Friday, July 31, 2009

I Fell Some-fing

Aunt Artsy is here staying with us for a couple of nights and reminded me of a conversation with Curly that I have never posted. I thought I would quickly share it with you...

We were in the grocery store quite awhile back checking out after shopping. Curly was in my arms while Handsome was working through the debit card portion of check out.

Curly started sniffing the air like she was trying to figure out a smell.

Curly: Sniff, sniff..."I fell some-fing Mama." (That was before she said smell properly)

ME: "It's fine dear. Don't worry about the smells, there are smells everywhere we go." I was a little nervous about what exactly she smelled and how embarrassing this smell might be if conversation continued...

Curly: SNIIIIIFFFF, sniff, sniffity sniff- she was breathing in deeper now with voilent lifting of her head as if she were a stench seeking missile, "BUT! But I fell some-fing Mom!"

ME: Trying to just cease the talk of this smell I finally asked quietly, "What do you smell?" My voice clearly stating that I was not wanting to really know, but was just wanting to get it over with.

Curly: "It fells like...." sniff, sniff, sniff, "it fells like....air."

Even the checker laughed at that one!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Party for Smiles

Now, isn't Smiles the cutest birthday boy you've seen in quite some time? I just love his little self. Check out his adorable curls under that Elmo hat!

You'll notice these pictures have a few things in common.

#1- They are all in the general vicinity of Papa's lap. Papa has magnetic powers with small children. No one knows why. It just is...and we don't mess with it.

#2- The activities are rather similar. Reality people- a one year old doesn't do all that much throughout their day. For all you know these photos could have been taken at the beginning, middle, and end of the party. (Well, other than the lack of cupcake on his face...)

#3- Smiles is "melt your face off" cute. Do I really need to explain that one? He is clearly cute, this is no party favor, he is always that adorable!

Some variety for you. Activity #1- move around a lot so Mom can't take clear pictures inside.

Activity #2- play with crumpled napkin. It's cool cause it's with Papa.

Activity #3- play coy with Mom while holding onto Papa's leg.

Activity #4- look pathetically into Papa's eyes and see how quickly you can get him to pick you up. (It's a matter of milliseconds.)

Gloat and get photographic proof of your control over the adults. One day you will need to prove that you are in charge.

NEXT- presents.

Smiles actually did quite well. He likes having toys that don't belong to his sister. (He is very good at sharing.)

Finally, cake.

Blow out your candle with Mom's help.

Make a HUGE mess. That's what first birthdays are really all about!

(It might look like egg here, but it really is cupcake.)

Smiles had a wonderful birthday. It was simple and sweet, just like we like them. Happy first birthday my little one.

Curly Do's

Curly: "Mama, will you put this in my hair?"

She runs to me with a barrette... or two....or three...

They keep coming until THIS is the finished product. Every bit of this "do" is done with the clips you see. She had a crazy puff of hair before in fact. (That's what happens when you have curly hair- PUFFY!)

...Birthday pictures to come for Smiles soon.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taking a Break

I love you guys. I do. I love all the ways that I have connected with some of you and how fun it has been to blog.

It's just that I am so busy right now and God has just opened another door for me that is going to take more of my time and I know that it might prevent me from blogging for a little while as well.

So, I am just giving you a heads up that this time of sparse blogging will probably continue for awhile. I will update with things related to the adoption and I will have more of that once we actually get a little farther in the when we travel. If you don't have the benefit of the option of "following" (which I love because it can even be anonymous, but you still don't have to just go to each blog and read it as it comes up on your dashboard...and that's nice for the people I like that post like once a month), then I would say checking once a week should be good.

...and I do promise to post something for Smiles on his birthday which is next Sunday. It would just be wrong not to (And Gramps might get angry with me =).

So, for the next month or perhaps two- don't say I didn't warn you that things might be slow around here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's About Time I Did a Raffle!

It's a well known fact 'round these parts that I like to make cards. My mother-in-law got me into it when she first started scrapbooking and took some card classes. She was oh so wonderful enough to bring the tools and paper to do the cards she made each month so that I could copy the ones from her class. And so my love of card making began.

The thing I love about cards is that they are done quickly and you don't have to figure out so much stuff. I mean, a card is such a small space compared to a 12x12 piece of paper! It's something I can do in an evening and I don't have to have pictures on hand (printed of course...I always have PLENTY of photos on the hard drive).

My mother-in-law has also been so sweet as to surprise me with little goodies here and there (actually much more than she should have sometimes), so I have been able to try a variety of things and really figure out my favorites. And guess what?!? She donated one of my FAVORITE stamp sets for a raffle! I am so excited. I use this stamp set all the time. I think my most favorite is the little lady bug, but I do love them all. is what you can win with this raffle:

The Stampin' Up! stamp set- Garden Whimsy shown below (retails for $32.95)

...AND a birtday pack of 5 handmade cards, designed by me. I had some help putting some of them together =). Each card is 4 inches square.

Yes, I did think of Lu when making the one below. How could I not do a Poppy when raising money for Ana when she is the reason that I even found Reece's Rainbow?

Now, how do you win these items? You can click on the side bar on the "chip in" button. For every $5 that you donate, you will be entered in a drawing to win them. Please pass the word on so that we can raise as much as possible, of course =). Please leave a note in the chip in with your e-mail so that I can contact you if you win.

If you don't win the stamp set and cards, but would like some of the cards shown here I have 14 more sets available to buy. They are $6.25 for each set, plus shipping. If you live nearby I will just give them to you to skip that step.

Every last cent goes toward Anastasia's adoption process. (I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you though...)

Thank you for all of your support as always friends, and thanks for spreading the word!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dancing for Dough

So, I started this new thing with Curly to try and help with positive reinforcement. I have been having a hard time keeping grips on the frustration bug now that she is three and we are in the throws of trying to do an adoption. It's just a lot to handle and my fuse hasn't been as long as I would like it to be. So, we brought out a cleaned out peanut butter jar (glass) and some decorative stones.

When she does certain chores, she gets a stone (which she likes to call "chips"...but I am not helping my story here by comparing her to a gambling queen). If she does well on a car ride with no whining, she gets a stone. Good attitude = stone. Bad attitude = take a stone away. She has a list of things that she can earn toward and how many stones it is worth so that she can cash in later.

She can earn staying up half an hour late, a trip to the playground, going to the grocery store with just Mommy, a dollar and a trip to the dollar store to spend it. You get the point. Each special thing is worth different amounts of stones so that she can practice saving up for things and decisions about spending now, or saving for something she really wants.

So... fast forward to this afternoon. We got home from a really fun trip to Nana's house where she enjoyed a very full day. She earned a lot of stones and we put them into her jar when we got home. I let her have the chance to earn a few extra stones by picking up her brother's dirty clothes and putting the family's shoes in the closet where they belong and she was happy to do it. It seems to be working well.

...but then....

.......then my little girl starts dancing around the house and looks over at me. She stops mid move busting and says to me with a smirk that tells me she just came up with a crazy awesome plan, "If I do this dance- THEN I get a DOLLAR and go to the store!" Her little face glistening with a gleeful smile because she was inventing a new "job" for herself.

Yeah...umm.... sorry Charlie, but that isn't going to happen for OH so many reasons. The most important of which for your knowledge right now is- you don't get to pick your jobs. And let's hope by the time you do that your parents have taught you well enough that you don't get dollars for dancing.

I do love how children can say such inappropriate things and still remain innocent about them. I just hope she never comes up with that one again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Curly's at it Again

Sunday morning on our way out the door to church, without Handsome since he had to work, Curly was standing next to me while I put Smiles into the car. She walked around the back of the car and I told her to come back next to Mama. She knows the rules are that when we are getting into the car she has to stay next to me or touch the side of the car while I put Smiles in first.

Knowing that I was getting after her, she quickly replied: "MOM! I am being hayve!"

(In case you didn't catch what she meant there...I apparently always tell her to BE-HAVE.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy

I heard this song a few weeks ago on the radio for the first time. While it has probably been around for quite some time, I don't listen to the actual radio very often. It perfectly fits some of the thoughts and feelings that I have had recently. I love this song and wanted to play it over and over because of how well it speaks to my heart.

I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meet the Family: Aunt Artsy

Aunt Artsy is my mom's fourth child. She shares a dad along with our youngest brother on Mom's side.

I remember when Aunt Artsy was born. I was ten years old and sat in the living room until really late after my first day of school in the fourth grade. I watched Fern Gully. Through mom's noises of discomfort, my impatience grew. What was taking this baby so long to come out?! I fell asleep. I remember them waking me up to see her, but I don't think it really registered for me until the next morning when I went in to see my mother and asked if indeed the baby had FINALLY been born last night. I saw her and was off to my second day of fourth grade, giddy over my new sister. It was the first time I was old enough to really fully enjoy my baby sibling.

I remember sharing a room with little Aunt Artsy. She was slightly obnoxious, especially when she cried in the night. I slept in the same bed with her a few times when she was older...that was not fun. The girl may be very small, but apparently she is an ogre inside because her body doesn't think that one measly side of the bed is enough. She tears through the night like a battle rages on. It isn't pretty.

My childhood is not the only time that her battle-style sleep habits have caused me discomfort and lack of sleep. Last summer she was staying over and Curly had switched to a twin sized bed. We thought that it would be okay for Aunt Artsy to sleep with her instead of the usual sleeping bag on the floor since Curly took up so little of the bed. All was well for the first hour or two, but then. Then something went BUMP in the night...and that something was my little freshly two year old daughter being evicted from her own bed. Handsome wasn't home that night, so I just pulled her in with me and she was fine, though rather ticked at her auntie. She said something and I can't remember her exact words now, but I think it was something along the lines of: sniff, sniff "Aunt Artsy" sniff, tear, sniff "stoled MY BED!" Followed by sobbing and tearful exclamations that made little sense due to the fact that it was two year old speak through massive tears.

We do not put her in a bed with anyone now. Ever. (Well, unless it's for punishment. Then it's okay...)

Aunt Artsy was talented in the area of creativity from a very early age. She used to draw and color things that were very beyond the normal scope of children her age. She drew stick figures at two and even drew a stick figure chicken on the laundry room doors at two and half. It was a very good chicken indeed. She won an art contest when she was four and was in the local paper. Now she does all things artistic including sculpting, pastels, watercolor, beading, and so much more. Her favorite right now is culinary arts. She is extremely talented with cooking and flavors. She was in the culinary club at school and was first place in her class competition to get into the club.

Aunt Artsy is pretty adventurous, unlike her older sister (ME).

She will try most things once...or even twice. That goes for unique food AND thrill seeking adventures. The girl was never afraid of much, though she was a drama queen when she was younger. She used to put on the most elaborate show for us over the slightest stubbing of her toe, which is strange because now she is pretty tough. I guess now that she isn't at the bottom of the list in the house since so many of us have grown up and left the house she doesn't need to do it for attention anymore.

Or she figured out it didn't work. You know, like that one time that she ACTUALLY broke her foot and Mom didn't take her to the doctor for a couple of days because she thought she was making it up. Yeah. That might have done it.

Never cry wolf. That's Aunt Artsy's new motto.

The girl loves animals too. She knows tons of things about them and wants to become a veterinarian or something working with animals. She would probably yell at me for saying veterinarian instead of some fancy word like zoologist or something. I don't know what the heck she wants to be. Some fan-dangled animal loving thing. Okay Aunt Artsy? Is that good enough for you!? She is volunteering at the local nature center doing day camps right now in fact...or finishing up the training stuff at least.

She knows her "big cats" too. Just thought I would throw that in there for any of you who wanted to know. Don't mess those up or she'll eat you alive!

Aunt Artsy is pretty cool. She is one of the favorite Aunts around. Curly loves to have her come over and play with play doh. They make all kinds of cool things that I could never dream of making, like macaroni and cheese. "WITH A BOWL MOM!" Yep, Aunt Artsy makes her play doh mac and cheese with the additional bowl and spoon. Now that's an awesome playmate.

Curly and Aunt Artsy have a special thing. Licking.

When Curly was being taught not to lick people, well...she was taught not to lick people other than Aunt Artsy. (And Grandma Burger sometimes.) I don't know how Aunt Artsy came to be the one it's okay to lick, but somehow that is the case.

In fact, I am sure Aunt Artsy has indeed wondered the same thing. "How did I become the one that it was okay to lick?" The world may never know.

While Aunt Artsy is much younger than I am, I would have to say that she is one of the siblings that I enjoy most. When she comes over to spend the night we end up laughing a lot, and we bond over things like Photoshop. It's great. It also helps that she is great with the kids and doesn't hesitate to get in and get dirty with them. I love to have this girl around!

So, for Aunt Artsy- "HARD MIX!!!"

Nothing Like It.

There is nothing like hearing a tiny little out of tune voice singing out unexpectedly in joyful blasts...