29 October 2009

ten things that are inspiring me right now

another thursday has rolled around and that means another ten things thursday post. such fun! today i'm going to list ten things that are inspiring me right now. some entries will take you to other places on the web and some are just my thoughts/observations. enjoy....

1. watching someone i love battle leukemia. in spite of everything, holding her head high with a beautiful bright smile and an awesome positive attitude. her courage, her strength, and her determination.

2. the artist david arms. i read about him in a magazine recently and i am really, really liking this number from his collection.

3. re-reading eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert for the third time. i really love this book.

4. i found this project on the web a couple of days ago and am thinking about doing it for the year i was born - 1970. yes - i know...i'm nerdy that way

5. for some reason i'm really into owls right now.....not sure why, but perhaps it has to do with the change of seasons. and then i found the sherwood owl purse by kate spade. how cute is it? not only does it have eyes, a beak and suede feathers - it also has feet! not quite sure i'm ready to spend $425 on a purse, but it sure is some nice eye candy.

6. getting the chance to use some of my childhood photos to tell my story (as part of an online class at big picture scrapbooking with ali edwards). photos like this....

and this...

7. ordering a kit from here so my boys and i can put together a gift-filled shoe box for another little boy for christmas. a great cause and a great way to get your kids involved.

8. these new sharpie pens. just one click and they don't bleed through. they rock! and if you love sharpies these are a must...

9. catching up with old friends that you haven't seen in years. and you just start chatting and its just like old times. you don't even miss a beat - even though you both now have two husbands and four kiddos between the two of you. i love that. those are the best friends.

10. and finally all the bright fall colors around my parts. i love the yellows, oranges and reds. almost makes me forget that summer really is over.

27 October 2009

october 31st preparations

we've been getting ready for halloween around here.....

buying goodies...

picking out pumpkins...

and making cute little crafty stuff... this cute little guy was super easy to make. i found this halloween night paper craft kit here, printed it out and gave it a shot. i was a little intimidated at first so i just decided to make the skeleton/zombie guy, but i totally think i can do the whole scene - it was that easy! all you need is a good pair of craft scissors and some adhesive. give it a try!

25 October 2009

new blog title and two scrapbook layouts

even before i actually started this blog, i’d been thinking a lot about blog titles. i settled with just words + photos to get things going knowing that eventually i would change it. i like the essence of this title, but it is just kinda blah.

but on friday i officially changed the title to leaf puddles and airplane stars. i think it is perfect (for now). it's whimsical, fun, creative and very personal to me. just what i want my blog to be.

so i hope you like it as much as i do. and thanks blake for your clever three-year-old wordsmithing!!

the next thing i want to share is two scrapbook layouts that i did this weekend based on two recent blog posts - this one about blake and this one about michael. both of these layouts were done in photoshop elements 7 using this digital template from ali edwards. i used the same pictures and the same text from my blog post on the layouts. super easy and these pages will go directly into each of their albums once printed.

22 October 2009

ten things about michael right now

hello everyone! it's thursday and you know what that means....ten things thursday! my oldest kiddo turned six yesterday (october 21st) so my post today will be ten things about him right now. his name is michael and i cannot believe he is six years old already. i love you buddy and the dinosaur trail this weekend is going to be a blast!

1. you started kindergarten in august and it would be an understatement to say that you have had a rough start. but i think you are finally finding your groove and the rest of the year is going to be a breeze.

2. the first thing people say when they see you is "man michael, you are getting so tall." the second thing they say as they look at me is "you're going to be as tall as you mom before long!"

3. you are getting dressed pretty much all by yourself in the mornings.

4. you are really into sharks right now and you still like star wars.

5. you're favorite tv channels are animal planet, the history channel and the discovery channel.

6. you asked me the other day why god decided to make criminals and murderers. my answer was that god always gives people the ability to choose and that they can chose to do good things or bad things and that some people decide to listen to the devil instead of to god. you thought about it for a minute and said "oh, i get it. so the devil makes the criminals and the murderers and god makes the police officers".

7. i think your favorite things about school right now are getting to go to the library every week and music class.

8. you still really do not like to brush your teeth.

9. this morning was your birthday and the very first thing you wanted to do was weigh yourself. i have no idea where this idea came from but you literally popped out of bed and said that we should go weigh you. the scale said 53.2 and you seemed a little disappointed. i'm not sure what you expected.

10. you love eating cheese and drinking chocolate milk and your all time favorite restaurant is still mcdonalds.

20 October 2009

a day at the fair

we spent last friday at the state fair. grandpa and uncle brian came up for the "adventure". now if you are a parent you know that anytime you take a two year old and a five year old anywhere you only have a slight chance that the outing will be a success. you've got melt downs to worry about, whining (my personal favorite), pouting, sickness, the list goes on....

so we are three days post our visit to the state fair and i'm still undecided as to whether i should call this outing a success or not. if you ask the boys they had a blast and would go back in a heart beat - and i guess that is really all that matters. but if you ask mom (me), grandpa and uncle brian i don't think you'd get the same answer. and if you look at the pictures you'd think we had a perfect, norman rockwell day at the fair....but looks can be somewhat deceiving.....

the day started with lots of excitement and the rides were the biggest hit of all. blake’s favorite was the helicopter ride and michael’s favorite was the log ride even though he complained about getting wet both times he rode it.....

me: michael what did you expect – it’s a water ride? don’t you see all that water splashing around?
michael: well it’s just all your fault. you shouldn’t have let me go on that thing in the first place.
me: ok. you're right. let's go then.
michael: no, no – wait! i definitely want to ride it again.

and the animals were a big hit too, but of course there was complaining about the smell....

michael: i can’t go in there! it stinks and i’m allergic to cows.
me: you are not allergic to cows. you just milked one in the other building.

it wasn't log after that that the whining started.....there was whining because we used all the ride tickets....there was whining when the no fair toys rule was implemented....and then there was whining because we were walking so much and feet were hurting. and then mr-it's-not-fair showed up....you know him....it's not fair that we don't get a toy....it's not fair that we can't ride more rides. i love mr-it's-not-fair almost as much as whining....

it was about this time that our adventure to the fair came to an end. the ride home was all about learning to be thankful for the things that you do get to do and all the rides that you did get to ride. i even used the phrase "just think about all the boys and girls who never get to go to the fair and who don't get to ride any rides".....to which michael replied "well they didn't get a fair toy either then"....the joys of parenthood....

15 October 2009

ten things about blake right now

today marks my third week of blogging and i've realized that for the past two thursdays i've posted a "ten things" list - you can view them here and here. since i've always been a hugh fan of making lists, i've decided that every thursday will be "ten things thursday" here at just words + photos. (try to say that fast five times - ten things thursday, ten things thursday, ten things thursday...). every thursday my blog post will be a list of ten items about a given topic. doesn't that sound fun! i know, i know....just humor me! and if you have any ideas for a ten things list let me know!

so having said all that, my ten things thursday list this week will be in honor of my littlest one who will be turning three years old on the 19th - ten things about blake right now. happy birthday wild man!! i love you! and i can't believe that you are 3!

1. you are a very picky eater. so its a good thing is that you can apparently thrive on apples, bananas, madarian oranges, french fries and chicken nuggets because that is all you eat.

2. you hate having to go to bed at night.

3. you like to brush your teeth.

4. you love to watch wonder pets, dora and diego. as a matter of fact you told me you wanted "wonder pet cupcakes" for your birthday.

5. you are very polite and say thank you every chance you get. example - you sneezed the other day and i said "bless you buddy" and you said "tank you mommy" (as you wiped your nose with the bottom of your shirt).

6. daddy calls you his "little wild man" and you call daddy your "punk".

7. you love the mexican restaurant we go to all the time even though all you eat are the chips. you say "i go mexicoat and eat chips!".

8. you are still wearing pull ups and i think it will still be awhile before you are completely potty trained.

9. you insist on wearing your backpack to daycare even though you don't have anything to carry to school. you want to wear yours because michael takes his to kindergarten.

10. you love making a mess of the playroom but you hate helping clean it up. you cross your arms over your chest and say in your mad voice "no my not!"

11 October 2009

three generations

recently i was going through some old family photos and decided to create a scrapbook album about my grandmother, my mom and me. this album celebrates the fact that the connections and relationships that define us as women really don’t change from one generation to the next. my grandmother was born in 1917, my mom in 1946, and me in 1970. and even though we are generations apart we have all been little girls, brides and first time mothers and we are all daughters, sisters, and wives.....my favorite part of this album is the photos and how powerful it is to see a picture of my grandmother as a first time mom right beside a similar picture of my mother and myself as first time mothers. you can see the passage of time in these photos. and even though our lives are very different and we as individuals are very different, the roles we play as women and the relationships we cherish the most are the same.

three generations of women...

...as little girls

...as sisters

...as high school graduates

...as brides

...as first time moms

...as mothers of two

...as wives

09 October 2009

what is your color personality?

i saw an intersting little quiz today in the september 2009 issue of house beautiful magazine (the online version of the magazine can be found here) and thought it would be fun to share. do you know your color personality? apparently it can be linked to your name. i'm skeptical, although i can say that i do somewhat agree with my results. my color personality is orange - which translates to "balanced both mentally and physically. happy, loyal, takes each day as it comes." now i question the balanced-both-mentally-and-physically part, but i do agree with the rest. what is your color personality? take this little quiz to find out. and leave a comment letting me know your results and if you agree with the assessment.

08 October 2009

october means fall

earlier this evening michael proclaimed that fall had finally arrived at our house because he finally found the "first fallen leaf of the season" right in our own front yard. he went on to declare that this was "quite unbelievable" and said that we really needed to put out our halloween decorations as soon as possible....we agreed that this weekend would probably be soon enough.

indeed it is true...fall has arrived and the month of october is in full swing. it's also been a week since i published my first blog post where i listed ten things i hope to gain from my blogging experience. in honor of that first post and the excitement of fall, i'd like to post ten things i love about the month of october....

1. michael has a birthday

2. blake has a birthday

3. pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins

4. visits to the pumpkin patch

5. the state fair

6. halloween decorations

7. mums, haystacks, and scarecrows

8. colors of fall leaves

9. cooler weather

10. trick or treating

what do you like about october??

03 October 2009

nature walk art

blake's preschool class went on a nature walk around their school earlier this week. during the walk everyone was given a brown paper bag to fill with all the nature goodies they could find - rocks, sticks, leaves, etc. upon returning to their room they talked about what they had collected and then made art collages out of their findings. blake was very proud of his and i think the "biggest rock" was his favorite part. now i know the all the masking tape takes away from the natural-ness of this specific piece of art, but that rock is the size of his little fist! and it's hard to tell (again because of the masking tape), but there are also two acorns on that thing! two year old art projects - gotta love 'um....

02 October 2009

letting ideas flow

i’ve signed up for an online class at big picture scrapbooking called yesterday & today being taught by ali edwards. I love, love, love ali edwards and i am so excited about this class. the first “assignment” was to write for 15 solid minutes - no edits, no judgements - the answer to the following question....

if you were gone tomorrow, what would you want others to know about you and the life you have lived?

i was definitely a little intimidated at first as that's a pretty deep topic, but i gave it a try. i opened a blank word document on my PC, looked at the time and started typing. and much to my surprise the words just starting flowing from my head into my fingers. i was amazed how freely the ideas flowed when i focused on just capturing my thoughts. i wrote about being a mom, about my relationship with both my mother and my grandmother, the life lessons that i learned during my seven years as a waitress throughout high school and college, the importance of my career, and the role sports played in my youth. now i'm not sure that what i captured in those 15 minutes are actually THE things i'd want people to know about me, but it's a pretty good start. but more importantly i realized that just writing freely without applying filters and distilling your thoughts is very liberating. i realized that the majority of my communications in the "real" world are just that - filtered, distilled, sterile. and while that type of writing has its place, its also nice just to capture words and thoughts.

so i challenge you to do the same - pick a topic and just write for 15 minutes. no edits, no filtering, don't over-think it. just let the ideas flow and see where they take you.....