Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scrapbookers Anonymous

This month the challenge at scrapbookers-anonymous was to use rub ons from our stash on the layout.  I made this before we moved to Dunedin and wanted to get it uploaded before the challenge was over.  Oh and no patterned paper!  I made my patterned paper with a chicken wire screen and glimmer mist.  All of the words on this page are rub ons, and even the white diamonds on the page.  I really liked the way this layout came together.  Enjoy!  :)

Life in pictures...

Christmas Eve.....
they will outgrow the tree before too long!

Skyping with Grandma and Granddad in Iowa for Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Crowns from our party crackers

Ian picking cherries

fun with the Brooks boys
Moving from Christchurch to Dunedin

Making pumpkin bread with Aden

Rolling out the sugar cookies
Aden cooking this towel from my Mom
Its been a busy few weeks around here.  I thought I would show you in pictures what we've been up to.  These are not really in order, which is kind of how life has been lately around here.  :)  We moved 4 hours south of Christchurch to Dunedin just a week before Christmas.  Christmas was good but a little strange being in the summer.  Although, we didn't have to worry about travel plans or Christmas Eve services being canceled because of snow!  The boys are on summer holiday right now.  We are anticipating my in-laws visit next week.  They will be with us for a whole month!  We are so excited to have them here.  I'm hoping to get a little scrapbooking in before they arrive.  I've got my space set up for the most part and I'm ready to get back at it.  And of course taking more pictures!  :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...

Hoping this isn't too late for the challenge at Sketchy Thursdays.  I loved this layout and the way this came together.  More catching up on our move in the next post!  :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My baby is 7...

Loves Ice Cream!

Loves this jersey from Grandma G.

LOVES his stuffed animals!!

Loves to spike his hair fancy

Loves to be generous (toys for 2 yr old Liam)

Loves his new bike!

Loves to be loved!
Where oh where has the time gone?  I am so thankful to have you in my life.  You bring me such joy.  I remember the day you were born and the love I felt seeing you for the first time.  God has given me a blessing by putting you in my life.  Thank you for being so sweet, generous, loving, crazy, and mischievious.  I can't wait to see what the next seven years bring us.  I love you, Babe!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Favorites and Sketchy Thursdays...

Mmm..chai tea
Love this music!
Just the right snack...

Favorite jandals, jeans and polish!
My layout this week for SketchyThursdays got me to thinking about some of my favorite things right now.  I thought I'd share some of them with you.  First up is my new favorite warm drink...spiced chai tea.  I am trying to perfect making my own as a cup of it at a coffee shop is about $5.  Not quite there but pretty yummy all the same.

My next favorite I'm listening to as I type this.  My top 3 Christmas CDs.  With it starting to be summer here, it just doesn't feel right to play Christmas music most days.  We will stop into the mall and hear "Dashing through the Snow" on the loud speaker and just shake our heads as we are in jandals (flip flops) and short sleeves.  Just doesn't seem right.  Today its in the low 60's, wet, and my hands are cold so it makes more sense to play it.  I love Christmas music and usually play it from my birthday in October well into January.

I love these rice crackers!  They are a great snack without costing me too much in calories.  Yumm!!!  And I love it when they are on special (not sale because everything is for sale every week) for $1.99 instead of $3.49.  That's when its time to stock up!

These are my favorite jandals, practical and a splash of color.  I ordered them from the states for $27.00 which if I could have found them here they would have been well over $100 and then my loving Mother-in-law shipped them over to me.  They are SO comfortable!  I will be on the lookout for another pair.  I'm wearing my go to favorite jeans and never leave the house without this polish on my toes...Walmart $0.97 special I might add.

Now on to my layout....Kaikoura is one of our favorite places to visit in New Zealand.  The mountains are just stunning there and you can be 3 feet or less away from brown fur seals.  Of course they are still wild so we approach them with caution but love being able to see them so close.  We took these pictures when we visited Kaikoura on my birthday.  The next time we are up to Kaikoura, we will have my in-laws with us and are so excited to share this beauty with them.  I must admit that some of my favorite things have shown up on this layout...bling, pom pom trim, flowers, mini alphabets, and Thickers.  And of course I've scrapped my favorite subjects too...the boys and us!      : )

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just another scrappy layout...

I have been looking online for more scrapbook challenges and found this one at scrapbookers-anonymous.  The challenge was to use holiday themed paper on a non holiday layout.  The paper (SEI holiday), the star brads (Making Memories), and the red alphabet stickers (Thickers tinsel font) are all from last year's Christmas ranges.  I really liked the way this came together and if I hadn't told, I don't think anyone would even know they were holiday papers.  I'm liking this site and plan on being back for more challenges.
Happy Holidays Everyone!  : )

Sketchy Thursdays...

I was really happy with this week's SketchyThursdays sketch.  I love the look of this one!  I knew that the picture of Aden on the rock beach at Birdling Flats needed to be something special and this was just the look.  I always like to journal on my page and don't do hidden journaling often but I did on this page.  I decided that my journaling needed to be just for Aden.  I hid it on a tag (with the orange ribbon) behind the picture.   This picture is just so cool to me.  Here is Aden such a small boy sitting on a huge beach with an even bigger ocean in front of him.  I remember sitting behind him just watching him and capturing it through the camera.  He was very content to just sit there and dig in the rocks.  Every once in awhile he would look back to make sure I was still there.  Then being reassured that I was, he would go back to his digging.   This layout has got to be one of my favorites.  Thanks Sketchy Thursdays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Today is Thanksgiving in America.  Today in New Zealand, its just another Thursday.  Typically, we would be surrounded by family and a heap of amazing smelling foods.  It would have taken all day to prepare the turkey and work on the side dishes like mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, other veggies, and of course the pies!  We did celebrate Thanksgiving last week with some Kiwi friends which was so nice but today was just a little sad for me.  We were able to SKYPE with Bryce's family in Kansas.  That was great but reminded us that we were not there.  I know New Zealand is where we are suppose to be in this time of life, but boy on days like today it is really hard.  Man....Christmas is going to be a tough one.

So today, Bryce and I had Indian for lunch and we fixed Mexican for tea (dinner).  I did pull out the Thanksgiving napkins my mom sent me.  They might have seemed a little strange with tacos but it was my little reminder of the day.  The weather was nice here.  I was able to open the fact at 7:49pm they are still open....and wear capris and jandals. strange to my midwest American mind that says it should be jean and sweater weather anticipating the first snowfall.  

Today, even though its not Thanksgiving here, I can still be thankful.  I'm thankful for my husband who is so great and always knows when I need a hug and not words.  I'm thankful for my boys.  They just roll with the punches.  They are so sweet and loving and yet all boy being noisy, dirty, and so much fun. I'm thankful for my extended family.  Without their support, I don't know how I could live here.  I'm thankful for my best friends.  Their emails, care packages, and encouragement mean the world to me.  I'm thankful my oven lists the heating temperatures in both C* and F*!!  And I'm most thankful for my Jesus.  Without Him, I wouldn't have a home waiting for me in Heaven and a hope for living here on earth.  

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...and check list...

Boy do I ever have a check list!  This time of year is always a busy one for me with holidays, birthdays, and just life in general.  This year is no different, other than we are living in New Zealand and moving in just 3 weeks!  I have just checked one thing off my list....finishing presents for family and shipping them off to the States.  Whew...nice to have that one finished.  Aden's birthday is in two weeks so I'm in the process of getting a friends party planned for him.  I can't believe he is going to be 7!  I need to be getting our things packed for our move to Dunedin too.  I have done a few boxes here and there but there is much more that needs packed.

In between all those items on my check list, I have squeezed in a bit of scrapping too.  I think its what helps me remain stable.  : )  Here is my take on this week's SketchyThursdays challenge.  These pictures were from a trip we made to Birdling Flats.  This is a rock beach that is about 45 minutes from our house.  The water that day was stunning!  We all enjoyed digging in the rocks looking for semi precious stones.  It was a chilly but great day.  This beach is on our "company list".  The list of places we want to take company when they come to visit.  Hopefully its as beautiful that day as it was for us.  I love this picture of Aden looking for rocks.  Such a little boy on such a huge beach with an even bigger ocean.  I just couldn't cut it up for my layout.  I have special plans for this picture.  : )

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...Guest Designer Challenge

When I first saw the sketch for the December Guest Designer from SketchyThursdays I thought "whoa...what a challenge!"  I have to admit that I tried several times to make this layout without much success.  The challenge was to use at least 5 photos in a circle and use sparkle.  The circle photos really had me stumped!  After my many attempts, I ended up using photos that I've taken of nature here and there.  The sparkle was much easier...glitter paper, letters, glimmer mist, and a little bling thrown in here and there.  I'm really happy that I stuck with this challenge and created this layout!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving...a bit early...

Thoughts of thanksgiving have always included turkey and all the trimmings, family, and chilly weather.  Oh and Black Friday shopping! in New Zealand, things are a bit different.  We decided to have our Thanksgiving a week early.  We wanted to invite some Kiwi friends so this week worked well for us all.  And we are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner (by Americans) next week...mmm...Thanksgiving twice!  Turkey here is very expensive...ok, so its just outrageous.  A 15lb one costs $80, so we roasted up a couple of chickens instead and they were very yummy.  We had all the trimmings too....home made stuffing (my mother-in-law's recipe), candied kumira (think yams), mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy.  And the finishing master piece???  My mom's recipe for pumpkin pie.  I made the crust from scratch along with the filling, including roasting my own pumpkin.  No canned pumpkin here!  I was SO proud of it!  I'm pretty sure my mom would be too.  Pumpkin is eaten here savory and not sweet so it was even more special when our Kiwi friends liked it.  Yum!!  I have to say I think it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving.  And for that I am thankful!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...

Wow...I can't believe I haven't posted since my last sketchythursdays post!  It has been a busy 10 days around here.  We have made a trip to Dunedin in search of our next home.  I am very happy to say that we have found one and I think its just the right one for our family and our ministry.  In just 4 weeks, we will be moving south and settling in just in time for Christmas.  So the next few weeks will be busy with packing up and getting ready for our move.  Of course my scrapbook stuff will be some of the last to be packed up! I wouldn't want to miss out on a Sketchy Thursdays challenge!  : )  It seemed just a bit strange to be scrapping about snow when its spring here and no snow to be seen anythere but these photos seemed just perfect for the sketch this week.  My boys just love the snow! I think they will enjoy a beach December but I know they will miss the snow.  Ahhh...the memories!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays, a small boy, and one HUGE pancake...

When I saw the sketch this week at SketchyThursdays I knew I had just the right pictures.  Before we left the States, we made a trip to visit my brother in Illionis.  We ate at a cafe called Charlie Parkers, known for their huge pancakes.  This one Aden ordered really wasn't the BIG one but it was big enough for a 6 year old boy.  I thought there would be no way he could eat even half of that pancake.  Boy was I wrong!  He ate almost all of it.  The cafe had such a fun atmosphere and the company was great so it made the experience all the more special.  When we visit the States again, I hope we can make a trip back to Charlie Parkers.  By that time, Aden will be 9.5 and I bet he could eat the whole BIG pancake!  Wow......I think I'll hold off on thinking of him being almost 10...not to mention that huge pancake...

Happy Feet...

Every time I look down and see these, they make me smile.  I was needing some summery shoes and thought why not go for something fun, something with color.  So these beauties came home with me.  :)  Ahhh....happy feet!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...

Hello Everyone!  Here is my take on this week's SketchyThursdays challenge.  When we were in Kansas, Grandma had an old tree stump that needed to be chopped down since it was infested with a bug.  Aron was more than happy to chop that stump up.  He literally chopped until there was nothing left to chop.  I love this photo of him with that impish grin.  He just melts my heart!


Saturday I turned 37.  In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I was having a hard time thinking of myself being THIRTY SEVEN.  I certainly don't feel like I'm 37.  Ok, so maybe some days I do feel my age!  But as my birthday drew closer, and I repeated 37, 37, 37 in my mind, I began to embrace that number.  I have decided that is what I'm going to do.  Embrace it.  I AM 37 and thankful to be!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sugar Cookies...

I love to bake sugar cookies.  When we lived in the States, I would bake them for every holiday.  I have a big tub of shaped cookie cutters.  Since we moved from Indiana, I have only made cookies once or twice.  And have not made them since moving to New Zealand.  I had been told once that my cookies were better than Loften House cookies (a really good soft sugar cookie made in the States).  Now to me, that was a really high compliment.  Today as Bryce and I were running errands at the mall, we popped into a kitchen store.  I was beside myself excited to see these cookie cutters!  I knew they had to exist somewhere in NZ but I had yet to see them.  AND they were 50% off!!!  Now I am the proud owner of these Kiwi cookie cutters. I am ready to dust off my recipe and get out my sprinkles....which by the way are called hundreds and thousands here in NZ....and get to making my sugar cookies.  YUM!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays and a home to dream about...

We have just come back from a weekend trip to Dunedin where we are house hunting.   Dunedin is 4 hours south of Christchurch and we will be moving there around mid December.  For this trip, we had looked online for houses that met our requirements and then did drive-bys.  If we liked what we saw, it stayed on the list.  I was a little discouraged the first day as many houses got crossed off our list but day two seemed to produce some possibilities.  Bryce drove me in one neighborhood just because he wanted to show me this view.  This house wasn't even on the market but could you imagine waking up to that view every day?!  It would be nice, but I can pretty much guarentee that our house won't have a view like this.  : )

Before we left, I was able to get my layout done for SketchyThursdays.  This time I used sunrise pictures I've taken on my beach walks.  I thought it would set them off nicely to use a dark background and some paint behind them.  With some glitter mist and bling, I liked the way it mimicked the shimmer of the sunrise.  My week is going to be a short one with today being a holiday, Labour Day here in New Zealand, so I hope this isn't my only scrapping for the week!  : )

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I love my boys...

I have been wanting Bryce to take some new pictures of me and the boys.  Mother's Day was about the last time I had him do that and its been a little crazy since then!  So over the weekend, we went to a huge park that the boys just love.  I used that opportunity to get my shots in.  At first I was disappointed that I didn't get that "perfect" shot but the more I looked at those pictures, I knew that Bryce had gotten the perfect shot.  My boys are beautiful.  They are the lights of my life and I wouldn't know how to live without them.  Yep, these are perfect pictures.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays...

This week between catching up on laundry, grocery shopping, house cleaning, yard work, and having overseas company, I was able to get not only the regular sketch done for sketchythursdays done but also the sketch for the November Guest Design Team Member.  The challenge was to follow the sketch, use orange and at least one punched item.  I thought this was the perfect time to use some of last year's fall photos.  With it being spring here, I am missing the typical fall colors, pumpkins, and cooler weater.  Although warmer temps and spring flowers are nice, it just seems a little odd to me.  But it was nice to pull some fall products from my stash and make this page.  Today is Saturday here in New Zealand and we are headed off to the home show with a few of our Kiwi friends.  I'm hoping its a good one.  Then to one of our favorite playgrounds for play time and a picnic tea (dinner).  Sounds like a good day to me!