Saturday, February 18, 2012

Inspiration at the Ice Museum

The last layout from January is for the inspiration topic.  This is another hard one for me and I think it was the last layout I made for January.  One of the things we get on the first of every month is a set of PowerPoint slides with twelve triggers (gee, there seems to be a theme here, huh?  twelve topics, twelve layouts, twelve months, twelve colors...and on the twelfth day of the month we're supposed to take twelve pictures...I forgot to mention that one).  Anyway, one of the photos was of gray and white pattern papers with a pop of teal/aqua color.  That was the basis for this layout.  But I couldn't find gray and white pattern papers, so I went with black and white.  And then I decided pink went better with the photos than teal/aqua.  But I figured the inspiration was still the same...a pop of color.
We had a blast at the ice museum.  The husband and wife ice carving team is world class, and it shows.  There was a set of dueling knights, an altar for getting married, a xylophone, the coke polar bear, a Christmas tree, an out house (not functioning) and a BIG bed.  You can even rent out the ice museum to stay the night, although nobody has been able to stay a full night (and you don't get your $800 back).  Funny story, they used to call it an ice hotel, but the fire marshall said they couldnt' call it a hotel because there's no sprinkler system...HA!  And they sell appletini's served in ice carved glasses.  Of course I HAD to have one, and Jeff got one, too.  They were sooo good that we bought a second round at the aurora ice bar!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The best camp is free camp!!!

Erica is getting to be such a big girl...bigger than I'm ready to realize!  We recently went on a business trip/vacation for a night in Fairbanks and left her with friends...ugh!  She handled it much better than I did...but that's a story for another day (probably a February layout!).
Anyway, she is a Girl Scout, and what do Girl Scouts do?  They sell cookies!  And Erica does it with gusto!  She had a goal to go to camp for free last year...and made that goal.  She was the only girl in her troop to go for free!  And she was soooo excited because she's be away from mom and dad for a whole week!  And check her out in the picture below, walking ahead of me, not even realizing I'm still there.  Yup, she's quite the independent little girl!!!
On a side note, she was really bummed that we're moving this summer and she wasn't going to be able to sell cookies to go to camp for free.  BUT, we just got the camp schedule and we'll be here the first weekend in June, so she can go to the sneak peak camp for three days...YEAH!!!  But now she has to sell more cookies than we originally planned.  UGH!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

She thinks she's soooooo cool

One thing Erica does NOT lack is personality...she's full of it!!!  And personality is one of the TWELVE topics.  I could probably do twelve layouts a month on personality and not have a hard time trying to find something to scrap about.  This story cracks me up...
I'm sure I've mentioned this before:  Cecile, Erica's God Mother, likes to spoil Erica.  She gave her the awesome jammies that Erica loves.  She also gave her this great snow hat.  Erica wears it all the time...and she gets lots of comments about how cute it is (I have to admit, it is pretty cute).  She even wears it inside.  The main picture on the layout below is her sitting on the couch after dinner.  She's already in her jammies and is watching tv before going to bed.  I snapped a picture of this and sent it to Cecile telling her it's a shame she doesn't like the hat more than she does.  Truth be told, she LOVES the hat.  I don't think she's cold, I think she just likes wearing it.  Sometimes I think she thinks she looks cool wearing it all the time...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bribing Carolyn...

Oooh, this is another fun story!  Man, this TWELVE class sure is getting me to tell stories, rather than just scrap pictures.  I'm soooo excited!!!  Let's hope this's fun!!!
OK, I have a friend with a daughter that is absolutely terrified by any man other than her daddy (and maybe her grandpa).  She's around us often because Erica and Bella play soccer together, go to Girl Scouts together, and Nicole and I scrap together at my house alot.  You may not know this, but Jeff has this burning desire for kids to love him.  I remember Katie at daycare was very shy.  Jeff would come into the toddler room and twirl all the kids and they'd laugh and squeal.  But Katie was shy and didn't want to.  One day she she finally warmed up to him and let him twirl her, and he was sooo happy.  It's the same way with Carolyn.  She sees him all the time, but she won't sit by him unless he has candy to share (he's not above bribery to get a friend).  I was thrilled when I caught these pictures.  Nicole and the kids came over to scrap and play.  Erica decided to clean out her toy chest and offered Carolyn her Doodle Bear.  Carolyn was THRILLED, but Nicole asked her to make sure it was OK with Erica's parents first.  I said OK, but Jeff said he had to have a hug first.  OOOOOOH...she didn't even hesitate.  She jumped up on his lap and gave him all kinds of hugs.  Jeff was sooooo happy!  And I was happy that I had my camera so close!  It's like taking a picture of a rare bird!!!

Hee, hee...and I was soooo excited to scrap this layout at our January crop.  Nicole was gone for an afternoon meeting, so I put it on her table as a surprise for when she returned.  I should've scrapped a second one for her (cuz this one's MINE!!!)...maybe I'll do that this month.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is this too much fun?!?!?

One of the topics in the TWELVE class is Fun.  You'd think this would be an easy topic, but I struggle with it.  Truth be told, I struggle with lots of them.  As I mentioned in the father-daughter layout, I can't tell whether something should go in People or Family Stories or Fun or something else.  I guess I should learn to let go and just go with the flow...but it's hard!  In working on my January layouts, I finally sifted thru some of my Vegas pictures and saw our temporary tattoos, but I didn't see any of mine.  Then I remembered I took a picture with my phone and sent it to Jeff.  So I decided to scrap that story...I thought it was pretty funny and it had "fun" in it so I figured it would fit.

The morning I left for Vegas with "the girls," Jeff told me to have fun, but not too much fun.  I was probably the most conservative of all the girls, so that wasn't really an issue.  While we were there, we decided to get temporary tattoos (because permanent ones were too scary...after all, what would I get and where would I put it that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed as I got older?  See, totally conservative!!!).  And even though it was temporary, I still agonized over what to get and where to put it.  I finally decided on this cute ankle thing with hearts...totally me, right?  When we were done, we took a picture of it and I sent it to Jeff asking if it was too much fun.  He responded: "prolly."  But when I talked to him that night, he knew it was fake...I guess he knew I couldn't get a good tattoo for only $20..hrumph!  But it was fun to have for a week...

Monday, February 13, 2012

How do you make homemade fish sticks?

This is one of my favorite Erica stories.  Erica will eat a hot lunch at school when she likes two of the three options (just in case one is gone when she gets to eat).  When she first started school, we couldn't just ask her what she did because she'd just say, "I don't know," or "nothing."  We had to ask specific questions like, "What was your special class today?"  And "What did you have for lunch."  One day she told us she had a fish melt.  Not fully knowing what a fish melt was, we asked her what it was.  She said, "it's fish with chicken nugget skin."  And she still says things that are breaded have chicken nugget skin.  Just the other day I came home from the gym to eat dinner (Jeff and Erica already ate) and Erica said we had homemade fish sticks.  Knowing we had Van de Kamps in the freezer (or something similar), I said " do you make homemade fish sticks?"  Our third grader said, "You chop up chicken nuggets, throw away the inside chicken, put the skin on the fish, and cook it."  HA!  She still calls it chicken nugget skin...what a hoot!!!
I don't have any cooking pictures I haven't scrapped already, so I used these cute pictures from 18 months ago when Erica took our orders for was as close as I could get!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Math Star

It absolutely warms our heart that Erica loves math as much as she does...and she's really good at it.  She talks about her teacher doing "around the world" in class...where two kids go up against each other to do multiplication.  If you win, you stay up and go against another kid in class.  If you beat everyone, you've gone around the world.  Erica is one of the few kids who can go around the's between her and one other kid on who can beat who on a given day.
And her teacher does a really good job at fostering the love of math.  Erica's homework one day was math bingo.  You use certain cards on the deck.  Each person draws two cards and multiplies them together.  If the number is on your card, you mark it for bingo, if it's not, you pass to the next player.  The first to get five in a row, or eight on your card wins.  Jeff beat Erica one day, and Erica beat me the next.  What a great game!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Father-Daughter Love...

This is my favorite layout from all those I made in January.  I love the story, the pictures, and the final result.  It started out as a "people" layout, to show the relationship between Jeff and Erica; but then I thought it was more of a "family stories" layout when I thought about the story behind it.  However, I finally decided it was really a "rituals" layout because this is something the two of them do every morning before school and work.
As Jeff is out of the shower and done shaving, Erica comes up stairs after breakfast to get dressed.  Before they finish getting ready, Erica gives Jeff a "morning nuggle."  She sits on his lap on the bed and they hug for a while.  Sometimes she wiggles back and forth trying to get him to fall over, and sometimes he tickles her until she can't stand it anymore and runs away.  however it physically ends, the emotional result is the same...they both start their day with a great hug and it carries them thru whatever is thrown their way.  What an awesome ritual!

Friday, February 10, 2012

That mom...and twelve, a new BPC class

OK, so I'm all caught up from the 12 days of Christmas.  Now I can tell you a little more about the new class TWELVE I'm taking. This is a class taught by Stacy Julian, the queen of scrapbooking (and have I mentioned that she's called my cell phone before? and I also have a picture with her from a class I took YEARS ago).  Anyway, she's the founder of Simple Scrapbooks and teaches techniques geared at getting our stories out and our pictures scrapped.  I have not completely bought into all her philosophies, but I'm open to them.  This class is a year long class and we're supposed to scrap 12 pages a month for each month of the year.  WOW...I don't think I've ever done that.  I had a goal of 5 a month a few years ago, and met that.  But 12?!?!  I wasn't sure I could do that, it seemed very over whelming.  But I wanted to give it a try.  And with one month down, I'm on schedule!  So I have 9 pages all set to show you (3 you've already seen from the 12 days of Christmas).

The class started out by having us create an organization system of TWELVE...twelve colors and twelve topics.  The topics are:  Me, family stories, everyday life, holidays, fun, inspiration, places, people, things, rituals, personality, and seasons.  We assigned each topic a color and each layout we complete on that topic gets a little embellishment from that color, to remind us of the process and our journey we're taking. 

We're also supposed to be focusing on the stories behind our scrapbooking to make us better story tellers.  Why are we scrapping and what are we trying to say about the pictures we take?  It's really got me thinking about what I scrap rather than just putting pictures on paper in a pretty way.

So I wanted to start with this layout.  I love it!  It's a ME layout and includes a few things that really made me stretch this first month.  First, I tweaked the picture, making it a black and white photo, but then put color back in it for me (thanks for the idea, Angela).  I've always wanted to try that technique and I like how it turned out.  The second thing is the journaling from the heart.  I've always wanted to be "THAT MOM."  You know "that mom," she's the one that has the perfect house, the perfect kids, puts on the perfect parties, and has her life put together perfectly.  Well, with us moving this year, I have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and then the time to try to become "that mom."  But I'm struggling with whether that's really who I am or not...I like working.  But, in order to keep working, we either have to stay in AK, move to TX, or I'll be working away from my family.  I don't think I can do that, and I know Jeff doesn't want me to.  But I also wonder if I can be a stay at home mom,..I guess it's another one of those, "be careful what you ask for" situations, huh?  More to come...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jammies on the 12 day...

I loved the theme of the 12th day: Jammies, but I didn't like the layout.  So I used the pictures I took and found another layout I could lift instead.
For some reason, Erica is starting to like jammies with pants more than nightgowns.  Actually, I think I know what it is...whenever her friends come over, they almost always have jammies with pants.  So now she wants jammies with pants.  School has spirit days from time to time and one of the popular days is jammies day.  Well, we don't like her to wear her nightgowns, but wearing jammies with pants is almost like wearing sweats, so I'm OK with that.  I bought her some fleece pants and she loves to wear them.  But I noticed she'd end up taking them off in the middle of the night...she gets hot.  The trick is to find pants that aren't too hot! 

Erica's God Mother, Cecile, loves to spoil her.  She called to ask what to get her for Christmas and of course I had to tell her jammies with pants.  She found these CUTE jammies with cupcakes and Erica LOVES them.  They're made out of material that's almost like flannel, but not quite.  So Erica doesn't get real hot at night and loves them!  And even better, I found a cute cupcake to put on this great page I's like it was meant to be!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More magic from the Santa Adventure...

...and the 11th day of Christmas.  For this day, we were supposed to scrap stockings.  I almost told the story of how Erica LOVES Jeff's old stocking that his grandma made.  But I'll save that for another's a really cute story!  Instead, I kept with the general theme of this year's holiday story and told another story from the Santa Adventure weekend. 
After the party was over with reading the Polar Express, writing letters to Santa, having him sign the books, and having pictures with him, we went back to our rooms to get packed and go to bed.  When we got back to our rooms, there was a stocking for Erica, FILLED with goodies...including a set of bells.  She took them out and started ringing them and making sure we could ALL hear them ring!  Yup, the weekend was perfect!  She left a believer!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On the 10th day...we wrapped gifts...

Our homework for the 10th day of Christmas mas to keep some extra wrapping paper from our presents.  I knew we'd end up making little presents to put on the page, and we did.  Then I had to think of what story to tell about the wrapping.  Ha...that was easy.  Jeff told Erica that he used to wrap presents with the Sunday comics.  She had some presents she wanted to wrap for us so she took his suggestion...sort of.  She used the regular newspaper as wrapping paper.  Of all the pretty papers we have, and she used that.  But she was soooo proud of herself, so I kept my mouth shut and let her do her thing...

Monday, February 6, 2012

White Christmas...the 9th day

On the 9th day of Christmas, I didn't like the layout.  Well, that's not true, I liked the layout, but I didn't like what they wanted us to do with the was supposed to be making treats.  That just didn't go with the title, in my mind.  Sooooo, I decided to make it a more traditional White Christmas story.  In this case, I wrote about wondering if this would be our last white Christmas or not.  We're on track for a record year of snow fall.  What a way to say good-bye to the winter wonderland that is Alaska.  And while the long, cold, dark winters get old, I bet we're going to miss all the snow when we really think about it.  I just can't imagine a Christmas without snow.  It seems integral to the magic of the season.  So I guess we'll see...
So a little background (that I should've included, but I just didn't have room).  Jeff keeps the snow blower in the shed int he backyard.  But, because of all the snow we get, if he didn't snow blow a path, he wouldn't be able to get it in and out of the back yard...and in fact, the gate remains open each year for the winter season for the same reason (forget that it blew off in the late fall and he didn't fix it).  Erica actually walked right up to the fence in the backyard and sat on's a 6' fence.  Some of that is due to the snow blower and a bit of snow drift, but not all of it.  We've really gotten alot of snow.  And as it warms up, it settles and really packs down, so she was able to walk on top of it as it got closer to the fence line.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hello again...more 12 days...

Well, I guess it was easy to see that life got hectic there for a while. Sorry! And thanks for the gentle nudges from family to get me back online. As hectic as life was, I still found time to scrap...and I was really productive, thanks to an all day crop on the third Sat of every month (yeah!!!). I ended up finishing the 12 days of Christmas the weekend after New Year's and then worked on layouts for another class I'm taking called TWELVE...more on that later (I think I've already said that...sorry). Sooooo, let me get back into the groove and get caught up on my layouts!!!
The eighth day of Christmas had to do with Christmas books/stories. Thank goodness for the Santa Adventure Weekend...again. One of the things they did was give every child their own copy of The Polar Express. We never heard the story before, so it was great to hear it...and have it read by an elf! And then Santa signed each child's book. What a great story, especially as Erica is on the verge of no longer believing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Christmas gifts...

On the seventh day of Christmas we were supposed to take pictures of the store or gifts we bought.  I was going to skip this one, but since there was no prompt for the actual gifts on Christmas morning, that's what I did instead. 
The big hit this year was the BIG dog!  She sleeps with it as a pillow every night...even on sleep overs!  Her laptop was a real close second...she's so excited she uses it several times a week!  She also really enjoys the new pants jammies (not fleece...she gets too hot!) and a beautiful pink hat with big pom poms (one on the top and two hanging from each ear).  I've even caught her sitting on the couch watching TV in the hat.

This was another fun layout.  I liked making the tag for the title.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Adult fun during the Santa Adventure

On the fifth day of Christmas we were prompted to take pictures at a holiday party.  Nicole told me to take my camera to the office party because that was probably going to be one of the prompts...I did, but I didn't take any pictures.  The VERY NEXT DAY the prompt was pictures at a holiday party.  Fortunately I had some good pictures to use from the Santa Adventure...hee, hee.

While the kids were writing letters to Santa, listening to the Polar Express, and watching a movie, the adults were drinking wine.  Boy, oh boy, did we drink some wine.  Jeff kept running around with the Santa hat saying, "This is as merry as I get."  All the while we knew he was having a blast.  So here is a picture of me on Santa's--I mean Jeff's--lap, and pictures of the men and ladies with Santa...we're such winos!  But we had a GREAT time!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dashing thru the snow...

On the fourth day of Christmas we are supposed to pick a lyric or title from a song.  Keeping with the theme of trying to scrap as much as I can from the Santa Adventure, Jingle Bells came to mind, but not the whole song, just the first line in the song:  Dashing thru the snow.  If I'd have had enough room and letter, I'd have changed it to be:  in an eight dog open sled...

We went on a sled dog ride.  There wasn't enough snow for us to use the big sled for everyone to ride at once, so they took the small sled that only held two people at a time.  Lucky, Erica, she got to go twice...woo hoo!!!  Jeff has wanted to drive a sled dog team for as long as we've been in Alaska.  He kept bugging the musher (driver) to let him do it.  He even told her he'd pay big if she did.  Well, she let him.  Apparently he did a good job, too (or so I'm told).  At the end of the short ride, Jeff held up his end of the deal and gave her $100 to split with the other gal that was helping.  Too bad I couldn't get pictures of him driving...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Holiday Decor...

I'm going out of order and posting twice today cuz I don't really have a story or much to say about the sixth day of Christmas...and I'm really behind!  We were supposed to take pictures of the holiday decor. people and no real stories to tell.  But I do have to say that I like the layout design.  I may have to use this on another layout with a good story!
I guess I could say a few things about our decor:  Erica and I enjoy making the gingerbread house every year.  She begs and begs until Jeff breaks down and buys it.  I'm also a bit of a nut when it comes to the tree.  I like it all to match.  I made many of the ornaments...or I should say, I embellished them.  Most of them are red with silver, white, and gold.  I also made the stockings for Jeff and I shortly after we were married.  Erica's stocking is a hand-me-down.  Jeff's grandma made it for him when he was a boy...and she wants to keep it to give to her little boy or girl.  The nativity set is my first, given to me by my mom.  I can't recall where I got the from friends, but I've forgotten who (sorry!).  And I absolutely adore the cute Christmoose Jeff's mom made several years hangs on the INSIDE of my door so I can enjoy it!

OK, I guess I had some things to say about the decor...but how do you fit all that on the layout.  Oh, well...

Dear Santa...

Oops...I have been slacking on my 12 days of Christmas posting.  Not a good way to start the year, sorry.  OK, so here we go trying to catch up.

The third day of Christmas is the Santa letter.  And boy do we have a doozy of a story!  The last night of the Santa Adventure, the kids wrote letters to Santa and then Santa came to read each child's letter out loud.  I read the draft letter, but not the final version...oops.  Erica asked Santa for some .22 shells and clips for "her" pistol.  Santa stopped reading and looked at her.  He said, "I'm not sure I can come visit you...I'm afraid you're going to shoot my reindeer."  Erica laughed and laughed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santa Adventure Crafts

Yeah...lots of layouts coming your way in the next few weeks (twelve...OK eleven cuz I already posted the first day of Christmas).  AND, I signed up for another class at Big Picture Classes called TWELVE.  I'll tell you more about that over the next few weeks (probably after I finish the 12 days of Christmas)...but the goal is to do 12 layouts a month for 12 months...WOW!!!  My personal goal/resolution for the year is to really internalize what the class is about and to complete all the layouts.  That will definitely be a challenge!!!  Oh, and I never really did the One Little Word class last year (Balance was my word...looking at my blog and the lack of posts, I think you can see I didn't really achieve it).  So this year's word is Journey.  I'll tell you more about that, later, too!  Whew...lots going on!

But onto the fun stuff for THIS post...and that's the Second day of Christmas.  This day was supposed to be decorating the tree.  Well, I already scrapped those pictures, soooo, I decided to use some pictures of Erica making Christmas ornaments during the Santa Adventure Weekend.  Of course, once I picked that topic, I found I really only had good pictures from the ornament she made at the Museum of the North.  Oh, well...the story is still the same, and that's the important part.  She made four or five ornaments that weekend.,,and for her that was GREAT!  She loves to be creative and crafty.  It's kinda hard to see, but there's holly on the moose's butt...I guess that's what makes it a Christmoose.

Papers and embellishments from Echo Park's Holly Jolly line.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The annual Christmas Tradition

There are few "staged family fun" activities I can get Jeff to participate in...decorating sugar cookies at Christmas time is one I never have a problem with.  Well, that's not completely true.  Usually he wants to get things DONE so he can eat them and I have to slow him down so I can get the "staged" pictures.
So here we are, having fun with our annual Christmas tradition of humoring mama with staged family fun...I mean with decorating our Christmas Sugar Cookies.  Everyone has their own job.  I roll out the dough, Erica cuts them out, Jeff frosts them, Erica decorates them (and makes a BIG mess), I take pictures, and we all enjoy them!!!
Thank you, again, to Basic Grey for the wonderful page layout.  This is one I put together over Thanksgiving and had to wait to fill with pictures.  Now I've shown you all the ones I did over Thanksgiving...but I have a few more I'll be making over the next few months (I hope!).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!! And Merry Christmas

Whew...what a holiday season we just had!!!  I can't think of anything in particular we did that made it feel so crazy, but I also don't feel like I've had any free time until this weekend...and even that was packed (details shortly).
One of my scrappy friends and I are participating in a few scrappy classes together.  The first is the Twelve Days of Christmas, where each day before Christmas we were given a photo prompt and a list of supplies to gather.  Then, for the twelve days after Christmas, we take those supplies and they give us layout instructions for completing them.  I think it would've been better to get the photo prompts earlier because many of the things they suggested we had already done and had to fit other pictures into the layouts.  For me, it was easy because I had lots of pictures for the Santa Adventure Weekend and used those (woo hoo!!!).  So now for the crazy weekend:  I scrapped the first seven days....YEAH!!!!!

On the first day of Christmas we were supposed to take the Christmas family picture.  Well, I already scrapped two of them during the Thanksgiving Album in a Weekend effort...sooooo, I switched up the Bundle Up layout I last showed you.  Below are TWO layouts, the reworked Bundle Up and the First Day of Christmas (no title on the layout).

First, a build up on the Bundle Up layout...I really should've used this picture for this layout the first time cuz it's MUCH more appropriate.  I can't recall if I blogged about Erica participating in an Outdoor event at the Campbell Creek Science Center in November.  They went snow shoeing and build Quinsey Huts (or something like that...they are shelters made out of snow).  These were outdoor activities and it was TWENTY BELOW!!!  But she loved every bit of it...and when I picked her up all she wanted to do was tell me about all the fun stuff she did.  Thanks to her troop leader, I got this picture of her trying not to freeze :)
 And I've already blogged about this here's a new layout.  I used the Winter Park kit from Echo Park (what fun...and you'll see lots more from it in the coming days!!!).