Friday, December 12, 2008

New Layouts and a Freebie from Haynay!

Good Morning! The girls are off to school and I am sitting here with me coffee trying to become a little more human while Beka watches Mickey Mouse - seemed like a good time to post up my most recent layouts! I did these with Haynay's NEW kit releaseed today at ScrapMatters - isn't it FABULOUS?!?! And the best news is that it is 25% off this weekend along with the rest of her store!!

I couldn't help but do TWO layouts with it - here they are:

Plus if you head over to Haynay's Blog there is a great coordinating freebie and you can check out the cute BOY pages that the rest of the CT did with this amazing kit!

Well, I better get motivated and get my chores done because I am going to be at the ScrapMatters Speed Scrap at 11pm PST - come play along and get a free alpha for participating!
Still Scrappin-

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Infamous Rat Cake!

I have had a few requests for photos of Abbie’s Birthday Cake – the Infamous Rat Cake! So here it is:

It didn’t come out as creepy as I was afraid it would and Abbie was thrilled so mission accomplished! She was also overwhelmed to get Josephina (an American Girl doll) – it was a total surprise! She has wanted her for quite a while but she didn’t think she would get her until next year - she even cried. I can’t believe that she is six years old. In some ways she still feels like my little baby but at the same time she is also an incredibly self assured little lady. She is so kind and truly has a love for the Lord – we couldn’t be prouder!

OK – enough proud Mama rambling – I do have one other fun thing to share! How cute is this?

The Jiffy Pop cover was a freebie from Kari Holt during the ScrapMatters Black Friday Blog Train so all I had to do was print it out and add a little bling. Tie on a movie rental gift card and you have a Movie Night gift - so easy! These went to the caregivers of our Angel Tree kids but they would be a fun and fairly inexpensive gift for teachers or neighbors or anyone!

That is all I have for now but I will be back tomorrow to show off some layouts using an amazing new kit from Haynay.

Until then –

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Update (aka - why we aren't sending Christmas Cards this year)

I promised an update on how the Advent Conspiracy is going in our house and I have to say that I am really excited about some of the different choices we are making this Christmas season. If you need to catch up on what the Advent Conspiracy is go here (there is a GREAT video) – but it is basically a challenge to keep Christmas simple, buy less, and donate more. So that you know that we are trying to practice what we preach here are a few of the things we are doing and maybe it will give you some ideas you can incorporate in your home:

1. The past couple of years the girls have bought gifts for each other which we or course financed. I liked that they were thinking of each other and not just themselves so this year we took it a step farther. Instead of buying a gift for the other sisters each girl picked out a child from the Angel Tree Network to buy for. This has been great because we have been able to go shopping for the gifts to the Angel Tree children together, wrap them together and open up a conversation with the girls about the ways they have been blessed.

2. Drew and I are actually buying fewer gifts. Fewer gifts for the girls, fewer gifts for family and fewer gifts for friends. If you typically buy a gift for us please join us in the Conspiracy and we will gladly be your one less gift – all we ask is that you take the money you would typically spend and donate it to any cause that is close to your heart.

3. We are still giving some gifts because the point of the Conspiracy isn't to go all Scrooge and we do want to show our family (especially our grandparents) that we are thinking of them this Christmas. However, we are spending less on the gifts we buy, giving homemade gifts where we know they would be appreciated and also giving gifts with purpose such as:

- The FABULOUS Homecoming CD -with all proceeds going to AIDS relief

- Microloan Gift Cards - these Microloans help women caught in the sex industry in Thailand get out, gain education and start their own business.

If you are interested in giving these gifts as well just let me know and I can hook you up!

4. Finally, we are not sending out Christmas cards this year. I know this seems extreme but we questioned all our Christmas expenses this year and when I thought about how much money and resources it takes to send our Christmas cards – which I am terrible about getting out in a timely manner anyway – it seemed like a good choice for our family. That money instead will be donated with the rest of our Advent Conspiracy savings. So, here is our Christmas card to you (you can click on it if you want to download a full print quality version):

I never wrote a Christmas letter in the past and I figure that if I actually keep this blog updated you will be able to keep up with our adventures and misadventures throughout the year!

So there is our Advent Conspiracy update! If you would like to join us head over to this website. Need some more ideas on creative gift giving? There are tons here. You can also listen to the AMAZING messages from our church pastors on the Conspiracy here. Can I cram in the links or what??

My prayer for you is that you are having a blessed and peaceful Christmas season so far!
Still Conspiring -

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Scrapbooking Freebie from Haynay and Me!

Wow - it has been a busy week and I have lots to share but some of it will have to wait for the weekend. Abbie's birthday is today (she is 6!) and so I am making her cake this morning before heading to work. One of our birthday traditions is that I make the cake for the birthday girl and they can request whatever they want. This year Abbie wants a rat cake ... yep you read that right ... a rat cake. As in a cake that has replicas of her pet rats on top. So I am doing it but I may have to turn myself in to Cake Wrecks when I am done!

We are also busy getting ready for Christmas but in a very different way this year since we are Conspiring with our Church - I will have a big update on how that is going this weekend because I am very excited about it!

But the real reason you are here - a Digi Scrap Freebie! Haynay released a new kit today that is really cute called Little Boy Express - even with three girls I am going to get a lot of use out of this one! And if you purchase it this week you get two adorable matching Alpas for Free!

Here is a Layout I did with the new kit:

And now for the Freebie! I had so much fun playing with the Alphas that I made up a little set of Word Art to match the kit and Haynay is giving them away on her blog! Click on the preview to pop over to her blog, see some more layouts using the kit and grab your freebie! If you scrap with them I would LOVE to see it.

That's it for now but stay tuned for how we are Conspiring this Advent!

Up to my elbows in buttercream -

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Scrapbooking Goodies!

First a fun announcement - I was invited to another Creative Team - this one for GG Digital Designs! Yea!!!

Next is even more fun - FREEBIES!! Haynay has been sharing a Blessing a Day in November and is going to be scrapping each one for a Blessing Album. To help you do your own Blessing Album she is giving away a Quick Page each day this week on her blog using her new Beautiful Blessings Kit! She is giving away mine today so hop on over to grab it and pick up the other ones from this week - here is a preview of mine:

Lastly - Scrapmatters is have a HUGE Black Friday Sale that you don't want to miss!! The designers are doing Grab Bags (Hint, you don't want to miss Haynay's - it rocks!!) AND there will be a BIG Blog Train to pick up lots of Freebies. This is the best kind of Black Friday shopping - from home without any shipping so be sure to check it out.

Counting my Blessings -

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A New Album Project

The other day I was savoring my time playing with the littlest princess (2 yrs. old) and laughing at her little quirks - I am so blessed to have this time to be with her! It got me to thinking about our two older girls (7 and 6) and remembering what they were like at age 2; so naturally I headed to our family albums. I realized that, although I have scrapbooked since they were babies, I mainly scrapped picture taking events - all the birthdays, holidays and the like. What I have missed chronicling are the everyday moments. All those funny things they did that we thought we would always remember - and are starting to forget. Thus is the birth of a new album project! I am trying to remember all those little things and get them documented before we forget them completely … even if there aren’t any pictures to go with the memories. I don’t have a name for the album yet (Little moments? Favorite Memories? I will take any and all suggestions!) but here is my start:

Remembering the Little Things -

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm a Hunnie!!!

I am so excited to share that I was chosen to be on the Creative Team for one of my favorite digital scrapbook designers - Haynay Designs!! That means that I get to be one of the first to play with her new products and scrapbook with them (best job ever!). Her newest kit Beautiful Blessings is gorgeous (you can get it at ScrapMatters) and I have really enjoyed scrapping with it so far.

Here is the layout I did with it:

Just wanted to share my good news - I have applications out for 2 other Creative Teams as well so keep you fingers crossed!

Happy to be a Hunnie -

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Join the Conspiracy!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... sing along! ... everywhere you go ....

Well, now that I have that song stuck in your head I will point out the obvious. Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is on it's way soon, so it must be time to get ready for Christmas! Actually my Costco has been getting ready for weeks .... ugh.

I have always disliked the way that the Christmas season is rushed (well, except for Peppermint Mocha creamer in the grocery store!) but I admit that even I have started to think about Christmas shopping. You know - the "what am I going to get so and so". Hmm, I better get it ordered so that I can mail it in time. And what about Christmas cards - I will need to get the kids picture taken. It just seems to go on and on to the point of exhuastion. Half the people I know just can't wait for the whole thing to be over! I too have struggled with how to get back the meaning of Christmas and reclaim it from all the STUFF. Which is why I am totally jazzed about what my church is up to - it is a conspiracy - an Advent Conspiracy! It totally gets to heart of what I have been feeling and this video gives you an introduction. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Whether it is clean water, AIDS relief or whatever moves your heart I hope you join us in the conspiracy!

Joining the Conspiracy -

Monday, November 3, 2008

Results of Digital Scrapbooking Day (Weekend?)

Well, I didn't get as much scrapping done as I thought I would but with all the sales and freebies I did get quite a bit of shopping done! I have been sick and so we had a lazy weekend at home with the family playing games and watching movies. It was GREAT just having a chance to relax together and not be rushing somewhere. I did get a bit of scrapping done though so here are a few of my favorites:

Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend too and thanks for stopping by the castle!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking Day Tomorrow!

Well, it figures that I just get this blog thing started and then get really sick! But, I am going to be feeling better tomorrow no matter what because it is Digital Scrapbooking Day! There will be lots of activities at the digital scrapbooking sites and my FAVORITE store ScrapMatters will have everything 30% off tomorrow (my wallet just cringed!) - plus lots of the designers are going to be giving away fun freebies! If you want to check out all the shops that will be having sales you can do that at the Digital Scrapbooking Day Headquarters. So that is what I am going to be doing tomorrow and will come back and show off some of my work (cause I know you all want to see right?). I have also applied to be on a couple of Creative Teams for the designers that I LOVE and hope to hear back from one of them soon - so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Getting my Download finger ready -

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Two Current Obsessions

So in my inaugural post I mentioned that I have a couple of hobbies... er obsessions? Those who know me will confirm that I do have a *slightly* obsessive personality and planning for our upcoming Disney Trip (henceforth known as Princess Palooza) is one of them. I spend probably a little too much time on a couple of Disney planning sites and the trip is taking on a life of its own … there are now spreadsheets involved (no mocking allowed!). It is finally starting to taper off a bit as the itinerary is mostly set, plane tickets purchased and all of the dining reservations have been made. I am sure that when I begin putting together the daily touring plans in January it will get crazy again! Prince Charming is a saint and just smiles and nods whenever I start talking in Disney acronyms.

My other current obsession is Digital Scrapbooking. I have been involved in scrapbooking for about 10 years now, and have lots of photo albums to show for it, but I only recently have discovered the HUGE world of digital scrapbooking. I had done a few digital books in the past year but I finally decided that the girls albums were going to be digital - and it has now become a full blown obsession! My paper supplies have been gathering dust (literally) and my collection of digital supplies has been growing exponentially – thanks mostly in part to my FAVORITE store/ digi community ScrapMatters. They have so many fun challenges to participate in, beautiful products and the nicest scrappers I have ever met! I have a little slideshow of my recent digital scrapbook pages over on the right and I am sure that it will be updated regularly as I fit in as much scrapping time as I can. Now all I need is a bigger hard drive to store it on …

Dreaming of terabytes -

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome to the Castle

... although it would probably be more aptly described as a three ring circus. I have stayed away from blogging for a while now because I didn't think that I could keep it up (that remains to be seen) and because I didn't think that I had anything worthwhile to contribute to the "bloggesphere". Well, I'm still not sure that I do but I am jumping in anyway. This will likely end up being a spot for me to ramble about the family and my latest obsessions (Disney and digital scrapbooking) but I hope that you join me for the ride!