Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow







Friday, December 19, 2008

Keeping Busy While Snowed In

Here are three of the LTC's I made while snowed in. If you would like one, let me know via AQ mail :)
This one is called "The Pirates of Teddy Bear Cove". The stamp, along with two others, was a gift to a good friend in Washington. The matching teddy bear is destined to become an LTC later today if this snow continues. Getting the twine on the sides for the frame was the most difficult. I tried 3 different attachment methods and finally had to call Marmalade for advice. Every LTCer should have a Marmalde. She is my "technical advisor". What that basically means is that when I'm banging my head against the wall trying to do something, she will tell me what I need to do, and does it without making me feel like a moron. She's a great person and my LTC's wouldn't be half as creative without her encouragement and advice. Thank you Marmalade!

This is my Nightmare Before Xmas card. The background is hand drawn. It seemed like such a simple idea, but I'll tell you what, by the time I got done making 15 of them, my hands hurt and I was DONE! The image of Jack is embossed. This stamp is destined to be a HH in its very own screaming coffin container. Look for it in a letterbox near you.

This card was made *just* before being snowed in. I made it with the ornament stamps that I put in the ornaments for the ornament exchange. The stamps should be on a letterboxer's tree somewhere :)

And that is that! Looking out my window and seeing the heavy snowfall, I'm sure there's more to come!

Arctic Blast

Monday, December 15, 2008
It's a snow day. As everyone knows, or should know if they just thought about it for a second, teachers love snow days. The only thing better than a snow day is a snow day just before the holiday break. An entire day to myself. I think I'll do some laundry and then make some LTC's. What a perfect day, a cup of tea and a good book. Oh the possiblities! Maybe I'll carve a new stamp or go out and play in the snow with the children. Maybe I'll add some more letterboxes to my tree, or do some baking. (Did you see that people, big ole fat hint, the 12 Days of Christmas boxes are on my Xmas tree, along with 8 other boxes.) What kind of cookies should I make? I've got everything I need to make peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin, sugar cookies, or gingerbread.

December 16th, 2008
Wow! Another snow day. What a gift from above. Today I'm going to get some great photos of the dog and kids outside in the snow. I'm going to make hot chocolate from scratch. Maybe I'll clean the kitchen before I start baking. Oh no, I'm low on sugar. I have brown sugar, but no white sugar. What can I bake today that does not use white sugar? I'm sure there's still plenty of things I can make. But I want to make fudge. It will be fine, so fudge, but I have a full day off to do with as I please. But, I really want to make fudge. No sweat, I'll go through my cookbooks to find the perfect recipe, maybe try something new. Oh look, peanut butter fudge, molasses cookies, vanilla fudge, dog biscuits, double chocolate fudge, rice krispie treats, peppermint fudge. It's a conspiracy! ACKKKKK. Breathe Melanie, breathe. It will be fine. You are snowed in and there is no way you can go and get anything. Find something else to do, it will be fine.

December 17th 2008
Stupid snow days. I've got presents to buy, I'm out of sugar, flour, and milk. There's nothing to bake and I want to see people. I'm done with this stupid ice and I'm sick of hearing ridicilous reporters talk about things they don't understand. Someone rescue me!

December 18th, 2008
I'm going out and I don't care what it looks like. Woo hoo! Look at me, I'm shopping, I'm driving, I'm OUTSIDE! I think I'll deliver the Christmas presents that I should have been giving out today at school. A shopping we will go, a shopping we will go, hi ho the dairy oh, a shopping we will go!
Oh heck, more snow!

December 19th, 2008
Darn snow. I'm going back to bed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween is one of the greatest holidays. I love to take the children out trick or treating and just people watch. It fascinates me to see the different costumes, the age range of trick or treaters and to see if I can discern what trends correlate to other trends.

For example, this year there were twice as many people out trick or treating than I've seen in the 7 years we've lived in this house. I identified several variables, some of which were:
  • the economy

  • the weather
  • new housing built in the area

  • word of mouth advertising of the quality of hand outs in the area

Of these, I think the weather had the largest impact. This is the first year that it has not rained or been so cold that you couldn't see the costumes due to jackets, scarves, and gloves.

There was a huge variety in costumes, from your typical fairies and angels...

to penguins...

to Greek Goddesses. Can you name this Greek Goddess? If so, let Lady Macbeth know and she has a special stamp for you :)

I hope your Halloween was as much fun as ours!

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Time Flies

Boy does time fly when you're having fun! Back to school and my poor blog goes by the wayside. Thank goodness I have great friends like Pupp to point out to me that I'm a big slacker butt.

So what have I been up to? Work, work, and more work of course! We just finished up our weather unit in the classroom so of course we topped it off with a field trip to the pumpkin patch and the water treatment plant. We went to the COOLEST pumpkin patch in the entire world!
The first thing they showed us was how they make apple cider. It involves 14 types of apples, a giant apple bath, and a really big pressing thing. It squeezes out all of the juice and leaves what they call "apple pizza". Apple pizza is apple without any juice left. They feed it to the animals, which I think is the only thing that it is fit for.

I loved these hay bales. They were painted like various creatures and each one brought a smile to my face!

Is that a Dork peeking out from the corn? You have to watch out at pumpkin patches, you just never know what is lurking out there.

This particular pumpkin patch also have beautiful potted plants.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Living and Breathing Letterboxing

2 years ago, Bookworm came up with a brilliant name for the letterboxing event of the decade. She subtitled it "Celebrating a Decade of Obsession" and I don't think any name could have been better.

Letterboxing truly is an obsession, and I am truly thankful for the things it has brought to my life. This amazing weekend brought together all of the aspects of boxing that I love.

1. Getting Together with Old Friends

2. Meeting New Friends

3. Going Places and Seeing Things I Would Never See if it Weren't For Boxing

4. Doing Crazy Ass Things With Others As Crazy As I Am!

And when it all comes down to it, we all know that the answer to which way is north, is not found on a compass, but can be found only in our hearts!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I love the Olympics. I am most definately a fan of beauty and excellence, be it in sports or other areas. I stayed up late to watch the opening ceremonies from start to finish and have been watching hours and hours of Olympic coverage since then.

I know there has been quite a bit of hate and discontent over the opening ceremonies. Some say that part of the fireworks were faked, some say that the Chinese military had no business being in the opening ceremonies. Some say the little girl that sang one of the songs was lip synched. "Some" might be right, but you know what, it's there opening ceremony and it was beautiful. I loved the walk through history. I recorded the entire thing so I could show parts of it to my class. The moveable type was amazing. The fact that they could get that many people to move in synch was awesome. You show me any performing group that's been that right on ever, anywhere.

So to those people who have to make everything into a huge political statement and those that have to see the negative in everything, I say "Open your eyes and your heart and simply WATCH for a change"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Family Camp - Boxing

Every year since I started letterboxing we have carved stamps and planted boxes while camping. Three of those years we planted them as individual boxes, all along one trail. We are about 3 miles into that trail now and have 30 some odd boxes on it. This year we went a little different route.

The kids got new fishing equipment and one of the "tackle boxes" was a cheesy little thing so we took all of the tackle out of it and made it into a letterbox. Everyone in camp helped to come up with ideas for things to go in the tackle box. Pupp did the vast majority of the drawing and then everyone (except Jenn and Dave) carved at least one stamp. The finished product was adorable. More than a dozen stamps, all in their little spots, of all different carving abilities. All 4 kids carved along with Pupp, Dork, and I. Now that we had a box ready to go it was time to figure out where to put it!

First we rented a large pontoon boat. Then we took it out on the lake. This is the beautiful lake we boated on for an entire day.

We boated the length of the lake, which looks like THIS.

Do you see the log floats at the left edge of the lake? Here's a close up:

It is completely possible to walk across these. Dork and Lady Macbeth walked a short way on them in order to hide the box. Here's a sneak preview for those that read my blog :)

Yes that log Dork is walking on is the exact log in the clue. All you have to do is get to that location, walk on or shimmy down the log to where it meets the bank and the box will be right in front of you! Aren't we sweet?

I do hope someone eventually gets it. The stamps are adorable. We didn't put very many pages in the logbook, figured it wouldn't get a lot of traffic!

Happy Trails.

Family Camp Part 2

When last we visited Family Camp via this blog, we had made it through packing, set up, and the beginnings of our many fishing trip. This entry goes from there.

I believe every child should know how to fish. This last year I took my class fishing and the vast majority of them had never been fishing. They did not know how to handle a rod, how to bait a hook, how to cast, or anything. The sheer joy on their face when they actually caught something was amazing and reminded me how important it is. We fish at least once a year. Very rarely do we catch anything, but it's good for them. They both learn to be patient, to be competent, and to break gender stereotypes.

Another of our "everyday" activities while camping is swimming. Just down the road from Promonotry is a swim dock with a small beach. The first day we went swimming Pupp and I took the four kids and all three dogs. If your math isn't too rusty you will realize that means there were TWO adults with *7* things to watch. Let's say it was less than relaxing. I am hypervigilant around water. I refuse to let my children get near large bodies of water without a life jacket. This year was the first time that either of them even questioned it. Samantha wanted to know if she still had to wear hers, and our decision was that she still needed to wear it until she could prove she could swim across the lake without it. What we're looking for is for her to be strong enough to not panic and get herself out of a situtation if something were to happen. She is a strong swimmer and I bet next year she'll be out without a life jacket.

Jay loves swimming here. He hasn't questioned the life jacket. It gives him the security to swim in deeper water, to jump off the dock, and to play freely. He's a good swimmer, but not real strong yet.

It was Dobby's first time in the lake. He has always shown somewhat of an aversion to water but enjoyed the lake. He thought wading was a great thing. He would chase Tank and Jett and any other dog that was there. He got up on the dock once, the labs pushed him off and we discovered that he does NOT swim well. they say dogs are natural swimmers, NOT Berners. At least not this one. :) Pupp and I thought we were going to have to go in and rescue him. He made it back to shore, but not with any grace.