Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our (BUSY) Week In Pictures: Fall Edition

I love Fall so much! The weather has been drastically cooler and there's a brisk breeze in the air. We've been spending as much time as possible outdoors. 

Recently, Jordan and Alexis tried out for the Christmas choir at our church. I took a photo of the kids together before they went in. Jordan was extremely nervous, but they both did really well. They are very excited to have been chosen and they will be singing for several weekend services. (Brandon didn't audition even though he really wanted to. His basketball games and practices conflict with the choir rehearsals.)

Jordan received a huge honor when she was asked to ride in a demonstration at a fundraiser given by her hippotherapy organization. She did an amazing job and rode without any lead rope. That's pretty amazing for a nine year old, let alone a nine year old with cerebral palsy. 

Did I mention that she's amazing? Uh yeah. See? This picture absolutely proves it. She rode around in "two point" while standing up. I'm always a conflicted mixture of proud and scared when she does this trick, but mostly proud!

I also took a video of her weaving through the poles on her own. She and Stella worked so hard to show the benefits of therapeutic riding! 

After the demonstration, Miss J was free to eat what she wanted from the vendors that generously donated their time and products. There was so much food to choose from, but her absolute favorite? Froyo! This is the face of happiness. Yum! 

Homeschool has been going really well. We finally found an art project that was a bit more successful. We followed a tutorial in "Drawing With Children" to draw a bird, branches, and leaves. Brandon decided that we should draw cardinals. Mine was the Daddy bird, and his was the Momma. 

Here's Brandon's: Note the two baby birds shrieking for blueberries. He also wrote a story about the cardinal and named it Wendy. His tree had cherries and blueberries "for the babies". 

We also got the kids' flu shots last week. As much as I hate having to get them, we can't avoid it because of Jordan's extremely suppressed immune system. If we get the flu and pass it to her, she'll be hospitalized. Her lungs have so much scarring that she can't get any respiratory illness without going into the hospital.

The kids spend hours outside after their homeschool assignments are finished. Their favorite game to play lately is "Paw Patrol". They all pretend to be dogs that rescue other animals. Speaking of dogs, Brandon finally persuaded Ronnie that he NEEDS another dog. It looks like we'll be getting one before his birthday in March.

We had a surprise field trip last week as well. We went on a nature walk and climbed down a super steep trail to a local river. Jordan was wearing her leg braces, and I practically had to push her back up the trail. Next time I'm going to make sure Ronnie comes with us to help. Brandon had a blast climbing up every incline and sliding back down. His pants were more brown than blue when we came home.

They all wandered around by the side of the walking bridge. Jordan loved seeing all of the beautiful flowers. She kept saying, "Oh Mom! Look!"

They each were allowed to pick one flower so we could press it for their nature walk notebooks. I swear, they all look so grown up in this photo. Does anyone know where I can find a time machine?

We've also gone to the pumpkin patch and the Halloween library program. I haven't edited those photos yet, so I'll be back later in the week with an all Halloween photo update. Right after I discover how to add more hours to my day. Hey! It could happen. Maybe?

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Boy: Scrapbook Page

I recently sorted through my pictures looking for a photo that would work well with an older Scraptastic Club kit that I had in my stash. I only had a few scraps left, but it was still enough to make this page about Brandon's tendency to take his clothes off every time I had my head turned. He is and always has been 100% boy!

Little Boy_Die Cut Card_Freebie

The yellow in the floral paper matched perfectly with the bars of our play set and the teal matched his diaper so well. I couldn't ask for more! I pulled embellishments from the kit and my stash. The die cut card is a free .svg file that I created. You can download it here on my blog.

I have been working on some free Fall printables, and I'll have those posted by Monday! It's my first time making printables and I've been working on the designs on and off all day long. I hope you all like them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

All About Me: Brandon

I'm a big fan of scrapping everyday life. I know that the little memories are what matter most to me. When I think back on my childhood, there isn't a particular Christmas that I remember. There isn't a specific birthday memory that makes me extremely happy either. It wasn't that I didn't have a great time, they all just seem to blend together.

The memories that really warm my heart are everyday memories. The time my Paw Paw put my bike inside of his van to go put air in my tires. The way he'd take me out to breakfast and brag to anyone who would listen about his fabulous granddaughter. Scraping my Maw Maw's green ceramics to bits on the driveway of their house, and the way she would let me use her makeup to dress up. I didn't understand until much later that most kids used the not so great kiddie makeup sets. No sir, not me. I got the real stuff!

I tend to feel that scrapping special occasions is hard! It's just not my style and I never know how to journal creatively. (I sometimes wish it was my style because some of the themed scrapbook paper is crazy cute!) That's why I had so many Christmas photos to get through during my Father Christmas project

I find that I'm drawn to pictures like the one below. Waking up to find Brandon writing and drawing in his bed on a lazy weekend day... that's something I want to remember! I thought it would be really neat to document one of the ways my boy is just like me. 

Boy_Creative Artist_Writer_Scrapbook Page

He loves to write, draw, and create. Brandon's always asking me how to spell something so he can "write a book". He writes and illustrates his own stories. I have slips of paper all over the house with notes, drawings, and letters on them. He's a little creative whirlwind, just like his Momma. I love that he woke up early and had an idea that he just HAD to write down. I can't tell you how many times I've done that!

I'm still working with a yellow, teal, and neutral color scheme. Mostly because I have SO much teal in my stash right now. The design of this page was inspired by a wonderful layout by Kelly Goree called "My Little Man".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

iPhonography: My Crazy Life

I don't know why they call it "homeschool". It seems like we're always running around, and we just signed Brandon up for basketball. I don't think it'll calm down anytime soon. As much as I fuss about having to run around, the kids are really happy and that makes me super thrilled. Here are a few photos of the happy chaos my crew creates...

Ronnie made a new friend last Saturday at my friend's kids' birthday party. It's been two years since we had to put Lady to sleep, and he will not let us get another dog. As you can see, he doesn't mind borrowing one! Yes, he's growing a goatee. I keep telling him he's having a midlife crisis. He looked it up online to prove that he WASN'T having a midlife crisis, but when he read about it he said... Maybe? 

Brandon outgrew last year's Halloween costume, so we had to make a trip to Party City for a replacement. He insists that he wants to be a police officer when he's older, so I wasn't surprised at his costume choice. Meet "Officer Brandon". 

No cop costume is complete without handcuffs. He pretended to arrest Ronnie while yelling, "Don't make me take you down!!" I laughed harder than I've laughed in a long, long time. He's an adorable mess.

We went to our favorite local park a few weekends ago and all three of my kids climbed every tall thing they could to freak me out. Here's Alexis on the rock wall. 

Right after I snapped this picture, we heard a kid crying. A little boy was stuck on the top of a spinning web piece on the playground and his grandma couldn't get him down. Ronnie and I went over to help. While we were helping him down, I hear a little voice peep "Hi Mom! Look at me." It was Jordan! She'd climbed all the way to the TOP of the spinning structure and was wobbling like mad. I told her to come down very, very slowly. Ronnie was standing under her just in case she fell. I took the photo when she was about halfway down the rope ladder. I swear, she took years off of my life! 

Alexis is a very athletic kid, and it kills Jordan that she can't do everything Lexie can do because of her cerebral palsy. I let her try everything, but like I said before... it scares me half to death. They were spinning like crazy on these little inclined chairs, and she was highly insulted when I noticed that she was getting tired because I made her stop. I am SUCH a mean Momma.

Speaking of Jordan, you know you're a diva when you wear a ball gown to homeschool. Read alouds just got a lot more glamorous. (Please pretend that you don't see the dishes in the background. There are always dishes to wash here.)

We got a phone call to go on a surprise field trip on Wednesday. My grandparents bought a house that's a lot closer to us and everyone's been chipping in to help fix it up. We got to visit the pond in their backyard and we "only" saw one snake. I do believe that Jordan was disappointed that there was only one.

My grandma's scrapbook rooms (Yes, I said ROOMS. That lucky duck!) were a hideous hot pink color. She decided to paint them blue, and the kids volunteered to help. They painted a little of the wall before we transferred them to a closet. 

I know I've mentioned it before, but my grandparents are either very brave or totally insane. This is what the closet looked like when the kids were finished. Thank goodness they're planning to replace the flooring and paint the baseboards. 

Here's the aftermath of the painting fun. Brandon had some paint on his hands and a little on his pants. Alexis had a few spots on her leg, shoulder, and shoes. Jordan's legs, shoes, both hands, her entire back, and her face was covered. We jokingly asked her if she even got any ON the walls. 

Basketball practice has started at our house. Ronnie and I are teaching Brandon about dribbling, traveling, and all of that other good stuff. Jordan loves to help him practice by stealing the ball from him. We're going to start calling her Swiper, not Mine.

Alexis has recently discovered the awesomeness that is UNO and now she wants to play all of the time. She takes great joy in playing cards that make us pick up more cards. The other night Brandon was sitting next to her, and he played a draw four card. He looked at her really seriously and then yelled, "You got SERVED!" We all cracked up because he is usually so quiet and calm.

Jordan has a unique playing style. She puts all of her cards on the table and asks Ronnie which ones she should play. She can't hold and fan the cards in her hands because of her fine motor issues so she does it her way.

Homeschool is going really well. I can't believe we're moving to week eleven next week because it seems like we started yesterday. The only things that we're struggling with are the art projects. I know, that's pretty hilarious considering that I like to believe that I'm crafty. We've had clay projects crumble, and this week the kids could not get their straw flutes to play even though I demonstrated that they worked. The book said to just have them keep trying until they figured it out. Thirty minutes later we had no music and three incredibly ticked off children.

So yeah, it's a crazy life around here but (for the most part) I enjoy every minute! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunshiny Scrapbook Pages

I've been working through some of my older kits and I've managed to completely finish two of them recently. I'll be loading some of the layouts over the next week or so. I have two to share today! The first one features a treasured photo of my grandpa at Navy boot camp in 1957. My grandma loaned me a bunch of older pictures so I could scan them and reprint them. 

I thought the anchor washi tape and the free anchor SVG that I created would be a perfect match for a slightly themed project. I didn't want it to be completely over the top. I used quite a few older goodies from my stash including Scenic Route chipboard numbers.

Navy_Scrapbook Page_Washi Tape_Die Cut Anchor
Here's another older photo that I decided to scrap. It's a baby picture of Ronnie that his Mom loaned me so I could scan it. Everyone always says that Brandon looks like Ronnie, but he looked a lot more like me when he was little. This page was inspired by a PageMaps sketch from the fabulous Becky Fleck. I used more anchor washi tape on this layout as well. It was on my desk, it matched the color scheme, and I figured anchors were pretty masculine! 

Baby Boy_Washi Tape_Banner_Stitching

That's all for now, but I plan to write an epic photo post soon to update everyone on what we've been doing around here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

SVG Freebie: Bookworm Word Art Cards

As I promised, I'm back with a new set of SVG Card Freebies. This time, it's a reading themed set because all three of my kids are avid readers. I wanted to make cards that would work with a few photos I've taken of them reading over the past few weeks. They're all a bunch of bookworms just like their Mom. They come by it honestly.

Free_SVG_Project Life_Card_Reading_Bookworm

Click here to download your free reading themed SVG cards. Please don't forget to respect the terms of use that are included in the download. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Happy Adventure: Mother's Restaurant

It's been forever since I've had time to post. I have had a little time to scrapbook here and there, but the photos have been piling up without time to share. I decided to grab a minute today for a quick post.

I took the pictures on the layout below in downtown New Orleans. Ronnie and I went out to lunch after chaperoning Jordan's field trip to the Aquarium of the Americas. He'd been raving about Mother's Restaurant for years, and I finally got a chance to go. There was a huge line outside just to get into the building. Crazy, but so worth it!

Restaurant_New Orleans_Scrapbook Page_Transparency

I took a few close up photos so I could share more of the details. Here's a view of the journaling and title work. 

Happy Adventure_Scrapbook Page
The layered banners at the top were easy to pull together by fussy cutting pieces out of the journaling cards and patterned papers. 

Washi Tape_Tags_Banner_Scrapbook

I hope to be back soon so I can share more completed pages. I have another set of SVG's in the works as well. I'm planning to post those in the next week, so stick around!

Monday, October 7, 2013

2012 Saints Football: Mini Album

Remember how I promised to share the football mini album that I made about Brandon's 2012 season? I finally had some time to snap a few photos to share. Here's the cover of the album.

Football_Mini Album_Saints_Kid_Scrapbook

Instead of posting pictures of each individual page, I decided to make a slideshow/video to share. You can watch it here on my blog, or click on the video to head over to my YouTube channel.

The supplies in this mini album came from a Hydrangea Hippo football mini album kit that a friend gave me. I couldn't find the license plate that I needed according to her directions, so I made some design changes to make it fit my style and photos.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Photo Update: Two Weeks In Numbers

I haven't shared any photos of what we've been doing over the past few weeks because I've been too busy. It's hard to find a spare minute for blogging since we pulled Alexis from public school and she joined the other two kids in homeschool. 

We decided to pull her after the school chose to place her in regular education classes when her IEP said she belonged in special education. They were also pulling many of her accommodations. I'm aware that it's illegal for them to do that, but we were so tired of fighting. I've been fighting the school on her behalf for 7 years now, and it never seemed like we got anywhere. We were worried that she would be upset that we were dropping her from public school, but I sat down with her the night before and we talked about it. To my surprise, she jumped on the chance to be homeschooled. The transition was much easier because we had her willing participation. I think she was more stressed than she let on, and I am very proud to say that the last three weeks have been amazing! She's so much happier and is thriving in homeschool.

Anyway, the photo update is pretty epic since it's been two weeks. I've decided that the best way to do it is in number form. So here goes...

ONE happy child in the park on the first day of autumn. It was a lovely, cooler morning and we couldn't resist venturing out to play.

FIFTEEN homemade tortillas I made while we were studying Mexico in homeschool. They were good, but I thought they tasted more like extremely thin biscuits. 

THREE spelling words that were misspelled resulted in ONE epic tantrum. At this rate, I'm not sure any spelling program will work for my resident perfectionist.

THREE carvings that we made out of Ivory soap while we were studying the Inuit Indians. Brandon and I made a polar bear, Alexis' is a moose, and Jordan's is a cat. She was mad that the ear fell off, so we ended up with more "angry art". 

ONE lazy morning in bed where THREE kids read aloud to each other. I don't really care where they do their homeschool as long as it gets done.

THREE of my kids at our local library story time where Ms. Sarah read TWO books and they did ONE craft. The librarians there made it very clear that my homeschoolers were welcome at any program they wanted to attend.

ONE naughty child that was up until midnight last week. I ended up begging her to go to sleep, and I put her in my bed so she wouldn't wake anyone else up. She definitely doesn't look sleepy in this photo.

TWO lopsided circles that I drew on my abstract art project example. I'm on a gray kick lately. Every art and scrapbook project in the past few weeks contains a shade of gray.

ONE abstract art project that Brandon made into a butterfly. He doesn't like abstract art. "But Momma... it doesn't look like anything!"

Jordan spent ONE Saturday morning cleaning FOUR hooves before her riding lesson. (You know you love horses when you look forward to scraping hooves and shoveling manure.)

ONE new friend Jordan made at New Heights. Jordan wanted to bring her home with us, but I'm not sure her Mom would've gone for that.

EIGHT tomatoes, ONE onion, and ONE jalapeno made some excellent homemade salsa. The kids ate it with a spoon and left the chips out of the equation. 

TWO girls working hard on copy work during day THIRTY-FIVE of homeschool. They've been doing an excellent job working together when they have to share a book.

ONE photocopy that I got in the mail from my grandma. This piece of paper made my THREE kids laugh hysterically because they couldn't believe that I drew it when I was TEN. Yes, heathens. I was a kid too. A long, long time ago.

I'll be back later this week to share the football/cheer mini-album that I finished recently!