Friday, June 30, 2006

Our luck ran out

... with traffic jams that is. When we were in WADC we somehow managed to always avoid the big traffic jams- they were always on the other side of the road. Not so on Thursday after we left the DC area. We drove down to the mall Thursday morning and parked in a parking garage, then spent the rest of the day exporing the National Air and Space, Native American and art museums. Mark had wanted to visit the American history museum but it was still closed due to
the flooding. I really enjoyed the Native American museum- lots of beautiful art work and exhbits there and the building design itself is so unique and beautiful. I don't know if it is all of the indian art work that I grew up seeing with my parents, but I really appreciate good native american art. I think part of it is thinking about the limited resources that the people who developed these methods of artwork had. I will have to go back one day to really spend some time looking around- it just wasn't possible with the kids in tow.

side story- when we drove down into the parking garage to park the van the garage attendant gave us the most incredulous look- like he couldn't believe that we were there asking for a place to park our van. We couldn't figure out why in the world he would be surprised at that request since, after all, he works in a parking garage. We parked the van and went on our way. After we were done seeing the museums and were walking back to the garage we started commenting on the low clearances for the entrances into the other garages that we walked by. When we got back to the one we had parked in we noticed that it was about the same as the others, and we started thinking about how we both had totally forgotten that all of the clothes bags were in the car-top carrier on the top of the van since we had checked out of the hotel that morning. We wondered if the bag was OK as walked down the ramp; we hadn't heard or felt anything that we could remember entering the garage. When we got down there we checked it out and everything seemed OK- no damage that we could see. We figured out why the attendant was so surprised to see us pull up in front of his booth though LOL! On the way out I followed the van as Mark drove it out just to see what happened- it cleared the first overhang by less than an inch and grazed the little rubber seal at the bottom of the rollup door.

OK- so back to the traffic jams. It only took us about an hour to get out of DC, which was pretty good since it was 5:30 when we started out. We figured it would probably take us a couple of hours to drive the 100 miles to Richmond, the next stop. Once we got on I95 though, things just went downhill. Traffic was awful- backing up at every exit and entrance onto the interstate. It took us another 4 hours to get to Richmond; about 7 we got off the interstate and made a dinner stop for about an hour. A massive headache hit Mark after eating, so I got elected to drive the rest of the way. Things were slow for a little while longer and then picked up to the point where I was usually only driving 5 miles under the speed limit. then, about 20 miles outside of Richmond things come to a screeching halt. It reminded us of the German 'stau' we got stuck in several times when we lived there. We crept along in that for about 5 miles- an hour of being boxed in by trucks and cars with no where else to go. It turned out to be due to construction- they reduced the 3 lanes down to 1 somewhere ahead of us. We finally got to an exit and took it. We finally pulled into the hotel parking lot about 11:10- not the way we had planned to spend the evening hours.

Today, we went to the Science Musuem of Virginia. It is a very nice museum, we spent the whole day there and still didn't see everything. There are lots of chemistry and materials science displays that are very good at this museum- most of the science centers we have been to have not had those types of exhibits.

I've got all sorts of pictures to get off the camera, but can hardly keep my eyes open. So, I am just going to sign off and save the pics for the trip to Willimsburg. Night!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hot explorers

So, yesterday it didn't rain. I took the kids down to the mall in the morning and we walked down to all of the memorials. I hadn't seen the WWII memorial yet and really wanted to see that since the last time I was here they were still talking about building it. It was very nice.
It was HOTTTTT! Of course the humid air just makes it worse. I had to carry Sarah in the front pack and push Brenna in the stroller. I figured that would have to be the plan because it was just so far down to the Lincoln memorial and back. I thought maybe after that she would be willing to walk- wrong. The child was grumpy and tired all day yesterday. Bryce wanted to go to the Air and Space museum, so we walked down there for just a little while. Most of the museums are still closed because of the electrical problems, so the ones that are open are really crowded. I thought we might eat the food court, but couldn't bring myself to pay the prices they wanted for a hamburger. We ended up leaving after seeing the one room on WWII as Brenna was starting to get unruly and it takes almost an hour to get back to the hotel from the mall. She fell asleep in my arms on the metro train and I had to carry her the 4 long blocks back to the hotel.
I am one very sore person today. We are packing up to drive to the next place (not sure where that is exactly at the moment LOL). We will try and do something around here for the day before leaving- not sure what for that either. I'll try and update the blog tonight with some pictures. This hotel charges for long local phone calls so I need to keep this short.

Tuesday June 27 wet explorers

So, the one thing that went great today was changing hotels. It wasn't raining this morning when I had to load up the van with all of our stuff inside to drive to the new hotel. It took me 45 minutes to do it myself. Sarah was ready for a nap by the time I got everyone fed breakfast and myself showered, so I put her in the carseat in the van and assigned Bryce the task of sitting in the van to watch her while I ran back and forth between the rooms and the van. It was exactly 11:00 when I turned in the room keys. I got on the beltway and drove to the new hotel without any problems. It was around 11:30 with the usual checkin time being 3, so I didn't know if I was going to have to find something else to do for a few hours. I got through my list of questions and asked when the room would be ready and the manager said it was ready right then and I could go ahead and check in. So, that was nice that I could unload the van right away. Since it was still pretty early in the day I decided to go into the mall area and see if I could locate Mark at his conference to let him know we were there so we could all take the metro back to the hotel after his conference was over for the day. I evidently took the long way when we got off the metro, but at least I was successful in the end. After stopping to see Mark during a break we headed off to the mall. I was thinking we would go see the WWII memorial, but was totally confused about which direction we needed to go and we ended up heading towards the congressional building instead of the Lincoln Memorial. It was only raining lightly at this time, but the longer we were out the heavier it got. I tried to go inside one of the art museums, but after walking around the whole thing discovered that they were only letting people in the revolving doors- which the stroller was too big to fit through, so we gave up on that. We tried to go the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History only to find that they were closed due to the fact that they had no electricity. The electrical tunnels under the museums were flooding and they had to shut off the electricity while they tried to get them pumped out. The only museums that were open were the art museum we tried to go to, Air and Space, and the Native American museum. Air and Space and the Native American ones were too far from the metro stop at that point since we had arranged to meet Mark at 6 at the metro transfer point. We decided just to go back to the convention center and have a snack while we waited for him to finish up the meetings for the day. I bought outrageously priced, but delicious, gourmet cookies for us all in the food court and treated myself to a large latte at the coffee shop. We met Mark and headed to the metro. Sarah fussed and screamed the last 3 stops on the metro and then finally fell asleep while we were walking from the station to the hotel. Brenna had another fit a few minutes ago because she is exhausted and hungry. Mark had to go off in search of cheap food for dinner instead of just going across the parking lot to Applebees like I suggested.
Brenna just does not deal with changes to her routine very well and it showed this morning and evening with major fits. At least she behaved while we were out in DC, but dealing with her tantrums is very wearing on my nerves. Beth is balking at eating the deli sandwhich that Mark just brought back. Two more weeks of vacation is really going to wear me out, I think.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day 5- Totally Screwed

June 26
4:15P - 100 miles to go to get to WADC
I think our kids are physically incapable of being quiet for more than 10 minutes. I don't know how many times we have told them to keep it down so that they won't wake up either Sarah or Brenna today. We just finished a quick little rest stop at a McDs and now the kids are playing in the backseat together; we moved Brenna back to her usual spot in the middle right seat as she just couldn't seem to get a good nap between the girls and her crankiness was beginning to wear thin. Bryce was not happy about being squished back there again, but that's life. Sarah didn't want to get in the carseat again either, and refused to sit down- now she is screaming at us from her seat. Brenna is jabbering away to herself (I don't think anyone is paying attention to what she is saying other than her), and the big kids are playing with the Car movie toys we've been picking up along the route at the various McD's which of course involves crashing them liberally into each other and the sides and seats of the van. We've told them to quiet down several times and it doesn't seem to be doing anything to the noise level for more than one minute before it goes back up again.

6:00P - we start to look for someplace to stop with a play area because Sarah woke up from her nap and is screaming again. The big kids in the back are getting a bit wild too and need some space. We finally hit the rain clouds on the outskirts of the greater DC area.

8:00P - We leave the BurgerKing that we found after spending a little over an hour there. The cartop carrier is soaked from the rain now; Mark bought a tarp to wrap the clothes bags in inside it. we will see how well that worked once we get to the hotel. Traffic on the beltway is backed up heading out of the city, luckily things are moving smoothly in the southerly direction we are heading.

9:00P - we get to the hotel in Alexandria and find out we are screwed. Mark thought he had a non-smoking, 2 bed/pullout couch room reserved for us and finds out that the reservation was only for a single, smoking room. The new government reservations system obviously does not work the way it is supposed to. And of course the hotel is full and so are all the other hotels around that area. The gal feels really bad about the screw-up though in no way is it her fault and she lets Mark use the hotel computer to get on the internet to try and find another room. We end up driving another 20 miles around the beltway to a Motel 6 and then get on the internet again to try and figure out where Mark has to go to catch the metro to get into downtown DC early tomorrow morning for the start of his conference, and try to find a room at another motel that can accomadate all of us. Let's face it, Motel 6 is cheap and functional and that is about it. So when work will pay for something better, you bet that we are going to take advantage of it all possible! So, instead of taking the kids down to the mall to see neat museums and monuments I will be putting everythign into the van and trying to find the new hotel and hoping and praying that they will let me check in without my husband's ID and government credit card in hand. I am not keen about trying to drive into DC by myself, so I don't think we will even go there tomorrow. Maybe I can find a movie theater and will take the kids to see Cars, or something. I guess I will see what is around the new hotel when I find it- here's hoping that that isn't too hard of a task. Mark will take the metro to the hotel after the conference is over for the day at 6P and hopefully meet us there around 7P tomorrow night. To say that Mark is unhappy about all of this is a mild understatement and someone will be getting an earful when we get home.

OK- it is superduper late, so I am off to send new hotel info for the next 2 nights to those who might actually need it and get a few hours sleep.

Christopher Columbus and COSI Science Museum- day 4

I wanted to post these last night, but Blogger was being a pain and wouldn't load for me when I finally got the girls to sleep.

This is a replica of Christopher Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, that he sailed across the ocean blue in 1492... it was reconstructed by the City of Columbus in honor of the 500 year anniversary of his discovery of the 'new world' in 1992. It is only a couple of blocks from COSI, so we actually stumbled across it. We knew it was somewhere in the city, having read about it in one of the tourist brochures in the hotel room the night before, but we hadn't looked it up and didn't necessarily intend to see it. Stopping and looking at it for a few minutes actually helped us kill a little time until COSI opened at noon. You can actually take a tour for a pretty reasonable fee, but we didn't as we wanted to get over to the science museum.

We always enjoy science museums- fun and learning all rolled into one neat package- and this one was no exception. Oh, and COSI stands for Center of Science and Industry, just in case you were wondering ;) They had some familiar things, but they also had some really cool new exhbits too.

The most unique was the traveling special exhibit on Star Wars. We had to pay extra to see this as it wasn't covered in the standard admission and thus was not covered with our recriprocal membership pass, but how could we pass it up for a meer $5 extra per person?

They had lots of original costumes from all of the different movies displayed in cases for everyone to see. Exhibits on the sets and where they got the ideas from, and of course the technology that is in the movies and if it is really possible or just imagination. A lot of the technology advances they put in the movies have some basis in reality- they have just taken it further than is possible at this point in time.
A good example of this is the sand speeder that Luke drives in the 4th movie. Yes, we can use magnets and air cushions to levitate and propel vehicles-but no we cannot make them fly. Here is Bryce riding in a demo of an air cushion type vehicle. Each person was allowed one 30 second demo ride.
Most of the other exhbits focused on robotics and how to build them- for example, what types of things do robotic engineers have to take into consideration, and how do they accomplish them.

I was working on a LO of the Star Wars exhibit pictures I took, but it is not anywhere near done. So, you will just have to wait.

Brenna's favorite part of COSI was Kidspace- a really large room that was reserved for kids aged 5 and under. Some of the exhbits were similar to the larger ones in various other places in the museum, but they were sized smaller. Others were role playing type things- pretend to be a doctor, or a helicopter pilot, shop at the grocery store, etc., and of course there was a water table exhbit to get all wet in. Brenna loved balancing the balls in the air jets of this particular exhibit.

We saw a show/demonstration on the science of fireworks. there was something in that room that really caught Sarah's eye/attention as she just went nuts through the whole second half trying to get down to get something and making lots of noise. We're not really sure what she was so excited about.
The biggest surprise we had was the second room in the ocean exhibit- the first is a model of the inside of a submarine and underwater research dome. Pretty cool. The first thing you see when you walk into the second half of this area is:

That's Poseidon staring down at you from the top of a large fountain with water cannons to play with and various other types of hands-on water exhibits. The whole room looks like you are in an underwater grotto- there is even a sunken ship forming one wall. The atmostphere was really neat. Sarahs favorite was the fountain that Daddy helped her play in. She really is a water baby and loves to splash and play in the water now that she can sit up by herself. Every time that Mark got her up to the water she would put more and more into it. She even stuck her foot in the fountain pool.

The last exhibit we stopped at before they kicked us out because they were closing was the space room. They had a fun rocket made with a 2liter soda bottle and some compressed air and a replica of a space station module with examples of how the astronauts live there- what foods they eat, how they sleep (strapped to the wall in a sleeping bag), and how they go to the bathroom being a few. This pic is of Bryce and Carissa exploring the communications station of the module.

They had a John Glenn exhibit with a replica of the space capsule he orbited the Earth in, and some other memorabilia. And Mark and Bryce explored the space shuttle simulators for a few minutes there at the end.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Vacation days 2 and 3

journaling: We didn’t even make it through the first of the 23 day long trip before Carissa uttered those infamous words from the back seat of the van.... and we still had about 100 miles left to go for the day. All in all the kids did pretty well the first day of of 400 miles of driving... now if only the next 3 go as well.
credits: RAKscraps August 2005 Minikit: background,twill and odometer numbers by Kim Jensen, Travel stamp by Stacie Harper, Labels by Priscilla Halliday; fonts: WhatsHappened and CK Extra

I snapped pictures of everything on day 2 so I could make a summary LO of what we do during the days we spend the whole time driving (much to DH's annoyance LOL). The reward for making good time driving is being able to go for a swim in the hotel pool.
credits: Build Your Own Bulletin Board kit and addon by Gina Miller; fonts: CK Extra and LB Sunny

:: Total Meltdown, d3, 11:00A ::
I knew it was bound to happen at some point, and I guess I am just surprised that it took 2 days. A lack of enough sleep and being confined to the carseat for 8 hours a day resulted in one of Brenna's major fits a little while ago. We had stopped at a rest area because Sarah was starting to fuss and we wanted to check her diaper- yesterday when she started to fuss it was because her diaper was dirty. Everyone got out and went to the bathroom, Sarah was changed, and we headed back towards the van. I don't know what even set her off this time- usually there is a trigger of some sort. Maybe it was because the big kids all had picked up fold-out maps and she didn't get one because they ran out; I'm just not sure as she never mentioned wanting a map in all of her ravings. We got her in the van and started off hoping she would calm down, but then she started taking her seatbelt off. So, we had to pull over at the next exit and apply some discipline. Not fun for anyone. She's finally fallen asleep (Sarah too)- hopefully she will stay that way for a while. we won't stop for lunch until after they wake up on their own now. We have snacks to dole out if everyone starts to get hungry.

::Pet Peeve::
I hate hotels that have water softener systems. After swimming in the pool last night we went to shower (no bathtubs at this one) and the water was so soft that you didn't even need to break out the soap bar to feel soapy. You can't tell when all of the soap is rinsed off. Brenna did surprising well with washing her hair considering I had to have her just stand under the stream of water- which was one of those really fine misty types, which I also hate. And poor Sarah, she couldn't sit upright on the slippery wet floor. Before too long she was splayed flat out on the bottom of the shower screaming her head off. She had such a fun time in the pool, it was a shame to end it like that.

The rest of today's car ride was one of those that you think can't end soon eough. Brenna was just out of sorts for the rest of the day and seemed to delight in picking on her older sisters as only a bratty little sister can do. We kept trying to listen to music, but never made it through an album uniterrupted; I can only remember listening to one all the way through. Forget trying to listen to any of the audio books I brought along. Sarah just didn't want to be in the carseat any more and fussed at most every opportunity when she was not dozing. We missed the hotel turnoff and ended up touring downtown Columbus for a little while because we didn't realize that it was off of a different interstate than we were on. At least the hotel had our reservation in tact because it is full. I think there must be a dog show in town this weekend as there are dogs in a good portion of the rooms here. The kids will not be playing on the grass surrounding the hotel LOL!

The highlight of dinner at a chinese buffet place was watching Mark try a fried frog's leg- he said it tasted somewhere between chicken and turkey. No one was 'brave enough' to join him, as he put it. I figured there were plenty of other good things to eat that I would rather have. They had lots and lots of delicious types of seafood that I enjoyed.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Columbus Science Center and spend a second night here, so no long drives tomorrow. The science center doesn't open until noon, so we even get to sleep in- yeah for that!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Are we there yet?

Yes, we've heard that phrase already from the back seats and we have only been gone 2 days... All in all though the kids have been doing pretty well. Sarah is usually done with the car seat come mid-afternoon and we still have a couple of hours of driving to go; she is one wiggly little girl in the evenings making up for being confined to that seat most of the day. I have to say that the hotel room carpets are filthy, as evidenced by the state of her feet and legs after crawling around on the floor for a few minutes. It's a good thing kids are washable!

Rain Rain go away......
We drove through a doozy of a storm yesterday afternoon. A little rain doesn't bother us, but it was a whole LOT of rain. We have our bags of clothing in the soft-side car top carrier and by the time we got to the hotel you can bet that a few of them were wet. Sarah and Brenna's bag seemed to take the brunt of it all though and probably protected the other bags; when I got done unpacking it I found that about 3/4 of their clothes were sopping wet. It's a small miracle that there were a few dry pieces left inside. Mark took everything down to a laundromat and ran them through a dryer while the kids bounced off the hotel room walls and beds waiting for him to come back with dinner.

Tonight we are in a hotel outside of StLouis and it is not raining. However looking at the weather report tells me that we are probably not going to stay dry during the next week. We aren't getting to DC until Monday next week, so hopefully most of the rain deluge will have moved on by then. I don't think the one umbrella we brought is going to be enough for walking around and seeing the monuments and museums.

So, I am loving my laptop even more.... I can scrap in the car! how awesome is that??? I've read 2 scrap mags, finished 3 LOs, and even got my Dad's bday/father's day gift done (well, minus the printing and putting it in the album)- all while Mark is driving down the interstate. I LOVE it! On with the LO show :)
journaling: Leisha Radspinner invited Brenna to a St. Patrick’s Day tea at her house. It was a lucky day for everyone as the older kids were out of school and Beth and Carissa got to come to the tea as well. It was Mark‘s day off too, so Bryce got to go hang out with Daddy instead of doing ’girl things.’ We had a great time talking, playing, eating green food, drinking green tea, and making green crafts.
credits: Bit O Green by Dani Mogstad; fonts: Poornut, CK Script

journaling: At 8 months old, Sarah knows what is expected of her when the camera comes
out- smile pretty for Mama. Beth was playing with her and had put her hat on Sarah’s head. She was in the process of taking it off when she noticed me with the camera and she stopped to smile while I took the picture. Then, once I was done she continued taking it off. She is such a camera ham!

credits: Sassy Pants by Dani Mogstad; staple from Cabana Boy by Dani Mogstad; scraplift of Mad by Danielle Catalano -Titus in CK March 2006, pg 126; fonts: Typewriter, Vintage Typewriter, CK Curly Cursive

journaling: The African Rift Valley exhibit opened at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in May 2003. During the building of the new exhibit many of our animals had to be moved to other zoos. Since the opening, we have enjoyed the arrival of many new animals as well as the return of most of the ones who had to be relocated. Zebras finally returned in June 2006 after an absence of over 3 years. We love to watch the antics of the meerkat troop and lion cubs, the beauty of the different African birds, and the curiosity of the Red River hogs. And of course there is theperennial favorite, feeding the hungry giraffe herd crackers up close and personal.
credits: Thanks Dad by Jeanine Baechtold at; staple from Cabana Boy by Dani Mogstad; fonts: Aberration and Typewriter

That's what I've gotten done so far on the trip. Oh and the album for my Dad- but I don't have that in a form I can share here yet. I might have to try making a rotating LO for that one to show off the Los. Those mini album kits people sell are awesome!

I'm beat and need to get to bed. I think I will try and scrap some pics of the trip so far tomorrow while we drive ;) I love my laptop!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

bird watching update

I have so many things to do today, but I just had to take a few minutes to post. We now have 3 eggs in the nest. Last year mama bird laid 5, so I bet there will be one more tomorrow morning and maybe another the day after that (but we won't be here to check and see).

And even better, after 2 years of trying to get some up close pictures of the birds, I finally succeeded yesterday! So neat! Here's daddy bird sitting on top of the porch light trying to keep an eye on his little eggs when Carissa went out to put a letter in the mailbox to her great-grandmother. Isn't he pretty with his stripes and red chest and head?

and here are a couple of shots of mama bird actually sitting on the nest in my wreath.

the fact that I was able to get pictures of them so close up this year makes me hopeful that their little babies will actually survive this year; they are keeping a really close eye on their nest, and since we will be gone during the incubation time and maybe even for the hatching we won't be bothering them and they will be able to 'bond' properly. Here's hoping anyway.

I got all of the laundry done yesterday- that in itself is a total miracle. It is washed, folded and put away. I even got the big kids started on their packing. We also went to the library, and got haircuts, and I even managed to sneak out to my friend's house after Mark got home for a Homemade Gourmet party.

OK- I've put off packing long enough. We have to go run to Target and look for some new sandals for Bryce too and I need to go rummage in the boxes in the garage and see if I can find a summer hat for Sarah, or I will need to buy one of those while we are out.

Monday, June 19, 2006

bicycle riding and wallabies

credits: Girl's Bike mini kit by Robin Cabana
fonts: Arial and Chick

Isn't Robin's Girl's Bike kit perfect? I think she must have been inspired by my girl's bikes, as they are pink and purple and flowery, just like the kit.

I did manage to get some pictures of Bryce on his bike, I just haven't found the time to scrap them yet.

and for father's day yesterday, we went to the new special exhibit at the zoo. It is called Wallaby Walkabout and they have a large group of wallabies, a couple of red kangaroos and 3 emus. The exhbit area they spiffed up is really nice, and the kids even got to pet a wallaby joey. Mark actually took the kids on Saturday while I was off working on updating Polly Travnicek's Schultz connection album with my friends, but since our membership expires at the end of the month and we don't have any immediate plans to renew it we all went again so that I could see too and get some pictures.

I think I am caught up on my blogging for the moment. I have tons of stuff to do to get ready to go on this trip, and I took some time today to bring the kids over to Marta's so that they could play with their kids. So, I'm off to head home and tackle the mounds of laundry that need to be washed before we can start packing.

There's the egg in there.... wish the hello bloggerbot thing would post more than one picture at a time.

We finally have an egg in the nest. I mentioned a while back that the birds seemed to have abandoned the nest they built in my christmas wreath after I moved it off the front door. I put up the grapevine wreath a while later, and last week I noticed that the birds had built another nest in that wreath on the front door, despite the fact that the christmas wreath with the first nest was still hanging right next to it on the wall. This morning the mama bird laid an egg and Mark moved the wreath off the front door again. Mama bird is hanging out in the nest this time, keeping an eye on the egg- that's her sitting in the tree watching me as I tried to get a picture of the little egg. I'm bummed that we won't be around to keep an eye on how things go, as we leave on vacation on Thursday. But, maybe that is a good thing too as it means that we won't be going in and out of the house the whole time when she is supposed to be sitting on the eggs. It has generally taken 3 weeks for the eggs to hatch, so we should be getting back about the time they hatch. Maybe there will be baby birds at our house when we come home! :)

Home Album Week 3

I posted the week 3 assignment for the Home is Where the Heart is mini album this morning. Here is my 2 page LO I did for this week. You can read the details of the challenge HERE

Credits: Papers by Chatterbox; FreshCuts by Rebecca Sower for EKSuccess; office tag by unknown; puzzle pieces; boa fiber by Bernat; raffia by Current, Inc.; Font: CK Sketched

journaling L pg, center: Details on this page, clockwise from top left: my bedroom and my dog, Boomer * the deck furniture * the livingroom couches * the front door and mailbox * music sitting on the piano in the basement * the new linoleum in the front hallway * the diningroom with table set using Grandma Doris’ blue glasses from Mexico and the ‘good’ stoneware we used on special occasions * one of the Native American kachinas my dad collects, and a pottery owl and bowl from my mother’s collection.

journaling R pg, center: Details on this page, clockwise from top left: the BBQ on the deck * the latchhook rug hanging in the front hallway that we all helped make one winter * the front entrance with Boomer waiting in the doorway * the kitchen linoleum *the painted brick fireplace wall * a Chinese pot my om brought back from China * a glass bird sculpture * the front of the house with my car parked in the parking spot we made by chopping down the pine trees * the house numbers that were by the front door.

journaling on side: I happened to come across a treasure trove of little details in the box of things I have been saving to scrapbook about my childhood. I found the binder of negatives from my high school photography class assignments. There were all sorts of pictures I had taken for the various assignments of things I would never have recorded otherwise. Most of these pictures come from the ‘abstract’ roll of film- I remember looking for interesting textrues to photograph. A few of the other pictures came from the ‘buildings’, and ‘shadows’ assignments; I was especially pleased to find a picture of the front of the house with my car parked in its parking spot. Sometimes, I finished off the end of a roll by snapping pictures of my best friend, Boomer. This gave me the one picture of my room that I know of, as she was taking a nap on my bed. I see lots of memories when I look at these pictures.

wedding album LOs

I've at least managed to get this album started. I really love the simplicity of these. We spent a rather large portion of our wedding budget on these portraits, they are beautiful, and I really want the photos to be the focus and not all of the 'stuff' around them.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Busy weekend

Sarah has mastered crawling and it pulling herself up on anything she can get ahold of. She is fascinated by the stairs to the kitchen and is constantly trying to figure out how to get up them. I'm going to have to start putting the gate up across them pretty soon. On Saturday, I went upstairs when I heard her wake up after her nap and found her standing in the corner of the crib pleased as punch with herself. Daddy was given the task of dropping the crib mattress so that she wouldn't fall out of bed. Sarah was not pleased that she can no longer look over the top of the crib out into the room.

Also on Saturday, Beth and Carissa decided it was time to learn to ride their bikes without the training wheels. It took Beth about an hour to figure it out. Carissa can ride too, but isn't quite as steady as Beth yet as she didn't work at it nearly so long. Bryce even got out there after a while and went some short distances, but I don't have any pictures of him as he quit before I was able to get back outside with the camera.

When I was outside I was trying to get some pictures of Sarah sitting in the grass, and before too long the kids had invited themselves into the photo. I got this very nice shot and had to scrap it with the ladybug picnic kit I bought earlier in the week.
journaling: It was a beautiful summer day, and we were all outside watching the kids learn to ride their bicycles. I had sat Sarah down to take her picture, and before too long I had 4 other kids trying to get into the picture too.Bryce, Carissa, Elizabeth, Brenna and Sarah Staley - June 10, 2006
credits: Ladybug Picnic by Summer Simmons at SugarGiggles; stitching by Dani Mogstad; font: Bradley Hand ITC

I told Bryce he could play on the internet, so that is it for me for today. I've got to go work on a home album LO. I've got 2 I need to get done this week so that I can have finished pages done for posting at the appropriate time while we are on vacation. Talk to ya'll later!

Cookie Recipe Exchange

Tin was able to come to the nightowls chat last night, and as usual the chatter turned to food, and this week specifically it was cookies. Yum! LOL Tin and I decided we needed to exchange the cookie recipes we had been baking and we're doing it on our blogs so that you all can join in the deliciousness and maybe share some of your best recipes too. ;)
As usual around our house, the last 2 or 3 bananas from the bunch weren't eaten before they got too ripe, and I was tired of making banana bread. So, I found this yummy recipe for banana chocolate chip cookies and we have enjoyed two batches already. You can always leave out the chocolate chips and nuts, if you like.
credits: Monkey Doodle Doo by Christy Lyle and Robin Carlton at SweetShoppeDesigns; fonts: CK sketch and Artistamp Medium

and I dug up this recipe card I made for an exchange a while back. I know it's not cranberry season, but these are yummy too and you might be like me and keep a bag of cranberries stashed away in the freezer for summer. They aren't overly sweet and have a nice tart bite to them. I like them without the glaze.
font used is CK curly
If you want full-size printable versions of these recipe cards, you can DL them HERE
hopefully the link will work, I know some people at RAKs have been complaining about yousendit not working for them, but I haven't had any problems. Let me know if you do.

Home is Where the Heart is Week 2 assignment

credits: Papers and tacks by Chatterbox; Funky Brush Sizzlets Alpha, Punches by EKSuccess and unknown

I just posted the second assignment for the Home is Where the Heart Is minialbum project at RAKscraps. This week we are focusing on the physical location of our home. Check out the details HERE

Thursday, June 08, 2006

warning! enabling ahead

So, I was reading Robin Carlton's blog a few days ago and she had a really cool LO she had done when she lifted Tin's fabulous Creative Side of Me LO. I just loved the papers she used, so when I saw the link to the new store she got them from I had to go check it out. You all must go see Summer Simmon's stuff at SugarGiggles- oh she has delicious scrapping stuff there, and there are even several free treats for everyone ;) I have years and years of pictures from all of the science museums we have visited on vacations and just never could find anything that was appriately 'sciency' but still fun too. Guess what I found in the freebies at Sugargiggles? this oh so fun stack of science themed papers called Atomic Junkie.
I knew those great patterned papers were going to be bigger than my poor slow connection could handle, so I waited to go pick them up until yesterday when I was at Marta's house. When I went over to the store to grab the freebie papers, I also found that she had put up some fabulous new kits, and that everything is on sale to top it off. I just couldn't resist a couple of them, so I picked up these too.
Bohemian Summer- I love the color combo she used and think it will work well for photos of my older girls. there are a couple of great freebies that coordinate with this set too ;)
and Ladybug Picnic- I love the soft refeshing colors and the paper patterns are based on vintage fabrics from the 40s. And what really sold me was the cute denim patches with embroidery and the embroidered alphabet that comes with this.
Ah, shopping satisfaction!

Oh, and I got Infinite by Jen Reed and Krista Mettler from Scrapdish and DigiScrapZ today to scrap my wedding photos with.
I'm not really sure what form my wedding pages will take as I have been leaning towards more graphic, white space LOs with just a touch of color when I cruise around the galleries looking at wedding LOs, and that is not the style I usually end up scrapping when I am putting together a LO. I guess we will see how they come out when I am done with them LOL

Look out she's mobile

Sarah has definately figured out the crawling thing now. She is not completely efficient at it still, but she gets around. She has this wierd position where she keeps her left foot on the floor and her knee sticking up in the air- it gives her a lopsided little hopping motion. She has also figured out that if she rolls over onto her stomach back that she can then get herself into the sitting position. She is still working hard at standing too. I don't think she will be crawling long once she has figured out how to stand up. At the moment I am over at my friend Marta's house sitting on the floor trying to type this and Sarah is bound and determined to get her hands on the keyboard. she is quite persistent too.

Here's a couple of LOs I've done in the last few days
journaling: Really? Who honestly thinks that bugs are CUTE? Where in the world did that famous phrase come from? These bugs Carissa is holding are definately not cute- they are big and hairy and just a mite gross, but they are sort of cool too in a buggy way. They are warm, not at all slimy, and tickle when they crawl on your arm. Carissa was the only one brave enough to hold all of the bugs the Discovery Science Museum had to offer. May 8, 2004
credits: Bug Hunter by Tracy Blankenship at at Digital Freebies and ScrappinDigiKreations; fonts: 2Peas Hot Chocolate

The kids enjoying the playground equipment at a local park a few weeks ago.
credits: Thanks Dad by Jeanine Baechtold at; fonts: Yippy Skippy

Monday, June 05, 2006

RAKscraps June challenges: Home and digicrafting

I can finally post a couple of pages to show you all now that the Home minialbum project is starting.
background paper by Basic Grey; brown paper by K&Co; stickers by Doodlebug Design; Ribbon slide by All My Memories; Heart Charm by Unknown; Ribbon by Paper Pizazz, Copper Sheet by Paragona; fonts: CK Chemistry and CK Script

background paper by Basic Grey; stickers by Doodlebug Design
ATC credits are as follows:
Worms, ATC
credits: Germany mini-kit by Tahera, Worms postcard and shield found on internet
fonts: Nueva Std, Rage Italic

fonts: Staccato222
credits: By the Shore freebie kit by Jeanine Baechtold and Krista Mettler

fonts: Edwardian Script ITC
credits: Frolic in the Garden by Kathryn Balint

Sunrise on Pikes Peak-ATC
credits: pic and frame taken/made by me; watercolor filter standard in PSE3 used on photo
fonts: Zapfino Linotype Four

credits: wheat stalk brush made from Wheat#2 by rb94teg at StockXchng; photos used found on various internet sites;

Inked Twill tag by Carrie Stephens at Fishscraps
font: P22 Garamouche

Colorado Springs-ATC
font: PC Sketched

You can find more information on this challenge at RAKscraps in the info thread and see the first week's challenge here.

And lastly, June's digicraft challenge starts on Tuesday night.
I used Robin Cabana's fabulous Flair papers and elements from Scrapdish~ love this kit!

Whew! I'm tired, it's been a really busy weekend. night!

Uh-Oh Cheerios

Did this LO of Sarah Saturday/Sunday

journaling: Sarah has entered the world of fingerfoods and self feeding at 7 and a half months old. She loves Cheerios and Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puffs. She isn’t very proficient at picking things up and getting them into her mouth yet, but a lot of the fun is in trying & learning. So, Mama and siblings have to help a bit every now and again, but that is fun too! May 27, 2006
credits: Birthday Doodles kit by Tracy Blankenship at Digital Freebies and ScrappinDigiKreations; sketch by Gina Miller;
fonts: LB Ali-Oops