Friday, December 27, 2013

Snow Fun

At home, our ground is basically ugly, brown grass, but at Grandma and Grandpa's, just a few hours away, it's covered in snow.  Lots and lots of fluffy white snow that we saw fall on Christmas Eve and Day.  On Thursday, we headed out to the hill behind my parents' house and went sledding.  The weather was perfect- 20 degrees and sunny with no wind, so instead of freezing, we worked up a sweat.

At first, we thought it would be a repeat of last year, when Annaliese only went down the hill once. On her first trip down the hill last year, she got snow in her face and chose not to go again. Well, on her first trip down this year, she got snow in her face again, but this time, after she screamed and had it wiped off, she chose to go again and again and again.

Ian just kept going and going and going, loving every minute of it. At first, after witnessing all the snow Annaliese was getting in her face, he covered his face going down, but he quickly got over that.  He loved to go off the snow piles and catch a little air, but even more, he just loved going fast. 

Mom and I both got in a bit on the sledding, too. 

Her first trip down. Not a happy girl!

But that didn't stop her!

After seeing Annaliese take snow to the face, he elected to cover his.

But the covering didn't last long. Making a new trail.

Catching some air.

That sled was my sister's... it's at least 20 years old and is in AMAZING shape.

Oh, the frustration of having the cord around your leg.

Grandma found Aunt Cara's sled that holds three. The kids were so excited by how fast and far they could go with all three of them on the sled.

Poor Annaliese, being small often stinks...

not that you can tell from this picture.

Yep, that's me. We caught some air over the snow pile.

And that's my mom with a death grip on Annaliese... I have another picture with a big look of fear on her face, but I decided to be a nice daughter and post this one instead.

Darrin decided to forge a path through the piles created by the snow plow. This allowed them to go down the hill in the above pictures, across the drive, and down this hill into the forest, as Ian referred to it.

As Annaliese got to the top of this hill, she looked up and said, "You gotta be kidding me. There's another hill!"  Yep, that's why I like my role as photographer. I don't have to hike the hills as much.

Coming down the second hill through the trees, catching a bit of air down here, too. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Favorite Thing Blog Hop

Welcome to the "My Favorite Thing" blog hop at Child's Play Challenges.  You should have arrived here from Jane's blog.  If this is your first stop, you might want to hop on over to Child's Play to start from the beginning.

It's the time of year when kids will be opening presents that might just become their new favorite toy.  When my son was 2, he's favorite toy was a puppy his aunt and uncle had gotten while working at the vet clinic.  He was promptly named Karma after their dog she resembles... sort of.

Karma went everywhere with him and did everything with him.  Now, four years later, she looks drastically different; you can tell she's been loved.  Along the lines of differences, I scrapped most of this layout at least three years ago.  I did it at a crop and put it in an album to bring home, where it stayed until a few weeks ago when I pulled it out to finally put a title on it.  I added a few more embellishments, too. If I would have scrapped the whole thing recently, though, I'm not sure the clear stickers below and above the grid would have made it on the layout.

As a thanks for stopping by my blog today, I've got a few of my favorite scrappy things put together as a prize. To be eligible, leave a comment below about a favorite stuffed animal/baby doll of your own.  Mine would have been a toss-up between my two Cabbage Patch dolls, Cora and Megan, or my Care Bear Cousin Bright Heart Raccoon (which, funny enough, my son now sleeps with every night- yes, the exact same one).

And now, on to Stephanie's blog to continue the hop.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Daily 2013 | The Cover

December Daily is an idea Ali Edwards began oh so many years ago. Essentially each day is documented in some way leading up to Christmas (and this year, I may go past it... we'll see how full the album gets). Last year, we did an activity each day in conjunction with our advent calendar, and I used my December Daily album to document what each activity was.  This year, we're doing the same thing, and many of the activities will be the same.  In order to have a  bit of a different feel to the album, though, I'm going to try and focus on a story surrounding the event- focusing on something small and telling its story, instead of the basic, "Here's what we did to celebrate advent today."

Normally by Dec. 1st,  I'd like to have all my foundation pages in the album, so as I print pictures, I can easily scrap them. But the month of November got away from me, and I'm just now finishing my cover. When planning my cover, I basically have one requirement- it can't be too dimensional. I don't want the cover so bulky that the items on it could get caught on something and ripped off, so I kept that in mind while brainstorming ideas.

Confession time: This cover went a completely different direction than I originally thought. I was going to use my new silhouette (early birthday present!) to create a mask and do a very word-centered title.  Once I got the snowflakes down, though, and showed Darrin what I was thinking for the next step, he said, "But you'll cover up a lot of the snowflakes.  So, on to Plan B... which I love :)  

I'm again using the Simple Stories Sn@p binder (6x8).  I taped off the red part and painted with some lovely blue acrylic paint. While it was drying, I cut out the snowflakes on my silhouette cameo (the inaugural cuts on my machine) using the double-sided adhesive.Once dry, I put the snowflakes down, tore off the top layer, and added the glitter. For the finishing touches, I added a ribbon from my stash, wood veneer from Elle's Studio, and a banner from Heidi Swapp.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Layout | My Little Food Fanatic

This week at Child's Play Challenges it's a game inspiration- Sorry!  We didn't own this game when I was a kid, nor do we now, but I remember loving to play it when I went to a friend's house, and I hope we eventually add it to our family collection. 

I used the gameboard as inspiration for a layout about Ian's love of food. The pictures were snapped July-September 2009. My favorite picture is the one of him standing in front of the pantry- he had asked for a snack, I said no, and for the first time, he opened the pantry himself and grabbed a box of cereal.  It was so adorable and shocking I couldn't be mad :) 

I used a light green background that reminded me of background on the game board.  The yellow squares are reminiscent of those that lead to the home space.  And the arrows are all around the game board, showing which direction to go. 

Head on over to CPC and check out the other layouts, and share your own layout inspired by Sorry!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wonder "Fall"

It's that time of year again when the kids (and adults) get to play in the leaves.  I can tell the trees are growing year to year because the pile keeps getting larger, and it takes more and more lawn bags to haul them all away (in our city, you can put yard waste in special collection bags and they are picked up and composted).  The kids are growing every year, too.  Ian was a great help this year with the leaves.  The pile was too deep, though, for Annaliese to get in and out of on her own without help.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Layout | You, Me, and my Toys

This week, the inspiration at Child's Play Challenges is the classic xylophone. That toy is near and dear to my heart. For all I know, the fact I played the xylophone through high school and into college could be directly linked to the colorful, metal one I received for Christmas when I turned one.

Even more neat, I think, is the fact my children get to play with the same exact xylophone I did as a  kid (only 30 years later for Annaliese).  While looking for those pictures, I also found some with the kids playing with the little people house and barn I did as a kid. The layout then became telling the story of how awesome it is my kids play with the same toys I did, and how I hope to keep some of their toys for their kids to play with.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Dynamic Duo!

Credit for this year's idea actually goes to Darrin's sister, who pointed out back in the spring that they should be Batman and Robin for Halloween. Wouldn't you know it, over the summer, Batman was their favorite cartoon to watch. By the time Halloween rolled around, it wasn't very hard to convince them to be the dynamic duo... as long as I promised Robin would have a skirt.

I pulled together different ideas around the web, but most of the inspiration for Ian's costume came from here (though the mask was from here), and Annaliese's was mainly inspired by this one (tutorial for the tutu from here). I couldn't find the material they used for a shirt, but a tank top worked just as well.  She's actually wearing a pair of Ian's old pj's underneath. Those would be the same pants he wore under his Peter Pan costume two years ago. Glad I don't clean out drawers very often... Thanks to the tulle on her skirt, I think I'll be finding gold glitter around the house for the next year.

These were by far the easiest costumes for me to assemble over any previous year. It could have something to do with the fact there wasn't any satin involved. Knit is so much more forgiving.  Either way, they're both sleeping in them tonight because they're that comfortable (minus the cape, mask, and skirt).

A bit of fun in the backyard before trick-or-treating began.

 Practicing on each other in preparation for the bad guys.

Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Several houses are all decked out. These were just two I could get decent pictures of.  The first house they've been calling it the "Haunted House" every time we've driven past this week.  The second one had mannequins all over the yard, and the kids were apprehensive to go to the door. They weren't sure if they would move and be a real person or not (they had real people hiding amongst the them last year).

Annaliese would call before they'd get to the house, "I want to press the ding dong!"  Eventually we had to take turns with every house, but I loved that she called the doorbell a ding dong. 

Ian really enunciated his "Trick or Treat" phrase, putting a crisp /k/ sound at the end of trick and then pausing for a second before saying or. It actually sounded like three words instead of one- trickrtreat.

We left our bowl of candy sitting on our front steps, and all 100 pieces were gone in the hour we were out.  I'll have to buy more for next year.  I doubt kids took too much. There were lots of houses with bowls set out, and there were just lots and lots of kids out.  Our kids didn't do too bad.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Annual Pumpkin Patch Visit

Darrin's parents came to visit this weekend and brought along our nephew- whom Ian calls his "bestest-buddy".  We ventured to the pumpkin patch Friday afternoon (the kids were out of school thanks to conferences) and had a blast.  We went to Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Patch- the same place we went last year.  Given that it didn't rain before we went, I thought it was a much more enjoyable experience this year. The kids were a lot more adventurous... or perhaps a better word is courageous, this year.  They went into buildings and explored places that they were too wary of last year.  I think those were some of there favorite experiences from this year.  Here's a few of my favorite shots picked out from the 128 I shot today...

This netting led to the top of the large, metal slide. Annaliese was a champ at this, though a little fearful about the slide.

The boys were champs, too.

One of the several times Ian went down this, he may have forgotten to plant his feet and he went flying off and landed on his butt. The picture doesn't capture the speed at which the kids were going down the slide.

She used her feet to really slow herself down, and once was enough for her.

Yes, Grandpa, the big kid, loved going down the slides, too.

This one wasn't really a slide, more like a steep shoot. You didn't really have time to plant your feet, you just arrived at the bottom. That look on Ian's face isn't from the sun- it's from the shock of being at the bottom already.

These zip lines were another thing the kids didn't do last year. They LOVED it this year. We were all surprised at how well Annaliese and Owen were able to hang on.

Ian was a bit tall and had to bend his knees.

Ahoy there Ian and Owen!

Both boys said this was their favorite part- the hay rack ride to the pumpkin patch.  There were many skeletons, zombies, aliens, etc along the route, and the boys utilized their bow and arrows, complete with sound effects, to protect us.  Annaliese probably would have joined in, but she was more concerned about her Teddy Grahams.

She found her perfect pumpkin right away, and didn't really want it out of her reach... except for finish eating her Teddy Grahams.

I think he might be getting too used to posing for the camera...

The kiddos and their choices.

As we were leaving the patch, we spotted the corn maze, so we headed there for one last adventure before we left.
The slide in the corn maze.

Annaliese chose to go down face first... she is the daredevil of the group.