Saturday, July 31, 2010


I have a confession to make.

It has been one whole year since I last ordered digital prints.

Yes, a whole year.

I don't know exactly why this happened, but if I think about it long enough I could probably come up with a few reasons..... I had some, okay, a TON, of uploading to do ~ nope, hadn't been keeping up with that either. I was backlogged to last December. It took me all. week. long. to upload the photos from my hard drive. I literally would open an album on Snapfish, open a month on my hard drive, highlight the pics and leave my computer for a few hours. Don't know why, but their "Fast Upload" wasn't fast enough for me. Anyone else have this problem? I don't know if it was the sheer amount of pics I was trying to upload at once or the quality of them or my hard drive or what.....

I digress....

Currently, there are almost 700 [yes, I said 700] pics being processed out in CA and will be delivered to my door in a few days. LOVE how quickly I get my orders from Snapfish!! The best part about it is that it only cost me about $100 altogether ~ that's less than 7 cents/print! Not bad for all those pics and that includes about 30 5x7 prints, too. I do the prepaid prints and then I found a code for FREE shipping online that actually worked! I saved $25 on shipping ~ yahoo! :)

I cannot wait to start scrapping the last year ~ another reason to love blogging ~ helps me keep track of all the fun stuff I want to scrap. Who wants to scrap???????

P.S. To those of you who left me a comment on my last post ~ love you! You made my week :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

scrappy share

Supplies: Green patterned paper, Fancy Pants Designs;
Yellow patterned paper, Scenic Route; Journal card, Scenic Route;
Sun/cloud cut-out, Cosmo Cricket; Number diecut paper, KI Memories;
Orange Thickers, American Crafts; White letter stickers,
Making Memories; Metal letters, Joann Crafts.

I love the KI Memories lace cardstock and as you can see, I've had this FOREVER(!) because I've never quite known what to do with it. I have about 5 or 6 different sheets of it that has been sitting for a while now due to operator confusion ~ haha! It's so neat I wish I knew how to use it!!

I think one of the issues I have is that I often use patterned paper in the background and there's only certain papers with which the lace will actually work well. Any scrapbookers out there who have any tips for using this? I'd love to see what you do with it....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

is this thing on?

I'm a nice person.
I won't bite.
So please leave a comment next time you visit.
I love reading blog love :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ryan's moonbounce party

On Saturday, we celebrated Ryan's 5th birthday with a "Rock Star" moonbounce birthday party. He has been waiting patiently for 2 years since Evan's moonbounce party to have his own and I don't think he was disappointed! We invited family and friends and everyone had a great time.

I made a guitar cake that Ryan loved ~ the hardest thing about keeping a theme at moonbounce is that they don't let you bring much from the outside in. So, we had rock star invites, a guitar cake and then I had fun putting the party favors together. We decorated white lunch bags with glitter letter stickers, music notes, and stars. Inside, I included some glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars, rock band silly bandz, a box of crayons, bubbles in a guitar-shaped bottle, and lollipops.

Uncle Jim jumping with Abby

Our friend, Marty, and his three boys

Cousins-in-crime Alex and Ava

The grandparents and the infamous Aunt Cindi :)

Ryan with some of his buddies from preschool

Aunt Megan & Uncle Jim


Coloring....isn't that what everyone wants to do at a moonbounce party?

Blowing out the candles

Opening gifts back at the house
minus Nathan
[he fell asleep on the way home - too much bouncing, I guess]

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!
My wish for you this year is to enjoy the many firsts that will come with being 5
{and here's to growing a couple of inches, too!}
Love you, Ryan!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

quote of the week

From Evan:

I'm feeling pale.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

and so it begins...

Mark has cleared the land at the back of our property for a treehouse.

Not just any treehouse [because, frankly, we have NO trees to support a house], but a bona fide house raised off the ground to be among the trees that the boys will be able to hang out and even camp in if they want.

This is what happens when your hubby reads books like this:

Mark has been inspired to draft his own design for the boys' treehouse, complete with a turned stair to the raised deck, windows, raised roof, dormers, and bunks.

Yes, I said dormers.

Last weekend, he rented a bobcat to clear the brush back from our property line and dig the holes for the posts that will support the treehouse. The boys were thrilled with the prospect that their treehouse had begun to be built.

Nathan, however, was a little disappointed there was not much progress. He said, "Where's the treehouse?"

Little slave driver.

Friday, July 23, 2010

chores, chores, chores

For the past few weeks, Evan has been begging us relentlessly to give him an allowance. And being the good parents that we are, we're going to make him work for it ~ hee, hee!

Hence, the traditional chore chart. I actually started this project for Evan a few years ago and never finished it because I was afraid to draw the pictures for the chores. Well, I dove in headfirst Tuesday and sketched them out in pencil first and then once I was satisfied, I went over them with a gray marker.

The base of this is a square magnetic board that I bought at Walmart for about $7. The star magnets are wooden stars that we painted (yes, Ryan 'helped' me) and then glued button magnets on the backside. The alien stickers I had purchased on the clearance rack for a $1 at Michael's way back ~ they are SandyLion brand ~ isn't that alien just the cutest??

Here's the chart before the chores are finished:

And as he finishes each chore, he moves the stars to cover them. Here's an after shot:

And here's a close-up of one of his chores.

Supplies: Magnet board, Walmart; Gray pp, Unknown; Green pp, Scenic Route;
Paper rocket ship, Basic Grey; Ribbon, Cosmo Cricket; White letter stickers, American Crafts;
Metal letters, We R Memory Keepers; Mini blue letter stickers, Making Memories:
Alien stickers, SandyLion; Wood stars, paint, and magnets, Other.

Each chore must be completed everyday, with the exception of wiping down the bathroom and taking out the trash ~ those are once a week jobs. If Evan works hard, he can earn a whopping $2 a week! Multiply that by 52 weeks and he'll earn over $100 in a year! Not bad for a 7 year old!
I'll keep you posted on how this goes...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

happy birthday to ryan!

I cannot believe my Ryan is 5 today!

In honor of my little man's big day, 5 things we love about him:
1. His "I wuv you, mom {or} dad" in the car right before he falls asleep.
2. His creativity and the way he sees things using his imagination.
3. His passion for everything ~ food, playing, fighting, loving, hugging, school stuff.
4. His friendliness ~ he is quite the social butterfly at school and all the teachers know Ryan ~ I think that's in a good way :)
5. How he climbs into our bed every morning to give hugs and snuggles to start our days.
Ryan, we love you, buddy! You exhaust us, but we wouldn't want it any other way :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Supplies: Patterned paper, Making Memories; Red cardstock, Bazzill;
Blue letters handcut, DCWV; Embroidery Thread; Buttons

Supplies: All, Colorbok kit

Supplies: Green dot, My Mind's Eye; Tan patterned paper, Crate Paper;
Plaid & Turquoise patterned paper, My Mind's Eye;
Acrylic & Metal letters, Joann Crafts; Embroidery thread

Supplies: Red dot and bottom strips, Cosmo Cricket; Dot strips, My Mind's Eye;
Blue Strip, Wasau Paper; Red Ledger patterned paper, Scenic Route; Arrow, American Crafts;
Brown scallop circle, Bazzill; Dot cards, American Crafts packaging;
Quote, tag from Levi jeans; Letters, Heidi Swapp

Supplies: Patterned paper, October Afternoon; Thickers and Flair, American Crafts

Supplies: Patterned paper, Fancy Pants Designs; Green cardstock, DCWV;
Thickers, American Crafts; White letter stickers, Making Memories

Supplies: Red patterned paper, Cosmo Cricket; Star patterned paper & letters, Scenic Route
Journaling tag stickers, Memory Boutique

Supplies: Blue dot paper, Little Yellow Bicycle; Grid paper, Cosmo Cricket; Journal strip, Scenic Route; Green dot strip, Making Memories; Green dot arrow, We R Memory Keepers; Yellow cardstock for arrow, Wasau Paper; Letters: Heidi Swapp; Definition, Joann Crafts; Buttons

Since Ryan will be celebrating his birthday this week, I only thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favorite scrapbook pages I've done about him. He makes quite the subject and the stories behind his antics make for great journaling opportunities.

Love you, Ryan! You keep me on my toes! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

i'm batman!

This is what Ryan's oldest child will have the privilege of saying whenever he meets someone for the first time if Ryan has his way in naming his children.

He'll also have Robin, Joker, and, drumroll, please......Mark!

Let's hope his wife fights him on this one.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

quote of the week

from Ryan:

I'm hungry even when I'm full.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

scrappy share

Supplies: Cardstock, Bazzill; Patterned paper, Scenic Route, American Crafts, We R Memory Keepers, My Minds Eye, The Paper Loft; Saying, Cosmo Cricket; Letters and Rub-on stars, American Crafts; Bingo Card pkg, JBS.

I know you're thinking....2 in one week??!? Hahaha!

Let's just say, I've got a back load of layouts to post here and I'm trying to catch up :) I had all these photos of Nathan ~ he's such a happy kid. I was inspired by a post on the Ella blog back in April ~ yes, it's been that long ago that I made this, but that's o.k. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010


After we put the boys to bed the other night, I hear Nathan calling me from his bed...
N: Mom?
Me (a little irritated that he's still awake): What, Nathan?
N: I love you.
Me (feeling bad now that I was irritated): I love you, too. Good night.
N: Mom?
Me (thinking what could he possibly need now?): What?
N: I love you.
Me (thinking what a lovey dovey I have for a son): I love you, too. Now go to sleep. Good night.
N: Mom?
Me (irritation bubbling back to the surface now): What?
N: Chicken butt! Hee-hee-hee!
Me (and Mark) trying to stifle our own giggles.
What a stinker.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

scrappy share

Supplies: red cardstock, Wasau Paper; patterned paper, Jenni Bowlin and Target $1 spot; journaling spots, Jillibean Soup; metal letters, We R Memory Keepers and Joann Crafts; blue letters, Joann Crafts; star brads, Joann Crafts
These photos are from 4th of July a few years back but I don't think I ever posted this double-page layout I made. We went to a local fireworks show with our friends who also have boys. We had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Mark asked the boys to help him clean up our unfinished basement recently.

The ensuing conversation:

Evan: Dad, let's get cracking on that basement!

Mark: Buddy, we don't have time to start that today. We can do it tomorrow.

Evan: You always say tomorrow, but that day never comes.

Needless to say, Mark and I laughed out loud at this one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

some words about wordless wednesday

I am thrilled to announce the birth of another niece...
[hey, if I can't have little girls, at least I can have 3 nieces to love on...]

Logan Carroll was born July 3rd, weighing in at 7 lbs 5 oz and measuring 19 1/4 in.

My sister, Jill, and her hubby, Brian, are the proud parents who feel extremely blessed with the birth of this little miracle. She is absolutely beautiful with a crop of thick, dark hair on her little precious!

Big sister, Ava, is smitten...

Evan, Nathan, and I got to meet baby Logan on July 4th and the boys just couldn't wait to hold her and couldn't stop giving her kisses. Ryan and Mark have yet to have the pleasure of meeting their new cousin/niece, but hopefully tomorrow will be the day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

first fruits [or veggies]

We went all-out in the garden department this year.

After our tremendous disaster of a weed garden last year, Mark and I spent two weekends this past May prepping the garden. We made trips to Home Depot and Lowes and bought all our starter plants ~ Mark started everything from seed last year and vowed never to do that again! Haha!

We planted blueberries, grapevines, green beans, red, yellow, and green bell peppers, tons of different tomatoes, yellow squash, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, watermelon, pumpkin, and corn. Yeah ~ we think we're farmers....

Anyway, I really wish we had taken pics of the garden when it first started growing, because now it's out of control! {in a good way :)} The corn is almost as tall as me, the pumpkin vines are humongous, and we've picked our first four zucchinis! Enjoyed zucchini sauteed with butter and salt and chocolate chip zucchini bread this week ~ yummo! On tap: Italian Tortellini Soup with fresh zucchini to be frozen for the fall/winter.

One of the benefits of gardening ~ besides the dirt under your fingernails and the incessant poison ivy rash all over your body ~ is how excited the kids have been to watch everything growing. I like how it gets us all out of the house after dinner, too, to water the garden. Inevitably, we all end up outside on the swings or having a catch ~ LOVE that! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

book review

Ah, the bliss of summer reading....

I just finished reading the gift of an ordinary day: a mother's memoir by Katrina Kenison. I picked it up at the library on a whim after finding it on the "New Books" shelf. I certainly did not have time to ponder over my book selection as I had my three boys with me: one was trying to ride the elevator, one was begging me to rent a Wii game, and I don't remember what the third one was doing, but I'm sure there was whining involved. However, when I read "Kenison [a mother of two boys] is not surprised to find that the times she treasures most are the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life, the very moments she once took for granted or rushed right through without noticing at all" on the inside cover of this book, I was intrigued.

While this book is a mother's memoir of the several years leading up to her oldest son's departure for college and her youngest son beginning high school, I found the messages applicable to my life as a mother of three boys 7 and under. Kenison's poetic descriptions of her feelings and experiences through her journey of learning to hold on to what matters while at the same time learning to let go made for a wonderful read. I could picture the dilapidated old house they bought and felt like I knew the unique personalities of each family member and friend she introduced along the way.

I don't know whether I was just reading this book at the right time, but Kenison's message to live simply and intentionally, savoring the ordinariness of everyday moments with your family in the face of inevitable change resonated loud and clear with me. As difficult as I might let myself think life is right now with three young boys, I think this book helped give me some perspective about how quickly this time with them truly goes and how much I need to cherish every single moment, no matter how ordinary [or whiny] it is.

There were so many gems in this book. I dog-eared too many pages ~ sorry, Mr. Librarian ~ wanting to savor the words and their message again, wanting to share them with my husband.

One of my favorite quotes [really, there are a TON] is from page 209:

"It would be so easy to forget to love this life, to just go through the motions, doing what needs to be done, as if it's all going to last forever. But I need only open any one of fifteen dog-eared [see, I'm not the only one....] notebooks, to any page at all, to realize that the past is nothing more than an infinity of moments, all come and gone in the blink of an eye...And I remind myself: The life we have right here, right now, is the best life there is."

This is Kenison's second memoir as a mother. She is also the author of Mitten Strings for God, which is about her life as a mother of young boys ~ it's on my "To Read" List ~ I wish I had read them in order...

I recommend this book to anyone feeling frazzled by life with children. While you may not agree with or understand all the decisions this family made ~ I certainly didn't ~ you can still take away a very important message about life and love and family.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

thursday tip

Dear Bounce Fabric Softener Makers,

I appreciate your attempt at making life easier for all of us busy moms out here, but I find it quite ironic that your dryer bar actually has the word "REPLACE" at the end of the 2 month old bar that was supposed to last 'up to 4 months.'
I will be replacing the Bounce dryer bar with my unassuming, always reliable dryer sheets. At least I know when it says 160 sheets, I will be able to dry 160 loads of laundry.

Not impressed, but thanks for trying.