Friday, December 31, 2010

December by the numbers

This is my last blog post. This is my last by the numbers post...for 2010. There was so much to be thankful for this December. Our numbers for themonth seem to focus on lots of fun, family, traditions and December "to do's".

ONE happy boy (Tanner) had his cast removed.

TWO a. holiday parties attended.
TWO b. batches of caramels were made(for the first time) and delivered.

THREE batches of fudge were made.

FIVE dozen sugar cookies were made and decorated.

SIX happy family members enjoy a fabulous December.

TEN scrapbook layouts were completed. Not bad for December.

ELEVEN friends pull together to help throw a wedding reception at the last minute.

TWELVE days of Christmas were completed, door bell ditch style.

FOURTEEN blog posts recorded for the month.

FIFTEEN dozen Pretzel Hug treats were made and delivered.

TWENTY FOUR 1st graders had a blast building Gingerbread houses.

TWENTY FOUR Christmas books were read as a family.

TWENTY FIVE days of Christmas countdowns and FUN.

TWENTY SEVEN monogram cards were created as gifts.

FORTY Handmade Christmas cards created.

SIXTY the # of candles on my Dad's birthday cake on the 14th. Happy Birthday, Dad.

SEVENTY ONE Christmas photo cards were received.

ONE HUNDRED FIFTY Christmas cards sent.

ONE HUNDRED SIXTY SEVEN blog posts for 2010...same excact amount as 2009.

THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE days (as of tonight) w/out a Diet Coke(or caffeine) I did it!!!

THREE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY photos were unloaded off of my camera. Can you say shutterbug?

ENDLESS holiday traditions lived on this month. It is what the holidays are really,our Savior's birth and traditions.

Have a Happy and safe New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

biggest loser...

Green Tangerines style!

First of all, how stinkin' cute is that picture/header? My super talented friend, Mer created it for the Green Tangerines Weight Loss Challenge Blog. She is amazing!

Okay friends, I am so excited about this challenge. Green Tangerines is hosting a 12 week weight loss challenge...perfect for all of our New Year Resolutions, right? It does not matter where you live, anyone and ALL can join in and compete. You just need a scale, a digital camera and some motivation. As a side note, every ones weight will be kept totally confidential with the store owner. There will be weekly prizes, blog posts, recipes and cash prizes for the top 3 winners. You can read all about the challenge and official rules over on the official Green Tangerines Biggest Loser Challenge Blog.

If you are so in on this challenge like I am, head over to the GT Biggest Loser Blog and check it out and leave us a comment!

p.s. you have to actually call the store to register...not hard at all.

p.s.s. yours truly is one of the blog hosts for this challenge. I have participated in something very similar to this and it was F-U-N. So much so, that I lost 25 lbs.. What are you waiting for, check it out!

Monday, December 27, 2010

fun prizes


My friend, Mamarazzi from Dandelion Wishes is having a fabulous give away over on her blog. She was in the running for blogger of the year. She almost made it to the next round. In my honest opinion, she totally should have. All you have to do is head over to her blog and leave her a comment, telling her what top 3 prizes you would like to win...if you are picked as one of her winners. Easy Peasy...please let her know that I sent you her way! Good luck. I hope some of us win :-).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morning JOY

It is hard to summarize our fabulous Christmas day in one blog post. From start to finish, we really did have an amazing Christmas.

We left cookies and milk out for the big guy. We sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn...I am secretly hoping it will fertilize our dead looking, winter grass :-). The boys also left a plate of carrots on the porch for those hungry reindeer. Garrett carefully counted each carrot to make sure all of the Reindeer had their own...very thoughtful.

{Brody is not pictured. He fell asleep in the car on the way home from our Christmas Eve with the Krupp family}

The boys didn't come into our room until 7:00 am. It was nice to sleep in a teensy bit. We have a Christmas morning tradition. Daddy goes to turn on the Christmas tree lights and checks to see if Santa did indeed visit our house during the wee hours of the morning. While he is doing that, the boys try to wait patiently, lined up from youngest to oldest in our room...waiting for that green light, to run out to the living room.

I love this shot of everyone checking out their Santa stashes. They were all thrilled and excited to dig on in and play with it all!

Santa did not disappoint this little boy. Brody was all about anything and everything Toy Story this year. Santa brought his the Buzz Lightyear bike.

Garrett loved his long board. He also received the K'Nex roller coaster. He is anxious to start building that one with Dad. Out of all the boys, Garrett was the one who was the most into Christmas this year. He constantly wanted to talk about Santa. He wanted to know what he was doing and how the reindeer were doing. Before going to bed last night, he asked John to open his blinds...hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa and his sleigh. He is at such a fun age. He did not miss a beat this season and we are glad that santa was so good to him.

Watch out Steven Spielberg, Carter is on your tail in the movie making business. After finding the bottle of Ketchup in the backyard (a few times over) and viewing some videos on one of my digital cameras, Santa figured it was time to get this boy a video camera of his own. He received the Flip camera. He and his fried love to make their own videos. He also loved the XBox headset and a year subscription for Xbox Live that Great Grandpa Pung got for the boys. Thanks, GG.

All Tanner wanted was a 4th Generation iTouch. This boy has been researching this Ipod for is all we heard about :-). He is growing up way too fast. It is a good thing Santa was listening. He was over the moon excited about receiving his ITouch. He also received a $50.00 Itunes card from us. I wrapped that card about 20 times and Tanner got a kick out of opening that gift.

John and I had so much fun watching the boys open their gifts. We were exhausted. I think the month of December had finally caught up with us. We were impressed and thankful to hear all of the "thank you's" that came out of each one of their mouths as they opened each gift.

I love that Brody insisted that we snuggle up in his new Toy Story blanket. He paused long enough to smile for the camera and then was off and playing with his new toys. This Mama is ready for a long winters nap. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

merry christmas

we hope your christmas was "picture" perfect.

the krupp family

Friday, December 24, 2010

christmas treats

One of our favorite December traditions is to bake treats for our neighbors. We made several different types of treats(I will share those too) this year. One of our favorite treats(super simple and yummy)were the Pretzel Hugs. I am not even sure if that is their official name...but that's what I'm calling them.

Pretzel Hugs

2 bag of Hershey Hugs
1 bag of Pretzels (Butter Snaps)
1 bag of red and green M&M's
(This will make two cookie sheets full)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Unwrap all of your Hershey Hugs. Place Parchment Paper down on your cookie sheet(this will catch the melted chocolate and save you from a messy pan). Line your cookie sheet with Pretzels topped with Hershey Hugs! Place in the oven for 9 minutes. Once the cookie sheet is out of the oven, Start placing M&M's into the melted hugs. Let cool until until chocolate is set. This takes a while. Do not place in fridge to speed the process up. Your M&M's will get that cracked, old looking vibe to them....yes, I am speaking from experience.

Place them in a clear cello bag and tie off with a fun ribbon. Share them with the people you love!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

finding joy in the small things.

I can't believe it is really Christmas Eve, Eve! The boys are over the top excited and had trouble falling asleep tonight! I wonder how long it will take them tomorrow night :-).
I have tried REALLY hard to enjoy this Christmas season! I have tried to find the blessings, the opportunities to serve and most of all, to experience December with my family. We enjoyed lots of fun activities this season and are filing many of them away to repeat next year.

Our favorite activity this month was actually something we did as a family when I was a little girl. I will NEVER forget the year we doorbell ditched my Grandma Davis for 12 days. It was her first Christmas without my Grandpa and we wanted to make her December a little brighter. It was an awesome experience. This year, we picked a family to door bell ditch every night...aka Secret Santa. You do it for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. We typed up silly little notes based on the Twelve Days of Christmas song and attached them to little gifts.

We drive over as a family, usually listening to the GLEE Christmas album...a MUST HAVE!!! The boys would bantered back and forth over things like whose turn it was to carry the gift. Whose turn it was to ring the door bell. Brody had the same job each night. He would watch for the boys as they'd run back to the car and then he'd shout "hit it Dad/Mom". That was our cue to get get out of there fast. We will deliver our last gift tomorrow night. The boys are just as excited about the last delivery as they were the first. This little family activity has brought so much love and laughter into our lives. It really is what Christmas has been about this season...finding the joy in the small things.

What are you enjoying this season?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's B-A-C-K

The Green Tangerines Kit Club is back! New kits will be launching in January 2011...very soon AND very exciting! All of the PBD girls have turned in their layouts and you can get sneak peeks over on the GTKC blog. There is even a contest to win a prize. Check it out here, leave a comment and I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll win.

My THEY MAKE ME HAPPY layout is up as the 1st sneak peek for the January kit.

Again, I love how versatile the GTKC product is. I was able to create 3 very different layouts with one kit AND I still have a ton of product left over.

I'll be back tomorrow(hopefully) with some Christmas fun! I hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas season and all that it beholds,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

thought for the day

"There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." - Bill McKibben

Sunday, December 12, 2010

traditions...old and new

After an entire month of blog posts in November, I seemed to have hit a dry spell. It's more like, happy to be enjoying all that this season beholds. We have been enjoying favorite traditions and have even started a few new ones.

Earlier this week, the boys received their yearly ornaments. I wrap them and we take turns opening them. This year, it was all about the sparkly ones. I tried to get everyone their favorite color (Tanner = blue, Carter = red, Garrett = green and Brody got the gold one because his favorite color changes all of the time). It's fun to watch them pick the perfect spot on the Christmas tree and carefully place them on there.

I was able to go Christmas caroling with the youth from church. We visited the folks at a local nursing home. We hand delivered hand made cards to each resident and then gathered in their rec room to sing Christmas carols. It was a very rewarding evening.

Up next, gingerbread houses. It just wouldn't be December without these candy laden homes. I got to help Garrett's class build their gingerbread houses this week. They all took their time and were very creative when it came to loading their houses with all of the sweets.

We started a new twist to an old tradition in our home. We have always read a different Christmas book each night in December. After blog hopping a bit, I decided that I wanted to wrap 12 different Christmas books to count down the 12 days until Christmas. We will read the story of Christ's birth on Christmas day. I headed to our local library to pick up a few new stories. Garrett got to pick our first book this evening. We all sat around the Christmas tree and read The Night Before Christmas together as a family. The boys already have the books they want to unwrap/read all picked out.

I am finishing up our Christmas cards. We are spreading Christmas joy. We are enjoying our Christmas decorations throughout the house. We will be baking on Wednesday for our neighbors and friends. Christmas music has been on 24/7. I really do love everything about month of December.

What traditions are you enjoying this month?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Association Cup Champs

{Carter is on the bottom, 2nd from the left}
They did it! Carter and his team BATTLE won the entire Association cup games. This is Carter's 2nd year playing with team BATTLE. These boys play so well team work on so many levels. Carter has loved every minute of it. The coaches are dedicated and are so good with the boys. Carter was nominated as one of the team captains this season. The coaches said that carter was a great team leader and always has a positive attitude. His friend Justin was the other co-captain. Here are a few photos from their big win! We are so proud of them.

We are so proud of all of the BATTLE boys.

Friday, December 10, 2010

merry and bright

Here is this weeks, Kit of the Week...merry and bright. It can be purchased at Green Tangerines. For my friends who attended the breakfast with Santa last week, this layout will match nicely with any photos you may have taken. I have to give photo credit to my friend, Mer. She and her cute little family joined us for a morning of fun...breakfast, jammies, bed head, Christmas songs and performances and a visit from the old jolly man himself. She took these fabulous photos of our sweet kiddos. It was a super fun way to kick off my December...just what I needed.
As usual, you can call the store to order your kit (916-771-8010) or swing by and pick one(or two or three...perfect to give as a gift to your scrapbook friends) up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

{Kit of the Week}

I know we are all wrapped up in all things December...but I thought I would post my Happy Turkey Day layout. Don't you love those cute turkey's? They came right off of a sheet of pattern paper. This layout was created as last weeks Kit of the Week for Green Tangerines (916-771-8010). It was hard to pick just 4 photos from our Turkey day but I think these 4 photos represented what our day was all, food and fun. I am a big fan and promoter of journaling on my layouts. I am sad to report that the journaling doesn't always find the space on my layouts. This Turkey Day layout was one of them. To solve that problem, I journaled on a separate piece of paper, cut it into strips and glued it on the the back of my layout. All of the important information about our day can be found on the back.

I will have this weeks(current)kit to share with you at the end of the week.
Think Christmas, breakfast with Santa, friends, jammies and bed head!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy December

Just typing that simple phrase makes me happy! I love everything about December. I love the decorations. I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail. I love the music. I love the hustle and bustle. I love the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. I love the holiday baking and crafting. It makes me so happy.

Today was a great day. I spent time making lots of peppermint bark and Christmas cards for our adopted Grandparents at church(a way fun service project). I received a Happy Wednesday package in the mail today. My sweet friend, Meridee is trying to "Meridee-ify" my Christmas tree. She sent me two new Christmas Ornaments, a very sweet note and a Target gift card. Such a kind, thoughtful surprise (love you, friend).

We could not let the first day of December pass by without the boys receiving their new Christmas jammies. After they snuggled into their new jammies, they each received their Trader Joe's advent calendar.

Our December is off a to a wonderful start. There are so many fun things to look forward to this month. What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November by the Numbers

Another full month with so much to be thankful for. I can't believe we are on the brink of December.

ONE broken bone for Tanner.

TWO books read (The Last Child and Sizzling 16)

THREE new albums purchased (Sugarland, Glee Christmas, and Keith Urban)

SEVEN Dr. appts. for various family members...mostly Tanner.

EIGHT soccer games played between Tanner, Carter and Garrett.

NINE months of "By the Numbers" posts this blog post each month.

ELEVEN layouts created

THIRTY TWO family members gathered together for Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's.

TWENTY FIVE cards created for friends/birthdays/adopted Grandparents.

TWENTY SIX days until Christmas...wahoooo!

THIRTY photos taken for my Photo a Day album. one month to go.

THIRTY FIVE blogs posts for one record for sure!

EIGHTY NINE homemade rolls...made with love by Mom.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE Christmas cards prepped for an Old Folks home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Tanner had a little mishap at school before the Thanksgiving break. Lets just say that his injury was NOT his fault. After several Dr.'s appointments, visits to the x-ray office and the pediatric orthopedist, we found out that his ring finger is broken. He was absolutely heartbroken...devastated when he got the news. Now that his hand has been casted (and finger splinted), he can no longer finish the rest of his select soccer season. He will not be able to play in the District Cup Finals. Tanner said, "This is what we work the entire season play in the District Cup". He was hoping to sink that 30th goal during the District Cup games...his personal goal for the 2010 season. He is ONE goal short. In an 11 year old boys world, this was the worst news ever. John and are were just proud that it took us almost 12 years of parenting to experience our 1st break. With 4 active boys, this is HUGE!

According to Tanner, the perks to having his hand casted are:

1. Getting out of some of his daily chores.
2. Being able to type his classwork instead of handwriting it.
3. New Silver Sharpies(a boy after my own heart) so friends and family can sign his cast.

It is going to be a long 4 weeks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Halls are decked

I love the weekend after Thanksgiving! John (w/out me having to ask) got the Christmas tree and all of the decorations out of the garage. Everyone jumped in to help deck our halls. Our home feels festive, the Christmas music is on in the background, and we are ready for December. Bring it ALL on!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gratitude on Friday

Today I am grateful that I made the choice to skip the early morning(I am talking wee hours of the morning)Black Friday shopping. It was hard to do. It has been a tradition for the last 15 years. I slept in until 8 am and enjoyed the morning with my family. It was nice to be in my bed at 12 am, 3 am, 4 am and 6 am. I did head out after 10 am and was still able to land a few of the deals I would have scored in the wee hours of the morning. This sleeping in on Black Friday morning may have become my new tradition. Who's with me?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gratitude on Thursday

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for so much! Thankful for a loving family, healthy children, our jobs, our home, and our full tummy's. I am thankful for the chance to remember my Grandpa Shore today. He was such a HUGE part of all of our lives. My Uncle Rick is the family videographer. He captures it all on film. Edits it. He creates clever titles and then pieces it all together with great music. Here is last years video. Our little family was not there. It was our year to be with the Krupp's. I am so thankful that he captured Grandpa's last Thanksgiving here on earth. I love my family.

p.s. please pause my music to the right. You will want to watch this video with the music that Uncle Rick set it to.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gratitude on Wednesday

{A huge thank you to Sylvia for the photo :-)}

Today I am grateful for all of these lovely ladies(not all of my GT lovelies are pictured). I am so lucky to know each of lucky to have them in my life. John, Garrett and I were running errands tonight and Green Tangerines was on our list. It is so fun to walk through the doors and feel that instant love and connection with my little GT family. It is kind of the CHEERS in the scrapbooking world for me. I am thankful for each an every one of them.
p.s. I think John was very thankful that Ken was in town :-) and that Crosby was there to hang out with :-).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude on Tuesday

Today I am grateful for our home. It is freezing outside, the coldest night of the season so far. I am thankful to be inside, with the heater blowing and warm blankets to crawl under.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratitude on Monday

Today I am grateful for this sweet boy of mine.

Tanner had a really rough week, last week. I am thankful for his positive attitude and the happy boy that he is. His smile and laugh are can't help but smile and laugh with him. He is a great big brother and fabulous son. I am thankful for the example he sets for the rest of us to follow.
{photo be Mer at hello love}

Tis' the Season...

for Christmas cards! Receiving Christmas cards via snail mail is one of my favorite things about the Christmas season. I also love sending Christmas cards from our family. I love finding the perfect photo to use on our card. I love picking out new Christmas themed return address labels. I love dropping my HUGE stack of addressed Christmas cards in the mailbox(while giving myself a pat on the back). This weekend was all about finding the perfect photo card to send to friends and family.

I have found the perfect site to order our Christmas photo cards from. Shutterfly is giving away 50 free cards to bloggers. How awesome is that?

Shutterfly has tons of Holiday cards to choose from. I love the variety of cards that they offer. Some are very colorful and decorative while others are very simple, clean and graphic. You can get folded Christmas cards, flat photo cards or Flat stationary cards. There really is something for every one's style and taste.

You can check out their holiday cards here. There are 803 designs to choose from. It is so easy. You find the perfect card for your family and then you upload your photo and add text...easy peasy!

Here are a few sample cards. I am keeping our final pick top secret till it arrives in your mailbox.

Don't forget to check out their address labels, found here.You are bound to find something you love and who knows, they might even coordinate with your cute new Christmas cards from Shutterfly :-).

I can't wait to receive your Christmas cards this season :-).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gratitude on Sunday

Today I am grateful for my bed. It is the end of the day and I am ready to crawl on in. The boys and John are on Thanksgiving break. I am praying that each one of them will decide to sleep in...fingers and toes are crossed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude on Saturday

Today I am very grateful that wonderful things happen to wonderful people. My friend, Patti and her sweet family have been blessed with this sweet little bundle of joy. Meet baby Kenzie. She is the sweetest little thing. We are over the top excited for them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I love Fall. I love everything about it! This weeks Kit of the Week features an Apple Hill layout. Our family ventured up to Apple Hill for the first time last Fall. We loved it! It is the perfect Fall activity. We are hoping to make it up there next week while the boys are on their Thanksgiving break.

You can pick this kit up at Green Tangerines(916-771-8010). All of the product is included. You put it together and add your photos. This kit would also be great for park pictures...just change your title.

p.s. I used an Allison Davis sketch for this layout.

Gratitude on Friday

Today I am grateful for Fridays. I always look forward to Friday. It is my favorite day of the week. It is the one day of the week that we don't have anywhere to be...there is no soccer, no scouts, no homework, no soccer games,etc... It is the one day of the week that gives us a little bit of down time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gratitude on Thursday

Today I am grateful for the wonderful school community that our family is a part of. I am so very thankful for the parents and teachers who watch out for our entire student body. I am thankful for those who step up to protect others and for those who are watching out for my children when I might not be there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude on Wednesday

Today I am grateful (and thankful) that John returned home, safe and sound from his business trip. He doesn't have to travel very often but when he does, we ALL miss him. He is a big, happy part of our lives. I am thankful for all that he does for our little family. I have been blessed with a fabulous husband!
{photo by Mer at Hello Love}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude on Tuesday

Today I am grateful for all of the beautiful Fall colors. When I drive around town, I love look at all of the vibrant colors on the trees and shrubs. The red, orange and yellow shades are absolutely breath taking. I also love all of the Fall bouquets that are in abundance at my favorite grocery stores(Trader Joe's, Costco and Bel Air). Fall is beautiful!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gratitude on Monday

Today I am grateful for my little three year old. Brody was SO good today while I ran a marathon of errands. It made getting in and out of all those stores do-able. Not to mention, I scored some major deals(free shampoo,free deodorant, cereal that was a dollar a box, cheap razors, free electric toothbrush,etc...). Today is really all about the simple things.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gratitude on Sunday

Today I am very grateful for a grateful family. As we were sitting around the dinner table tonight, John asked everyone to share at least one thing that they were grateful for. Each family member listed several things that they were grateful for. We are all grateful for each other, our home, wonderful school teachers, friends, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the food on our table, family, our health, jobs, talents and to opportunity to be happy. There really is so much to be thankful for...each and every day. What are you grateful for today?

{photo by Meredith at Hello Love}

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gratitude on Saturday

Today I am grateful for our Saturday friends...aka soccer families. We spend a lot of time on the soccer fields each week. We had 4 soccer games today. I am so thankful that our boys landed on teams with fabulous coaches and wonderful families. If we get to spend lots of time watching soccer each week, it should be with people we love and enjoy. It really does make ALL of those games fun and enjoyable to be at. I am grateful for the new friends we have made and the old friends we already love.

p.s. For the most part, we had a great day on the fields. Carter's Battle team won both of their games...solidifying their 1st place status. Out of 52 teams in the league, they hold the 1st place title. Garrett's CRUNCH team won 1-0 today. Tanner's HEAT team lost 10-0. Lets just say it was B-R-U-T-A-L!!! They are a great team(2nd place in the league) but just fell apart today.