Thursday, January 17, 2013

Catching Up - Annde's now Scrapbooking!

So one thing I am totally excited to share is that Annde has picked up my love of scrapbooking.  Dad told her that if she goes crazy with it, like Mom, she'll have to move her own stuff if we ever change homes again.  AHAHAHA!! She's just going to store it with mine, silly Dad! You won't be able to tell the difference!

Here's some of the pages she's done over the last month or two... 

This first one is a layout Annde did with Tracy and I in Michigan over Thanksgiving week.  She also did a mini album about her Best Friends. She had a great time making it - if only to remind herself of fun experiences she's had with each one.

Here's a couple of her friends:
This is Annde's Smash Book - isn't it cute?!!  She received it as a Christmas gift and loves all the embellishments.

Here's a few pages she did in it:

Fall Memories

Back to School for her (3rd) and Start of PreSchool for Meg.

This one is her family tree.  She came up with the idea all by herself and used some of my Christmas cards to create it.  I am proud that she wanted to do this and filled most of it in herself!

You've now seen some cute Annde work. No wonder she wants to be an Artist! See ya later!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catching up - November layouts

Well, I am back again and this time, I am posting some of my favorites from November, 2012.  These layouts were done when we went back to Michigan to see our Bestest Friends, the Jeromes.  Tracy is my favorite scrapbooking buddy and we had a ton of fun together.... especially scrapbooking!

Here's the first layout:
This layout signified a large change in Annde this year - she REALLY into soccer now.  No longer does she standaround and ask to stay on the sidelines "to rest" longer. Now, it's all about being in the game as either the Goalie or the center Defender.  She absolutely LOVES playing Goalie. She's so much farther along in her goalie skills than I was at this point - I didn't start playing goalie until I was like 12 years old.  Annde's already charging and diving (well, somewhat). I am hoping to work with her this next season (Indoor) on some of the other goal skills like punching and punting a bit better.

This next layout involved her team this season.  This is first time I have scrapbooked the team - she normally gets shifted from team to team because I sign up at the last moment.  For the last few seasons, we've been on the same team so I decided to scrapbook the team picture as well as some individual pictures of the girls...

The next layout is about Meg's love of Phineas and Ferb.  She LOVES the show and sleeps with Phineas, Ferb, and Perry every night. (Candace & Doofensmirtz usually end up under the bed by morning!)  These pictures were taken when Tracy & the family gave Meg them the previous Thanksgiving (2011) so it seemed appropriate to scrap them together.

This next layout was taken at Harper's Ferry in West Virginia.  This is one of our favority places to visit because the landscape is SO beautiful.  My hubby made a crack, "Why aren't you sewing on the page?" He was being sarcastic but I decided to take him up on it... HA! Plus, I love this Basic Grey line of paper/embellishments. The colors are so dramatic!

This last layout involves pictures I took the first night we had the camera.  More sewing - this time with a rope of pearls - and a lot of layering.  I love this page! Another reason: everything on this page was older than 3 years.  It's great to get stuff out of the stash to make room for new.

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned soon for: Annde's scrapbooking, Smash book pages, and Minibooks. I also did a lot of pages at a crop recently and those will be up soon too! See ya later!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fun Crop with Friends and Great News!!

I am a new Aunt! Yep!! So exciting!!
My sister, Susan, and her boyfriend, Evan, just had a little (or not so little) baby boy.  His name is Quentin Vlk (pronounced Vulk) Reitzell.  10 lbs 3 oz and 21" of joy with bright red hair and hazel green eyes. (That's a first in our family!) 
Here he is in his car seat to go home... It was cold in Dallas so they have him wrapped up very cozy!

Here he is with Mom & Dad...

So I was excited because I got to scrap on Saturday (1/12) with some new and old friends for the first time in a long time.  It was an all day scrap and I got a TON of layouts done.  Scrapbooking with Ronnie, Barbara, Lisa, Katy, Shannon, and Sabrina was soo much fun.  I can't wait for Operation Smile in April when my friend Kristen is going to join the fun.   Barbara let me use her Revolution cutter, Ronnie let me try her Gypsy, and Sabrina provided lots of consulting on what should go where. Tee Hee!! Definitely the funnest table at the event!

Here are some layouts I got done:

I used a Gossamer Blue sketch for this one... The problem with birthday parties are there are so many cute pictures. So, I kept a bunch of white space this time and stretched the sketch to be 2 pages, instead of one.  I used a really old page kit that I bought at Target years ago in the dollar section and embellished it further with Liquid Glass (CTMH) to make the paper accents perk up a bit.
This next layout involves Annde and her BFF, Demola.  Since we moved to West Springfield Elementary, Annde has been trying to find that one special friend to be her BFF. I think she found it - Demola is such a delight! :)  We met her at the Holiday sing along and liked her instantly. Her and Annde are soooo cute together.
It was some surreal though, since the Holiday Sing-Along was exactly 1 week after Sandy Hook's tragedy.  We were one set of very few parents and to look around and see these very excited students belting out Christmas, Jewish, and Kwanza songs brought tears to my eyes.  There was so much joy and hope and love in the room.  I wanted to hug EVERY kid but had to settle just for mine and Demola. :)
This layout involves the love of leaves my kids have.   It doesn't matter that the leaves are wet or the cement is hard. They played all afternoon - hide and seek and jumping in the leaves - while Mom and Dad talked to the neighbor and cleaned the gutters.  The layout was from PageMaps sketch for January 2013.

The next layout is also one I did for Fall.  Meghan and Annde have so much fun playing in the leaves but did help cleaning them up.  Normally, I wouldn't scrap this part but the look on Meg's face is just priceless - she was so upset that all the leaves were gone! Don't worry, Meg, they will be back!

The next layout I did was using Close to My Heart paper was to commemorate the tree decorating this year.  Annde and Meg really got into this activity this year.  And, we only lost 4 ornaments during both setup and take down.   For this page, I used Alyssa's challenge over at Back Porch Memories -
* I used a lot of brown ink on this page to distress the accents/tags/etc. (my trendy thing - not sure if it's still trendy but I like the look anyway)
* I added jewels to the ornaments.
* A lot of the stuff I used on this page is at least a year old or older
* Pictures were taken in Dec 2012.

I did another layout involving Santa but apparently, I forgot to take a picture of it. Maybe next time...

See ya later!!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Catching Up- October layouts

So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to catch my blog back up and keep up with it.  Now that the Masters is complete (Yeah!! Graduated in Dec 2012 with a MSSE from the Naval Post Graduate School), I have time to scrapbook again.   I spent Saturday scrapping with some new and old friends and it was awesome! But, that's a post for another day. 

Here's some pages I did while I was finishing up my Masters Degree...

The first page involves a Trip to Bandelier. This is a National Park located outside White Rock, NM. I grew up in the area and this summer when I went home for my 20 year Reunion, I took my oldest to see it.  It was cool because she had been studying this type of Native American in school so she could associate it with her lessons.  On the way to Ceremonial Cave, we casually ran into a Diamondback Rattlesnake. Yep - it was pretty big. We didn't get chomped on but of course, Mom had to take pictures.

I couldn't find a big enough Kokopelli so I created one out of a corrogated sheet of paper so it would stand out a bit.  I had SO many pictures so I tucked my journaling into the envelope with "Watch Out" on it.

The next layout I did involved Annde's donation of hair to Children with Hair Loss.  It's a non-profit in Michigan that makes wigs for kids for free.  We were going to do Locks for Love but I have been hearing a lot of negative things about them - including that they have been throwing out donations that aren't 100% perfect - so I went with Children because they have less regulations on who can get a wig and they don't charge the kid's family anything. Plus, you get your wig quickly, instead of having to wait for months.  Annde is trying to decide what she wants to say about donating her hair - that's why the block is currently empty.

The next layout was about Meg's bed.  We finally moved Meg out of her crib and into a toddler bed.  She was so excited about it, but we find it humorous that she literally won't put a foot on the floor until we come into her room. She can be wide awake for an hour, yelling "MOM!", and still sitting on her bed.  It's crazy since our first was climbing out of the crib as soon as she could walk. 


The last layout for today is one I did involving a recent trip to the Pumpkin patch.  There were SOOO many cute pictures (I had just gotten my new camera - my graduation gift!) but it really didn't warrant a two-page spread.  So, I tried to layer the pictures with mini-captions and then created a pumpkin to use as an accent for the journalling block.  I love these Close to My Heart chipboard letters -> they are textured with different designs and they can easily be inked to match. :)

Well, that's it for today.  Stayed tuned for November's pages later this week...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where did I go?

Wow - it's been 2 years since I've posted... That's because I have been busy working on my Masters Degree in Systems Engineering.  Trying to work full time, go to school full time, coach soccer & lead brownies, as well as raise 2 precocious girls did not work  - something had to give and unfortunately, it was scrapbooking. Now, that I only have 8 weeks to go, I have started scrapbooking again... Time to get my groove back!

Over the next few weeks, you will start to see my "stuff" get updated.  We've had a new kid (Meghan) and I need to update the blog header to show her too. So, I have taken the header down.  We'll see what I can come up with...  I have also scrapbooked a bunch of pages so those will be put up too.

If you are back - thanks for checking in. If you are new, thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude journal - Day 16

So, today, I am grateful for two things: a dead car battery in the parking lot of Giant and our king sized bed. Strange, huh? Why would I pick these two things when there are so many other things to be grateful for? Well, here's the story of my evening yesterday:

It was a great day. I had a great meeting at work and I drove towards home with a smile on my face. I stopped at Giant (grocery store) to pick up some milk for Meg and a loaf of bread. Normal day,eh? Well, when I came out, my car wouldn't start. The electrical system did some funny stuff and then nothing. I knew immediately it was the battery or the starter (from MANY issues with the Diesel stationwagon my parents owned). Now, you might say that this isn't a reason to be grateful but I truly am... Why? Because:
1. It died in a parking lot. A well-lit, not on the side of the freeway, parking lot. A parking lot that conveniently contained a car repair place within a 2 minute walk.
2. Merchant Tire and Auto was that car repair place. These guys are awesome. The technician actually drove me back to my car (he had just gotten off work), tried to jump it with the jumper cables in his trunk and when that didn't work, he went back to work and got the jumper box (much more powerful). He returned and then stayed over at work to replace my battery.
3. My battery was not just dead, it was on the verge of exploding. Every side of it was bulging from an internal leak. The technician didn't think it would have survived another month and when it went, the battery would have exploded. Now, if I was parked, no big deal. The battery fluid would leak all over the ground and the car wouldn't start. BUT, if I was driving, the battery acid would have hit a hot engine, potentially causing my engine to start on fire. It would be worse because the battery on my Crap-in-a-Box (my personal nickname for the Equinox I own) is not located on the top of my engine like most cars. It's actually under the fuse box, in the middle of the engine. Very hard to get to and impossible to see. (which is why I couldn't tell if it was dead) I shudder when I think of myself driving home with the girls and having my engine catch on fire. Yikes!

So, I am very grateful my car died in the Giant parking lot.

While that might be enough for most people to be grateful in one day, I am also grateful for my king sized bed. Why? Because when the furnace goes out - which it did last night for the 4th time in about a year - there is enough room for Steve, Annde, Meghan, and I to cuddle/huddle together under the blankets and keep warm until the next day when we can get a repair person out. While there is always some kicking/twisting and random walking up by the kiddos, I can honestly say that I at least got 4 hours of sleep and for that, I am super grateful!

Whew! Bad evening to say the least... but today is a new day and I know that I will find something new to be grateful for today. Hopefully, it won't be because of something bad happening!

Gratitude Journal - day 15

Day 15

Today, I am grateful for my parents.

I know that as children, we feel like our parents are out-of-touch and difficult. I know that I did some serious fighting with mine growing up and I am pretty sure that I am not the *best* child now - I don't call regularly and I don't write/send pics regularly. But, as we've starting dealing with the difficulties resulting from the daycare situation, I have really noticed how hard it is to *really* get to the heart and mind of a child - to find out just what they are thinking, feeling, experiencing. I am learning how hard it is to raise two smart, creative, and independant girls. I can't imaging how hard it was for my parents to raise four kids to be strong and smart and self sufficient. While us kids might not always feel like we are doing a great job or life is pretty sucky, I can only imagine how much worse it could have been if my parents hadn't laid the background and foundation that we now stand upon in our lives.

My parents taught me that marriage is more than the wedding. It's a partnership - not necessarily an easy one - that is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, celebrations and downfalls. They taught me that it's going to consist of arguments - if it doesn't, it's not a healthy relationship - and it's how you work out those issues that is important. They taught me that while opposites attract (which I think Steve and I are), it takes commitment and love to find that common ground to make it work, year after year. I saw what it took to make it through the tough times and still keep a marriage strong. I think that I am a better partner because of it. After 10 years of marriage, I am more committed and in love with Steve than I was when we walked down the aisle.

Life isn't easy - being a parent makes it even more difficult. Your heart does truly walk around outside your body. You can't always protect them and even though anyone can be a parent, it doesn't come with instructions. You will question your abilities, your decisions, your methods. I just want my parents to know (since they read this blog), that I appreciate everything you have done for me, intentional or out of love. I love you and I know that I don't tell you that enough. You have been good role models for me so I thank you. I can't wait to see you at Christmas!