Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project Life

Another glimpse into our week ... this will probably be it for me until we get moved over the weekend! That leads right into my first picture with some very brief commentary this week...

Sunday: E took a little nap with Daddy after church on Sunday. He looks pretty cozy snuggled up in there.

Monday: For Valentine's Day I made the girls heart waffles for breakfast. They thought that was pretty cool.

Tuesday: N2 "read" this story to me. It's one that we don't read often so she doesn't even know the story, but her version was still very cute as she translated the pictures for me.

Wednesday: Zoo! We loaded up and went to the zoo for the first time since E was born. It had been MONTHS since we had been to the zoo between pregnancy, weather that was too hot or too cold, and baby, and the girls were thrilled to be surprised with a trip there on a beautiful 60+ degree day. And a bonus: we ran into some friends there!

Thursday: One thing about packing is that the girls have discovered a few toys and books that had been forgotten about. The little girls wanted to play a game of Trouble which was ... interesting. We will have to try that one again after we get settled.

Friday: Lists upon lists upon lists right now.

Saturday: As well as boxes upon boxes upon boxes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Operation Relocation

Our Saturday:


and more boxes

and more boxes!

And one cute little guy who is wondering what in the world his sister is doing?

About to settle in on this Saturday evening after a very hot shower with my family and some takeout after a very productive day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Read Aloud Thursday ::: Basil of Baker Street

Basil of Baker Street (Basil of Baker Street ): Basil of Baker StreetI don't have time for a long post today - 9 days away from moving and so. much. to. be. done! However, we did just fly through our latest chapter book and I wanted to share it on Read Aloud Thursday. Thanks to a recommendation from Carrie, I picked up a used copy of Basil of Baker Street and we loved it! This is the book behind the Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective - the story of a mouse named Basil who lives below the great Sherlock Holmes and tries to emulate his mannerisms and his crime-solving skills. In this first book in the series, Basil and his assistant Dr. ?? (whose name I can't remember and I've already packed the book!) take on the case of the missing twins, Agatha and Angela, two little mice children that have been kidnapped! Of course, Basil solves the crime swiftly and with great brilliance as his mentor Sherlock Holmes would had done. This book is 15 very-short chapters and we flew through it in about five days. There are others in the series as well, and we may investigate those, or hopefully I've at least whetted N1's appetite enough to explore those for herself.

For other great reading recommendations, visit Amy @ Hope is the Word!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Project Life - Week 6

February 6: A picture of Bibles on Sunday morning. The bottom on is my Bible that T bought me our first Christmas together. It's a key word study Bible - he had one and I loved it so he bought me my own. It is starting to fall apart some so I've been trying to break in the top Bible - and smaller ESV version - but I just like my old Bible best and will keep using it until it falls apart!

February 7: Our 4 month boy and his Daddy before work. Today was also his 4 mo. check-up: 16 lbs. 3 oz., and 25 inches long!

February 8: T's long-time best friend from high school was in town for some work training and was able to come over and have dinner with us on Wednesday. Surprisingly (or not) they ended up in the office playing music for a bit. (They were in bands together through high school).

February 9: The girls picked out this little Mickey Mouse toy for E at Walmart because he needed it. As we are big Mickey fans in this house, I went with it and it looks like E agreed as well. Loves his new sleep buddy from his sissies.

February 10: A little ode to my love for the Mandarin orange.

February 11: Working on Valentine's with the girls to give their friends at church on Sunday. This was B's. Thanks to a download from eighteen25, I made these little cards on the computer. Much, much easier than taking the girls to Target and letting them pick out Valentine's. We punched a hole in the corner of each card and stuck a Tootsie Pop to them. Super cute.

(B's card will actually be the insert for this day, but here is a bonus peek at N1 & N2's cards that we made - I'll probably stick them in some of the journaling pockets to make sure we save on for each of them.)

February 12: Tonight was our annual church Valentine's dinner - a fundraiser that the youth put on every year. N2 asked if she could attend the dinner with us this year and she enjoyed the time with just Daddy & Mama and hanging out with the grown-ups.

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Peek Inside Project Life

I thought I would post a little peek inside my Project Life album so you can get an idea of where all those pictures I post once a week end up. : ) I haven't included every page - I don't want to bore you to tears - but here are just a few shots to show you what has been included so far...

On this page, you see a little 5x7 page. This is the opening page for my One Little Word album. As of now, I've decided to put the pages for that project in my Project Life album. I saw this idea on another blog and it seems to fit as they are both year long projects. As you can see, my word for this year is SERVE.

This picture is just to show the size difference.

Here's just a typical page in my album. You can see a variety of things that I have done here. There are two regular 4x6 photos. The bottom left folder is one from my iPhone and I decided to just pop it on a little piece of digital scrap paper for that day instead of blowing it up and loosing some of the resolution. The same goes for the third picture in the middle row - also another picture that I wanted to include but was taken with my phone. I decided to keep it small and include in on a digital journaling card. (To make the digital journal insert, I just made a 3x4 inch document in Photoshop and added a piece of background paper and the photo. Trust me when I say it is not fancy.) This is one of sneaky ways of getting two pictures included for one day if I couldn't decide which one to use. : )

This is the January assignment from the One Little Word class. It was to expand on your word in a variety of ways. This page is like one you would buy for baseball cards and has nine little pockets in it. (The assignment for February is to fill in the backside of these pockets which I haven't done yet.)

I used a variety of things to make these cards. The one with script on them were downloads from the class and the others are miscellaneous things from my scrapping stash that I pulled out. The green card on the middle right was actually a note that came in the mail from Carrie and I decided it was too pretty to pitch so I used part of it in my album.

This is something I saw highlighted on Becky Higgins blog and loved the idea. For this year, for each of the kids' birthdays, I'm going to fill out this information questionaire with them and then add a picture of me with that child at the top of the page. (Photo credit for the picture below goes to Betsy). : ) I like it because it gets a picture of me in the album - something that I'm trying to be better about, but hard to do as I'm usually the family photographer.

On the back of our Mommy & Me layout, I slipped in a page that N2 had just happened to write on Saturday with everyone's names on it. A great example of her handwriting to save!

Anyway, a little peek inside! Have a great weekend and I'll be back on Tuesday (probably) with the next week's Project Life photos.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bloggy Book Review ::: Who Is My Shelter by Neta Jackson

I was recently emailed about the opportunity to review Neta Jackson's latest Yada Yada / House of Hope book, Who Is My Shelter? It's been a while since I've read any Christian fiction - not since my burnout from in at the end of 2009 - but as a fan of all the other Yada Yada books, I accepted this one. It did not disappoint.

This continues the story of Gabby - a 40ish mom of two, working at Manna House (a homeless shelter), and recovering from a violent and unexpected separation from her husband of 15 years. By this book in the series (#4), Gabby is on track to getting her life back together - she has a job and a place for her and her boys to live. However, the book starts with a bang when Gabby finds out that her husband has a serious gambling addiction and is in way over his head.

I won't give away much more of the story, but I will tell you why I enjoy these books by Neta Jackson so much. These characters are very real to me. They are not the cheesy Christian characters that you find in a lot of Christian fiction. The husbands and wives talk to each other normally - they fight and disagree and it's not always roses and Bible verses in every conversation. That is one of my complaints about most Christian fiction - it's just not how most of the people I know really talk to one another, married or not! Also, these characters are working through their faith just as I am on a daily basis. They struggle with prayer and whether God really hears. Gabby tries so hard to solve her problems when what she really needs to learn is to trust on God and watch Him work out the details before her eyes. The characters are real flawed people, struggling and growing in the faith, as I am. And it's encouraging to me.

If you haven't read any of the Yada Yada books (either series) and are looking for some fiction to read, I recommend these books!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson and the BookSneeze blogging program for the free copy of this book I received.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Worth Noting - The Scrapbooker's Almanac


Elizabeth Dillow is a scrapbooker that I've gotten to know a little bit over the last few years through a few of our many similarities. We both:
  • scrapbook
  • have a thing for office supplies
  • love to read (and we both have first-borns that are voracious readers. I take great note of what her Maddie has approved!)
  • have three girls (the last two both coincidentally go by Bee and B in their respective households)
  • and calendars.
This last commonality is what makes her book The Scrapbooker's Almanac one of my absolute favorites. She has taken the calendar and shown how it can inspire a ton of different scrapbooking layouts and / or mini-albums ... I usually pull this book off my shelf every January and give it a perusal as I am thinking of scrapbooking and creative goals that I want to work towards.

Elizabeth is selling her book on her site right now for a great price (much cheaper that I paid for it when I bought it from Simple Scrapbooks) and it is signed no less. Definitely worth checking into if you are looking for some creative inspiration from a very talented lady. : )

PS. I don't earn anything from writing this swell post other than the satisfaction of passing on good news about a GREAT book. : )

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Crunch, Interrupting Chicken & The Cow Loves Cookies

As I can, I'm going to read some of the Cybils book awards and nominees as suggested by the ladies at Five Minutes for Books. For those that are unfamiliar with the Cybils, they are awards are given each year by bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles. (Taken from the Cybils website). I'm always looking for books to recommend to N1 and pictures books for the smaller munchkins so I requested a few titles from the library to try out this past week.

CrunchThe first book that I read was Crunch by Leslie Connor. This was a really neat story that I have no hesitations about recommending! Crunch is the story of the Marriss family during a great gas shortage - coincidentally (or not) the Marriss family owns a small bike shop which suddenly gets lots of attention when no one can drive their cars. The five kids in the family run in age from 18 to 5 and they are swamped with bike repairs and requests, all the while their parents are stranded far away and can't make it home because they have no gas. This is a great story about stepping up and being responsible when the time calls for it. There are great characters in this book and once I started it, it was hard to put down. I think this book would especially appeal to a boy as the story is told through the eyes of Dewey, the 14 year old brother. An excellent book that I would recommend for anyone aged 9 and up.

Interrupting ChickenFor the little girls, I grabbed two pictures books that were both nominated for an award this year: Interrupting Chicken and The Cow Loves CookiesInterrupting Chicken is adorable. The story of a little chicken that askes her Dad for a bedtime story, but can't help interrupting and interjecting herself into the story. N2 (5) pronounced this one her favorite and I'm sure it will get additional readings before we return it to the library. B (3 1/2) pronounced The Cow Loves Cookies as her favorite of the two. A book with an easy rhyme to it, it goes through the food that the different farm animals like to eat, but for some reason the cow gets to eat cookies! Craziness. : ) I liked the illustrations in this book a lot - very roly-poly sweet drawings of the animals. Interrupting Chicken was very bright and colorful which I liked, however, some of the type was a little hard for me to read on such a bright, vivid background. (Or it could be that my eyes are getting old and it's time for new glasses. Also very possible).

The Cow Loves CookiesThree winners from my first stack of Cybils nominees! For more suggested Cybils reading, visit Five Minutes for Books.

Project Life Tuesday

Another week of Project 365 documented. Without further ado...

January 30: We celebrated our N2 all day today on her 5th birthday! It's hard to believe that she is five year old. In lieu of a party, we invited her best friend and her BFF's family over to join us on our traditional family Sunday lunch. It was a crazy full house, but we had a lot of fun celebrating her with her menu of choice - hot dogs!

January 31: I had to include another shot from her birthday in my album because this one cracks. me. up. everytime I look at it. Her face when she sees her cake and gets ready to blow it out is all action. No hesitancy from her! (And for those curious, the cake was a grandma-made chocolate cake with pink colored cream cheese frosting. I was going to make her cupcakes for her birthday, but she said, no thank you, she had already discussed her cake with grandma and grandma would be taking care of it!)

February 1: Of late, T has been slipping into the girls' room after I get them all in bed and read aloud to them. The current book: The Wise Woman by George McDonald.

February 2: A little water-coloring while I worked on dinner. I love catching shots of our little lefty hard at work like her big sisters.

February 3: N2 took it upon herself to change E diaper for me because I was busy right at that moment. Of course, the moment she started to work on her wiggly target, I immediately stopped what I was doing to photo-document the event. She persevered and got him diapered, but it was work!

February 4: Friday after school included trims for Mama and the oldest and youngest girl. N1 offered B a piggy back ride and I snapped this candid shot with my phone while they were walking. A great smile from N1 and the mischievious look on B is totally her. I was telling a friend recently that I realized that these two are very much the same personalily, just in a 3yo and 7yo body - both EXTREMELY busy girls, in mind and body.

February 5: A little horseplay before bed. This little one LOVES to wrestle a bit before bed.