Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Snowing!

It is snowing! And it is incredibly windy, too.
I'll come back later with photos of Kaylie trying to catch snowflakes.
We are going to a New Year's party in Trenton later on tonight.
The kids are really looking forward to staying up past 9:00 p.m. :)

Umbrellas and Rainbows

At about 9:00 a.m. this morning, I was hugging Kaylie. As she was leaning, she looked out the backdoor and noticed a rainbow. It is a bright and sunny day and unbeknownst to us, it was drizziling. We had just enough time to get our coats on and for Kaylie to grab her umbrella. It was already starting to fade away...but I got a glimpse of it.

I applied a cross-processing action to the photo that you can get here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Spy...Colors and Textures

I Spy colors and textures.
I love the worn look of the background, with the plant creeping up to anchor the photo.

Kaylie's artwork. She loves to paint with watercolors.

Trees at Smithville Lake. They are gigantic!

I love the bright colors of these leaves, while everything else is drab.

12/29/2008 - Kaylie at the lake...skipping rocks. 2631


High temperatures set record for the region

Source: Courier Post, Monday, December 29, 2008

MOUNT HOLLY - The calendar read late December but it felt more like April as record temperatures were set around the region Sunday.
Atlantic City reached a high of 69 degrees, breaking a previous record of 68 degrees in 1946 while Philadelphia and Trenton broke their records set in 1982 by one degree with readings of 66 degrees.
"A warm front moved through the area (Saturday) night and once it lifted we had a warm, moist south-southwest breeze move through the area," said Lee Robertson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Westampton. "Those strong winds brought in much warmer...air."
A cold front moved through the region on Sunday night and high temperatures today will only be in the upper 40s. Tonight, the low will be in the low to mid 30s, bringing chillier weather back to the region.
Average temperatures for this time of the year are around 40 degrees with an average low of 27 degrees.
"This is much warmer than normal, but we get these systems moved through a couple times during the winter, " Robertson said. "And every now and again it gets warmed up enough to set records."

Monday, December 29, 2008


It seems that change is taking place whether we want it or not.

I love Christmas time. I like the preparations, the wrapping of gifts, the neverending Christmas specials on t.v., but most of all I love to see the anticipation on my kids' faces. Their expectation of good things to come...I hate the letdown that occurs thereafter.

They were hoping for a white Christmas but it didn't happen. The weather here has been mercurial to say the least. We've had some days of really cold weather (20 degrees F) and just yesterday the temperature was 65 degrees. Crazy weather!

KAITLYN, THY NEW NAME IS MISERY. With the onset of winter comes the short days and long nights. I like winter but it makes me so miserable. The long, dark days really drag me down. It zaps my energy and makes me want to shut everything and everyone out and go into hiding. I guess my saving grace is that I can't shut down completely because I have the kids to take care of. That is my one and only priority. It has already begun. I feel the world closing in on me.

WANTED: MOJO: I've lost my mojo and can't seem to put a page together. Oh, I can go through the motions but I am just not happy with the pages so I delete them. Not very productive. I've taken a leave of absence from SBG. I miss the crew.

2009 GOALS:

I will concentrate on getting my house organized and spotless; (spotless might be too strong of a word. :)
I have photos to purge, starting from the year 2005 to present;
I have layouts to burn onto dvds to move them out of my computer;
I want to catalogue all the stuff I have to make better use of it;
I want to print my layouts in a bound book and actually print my photos and make photo albums.

3 months might not be enough. :(

I just read over at Janet Phillips' blog that she is leaving SBG come January 15th. I so love her templates and will miss her. However, she'll be opening up a site:

Anyway, that's it for now. Gotta go download my photos from today. I took the kids to the lake, but it was so windy and cold we didn't stay for too long. 2620

Christmas Gifts

Flowers and vase my brother got for me. It is adorned with hand-painted Lilacs and has 2 hummingbirds.

Easel from Uncle Tito.

Uncle Tito with the kids.

Check out Liam's new camouflage outfit...courtesy of Uncle Tito, who knows how much Liam loves the military/camo look!

Hannah Montana Rock Star Guitar game. They plug it to the TV and play notes, chords and even go on concerts!

Uncle Tito was a big hit with his presents. He got Liam this remote control car

Grandmother gave Liam this truck. It plays music and backs up by itself. Grandmother also gave Liam a football, which he returned to her and told her to give it to someone else because he already had one at the house. Isn't he something? Grrrr. He blurts out whatever he thinks and has no regards for how others might feel. I really don't know why he is like this. It amazes me that 2 kids being raised in the same household in the same environment can be 100 percent different.

Liam wanted a telescope. Daddy assembled it for him, but because it was done during the daytime, there aren't any stars in the sky to be seen. Liam was really disappointed. He made an off-hand remark like "This piece of junk doesn't work." I said to him, "Excuse me, what did you say?" He turned red and started to babble trying to take it back and make it better. He really made me angry not only because of the remark, but because of his sense of entitlement. He obviously doesn't realize where the money comes from and how lucky he is to have parents that want to make him happy and try their best to make his wishes come true.

Doesn't Liam look like an English school lad? :)

Ok, this is not a good photo of me, or Liam, but it is the only one I have of the two of us. The wind was really doing a number on both of our hairs. Kaylie was the photographer so she is still learning about timing. I can't recall what I was telling Liam to get him to smile nor why my face is horribly contorted.

I love this blouse. I'd like to think that this is my Christmas present all wrapped up in my girls' sweet hugs and kisses.

Kaylie really, really wanted a Baby Alive. It urinates and defecates, just as she wanted. Obviously, this doll has not charmed me as I had the real thing and it wasn't as fun as it was purported to be. :)
This doll repeats phrases such as "Hi Mommy." "I'm hungry." "Excuse me!" "I'm Sleepy." Mommy, I am hungry. "I'm thirsty." "Let's play!" "Can I have a hug?" Can we play? "I made a stinky." All done! Hugs, please! "I love you, Mommy." "OOps, I had an accident." "Change me, please!" It burps, sucks, giggles, pants, sings and yawns.
Snuggly Baby that her grandmother gifted to her. It cries and cries until Kaylie picks her up. The magical necklace tells the doll that this is her mommy picking her up so it quiets her down.
Liam loves video games. He is now the proud owner of 2 Nintendo DS games: Ben 10 Alienforce and Avatar.
Kaylie got pajamas, 2 dresses, bubblegum and uno cards.
I am happy that this holiday is over so I can return to my normal routine. The kids have been home since 12/23 and won't go back to school until Jan. 5th.
Now, I have to plan Kaylie's 8th birthday party, which will take place on Saturday, Jan. 3rd.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

click to enlarge

Credits: Baersgarten's Petit Noel Collection @ Scrapbookgraphics.
Backward staple by Jenn Patricks.
Template by ChrissyM.@ Elemental Scraps
Wordart by Bethany of Elegant Wordart.
Label by Michele Godin (now retired)

Today has been an extremely busy day for me. I got up 9:00 a.m. and have been on the go since! I made 2 different types of breakfast since dh and the kids can never agree to eat the same thing.

I called the doctor to make a same day appt. for dh who has an inflamed vein on the top of his left side hand. He took Liam with him to the dr. because Liam was going to get a haircut afterwards.

I stayed with Kaylie and darted out the door to Walmart to pick up some last minutes things such as bows, scotch tape and the most important item: a battery charger. I went to charge my camera's batteries and the charger didn't work. I am glad I noticed it or else I wouldn't be able to take photos of the kids making their projects, baking cookies or opening gifts!

We then went to the supermarket to pick up brown sugar, flour and raisins for our oatmeal raisin cookies that we are going to bake for Santa in the afternoon.

We all arrived to our house after our errands at the same time.

So immediately I set up the up kids on the table to assemble their gingerbread house. I started off helping them but when the super sticky frosting started spewing from the bag and onto my hands, I stopped. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaate anything sticky on my skin. Besides, if my hands were all sticky, who would take photos? :)

I segregated all the candies into individual dishes and started the house foundation for them. Then, I let them go to town with decorating the house. The kids loved getting their hands super sticky, of course. After what seemed like hours, the house was completed. Then it started to crumble due to its weight. DH tried to help fix it, but unfortunately the house crumbled in the end, after all that work they put into it. That didn't thwart their enthusiasm, though.

After I helped them clean up, we tackled our 2nd project: Oatmeal with raisin cookies. Santa told the kids that he prefers oatmeal with raisin cookies so he can share them with his reindeer. As this was my first time making them, I made them really big. They were really good, but very, very big. I had so many of them, I saved some to take to my mother in law's house. Needless to say, the kids want me to bake more cookies.

I told the kids that they could track Santa's travels through NORAD. So once I set them up in the computer, they were glued to it. It was fun seeing Santa stopping over in Egypt and showing us pictures of the pyramids and other local attractions. Then, Mount Everest, France, Morocco, etc.

My fellow crew member, Tammy, also sent a link through to a site where Santa sends personalized messages to the kids. The kids loved getting the messages. They were too smart, though. They knew that I had sent in the photos to Santa over the net. I wonder when they will figure out the rest...

Then, I cooked dinner, cleaned up and tried to settle down a bit before starting the last minute wrappings. I am a night owl anyway, so I ended up staying up until 1:30 a.m

Kaylie was so sure that Santa would be arriving to our town by 12:00 p.m. At 1:30, when I went in to check up on her, she briefly woke up to tell me that she was sure that Santa had already stopped by our house to drop off their presents. Then, she went back to sleep.

I'll come back tomorrow to show you Christmas morning.

Until then, may you have a Merry Christmas and get your heart's desire. 2617


Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty The Snowman

Here's Kaylie playing with her Frosty The Snowman Poopy Pants...doesn't she look delighted?

Here's a picture of the dastardly duo.

Here is Rudolph in his full glory. Notice the gift sack titled "Santa's Presents."

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty The Snowman. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought these toys for the kids. Here's a must see short video clip of the toys in action.



Merry Christmas

Click to enlarge.
Merry Christmas to one and all where ever you are.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Liam's School Party

This is me...after I photoshopped the freckles and age spots from my face. I love Photoshop. :)

Liam with his teacher.

I can't believe it! My Christmas cactus actually bloomed. It only took 1 year for it to produce one flower plus 2 other blooms.


Christmas Card

This is a Christmas card I designed. Don't you just love the way the kids are just minding their own business...Liam is throwing rocks in the lake, while Kaylie is hitting the ice with a stick. Isn't that view of the bridge amazing? How about the cute little bird perched on the bridge? Or that amazing reindeer just in the distance. Amazing lake indeed. And those amazing snowflakes...

I used the Drifting Snowdreams Collection by Lorie Davison @ SBG:


Monday, December 22, 2008


Boy, is it cold today! It is very, very windy and a whole 19 degrees F. The rain puddles are all frozen over and icy. I really shouldn't complain...there are other states who have had over 1o inches of snow already. On the bright side, it is sunny.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free Vintage Printables, etc.


I just wanted to alert you that Lisa Vollrath has some really cute vintage printables over at
TenTwoStudios. She is doing a countdown for which you benefit. Click HERE to be taken to the calendar where you click on each day to download the images.

Andrea has a template on her blog.
Angelica has a super cute set of handpainted frames on her blog.
Bohemian Art has a lovely paper pack on their blog...
DigiDelights has a cute candy stripe alpha on her blog.
Fryske has a cute mini kit...Love is Heaven.
Helene has some vintage-like stickers on her blog...perfect for this time of the year.
Iara (BaersGarten) has a cute freebie on her blog. A sampler from her Petit Noel collection.
Kate Hadfield has the cutest printable tags ever!
Little Dreamer Designs has Christmas Wordart Brushes...beautiful!
Sarah has a Make Me Pretty Alpha on her blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Letters and Card from Liam

During the last few days Liam's class completed their fourth unit of study, Letters and Cards. There are letters meant to be shared with specific people in Liam's life.

Dear Dad,
I missed yo yesterday!
"I know you came home late yesterday."
"I hope you come home "erley!" (erley - early)
Yorus, Liam
Merry Christmas

Dear Mom,
"I like when you cook my favorite soup!"
"I want it again"
"Have a Merry Chrismas and a happy New Year!""

Dear Mom,
"I hope you think that you'll buy more candy canes soon!"
"I think you'll put then on the Chrismas tree!"

Dear Kaylie,
Can you stop bugging me?
Well stop telling me what to do! (well stop = will you stop)

Dear Mom,
"There is 7 days until Chrismas!"
I wonder wh
Translation: He must have been so excited or distracted that he couldn't even finish his thought!

12-16-2008 (Liam's letter to Santa)
From Liam
to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,
"How's your elves doing?"
Is it cold at the north pole?"
"I think you like chistmas!
"Merry Christmas!"

Dear Mom,
"You were sopost to bring in paper plates!" (sopost=supposed)
Will you bring them in tomoro? I hope so. (tomoro = tomorrow)
Secerily, (sincerely)
Translation: The teacher gave him the note on 12/16, how am I supposed to have the plates in class when I didn't even know it yet?

Dear Mom,
"Your the best mom in the world!"
You always make my favorite soup"

Dear Kaylie,
"Why did you chose Chuck E. Chese? (Chuck-E-Cheese)
"If you'd pick the bolling allay that would be fun!!!! (bolling allay = bowling alley)
Translation: Kaylie is having her birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese. He wants it at a bowling alley. :)

For a six year old, he has good sentence structure and spelling. The quotation marks are all by him, too. :)
Note: The spelling in the transcription is exactly as it appeared on the originals.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Birthday Invitation

Kaylie's birthday is coming up soon. This is the birthday card I made for her. I used the Buzi Bugs Birthday collection by Lorie Davison at Scrapbookgraphics.


Traditions / Petit Noel by Baersgarten

click to enlarge.

This is the same page set that I used on Liam's Wish list. This page is for this week's Studio Start at Check it out...

Petit Noel - Joyeux Noel Elements By Baersgarten Noel - Solids By Baersgarten
Petit Noel - Flair by Baersgarten
Petit Noel - Patterned Paper By Baersgarten
Font: Monospace Type
sketch by T.Howard @ SSD 2545


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Free Photoshop Action

Jodi of MPCActions is giving away a high definition action set absolutely free.
Stop by the blog to check it out.

Liam's Wish List

Liam really surprised me. He numbered his list all the way to 15. I told him to erase all the extra number until he got to ten. Then he got busy to thinking about all the presents he wanted. My heart skipped a beat when he got to number 10: A BABY ALIVE FOR KAYLIE. Isn't that sweet of him to think of her? I knew that he wasn't THAT selfish.
Can any of you help me out with number 6? A photo of
Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Elves?

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you this funny part! When I handed Liam the page, he placed it on the table and started patting it down. I wondered why he kept patting it so I asked him. He told me the paper was crinkled. Crinkled?, I said, incredulously. I had just printed it so how can it be didn't jam in the printer...then it dawned on me...I had used a worn paper which was indeed crinkled and had fold lines. Poor little guy, he thought it was really crinkled and he wasn't about to send Santa a wrinkled letter. LOL

I just love the look of concentration on his little face.

I customized the train station with a green flair button that says: Merry Christmas. (middle button, flanked by the red buttons)
I also cut out one of the doors and placed the reindeer in there. Liam spotted him immediately. I also customized one of the wagons by removing the top in order to place the word list on it. :) Aren't I clever?
I am in love with this tied tag and stamp. The ribbon, oh my, that ribbon is so real I just want to run my hand over it...
Click on enlarge.
Iara (Baersgarten Designs) has a fabulous Christmas kit titled PETIT NOEL. Every day she reveals a portion of it and because it is featured it is also sold at a reduced price for one day only. Currently, she is on day 5. Here's a rundown of what has been disclosed so far:
Day 1 features the elements...I tell you that I am in love with the gingerbread man, Santa and reindeer!
Day 2 features the solid background papers...they are wonderful. Great for use with your Christmas/holiday pictures, but I can see myself using it for other ocassions too because they are not Christmas-centric.
Day 3 features flair buttons. All kinds...inlcudes 18 different flairs in 4 different formats (round, retangle, heart and star) for a great total of 72 flair pieces to embellish your layouts!
Day 4 features the patterned papers...and my goodness are they gorgeous!
Day 5 features Petit Noel - Le Train. I love the has 3 borders, 1 set of bracket calendars (11 months + 2 February), 1 bracket overlay, 3 buttons, 3 frames, 3 gifts, 1 tree, 5 journalers, 2 ribbons, 2 ricrac, 4 snowflakes, 1 snowman, 1 train station, 1 string, 2 pine trees, 1 train and 5 wagons.
Not only is the kit on special, but Iara is also giving either a freebie quick page or add-on to the kit. Isn't that great?! I knew you'd think to Iara's Blog. 2518


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


CREDITS: Natali Design’s Happy Day; Natali Design’s Playing with Templates (Curled border); Natali Design’s Playing with Overlays Vol. 1; Font: Traci Sims’ TSWren; Rain Shower and Cloud by Jofia Devoe. Alpha by Gunhild Storeide. 2512


Toot - The Daily Scrapper Publication

click to enlarge.

This page of mine was published in the first ever edition of THE DAILY SCRAPPER 2008 CATALOG.

The catalog is full of gorgeous pages sure to inspire even the most finicky scrapper. It contains pages covering all 4 seasons ranging from simple to medium to intricate designs. It also features lots of pages featuring 4 layouts for each featured colored, e.g. red, pink, natural, blue just to name a few.

I tell you it is well worth the price, $4.50, which isn't much. It also has 3 kits and 4 templates, too.


Credits for my layout:
Sketch Coll. 23 by Jen Caputo at SBG.
Font: Century Gothic and FG Amelia.
Kit: Would You Bee my Baby? Mini kit by Baers Garten

A Letter From Santa

Last week Kaylie mailed her letter to Santa. In yesterday's mail, she found a letter addressed to her from Santa. She was thrilled. Just look at her expression as she realizes that it is addressed to her and who the sender is. So precious.
She quickly ran to the house to tell Liam that she was in Santa's Good Children's list.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Village at Smithville Park

Ebenezer's assistant.

Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. I love his accent and he was quite expressive. A good character actor.

Another painting from the Hugh Campbell exhibit. I love the brushstrokes and composition. I will certainly keep this one for future reference. I can see Spring bursting forth.

Painting from Hugh Campbell exhibit.

Liam was admiring this player's clarinet.

One of our highlights was watching the musician playing Christmas tunes, they even took requests. Liam wanted to hear Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer but they had just played that tune. Kaylie wanted to hear Grandma got Ranover by a Reindeer, which was not in their repertoire. LOL. I can't say I blame them. :) They did play an except from IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR just for me. They even asked me if the kids wanted their photos taken with them. Of course, we did!

Kaylie loved her pink Santa hat...she obviously had no trouble posing or smiling.

Liam had been hounding us for days to get him a Santa hat. Daddy took them to Grandma's house and they were both sporting new hats on their return home. He posed but wouldn't smile.

We didn't get a chance to enjoy the carriage ride, but it was cool watching it come down the street lined with antique lamposts.

Oh, isn't this bear a beaut? It was perched atop the STAR BYCICLE, which is the jewel of Eastampton.

Today we went to the Holiday Village @ Smithville Park. The weather was a lovely 49 degrees F.

Since we didn't get there at noon time we didn't get a chance to see Santa arrive in the firetruck. The place was jam-packed so we couldn't see Santa at all. A shame really as the kids really wanted to see him. We couldn't see the ballerinas do their dance routine either because it was jam packed.
Another disappointment was the horse drawn carriages. By 1:00 p.m., the line was full to capacity and they were only there for 3 hours. Bah Humbug!

The kids and I got in line for free apple cider and gingerbread cookies. They got cookies, I only got the cider, which wasn't even half a cup. We barely made it. They were complaining that they were running short on supplies.

Dasher and Prancer were animals. Needless to say, they weren't dashing or prancing around much. Liam wondered out loud how these reindeer were going to make it to the North Pole in time for xmas.

There were Christmas carolers and a presentation of "A Christmas Carol." (pict. of Ebenezer and of his assistant uploaded.) We loved it.

We also went to an art exhibit featuring the art of Hugh Campbell, an artist who was a resident of this area. He had chicken sketches! These 2 oil paintings were really captivating, though I like most of his paintings.
The kids didn't do any of the crafts either because they had run out of crafts. They had advertised the event in the local newspapers and sent notices home with all students, but weren't prepared for the onslaught of people that showed up. Maybe they'll learn from this experience and do a better job next year.



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