Christmas Parties….3 in all!

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This has been a super busy week with Christmas parties at the school. Keegan had his first and made a gingerbread house. It was a super organized party and they managed to finish their houses within the 45 minutes scheduled with time to spare for a story. Here are a couple of pictures from his party.  

And this one goes there.....

And this one goes there…..

One very colorful house!

One very colorful house!

All done and super proud!

All done and super proud!

Next was Ashton’s party and I was in charge of it as the Room Mom.  So, I didn’t have a ton of time to take photos, but spent a lot of time giving directions on the craft and just making sure everything went smoothly.  Ashton chose to do the snowman craft that I had done with Madison’s class last year.  It was a great idea as all the kids loved it and got very creative.  They also got to decorate a sugar cookie and eat it as their snack.  All in all, a fun party!  Some pics of Ashton’s creation!

Working diligently!

Working diligently!

The final snowman....Link in snowman form!

The final snowman….Link in snowman form!

The last Christmas party that I had was Braden’s. They did a variety of crafts and I split my time between helping on the edible snowman and taking photos. They did four crafts: a candy cane reindeer, a snowman ornament, and gingerbread man and the edible marshmallow snowman. It was organized chaos, but the kids all had fun. The hit of the day, though, was looking through their stockings to see what they got from all their friends. And now time for a few photos….

Making his snowman ornament.  What cool earmuffs!

Making his snowman ornament. What cool earmuffs!

His edible snowman...before it lost its hat to Braden's mouth!!!

His edible snowman…before it lost its hat to Braden’s mouth!!!

A rare photo of me and Braden.

A rare photo of me and Braden.

After school, Keegan came home with a gift that he had made at school and wanted to give to us to open. However, Dad and I didn’t do the opening…he did. Here’s what he made.

The before...I wonder what is in the package!

The before…I wonder what is in the package!

See what I made you, Mom and Dad?

See what I made you, Mom and Dad?

A close up!  This will definitely be cherished for years to come!

A close up! This will definitely be cherished for years to come!


Bowling, bowling, bowling…..

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We had such a great time with Cathi and Kristofer bowling today!  Seems that we go bowling with them about once a year.  I don’t know why we don’t do it more often as we always have a great time.  Today, I was really impressed watching the kids bowl.  Madison, Ashton and Braden are really developing good form.  I guess it’s time to have Daddy do some bowling instruction with them.  Keegan did great and never once used the rail to get the ball down the lane.  He did hit the bumper so hard once that it fell down.  But, the funniest thing was when he threw his second ball as the gate was coming down to clear the pins and the ball rebounded all the way back down the lane to Ashton’s awaiting hands!  We all had a good laugh out of that one!  It was just so great to get together with friends after all the things we have had going on lately.  We have been so busy that a day just to goof around and have fun was wonderful.

Now that's some form!

Now that’s some form!

Some more form....

Some more form….

Yet more form...
Form AND persuasion....

Form AND persuasion….

Takin' a game break

Takin’ a game break

What a smile!!!

What a smile!!!

No, no, NOOOOOOOO!!!

No, no, NOOOOOOOO!!!

I think I'll just sit here and wait for the ball to hit the pins!

I think I’ll just sit here and wait for the ball to hit the pins!

After bowling, we went and hung out at McDonald’s.  I had a hard time getting the boys to eat (as usual!).  Kristofer and Madison had a great time sharing youtube videos, looking at Instagram photos and then playing in the playplace.  Having all the kids play gave Cathi and I the chance to sit, chat and catch up on our summer.  What a great day!  I was sad to see it end!


And more scrapbook pages

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I can’t believe it!!! I have gotten some time to scrapbook two days in a row!!! It is awesome! I feel like I am regaining the passion I had for scrapbooking. I just hope I can keep it up this entire year. I would love to really get some pages in the albums as the kids have enjoyed looking through them recently.

This layout is one that I started at the crop at church last month. I brought it with me last night, but forgot to take the scraps of paper that I had used on it. So, I brought it home hoping I could finish it sometime before the next crop. Well, I did! I actually took some time this morning and worked on it as the kids played upstairs. I am really pleased with how it turned out, but even more so because I used up some stash that I have had forever. The chipboard alphas are at least 5-7 years old and the buttons I have had equally as long. I was also happy as I don’t normally use buttons but had the idea to use them and I really like how they look. The layout is about how Mom and Dad (Grandma and Grandpa) used to visit us when we lived in Michigan. They would come over and play with the kids, read to them, or just watch them as they entertained us all. These photos were taken in July or 2007. It was sort of difficult scrapping them as I miss Mom so much. The kids smiled today when I showed them the pages. That’s what it’s all about!

Grandma and Grandpa playing with the kids

Grandma and Grandpa playing with the kids

Left side

Left side

Right side

Right side


First scrapbook pages of the year

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Tonight was our crop at church and just like last month, I decided to take Madison with me. She received so many scrapbook presents for Christmas that I wanted to take her so she could use some of them. We had fun packing her new stuff and planning what she was going to work on. She decided she would start with some thank you cards and then if she had time, she would move on to some scrapbook pages. She didn’t get that far, though. She ended up completing two cards and then quitting for the night. These are thank you cards for Grandpa and Aunt Carolyn.

As for me, I found some page kits I had matched photos to so I took those with me. I also took a layout that I started last month but never got to finish. I had hoped to finish that, but it didn’t happen. However, I did complete 2 other layouts. The first layout is of Madison jamming with her Dad on Guitar Hero. She ran upstairs before playing and came down dressed like Michael Jackson. I thought she was too cute so I had to snap some photos of her.

My Lil' Rocker!  Love the Michael Jackson attire!

My Lil’ Rocker! Love the Michael Jackson attire!

Left page

Left page

Right page

Right page

The other layout I completed was of Ashton relaxing at Summerbrooke pool in the summer of 2011. The kids love the pool so much. I think it really shows in the photos. I am really happy with the way this layout turned out. I think the colors are perfect and the embellishments just totally make the page pop. Of course, with such a cute subject to photograph, the page has to be amazing!!!

My biggest swimmer.  He is like a fish in the water!

My biggest swimmer. He is like a fish in the water!

Left page

Left page

Right page

Right page

I am so happy that I got some scrapbook pages done. I can’t remember how many I completed last year but it was either 6 or 8. So, I am at least half way to the amount that I did last year. Maybe my scrapping mojo is returning finally. I hope so as I had a blast tonight at the crop.


A playdate for Braden

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We didn’t have many people over to play during the holiday break, so I finally gave in today and let Braden have Haley over to play. They had a good time, though I am not sure if she enjoyed playing with Braden or Keegan more. I did get a chance to take a cute photo of Braden and Haley playing Wii, though. They had a good time and it was nice to have another girl in the house for a little while today.

Love the look on their faces.  Is that a look of intense concentration?

Love the look on their faces. Is that a look of intense concentration?


Is it really January???

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I LOVE Georgia weather!!! It seems like we never have to worry about cold weather for long. Granted, lately it has been quite dreary, cloudy, and rainy, but at least the temperature is pleasant. I don’t think I could even handle being in Michigan’s weather again. I hate the cold! I hate the lack of sun! I hate the snow! I will take cloudy and 69 degrees anytime over snowy and 20! Thank you, Georgia!!!

The temperature my car showed today.  Not too shabby, eh?

The temperature my car showed today. Not too shabby, eh?


A missed Christmas present

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As I was cleaning today, I discovered a Christmas present that I remember putting up to keep it from breaking. I didn’t remember to open it on Christmas so I did it today. Ashton brought this home from school before break and told me it was breakable. I told him I would put it on top of the microwave cart to keep it safe, and that is how it was forgotten. It was beautifully wrapped in purple and green paper with a green ribbon taped to it. As I opened it, I realized he takes after me with his wrapping ability as it was perfectly wrapped! Of course, I had to take a photo of it so I could remember just how much effort and thought he put into even the wrapping of this sweet present.

The beautiful wrapping!

The beautiful wrapping!

The painted tile.  Love the Santa, tree, and present.  Such a great job!  A holiday decoration I will treasure always!

The painted tile. Love the Santa, tree, and present. Such a great job! A holiday decoration I will treasure always!


A dinner first…..at least in a LOOONNNNNGGGGG time!!!

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For the first time in a very long time, tonight’s dinner went off without a hitch! Never once did I hear, “That doesn’t look good!” or “I don’t like it!” or “I’m not going to eat that!” Everything that I made tonight was well received. It was so refreshing to have all the kids in agreement that the dinner was tasty and looked appetizing! Maybe the recipes from the 10th anniversary cookbook are the key. Most of the recipes I have tried from it have received two thumbs up from the kids. However, tonight, it was the delicious corn on the cob that stole the show…at least from Ashton’s perspective.

The BEST part of dinner!

The BEST part of dinner!


One more day

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The kids have had a wonderful break, but I can’t believe there is only one more day left. I am actually very sad. I am not ready to be back on an up at 5:30am schedule, making 4 sack lunches a day, having to get stuff done between certain hours and getting the kids at a certain time each day. What really gets me is that baseball and softball will be starting again soon. We actually have to sign up this week! Can you believe it???? I am just not ready for the craziness that ball season brings. I guess I better enjoy the next 24 hours…it may be the last bit of relaxation I get for the next 4 months!


Sleeping in….REALLY sleeping in!

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I was amazed this morning when I got up and looked at the clock. I mean, I knew it was pretty light outside, but since we have had so much rain lately, I thought we might just be having a clear day for once. Imagine my shock as I checked the clock and saw this…..

I haven't slept in this late since....I don't even know when!!!

I haven’t slept in this late since….I don’t even know when!!!