Friday, July 31, 2009

Evan @ 40 Months.

Here are some of my favorite things about Ev @ 40 months:

*Evan is the sweetest, most loving three-year-old I know.  He gives lots of kisses & hugs & likes to say "I love you, mama" when I say "I love you, Evan."

*He can identify a Mustang, KIA Spectra, KIA Sportage, Toyota Corolla, Chrysler Sebring, & Honda CR-V by sight.  While we are driving around my mom & I will be talking, and Evan will sit in the backseat and yell: "I see a grey Mustang!" and "There's Grandma's car!" (KIA Sportage) and "I see Uncle Ken's car!" (Chrysler Sebring).  It makes our car rides exciting.

*Evan has learned how to use the computer, ride a bike, play the Wii, and put on his sandals this summer.  I am so proud of all that he has accomplished in three short months.

*We have been talking to Evan about starting pre-school in the fall, and he is getting super excited.  I told him he gets to wear a backpack & we will go school shopping for a new outfit before his first day.  I want him to like school & makes new friends & listen to his teacher.  I am probably more anxious than he is!

*Evan adores his Auntie Abby.  He has slept in her bed many, many times this summer & wears her sunglasses when he can't find his own.  He loves to cuddle with her on the couch in the mornings & riding in her "red car."

*He talks about playing with Jayden & Kaity, and how much fun he has with them.

*We spend a lot of our time outside, playing golf or riding bikes.  Evan would spend all day outside if he could... unfortunately it's been too hot to be outside the last couple of days.  I don't know what we are going to do this fall without a backyard or driveway to play in.

*Cars are still his favorite toys, but he has started playing with other things this summer, too.  Thomas Trains are really fun for him, & he also likes playing games.  Candyland & Cariboo are his favorites.  We also picked up a Playmobil airplane at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago that has been a huge hit.  

*The movie Cars has been replaced with Thomas or Bolt or Nemo... and instead of Charlie & Lola, Evan has been watching Sprout TV with my mom.

*Evan is so very special to me, and I hope he knows how much his Daddy & I adore him.  Three has been the toughest age for us, and we work daily to keep his behavior on track & his attitude to a minimum.  But he is still a great kid, and I will continue to work with him on his weaknesses, while encouraging his strengths.  He is constantly amazing me with his tender heart & curious nature.

We love you, Evan.

We are off to the beach tomorrow, so posting will be light.  I am hoping to write Jack's three month post Saturday or Sunday, but I don't know if we will have internet access at our hotel, so it might be Monday before it gets done.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Wish I Could Get Away with Being Topless...

...but my little guy can!  And just like his brother, Jack loves being naked:

I will be back tomorrow or Wednesday with a post about Jack @ 3 months & Evan @ 40 months. 

Meanwhile, we are trying to stay cool in this heat wave we seem to be having.  I think tomorrow we are going to play in the pool & run through the sprinkler in the morning, then hide out in the house in the afternoon & watch movies.  I cannot wait to get to the beach on Friday :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Emergency Room & a BBQ.

The short version: Evan fell out of bed and hit his cheek on the side table last night, resulting in a trip to the emergency room.  Four hours later we were back home, with one very tired & very bruised boy.  Luckily stitches were not needed; the emergency room doctor didn't think the cut was deep enough, so he used glue to close the wound. I did take a few photos of Ev today, but I don't have the heart to put them here.  Maybe in a couple of days when the swelling & bruising has gone down I'll post a new photo of my little guy, but for now I'm sharing only pre-injury photos.

Today was a low-key day for us.  Mostly I wanted Evan to rest and not do anything that would re-injure his face, but that is really hard to do for a three-year-old.  He was perky in the morning, but was crabby towards the end of the night.  I really hope he gets some sleep tonight & feels better in the morning for our trip north. 

This was our last weekend in Puyallup before moving back to Pullman, so we had our last summer BBQ.  The food was delicious & the company was good, too.  Jack slept through dinner & Evan only ate a hamburger bun, which he called "ham-boogers."  Goofy boy :-)

Next weekend we are driving to Tillamook, Oregon to celebrate my Grandmother's 95th birthday.  My parents have been generous enough to rent a couple of hotel rooms on the beach & we are turning the trip into a mini-vacation.  It has been so hot here, and temperatures are supposed to rise all week, so going to a beach where it's a little cooler is going to be great for us.  Mark and I are really missing our apartment with air-conditioning this week!

Despite Evan's crash & burn last night, we did have a good weekend:  

Jack has been so hot so he spent most of the day in only his diaper... he's been a much happier baby!

I love his hat from Old Navy... I'm not sure how much he likes it, though.

Last Wednesday we had a play date with Jayden at DeCoursey Park in Puyallup.  Evan & Jayden had a great time playing on the equipment & running in the grass & getting wet in the stream that runs through the park.  Jayden's Grandma, Terri, is the photographer who took the amazing photos of Jack  & Evan earlier in the summer, & she has some great tricks to get the kids' attention for photos.  Aren't they sweet together!?

I think my son has a crush!  Jayden has already invited Evan to her birthday party in September, so hopefully we will make it over for that.  I know he is going to miss her terribly when we leave in a couple of weeks.  He is going to miss his other friend, Kaity, as well.  We have been so busy this summer having great play dates & going on fun outings with kids Evan's age.  I hope we can get together with our "Puyallup friends" when we are back in September & again at Thanksgiving.

After tweaking my layout a few (dozen) times I think it's finished:

This photo represents our life right now: spending time together, playing outside, bonding with the kids before Mark heads back to school, and just being a family.  


Friday, July 24, 2009

Page in Progress & Other Stuff

I started working on a layout yesterday, but it's still in the "work-in-progress" phase:

The journaling & title on this page are from the template... not mine!  I still need to complete that part of the layout.

My husband had a huge surprise for me on our anniversary this year: a brand new MacBook!  It's white and sleek and super cool and I'm so excited to be a "Mac girl" now.  I am working on transferring all my digital files & photos over, but it could take a long time.  For now, I am getting used to a new operating system & desktop, but I love it!  Thanks babe... our anniversary was amazing :-)  I took a photo of my new computer, but it's still on my camera.  Oops!

Evan: fell asleep in my parent's bed tonight, so my dad is sleeping on the living room couch.  Thanks dad!  Evan loves to sleep in the big bed!  I don't think he knows just how much Grandma & Grandpa love him... spoiled boy!

Jack: is growing out of all his clothes & has the sweetest smile.  He woke up to eat about an hour ago and was giving his daddy half asleep/half awake smiles & giggles.  I love this age... they are alert, but over most of the fussing and just love to be around people.  Jack is such a wonderful addition to our family. 

Mark: has been working on paperwork for his new job & helped Evan wash the (very dirty) car this evening.  Some father/son bonding... and they love to get each other wet with the hose.

Me: enjoying the last couple of weeks before heading back home.  We have spent an amazing summer with my parents and my sister, and we still have a couple of cool things planned in the coming weeks.  I cannot thank them enough for their time and opening up their home to me and my crazy, but wonderful, family.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 13: Collage & Brush

I was hesitant to start Day 13's project because I didn't feel like I had the right photos. Jessica's photos are all so perfect, and I am feeling like I take one or two great ones, but the rest are just okay, and for a project that is going to hang in my house, I want great photos. I decided to use some of my favorite photos of the boys for my collage, and I'm satisfied with the results. It's not my favorite, but it's okay for now. I really want to get nine photos from the same day with both boys, but it's hard because Jack isn't sitting up on his own, and Evan is really squirmy! So for now, I'll take what I can get.

What we've been up to:

It's hot. Really, really hot. I am not looking forward to going into our hot room with our hot bed and sleep under hot covers tonight. The weather has been amazing the entire time we have been here. Hardly any rainy days & mostly sun and in the 60s, 70s, and sometimes 80s. But today was 91, which without AC can be more than uncomfortable, especially for our little ones. Evan couldn't sleep, so he is up in Abby's room where there is a ceiling fan. Jack is still sleeping down stairs on the floor, right next to our mini AC unit.

Mark signed and mailed his official offer today. I am so so proud of him, but scared to death too. We have so much to do in the next few months, and I am really afraid we won't get it all done. But... he has a job. And in this economy, I am thankful. His official title is Embedded Software Engineer, and he will be working for Northrop Grumman. Mark has been talking about working for NG for as long as I can remember, so when he got a call from a recruiter in February I knew in my heart he would be taking this particular job. I just had a feeling it would be a good fit, and everything has fallen into place.

Evan, Jack, & I are heading into Fife in the morning to visit the Mega Blocks Warehouse Store, hoping to score some new toys. I heard about the store from a friend, and I am really excited to see what products they have to offer. Evan loves anything to do with cars, especially the movie Cars, so I'm hoping the warehouse store will have some of their older Cars sets. After that, we have a play date at the park with our neighbors, followed by a picknick. Our days here in Puyallup are coming to an end really quickly, so we are enjoying our friends and all the activities and parks while we can.

A few more photos from our weekend:

Happy 5th Anniversary, babe!

be back tomorrow to show off the amazing anniversary present my hubby gave me, plus another layout. I'm also hoping to tackle the last week of Renee Pearson's class tomorrow evening, so I'm hoping to have a project or two to share from that as well. I'm sorry this post was so spazzy... just lots going on! Goodnight :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 12 - Creating a Storyboard

For Day 12 of Jessica Sprague's class we were to create a storyboard with three photos. I chose to use some photos of Mark & Evan on my parent's front steps:

I believe we only have two more days of class and I am really sad! I have learned so much in the past two weeks. Jessica Sprague has several more digi classes on her website (that aren't free of course) that I am seriously considering enrolling in after this class ends on Sunday. I don't know what I am going to do with all my spare time if I don't have a class to take. Renee Pearson's class also ends on Wednesday, so I need to find something to do!

Tomorrow we are participating in the neighborhood garage sale, which starts at 9am. Abby and I spent hours pricing everything tonight & getting ready. I have a feeling it is going to be a long couple of days in the heat. Mark, Dion, & Evan are going to Northwest Trek for the day so I don't have to worry about a three year old running around during the sale.

Jack is getting so big! He must weigh well over 17 pounds now. He is growing out of clothes like crazy and I am having to buy new things all the time! I didn't think he would be this big, so I didn't bring a lot of the 3-6 or 6-12 month clothes I have at home. Dion was nice enough to drop off a bunch of clothes last weekend when he visited, and I hope those last for the next three weeks.

We are back in Pullman in 3 weeks. I cannot believe we have been here for 10 weeks already. Where did all those weeks go?

Mark starts school in 5 weeks. His last "first day of school".... possibly ever. Crazy.

Evan starts pre-school in 6 weeks. Now that is crazy. My goal is to get him to a.) keep his pants on after he goes potty (he tends to completely undress then run out of the bathroom naked). b.) put on his own shirt and socks in the morning (he can do his underwear & pants/shorts). c.) drink a little better out of a cup without a lid. He does okay, but some still ends up on his clothes, which makes him mad & he won't drink anymore.

Tomorrow Mark and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. That is another number I am astounded by. It seems like just yesterday I walked down the isle and said "I do" to the man of my dreams. Five years, four moves, three cars, two kids, and one (almost) college degree later, here we are. Happier than ever.

One of my favorite songs just came on the (web) radio I am listening to (It Happens by Sugarland). I love the Internet :-)

I am starting to think about everything I have to do before we leave in the winter, and my to-do list is already a page long. We have so much stuff to go through & decided if we are keeping it or tossing it. We have to get our apartment packed & moved across the country. I have to get my kids & hubby & myself moved across the country! All during the busiest time of the year: Christmas. Nice timing, huh? I just keep thinking that this company has moved many, many people and they should have it all figured out. I hope.

Happy, happy Saturday, friends. I do love the weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 10 & Day 11, plus a layout... Oh, and some BIG News!

I am going to make you wait until the end of this post for the big news! I know it's mean, but I really want to show off my Day 10 photo project:

Mark took this beautiful photo of the Palouse during the Fall of 2005. I love the little barn in the distance & the wheat field. I am really going to miss the wheat when we leave Pullman.

Anyway, the technique was to combine textures, a clipping mask, type, & an edge burn to create a cool photo effect.

For Day 11 we learned how to do selective/spot recoloring. I had no idea how to do this until today's lesson, so I am really proud of the results! I love how Evan's cars really stand out against the black & white photo.

For week 3 of Renee Pearson's class we learned how to create our own layered templates. I had no idea you could turn any shape into a clipping mask for digital templates. Below is the template I created for the class:

And this is the layout I created using that template. I ended up changing a few things but the page is more "me" this way:

[Supplies: "Today" label, kraft scallop tag, staples, photo corners, flower brushes, and patterned papers are Karla Dudley Designs and no longer available. Ali Edwards Text Frames Life. Katie Pertiet Basic Twills Summertime. Ali Edwards Journal Brackets.]

Ok, so the big new is.... Mark got a job! He accepted a job with a company in Cincinnati, Ohio & he starts in January. I am so, so very proud of my husband :-) It's been a really l-o-n-g process & many months of interviews (phone & in person), and several trips across the country, but he did it. He verbally accepted the offer yesterday but we are still waiting on the written offer (I want to see it in writing LOL!). So we will become Cincinnatians? Cincinites? Whatever we are, we're excited! I'm not sure if I can talk about the company he is going to be working for because of security issues, but it's big & exactly who he has been talking about working for since he starting school four years ago. I could go on and on about how excited I am, but I'll spare you the gushing. Just know that we have loved our time in Pullman and we are going to be so sad to leave, but this new adventure is what we've been waiting for. Mark has worked so hard for four years, and I am thankful he found a job he's excited about. Wish us luck as I try to pack us & move a husband and two kids (plus a hamster) a couple thousand miles.

I'll be back tomorrow with some new photos of the kids and (hopefully) another layout. Peace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 9 & a New Favorite Photo

I finally got tired of writing "Frame-ups & Special Effects" for every blog title I write, so I've shortened it to simply "Day 9." I hope by now everyone knows I am talking about Jessica Sprague's class! Anyway, today's lesson was to add an edge burn to photos. We used both a color photo and a black and white photo:

I know I have already posted this photo but I think Evan and Abby are just so dang cute!

I love how the photos are darker on the edges and lighter toward the center, putting the emphasis on the subject.

And my current favorite photo of my two little boys. Doesn't Evan look gigantic next to Jack? Before Jack was born we thought Ev was so little and our baby. Now he seems like a giant to us.

I am taking a free class through Big Picture Scrapbooking called Start Here:With Stacy Julian.

My goal for the week is to finish another paper layout about Jack. And maybe start a digi/hybrid layout about our trip to the Pacific Science Center.

Evan has a play date with Kaity tomorrow at Bradley Park, which he is looking forward to. I hope we have nice weather and Evan runs off all his energy so he takes a good nap!


Monday, July 13, 2009

"Frame-Ups" Day 6 & Day 8

I have a sick kid upstairs having trouble getting to sleep so I am going to make this short. For day 6 of Jessica Sprague's Frame-ups and Special Effects class we used a technique called "through the viewfinder" which adds a black frame around your photo:

Day 7 was a review quiz of everything we have learned in class.

Day 8 we talked about type & how to place type on a photo:

I am a little disappointing the font we used didn't have an ampersand. I ended up using an ampersand from a different font, but I'm not sure I like how it turned out. Oh well... moving on.

Evan really doesn't feel well today, which could keep us from going to IKEA in the morning. My dad has a polo shirt obsession which has outgrown his closet and drawers, so we are hoping to score some wire baskets to solve the problem. But sick babies come first, so we will see how the little guy feels in the morning.

I took my second golf lesson this afternoon from Craig at Tacoma Firs driving range. I can hit the ball pretty far about every 10th swing. The 9 swings in between are not so good. My mom thinks we could hit a course by the end of the summer, but I'm not so sure. Golf is really hard & I don't know if I could handle playing crappy golf an entire afternoon! But it's fun & gets me outside & is considered exercise, which are all good things.

Off to bed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Frame-ups & Special Effects Project 3 + Evan & Jack

Our weather here in Puyallup has been absolutely beautiful the last couple of days & we have been taking full advantage by being outside as much as possible. I really wanted to get a few photos of Jack in the grass while he isn't mobile and running away from me!

And this guy is a very serious bike rider these days. He has finally figured out how to pedal (most of the time), and will even wear his helmet if it means he can go out with Grandpa or Daddy.

Evan loved "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," but I think he liked all the treats we brought more. He is a big fan of sugar in general, so Whoppers & Skittles & Peanut Butter M&Ms were a huge hit. Jack slept on my shoulder the entire movie & didn't flinch once. It was actually a really nice outing! We have had such a great week: the Science Center, Library, a movie, bike riding, and a play date. Now if I could just get Evan to back off Jack a little bit life would be close to perfect. Evan just has to be in his face sometimes, which is driving me crazy!!! I just want to be able to go to the bathroom without Evan trying to shove Jack's pacifier down his throat. Poor baby!

Today's project in Jessica Sprague's class was to use textures and a photo frame over a photo. I chose a photo from our honeymoon (almost five years ago!):

I'm not sure why I looked so pissed on our honeymoon & the texture really makes me look moody! We had a great honeymoon but I really don't remember Mark taking this photo. Oh well, it was a cool technique to learn. I'm not sure how many photos I will add texture to but I'm glad I know how! I am hoping Jessica will post some more samples of photos she has added texture to.

Another busy weekend coming up, packed with outings, visitors, and more birthdays. I hope we will have a little down time tomorrow or Sunday, but I'm not holding my breath. Happy, happy Saturday! My favorite day by far.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Frame-Ups & Special Effects Day 4 - Clipping Masks

So today is Day 4 of Jessica Sprague's class. We got a free clipping mask in today's lesson & this is what I created:

(I took these photos at the Pacific Science Center on Tuesday. The photo mask is only available through Jessica Sprague's class. Ali Edwards You Word Art and Hand Drawn Brushes.)

I'm off to work on my Renee Pearson class before heading to bed.

Tomorrow we are taking the boys to see Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs & maybe another trip to the library.

I will be back soon with updates & photos of the boys.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Frame-Ups" Project 2: Frame + Brush + Hand-tint

Today was day three of Jessica Sprague's class & we learned how to hand-tint photos in PSE. Here's my take:

Original photo.

Hand-tinted photo. [Supplies: Frame-Jessica Sprague (available through her class only), Ali Edwards You Sentiment Quotes, Flower Brush from]

Tomorrow I start week three of Renee Pearson's "Just the Basics, Ma'am" class... I will be learning how to create my own layered templates; this lesson is exactly why I signed up for the class: I want to be able to create projects/products from scratch in PSE.

Have a wonderful Thursday, Friends.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jessica Sprague's "Photo Editing: Frame-ups & Special Effects" Class - Day 1

Maybe I'm a little too ambitious, but I am also taking a free class by Jessica Sprague, which started today. The focus is adding digital frames and special effects to your photos using PSE or PS. Our first assignment was to use the free kit included with our class (created by House of 3), and add a frame and word art to our photo:

Evan was definitely feeling sassy when we were at the park last week!

Tomorrow we are taking a trip to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. When my mom was with us for a week after Jack's birth she purchased a pass to the Science Center in Pullman, which can be used at the Pacific Science Center, so we get in for free tomorrow. This will be Evan's first visit & I really hope he enjoys it.

Renee Pearson's "Just the Basics, Ma'am" Class - Week 2

This week we are working with digital templates by Jen Caputo/Scrapbook Graphics & an awesome digital kit created by Tiff Tillman/Little Dreamer Designs.

Here is my layout:

I am really, really enjoying this class & the digital kits and templates each week are great. For week one we received a complete digital kit plus eight quick pages, and this week we received five digital templates and another complete kit. For anyone looking to start digital scrapbooking, or simply learn a few new techniques, Renee Pearson's class is great.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Two Months

Baby Jack, you were welcomed into our family a little over two months ago. Here are a few things about you, right now: You weigh 16 lbs. 14oz. and are wearing some 3-6 month clothes & some 6-12 month clothes.

You absolutely refuse to sleep on your back, so we put you on your side for the most part. In the middle of the night you will roll over onto your tummy or onto your back, which usually wakes you up.

You are still eating every 3 hours during the day, but you did go 6 hours between feedings one time last week.

Your awake periods during the day are getting longer & longer, averaging 1.5-2.5 hours.

You take 3-4 naps during the day. You are super smiley when you are awake, and love to coo and talk to whoever is holding you. I love the little noises you make, especially when you are happy.

You have been to so many amazing places this summer & you are such a great traveler. You have been to the Hands On museum, the beach, Mt. Rainier, many parks, your first movie ("Up"), and the zoo.

You still love your swing & bouncer, and usually nap in one of those locations during the day.

Your brother loves you more and more everyday, and is really good at smothering you! He especially likes to kiss your face and squeeze your whole body.

Your Daddy & I are so thankful to have you in our lives. We love you, Jack.