Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UPDATE: Tulip JoJoes

Here is an update on our caterpillar/butterfly- Tulip JoJoes.

Bennet came rushing from the kitchen this morning, "Mom, you'd better see this. It's pretty amazing!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

46th Annual Beef-A-Rama

Only in Wisconsin! Each year the city of Minocqua has a festival called Beef-a-Rama. The streets are lined with chefs cooking, you guessed it- BEEF! TheThousands of people come into town to shop, eat, drink and participate in the activities. We joined our friends Terry and Sarah along with their two girls, Macey and Norah for the day of fun.
Highlights included a Cheeseburger Eating contest which Nick plans to enter and win next year. Too many dogs dressed up as cows to count. Cow hats and cow babies but no live cows. :)
The day ends with the Parade of Roast in which contestants parade their beef down the street. I'm talking 'the close the street and traffic' off kind of parade. Let me tell you- it's something to be seen to be believed. Only in Wisconsin! There was a woman dressed up in a hospital gown being pushed in a wheelchair pretending to feed her baby with a bottle full of bbq sauce.

Only in Wisconsin would women dress up as a cow and draw even more attention to themselves by adding red lips and a tiara to the ensemble.
We ended the day with dinner at the Mann's house with what else? BEEF! It was a great day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with the fall colors at their peak. The kids behaved wonderfully. Nick and I were able to spend time with good friends. I love living in this part of Wisconsin. You can bet that we'll be at the 47th annual Beef-A-Rama next year!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Eleanor Margaret- 8 Months

I know it's cliche to say but it's so true. Where is the time going? I can hardly believe she's already 8 months old. She'll be eating her 1st birthday cake in no time.
Ellie continues to be a happy, smiley baby. She just make my heart do a little leap.
  • Wearing 12-18 month clothes. More in the 18 month range. Yes- she's good and sturdy. I think it throws Nick for a loop. He likes to tell her "Ellie, your sisters were walking when they wore that"

  • Size 4 diapers

  • Started crawling a couple of weeks ago. She still does the army crawl but it doesn't stop her from getting where she wants to go.

  • No teeth yet. I swear I saw the start of one last week but it isn't there now. (Updated at 8 months4days- 2 teeth poked through the bottom)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

So Yesterday- October ScrapFreak Kit

TITLE: Ticket to Ride
Journaling: a carefree summer day at bay beach is what childhood is all about. you couldn't stop smiling and saying woohoo and weeeee 08/10

Design Notes: I thought the paper was perfect for this theme. I challenged myself to use the patterned paper as the background. Something I don't do every often. I am surprised how this turned out- but I like it. I included some actual tickets from the amusement park as well

TITLE: These Women
Journaling: No one can make you feel love like a mom, calling hot dogs wieners without cracking a smile, I am a good person, somehow the important things always get done, always remember dates and send cards in the mail, being a lady means sometime you have to wear a skirt, say it out loud and you'll believe it, when in doubt call mom

Design Notes: I used a bunch of Crate Paper journaling spots and then printed out little memories and sayings that remind me of my mom and Grandma. I've had this photo on my pile for a long time. The vintage touches are perfect for a page that remembers my Grandma.

TITLE: Happy Girl
Journaling: You are simply a smiley, happy baby. It makes my heart melt.

Design Notes: I did handstitching around the edges in pink to draw that color out a little more.

TITLE: Carousel

Journaling: Nothing says childhood like the merry-go-round at Bay Beach. And when tickets are 25cents you can ride over and over. You had the hardest time deciding which one to ride. This was the only ride you wanted to ride twice. The favorite. 08/10
Design Notes: I kept going back and forth with the chipboard alphabet as they came straight out of the package. After I gave myself a nice bruise on my head from beating it against the wall I decided to paint them. I always forget how a 80cent bottle of paint can do wonders. I used the Pioneer Womens Photoshop actions to make photos have a vintage look.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I {heart} U

I lifted this design from somewhere. I loved how quickly it came together. I raided my pile of scraps and used my circle punches. I did some handstitching to tie in with the rub on stitching I used on the circles.

TITLE: i {heart} u
Journaling- Oh Scoutie- how could I be mad at you with a smirk like that? You are testing the limits this summer & making sure you gain your independence. You don't give an inch * I [heart] u you that even it drives me nuts sometimes. I hope you always stay true to yourself. Just be you and keep that conviction no matter what.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am thankful. . .

I'm not going to lie. The last couple of weeks have been, how should I put it. . . interesting, challenging, educational, rewarding and somehow fun.

It takes a lot of patience and coordination to maintain a sane family life with 3 kids under age 5 and 2 parents working full time. But people do it everyday- and we are.

Most mornings I feel like doing this:
And sometimes I do. It's easy to focus on the challenging things in life. But I have been supported by so many people the last couple of weeks. I have alot of people to thank. No time for handwritten thank you notes but here it is.

I am thankful . . .

for a mom, who even though she's hours away knows exactly when to call and knows exactly what to say. She was a working mom with 4 kids. I am taking her lead. I am thankful to be her daughter.

for a mother-in-law who has jumped in to back us up with watching the kids more times than she needed to the last couple of weeks. I am thankful to have her so close and so willing.

for my friend Jeni who sent a handwritten note that arrived on a day when I really needed it. I am thankful for her words of encouragement.

for my daughter Ellie who enthusiastically slaps her legs and kicks her feet when she sees me pick her up from daycare in the afternoon. I am thankful for her genuine love.

for my friend Jess who sent a gorgeous handmade card that helped me keep things in perspective. I am thankful for her sincere friendship.

for my ipod loaded with music that makes me groove. I am thankful for the sweet musical jams.

for my headstrong daughter Scout who wants to sit on my lap and snuggle at the end of the day and insists on giving me 2 kisses goodnight. I am thankful to hear her silly growls in the hallway at work during the day.

for my friend Liz who sent a happy 'just because' card when I started my new job. I am thankful to have felt her awesome hugs through that card.

for my independent daughter Bennet who is growing into a thoughtful little girl. I am thankful that she unknowingly makes me feel like a good Mom on a daily basis.

for my Nick who reminds me daily that I'm not in this alone. That we are doing a great job and that we make a good team. I am thankful that he starts/makes dinner, helps with the laundry, makes me feel secure, loved and most importantly makes me laugh every day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is how Ellie rolls. We walked in the United Way Parade last Saturday. We were right behind the Wausau East Marching Band but she just slept right through it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Create Our Own Happy Hour

Starting the week out with a layout I created for a Freaky Friday challenge at ScrapFreak.

TITLE: Create Our Own Happy Hour
Journaling: Melissa, Leah, Jared & Me. The four of us were able to create a happy hour anywhere. Over mason jars at Clanceys, out of a can at the Seahorse. we had laughs that built a special friendship. 15 years later & not much has changed.

Product: Basic Grey paper, Creative Imaginations paper, Jillibean Soup alpha, Scenic Route chipboard, Bella Blvd chipboard, Crate Paper stickers,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tulip JoJoes the Caterpillar

After being somewhat housebound with sick kids for a couple days last week I was ready to bust out. Last Sunday the girls and I went to the Wausau Festival of Art to enjoy the kids crafts and face painting.

While at Art in the Park we bought a Monarch caterpillar. I thought it would be fun for us to watch the process. Bennet named 'her' Tulip JoJoes. Or JoJoes for short. She ate all day Sunday and Monday.

By Monday night she was full. (Just like in the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book). She attached her end to the top of the lid and started to curl up. This is what she looked like when I went to be around 11 p.m.

When we woke up in the morning she had finished transforming into a chrysalis. I think Nick said something like "Well that's surprising"

In about 2 weeks the process should be complete. Apparently this type of Monarch will migrate south and live 6-8 months in Mexico or Southern California. Very cool!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WooHoo Wednesday- Tye Dye Ender

Fall is right around the corner here in Wisconsin. This means the end of Nick's golf league and the final WooHoo Wednesday of the year. We had so much fun this year. Alot of effort went into our events but the memories made were worth every minute!

Tonight we did tye dye. Grandma Sweeney, Mallory, Meghan, Jess and Trevor joined in the fun. The clothes are soaking so I'll post *after* photos later.

A big thank you to Jess for taking photos.

Here is Ellie with a shirt on her head. Don't you just want to scoop her up? She's started sticking her tongue out at night. So flippin' cute!
Grandma brought over the smocks which looked alot like OR scrubs (Oh- are they?) Trevor served as Dr. Trevor. I had to ask for each color like it was an instrument in an operating room.

Until May. . .

Monday, September 13, 2010

This is so You

Ellie is slowly recovering from her first cold. She still has a goobery nose but we'll take it. No matter how miserable she was feeling she still managed to find smiles.

This layout is straight in real life but I'm too lazy to rescan/photograph.

TITLE: This is so You
Journaling: 99% of the time you are just happy. Always a big smile. 07/10 Product: October Afternoon patterned paper, Maya Road rub ons, Making Memories alpha

Friday, September 10, 2010

15 Friday Facts

This week has been bonkers. Totally cuckoo for cocoa puffs kind of nuts! I am treating myself to a 5 minute sanity break as a reward for surviving.

1. I think I'm really going to like my new job.

2. Scout is loving her new daycare/preschool. She is making new friends and loving coming to work with me.

3) Ellie has her first cold. Watery eyes, super runny nose. Poor thing. But in true Ellie fashion she still manages a smile here and there.

4. I'm realizing that our morning routine will take some getting used to. From 6 a.m. - 7:20 it's a crazy symphony involving 2 adults and 3 kids under age 5. But we make it work.

5. I secretly wonder how loud Nick plays music now that we're all out of the house.

6. I had to back out of the ScrapFreak weekend crop in Watertown because I have to be a Mom first.

7. Finishing up Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

8. Peanut butter makes things better. Especially when you have pretzels to go with it.

9. Just saw Scout take a digger outside my window. Classic.

10. Is remembering that 9 years ago today Nick and I were in NYC at the base of the World Trade Center. 9 years ago tomorrow the world changed.

11. Bennet is thriving in 4K/PreK but seems to have caught Ellie's cold. She was coughing most of the night.

12. Which means that it's only a matter of time before I get it.

13. My first Postcrossing postcard arrived in China. Very cool. I'm sending one to Russia next.

14. I am so excited for the Fall TV Season. Me and the boobtube go together like peanut butter and pretzels.

15. Have a fantastic weekend. I'm going to do my best to destress, get my kids healthy and prepare for my 2nd week at work!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This layout is based off the September sketch at ScrapFreak.

I was so happy to use a bunch of ancient scraps on this layout. The title is a rub on that has been in my stash for years! I stitched the heart inside the journaling box but it's hard to see.

TITLE: Smitten
Journaling: One look at you - our happy girl & we can't help but smile right back. 5 months old.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"There's a hundred and 4 days of summer vacation. . . "

To say we've had a wonderful summer is an understatement. I took advantage of being unemployed to do as much as we could without getting overwhelmed. Here is the summer 2010 recap.

1. Cabin Weekend
2. Strawberry picking at Mike's Berries
3. Storytime at the library
4. Splash Pad at Marathon Park
5. Made a homemade Zombie doll
6. Fireworks
7. Swimming at Memorial Pool
8. Picnic
9. Reading Charlotte's Web
10. Movie nights
11. Concerts on the Square
12. Cabin Weekend
13. Playdate with Jess
14. Camping in the backyard
15. Walking to the Farmers Market
16. 4th of July in MN
17. Tin Foil Tissue Paper art
18. Splash Pad
19. Hot Rocks craft
20. Spa Day
21. Visiting the animals at the Wisconsin Valley Fair
22. Fingerpainting
23. Popsicle Stick picture frames
24. Nick & Kari's trip to Madison for Brett & Caitlin's wedding
25. Camp G&G
26. Swimming in the kiddie pool
27. Fish Fry at Bent's Camp
28. Attending Trevor's Little League game
29. Fishing off the dock
30. Sleepover at Mallory & Meghan's
31. Woodchucks game
32. Playing at the park
33. Cabin weekend with Matt, Katie & Molly
34. Playdate at the park with Julie H, Bella and Alyssa
35. Phineas & Ferb- everyday
36. Tractor rides with PawPaw Mike
37. MN Splash Pad
38. Swimming at Memorial Pool
39. Dessert before Dinner day
40. Bowling (Kids-Bowl-Free)
41. Playing in the backyard
42. Sidewalk chalk
43. Playing at the Mall
44. Rainbow Day
45. Cabin weekend
46. More library time
47. Grandma Lella visits and sews aprons
48. Swimming at Memorial Pool
49. Kari's trip to Eau Claire for Jason Yarrington Memorial
50. Briq's Soft Serve
51. St. Anne's Polka Fest Carnival
52. Tent camping in the living room
53. Game Day
54. Sweet corn from the Farmers Market
55. Date night to celebrate Jess's birthday
56. Toy Story 3
57. School Supply shopping for 4K
58. Bennet riding a big girl bike w/training wheels
59. Sidewalk Chalk
60. Making fruit smoothies
61. Wrestling on the blanket in the front yard
62. WaterBalloon Flip Flops
63. Concerts in the Garden with Tom Pease
64. Curly Ribbon Headbands
65. Balloon Fest
66. BBQ with the Klauk family
67. Naps with Mom in her room
68. Grandma Mary Ella visits
69. Bay Beach Amusement Park
70. Learning Rock, Paper, Scissors
71. Splash Pad with Mann's
72. ExotiQuest Car Show
73. Visit from Jared
74. Cisco Chain Summer Picnic/Obstacle Course
75. Visit to the Salber Farm
76. Storytime at the Library
77. Professional photos for Ellie and Bennet
78. First day of PreK for Bennet

and so much more!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New- One Little Word

Each year in the scrap world Ali Edwards challenges us to pick ONE little word as a "Focus" for the new year. My word for 2008 was Balance. 2009 was Relax. This year I chose New. I made this layout around the holidays in 2009 but thought to day would be the perfect day to post.

So far 2010 has been a year of new beginnings and new adventures. The word suits me.
On January 26th, 2010 I welcomed my third daughter Eleanor Margaret into the world and became a mother of 3.

Today I start my new job and career at the Wausau YWCA. I am excited, nervous, motivated and ready to take on new challenges. Scout starts her new preschool/daycare at the YWCA and Ellie goes to Amy, our awesome inhome daycare. Big changes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today Nick and I celebrate 7 years of marriage. 7 good years. 7 busy years. 7 years and NO ITCH!

There isn't a day that goes by where we don't laugh at least once. Sometimes it's tough- but it happens. Last week I was at my wits end with the house, kids, prepping for my new job, school. My fuse wasn't just short- it was lit. Nick walked up to me, threw a $20 bill in my hands and told me to leave the house and not come back for at least an hour. I didn't know how much I needed that space. It's that type of unspoken understanding that makes me feel lucky to be going through life with him next to me.

I made this layout as a sample for a Freaky Friday challenge at ScrapFreak. Check it out!

TITLE: You Make Me Smile
Journaling: One of the first things I loved about you was your sense of humor. Between your zany voices, obscure movie references and just out there jokes it's only fitting that I get you.
After 7 years of marriage it's not hard to see that (Photo NYC 3/2002)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WooHoo Wednesday- First Day of School

Today was Bennet's first day of school. She has 4K/PreK everyday for 1/2 day through the Wausau School District. She couldn't be more excited. I just smile when I see this photo. The ruffled denim skirt and Keds. Classic back-to-school attire.

Already making boyfriends? Not exactly. This is Liam. He goes to the same daycare and will be in her class. Apparently when I left Bennet Liam realized that his parents weren't staying with him for school. He gave his mom a death grip. Bennet took his hand and said, "It's ok Liam. Just stick with me" How sweet is that?
Conversation this morning over breakfast.

Me: What's your teachers name?
Bennet: Mrs. Norieka (No-ree-ka)
Nick: Is she Japanese?
Bennet: What? She doesn't have knees?

She did great! She got on and off the bus at daycare like a pro. She told me she sang, played and went to the bathroom 2 times. But her favorite was milk time with milk that opened from the sides. Oh she makes me smile.

Scout starts her new daycare/preschool next week so I took her for a fresh haircut today as well. We are still growing out her bangs so we just had a couple inches cut off the bottom.