Friday, December 30, 2011

It's a Wrap

This year's gift wrapping included pom poms. I was inspired by Dana. She posted a easily tutorial on her blog. I also used old cards as gift tags...super easy!

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other”

-Burton Hills

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Curve Balls

I have anxiety.... Really I've had it for my entire life, but this year in particular it has reached a whole new level and I have experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life along with high blood pressure. It got to the point where I decided to try some medicine for it, but it wasn't for actually made the symptoms worse, caused me to be depressed and just all around out of whack.

For the past month I've been doing ok...dealing with stuff and managing the anxiety on my own.

When life throws the curve balls though, it gets tough. But really, there is no option except to wallow for a short time, get up and do it!

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Around our house...

The crazy Christmas rush is upon us, but we're trying to soak it all in around here. We made some homemade ornaments again this year. In true E fashion, he changed the design a bit and made some penguins. I must admit, they came out pretty darn cute!

Zart Frisbee Harrison is not such a rookie anymore. He is consistently flying back to the North Pole every night, even if it is 4:00 a.m. when he remembers.

My mom found these treasures for me last year. My grandmother made them. Someday I am going to add to them. For now, I am loving these! In the background is a stand made from glass items bought at the dollar store. I copied an idea from Lisa Leonard's blog.

Excuse the wonky posting. All the options are not working correctly in Blogger. It always seems like something crazy is going on with this thing.

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.
- Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bokeh That's what I said a few months ago... What the heck is bokeh?
Now I know what it is and I'm sort of addicted.

It's so fun! It seems Bokeh is all over the internet too!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peace, Love, & Joy

Every year I have made our Christmas Cards. Sometimes it's a lot of work, but it's been fun. This year, it was time to let go and explore the option of having them printed somewhere. Being back to work full-time has been bit overwhelming and something had to give. Honestly, it felt so GOOD! I took some photos of the kids, found a card template and ordered them. Now, I wait for them to come in. I am so excited to see them. I used Pinhole Press and used the Peace, Love, and Joy Template; the words seemed to match perfectly for the photos and the font color went with the colors in the photos...too perfect! I even found a discount code online to save $25.00.

Here are the photos I used. (E's t-shirt is a bit on the small side...)
This is actually the only posed picture. All the others (believe it or not) were candids.
& Joy
May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author Unknown

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New and Old Loves

This man and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving. Can we really be old enough to be married that long? It's hard to imagine what life would be like without him.

And my new love...making my own bokeh. (That's where the hearts come from in the photo above) I first read about it when I was searching for ideas for Christmas pictures. It's so much fun. This is the Newport Bridge. You can read a DIY about bokeh here. I must warn you, it's a little addicting.

The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are.

-Oprah Winfrey

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tis the season...

It's here...the start of the "most wonderful time of the year." We officially started our Christmas shopping and hence the craziness begins. I'm trying to make a conscious effort not to go too crazy, but, I have to admit, sometimes it's a struggle.

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to beat the rush and visit The Enchanted Village at Jordan's Furniture. The displays were so beautiful...old and quaint...we all loved them. Then E and Vic tried out the 4-D Polar Express Ride...even better...Little Miss chickened out at the last minute (thank goodness). I don't do well with 4-D rides...well, my stomach doesn't.

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
-Calvin Coolidge

Thursday, November 24, 2011

15 years ago...

Today, on Thanksgiving, it is also our 15 year anniversary...yikes! And, I'm proud to say that I really think we are happier now than we were then. It has not always been wedded bliss, but I really, honestly, would not change a thing about the past 15 years. I am one lucky girl!
Happy Anniversary Victor!
"I love you more today than yesterday
But not as much as tomorrow."
Our Wedding Song

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love
Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love
Spending our lives together
Man and wife together
World without end
World without end
Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love
-John Lennon

Sunday, November 20, 2011


We started a tradition last year after reading about it on someone's blog. The Samaritan's Purse has a program called Operation Christmas Child. There are drop-off locations all over the United States where you can drop off a shoe box of gifts to be delivered to a child in need somewhere across the world. The last day for dropping off a shoe box is's not too late.

Along with the shoe box, we put in a homemade card, courtesy of Little Miss. (She has been writing the letters PKGE on all her drawings lately; I didn't know why until I was uploading this picture. She has told us that her name is now Pinky. The "PKGE" is her name of course!...made me laugh..)

Here's our shoe box before I stuff the cover on and taped it securely closed.
You can print out a tracking code online and see exactly where your box goes.
The finished boxes...stuffed to the gills! They weighed a ton. They are filled with card games, socks, soap, toothbrushes, face cloths, stuffed animals, jump ropes, crayons, clay, paper, craft kits, etc...

Just a little reminder for my kids (and me) that it is important to count our blessings and do for others.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm Grateful...

...for our beautiful new (safe) front walk; the old one was treacherous.
...for my spunky, happy, beautiful daughter,
...and my spirited, happy, and handsome son.
It's November, the month that reminds us to be thankful. What are you grateful for?

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Embracing the Camera with Emily

It's Thursday again already and that means it's time to Embrace the camera again with Emily. Thanks Emily for motivating me to take a picture with my kiddos each week. We're capturing cherished memories thanks to you!
Please disregard the play area "graveyard" behind us. It's the remnants left from our play area mishap during IRENE.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some sunshine

With it now getting dark by 4:30, we could all use some sunshine to make the days last longer. Here is my "fix" of sunshine for the day.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Steve Martin

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Because that's what kindness is. It's not doing something for someone else because they can't, but because you can.

~Andrew Iskander

Those who know me (especially my kids and my students) know that my #1 rule is to AlWAYS BE KIND

That one rule pretty much covers everything...

Unfortunately, in this world we live in, others often break this rule.

This past week in our town my little Cub Scout delivered plastic bags to several houses (at least 2 dozen) in our neighborhood as part of Scouting for Food, a community service carried out by the Boy Scouts, to collect canned and non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. Today was the pick-up day. We collected 2 bags of food. Yes, you read that correctly...TWO! Out of at least 24 houses, 2 left bags of food... What a disappointment! I like to think that most people are kind, compassionate and giving, but when things like this happen, it's so very hard. What do you say to your kids in response to something like that?

We can all make a positive difference each and every day of our lives. We should serve others. We cannot be ignorant and think that we may never be on the receiving end of someone else's charity. I think it's important to teach my kids that, even if it isn't always evident in the society that surrounds us.

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Embrace the Camera

Typically every Thursday Emily Embraces the Camera and encourages others to do the same. This week is a Halloween Embrace.

When witches go riding,and black cats are seen,the moon laughs and whispers,‘tis near Halloween.~Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dance Confidence

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”

-William Purkey

"With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights."

Marianne Williamson