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.