Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful- Nov 5,6,7

How about a thankful weekend?

Friday was our last home football game and Senior night. Mendy has become a dear friend and confidant over the past few years and her son Colton is an awesome guy. Carter and Ethan love Colton and he is so good with them. When we moved here I worried about making good friends that would help me feel like Malvern was truly a home for us. Mendy is one of the first true friends I have made. She is an amazing single mom and a courageous and strong independent woman. I am truly grateful to call her one of my best friends.

Saturday...a lazy Saturday! I was able to sleep in a little bit and then spent the day cleaning a little and crafting a little and most of all watching and listening the boys interact with one another. It was a true luxury to be able to just stay home for the first time in months and to just relax. I am thankful for the little everyday moments I was able to capture and savor. Moments like these:

Hot Chai Tea Latte

Jess bought me this hot tea maker a few years ago for my birthday. It has become one of my favorite gifts. In the fall it is so nice to have the time to fix a Chai Tea Latte and to savor how good it is. I have yet to master the recipe well enough to rival Starbucks, but it is still really good.

Puzzle Working

Ethan got this puzzle out of Carter's closet and started working it. Not long after he started working it, Carter showed up. Instead of arguing and hogging the puzzle, Ethan quietly moved over and let Carter in to help him work it. They worked quietly and diligently until they had it worked. I love that they can be so sweet and cooperative with one another.

Caramel Apples

Last weekend Grandma Nita gave us some caramel apple wraps and two apples. I remember making caramel apples as a little girl with Mama and I am thankful she continued the tradition with the boys. I wanted to wait until we had time to make and enjoy them, so after Ethan had asked for a snack for the four hundred thirty-seventh time I got them out and made them. They loved them and I know that Carter ate all of his. Ethan I'm not so sure. I know he ate all the caramel off, but he may have thrown the apple away. He is sneaky like that.

Trampoline Football

It was a little cool in the morning, but by mid morning it had warmed up enough that I sent both boys outside. They wanted to jump on the trampoline, so they got on and began sweeping the leaves and acorns off. I ended up using the leaf blower to blow most of the leaves off and then used it to play with the boys. They loved having the blower blow up their sweat pants legs and shirts, then they figured out that the balls on the trampoline could be blown up in the air too. After I got off the trampoline they played trampoline football for a while and luckily no one got mad or injured. I am definitely thankful for that, because it is rare that they don't hurt one another. On another note, I have no idea how they play trampoline football and I'm not sure they do either. The rules for these made up games change every time they play them...usually thanks to Carter. After trampoline football was over they got off and tried to sneak into the house, but I swiftly sent them back out. Ethan got out his dump truck and began loading it with acorns. The next time I looked out they were shelling the acorns and when I asked them about it they said they were doing it for the squirrels. I ended up giving them a nutcracker, they were using their fingernails and teeth...Gross. They shelled acorns for over thirty minutes and then placed them on the table on the back deck. I hope our lazy squirrels appreciate their efforts.

Sunday we got up and even made it to Sunday school. The extra hour of sleep that we got may have helped us wake up a little easier or maybe it was the fact that we stayed home Saturday, but whatever the reason we made it! Both boys were so excited to be back in Sunday school and Jess and I really enjoyed the young adult class too. It felt great to be in class with people we consider friends and family. We are so very thankful to have found this church when we moved to Malvern. It has truly become a home and a family for us which is a blessing considering that our immediate family is over two hours away. The church is full of wonderful and loving people and we are so grateful that they love us and especially the boys so much.

Not only is the church full of beautiful, loving people, but it is also one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in. This window is just one of the many stained glass windows in the church. It is gorgeous! Sitting is church is a treat when you are surrounded by such beauty.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful- Nov 4th

We started a fire Tuesday evening and have been able to keep hot coals going up through this evening. I enjoy coming home to a warm house. We have gas heat, but there is nothing more warm and cozy than a nice, hot fire in the fireplace. I have been known, for years....too many to count, to stand directly in front of the fire for a long time in order to warm up. Long enough that other people in the room eventually ask or tell me to move and quit blocking the heat.

I'm so thankful for a warm fire and a warm home as the colder weather starts to move in. I am also thankful that my father-in-law has the time and energy to cut up trees for wood and that Jess has time to split it. Bring on the cold weather...I'm good as long as I have my warm, toasty fire!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful- Nov 3rd

I am so thankful that Carter is able to read so well. He doesn't necessarily love reading, not as much as he loves math anyway, but he is still a really good reader.

Tonight we sat down and read "Mr. Putter and Tabby Stir the Soup". It is a small "chapter" book with about 40 pages written by Cynthia Rylant. We had read it last night together with me reading a page and him reading the next page. Tonight he read the whole thing by himself. He had very little trouble with even the more difficult words such as "ingredients", 'macaroni", "neighbors", and "interesting". I find this amazing! He has come a long way with his reading. He is more confident and does not frustrate as easily as he has in the past. I am so very proud of how hard he is working to learn to read well and I am so thankful that he is learning the skills to decode those harder words. Way to go, Carter!!

Tomorrow I will let him take an Accelerated Reader test on the book. It is a 2.5 level book. Hopefully his comprehension skills will be as good as his reading skills!!

UPDATE 11/4/10: Carter took his AR test this morning before he walked down to his classroom. He made 100%....he has comprehension skills too. Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thankful- Nov 2nd

I am so thankful for this little guy. He is such a laid back, easy going little man. He can melt your heart with his sweet little dimples, and toothy grin. He is a definite mama's boy and he uses that to his advantage. Because of all his cuteness he tends to get away with more than he should....shhh don't tell him and especially don't tell big brother!! He is becoming a little sneaky and is learning to use the cuteness to his advantage, little stink!!

He is also our little night owl. There are many nights that we go to bed and he will still be awake. Tonight was no exception. Daddy read to Ethan and then I tucked him in at 8:30. At 10:00 he was still wide awake playing in his bedroom. He can destroy his bed and bedroom at night when he is playing!! At about 10:15 he made an appearance in the living room and announced that he was thirsty and had to use the bathroom. He had already gotten a drink and used the bathroom at 8:30...sheesh! Procrastinator!!! Anyway after he got a drink and used the restroom, he then decided he wanted to be rocked to sleep. I didn't figure it would work, but I looked around a few minutes later and this is what I saw:

Awww. He is such a sweetie. I am so thankful for him!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1st- Thankful

I hope to blog each day of November about one thing I am thankful for.

Today is the first day of basketball practice for Jess' girls. I am thankful that he has a job that he is so dedicated to. I am also thankful that the boys love being in the gym with him and that they love basketball so much. I enjoy being around his basketball girls, they are a good group of girls who are respectful and appreciative of Jess and me and they absolutely love the boys!

We impatiently wait each year for November to arrive so that our family can get back into the hurry, scurry, life of a basketball coach's family. It is a wild, crazy, and BUSY few months, but we love every minute of it.

Jess giving the girl's instructions

Carter and Ethan "practicing" on one end of the court while Jess coaches on the other.

Carter passing the ball off to Ethan. He is probably "coaching" Ethan too. Ethan will tolerate the "coaching"/bossing around for only a little while, then a fight will ensue.

Our favorite things about basketball season:

Jess- Winning....duh!

Carter- Riding the bus, playing one on one with the girls, and being waterboy

Ethan- Eating at the "session" stand, riding the bus, and did I mention...eating at the "session" stand??"

Me- Taking pictures of the game, watching Jess in his element...coaching, and cheering on the girls

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Ramblings- Feeling Halloween-y

I finished up a lot of Halloween scrappy things this weekend. Ronda created such a great Halloween mini over at Cocoa Daisy, that I just had to have it. I put my own spin on the instructions she gave and I am very pleased with the results. It isn't hard to believe that it sold out! It was an awesome project!

I wanted to add splatters of Perfect Pearls, but forgot until I had already sealed the cover with UTEE. So I tried to go ahead and splatter the top, even though I was pretty sure that it would just bead up and not dry. Well I was right, so I hit the cover with the heat gun again and the Perfect Pearl splatters sank into the UTEE. It gave a really unique and fun texture and appearance. I am going to use this technique again.

Also with Ronda's Halloween Mini she was nice enough to include additional instructions to use up scraps left over. One of the projects was a Halloween countdown calendar. I used Ronda's instructions and added a magnetic backer to it. I love the way it turned out!

I used the Halloween countdown calendar cut from the My Mind's Eye Haunted Halloween Checklist patterned paper, The Girls’ Paperie: Toil & Trouble: Ghost Story patterned paper, a piece of scrap cardboard, and a small metal sheet that was actually packaging from an old Making Memories magnetic letter set. I painted the cardboard black and glued the Ghost Story paper to it. I then glued the metal sheet to the back of the Halloween Countdown piece of pattern paper.

To finish it off I attached some old Making Memories ribbon and a sheer Halloween ribbon I picked up on sale last year at Michaels and tied a bow. I then attached an orange Prima and black Daisy D's flower. I used a Pink Paislee brad to hold them together and added a few feathers and gems, then attached the flower to the bow with Glossy Accents.

The finished calendar. The boys move the magnet each day as we countdown to Halloween. The magnet was one that was left over from VBS this summer and I attached one of the The Girls’ Paperie: Toil & Trouble Flower Market Crepe Paper to the top of it.

Both the Halloween Mini and the Countdown Calendar got distressed and inked up using Tim Holtz's Distress Inks in Spiced Marmalade and Black Soot.

I also created the Halloween Mini's for both sets of grandparents. This is especially early for me, considering I did not get last years mini's done till this summer. For the grandparents mini's I use whatever I have on hand (they have no idea what is new and what is old with They just love to get these little albums full of cute boys in costumes. I make both mini's basically the same...a definite time saver!
For this years mini's I used Scenic Route's Salem line. Actually just SC Salem Scrap Street and Salem Webb Street papers. I also used Hero Arts Spider Web cling stamp, various ribbons, gems, and stickles. I added Glossy Accents to some of the designs in the mini's just to give a little shine and smooth texture.

Can't wait to fill these with Halloween pictures & share these with the grandparents!


Interior pages...awaiting cute little trick-or-treater pictures....

Hope your Halloween week in wonderful!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Ramblings

It has finally begun to cool off around here! I am soooo glad, but at the same time this change in the weather has caused me to have sinus infection. Therefore I am not out enjoying the wonderful weather. :(

My parents were over this weekend to watch the boys play soccer. It was so enjoyable having them here. The boys love it when they visit and I enjoy it too because mom always finds something to clean while she is here. This weekend she mopped the floors. LOVE her for that. I hate to mop!

I have been scrapping a little the past few weeks and planning my fall decorations. Picked up a few things on sale at Wal-Mart and I am planning to do some more decorating this week. Mom brought me a Winged Elm branch that is just screaming, "Paint me brown & hang fall goodies on me!" So I am going to!

Here are a few layouts done with July's Cocoa Daisy Kit- Carnival

The Grands: About the boys and how lucky they are to have such wonderful grandparents.
Not Happy: Ethan's unusually grumpy morning, brought on by the fact that he wanted a Pop Tart
rather than the homemade waffles and bacon Mommy made.

Celebrate the Everyday: A shot of Ethan captured at the park.

Easter 2008 mini: Cover of the mini. Pictures inside of Carter, Ethan, Brittany, and Ashlee hunting eggs. You can see the whole album here: Olivia

Weekend at Grandma and Pappaw's: Mosaic of shots taken at my parents in the Fall of 2009.

Speaking of fall decorating. I did complete this Halloween Countdown Calendar for the boys to use. It was inspired by the great Lisa Day and her countdown calendar that she posted here at Two Peas in a Bucket last fall. I can't wait for the boys to use this. Such a cute fall decoration!
Hope you are having a great fall afternoon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Ramblings

I have decided to try to post at least once a week. I am hoping that I can stay caught up enough that Sunday's after church I can relax and do things I enjoy. We'll see....

Today my post is more scrappy in nature. First I want to share a photo of my favorite part of my scrap space. I love this little shelf I picked up at a friend's garage sale for $10 dollars. It houses all of my ribbons, buttons, small embellishments,Tim Holtz Inks, Glimmer Mists, alcohol inks, and stickles. Each shelf is dedicated to a specific color. I love the way it looks and the organization of it. On top you see the majority of my large background stamps from Hero Arts. In the front are a few smaller "summery" type stamps. I rotate my seasonal stamps around depending on the season. That way they are always at my finger tips if I need them. In the photo you can also see the leg of my desk, my sewing machine, part of my stickers and other stuff hanging on the wall. I have additional pictures of those I will share at a later date.

I have been able to do a little scrapping here lately and I want to share a few things I have created. First of all I am excited to say that this card from the previous post won the Fresh Face challenge over at the Hero Arts blog. Wow.

The following layouts and cards were created with Cocoa Daisy kits.

This layout and card were made with the October 2009 CD kit- Fashion Week.

The next layout and card were made with the June 2010 kit- Cubicle.

The last layout and card were made with supplies from my stash for the August CD sketch/lift challenge.

To make the cards I used scraps from the layouts I made. This is a great way to use up those scraps so that they don't clutter up my scrap space and storage.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where has summer gone?

I have no idea where summer has gone. It seems to have flown by so quickly. I had plans for summer and needless to say most of them weren't accomplished. I feel a little let down, but I also realize that I have taught summer school, which benefitted some really sweet soon-to-be 2nd graders. I also have almost completed 9 hours of graduate school, which benefits me and my family. With those 9 hours down, I am left with 6 hours this fall. Meaning I will graduate in Decemeber. I CAN'T WAIT to get back the extra hours that grad school has required and use them for something I really enjoy, like my family. So I guess I have been somewhat successful this summer, but I still want to have more time watch him do this:

And watch him do this:

And spend more time relaxing and doing things like this:

But I guess like the card says, it's time to get up and going again. I'm ready for a new year and new kids and all the knowledge they bring.
Here's to a new school year, new games in the win column, and new time spent with my wonderful husband and kiddos.

Everyday is a crazy and wonderful, God-given blessing and I absolutely love every minute of it!

Card info: Cardstock-Bazzill, Patterned Paper-Scenic Route-Sassafrass Lass, Stamps- Hero Arts- 4 Apples- Old text writing-Little Owl (from set of 24) Tim Holtz- Big Flourishes, Rubons- 7gypsies, Making Memories, Ink-Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Fired Brick & Antique Linen. embroidery floss and yellow ribbon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ever Feel....

Ever feel completely worn out, yet wound up at the same time? That is how I feel right now.

I woke up around four o'clock this morning with a million things running through my head and I never really got back to sleep good. Instead I got up about 5:30 started laundry and ironed clothes for Carter and I. I took a quick shower and started breakfast for us. I wanted Carter to get a good breakfast this morning so he would be prepared to explain his Science Fair Project to the judges. He did a good job with his experiment and did well putting it all together on his board, considering that he is not a great gluer and at the time we were adhering everything to the board, Jess was watching a basketball game. Carter would have preferred the game over the glue, but he hung in pretty well.

I think he did a good job in his interview considering how nervous he gets talking to strangers.

He won second place in the kindergarten age division and will move onto the next science fair at out educational co-op May 14th. We are going to tweak a few pieces of his experiment and get him more confident with his explanation of Solar Evaporation.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of our determined little ball players. With Ethan in t-ball and Carter in baseball, we are constantly busy at a ball park. The boys are loving every minute of it. We love watching them learn more about ball and growing more confident with their skills.

Carter did well last night. He has moved into the infield and last night played short stop. He caught a line drive and fielded a couple of grounders. He also moved up in the batting order from next to last to sixth. Jess was at his game and was very proud of how well he played. Carter is gaining more confidence with every game.

Ethan has a practice t-ball game at a different field, so I took him. Going from 7 year old baseball to 4 year old t-ball is a BIG step. The attention span of everyone involved in t-ball is, coaches, and the parents too. Ethan is loving it and understands what he is supposed to do. They played three innings, which was in reality at least one inning too many. He hit really well and watching him run to base cracks me up, he has this big boy run in this little bitty body. He also has to slide when he reaches home plate EVERYTIME. The slide has greatly improved since he has been practicing. He now reaches the plate when he slides instead of sliding 3 feet before he gets there. As a fielder he does alright. This is where the short attention span kinda gets him. I have caught him conversing with runners and other teammates, kicking dirt, spinning in circles, wearing his glove on his head, and even leaving the field to come visit me in the stands.
Fun Stuff!

I keep hoping things will slow down. Fat chance! I will continue to roll with the punches and try to keep it all organized so I don't LOSE MY MIND!

Loving every minute of this crazy life!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blog Much??

Sheesh. I haven't blogged in such a long time.

So where have I been. Well to be completely happened. Since December our family has been on a constant and complete dead run to accomplish weekly activities.

We did basketball, both high school...which went on forever...ended up top 8 in Division 4..what a fantastic year, and also Carter played his first year of Boys and Girls club basketball...can you say competitive and entertaining?? But it was amazing how well he did. At 6 he already has a good understanding of the game and the hours he has spent in the high school gym really show.

I am teaching, tutoring after school, and going to grad school. Ugh.. So much work. Looking forward to graduating in December with a Library Media Masters.

Ethan is a complete tag-a-long, but it is ok with him. He is very happy go lucky and is glad to be a part of whatever we have going on.

Now since Spring is in full swing, Carter is playing his first year of machine pitch baseball and loving it and Ethan is loving his first year of t-ball. Jess is umpiring games during the week, so I am left to maintain the chaos of practices and games for two little find time to feed and bathe them.

Right now I am trying to finish up the last few grad assignments and prepare for finals the first week of May.

Back later today with another post, more scrappy in nature with pictures...