Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten in Twenty Ten

How is it that we're already slipping into 2011. Weren't we just worrying about the Y2K bug?
2010 was filled with milestones and good memories.
And in no particular order, here are a few of the things we'll remember from the year:

1. Getting to meet my niece who was barely a week old. Jack and I went back to the East Coast 2 months later for an even longer visit.

2. Cayucas. We fell in love with this Central California beach town.

3. Moving on...moving up. Garrett completed middle school and is on to high school. And Morgan's days at elementary school are behind her as well.

4. Our ten day family vacation to Cancun. The amount of travel we did both to and from was ridiculous, but we enjoyed our time together there and it could not have gone smoother.

5. Not exactly a happy memory, but 2010 was definitely the year of injury for Morgan. A cast for her arm and a boot on each foot.

6. Look at this smile from my preschooler! He loves school and enjoys his new friends. He has learned many sounds and can spell his name. Not bad for 2 mornings a week. (A little side note-he's also wearing big boy underwear here~woo hoo, we are diaper free at last!!)

7. With newly retired grandparents we made two trips to Palm Desert. The temperature in this pictures was around 110 degrees, but visiting with great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins-definitely worth it.

8. We enjoyed Morgan's last season as a competitive gymnast. She ended up changing gyms, met some wonderful new friends and had a very successful season that culminated at the State Championships and her personal best on both vault and bars. We are very proud!

9. And another soccer season this year for Garrett. He ended up playing on a more competitive team with his club soccer and ended the year playing for his high school. I think this makes 10 years that I've been a soccer mom!

10. And our latest trip to Palm Desert to enjoy Thanksgiving for family. Always grateful when we can enjoy time with family.

Here's wishing you the best in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Christmas vacation + a dreary day=a perfect day to stay in and bake. I know people bakes dozens of varieties. We managed three:
Frosted Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
and a new to the mix-now the favorite-Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies that we modified.

Move over Toll House, you've been replaced. These cookies are the top rated cookies on my favorite recipe site All

There is no reason to mess with a great cookie recipe until I saw a bag of Andes Baking Mints at Target and it kept saying, "buy me." So I did.

We love all things mint over here-Andes mints, Ghiradelli Mint Squares, Hersheys Candy Candy Kisses, Starbucks Mint Frappucino, Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Mojitos (okay, maybe that's just me), anyway you get the picture.

So I decided to substitute the Andes candy bits for the chocolate chips and omit the nuts and mmm, mmm, mmmm. To quote Morgan, "that was the best cookie ever!"

And not that I would know or anything, but the cookie dough might be better than the cookies.


  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Bag Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Have You

Elfed Yourself this year?

Lots of new dances to laugh at. I'm still partial to the original, but Jack liked the Hip Hop.

Now that you've laughed at my family go ELF yours.

***Well there seems to be some technical difficulties-this video shows up in the preview, not sure why it didn't once it published. Oh well, go check it out, good holiday fun.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

November Scrapbooking

Busy month, but was able to get some scrapbooking done earlier in the month.

I actually finished 3 more Halloween layouts, but the rest have just a bit of journaling to add. Will share later.

Crate Paper Restoration. This is another one inspired by Ginger Williams. I love that picture of Jack with Nana (his great grandma).

Crate Paper
This was a lift of a layout by Nancy Damiano.

Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934. This was a lift of Ginger Williams-I knew exactly what pictures this would work for and went together in a snap.

More Crate Paper.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dioramas and Other Educational Dinosaurs

Morgan is in sixth grade, her first year of middle school. She has transitioned easily and loves it.

Every year I find myself saving a shoebox or two thinking surely this will be the year one will be needed for a diorama. I remember being in a panic when I was a kid because we never had one on hand. But never fear, I'm prepared for it now. Oh trust me when I tell you there's been no shortage of projects. In fact, she seems to have one every couple of weeks, but the need for a shoebox is apparently so outdated, Morgan probably could not define the word diorama

Here's a look at a recent science project:

She used stop animation to create this.

I'm afraid when I say that I can no longer help my middle schooler with math homework this also extends to these projects. Her knowledge of technology is lapping mine on a daily basis. However, the teachers have taken that into consideration and have apparently found that parental help is as outdated as, well, dioramas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Decorating?

A peek into our closet.

And a peek into our room :-O

Not what you had in mind?
Me neither.

Sunday-Take all items out of closet (big purgefest here)
Monday-Demolition of old closet
Tuesday-Repair gaping holes left in the floor by removal of closet that won't match new closet design.
Wednesday-Repair and paint walls. Shop for closet accessories.
Thursday-Installation...well that was the plan, but it's 1:00 and I'm still waiting.

Growing weary of the disaster in our room and regretting starting this when I would much rather be getting ready for the holidays.

Hope to share an "after" soon (crossing fingers).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gymnastics-The End

The last gymnastic meet has come and gone and I'm to happy to say that it ended on a good note. Very good indeed. Morgan's vault score (her weakest event) was the highest she's had this season and her bar score shattered her personal best-a 9.2. She was thrilled. Considering that three weeks ago she had a boot on her foot, competed in a competition where she had to qualify to make it to States and ended the season with a smile, I could not be more happy for her.

I had my camera at most meets photographing Morgan and her teammates. If you know anything about photography, gymnastics is one of the most challenging sports to photograph, especially for an amateur like me. The lighting is poor, no flash is allowed and the movements are very fast. So here's a look at her season with a bit of video thrown in as well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

$h*! My Mom Says

Okay, guilty as charged. I tend to throw around this word a lot especially when it comes to accumulation of junk found scattered around my house.

Yesterday day upon entering Garrett's room a sea of clothes was strewn about. It might not have phased me had his room been absolutely spotless on Wednesday. So knowing I was displeased about his room, Chris sent him to clean it up with a little helper while I slept in this morning.

Here is the little helper's recounting of the tale.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October Scrapbooking

Not much to share for this month, but I do like what I did so that must count for something, right?

This was a lift using some Pink Paislee papers. Turned out to be quite a challenge because I wanted this to have a baby girl feel, but had a whole lot of red in the pictures. Anyway, this is older paper and think it worked perfectly for Morgan's album.

My Minds Eye papers. One of those obsessions I needed to document.

This turned out to be a favorite. I was inspired by the directions for the cathedral quilt found on this blog. There is more journaling behind the picture, but since I knew the crib would be coming down, I wanted one last picture of it. The papers are by Making Memories, some travel line, but I've been saving the paper for something special and I think that it fits well. Also, she used a punch to create the circles and I didn't have a punch so used my Cricut and had to adapt the size and play with it a bit. I'd suggest playing on scrap paper as it did take more paper than I was expecting.

A mix of papers, but the monster paper is Monstrosity by Sassafrass. I used it for some of Jack's party decor so trying to use of the rest of it.

The last is based off a Page Maps sketch. Pictures are from Morgan's 2009 gymnastics season. I used Basic Grey's Oliver which is definitely more masculine, but thought it worked perfectly.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Tale of Three Halloweens

Well here's our cute little lion. This year he had a hard time deciding what he wanted to be. A monster? A race car driver? Once the costume was ordered, it was too late. Of course, this morning he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear. He LOVED trick or treating. He kept saying, "A couple more" and filled his bucket.

This one had her costume picked out last month. She made plans with her best friend and had pretty much mapped out the route we'd be taking. This afternoon she decided she was tired and took a nap. Hmmm, that is so not Morgan. After her nap, she walked around with a blanket and wanted to change her costume into something with more layers. Hmmm, that is so not Morgan. Her friend arrived and Morgan was laying on the ground with a blanket. Clearly she was not feeling well. After an hour or so of trying to convince herself that she'd perk up, she finally decided she just wanted to go to bed. Poor thing. So she's been in her bed and was asleep before 8:00.

And this one (far right) was told that he was too big to go trick-or-treating. As seems to be the norm lately, I was alone in my decision. So the compromise was for the boys to hang out-they watched the Giants and played some basketball. The group went trick-or-treating for about an hour, but Garrett just tagged along. I bought all his favorite candy so don't feel too sorry for him, he has plenty of candy to rot his teeth :-)

The End

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homecoming in the 21st Century

Well I know I'm dating myself, but Homecoming when I went to school was more the football game, the crowning of a king and queen, and a dance in the gym afterward. I don't recall it being a huge deal.

Fast foreward to the 21st century. My how things have changed.
First, you don't just ask a girl. You come up with some elaborate proposal. Treasure hunts, CD mixes, silly Bandz, etc...
A week before Homecoming they have nominations for King and Queen for Freshmen, Sophmore, Juniors and Seniors.
Garrett was nominated to his surprise.

In the meantime, after much pestering Garrett said he wanted to go, but most of his friends would be going as a group. Sounded like a good plan.

Well I'm not sure how this plan morphed, but somehow a boy group and a girl group merged and this became a much bigger event than I expected .

Black is the attire for boys. You'd be hard pressed to find a boy who wasn't wearing a black shirt.

This was the get together before the dance hosted by one of the families of a girl. Dinner was catered from a really nice restaurant that Chris and I go to on special occasions. They also hired a professional photographer (can I just roll my eyes here?).

And this is Garrett's date. Garrett did not partake in any of the elaborate proposal and apparently included the phrase "as friends" when he asked her (such a charmer we're raising, eh?)

Second Verse Same as the First

Take a close look, do you notice a difference between the pictures?

No...not a trick question, look real close.

The one on the left was taken on the first day the school and the other was taken today.

Did you say Morgan's boot is on a different foot? ding ding ding you would be correct.

She competed 2 hours away on Saturday and she (and her teammates) had spectacularly low scores so this meet was already pretty craptastic at best. She completed her final event, the bars, which has a dismount consisting of a swing and a half turn off the high bar. Something she does multiple times a day. She landed, saluted the judges, I looked away and heard, "oh no she's on the ground." And there she was flat on her back. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, her coach saw nothing, and even the judge commented that she saw nothing. So she hobbled to the car and home we went. We were told it probably was a sprain, but nope, she fractured her foot-a real fluke. So that boot that was worn on the left foot for 3 weeks this summer is now on her right till we see the orthapedist later this week.

And that concludes the gymnastics season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September Scrapbooking

I guess these are really scrabook pages from August and September.

Lily Bee papers

These are papers from Sassafras Indie Girl line. A class was offered through Scrapbook Nook and I made very few changes.

My Little Shoebox papers and a sketch from Allison Davis.

Sketch from ?? Papers from Fancy Pants Rusted Sun.

My Minds Eye Papers

A lift a page I saw on 2 Peas in a Bucket. The Girls Paperie papers which I bought knowing I'd be using them for some pages of my niece Arianna. This is the first page I've done with just her. And no Jenifer, I'm keeping this one :-)

Showing it without the glare.

My Minds Eye papers.

Bo Bunny papers. This is Jack at his very first movie (which also happened to be Garrett's first movie too-Toy Story 1 that is).

More Sassafras Lass Indie Girl.

Little Yellow Bicycle papers.

I feel like I have some big stacks of pictures to get to this month. Hoping I can be productive. At the end of the month the last local scrapbook store will be closing. I'm either going to have to make a 45 minute drive (which is going to be rare) to go to the closest one or do some shopping online (which I hate because the shipping is such a rip off). Apparently scrapbooking as a hobby is losing popularity, but nobody told me :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Party's Over...

The monster birthday bash is over and since then there has been a whole lot of this....

And then there were two days of this....

(can you tell how this ended?)

And a day of this...

(can you tell how this ended?)

And way too many days of this..

So yesterday I finally got around to taking down the party decorations and was about to put them in yet another tub in the garage when I realized, what are we going to do with these? The answer is uncover them in a couple years and toss them out. So thinking they'd be better off being passed to someone who can enjoy them now.
I have odd numbers of favors and decor left. Not enough for a party, but enough to have a few friends over for a festive playdate. Any takers???
I can cram the stuff in a flat rate Priority box and ship it off next week. Raise your hand (also known as leave a comment) and we'll send it out next week. And should there be a brawl over them (ha ha), we'll draw a name on Sunday night.
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