Friday, December 28, 2007

eight degrees...

well, obviously, this is what you SHOULD be doing when it's eight degrees outside, right?!?
That's what the kids have spent all morning trying to convince me...
we'll see how long they'll last...

Monday, December 24, 2007

christmas eve...

We spent most of the day in Utah sweet sister in law and brother kept the kids for a while so Brad and I could have a few hours of quality time together! :o) (I'm sure they will sleep well tonight...that's what happens when you triple the kid count for several hours!!)
We still need to open our Christmas Eve gifts and bake cookies for Santa...but Josh wanted to check Norad to see where Santa was right now...that's why we're at the computer...
(Santa is in Peru right now, in case you're wondering...)
The forecasters were's snowing again and our little world is completely white -- perfect for Christmas!! :o)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

christmas eve eve...

How did it get to be two days before Christmas already??? I still have projects to finish, presents to wrap, and yes, even a little bit of shopping left to do!
I thought I'd share a quick picture of the neighbor gifts we delivered this year (have I mentioned how fun it is to actually HAVE neighbors?!?).
Oh, and just because one funeral during the holidays isn't quite enough...we're going to have another one next Friday. We got the phone call Friday night that Brad's grandma Jolley passed away. This time it's definitely a celebration though...I mean seriously, if you live to be 102 - yes, that's ONE HUNDRED AND TWO years old, your life just has to be celebrated!! What a happy day it must have been in Heaven when she was reunited with her sweetheart who passed away so very many years ago!

Okay, I'm off to finish up a couple of projects before our little family party tonight!
Merry Christmas Eve Eve!! :o)

Friday, December 21, 2007

our beautiful musician...

Meagan's concert was last night...who knew a stage full of 10 year olds could be so noisy?!? But when they started playing, I was amazed at how good they sounded. I didn't have a chance to get a good picture of the entire orchestra playing...and Meagan was seated directly behind some very big kids with very big instruments, so this is the only photo I got of her on stage - not a good one, but I'm glad to have it. I'm even more glad I took a few quick pictures of her at home when she was practicing before the concert (not the best...but I'm still so glad to have them).

Oh, and I must not forget to mention that Santa showed up at the concert! Zach was so excited - he just kept repeating "Sanna, Sanna, Sanna," with wide eyes and didn't move at all. Seth, on the other hand, kept asking to go home after Santa entered the typical, lol.

We drove home in a horrible snow storm and spent the rest of the evening making chocolate covered oreo treats for Meagan and Josh to take to their classmates today.

I need to go out and shovel the driveway and then get this house in order...I can't believe how much clutter has accumulated in the last 24 hours!! Have a happy Friday!! :o)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

sing along...

Today was Meagan and Josh's Elementary School Holiday Sing Along. I wasn't planning on going...Meagan has an orchestra concert tonight that we have to be to, and I thought two of these programs in one day was just too much for Seth & Zach. Meagan was good with it, and Josh hasn't said a single word about the Sing Along, so I figured he didn't care either. Until they were walking out to catch the bus and then Josh asked me if we going to be there and when I told him no, he started getting teary eyed. SO, I did what any good mom should do...I told him we'd be there. I got the little guys up and dressed and we were on our way a few minutes after 9:00. (I promised to stop at Walker's for Starbursts...hoping a little bribe would keep them happy and busy and quiet).

We arrived at the school about 10 minutes before the scheduled starting time. The boys wanted the candy immediately. The students started filing in...and the program started about 20 minutes late. By the time the first number was over, I was out of Starbursts (except the partially chewed globs of starburst goo that were deemed "yucky" and given back to me to attempt to wrap up in the torn wax paper wrappers and return to my purse while hoping they wouldn't leave sticky slime all over everything) and the boys were done sitting still and being quiet. Fun times.
When the 2nd grade went up to sing, Josh saw us (I think) standing in the back (where the boys and I moved to only a few minutes into the program...hoping not to disturb the other parents who had somehow managed to come without younger children...or who DID bring young children who were miraculously quiet and super well behaved - lucky them!). Meagan sang with the 5th grade, played the bells, and performed with the orchestra. I'm not sure if she saw us or not. I was able to get video of each of them...but no photos. They both did a great job. :o) I took my two loud little ones and left before the last two numbers (the sing along part) - but I was glad I went and it'll be fun for M & J to watch the video when they get home this afternoon.
Did I mention it was snowing this morning? It was. It still is, actually. As soon as we walked out of the school, Seth and Zach were so excited to be in the snow, they each took off running. What's a boy to do when there's fresh snow on the ground? Well, he has to be the first one to run through it and leave his mark, right?
Or...I suppose he could EAT it.

And what's a camera toting mom supposed to do? Well, document the day, of course! :o)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

a few random things to share...

okay...I couldn't stay away...just wanted to share a few more things.

I found this fun link on Laura's blog for Scrapbook sounds like such a fun concept! And it looks like Heather, the owner, just started a new blog - and she's doing some check it out: Scrapbook Bakery Blog!

I had another fun little Christmas Box in the last issue of Paper Crafts magazine. They returned it to me...and then asked me to send it back to them so Alisa could use it for a TV segment she was doing on Monday. I was planning on watching, but missed it because of the funeral. Bummer about missing it - Alisa always has lots of fun ideas, so I was looking forward to her segment!

Ooooh...and guess what else I got? An early Christmas present...
...I can't wait to fill it up!!

catching up...

I can't believe how far behind I've fallen in my Holiday prep...and work...and everything in general. I guess there's nothing like the events of the last several days to really put things into perpspective...but also to put me way behind, lol. Last night Seth couldn't sleep, but he didn't want me to work in my office while he watched tv, so I gathered some supplies and sat out in the family room with him and got caught up on my December journal. Here's the proof:

These pages are a lot more simple than I had planned...but I'm still happy to have SOMETHING together...which is much more than last year, when I originally planned to create these pages!

I was able to get up early this morning and complete a few work assignments - hopefully they'll be accepted without changes so I can get them shipped off...
I have a few more holiday projects and some other fun things to share, but I'll save them for another (not-so-long) post! :o)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

thank you...

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and e-mails over the last few days. The funeral was yesterday. Melanie asked Brad to speak at the funeral. He says it was the hardest thing he's ever had to do and he never wants to do it again. He did an incredible job, though. Really, it was perfect and I know Brad said things that Mel and her kids needed to was difficult for him because he was so emotional, but nobody else could have done it like he did.
Sunday and Monday were such long, long, emotionally draining days...I am sure tomorrow will be better. Thank you again, my friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

a phone call...

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you wake up to the phone ringing? When it’s either late at night or early in the morning…times when you don’t normally get phone calls? Friday morning was one of those mornings for us. It wasn’t terribly early, a little after 7:00. Brad is usually gone by that time, but he was still home last Friday. I was in that state of half-awake, half-asleep…but still not ready to get up. The phone rang and Brad answered it. He said five words, that normally wouldn’t make me shudder…but today the innocent words broke my heart.

“Hey, Mel. What’s going on?” Melanie is Brad’s oldest sister. Her husband, Bryan, was diagnosed with brain cancer about a year ago. He’s been through several treatments and had lots of ups and downs since his diagnosis. The last time I saw him, he seemed pretty normal – the quiet, but silly and teasing Bryan that he’s always been. That was in September. From what I understand, he’s actually been doing pretty well…he just took a bad turn on Thursday and went downhill really quickly until he was gone in the early morning hours on Friday.

As soon as I heard who it was on the phone, I knew. She would never call so early if it wasn’t to tell us that Bryan was gone. Brad walked into the other room to talk and I gave him his privacy, but after he was off the phone, he confirmed what I already knew. Brad was particularly close to Bryan when he was a teenager – Bryan was almost like a Father…or at least a big brother. (Brad is the youngest of 6 kids, and there’s a big gap between his oldest siblings and him…he has nieces and nephews that are my age.) I’ve been surprised at how well Brad is taking everything.

My heart breaks for a little family who will be without a husband, father, and grandpa for Christmas this year. Every time I think of Melanie, I cry…she’s had so many challenges, so many things that would make it easy to throw your hands in the air and just give up – on everything. Yet she remains strong and faithful – sure that Heavenly Father has a plan and this is all part of it. She’s right. I know she is. I admire her for being so strong and such a good example. I just need to focus on the beautiful reunion that happened in Heaven a few short mornings ago. Patrick, Bryan and Melanie’s oldest son who was killed in an accident when he was 14 years old, was probably the first to run up and give his dad a big hug. I’m sure they’re together now. And eventually their family will all be together again – because that’s what eternal families are all about. I know it. For sure.

And as hard as all of this is…it’s another reminder of how precious and sweet our families are. I need to be better at not taking mine for granted. We aren’t guaranteed any amount of time here on this earth and we need to make the most of the time we do have with our families. Once a loved one is gone, we only have memories until we can be with them again. Memories. One more testament to the fact of how important it is to keep a scrapbook or a journal – something tangible that we can leave behind when we are gone. Memories ARE precious…they need to be preserved.

Friday, December 14, 2007


That's the word the weatherperson used to describe our temperatures. Frigid. She was right. 15 balmy degrees...that's what the thermometer is reading right now at my house. brrrrrr.... I'm so glad I don't have to go outside right now.
Yesterday, as we were driving to Park City, Seth commented to me, "Mom, we're having a busy day today." He was right. I got up early to get some stuff done around the house, and lucky for me, the little boys slept in, so I got everything on my list done...except for laundry, but I did get it started, before they woke up. I ordered some prints online. We attended Meagan's DARE graduation at 11:00. We ran to Park City to pick up a few things - on the way I got a phone call to see if I could do an "emergency" assignment for Making Memories that needed to be sent out by 4:00. We hurried with our errands and came home so I could work.

It started snowing about 2:00, and even though it continued all evening, it only left a skiff of snow on the ground. We drove to town and waited in line at the UPS store for way too long, then ran to the Post Office for stamps, because I forgot to buy them at the UPS store, and luckily the PO line was short.

Let's see...back home for more laundry, dinner preparations, and homework. Then we created our gingerbread house while we watched The Polar Express. I worked for a few hours, then we finally got the kids to settle down for the night...which took forever...I'm sure it's because the two little ones ate way more candy than they put on the gingerbread house!

And just because it's fun to share some holiday ideas, here are two little gable boxes I decorated with the two Making Memories Christmas lines. The first one was in the December issue of PaperCrafts magazine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

december 13...

Last night Brad and I went to the Jazz game. He was there as a rep for his company...and I was there to tag along. ;) We sat in one of the Suites. Who knew you were served dinner - and it's not a hot dog and nachos, lol. We had lots of delicious food and then they brought the dessert cart. Holy Cow. I had the yum yum yummiest cheesecake...I couldn't even finish it...but, oh, it was so good. And guess what else I brought home? This beauty:
A Peppermint/Chocolate/Caramel Apple. Yep, you guessed it...YUMMY. The kids and I each had a little piece last night and then we all finished it off tonight. Brad's chocolate/almond/caramel Apple wasn't as big of a could it be, since it was sans peppermint...but it was still pretty good.

I had to go to Provo today to drop off some assignments at American Crafts and pick up our family picture. I'm still not thrilled with it, but I'm tired of dealing with them. Lesson learned, I won't order a large print from Fotogenix again. One good thing about my little trip, though, is that I finally STARTED my Christmas shopping. Yes, I am just starting. I picked up some things for our neighbor gifts and a few other little odds and ends. I'm hoping to make a trip all by myself on Saturday to do the bulk of the shopping. It feels good to finally be started.
In other news...I created our Christmas cards tonight. I basically cheated and used a pre-designed template from Heather Ann Designs. It is really pretty though, so as long as the printed photos look as good as they do on my monitor, they will be great. I'll be picking them up tomorrow, along with envelopes and my "cards" should be in the mail by Saturday. At least that's the plan. I can't believe what a procrastinator I've been this year.
Speaking of procrastinating...I'm also going to pick up a big package of card stock so I can create some fun calendars for Christmas gifts...and a few other things for a couple of Christmas projects I need to get done ASAP. Should be an interesting weekend here - I can't believe the kids only have 7 days of school until Christmas vacation!!
And in a totally unrelated topic, I noticed one of my layouts was on the Making Memories blog a few days I guess it's okay to share it here. Meagan took the pictures of us walking on the boardwalk at Strawberry Reservoir late last summer. I used the Noteworthy line - my new favorite. :o) to get some kids to go to sleep...then back to work for me...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

on my wish list...

Do you remember way way way back in July when I posted about these?
Well, I just found out yesterday the carousels are finally shipping!! woo-hoo! I love them and cannot wait to get one to organize all of my tools! I had a Pampered Chef Organizer thing that my sister gave to me a few years ago. It was the same idea as this and I absolutely loved it, but unfortunately, it got broken in the move last year. I was going to hunt down another one of those...but then I saw a picture of the Making Memories Carousel, so I decided to wait for it to be available. It's been a looooong wait - how perfect that they are shipping right now...just in time for Christmas!!
If you want to give yourself (or some other scrapbooker or crafter) the gift of organization for Christmas, I think this is the perfect place to start! You can find out more about them on the Making Memories Blog. They are even offering free shipping on orders over $ if you buy the carousel and a few more goodies, shipping will be free!
I can't wait to get one of these and fill it up - especially after seeing how my friend, Laura, filled hers up. So fun and pretty and inspiring!!

Friday, December 07, 2007


I love peppermint. Every year around this time, I love it even more, apparently, since I can't seem to get enough of it. Especially when it's paired with chocolate. yummmmmmy. Here are a few of my favorite treats. Some of these are new this holiday season (at least to me), but others are just plain classic:

Anybody want to join me for a minty fresh treat?!?

quick holiday cards...

I created some cards for today's post on the Making Memories blog.
I am completely embarrassed by the typo in the text though...I even double checked the original document I sent to them. Guess what? I actually wrote the correct word, and it was changed on their end. I wrote "began," and they changed it to "begun..." I suppose it's not really a big deal except it makes me sound like a hick (and it seriously is one of my biggest pet peeves, you know). Oh well...the cards were fun.

It's snowing hard. very hard. piling up. It's not even light yet, but there are several men outside revving up their snowblowers. Those things are so noisy. Oh well, one of our neighbors actually cleared the sidewalk in front of our house. How nice is that? I'm staying inside where it's nice and warm and dry. I'm also going to drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music all day. perfect.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

random thursday...

Today seems like a good day to jot down a few random thoughts, so here I go:

  • Cranberry Coca-Cola. Have you tried it? I did...and now I want it every single day. It's at Sonic and it is yuuuummmy.

  • Snow. It's coming. Later today. Again Tomorrow. Again Saturday.

  • Holiday Party. Cancelled. Saturday was supposed to be our family Christmas party for Brad's side of the family. We got a phone call last night that it will be cancelled (see above for the reason -- too many people traveling too far to risk snow-packed roads). Hopefully we can do it later this month.

  • Derby. Pinewood. Josh had his first one. He placed 4th. Not bad at all for his first time.

  • Medal. Meagan won one Tuesday night. She won in the Photography category of the Reflections contest. Now her photo goes to the district-wide contest. (I forgot to take my camera to the assembly...I need to take a picture of her with her award, ribbon, and medal.)

  • Spotlight. Paper Crafts Magazine. I neglected to mention it on my blog the day it went up. I was honored when Stacy asked me if she could feature me on their blog. (Click here if you'd like to see the interview - scroll down to November 28)

  • Family Photos. Finally got the enlargement ordered yesterday - AGAIN. Let's hope the 3rd time is a charm.

  • Music. It's no secret I love my holiday music. I've recently discovered Oh my gosh -- I am in LOVE with it. If you haven't tried it yet, you should definitely check it out.

  • Journal. Here are two more pages -- December 4th and December 5th:

  • Romney. I am not a "political" person...I don't like controversy...I don't care if you think he should win or have to respect the man for stepping up and trying to answer the questions. I was very impressed by the speech he just finished giving this morning in response to critics and questions about his faith.

"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.
Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound
beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

december 3...

So far, I'm keeping up with my journal! Here's my 12/3 page:
I chose to take a photo of the basket of holiday books sitting next to our tree for this page.

This is one of my all-time favorite holiday traditions -- having loads of books to read to the kids throughout the month (we actually read a LOT of books EVERY month...not just December...but this is the only time I get out the Christmas books and sit them right out, not just have them on the bookshelves downstairs. anyway...). I love that Seth and Zach bring me a book out of the basket half a dozen times a day - and that they'll sit next to me on the couch and listen as I read stories to them -- ranging from classics like Rudolph, to stories of the birth of Jesus, stories about Christmas mice and Holiday bears, and everything in between. Some of the books were mine when I was little, but most of them have been collected since Meagan was born - I love them all and I love that the kids love to look at them and read together. :o)

So yesterday was Seth's birthday -- it was pretty low-key since we'd already had the family party on Sunday...but here are a few things we did yesterday:

  • Seth asked to go to the "yellow store" and get "those rolls that Grandpa likes." It took me a few minutes to figure out that he wanted to go to this cute (fairly new) little store where he had been exactly ONE time before -- when we picked up a cinnamon roll for Grandpa and left it in his Tahoe at work, as a little surpirse. That was in August. This kid really has a great memory!
  • He ended up getting a yummy sugar cookie with lots of frosting and red sprinkles AND a cinnamon roll for dessert

  • I asked Seth what he wanted for dinner. I told him he could choose anything he wanted since it was his birthday. He asked for rice and corn. lol So, rice and corn it was -- and a little chicken on the side.

  • Seth opened his presents after Brad got home from work - a new "Cars" puzzle (his favorite pasttime lately), a "Cars" ColorWonder set, a Backyardigans Pirate Ship for the bathtub, a Backyardigans DVD, and some clothes (not his idea of a good birthday gift, but what are you gonna do?).
  • Josh surprised all of us when he presented Seth with a gift of his own, carefully wrapped in a paper bag from Target. He gave him a picture he had drawn, another picture Seth had drawn himself, a matchbox car (which I believe came directly out of the car bin downstairs), and a handful of his leftover Halloween candy. :)
  • He spent a lot of time playing with the gifts he received on Sunday - a Fisher Price ABC animal set and Thomas TV game (from Grandpa and Grandma), a Kids K'nex monster set (from the Lukes), and a fun tool set (from Rustin & Karli's family).

  • He ended the day with a long bath in our big tub with Zach and the Backyardigans. :o)

I'm sure today will be a busy one for him -- lots of new toys to play with!