Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday & How We Ended Up In MI

On Friday's post I shared the latest pictures from my mom's garden and that got me thinking about the layout below. The pictures were taken fall 2007 we came back to live in MI. Brad had just flown back to NM to tie up loose ends, like packing - boy am I glad I missed out on that fun chore, and finishing up last few weeks at his job at the lab. ER and I were living with my parents for the month between buying our first home and moving into it.The journaling is printed on vellum and attached to the green cardstock mat with the ribbon and eyelets. I noted in it how nice it was to be seeing all the fall colors of her garden. We'd never seen her garden at that time of year before and really hadn't thought we ever would. (I didn't grow up in this house, my parents moved in after I'd been married a few years so it was never my home.) It was really a whirlwind adventure how we ended up moving to MI. Now seems as good a time as any to share it with you.

Brad had a two year appointment at the National Lab he had a fellowship with. He could get it renewed for another year or try to be converted to a permanent employee. Now nothing against Santa Fe or New Mexico, I met some of the kindest and most generous people there and my medical team was the best! But there was NO way I wanted to live there for a second longer than I had to.

He'd been looking and applying to jobs all over and mentioned in passing one day that there was a job possibility in MI so he'd applied. I didn't get my hopes up because Brad has always warned me that we would probably never live in MI again because his field is concentrated on either the West and East coasts. I knew he applied, but then again he applied a lot of places so we didn't think much of it.

We had planned on going to MI that summer anyway for a month long visit so ER could celebrate her one year birthday party with her extended family. We all drove out from NM to MI, yes I said DROVE, have I mentioned my fear of flying? Then Brad flew back to NM while ER and I stayed in MI for most of the visit. He'd fly back to MI in time for her birthday party and then we would all drive back to NM. Since we drove we were also able to fit stops in MO to see Brad's grandparents; we packed a lot of family time in those trips!

While us girls were in MI, guess who got a call from the company in MI? Brad back in NM, and gee didn't it work our perfect that he was already planning on flying out in a week to MI. They scheduled his interview for one of the last days of our summer visit and then we drove home as planned. He was offered the job, of course cause he's such a super fabulous science guy, and got a job offer from a company in Long Beach, CA at nearly the same time.

The draw to MI and the chance to be close to relatives was to good to be passed up. I wanted our daughter to really know her grandparents and to celebrate holidays with big gatherings like I did growing up. Plus it broke my heart the way she'd be looking for her grandparents after visits to see us. I didn't think the opportunity would ever come up; we jumped at it.

So about one month after we left MI from our extended summer trip there, ER and I came back for good and at the end of that month our family of three had moved into our first house. In the garden pictures, I am still kind of dazed that we are even there at all. Things moved really fast!

Now after that long side trip, here's the second set of pages I wanted to share. Today Brad was commenting that I don't scrapbook as much as I used to, blame blogging for that, and maybe my stuff should be sold on Ebay - AS IF!
He is right that I don't have as much time to devote to my favorite hobby, and I've been finding myself resorting to grid layouts more and more. I like them because, if you're like me and have a zillion pictures from an event and think ALL of them are scrap worthy it's hard to get them on one double page spread. I like how on this page the patterned paper give your eye someplace to rest and keep it from looking overly cluttered, or at least I think it does. If you don't, don't tell me and burst my bubble, okay?☺ The circle stickers are on pop dots for dimension and the journaling is printed directly on the patterned paper.One of my favorite columns from Creating Keepsakes Magazine is Becky Higgin's Page Sketch. I am sure this is based on one of them, but since I have years of past issues all torn up and arranged in binders by number of photos on the page there is no way I could ever tell you which one. I have both of her special edition page sketch magazines and they are what got me scrapbooking in the first place. She has a book out with all the sketched together in one handy spot and if I wasn't so type A and didn't already have them all saved and organized I'd buy it. It's a great resource especially for beginners.

BTW: If you're a scrapbook magazine junkie like me tearing out layouts you like and storing by number of pictures used is a great way to organize your inspiration. It's helped me a lot over the years, I just decide how many pictures I'd like to use and then flip to that section of my binder until I find the perfect one to scraplift. There you know my secret! I get help from magazines, I do design my own pages too but I have so little time and am so far behind I find working from sketches really helps cut down on the time it takes to do a page and get more photos scrapbooked. You might be wondering where are all the animals, but since we've got a membership we've been to the zoo so many times that it's no longer about taking pictures of the animals! I mean other than the ones also considered family, ha!

Does that picture of me in pink sitting on the stone bench next to ER look familiar? Either that one or the other almost exactly the same photo is the one I got my profile picture from. I think I might change it soon, my hair kind of looks big and bushy due to the humidity in it.

Noelle and Holly are hosting Scrapbook Sunday so please head over there for more inspiration and the stories behind the stories!

I also wanted to share some great news, I won Jen's at What's Shakin'? Ecostore USA giveaway and will be getting a $25 gift certificate from them! How cool is that, I'll be sure to share the goodies I pick out with you on a future post. Thanks Jen!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Salads: Grape, Cheddar, and Walnut Salad

I'm feeling lazy today and using the professional photo from Kraft Foods in today's post. Normally, I use my own but this one looks much more appetizing than mine:) It is a good salad and easy to put together, we first tried it after the Mother's Day Tea Party when I had left over walnuts to use up. It's quick and easy, add some rotisserie chicken and it becomes a main dish. ER loves grapes and cheddar cheese so we can give her bits of those along with the chicken and not have to make her a seperate dinner. My kiddo won't touch lettuce, any one else got that problem? Anyhoo, back to the recipe:

red grapes, halved
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
quarter cup shredded cheese
light raspberry dressing
baby spinach
romaine lettuce
red onion, sliced thin
toasted walnuts

Layer lettuce on plates and the add additional ingredients to taste. It's a nice crunchy salad that tastes great with a slice of buttered French bread or warm rolls. Enjoy!

Katie over at A List Maker's Life, also choose a recipe from Kraft Foods this week to share on her weekly Saturday Salads - great minds think alike! Hop on over to see some other great salad recipes and find the answer to what's for dinner!

Friday, May 29, 2009

In Grammy's Garden

We had planned to have a leisurely morning, followed by a laid back visit with my parents in the afternoon, and a fun time at my friend Margaret's eldest daughter's preschool graduation party today. Instead, our car decided to act up again and it threw all our plans out of whack.

Long story short, we think it's fixed...we hope it's finally fixed! The auto repair shop that had it for two days earlier in the week had no problem getting it to start, oh no, why is it problems only occur when you have your car? This time when we tried to start up the engine the trunk popped, the car still wouldn't start but the trunk was open. Brad replaced the battery and we were back in business but we're going to call the dealer and see if they think we have a bad connection somewhere. We've got to figure it out soon or our trip next month to Philly will have to be postponed, because we certainly don't want to be stranded along the way.
On to happier thoughts Katie, look at the flowers in Mom's garden...breathe in and out...and forget about the construction and traffic and the ninty plus minute car drive it took to get there...So instead of the nice visit we planned we got there just in time for a quick walk around my mom's garden where the peony's are blooming and at their peek.
Then it was off for a quick bite to eat and then more driving over the Margaret and Eric's. At least the night ended with a lot of laughter and good friends...the coconut cake and brownie bites certainly helped smooth things over too!

One laugh we had came when Margaret proved she knows me very well. Earlier, when she was setting up her platters for the buffet her step daughter commented on how she should set one out for the brownies I was bringing. Margaret replied that she had one ready but wouldn't need it because I'd show up with one for sure. Which of course, I did. In white, because you don't want your serving dish to clash with your hostess's decorations☺ Guess who was gracious living chair for her sorority!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Picnic Table Talk: Meet & Greet

It's time for our first Picnic Table Talk over at ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative! We thought it would be nice to start things off with introductions, because one of the best aspects of blogging is the relationships we build and the support we offer each other. We're all in the Virtual World, so it's not like we can stand around in front of the school building waiting for our kids to be dismissed and chat. This seemed like the next best thing! Many of you know me as half of The Katies, the founders of ABC & 123. I hope this post will help you get to know a little bit more about me and my family. Brad and I are celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary in August, but we'll have been together fifteen years in November. Sometimes high school sweethearts really do end up getting married! We got married after college and right away moved across the country so Brad could get his PhD in Chemistry. We've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in California and in New Mexico's state capital of Santa Fe. Our journey came full circle when we moved back to Michigan a couple of years ago. It's nice being home again, but since we're in a different part of the state it still feels new and different. New Mexico is where we added our daughter known as ER on my blog, to our family. This was photo was taken the first day we brought her home from the hospital. I still can't believe how much she's changed in the blink of an eye. At this point we were still in the when are her real parents going to come and get her phase, it hadn't completely hit us how much our lives had changed!

The main purpose behind starting Katie's Nesting Spot was to document our lives as things change so quickly when you have a little one. I also wanted to have things recorded for when I attempt to scrapbook my mountains of photos. Somehow, a lot of other things have crept in too, like oh maybe one or two crafts here and there. ER is going to be three this summer and enter a co-op preschool two afternoons a week next fall. I'm dreading the separation, I think it's going to be very tough on both of us. She's always been a very clingy child and literally wants to be attached at the hip as much as possible. I want her to get the chance to be with other kids, learn unspoken social rules, school behaviors, and how to follow directions. These are things that are hard for me to teach her by ourselves at home, but I know it's going to be heart wrenching at the beginning of next year. She is fascinated by all the new materials I keep bringing up from our basement from my teaching supplies and it's been great for me to work with her. I'm excited to do even more next year and if you've been by before, you know we'll continue doing lots of arts and crafts! Fall is still a ways off and we need to be potty trained to actually start preschool. I certainly don't want to rush summer, as this year I hope to enjoy more of Michigan's lakes! We took a short overnight trip to the west side of the state last year, where the beaches are sandy. They're rocky on the east side where I grew up, so the nice sandy beaches are a real treat. We liked it so much last July that we're planning to go back for a little bit longer with ER's Grammy and Papa. We're hoping to take ER to Disneyland next year, so we're not taking a big trip. We'll keep busy with day trips to see family, the zoo, and the nearby inland lake we like that has a splash zone. My mom, above right, is pretty big on eating al fresco, and we did a lot growing up. I like picnics best when we get my favorite foods from a gourmet food store near my parents. It's too expensive for us to eat at most of the time, so it's a real splurge to get their goodies prepackaged up in plastic containers. We've made it a tradition since ER was born to treat ourselves at my mom's birthday picnic. We pick up our food, head over to a near by park, and find ourselves a shady spot to relax. It's my favorite picnic of the year.We like this particular park because it has paved walking trails, well maintained rest room facilities, lots of swings, and a boat shaped play scape. However, the biggest draw for ER has always been the ducks that swim all along the stream that winds its way along the walking trail. The first time we came, before she was one she was fascinated by them as you can probably tell from the way she like to walk right over the edge and get at them. Good thing my Dad is holding her by the dress! We also love BBQ potlucks. We host and go to several each year. I love all the pasta, fruit, and potato salads and ER's favorite summer food is definitely fresh corn on the cob! I'd rather have everyone over with lots of dishes to pass, good friends, and great conversation than go to a fancy restaurant any day! If you lived by me, you can be sure I'd greet you at the door with a glass of ice tea!

Thanks for coming by and visiting! Please leave me a comment so I know you were here and so I can be sure to come by and see you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

To Bavaria and Back, In a Day

My MIL's birthday isn't until Saturday, but she'll be off visiting her other son and DIL in Philly then. Brad has this week off from work, so on Tuesday we decided to celebrate her birthday with a special day trip to one of Michigan's biggest tourist traps, wait, I mean tourist destination where the whole town is themed around Bavaria. The town is also known for it's all you can eat chicken dinners, but we were there for lunch and got more manageable portions - Alicia over in AZ, I enjoyed every bite in your honor ☺
Another draw to the town is the ginormous all year round Christmas store and the outlets located off the highway at the same exit. They have Potterybarn Outlet there!!! It was the first time I'd been in there; I was in throw pillow heaven. They even have some Potterybarn Kid's stuff there too, so if we ever get around to having another baby I am so going there. There is a ton of stuff to look at; the store is huge and seriously to really see everything would require a few hours. Luckily for Brad, unless I throw everything out and start again I don't have much reason to really plunk down the moola there.
After our required chicken dinner and stroll through the shops along the main street, we headed over to their newer outdoor mall, decorated heavily guessed it the town's Bavarian theme. It's actually a really nicely landscaped and planned out space with "rivers" and "waterfalls" scattered about the grounds.
ER enjoyed standing on the walkway alongside the road and next to the real river, that's a working covered wooden bridge in the background. Even though rain had been predicted, we kept our finger's crossed and it never came, it was cloudy but no sprinkles. Plus since it's early enough in the tourist season, it was clear of crowds. It was a nice day, strolling around...and for once no fudge was bought! My Dad wasn't there you see...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our Memorial Day

Our plans for the holiday weekend really went awry on Sunday. That's when my car broke down while we were out running errands. Luckily, we were at our first stop and were at the shops right outside of our neighborhood. Darn car refused to start! Brad may have let loose a few choice words, and we ended up walking the two blocks back to our house. We had to scramble and rearrange plans pronto.
Memorial Day was still being a fun family day. It started with the big parade in town and we found our friends in the mist of all the crowds. It was fun to sit with one of ER's little friends from play group. ER wore the festive headband she got last year and photographer from our town paper took her picture. She might be in the newspaper for the second time! Our daughter, getting famous already!
My Mom, Dad, and brother Dave all came out to our house since we couldn't drive out to theirs. We're down a car and still have another, but it's old and doesn't get driven much anymore as Brad works five minutes from home. I don't trust it all the way across town. They even brought the BBQ food with them! It's great when Mom still brings over dinner isn't it☺
We didn't do anything too exciting, but ER was happy to have her grandparents over to play in the sand table with and they took her for a ride on the trike they got her last Christmas. Everyone is amazed by how well she's riding it, she's a little speed racer! We also opened the sidewalk chalk for the first time, and that was a HUGE it. She almost went through the whole package.

Toward the end of the afternoon, Grandma Norma arrived and we all enjoyed her birthday cake and ice cream, especially ER as ice cream is her favorite treat. My MIL commented that it was the first time Brad had made her a birthday cake, how fun! Tomorrow, I'll post about the fun day trip we took with Grandma Norma the next day.

It's Picnic Time: Frecklebox Giveaway

This Giveaway has Ended! Congratulations to our winner Kim!

Whoohoo!!! Today is the BIG day over at ABC & 123, our big Summer Prize Picnic Kick Off! Head on over and find out about our great first weekly sponsor! Here is my part of the review:We're excited to start our summer featuring Frecklebox, a company that has been wonderful to work with. Their mission is the educate and entertain, and Frecklebox's personalized products certainly do deliver! As former elementary teachers, we know that literacy begins very early on; the sooner you begin reading to and with your child the more likely he or she will be successful at independent reading. Independent reading is the foundation for all academic areas.

Frecklebox has numerous options for personalization. They have books, coloring books, puzzles, posters, journal books, place mats, stickers, and growth charts. Many of their products would make great party favors and coordinate so you can have matching sets.Personalized materials encourage children's excitement for reading and build self esteem. Not only are they a valuable teaching tool, personalized books also become special keepsakes as your children grow.
Frecklebox was a very generous sponsor, they sent sample books to both families and made sure each child got their very own book. At Katie's Nesting Spot's household, we were fortunate enough to get the Saves the Planet book to preview.

I was especially interested in this title, because I am always looking for nonfiction books to add to our home library. Interesting nonfiction books can be hard to come by for young children. They are often too simplistic or far too advanced to hold my daughter's interest. Plus, I noted around Earth Day, the lack of books on this topic. The brightly colored photographs and rhyming text quickly and easily captured her attention. In fact, the day after we got our copy in the mail she was already singing lines from the book.Here is the front cover of our book and the personalized dedication page. You can add your own text on this page, you do not have to choose from a small selection of prewritten dedications. My daughter's name has been edited for privacy. Through out the book, her name is featured predominantly on each page twice, once in the text and once in the accompanying picture.I liked the unique and creative ways that her name was incorporated into each photo, on the page above her name is spelled out with lots of little surfers. On others her name is created with clouds, bees, or added onto things like a bar of soap, bike license plate, recycling box, and a trophy.

The text rhymed and was full of easy things children can do to help save the planet such as turning the water on and off, riding your bike instead of driving, recycling, turning off the lights, and protecting the bees that pollinate our flowers and fruit trees. I found the activities, text, and picture illustrations very age appropriate for her, yet interesting enough to also be a book suitable for early elementary children.

I think one of the best features of the book, has to be the extra effort put into the design. We got a paperback and the entire book is laminated. That means if your child is like mine and spills things repeatedly, it's not a problem to just wipe it off and it's as good as new. I know, we've had three spills and spaghetti marks so far. This also makes the book extra sturdy for little hands that might otherwise tear the pages.Frecklebox has a wide variety of products to choose from and besides our book we also received from a personalized puzzle for ER and a personalized journal with my name on it.We got a twenty piece Horses puzzle, which just happens to be the exact one I was thinking about getting ER for her upcoming birthday, so getting it was a nice surprise! It was a big hit with my daughter as she is fascinated by horses and ponies. I love it when you can find activities that match interests. It is a too advanced for her to complete on her own, she'll be three in July, but she enjoys helping us a lot and wants to, "Make my ponies," over and over. Her name is spelled out in the clouds.

I also got a very colorful and handy personalized notebook, I like the zebra print a lot. It has a transparent plastic cover and the first page beneath it has my first and last name on it along with the pattern. What makes this notebook extra special is that my name is even on each page inside, along with writing lines, which I greatly appreciate. It's a nice size and fits well in my bag so I can pull it out and jot down notes as needed. The plastic cover makes it very durable.Here is an example of a notebook preview from Frecklebox's website. The previews available on Frecklebox are excellent! You add your child's name to any product they carry and see it. There is no guess work. I normally do not use my daughter's first name on this blog or on my personal one, but I considered sharing unedited photos for this review. However, the previews available on Frecklebox are of such high quality that I knew each of you could see their products, personalized for your own children on their site. Therefore, I did not feel blurring her name would take away from showcasing the products as you can see them over there.

You can even see, preview, and read an entire book before you purchase it. I can be picky about literature and I like to know I am getting a quality piece of literature before I buy it. I really don't like plunking down any money without knowing exactly what I am getting, so this was my favorite feature of their website. I've looked into getting personalized products for my daughter before and most sites do not have this feature.

Katie from A List Maker's Life completes the review at ABC & 123, go read it and find out how you can WIN a wonderful personalized product from Frecklebox too! Please note this is not where you comment to enter, see the complete review and giveaway post for that!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Red, White, and Blue: Patriotic Decorations

Updated 7-2-09: Today on ABC & 123, we're all sharing ideas for celebrating the Fourth of July. I shared these back on Memorial Day, but they're actually of my Fourth of July decorations. Last year we had friend over for a barbeque and I made these patriotic decorations for our get together. This year, we're going over my Godparents' house. I'm looking forward to all the yummy food and conversation without the planning, cooking, and cleaning up☺ Can't wait to see what you're all doing for Independence Day!

PS: If you're coming over from Tip Junkie, who recently featured this post and it's ideas, thanks for visiting. Enjoy your visit and be sure to leave me a comment so I know you've been here and so I can come see you too☺
Happy Memorial Day! We're going to be busy today and all this week, starting with the huge parade our little town puts on. I think every kid in the community marches in it, and next year ER will be in it with her preschool co-op. That's her and Brad at last year's parade in the decoupaged frame I made above.

This afternoon, my parents' will be over for a barbecue and tonight my mother-in-law will arrive to spend the night. We're going to celebrate her birthday early by going on a day trip together tomorrow. I'll be busy all day and tomorrow, so if I don't pop over to wish you a happy holiday, know that I'm thinking of all of you and will be back as soon as I can☺

Like for so many of you, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season at my house and it's when the red, white, and blue comes out too. I like to show my patriotic spirit for more than just today and on the Fourth of July so my decorations come out now and stay out.

Last year was our first summer in our first house, because we'd always lived in apartments where storage was an issue I didn't really have room to indulge in too many seasonal decorations. So last year was the first time I was able to go all out, and I made most of the following things for a Fourth of July dinner we hosted for friends of ours.This was my centerpiece, I originally made two luminaries but I gave Margaret the other one because it had pictures of her girls in it and I forgot to take a picture of the whole table set up for dinner. Imagine the flowers in the center and a luminary on each side.
These was a very easy project and I thought was really, really, happy with how it turned out. The pictures don't do it justice! I got the idea from Martha Stewart but made a more inexpensive version. You start with three plain wooden frames. Mine were a dollar each from Michaels and come unfinished. I painted them white to go with my theme and because I thought white would make the more reusable.

Print out three pictures on vellum, which is semi transparent paper you can often find in the scrapbook section, and make sure they are slightly bigger than the opening as you'll need to tape them in place and you don't want any tape to show through. Print our your pictures, tape into place in the picture area. Then tape all three frames together, I used low tack painter's tape, on the inside so that they form a triangle when you look down on them.

Place a votive in a glass container and put the luminaries over it. The candle will light it up and you'll get a soft glow through the vellum. Just be sure you watch the candle and make sure it's not too close to the sides of your luminary.
The flowers were really simple to do, I got three metal mini buckets from the dollar spot at Target. I filled them with a bouquet I got at Costco and then tied a ribbon around them. I like low arrangements so that people can see each other across the dinner table.You know I couldn't leave the kid's table alone; I had to decorate that too!I bought a really inexpensive outdoor vinyl tablecloth at Kmart, the kind you can whip off and use again. Cut it to little bit bigger than my daughter's wooden table and hot glued ribbon all along the bottom. Added some felt stars I got precut in a package in Joann's dollar spot to each corner, and put a few clear floral pebbles in underneath the stars to act as built in table weights. This way the tablecloth wouldn't fly around, if we took everything outside and ate on the deck.I made their centerpiece out of an empty oatmeal container. Just decoupaged on thematic paper and coated it with Mod Podge. Then I embellished with a few patriotic buttons that I hot glued on here and there.

I found piece of thematic scrapbook paper full of patriotic sayings. Cut it up and used the USA one to decorate the container and then taped the rest to candy sticks, one on each side, and added some mini flags to my arrangement.
Because it was a party, I HAD to make party favors for the girls! These are the same ones I made last Easter, only this time I made them a little smaller. The felt flower decoration on the handle is actually a pin the girls can add to one of their dress up purses. The name plate on each basket is also die cut out of felt and attached with metal brads.Inside each basket I put a pair of red, white, and blue hair clippies that I made, some festive glitter star stickers, and a few sticks of sidewalk chalk. I thought if the girls got bored we could break those out while they were over.
The mantle was decorated with this paper star chain I made out of double sided scrapbooking paper. I also found this idea on Martha Stewart, but made my stars bigger.
Here are out little guests at last year's Fourth of July barbecue. My friend Margaret brought them each the cute headbands. Aren't they fun! I saved ER's and hope to put it on her again this year. You can also see how nicely the banner dressed up the fireplace.
I've shown off these decoupaged letters before, but wanted to add them in context. I also made these for the party and will have them up all month long in July.

I hope you've enjoyed my patriotic decorations and enjoying your Memorial Day. While the grilling, parties, and long weekend are wonderful, I hope we all take a few moments to remember the real reason for this day and honor our men and women in the armed forces in some way today. To see my more serious reflection on this holiday, please visit ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative. I wrote today's post.

Tomorrow if our first giveaway for our Summer Prize Picnic, come over and enter to win!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scrapbook Sunday

It's Scrapbook Sunday, hosted by Noelle and Holly; that means it's time to share some of my pages. This week they're from 2007, it was ER's first spring. I can't believe how much she's changed and yet is still the same.

We've been watching a lot of Tiger baseball ever since moving back home, but even when we lived out of state my Dad sent ER a Tiger's outfit each year. This one is from the year they went to the World Series or was it the play offs? {Help me out Dave and email me - that's my younger brother} It is the cutest little dress. The page isn't actually about baseball in any way, she just happened to be wearing that dress when I took these pictures.

Any Harry Potter fans out there, notice the inspiration for the title of the page? In one of the books they had a map that would show them where all their professors were at Hogwarts and all the secret exits. When they were done using the map, they'd tap it and say, "Mischief Managed," and the paper would become blank.

This page also isn't about Harry Potter either, it's really about how frustrating it was keeping those darn bumper cushions on the sharp edges. She just wouldn't leave them alone! We finally gave up and crossed our fingers that she wouldn't fall and bang her head on them.

The journaling tag reads ~

Bumper Game Rules:
1. When Mommy& Daddy aren't looking, rush over to bumper but act nonchalant.
2. Slowly lower yourself down to the floor.
3. Pull up bumper & shove as much of it as you can into your mouth before Mommy & Daddy notice!
4. Repeat as often as you can!

The next page is from one of the first warm spring days we had in Santa Fe that year. I love being back by my family but I do miss the perpetual blue skies and much more temperate climate. Close ups of the pages follow.
I added the text right on to the photo in PS Elements and printed out all at once. In hindsight, I wish I'd chosen a different color as it blends in a bit with the rocks at the bottom, but I'm not going to do it over, so that way it stays!

I loved this bright little striped number the second I took it out of the package. It's one piece and I remember wearing this style of get up when I was little. I thought ER looked so cute, and since it was a gift from her Aunt and Uncle we had to rush out and take pictures of her in it to send them.
The letters are chipboard and the flower is a die cut. The flower is raised with a little foam tape and a second die cut is underneath it. It gives it a little bit of subtle dimension. I really liked the colors and the pictures of this layout, the spring colors just make me feel happy☺

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Tricycle Chick

Now that the weather has warmed up ER has been out every day burning energy. It's taken awhile, but she's mastered using her Christmas gift from Grammy and Papa. It's her favorite activity and when we are on the community path she can really get up some speed.

This isn't the best video, but it's a special request from ER's Godmother all the way in Scottsdale whose been wanting to see our litte speed racer. So here you go, Alicia☺ She really is pedaling and steering all by herself. I must say the removable handle does come in handy, it's nice to able to grab on to her if she does start spinning out of control.

One of her favorite spots to ride is through the "forest"; which is really just the part of the path that has trees on both sides. Every time we go she asks in a hushed tone, "Mommy, we go to the forest," and giggles with excitement when I tell her we can.

The Kettler trike she has is really a nice bike, it come in girl colors and is very sturdy. We love the removable handle, which was a very nice feature when she started learning to ride her trike. When we're on long rides, it's great to be able to take over and push her along after she's gotten tired. Plus, the basket in the back is the perfect spot to keep a baby. Cause you know, we can't go anywhere without a baby or two!

Friday, May 22, 2009

F is for Farm Field Trip: Part 2, A Digital Mini Story Book

I wanted to make a little book with our pictures from the field trip yesterday, and I wanted it to be finished as quickly as possible so we could begin reading it now and as we do our follow up farm activities. My solution, was to use these great page templates I found for free at Epson's Creative Zone. The ones I used for this project can be found here. I opened each page template in PS Elements, dropped in my pictures, and added a little bit of text. Now I can print them out as 4x6 prints slip into a photo album. I can even use their other kits to make more pages and add to our story book of memories quickly.
I am not sure why the text is blurry on some of the pages, I think it might have to do with the way I compressed them before uploading to Blogger, but they are not blurred on the copies we printed out.

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