Wednesday, December 29, 2010

 I'll start by saying that, as I hang my head in shame, that I didn't take any pictures of the present that I made my brother and sister in law. Scandalous I know.

Since I feel that every post should have a picture I took these early this morning for your viewing pleasure.
Now my brother and sister in law (sil) are kinda hard to buy for and since my sil expected, sort of, something crafty I couldn't disappoint.
First quick back story...on Tuesday night we went to Winterhaven, on the ride up there my mom asked if we were done shopping. I said yes rather proudly. Then my mom asked if I had gotten anything for M&A.
I literally let out a gasp, I could have sworn I had gotten them a couple of gift cards but I actually had completely forgotten!
So the next day I ran to the store and spent time agonizing over what gift cards to get them.
As I circled around the gift card displays I came up with a creative way to give them their cards that didn't scream, "I don't know what you want so here is a gift card".
I went to my gypsy and designed some images to cut out for the next morning, aka Christmas EVE! and the day we are to exchange presents.
The next morning I began cutting and gluing.
Thank you to Cricut search for images and ease of finding what I was looking for.
Anyway, I had a rough idea to make an 8x8 chipboard book and each page would have a gift card.
The front page was a picture of  a couple sitting at a table for the cricut cart Sweethearts. The other side was two tickets that offered free babysitting either day or overnight. The next page was of a bowl with a fork of pasta and the word pasta all cut from the From my kitchen cart. On the page was a card to Olive Garden, one of their favorite places. The next page was a film strip and some popcorn, this was thanks to Mickey and Friends cart and Carousel cart. One that page was a gift card to fandango. One the last page was some trees with snow on them and writing a merry Christmas note from us.
It was all as simple as it sounds and it took me 3 hours to do. I'm slow I know. I punched the pages with my cropadile since I wasn't getting my Cinch until the next day. Thankfully I went in search of jump rings before I made the holes because I could only find 1 jump ring! No worries it came out cute and was very appreciated. Unless they didn't like it in which case they hide it extremely well :)
There you have it, my crafty gift to my bro and sil.
I promise next years will be much better.

PS- the pictures were inspired by the latest contest that Pioneer Woman was doing with bokeh. I thought I would give it a try.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas hangover.
What a nice Christmas.
I Had some fun with the creative gift wrapping and really threw Kelly for a loop when she unwrapped and saw a diaper box. Thankfully she was just as excited as I was about getting her caboodle, it was like a right of passage kind of thing. Something to put her treasures in.
The kids all did really well, scratch that, they bounced off the walls all morning
long wanting to open everything. We pacified that by letting the kids watch Despicable Me while we waited for Nina(my mom) to arrive.
The kids scored as usual but nothing crazy, well except Wyatt asked for and received a pogo stick.
We had a lovely afternoon over at his mom's house where Aunt Margaret was visiting from Mississippi and her daughter and son in law came down from Phoenix
 for dinner before taking Aunt Margaret back to Phoenix with them.
The kids sure did fall in love with Aunt Margaret, hell we all adore her, so the whole family was kind of bummed to see her go.
We spent Sunday just relaxing. I mean still in pj's at noon. It was a great day. Yes we did some laundry and some cleaning up but we also watched Julie and Julia, loved it, we watched some football, watched  Shrek forever, really liked it and
read a whole book. The kids played and played. We grazed on leftovers and candy all day. It was just a great day.

As a gift to the grandparents this year I took the plunge and made them photo books.
Now I hear all sorts of stories about the love/hate of getting these type of "all about us" books so I was nervous about doing them.
I used the Shutterfly template and just imported my photos and then added captions. It couldn't have been easier! I adjusted some of the photo placements and wowsers it was done. Shutterfly was having a buy one get each additional half off with free shipping, HELLO! what a gonga!
And the family's reaction... they all really loved it!
I called my dad the day I received my copies and he had already opened his. To hear my father say that it was something he will treasure warmed my heart.
Now I know my mom would like it because she pretty much gets me and my thinking but I wasn't sure how my Mother in law would like it.
It was a HUGE hit!
What a relief. Seriously, knowing that even though I thought it was an easy gift they greatly appreciated what I capture through the year made my heart swell. Especially when I sometimes get that look of "why do you always have a camera?" I caught looks and moments that had the family giggling. The family favorite was a picture of Rob and Chelsea asleep on the couch together one evening. It also was cool to have my mil show her family my lightning picture that made the paper.
I guess I'm hoping my mother in law (mil) is starting to get me.
Poor Rob was giving me a ration of crap because I ordered 3 of these but not one for us and he had yet to see the book so as my mom flipped through hers he was asking to see it next.
anyway Christmas weekend went well, and as of tomorrow Rob is off on vacation the rest of this week!
I'll post tomorrow about the (not so) quick gift and story I made for my brother and sister in law

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yesterday I finally mailed out my Christmas cards.
I only did a few this year. My plan was to have about 60 done but I had some cuttlebug issues and got generally frustrated so I took the ones i had finished and called it good.

Last night we loaded up in Grandma Ross' van and went to Winterhaven to see the lights.
The festival of lights has been going on for some 40+ years and this year almost didn't happen.
You see with the economic downturn there wasn't any funding for the lights.
Well let me back up a bit.
There is a neighborhood here in Tucson that every year most of the houses decorated for the Holiday season.
Now some do more than others and not everything is Christmas, there are a few Jewish/Hanukkah decorated homes too.
There is this one house that has gone all out with lights, water feature and music. It is one of the big highlights on the walk. I could stand there for hours.
Crud, I'm going off on a tangent.
These homes with the help of Tucson Electric and other companies helps the homeowners with the light bills and setting up the lights.
The community food bank is also there collecting food and money as part of an "entrance fee" if you are inclined to help out.
In the last dozen years or so you now have mule/horse drawn wagons that can take you around. I don't know the cost because we prefer the walk.
Now a few times during the season you can drive your car through but that's not much fun too us.
While some of the homes remind you of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation there are these few gems that if your not looking you could pass by.
Namely, Fragile (frag-eee-lei) and the leg lamp here.
The whole rest of the house was dark except this one window.

Now I've told Rob over the last couple of years that I would love to have a tacky pink flamingo in the yard, Rob of course says no way. It doesn't have to be totally visible, it could peek out from behind the bushes.
It's just one of those crazy things that makes me smile.
Now we saw quite a few of these light up flamingos on our walk and I just had to rib Rob over it. Who knows maybe in the spring I can sneak one into the yard and mess with my man. hehehehe

Friday, December 17, 2010

 On Tuesday Wyatt received his brag vest. This vest is what he puts all his patches and activity segments on.
Wyatt was later brought up again for belt slides, pins and patches he has received.
If things keep going this way that boys vest is going to be covered in no time at all.

The pack leader, Dennis had a couple of Christmas games for the kids and adults to play.
I will just say that I know quite a bit about Christmas trivia but I was polite and helped others win too.
The webelos did a little puppet show and then the big surprise was that...
Santa showed up!!
Now this is the first time Chelsea has met the big man and oh she was amazing.

 Chelsea was talking to him like he was an old friend, she kept saying Merry Christmas to everyone and telling us to look at Santa. No fear whats so ever.
When Santa asked what she wanted for Christmas I think she just babbled but Santa was fascinated by her.
Wyatt was in line right behind Chelsea and he asked for a remote controlled rocket ship, which I don't even know it there is such a thing.
After their visit with the man in red the    kids received a bag of goodies.
Now as all the kids were waiting in line Kelly wouldn't go up.
I begged, I pleaded. Nope she was having none of it, until she saw that the kids were getting goodie bags, then that girl was in line.
Greedy little snot, huh?
Kelly asked Santa for a laptop and some new clothes.
A laptop, seriously!
Keep dreaming kid!

I was really happy that all the kids cooperated and let me get a group shot and with decent expressions too!

Today is the kids first day of Christmas vacation.
I always have high hopes for a fun, productive time together but I guess I better come down to earth.
Already they are giving me fits and fighting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This year we are experiencing some unseasonably warm weather. Like 10-12 degrees warmer than normal. This made for a gorgeous weekend.
Sadly our rug rats all had fever and sniffles but the Grandma's still kept them. One on Friday and one on Saturday, that left us parentals free to roam the town.
Saturday afternoon we went to the 4th Ave. Street Fair. Where hundreds of vendors, musicians and entertainers clog a few city blocks. This photo no
where near shows how crazy the place was. Also this is just one side!
The top photo is actually looking back up to where we are heading. Just crazy.
The street fair brings out everybody, and there are so many beautiful things to see. Believe me, if I had lots of disposable money a few pieces would have come home with me. Since I'm cheap, I thought about ways to replicate a project I saw.
I also love to people watch. There were
street performers and henna artists, tarot card readers, you name it they are there.
After walking the fair we decided to head toward home and go eat out for dinner when Rob received a text that invited us to go to the U of A vs. ASU hockey game. Thankfully we hadn't made it far from downtown when turned back around.
We noticed that the traffic was heavy heading into downtown when I 
remembered that it was second Saturday. Downtown comes alive at night and food vendors line the street while they play a family friendly movie on the side of a building.
Seeing all the fun we parked over by the TCC and headed the 3+ blocks back to the action.
Rob and I enjoyed Mama Joy's Catfish while we watched the Grinch.
We saw Santa being driven around in a Rolls Royce, and cars decorated in
Christmas lights.
After our dinner we walked back through downtown and across the bridge to the TCC where we met up with friends to see ASU whoop our butt 8-2.
I got this one shot of the one goal that we made closest to us. It was just sad.
Normally we trounce ASU but jeez Louise the guys were off that night.
Got up Sunday morning to find that Wyatt and Chelsea now had the fever and cold that kept Kelly home for two days last week. Poor kids were miserable.
Kelly is feeling better and is back to school while Wyatt is home today.
Me, I'm still trying to fight it off. Please, I do NOT want what the kids have.
You know, moms should be immune to whatever their kids have. Makes taking care of them much easier.
Tonight Kelly has a pajama party at girl scouts. Games, food and fun, even I have to wear my pj's. Looking forward to the fun!


Monday, December 06, 2010

Another wild week is over and boy am I glad. This week looks to be much calmer but I'm sure will turn crazy, such is life.
Wyatt and Kelly had award assembly's last week and both kids made High Honor Roll! Yee Haw!
When I arrived for the assembly Wyatt's teacher approached me to say that Wyatt was playing "monsters" and had tackled a kid, who had no clue what was going on. The kid was fine and as punishment Wyatt had to eat lunch by himself in the office and had to go over the classroom rules about keep other people safe.
Once we got him home Rob and I talked to him about playing nice with other people and being more respectful.

Kelly had an interesting ceremony. Because the kids tend to thin when it comes to the higher grades, meaning that they sometimes switch to public schools or also that they just don't make the honor rolls anymore. Kelly's awards ceremony is from 3rd grade to 8th grade. Lots of cheering, talking, lots of kids.
While the ceremony was going on Chelsea was in her prime. She hung out with the older girls and clapped, danced and entertained them.
The funny part was that the older girls had no idea who Chelsea was but all the girls were super sweet to her.
Kelly had informed me that she has a new friend in her class and her name is Yuritza. Kelly says she is quiet and nice, maybe we will have her new friend come over to play sometime soon.

This weekend was also the kids' last soccer games.
This was both a happy and sad moment. We like going to games but I'm tired of all the obligations.
We started Saturday morning off a little rough. I had told the kids to have their soccer stuff ready so that it wasn't a mad scramble in the morning. Wyatt had an 8:00 game and Rob had to landscape so I was on my own in the morning.

Wouldn't you know it the kids couldn't find at least one item in their gear. Wyatt couldn't find his jersey and Kelly couldn't find her socks.
Then I was having the kids help me carry stuff to the field and Wyatt was to carry our little cooler on his shoulder. Well the boy started messing around and hung from his neck and started to do a run tip toe kind of walk when he biffed it on both of his knees. Tears and blood were flowing.
We got to the soccer field and I put 3 band aids on his knees and sent him out to warm up.
The boy continued to cry for 30 minutes. He was put in the as goalie and he still cried. I tried coaching him, my mom tried coaching him. His coach finally leaned down to him and said that if Wyatt would quit crying he would get him something from McDonald's at the team party.
Wouldn't you know it, the boy stopped crying. He even managed to stop a few goals and laugh when he got a soccer ball to his crotch.
Go figure.

After the game Wyatt's team went to McD's to play and hand out their trophy's. He was as proud as a peacock. His team unfortunately took last place in their age group.
We are taking the winter season off cause it's just too darn cold. We'll start up again in the spring.

Now miss K also had her game later that afternoon. So we drove back to the school and hauled all our gear to watch her team kick some butt.
Kelly's team took first place in their age group.
I tried to get some team shots and I caught this one of Kelly with her hair flying as she ran to get ready to help her teammate out.

Sunday right after church we had to head to Peter Piper Pizza for her teams season end party.
Holy cow, I haven't been to PPP in years and this new location was jaw dropping.

We ordered a pizza and wings and bought $5 in tokens and the kids had a blast.
The pizza was some of the best I've had in a long time and the wings were oh so tender.
I taught the kids how to use their tokens and watch for tickets. I showed them how to use the machine to count their tickets and redeem them at the prize counter.
Chelsea got to run around a little bit and she and daddy got to ride the carousel.
I brought my camera but**cough**Iforgotthememorycard**cough**.
Oh well, I won't say this to Rob but I can't wait to go again, it was fun.