Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas and 2007 Wrap Up

Wow, hard to believe that 2007 is nearly over. The kids are waiting anxiously for this evening as we have been invited to a birthday and new year's eve party at our friends and neighbors house. Their youngest turned one yesterday, so it is his first birthday we are celebrating before the new year's bash begins. Beth is already counting down the minutes until we can leave, and I'm sure it will start all over again once we get to the party and we are officially supposed to be counting down to midnight and the new year ;) I don't know if we will be staying until the end- their house is only down the street, so one of use needs to bring someone home early we can do that easily.

Christmas was nice. We went to the Christmas Eve service at our church. It is always music filled and the last song we enjoy by candle-light. There isn't any nursery during this service, so we have all of the kids with us. Sarah did pretty well, but was more than ready to go the last 15 minutes and just wanted to run up and down the aisle the last 10 minutes. After we got home we had a late supper and then the kids opened their new PJs and went to bed (except for Sarah of course). She finally fell asleep around 11:30 so that 'Santa' could finally put out the new presents.

The kids got up as soon as they were told they could, which meant 6:30 on the dot (I'm sure the older kids had their alarm clocks set). My mom had been warned that would happen, so she got up early too and made her way back to our house by 7A. We had breakfast, Breakfast casserole, Christmas Bread and hot chocolate, and then dived into the stockings and presents. Sarah's favorite gifts were from my mom- the toy cell phone that flips open and the Dora bathtub playset. Brenna loves her Island Princess Swinging Tika and Ro dolls, the twins got oodles of Littlest Pet Shop things, and Bryce got some new Bionicle Lego sets. The older kids have spent most of today on the computer upstairs playing the new games they got. They were all totally spoiled this year as I had quite a few things stashed away and I figured I had just better give out before they all outgrew them.We finally got the Little Leaps game console thing for Sarah working today- evidently I am 'technically challenged' these days and just missed the fact that it had to plugged into the little base part for it to work properly during the set up process (and we won't get into the fact that I couldn't get any of my mom's VCRs hooked up to her TVs in the most basic way so that the little kiddos could watch a show when we were unpacking things earlier this year :-P ). So, Brenna and Sarah have finally gotten to enjoy that toy a little today. My big presents this year were Photoshop Elements 6 and Adobe Lightroom software. I was very surprised by the Lightroom software as it carries the hefty pricetag of most Adobe products. I also got a book on photography from my sister and my husband actually eventured into Archivers and bought me a scrapbook idea book,
Simple Scrapbooks "the Scrapbooker's Almanac" by Elizabeth Dillow. My mom gave me money to spend as my big gift. I bought Scott Kelby's book on Lightroom with a little of it, and will probably renew my subscription to the ScrapperGuide magazine as I have gotten a lot of my subscription this last year. And there is still more left over to use for something I have yet to decide on as well.

I've not been terribly inspired in the scrapping department lately- I think having everyone home and being loud and bickering a lot of the time is keeping my creativity to a minimum. I've done a few things, most of which I can't show off quite yet. I did manage the New PJs LO I showed a bit earlier in this post and I'll post a couple more below. I haven't gotten them uploaded to any galleries yet, and I'm too lazy to copy and paste all of the credits here at the moment. I'll have to come back and put that info later.
Christmas ornaments 2007 LO with each of the kids showing off the ornaments they picked from Grandaddy's ornament box.
and here's a 2 page LO of the twins showing off their Christmas dances the week before Christmas. I played with all of the photos in Lightroom on this one- fun stuff and I love how I was able to get all of the orange tones out of the photos so that they worked better with the pink tones in the kit.

and here's one with the KV William collection:I got to pop into Archiver's yesterday afternoon after lunch and I got to see the two album sets they have there in person- very cool to see stuff by people I know in the big scrapbook store! Unfortunately, I had 3 of the kids with me and that kept me from totally savoring being there. It just reminded of why I don't go there very often and prefer shopping online these days. It didn't stop me from buying a few things though either LOL!

We have one more week of everyone on vacation and then Mark goes back to work and the kids go back to school- I can hardly wait! ;)

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

credits: Christmas Warmth by Jofia Devoe at TheDigiChick
fonts: CK Centurion and Snowshoe

Things are finally settling down here- the Christmas cards went into the mail this morning, all of the cooking is done that I can do today, the dishes are cleaned up, and 4 of the 5 kids are in bed. As soon as the little one conks out we will head to bed too, since I am sure they will be up at the crack of dawn in the morning anxious to see what Santa left for them. We, of course, have been tracking Santa's progress on the NORAD website since this afternoon. Santa is getting close now ;)

We spent most of the day at home. I cooked a few things, dinner for tonight in the crockpot, and Christmas Bread and Breakfast casserole are ready for the morning. I made Christmas salad, chocolate pecan pie and pumpkin pie over the weekend. We cleaned up a bit too this afternoon- my mom had to comment on how she could see the top of the kitchen counter when she came over for dinner after the Christmas Eve church service :-P We watched the movie, "Deck The Halls" after dinner- pretty good movie.

All of the kids loved their new PJs this evening. Sarah didn't hesitate a bit when I gave her the wrapped box and told her she could open it. She ripped right into the paper and needed just a little bit of help getting the top of the box off. Maybe it helped that Brenna had opened hers first, so she knew that it was OK. I did catch her eyeing the rest of the presents under the tree when we came back downstairs after changing her into her new Dora PJs LOL.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas busy-ness

The last few days have gone by very quickly with all of the special holiday activities going on before school wrapped up on Thursday. We've watched Beth and Carissa at ballet and tap dance practice and their special Christmas dances they were working on for several months. We've viewed gingerbread mining town creations and eaten goodies at the fourth grade Christmas parties. We went to the Electric Safari at our zoo last night while the weather was fairly decent, and waited in line for 45 minutes to see Santa. A couple of hours today were spent running around trying to find two things that kids told Santa they wanted and we did not have yet. I will have to share pics of these things another day as I haven't taken them off the camera yet. I even managed to get some of the gifts wrapped the other night, though there are still more to wrap. I think tomorrow we are going to my mom's house to try and get some of the things on her 'to-do' list crossed off and maybe have a little Christmas fun too. I want to dig out the box of puzzles we saved and find a Christmas one to work, and I have a gingerbread house kit to put together too. I've finally started on the Christmas newsletter (hate writing them, but I enjoy reading them from others so I still insist on doing one ourselves) and will hopefully get them in the mail on Monday so that I can at least say that they were mailed before Christmas, even if no one actually gets them until after the big day LOL

and I have managed two more layouts somewhere in the midst of all of this, with many more in my head that I would love to find time to do. I've got to start doing some of the cooking for our Christmas dinner contributions this weekend, as well as fold some laundry and other such domestic chores. So we will have to see how much I am able to get done.
credits and journaling can be seen here

and I am very pleased with how this one came out. I want to scrap some of the pics of the concert itself in a similar way too.
credits and journaling can be seen here

I'm not sure I will get back here to post again before the big day, so I'm saying it now-
Merry Christmas everyone!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas layouts

I've been in a 2 pg, many Christmas picture mode the last few days! gotta love getting 14, 16, and 19 pictures on one LO :) click the pics to see them larger.

journaling: We put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving this year. Everyone did something to help, from sorting and ‘fluffing’ branches to putting them in the slots on the tree trunk. We also got the lights and bead garlands on the tree Friday night. By the time those were done it was almost bedtime and Mama was too tired from going out shopping very early in the morning to do the ornaments. So, the kids had to wait until the next day to put them on the tree. Sarah thought that all of the ornaments were toys to play with and got very upset when she was told that she had to hang them on the tree. The train ornaments were her favorite ones. Finally she calmed down and started trying to hang the ornaments on the tree. She still likes to pull one off occasionally to look at it closely, but for the most part she leaves them alone.
credits: Christmas Goody, Holiday Trim, and felt tree from A Diva's Holiday by Corina Nielsen at; LO template by Aggie Aviso for SweetShoppeDesigns challenge; Paper Curls by Anna Aspnes at DesignerDigitals; Glitter style by Flergs; Artistry Frames and Journal 2 by Fee Jardine at SweetShoppeDesigns; fonts: CK Becky

journaling: This evening was the big event that the middle school band has been practicing for for two months- the Parade of Lights. The weather men had been predicting cold, wet weather for several days but it was actually quite pleasant for a December evening with only a little wind and no precipitation in any form in sight- it was much colder and wetter last year on the night of the parade. I dropped Bryce off at the school at 3 that afternoon, dressed in his black school hoodie and pants, jingle bells adorning his feet, a santa hat on his head and light strings wrapped around his trumpet. After photos were taken they had one last practice time before they were bused downtown to wait for their turn to march in the parade. We finally left the house about 4:45 to head downtown- we had intended to leave a bit earlier, but by the time we finally got it figured out how we could record the live broadcast of the parade on a local TV station it was later than we thought. It turned out all right- we found a good spot near the end of the parade route with an unobstructed view and we ate a sack dinner while we waited for it to start. Sarah got into the parade atmosphere and was waving back to everyone who went by for a while. She was starting to get really restless by the time the HMS band finally got near our spot on the route. She wasn't too happy with us when we told her she couldn't run around in the street. There were a wide variety of entries in the parade, everything from the standard flatbead trucks with singing choirs, to dog groups, to firefighters, to the librarian drill team pushing their lighted bookcarts in synchronization. The favorite float of all of the kids in our block was the Chik-Fil-A dancing cows- they were doing the chicken dance when they went by us! The HMS band did very well- they were just as good as the better high school bands we saw. They were certainly one of the biggest bands in the parade, and the only middle school there out of the 12 bands. And of course, Santa in his sleigh was at the end of the parade telling everyone to have a very merry Christmas! ~Colorado Springs, December 1, 2007
credits: Basic Blacks by Saxon Holt, Holiday Wire Wraps by Mama Mia, Red Rub On Alpha by Christina Sturmaggio, colored papers from Kitch Christmas by Sophia Sarducci, flower by Christina Sturmaggio from Sleigh Bells Collaboration- all at ; Holly Jolly Shimmer Dust by Kristin Cronin-Barrow at SweetShoppeDesigns; Bright Lights and Candy Cane Doodles 2 by Dani Brath at SBB; 2 @ a Time Layered Templates by Amy Bleser at SBB; fonts: CK Constitution

journaling: Christmas Eve was spent with the Massey side of the family. This year, we opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa Massey at their house early in the afternoon, and then the whole Massey family gathered at our house for the Christmas Eve dinner and party. This is the only year that the whole Massey clan gathered at our house for the annual Christmas dinner. After dinner we sang Christmas carols and enjoyed each other’s company.
credits: everything from Hippie, Kitch, and Mod Christmas kits from Christmas Through the Ages Collection 2, Summer Brights Ribbons, Spot on Journaling Spots, Holiday Beads by Sophia Sarducci; Christmas Trims Alpha by Mama Mia; Red Rub On Alpha by Christina Sturmaggio; staple by Patrizia Pascala;
fonts: CK Script

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

A wonderful day of music!

We started the day out with the girls participating in a small musical/narrative program at church during the service. They all did really well, and people kept coming up to us and them after the service and Sunday School and telling us how well they thought they did. Our girls were the ones to sing the best and loudest and really helped carry the whole musical parts of the program. It's not terribly surprising since they are singing constantly at home.
And then, finally it was the big day for the Michael Card The Promise program we have been practicing several months for. It is a joy to not only listen to Michael Card sing his songs, but to hear things about the songs- the scripture they are based on and some of the other inspirations he used for the lyrics, etc.- it gives them even more meaning. It went well, and was very enjoyable. I played all but the last oboe solo and got through them without making a mistake :) I had a couple of minor flubs- missing an accidental or something like that, but they were all it places that I hope they weren't too noticeable since there was a microphone sitting right in between us oboe players. Monica, the first oboe/english horn player was very nice.

Kathleen and Skip were sitting with our kids during the concert, and I brought my camera (of course!!) and gave it to Kat to take pics with during the concert for me. Since she is a scrapbooker too she knows how to get good pics! She even went up to the balcony at the beginning of the concert to get a better angle on the pics since they couldn't see a lot where they were seated. thanks Kat! So, here is a picture of most of the stage during a song when Michael C is doing a song by himself. I've pointed out Mark, myself and my mom with the red arrows (arrow brushes by Jessica Bolton).

and since you can only see half of my mom's face in the picture above, here is a better one:

Michael C brings new singers along with him on his tours. This tour he was with Jason Gray. We very much enjoyed the three songs he performed, and picked up his new CD at the end of the show. Michael C introduced us to Wes King's music over 10 years ago when we saw him in concert in Pennsylvania.
and Kat took my picture with my oboe during the intermission of the performance. I came over to the side of the stage to wave hello to the kids.
and after the show was over we took the opportunity to go say hello to Michael C and tell him how much we have appreciated his music and teaching through it over the years. And of course I got my mom to take a picture for us. Michael said his wife is a scrapbooker, so I will have to send them a copy of whatever page I happen to get done!
and we had Kathleen also take photos of us all together. I have two shots with some minor small children problems- this one is a bit better than the other. One of the new features of PSE6 is a function to easily take photos like these and combine the best faces into one photo. I will have to give it a try after I get the new version at Christmas and see how well it really does ;)
and a couple more pics of Mark and I together. I don't think Mark has had a tux on since our wedding, so we figured we had better take advantage of the opportunity!

Well, that's it for tonight. The kids have 4 more days of school before break starts, so I have to get up in the morning. The fourth graders get to start building their gingerbread village tomorrow, and the twins are very excited about that.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whew! got a lot done today

I've got the 4 boxes I need to get mailed all packed and ready to go to the post office in the morning- hopefully it won't be too terribly busy and the girls and I can get in and out. Here's also hoping they have trays of cookies out too so I can bribe them into behaving if necessary! It's always so much work to get everything wrapped up and packed and out the door in time, and then we just have to wait and see if the post office can actually deliver them in a timely manner.

I was really really pleased with how all of my scrapbook pages and calendars turned out this year. I swear the quality from the copy shop has improved each year. I have them printed on a glossy cardstock, and this year they look just as good as the ones I print at home on photo paper- and at 43 cents a page it's a bargain (love that bulk discount they give me)! The gal who checked me out, and did all of my page trimming, said they had a new color copier that was great, and I would certainly agree. I paid a pretty hefty amount to have everything trimmed for me, but considering how many hours and how much pain it would have caused me to trim 566 pages myself I definitely think it was worth it LOL!

And on the concert front, I figured out why I was having so much trouble with the high notes today. During the break in the first rehearsal for the concert in September, my swab got stuck in the top piece of my oboe while I was cleaning it out. I sat through the rest of the rehearsal and just fingered the keys and when Mr. Hunt asked why I wasn't playing I had to show him that silk swab hanging out of my oboe- Can you say "embarassing?" I took it to the repair shop and they removed the swab in time for the concert that weekend, but I was having trouble with the high notes and couldn't figure why. So, after the concert I took it back in and told them to look at it and clean it up since who knows how long it had been since that was done. I realized today that one of the octave keys must be clogged up still- not happy that that was what was wrong since I had paid to have them fix it :( After practicing this afternoon and not having any more luck than usual, I realized that it didn't make any difference whether I had that octave key pushed down or not- any changes in octave I had were from me changing the pressure on the reed. That is just unreliable and totally exhausting! So, I did a daring thing and took the octave key off myself and cleaned out the hole with a small piece of wire- wow that hole is tiny too! Definitely a scary thing since I can recall a couple of occasions in years past where just tightening a screw too much messed everything up and nothing would play. I got it back together and practicing was oh so much easier after that! I could sail up to that high C without having to panic about whether or not it was going to come out.

The first rehearsal with the orchestra last night went pretty well, all in all, considering my high note troubles. The gal who will be playing first oboe and all of the english horn parts (I've always wanted to try the english horn!) was not able to come to practice. She plays with the Air Force Band, so I heard her play Monday night when we went to their concert, and they had a recording session scheduled. Since she wasn't there I got to play all of the solos- I was thankful I had been practicing them! It was good though, and now the Sunday practice and performance will be better since I can hit high Cs with confidence again ;) We will have to see how things work out for dividing up the solo stuff, since I haven't met this gal before. My mom just sent me an email forward from the director and he says they have now sold 1300 tickets for the concert and they expect to sell out in the next two days- max is 1500 for the building- big huge ACK!! I have never played in front of so many people before, and to have this be for Michael Card too- can you say major stress??!! I would appreciate all of your prayers Sunday afternoon and evening!

Oh, and I got layout number 261 done this morning too using the gorgeous A Snowy Morning collab by Corina, Kate and Anne at FPD.
credits: A Snowy Morning by Corina Nielsen, Kate Hadfield and Anne DeJong at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns; Alphapalooza Stampers by Corina Nielsen at FunkyPlaygroundDesigns; On the Edge Frame Cluster by Nancy Comelab at The-LilyPad
fonts: CK Becky

Now if only the Christmas newsletter would write itself and all of the envelopes address and stamp themselves too, I'd really be happy. Santa's elves are welcome to stop by my house one night and wrap all of the kids' gifts up for me too ;)

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

259 and counting!!

259- that's the number of scrapbook layouts that I took to the copy shop yesterday morning to be printed. I don't think that is quite as many as last year, but there were lots of cards and hybrid projects I did this year that aren't represented in that number. A pretty productive year no matter how you look at it, I think ;) Between pages for my scrapbooks, the gift scrapbooks I'm giving family, and all of the calendars I'm having printed- my total page count is around 600 pages being printed for me. I did warn the guy who helped me with my teeny order for the cookie exchange pages last week that I would be back and to be ready!

and I say 'counting' because there are still some more that have to be done before the end of year. I will probably just print those at home since it will be a more reasonable number- at least one that fighting with my printer over won't be too difficult. I really need to get a new one, but the ones that I've heard good things about are so darn expensive. and then there is the whole wide-format question: whether I really need one and if I did get one, where in the world would I put it?? I'm sure I'll keep pondering those questions and start keeping an eye on the sale ads.

It snowed again last night and was still snowing this morning, so after the initial announcement that the start of school was delayed two hours they ended up cancelling it completely. Today is library day for us and there are books that can't be renewed and need to be returned so we will be venturing out into the mess a little later. The fourth grade is doing a mining town version of the gingerbread town project this year to go along with their Colorado history unit and all of the supplies the twins need to bring in are due tomorrow, which also means a stop at Walmart on the way home from the library.

Here's the first finished LO, #260, for the day- I hope to get at least one more done at some point. I guess we will see if that happens with the kids here all day distracting me and needing to do things like eat and be entertained and kept out of trouble.
credits can be seen HERE

and since I am still trying to play catch-up on layouts in the galleries and here, here's a few more for you to look at.
credits can be seen HERE

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and my year-in-review LO that I shared with my friends at the cookie exchange on Saturday:
credits can be seen HERE

and the christmas photocard people will be getting at some point later in the month- just realized I forgot to add this to the copy shop order. I guess I will have one more thing for him to do for me when he gets the rest of the order done ;)
credits can be seen HERE

It's time to try and fill the bottomless pits my kids call stomachs, so I'm off. Have a great Tuesday!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Snow Much Fun!

A nice big snow storm provided the perfect opportunity for sledding Saturday afternoon. All of the kids had a blast! I was supposed to be going to the annual cookie and scrapbook page exchange with my friends, but of course I had to tag along to take a few pictures before I left. It was well worth being a few minutes late to get these great pictures!

and here are the yummy goodies we enjoyed at the party and then brought home to share with our families.
and we took a picture of us together and I scrapped it for the title page of my book.
credits can be seen HERE

I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend too!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

New templates at Scrapdish

I've been working on getting some new templates put together and up at scrapdish. Here's a quick view of what I put in my store a couple of days ago:

I have a few more grid-style LOs that I will convert into layout templates to go in this line too in the future.

there is also an 8x10 rectangle version of the Perfect Pair Template here.

And the December digicraft challenge is going on at RAKscraps right now! You can read the details for the challenge here. The cone ornaments template set will be up in my store on Dec 13 if you miss the challenge.

Happy holiday crafting everyone!

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