Monday, December 31, 2012

Country Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house and Jordan appointed herself the “smoking police” again. Several members of my family smoke and Jordan has been through anti-drug training at school. She goes outside all the time to tell them how “smoking causes low birth weight babies and emphysema”. I think it’s pretty funny, but I’m sure the smokers don’t appreciate it much. Too bad! They need to hear it. Here she is giving my cousin Katie an earful. Katie sputtered and said, “But… I don’t even know if I want kids.”

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This is one of my favorite photos from our gathering. My brother walked up and held my Mom still for five seconds so I could get a photo whether she liked it or not. I’m not sure what’s going on with the facial hair, but it’s better than the time he dyed his hair Cookie Monster blue. So I’ll take it!

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My Uncle recently became a grandfather for the first time. It was so neat to see him holding Morgan. She’s such a beautiful baby! Our family is growing by leaps and bounds. If we get much bigger, we might need to rent a venue for our Christmas parties.

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My grandfather is the best grandfather in the whole entire world. Here he is holding the most spoiled dog in the world! She’s so very rotten. Spoiled isn’t even the word for how she behaves. She gets away with murder.

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It’s not Christmas without hanging out with the new baby goats. There were at least six new babies and I caught one for my kids to pet. His name was Booger because of the one brown dot on his otherwise pink nose. He kept cuddling into me and it was really hard to resist taking him home with us. Jordan begged Ronnie, but he said no. Party pooper!

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My nephew Christian is the cutest little stinker! I kept asking him to let me take his photo, but he crossed his arms and said no. It all worked out because… Seriously? Let’s face it. This is adorable.

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Zachary is my other nephew. He followed my grandmother into the goat pen to feed the goats. They all follow her around like she’s the pied piper when she’s holding the food bucket.

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I adore this photo of my boys snuggling together on the couch. I really love that they wore matching clothes for my Christmas photos. And what’s that?! Ronnie’s smiling! It’s a Christmas miracle!!!

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After that, Brandon asked to hold baby Morgan but she was hungry and it didn’t go well. He didn’t panic when she started crying. He just talked to her calmly until her Momma picked her up.

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We read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible before we opened presents. Alexis sang Jingle Bell Rock in front of everyone and she did a really great job. She practiced for at least a month before we went down there and I was really proud of her.

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Brandon wanted to sing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer but he didn’t want to sing it by himself. The girls chipped in and they all got along for a record breaking two minutes. Another Christmas miracle!

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We all exchanged presents and Jordan got the Winter The Dolphin DS game that she’s been begging for ever since she saw the movie. I think she may have been a little excited. What do you think?

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We drove home in exceptionally thick fog. It was so bad that we drove way below the speed limit because we were worried about wrecking. I couldn’t resist snapping this photo of the fog on the Crescent City Connection bridge going toward New Orleans.

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I have a layout to share before I go. I did it yesterday because I wanted to finish one last page before the new year. I feel like I’ve been slacking because I haven’t had much time to scrap in the midst of all of the chaos.

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Ronnie hates it when I take his photo. This is the face that I get year 'round when I take his picture. The only time he actually smiles is on Christmas. He always declares that it's my Christmas present. I usually tell him that one day I'll scrap the photos of the faces he makes when I try to take his photos, and now I have. So there!

I used my Scraptastic Club December 2012 kit and add on called Mocha Latte to make this page. I also used the December 2012 stamps that I designed exclusively for Scraptastic Club.

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Cheer

We had a wonderful Christmas season this year and you all know that I took a TON of photos. Especially given the fact that I had a new lens! I won’t bore you with all of them, but I will share some highlights over the next few days.

We had our Christmas with Ronnie’s family on the 22nd. They spoiled the kids rotten as always! The girls got clothes from Justice and they all got new jammies. They got video games galore and girly lotion and lip gloss. All good stuff.

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We went outside to play football because my father in law gave Brandon a new one for Christmas. The girls were wearing mini-skirts but they had thick tights on underneath. It was actually pretty cold. We were all laughing at their stylish football uniforms.

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We also celebrated Ronnie’s 33rd birthday. Yes, he’s getting seriously old! He had a lot of help blowing out the candles. We were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to manage it without help. Ha!

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Ronnie’s parents posted a mystery game on the wall when we got there and it drove the kids crazy. Of course, I already knew what the puzzle said. We’ve waited three months to tell the kids! Here’s Alexis with her best puzzled face…

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We are going to Disney World!!! They read it and said, “Oh we solved the puzzle.” “This is what it says.” They didn’t understand at first that we’re actually going sometime in 2013! When they got it, they went INSANE. There was a lot of jumping and shrieking. They were very excited. The last time we went Brandon was only 18 months old so I don’t think he remembers much at all. I’m so looking forward to going! It killed me to keep it a secret for so long.

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I’ll be back tomorrow to post the rest of our Christmas adventures!

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Announcing

I’ve got some good news to share. I found out last month that I’ve been picked up for the Lori Whitlock Design Team. I’m being announced today on Lori’s blog. I will be contributing digital layouts and I’m super excited! I’ve worked with Lori’s products through JessicaSprague.com so I already have a few examples of my work with her goodies. If you’d like to view full supply lists, please click on the corresponding image.

1. Beautiful

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This is a new page that I made just for today’s post. I used Lori Whitlock's gorgeous Maggie collection with her awesome You Make Me Happy Layout Template to make this project.

Alexis was all too willing to help me test some new settings on my camera and we got some super fun action shots of her jumping around. The colors in the Maggie collection worked so well with these photos.

I also have a few older layouts to share.

2. Merry Christmas

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3. Filled List

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4. Cheer All Night

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5. Sisters Are A Gift

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As you can see, I love Lori’s goodies so I’m super excited to be joining her team of exceptionally talented ladies!

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas To You!

It's Christmas Eve and I can't believe it! While you're still wondering where the year has gone, let me wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully prosperous New Year. I'm sure next year will be even better than this year. After all, we survived the Mayan apocalypse!

I have two projects to share today. Most of my friends got photo cards from me this year, but some of my scrappy friends got handmade cards too. I made three nearly identical cards with a fun stamp that a friend gave me for Christmas last year. The sentiment says "Be good for goodness sake!" I used the sold out Scraptastic Club Daily December Stocking Stuffer kit to make these cards.

In keeping with the journaling theme this month, I also made this page about my kids and their cousin playing in the fountains on a Summer day. To tell you the truth, I grabbed Summer photos because it's been so chilly here lately. I do NOT like Winter.

My journaling tip for this page is to use descriptive words in your journaling. I could've said, "We went to the fountains with your cousin and we had a great day". Instead, I chose to use descriptive words that almost make you feel the breeze and sunshine. It makes a big difference! My supplies came from the December 2012 All Of The Lights kit, add on, and stamp add on.

I'm wishing you all the warmest, most blessed Christmas ever. Don’t forget the true reason for the season!

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Musical Madness

I had the privilege of attending not one, but TWO Christmas performances last week. Sometimes it feels like I spend more time at our local elementary school than I do at home. I always love going to watch the kids sing. I was lucky enough to have a friend save me a front row seat since I was running later than normal. I got there 20 minutes before everything started and the place was already packed!

I didn’t know ahead of time, but Brandon was chosen to lead the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of the performance. He got up there and did a great job. Except for the wrong hand thing… Silly boy! I was so proud of him.

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They sang “Every Little Wish” and “Listen To The Jingle”. Brandon is in the front row in this photo. He’s the third from the right. He did such a good job paying attention on when to stop the bells from ringing. I thought they were crazy for giving a bunch of five year olds bells, but they rocked it out!

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I walked back to his class with him after the show was over. He asked me to take a photo of him with his teacher and I was happy to oblige. He loves her to bits and I’m pretty sure she feels the same way!

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Later on that night we ended up back at the school again! Jordan had a choir performance at the PTA meeting. They sang “Eight Tiny Reindeer”, “Christmas Jubilation”, “Here We Come A Caroling”, “Deck The Halls”, and “Christmas Wishes”.

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She was all dressed up in  her Scotland dress with her pretty little black patent heels. She felt gown up and she kept posing sassily. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to use her chair to sit in during the performance, but she ended up resting in it for part of the set.

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Here she is after the performance with her friend Izzy. They posed in front of a tiny piece of the set and it made for a rather cute photo.

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Jordan also had a Christmas show on Wednesday, but I wasn’t able to attend because I was at Children’s Hospital with Brandon for his surgery. Ronnie took the day off to go see her sing, and I made him bring the camera. He got some pretty cute shots!

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Miss Jordan isn’t allowed to sit on the floor due to the strain on her hips so she gets to sit in a chair while everyone else sits on the floor. I love this photo of her grinning back at Ronnie. The picture below is unbelievable to me. They all just look so grown up. My baby is a third grader!

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After the show she cheesed it up with another one of her friends. Ronnie is a good Daddy, and he took all of the photos that she wanted. I’m pretty proud that she chose to wear the hat I crocheted for her last year.

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I was really sorry to miss her performance, but though photos and videos it’s almost like I was there. Gotta love technology!

In other news, today is Lori Whitlock’s birthday and I made this card to tell her Happy Birthday! I’ll be loading it on Facebook so I can tag her. I hope she likes it.

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Supplies: Lori Whitlock’s Happy Day Collection and Spring Celebration Elements.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Sampler December Challenges

I made a sketch for the December challenges over at The Sampler Kit Club this month. (I’ve also created a matching digital freebie. If you want it, scroll down!) I hope this sketch inspires you. If it does, don’t forget to link your creation on their blog! You’ll be entered to win a sampling of products from The Sampler.

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I used the sketch as inspiration for the card below. I loved the red glittery ribbon in the December Good Tidings kit. I used it as a scarf on my very chilly embossed snowman.

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I don’t have a digital card to share this week, but keep reading for the template download.

Holly created an amazing sketch for The Sampler’s layout challenge. I’m sharing what she made here, but please link any pages that you make with it on The Sampler’s blog.

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This is my take on Holly’s sketch. Again, I used the December 2012 kit called Good Tidings from The Sampler kit club to create this page.

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Brandon had an absolute blast performing in the Christmas program last year with all of his kindergarten friends. I snapped this group photo for his teacher after the program. It's easy to find Brandon in this photo because as always, he's the tallest kid. LOL

If you’d like to download the free layered card template that I made in PSE, please click here.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eleven!

Continuing on with the insanity that is my life… Can someone please tell me why I take so many photos? At some point I’ll realize that each time I take photos I have to edit, upload, Facebook, AND blog them before I can file them away. I’m a little OCD. Can you tell?

Not this Wednesday but LAST Wednesday, my friend Danielle came over to give my kiddos their Christmas presents. She gave them enough candy to keep them hopped up for weeks. MAJOR sugar high. As you can tell, they loved everything!

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I got my new 50mm lens last week as well and I had to test it by taking a few portrait shots. It was really getting dark out so I grabbed my reflector and took a couple of photos of the kiddos. This is Jordan showing me “what cool looks like”.

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Brandon is always super tolerant of my photo obsession. He will smile at me and pose quickly so he can get it over with. It’s actually pretty funny to watch!

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Alexis is getting so big. You have to love all of the wispy bangs escaping her pony tail. She has really fine hair and it’s hard to corral. She always looks like this at the end of a long day. Super cute!

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You only get frost and flowers at the same time in Louisiana. This has been the most productive year ever for my camellia bush. I keep cutting flowers to bring a bit of color into the house.

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We celebrated Alexis’ 11th birthday on Saturday. Pardon me while I pinch myself! I can not believe my little chubby cheeked toddler is this grown up. Ouch! I brought her outside in her party dress for a few quick portraits before the celebration commenced.

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In keeping with crying over how old she’s getting, I should say that all she wanted was clothes and shoes. No toys! I bought her some ridiculously bright, sparkly stuff from Kohl’s and Justice. She was thrilled. Now I’m trying to convince her that she needs to wear a Christmas dress instead of neon to my grandparents’ Christmas gathering.

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Did I mention jewelry? Yeah, she likes that too! A lot.

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My friend and her girls spent the night and we stayed up late watching movies. Four giggly girls and one sullen boy. Brandon didn’t want to sleep on the floor with the girls. He took the couch and played DS while the girls watch the American Girl McKenna movie.

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I almost forgot to mention that my Mom came too! Here she is pretending to be shocked by the mass chaos that ensued.

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I had to pose for a pic with my friend. The big girls had fun too. I think we giggled as much as the little ones while trying to get a decent photo. We also painted our fingernails and toenails after we painted the girls’ nails for them.

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I baked a cake that had eleven candles on it. I don’t even want to talk about that! Eleven?! I mean, REALLY?

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Oh and of course there was dancing… Lots and lots of dancing. They played the Michael Jackson experience and it was hilarious to watch. They were so seriously competitive! I was worried about my Christmas tree for a while there.

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If you made it to the end of this post… thanks for reading! Tomorrow I’ll be back with a card template and some info on The Sampler’s December challenges.

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