Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Fun FREE digital scrapbooking downloads (a total of 12 of them) from The Ettes & Company. If you've been following these talented ladies, you'll know that they started their own company and just launched their own website. For the past twelve days they have offered a download a day for free - today they are giving everyone who missed it a chance to download al twelve in one day. But this offer is only good today so hurry over to the Ettes site and check it out!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun FREEBIES for Your Christmas Wrapping

Totally cute downloadable Christmas gift tags HERE and HERE - courtesy of a couple of my favorite sites!

Christmas Gift Suggestions

I'm all done shopping, and as is the case when I finish early, I keep seeing other things I would like to buy/make/give my gift recipients. And I have to keep reminding myself that I've already spent more than I should! But I came across this quote from Oren Arnold awhile ago and wanted to offer it up for everyone:

Christmas Gift Suggestions:
  • To your enemy, forgiveness
  • To an opponent, tolerance
  • to a friend, your heart
  • to a customer, service
  • to all, charity
  • to every child, a good example
  • to yourself, respect

Think about what a wonderful place this world would be if these were really the gifts we gave each other.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Many Photos

Okay - so I'm doing the "Journal Your Christmas" "December Daily" "Photo-a-Day" thing, and I'm really enjoying it, but keeping up with it is touchy at best - things like a Disney trip with no internet access, and having to go into the office keep interfering. Oh well - here's some more of my December photos.
O' Christmas Tree. In the real versus artificial controversy, we fall on the artificial side. I grew up with an artificial tree because my Mom was very allergic to pine. As an adult I think I originally stuck with it because it is what I knew - but at this point - this tree is 20 years old and still going strong. We bought it on an after Christmas 75% off sale at Sears back in January of 1988. It's a pain to assemble and it's not pre-lit, but it has held up beautifully and we haven't paid for a tree in 20 years! In the sentimental versus theme tree debate, we are definitely sentimental. Almost every ornament on the tree was purchased to commemorate a specific year, like, or event in our lives. When my children leave home, they will have enough ornaments to decorate their own trees without buying anything!!
The Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care. It's nice after 13 years of having the fireplace hidden behind a bookcase (to protect young children) to finally have it uncovered and functional again! Last year was the first year in their memory that our children's stockings have hung by the chimney. It used to be along the rails of the staircase. The stockings themselves have a history. The oldest one of this bunch is the middle stocking and was made for Sarah by her Nana. It's beautiful with old lace and bits of velvet, buttons, and other "stuff". I liked it so much that I set to making matching ones for Rachel and Rebecca. And although they aren't the same as the one Nana made, they are still quite pretty and have been used for years. Then I had to have something almost as wonderful for Jay and I which is how the two on the far left came into being.
Gift Wrapping - is truly not my thing. But my solution has been to assign a paper to each kid and all of their gifts get wrapped in that paper. Then they don't know whose box is whose! (No tags). Here's a sneak peak into the storage closet at Rachel & Becca's gifts.
Christmas Eve gifts. Every year since I was a young child we've been opening one gift on Christmas Eve - our new pajamas! And I continued that tradition for my own children. This year I've put a new twist on it with Christmas Eve boxes. These will be re-used year to year and contain their Christmas p.j.s, an ornament, and a photobook. We did ornaments for the kids each year for a long time, then stopped. I'm starting that back up, but trying to stay away from the Hallmark and find something really meaningful to them. This year it's Jonas Brothers. The photobooks are a new addition, but something I hope to give them each Christmas as well.
Disney decorates the Castle for Christmas. We went to Disney World to celebrate Jay's 50th birthday - mostly because he's just a big kid at heart. We managed to be in the right place at the right time for the "Wishes" ceremony of lighting up the castle and the fireworks. At night, lit up, the castle looks like it is covered in icicles. It's actually icicle lights on netting, but the effect is awesome!
The Christmas Tree at the Grand Floridian Resort lobby. Almost four stories tall! This photo was taken from the second floor.
Gingerbread House at Grand Floridian Resort lobby. This is actually the size of a large playhouse - adults fit inside it. And it is all gingerbread - 440 pounds of flour and I don't remember the other ingredients. It was huge and smelled wonderful. They sold gingerbread cookies and other treats from a window on the other side. The flowers around the window are icing like flowers on a birthday cake.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

4 Days of Photos

Day One: A New Tradition In the Making? Here is the cover page for my December Journal along with a shot of the album itself. And this photo will be used along with the journaling about WHY I am doing a December Journal.

Day Two: The Joys of Online Shopping. I had 90% of my Christmas shopping done BEFORE Thanksgiving and I never left home! I also took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, again without leaving home, driving all over, wasting gas, polluting the ozone, standing in lines, dealing with cranky clerks.... need I say more? This is two days worth of deliveries!

Day Three: sorry can't tell you the caption to this one! I'm offering a scrapbooking goody in the mail to the first person who can tell me exactly what this is a photo of! And you have to be very specific - what it is and where it is located. Isn't it pretty???

Another Day Three Photo: Office Party. Loved the table decorations.

Day Four: PERFECTION. This photo was taken on 11/29. We were celebrating Jay's 50th birthday early so Sarah could participate before returning to college. I had given Jay a photobook as one of his gifts. At this moment the girls were looking through the book with their Dad, laughing and reminiscing. It was one of those rare family moments that mothers around the world live and breathe for. It was... PERFECT.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two More Sources of Inspiration

Lisa Day, as a design team member for Freckle Friends, is participating in a December album project called "Merry Days". She will be posting the daily prompt for Merry Days on her blog So if you need another idea of what to put on those daily pages, check with Lisa!

Jessica Sprague is doing a December Photo-A-Day on her gallery. So you can look at her gallery and see what everyone is taking photos of. I'm a little jealous of people who got to post beautiful snow pictures... we've got grey and rain.