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DigiScrappin News...

I'm gonna come in a do a post on the digi side of things and then will hopefully come back later (or tomorrow) with more updates!
The DigiChick has a new owner, Laura Alpuche! Holly has decided to step out and Laura has stepped in! I, for one, think that this is just awesome! I think the world of Laura and know that she is going to take the Chick into the next year and beyond! And, with Holly now having more free time, she's hopefully going to be creating more! Yay all the way around, I say!
I won't say that it wasn't a big shock, because it was, just because I had no idea! But change is good! So, speaking of change, keep your eye on The DigiChick for changes are a comin! And there may even be some new faces to be added. The challenges there will be starting up again soon too and the work on the DeZine is beginning again. We are working hard to get it put out for Jan., so watch for it too!
And speaking of the DeZine... this layout below is using the awesome new kit, 'Tis the Season, that the designers made for the Chick, you can get it for free here!
Ok - I'm off for now. I am slowly crawling out of the holiday hole that I've been in and hope to see the light of a "normal" day soon! Ha!

I just love this picture I took of Ryan when I was shooting the boys for our Christmas card this year! This fabulous new FREE kit was just perfect for it!
Credits:
Tis the Season Kit by The DigiChick Designers.
Green Straight Stitch by Holly McCaig from the DigiChick Boutique
Digital Paper Tear by Stephanie Krush

Fonts: DSP Pollyanna and CK Footnote

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Merry Christmas...

I need a vacation... do you think Santa will fly me away (with Michael, of course) to a tropical island paradise tonight if I ask him???
I have done at least 10 loads of laundry in the last 3 days. I still need to put them away today. I made cheesecake, 2 loaves of banana bread, sprinkled sugar cookies, Gina's fudge, and got various things started for the lasagne and breakfast casserole I need to assemble later today. I did the calendars for the grandparents, finished the ornaments, and still need to finish the little mini albums I started last Jan. I ran out of photo paper, but since I know we will be going to Costco on Tue. or Wed, I'm just going to finish printing out the layouts for them then. I still haven't wrapped presents or cleaned house. And you know, I don't even remember what else.
Oh yeah - and I'm puppy sitting for the family next door.... what was I thinking??? Visions of photo ops did flash thru my head, but today of all days???
Michael's parents are in the air on their way here, I hope. We've kept it a secret from Ryan, so it will be a surprise tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be up late and up early!



Merry Christmas to all my friends out in cyberland! May you find peace, love and happiness this Christmas!

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Blog Challenges...

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate please!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
They are left with the stuffed stockings on the hearth of the fireplace. Last year Santa was busy and didn't get them wrapped. Ryan has a special request to Santa that he be sure and wrap them this year. Dually noted ;)

3.Colored lights on tree/house or white?...
On the tree, I have mostly white, but there is 1 strand of multi colored "twinkle" lights in the middle for movement and a touch of color. A trick learned from my dad. Outside there are 2 white reindeer with a sleigh and a white tree, but then colored lights and red ones.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?...
No

5. When do you put your decorations up?...
I like to on the day after thanksgiving, but the last few years it's been the week and weekend after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish (not a dessert)
We usually have a huge breakfast and then a buffet for lunch/dinner. I like to make (and eat) a Swiss cheese fondue

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child?
I don't remember many as a child. stick around for more on this subject.

8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Truth - what truth???

9.Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No - all on Christmas morning. The boys open Santa' presents, then everyone comes over and we have Breakfast and then we open all the other gifts.

10.What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?... Usually whatever we have around and some milk. Also a carrot for the reindeers. (This is ditto to what Lee said!)

11.Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving?
Ok - I won't lie! I love both. We all kinda wait to open ours until the boys are done. It's just so fun to see their little faces! I, too, love to watch everyone's faces as they are opening their gift!

12. What tops your tree?
A star that Ryan picked out. Not the most spectacular one, but he loves it and thus so do we!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
More of this to come too!

14. WhatÂ’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Spending time with family

15. What is your favorite Christmas Dessert?
Cheesecake is always a favorite!

16. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
The getting up 1st thing and how excited the boys are to see Santa's offerings. I love getting all the Christmas cards from our friends too.

So I totally stole this from Lee's blog, but it tied in with the DigiChick Monday Blog Challenge, so I wanted to do it. Today's challenge is about sharing a favorite holiday memory. This time of year brings back all kinds of memories for the last few years for me. 11 years ago, Michael asked me to marry him on Christmas Day. We had talked about it, but he snowed me and told me it wasn't going to happen until Valentine's Day (which,it ended up, we were married 2 days after). He gave me everything I asked for, and then got down on 1 knee in front of his parents, pulled the ring out of his sock and asked me. I need to scrap this! The next Christmas was spent in Korea with him. Everyone pooled together to buy me a ticket for Christmas to fly to see him. I spent 10 days there with him. He had left in Aug. for the year long tour. The next Christmas was spent in Phoenix at my brother's home. I had had a miscarriage a month before and was still so very sad. My dad gave me Snowbear, which is the Snowbear that Ryan adopts as his very own later on. The next year, Ryan was with us, having been born just 10 days prior.

This leads me to last week's DigiChick Blog Challenge - why do I scrapbook?

I scrapbook for myself and my family. I have a really sucky memory and I just don't remember as much as others. My brother can rattle off all sorts of stuff and so can my husband and even Ryan. But my memory sucks. So I want to record all those little things that I probably would forget otherwise. I want those memories and I want our family to be able to remember them always.

Secondly is purely selfish - I scrap for me. This has become my creative outlet, my fun, my "thing that I do". I think about it constantly, layouts I want to scrap things I need to scrap before I forget. I love the new friends it has given me, the new opportunities it has found for me, the outlet that it provides for me. I scrap to keep my mind learning new things. I scrap for me!

Will attempt to come post somemore today or tomorrow, if time allows. Saturday was all about the birthday boy and the bowling alley. Sunday was in the kitchen all day baking pumpkin bread and making chocolate carmel dipped pretzels and spiced tea mix for teacher gifties. Today was Matthew's Christmas program at school - so VERY cute. I have tons of pics in the camera and havent' even downloaded them yet. - Ugh! So will try to get back here soon, but we'll see! :)

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And the man of the hour...


Today is Ryan's 8th birthday. He has been excited for days already. The cat woke him up at 5am and I don't think he ever went back to sleep. After 6, he came in our room, and we attempted to get him to sleep for awhile longer. We gave up at 6:45 and got up. His presents were waiting for him in the living room and he started to open them. Michael had brought present back with him from Sherry, Rick and Reba and Grammie and Grandpy when he was there in Nov., so we had those here already. Uncle Paul bought him some more rockets when her was here at Thanksgiving. Daddy went and got donuts as a special treat this morning and I took both boys to Burger King for dinner (Michael's at work). Ryan wanted a Furby and he named it Tryan (Ryan with a T in front).


He got quite the stack of loot!
This is the t-shirt I found for him! We thought it was quite funny! Now I need to find one for Matthew to wear :)


I went to Ryan's classroom to work today. I helped the kids make wrapping paper for their super secret gift that they are giving to us parents this year. It was so funny to watch how incrediblely careful they were and how particular they were with where they stamped the images. 90% of them made a"pattern" out of the 3 shapes of stamps that were there. So funny to watch them do. I was also so surprised that Ry's teacher gave ME a present... how sweet was that??? Not only was it this cute tin (that I had been coveting at Target), a super cute snowman and yummy chocolate in the tin... there was also a Target gift card!!! What the??? Isn't that great??? I was totally shocked with that! How fun! I so enjoy going into the boys rooms and have been blessed with teacher's (so far) that welcome me into the classroom. And then she gives me a Target GC... I love that woman... LOL!



Ryan wrote this letter to Santa in school last week. I got a big kick out of it and thought Uncle Paul would like to see what he's done now. Can you read where he says what he wants for Christmas... a Game Cube (he's getting a PS2), a turtle and some turtle food. Thanks Uncle Paul!

I went to a fabulous scrapbook warehouse sale today... and didn't buy a thing. Digi is just too in my blood right now. And I have all these paper supplies sitting here untouched. It was a Deluxe Designs warehouse sale and I LOVE their stuff, just not enough to sway me to paper right now... Katherine Brooks was even there! Cool, huh? If you're in AZ - It's in the East Valley at Lindsay and Southern, going on right now! GREAT sale for paste eaters!
I have a splitting headache and I need to get working on all the gifties right now. I just have no motivation to work on any of it. sigh.

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all air weekend


I tried all week to be able to scrap this. Thanks to Gina's great sketch challenge - it's been designed in my head for that long, I just didn't have the time to sit down and do it. I gave-up/treated myself and did it tonight. I went together within an hour, because of the sketch. Cool, huh? Finally it's done and out of my head! LOL!
Journaling reads:
When Uncle Paul came to visit for Thanksgiving this year, it was all about the outside. Ryan kept him busy with all things air. 1st the rockets came out. But the next few days were a little windy, so out came the kites then. Ryan got to be pretty good at flying the kite at the end of the weekend.. He about took some heads off, but it was all good in the end.
TFL!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Credits: Bubble Flip Double Up Kit by Holly McCaig and MandaBean. Green paper for background is from Holly's Celebrate Tranquility Kit (retired). Shmootzy alpha by Nancie Rowe Janitz.
Font: Donnys Hand

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My head is down...

and my blinders are on. That's how I feel. Like a horse coming down the stretch, I can see the end, but I'm not there yet. I buried myself this weekend and it's continued through today. I have to keep going and get it all done. Ryan's birthday is Thursday. I at least have most of that under control. I need to wrap his gifts yet, but the gift bags for his classmates and done and the snack for his room is bought. I wrapped a few presents this weekend and managed to get the package sent to Michael's sister with Christmas presents. I wrote the Christmas letter and did the cards. They are sealed and stamped and will be in the mail tomorrow. I cut out Christmas tree shapes on all my cards last year and tied ribbon and such and it was just too much. So I bought these card bases to attach photos to on clearance last year. I didn't know I would be digital by now, or they would have been totally digital. Oh well! So I designed the photos to put on the cards. I bought 2 different desgins, for some reason. So had to design 2 different ways. But they turned out cute, I think. See...


And here's the letter to go with the cards.


I'm trying so hard to get everything done. I haven't spent hardly any time on the computer. Just trying to plow through it all and get to the other side. By then Christmas will be over and it'll be time to take down the tree and put everything away, right? I want to scrap, but don't even have time to get that done right now. Maybe tomorrow.
To Diane's tomorrow. We stuff the 5000 envelopes then. Don't worry - we will use sponges to close the envelopes! Then we still have to put stamps on all of them. Ugh!
I felt so in control of everything this morning. I have the laundry caught up, the cards done, I crossed a couple more things off the ongoing to-do list, spent 3 hours vaccuming and moping and cleaning the fish tank this morning. Then I started to think of what else I needed to do this afternoon, and I feel burried again! Made another list tonight - there's 13+ things on it to do before Christmas. Most of it before Monday - like the teacher's gifties. I have to make 9 gift bags. 1 for Ryan's teacher, 4 for Matthew's teachers and 4 for Matthew's therapists. I should make one for the teacher's aide in Ryan's classroom, but I mis-counted and have only bought enough for 9, so she's out of luck! :( Sorry lady! I was even hoping that I could do the Christmas Journal this morning, then reality struck again.
Ok - well. I still haven't taken pics of outside or of the boys room. I need to go pay bills and do the checkbook, go wrap Ryan's birthday presents.....
Night! :)

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catch up...

it feels like that's all I'm doing is playing catch up right now. Trying to do Christmas cards, finish up shopping, keep up the laundry, keep the house picked up and half way clean. I know I'm not the only one feeling that way right now, Am I?
Haven't taken pics of the boys room or outside yet. I might go out in just a minute and do pics there. We've already had a strand of rope lights taken. We did put them out by the street this year - silly us. I looked out our front window and the rope was curled up at the end of our driveway. Come to find out... one strand was missing and they had coiled it up there for some reason. I had just flipped the garage light, so maybe I accidentally caught them. The jokes on them though, cause they won't work without the special plug that they don't have - so ha!
Haven't signed up for the Christmas journal... staying practical.
Tuesday was pretty productive. I worked some on the Christmas cards, and started on the calendars that are gifts for the Grandparents. Then Wed. came and all productivity stopped. Diane mails out schedule cards for her upcoming workshop dates each year. I design the card and we have it printed. We are mailing right over 5000 this year. But this year we are stuffing envelopes with the card and a flyer about the shop she will be opening at her website. So not only are we affixing address labels onto 5000+ pieces by hand ... we are also stuffing 5000+ envelopes with 2 pieces and stamping a return address in the corner and licking them shut!!! OMGod! Are we crazy or what??? We managed to get 1000 done on Wed. and had lunch at Pei Wei's for a treat. Then I brought 2000 home to put labels on while she kept 2000 at home to put stamps on. Then on Wed., if our cards come from the printer (they have had them for SIX WEEKS, and they keep promising them to us and then some how get pushed back some more - needless to say - we are never ordering from them again!), we will begin stuffing. We have to have them all in the mail by Jan. 8th, because that's when the rates go up. Ugh!
Thursday morning was spent at Matthew's school. I've gotten to do such fun things in the boys classrooms this year. I made a paper 3D cactus and a bull mask and a backdrop of the Louve on Thurs. for the little Christmas program that Miss Pat's afternoon class is putting on.
I got to watch Matthew practice his little program. He gets to put on a Santa hat and say "ho ho ho!" OMGod! Sooooo cute! Bad pic - but can you see his little pursed lips? He's saying his lines!!! He started saying this at home and we didn't know if he'd absorbed it from the Wiggles Christmas DVD's at he's addidcted to or what. But it's from his program... how cute is that??? Of course, Michael has school the day they are doing the program, so we'll see how I juggle the video and Canon camera again.
Friday morning was spent at Ryan's school helping out with the Imaginitorium (sp?). It's this roving semi-truck trailer that they park on the school grounds and the classes come to. Ry's class went the day before and I was with 3 graders. It basically seems to be art class to me, which is really sad to me. I remember my art classes in elementary school and how much I loved them. How much they formed who I am and what I've become today. And the kids today don't get formal art classes in school. It's just not right and very sad to me. Any whoo - the teacher in there had all sorts of things to spark their imagination and help them see fun things. They played with Magnetics type pieces, made a robot out of nuts and bolts with magnets, mad a batik type art work and such. Very fun!
I have some kind of cold, or know I'm beginning to think it may be allergies or something. The air quality has been really bad this week. I've taken cold medicine since Tuesday. Yesterday and today, I couldn't put in my contacts (thank god I have new updated glasses to wear!). My eyes just water and run and make me miserable. Today they were ok until I walked outside and then the light just about blinded me. I tried sunglasses to no avail. I ended up with my glasses on again. I hadn't taken a pill yet - so I went in and took one. A few hours later - they felt better, but I stuck with the glasses still today.
My parents are in a musical (The Living Christmas Tree) at the church they attend, so Ryan and I went on a date this afternoon to see it. We got there early to get a good seat. We brought some activity books for Ry to work on since I knew we would be early. Then it was 2 hours long. He was so good though. So grown up looking in his oxford shirt! Grandma sang (of course, she lost her voice the day of the 1st performance - LOL!) and Grandpa was the backstage manager. It was a very nice production and we enjoyed it.
Michael and I were invited to 2 parties tonight, but we were babysitterless. So he went to the 1st one which is for a girl from his work that's moving to Denver. Then he'll probally come home, and miss the second one. No fun, but it's what we get. Something comes up and we say we've got to start having the girl across the street watch them, and then we drop it again until the next time we need her. We want to have her come on an afternoon and see how things go and we just never get around to it. Of course, today - we can't afford a babysitter either!
Ok - I'm off to work on cards again! Night! :)

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Recipes

I was tagged by Sara a week ago for a recipe tag. I put it aside to do, and then I forgot... imagine that! :) So here they are...

Spice Pumpkin Bread


This is my husband's recipe from his mom. He usually makes it in our household and we always make it at Christmas to give as gifts. The boys eat this up!




4 eggs
2C cooked pumpkin or 1 can (14.5 oz.)
1C vegatable oil
2/3C cold water
3 1/4C flour
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3C sugar
Mix all ingredients until well mixed. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until done.

This one is a Pamper Chef recipe that is one of my tried and true. I make this for alot of get togethers.

Hot Artichoke Dip

2 jars (6.5 oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 pkg (10 oz) forzen chopped spinach thawed and well drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop artichoke hearts. Mix with the spinach, sour cream and mayonnaise. Press garlic and add with the parmesan cheese. Mix all ingredients well. Spoon into a oven safe baking dish (I use the Pampered Chef 8-inch baker that they recommend). Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with little toasted bread slices, fresh veggie dippers or whatever you think sounds good! :)

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the santa


This one went together so quickly scraplifting Andie's The Force layout in honor of her birthday. Thanks for the great inspiration, girl! And Happy Birthday again!

Journaling reads:
I had a friend make this santa for us when we lived in Abilene. She brought one in to where she & I worked, and I just loved how she had done that one. I love how his robe is made from an old quilt. At first, I wasn't too thrilled with the colors of the quilt, but now, 10 years later, I just adore him. He's one of the items that I so look forward to getting out of the box each year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Credits: Peaceful Christmas by The Chef, Susan Bartolini available at the DigiChick Boutique and at ScrapKitchen.
Fonts: CK Jacque and SF-Remember

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It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...


Just a fun, quick layout using the wonderful new kit, Peaceful Christmas, by the Chef, Susan Bartolini. I'm so glad the decorations are up and that now I can just sit back and enjoy them! LOL!
Journaling reads:
I'm so happy with the decorations this year! It just makes me feel so good to sit and look at them sparkle!
Credits: Susan Bartolini's Peaceful Christmas Kit. Metal Charm and staple from her Living Simply Kit. Both kits are available at The DigiChick Boutique (Peaceful Christmas coming soon to the DigiChick) and ScrapKitchen. Digital Paper Tear by Stephanie Krush.
Fonts: CK Jacque and Artistamp Medium

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Wow...

time flies when you're having fun... yeah - right!
Friday, Michael, Matthew and I Christmas shopped in the morning. Ryan was out early at 1pm, then Matthew had a therapist. After that - my dad came t pick up the bed that Matthew had been sleeping in. Ryan was bewildered, and we teased him that we were giving his bed to Matthew and shipping him to Grammie. Poor thing - we should learn not to tease him about things like that. He started to get really upset! Then we told him to think about it... and then it dawned on him. A friend told us months ago that she would give us a bunkbed for the boys. They moved to their new home on Saturday, so we got to pick up the bunkbed on Friday. It's a very cool blue metal frame with a full size on the bottom and a twin on the top. So little Matthew has the huge bottom all to himself and Ryan has his suite on the top! LOL! Matthew has a ball climbing up and down the ladder too. He's actually being extremely careful as he's doing it, thankfully! They are actually sleeping very well in it - it's just the going to sleep that's a factor again. I had just gotten Matthew back to only standing in the doorway for about 5 minutes again, and we now switched everything again. He went squirrelly when Michael was gone that week in early Nov. and I was just getting him back to normal. Now he lays there for a couple of seconds and then tries to get out to go up the ladder. I end up laying next to him and "pinning" him to the bed. He then relaxes and goes to sleep. He knows he can't go anywhere. So I'm slowly going to have to keep backing off until I'm in the doorway again. He woke up at 6:15 this morning and was climbing the ladder to get to Ryan. I put him in bed with me and he went back to sleep til almost 8am! Their room looks so nice. I forgot to take pics today, so I will tomorrow. It gives them more room in their bedroom and in the playroom. Nice! So we spent Friday night and most of Saturday morning re-arranging those 2 rooms.
Saturday afternoon, we put up the tree and started to decorate it. I always have Norman Rockwell ideas of tree trimming. HA! Never happens. Maybe in a few years. Ryan thought it fun to put the branches in, but didn't want to help "fluff" the branches. Matthew was a little too interested in it. So Michael ran interference with them while I put the lights on. After the boys went to bed - I put ornaments on, but didn't get it finished until Sunday morning. Ryan helped in the morning some. Then we tried to pick up the house some and I did like 10 loads of laundry in between, I think! We headed outside in the early afternoon to try to put up the outside lights. I forgot to screen outside before we went out though... the grandkids that visit next door had already been over several times to see if the boys could play (and asked if they could HELP us trim the tree to boot, when we told them that's what we were doing!) and Ry's BF from next door was over there too. So Michael ended up running back and forth after Peanut and watching the boys while I put put the deer and sleigh. The father from next door had the audacity to ask us if his son could come play as we are taking down the reindeer from the attic. I was like - um - no - we can't watch him, we're trying to decorate! Needless to say they (the 2 grandkids) ended up out there, basically unsupervised. It was just a little overwhelming, and not Norman Rockwell once again. So we gave up after I got up those 3 things and went back inside to hide. We came back out after 5pm to try to get the rest out. Still frustrating, but the boys helped more and we managed to get it done. No pics still - so tomorrow once again!
Today - I shopped some more. Ry's birthday is next week too, so we have to plan for that in addition to Christmas. Did more laundry and picked up some more.
I WANT TO SCRAP!!! I NEED to do other things. Christmas presents to make, cards to make and send, things to be done. I want to do the Christmas journal too, but I shouldn't spend the $30 and I keep wondering when exactly I would fit it in. And now, with each indesisive day, I get farther behind in it.
Will try to come back with pics tomorrow! Have a nice night! :)

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And the winner...


of the 1st Christmas card to arrive is... Lee Woodside! I was giggling like a schoolgirl when I saw the envelope in the mailbox today! All the way here from Austraila, and it's the 1st card I recieve this holiday! How fun is that!!! Very fun, I tell ya! It's gorgeous, Lee! Thank you so very much! I thought you might get a big kick out of seeing it half way around the world as I am looking at it half way around the world, Lee!

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Catchlights


This was a photo challenge at The DigiChick. I just happened to have these pics from last week and I am LOVING the catchlights in the pics. So this challenge was at the perfect time for me.

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About This Blog

Kit used in header is
Digitally Smitten Kit Freebie
by Digital Design Essentials

Digital Photo Frames by
Nancy Comelab.

Photos in header by
Adrian Hindes of
Canyon Photography


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