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.