Thursday, August 31, 2006


Oh much has been going on this week that I've neglected this blog terribly. Please bear with me as I try and break it down. It's going to be a LONG post (but I promise lots of pictures! ;))
First, my sweet baby boy turned THREE (*sob and sniff*) on Tuesday (the 29th). HOW is that possible?? If that we're enough for the wee man (and his mama), he had a birthday party at the local petting zoo on Sunday (where he got an entire bag of carrots to himself to feed the animals - that he didnt' have to share with the brothers!), he had his final session with the fabulous Miss Ann (his speech therapist) before he aged out of the program, AND he started his first day of Pre-school on Monday.

I'm praying you can understand why I've been horribly slack about posting! My emotions have been soooo over the gamut this week and I haven't even felt like myself!

I've been completely proud that Carson is done with his speech therapy and it doesn't look like he's going to ever need any more. But we're going to miss Miss Ann terribly. She's been with us since Turner was 20 months old (a total of about 2 1/2 years!) and it was so bitter sweet to see her go. I know both boys are going to miss her coming in.

Carson's 3rd birthday was great. He said he wanted to go to the zoo but it was so unbearably hot that day, we opted for a petting zoo near Mom's. She got each boy their own bag of carrots to feed the animals and they were beside themselves! They fed goats, hamsters, pigs, horses, cows, emus, deer and so much more. And of course we couldn't leave until every last carrot was gone. ;) Then we headed out to mom's for presents, pizza, cake and ice cream. We had a wonderful time and the boys were completely exhausted for the ride home.

C is adjusting to school slowly but surely. It was absolutely heart-wrenching the first few days as he cried hysterically whenever he had to leave me. It immediately put me into tears too. But I'm so proud of him because he's trying so hard to be brave. The first day when he got off the bus, his famous lower lip immediately came out and he started crying the second he saw me, but he sniffed and said, "Mama, I rode de schoo bus!" He was so proud of himself for doing it and my Mama heart just welled up. It's been progressively improving and today even though he told us he DIDN'T want to go to school, his Ribbit went with him and he was brave because he had to be strong for Ribbit. And when he got of the bus, there were no tears, just a few sniffles and a hearty "BYE, schoo bus!" as the bus rounded the corner after leaving our house.
Now i
f only *I* could adjust as well. I miss that little boy during the day more than I thought possible.

And as a final update, E and T are both doing
fabulously in school. Turner really thrives on a nice tight schedule and having some time away that is just his, where he can be just Turner and not a brother too. He loves his friends, he's amazingly social and his personality is just getting sweeter and sweeter.
is doing amazingly well in first grade. His teacher comments often how bright he is, how he has such wonderful handwriting and creative writing skills. He's so quick with math too. It completely blows me away! Now if only he could not be like his mama in all areas....for he too has developed her tendency to talk too much in school. *Sigh* I TOLD everyone who would listen that I'd cloned myself in male form. I've got it all over any scientist! ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Flag Football Fiasco

sigh. It really *was* that bad. Seriously. I've never been so disappointed in a children's athletic program in my life. Now granted, we're somewhat new to this. But Ethan has now played 4 seasons of soccer and I have coached cheerleading since I've been in high school, so I have a pretty good idea how a program is supposed to be run, and this sure wasn't it.
The poor little guys on our team (6 and 7-year- olds) have only had 1 practice before our game today. And their coach didn't even bother to stay for the entire time. So the dads stepped in. But it wasn't enough. These kids had NO idea what they were doing. And they were paired against a team that did. Ten minutes into the game and the score was already 30-0. By the half, the kids were just crushed. Many of them were crying. My son wasn't one of them - he was ticked. But still. It was miserable. And hot. And I was ticked along with my son.

You can bet come Monday morning, the park league is going to hear about this. Mama Bear is ready. You don't mess with her cub, know what I mean? So as far as I'm concerned, we're done with this particular team and season. I don't condone quitting and I certainly don't mind losing, that's all a part of the game. But when there is no instruction and certainly no program put in place, well, we'll just save ourselves the headache. We'll give it a go next year and see if it's any better, but you can be certain we'll make darn sure we're not having the same coach.

So since it was his one and only Flag football game of the season, here's my boy. These pics were all taken during the pregame warm well, their team never made it past the other teams' 20-yard line the entire game. It was the only time the football ever made it into Ethan's hands.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Joanna....I present to you...

Friday's Frog...;) (ok, actually it was Thursday's, but humor me a little!)
I can't tell you why exactly, but ever since he was teeny,my Carson has been associated with frogs and the color green. Perhaps it's his red hair and fiery blue eyes that did it, I'm just not sure. But I can tell you Carson's two most favorite things ever...have both been frogs. His first one was this wee little frog head on top of a little security blanket. He carried that thing around until he was 18 months old....
and then we lost it.
It was hard to tell who was more heartbroken, me or him. I loved him carrying around that ratty old frog - it was a such a sweet symbol of his babyhood and as he is my last baby, I cherished that as much as he did. I always meant to get a picture of him with that frog, but even though it was his constant companion the first year and 1/2 of his life, I think I have maybe one.

There's no telling how many frogs came and went from that time a year and a 1/2 ago til now. None could quite compare....that is until one day when Mama found favorite frog #2. This particular frog was a full stuffed frog unlike the other, yet it had the same floppy characteristics, the same softness. He loves to hold it by the eyes and feel the smooth glassy like surface beneath his thumbs. And from the moment that toy was put in his arms, he has hardly put it down.

Ribbit (I know it's an original name, eh? ;)) has seen his share abuse at the hands of my son. He's been kicked, thrown, hugged, puked on, stepped on, dropped - you name it, it's happened. But I can promise him this...if the daily kisses he also gets my little prince, he'll forever be real at this house.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A little of This. A little of That.

So many things going on at once around here, but nothing so noteworthy it warrants its own post so today is just a little of everything to fill you in. :)

Turner has his first "official" full day of school today. He was supposed to go yesterday, but suffered a strong asthma attack Sunday night that lasted all day Monday. We kept him home and gave him regular breathing treatments to break it. He's doing much better now and as I type this, Daddy just took him off to school for the day.

Carson, bless his he
art, was visited by that terrible croup monster at about 3:45 this morning, so Mama and Daddy were up with the steam, in the cold, in the steam, in the cold...trying to get that darn virus to break (I swear if it's not one thing it's another!). Happy to say that around 5 am, he was sleeping soundly in his own bed again...and is STILL sleeping (at 8:00) though a very groggy mom and dad were up at 6:30! He's also fast approaching his 3rd birthday so all the appointments he has to get in before the early intervention program ends (for his slight speech delay) is happening fast and furiously this week. The sad thing about that is that it means this week - Friday to be exact - will be his last session with Miss Ann. Miss Ann is his speech therapist. She's the one that's been with us since Turner was 20 months old and she's so well loved here. It's going to be a happy but sad day when C phases out and no longer needs to see Miss Ann.

Ethan's big excitment is that flag football signups are going on and he gets to do that AND start Cub Scouts. I can hardly believe he's big enough to do these things. Every bit of me screams "WAIITTT!!! Quit growing up so FAST!!" but he's bouncing off the walls. He's so stinkin' excited about both of these activities he can't stand it. And they'll be so good for him. He's got energy and enthusiasm to burn, so he's ready!

And let's see....yesterday was a HUG
E birthday day for several people I love dearly.

It was a big one for her - the big 6-0! And as Ethan so innocently asked, "Is she going on 61, Mama?!"
HA!! All the DD's fault completely, Mom, I swear!

Also Happy Happy Happy Birthday to my Aunt Jane (and her twin sister Joan who passed away too long ago) and to my best friend from High School, Roy. I love you all. :)

And finally, it is official! Our Ask the Master's Book has NOW hit the shelves!! WaahoO!! I didn't think it would ever happen! And in honor of that, here's one of my layouts that you can find in there. Oh yeah, that's my boys...the "real" behind the scenes action, if you will! ;)

Friday, August 18, 2006

I was TAGGED!!

Ah, heck! I've been tagged by Jamie Cottrell - I'll get you for this, girl! ;) Here are my responses...sometimes I wish I led a more exciting life!

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?

Anywhere as long as it's near the ocean.
2. What's your favorite article of clothing?
Comfy, straight legged, dark wash denim jeans
3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex?
Ohhh...eyes, definately the eyes :)
4. What's the last CD that you bought?
BonJovi's Have a Nice Day and Sugarland.
5. Where's your favorite place to be?
With my family.
6. Where's your least place to be?
At the doctors! ICK!
7. What's your favorite place to be massaged?
My shoulders and neck.
8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
HA! Right now I don't think I'm strong in either though I'd love to be strong in BOTH!
9. What time do you wake in the morning?
6:30 am (Ethan's bus comes at 7:10).
10. What's your favorite kitchen appliance?
Favorite? Um, I guess I'd have to say my refridgerator...or my microwave.
11. What makes you really angry?
Not being heard.
12. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
13. What is your Favorite color?
14. Which do you prefer, sports car or SUV?
I actually like both, but SUV is much more practical for me right now with three small boys.
15. Do you believe in afterlife?
16. Favorite children's book?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
17. What is your favorite season?
18. What's your least favorite household chore?
Cleaning the bathrooms.
19. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Oh....The ability to fly....or maybe x-ray vision...tee hee
20. If you have a tattoo, what is it?
I'm too needle-phobic to get a tattoo though I'd really love a small one somewhere ;)
21. Can you juggle?
Do plastic bags count? If so, then yes!
22. The one person from your past you wish you could go back and talk to?
My father.
23. What is your favorite day of the week?
Saturday. It's family fun day at our house on Saturdays!
24. What's in the trunk of your car?
Jumper cables, purged scrap goodies waiting for a scrap-yard sale and various kiddie toys!
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
Definately a hamburger....or more accurately, a CHEESEburger!

Ok, time to tag three more...Jana,Court and girls are next!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

and now it's Turner's turn!

My big boy had his first day of preschool yesterday. He was so very excited to get back to his routine. He truly adores school and making friends. He's such a social kid! And I really think the biggest draw to being there, is that there he is just "Turner", not a brother. He is his own man at school and really, who wouldn't love that? ;)

It's going to be a bit of an adjustment getting into a routine again as now both he and Ethan head out the door at the same time - which means 2 boys to simultaneously dress, feed an
d get ready. And here I thought I had a couple more years before all of that! Seriously, I think the great irony of life is that you spend 9 months getting these kids here, which are like the longest months of your life and seem like an eternity. And the second they are born, time moves at warp speed. *sigh*

So here's my cutie Mr. Turner...all ready for school with his new backpack....that I have a feeling he'll be sleeping with for a while as he loves it so! ;)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Confession of an OBSESSION

(And no, this time it's NOT scrapping-related! Ok, well it *is*, but it's not. ;))

It is time I come out and let the world know that I have finally realized I have a problem. Because that's the first step, right? And I can't do it alone. I need to belong to MA. McDonald's Anonymous. And it's not because of their incredible fries, though I love those, too.
I, Kelly Goree, am a McDonald's Diet Coke junkie.

There. I said it.

And it's true. I live for my daily cup of that incredibly potent caffeine. There is just something about a McDonald's fountain Diet Coke that is unlike any other. I don't know what it is and I don't care. I just know I love it. And I know that I really need to part ways with it. It's not doing me or my waistline any good. With your help, I am going to enter this 12-step recovery program to cut that liquid heaven out of my life. Today. Truly. This time it's for real! (Are you believing me??!)

So as tribute to my past, I offer up this layout - my entry into the Effer Girls' Last Scrapper
Standing Contest, Round 2. Oh Yes. I have a McObsession. ;)
(p.s. Is anyone else finding it somewhat foreboding that there are 13 photos on this layout??! Not that I'm superstitious or anything...)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Every Once in a While

Yes, they do sit still. And here's the proof. :)
Today we w
ent to the park and the boys were fascinated by a baseball team playing what I called a "grown up version" of bean bag toss. ;) It was interesting to watch and as I sat there looking, I saw this perfect opportunity to snap their picture...that rare, unforced, unposed shot. I was in heaven!

And Ethan after seeing me download it on the computer said, "Mama - that's a really good picture!" Hey, thanks, buddy!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Guest DT at The Scrapbook Site!

Hey all! I thought I'd do a little promotion for Elayne and her amazing site The Scrapbook Site. When she asked me to be the guest DT member for her kit club this month, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I don't often create multiple layouts with the same products, but her kit is so packed and has such great stuff in it! I've been having such a fabulous time playing around, especially with the awesome new A2Z papers! YUMMY! They are just so boyish and fresh and fun! Here is a sneak peak at what's coming in the next week or so on site.

This is the page I did of the pictures of Ethan fishing with Mr. Scott I posted last week. And I don't think I gave him kudos before when I posted the photos, but my husband t
ook these amazing shots! Aren't they incredible!! (I tell him I just finally wore him down. It's a hard life to be married to a scrapbooker! ;))

I hope you'll come by and check Elayne's site out and even visit again when I do a little online chat a bit later in the month. As an additional incentive, she's holding a cool contest this month called "Show us Your Style." I'll keep you posted on the chat and I'd love to have everyone stop by so I'm not talking to myself! ;)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

1st Day of 1st Grade!!

A Day of Firsts....the first day of first grade came EARLY this morning! Ethan got up a bit reluctantly, but after a breakfast of waffles he was raring to go! I took him to school and walked him inside (of COURSE I did) and *thought* I would be taking him to his class. But apparently the school is trying a new system to "sort" the kids by teacher and how they were getting home, so it was a huge cattle call in the gym. I hated leaving him there on the bleachers, looking a bit unsure of himself. But he insisted he was fine and gave me the "getoutofherebefore
youkissedmeonemoretimemom" look. (Are any of you familiar with that look? ;)) Anyhow. He's there...all day....and it's very quiet here somehow even with the other two running around. And of course there's pictures. What kind of mom would I be if I didn't take pics? Hugs to all you moms with 1st day's today!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ask the Masters!

I can't help but post about this, so I hope you all will indulge me a little. ;) Our Memory Makers Masters book, Ask the Masters, is about to hit the shelves in less than 3 weeks!!!!! I saw it up for preorder at yesterday and about jumped out of my seat. It's the first book I've had a major part in and it's also the book that had the tragedy of a train wreck (literally) befall it so all of my artwork (and many others) had to be re-created. The artwork for this book is amazing and I hope you all will be as excited about it as we are! Keep an eye out! It's hitting stores August 25th!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

He did. and so did She.

My beautiful cousin, the man who reminds me so much of my father back in the day, got married yesterday to his gorgeous bride, Nikki. And in the process became Daddy to one exhuberant little princess named Carmen.

I love weddings and this one w
as truly beautiful. To see this little group officially become a see the beaming smile that stayed on Nikki's face the entire see how my cousin looked at his new bride...well, it was something special, for sure. It was a gorgeous setting (right on Rough River Lake), there was plenty of dancing and then there was know, gotta love a good wedding cake! ;)

And it was so fabulous to be around that side of the family for a happy occassion again and many of them had never seen Carson at all, or all three of my boys together in one place. And they were a hit. They discovered sliding accross the dance floor on their knees all by themselves, but when Uncle Kevin showed them how to breakdance and spin on the floor on their back, well it was all over. *sigh* lol Fun for all ages!

Here's a few highlights of the wedding. Please forgive the grainess of the photos! Congrats to the Ballingers!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gone Fishin'

That's what Ethan got to do for the first time today and apparently he was quite the natural! Mr. Scott (again our wonderful bus driver) had invited him (and my husband) to go fishing at his family farm the beginning of the summer, but it never panned out until today. So today, off they went.

From wh
at I gather from Daddy, Ethan took to fishing like a...a....a fish to water? *ahem* He wasn't so keen on baiting his hook initially, but could cast his line like a pro. And Mr. Scott had that pond so stocked, that everytime he did, a fish took the bait! He caught his first fish within minutes and by the time the afternoon was over, had caught some 20 some-odd fish that he could keep. That's not counting the ones that were too small to add to the line. After the first few, Ethan wasn't so squeemish anymore and was handling the worms and the fish with ease. He was even the one to reel in all his catches without any help!

I couldn't help it! I was so proud. As someone who is not really outdoors-inclined when it comes to nature, it was so stinkin' cool to see my son loving every minute of it. And can't you just see that he did?? lol This is Ethan with his 1st catch of the day, then his line at the end of the afternoon, with Mr. Scott and the biggest fish of the day! (He's already asking when he can go back! Too bad school starts so soon.)

We're off to a wedding in the morning and will be gone all day. My baby cousin (ha, he's 30!) is finally (your mother's words, not mine, I swear, Joe!) tying the knot to his sweet Nikki and getting a beautiful stepdaughter to boot. They're such a lovely little family and I'm so thrilled for him. And hopefully that means Sunday will bring some wedding pictures to share, too! ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And the Answer is....

Thank you to everyone who took the time to play in my little Q&A session :) Here are the answers (and probably more than you bargained for!) to your most burning questions! I hope you enjoy....

Court said...
Kelly, what is your number one tip for getting published lots?

Submit lots. Seriously! Nothing more spectacular than that!

Kelly, How far away from me do you live? {now that I am a southern girl - transplant}
I'm not sure exactly where you live, Court, but I'm about 3-3.5 hours from Nashville and about 1.5-2 hours from both Cincy and Indy, and about 45 minutes from Lexington. Does that help?

Kelly, why are you so dang good?
Well, thank you! I got lucky?

chris jenkins said...

so my question is journaling 1st or design 1st? i always have trouble with making it all work and I am just curious how you do it.
I would say it's pretty simultaneous. Before I do any page, I have to have a story I want to tell. It doesn't have to be the official, "final" journaling, but I have to know the jist of what I want to say or I can't start a page. And at the same time, I use the photos and the story I want to tell dictate the design.

Barbie said...
I have read some blog entries but I just have to ask: What are 3 NSBR activities that you enjoy doing?
I love to read, but don't seem to do it much any more. It's a lot like scrapping to me. Once I get started, I tend to submerge myself in it until the book (or layout) is done. I have a passion for decorating/organizing/rearranging (but note this does NOT mean cleaning ;)). Oh, and I love to play board games.

Do you have any pets?
Nope, no pets right now. Well, there are these 2 cats that adopted us but they live outside as they always have. They just allow us to feed them. ;)

Why did you choose the names for your boys?
Ethan is Ethan William. Ethan is a name we just liked (after MUCH debating) and William was after my father who passed away when I was 7 months pregnant with him. His middle name *was* going to be Parker.
Turner is Turner Gabriel. Turner is my mother-in-law's maiden name and I thought it was really cool and different. Gabriel came out of a baby name book and was suggested by my dh.
Carson is Carson Eugene. Carson is a name I had loved forever, but it took me three boys to finally convince my dh to love it too! Eugene is after my husband's father who passed away when I was 4 months pregnant, coincidentally on the same day we found out that Carson was going to be a healthy baby (we had had a cause for concern). Strange how we each lost our fathers when I was pregnant. I think that's one of the reasons we decided not to have any more kiddos.

jamie cottrell said...
Kelly- I would love to see how one of your sketch pages start out. You encouraged me to start one but the white page scares do get inspired for all your creative designs....and last how on earth do you do it with 3 active boys??????????

Sure, Jamie! Here you go.
On the left is my note page/sketch, on the right is the page that resulted from it. I hope that helps. I do a very very verrrryy stream-of-consciousness thing when I jot notes or start writing ideas. It's like my own personal brainstorming session.

As for inspiration, it's usually something in the picture or theme of the picture that gets me started. I'll start with tentative titles after I do the journaling/have journaling concept and then start playing with sketches, etc. I'm also inspired by things I see out in the world and in mags. Target seems to be a huge inspiration for me lately. I just did a Layout based on a pillow I saw the other day!

And finally, I function on VERY little sleep. I have the boys in bed at 8 or 8:30 in the summer and I'm usually up until about 1 am working. Other than that, I squeeze it in in nap times or if I have a pressing deadline whenever I can. This year, though, all three boys are going to be in some form of school, so I'll have a few mornings a week that are all mine. I have high hopes of being a little more productive. Um, yeah. We'll see how that goes!

Jana said...
Hmmm, I don't really have a question for you other than when are you coming to hang with me in Texas??! ;-)
I've always wanted to visit Texas! I've never been so tempt me! ;)

Jennifer Stewart said...
Ok, I have a really REALLY important question...

What do you do to keep in touch with your inner "girly side" with all of those boys in the house? :) I'm the only girl in my house, too, so I have lots of pink accessories in my scrapbook area. How do you girl it up? :)
Oh, wow! That's a really great question! I definitely "frilly up" my scrapping area though not in pink. My accents there are a vibrant red (though I'm sooo tempted to do the powder room up like yours! ;)) I think the thing I do most to add a bit of a feminine touch around here is fresh flowers. I have a garden and I love my roses and irises and lilacs. I bring them inside the house every chance I get.

Tonya said...
hi kelly...i love your work.. so here it goes.. what are you inspired from? you inpspiration? and when are you going to teach a class in jesup ga?...

Hi Tonya! I answered the inspiration question above with Jamie, but as for teaching a class in Jesup, they have to ask me first! I do promise though that for our next trip down south, I will do my best to coordinate a simultaneous class either there or in Savannah. Deal?

Debbie said...
Do you always go with your 1st gut instinct on a layout or do you change your mind frequently? lol Its a woman's nature, isn't it. haha

I think it's safe to say I do both. I sketch things out and jot down many ideas in my sketch book, so Id say I kind of evolve ideas. Sometimes things turn out like I initially see them in my head….other times they look entirely different once I run through all the options.

Tracey Odachowski said...
Hmmm...I have one...did you get any top secret phone calls today? Cuz if you entered, I'm rooting for ya!!!

LOL, Tracey! I didn't enter, but thank you for thinking I *could* have gotten called!

shan said...
hmmm ask Kelly anything...this could be fun :) lets see
Can you post your first page ever for us?
Hmmm, I could, but I don't know if I dare!!
Ok. I'll post my first ever page just for you. And I'll even give you a two-fer special….here are the TWO first pages I did. I'm not sure which came first but I'm pretty sure I did them both the same
They were pages I did for Ethan's baby Album and I was SO stinkin' proud of them back in 2000. Well, at least I had a 'theme.' But note those fun star and circle shapes and that hand-journaling! Maybe I was really ahead of my time! lol

Did you have a mentor that helped you perfect your style?
No, not really. I have some good scrap booking friends and we would share work together so it really helped me challenge myself. When I entered MMM last year, I had a couple of gals (Angelia Wigginton, Jessie Baldwin, Nic Howard and Lisa VanderVeen) who critiqued my entry before I sent it off. Their help/input was invaluable.

and a non-scrap one. How did you hook up with your dh?
I used to work for his sister in Nashville. When dh got out of the service in Colorado, he wanted to get out of the small town he was from and so he moved in with her. She introduced us thinking we had a lot in common. I wasn't so sure about him but that night a huge ice storm had moved in (February of '94) and she was only a ½ mile from work so I crashed at her place. (tee hee) He apparently grew on me and we've been together ever since.

You know I love your work and I think your a great person too :)
(Thank you!)

From Chrys:
a couple of questions:
What does your scrap room look like?
Well, it's a scrap closet really. I'm so not kidding. It's a 10x6 little space that I share with some old metal cabinets and our deep freeze! It's an olive green with red and black accents.

When do you find time to scrap?
Late at night mostly :)

How is Turner's speech going? (my son James is still behind, but has improved in the last year...but still has much more to go)
He's doing great, thank you for asking. He's a bit like James...vastly improved but still behind other children his age. I'd say we understand him about 85% of the time now, the general public still probably only about 60% or so. He's really working hard at it and school/therapy starts back in just a couple of weeks. We're all pretty excited about it. (And I keep reminding myself of something our therapist said...."it's a long road, but there are virtually no apraxic adults." :))

Are you going to Memory Trends?
I'm not sure. I'm shooting for CHA Winter in Anaheim, but if I can convince dh on both, then I will.

Thank you again to everyone that participated. I really enjoyed your questions! :)