Life is an adventure.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This one's for my scrapbooking Peeps!

I started scrapbooking about 7 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing, so I went to the Hobby Lobby and bought a scrapbook magazine. I found a layout I liked and went to the scrapbook store in search of the EXACT same things I saw in the magazine on this layout. It was a bath time layout. Once I found the paper and stickers I needed I searched for pictures. My oldest, who was also my only child at the time, was still relatively young. We took a million pictures of him in the tub, so finding bath time pictures was not difficult. I sat on my bed with the magazine flipped open to the correct page, I carefully placed all of the paper and sticker around on the bed. I picked up my first picture and my scissors and cut a circle, just as they had done in the magazine. The only problem was the circle was all jagged and looked like a preschooler had cut it out. I could not figure out how the ladies in the magazine cut such a perfectly round circle. It took me several weeks, if not months, to realize there are circle cutters. So, my first page was no where near perfect, but I liked it anyway. This sparked a huge desire within me to scrapbook.
Fast forward 7 years and another child later and I am stuck. I have so many scrapbooks I can't look through them anymore. I can't even store them nicely. And now I've come to the place that a lot of scrapbookers come to. How do I separate my albums? I was doing one album for my son, one for my daughter and a family album. I felt like I was always behind and I found myself scrapping the same pictures two or three times. It was very draining. Scrapbooking was no longer fun to me. Every time I'd get with people who scrapbook I'd ask them how they arrange their albums. I quickly realized I wasn't alone. Lots of people had the same problem I had.
Then, one Friday night in whole life changed. I was talking with my friend Sara and I asked her the question, "How do you arrange your albums?" That's when I learned about Photo Freedom and Stacey Julian. Sara gave me just enough information about Stacey Julian's system to make me run right out and buy her book Photo Freedom. The basic concept is you don't have to scrapbook in chronological order. Ok, take a deep breath, I know this is hard to swallow. Also, she doesn't do books for her kids, she does books for herself! What a concept. She has her scrapbooking broken down into four main categories...People, Places, Things and Us. Most of her pages will fit into one of the four of these albums. She is not "caught up" and she does not scrapbook in order. She picks up the pictures she feels motivated to scrap and away she goes. It might be a birthday from 4 years ago. It doesn't matter! Once the page is done it goes into the appropriate album and you move on.
She also has these things called category drawers. It basically stores all of the extra pictures. You know how you took 400 pictures last Christmas and you tried to cram ALL of them on your two page spread? Well, you can stop doing that now. Find the best ones that really represent Christmas and scrap them on the Christmas page. Then store the others in your category drawers. Maybe one goes in the tab just for a specific child. Maybe another one goes into the tab specified for me and Mom. Then, one day down the road, you flip through the drawer and find several pictures of the same thing, probably not taken on the same day, and you scrap a page that represents what's going on in those pictures. It's pure Genius!
Are you lost yet? Here's an example. We carved pumpkins tonight and my husband, God bless him, was sitting at the table all alone carving the last pumpkin. This happens every single year. Bryce could care less! Hannah has a short attention span. And I go out and start taking pictures of the ones we've already carved. So, I took a picture of him. I know that I have several pictures of him, all alone, carving the last pumpkin from several different years. So, when I feel motivated to scrap those pictures I'll be able to tell a story with bits and pieces from several different years. And the best part is, I don't have to scrap it tomorrow, I can wait until July of next year if I want. Then I just put it into the appropriate album and move on.
These are my new albums. Aren't they lovely? Each of them will be given a specific task of People, Places, Things or Us. Once I assign a colored album a category that category will always be that color. So if I fill a green album and it's assigned People, the next People page I scrap will go into a new, green album. It's a lot of fun organizing all of the pictures I have, pictures I thought I'd never scrapbook. Now I'm giving them life again. Even if they sit in a drawer for four years, I know I will eventually get to them and it's ok! So now, go out and buy her book. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend Review

What a great weekend we had! The weather was pretty decent, no snow...yippee! Although the flakes were flying yesterday. But we're not going to talk about snow until AFTER Halloween. Friday my hubby was off work. It's nice to have him home. Hannah had preschool, so it was extra nice having him home in the afternoon. It's very rare that either one of us is home and the kids aren't. It's even more rare that we are both home with no kids. The house seems to smell better and it stays clean for more than 5 minutes....I love my kids, but I like an empty house every once in awhile.

Bryce's final flag football game was scheduled for Friday night, under the lights, but it had rained in the morning so it was rescheduled for Saturday. A free Friday night,, no. He went to hockey practice instead. I love watching him skate. He's getting so good! While all the other kids are dropping like flies around him he's the one skating circles around everyone. I cannot believe how far he's come in such a short amount of time. I'll have to remember my camera for the next practice.

Saturday morning the boys went to pick up cans for the Boy Scout troop. They also got haircuts. Thank goodness. They were looking pretty shabby! They went to Sports Clips which is a salon for dudes. They got massaged and a hot towel on their face. I think my men are getting a little too girly...tee hee. So then Saturday night we had the final flag football game. Bryce scored two of the three touchdowns. One was off of an interception! That boy's got some skills. I was so proud of him. Several parents, the coach included, told us how great he was and how much natural skill he has. I know he's only 7, but I think they are right. He's excelling in hockey too, he's just a natural. He must get that from his mommy ;) His team ended up taking first place. He got his first trophy. He is so proud of it and so am I!

Sunday was church. Man oh man did we have a great sermon. The pastor finished his sermon with tears in his eyes. My pastor is a national figure, which sometimes bothers me a bit. I guess it's human nature to think maybe he's not living the life he preaches. Sunday proved to me once again he is exactly the man you see every Sunday. He made me realize that I have a lot of resentment built up inside that I carry around like a baby. His philosophy is to punt kick those babies out of your life! Good idea Pastor Mark! If you've been wronged or hurt by someone and you are carrying around resentment or you're still bitter, forgive them and move on. I guarantee your life will prosper from it. And, it's something Jesus told us to do it! Your life will change. He also made me realize I haven't had my nose in the bible lately, so I'm going to try much harder this week to read a bit everyday.
Have a great week everyone. If you scrapbook and you're ready to change the way you scrapbook, check back later. I'm going to highlight a book by Stacy Julian called Photo Freedom. It's changed the way I look at scrapbooking...I feel so free!!!! ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Too cute hats for sale ;)

I have this terrible habit of getting totally involved in crafts I have no idea how to make. These hats are a prime example of that. I found them at a craft show and thought, "I can make that!" So I went looking for cheap fleece and then worried about how I was going to make them. I finally had some time today and pulled everything out to make the hat. Oh, by the way, I don't know how to sew and these hats require sewing. I had all of my stuff out on my island and started cutting. Then I sat down at the sewing machine. I had no idea what to do. So I called my husband. It's weird he knows how to sew and I don't, I realize this. He tried to walk me through threading the machine but it only got me more confused. I found a good illustration in the instruction book and gave it a shot. It worked! The thread came out three times and I successfully fixed it each time. So, this hat is my finished product. I started with the least attractive fleece I had just in case it didn't turn out so well. The light coming through the front door was awesome and I wanted to try some new techniques I learned for my camera so I asked Hannah to model for me. She was less than thrilled! I, however, am tickled at how well the pictures came out. By the way, I plan on selling the hats on Etsy for around $4 or $5. Let me know if you'd like one! wink wink

Friday, October 17, 2008

Would you if you could?

If you could, would you hit the rewind button on your life? Not so you could change to be better in your current life, but so that you could be something completely different than you are today? If you had the chance to go back pre-husband, pre-kids, maybe even pre-college, would you? I’m sure the knee-jerk response from all of us would be an emphatic YES!!! But stop and really think about it for a minute…no husband, no kids, a possible shift in career. How different would your life look to you? I can remember when I was in high school wishing for the “perfect life”. Here I am, about to turn 35 and I have a different perspective. That “perfect life” I wished for way back when has become my reality. Guess what? It ain’t so perfect! It is, however, exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be married, check, have kids, check, and stay home with them, check! Mission accomplished…sort of. What I don’t recall wishing for was rocky times throughout my marriage(s) including divorce and a second husband, children who are rude, disrespectful, stinky and apparently allergic to picking up their toys, and the ability to never watch my favorite TV show from start to finish without hearing “MOM!” yelled from someone’s bedroom. Ahhhh, ain’t life grand!

Last Sunday the family and I pulled into our favorite restaurant in Green Bay for lunch after church. I happened to notice a cute couple preparing to board their motorcycle and ride off into the sunset…no children in toe. Then I realized I knew the female part of this cute couple. I hadn’t seen her in well over a year. Last I heard she had filed for divorce and moved out with her child. I guess I assumed she would never date again because I was shocked to see her with another man! As they zoomed past me I made two realizations; one, that was indeed my friend and two, man was I jealous! Here she was with her beau on a Sunday afternoon, having a quiet lunch (read, no loud children) then riding off into the sunset holding tightly to the man she loves. I was quickly snapped back into reality when I heard, “Wow, you have a lot of hot friends getting divorced.” What?! Ok, whatever.

Fast forward one hour. We’re sitting in the bar so we can watch the Packer game and my husband says to me, “That’s one thing I miss about being single.” To which I replied lovingly, “What’s that dear?” “I miss sitting in the bar screaming at the TV when the game is on.” I thought for a minute and said, “Sitting in the bar screaming at the TV with your wife and children just doesn’t do it for ya, huh?” Then we heard this shrill scream from across the bar. Every head in the place turned towards this hideous noise. Then I saw this woman with both of her arms in the air, one hand tightly holding her Bud Light, screaming loudly at the TV watching the game. “Oh yeah, I sure miss those days,” I said to my wonderful hubby. We both rolled our eyes and giggled. Guess it wasn’t as much fun as he remembered.

So, it got me thinking, would I go back in time and rewind what I have done to be a totally different person today? Never in a million years. I am working on a new scrap booking process called Library of Memories by Stacey Julian (I’ll post more about that another day) and so I was flipping through old pictures of my son last night. One photo in particular just struck me. He was probably around 2 ½. He was sitting in the car in his seat and he seemed to be looking right at me, into my soul. I began to cry a little bit. How could I ever go back to a life without my husband or children in it? Do they drive me crazy daily? Absolutely! Do they make me want to pull my hair out? Every single day. Do I love them? More than words can express!! So, even though I’m still jealous that my friend has Sundays with her man and their motorcycle without children I love my life and the people in it. There will be no rewinding for me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Apple Bread

Apples have been taking up space on my kitchen counter for far too long. I remembered finding this recipe on a website I frequent called 2peas in a bucket. The recipe comes from someone who posts on that site. She has said that this recipe is so well liked she renamed it "Done to death apple pie" because she has made it so many times. This was only my second time making the bread but I'm sure I'll be making more in the future. It's a very simple recipe and it helped to deplete my apple stash by 6 apples! Only 4,390,980 to go!

Apple Bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make sure to generously grease the pans/tins you are using.

Mix Together:

3 eggs, slightly beaten

2C. sugar

1C. vegetable oil

1T. vanilla

Add and mix well:

3C. flour (I usually use 2c. all-purpose and 1c. whole wheat flour)

1t. baking soda

1t. ground cinnamon

Add and mix well:

4C. peeled and chopped apples

1C. chopped pecans (optional)

The mixture will be very goopy. I use my Kitchen Aid to mix it all together and that seems to work wonderfully! This recipe will make two large loaves of bread. I made one loaf and 6 mega muffins. I think it would be fun to make several small loaves and then freeze it. I have not tried to freeze this recipe, but the word is that it freezes beautifully!


Friday, October 3, 2008


My mind is going a million miles a minute today. I'm amazed I've accomplished anything at all. Well, technically, what I have accomplished doesn't amount to much. The rummage sale boxes that have been sitting in my bedroom are now in the basement, the dust bunnies are gone and my youngest child made it to school on time. That's about it. So much has been running through my mind and I don't know why. I've been thinking about health, food, healthy food or lack thereof, exercise, scrapbooking, photography, crazy schedules, birthday parties, TV shows, the upcoming election, building a new house, builders, selling the current house, family, my car, my husband, my children, what's for supper?, why am I craving Mt. Dew all of a sudden, do I really like the new quilt on the bed?, what if we don't have enough people to play bunko?, why did I agree to host bunko with all the things we have going on?, why do we have so much going on....honestly, the list goes on. Oh, and on top of all of that, I thought it would be fun to work for ChaCha. Don't know who that is? Check it out here. It looks like fun, but it's yet one more thing to add to my never ending list of things that don't seem to get done. Ugh! My head hurts today.
So, in the spirit of trying to clear my head I thought I'd steal something I read on another blog today. I'd love to hear your answers. Finding my own answers caused me to do some thinking, but at least it was streamline thinking and not spaghetti noodle thinking....cause that's driving me crazy!
1. In Citizen Kane, the main character's last words before dying were "Rosebud" which is discovered later to be the name of a favorite, childhood sled. The idea is that this rich, powerful, hated man, in his last moments, finds himself thinking of happy, innocent times. If the film were about your life, what word might you utter in similar sentiment?
GRANDMA...although I'm not 100% sure why. I guess, thinking back to my childhood, I had the most fun with my Grandma and I regret not spending more time with her while she was dying.
2. In Freaky Friday, a mother and her daughter who have difficulty understanding each other find themselves living the other's life (occupying the other's body and everything). If this were to happen to you for similar reasons, who's body would you wake up in?
MY HUSBAND...although we love each other very much and agree on several subjects, we have a very hard time communicating with each other. Even when we're thinking the same thing, we verbalize it differently and the other person is usually left feeling like there is a disagreement happening, even when we fully agree with each other.
3. In Raider's of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones has to jump into a pit full of snakes, the one thing that freaks him out the most. "Why did it have to be snakes?" he asks. If the movie were about you, what would be at the bottom of the pit?
SCORPIONS...DEFINITELY SCORPIONS. EWWWW, that's all I have to say about that.
4. In Parenthood, the main character explain to her husband that she loves the ups and down of family life, she finds it exhilarating and says, "I happen to love the roller coaster!" Do you love the roller coaster or would you rather ride the merry go round?
MERRY GO ROUND for sure. However, life is more like the roller coaster...