Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy "Letter Hosen" New Year!

Well, it seems only appropriate that we finish out 2010 with a couple of laughs from here.....

We decided to stay home and see the New Year in together.  Mike and Linz chose the menu and went shopping for snacks which included hot dogs, steak and spiced shrimp.  Britt is dancing the night away with Sam to a wonderful orchestra tonight at the Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom. I know they will have fun.

Linz decided to to bake some chocolate chip cookies which were delicious.  She loves the ready to bake cookies.  :-)  When the timer went off when the cookies were done, Linz said, "Last time I burned my hand.  How will I get them out of the oven?"  Zach was in the kitchen getting a glass of water and without missing a beat we heard him say, "Use the force!".  Mike and I almost fell on the floor laughing!!  If you know Zach and the fact that he is a "man of few words" and it was both amazing AND hilarious.

Linz then said she needed to take a shower before midnight.  When she was done she came back downstairs and we heard her before we saw her........in an outfit she designed all on her own just for the occasion.

What did we hear???

"Yo da lay hee hooooooooooo!!!!!!!"

And this is what we saw....




Leder Hosen is just perfect for any occasion!

 
Linz proclaimed it her "Letter Hosen Happy New Year" outfit.  Life just doesn't get much better than this. When we finally stopped laughing and could catch our breath again, Mike looked at me and said, "Well baby, we've had two pretty awesome "autistic moments" to finish out the year, huh?  We are really blessed."  I have to agree.  I'm feeling supremely blessed as we usher out the old and ring in the new.

We wish you all the very happiest of New Years and pray God's richest and most bountiful blessings for you and yours in the coming year.

Much love,
Michelle

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grand Opening!

For years it's been a given that our avid reader in the family has been Brittany.  It's no wonder that her favorite Disney Princess has always been Belle...the beautiful girl with such a love of books!  (Truth be told.... my fantasy for her her fantasy is to move to Florida and BE Belle in the Magic Kingdom...especially now that Belle is getting her very own HUGE castle there!  hahahaha) 

But...for the past couple of years as Linz has worked as an intern at 3 different libraries in our community through a program at school she has also discovered a true LOVE of books and reading.  It's SO amazing.  She will plop down on a couch and start reading out loud....doing all of the voices and inflections, of course.  Now she is thrilled to make trips to Barnes and Noble, Borders and McKay's Used Books.  (If you live near us....you should check out McKay's.  Most of her books cost .50 to .75!!  What a deal!)

She decided to start her own library in her room about a month or so ago and it has grown.....even more so yesterday after she used her McKay's gift card she received for Christmas.  One amazing thing that I've found is that while she started out looking for the familiar stories and junior novelizations from some of her favorite movies, now she's expanded her interests and gotten books that are stories she's never heard of.  Now THAT'S progress.

After our trip to McKay's yesterday she was like a helium balloon!!  She was SO excited about her new books and adding them to her library.  She was talking up a storm about her plans to expand it and how she can't wait for people to see it.  (SO many "Linz Quotes of the Day" that I could barely keep up!!)  She has added all her new books and everything is alphabetized and it looks just lovely.

She was walking and talking so fast....she put up her hands as if she was making a frame to look through and said, "I can see it now!!  My new library...LINDSAY'S LIBRARY PALACE!  People will come from miles around just to see it!  I don''t mean to burst your brain, Mom, but it will be the most popular library ever!"  (I think she may be designing Library Cards for customers too!)  :-)



When I woke up this morning I passed by her room...the door was shut....but I could hear her in there making plans.  It was pretty amazing to hear her and it just made my day.....she said, "At last I have a vision for my future!  It's a library!"  I had to take a picture just so I will be able to remember where it all started because I am SURE we will be looking for many more bookshelves to add for her to fill up very soon.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Walt Disney and it definitely applies to Linz.....

"If you can dream it...you can do it!"  ~Walt Disney

Dream BIG my friends!

Blessings,
Michelle

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours

I have to agree with Linz on this one.....
This truly has been the "best Christmas EVER!"

For those of you who were thinking that you were left off of our Christmas card list this year.....you weren't.
I just ran out of time.  So here's our Christmas photos from today, Christmas Day 2010

We wish you the merriest of Christmases with love and blessings too many to measure.

With love,
Mike, Michelle, Brittany, Lindsay and Zach

Our Family....Zach 17, Linz 19 and Brittany 21




Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I can honestly say that today was a great day.

YESSSSS!!!

A happy....but very tired man......


Mike had to take a trip overseas which he hasn't done in a very long time.  It's always challenging for Linz and Zach when he travels....period.  One of the more charming pain in the butt quirks of autism can  be insomnia.  People with autism don't like change....period.  So it has always been challenging when Mike travels....even for a 2-day trip.  Zach will lay in bed and talk (or sing) most of the night....EVERY night that he is gone.  It's just the nature of the "beast".  Needless to say when Mike said he was going to be traveling "a lot" in December and January my heart sort of sank.  Of course it's mostly because I miss him a LOT when he's gone but my mind immediately goes to the nights of no sleep.  (you know.....when the kids don't sleep....Mama don't sleep!)  I did feel blessed that the trip was moved up so that he would at least be home for Christmas.  whew!

The good news is....we made it!  Mike flew home today and I think it's safe to say we are ALL happy he's back.  I haven't told the kids yet that he's home for 2 nights and then will be leaving again for a couple days. :-(  We'll face that bridge when we get to it.  Linz was THRILLED that he flew back home with a stop in Germany...home of the SMURFS!! 

So.....now just 4 more days til Bealy is home for Christmas Break and all my loveys will be home for the holidays!

Now to get the shopping and wrapping done!  Ah well....tomorrow is another day, right??  :-)


Stay warm!
Michelle

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Letter Hossen Margarita

The kids and I had a great time today with Nannie and Papa (my mom and dad).  The weather was rainy and grey so we decided to head to Fair Oaks Mall and take in the sights and sounds of the holidays.  It was so much fun!

When we were shopping in Sears we were looking through the mens' department trying to find Papa some nice gloves and Linz found something that caught her eye.  She found a display of mens' hats and she ran over to them and exclaimed, "Oh LOOK!  It's the Letter Hossen hats!!".  I thought maybe it was a character from one of her books or videos so I just said, "Oh!  Mmm hmmm...".  Then I heard her going on and on about putting a red feather in it and the dance that you do when you wear it.

Think...think...think.....

What was she talking about?  Wait!  She's been talking a lot since we were at Epcot this past summer in the Germany pavillion about all the cool things she saw there. She loved talking to the cast members there and was thrilled when they told her that the Smurfs were created there.  They told her that the translation for Smurf in German is Schlumpf.  Since vacation she finds it hilarious to call  my parents "Oma and Opa Schlumpf"  :-)

She LOVES learning about other cultures and their clothes etc. and then I realized what it was!!!!

I said, "Linz, do you mean lederhosen?"  She said, "YES!  That's it!"  So we all started laughing and talking about it and she thought she was quite clever.  So she started talking about the dance and the clothes that German people wear and before you know it....this happened.  My Dad asked her about it and told her she looked like she was doing the macarena.....Here ya go.....



The funniest part for me was at the very end when she said, "Letter Hossen Margarita!"
Hope it brings you a little holiday cheer!

Michelle

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Name Tags and Merriment...

Every Sunday Linz makes sure that I know that she "needs lunch stuff before tomorrow"....  It's just a regular weekly routine.  She eats the same thing for lunch everyday...peanut butter sandwich...strawberry jell-o...ritz crackers (sometimes she goes a little wild and has saltines) and a capri sun to drink.  So she makes sure to let me know what we need and we go out and get it together.



Tonight I was going to just run up to Super Target alone so I could dash in and dash out and boy am I glad I didn't.  I took her with me and she absolutely just filled my heart with so much joy it's running over. 

She was just in the best mood and so chatty and happy.  I pushed the cart and she went aisle to aisle getting all of her goodies.  When we were done we rambled through the Christmas section where she has to stop every time to push the "sample" buttons on the CD selections.  Then we made our way up to the registers to check out.

We got in a very short line and the cashier looked very friendly and happy.  When it was our turn, he said, "Hi!  How are you?"  and Linz (who has made it a hobby of hers to read ALL nametags of cashiers and workers in stores) said, "Well hi there Mr.....uh....(leans over to read the name tag)....Mr. New Team Member!!  Wow!  That's an odd name, huh??"  He just cracked up!  He said, "Well...I haven't even worked here long enough yet to have my own name tag so I guess that's my new name, huh?".  She started laughing and said, "Well I'm Lindsay and this is my mom.  She's a sugar plum fairy."  He looked at me and smiled.  I just laughed and said, "Well...I've been called worse!".  :-)  Then Mr. New Team Member asked Linz if she liked Christmas.  Linz looked at him and clapped her hands and said, "Boy do I ever!!!  I'm just a Yuletide Fool!"

We left Target and headed home and Linz said, "Thanks for taking me with you, Mom.  I had a great time."  I said, "Well, thank YOU for coming with me and making me smile."  She said, "No problem.  It's great to have a mom that's sweeter than a Hershey's milk chocolate truffle!"

Remember....SMILE....it'll make people wonder what you're up to.

Blessings,
Michelle

Lady Twin Fun

Today Linz and I went to Flower Gallery's Annual Holiday Open House.  It was amazing and magical!
We met my mom there and we had such a blast looking at all of the beautiful displays and Christmas goodies.   They had lots of yummy treats to try too.  Linz said  she wants to do it again next year and that it should be a holiday tradition.  I have to agree.

Here are some pics of the fun....

Linz found a frosty friend!

One of the many trees I wanted to own...

Ok...this cracked me up!  You keep it in your bathroom and he talks and sings when you walk in the room!

The ornament Linz just "had to have"!


I loved the Santa Tree.  It was gorgeous!

They always amaze me with the unique ideas they come up with.  This "Wine" themed tree was in a barrel and was wrapped in grapevine.  It had tons of grape and miniature wine bottle ornaments on it with a sunflower topper!  AWESOME!

Mom made sure we signed up for the door prizes!
Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don't Miss Out!

Only a couple more days left to take advantage of the 1/2 price Stampin' Up! Starter Kit.
Check out all the goodies that can be yours.....$310 worth of products for only $86.50!!  
Join my team and join in the FUN!

Contact me today before it's too late!  November 30th is the last day to take advantage of this amazing deal!

Happy Stamping!
Michelle

New Stuff

I'm working on a few new things for the two craft fairs I'm doing.  I saw this flower the other day online and I had to try it.  It's made with 29 of the ornaments punched out from the Stampin' Up! Ornament Punch.  It was SUPER easy and such a great idea.  I think I have "Crafter's ADD" though....I keep stopping to try new stuff and need to concentrate on getting things DONE.  Ugh!  Oh well.....It's FUN! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quesadilla....Taco....Burritto?

Ok....that's pretty much the extent of MY Spanish vocabulary.

But....Britt's vocabulary is another story!  She just found out that she's been accepted in JMU's "Study Abroad" program for the summer semester of 2011!  She will spend six LONG exciting weeks in Salamanca, Spain. Being immersed in the language is going to be just the ticket for our lil' Spanish major.

It's really such a great opportunity and I know she will love it.  It's going to be a new experience for me too.  Having her not only away at school....but out of the country???  sigh.  A new "mama" experience too I guess.  I can't wait to hear all her travel stories and see all the amazing photos that I KNOW she will capture.

It's so wonderful having her home for Thanksgiving...and I am incredibly thankful for the love of my family and friends.

Here's the view from here....









Adios from here!  (oooh!  another Spanish word!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Simple Gifts....

I forget sometimes how much I love photography.  I never feel like I'm a "great" photographer....I just know what I like and I know what I want to have framed in my own home.  I'm always shocked when people ask me to take their family photos.  Seriously!  I am.  I just feel truly blessed when I capture smiles and memories that people can keep and treasure.  Today I was honored to take photos for a friend's son and daughter-in-law and their two beautiful children.  Looking at the smiles and love in the photos just warms my heart and I hope they like them.

Here are a couple of them.....



"His eyes how they twinkle...His dimples how merry....His cheeks are like roses....His nose like a cherry"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Perfectly Petite Tote"

Just a sneak peek at the next stamp camp I'm having....

These "Perfectly Petite Totes" with matching notebook and pen make awesome Christmas gifts.  Keep checking back for details!



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simply Amazing Deal...

 

Do you love creating handmade cards, scrapbooks and tons of other handstamped goodies?  Do you look at the Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalog and want it all??  Well do we have a deal for you!

Stampin' Up! just announced the most amazing...SIMPLY AMAZING, actually....deal.  Starting tomorrow, November 15th thru November 30th you can get the complete Demonstrator Starter Kit for $87.50!  That's $310 worth of products!

Here's a list of the items in the Standard Starter Kit:
• 3 wood-mount stamp sets - Your Choice
• 1 clear-mount set with .clear block - Your choice
• 1 Stampin’ Around wheel with ink cartridge and handle - Your choice
• 1 ink refill - Your choice of color
• 2 card stock packs
• 1 Patterns Designer Series paper stack
• 4 Classic ink pads - Colors of your choice
• 1 VersaMark® ink pad
• 2 Stampin’ Write® markers - Colors of your choice
• R ibbon
• Stampin’ Dimensionals®
• Stampin’ Scrub®
• Stampin’ Mist®
• Stamping sponge
• SNAIL Adhesive®
• Blender pen
• D├ęcor Elements piece.with applicator
• 8 catalogs



Many demonstrators sign up with SU! simply to get the awesome discount.  It's a great deal since you are buying the products anyway!  They are called "Hobby Demonstrators".  You have the choice of doing just that or you can build it into whatever type of business you'd like.  You can be a part of my team and have tons of resources at your disposal and enjoy learning lots of new techniques to use and share.  There's never been a better time to start stamping than now. 


Contact me for more info and join in the fun!  I can't wait to share this SIMPLY AMAZING opportunity with you!


Blessings,
Michelle

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Schmoodge's Socks...

The view from here...



You know sometimes when you've had a tough day how you just can't wait to get home and change into your comfy clothes?  Well....that's the story of my day today.

It wasn't a bad day per se....just a very long day.
So I came home and found my favorite pair of schmoodgie jeans.....a comfy hoodie....and the only thing left was to find a nice pair of comfy socks.  We keep most of our family's socks in a basket that some years ago was dubbed "The Sock Market" by Bealy.  So....I went to the Sock Market and looked through it to find just the right socks (not really...I just needed socks!) and there in the basket was the perfect pair just waiting for me and the best part is....they belong to Bealy!  I have been feeling a little blue and missing her too so they were the perfect way to feel a little closer to my "Schmoodge Girl".
Thanks Bealy for "forgetting" them.  They were just the ticket to make my evening a little more magical.

Love you to infinity and beyond,
Mama Schmoodge

Getting in the Holiday Spirit...

I put "Miracle on 34th Street" on my DVD player in my stampin' studio and got in the Christmas crafting spirit last night.  It was awesome!  Here's one of the items I created.  It's made completely out of cardstock and designer paper.  This is my first attempt so I didn't use my gorgeous Stampin' Up! Designer Series Paper....just in case it flopped!  I'm ready now to break open a new pack of it though and make a lot more of these for the craft fairs I'm doing in  December.

Hope you like it!


Have a magical day!
Michelle

Monday, November 8, 2010

It Is Finished....

Gaither Vocal Band

I've found myself wondering a lot lately just what it is that God is "up to".  It's okay to wonder that ya know.  I think He knows me well enough that He will love me through anything and everything.  I have to remind myself that I am His child and He knows every hair on my head....He knows me and still loves me....warts and all.

I love this song by the Gaither Vocal Band and it's a song that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up.  I love it!  I crank it up and enjoy every note.  If you'd like to hear it, just click on the link below.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing it today on here but maybe there's someone else who needs to hear it and be blessed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX4nnaLOaKA&feature=related


I hope it touches your heart like it has mine.

Blessings,
Michelle

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Merry and Bright

Yesterday I held a "Holiday Hoopla Stamp Camp" at my house.  I was so excited to have a couple of brand new stampers here!  I think they enjoyed it.

This is one of the cards I designed for the camp and I made and extra box of 8 to add to the items I'll be selling at the "Winter Wonderland Craft Fair" at Mayfield on December 8th.  For a closer look, simply click on the photo to zoom in.




I'll be posting pics of the other card designs we made later today.

Hope you have a magical day with the ones you love.

Faith, Trust and Pixiedust,
Michelle

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's What's For Dinner....

For those of you who know me....you know I don't really like to cook.  It's not that I can't cook.  I just hate having to make more than one entree.  Autism = Picky Eaters...  Plain and simple.  So I make the same thing a lot or we eat out.

Well....tonight I tried something new.  Lorraine, my new friend at work, gave me this really cool new recipe yesterday and I just had to try it.  It's called "Dinner in a Pumpkin".

Here's a picture of mine when it came out of the oven...
I know it doesn't look very exciting...but it was delicious.  It's sort of a goulash kinda thing.  You mix up all of the ingredients and put in it a hollowed out pumpkin and bake for one hour.  I love it!  We don't really like mushrooms so I just left them out.
Here's the recipe in case you'd like a nice fall treat for dinner some night soon.

Enjoy!

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 - Small/Medium Pumpkin, hollowed out
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1 tsp. onion powder
1 can/pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1 can chopped water chestnuts
2 tsp. oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 c. cooked white rice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 can cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown hamburger in skillet and drain off fat.

Add soup to meat and simmer.  Add rest of ingredients (except pumpkin).  Pour warmed mixture into hollowed out pumpkin.  Bake for 1 hour or until pumpkin is tender.

You can serve in the pumpkin or remove mixture to a separate dish.  Cut out tender pumpkin and serve as a side veggie if you'd like.  Enjoy!

 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Merry Treat

This is a new card/gift idea I designed yesterday.  I embossed the Whisper White background with the Snowflake embossing folder on my Big Shot and then embossed the greeting from one of my new favorite stamp sets, "Tags Til Christmas", by stamping it in Versamark ink, sprinkling on the silver embossing powder and heating it up with the embossing gun.  I punched two holes in the Whisper White cardstock and fed the ribbon through and tied it around the mitten spreader.  I then added a little "bling" to finish it off....and voila! 

I thought it would make a great little gift for someone special during the holidays!

Enjoy!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Artist At Work...

Linz has become quite the artist.  I can't remember exactly when she started (I'm sure she could tell you the exact day...the day of the week AND how the weather was that day!).  She does at least 1 or 2 drawings every day.  She started out drawing characters from the Dr. Seuss movie "Horton Hears A Who".  She has 2 HUGE notebooks full of drawings of all the "Who" daughters and their one brother, Jojo.  Then somehow she found the Smurfs and that's been her obsession for at least the last year.  She has probably over 200 drawings of Smurfs.  She draws freehand....she can just look at a picture of them and "poof" there you go.  At some point I'll post some of the assorted Smurfs she's created. 

While we were carving the pumpkin today I had put down freezer paper on the counter for easy clean up.  I asked Linz to draw me a Smurf while we waited for our hero, Sam, to get all the yucky "guts" cleaned out of it.  So....she just picked up a Sharpie and started drawing.  AMAZING! 

Just thought I'd share her "scribbles" with you.

Happy Halloween!