Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Finally a Christmas Post

Well...what can I say for my lack of posting and general absence other than...I'm PREGNANT...

I have been so sick (and tired) for so long now, I am sick and tired of it!!!! LOL! I worked on getting all of my pottery orders done right up until Christmas, I really hardly had any time to just enjoy the Christmas season. Thankfully for me, my dear sweet husband did most all of the Christmas shopping for me...otherwise, no one would have had any gifts from us. Best of all, he did it all so sweetly and never complained. I think he actually enjoyed least buying all of the girls' stuff, it made him feel like the hero!

We got both of the girls University of Georgia cheerleading outfits and my parent's gave them both cabbage patch kids...they loved them.

Nalley's first gift that she opened was from Bop (Shayne's aunt Marlene...we're not sure where Nalley came up with the name Bop, but it stuck). That turned out to be a mistake, because Marlene gave her this Upsy Daisy doll (which she calls "daisy") from In the Night Garden and she didn't want to open anything else. She carried it around begging everyone to squeeze her tummy and make her talk. Nalley is ALL ABOUT In the Night Garden, she has to watch it every night before she goes to bed, we don't get it, but she LOVES it!!!

Shayne and I had decided a while ago that we would get Maybel her own iPod, since she has been so consumed with both of ours for months now. Her favorite color right now is blue, so that was our choice. About a week after we had decided this, she came home from school telling us that one of her friends was getting a Shuffle for Christmas and that was what she wanted too...a blue one. So, we were as pleased as punch to hear that we had made a good decision. We wrapped it and put it under the tree about a week before Christmas and she just couldn't figure out what that one was...we were laughing just watching her agonize over it. She was thrilled when she opened it on Christmas morning, and so were we.

Nalley got a new table and chair set from Santa, somewhere for her to play playdough and color, things she is really into right now. She has also started wanting to sit there to eat her snacks and stuff, it is really cute. It is funny to see her climb into and out of these little chairs, she is so proud of herself.

Shayne has been off since noon on Christmas eve, and goes back to work on the 5th. We have really enjoyed having him home and we will probably all cry when he goes back. Having felt so bad lately, it has been great to have him home to help with the girls and house work. He has pitched right in and been wonderful. We had Christmas dinner at our house for the first time ever (both Shayne's and my first attempt at at did not explode like the one in Christmas was actually wonderful) this year. We also had a couple of other holiday dinners at our house and we pulled them off largely due to my hubby's work and cooperation. So...THANK YOU SHAYNE!!!
We took Nalley in for her 18 month check-up fun getting needles. She did surprising well for getting her needles, just a few tears, then the doctor gave her a sucker and a candy cane, the tears were history. She has only had one other sucker in her life...recently when we were coming home from GA by ourselves, she found it in my purse on accident and would not stop crying until I gave in to her. She loved it, but didn't finish it. Same thing yesterday...she was in heaven when she got it, took a few licks but didn't really protest when I took it away.
Not to seem like we are bragging parent's...but I'm going to brag a minute... When we took her in for her check-up yesterday, we were thrilled to hear that Nalley is not only meeting her developmental milestones, but is exceeding most all of them. Something that a parent (especially a first time parent like me) always worries about. For 18 months, normal development shows that a toddler should know 10-20 words and possible be able to string 2 words together, we estimated that Nalley could say about 50 words and our doctor was very pleased...telling us that she is just too smart! I hadn' t taken the time to sit down and count her words since she was 14 months old and I did the tree scrapbook page for sat down and counted her words when we got home and were shocked to realize that knows and says about 93 words and can string together 3 word phrases like "rock the baby" and "wash the baby". Pround Mama moment...
She is also doing all the other normal 18 month things...running, climbing, dancing (like crazy), pointing to things when asked, asking for things, following commands, climbing stairs, eating with a fork and spoon, and drinking only from a fact, she's never ever wanted a bottle. She started drinking from a sippy cup at 5 month old, and only ever took a bottle about 5 times in her life. She went straight from nursing to whole milk in a sippy cup...and never looked back. She can say all of the animal sounds, point to all of her body parts and say them, she sleeps through the night and puts herself to sleep. Needless to say, we are enjoying her so much. She is a total joy and we can't wait for her to be a big sister!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back in the Great White North

Our trip to Georgia was fabulous. It was great to get to see all of my friends and family and catch up. There were a few people that I was hoping to see, but it just didn't happen. It really never fails that we all get sick while we are in Georgia. I don't know if it is from all of the people in one confined space on an airplane, or if we just have back germ luck... Shayne was getting over a cold when we left, and it re-surfaced while we were there. Our one shopping day to Marietta to do all of our BIG shopping and meet with Jeff and Kellee...Nalley got sick and threw up in the car. We did still manage to meet J&K for dinner, but the shopping was cut short. So much for that.

We were given tickets to see a UGA football game...Shayne was over the moon. The day turned out to be rainy and cold and I managed to squeak my way out of it and my best friend, DeShea's husband, Mickey went with Shayne. They had fun, didn't mind getting wet and got to spend some good time together. The DAWGS lost...but we don't want to talk about that.

Our Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and his family was nice. It was so strange to see how full the house was with everyone there. Next time, there will be another little one there to join the fun...we found out the day before Thanksgiving that we are expecting a new little one! We are so excited and have so much to be thankful for!

If you are wondering why this post is so boring and has no pictures...that would be because my dear, sweet husband left the camera at home. Thats right...I handed Shayne the camera on the night before we left and said, "Here, you are responsible for taking the camera."...and what does he do??? He forgets it! Nice... But, I have razzed him terribly for it, he feels awful about it, so I'll let it go now.

It was a great trip, so nice to be home with my family for a holiday. My parents say it is way too quiet in their house now. I guess more little Nalley running around being silly. We're just counting down to see them again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So Very Excited...

about our upcoming trip back home (well, my home) to Georgia. The kids are very excited too, Maybel has always counted down the sleeps till any big my dad e-mailed the girls today telling them that Papa has been counting and it's only 5 more sleeps till Georgia! Isn't that great?!?

Nalley is very funny...always running around pointing out pictures of "Nana" and "Papa"...and saying their names over and over again in her cute little voice. It always makes me smile and I know my parents are just going to melt when they see and hear it in person. Speaking of her cute little voice, I have been teaching her all of the animals and what sounds they first they all said "mooooo", but now they all say their own thing...lions "roar", but in the sweetest, softest little teeny cracks me up. My other favorite is what pigs say..."onk"...just like honk, without the "h". I could listen to that a million times a day.
I am excited for the break from my "real" life...glad to have some help with the's a treat for me and my parents. Glad to see all of my friends and really looking forward to going to see a University of Georgia game with Shayne, Jeff & Kellee! Go DAWGS!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Fun Day Crafting

I taught an Advent Calendar Class yesterday at Neil Campbell School and it was so much fun! It totally got me into the holiday spirit a bit early. There were a couple of girls there who had never crafted before as well as several seasoned crafters. The first one to finish had never done any type of craft before, and it looked perfect...go figure!

I have to give a big thanks to my Lizzie Lou for helping organize these classes through the River East Transcona School Division Teachers Association, they really have been a lot of fun. I will be teaching a Digital Scrapbooking class in January, as well as some other "hands on" crafty thing...I just have to dig into my creativity and figure out what that will be! Stay tuned for more info on that front...

Thanks to all the girls in attendance, it was a really fun day...I loved to see what you all came up with, they were all so beautiful!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feeling Proud and Hopeful

I was sick over the fact that I was 2 days late to get in my registration to vote on an absentee ballot for this election. Sick over the fact that my vote does count, but wouldn't be in this crucial election. But I am feeling better now, knowing that millions of others shared my opinion and belief that American needed some MAJOR change...I am hopeful that it will come in Obama.

I am proud to see that Americans can look beyond color at last. Being raised in the sometimes racially charged South, I have witnessed the ugly, naked truth that racism still exists. I have seen the Ku Klux Klan hold rallys on the steps of the courthouse in my
is still alive.
However, a change was needed and democracy abounds. I have always been a registered Republican voter. My religious and moral views on politics have mostly always aligned with the Republican platform. I voted for Bush, twice. I have regretted that decision over and over again, wishing that for America's sake, we could all have a "do-over". But to this day, I question if Kerry would have done a better job...he had no platform at all.
Today is a new day. A day of renewed hope for the failing economy(ies). Hope for change in education and healthcare. Hope for all that black Americans have fought so hard for. Hope that the world might again see America as a generous, strong, yet fair country. Hope that our faith in our leaders will not be in vain.
I pray that Obama will bring the change that is so desperately needed...change that we can believe in...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kid's Photo Shoot

I orginally saw these pettiskirts a while ago on Michelle Coleman's blog. I fell in love with them and knew that I had to have them for my girls. They are adorable! They reminded me so much of my grandmother's square dancing petticoats that I used to hike up around my armpits and play in like they were my fancy dresses. There are lots of pictures of me like that, all of which are at my parent's house 1500 miles away...or I would post one! (I'll make sure to find some while we're home for Thanksgiving). What I also loved about these skirts is that you don't see them everyday on every kid!

We have been meaning to get the kids' pictures taken in these skirts with Joshua in his little suit for a few months. Jocelyne was "busier than a bucket of fish" (to quote our friend Ian) before she had her baby in September, then she welcomed Kendalyn to the family, so we were hard pressed to find the time. Finally, the weather and all of our schedules cooperated and we traveled down to the Basillica ruins to have our photo shoot. The weather was perfect, the kids were good and we got some adorable shots. I think my favorite funny one has got to be the one where Joshy looks like he's copping a feel...look at his expression too...priceless!

Monday, October 27, 2008

We had a Hoot!!!

Sandra and I made 50 of these treat toppers last night using the Top Note die from Stampin' Up. There are several versions of this little owl out there, but I think I'm partial to this little guy myself!!!

We had a mass production assembly line going on had a real hoot while we worked...I know, I'm corny, what can I say?!? I just love owls, even though I am a non-conformist and owls are super popular these days, I still can't resist them.

These bags are for our neighborhood kids, friends of the family and Maybel's teachers at school. I am also making some treat toppers for the kids in Maybel's class, but I am doing them with digi layouts and printing them off...waaaay less time consuming, and almost as cute...well, maybe not quite as cute...but still... I'll post a picture of those guys as soon as I finish the LO and get them printed and stuffed. For now, I'm bagged and I hear my little one waking up...gotta run!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cast Your Witchy Spell

A layout I did for a challenge at Little Dreamer Designs. This is Maybel from Halloween you see a trend here??? I've only scrapped old photos lately, what's up with that?

A Gift from Laura

I love getting mail, both the paper kind (that isn't a bill) and the e- kind. Today I got a package which trumps them both. And inside was this adorable little key chain strap from Laura. How great is it to get something from a friend for no reason other than that they were thinking of you?!? THANK YOU so much Laura!!!!! I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I went straight down to my computer, looked at the etsy shop where they came from, and ordered some as gifts too. {Note: To my friends, don't be surprised if you get one for Christmas...} You can check them out at Sew Much Detail here.
I can't believe that it has been over a week since my last post. I feel so incredibly busy, it's not even funny. I have so much pottery to paint and get done before we leave for Georgia, I can hardly see straight. My girlfriend Sheri is going to come and help me do the background painting (the background color, not the artwork or lettering) just so that I can get it all finished. This is the first year that I have not sent out any sort of reminder or e-mail in regards to Christmas orders, and it has by far been the busiest. It is a mixed blessing, seeing as how our house is torn to shambles while building this room for Maybel in the basement. I would post pictures of the progress, but I can't even find my camera right now. All that Shayne has left to do is the baseboards, door, and closet organizer stuff and it will be move in ready. Thank the Lord!

I am also working on getting all of the kits together for the upcoming Advent Calendar class on November the 8th. There has been a very good showing for registration (both for that actual class as well as for the kit for all of those people that can't make it) so if you're interested, you must be registered no later than November 1st. There will be door prizes, food, and lots of fun in addition to the super cute calendar.

Last but certainly not least...Sandra and I had a TOTAL BLAST on our girls' weekend away last week. Her husband was sick the whole weekend while caring for their 3 adorable little ones. We felt bad for him, but not bad enough to stay at home. I have to say, my sweet husband wins the all time best Daddy award!!! Not only did he keep both the girls all weekend without one complaint, he was really excited for me to get away. He was left in charge of picking out a birthday gift for our good friend Daphne's daughter's 5th birthday party as well as taking the girls to the party by himself. They are good friends of ours, so it wasn't a big deal to him, but still, major kudos. None of my friends could believe it! He also wrapped the gift and called me to see if I had made a card for Bailey...just to make sure...I was blown away! Too thoughtful, that Shayne is...

We may or may not have gone over our duty free limit...I'm not sayin'...but we did have a rockin' good time. Isn't that right, Missy P? Well, I'm at least a little caught up on the blog, now if I could just catch up in real life...wishful thinking!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bloom Where You are Planted

A layout that I did for the Little Dreamer Designs flower challenge. I have been wanting to do this one for a while now...I just needed this push. I always have so many cute pictures of the girls to scrap, I never take the time to scrap anything about myself...except for the past 2 days...go figure!

Monday, October 13, 2008

So Thankful

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. I did this layout to commemorate my very first Thanksgiving here back in 2004. I am thankful for the new traditions that I get to take part in each year, like the Waldos coming in from Moose Jaw. They are friends of the family, but in reality, they are family. They are wonderful people and each time we see them we always have a blast. I am thankful that Shayne's family has allowed me to bring some of my own Thanksgiving traditions, like sweet potato casserole...and we all know that Brauk is thankful for that too. I am thankful for ALL of the good food that we eat and all of the times around the table just being together. Family is so important, and we are blessed!

I am thankful that I will be home in Georgia celebrating American Thanksgiving soon too. It will be the first time since I moved that I will be home for a holiday. We are all so excited.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Advent Calendar Class

Here is the info on the Advent Calendar Class that I am teaching in November. The calendar was not my original creation and the one pictured was not made by me...but it will be very similar. We are using the October Afternoon Good Cheer papers seen here, I can't wait.

Pre-registration is required for materials and let me know as soon as you can, but no later than November 1st.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Little Dreamer Designs Blog Challenge WINNER!!!

I just got an email from the Dream Team at Little Dreamer Designs informing me that I had won the September blog challenge with my "Your Vocabulary Grows" layout. I won an $8 gift certificate which is awesome, but the honor is truly just in being recognized from such a extremely talented bunch of girls! I am STOKED! Check out the blog here...

Good Girl's Crack

My friend Lizzie Lou makes me laugh! We were just talking about how the whole scrapbooking/cardmaking/crafting stuff is like crack to us good girls... We don't spend our money on drugs or bars, but we're SERIOUSLY ADDICTED to scrapping! I am teaching an Altered Tin Class tomorrow night which I guess in essence makes me the dealer, right? I mean, I'm the enabler, the one who's instructing others on how to use these products and making them want more...I know, I'm bad.

I have some super cute pictures to post of the girls at the corn maze on Sunday, I just haven't had time to take them out of the camera yet. We all had such a fun time, although it was a tad bit chilly. Last year we were blazing hot and this year, a little cooler. Nalley was so cute this year, wanting to walk around and explore everything. I think we've found a new fall tradition, always fun at the corn maze.

Well, I better get back to my last minute details for tomorrow...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feeling a Little More Southern

I may very well be the only woman in my [southern] family that doesn't can, or at least know how to. I mean canning, or preserving foods, jams, jellies, the like. When I think about it, it is totally a southern thing to do...just like eating biscuits and grits. But I have ALWAYS been scared of it. I can cook a mean meal (when I want to...) and bake some pretty yummy stuff too, but I can't can. Until now, that is...

Yes folks, I made homemade applesauce on Thursday morning, and then I canned it yesterday with the help from my good friend (and Nalley's godmother) Sheri. Can you believe that a good ole' Canadian taught me how to can applesauce?!? Now, I'm totally not taking anything away from Sheri, or any other Canadian, but don't you think it's a little funny that a *Yankee* (I laugh because some rednecks from back home call Shayne a Yankee...they think anyone from above the Mason-Dixon line is a Yankee...cracks me up) taught me how to can food? I know Sheri is just patting herself on the back today, relishing in the fact that she's responsible for my yummy applesauce being all happy and content in their new glass homes. It "ain't" pretty folks, but it's good stuff. And now I don't have to take up all the freezer space for it either...sweet! Here it is y' up apple butter!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apples Make Me Homesick...

It has long been a fall family tradition to drive up into the North Georgia mountains to the Panorama Apple Barn to bring home some of the finest apples in the world. Our all time favorite variety is the Winesap apple. It is crisp and sweet with a slightly tart edge to it. Perfect for eating, making applesauce or baking. I have missed this tradition every year since I have been in Canada. Although we get to go home fairly regularly, it just never seems to fall at the right time for apple season. School has just started, everyone is getting back into their routines and it's just not a good time to go I always miss it.

My parents called me last Saturday to tell me that they'd made the pilgramage to go and bring home some of my favorite coveted apples. They said they'd thought of me and talked about how much I would love to be going with them...oh how they were right. How funny, as I'm sitting here writing about this tradition, I am almost in tears, sad that I don't get to participate in that tradition any more. Sad that one day (hopefully years from now) my parents will be gone too, and the tradition will be gone as well. Sad that I'm not able to roll up my sleeves in my Grammy's kitchen anymore and bake something yummy from our treasured apples.

I'm writing this post today, because I spent all morning making homemade applesauce from some apples that my sweet neighbor and friend, Lizzie Lou, brought me over yesterday. She came to get a one-on-one digi scrapping lesson and brought me two grocery bags of apples from her brother's tree. How sweet was that! As I made applesauce with my Grammy's old food mill, I thought of how much I have missed her and my PawPaw in the 8 years since they've been gone. (I will write another post on them later) I am so thankful that my mom gave me her old food mill...just being so far from home, that one little thing makes me feel closer.

Tomorrow I will bake some of my famous apple muffins. I have created this recipe from trial and no longer even resembles the original recipe, other than that they both had apples in them. I am proud of this recipe, and love making these muffins for my family, they beg for them and gobble them makes me feel so good to see them enjoying some homemade love. I feel domestically competent again...just every now and then.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Afternoon is on the way...

I am over the top excited about a new line that Magnolia Designs is carrying. I have ordered almost the entire line of October Afternoon papers for the store. They should be here in the next week or two. Just in time for my November Advent Calendar class on November 8th...the Good Cheer Christmas line, seen below, is to die for! The calendars will be adorable, I just can't wait.

All of the collections are simply gorgeous, too hard to pick one or two, so I got them all. I am positive that these papers will sell out super quick, they are so hot right now. I'm going to be greedy and keep a stash for myself too, so e-mail me early to get some.