Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

This has never been more true than right now. It seems like that anaology is the driving force in our life lately. Here's a couple of reasons why:

We were a bit worried about Brian's new job, as he had to take a pay cut for the first year (you don't get incentive pay/education pay until you've been employed a year). So we knew it was going to be even tighter than life already is. The sheriff did mention that the guys get overtime most of the time so we had hoped he would get enough to make up that pay cut. Little did we know that he would be on the other end of the spectrum - tons of overtime. So for now, it's raining overtime and we're thankful for the relief of stress that brings to our finances. However, I'm a little saddened that that means more time away for Brian and more stress on him.

You know how I mentioned that it had been months and months since I'd received a call that a magazine wanted to publish a page? Well, since that post I've received two more calls. Guess I'm not as dried up as I thought! LOL So it's raining scrapbook publications and I'll thankful and happy about that.

Lately, it's also been raining stuff... all that stuff to do. Scouts and cheer and taekwondo are the leaders in my life, but I've also been volunteering at the kids schools and have book club and scrapbooking night for myself. Plus there's scout leaders meetings, school parents organization meetings, curriculum and planning for my job at the preschool, etc. Needless to say, I'm just overwhelmed. Too many things to do and not enough hours in the day to do them. And I'm not sure where to draw the line and what to drop. I did finally decide to take a term off of school and see if that would relieve some of the burden. I'm also trying not to take anything more on and hope to better balance what I do have. But it's hard sometimes. I want to be superwoman and I'm not and the raining down of stuff is soaking me.

I know there's more that's raining and pouring in my life, but those are the three I could think of at the moment. I must admit that we still lead a pretty great life and my slight complaints are nothing like some others must have to deal with.

I'm thankful each day for the life, family and friends all around me and for the things in life that rain, pour and shower me in happiness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The big announcement...

Brian has been looking for a new job for a while now but he's been pretty picky about his criteria for a new position. He was looking for a department with a lot of opportunity for growth, with the chance to do new things and learn new things, with a department that's more of a brotherhood. Well, when it finally happened he was left with 2 choices. He chose the Columbia County Sheriffs Department and started work there at the end of August.

So far he is very happy, finding what he was looking for in this department and feeling positive that he's found a department that will better serve his needs. The guys there have worked with him before and know him and how he works. They accepted him very quickly and are genuinely happy to have him on their team. All in all, a great move and one that has brought happiness and relief to Brian.

No picture of him in the new uniform yet, but I'll try to get one soon. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back to School Bows

I have never made hair bows before but my good friend Melinda makes the most adorable ones for her girls. Since her daughter and Carissa are in cheer together this year, Melinda and I decided to make all the cheer girls hair bows. They came out pretty adorable, thanks to Melinda's expertise and a little bit of clumsy work for me. But by doing the bows with her I began to understand a little bit about how they were put together. So one night I sat down and decided to make some bows of my own.

I quickly learned that it would have been easier if I actually had a stash of LONG ribbons, but since I have lots and lots of shorter lengths of ribbon (after all, I only use it for scrapbooking!) I had to make due. Here's what I came up with:

Now each of these bows was made to specifically match an outfit Carissa has. Like these:

I made two little blue and yellow ribbons that are only about 1 1/2" across. These are on tiny ponytail holders. Carissa has taken to wearing her hair in two braids down the side and these can go right on the ends of those braids. Plus they match one of her new fave outfits.

I did find a length of bright pink wired ribbon and pulled a prodded and shaped it into this cool looking flower. It has way more depth in real life, since it's wavy and can be shaped because of the wire. But it's pretty cool and Carissa's new fave.
So there it is, my first foray into bow-making. At the rate Carissa is growing I won't be able to make them for her much longer, but for now they are adorable and so fun!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Fashion

I always take pictures of the kids school clothes before school starts, just so they can remember the kinds of things they liked when they were younger. This year I decided to have the kids do a fashion show for me and took pictures of them in their new gear.

Here's Carissa. As usual, she chose mainly skirts. She definitely has a unique style that way. This particular outfit is from one of her fave stores, Justice. Unfortunately, we can't afford Justice most of the time but they were having a sale and we got her this one adorable outfit.

This one Brian's parents bought for her... skirt and shirt again. Go figure. You can't see it in the photo, but this shirt matches an adorable black and white polka dot skirt with pink foofy trim.
This one is adorable too... more like a dress with leggings, which definitely fits her style too.

And the surprise of the new wardrobe is this outfit... a cute shirt and JEANS! And now just any jeans, but acid washed skinny jeans with zippers at the ankles. These remind me so much of my teenage years, where skinny zipper ankle jeans were the style. It's adorable to see them return.
Chase this year was all about the Quiksilver. All of his shirts came from there. His jeans were a bit more difficult this year, as he's on the cusp between boys and adult jeans. He likes the slim straight fit jeans (not baggy, not skinny) and he had to try on lots and lots of both kids and adult jeans before he found some pairs that fit.
Tristan, following in Chase's footsteps, choose many shirts from Quiksilver. He has progressed to adult jeans, which I'm so thankful for since there are many choices for waist size and length and you can find a pair that fits well. Of course, I made him try on TONS but he finally found some we both liked.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to School

School started a few weeks ago and the kids are all doing really well. Carissa is in 4th grade this year and in the brand new Petersen School. It's a beautiful school and her teacher, Ms. Hall, seems very nice. Carissa tested into a high math group, which is such a relief after some struggling with math previously and hard work at making sure she keeps up. So far it looks like it's going to be a great year for her.
Tristan is in 6th grade this year. It's his final year at Sauvie Island and with Mr. Sipp (they have mixed grade classrooms so you're with the same teacher 2 years). I'll be sad when this year is over because Mr. Sipp has been such a wonderful teacher for Tristan, really encouraging positive behavior and allowing Tristan to be creative. Tristan really, really idolizes Mr. Sipp too. So it's been a great place for him.
Chase is on his 2nd year of middle school. He does get to attend the high school for one class a day, for Geometry, and he has an AP Language Arts class this year. We're looking forward to seeing how this all works out for him. He's in his final year of mid school and goes on to high school next year.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Both Tristan and Chase recently celebrated their birthdays, turning 12 & 14. It's amazing to think that they are this old... gone are the days of toys and trinkets for their birthdays. Now it's all about the big things. Well, the books and the big things. Tristan got a new internal frame backpack for his birthday, which he picked out from REI and which will hopefully last him a very long time. This went with his pile of books, new dragon (to go with his collection) and adorable new fedora.
Chase got the much-coveted Starcraft 2 game for his computer, which he promptly loaded and played. He also got this new chair (hard to see, but he's sitting on it) and a big bundle of books. Good thing my kids like books so much or I wouldn't know what to get them anymore! LOL

Monday, September 20, 2010

Labor Day Outing

We always plan a fun, outside activity to celebrate the last day of summer. This year Dad offered to take us out on the river in the boat and we were happy for the opportunity. We met at the Scappoose Bay Marina, where the tide was out and the water was very shallow. It was slow going but we finally made it out to the river. We tootled around for a bit, heading first to see the Warrior Rock Lighthouse.

Then we headed turned around and Dad kicked it into gear, giving us some speed to enjoy. The kids, especially Tristan, were laughing and smiling and having a grand time.

Next we headed for Sand Island, where we docked up and had lunch. It was beautiful weather and we enjoyed the sunshine and the company while eating.

We got back on the boat and headed up the Multnomah Channel a bit. We even caught a bald eagle soaring above the river. We went as far as Coon Island before turning around and heading back.

Dad let the kids (and Brian) each have a turn to drive the boat. Some were better than others and Dad stayed close for when they started to stray to one side or the other.
All too soon it was time to head back to the marina and load up for home. We had a great time with Dad and Linda and it was a wonderful way to enjoy our last day of summer.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This is what Chase looked like on the evening of September 4...
That look can only mean one thing: Chase has successfully completed his Eagle Scout Board of Review and is now offically an Eagle Candidate. What this means is that he has completed all the steps he needs to in order to earn his Eagle Scout. His paperwork is now being forwarded to BSA National Office. As soon as it gets processed there Chase will be an Eagle Scout. Now and forever he'll be able to carry this distinction with him. We're so proud of him and how much he has accomplished and learned on the road to Eagle. And now, for a more dignified look...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The other side of the story...

Earlier I shared the pictures of my family from when my sister was here. Well, the days before those pictures were taken Brian, the kids and I spent a few days at the beach with my brother and his wife and kids. I totally adore both Randal and Alden. Randal is growing up and is so much fun! He likes to hang out with my kids and they spent a lot time playing at the playground getting coated in sand. Alden is such warm, smily, chubby little baby and I enjoyed being able to hold and enjoy him when we were there.

We stayed at a KOA outside of Astoria, where we stayed in cabins and enjoyed each others company. The kids played camp games and miniature golf but their favorite thing was this jumping pillow.
We went to first day of the Washington International Kite Festival in Long Beach, where we enjoyed the kites despite the overcast day. It started clearning up as we left but at least we got to see some of the wonderful kites flying (and enjoy our favorite big ice cream cones from Long Beach! LOL).
Our final day we finally made it to the beach. There was this huge hut made of driftwood. Someome took some time to build it, as you could crawl inside and get out of the wind. The kids liked it on top better! LOL
We also flew kites. The kids have had these huge, beautiful kites for years but we haven't flown them until now.

After our day at the beach it was time to head home, where we had a family dinner at Dad's and then got prepared for the family gathering where we took those pictures I previously posted. All in all, it was a great time at the beach with Jimmy and his family. I truly hope we can do it again sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


It's been a while since I've been able to say this, but I got a page requested for an issue of Creating Keepsakes. It's one I absolutely LOVE and have been hoarding for a while. Today they picked it up and I couldn't be more thrilled. YEAH!