Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm lost!

I'm lost and wandering in the world of record-keeping and communication: journaling, scrapbooking, blogging, facebooking and emailing!

I just thought I'd say hi because I know I'm not being very consistent on my blog. I guess it's not meeting the same need for me that it was in the beginning. I used to picture printing my blog and having it replace our family scrapbook/journal idea--so I was motivated to keep up to date and write a lot. But now I'm changing my mind so it is starting to seem less of a priority.

I joined face book (finally!) this last month and took it for a spin. My conclusion? It's a fun way to find friends that I've lost contact with but I'm going to stop wasting so much time by having it up in my browser all the time. Even though it's addictive, I really don't care about all the mundane things everybody is doing right this minute and yet it sucks me in and I waste a lot of time reading about them! (no offense intended--you think the same!) So--I'll wait for the email alert that tells me that someone actually said something to me before I log in.

Here's my list of things I would like to be recording somehow:
1. Family pictures in an annual scrapbook.
2. Other special event scrapbooks for the kids--like I'm working on making them each a book about their birth--including development stories up to about 2 years old.
3. Personal journal--the kind that is private with no audience but me!
4. Family journal--recording fun facts about the kids on a regular basis, funny moments/stories we don't want to forget.
5. Family traditions and customs.
6. Favorite family recipes--somehow food memories is something I want to record.
7. Blog--new purpose: to update family and friends on our life--and give me a public voice once in a while when I really need it.

I think I've figured out solutions to most of these.

#1 & #2--Using Heritage Makers now to scrapbook. My plan is to actually print some real books this year so the kids see pictures in their hands not just flashing on a computer screen! I am planning on really scaling our pictures down from scrapbooks that I've made in the past. Just a "highlights" book each year--2-4 pages per month tops! Since I'm not going to do individual scrapbooks for each kid I won't be fitting as much journaling and storytelling in--thus the need for a family journal.

#3--this is new but I just signed up for an account on I'm liking it so far. We'll see if I keep it up. I haven't consistently written in a journal since before I had kids but I love reading the sporadic journal entries that I have made. It's fun to remember who I was then and see how I've improved (or digressed!) It's definitely therapeutic to journal especially when there is no audience to worry about!

#4,5,6--I'm still trying to figure out. I've had various methods in the past of recording all those cute stories. But I've done next to nothing for the past 18 months. I'm thinking about trying to use a separate account on to record all of these in and just print them as a family journal? I'd love other methods and ideas.

#7--I'm toying with the idea of going private. Pros? Cons? Maybe I'll streamline things by only posting portions of journal entries and not the millions of pictures of the past? I don't know! Or perhaps once I get all the other goals up and going I'll want the public voice again?

Thanks for listening to me ramble. You are a great audience, my friends, and I'd love your input--especially those of you that are also juggling all of these things! How do you record your family and not drown while doing it???

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Fish Story

(note: old picture--dog is still gone!)

In honor of Ryan's birthday I thought I'd post a little about one of his hobbies and passions.

One of the things I love about Ryan is that he always has a hobby that he is passionate about. A couple years ago he decided that he needed a hobby that didn't take him away from the family--that he could do even with kids hanging on his legs (what a great dad!) So he started a fish tank.

What started as a small freshwater tank has now become a massive work of Saltwater art. It is incredible how much he has learned and what a centerpiece of our home it has become. Everyone loves to look at and watch the tank grow and change--but nobody loves it more than Ryan. He loves to spend whatever minutes he can steal late at night studying and admiring the ever-changing world in his tank.

June 2005
First Freshwater Tank
30 gallon

Nov 2008
First Saltwater Set up
30 gallon

April 2009
Upgrade to 75 gallon tank

First fish, Dec 2009

The fish now

First Corals, Nov 2008

Now the tank is full of the most beautiful corals

If you want to see more check out the slide show--or better yet, come on by. It looks much more amazing in person!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Alice

Alice is 2 years old today! Sometime in the last couple months she's changed from my baby to my little girl. Quirky reasons we love having Alice spice up our lives...

-She's obsessed with my purse, wallet, keys, cell phone, etc. I think I spend an hour of every day negotiating my keys or credit card from her to drive or make a purchase. That's one way to get mommy's attention!
-Speaking of negotiations--the whole day is a negotiation! I believe that people that train to negotiate with hostages should have to spend a day with a 2 year old as their final exam: Put on clothes? Change diaper? Put on shoes? Open door? Get in car seat? Buckle car seat? Get out of car seat...and the day goes on!
-She loves to talk on the phone.
-She's always getting into or destroying something unless being actively engaged.
-Loves to climb.
-Is our little dare-devil.
-Has the best open big-mouth smile that makes my day!
-Has the best little sense of humor--loves to be laughed at--and the cutest laugh.
-My little cuddler.
-Likes to hold hands when she's just standing or sitting still.
-She hardly has a word in her vocabulary but is smart as a whip--understands and hears way more than her sisters ever do.
-Speaking of her speech delay--it's a frustrating part of her life but after many assessments we're happy that it is just that--a delay with no other issues. She's starting some speech therapy but we think she'll just burst out in sentences whenever she decides the time is right!
-Her social and outgoing personality says, "I'm here--take me as I am!"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Maya's Birthday Report

My Mom always made us feel so special on our birthdays. I don't know how she did it because all my efforts seriously stress me out with only 3 kids. But I have fond memories of feeling so special on my birthday-- so I do everything I can to create that feeling for my kids.

I decorate with balloons and crape paper late the night before so when they come downstairs in the morning it's been transformed into birthday-land. Then we eat their breakfast-request. We played fun music and watch Maya's picture slide show and opened a present or two. It was more of a challenge this year with 8am school for Hayley but nothing like waking up early on your birthday to squeeze all that partying in!

Maya loves to cook. She designed her cake weeks before her birthday.

A few days before I figured she and I better sit down to make another diagram so I would know fully what was expected in this well-planned and dreamed of cake. My translation after much explaining from the artist:

The finished product: She wanted a classic "birthday cake" with candy all over it. I was impressed with her patterned candy placement. It's an art!

Alice graced us with a nap so we could finish up the cake and a few last minute details before the party that afternoon. There was even a couple minutes for a quick photo-shoot before the party began!

Totally Maya's idea--a cooking party! Brilliant! Easy and fun for Mom. Here's her invite.

I love Oriental Trading--I ordered aprons, chef hats and party gift boxes with a couple of their cheap little trinkets to put in them. It sure beats dragging kids all over town to find just the right things! Here's our little chefs playing party games...

They made their own mini pita-pizzas, fruit kabob sticks and then decorated their own cupcake with candy. What kid isn't in heaven in the kitchen? It was a great low-key party success!

Maya is already planning her "next party"! Event planning is a great business when it involves so many presents!