Friday, August 31, 2007

Richard's Favorite Things

Some things you just don't have pictures of when it comes to remembering someone. I started a series of pages about Daddy to record a few of the things about him that made him, him. I don't have photos of these things most of the time, but they were part of who he was and what I remember. I've got two pages done so far, and have started a third. The way I've laid them out means they take a bit more time than usual though since each section is like it's own mini-layout. If anyone thinks of other things that I can include on these pages, please let me know!
credits can be seen here

credits can be seen here

I've got lots of other layouts to post here, but it's not going to happen tonight. Mark wants to go to the Balloon Classic liftoff early in the morning. I told him I was staying home and sleeping LOL It looks like the weather is going to be nice all weekend, so I can go to the liftoff on
Monday morning ;) I'm still not feeling 100% and am looking forward to a few more hours of sleep.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Momma and MommyPat

credits: everything by Weeds and Wildflowers at

Happy Birthday to you, Momma! and a slightly belated Happy Birthday to you too, MommyPat!

I've been struggling with a sinus infection for the last week. It's really knocked me out most days, and I haven't done much but sit on the couch and read books in between having to get up to take care of the younger kids. I haven't been sleeping well because of not being able to breathe and/or the medication I've been taking to help me be able to breathe keeping me from sleeping. The few days I have had some energy I tend to over-do and then I am on the couch again all day the next day. I don't have many grand plans for today, I just hope to get myself into the shower at some point and get dinner made later; we'll see if I can get that much at least done!


Friday, August 17, 2007

The masterpiece of confection is done

But first, before I show that off I'm going to make you look at a few pictures of the birthday girls ;) Here they are sporting the new shirts that Aunt Megan, Uncle Aaron, Molly and Brandt sent them.
in their new dresses they got from Mama
Carissa with her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Borkowski
and Beth with her 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Todd
and here are the pics of the cake. It turned out pretty well, I think. That is certainly the best looking cake I've made- meaning it has three layers with straight edges all around LOL Wilton's buttercream icing really is the best looking stuff, and it is easy to decorate with. Having the time, and extra icing, to do a crumb coat with before adding the top layer of pretty icing helps too ;) The gum paste sign, stars and music staff and notes worked pretty well all in all. Gold lustre dust gives the stars their sparkly look, and the sign dots and stars on the sides of the cake are done with some new glitter gel icing by Wilton that I found at JoAnn's Monday. I've got some curly candles to stick in the cake come time.

Well, it's almost time for the girls to get home from school, so I had better get moving again. There is still lots of things to get done. I have to get the pizzas called in so that they are ready to pick up at a reasonable time, and I still have to get the table cleaned up and all of the other decorations put out. Mark has got the bunk beds almost ready to put together- I think that will be tomorrows project since they won't be sleeping down in their room tonight ;)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The big day is tomorrow

yep, the premiere of HSM2 is finally tomorrow night at 9P here in the mountain time zone. We've got 9 girls coming to join Beth and Carissa in watching it and giggling the night away. Mark watched the neighborhood kids all sing together in the yard across the street to the soundtrack from the first movie last weekend. Yes, this is a very big deal around here!

I would really like to know how much Charm City Cakes charges for one of their creations. I know I've spent too much on supplies, and way too many hours already on this cake for the party tomorrow and I'm not sure if it is even going to come together the way I want. My fingers are black tonight from coloring gum paste and cutting out music notes and threading pieces of wire into them (see, scrap supplies have use outside the scrapbook- I used Dani's notes from her Rock Star kit as templates and the wire is from my paper scrapping stash); I made chocolate versions of these earlier today, but it just too warm and every time I took them out of the refrigerator for a few minutes they softened up too much to be of any use. The gum paste versions should work (I think) as long as they are dry enough by tomorrow. The other gum paste things I made have been drying for several days. At least when this is all done I will have more decorating tools to use next time around. I think I've used just about everything I bought on Monday at this point, so there will be very little to return next week. The cake layers are baked (there are 3) and tomorrow morning I need to make some buttercream frosting and get that put together. Final assembly probably wont take place until tomorrow evening since I'm not sure how long the whole thing will stand up to scrutiny by the kids once it is put together. Ah, the joys of trying something new. At least I won't have to make anything other than the cake tomorrow, as I plan on ordering lots of pizza to feed everyone. Hurrah for take and bake pizza!

This has been one crazy week and I am so tired. My mom's sprinkler system is fully installed and working now after being up there most of yesterday and for a couple of hours today, and we've been to 2 school open houses. Have I said recently how glad I will be when this week is over??


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

did a little computer HD cleaning today

I sat at my mom's house most of today while the sprinkler system guys put in an automatic watering syster for her. There's no internet there, so I decided I would work on cleaning up my HD some. My laptop has been running really slowly, so this is overdue again. I hate cleaning- even my computer ;)

I found this little goodie Dale sent me a little while ago, and it's cute. You can waste more than a few minutes playing with it LOL
"I do dog tricks"

So, thousands of emails later (literally!!) I'm finally done going through my mail and clearing out all of the old stuff. Some was 2 years old. I've still got more HD cleaning to do, but hopefully this will help a little at least. I need to move and archive pictures and scrap files before I really make a sizeable dent in freeing up space. We'll see what I get done tomorrow, since I have to go back to my mom's house for about an hour and half tomorrow so that the sprinkler install can be finished up; all of the pipes and such are done, but they didn't get to putting the control box in today. I think the guy took pity on me and decided to go home so that I could to. The kids were not being very nice to each other at that point being hungry, tired, and bored.

I've made some progress on the cake stuff I needed to prepare. There is a couple more things to do tonight so that the things can dry and tomorrow we will bake cake so that I can put it all together Friday morning. We've got RSVPs from 5 of the girls we invited so far and to say that excitement is building would be a mild statement. The HMS2 soundtrack and Hannah Montana2 CDs I ordered them from Amazon came today, so we've had some new music playing in the house and van this afternoon.

I'm going to let myself relax by scrapping tonight. The Grand Opening of SophiaSarducci is going on now as of this morning, and I have lots and lots of great new stuff to play with. I'll leave you with a view of yesterday's scrap. Have a great evening!

journaling: We were at the party store looking for things for Beth and Carissa’s birthday party. Just down the row from the High School Musical items were the Dora items and they had pink and blue denim hats for 6 dollars. You were immediately enamored with the pink one and wore it throughout the store while we finished looking around. I decided to splurge and get it for you, and you were so excited about having your very own hat- one that hadn’t been your older sisters’ hat before you got it. 8-13-07
credits: Papers, flower stamp and beads from Earth Laughs in Color Collection by Sophia Sarducci at sophiasarducci; Crazy Love alpha, Crop Shapes, Ultimate Stitches and Messy Circle Stitches by Dani Mogstad at designbydani and sweetshoppedesigns; LO template by Traci Reed for GirlTalk blog challenge; Big Circle Matties by Corina Nielsen at FunkyPlayground; Alpha Beads by Kimberly Giarusso at DigiChick; ribbon wrap by Natali Braxton at TheLilyPad; fonts: Baby Boston

Oh, and don't miss the great template I used for the LO above! You can get it for free on the GirlTalk blog! :)

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Plum Tuckered

out, and the week is just getting started! Saturday we went up to my mom's house to help her get the blinds put back up in the living room. It looks nice- not only are the walls freshly painted, but she spent a lot of time cleaning the wood floor and wood trim. While we were there we found that the plums on the plum tree in the front yard were ripe, so we picked them and brought them home with us. I spent way too much time yesterday turning them into plum jam- it took me an hour and a half of to deseed them so that I could start cooking it. Hours and hours of simmering later, plus about 10 cups of sugar I have about a dozen or so cups of plum jam. It's still a bit on the tart side, I think, but I was tired of putting in sugar. The stove was a mess from when the pot boiled over and I have 3 large pots and a food mill to wash still, so all in all I'm not sure it was worth all of the trouble. I guess we will see how much the kids like it after they give it a try.

Today is officially Beth and Carissa's 9th birthday. We went out for a late lunch yesterday, and the big birthday bash is on Friday, so we aren't doing much today. I have the family presents wrapped and waiting for later tonight. Other than that, I don't think we are doing much. I went out this morning and bought a bunch of things to make the cake with- it would have been so much easier to just get a cake from Walmart. I don't know why they were advertising in their July ad if the bakery won't be able to get the parts to make it with until October. Now, I have to do it myself, and well you all know how I am with birthday cakes and that it can't be a simple creation.... Hopefully some of the stuff I got today will make doing what I envision a bit easier, but it certainly wasn't cheap! I'm sure it will all come together in the end- it usually does- and hopefully I can take a few of the things I bought 'just in case' back next week.

Mark spent pretty much all of last week (he took 4.5 days of vacation time) and this weekend out in the garage working on the set of bunk beds he is building for Beth and Carissa. He was hoping to get them done by today, but he didn't quite get there. He is very close to having one bed completely done. I think he can probably have them both done by the end of the week, even with only working on them in the evenings after work.

Speaking of birthdays.... the only LO I was able to get done over the weekend was one of Brenna's birthday party in April. Dani's new County Fair kit was perfect!
journaling: Brenna looked forward to her JoJO’s Circus party for almost a year. As it got closer, not a day went by that she didn’t mention it several times, and she talked about it almost constantly the two weeks before. We ate corndogs, peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy and had cake and ice cream. Coloring clown pictures, walking the balance beam and pinning the nose on the clown kept everyone busy before Brenna opened her presents.
credits: County Fair, Number 4 from Saturday Market, Say It Journaling Strips, Creative Crops 2, Handstitched alpha from Crazy Little Thing by Dani Mogstad; Paper folds by Karah Fredericks at BlueFlombingo; paper frame from Bohemeian Peddler by Jessica Bolton and Krista Mettler; scraplift of Looks Good On Me by Traci Reed ; fonts: ICG Carpenter and Garamond

I found out this morning that Corina Nielsen picked my LO I did of the girls in front of their school sign as one of her two favorites in her matties contest! I get one of the two paper albums that she made- see this post. I posted my link before the other person, so I got to pick one I wanted. I chose the girly one, but it was a hard decision as I think the boy one is really nice too. I'm not sure what I will use it for, but I'm thinking I'll use it as an AAM album possibly since it is done in pinks and browns and that is what I chose a couple of years ago when I started my book.

Here's a cute story about Sarah: I was putting the clean dishes up out of the dishwasher Friday night. Sarah likes to help with the cups- she stacks all of the plastic kid cups together and then hands them to me to put up in the cabinet. My mom noticed that she was walking back and forth around the dishwasher to grab certain cups because she can't reach all the way across. We couldn't figure out why she was doing that- she usually just does one side and then moves to the other to get the rest. Then, I took a look at the stack of cups in her hand- she had stacked all of the same color cups together and when she had grabbed them all she would move on the to next color. She was even getting the colors correct when they were different shades. She is one smart little cookie!

I've got digicraft chat tomorrow evening- come learn how to make a personalized pencil box!

and with that, I am off to post some info about the chat at RAKscraps, and then I should probably finish cleaning up the pots in the sink so I can cook dinner when I figure out what we are going to have. After dinner I might get to play with some new CT goodies I got from SophiaSarducci today for their grand reopening on Wednesday, or maybe I should start working on some things for the cake.....

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Beth and & Carissa's first day at school

Ok, well technically it wasn't... but we can pretend ;)

Sarah is sick and running a fever since this afternoon. So, I might be comforting the little one and not be around much the next couple of days.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

School has started

credits: Back to School by Jen Reed at Scrapdish; Date It! Plastic Beads by Kim Jensen at Scrapdish; LO template by Janet Phillips at scrapbookgraphics; rubberbands by Nancy Wilkins; paint and stars and hearts from Pop Rock Graffiti elements by Miss Mint at Peppermint Creative; Mini Journaling Alpha Strips by Traci Reed at scrapbookgraphics

Bryce started 6th grade on Monday and Beth and Carissa had their first day today. There was a mixup with Bryce's schedule initially and he wasn't put in band like he was supposed to be, but we've got that straightened out now. He chose the trumpet as his instrument today. Ah, I can hardly wait until the sounds of practice start to fill the house (not really LOL!) Beth and Carissa are already picking instruments too, though they have two more years to go. I think I have to go pick up some sort of band book at the music store for him tomorrow- Bryce was a little vague on the details this afternoon so I hope the music store knows what it is he needs or that he does a better job of listening to the instructions tomorrow ;) I will walk with the twins to school in the morning so that I can get their yearly 'first day' picture next to the school sign- I was walking Bryce again this morning to make sure that his schedule change was worked out.

My mom is here this week getting some things done on her house. She was able to find a good painter, and he's gotten the living room and kitchen painted now. This guy will come back at a later time to finish sprucing up the paint in the other upstairs rooms. She's working on getting someone lined up to get a sprinkler system installed in the yard. That won't get done this week, but hopefully it will be arranged and it won't take too much of my time next week. We need to get automated watering installed so that hopefully the yard will come back from the brink of death that it is on right now. We've had heavy rainstorms in the late afternoon/evening for three days in a row now and that has helped it a whole lot already.

I'm done for the night, I think. Having to get up early and walk to school is tough after being lazy all summer! ;)

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Diving Beauty

I've jumped off a few diving boards in my younger years, and even the top of waterfall once.... and while I can say that yes, it was a bit of thrill at the time, it also scared me quite a bit and I've gotten over the desire to throw myself off heights into pools of water. Diving has been one sport that I have watched whenever I get a chance to (usually during the summer Olympics as that is when it is shown) and really enjoy following. I love watching the grace, skill, and sheer nerve that divers exhibit. I haven't ever been to a diving meet in person before, and I really enjoyed it yesterday. Beth, Carissa and I spent the WHOLE day there- several hours more than I had planned actually. They started Preston's age group an hour later than was originally scheduled, and then a large rainstorm came through town and they had to stop the diving and clear the pool until the lightning had passed- 3 times. It didn't matter though, as I was there to see the 4 Holcombes dive and I really wanted to see Preston in action in person. He is one gifted diver, and I am looking forward to following his achievements down the road. All of the Holcombes dove well, and between the four of them they took home 1 silver and 6 gold medals- pretty good considering they entered 7 events!

They were a featured article in our local paper this morning, and Kathleen and Braeden's picture was on the front page of the paper and the sports section front, and the back page of the sports section where their article was has a picture of all four of them. The girls and I are even in the large picture, though you wouldn't know it was us because my head was cut off and the girls' faces are behind the Holcombe's heads LOL You can read the article in the Gazette here, though they don't have the pictures posted there that I can find.

I enjoyed using my friend's camera. The sequential action feature works pretty well and despite the poor lighting in the building it got some pretty good pictures. I even taught the dad of another diver how to use the feature on the camera- he saw me using the camera and came down to ask me what I thought of it as he had the exact same one. He was really frustrated with the shutter lag and not being able to get good pics of his daughter in her dives. Overall, I can't say that I would buy that particular camera as there were some things about it that really annoyed me, but I would certainly look into one with the ability to take rapid pictures like that if I was going to be taking more action pictures like I did yesterday. I wished the shutter speed was a bit faster so that I could have gotten more of the sequence of individual dives- it would take a picture about every second. A lot of time the diver would be at the top of the dive in one picture and the next one they were already splashing down into the water, so I missed everything in between. If the dive was a complicated one with lots of twisting and turning, then the person could be quite blurry too. There is one picture of Preston where you can see his head and chest and the rest of his body is so blurry that it looks like it isn't there; he must have been twisting quickly on that particular shot and the motion was just too fast for the camera to capture adequately.

OK, I'll stop yakking now and get the good stuff- diving pics! There were a few simpler dives where I happened to start clicking away at the right moment and was able to get a full sequence of shots from the board to the splash, so I put a couple of them together in an animated gif for you all to see. Here's one of Preston on the 1m springboard:

and one of him on the 3m springboard:

both are beautiful dives that received top marks. I look forward to the day when I can say "I knew Preston when...."

That's it for me tonight. Bryce's first day of 6th grade is tomorrow, so I have to get up early and see him off! night everyone!


Friday, August 03, 2007

A berry busy weekend

can the rest of you hear Strawberry Shortcake saying that like I can? LOL

This morning I got up and took the kids to the dance center so that they could say hello to their dance teacher from last year and I could get them signed up for classes this fall. She was there because today was audition day for the petite tap and jazz ensembles, the groups the girls could have participated in. Ms. Cindy got excited when she saw them there because she thought we might have changed our minds about letting them audition. I do feel a bit bad about not letting them try, but Mark didn't want them to and I had my concerns about it. I certainly couldn't keep up with an ensemble group's requirements on my own with the younger kids, so Mark's support was necessary. There were only 6 kids there to try out for the tap group when we left just before the audition started, so we weren't the only ones from the prep class to decide against it this year I guess. The Petite's were 10 or 12 strong last year, so I hope they have enough kids this year to do well. I'm sure the girls will see some of the kids from class this summer next year in at least the tap class they are taking, so I hope they can continue to build friendships with them that way.

After going to the dance center, I took Beth, Carissa and Brenna to get their hair cut. They all needed a trim before school starts. Tricia said she was very busy this weekend with getting whole families trimmed up before Monday.

We went home and collected the rest of the family and then we drove over towards the mountains to pick berries. We spent probably an hour scouring the wild raspberry bushes along High Drive. We found one area that had several good clumps of currant bushes too. The last 15 minutes or so of picking the clouds opened up and started dumping rain on us, so the kids sat in the van while Mark and I picked one more area (because we have learned that a little rain won't cause us to melt unexpectedly LOL). We probably ended up with about 4 or 5 cups of berries. Yeah, they were free, but we won't think about how much in gas it cost us to drive over there to find them :-P
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up a few things and then we came home and made fruit crisp from apples, raspberries and currants. It was very yummy! the currants gave it a unique floral essence that I don't really know how to describe.
Sarah for some reason decided to turn her nose up at it and not even try it, so she got a banana instead. It seems that about all I can get her to eat these days in any quantity is peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches, bananas, and milk. Yes, she is definitely coming up on the fun age of 2 years!

Tomorrow I am going to go watch our friends/neighbors in a diving competition. The State Games of America is here in the Springs this weekend and Kathleen, Preston, Devon and Braedon are all diving tomorrow. The local news even interviewed Kat! You can read the story and even see some video of them in action here. Kathleen says Preston finished 25th at the NCAA Nationals earlier this year, and since this competition is just for fun he plans on trying out some new dives tomorrow that she hasn't seen yet. I'm sure it will be exciting, and one of the few chances I will have to see him dive in person. I even borrowed a friend's camera that can take a rapid series of pictures, so I hope I can get some shots of complete dives from the top all the way down to the splash!

Oh, and our library had a Harry Potter trivia game before the book came out - you answered the questions and were entered into a drawing for some prizes. Beth won a Hogwarts diary/journal book last week from the drawing. Since she had to have her much too obsessed mother's help with answering the questions, it is sort of like I won the book too ;)

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tagged and today's LOs

I was tagged by Robin

4 Jobs I've Had:
baby sitter
lab technician
video store clerk

4 Places I have lived:
Pullman, WA
Worms, Germany
Bellefonte, PA
Long Branch, NJ

4 Favorite T.V. Shows:
Stargate SG-1
Star Trek (any of the versions)
Ace of Cakes

4 Favorite Foods:
Cheese, especially Cougar Gold
Ice Cream

4 Websites I frequent:

4 Places I'd Rather be Right Now:
Hanging with my digi friends

4 Movies I LOVE:
Music and Lyrics
Somewhere in Time
While You Were Sleeping
The Princess Bride

and I'm going to be lazy and not tag anyone else ;)

credits: Vivid Intensity by Kim Jensen at Scrapdish; Storyboard LO template, stitched grid and Beautymarks set 2 by Two Sisters Design at scrapartist; vintage photo frame by Nancy Comelab at The Lily-pad; fonts: TXT Monique

credits: My Story, Saturday Market, Imperfect Circle stitches, Button Blooms and Bitty Flowers by Dani Mogstad at designbydani and sweetshoppedesigns; LO sketch template by Robin Cabana for RAKscraps; fonts: TXT Monique

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Not much exciting going on here.

Not much exciting going on here. We are in the last week of summer break- Bryce has orientation for 6th grade on Monday and classes start Wednesday for him. Because of some minor mold problems they found a few weeks ago, the elementary school start has been delayed a day to the 7th. They are starting school 10 minutes early for a while to make it up as it doesn't affect the whole district, just certain schools that needed work.

Beth and Carissa have finished up their summer dance class as of last night. They worked very hard and learned a lot. We decided not to let them try out for the ensembles (competition dance groups) that the prep class this summer was for, as I think it would just be too much after only having taken one year of dance. I don't want them to be put under too much pressure too soon and not be prepared physically or emotionally. I'm not sure that being judged and hearing a bunch of criticism would be a good thing at this point. There is plenty of time down the road for that sort of thing if they want to continue in dance. Their teacher this summer, Ms. Cindy, was very pleased with their progress and attitudes during their class. Now, we just have to decide how many classes they are going to take next year. They will take a full hour class each of tap and ballet. Carissa really wants to take a jazz dance class too, but again I'm wondering if that would be too much right now. They need time to get their schoolwork done and just be kids too. I think part of the decision will rest on what ballet class they are eligible for, as there is a beginning jazz class closely after one of the ballet classes but I'm not sure they can take that one.

credits: by Sophia Sarducci: from August Grab Bag- Caramel Apple papers and Fascination, Purple paper from How Does Your Garden Grow, Green paper from Bronx Zoo- Reptile Room, Getting Edgy; Antique Bronze Alpha by Antonio Rafaello at sophiasarducci; On The Edge PhotoCluster by Nancy Comelab at The-LilyPad; Smootzy Alpha 2 by Nancie Rowe Janitz at scrapartist; fonts: Times New Roman

We were able to visit with MommyPat and Walt on Sunday afternoon. They sold their house in Pullman and were coming through COSprings on their way to Owasso; we met them at Souper! Salad! for lunch and spent a couple of hours eating and visiting before they had to get back in the van and keep going. Uncle Allen and Uncle Mike (Aunt Jean's husband) had flown to Spokane and were driving them to OK. I don't think we had seen Uncle Mike since Jamie's wedding over 6 years ago; he hadn't ever met Brenna or Sarah.

The kids have been spending lots of time outside in the neighborhood this summer, playing and biking with the other kids on the block. Brenna has finally mastered riding her bicycle by herself. I guess her little legs and determination finally got strong enough ;)

She has another year before she can go to kindergarten, so we've bought some preschool work books and will spend some time when the older kids are at school working through those. she knows her shapes and colors really well already, so our main focus will be on the learning the letters of the alphabet and writing. I got a neat ABC books & Activities set by Amber Clegg from Scrapartist the other day that I think she will enjoy. She is looking forward to it already.

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