Sunday, December 23, 2007

Just Some Bits & Pieces

Well right now my sweet dear husband is busy cooking a special meal for the two of us. The kids are all with their other parents tonight so we have a bit of couple time. Let me tell you this is a sweet moment. All of the presents are wrapped & under the tree, the stockings are all hung & full, the laundry is just about done & everything seems to be coming together nicely. Whew!!

We are celebrating Christmas with the kids a day early on Christmas Eve as it is not our year to have them Christmas morning. One of the challenges of divorce & remarriage is the juggling of visitation & holidays. I must say though that I feel pretty blessed as we really seem to be able to work things out with the ex-spouses pretty easily. Also, since the kids all live with us, we really have the best deal & see them the most. I always try to keep that in mind & be flexible. I am grateful that they are all here under one roof. I have a full house & that is a good thing.

On Friday Kailey came home from school with this masterpiece. She was really proud of how her little gingerbread house turned out. I thought it was magnificent. Plus after we got a few pictures she was generous enough to let Rachel eat a few gum drops off of it. You are such a sweet pea Kailey!

Today I have been doing things around the house. Mending, laundry, a bit of cleaning, & odds & ends of things that need to be done.

One project I worked on today was this set of altered refrigerator magnets. I bought a set of these at the dollar store & then used pattern paper & stickles to jazz them up a bit. I put pictures of my kids & my nephews in & plan to give them to my Dad & Stepmother as a Christmas gift. I am so pleased with how they came out I think I may have to make a few more gift sets & perhaps one for myself. I think it will be fun to experiment with other paper lines & perhaps some Prima flowers.

Well, I can smell some yummy things in the kitchen. Maybe I should get off this computer & see if David needs any help.

Hope you are enjoying some quiet times as well.


Friday, December 21, 2007

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot like Christmas...

The tree is up & decorated, the lights are on the front of the house, & most of the presents are wrapped. We got off to a slow start with David traveling so much & me basically doing it all on my own, but we are finally just about ready.
On Wednesday my dad & stepmother brought the kids into New York City to see Cirque Du Soleil - Wintuk. They spent the whole day in the city. What fun for the kids & what a nice treat for me. I spent the day in my scrap room creating. I didn't have to think once about the kids, where they were, or what they might need. It was a real treat.
Here are some things I created...

Today is another quiet day. Connor & Kailey have their last day of school before winter break. Caleb & Rachel are hanging out in their jammies, & I have been creating again.

Here is what I made today (Dad & Marguerite...if you are reading this stop here as the picture is one of your Christmas gifts....if you peek...just act surprised when you open it

This is one of those tin barn stars that I decorated with pattern paper, some black & white photos of the kids & some ribbon. It was actually pretty fun to make once I got the templates figured out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A bit of humor for today...

Two nights ago we were having one of those family dinners where everyone is goofing around & acting silly. We were all laughing & just having a great time. If you have ever had one of these you know that it is often hard not to have your drink come spraying out of your nose at times. I love these kinds of dinners where the kids feel free to express themselves & their emerging sense of humor starts to shine through. The dinner was nothing fancy...just pizza that David picked up on the way home. These moments are fabulous for recharging my batteries, they remind me of how much I love my life & how blessed I am today.

But here is the real funny part. At one point I look over at Rachel & notice she has two small pimples on the side of her nose. Maybe it was the silly mood of the night or maybe I was just surprised to see the blemishes on my just ten year old daughter, I am not really sure, but I blurted out, "Wow have two pimples on your face!" She immediately put her hands up to her face & shrieked, "what?!?!" She then excused herself from the table to go run & look in the mirror. She couldn't believe it. Well, that really isn't the funny part either I guess. What happened next was...

She announces that immediately following dinner she was heading up to take a shower & wash her face. When I went upstairs to check on her this is what I found.

She looked at me very calmly & said, "the mask says it dries up pimples, so I am going for it." It just struck me as so funny, especially since she wasn't really all that concerned, but was enjoying the amount of laughter her mock upset was producing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A glimpse of my life...

I got this from another blogger Denise...who got this from another blogger!

i am: a creative & outgoing person
i want: my kids to be happy people
i have: a wonderful husband, 4 fabulous children, and 1 great dog
i wish: my kids came with an instruction manual
i hate: that my husband's grandmother is sick & dying. I just love her.
i miss: summers at the beach
i hear: my friend Gabi talking to me while I type
i wonder: if I will ever really feel like a grown up
i regret: not taking more chances
i am not: selfish & hateful
i sing: loud and often, but not well
i cry: for my kids suffering with learning differences
i am not always: patent with my kids
i make with my hands: scrapbooks, art, & cooking.
i journal: about me, my family & my friends
i confuse: the names of my kids when I am frantic
i need: nothing life is pretty full
i should: be cleaning & doing laundry...but hey this is certainly more entertaining.
i start: my day waking up my kids with kisses
i finish: the day snuggling with my hubby after the kids are in bed...sometimes with a glass of wine.

please post a message if you decide to do I can go check it out!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some Gifts handmade by Rachel...

So if you are on her Christmas list you may want to close your eyes now.

Rachel has been busy for the last few days making jewelry, beaded bookmarks & key chains for Christmas gifts.

I took a picture of some of her creations. It is a crummy shot & does not really do them justice.

Here are some of them all packaged up & ready to go.

I love that she wants to make gifts every year. She is always so proud to present her gifts. I have to admit though I am glad they are finally done. Even though she makes everything, I often need to be on hand to help with the mechanics. She is only ten years old after all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Want a chance to win some free stuff??

Then you have to check this out...

Head on over to CropAddict & check out the contest they are having.

Even if you do not win you will have fun, I promise. It is a great board, with a rockin' gallery, an awesome kit club, & a fabulous store. It is a great place for fun & inspiration if you are into paper crafts & scrapbooks.

If you register be sure to let them know I sent you...hee hee...I want to get my name in for that prize as many times as possible!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

While the cats where away...

the mice did play.

My mother in law stayed at our house to keep on eye on the kids while David & I were in Paris. She left us a note on the kitchen table letting us know how everything went & a request to print some photos for her that she took on Rachel's camera. So I finally got around to uploading the photos this morning & this is what I found...

How cute is this?!?! My mother in law completely rocks! She is a costume designer in New York & these are all her prototypes that she brings for the kids to use as dress up when she does not need them anymore. As you can see this time it was all girl stuff, but often there is a ton of cool boy stuff as well. How luck are my kids to have such cool dress up stuff? I am so glad that they had a blast hanging with Gemma while we were gone.

I always worry whenever we go somewhere without the kids that they will be sad without us. I guess I need to let that go now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So did you miss me??

For those of you who missed me...I am back from Paris. For those of you who didn't even realize I was gone...guess what?? I am back from Pairs!

We left Thursday afternoon got on a plane around 6PM at the Newark Airport.

Here I am (not a particularly flattering photo of me...but hey it is part of the story) on the plane ready for my Paris adventure.

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle International Airport around 7AM Paris time. We took a taxi to our hotel...The Park Hyatt Vendome on 5 Rue de la Paix in Paris. The hotel was very luxurious & had we not been staying there for free, by cashing in my husbands hotel reward points, it would not have been even close to our price range. I think our room rate was about 600 Euros a night which is about $900 a night & with David's travel points we stayed three nights for free!!

Our friends Chris & Lori were already in Paris & met us down in the lobby. We all headed out for some croissant & café au lait at one of the corner places & then headed off to wander around Paris while our room was being prepared.
It was fabulous traveling with our friends as it was their seventeenth trip to Paris & they knew their way around. First we went to The Sacré-Coeur Catholic basilica, built at the end of the 19th century, at the top of Montmartre hill in Paris. The spectacular view of Paris from atop the hill there was amazing . The village like streets and squares, its cafés and restaurants, its painters on Place du Tertre, and the ticky-tacky tourist type shops were all so much fun.

Here are our pals Lori & Chris. We stopped & had crêpes avec fomage et jambon (crepes with cheese & ham) & David tried crêpes avec fomage et champignons (crepes with cheese & mushrooms) they tasted particularly yummy standing on the street in Pairs on a brisk afternoon.

Here we are on the steps to Sacré-Coeur

The next day we headed to the Musée Rodin. If you are even remotely a fan of this artist you must go there. I was just so blown away by the beautiful work. I could have spent hours in the gardens there. It must be beautiful to be there in the spring to sit & have a picnic there amongst all those fabulous sculptures.

Here is just one of the many pictures we took there. Can you believe how amazing this is?

David took a picture of me taking that photo. How funny is he?

From there we headed to Notre Dame de Paris.
My fabulous husband David caught this great shot of Notre Dame reflected in this large Christmas ball on a tree in the square. I just love this shot. Yeah David!

Well, I could go on & on about all we saw & did, but I am sure that is not as interesting for you as it is for me. So here are just a few more pictures (Click on the names of places if you want more information)...

The line for the Louvre Museum. This was before 9AM on Sunday morning.

My David getting some crepes at a stand along the Champs-Élysées.

The Arc de Triomphe.

Opéra de Paris

The Eiffel Tower

It did rain the entire weekend, but there was something sort of romantic about Paris in the rain. I am so glad my husband decided to surprise me with a long weekend in Paris. He is so romantic & fabulous. I am such a lucky girl!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I have so much going much to say... & I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. So, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" Now that I have that out of the way I think I am feeling a bit better. So if this post is a bit here, there, & everywhere... I apologize, but I am just going with the flow today.

I can hardly believe that in just two days I will be on a plane to Paris, France. It came up so fast. I have so much to do & it is right before Christmas. Am I crazy?!?! Forget it don't answer that!

Well, Saturday David left for a business trip. He is gone until tomorrow & we leave for Paris on Thursday. So like that doesn't make things a little more difficult. Since we are not bringing the kids the logistics of their care while we are away is a bit crazy, but I am hoping it all goes smoothly.

Sunday we had a mini snow fall. A little over an inch. The girls decided to make the most of it & played outside for hours. Rachel even made a little snow man.

Yesterday, I went out & did some more Christmas shopping & I did manage to get a lot accomplished. So there is not too much left to do when I get back.

The photo Christmas cards I ordered came yesterday. So I can start addressing them. I am totally disappointed in how they turned out. They are really pretty ugly...not at all what they looked like on my computer monitor. So if you are on my Christmas card list....the kids really look much better in

When the kids got home from school, Rachel helped me get dinner started. We made homemade chili with fresh baked corn bread. It was yummy. While that was cooking we got started on Christmas decorations. I am so glad to have that started. Something about even just pulling out the boxes & looking through the treasures really starts getting me in the holiday mood.

This morning when I got all the kids up for school, Caleb had a bad sore throat & Rachel had a stomach ache. So now Caleb is staying home & Rachel drank some tea & decided to rough it out. Connor & Kailey seemed OK & went off to school without complaints.

So now here I sit at my computer with a cup of coffee. I put some flavored Coffee Mate in it...I needed a treat this morning...boy is it good. Come on over I'll make you a cup.

So for the rest of the day I plan to get some cleaning done, get some things of my "to-do" list, get some pictures of my special ornaments, & pamper Caleb. I think he more wanted some Mama time than he is actually sick, but with four kids that happens from time to time. So I am going to roll with it.

I think for the next few days that is going to be my mantra, "just roll with it baby!!"

Oh...and I did put some Christmas music on here for a little bit of fun!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Are You Guilty?

If you think you may be then you should go check this out...

Scrapdragons Challenge #8

This one is going to be fun...I promise!!

Also, The winner for challenge #7 has been posted. So be sure to go check that out as well.

You will have all month for the current challenge. We figured we all had enough to do this holiday season so we are giving you a bit more time with this one.

So go have some fun today!!

Here is my guilty pleasure...try not to laugh too hard...

The journaling reads..."My guilty pleasure these days comes with just a $2.99 price tag from Wal-Mart. Something about having things like "fierce" scrawled across my butt just makes me feel a bit naughty."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Check out this freak show...

weird clay art by my lovely daughter Rachel.
First she came prancing in the kitchen like this...

Then she looked at me & said with a little sparkle in her eyes, "quick mama...grab your camera...I have an idea!!!"

Here is what followed...

She was entertained for the whole evening & so was I.
We were laughing, actually... it was more like hysterical giggling, all night.

Then she made this final creation...

(check out the little eyelashes...crazy huh?)

I love that something as ordinary as dollar store clay can be such an extraordinary & creative toy.
This was a great reminder for me as I head into the crazy shopping frenzy for Christmas. Sometimes even the simplest of things can bring us so much pleasure.
I love you Rachel!! You are a shining light in my life.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smile for the Camera...

Yesterday I finally had a sunny enough day & enough time to bring the kids over to the local park & take some photos. I was hoping to get one shot good enough for our annual Christmas card photo. This is always a bit of a challenge to get a shot where all four of the kids look pretty good. I'm of the theory take at least a hundred pictures & maybe one will be acceptable. So here are some of yesterday's shots.
This tree is where the adventure got started. I had this image in my head of all four of the kids up in a tree, but there really wasn't one that worked right for that. Plus after Rachel got her foot stuck in this one & was covered with bark I thought maybe I should scrap the tree idea.

This fence shot is actually the one I will be using for the cards. I think everyone has the most natural look in it.
This one of them laying down up the hill from me I just love. Too bad Kailey was squinting. I think Connor looks so cool in this one.
I took a few shots in this gazebo right before we left. The kids had fun goofing off after Mama was so cranky trying to get good shots of them. It was good taking pictures & not being so picky about where everyone was standing & which way they were looking.

This hill just begged to have kids rolling down it. Caleb was the first to give in to the temptation.

They rolled down the hill a number of times. Everyone was laughing & muddy.
Connor would roll down in an angle bumping all the others on the way down. It was too funny that he couldn't stay in a straight roll.

I think we need to go back next week before it gets too cold. I plan to let them dress in their junky play clothes & just have a blast. They won't be young enough to be this silly for long. I was glad they had some fun even if I was so serious about the pictures in the beginning.

I love that they remind me that life is too short to take things so seriously. I mean really who cares if we have a perfect Christmas card picture?? Maybe it is really more perfect that we are having too much fun to have a perfect picture.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Looking For Some Mojo??

Well then boy do I have something for you. Check out the current challenge at Scrapdragons!

You will be sure to get some ideas over there & if you put a link to your creation in the comments you can have a shot at a fun scrappy prize.

So go ahead pop on over & check it out!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So much to share...

& so much to be thankful for!!

I can't believe it has been so long since I posted. It has been a whirlwind of activity here since last week. Today I finally have a minute for myself & I am going to take some time out to go over all that has gone on & really savor the good stuff & celebrate.

So be warned this may be a lengthy post, but it is filled with really sweet juicy moments for me so I hope you take the time to read through to the end.

So first as some of you may already know I had thrown my hat in the ring over at Crop Addict & tried out for a spot on their amazing Design Team.

Well, It's official... the announcement has been made and I can now shout it from the roof tops...


I feel so honored to be a part of the team & I can't wait to get started. So stay tuned to see all the cool stuff I will get to create for them. They are a fabulous scrapbook store & kit club, with an amazing gallery & great message board. If you are a paper crafter make sure you go check them out. It is the kind of site where you will feel welcome right away & will be totally inspired.

I still can't believe I made it!!

Caleb & Rachel were off from school all this past week. They were so excited to help prepare for Thanksgiving & they were fabulous help to me as I got everything ready for our guests.

Wednesday family started arriving. In the morning my father & step-mother came by for a visit. They spent time with me & the kids & then brought us out for a nice lunch. They had t head back to Cape May so around 2PM they headed back to south Jersey.

Then around 3PM my Aunt Tiz & Uncle Nick arrived. I couldn't believe how wonderful Uncle Nick looked. Just last year at Christmas time he had a near fatal car crash & was in a coma. In the past year since the accident he has had to learn to walk again, among other things. This Thanksgiving he walked into our house with just a cane... God is good.

Then later that evening my mom & step dad arrived. I always enjoy visits with my mom. She lives in Maryland & I wish we could see her more.

I have to say I was so busy hanging with my family that I hardly ever took out my camera. {GASP}... Can you believe it?!?! I am sad I have almost no pictures, but I am glad I just took the time to enjoy my family.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law & sister-in-law arrived. So with a full house we all hung out & ate all kinds of yummy goodness. It is always nice to have family around. David's grandmother, Muriel, had just gotten out of the hospital & was unable to join us this year. I was sad about that, but grateful that she was home & not in the hospital. My sweet dear husband gave my mother-in-law a ride back to Muriel's & brought "goodie bags" of Thanksgiving treats for her & her friend Wally.

Friday my Uncle Larry, Aunt Denise, Cousins Louie & Marc, & Louie's girlfriend Natasha came by. Again all the food came out & we had a chance to laugh & visit. My Aunt Tiz who thinks silly string is the best fun ever gave us all our own can & a huge silly string fight started in the back yard. It was just too fun. Now my back yard & porch are littered with strands of the silly stuff. I just love that Tiz & my family are still so fun.

Connor & Kailey left for the weekend to be with their mom at their Aunt Laura's house. Later in the day Larry picked up Caleb & Rachel for the weekend. It is always a bit sad to see them all go, but I am grateful they have a good relationship with their other parents.

Saturday morning all the house guests started back on their way home. David & I were left alone for the first time in days. So we headed out to the golf course & played a round of golf. It was cold, I played poorly, & I had a fabulous time! It was great to have some quiet time with my honey.

That afternoon are dear friends Chris & Lori came over for a quiet dinner & some wine. Again it was nice to enjoy some quiet times with friends.

So now here I am finally caught up to today. I am doing laundry, catching up on email, updating my blog, & I plan to get some scrap time this afternoon as well.

If you made it this far...thanks!! Hope you had a fabulous & blessed week as well!