Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Camping We Went--and Survived! Part 1

After testing out the tent in our backyard for a couple of days, the next logical step was to go to our nearest state park. Thankfully, it was only 30min. away which provided me a level of comfort knowing that if it got too bad, I could get back home quickly. :)

You might not be able to tell what my girls are doing in the picture above, but they are coloring. On a whim I decided to purchase clipboards that hold paper and pencils for each of them. My plan was that they could do some nature drawing/journaling while out in nature. This was one of my best plans ever! LOL! It gave them something to keep them occupied while we needed to work, or when we were just plain tuckered out! It was especially good at keeping the 2yr. old busy. I purchased a Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote for her. She loved it and I didn't need to worry about melted crayons or drawings on our tent. :)

Since one of the camping tips shared with me was "have a good attitude," I knew that to help me with that, I needed to be somewhat organized or else I'd feel overwhelmed. I purchased 3 blue Rubbermaid tubs (that way once stored in the garage/attic, we would know exactly which tubs were our camping tubs). One was packed with tent equipment/lanterns/tarps, another was packed with cooking pots, roasting sticks, dishes and campstove, and the last was packed with food that didn't need to go in the cooler.

Inside the tubs I had smaller items packed in snap-n-lock containers. I love these containers! I use them at home for my flour, sugar, and other dry-goods. This container in the photo above, had disposable rain ponchos, maglite replacement bulbs, maglites, a whistle, rubber bands, clothespins and some carabiners.

Now this pink snap-n-lock tote has three levels. Oh I love buy organizational stuff! I purchased this and the tote below at Target. The top had boxes of matches (one was being used when I took the photo), the second compartment had batteries for our laterns, and the third had misc. stuff.

The blue container held all our cooking utensils. The top had stuff like serving/mixing spoons, can-opener, measuring cups/spoons, cutting knives, cutting board and washcloths. The bottom had our plates and silverware. It worked out pretty well! The only thing I need to find is a utensil caddy to place on the picnic table while we are camping (you know those things you use at a picnic that has the separate compartments for holding plastic silverware). That way we aren't going in and out of that bottom compartment so much. The tote works great for transporting everything though.

Of course the best organizational thing I brought was the Pack 'n Play ! It kept dd#4 from getting into everything--lol! We used it as a play-pen during the day, and at night we moved it into our tent for her bed (but did she sleep in it---noooooo)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Can Hardly Recognize Them!

Oh, who can this be? Why it's dd#3! She was so funny walking around wearing the glasses and nose.
Now this girl I can hardly recognize! This is DD#2 about 4 years ago! She has grown up so much since this picture was taken.

And this, did my DD#1 actually look this young? She's hitting the tween years now. I remember back then she seemed so old, but now seeing the photo, I realize how young she really was.

And I sure miss this little guy. He had such an infectious laugh (I'm sure it will come back). Right now he's straddling between being a kid and a tween and it isn't pretty--lol. Some days I still catch glimpses of his once happy-g0-lucky self. Oh change---inevitable and necessary---but sometimes I wish it didn't happen so fast.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Bubble Trouble--I Heart Faces Week 24

This week's topic for I Heart Faces is Let's Hear it for the Boys. I love this photo of my ds. If you look closely you can see tiny bubbles on his hand and his dirty fingernails! He was concentrating hard on not having the bubble pop when I snapped this photo of him. The older he is getting, the harder it is to take photos of him. He'd rather get a tooth pulled than smile at the camera--lol. I'm having to resort to using my zoom lens and snap when he isn't looking :)

Check out all the other awesome photos at:


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Through the Lens -- Assignments

I have been taking my very first online photography class with Katrina Kennedy over at Get it Scrapped! For the first time in a very, very long time I've actually had to pull out my camera manual (I was proud that I actually still had it!) She is working us so hard! Just kidding---Katrina's been pushing us out of our comfort zones though (aka off of Auto, Portrait Mode)
I have always been one to just dive in with the creative aspect and not worry about the technical portion (yeah, I'm that same kid who struggled with math). But in order for me to be artsy and improve my photography, I really need to master the technical stuff. Katrina has been great about breaking it down and explaining things in easy to understand terms. Here are some of my photo assignments so far:


Blogs and Sites I Enjoy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Workbox System--All You Wanted to Know and More!

If you read my site, you have probably heard me mention the workbox system before. Well Kari from The Snail's Trail has complied an awesome resource page filled with links and photos of this system. I was glad to be able to contribute to the project, and plan on submitting more things in the future (oh so many ideas and yet not enough time to see them through completion).

Check it out! A Comprehensive Review of Sue Patrick's Workbox System


Itunes Inspiration Challenge No. 20

Check out the new Itunes Inspiration challenge over at Designer Digitals. Using the inspiration piece, which is a Pet Boys' album cover, create a layout either totally based on the piece or just influenced by the piece. I decided to use some current photos of my youngest daughter. Here's the layout I came up with for the challenge:

All Supplies used on this layout are from Designer Digitals.

And since photography and scrapbooking go hand-in-hand, check out the give-away that I Heart Faces is giving away! It is Kodak's ESP-9 All In One Printer! Click on the link above, tell what your favorite Kodak product is in the comment section for a chance to win.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Camping Tips Part 1

The other day I wrote about how my family might be going on a real camping trip versus just camping out in our backyard (My DH is having some downtime on our backyard camping trip in the photo above). You can read the original post here. In that post I asked for some camping tips and I thought I'd share a few of the responses.

Kristin had a ton of advice (check the comments in the original post)
* Have the right attitude and mindset! She is so right---I need to go in thinking that this will be fun, this will be fun, this will be fun ;)
* Pack stuff in Rubbermaid containers. She specifically said kitchen supplies, but I think it could apply to other stuff too.
* Pick a place that has amenities (I did and it was called a hotel--lol!) Yeah, we're not going to be doing any primitive camping any time soon. I do think she has a point that a nice restroom is a must.
* Pack toliet paper. Thanks for the reminder. I probably would have forgot.

also brought up some good points:
* Eat Poptarts, granola bars and easy stuff.
* Pack NyQuil to get the kids to sleep after the sugar-high.
* Don't camp near the restrooms.

Now Cia Huston Dreves blogged a whole post that is extremely thorough with great tips. Her post can be found here: Budget Camping-Super Summer Fun

Thank you all for helping me out! Now I'd love to hear some good camping stories---the good, the bad and the funny! And if you have any other camping tips, packing tips etc. still send them my way.


I ♥ Faces Week 23 Sepia

Oh my charming little guy. I can still remember the day I took this photo. He and his younger sister dressed up and asked me to do a photo shot of them. They wanted to look old-timey. I was so pleased that it was their idea and not mine--and I love the results!

Check out I ♥ Faces for even more sepia-toned images.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Camping We Will Go

My husband surprised me the other day by coming home with a 10-man tent and some camping gear. He and the kids got it set up in the backyard to check it out. They decided to go ahead and have a camp-out in our backyard. I opted to stay in the house with the baby just to make it easier for them ;)

They had so much fun that they stayed in the tent for a second night---but voted to send the 2yr. old in the house with me :)

Now that they feel like they have some camping experience, they want to go to a real campground. I know it will be great memories, but I'm not quite jumping for joy at the thought of camping. I really like having my own bathroom and shower, my own room, a fridge and microwave...since growing up I've morphed into a high-quality hotel vacationer :) So this is where I need some advice. For experienced family campers, what are some tips, tricks, or things you wish you knew when you first went camping? How did you organize all your supplies? What supplies did you find you really need? What about meals? Any great recipes for camping? Advice? Can you tell I really need some help! LOL!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Cashmere, Blue Agave, Lemon Verbena and More...

Lynden, Pomegranate, Sweet Grass --are just some of the wonderful scents you'll find at Linnea's Lights. There is just something about lighting scented candles that make my home feel calm and welcoming. And wouldn't you know it, I'm out of candles! Thankfully we all have a chance to win some.

For the next couple of Fridays, Linnea's Lights is going to be holding a give-away on their blog for the chance to win a hand-poured soy candle. Go to her blog, answer the question and post in the comments to enter.

Linnea's Lights Fire-up Friday

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

6 Unimportant Things That I Like

Terra from Finding Me tagged me awhile ago and it's taken this long to get around to posting this(I'm so sorry! )

1. Messing with avatar photos (see photo above which was done using PhotoFunia --the guy playing the Rubik's cube is my dh)

2. Drinking Coke. Not Diet Coke but the full sugar-loaded Classic Coke (photo and layout by me using products from www.jenwilsondesigns.com)
3. Checking in on my favorite message boards each day.
4. Creating printables, digital art and scrapbook pages (though I think that the latter could fall into the category of very important ;) )
5. Blogging? That's important isn't it? :)
6. Reading Christian historical fiction books.

So what are some things that you enjoy? I'd love to read about it!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Yellow Ball

Wordless Wednesday
DD#4's fascination with yellow practice golf balls.
Check out other WW posts at 5Min. for Mom


Monday, June 8, 2009

Parenting for the Long Haul

DD#3 has been such a joy lately and yet at the same time has been testing to the limits. She's hit the "I want to do it on my own and on my own terms" phase. For example, she decided that she wanted to swim in the big pool. When told no she ran into the men's locker room where she knew I couldn't get her. Yep, my wonderful, adorable two-year old did that. It warms my heart to see her try new things and take ownership of tasks, but the testing(which 9yr. old ds has also been doing)is wearing me out. I've found that I've had to reformulate my game-plan and constantly remind myself that I'm parenting for the long-run.

1-3 Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. "Honor your father and mother" is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, "so you will live well and have a long life." 4Fathers [mothers], don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. ~Ephesians 6:1-3 The Message

I've been meditating on the following verses, especially verse 4. My husband and I have been trying to decide what would be good consequences for certain actions for both my 2yr. old and 9yr. old. We've been parenting for almost 11 years now and still find that what motivates one child does not motivate another. So we've been praying, reading the Word, and checking out a few good parenting resources. Some days I feel like I'm on track, doing a good job, but lately I feel like I have no idea how to handle some of the curve balls that are coming my direction. God grant me wisdom! And I know He will. And the funny thing is that so far He's having me change first.


Books on my Parenting Bookshelf:

For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training

Making Children Mind without Losing Yours

Grace-Based Parenting

NIV Gift Bible

Raising Your Children With No Regrets: 7 Principles of an Intentional Mother

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