Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Carving!

Click to play Pumpkin Carving
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Have you tried Smilebox? It is a pretty cute digital Scrapbooking website. They can be created to share online for free or you can pay to have it downloaded for printing. They are all pretty cute and easy to use. I have made a few just for fun but thought I would share our pumpkin carving photos from tonight using the site. There are a variety of choices from scrapbook pages to post cards. A few draw backs are it is just drag and drop and you can't change too much. I think it is a fun way to share photos with friends and family because you can also e-mail what you create too! Oh you might notice the pumpkin is pretty small. When we went to carve our HUGE pumpkins we found they had all started to rot except for the baby one! Pretty disappointing but actually it turned out pretty cute! Rich was disappointed because he was REALLY looking forward to the seeds- that is his favorite part!!



Monday, October 27, 2008


While I was off on my scrapbooking weekend Rich had a lot of plans with the kids. One of them was the Halloween party at our Clubhouse. The kids were able to dress up in their super cute costumes and play games and get some treats. Dayne made a Frankenstein magnet and did the pumpkin walk. He picked pink playdough as his prize- of course we have like a million tubs of playdough! Lylah thought the balloon maker was pretty cool and got a butterfly balloon animal. (just like her costume!) They both checked out the fun decorations. The ladies at the Clubhouse always do such a great job decorating. I am bummed I miss the fun event but I was glad that Rich took some photos. To show off the event I decided to do a digital scrapbook page. There is a great website you can download all kind of paper and embellishments called http://www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com/. I downloaded a bunch of fun things and used my Photoshop Elements to make a page. It is a site that I need to remember to go to because the stuff is so cute! Sometimes I think I will start to just do digital scrapbooking but I would miss all the fun of the hands on of traditional scrapbooking- plus I do love those weekends away when I get to go!
It seems like they had a great time on their weekend!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time for hair cuts...

Today was hair cut day for the kids! Usually Lylah is the only one in our family that actually goes into a salon to get a hair cut, but we decided to let Dayne have a trip too- after 4 years he may as well have some style right! So we started out at Kids Hair for Lylah and did a little chopping and now her hair is above her shoulders. It is pretty cute. I figured I wouldn't do pig tails with wearing winter hats so a short 'do was worth a try. She is a bit of a natural curl in the back so it doesn't lay as nicely as I wish but it is still cute! Next we checked out Sports Clips for Dayne. This is quite the place geared to guys. Usually we just buzz off all his hair so this was quite the treat. I am not sure if Rich and I can do what the great stylist did but who knows. He looks so cute with some product in it too! I might have to get him some! HA HA. Now tonight Rich will cut his hair and they will be all set- Humm that leaves me--I will be calling my fantastic neighbor for a hair cut soon! Perhaps I better start my Christmas Card photos while everyone looks so nice!!! Karin- have plans this week??? =)

Lylah's New Do!


During- he sat so nicely- all that practice with Daddy helped!

Getting some product in his hair- too cool!

After! One styling dude!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Okay I am so excited-- tomorrow I get to go on a scrapbooking weekend. I am going with my wonderful friend Tonya and some other gals that I really don't know very well. Usually I go with my awesome neighbors (and fellow bloggers) so this is going to be a little strange- but it will be fun too. Getting ready for a scrap weekend is a lot of work! Especially when you are WAY behind like I am. I have never been this far behind so I am REALLY looking forward to this. I have everything put in order so I hope that helps me accomplish the huge task I have ahead. With any luck I will get caught up- of course just to get behind again. I have found that I do a lot better on these weekends. For some reason getting everything out to work for just an hour doesn't seem worth it so these weekend away are great for me to scrapbook.

Of course I will miss my Beau and Belle greatly (and my hubby too for that matter) but I think it does everybody a little good to get away just for yourself. Makes you rejuvenated I think. Plus getting the fact you are sooooo behind on scrapbooking could help too! Another thing off the to-do list.

So the car is packed- food is ready- away I go- YIPPEE!
Hummmm if I get this excited to go scrapbooking imagine how I would be if I went on a vacation with my hubby--- hummm I should plan that one huh...

Until Later

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Fish

Swim school.... that is what Dayne calls it. Once a week Dayne goes to Foss Swim School. We actually can't tell him the day before that he has class because he keeps asking when he is going to go! He is in a class with 2 other boys and he really LOVES it. He has been learning how to back float. He wants to use the "scuba" tank even thought he really could do it with out it. He is starting to catch onto scooping and kicking. Each week he gets better at it. His favorite thing to do is dive to the bottom to get whatever toy is at the bottom. I am anxious for him to be strong enough to swim on his own but I know it will come with time. So we will continue to go each week and practice, practice, practice since he does love it so much. He likes to say he is going to be like Michael Phelps...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Do you ever sit there as just enjoy the silence? Actually take a moment and not do anything and just sit in silence? The reason I ask this is because I never really do. I can remember a time when I actually had some time that was silent- but that was a long time ago. The fact is I often can't stand silence. I need to hear something- whether it is the sound of my fingers on the keyboard as I type this or the humm of the TV. The problem with silence is it makes me feel guilty. Like I should be doing something. I am not suppose to just sit and do nothing and listen to the silence. So last night and tonight while Rich is out of town I am making the effort to sit and enjoy the silence. No playing on Facebook, no watching TV, just sit in silence - even if it is for a few moments. Usually that is all it lasts before my mind starts to race and I am over come with the need to do something like reviewing lesson plans for school, cleaning, or working on photos. It is that nagging guilt that always gets me. Where it comes from I don't know- but what I do know it is self inflicted. So I am off to enjoy a few moments of silence- before I have the overwhelming need to do something to break the silence.....
Until later......

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Capital of the World

I am a bit behind in my blogging- even though we had a nice long weekend from school I found myself doing all kinds of things around the house. So much for some days 'off" huh- Some how they always get filled with little projects like hummmm cleaning. HA HA. So that was my Thursday and then Friday I took photos of Lylah and her friend - they are 22 months. I can't believe 2 more months and I am free of doing two scrapbooks- At least nine months because then starts Dayne school years scrapbook! So I guess that won't last long. Which brings me to Friday when the kids joined me to get my supplies for a scrapbooking weekend I am going on. They were pretty good kids as I went from store to store. I think I am all set. Saturday brought my final senior photo shoot (shot on their beautiful 2 aces) and Grandma and Grandpa Carlson's from Illinois came for a visit and we decided to partake in the Lighted Halloween Parade in Anoka. Now this reminded me of the Holidazzle parade in Minneapolis except it was all about Halloween. For those of you that read this out of the great state of Minnesota - Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World- Halloween is a BIG event in Anoka with activities and parades. We have never attended the parade so in the car we went and found a great spot.

Grandpa gave into Dayne's desire for a light up sword and so we were entertained by his ability to swing it! I got a really cool shot of it in action. The spot we had was great until teenagers decided to fill up in front of us. At least they stayed seated for the most part. It was a chilly evening but really lots of fun- for a parade anyway. All in all it was pretty relaxing and now my count down begins to Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little Skeletons

I have an obsession I must admit to. It is PJ's and T-shirts that relate to holidays. I think it is the closest I will get to wearing something that is considered teacher like. I am sure you have seen those people that wear those apple t-shirts that say some enlighening statement about teaching. Those are not for me. I don't know if I could even wear them when I am 60+ and still teaching because I can't afford to retire. Nope, they are not for me. But when the stores have those PJ's for the kids for Halloween or Christmas I can't resist or those t-shirts with a cute pumpkin- hold me back. I know it is kinda silly for a 30 something to find them fun but heck I do deal with children in all aspects of my life so I guess that could be part of it. Now this Halloween Gymboree had these CUTE skeleton PJ's for the kids and they glow in the dark. Talk about cute! So these jammies will be washed many times so they get to wear them leading up to Halloween. Plus of course there are the T-shirts from Old Navy that will be broken out next week. So if you happen to be at the science museum on Halloween and see a school group with a leader in a orange t-shirt with a pumpkin on it that would be me.....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finally done!

When we got home today from picking up Dayne from a birthday party we were suprised by the shutters on our house! That was the last thing we were waiting for. Last weekend we had painted the garage doors to match the shakes. Now it is a compete look.

Painting the garage wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. Rich figure out a plan and did the edging and I helped with the main body of it. We needed 2 coats with a little touch up the next day. Now I hope that we don't have another storm and have to do this all over again. I love the house the way it looks now. We are also all decorated for the fall. We haven't put out all our Halloween decorations yet but it is fall at our home! Even if the weather today didn't seem like it. It was a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blog Tag

Okay Tarah I will join in the fun of Blog Tag and answer..... Humm let me see. I am not really that weird so this might be hard (LOL) Just Kidding!

Seven Random/Weird Facts about myself-
1. I married my husband exactly a year to the day we met- and we didn't even live in the same state until 2 months before we got married.
2. When I sleep I move my foot back and forth and I actually wore out a hole in the sheet! OH MY!
3. I have a need for the kitchen sink to be completely empty before I go to bed.
4. I hated math all through school- actually had no confidence in it- and now I teach math to 5th graders- and it is so much fun!
5. I actually wanted to live on a farm growing up- I thought farms were so cool- but that is coming from a big city girl that thought a farm was like the pumpkin farm she went to as a kid with 3 rows of corn, a cow, and a pig- THEY ARE SO NOT!
6. I have horrible handwriting- I can never teach 3rd grade (that is when they teach cursive). Everything in my classroom is typed up on the computer.
7. I have traveled to almost every state, as well as, Germany, England, France, New Zealand, and Australia. I would love to go back to Australia.

I am going to Tag Karin- she is really the only person that I know that Blogs that Tarah didn't tag- I would tag my sister but I know she wouldn't do it!

Just Me and My Boys- Karin-- - TAG YOU'RE IT!

Until later-

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dental Dayne - by guest writer Rich

Tonight was Dayne's third dentist appointment as we groom him to get into the habit of going every six months just like his mom and dad. His first appointment a year ago went extremely well for a first-timer. He cooperated with everything they wanted to do and the hygenist was so great explaining how everything worked and letting him try some of the instruments.
His visit back in the spring was not so good. They basically got as far as counting his teeth and that was it. He didn't want the polish, he briefly allowed a flossing of a couple teeth and that was about it. Needless to say, we questioned how tonight would go.
This trip was just a boys night out. Daddy took him and his attitude was super even before we left the house. As soon as dinner was done he kept harassing us about it being time to go and that was still 40 minutes before departure time. It's important to preface this with the fact that he was really more excited about the games they have there than the dentist itself - after all, he's not that crazy! They have those old-school, table-top water games. Not sure if any of you had them when you were a kid but I had some. You fill them with water and push the buttons to get air to propel objects through hoops or into buckets. No batteries, no electricity needed and almost no sound - just that of air rushing through water and of plastic game pieces bouncing off each other, off obstacles or targets or off the walls of their aquatic prison.
Anyway, the receptionist spent a couple minutes making small talk with him while I filled out the standard form about name, address, insurance, allergies, etc. He was asked if he went to preschool, daycare or stayed home with mommy or daddy. His answer: "I go to daycare. It's like pre-school but not really." He was asked if he gets to do projects. "No. I just get to do a lot of crafts," he responded not realizing they are nearly one in the same. And, when questioned abou his and whether he was 8 or 9 now, he said, "No, I'm only four." When the paperwork was done he was asked if he wanted to wait in the lobby or go to the children's area where the games were. We've pretty much alluded to what his answer was earlier in this post.
When it was time to get the work done, he went willingly to the chair. You know the one. Perhaps you, too, learn to dread it as you get older but, deep down, secretly wish you had installed in your theater room so you can project the big game or your favorite movie onto the ceiling. He opened wide so his teeth could be counted. He picked out the flavors he wanted for polish (cherry), floss (berry) and flouride (strawberry) and for 20 minutes did everything they asked. He never complained and didn't cry. The only thing he had reservastions about was "Mr. Thirsty." It's the suction gadget that vacuums your mouth of fluids. He got to hold it and turn it on and off but didn't quite master the art of implementing it instead of swallowing. After the hygenist was done he allowed the dentist to check out his teeth and make sure they were all there and healthy.
His sister wasn't far from his thoughts while he was there. When it was over they offered him the box of toothbrushes to pick one. Not only did he reach in and grab one for himselg but he immediately reached in a second time saying, "and one for my sister." He was then rewarded for good behavior by getting to pick a balloon. Once again, he helped himself to one and before it could be pulled away, reached in for seconds for his sister. He picked a plain yellow one for himself. As for Lylah, she got "one with flowers because she's a girl," he reasoned.
So one clean mouth, two new toothbrushes - his a plain purple one and hers a yellow one shaped like an alligator - and two helium balloons (tied with floss, of course) later we were out the door. See you in six months we said as we headed for the car.
While we were in the car headed home and as I was telling him how proud I was of him for doing a great job, he admitted he was tired. Of what? "From going to the dentist."
Aren't we all?!? But, next April we'll be back, if nothing more than to spend five minutes playing those cool water games.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pizza Maker

Today was a pretty dreary day - which was a disappointment after the beautiful day we had yesterday. So we stayed inside and enjoyed some family time together. On of the things we did was make pizza. A cheese one for the kids and a BBQ chicken for mom and dad. Dayne was pretty excited to help.

Dayne helped make their pizza with spreading the sauce. It got a little messy- sauce managed to go flying! Lucky for me I was taking photos while it was flying and I wasn't in the range of the splatter!
Cheese sprinkling came next. To my surprise none went in his mouth as he put the cheese on.

Dayne showed off his pizza before it went in the oven. And decided to do a little dance and make some faces while he waited for it to be done.

Now if only eating the pizza was as fun as making it. As soon as he could eat a piece he took a few bites and then decided he was done.

Cooking and baking with Dayne is a lot of fun. I wish we did it more often. Humm- I think that will be our goal this fall- more fun in the kitchen!

Until next time- Melyssa

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Apple Obesession

In our house we need to hide the apples. Not the candy.... the apples. My children are obsessed. A couple of weeks ago we went apple picking. This was a lot of fun and we got tons of my favorite apple- honey crisp and some crab apples. We brought them home, washed them up and put them in a big basket on the island. Now my climber got right up on the stool and grabbed on of the crab apples. The perfect size for her. She took a chomp, got down from the stool and took off running. At first it was cute to see Lylah and Dayne climb up to grab an apple but soon we would find half eaten apples around the house. So we tried to put stop to it- I actually found myself saying NO, YOU MAY NOT EAT AN APPLE! Now isn't that crazy! Screaming and crying would soon be heard and the word Apple- Apple- Apple would come out between sobs from Lylah. Even this morning as we were heading out to go to daycare Dayne grabs 2 apples and gives one to Lylah and they happily head for the car! I guess it could be worse and they could want to have cookies all time time... but my honey crisp apple are only around for a short time and they are not the cheapest apples.. and to find them half eaten kills me! Here are a few photos of my apple loving Beau and Belle!