Thursday, September 28, 2006

why is it so hard to get anything done?

I had a short list of things I wanted to accomplish this morning- It's now 4:15 and I still don't have everything done that was on the list. Interuptions to my train of thought have just abounded today, I guess. Emails to be answered, phone calls from friends, dirty diapers, food to prepare. I know it is all typical stuff and to be expected, but still it gets frustrating that I can't seem to accomplish in 8 hours what should have taken maybe 3 or 4 at most.
So, what all have I gotten done? I got the digicraft for next week finished up and some new color swatches for the next couple months at RAKscraps- that's it. maybe I can get the other things accomplished tonight, we'll see.

Aren't they cute? Come chat with me on Tuesday! and speaking of RAKs... if you are into scrap-related things, RAKscraps and Scrapdish are both on the CK Reader's Choice Awards ballot! RAKs is under #15 and Scrapdish , #35 for the fabulous Summer Sunsations kit! Go vote here!

We went to Walmart yesterday to get some groceries for dinner and to buy Brenna some big girl underpants- Dora, of course! She is doing so well with the potty training. I hope the new underpants will be the extra motivation she needs to finish the process up. She started wearing them yesterday afternoon and did great, but has been lazy today. I also bought Beth and Carissa some Halloween costumes- Beth wanted to be angel and Carissa wanted to be Hermione from Harry Potter. I got Carissa a cute witch costume with a curly pointed hat as I couldn't find anything close to the 'real' thing at a price I was willing to pay. We have to find her a 'wand' of some sort and I think that she will be satisfied. Bryce has a Bionicle costume or his Secret Agent outfit from his birthday to choose from. Brenna has a pink and white cowgirl outfit and a set of ladybug wings and antenae. I'm leaning towards the cowgirl one mainly because I have a cute little cow outfit for Sarah ;-P Of course Brenna wants the ladybug. She may just get to wear both LOL

I've got to go get dinner started. I'm going to make spinach alfredo lasagna. We haven't had that in a long time and it just sounded good when I was flipping through my recipes looking for something yesterday.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

If you were a little girl in the 70s....

got this on an email this afternoon and had to share it! The email actually came with pics too, but I'm too lazy to save them all and then upload them, so you all will just have to use your memory ;)

You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.
You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.
You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.
You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)
You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island.
You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days. YEAH! ~
You owned a "Slip-n-Slide",on which you injured yourself on a sprinkler head more than once.
You owned "Klick-Klacks" and smacked yourself in the face more than once.
You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy Hamill". People sometimes thought you were a boy.
Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.
You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.
You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.
You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits.
You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze..
The swing set tipped over at least once.
You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. (Oh yeah!)
You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle).
You also had a pair of salt-water sandals. (is this an east coast thing??)
You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the
Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and
you despised Nellie Olson!
You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink.!
Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it "pretty" with
the comb you kept in your back pocket.
~ When you walked, the "wings" flapped up and down, looked like you were gonna "take off"
You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.
You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic. With the thermos inside!
You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend.
YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!
It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!
You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry. Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or David Cassidy..?"
You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.
You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or
those weird potholders made on a plastic loom.
You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!
You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.
You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)
You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics.
You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs.
You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.
You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first "real" perfume you ever owned
You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip gloss till it almost dripped off.


Monday, September 25, 2006

just a lazy no school Monday

The kids didn't have school today for some reason, I'm not exactly sure why. We've just been hanging out here at home. Beth and Carissa didn't emerge from their bedroom until after 12PM today. They evidently came upstairs this morning and grabbed a bagel before I got up with Sarah around 8, and went back downstairs to play together. Brenna played upstairs in her room by herself for a while, and Bryce got on the computer in his room after we went over his spelling words for tomorrow's quiz. Sarah has been fighting taking a nap since after lunch, and I finally got her to sleep in the swing a few minutes ago. I tried to put her in bed twice and she would just stand up and start screaming and wouldn't lay down and go to sleep. Her sleep habits baffle me, and I dread the day that she is too big for the swing *sigh*

It was a lazy weekend too- Saturday we just stayed home, I puttered around working on stuff on the computer, Mark ensconsed himself upstairs in front of the HDTV watching football, the kids did kid stuff and we did a bit of Halloween crafting. Yesterday we went to church in the AM, where I worked in the nursery watching little people and then we went up to the Denver Nature and Science Museum in the afternoon since it was a free day there. We came home and had breakfast for dinner.

Brenna seems to have turned the corner finally on the potty-training thing! whoo hoo!! we have had several days in a row of success. She's not perfect, but she is taking the initiative when she needs to go and is very proud of herself. I'm not sure what happened, but I will take it and give her as many candy corn and pumpkins as it takes to reinforce how happy we are with her!

My mom and dad headed to Seattle this morning for my mom's surgery tomorrow. She is doing the pre-op tests this afternoon at the hospital and the surgery is scheduled for 7A tomorrow. It should be over in a couple of hours, so hopefully by noon tomorrow my Dad will be able to call and let us know how everything went. Obviously his immune system recovered enough for his doctor to say it was OK for him to go with her. He does plan to stay the week in the hotel near the hospital, but will only visit briefly a couple of times a day to reduce the risk of picking up a nasty bug. There is still a very long way to go and we won't have a good idea if this chemo is going to work well enough to completely erradicate the cancer for a couple more months. In the meantime, the chemo treatments are much harder on him because of the larger doses of drugs he is receiving. Tests last week showed that he has lost a little more heart function since the end of the first chemo treatments; at this point it is a race against time to get the cancer eradicated so that he can have a pacemaker implanted to help prevent a heart attack (the cardiologist can't do this until the cancer is in remission). Thanks for your prayers so far, and please keep praying!

Robin introduced her Colorfully You paper collection at SBB last week! I sent her a set of colors a while back for this project and it was fun to see how she interpreted them. All of the paper packs are gorgeous! I played with a couple of them and came up with this LO about how the twins are similar, but not...
journaling: These two may be twins, but they are far from being the same. They have different hair and eye colors, body types, tastes in food, what they think is ‘fun’ to do, and favorite colors. They do most things together still because they are sisters and do share many interests, but they are learning to explore and appreciate the things that make them different from one another too.
credits: From Colorfully You Collection by Robin Cabana: Brown patterned and greenpapers from Loved set, yellow dots and yellow papers from Happy set, pink floral paper from Classy set, and 'T' from alphatag alpha; glitter flower from Seaside Bliss by Robin Cabana at Scrapdish; inked edge overlay by Robin Cabana; yellow stitching by me
fonts: CK Tea Party, CK Serendipity, Edwardian Script, Clarissa, CK Legacy

Amy challenged her CT to do a LO about our shoes for her big CT introduction announcement she is planning this week. Here's what I came up with. I love my Keds and buy a new pair whenever I wear one out. :)
journaling: They’re worn, frayed, there’s a hole in the big toe area of the right shoe, and they are on the verge of falling apart the next time I put them on, but that is the way I like them. I discovered Keds in high school- they were the ‘trendy’ shoe to wear at the time- and I’ve not stopped wearing them since. I have other shoes I wear occasionally, but I always come back to my Keds because they are casual, and most of all comfortable, and that is what my life as a stay at home mom is like right now. ~Sept 25,‘06
credits: Blue denim and striped papers by Kelley McDonald at DigiDesignShoppe; Brown paper, casual comfort labels, and stamped frame from Carpe Diem by Dani Mogstad and Shawna Clingerman; cord flower from Cord Crazy shapes by Kim Jensen at Scrapdish; "K" Card by Dani Mogstad; Clay hearts from Lovey Dovey Mix by Amy Knepper at DigiChick; knotted Ribbon from Sweet Serenity by Shabby Princess; frayed fabric and torn edge actions by Atomic Cupcake fonts: TXT Abrasive

I've been busy working on RAKs CT stuff this weekend, and can show you a finished goodie that might just pop up in a certain minialbum challenge that starts next week ;) So, if you like it, keep your eyes open!
credits: matchbook minialbum digicraft template by Melinda Staley; Carpe Diem by Dani Mogstad and Shawna Clingerman; stick pin from Eclectic Collage by Shabby Princess; frayed fabric action by Atomic Cupcake; mint heart and metal ring from Candy Hearts kit by Dani Mogstad; paint brush stroke by Michelle Coleman; fonts: SBC Distressed Type, Black Jack, Bickley Script

And lastly, I was tagged by Amy.
Here are the rules:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

I don't listen to much music these days that is actually picked by me. When it is quiet, I choose to listen to the silence mostly because it is so rare around my house. But, there has been quite a variety of music in the house of late, mainly because Beth and Carissa put on music to practice their dance steps to. They are learning lots of different things, so there is quite an eclectic mix in the CD player in the living room that I dug out for them:

1. Garth Brooks - Mr. Right is usually the song of choice from a collection CD I got at McD's years and years ago.
2. Mariah Carey - Emotions
3. Classical Masterworks in Digital - song of choice is usually 'Die Ver Jahreseiten -Der Fruhling -Allegro' by Vivaldi, aka the Spring movement of his 4 Seasons work.
4. "I Like Jazz" collection CD- song of choice is "S'Wonderful" by Harry Connick, Jr
5. The Dora the Explorer theme and Doodlebop pledge songs - I bet some of you are singing those now too aren't you?? ;)
and a few that are totally my choice:
6. Amore by Andrea Bocelli
7. Elton John's Greatest Hits 1976-1986 - I chose this fun one on the way home from Denver yesterday
and one more album for good measure, since it is sitting on the computer desk:
Seville to SantaFe, A Spanish Guitar Anthology - I picked this one up on vacation a few years ago and love to listen to the classical guitar!

I see most of the people I was going to tag have already been snagged by others, so who is left that I can torture with this little exercise....
Krista, Jen, Raji, Jane, Shawna, Gina, and Stacey

Kiddos are up from their naps and I have more digicraft stuff to work on, so I'm off. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's a beautiful day

well, not if you look outside the house- it's cool, gray, windy and rainy out there today. But, Sarah slept well last night (that means I did too!) and went down for a nap this afternoon without having to nurse herself to sleep, Brenna has been a cheerful helpful in picking up the house a bit this morning, and she has been doing a good job of using the potty too! Not sure much can top that at the moment LOL!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

goodness, where does the time go? I can't believe it's been a week since I posted last. We haven't been doing a whole lot, getting some things done around the house now that colder weather is coming around, trying to keep up with the everyday things like dishes, cooking, laundry, etc. The ladies' bible study at church started on Tuesday morning and I went to that; we're doing a study on Ephesians this fall. I'm still a little stuffy from the cold I had last week, but I am pretty sure it is on the way out finally.

Since the RAKscraps newsletter is out, I can show you two LOs I did for that. I was the CT member spotlight this month, so I made this LO using Kim's beautiful Sarah's Cottage mini kit that was a prize for the month of August. I do believe you can pick it up over in the donuts section at Scrapdish now ;)
credits: Sarah's Cottage by Kim Jensen; lace and doilies, & tag with pin by Traci Sims; stick pin and stitched heart from Eclectic Collage by shabby Princess; buttons by kathryn Balint, Ali Folendore, Terry Himes, and Traci Sims; circle stitching by Dani Mogstad; frayed fabric knot by Michelle Coleman; letter stamps by Rebecca DiGrazio; Actions by Atomic Cupcake- silver, fabric and frayed fabric; fonts: snowshoe

The tutorial I wrote for the September newsletter is on how to use the layered LO templates that are popping up in all of the digisites and shops these days. I made a template to go with it you can DL, use it and post in the RAKfile challenge gallery and you might just get another goodie too~ see the newsletter for all of the details!
Here's the LO I made using my template, pics from one of our vacation stops, and some papers and alpha I made inspired by the beautiful decor in the train station- I'm hosting night owls this weekend and this is your preview of what you'll get for coming to chat with me! We even have prizes this week too- whoo hoo!!
journaling: We stopped at Union Station in Cincinnati , Ohio on July 12, 2006. Hidden inside this grand old train station is a unique natural history museum. One area of the museum focuses on caves and the creatures that live in their dark depths. We saw a talk about bats, and then explored the artificial caves, both normal and ice, that were built in the lower levels of the museum. The museum also had collections on archeology with a focus on the animals and peoples that inhabited the area in previous eras. Their special summer exhibit was on creatures that live in the dark and their adaptations to that particular environment- blindness, echolocation, and phosphorescence being a few.
credits: Union Deco papers and alpha by Melinda Staley; LO sketch template by Melinda Staley for September 2006 RAKfile;
fonts: Nueva Std

Sarah's beautiful smile showing off her new tooth- yes! she finally has one at 11 months old! All perfectly in time for the members of our family.
credits: Sweet and Simple by Jeannie Papai at Digital Freebies; inked edge and gel actions by Atomic Cupcake; fonts: Bickley Script

and one last LO that I did today with AmyK's new paper pack that is hitting the Digichick store tomorrow sometime. The little angel is konked out in the swing at the moment. I guess we will see what happens tonight when I decide I am ready to head to bed myself....
journaling: Sarah is a little darling, except when it comes to sleeping. Maybe she just takes after me and my nightowl habits a little too much, but getting her to sleep regularly and in her own bed has been a big challenge since the day she was born. I can leave her in the swing for hours, until I am sure she is fast asleep, but when her little head hits the crib mattress she is suddenly wide awake again.We have spent several nights listening to her cry at us from the crib because we are trying to teach her that that is where she is supposed to sleep and it is not the end of the world to be out of Mama’s arms for a few hours.
credits: Darling Dreamer Paper Pack by Amy Knepper at The DigiChick; Twine and Twine bow from Carpe Diem by Dani Mogstad and Shawna Clingerman; masking tape strips by Krista Mettler from EcZentric at Scrapdish and Digiscrapz; heart button made by me with Atomic Cupcake plastic action; fonts: Bickley Script, TXT Abrasive and TXT Monique

Oh, and I have to brag on my niece a little bit! Go check out her artwork, which was chosen to be posted on the internet. She is a wonderful little artist! Click here

That's it for me tonight, I think. I've got to see if I can get some more work done on the next digicraft project. The first of the month is sneaking up on me!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

sick and tired (and LOs too) - the repeat

Yes, we are still sick though I think we are finally on the upswing and starting to feel a little better today. Brenna seems to have gotten over this a couple of days ago, while it is hanging on for Sarah and I. Sarah had a nasty croupy cough yesterday. I could hear every breath she took from across the room at times. She isn't nearly as hoarse today, but still sounds congested, her appetite is still off and she just isn't sleeping well. The cold seems to have settled itself into my sinuses with no thoughts of leaving any time soon- even sudafed didn't help them drain a bit today.

So, I sat at home another day and tried to catch up on my scrapping- so many LOs I want/need to do and so little time! I've got some things to get to for the next minialbum challenge at RAKs I'll be doing starting in October, so I've been pushing to try and get as many LOs done this week as I could. On with the LO show!
First up is a LO with the second kit I got from Jeannie Papai as a guest CT- Sweet and Simple-
Beth and Carissa serve tea to Sarah after their birthday tea party.
credits: Sweet and Simple by Jeannie Papai at Digital Freebies; LO template by Lori Barnhurst, Scrapartist newsletter; fonts: LB Angela Fancy and LB Bernhard Fashion

An old photo from my grad school days- I was about 4 months pregnant with Bryce when this was taken.
credits: by Tracy Blankenship at Digital Freebies and Scrappindigikreations: Red bandana paper, B&W cow paper from Cutest Cowgirl, cowfolk alpha, bullnose clip, all other papers and elements from Cowboy Cutie; denim flowers by Dani Mogstad; rust action by Atomic Cupcake; fonts: LB Kerri and LB PlainStamp

Next, are a couple with Jeanine's latest exclusive kit for I don't think it is even up in the store yet. You can check here in the future for it- it's called "Fall Frolic" and the colors and patterns are perfect for all of your fall photo opportunities!

I did this recipe card for TracyB's ethnic recipe exchange going on at RAKscraps right now. She's even got the recipe album templates available for you to use! yeah, I know it's not really 'ethnic' unless you count southern cooking as that. I've been wanting to scrap this recipe for a while (you can tell because I took photos of the last pie I made while my Dad was visiting before I would let anyone eat it ;) ), so this is what people get unless I can think of something else and then have time to scrap it. This is my grandmother's recipe for pecan pie. It is my Dad and I's favorite pie, and I make it for him every time I visit with him.
credits: Fall Frolic by Jeanine Baechtold at; ricrac, staple, bookplate and brad from Little Dude by Jeanine Baechotold at, zigzag stitching from Home is Where the Heart Is prize set by Kelley McDonald; 6x8 recipe book template by Tracy Blankenship; fonts: LB Sunny and Snowshoe

Some things I love about fall and am looking forward to enjoying in the coming months! We've already done the balloon festival this year- that signals the start of the fall season as it is always over Labor Day weekend. I just wish the days of cooler temps we've been having every once in a while would stay around. (you can see a bigger version of this LO by clicking on it)
credits: Fall Frolic by Jeanine Baechtold at; inked edge action by Atomic Cupcake; scraplift of "Got a Clue" by Katherine Nugent in October 2006 Scrapbooks, Etc. pg93; fonts: Type Right!

and the two LOs I did today:
a second page about the girls' princess birthday party last year:
Journaling: From the moment that they received the Barbie Princess and the Pauper DVD, Beth and Carissa wanted a birthday party with that theme. They enjoyed having their friends over for their first slumber party. The hours were filled with pizza, crafts, cake and enjoying all of the wonderful presents they recieved. They got Barbie dolls, jewelry crafts and jewelry boxes, princess snowglobes, dress-up clothes, and of course, the Princess and the Pauper singing dolls and wedding play set.
credits: Belle Princess papers and elements and sequins by Correen Silke at Scrapdish; paper tear by Atomic Cupcake; fonts: CK Serendipity

and a picture I got of Sarah last month after the girls' birthday tea was over while she was still in her party dress.
quote reads: Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckly
credits: Sequins and Sequin Flowers by Correen Silke at Scrapdish; corner stamps by Krista Mettler from Eczentric kit at Scrapdish and Digiscrapz; blue woven tiedye and pink distressed papers by Krista Mettler, blog freebies; fonts: CK Legacy

That's it for me tonight. Sarah is really fighting sleep (she is sitting in the swing and keeps falling over because she won't just lay down and give in), so I had better get her out of the swing and see if she won't finally relax and get some rest.

maybe someone can give this poor, confused person a hint?

when I am adding a new feed to my bloglines account, it gives me two choices -.atom and .rss2 - which one am I supposed to choose? I've tried picking both at various times, so some blogs I get 'update' notices whenever someone posts a comment while others only when the blog owner actually adds a new entry. I can't, for the life of me, figure out which I've chosen for what blogs though.... anyone have any hints for me? I really don't need to know when 32 people have posted a comment to Gina Miller's blog :::roll eyes:::

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A template for you all

I've gotten a lot of compliments on my Bronx Zoo LO (scroll down to previous post if you haven't seen it). I always do LOs like this by making my own template to start with (it is the easiest way I have found to get lots of elements the exact same size), so I thought I would just share it here ;) Drop me a little comment if you grab it, and I'd love to see if you use it too!

download psd version here

download png version here

Links will be good through September 20.

Monday, September 11, 2006

sick and tired (and LOs too)

I've been dealing with sick kids for over a week now, and it isn't going to end any time soon evidently. Brenna and Sarah both have the cold that Beth and Carissa had last week, and I evidently have it now too. I don't feel awful, but my nose just won't quit itching, my sinuses are all stuffed up, and my throat hurts. I should go take some Sudafed and maybe my nose will quit bothering me at least. I'm never quite sure if having your nose running is better - at least you aren't stuffy, but your nose gets a bit raw after blowing it so often. Any way you sneeze at it, it's no fun.

I've got a mess of dirty dishes I need to go clean up in the kitchen before dinner, but I've been scrapping instead this morning.

Jeannie Papai asked me to be a guest CT for September. Here's my first LO with one of her kits:
journaling: The kids enjoyed feeding all of the crusts leftover from the tea party to the ducks at Nancy Lewis Park
credits: Camp Cupcake by Jeannie Papai at Digital Freebies; stamped letters by Tanya ToddKrasen; scraplift of "Water Fun" by Shelly Chua ; fonts: 2Peas Renaissance

journaling: We spent out 16th anniversary, July 7, 2006, in Manhattan. We rode the ferry from Statten Island and then the subway up to the Bronx. We met Robin Cabana at the Bronx Zoo and had a great day seeing the animals with her. It was so nice to be able to meet one of my on-line friends in person, and really cool that she was willing to spend her day with all of my family. Bryce, Beth, Carissa, and Brenna all took right to her and enjoyed talking with her and showing off a bit. We were all sad when it was time for Robin to head to work and for us to start back down into Manhattan to find dinner and head towards our hotel. It was one of the best days of our vacation and the best anniversary present I have received so far.
credits: Wild Child by Jeanine Baechtold, Rachel Dickson, Correen Silke, and Robin Cabana at Scrapdish; paper tear action by Atomic Cupcake; fonts: TXT Abrasive and Impact

I just love this rocking chair that used to be my Dad's and have been wanting to do a LO about it for a long time so that it would be recorded where it came from and why I think it is so special.
journaling: This rocking chair was bought for Grandaddy, Richard Massey, before his first birthday. It was most likely purchased at the furniture store his father, Arthur Massey, worked at. It has been saved for the next generation when the previious one outgrew it. Grandma Doris saved it and when I turned one, she got it out and reupholstered it with the orange fabric and nails that it still wears today as well as giving the wood a protective coating of polyurethane. My sister, Megan and I both used the rocking chair and when Bryce was one, Grandaddy passed it on to him. Mark recently had to reglue a few of the joints, but it is still in excellent shape for being over 60 years old. Sarah is the latest child to enjoy the rocking chair, and I hope it will be around for many more years to come. -Melinda Staley
credits: Willow Avenue by Robin Cabana at DigiScrapDivas; fonts: FG William and Vintage Typewriter

I've done a couple of other too, but they are for the RAKscraps newsletter, so I can't show them quite yet. The dishes are calling my name, so I'd better get to it. Maybe I can distract Sarah from her whining at me by giving her a spoon or two to play with while I get them cleaned up. We'll see.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Let the dancing begin!

This morning was the long-awaited first day of dance lessons. I was able to sneak in a few pics before they shut the door.

We were told that parents will be allowed to watch practice on the first week of the month, except for in December when the last practice of the month is a mini performance for us. Beth and Carissa are in a combo dance class- they will start with tap for 30 minutes and then the second half of the class is a bit of ballet and jazz dance. I thought it interesting that the 'jazz' music they were dancing to was a country song and from what the girls described afterwards it sounds like they were learning some line dancing LOL The important thing here is for them to explore the different types of dance and see if they really like one of them. Beth says she liked tap the best, while Carissa says she liked the jazz dance best.

I got to leave Brenna at home with Mark this morning, but Sarah came with me. She did pretty well. All of the strangers sitting in the hall with us kept her from wandering off to far; she was even content to sit in my lap and just watch everyone around us for a while. I have lovely visions of being able to leave her at home too eventually and take my laptop and spend the hour working on something uninterrupted. Somehow I think that is still a ways off.

We got home and Beth and Carissa got Mark to bring in a piece of wood from the garage to lay on the living room floor so that they could practice the shuffle step they learned in the tap portion of class.

Little Miss Trouble

Remember this Little Miss Trouble??

Well, it seems we have our own version that goes by the name of Sarah ....
she found a pencil on the floor and was decorating the walls and floor for us two days ago. It seems that the chewing on the Bisquick box was a sign of things to come....

Labor Day Weekend

::: Warning! Lots and lots of pictures ahead- it will take a while to load with a slow connection :::

We were so busy last weekend, and I was wiped out for days afterward and having several things to work on for upcoming deadlines that had to be met.... sorry for the long delay in getting my blog updated. I have oodles of pics and things to show you!

Our fun started on Friday, Sept 1 when we went to the Happy Apple Farm to pick and enjoy some delicious fruit right off the trees. We went last year over Labor Day weekend and made applebutter from most of what we brought home; this year I made apple pies to take to a picnic at Kristen's house on Monday. We still have quite a few apples left, more apple butter may be coming if we don't use them in something else soon!

(anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the lens glare from Brenna's hair? my filter broke on vacation and I have several pictures with these)

Saturday and Sunday were dreary, rainy days here, so we stayed at home and did something, I don't remember exactly what at this point. Probably the usual unexciting stuff.

Sunday night it was a little breezy, but we decided to head down to Memorial Park to see if they were going to do the evening balloon glow. It was the only night they were able to do this, so it was more crowded than usual. But, we enjoyed seeing the balloons light up the night sky.

Monday morning we got up bright and early and went back to the park to see the balloon lift off.
The winds were just right and once the balloons were up in the air they hovered around the park instead of disappearing over the horizon like they usually do.
We wandered over to the lake and got to see one of the balloons dip down to touch the lake. We weren't sure for a few seconds if he was going to be able to get the balloon up in the air again, but he did and I was able to catch a picture of it going back up and the water that had collected in the bottom of the basket streaming back down towards the lake.
I always love the pretty colors, so now I'm just going to treat you to a few of my most dazzling favorites from the hundreds of pics I took! :)
The above shot of Brenna is one of my absolute favorites out of everything I took. They have a photo contest each year for the best pictures of the balloon festival. If you look closely, you can see the reflection of a balloon being inflated in the lenses of her sunglasses... pretty cool, but it is not the first thing you see. The newest category they have for the yearly photo contest is 'digitally enhanced'. The Grand Prize winning photo for last year was a picture of the balloons lifting off from the park at sunset- they only lift off at dawn in reality, so the person enhanced the image to turn it into a sunset with the balloons in silhouette. So, I tried my hand at spiffing it up a bit...
I'm still not sure that it is enough of a 'balloon image' to give me a shot at winning anything (the grand prize winner gets a ride in a balloon at next year's classic), but I just might submit it and see what happens. I have a couple of weeks yet to decide- what do you all think of it?? Does it make enough of a 'this is a balloon classic photo' statement? You can enter as many photos as you like, but they charge you an entrance fee for each photo you submit.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

By George, I think she's got it!

I do believe that Sarah has started walking, officially. She is venturing across rooms confindently and gets farther and farther each time she tries. I set her on her feet and she is stable and then starts out, grinning the whole time. She still reminds me a bit of Frankenstein as her arms are straightout in front of her usually helping her balance, but I don't think it will be long before that isn't necessary. Here she is toodling across the living room this afternoon.

She also figured out going down the stairs feet first tonight. - not sure if that is a good thing or not as I've lost my natural gate out of the kitchen LOL She went down the first stair (there are only 2 in this spot) and went back up several times just to make sure we were watching.

It was a dreary day here- overcast, windy and with off-and-on rain. Not good for the annual hot air balloon festival. Beth was obviously looking forward to going down to the park as she kept asking over and over today if we would go tonight since we didn't go out this morning. It was still drizzling at dinner time, so we were pretty sure that the balloon glow would be cancelled as well.

I got news last night that my Dad's tumor has evidently started growing again. That was news I was hoping to not hear for a long time, if ever. He got the 'all-clear' on a scan just a few months back, so this was quite a surprise. We won't know what the plan of attack is this time for a few more days. I know this is speedy in the medical world, but the waiting is always the hardest part. You hurry up and wait some more. I was a bit of a grump all day today with everyone, which I am sure was hard for the kids to understand. Brenna seemed to pick up on my mood and seemed to be a bit more irritable than usual. We haven't told them yet; I don't see the point in mentioning it until there is something more to say. They would just ask questions I have no answers to at this point.