Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet Lollie Valentine


This is what I'm going to make for Chloe's friends for Valentine's Day, and she gets to help! We made some of these cute little lollie Valentines at my workshop on Saturday and everyone loved them. They are incredibly easy to make and are too cute!

Just punch a circle with the SU! Scallop Circle Punch. Then, punch a hole in the middle with the Crop-o-dile. Punch 2 leaves with the SU! Large Oval Punch and bend them in half slightly. Stack them together to punch a hole through the ends. Put the lollipop stick through the flower hole (you have to twist it in so that it won't unwrap) and use the SU! Paper Snips to cut a line between every other scallop (so the petals look like hearts). Write a note on one of the leaves (we are just going to put "love Chloe" on all of them) and twist the leaves onto the stick below the flower. Simple and adorable!

Alyssa agrees!

Day 31


Remember when we were kids they had those Grand Prizes where you could run through a toy store for 5 minutes and get whatever you could fit in the cart? I wanted to win that - but at an office supply store. My daughter inherited my love for all things crafty and her obsession with markers is not so much an illness but a result of my dominant genes.

Both Chloe and Bradley love to color, draw, cut, paste, paint... and this marker/chalk board is one of their favorite things. I got it several years ago from Lakeshore during a back-to-school sale and it only cost $12!! They still have them, but not for $12, sorry. Anyway, Chloe spends hours drawing and writing on this board, so her markers often dry out - or some cousin or friend pushes to hard on them and the tips get mangled. So every few months or so I get her new markers and each time it is like Christmas. She lines them up by color and tries them all "oohing" and "ahhing" over the colors. It's pretty cute (like getting new Copics!).

She's been writing a lot of great sentences on her board lately, too. It's been fun to watch her progress from 3-word sentences to big ol' run-ons. Yesterday she wrote, "I like my family bee kus they are my family and I love them and they love me bak bee kus we are family." [sic] I was going to take a picture, but she erased it and moved on to drawing Fancy Shoes. Yes, she is definitely my girl.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 30



The kids and I were looking through the 365 pictures so far and they were both wondering why there are never any pictures of me anywhere, in any pictures, ever. Well, it's because I always have the camera! Poor Daddy cannot be trusted to take a good picture if his life depended on it. (Last Christmas I had the flu and was in bed the entire day, so Mike had to take the pictures. I have never seen so many pictures of blurry elbows and extreme close-ups.)

I read over and over in all the scrapbooking magazines that we moms cannot remain invisible - we need to get pictures of ourselves now and then. So, here is a quick pic of me as I usually look on the weekends: t-shirt, frizzy hair, and just a little bit of make-up. I need to 'shop out those worry lines, huh? Yikes! But, at least my kids will be happy because they think their mama is beautiful, worry lines and all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29


Today is Mike's birthday, so everyone came over for cake and ice cream after dinner. Perhaps a bit too much of the sugary stuff was consumed because the kids went bonkers. Somewhere in that tangle of arms and legs is Chloe, Bradley, and Alec. Alyssa wants to be part of the fun, but is not crazy enough to jump into the fray - she prefers to work from the outskirts and just toss pillows at the crowd. Hopefully everyone will sleep late tomorrow!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28


I have a feeling this might be Project 365 cheating, but these were the only pictures I had a chance to take today! :)

When Chloe woke up this morning and dragged her sleepy self into my room to get ready I had the outfit hanging up ready for her. She saw it right away and broke into a huge smile and said, "I completely love it!" I think that's a good thing.

She refuses to tuck her shirts in, but it still looks pretty darn cute, huh? She's doing these new poses and such when I take a picture of her and it cracks me up because until about a year and half or so ago she refused to smile in any non-candid photo. Starting at about 15 months there are no posed pictures of her with a smile. We call them collectively her Pensive Period. I'm sure glad that's over - although with her recent dramas and tantrums I think that tweendom will bring more angst and pensive photos! This IS the child who once declared in a fit over some injustice, "I do NOT want a Happy Meal. I want a sad, angry meal!"

Lord help us! (But at least she'll LOOK good!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 27


Tomorrow is Spring picture day at Chloe's school and she had planned on wearing this cute little Valentine's Day skirt I made her a few weeks ago, but we couldn't find it. I mean we looked all over the place - in all the closets and drawers, all the rooms. We cannot find it. So, I told her I'd make her another cupcake skirt so she can still be sweet for her pictures.

While watching my DVR'd American Idol from yesterday and today I made this skirt and embellished the shirt. The skirts are EASY to make - I make them all the time, as you can see here. I even came up with a "recipe" so you can make your very own skirt in less than an hour, too. The shirt, on the other hand, was a new experience for me.

Every time Target has little shirts on clearance I get some because I always hope I can do something with it. This shirt, for example, was $1.25 and you just can't beat that! I cut the little cupcake from a scrap of the skirt fabric and adhered it to the skirt with bonding web and then stitched around the edge by hand. That sounds easy, and next time it probably will be, but it took me over an hour because I had never done it before. I need to learn how to do the stitching better, but I'm happy with the result and I know Chloe will love it. (I'll get a pic tomorrow.)

Now I'm off to bed because I stayed up way too darn late!!

For the Boys



Does anyone else find it incredibly hard to make Valentines and such for the men in our lives? I love ribbon, glitter, and all things blingy, so it's hard for me to man-it-down. :) I think this card would be okay, though, even though there is a bit of ribbon (but come on, it's Valentine's Day!).

This card was also really easy to make (because let's face it, a guy probably isn't going to keep a card for his scrapbook!). A bit of stamping, some punching, faux stitching... and you're done. You might want to include a gift card to Best Buy or Academy with it. ;)


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Whisper White, Always Artichoke, Real Red, Kraft
Designer Paper: None
Stamps: I {Heart} Hearts, Love You Much
Ink: Real Red, White Craft
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Heart to Heart Punch,
SU! Markers, Paper Piercing Tool, Mat Pack, White Signo Gel Pen, Real Red Polka-dot Grosgrain Ribbon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 26


Today after school Chloe spent about 20 minutes running around the backyard with Zeke, and by the time they were done they were both exhausted. She absolutely adores this dumb dog no matter what he does. The other day she said, "Mom, Zeke nipped me. Someday he'll be a really GREAT Dane, but right now he's still learning." Yes, Chloe - he is currently a not-so-great Dane.

She has always been a nature lover - from leaves and flowers to assorted many-legged creatures. She has her two little gerbils she takes care of and such, but this dog - he is special. They snuggle together, and she sings to him and tells him what basically amount to Social Stories about how he can behave more appropriately. It's pretty darn cute, even though I think he has selective listening when it comes to his understanding of desired behavior outcomes. I wonder where I put my copy of Don't Shoot the Dog. Poor Zeke will be in ABA boot camp this summer so he can earn his Greatness.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 25


Isn't this the cutest set of siblings (well, second cutest)? :) My darling nieces and nephew were over for a little while this afternoon and so I made them pose for a quick picture. Look at that red hair! Isn't it funny how much personality can show through in just one little photo? That little glint in Alec's eyes - he totally wants to jump around instead of sit still. Little Alyssa with her big ol' cheese grin. And my very-nearly-in-middle-school tween-aged Lexi, laid back and still so sweet. I love being an aunt - I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fishy Kisses


I saw these fishies somewhere, but now for the life of me I can't remember where. (If anyone knows, let me know so I can give someone credit!) They are made with the SU! Christmas Ornament Punch!! I used the SU! Scalloped Oval Punch for the fins. That pretty border was done with one of the new punches - those teeny hearts are precious! Just a fun, silly card to brighten someone's day!


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White, Bashful Blue
Designer Paper: None
Stamps: Happy Together, Delightful Decorations
Ink: Real Red, Tempting Turquoise
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Heart to Heart Punch, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter,
Scallop Circle Bigz Die, Scalloped Oval Punch, Pinking Hearts Border Punch, SU! Marker, Google Eyes (unknown)

Day 24


Mmmm, puffins! Pankcake muffins, y'all - what could be sweeter? These little breakfast bites are incredibly easy to make and you get all the fun taste of pancakes, without standing over a griddle for an hour! Here's my recipe:

2 cups pancake mix
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup syrup
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Generously spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and whisk just until the lumps are gone (don't overdo it or your texture will be all wrong).
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture into the muffin cups - I don't do the "1/3rd full" rule - I fill them almost to the top so they have that nice puff.
  • Bake for around 10 minutes.
  • Pop out of tin and serve with syrup for dipping
You can try other varieties. Check out the famous Bakerella's version HERE.

Now I just need to try a gluten-free version so *I* can eat them, too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 23


Bradley had a wonderful morning playing with his friend, Carson, and then he took a rest on the couch. I went to wake him up to get ready for a birthday party and he was burning up. Poor little guy is just miserable. He is an easy patient when he's sick - he's sweet, calm, and very compliant. He's usually a really obedient kiddo, too - but he is full of energy. Always laughing and being silly - and when he just wants to lay down and won't eat it's just not my Bradley-boy. It always breaks my heart when my kids are sick. Get better, baby, mama misses your smile.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22


It's not always sunshine and smiles at the Casa de la Cross and tonight was rough for my little Cricket. She came home from school in a sad mood because she lost her treasure box toy (and with all her talking in class lately she hasn't received one of these treasures in quite a while!). She said one of her friends in Extended Day was playing with it and he lost it. I asked if it was possible that he still had it with him, and she said, "No - I checked his pockets!" Okay.

So, Chloe, Bradley, and I searched the school grounds - both playgrounds and a lot of sidewalks to see if it had been dropped. We searched for about 20 minutes when I had to finally call it off so we could get home to take care of Zeke. She was devastated - cried the whole way home.

Once we got home, her sad mood morphed into Ugly...gruñóna. She just whined, complained, and moped about in a foul mood (which is always contagious). I finally got tired of the nonsense and sent her to Time Out to cool down for a while. She complained about the injustice of it all, rolled her eyes at me, and stomped to the Time Out Corner. I really, truly don't know what I'm going to do with her once hormones and tween-ness kicks in. Can you send 12-year-olds to time out?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21



Ezekiel does not exactly love bath time. Barrett (the dog we had before the kids were born) hated water - was terrified of water. He would actually cry and whimper in the rain or near the hose. Zeke tolerates it while retaining a certain dignity, an does enjoy drinking from the faucet. That tub, by the way, is a full sized garden bath in our master bedroom. He can step into the tub without assistance. !

Who's a soggy puppy? Zekie boy! :)

Make a Difference!

2010-01-haitian-relief


On January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, leaving in its wake devastation so overwhelming that the Haitian people and their leaders can only look for help from the outside to cope. As a Stampin' Up! customer, you can help make a difference in the lives of those who continue to suffer from the effects of this earthquake by purchasing the I {Heart} Hearts stamp set.

From now until February 28, 2010, $2 from every I {Heart} Hearts stamp set you sell will be donated to the American Red Cross' Haiti Relief and Development Fund. The Red Cross is already well-established in Haiti, and this money will be used to provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need.

Product Name Item # Price
I {Heart} Hearts - clear-mount (block D recommended) 118571 $18.95
I {Heart} Hearts - wood-mount 117010 $26.95


Help make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people - click HERE to order your stamp sets.

In addition to donating a portion of sales, Stampin Up bought supplies for 5,000 hygiene kits to be sent! (You can read the full story HERE.)

It makes me proud to be a little part of something so very big and important in the lives of so many. And remember that I am still giving ALL of my profits through March 31st to the Real Hope for Haiti Rescue center, so even more of your sales will be sent on to help those in need.

From This Moment


One of my co-workers is getting married next month, so I made a card for everyone to sign and had a great time making it. (Another Cross night in the craft room!) Baby and wedding cards are definitely my favorites to make - I like the idea that whoever receives them will cherish them as part of their special event memories.

Mike has asked me before why I spend so much time making cards that people are just going to throw away, but I tell him that no one would throw those cards in the trash! (They better not, right?!)

What kind of cards are your favorites? Why?


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Designer Paper: Bashful Blue Patterned Paper
Stamps: Always
Ink: Bashful Blue (classic), Bashful Blue (craft), Whisper White (craft)
Other: Heat Gun, White and Clear Stampin' Embossing powder, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Scallop Trip Border Punch, Sponge, Top Note Die, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, items from the Pretties Kit (pearls, flowers, hat pin, beads), sewing maching and white thread

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 20


Both Mike and I are readers - we both spent many long summers lost in the pages of our favorite books. We started collecting children's books before we even got pregnant because we knew we would have kids, and we knew they would be readers. We both spent several years working at a bookstore - so our collection is vast. When I was pregnant, Mike would read to me (he read me all of the Harry Potter books) because I was too nauseous to read to myself. Sometimes he would read stories to the little being hiccoughing inside me. When Chloe was born we started reading to her every night, and once Bradley was born he joined in the fun. This is something we have continued all these years pretty much without fail. I even read them the entire Narnia series one summer when they were too little to do much else other than lounge around in their Bumbo seat and Excersaucer.

Our kids have access to books in their rooms, books in the play room, and books in the media room. Every night after bath time, we sprawl out on the floor of one of their rooms propped up on various pillows, and we take turns reading to the kids. Each of them get a base of two books, but they can earn more for good behavior in school, demonstrating good manners at home, random acts of kindness and the like. Sometimes they "read" to us because they have memorized so many of their favorite stories. Bradley likes to tell stories based on the pictures in the books, too. But, over the past year or so Chloe has really started to read to us. She has great decoding skills and I actually have a 50-book set of readers that *I* used in preschool when I was learning to read that she has gone through already.

Tonight she brought home her first book from the leveled book library at her school. It's a "just right" book - a book she can easily read without frustration. She whizzed through it twice and then asked for a harder book.

I can't wait for them to discover our favorites - Gaiman, L. M. Montgomery, Lewis, the Brontes, Moorcock, and oh! all the poetry just waiting to be devoured line by line. And anytime they'd like, I'll be happy to read to them.

Sweetest Ever



Mike's computer is not working right now, so we've been spending time together in my craft room. He plays on my computer and I stamp and scrap. It's actually been a lot of fun because I like to talk to someone while I'm working and he doesn't mind listening to me drone on about anything while he's defeating scum and laughing at lolCats. We are quite a team!

I'm on a kick with this paper lately, I know - but I just love the colors together. I'm also really digging this new Scallop Trim Border punch. I'm getting the hang of it, though the corners are still tricky.

I'll try to branch out to some different colors later this week!


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Certainly Celery, Textured Pink Passion, Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Pumpkin Pie
Designer Paper: From the Sunny Day Simply Scrappin' kit
Stamps: The More the Merrier
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Stazon Black
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Crystal Effects, Scallop Trip Border Punch, SU! Markers, Blender Pen, White Signo Gel Pen, Small Oval Punch, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Sponge

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 19


When I got to Bradley's school to pick him up today he exclaimed two things: "Mama, I didn't have any accidents today and I wrote my name all by myself!" As soon as we got in the car he pulled his crinkled paper from his backpack to show me his great work. He had drawn an airplane and written his very own name. All by himself.

When we got home I grabbed my camera and asked him to sit still for just a minute so I could get a picture of his work. I begged him to stay in one place and told him he was driving me crazy with all his bouncing and he replied, "I want to drive you proud, not crazy."

And so I let him bounce and took several shots without telling him to sit still and wouldn't you know it, they turned out find despite the bouncing.

You drive me proud every single day, Sunshine. Mama couldn't be prouder of you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18


The best part of holidays off from work is getting to have some quality time with the kids. That's one of the things I like most about being a teacher - holidays and all summer long I can do the "stay at home mom" thing so I don't feel like I'm completely missing all the wonderful little things that go on in my kids' lives from day to day.

Today we just hung out - they played at the gym while I worked out this morning. Then they helped with the laundry and dishes, we ate together, took a little nap together, and then snuggled on the couch to watch a movie with some popcorn.

This morning in the car we talked about why I got to stay home today and how we were remembering Dr. King. Chloe perked right up and said she learned all about him in school. She said, "The world was very sad because kids couldn't go to the same schools just because of the way they looked. They couldn't even share a water fountain. And then Dr. King tried to make everyone be friends. But some bad, bad people killed him. It was sad." We talked some more about what an awful world that was and how some people today still have all that hate in them.

Chloe announced, "Mama, people shouldn't even look at your outsides, just your insides, even though they are invisible." Keep looking at people's insides, baby girl, and you will be just fine!

Punchy Owls


Here's some of the little owls I've been making lately - using nothing but SU! punches. They are quite easy to make once you figure out what shapes you want to use. I started off with the medium-sized birdie and just kept playing around to get the other ones. Chloe loves to help make them and has quite a growing aviary. Fun!


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Old Olive, Pink Passion
Designer Paper: From the Sunny Day Simply Scrappin' kit
Stamps: Owl Together Now
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Full Heart Punch, Heart to Heart Punch,
1/4" Circle Punch, Small Oval Punch, Large Oval Punch, Scallop Oval Punch, Scallop Trim Border Punch, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Corner Rounder Punch

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 17


We went to the mall yesterday morning and the kids each got a new pair of shoes. We went to a department store that was having a great buy-one, get-one sale and had their tootsies measured. Bradley is a size 13 and Chloe is a 12.5! No wonder they needed new shoes - I had Chloe in an 11 and Bradley in a 12. Oops.

Today, after church, they both wanted pictures of their fancy new light-up kicks - so here they are! I would totally wear light-up shoes, y'all. What's up with not having adult shoes that light up? Wouldn't YOU wear them?

Whooo Loves Owls?


Me, okay. I adore them! I think they are just too stinkin' cute and I've been using a lot of them lately. :) Here's an example of a not-so-traditional Valentine with a cutie owl as the star. Isn't he darling? Who could resist his sweet little cuppie gift?

I've been doing some paper piecing to make my own little baby owls - I'll post a pic soon. Tonight is date night, though, so I have to go get ready!


Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Pink Passion, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Designer Paper: From the Sunny Day Simply Scrappin' kit
Stamps: Owl Together Now, The More the Merrier
Ink: Stazon Black, Chocolate Chip
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots, Paper Snips, Full Heart Punch, Heart to Heart Punch, Crystal Effects, SU! Markers, Blender Pen, 1/2" Pumpkin Pie striped grosgrain ribbon,
Top Note Bigz Die, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, Tempting Turquoise button, 1/4" Circle Punch, Sponge

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 16


Yesterday was my baby brother's birthday so today we all gathered for a little celebration at my sister's house. The kids ran around crazy-like and I had to corral them together to get a picture with their favorite Uncle Matt.

I don't know how on earth professional photographers do it - I cannot get all of these people to look at the camera and smile at the same time. Of course, people in professional photos don't have cake stains on their dresses, BBQ sauce on their chins, and whoopie cushions in the background. But, that's how we roll - down to earth and ready to stop taking so many pictures, already! There is ice cream at the table!

Happy Birthday, Matty. I love you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 15


Yes, folks, this is our 6-month old puppy. Here's a quick update on all things Zeke.

  • Eats 6 cups of food per day.
  • Weighs 60 pounds.
  • Can rest his chin on the top of the kitchen table.
  • Can reach the top of the island in the kitchen with his face when he cranes his neck
  • Can sit, stay, roll over, lie down, shake hands, wiggle (shake water off), give kisses, balance a treat on his nose, and dance on command.
  • Favorite toys: empty 20 oz soda bottles to chase around the kitchen.
  • Loves to snuggle.
  • Thinks he can sit on your lap without issue.
  • WHINE. (He MUST be with the peoples. Must!)
  • I guess you can imagine the amount of poop he produces. No pictures there!
The vet says he'll grow until he's around 2. That would be 18 more months. Of growing. Yikes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 14


Usually Autumn comes and goes without much show here in the Houston area. Our leaves go from green to gray in the bleak, rainy days of the season. This year, though, we've had quite a show! Autumn was ushered out with atypical freezing temperatures and even snow. Over the past couple of weeks we've had days and days of below freezing weather and even our plants don't know what to do.

This tree in my front yard held on to 3 little leaves until this week. They looked amazing with their bright red sheen against the gray sky, but finally the rain and wind snatched two of the three and carried them off. This lonely leaf has been hanging on fiercely, but I think he will be joining his friends soon. Chloe and I say "hello" to him whenever we go outside, so I hope she won't be too sad when he's gone.

Haiti Relief

I know that every single penny helps, so I tried to think of how I could do more. We are already skipping extra expenditures and donating that money instead. Although that $20 or so a week is good, I still feel called to extend more help. Once the situation on the ground is more stable and support systems are more mobilized and can accept canned goods, clothing, etc, then we can all send those things. Right now the bottom line is that they need cash to buy water, medicine, food, and medical supplies.

So, all of my Stampin' Up! sales commissions through March 31st (the duration of Sale-a-bration) will be donated to the Real Hope for Haiti rescue center.

Shop online, call, or email to place your order. Remember, it's Sale-a-bration so for every $50 you spend you earn a free stamp set. Please, if you have cash to donate - just go to the RHFH website and donate directly. But, if you are planning to take advantage of Sale-a-bration sales and discounts anyway - use this as an opportunity to not only get fantastic SU! products and free stamps, but to help in the relief efforts in Haiti.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 13


Right now my child is sick - her lungs are weak and she is on medication to help her breathe. But I know she is going to be okay. I hold her hand while she complains about her treatment and how it makes her itchy and shaky (the steroid has some side effects she doesn't adjust well to). I sing to her and tell her stories. Later, I'll read with her and her brother, pray with them, and tuck them in for the night. They will be safe.

Right now over 1600 miles away thousands of mothers cannot do what I am doing. Thousands of children are confused, hurt, and alone. Right now my friend, Jamie, is longing to be with her son who is safe, but surrounded by chaos in Haiti. Take a moment to hug someone you love, and then click on one of the following links to send your support to help someone in dire need.

Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center
(where Jamie and Aaron Ivey's son is waiting)

Help Haiti T-shirts


World Vision

American Red Cross

The average American eats fast food 4 times per week - I challenge you to forgo fast food this week and instead donate that money to one of these relief agencies. The amount of money you spend on a couple of kids meals can buy fresh water for 15 children. Every little bit helps.

Please, help Haiti.

Help for Haiti


Right now my child is sick - her lungs are weak and she is on medication to help her breathe. But I know she is going to be okay. I hold her hand while she complains about her treatment and how it makes her itchy and shaky (the steroid has some side effects she doesn't adjust well to). I sing to her and tell her stories. Later, I'll read with her and her brother, pray with them, and tuck them in for the night. They will be safe.

Right now over 1600 miles away thousands of mothers cannot do what I am doing. Thousands of children are confused, hurt, and alone. Right now my friend, Jamie, is longing to be with her son who is safe, but surrounded by chaos in Haiti. Take a moment to hug someone you love, and then click on one of the following links to send your support to help someone in dire need.

Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center
(where Jamie and Aaron Ivey's son is waiting)

Help Haiti T-shirts


World Vision

American Red Cross

The average American eats fast food 4 times per week - I challenge you to forgo fast food this week and instead donate that money to one of these relief agencies. The amount of money you spend on a couple of kids meals can buy fresh water for 15 children. Every little bit helps.

Please, help Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 12


This evening Bradley and I got some rare playtime, just the two of us. My sister had taken Chloe to do some Cookie Sales in her neighborhood, Mike was walking the dog, and so Bradley and retreated to the playroom. We played "emergency vehicles save everyone," a game he created, narrates, and adores. Every single toy falls into a horrible situation with little hope, but then LOOK! It's an emergency vehicle come to save the day!

He has a full imagination and comes up with the best stories. He sometimes scares himself when he gets a little too detailed with his descriptions of monsters or pirates. The other day he told me, "All my bad dreams start with "P:" pirates, pumas, and no pizza." Couldn't you just eat him up? My little tousle-haired, sauce-stained, chap-lipped, beautiful angel-boy. He amazes me every day and I can't believe how lucky I am to be his Mama.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sale-a-bration Minis


This is the project we'll be making at my workshop this Saturday! You can choose from several different colors, but the general idea is the same. You get to make 5 little mini cards (and envelopes) and the adorable bag to carry them in. Keep the cards at work to gift out and randomly brighten someone's day - or give the whole thing to someone special for Valentine's day.

All products are by Stampin' Up!, of course. The sentiment is from the new Sale-a-bration set, Whimsical Words, and I used the new punch from the same catalog. Be sure to RSVP if you are coming. I hope to see you there!

Day 11


Every year for Christmas Mike gets me a gift card to one craft store or another and this year I got one for Jo Ann's. Their online store has a MUCH larger selection than the brick-and-mortar stores do, so I browsed around there a couple of weeks ago looking for some storage. See, I just learned how to sew this summer (See most of my creations HERE.) and had no clue how to store any of my supplies. I was just using a plastic shoe box to hold all my threads, bobbins, bias tape, and more.

I found this darling little thread holder for only $7 on the Jo Ann's online site! It arrived today and I got it on the wall right away. I also ordered a bobbin holder for only $1.50! Now I just need to figure out how to store bias tape and fabric and I'll be on my way back to Organization Nirvana. Suggestions?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 10


Mike and I were up really late last night hanging out with my brother and Katie, so I let the kids have some quality "Play in your playroom and don't wake anyone" time this morning. When I was finally awake enough to be pleasant company, I went upstairs to check on them. You never know if you are going to find happiness or doom when the kids are playing quietly. This time, happiness.

"We made our own world," announced Chloe.
"But you can visit, Mama," added Bradley.

Precious! I love how they joined all the little buildings and villages and how they left plenty of space for their toys to travel about the town. I'm glad they are creative and can entertain themselves peacefully (for a while). But, it's a reminder of just how quickly they are growing up. Today loose teeth, tomorrow first dates. I think I'll go play in their world some more, because I'm really not ready for them to join mine.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 9


On my way home from work last night I passed one of the many fountains in our neighborhood, and this one was frozen solid! I went back this afternoon to take a picture and the water is flowing again, but you can still see some of the frozen icicles. This is just not normal.

I'm always cold and I know I complain about it. A lot. Luckily I live in Houston, where I don't usually have to deal with ugly cold. But this weekend is going to be rough - last night it was in the teens and it will be in the 20s every night until Wednesday. My poor plants are covered with sheets, I've got my Snuggie, and I'm ready to have hot chocolate and wait for Summer. Brrr!

Cookie Time!


Give us a call or email and Chloe will hook you up with your favorite Girl Scout Cookies. She's a first year Daisy, so we aren't doing any booths or anything. We will probably visit our neighbors on our block, but other than that she's calling friends and family. You help her reach her goal and learn about leadership. Thank you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Project 365 - Day 8


Bubble wrap is really the opiate of the masses - who doesn't love popping bubble wrap? My kids think it's a complete treat and Santa is just going to bring them a ream for Christmas next year. Fun, load, exercises their fine motor skills, and gets thrown in the recycle bin when exhausted. Mama likes this toy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project 365 - Day 7


I could not get her to stop moving, let alone stop wiggling her tooth for this picture. She's been saying for about a year now that she wants a loose tooth - but I kept telling her that she probably wouldn't lose one until 1st grade since she's so young. Today during dance she bounced over and announced that her tooth was loose and I tried to argue with her. "Just feel it!" So, I did and WOW she has a loose tooth. My eyes got all watery and all I could think was, "But those teeth just came in."


That little tooth that is loose is actually her very first tooth. It popped up on March 8, 2005, followed on the 15th by its neighbor.

I'm not ready for all this change.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Project 365 - Day 6


Today I didn't get a picture until I came home from grad school - I almost forgot about it! So, I took a quick pic of my computer station in my craft room. It really is my sanctuary! It nice to lose myself in blogs or do some online shopping. Or just look at all my pretty buttons. I do love buttons. :) Sorry it's a bit messy - I didn't tidy first.

I like that I only have to go to school one night per week, but I hate that I don't get to help put the kids to bed. We have a very steady routine: dinner at 5:30, Couch Time at 6:15, showers at 6:45, and then we read books. The kids get a base of 2 books each and can earn more books for good behavior at school. Then we pray together and tuck them in. Bradley loves to snuggle for a while before finally dismissing us. Chloe likes to ask questions (imagine that) - she is getting better about her OCD questions. She used to ask the same questions every night, in the same order, and if we didn't answer she would have a melt down. She still wants kisses and hugs in a particular order and insists on certain catch phrases, but it's a huge improvement from even a year ago.

But, they were already tucked in tight when I got home from school. So, I get some time to write this while listening to the Rockets game in the other room - and then I'll go snuggle Mike and hope we can pull off a win!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Project 365 - Day 5


Dear Fly Lady,

You might not be able to see your reflection in my sink, but it's pretty darn close.

Mama Cross

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I do love a clean kitchen. I try to never leave dishes in the sink because it just irks me. I learned the other day at work (well, I already KNEW it, but I got to see it in print via a fancy test) that my top value is "order." (Everyone who knows me just sighed a collective, "duh.") See, when things are in order, I feel that I can focus on more important issues without the constant nag of the little things that have to be done. When I come home I'm greeted with a clean house most of the time, so I can deal with dinner, the puppy, and the kids.

For instance, today Chloe threw a colossus of a tantrum - but I could stay calm and collected and deal with the problem without losing my cool, too. When she realized I wasn't getting frazzled, she eventually (and this was a massive blow-up - over an hour of wailing and gnashing of teeth) cooled down and we talked. I know that if I had a huge mess to clean, laundry to fold, etc, I would have been really out of sorts with the addition of a thrashing child. As it was, I could sit and crochet and ignore her while she moshed about the floor.

I manage my house by doing little things every day. I do small loads of laundry throughout the week so I don't have Mount Dirty to deal with on the weekends. As we use dishes, they go in the dish washer - and either Mike or I empty it the second everything is clean. Scooba and Roomba do help with my carpets and floors (I love to vacuum, though, and usually do every other day or so). The kids have chores and know our routines.

As the Fly Lady says, it just takes baby steps - but you, too, can remove some of your stress. Because some how I can go to grad school, teach, raise two kids and puppy, love my husband, stamp, sew, and craft, take pictures, blog and still have a clean house. I'm certainly not gifted - just organized. Order is your friend! So, take 5 minutes and clean your sink - you'll be thankful tomorrow!

New Catalog!

The new Occasions Mini Catalog is up on my Stampin' Up! website - check out all the new acrylic stamps! Oh, and the new punches. And all the great new stamps and paper. Whew!!!

Click HERE for the direct link! :)

Sale-A-Bration also starts TODAY! So, call or email to book your in-home workshop so you can your friends can earn FREE stamps and other fun products!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Project 365 - Day 4


Today was poor Zeke's alteration, or as we like to call it, the "please-Lord-let-this-calm-him-down procedure." He is 6 months old, weighs 59 pounds, and is usually a crazy bundle of energy. But, he is in recovery mode and on some fun puppy pain killers. They sent him home with one of those cute cones, too, but he's not messing with the surgery site right now. I assure you, though, that I will indeed get a picture of him in the Cone of Shame some time this week - how can I resist? Anyway, feel better Zekie-boy, we love you!

A little Sale-a-bration card


Here's a sweet little 4x4 card made with two of the awesome Sale-a-bration items: the sentiment from the Whimsical Words stamp set and border with the cute Scallop Trim Border punch. I really like the way Blush Blossom looks paired with Basic Black - classic, but not as common a combination as one of the more traditional pinks. The sentiment is heat embossed, but it's kind of hard to tell in this picture. The heart is stamped in Going Gray with one of the stamps from the Always stamp set found in the Idea Book & Catalog.

You can earn the Whimsical Words set, the punch, and 3 other stamps sets, 1 designer paper set or (a Sale-a-bration FIRST) any wood-mounted stamp set in the Idea Book & Catalog valued at $15.95 and under with every additional $50 purchase. So, when you are done earning all the products from the Sale-a-bration catalog, you can still earn other sets for free! That's over 75 other incredible sets you can choose from!

Be sure to click the link to the right to check out the catalog and get ready to book your workshops or shop online. Sale-a-bration starts TOMORROW, January 5th!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Project 365 - Day 3


This morning I was sewing, Mike was working in the back yard, and the kids were playing in the play room upstairs. I had the TV set to the kids music station and we were all just doing our own things. Then, one of the kids' favorite songs came on. They came bounding down the stairs to do a silly dance. As soon as it was over, they went right back upstairs to continue what they were doing. Sometimes you just have to pause, do a silly dance, and get back to the job at hand.

Valentine Skirt


I found this adorable fabric at JoAnn's the other day - it's from the Sweet Treats line by Heidi Grace. I'm sure you scrappers are familiar with her too cute designer papers, but I had never seen her fabric. I bought several different pieces from the line and will be making some more skirts over the next couple of weeks. One can never have too many fashionable skirts, you know. That's Stampin' Up! Ribbon on the hem, by the way. Isn't it great how versatile our SU! products are? :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Project 365 - Day 2


Chloe sets up elaborate scenes for her Littlest Pet Shop pets. In this particular scene she explained, "Snowbunny is sick. Quite ill. In fact, he has the flu. The other pets are all here to pray for him to get better."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365 - Day 1


Alyssa Joyce was the life of the party New Year's Eve - she didn't sleep a wink and was just this cute and happy the entire time. I think her activity might have been partly due to the insane amount of jelly beans she kept swiping (note the residue on her pretty little chin).

Couldn't you just eat her up?

Day 1 - not so hard. Here's hoping I can actually do this project!

Happy New Year!


Hope your celebrations were wonderful! Here's to a blessed new year filled with friends, family, and (of course) lots of crafting!
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