Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Local Forecast-SNOW!

Well, not exactly, but here we are 30 minute from home. If it's new and sounds fun, we're usually willing participants. Snow on the Farm is man made snow tubes on a working farm. It was a bit chilly, but a jacket and gloves were about the only warm clothing needed.

The best part was the people mover-just step on and it takes you to the top.

Morgan in the path of the snow machine.

They had a snow play area, but Jack found the biggest puddle and did what comes naturally!

Hoping to see more snow this year, we all had fun!

Final Installment of 12 on the 12th

And the final installment of 2009's 12 on the 12th (and once on the 13th). I'll be keeping my eye open for a good photobook deal and will be getting these printed.

1. Jack's 3rd visit with Santa. Not scared, but not exactly enjoying it.
2. Decorating cookies at the club party.
3. Cute, but not a big hit!
4. After the brunch.
5. On our way to a futsal game.
6. It doesn't seem like the season is starting again so soon.
7. A stormy day, a small break in the rain.
8. Morgan-one month shy of 11.
9. A win, second week in a row.
10. Keeping Jack occupied-we went through snacks, a sucker, books and toys-last resort-iPhone.
11. Bench pressing in the garage.
12. Garrett's pretty faithful and works out every other day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Unwanted Visitor

While we always welcome company at our house, there is one visitor who has once again made an unwelcomed appearance.

The back story...
The details are a bit sketchy as this Elf was a gift to my mom many years ago. As I recall, he became quite the topic of conversation during a holiday celebration with a lot of people laughing about this present and joking about how they were envious of such a gift. Well, I believe my step-sister Amy who laughed the hardest became the first recipient of the Elf when he was sneaked into their car before they left. And so it went, our family would get together and somebody would unknowingly become the benefactor of this gorgeous home decor. Somewhere along the lines the Elf would fall victim to abuse and he would show up with bandages or other marks of injury.

Last year we were on heightened alert for this Elf and just before my parents were about to leave we made a sweep of the house and found him in Garrett's pillow. However, a little distraction and a swipe of their car keys, that Elf found himself in the trunk headed back to Southern California. Elf visitor averted!
This year, we were caught off guard. Chris, Garrett and I went to the movies and when we returned, my parents were leaving early. And within a half hour of their departure the Elf was discovered stuffed in a cabinet. I'm blaming Morgan for being distracted!

What's worse, Jack does not like the Elf, he came up to me saying, "I sceered!" Thanks Grammie and Grandpa for the nightmares that I'm sure will follow.
There's only one option.

Or is there?
laugh Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Birthday...and the family that flies together

A big happy birthday to Chris! He gave us a great reason to enjoy some family time together tonight.
I was able to keep tonight a surprise up until we walked out the door, I knew it would be a hit. iFly is located about 25 minutes away. We arrived 45 minutes before our "flight" time, signed liability waivers (always reassuring :) ) and then went upstairs to view the current session. Within a few minutes we were brought into a room with about 12 others and watched a video on the proper form and hand signals. From there we were brought to another area to put on our suits, earplugs, goggles, and helmets. Then we filed into the wind tube. Each of the two turns was about 1 minute long. When I had been told that, it seemed like a really short time, but when you were flying, it felt much longer. The first turn was more of a getting your feet wet experience. The second time, we were soaring, spinning, and plummeting. It was very exhilarating!

Here's a look at our first flights. Check out my form-pointed toes and all. Maybe I should have taken up diving a few years back~lol!

Unfortunately Jack stayed home, but this activity is for ages 3 and up so we'll make sure he too earns his wings someday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December in Song

animated christmas tree Pictures, Images and Photos
Here's a look at our December through some favorite holiday songs.
musical notes Pictures, Images and Photos

Must Be Santa

Oh Christmas Tree

Little Drummer Boy (the downtown holiday parade)

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Jingle Bells (...laughing all the way)

Let It Snow (It got so close to snowing here. It snowed in the foothills something we've never seen since we've lived here, we drove around some of the lower levels and saw the golf course with little patches).

(You Better Not Pout) Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Up on the Housetop

Here We Go A' Caroling (Morgan's Indian Princesses went caroling around the neighborhood)

We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Still working on getting my Christmas cards out, but many thanks to Carrie for working her photoshop magic and designing them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Big Little Project

Just sharing a little project I made. I actually made two, one for Jack and one for Morgan's teacher who also has a toddler named Jack. It's a 4x4 coaster album and used crackle paint on the cover. Most of the papers were scraps from last year and there's a few new ones in there as well. I got to dig into my stash and use some embellishments that have been overlooked for the last year. I put it together before Halloween and then added my photos and more embellishments to finish it up. All the tags have either more pictures or journaling on both sides.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!! Pictures, Images and Photos

"I've learned there are three thing you don't discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."

That Linus was wise beyond his years.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Any guesses?
Would you believe that's the number of pictures I've taken in the last 12 months?
So what have I done with them?
Well the vast majority are on the computer and occasionally backed up (I know, very bad!!).
The rest?
The best are scrapped in one of three albums: Garrett's, Morgan's, or Jack's.
Up until this year I had a family album, but it was just too many to keep up with.

This year I'm attempting to do Project 365 by Becky Higgins. This was a totally new concept to me and I was one of the fortunate ones to get the kit. Unfortunately I didn't get it until the end of March so I was way behind when I started and I'm still behind. But I will finish! And I plan to do it next year. Curious, want more info? This year it is called Project Life. Check it out. If you don't want to scrapbook, this is a great alternative. If you want to improve your photography skills, this will make you think out of the box. She will also be offering a digital version, but I think I'm going to stick to the traditional. I'd love to nudge a few people (you know who you are!) into giving it a shot this year. Have I taken a picture EVERY day? No, almost. But I do think I have a collection of pictures that reflect our year so I've achieved my goal.

Because I didn't have the kit until March, I opted to organize my pictures on a a site called Shuttercal. You'll notice I have it linked on my blog and it shows the most current picture that I've uploaded. My sister says she loves looking through this so between her interest in it and the fact that it visually organizes my pictures, I'll keep it up. Not ready to commit to Project Life, try this next year. It's free and there's not much guilt involved if you don't complete it. And they have a wonderful new feature where you can order the prints and they are coded with the date on the front. Take a look at the video, what a great system! And can I toot my own horn? Go to the homepage of that site. See number 14? That's my picture. Yep, little ol' me! I wrote them a quick email and thanked them for making my day and here is their response, Thanks Julie,
This is Scott (DefaultArtist) I design the site, and I just pick the images for the front out of my favorites section ;) It's a very nice photo! Congrats on making the front page ;)
How cool is that?

Lastly, I've been doing 12 on the 12th. I saw some paper layouts with this concept last year (before I ever heard of Project 365) and thought it was a neat concept. I mentioned this to a few friends and there's a group of us that remind and motivate each other each month. I never planned to scrap the pictures, but in December I'm going to create a photo book so I'll have a collection of my 12 on the 12th collages for the year. My Nana is my biggest fan of these each month. So I will definitely continue with those next year.

So there's the long winded summary about the number 4,589. Is it too many? Better to have too many than too few. Time just goes by too quickly and who regrets having too many pictures when they are feeling nostalgic? I'd certainly regret having too few.

So now the question I have for you...are you going to join me? The more the merrier!

ETA: I just realized that I wrote a post about 4,589 pictures and didn't even post a picture...the irony :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 12th

1. Quick breakfast. Loving the honey Chex.
2. Just 4 trips in the car today. Always in jammies for the drop off at school.
3. Weekly fill up of gas.
4. Good to the last drop, literally!
5. Playgroup at the park, but nobody showed up!
6. Pick up...Morgan's out at 2:50 and Garrett at 3:03, takes about 15 minutes just to get through the school.
7. Soccer practice.
8. Carpool with 3 other boys and tried to get a picture, they are an uncooperative crew. But it's quite a site seeing them all packed in my car with their gear with Jack right in the middle of it all
9. Cool enough for a new fall sweater.
10. Loves shoes, taking them off and putting them on.
11. Probably by the next 12th, her hair will be much shorter.
12. Had new hardware put on my cabinets.

Recently Overheard

Over six months ago I did a layout about Jack's growing vocabulary (found here). I really wanted to make sure that I included layouts in his book that reflected his language development. He said a few things this month that I wanted to make sure I didn't forget so that spurred this layout.

Journaling reads: October 2009~Words have become phrases and we can't help but smile at the ones that have come out of your mouth recently: Turn left, I can do it (followed shortly by) Mommy help me, NO NO NO-Morgan go to your room!!!, Mommy hold me, uno dos tres cuatro etc... (thank you Dora), Oh dear, Get ready set go, I go home, You need a screwdriver, He's a nodder, Turn on the light, Where paci blankie?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nerves of Steel

is confident and has nerves of steel.

She had a great meet that ended with a 9.1 on beam, her final event.

She was the last of her teammates to perform, 3 falls prior to her turn. She was solid, secure, and steady.

She brought tears of pride to my eyes. Yes, it's just a sport, it's just a meet. But she makes me so proud of her confidence and strength. Even under pressure, it's unwavering.

She is headed to State's in a couple weeks. I'm so proud of you Morgan.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Teachable Moments

If you can recall, exactly a week ago Garrett came home from trick-or-treating with 4.4 pounds of candy. For a couple days this bag sat on the counter completely torturing me by calling my name each time I walked by. One day, the bag was gone and to be quite honest I was relieved. I mean, after all, out of sight out of mind, right?
Well apparently I'm not the only person who has a sweet tooth and no willpower in this family. Last night, Chris headed to Garrett's room and found a bag that was much lighter (2 1/2 pounds to be exact) in weight and candy wrappers scattered around. Garrett was at a football game so the opportunity to yell and lecture him was not an option so I believe Chris came up with a brilliant alternative....
He dumped the candy in a ziploc bag and hid it, filled the pillowcase (yes, Garrett is old school when it comes to collecting candy) with the empty wrappers and some apples.
Oh how I wished I could've have seen his face when he went for his candy this morning. They don't teach you this stuff in the books, but I think we got our point across.

Page Maps November Sketch-Disheveled

Back again with a layout for another sketch contest by Page Maps. When I first saw this sketch I thought I'd skip this month, cute sketch, but I'm pretty literal in my design and I couldn't figure out what to do with those flowers on the side. And then the lightbulb went off and I remembered the October Afternoon papers that had the little monsters on it (thank you Nana!) that I had been wanting to use. I knew exactly which picture I wanted to use. And then it quickly came together thanks to the sketch.

The journaling reads, Disheveled October 11, 2009~This is probably the best word to describe the looK you've been sporting lately. There are days when your hair is really cute, but most days it's a little wild and unruly which I guess is a pretty good reflection of your personality!

I had a couple other pictures from that day I wanted to incorporate so I included a tag behind the main picture and was able to use two more.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween

Here's a couple pictures of my little spooks. Garrett escaped pictures this year by heading off to a friend's house.

Jack went around the entire neighborhood, usually walking right into people's homes. Totally enjoyed the evening and was only ready to stop once he received his favorite treat~a "yollytop"

After trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, Morgan and I decided to head over to John Madden's house. He lives about a mile from our house in a gated community and every year we've heard of Halloween lore about the treats he gives out. And this year proved to be no exception. Not to mention he has a long grape covered arbor that you walk through as you approach the door and it was totally decked out.

(no, not just a full size candy bar, but a giant bar!)

And here's a look at Garrett's haul, all 4.4 pounds of it!!!

Feel free to come by and pick out your favorites-the Snickers, Mounds, and Paydays seem to be the rejects.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cute Points

Here's one for the grandmas.

Last night we attended a Halloween party. Jack arrived in his dragon costume, ate a cookie and then strutted his stuff on the dance floor.

I think the band was much appreciative of this party goer getting the ball rolling. They asked his name and got a kick out of watching him.

We ate dinner, followed by another cookie, more dancing, and a tractor ride.

The costume was long gone at this point, when one dances as much as Jack, he was ready to strip down to his diaper. Later in the evening, they announced that they were judging a costume contest, it was like a mad rush to the stage so you could get noticed. Jack, on the other hand, headed straight for the cookies. Well much to our surprise when they announced the name for the best boy costume, they asked "Jack the dinosaur" to come onstage. So Chris takes Jack up, partially dressed in costume and there he received a Halloween Mr. Potato Head.

I didn't even get a full picture of him in his costume (just lots of him eating cookies).

At Morgan's gym, they encourage the girls to smile during their routine jokingly telling them it earns them cute points. I would definitely say that last night Jack tallied up some cute points :). I mean really how does a partially clothed dragon mistaken for a dinosaur win a costume contest?

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