Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kaitlin's 1st Pictures

Just home from another family Christmas get together...a fun day, for sure! Kaitlin got to see and play with all 5 of her cousins, so that was a lot of fun for her.

Here are some pictures that Kaitlin took completely on her own while I was photographing the chapel the other day on our photo outing.

This is the front of one of the building at the college where I work...that's Bishop Martin Marty waving at you.

She seems to have really like the nativity scene in front of the building. Here's baby Jesus...

Mary & Joseph...

Mary and Baby Jesus...

one of the three kings...

and a camel.

So, what do you think? Not bad for a Fischer Price camera and a 5-year-old, I'd say.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

A foggy, wintry morning in South Dakota

Justin called me Thursday morning to ask if I had yet looked outside as it was quite foggy and everything was completely covered in white. He thought that perhaps I might want to go out and take some pictures...which Kaitlin and I promptly did.

This was taken at Riverside Park and is of the Lewis & Clark Bridge crossing over into Nebraska which is soon to be replaced by a new bridge they are constructing just a few blocks to the west.

Same spot...looking the other direction.

This picture was taken down by Lake Yankton.

This picture was taken to the west overlooking Lewis & Clark Lake from a lookout spot on the dam.

I took some pictures of the Bishop Marty Chapel while we were out as well and will share those soon. Kaitlin also tested her new camera for the first time, too, and will be sharing her artistry also!
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Friday, December 28, 2007

A husband redeemed...a little...

I had not one present to open from my husband on Christmas Eve...OR Christmas Day...needless to say, he got a little ribbing on that one.

However, a large box arrived yesterday from Superstore...what was this? I hadn't ordered anything.

But my hubby had...everything that was in stock on my wish list that I sent him over a month ago and thought that he had ignored. Well, clearly, he did until the last minute since the package didn't arrive until AFTER Christmas, but when I opened it up and found these lovely items from Making Memories...

A 3-ring scrapbook album from the Noteworthy collection...

(Side note and question for readers: In my search for the 'perfect' album, I have used about every brand of post-bound...well, maybe not, but it seems that way...and I still haven't found 'the one'. I've seen a lot of the professional scrappers using 3-rings, so I thought I would give them a whirl. Have you used a 3-ring for your layouts? If so, what do you like or dislike about them? What do you consider to be the perfect album?)

a 10x10 blank calendar...

a one lonely little sheet of paper from the BEAUTIFUL new Noteworthy collection (unfortunately, the others were out of stock);

these gorgeous rub ons from BasicGrey;

these new items which are part of Karen Russell's continuing Narratives line;

this darling little 6x6 Bo Bunny chipboard binder;

and these darling and very colorful Chip Chatter letters...

I just had to forgive his tardiness!!

In other news:

Kaitlin was not feeling well today...just a stomach ache, it seems. So, she'd spent most of the morning on the couch which was covered with a towel and a bucket near her on the floor.

Around lunch time was gave her a nice warm bath and she seemed to perk up quick a bit, so after an hour or two of increased perkiness and less clinginess, I thought it was safe to venture out to make a much-needed drive through deposit at the bank.

As we were waiting for the clerk to send back the receipts (is it just me or does it seem like it takes them an insanely long amount of time to process a deposit??), Kaitlin suddenly proclaimed that her stomach was "hurting much worse again" and proceeded to throw up all over herself and the back seat of the car.

Not so safe after all, it seems.

The first thing she said with this pathetic little look on her face was, "I'm so sorry for puking all over your car, Mommy."

"It's okay, honey..."

I felt so bad for her...there wasn't much I could do really. I just told her to sit as still as she could and we would go straight back home and back into the tub...

Which we did and she really does seems to be better now. Whatever it was, I guess she got it out of her just too bad (and too typical) that it had to happen during the 15-minute period of the day in which she didn't have access to a bucket!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

What a whirlwind of days...

I apologize in advance for the quality of some of these pictures (have I mentioned that I greatly dislike indoor photography?), but these pictures are about the memories...not the quality.

Here is my niece, Emily, opening her present from me. It was scrapbook paper and rub ons from Fancy Pants...she's officially a scrapbooker!

A fun pic of Kaitlin waiting her turn to open a present on Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa Pechous' house.

The evidence of Santa's visit...guess Rudolph enjoyed a little bit of Santa's milk, too!

Santa came through and brought Kaitlin her much anticipated Baby Alive.

The squirrels and Grandma & Grandpa Paulson's are very well fed.

A few dresses for our princess...

Uh oh...I think we've got another shutterbug on our hands!

Aunt Katie gave Kaitlin a collection of the Disney princess stories...the Gospel according to Disney...and she loved it! She literally sat there and paged through the entire book before opening another present!

And...we certainly got our white Christmas. It started mid-morning and didn't stop snowing all day - about 4-5 inches - which made for a long, slow drive home, but it was beautiful.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

~ Jill Marie
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our Christmas Princess...

Hopefully Grandma Ruth will be too busy to check my blog this morning before she opens her framed picture of our little Christmas princess!

And my favorite this year...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope that you and your family have a blessed day!
Our Christmas Princess...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Quotes for Christmas...

Several serious...

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
~Norman Vincent Peale

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
~Dr. Seuss

and a couple just for fun...

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. ~Erma Bombeck, I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.
~Dave Barry
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Instant Christmas Journaling

Here's a couple little meme's I've come accross lately that were fun to do and would also serve as great 'instant' journaling for Christmas themed scrapbook layouts or minibooks. You could take the quizzes yourself and/or use the answers of other friends and family members, too!

This one is from this week's meme prompt from Tuesday Twosome:

Shopped early for presents or are still procrastinating: Shopped early
“Bah Humbug” or “Jingle Bells…”: "Jingle Bells..."
Buy presents because you enjoy giving or because you feel obligated: Buy presents because I enjoy giving
Enjoy all the holiday cheer or “Enough already. Give me my present.”: Enjoy all the holiday cheer
Open presents on Christmas Eve or wait until Christmas morning: Open presents on Christmas Eve at my parents and on Christmas morning at my husband's parents...the best of both worlds!

This one was an email meme I received from a good friend of mine (thanks, Rhnissa!):

Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mainly wrapping paper
Real tree or Artificial? Artificial - real are too messy
When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving
When do you take the tree down? Usually a couple weeks after Christmas…
Do you like egg nog? Not really - never been a fan – I like Tom & Jerry’s MUCH better
Favorite gift received as a child? I can't remember a 'favorite', but do remember one I was quite surprised to receive - George Michael's 'Faith' tape...I wanted it, but couldn't believe my mom actually bought it for me considering that there was a song called "I Want Your Sex" on there! I was only 11 when that tape came out!
Do you have a nativity scene? Yes…but it is a VERY simple one…
Hardest person to buy for? My older brother…
Easiest person to buy for? Kaitlin - she wants everything, so she'll be happy no matter what she gets!
Mail or email Christmas cards? MAIL!
Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Belts for my car from my husband last year…which he still hasn’t put on!
Favorite Christmas Movie? Polar Express
Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No
Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything!!
Clear lights or colored on the tree? clear
Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells
Travel at Christmas or stay home? A little travel…Tabor on Christmas eve…Springfield on Christmas morning.
Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Not a chance!
Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve at my parents; Christmas Day at Justin’s parents after we open Kaitlin’s presents from Santa at home
Most annoying thing about this time of year? People being rude and crabby - its supposed to be about family and fun.
Favorite ornament theme or color? Clear lights, burgundy, cream, glass ornaments!!
Favorite for Christmas dinner? All of it!
What do you want for Christmas this year? To spend time with family…and scrapbooking stuff!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

It's official...

Kaitlin is now our little actress!!

The list was scheduled to be up today and I couldn't wait to go check it out! I went right after work to see if she was on the list...and so I could prepare myself for her if she wasn't on it. I don't know why I wanted her to be chosen so badly, but I sure did.

There were about 70 children cast for this production of Beauty and the Beast and at first I didn't see her heart sank...but then there it was!! She was cast as a 'Village Child'. No, surely not a huge part, but not a bad start for a child who's never auditioned for anything before and was one of the youngest to do so.

I went to pick her up from school and took her back to the theatre and check out the list. I didn't tell her I already knew she had been cast and made her search for her name.

She was beaming when she found it! How exciting! There is a meeting scheduled for next week to find out more details.

She had another exciting occurrence the other evening.

I had to do a day trip for work on Wednesday and as I was waiting in the college car for Justin and Kaitlin to come pick me up I was listening to the local radio station. Santa was at the radio station and he was taking calls from children.

So, as soon as they pulled up, I dialed the number and Kaitlin got to talk to Santa and could hear herself on the radio. She requested the Baby Alive (again!) and was pretty excited.

Gotta love the holidays and all the magic it holds for children!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas...

like you've never seen it before courtesy of Straight No Chaser!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Little Actress??

Kaitlin did decide to audition for Beauty & the Beast after all on Sunday night. Actually, she was quite excited about it once she talked to her teacher (of course, mom encouraging her wasn't good enough...proof of the power of a great teacher...thanks, Mrs. Moser) and got over her initial hesitation.

So, we went. I filled out the form. We waited. Finally, the director was ready to go and called all the children 10 and under up to the stage. As usual, Kaitlin was the smallest child and, as usual, it didn't seem to phase her one bit.

First, they did some stretching and wiggling in a circle (to get their dramatic juices flowing, I suppose).

Then they all sat in a row and waited for their name to be called. For the 10 and under children, all they were required to do was sing a song...any song they wanted. Kaitlin had decided early on that she wanted to sing Father Abraham which was the song she had performed with her preschool class at their graduation back in May.

She waited very patiently...

and waited some more... Many of the children did a wonderful job! Beautiful little voices sang Jingle Bells, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Go Tell it on a Mountain. However, there were many that were not so confident. She watched as children much older than her took their turn and froze right there on stage...she watched as other children were too scared to stand up at center stage by themselves and had to have a friend (or sibling) go with them (two girls wouldn't even let go of each others hands)...she watched as some sang, but no one in the audience would have known because no one beyond the third row could hear them...she watched as children sang a whole five words and then totally forgot their song.

The whole time, I was getting more and more anxious as to what Kaitlin would do when her name was called...

and then it was...and she was AWESOME! Of course, I'm not at all biased, but I was just so proud of her. She stood right up, marched to center stage and started singing loud and clear! I was over half way back in the theatre and had no trouble hearing her. They did cut her off after about the fourth verse, but I wasn't surprised by that...the song does go on forever...which you will see if you go back and watch the video in the post from her graduation.

And the audience cheered...I think she probably got the second loudest round of applause for her whole age group! I could just see the little smile on her face as she went back to her place!

Now, none of these younger kids will get big parts...most will just be townspeople and part of the chorus and stuff, but still, it's a big deal for a 5-year-old whose never auditioned for a play before.

As we were leaving the theatre, she said, "Mom, I will be sad if I don't get picked for the play."

And now we have to wait...the names are to be posted on the theatre door by Friday. Please keep your fingers crossed or say a prayer or whatever you'd like to do for her. We'd both greatly appreciate it...

Little Actress??SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, December 17, 2007

REVIEW: Flip, Spin, & Play by Memory Makers Books

Flip Spin & Play: Creating Interactive Scrapbook Pages by Memory Makers certainly isn't your average idea book. It includes many ideas for making each and every layout an interactive adventure.

The book is divided into 4 chapters:

1) Touchable Textures
2) To Slide or Not to Slide
3) The Skinny on Spinning & Flipping
4) A Passion for Pop-ups
There are approximately 75 layouts and about 15 other projects including mini books and more. The book includes work from 16 contributing artists including:

*Jodi Amidei
*Vicki Boutin
*Karen Burniston
*Alecia Grimm
*Greta Hammond
*Linda Harrison
*Becky Heisler
*Nic Howard
*Caroline Ikeji
*Jen Lowe
*Kelli Noto
*Suzy Plantamura
*Torrey Scott
*Samantha Walker
*Courtney Walsh
*Amanda Williams
I was certainly excited to see work by some of my favorite scrapbooking artists like Greta Hammond, Linda Harrison and Nic Howard. There was also some wonderfully inspiring layouts from artists I had not yet heard of.

I'd have to say that the first chapter, Touchable Textures, was my least favorite in the book. Although I think that including texture on layouts is important, it seemed like some of the example layouts were just piling on the products for products sake...not a technique I am fond of.

The second chapter, To Slide or Not to Slide, is the one I could most relate to as I often include journaling and/or extra photos on hidden elements - pull-out tags, sliding elements, accordion books, etc. Honestly, though, I can't say that I found anything that I haven't used before.

The last two chapters did contain several interesting techniques that I haven't seen before and some that I could see myself giving a whirl in future projects. There were several different variations of peek-a-boo spinning elements and a 'magic' photo technique in which a B&W turns colored (or vice versa) that I found very intriguing.

Many of the techniques in the final pop-up chapter are certainly beyond anything I've tried and honestly, are probably techniques that would be a little too time consuming considering the limited amount of time I have to devote to my scrapbooking (I do work full-time, after all!). At the same time, it might be the ticket for someone who has the time and is looking for a new way to 'stretch' their scrapbooking skills.

Overall, I did glean some inspiration from this book, but there have certainly been many other idea books I've perused lately that far outshine this one.


I am always curious and open to hearing the opinions of others. If you own or have read this book, please feel free to share your opinion of it in the comments below.

Visit the Flip Spin & Play page on to read other reviewers opinions and find out more about the book. You can also read more of my reviews or visit my aStore for other recommendations.

Upcoming Review:
Life Artist by Ali Edwards
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Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Sick Girl...and a Layout!

I had to leave work early yesterday and pick Kaitlin up from school...she was running a fever - about 101 degrees. Unfortunately, she still has it today...she's been pretty non-ambitious - totally not herself. I gave her a nice warm bath this morning to sooth some of her aches and pains and it helped a bit.

When she was laying down in the bathtub, she said, "Mom, this nice warm water is helping my polka dots go away."

"Those are called goosebumps, honey."

"Oh...I'm gonna call them polka dots."

This coming from a girl who is NEVER cold...keeping socks and bed covers on her is a challenge - even in winter! So, when she's chilly, you know she's not feeling well.

Thought I'd also share a layout today...a recent favorite.

Remember this photo from this year's Czech Days celebration? Well, I finally got it scrapped!

LAYOUT TITLE: Czech Princess

Patterned Paper – Cosmo Cricket, Creative Imaginations
Ribbon – Offray
Buttons – Oriental Trading Company
Pearl - Unknown
Ink – Colorbox
Font – Porcelain, Garamond

Oh, how you love to dance, little girl!

This year, while waiting to find out the results of the Czech Days Kiddie Parade, they played all kinds of fun songs for the children (and a few brave adults) to boogie down to on the park lawn…the Hokey Pokey, the Bunny Hop, the Macarena.

I caught you in the act and this has to be one of my favorite shots of you of all time…your happy expression, the costume, your arms at your side and your little foot up in dance. I hope you never stop dancing, little one!

Comments & Techniques:
The photo was edited in Photoshop to have a ‘watercolor’ look using instructions from Jessica Sprague's Computer Tricks for Scrapbookers. The curved patterned paper adds a sense of movement to the layout and mimics the idea of dancing in the photo. The edge of the layout is actually the scallop-edged paper (the black is the background on which I took the photo).

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Can You Pass 8th Grade Science?

What can I's been a long time since 8th grade science. Give me an English test!!

Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Little Link Love

Just a few things I've found fun, helpful and/or inspiring lately:

*Equation Bookshelf - A shelf with something to say!

*Free Rice - Test your vocabulary skills...feed the's a win-win!

*Handipoints - Makes getting children to do their chores a little easier...and more rewarding for them.

*goodreads - Keep track of what you've read and get great book recommendations.

*be hospitable - Hospitality is not completely's proof!

A Little Link LoveSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend