Friday, December 31, 2010

My Sister's Shoes ... The Blog!

My Sister's Shoes now has dedicated blog! Jump on over and take a look and don't forget to follow along to keep up with our journey!

Photobucket

Two Sisters ... Together In A Size 5 1/2

Monday, December 20, 2010

Interchangeble DIY Dry Erase Board

Originally inspired by Lynette over at Get Your Craft On; I finally got around to making a few Dry Erase Marker Boards this Christmas! Did you know that glass makes a great dry-erase surface?! I changed up the materials a bit to give it my own spin; this is literally a 5-minute craft! These make a great last-minute Christmas gift!

I used double sided scrapbook paper so you can switch out the paper whenever you're in the mood for a fresh look. Simply keep the other papers in the frame behind the front paper and you can do a switch-a-roo in seconds! I bought a scrap pack that came with the tag and used my Sizzix to cut the letters "n-o-t-e-s" to embellish.

I have several variations, including interchangeable "embellishments" so stay tuned for more.

Materials

Picture Frame - I used an 8 1/2 x 11
Scrapbook Paper
Embellishments
Dry Erase Marker

DIY Marker Board w/ Interchangeable Papers


Make sure your other papers still coordinate with your embellishment!

4 looks in 1

I'm linking this project to

Sumo's Sweet Stuff (Market Yourself Monday)
Today's Creative Blog (Get Your Craft On)


Friday, December 17, 2010

A Little Christmas Cheer

Last weekend Kelty had his school Christmas Pageant! He was so excited to get on stage! Unfortunately Al had "school" and wasn't able to join us. Kelty was so content during the entire event ... clapping and cheering for each of the classes that performed after him. Awwww. After the pageant I took Kelty to the BX to meet Santa where he promptly told Santa he wanted a "baw" ... ball. That's it ... it's all he wants for Christmas! After our visit with Santa we did a little shopping in the BX and enjoyed lunch together at Johnny Rockets ... it's Kelty's favorite little place to eat. I love these special little trips with Kelty.

video

Finally after over a year ... I've uploaded a video!

.... look at the focus. (Jessica, Kelty was wearing one of John Charles' old Christmas sweaters ... it had a little reindeer on it!)

Kelty hopped right up on Santa's lap and signed "ball" accompanied and said "baw me" (ball please). Since this visit, Kelty has requested 2 balls for Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In the Spirit of CHRISTmas ...

This was forwarded to me via email but I wanted to share this.


*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*

*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*

* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with

cash, checks and credit*

*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*

*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*

*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*

*You won't hear the word Christmas;

it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*

*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton,

Wolf Blitzen*

*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word,

as they took away our faith*

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged

and discarded*

*The reason for the season,

stopped before it started.*

*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break'

under your 'Dream Tree'*

*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

not Happy Holiday !*


Please, all Christians join together and

wish everyone you meet during the holidays a

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!


This is my 2 cents worth ....


In the name of celebrating diversity, our nation is eliminating Christianity. When in fact, truly celebrating diversity would include Christianity, along with everything else we are still "allowed" to celebrate openly. Celebrating diversity would allow us to pray in school. Celebrating diversity would allow songs like "Silent Night" to be sung along with "Jingle Bells" at Winter Pageants in school. Taking away the "Christian" things isn't celebrating diversity at all.


... and that's my ramble.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Amsterdam

Still backtracking a bit ...

After Thanksgiving in Paris we drove to Amsterdam to enjoy the remainder of the holiday weekend. We were quite excited about our accommodations ... we stayed in a 100 year old houseboat situated on a beautiful canal! The Hercules Seghers didn't let us down. It was a 3-bedroom boat with all the comforts of home. One of the owners met us upon arrival and had the kitchen stocked with milk, juice, bread, wine, local snacks, pizza, cheese and such. She even had the bed set-up for Kelty and a stroller for our use. It was such wonderful welcome and truly appreciated, especially since we arrived in the evening and were all really hungry!

The Hercules Seghers

A view down the canal .. you can see the Hercules Seghers further down on the left.

Kelty absolutely loved the boat ... I think he would have been content just staying on the boat the entire trip. I can imagine staying on the boat in summer or spring would be amazing ... you can sit outside and relax. It was freezing while we were there.

"Cheers" with our shipmates!

I really had a hard time taking photos in the boat; the lighting was just all wrong. sigh. Here's a little snapshot of Kelty playing with his planes ... look at his little runway. cute.

Tina and me enjoying our morning coffee as we walked to the Anne Frank House.

The clock tower near the Anne Frank House ... I loved the bright blue and red.

Unfortunately there was no photography allowed inside the Anne Frank Museum/Anne Frank House. If you'd like to see photos, here is the link to museum site here.

It was really a pretty amazing and sober experience. The annex was larger than I had expected but I can imagine how small it must have felt with 8 people living inside for 2 years. There are 3 things that remain vivid in my mind. In one of the display cases was a tattered and bright yellow star patch ... it's just one of those things that you see on TV, see in photos, or books ... but for a moment I was looking at a yellow star that a person once had to wear. Next were the documents that appeared to be from their arrest; sheets of yellow paper with handwritten information containing the name, birth date, mother/father/siblings, and where they were being transported to. Last was Annes' original, red plaid diary. It was surreal to be in such a place.

After our visit to the Anne Frank House, we took a nice little walk to an awesome vegan cafe. Along the way Kelty and Al stopped to take on the view.

You can't be in Holland and not think cheese!!

We did a lot of simply trying to "keep up with Kelty". He wanted nothing to do with the stroller this trip ... I guess those days are coming to and end.

Oh, you may be wondering ... "Amsterdam ... Red Light District ... Coffee Houses". Yes, you can pretty much walk in any Coffee House and get what you need, whether it be something to smoke or eat. You can smell it walking by. And no ... we didn't ...we can't. Now, we may have taken a VERY brisk walk through the Red Light District just to see what it's all about .... it was interesting and one brisk walk was one walk enough.

And that's a wrap on Amsterdam!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thanksgiving in Paris

Ok, so Thanksgiving was 2 weeks ago but here we go anyway ....

Our great friends from Tampa, Tina and Jordan, came out to visit and were here for Thanksgiving! They are so much fun and we miss them terribly! We decided to spend Thanksgiving in Paris and had a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving dinner, hosted by The Gentle Gourmet, on a boat docked on the Seine River! It was such a fun and unique Thanksgiving day adventure.

On to a few snapshots of our adventures (and it's ALWAYS and adventure with Tina and Jordan) ....

My dad is graciously letting me borrow his Canon SLR camera since we're in the market to upgrade my camera! :o) I took it out as much as possible but I'm still a novice.

This photo of the METRO sign is a vivid memory this trip. Transportation was nothing short of a nightmare. We battled subway closures, dangerously overcrowded subway cars and found it nearly impossible to find a taxi. Transportation was such a frustration and though we love walking through Paris ... doing so in freezing weather with a walking toddler proved to be a bit frustrating!

On the boat enjoying drinks before Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo op ... somewhere along ONE of our walks.

A brief trek to Luxembourg Gardens.

We visited the Catacombs this trip. It was really interested, and a little eerie, to be surrounded by over 6-million skeletons. I struggled desperately to get good photos and only ended up with one that was halfway decent. *sigh* The walls of skeletons were piled about 5ft high and in some places was said to be 80 ft thick. Each section was marked with the date the remains were transported and the cemetery they were moved from.

It was quite the trek DOWN to the catacombs and a bit of a trek UP the spiral staircase ...

As tradition has it on our visits to Paris, The Louvre at night ...

A view from the Eiffel Tower ...

.... we walked a total of 5+ miles from our rental apartment, to The Louvre ... to the Christmas market ... to the Eiffel tower ... in freezing weather ... with no stroller .... at night ....

Sounds like the old saying, "When I was your age I walked to school, in winter, through 2 feet of snow, fighting off bears".

I told you it's ALWAYS an adventure with Tina & Jordan!

Next up ... Amsterdam!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Celebrating 3!

Kelty turned 3! I'm just as happy to celebrate Kelty's 3rd birthday as I am to celebrate the fact that Al and I have survived 3 years of parenting! Before becoming a parent I had thought that parents do all the teaching ... I have realized over the last 3 years that children teach parents just as much as we teach them. Oh how I love our little kiddo!

We kept our celebration small again this year. Our neighbors, Heinz and Evi, came over to celebrate while Kelty blew out his candles ... we also Skyped with the families so they could get in on the action. A few hours later the Wagner family visited and we opened presents, ate cupcakes, enjoyed a pizza night and just let the boys play ....

Kelty's last night as a 2-year old!

Kelty always has to have a sip of water after hopping in bed ... doesn't help him keep a dry diaper during the night though! Notice ... no more paci!!

Al and Jordan putting together Kelty's train table.

This little layer cake is turning into a birthday tradition. I decorated the sides with an airplane, boat, car, and hot air balloon that coordinated with his cupcake toppers.

His little transportation-themed cupcakes.

Oh, there is a story behind this! I had purchased a 12-piece train mold set to make a train cake for Kelty's birthday. I had a vision of building a little track with pretzel sticks and setting out the cake train cars across the track all around the table. Ha! The night before his birthday (with our great friends Tina and Jordan still visiting from FL), Tina and I set out to make this cake. I separated the cake batter and made 5 different colors and set out to make my first batch. Total disaster ... none of the mini cakes would pop out of the mold and I ended up with blobs instead of train cars. So around 11pm I started making Kelty a mini-cake and used the rest of the batter for cupcakes. Tina does a lot of graphic design work and downloaded transportation themed stock photos and transformed them into little circles so I could make cupcake toppers! At 1am we finally wrapped up and went to bed .... did I mention they had to get up at 5am to catch their flight back to the states? Thank you so much Tina for making the "finishing touches" possible!!

Mommy and Kelty

Daddy and Kelty

During the days leading up to his birthday, Kelty would wake up each morning and say "day?" and imitate blowing out candles .... you can only imagine his excitement when the moment finally arrived!

Hooray!

Showing Heinz his new train table

Playing with Luke and Elijah

The Wagner's just celebrated the birth of their 3rd boy! Kelty adored baby Jonah!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do Re Mi ... Salzburg, Austria

Last week we had the opportunity to visit Aviano, Italy and Salzburg, Austria! Al had a TDY to Aviano so Kelty and I tagged along and we drove to Italy together. While in Italy, Al had to work all day but we were able explore a little in the evenings. With the exception of one morning walk, Kelty and I were stuck in the hotel room during the day thanks to the rain. Ugh. Those were loooooooooong days in the hotel room!

Al wrapped up his TDY on Wednesday afternoon and we hit the road that evening to drive to Salzburg. We were able spend one full but rainy day in Salzburg and one rainy morning .... not enough time! Salzburg was breathtaking; just as amazing as is was portrayed in The Sound of Music! This is yet another place that Al and I have decided a second trip is in necessary!

Enjoying a little Gelato in Italy after dinner ... it's a special little treat even on cold nights.

Salzburg, Austria
We took a little Cog ride up to Hohensalzburg Fortress and enjoyed a breathtaking view of Salzburg and the mountains ...

It was so cloudy, overcast and dreary that it was pretty impossible to capture the mountains, but they are there!

The older men enjoying a game of outdoor chess in the Kapitelplatz ...

We visited the Marionette Museum; Kelty really got a kick out it.

Just walking and checking things out ...

Taking a break. I'm pretty certain this was somebody's doorstep we hung out on ...

Our hotel was in the old town just off the one of the main walking streets, Getreidegasse. About a one minute walk from down the street was the childhood home and birthplace of Mozart. We walked by it half a dozen times ... it blends right in with the storefronts surrounding it. It's now a museum.

Each of the shops have beautiful iron signs and each one is built to reflect the merchandise in the shop. This was obviously the storefront of a shoe store. :o)

These little pulleys were actually the bells that would ring for the residences located above. You pulled the lever of the appropriate number apartment; you could visually follow the wire up to the street-front window and see the bells mounted inside on the window frame. Well ... we thought it was neat.

A rainy visit to Mirabell Gardens ...

I bet this little garden tunnel is beautiful in the spring and summer ...

Do Re Mi Fa So ...

I had to do it! I was standing by the Pegasus Fountain in Mirabell Gardens. This fountain was in The Sound of Music, "Do Re Mi" scene. When we go back I'd love to do the tour and visit not only the movie locations but also the "real" locations in the Von Trapp family history. I may not be able to sing, not even Do Re Mi, ... but I love the movie (it's #3 ... just behind Anne of Green Gables and Dirty Dancing).

Until next time sweet Salzburg ...we can't wait to visit you again! As I've read about Salzburg and it's very true "Salzburg is not just a place ... it's an experience".

... oh, during this lovely vacation I was still recovering from my dental surgery. Unfortunately I ran out of pain medication so momma was a little grumpy at times. :o)
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