Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paper Addict? Me? Nahhhh...

Patterned Paper. Yes, I am addicted. I LOVE it. I have been collecting it and using it since it came into existence.

Here is the bulk of my paper. The vertical holders have themed paper (some of the themes are what I call 'Nicole-themed' in that it makes sense to me but may not to another). Not just holidays, but paper that I would look for for a specific reason. For instance, woodgrain, paper with words or music notes...that sort of thing.

The horizontal racks hold my solids plus patterned paper that I organize by color. They also hold specialty paper like fabric paper, die cut 12x12, etc.

I also prepackage kits because I do scrap outside of the house a lot. Some of these are themed, but most of them are mixes of papers, embellies, etc (like a kit you would get from a kit club).

Lastly, I have a few holidays that I tend to collect a lot of paper and embellishments for: Christmas, Halloween, and Fall. Christmas has its own little special corner in my room. (Yes, I know...but it comes every year right?)

Halloween and Fall are in separate drawers. Then, when I am ready to scrap them, I just pull out a drawer and all paper, embellies, etc are there.

Lastly...my scraps. I do keep almost all scraps because I have found that I use them. Not just for scrapping, but I make homemade magnets, and use patterned paper for various projects. I organize them in plastic drawers. The top is solids, the bottom two are patterned papers. I just dig around, no organization by color, etc.

So, that's my paper. I am excited to use some up in shimelle's class. 8 )


Happy Scrappin'!

I have recently found shimelle. I LOVE her. I love her style. I love all of her prompts. Her website inspires me.

I also LOVE patterned paper. I have lots of it. (That is an understatement). Pretty paper definetely inspires me.

So, when Shimelle announced this class, I was all over it. Excited! Not just for the class but to get to scrappin' again. So ready...


Happy Scrappin'!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oh my...

It has been a crazy few weeks (hence my lack of posts).

So, we went to Disney World and had the time of our lives. AMAZING. They know how to do it upright. With the exception of a hiccup with the airlines that resulted in a delayed flight on our way home, everything went smoothly. I will definetely post photos soon (of which I just ordered...oh my...almost 700). I definetely need to get details of the trip documented so I don't forget.

But more important right now is what has all happened since we got home.

A few weeks ago, we found out Dan's dad had cancer in his esophagus. Shortly after we got home, he made the choice to go into full hospice (ie quit eating and drinking, it was too painful). He passed away on September 30th, after 8 days of not eating or drinking. Though we knew it was coming, and knew he was at peace with everything, it was (and is) still hard. He was such a great man and we miss him so much. Dan's parents are both gone now. They lived just a couple blocks from us and were a huge part of our lives. This will be a major adjustment for us and our daily lives here, now that they are both gone.

Thankfully, we got to spend a lot of time with Dan's family. (He is one of 8 children). It helped that our house was so close to dad's as family from out of town was able to stay with us and yet still be close to him. Also, we became a place to eat, so that he would not have to endure others eating around him. We had company for just about 2 weeks straight, not to mention multiple weekends before. Definetely cherished time, even for such a sad occasion. The girls just loved having their aunts, uncles and cousins around. Keaton literally cried when she had to say goodbye to everyone after the funeral.

The day after Dan's family left, a close, cherished friend of mine endured an absolute horror. She lost her baby at 21 weeks.My heart still breaks for her as she is attempting to heal from this tragic situation. So sad. As a friend, there is always difficulty in these situations deciphering what is the right thing to say, do, etc. I pray everyday for guidance as I want to be there for her in whatever way she needs me to be...

During the craziness, my friend also found out that her sister's breast cancer had come back. My goodness.

And lastly, my mom has not been feeling very well at all. She has been off chemo now for a few weeks, but she just is still in a lot of pain. She is due to get rescanned in November-praying for good news, but not counting on it.

Man, I am so thankful that I have faith. Faith in God. Faith that Jim is up in Heaven with God (and with his wife, Dan's mom). Faith that baby Millie is in heaven, sleeping in the arms of an angel. Faith that all of us here on earth will get through these hard times. Faith that my mom is on a journey to Heaven and that God has control of when that happens...and that I trust Him with that control. Faith that we were put in each others lives for this very reason...to be there for our friends and family going through hard and difficult times. Faith that everything will be ok.

I promise I will have a happier post soon. (What can be happier than Disney World, right?). For such is life-sometimes real life has to be...well...real life. And that is definetely what these last few weeks have brought.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Packing for a Disney Vacation...in secret.(Shhhhh...)

In 3 days, my girls are going to get the surprise of their lives. We are taking them on a surprise trip to Disneyworld. Actually, my MOM is taking ALL OF US to Disneyworld, along with my brother, his wife, and little boy Garon.

I can hardly contain my excitement! This week is going to be pure heaven for the girls. From riding in an airplane to eating with the princesses, this week will be a week my girls (and I) will never forget!

BUT, it has been a little bit tricky to pack/prepare for this trip without the girls knowing. While I know a bulk of the packing will be done the night before after the girls are asleep (we are leaving our house at 4:15 in the morning...ouch!), there are a few things I have been doing to make that time less hectic:

1. Getting the house clean and in order.
While this isn't always the easiest with a 4 year old, I am trying to work room by room to make sure I come home to a clean house (a thing of mine...). I started in less used spaces, and the day before, will do a massive clean of the main areas of the house, hopefully only having to pick up a few things here and there before we leave.

2. Packing little by little...and stashing it in hiding places.
Now, the key to this is not forgetting where you have stashed everything. 8 ) I started out by packing backpacks, snacks, paperwork, etc...things I don't need to do laundry for. Here are a few things I have already packed:

I packed a bunch of snacks (for the airplane and to keep on hand) in a Thirty One cooler bag. I will be adding some peanut butter sandwiches and chips to this, as we may not have enough time to grab lunch during our layover in Texas (we are flying out of Grand Island). This will be super handy to pull out and to keep all food/drink organized. This will fit in my backpack perfectly.

Play things for the girls:
I filled these Thirty One fold-n-go's with goodies for the girls. Coloring books, activity books, colors, games...another item I can pull out on the airplane to keep them busy.

(I have a smaller backpack I will be taking with me (photo coming soon)that I will use for the theme parks. I wanted to only take one, but found I needed a slightly larger one for the traveling part of the trip. When we get to the resort, I will do some reorganizing and put the things we need for the day in the smaller backpack).

Important Cards:
I make and sell these holders at my shop...they are perfect for organizing your license, insurance cards, credit cards, photopass cards, etc....this way I don't have to get my bulky billfold out everytime I need one of those all important cards.They are also perfect to slide into your back pocket, which will be ideal in the airport and at the themeparks where we will be needing to pull out the photopass card for pictures they take inside the park.

All of those other little things:
Then you have all of the other little items-tissue, wet wipes, sunscreen...I have packed them all in this little case. I like doing this versus throwing them in the bag and having to dig for them. (Doesnt help that I LOVE this little case...)

3. Lists
I have been adding items to a list as I have thought about them for weeks now...from remembering to call the school (another thing I was able to get done in secret) to items I don't want to forget.

4. Technology organization
Don't forget that camera battery that needs to be charged (plus, don't forget the charger...for your camera, phone, etc). I have made sure that my camera is empty of photos as well, leaving all the room I will need to take photos during the trip. I also packed an extra card, just in case I fill up the one I have (which is likely...). If you don't have a rechargeable battery, don't forget to pack those batteries, you will likely need them.
Laptop-I am leaving mine home...my husband will be taking his. We plan to pack a movie or two so the girls can watch them on his computer if needed. Be sure to pack all of the cords, etc that you need to keep it charged and running.

Doing these things ahead of time will really help me out when I am frantically trying to pack after the girls go to sleep Friday Night (especially if Dan and I want to get any sleep at all). I will be sure to have all laundry done, then I can just follow my list, pack our bags, and load them in the truck. They won't know a thing. 8 )

How are we pulling off the surprise?

We are going to tell them that we are going to the airport to pick up a relative-this will be an easy sell as with my mom being sick, we have had a lot of company lately...We will go into the airport as though we are going in to find them. I will have these posters in a backpack or gift bag for the 'guest we are greeting' and while someone takes the kids in one direction, Aaron (my brother), Tina (his wife) and my husband Dan will each take a poster. We will point the kids in their direction, tell them that we aren't really picking up a relative, but we are...cue cards...GOING TO DISNEYWORLD!!! Oh, to see the looks on their faces...I can not wait!!!

More to come...8 )

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Goodbye Summer...

This summer has flown by. In just 6 short days, miss Keaton goes back to school. Luckily, I have a few more weeks until Mallory starts preschool, but it will still be here before I know it!

It has been a good summer. I did horrible at blogging (obviously), but many memories were caught on film...here are a few...

In June, we decided the girls were old enough to enjoy the Archway by Kearney. After we took the tour, we did the human maze, and some hiking (they have a great trail there). It was such a fun day!

As usual, we had a wonderful 4th of July here in Blue Hill...it is always such a fun day. The kids played games in the park, then enjoyed the parade and fireworks afterwards at Carisa and Jeff's house...God bless America!!!

My cousin, Angela and her husband, Ed are music professionals in Arizona. In their offseason, they travel and perform at various churches (with their beautiful daughter, Cadence). They did 2 performances in Hastings, and were amazing.

This summer we had our Mackin Family Reunion at Panorama Lake in Iowa. We have these every 3 years and have a blast every time...this one was no different: 4 days full of fishing, playing, swimming, visiting, sweating (it was sooo hot and humid!), and of course, eating. We did have one hiccup...on the first night Keaton was jumping off a top bunk bed and hit a moving ceiling fan...off we went to get her 5 stitches...but the rest of the trip went off without a hitch!

And of course the summer was full of...
Playing with friends...

Eating ice cream...

Blowing bubbles...

Learning new things...


Learning about and signing praises to God (via 2 Vacation Bible Schools)...

Feeding ducks...

Catching lightning bugs...

Meeting new precious babies (Keaton was so excited to go to Denver with me)...

Dancing...(Mally's first 'real' dance class!)

Picking 'flowers'...

What a great summer it has been...sad to see it go...