Summer is here.

Wow is it ever here! frozen treat snacks, mornings at the pool, afternoon thunderstorms (though not enough, we need more RAIN!), sleeping late (well, past 7:00 a.m. IS late for us), tons of playdates...

So much going on.

Where to start?

TJ's birthday was wonderful. His one wish was to take his best buddy, Hutton, to Build a Bear because Hutton had never been there. For birthday dinner he wanted... IHOP. We tried to steer him towards other choices, but his heart was set on IHOP. He cracks me up.

Also, the big man lost his first baby tooth! Of course, I created a layout about it:

I used BriAnna's (Atomic Cupcake) Deliriously Yours It's kind of simple, but I was very pleased with the photo and REALLY wanted it highlighted.

Other scrapping news: Be sure to check out Kim Hill's Blog. She is running a little challenge alongside her Essential Contest to find a new CT Member.

I'm so excited, one of my absolute best friends will be here Thursday afternoon with her family to spend the night on their way to Florida. I haven't seen Carrie in a year and I'm really looking forwarding to our time together, even if it's too short. We WILL do CKU again, Carrie... very soon :D I will have to post pictures of the shirts I made for her boys, they are cool Mickey Tie Dyed ones that I learned to make last year on our Disney adventure.

Tori has changed to green and pink bands on her braces. Too cute. She has her plane ticket paid in full for camp Retta. I can't wait to hear about her adventures with Retta that week.

Pretty soon, like June soon, I will hold in my hot little hands my very first in print layouts... Some of my most favorites layouts at that! "Where's Yoda?" "Just Breathe" and "Expect Miracles" The EM page features a large picture of Tommy on vent when he wasn't quite 24 hours old. I LOVE that photo as it was the very first time he had opened his eyes and looked at me since his lungs had collapsed. LOVE that photo I tell you. Good photography, Tim! Blueprint Layouts

We've tons to do. We leave Sunday for Texas (and all the Tex-Mex we can eat), then VBS will start the Monday right after we return, of course I will be helping. It seems I cannot tell the church 'no' when they ask for VBS...sigh. My nieces will be with us too! So much going on.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer. I'll update more often... honest! :D

Check it out...

Tori's dance portraits arrived today and I just HAD to scrap them tonight. So much for reading and going to bed early!

NOW I will go crash :D

Yesterday was the big graduation day for TJ. Rumor has it this will be the last year ever for the smaller creative graduations. The new Principal has decided that all classes should do the same thing together. 13 classes of children graduating at once... in the gym. That'll be fun. NOT.

Back to TJ's class. The show was adorable. TJ was a turkey. And a pretty stinking cute turkey at that. I was fine with mommy hormones until I saw TJ's teacher bawling.


So... here's a dark snippet of TJ's part. I'll be getting that digicam one of these days!!!! Really...

Get Stickam for Free.

Tim pointed out that I forgot to include that we had an actual date the other night. We had dinner out at a new place called Stix (not too bad) and then went to see Da Vinci Code. Thanks for the date, Honey. Had a nice evening. :D

Yesterday the Haverty's delivery guys were unable to get my new little sectional into my sitting room. I've waitied for this for over 2 months. I was quite upset when the driver told the CR that I was 'stupid' for thinking it could fit in there. Ummmm... my sleeper sofa that is longer, wider and taller went through that same room. So I am totally sure it can fit INTO the room. I finally told them to bring it back on Friday afternoon and asked Tim to please be home to help them get it in.

I REALLY wish I had them leave it here in the foyer. And we could have placed it. Oh well, done is done.

Well, Summer Break is about to swing into full force as of 11:45 a.m. today. Already the kids are jam packed with parties and playdates and sleepovers through the weekend. It hasn't even started and I need a vacation from this vacation...

Well, that's all for now. I'll post some layouts later today.

Monday Blah-g

Happy Monday. Is these such a thing?

Let's see... weekend...

Saturday we loaded up the kids and went over to the Eastern Shore Center. Wasted some time in Barnes and Noble (yes, I got an overpriced coffee drink) and then went over to Build a Bear. This Saturday the children could make a bear to be be donated to the local Ronald McDonald House for free. I insisted that no one could buy anything (even with saved up money) and tried to keep the focus on doing something they really enjoy for someone else. TJ was upset at first, but by the time we got there he really understood. I was glad to see the small point made. Kudos to Build a Bear for such a good idea.

That afternoon we spent a couple of hours at the public pool. As one of my friends put it 'we are public pool people'. With the local 'Swim Club' costing $20,000 to JOIN (not including yearly fees) I'm fine with being a public pool kind of girl. Just fine.

Sunday was a nice lazy day. Before Mass we got the kids signed up for Vacation Bible School. I thought this year I might skip out on being a helper mom... but Katy already signed me up. ~Sigh! Well, I won't have to fret about Tommy eating a snack wtih nuts by accident, I'll be with him the whole time!

I found out I did not make it into the next round of the UDS contest. Truthfully, I had begun feeling more confident about that layout. I blame it all on Kim Crothers. :D She has become a sort of digiscrapping hero (yes, I know non-scrappers roll your eyes, yawn...) since she made it into the CK Hall of Fame this year. I really like her style so much. She is a judge in the contest and made a really nice comment about my layout. So, it's all Kim's fault I was feeling good about my chances! ;) Luckily, I have pretty thick skin from submitting so much these past 7 months, so other than an 'Oh, man!' I was good to go. I entered the contest to challenge myself as a growing artist and to see how far I could go. I'll probably enter Hall of Fame 2007 for the same reason. So, there you go.

I managed to get a couple of layouts done this weekend.

Finally another Disney one:

Used Deliriously Yours from Atomic Cupcake.

And TJ's Down By the Bay Fieldtrip this Spring:

Everything from CG Essentials (Kim Hill)

Tag, staple and sanded overlay from Bit and Pieces
Papers from Skater Boy (ACOT exclusive)
Words: Magnetic Words 'Romantic'

On to my piles of laundry and other exciting household tales.


Only a week?!


There is only one week of school left for the kids. I'm not ready for the Summer yet. In fact, I'm not even ready for TJ's birthday next Friday.

Lots going on around here. First of all, Tori's shoes were indeed found for the last Red Shoe Club Meeting of the year. Where you ask? One was under her bed... the other was IN her bed. ~sigh~ They had a local author come do a reading and afterwards sign their copies of the books. Now that the girls are getting older we have decided they need to begin doing some service work. So they will start donating one hour a month to the new library this Fall. Also, almost $400 was donated by the girls to help purchase new books. I'm going to make up a bookplate that says 'donated by the Red Show Reading Club'.

TJ's class is working hard on their graduation play. The kids are so excited about this farm play. I can't wait to see it.

Tommy had Rodeo Day today at preschool. He woke up practically jumping for joy. He wore his boots, a bandana, and a cowboy hat. He was one happy cowboy.

I finally put the finishing touches on my layout last night for Round Three of the Ultimate DigiScrapper. These Children I usually am pretty laid back about submissions and contests. I felt good about this layout, until I posted it. Now I'm actually feeling sick to my stomach about the choices I made: less journaling done in a creative way, the simplicity... the almost too thick paint. Oh, well, what can you do? It's done.

By the way, I made that paint in a really cool program I discovered this week. Check it out ArtRage2 I had made some paint strokes with various brushes etc in photoshop, but was pleased with how easily I could just slop on some paint with this program. Easily going to become one of my favorites used in conjuction with my Wacom Tablet. :D

I think I forget to mention on here that I recently became part of the Atomic Cupcake Creative Team! I did my first layout for BriAnna the other day. TEXAS. I really like how she puts layouts as examples with kits.

Well, I think that covers all the basics. I'm off to have a few hours of quiet.

Have a great Thursday!


So does anyone know where Tori put her red shoes?

She has a Red Shoe Reading Club meeting this afternoon and I can't find them anywhere! ARUGH!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's see what else is going on besides the shoe hunt.

This layout seemed to take me forever to put together. I still think I'm going to muck around with the balance some.

I am almost done with my Round Three entry for the Ultimate Contest. It's pretty straightforward... but I'm happy with it. Just another tweak or two and I'll be uploading it. So come see it soon!

Ok, well, back to the shoe hunt.


Mother's Day that is.

A belated "Happy Mother's Day all you Mothers!" (just for Uncle Don).

I had a wonderful weekend. Tim, unluckily, had to work on Saturday. But the weather was fantastic. The boys had a water gun fight out front while Tori and I hung out listening to music that you could just hear from the Music Festival going on downtown.

Then on Sunday Tim and the kids took me to the beach. We had lunch (and an adult frozen beverage or two) at LuLu's. Yum. I had the Mahi Tacos and I'm here to tell you they are my new favorite food.

The kids all made adorable cards for me at school. Tim helped them pick out James Avery Charms. Each one was just perfect!

Also, I finally got my Wacom3 Graphire 4x5 Pad I had ordered it recently for the outrageous price of $29! Isn't it cool? I have it up and running. Just have to get used to the pressure sensitivity in Photoshop.

I'll leave you with a layout of my boys, a picture snapped at lunch on Suday. Made with the DigiScrapDiva's Diva Duo Kit "Little Rascals" :D

Have a great Monday! :D

Oh. My.

I am in need of a very large adult frozen beverage.

For starters I stayed out too late (*late for ME nowdays*) with some mommy-friends I met in TJ's class this year at the Original Oyster House (YUM by the way). Then this morning I had to have Tori to the orthodontist by 8:30 a.m.

Tori was excited and nervous... so she was quite chatty on the way to the office. Her Stitch impersonation made me giggle even without my second cup of coffee! Bonding the braces took almost two hours. We were expecting one hour, tops. Being Tori she had some complicated teeth! On her bottom baby teeth near the front the roots are being pushed out of the gums by the adult teeth while the top part is going out at an angle. We are going to give the braces some time to help pull them out straighter, otherwise we'll get them pulled. But she was a trooper. And now... the braces are ON! For those of you who haven't seen Tori is some time and question 'why' we are getting braces at this age... check out the first picture.

Brace Face.

Yep, it's true. But she's awfully cute don't you think?! Even if (you can tell) it was hurting at that point.

She chose blue bands for these first few weeks. And she wants to move on to pink when we go back in early June.

So, Tori was done and dropped off at school. I then ran home, got Tommy and assorted beach party stuff and drove down to the bay to meet TJ's class.


Some of you, I know, think we are nuts to live so close to the coast with hurricanes being all too regular these past two years. Well, take a look at these pictures and you get an idea of how amazing it is here.

How cool is it grow up where field trips down to the bay are a regular occurence? I hate those hurricanes, but I sure am glad to be here!

And finally...

I leave you today with the promised Tommy artwork. This is his family portrait found on the chalkwall Wednesday.

{Please note that Yoda is considered a family member.}

PS Tommy's bug bites were just that: bug bites and nothing else. Thank goodness!

Tommy has preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-1. I use this time, usually, to throw a load of laundry in and attempt to catch up on my Design Team stuff.

Today I'm not getting much done as I'm sitting here worried about Tommy's bug bites that suddenly showed up as we drove to school. Those bug bites look awfully supicious to me. But he wasn't throwing up (sorry if you are snacking while you read!),his lips were not sweeling, he wasn't screaming or wheezing (like he did with the pistachios). Just itchy. I should have dosed him with some Benedryl just to be sure. I'm going to call the school in bit just to check on him. I'm sure I'm still overly sensitve to the sight of bug bites/hives. I'll get over it one day, honest!

So... I did manage to get one page done between laundry and cleaning up Glory's face (she and a cat must have gotten into it!)...

Wanna see? Tough I'm going to post it anyways ;)

I used lots of stuff from Kim Hill. She made a really cool add-on pack with some silly suggestions I had a while back called 'Random Bits'. Cool isn't it?

I'm going to post some of the boys artwork later today. But for now I'm going to go call and check on my little nut.


Happy Hump Day!

This is one of those years that is just flying past for me. How can it be just a few short weeks until Summer Vacation starts?! Today TJ asked me a typical kid question: "When Tommy is in Kindergarten what grade will I be in?" And I had a typical Mom moment: "Oh no! It's all coming too fast!"

When Tommy starts Kindergarten at the K-1 Center (which actually may no longer exist at that point as they are having to do some major restructuring of our schools... I digress) then TJ will be at the Elementary School starting second grade and Tori will be at the Intermediate School starting fifth grade. How many times did older moms warn me to enjoy it while I could... that it was going to go by too fast? And now I'm starting to see that. It's going too fast... slow down!

Yesterday we found out that Tori will be getting braces on this Friday. It was not rocket science to know that she was going to have to get them. We don't gently tease her with the name 'Snaggle Tooth' without reason. I was just hoping it would be a BIT longer. The plan is to do short term work (about 9 months) now, then take them off and have her wear her retainer until all the baby teeth come out (around age 12). I was so happy to see that her jaw is totally normal. (Mine was pretty screwed up at that age.) It's amazing how different braces are now compared to when I got them. I remember being doped up on Tylenol with Codeine after mine were put on (a 1.5 hour ordeal) while Tori's will take about 20 minutes. The Doctor said she wouldn't even need OTC Tylenol! Wow.

Price of braces... put on twice? "Oy!" sums it up pretty well. Though, truth be told, it was way less than I was expecting. When the braces come off the final time she WILL get the bar behind her bottom front teeth to hold them in place.

So... if I get 10 more double page layouts picked up by Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Magazine then this stage of orthodontics will be totally paid off. Ok, maybe I have better come up with a more definitive plan of payment seeing as it took me quite a few years of submitting to get in the magazine. What?! You didn't know? ;) I don't think I ran out and told my non-scrapping friends and family. A few weeks back CK requested a layout I did about OCD for the September 2006 issue. I was VERY excited as I had begun seriously submitting to them this past January.

My goal is to be a steady enough of an artist to begin to be somewhat reguarly published in the major magazines. It would be nice for this hobby of mine to help pay a few bills here and there. You know?

In other scrapping news (I know you non-scrappers are probably yawning by now) I did manage to advance in the Ultimate Digiscrapper Contest. Who would have thunk it? So this week you had to do a layout about yourself. Of course I had finished one off just days before that. Ugh. Here's the one I couldn't use:

Rules of this contest prevent me from posting the new layout here, but you can go see it at the Contest Site: i am coming into focus Pretty stiff competition (again) I'll be shocked to move on.

And that's about it for today. I need to go get some pages done!!!!!!!!


Yep the little snippets my camera captures aren't enough for me anymore. Tim put it perfectly though 'I'm sure you'll get yourself one for Mothers Day next year!' So true.

So sorry it's so very short and not the best quality!

*edited to add
File size is 5 MB and is taking a long time to load for some.

Watch the Video

Brought to you direct from China... the costume!

Can you believe it? I can't. I was so positive they would not arrive in time for the Recital tonight... so positive that I threw away the bag the back-up costume came in. Oh SHOOT! I had at least kept the plastic tag on the hair flowers, so that I was able to re-attach to the costume. Now we'll have to reshoot her dance portraits.


Well Tori finished up her practice at the Civic Center. She really wanted me to leave so her routine would be a total surprise for me.

Off for a fun day of rehearsals, birthday parties and a Recital. Pictures tonight!


Well it seems the best way for me to learn anything is to just jump in. I went over to Kim Hill's Blog and peeked at her code to see where she put the slide show in and Voila! I now have a slideshow.

Today is get caught up with obligations day. I need to do pages for Kim, Julie and the DSD CT. Oh! And I had entered ANOTHER digi scrapping contest last week. Ultimate Digi-Scrapper I had almost decided to just go ahead and not complete the first weeks assignment. But inspiration struck late last night. Since there are over 300 contestants I'm not holding my breath. If you feel like taking a peek: here is is!

Another contest that is starting up that I can't enter is The "Essential" Scrapbook Challenge First place is awarded a place on Kim's Creative Team! I hear she has some pretty cool people on her CT :D

Tori has dance portraits today in the 'back-up' costume. As of late last night their costumes had still not arrived. The teacher is holding out hope and asked that we do not remove the hair bands from the costume just in case the originally ordered costume somehow magically makes it here from China by Saturday afternoon. I'm not holding my breath! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for nice pictures.

Have a Happy Friday. I've got to get to cracking on a pile of laundry among other things.

I'll post Tori's recital pictures Saturday night. (Hoping I can find a digicam to record her number...)

Seeing as I don't know Html coding to insert the silly slideshow I HAD to have... and I'm just flying by the seat of my pants... please excuse the current technical difficulties...


Well, Tommy has informed me he doesn't like the page because there are no pictures of him. So for your viewing pleasure... some semi-current layouts.

And yes, as my older brother pointed out, at least I'm not on Myspace I shudder at the thought.

Hi all. I decided it would be much easier for me to simply post pictures, video etc on a blog than email it out constantly.

So first up: Tori had her violin recital last night. Have you ever been to a first year violin recital? I think drinking prior to the concert should have been a requirement. The adults in the audience worked hard on not making eye contact with each other... if you did the carefully composed proud parent face facade might crumble at any second. Don't get me wrong... they did wonderfully, everyone of them. But violin is hard... to learn AND to listen to sometimes! Luckily Tori takes her violin lessons very serious.

Ok, she's not a serious musician, but she is really enjoying the class. She has even asked to take second year violin next year. Seeing as our public schools only offer music twice a month I am all for the classes.

Watch the Video Clip from the recital!

Check... check... check...

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