Friday, November 30, 2007

productive day

As promised, here are a few sneaks. I will say this much, I am making new calendars for 2008. Here are the covers for both the ones my family will receive, and the one for my mother in law.

I also printed all of envelopes for my Christmas cards, and used my very cool address stamp too.
I am also working on some monogram gifts. I got very inspired by this.
I am not so sure I could call this a handmade holiday, but certainly a computer generated one. I must say, I am very proud of my ever expanding knowledge of Photo Shop b/c it allows me to create some very cool things.
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

just tidbits from the daily grind

First, I saw a CVS pharmacy commercial yesterday and the song playing was "Ordinary Miracle" that I mentioned a week or so ago. Funny, huh?

Yesterday was our 9 year anniversary. I made a nice dinner at home and the girls helped me set the table and such. It was a big rush to get it all done from 5-5:30. b/c Olivia did not get home from art class until then. They loved bringing everything to the table (we typically gather our food buffet style at the counter and then move to the dining room to eat). They both LOVED drinking from the crystal water goblets and having candles lit. Funny things they said and did:

-when Olivia put salad dressing bottles on the table she said: these are not very fancy?!
-when Dave sat down Olivia said: what song do we sing?
-Shelby insisted Dave pour his beer into his goblet
-Olivia passed out two napkins to each of us: one for your lap and one for the table?!

They certainly made me feel like all the effort was worth it. I think it turned out great to include them.

I am more than knee deep in all my homemade (computer generated is more like it) Christmas gifts. I may show a few sneak peeks but not enough to ruin the surprise for the intended recipient. I think most of my blog readers, are probably on my gift list!

I also began collecting money for teachers' gifts and planning the school Christmas party. Oy! Pin It

Monday, November 26, 2007

christmas card

I took this photo on Saturday...which I love...and my sister in law asked me to make a Christmas card. Usually, I'd start from scratch, spend hours and end up with something maybe this good. Instead, I used a free template from 2 peas. Love it! I shared it here b/c no one from that side of the family really follows my blog so I am not ruining any surprises.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007


but hard to contain! I actually got a few group shots, these two being the best (I think?!) which I figured to be impossible. Of course, one of my own children was the worst behaved...but she shaped up towards the end. Anyway, I tried to break it down into smaller groups, and some individual shots too, in hopes of making a collage for my mother in law for Christmas. That is still my plan. I got so many good ones though, I am especially enamoured with the dazzling blue eyes. I love my girls, and their brown eyes, but I see those all the time. A perfect catchlight in a blue eye just makes my heart skip a, photography geek, beat. These are the cousins/grandchildren from my husband's side of the family. Good looking bunch, I must say.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

give thanks

Today, I got to attend "feasts" at both of my girls' schools. Shelby has an interesting pilgrim hat, doesn't she? A little home girl 'tude on the pilgrim garb. Anyway, although my pics are less than perfect, the day itself was. I am really lucky and today alone, I have things like this to be thankful for:
- 2 sweet, beautiful girls
-a child who ate almost nothing off of her plate but carrots and dip
-a child (the other one) who ate mashed potatoes, cornbread muffins, and pumpkin pie-no chicken legs though!
-homemade treasures that come home from school, especially handprints made into turkeys
-an S on my Thanksgiving card from Shelby, the first written S ever from her. S is for Shelby!
-patient and creative teachers
-the opportunity to be a stay at home mom
-5 days of no school, beginning today--no waking up early tomorrow.....wahoo!
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Monday, November 19, 2007

dancing with the stars

Confession: I am so into this show!

And my kids are too, they break into dance just as soon as it starts, and them mimicking the techniques is hilarious. Olivia is all about people sliding on the ground, especially between their partner's legs, so when I dance with them (c'mon, I do--I am a good mom!) she attempts that. Good fun. I actually would like to take her when the tour comes to town, but the cheapest ticket is about $60. If there is a rich philanthropist reading this, or someone with a box at US Bank Arena, call me!
Shelby, her dancing is coming along as well but the funniest thing she's got going is the way she says: Carrie Ann Anarbor (could not find the correct spelling of that on line). She sounds dead on the announcer. Honestly, if I were not so lazy, I'd fire up the video camera and get her saying it next to the TV while the show is on b/c it is THAT funny.

Confession: I actually voted last week and tonight!
Today I gave 3 votes to Helio and Julianne, and 2 to Jennie Garth. Pin It

Friday, November 16, 2007


These are called storyboards. You make them by choosing pictures, uploading them into PhotoShop, and with a wonderful thing called an action, it resizes, and centers them into the given arrangement. Truly great! So I made the top one as a little test and had it printed at MPix, framed it in black, and showed it off to my family so they understood what I meant. My Mom, Tyler's grandma, *almost* cried. His mom did. That makes it all worth it!! No regrets ever about buying my camera (Digi Rebel XT) or slowly learning the magic of PhotoShop, albeit time consuming and still, mostly an overwhelming task. The bottom storyboard is made from the 3 photos my Mom selected as her favs, and we arranged them like so. Pretty cool too.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

ordinary miracle

Yesterday, while driving around in command central ( my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan, nicely equipped with a DVD player) my kids were watching Charlotte's Web. They got it for Easter and it had not come out of the package until yesterday. Nothing like a new movie in the car to capture their attention. By the time the day was nearing it's end, and we picked Olivia up from her after school art class, the credits were rolling as we got close to home. And the sweetest song was playing, and I was getting teary listening to the lyrics (coincidentally this song is by Sarah McLachlan, who I once saw in an elevator in LA at the Mondrian Hotel, it was the only brush with fame we had on that trip-unless two of the parking attendants were stars of a Doublemint Gum commerical, as we strongly suspected) Back to the topic at hand...

It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own
Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle
Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?
Its seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Anyway, I love this song. I loved the melody and the words and as a Mom, I witness ordinary miracles every day. Deep, huh? I also witness kids throwing fits, peeing in their pants or refusing to eat dinner; but fortunately there is a lot of goodness to outweigh that kind of business. Pin It

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

level of participation

Granted, there are people who do more but I feel like I am in full swing as a volunteer at my girls' schools, especially Olivia's. And I love it but sense I may soon come close to the point where I need to say NO at times, to save my own sanity. On Tuesday, for example, I had a 9a meeting to discuss Classroom Projects for the Grand Event fundraiser held in March. I returned to school at 3:10p to pick O up. Dave and I both went back at 7p for her teacher conference and a run through the Book Fair. Shew! The conference went so well and I am very proud of Olivia. VERY. Tomorrow I will work at the book fair during her scheduled library time, which apparently is no easy task since the librarian said, they all come with a certain amount of $$ to spend, but always want more. I understand that feeling all too well! I also am in charge of supplying a crockpot full of beef BBQ for the Thursday conferences. See what I mean? Busy life. Today I also typed up the letters asking for Christmas Gift donations for the teacher. Remember, I am the room Mom...

If you are ready for something delicious, and a one pot supper, try my Mom's Barbecue (that's how we spell it!).

by Bev Anderson

1 bottle Heinz Ketchup (8 oz)
1 small onion diced
2 tbs dry mustard
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2 lbs ground chuck

Brown meat and onion together in skillet. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve on buns with cole slaw. Yum. Pin It

Saturday, November 10, 2007

an official brownie

Olivia had her investiture ceremony for Brownies earlier this week. She is the 5th over from the left, fingers in the air, saying her little pledge. Cute! She is all about getting the blue shirt now to complete her ensemble. She has the brown skort, which is actually a welcome change twice per month, from her plaid school uniform. Only a uniform wearing kid would think that, huh? I do have one shout out for the Girls Scouts, they are such a big organization, why must the uniforms be made from the worst ever cotton fabric? It is close to burlap, I tell ya. I am shocked my Miss Picky will even wear it.

And in other Catholic school news...we attended the school pizza party last night. We went last year, and were in the car within an hour. This year, 2+ hours later, we left. You see, someone had gotten entertainment in the form of DJ Bill from Minnesota. Read the reviews. He was so much fun, like a wedding reception DJ but really geared to get the kids moving...and he had tricks to draw the parents out too...breaking my cardinal rule of no dancing in the daylight (or in the well lit cafeteria of your child's school!). Now that I see his online schedule, I am very unsure how he ended up at our small school, for two short hours. I am quite sure there is no budget for him. I cannot wait to find out the story. And the people who missed out on free pizza this year, missed out on more. I left thoroughly impressed. And my Olivia, she danced her heart out! One thing we did learn is that our kids need more exposure to mainstream music! He played a lot of songs from Shrek and other movies, and he'd scream: what movie is this from? and the kids were scream back the reply. Olivia might as well have been in Timbuktu! I did laugh pretty hard watching all these very young kids, screaming the lyrics to "I'm A Believer". And I am laughing harder right this minute as a I realize the double meaning of that particular dance shouting I'm A Believer. Pretty darned genius.
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Thursday, November 8, 2007

food finds

Nothing revolutionary here, but some good stuff. First, two weeks ago I tried one of those "roast in a bag" deals. You buy a seasoning packet that includes this oven safe bag and you (or me) add the meat and veggies. I am not a roast lover but it was decent, and Dave did like it. So that led me to try the chicken in the bag last night. Ok, now this was GOOD. Like a hot, rotisserie chicken right in my own home. I did not add the veggies this time, b/c they got too saturated with the sauce in the prior cooking bag attempt. I used the Kroger brand and it was really delicious.

Next, and I don't want to know the fat content, but the soup on the Kroger salad bar is darned good. I have gotten two kinds during my weekly pilgrimage for groceries. Last week: cream of broccoli. This week: cream of potato. Both, totally tasty (the whole cream in the name thing is a sure sign). Which is saying a lot b/c I am not even a soup eater. Or I wasn't. Apparently I am converting. I also recently ate the Healthy Choice Chicken Tortilla soup and I liked that too. If I could get past soup coming from a can, I'd probably open up a whole new world for my tastebuds.

Moving on to sweets...have you ever made the Hershey Hugs and Pretzels with an MM on top? We have been making these the past few Christmases and they are so delicious for something so easy. And now, I happened on something that sounds even more delectable...same idea but you use a Rollo and then add a pecan on top to make a psuedo turtle candy. I am SO doing this. (Scroll down on the Becky Higgins blog to see a photo of these candies).

Today I have felt rotten all day. Slight fever and a sore throat but now I am hungry after so much food talk. I might have to raid the Halloween candy... Pin It

Monday, November 5, 2007

what a hottie, huh?

He is going to be so embarassed but hey, I took the pics for free the least I should get to do is parade them on my blog! This is my nephew and these are to be his senior pics. We had to take a standard, yearbook style, blue background, jacket and tie shot too. But these, these I like! I took some of his friend too which I am inclined to show off next. The boys were SUCH good sports.
And if you are from Cincinnati, Go Colerain Cardinals. That's who the boys play football for.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

perfect pumpkins

I might be the craftier of the parents in this family but in the pumpkin carving department, my hat goes off to Dave! The girls were thrilled for him to create the exact one they each selected. They look thrilled, huh? Ok but who made that fancy frame around the photo? That would be me! With the help of a free clipping mask from Pink Ink Studios. They have lots of cool things to enhance your photos. Scroll down on the blog for this particular Halloween download.
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Thursday, November 1, 2007


Olivia - The Tiger

Neighborhood Party - KIDS!!

Our Family - Mini Van included

Shelby- The Cat

I had enough strength to upload these last night, but not to share them. What a marathon Halloween was! All the parties were successes but I was dog tired by the end of the night. My girls were just melting down post trick-or-treat. Too much fun and way too much candy. In fact, my super puker, Shelby, threw up after eating a box of Dots that she really did not like. It does not take much prompting for her to unload, thankfully, she is just about the cutest cat ever, huh?!
Ok, and how weird was it to begin trick-or-treating in the light? I kind of liked it. And we were so lucky with beautiful, mild weather.
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