Thursday, July 30, 2009

The return of the absent blogger!

Hello! Remember me? This is my blog. I haven't posted in awhile! :D

So anyways......catching you up on our life here....uh.....the kids got home last friday from 2nd Reunion at Brush Creek. They had a blast. My parents were completely WORN OUT from having them all week though! They had their classes and made crafts and had music and went swimming and had campfires....all that typical fun camping stuff I remember oh so well. I sent the "little camera" (that takes really crummy pictures) with Alaina and told her to bring me back some pictures to scrap.....Alaina decided to participate in the talent show and got up there in front of everybody and sang a song acapella. Brave girl! They also posed for a picture for our church historian....they had people that were direct decendants of the first founders of the Brush Creek congregation 150 years ago....and that's our family! so the kids were a part of that, which was pretty cool. So all in all a great experience for them. Brush Creek is the best....I miss being there like I used to!

So here's a nice layout of their week:
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some of those better shots I took myself the Sunday we were there. :D But they had a great time and that's the most important thing.

Since they've been home, it's been back to the usual for our summer vacation....meaning all of them stay up ridiculously late and I'm the one that still has to get up early and go to work. BAH! why can't my company shut down for the summer? I seriously wonder how much we'd REALLY miss out on if we did..... *sigh*

The highlight of the week, OBVIOUSLY, was the Jonas Brothers concert on Tuesday night that Alaina, myself, and 10,000 screaming teens and tweens went to downtown. Totally took me back to my first New Kids concert. It was too cute.....and since they allowed cameras, I got some great pics....but I'm too lazy to resize them for the blog, so you'll just have to wait 'till i get them scrapped.....or look at them on my Facebook page if you're my friend!!!

So anyways....scrapping hasn't been THAT active, for almost 2 weeks' worth of it.....I'm playing a little catch-up with our current lives as well as trying to scrap some of our disney trips we've taken this year.

Here's a layout I did of Alaina and Alice at Disneyland....I redid it from one I did for a challenge on the disboards...I might've already posted that version. But this one is better! :D oh, plug: Sya's "chosen 1 set 2' template.....what did I ever do before templates? seriously!! :D
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And another one from Disneyland....oh, technically these are from California Adventure I guess:

this was for a template challenge at SM.....did I mention how much I adore templates? :P
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And for another template challenge (they post one every week....I'm just catching up for this month!), the 4 of us riding Soarin.....i'm so proud of this picture....of course I didn't take it....I'm just thrilled that it actually exists...as they usually load this ride pretty fast so you just don't normally have time...but since we were on the front row (the ONLY way to ride that ride, btw) we were the first ones seated, so we had a few extra seconds....and a most-obliging cast member that obviously knows how to work a big bulky camera like mine....
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And here's one I really like.....again, another template challenge, but over on the disboards. This is where I learned how to do custom shadows....VERY big deal to me! This is obviously us meeting Mickey....I just love the picture the photopass photog got of Zach giving Mickey kisses.....THAT is what shlepping to Disney every year is about people! :D you can't put a pricetag on such moments:

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And that's it for the Disneyland pics......going to our OTHER Disney trip to the 'World' back in march......here's our dinner at Chef Mickey's.....way fun character meal....I like character meals because it saves you time from standing an hour in line to see Mickey....you sit there and eat your dinner and he comes to you! voila!
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last one...with Haynay's newly expanded kit, 'My Happy Life'....of our kids with my aunt Doris and uncle Frank:
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so that's all the layouts for now.....I haven't done my blessing yet that I was planning to post. Been busy doing other stuff......like buying a new car!

uhm, yeah. We bought ANOTHER new car. No, you're not crazy....we DID just get a new car a little over a month ago. We were talking about what we were going to do when our van died......hypothetically of course. And wouldn't ya know it......funny noises start.....this freaky GROANING noise that we figure is either the power steering or the transmission...and after the transmission died in our other car karl freaked out at the prospect of being stranded again.

And then on a whim......Karl goes to that 'cash for clunkers' website for that government program and finds out that our van qualifies as a clunker! I still can't believe it. It's only an '03 for pete's sake! I wouldn't classify it as a CLUNKER, but I guess technically it is! go figure! sooooooo.......that was the tipping point for us to start doing some research into a new family truckster. And we signed the paperwork for it tonight and pick it up in the morning. A Ford Flex...which I still think looks like a shoebox with wheels....but it's growing on me. So I'll have to do another 'new car' layout I guess soon, huh? :D So that's that....another car payment for the hermans, yay!

I guess that catches you up on us for now.....I'm off to go watch some TV and hang with the fam for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Missing my kids!!

I'm really not in the mood to blog. But then again, I'm not sure there is a "mood" TO blog per se. So this will probably be short and sweet.

Alaina and Matthew are spending this week at Brush Creek for 2nd reunion. My mother has been BEGGING to take the kids to camp for the last couple of years.....and usually, being the brilliant person I am.....we've almost always been gone on a vacation somewhere the week the camp is. But this year it worked out for them all to go. Alaina and Matthew were SO excited to be there....they don't really care that they were going to be away from Mom and Dad for a week, kwim? We left them (hopefully?) plenty of money for the snack bar and we're pretty certain they're having a blast!

So the house is REALLY quiet without the two of them bickering constantly. Zach is completely lost without them here....he keeps opening the door and yelling for "lai lai" and "bubba". It's so sweet that he misses them.....but he's also enjoying the undivided Mommy attention too I think.

Which leads to the current adventure: potty training! Gosh this is SO not fun! I'd rather have the newborns that wake up every 90 minutes to feed vs. the toddlers that're potty training. This is by far my least favorite part of parenting. Zach is completely unmotivated, but since he's almost 3......I thought we should at least introduce him to the idea. So far, he's still not caring. :D

Work is work. 'nuff said. Karl's summer vactation is winding down, as he's back for teacher meetings the first week of August (which he's already grumbling about). And while Zach qualified for Pre-K, it looks like from the news that there won't BE a preK this year, which is a total bummer. Alaina and Matthew still have a couple weeks of summer after Karl starts back.....the difference between the district he teaches in and the one we live in...sometimes schedules don't quite match up! But the summer is kinda winding down for us!

So......since I'm due to give a couple plugs, I'll do that right now.....first up, Haynay's "Once Upon a Shabby Christmas" kit....for the Christmas in July sale they're having at Scrap Matters. I couldn't find a single Christmas photo to scrap, so I had to go more neutral with the kit and show the non-seasonal versatility of it! :D I also used her 'attached at hte hip' element pack too. So this picture is of Karl and the kids in front of Grizzly River Run at California Adventure. It was too cold the day we were there to actually RIDE it....maybe next time!

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And Sya's newest template pack.....Dynamic Duo 4....uhm......yes, I used WAY more than 2 pictures on this layout because that's just how I roll! I'm kinda shocked I got this many decent pictures of the fireworks considering I didn't have a tripod! This was actually my blessing from a couple weeks ago that I couldn't post before.....And I'm too lazy to retype, but I think you can figure out why freedom is a blessing.
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And huh.....go figure...the only other layout I've scrapped in the last 2 weeks (that's really sad!) is using the same kit I used on the fireworks one....LOL! (oh, and it's using 'stripped set 3' from sya)

Anyhoo......it's of our work choir singing the National Anthem at Busch Stadium a few weeks ago. It's gotta be one of the coolest things I've ever done (scroll down to the July 2nd post for the video to hear it!). I didn't retitle it to make it more obvious, but I'm considering this a blessing too.........just being given the opportunity to do something I consider such an honor is huge to me. I cry every time I hear the National Anthem, so to be able to actually SING it? In front of THOUSANDS of people in one of my favorite places in the city where my beloved St. Louis Cardinals play? It's just amazing and I choke up everytime I think of it (because I'm a huge sap like that!). I can't believe I was given the chance to do this....and I'm still so proud of myself for it (obviously!):
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and yeah, yeah, yeah....I'm still like 2 blessings behind......whatever! :D I'll get there...eventually!

Karl took me to see the new Harry Potter movie Sunday night for our first date night in ages! Dinner and a movie....that IS a date...wow! It's been MONTHS since we've been able to get out and do that! And then yesterday I went to a matinee of The Proposal after work. So now I'm almost caught up on movies I wanted to see! Both were excellent! No plans for the rest of the week I don't think....Karl's got night classes.....so it's just me and Zach hanging out here at the house. Hopefully I can get a little more scrapping done so that next week I've got more stuff to post than this!!!

So that's it for now......have a great week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Week to blog about....

And here it is, Sunday evening already! What did we do all week? :D The kids' ballgames are over for the summer, but Karl's still teaching summer school classes, so at night it's just been me and the kids at home together....them destroying the house, me trying to tune them out! :D

One thing Karl and I did this week was book a trip to Washington, DC for a little getaway this fall. It'll be just the two of us, so the kids are going to be hanging out with their Nanny and PawPaw, so they're okay with it. I'm not sure that's a trip they'd enjoy anyways...after about 10 minutes in a museum, they're "done", so it's probably better that they're staying behind.

Karl nor I have ever been to the nation's capital, so we're both pretty excited about it. We've got some friends that're there a LOT, so they've been very helpful as far as helping us plan. And of course my SIL Nicole has been there (is there anywhere she HASN'T been? :P) So the flights are purchased......next up will be getting a hotel and nailing down exactly where we want to go and all that. But that's my thing, so I'm looking forward to the challenge of planning out an itenerary!

We also booked our room for a holiday trip to Disney World in Florida. I know, I know......I DID just say that we didn't have any vacations planned 'till next year. So yes, I'm eating my words....GLADLY! :D Although Disney at Christmastime is completely INSANE, we're taking my parents along and not really doing 'that much' in the parks......just enough for my parents to have some of the magic with their grandkids. So considering we're not setting off with the intention of conquering all 4 parks in 7 days, I think we'll be okay. I think my parents are looking forward to it too. And that gives me another trip to plan. 'Cuz what else do I have to do with my free time, right?

Other than that, I'm not sure anything very exciting happened this week here....Friday night we had planned on going out on date together as we haven't done that since I think we went and saw Twilight back in the fall......but it didn't work out since we couldn't find a sitter. Then we thought about taking the kids to the drive-in theatre down in Belleville, but it was raining and we didn't know if they showed movies there during storms......and didn't want to dive an hour to take the chance, kwim?

So we actually ended up hitting the mall Friday night, eating dinner with Melissa, Elsie and Max. Alaina wanted to go to Claire's for earrings.....and somehow I ended up with a big box of Godiva chocolates because I'd had a rotten day/week at work (that I really DON'T want to talk about). I have such a thoughtful hubby, don't I?
After dinner/shopping, we went back to the Loftus' house and just sat around and talked with Melissa while the kids played around us. Pretty low-key Friday night.

Saturday, Karl left early to go shooting on his bromance date and I slept in with the kids. Then we met Karl for lunch in town and did some yardwork before it got too hot. Then I have no idea what we did hte rest of the day/evening. I was probably on Facebook or scrapping....I think Karl was channel surfing (which is SO annoying...PICK SOMETHING and WATCH IT!). And that was Saturday night. Exciting around here, isn't it?

Today, Karl spoke at church, then we took the kids to Steak n shake for lunch, then headed home for naps! And since then, we've just been putzing around the house...putting laundry away, picking up toys, etc, etc, etc.....all that "stuff". This has been one of the biggest 'do-nothing' weekends we've had in a long time...usually we're way more 'active'.....I'm kinda shocked we didn't go and do something really cool. I feel like we're slacking or something!

I didn't even scrap that much this week.....

Here's what I did manage to get scrapped......first one is of Matthew's tball season (in a nutshell), using a template of sya's called 'get boxy'
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This one is from our Disneyland trip in June:
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And our trip out on the lake with my aunt/uncle down in Kentucky:
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And this last one is my entry for the disboard challenge for this week....I haven't entered in forever, but I liked the participation prize for this week! This layout uses 'dynamic duo 1' by Sya's blueprints

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And for a blessing......uhm....I just haven't had time to get caught up just yet! I DID do one this week....but in my brilliance, it's using a new template pack of sya's, so I can't post it yet, silly me! I do plan on catching up......one of these days! Alaina and Matthew will be gone for a week to church camp soon, so that'll give me a little more free time at night as I won't have to referee so many fights (the current fight usually being Matthew "messing up" her room...DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA!), but anyways, I plan on catching up on some scrapping then. I hope.

But that's it for me for now.......have a great week....if you haven't listened to it yet, scroll down to listen to me and the rest of the choir from work sing the national anthem!!! :D yes, I'm still basking in that moment. It was so cool!

later!

Monday, July 6, 2009

O'er the land of the free......

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So that was obviously the highlight of the week! :D Yes, that's me being really LOUD at the end. Actually, it's me and the girl next to me....but mostly me. The director told us both to "be loud, you have to hit your parts or the whole thing falls apart" (gee, thanks for not putting any pressure on us or anything!) So I sang as loud as I could......I'm not one of those broadway-musical-big-voice-type singers though. And anybody that's sung in a big arena like that can tell you that you really can't hear yourself........they told us not to try to listen to ourselves because there was like a 2-second delay over the sound system......they said "just sing it and hope it's right!".....so uhm.....that's what we did. And they put the darned microphone right in front of my face....*sigh*......I feel kinda bad now listening to it, because us sopranos totally overpowered everybody else.....but we didn't know that at the time. so oh well.....it was nerve racking, totally exciting, and very humbling to even get the opportunity to sing the National Anthem for such a big audience (and there weren't even that many people there yet!). The ONLY downside: I am bummed that it wasn't broadcast.......I think half of my hometown had the radio and the TV on hoping to catch a glimpse of me (or hear me) singing.......but the stations played commercials instead. How unpatriotic! :*( so that was my experience singing the National Anthem at Busch Stadium.......it was AWESOME!!!!!

Immediately after singing (and getting my camera back from the teenager that took the shaky video), I headed up to Jerseyville to catch the last half of Alaina's last game. I'd missed Matthew's completely. After their games, they got trophies from their coaches and they were happy. We all went to DQ for ice cream afterwards......then home to watch mommy sing! And also pack for the weekend!

Friday, we got up and left early to head to Aunt Doris and Uncle Frank's house near Kentucky Lake. We stopped in Fairfield to pick up my parents and rolled in a little after 1. She had a late lunch waiting for us and we just spent the afternoon hanging out, chatting, relaxing...napping, etc. They don't have internet there, so it's a wonder I survived, kwim? :D I did manage to do some scrapping while listening to Aunt Doris and my mom chat.

Friday night we went to dinner at Patti's 1880 settlement. It's THE place to go down there, and it really is a neat place......very antique-y.....everyone dressed in period costumes (that another aunt of mine, who was a seamstress, used to sew).....it was very cool. and the food is AWESOME. So we stuffed ourselves there and then hit the gift shop for a BUNCH of fudge to take home (MMMMMmmmmmm fudge!) for later. I think I kinda rolled into bed. seriously!

Saturday, the 4th......it was kinda cool and overcast, so we wanted to get some boating in before it poured on us! And we did......we took their boat out for a couple hours.....me, karl and the kids did some swimming....watched all the other boats crisscross all over the place......but then when clouds started really piling up in the west, we headed for shore. the INSTANT we got into our cars, it just started downpouring on us! we headed to one of the dock restaurants for lunch and it'd stopped raining by the time we were done with that. then back to the house for some showers and for me....making some ice cream. A total 4th of July tradition....homemade ice cream! Mom and i went and got all the stuff and set it up to freeze while just about everybody else took naps! by the time it was done and we were getting ready to make some dinner, the storms REALLY rolled in....knocking out the power for the rest of the night. it was a NASTY storm......their tornado sirens were goign off and everything. so no fireworks for us. we sat in the glow of some kerosene lamps and some candles and just talked......I scrapped until my battery died. :D and that was our exciting 4th! :D

Sunday we left for home right after breakfast....dropped off mom and dad and finally made it back to our house before dinnertime.....but of course we had no FOOD...so we went into town here and had dinner....then did some grocery shopping. and that was the end of the weekend for us. Of course I'M the only one that actually had to go back to work today.....*sigh*

So anyways.....what I scrapped:

Aside from the blessings (which I still need a couple more to get caught up....just haven't gotten around to them yet!)......

I scrapped this one of Cruella......I've never seen her at Disney World in FL, but we ran right into her on Main St. at Disneyland...go figure. She kept calling Zach a "rodent" because of his ears on his hat. I love it when they're in character like that! Way more fun! (plug! '2010 topped up calendar vol 1' by Sya's Blueprints)
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And here's Zach vs. Zach in the Water Gun Wars:
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Zach getting filthy.....he'd do this at EVERY ballgame......you know that heavy, gritty ballfield dust? yeah, he was COVERED IN IT.....every game! But he loved it (plug! "completely cornered" by Sya's Blueprints!)
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our condo out in CA (plug! "going in circles 2" and "scattered circles" by Sya's Blueprints)
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and Alaina's camp from last weekend
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So that's all I've scrapped and that's it for me for now......baseball's over, so I've got my evenings to myself (almost)...whatever will I do? :D Have a great week everybody! I hope everybody had a great 4th weekend (thunderstorm free, unlike ours!) later!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

quick post!

just wanted to get these blessings posted.....I think I still have a couple more to get me completely caught up.

Here's the first one, which is probably pretty self-explanatory: our new car. After the last one died and left me stranded, I'm pretty grateful for the new ride! ....(using Sya's 'somewhat centered 4' template set)....
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journaling reads: "I wasn’t ready to get a new car. I didn’t WANT a new car. But when your car leaves you literally stranded on the side of the road, you have to sit back and explore your options! We’ve not had the best of luck with the used cars we’ve bought, so when we were faced with needing a new vehicle, we decided to get a new one. After a full day of talking to dealers and searching online, we decided on getting a Ford Fusion. We really wanted a black car, but they were all sold out, and since we were buying from what was left of the ‘09s, our choices were limited. So we ended up picking this red one instead. I love the car and have a lot of fun driving it. I love the new car smell and the fact that it’s still CLEAN since the kids haven’t had a chance to destroy it yet! So even though I didn’t want it, I feel blessed to have a nice new car to drive. I’m glad we were able to afford such a nice, dependable car."

Next blessing: Disney Magic! :D ....(using Sya's 'somewhat centered 4' template set)....
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journaling reads: "Disney World is our favorite place to go on vacation. We’ve been all over the world, but nothing beats the magic and excitement that we experience at Disney World.The kids love the thrill of riding the rides, we all enjoy meeting characters and seeing shows, so it’s a perfect place for our family to go on our vacations. Neither Karl nor I ever got to go to DisneyWorld as a kid, so we were determined to be able to take our kids as soon as we could possibly go. Now we make it an annual trip, and we look forward to it so much! There’s something truly magical about it that no other place can really duplicate. I feel so blessed that we have Disney Magic in our lives."

And here's one that's LONG overdue....(using Sya's 'somewhat centered 4' template set)....his birthday was June 4th, and of course he's a huge blessing.......Matthew:
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journaling reads: "You are the epitome of the typical boy: you run around, love to play outside, chase your brother and sister, and think belches and farts are the height of hilarity. Most of the time, I see very little of myself in you, usually saying that I was just a surrogate for your Daddy’s clone. But sometimes you’ll say something or ask a well-thought question and I’ll see myself in you a little bit in those moments. You are so observant: You notice things that I wouldn’t think a kid of 6 would care about. But not only do you care, you ask the question of why because you just want to know the answers. I’ve seen you be very caring with your siblings at times so I know that you love them very much.You’re very attached to your Daddy, but sometimes you’ll just want Mommy, and I’m glad. You never seem to be content sitting still, nor are you content with the status quo. You want to change things to make them better, and as you get older, I hope you keep those traits.You are so smart and so driven when you want to be that I have no doubts that you can be or do anything that you set your mind to. My life would be very dull without you keeping me on my toes with all your questions. I’m so glad and blessed to have you in my life. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the blessing that you are. I love you, Matthew!"

And I'll do a regular blog post with more layouts tomorrow when I'm not so darned tired! Plus, I still need to upload the (horrible camera-work) video of me and the rest of the choir singing the national anthem Thursday night. I must say I was pretty proud of myself, but more on that later!