Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!! It was such a warm day. In the 60's. Nothing like the blizzard of 1991 in MN :) (Sorry Matt- I had to)

Bennet was Scooby Doo. Here is Scout as Princess Leia

We started out at Grandma & Grandpa S house

I was Velma to go with the whole Scooby Doo theme. I'm pretty sure most people just thought I liked orange and red.

Nick made his costume 2 years ago. He worked day and night for nearly 2 months on it. Consumed by the dark side. The chest armor & shin guards were made from floor mats & plastic garbage cans. Then they were assembled and spray painted. the chest box and 2 belt boxes were made from wood, painted &; hooked up with all the led lights. They actually light up. The metal belt buckle was punched out from steel at Piper. Mom T. sewed the leather shirt & pants. Mom S. and Mom t. helped with the capes. The inner cape & outer cape which is lined. The helmet is huge, but has room for the voice box that does the whole breathing thing. I admit- the codpiece is a bit much- but it’s authentic.

Whole Lotta Leaves

Nick and I regularly joke that our house is the Bermuda Triangle of the neighborhood. For some reason it seems like we get more of everything. The house across the street has 6 inches of snow when we get 12.

So check out how many leaves we have along our sidewalk. Keep in mind that it continues past the driveway at the top of the photo and to the left of the stop sign. Then take a gander at the brown house across the street. They have what? 50 leaves total? Scout is walking towards Bennet who is kneeling in the leaves. That will give you a perspective on how many leaves we get. The BIG upside is that our tax dollars pay for the city to come and pick them up and haul them away. Since it's Halloween I thought I'd share a photo of Bennet with her pumpkin. She painted it at daycare yesterday during their party. She was so proud. I didn't get the message in time to bring her costume yesterday so she wore one of the twins hula girl outfits. When I got home from work she ran up to me with her hands at her chest and said 'Co Co nuts boobies Mama hula' I am so proud :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I saw this on several blogs, including my friend Jess, and thought it looked like fun. A little about me...

8 Things I am passionate about:
1- Nick
2- Bennet
3- Scout
4- Family & Friends
5- Laughing
6- Scrapbooking
7- Sleep
8- Pop Culture

8 words/phrases I often say:
1- Just a moment.
2- For the love of Pete.
3- Motherpussbucket.
4- Do you have to go potty?
5- Be nice to me :)
6- Can I have a hug?
7- Please stop.
8- I love you.

8 Things I want to do before I die:
1- See my family happy
2- See my kids married
3- A cross country vacation someday as a family
4- Be a grandparent
5- Retire up north
6- Go back to NYC and London
7- Take a photography class
8- Go back to Japan

8 Things I currently want or need:
1- A red camera bag
2- New living room furniture
3- A little patience with my 'mostly' adorable daughters
4- A minivan
5- Some new threads
6- A 4-day weekend at the cabin
7- Someone else to go grocery shopping for me (I'll pay!)
8- Laughter (daily)

8 favorite T.V. shows:
1-The Office
2-How I Met Your Mother
3- Grey's Anatomy
4- Good Eats
5-The Unit
6- Boston Legal
7- Pushing Daisies
8- Scrubs (coming soon on ABC!)

8 favorite restaurants:
1- Cafe Rustica (Carmel Valley, Ca)
2- The Mint
3- The Wright Place
4- Bent's Camp
5- Mogie's (Spuds-a-Plenty!)
6- BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings)
7- Mino's
8-Sammy's Pizza

8 things that happened yesterday:
1-Went to work
2- Had lunch with Nick, Scout, Jenny and Grandma S at The Mint
3- Drove to Stevens Point
4- Scrapbooked
5- Wore my orange coat I got in London on our honeymoon
6- Ate chocolate chip cookies
7- Wrestled with B and Sciz
8- Made Nick a drink

8 things to look forward to:
1- Having more kids
2- A cross country vacation someday as a family - Clark W. Griswald style
3- The upcoming holiday season
4- The arrival of a new niece/nephew next spring
5- Watching the kids discover and grow
6- My birthday
7- Learning more about photography
8- Living each day!

8 obsessions/collections:

1- Movies
2- Paper
3- Blogs
4- Magazines
5- Pop culture trivia
6- Photos
7- Scrapbooking
8- Anything red.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good times at dinner

We went out for Mexican food at El Mezcal last night. The food was delicious as always, as was my Mango Daquiri. Nummy!!! They had the entire restaurant decked out in Halloween decorations which both excited and frightened Bennet. The floated head was a bit much for her. So- she decided to turn away and practice her gang signs. Wausau East in the hizzous! Scout is at that age where she'll eat anything, including a lime. This was her reaction. Of course it didn't stop her from doing it over and over. Notice her cute shirt? It says, "I love my Mummy' and it glows in the dark. Thanks Aunt Katie & Uncle Matt!! I know her ponytail is a tad ridiculous but her hair is getting a little too Ringo Starr shaggy and makes her look like a boy. So. . . . ridiculous ponytail it is.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Golden Day

I love Autumn. It is just my favorite time of year. I wish it was as long as winter :)

I took all these photos at our house on Oct. 5th. It was just one of those perfect fall days. I did this for a couple challenges at Feeling Scrappy and the Croptober Fest Crop at Scrap4Life. It's simple but it was a fun way to include lots of photos.
Journaling: Today was one of those picture perfect fall days. The sunlight shining down making the colors so vibrant. The girls playing in the leaves. The decorations of the season adorning our home.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sisterly Love

I've been out of town a couple days this week so I haven't had time to participate too much in the Scrap4Life WEEK LONG crop. But I did get one layout done. Me and my beautiful sisters. Can you tell we're related?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10 Things that make me go hmmm . . .

Or things that drive me batty. This is all in good fun here.

1. Why do gas stations advertise 'Clean Restrooms' on their billboards? I mean shouldn't that be a given? And if you have to point it out chances are they are less than clean.

2. Why do people know that the 'T' in Chevrolet is soft/silent but they can't do it for the 'S' in Illinois. Come on people! It's Wisconsin, NOT Westconsin and it's Illinois with a silent S.

3. Limp handshakes. Gotta go web to web on this one. Shake my hand like you're genuinely glad to meet me.

4. Three pronged forks. Creepy and wrong.

5. Organic maple syrup. It comes from a tree. Isn't all maple syrup organic?

6. Curtains in conversion vans. Seriously creepy and just downright wrong. Conversion vans weird me out as it is but add curtains and my hair stands up on end.

7. The Disney Vault. Everytime I hear that somethings been released from the Disney Vault I both laugh and cringe.

8. The $5 footlong commercials from Subway have GOT to go. And no- if you come up to me and sing it I won't think it's funny :)

9. The lack of service at retail outlets. When I say "Thanks! Have a good day" please return the sentiment instead of grunting.

10. Mullets and acid washed jeans. In this day and age there in no excuse. Although it surely brings me entertainment finding them in a crowd.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Leaf Hog- Take 2

It was brought to my attention that I linked to the wrong leaf hog. Here's what Nick had to say.


That one is nice - but not the behemoth that I purchased.

If “I” were to write a blog entry I would say…

Tired of getting leaves kicked in your face? Win the battle against fall leaves with the strongest leaf blower on the market. (I checked – better than any gas powered I have found.) A whopping 240 MPH wind force kicks those suckers to the curb. Can also be used to suck leaves right out of your garden. It also has an awesome “Leaf blaster nozzle” that moves from side to side – a great innovation. Really stors up debris and gets it moving. (Think caked in leaves on your grass, it blasts them right out.) It’s bomb-digity. I really can’t recommend it enough. (User Note: Use TWO leaf blowers at once to really make quick work out of leaf pickup. I combine mine with the Craftsman 220mph blower… although ideally I would have two of these.)


Little did he know I have a photo of the double barreled action.

Croptober Fest

It's a week long crop at Scrap4Life. I hope you pop in and check it out. It runs all week so there's plenty of time to participate!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pickin' Pumpkins

It's that time of year again- PUMPKIN Picking time! Grandma Mary Ella came to visit for the weekend and joined us at Wilke's Wild Acres. It was a little cold out, but the sun was shining.

Scout cozied up to the baby goats. She went right up and fed them corn.
We went on a hayride through the woods and fields. Bennet was in awe of all the cows.
Scout and Grandma Mary Ella. Bennet just calls her 'MaryLella'. As much as we try to get her to say Grandma she insists on MaryLella. Oh well.
Our attempt at a self portrait.
We found 3 perfect pumpkins. Not too big but big enough for baked pumpkin seeds. Here we are leaving the field.
Ah the reality of trying to get a family photo. Scout's fussing and Bennet is wearing her stellar and constant 'Bear Coat and Kitty Boots' outfit :) These really are the days.
On a side note Nick wanted to mention that if you're in the market for a leaf blower he HIGHLY recommends the Black and Decker Leaf Hog It has 230 MHP blow speed and works like a dream!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gobs of Gloria Gaynor

It's no secret that I love the song "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Back in college it was my signature karaoke song. The weird thing is I've heard it 4 times in the last 24 hours days. It's like it's following me. So of course now I'm trying to see the deeper meaning.

Yesterday I heard it on an Eau Claire radio station and then again in a store. This morning I heard it on a Wausau radio station and then I just heard it again at the coffee house in Stevens Point where I'm having lunch. Is it Polyester Pick Me Up week? I can understand the coverage on the radio, but it's out of place here amidst the Natalie Merchant and R.E.M.

How's that for randomness on this fine Friday?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

He Digs Zombies

My friend Chere gave me some Basic Grey Obscure chipboard and jokingly challenged me to use the cyclops :) Well- little did she know that Nick likes zombies. I painted the little cyclops & stars blue and Viola!! Not a dead on match but it works. (Jess- There I go with circles again)

JOURNALING: You have always had a thing for zombies. On more than one occasion you've told me what to do when the zombies come. Always looking out for me. This summer you were all about zombies. You read the Max Brooks books. Here you are reading 'World War Z- the Oral History of the Zombie War'. I love this picture because it is so classic Nick. Kicking back in a polo shirt with a coke, a big tub of cookies and a zombie book. It doesn't get much better than this. Unless the zombies come.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

She's Almost 3

I keep trying to remember the fun things Bennet has come up with lately. She's 2 and 3/4 going on 15 some days.

Last night after dinner:
B - "Mom go in car. Away. Popcorn"
Mom - "No- I'm going to stay right here"
Translation- When mom was out of town last weekend Dad said we could have popcorn and a movie because Mom was gone. Now she wants me to leave :)

When it's time to sing:
B- "Giggy Giggy Go Where are whoo"
Translation- "Scooby Scooby Doo- Where are You?" It's her 2nd favorite show next to Harold and the Purple Crayon.

In the car on the way to Amy's house (daycare):
Mom- "B- where are we going?"
B- "Amy's house. Play with Claire"
Mom- "Yep- and what are we going to do when we get there?"
B- "Big hug, kiss. See ya later"
Mom- "Remember- no tears"
B- "Yep! MaryLella No tears"
Translation- At Megan's wedding there were tears. Grandma Mary Ella told her no more tears and it stuck. (P.S.- Mom- let's tackle get 100% potty trained this weekend. She listens to you)

Anytime of day:
B- "What you ooing?"
Mom- "Making supper."
B- "Oh cool"
Not 10 seconds later.
B- "What you ooing?"
Mom- "Making supper."
B- "Oh cool"
And repeat.

Eating a cookie today at lunch:
B- "Hmm. . . that's not too bad"
M (to myself) Oh you've got to be kidding me! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yippee Skippy!

I did it! I made the Scrap4Life Design Team. I'm just giddy and can't wait to get to work. Woo hoo!!

Here is the official announcement.
The challenge for the Final Week was to create an altered Christmas item/project. I had the wood blocks cut to size at Home Depot. They are about 5 1/2" by 5 1/2". I stained them in a rich dark color and screwed the eye hooks in by hand to keep them together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fabulous Friday!

After some work meetings in the Northwoods today, I'm off to a Scrap Retreat at Tall Oaks Retreat with 15 other scrappers from the WI Scrappers group. I am so excited. I am packed and ready to CREATE!!

I am excited to share that I made it to Week 4 of the Scrap4Life Design Team search. This is the final week. The new members will be announced on Sunday. The challenge for Week 3 was to create a layout and incoporate a paper piecing technique on it. This is what I came up with. I cut the cupcake by hand. The top is actually two pieces. I used ModPodge on the smaller one and covered it with glitter.
I handstitched around the three white circles with floss.
JOURNALING: 365 days is a long time to wait for cake. Based on your reaction it looks like it was worth the wait. Happy 1st birthday Scout. Keep shoveling it in!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What a Difference. . .

A year makes. I'm such a sucker for Then & Now comparisons. Both photos were taken at Rib Mountain State Park. The photo on the left was taken Oct. 6, 2007. Scout was one month old. Look how little Bennet looks!

The photo on the right was taken last Sunday, Oct. 5th. Scout is 13 months. Apparently I like light green :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Old Glory -Scrap4Life DT Search

This is the layout I created for Week 2 (of 4) for the Scrap4Life Design Team search. The challenge this week was to create a seasonal layout without using any seasonal paper or embellishments. In my case I couldn't use any stars, flags, fireworks. . . you get the idea.

Photos from this 4th of July in Elk River that centered around the American Flag. I covered the chipboard for 'Glory' with paper and sanded the edges. (Chere- thanks for the chipboard and rub ons!!) Used some glittery letters for a little punch. I wanted it to have an Americana feel to it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Big Changes at Feeling Scrappy

As most of you know I was part of a killer Creative Team the last 6 months over at Feeling Scrappy. They just went through an extreme makeover. i am loving the new design, color scheme and format. Check it out!

A quick little layout I made the other night. It lists all the songs that I love. From as long ago as junior high until today. Some our my signature songs. The songs I could listen to over and over. The songs that have a strong memory burst to the front of my mind the minute I hear the first beat. The songs that each have a story behind why I love them. Some are my old karaoke songs. Some are songs that my siblings and I danced to when we were little. Some remind me of house parties and road trips. Some make me think of Nick and our home. Some make me sappy thinking about my daughters. That's the beauty of music.

After I had the list penciled out I asked my Facebook buddies what song reminded them of me. Most of them were on the list already which kind of made me smile.

The little 1/2 circles reminded me of CD's although the title is Mix Tape.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picture Perfect

It was a beautiful fall day today. The girls and I went to the Farmer's Market bright and early this morning for some corn stalks, Indian corn and pumpkins to get the house decorated for the season. As you can see alot of our leaves (and the neighbors :)) have already fallen in our yard. Bennet loves jumping in them. Scout- not so much.

Tomorrow we're heading to Rib Mountain for more fall colors. I'm hoping the weather is as nice tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scrap4Life Auditions

This past spring I auditioned for a spot on the Scrap4Life Design Team. Last time I made it to the top 10 but didn't make the final cut. I stuck around and have really found a welcoming community there with wonderful scrappers and monthly challenges.

Well- it's time to try out again. Over the course of 4 weeks they post a weekly challenge and then wittle down the field Survivor-style. It is Week 3 and I'm still around. YEAH!!

Week 1. The challenge was to use a circle punch and create a FUN background with them. In addition to circles as the background, we had to use ONLY stickers for your title. Jeanne (owner of Scrapbook Studio in Wausau) always makes fun of me when I tell her how often I use my QuicKutz tag die. Well- I used my tag die to cut 95 circles and created the background in a fun geometric design. Doesn't it look like KI Memories lace paper?

The photo is the entire Sweeney clan at the cabin this summer. I even carried the circle theme through to the title. I just don't know when to stop.