You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2008.

December 28: Birthday Cakes–the jello version

dec-28-webDuring dinner at the Chinese buffet, Ellie created her own version of birthday cakes with chow mein noodles and jello squares.

December 27: I can Stand (and Skate)

dec-27-webEllie has been asking to go ice skating and now that she is 4 I told her she was big enough to try. Even after putting on her skates in the lobby, she was so excited and announced, “I can stand”. I guess that is an accomplishment for some. On the ice, she did so well. She was determined to do it herself for the most part. She managed to get around the rink three times before calling it a day. She even topped off her new skills by doing the worlds slowest twirl–but she did it without falling down.

December 26: Coloring

dec-26-webThis huge “hello kitty” coloring book recieved as a Christmas present kept Ellie occupied for hours (and this is NOT typical of this girl who usually can’t stick with an activity for more than 5 minutes). She has completed many of the pages already and is using them for new wallpaper in her room.


So class “officially” ended two weeks ago, but with all the Christmas preparations and celebrations–well anyway that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. I did get Week 10 done (only two more weeks to go). The topic: COLOR. Cathy’s biggest tip of the week was “forget science–look at your photos”. The idea behind that statement was to find four colors that appear in a photo and then narrow that down in order to find the papers and embellishments for your layout.

Here is an example using Cathy’s “Find 4” approach:

week-10-sketch-1-webI concentrated on the yellow of the slide and the brown in Ellie’s shirt.

The second example uses a triadic color scheme–that means using three hues spaced evenly around the color wheel.

week-10-sketch-2-big-webBetter get cracking on Week 11.

Update to my Photo a Day project:

December 25th: Christmas Day Sweater


Ellie got this new sweater set for Christmas from Grandma Jolene and Papa Lee. Jolene found it on a recent trip to Winnepeg and I can see why she just couldn’t resist getting it.

December 24: I’m Hungry


Grandma’s table was all set for a Christmas eve dinner and someone couldn’t help helping herself a bit early.

December 23: Now Smile

dec-23-webA new camera for Ellie and first thing she did was “pose” her new friends, bear and Curious George for a photo shoot. I think I’m going to have some competition in a few years.

For the third year in a row I have completed family calendars. The grandparents have even started asking when they will get one so they can start using them. Here is my 2009 version (templates by Simply Sarah, papers all by Vera Lim and the year word art on the cover by Ali Edwards):

More photos to share.

December 22: “Snow Angel” Bird

dec-22-webThis bird hit my back window. He was gone by the time I looked out, but look what he left–a perfect imprint in the snow, complete with “snow angel” wings.

December 21: Game Day


Ok–here’s another one not taken by me. The Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders held the first ever partner dance as part of this weekends Jr. Cheerleader Camp. All of the other partners were dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers or husbands (some of the MVC are married)–except for me as you can see in this shot. It was actually fun being one of the “guys”. They all did really well–even had straight lines. And would you believe they did a kick line too?!

December 20: Northern Flicker

dec-20-webA snowy day visit outside my window by this beautiful big bird. He is a type of woodpecker and is about 1 foot long.

December 19: Tub Time

dec-19-webThis girl love to play in the tub.

December 18: Choir Concert

dec-18-webAnna’s first choir concert. She did great. It was also a band concert. The flute section performed a holiday feature.

Her favorite choir song was the “Huron Carol”:


The flute section performed the “March” from the Nutcracker:









A friend recently told me that she admires that I just figure out how to do what I want to do–just because I’ve never done it before doesn’t stop me. I wanted to make a special Christmas keepsake for the ladies I dance with on the A-Team. I knew I was good at the photography stuff, but how do I use that skill other than just giving them another picture. Here is what I came up with (good thing I’ve learned a few jewlery making skills from my daughter):

craft-ateam-web(Note to A-Team members: If you haven’t gotten yours yet–you will!)

Next I saw these neat Finnish Stars (forgive me my Norgewian ancestors) here:

So I had to try them. Of course I wasn’t satisfied with making just one–I needed 9 to decorate my windows and a few more for the stairway garland. They weren’t as difficult as I imagined and it was a great way to use up some of my scrapbooking paper stash.

craft-stars-webFinally, Ellie got into the act. She noticed that her name was up on the board we keep on the refridgerator. I explained that each Christmas our four kids get a gift for one of their siblings. So I went through the list telling her that she has her brother, Austin, this year. Right away she said, “well, who gets one for you and Daddy?”  I told her we’d love something that she made. So shh, it’s a secret!


December 17:

dec-17-webEllie made ornaments today. Caught her critically examining her work.

December 16:

dec-16-webMy A-team celebrated the holidays last night at coach, Heather P’s house. We surprised both Heather’s (both our coaches are named Heather) by turning the party into a baby shower. They are both expecting later this winter. This beautiful arrangement graced our table.

December 15:

dec-15-webThis snow covered street at night struck me as something beautifully different. I just stuck my camera out the car window while I was crossing the street. Good thing I live in a small town with not much traffic!

December 14:

dec-14-webWe finally got the Christmas tree up and decorated over the weekend. Here is one of my more unusal ornaments. It came from Bali, Indonesia on a trip I took in the early 1990s. I like collecting ornaments from places I’ve been to.

December 13:

dec-13-webAnna’s guys– and they are John Jones, Jimmy John and Bob Amebob (long story).

December 12:

dec-12-webEllie got her first full haircut at the salon today. She was quite good and very proud of her “big girl” self.

December 11:

dec-11-web1Ok, so I didn’t take this one (since I’m in it 7th from the left). But it highlights the big event today–the annual MVC Holiday Show. My A-team performed two numbers at the show which was held at Winter Park. Anna’s All Star Team performed too. I’ll write more about the show later.








Merry Christmas to all who are visiting my blog! The card made it into the mail this week thanks to

card-2008-webMy neighbor sent me these thoughts:

This Christmas

  • Welcome a stranger.
  • Seek out a forgotten friend.
  • Keep a promise.
  • Laugh.
  • Try to understand.
  • Share.
  • Think first of someone else.
  • Listen.
  • Be kind.
  • Appreciate.
  • Love your neighbor.
  • Mend a quarrel.
  • Brighten the heart of a child.
  • Encourage the young.
  • Write a love letter.
  • Forgive an enemy.
  • Express your gratitude.
  • Trust.
  • Be gentle.
  • Say a prayer.
  • Speak your love.


Anna turned 11 yesterday.

Happy birthday daughter. I’m so glad I get to be your mom.  Oh and this was also my photo of the day.

December 9:


The All Stars helped out at the Toys for Tots toy drive at the Mall of America. The girls helped collect the toys, thanked the givers and also did a little cheer.

Still plugging away (week 11 lesson came out today–so I guess I’m still behind).  Week 9  focused on LINE as an element of design. Here are my layouts for the week: