Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Release Monday @ Elemental Scraps

WOW! So many awesome products released this week @ Elemental Scraps! I am totally in love with the new kit by Bella Gypsy. I love that it's a water kit - but has great primary colored elements too.

Chrissy released a GREAT kit called "Spring at Last", as well as a bunch of add on pieces to the kit. I am in love with the button alphabets, great patterned papers - all super cute! She also released 2 new FREEBIE templates this week. One of them are for newsletter subscribers, and the other one (#22) is a freebie for the template challenge.

I am working on some layouts with an awesome new beach kit too for The Ettes & Company. Been busy, but I love this kind of busy :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week #20 layout

This kit was one of my very favorites so far from the "So You Think You Can Design" contest - "Love All Year Long" by JayDay Studios.

The 2nd week of the project the theme was Project 365 kits and there were some GREAT ones! If you're working on this project - check them out!

All of the creative teams I'm on will be releasing some super cute stuff in the next little bit so I'm trying to fit in as much scrapbooking as possible this weekend. Stay tuned....
On a side note - I had mentioned on here this fall that Grandma's cookies wasn't going to be making their pink and white frosted animal cookies anymore (a side-effect of the economic problems). We had bought a couple bags (at Halloween time - hence the orange cookie) and enjoyed the last ones a couple of weeks ago. Well then we were grocery shopping this week and guess what we found? You got it - Grandma's frosted animal cookies! I guess they're making them again afterall....interesting. I wonder if it was just a ploy to get us to all run out and buy up a bunch of them his past fall. Well, it worked. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Bike Ride

We had really wanted to get out and do something in the outdoors this weekend, but Saturday there was a lot of crummy wind and rain. Monday we went back and forth about whether or not it would be worth it, but decided to take the plunge. There is a place towards Bryce Canyon that we have wanted to take a bike ride to for several years now - called Red Canyon. In fact, we went there a couple of years ago and had bad weather and a sick baby (Gabe) and had to come home without riding.

Well yesterday by the time we got to the trail (it's a nice paved trail) the weather was looking pretty iffy. So we decided to drive a ways further to Ruby's Inn, have a snack and wait out the rain. On the way back to the trail it wasn't looking too promising, but we decided that if I dropped them all off at the top of the trail, and they went down-hill most of the way - that even if it rained they wouldn't be exposed for too long. I was a bit sad that I didn't get to enjoy the fresh air with them, but it was better than us all getting stuck in the rain - which is what would have happened if we tried going round-trip. The boys had fun, I had a few minutes to enjoy the scenery, and Cory had a good time too.

I highly reccomend stopping at the Red Canyon area if you're on your way to Bryce Canyon - I think it's such a pretty place. It looks a lot like Bryce - but just a short little stretch of the red rocks. There are even a couple of little tunnels to drive through (ok - more like arches). We'll hopefully make it back again sometime this summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freebie scrapbooking template (and bunch of other layouts)

New layouts using the new kit - Scram from Bella Gypsy - can be purchased now at They also released a great new alphabet (comes in several colors!) - check them out too!

The Loveable Grouch layout is using a template by ChrissyW called "Mixin it up" - at Elemental Scraps also.

Bella Gypsy kit - Down to Earth
ChrissyW template - Jael'icious

Birthday Flowers & Playful layouts - Blue Skies Dig'ette'-al kit by "The Ettes"
Templ-'ette' Collection 8 - (Birthday flowers layout)

Also - if you're interested I made a template for the "Naps" layout posted above. You can download the freebie template by clicking here.

Have a great day and fantastic week!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

MY love language

Have you ever read the book "The 5 Love Languages"? I haven't actually read it, but I have listened to parts of it on an audiobook. And it's interesting because after listening to it I have started to understand myself (and Cory) a little better. I am starting to "get" why I feel the way I do about gifts. I am a gift giver. That is the way I speak my love to others. It's not necessarily the way I feel love, but it is the way I express love/adoration to other people.

Now because of this I've been having a little bit of a problem lately. See - for the most part - gifts cost money. Sure, there are homemade gifts, cards, cookies, etc - but for the most part if you want to give a gift to someone it is going to cost something. Especially if most of the people you'd want to give gifts to live long distance - and you have to ship them - that costs extra. And know what? I'm out of money....totally out of money.....

And so in a way this reduction in income, tightening of our belts, and extra budgeting, has made me not only bummed because of the things I am used to having on a day-to-day basis (like home delivery milk from Winder Dairy...eating out...) - but because in a way I feel like I'm not able to express myself to the people I love. I know that sounds dumb - but it makes me feel like in a way when I give someone something that I'm saying "I was thinking of you", "You are so awesome", or "I saw this, thought of you - and wanted you to smile."

For instance - new babies - I can't buy cute new little dresses and hair bows, nieces and nephews who are turning 8 - I can't buy them the new scripture cases I want to buy. There are several of my friends and loved ones celebrating big birthdays around the corner. I wish I could afford a big party, or a trip to visit them. Maybe even spring for a weekend away for me and some other "almost 30-year olds". I wish I had money to put togther little "happy packages" of goodies for people "just because".

If I could - I would buy my brother-in-law the coolest tractor doo-dads (he's obsessed with John Deere) to celebrate his high school graduation. Or maybe a few new ties he could use on his mission soon....

I wanted to put together a "good luck" package for my cute cousin and her hubby as they start their new adventure of owning a business. In that same package I wish I could send a great big bunch of frivilous fun stuff to my aunt to say "CONGRATS" on having her tests for cancer come back negative...

If it was possible I'd send my cute sister-in-law a bunch of cutesy flower printed fabric since she's sewing cute stuff for her little girl. I'd throw in a few of my boys favorite board books and toddler treats for sweet Genevieve and a few studying snacks for hard working Chase.

I wish I could make all of my nieces these adoreable dresses I've seen lately - several for each of them - with matching headbands.

I would buy the plane tickets to take my family to Washington for an upcoming baptism, and of course fill my bags with goodies for my nieces and nephews...

I would send my mom a new Scentsy warmer. Not because she needs a new one - but just because I saw one that is absolutely perfect for her (with kokopeli's on it!). I'd include a bunch of yummy summer scents - but none with vanilla smells (that would be my gift to my dad since he hates vanilla scented things).

I wish I could put together a "big sister" package for sweet Taylor who is a big sister now. I wish I could fill it with books, toys, things to keep her busy so that she could have fun being a sister (and stay out of Nicole's hair when she needed to).

My mother-in-law - I wish I could buy her a years worth of digital scrapping classes so she'd learn all the fun things that Photoshop could do....She does great stuff, but maybe a class would help her feel more confident in it....

Then there are books, toys, little notebooks, stickers, music, clothes....the list goes on and on.

And now for the risk of sounding like I'm a super materialistic person - I don't expect any of you to send me things. I know that "it's the thought that counts" - but if you all only knew how many times I pass an aisle in the store, or see something online and think of you.....maybe then you'd be able to even grasp how special all of you are to me.

In a way by wrapping up a gift with a bow and giving it to someone I guess I feel like I'm sharing my love and appreciation. I'm not good with words, I can't express myself to people in the way I feel - especially when I'm talking directly to them. My words seem so trite..... I wish I could write poetry, or sing songs - or express myself in some other way. But for now I feel like gifts are my way of speaking my love. So if you think I'm feeling distant just remember this - I'm probably walking the aisles of your favorite store wishing I could buy you the perfect thing to show you how I'm feeling.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Child's Prayer

I have a favorite Primary song - "A Child's Prayer". I had been thinking about the song and the lyrics of the song recently. When the sweet Primary kids started singing it on Sunday I got goosebumps and tears filled my eyes - just as they have dozens of times as I've sung the song to my boys before bed at night.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the song the lyrics are set up for 2 people to sing them to each other - the first verse to be sung by a child and the 2nd verse to be sung by a parent.

Heavenly Father - are you really there?
And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away
but I feel it close around me as I pray
Heavenly Father - I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago,
'Suffer the children to come to me'
Father in prayer I'm coming now to thee

Pray, He is there
Speak, He is listening
You are His child
His love now surrounds you
He hears your prayers
He loves the children
Of such is the kingdom
The kingdom of heaven.

(And then you sing the 2 verses at the same time)

Anyway, I am continually touched by the song because I feel like I'm calling out, "Heavenly Father - are you listening to me?" and that He answers that He is there and He is listening. It really touches home to me a lot of the time.

Well yesterday we had an experience at our house with Gabe that showed me the faith and trust of children is so simple and sweet. He had been throwing some major fits and we had been having quite the power struggles through the whole day. He came out screaming and being so upset. I asked him to please go to his room and stop crying. Through his sobs he said, "Mom - I want to say a prayer to help me stop!" I told him to go ahead and do that in his room. Again through his sobs he said, "No Mom - I'm too upset - please say it for me."

So we snuggled up together to say a prayer. He sobbed and was quite upset even after our little prayer was over so I sent him back to his room to work on calming down and I headed into the kitchen to work on lunch. I thought he was in his room but then I heard his little voice whispering. I peeked around and saw him kneeling on the couch with his head burried into a pillow just pouring his little heart out to our Heavenly Father. He was talking to Heavenly Father about all the little things going on in his life and was literally pleading to Him that he would be able to calm down, that things would get easier for him through the day, and that Mom would quit telling him mean things - like the word "consequences".

This was one of the most powerful moments as a mother and as a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father I have been blessed with. I am grateful that I got a glimpse at his sweet spirit, his sweet faith, and his trust in Heavenly Father. He is a strong spirit and I know he will need that strength in these tough times. But I hope that Gabe will always know he can turn to his loving Heavenly Father, and that he can remind me also that I need to always turn to Him.

Thank you for that sweet and tender mercy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We recently bought the boys a "Ladybug Habitat". It had a coupon with it so we could send away for our own ladybug larvae. The ladybugs came in a tube (as seen in the top of the pictures). We dumped them into the little house that we had for them. The larvae ate and ate and started growing. Then yesterday the little larvae started to turn into pupae (those are the things in the pictures that are bright yellow).

I had looked at them earlier in the afternoon and they were starting to hang upside down, but weren't doing anything fancy. Then about an hour after I had looked at them Gabe started squealing, "HOLY COW!" I ran into where he was to see what was wrong and he was bouncing off the roof about how they were changing. He now knows the lifecycle of a ladybug and keeps telling people about it. It was thrilling to see how excited he was and how he was absorbing every bit of information. The change happens pretty quickly (as you can see in the video) and is so exciting to watch! I've become quite the little bug fan....(we have an ant farm too...)

Anyway, this product is awesome and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes bugs, or whose kids might like to watch how things grow or change. Check out this website - it has tonz of different educational toys. We might get the praying mantis kit...

Check out this video though (it's quick) - it shows you exactly what our ladybugs did yesterday. We got to watch 4 of them do this - the other 10 changed in the middle of the night and we didn't get to see them.

Father & Sons Outing 2009

Cory and Gabe had a great time at the Father & Son's outing this past weekend. They took the Ranger and went on a ride with a bunch of the other dads and some of Gabe's friends. Then later in the evening they were playing with these big foam swords and one of the 11 year old boys from Cory's primary class wacked Cory in the nose with the sword. It cut the side of Cory's nose and Cory thought that it might have broken his nose too. It bled and bled afterwards and last I asked he said it still hurt. Poor guy.

Hunter stayed home with me and asked for Gabe and Dad about 500 times an hour until they came home Saturday morning. He went around the house over and over again calling their names and looking for them. When it was bed time Hunter climbed up in my bed and was pretty sure he got to sleep with me since the other boys weren't home. He sure does love having a big brother - it's fun to see how much he idolizes Gabe! Next year Cory will definetly take Hunter with them. He could have gone this year, and Cory was willing to take him - but we figured Gabe & Hunter (being so young) would have been tough for him. I didn't want his first time camping with both of them to be a tough experience and scare him off from doing it ever again.

Looking forward to next year!

Being the "Mom" doesn't mean I can't be the "Fun Mom"

This morning I was out picking weeds (which deserves a whole post in and of itself....). It was still a little chilly outside and the boys were still in their pajamas. I wanted to get it done before it warmed up too much, and wanted to just get the whole job done and out of the way.

It put me in a grumpy mood, so when I heard the boys playing with the hose that I had set out to water some dry spots in the lawn I started to yell at them to stop messing around. As I put down my weeding bucket and went around the corner to go check on what they were doing (and probably yell some more - I'd been grumpy like that today) I heard the most fantastic sound of my boys laughing. They were absolutely laughing their little hearts out - it was a sound I wished I could have bottled up to listen to again later - pure happiness and joy.

When I came around the corner I saw what was keeping them giggling - they had the hose and were drenching each other head to toe - in their pajamas in the cool morning air. Gabe said, "I needed to wash that dirty car, that dirty ball, and that dirty little man" and he turned the hose on Hunter. Cracked me up.

But they both were having the time of their lives. I was getting a little worried because it wasn't very warm yet, they were in their jammies and soaking wet. For a minute I thought, "Should I play the mom card and make them come inside until it warms up a little?" But then I decided that I could actually be both the mom and still have fun with my boys. So we laughed, we got wet (some more than others), and the boys ended it by warming up in a warm bathtub.

And not to worry - we got the "dirty little man" all cleaned up :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A new design team and some layouts

One of my favorite designers at Elemental Scraps is the gals who own "Bella Gypsy". I am constantly drawn right to their kits every single time. In fact - a ton of my layouts are using their designs. Anyway, this week I became a member of their CT! I am thrilled to be able to work on projects with their stuff! Here are a few from new releases at Elemental Scraps this week.

Punk Mama
Soccer Mom
Bright Sunshiney Day

Template packs:
Make Mine a Double
You Make me Snort
Freebie #21 - ChrissyW

Freebie Digital Scrapbooking Template #2

Check out THIS LINK for a freebie template. I based the template on the "Adventure" layout I just posted. Hope you enjoy the template - and have a great week!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some woords of wisdom....

from Meredith Grey (courtesy of the Grey's Anatomy season finale today):

Did you say it?
"I love you.
I don’t ever want to live without you.
You changed my life."
Did you say it?
Make a plan
Set a goal
Work toward it
But every now and then
Look around
Drink it in
Cause – this is it
It might all be gone tomorrow...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All these voices I'm hearing...

...are making me a bit nuts.

"Mom, I need _______"

Insert any possible word: help getting my bum on the swing, a push on the swing, make me go HIGHER!, a popscicle, a drink, FOOD! you to get Hunter out of my way, a bandaid, some clean/dry clothes, to go to the bathroom, sunscreen, the sprinkler turned on, another drink, another popscicle, another bandaid - oops, needed to go to bathroom I need more dry clothes. The list goes on and on and on. There was SO much noise!

I was trying to push the boys and their friend Noah on the swings. They couldn't quite grasp the fact that I only have 2 hands, and there were 3 swings that constantly needed to be pushed (please, oh please someone have some advice for how to teach my kids to pump their swings themselves - I'm getting tired of doing it!). But it wasn't getting through to them that I was doing my best....all they seemed to see was that I wasn't pushing their swing higher at that exact second....

But luckily there was another voice yelling out to me. (it was sad - for my waist-line). The other voice was a very strong and persuasive voice that only I can hear. It says seductively, "You NEED to eat some brownies....warm, gooey brownies with a cold glass of milk. If you would just give in and indulge it would make all of the other voices bearable for a few minutes...."

Know what? That seductive voice won, and it was right!

(Yummy brownie pictures are all courtesy of

Free kits!

Run over to this website - digiscrapaddicts :

They are holding a game/contest called SYTYCD (So you think you can design). I don't know any details about it other than they have a bunch of FREE kits from great designers. A BUNCH!

This is one of my favorite ones:

Anyway - check the links out because there are so many free kits (they are full sized kits too!)

**(Ok - I have added some more of my favorites from this contest. There is another round this week - so even more free kits! May 18th)

Why Don't We
Every Day Moments
365: International Edition
These Days
Capture the Everyday
8 Days a Week
My Day My Life
Day by Day
A Year in the Life
Love All Year Long (**My favorite!)
The Everyday
Week 2

And here are the listings broken up by week (there are TONZ each week!)
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3 (this one will continue to be updated)

There are more offered each week than what initially comes up when you click on the link. For instance I think Week 2 has like 59 posts - so make sure you browse through all of them to see what is offered. The ones I listed are just my personal favorites.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome Baby Cadence!

My little brother Paul and his wife Nicole added a new sweet little girl to their family last night. It's times like these where I really wish we could all live on the same road....or at least in the same state - so we could enjoy these family times together. We love you guys and are thinking of you today!

On that note - on my side of the family the 3 married kids each have 2 children. I have 2 boys, and both of my brothers each have 2 little girls. Funny how things work out :)

some more layouts

Monday, May 11, 2009

Parowan Gap

You know how they say that sometimes we need to just take a look at what is right in our own backyard instead of searching everywhere else for adventure? Well this weekend we had an experience with that. We have lived here for close to 5 years and I have never gotten to explore at the Parowan Gap. We were wanting to go on a little drive last night and I didn't want to do much "off-roading" since it was Sunday - so we decided to take some roads out to see this little 'hidden treasure'.

The Parowan Gap is a geological spot has some old meaning to indians in the area. There are a bunch of petroglyphs carved in the rocks - including inside of a little cave we climbed up to. As we looked closer at the drawings you could see that there were lots of meanings to them - they were cool! This site has all kinds of purpose too - having to do with the sun, the equinox, etc - it seems to be a calendar of sorts too. The pioneers thought that this was the spot that an indian chief had said was, "God's own house". Pretty interesting...

I'm glad that I could spend time with my cute family out by these neat formations and explore a little bit of hisotry right close to home.