Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Xmas project revealed

This picture of the sun rise was taken from our living room window as we had our coffee after the stockings and "Santa presents" had been explored and enjoyed. Not surprisingly, we were woken in the still-dark before 7 a.m. by a very excited six year old. This was the year for her. The year to still believe, the year to appreciate gifts, the year to listen for jingle bells, the year to have trouble sleeping, the year to be crying happy tears because the day was so wonderful. Can't beat that.

We did have a wonderful day. Several rounds of gift giving and visits with assorted relatives, spread throughout the day. No real melt-downs and lots of excitement. I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of pictures soon. But this one was caught today and I had to post it right away.

Introducing, Sammy's Pad:

This is Emma & Daddy's super-secret project. And this is Sammy (or maybe Freddy, his best friend. Emma can tell them apart, but I'm never sure). Sammy's Pad is a full-service buffet style restaurant serving peanuts, mixed squirrel food, and water. It's hard to see the details, but there are evenly spaced treads on the floor to keep Sammy and his pals from slipping, a removable roof for shelter (with tension wire on the back to keep roof-climbing squirrels from flipping it over), and a water-proof sealer that will act as a base paint later in the year, so Emma can give it a custom paint job.

Emma came up with the idea for this project, designed it, and, as you've seen in previous posts, did as much of the construction as was remotely safe. Sammy is a squirrel that lives in the trees behind Gramma & Papa's house and routinely comes up to the door looking for peanuts. Emma has been enthralled by him for years and decided he needed a more efficient food-procuring method. The gift was a hit with everyone. Especially Sammy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Quiet of Christmas Eve

The Christmas lights are lit.

Christmas Eve pajamas unwrapped and on.

Sugar cookies decorated.

Wonderful meal and great conversation with extended family enjoyed.

Cookies and milk waiting for Santa by the tree.

Kids are asleep (I think).

TBS is running a 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story.

Presents are....getting wrapped.

Half a bottle of wine left in the fridge.

I love Christmas.

Have a wonderful, peaceful, chaotic, joyful day tomorrow.
Love & laughter from Meg, Jason, Emma, & George

Friday, December 21, 2007

Busy elves

Remember the super-secret project from October? Well, it took a bit of a hiatus through much of November and December. All of a sudden, oh-my-goodness-it's-less-than-a-week-'till-Christmas hit this house and all crafty projects are in full swing again. Here's another peek:

And yes, I did just notice that my darling, sweet, only six years old, precious first born is not wearing safety goggles while wielding a nail gun. Her daddy and I will be chatting about that fact before tonight's stint in the work room begins. (Though we may be on to the painting phase, it's hard for me to tell, the project keeps getting more and more elaborate). More photos after Christmas. Though I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any of the recipient actually using it......

I've had to make a last minute change to one of my crafty gifts. Think it's a bad idea to try a completely new technique and product three days before Christmas? Yeah, probably is, but I'm trying it anyway. I found this when I came into the kitchen this morning:

I'd like to think the kitchen is feeling my stress and wanted to brighten my day.

So, while Jason and Emma are busy at the workbench, I'm busy at the computer and in the kitchen. And George is busy dumping every toy box in the house into the middle of the living room. Joy.

And the pets find this time of year intriguing. A tree inside the house, toys scattered everywhere, and assorted wrapping materials hanging about. What could go wrong?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Simply Awesome

These guys remind me of a choir my brother was in long ago. But this holiday medley is a bit funnier than some:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughts on a Tuesday

Why is it when I have a holiday party to go to, my hair can't decide if it wants to be straight or curly, so instead, it does a funky helmet-head-wave thing? But if it's a day like, oh let's say today, when I'm wearing sweats and don't plan on being seen by anyone other than postal workers, my hair is just the right amount of curly and looks "awesome" (as Emma put it)?

(What punctuation would have been the right choice in those sentences? I think I have a few too many commas there.)

And speaking of Emma. She has a new boyfriend. His name is Bryson, he's really nice, and they're going to be boyfriend and girlfriend, like, forever. She's six. I have no words for this one.

Jason received a paycheck from the National Guard yesterday. I know I haven't shared our Nat'l Guard drama stories with the world here, but trust me, a paycheck? Is amazing and surprising based on our experience with the Guard thus far. I never thought I would find the Army more efficient with paperwork in any instance.

I'm going to Vegas in a couple of months to work at a trade show for Digital Scrapbook Place. We'll be sharing a booth with Adobe and Wacom. Think they'll be impressed with my mad skills on our IBM Thinkpad, circa 2004? Oh well, I'm going to Vegas, baby! That's good enough for me! (Note to self: Stop dream-surfing and and get back to work!)

Christmas is exactly one week from today. 'Nuff said.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shower Time

I took these photos tonight and just had to use them right away.

Shower time is play time for you, silly boy. (Except for those awful hair-washings!) I love listening to you sing and act out stories, enjoying the great bathroom acoustics. And the shower door is your favorite canvas. It was there I learned you could draw a face (on a snowman, no less)! You stay in there long after the water is off, just to play! And then there is the dancing you sometimes do. . . .

(Oh, and you crack yourself up, too!)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gingerbread fun

Thank you to Grandpa Rocky for this great project! Stay Up Late Night (Friday evenings) has never been so much fun. I'm pretty surprised that the roof hasn't caved in from the sheer mass of candy on it!

These pictures will definitely be added to my Christmas album. What a great memory!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I should be folding laundry...

but instead, I'm completely wasting time:

Enjoy! (Wait until you get to the "mirrored" level, wow hard.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Loving the furnace these days

Journaling: Four generations of my family have lived in this house. Four generations have stood on this heater vent in the winter, enjoying the strong blast of hot air. Four generations of little girls have watched their nightgowns billow into bell-shaped containers of heat. Four generations of boys have stomped on the noisy metal grate as their hair blew skyward.

Friday, November 30, 2007 & Autism Magazine, a digital "ezine", will be featuring our family's story in an article about Autism, in their January 2008 issue. They are looking through the many layouts I've done regarding George, and will choose some to highlight.

They are working directly with the Autism Society of America. I'm so proud to be a part of this. Every time something gets written, shared, and talked about, we are one step closer to even better help for our special kids.

Prepping for Xmas!

Tomorrow we head out to get our tree (weather permitting) and then we'll spend the day decorating the house, inside and out! I know that, as usual, there will be zillions of photos taken tomorrow and throughout the holiday season. But most years I'm too busy to do anything with the photos until after the festivities are over, and by then, I'm drained. Last year's entire holiday experience was documented in a single two-page spread (happily enough, published in the current Digital Scrapbooking Magazine).

So this year, I'm following Ali's lead and preparing ahead! I have already completely designed an eight page board book, plus covers. All that it needs is photos and journaling. I'll add them as I go and print it out right after Christmas! Check it out!

Notice that last red page, number 7? "Pass the Rosy Wine"? I'm headed to a holiday party tonight, I may just get that page done before December actually gets here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ok, say it with me:

Pumpkin is a vegetable. Therefore, having pumpkin pie for breakfast is actually healthier than my normal breakfast, as I don't usually include the vegetable food group so early in the morning.

The crust has flour in it, so part of the cereal & grains group.

Add in the whipped cream and you have dairy.

Coffee is made from beans and they count as a protein, right?

Man, am I off to a good start this morning, or what?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Okay, NOW I'm willing to listen to Christmas music

I'm full. Tomorrow I'll avoid stores like the plague while I start searching the basement for our Christmas lights. We normally get our tree the day after Thanksgiving, but Jason's work schedule isn't cooperating, so we'll get it on Sunday.

In the meantime, if you would like to laugh really, REALLY hard, click on this link:

I apologize. I couldn't resist.

Happy Holidays!

So Thankful...

...for a fabulous husband, who is the greatest, most funnest dad ever;

...for the biggest cat I've ever seen, who mended the biggest heart I've ever known (introducing Armory, our cat we've had for the past month)

...for my little boy, who is exploding with new skills;

...for a job I love, that keeps me sane;

...for a home, full of memories and close to lots of extended family;

...for my wild and crazy family, full of love and laughter, just what I always wanted in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Readin', Writin', & 'Rithmatic

Ah Mondays. Full of things to do and not enough time to do them. Thought it was so great when I looked around the house just before Emma left for school and found this:

Georgie tucked into a corner, reading, and Emma sitting in the middle of the floor going over a poem she wrote. That's right, a poem she wrote. Love this kiddo of mine.

Did you know that they study negative numbers in first grade? I don't remember learning those until at least 6th grade or so! We are rapidly approaching the point where I will be unable to help her with her homework!!

Maybe she can help me work on the bills today. Might need some of those negative numbers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

True Oregonians

Really, we aren't a bunch of red-necked hicks. Really. Ignore the camo gear, the old rusty car, the trailer, the fact that we're bar-b-quing in the rain. Please?

Actually, this is our favorite kind of weather. Drizzly, patches of sun, patches of storm, not too hot, but not too cold. Love it! And it's perfect for doing an all day pork roast.

Jason's dad and uncle brought up his old Buick (that he inherited from some wonderful family friends last year), and this morning was spent maneuvering the flat-bed trailer and figuring out how to get the car off of it. No need for details other than the fact that when the car actually rolled off, my mouth was gasping for air and I was peeking through my fingers. We came thiiiiiiiiiiis close to needing a new shed (and possibly new feet for Jason). But it's here, and Jason is happy. I have now lost my husband to car land.

The kids had a blast playing in the rain. George came in voluntarily, once he was soaked all the way through and his boots were sufficiently muddy. Emma didn't spend as much time outside, but heck, any six year old that would rather be doing math workbooks and playing a highly detailed game of dinosaurs vs. Transformers, is all right by me.
Oh, and this last photo is just to prove my oft-repeated point, my kids are crazy. Not that there's anything wrong with wearing your toddler swimming sunglasses while playing with holiday decorations.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Thank goodness this happened at school, they got to deal with the blood. Her friends were very impressed. We have the silver dollar and toothbrush ready (thank you for all your advice, oh wise Internet), so the Tooth Fairy will be visiting tonight.

Wow. She looks like such a kid. Or a Jack-O-Lantern, as her teacher from last year pointed out!

Edited to add: Correction, the Tooth Fairy will not be visiting tonight. Emma broke into tears at the thought of giving up her first lost tooth. She says she doesn't want to "trade it in" for anything. SOooooo, I guess we'll be holding on to the goodies until the next tooth pops. My kids are so wierd.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yes we celebrated Halloween!

I realize that my complete dearth of posts over the last week may have led you to believe that we fled the country or fell off a cliff, but no! We are here, busy, candy-buzzed, and enjoying the fall sunshine.

Here are a few pictures of my costumed, pre-candy overdosed children (I mentioned the horse costume, right?):

The worst part of Halloween is that it takes all darn day to get to the festivities. By then, kids are exhausted after being high on adrenaline since six in the morning. Thus, the slightly comatose look on Emma's face. She recovered quickly though, with the first drop of candy into the pumpkin buckets.

Her favorite part? Opening the door to "customers" at the end of our trick-or-treating. George's favorite treat? The notebook he was given by one of the neighbors. No joke. She offered candy or a spiral notebook, he threw his pumpkin at Jason, shouted "notebook", and that was it for the night! Emma chose a notebook, too. Gotta love my kids.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday happenings

I'm finishing up work on my Card Making Class today, taking photos and making a creative mess. How much do I love the fact that I totally took over Jason's workbench last week, all in the name of good lighting for a photo shoot?
Now tell me, in what other paper arts class are you exposed to power tools like saws and air compressors? Luckily the fire extinguisher is always close by!
George's book seems to be working, he had a great day yesterday. His favorite page is the one that starts, "No crashing..." Silly boy. This morning started off a bit rocky, but hopefully his teachers will help him get back on track.

Emma seems to think she has two loose teeth now. I can't verify that, but she's convinced that she's going to lose all of her baby teeth at once and grow up Right Now!! She's growing up fast enough for me as it is.

Okay, must get back to card folding, embellishment gluing, and photo taking! Next thing on the To Do list is to finish making Emma's horse costume. Yup. Horse costume. I'll post pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Playground project

George is having some trouble adjusting to recess at his "regular" school. It is too unstructured for him, so he goes into sensory overload and starts crashing into other kids. Due to a parent complaint that the school isn't keeping her child safe from George (a whole other subject that just pisses me off completely, not one child has been hurt), I've had to pick him up before recess the last couple of days while they and I put together some new tools and routines for George.

One of them is this social story that I've made. Pretty easy to put together and I think George will like it. His other books have always been very successful at helping him remember new rules or different routines.
His teachers are creating choice cards that they can give to him out on the playground whenever he needs to be redirected to a different activity. Today is his first day back where he'll stay for recess. Someone will read this to him during snack time (just before recess), to make sure it's fresh in his mind. Also, his Autism therapist is visiting the school today to see if she can think of other equipment they can acquire that might capture his attention better.
How glad am I that we moved to this wonderful city where the resources are so incredible? Where I have an Autism therapist that responds to every question, crisis, and success with enthusiasm and advice? Where George's regular (i.e. non-special needs) preschool is willing to PURCHASE playground equipment that is better for him? Where every person we meet (excluding ignorant mommies that spy on their kids throughout the day) is supportive, helpful, and full of ideas?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Need Money

Oh dear lord. Emma has just discovered her first loose tooth. Have I ever mentioned how nauseous I get when the topic turns to teeth? She's currently sitting very carefully on the couch, afraid to move the wrong way (it's just barely wiggling). And she's a bit concerned about the meatloaf and tator tot combo we have cooking for just might pull her tooth out, you know.

So, any ideas on how much the Tooth Fairy is giving out these days?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fun with warning labels

You know, someone ought to have told me this a long time ago.

You'll have to excuse me now, apparently I was supposed to unpack the children.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hello Fall!

So glad to see you!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back In Gear

Back in gear, indeed. Check out my workspace today: Holy technology, Batman! That's two monitors, one laptop, one external hard drive, two printers, one scanner, and also plugged in are two thumb drives that you can't see. Not to mention two websites open (Pandora Radio and Digital Scrapbook Place, of course), along with Photoshop, various file folders, and the latest issue of Creative Techniques.

George has a five day weekend coming up (for one of his schools), so I suppose I'm binging now while I can. And see the clock? It's only 10 am, think what I can drag out and open up within the next five hours!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October 3rd

Eight years ago, today, was a very good day. How much fun was that party? My shoes were quickly abandoned and I don't think I ate much, but laugh and dance and cheer? Oh yes, I did all that. This guy of mine has brought so much laughter and fun into my life. Sure, I've been dragged around the country a bit, but it's been a fun ride so far.

I may not have a card for you, J, but I love you. Happy Anniversary!
One year ago, today, was a very good day. After many worries and sleepless nights, we had George's Autism diagnosis. Sounds like a bad day, right? Not for us. We finally had a path to follow and new resources to draw from. One year ago, today, I would have said that George had about 10 words in his vocabulary. Today, he chatters all day long. Not always appropriately to his surroundings or in response to direct communication, but the words are there. And there are more coming.

We're so proud of you, buddy! Enjoy your schools and your friends, we'll all be here for you as you navigate through challenges and we'll celebrate with you as you go.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Moving on

Life just keeps going, thank goodness. We had a blustery fall weekend, full of projects, rain, wars between siblings, book reading, movie watching, painting (of the finger variety), some boredom, and hot coffee on cold mornings. All in all, you can't ask for more than that!

Tell me this isn't adorable: She and Daddy are working on a super-secret project together. There is much gluing, sawing, sanding, and air compressor blowing involved. Their design keeps getting more elaborate as they go. Trust me when I say this is going to be the fanciest ........ ever!!! (I'll post the results after Christmas, you'll be amazed!)

And this little guy is completely obsessed with tractors:

We're thinking of parking ours in the basement this winter, instead of the shed. Simply as a play structure for cold, wet days. His favorite phrase these days? "Tractors! Everywhere!" The place we can no longer shop when he's with us? Home Depot. Tractors. Everywhere. Many tantrums upon leaving the land of tractors. Oh well.

Friday, September 28, 2007

More info

Yes, the pound is well aware of what has happened. They have shut down the cattery and it's under quarantine. They are also paying our vet bills and have been in direct communication with our vet and others about this.

As Tink mentioned, no, I probably shouldn't have gone back to that pound for the second cat. That's one of those Mommy-guilt moments that will probably be with me for a long, long time. But, at the time, we thought it was an issue with the first litter. The second Wendy was so different in temperament, we just didn't see this coming. Our vet has told us to come to her when we're ready for the next cat (not for a while, trust me), she will help us find one that has had all it's shots and is as healthy as can be verified.

It's all being handled as well as something like this can be. We are grateful to our vet and the pound supervisor for their quick assistance and sympathy. And for your sympathy, as well. This week has sucked. But we have lots of activities planned for this afternoon and tomorrow as distraction. (More Transformers action, of course!)


I love roller coasters. My favorites have lots of spirals and loops, and you've got to love the slow ascent to the highest drop. Then having to hold your stomach in as you make that drop. Fabulous!

Today, though, I'd like to get off this ride I seem to be stuck on. Took Wendy II to the vet for deworming medicine yesterday. Ended up leaving her there because she was running a fever. Today, she's gone. Seems there was an outbreak of distemper at the pound, and our two were the ones that alerted the authorities to it.

Emma doesn't know yet, and frankly, has seemed very detached about the fact that she spent the night at the vet's last night. Perhaps she already knows in her heart.

Earlier this week, I thought I had experienced one of the hardest tasks a parent should ever have to do. I was wrong. Doing it a second time is much harder.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How much do you love...

BUBBLE WRAP? My brother isn't the only one who can find and post silly internet time wasters.

Have fun.

Purr-fectly Playful

Journaling taken from today's earlier post. And yes, Dave, that picture did look a lot like Fireball. But she's darker. And she doesn't swipe at your ankles every time you walk by. Imagine that!

Grandma is pretty happy to see an orange cat in this house again, too. For non-family members, if you remember, we have moved into my grandparents' old home. And they had a wonderful orange cat for years and years. When he died, another orange cat that looked just like him spent several days on the property. Laying in all the spots Morris loved to lay, staring up at the house, acting just like he had. Kitty friend or kitty ghost? You make the call.

She's ORANGE...with claws!!

I guess Emma knew best after all!

I walked into the pound yesterday to see what they had, and there was a gorgeous orange kitten looking at me!!! About 2 weeks older than the first Wendy and oh my gosh rambunctious!!! Many more pictures to follow, but let me tell you, she's a very typical kitty...always into something. She had ventured into the basement within the first 5 minutes of bringing her home. She helped me with the dishes by climbing into the dishwasher to lick them. She is a blur of speed when running away from the dog. She plays constantly! Lots of fun!

Interesting also, I found out that the sister to our first kitty also died, so the whole litter must have been exposed to something before the pound got them. So sad, but it somehow makes me feel better about ours, you always wonder if you could have done more.