Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas!






Here's a few photos of our children enjoying the season. We really had a nice Christmas this year. Everyone was so thankful for the things they received.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Blessings Paper Pack


I haven't been doing much designing lately and had wondered if I ever find the time again, with all the work I've got plus the new baby. But I'm so happy to say I found some time today to finish this Christmas Blessings Paper Pack. I hope to create some matching elements for it very soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Update

Eliza was blessed at Church yesterday

Sarah in her new vehicle


Sarah wreaks havoc on Christmas presents


The kids hang out in their "garage."

Life's been good to me lately, though there just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. Here's some of what's been going on:

*Eliza was blessed in Church by DH yesterday. It was a beautiful blessing. She was told that she would have the support of her brothers and sisters throughout her life and how much we loved her. It was a very special experience.

*Bit by bit, we are making this house a home. The week of Thanksgiving, I spent some time arranging and decorating my living room, and it has been nice to have one room finished in the midst of the chaos everywhere else. The day after Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas tree. It was so nice to be able to simply rearrange the furniture to make room. At our old home, the tree seemed to take over, yet here it is simply a nice part of the room.

On Saturday, DH & my Dad made amazing progress, putting in the wainscoating in the mud room and then putting in almost all the cabinet drawers. It took nearly all day, but by late afternoon, I had a much more functioning kitchen. All my lower cabinets have roll-outs rather than shelves, so I’ve had to wait to organize them until the roll-outs were put in yesterday. I was exhausted by afternoon but so thrilled that I kept going, organizing the kitchen. I love to have so much room that I can really organize things. It’s silly, but it just makes me happy to look in my pantry and see all my food in neat rows. I was able to find some bins that perfectly fit in my spice cabinet, and I organized the spices as well. I’m starting to think I might even learn to love cooking as much as I love the new kitchen.

I am so grateful for my Dad, who has helped us tremendously this year, first at our old house and now at our new one. Despite spending all day on drawers, at 4:00 yesterday, when we all sat down in the family room, his question was, “So what’s the next project?” We had to tell him we were done for the day, but I do hope I inherited his work ethic.

*Meanwhile, I’m having trouble finding empty laundry baskets. ALL of the kids have converted them into cars. They put a pillow in, a toy steering wheel, and a flashlight (because cars need headlights, right?), then take turns pushing each other around the house. They even have a “garage” in the laundry room (see the pictures above).

Lillian & Joey decided to make wrapping paper the other day and used their desk in the family office to glue lots of paper together and cover it with designs.

Allison & Sarah are up to their old tricks. It’s hard to keep track of them in a bigger house, so I guess it’s inevitable that the messes they make are bigger too. On Friday, for instance, Allison found the box of birdseed up high in the mud room and spilled it everywhere. I got out the vacuum and had them help me vacuum most of it up. Then a few hours later, I walked in on Sarah in the living room. She had opened every single present. She was surrounded by presents and bits of wrapping paper, and was investigating the toys. My sister-in-law Jean’s mother gave me some advice when the twins were born. She said to remember when things get tough to get out the camera rather than yelling. I’m happy to report that I remembered that advice, but only after I did a bit of yelling. I had spent a lot of time on Monday getting all the presents wrapped and mistakenly thought they were safe, since the twins had left them alone for the first few days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Quick Update on my crazy life . . .

We moved into our house nearly 3 weeks ago, camping out while carpet got laid and a few other final touches got done. Two weeks ago last Saturday, we officially moved in, bringing back loads of stuff from storage. We were blessed to have about 10 men from our new ward (our church congregation) show up to help us. They came at 9 and while about half needed to leave at 11, a lot stayed and helped until we finished at 1. One man was even kind enough to hook up our washer for us, while the others just moved and moved.

Since then, between negotiating the twin battles (2 year old twins are something else, let me tell you), changing diapers and feeding a newborn, I've been unpacking and organizing. DH is making progress on finishing the cabinets, thankfully, though we're still drawerless in the office and kitchen. Hopefully, that will get done this week, though.

The other big project to do has been CLEAN-UP -- tons of paint had to be scraped off the floors, and the bathrooms were a mess when we moved in -- drywall crud everywhere. I've cleaned just 2 of what seems like a million windows. But each day we get a little more done, and life is good. I organized & decorated my living room this week, and it is wonderful to have ONE room nice in the midst of all the chaos.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Photos


Just a couple more pictures of our new arrival. I think she's perfect, but I'm a little biased.

Carpet goes in our new house starting tomorrow, and we should move in by the end of the week. I cannot wait!!!!

Babies

Just for fun, I pulled up some pictures of my other children as babies, to see the resemblance. I haven't gotten around to scanning in my scrapbooks, where all the good photos of the kids' first weeks are, but you can still see the resemblance in some of these scans.

First is Eliza, at 4 days old.
Next is Lillian, at 4 weeks old:
And here's Michael at 4 days old, with Lillian holding him:
Joey at 1 week old:
And finally, Allison & Sarah at 1 week old:

I should mention that all of my children had dark hair when they were born, but all but Joey are now blondes. So I will watch closely to see if Eliza's hair starts to lighten. =)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Greeting Eliza



For those far away, here's a video of the children greeting Eliza at the hospital -- Allison & Sarah both had tantrums when it wasn't their turn to hold her.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Eliza Joy Bartholomew



She's here! Eliza Joy Bartholomew was born on Monday at 11:30 a.m. -- everything went smoothly with the delivery and I'm recovering fairly well. She weighed in at 7 lbs exactly. She's a beautiful patient baby who is being loved to pieces by her 5 older siblings.

Induction was started at about 9:00 when my water was broken and Pitocin was started. Just 2 1/2 hours later, Eliza arrived!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Katydid Video



Here's a sweet video of the kids after they found a katydid.

Testing Videos



Testing -- I've never uploaded a video before, but here's a try -- Lillian is describing how she wants to organize her closet

Three Days Left!





Three days (or less) to go before Eliza's born, so this will probably be my last update -- I just thought I'd post a few pictures of what our exterior looks like now that stucco is on. We were worried on Wednesday when they started to put the main color on – it was BRIGHT yellow, not the sandy color we chose in the sample. The stucco people swore it would fade to match as it dried, and by yesterday morning, the color was much better. I like how bright & cheerful the house looks now, though I wish the stucco matched the brick a bit better. It sure looked like an awesome match from the small sample -- go figure!

Speaking of colors, paint was finished on Tuesday morning, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I went with a beautiful beige with white trim throughout the house. In the living room, we had it painted a nice green that also went in the master bedroom and nursery. I couldn’t be happier with the green color – it turned out just right. The only other switch of color was a lavender in Lillian and the twins’ rooms. It was supposed to be a subtle, soft hue, but turned out bright purple! But it’s not horrible – Lillian loves it, and it will be fun to decorate around.

Lots of other things going on at the house -- it's fun to see progress every time I go by. Dirt got pushed around yesterday, and hopefully we'll have some of the driveway poured today or Monday. Halloween is coming up and we got out some of our costumes from storage -- you can see Allison & Sarah's reaction!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And the winner is (or will be) . . .

Eliza by a few days. It looks like our house is going to be delayed longer, though we may be in as soon as the middle of next week. And on the baby front, Eliza will make her debut by induction on Monday if she doesn't come before.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Just some photos from this weekend

We finally have a front door! DH picked it out -- didn't he do a great job?


We put wainscoating in the living room -- I can't wait to see it painted.


OK, I know this is silly, but I'm just so thrilled to see some closet organizers! Lillian has wonderful plans for how to use her shelves.


Lots of paint -- and you can see the brownish colored primer on the walls. The basement was primed on Friday.


Just a look at the front of the house -- the scaffolding is for the stucco workers, who hopefully will get it done fast.

Friday, October 13, 2006

An end in sight (hopefully!) . . .

We have a date! Well, sort of. Our builder has told us he will have everything done by the 25th (a Wednesday), and for sure by Friday the 27th! So, if all goes as planned (why am I slightly skeptical?), we should be moving in the weekend of the 28th. That just gives us two more weeks at the hotel.

Still up in the air is when Eliza will decide to be born. I'm due on November 1st, but I'm usually early and I'm already dilated & effaced quite a bit. My doctor will induce as soon as the 25th, but we are thinking we will cross our fingers and hope I can make it until Monday the 30th so I can help supervise the move that weekend.

Do you know how wonderful it will be to have a home again? The hotel isn't horrible, but we're feeling pretty cramped. Two weeks of rain didn't help much. Luckily, the last few days have been beautiful, and we've been to the park several times and also some museums and things, so life's looking better.

And things are happening at the house. The finish carpenters are almost done, and I've loved walking in and finding new things to love each time. We're going pretty basic on finish stuff -- just base molding everywhere, no crown. The only "fancy" thing is wainscoating (beadboard) in the living room. Still, it's awesome to see my closets go in and yesterday, my pantry was all done (I have SO much space there!). And just seeing the molding everywhere makes the house look like a home and not just a mess of drywall. DH has installed tons of his cabinets and hopes that he can finish the install job today or for sure tomorrow. They're just shells right now -- doors & drawers go in after countertops & paint -- but still, it's nice to walk in my kitchen and be able to imagine it finished. I helped with installing our kitchen island yesterday and I'm so excited about how large it is -- 4 feet wide by 8 feet long should give plenty of room for lots of cooks & plenty of interaction & counterspace. We've designed the home to accommodate a large family (with large gathering rooms and unfinished space to grow into), and it's so nice to see it coming together!

I need to get some better pictures taken and uploaded, but above are just a few from last week.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hotel Life . . .





We've been here at the hotel for 8 days now, and counting! It's small & cramped, but manageable -- it has a little kitchenette and free breakfast every morning.

We're still working on clearing out & cleaning up our old house (we closed last week, but new owners move in tomorrow) and we're almost done.

In the meantime, we're pushing to get our new house done in the next 3 weeks. Brick should be done today, then they'll start stucco. My hard floors are almost done, and the finish carpenters are inside putting up doors and closets. DH is finding it hard to find the time to install all the cabinets he's made because he's had to spend so much of this week moving, but hopefully, it will all come together with no more delays! It's exciting, but nerve-wracking, too. Baby #6 is coming -- I'm due on Nov. 1st, and I tend to be a little early. I just hope we won't have to bring her "home" to a small hotel room!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Living "Between". . .

Life is so interesting right now. We are supposed to close on our house any day now (or so the title company and our realtor keep assuring us), then we'll have just a few days to be completely out of our house. We had thought we would close on Monday or Tuesday, but nope, so we're still living half-in-half-out of this house. Our furniture is almost all gone to storage, save for our beds (thank goodness for pregnant me) and our kitchen table. We've got boxes everywhere and some more to pack. It's not quite a fun way to live -- keeping track of what goes to the new house (very little), what goes to storage, and what goes to the hotel while still needing to use some of that stuff is challenging. But I think I'm up for it.

We'll be moving into a hotel for a month or so while our house gets finished, and right now, it's a race -- anyone want to bet on what will happen first, Eliza's birth or the house being finished? I've got 5 weeks until my doctor will induce, 6 weeks until due date, and the house is set to be done between 4 and 6 weeks. I'm not holding my breath on the house, though. It was originally supposed to be done in July, remember. =) But things are happening fast -- drywall is done and textured (they sand on Friday), and we should start with hard flooring tomorrow and cabinets this weekend!

I tried to post pictures, but blogger's being goofy right now, so I'll try again later.

In the meantime, I regained some sanity yesterday by working on my calendar pages for Christmas gifts -- the slideshow below shows how many I've gotten done. And I still have a computer, so I'm connected to the world.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Swift Scrap Templates




I just had to show off my new Swift-Scrap Templates -- Month by Month. I'm working on a calendar for the grandparents for next year (see some samples below) and I decided to make it extra easy on myself by doing templates first. These are layered .PSD files, on sale until Saturday at 1HourScrap, after which they will be available at Scrapbook-Elements. They come in three different sizes and because they are layered, it is so simple to delete the date and use them for your regular scrapbooking!





Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Grubbies 4 is out!




It's finally finished! Grubbies 3 & 4 is here! It was such a fun set to make and I can't wait to play with it! You can find this great collection at Scrapbook-Elements.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a great day!






Joey & Lillian started school today -- Joey for the first time (a.m. kindergarten) and Lillian at a new school (we're going to a charter school this year). It was a great day for both of them. DH & I both enclosed a note in Lillian's lunch this morning, and when I picked her up, she had them clutched in her hands with a smile on her face. I asked her about her day and she said, "It was great! Just like you said in your note, I already made lots of friends." She ran through them all and told me she now had FIVE friends! It was neat to see her so excited about stuff. She told me they had some math testing and that some of the math was pretty hard and some of it was "really hard. I've had my mind on so much swimming and things this summer it took me more thinking to know how to do the math."

Picking Joey up from kindergarten earlier in the day also went well. He was lined up with his class, and Sarah ran right over and gave him the biggest hug. It was sweet to see how excited he was to see her -- he really loves his family. Yesterday he told me he really wanted to stay home with me, but I'm glad he likes school. I had him dictate this story to me, which he will illustrate tomorrow:


My First Day of School

By Joseph A.
Bartholomew
August 22, 2006

Today was my first day of school. I went to school. Daddy drove me there with his car.

I like school because it’s fun. We went to the gym when I just barely got there. We waited in a boring line for the teacher to come and get us.

We went to our classroom. We went to the drinking fountain and got a drink and we went to recess at 10:00. We played around a lot and ran around. I played with some nice boys and girls.


My teacher read us some stories. They let us draw pictures. I drew a picture of me in a circle and a square.



At the end of the day, we lined up at the door and I saw the Babes. They smiled at me and ran over and gave me hugs. I’m glad I can go to school, but I missed my
family.

What made the day even better was that I got to go to Education Week at BYU (http://ce.byu.edu/ed/edweek/). I didn't think there was any way I'd get to go, what with everything going on in our lives right now, but I did see that there was an evening only option, and DH graciously agreed to arrange his schedule this week so I could go! I had a really uplifting night. I started off with a class called "A Mom for All Seasons" -- it was a really good reminders about setting priorities and not running faster than you have strength through the seasons of mothering. It was fun to think about some of the stages I'll face in the future -- teenagers, empty nest, grandparenting, etc. I also enjoyed a humorous class about marriage, then another one about mothering (notice a theme? I promise they have tons of other classes too, but I need all the ideas & inspiration I can get in these areas.) My last class was about home organization and I got some good ideas for organizing my home better. The teacher, Marie Ricks, pointed out that the creating order is a circle -- you go from order at the top to disorder at the bottom. The bigger the circle, the more the disorder. Basically, the idea was to make your work go in smaller circles (i.e. do the job right away instead of waiting until it piles up) so that it doesn't get out of hand. She also suggested getting rid of 50% of your stuff because 80% off housework is picking up.

While at Education week, I ran into a friend from my freshman year of college -- so neat to connect after all that time. And it's so nice to talk to adults. While I was waiting for a neighbor so I could give her a ride home, I talked to several women. One gal gave me an unusual compliment. When I told her the number (5 3/4) and ages of my kids (7,5,4,2 & 2), she said, "Oh wow, I'm so jealous!" She had two and wished she could have had more. Usually, I get the opposite reaction to my family situation.

Speaking of family situations, little Eliza is kicking up a storm, and I am SO excited for her to be born. It's going to be chaotic, because we'll likely move into our new house only a few weeks before she's born (I'm due around Halloween), but what better way to celebrate our new house than to bring home a new little life into it?

Friday, August 18, 2006

So proud . . .



I took the older three kids to our local pool this afternoon for a bit of swimming. They have two waterslides there, but you have to be 48" tall to ride them alone or pass a swim test. Michael (4) has no interest in going, so the last few times we've been there, I've had to take turns with Lillian (7) & Joey (5) going down with me. Today, I realized that Lillian is tall enough to ride alone, so I was able to leave Michael once and take Joey while Lillian went alone for the very first time! She was a bit nervous, but had a blast and then went a few times alone after that.

A while later, I decided to ask what it would take to pass the swim test. I was told the child had to swim all the way across the pool without stopping. I've never seen Joey do that, but I tried a few times having him swim to me halfway, then swim the other half of the pool too. We decided to give it a try. I found the lifeguard and Joey jumped in and swam with all his might. He got halfway across when he started to struggle a bit, but he pushed on and made it the whole way. When he got his wristband showing he'd passed, he was SO proud and excited. He and Lillian took off right away to go down the slides alone. I loved to see them walk off holding hands. When they returned, Joey had the biggest grin on his face. Of course, they had to go again, and again, and again.

By the time we left, Lillian had gone down the slide 11 times, and Joey went down twice with me, and 4 times alone. Lillian told me this was one of her best days ever, and Joey couldn't wait to tell his dad all about it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just a fly-by post about things going on


I've been invited to sell my designs at Plain Digital Wrapper. I hope to get some products up there later today, so keep an eye out. =)

TWO offers already

We just listed our house with an agent last Thursday and yesterday we had TWO offers to choose from. Hurray. Hopefully, we'll have a deal wrapped up by the end of today, and this time we hope the people don't flake out at the end.

Poison Ivy -- Grrr.

My arms are covered in rashes, particularly where I got scratched last week by blackberry bushes. At first I thought I was just ultra-sensitive to the blackberry scratches, but when the rashes grew, I figured it must be something else. Sure enough, an internet search confirmed that my beautiful arms are suffering from Poison Ivy exposure. I think I must have gotten exposed when I was clearing some areas of our lot last week. I'm just glad none of the kids seem affected -- all they have are plain old scratches from picking blackberries.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nature's Bounty



New kit finished! Nature's Bounty was inspired by my family's recent trip to Zion's National Park. It was sure fun to make! It is currently available as part of my Fall Collection at Scrapbook-Elements

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here we go again!


We were supposed to close on our house this week, we even gave the buyer a week's extension, but it looks like the deal's off. I suppose the buyer could still come through, as he has until tomorrow, but it looks like we're going to be putting our house up for sale again.

So . . . anyone want a nice home in Utah County? Anyone?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Making Progress!

Last week, we got to watch the Bobcat push around loads of dirt and make our house look TONS better -- rather than just a floating foundation! They put the stair treads in on Friday, so it was nice to be able to walk right into the main floor and then down to the basement without using ladders or walking around to the back of the house. Our neighbors across the street commented on how much better the house looks with the dirt there (guess they were wondering if it would always be hideous!).

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sale!




Scrapbook-Elements is having a sale -- from now until Monday, you can get Frontier Days, Weathered Threads -- Chance of Sunshine, and my Floral Overlay set for a great low price! Check out all my designs here.

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