Stinkin' Badges

I've been working hard on Elle's Adventure Book this last week.  Actually, I've been working on the badges.
They are all printed and cut, but I have half to put on the cardboard.

Clue and "Planning Badge"

 ALL the clue envelopes and some of the badges.

 Some of the badges (from the left: Planning Badge, Packing Badge, Airplane Badge, Angel Badge, Pillow Badge, & Cowboy Badge).

You'll have to wait for Christmas for more. :)


Elle's "My Adventure Book"

So I couldn't resist and I did more work on Elle's adventure book tonight.  The pages were all dry so I had to.

I decorated the chipboard for the front and back cover then I bound the book.  To bind the book I took some ribbon , punched two holes in each page and cover, then threaded the ribbon through the holes like this...

This is the back cover.  I added some vintage stamps too it after I took the picture too.

This is the front cover except it should be horizontal.  For some reason its not loading correctly.

And the front decorated.

And the inside-again, it should be horizontal.

And the inside front cover.

Anyway as you can probably tell, I'm having a blast with this project.  I did make one of the "clues" tonight.  Since Elle is getting the book and first clue for Christmas I want to make sure it'll all work before I give her the start of it.  Otherwise, all that work for nothing.  It's coming along though. 


Fun Planning

Last year for my birthday and Elle's birthday we, just us girls, took a trip out to Colorado.  I was hoping we would be able to again but wasn't sure.  Yesterday, we booked our tickets (thanks Mom & Dad).  YES!

We had so much fun last year and Elle is another year older which means even more fun.  I took it upon myself to do what I do and plan the bergeebers out of this trip. :)

So...for Christmas, Kyle and I will be giving Elle her very own "My Adventure Book" for her trip to Colorado.  Yes, like the one in "Up" the movie.  Love that movie.  Interestingly enough, our trip last year to Colorado was the first time we had seen that movie.  Anyway, I am making this book.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I'm making the book.  I bought two pieces of chipboard for the front and back cover that I will be decorating.  Then I took some regular printer paper and aged it.  Have you ever aged paper before?  I thought it was fun.

You fill a pan with some water then throw in some coffee grounds.

Delicious right? :)

Then you put the paper in the muck. 

It smells so good.

Let them sit and soak in the coffee goodness.  Pull them out and dry them.  They can either air dry or you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.  IF you use a hair dryer be aware that coffee grounds will cover the majority of your work area and beyond. 

I used the hair dryer on some and let others air dry.  
Both were good it just depends on how much time you have.

Then you have you're excellent aged paper.

Cool huh?!

Anyway, that is how I made my aged paper that will be used for the pages of Elle's "My Adventure Book" and for the "clues."

Yep, there's more.  After she gets her adventure book at Christmas, there was suddenly appear a package and envelope marked #1.  What envelope #1 and the other 29 envelopes contain you'll have to wait until she gets them to find out. :)

This was my fun for tonight, outside of planning what each envelope would be and how she would get it and all that jazz.  Man it was fun.


This 'n That

Well it has been WEEKS with nothing, and what have we done you ask?  Well...

Gabe turned 2.  The party was great.  See Big Baby Boy for the tiny blog on his birthday.  It was a fun time and we'll probably make it yearly.  It's a great place for families and everyone was SO nice.

A friend of mine and I went to see a "dance" show the following Friday (11/5).  I say "dance" because it was less dance and more her and I laughing our bottoms off at what was being attempted.  I felt horrible but the interpretations were not getting across.  So sad.  Hey, we had a good time.

That Saturday, the kids had dance, of course.  Then, I got to spend some time with my girls.  I lurv my girls.  They rock.  And when I say, "they rock" I mean, they ROCK!  Two of our gals are preggo and expecting pretty much NOW.  They are both having their second girls so they are good on things they need but we can't pass up an opportunity for a par-tay.  So...we took them for lunch and pedicures.  Yeah, it pretty much rocked.  We do what we do: laughed, ate, laughed, had people look at us weird, laughed.  Have I mentioned I love my girls?! :)

Sunday was daylight savings but we didn't get to sleep in.  Boo hoo.  It's okay, we went to a prophetic training meeting at Bethany.  WAY better.  Then we went to the service then did some grocery shopping.  We had a showing at 1:30 so we had to stall.  We had Bethany "The Praying Church" small group at our house that night as well.  Good group of people.

Last week flew by.  Friday I was finally able to get my hair trimmed.  Feels so good.  Then we went to my brothers and played Kinect.  Now if you haven't heard of this I seriously suggest you check it out.  Mass hilarity.  It was great.  Kyle and I were hobbling when we were leaving we were so sore.  Now THAT'S how a video game should be.

Saturday we had dance for the kids again, of course, and SNOW!
That morning Elle's song was, "It's going to be a good day because there is snow!"  Ah to be 3 1/2.  After dance I was suppose to bring the kids down to Kyle's parents' house but the snow was so horrid I wasn't sure I'd make it down there and back home with enough time to get ready for the wedding we were suppose to be at.  Some very kind and generous friends offered to take the kids down since they live in Burnsville and "it only makes sense" or something along those lines.  So I was able to go home, get ready, and prep Kyle's attire for the evening since he had to shovel at work.  We were only slightly late for the wedding but we weren't the last ones.  We had a BLAST at the reception.  If Kinect didn't make our legs hurt enough Friday night, all the dancing Saturday definitely did it.  We were there until the closed up shop.  Such fun.

Sunday we had Church and small group again.  I was in with the toddlers during the service which I was hesitant about due to the severity of my muscle aches but those toddlers helped me out so much.  I was able to recover in no time.

This Monday, Gabe had is 2 year check up.  He's doing well and he was so well behaved I think my jaw was on the floor.  He's actually been such a great boy lately.  His protesting at bed time has decreased, thank you Jesus.  Kyle and I are actually able to see him process some things now.  A friend of mine said Gabe's only goals right now are to eat and grow, he'll get to the processing and development later.  It's so true but this last week has been great.  Every night this week he comes home and plays ALL BY HIMSELF with his legos.  I love legos.  So does Gabe.

My loud, crazy boy SITS and says the colors and creates things.  He's not JUST tearing things apart anymore.  He's building now!  YAY!  Oh no but that's not all.  Then, get this, then he CLEANED UP!  We asked ONCE!  I know!  Then, yep it gets better, then, he went to bed and STAYED THERE.  I know!  Kyle and I can take fairly little credit as we are sure it's all God.  I'm sure God and Gabe had a little chat and God said, "Listen Gabriel, do you think you could cut your parents some slack?  They're pretty tired."  And Gabe said he could oblige.  I'm so glad.

Oh and the showing, they're interested.  It's an investor so we'll see what happens and they are in no rush but I sure would like it if God got us out of here before Christmas.  That would be one of the best Christmas presents EVER.  He's got a plan and that's been evident from day one so we're just waiting to see what he does.  It's been interesting (did you know Minnesotans say "interesting" more than any other state?  Interesting isn't it?).  

Okay, one story on Elle then I'll be done.  Tonight I suggested rice and veggies for dinner and Elle's response was, "I'm gunna go with no."  I couldn't even be mad because this is exactly the answer I give her all to often. I just laughed.  It was good.

Also, if you have an Black Friday suggestions or tips, PLEASE share them, I'm thinking of taking on the madness this year.  EEK!


Big Baby Boy

Two days ago my baby boy turned 2!  He's growing up.  Whether I'm ready or not, he's growing up.

We started out Sunday morning, Gabe's birthday, with our regular Sunday morning routine.  Sunday church at Bethany.  He joined the 2 year olds this time instead of the 1 year olds what with him being 2 and all.

After church we ran a couple errands with the hopes that the kids would nap in the car for a while.  We thought it unnecessary to drive from Bloomington to Minneapolis back down to Shakopee within 2 hours.  Just a bunch of silliness really so we stayed in the southwest metro.

Around 1:30 we got to Sever's Corn Maze which is SUCH a cool place.  We determined we may just have to make this a yearly tradition for Gabe's birthday.  There wasn't a crazy ridiculous amount of people there but it wasn't completely dead either.  It was just right.  All the staff were very nice too.

We had Gingerbread cupcakes with fluffy cream cheese filling (#28).  SOOOOO good.

Then we topped them with hot wheels since Gabe's birthday was ALL about cars!

He got some cool toys and sweet clothes (Thank you guests).

Played in a corn pit.  Kyle had just as much fun as the kids and we are still finding corn!

After the party we went to a friend of ours and took the kids trick-or-treating.

      There were Bees                  and race cars, OH MY!
     "Imma B, Imma B."                       "Da-dow!"
and princesses
"We'll know when it's enough." 

By the end of the night, we were all feeling like this!

Happy birthday to my big boy Gabe.  You may drive us crazy, but we love you and we're thinkin' there will be a pretty excellent pay off in the future - like a great kid.


4 day vacation=not long enough

Last weekend Kyle and I went on a 4 day vacation to Las Vegas.  We have never been.  It was fun.

We ate a LOT of food!  GOOD food.
BEST.FRIES.EVER. from Le Burger Brasserie.

Breakfast at Payards.  Banana and nutella crepe=Delish!
All gone!

Super huge chocolate fountain (Jean Phillipe Chocolates).

Super delicious "intense" desserts.

Yummy cappuccino and new desert combinations: Raspberry, chocolate and KIWI.
Crazy right?! Crazy delicious!

We saw the fountains and the Belagio (really cool)..

 and saw Paris.

We rode in style (AKA the public bus).

We saw a show and "O" it was good.

We were silly...

and we got work done.

We had a good 4 days but we were ready to be home.  Now to plan for next year...we're thinking international...c/o J.B.


Much needed Vacation...Counting down

In two days...TWO DAYS!...Kyle and I will start a much need yet too short vacation.  Just the two of us!

This is where we're staying...

And some of the things we'll get to see...

Mostly, sleep!


Tuesday Night=Bath Night

Typically Tuesday nights mean the kids get a bath...unless Mom is too tired.

Usually the kids will play for a while and Gabe is ready to get out before Elle is.  Since Gabe is a boy and therefore attracts more dirt than my little princess, I let Elle play in the "dirty" water for awhile then drain it and shower her to actually clean her.

Well, tonight as I was washing her hair with her damp town covering her face to prevent wanter from running in to her face and she mumbled something.  I asked her to repeat it and what she said could only have come from MY mother!

"A princess could get use to this."


Only from her Grandma Vicki!



This morning, Kyle and I woke up to the familiar whimpering of Gabe.  After a couple hollers from Kyle, "Go back to bed Gabe" we hear a few moments of silence...then it started...


"Quiet Gabe."


"Leave me alone Gabe."


"Leave me alone Gabe."


"Gabe, go back to bed!"

A few more moments of silence...then...


"What Gabe?"


"What Gabe?"



Then the chattering of siblings.

When I finally compiled enough energy to drag my bottom out of bed, I tip toed to the door of their room because aren't all parents interested to see what their toddlers do when we aren't looking?

Do you know what I saw?

Elle and Gabe, sitting in Elle's bed.  They weren't pulling hair, hitting faces, kicking shins, or yelling at each other.  My almost 4 and almost 2 year old were laughing while gently tossing a football back and forth to each other.

I whispered to Kyle to come and check it out but his energy composition wasn't strong enough yet. So...

I was gifted this small moment all to myself.  This sigh of relief amidst hair pulling and face hitting, screams and full on sharing battles, my house being terrorized and nothing being in its right place.  

God smiled on me today, like he does every day, but today...I felt it.  

God smiled on my kids today, like he does everyday, but today...they lived it.

There was nothing miraculous about that moment today, but God made it.  

With a brother 6 1/2 years older than me and being a horrid little sister myself occasionally, siblings get a bad rep.  But Elle and Gabe rely on each other, they love each other, and most of the time, they even LIKE each other.  So even though there was sibling rivalry today and will always be, today, God smiled on us...and we smiled back.


Then and Now

This is what Minnesota looked like on October 12th, 2009...LAST year...

This is what today, October 9th, 2010 looked like...







 **All the colors are for you Mom!**