Sunday, November 30, 2008

Scarlet Lime Excitement!

So... here it is!!! The day has arrived and I now can spill the beans! Our tags from One Bright Spot was asked to be in December's Scarlet Lime scrapbooking kits! This company is run by a scrapbook magazine editor and designer. She is well known in the scrapbooking community. She was online, saw Becca's design, liked it, and asked for 3075 of them! Yikes! We couldn't turn this down and got started right away. Check out the link on the left to our blog to see photos.

We ordered the paper from, JR Designs, one of Becca's friends in California. We got the paper within a week and took our stuff to the printers... long story short the printers called us to tell us that they messed up. Well, they did! They also cut the tags wrong. So, we had to trim and punch corners of 3075 tags! Do the math... We had to trim 3 x 3075, punch 4 x 3075, sort 3 x 3075, bag 1025, seal 1025, and place a label on 1050. Then we had to bag 6 x 150. Then box 1050. How many times did I touch each tag?

Believe me... there will be NO pop quiz!

Christmas Sweaters and New Traditions

While Becca and I were at the Christmas Bazaar today, a lady told us of her family's new tradition. They were talking about those hideous Christmas sweaters that everyone is afraid of. They then decided to have a contest...her family has decided to get together while each wearing the worst Christmas sweater they can find. The person wearing the worst one wins.

It was a great laugh! I so wish I could be a fly on the wall of that party!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Trees and Vegan Pumpkin Pies

So far today has been a great day! I stayed up late to get the Christmas tree up and started. I did everything besides the ornaments. I wanted Ethan to help me decorate it this morning. Ethan woke up, turned on his radio, and ran out into the living room. It was so funny! He yelled, "Christmas tree!" Then, he stared at it quietly with his mouth open and at the same time he was signing with the song on the radio. We did our normal morning routine and by 9 am I had all the ornaments sitting out so that Ethan could choose which ones to do. I put Christmas music on, Bing Crosby is all I could find, and we started a new was a simple as that. Five minutes later it was over. After lunch Ethan was finally able to try his pumpkin pie that Aunt Tammy made for him. It is a vegan pie and so has NO EGG! Whoohoo. As you can see, he loved it!
Wasn't so sure at first, then he dug right in!

I forgot all the great ornaments we had. Mostly from either Becca or kids at school for the last eight years of teaching. This one was one we made for Dave when he came home from the hospital last year; Becca and Josh got us a tree and helped set it up as a surprise. I decided to leave the message on the chalkboard the same. It is a good reminder that God takes care of His children.

Ethan helping decorate his first Christmas tree.

I didn't do so bad without Becca's help. Although, I was trying to remember all the tips that she told me from last year. I gave up trying to remember half way through the process and just started slapping stuff on. (HA!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day to Remember...

We really had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We spent it with Dave's family... as the tradition. Our project went really well and John guessed the most quotes right! He won 15 out of 19! Mom was next with 14 and Lisa after her with 9. Everyone had a good time reading all the stories. I am sure that they took them home and continued to read. Here are my favorite photos of the day...

Heather... I was so glad to see her. I have missed her so much!

Ahhh... Dominic and Adriana

Ethan's cousin Korissa was so sweet. She gave Ethan a big kiss!

Tables across the whole room!
I love this picture. The family is talking and playing the game too.

Dave's took this close-up.

Ethan and Dad watching "Bob the Builder."
Dad found it on T.V. and Ethan crawled on his lap to watch.

After dinner... you know it was a good day by the smile on Dad's face.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year Becca and I worked hard at a family project for Thanksgiving. It has inspired me to learn more about Dave's family. I had Dave's family answer questions and I compiled them together so we can all read them today! Here are my favorite quotes from the family. We are going to play a "who-said-what" game." Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

"I don't care what people think about me... I love me."

"When I was younger, I always thought I would be a Sister in a convent..."

"I'm good at organizing things, reading people and writing stories."

"...I wore headbands, mini skirts, and turtlenecks which were the trends at the time."

"I have Dad’s temper and stubbornness and I don’t like change either. I have Mom’s good looks and same joy for garden stuff."

"Then, I brought up that I wasn’t feeling well and I thought that I had the flu…So long story short she was with me when I found out that I was 'prego.'"

"My ultimate “best day” would be skydiving naked."

"My first car was a 1980 Pontiac Bonneville."

"Mom, Dad, and I got to talking and they found out that I had never had crab. He couldn’t
believe it and went into the garage to the fridge and got three crabs. It was the best time just cracking them and eating the meat even though I had no idea what I was doing."

"When I grow up I want to be… a pony. If I could do anything for an entire day…I would build a pony and turn into a pony."

"Plus no matter what side on the boat I sat on and even if we switched poles I caught more fish than Mom or Dad."

"When I lost my first tooth it was about too weird cause I bit into jerky and it fell out."

"If I could do anything for a day…I would wake up and go fishing with my fishing pole."

"I want to be a Veterinarian because I want to help the animals! "

"When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. "

"The advice I would give to others would be not to worry too much about tomorrow. Enjoy today."

"I remember the horses and Grandma’s knick knacks. We use to put them in our purses and hide them. Then we would get in trouble for doing it!"

"Just the thought of Dave going after a possum with nunchuks makes me laugh. "

"John loves art and he has always encouraged me to keep at it. "

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You Don't Have to Ask Me Twice

Becca and Josh invited us over last night for a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner, since we are going to Dave's family for the main meal. Ethan and I arrived just in time for my migraine to go into full swing.

I had already taken four Advil but unfortunately the medication didn't even dull the pain. I am not sure if you have had a migraine while your toddler runs around you in circles screaming. Did you know that covering your head with an over sized blanket while rocking back and forth doesn't make the little terror go away? Nor the migraine? I might be to blame. I thought I could quit my little pop habit, that occurred during those long days as a new Mommy, cold turkey. Was I crazy?!

Once Sarah, Becca, and Josh found out that I had a migraine they quickly treated me like a queen. Josh handed me a Coke; Becca turned down her bed; and Sarah handed me the Excedrin Migraine. In the meantime, Ethan must of taken some happy pills himself and was running around the house in circles, screaming from excitement. They wanted me to go upstairs to lay down and leave them with - that? Inside I wanted to say, "You don't have to ask me twice!Whoohoo! Free nap!" as I skipped, hopped, then ran upstairs, to take a large leap into the bed. But I didn't. I was really there to hang out. I haven't had that chance in a long while. Working on One Bright Spot doesn't really count. I didn't want to go and have them babysit the terror.

I got an hour nap and woke up to... Ethan's excited screams. The first thought was, "Oh my goodness! I fell asleep on the couch!" I thought I was at home. But, then I realized where I was, looked at the time, and then knew that my child had probably sent Cocoa back into trauma.

Dave drove over from work soon after and we had a delicious dinner. We relaxed and took time to chat and play with Ethan. When it was time to go, the three Grinders sent me home with a care package. When I opened it this morning there was two Cokes, pudding cups for Ethan's pumpkin pie substitute (the real thing has egg), and two Ziplocs of Excedrin Migraine. Someone else was thinking like the other... my guess is Sarah and Becca. Who do you think?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Belly Buttons and Raspberry Heaven

The night before last, Dave came home and Ethan was so excited. We were having some floor time when Dave started to hug me... Ethan thought we were wrestling and jumped on top! Then he saw Dave's shirt lifted a little and he stuck his finger in Dave's belly button. He then lifted his shirt and touched his belly button and said, "Belly!" Ethan looked at me and lifted my shirt bent down and gave me a raspberry on my stomach! We were laughing so hard that Ethan just kept on blowing raspberries; he loved our reactions. It went on for a good five minutes. It was heavenly...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My son surprises me everyday. Is it the same for every parent? I mean Ethan SURPRISES me! Today, during story time Ethan picked his two books and climbed into my lap to read them. He picked Bread Bread Bread and Cars by Anne Rockwell. He picked the car book first and I began reading it. I realized that the word "go" was used a lot and so when I got to the word I asked him what is said. He read "go." So for the rest of the story, Ethan read the word "go" and I read everything else. His list of words that he can read are now: Becca, Mom, Dad, box, frog, Ethan, Deb, go, stop, and Josh.

It is awesome that he is beginning to read... but it sure does make for a nerve-wrenching time driving when he yells out "stop" every time you get to an intersection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ha Ha Fooled Ya...

There's this song I learned when I first started working with kids. It is a new version of Row Row Row Your Boat. It goes: Row, Row, Row your boat. Gently down the stream... ha, ha, fooled ya, I'm a submarine. When I sing it with Ethan, I rock him on my knees slowly to the original version. Then I sing it again and go faster.
I kind of feel like life has been just like that song. I am looking forward to next week being able to share with you the whirlwind that has been keeping us up every night for the past week. It was a little harder today since Ethan didn't sleep good last night and I was up late. But, there were so many times where he was making me laugh so hard. It made everything else just go away...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Elsie Cake

Ok, I have been DYING to tell this story for a month already, but couldn't cause of Becca's birthday! Now I can!

So, if you look in my "favorite websites" on the left, you can click on Elsie Flannigan's blog. She is one of my favorite scrapbook artists. She now is an independent artist and works out of Springfield, MO! She has her own etsy shop and if you know anything about popular artists and etsy, is that you are lucky to see anything in their shop cause it sells out that fast. (Side note: could you imagine being an artist and making your mortgage and bills in one hour?!- yeah, that would be nice, huh?)

One day in September, Elsie posted new items in her shop and I was able to buy one item. It is was a small artist trading card with an original drawing. That is all I could afford! The store is a little pricey for my budget. I was so excited when the package came, cause she included a print that she had posted on her blog and so Becca would be able to recognize it. It was sooo cute!

Anyway, a few weeks later, Elsie posted that she added some more things to her shop. Two days later, I get a package from her in the mail! I didn't order anything, but I received product! Then a couple of days after that, I get another package! It was hard to get a hold of her since she just moved, but she finally emailed me. We have no idea how it happened but she wrote me this:

Hi Jen, I am not sure what happened with this, but you can just keep them (or give them to a friend if you don't want them :))Thank you so much for letting me know. Enjoy. els

Yippee! We figured out that it was over $70 of product. What a great birthday present for the both of us! I let Elsie know that it was my birthday and that it was a wonderful gift. (I will post pictures tomorrow)

Birthday Laughs

Dave's vacation started yesterday, on my birthday! Dave said that I could sleep in which I was really looking forward to. Since the time change, Ethan has been getting up at 6am. On Sundays I get up even earlier than usual since I have to be ready for church before Ethan gets up. So, Dave, who rolls out of bed fifteen minutes before we need to leave for church, said that he would let me sleep in and he would get up with the early bird. So, guess what happened?! Ethan didn't get up until 7:30! Typical! So we all got to sleep in, which was nice. But, I told Dave that I get another day to sleep in! ;)

Church was great and very relaxed. I actually felt younger yesterday! Probably because Dave was such a helper with the little guy.

After church Becca and Josh came over and Dave started getting ready for our birthday dinner. Becca gave me a break to read a magazine while she took Ethan on a walk. She came back after two blocks since it started to rain. So, we went into Ethan's room and played. Becca pulled this huge basket out from under Ethan's bed that Grandpa got him. She climbed in and Ethan stared at her for a long time with this hilarious look on his face! Then, Becca's mother-in-law called. I had to get a picture so Barbara could see what she looked like! It's a great picture! Can you believe how pretty she looks even in a basket?! Then Ethan started to put his trains inside the basket with Becca.

Later, Sarah came over and we ate a amazing dinner made by my sweetheart. We opened gifts (which I will post about later), and had cake. Becca I'm sure will post about the pictures that we took while talking to Deborah on the phone from Israel. It was so funny!

Thanks to my family for a great birthday... the best part, is that it isn't over yet! Dave has the whole week off and he has a special day date planned on Wednesday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

On the Mend

Thanks for the nice comments and kind words for the sick family that we were. Ethan still has a runny nose and it takes me a while to get moving in the morning, but we are on the mend. There has been several projects that I am working on and I wanted to share a few. The first is our family Thanksgiving project -for those family members who haven't sent me your questions you have a week! No pressure or anything. ;) I have also been getting ready for One Bright Spot's Open House. We also have been working on a huge custom order for our etsy store that we will be able to tell you all about later.

I have also been getting the house staged and ready to put on the market. It has been a slow process since I am only able to really work on it when Ethan is asleep and after my SAHMotherly duties. But, I am excited about finishing the upstairs bedroom. I have posted some pictures even though it was way too dark to get good shots. But I wanted to share!

Not much has changed with the library. I wanted to show those who haven't been in a while. We have added a few books to the library this year.

After the library is the doorway to the room. Here is a new "fort" or cozy area to play and make-believe. With the top clear it makes for great puppet shows. We have already had one! On top is his new hat rack and some vintage books.

Here is the manipulative play area. There are also some musical play things since Ethan loves to jam!

Since our ceilings are A-framed the clock is perfect for Ethan's height! He has learned the numbers and how to say "clock" so I thought it was perfect!

I love the easel on the wall. It is like a piece of art but functional. Since it is staged we won't be doing any painting, but the supplies in the container we used today. The basket below is filled with construction paper. In the middle is the table that Neil Fowler made for Lil' E when he was born. I love it - it was perfect for playing games on it today.

I found this alphabet at a garage sale and paid 50 cents for it. Can you find what letter is missing? Maybe that's why it was in the garage sale. ;) The picket fence is the headboard for our invisible bed at the moment. I also hung a mobile above the bed that is not pictured. The basket under the book rack (which, by the way, is a pot lid rack from IKEA) is filled with stuffed animals. I have always loved that basket!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Few Thoughts On My Mind

I am sure I was just like every other person in America glued in front of the television last night. It seems that whatever I do or read today everyone has an opinion about the outcome of our new president. Some people are not so positive about their opinions and very vocal. Some of the blogs that I read daily have several comments that are negative. All I have to say to that is "Wow!"

I have peace in it all. This last month I have been reading in I and II Kings. I have always had a hard time reading these books, probably because there are so many kings that turn from God's ways - but I rejoice when I read about the kings that turn to God and change Judah and Israel for the better. This time around, I have been reading it getting encouraged along the way. Every time a king comes into power, God allows it. There is freewill in the decisions that the king makes and the outcome of their life and dynasty is based on their walk with the Lord. They are blessed by God for following Him.

Last night, no matter the outcome, was a life changing experience! We will always remember what we were doing November 4th, 2008. But our opinion of the outcome should be voiced in a godly way and manner. Yelling, stomping our feet (as I have seen some people doing), and Bible thumping isn't the answer. It is an encouragement to know that God is in control, will always be in control, and has already won the battle for us all.

The answer to all of our worries would be if we just "lived ready!" Does your attitude today about yesterday show your love for god and your love for people? Are you "living ready" as if today was your last?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sick of Being Sick

So... Ethan and I have been laying around the house for the last two days. I am so tired, from the sleepless nights but also from being sick myself.

One thing we have been doing to get through the day is watching too much TV - those who know me know that Ethan only watches a few shows and not often. Although, being sick and unable to lift myself up for very long can be make it hard to keep an active toddler busy. During one part of the day Ethan used my body as his own train track yelling, "Whooowhoo!" with Thomas the Train and I just laid there and took it. I mean it was better than the screaming, crying, tired baby that he was at night. His asthma started up again and he has been having a hard time breathing.

Oh, by the way, our DVR fried and deleted all of our Signing Times with everything else (all my Jane Austen films GONE! Ahhh!) and so we have been watching Super Why ( and Bob the Builder. Signing Time is now off PBS and so we are a very sad family...