Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Fun

The summer always kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, and while last year we went to the beach, this year was much more low key. Cass had to work the day shift, so at least he was home in the evening. The kids and I played in the backyard sprinkler and had a Silly String fight before dinner. It was a pajama/bathing suit/pajama day and that was just fine with me!!! Here are some images from our day...

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day as well! Before we did anything, the kids and I watched several M. Day youtube videos. We talked about Daddy being in the Army and what it means to serve in the military. In two days Cass will be gone until the end of the month on an Army Reserve training op, so today had special significance for our family. Special thanks to all the members of our military who have served, and special remembrance to the soldiers and families who died in service to our country. We owe our freedom to you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Feeling Crafty

If you haven't checked out my scrapbooking home online, The Creative Scrapbooking Divas, I urge you to go to their site (after reading my post first!) One of the things I've enjoyed most about their site is the Create and Swap group. Each month there is a different challenge of something to make and then swap with another member. In April, the challenge was to make inchies and twinchies - which I'd never head of before. They're basically objects (tags and such) an inch or two inches in diameter. May's challenge was to make ATCs - Artist Trading Cards, which I'd always wanted to make so I was really excited! I loved both challenges and what I created. Here's how my everything turned out - The ATCs were inspired by my love for the holidays, and the twinchies were inspired by a 40s beach party scene in my scrapbook room.

They were so much fun to make - don't you want to make some too??? Have fun and happy crafting!
~ Stephanie

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beginnings & Endings

Well I seem to be in a comparison mood judging by the titles of my last two posts huh? But they seem to perfectly fit my life right now. While we're still wading through the mess of insurance due to the leak in our plumbing, life goes on.

Our last day of school was Tuesday, and that means Summer has officially begun. YAY! As a kid, of course summer was my favorite time of the year - barefoot freedom, late nights every night, and vacation from almost all responsibility. I love May & early June kind of like I love Friday afternoons - because the promise of the summer still lies before me, unspoiled and unhurried. Time is still on my side. I find in late July I start desperately trying to grasp at the last seconds of precious summer fun even as reality arrives on the shelves of Wal-Mart in the form of massive pallets of school supplies. But right now, I'm just chasing the kids with the water hose and eating popsicles on the front porch. Not a care in the world.

So as summer begins, the corollation is that school, (yes it's just preschool) has ended. This wouldn't be a big deal if it weren't for the fact that Cade's school held a "preschool graduation" complete with caps (no gown), ceremony and even a little diploma. Originally I wasn't going to make Cade go through with this since we are going to hold him back another year in their preschool's Kindergarten Transition class. (Run by the preschool on a 5 day week just like public school kindergarten) Next year we'll go through the same ceremony only this time he'll wear the cap & gown. It just didn't make sense to me to go through with it when we're not really moving on. But while the other moms were emotional and crying, I wasn't. (which is huge for me - I cry over everything!) Tonight, just one day later though, I'm seeing it with new, and slightly teary eyes.

It has hit me tonight that while Cade may not be heading out into the big, bad world of public school next year, he is going to be gone from me 5 days a week. No longer will we have our lazy Monday mornings. No more pajama days or easing into the day while watching cartoons. No, now we have somewhere we HAVE to be. Now I have to face the fact that he's growing up, just as fast as everyone said he would, and that's incredibly bittersweet.

There is an upside though! With Cade in school all 5 days and Macy gone 3 days, I look forward to spending some time developing my hobbies a little bit more. Maybe I'll teach some scrapbook classes. Maybe I'll start doing more photography. The important things is not to hold onto the past & how hard it will be with everything changing, but to focus on the positive and the opportunities the changes have created.

But that's in August. Far away from now. Summer has barely begun and the important things in life right now are working on a tan, planning summer day trips, play dates and activities for the kids, (including plans to do nothing) and celebrating the 10th anniversary of my wedding anniversary. Big summer plans indeed. So I am going to go now and make the most of this beginning...Summer 2011. Happy Friday to all....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Highs & Lows

What a rollercoaster couple of weeks it's been for me! Busy beyond busy - out of town and not home for almost every night the last two weeks - I am ready to crash! This explains why I haven't been blogging for a long time - I'm going to try really hard to blog regularly!

The LOWS - Sunday morning I discovered the carpet in the corner of our living room was soaking wet. Turns out we have a pin hole leak in the main water pipe coming into our house. Several thousand dollars and 4 days without water later we have a new pipe line. Our entire tax return got spent on this instead of our summer vacation, paying down debt, and buying a new playscape for the kids.

The HIGHS - got booked for two photography sessions! A father/son & an engagement session both in June. I'm really excited and nervous at the same time! Also - went out on a limb and bought the newest Photoshop Essentials software program! It's a lot to take in, but I'm looking forward to playing around with it and getting some professional pictures.

A lot of my commitments are finally wrapped up and the kids' last day of preschool was today. Cade has his preschool graduation tomorrow and it's very bittersweet. It's the end of an era - one that passed while I wasn't even looking. My son is 5 and even though he's not going to kindergarten next year, he'll still be in a kindergarten type class 5 days a week. So before I knew it, my time with him all to myself is almost over. You better believe I'm going to get lots of hugs and special time with him this summer!

So I haven't had much time to scrapbook anything, what with everything else going on. The creative juices are flowing, so now I just have to find the time! Hope you're all happy and healthy! Drop me a line and let me know what you're doing!

~ Stephanie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diva Mansion Tour RAK Drawing

And the Winner is.....Angela R.! Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog and playing along with the Creative Scrapbooking Divas Mansion Tour on National Scrapbooking Day weekend. Angela - I'll be sending you a lovely RAK!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back In Town

Whew! It's been a busy two weeks - out of town the past two weekends with limited or no time to do anything online. The next two days I'll be working on my layout for the Creative Scrapbooking Divas challenge I posted as well as some other projects for them. Thanks for all the wonderful comments from this weekend. I'll be replying to you all today and drawing a name for my RAK! Hope you had a great weekend, National Scrapbooking Day & Mother's Day!
Happy Crafting~

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome Creative Scrapbooking Divas!

Welcome to my little blog home Divas! Hope you're having a great weekend and getting to do some scrapbooking on this National Scrapbooking Day weekend! I'm working on projects for my online scrapping home, The Creative Scrapbooking Divas. At CS Divas we encourage members to create, try different things, challenge themselves and enjoy the process! We don't sell anything, so there's none of that added pressure, but we do offer monthly challenges, often times with RAKs offered (random acts of kindness - goodies!) a sponsored Grand Prize, great camaraderie, and we like to spotlight our members and their fabulous creations. Most of all we want our members to have fun!!!

We have eight Design Team Members (a.k.a. Tour Guides) to give you a taste of what is offered at the Diva Mansion. If you are just joining us now, you can go to Ann's blog to start at the beginning.
Our Tour List:

Ann - Gadgets/All Mixed Up - Ann's Scraps of Time

Yolie - Traditional Scrapbooking - JustYolie, JustCreate

Sandy - Cards/Cricut - ScrapBook Blessings

Vanessa - Faithbooking - Creating Sensations

Alecia - Cookbooking - Welcome to Alecia's

Stephanie - Fun Techniques/Products - The Magic of Ordinary Days

Pam - Mini Album/Book of Me - Dreamer's Klub

Luisa - Creative Designs by Luisa

Please visit each diva's blog and of course, the Creative Scrapbooking Divas home page! Show some love and leave a comment! Some Design Team members are offering RAKs and get entered to win the Grand Prize at CS Divas by:
1. becoming a new member, completing your profile, upload your picture & post your introduction OR
2. Current members post a NEW project to any of the groups by midnight May 7th.

In both cases please post a comment and/or upload a project here: Divas Mansion Tour Blog Hop so we can keep track of players who earn a ticket for a Grand Prize!

I am currently working with the Divas as a Design Team Member in the Fun Techniques/Products group. This group focuses on how to use different techniques and trends in paper crafts to really make your pages and cards pop! Everything goes in this group - glimmer mists, stamping, sewing, distressing, inking, and more! On Mondays I try to feature one "design house" (scrapbooking company) to introduce you to lines of products you may not know about. The rest of the week is dedicated to tutorials, tips and discussion. My first challenge was devoted to the beautiful flowers of spring, entitled "In Bloom" and focused on pages & cards with handmade paper flowers. Here's a look at how some of them turned out:

My Entry:

Terri's Entry:

This month's challenge is inspired by the royal wedding and is called the "Something old, new, borrowed, and blue" challenge. On your next layout, use...something OLD from your stash. Use a NEW technique you've never tried before. BORROW a layout (scraplift) from a friend or use a sketch from a website, and finally, use the color BLUE somewhere in your project.

Here on my personal blog you'll find more of my own creations, stories of my family and my journey as a Stay at Home Mom. I hope you'll come back and visit me again! Today I'm offering an RAK at random from all the comments left throughout the weekend. Drawing will be done on Monday so come back to see who won!

Thanks for stopping by - let's head to Pam's blog next!

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Long Time Coming

Seems like it's been forever since I had a chance to blog! Two birthdays have passed, Easter, and a trip to my parents in Austin means I've been a busy bee! This weekend I got a chance to do some scrapbooking with my friends at Creative Scrapbooking Divas' online crop. (http://divascreativas.ning.com/) If you haven't been to their site, go check it out! Here's what I made from one of their challenges. A sketch from the site Sassy Lil Sketches (http://sassylilsketches.blogspot.com/) gave me an opportunity to scrap some of my favorite pics of my son from last year! Here's the sketch, and how I interpreted it.

I used new western papers by Adorn It, blue plaid strip by Hobby Lobby, silver charms from HL as well, tags are really old from K&Co. Loved this sketch & had a lot of fun using it! Thanks for looking!