Friday, April 29, 2011

Bennet's First Day of 4K- FINALLY scrapped!

I have had this photo ready to scrap since September 1, 2010- Bennet's first day of 4K. My oldest girl on her very first day of school For some reason I felt all this pressure to scrap her first day of school photo perfectly. It's a milestone. Everytime I'd sit down to scrap it I'd just go blank. I finally decided to let someone else do the hard work. That person was Jamie Waters. Her layout inspired mine.

Looking at this photo it's hard to remember this girl compared to the 5 year old we sent her off to school this morning wearing her fanciest party dress. She is having a special Royal Wedding Tea that she's having during snack time. 

Title: First Day of 4K 
Product: KI Memories paper, American Cradts paper, Scenic Route paper, Echo Park paper, Cosmo Cricket paper, Bella Blvd. paper, KI Memories alpha, Jillibean Soup alpha, October Afternoon paper

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I am not a Tiger Mother

I just finished this book.

All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires.

There has been alot of media coverage surrounding this book and the Chinese method of parenting.  This book isn't a parenting guide- it's more of a memoir of one family and their journey.
Before I give a review I should be honest about my dreams for my girls. I want them to make their own choices, good and bad, and learn from them. I want them to do well in school.  I want them to be respectful of others and grateful for their blessings in life. But most of all I want them to grow into thoughtful, independent, self-confident and happy, self-assure women. I am a Western parent.

I went into the book with an open mind and tried not to be too judgemental. I thought the book was disturbing, hilarious, and heartwarming all at the same time. At times I just wanted to smack the author upside the head and tell her to get some perspective. It was then that I realized that she didn't need perspective. In her eyes she was doing what every good parent does, she was doing what she thought was best for her kids. As much as I may disagree with her approach or the level to which she took her Chinese parenting, I do admire her committment and dedication.

Things I agree with:
p. 49 during an argument with her daughter: "My goal as a parent is to prepare you for the future -- not to make you like me."

Statement that makes me cringe and want to argue:

"I came to see that Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10 Facts about me and Nick

I saw this on Betty Beguiles blog and thought it looked fun.

1. Our first date was 10 hours long and involved a white alligator, Beamish and spilled mustard.
2. We are able to have conversations consisting entirely of movie quotes. Not the Oscar worthy ones, but those awesome 80's cheeseball films.
3. Speaking of 80's cheeseball films he humors me when I say he looks like Dan Ankroyd.

4. I fell for him early. But I think it was that first weekend in Wausau when I met his family that I really knew. Hanging out with his brothers in the backyard while they played guitar and sang Dennis Miller songs is still one of my fondest memories.
5. He is a fine cook. The man can cook. Give him a basket of ingredients and he will knock your socks off. O-M-G! His steak sammie- to.die.for
6. He is secure enough in my love for him that we had 5 of my ex-boyfriends as guests at our wedding. One of them was in our wedding party. Now- that's a confident man! (rightfully so!)
7. Speaking of our wedding- it was so fun. We got married outside at my inlaws house on a beautiful Sept. day. We wanted to throw a memorable event- a classy event but also a casual party and I think we did just that!
8. I love looking at our 3 girls and seeing little bits of him and little bits of me. And then there are those bits that we wonder where they come from.
9. I hate that he leaves his coffee cup on the counter instead of in the dishwasher. He hates that I steal the covers. But those things pale by comparison to all the things I love. Like how he
10. The biggest fact about Nick and me is that we like to laugh. There is alot of laughter in our house (and alot of whining coupled by shrieks of joy from the kids) He has an oddball sense of humor- but I get it. And I get him.

Which leads me to this layout. Nick snapped the photo of me as he was making me laugh at a date/dinner out a couple of weeks ago. I love that this is what he sees when he makes me laugh.

TITLE: Everyday
(Made with bits and pieces from the March/April Inspired to Scrap kit)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Highlights

 A selection of photos from our 2011 Easter celebration. We started the day with Chocolate bunnies that were consumed by 7:30 a.m. The middle of the day we had dinner and then enjoyed the beautiful sunshine with an Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma and Grandpa Sweeney's. The end of the day brought snuggles on the couch watching Wall-E while Scout fell asleep in my arms.

 This is such a Scout look.
Ellie got the hang of the Easter Egg hunt right away. I was impressed. She may not know how to speak in complete sentences but she knows how to forage for candy.
 Now that's excitement!
I love this photo of Ellie. All dainty with her ankles crossed but then counteracted with a mouth full of grass.
 Nearly 8 years ago Nick and I were married under this arbor.
And of course no holiday event would be complete without some type of injury or mishap. Scout and Ellie were buckled in the car ready to go home when I hear Bennet howling. She stuck her head through the wrought-iron fence and got stuck. Of course- she's my kid.
 Since Nick was helping dislodge her I had no guilt taking photos to scrapbook. We eventually got her to slide to the middle and pryed the bars back just enough for her to wiggle through.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dye Job- Hoppy Easter!!

Happy Easter weekend! The girls are very excited about dying eggs, having an Easter Egg hunt at Grandma Barb and PawPaw Roger's house and hoping for nice weather. Bennet can't wait for the "hollow chocolate bunnies"

This layout has photos from last April when we visited my family in Minnesota. I can't get over how short Bennet's hair is and the fact that Scout has bangs.

Title: Dye Job
I gave my machine a break and hand stitched the navy blue circles. I used some navy negative scraps from my Upper Crest punch too.
Product: Cosmo Cricket paper, October Afternoon paper & journaling spots, American Crafts buttons, Pink Paislee alphabet, Doodlebug alphabet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peep Bunny Banner

I saw this idea on the Dana-Made-It blog and since both my sewing machine and stash of felt were sitting on my dining room table I decided to make this cute Peep Bunny Banner.
 My mom has a branch that hangs in her kitchen. It is always decorated for whatever season it happens to be- Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July and Easter. I made her 3 little Peep Bunny's that she can hang on her branch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Angry Birds

Nick bought the Angry Bird app for his ipod last year. I didn't want to get sucked into it since I'd heard it was both addicting and frustrating. They recently came out with a mini-game for the PlayStation3. Long story short- we bought it, I played it, Bennet played it, Scout played it- we really like it. Scout will say things like, "Oh piggies- I want my eggs back!"

Last weekend while we were playing Bennet was busy at her craft desk working on something. "A surprise for Dad" she said. This is what she made. An Angry Birds masterpiece. As she described it, "there is the red bird and the blue bird and a pink bird. Even though there isn't a pink bird in the game. And the house there that we have to fly over to get the pig so he'll give us back our eggs" I thought it was perfect and so did Nick.

Monday, April 18, 2011

You Make Her Feel Loved

Scout takes her role as big sister very seriously. She simply adores Ellie. She just thinks she is the best thing since sliced cheese (She really likes cheese :) ) This is a pretty regular image when the two of them are together. Although now that Ellie is on the move she's a bit tougher to catch.

Title: You Make Her Feel Loved
Journaling: From the time Ellie came home from the hospital you have been her biggest fan. Always wanting to love on her. You are always hugging, kissing and sometimes smooshing her. Sometimes Ellie wants to be left along. When I tell her to give her some space you reply, "But Mom- I just love her" Hard to argue with that. August 2010

Layout inspired by Pam Brown.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zombie Brains

Two years ago for Fathers Day I asked the girls what their Dad liked and they said, "Tissues". So we made him a hot pink tissue box for his office.

Last year when I asked them what Dad likes they said, "Zombies Mom. Dad really likes Zombies". So we made him an Ugly Zombie doll.

I recently told Nick that Father's Day is only 2 months away and if he wants something in particular he'd better start "liking" it now so they get the hint.

This layout was created based off a sketch in the last Inspired to Scrap class.

TITLE: Zombie Brains
Journaling: Read below.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sporty Scout

This week is the Week of the Young Child. The YWCA Wausau is having different themes each day- PJ Day, MisMatched Day and Silly Hat Day. Today is Sports Day. As a Wisconsinite (sorry Katie) I am ashamed to admit that none of my girls owns any Packer or Badger wear. {*GASP*}

I looked for youth girls sports tshirts and came up empty handed. I decided I'd just make something on a plain shirt. Well, finding a plain girls tshirt was tough. Why must there be sequins, bunching, bling and flair on EVERYTHING? I finally found basic girls tees at Old Navy.

Ok- off my soapbox.

Nick and the girls gave me a new sewing machine for my birthday in November. I had Scout pick out her favorite color from a stack of felt and used some leftover pleather from Nick's Darth Vader costume. The font is Freshman.

Bennet sat next to me as I sewed saying, "Oh- it's coming together so nice. You're doing a really good job Mom". I think she was just shocked to see me sewing on fabric instead of on scrapbook pages.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today & Everyday

I love this picture. Nick snapped this photo last September one evening after work shortly after I started my new job at the YWCA. Our grass isn't green yet, but today as I was leaving for work I noticed that all the snow has finally melted. (Until this weekend? BOO!)

I love how little Ellie looks. In the last month it feels like she's not only doubled in size but also doubled in her ability to communicate, get around and make us shake our heads (both the good and bad kind of head shake). She is truly becoming her own person and we are just loving her.

She LOVES to eat. If she doesn't eat when she wants to she gets really crabby- just like her Mom.
She has to fall asleep with her little pink tag blanket. She grabs it with hand and then puts her thumb in her mouth and falls right to sleep.

She shakes her head "no" when she means yes.

She LOVES to dance. She shakes her booty and moves her arms up and down to the beat of the music.

I made this layout with a modified sketch from the last sketch class at Inspired to Scrap. I did some machine stitching between the squares on the bottom. The journaling spot was a little too white so I painted it with some coffee water to dull it up a bit.

TITLE: Today & Everyday
Journaling: You make me feel like a good Mom with your smile

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Homemade Chipboard Mini

I think that being somewhat of a product hoader and a scrapbooker go hand in hand. I often find myself keeping something thinking, "Oh someday I'll use that".

Well- I DID! (Yeah me!) I put together this super simple homemade minialbum using 1 sheet of 12 x 12 chipboard, 1 piece of patterned paper (with journaling squares) and other supplies.

I took my 12 x 12 chipboard sheet and cut it into 4"w x 8"h pieces. I just punched holes with a regular hole punch and bound with bookrings. Something to keep in mind is that with this vertical format that when you flip the page the opposite page will need to upside down from the previous one so it reads right.

This came together in little over an hour. I just focused on things going on in my life at the moment- no photos. All the supplies came from various Inspired to Scrap Kits.

So Very Candid- Spring Chicken Crop Color Challenge

The Spring Chicken Crop at ScrapChicks is still going strong! Here is a layout I did for a color challenge I'm hosting.

TITLE: So Very Candid
Journaling: You usually shy away from the camera so I was excited to capture some authentic, genuine pictures of you. Dec. 2010

Friday, April 8, 2011

You are my Favorite Thing- Spring Chicken Crop Spring Cleaning Challenge

This weekend Scrap Chicks is hosting a Spring Chicken Crop. I have the honor of posting the first challenge.

Here it is.

I love cleaning and organizing my scrap cave. It isn't a huge space so I have to clean and organize often. Last weekend I found some photos of my niece taken on the day she was born. She just turned two. I love finding older photos that I forgot I had. I also I find that I usually discover some long lost product that I just had to have or I find things that I can sell/donate.

As I'm cleaning I always gather all my patterned paper scraps into a pile to make a card or layout. I gather my scraps and get to work. Take those scraps and create a layout!! I'd like to see the majority of the patterned paper be from scraps. Please take a photo of the scrap pile and upload with your layout.

Title: You are my Favorite Thing
Journaling: Food on your face, hair going crazy and still a gleam in your eye. 01/11

Today- Lift Yourself Up- ScrapChicks Hen Party Friday Challenge

I don't know about you- but sometimes I just hit a wall in terms of scrap mojo. I stare at my photos and paper in stunned creative silence. What to do?

LIFT YOURSELF!! After all, there is no need to reinvent the wheel for every layout.

This week's challenge is to create a new layout/card/project based off of an existing layout/card/project that you already created. Please post the original layout/card/project along with your new creation.

Here is a layout I did in October 2009

And the lift I did in February 2011

.TITLE: Today
Journaling: Remember that you can always count on each other for a pick me up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cake is Good

It seems like Bakers Twine is sprouting up in all sorts of crafts from home decor to scrapbook pages. It even showed up in the March/April “Spring Fling” Inspired to Scrap kit. I have to say- I LOVE it!

Here is a little tip for working with twine. I sketched the path I wanted my twine to go onto my page. Then I went over the pencil line with my glue pen. I did this in small sections as I went. It worked wonderfully and my twine ended up right where I wanted it to be.

Monday, April 4, 2011

More "Spring Fling" projects

I am loving the March/April "Spring Fling" kit at Inspired to Scrap.  I've made 4 layouts, 2 cards and 1 mini-album and still have goodies left over.

TITLE: Completely in Love
Journaling: At age 1 you have us all in love with you. You just make us so very happy. Jan 2011

I took the Echo Park- For the Record paper and did a bunch of fussy cutting. I popped a couple of things up on foam dots for dimension as well. Everything is from the kit except the black chipboard, buttons and journaling spot.
A couple of simple birthday cards. The brown polka dot paper is not in the kit.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scout Loves Superheros

Scoutie is a huge Superhero fan. She sleeps on Spiderman sheets and I'm pretty sure she's secretly working on her xray vision. She recently told us that she's going as Megamind for Halloween and Dad is going as Minion. She LOVES Superheroes.

Case in point. We went out to dinner Friday night. At the table across from us there was a man with a bald head. Scout tugged on my arm and no-so-quietly said, "Mom- that guy there looks like the bad guy in Superman. Luthor." This of course made Bennet whip around to take a look as well. 

She has been looking through all of Nick's old Wizard (comic book) magazines and making up stories to go along with the pictures. We were looking through them the other day and she was pointing out all the Superheroes. Captain American, Spiderman, Superman, the Joker, and my favorite, the Hunk (that's the 3 1/2 yr old way of saying the Hulk). I turned to a page with Kermit the Frog. I pointed and asked what his name was. "Um . . .  I don't know Mom". Fantastic! She can name the entire Justice League but not a Muppet :) Her comic book loving Dad is soooo proud.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arms Held Out Pics- April Chicken Scratch

Each month I provide a sketch at Scrap Chicks as a launching point for your scrappy inspiration. Here is this months sketch.
TITLE: Arms Held Out Pics
Journaling: I love taking silly self portraits with you. Capturing our fun everyday moments.
Last summer the big girls and I went to Woodson Art Musuem for Concerts in the Garden. It was a beautiful warm summer night. I am desperately looking forward to another fun summer!