Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting my scrap on!

Yes, I've been a scrapbooking fool for the last few weeks. It has been non-stop scrapping around these parts lately and I. Am. LOVING. It!

Of course it doesn't hurt that my LSS (Local Scrapbook Store,... remember?) asked me to become an instructor for them. Can you believe it? I will be teaching people how to scrapbook. Yes dear friends, little ol' me and I am thrilled! I don't officially start teaching until October, but I'm already playing around with layout ideas. Yep, I cannot wait.

In addition, I also participated in the Eclectica 12-Hour Birthday Crop this month where I was quite the busy little scrapper. Following are some of my completed layouts and as you can see our vacation was apparently high on my list of priorities.

This is about how these two stylish kids turned the
boardwalk into a catwalk

The following two are about Sam's reaction to
the whole beach thing
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking football
might be in this boy's future,...

This documents our Dolphin Cruise that I
(and apparently only I) loved so much

I still have a couple of favorites from the trip that will soon make it onto a layout,... like the Shake n' Bake Sam one (insert evil laugh here).

And you know I had to document all about our
"Safety First" poster child

Our sweet girl whom we totally adore

Sam catching a ride on my grandmother's walker
at the Botanic Gardens
Which kinda begs the question how was granny getting around?
Oh well,...

Although I make sure to scrapbook the kids' birthday parties, I also love to document them on the actual day of their birthday.

And one of my favorite things to do every year is
to include their hand prints on that specific layout.

Since I just love this picture, it HAD to make it onto a layout

Well, that's it for now. I made three layouts to display in the store, but I forgot to take some pictures before turning them in. Hey, I just realized I didn't make a single layout on Kraft paper this time around. Go figure!

This coming month I will be attending not one, but two crops. My mom will be joining me for an evening crop so that she can get busy with her jewelry making and then I will be going to another 12-hour crop (Scrap Pink ~ Scrapping Toward a Cure) at the end of the month.

OK, so you may remember me blogging about the fact that initially I wasn't too keen on packing up all my stuff and going to crops, well let me tell ya ~ that has definitely changed! I can honestly say that as the kids get older (and Sam gets louder) getting away from the house for a while and getting together with other creative minds is quite the blessing for me these days. No offense, Sam!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just Peachy

So last weekend we went on our annual Jones Orchard Peach Picking adventure along with my brother and his family and my parents. Although I was afraid we might have missed them, I'm glad to report that there was quite the abundance of peaches for us to eat and pick.

The kids had a great time running around the orchard and trying to find the "perfect" peach.

I didn't have the heart to tell them, but I believe if there was only one perfect peach in the entire orchard it surely had to be the one I ate while we were there. It was divine!

As usual, Sam ate his weight in peaches, and then some. We just had to make sure to constantly monitor him after I noticed him picking one off the floor and biting into it. YUCK!

Unfortunately Scott was not able to join us since he is hosting a "Guy's Night" at our house this weekend and needed to get some "guy" things done. But between the kids and I we made sure to bring more than enough peaches home for him to indulge in.

Yeah, I just love these little family traditions that we have adopted in the last few years. These are definitely some of my favorite moments.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Big Backyard

As you all know our family loves going to the Botanic Gardens and we do it quite often. Feeding the fish, admiring the flowers, walking the trails and having picnic lunches is usually on every single one of our trips' agenda. However, they just opened the most amazing children's area called My Big Backyard and it is most definitely worth a visit or four. For detailed information about all of the different play areas you can click here.

Isabella and I met up with her best friend, Hudson, and his Mom and we had the best time exploring and playing with everything this new area has to offer. There are many activities for the children and they are all so different. Everything is kid friendly and interactive and educational. Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures during our visit, but a return trip is definitely in the works. We cannot wait to go back and take Sam and Daddy who I am sure will love it just as much as Isabella did.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Scott and I went to see this tonight:
and although I was somewhat skeptical at first, I mean Quentin Tarantino is quite a bit out there for my own personal taste, I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a HUGE fan of Brad Pitt and he certainly did not disappoint in this one. He was terrific!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Heirloom

I'm not exactly sure about the history behind this little gem, other than Scott used to play with it when he was a little boy and his parents gave it to Isabella a couple years ago and til this day she still loves playing with it.

I'll to make sure to ask Nana & Papa about it. It is the cutest little car with Carsons written on the side. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Carson Pirie Scott was my very first employer after graduating from college and I still have fond memories of working there.

And no, my children do not often play outside in the PJs. It just happened that on this particular Sunday morning our church was hosting a Pajama Party and all the kids and their Sunday School teachers were encouraged to wear their PJs. But if I recall correctly, Isabella took advantage of it and spent pretty much the entire day in her PJs. Can't say I blame her.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Orange Beach, AL

So, we just returned from a much needed family getaway and may I say it was awesome. We spent our stress-free days hanging out and playing at the beach and the pool, eating yummy food, going to bed earlier than usual and sleeping in due to utter exhaustion, and just having fun together

I tend to be a pretty structured person, with a crazy love obsession for lists and schedules, but I specifically loved not having anything planned or scheduled during our trip. Well, except for one little event that we HAD to schedule, but it was totally worth it.

We spent most of our time being beach bums. Isabella loved loved loved playing in the sand, as well as playing in the water. To our surprise, the waves did not bother her one bit.

Sam however felt quite a bit differently. He tolerated the sand OK, but he wasn't really sold on the whole "water crashing into you and pulling you in" thing.

Of course we enjoyed a little bit of pool time, but only in the afternoon after spending our day at the beach.

The highlight of the trip for me was the hour and a half Dolphin Cruise we took. This was our one and only scheduled event. I totally love dolphins and seeing them up close and playing around the boat was fascinating.

The kids were really excited to see the first few dolphins, but after a while they were bored out of their minds. So much so, Sam decided a nap on a rocking boat with a cool breeze was a much better way to spend his time.

We suddenly felt adventurous and tried our first family game of mini golf, which was an absolute joke.

Isabella got SO frustrated because "getting the ball in the hole is haaard" and all Sam wanted to do was throw the colorful balls all over the place and be the obstacles on the course. Needless to say we were done before we even got to the fourth hole. Yeah, good times!

In addition, we got to see a couple of these:
...and some jelly fish, crabs and turtles.

And just in case by looking at these pictures I've misled you into thinking that it was all fun and games for the Butlers, please allow me to introduce to you the following proof that it wasn't. There's nothing quite like the drama generated by a one year old.

Tantrum at the mini golf:
Tantrum at the pool:
And my all-time favorite:
Tantrum at the beach:
Well hello there, Shake 'n Bake Sam!
I must confess to being a bad mommy and laughing my
butt off while I photographed this here incident.

All kidding aside, it really was a good time and we can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And away we go

So we're off to enjoy some much need R&R at the beach. We have been looking forward to this little family vacation of ours for a couple of months now. We've got a couple of things planned on our agenda, but mostly we're looking forward to no alarm clocks and no schedules and a lot of playing and swimming and reading and relaxing.

As you can see, they are SO ready:
and so are Scott and I.

Be back soon with LOTS of pictures. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Be still my heart

I love this picture. So much.
I love how Sam's holding on to Scott's pinky
as they mow the lawn together.

I happen to know from experience that the bond between Daddies and their little girls is unbelievably strong and special. But there is something about the bond between our boy and his Daddy that just melts my heart. Every single time I see them together. Oh, how I love these boys of mine!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Happy Field

So we decided to take a little trip to check out the Agricenter sunflowers last night after dinner. Since we're headed to the beach soon we wanted to make sure to see them in their glory before they turned into the "sunflower art" we witnessed last year.

They were stunning. Not quite as big as I remember them from a couple years ago, but I think that may be in part because we went so early.

There's something about a field of sunflowers that makes me feel very relaxed and at peace,... and happy.

The kids love that they can run around, smell the flowers, and look for all kind of cool creatures like caterpillars, butterflies, dragonflies, and bumblebees (which are everywhere).

While I spent a good while walking around looking at the flowers and taking it all in, the kids were totally infatuated with this little guy:

We love our annual tradition of visiting the sunflowers. I am however looking forward to the day when taking pictures of the kids together isn't such a daunting task. Until then, I leave you with these.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Déjà vu

So after two years, we finally decided to give the Sprinkler Park another try.

He loved it!

She didn't!
I thought two years would be enough time to recover from this experience, but right before we left the park yesterday she turns to me and says: "I still do NOT like the sprinkler park!"

Maybe next year,...

Monday, August 3, 2009


a profound change in form from one stage to the next
in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar
to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.
Isabella and I both share a fascination with butterflies. In fact, one of the things we wanted to do this summer was purchase a butterfly pavilion and observe the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Lucky for us, we ended up going to little Miss Brooke's butterfly themed birthday party at the Lichterman Nature Center.

Here's Miss Brooke with her Daddy.

The following are pictures taken during the party.
Say cheese, guys!

Aww, such a pretty girl!

Oh, okayyyy
Alrighty then, moving on,...

So, not only were we able to enjoy a nice time with our wonderful friends the Jackson 5, as we lovingly call them, but we also left the party with on of these:
Inside there was a caterpillar, well two in our case, and instructions on how to successfully end up with beautiful butterflies. And can I just say we did it! We cared for our little caterpillars and diligently did everything as the instructions sheet said.

Then one morning we woke up and immediately checked our little cage only to find we had a couple of pupas or cocoons in place of the caterpillars.
Then we patiently waited for the butterflies to emerge.Well, in reality some of us waited more patiently than others. But we got through it. And one day as we're going about our daily business in the kitchen, Scott says: "Hey, whadaya know? You have a moth. Congratulations!"
Hmm, not exactly the colorful butterfly I was expecting to see, but it is what it is. We were now proud breeders of a moth. I'm sad to report that for some reason the other pupa did not hatch. Maybe Sam actually scared it to death with all the screaming and screeching he does, since the boy apparently only has one volume ~ and I truly believe it to be lethal!

Anyway, a couple of hours later we were delighted to see the butterfly we had actually hoped to see.
You see, after it emerges from its pupal stage, a butterfly cannot fly until the wings are unfolded. A newly-emerged butterfly needs to spend some time upside down inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. OK, is it just me or is this totally fascinating?

Well as you can imagine, the time came when we had to release our butterfly so that she could go and fly around and eat and meet up with other butterflies. So we released her last Friday afternoon. Although deep inside Isabella understood it was necessary, she was so sad to see her little butterfly fly away.
But wouldn't you know what happened the following morning. I was standing outside on the patio watching Isabella and Sam playing in the yard when all of a sudden our little butterfly flew up to me and just went crazy flying in circles around me. I immediately called Isabella and as soon as she made it to the patio, the butterfly started flying around her. It was crazy, almost as if the butterfly recognized the two people who had cared for her. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

This entire process was just amazing to say the least. Isabella and I absolutely loved every minute of it and I think we'll definitely do it again in the future.