We all know how well I have been blogging lately so I figured I would do it early rather than not at all!! These pictures are from christmas eve. The first time we have had a family picture since I think Max's baptism. The kids picture makes me giggle cause it is soooooo just like them all.
We had a wonderful Christmas and it really couldn't have gone any better. It ended up being a white one even though we had 50 degrees and rain on Christmas eve. The weather was a little dicey so grandma and grandpa snyder were not able to make it out which was kind of sad. Grandma gave us all a scare with what we originally thought might have been a blood clot in her leg but thankfully it ended up not being one and was actually an inflammation of sorts. She was put on antibiotics and is doing well.
The big present for the family this year was the Wii....I am not sure who enjoys it more, the kids or Drew and I. It is so much fun and it is going just about every single minute of the day. I have to admit that after the first day of playing I awoke with muscles pretty darn sore!! Thankfully I have played enough now that they don't hurt so much anymore. I highly recommend this game to everybody....young and old!!
We had our annual brunch on christmas morning and there was plenty of food and goodies....I really needed the Wii to work off everything I ate. But you know....it is only once a year so you gotta do it right?
Tonight will be a quiet night I think....we are not big celebraters of New Years Eve and our weather is kind of snowy and blustery today so it will be perfect to stay home and pop in one of the new dvds and play some games. Still waiting to hear if Maddie has to babysit or not but I am hoping she doesn't so we can all be together. New Years eve and New Years day always make me feel a little bit melancholy. You just never know what the new year is going to bring....whether it be joy or sadness. Makes me worry just a bit. It is also sad cause a new year is starting once again without mom.
I am not a resolution type of girl....can't stand making them and then failing them. I am however a goal oriented girl. This past year I realized several of my goals such as earning a spot on a design team as well as some personal goals for myself. This year will be no exception...I have a list started of things that I want to accomplish this year and I will enjoy crossing them off as I do them. It is a new beginning and I plan on making every moment count. No more wasting time and effort on things I can't change and no more whining when I feel that life is unfair.
Athletically....Drew did very well at the wrestling tournament this past weekend. He placed first in his weight class. All matches were pretty quick with him pinning his opponent in less then a minute but the last one. The last one lasted the full 6 minutes....scared the bejeepers out of me when his opponent used an illegal move on his shoulder but thankfully Drew and the coach both stopped the match before things got too bad. I was very pleased with how fast they both responded...Drew by tapping out to the ref and the Coach by jummping on that mat faster than I have ever seen him move. They both know that that is my stipulation for letting him wrestle this season and they both reaccted exactly as they should have. He has another tournament this upcoming weekend so again I will be on pins and needles but hey....he is happy and that is all I can ask for at the moment.
Here is wishing you all a very Happy New Year with many, many, many blessings to you all.

So yes, I haven't blogged in awhile...just haven't had a second to sit down and write a coherent thought!! Even now as I am battling a pressure headache due to the impending storm headed our way....I am not sure how much sense I am going to make. Bear with me.....smile!

So Max had his very first christmas concert at school last week. He was adorable and I know that I am biased but my goodness he was just the cutest thing. Runny nose and all. They also included an art show and the kids worked so hard on their beautiful art as well.

Last night was Andrew and Abby's winter concert....it was amazing. Their band continues to astound us every single time they play. I mean the songs they play are extremely hard and just amazing to listen to.

Drew is wrestling well...last weekend he went 5-0 at our own schools tournament. 3 pins and 2 forfeits. I am still and always will be a nervous wreck while he is wrestling but I am happy that he is happy. We spent all day there saturday putting on this tournament...concessions, scoring, admissions, raffles, clean up.....the list goes on. I was exhausted when it was finished but I so enjoyed a drink or two at the christmas party we went to in the evening. I think that I deserved it. They wrestled last night too...before the concert and I was setting up and selling concessions for that too. Then running across the school to watch the concert....home at 10 pm and asleep on the couch by 10:05!!

I can't believe that christmas is less then a week away. I finished all the wrapping today for my kids and hubby....that is a first to not have that hanging over my head on christmas eve. I am planning on doing some baking and cleaning this weekend. Getting ready for the annual christmas brunch at our house....the kids just love that!! They wouldn't even think of not having it even if it means they have to do a lot cleaning!!

Did I manage to get all of my christmas gifts made? Nope...but I am cool with that...I put an honest effort into christmas this year and I am pleased with what I did accomplish. People will be getting their cards after christmas I am sure but that is only because I have everybody sign the cards and with the schedules of this house....well....let us just say that it is always hectic.

We did get our tree last sunday....it has lights on it but remains undecorated...partly because we didn't have time on sunday but mostly because we wanted to wait until maddie was home to put the ornaments on. Which by the way will be later on today that she is home!! Grandpa is driving out to get her today cause a big storm is coming in tomorrow and we want her home before that. Thank goodness for grandpas cause I certainly would never be able to drive all that way with my hands and if we wait until drew can do it then we risk the storm coming in before we get back!! I just can't wait to see her....oh yeah....and her two new rats....one of which she believes is pregnant. Oh joys!!

Hope you enjoy the picture of max in his outfit from the concert. I promise to blog a little more often then I have!!

Yep, already, not sure if it is the flu or what but we now have all been officially touched by it. Poor Andrew Thomas was the first to be struck down. He was suppose to wrestle in a tournament on Saturday but he woke up at 2:30 that morning and was sooo sick. So he stayed home and thankfully recovered rather quickly by saturday night. Then Sunday night it hit Max and Abby and on Monday it hit Drew and I. Max was so sad to miss his first day of school ever for being sick but thankfully he will be going back today if he is as well when he wakes up as he was last night.

Andrew Thomas had his Honor Society Induction last week....it was nice to see the number of kids from his class earn this honor. His class is kind of amazing because it is filled with a number of awesome athletes as well as very intelligent students. We parents must have done something right at the time in our lives. LOL. He isn't too fond of the pictures but I am sharing them anyways cause I think that he is a cutie.

My scrappy world has kind of been put on hold while getting everybody through this stomach bug so I really don't have anything to share with you all today. But I am hoping to get into my room today and get some much needed things done. Like my christmas cards....here I thought that I was doing so well getting them done and oops....I have become a little behind.

Our weather has been really snowy as of late...can't remember a time when we have had this much snow this early. Today is suppose to get into the mid 40's but then drop into the teens tomorrow. I do hear that next week is suppose to be in the 40's at least in the beginning. That will be nice except that then the snow turns all brown and yucky. It will be just our luck that we have a brown christmas instead of a white one. But I haven't heard any predictions yet for that. This picture was taken of Andrew on sunday as he and David went out to hunt. David took it with his cell phone so it isn't the best of pictures but it can give you an idea of just how much snow we have at the moment.

Just had a busy week last week with Maddie home for Thanksgiving and visiting all of Drew's family that were home over the holiday. We had a very good Thanksgiving...lots of food, lots of laughs and lots of snow. Well actually the snow was the day before and the day after so travel was pretty safe on Thursday.

It was so nice having Maddie home....we had an incident though with her pet rat Trinity. Ummmm....we don't know where she is! Sometime overnight her cage was knocked down. I am guessing it was Kody cause they was a juicy piece of ham in there. Anyways, after searching and searching and not finding any remains (gross...I know but) she is either hiding somewhere in the house or Kody swallowed her whole. Believe it or not I have been investigating his poop over the last several days and no sign of her there. My heart was just broken for Maddie and there was nothing worse then packing up her empty cage to go back to the dorm. I did get a call last night and we have a new baby!! His name is fourty-two....I guess there is something significant about that cause her dad knew exactly why he was named that. Over Christmas break I am locking the rat and the cage in my bedroom so we don't have a repeat performance!!

Saturday was Maddie's 19th birthday too....it was great to have her home to celebrate cause last year she wasn't here for her 18th. That was kind of hard to take. Anyways, we took her to Applebee's and then spent sometime shopping, came home and watched Fred Claus on pay per view and promptly fell asleep. We are quite the partiers aren't we. I took some pictures of Maddie in the new outfit I got her for her birthday....she is so cute isn't she!!!

Now in my scrapping life....loaded my DT work on the first so I can share it here with you. Had so much fun working with this kit from Linda at the Shaker Box. Lots of snowflakes and winter themed papers....perfect for all the snow pics I was able to take this past month. CHeck out Linda's shop at the Shaker Box....she has lots of cool things in there as well as the awesome kit.

Okay, off to make dinner and then get Max in the shower. Oh by the way....Drew will be wrestling this season...match by match....to see how it goes. I have lots and lots of stipulations and they are doing their best to abide by them. So extra prayers always welcome!!

Just wanted to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving and hope everybody is safe in their travels this week. I am so thankful this year for so many things and the one thing that comes to mind first and foremost is the health of my kids. I am watching so many of my care page kids and their families struggle this holiday and some that are mourning the loss of their children. It just makes me take a step back and look at my life and realize that struggles I am having at the moment are nothing in comparison. And to remember that on any given day my world can be rocked to the core without any warning. So I am vowing to not stress, get cranky and have to be perfect this upcoming holiday season. I am going to enjoy the days from Thanksgiving to New Years with my family and have some fun creating memories....ummmmm just like having my two girls today creating paper christmas chains to decorate the house. They haven't done that since they were in elementary school yet today they got the idea and ran with it. So cute to see teenage girls like that.

Speaking of Maddie....she is home safe and sound for break. I went to bed last night with such peace and it was just because I knew that all of my babies were home and under my roof sleeping. It just doesn't get any better than that I think.

And on the weather front...We are looking a bit more like Christmas today then Thanksgiving because yet again we are getting socked with some lake effect snow. I am fretting just a little bit because our satellite has been out all day and there is a Sabres game in a couple of hours. The Drew's are outside at the moment trying to clean it off but if not then I guess we will throw in some Christmas movies and go with that.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!
P.S. This layout is one that I made for a layout tag game and I couldn't share it before until everybody finished....this is one of the things that I am very thankful this year....that when Max was hit with the foul ball at the baseball game in the spring that he came away with nothing more than a bruise, a tad bit of a headache and the ball that hit him. Oh my, it could have been so much worse....he had his guardian angel grandma looking over him that day!!

Snow and snow and more snow!! It just keeps coming and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. The forecast for today and tomorrow is 2 feet for when it is all said and done. This is on top of the foot and a half already on the ground. The Farmer's Almanac did say that this was going to be a snowy winter and we have really been lucky the last few but goodness....does it have to be so much so early? This picture was taken earlier this morning and I have to say right at the moment it is NOT snowing and the sun is actually out. It could be deceiving but one look at the radar tells me plenty more is on its way. Oh the joys of Lake Effect!!
So being in the Christmas spirit...how could you not with all that snow? I created this countdown calendar for Max this christmas season. I have had this for awhile but didn't know what papers I wanted to use until I found the My Mind's Eye Be Merry collection. Oh my these are the cutest papers ever and they just make me smile!! I mean really, look at the snowmen....who could resist a snowman this cute!! I am not sure what I am going to fill the boxes with yet....it reminds me of an advent calendar my mom had for us when we were little. One year she filled it with little candies and I can remember being so excited when it would be my turn to open the surprise. I might fill Max's with little ornaments and then get a small tree for him to hang them on so the closer we get to christmas the more decorated his little tree will become. But if I know Max he would probably love hershey kisses inside more than anything!! Maybe I can fit both in. We will have to see.
Back to work for me....now I have to finish up some more of my deadlines before I get fired!! LOL!

I am so proud of this kid...I can't even begin to tell you!! Yesterday he was inducted into the National Honor Society....the official ceremony will be on December 3rd. With everything that he does he still maintains high grades and it just amazes me how he does it all! Then last night at the Football Banquet he received the Joe Annarella Sportsmanship award which is a big big thing in our school. Joe Annarella was a previous football coach for CVCS when he was tragically killed in an automobile accidentmany years ago. This award is voted on by the team so it is really special to Andrew that his team mates chose him for this honor. He also joined the ranks of the 1000 pound club.... a newly formed club which was established for whomever can lift 1000 pounds doing 3 types of lifts. He is actually at about 1200 now but I don't know the exact weights for each lift. I will have to figure that out later. Andrew is such a hard worker in everything that he does. He doesn't give up even when things are pretty tough. I truly believe that this attitude is going to take him so far in this world. I do have one beef with him at the moment and that is because he is completely stressing me out. He wants to wrestle this year...he feels that since he is not having surgery and that he wrestled all last season with the same injury that he should be able to wrestle again this year with a few precautions. I have not decided on this issue yet....I know what his dad wants him to do and I know what the coaches all want him to do but there is a big difference from last year. Last year I knew that his shoulder hurt.....this year I know WHY! And knowing that makes this decision very, very hard to make. Please pray. By the way he is practicing for wrestling and he did get certified in his weight class yesterday but officially nothing has been decided.

Now onto scrapping....since I was talking all about Andrew in this post I thought it would be kind of neat to show the layout that I did this week when he was born and Maddie met him for the first time. He has grown kind a bit don't ya think?? Maddie's face always kills me in this picture because I knew that she loved this new baby but I think that she was trying to grasp just how much her little life was going to change from that moment on.

I am still working on Christmas cards and gifts. Will share more of them later. I have deadlines upon deadlines that need to be met this month and I am running out of time. I think that I need another me!! So cutting this short so I can get off this computer and get myself back to work!!

Andrew Thomas went to see the specialist yesterday and he was very pleased with how Drew handled the football season with his shoulder. He was surprised that the pain was still manageable and that he didn't hurt it during the season which would have required immediate surgery. Now with that being said he has recommended that we hold off on the surgery. It is a surgery that he does most often in older patients that cannot stand the pain anymore. He feels that since Drew is doing so well that the risks of surgery at this time, coupled with the 5 month rehab that we should postpone it. We are so very pleased to hear this and to know that he will be able to play baseball come March. He will however not be able to wrestle this year and most likely next year. The risks involved in injuring it more are too high in wrestling and in doing so he would most likely jeapordize baseball. It is his call and I know it was hard for him to make it but I am happy that he has chosen not to wrestle at this time. Dad is sad but there is not much that can be done about it. So woohoo....NO SURGERY at this time!!

In my crafty world I have been busy creating more cards and gift items for the upcoming holidays. I am so enjoying the process at the moment. Nice and relaxed and pleased with what I have accomplished so far. I of course am sharing another new card with you all so I hope you enjoy it. I also finished up a scraplift contest from Scrap Whispers today and I can't wait to see the final run of that. It is where you get sent a layout and scrap lift it, then it gets sent on to another person and they scrap lift that...it goes on several times and in the end you get to see the original layout and then how everybody interpreted it from there. It is so much fun to see what happens along the way....kind of like that telephone game we used to play long, long ago.

Our snow has melted for the time being....thank goodness....but more is expected this weekend. Right now it is just a muddy mess outside....reminds me of why I dislike spring so much. The kids all enjoyed playing outside in it while it was here and poor Max was quite dismayed this morning on our way to the bus because it was all gone. Lucky for him we live in Western, NY and it will be back and stick around for quite a long time pretty soon!!

So this is what we woke up to this morning! I have to admit that it was really, really pretty but....I am just not ready for dealing with this stuff yet. Max was so excited this morning...had to wear his snow pants and boots to the bus stop. I took them a bit early so that they would have a chance to play in the snow before school. I have to say that the three kids were in heaven. That of course puts a smile on my face and makes me forget about what a pain in the butt it is to get everybody dressed and out the door in their winter gear!!

So with all the white stuff on the ground I spent most of my day creating more christmas cards. There is something about the snow that makes you feel all christmasy inside. How could it not? Also been working on some layouts for my dec. DT requirements, and starting some christmas gifts. I am happy to be starting as early as I am this year because I usually wait too long and drive myself into major panic attacks come mid december!! (smile) Nope, I am enjoying the season this year no matter what.

Last night we went into Buffalo for Andrew's concert at Saint Brigids...it was a beautiful concert and there was tons to eat afterwards. The only downside was the nasty weather we had to drive home in. But with $400 worth of brand new snow tires (that we got on in the nick of time I might add) it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Abby had her first JAVA practice last night and she enjoyed herself so much. It is good to see a smile on her face again where volleyball is concerned. Max and Drew stayed home and had a nice evening together just being brothers. And get this...the dishes were done and Max even had a shower before bed. Can't ask for a better big brother than that can you?
And on another happy note....my nephew Colby called me today to let me know that he is getting married!! I am so happy for him...he snagged a good one and I can't wait until the big day!!

Not sure why really cause it is 70 degrees and sunny outside but I have been none the less in the Christmas spirit. So today I have started making my Christmas cards. I have a new way of thinking this year....they are all going to be different!! I usually make up a card that I like then mass produce it. But at about the 6th or 7th one I hate it!! It becomes a chore and I no longer enjoy the process. So this year I am going to spend a little time each day (or as often as I can) just creating cards...all different...all unique. And maybe as I make each little piece of art I will continue to enjoy the process this year and keep Christmas in my heart. So that is the plan for now...I am hoping I can stick with it. I made my first card today....I will show it here but if you are on my Christmas card list...don't peek cause you never know this may just end up in your mail box. (Smile)

Exciting news too....Abby made the JAVA Travel Volleyball team...First Team too!! That is for the best of the best....we are so proud of her. She so totally deserves it after what she has been through with the supposed coach of her highschool team. Yeah Abby and big hugs to you...love ya girlie!!

I hope that everybody had a chance to get out and vote yesterday. I know that we did bright and early. It was so cute because as soon as Max woke up at 6:30 am we hustled him into the car so we could go and vote before Drew had to work. Max had a card from school that said he went with us to vote and the inspector had to sign it so he could bring it back to his teacher. He was so proud to do that. As far as the outcome...well, I am not going to say whether I am disappointed or not. All that I will say on the subject is that this country wanted change and I pray that they will all be able to handle the changes that are coming. Enough said.

I created this layout today of Max in his halloween costume. He was so stinking cute that I couldn't wait to get one done of his elephant costume. The reason for the title was because where ever we went he was always asked if he was suppose to be Horton from Horton Hears a Who...well Max had no idea what a Horton was...he was just a Max dressed as an elephant. Too funny!! I guess that I am a bad mommy because I didn't take him to see that movie. Anyways....

Life goes on here in Cassadaga, pretty low key these days without any sporting events to go to. I am thinking that we are going to have to figure out some other things to do so we aren't just sitting at home every evening. I thought that I would enjoy not having to go anywhere but ya know what? I think that I will get pretty bored with that soon enough.

I am off to get some ironing done this afternoon....my most dreaded household chore. I so wish I could be like my mom and enjoy this task but it ain't happening!!

I am just now starting to catch my breath again. First of course Friday was Halloween and I spent the afternoon in Max's classroom. Oh my gosh...it was so much fun! They had a little party, everybody was in their costumes. There were games all through the school and then a little parade with all of the classes showing off their costumes. Max had so much fun and he was just as cute as can be. Then we came home and quickly ordered pizza and wings for dinner. Everybody was coming and going so we really didn't have a sit down dinner...just eat when you could. Drew and I took Max trick or treating at about 5pm and the night was absolutely gorgeous! It was almost 70 degrees and beautiful. You can see just how pretty it was in the pictures. Abby and Andrew Thomas went around town with their friends but had a pretty early night of it because Abby had tryouts in the morning and Andrew had his football game in the afternoon on Saturday. We took Max for a quick trip to his grandparent's house but by then he was just totally pooped! He looked in his pumpkin and told us he has enough candy and he just wanted to go home.

Saturday was the last football game of the season. It was a little tear jerking but the boys won and it was a fitting end to a bit of a disappointing season. Here is to next year and a trip to states!! We cleaned out the concession stand, fed the boys some pizza and wings after the game, cleaned up the cafeteria and then headed out to Angola to help Drew's grandparents with an electronic issue...they couldn't get their new tv to work. Came home from that and went to bed after watching the Sabres game. Then....... we got up bright and early Sunday morning, drove out to Rochester to see Maddie play rugby (oh my goodness that is a rough sport!) then had to turn right around and head back to get Abby to her second round of tryouts sunday night. I am just pooped and have spent the day today trying to find my house....it was quite the pigsty when we got home!!

Hope that you all enjoy the pictures of Halloween. I think that we live in the prettiest place around and there is nothing like an Autumn evening in Cassadaga, NY!!

It has been a few days since updating but that is just because life is busy as usual! We are getting ready for our first significant snowfall of the season...and though I am hoping they are wrong my bones are aching like they are right. Will have to let you know tomorrow. The wind is surely howling out there right now.

On the family front...Abby is currently 2 hours way in Roy Hart for a volleyball playoff game. We opted not to go because it is sooo far away and well because....lets just say past experience tells us we don't really need to be there. (Coach issues) anyways, if they lose then the season is done and I have to tell you that Abby would be perfectly fine with that. JAVA starts on Saturday is she is just anxious to get that started.

The boys will be playing their final football game on saturday. Against an old rival....Falconer. It should be pretty exciting and I certainly hope that they end the season on a positve note. Fingers and toes crossed!!

We still haven't gotten a chance to see Maddie play rugby but we are hoping that everything works out for this sunday for us to go up there. She has a new pet....I think that it is a rat...a white one. Cute little bugger and she named her Trinity. I am glad that she will have something to keep her company while she is busy studying...not sure what I am going to think when Ms. Trinity comes home for vacations....teheheee.
We had some sad events happen over the past week as well. Andrew's great aunt Phyllis passed away from pancreatic cancer. We knew that it was coming but it still is a sock in the gut when it happens. But then Phyllis' daughter went to wake up her husband the next day and he had passed away in his sleep. He was only 47 and he had a massive heart attack. So poor Wendy lost her mom on Sunday and then her husband on Monday. Please keep her family in your prayers. She has 2 young children and they are taking it very hard.

I have been busy scrapping this week. Lots of deadlines to meet and lots and lots of things on my plate. I can share some of them but the others will have to wait (smile) The first layout is of a picture that I took of my brother at his 4th of July party this past summer. I really liked the perspective of this picture. And my journaling talks about how proud I am that he is my brother. This was for my recipe of the week over at MMFY The next one is also for MMFY and it was for my October stash DT challenge. What do we all have in our stash? Scraps....so you had to do a layout using only scraps and nothing larger than 2x2. I am holding Maddie in this picture and it tugs at my heart whenever I see it. It just really amazes me that she is off on her own and oh so grown up. How in the world did that happen.

My pity party for myself is over! I am proud of myself for get over mom's anniversary as well as I did this year. It is something that I don't ever think I will get over but at least it is not paralyzing me like it used to. Anyways....

I have been scrapping a lot this week! Or doing scrappy projects. I made an altered clipboard count down to santa....can't share that with you yet because it is going to be in the ezine. It turned out so cute. I have been in the christmas making spirit too so I am happy about that because maybe just maybe I will get all of my christmas gifts done on time this year. Oh yeah....who am I kidding right? I think that I may even start my cards this week....that would be a shocker!! I do know that I have to get working on Max's Halloween treat thingys that I am making for his class. I also have to figure out how I am going to make him into an elephant for halloween. An elephant....where in the heck did he come up with that idea? Last year he was a bee which I thought was pretty cute. He keeps insisting that is what he wants to be and he hasn't changed his mind in 4 weeks....so I guess an elephant is what it is going to be!! Oh my!!

I have continued doing my scrap recipes over at MMFY because the ladies just love them over there. This layout today is my recipe for this week. I made them pull out their paints and paint on their layout....anywhere they wanted to just so there was paint on it. I love coming up with the different ideas for each recipe....keeps me on my toys so that they don't become bored with them.

On a family note.....hhhhmmmmm.....last night was volleyball.....still no improvement there with this coach. Things have gotten worse (if that is at all possible) but on a happy note....1 more game, 1 more tournament and then playoffs. We will be done with her and done with VB for school. Hoping and praying and doing whatever we can to make sure she doesn't come back next year. We will have to see how that one goes.

Football Friday night all the way in Allegheny Limestone....but it will be a pretty drive out there as the fall colors are just about at their peak!! 2 more games to go after this and then hopefully we can get Drew's surgery scheduled pretty quickly after that. We do have a deadline you know....baseball comes up pretty quick in the spring!!
And I also had to share Max's very first school picture (actually it is his very first professional picture ever!) Is he just the cutest or what?
Thanks for stopping by!!

Today marks 4 years without my mom. It still takes my breath away to think about the fact that she is no longer here with us. I will always remember the last weeks of her life. Fall was such a favorite time for her...she loved the beauty of the trees changing and the chill in the air. It was fitting for her to pass away on a Fall day! She was such an amazing woman, even more amazing mom and there is not a minute that goes by that my heart doesn't ache for her. To just hear her voice once more. I know that she is in a good place....no more pain, no more tears...just peace and happiness. I miss you mom, today and always...you will always be my hero!
That I have been published in the MMFY online ezine This months issue is jam packed with some pretty neat stuff. Lots of inspiration in there!! I didn't really forget to mention this but sometimes I have a hard time giving myself a "toot" but I really want you all to see the ezine because it is just so cool!!
about another fun crop happening this weekend. Coordinates Collections is having a Fall Crop starting tonight. It is going to be a lot of fun with lots of challenges and prizes. If you get a chance come on over and check it out.

Speaking of Fall...it is just beautiful here in western NY today. The temperatures are warm, the sun is shining and the colors are just spectacular. I love this time of year!! The kids have a long weekend starting tomorrow so I hope between the football game and the volleyball tournament that we can get some time to go to a pumpkin patch or some other fallish thing. I am just drooling over the thought of the beautiful pictures I could scrap with!! I am crossing my fingers that everybody cooperates!!

A prayer request goes out today for my friend Niki's daughter Ellie. She had her MRI today and the tumor is progressing. She has completed radiation and is currently on chemo but this monster of a tumor just keeps growing and growing. My heart is just breaking for them. Please visit her carepage Ellie and give them some prayers. Thank you!

Okay, for the most part it was an awesome weekend. The boys finally won a football game! It wa homecoming so if they were going to win one this is the one they needed to win. It was a defensive struggle but oh what a sweet victory! I was so proud of Andrew too...I think that this was the best game he has played all season and he was picked MVP of the game by the radio station. So stinkin proud of him!! Here is a link to the article of the game in case you are interested. Observer

Then of course there was the homecoming dance. Abby looked just beautiful in her dress and so did all of her friends. It was mighty chilly out that night but they were all brave and let us take pictures outside. Even Max had to get in on all the fun!!

Now for the icky part of the weekend. We were all sick! I think that I slept more hours than I was awake yesterday. I am so hoping we all feel better soon because it is costing us a small fortune in tissues. But seriously, it is nothing compared to what others are going through.

I can't believe it but Max is 5 years old today!! Where in the world has the time gone? His birthday is always a little melancholy for me because when we celebrated his first birthday it was in the nursing home with my mom where she was spending her very last days. I am bound and determined not to go there today though. My baby is 5 and it is his first time having a birthday at school. I have been baking cupcakes all morning and getting them ready to take to the school at 2. He is excited that I am coming to his classroom today and I have to say that I am pretty excited about it too!! We are having pizza and wings for dinner....was there any doubt that that would be what he requested for his birthday dinner....nope. Not at all!! Then having grandma and grandpa over for cake and ice cream. Or actually cupcakes and ice cream at Max's request. Poor little guy has to wait until 7 to open his presents because daddy and Drew won't be home until then. I think he will make it though!!

This layout today is one for the new recipe in October over at MMFY. Max certainly loves his chocolate. Of course he asked for chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting and chocolate ice cream for his birthday. Wonder where he gets his love for the stuff....I can't even imagine (smile)

And I wanted to share the kids pictures from school this year. I am so happy with the way they turned out. I think they are pretty darn adorable kids. Can't wait to see Max's when they come in sometime next week.

Well I am off to finish cleaning....can't have the grandparents coming to a messy house tonight.

I can't believe how much Max has changed since I took this picture in May!! He is so much a little boy now and not this toddler cheeky pooh!! Anyways, this is the layout that I did for my fourth and final recipe of the month for September. I am so impressed with what all the wonderful ladies did with my recipes over at MMFY There sure is some awesome talent over there and I can't wait to see what they come up with for my October recipes!!
Life here has been pretty hectic. The boys football game last Friday was a bummer. Now mind you...they played the absolute best that they have played all season. Coaching was great for the most part. They scored the very first touchdown on Southwestern's brand new field but....they lost the game. Not only that but they lost another 2 starters to broken hands and Andrew messed up his ankle pretty bad. He stayed in the game though which after seeing his foot I am just not sure how he managed. He did say that he didn't notice any pain in his shoulder because his ankle hurt so bad. Anyways, he treated it with ice and elevation for several days and the swelling did come down and of course he is practicing again getting all ready for the next game. Can't keep that kid down for nothing.
And...my world is rocked yet again....Andrew Thomas is now the proud owner of a NY State License.! He passed his road test yesterday....first time. I am now a nervous mommy because we all know how much I hate driving and how much I hate that I have 2 kids out on the road driving. But I do have to admit that this is going to make our lives a bit easier with getting kids to and from EVERYTHING!! So I just have to keep saying my prayers and stressing how important is to drive safe. He is a good kid so I am thankful for that!!
Abby's volleyball is about the same. Maybe a teeny bit better but not much. She just keeps plugging away knowing that JAVA will start November 1st. This should be an excellent opportunity for her.
Maddie absolutely loves Rugby....she had her first game last weekend and she couldn't stop talking about it. I need to get up and see her play soon....although I am a little scared to because I am told that it is a bit rough.
Max is totally in love with school still. It just makes me so happy to know that. Talked with his teacher yesterday and she said that he is the sweetest, most polite kid and even though he did not attend Pre-K he is above and beyond the ones that did academically. And his gym teacher who happens to lift weights with Andrew Thomas and has coached him as well says that Max is by far the most athletic kindergarten student that he has or ever has. I guess we should never have doubted that since sports has been his life from day one.
Remember that this weekend starting Friday is our Scrap Pink Crop for breast cancer awareness tomorrow over at MMFY So go on over and give it a looksy....it is going to be a fun one!! I will be hosting a sketch challenge as well as word game. Prizes and all!! And it is for a great cause!! Hope to see you there!!

Lots to catch up on I guess. We will start with football...well, the game Saturday night was very painful to watch!! The poor boys were beat 18-0! Let me tell you there were some not very happy dads on the sidelines and even unhappier boys on the field. It was just a game where neither the coaches nor the players were on the same page...at all!! There is so much individual talent on this team and I just hope and pray that these coaches can figure out a way to make it all work together or this team is never going to win a game. And I just can't stand the thought of that happening. They have been practicing hard this week to get ready to face the undefeated Southwestern Trojans. This particular team just moved down into our class this year and they have a reputation for being an awesome team. It would do our boys so much good to pull off a win here and I do believe they have the talent to do so!! So fingers and toes crossed for Friday. Oh yeah....forgot to mention...our team is starting to get injury riddled. One player broke his hand Saturday on the opening kick off...didn't realize and kept playing the entire game!! Only to find out Sunday just how bad it really was. He is hoping to get into a hard cast this week so that he will be able to play Friday....man oh man this kid has guts and determination!!

Abby's volleyball woes are getting a teeny bit better...not much but we parents have all come to the conclusion that there is really nothing we can do about this coach and hopefully the school will realize that there was a reason she was let go from her previous job. Anyways, Abby is looking forward to starting with the travel league in November.

Maddie joined a rugby team at UofR...yep you heard that right and she is having the time of her life. I guess that I need to learn all about another new sport because I haven't a clue about rugby. We are hoping to get to see some games too. SHould be lots of fun!!

Now onto the scrapping world. First...MMFY is having a Crop Pink for Breast Cancer Online Crop on the weekend of Sept.26-28th. Please come over and join us for lots of fun challenges, games and prizes. It is all for such a great cause. So if you haven't registered there yet...please do!!

This layout is for my Recipe Challenge that I have going on over there every week. This weeks recipe includes:


2 Patterned Papers

Hand Written Title....don't be afraid...I just drew block letters and outlined them with my sharpie and colored them in. Easy Peasy!!


Double Matted photo(s) You can use as many photos as you want...just make them double matted

Staples....I stapled my flourishes on to my layout

1 Paperclip

Journaling Tag

I thought that this funky look with the hand written title worked really great with the funky pictures my kids gave me!! They really do crack me up sometimes!!

Okay I am off to finish canning my spaghetti sauce and also hoping to scrap a bit today!!
Where you just can't do anything? I am in such an unsettled mood with everything that is going on with Abby and volleyball...I just can't seem to function. I know, I know...I need to put it in perspective but it is so hard to see your child hurting no matter what the cause of it is. She is just heartbroken over all of this and it is tearing me up inside. After tonights game Andrew is going to step up and say something to the coach...and I use that term very loosely. This has brought on a whole other agony for Abby as she would just rather not be the kid whose dad talks to the coach. But the stupidity of this woman has gone on far too long and for whatever reason my husband is the only one with guts (or stupidity) to confront the situation. It hasn't been an easy decision for him either as he knows what this can do but enough is enough already. I have been praying and praying that something good will come out of all of this. I am seeing bits and pieces of possible good but not a whole lot. Guess I keep praying.

Andrew received his first letter requesting game films from a Division I University! Syracuse University is looking at recruiting him!! How exciting is that? He has worked so hard for this and continues to work hard even faced with his shoulder injury. I am just so darn proud of him and can only hope and pray that all of his hard work and dedication will lead him to a whole world of opportunities! Now lets just hope the cougars can step it up the rest of the season and make their playoff dreams come alive!!

Abby is still having some major issues with volleyball. But I am so happy to see that this morning my sweet daughter woke up with a new found source of determination!! She is not going to let a ditzy blond coach get in her way of her hopes and dreams and both Andrew and I stand behind her 100%! We will do whatever it takes to help her achieve her goals.

Abby's struggles were the source of inspiration for this layout today. Is she gorgeous or what? I have some hidden journaling behind the photo because I don't think she would be ready to read what I have said yet...it might embarrass her a wee bit. But I felt it was important to journal my thoughts today and there will be a time when she will appreciate my words. (At least I hope so)

Max is still enjoying school and for the first time there was no lunchroom saga. He remembered that I packed his lunch and for the most part actually ate it! Phew...hopefully that is one less thing for me to have to stress about this week!!
Volleyball did not go any better Friday and I am at my wits end as to what to do. It is so hard being a mom seeing your daughter get screwed...believe me that is not the word I want to use!! I keep reminding myself to put it in perspective and if this is the biggest thing we have to worry about then we should be pretty darn thankful. Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't. I guess I just need to pray some more on what I am if I am suppose to do anything about it all.

Football didn't turn out so hot yesterday either. We lost the season opener 7-6. Not the kind of start everybody was looking for. I am not sure who is more devastated...the kids or the dads. We did have a great time before the game tailgating. Lots of good food and laughs and just pure excitement. It was fun while it lasted but as the dads were leaving they were carrying their hearts in their hands. But seriously...it was one game...now hopefully the coaches will be smart and look at what worked and what obviously didn't. And then take that information and fix the issues. Again .... put it in perspective!! The cougars do have a neat website all their own and not affiliated with the school. Cougars Football Click on that and you can see some fun pictures of Andrew at the bonfire and also pictures from the game yesterday.

I am canning spaghetti sauce again today and in honor of the season opener for the Bills I have my traditional chilli brewing in the crockpot. The house smells sooooo yummy!!

2:35:00 PM | 0 Comments

I have always wanted to know how to link to another site without actually having to paste the entire url address....I think it looks much cooler that way. So I am going to experiment and see if I figured it out....teeeheeee


OH MY GOSH....it worked!! How cool is that!!

He still likes school!! You just don't know how relieved that I am about this fact!! And I am finding that I am enjoying my time here at home. I have been able to work on a lot of things that I have been putting off as well as creating new items for my eBay store. SO I think that this is going to be a good thing all around (smile) I do have another lunch saga to share with you all though...he gets off the bus today and says "Mom, you forgot to pack my lunch" ummmm Max we have been through this...we decided that you were going to buy this week. Well, I didn't like it. Why not honey? They put jelly on my peanut butter sandwich. A big NO NO in Max's book. He apparently didn't want the hamburger and fries so they asked him if a peanut butter sandwich was okay....well it would have been except that there was jelly on it. So I spent $1.40 for chocolate milk today because that is all he had. Needless to say....I am packing him a lunch on Monday with a big big note to his teacher telling her that he brought his lunch!! I am just thankful that these lunch sagas are my biggest concern with school....thank goodness for that!
So while he was gone today I scrapped his picture from his first day of school. I am so proud of myself for getting it done this year and not when is 20!!
Okay, just have a small prayer request...nothing serious....nothing health related....just an issue with Abby and volleyball. I am having a hard time keeping my mouth shut and all I am going to say is that I really think a volleyball coach should be hired because she knows how to play, has played before and can teach the girls something....and not because she is a size 2 blond that looks good....enough said but please pray for Abby to be able to deal with the poop she is dealing with and please say a prayer for me because I need (ABSOLUTELY NEED) to keep my mouth shut and we all know how hard that is for me!!
Tomorrow is the opening game for Cougar football...keep Drew in your prayers too so that this brace does what it is suppose to do and no injuries!!

Day Two!!!!

1:36:00 PM | 0 Comments

And he came off the bus just as happy as yesterday. He thought school was pretty cool today too because they had their first fire drill...he loved it! Only Max!! I sent him lunch money for the week including yesterdays so hopefully we won't have any more mishaps in that department. He wasn't too thrilled with lunch today though because it was a chicken tender sub...and if you know Max you know he doesn't like sandwiches...something about mixing his foods. He will only eat a peanutbutter sandwich with NO JELLY! Anyways, he said he had to take his chicken off his sub and then wipe off the white stuff with his napkin...yep he doesn't like condiments of any kind either. And then to top it all off...they changed their minds about serving cookies and served bananas instead...he refused to put the banana on his plate. He is just too funny...he used to love bananas but for some reason he can't even stand the smell of them anymore!!

I actually scrapped today...no interruptions...okay I did have interruptions...Kody was a pain in my butt today constantly under foot and wanting to go outside. My scraproom is so tiny but he insists on being in there with me while I scrap...no room to move around or nothing. I guess he loves me!! Here is the layout that I did today. At MMFY I am doing a weekly "recipe" challenge for the members...the recipe being a scrapbook page that has to have certain things on it. This is my first "recipe"

1 Piece of cardstock

3 Patterned Papers

6 Buttons

2 Ribbons

Please use circles somewhere on your page

And must have visible journaling somewhere on the page

The recipe idea has been met with lots of excitement so I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with. There is a RAK involved so if you want a chance to win go on over and register then play along with me all month!!

The first day of school that is. Max was so excited when I woke him up this morning (yes Ihad to wake him up because he stayed up late watching his favorite reality show last night...America's Got Talent...I am such a bad mom!!) Anyways he got dresses and tried to eat breakfast but he just wasn't hungry. Ellie and Emmy came and then we got in the van and went to school. He was totally stoked!! There was a second of apprehension when he asked me where I was going but then his teacher told him to go find the hook with his name on it to hang his backpack and off he went...never even looked back! I was pretty proud of myself too...no tears. There was a moment of sadness however later in the morning when I picked his blankie off the floor but then I quickly thought...hey he isn't home and he will never know if I wash it!! So he has a clean, no longer smelly blanket to cuddle with tonight.

He had a short day today and I went to pick him up off the bus...he was smiling and chatting and telling me how much he loved his school and was happy to go back tomorrow. I also noticed that he had pizza on his face...ummmmm....I packed him a peanut butter sandwich. Guess he forgot I packed his lunch so he told his teacher he would like the pizza please....yeah right he forgot! He just saw pizza and there was no way he was going to eat his plain ole peanutbutter sandwich! I guess I send extra money in with him tomorrow for todays lunch....and then I guess since he enjoyed buying lunch he can buy again tomorrow!!

Enjoy the pictures of my little man....can't believe he is this old already!!