Project Life 2014: Week 1

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  I’m happy to be sharing my first page from 2014.  If you are here from The Mom Creative link-up, welcome!  My goal for Project Life this year is to keep it simple, focusing on the pictures and journaling. I’m sure that some weeks I’ll add a bit more flair, but overall it will be simple.  Last year  I only got 9 weeks documented and they were not consecutive weeks.  I think I got weeks 1, 2, 25, 26, 27, 40, 41…you get the picture. Instead of beating myself up over it, I’m embracing the 9 weeks that I did get done.  I’m sure most people would be happy to have around 10 layouts a year done.  So let me encourage you to just do what you can! If you miss a week, don’t quit, just keep moving forward!  I might go back and document some weeks from 2013, I might not, but I am moving forward with 2014!

So without further ado, here are my pages:

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One thing I am definitely continuing is including a picture of the movies we saw!

Here are a couple of close-ups:

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Supplies Used:

Core Kits:  Seafoam, 5th & Frolic, Honey;  “Hello Life” badge & “heart the story” journaling card by Finding Nana;  “imagine” stamp by 7gypsies; bracket stickers are old-school Heidi Swapp that I’ve had in my stash forever.

If you are doing Project Life or you are documenting your everyday life in another way I’d love to see it!  Please leave a link to your pages in the comments and I’ll be sure to pop over and say hi!

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for stopping by. I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

If you’d like to see how I organize my Project Life supplies, these are the posts:

Craft Room Organization:  Creating a Functional Project Life Station

Project Life 2013:  Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Project Life:  Week 4 and Organization

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

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Our Week In Pictures (1/6/14-1/12/14)

This past week Hailey went back to school and Skylar and I eased back into school here at home.

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I finally finished up a gift for Chris’ mom.  

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We had our weekly visits with the chiropractor.  We LOVE this office!  They are like family!

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I started sorting through my craft room to decide which supplies I am ready to send to new homes.

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We spent lots of time at the library, one of my favorite places!

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I had rehearsal for worship team.

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We attended the missions dinner at our church.

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Awoke on Saturday to find Hailey looking through my Project Life album from 2012.

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Sunday was a beautiful day of serving, rest, & family time!

Ready & raring to go for another week of school, therapy, doctor’s appointments, exercise, and family time!

So thankful for my sweet family!

Make it great!

JuJu

Gracie Goes to Disneyland: The Adventures of Our Elf on the Shelf!

A few weeks before our family left for Disneyland, I asked Chris “How funny would it be if Gracie made the trip to Disneyland with us?” to which he replied “Let’s do it!”.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is game for my silly antics!

Gracie was packed & ready to go the morning we left!

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She sat up front with us.  The funny thing is, Chris and I drove by ourselves as the girls rode with my parents.

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Finally to the state line!

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They didn’t look too scary so I picked these two up!  What do you think the chances were that a bus-load of prisoners would pass us as we were taking this picture? Yep….totally happened!  

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Raring & ready to go the first morning!

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Checking out the crowd while hanging out on Aunt Jenny’s shoulder.

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Happy to be safe & sound with Chris!

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The obligatory photo op by the tree!

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Gracie had no idea that Space Mountain would be as fast as it was!

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It’s a Small World was definitely more her speed!  She was thrilled to see the North Pole! She rode the whole ride on Grandpa’s shoulder…he’s such a good sport!

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The Jingle Cruise was another favorite!

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Ready for our character breakfast on Christmas morning!

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She loved the attention from Rafiki!

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And thought Alice was definitely beautiful!

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Her favorite ride of all was definitely California Screamin’! She was happy to be sitting next to Skylar! (Sorry for the picture of a picture!)

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All in all it was an amazing vacation for Gracie!  She is hoping for a family Christmas cruise next year!  We sent her back to the North Pole with the message to Santa to help make that happen!

I hope you enjoyed Gracie’s adventure to Disneyland!

Make it a great week!

JuJu

*We clearly do not follow the “don’t touch the elf or she’ll lose her power” rule!  We were more than happy to include everyone in on the fun with Gracie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the Magic of Disney!

One of my favorite parts of taking Skylar to Disneyland is her absolute joy when she sees the characters!  She usually spots the characters and says “It’s (insert whatever character we happen to run into)! I need to ask him something!” or “I need to tell them a story!”.  She gets so excited and just can’t wait to ask whatever question is running through her head.  It is an absolute joy to watch!

This trip was no different!  After Peter Pan literally ran into Hailey by the teacups, he stopped to visit with our family.  Skylar was so excited.  She launched into a story about how he fought Captain Hook and how exciting it was.  She was so animated!  The best part was watching the two of them interact.  I was able to capture a bit of their interaction in photos.

It started out with “Um…Hi!  I’m Skylar.  I’m your biggest fan!” and just went from there.

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As we walked away Skylar said “That was AWESOME!  I love him!”

So thankful for the magic of Disney and the absolute joy that it brings my sweet girl!

And thank you Peter Pan!  You are doing it right!

Make it great my friends!

JuJu

If you missed the re-cap in pictures of our Christmas trip to Disneyland, you can see them HERE!

Our Christmas Trip to Disneyland!

When we went to Disneyland in April in conjunction with our trip to see Skylar’s Mitochondrial specialist, never in a million years did we think that we would be going back for Christmas.  However, when your dad calls and says “I’m taking everyone to Disneyland over Christmas break!” it happens.  We went with my folks and my sister’s family so there were 12 of us in all.  I have some specific pictures and series of pictures from our trip that I will share seperately, but today I’m going to share some of my favorites that were snapped by either me or my sister.

I love this picture of Skylar and my niece, Rebecca as they got off the shuttle on our first day.

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The kids were pretty excited to find a short wait to ride the rockets.

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Hailey and Ben have always been close and this trip was no different.

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I love that my sister was intentional about snapping pictures of my mom.  She often steps out of the pictures.

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Our elf, Gracie made the trip with us (more on that in another post) and she hung out with Skylar for the Jingle Cruise, the Christmas version of the Jungle Cruise.

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Waiting for our report time for the Finding Nemo Submarine ride.

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My parents got suckered into going on the Teacups with my niece, Sam.  The other adults were pretty much adamant about not going on rides that spin!

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Peter Pan literally ran right in to Hailey while we were by the teacups so he took lots of time with our family.  He was awesome!  Such a fun personality!

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I love that Chris photobombed Skylar and Hailey’s picture with Rafiki.  We went to Goofy’s Kitchen for the character breakfast on Christmas morning.  The kids loved seeing all the different characters.

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Rebecca took a selfie with all the characters.  It was hilarious!

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My absolute favorite picture from the trip was actually the picture that was snapped as Hailey, Ben, Jenny, Chris, Rebecca, and Emily came down Splash Mountain.  I seriously crack up each time I look at it.  Everyone’s faces are hilarious, but my favorite has to be Rebecca!  I’ll just say that she had the most “expressive” response and to top it off, her hair went crazy!  She actually looks like she is trying to flee from the log ride.

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Looking forward to sharing more from our trip to Disneyland along with our experience with the new Disability Access Service Card.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

 

Goal Setting for 2014

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I love the beginning of a new year!  Yes, I totally realize that each and every day is a new start, but for some reason I love setting goals at the start of a new year.  I try not to make the goals too broad.  I like specific, measurable goals.  This year I picked four specific categories for goal setting:  Marriage, Mothering, Family, and Personal. All of my goals plug into one of these 4 categories.  I am a paper and pen girl.  I know that it drives my computer-loving hubby crazy, but I love to write lists down in a notebook.  Add in some fun-colored markers and I am one happy girl.

I started a new book for my lists.  I’ve been carrying my old book for almost 2 years and it finally just fell apart.  It is a simple graph ruled composition book that I picked up at Staples for a few bucks.  I definitely prefer graph ruled to the traditional composition book.  This is a book that I carry everywhere.  When I think of something that I need to do or think of questions I need to ask a doctor or therapist I write it in this book.  It’s nothing fancy, but it is exactly what I need. Having my list of goals in the front of this book is going to be awesome for me this year!  Here are my goals:

Marriage

1)  weekly date night (we already get 3 hours of respite care on Monday nights that we absolutely cherish)

2)  read 4 marriage books/devotional books

Mothering

1)  monthly dates with each of the girls

2)  write monthly letters to the girls & include them in my Project Life pages

3)  pray with the girls each day

Family

1) memorize one Bible verse each week

2)  read at least one chapter of a book out loud together each day

3)  explore Arizona (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Tombstone, Bisbee, etc)

Personal

1) exercise 60 min/day 6 days a week (I’m pretty much already doing this)

2)  do a Whole 30 (I’m currently reading this book to prepare)

3)  read the Bible through chronologically (I’m using this Bible)

4)  read 52 books (I’ve already started a list in my trusty red notebook)

5)  continue documenting our everyday life with Project Life

6)  run a 5K race 

7)  declutter & simplify 

I’m excited about the things that I will accomplish in 2014.  It’s going to be a big year for us as we continue our journey of better health & prepare to move this summer (hence the decluttering).  

What are your goals for 2014?

Make them great!

JuJu

Do Not Fear!

Just had the most precious moment with Skylar as I was in the kitchen making meatballs. 

Sky: Mom, what are you afraid of?
Me: Heights & someone hurting the people that I love! (I also thought to myself that I am afraid that people will never see Skylar for the wonderful soul that she is & that sadly, there will be many people who will just not accept her.)
Sky: Well, you should conquer those fears mom!
Me: I have tried Skylar, but it still scares me!
Sky: Well mom, the Bible clearly says “Do not fear!” It also tells us that we need to trust God and that He will take care of us!
Me: (speechless)
Sky: So even though I am scared of sharks and snakes, I trust God & He takes care of me! You just have to have faith mom! He loves us!
Me: (still speechless, but now crying)

Sometimes I get discouraged because of the things that Skylar has tremendous difficulty doing & I cry out to God and ask Him for encouragement and to soothe my aching heart. I have absolutely NO doubt that God speaks to me and encourages me through sweet Skylar!

I hope that this encourages you today as well!

Make it great!

JuJu

Hello December

Hi there, friends!  December is one of my favorite times of year and I was so excited to say Hello to December this year!  This morning we went to church and I was thrilled to find that it was Communion Sunday!  Seriously…what an AMAZING way to usher in this season of Advent!  It was beautiful!

My friend, Stephanie, posed the question today “What are you doing this Christmas to be intentional in making this a season of joy?”  I shared our family’s plans with her and thought I would share them here with all of you!  First and foremost, I want to keep my focus on the reason for this season, and that is Jesus!

So here are the things that we as a family will be doing to focus on Advent, document our memories, make fun memories together, & serve others this Christmas season.

ADVENT

I searched for devotionals that would be good for both Skylar and Hailey.  I wanted to make sure that they would interest Skylar, but also challenge Hailey.  I found the perfect resource!  We are using the e-book Reasons for the Season by Kathy Hutto. I’m looking forward to all the different activities we will do together as a family.

For my personal devotional time, I’m looking forward to using the Advent devotional videos from Ann Voskamp and also following along with the Advent devotional series from Good Morning Girls.

DOCUMENTING CHRISTMAS

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I’m really looking forward to documenting our December with a simplified version of Ali Edward’s December Daily.  This year I will be using one photo from each day, like the one above, dated with these digital elements.  It’s going to be super easy:  snap photo, print, back on chipboard, & attach all photos with rings.  I’ll be sure to show you as the month goes along.

MAKING MEMORIES TOGETHER/SERVING OTHERS 

We have a list of activities that we are going to do as a family.  Each day we will do one activity.  Here are a few examples:

-watch a Christmas movie together (this is one we will do multiple times)

-get cocoa and drive around to see the Christmas lights

-bake cookies for our friends and neighbors

-make a CD of our favorite Christmas music and share it with some of our friends

-go to ZooLights with our cousins

-pick out a new ornament from the Christmas Store

We will also choose different service projects as a family.  Some will be simpler than others, but we want to make sure the girls recognize that helping others is what we are called to do.

GRACIE THE ELF

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This morning marked the return of our friendly elf, Gracie.  The girls absolutely love her!  When Skylar walked into the kitchen and saw Gracie, she read the card and said “Oh Gracie!  I missed you too!”  Pretty sure that Chris and I enjoy this way more than the girls do.  Who would’ve thought?  I seriously used to poke fun at people that did this.  You can see the post of silly things that Gracie did last year, HERE.

We are looking forward to a fabulous December and I hope you are too!

What are you doing to make this December full of joy?

Whatever it is, make it great!

JuJu

Project Life 2013: Weeks 41 & 42

Hello my friends!  Happy to be sharing a couple of weeks of Project Life pages with you today!  The first week I’m sharing is the week that Skylar was hospitalized for extended EEG monitoring & seizure medication change.  I actually put these pages together the morning after we got home.  I wanted to get my thoughts down before I forgot some of the details.

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I put these pages together in about an hour, which included the time I took to edit & print the photos.  I love the simplicity of this week!

The next pages I added a few embellishments, but not many.  Again, I enjoyed the simplicity of my pages and really just wanted the focus to be on my pictures & journaling.

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I’ve really enjoyed mixing & matching my Project Life kits.  These two weeks used cards from the following editions:  Blush, Honey, Seafoam, & 5th and Frolic.  If you are interested in seeing how I organized all my Project Life Kits together, CLICK HERE!

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for stopping by, I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Skylar’s 1st Swim Meet

Skylar swam in her 1st swim meet with her Special Olympics team this past Saturday.  I was so nervous as I had no idea what to expect.  Even though she practices each week with her team, I wasn’t sure how she would do when we were at the actual meet. I prayed fervently for her to just enjoy herself!  

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Shortly after we arrived, I snapped this picture of her next to the pool.  I could hear her talking to herself realized she was repeating the things that her coaches and I have been telling her the past few months:

“Don’t come off your back until you’ve touched the wall!”

“Make sure you don’t push off the lane line!”

At this moment, more than anything, I wished that “Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!” would have been one of the phrases she kept repeating.  You see, in all of my nervousness and hoping that she would have a legal stroke and finish the race strong, I forgot to impart to her the most important advice of all:  Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!

As her teammates began to arrive, I could see that she was relaxing a bit more. Getting excited for the day.  She was excited when they passed out her team t-shirts.

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Shortly before the meet began, one of her coaches walked over and Skylar blurted out “I’m going to FAIL!”  I held my breath as I waited for her coach’s response.

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“You aren’t going to fail!  You are going to do great!”  (Thank you Coach Patty!)

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Skylar was so quiet while waiting for her event.  I stayed close, but tried not to hover (I’m really working on that!).  She did a great job following the instructions of the group that was helping get them all lined up.  I did manage to capture a bit of a smile right before she got into the water.  

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And then it was time!  Into the water she went.

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Her first event was the 25M Freestyle.  I can’t even begin to describe to you the improvement we have seen in this stroke the past 4 months.  

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And you better believe that we screamed like fools!  

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As she reached for the wall, I said to Chris “I can’t believe it!  She’s going to get 2nd place!  How awesome is that?”

And then, when I didn’t think I could be any more emotional, I saw Coach Patty. She was clapping, encouraging her, giving her high-fives, and congratulating her on a great swim!

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Skylar got out of the water, huge smile on her face and went right back to the staging area where she got ready for her next swim.  She only had a matter of minutes between events and I was wondering how she would do with that little rest, but she did great!  She swam the 25M Backstroke, which is actually her favorite stroke.  She struggled with the sun being in her eyes so she was all over the lane, but thankfully everyone else had the same problem.  I’m pretty sure she swam the entire race with her eyes closed! And believe it or not, she came in 2nd place again!

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She got out of the water and said “Mom, I think I’m done swimming for the day. Can we go back to the timeshare?”  I laughed and told her we had to wait for the awards ceremony.  Right about that time, one of the workers walked by and said that they were having pizza delivered for the swimmers right after the meet.  Skylar whipped her head around and said “Excuse me!  Did you just say pizza?  Mom!  We are totally staying!”

As Skylar waited for her name to be called out during the awards ceremony, she had a little smirk on her face.  She fought back a huge smile.  You could tell that she was really proud of herself!  As she should be!

So proud of our girl!

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And Skylar’s favorite part of the day?  You guessed it!

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Thanks for celebrating our girl with us!  We think she is all kinds of awesome!

Make it great!

JuJu