Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving and Some Happy Scrapping News!

I'll have one more post on our trip...but these are from our destination...Virginia see family there.  We made the long journey because of the loss of Dennis' Mom in February and of his Uncle Billy in April.  The picture at the top and bottom right is of his Aunt June.  She and Billy always traveled and did a lot together.  They didn't have kids, so they could be on the go a lot.  We hadn't seen her since Billy had his stroke.

Emma loved seeing her Aunt Denise...although, she had a meltdown when Dennis' brother brought the foster kids they have right now (hoping to adopt), and didn't want to share her Aunt Denise...so that is why she has the pouty face ;)
Dennis' Mom had about 8 brothers and sisters (I lose count)!  So there were about 50 or so family members that came through Aunt June's house for Thanksgiving.  Pretty overwhelming...but Emma did great.  

The photo on the top left are the sisters; cousins playing on the hill next to the house (the kids loved that hill); middle right photos are of the family that we stayed with, Dennis' Aunt and Uncle.  Sweetest family.  We really enjoyed staying with them to get away from the over stimulation ;)  Bottom left is Dennis and Denise, his sister.  And last photo on the bottom right is Dale (Dennis's brother), Denise, and their Aunt Bonnie.
Emma really took to everyone...mostly.  There were times she wouldn't go to them, typical 3 year old stuff.  Then there are a couple of Uncles that can joke around and Emma doesn't like that kind of stuff and would cry...I'm right there with her...I'm not crazy about stuff like that either.

She really took to a second cousin on the top left.  Pulled her around the yard.  Top right is Dennis, Emma and Aunt Shirley.  Aunt Shirley gave Emma the Christmas dress.  Then the rest of the photos are from one of his Aunt's and Uncle's farm.  They have miniature horses, so many I couldn't count them all.  Beautiful property.

And I have to sneak this in because this is my very first time getting published in a scrapbooking magazine.  I showed Emma, she recognized herself, but she wasn't too crazy over it.  I thought I could get a picture of her holding the magazines, but no go...so here's a picture of my layout in one magazine...
And a mini album in another magazine.  I was shocked to see that my mini album was the first one for this article in the magazine!  It is so strange to see my work in here.  I'm resisting buying a copy because they are pricey.  I should get two copies of each though very soon...so holding out until then!  I may have to frame these ;)
More pages from my mini album in there...
The layout is in this magazine...
and the mini album is in this magazine...
Very exciting!  I had more picked up by Scrapbook Trends.  And then while we were on our trip, I got another layout picked up by Scrapbooks, Etc.  I knew it was difficult to get into this magazine, so I was shocked!  Then even more shocking news...I got another layout picked up by...Creating Keepsakes!  Yes, me!  I'm shocked and excited to say the least.

I have to say I never understood why anyone wanted to get published, but once I started this past June submitting, and then getting picked up, and now seeing my work in magazines...I understand.  It's a good feeling.

It's been an exciting day for me and for my friend, Linda!  But I'll wait and let her share her good news!  Proud of you, Linda!  

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Monday, November 28, 2011

More From Thanksgiving Trip

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  

There wasn't much time for editing pictures and blogging.  And then while we were in Virginia, there was no Internet...but we finally got back home yesterday about 2 p.m. yesterday.  After over 2,000 miles, staying at 4 hotels and 3 homes, we made it back home.  Quite an adventure filled with seeing friends and family...and some family that I haven't seen in over 30 years...more to come during the week.

Here is our stop at Dean and Kathy's house.  Lots of red, but not for Christmas, for Roll Tide Roll...ALABAMA

We had a lot of fun...hanging out, goofy around...and Emma had a blast with Kathy...also got a little jealous when their granddaughter came by...but Emma slowly started to get a little better with that.  I think Kathy has lots of love to share for all!
Thank you again, Dean and Kathy, for letting us stay with you guys and thank you for making Emma's visit extra special with all of the pictures and presents...
 We left early that afternoon and even though out of our way, we wanted to stay one night at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel...now I love how beautiful it is, but I'm still not crazy about how big and how difficult it can be to get around.  The last time I was here was for a scrapbooking event.  My foot injury was not healed, and it was a huge mistake to come.  I ended up getting a scooter!  So embarrassing.  Dennis thought I was over exaggerating how much I had to walk around or limp around...but then once he stayed here...he gave me a hug and understood.

It is beautiful though...we ate good and also did a horse and buggy ride (wouldn't do again, but Emma enjoyed it).
 Dreamworks movie characters were there.  And even though Emma has not seen the movies, which aren't appropriate for her right now anyway, she loved seeing them.  For Gingy (the gingerbread man), they said she was the most excited little girl they had seen.  She doesn't look like it in all the photos, but she was having a blast and also stayed in her part Cinderella, part Snow White costumes from Kathy.  She also wouldn't take the new Winnie the Pooh slippers off that Paw Paw had given her.  Emma sets her own style...so sweet.
More from Thanksgiving day and stopping to see more family on the way back home...

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stopping at Aunt Kathy's and Uncle Buck's

First stop on our trip is family in Alabama.  Emma gets to see her Paw Paw and give him his Christmas present.
And these two had a blast together.  Emma's cousin, Stephanie, is about five years older than Emma, but they have the same personalities and did so well together.  Staying up a whole lot later than normal and having a little snack together.
Then today, they made pilgrim hat cookies...although, Emma decided she wanted to eat a cookie and Reeses instead of making them.
Emma looks so tiny...and yep, I think she ate all of those Reeses.  Stephanie had a basketball game and won.  She is such a sweet little girl and loves hanging out with Emma.
I think we may have to make more trips up this way for these two to spend more time together...priceless...
So glad that these two could spend a lot of time together although wish it could have been more...
We always have a good time drinking coffee and talking with Uncle Buck...
and Aunt Kathy...and Kathy cooks really good too ;)  Dennis should be the one kissing the cook.
And just a few more priceless moments I had to capture...

Thank you again, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Buck for letting us stay with you and for the amazing dinner!
Next stop our friends, Dean and Kathy...

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Friday, November 18, 2011

She's Sewing Now, and My Cousin, Cindy

Emma has seen the toy sewing machines in the store and twice has asked for one.  I told her, no way...we have a real one at home and we can show you how to use it.  Well, Dennis beat me to it, and she is a pro already.  
 Yes, I know, it's a little scary, but we never leave her unattended.  She can lift and lower the foot, cut the thread, lower the needle, you name it...well maybe not threading it yet, but we did show her that too. Of course, it helps to have a really sweet sewing machine ;)
 She did some artwork on some muslin fabric and then stitched it...
 She couldn't get enough...she kept wanting to stitch...
 I foresee this little one and I making some real things in the not too distant future...
And if that's not enough, here's some video of her sewing...as she is a little distracted by the TV ;)
 My counsin, Cindy (with the short brown hair) came in town for a conference, so we didn't have much time to really spend together, but we were at least were able to meet her for dinner.  Haven't seen her in probably over 30 years!  
Haven't seen each other in so long, but then we checked where she is located in Virginia and she is on our route!  How perfect.  We are very excited to see her and her family as well as my Aunt Laura, and the old house where my grandmother lived.  I have little, and I mean very little memories of it...and I'm curious to see if it at all looks like what I have in my memories.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Indians and Pilgrims

Emma has more and more shown the teachers and her friends the real Emma.  She has come a long way.  She even started singing louder and doing the hand movements to the Thanksgiving songs and would practice at home.  But I knew it would be overwhelming with parents and grandparents there to watch.  
 She really wanted to let loose too...especially when they sang songs I had heard her singing at home, her little legs and hands started to twitch around a little.  But I was so proud that she even stood up there on her own even though right before the program, the teachers were about to have to come get me to take her.
 But they bribed her just like we did...  They said we'll have cookies after...she stopped crying and asked if they were chocolate (shocolate) cookes?  That did it...she was a happy camper the rest of the time...still  clingy as usual, but she did great and sat at a table full of her friends.
 Gotta love those pinecone turkeys.  We made some at home, but these are cuter!
 And trying to get her to laugh with a picture with both of her teachers...

Busy packing and will hit the road first thing tomorrow morning...so next post will be pictures from our traveling...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Decorating and Wacky Wednesday

$300 tree with over 2,000 branches at 9 ft tall for 50% at Hobby Lobby.  Going like hot cakes.  I think we got the last one around here at another store nearby, cause they are gone...
We had our other artificial tree for 15 years...I cannot believe it's been that long.  It was time...this one is gorgeous.  We didn't get it pre-lit because I figured that would be the first thing to go, and I want options.    But Dennis was very excited about our new tree and put 1,000 lights on it, wrapping it on each branch!  What a dad!
Lots of texture and different types of branches...for $149...just couldn't believe.
I pulled out the camera and tripod was just going to play around with some settings to get the glow of the enormous lights on the tree...I really liked this one with Emma and Dennis.  She got a piece of our fabric from our garage a/k/a our Pillows 4 Me warehouse ;) and wrapped her own present.  Got a piece of lace ribbon from my stash.
But then it didn't take long for chickadee to want to have the remote...and, of course, Dennis had to get in there too...so that is why I'm calling this Wacky Wednesday.  I've seen Wordless Wednesday on blogs, but Wacky suits us best.  Especially today...because chickadee has had about 5 meltdowns, and I have a feeling a gigantic one is yet to come before days end.
We are in trouble with this little one...more than a handful is all I can say.
working it...
...and a little more working it...
after about 200 or so pictures she took! she said "I'm all done."  Xie Xie Ni - Adios - Bye Bye

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Emma's Artwork and Handprint Made Into a Frame for Gift Giving

Emma has tons of artwork.  We have some framed, have put some in nice frames as gifts, and just have some saved because they were some favorites.

I have so many handprint ideas pinned on Pinterest, but since we are leaving in a few days, I was feeling the pressure to get it done...now.  So while looking in Michael's for something else...I realized these $1 unfinished wood frames would fit her handprint.  Then I thought, instead of painting it or having her color the frames herself (which I don't think she would have mass produced these for me as soon as we needed them), I decided to not only show off her handprint artwork, but her artwork as well...
 So using gel medium on the front of the picture frame, and then picking out some of her artwork, I laid the frame down on the back of one of the sheets of her artwork.  Now I cut it out around the frame both still a little wet and dry, and both times it doesn't cut well...tried a sharper knife too...I think the artwork paper she uses is very thin, plus it had been saturated in some spots with washable paint.
Next I used a little Gesso (or white paint) to all of the edges of the frames.
 They turned out to be a very artsy way of showing off her artwork...
 And thankfully, we have more of these to save to frame the entire thing just for us.  But this one was cut up and fit into the frames...I just traced the template that was in the frame around one of the handprints and cut it out.
 A really quick snapshot of how they came out.  I did seal them with another layer of gel medium on top...so they really have an artsy kind of look with the shine to them.  I did find that I got bubbles where the paper wasn't sticking as well.  It's just a thought gift and I like imperfection.  But using your fingers instead of a brush may help more.  Also, using a brayer over the top helped seal it a little better too.
 So for Paw Paw, Aunts, Uncles, and friends that are close to Emma will appreciate these...
 I had her "autograph" all of them.  She told me she wasn't ready so I had to wait ;)  But then I finally got her to sign all of them...I put the date and her age on the back.  Since I had sealed these with gel medium, I had Emma use a sharpie to write her name.
 I love seeing her artwork on our walls and this one is a new favorite.

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