Design Team News to share!

I am so excited! I just go the word that I was selected to be the GDT member for January over at Scrapbook Oasis. They have just gotten their online store up and running and they have a fabulous place! The ladies over there run a lively forum with lots of great tips and ideas. In addition, they offer amazing scrapbook retreats! I haven't gotten a chance to check them out in detail but they look awesome. I am anxious to get my hands on the kit they are sending me! There is nothing better that having a box of scrapping stuff show up on your doorstep!

Finally - it was scrap time!

FINALLY ----I had time to scrap a layout just for me!!! Here it is--

my hat

I have been wanting to try the whole "stitching" thing on a layout for so long! I actually completed this layout last night without the stitching but I woke up with the snowflake idea and went for it this morning! I am so happy with how it turned out! It was so easy to do!

You all should try it!


New Year Resolutions~

I've been challenged to blog about my New Year Resolutions. Well, this will be a little tough for me because I don't officially make any. I'm the type of person who believes "no expectations, no disappointments". Now I'm not naive enough to believe that this works 100% of the time, and I in no way have my expectations under control. But, I do try not to add any additional expectations to the ones I struggle with on a daily basis! So, with that in mind, I will make an attempt to tell you the things I would love to accomplish next year--not really changes--more like goals--things that I add to my prayer list.

1-Keep the remodeling project on track. The contractor should be done by April and then the finish work inside will be our responsibility. My goal is to continue to work away at it at a steady pace. I know that money will be an issue, so if we can do a little at a time, that will be perfect. What I'm praying for is the time, money and patience to keep chipping away at it by paying in cash and avoid the temptation to complete it fast by charging it to plastic.

2-Finish the school year strong. As a homeschool mom, I tend to be "done" by the end of April. I need to focus all the way to June. My prayer is to finish steady and strong just like we have started.

3-Find the time for family. I need to make sure that I don't say "yes" to too many projects so that I have time for family. This includes my extended family. More parties, more dinners - more just plain old visiting is in order this year. People are changing and growing apart in our family right now - I need to make an effort to keep them together.

4-Get healthy. This is a typical one, I know. This is probably the only one that feels like a resolution. I need to find the time for me. The time for me to do something just for me. For my health. This includes (but is not limited to) time for praying, reading the Word, getting to the gym, really relaxing, spending time with David, scrapbooking, watching funny movies, laughing with my kids, etc. You know, all those things that reduce stress and make me smile.

5-Learn. I want to learn something new this year. I'm not even sure what that is, just something new. Maybe my kids can teach me something. So, maybe my prayer is that I would listen to my kids, really listen to them more often.

6-Keep my finances in order. This one has always been easy till this year. WHen we were on a more limited budget, I never seemed to have financial issues. But, since David started making more money, we seem to constantly be without cash when we need it the most. I need to get this back on track.I need to remember that doing without can be a challenge but it can also be a blessing.

I know there are more, but for now, I'm done. Remember, that too many expectations will be a set-up for disappointment. Set your sights at a reasonable level.

Christmas Recap!

Well, the holidays were quite an adventure once again! This year, David came down with the stomach flu literally as we were walking out the door Christmas Eve to go to the party. So, he crawled into bed and off I went with 9 kids in toe. Okay, to be honest only 3 were kids, the others are my older children and their significant others. This was the first time in 22 years that I have attended the Christmas Eve celebration without David. I really missed him as did the other "dads" at the party. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. Because my expectations were significantly lowered or virtually non-existant, there was no disappointments for me. I enjoyed the whole night for what it was and loved every minute I spent with my kids. I didn't miss anything and wasn't worried about serving the food or handing out the presents. We just took it all in stride and everything went off without a hitch.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the night:

This is me and my youngest:
IMG_4888 024

This is me and my oldest:
travis me 5-7

This is me, Michelle (Travis' girl) and Luke:
luke michelleme 5-7

Travis & Luke hanging together:
travis-luke 5-7

The little ones singing happy birthday to JESUS:
hb jesus

This is my 90ish year old Grandmother with her 4 daughters:
sisters 5-7

This is Sarah & Frodo:

Travis & Grandma:
grandma travis 5-7

My absolute favorite --the group Santa shot:

Once again, Santa was amazing. I can't believe we have had the blessing of Ed playing Santa for over 30 years! He is still the best looking Santa I know. He is the ultimate example of selflessness. He "plays" Santa over 50 times a year and refuses to take any form of payment. If you try, he will tell you to make a donation to your favorite charity. He is known as Santa to the small community of Granite Falls in WA and he is the son of my Grandmother's friend Bobby. They have been part of our "family" for as long as I can remember. We love you-ED!

Grandma Audrey:
grandma santa 5-7

chase santa 5-7

luke santa 5-7

jordan santa 5-7

Jesse (Jordan's boyfriend):
jesse santa

travis santa 5-7

Michelle (Travis' girlfriend):
michelle santa

sarah santa

Mike (Sarah's fiance):
mike santa

austin santa 5-7

Yes, there isn't one of me. I was not going to take one without my hubby. I have 20 years of Santa pics with him, and I wasn't doing it alone!

After the party, the kids all came back to the house and we played Scene it-the Harry Potter edition. That didn't work though because the team that went first won and the other team never even got a chance --my kids know too much about Harry Potter! After that we tried the Disney version. That was a much better game. Then we all opened new pajamas and crawled into our sleeping bags in the living room and lights were out by 11pm! It was so much fun to have everyone home. With a couple kids living on their own, I just didn't know what to expect this Christmas. But, the tradition of sleeping under the tree held strong and they came home with their significant others to keep the tradition alive. It was the best Christmas present they could have given me. I love you guys.

Here are a few of them in their bags:

David was still in bed Christmas morning--which is when we missed him the most. But, we got through and opened all the presents. From what I could tell, everyone was thrilled and blessed by what they received. It was especially fun to watch them open their gift exchange from each other. They draw names and do their own personal shopping and wrapping. It's lots of fun. They all pitched in and bought me a new duvet cover that I was coveting from Pottery Barn. I love it. Jordan used her discount and I am so excited. David is going to paint my bedroom tomorrow and then I will take a picture to share it with you!

And to top it off, the Lord blessed us with a dusting of snow on Christmas afternoon.

Absolutely Perfect! I hope yours was too!


Busy Blogger

I know-it's been a week since my last post. But, it's Christmas time and life is crazy. I still have presents to wrap and gifts to buy. Just a couple, but still. Life was crazy this week - more than usual. Wednesday night we attended the "Three Wise Men" concert. It was awesome as usual! If you ever get a chance to see their Christmas show, do it! We love it and it is one of our favorite traditions. Check out their wesbite and bookmark it for next year! http://www.thethreewisemen.com

Then on Thursday we took the family out to Chevy's Fresh Mex Restaurant for Jordan and Michelle's birthday's. We had a great time. I loved having most of my kids together again. Here are some pics:

girls birthday 5-7

IMG_0261 005

IMG_0259 004

IMG_0258 003

Then on Friday, David & I went to downtown Seattle to walk around a bit. Went to the huge OLD NAVY down there - 3 whole floors of specials. That was fun.

Yesterday, was baking day -& I have to say that it was a disaster! I wasn't in the mood and only the gingerbread cookies turned out like I wanted and that was because they came from a box! Anyway, life will surely be hectic for the next week too, expecially because Austin has the flu and has been sick for about 6 hours now. Poor guy.

I do have good intentions of blogging at least 3 times a week starting in the new year! Here's to resolutions!


Play Day - Sunday

Today was Play Day at Church - the culmination of 3 months of practices - Chase & Luke gave their performances today of their church christmas play, "I WONDER". Of course, they were wonderful! I am a little biased though!

Chase played the Mall Manager who was more interested in making money than spreading the word - totally cynical and so funny!

chase 5-7

Luke Played Joseph during the manger scene and Rosa was his Mary. They were so cute! They tried so hard to be still and look at the baby "Jesus" with "LOVE". They did a great job.

luke rosa 5-7

manger 5-7

What made the day so great was that Grandma Audrey, Sarah, Mike & Travis all joined us at the play to support the boys. I really appreciate the times that we are all together. I understand more now that I used to how important those times are. And how rare.

Everyone came back to our house after and we made fudge and carmel corn together! It was great to have all the help and nice that we all enjoyed the tradition together again this year.

While we were all together, Mike & Sarah shared some photos with us from their road trip up to the mountains. It was perfect timing - as I received my DT kit from Dixie Pieces and it is full of fun snow themed papers! Can't tell you any more than that till January, but just know ---it is one cool kit! (Pun intended!) Thanks Mike & Sarah for some great pics! Here are my favorite:

mike sarah 5-7

sarah 5-7

sarah mike 5-7

frodo 5-7

One more thing: I was tagged with a great blog questionaire --

10 things I did this weekend:
1-Attend the Church Play twice
2-Bake Fudge & Carmel Corn
3-Watch "The Perfect Stranger"
4-Go to my neighbor's Christmas Party
5-Go to a 4 hour crop and only get 1 page done!
6-Plan and prepare my mom's Christmas Present
7-Spend over $500 at Costco
8-Wrap 1/4 of the Christmas presents
9-Order pictures from Costco.com
10-Shave my legs!

9 things on my agenda this week:
1-bake Christmas cookies
2-complete Mom's Christmas present
3-Pay Jordan's tuition
4-Search online for next quarter's college texts
5-Take Jordan & Michelle out to dinner for their birthdays
6-Attend Christmas concert of "The Three Wisemen"
7-Date with David in downtown Seattle
8-Finish School Classes with boys
9-Finish Christmas shopping

8 shows I watched last week:
2-Charlie Brown Christmas
3-Shrek's Christmas
8-Friday Night Lights on the internet

7 things I cooked last week:
1-teriaki chicken
2-steamed veges
4-hot cereal
5-swedish pancakes
6-baked halibut
7-latte??? does that count?

6 things I read this week:
1-sale flyers
2-Scrapbooks etc.
4-Christmas cards

5 reasons to be happy today:
1-feeling healthy
2-Travis & Sarah visited
3-Mom was feeling good
4-Construction is suppose to start tomorrow!
5-Christmas is 9 days away!

4 things I need to buy:
1-Containers to put my carmel corn in
3-Office rings for a project
4-a sofa table

3 people I saw this weekend:

2 things I am thankful for right now:
1-The fire keeping my house toasty
2-My husband

AND 1 more thought:

here's hoping the rest of your Christmas preparations go fast and easy and you get to sit back and enjoy the season for a few days!


Happy Birthday Jordan!

Happy Birthday to you -

Happy Birthday to you-

Happy Birthday to Jordan-

Happy Birthday to you!

My baby girl is 17 today! Amazing. I know everyone says time flies, but you don't really feel it until your babies are grown up. It's funny the memories that stand out to me when I think back.
----Putting her hair in rags for Christmas. So darn cute.
----Cutting her hair short the very next year because she hated to have it combed.
----Sewing all those cute outfits for her - stretch pants and t-shirts.
----What a great big sister she was when Austin was born (she still is!)
----Always so determined. Learned to ride a two wheeler at 3 because her brother did (he was 5). She cried and cried but wouldn't stop until she made it all the way down the street and back. Then she got off the bike and said, "Now, I'm done."
----At four, she would run and trip all the time - until we put a soccer ball at her feet. That was all it took-man did she tear it up on the soccer pitch.
----Watching her learn about the Lord - she was always so amazed at what he did for her. Still is.
----So stinking smart--always was one step ahead of me both in school and at home.

There are so many more.....Watching her grown up has been a wonderful adventure. I can't wait to find out what the future holds for her - and I hope I don't miss one minute of it. I love you, Jordan!

jordan mom 5-7


Fresh Layout!

Here is a layout I completed tonight for the guest DT contest over at Back Porch Memories. It was inspired by a sketch made by Becky Fleck. Check out their site at www.backporchmemories.com.


Mom-you're a pro already!

This entry is for you, mom. You did it, you have conquered the digital world! I am very proud of you!

You've come a long way already - before you know it, you will be diving into Photoshop. Now if I could get you hooked on scrapbooking, you'd never be bored again!

Here are some pics that my mom took of the boys while we were in Las Vegas - not only did she get them downloaded but she sent them to me via email!

austin cake 5-7

4-6 2

austin cake 5-7

I love them! But this one is my favorite:

boys & grandma 5-7


Christmas is Coming!

I can officailly say that! I have finally started getting in the Christmas spirit! We have our tree half decorated and most of the stuff up in the house that will get put up this year! We are going lite on the decorations due to the construction project that is suppose to start soon.

But, I have to tell you a secret.... shhhhhhhhhhh.....don't tell anyone. Promise???? I gave in and bought a fake tree and I love it! It's beautiful!


I am tired of being so stressed the week before CHristmas because we forgot to water the tree, it dried out and I am worried about fire. Plus, they just start to look like crap. Then there's the constant vacuuming, the saving a tree issue, and the cost. This one was from Costco and cost about twice what a cut tree would cost me. I am a sucker for a 8 foot tall nobel and they don't come cheap! Oh yeah, one more bonus ----it was prelit! Usually by the time we get the lights tested and on, the kids are so restless and I am so grumpy-it isn't a very happy time! This year - presto - happy kids and happy mom! I loved it!

We will add the ornaments tomorrow when Jordan is home - we can have pizza and watch Elf - it will be perfect!

lit tree

We even got out the Santa hats!

austin santa hat 5-7

chase santa hat 5-7

Luke spent quite a bit of time on his little tree:

luke tree 5-7

Then - I found all the fun stuff I created last year when for some reason I had a lot more time than I have this year! SOme of my favorites are:

This basic BELIEVE sign - nothing fancy, just big and fun - I love it. I think the 2nd "E" is suppose to be the last one - hence the ribbons but I couldn't correct the elf that hung it for me!

This is my advent calendar - it has 24 little pockets that hold tags with fun things to do on them. I haven't updated it this year, but it's fun to look at!

advent calendar

advent calendar close up

advent close up 2


1.Cover three pieces of 12 x 10 chipboard and use your crop-a-dile to put holes in every corner.

2.Create 24 pockets by folding 6.5 x 3.25 in half and stapling closed. Cover all pockets with various patterned paper.

3. Use a circle punch - insert it into pocket top edge and punch a half circle out of each pocket.

4. Decorate each pocket with various embellishments and number 1-24. Glue to covered chipboard.

5. Attach large eyelets into each corner hole.

6. Attach boards to each other with ribbon.

7. Cut and cover large star and decorate with large number 25

8. Attach star to bottom.

9. Create tags and put in each pocket

10. Hang with ribbon.


Scrap-Diner Designs!

This month at Scrap-Diner the Manufacturer of the Month is Basic Grey! I really enjoyed working with all that Figgy Pudding! What great product! I am almost of of snow pictures so it's a good thing we had a bit last weekend! Here are a couple layouts for the Scrap-Diner:

snow beautiful


You can check out tons of Figgy Pudding Product at the Scrap-Diner

In addition, I submitted my layouts to the Basic Grey Gallery and they picked up a few! You can check them out at their gallery here.

I also got to work with the Love, Elsie's new Christmas line - so cute! I love the whole doodling aspect of it because you can layer and layer and it always looks like it is suppose to! Find this great product here at the store at the Scrap-Diner.

we love santa

This is a paper bag gift card holder! It is a great idea that I lifted from Joy Madison, a very talented scrapper and photographer. Here is a link to her blog.

gift card cover

the inside looks like:
gift card insid

This is a simple technique - you just:

1. Sew 3/4 of the way around the edge of a paper bag, leaving the top edge free (the open edge where you would fill the bag).
2. Fold bag in half with the "pocket" inside. The pocket is made from the bottom of the bag when you sew it.
3. Decorate as desired! Fill the pocket with gift cards or gift certificates!
4. You can also add a slide card into the top opening of the bag if you wish. You could add your journaling here or put a family photo if desired.

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