Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Mantle Lights

I just bought [myself] the coolest little star light bulb covers for my dining room mantle.

I wasn't in the market for anything new - we have 4 BIG bins of Christmas decorations - but I was in a little country shop in town shopping for my secret Santa and found these along the way. Merry Christmas to me! How does that always happen????

Anyway, they are small silicon stars that just slip over the mini light bulbs so you can use them again and again. I love the way they look....

Someday, this room will be done :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This was actually taken a few weeks our tree is naked....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Super Easy Superhero Cape

Just in case a little person in your life is in need of a superhero cape this Christmas, I thought I'd share the link where I found a FREE pattern and tutorial for the capes I made for Nathan's birthday party.

The free pattern and tutorial can be found here at the apple cyder blog. Her directions were very easy to follow and didn't take long at all to cut out, pin, and sew together. I made 7 of these babies and it didn't take me very long at all....maybe 3 hours tops.
I ordered the superman iron-ons through etsy and in retrospect, if I'd had more time, I would have ironed them onto yellow fabric first and then cut out and appliqued the symbol to the cape because the iron-on doesn't show up very well on the darker fabric. I would have also made everyone's cape like Nathan's - blue on one side and red on the other. That was kind of an afterthought. The other capes were either all blue or all red.
Live and learn, right? :)
I'd love to see your capes if you decide to whip some up in the next 10 days before Christmas. That's plenty of time - hahaha!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas by the Numbers

to date.....

4 Christmas cards received in the mail - Really? Only 4? C'mon people!

0 Christmas cards sent out in the mail

80 Christmas cards waiting to be addressed and mailed out - this week, I promise

0 Christmas cookies baked

1 Christmas tree up and decorated

13 shopping days left

12 people I still need to buy/make gifts for

5 homemade stockings hung by the chimney with care

7 packages delivered directly to my door - LOVE online shopping :)

143 Christmas songs on continual shuffle play in the cd player
and still and always only
1 reason for the season that I love...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where did fall go?

Oh, yeah....

It was filled with lots of family time and celebration....

My mom's 60th surprise birthday party....

It was a blast! We rented a tent and lucked out with the only comfortable, non-rainy Saturday night in October. I loved all the white lights and the fabric garland my sister made (you can see it in the tent). In the end, my mom was not surprised that we threw her a party, but I'm pretty sure she was surprised with how nice everything was and how many people came to celebrate! We had a great time dancing and our friends and family generously gave my parents moolah to contribute to their European trip to Madrid, Paris, and London.

Then, at the beginning of November....

my baby turned 3!!!

I cannot believe my youngest is three already!

And all Nathan wanted was a Superman party....
So, I sewed all the boys, my nieces, and nephews Superman capes and made a Superman cake. Apparently, though, the cake wasn't good enough for Nathan....he wanted a cake of Superman flying. You know, the quintessential Superman pose with the one right arm poised above the head. Good luck with that, Nathan....and that night, he had already picked out his next wheels. We'll see :)

Finally, we had our annual Thanksgiving pie baking tradition held at my house this year. My grandmom, Betty, began this tradition when I was a little girl and my mom, my sisters, and I have continued it ever since. We usually make pumpkin, apple, lemon meringue, cherry, and coconut custard as our standards. Then we throw in a peach or blueberry or mincemeat pie for fun. This year and last were the first time the kids were really into it. I bought the kids their very own pint-sized silicone rolling pins [a bonus find at T.J.Maxx!] and they all wore their aprons. It was a lot of fun....

And then we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was just my parents, my sisters and brother and their spouses and families and us. It was a wonderful time together at my parents' house.

Now, onto Christmas....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Spiderman: Evan
Wolverine: Ryan
Bear: Nathan
Batman: my nephew, Chris
Snow White: my niece, Abby

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

i think we should change the name of our state to "pennsylRAINia"


why is it i'm always having random thoughts but can't think of any
when i sit down to share them in blogland?

i never thought that i'd still have pimples at 35.


when will ryan learn to say his "s blends?
recent conversation:

r: mommy, did you see me? i was tanding till like a tatoo.

m: standing still like a tatoo?

r: no, like a tatoo.

m: a tatoo?

r: no, a tatoo.

m: OH, a statue! you were standin still like a statue. got it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

In between taking temperatures, dolling out doses of Tylenol and Motrin, and amidst the chorus of coughing in our house, we decided to carve pumpkins on Saturday night.

Daddy carved one.

Evan and Ryan cleaned theirs out
and then told Mommy what they wanted.

Nathan was content to just hang out. I think at one point,
he even left the kitchen to go "read" books on the couch.
The boy LOVES to read :)

Anyway, we told the boys to get newspaper out of the recycling box to cover the table before we started. Evan comes running back from the laundry room with some school papers I'd recycled.

[I'm trying to be much more efficient w/paperwork this year ~ only saving the really great stuff ~ as I still have stacks of papers from Evan's preschool AND kindergarten upstairs waiting to be sorted through ~ ugh!]

The ensuing conversation...

E: Hey, who threw these away?

M: I did. I'm only saving the really great things you bring home. I can't save every single math paper you do in first grade.

E: But I worked really hard on this....I had to use all my fingers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scrappy Share

I know I've been MIA here for a little while.

Busy with balancing my new job and family life.
And when I do get a free {HA!} moment, I've been trying to scrapbook.

I've been inspired lately by some challenges and sketches, and even though I don't usually complete them in time to upload for the deadlines,
I still get to scrapbook and share them here. :)
Lucky you! :)
This was a recent challenge on the Stampin' Sisters in Christ site.
The only requirement was to use the verse
Psalm 97:1: The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad. Let the distant shores rejoice.

Patterned paper, October Afternoon; Thickers, American Crafts; Letter stickers, Making Memories

This is a card I made for a bloggy/scrapbooker friend who is currently battling breast cancer. I really like the way it turned out, but I especially like how I was able to use the scraps from another project....they were already cut into squares. This came together pretty quickly.

Patterned paper, Basic Grey; Pink cardstock, Bazzill; Journaling tag, October Afternoon; Letter stickers, Making Memories;
Velvet Ribbon, Cosmo Cricket

And finally, a layout I did using a sketch from Pamela Young. I don't often hide my journaling, but in this case, I ran out of room on the page. I lifted Evan's photo with foam squares and hid the journaling card behind there. I like that I got to use another file folder tab anyway...

Blue cardstock, Wasau Paper; Star & Orange patterned paper, Scenic Route;Green patterned paper, Red patterned paper and Oh Boy! strip, Cosmo Cricket; File folder tabs, Joanns; Star diecuts, American Crafts; Journaling card, Jenni Bowlin Studios; Letters, Heidi Swapp; Tickets, other

Friday, October 16, 2009


Last weekend, we took the boys to see Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D to celebrate my birthday. :)

Toy Story 2 is one of my absolute favorite animated movies ~ TS1 is good, too, but I prefer TS2. The boys love watching them at home, so I thought this would be a fun Saturday afternoon family activity.

This was Nathan's first theater movie and he did great. Didn't always keep the 3D glasses on, but that was o.k. He didn't seem to mind watching without them.

Now, my boys ALL have BIG heads, but these 3D glasses were humongous on them....

Did they not think that little kids might be coming to see this movie?

We came.
We saw.
We sported the Roy Orbison glasses.
We ate 2 tubs of popcorn.
We survived....

and only Nathan threw up at the end of the night....

All in all, it was a great success :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Comical Conversation

The other morning, Evan was clapping and jumping around.
This is not an unusual sight in our house. If it was Ryan.

But Evan is like his mommy and daddy:
getting out of bed is one thing...
actually waking up is another.

So when I saw how excited Evan was, I asked him what was up.

E: I can't wait to go to school today. I just love going to school, mom.

M: I'm so glad that you love school so much, Evan.

E: Yeah, it's a rash getting up so early, but once you're there, it's fun!

A rash getting up?
When did my sweet little 6 year old turn into a 15 year old?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Soccer Saturdays

And so the season began....

this year, Evan plays on an all-boy team and actually plays offense and/or defense.
and Ryan plays for the first time on a boy-girl team.

We spent 4 1/2 hours at the soccer field last Saturday but it was tons of fun.
Beautiful fall day, the kids were in pleasant was fun.

Evan played awesome defense.

Ryan fluctuated between following the pack behind the ball [typical 4 year old soccer] and standing out in the middle of the field wondering about life. Too funny!

And we get to do it all again tomorrow.....YEAH!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Backseat Banter

Spent a lot of time in the car this weekend between soccer games, a trip to Aberdeen to see the tank museum, and a housewarming party down in Delaware, so there were quite a few gems to be had. This one, however, made me laugh out loud. Clearly the winner of the weekend...

R: I want a treat.

Daddy: If you could have any treat in the world, what would you have?

R: Ice cream.

D: What kind of ice cream?

R: An ice cream cone.

D: What kind of cone?

R: A cone with ice cream...{pause for effect}...duh....


Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Layout

Supplies: red & brown patterned paper, My Mind's Eye; green & blue patterned paper, Cosmo Cricket; yellow patterned paper, We R Memory Keepers; lined paper & diecut tag, Scenic Route; sticker, October Afternoon; letter stickers, American Crafts & Target; date stamp, Hero Arts; letter stamps, Stamp Craft

I completed this layout for the Scrap and Stamp Saturday challenge. All you had to do was follow the sketch and include a stamped image. I love Pamela Young's sketches and blog. I had this grand idea to use both sides of the MME paper, so I figured out a way to cut out the center, flip it over and sew it back together. It worked out o.k., but the sewing looks terrible....I think there's something wrong with the tension on my machine, but I don't know enough to fix it. [hint, hint, MOM! :)]

I still like the way it turned out ~ I love these photos of Evan from this summer :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Note to Self

Unclip work photo i.d.
from bottom of shirt
before going to the bathroom
to avoid said i.d.
falling in the toilet.

At least it happened
before I went...

Friday, September 11, 2009


Grief is a funny thing.

It resides just below the surface of your emotions most days and then it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. This happened to me on Wednesday evening at McDonald's of all places.

It was one of those nights.
Mark wasn't going to be home for dinner.
I had a meeting after work.
I didn't get the kids picked up from the sitter's until after 5:00.
Dinner was an afterthought, so I decided to take the boys to MickeyD's.

Of course it was crowded at the dinner hour.
Of course we had to wait for our order.
Of course Ryan spilled the ketchup all over the table and seat before we even got our food.
Of course Ryan had a fit when he decided he didn't have enough nuggets.
Of course everyone had to go to the bathroom.

Some of them twice.

In the midst of all this chaos, grief kept rearing its sneaky self at me in several different ways.

First, the only table in the entire restaurant that was available for us to sit and eat was the exact same table that we had sat in the last time we ate inside.
When Mark was away for work.
And my grandmom and pop-pop treated us to dinner.

Next, there was an older gentleman sitting at the table caddy-corner to ours with his grandson.
He wore a hat on his head just like my pop-pop used to: sitting up on top making you want to grab it and push it down. :)

This same gentleman turned himself around in his seat to face me as he was getting ready to leave and looking at my boys, said,
"I give you a lot of credit."
and "I don't know how you do it."

These were both exact word for word things that my pop-pop used to say to me every time I saw him. The only obvious omission was "hon" at the end of the sentence.

I wanted to give this strange sweet man a hug.

It was always such an encouragement when my pop-pop recognized how difficult the job of mom could be sometimes. And not only that he recognized it, but told me he noticed and that he was praying for me.

So, yeah, I sat there in the restaurant and tried to eat my french fries and chicken sandwich through my tears as I remembered my pop-pop.

Later that evening, when I was getting the kids' clothes ready for the next day, I was searching through Evan's sock drawer and of all things, found an M1 grand shell from the day of my pop-pop's funeral [he'd been given a 21 gun salute and my grandmom gave each of my boys a shell to remember].

Why was this keepsake stashed in Evan's sock drawer?
Why did this stranger speak the very same words my pop-pop spoke to me?
Why was the only available table the same one we had sat in together?

I don't know.
But I do know that I needed encouragement and God provided it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

why does my hubby insist on vacuuming out and washing the car
BEFORE we go to the beach?


popcorn definitely smells better than it tastes.


why do boys {men} pay no attention to things like proximity to others and set up all the beach paraphanalia BEHIND another family when there were clearly other empty spots on the sand to set up camp???


why do we have a 4 bedroom house again?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I know I posted about this last year,

but can you read the name of the bus company?

Cracks me up every time I see Evan's bus.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week of Firsts

Well, last week was a week of firsts for all of us.
My first day back to working fulltime in four years.
Evan's first day of first grade.
He rides the bus and has a snack and lunch at school everyday!
Ryan's first day of full day preschool.
When you ask him what he did in school,
he says, "I had two nacks and lunch. I went outside to play two times. I took a nap."
Nathan's first day at the babysitter without his older brothers.
Mark's first quiet day at home in the last four years! :) hahahaha!

Everyone seems to be adjusting well to the new routine. I'm still trying to figure out when I can have time to myself [what's that?!?] but we'll work it out. I've been craving some scrapbooking time, but haven't figured out when that will happen yet.
Nathan is the only one I'm slightly worried about. We went upstairs to go to bed Thursday night and this is what we found at the top of the steps:

Nathan had carried all his stuffed animals, his pillow, and his blankets out of his crib and plopped himself at the top of the stairs to sleep. We're not sure why he didn't come downstairs, but the poor kid almost got crushed by Mark's foot! He also climbed into our bed twice last week ~ something he's rarely done before....SO, he's feeling a little out of sorts. Hopefully, it will just get easier for him as this becomes our new routine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Tip

Getting a blood stain out of clothing is not an easy task, but I know a way that works every time if you catch it before the stain sets.

Run the blood stain under cold, cold water.

Scrub it with Safeguard bar soap.

Rub the clothing together vigorously.

Repeat if necessary.

I don't know if another brand of soap can be used; I just know that that's what I've used and works. This is a fail-proof method ~ great for cleaning up after your kids' scrapped knees or your unmentionables during [ahem] that time of the month.

Happy Scrubbing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My 50-something year old mother in law jumping off the high dive.

In her words, "What you wouldn't do for your grandkids...."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ryan's 4th Birthday

We celebrated Ryan's 4th birthday way back in July with a robot themed birthday party. We collected lots of recyclable junk like bottle caps, lids, Chinese take-out handles, cans, aluminum pull tabs, and popsicle sticks for the kids to use to create their very own robots.

So, what started out looking like this....

Turned out looking like this....
[Note: man in background, is NOT a robot, but my father-in-law] :)

Mark made a robot pinata out of cereal and other food boxes.

And no robot party would be complete without the robot cake, which was fun to make and decorate....

Happy Birthday, little man! I can't believe you're 4 already!!
Speaking of birthdays, here's a scrapbook layout that I just finished about Ryan's 3rd birthday...

I was inspired to do the "party" banner from Chrispea's post and challenge. You still have until next Monday to try one on your own and post it to the Ally Scraps forum and it's a great way to use up some of those scraps I'm sure you've got laying around.