I know, I’m totally a dork, but I’m so excited ’cause I made something pretty. In my opinion anyway! I’ve always admired scrapbook pages like this, especially my good friend Kate‘s (one, two, three, four) and I finally got a chance to try myself.


I don’t really know what it’s called, if anything, but I call it whimsical scrapbooking, ha. Just a different look, dreamy concepts, etc. The kit I used is called A Place to Treasure by Irene Alexeeva.

I’ve also learned it’s a great way to salvage an otherwise crappy photo. In the original photo I used, I’d once again put my finger in front of my pop-up flash (SOOO not used to using it anymore, now used to my flash being a foot over the top of my camera, ha) and the whole right side of the photo was pretty dark. Not to mention the surroundings were just, meh. However, K was discovering at the time, she was checking out her brand new play kitchen on Christmas morning. She had the two coffee cups in her hands.

Sandy & Jon And though it doesn’t seem like it, I have been doing a lot of scrapbook-like stuff, just not for me. Been working pretty solid on finally getting my sister-in-law’s wedding book done. This one’s taken me longer than any of the others I’ve done, in part because we’ve been so insanely busy the last couple of months in this area, and in part because it’s longer than any other book I’ve done. I think it’s come out very nice. Waiting for it to upload to the publisher now so they can print it and ship it to me! All I have to say is that it had better be good, more stellar than other companies I’ve used, ’cause they are charging me a friggin $17 to get it shipped.

returning to normal

my parents' Christmas tree Christmas day was, for the most part, a wonderful day. I hope yours was just as good.

We slept as late as possible, the kids opened their presents, we chilled out a bit then went to my mom’s. Had an early dinner there and sat around and exchanged gifts, etc.

My children are spoiled.

So spoiled.

Steve does not seem to care for the video game I gave him. He’s only complained about it being hard to control. I think that one will be hitting the used sale on amazon soon, and I’ll get something *I* want. lol

And now life returns to normal. I had to work today and we saw my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for the last time before they head back across the country. I gave them their canvas print though, I think everyone is really happy with how it turned out.

the Eve

Christmas Tree I think it might be laying down on that pillow over there. It’s tired. Oy, what a day! Actually, it’s been a crazy week.

Last night was the Christmas gathering with my mom’s family. It’s always crazy but this year was even moreso because everyone keeps multiplying! We missed last year because of K’s quarantine and there were also lots of other people that wouldn’t have made it last year such as my cousin and his wife that live in New Zealand for now, but they were able to make it in this year, along with my very new baby cousin. I did also get to finally meet my cousin’s fiance. We are shooting their wedding in February, yay!

So we’re squeezing 4 times as many people as should fit in this living room and the present opening is so insane because everyone’s yelling over everyone else, kids are running around delivering presents as my uncle calls them out and people are opening stuff and paper is literally flying through the air because everyone wants to be able to hit the trash bag from across the room. K was on the verge of flipping out and she did throw a lot of fits and make a lot of fuss but I guess all-in-all, she did ok, because to think about it now, she never did give the GET OUT OF MY FACE NOW warning hand signal all night. The littlest cousin was also stressed out, though!

The biggest downside with all of it was that it was just me and the kids as Steve had to work. Trying not to complain, though!

Then tonight we got together with Steve’s immediate family. We woke up to a white Christmas and it seems like it has snowed all day. Elijah was just bounce-off-the-wall-excited about it and went out to play several times. He had a lot of fun beaming his aunt with snow, too.

The siblings and in-laws did an organized gift exchange this year and it actually went over without a hitch, unlike last year when everyone else totally messed it up… ahem. :) It was a lot of fun though!

ice sucks.

So yesterday was… fun. Heh.

I was a half an hour north at church, helping out with the 4-year-olds, when the ice started coming. They broke everything up and sent us home an hour early. First I had to collect some things in the control room then Elijah and I started home. Kayleigh was at my in-law’s so I was headed there.

We passed at least 7 accidents on the interstate, including two jackknifed 18-wheelers and one that was flipped onto its side. We had to stop for quite a while for the first jackknife as it was on our side, the others were headed the other direction. It took me an hour and a half to make what should have been, at most, a 40 minute drive.

I’d heard that the highway (2 lane) that I had to go on was shut down in places and was very, very bad. By the time I got there, it wasn’t bad as the highway department had gotten some stuff down to melt and break up the ice. I saw this red pickup truck in a field, against a telephone pole, all by itself. The running lights were on and the truck was running. I slowed down and stopped and the guy got out. I asked him if he was ok. Turned out to be a sheriff’s deputy. I guess he spun out while trying to get to work? He told me that the highway was shut down at the next 2 lane highway, but thankfully, I didn’t have to go quite that far.

However, my in-laws live on an annoying road. To get in there from the direction I was coming from (I couldn’t have come from the other direction if I’d wanted to), I had to make a 180 degree turn, down a hill. On either side of the curve of this turn, there’s a drop off, with the further end being higher and with trees there. If you manage to fly off of there and get through the trees, your next stop is a brick house and a living room.

Usually people who are behind me when making this turn are VERY impatient and will go in the oncoming lane despite it being a no-passing zone – this turn is ALSO on a curve, by the way. But no one was there at the time. I came to a complete stop and turned out further in the highway so that I would be coming into the road straighter. This was the right move, however, I’m told now that I used my brakes too much. But I can’t imagine going in there NOT using the brakes like I did. I think that without brakes I would have just flown off the edge. As it were, I thought we were going over and we ended up sliding RIGHT to the edge. Seriously, my front tires were kissing more air than ground.

Looking back, only God could have stopped the Jeep because my brakes were doing no good on that ice. Poor Elijah was so freaked out, he was screaming and crying in the back. I wasn’t too quiet myself. So we sat there and I tried to collect myself. Someone went by on the highway and you KNOW they saw me but they didn’t even try to stop. Rude. We were considering abandoning the vehicle but I thought I’d give it one try and put it in reverse. Managed to reverse just enough that I could get away from that edge and then turn it all the way the other direction and pretty much slide down the rest of the hill to the road.

Drove up to my in-laws and, of course, there was no way I was getting out of there, so we stayed for the night. With the horror of possibly crashing into trees and hanging off the edge of a road over, it became an adventure for Elijah. He loves staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s and we’d had the Wii at church (long story) so it was with us. He was quite happy to play the next couple of hours away before bed. It wasn’t fun, though. Besides the night she spent at the hospital, this was the first night Kayleigh spent away from home since she came home from the NICU. She was NOT happy about it, either, and it was hard to get her to sleep.

In the morning, my father-in-law was able to get out for work and about 6 hours after that, I decided to brave it. I said, “I love you guys, but I really wanna go home!” My brother-in-law showed up right as I was going out to start the Jeep to warm up and he took some ashes from the wood stove and spread them on the hillside to also break up and melt the ice. At least to provide traction, I think it is. I don’t think they are hot ashes. I got out of there easily enough, the most difficult thing was that Elijah kept whining he wanted to stay. We made it home and pulled into the back yard where we could actually get out without falling on our butts right away! It’s just amazing how that ice just coats everything. On the news earlier there was a man talking about another who had to slide around on his belly to get to the people he was helping get out of their wrecked car. It was a hill, I think, and he just couldn’t stand.

If this keeps up, I’m going to have to invest in some sharp cleats…

Still Zai-zai

I was looking for something earlier, in my blog archives, and I came on this old post, Zai-zai, from just over 5 years ago. Five. Years. onetwothreefourFIVE. It seems like ages ago. In that post, I went on and on about our quirky dog Rimshot who, at that point, we had owned for about 4 and a half years.

Many things have changed in the last 5 years. I have lost a few friends, made many more, jobs are different, E has gotten older, siblings have gotten married, and we have had a second kid… Yes, we still have Rimshot.

Portrait of a Pooch

And I just had to laugh as I read that post because it is still 98% true! No, E doesn’t call him “Zai-zai” anymore (and no, I honestly can’t even remember him calling him that – this, my friends, is one of the reasons I have a blog, my memory sucks!) but yes, he still barks at people who walk the street but never someone who might pose a threat, he still steals food (got some pepperoni out of my OWN HAND a few weeks ago, I think I’m still mad about that), he hops in the cars of visitors or mail men when he gets a chance, he still leaves white hair all over the couch and still has a knack for snuggling up next to me without me noticing, he still cowers from thunder – he can hear it before we do and gets quite neurotic. The things that are different is mainly his activity level, he is 5 years older and so that has gone down some. He doesn’t really chew on toys much anymore, can’t even get him to chew long term on his own toy. He’s graying around the eyes and in some other areas, too. He still drags his bed onto the carpet and right into the middle of the walkway.

And we have that other little person in the house now. Rimshot likes her better than he likes Elijah. She leaves him alone, she doesn’t harass him or drag him around on the leash indoors, she doesn’t yell at him ever. The most she does is push him away if he tries to lick her face, ’cause let’s face it folks, she couldn’t care less about the dog.

A few days ago Elijah announced that he wants a doberman from my friend who breeds them. Take note, a DOBERMAN. Because he wants, and I quote, “I want a dog that will appreciate me.” I about died laughing with that one. Rimshot sure does NOT appreciate Elijah. In fact, Elijah is the ONLY person Rimshot has ever bitten. Really, I don’t blame the dog. I know he does it only as a last resort and usually by the time he gets bit, I have told him not less than 5 times to leave the dog alone. And, of course, he has never drawn blood. Actually, though, I think it’s been about six months since he’s been bit, maybe he’s finally learning that the dog doesn’t care for being pushed into a corner and poked at.

Rimshot is still a virtual vacuum cleaner. However, as of late he’s decided he’s absolutely sick of Cheerios and he won’t eat them anymore so I actually have to sweep the floor after K eats now, ha. He eats everything else she throws though, which is quite a lot. I think the dog food has been lasting extra long lately.

Ah, Rimshot, what will I do without you when you go?

Rimshot with the new Nikon!