grandparents, but I totally zoned it out and enjoyed the day without much thought to the camera. Darn it!

Went post-Christmas shopping today and didn't find much. I need a new tree skirt but paying $15-20 for one still seems steep to me. I'm hoping some will still be left when the prices go down even more. I did buy a few rolls of wrapping paper and some kid makeup things for Carissa's birthday party favors, all at 50% off.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays!!!

It really was a great day. I got to spend time with everyone today - my Mom & her husband, my Dad and his wife and my in-laws. It was so nice to be able to sit down and chat with everyone, enjoy some goodies and gifts and play with all the new toys (yes, even us adults played with the toys! LOL). The kids got way too much, I ate way too much, and my house looks like a cyclone blew through it. But it was a truly happy holiday.


Have a joyous holiday season.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Magic ...

There's no other way to put it ... I truly felt the magic this evening. We spent the day preparing for Christmas - cleaning and cooking mostly. But this evening was all about family. Brian, the kids and I had a nice dinner together, went out to look at Christmas lights, checked the Santa Watch one last time, put out magic reindeer food, got our cookies and milk for Santa and then read "The Night Before Christmas". The kids are bursting at the seams with excitement and I couldn't help but get excited myself. Santa is on his way!!!

Santa Watch

Wow, how technology has changed things. When he was a kid, Brian watched a Santa Watch on the local news station eagerly on Christmas Eve, but I never remember a Santa Watch. Now there is an entire website dedicated to Santa Watch, .
The first thing Chase asked when he woke up this morning was "Can I turn on the Santa Watch?" So we turned it on and watched the videos of where Santa had already been. And throughout the day the kids will watch the remainder of the videos - each hourly update, computer generated videos of where Santa is, how his travels are going and whether he is on schedule or not.
Santa Watch has become a Christmas Eve tradition with us, one that helps get the kids even more excited about Santa's impending arrival.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Meant to Be

Yesterday Brian and I were talking about how life would have been different if we had made different choices in our lives. He mentioned how he wanted to join the military and wished he had done so. I replied with, "Your life would have been very different", to which he replied "But I still would have met you. It was fate. I know we were meant to be." This is the first time I have ever heard him say that about us. I've always felt that way, that we were truly destined for each other. But in the time we've been together I've never heard him say anything like that. It was so touching to know that, even after 12 years, he still believes that we were meant to be.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All Alone ...

DH and I are all alone. Not for long, mind you, but all alone none the less. It's not often that Brian and I get time to just ourselves, but the in-laws have the kids until tomorrow morning, so we were able to spend today together.

We didn't do much ... sat inside on this cold wet day and cuddled up on the couch, watched a movie then went out for some drinks, garlic parmesan fries and a game of hit-the-balls-around-the-table (called pool by those who can actually get the stinkin' balls in the holes). Just a relaxing day to spend together.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

CK Shout Out!

So I just got a PM from Linda, another DT member at ScrapAddict, telling me that my name was in the readers gallery section of the Feb. Creating Keepsakes magazine. Though they didn't publish a LO they did chose my name as one of those whose LO's they enjoyed and considered last month.

I'm really happy to at least have my name there, as I can't seem to get published recently. I have taken to only submitting to the major mags instead of all the idea books and other stuff, but still. Can someone request a LO sometime this millenium please! LOL

No UTI, but I may have a worm ...

OK, that doesn't sound good at all! LOL

Thought I had a UTI so went in today to the lab. Alas, no UTI. Hopefully the weird symptoms will cease or I'll actually have to go *see* the Dr.

On the other side, I may have a worm on my computer. At least that's what Felicia thinks it may be. I surely hope its not. What would I do without my computer? (Oh, I'd confiscate Brian's laptop, that's what! LOL) At least I have all of my photos backed up.

Our Christmas gifts are DONE. Just need to put another coat of Mod Podge on the altered canvas I did for Brian's parents (see the picture here ... using a NEW kit from Then I need to wrap it and I'm completely finished. YEAH! Hopefully everyone will be pleased with the Christmas goodies this year. The elves were a little low on dough, but they made do.

I've been thinking of making something for Brian for Christmas. Maybe an accordian book or something. Of course, I'd need to get on the ball about it as there are only 5 days left until Christmas. But the worst thing is that I know he isn't getting me anything. We just can't afford it this year. So if I make this for him he will feel badly because I don't have anything to open. So I don't know what to do.

In other news, my brother and SIL are currently stationed in Italy. Last week they had torrential rains and flooding and had to be evacuated from their home. They were very lucky - their SUV is higher than most cars so it didn't get flooded and their housing sits a bit higher than many others in their housing unit so they just barely missed flooding inside the house (another inch and it would have been inside). I'm so thankful that they were spared all that, but still feel badly for all the other military families there that did get flooded. Hopefully the water, electricity and sewer will be restored soon so that they can return home. I haven't heard from them so I'm assuming that it's not the case quite yet.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I've been tagged

Dear Deanna decided to tag me, so here goes.

The rules for this particular tagging are as follows:

Remove the blog name in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add yourself to the bottom slot.
1. Kdubs
2. Courtney
3. Beth
4. Deanna (View of Life)
5. A Scrap of Life (Annette)

Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to.
1. Cynthia
2. Carolyn
3. Jill
4. Kim J.
5. Anita

Now, on to the questions!

What were you doing 10 years ago? Getting pregnant. Hey, you asked! LOL

What were you doing one year ago? Same thing as now - staying home with the kids and enjoying my scrapbooking

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. chocolate
2. pizza
3. brownies and cheez-its
4. buttery microwave popcorn
5. my homemade cheesecake

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. Photograph - Nickelback
2. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
3. She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5
4. The Dance - Garth Brooks
5. Drops of Jupiter - Train

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Buy property in the country and train horses
2. Set Brian's parents up - a house, property, etc.
3. Give our current house away to a family who's trying hard but not able to buy on their own
4. Travel lots - Europe, Egypt, etc.
5. Send all of our kids to college

Five bad habits:
1. Food
2. Staying up too late
3. Letting the laundry pile up
4. Shopping just to shop
5. Not exercising

Five things you like doing:
1. Scrapbooking
2. Listening to music
3. Having a fun day with the family
4. Riding horses
5. Did I mention scrapbooking?

Five things you would never wear, buy, or get new again:
2. sweater dresses
3. short, tight leather mini skirts
4. bell bottoms
5. super-high heels

Five favorite toys:
1. computer
2. scrapbook goodies
3. CD Player/personal radio
4. coloring books
5. air hockey table

Naughty of Nice?

Why am I always the nice girl? Can't I be naughty for once?!? Sheesh!

You Were Nice This Year?

You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list.

You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year.

Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good.

Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

Were You Naughty or Nice This Year?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It Snowed!!!

For the first time in 2 years it has snowed. The boys noticed it first and started screaming and yelling. We quickly bundled up and headed outside, leaving Brian sleeping and Carissa taking a nap. Chase couldn't hold in his excitement and kept singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland". All Tristan kept saying is "It's really a Winter Wonderland, isn't it?!?". After a little snow fun we came indoors, then went outside again when Carissa woke up from her nap. We came in to warm up and then went out a third time to play in the snow with Daddy before it got too dark. The kids made snow angels, threw snowballs and just had a wonderful time playing in the snow. And while there was only an inch or so on the ground, the kids were thrilled with their personal Winter Wonderland.

Dear Grandma ...

I didn't appreciate my Grandma until I became a mother myself. But today I appreciate her even more.

I have been totally bummed out because we haven't got a single Christmas card this year. Not one. But yesterday we finally got one and it was from her. And it was well worth the wait.

Now Grandma isn't a woman to tell you how she feels all the time. We're just not a huggy-kissy-touchy-feely kind of family. But she sends me this card that makes me day. She told me what a wonderful job I'm doing as a mother, how proud she is of me, etc. It really means a lot coming from a woman I respect so much.

And even if I don't get one other Christmas card this year I will be thrilled because what I did get meant so much.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Frustrations of Life

Sometimes I get so frustrated with other people. Life seems to be going along just fine and then there are bumps in the road. People who think that you are doing wrong, your friends are doing wrong, etc. It's not one thing or another, it's just a culmination today. Problem with friends who are arguing, problem with my work, problem with school issues. I would prefer to live my life without all the drama, but you know that's not possible. Ugh.

Case in point - 2 of my preschool Mommy friends grumbling about the others child. And the thing is, what they are complaining about is the EXACT thing their own child is also doing. Their daughters just don't get along and it's making it hard for those of us stuck in the middle who have to listen to the grumbling from both sides. I am very good at listening and not taking sides, but sometimes I just feel like yelling 'LOOK GIRLS, FIGURE IT OUT!!!". Grrr.

Other frustrations today - trying to be in 3 places at once. Everyone has Christmas parties today that I need to attend, of course all at the same time. Thankfully I got out of being the one to organize the parties. YEAH!

There are more frustrations but I really need to go take care of other things today.

I think what I need most is a couple of deep breaths, a nice book and 5 hours to myself. HA! Like that is going to happen!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


No, not "X" as in "XXX", "X" as in "X marks the spot". Get your head out of the gutter already girls!

OK, here's my "X marks the spot" list, taken from Felicia's blog:
(x) smoked a cigarette – Once. I was 19 and Wendie Lee accidentlygot unfiltered cigarettes. Took one tiny puff and that was it.
( ) crashed a friend's car – No, but crashed my own a few times!
( ) stolen a car
(x) been in love
(x) been dumped
(x) shoplifted as a child – Took a Mr. Goodbar off the shelf, stuck it in my work apron and ate it while working.
( ) been fired
( ) been in a fist fight
( ) snuck out of your parents' house
( ) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) gone on a blind date
(x) lied to a friend – Hello! I was a teenager once
(x) skipped school – Skipped classes off and on my senior year. Nothing too dramatic – I passed!
( ) seen someone die
( ) been to Canada
(x) been to Mexico – 2 short visits. Once in 1985 and once during our Honeymoon.
(x) been on a plane
( ) purposely set a part of yourself on fire – Who does this?!?
( ) eaten sushi – Definitely not
(x) been skiing – Does “falling down the hill on skis” count?
(x) met someone from the Internet – Met Bek based off the internet. Also met a few fellow ScrapAddicts
(x) been at a concert
(x) taken painkillers
(x) love someone or miss someone right now
(x) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by – Did that. Also laid back and watch a meteor shower once. That was cool.
(x) made a snow angel
( ) had a tea party
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
(x) played dress up
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone sledding – I remember going once as a kid, when Newport got snow and they closed off a road we could sled down.
(x) cheated while playing a game as a kid
(x) been lonely
( ) fallen asleep at work/school
( ) used a fake ID
(x) watched the sun set
( ) felt an earthquake
(x) slept beneath the stars
(x) been tickled
( ) been robbed have
(x) been misunderstood
(x) petted a reindeer/goat/kangaroo/deer
(x) won a contest – Won 2nd place in a Easter Egg coloring contest as a kid
(x) run a red light/stop sign
( ) been suspended from school
( ) had braces
(x) felt like an outcast/third person
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – YUMMY!
(x) had déjà vu
( ) danced in the moonlight
(x) liked the way you looked
( ) witnessed a crime
(x) questioned your heart – Before Brian I did. Since then – never.
( ) been obsessed with post-it notes love
( ) squished mud through your bare feet
( ) been lost
(x) been on the opposite side of the country – Been to Florida
(x) swam in the ocean – More like waded. BRRRR!
(x) felt like dying
(x) cried yourself to sleep – Once I cried myself to sleep because I realized I couldn’t marry Jordan from New Kids on the Block!
(x) played cops and robbers
( ) recently colored with crayons
( ) sang karaoke – Never. But sounds fun.
(x) paid for a meal with only coins – Oh yes, I have definately been that poor.
(x) done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) made prank phone calls – Summer before 9th grade I called Kevin Lagers house all the time but never said anything
(x) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose – Ooooo … Pepsi out of the nose sort of burns!
(x) caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) danced in the rain
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
( ) been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) watched a sunrise with someone you care about – Sunrise … that’s in the morning. We like our sleep too much for that!
(x) blown bubbles with the kids
(x) made a bonfire on the beach
( ) crashed a party
(x) gone roller-skating
(x) had a wish come true
( ) jumped off a bridge


I registered this morning for the OR Scrapbook Convention. Only taking one class - Making Memories Simply Fabulous - but I'm all geared up to SHOP the rest of the time. After all, that's the fun of a convention in my opinion. All those scrap things in one place. A scrappers paradise. **drool**

The one class I didn't take but was eyeing was the PhotoShop Elements class. I have the awesome program but know that I'm only using 8% of it's potential. All I know how to do is edit photos. I can turn them black & white, sepia, edit the lighting, crop, red eye, etc. But any of the really great stuff is way above my head. But alas, I didn't know if I'd already prompt myself to learn the stuff by the time the convention rolls around in mid-March so passed on the class. I'd hate to be out the $27 class fee just because I got adventurous and figured it out on my own. (Then again, I've had the program for nearly a year and haven't figured it out! LOL)

I'm LOVING one of my assigned kits at this month. It's so awesome ... called "Spumoni". As soon as the galleries become public I will post a few of my LO's here. Such a fun kit!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Yes, I'm screaming, because I'm not unloved after all!!! I got an email from Lara at Prima saying that I was a finalist. She also mentioned an upcoming Prima project that might need a little help!!! The finalist email only went out to 14 people and there are 11 on the DT. So I was top 25 out of 850. I'm so proud of myself!!! I think I need to reward myself with CHOCOLATE!!!


Yes, I'm unloved. At least that's what I call it when they don't "love" my items enough to offer me a spot on the DT. That's what happened with Prima. 850 entries and only about 10 spots on the team so it's not like I really expected it to happen. But thought I would post some of my entries here anyways so you can see how much I rocked it! LOL

Thankfully I don't get discouraged too easily by it all. I just keep submitting and hope someone somewhere will like it. If not, at least it's another page done.

On a similar note I have decided to go for CK Hall of Fame contest this year. I've tried for both of the other magazine DT's this last year with some success (an Honorable Mention for PaperKuts and printing of my joy & comfort LO for Memory Makers). I figured I may as well round out the year with my submission for HOF. I've been working on a few things and am fairly pleased with what I have thus far.


Why am I online at 2:05 in the morning? Why am I not sleeping? Why am I not dreaming snug in my bed? I'm still up because it's quiet. Because after the kids go to bed and Brian goes to work the house is calm. Because I can THINK ... I can create and journal. But most of all I stay up late because I'm a grown up and I can.

(Reminder to self: you will be paying for this when you have to get up with the kids at 7am!)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

As promised ...

here are the family pictures we had taken. I wasn't overly impressed with them (believe me, these were the only 2 good shots out of the 15 they took!) but I'm glad to have some family photos to hang on the walls.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Good thoughts please ...

My brother-in-law left today for Iraq, leaving behind his wife and their 9 year old son. He will be gone just over one year. Please keep him in your thoughts and hope for his safe return.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Good Morning

Yes, it's morning here. 9am. And did I mention it's FREEZING! 26 degrees outside. A bit chilly for me (OK, REALLY chilly this beach girl). It wouldn't be so bad if it would SNOW. I mean, c'mon... no snow at all last year, so you'd think mother nature would give us a break and dump some fluffy white stuff on us. After all, how is a scrapbooker supposed to use all those awesome snow products if you don't get snow?!?

Well, the school thing just isn't working out so well. Financial aid is so slow at both schools that I would have to pay for it out of my pocket and wait for financial aid to come in to pay me back. For goodness sakes, we are a one income family with 3 kids. I don't have $1000 or more just lying around. And the only one I could ask to borrow the money from is my Mom and I am just not going there. So school may have to wait until Spring term when financial aid will be ready for me. I was getting excited to start but I understand that they can't get financial aid done in time and I can't go to school until they do.

It's a no-school day here today. I know many who grumble when their kids are out of school, but for me it works so well. The kids all play so well together when they are home. But when the boys are at school and it's just Carissa she wants to constantly be with me. That's hard because right now I want to SCRAP!!!

Speaking of which, I just got my AWESOME kits from ScrapAddict. These are the January kits, which haven't been released yet. But let me just say that I LOVE them. One with blues and some awesome chipboard. One with browns and pinks and such (my favorite color scheme right now!) with lots of cool extras in it. That's all the hints I'm giving you. You're going to have to tune into ScrapAddict about the 20th to see what creations I come up with. :)

Heading to Picture People today for family photos. Keep your fingers crossed that we get some good ones. They usually do great work, but you never know. We haven't had professional family photos done in over 2 years. Guess it's about time. The worst thing is trying to figure out what everyone should wear. I have a pink & burgandy striped shirt for me, a burgandy shirt for Tristan, black for Carissa and black for Brian and Chase has ... NOTHING! Navy or gray are the only 2 shirt colors he has that don't have loud designs on them and that doesn't match what we're wearing very well. Will probably end up putting him in the gray and just going with it, as it's what we have. I may try to scan and post the photos later, especially so my little brother Jimmy and his wife Virginia can see them (miss you guys!). I'll share them when I do. :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Everything old is new again

This handmade Christmas apron was made for me by my mom when I was Carissa's age. I remember being in the kitchen with my mom, making spritzer cookies while wearing my apron. Now it's wonderful to see Carissa enjoying it. Sure, she may never wear it in the kitchen to protect her clothes while baking, but it's wonderful to see her enjoy something that was mine as a child.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Chase is changing. There is no two ways about that, he just is. He's so much more into his friends and his fun. He is much more independant but at the same time unsure about the changes himself. He loves us and wants to be with us, but sometimes friends are more important. He loves his sister and brother but sometimes he just doesn't feel like playing with them.

He's my oldest, so these changes are all foreign to me. I know that this is how it's supposed to be. He's supposed to change, supposed to become a person all his own. And he's doing such a great job at that. He has his own values and morals and doesn't seem to let the other children persuade him too much.

Chase is a wonderful, kind child. He won't hurt people and hates with people are hurting each other. Case in point - 2 of his closest friends at school were fighting. It was a power struggle of some sort and the boys couldn't get along. Chase, always the mediator, tried and tried to get them to make up and be friends again. And eventually, over time, it happened.

I'm so proud of the person that he is becoming. I'm proud that he's kind and considerate yet still holds his own. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Better Days

I couldn't resist that title. I love that new song AND it absolutely describes today for me. After being down the last few days today has been a "better day".

This morning I registered for college. Yes, after 12 years (and 3 kids), I have decided to return to school. I am signed up for my first term of classes and am aiming for my Associates in Business Administration/Accounting. It's going to be a little rough for a while. Because of Brian's rotating schedule I am having to do most classes via Distance Education (i.e. interenet or TV courses). Will be a whole different way to learn and I hope it works out for me. I've always been a numbers sort of girl and have enjoyed the accounting work I did before having kids. I'm just excited about the prospects of getting my education and returning to the workforce once Carissa is in school full time.

In other "better day" news - Memory Makers has asked to use my "Scappoose Sunset" LO in the "Best of Masters" idea book. This is the original LO I had to send with my submission. I never thought I would see it again, but if they publish it they will return it to me! YEAH!!!

I have to give a huge shout out to Deanna for her help with my Masters entry. Having someone to bounce LO's off of before turning them in was such a huge help. And I don't think I would have followed through with out without her. THANKS DEANNA!

So, today's been a better day. Thank goodness

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Run, run, run

Sometimes I feel like all I do is run. And not run in the exercise sense, run in the busy-doing-stuff kind of way. And I'm just beat.
Yesterday was help at school, have playdate, watch a friends kid after school and go to the grocery store.
Today was scouting for food (cub scouts pick up donations for the local food bank) for both Chase & Tristan, then a scout meeting for Tristan, home to make a quick lunch and wrap a gift, then take Chase to a birthday party, home to make cake for my FIL, make dinner, entertain in-laws, rearrange Chase's ENTIRE room to make space for the air hockey table they bought for the kids, then grump at my kids until it's their bedtime because I'm so worn out.
Tomorrow I'm out of here by 9am to meet my mom at 10am then to Becky's house so I can FINALLY get some time to scrapbook. I haven't been able to scrap in over a week and I'm having withdrawals. It makes me grumpy when I don't scrap! LOL
The only blissful thing to look forward to is Monday. The boys will get on the bus in the morning and I have NOTHING on the calendar that day. No helping out at school, no sports or dance, no people over, no errands to run, nothing. Thank goodness!
I think what I really need is a "Me" day. I need to get out of the house, away from my everyday responsibilities and just relax. It will never happen, at least not in the near future. But one can dream.

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's been a rough day today. Some not-so-great things going on with Brian's sister and her family. So I thought I would take a minute today and talk about why I'm so blessed in the life I have.
  • I have a loving family. And I'm not just saying that. Our children honestly love us. They tell us all the time, give us hugs for no reason, are kind and considerate. They are just so wonderful.
  • I have been blessed with a husband who is both understanding and encouraging. We talk about everything. We share everything. We are truly a unit. I love him with all my heart and soul and he feels the same about me. Life just wouldn't be the same without him in my life. He is such a wonderful man.
  • We live a comfortable life. We can pay the bills, have a nice house in a great neighborhood, the kids needs are met and sometimes we have extra for special treats for the family.
  • We have friends and family for support. I am thankful always especially for Brian's parents. Yes, my in-laws. They are truly wonderful people who are so connected in our childrens lives. And my friend Becky has become more of a friend than I thought I would ever have in my adult life. She is always there to chat with and can empathize with so many facets of my life. Besides, she's just fun to be around.

I am thankful today for these wonderful things. They are what make life worth living.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What Was I Thinking?

Today was an official "What was I thinking?" kind of day.

Started out early, as I had to go on a field trip with Chase's class. We drove into Portland on a VERY noisy bus, the driver missed the freeway exit for the mall and had to drive an extra 15 minutes around the downtown area to get us there. Then we get there and I find out that I have 6 kids in my group. SIX KIDS. And just me to watch them. In a busy mall (and definitely the least safe in the entire metro area). And not only do I get six said children, but I also get 3 of the MOST OBNOXIOUS kids in the entire class. The ones you have to constantly monitor for keeping with the group, touching things, making loud whirring noises all the time (don't ask me what that was about!?!). Then we had $40 total (which the kids had earned by themselves, by the way! Wahoo to them) and had to wander the mall in search of the best deals on gifts for other kids their age. They are donating them to a charity as gifts for needy children. Bravo to them, but by the time we got done with shopping they were beat and I was hoarse from the yelling. Then it was another loud bus ride home. What was I thinking?

Later we decide to go pick up our layaway at Wally World. Me, in my infinite wisdom, decided we were going to put things on layaway early this year so that all we had to do was go pick up when we had the rest of the money and be done. But we did the layaway at the end of October and now what we got them either seems like a stupid idea, or the grandparents got something similar, etc. We stood in line over 1/2 hour there just to return half of the stuff. What was I thinking?

Lastly we decide to decorate the Christmas tree. A beautiful spruce that we (OK, mostly Brian) chose out at the tree farm in the DARK yesterday evening. I had no objection. After all, I was up for something different from the normal Douglas fir we've had every year since we were married. So we choose the tree and start to realize as he's cutting it down that it's pokey. I mean POKEY. It feels like it will draw blood it's so pokey. I'ts a good thing, we say. After all, the new kitten won't be tempted to climb it then. Little did I know that it would take protective gear just to decorate the thing! I had to put on my thick winter jacket, the one with the strong outer layer, and my leather gardening gloves just to hold it while Brian screwed it in the holder. Then this evening we go to decorate it only to realize that I need said protective gear just to get the lights on. The kids aren't even attempting to touch the tree unti lit's time to put on the Christmas balls and then it's echoes of "ouch" or "ooooowww" when they poked. Other times they just set the ornament on a branch or toss it near the branch in hopes that it will stick to one of the pokey appendages. We did get it done and it does like nice though. But to top it all off, we didn't realize until now that it doesn't smell like a fresh tree. No nice piney scent in our house this year. What was I thinking?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tis the Season ...

So Carolyn made up this quiz to put on her blog and asked others to fill it out too. Here are my answers:

Do you celebrate Christmas? YES!!!

What are your favorite "holiday" colors? Silver & Blue

Favorite Christmas song? White Christmas

Favorite Christmas movie? Miracle on 34th Street (1995 version, not the old B&W)

Favorite Christmas cartoon? Charlie Brown Christmas and an old Disney cartoon called "Small One"

Real tree or artificial? REAL! And we cut it down today too!

Special family traditions? We have lots. We always cut down a real tree at the tree farm, watch all the Christmas cartoons, eat chocolate from our advent calendars each day, visit "Santaland" and ride the monorail at the huge deparment store downtown (which is closing after this year :( ... we visited today for the last time and I took this photo amongst their displays), make cookies for Santa, leave huge carrots (complete with the greens on top) for the reindeer then wake up and watch the Disney Christmas parade on Christmas morning.

Travel or stay home? Always stay at home. I put my foot down on that when we had kids. Family is all close enough to visit us on Christmas.

Does Santa wrap presents? No, he leaves them out each year with a big bow and an elf-made gift tag with their name.

Do you do an advent calendar? The kids each have a chocolate advent calendar to open each day in December

Do you send Christmas cards? Yes

Store bought or handmade? Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Depends how adventurous I get.

Christmasletter? No, I write personal notes to everyone.

Pictures? Yes! What kind of scrapbooker would I be if I didn't send photos!?!

What do you put in stockings? Small toys, toothbrushes and some candy

Typical holiday meal? Ham, potatoes, rolls, banana cream pie and homemade cheesecake

Are you done shopping yet? Nearly ... 3 more gifts left to get!

That's Me!

One of my oldest friends got married last summer. She came over this weekend to show me the photos from the wedding and this is what I found.
I printed it out and showed it to Brian and he immediately said "That's You". Yes, that's me. I'm the one behind the camera. The one saying "Smile", the one obsessed with snapping the photos , the one meticulously trying to capture the moment. And while you wont' see me in every (or even many!) photos, you can rest assured in knowing that I'm there. I'm just behind the camera instead of in front of it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A huge shout out to Deanna for helping me with this stinking programming junk. Finally got my links set up on the sidebar. THANK YOU!!!

2 know me is 2 love me

So, I saw this on another blog and thought I'd copy it to mine.

2 - names you go by: Annette, Mom
2 - parts of your heritage: Scottish & Irish
2 - things that scare you: Small, tight spaces & bees
2 - of your everyday essentials: Old Navy t-shirts and my computer
2 - of your favorite bands or musical artists: Nickelback and Nickelback (can you tell I LOVE them right now?!?)
2 - favorite songs: "Photograph" and "If Everyone Cared", both by Nickelback

2 - things you want in a relationship (other than real love): Kindness and affection
2 - physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex): Tall and stocky build
2 - of your favorite hobbies: Scrapbooking and surfing the web

2 - things you want really badly: A longer day so that I can get some sleep and someone to come in to do ALL my housework!
2 - places you want to go on vacation: Ireland & Paris

2 - things you want to do before you die: See my children grow & prosper, take Brian to the Great Pyramids
2 - ways that you are stereotypically a chick: I love PINK and girly movies.
2 - things you are thinking about now: That I really need to finish this up and go help out at school and that my house is dirty but I want to scrapbook.
2 - stores you shop at: Fred Meyers and Old Navy
2 - people I would like to see take this quiz: Bonni (cause you are hilarious girl!) and Deanna (imazeta) [And just so you know, you are both obligated to take this now and post it on your blogs! LOL]

Monday, November 28, 2005


Carissa amazes me every day. Maybe it's because we spend all day together, but I am really seeing her shine. Her speech has progressed at an extraordinary rate this year, much in thanks to the Articulation class she has been attending. She has definite opinions of what she wants to wear, what she wants to do, what she wants to eat. She's talkative. She's funny. She's artistic. She's lovable and full of hugs and kisses. She has grown so tall, yet still seems so small. She's losing the baby face. She's reading small words. She's holding her own with her brothers. She's still my baby (and always will be), but she's growing up. She's shining all on her own and I am so proud.

Fabulous Fall !!!

I was so excited for the leaves to start falling this year because it's the first time we've had leaves fall in our own yard! Our trees are mature enough this year to allow us to rake and jump in all the fall leaves. It was an absolute blast! Even got the kids to take some fun fall pics for me.

Fall is good, in some many ways!

It hit me ...

...yesterday that I don't have any Christmas decorations. Sure, I have all the trimmings for the tree (including some awesome new plastic Christmas ornaments from IKEA!), the kids Christmas stockings, lights for outside the house and a fresh wreath for the front door, but I don't have much "decor". You know, the extra stuff that goes all around your house to make it feel are warm and Christmasy. So I'm on a mission: finish buy Christmas gifts and spend what is left over on Christmas decor.

The one thing I did have plenty of in the Christmas box was books. So while perusing the Christmas boxes yesterday the kids dove right into those. They amaze me with their constant love of reading. And it's not just one, it's all of them. I couldn't help but take a photo of them sitting together reading their favorite Christmas books. Chase's favorite is "Bob" the Reindeer, Tristan's is "If You Take A Mouse to the Movies" and Carissa's is "I Smell Christmas". My favorite is "The Bears Christmas".

Now I'm off to take the kids lunch at school. Bad Mommy lost her groove from having so much time off of school and forgot to make sandwiches last night, so I have to make them and take them this morning instead.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My life ...

I was driving to the store on Friday and this song, "There Goes My Life" by Kenny Chesney, came on the radio. Keep in mind that it was on a country station - I don't listen to country so Brian must have left the station when he was driving. But this song came on and instantly I was inspired to create a page using it. It's such an awesome message, because these kids are my life. I dug up this photo of them last summer that I had decided not to scrap because I didn't have anything to go with it (no story, no inspiration). A little editing with PSE 3.0 and voila - a super simple and meaningful LO. This is why I love scrapbooking so much.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Or as my kids call it, "Sandwich Day". (They don't like turkey, can you tell what they eat instead?!? LOL).
I have so much to be thankful for this year. I am happy, I am healthy and I am loved. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

PRIMA **drool**

I love Prima flowers ... I have loved them since the moment I got my first ones. They are so cute, so fun, so versatile. Did I mention I love them? So when the call went out for DT submissions I decided to go for it.

I've never submitted for a manufacturer DT before, but this one was just calling my name so I went ahead and applied. I had to do 2 LO's (OK, to be honest I only did one new one and used one old one), do a card (ugh, not my favorite thing but it did come out OK) and do an altered project (see the photo of the altered canvas I did which, if I may say so myself, turned out awesome!).

Now here's the kicker. I thought this project would be great for my father for Christmas. But now that it's done I want to keep it. I LOVE it. It matches the paint in my front room too. So hopefully my Dad doesn't turn to my blog and see what he was *supposed* to get for Christmas! LOL

Anyways, back to Prima. I won't know anything for a while, since the call doesn't end until Dec. 9. But keep your fingers crossed for me. It would be heaven to be on their DT!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


You know I love Christmas. Really I do. But the whole money thing is such a drag.

I've been buying gifts since early October and I still don't have everything purchased. And now that there is only a month left I am starting to worry about getting everyone their gifts.

I know that's not exactly the reason for the season. But Christmas is more fun with gifts. It's one of the few times each year that the kids actually get the new stuff they want. And I love to see the faces of my family when they get something they wanted or are surprised with something they didn't know they wanted.

So I'm going to take a deep breath ... think about trying to do what I can with the money we have left and make the best out of it. Besides, it's a day we get to spend together, sharing our gifts, food and love.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


What is it about fall that makes me tired? I am just a zombie lately. Couldn't be all the nights I stay up until 3am scrapping, could it?!?

So we're all excited ... the kids are taking off early from school tomorrow so we can go see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (insert oohs and aahs here). Chase and I have both read the book so are totally psyched for it. It was my favorite of all the Harry Potter books and I'm excited to see it on the big screen. I'm sure I'll be disappointed - I always am. There just isn't a way for them to fit every nuance of the book into the movie. But I'll enjoy it regardless.

Brian and I doing the weight loss thing. Cutting down on portions and making better choices about what we eat. It's hard. Sometimes we blow it and have pizza and ice cream, but slowly and steadily we are both losing weight. Within the next 6 months I hope to be down to my goal weight. I'm not obsessed with getting there, but I think it would be great to feel better about how I look. So keep the good thoughts coming our way that we can persevere and triumph over the fat.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Have yourself a ...

I heard my first Christmas song on the radio today and I couldn't help but smile. Just hearing it gave me an instant sense of joy. I love Christmastime and am so excited that it's on it's way. Sure, it's still 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, but I am already in the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Snore ...

Do you ever have those days where you just feel tired? I think that may be today. Too many late nights staying up until 2am to scrap. Now I'm paying for it.

Halloween is around the corner and tonight is our first party. Thankfully Tristan's costume came in the mail yesterday, so we are all set and ready to go. I'll post pics later in the week after the party so you can see what they decided on this year.

Carving pumpkins - what a chore. Typically the kids themselves aren't too keen on scooping out all the pumpkin innards. So this year we chose small pumpkins to speed up the process. Even chose out a different color pumpkin for each kid. Chase has orange, Tristan has green and Carissa has white. Should make for a unique set of pumpkins this year.

Monday, October 24, 2005


My first ever cash payment for a published layout. A $50 check came yesterday from the publishers of the Women's Day special edition I was just in. I guess this means I'm now officially a "professional" scrapbook designer.

While perusing a new scrap store, Art House in Portland, yesterday I saw a new idea book and flipped through it only to find my own layout (see pic) in it! I hadn't seen the book yet (Creating Keepsakes Annual Idea Book) so I was suprised and excited. Becky had to see it and show it to the customers and staff there. They were all so nice about it and I was flattered by the attention.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sheesh ... forgot already!

I'm really not very good at this. One posting and I already forgot about my blog.

I'm excited today ... I listed my first scrapbook auction on eBay. It's a cute little box with a mini album inside. And just an hour after I started the auction I got my first bid. I'm so excited! I hope this is something that I can do to earn a little extra dough for our family. We'll see how it goes. Here's a pic of the box.

Just a few more days until I leave for the Washington Scrapbook Convention. I'm excited to have some "me" time and ecstatic at the thought of all that scrapbook stuff to buy. *drool*

In other news, I'm messing with my style lately. Trying to get a bit more on the cutting edge - more white space, less patterned papers and embellishments. It's not easy, but I think I could like it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

So I have a blog. Now what?
I started a blog to serve as my online "diary" or sorts - to save pieces of my life for future use. So here goes ...
11 years .... that's how long Brian and I have now been married. I don't really feel like 11 years have passed. That seems like such a long time. But on the other hand I don't feel like I should be 31 either, so I guess it's all relative.
2 more days until school starts. Then it's off and running with the activities of everyday life again. I've enjoyed the last few days - no football practice, no duties to tend to or appointments to keep, just time to relax and enjoy life. So I'm going to savor these last 2 days of summer and revel in the freedom left to us.