Thursday, July 31, 2008

Circle Journal

Our family started a circle journal earlier this month. Camden was my inspiration for creating this book. Since a Valentine's unit at preschool taught him to write notes to friends and family, we often find notes on our pillows at night. Now we have a home for all those love notes in this easy to make family keepsake. Each of us takes a turn writing to someone in the family, then that person writes to someone else, and the journal keeps moving along. The only rule: each note needs to be dated. This will be great to look back on, not only to see what was on our minds and in our hearts, but how adorable the boys' handwriting was!

Make your own by covering an inexpensive composition notebook (flooding the store shelves for back to school right now) with patterned papers. Personalize your family's book with a monogrammed chipboard letter covered in paper or paint. The kids can even help!

Remember Today 7.31.08

{remember} the boys having a lemonade stand at 8:30 this morning: the neighbors were their best customers!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Remember Today 7.30.08

{remember} a relaxing afternoon with a friend we don't see nearly as often as we should; and eating outside with the neighbors--lots of summer fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Remember Today 7.29.08

{remember} shopping for school supplies--I love a brand new box of pointy crayons. This was always my favorite time of the year as a child--I know, I was a geek--well, aside from Christmas and the last day of school.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Remember Today 7.28.08

{remember} relaxing in a shaded chair with a magazine wile Maddox sleeps on my chest, the boys play with a new hand-me-down toy and the grill preheats for dinner--ahhh, summer!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Remember Today 7.27.08

Saturday, July 26, 2008

remember today 7.26.08

{remember} a day at the beach with friends: "the band" playing our favorite tunes, a cool breeze, gorgeous sunny skies, the ocean crashing on the shore.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Remember Today 7.25.08

{remember} scenes from the bike wash in the driveway:
L: If you do a really good job washing your bike, you'll look really cool riding it.
L: Mine's gonna be the shiniest bike in the world.
C: Mom, you're the best; you got us lots of bubbles.
M: [completely silent as he concentrates on scrubbing the bikes--he's such a worker bee)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Remember Today 7.24.08

{remember} a dream Logan had last night about holding Camden and Maddox when they were babies. "They were so cute. I think it means that I want you to have another baby." Good thing I wasn't drinking anything; I would have spewed it all over him!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A new family member

During an incredibly weak parenting moment (of which I am not proud), I {too} easily caved to the boys' requests begging to get a pet hamster. It was as though they had hijacked my brain with their "please mom," "I'll do whatever you ask," "I'll be good for the rest of my life." Oh, and the clincher to the deal: Logan saying, with eyes all aglow "this is like a dream." A nightmare was more like it, especially after Perry got the news of our newest little family member. Hey, it could be worse, I could be having another baby!

Aawww, isn't he cute?!

Remember Today 7.23.08

{remember} Logan falling asleep next to "Tuffy"'s cage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Remember Today 7.22.08

{remember}: a couple of hours to myself tonight: manicure (first one in over 8 years) and a little shopping--nice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Remember Today 7.21.08

{remember} how fortunate I am to have three healthy, beautiful boys and how I need not ever take them for granted. Feeling especially sad about my dear friend and her baby boy, and praying so hard for him to get back on the track of recovery.

Summertime and the reading is easy. . .

I love summer--the slow moving carefree days of just hanging out, no real schedule to follow. But I can't just sit around (because then I'll likely fall asleep). So what better way to pass a summer afternoon of the kids spashing in the pool than curled up in a lawn chair with a good book. My church has this book swap/sale thing: books for a quarter. Can you believe it, a quarter?! So every now and again I stop in to browse the selection, which I have to say is pretty impressive, and I grab a few that look good. Some are favorite authors like Anita Shreve and Anne Tyler, or interesting topics like managing stress, and some are just because I like the artwork on the cover or the way the first sentence reads. So my nightstand is well stocked for these lazy summer days (and probably much of the crazy fall ones and into the cold winter nights). If you need me I'll be out back reading. . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Remember Today 7.20.08

{remember} the boys having lots of fun with their cousins at my sister's: lots of swimming, Gameboy playing, and no fighting!

The Cheescake Fiasco

I told my sister I would bring a cheesecake and berries to her cookout today. And in my typical fashion, I waited until the boys went to bed last night to start making the cake. As an aside, my cheesecake is possibly the best cheesecake on the face of the earth. I can say this without sounding egotistical because the recipe is not mine. Anyway, I put the cheesecake into the oven and headed upstairs to chat with Perry (and look through a new scrapbook magazine I had picked up that day), careful to check the time every so often for fear that I would forget about the cheescake and leave it to catch fire in the oven. That did not happen. At 9:00 pm on the dot, I removed the cake from the bake cycle, quickly broiled the top for those "attractive spots of brown" and left the cheesecake on top of the stove to cool while I went upstairs to take a shower. Do you know where this is headed? (No, I don't have a dog.) After my shower I cozy down in the sheets, fall asleep only to awake at 6:00 am and say, and I quote, "Shit, the cheesecake!" as I jump out of bed with adrenaline pumping. I race to the kitchen, throw some plastic wrap on top, and toss the cake into the fridge (as if these ten seconds is going to keep it from spoiling). I then retreat to my computer to Google "cheeecake left out overnight." It was somewhat comforting to know that I am not the only person on the face of the earth who has ever done such a [stupid] thing. And it also makes me wonder, yet again, how did we survive before the Internet?! The concensus was to not eat the cheesecake. But as I see it, the taste of this deliciously smooth and moist dessert far outweigh the risk of a touch of food poisoning. No, I can't serve it to my family (guess I'll be making a trip to the bakery before the cookout), but I can't resist snagging a bite, or three before sending it to the garbage disposal.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Remember Today 7.19.08

{remember} Logan and his friend plotting to hide when the friend's mother comes so that "she can't find you and you can stay here forever."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Remember Today 7.18.08

{remember} a fun sleepover for Logan and Camden, complete with pizza, movie, and a semi-early bedtime (9:00 pm) with a friend from school. How relaxing for me that they behaved so nicely together--a great mix!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Remember Today 7.17.08

{remember} a relaxing afternoon chatting with good friends while all of our children played, beautifully, I might add (not a single fight or tear among the 10 of them!).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remember Today 7.16.08

{remember} a night out with girlfriends painting pottery--lots of fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember Today 7.15.08

{remember} day two of Maddox wearing "big boy undies" and having zippo accidents--so proud of him!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A little project with a whole lot of love

Inspired by Elizabeth Kartchner's adorable mini fabric album, I set out to make one as a gift for my friend who delivered her first baby boy last month. This was so much fun to put together; of course the cutie pie subject matter helped a lot! I would just like to try to find some little chipboard embellishments to accent the pages before I ship it out to her.

Baby Kalmin was born 2 1/2 months prematurely due to a rare congenital high airway obstruction. Baby Kal continues to fight and can use, along with his parents, all the prayers they can get.

Remember Today 7.14.08

{remember} how wonderful an afternoon at the park with the boys can be. They've reached an age where I don't have to be right beside them making sure they don't lose their footing on the climber or walk in front of a moving swing. Who knew they there are so many benches to sit on at the park? Good thing, too--I think I used every single one today!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Remember Today 7.13.08

{remember} the sadness we all felt that "Daddy" has to go back to work tomorrow after several weeks of vacation over the past few months. Logan & Camden wrote him "I miss you" love letters to bring to work with him--so sweet.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remember Today 7.12.08

{remember} thinking about my Dad riding the first day of a two-day, 150-mile bike ride for Diabetes: age 62, multiple hip replacements on both legs, ankylosing spondylitis patient, fused neck bones, 3rd year riding=pure pride. We love you, Dad!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Remember Today 7.11.08

{remember} sacred one-on-one time with Logan (granted it was at the doctor's office and grocery store, but I've got to take it where I can get it!)

Photoshop Friday with Jessica Sprague

Jessica Sprague of CK fame does this great and very generous thing on Fridays: a mini Photoshop tutorial. You don't need to be a digi scrapper to benefit from this treat. This week's tutorial photo shaZAM lets you take an ok photo and shaZAM it to make the colors pop. I needed to try this out so here's my before and afters:

Parrot at Mystic before:

After the shaZAM:

Pretty amazing, huh? Quick go check out the Sprague Lab and put your super powers to work on your favorite pics!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Remember Today 7.10.08

{remember} Logan coming out of his last day at camp decked out in full knight armor, complete with "Sir Bubble of Gum" shield and pool noodle lance--where's my camera when I need it?!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Remember Today 7.9.08

{remember} going to bed and finding Maddox curled up in our bed, and then snuggling with him during a "scary" thunderstorm.

A belated father's day card

Thank goodness my Dad is the patient type!
Better late than never, that's what I always say. . .a lot!

Used my new stamp set on this--love that little bird. The chocolate chip paper strip was embossed with a cuttlebug embossing folder.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Remember Today 7.8.08

{remember} overhearing the boys taking about how much fun they are having at camp (and it's only day 2!).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Remember Today 7.7.08

{remember} watching the boys swim the afternoon away at our neighbor's pool (and jumping in to swim with them--did I mention the pool is heated to 84!)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

First July Page

Hope it's not my last. . .

Remember Today 7.5.08

{remember} sitting around the fire having "adult time" with the neighbors after the children have all gone to bed--we should do this more often.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Remember Today 7.4.08

{remember} a cookout at my sister's house, the boys all playing so nicely together, the guys having baseball time together, the girls organizing a bit, and this conversation with Maddox:

M: Mommy, can I have some dessert?
Me: Did you have dessert already?
M: No.
Me: You didn't have dessert already?
M: No.
Me: Then what's that all over your face?

M: {licks his face as if to try to figure out what on earth I could be referring to, then realizing he's been bagged flashes his adorable grin and tries again} Mommy, can I have some dessert?

*Turns out, the poor kid dropped his first M & M ice cream treat after managing only a bite or two.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A trip to Mystic

Today we took a little road trip to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. I LOVE this place! The first exhibit we saw when we walked through the entrance was the three Beluga whales. We watched these calm, beautiful creatures swim around for a long time:

The boys were able to feed exotic Australian birds:
Pet a giant African Millipede:

And touch crabs and starfish: Camden's favorite:

The seals (because they blow their noses)

Maddox's favorite:

The penguins.
Logan's favorite: All of it

My favorite: the incredible photos, and of course, the Beluga!

Look, he's waving for the camera!

Remember Today 7.3.08

{remember} a conversation with Maddox:

Mommy, when's the sun gonna come out.
Tommorow, the sun's going night-night now.
Does the sun go night-night in my bed?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Remember Today 7.1.08

{remember} ending the day listening to classical music on the playroom rug with the boys writing in our journals while Maddox falls asleep on a pillow with Perry-a rare, but beautiful quiet and treasured moment.

Stamps for Sale

I am cleaning off my stamp shelves (to make room for new stamps, of course!). The following stamp sets are for sale.

U= unmounted, N= mounted, but never used, B= barely used G=gently used

Tag Alongs (B) $7

Gently Falling (B) $7

Best Blossoms (B) $7 SOLD

Shapes & Shadows (G) $10

If the Halo Fits (U) $9 SOLD

Eggcitement (G) $7

Little Layers II (G) $8

Very Punny (N) $8

More Stamps

Fresh Flowers (G) $8 includes coordinating Classy Brass Template

Around & About (G) $3 SOLD

Little Shapes (U) $5

Weather or Not (B) $5

Send a Celebration (B) $5 SOLD

Mini Messages (G) $5

Fun Filled (G) $7 SOLD

Stippled Stencils (N) $3

Sculpted Style (N) $3

Fun with Shapes (G) $7
Toile Blossoms (G) $12 SOLD
Tags and More (G) $7
Stipple Celebrations (B) $10
Animal Alphabet (U) $15