Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 365: Week 4

I can't believe the last days of January are upon us! Are you ready for more pictures of snow and cheerleading? Well, here we go!

Sunday- My niece's 5th birthday. Her dad (my brother) is an avid golfer, so he was thrilled when his oldest child asked for clubs as a gift!
Monday- Morning rush. One is ready to go while the other is still getting dressed. PJ's and breakfast dishes everywhere. Typical Monday morning around here!
Tuesday- I felt so bad for these little guys!
Wednesday- My baking for the week consisted of Apple Crisp. You can get the recipe here.
Thursday- I like this guy's attitude. It seems genuine, considering he isn't driving a Mercedes or BMW.
Friday- I work with a Punjabi family who gifted me with some wonderful Indian tea.
Saturday- I told you to expect more cheerleading pictures! Can't help it- they're so darn cute! Four more weeks to go.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Recital- A Layout

Here is another one of my gorgeous nieces!

 Paper- My Mind's Eye and Fiber Scraps
 AC Thickers alphas layered on the Top Note die cut
Tim Holtz mask (perfect, huh?) with Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist and Prima flowers

Guess where you can get all these awesome products?
Scrap-Tastic, of course!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Faves 1/28/11

Here's a few fun things I found while browsing the web this week. Enjoy!

Layering die-cut frames to make cute cards from the Paper Trey design team.

Love this quote on the Fresh Mommy blog about cherishing the everyday, the normal, the mundane. You all know that's one of my "things"!

Such a sweet wreath made with vintage sheet music from Something Created Everyday. 

Speaking of sweet, Sunday was National Pie Day. Here's an easy no-bake chocolate pie recipe. 

And speaking of wreaths, I love this wearable head wreath from the Fairyland Etsy shop!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Family Forever- A Layout

It is a tradition in my family to take photos in front of the church Christmas tree every year.
I loved how these turned out!

 All papers and title by My Mind's Eye
 Title popped up on Helmar's Zapdots
 Shading on and around the paper strips with Going Gray ink by SU
 Loving this glitter detail on the paper!

All of the gorgeous papers on this layout came from the Vintage Frost kit from Scrap-Tastic!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: The Rehearsal (2008) by Eleanor Catton

This is a gripping novel rich with provocative dialogue. Catton plays with dichotomies and desires and presents them to us in the guise of a story about adolescent girls. Certainly the girls play a major role, but they are compared and contrasted with their male counterparts, as well as the adults in their lives.

What happens when an underage girl is seduced by a male teacher, but is also a seducer?
What happens when a lonely music teacher finds her own unrequited and forbidden love story being played out before her eyes by two of her students?
What happens when a girl dies and nobody cares?
What happens when young actors use the violation of a girl as theatrical fodder?

Catton has a way of overlapping these questions throughout her story. She shows us that the same doubts and longings can, and do, haunt us all. Her characters' inner dialogues often seem like things spoken out loud for all to examine. This deliberate meshing of private and public emotion creates a whirlwind that draws her readers in and doesn't let go.

A confident and bold first offering by this new author. Highly recommended.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 365: Week 3

Sunday- Birthday party for a family friend. Lots of fun, old-fashioned games!

Monday- Yes, I am crazy. We went to the park in the snow!

Tuesday- It warmed up a little and we had a gray, rainy day.

Wednesday- Heh. A gift from my sister-in-law.

Thursday- I left work early to get the girls and make it home before the worst of the snow hit. we ended up with about 4 inches, but it was icy underneath. Yuck!

Friday- Hot chocolate and a movie!

Saturday- Cheering, what else?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family Chore Charts

Clutter makes me nuts. Dirty dishes in the sink make me nuts. Piles of laundry make me nuts. Doing all the household chores makes me nuts AND wears me out. What's a calm-seeking girl to do?

I admit we've tried a family chore chart before. It lasted for about a week, then everyone (including me) started ignoring it. This year I took a different approach. Instead of mommy/meanie/ogre handing out assignments, we sat down as a family and agreed upon specific duties, frequency, and when things are to be done. We also agreed that the assignments can be flexible to an extent.  Hopefully this will help everyone be more accountable. I found a few printable charts at the Family Fun website.

In some families, children earn an allowance for doing chores. Justin and I have always held the belief that taking care of our home is everyone's responsibility. It is expected and required from every family member. So our kids don't get an allowance for regular chores. We hope that by assigning specific duties, we are teaching our girls responsibility, time management skills, teamwork, and pride. These are more important than money! My personal added bonus is less stress and more time for things I actually enjoy doing!

How are household tasks divided up in your family? What are your feelings on allowances? I'd love to hear from you!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday 1/20/11

Thankful Thursday

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." ~from Living With Less so Your Family Has More (2010) by Jill & Mark Savage
Contentment seems to be a rare thing in today's society. Advertisements and peer pressure urge us to want and buy all manner of gadgets, toys, and other unnecessary things. In reality, we all probably have too much. This week at my house we have focused on de-cluttering. Donating seldom used clothes and toys. Throwing out broken pieces, stacks of hoarded school projects, and expired food.

I knew there was a lesson here. I said to my kids, “Look at all this stuff we're getting rid of. Look how much extra stuff we had that we didn't even need! And look at how many toys and clothes you still have left. A lot!”

To my surprise, they agreed with me. We discussed, not for the first time, about donating to those less fortunate than us. We talked about how lucky we are to have a house, enough food to eat, and warm clothes. We talked about being happy with what we have, and not being upset when we don't get the newest Barbie, Zhu Zhu pet, or video game.

Privately, I reviewed my own spending habits. I, too, am swayed by commercials, “sales”, and emails from my favorite craft companies. I decided to remove my name from most of these automated lists. Less temptation, less spending. Less unnecessary stuff.

This week I am thankful for the opportunity to teach my children about contentment, and to practice it myself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hallofest- A Layout

I'm still catching up on scrapping events from 2010. Our Halloween trip to Kings Island (an amusement park) was fun and full of dancing, mazes and goodies. I used the March guest DT sketch from Magistical Memories.

Paper- Prima and Creative Memories
Alpha Stickers- Creative Memories
Chipboard- Fancy Pants
Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels- Coffee Shop and Bubblegum

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project 365: Week 2

Sunday- Feeling domestic and made banana muffins. They must have been good, because they were gone by the end of the next day!
Monday- Working off those muffin calories with some Wii bowling. Love Morgan's "sweatband". She swore it helped her get strikes!

Tuesday- Snowed all day!
Wednesday- Dinner at Mamo and Papo's.

Thursday- A nice warm bowl of chili/soup/pasta stuff and homemade bread for lunch.

Friday- Love when they are getting along. Morgan is reading "Grandpa's Ghost Stories" to Vivian. The book belonged to my husband when he was a child.

Saturday- More baking. Yep, I'm a real-life Betty Crocker this week!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lily Age 4- A Layout

This layout of my spunky niece is loosely (very loosely) based on Scrappin' Silhouette #24.
It's not my most favorite layout I've ever done, but it felt so good to finally be in my craft room, creating, again!

 Lots of stuff on here from the "Pretty Little Things" kit from Scrap-Tastic.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writing Workshop: My Heart Melted

Wow. I have not done a Mama Kat workshop, in like, FOREVER. 
I really liked some of her prompts this week, because they helped me think about some little, yet significant moments in my life. The STUFF that makes life GOOD. So here goes...

The last time my heart melted was oldest daughter showed me how much she loves me and is thinking of me in that little sweet heart of hers.
It was Christmas morning. The kids were giddily opening their stockings when someone realized that Santa had "forgotten" to put anything in my stocking. Oops. While Vivian, my youngest, was feeling sorry for me, Morgan said, "Mommy, there might be something in there. Look!"

To humor her, I up-ended the stocking. Into my lap fell a tiny pink crystal heart. My heart melted.

"Morgan, did you put this in my stocking? When?"

She came over and gave me a hug. "I put it there the other day, so on Christmas you would find it and have something to remember how much I love you."

And that, people, is good stuff.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ten "Stops" for 2011

One day as I was contemplating "calm", my One Little Word, I was thinking about the "less" part of of my calmness vision...less clutter, less stress, etc. I ran across the perfect blog post from Deva Coaching about letting go of things to improve your life. I am taking a few of hers and adding some of my own ideas here...

  1. STOP sitting at my desk for more than an hour at a time. Get up and stretch!
  2. STOP checking email in the evening. Spend that time with family instead.
  3. STOP slacking off. If you say you're going to do something, do it!!
  4. STOP worrying so much. Instead, dream about what you DO want.
  5. STOP letting a rough morning determine my mood for the rest of the day.
  6. STOP the need for perfection.
  7. STOP doing all the housework. (More on a family chore chart later.)
  8. STOP wasting time in front of the TV.
  9. STOP thinking "if only"... make the changes you want to see!
  10. STOP putting crafting/creating at the BOTTOM of my to-do list.
Sometimes stopping something sounds easier than starting something, or adding something. Are there things you can let go of? Will it be easy or difficult?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Project 365: Week 1

Sunday- a quick picture with the out-of-town cousins before we head for home
Monday- Opening a few gifts- these bears required mom to sew and stuff!

Tuesday- a trip to the library

Wednesday- cheapest price I found for gas!

Thursday- I love my little bookworm snowman!

Friday- favorite mug +coffee+cinnamon creamer+whipped cream

Saturday- first basketball games for each of the girls. so much fun!

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