Sunday, January 27, 2008

One last project to share ...

I don't know how I forgot to upload these, but I made us all matching shirts to wear to WDW. I gave them to everyone at Christmas and they loved them!
The boys have hoodies to keep them warm during the cold nights and Carissa has a long sleeve tee since she gets cold so easily. Brian and I both have t-shirts. Blue camo Mickey heads for the boys, pink for us girls.
I made these using a blank Mickey head design a lady named Pat on the disboards made. I added the words to say "Walt Disney World, Pixley, 2008".
We can't wait to wear them this evening!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Last Minute Project

I know we only have a day until we leave, but I couldn't resist altering some journals for the kids. Tristan's teacher gave him the assignment to journal each day and I loved the idea so much that I decided to make all of them do it. So now they each have their own altered journal to write in during our trip. I can't wait to read what they have to say!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The big 4-0

Just had another layout requested for publication. That makes 40 published layouts. Yippee!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


You would not believe the piles of stuff sitting in my front room. Open suitcases, piles of clothing, list upon list of things to do, things to pack, things to remember. The anticipation is getting to us all and we're just getting so excited. We leave Sunday and are taking the red-eye there. We're hoping to sleep on the plane (the whole 5 hour flight! LOL) and hit the parks bright and early when we arrive in Florida. Send us your thoughts and strength ... I think the sleep and time transition might be a little bumpy. ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


As bad as the timing was for this snow trip, I must admit that I easily forgot about everything and really enjoyed my time up on Mt. Hood with Chase. We went as guests of the local Boy Scout Troop that Chase will be joining once he crosses over to Boy Scouts next month.

This particular lodge was quite a hike in - about 1/2 mile (not too bad right?!?) but with a 600 ft. elevation climb! Not so easy for a girl who doesn't even own a pair of hiking boots! The only thing that saved me was the fact that my sons feet have grown to the same size as mine (seriously, he is growing WAYYYYY too fast). So I borrowed Chase's hiking boots while he wore his snow boots this weekend. Nonetheless, the trek up to the lodge was steep and exhausting. But once we arrived and stored our gear the real fun began.

The big highlight of this trip is the tubing hill.

It had snowed the previous week and since we were the first troop up we were able to break in the tubing trails. This means that they were a little slower in the beginning, a good start for our kids. Unfortunately Chase accidently dropped his tube and had to chase it down the hill so didn't even get the tube the first trip. After a long climb back up the hill he finally got a chance to ride it down.

He was really enjoying the ride down until he hit a big bump and did a somersault in the air. Thankfully he was alright and after a bit of a break he was up and running again.

Chase and his den of Webelos scouts really enjoy working together at things, so when they found a big empty snow field behind the lodge they dug right in, literally. This is the "Den 2 Den" that they made. By the time they were done it was about 3 feet deep and 6 feet across. They even worked on building a tunnel under the snow.

The boys spend the better part of our time at the lodge in the snow field working on their creation. It was great to see them having so much fun and enjoying the snow.

The weather was absolutely perfect for the trip too. Sunny on Friday with no wind and just slightly breezy today, though even that could be forgiven because of the beautiful snow falling from the sky. Last night was an amazing sunset too. I took this photo of a nearby mountain right from the top of the tubing hill.

All in all a great trip and some important one-on-one time with Chase. We both had a great time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

High 5's for Tristan!!!

Tristan has been working so hard lately on his spelling. He had found his 3rd grade spelling book way too easy so, with the permission of his teacher, he worked on completing the entire year of spelling (36 units of 15 words each) in just 6 weeks. He completed it last week and today he had his "final" with his teacher. She chose 50 words from his 3rd grade speller and tested him on them. He could miss up to five but he missed only one! Way to go!!!

What this means now is that Tristan is the proud recipient of a 4th grade spelling book. He's going to continue doing it independantly and at his own pace and I'm sure he'll do wonderfully with it.

He is so proud of himself for having successfully challenged the 3rd grade spelling! Way to go Buddy. You rock!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 days to go. 11 days until we leave for Disneyworld. 11 days to get all 10 suitcases, 5 carry ons and 5 fanny packs organized and packed. 11 days to make the finishing touches on Carissa's birthday plans. 11 days to stress over ever minute detail that I may or may not forget at some point. 11 days, 5 days of work, 3 Tae Kwon Do practices, 2 basketball practices, 1 basketball game, 1 gymnastics class, 1 dentist appointment, 1 book club meeting, 1 haircut still left to get and 1 day of football games to watch. Oh, and that 2 day snow trip with the boy scouts. Ugh, what was I thinking? Why did I think that 2 days at the snow a week before leaving on our big vacation was a good idea? Oh, I know. I was thinking "gee, this would sure be fun for Chase. Let's do it!" Someone smack me please!

Anyhow, I think you get the point that I'm stressing this all a little. It could have to do with the fact that I am a planner and organizer and the fact that I'm not all packed and ready to go is bugging me. It could be because the weather forecast is constantly changing and I'm not sure whether to pack pants, shorts, tanks or sweatshirts. Heck, why not pack it all??? Because God knows I can do it all in 11 days. Scratch that ... I can do it all in 9 days, seeing as how 2 days will be spent doing nothing at all to prepare for the trip.

Ugh. Off to meditate or inebriate, whichever works better. ;)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Wahoo! CK here I come!

Can you see me jumping up and down? It's because I'm over the moon about my latest email. Creating Keepsakes has requested a layout for their May 2008 edition! This is my first time ever being in a regular edition of Creating Keepsakes. I've had some in one of their special editions but I just wasn't quite satisfied with that. Now I feel like I've officially broken the CK barrier - the last major scrapbook goal that I've had for myself.

2007 was actually a great year for me publication wise. I had 9 layouts in 2007 issues, most of which paid me (gotta love that!). I already have 9 layouts requested for 2008 issues, again most of which are paid submissions, so I think it's going to be another great year. For the first time I can actually say that I made more money than I spent in supplies. Not much more, mind you, but more.

You can see my work coming up in 2008 here:
Scrapbooks Etc. - Jan 08
Scrapbook Trends (2 layouts) - Jan 08
Memory Makers "Oh Baby!" Idea Book - May 08
Creating Keepsakes - May 08
Scrapbook Trends (2 layouts) - May 08
Scrapbooks Etc. - May/June 08
Memory Makers - June 08

Anyways, thanks for listening to my little gloat session. :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Check out the video on the left...

OK, so I know it's probably someone's pirated version of the movie scene, but I just couldn't resist. This song from the AWESOME Disney movie "Enchanted" has been stuck in my head for weeks. I absolutely love it. Give it a listen.

Oh, and if you have a daughter and haven't taken her to see "Enchanted" you should definitely go. It was so wonderful. Disney at it's best. Magical ...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I challenge you ...

I wrote the following for the ScrapAddict blog ( and really loved it. It doesn't only pertain to those who scrapbook either so I'm challenging you, yes you reading this right now, to take the challenge and make your lists. Life is an occasion - celebrate it.
Happy New Years Eve fellow Scrap Addicts! Another year has come and gone and with it a plethora of wonderful memories. The dawn of a new year approaches and with it a plethora of wonderful memories to come.

About this time each year I am dutifully jotting down the obligatory list of resolutions… resolutions to change who I am or what I do, most of which never come to fruition.
This year I have a new list and I challenge you to make it with me. Instead of focusing on life changes that may never happen, focus on the memories you’ve just had and the memories yet to come.

Start off by jotting down a list of your favorite or most meaningful memories of the last year. Think about all that you’ve done and accomplished this year, the changes that have come into your life, the moments that you truly cherish. Write those down in one place as the “highlights” of 2007.

Then make a list of memories you would like to share with your loved ones in the coming year. These can be as vague and simple as “sit down and read my favorite childhood stories to the kids” or ”take the kids out in the woods and enjoy the peacefulness”. Or you could chose to make them very specific, such as “take the kids for a walk along Hug Point and tell them how I used to play here as a child.” And these don’t have to be related to your children. How about “have a long, heartfelt talk with my Dad and get to know about his childhood” or “share a bonfire and a sunset at the beach with the one I love” or “hike to the top of Multnomah Falls.”

There are lots of wonderful, wonderful memories ahead. Take a moment to jot down the ones that you remember best from this year and the ones you hope to make next year.

Have a safe and happy new year!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ah yes ....

... the Christmas season is over. I see I'm quite late in getting my blog posting done, but better late than never, right?!?
Before Christmas Day we enjoyed a few of our yearly traditions.

We went to Brian's parents house and together went on our annual trip to the house with lights. There is one house out where they live, in a rural area outside of Woodburn, that is just COVERED with lights. Literally covered. He has more traditional Christmas lights, like a lifesize nativity scene and angels up in the trees. He also has some more nostalgic lights, like a train that blows smoke and a lifesize carousel and ferris wheels. He also has the strictly unique, like the lighted tow trucks and ice skaters. We have visited his house every Christmas season and love stopping and walking amongst the displays. I have never been able to get good photos of his lights, but we love them just the same.

That same evening we went to the nearby factory stores for a visit with Santa Claus. The kids lined up inside Santa's house, with the fake-snow slowly falling outside. They patiently waited and were finally given a chance to visit with the big guy.
Carissa requested a bike.

Tristan asked for Tae Kwon Do sparring gear. Santa found this to be a very unique request.

Chase asked for a chemistry kit, another unique request for Santa this year.
It was a nice little visit with Santa. After the visit we went to see my Mom's new house and take a tour around her complex. All in all a busy and festive day. :)

The kids did get another chance to meet with Santa, this time at the Cub Scout Christmas party. Santa also brought Mrs. Santa with him to help hand out gifts to those good little Cub Scouts. Chase did sport a goose egg here that he got at basketball practice earlier in the evening. OUCH! But he enjoyed the camo fanny pack filled with a first aid kit and other basic supplies. He must have been good this year. ;)

Beyond that, we we had a wonderful Christmas season.

I spent the day before Christmas Eve making the must-have holiday sweets. My favorite is the nanimo bars. Chock full of coconute, nuts, graham crackers, chocolate and this wonderful, sweet vanilla middle layer ... my absolute favorite. They were scrumptious!

I also made spritzers for the first time this year. I remember making these every year when I was a child ... coloring the dough pink (well, it was supposed to be red! LOL), green and yellow, loading the machine and hearing the press push the dough out on the cookie sheet in a neat shape, gently sprinkling on a rainbow of colored sugars. I hadn't made them since then, but last year my mom got me a spritzer cookie press for Christmas and this year I finally made them. They were fun and the kids enjoyed their turn with the spritzer machine. Oh yes, they were quite liberal with the sprinkles too! LOL

Christmas Eve started with my Dad and Linda coming over to visit. We had fun hanging out with the kids, having them open their gifts, playing with the gifts and just enjoying some time together. I am horrible at taking photos of the kids with their gifts (I took a total of 2 this year. LOL) so I'm hoping Dad and Linda will save me with some. But Carissa got Breyer horses and a barn, both of which are one of her absolute favorite gifts of the season. Tristan got a game he really wanted for his Nintendo DS and Chase got Harry Potter Scene It! Now, for those who don't know Harry Potter Scene It, it's a trivia board game that includes a DVD, which asks questions based on sound or video clips from the movie. It is an awesome game for any die hard Harry Potter fan, which both Chase and I are. We played a heated game with Chase ahead all game, but I snuck it out in the end and was the victor. It was sooooo much fun!

After Dad and Linda left we got in the car for our annual drive to see the Christmas Eve lights. We turned on the Christmas music and drove around town to see all the displays. We even spied Rudolph's nose way up in the sky.
After coming home we had some cookies and opened the traditional Christmas Eve gift - new pajamas. For the first time this year, the kids each took turns reading us "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Then the kids nestled all snug in their beds and were (not so) fast asleep.
Christmas morning arrived early for us - 5:40am to be exact. We told the kids they could wake us no sooner than 5:30am (last year Chase was up at 3am ... *snore*). Tristan was first up and quickly the rest of the house was awake. The kids rushed out to see what they had received from Santa.
The kids must have been very good this year. They got some great stuff from Santa.

Carissa got her bike:

Tristan received his Tae Kwon Do sparring gear:

Chase got a real, not-a-toy telescope:

These were great gifts for the kids. Carissa is already speeding around the neighborhood on her bike. Tristan returns to Tae Kwon Do tomorrow and can't wait to have his own gear. He has been wanting it since he started 3 months ago and Santa pulled through for him. Chase is beyond thrilled with his telescope. He didn't even ask for it this year, but has been wanting one for several years. He constantly amazes me with all he knows about space and stars, so this is perfect for him. And he's already very protective over it, not wanting his brother or sister to so much as touch it. His scout leader is very knowledgeable about telescopes, as his father is an astonomer, so he will be coming over this week to show Chase how to properly use and care for it.

After the Santa gifts the kids opened their gifts from us. Lots of fun things to play with. Both Brian's parents and my Mom and Jim came over on Christmas day, so the kids made a hauling in gifts. It snowed outside all day long, this huge wonderful flakes. It didn't stick, which was a bit disappointing, but I loved looking out the window and seeing the snow falling. We had a wonderful Christmas dinner with both turkey and ham and just had a good time.

After the family left we decided that we should try to make this our first White Christmas. It couldn't be called that if the snow didn't stick and snowballs weren't thrown, so we drove just 2 miles from the house and up the hill on west side of town, where we found the snow had been sticking. We let the kids get out and play in it for a bit. Snowballs were thrown and thus we had our first every White Christmas.

New Years Eve was another wonderful night for us. For the first time in 6 years Brian was home to celebrate with us. We watched movies: the very funny "Underdog", which the kids just laughed and laughed at, and "The Simpsons Movie" which I didn't watch since I pretty much detest the Simpsons. Brian and the kids liked it but said Underdog was a MUCH better movie. After the movies we played Wii together, a rousing game of Mario Party 8. I got my butt kicked, which is no less than I would expect, since I really don't care for video games. But I had fun playing with the kids. We actually had to put the game on hold so that we could turn on the Times Square ball drop. We rang in the new year together with hugs and kisses and just general family happiness. We got this quick photo:

and then finished the game before heading to bed on the first day of the new year.

Now that the holidays are over things have largely returned to normal. The kids aren't back in school yet and I'm soaking in all these wonderful days with no schedule and no plans. I LOVE IT! I'm in full Disney-planning mode now and have lists and schedules and such strewn everywhere here. As great as 2007 was, 2008 is looking to be a fun and exciting year for us all. I can't wait to enjoy it with my family!