Wednesday, December 31, 2008

day 13 + Happy New Years {eve}

Well I'm back {I think}. Company is now gone and it's far too quiet here!! We had a fantastic Christmas and it was very special to have family here when I thought for so long it would be just us. Over the holiday time though I didn't get a single page done in my journal so now I have to play real catch up these next few days to get the book completed. I'm going to focus {still} on keeping it simple. I think the biggest challenge for me is finding the time. It's been forever since I've scrapbooked "for me", so it's been wonderful. My photo is a little on tilt here... tried to fix that in photoshop, but I had it on a chair desperately trying to catch some natural light from the window, yet... avoiding the glare... NEED PHOTOGRAPHY classes!!
How to build a snowman :) Thought this was a cute page for Day 13.
What are your New Year's Eve plans? We are running errands today and then I think we're going to do a chocolate fondue with the kids & have them go on a present hunt. Nothing major at all, just a couple little goodies to make the day a wee bit exciting :) They love to bang pots & pans at midnight {for them this is done at 9pm and our neighbours *will* wonder WHAT is wrong with us! LOL}, but they'd never last until midnight... not sure we will either! :)
Hope your season is bright!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas...

...wishing you & your family a blessed day!

I thought I'd share with you my Christmas Card for this year (I didn't photo edit it at all so it's a bit yellow & uncropped!). I think I gave you "sneak peeks" before, but not the actual card. I'm finding people are sending Christmas cards less & less... that makes me sad actually. I find the computer has taken over so many things, that I hope those little things (like a Christmas card in the mail) isn't going to be extinct! LOL. I don't want my kids saying.... you used to put it in the mail? really?! bwhahahah..... ;-)
Merry Christmas everyone - .j.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

day 12 - Baby it's Cold Outside!

Well we had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. Daddy is off to work now, but thankfully Grandma & Grandpa are still here. We are a little housebound as the car REFUSES to start in this cold weather (and no.. it wasn't plugged in!) so we are having fun playing games, making gingerbread houses, doing crafts and munching on Christmas baking & goodies! The kids FREAKED out about getting the Wii & Rockband so that has been blastin' & rockin' down the house yesterday and today! TOO FUN. And yes... I sometimes let the kids play too! {LOL}.
Merry Christmas Eve to everyone. Every year we do a Christmas Eve hunt where the kids (and adults) get a clue on a slip of paper. That clue leads them to the next clue... which eventually leads them to a gift. Fun little tradition. So we will do that tonight once daddy gets home from work. He works until about 7:30pm (gotta hate 12 hour shifts!!) so the kids are having a little quiet time right now.
I've been jotting down notes & snapping photos, but I'm sure I won't get the last week done in my album until after Grandma & Grandpa go home -- and that's OK. I have a few pages to show you over the next few days.... This was a crazy one! Megan came rushing in & told me to come outside and bring my camera. It was probably around -30 out there and those silly monkeys decided to bury Joshua in the snow (think beach, sun & sand!!) and he was FREEZING by the time I got out there. As soon as he heard the 'click', he was OUTTA of there (and in the house for some hot cocoa!!) :)
'twas the night before Christmas....
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Day 10 still coming... here's Day 11

Well... it's our Christmas Eve today. Which for us means a night of appies and the kids get to each open up their one present. Only our oldest (nearly 12 yrs old) has figured out that every year this is new PJs :) So nice to put on new jammies to wake up "Christmas morning" and cozy in all day... well, at least all morning. This year I even washed them before wrapping them (hope they fit!!) so that they would be clean & soft!
Day 11 for me was a tricky one. The original page I had created (back in November) for day 11 just wouldn't work. I couldn't figure out how to use it so... I took it out & started from scratch. The moment I wanted to capture was a spontaneous family movie night. I had spent the whole day baking so the kitchen was a mess and the table was filled with treats & goodies. No space for dinner. I had make pizza dough & thought I'd make up some pizza. We put on Santa Clause and enjoyed a moment together... the kids were excited as this doesn't typically happen on a school night!! I stamped a overhead sheet actually, with white stazon and put it in as an overly (and it's one page). Then I enlarged and printed off the photo of the kids & Daddy hanging on the couch in black & white. I used stampin' up rub-ons again for the joy and saved some gems from the original page to place along the bottom. The journalling on the back of this page includes the date - so you can't see the 11 on the front of this page, but it's still recorded :)

'twas the night before {our} Christmas....


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 9 -

Well the countdown is on here as we celebrate on the 23rd - making the 22nd our little Christmas eve -- honestly it'll be a full week of special moments & surprises so I'm looking forward next week and hope to savor it. I want to turn the clock back and have it go real slow so I can just enjoy it. It always seems to go by so quickly!! Day '9' was a nice easy page... just a vellum square (6x6) envelope (from Stampin' Up!) that I stamped with white stazon with some snowflakes. I love the look of stamped vellum!! I took a photo of the kids sledding (actually I think hubby took this one) and layered on the envelope. I am going to have the kids each write a little note about Christmas, and what they've enjoyed in getting ready.. that sort of thing. Maybe a little wish list... just whatever they want. Then I'll stick those little notes in there. Thought that would be neat to read year after year. :)



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Have an ice day!

Thought I'd throw a card in here as it's been a lot of scrapbooking the last few posts :) Kids are out of school so we have lots of things planned to do with Grandma & Grandpa - ice skating outside, gingerbread houses, making cinnamon buns together, hunting for gifts, playing games... very fun & exciting. Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Day 8

What an exciting day! last day of school before Christmas break, Grandma & Grandpa arrive at the airport this afternoon & we are officially ready to start our family Christmas! Funny how the house can be decorated, the baking can be done, the snow falling... but it's the coming together of family for me, that makes it feel like Christmas. It was the best gift when my Mom's hubby said they'd come for Christmas -- being so far away from everyone I thought we'd be alone for Christmas, so this is for me, very special!!
Day 8 was a quiet day, but a I was slowly unpacking more boxes (I know, you're shaking your head at me thinking... SERIOUSLY... MORE BOXES!!!) we found a box of games that had yet to be unpacked. The kids were delighted to see some old favorites. Joshua & Sarah spent the afternoon playing games -- it was so sweet. For this page I used a few different 'letters' - chipboard "thickers" (red) some flat stickers by Karen Foster (white), some pewter mini circle letters by Memory Makers and rub-ons (unknown). I even added my own handwriting again... not doing it very often but now & then I am :)

I hope you're finding your own quiet moments in the busy time ....

Merry Christmas,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day 7

This was a very busy day so I didn't have my camera out that much snapping photos, so instead I did a grouping of photos I had taken on other days. Some Christmasy things in our home & outside. I printed out my journalling on this day on the back of this page. I'm trying to remind myself that this is simply a documentation of events. It doesn't matter if a particular thing happened on THAT exact day. It's about remembering what happened during the season. No stresses :) I have taken some more shots of my other pages and will upload a few pages here in the next few days. Company arrives tomorrow for the holidays so... I'll try to get some posts done ahead of time here so I can keep up with showing you my album. For the tab on this page, I just used two circle punches to create the "tab" on the side and then stitched with DMC thread the red circle and the green '7'. It's been fun to play around with my stashes of supplies. Used a Stampin' up! snowflake rub-on for the 'o' in season. K -- busy day cleaning to get ready for my Mom & her hubby coming tomorrow -- very exciting!!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 6

Some of the pages are super simple & this is one of them! I made this photo "block" right in Photoshop so I all I had to do was cut & paste. It didn't fit as well on the page so I had to cover up the original '6' and just stamped it directly on the photo with StazOn jetblack ink. I made the ring by using the two hole punches from Stampin' up! Punch the smaller one (discard that circle), then using the larger punch, line it up so when you punch through that open space, you're simply getting that thin "ring". A few rubon snowflakes, and journalling on the bottom (I stamped with white stazon on the vellum cardstock before running it through the printer). Another page done... check! :)
A week before Christmas.. how exciting! Merry Christmas everyone,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 5 on Day 16

Hmmm.... a little behind I am! I took the day off, declared it a ME DAY! Ha. Feels wonderful (although I know mad panic will set in when the kids come home from school, Megan is racing to get ready for her banquet and Joshua soccer & I've done nothing to prepare for these things) -- however, I shall block those panic-attack causing feelings aside -- PUSH 'EM OUTTA THE WAY!!! and enjoy a day of scrapbooking :) I've gotten 5 pages done in my book - impressive! I hope to work on it this evening as well (just need to print off some more photos). SO -- you will see some postings over the next while as I share with you these pages!

Here's day 5. It was an afternoon of play days. My oldest was at a friend's house and Joshua had a friend over and Sarah... finally Sarah... had her special friend come over. Since the move she has not had one play day. When we came home from school, tears were in her eyes as the older two ran off with their buddies and she said "when will I have a friend mommy?" Awwww. So, inside we came, looked in the phone book for her little friend at school, having no idea what mom's name was and gave it a try. Sure enough it was the right number & Phoenix was allowed to come over for lunch & some playtime. I decided to pull out my stamping supplies and you girls had so much fun creating little notebooks! Definitely a day to remember!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Teacher Christmas Gifts

My whole "theme" this holiday season has been simplicity. Not to overdo in all the hustle & bustle and enjoy the little moments. With just moving here a few months ago, we don't have all the events to go to this year, and in a way that has been nice. I hear people chatting about being out night after night to this or that... and I'm happy to come home to our family & glowing tree to play games & be together. So when it came time to get the teacher's gifts ready I wanted something that (a) the kids could be a part of and (b) didn't take me forever to do. So we came up with one of our favorite holiday treats - Caramel Popcorn! YUM. The kids helped me make it, sampled it to make sure it was taste approved, and asked me to print up the recipe to go with each package. The kids then each had a card to write a note to their teacher. Not just the typical Merry Christmas, but I told them to pick something they've enjoyed in class so far this year & let their teacher know how much they appreciate them. It was so cute to read their cards and see what they wrote to their teacher. Will definitely be a page in my journal. Which you may be wondering WHERE it is... it's coming. Hope to show you some pages soon!

Here's a close up of our 'recipe card'.

'twas the week before Christmas.....


Sunday, December 14, 2008

...and the laundry continues.

The stomach flu has hit our house (again)... seems like it was just a month or so ago we were doing this. Ugh. So.... I wish the reason for my lack of posts was due to great adventures & Christmas cheer... and although there has been some, it has been slightly tainted with sick little ones. I printed off a bunch of photos to scrap the night away tonight & get all "caught up" on my journal, but.... my little one has gotten sick tonight, so that will have to wait for another day. I am finishing up the teacher gifts tonight so the kids can take the to school tomorrow. I guess the youngest will be home with me tomorrow. So.. I will take a photo of those before they leave & try to post that sometime tomorrow.

Stay tuned & let me know what holiday adventures you're up to!


When they were feeling well... only a week ago! :) hopefully it'll be over soon & we'll be back in full swing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Setting up the Christmas Tree + Day 4

I wondered what would happen when we had a day that nothing "special" happened (or the day was too crazy to capture a moment on film!!). Well, today was that day. School, the homework/dinner rush, off to soccer & then the bedtime snack & rush off to bed. I wanted this "journal" not only to capture the day-to-day but also the season. I thought it was important to add our tree-set-up day (which was the last Friday in November). So I picked today to do that. I was able to create a two-page spread here for day four. Again I pulled out the scrappin' kit to find all those stars, snowflakes & even the little words over the star on page 2. Megan added all those great buttons down the sides of each picture. I'm determined to use all the goodies I have here at home. On page 1 I used the stampin' up notecard (can't remember the exact name) from a mini {i think} and punched a hole in each scallop. I found Ali Edward's handwriting font online {yes, I cheated!!} and added that on cardstock vellum over the red striped paper. So... here's the full spread: Close up of page 1:
Close up of page two:

I'm really trying to take the time to enjoy the moments & stop the rush. I hope you are too!
stay warm,

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A little Day Two + Day three

Brrr it's been around -25C here ... factor in the windchill and we're hovering around -35! OUCH. Baby it's cold outside! I should be inside stamping to stay warm, but with family coming for Christmas {insert huge cheers & excitement!!!} we're cleaning out the garage & trying to get unpacked & organized. ummm.. yeah, we moved in nearly 3.5months ago.. and still have boxes. *sigh* I am trying to stay up-to-date with my journal though. I've got my photos taken for the next few days, so I need to print those off & get ready to scrapbook a bit on Saturday. Looking forward to that!
So here's day one (backside) where I added the actual scone recipe that was featured in the photo for that day. I posted that recipe a couple days ago - anyone try it yet?! YUM. You can see a hint of day three behind behind day two's 6x6 page.
Here's a closer look:
I'm loving the scrapbook scrappin' kits from Stampin' up! I've had them tucked in my paper stash for so long, but never really pull them out. Well... this project has been perfect for that. Quick sticky elements and borders... lovely! Makes it nice & quick! I also sewed a little tree & button on the corner of the bottom photo. :) It was a quiet day so I snuck in & took photos of the kids reading before bed. Megan was on the computer so... no photo of her :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Evolving Monkey

I say evolving because it was "one of those cards". I started with one idea and ended up with something completely different -- does that happen to you? I started with the basic grey cardstock (stampin' up!) and the number embossing folder (cuttlebug) thinking I'd make a birthday card for my nephew. Ok, well, it's still going to be for my nephew, but not what I was thinking. I was going to try & highlight the '2'... and then it didn't really end up where I wanted it ... and so it went. I'm happy with how it turned out. It just slowly evolved. Added eyelets, then added the image, found some ribbon, and a lone star vellum tag & then thought I should add stars to the image...
Over the weekend I also got a page or two done on the journal so I hope to post a pic in the next day or two (camera battery died today - hate that!). So... stay tuned for those photos as well. Other than that I didn't get much stamping done -- lots of family time though -- and isn't that what weekends are all about? :)
enjoy your Monday,

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Moments + Marbled Scones

This is an actual photo of the scones I made the other day -- one of our family favorites.. so yummy all warm with butter melting on top. Enjoy your Sunday... & making some special moments for those around you....

Marble Scones
4c. flour
1/3c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup. Butter
1-1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup chocolate chips, melted

**Heat oven to 425. Grease baking sheet. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Remove 1-1/4cup flour mixture to med-size bowl. In small bowl, combine buttermilk & vanilla.
In cup, combine 1/4cup buttermilk mixture and the chocolate. Add remaining buttermilk mix to remaining flour mix in large bowl & mix lightly with fork until it clings tog. & forms a soft dough. Add choc. mix to the reserved 1-1/4c. flour mixture in med-size bowl & stir with fork until it forms a soft dough. Turn both doughs out onto lightly floured surface’ divide choc. dough into 6 pieces. Dot 3 pieces over plain dough. Fold over and dot with remaining 3 pieces. Knead to marbleize. Divide dough in half. Roll one half of dough into a 7” round. Cut into eights. Repeat with other half. Place scones 1” apart on greased baking sheet. Pierce tops with tines of fork.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Merry Christmas,

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Party Mouse

Always a challenge for me is boy birthday cards -- I "think" I could get away with it on this one??? I don't know -- there is pink on it! {LOL}. I used my Copics to color this cute critter with and then added my own doodles around the party sentiment as well as the top & bottom of the card. My kids (who have become my own personal critics, and usually like all my cards) said.. "oh mom, you had a hard time making a straight line." :) I told them I meant to do that and they simply said, "was that because you knew you couldn't do a straight one?" Ha-ha, they make me smile!
Weekend is here, snow is all around... Christmas lights are up & glowing -- I love this time of year, don't you?

Friday, December 05, 2008

The weekend + Family Time (Day Two)

David *finally* has a weekend off - yeaaaah. Kids are thrilled so we will be savoring family time this weekend. I hope to work with the kids on the journal over the weekend & share with you the pages on Monday and try to get 'caught' up so I'm not so behind showing you. I also have a wedding & an engagement card to do so I will have some cards to show you too. Next week is also my week to get some teacher gifts put together so... stay tuned for some projects!
Day Two:
I used a Stampin' Up! 6x6 scrapbook page here (just had to add an extra hole so it sat correctly in the book). Every year I hang up the advent quilt. I made this when Megan (the oldest) was two years old -- so it's been around for many years as she's now 11, nearly 12! It's a scene of a village of houses {25}, all in a snowy day.... each *roof* lifts up creating a pocket and the treat goes inside. Cute eh? It was so fun to make. When Megan was little I just put a little treat in there and then along came Joshua.... so two treats went in. When Sarah came along it was hard to fit 3 treats in some of the smaller houses, so I would put in a little clue on those days and they'd have to go and hunt for their little goodie. They LOVED that. Now every day is a clue for each of them. They are so excited to come home after school & get their little piece of paper that holds the clue for their little treat. My challenge is to come up with 25 clues for each child -- that's 75 hiding places!! LOL. It's so fun though -- when Daddy is home, I even include him on the hunt! I didn't want to crop this photo as it wouldn't fit as nicely on the page. So I added eyelets & snaps on the one side for a bit of visual appeal. Apparently a door-jam isn't that pretty... even in the soft creamy light I captured! *smiles*
What is a family Christmas tradition you have?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Day One.

Day one. For me, December first was baking day. The start of all the sweet treats to fill my freezer up & share with family and friends. Mmmmm. We have a few things that I *only* make at Christmas times, and some favorites I continue to make to enjoy over the holiday time. With family coming to OUR house for the VERY FIRST time, I'd like to have most of my prep. done before everyone arrives. So for this day I included a photo of chocolate marble scones. I put the recipe on the back & in the "pocket" put the recipe of chocolate almond biscotti. Yes... an error. Day one & an error! Not a good begin. I even wrote biscotti on the title below the photo! SHEESH! So I will be "fixing" that today. I will include the recipe for the scones (just on the other side)... aw well... this little album is for us & I'm sure I'll smile about my brainlessness for years to come :). I also put a photo of Megan's flute as she played Christmas Carols that afternoon while I baked -- lovely.
I think everyone has a hard time with their own printing (except if your Ali Edwards!). I really wanted to FORCE myself to at least have a page or two with my printing, so I thought I'd get it over with on day one :) It really is nice to have the pages done ahead of time and all I need to do is add the photos & a few embellishments.
Has anyone else taken the challenge to do a December journal?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

December's Journal - Title page

I picked up some 2.5" binder rings at Staples the other day so I could start our journal. I had 1" rings, but the "book" just wouldn't open up easily. I think I'll let the kids select some ribbons to tie on & dress up the binder rings!!
While we decorated or tree on Friday and as I was snapping photos, I took this one & fell in love with the simplicity of a single glittery ornament and Sarah's little hands holding it carefully. I decided to use this one as our title page photo for the journal. I got down the photo printer (I use the Canon MP600) and spent this morning printing off some photos -- makes me wonder why I don't do this more often! :)

So I wanted to keep the title page simple -- this whole project for me is simplicity. Recording the memories & keeping it simple (so I stick with it!!). So here is the title page: (I was lazy and grabbed my little Samsung point & shoot, pocket camera so the pic isn't great).

I used red chipboard sticker letters for 'December' and the '08'. I printed off the photo in a large format, but didn't like the quality so I used that as my layer (couldn't throw it out!) and then printed it again a bit smaller to have the detail. I went to my button stash that my girls color sorted for me (how fabulous was that -- needed green & red and there they were! love that!) and then had a few metal embellishments (snowflake after December and a little tree amongst the buttons). Onto Day one...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars

I know many schools (ours included) is peanut-free. So this homemade goodies are for home, not school. They are so yummy though & I love making my own and knowing there's no preservatives or 17 letter words in the ingredients! I make them up & then cut them into granola-sized bars and wrap them individually in wax-paper. Easy to grab & go! Hubby loves these in his lunch... and yes... I make his lunch each day along with the kids :)
Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I only use 3/4cup... always trying to cut down on sugars!)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups quaker oats
6oz chocolate (I just use a cup of chocolate chips)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup wheat germ
***Heat oven to 350. Beat br. sugar, peanut butter & marg. until fluffy. Add corn syrup & vanilla; mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate, coconut, raisins & wheat germ. Press onto bottom of UNgreased 9x13 baking pan. Bake 15-20 min. Chill 1-1/2 hours (I put it on a rack in the fridge) or until firm. Store loosely covered.
Still working on Christmas baking here... doing up a variety of scones... perfect for breakfast with some fruit or even lunch with some yogurt & cheeses... or afternoon tea! :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

December First.

December has arrived!!! YEAH!!!! I love this month -- all the festivities, the preparations & most of all, all the excitement. I love the build up & my kids being giggly & silly with anticipation!! Nearly a week since I last posted- not typically me, but when life gets hairy, the first thing to go {usually} is my blog postings!! It was 3 soccer games, one hockey game, school projects, homework, putting up outdoor lights, setting up the tree, wrapping gifts, out for dinner.... no wonder I'm tired!! This month for me is all about family. So, I may not be posting every single day, but I hope it inspires you to make this month special for you & yours.
Today will be day one in my December journal with the kids... will have to take a photo. It will probably be about the start of Christmas baking. It's chocolate almond biscotti today -- house is smelling delicious! Check out 'recipes' in my side bar links for the recipe! It's so yummy to dunk in coffee, tea or hot cocoa! Mmmmmm.
Here's another card that will be used as a thank-you this holiday season. It has orange in it, so it'll be one Sarah will use. I never thought of putting orange & red together, but orange is her fav. color & red is festive, so I thought I'd give it a try :)
Merry Christmas!