Friday, April 30, 2010

{Choo Choo! It's the SM iNSD Blog Train!}

Welcome fellow digi scrappers to my stop on the ScrapMatters iNSD Blog Train! What an awesome ride it is, huh? There are so many fantastic freebies to be had with the new SM Design Team Collab, "Moments That Matter" and I'm excited to be a part of this special day. You likely just left Stephanie's blog HERE. What a great freebie she has!

If you don't already know, Scrap Matters is giving away a HUGE collab kit called "Moments That Matter" when you purchase $20 worth of products during the iNSD celebration going on now. The kit is beautiful! It is perfect for documenting engagements, weddings, baptisms, and every special moment you can think of. The colors are soft and tender and the elements are original and simply perfect.

Since we are celebrating special moments in our lives with this kit, here is a moment that really mattered to me in my life.

My husband and I were given an adorable puppy by one of my students about two years into our marriage. The puppy was a mix of Chihuahua and who knows what, but man was she cute. We named her Rafiki, or Fiki for short. Fiki quickly worked her way into our hearts. She had so many little quirks that we loved and her personality was one of a kind. My husband had an especially close bond with her. Fiki would sit on the top of the sofa and watch for him to come home when she knew it was about that time. She waited at the top of the stairs for him to finish showering and changing for the evening and then followed him downstairs for some lovin'. She was a joy in so many ways.

Sadly, one evening I let her outside to do her business and she never made it inside again. I heard people shouting outside and just knew in my gut that she was hit by a car. My husband cradled her in his arms and we showered love and tears on her as she left this world. We said goodbye to our friend of almost eight years. The pain of losing Fiki was unbearable. Not only were my husband and I heartbroken, but our little girls were devastated. To this day, over a year and a half after Fiki died, they will break out in tears and say they miss Fiki. I suppose it's good for them to experience loss, but it sure is hard to deal with as a parent.

Although we swore we wouldn't get another dog for a long time, the emptiness that we felt without our Fiki was overwhelming. We started looking at rescues online and quickly found a cute little Chihuahua mix puppy who had the most soulful eyes ever. I knew she was meant for us. After contacting the rescue and going through the application and interview process, we drove several hours to another state to bring our new puppy home. As it turned out, there were two puppies available: the one we had claimed and one of her sisters whose original adoptive "parents" had to back out of the deal. My husband and I agreed to take both puppies and our girls were thrilled! This moment, seeing how excited our girls were to have two new puppies to love and feeling the excitement ourselves, was monumental. Although we would give anything to have Fiki back in our lives, we know that she would be thrilled to know that we are now sharing our home with two puppies who almost had horrible lives. Out of loss comes new life, and in our case it was new life times two!

Our sweet Fiki, just a few months before we lost her. How I miss that adorable little face!

Our girls and new puppies the day we adopted them from the rescue.

Well, now that I've shared an important moment in my life, how about we get on to the reason you're here? The freebie! I had a lot of fun making this gift for you, although it was hard to stop myself from making an entire layout with all the gorgeous elements and papers!

Here is the preview of the "Moments That Matter" kit and my freebie:

And here is the freebie: one 12x12 layered paper! All you have to do is add your photos and elements and you'll have a gorgeous layout!

Download the free layered papers HERE.

*** Download link has expired.***

Now you must chug along to the next stop on the train ride around the world! Your next destination is Cyndi's blog. Click HERE to read about her moment that matters and pick up your next freebie.

Happy iNSD!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

{Let him eat CAKE!}

It started out innocently enough. A little boy celebrating his first birthday with a chocolate fudge cake.
By the time he was almost done, this was the result.
Want to see some of this enjoyment in action? Here you go!

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby is now one. I can still remember what it felt like when he moved around in my womb, and can still feel his warm dampness when he was placed in my arms for the first time. As exciting as it is to watch my children grow, I am sad that they will never be my itty bitty babies again.
Happy Birthday, Dixon! We love you to the moon and back!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

{A Challenge and a Freebie!}

I'm hosting a fun challenge at Scrap Matters called Roadmap To Scrap. I give you eight instructions and you create a layout follow the rules! Here's the layout I made for the challenge:

You get a point for completing the challenge (plus an extra point if you use a newly released product!). At the end of the month you'll get a discount at the Scrap Matters store based on the number of points you've earned! Awesome, right? Check out the challenge HERE.
I hope all you digi scrappers play along!
I've also created a free template for you!

Check out THIS post to grab it!
Just a reminder, International Digi Scrap Day (IDSD) is coming up fast! May 1st is the official day, but Scrap Matters and many other great digi scrap sites will be celebrating all week. You'll definitely want to stop by and see all the cool events and specials being offered. They are AWESOME!!!
And now for yet another offer . . . I've had two people contact me recently (actually on the same day!) to inquire about digi scrapping. I'm going to put together a "lesson" night soon for anyone who wants to learn how to scrap digitally. If you are interested, please leave a comment so I can send you the info you need. And don't worry, it's NOT that hard! Trust me, if I can do it, so can you! :)
Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 5, 2010

{Here Comes Peter Cottontail}


What happened to last month? I had resolved to blog more often this year, yet last month I blogged a whopping TWO times. And I had plenty to share with you. Here's the deal. March was my first month on the Scrap Matters site CT (creative team), and since it's a six month contract I'm trying to do as much as I can with my time. Normally I'll scrap one or two layouts a week. Last month I created a new layout almost every day. Some days I even did two or three. I'm having the best time doing this, but other duties have had to go on the backburner. Like blogging. And laundry.

So today, in my lame attempt to make up for my inactivity in blogland, I'm giving you a mega post. You are about to witness the ins and outs of our Easter festivities, complete with a whole slew of photos. Are you ready? Here we go!

Let's begin with the Children's Celebration we had at church last Saturday (March 27th). The morning began with crafts for the kids, which you know were a big hit. Then the children were divided into various age groups and taken from room to room where the Easter story was told.

This was the first room, where Jesus rode the donkey down the street lined with cloaks and palm leaves. We went from room to room learning about all the activities that led up to Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the grave. It was very well-done, and I even learned a thing or two!

Next we all went outside for the big egg hunt.

It was a cold day, but as soon as the girls started hunting those eggs they forgot all about the temperature.

Thanks to all those who put so much effort into making the Easter story come alive for the kids!

The next evening we celebrated Easter with Cory's mother's side of the family. I think the highlight of the night was the pooping toys Me-Me and G-G (Cory's mother and grandmother) got for all the kids. We now have a pooping bunny, chick and cow to add to the others from years past.

Thanks to Me-Me and Pap for a great evening of yummy food and conversation!

And I can't resist sharing this photo of my adorable nephew, Jude. The hair, the freckles, the dimples . . . he is just too darn cute. And he knows it.

This photo actually has nothing to do with Easter, but it's my blog and I want to put it here. So there. :)

There's few things that will melt my heart like the sight of a little boy clinging to his daddy and looking up to him for encouragement. Dixon has just started to pull himself up and stand. When I glanced over at him at this moment and saw him doing this, I got a bit choked up. I want another baby.

Alright, let's move on. Sasha's kindergarten class colored eggs the morning I volunteered in the classroom last week. She made one pink egg and one blue egg. They are currently sitting on our counter, likely rotting and getting ready to stink up the joint. But I can't throw them away, right?

That same day Clara's class had their egg hunt. So after an hour at Sasha's school Dixon and I headed to Clara's preschool for some more egg fun.

Is she not the cutest thing with those bunny ears?

Here is the entire class after the big hunt.

My sister's family came to PA for the weekend, so on Saturday we went to my mother's house to dye eggs and decorate cupcakes together.

See that open carton of eggs on the table? While my other and I were busy taking photos, Dixon grabbed onto the carton and pulled it onto the floor. I believe there were seven casualities. Oops.

How do you get mad at a face like that?

The kids didn't even color all the remaining eggs, so it wasn't a huge deal.

You have to love the gloves, though. I brought them to try to keep the kids from having blue and green hands on Easter morning. They looked like alien creatures with the long plastic fingers!

Easter morning was a bit of a blur. Church started at 8:30 so we were up really early. The girls had time to hunt for their Easter baskets and quickly check out the contents, but there was no time for our egg hunt in the backyard. They were thrilled with the chocoloate bunnies and hula hoops!

After chruch we went outside for some pictures. The day was glorious - very fitting for the celebration of Christ's death and resurrection - and the kids were cooperative.

Most of the time.

Some family shots:

Me and the munchkins:

We headed to my mother's place for Easter lunch. When we got there, the yard was full of eggs! Another hunt was ON!

And some more pretty posing afterwards:

My girls and I are going to train my niece, Kari, how to pose for photos since her mother has failed to do so. Start taking some pics of your kids, Jen! (Said with nothing buy love and tenderness.)

I'd say she did pretty well for this shot. You should see the four leading up to this one, though.

Next year she'll be doing this.

Dixon enjoying a ride on Daddy's shoulders.

After stuffing ourselves full of ham, potatoes, brocolli casserole, fruit, and desserts, we rolled ourselves out to the car and headed home. Dixon was totally zonked since he got up early, skipped his morning nap, and played hard all morning. He and Clara were both sawing logs by the time we got home. Once she was awake, though, she and Sasha headed outside for one last egg hunt.

Happy Easter, everyone!
I promise to come back with more updates from now on. :)