Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 9th Birthday Tristan!!!

This is it -- the halfway point. Halfway between a boy and a man. Nine years old. Halfway grown. Halway matured. Halfway there. It's unbelievable. These nine years have flown and I've truly loved this time with you. But this halfway point reminds me to cherish the nine years still left to come. Because after that halfway point, you'll be ready to fly.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A blatant call for votes

There is a scrapbook contest online at Craft Warehouse. It's for a big prize package worth $300 or a grand prize package worth $500. I'd REALLY like to win this prize package and I'm hoping I can count on you for a vote.

Here's the link to the Craft Warehouse forums.

Now, here's the tricky part. You have to actually register before you vote. Then you must wait for them to approve your membership before you can vote. I registered one day and could vote the next. They won't notify you, but just try to vote the following day and it should work.

When you get registered please go to the forums and log in. Then go into the "Vote for the Scrapbook Queen" forum, then under the "Newport" store. My layout is called "This Girl" and is a picture of Carissa and I together. The deadline to vote is Friday.

I know it might take a little time but I would really appreciate your support. Thanks bunches and keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

~ Annette

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer is Fading ...

I can see it happening. The little shift from carefree summer to the anticipation of school. From buying pool toys to buying school clothes. From rampant relaxation to organized chaos.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this summer to be over. It's been so fun. So many wonderful activities and memories. Summer camps with the boys (as much as I grump about them I secretly love them). Camping at the bunnies. Hanging out on the beach. Swimming in the neighbors pool. The kids playing outside with friends. Water balloon fights. Hanging outside with the neighbors until daylight fades away. Summer parties at friends houses. Family bike rides.

But now we've hit the point. Just 2 more weeks until school starts. All 3 in school all day long and me left alone. Wow.
I've been agonizing a bit over the whole thing. Not the kids going to school, as I know they'll all do well and are anticipating going back. I'm agonizing more over what I'M going to do. I had worked at the preschool last year and really loved it, but to be perfectly honest it doesn't pay much. It's just 2.5 hours a morning 4 mornings a week. Not as much money coming in as I'd hoped to contribute to our family. Then again, at the same time it means that the kids will never have to come home alone. They won't be alone on weekends or school breaks. I don't have to worry about who will watch them all summer long. And it still allows me to do my volunteer work in the classrooms, with scouts and for the parents organization. There are so many positives to the situation too. I'm trying to remember that. But man, it sure would be nice to make more money. I've been looking to see if I could find something else that would work but have come up pretty empty handed there. It's either evenings or full time or there's some other reason why it wouldn't work. So the best case scenario for me is to forget about the money and work at the preschool for all the other reasons.

Beyond that, I've been enjoying some fun with scrapbooking lately. I had one layout of baby Randal and the kids that was picked up for publication in an upcoming Memory Makers baby idea book. I also have work coming up in Scrapbooks, Etc., a Scrapbook Trends Idea Book, and two other Memory Makers idea books. Last, and certainly not least, I've been having tons of fun with the upcoming September kits from ScrapAddict. Here's a peek at some of those layouts:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Todays Happy News

I got a wonderful wake-up email this morning. Jennifer Choo, owner of 2 Daisies Designs (a manufacturer of scrapbook products and papers), emailed today inviting me to join her design team. I was soooooo thrilled! I have had just a taste of their products when she sent me several sheets to work with for my design team submission. I just loved them! My favorites were, of course, the funky skulls. I'm all into those little quirky kinds of things right now. Well, apparently Jennifer liked what I did with them and now I'll regularly be designing things using her products! Wahoo!!!! I can't wait to get started!

I think I'll leave you with the layouts (one is transparent, which is why I'm holding it! LOL) and WordBloom book that I made for my submission.

If you're interested in seeing more 2DaisiesDesigns products check out her website at :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back but still recuperating

Chase and I have been back from our week at Adventure Cove since last Friday, but it's only now that I'm finally finding time to write about it. Bear with me, as it was a LONG week and this is bound to be an equally long post.

We went to camp on Sunday. There were 4 boys and 4 parents (I LOVE that our parents are so involved!!!). 3 of the parents were women - myself, my dear friend Tammy (who has done every camp with me since we started scouting together 4 years ago!) and Thea (who has never camped before and didn't think she was missing out on much). Then we had the lone dad, Ron, who is an avid camper and saved our rear end with little touches like a blow torch (to start fires using wet wood in the rain - trust me this was a life saver!) and a covered canopy to huddle under. Here's a quick pic of us girls (this is 3 days into the trip):

Anyways, we arrived on Sunday to the steady pitter patter of rain. And it continued to rain for the first 2 days. Not any fun at all, let me tell you. The boys were sleeping in BSA issue canvas platform tents. Ugh. Drippy and wet. Us girls weren't fairing much better, but at least we were zipped up in a tent. Needless to say, the first few days were somewhat miserable. If it had continued to rain like that none of us would have made it through camp. It's just no fun in the rain, especially when the idea of camp is to be outside.

Thankfully, mother nature cut us a break and the weather cleared on Tuesday. We were finally able to spend some time at the beach and outside doing activities. Wednesday was an even better day and we began to appreciate the beauty of it all - the private beach, the sun setting behind the cape, the forested campsites. It was all just gorgeous.

Thursday and Friday were absolutely spectacular days. It was uncharacteristically warm and mild and the winds had died down. We spent over 3 hours on the beach our last day and we would have gladly spent more time there if we were able.

The four kids (L to R in the photo) -- Jack, Cameron, Chase and Ty -- were part of the Nestucca patrol and had lots of fun doing their activities. Among other things, they got to tie-dye their camp t-shirts,
disect owl pellets (he found this vole skull), build a sandcastle (aptly named Fort Nestucca), shoot BB gun and archery,

and take a nighttime hike on the beach.

On our last night in camp they had this awesome bonfire ceremony. It was so touching. They had each patrol sign a log and then put the log in the bonfire. After they had done that the adults were called forward to recite the scout oath. Then only the adults who had attained Eagle rank were asked to stay. Out of 50-60 adults and staff members, only 8 had attained Eagle. I will never forget how they said "Will you be one of the many who don't achieve Eagle or will you be one of the few who do?" It's hard to put into words how something like that can affect a young boy, but it affected Chase. That night we talked about it and he was entiredly dedicated to achieving Eagle.
Another great part of camp was visiting the nearby Boy Scout camp, Camp Merriwether. This really helped us gear up for shift into Boy Scouts in February. We got to see some of the really neat things they do there - shooting black powder rifles, shotguns, 22's, blacksmithing, hatchet throwing, rock wall climbing, swimming, canoeing, rowing and all sorts of other neat activities. Chase came out of there so psyched about all the neat things he would be able to learn about in Boy Scouts.

Not only did Chase have a good time, but I did too. At least, I did after the rain let up. Tammy and I always have such a great time together. Add Thea, who has a wicked sense of humor, and us girls laughed out heads off. Case in point - here's Thea as Kenny from South Park.
Now, not only did we have fun and laugh a lot, but we also were able to wind down and read. So each night we'd crawl in out tent and use our flashlights to read. I finished my first book, one by my favorite author Elizabeth Lowell, and then started on the much-awaited Harry Potter book. Besides that, we found time to go to the activities with the boys and take some walks on the beach. I even chased the seagulls a little! LOL

But one of the most fun parts for me was BB. They were having a contest to see who could score the highest number of points in a 5-BB round of shots. Each day the person with the highest score (one adult and one scout) would get to wear the "golden BB" necklace around camp. I didn't try the first day but decided to give it a shot the 2nd day. I did fairly well, if I do say so myself. I shot 39 (out of 50) on my round and had 3 9's on the targe - just millimeters shy of the 10 point bullseye mark, which is the exact size of a BB.

I won the high score for the day and I had lots of fun wearing the golden BB around camp. The scouts were all amazed that a girl had the high BB score and the super-competative male adult leaders would make comments about how they were going to win it. Then they'd spend all their free time at the BB range trying to beat my score. Well, try as they might it couldn't be done. I had the highest score of the entire week and walked away with the golden BB. The rangemaster even did a ceremony and bowed to me. Even the competative guys clapped and cheered for me. It was quite a moment.

I have to say that there's a sense of achievement here. It's exciting to beat all the guys and gives me a little boost of self esteem. But best of all, Chase was SO proud of me. I love that!

Friday came quickly and with that the end of camp. It was so much fun and we made so many wonderful memories. I'll leave you one of my favorite photos from camp, all my Den 2 boys working together to push a log along the beach.