Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ornament Love
December Daily Day 17

I love the stories that go along with ornaments on a tree. If you walk into to any house with a tree I am sure they would have plenty a story to share. There's usually some funny stories, simple stories but the best for me, are the sentimental stories. I don't get a chance often enough to listen to the stories that go with each ornament on a tree but I always think of my own this time of year. I think it would make a great scrapbook all in its self to tell the story of each ornament. It won't be forever that you will remember these stories!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December Daily Day 16

Today we met Gracie's Girl Scout troop for a very fun activity! Normally her troop meets in the school and does your normal Girl Scout activities of crafts, snack, community projects and so on and so forth. This was a great field trip for the girls to just play. At Flabbergast they have blow up toys to play and jump on, a huge McDonald's-esce playground, a game area and a snack bar.It was not only fun for Gracie but for Q as well! While Gracie spent time with the girls that she deeply misses from her old school, Q and I played games in the game section. Once we had a bite to eat Q went around with Gracie and her friends for a bit. It was so sweet to see Gracie in action as a big sister taking him in and out of places just showing such great care for her little brother. While I am sure she would have rather just played amongst the girls, she did not complain a bit about having him tag a long. She is one super big sister!
Merry Christmas "Tu-Tu" you
December Daily Day 15

Today Gracie had her Christmas celebration at dance class. Her teacher told all the children that they could wear holiday gear to class instead of their normal Black leotard with pink tights uniform. I decided that Gracie needed a red tu-tu. So, I whipped her up a nice little red tu-tu, the no sew way, while watching TV the night before. It was so easy to make and actually quit a bit of fun. I think that Gracie now needs a tu-tu in every color for every Holiday occasion! :) After class Gracie reported that it was the most fun she had ever had in dance class! They danced around to holiday music, shared what their families were up to for the holiday break and played many games that are not always played in every weeks class.
Gingerbread Train
December Daily Day 14

Today the kids and I made our Gingerbread train. Last year we made a house. Well, shall I say Gracie and i made a house while Q shoved as much candy as possible into his mouth. This year was really no different. He honestly had pretty much the same agenda with a few additions to the train while chewing. I think this Gingerbread making process may just become a tradition for us. We purchased the kit at Target and just put it all together. It was a fun a pretty simple task. While I felt a little sticky for the rest of the night it was well worth the trouble. Plus it will make for a great centerpiece for the rest of the month.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prep And Landing

December Daily Day 13
OK, so this short little film aired earlier this week and was of course a big deal in our house because it is Disney. I thought it was very cute and a great holiday tradition for many years to come. What I wasn't prepared for was my kids to be obsessed with watching it over and over again in the same year. It's been officially released for a mear 5 days and we have already watched it about 10 times.

We have adopted some of the phrases from the movie as some of our own now. We sat "That's so tinsel!!!!" when something is really cool. We say "Oh frost bite!" when things just aren't going our way. Then of course the whole family erupts in laughter when anyone says either of those phrases. It is especially cute coming out of the mouths of my two little blond haired blue eyed little Christmas elves.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Whole lot of stuff goin' on!
December Daily Day 12

Wow! It's a busy day. We started our day out with some household construction. Q was so thrilled that he could use the hammer and "do his work" It sure does feel nice to have a door! Who would have thought something as simple as a door could make a woman so happy.

While Q was napping Gracie was outside playing in the snow. I would pop out to check on her and her friend here and there. At one point I saw them molding snow into add shapes. I thought nothing of it and just went about my business. The next time I went out I found them holding these oddly molded pieces. I finally decided to ask what on earth they were. Snow babies! How clever of them to pretend these pieces of snow were little babies. It gave me a good laugh and a great reason to go grab my camera!

Int he evening Gracie had a performance with Milwaukee Childrens Choir singing Christmas carols while people waited in line to take a ride on the Jingle Bus ( For those of you who are unaware: The Jingle Bus is a guided tour through downtown Milwaukee stopping at all the holiday light displays) We opted out of that portion of the event and decided to have our own version of the Jingle Bus...the Jingle Cadillac (AKA the Jingle Cadi) We decided to just drive though on our own. We got out at cathedral Square and walk through the display they had there. It was a good time and Gracie really seemed to enjoy it!

After all that was done I headed to the Scrapbook Store for our annual Christmas Party. I think I had tried to get way to much done in one day and ended up leaving within an hour of getting there because I just wasn't feeling well. I guess I have learned the hard way to not plan to much in one day. I of course went home and fell right asleep.
The Princess and The Frog
December Daily Day 11

Tonight (opening night) we went to go see the newest Disney animated film. This is the first time in a long time that Pixar has not been attached to the film. So that means that this animation was hand drawn and not computer generated. Hand drawn animation has been somewhat of a lost art these days. I was glad to see that Disney has brought it back to the forefront showcasing these amazing artists! I have to say the entire family was very impressed! We really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone who has children, or really anyone who likes a cheesy love story complete with song and dance! I anticipate us adding this movie to our collection as soon as it comes out on DVD and watching it over and over again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Latest LayoutWe inturupt your regularly scheduled December Daily to show you my latest layout. I used nail polish to color the chipboard letters and stars. Thanks for looking
December Daily Day 10

Gracie and I went to a nail salon tonight to get our nails done. I have had a gift certificate forever and finally got a chance to get them done. I thought that it would be a nice Mom and Daughter thing to do. I have never taken Gracie to do this before and I rarely get my own done so this was a special treat for both of us. At first Gracie was very nervous about getting them done but after a few minutes she was really enjoying it. She got them painted green with yellow and orange flowers on them. It was a really fun time for the both of us. We even talked about doing it again right before our vacation to Disney because we still have a nice chunk left on the gift certificate!
Snow Day
December Daily Day 9Well, we all thought that today was going to be a snow day but the "Snow-nami" didn't hit us as hard as it was supposed to. So, instead of a Snow day we had a little after school snow play. The kids loved it. Even tough I'm not a fan of snow I do love a good picture of kids in the snow. The lighting always seems to be perfect. So, thanks kids for cooperating with Mommy taking tons of pictures. You guys are troopers.
Counting Down
December Daily Day 8

We LOVE a good count down in this house. We count down to all types of things, Holidays, Vacations, School Events or a visit from a family member. The kids get such joy out of the anticipation of the event! There fore I get hugely excited just watching them light up! Through the years I have found that sometimes the anticipation of the event was my favorite part of the whole process. We try to come up with fun ways to count down each event that comes along. For Christmas we have a countdown calender. This year we got a new one with little doors that open for each day. (Our old one nearly broke in half so this year I opted for a very study wood version) I put a small candy treat, a sticker and a quarter for their piggy bank in each door. Then after they pull out their goodies they count the rest of the days and inform me as to how many left until Christmas. This all happens during the morning hours of the day while I sip my coffee. It sure is a great way to start the day. The smile that comes across there face when I pull out the "countdown house" will be forever imprinted on my heart.

Another thing we are currently counting down is our annual trip to Walt Disney World with the whole family. As of this day it is 31 days until departure! This will be our 8th trip that we have taken with the family and we still look forward to it just as much as the first year we went. Its a time when our entire family relaxes and really enjoys each others company. Within the next few weeks will begin to talk of our trip almost daily remembering past trips and what we would like to do different this year. I will also be heading to storage to get our luggage to begin the packing process. I am sure that there are many moms that can attest to the fact that packing for the family is a lot of work! For me, it is quit the process and very time consuming but it's happy work and I know that the outcome is a Disney vacation! Thanks to my Mom and Dad who give us all this wonderful trip every year as part of our Christmas gift. They are such awesome people that really know how to have a great time and enjoy taking us all along for the ride. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Will This Day Ever End?
December Daily Day 7

OK, so this about to be the most negative December Daily post ever. But, I guess with the good comes the bad and in this case the ugly. This was one of those days were you constantly feel like you would just like to crawl back in bed. I think I felt like that the moment my feet hit the floor. Q was not a fan of doing anything this morning and Gracie was just not herself. A lot of weird things happened today, like Q woke up about 10 times between midnight and the sound of the alarm for reasons that I still don't understand. My Mom dropped an entire gallon of milk on the kitchen floor (Poor Nana) The kids at my school today were having very Middle School like problems in abundance today. The kicker of the day was when Q walked down the hallway dragging a bag of chips and said "When will this day end?" I guess he was having the same kind of day I was. All in all that statement made us all laugh and realize that no matter how tough the day we are still a very blessed family with tons of love to go around :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Milwaukee Children's Choir Concert
Festival of Winter Spirit
December Daily Day 6
Today Gracie had a Concert with the Milwaukee Childrens Choir. I was selected to be a photographer for the concert so I was able to snap pictures through the whole process. I was even able to get backstage to capture the kids playing musical games and enjoying their time together. My favorite moment I captured was the line of Black dress shoes all ready to go on stage.

We all really enjoyed the concert and look forward to many more. After the concert we all headed home to enjoy a nice night in enjoying each others company. Both kids went to bed pretty easily so I think that means their weekend was a lot of fun.
Shopping December Daily Day 5

Today the kids headed off to a holiday party with their Dad. What a great opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done! In the morning I went shopping with my Mom and in the evening I went shopping with Doug at Bayshore Mall. What a beautiful place to shop! It was so beautiful to walk around and see all the Christmas lights, hear the Christmas music and sip our warm coffee. It was a shopping trip I will never forget. It was cold, but it didn't matter because we had such a good time shopping for the people we care about most.

Today is also Uncle Walt's (Walt Disney) birthday! Before the kids were off to their day of Holiday parties with Dad we talked about our favorite Disney memories. Gracie's favorite memory was getting all princessed up at the Bibidi Bobiti Boutique. My Mom's favorite memory was seeing wishes for the first time. Mine was seeing each of my children with a character for the first time.

Gracie's first interaction with a character was at 18 months old. I never thought she was going to like them because she is terrified of Santa! To my surprise she loved them. She would hug them and touch their noses. Then as soon as we would walk away she would have plenty to say about how she liked them. She took a particular liking to the princesses. She would star into their eyes they talked softly to her. I thought it was so cute how all the royal characters address all the little girls princess and the little boys prince. That first year she also really liked Piglet. He's a big pink fluffy pig, whats not to love?

Q's first interaction with a character was at 11 months old. He really wasn't a big fan of Santa either and since Gracie showed me you can like characters and not Santa, I wasn't really sure what to expect with him. He didn't warm up right away. He spent a little time with a puzzled look and no smiles. He would look at them and maybe grab there nose. After a few days of characters he really started to like them! He gave Mickey a kiss on the nose and just smiled a ton for Tigger! When tigger walked away he even reached toward his direction in hopes he would come back. Tigger did come back around later and Q clapped for him. I thought for sure that would be his favorite character, but it has turned out to be Pluto.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

December Daily Day 4

This entry has very little to do with Christmas but so much to do with the life of my 7 year old. I have been collecting little notes, reports and stories from Gracie for long time. Just recently I read one and thought I really need to blog about this! I love her spelling, her punctuation and her word usage. It makes even the gloomiest of days seem so much brighter. How can you not smile when you see that she spells make, "mack" or company, "compnee" Its so fun to walk in her room and find these little notes.

I also love when she writes me little letters. She spends one weekend a month with her Dad and always comes home with a handful (or sometimes a bag full) of letters and pictures. I miss her and her brother terribly when they are gone and its good to see they are thinking about me too.

I hope reading these (and decoding) makes you smile as much as they do for me. :)

Friday, December 04, 2009

"It Sticked"
December Daily Day 3

At about noon a child came into my office and said "Ms. Ball it's snowing!!!!" My response was "Oh Yeah my kids will be so excited!" Before working in a Middle School office I had been out of touch with what this age group was like. I had no idea that they would be just as ecited about the snow as my 7 year old is. After that first child I had many more come through the office witht eh same proclomation.

When I picked up Q from his babysitter I was told that he really enjoyed watching the snow fall today with his new friends. I explained all the way ho that the snow needs to "stick" to the ground to really play with it. Not sure he really gets this concept but I tried!

When Gracie got off the bus from school she of course said "MOM ITS SNOWING!!!!!" She did a little dance that I will now call the Snow Dance. I'm hoping to see this again so that I can capture it on camera.

We went about our regular activiteis of the night and when I put both kids to bed they mentioned the snow again. Q said "I'm so sited (excited) for the snow Mommy!" Gracie said "I hope there's more snow in the morning!"

Fast forward to this morning (The 4th) and Quintins reaction to the snow this morning was "It Sticked!" Gracie responded with a Giggle "Yes, Q it sticked." So, I guess he did understand the "sticking" concept after all.

Here is the begining and the end of the snow fall. Not much snow but enough to brighten the day of two very special little people!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

December Daily December 2nd

Gracie had a Milwaukee Children's Choir rehearsal tonight. We were a bit early for the practice so we decided to look around the neighborhood for Christmas lights. I was so surprised to see so many houses with them up already! Gracie's favorites are the colored lights and Q just loves any of those large blow up items.
Quintin set up the village with my Mom. He was so sweet when he was deciding who went where. He kept saying "You...You can go here" with every little village person he picked up.
While Q was setting that up Gracie and I thought it was a perfect time to finish hanging ornaments on the tree. With every ornament Gracie had a comment to add. This was one of her favorites. She pulled it out and said "Oh Mommy, remember this one, I love this one!!!!!" When you pull the string you can make his legs move. With every pull of the string a big smile would come across her face. I guess it still is the little things that make this 7 year old a happy little lady. :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!

December Daily: I have decided to do the December Daily again where I will blog about every day in December as well as compile a scrapbook for my children to read in the years to come. At first I thought I would never do it again, but it was so loved by my children that I had to repeat this fun activity. How cool will this be in years to come to look back year after year what we did in December. So here it goes......

December 1st-The Sandbox.

Today was my second day on the job as a Middle School Secretary. While I am only there part time it is still a little bit of an adjustment for Q. So, I let him know that we would do something cool together when my day as secretary was done. The first thing he said when we got in the van to head home was "Yeah I get to do sum-ping wis Mama" What did he want to do? in the sandbox! I know what your thinking, the sandbox in December? It was in the lower 50's today which is uncharacteristic for Wisconsin so it allowed us a little spring time fun in the beginning of what is usually a clod and blustery time.We enjoyed our 20 minutes in the sand and then headed into the house for some hot cocoa. (What a contrast to my entry exactly one year ago! It was our first snow fall that year and it was a good one. We had enough snow to play in it. So, in one year we went from playing with white fluffy snow to playing with heavy white sand)

Kids Update: They are doing much better after close to 2 weeks of the "piggy". I learned a lot about the Wii, Nintendo DS, various board games, Webkins and many books. I guess you could say we made the best of our time stuck in the house.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not a whole lot of this....

Unfortunately I have not been doing a whole lot of scrapping lately. Both kids have come down with the piggy virus (AKA: H1N1 or Swine Flu) so most of my time is spent cuddling, getting drinks, making soup and administering medicine. Even though they are sick, they are still making me laugh, smile and loving being their mother. Plus it's one of the few times Q actually likes to cuddle for more then a 3 minutes at a crack!

I hope that they get well soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Victoria BeckhamThis was my final layout for my week as featured Artista on the Bella Blvd. blog. It was fun to put all my projects together. Thank you to Stephanie and Bella Blvd. for giving me this awesome opportunity.

On another note this was such a fun layout to make. I really should scrapbook my "funny" side more often. I hope you like it.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Another layout for the Bella Blog. I think this is my favorite of the three. It really isnt about how the end result looked, but because I really enjoyed the process of getting to that end result! Using a quote on the layout was my challenge. I of course like the layout but sometimes its not about the end result but its how you get there that counts the most. So, go forth my scrapbooking friends and enjoy the moments that are found in the process. (Oh I'm philisophical today!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What a good week!

This week I am the featured Artista over at the Bella Blvd. Blog
I couldn't be more excited to share all my projects with everyone there and here this week!!! I think they have easily become some of my favorite pages. Thanks to everyone who has shared love for my work both on the Bella Blog and on my personal blog. It really makes my day!!!

So the following layout is the first of the three that Bella will feature this week. I also shared a little about myself through a game of "You Know Your A Scrapbooker When..." It was really fun to come up with all those ideas and myself and my family got a really good laugh when i was compiling the list.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Can I have this dance?

If I was a twitter person i so would twitter this classic Gracie statement....

"Mom when I get married I want this to be my wedding song!" (Keep in mind she is 7) Don't you think her future husband will love this!!!!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

My newest page...I made this for Club 1 2 3 that I teach at my local scrapbook store. I really love how it turned out. I had been wanting to scrapbook these photos for a long time of Gracie looking at the Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium. The pictures are so awesome that I needed a way to scrapbook them that would keep them the focus. I think I finally found a way...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Door County

So, I've been living in Wisconsin now for about 15 years and this was my first trip up to Door county. I've always heard such lovely things about it in every season. Finally this past weekend took me for my first trip. Unfortunately when we got up there this is what it looked like :( Raining and foggy. It stayed that way until..... ...of course the day we left!!! Despite the weather we had a really nice time. I scrapbooked most of the time and he did some cooking as well as we sat out on our poarch drinking wine and watching the fog. LOL

Total side note.....Has anyone ever seen a pumpkin like this? I took pictures of it on our way around town because I had never seen anything like this lumpy bumpy pumpkin before.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Disney Magic

These are the latest pages for the Disney Magic class that I teach at my local scrapbook store. I really enjoyed making these pages. It makes me want to be in Disney right this very moment. In fact I will be leaving for my next Disney trip in 80 days!!!! (Click on the image fro a larger view)

Disney Magic

These are the latest pages for the Disney Magic class that I teach at my local scrapbook store. I really enjoyed making these pag