Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Moments Like This

Happiness is: A mountainous cup of fresh coffee, a novel to read, and pencil and paper to write ideas down as they strike me. It is made all the better by being piled together on a tray that was covered in my favorite piece of Basic Grey paper ever. (The kit was a gift from my grandmother. Thanks Maw Maw! I love it.) I had a minute to sit and relax while watching the kids play outside, so I piled up my goodies on my tray and took them outside with me. A little piece of heaven in an insane world.



Speaking of insane, Captain Chaos has once again stretched the limits of predictability. Here he is standing up in his car on a slope. Not only did he stand up, he stretched up to reach the stars. I caught this one right before he reached up. I love this photo so much it is beyond words. It truly captures the essence of my son. Yes, I know he was outside in his pajamas, but we have been having many pajama days here now that the kids are out on winter break. I love pajama days where we do not have to get dressed and can just lounge around watching movies together. Since the yard is fenced in I can let them go out to play in their pajamas without the neighbors thinking I have completely lost it.



Winter break is going as well as can be expected. Alexis has been having some issues with her medication, and that makes everything a bit harder to deal with. I am not counting the days until they go back to school though. I am just trying to go with the flow and let all of the stress, fighting, and complaining not bother me. I am not always successful, but I am trying! Yesterday evening after they played outside for a while I had them come in and watch the movie we rented. I have found that the key to keeping them content, is to keep them busy. It is easier said than done certainly. They sat all together in front of the television, and watched the movie peacefully, for a total of five minutes. While they were still I ran to get the camera, and caught this photo. *Sigh* When they get along, life can surely be beautiful.



Thank you all for stopping by my blog all year long. It is so gratifying to know that people actually read what I write! =0) I hope you all have a fabulous time tonight ringing in the New Year. I am wishing you all the happiness your heart can hold for the next year. I have got some surprises coming up on my blog for the coming year. I hope you stick around to check them out!

Hugs!
Heather

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Ronnie!

Ronnie turned thirty yesterday, and we gave him a white noise machine to help him sleep at night. He tried it last night and loved it.



Jordan insisted on blowing out his candles for him. He is such a good Dad that he let her. I had to tell her no to opening his present for him. LOL



We got him a super cool Transformers cake with enough chocolate on it to knock out a mule. He did not even get to keep his cake topper. Brandon stole it. LOL



All in all, he had a good birthday! He is not upset at all about turning thirty. No midlife crisis for him I guess. I, on the other hand, probably will be nuts. Already I have noticed that I have wrinkles at twenty eight years old. I blame the kids. =0P

I have been scrapbooking up a storm lately and want to share a few pages with you all. As always you can click on them to make them bigger!





I have got lots of classes coming up at Scrappersaurus, so if you are in the New Orleans area check out the website at Scrappersaurus.com to see the calendar. I will be teaching Photo Restoration and Editing, Digital Scrapbooking, a Tim Holtz Distressing class, a monthly class called Healing from Hurricanes, Advanced Digital scrapbooking, Layout of the Month classes, as well as Cricut I and II classes. We have got tons going on. Those are only the one's I am teaching. Dee will be teaching other classes as well! It is going to be a busy New Year for all of us.

Hugs!
Heather

Monday, December 29, 2008

Photo Challenge Blog Holiday Photo

On the advice of my friend Leah, I decided to join the photo challenge blog. The challenge was to post your favorite holiday photo from this holiday season. I can safely say this one is it!



I know it is not a traditional holiday photo by any means. It is my children peering into the chicken pen at my grandmother's house. We only drive down to her house during the holidays because the drive is so very long. The reason why I love it so much is because I have all of my children in one shot, which is nearly impossible. I also love all of the textures of the plants, and the chain link fence.

Hugs,
Heather

Questions Session 5 and New Years Resolutions

The questions today are of my own making, and are based on something near and dear to my heart. Christmas is a time of excess in some ways. Many of us are lucky to be able to buy our children what they want for Christmas, but there are many people out there who can not. Especially in the economy we are dealing with these days. It is a tradition of ours in our home to go through all of our clothes and toys at the end of the year to donate to charity. I usually donate to Vietnam Veterans of America because they make money for our troops who returned from serving their country who are not receiving the care I believe they are worthy of. They are one of my favorite charities. Here is the huge pile of stuff we are donating this year! I can not believe how many clothes and toys my family has grown out of, and as an added benefit we can now all fit into our small house much easier.





This leads to your first question: What is your favorite charity and why? I have already shared mine. I also support New Heights as well, as much as I possibly can because of how much they have done for my daughter.

The second question is expected this time of year: What are your New Year's resolutions? Here are mine.

1.) I want to save my blog as a file that I can later get printed and save. Since I have so very many posts, this will take quite some time!

2.) I want to get all of my recipes typed up and printed out so I can add them into the super cute recipe box my grandma made me for Christmas. I want my children to have my recipes when they are older.

3.) I want to read one hundred books in the year 2009. I hope I can do it!

4.) Last but not least I want to read all of the magazines I have piled up in my end table. There has to be at least a hundred. LOL I subscribe to more than I can keep up with I think. You do not believe that I have that many? Here's a photo. (Ignore the dust please!)



Today is Ronnie's birthday, and he is turning thirty. I would tease him mercilessly, but I know when I turn 30 I would get the same treatment so I am trying to refrain. We bought him a Transformers cake because Brandon liked that one in the book. So I had better quit typing and go make his birthday card before it is too late. I am sure I will have photos of the madness to post tomorrow.

Hugs,
Heather

P.S. Happy New Year!!!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Years Day Gumbo

I told Leah I was starting a new tradition by cooking chicken and sausage gumbo on New Year's Day. She asked for my recipe so I searched online to find one that was close to mine. Honestly, I am Cajun so I just throw things in the pot until it looks right. I do not measure. I pour the spices in my hand until it looks right. The only thing I do know is the ingredient list, and the amount of meat I use is a pound of sausage, and a pound of chicken. I found this recipe on about.com and edited it until it was closer to my recipe. I do not use chicken parts I use a pound of Chicken breast because I do not like having to pick out the bones.

Gumbo Ya Ya Recipe (Edited by me!)

Ingredients:

* 5 to 6 pounds chicken parts or 1 lb. of chicken breast
* salt
* cayenne pepper
* garlic powder
* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
* 1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
* 2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
* 6 cups chicken broth
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
* 1 pound andouille sausage finely diced, or another smoked sausage such as Kielbasa
* 4 cups hot cooked rice (you may need more rice, we always do)
* 1 can Trappey's okra and tomato (blended in a blender until liquid)
* Tony Chachere's Roux Mix http://www.cajunspice.com/marinades/ (so you can cheat and darken your roux if ain't dark enough LOL)

Preparation:
Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise to get a total of 10 pieces of chicken, or cube your chicken breasts into small pieces. Season with salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Measure flour into a large paper bag. Add chicken pieces and shake until well-coated. Remove chicken and set remaining flour aside for the roux.

In a large skillet, brown chicken in very hot oil, remove chicken from the oil and set aside. Stir oil remaining in the skillet with a wire whisk to loosen any brown bits remaining in the bottom of the pan. Whisk in 1 cup of the remaining flour and whisk constantly over medium heat until the roux becomes dark brown. Be sure to stir constantly and do not let this mixture burn. It will probably take from 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat; add onions, celery and green bell pepper. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender.

Transfer roux and vegetables to a large heavy saucepan. Add stock to roux and vegetables and bring to a boil, stirring. Lower heat to a quick simmer and add garlic, okra blend, sausage and chicken. Add roux mix only if you need to darken or thicken your gumbo. Continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over the rice.
Serves 10.

If you cook it let me know how you like it!
Happy New Year, and Laissez bon temps rouler !
Hugs,
Heather

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Rocks!

We ran around like crazy before Christmas. Ronnie even went to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve because we needed one last Hannah Montana Barbie that Jordan asked for at the last possible minute. I drove down to my grandparent's house on Christmas Eve by myself for the first time. It is a two hour drive and the fog was terrible even at ten o'clock in the morning. Here is one of the clearer shots as I was driving down...



It is hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it is almost eighty degrees out. I wore shorts! My grandparents were taking their daily nap when we got there so I ended up taking the kids outside so they would not wake them up. We had a really good time looking at the chickens. The kids were thrilled. Of course Brandon ended up falling in the mud, and getting dirty, but I took it all in stride. After all he was wearing camouflage pants and it just blended right in. Note the NASCAR shirt as well. He was dressed for success for sure.



Paw Paw made his usual pot of gumbo that tasted fabulous! It is not a Cajun Christmas Eve without gumbo. We usually have the more traditional ham on Christmas Day.



My grandpa who is funny as all get out, bought my grandma fainting goats for Christmas. I guess he figured that they already had chickens, so they might as well go for the whole petting zoo! They were cute, and yes... they do faint. (Leah, Brandon was BAREFOOT!)



After we ate the gumbo, it was time for the nativity play. My cousin Katie was the narrator, and the kids acted out the Christmas play. Baby Jesus would only sit in his "manger" with his Mater cup, and he refused to wear a halo.



After the play we opened presents! I got lots of scrapbook stuff and a recipe box my grandma made that was adorable. I also got a gift card to Wal-mart and bought my ipod speakers which makes me OH so happy!!! I love my music. I also used it to buy Ronnie's birthday present, a Step-Brothers DVD. He'll love it. Oh and the book Twilight. Yum! All good stuff!!!

We drove home through pea soup thick fog. It took forever to get home, and was extremely scary and disorienting. I was so grateful to be home. Then we did the Santa thing and collapsed into bed. The little kids woke up at six thirty. Then we went and yelled at Alexis that Santa came. She jumped in the air all confused and happy. It was too cute. We opened presents including some super cool bouncy balls from their "Aunt" Lisa. Here is Jordan bouncing on hers. (Look at my super cute snowman pajamas!)



Their BIG present was a sand and water table which they totally loved. I now have sand all over my carport, but they are happy so I will just deal! I got Old Navy clothes from hubby which is what I wanted so... Yay Hubby!



We had Christmas with Ronnie's family last night which was really nice. The kids got an all terrain wagon, a big wheel, Cars stuff, a Wall-E DVD, Hannah Montana Microphones, High School Musical DVD, Hotwheels, a Yo Gabba Gabba guitar and toy, and a Hannah Montana sticker maker. They are rotten! Ronnie and I each got money and I used mine to buy a Cuttlebug and Cuttlebug embossing folders! I can not wait for it to come in. (We are rotten too!) We also celebrated Ronnie's birthday with them yesterday because they will not be up here on Monday for his actual birthday. He is turning thirty and I am not going to let him live it down.

I had a class this morning. I have got so very many classes coming up at Scrappersaurus, including digital scrapbooking classes which totally rocks. I have also been asked to teach photo restoration and repair so I am getting a class together to do that. It is so gratifying to be able to teach people about expressing themselves through scrapbooking. We are also planning a Katrina or hurricane themed class soon. I keep hearing that people want to scrapbook their losses from the hurricanes, so Dee and I are getting together a topic list for a monthly class.

Thanks for stopping by my long winded blog post,
Happy New Year!
Hugs!
Heather

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Captain Chaos Strikes Again!



Do not let this angelic face fool you! This child is chaos personified! What is that you say? You need proof? Well. This morning I noticed that the Christmas tree looked suspiciously bare on one side. Brandon had been doing really well with the ornaments. He had not been pulling them off of the tree or anything. I started searching and then I found THIS!



He took the ornaments off the tree and broke them, then had the sense to hide them from me behind his present. I do not know whether to laugh, cry, or be mad. I am so grateful he did not hurt himself. Those ornament shards are sharp! That is what I get for having the nerve to try to take a five minute shower. Now you see why we call him CAPTAIN CHAOS!!!! (He is lucky he is cute!)

Merry Christmas!
Heather

A Blog Award from Angi


Angi awarded me the honest scrap blog award! Thanks Angi!!!

So here are the rules:
1. List 10 honest things about yourself (TRUE and interesting things - not just the color of yours socks!)
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers.

One-I can not stand it when things are out of place. It makes me insane. It is part of the mild OCD I have. I have to have things where they belong. It does not bug me if the house is dusty, but it can not be messy.

Two-Speaking of OCD, I check the door locks incessantly before I leave the house. Once I came home and the door was open. I had forgotten to lock it. Ever since then I have been insane about checking.

Three-Sometimes I wish for more alone time. I love my children to death, and my husband too, but I love being alone. I love just sitting and reading in peace and quiet. I love being able to make my own decisions and not worrying about what anyone else needs.

Four-I have a complete potty mouth, and I have to work really really hard not to curse in front of my kids. I am not always successful.

Five-I hate wearing makeup and getting dressed. If I can hang out in my pajamas it is a great day!

Six-I am too impatient. I hate waiting in lines, and often hurry my children along when I should let them do things at their own pace more often.

Seven-I love scrapbooking. I have been known to put my kids in front of the TV or put them down for their naps early so I have more time to scrapbook. LOL

Eight-I am a big weenie. Horror movies scare the living bejesus out of me.

Nine-I sing really REALLY loudly to my ipod. I listen to all kinds of music, and depending on my mood... I love to dance too.

Ten-I love blogging, and am a bit addicted to following my friends blogs.

I am tagging... Leah, Cheryl, Liz, and Adriann!

Hugs,
Heather

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Journaling Prompts 4?

(I found these questions on scrapbook.com and am working my way through them developing my writing skills. *Hopefully* I thought that others might like to join me in answering these questions, so I am posting the questions and my answers on my blog every few days.) I do not remember what number we are on so if anyone wants to chime in and fix me you are welcome to.

The first question is: What makes you laugh?

Will Farrell makes me laugh like crazy. My husband always rents every one of his movies and we just crack up. Seriously, if you have not seen the movie Step Brothers. You have to. We were crying laughing. Mostly because my husband is so much like Will Farrell's character in the movie. It is not a movie for little eyes though.

In the same vein, my husband's wacky sense of humor makes me laugh. He has a very dry sense of humor. If you do not know him he comes off sarcastic, which also works for me because I am pretty sarcastic myself.

My kids are always doing something or saying something nutty to make me laugh. I live a life of constant entertainment.

The second question is: Do you wish you had more sisters and brothers? Why or why not?

I think I have enough sisters and brothers. I have one half sister, three half brothers, one step sister, and one step brother. The worst part is that I am not really close with any of them. It makes me sad to think about it sometimes. I hope that my children grow up to be both siblings and friends.

That is all for this installment. I may post more before Christmas, and I may not. It depends how hectic it gets here with all three children out of school.

Thanks for stopping by,
Heather

Seventh Heaven

For the past month we have been listening to Alexis incessantly counting down to her seventh birthday. Every morning she would roll out of bed and announce ___ days until my birthday! Friday was the big day, and I baked a half a million cupcakes on Thursday evening to bring to her school party. They all got to wear their pajamas to school because for their Christmas Party they watched Polar Express. Since her birthday is so close to Christmas she often ends up having her Birthday and Christmas party on the same day at school.

Saturday we had her party. I had been planning it for weeks. Apparently Hannah Montana is the epitome of what every seven year old girl wants to be. She asked for a Hannah cake, and a Hannah Barbie as her present. I had lots of fun hunting them down. We did karaoke, makeovers, and dress up at the party. Everyone had a great time, but I think the karaoke was what really put us over the top. That and the superstar glasses.



Brandon wandered around confused trying to figure out what all of the fuss was about, but Jordan jumped right and and commanded that she be the first to sing. Thankfully the birthday girl did not mind waiting her turn. Jordan is a bit bossy at times. Here she is rocking out on the mic wearing her super cool white gloves.



I can not finish a post about a birthday girl without the requisite photo of her with her cake. So here it is!



Hugs!
Heather

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ack!

Yesterday morning we got up before the sun did. Alexis had a psychiatrist’s appointment at 7:15 over an hours drive away. I rushed around frantically trying to get the kids ready. The kids were moving as slow as molasses in the winter time. It never fails, if I’m in a rush they move slower.

I opened the door to go out, and noticed a thick soupy fog. The humidity was so heavy that you could taste it when you breathed. We all piled into the van, and I gave them their waffles that I made. It drives Ronnie nuts when we eat in the van, but we were all out of time. I may have mentioned here before that I absolutely detest driving on the interstate. I always have. I can not understand why people can not have the common courtesy to let people merge onto the interstate, and not drive like maniacs. If you add the fog to the equation… it gets worse. We had to drive extremely slowly and barely made it to the appointment on time.

After we arrived at the psychiatrist’s office, the kids played a while, and then we were called into the room. The psychiatrist came in right as Brandon was trying to open the door to escape. I mentioned that we had to put chains on all of our exterior doors because Brandon was smart enough to open the deadbolts. The psychiatrist responded, “I just hooked a battery up to mine so that every time my kids touched it they got shocked.” “They learned to leave it alone quickly.” I just responded “Uh huh,” without really listening until I realized what he had said. Then I looked at him like he had lost his mind when my brain caught up with what he had said. He laughed and apologized and said he was trying to be funny. Umm? Ok. He ended up changing Alexis’ ADHD medicine to one that will last longer. Since she is turning seven we have more options on what medication she will be on. This one has less side effects.

After the appointment we rushed to bring them to school. I brought the kids inside and spoke to Jordan’s teacher for a while. She suggested buying knee pads for Jordan to wear while she is at school because when she falls the floors are really hard and she keeps getting bruises. I am planning on having her wear them under her pants. She already gets rude comments on her braces. I can only imagine the comments she would get on knee pads.

Yesterday both of the girls had their Christmas concert performances. They did such a great job. Jordan’s was first and they sang Frosty the Snowman. My heart was melted, and not just from the singing. I saw something I had suspected that made me really happy. Jordan was sitting down on the floor in front of the stage waiting her turn. She could not get comfortable because of her braces, and was wiggling around. Instead of fussing at her, the teacher let her go over by her, and they watched the performance together with Jordan standing in front of the teacher, and the teacher hugging her. As the Mom of a special needs child, I always worry how she is being treated. I suspected that her teacher had a special place in her heart for her, but that confirmed it!



She did really well in the performance. I was so glad because I had worried that she would get nervous. Here is the video of her song...



I was so lucky that my in-laws came to see the girls, and helped me with Brandon. Otherwise I would have never gotten it on video. Jordan's show was at 9:30 and Alexis' did not start until 1:30 so we went home and I folded clothes and chatted with my in-laws until it was time to go back. They drove two hours through that nasty fog to get here. I really appreciate them.

When we got back, Brandon decided he was done with the whole Christmas program thing, and threw a huge gigantic temper tantrum. It looks like the terrible twos are coming early because this has happened a LOT lately. It is really hard not to be embarrassed when he does it in public, but he's so little, and so hard headed like his Momma. I do not get mad at him. I just take him outside. My mother in law came and got him so I could video tape Alexis' performance for Ronnie. He was not able to get off of work. I later found out that Brandon was so upset, that she had to take him to the van. Of course then he was happy because he could pretend to drive. I felt awful that my mother in law had to deal with his tantrum, but she reminded me that they all do it. (Even his Daddy who thinks he was so perfect! Ha!)

While I was filming my higher quality video camera ran out. I had to get Alexis' performance on the video feature that came with my digital camera. It goes in and out of focus, but I still got it. She is the third one from the left after Santa Claus. She did such a good job, and the Santa Claus was hilarious.



Do not get me wrong, I love the Christmas season, but I am so very busy that I could pull my hair out! I have a special hire project to do a luggage tag. I have classes to prepare for. I have to create a hybrid digital class to teach at Scrappersaurus. I have to bake cupcakes tonight for Alexis' birthday/Christmas party at school tomorrow. I have to prepare for Lexie's birthday party on Saturday. Pray for me. I need extra hours added to this day! Now I am off to do more laundry.

I will have to post more questions another day. This post is already super duper long!

Thank you for stopping by,
Hugs!
Heather

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Questions...

Two stories I wanted to tell led to my question choices today. The first question is: What do you do to soothe yourself or your children when you or they wake up from a nightmare?

We have a comfort routine we go through when Jordan has a scary dream. I hug her tightly and tell her everything will be okay. Then I ask for details about the dream so I can make it right. I ask what was scaring her and then I tell her that I am going to ship the creature far, far away so that it can never get to her again. Once she asked if Alaska was far enough away, and I agreed. So we ship the scary monsters to Alaska. We pretend that I put them in the mailbox, and the mail man comes and takes them away to Alaska. Over the years we have shipped a blue crab who pinched her toes, a purple dinosaur who roared at her really loudly, a small brown mouse that squeaked scarily, and the most recent was a multicolored dragon who held her too tight. I just hope those kids in Alaska have Moms who ship the scary creatures away too… as long as they do not ship them back to Louisiana we will be okay.

The second question is: What is the sweetest thing that has happened to you lately?

The other morning while I was getting Jordan dressed; we were rolling around wrestling and playing. I always pretend to eat her tummy, and blow bubbles on it. Even at four years old, she still has not tired of that game. While I was blowing on her tummy, she gently put her hand on the top of my head instead of laughing like she normally does. I was concerned, so I looked up at her. She looked at me and smiled beautifully. Then she said, “You know what Mommy?” “You belong to me.” She said it so seriously, in the cutest little voice, like it was vital that I understand her. I looked at her in surprise, then I ended up tearing up. I told her, “You belong to me too!” She simply said, “I know, Mommy.” Just thinking of it again makes me sigh. It was the sweetest thing ever. I love that girl.

Hugs,
Heather

Friday, December 12, 2008

Frosty the Snowman

We had unexpected visitors last night. We were sitting at the table eating dinner when the doorbell rang. It was my sister-in-law, her husband, and her two tiny poodles. Their power had gone out in the snow storm, and it was 50 degrees inside their house! So they came over to our house to get a warm bed, and a bath. The kids were really excited to see them. They left early this morning because they had to go to work. I haven't heard back whether they have power or not. I am hoping they do because it is just too cold without it!

Brandon and I went out to play in the snow this morning one more time. It is melting rapidly! We still had three inches on the ground at eight o'clock, so I built a bigger snowman than we made yesterday. I worked on it while Brandon walked around the yard in the snow. He was fascinated with the noise his shoes made crunching down in the snow, so he was not paying much attention to me. When I finished making the snowman, I called him over. This is his reaction to the snowman...



I have another video to share from this morning... Brandon loved the way his footsteps crunched in the snow. He would just walk around with his tongue hanging out trying to keep his balance. It was priceless.



More posts to come in a bit... I have questions to post, and my Reading List from this year!

Hugs,
Heather

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow Video and One More Pic

I meant to upload this picture of our house at the height of the snow storm, and I forgot. Here is is! I still can not believe it. It is almost four o'clock and we still have piles of snow outside. I am hoping it all does not melt before Ronnie gets home so he can see some of it. He works over an hour away and they only had a little bit of snow. Nothing like we had here.



Here is the video I promised of the kids playing in the snow! It took forever to upload.



I do have one more video... but it includes a massive snowball fight with me running around in my pajama bottoms. It will not be uploaded. LOL

Yay! Hugs!
Heather

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (REALLY!)

Last night I heard on the weather report that it would snow today. Bob Breck (my favorite weatherman) said between six and eight o'clock this morning it would snow. I got so excited at the prospect of a little sprinkle of snow because it has been four years since we last saw any! I got up this morning and woke the kids up at six o'clock so I could dress them up warmly. Ronnie was a Grinch and kept saying that even if it did snow it would just melt and it would be "muddy snow". I told him to stop being negative and let me be happy. Now I get to say just how WRONG he was! We played in the snow for hours this morning! I estimate we got between three and a half to four inches of snow between six and ten this morning. It was the most snow I have ever seen in person, and it was the first time the kids were old enough to play in it. The last time we had snow was Christmas Eve 2004. The first Christmas after the girls were placed with us.

I know that snow is not such a big deal to some of you, but to me it felt so magical. I spent so much time playing with the kids outside, and every now and then I would look up and just think... Wow! I guess if we got more snow the novelty would wear off, but it really was amazing to see. Now it's raining outside, and the snow is melting. It is okay though. I took enough photos to last me another four years. LOL Here are some of my very favorite photos. I have to confess that I took more than 150 keepers. LOL I took 400 total. Thank goodness my camera has a huge memory card! I have a movie to upload too in a bit, after I finish uploading all of my photos to Winkflash. =0P







Hugs,
Heather

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ad This Guest Design Team Spot

I won last weeks challenge at the Ad This blog http://adthis.blogspot.com/. Part of my prize was a guest design team spot for this week. Here is my layout I did for them. The ad this week was so cool. They have a really sweet prize this week for a vintage inspired Christmas kit, so go check them out!!!!!



I made my own sun rays and stickled the goodness out of them. I also free hand cut the grass.

Other supplies: Smoothies Thickers, Sassafras Chipboard Mushroom, and the Clay button on the cloud made my me.

Hugs,
Heather

Sassafras Lass Contest

I was browsing through my latest issue of Scrapbooks Etc. last night and came across a super cute contest by Sassafras Lass. They had created a diorama and put it in the magazine, but the challenge was to create something else out of the diorama. It was screaming to be made into a 3-d Christmas card in my opinion. I had so much fun making this! I have not decided who I'm sending it to yet. =0P If you click on the photo it will get much bigger, and you will be able to see details.



Hugs!
Heather

12 Days Of Christmas

EsteeLynn over at scrapbook.com has a hilarious column that she writes once a week. This week her theme was the 12 Days of Christmas. http://www.scrapbook.com/blogs/41587/view/133421.html I wrote this in the comment field to comment, and decided I would like to share it here as well. Forget the partridges in a pear tree, and ten Lords a Leaping... This is what I would really like for the 12 Days of Christmas.

One day where everyone got along, and I never had to yell "Quit hitting your sister" or "No you can NOT sit on your brother".

Two girls whose hair does not knot up at the slightest view of a brush. I do not understand why hair that looks relatively smooth has knots the size of Mount Everest underneath. My combing their hair every morning is punctuated by cries of "You're killing me Mommy"! I just hope the neighbors do not misunderstand. LOL

Three whole minutes to sit down at my scrapbook table, and pick out the next set of photos I would like to scrap without Jordan asking me where the baby doll bottle for Chou Chou baby is, or Alexis telling me what everyone at school did wrong, or having to pull my son off of whatever piece of furniture he has decided to climb in the 2.2 seconds I had my back turned.

Four hours with my grandparents who I miss dearly. Since we missed Thanksgiving I have not seen them since early this Summer. Ever since I started teaching on Saturdays, it has been really hard to get down there.

Five minutes of reading a book without having to change a diaper, or having someone come up to me and "Hep" me by flipping the pages of my book 10 at a time.

Six brand new packs of Basic Grey that I have had on my wish list forever. Oh and throw in some time to use them to please. My paper bin is overflowing, and Ronnie is threatening not to buy me any more paper until I use what I have. It is just all so pretty! LOL

Seven new songs from Itunes, so that I have something to sing along to while I cook, clean, and create! Random songs that make Ronnie shake his head when I sing them out loud would be good. Ice Ice Baby from Vanilla Ice sounds like a winner. =0P

Eight clean pairs of socks so that I can declare victory over the sock monster who lives in my dryer. Seriously where do those socks go anyway?!

Nine gigantic hugs, Three from each of my children. A "wub you Mama" thrown in would be really nice too.

Ten dollars so I can go get my eyebrows waxed. I look like a Wookie again. Seriously Chewbacca would be ashamed to be seen with me.

Eleven phone calls from my husband when he is at work, just to say he loved me and is bored. I act like this drives me nuts, but Shhh! I really like to hear from him.

Twelve more months next year to do it all again. I really love my life! Even though there are some hard times, the good times more than make up for it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Now I am going to leave you with a photo from our family movie night on Saturday. If you have not seen the Disney movie Wall-E with your kids. You should! Movie night here consists of spreading out a quilt, pulling out every pillow we own, and trying to watch a movie while Brandon kamikaze dives over us and steps on us. Perfection!



Thanks for stopping by!
Heather

Monday, December 8, 2008

Celebration at Koop Drive

I know I am slamming you all with blog posts today, but I've got so much going on during the Holiday season that I just can not help but share. Saturday we went to see Santa Claus at our town's celebration. They string lights from the water tower, and cover every spare inch they can with lights at the playground. I got a few cute photos from that night and wanted to share!

All 3 kids in one photo, it is a miracle! They are sitting in Santa's sleigh. Jordan was looking for the reins.



I know this photo is grainy, but I love it. Ronnie with all three kids.



Alexis and Jordan rode one of the free kiddie rides. They sat in the back of a fire truck. There was a bell in the front seat of the fire truck, and the kid that sat there rang it the entire time. I had to drag Jordan off of the ride screaming because she had decided that she wanted to ride again and sit where the bell was, but she did not understand the concept that there were other kids waiting in line. It resulted in a huge tantrum, but since we had already taken our family photo together. I did not mind so much.



Afterward we brought all three kids to Wal-mart with us. Not a smart activity, but we were out of groceries and the six packs of Ramen noodles at the back of the pantry were starting to look appetizing. No worries! Now we are all stocked up and ready to go. Spaghetti anyone?

Ronnie has gotten a late start on the Christmas lights this year. He was outside hanging them up on Sunday. It is a tradition of ours that I sneak outside when he is not looking and snap photos. LOL If you look closely you will see Brandon in the window checking to see what Daddy is doing.



Hugs!
Heather

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your family, from me and my family!



Here is the digital Christmas card I'm sending out to all of my friends on the internet! I went digital this year instead of the more traditional ones. I used Glitz Digital Scrapbook paper.

Hugs,

Heather

A Thanksgiving Conversation

I completely forgot to post this. I remembered last night, and decided it was just too cute not to share.

After I finished cooking for Thanksgiving, I rushed around fixing plates for the kids. I gave them their plates, and fixed mine. I sat down next to Jordan, and Ronnie's Dad announced that his wife would like to say the blessing. So we all joined hands, and closed our eyes. Ronnie's Mom began to pray. She thanked God for all of us being able to be together. As she was praying, we heard a little voice pipe up. Jordan said in a disbelieving voice, "What? Are we going to sleep now?" She thought since we were closing our eyes to pray that we were going to sleep. I had such a hard time not laughing, but Ronnie's Mom was still praying so I did my best. My effort did not last for long because a few seconds later I heard, "Mmmmm! This is good!" Jordan had let go of Ronnie's Mom's hand and started eating. I guess she decided if we were all going to "sleep", that she was going to go ahead and eat. We all ended up laughing, and Ronnie's Mom finished the prayer quickly. It was just sooo funny! That girl cracks me up at least once a day.

Hugs,

Heather

Questions Session 2

*These questions were found online on scrapbook.com. I decided to answer them all a bit at a time to find out more about myself, and to develop as a writer. You can play along and post on your blog if you would like.*

If you could find out the truth about one thing, what would it be?

If I could, I would find out the absolute truth about 9/11. Exactly what happened, with no government cover up, or smoothing over. I want to know what mistakes were made in the responses. I want to know how much information the government had in advance. I want to know it all. I am not one for conspiracy theories or anything like that. I just know there is more to it than is being expressed.

What do you think about capital punishment?


This is not a tough one at all for me. I had terrible parts of my childhood that have convinced me that there is a need for capital punishment. There are things that people do that are too terrible for words. I believe that capital punishment should be an option for anyone that murders anyone else. I know this is a controversial question. Feel free to post your response, but let us keep it polite please.

Hugs,
Heather

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I finished Jordan's Baby Doll Quilt!

I got this grand idea to make Jordan a tiny quilt for her baby dolls for Christmas. I wanted to make something hand made for each of my children. I was at a loss for where to begin, so I have to say THANK YOU to Liz who wrote a wonderful tutorial on making a doll quilt for me. I would not have been able to complete it on my own. Any mistakes are my fault, as she did a wonderful job trying to teach me what to do! THANKS Liz! You can visit her blog, and her awesome quilting here... http://sandandsunshine.blogspot.com/



I'll be posting more questions to answer tomorrow hopefully. Things have been insanely busy around here. I have got lots of stuff to do as far as work goes, but do not think I have forgotten. In the words of California's governor "I'll be back!" LOL

Thanks for stopping by,
Hugs,
Heather

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Random Bits Of Me

I am still working on journaling and writing. I have decided that I would like to write a bit more about my life. More than just the everyday hustle and bustle, I am going to write more about me. I found a huge print out of journaling questions on scrapbook.com and I am working on developing more as a writer. Eventually I would like to write short stories. I am not going to say that I will be writing a novel any time soon, but I do plan to write more because writing makes me smile. Feel free to follow along with the prompts on your own blog if you would like to. I would love to see what you write. Some of the questions will be posted here, and some that are too private will be written in my own handwriting in a journal I bought. Eventually I plan to save them all for my children.

Two questions today:

Today what you really like about your life is:

I really like that I do not have to work full time. I do teach at a scrapbook store almost every Saturday, but on weekdays I am able to be home with my children, and my scrapbook supplies. Heaven.

I really like that I am able to express myself creatively. I still worry that other people will judge my work and find it wanting. I work to convince myself that as long as I am satisfied when I look at my completed project, it is a job well done.

I really like that I am blessed with my three children. Even though some days feel less blessed than others.

I really like the relationship I have with my grandmother. I appreciate the fact that she is always available to talk when I need to. In reality, she is more like a friend than a grandmother sometimes. I love her lots.

I really like that it is getting closer to Christmas. We have been a bit stressed financially, but I have to remember that money is not everything. I have been enjoying spending increased time with the kids when they were out over Thanksgiving break. I just wish we could get everyone to be healthy again.

I really like reading! I am planning to read at least one hundred books in 2009.

And one I will not answer here, but will do privately: What if you were more attractive, or uglier? How would you be different?

Thanks for stopping by,
Hugs,
Heather

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Wishlist

I was inspired by Leah to blog my Christmas wish list. I think you can find out so much about somebody from what they want for Christmas. LOL

There is nothing like new cozy pajamas for Christmas. Old Navy PJ's are my favorite. I love this pink set.





Then there's this adorable hoodie. I love the color. I could seriously go broke shopping at Old Navy.



Of course you know there will be some scrapbook supplies on the list somewhere. In this case it's the super cool Stickles set by Tim Holtz that coordinates with the inks!



And one can never have enough scrapbook paper, especially when it's as cute as this is!



Last but not least, to fulfill my Twilight obsession...



Thanks for stopping by,
Hugs!
Heather

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I won! Whoo hoo!

You have to check out this really cool challenge blog. It's called Ad This, and it challenges you to adapt an ad to a scrapbook page. They have a really talented guest team for inspiration too. I've been playing along for the past few challenges and was lucky enough to win the last one with my Makes Me Laugh layout!



That means I get to be a guest design team member for the next ad! Pretty sweet huh?

You can check them out here...

http://adthis.blogspot.com/2008/12/its-monday-december-1st.html

(Links aren't working in blogger for some reason, so you'll have to copy and paste.)

I also wanted to share a digital layout I did this morning. I really love the way this one came out! You can click on it to view it larger.



Thanks for stopping by!
Heather

Walking in a Winter Wonderland (Kinda)

I was totally inspired by Leah's lovely winter photos. We do not ever get snow like that here in Louisiana, but when I woke up this morning and saw a pretty white coating of frost on the grass, I decided to take a few photos. This is about as close to a Winter Wonderland as we get around these here parts. LOL

Here's the Taj Mahal playset covered in frost...


Here's a closer view...



I'm probably going to scrap these. I'll just put dreaming of a whiter Christmas. Or something. Who knows?

I've been scrapbooking up a storm lately. I'm working on Disney layouts. It was the next thing on my to do list after I finished Brandon's baby novel. I am really having a good time reliving the Disney memories. I know it is expensive as all get out, but I really wish we could go back. The looks on my children's faces in the photos are priceless to me, worth every penny, and more. We have to save up to go again soon. I came across a photo of our family together in the pile of photos I had, and I'm framing it to give to Ronnie for Christmas. It is extremely rare to get all of us together in a photo without someone crying or trying to get down.

Here are some of the layouts I've done recently. As always, if you click on them they get bigger and you'll be able to read the journaling and supply lists.













Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!
Hugs,
Heather