Farmer's Market

Yesterday Zoesie and I went to the Farmer's Market and picked out some pumpkins for carving. Last year (our first Halloween here) we waited too late, assuming that there would be an abundance of pumpkins here just as there were in Southern Wisconsin which was not the case. After searching out several different places we finally got the very last pumpkin in the bargain bin outside of one of the local supermarkets. Talk about depressing! It was perhaps one of the ugliest pumpkins that Ethan and I had ever seen (and Ethan likes ugly pumpkins!). It was all lopsided and bumpy, I actually took a picture of it because it was that ugly. Not wanting that to happen to us again this year, we went early and got to pick out what looked good to us. Only picked out three yesterday with the thought that we will all pick some out as a family from a patch about an hour from here on some land that one of my friend's grew up on. I love picking out pumpkins and gourds, getting mums for the yard (though the deer here eat the buds awfully fast!) and love raking the leaves (something that currently needs doing!) and making piles for Zoey to jump in. Absolutely love this season! Can't wait to carve our little beauties!

Someone to Listen


I'm sick. Horrible head/sinus cold thing going on and feeling like I'm being a good mama has been a struggle the past few days. It is really, really hard to keep up with all the questions of "but why" and keeping things fun, interesting, educational, picking up after all the little accidents that a three year old can happen upon and still maintaining a bit of sanity throughout the day. Yesterday at one point (after laying down on Zoey's bed and getting jumped on over and over) I just sat up, got her off of me and said in a very matter-of-fact tone, "Mama's sick, I need to rest now so that I can get better and we can have fun again." Zoey then bless her little heart, quietly got off the bed, got her stack of library books and asked me if I would like her to read me a story, she was wondering if that would help me to feel better.

I said yes, that that would make me feel better. She did a fantastic, amazing, beautiful job reading those stories to me (in her very special three year old way) and while I am still incredibly sick, for that half hour I felt truly blessed and a tad bit less frazzled.

One of my favorites (and hers) that she read to me is the book In My Heart by Molly Bang. An absolute gem of a children's book this one is and would be fitting for adopted kids as well. Love the images in this book and the story is told just beautifully. After reading it, Zoey and I talk about all the people who live in our hearts and she never seems to not get a kick out of telling me who it is that lives in her heart. If you have kids, this is one that is totally worth checking out at the library. And, I guess the lesson learned from me is that sometimes I can tell her what I need and she'll listen...gotta give some credit to the little bean!

Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Thirty-Eight

So this week's challenge from Emily was what I wonder. I often find myself wondering about my (as well as my family's) future. What is in store for me personally? What about Ethan and I? What lies ahead for Zoey in the upcoming months and years? Who will her friends be? What kind of student will she be? I wonder about what kind of house Ethan and I will end up buying (we've rented for so long it seems that I've had plenty of time to wonder on this one!). I wonder if I am living my life to it's fullest potential. I wonder if I am a good friend, wife, mother and daughter. I wonder if given the chance, I would do anything differently than I have thus far. There is so much really that I think about when given the time. Here is to hoping that the future will be kind to us all.

My First Attempt...


at figurong out what next month's craft will be for MOP's. We are having a woman from the library come in to speak about reading with our kids. Every month we have a theme that fits into the yearly theme of Dwell Well/The Home Factor and October's theme is the family room and involves everything from decorating the family room to what happens in the family room so I thought that making a mini-book or book of some sort for the craft next month would be somewhat fitting, since the librarian will be speaking about books...why not make a little mini book, right?

Keeping in mind that my budget is super tiny and that I need to stretch supplies for 20 women I tried to keep my needs (supply wise) down to the minimal. I made this album with small kraft bags (found at the dollar store), some brads, ribbon, fabric adhesive-backed paper, a scalloped circle punch, some chipboard letters for the cover and for the pages on the inside I just adhered different patterned papers to each (bag) page and then created tags for inside the "bag's" page openings with cardstock and ribbons. A pretty darn easy craft, wondering if it's too easy or not a substantial enough craft? We'll see, I have one more idea for October's craft that I will test out and then hopefully I'll be able to make a decision.

Hikes, a Picnic and Warning Lights!


Went for a hike this past Saturday outside of Sayner, Wisconsin. Really was beautiful to see the changing colors and to get some fresh air. After hiking around Pike Lake we stopped at a grocery store and got some stuff for a picnic and found a nearby park to stop at for our lunch. After that we had all sorts of excitement. Once in the car and heading for home we had the battery light come on in the car, then the ABS light came on and they continued to then flash off and on the rest of the way home. Since we had some issues with the warning lights not too long ago
we started thinking that it could be possible that it was just an electrical problem, (we actually had the mechanic that we were working with tell us not to worry about the lights that were coming on) as the car seemed to be running just fine, (other than the dash lights going crazy). We were able to drive and make some stops throughout the weekend until Sunday afternoon (when I was at work - of course!). Ethan was going to run some errands with Zoey and backed up out of our drive and heard a terrible grinding noise, this time in addition to the warning lights going bonkers. So, long story short...I got in a 5+ mile walk last night after work walking home! Actually felt pretty good, but I'm thinking that it might not be such a fun walk once the weather really starts to turn here.

Seems like it's always something, just a month ago we got the brakes replaced and had our big "winter is approaching" car check-up...hoping that today we'll hear that it is something relatively easy to fix (as well as somewhat easy on the checkbook!). Stuff like this always happens right before anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. Oh my Dad would say, "It's just a machine and machines are known to break." I'm sure that Ethan appreciates me quoting my Dad on this one! [Insert a tad bit of sarcasm here along with a smile of course!]

One thing that's priceless though is that picture of Zoey in her throwing-rocks-in-the-lake pose! Gotta smile at that!

Doing Her Thing...


this weekend. It was nice to have a couple mornings here to sleep in (for as long as Zoey would allow) and to spend time together doing things that centered primarily around play since the next couple of weekends coming up here we are going to be busy with work stuff. It actually snowed a bit yesterday, just barely a few flurries, but it snowed! It's been pretty chilly so we tested out out the furnace to make sure that it'll work when we really need it too, which will probably be next week or so! ;)

Mini Art Journal Journey - Week Thirty-Six


Just a quick post showing this week's interpretation of the prompt: Life is Beautiful for Em's challenge. It truly is and I am so thankful for so much every day, and like I stated on the card, unfortunately there are some days that creep in every once in a while where I have to really make a choice to see that yes, my life is beautiful. The messy and uneven stitching is to represent the unraveling of life and it's imperfections. If I pick apart all the little imperfections and analyze and choose to only concentrate on those little moments and instances that I am unhappy with, then I'll get stuck there and miss out on seeing the beauty of the whole picture. Something that I've been guilty of, and I am sure that I will encounter and be guilty of again, but now that it's written down perhaps more often I'll be more aware and will remember all that I have to be thankful for.

A Giveaway!

Diane Reeves is hosting a giveaway on her blog. She'll be drawing several random names and will be giving away some of her acrylic pendants and/or albums. I know first hand that her albums are awesome to play with, so go leave a comment on her blog for a chance to win! Here's the link: d.reeves giveaway Good luck!

Not sure why...(Total Random Post)

but I am never happy with my new blog banner and always seem to change it back to this one! Maybe it's that I like the black & white, but whatever it is I guess that I will just be okay with sticking to something that works for me.

This morning I watched a friend's little boy while she went to a dr.'s appointment and ran some errands. It was nice for Zoey to pal around with her buddy for a bit today and it was nice for me to know that I have someone that considers me close enough of a friend to do babysitting swaps. This gal really has made an effort to reach out to me since moving here and I am ever so thankful. So awesome to have connections that are based on respect, genuine interest and, well..needs. It's nice to be able to tell another person that you are in need and then ask if they can help without feeling guilty. I haven't had that in a long, long time and I am ever so appreciative now that it's here.

After lunch and our morning of play we headed over to my lss where I took some pictures that I'll use to update their blog on upcoming classes that they will be hosting later this September. I then came home and got the itch to do some rearranging and moved some stuff around in our kitchen (apparently I can accept change when in my home, just not my blog!) and really like how it looks now. More spacious and open..hoping that Ethan likes it when he sees it.

Zoesie and I (mostly me) have been listening to some of my old mixed tapes lately (of these I have a TON). I went through a phase in college where I made tapes for myself, my friends, everyone and anyone that I could think of...many a night you could find me sitting in front of my antique stereo (not in an expensive/cool antique way, but in an "you still have that thing and it still plays music" kind of way antique) and I'd be rewinding and fast-forwarding songs and hitting the good old record button and making my own one of a kind jenny mixes. I loved getting mixed tapes as well and came across one yesterday that was made by a good friend Heidi. So cool that after listening to it I remembered moments spent together, conversations shared and those crazy, fun, good old days of just being silly and fun. Here's to my pal Heidi and to Joleen and Cherity who were my patient and enduring friends' and roommates' at the time of my mad mixed tape creation phase! Love you guys and miss you! This one's for you and to all my pals along the way that have gotten lost in the shuffle of life.

Funny how at different times in the year you think of people and are more apt to recall certain memories more so than others. This time of the year always makes me think of my college days, the friendships that were made there, meeting Ethan for the first time and how our relationship started and grew...and nowI have thoughts on how we are here, a family of three living in the northwoods in a cabin (with running water this time-another story for another time!) and we are parents to a beautiful and healthy little girl. We've come through so much to get here, some things we passed through with flying colors and other things we failed miserably at, but we are here, now and together. Something that I am very happy about and have chosen to be thankful daily for over and over.

Sweet Cheeks!


Been going through baby pictures and after finding these I had to take a break and scrap a page right away. Look at those sweet baby cheeks!! If I'm remembering correctly she was about 19 months in these pictures. The rocker that she's on was mine when I was fun to look back at how much she has grown and changed over such a short time. That's one thing that I love about scrapbooking, it forces you to reflect back on certain events in time and think about the moments that make up living and life. Here's to being okay with scrapbooking Zoey at 19 months after she just turned three! =) Love ya Zoe Zoe!

And Today...


we spent the afternoon hiking and exploring around in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. So beautiful, so quiet and in addition to the natural beauty that surrounded us there were numerous stops along the way (we took the Interpretive Trail this being our first time) that featured old foundations, steps and walkways which I thought were awesome. Love old stuff like that, always have...seems that when I was little those were the places that I sought out to play around, which now I am thinking probably made my parents pretty nervous! Anyways, got some neat shots of this place and I look forward to the next time we visit. Maybe we'll plan a bit more next time and pack a picnic.

Exciting Stuff!

Yesterday was a very good mail day...I got the special issue put out by Simple Scrapbooks titled Scrapbook Play and right away of course I started flipping through it to see where my layout was featured in the magazine. I started flipping through the back going through the magazine to the front, I did this once, twice and three times and did not see my layout anywhere. Started to feel really bummed, started thinking that the layout was pulled from the issue for one reason or another and then after seeing that it states 217 playful page prompts on the magazine's cover, I thought I would start at the beginning and go through each one checking them all out in hopes that I was actually in there somewhere. Well, I've never been told that I'm an extremely patient person...but it sure would have been helpful if I was in this case, turns out my layout is featured as the NUMBER ONE prompt! So cool! So, be sure to check it out if you can. It's a two page layout that features Ethan and Zoey playing dr. and Zoey playing with her Little People.

I also got the October issue of Scrapbooks, Etc. and there is one of my layouts in that one as well. This one is a two pager, and is of Zoey visiting the pumpkin display/contest that was downtown last year. It's such a thrill to see my pages in print! Ya..hoo!!

Another one...


created with goodies from the September Kit at My Kits and Pieces. I have a ton of pictures that I took last fall after first moving here and being in awe of all the beauty so punching out those multiple squares of my photos was a breeze for this one and I like how it turned out. I stamped the word destination and the black leaves on the envelope. Stuff from my own stash included the word sticker along the bottom, the chipboard leaf and the brown satin ribbon (thanks to my MIL!).
I've been creating up a storm here lately it seems...really nice to have pockets of time here and there to play with my stuff again and create. I think that I've got an idea for the October craft for MOPS, I now just have to do a few practice runs of the idea to see how it turns out, how long it will take, that sort of thing.
On another note, something that I'm a bit annoyed with is discovering that the place that I have been using for the majority of my online photo storage is going under. Which means I need to find a new home for my photos and move them all over to the new site or I'll lose them. I'm looking into possibly utilizing Picasa and/or Flickr. Really want a site that will allow a lot of storage, maintain the original photo properties and allow for me to use it as a site to copy images to and from the site, like say, to my blog. Open to any ideas if anyone reading this has any! Thanks!

First Meeting...


went well for MOPS. Was a bit hectic as can be expected with all the paperwork and introductions. The craft went well, was a bit hard as we couldn't obviously have enough supplies for every person to work with at the same time, but for the most part it went well. The first craft is always the creating of the name tags and this was what I came up with for this year's tags. I created little kits for each mom containing two naked chipboard pieces (that make up the house), two bits of patterned papers, some folded ribbon that I had glued earlier for the chimney, a brad, some sand paper and two chipboard hearts in assorted colors. Everyone then adhered the patterned papers to the chipboards and cut off excess with an exacto knife, sanded the edges and inked them, attached the roof to the house, punched hole in the roof and attached chimney with brad, adhered the hearts and then decorated the hearts with glitter glue. They then had the option to write or stamp there names as well as their child's name on the house. Pretty easy, cute and not too lengthy of a project. Everyone seemed pleased, that was the biggest relief to me! Now, to start planning October's craft....

What I See


Spent a little time playing this morning with my September kit from My Kits and Pieces. This is stuff using the Take Note kit, which I just love! Really am happy with how this layout turned seems like it's been awhile since I've created something that just feels good and this feels good to me. I used colored pencils on the hand cut flowers, painted the chipboard heart, hand stitched with embroidery floss on the envelope and attached the scalloped bazzill paper along the edge in addition to the felt floral ribbon. Really loving all the goodies that were included in this kit as well as the add-on options.

Journaling in the envelope reads: When I look at you I see hope, I see sincerity in it's purest form. I see joy, peace, a fierce curiosity about life and all it entails. But most of all what I see when I look at you is love. Love for learning through your play, love for your family and friends that you hold dear, love for your home which keeps you safe and most importantly, I see the love that you have for yourself. This love is something that isn't necessarily taught to our little girls as in, that it's okay to love yourself. It is this love for yourself that I hope continues to grow as you mature and get older...something so important, and makes my heart to happy to see.

She's a BIG girl!

Zoey's been really timid as far as climbing monkey bars, ladders, and even attempting sets of stairs to climb...a couple days ago she and I went to the park and once there, she marched up to the ladder on the playground equipment and just zipped up to the top. No pausing, no hesitating, the whole thing took less than 10 seconds. I couldn't believe it! She was surprised a little too I think! She thinks about stuff for so long and then just decides to do it it seems...something my parents would be quick to note that another little girl once did (and still does). Before we went to the park I had been taking pictures at the store for the newsletter so I had the glad that I did so that I could capture this first on film! So proud of you Zoey Raen!

Starting up...

on the top!

Stepping over...

pure delight and a LOT a bit proud!

Happy day!

See ya!
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