Thursday, December 27, 2007

As promised...

here are the Christmas cookies I made this year! There are Russian Teacakes, Chocolate Crinkles, two types of Chocolate Chip, Stained Glass Cut-Out Cookies, Iced Cut-Out Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies dipped in dark chocolate, and Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies dipped in chocolate and crushed candy canes! Aren't they beautiful?

I think the prettiest are the stained glass...

But the tastiest are the chocolate chip, russian teacakes, and peanut butter dipped in dark chocolate.

The kids had fun decorating cookies at Auntie's house with Alexandra and Sophia on Christmas Eve...

Black Jack Strachan gave us magic show...

and Charli enjoyed her new sweater from Sophia and scooter from Gramma and Grampa...

This post is getting quite full of photos, so I'll just share one more... Jeff making a fabulous Christmas morning breakfast! Yum!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I love PageMaps!

Whenever I'm in a rut and can't find my mojo, I can go to PageMaps, pick a sketch, and create a nice layout from it! Well, after looking at PageMaps and recognizing a few friends as contributors, I thought I would like to be a contributor, too! So I asked Becky, and she said yes! And now January PageMaps have been posted, and you can see my creation there! I'm so excited! Thanks, Becky! Posting the layout here, too!

Kitty Missing

Crank is missing. I'm so bummed. The other day he was frantically trying to get into the house, and I didn't let him (except for his and Jax's kitty room, of course.) I thought maybe the cold was bothering him, as he seemed a bit off. I didn't think a thing of it, as he and Jax can snuggle to keep warm, and they know how to get into the water heater closet in their room for extra warmth. And I always lock them in at night. It didn't even phase me. Maybe it should have? Maybe there was a coyote lurking?

Yesterday was Christmas, and I noticed the cats were out early. "Did someone let the cats out?" I wondered. Turns out, Jeff had, so I wasn't concerned. It was Christmas, and we were busy watching the kids open gifts, we had a huge breakfast, and sorta vegged until time to get ready to go to my parents' house. As we were about to leave, around 4:00pm, I went to call the kitties in. Crank wasn't around. Odd, I thought, since it's pretty cold today. So I left the outer kitty door open so he could get in when he got home. At 9:30pm, or whenever we got home Christmas night, there was still no Crank. So, again, I left the outer kitty door open. I also cracked the water heater closet for Jax, just in case. This morning, no Crank. It is now 1:00pm, and still no Crank. He has never been gone this long, especially not when we're having cold nights. I'm so worried. And sad. I'm on the verge of tears. My poor little kitty! What could have happened to him? We have lots of wild animals around, but he usually stays close to home, and I always lock the cats in at night. And the occasional neighborhood dog comes onto our property, but I haven't seen any in quite awhile. I just shudder to think about poor Crank cold or hurt or lost or scared. I so wish I had let him in. Let him relax his old muscles in the warmth of the house. Maybe a neighbor let him in and he doesn't want to leave? Yeah... I should let myself believe that...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's 7:20 am on the 24th, the kids are sleeping, it's almost a white-out with fog up here, and all I hear are the keys under my fingers and the hum of the heater. The kids are asleep with all their cute little snoring noises in the other room, and probably with images of Santa and presents in their heads! I was able to get all my Christmas errands and jobs done this year with little stress. Cards were sent out, gifts were mailed, shopping was done (though I still have TONS to wrap!) It's been a nice season, and now we get to relax and enjoy each other! (except for poor Jeff, who is working today... that's another story altogether.) I baked cookies all weekend... here's a pic of the cannisters... I DORKED and didn't get photos during (actually, DH had camera, and I forgot about back-up camera.) I'll post a pic of the platter I'm bringing to my parents' house tomorrow, along with a list of all the types of cookies!

The kids actually HELPED a little forming balls, and, of course, decorating. They even did dishes! What a blast they had with that! There was water everywhere and they were toooo cute saying, "Mommy, you never have to touch the dishes again!"
Didn't get a photo of that, either, but I'm sure it's not the last time.

So last weekend we went to the Christmas party at Redwood Estates. There are arts and crafts, games, treats, and Santa! Here are pics of each Jack and Charli on Santa's knee. He's such a cool Santa, and takes lots of time with each kid. Before Jack talked with Santa, he was skeptical, especially because of his shoes. But afterward, he said excitedly, "Mommy, that's the REAL Santa! I know because he told me I take care of my little sister, and that's true!" It was precious!

Today I have to see the doctor to follow up on my appointment last week. I'm going to bring the kids to Jeff's work. How silly is that on Christmas Eve? But we're in a bind, so what can we do? Then after that, it's off to Auntie's house (my sister, Vicki) for the late afternoon, and into the early evening for dinner and gift exchange. Then we'll come home early, hang stockings, maybe open ONE gift, and go to bed! I bet you can imagine what I'll be doing after the kiddoes are asleep!

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh, Well.

What can I say? I had a miscarriage today. I'm bummed, but life goes on. Literally... I have two beautiful children. And Jeff and I can try again. It's still a bummer, though, as we had already started thinking about names. We like Avery for a girl, Beau for either a boy or a girl, and maybe Oliver for a boy. But we'll have to revisit names if and when we try again in a couple months. My parents were fabulous and met me at the doctor's office to watch Charli, because I couldn't get a babysitter on such short notice. They ROCK! I love them!

On a happier note, here's our tree this year. Poor Jeff had told me that the kids and I would probably have to get a tree without him, as he is super busy at work. So we did. We went with Allison and her kids to get a tree at a LOT (Heaven Forbid!) instead of a place in the mountains, where we cut down our own tree. $118 later, we have an 8-foot tree imported from Oregon instead of our usual 12-foot local tree we cut down ourselves for $50... or is it $35?

But our tree is beautiful. It has our hodge podge of wooden, stuffed, and ceramic toys, along with our colorful lights, ball "fillers," and our hand-made ornaments. We love it. Excuse the photo quality... I'm not very skilled at holding the camera steady with slow shutter speeds! LOL! And I don't own a tripod. But you get the idea.

We have two skiing Santa ornaments, and this year I told the kids they're mine and Daddy's. After all, we have to have SOMETHING special for us on the tree. The kids each have special ones of their own. Jack loves his Thomas ornament, his foam gingerbread man he made in Kindergarten, and the Crank and Jax (our cats) ornaments. Charli loves her wooden giraffe and turtle ornaments, and anything with sparkle. That's my Bling Girl! :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Week!

Could Christmas really be one week from today? Actually, I'm so excited! I feel relaxed... almost. Most of my shopping is done. Christmas cards are almost all out (yes, cutting down to the wire!) The house is feeling Festive (though, chilly, too!) The kids are counting down the days. I can't wait! I still have tons of gifts to wrap, though. And one more Secret Sister gift to send out, which needs to go out tomorrow.

I love Christmas time. I love the excitement, the cheer, the traditions. The kids and I have been singing Christmas songs like crazy. Their faves this year are Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman (no surprise there!) I can't wait to make cookies this weekend (cutting that down to the wire, too!) I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve at my sister, Vicki's house (though it needs to be EARLY, b/c last year my kids fell asleep on the way home and missed out on before bed activities at home!) Christmas Eve and morning at home, and Christmas dinner at my parents' house.

I also have a couple layouts to post. One, "Made with Love," is from Christmas a few years ago... Jack decorating Christmas cookies and singing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. So cute! I wanted the layout to have a real homemade feel.

The other, "California Fresh" is another Jack layout, a couple years ago in Santa Barbara. I love the Bam Pop bird, and the title elements are all homemade. I need a better image, though.

I'm also super excited to see my layout come out in January's PageMaps! It will be my closest thing to being published, since I never submitted a single thing in the entire year of 2007! Maybe I'll get my butt in gear and submit next year! Or not! :)

Wishing everyone a warm and wonderful holiday.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Big Changes at The School of Scrap!

Come on over to The School of Scrap and see the fun changes going on! There will be fun challenges posted, tutorials each month, and other fun changes going on! See you in the halls!

I also wanted to show a few of my recent layouts, some of which are using products from our incredible sponsors!

First, there's "Patch '07," which uses products from Club Scrap, Tie One On, and Magic Mesh.

Next is some detail work of a layout using the beautiful papers from Paper Trunk.

Here's one where I tried to make my own title using a technique from Deluxe Techniques magazine.

And here's one I did making the fun flowers taught over at
One Little Word.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Welcome, November!

Well, we survived Halloween, and what a blast we had! Three Halloween parties, two school Halloween parades, Trick-or-Treating, and a Halloween carnival later, we're welcoming November with open arms! So far, November has been amazing, with sunny weather in the mid-to-high 70's! I Loooove living in California! We're also going to Disneyland with Ron and Roberta (Jeff's parents) for (American) Thanksgiving! We're so excited!

We had two fun dinner parties back-to-back this past weekend. The first was with friends where we had a wondeful Thai meal (she's a FABULOUS cook!) And the next night was bolognes over fettucini plus baked Mac-N-Cheese (the good homemade stuff.) Great company, fabuous food, and nice wines each night. We're so lucky to have such fabulous friends here! And, of course, the kids always have a blast getting together.

Not much else to report. Yesterday we had an open house, so took the kids to see The Bee Movie. Pretty cute. But while we were parking, Jeff backed up into a pole, so the mini has yet another dent to deal with. It's amazing this thing is still in one piece! (sort of!)

I hope everyone's having a wonderful day! I certainly am! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Great Capsize of 2007

First off, Saturday was HECTIC! Jack's soccer game was a late one (12:45) and we had THREE Halloween parties to attend after that. Since DH had to take his cousin to the airport after soccer, he missed the first Halloween party. At each of the first two parties, we were to bring an appetizer. I made antipasta platters (salami, wet mozzarella, olives, brie with sauted garlic, etc.) My friend, Allison, makes this fabulous queso dip, which is melted Velveeta, tons of veggies, other cheeses etc.

So I drove both families to the first party (minus DH, since he was going to the airport.) Allison loaded TWO crock pots of her queso into the back of the van, since we weren't going to stop at her house in between. Each crock pot was in a box to stabilize it. So we have fun at the first party (which we arrived at late, due to soccer and getting all the kids and appies ready) and stayed for an hour or so. Then we headed up the hill to get DH and my second platter. As we're approaching my house, one of the lil boys says, "The queso tipped over." We weren't too worried, because nobody heard anything, and he could have been exaggerating. As we pull into the driveway (it's now completely dark, and we don't have lights along the driveway,) the hugest, scariest witch you've ever seen jumps out in front of the van. It's DH, of course. The kids were all screaming, but I figured it was fine. I stopped the van, and we were gonna all run in to grap jackets and fleeces for party #2. I go to Charli's door to get her, and she's absolutely hysterical. Completely shaking in her boots and sobbing. I guess Daddy's costume sorta back-fired. So Allison and I run in to get jackets, and Michael, Allison's DH, walks in and tells me, "Uh, Michelle. I'm going to have to comfirm a full capsize." So I open the back of the minivan, and sure enough, the box with the crock pot is UPSIDE DOWN! The ENTIRE back gate had queso dripping out all over the bumper, and the raised gate was raining queso all over the place. Then the van lights went out, since it timed out. Then I couldn't find my keys. So there we are, nine of us, completely in the dark with queso everywhere, scared children, and we're late to the second party. We finally find the keys, get everyone in (took the crock pot out and soaked up some of the mess, but left much of it to deal with later.)

DH made Michael drive, because his long, black, witch fingernails were in the way. Charli wouldn't have anything to do with Daddy, out of sheer terror. I thought he was holding the platter of antipasta, but didn't pay attention, since I was comforting a frightened Charli. As we arrive at the second party, the platter of antipasta goes FLYING off the center console, onto the front carpet. Wet mozz balls and garlic olives were rolling all over the place, and Michael calls out, "Who has a pink razor? It just got doused with olive oil." Fortunately, my phone survived, and most of the platter did, but what a total scene we were!

Allison and I laughed our butts off all night, and we will forever remember The Great Capsize of 2007.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Life is Good

That's our favorite phrase lately. We've been wearing those shirts, too. This fine October day, it will be in the 80's, so I'm taking the kids to the Club for a swim right after school! Ya gotta love Indian Summer in California.

I've decided I need to do more blogging. Not just posting layouts and talking about crops and other scrapping events, but blogging about my life and the kids. I don't keep a journal, so this is the next best thing. AND, I can send my blog addy to my friends and family in case they want to have a look!

I just snapped this picture of Charli. She asked for curlers in her hair last night after her bath, and here is how it turned out. Pretty cute! Just a few curlers fell out. Her hair's really coming in nicely after "the incident" this summer.

Fall is fabulous. School is busy. Jack's having fun with soccer and Bionicles with his buddies. Charli's loving preschool. My kids ROCK. Love my hubby.

Life is Good.

Charli just now

Jack at soccer recently

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two recent crops!

I've had a ball at two recent crops... the first was the Crop for a Cure crop at Scrap-N-Circle where I did this layout, Mama's boots.

The second was at
ScrapLove, where I did this Rolling Along layout,

along with this Family canvas.

It feels really fabulous to scrap just for fun!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A couple more layouts

Here are a couple more DT layouts I did for The School of Scrap!
The first was using a quilling kit from Lake City Craft Company.

The next one is another Junkitz layout using more of the Fanciful line! I also had the need to get some felt on there!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Junkitz Layouts

Has it really been three weeks since I last posted? Well, I went to Michigan for my sister's wedding (beautiful and intimate!) and since being back, have had two major school functions for Jack, plus chaperoned a fieldtrip yesterday. Today I'm sitting here, catching up, and hope to get a little scrapping in!
Here are a couple Junkitz layouts I did using the FUN papers Junkitz sent us at The School of Scrap!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 - Daze for Days

I have to admit, it didn't even occur to me that today was 9/11 until I just read Kirstie's blog. Even now that I'm aware, today is (almost) just a regular day. But I remember 9/11 very vividly. I was home on maternity leave with Jack. Jeff was working from home. I received a call pretty early in the morning, which was fine, since I was always up early having an infant. It was my sister, Vicki. She said, "Have you turned on your TV?" I answered, "No. Why?" She said, "The World Trade Center is GONE!" "Gone?" I asked. "Yes, GONE!" I replied, a bit confused, "You mean, the Twin Towers in New York? How can they be gone?" And then I turned on my TV.

We sat and stared in a daze for days. Though I didn't personally know anyone who was killed, or even anyone who knew anyone who was killed. I cried. And cried. I sat in disbelief. I worried about our safety. I had many thoughts about how Jack's life might be affected by this tragedy. For some reason, even with all the wars over the years, this time I was really struck and saddened that such a huge world tragedy could happen in my lifetime. Maybe that was ignorant, maybe selfish, but that's how I felt.

And yet, lucky for me, life has gone on. Today I get choked up to think about the people whose lives were drastically changed that day. And I get choked up and thankful that we were spared. Today I hold my head high. I don't live in fear. I am proud to be part of a nation and a world that has survived the worst. And I know we will go on.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crop for a Cure

Come check out the FUN Crop for a Cure we're having over at Scrap-N-Circle! It's going to be a BLAST, and it's going to a worthy cause!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Do you like guitar?

If you do, you simply must check out my brother's My Space page at He's a wicket guitar player! The page has guitar music playing, so be forewarned if you're at work!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I made it!!!

Wow, I am so thrilled and honored to be moving on to Week #6 in the Summer Circle Contest at Scrap-N-Circle! Just had to share!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I've been tagged again!

Ok, so I was tagged earlier this month by Lisa, and just found it today! So what you're supposed to do it post eight (hopefully interesting) facts about yourself on your blog, and then tag eight other people who will do the same!

Here are my facts:
1. I was a diver (in the pool, not the ocean) in highschool and college. I recently got on a diving board at the swim club and had a blast playing! :)
2. I love to wax my arms in the summer time!
3. I still eat raw cookie dough (I know...eewwww!)
4. Twice I trained for a marathon, got to about 13-14 miles, and then quit. If only I had trained for a HALF marathon! LOL!
5. I used to make and sell beaded jewelry in college at a little store in Berkeley called "By Hand."
6. I love to mix beer with V8 or tomatoe juice. Yum!
7. I adore pedicures, footrubs, fluffy socks... anything to do with my feet feeling good!
8. I probably need therapy for my obsession with my kids' clothing!

I'm tagging:

Another Contest Entry

So this is my entry for Week #5 for the Summer Circle Contest at Scrap-N-Circle!
The challenge was to use ONLY hand-patterned paper and at least one hand-made embellie! I had a blast with this one! Keeping my fingers crossed this week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life is Good

That's my new favorite saying. Usually we say we're living "The Good Life," but since Jeff got us Life is Good T-shirts, this has stuck. I had fun creating this layout using Basic Grey Scarlet's Letter and ribbon from Tie One On Ribbon Club and Magic Mesh, who are generous sponsors at The School of Scrap!

Have a great day! After all...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Contest Entry

This image quality is poor... still waiting to get camera back from DH... but this is going to be my Week #4 Contest Entry at Scrap-N-Circle! TFL!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I've been tagged!

Ok, originally I was tagged by Maryjane, and somehow never got around to tagging everyone else! (So sorry, Maryjane!) This time, I was tagged by Linda!

Here's the deal...
1-post these rules
2-each person tagged must post 8 random(... hopefully interesting) facts about themselves
3-tags should write a blogpost of these facts
4- at the end of the post 8 more bloggers are tagged and named
5-go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged

My (interesting?) facts:

1. I can't stand eating mushrooms... it's a texture thing!
2. When I was a kid, I wore braces on my legs for two years to treat my pigeon toes!
3. When I was a teenager, I designed circuit boards that ended up in machines in Japan.
4. I am missing one of my middle, lower teeth... it just never formed!
5. I still love ketchup on scrambled eggs.
6. I've been bungi jumping and would do it again!
7. I have a weakness for fluffy socks, and would live in them constantly, if I could!
8. I secretly wish they would have some sort of Mommy Idol (instead of America Idol) so I could try to sing on TV! (and, no, I can't sing! LOL!)

New tags...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More Sponsors at The School of Scrap

Here are a few more layouts using some amazing products from our generous sponsors at The School of Scrap!

Tie One On Ribbon Club - April 2007

Tie One On Ribbon Club - May 2007

Scrapmode - May 2007

Tie One On Ribbon Club and Magic Mesh - June 2007

The School of Scrap Sponsor - Club Scrap

Ok, so I keep forgetting to post my Club Scrap layouts here on my blog, so I'll post some from a past AMAZING kit I was so FORTUNATE to get from our sponsors, Club Scrap, over at The School of Scrap!

These four were from the April 2007 kit, Stratosphere. I'll upload the June ones once I have pics of all of them!

Bawling My Eyes Out

Ok, I know it's ridiculous, but I just can't help myself. I was down in my scrap room, when Jeff called down, "Michelle, where's the camera?" I answered, "Down here with me." He said, "You're going to want to bring it up." I grabbed the camera, and slowly walked the stairs (because my back was killing me.) When I reached the top, I saw it. Charli's head. Her gorgeous, blonde, curly locks were all GONE! She told me Jack cut her hair. There was an enormous pile of hair on the floor. All of it. Her bangs were short and shoppy, and ALL of her long, blonde curls REALLY were GONE. She has short, choppy hair, and needs it fixed ASAP.

As I was snapping (posed) photos, Jeff said, "It's not a scrapbook page, Michelle." I asked, "Then why did you have me bring the camera?" Whatever!!!

I know it's only hair, but I couldn't help myself from having quite a cry over it. I told her (after calming down after a little ranting and raving) she's still beautiful, and we'll get it fixed and she'll have the cutest short haircut EVA!

The truth is... I'm so bummed....

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Secret

So you've heard of "The Secret," right? Well, I've dived in head first! I'm NOT a religious person, and I AM technical and science-oriented enough, so I normally would not go for this sort of thing. Having put that disclaimer out there, let me say that The Secret really rings true with me! And it WORKS!!! In case you don't know what it's about, it's basically about the power of positive thought and feeling those thoughts. Your thoughts create your world. It's pretty simple, really.
Well, the other day, I got a parking spot using it, and another day, I was feeling really thankful for the friendships I have. That VERY day, Jack begged and pleaded to go to his buddy's house. It ended up turning into a massive play date and impromptu family get together with two fun families at our house! And then last night, we went out with two other couples for the first time and had a blast! So keep those positive thoughts going... you never know what they might bring back to you!

Life is good! Enjoy it!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Fling

The Spring Fling Cybercrop is starting over at The School of Scrap, so come check it out! It will be a week long event full of fun, chatting, scrapping challenges, games, prizes, and more!

I also wanted to post a photo of the four of us this Easter... the little patch of daisies out in my parents' front yard was just TOO perfect a canvas for this picture!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Club Scrap

Wow, wow, wow!!! Are you a member at Club Scrap? Well, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with their February 2007 Refresh kit, as they are our ever-so-generous sponser at The School of Scrap.
Here are a few of my layouts using this FABULOUS kit. It has high-quality textured cardstock both solid and printed, jewelry-quality beads, sequins, stamps, tons of ribbon, and MORE! Please do check them out at and let them know you heard about them at The School of Scrap!

Hot Off The Press

We are so lucky to have had our generous sponsor, Hot Off The Press at The School of Scrap for the month of March. Here are some layouts I did using the Vintage paper pad. It's such a hot little pad, the vintage papers are all distressed, plus all the cute embellies (tags, flowers, and even ribbon slides) all come right in the pad! I have TONS more paper and embellies left in this pad, and can't wait to do more with it! You can find their products at! Take a look!