Monday, January 30, 2006

Sassy new look

You had your hair cut today and I must say that I love the new look! Every time I see you now I am reminded of the little girl that you are. I see the innocence of a child. I see the sweetness in your eyes. Oh, and I see your sassiness too! This is the perfect cut for the new 5-year-old you.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

My baby is 5 !!!

5 years ago today I gave birth to a sweet baby girl. And now that sweet baby girl is 5. It's hard to believe how quickly time has gone and how much she has grown.

Happy Birthday my sweet little angel. I love you !!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

4 weeks!

4 weeks from today we head to Disneyland! I've been busy getting ready as best I can - reading up on the park, making lists of stuff to pack, asking all my friends for their advice and experience at Disneyland.

We got the kids autograph books in the mail yesterday (I ordered some off of eBay). I bought a fanny pack and am looking for little kids ones so we will each carry our own.

Plans are all set up and we're ready to go (unless I can find a cheap flight for us to fly instead of drive ... I'm hoping I can find something) but I'm sure I'll obsess about it all until we actually leave.

Beyond that I am busy scrapbooking for HOF. Here are a couple of my "reject" LO's that won't be in my entry for one reason or another. (For those of you who like to read the journaling, click on the layout and you can see it larger.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

$ $ $

It's tax return day! YEAH!!! I love this day every year. It's the one time when we have a big chunk of money to do something with. This year it's dedicated to Disney, with some going to maintenance on the van, motorcycle parts for Brian and a new battery for my camera.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Yes, that's how I feel right now - terribly overwhelmed with everything.
School keeps me busy. I tend to procrastinate, so sometimes I'm doing things last minute, but I am getting good scores on the work so far. I guess I underestimated how much time I would really have to do all that reading (ugh ... if I have to read another chapter tonight on Business or Management or anything like that I think I'm going to SCREAM!). The chapters are SO stinkin long. And I'm a pretty fast reader ... it comes from reading all those romance novels, which I don't have time for now that I'm in school. :(
I'm also not finding time to do as much scrapbooking as I'd like. I am so inspired right now and have so many ideas and thoughts going on but just no time to do them. I've been sneaking in some time here or there a few times a week so that I can finish up my CK Hall of Fame submission (big deal here in the scrapbook world for those non-scrapbookers). And I am keeping up with my ScrapAddict design team commitments too.
But the thing that gets ignored most of all is the housework. Right now my house is HORRIBLE. I hate admitting that to people. It's not like I'm a neat freak or anything, I would just like it if my laundry was caught up (which it is now thanks to my wonderful husband who did ALL 8 loads of the laundry today), the carpets were regularly vacuumed, the kitchen table was washed off and there weren't any muddy dog prints on my linoleum. Forget about the piles of old mail and newspapers sitting on my kitchen counter, I'm striving for the minimum here and just not reaching it. Someone needs to send Merry Maids my way or something! Sheesh!
The good news is that my house will be cleaned up by this weekend for Carissa's party. Of course the flip side of that is that the house will be thoroughly trashed by the time everyone leaves, which gives me just enough time to clean it again before Carissa has her preschool friends party here on Tuesday. Then it will be thoroughly trashed again ... are you seeing the vicious cycle here?
But overall life is good. We enjoyed a few days of sunny weather but now the rain is back with a vengence. The kids are all healthy (at least for the time being ... Tristan sure is coughing tonight), Brian and I are doing great on watching what we eat and working out (big congrats to him for hitting a big milestone number in his weightloss) and we're all looking forward to Disneyland next month.
So yes, I'm overwhelmed. But I'm also SO thankful for all the wonderful things in my life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Peaceful Bliss

I'm so happy today! Brian called me when I was helping at the boys school to let me know that Mark from Simple Scrapbooks had called to request a LO, "My Peaceful Spot". This LO is very special to me - it's from my BOM (Book of Me) and I had put a lot of time and thought into the journaling. Not to mention it's a photo of my favorite spot in the world - the beach outside of Newport, Oregon. What makes it even more special is the comments Mark made to Brian. He said that he really felt the intensity of my emotions and feelings in my journaling and was touched by it. Then he told Brian "Damn, that deserves to be in." Totally made my day! I can't show the LO here but you can watch for it in the July/August issue of Simple Scrapbooks.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Brian and the kids had a good time at ZooSnooze this weekend. It was busy, busy, busy. Friday night was 5 hours straight of walking the zoo, seeing the medical and feeding facilities, making an enrichment toy (fruit & ice) for the Polar Bears and learning more about the animals from their guide. They finally got to sleep around 11:30pm and were woken at 7am. After breakfast they saw the birds of prey then got to watch the polar bears enjoy the treats they had made the night before. They stayed and freely enjoyed the zoo a few hours and got home around lunch time, tired but happy with their zoo experience. Chase's favorite part was "going around and seeing what the animals do at night" and Tristan loved "making the enrichment toy". Here's a few pictures from their trip (above: Brian and Chase holding an elephant femur, Tristan holding a human femur. Below left: Chase and Tristan touching a lizard. Below right: Chase and Tristan in from of the meerkat den).

Friday, January 20, 2006

So, if you read the entire post below you definitely deserve a bit of a happier post. So here it is. This is Carissa this fall ... I can still remember what a beautiful day it was. It was cool but the sun was shining and it was dry. We had so much fun. Not like the soggy mess our yard is right now, but I digress. Anyways, I got some of the most beautiful photos of her that day and this is one of them. Enjoy. :)

Up and down ...

It's been one of the up and down days today. Started when I got up this morning. Got up, got Carissa breakfast. I decided to plop down on the chair and check my email ... only I plopped down on Tristan's glasses and snapped them in 2! UGH!!!

Thankfully Carissa is much better today. She finally started eating again and went to school. We're all so glad she's feeling beter.

Brian and I head into town today to get Tristan's glasses fixed ... but they can't fix them. Apparently they are some super metal and they "aren't supposed to break". Lovely. Guess they didn't test them with the weight of my ass on them. Then the lovely glasses man says "Oh, by the way, the warranty on these glasses was up last month and your new benefits don't kick in until November". Grrrrr. So Brian and I have to buy whole new frames for Tristan out of our pocket.

We take them to Tristan at school, as he can't see to read or write well without them. Problem solved ($120 later, but still solved).

Come home for a bit then Brian heads into town for a meeting ... and gets caught by the red light camera passing on an orange. DOH. Not really looking forward to seeing a ticket on our records, which have been clean for the last 10 years.

Brian and the boys head to the Zoo for ZooSnooze tonight, so I'm stuck with Brian's car. It's a classic and beautiful and all the junk but I detest the thing. I mean, it doesn't have power brakes and it freaks me out to drive it. I have nightmares of being in it and not being able to stop in time. But I drive it anyways because Brian has the van and Carissa and I are on the hunt for the perfect craft for her birthday party.

We get into a nearby town, go to the scrapbook store then head to the craft store, which decided to close early for the day. :( So I head towards the dollar store thinking that maybe we can come up with something there ... only halfway there I realize that the lights aren't working on the car. Flip them on, flip them off, flip them on, flip them off. Nothing. So I stop at the gas station and play with them. Car on, car off, lights on, lights off. NOTHING.

I go to the pay phone and call the only local friend whose number I have memorized. My dear Mommy friend Nicole answers, though she's 45 minutes away. Darn. But she has a sister who lives nearby and should be home. She says she'll call the pay phone back after she talks to her sister. Only I get no call back. Then I realize that she probably can't call back on the payphone. Reach into my purse and have 45cents. Nothing else. I gave all my cash to Brian to take with him to the Zoo Snooze. All I had left was change and I already spent 50cents on the first call. I don't even have enough to call her back. So I go into the gas station store (which has no ATM) and beg the rude and unsympathetic lady behind the counter for use of her phone. I get ahold of Nicole who says her sister will be right over.

Dear sweet Stephanie, wonderful person that she is, comes to help a complete stranger with her car. She was going to follow me the 3/4 mile to Nicole's house, where I could safely park the car overnight and then she was going to drive me home. Only I get in the car, turn it on and VOILA, the lights work. STUPID CAR!!!

Thankfully I get back into town safely and decide to get a drive-thru vanilla steamer at the coffee shop. The thing was the WORST vanilla steamer I have ever had. I threw it away it was so bad. And I knew then that I shouldn't go anywhere for the rest of the day.

Needless to say I have quarantined myself (and Carissa) in the house for the rest of the evening. Hopefully tomorrow the road of life won't be quite so bumpy.

Oh, and did I mention that the Krispy Kreme *HOT* sign was on for the first time in months (when we drive by it's never on) and I TOTALLY blew my diet today. Grrr... I think I should just go to bed until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Our little sickie

Carissa's sick. Yes, sick. Puking and grumbling and feverish. She is just plain feeling icky. She has done nothing for 2 days except lay down, watch cartoons, drink a bit of water and sleep. The last 2 nights she took a nap and still went to bed at 5:30 and 6:30 pm then slept until morning. She NEVER does that. Poor girl. She doesn't look very happy, does she?

Because she's sick I think I will be missing the boys ZooSnooze, a Cub Scout overnight adventure at the Oregon Zoo. Brian took the days off and will go with the boys instead, which is great for them as they don't get a chance to do many of the overnight things with Daddy. But I'm sort of bummed to miss it.

Beyond that, nothing new is going on. We are all just hoping that the flu misses the rest of us!

Monday, January 16, 2006

No news ...

So I've been boring lately, what can I say?!? Nothing new is going on here.

I've been busy working on school work. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, though I opted to lower to 3/4 time. My Microsoft Word class is looking to be a breeze thus far. My business class isn't too bad - boring, but not difficult. And my telecourse (TV lecutres) looks not too hard either. Thank goodness!

I've also been working on planning Carissa's birthday party. My baby is turning 5! She chose a Barbie Magic of Pegasus birthday party. I have no idea what we're going to do as a craft, but we've ordered a cake and might play a game too.

I've been finding a bit of time to scrapbook lately, though I can't share my work yet as they're assignments for

Besides that, I'm just plugging along. Taking care of the kids normal things - school, scouts, wrestling, ballet, friends, etc.

To all my friends and family reading - take care!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Like a drowned rat ...

It's been raining here. And raining. And raining. It's rained for 27 days straight and it is WET. The park down the street from us has never had so much as a puddle in the 3 years we've been here, but now the entire park is under water. Water covers the bottom 1/4 of the slides and is just a few inches below the seats of the swings. It's amazing how the water has pooled up there.

And it pools up in other places too ... like our back porch. We have a huge back porch put in by the previous owner, who didn't think it was important to leave gaps between the boards when you installed a deck. Can you say IDIOT!?! The water pools up in the middle of the deck and now we have a personal pond out there.

Fast forward to this afternoon when Chase, Tristan and their friend Brenden were outside playing. They wanted to ride scooters, skateboards and roller skates but (SURPRISE!) it was raining. So they went out in the garage to play. Then they decided to venture out on the back porch and rode through the water. And rode through it again and again and again. When I went to check on them a few minutes later they were all SOAKED and shivering, looking like a pack of drowned rats. And they didn't just have little bits of water on them, they had wet pants (and underwear!), wet shirts, wet shoes and socks, wet coats and wet hair (apparently helmets make good water buckets?!?).

I really wanted to yell at them for getting so wet and cold. But after all, they're just kids having fun. Who can blame them?

More Disney

I am a psycho planner. Yes, it's true. I plan and plan and plan. Then I read up on things and plan some more.

I have planned our entire vacation - what time we leave, what time we arrive, what we do each day, where we go. I've also done the full-out budget. I've budgetted the tickets, hotel, spending money, food money, parking, etc. I just had to have a *real* number to work with when planning for the trip.

Today I made reservations for our Character dinner. A little spendy ($200 for our party of 7 - OUCH!!!) but the kids will have such a great time. Carissa was very disappointed that she got out-voted though. The boys chose "Goofy's Kitchen" and she voted for the "Princess" character dinner. Stinks to be the only girl voting, she is so often outvoted by the boys.

The boys have decided that they want to do pin trading again. They still have some extra pins on their DisneyWorld lanyard from 2001. Carissa is going to get a lanyard and pins to start trading.

In addition, they ALL want their own autograph books. Now, creative scrapbooker that I am I keep thinking about making them. They really wouldn't be so hard. But then I worry that they will get all mussed up when we're out at the park and come home looking like crapola. Even if I covered the outsides with mod podge they would still get a bit mussed. So we'll see.

Since I'm Disney-obsessed today I'll leave you with another magical photo. Can you tell I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


We've shelled out a pretty significant amount of money, so we are now absolutely committed to going to
The kids are so excited! I'm so excited. Brian and his parents are excited. It's just a happy-fest here today.
Parents ... so you caught that, did you? No, I'm not crazy ... I'm going to spend 9 days straight with my in-laws. Thankfully I adore my inlaws. And my kids idolize them. So to have them be able to share in this experience is going to make it even more special.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Simply the Best

When I started this blog I thought no one would read it. After all, who would be interested in the insane mumblings of a mom and scrapbooker? But slowly people started to make comments on my blog. I knew that somewhere out there my friends and family were reading.

But what made it even better were the recent comments from my sister and brother. One told me "I think I know you better now than I ever have" and the other said "I love reading your blog, by the way, you have a wonderful ability to convey feelings in your writing. It helps us still feel like a part of your life even though we are miles away. "

These comments are simply the best and they mean so much to me. For both my brother and my sister live far away - one in Texas, one in Italy. And while I don't get to see them often I do appreciate knowing that somehow they are able to share a glimpse of our lives. And I appreciate this blog even more knowing that they're reading and that they care.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

School starts tomorrow ...

Yup, back to college I go. After a 12 year hiatus I am headed back to college. And I admit that I'm not exactly thrilled about it.

Originally I was looking forward to school, but now I'm not so sure. My reasons are purely selfish. It seems like I barely have enough time right now to keep up with housework, volunteering at school, driving kids to and from activities and planning scout meetings. I'm not even finding much time lately to do my one and only "me" activity: scrapbooking.

And I fear that heading to college will mean that I even have less time for everything. Couple that with Brian's rotating work schedule and the fact that he's also a full-time student. I fear that things could just collapse around us if we're not very careful.

Another fear about college is that it's all for naught. Once the kids head to school full-time (just shy of 2 years) I only plan on working part time. I want to be there for my kids, be home when they get home from school, be able to be involved in their activities. Will having an Associates really make much of a difference in the kind of job I get, based on what I'm looking for? I'm not so sure.

But in the end I will do it. I will get through this term and reevaluate based on how the term goes. Just keep your fingers crossed that somehow we will all get through this term.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm so sad. :(

Word on 2peas is that PaperKuts magazine has ceased publication and closed their doors. Their phones have been turned off and no one seems to know what is going on. But what is abundantly clear is that they have 2 of my layouts, 2 layouts I expect to never see again. I am just so bummed out about it all. Not only is it the $50 I was promised for the layouts, but it's the layouts that meant so much to me. I can't replace them. I can't remake one of them, as the paper line isn't made any more. The other I can redo, but it's still not the same. Since I may never see them in real life again I may as well see them here. My 2 much loved, much missed layouts that I may never see again. :(

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So Proud!

She did it - Carissa read her first book! She did it in typical 4 year old fashion - slowly. She read in 15 minute intervals every night for a week. She sounded out the letters and figured out the words. And tonight she finished the first book she read herself, "Cooking with the Cat". We are all so proud of her and I think you can tell by the pictures that she's proud too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Most of the time I don't mind the rain. After all, I was born and raised in the Northwest and it's always rained a lot. But it seems like it's been one neverending rainstorm for the last 2 weeks and it's getting old. Can spring please get here already please! I'm ready for some flowers and at least occasional sunshine.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Resolutions (or lack thereof)

So this year I decided to forgo to the normal resolutions and focus on something that was inspired by a song. For those who know me, they know how much I LOVE music and how much it touches me. This particular inspiration came from the Goo Goo Dolls. Here's the LO and here's the journaling.

Quote reads: You ask me what I want this year and I try to make this kind and clear. Just the chance that maybe we'll find better days. -Goo Goo Dolls

Journaling reads: Better days, that’s what I want for 2006. No tired resolutions about losing weight or being a better person. This year I want to focus on having better days. In 2006 I want to enjoy our lives more. I want to spend more time together laughing and having fun. I want to create happy memories with my family. I want to share my thoughts with my kids and have meaningful life conversations. I want more peaceful moments, more time to recollect about where my life has been and where it’s going. I don’t want to argue, I don’t want to struggle, I don’t want to worry. I just want to focus on having better days.

Happy New Year!!!

For the first time this year, all 3 kids were awake to celebrate the new year. Brian had to work but called just before his shift started at midnight. We were able to put him on speaker phone and do the countdown to 2006. A chorus of "Happy New Years", hugs, kisses and this picture and then the kids went to sleep in their customary New Years fashion - cuddled together on the front room floor.