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Don't die of shock...

but I'm here! :) Sit back and buckle up though - it's a long one! :)
Let's see - we celebrated Ryan's 9th Birthday! How did he get to be 9???? He is just growing up so very much, it seems. Getting to be much more adventurous and trying things out a little. Helping with his brother and attempting to listen - LOL! I got next to no good photos of him opening his presents from us on his birthday, but the weather co-operated on Party Day luckily! We had a total of 8 kids here with Ryan and Matthew. Got to play outside with them the whole time, which was NICE! We took Mattthew to Grandma's house in the morning and took Ryan out for a day with just the 2 of us. We went to Golfland and played minigolf and laser tag. Took him to eat at - where else - Burger King and then to WalMart to spend a GC that he got for his Birthday. REally enjoyed spending time focusing on just him. He was so funny, because he was just in such a HURRY in the mini golf! Racing through everywhere as fast as he could. We tried and tried to get him to slow down and relax and take his time! Laser tag was pretty fun! They kept score for us - but it didn't really match up with what we thought - Michael's wasn't keeping score and he ended up in last place. Um - this is a miltary man - that's so not going to happen - LOL! No - no photos of the Golfland adventure - no camera, just time spent with 2 of my guys! :)
Once again - straight out of the camera, or I'd never get to showing them here! ;)




I made cupcakes again this year. We bought a ton of different sprinkles and let them loose on the backporch with them to decorate their own cupcakes! Fun! Hillarious to see them try to get as many on their cupcake as they can!


Pinata - of course! He had a slight Army theme - invites, dog tags and parachute army men to give away.


Another cute food creation with Matthew's OT...


Matthew had his little program at his school last week. I should have spoken up - they were going for the spotlight effect on the kids, but I got NO good photos... :(

With his tree done at school...


Yet another visit with Santa! I was lucky enough to be working in his classroom the day they had a visit from St. Nick!

About as good as it has gotten so far this year for a photo in Santa hat's in front of the tree - LOL!


The cute little gifts Matthew gave to his classmates (there's only 5!). I did a tag with Ryan's photo on it to top the pencils that he gave to his classmates, but forgot to photograph them! :0

Tags are done with Laura's super cute tags from the Boutique!
These are the Teacher/Therapist gifts for this year. I wasn't sure what to do this year. Wasn't too keen on making tons of things again. We have 11 gifts to do. Michael suggested Cold Stone Creamery GC's - so that's where I started. We could only afford $5 each, so I made Gina's fudge and these cool pretzel treats that I found in Family Fun magazine, a candy cane, a card from us, a candle, and the snowman handprint that the boys did (photos to come later) in the cute little bucket that I found at $1 Spot at Target. Relatively inexpensive and relatively little fuss - thank goodness!


A few layouts to share! Very few and I'm itching to do some new ones, but just can't spare the time... I have tons of wonderful photos, butt loads of layout ideas and plenty of new kits to play with, but no time...
I love how this layout turned out! It was one of those that just flowed too....

Credits: All items from "Fruitcake Collection" - "Spiced Dark Paper Pack" & "Element Pack" *coming Thursday* except black cardstock from "Little Black Dress" by Jan Crowley at The DigiChick Boutique. Date stamps "Day Planner 1&2" by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Paper tear by Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Font is Jenn Olson.
This photo just called for something a little fun! :) Journaling: Say, can I have a bite of that?

Credits: "Peppermint Lane" kit by Laura Alpuche at The DigiChick Boutique. Date stamps "Day Planner 1" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Paper tear by Steph Krush for Digital Paper Tearing. Fonts used are Jenn Olson and Amazone BT.
Journaling reads: At the DS Network’s Christmas Party, not only did you get to meet Santa, but he painted a candy cane on your hand also! You were so enthralled with it that you “loved” it right off your hand within the hour!

I made ornaments for the family from porcelain ornaments that I found from Michael's this year. Took the photo - Mod Podged it on the ornament, painted the year on the back and tied a ribbon on the top - super easy too! :)
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Sketch Challenge 6 by Racheal Giallongo for The DigiChick used for this layout. Credits: "I Believe" kit by Rachel Solenberg for The DigiChick Boutique. Font is Jenn Olson.
Journaling reads: For the past 2 years, I have made a clear glass ornament with your photo in it to give to the immediate family. This year, I found porcelain ornaments to use. I love these ornaments and look forward to putting them on the tree each year! I think the family loves to receive them each year also!

Michael has moved to his new position within the company. It is more hands on with the airplanes, which he loves and in a hanger most times, which is good too. It has steady days of the week - 3 days in a row on and then a 4th in a row every other week - and steady hours. His old position switched hours every week and days of the week every 3 months - it was sooooo hard to get used to. The hours on this shift are the kicker. He's only been doing it for 2 days right now - and so far - I'm hating the hours. I know it will be good in the long run and that within 6 months to a year - he will probally move up and hopefully get different hours, but man. This just isn't any fun. Totally doesn't help any that the boys started Holiday break at the same time, so they are both home all day every day. It will be fine, we will just need to adapt and adjust. And the steadiness will be a good thing!

I ordered alot of things online this year. Photos for the cards (that I bought on clearance for 75% off last year and put away) where FREE from Winkflash with a coupon code. I ordered photo magnets from Zazzle and calendars from Costco. So very nice to have it all printed out for me and not be still printing at the last minute. Of course, I'm still printing out layouts - ROFL!
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I used Heather's fabulous calendar quick pages for the calendar that she did from the Chick's Life kits - turned out so cute!
We did really well on shopping this year - got it all done at the beginning of this week! NICE! Still need to wrap and already feel like it's just toooooo much! We are trying to get Michael's parents here from VT, but we thought they would get a flight out tomorrow morning (flying standby). But - not happening. The snow in CO must have messed it all up. Hopefully they will make it here on Sunday then. If not - then no visit! :(
It's been really Christmas-y here this last week - nice and cold! Today it didn't make it above 47 degrees - chilly! :) We've actually had frost on the rooftops several mornings. It's been a bit breezy off and on - which means I'm picking up my luminary lights every other day... bummer.
Here's how the card for this year turned out. I wish that I could send one to every person that we know - but that's just not feasable, so consider this your card for this year!
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Merry Christmas!!!
I leave you with Holiday Wishes for a blessed Season filled with light, love and laughter, many special moments spent with your loved ones and peace!

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Busy little elf...

Once again - no time! We've attended 2 Christmas Parties with 2 Santas in the last 2 weekends. Matthew was a Santa groupie at both - ha ha ha!!! So funny He was loving them to pieces! Ryan's Birthday is next weekend and we have been busy decorating the house and trying to get the shopping done. We are going to take just Ryan out in the morning for some Mommy/Daddy time and then have everyone at the house in the afternoon for a little party.
Michael will be switching shifts next week, so we are in change mode yet again. Fun.
I've been a layout fool again this weekend. Trying to get everything caught up and all my CT's done so that I can go on to the Holiday stuff! LOL!
I'm lazy tonight - so I just uploaded everything the easy seperate way - so keep on scrolling until you see things you've seen - LOL!
I took alot of photos at the DSNetwork's Party - beautiful place!!!! All the photos are straight out of the camera - no time for tinkering, so some are a little dark.
OK - will attempt to come back tomorrow! Nite! :)

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Ryan thought it was hillarious when he figured out he could put the chicken on the goat! :)

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sweet, huh?

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Dude on the horse!

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This was our sunset on Thanksgiving Day this year! Gorgeous!
Journaling reads: It was a gorgeous end to a beautiful, simple day spent with loved ones. It made me really stop to pay attention and be grateful on that day...
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Credits: "Heart and Soul" Collaberative Benefit Kit by The DigiChick Designers at The DigiChick Boutique *Coming Soon*. Quote from "Simply Quote Pack" by Marsha Zepeda at The DigiChick Boutique. Stitch is from "A Common Bond" Collaberative Kit by The DigiChick Designers and The Sweet Shoppe Designers. Paper tear is by Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Font is Jenn Olson.

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Photos from last week's Christmas Party!
Journaling reads: You were so excited to see that there was a pony to ride at the DS Network�s Christmas Party! You just jumped right on & went for a ride! You also kept kinda close to the pony & the smaller one the whole time & helped to lead them around! So glad to see you branching out & having fun doing differnt things! :)
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Sketch challenge template #5 by Rachael Giallongo for The DigiChick.
Credits: All from "Fair Game" kit by Jan Crowley at The DigiChick Boutique, except date stamps "Day Planer 1&2" kits by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique and "Circle Stitches" by Gina Miller at Gina Miller Designs. "Color Extreme" Photo Action used on photos by Michelle Pearson at Expressions by Michelle. Fonts are Jenn Olson & AvantGarde Md BT.

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This was the only page that I hadn't done all year for Chick's Life! I am officially caught up!!! Yay!
Journaling reads: April this year brought Mommy�s 39th Birthday, Mommy was in charge of the SDSA�s Easter Egg Hunt this year. Matthew�s MT was the Easter Bunny at the event! The Easter Bunny brought lots of goodies for the boys on Easter! The weather heated up and we played in the pool and the water some towards the end of the month and played outside as much as we could! We also attended a very fun party at Freestone Park for the DS Network and won a sensory table! Yay!
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From sketch challenge template week 15 by Rachael Giallongo at The DigiChick.
Credits: "April Chick's Life Mini Kit" & "Day Planner 2" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Alpha from "Little Black Dress" kit by Jan Crowley. Font is Jenn Olson.

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We use a website that let's you e-mail a letter to Santa (thereindeerbarn) and then he e-mails them back a letter. We may be in trouble with what he asked from Santa this year! :) LOL! TFL!
Took this photo at last weekend's DSNetwork Christmas Party!
Journaling reads: Merry Christmas my dear Ryan!

I was so pleased to get the letters from you and your brother Mathew. Why, just yesterday Mrs. Claus was asking me if I had heard from you, so as soon as I got the letters I rushed to tell her. She was so excited to know that you had written, and she asked me to tell you how proud she is of what a very good boy you have been this year. Your name is on the "very good indeed" page of the naughty and nice book, so we are both very proud of you!!

As you can guess, it is very busy up here at the North Pole. Why, the elves are simply working all around the clock to try and get all the toys and presents made for all the children of the world. The toyshop is filled with toys and gifts of all sizes and descriptions, and there is wrapping paper everywhere! Each Elf has a list and a little pencil, and all day long they are checking things off their list, and calling out to their friends that another boy or girl is going to be very happy. The reindeer are out practicing their flying and landings, and making sure that they all are able to read the navigational maps, and Mrs. Claus is simply cooking up a storm, making sure that there will be lots of goodies for us when we return from our long night's work delivering all the presents. As you can guess, we are very, very tired when we return, and Mrs. Claus lets us have a nice long sleep before she gives us the most wonderful dinner.

After I got your list, I went straight out to the toyshop to check on our supply of all your requests. You will be happy to know that we have lots of the bells, horns and lights for your bicycle, and as for the Polar Express full size train with two train cars to ride on, well my goodness, that has been such a popular item this year, in fact the elves keep telling me that we need to order more of the flat beds - goodness, I see that is one of the items on your list, I must rush out and tell SniggleToes to make sure we have lots and lots!! Of course, I cannot tell you EXACTLY what we have in the sleigh for you,
because that would spoil the surprise, but I think I can tell you that I think you will be a very happy boy at Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Ryan, and please whisper to Simba to sleep tight and I will be there very very soon!!
Love forever and always - Santa
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Credits: "Merry & Bright" kit, note paper from "Date Planner2" kit and date stamp from "Date Planner1" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Paper tear is by Steph Krush for Digital Paper Tearing. Fonts are AvanteGuarde Bk BT and Jenn Olson.

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We use a website that let's you e-mail a letter to Santa (thereindeerbarn) and then he e-mails them back a letter. So this is Matthew's letter from Santa this year! This photo was taken at our SDSA Christmas Party yesterday. TFL!
Journaling reads: Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas, Matthew!!

Thank you very much for writing to me!!! You know, Matthew, it was just the other day when Mrs. Claus was asking me if I had heard from you yet, and today I got your letter and one from your brother Ryan! I was so excited I ran to the kitchen to tell Mrs. Claus, and she was so happy she clapped her hands in the air, and because they had flour all over them from the cookies she was making, there was flour everywhere!

Oh, it is so busy up here at the North Pole! There is wrapping paper everywhere I look, Mrs. Claus is cooking up a storm, the elves are busy with the final preparation of the sleigh and I am trying to write back to all the nice letters that boys and girls from all around the world have sent me! Ho, Ho, Ho! Oh, this is my very favourite time of the year, Matthew. We've been so busy getting everything ready, we haven't even had time for a snowball fight, but when we get back home to the North Pole on Christmas Day, we'll have time for play. We usually all have a big sleep and then awaken to cinnamon buns and hot chocolate. Most of the elves, reindeer and I go out for a roaring snowball fight, build a snowman, and watch the aurora borealis (northern lights!). Later, we all nestle around the fire and tell stories while Mrs. Claus puts the final touches on our Christmas feast of roast turkey with all the trimmings! Ho, HO, HO! Oh, and we'll have some yummy, gooey dessert, too! Ho, Ho, Ho!

I was so happy to see how well you did this year, Matthew, I was so impressed that you accomplished all your goals, and you are so good at verbal words!! My goodness, Mrs. Claus and I could not have done as well as you have done and at the same time you have played so nicely with your brother as well! Goodness, when Santa looks in his special book of very good children he sees MATTHEW in big huge letters, which tells Santa you have been very very good indeed!

I see from your letter that you would like a medical kit, as well as a Diego Jeep Set, Thomas ride on train with the track and all the accessories, or movies,especially Christmas movies! I would very much like to tell you what I am going to bring you for Christmas, but Mrs. Claus is standing over my shoulder and whispering in my ears that if I tell you it will be a very bad thing, and she will not make me any more cookies!! OH NO!!!! That would be the worst thing, so I have promised her that I will not tell you... but I can tell you that I am sure that you will be very happy on Christmas morning.

Take care of yourself and continue to be a very good boy and I look forward to seeing you and your brother Ryan as well as Simba on Christmas Eve!! Love forever and always - Santa
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Credits: "Merry & Bright" kit, note paper from "Date Planner2" kit and date stamp from "Date Planner1" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Paper tear is by Steph Krush for Digital Paper Tearing. Fonts are AvanteGuarde Bk BT and Jenn Olson.

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For Chick's Life!
Journaling reads: The month of November has brought us a missed visit from Uncle Paul, Grandma�s Birthday, a visit from your honorary Uncle Jin from Korea, a very fun family night with the SDSA group at Bounce U, and a nice peaceful Thanksgiving dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers, ending in a gorgeous sunset! Mommy got up for her first ever Black Friday Shopping spree and came home victorious!
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Based on Sketch Challenge week 16 by Rachael Giallongo at The DigiChick.
Credits: "November Chick's Life Mini Kit" by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Brown paper from "Vegas Baby" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. "Date Planner 2" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. Font is Jenn Olson.

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Journaling reads: Christmas time is such a treat for the senses! So many things to smell, see & hear! I so look forward to getting our tree put up each year & just love to look at it sparlking in the corner! It�s finally cool enough here to do one of my favorite things too - have the tart warmer burning!!! The scent in it right now is a yummy, spicy Cinnamon Stick. Matthew has been watching Christmas videos non-stop since, well, since last Christmas! The Dora Christmas Special is the program of the moment. I just love this time of year!
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Credits: All items from "Jingle Bell Rock" kit by Kimberly Giarusso at The DigiChick Boutique except date stamp and staple "Day Planner" kit by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique & paper tear by Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Font is Jenn Olson.

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You've Got Mail...


A very cute little Koala Angel Bear from the fabulous Lee! How VERY cute is that? I'm so very glad that she found me - gosh almost 2 years ago - and our friendship started up over the seas! I love listening to her voice when we've gotten to talk and I still need to get a web cam so we can talk more! We need to talk more, for I haven't had the time to catch up with her lately! I will make time soon, my friend! :)

She cracks me up - last year she was the very first Christmas Card of the season that we received! This year - it's the 3rd one! Everyone is so on the ball this year! I still need to pin down the boys and take a good photo of them together!

And look - one of me! Amazing, huh? And a good one at that - striaght out of the camera! I handed Michael the camera on Tuesday when I was putting lights on the tree and Matthew was making this:

with Lynette, his OT.

ok - off again!

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Baby, It's Cold Outside....

No - really - it is! We had a high of 53 yesterday and low's in the lower 30's! That's cold for here! It's actually erally nice, for it makes it feel Christmas-y!
Rebecca was asking for an update, so I squeezed one in!
Is everyone else feeling like they are just on a constanant run right now like me? We have been shopping and running around and doing some very samll home improvement projects around the house and I just feel like it's go-go-go! I mean, really - the boys only have 2.5 more weeks of school and then they are on break! Yikes!
We spent Thanksgiving at my parent's home and grilled - yes, grilled - hamburgers and hotdogs! It was very nice and relaxing! We had had a huge turkey dinner the 1st week on November when my brother was here and so, we just didn't want to do it again - LOL! Of course, at the time, we thought we'd do another one, so I didn't take any photos the 1st time! Here are some from our Thanksgiving Day feast!


Credits: "Cranberry Sauce" Kit by Tracey Lee; date stamp - "Day Planner" Kit by Heather Roselli. ColorExtreme Action on photo by Michelle Pearson. Font is Jenn Olson.
This was for Chick's Life!
Journaling reads: We had a very nontraditional Thanksgiving this year. Well - at least on the actual Day! Uncle Paul was supposed to come the 1st week of November, but he got sick & couldn’t come. Grandma had already thawed out a turkey, so we went ahead and ate it with all the trimmings then. When we talked about the actual meal for the actual day, we decided since we’d already “done” it, we’d just BBQ! Kind of a funny meal for Thanksgiving, but it was so very nice to just sit back and relax all together & not spend all day in the kitchen, helping Grandma! So, save a turkey we did, with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, deviled eggs, spinach dip, baked beans and such. We did go traditional with dessert though with Pumpkin pie & Pumpkin cake! Yum!

These next 2 are the last of my layouts from my stint as a Gina Miller Guest CT member! I had sooooo much fun being a guest CT for Gina! She is just an awesome person! Thanks girl!

Special Edition Holiday Template by Gina Miller at Gina Miller Designs.
Credits: Background papers from "Christmas Fresh Mini Kit"; star and paper for tree from "Cozy Christmas Mini Kit"; photo corner from "Photo Fleties"; glitter borders from "Glitter Glue Borders" all by Gina Miller at Gina Miller Designs. Date stamp from "Day Planner Kit" by Heather Roselli at The DigiChick Boutique. "Sharpen 3" Sharpen Action by Michelle Pearson at Xpressions by Michelle used on photo. Font is Jenn Olson.

This was a photo of Matthew taken last year at his school in front of the trees that each child decorated in his room! TFL!
Journaling reads: You each got to decorate your own tree at school this year as your present from Miss Pat. You were so happy and proud to show your’s to me!

I bought these luminary lights on clearance last year for 75% off! I was very excited to get them out this year and put them up! It was one of the things I liked from living in TX - these luminaries. I put real paper bag/sand filled/candle ones when we lived in TX, but these are electric ones. Just as pretty though! I need one more set, so I'll watch for them after again!

Template from Simply Sketches Set 9 by Gina Miller.
Credits: "Hot Cocoa & Warm Mittens" collaborative kit by Gina Miller and Meredith Fenwick. Font is Jenn Olson. Fashion Glow/Fabulous" photo action used on photo by Michelle Pearson - Xpressions by Michelle.
Journaling reads: We put up these luminaries tonight, Ryan & you cracked me up! First you said that they looked like traffic cones. Then you told me that they were Rudolph’s runway lights! Just too funny!

Layout based on Simple Scrapbooks Simple Scheme by Margaret Scarbrough. Credits: All items from "It's a Guy Thing" kit by Michelle Coleman at ScrapArtist except journaling stamp from "From The Heart" Kit by Andrea Burns at The DigiChick Boutique, black stamp from "Portobella Road" Kit by Jan Crowley at The DigiChick Boutique and paper tear by Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Font is Milk and Cereal.
This is the layout I did to submit to SS Simple Schemes that apparently didn't get picked since I didn't get any e-mails on it - oh well! From the baby shoot I did!
Journaling reads: You have your days and nights a little mixed up. Your skin is peeling
in that newborn-baby way. You are constantly being held by someone. You love your binkie. You are just so sweet and are loved beyond belief...

This one is about their Halloween costumes this year...

Credits: Week 12 Sketch Challenge Template by Rachael Giallongo for The DigiChick. All papers and elements from "Hippie Halloween" Kit by Valerie Fowler for The DigiChick Boutique except brads from "Teacher Let the Monkey Out" kit Valerie Fowler for The DigiChick Boutique, alpha from "Havana" kit by Jan Crowley for The DigiChick Boutique and date stamps from "Day Planner" kit by Heather Roselli for The DigiChick Boutique. Font is Jenn Olson.
Journaling reads: I was going to make your costumes this year. An M&M box for Ryan & a
M&M for Matthew - peanut of course! But when we were in K-Mart, you
saw the Tony Stewart Nascar Driver outfit, Ryan, & it was over. Then when we got home, Matthew refused to put on any of the other costumes I has here. So back to K-Mart the next day, where he then refused the Tony suit. But he was quite happy with the fireman suit!

Well - we are busy, busy yet still. this weekend we are going to hear my mom sing in here Church Christmas program. They are going to be singing at one of the Malls tomorrow. With Michael working weekends right now, I just don't think there's any way that I can contain Matthew in a church setting to watch the program, so we will go there and hear just the singing. Then Sunday we have one of the DS Christmas Parties to attend. Next weekend, we have the other and the following weekend is Ryan's birthday! Michael will switch to weekdays that weekend and has switched with someone to be off on that Saturday for his birthday.
I'm trying to brainstorm. Michael turns 40 in Jan and I in April. We will also celebrate our 12th Anniversay in Feb. So trying to decide how we can mark the milestones... but haven't come up with much yet...
Well - I'm off again! I'm sure I've left out tons of news, but Ryan will be home in an hour and I have tons of things to do yet! Have a good one!

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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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