Monday, January 29, 2007

another busy weekend

The weekend was busy yet again (I think I've forgotten what a weekend with no plans feels like), but we did have some fun along the way, too. Both Em and Nick got invited to sleepovers on Friday night, so George, Benjamin, and I went out for supper, then had a quiet night at home for a change. On Saturday we washed the kitchen walls and ceiling, which still had gunk on them from removing the wallpaper border. George also did a lot of prep work, puttying holes, etc. And then we finally put the first coat of fresh paint on the kitchen ceiling. We put the second coat on yesterday, after church, and already the room looks a thousand times better! (The new paint only makes the old paint on the walls look worse, though!)

I did manage to do some scrapping over the weekend, too. :) This one is of Ben and Bunny, the stuffed rabbit that Grandma Bev gave him this summer. He now insists on sleeping with it every night and carries it around during the day. (For Cheri's challenge, I got to check off fibers, using a non-alphabet stamp ~ bonus points for owning the stamp more than a year but never using it till now, and wet embossing):

The following layouts were done using a special kit of papers, letter stickers, and embellishments ~ all the members of the IDOS Design Team were given the same items and then told to create as much as we could with it.

This first one is of our town's tree lighting ceremony. (I was able to check off using more than 6 photos on a layout.):

Ben's first candy cane:

"Meeting" the Christmas tree:

Our Christmas card photo shoot:

I'm not sure I can make my January goal of getting caught up on all of Ben's photos through December, but I'm pretty close! If I can at least finish up with his Nov. photos, I'll be happy....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

i did it!

I made a New Year's resolution (like I have so many other years) that I would start going back to the gym and lose some weight. I finally took the first step today and forced myself to go to the gym! I bought an annual membership and a babysitting punch card for Ben, so now I'm committed! LOL

I haven't been to the gym for almost 2 years now, not since becoming pregnant with B. The gym has all new weight machines now that took awhile to figure out, but I did work on some of them. I also did 10 minutes on the Stairmaster and power-walked for 5/6 of a mile. (I would've done the whole mile, but it was time for me to pick Ben up from the babysitting room.) It really wasn't much of a workout compared to what I was doing at the gym a couple years ago, but it was a lot more than I'm currently used to, and I know I will be sore tomorrow! LOL And I'm already worn out!

I've done some more scrapping this week, and got to cross some more things off the list for Cheri's challenge!

Here's Ben in the elephant costume that Christine originally made for Em way back in 1996. (I was able to check off die cut, a current photo, and doodling on a page. Thank you to my friend Annette for the elephant die cut... all the way from South Africa!):

For this Halloween one, I was able to cross off ribbon, a metal embellishment that's not a brad, and bling ~ those are crystal brads along the side and on the charm. Thank you to my friend Val for the "checkerboard" paper!:

And for this one, I was able to cross off color blocking, using only scraps except for the background, and scraplifting (I SL'ed a layout in the Becky Higgins sketch book.) This is my boy who hates to wear hats... unless he puts them on his head himself, and they aren't really hats!:

Friday, January 19, 2007

scrap therapy

I've been a little bummed this month because my favorite scrap site, IDOS ~ my home on the web, has been down since before Christmas. :( I have not been as motivated to scrap because of that, and haven't gotten nearly as many layouts done as I normally would. I finally forced myself to scrap last night, though. (That sounds funny, that, as much as I love to scrap, I would have to force myself to do it. But for some reason, there was a mental block there that I had to push my way through.) As always, scrapping was very therapeutic. I'm feeling better now and am hoping to make my goal for the month, to get caught up on Ben's photos thru December.

I got 4 pages done last night, and decided that since the IDOS gallery is down, I would share them here, along with the other layouts I've done this month (all October photos). Here they are:

A friend made the cool title for this one. These photos were taken in Chicago by the river, after we had lunch with one of George's friends. Ben loved the fountains!:

Here we are at the apple orchard. B insisted on holding an apple the entire time, and kept "tasting" it with little licks:
After we picked apples, we went to the petting zoo. B was delighted by all the animals!:

The following pages are the ones I created last night. My friend Cheri issued a scrap challenge earlier this month ~ she provided a long list of things and you have to try to use everything on the list... but you can only use up to 3 items per layout. I finally got started on that challenge with these pages.

Benjamin discovers chalk (and I crossed black ink, 3 patterned papers, and rub-ons off my list. Oh, and those green and starry papers were in my DT prize package!):

Grandma's Little Pumpkin (I used stickers that were 3+ years old, a non-Becky Higgins sketch... the sketch is one of my favorites by my friend (the sketch queen) Jen:), and this is a non-event layout... 3 more things crossed off that list!):

B and his pumpkin. (With this one, I crossed off chipboard, letter stickers, and vellum ~ which is what the background is... I adhered the stripy vellum to a piece of white cardstock.):

Thursday, January 18, 2007

look who's one!

Gosh, I can't believe that my godson, David, is one today! (As fast as time goes with my own kids, it seems to go even faster with other people's kids... I guess because I don't see them every day!) I was very lucky to be present at David's birth ~ what a special opportunity! Here I am with him shortly after he was born: And here he is, all grown up, with Em on New Year's Eve:

Happy birthday, dear David! Wishing you a fun, exciting second year of life! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

in the rainforest

I thought I'd share a few of the photos taken on Nick's birthday, at the Rainforest Cafe. (It is N's favorite restaurant, and the 7th year in a row that we've gone there on his bday!) Here is the birthday boy with the hat the waiter gave him:

I think someone gave this boy too much caffeine!:

Nick with some of the plastic animals he received as gifts, including the elusive spoonbill that N's been wanting forever and that his Aunt Christine finally found for him: Nick and his delicious cake. Volcanooooooooooooo.... :
Me, Ben, George, Nick, Em, and Marissa:
My friend Glenna, monkeying around:
My friends Chrissy and Jenn:

Fun times in the rainforest! :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

what is that white stuff?

Oh, yeah... it's called snow! I'd almost forgotten what it was! We don't have much (an inch or so), but I'm happy ~ THIS is what it's supposed to look like in January!

I had a great weekend, hanging out with my friends Glenna, Chrissy, and Jenn. We stayed at a fancy-shmancy hotel near here (there were even tv's built into the mirrors in the bathrooms, LOL!), went shopping, ate lots of yummy food, stayed up late having fun, and slept in LATE. (That was wonderful!) We met up with George, the kids, and Marissa for Nick's birthday party at the Rainforest Cafe. Nick was very excited about all of his gifts! He doesn't know yet that he still has one more gift to "open" ~ George and I bought him a yellow bike, which we plan to give him tonight! (It's hiding in the garage at the moment.)

This is something new for me, but I got "tagged" by reading this on my friend Jen's blog. If you have a blog (or facebook or whatever) and see this, consider yourself tagged, too! :) It's kind of a get-to-know-you thing:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
  • Social worker, counseling severely emotionally disturbed children and teens
  • Beetle babysitter ;) (worked for the ISU entomology dept., doing various odd jobs, including taking care of lots and lots of beetles!)
  • McDonald's slave... bleah
  • Merry Maid flyer distributor
B) Four movies I watch over and over again:
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Sommersby
  • Love, Actually
  • She's Having a Baby
C) Four places I have lived:
  • Ames, IA
  • Madison, WI
  • Aberdeen, MD
  • LaMoille, IL
D) Four TV shows I watch:
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Big Brother
  • Amazing Race
  • Survivor
E) Four places I have been on vacation:
  • Italy
  • Disney World
  • Bahamas
  • BWCA
F) Four Websites I visit daily:
  • IDOS
  • and that's about it for "daily"!
G) Four Places I would rather be right now:
  • Just about any place, scrapping
  • Visiting my family in Iowa
  • Disney World
  • Australia
H) Four foods that I can--and do--live without:
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Seafood
  • Alcohol

Friday, January 12, 2007

happy birthday, nick!

Well, I'm a day early, but I thought I'd better post this now since I probably won't have access to a computer tomorrow. I can't believe that Nick is going to be 8! How on earth did that happen? Wasn't he a baby just yesterday??

In honor of his big day tomorrow, I thought I'd list some of the things that I love about my birthday boy:
  • Nick has a great sense of humor and makes me laugh every single day!

  • He has an awesome imagination! Lately he's been creating the cutest drawings of various creatures that he thinks up. Each one has a name and a story behind it. I'll have to scan some and post them!

  • Nick is the best big brother ever. He is so good with Ben. He helps take care of him, he plays with him, and makes B laugh when he's sad. He is very gentle with B, even when B is being quite rough with him! Whenever Nick enters the room, B's eyes light up!

  • He is concerned about the environment and how it's affecting animals. All on his own (with only some spelling help), he has written several letters to presidents of other countries, asking them to help save the animals that live there.

  • He is very smart, with an amazing vocabulary and an incredible knowledge of animals around the world.

  • Nick is such a sweet boy ~ helpful, caring, and kind to others. I couldn't ask for a better son! Love ya, sweetie! Hope you have a wonderful birthday, and I hope that being 8 is grrrreat! :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

happy new year!

Happy 2007 to you all! Here are some New Year's photos, taken at our friends' home, during their annual NYE party....

Ben loved blowing the "party blower" (though he wasn't thrilled about the hat, LOL)! Mr. Party Animal even stayed up all night, until we headed for home at 12:40am! :
Emmalie helped me make some 2007 glasses out of sparkly pipe cleaners for everyone at the party:
Our friend Marissa went with us. Here she and Nick are, toasting the new year with some sparkling apple cider:

We all had a happy Christmas and New Year's, except for being sick. (We are now going on week 5 of at least one person in the family having some sort of illness... and it's usually been 2 or more people at a time! Ugh.)

We loved having our company here ~ first my parents and sister visited and then George's parents and grandma came. We also loved spending Christmas Day with my grandma and several of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousin's kids. :) Santa was good to ALL of us, and now I'm trying to find places to put all of our new gifts! Here are a few more photos from the holidays.

Ben wasn't feeling well at all when my parents and sis were here, and was pretty much stuck to me like glue! (He did NOT want anyone else holding him.) I did get one good shot of him sitting with Grandpa Rick:

He was feeling better when George's family arrived, so was happy to sit with Grandma Fran:

and with his Great-grandma Vera, who he met for the first time:

Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping things will slow down a bit! (It will help if I can get all five of us healthy again, and we can stop having all these doctor's appointments!) Of course, we have Nick's birthday coming up on Saturday, so it won't get TOO slow around here....

Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the blog better now, too, after ignoring it for a couple of weeks!

Wishing everyone out there a very happy 2007!