Sunday, December 23, 2007

All in a day's work :)

Thank you very much for all the wonderful comments about Mikayla and her achievements! You've all done a marvelous job in raising her self esteem and it really has made a big difference to how she sees herself. Since she's been reading what everyone has been saying she has been more helpful at home (always a good thing!), she's been smiling more (and her smile is gorgeous!) and she's gone out of her way to be positive and talkative (both of which she needs to do more of!)... so from the bottom of my heart... THANK YOU :)

Krystal is still staying with her Auntie (we'll see her on Christmas Day) and Mikayla and I have both officially finished school... YIPPEE!!! Today we've had the most fantastic day working together in the garden and we're both absolutely exhausted and filthy but very proud of our achievements. I thought it might be cool to do a photo diary of the day so here goes:

8 am - the morning begins
When we got up this morning this is what the entry garden looked like:

We've kept it relatively weed free during the year but I've grown to really dislike the stone chips. I don't really have a reason why... just personal preference I guess LOL. Mikayla and I thought it would be a simple job of pulling out the stone chips, bagging them up (Mum's inheriting them for her garden!) and then replace the weed matting and put down shredded bark... it definitely ended up being much more than we planned! We did the stone chips... no problem there!... pulled up the old weed matting... still no problem!... and then it happened!!! Mikayla felt 'a log' in the garden so I said she could pull it out... which she did and then she felt 'another log'... by 9am this is what we had:It seems that the previous owners created the garden with a house sale in mind so they created the walls of the garden (and I really love the baby corrugated iron!) and then instead of filling it with soil they filled it with off cuts of posts and then added a meagre 5cm of soil on top... slapped on some weedmat and put the chips down! We were completely stunned with how much stuff came out of such a little garden... over 30 post offcuts, lumps of concrete, bits of rock and even an old shoe!

Then I got a text from a friend of mine to have a coffee so Mikayla and I went off for a well earned break... luckily we did because my friend knew where I could get some good topsoil from... AND he had a car with a toe bar!!! They guy at the landscape place loaned us a trailer and we brought home a trailer load of topsoil and 4 bags of shredded bark... by 1pm this is what we ended up with:

Mikayla went off for a well-earned swim while I went down to Bunnings (one of my favourite non-scrapbooking places!) to choose some plants. I knew what I wanted so that helped and I got the most amazing service so I was really pleased.

By 5pm we had finished the weed matting, planting and then we put on the bark and it was such a transformation!

We're so pleased with all our efforts! I really enjoyed working with Mikayla today and she did a great job... the worst part was the clean up but once we were done it was so satisfying! Now it's time to get washed up, grab some chips and dip and blob on the sofa!!!

Before I sign off I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful day and enjoy a much needed break :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Mikayla's turn :)

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments for Krystal :) She's one happy girl... especially now that school is officially over for her! She's gone to stay with her Auntie for a few days and enjoy the fact that Mikayla and I still have to go to school LOL

At the end of last week Mikayla's academy at Intermediate had their prize giving... unfortunately they didn't ring parents of students winning awards but Mikayla came home very excited with THREE awards... Excellence in Music, Excellence in Science and Top Student for Food Technology!!!

Talk about a proud Mum!!! I've been really impressed with both of my girls efforts with school so I took them out to Valentines for dinner on Friday night... they totally loved it and looked absolutely beautiful - I'm allowed to be biased LOL

Today Mikayla arrived at my school to tell me they'd had their whole school prize giving and then she told me that she'd won an award... WHY doesn't the school ring the parents???? Anyway, Mikayla got Top Girl for Music!!! Woo Hoo!!! She had a lovely certificate but the best part... she got a trophy that she is allowed to keep "for ever and ever"!

She's really excited because it's her first trophy ever and blue is one of her favourite colours so it will look good in her bedroom :) Go Mikayla!!! She's also gotten into the extention class for next year so she knows she's going to have to work really hard and put in lots of effort but like I keep telling her... she can achieve anything if she sets her mind to it!

I really wanted this post to be completely about Mikayla but I HAVE to post this layout because it's for a challenge that Neen set up on her Music in Me blog... and the due date has already been and gone... sorry Neen!!! It's a really great blog and it would be cool to see more people entering into her challenges. This time the song was Nickleback's Rockstar... very very cool song which I now listen to a LOT! So here's my layout:

Thanks for visiting and PLEASE leave Mikayla some love :) She's been watching all the comments her big sister got and can't wait to get some of her own LOL

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It just gets better and better :)

Firstly, THANK YOU all so much for your comments!!! Krystal has been smiling for days and her first question to me when I got home yesterday was: 'Has anyone commented on the blog?' LOL She's loved hearing from you all... both on here and via emails and forums etc

Prize giving was this morning and I went up... it was actually really impressive with all the teachers in their robes :) The choir and the orchestra were absolutely fantastic and then it was onto the awards. They called the students up in groups of 6 and I kept waiting for Krystal's name to be called out but it didn't happen... then they said that was the end of the 'singular awards'. Next we move onto the students who has shown excellence in two subjects. I sat through waiting for Krystal's name to be called out again... I didn't realise I was so nervous and I kept thinking that Krystal was probably worried that someone had made a mistake... sometimes the other side of the hall feels like a very long way away!!!

Anyway after another 18 students names were called they said that was the end of the double awards. Next we move onto the small group of students who have shown excellence in three subjects. I was so nervous... I totally have faith in Krystal but we're talking about a really small group of students who have achieved really high standards. The third name called out was Miss Krystal's!!! I almost had a heart attack!!! She has worked so hard all year and earned herself Excellence in: Social Studies, Mathematics and Science!!! WOO HOO!!!

It feels so awesome to know that Krystal is proud of herself and that her hard work has been rewarded in such a great way. After the assembly she collected her report and she has now officially finished school for the year :) I read her report today and it's fabulous! Krystal also came first overall in graphics!!! I feel like a very lucky mum tonight :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Proud Mum :)

Sometimes life can be just fantastic!

To give you some background info... Krystal (15) has had a really hard year this year... she had her cell phone stolen by a school bully, she was put into a class of what the school called 'behavioural' kids and generally was fairly miserable for the first 6 months of the year... BUT through it all she her persevered, stuck with her studies and did everything she could to earn good grades and it's REALLY paid off!!!

We ran into her social studies teacher in town on the weekend and he told me that he nominated her for the social studies award for Year 10!! She also found out that she came 2nd in graphic design (by one mark!) and 3rd in business studies!!! Go Krystal!!! I'm so proud of her!!!

We also got a very cool letter from the high school inviting her to do Cambridge Maths next year. I'm still not really clear on what exactly that is but according to her teacher it's a really BIG thing... she was really excited when the letter came and assured me that the $120 fee will be 'well worth it'.

Over the past 10 days she's been working on a science project that I wasn't allowed to see... she completely banned me from the garage but I could hear sawing, cutting and banging so let me tell you that the curiosity was getting high!! Then she came and borrowed my crop-o-dile!!! She promised me she wouldn't break it and I have received it back in perfect condition :)

Then this morning it was time for the big reveal... all I can say is WOW WOW WOW!!! I knew she was talented and creative but this really blew me away:

The design brief was to create something for the science garden made out of recycled materials. Apparently lots of people made bird houses, tin men etc but not my girl! When Krystal does something it's usually done on a grand scale and this is no exception. The board was painted and then she glued milk bottle lids to make a stream. She 'found' some blue grout (thanks Auntie!) and some cement (thanks Dave!) and made her own 'mixture' to grout all the bottle lids to the board.

Then she made the trunk of the tree out of old plastic plant pots and 'wrapped the pots with chicken wire. Next she cut up some cans, punched holes and wired them around the chicken wire. Into the top she put an old umbrella that she stripped before cutting HEAPS of leaves out of drink cans, punched holes (that's where the crop-o-dile came in) and then tied each one individualy with fishing line!

I've lost count of how many times we've been to the recycling centre but it was totally worth it to see Krystal so excited this morning! This project is HUGE and it really looks fab! It was a bit windy this morning and all the leaves were swirling and tinkling in the wind. Her science teacher was extremely impressed and has asked Krystal if he can keep it permanently for a sculpture in his science lab!

So after a rough 6 months Krystal has learned a lot about herself... and she's learned to work hard even when she didn't really feel like it... she's shown determination, perseverance and tenacity and I'm just bursting with pride!!! Prize giving is on Thursday morning and I'm definitely going to be there!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I blinked...

and another week has flown by... how does that happen??? Things have been so busy at school. We're all trying to get assessments done, reports finished, classrooms organised and all the end of year stuff that we teachers do. For those of you who are regular readers... our house hasn't sold and decision time came about so... the girls and I are going to be staying here and I'm going to be teaching again next year BUT I'm working reduced hours so that I can dedicate my afternoons to a big project that I'll reveal at the end of January... nope not even going to give you a hint at this stage LOL I'm moving out of the ICT specialist position and going into a Year 5/6 class (which is the equivalent of Standard 3 & 4). I'm quite excited about it and looking forward to having 30 kids to do assessments for instead of around 400!!!

On the creative front I have been busy busy busy making lots of goodies and unfortunately I can't share yet because my mum and sisters all read my blog!! I can show you what I made for my Dad though because even though I've explained it to him over and over he is a bit technologically challenged LOL. I made him this cute little tote bag using cardstock and Crate papers... really love crate papers for this kind of thing because the texture and weight of the papers really lend themselves to OTP projects. If you want to make a tote of your own click HERE for the tutorial... it's really easy to follow!

Once I made the tote I decided to use the same papers for create four greeting cards to put inside so now Dad has no excuse when it comes to sending a card!I finally managed to get the scroll cuttlebug embossing folder Kelly mentioned in her blog and have to say I love it too Kelly!!! You can see that I've used it in a couple of Dad's cards and it's really effective even on patterened paper. Here's the tote and cards all spread out... hopefully he'll be really pleased with his gift!While I was on the card making tangent I decided to make a couple of Christmas cards. I used the embossing folder again (don't you just love it when you get a new tool that makes you want to use it!!!) I don't actually have a cuttlebug machine so I put them through my sizzix and they worked just fine :)Here's a little OTP box that I bought... it's from Maya Rd and very cute. I covered it with cardstock and then added some gorgeous papers from the Kaiser Craft range before adding some stamped images and holly leaves. Love how cute it turned out!So that's all I can share with you for now... I've sent off my 'Secret Santa' present and waiting to see when it arrives and if the recipient can hold out until Christmas... not sure if I can... think I'll have to get Miss 15 to hide it from me when it arrives!!!

I've also realised that my blog roll needs a BIG update... I've got to get onto that this week! Right it's time to hit the shower and get to work... only 16 more days until we finish YIPPEE!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lots of things to share :)

Hi all :) The girls and I have just had a marvellous weekend camping down in Taranaki and it was fabulous!! Lots of rest and relaxation... not quite as 'rugged' as last time... plus we got to catch up with some friends as well which was great :) I seem to have lots of bits and pieces to share this time so on with the post.

Starfish Club - My niece Kody has recently joined the 'Starfish Club' for swimming lessons. She sent me a really lovely email (her mum helped I think LOL) with some photos attached so I made this double layout for her album. She's got an 8x8 that my other sister started and it's the first time I've ever scrapped this size but I really enjoyed it! The journaling is pretty much word for word what 'Kody' sent to me :)

Christmas Card Swap - Recently I joined in a Christmas card swap with SbO. I'm starting to like making cards now LOL Here's the ones I made:

And here's the ones I received: This first one was made by Niella... love the way she used the transparency!

The next one was made by Kirstin... she's been very creative with punches!!!I'm not sure who made the third one (let me know if it's you). It's hard to tell from the photo but there is the most gorgeous little tag held on by ribbon :)RAK Thank yous :) I've been receiving lots of little treasures in the mail lately :) I've been feeling very lucky! The first thank you goes to Meg from Scrapbook Essentials. She sent me this gorgeous scroll (I've never seen these before!) which I received as part of her 'Blinkie Hunt'... Thanks Meg :)

Next on the list is Andrea and Ms Mouse from SbO. I got this lovely package of Heidi Swapp eyelets and a gorgeous little tin of Maya Rd Sunflower slides... think I might already know how I'm going to use them too :) Thanks Andrea and Ms Mouse (whoever you are LOL)!And finally Kate from Paper Pesto sent me this gorgeous RAK simply for leaving a comment on the PP blog. If you haven't visited it yet I would highly recommend it!!

Off the Page bits and pieces - I've been doing a lot of off the page stuff lately... mini albums and things for Christmas presents but here's a couple that I can share without blowing any surprises!!

The first is a bow I made using Kaiser papers. If you want to make one of your own click HERE for the tutorial. Super easy to follow and the finished results look great :)

The second thing is this Christmas ornament I designed using paua paper. I made quite a few of these a few years ago using fabric and hand stitching them but this time I used paper, mod podge, ribbon and beads. I like the 'kiwiness' of this one :)I've been published... kind of - A couple of months ago I participated in an ATC swap with Scrapbooker and Co and in the November newsletter they've published my ATC (it's on page 2!)Here's a close up view of my ATC which I called Butterfly Dreams :)So that's all from me... it feels great to have gotten all those bits and pieces documented now. I've got a few more things in the pipeline at the moment plus I'm still working on my Christmas traditions mini album so hopefully I'll get that finished this week so I can share it with you. Please leave me a comment because it's so nice to hear what you all think :) Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Circle Journal - Part 2

As of yesterday everyone has their own circle journals back YIPPEE!! So now I can share with you what I did in each of the others' journals.

The first journal I worked on was Tracy's. Her theme was 'My Home Town' and she had a little binder album which was very cute. I decided to put in quite a few photos of Rotorua sights so I added a little flip page to the album. The flax paper, tiki and Maori ribbon all worked really well. If you want to check out the rest of Tracy's album on her blog click here!
Next was Zeetra's 'Cookie' album. Some yummy treats ended up in there! Check out her blog here to see the rest of her album! My girls really loved me doing this album too because they got to help with the 'research' LOL
Then it was time for Kirstin's lovely album. She added a new element to hers - and altered jig-saw puzzle piece! Her album was titled 'Pieces of Me' and I really enjoyed working on this one. I had just done a class involving a little bit of doodling and it shows in the pages I did for her.Rangi's album was next. She did a gorgeous album which she called 'Delicious Desserts'. I haven't got a photo of her front cover but she used ribbon letters which was fabulous. This was another one that my girls enjoyed 'helping' with. We actually had the dessert for breakfast so that we could photograph it in daylight LOL

Nie's album was next... and it was a very sweet album called 'Simple Pleasures'. It was a neat time to think about all those 'little' things that make you smile everyday. It also gave me a chance to use some of the neat stuff I bought at SENZ... love that background paper!!!The last album I worked on was Rebecca's. She titled her album 'A Journey Through Time' and we could choose any time period we liked... I did mine about growing up in the 70's and how life was so much slower than it is today. A huge bonus with this album was that I was able to see everyone else's work and see all our different styles come together in one album.I love having my album back and everyone else in the group feels the same although it's a little bit sad too so we've decided to do another one starting early next year :) Thank you all so much for all your wonderful comments... it's been so wonderful hearing what everyone has to say :)