Monday, May 31, 2010

May by the numbers

I seriously can't believe how fast the months are flying by! I didn't get to blog as much as I would have liked to in the month of May. As I mentioned a few days ago, May is right there with December as far as craziness goes. Another month by the numbers is going to sum it up for us.

the # of Speech classes Garrett has left to attend. He graduated out of his speech class this month. We are SO SO SO proud of him.
ONE pitch thrown out by John at the Rivercats baseball game.
TWO a. contests won by me (Loving Spoonful ice cream party and a $50.00 Visa card from Western Union).
TWO b. two layouts created for the May GTKC.
TWO c. baseball All Star tryout letters were received by Tanner and Carter...way to go boys!
THREE the number of candles on Brody's birthday cake.
FOUR free tickets, sodas, hotdogs at the Rivercats game.
4 .O Tanner's grade point average this semester...great report card.
FIVE out of the six of us came down with the horrible stomach flu.
SIX friends enjoy a fun GNO...summer concert style.
SEVEN journals were made to give to my girls at church. We had a lesson about the importance of keeping a personal of my favorite lessons to date.
EIGHT miles clocked on my bummed it wasn't higher! New numbers.
ELEVEN friends over to play BUNKO.
FOURTEEN blog posts for the month of May.
FIFTEEN LL baseball games were played by our boys this month.
TWENTY dollar bill received in the mail from Grandma for fun!
TWENTY THREE Tim McGraw songs heard LIVE
TWENTY EIGHT handouts created for my Young Women (scrapbook style)
FIFTY pieces of art framed and hung for the Back to School Art Show.
HUNDREDS of goats on the side of the freeway...eating the grass in preparation for fire season. What a sight.
UNLIMITED the # of texts I can now send and receive :-).

What is your favorite event/memory from the month of May?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another fun Girls Night Out for the books...okay, for the blog. After last years Brad Paisley concert, we all knew we needed to hit another concert together. This years pick was Tim McGraw with Lady Antebellum opening up the show. The weather was perfect, the music was awesome and some of my favorite friends made it a fabulous night. It was just what I needed.

Lady Antebellum opened the show with the perfect song...Stars Tonight. They sounded great, just like their CD. Check out those shoes that Hillary rocked the stage in. That alone takes talent.

Next up, Tim McGraw! I loved every second of his show. He was funny. He sounded amazing. He looked great and he kept the crowd moving. A few of my favorite songs from the evening were: Still, Blank Sheet of Paper, Tiny Dancer and Just to See You Smile.

If you are looking for a great concert...Tim McGraw is your guy. I left the concert loving his music even more than I already did. There is just something about seeing the artist live, it always makes me love them more. It was the perfect way to kick off my Summer.
{thanks to Amy and Jen for sharing their photos}

Thursday, May 27, 2010

finding my groove

I have had this yummy box of scrapbook supplies {Green Tangerines Kit Club-May 2010} sitting here on my studio table...staring at me. I have opened the box at least 50 times, trying to find my groove. I love it all...the colors are happy ones. I have been wanting to play and create with it. I am sad to report that it has sat here, untouched for almost two weeks. I know...G-A-S-P, right?!

This is literally the craziest time of the year. It rates right up there with the Christmas season in my book. We have been busy playing/watching baseball games, wrapping up Art Docent lessons(times two classrooms),setting up for the Art Show, birthday parties, the school carnival, appreciating our wonderful teachers for an entire week, attending back to school night, creating fun handouts for my girls each Sunday, planning/helping with the end of the school year parties...and the list goes on.

I was determined to get one layout done yesterday and I did. I am hoping to create another one tonight. I am posting my intentions here on my blog so I will be committed to do so. I will report back tomorrow :-)...or maybe Saturday morning. I get to see Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw in concert tomorrow excited. My fingers are crossed in hopes of sunshine and a little warmth.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Brody and I attended Garrett's super fun kinder party today. There will be an end of the school year party at the park, next week. The room mom went above and beyond and planned an Aloha party too. The party was complete with pineapple bowling, fruit kabobs, goldfish and Hawaiian punch, a funny picture station, a sea creature scavenger hunt, and centers where the children decorated their own hats and picture frames. They were asked to come to school sporting their Luau get up. For the life of me, I could not find their Hawaiian leis and a grass skirt from the dollar store had to work.

Once again, I am grateful for the parents, teachers, and friends who make school such a wonderful place for my boys to be! I appreciate the time and love that goes into the whole "it takes a village to raise a child" thankful to be part of a wonderful school community.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Best

This is my PICTURE OF THE DAY for today! Here are the boys, all dressed in the their Sunday best. I purposely focused on their shoes. We are always running around at the last minute, trying to find everyone's matching church shoes. Whew...mission accomplished today!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

birthday date

The boys look forward to their yearly birthday date with Aunt Petra! She comes down for each one of their birthdays. She takes them to the store of their choice. She then lets them cruise the toy aisles to find the toy of their dreams. This time it was Brody's turn. He loved spending some one on one time with Aunt Petra. He came home with an Iron Man costume and an Iron Man Nerf Gun...lets not forget the piece of candy too. We had to laugh at his birthday pick this year. He has not seen the Iron Man movies but obviously the marketing is working on the youngest of customers. Thanks for the fun afternoon, Aunt Petra!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

we have a winner

Thank you for all of the fun book suggestions. I loved reading what your all time favorites were. I am adding a few more "to read" books to my Goodreads list.

Tanner was my helper tonight. He even closed his eyes when he drew the was fair and square :-).

I'm not going to make you wait any longer.
The winner of the Sandra Dallas, Whiter Than Snow novel is...

Congrats to Eve. I will email your address to Anne and she will get your book to you!
Happy Reading, friends!

Monday, May 17, 2010

calling all readers...

yes, that means you! I have had the opportunity to read and now review a new book. The best part of this deal is that I get to give one away to one of my friends, anyone who stops by my blog and leaves a comment(see details below). YEAH, I love give aways. I was contacted by Anne, from The Book Report Network in New York. As many of you know, I love to read and who doesn't love a free book?

The book that was mailed to me was Whiter than Snow by Sandra Dallas . Sandra Dallas is also the author(among many other novels) of the Persian Pickle Club, a book that I really loved reading!

Whiter Than Snow, Sandra’s ninth novel,opens in 1920 on a spring afternoon in Swandyke,a small town near Colorado’s Tenmile Range. Just moments after four o’clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, sweeping up everything in its path including nine young children who are walking home from school. But only four children survive. Whiter Than Snow takes you into the lives of each of these families. Ultimately, each story serves as an allegory to the greater theme of the novel by echoing that fate, chance, and perhaps even divine providence, are all woven into the fabric of everyday life. And it’s through each character’s defining moment in his or her past that the reader understands how each child has become its parent’s purpose for living. In the end, it’s a novel of forgiveness, redemption, survival, faith, and family.

I really enjoyed this book. When I finished it late last night, I really felt like I knew each character. I may not have related to each character or their situation personally but I came away with a better understanding of different people and where they have come from. This book covers all walks of life. Sandra Dallas dedicated a chapter to each character & that is what allowed me to really feel like I knew each character. Whiter than Snow made me really grateful to have been born when I was. Things have changed alot since 1920 and while I know the world is not perfect, I really do think we have come a long way since the early 1900's. I felt myself cheering on those characters who went out of their way to treat people with kindness even when society treated them different.
A powerful example of that kindness is on page 282 in Whiter Than Snow.

It reads " The book became a classic among folks who lived in mining towns along the spine of the Rocky Mountains, and there was not a house in Swandyke that didn't have a copy, most of them autographed by the author, back when she lived there. After she moved away, people in the town remembered her as the mine manager's wife, the woman who had opened her house to the town on the day of the April avalanche, who had asked that the bodies of the dead children be laid out in her home, who had taken in the prostitute mother and let her sleep in Grace's own bed".

That is how I want to be remembered...remembered as someone who was kind to everyone!

Another strong thread throughout Whiter Than Snow is that people can change. Hearts can be softened, friendships and families can be reunited even when all hope is thought to be lost. It may not be easy but it is definitely possible.

I thought I would rate this book the way I rate books over on Goodreads.
I give this book a 4...meaning I really liked it.

To be entered in the give away, please tell me what your favorite book of all time is. I will have my boys draw a winner in a few days, lets say on Thursday.

I want to thank Anne for the book and the opportunity to read and review it. What a treat.

Happy Reading.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday

I can't believe my baby boy is 3 years old today! We have been prepping him for his big day for the last month. He can tell you that his birthday is on May 14th and that he is going to be three. We have found him singing Happy Birthday to himself daily. It is a big deal...he is a big deal.

At age 3, here are a few of his favorites:
- he is enthralled with Toy Story 1 & 2.
- he informed us that he wants to go to cowboy camp (see above enthrallment).
- anytime we get in the car and the music is on,he will always ask you if it is John Mayer.
- ask him to sing you his John Mayer-Mayer-Mayer/ELLLLLLEEEEENNNN song. It is funny!
- he is always singing. oh how he loves to sing.
- he loves, loves, loves Books. We start each morning reading a few books. His favorite books today are the FROGGY books.
- he loves to play baseball. He has the catchers stance down to a "T" & loves to run the bases.
- he loves to dress himself and changes his clothes multiple times a day.
- he loves to count and sing his ABC's.
- he loves bubble gum...we just wish he'd chew it instead of swallowing it.
- he loves to be out front, riding his bike.
- he loves to go to nursery each Sunday.
- he can destroy his clean room in about 2 minutes flat.
- he is very independent. He wants to do everything by himself.
- he is bashful around strangers but once he warms up, he's your friend for life.

He is pure happiness in my world. He is my little companion on a daily basis. He makes me laugh and reminds to remember the simple throwing pennies in the fountain and then falling in that same fountian :-). He reminds me that life is too short too stress over a messy little boys room.
Happy Birthday, Brody! I love you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

she's at it again...

and I love her. A little note with a $20.00 bill arrived in the mail for me. It was from my Grandma Shore.

If you remember a few posts back, Grandma entered our entire family {all of the Shores} in a drawing {out of a brown paper bag} in honor of Grandpa. I was the lucky winner last week. Grandma sent me a sweet note. I knew exactly what I was going to spend my $20.00 on. I have had my eye on a fun, colorful set of bracelets.

I hope my lucky streak continues. I have had a good two months of random winnings.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Here are a few more teacher appreciation ideas. We printed another fun saying from my favorite, super fun craft blog. We wrapped up some yummy {Summer}Lemon-Vanilla lotion, polka dot socks and lip gloss {all found at Bath & Body}.

I am the room Mom for Tanner's class this year. In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, I sent an email out to the entire class, giving them some ideas of simple things that could be done for Ms. H. during Teacher Appreciation week. Here is the list.
Monday: a flower from your garden. I brought a vase and we made a nice bouquet.
Tuesday: children's note, expressing what they liked about Ms. H
Wednesday: children's hand drawn picture of Ms. H.
Thursday: a treat for the teacher, not necessarily candy.
Friday: a note from the parents to the teacher, expressing their thanks.

As an optional gift, I made this flower pot and asked anyone who would like to contribute a gift card to one of Ms. H.'s favorite stores to please do so.

I then, used a glue dot to secure the each gift card to a flower. This was the finished project that we presented to Ms. H. this morning.

Again, I am so grateful for wonderful teachers who love my boys,love their jobs and do those jobs so well on a daily basis. Happy Teacher Appreciation week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

sums up the last week.

Here is a little glimpse of what our week has looked like.

Our family was hit hard and fast by a nasty little flu virus. I ended up with it. Happy to report that I am feeling much better today. Not a 100 percent better... but much better. 5 out of the 6 of us came down with it. Knocking on wood that John remains healthy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

we {heart} our teachers

I could not have hand picked better teachers for my boys this year. They have been perfect for each of my boys, individually. Tanner's teacher has been wonderful getting him ready for middle school next year. He would say she is on the strict side but loves her none the less. I still can't believe I will have a middle schooler - eeeeeeppppp. Carter's teacher has made the 3rd grade experience perfect for him. She is a real animal lover & Carter has enjoyed the various stories they have read about animals, being the animal lover that he is. He loves the stories she shares about her own pets. She motivates him to do his best. Garrett's teacher has made a huge impact on Garrett's growth this year. He has grown leaps and bounds in the academic area.
We seriously have been so blessed to have wonderful teachers in our lives this year and in years past. They know what their doing. I have so much respect for teachers who love their job, who teach with love and have the desire to help my children grow, day in and day out. They are awesome.

I have made a few gifts this week that the boys will give to their teachers in honor of teacher appreciation week. I can't share all of the items yet. We still have a few days to share our gifts with them. This is what the boys took to their teachers today.

I found the idea for this fun treat on a super fun craft blog...loving these girls and their ideas. Love the ideas even more when I have all of the pattern paper and cardstock in my stash...a positive for hoarding scrapbook supplies for
sure :-).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

another GREAT cause to support

Ashby button"/>

If you are looking for another worthy cause to support, this is it. This family needs all of the love and support they can get right now. An auction is being held starting tomorrow in behalf of this sweet family. The mother of this family is a long time friend of my families. Our families grew up together and ran in the same circles (church, school, community). Here is a little bit of background information that I received from Jean's sister, Melinda.

Dear Friends!
Some of you already know.. and some may just learn of this through my message... my sister Jean's husband Kerry was in an ATV accident while on a trip with his sons down in Moab, Utah on April 16th. Kerry dropped approx 15 feet off trail, he and the ATV rolled down the hill. His son did not see exactly what happened but quickly got his Dad's side (Kerry wasn't breathing) and opened his airways. His other son and a family friend were able to move Kerry, stabilize his neck, and work on getting some rescue help to the remote area. Some hikers who had a GPS beacon were able to "beacon" their position for help and a rescue helicopter was able to get to them. The boys kept Kerry alert and as comfortable as possible until help arrived, this was a 3 1/2 hr ordeal in Moab. Kerry was life flighted to Grand Junction, CO where he had spinal stabilization surgery.

Kerry remained in ICU in Grand Junction with a spinal injury at the Cervical 6 & Cervical 7 level, which is up in the neck. He was able to get the ventilator out the morning after the stabilization surgery. Kerry received great care in Grand Junction but it was a hardship on Jean & the kids... the hospital is located 5 hrs from their home in Provo, UT. The timing was especially tricky since one son is leaving on a mission (tomorrow) and the other is leaving into the military (next Tuesday). They also have 2 other kids, another son on a mission in the Philippines and a daughter who is a junior in high school.

By what can only be divine intervention, the insurance company approved a transfer from the ICU in Grand Junction to the ICU at the University Hospital (Univ of Utah Med Center in Salt Lake City). Kerry was flown up to Utah last Thursday.

There are so many difficult aspects of this spinal cord injury. Presently Kerry has no feeling below the chest and he can move his shoulders, elbow, and wrists, but nothing from the chest down. He can talk, eat, breath, etc. The doctors have been dealing with the regular complications of dramatically low blood pressure, fluid accumulation, breathing problems, etc. He is not medically stable enough yet to be able to go into an inpatient rehabilitation program. That is the next step. Once he gets in to rehab, the anticipated stay is about 12 weeks of intensive therapy (physical, occupational, respiratory, etc). And then returning home and requiring modifications to the home, etc.

Jean is trying very hard to juggle the needs that Kerry has to be supported at the hospital daily with the needs of their children and family. Kerry has owned his own business & shop doing custom cabinetry and woodworking. Jean has been unable to work due to some ongoing health problems of her own. The financial issues are a huge concern, but ALL of the aspects of this difficult process are daunting... the physical, emotional, family issues... EVERYTHING!

**Starting tomorrow {May 3rd}, you can bid on items from various crafty people.

click on the Ashby Family button towards the top of my blog on the right hand side.
I know the family will appreciate your much needed love and support. If you don't win a bid on something you like, there is always the opportunity to donate "Just Because".
If you have any questions, call or email me & I can give you more information.

I am off to check out the site to see what catches my eye so I can get in on the auction.