Monday, April 28, 2008

The Work Party

Ben's company had a party for their employees and their spouses.
Here we are before we left for the evening (wearing my new dress).
It was fun to get dressed up to go out!
They had a delicious buffet dinner. Ben wanted to bring some of the meat home for a snack. ha ha. It was that good. Plus they had chocolate marble cheesecake for dessert. Mmmm
At the party (if you look closely, the older guy right behind me was our DJ, he was an interesting character - hee hee).

Ben & his friend Brian (same guy who was the Sparta at Halloween).
This was one of the couples at our table - Robert & Angie. Ben works with Robert & they were fun to hang with. We even got our husbands on the dance floor! That was so much FUN!!
It was a great evening! Thanks to Ben's sister, Heather, for babysitting so we could go out!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The TREE & My Shopping Fun

Ok I wanted to get a pic of the whole eucalyptus tree, but by the time I got outside, Ben had already cut half of it down. Here's the other half still standing. It's only a few years old but pretty big!
Chopping the 2nd half down. Then he had to cut it up so it would fit into the bed of his truck. Of course the kids loved playing in the big pile & picking out their favorite sticks. The next day, he got to round it all up again to take it to the dump.
He soaked the stump overnight so the ground would be softer. Holy cow that thing had some roots! He had to chop all the roots, turns out it also had a really thick root going straight down into the ground.
Ben had to rock it back & forth to break it free.
Here's my MAN and that horrible stump! Way to go, honey, you ROCK!

{I just want to add that I did help a little, then I stood there, watched & took pictures. I mean who else would document the whole process if it wasn't me? tee hee :) }

* * * Ok on to my shopping extraveganza! * * *

Here's my new dress! I think it's way cute!
Here's the pretty matching jewelry!
The blue denim strappy wedge sandals. See what I mean? Too cute to pass up!
Black heels to go with my new dress! And they're really cushiony & comfy!
My girls will be darling in their new matching shirts!
See, he can't stop smiling about his new Diego swim shorts!
Nathaniel wearing his new Awesome shirt!
So, yesterday (the kids' day off school) was a pretty good day! Didn't get any pics of them playing at McDonald's or chowing on their sweet ice cream cones. Oh well, they had a great time!

Happy Saturday

Ok, I'm still a little tired from Girls Night Out. Trying to catch up on sleep is becoming a challenge this week. {No, honey, I'm not complaining. I'm not allowed to complain since I did it to myself. I'm just saying.}

Ben woke me up before he left for work to let me know that one of the dogs had maybe peed in our room and threw up in our computer room. NICE! Ben barely has time to get himself ready and race out the door to work. So, I needed to get up and take care of it. Yuck! I was so tired, so I said I needed a few more minutes of sleep then I'd get right on it.

Well, Nathaniel woke up before Ben left and was WIDE AWAKE!! A little while later, Anson was WIDE AWAKE!! Nathaniel then informed me that Anson had let the dogs back in the house and Pepper (one of our dogs) was EATING the vomit! NASTY!!!!!!!!! Seriously, why do they do that? It's so GROSS!!

We put the dogs back out & I got UP at 7:15AM!!! On a Saturday!! That's not normal for me. Got the carpet cleaner out, filled it with hot water, added the soap, turned it on to warm up more, scooped up the vomit, then cleaned the carpet messes! Now they're done & clean. I have to say that the dogs normally don't make messes in the house, just on that rare occasion like today. It's still disgusting though!

Happy Saturday!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Week Recap

Gosh I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday. Ok well, here's a recap of what I've been up to this week:

Monday - went to gym with Ben & worked legs
(still a little sore even today, geesh!)
Ben cut down our eucalyptus tree in our backyard.

Tuesday - went to follow-up appt with Doctor to figure out why I still have stupid cough 5 months later! Did chest x-ray 3 weeks ago...normal - no pneumonia or damage. Breathing test...normal - no asthma. Taking extra allergy medication...totally didn't help. Still coughing & having major seasonal allergies! Dr decided to give me a steroid/allergy shot in the buttocks (which apparently can last up to 3 months). Feeling ok, probably need to fill the prescription he gave me for new allergy pills. UGH!!

Ben dug out the eucalyptus tree stump (dang thing had major roots!) *PICTURES later*
I also had to run a few errands and get our pool vac checked out. Then the guy forgot a tiny piece, so had to go right back and get that put back on.

Wednesday - went to Volunteer Luncheon at kids' school. Baked potato bar & treats...Mmmm! It was yummy & fun to visit with other moms & the kids' teachers. Also, went to park with Alicia to let our little ones play. They're so cute together & the weather was pretty nice (especially since we got a little breeze).

Thursday - did 6 loads of laundry, including girls sheets & all the towels. got everything folded & put away, plus made both girls beds. Had to pick up Ashley from school around 1pm because she vomited at school (luckily she made it to the bathroom during lunch recess). Apprently it was one of those 'throw-up & feel totally better 30 minutes later' but school policy says she had to go home. Felt bad for her but she seemed fine right after we got home. She was bouncing around asking for food. LOL So, it postponed my dress shopping for the afternoon.

Had Girls Night Out!! We kept it low key and had dinner at Denny's (did the breakfast for dinner thing...had french toast - yummy). Then we went back to Amy's house and hung out & chatted for a very long time (got home super late as usual, or is it early? ha ha). Allison made guacamole - delicious! So, we had some chips & salsa & guacamole. I also brought some Dove chocolates. It was a relaxing & enjoyable evening out!!

Friday - kids pretended to do a few chores (Nathaniel was the only one who actually got a couple things done... he says he accomplished THREE chores. ok good for him). Went dress shopping w/ my Mom at Kohl's (and all 4 kids since there's no school today). Need a new dress for Ben's work party tomorrow night. haven't bought a new dress in a very long time. Let's just say that I alternate wearing the same 3-4 skirts to church for the past 3-4 years!

Yep found a really cute black & white dress! So exciting!! They're having a huge sale right now! I also splurged and got 2 new pairs of shoes - one black pair to go with my dress and another totally cute pair of denim sandals (these were too cute to pass up). I haven't bought new shoes in quite a while either. I even got a necklace, earrings & bracelet to match! SO CUTE!! It was really fun getting something for myself!

Felt a little bad for the kids for having to drag them around, so got the girls 2 matching shirts.
Anson found some Diego swim shorts. He was hilarious in the dressing room. He took all his clothes off & tried on the shorts. Then he was dancing around & watching himself in the mirrors! I couldn't stop laughing! Tried to find Nathaniel some new swim shorts, but didn't see anything I liked or that was his style. So, found a cute t-shirt for him that says "Awesome Ends with ME" He was thrilled to get something new too!

Ended out the day by taking the kids to McDonald's for ice cream cones and let them play for 2 hours! Picked up Little Caesar's pizza for dinner on the way home. I even got the crazy bread with sauce & a 2 liter of Root Beer - which I hardly ever do! They LOVED me tonight!! We were going to watch a movie but I was too tired (from being out super late at Girls Night Out) & started 'resting my eyes' for a few minutes which turned into a couple hrs. Oh well, maybe we'll watch the movie Sunday evening.

Hope your week was GREAT!!! Enjoy your weekend :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kindergarten Field Trip

Last week I joined Ashley on her first Kindergarten field trip to the Museum for the Youth! She was so excited to go & to ride the BIG bus! She rode the small bus to Pre-K last year, so this was new for her.
Ashley & ME - On the bus
Ok the next few pics I had to take w/ my phone because my camera batteries totally died on me. And I didn't touch-up any of these pics, so they don't look too great.
Ashley creating a picture collage

When they returned to school, they had a picnic on the front lawn. Ashley with one of her friends eating lunch.

This one is for Julie! Her daughter, Joy, is also one of Ashley's friends.

Julie took this one of us, and yes, I totally borrowed it from her blog.

That was a really FUN day and it was also great to have my friend, Julie, there too!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aww I feel Special

WOW!! I was so surprised & totally honored to see that Bunny had given me this Pico Award!

The award has rules, the first being to post the rules, so here goes:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language. (Nominations will follow rules.)

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself. In my case, that would be Bunny Cates .

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award. Make sure you visit the link above. There are crafts of all kinds shown; you are bound to come away inspired!

5) Show these rules.

Here are my 5 choices:

Julie - LOVE her blog! She is so hilarious & always keepin' it real!!
onehappymama - She always has awesome photos & great mom stories
Erika - She's funny & has the cutest twins
Kristy - Her blog is great, lots of photos & she's so funny (love her fantasy friday)
Cara - Her blog is beautiful & fun to read

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BEST day ever!

This is what the kids keep doing whenever they get a chance (while we're in the pool area of course). They LOVE dipping their feet in the pool. Ashley calls it "relaxing." LOL ha ha :) After church on Sunday (now that we have early morning) it was warming up. Anson came home and took all his clothes off (while on the patio) and followed Ben into the pool area to relax & dip his feet! I'd say he looks pretty relaxed!
Then the kids decided to do something a little more exciting. Ben turned on the sprinklers in the front yard to "water the grass." The kids saw it as "a fun opportunity" to play! Nathaniel came into the house showing me his wet clothes & thanking me for "the BEST day ever!" So I had to go outside and see for myself. This is what I saw & couldn't help but take some pictures.

Here's Nathaniel swinging on the rope in the sprinkler.
Felicia called it "Rope Skiing!"

Trevor & Nathaniel

Felicia, Nathaniel & Trevor
They made a big mud pit & they also used it like a slip'n'slide.

This was Anson's version of playing in the water. Yes, this is how he was 'dressed' in the front yard running through our gutter. ha ha


Anson, Trevor, Nathaniel & Felicia
They wanted to show me how high they could jump!
Nathaniel & Felicia were catching some good air!
Trevor, Felicia & Nathaniel's dirty feet.
Anson's cute little dirty feet.
Trevor was having a blast!
Ashley finally decided to join in, but she changed into her swimsuit first.
{Can you see the pretty rainbow?}

Ashley got a little muddy. She tried to wash it off using the sink while the boys were in the shower. I told her to wait. The girls got the pleasure of mopping the bathroom & cleaning the sink when they were done because they got the muddiest. tee hee :)
As it turned out, Ben didn't realize they were playing in the sprinklers & made a huge muddy mess. So, he wasn't too happy to see the front yard (which we work really hard to make it look nice) when they were done. Ooops! I thought he had told them it was ok to play in the sprinklers. LOL

Well, they were thanking me for letting them have so much FUN!! And they reminded me that it was their "BEST DAY EVER!"

I guess I'm not the meanest mom in the world (not that day anyway). ha ha

Truly Delightful in Every Way

Crazymamaof6 is having a contest on her blog! She's hosting her first sponsored giveaway for 3 random winners of a classic design day size Purse Pal.

It's a really cool hook that can hold your purse on the edge of a table or counter! Isn't that awesome?

If you want to enter her contest too, just click on the blinkie above, read her rules and leave a comment.

I hope I win one because I think they're AWESOME!! I mean, no more having to put your purse on the ground when you go out places!!! How cool is that?!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 15

My 52 weeks of Blessings in no particular order.

{Credits: Weeds & Wildflowers "Believing In You" paper
"Loving You" frame, ribbon, flower doodles & stickers, heart
"Breath of Fresh Air" glitter edges
"Spreading Cheer" alpha}

My car is truly a blessing! I am so grateful that I have a reliable car that fits our whole family!

I was one of those people who never wanted a minivan, but have really come to appreciate the wonderful interior space & ease of opening/closing electric sliding doors! We have travelled great distances in our fabulous bright red minivan. It can fit a lot of luggage, food, toys, blankets & pillows, our portable dvd player w/ 2 screens, 2 umbrella strollers, our 2 black labs, and lots of other stuff! AND we don't have a car payment!!

We only bought our minivan when I was pregnant with Anson (our #4) because we couldn't fit one more kid in our Honda Accord. I am SO GLAD that we did!

Thanks Ben for helping me see that a minivan can be cool! LOL :)

Who wants Cheerios?

Here's my newest layout:
{Credits: Sueli Colbert "Happiness" kit & alpha}
Anson loves that he can serve himself cereal for breakfast in the mornings.
He was extra happy that day, so I had to take his picture!

Here's the preview of "Happiness" which is another wonderful kit from Sueli Colbert.

I just love the fresh warm colors!

Sueli also has a free QP for you on her blog!

**EDIT** This layout just became "Layout of the Week" in one of my online galleries!!

You can see it HERE

Thursday, April 10, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 14

My 52 Weeks of Blessings in no particular order.

{Credits: my new "Rise-N-Shine" freebie kit
Fonts: FG Quesnell & Lima Bean}

In June 2005, my Mom visited me in Texas and gave me a brand new Bosch Mixer and Nutrimill Grinder. She also showed me how to grind my own wheat and use it to make delicious homemade wheat bread. That was one of my best weeks ever! We also went out on a limb and made gigantic wonderful fluffy cinnamon rolls! WOW! Those were tasty!

So my blessing this week is my appreciation for my awesome kitchen appliances to make bread for my family!

Thanks Mom for my Bosch & grinder and for teaching me a wonderful new skill!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fruit Flies - Update

Here is my cup with the funnel to catch the nasty fruit flies
As you can see, it WORKED!!!
I only had 2 fruit flies this morning in the kitchen.
I also killed 3 fruit flies & 1 mosquito in my bathroom last night.

Super GROSS, huh?!!

I started to count them (in the picture) and saw maybe 75 in the glass.

But I'm glad they're not flying around my kitchen anymore!

So there you have it, my cider vinegar/cup/funnel trap worked!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fruit Flies, UGH!!

Ok, Ben & the kids picked several bags full of oranges from our trees on the side of the house last week or so. Well, with all of that fruit sitting in the kitchen, we have developed a fruit fly problem! YUCK!!! I canNOT stand all those little tiny reddish-brown things flying around my kitchen. Some have even made their way into my bathroom! I have been trying to smash & kill them on my bathroom mirror before I go to bed each night. Dang those suckers are FAST!

Also - no such luck w/ the fly swatter. So, I decided to search it online.

Here's one solution that I found on this site:

Make a funnel trap:

Make a cone out of the sheet of paper (like a funnel). Tape the outside of the cone so that it stays in place.

Check that the cone fits snugly into a glass or cup.

Cut off the tip of the cone so that you now have a funnel.

Pour a small amount of cider vinegar into the glass or cup. (Rum mixed with orange juice also works very well - additionally, a half teaspoon of baker's yeast in water can also suffice)

Insert the funnel into the glass or cup, but don't let the bottom of the funnel touch the liquid.

Tape the funnel in two or three places from the outside so that there is no gap between the glass and the cone.

Place your newly created trap on a flat surface. The flies will be attracted by the smell of the fruity vinegar and fly into the cone. The flies will slip down the cone and will either land in the vinegar and drown or will be trapped and not able to get back out. If you leave the trap overnight, the trapped fruit flies will eventually fall into the vinegar and drown.

I did this before I started dinner and it's actually working!!! I placed the glass next to the kitchen sink, since they seem to settle around there. The kids are fascinated watching the little buggers get caught in the glass & drowning. I also read that you can add a drop of liquid dish soap & stir it in the cider vinegar to make sure when the flies try to land on the liquid that they fall in & they can't swim. YAY!!! I'm hoping by morning that most of those gross flies will be trapped/drowned in there. I'm actually surprised how many are already sitting on the bottom of the glass.

FYI - other tips also mentioned covering all the fruit or putting it in the fridge where the flies can't reach it. Apparently they can lay eggs in the skins of the fruit, then you have more flies! Plus make sure there are no dirty dishes or food in your sink/disposer, your trash can is covered & empty it each day (if you don't already do that).

Cowboy Boots

(or anyone who has ever had to dress a child)

The Cowboy Boots

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of herkindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?

He asked for help, and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrongfeet!" She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling theboots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as, together, they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet.

He then announced, "These aren't my boots!" She bit her tongue, rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to.

Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear 'em."

Now she didn't know if she should laugh, or cry. But she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"

He said, "I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots."

Thanks Janan for sending this to me!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Rise-N-Shine - FREEBIE

I have been working on this new FREEBIE kit (off & on) for the past week.
It's for the DSO Color Challenge.
There are 20 Papers (9 solids & 11 patterns).
There are almost 60 Elements (I couldn't fit all of them in the preview).

It consists of many brads, flowers, stickers, cardboard cut-outs, notepaper, brackets (with stitching or glitter), clips, glitter swirls, frames, ricrac bows, swirly-flower rub-on, journal tag, stitches, and word art.

Here's a Layout I created using my new kit!
During Spring Break we went hiking. It was a perfect day to be outside & all the wildflowers were blooming! The mountain was beautiful. You can also see the view we had from the top!

Ok, Here are the Links to Download:



(I divided them into 2 files for easier downloading.)

If you download, please leave a comment. Thank you!
Also, I would LOVE to see what you have created using my kits.
*Personal Use Only*

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun Stuff

Last week for Girls Night Out, we went to Create It to paint our own pottery.
I think they turned out SO CUTE!!
Here's what we made (and the white paint is puffy):
{Mine is on the left, Heather's is on the right}
My Mom also surprised me with an early Mother's Day gift today:

It's an awesome Steamer (for your clothes)! I'm so excited! I love gifts that I can use!

Thanks MOM!! You're the BEST!!