Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kiss The Chef: Happy New Year!

It's been a while since I've posted, but as usual things have been crazy around here. My kids participated in my brother's wedding. We got our van modified for Jordan, and we recently had a driveway installed for her too. In fact, it was so recent that it's still not completely dry. We had a lovely Christmas, and we got to spend a lot of time with my Mom. It was awesome. We also went to Disney World! I'm still editing photos from all of the excitement, and I'll share some later. I did manage to squeeze in some time to scrapbook, so I have a project to share. 

Thanksgiving_Grandfather_Cook_Scrapbook Page

My grandfather is an incredible cook, and he's cooked our holiday meals for as long as I can remember. I snapped this picture a few years ago as he pulled the turkey from the oven on Thanksgiving. I used an older My Creative Scrapbook kit that featured Echo Park's Reflections collection to create this layout, and I love how well the colors matched the colors in my photo.

Before I go, I'd like to wish each of you a Happy New Year! I hope you are all blessed beyond measure. We are looking forward to another year of homeschooling and general craziness! See you next year.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stella And Dot Trunk Party

Hi everyone, I'm popping by really quickly to let you all know that we are back from vacation, and I'm hosting an online Stella and Dot trunk party tonightThey carry gorgeous jewelry, scarves, and purses. If you order by December 15th, they guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve. I don't know about you, but I love shopping in my jammies! It beats fighting crowds in the store any day. The graphic below includes some of the awesome sale prices. 

I love how they are right on trend with all of the triangles that are popular lately. I think I need... all of these! Click on either image to go directly to my show.

I'll be back to my regularly scheduled posts soon. I just have to unpack and wash an actual mountain of dirty clothes! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Open Wide: Disney 2013

This is the last layout that I created for my 2013 Disney/Clearwater Marine Aquarium trip, and it may actually be my favorite in the entire album. There were so many fun, interactive displays and opportunities at the aquarium. A few of the volunteers were walking around with shark jaws for the kids examine. That's fine for most kids, but my kids are characters. They just had to make their best toothy shark faces so I could take photos to scrapbook. Do they know me or what?

Shark Teeth_Layout_Kids_Pose_Clearwater Marine Aquarium

I used Studio Calico's Atlantic collection on this page. The nautical embellishments couldn't have been more perfect. The waves were cut on my Silhouette, and I loved using the printed vellum pieces because they added so much depth to the project. I tossed few sequins on, glued them down, and the rest is history! This entire layout took less than twenty minutes to come together because the die cuts were already on my desk. I love it when that happens, don't you?

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Jolley Trolley Ride: Disney 2013

As you may already know, we went to the Dolphin Tale museum and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida while we were on our Disney trip in 2013. I don't know if I've mentioned how we got from the museum to the aquarium yet. Our transportation was a fun, unexpected surprise! We didn't know that we would need to take a trolley from one location to the other, and I was a bit nervous about transporting Miss J's wheelchair. I worried for nothing, because they had tie downs and she was more secure than the rest of us. 

Trolley Ride_Scrapbook Page_4x4 Photos_Instagram
Jordan was particularly thrilled with the fact that the windows were completely open while the driver drove on the freeway. I was less impressed and more concerned with keeping Brandon in one place as he tends to fidget and wander around. (They did have a blast in spite of my overprotective Mom issues.)

I used Simple Stories' I Heart Summer collection on this page. It was in one of my older My Creative Scrapbook kits. Again, the collection doesn't suit the theme because we went in February. I was able to find enough generic embellishments to pull it all together. The travel card is a printable that I found a long time ago and printed out. I'm not sure who designed it. If you know, I'd love to give them credit.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Hope Experience: Disney 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We went to my grandparents' house and had a great time as usual. Of course, I'll post pictures once I get them edited. Today, I'd like to share another Clearwater Marine Aquarium themed layout. 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium_Hope_Dolphin_Scrapbook

I know I've already posted one page about Jordan's experience with Hope, but I had so many great photos that I just couldn't stop with that one project. I love the smile on her face in these pictures, and let's face it... Ronnie looks pretty happy too. I'm completely jealous that he got to touch the dolphin with Jordan and I didn't. (I opted to take photos, and I got to go on the behind the scenes tour so I guess it evens out.)

All of the supplies on this layout came from Crate Paper's gorgeous Random collection. I cut the title on my Silhouette, and used pre-made rosette stickers that I bought. While the collection isn't aquarium themed, the colors worked very well. I tried to incorporate the theme by punching some waves with a border punch, adding splashes of mist, and making little "bubble" circles out of patterned paper.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winter: Disney 2013

I am finally finished scrapping vacation photos from our 2013 Disney/Clearwater Marine Aquarium trip. I'll be sharing the last four projects that I completed over the next few days, and then I'll be done with that chapter of my scrapbook. Whoo hoo!

These pages include pictures of Winter's show with her prosthetic tail, and photos of Jordan watching her. She was so fascinated by the fact that Winter cooperated with all of her physical therapy exercises. I think Winter was a good example for Miss J as she didn't fuss quite as much the next time she went to see her physical therapist.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium_Winter_Scrapbook Page

The supplies I used are from Scenic Route's Grafton collection. I've been hoarding them ever since Nancy mailed them to me to enable my Scenic Route obsession. I'm still so sad that they closed because their clean, graphic papers were perfectly suited to my scrappy style.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Watch Me Climb!

When Brandon was a toddler, he loved to go on nature walks. He'd climb on everything he could find. His best efforts were always accompanied by him yelling, "Watch me climb!" I thought that would be the perfect title for this layout. 


I miss those little chubby cheeks. He's growing up so fast! I used the My Little Shoebox Oh Deer collection and random embellishments from my stash. I've been shopping my stash a lot lately and I keep finding stuff that I'd completely forgotten. The Prima wood veneers were a fun find, and I've used them on quite a few pages lately.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure

It's been a while since I've posted a photo update, so here goes. It seems as my kids have gotten older, they've gotten much busier. (Is it like that for everyone?) We really enjoyed Miracle League baseball. Ronnie has coached three different sports this year while Alexis and I volunteered. Brandon and Jordan had a wonderful time playing too!

We got some truly incredible news at the end of October. We found out that Miss Jordan had been chosen as a grant recipient by Access, and she had to go to Boo Fest to accept. Ronnie and I have been trying to find a way to afford to have our van modified for her wheelchair for years, but the cost has been prohibitive. They decided to fund her conversion completely, and we were floored. Ronnie called me with the good news while I was at the dentist, and the dentist said it was the first time anyone ever cried happy tears in her chair. 

We had a complete blast at Boo Fest because everything is accessible for kids with disabilities. They even had a ramp built so wheelchairs could be rolled up on the stage. They thought of everything! The best part according to the girls... Anna and Elsa were there. 

Brandon was not impressed with Anna and Elsa at all, and I wasn't surprised. Throughout his life, we've noticed some behaviors that made us think that he might have autism. We brought him to Children's Hospital in the beginning of October, and the doctor recently called me back to confirm our suspicions. He has ASD Level 1, also known as Aspergers. We did get some good news at the same time. (My life's a lot like a roller coaster lately.) They gave him an IQ test and he is gifted as well. I always knew he was smart, but this explains his insane Math skills.

So we now officially have three special needs kids... I have to say that I wasn't surprised by the news, as I've been telling his pediatrician that he has autism for years. His diagnosis will help him get services that he's needed for a long time. 

Halloween was wonderful but slightly chilly this year. I didn't take as many photos as I usually do because it was cold and the kids didn't want to stand still for long. Alexis was Tiana, Jordan was Sofia the First, and Brandon was a police officer. He said someone had to keep all of us in line! 

Brandon and Alexis have been attending a parent led social skills group for a few months, and last week we had a party to celebrate their accomplishments and good behavior. I asked Brandon to put his arm around Alexis to pose for a photo, and this is what I got. While it's not the posed photo I planned, it captures their personalities very well. 

Winter has come early to Louisiana! I sent the kids out to play and they kept coming back in for more clothes until they looked like this. I had to get a photo so I could send it to a friend in Wisconsin. They still wear shorts when it's in the 50's while people down here are looking for gloves. 

My van was shipped off to be converted over a week ago, so we have been driving Ronnie to work when we need to use his car. It's such a big difference. The kids fight like cats and dogs because they can all touch each other in the back seat. The sacrifice will be worth it though. I can make it! (I hope.)

One of the pluses of driving Ronnie to work is that we pass by my grandparents' house on the way there and back. It gives us plenty of time to stop so we can visit. My grandma has been sifting through some rubble from a house that burned down on their property. She's trying to get rid of all of the glass and nails. My kids thought it was awesome, and treated it like an archaeological dig. Jordan kept looking for artifacts and only finding "rubbish". 

My grandparents also recommended that we stop by Lock 1 in Pearl River, Louisiana so the kids could see the lock. They were completely fascinated, and to tell the truth I thought it was pretty cool as well. It was definitely difficult to take a photo through the fence and barbed wire, but I managed.

The kids were disappointed that they couldn't get closer, but the government saw them coming and put up lots of fencing. They were all curious about everything, so we came home and looked online for videos about dams and locks. It was a neat experience.

Now we are gearing up to attend my brother's wedding, and Thanksgiving is coming up soon but I'm sure I'll be back with another update before you know it! I hope you all have a wonderfully happy holiday season.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hello (Beautiful) Hope: Disney 2013

I absolutely had to have Basic Grey's Knee Highs and Bow Ties collection. The chevron paper, and little pink hearts?! It's perfect for scrapping any photos that include Jordan because the collection perfectly reflects her vibrant personality. Add in some photos of one of the best days of Jordan's life, and it's a match made in heaven.

I used circular embellishments to mimic the bubbles that Hope blew during Jordan's dolphin encounter. I love it when a layout comes together so easily. It totally makes my day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Making A Splash: Disney 2013

My mojo was missing in action for a while but it's back! It helps that I've had two scrappy days with a good friend. These days, I'm more likely to sit still and work on something if I've got a buddy to keep me scrapping. 

Dolphin Tale_Clearwater_Scrapbook Page
This layout definitely has a story behind it. We paid for a photo op at Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Nicholas, and we got some amazing photos of him jumping behind us. We didn't realize that part of the experience would include him SPLASHING us! As you can see, the kids are mostly in front of me so I blocked the majority of the water with my body. It was February and the water was freezing cold. I was so wet that my shoes squished when I walked. To make matters even more interesting, we were scheduled to meet my in-laws back at the hotel for a very fancy dinner. We didn't have time to change! We went to dinner still damp from our adventure. It's funny now, but it wasn't so funny at the time. 

All of the supplies on my page came from Crate Paper's Random collection, and I was inspired by Susan Weinroth's gorgeous "Hello Fall" project. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Day, Another Appointment

We spent a few hours at Children's Hospital about a week ago. Alexis has been seeing a new eye specialist due to the cyst/scarring in her left eye, and her loss of depth perception after her last eye surgery. This new doctor says that he can definitely remove the cyst, and he's willing to try restoring her depth perception. She doesn't want to have the surgery done until we return from Disney World, so it'll be done next January.

We're moving right along in homeschool. Brandon's taking music theory classes in addition to his violin lessons, and he's really enjoying them. 

The Miracle League baseball games have been a lot of fun. Jordan is still wearing a mask when we're around a lot of people because her immune system is so low right now, and we're trying to keep her well. She's especially trying to avoid the Enterovirus that hits kids with respiratory difficulties really hard. I'd really prefer to keep her out of the hospital! We bought cute Disney themed masks for her to wear, so that makes it a bit more bearable. 

Speaking of the Miracle League, Jordan was really thrilled to see that her picture made the front page of our local newspaper. Her photo was huge! Trust me, I'll be scrapping it later. I've been ordered to make an awesome page about it.

My good friend came over for a scrappy day last Friday, and her daughter has a huge crush on Brandon. She swears she's going to marry him someday, but he's not interested at all. They were outside and he came running in while screaming. I asked him what was wrong, and he said... "Bella's trying to kiss me!" He slammed the door and held it shut while she tried to get in to get him. If you look closely, you can see her through the window. It was too funny!

Jordan got bored while playing third base at a recent Miracle League baseball game, so we started playing with my iPhone. Baseball selfies are a lot of fun!

My kids weren't thrilled when we visited Ronnie's job last Thursday to get their flu shots, but they were all really brave about it. We drove over there because there's a sweet lady who comes every year to do them through a local pharmacy.

Right after their flu shots, we drove to see Jordan's cerebral palsy doctor. We waited over an hour to see the doctor, so the kids killed time by people watching. Her doctor was extremely impressed with her progress and told us to keep doing what we're doing. I love it when that happens! 

Sophie got a haircut a few days ago, and it makes petting her even more irresistible. She's just so fuzzy! As you can see in the photo below, she's really spoiled rotten. It's almost her birthday and we're making big plans for her.

Last night, everyone was finally well enough to go to church after missing a month of sermons. Thankfully, our church provides videos of the sermons online so we didn't miss much. There's just something so wonderful about being able to worship with everyone else though. As we walked outside, I noticed this beautiful sunset and had to snap a quick picture.  

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed week! Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Best Day Of My Life: Disney 2013

This is it... the very last page in my Disney vacation series. I'm really glad to be finished with the entire project. It won't be long before I have another pile of Disney pictures to scrapbook, but I'm done for now and it feels great! 

Character_Disney_Epcot_Mickey Scrapbook Page

I used a few scraps from an older Scraptastic Club kit that featured Fancy Pants' The Good Life collection. The title is something that my kids said at least once a day in Disney World. They each said, "This is the best day of my life!" I thought it would be neat to finish the album on that note. It's always wonderful to see your children so happy. Is it any wonder that we can't wait to go back?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Finding Nemo: Disney 2013

Only one more layout to share after this one... I can't believe I'm finished scrapping that humongous pile of Disney photos! Once I finish blogging the completed Disney pages, I'll start working on our visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 

Finding Nemo_Scrapbook Page_Animal Kingdom_Disney

Today's project features pictures from the absolutely gorgeous Finding Nemo show. The colors on stage were so vibrant, and the actors were brilliant too. It's definitely on our to-do list for the next trip because we really enjoyed it. I used Crate Paper's "Random" line to create this design. The blue velvet ribbon might possibly be my favorite ribbon ever.

As you can see, I was inspired by another one of Susan Stringfellow's wonderful sketches. This time it was Sketch #126. The horizontal banner was a really fun element to incorporate. I love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Awesomesauce: Disney 2013

I'm almost finished sharing the last of my Disney pages! I showed both of the finished albums to my mother-in-law yesterday when she came to visit. We are frantically preparing for this year's Disney vacation, and I'm super happy that I finished scrapping my last set of pictures before the next trip.

Disney World_Animal Kingdom_Triceratops Spin_Scrapbook

Today's layout features photos of us on the Triceratops Spin ride. The journaling refers to the fact that Brandon's not big on riding the more intense rides, so pictures of the five of us together were few and far between. I used Pink Paislee's vibrant "Hey Kid" collection and I was inspired by Susan Stringfellow's Sketch #123.

I followed the sketch pretty closely, but I decided to add a few more stitched circles to draw the eye around my design. I also chose to emboss the sun to add a bit more interest to that portion of the project. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!