Archive for the ‘family stuff’ Category

2009 Family Photos

Oct 28, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: About Me, family stuff, My family stuff

NOTE: this is an ALL family post, so if that isn’t your thing, you may want to skip it. I am really happy with the way things went so I’m sharing it!

Well I DID it! I was able to accomplish my goal of getting our family (Christmas) photos done BEFORE Halloween!!! Last time we had our photos done I did this, and SWORE I would always go before Halloween. The problem is the time creeps up on you, and this was already a busy week. BUT I made it a priority, and we got it done! Gotta love the TO DO list 😀

Also if you kids are a wee bit older, you can ask for a later evening time to ensure you are in and out. Most younger kids are in bed! If you go during the day it can be busy with babies and toddlers, so keep that in mond. I’m by no means a photographer, and don’t know if this is all exzsctly true, but it is my personl expierienc as a parent, from getting my children’s photos over the last DECADE!

 Going before Halloween is so much less busy, there are good deals, and you get your stuff MUCH quicker!! People aren’t thinking CHRISTMAS yet!

The DOWNSIDE to going BEFORE Halloween is you can’t get any Christmas backgrounds, so if that is your THING then you will want to wait! I didn’t want a Christmas themed bkgd since these are going on my walls, so I just dressed us in cheery holidayish colors!

Photo Tips:Now they tell you keep clothing SOLID, darker colors are best, and LONG sleeves, so it doesn’t distract from your face!

SO for the first time we gave Target a try! I have to say I was impressed!

We had a coupon and paid no sitting fee, only $3.99 a sheet and got a FREE 8 X 10 !

Funny thing happened: When I was picking out photos I kept saying “I’ll take that in 81/2 X 11”-and the woman was like “You mean 8 X 10? ” I’d say “Yeah that is what I meant!”, then I’d do it again. I had to apologize and tell her I kept thinking about cardstock sizes and that is ALWAYS the measurement that pops into my head! LOL!

 With the coupons we saved $150!! We ended up buying like $130 worth of photos! LOL! So we saved more than we spent, and given the fact we haven’t had photos done in like 2 years that isn’t bad at all! All I know is if Jay doesn’t have a heart attack, its a good deal!

The camera was a Nikon like mine! I kept telling Jay I NEED that lens she had for Christmas! LOL!

Another PLUS: For ONLY $4.99 you can buy the online service that allows you to legally share your photos online, email them to family/friends, post them as your screensaver…..all sorts of stuff, which is nice!

Now I am going to share ALL my photos here (legally!) I have to admit it was REALLY weird seeing myself with DARK SHORT hair! It looked really nice when we left the house, but it was raining (GRR!) and they had NO mirror! Oh well. The kids looked good, so that is all that matters.

Since the kids are all older it went really well. OH! That and we did promise them each a box of candy if they cooperated! I’ll be honest, with three kids I am NOT above bribery!! A mom has to do, what a mom has to do! Plus we don’t celebrate Halloween, so they won’t be getting loads of candy this weekend.

So without further delay here we go!

 Family Photo 1


Jay & Noah have the SAME sweater on! Amber and Alexa are dressed the same too. I always like to make them match!

Me, Im just in a black shirt. Trying to blend!

Family Photo 2


Family Photo 3


OK so I think this was the one we got for our Christmas cards and Im totally kickin myself! I loved the one just above this! GRR! It was HARD to see on their screen and they couldn’t put them side by side. Once I got home and could access them online I saw I liked the one above this! Oh well.

I’m going to call anyway this morning and see if we can change it. EEK!

Family Photo 4


I liked this one, but wasn’t a fan of us on our knees. We look strange! Maybe if we CROP it!

This was very funny……


I thought this one was SOOOOO cute! The kids got a kick out of it too.

The woman said it should be our Christmas card, but I want people to SEE the kids faces, and NOT gross them out too! LOL!

Jay & I


Who is that with my husband! LOL!

It isn’t often we have a photo of Jay and I

Now we have our trio


Then this is where they try to make you go for broke……..


This would be $30!! Thankfully I wasn’t a fan of the framed images, and heck, I am creative, I can make my own collage!

Here is Alexa


I LOVED this photo of her. I was really proud of her that she smiled and kept her chin up! We ONLY got this one close up because the second after this shot was taken, a tear streamed down her face! She is VERY shy and having a stranger in her face made her scared and SAD! Poor girl! So we let her off the hook. 

Now we get back to the UP-SELL. The woman saw how much I loved this photo…..


Talk about pulling on mom’s heart strings! I felt bad saying NO! But it gave me a FAB idea for making my own 😀

 I love this photo of her because it is a genuine Alexa smile 😀 She is doing so well, I couldn’t feel more blessed.

Now we have Noah


How did he get so OLD? He will be 7 on November 13th! He is a whole head taller than Alexa (who is 10) I can totally see him as a TEEN here! He is in the CHEESY smile phase, but she did a good job getting him to really laugh.

Here is his close up


Love the toothless smile!

Last but not least, Amber


I think she could have just posed and posed forever. The woman suggested I bring her back for her own photo day! LOL!


You can tell she doesn’t feel good in this one. What a cute lil face.

Then her close up….


She actually does this head tilt thing on her own alot when she wants something, so I thought it was really cute.

I really loved ALL the close up photos she did.

I’m not doing School photos since they come out TERRIBLE, cost $15 for ONE sheet, and don’t make your child look good at all. Last year Noah had a FAB smile but they layered him on a NEON blue bkgd! I paid for GRAY she claimed that was the correct color from what I ordered. Apparently SOMEONE is color blind, and I know it isn’t ME! That one just went into the drawer!

SO once these come in I will be changing our frames.

Thanks for letting me ramble on Its not often we get group photos done. I should TRY to go more often. These years REALLY fly by so quickly. Before I know it I will be asking for photos of my grandkids!

Tomorrow I’ll have some eyecandy for you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Today I have a card to share-posted after my rambling!

What an exhausting night we had. I was up almost 24 hours. It’s amazing when MOMMY ENERGY kicks in.

Yesterday Alexa left the house at 5pm to go to her biological father’s house. His wife picked her up, and they went to the Outback for dinner. Quickly after eatting Alexa got white as a ghost, and said she needed to lay down, and wanted a “bucket”. Basically she felt nauseous. Kim felt her head and she was burning up! So she took her to their house where she went STRAIGHT to bed. His wife called me at 9pm to tell me what was up. Me, knowing how quick Alexa goes from her usual self, to CRASHING said we needed to get her to our area hospital.

They wanted to just keep her there and let her sleep, but I can’t have my “baby” be sick and NOT with me. I would be a wreak, and I know her too well to know this is “nothing”.

 They live over a hour away-and honestly the hospitals in that area are HORRIBLE! I spent many years for HOURS in their ER waiting rooms with Alexa having a 104 fever as a BABY! Anyway, I NEEDED her with me, and in a place that knows her, and her history! She can LOOK “OK” but be REALLY sick. It’s really strange.

Anyway-we get to the ER, which was full :C I was a bit nervous we’d get stuck there for a while. I had brought Alexa a face mask too, so SHE wouldn’t pick up anything more than she had.

Her father got there before me, and began filling stuff out. I put in HUGE letters CANCER REMISSION. That is a huge RED FLAG that we shouldn’t be stuck in the ER any longer than necessary! THANKFULLY maybe 5 minutes later we were in the back. Alexa was as white as sheet. Overall though she didn’t look THAT bad. Again that is a weird thing with her.

Anyway, I have to say I had the most AMAZING group of people treating her. I can’t even count the number of ER visits and hospitalizations we have had in our 10 years, but these people-EVERY SINGLE ONE was so amazing. They were so nice, efficient and just genuinely caring. They treated Alexa so well too. To the point where I am actually going to write a letter on each and every person we had dealings with. To have such a amazing TEAM when your child is sick, means so much to me.

What I liked most was that they actually LISTENED to me and my take on her! Plus there is a LOT to take in. She has had a LOT go on in her 10 years, including showing up at an ER seemingly sick but not too bad, only to get progressively worse and sent by Ambulance to a larger hospital.

They thought she “sounded” OK in her lungs.  I told them that she can sound OK, but will often have a creeping pneumonia. Well we were sent right to xray! Low and behold, yes! We have pneumonia in BOTH lungs! The doctor was shocked but said “You know her best! You’ve been through a lot with her, so who am I to say otherwise, and you were right. I never would have said she had pneumonia, and by tomorrow we’d most likely be in BIG trouble.” It is NOT often you meet doctors who are willing to actually HEAR you, without a fight, or second guessing you. And I was right ! LOL! Sadly on top of that Alexa also has the Flu. Not good. Now she is on Tamiful and Zithromax. After not getting home till almost 5am, I had to bring her back to the doctors at 10am.

She already had her flu shot too, about 2-3 weeks ago.

We got Noah and Amber the H1N1, but obviously Alexa can’t get that, yet. She will also need her pneumovax.

Anyway, I’m just sharing. I’m a little freaked with the whole FLU dangers and whatnot, but am just trusting God will watch over her and the rest of our family. Its a bit scary.

On another note…..thought I’d share a recent card I made, that makes me happy! LOL! I need happy. I decided that I’m going to send this to the team at the hospital, that made my night nothing but pleasant, considering the circumstances!


A gift for you

I think this image is just beyond sweet.I am in LOVE with the Gillian Robertsline from Stampavie. Each one is adorable, but THIS one is my favorite, so far.  Maybe because it reminds me of something I bought recently. I  purchased a stuffed Dog (I bought like 5!) named Colby, from KAY Jewelers. (It inspired my entire design) Part of the proceeds ($7 to be exact) from EVERY sale benefit St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research!! So if there is a KAY near you, you can buy the SUPER cute Colby dog too, for a good cause! I have to say I was VERY disappointed to NOT see this promotion on their site, and the ONLY thing I could find to share, that showed you the dog and the promotion was THIS!


Doesn’t Colby look just like this bear? I know! Colby is a dog, but to me they look alike 😀 This image  is Bear & Robin. I colored him with my Copic markers. If you don’t own these yet…WHY?! I love my Copic’s. Use them EVERYDAY! LOVE. I honestly can’t even consider coloring with anything else. I totally feel they are worth every EXPENSIVE penny spent 😀 I also used the colorless blender to get my hat pattern. I added a pom pom, and made the hat cuff 3D as is the bird. You cannot see it but the “snow” on the ground is a really pretty glitter I got in the KIDS section at Michael’s! DON’T buy those LITTLE tubes of glitter in the stamp/scrapbook section of your craft store! They are overpriced! Go to check out the KID craft section FIRST, where you get a HUGE bottle, at about the same cost (sometimes cheaper) as a TINY bottle. I swear it’s the SAME stuff.

I also airbrushed my sky. Then I dotted my background with my Singlo white gel pen. I had this silver snowflake “table” confetti from Target last year, and it makes the BEST card accents!! I can’t recall who makes the paper :C Sorry.

Well that is all for me. Sorry I was quite long winded.YIKES! LOL!

Thanks for hanging in. In the meantime I hope you and your family are happy & healthy during this terrible season of germs!

First Place Fair photos

Oct 6, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: family stuff, Stampavie

Hi everyone

Sorry I’m so MIA-but I have LOTS of eye candy to come, I swear! With all my hustling my mojo is coming back 😀 YEAH!

Sadly I have 344 photos to edit before I can really share too much :C That should tell you something 😀 Plus I have dates to wait for too.

As I shared the other day, my family played hookie from school so we could all go to the annual Deerfield Fair! This is something we do EVERY year, and all look forward to. This was by far the easiest year with the kids. No needing to LUG too much stuff, and Alexa is much stronger and was able to keep up with all the walking. Usually she has a hard time getting around all day long.

Really a FAB time, except for the CHILL.

This year was especially FABULOUS because  Amber won FIRST PLACE for a Sunflower she painted!! It was featured at the Fair 😀


Here it is

Isn’t it so cute?? She just loves to do anything crafty. Melts my heart.


 I was so excited about this.

This is the first time we had anything featured at the fair 😀 We didn’t know she won first place-until we got there. I could have done a cartwheel for her. She can’t wait to get it back and buy a special frame for it. OK that part was my idea! LOL! But I really was proud of her.

Here we are – posing in front of her flower


Sorry-I went with Black & white because when Jay took the photo it was a bit out of focus, and this was the ONLY one I had of us here, so it looked better in B&W

Here she is with daddy


See mommy knows how to take a good photo-first try! LOL!

Here she is later with the clown


She is a camera HOG 😀 Most kids would run from teh clown (as Alexa did! LOL!) but not Amber-she loved her.

This is how poor Noah spent the day at the fair! He cracks me up.


I have to say it was especially STINKY this year :C He isn’t big on me getting any pictures of him.


I do love this one though-taken right before he lost his 2 top teeth, one right after the other. No bottoms in this one.

I felt the need to share it as he is MIA in most of these photos.


Visiting the sheep is one of Alexa’s FAVORITE things to do. Most are so friendly. They all flock to her when she goes to the gate, and that makes her feel like the sheep whisperer! LOL! She gets SO excited.

Here we have the trio


We always get a photo in front of the pumpkin winners. This year was busy and people kept passing in front of the camera, so this was the quick shot.

Got one with dad in there too….


 Fun to see how much changes year to year……


IT was chilly! I had 3 sweaters on that day, and still a bit cool. It was like 50 degrees. To ME that is freezing to be out all day

Now here I am again with my crazy girls-Noah didn’t want in :C


Alexa is mocking me here-gotta lover her sense of humor! She always makes fun of my “posing” for the camera smile stuff.

As you can see my hair is VERY short!!! But I’m OK with it-I think.

Well I figure I should share at least ONE card with you-

I made this a few weeks ago, and forgot to share it-I’ve needed some BOYISH cards, so here goes…


Ruffles has a birthday!

This image is beyond perfect for a birthday card! BEYOND!

It is called Ruffles Party. I think its beyond cute. Best part of these images is they are so gender neutral, which is a plus when you have girls AND boys. My mojo was still away when I made this, so I kept it simple. I love the COLOR. I don’t think it needed to be overdone with tons of layering.


I had a blast coloring it most. I have been itching to use it for some time now, and was FINALLY able to ink’er up.

Cute, detailed , but not too overwhelming.

I felt it was boyish until my son pointed out the fact I added a PINK button-and colored a pink balloon! I could just slap myself! He said its NOT a boy card if it has ANY girl colors-like pink. A point I will remember in the future!! I would not have thought otherwise, had he not said that.

Well thanks for hanging in with me and ALL my craziness. I know NONE of it makes sense till you see WHAT I have been working on, in between family. I have a lot on my plate these days, and its ALL good stuff!!

I feel so blessed to be where I am in my life right now. So blessed with my family (especially),and  myself-coming into my 30’s I know what I want, where I want to go, and HOW to get there (I think! LOL!), I have gotten healthy and stayed that way, I have continued with my "career"/ hobby. I have set so many new goals and am working so hard to just make it all happen.

So, while I get it all done, I appreciate all of you who stop by and visit. I have especially enjoyed a recent flood of kind emails from readers who have totally brightened my day, and made my remember why I keep trying to push forward and better my best.

You all make my time shared here so worth every moment.

I really just open up my life and every ounce of me. Its cool to be able to do so.


Happy 10th Birthday Alexa!

Sep 29, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: family stuff

Today is Alexa’s 10th Birthday!


Happy Birthday to my sweet, amazing hero!

She came into this world 1:58 pm on Wendesday September 29th 1999

Weighing in at 9 lbs, 20 inches.

I was told to expect her to be still born , and if she even made it through my pregnancy she would enter the wolrd limp and lifeless, not breathing on her own,  and would need a lot of help to hopefully get her breathing.

Well,  she came out fists clenched, kicking and screaming!

A fighter then, a fighter now.

You can read her story –>here (if you never have)

I cannot even tell you how much emotion comes over me each and every year she grows! I could write a book on all that, let me tell you! I cry every year we sing happy birthday, and try to make sure she doesn’t notice. They aren’t sad tears, but she wouldn’t understand that yet.

This person that I was told would never be,  is here. This person I was told would burden my life,  never has. This person who has overcome more than most people ever will in a lifetime,  and has fought hard  in  her 10 short years.

Everyday-a true gift. Everyday a testament to God’s love and will. Everyday-NOT a burden but the biggest blessing I will ever know.

I look forward to MANY, MANY more decades of not believing how much she has changed, grown, learned and loved or beaten the odds, proving them wrong.

I cannot believe I have a 10 year old. I don’t feel old enough!! I feel like I’m 23, when I’m really 31! LOL! I cannot believe how fast the time has passed since I nourished her inside me, then held her little body in my arms, and now she a decade old, and is giving me attitude! LOL!

I know Alexa has a purpose in this world, even if it was to open my eyes to it, and teach ME new things about life DAILY. Or open my heart in ways I never knew exisisted.

She has, and will continue to touch many hearts, and lives. Through her achievments I pray she opens the minds of MANY and their thoughts, misconceptions, limits and feelings towards people with “special needs”. A term I personally loathe, as I feel she isn’t often the one with the “issue” 😀 If more if us were like her, the world would be an amazing place.

I’m so thankful to be called her mom. I had no idea what this journey would be like, but I wouldn’t change a THING.

I love you Alexa.

You just keep on growing and conquering the world!

 Nothing is impossible for you.


Birthday UPDATE: The chance of me getting the Hannah Montana tickets is zero to none, so we are going to see Disney Princesses on Ice in Jan. in lieu of a party, as she decided that would be more fun.


Now on a stamp related note:

Sorry I have been busier than you can even imagine, so that is why my lack of posting and lack of a million other things! LOL! I will have peeks to share this week though!

Starting today All That Scraps begins revealing their new stamp release!

Check out the blog for you chance to win one—->HERE!

So that being said-Today I celebrate my little miracle. Tomorrow we will get back to stamping.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share

Pretty Princess Party

Sep 23, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: Cards, family stuff, Home decor/3-D items

Oh man! I’m a busy girl! I’ll get my other post up tomorrow or Sat. I have to take Alexa for her post Chemo check up this am, and have a few TIGHT deadlines… gotta get that stuff done ASAP! I took a special one on one class yesterday so that took up quite a bit on my time yesterday, but will be SO worth it in the end! 

I hope you all don’t mind me sharing Amber’s 5th Birthday Party!

I can’t even believe she is 5 already. KILLS ME! My baby-growing so fast. I just want to FREEZE her right now!

As you have read, over what seems like MONTHS, Amber had a Princess Costume Party. I feel like I planned a mini Wedding!! She was so particular about every detail (wonder where she gets that from! LOL!), and needed this like that, and OH! How cool would this be….and so on. I actually think I should start saving for her Wedding NOW! LOL!

In all seriousness I truly loved every minute of it. I was really cool for her to give her feedback, and convey her party “dream” to me. So, after MUCH prep here is what we ended up with!

First we needed a dress!


We found this little number at the Disney store back at the end of JULY!

She was so excited! I have to say I think she looks alot like a little real life Sleeping Beauty


We completed the outfit with glittery shoes, wand (lights up!) and her crown.


I loved this photo-too bad the wand gave me some BLING on her face :C


If you haven’t noticed by now Amber TOTALLY loved posing and being a Princess! LOL! I didn’t have to tell her anything, she just got into Pretty Princess mode! LOL! It was so funny. I actually had to tell her to stop!

Now when Alexa saw Amber’s dress she wanted the same one. Well, Amber was NOT going to let her wear the SAME thing, so we opted for a different version


Getting these two to look at the camera at the same time was a huge feat! I’m NOT looking forward to Christmas photos.

Let me tell you the claws came out and sister rivalry really showed its ugly claws for this situation. Alexa even tried to get Amber’s dress on herself, before Amber knew it was laying out. Alexa claimed it was HER dress! OH! BOY!! Anyway…….here is Alexa-who hates when I make her take pictures (on most days!)


Her hair actually looks really pretty since it was all curls


She is very shy, if you can’t tell 😀

Sadly she won’t wear this at the town Harvest Parade-she wants to be a SKUNK! LOL! I was hoping to get my money’s worth.

Now we have the PARTY SCENE! Set for 8 Princesses

PS-Sorry I’m not sharing photos of the girls-some people don’t like their kids photos shared on the internet


We had a room FULL of balloons and streamers (you can’t see them here) It looked really cool.

Amber decided we NEEDED a centerpiece for her table! When we were at Michael’s she saw a plain wooden castle. Well, she HAD to have it! So she picked out some paint (pink, dk pink, pale yellow and purple) we got some sponge brushes, and away she went!

She was SO proud of what she did. I was even MORE proud than she was!


I seriously cannot tell you what an AMAZING job she did painting that castle ALL by herself!! I showed her quickly HOW to get it painted, smoothing out an globs of paint once she was done getting in the crack, and she did the rest!

The top she did yellow (and that did make me cringe but I kept my mouth SHUT! ) and the top inside she did purple (-again mouth shut! LOL!) It was just painted so perfectly I wasn’t even expecting that!


She then took glitter glue, and added the jewels. I was scared to let her do that in fear it would ruin her amazing painting, but it was HER castle, so I left the room and let her be. When I came back I was in SHOCK! It was beautiful!


After the castle was done she wanted some ribbon. We both thought that filling the top with flowers (that match her favor boxes) would be a really nice touch too! (and it covered the purple! LOL!)

I cut over a 100 flowers and leaves for this party, with my Cricut Plantain School Book cartridge, in like 3 minutes! Can you say LOVE!!!

I tied the ribbon around the edge, added some butterfly stickers, and then took a cut Styrofoam ball, covered in a large sheer ribbon, and added the flower details. I used a hot glue gun for that.

We sprinkled stars and glitter all over the place when it was done! 😀


The tag is a “flag”that I made it using my Cricut when I was experimenting!! It came out cool so we added that too!

Table set with Crowns and jewels to decorate them, magic wands, princess frames for them to color/decorate (which we got close up face photos at the party, then printed their faces to put in them before they left! Really cute!) favor boxes that I designed *just* for Amber’s party, which were filled with 2 beaded necklace making projects, jewels, candy necklaces, and a bunch of other stuff, and we of course had Princess lollipops!


Not getting ANY closer than this to the favor boxes-you’ll see them soon enough 😀

I also made the tags on those with my the basic download stuff Cricut SCAL came with.

Now we have her Castle cake


It came out so pretty 😀 I was very happy with it. We also had a castle pinata…….and


 YUMMY Castle Lollipops


So needless to say it was a day fit for a Princess!

I know someday I will look at these photos when she is grown and remember this day like it was yesterday…………..

WOW! It is September ALREADY! Time for a Papertrey Ink Senior Design Team Challenge.

These are always so fun, and really get me thinking.

Before you know it Halloween will be here, and gone! Never too soon to start thinking WHAT you will do!

 Nichole posed such a challenge for the team this month-Make a small Halloween treat!

I thought of WOWING you all with some fancy treat idea. I actually found a TON of really cool stuff to make. I wanted to top myself from last years treats in which I actually made—> EDIBLE EYEBALLS! As I searched, and agonized over WHAT to do, I asked myself “Would I actually MASS PRODUCE these treats for my kids classmates?” Given the fact I loathe cooking, the HONEST answer would be NO! Then it occurred to me…….if you are ANYTHING like me, then you are BUSY, (maybe you don’t enjoy cooking either) money may be tight, and if you have more than a handful of people that you want to spoil with something (like your co-workers, neighborhood party/trick or treaters, your own children’s classmates/teachers-let alone the fact if you have MORE than one child that can really add up!) you really don’t have enough hours in the day (or energy) to slave over something.

I wanted a SIMPLE WOW! 

 SO……today I will share my true to life treats! This is a SUPER tasty treat that is QUICK, EASY, and INEXPENSIVE! Totally up my alley! It focuses on the PRESENTATION (which I thoroughly enjoy working on far more than cooking :D)

It takes a simple bag of MICROWAVE popcorn (directions below :D) and turns it into a gourmet treat that is loved by everyone! You can make it for ANY occasion and you can also let your children do most of the work 😀 (I love it even more now!)

Now here are the 2 ideas that JUMPED into my head 😀 Both use my template Pretty Petite version of Pack a Picnic 😀

So, first up…….A Witches Cauldron


filled with a Popcorn Potion!

I turned the Pretty Petite version of the My Timeless Template-Pack a Picnic into a Cauldron in MINUTES!!

 NOTE: You can also take this same idea and make ONE huge Witches Cauldron (using the standard version of Pack a Picnic) to hold all your Halloween  bags of popcorn potion, rather than do individual templates for each person/child.


I printed the template onto Smokey Shadow cardstock.

Prior to assembling, I stamped the black cat from Spooky Sweets II, onto the front.

I used a singlo white gel pen for the eyes, then dotted the centers black. Made the nose pink 😀 So cute and easy peasy.

I then cut, scored and assembled as directed.


Then it was time to add the pot handles 😀

I just used my word window punch and folded the paper punched pieces around some jump rings.

I attached them to the pot using silver brads! Perfect pot handles!

I then wanted the Cauldron to appear to be boiling over!

So green stickels to the rescue! Just drizzle large amounts around the entire top!

Let dry a couple hours (its a lot of glittery glue! SO worth it)

In the meantime you can make your Popcorn Potion, package it into the bags, and then make your tags!


My tag images/sentiments are also from Spooky Sweets II.

I put the bag into the Cauldron, and added 2 chocolate eyeballs! The eyeballs and creepy hand (a huge gummy candy that was actually DELISH! LOL!) were bought at Michael’s Craft store-just add to the fun!

Now I have another idea 😀 and this one is WAY easy.

This SAME template made the CUTEST pumpkin!


Seriously HOW CUTE is that?

Again you can make a LARGE version too 😀

In case you are KICKING yourself for NOT having Spooky Sweets II (there is plenty of time to order it :D) I decided to use Spooky Sweets (first edition!) for this one.

The NEW! Hocus Pocus paper was perfect for making my pumpkin have some POP!


I adore the “make your own pumpkin face” images in that set, and it was SO prefect for this one!

I just stamped and cut out the eyes-adding some BLING 😀 For the mouth I just used oval punches.

I then tied around some ripe avocado grosgrain for the topper


Then filled with my popcorn potion

Now you may be wondering-HOW do you make the POPCORN POTION?!

Well, in just a few minutes you can have a LOT of YUM!!

Popcorn Potionpopcorn-choc.JPG

All you need is some Microwave popcorn (or pre-popped popcorn)

Chocolate melting waffers in colors of choice (I chose orange, green and milk choc. only $3 for a large bag that goes a LONG way!!!)

Note: Usually 3 colors is perfect-o!


Pop (or pour out) as much popcorn as you need.

Pour Popcorn onto parchment or wax paper-remove kernals!!!!

Let COOL completely!

Melt chocolate wafers in squeeze bottles.

Squirt generously over popcorn.

Let chocolate cool.

Package into baggies!


This project is SOOOOO easy my kids actually made it themselves:D


I did a video of this venture, and it was such a FUNNY disaster, that I decided to NOT share it! After-all, I’m trying to be PROFESSIONAL here! LOL! Anything that COULD go wrong did! But my kids did make the popcorn, and they made their own versions of the Pumpkin templates!!

NOTE: ALL the templates make FAB kid project in one way or another 🙂


Top: Amber

Bottom left: Noah

 Bottom Right: Alexa

I just assembled the templates FLAT, let them decorate (they stamped the faces and colored), then we put them together.  You could have your kids do ALL of it! From making the popcorn (each of my kids had a color) to decorating the templates!

You can make a couple a day and let them decorate them-OR just assemble the template BLANK and let the kids you give them to decorate them for them-self.

ANOTHER idea-the LARGE version could be your child’s Trick or Treat container too 😀

Pretty cool huh?

Can you tell I make my kids do lots of crafts? That means more craft time for me if they do! LOL!

More photos of the kids pumpkins


They had fun and were so proud.

As soon as the photo was done the popcorn got eaten.

Bottom line-this was so FUN, inexpensive, , and got the kids involved- as it was total hands on! I love that. Oh and the popcorn really is YUMMY!!! We demolish a huge bag of it 😀

Now it is time to go check out what the team did-

  • Becky Oehlers
  • Heather Nichols
  • Nichole
  • Lisa Johnson  
  • Michelle Wooderson
  • and check out our Guest Designer : Teri Anderson

    I HOPE you liked my projects 😀 I really wanted to share something do-able and affordable. I’d love to hear what you thought.

    I’ll see you back here tomorrow as I have TONS to share this week 😀

    Until then

    Back to School

    Aug 27, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: family stuff

    This is just about my kids-no crafty stuff on this one.  

    WOW! I cannot believe ALL 3 of my children are in school 5 days a week. Yesterday was the first day back.
    Two are in for FULL 6 hour days. Amber goes only 3 hours a day. This was something I THOUGHT I was going to be SOOOO excited over, yet yesterday when the house was SO quiet you could hear a pin drop, I realized the craziness can be comforting. I forgot that silence that comes over the house, when I am all alone. That is something I thought I was looking forward to for YEARS, yet is bitter sweet. I’m sure I’ll get used to it once again, but yesterday I watched the clock until 2:20 came! I was eager to pick them up and hear all about their new journey. I took in all the NOISE they brought back in the house upon coming home.

    This is a quick 4 page digi scrapbook I made to mark the first day of school

    First Day of School 2009
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    Just click the arrows in the corners to view.

    We were running LATE, and the bus was running early! Go figure! The ONE day I need her to be a little behind. SO not as many photos as I would have liked to have gotten :C

    Noah is going into 1st grade


    He is happy to be a BIG kid, but even more so to get breakfast, lunch and snack at school. He is even more happy to finally get recess! (Kindergarten doesn’t get snack or recess! GRR!) He was in culture shock going to school for 6 hours! LOL! but, so far he really LOVES his teacher Mrs Marble.That speaks volumes, as we had a hard time with his teacher last year, making Kindergarten torture for Noah. She is young and energetic. Excited about learning! He was excited to tell me that he read for the class and has a daily job each week. So far so good! He was even excited about HOMEWORK. Something I am certain will dissipate over the next few weeks 🙂

    He insisted on wearing a new t- shirt , and SHORTS with his OLD comfy sneakers to school. I was not happy about his outfit, but learned a LONG time ago that we must pick our battles. I had a nice collared shirt and navy shirts for him to wear (he is wearing that outfit today-with his new shoes! LOL!) but he insisted he wanted to look “COOL” the first day. He said he’s wear the other outfit today. I figured I would look back someday and recall his independence with a smile on my face. After-all I am trying to make my children be as independent as possible. I have them pick out their own outfits each night before school. Sometimes they need “guidance”, but often do pretty well 😀

    Alexa begins 3rd grade.

    She really just got right back into the swing of things, and was VERY excited to see her friends. She had the cutest shoes, but walked though the SOAKING wet grass right before the bus came (GRR!), so we had to change them ASAP.

    I simply cannot tell you how far she has come. Especially socially. She is generally VERY shy (and still is) but now in school she has let a large part of that go. Last year was a huge year of growth for her, in every aspect. Everyone knows her, and is wonderful to her. I finally have the school stuff where I want/need it to be. All that is a HUGE reason we would stay in this town if we moved.

    I am hoping Art classes bring what is left of her social shell, out. I have also accepted the fact that Alexa is just a shy person.

    I had the girls dressed in matching outfits 😀 Their dresses are like the Papertrey Ink color-Berry Sorbet. I swear if they had one in my siaze I’d have worn it too, it was so cute! I like to make them match as often as possible! LOL! Thankfully for me they find this fun and cute 😀 Most of this years clothes are all matchy matchy! They will look back on this and either love it, or hate me! LOL!

    Both girls had a braid on the side. Amber had 2 that was then tied in the back of her head.

    Amber entered Kindergarten! WOW!


    My BABY, in Kindergarten. I recall going to kindergarten like it was yesterday, and now my youngest of THREE (I still can’t believe I have 3 kids let alone an ALMOST 10 year old!) is in Kindergarten.

    Now Amber is entering what she calls “the BIG school “!
    She was SOOOO excited that she got up at 5:30 am and got dressed,waiting for everyone to wake up! Poor kid in AFTERNOON Kindergarten, so she had a LONG morning wait till 11:30! LOL!

    She was simply over the moon.
    She walked over to all the girls in the class, and introduced herself to each one. She already knew a couple of them, and said in case anyone was new she didn’t want them to feel left out, or scared to make friends, so she would be their friend. Now THAT got me teary!

    When it was time to line up, she rushed right over. Once the line moved to go inside almost EVERY kid started crying! There were crying kids and parents everywhere! LOL! Amber just blew us a kiss, and then waved until we could no longer see her. She is a well adjusted 3rd child! LOL! Noah was the needy 2nd child. He screamed and clung to our legs for dear life. We had to use the perpetual Jaws of Life to get him out of the car the 2nd day of Pre-school! LOL! Seriously it was hard and a little heartbreaking. Alexa was always fine leaving. I tribute that to people always working with her, and prodding at her from pregnancy on!

    Amber will be a great little student 😀 She was just so happy about her first day, and just loved Mrs McCue.

    I had stuck little notes in their bags, for the first day, and they got a kick out of that.

    Funny how our kids can drive us CRAZY, but when they aren’t around you miss them!
    Well I am going to take advantage of the “silence” and get some much over-due work done! I needed to relish in the last few days of summer with my children, and admittedly that set me WAY behind the 8 ball!
    Till tomorrow

    Happy 5th Birthday Amber!

    Aug 13, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: family stuff, Smilebox Creations

    WARNING this is a SAPPY post-feel free to pass it over.

    5 years ago, on August 13th 2004, at 2:21 pm, weighing in at 8lbs 8oz, and 22 inches long ……Amber Elaine Meader made her debut into the world, after 3 DAYS of  a labor! Yes , I said 3 DAYS!

     An induction, that took a long detour to days of PAIN! They induced me, and I went into labor, but my poor pathetic cervix did not want to come along. You see, my body (thankfully) loved being pregant. Babies would just stay there as long as they could, until medically PUSHED to move out.

    So, I was having contractions for what they said was “nothing”. Nothing because the contractions weren’t making my cervix change at all. I was “hperstimulated”.  They stopped my induction drugs, but my body just continued to contract. Since I was overdue, and in a safe hospital setting, they just allowed this CRUEL thing called “Mother Nature” to take her course. Obviously her mojo was lacking because it took her a LONG time to really do her job!

    FINALLY,  Amber came into the world, in her own time, and on her own terms! LOL!

    The second I saw that face I forgot all about that. I was in awe of my new little being

    I then realized I had NO IDEA what I was going to settle on for a name!

    If you are interested you can read the naming story—>HERE!

     And so it began. Life with the little girl I usually, affectionately call Ambelina (Think Thumbelina-only for an Amber)

    I always called her that because 1) She is my BABY 2) she was the smallest weight wise of my 2 children (other 2 were 9lbs) Plus she is beyond adorable, and it suits her!

    I wanted to share a couple of photos, marking her 5th year, in a special way, so I made a Smilebox! That is something I haven’t done in a LONG time :C

    It was easy and free 😀 I looked back on some other Smileboxes I made a while back and just cried! LOL!

    You can view ALL my Smileboxes —>HERE! 

    It was such a nice way to capture memories of my kids, since I don’t really scrapbook. I like how it is online, interactive and comes together quick too! LOL!

    When Amber was born the very first photos I took of her were in my front yard! I picked some Daisies, and spread them around her while she was on a blanket that I quilted for her. I knew she was my last “baby” so I truly cherished every moment.

    Well these Daisies are from the SAME garden………….and she is in the same front yard……………..only much, much, older for this photo session!

    WOW! Five years! REALLY?! It was but a blink of an eye……


    Amber Turns 5!
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    Happy 5th Birthday Amber!

    You have brought me some of the best memories in the world, in your 5 years.

    You are an amazing little girl, who seems so old for her age. You are growing far too fast. Before I know it you will be off to college, and moving out :C You say the funniest things I have ever heard too.

    You are a lot like me, the good parts of me anyway!

    You are strong willed, independent, responsible, confident, creative, sweet, sensitive, smart and so loving, oh and I know I said it already, but FUNNY!! You are a bit shy at times too (that is NOT me! LOL!), but if push comes to shove you ALWAYS speak your mind (something I do too often! LOL!), so no one pushes you around. 

    My favorite thing you say is “Guess how much I love you?”

    Then you stretch out your arms are wide as you can…..and you say “This much!” Then you wrap them around me and squeeze as tight as you possibly can. I will miss that as you grow! I hope you still feel that way when you are a teenager! LOL!

    You also repeat every motherly thing that comes out of my mouth, when interacting with your siblings (I’m glad to know I don’t speak French and SOMEONE is listening! LOL! Yeah!)

    You are so smart. You tell me when you grow up you want to be an “animal doctor”. I believe you can, and will do whatever you set out to. I just bought you a much of “animal doctor” stuff for your birthday to hwlp get you started (wink). You made a stuffed dog at Build a Bear a few months ago. You take her everywhere! You have a great love of animals, so I hope to encourage you to reach for your dream.

    You always set out new goals to accomplish- like jumping rope, riding a bike, doing the hoola hoop (or as you say Hoolie-Hooping), and your newest goal is learning to roller skate. You *just * got a pair for you birthday! Granted I couldn’t find Hello Kitty like you asked for, so I hope they will be OK.

    You are a fast learner, so I’m certain that by weeks end you will be the best lil roller skater ever! You work hard to be the best you can in everything you do, and you never give up! I love that drive you have.

    You love all sports, along with singing and dancing too! There isn’t anything you don’t like or can’t do!

    You are like my littlest best friend.

    You are my shopping buddy-who is always honest in telling me how I look! “Oh mommy I think this color would look so pretty on you!” or “I think that might make your butt look big” and Oh! Mommy you look so nice today and you smell good too!

    You love when I paint your nails. You won’t leave the house without them done! You insist on perfume too 😀 You even carry around your own pocketbook most days. You also have to approve your outfits and decide HOW you want your hair done on a given day.

    You are also my crafting side kick, where we create for hours together. You are amazing with the things you can make. I’m always so proud of everything you create.

    You are also my exercise coach “Mommy, why can’t you do that like the girl on TV?! It’s not THAT hard! Look I can do that!” (and you do)

    My lil poser! LOL! You let me take as many photos of you as I see fit 😀 and I enjoy it.

    My little helper around the house. You do lots of chores on your own, and recently helped me totally clean, redecorate and reorganize both bedrooms. When I got to Noah’s room I looked around and said “OH! BOY! I just don’t think I have it in me to do this!” You took my hand, and pulled me off the bed and said “I will help you do everything. We will get it done together.” and we did! You kept up with me and helped re-do the entire room. When we had to throw out something of Noah’s you would say”OOPS! Don’t tell Noah we threw that in the trash, or that either” It was so funny.

    You like to be independent and do as much as possible by yourself !

    You have a great sense of confidence too. I also love that you are nice, kind and caring to EVERYONE! You nkow its not nice to hurt peoples feelings and be mean, even if someone else is doing so.

    I often look at you and wonder how I created such a being. I think you will turn out to be an amazing woman.

    There are no words to say how proud I am of you. I look forward to all the things you will do and ways you will grow each and every year.

    No matter what, you have to know that I will always love you, and I will always see you as that little girl…. surrounded by daisies.

    Happy Birthday my sweet girl!



    Fresh Flowers and Balloon Rally

    Aug 2, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: All That Scraps, Cards, family stuff

    Well I have a large post to share today, some eye candy and some family photos, so ready whatever interests you! LOL!

    C.C. Designsis having their release tomorrow! 😀 I have shared several samples from this month’s stamp line up over the last couple of days. So scroll on down my blog.

    One of the latest and greatest sets is byAmyR called Fresh Flowers. Its a very pretty set with some solid and open line art, with some sentiments too!

    Here is what I got when I combined AmyR’s Sympathy Sentiment set, with her Fresh Flowers from this months Release, along with her Butterflies from last month (I love that set :D)


    I thought it was just so pretty and elegant. I didn’t want anything overdone.

    My colors are Sweet Blush, Ruby Red, and Ripe Avocado.

    I stamped the floral image onto sweet blush cardstock.  Then I cut away the border around the flowers.


    I knew I wanted the butterfly to appear behind the flowers. I loved the clean and simple look.

    The sentiment was stamped on sweet blush as well, and punched out with a large oval from SU! I also used a SU! Labels die.

    Make sure you check out theATS Blog for more samples, and your chance to win this set!

    Well it was a full weekend here at the Meader home.

    It was full of things to do as we went to our town Annual Hot Air Balloon Rally!


    This is a view on the field as they blow up some of the balloons

    (note I really need to read up on HOW to work my awesome camera! LOL!)

    It is really cool to see them all go up. I love seeing them blow up. They are HUGE inside. Me being terrified of heights, you couldn’t PAY ME to go up in one, even tethered!

    I look forward to this event every year, since I met Jason. There are some great benfits to the type of “community” you have when living in a small town, where everyone knows everyone 😀 I really enjoy all our small town activities.

    Here are the kids, fooling around for the photo, as we watch the balloons get blown up


    The kids LOVE this event too. Its just a really cool thing to expierience.

    Here is one on lift off


    Poor Jay, he was laying on the ground at the park! LOL! So, he got this shot! LOL! He has to either stand of lay down for at least the next week!

    I had my niece Gabby for the day. She is almost 6 months old, and getting so big!


    She is in 12 month summer clothing! She just cracks me up too. He has quite the personality.

    She looks so much like my brother! Its really crazy. All my kids look like thier father, so I don’t know what having your own child, look like you feels like. That being said, since he looks like me, people we ran into, that I hadn’t seen in a while, thought I had another baby! LOL! And saying how much she looked like me! Um, NO! It was hilarious though.


    She was SOOOO good the whole day. You’d never know she had a double ear infection! She is just the best little thing. I enjoy her so much. She like a 4th child to me 😀 She is at such a fun age, when they start making all kinds of sounds and imitating things you do. I could just squeeze her! (OK I do! And between the kids and I she is kissed to death! LOL!) The kids just fawn all over her. I can totally understand why people go for that 4th! LOL! That isn’t a hint that I’m ever having anymore, I’m just SAYING! We fixed that from ever happening again. All my friends have “babies” so I can get my fix!

    Speaking of “babies” here are some more photos of MY babies 😀

    me-and-kids.JPG click to enlarge

    Note: End of the HOT HUMID day at the Balloon Rally! I look tired, and hot! And I was 😀

    Here are the girls eating lunch


    Then again, while the balloons go off


    Another end of day messy photo! LOL!

    Noah and Amber going down the big slide


    Here is Alexa and her funny look she always gives when I want to take her picture


    I have kids wear a Whistle around their necks, in case they get lost in the crowds! They are really good about holding hands, and sticking together, but sometimes people push through you and you just never know! I also wear a back pack and make them hold on the stings if my hands are full. We have like a little people train. They are all PERFECT ages to do stuff with. I am really enjoying them more and more all the time.


    Here is Amber and her whistle. I cannot believe my “baby” turns 5 in less than 2 weeks!

    Noah taking a drink of a yummy fruit smoothy.


    Looking at this photo I can easily see what he will look like at 17! LOL! Makes me a wee bit sad.

    This is Noah on the Sizzler


    The girls and I can’t handle the fast spinning of this one, so he went alone!


    He has lost 5 teeth-so he has a toothless grin!

    Then the girls on the spinning dragons


    They liked that one.

    The fave was of course the Bouncy House! I got photos, but they aren’t very good.

    So there you have some highlights from our day. We spent some time with our friends that day too, which was nice and fun!

    Now I know summer is close to an end. Funny yesterday was sweltering HOT and HUMID and today and cool and rainy! Go figure. Gotta love New England weather.

    Well that is all for me. Time to recover from a hot summer day.

    Till tomorow……

    Speaking of stickers…..

    Jul 20, 2009 Author: mytime | Filed under: About Me, family stuff

    My son decided that they make excellent, decorative tape, for his art work, in his room!


    This face looks sweet doesn’t it?

    YEAH! Can you say OH! MY! WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The SHOCK! The HORROR!

    Did a tornado of stickers whip though Manchester St while I was asleep?!

    Um, no-just Noah, being what he calls “creative”.

    I have a touch OCD, and it has gotten MUCH better over the years. BUT, my kids bedrooms drive me INSANE!! I spend so much time cleaning and decorating them, to have it all destroyed in an hour. I make them clean up every night before bed, but its never really what I’d call CLEAN. It totally stresses me out, and I KNOW there are MORE important things to life than stressing about the toy bomb that went off in their room’s daily. That being said, that is why I limit myself from looking at them!

    So as I TRY to avoid going and checking too often, after ONE week, this is what I get.


    Now-I didn’t edit ALL the photos but this goes around ALL 4 walls!!! Floor to ceiling.


    When I saw it I didn’t even KNOW what to say!

    Noah said “Doesn’t my room look awesome! I decorated it all by myself!”

    I just stuttered a bit at first, then asked “WHY  did you do that to your walls?”

    He said “Mom, its all my pictures I made, just like you put on the fridge, and all your cards and stuff in your stamp room, this is my room. Can’t I do what I want in my room?

    (I didn’t say it out loud but I thought NO!)

    I asked how long he planned on keeping it like that, and he said “forever”.

    OH! NO!!!

    My honest first thought, when I saw it was when police go into a serial killers homes, and there are TONS of newspaper clipping and stuff ALL over the walls-well this is the 6 year old version! LOL!!!

    Is there such a thing as letting your children have TOO much creative liberty? I mean seriously , where do we draw the line between expressing yourself and um,……. that?

    Then I felt awful for thinking such stuff. I wanted to take down every sticker and picture, and go back to the clean walls. He had a LITTLE point, but I think this was overkill!

    Now me, being into papercrafts myself, I encourage my own children to be creative. I think that I need to set some boundaries though because Noah has decided to save MOST of every page he scribbles colors.

    I bought a binder and told him he can put all his pictures in the binder, and that he can keep 6 pictures up at a time (one for each year of his life! LOL!).

    OYE! I think I will be checking the room situation more often now!

    Now that it is all said and done (as this happened back in May-I just forgot to share it) it is rather AMUSING, but at the time, not so much!

    Now its your turn to share something SHOCKING you or your children did!

    I have one more story-about myself.

    When I was 6, my neighbor got a shiny new black sports car!

    I don’t know WHAT possessed me, but I found a rusty nail on the ground. I then decided I would draw (OK Scratch into the paint) a HUGE whale, with water coming out its spout, with my NAME-Lauren, written on top of the spout!

    I KNEW when I did it, that it was bad, and I had no idea WHY I did it. I also don’t know why I was so insane to scratch the PROOF I did it, by writing my name! I was a very sweet girl and my brother would have gotten blamed for SURE if I hadn’t “signed” my art work!

    Needless to say it was going to cost my mom several hundred dollars (which we didn’t have ANY money) to have the woman’s car re-painted! The woman loved me and I cried a river over it. She felt bad, and decided to NOT make my mom pay for it. If I met her again today I would apologize profusely and thank her for doing that for my poor mom. She was so embarssed and upset I would do that. I can totally understand why.

    I don’t think I ever did anything remotely close to that horrible again!

    Now its your turn!

    My Etsy

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    Owner/Designer of My Time Made Easy* My Timeless Templates © by Lauren Meader for Papertrey Ink* SCS Dirty Dozen-past* A Chemistry With Paper-past* All That Scraps-Senior Designer - past* Green Grass Stamps-past* Gina K -Stamps for a Cause guest designer* Lizzie Anne Designs - past* My Favorite Things-Senior Designer -past* Our Daily Bread Guest Designer-past* Papertrey Ink - past* Pink Cat Studio- past* Reporter for Craft Critque-past* Say it with Letter Guest Designer* Stampavie -past* Storage Ink & More Guest Designer* Team Member for Scor-Pal*Su Ink & More-Past* Unity Stamps-past* Smile Box Avaitor-past*Numerous guest designer positions

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