Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Currently...

Not feeling a lot like blogging most days.
But I do want to have one post a week at least,
so I thought I would try something for the first time.
A "Currents" post about what I am currently doing.
I've never done an official one I think and I see other bloggers do them all the time.
Especially my friend Tanya.

So here goes...

Eating 
Wanting to do green smoothies at least once a day, but have only done two this week. Boo.

Trying
to be in bed by 11pm most nights. Especially school nights. 

Listening 
In addition to U2's new album, a big mix of oldies like classic 70's rock and newer stuff from the Arctic Monkeys and Alt J on Spotify. I love Spotify!


Watching


and
I love the Voice! I am loving Gwen Steffani and Pharrell joining as new coaches. And as much as I have never been a huge Taylor Swift fan, I am pretty impressed with her as the guest mentor to all the coaches. She has actually been pretty fun to watch. And Evan is still watching with me which is pretty fun, too. :)

Enjoying

volunteering and subbing at the kid's school when I can. I help teach art every other week in Erin's first grade classroom and we had a blast this past Tuesday. Another parent and I taught a lesson using the book "Swimmy" by Leo Lionni. They learned to do a watercolor wash background with colors of their choosing. And then experimented with tearing and cutting of paper and foam sheets to make their story. Lots of fish, jelly fish, big blue whales (see picture bottom right) and even a red shark with sharp teeth (top left) So much creativity in one room was fun to see! I also get to help with reading and math work.

Reading
I've been waiting a long time for this one! I have read all of the other books in the series, and have never loved and been so frustrated by a character in a book as Becky Bloomwood Brandon. But I absolutely can't stop reading them. She is just a train wreck, but with a good heart.

Trying
to make homework as fun as possible with the help of refrigerator magnets. Erin actually came up with the idea for her math. I gave her the magnets to use on the table, but she moved it all to the refrigerator.

Wanting
to do this challenge...
in November instead of October like on the blog. And I don't think I need 31 days since some of the daily tasks don't apply to us. No mud room or newspapers here. And I have actually done a few of the spaces and items already in October without knowing they were on the list.

Creating
my summer 2013 Pocket album. I am finally working on it again and making progress. No real photos to share yet, but it's this one...
I have the first three weeks complete and am typing all the journaling right now. Week four is started but not finished. I am really like how it is turning out and think it will be fun for the kids to look back on our summer activities in one album.
 
Looking
forward to Halloween. We have some great, scary plans in the work for the Trick or Treaters who come by our house. Hope to get some good photos that night to share. 


Loving
my family with all of my heart. Feeling truly blessed right now. :)

Hoping
you have a great weekend!




Thursday, October 23, 2014

And the winner is...

fun giveaway! How nice of you!! I still have rusty pickle halloween alphas,,,lol. so you arent alone! Thank you for the chance to win!

TeenaBugg 38! Please email me at mmrhoda@sbcglobal.net by next Monday so I can mail out your prize. :)
If I don't hear by then, I will pick a new winner.

I will definitely have a few more giveaways soon!

I meant to post the winner yesterday, but I feel as if I am a record on repeat when I say I have been soooo busy. I had a substitute teaching job in preschool on Tuesday which was a lot of fun. And then I volunteered in Erin's classroom yesterday. Plus, Mike is in town early this week for a training, which is keeping him busy. But it's just super nice to have him home on nights he would typically not be here!
In fact, he wasn't able to come home last weekend. He needed to be on the job site. 
And we couldn't go there because the kids had a big Walkathon for school, Erin's dance classes and soccer game. Just too much to miss.
But it was kind of a bummer because it was our seventeenth wedding anniversary on Saturday.

It turns out we both mailed a card to each other as a surprise.
And then he sent me these as well...
pretty flowers. :)
And here is where I get mushy. ;) 
I am so happy that we have had seventeen years together and I seriously look forward to many, many more. Marriage is not always going to be perfect. It's not supposed to be with all the challenges that can come up. That's real life. But what makes it special is that we are in it together. And there is no one I would rather hang out with! No one I would rather be with. <3 p="">
Ok. Enough of the sappy stuff right? Sorry I am a romantic at heart.
But anyway. On our actual anniversary (which we will celebrate very soon) the kids had a walkathon, and then Erin had dance classes.
That night though we went back out to Six Flags for Fright Fest. Just the three of us.
And we had so much fun despite wishing Mike was there.
Last weekend we ended up in the Sinister clown area and one of the clowns came up behind me and scared me to death. He had these crazy contacts in and the whole thing was just spooky.

Well he found me again, but this time I wasn't scared :) (warning, scary clown ahead)

Creepy though right? Imagine turning around and seeing that clown right behind you staring at you. That's what happened to me last weekend. I was prepared this time though, and Evan snapped that shot of us with my phone.
And I guess I'll be honest here and say that I'm glad it was still daylight. lol

Erin loved this clown so much...
that instead of being Elsa for Halloween, she now wants to dress up like this clown. I found her a clown costume with a big bow for her hair, and I also bought some face make up. We are definitely a unique family when it comes to Halloween. No sweet little Elsa costumes here!

I'm actually looking forward to Halloween this year. Mike is in town and he and Evan have some pretty big plans for decorating the house this year. Let's just say it's a Toxic Zombie theme with scary clowns running around. Our neighbors are going to love us! :)
Just kidding, they really do love us. And we get a ton of trick or treaters now since we are known for our decorations.
Do you love Halloween? Are you big on decorating for the holiday?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scrapbook Giveaway

As I am going through my scrapbook things, I am sorting it into three piles.
Sell, Giveaway and Keep.
The product I am keeping is stuff I know I will still use for my personal projects or I will use with the kids, school or Erin's Girl Scout Troop.
And there are a few things I know I really should try to sell.
But I also have a nice little giveaway pile.
So I will occasionally be doing some giveaways here on the blog starting today.

This one is an alphabet giveaway. Some are quite a bit older. Rusty Pickle, anyone? :)
 But the Crate Paper acrylic letters in the front are definitely newer. There is a mix of chipboard, stickers and rub-ons here, and I may also throw in a few extra things as well.
So if you are interested just tell me in the comments below.
I will pick the winner next Tuesday, October 21st.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

I haven't done one of these posts in awhile.
But just wanting to share a bunch of random things today, so it works.

1. Had a great weekend! We went to Fright Fest at Six Flags amusement park and had so much fun.
Mike and I, the kids, my parents and my niece all went together which was great because it gave Mike and I a chance to go on the Batman and Mr. Freeze roller coasters while Evan and Erin hung out with my parents watching some of the shows. Mike and I usually don't get to ride together if it's just the two of us and the kids, so we were pretty excited. And my niece Madi joined us because she loves roller coasters. I absolutely adore her!

2. Lots of shopping for fall and winter clothes is done. That's always good to have out of the way.

3. Still drinking green smoothies a few times a week for a meal or two. I am having fun making up my own combinations now. :)

4.
Have had some sad and what could have been scary events in our neighborhood recently. A shooting that has led to protesting. Fortunately it's been mostly peaceful and makes me proud of the people in our community.

5. Received a note from a student last Wednesday when I was volunteering in Erin's first grade classroom.
I was helping the students with reading and he made this for me. :)

6. Pinned *this recipe* off Pinterest today
and I think it looks like something I can get everyone in the family to eat! Going to try it next week.

7. Also pinned *this*...
There are so many yummy sounding cupcakes there that I just had to pin it. I know it's not spring but who cares, right? :)

8.

Hands down my favorite show right now! Evan and I are actually watching it together. Although it takes us a few nights to get through both episodes per week. We watch for a little while after Erin goes to bed since his bedtime is later. It's fun sharing a show with him that we can watch and talk about.

9. Almost done cleaning up my scrapbook space. I should have it done tomorrow, and then I plan to work on my Summer album from last year.

10.
I love this print by Ashley G on Etsy. I love the sentiment. I love the font and colors. I may just get it.

Have a great day!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

What, What?!

Two new layouts to share in one week?
That hasn't happened in a while. :)
As I mentioned on my last post, I was going to try out the sketch on the Paper Issues blog from their new monthly sketch feature.
Here is the sketch...
and here is my page...
I converted the sketch for an 8 1/2x11 size page. I really liked this sketch because it was simple and has that grid like style which you know I love. :)
Product used includes mostly the Crate Paper Oh Darling line, letter stickers by Jillibean Soup and American Crafts, washi tape by October Afternoon and a few wood veneer pieces.
It was a quick page to put together as well. It took probably 30 minutes not counting the time to type the journaling.

So I will be linking this page up *here* on the PI Sketchy Saturday blog post! Love that I made it in time, too. There have been many a challenge where I just miss the deadline!

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Me (A Scraplift)

I completed a scrapbook layout last week right before we left for the weekend to drive down to Joplin. This page is basically a scraplift of a layout that Jill Sprott had posted in the Studio Calico gallery a while back. I had pinned it to Pinterest because I loved that little cloud paper she used and just the overall feel of the page.
You can see her page *Here*
And this is my take...
I really, really am happy with this page for a few reasons.
First of all, every once in a while I like to do a page about myself because I think it is fun to look back on these types of pages and see what was going on in my life at the time.
Also, I would love if my mom had done something similar. My kids may or may not someday appreciate these types of pages.
And lastly, I have all this great inspiration pinned on Pinterest and I really want to focus on finally using some of those ideas. Whether it's a direct scraplift or something I am just inspired by, I think it will be a good boost to getting more pages done.

It would be great if I could promise a Pinterest Monday or something like that. But I'm sure you know by now that I wouldn't stick to it :) But I think you will see more "Pinspiration" posts in the future for sure.

As for the weekend, we had a great time in Joplin with Mike.
The kids and I left pretty soon after they got out of school on Friday pretty much and didn't get there until around 8:30. Then on Saturday Mike had to go to the job site early, but we met him there for lunch.
After lunch we went back and hung out for a bit, but then Erin started getting bored. So I took her back to the apartment while Evan stayed and had a great time getting a private tour
He couldn't wait to tell me all about it when he got back!
While we waited for the boys, Erin and I played Uno
colored together, and went down to the playground.
That night we went out to dinner and then decided to go to one of the local Haunted Houses despite being tired. And we were glad we did.
We chose this one, Wolfman's House of Screams, and ended up having a lot of fun.
The kids were a little unsure at first after hearing some screams and chainsaw noises. So one of the men who works there told us about the "Be Easy" tour where he leads us through with a flashlight and says "be easy" before entering each part. Then the ghouls know to back off. And it was great. Still spooky but not terrifying. And the cast were pretty cool with the kids.
I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area.

All Evan wanted to do on Sunday morning was go fishing, and Mike agreed to take him. Erin and I were going to hang out again, but she decided she wanted to go, too. So Mike brought both kids while I stayed behind to go for a run and pack up our stuff to head home after lunch.
So it was a really great weekend, but now it's back to school and routine again.
And maybe a little time to scrapbook today and make a layout using *this sketch* by Jen Chapin
over at Paper Issues. They have a link up for sketches once a month now, too, which I love.
I have a feeling even though I am not on the design team anymore I will still be participating there. It is just a great site where I have always felt comfortable.
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sew Cute at Paper Issues

Whoa, it's October. When did that happen?!
Even though I decided to leave the design team over there at Paper Issues, I still plan on linking up projects to their challenges when I can.
The theme right now is "You're Sew Cute, You Keep Me in Stitches." Here are a few older projects that I am going to try and link up.
Definitely an older page. I can't even remember when I made it, but I know I still had a Studio Calico kit subscription at the time and I stopped subbing in 2010. This definitely makes me think of sewing. Anything with fashion does.
Another older page from my Studio Calico subbing days. I can't remember if I have ever linked this page up before or shared it here. Something tells me I have, but anyway it fits the theme with the hand stitched butterfly trail and little stitches on butterflies and heart button.


Button with stitching on this page. But I think I may have linked this one up before as well.
I know I shared this page about the "favorite things" trade I did with some of my on-line friends. The fabric heart and twine qualify this page. :)
And this project has buttons. Plus it's one of my favorites :)

So just a few pages for the new link up which goes on from now until Oct. 12th.
I am currently working on a page but it doesn't quite fit the challenge.
Hoping to find a little time after that page to work on a new project using one of my sewing templates.
We'll see! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The U2 list

Well, now that U2's new album Songs of Innocence has been out for a bit and I have listened to it several times, and I am finally ready to share my thoughts.
Anyone who knows me and reads my blog, probably knows that I have been a huge U2 fan for a very long time (1987 cough, cough).
I went to my first U2 concert (Joshua Tree tour) in 1988. I've seen them play in several cities here in the states and Dublin, Ireland.
(Croke Park - Dublin Ireland)
When the new album showed up for free on itunes a lot of friends and family were calling, texting and emailing me to let me know. I knew, but I appreciated that people know how much I love this band and they didn't want me to miss out.
I thought it was interesting that several people also told me "well, of course you love their new album. You love U2."
Well, not necessarily. Yes, I love U2, but I am not blind to their faults. And I don't just love all their music because they are my favorite band in the world. In fact, there is at least one song on each album I skip on a regular basis.
That said, I do love the new album although it took me several listens to get on board.
Like I said in this post Here, I was a little underwhelmed at first. But my standards and expectations for U2 are a little high. Higher than most. Although, I am finding that this may be true of all bands I currently love and eagerly await new music. Alt-J's new album took a couple of listens for me to fall in love as well.

As for U2, the concept behind the new album is brilliant in my opinion. The songs basically cover their youth and how they came to be. And what better way for an album to open then with a tribute to the Ramones (another favorite band of mine) who really inspired U2 to become what they are today.
Here is a list on some of my thoughts about the release and U2 in general right now:

1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) - I really do like this song. I think it's a great opener as far as a timeline for the album. Does it have the punch of other opening songs like No Line on the Horizon, Beautiful Day, Vertigo or Zoo Station. No not really. But it's good enough.

2. My two favorite songs on the album are absolutely "Every Breaking Wave" and "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now". The latter being Erin's favorite song. My daughter who has always been very vocal about her "non-love" of all things U2 now has a favorite U2 song. And when it comes on, she runs from wherever she is and starts dancing! Well, played U2. You finally won her over. ;)

3. There is some amazing guitar work done on this album by The Edge. Some of my favorite ever.

4. Iris (Hold Me Close) has the ability to make me tear up. It's a song written about Bono's mom who died when he was only 14. At the end he sings about some of the few memories he has of her. Memories that make me think of my relationship with my son. Yeah, it's a good one.

5. A lot of people were aggravated that the album appeared on their itunes account for free. I can understand it. I do. But seriously, it was free. And just delete it.

6. Not everyone likes U2. In fact, I have met quite a few people who are vehement about their hate for U2 and like to share that with me. That's ok as well. It doesn't change the fact that this band has meant a lot to me. I've connected with people over our mutual love of U2. Mike and I danced to a U2 song at our wedding. I had the courage to get on a plane, fly over the ocean, leaving my kids for a week (all not easy) to see them live in concert in Ireland. That was a huge, wonderful experience for me, and I am glad Mike and I went despite the obstacles. It's a memory we will never, ever forget.

7. Bono and I don't always see eye to eye on his lyrics. In fact, there are a few songs where I have thought, wth is he talking about. Songs on the new album where this occurs... "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight" and "Raised by Wolves". But there are parts of the songs I really like despite the less than stellar lyrics. Another song that I felt this way about was "Get On Your Boots" from No Line on the Horizon.

8. This is a band that is constantly changing. Each album is a complete surprise and that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. I know there are fans that complain about how much they miss the "old" U2. And while I am the first to admit that change is not always something I am psyched about, I don't mind it in my music. This band has been around for over 35 years. Of course there is going to be change. Sorry, but Bono just would not be able to pull off his Achtung Baby days or even the War days on a live stage. People change and grow and mature. Priorities change. Stories they want to share change. It is true of musicians as it is true of any artist. Even scrapbookers. :)

9. And last but not least, the tour cannot come soon enough for me! I hope they come to St. Louis, but if not I know we will go see them anywhere they are close by. And maybe one other not so close location :)
Evan is just as excited as us about the tour, so he will definitely be joining us for at least one show.
Loved having him with us in St. Louis for that show back in 2011. I always tell him he is so absolutely spoiled when it comes to U2. I was 40 years old...
before I was able to be this close to the band for most of the show.
and this picture of The Edge where he was looking right at Evan and smiling at him is priceless to me!
Yep, Evan is a pretty lucky kid :)
And I feel pretty lucky and blessed to share my love of this band with my husband and son. To have been places I might never have visited to see them play. And to have been inspired by their lyrics to create scrapbook layouts.
As long as they keep the music coming (and yes, there is a rumored second release coming soon...Songs of Experience), I am happy!