Friday, May 27, 2011


I'm home from my whirlwind trip to Douglas, WY for my grandmother's funeral. It was such a great celebration of her life and wonderful to be able to see my extended family.

There were a bunch of military men on my flight home which prompted me to ponder how blessed we are in this country. One of the biggest blessing for our family is our choice to be able to choose our children's form of education. There are so many choices out there that I know other countries do not have. As we wrap up our homeschool year, I thought I'd share a sneak peak layout that I made with the upcoming Green Tangerines June Kit. This is Paige's Kindergarten year--last year.

Last year we were with a charter school, Horizon--I included her student I.D. card. We switched to Visions charter school this year for 1st grade. Charter schools mean different things in different parts of the country and not every state has them, so I will explain what it means for our family. Basically, I can use whatever curriculum I choose and take whatever extra curricular activities I'd like to and the state will pay for it up to $1600 per year, per student. The only catch is that none of the curriculum can be faith based that THEY are purchasing for me. Since we have chosen to use mostly Christian curriculum, we pay for that ourselves. I use the $1600 to pay for educational games, art supplies, harp lessons and gymnastics. Once a month they send a teacher to my home to check in on us, see what Paige is learning and answer any questions I might have. My teacher is fantastic! She is a Christian, is supportive and encouraging, and she scrapbooks--so of course I love her!

I made this "chalkboard" using black cardstock, oil cloth (the "wood") and my white Signo pen.

There are several cute tickets included in the kit and multiple letter options to choose from!

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Remember to say thank you to the military men and women that you bump into when you are out and about!

Monday, May 23, 2011

i have a seven-year-old

It's official . . . I have a seven-year-old. I was just talking with a neighbor last night and we were discussing how long each of us have lived in our cul-de-sac. We moved in when Paige was 10 weeks old. I remember painting my kitchen red while Paige happily bounced in the exersaucer at 4 months old. I can't believe we have lived here that long . . . and I still haven't decorated my downstairs guest bathroom . . . I digress. Anyway, yesterday we had her birthday party at the place she takes gymnastics--so much fun!

The red-faced, sweaty kids!

This was our first time ever having one of our kids parties NOT at our house. I only had it off site because they were running a half price deal and that was about the amount of money it would cost me to throw a party at home. My friend Carrie tells me that I will never go back to having a party at home! I will admit, it was nice not prepping a ton of food and not having to clean my house before and after. Time will tell when the next party rolls around . . .

Our tradition of decorating the door continues. The never know what they will wake up to. She was most excited about the electric toothbrush that she gets to decorate herself! Today we are taking the day off of homeschooling and going to the mall to play and have lunch--per her request! 

Happy Monday morning!

Friday, May 20, 2011

ella eZine

Need some fun ideas that put your scrapbooking supplies to use outside your albums? Check out this article that I wrote for Ella Publishing that just went up on their site. I included a couple of my favorite decorative pieces and included some decorative work from Autumn and Kristen as well. Here is a sneak peak at one of mine:

My mom flew out last night for a spur of the moment visit. On Tuesday we are going to fly to Wyoming together for my grandmother's funeral. We are so happy to have my mom here for a long weekend . . . she'll be here to celebrate Paige's 7th birthday!

Monday, May 16, 2011

camping and a layout

This past weekend we went camping! We left on Friday at noon with the intent of staying until Sunday morning. I checked Thursday evening and it said it would be sunny on Saturday . . . they were wrong. In the middle of the night on Friday a windstorm came in and kept Tim and I up half the night. Sleeping in the trailer was like being on a ride, good thing we aren't prone to motion sickness. At least our kids slept like rocks.

Friday afternoon the girls swam in the lake and rode in the canoe . . . I stayed on shore and attempted to get Seth to nap. Tim rigged this umbrella to the bar of the canoe with some heavy duty tape--he hates the sun! I had a good laugh. I had planned on getting my chance to ride in the canoe on Saturday, but when we woke up to freezing cold wind and choppy waters, we packed up and left! 

We've decided that camping is a lot of work with a toddler and are going to wait two more years to try again. Tim is going to sell the pop-up trailer so I can park my van back in the garage. I'm so excited about that! Next time, he wants to buy a trailer that doesn't need to be popped up--they are nice once they are up, but really are just as much work to set up as tents--maybe more! 

Back in March we traveled to the JH Ranch where we stayed for a week. Since the camp is only in session during the summer, it was just our family and it was so relaxing and peaceful. We stayed at Tim's parents' home where they live during the summer months. I made this layout using Green Tangerines May Kit. This has been my favorite kit thus far!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

photo coasters

Need a quick and inexpensive gift idea? I put together this tutorial for the Ella blog. Head on over to check it out! Here is a look at the finished product. This project is really easy and takes less than an hour to complete.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

my grandma

My grandma died today. She had been battling cancer on and off for the past several years. She was 84 years old and lived a great life. I am happy that she is at home in heaven with Jesus and with her husband who went before her almost 40 years ago. She brought joy to everyone she knew. 

I am so thankful that we all saw her last summer and she was able to meet our third child. I am feeling sad today and don't feel like doing much of anything. I am happy that she is no longer in pain. I know death is a part of life, but it still is not easy.

Give those you love an extra hug today!

This was the day we said good-bye on earth. Until we meet again in heaven Grandma! Love you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

cheesy ham and broccoli bake

Our family does not eat much pasta, my kids don't like macaroni and cheese, but they loved this dish! It is pretty easy to put together and you can make it gluten and lactose free! I experimented with a few different recipes until I put together the ingredients in a way that was healthy for me to eat and yet yummy so that my family would eat it.

4 cups brown rice pasta (measured dry)
1.5 cups diced ham (I use nitrate free ham found at Whole Foods)
1.5 cups chopped frozen broccoli
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbls butter
3 Tbls gluten free flour
10 ounces lactose free milk (or regular if lactose isn't an issue)
1 cube vegetable bouillon
.25 tsp salt
3 Tbls plain yogurt (or sour cream if it doesn't bother you)

1. Cook pasta according to directions
2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until it has absorbed the butter. Slowly add the milk and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the bouillon and stir until dissolved. Season with salt. Stir in the plain yogurt. Stir in HALF the cheese.
3. Chop the ham into bite sized pieces. Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces. Stir both into the sauce.
4. After the pasta has finished cooking, rinse and drain. Add the pasta to the mixture. Stir well.
5. Transfer entire mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

more may sneak peaks

Here are a few cards I created with the May kit . . .

I folded the orange paper accordian style, then sewed straight through it with my machine. The "watermelon" is a custom embellishment created by the gals at Green Tangerines for the May kit.

Another custom embellishment . . . the cute banner with string. Just string it on wherever you please!

This card gives you a good idea of the patterned papers included in this kit. 

Happy Monday morning!