ADVENT*ures Day 4

PHEW!! *Wiping sweat from my brow*

What a day!!

We woke up late. Not sure why… maybe I hit snooze one too many times?!?

Youngest daughter, Katie, had an appointment with the Cleft Palate Clinic today.


She is growing like a weed and gets prettier every time the doctors & nurses, dentists, surgeons, psychologists, social workers, and other members of the team see her. She will probably need more work on her defect when she is bigger, for now, we wait & watch her grow.

While he was at school today, Nicholas lost another tooth!! The tooth fairy is going broke! 4 teeth in 4 weeks!!


This photo made it very obvious I need to take the child and his glasses in to the Walmart Vision Center to get them adjusted – again. LOL

This evening, we went to our local Home Depot for a Kids’ Craft night. We also got to see Santa!




For some reason, my oldest – 18 year old Christopher did not want to sit on Santa’s lap or do the craft. LOL He was a huge help with the kids though and he plans on bringing them to craft night next week for “Build A Gift for Mom”. (That way, I can be surprised.)

I’ll post a picture of the cute craft they did tonight when the paint dries. Some of the children were more liberal with their paint.

Day 4 of Bible Study & Advent Devotionals – DONE! WOOT!


ADVENT*ures Day 3

Today was mostly uneventful. Seriously.

Grocery Shopping.

More cookie baking.

Yesterday was a serious adventure in cookie baking and decorating. I think I have the royal icing thing figured out. Maybe.

Oldest daughter is at her Hip-Hop Dance Class. I seriously cannot wait until recital to see how far she has come.

Tomorrow, youngest daughter goes to see all of her specialists for her cleft palate. It’s an annual thing, I do not expect to get any serious information or that they’re planning another procedure for her any time soon. She works with a speech therapist at school twice per week and this seems to be enough for now.

Tomorrow evening, our local Home Depot is holding a special Kids’ Workshop. They’ll making a Christmas craft. Next week they will make a gift for Mom and the week after that is a gift for Dad.

Yesterday, youngest daughter took a link off of the Countdown Chain.


Tonight, the middle child & middle son took the link off.


We also managed to get Day 3 of all of our Advent Devotional materials done. YAY! I’m even current on my Bible study and don’t need to play catch-up yet!

As for making scrapbook pages about our December – that will probably start happening soon, but I’ll be ok if that project is waiting for me in January. Documenting our days here on my blog counts!


ADVENT*ures Day 2

This post is going to photograph heavy. Please be patient.

First, I’ll show & tell you about the awesome craft I made yesterday.

Did you (or your children) ever make chains out of strips of construction paper? Do you get as disappointed as I do when they fade? rip? and need to be thrown away?

I have the solution!

My children and I started making construction paper Countdown-To-Christmas Chains a few years ago. All that work just to throw it all away.

*light bulb moment*

This year we made our countdown chain out of craft foam sheets – like these…


I cut the red & green into strips about 1/2”-3/4” wide.

Then I used Velcro Brand self-adhesive dots for the fastener.

I used clear ones, but couldn’t find those to link up at Amazon.


Then I wrote the numbers 1-24 on the strips using Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint 4oz Puffy White


While I was patiently *ahem* waiting for the puffy paint to dry, I made a template for a star.


I cut the star shape out of that fancy-schmancy glitter foam sheet you see in the photo above.


It all ended up looking like…


Last night, my youngest child took the first link off.


Now we have a reusable “Construction Paper” Paper Chain to Countdown-To-Christmas. The whole project including the overage I purchased cost just over $8.

Today, I am playing with sugar cookies and royal icing.


My middle son wants Dinosaur Sugar Cookies to take to school for his Birthday treat next week. I’ve heard that royal icing is difficult to work with so I decided to start practicing this week.

My grandmother’s sugar recipe is perfect!

Now to start making royal icing. Adding more confectioners’ sugar to the grocery list, I think I’m going to need it.

Proud moment! We made it through all of the Advent reading and activity things I showed you yesterday again this morning. I’m even on track in my Bible Study!

Oh… the tree?!? Did we decorate it? We sure did, finished it up last night.


Then we watched The Grinch and ate popcorn.


Our ADVENT*ures Begin

Today, Sunday, December 1, 2013 is the first day of Advent. We are so excited to start counting down to the birth of our Lord Jesus! This is an exciting time in the life of our family, made even more special by the fact our two youngest children (5 years old) are understanding the Faith & Family traditions more.

Most families have one Advent wreath or calendar. We have *way* more. I'd be an over-achiever if I expected we will do all of the activities and readings that came with them.

First up, our family Advent & Christmas "wreath".
This Nativity sculpture and candle holder was a gift from some very dear friends.

Next up we have the Advent wreath which came home from Religious Ed. with my kindergarden students last weekend.
Pardon the sideways photo, I have not figured out how to edit the photo orientation on my phone. (This post is coming to you from my phone.)

Next we have the Advent countdown activity my 2nd grader brought home from Religious Ed.
I've never seen this one before, so it should be fun!

The we have a Jesse Tree brought home by my 5th grader.
I also have a countdown to Christmas book and calendar.
I'll be thrilled if we do, read, etc. only one or two of these each day. I also found an Advent Bible Study I am going to try to complete. There is a version of the study for children also. Not sure if I will add the children's study to our activities or not.

Today is the day we decorate our Christmas Tree! The kids are so excited!

Happy 1st of December!
Happy first Sunday of Advent!


105 Days To Christmas

Will you be ready?
I will!
Thanks in part to 100 Days to Christmas by Jennifer Tankersley of ListPlanIt.Com.
I’ve used Ms. Tankersley’s system for preparing for Christmas for several years now… every year she makes some small tweak that makes a big difference!

This year, all of the linked lists & planning sheets are built right into the e-book! Since I got the PDF version, I selected to start printing at the page where the worksheets start. Now to find my paper-puncher and an empty binder.

The book is organized in a daily format – quick & easy reading for busy Moms (or Dads). The worksheets are PDF files which you can edit on your computer and then print. I just printed and will “edit” by hand, it’s what works for me. As much as I love being a computer girl and living in the digital age, I still love to hold a pen and write things down.

I swear, this Christmas is going to be the best one yet.

Now, if I could just find someone to come deep-clean my house for free! LOL

Don’t miss out on the 100 Days to Christmas Facebook party on September 16 – THE BIG DAY!

Oh - Before I forget...
get the 100 Days to Christmas 2013 eBook for just $5 (regular price $8) when they use the following coupon code in the checkout:  100DAYS3OFF


Graduation Countdown

I cannot believe my son, Christopher, graduates from high school in just a few weeks! He will spend the summer at home then in the fall he will attend Michigan Career And Technical Institute. He will pursue vocational training in welding, metal work, and machine technology.

Meanwhile, our family summer calendar is rapidly filling with 4-H, dance classes, bicycle rides, open houses, and other great stuff! I know summer is just going to fly by.

That's it for this check-in... More later.


Project Life 2013 Week 2

Week 2 was January 7-January 13 for our family.

It started out quiet enough, but toward the end it got quite busy. Thursday, January 10 was the high school art show. Saturday, January 12 was Katie’s actual birthday and we had a party for her on Sunday, January 13.

I have already completed the special pages for the Art Show and the Birthday Party. Tomorrow I will work on the Week Summary page(s). I’m fairly certain it will only be a single page.



I decided to throw having “cohesiveness” out the window for Project Life. Our life isn’t simple… I want each page to be a reflection of that week, that day, of us… in all of our chaos, creativity, and confusion! (that last part just sounded good).

There will be journaling about the art show on the main page for the week – in fact, the main page will probably match the kit and elements I used on the art show page.

I will come back tomorrow and edit this post (when & if I get the chance) to post credits and link the pages to my TLP gallery.


Catching Up

We’re only two weeks into the New Year and I’m playing catch up already… especially where the 31 Days of Challenges at The-LilyPad.Com are concerned!

I just finished days 10 and 11.


Kim Jensen Chalk Artist
Jacque Larsen Lone Star
Kate Hadfield Under The Tree
Sahlin Studio Field Trip
Allison Pennington Duly Noted v.2
TLP Collab Grateful (ScrapStacks #1) template by Amy Martin
TLP Collab Hoppy BDay
Valorie Wibbens For The Record

There might be more in the credits. I didn’t take notes like I usually do. Sad smile I was naughty.


TLP Collab Winter Wishes
Template: 31 Days of Challenges Day 11 Freebie by Emily Merritt


Day Late & a Dollar Short


I was on a really good streak with the 31 Days of Challenges until yesterday. Now, I’m a day behind. I might be able to eek out today’s (day 9) challenge later, but right now – I just want to take a nap.

Day 8’s challenge assignment was to scrap a page without using a photo. I’ve done photoless before, so no problem… or so I thought. I just couldn’t find inspiration. So I started browsing through all of my layouts (all the way back to the first one in February 2006). In my browsing I discovered I hadn’t made a cover for my youngest son Benjamin’s album.

Problem solved.


Template: from Beechtree by Sara Gleason
TLP Collab Things That Matter Most
Font: DJB Play Misty For Me by Darcy Baldwin

Why am I so tired?

I did a bunch of errands today…

Bank #1


Bank #2

The roads were super icy, so it took longer than it should have to drive from home to the first stop. By the time I finished at the first place the roads were much improved.

Nothing out of the ordinary at Bank #1 or at the Library.

Bank #2 is where things started to get weird.

Weird? At the bank?

Yes. Weird.

While I was conducting my business with the teller, the manager got a telephone call. It was the alarm company. The bank’s “Hold-Up Alarm” had been tripped. Police were in route.

As I was pulling out the parking lot, the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Deputy was pulling in. He looked at me critically as he pulled right up to the bank’s front door.

What a day! Now my neighbor is teasing me that while my kids are at preschool I run around robbing banks. HILARIOUS!

This should make for interesting entries for Project Life!


On A Roll

I’ve stuck with the 31 Days Challenges at The-LilyPad.Com for 7 days!! So proud of myself!

Day 7 Challenge – Build a Title using 4 Different Alphas. Harder than you might think!


-Template by Band Geek Designs
-Papers, doodles, flower, and 3 alphas from TLP Collab You Make Me Smile
-4th Alpha from TLP Collab Fall Moments
-Font: Janda Elegant Handwriting

Project Life Week 01 – January 1 – January 6, 2013 is complete!



Day 6 of 31

I just finished my Day 6 layout for the 31 Days of Challenges at TLP. The challenge was to scrap an imperfect photo. I had no trouble finding one!


The lighting at the bowling is *always* bad. No matter what I do or try with my phone, p&s, or dslr - the lighting just sucks and there is no way to compensate for it that I have found that gets me good results. So I just deal.

Papers & tape from The People In Your Neighborhood (a TLP collab) (I blended a paper by Amy Jaz and another from Amy Wolff together to get the look I wanted)
Journal card - Journal It by Jacque Larsen
Fonts: Title - Showcard Gothic and Journaling - Janda Everyday Casual
bowling element by Dream BIG Designs - (April 2012 Facebook freebie)


31 Days–Day 4 & Day 5

I’ve been scrapping like a maniac so far in 2013! Averaging just under 2 pages per day.

Day 4 Challenge: Realistic Stamping


Template by Amy Martin
December Bits by Sabrina Dupre
A Little Jingle Papers by Amber Clegg
Kitschy Christmas by Jennifer Barrette & Sahlin Studio
Petal Pops 4 by Amy Wolff
Very Merry Papers by Gina Miller

Day 5 Challenge: Color Inspiration – Purple

Let me just say, I am NOT a fan of purple. I went stash diving to find this gem of a kit so I could avoid purchasing any purple.


Follow Me by Allison Pennington


Day 03 of TLP 31 Days of Challenges


Inspired by this movie poster

I created this…


Template - Project Grids by Amy Martin
Alpha by Jacque Larsen from Winter Wishes TLP Collab
2011 Date Stamp by Amber Clegg
font: St. Marie

I will say this about the 31 Days of Challenges at TLP… I’m getting some scrapping done!

Layout Share: Resolutions {of sorts}


This was for the TLP Journaling Challenge for January 2013

Credits: I used everything but the kitchen sink! LOL
-Build Your Wings by Michelle Godin & Melita Bloomer
-Black & White Labeled by Michelle Godin
-Dreams & Wishes by Michelle Godin
-Summer Stickies by Michelle Godin
-TLP Grateful Collab (Scrap Stacks #1 November 2012)
-TLP Collab You Make Me Smile
-Messy Edges DSD Freebie by Amy Wolff
-The Simple Things Elements (BYOC April 2012) by Amber Clegg
some doodles by Kate Hadfield

Project Life

Just checking in…



Title Page…


Life Quote card by Ali Edwards.
blank grid journal card by Becky Higgins.
Project Life Template F by Becky Higgins.
Numbers by Amy Wolff from TDF Collab Everyday Life.
Font: Traveling Typewriter.
background paper by Amanda Heimann from Everyday Life (TDF Collab).
Paper for year card by Gina Miller from Everyday Life (TDF Collab)
Names & Birthdays list inspired by Kim
Kim A Walker.
Photo template used for dog space by Lili from TLP. Newspaper, bow, and word art on dog card from Must Love Dogs by Valorie Wibbens and Honey Design


2nd Challenge in the 31 Days of Challenges.
I Like Nonsense by Kaye Winiecki
Veneered Storytellers by Traci Reed
Jot It Down 3 by Amy Wolff


Scrappy New Year!

Between you and me and the wall, I’m going to be a scrapping fool for at least the month of January.

Project Life.

TLP’s 31 Days of Challenges – that’s a layout a day for the whole month. Awesome prizes up for grabs to those that complete the whole 31 challenges.

TLP’s Monthly Challenges

I have found a ton of other challenges and inspiration to keep me busy!

Day 01 of the TLP 31 Days of Challenges – Minimalist/Clean&Simple layout. Here’s the layout I managed to produce (image linked to TLP Gallery for full credits)…


See that font used in the journaling? I MADE THAT! My own handwriting on my layouts – finally!

{digital} Art Journal

First – It is the first day of a new year! Welcome 2013! It’s going to be a busy year for our family! Christopher will graduate from high school in 6 short months.
My baby boy is growing up.
He’s weighing his options and exploring things for his future as an adult.

Ok, down to business.

Last year, I discovered Art Journaling. More importantly, I discovered {digital} Art Journaling.
My pieces aren’t as elaborate or eloquent as some I’ve seen, but they are my “therapy”, my creative release – my time to express myself. This style doesn’t hold me to documenting or preserving family memories. I can do whatever I want.
I have promised myself for 2013 I will explore this genre more. I might even decide at some point to get my hands dirty and actually play with paints, markers, crayons, and glue.
Here are my {digital} Art Journal pages from 2012
2012-11-05_LMI_AJ_WindsOfChangeCredits: Blustery Day by Michelle Godin

All by Michelle Godin Designs


You’ve all seen this one before! I was playing and exploring. Decided I liked this one well enough it is going into my Document December project album.2012TLPArtsyMusing01

“Rainbow” was my first ever attempt at Art Journaling. I will say this, Michelle Godin Designs at TLP makes some of the yummiest goodies for {digital} Art Journaling!

Dashing off to Mass to celebrate theSolemnity of Mary, Mother of God.