Friday, August 28, 2009

the power of blogging


Feeling very overwhelmed(in a good way)...thank you so much for the outpouring of love & positive response to our BACK TO SCHOOL service project! I have received phone calls & emails letting me know that you want to help! It puts a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes just thinking about it. Thank you to Patti C. for the bag of darling clothes. Thank you to Patty M. for the gift card. Thanks to my Mom for the cash. Thanks to Amber for the shoes & sweatshirt. Thank you to Free for the gift card. Thank you Kim M. for shopping. Thank you Jenn E. for shopping. Thanks to Katie & Annie for the t-shirts & socks. Thanks to Grandma S. for the phone call this morning, cheering me on :-).
If you are still interested in helping, I will collect items through Wednesday of next week. I am hoping to deliver the BACK TO SCHOOL items by Friday of next week, just in time for the new school year.
Every little thing adds up, helps & makes a difference!
If you are new to my blog or have no idea what I am referring to, please see below :-)!

I have always felt that blogs/blogging(in general)are used for good. I am often inspired by other peoples blogs. On a daily basis, I can find new recipes, home decorating ideas, amazing scrapbook layouts, card designs, homemade crafts, new music, photography that inspires me, parenting tips, money saving tips & updates on the people I love, admire, & miss the most.

I had a family member call me tonight. She has a friend in need. She was checking with me to see if I had any clothes that did not fit my boys anymore. As we talked a little bit about her friend in need, I thought(out loud)and said" I bet I can do better than my boys hand me downs. I am taking this to my blog". I thought it would fun to put together a "back to school" blog service project. I thought it would be cool to see what kind of service my blog could generate for this family. As my family member described this friend of hers, I immediately knew that I wanted to help her. Here is where, I hope the power of my little ole' blog is going make a difference in their lives.

I obtained a list of the children's ages & their clothing sizes. If you see something that you would like to provide for this family, please leave a comment.
I will update this on a regular basis. If you don't have time to shop, I am totally willing to do that part on your behalf. You can send gift cards or money & I will fill in the gaps. I will blog along the way with updates & post pictures of the items we collect. Please feel free to tell your friends & family about this service opportunity & link them to my blog.The more the merrier.

Here is what these children are in need of. As you can see, the items are pretty basic.

13 year old boy:
Shirt size XL-XXL, Pants 36W32L, Shoes 10 1/2 -11, Ankle socks, boxers 33-35.

8 year old girl:
Shirt Medium or 8, Pants 8, Shoes 4 1/2-5, Ankle socks, underwear 8.

6 year old boy:
Shirt Medium or 7, Pants 7, Shoes 3 1/2 - 4, Ankle socks, boxers 7.

4 year old boy:
Shirt 5-6T, Pants 5T, Shoes 101/2-11, Ankle socks
** not fully potty trained so diapers or pull ups would be good.

School supplies: 13 year old needs a backpack, but the others have one. Binders, binder paper, notepads, pens/pencils, pencil/pen holder, colored pencils, dividers/folders.

I know this family(especially the Mom) will appreciate & love anything we can provide for them. I am a BIG believer in the whole pay it forward concept. I truly believe that when we help others in need, we too will be blessed & provided for.

If you have any questions or need my address, you can email me at

Thursday, August 27, 2009

kit of the week

Here is a look at this weeks Kit of the Week that can be found/purchased at Green Tangerines. I used some of my favorites supplies on this weeks layout(kraft paper, American Crafts thickers, brads, & ki memories pattern paper).

This layout is a great way to scrap those memorable sleepover
adventures,baby photos, or sleeping on your new bunk bed for the first
time :-).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I love these boys to pieces & am so impressed with the little human beings that they are...the boys they are striving to become on a daily basis.

They often surprise me & constantly make me SO proud.I have had many tender moments in the last month...they have been the kind of moments that make this whole parenting trip worth every second.

About a month ago, we had a knock on the front door. It was a Friday & I had already declared that we weren't going anywhere. We were going to stay home & clean. I hadn't showered & was in the fridge, deep cleaning...pulling everything out. The boys were in their rooms, under the beds. They were pulling everything out of their hiding spots. So, back to that knock on the door. I opened the door to find Tanner's soccer coach & the entire team standing there. They were there to pick Tanner up for the team camping trip to Donor Lake. What in the world??? How did I miss the email about this one???? The coach said he would wait while we packed Tanner's stuff. I wasn't even sure if I was comfortable with Tanner going. My heart was racing, wondering if I was really going to let my first born go away for the weekend with a bunch of kids, the coaches & their wives. Needless to say, I let him go. I worried about him the entire day until he called to check in. He was having the BEST time. Hearing that & his voice FINALLY allowed me to relax. On Saturday we received another phone call from Tanner. He was calling to tell us that they had been down @ the lake, playing. The shore didn't have any sand, instead it had tiny pebbles. Somehow, Tanner had gotten a pebble stuck between his eye & eyelid. Tanner said the pebble was curved just like his eye & it was STUCK. The coaches & their wives tried everything to get it out. They poured water in his eyes, hoping to flush it out. They tried Qtips, hoping to move it a little so they could grab it. I guess this went on for quite a while. Tanner was scared. He decided that it was time to say a prayer. He told his coach that he was going to ask his Heavenly Father for help. The coach said "OK". Tanner started to head towards the trees so he could say a little prayer. The coach said, "it's okay, you can say it right here". Tanner knelt down & asked Heavenly Father to help him get the pebble out of his eye. He then thanked him for the fun camping trip. He stood up, and in Tanner's words "it popped right out". Talk about great faith of a little boy. What Tanner does not know is that his coach came over to our house that Monday after the camping trip. He came to tell John & I that we have one incredible young man. He said that Tanner's simple example & quiet faith had left such an impression on the coaches & their wives. Okay, so you have know by this point, I am bawling like a baby :-)! I am so grateful for Tanner & his incredible faith. I felt very comforted knowing that he could be away from home, away from us & know that his Heavenly Father was just a prayer away.

Long story short, I had relayed this story to my Mom & Tanner received this sweet note in the mail from her yesterday. It reminded me that I needed to record this.

Tanner read the note, had tears in his eyes & said "can you please put this in my scrapbook". That's my boy!

Carter received a note from Grandma too.

One thing you need to know about Carter is that he will always stick up for the under dog. This little boy was new to our school this year. Carter volunteered to show him around the school. He invited this boy to play with him @ recess & to eat lunch with him. While they were playing, a few fellow 3rd graders started to make fun of this boy, Carter's new friend. Carter told them to knock it off...they didn't let up. Carter came home & proudly told me that he had told those mean boys, teacher & they had to pull not ONE card, but TWO cards. He has reported that those mean boys have not bothered his new friend since.

I am so thankful for Tanner & Carter & the constant examples they are to me. I learn so much from them on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

big boy beds...

for Garrett & Brody! Until a friend of ours gave us the bunk beds(thanks MH), Garrett was still in a toddler bed & Brody still had his crib. Notice how I didn't mention that Brody was still in his crib. He has been climbing out of his crib since he was one years old. I'm not even sure how many nights he actually slept in that crib. We would usually find him asleep on the floor. I am happy to report that he stayed in his bed the entire night(last night).I checked on the boys @ 4:45 this morning & he was still sound asleep on the bottom bunk.

I do need to mention that we have had the bunk beds set up in their room for about a month, with no mattresses. So when we bought mattresses & made their new beds last night, they were very excited & very willing to hop right on, into bed. Well, that excitement lasted for about 10 seconds until the lights were turned off. They both started to scream & cry.& They said they were scared in their new beds. I stayed in their room with them until they fell asleep.

One of these pictures will be used for August 15, 2009. I am still on track with my Project 365. I have enjoyed taking at least one picture, each day. It will be fun to go back & check out what represented our days/months in the year 2009. My goal, with the boys back in school is to get those "picture a day" photos printed & into an album.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I have been scrapbooking like a mad woman on a mission this week. I'm creating with the Green Tangerines July Kit Club product. I am loving the colors & all of the fabulous product included in this kit. I love the fact that the GT kits are so versatile! With this one kit, I have created a wedding layout, a 4th of July layout, & layout from a mini family reunion. I can't share my projects yet, but once my layouts are posted in the GT gallery,I will be sure to post them here.

What I can share with you is a peek of this weeks, Kit of the Week! It was released today. With the boys heading back to school this week, I thought it would be fun to create a BACK TO SCHOOL layout.

The GT KOW's have all of the product needed to create the layouts & a sample picture of the completed layout. You provide your own photos :-).This weeks kit includes cardstock, Scenic Route pp, Glitter Thickers, ribbon, & brads.

I am feeling pretty dang proud of myself for scrappin' these photos before their first week of school was even over. Again, if you are interested in this kit, you can call Green Tangerines at 916-771-8010. They are available until they sell out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

the boys are back in town... uummm I mean "SCHOOL"

It's true, it was back to school for our boys today! Our house was buzzing last night as the boys laid out their new school clothes, packed their backpacks & looked for the bike lock keys...that is a whole other story...we're not going there tonight!

The yearly photo of the boys school clothes. Tanner did this the night before he started kindergarten & it has become the tradition.
*Take note, Garrett has his underwear laid out right where he would wear them. Carter is a little more modest this year, they are tucked into his shorts. You can't see Tanner's, he is on to his Mom & the whole blog/picture thing -LOL!

We put the boys to bed @ 8:30 last night & it took them another hour to fall asleep! They were so excited for today. Here are a few shots from our morning!

The yearly photo shoot out on the front porch is a must. The children are asked to bring flowers for their teacher. Each flowere represents each child & the diversity of the classroom! It is a fun tradition that my boys make sure we don't forget.

Brody did not want to be left out. We couldn't get him to stay out of the pictures. It was pretty cute. He even carried a flower to school like the big boys.

Seriously, he was not going to be left out of anything. Here he is showing us what grade he is going into.

Here is "Mr. big man on campus" himself. Tanner is now a 5th grader! Where did my baby boy go?

Here is Mr. Carter. Ready or not 3rd he comes!

And this cute boy started kindergarten today! I held it together really well until the little boy in line, next to us started to cry. I lost it when his Mom started to cry. Thank goodness for sunglasses :-). I am so excited for Garrett & this new adventure in his life. He was all smiles & so happy to be there. He has a super teacher & we couldn't be happier for him.

I anxiously waited for the boys to get home today. I wanted to hear all about their first day of school. Garrett had a great time. He told us he got to see the library, computer & music rooms. Tanner & Carter bolted into the house saying that they had the nicest teachers EVER!. I can rest easy, the new school year is off to a great start.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Slime Time

Who knew homemade slime could bring so much joy & laughter into our home & to my boys? I seriously have not heard Garrett giggle so hard & loud in a long time! He loved trying to see how long he could get his slime to go! It was simple & very inexpensive to make. I have enough starch left over to make a 100 more bags of the gooey stuff :-) !You can find glue for super cheap right now!

Here are the step by step directions, with photos of course :-).


-liquid starch
-food coloring
-Ziploc bags(sandwich bags worked great)

Step One:

Pour 1/4 c. of your liquid starch & 3 drops of your color of choice into Ziploc bag.
Seal & mix well!

Step two:

Add 1/4 c. of glue to your starch & food coloring mixture.
Seal bag & mix.

Step three:
You will find that you have excess liquid. Simply remove your slime from the bag & put it into a new bag & continued to mix well. If it is still too wet, try one more clean Ziploc bag.

Step four:

Enjoy your slime. See how long you can stretch it. See how many funny noises you can get it to make.

{Yes, they are standing on the table. This was a one time deal :-)}

Step Five:
Sit back & watch your children laugh & giggle & ask when they can make some more!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

where has our summer gone?

Seriously...we are just days away from the boys going back to school. Tanner will be starting 5th grade. Carter is going into the 3rd grade & Mr. Garrett will be starting kindergarten! I can't believe he is old enough for kindergarten! I can't believe it will just be Brody & me during the morning hours of our days! Life is changing way too fast & I'm not sure if I am ready! While we have had a nice, relaxing has been filled with all of the running around that takes place with going back to school. We have been shopping for school supplies (one of my favorite things to shop for-BTW), scoring some HOT deals. This was by far our best school supply deal, this week.

We picked up 45 pkgs. of binder paper for .45 cents. Yes, you read that right...45 cents. It was a super deal!

My friend Laina(the coupon queen) came and taught a coupon/money saving class for the ladies @ church. Thanks Laina! She inspired lots of my friends to jump on the coupon band wagon. So much so, that my friend Jan & I went on a little field trip to Walgreens. Jan wanted to see how to work the deals. My total, before coupons & Register Rewards was $41.00 and some change. After my coupons & RR's, my official total was $18.08. It gets even better. After I paid my $18.08, out pops $19.00 in RR. I left Walgreens last night, having made .92 cents. They paid me to buy those items last night. This is what I scored (minus two bottles of soap, 2 deodorants & 2 PB's that I gave Jan).

Besides getting ready for school, I have been trying to pull my house back together. This little box of goodies inspired me to at least get my scrapbook desk cleaned off. I am so ready to hunker down & create! These lovely goodies can all be found in one place. They are from the July Green Tangerines Kit Club. These kits are still available but I am guessing not for long. You can call the store at 916-771-8010(tell them Raimi sent you & that I say HI) & they will even ship it to you. You don't wanna miss this kit! The colors are yummy & perfect for all of your summer day photos.

We are excited for the weekend even though the weather has put a damper on our Tahoe plans. We will stay close to home & enjoy the cool weather here. The boys are looking forward to finding out who their teachers are tomorrow night. I am excited for them. The anticiaption is killing all of us!

How about you, are you excited for school to be starting?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

a summer tradition

Our summer would not be complete without a visit from the cousins. Malakai, Kannon, & Jace came to stay with us for a few days! What's a few more boys? It is a yearly tradition that we look forward to. The boys always have so much fun together. I was online looking for fun activities to create with all of the boys while they were here. I found recipes for things like "Make your own slime" & sidewalk paint. They kept themselves so busy this year that we didn't get to any of that. They had a great time. I enjoyed watching them play, laugh, wrestle & behave like a bunch of energetic boys.

I met my sister in Fairfield(the half way point) on Wednesday to grab the boys.

We headed home with a packed car. The music was bumping :-)! Tanner has become quite the backseat DJ. He is always making sure that I have the music loud enough & that all of the songs are appropriate :-)! It was fun to listen to them belt out the songs they love. We made it home & enjoyed a yummy taco dinner. After dinner we headed to the FOUNTAINS to get frozen yogurt at BIG SPOON. The boys LOVE BIG SPOON. You create your own...yogurt, toppings & all.

While enjoying our Yogurt, we headed over to the Fountains to enjoy the music & watch the colorful fountains squirt water to the beat of the music.

Gee, do you think these boys have Moms who take photos -LOL?
I told them I wanted to take a picture of them & this is how they posed :-)

We started our Thursday off with waffles, strawberries, & whip cream. Each time I made breakfast, lunch or dinner, I felt like I was feeding a small army.

We enjoyed the cement slides today. I was happy to see last years grafitti was gone. Thank you, city of Roseville.

Brody was big enough to ride down on the cardboard all by himself. He was all smiles each time he slid down.

The slides wore the boys out. They spent an hour running up the stairs & sliding down. There were many competitive races down when the older boys were sliding. We LOVE this park & need to remember to visit it more often.

After the slides, we went home & the boys kept themselves busy with baseball games out front, many rounds of the card game SPEED, water balloon fights, & even some down time.

For dinner, we picked up some pizza & headed over to the local water park. Do you sense a theme of the cousin visit? I let these boys play hard all day so they'll sleep really well @ night :-). It seems to work in my favor at the end of the day.

We ended the night with a silly string war in the front yard.

We spent Friday at Lake Tahoe with our family & friends! We had so much fun! The boys caught crayfish by the bucketfuls, they played football in the lake, they swam, built a few sand castles,had their lunch on the shore & they went boogie boarding. Not the kind of boogie boarding like we enjoy in the ocean, but none the less, they called in boogie boarding & had a blast.

Whew!!! I am tired just typing about our activities over the last three days. The boys went home this morning, bright & early. We loved having them. We are already looking forward to next summer when the cousins can visit again.

I am exhausted & need a nap. See ya!