photos {proud aunt}

Here are two pictures of my nephews shooting last weekend (the adult in the photo is their dad, my brother-in-law). My older nephew (2nd picture) won the under 15 competition!!! Look how they are in the exact same stance in the 2nd picture! Like father like son!


{a whole new world}

Last night we introduced Spencer to his "new world". Though I confess that I'm the driver behind this, I did manage to get Matt in my corner. Now, we'll get to see if we can execute it as a team...
There are two main things we addressed with Spencer (who will be 9 in a few weeks). The first area is chores. Obviously, up until now he's been expected to do certain things. However, he has not gotten an allowance from us and we've never specified anything in the way of chores. I know there is a general debate over paying or not paying a child to do things. They need to learn the value of working to earn money, but also need to realize that there are responsibilities that come as just being a family in a home, etc.
I think we have found a happy medium. He has a list of things he's expected to do because he's part of the family and needs to help out. Then he has a list of things that are considered additional "chores". He has to do these, but is paid for them. Since he's not at our house all the time, he is paid per chore, not a set salary each week, so to speak. I think this will also help him learn the value of earning money for what you actually do. And finally, we've given him a list of things he can do to earn extra money. This will give him some options, especially if he's saving for anything in particular. We told him we'd pay him when his tally reaches $10 (to keep it simpler on us so we don't have to pay $4.80 or something random). For each $10 he earns, he has to put $3 in savings and set aside $2 for charity. He wasn't thrilled with that, but oh well. I also added that part w/out consulting my dear husband. He's not a huge "charity" person which really bothers me. I don't want Spencer to pick up on that, so I'm going to try and brainwash him.
The other part of his new reality has to do with video games. We have a Playstation 2 and he has a PSP. He loves playing them and I just feel it's time to put a little control on it. So, now he has to earn video game time. He can do this by doing various "good" activities - like reading, writing stories, playing outside, educational computer games, charity work, etc. Whatever time he spends doing these other things, he gets in video games. There are a few exceptions and other rules associated, but that's the general concept. Right now, we pretty much have to make him read and he rarely goes outside voluntarily. We also told him that he couldn't automatically just watch a lot of TV since he couldn't play the games. We aren't putting specific limitations on it yet but if it gets to be a problem, we will.
We broke the news to him last night but will actually start tomorrow for the weekend. We'll see....
Two other small things...
- One night a month we are going to have a "tv-less night" where we hang out as a family with NO television at all. Sad to say, but this rarely happens now.
- Once a week we will have 30 minutes of family reading time where the TV goes off and we all read together (separate books). I like this idea because Matt's not a huge reader and I think if Spencer sees both of us reading and enjoying it, maybe it'll make a good impression on him.
Sorry to ramble on...


{walk for autism}

Each year, Autism Speaks organizes its Walk for Autism all throughout the country. Myself and others associated with the Dalton Help Foundation have put together a team to walk in Charlotte this year. My personal goal is to raise $150. Your help would be greatly appreciated! If you're interested in donating online, click here. You can also donate by cash or check to me, or by check to Autism Speaks directly. If anyone local is interested in walking, we'd love to have you on our team!!

altered item {letter h}

I purchased this letter at a local scrapbook store - it's pretty much just a white, heavy cardboard. The general idea of my scrapbook studio is that I want to keep the cowboy/western theme that I've had, but add more colors - I really love color! So, I tried to combine both here.

layout {4th of july}

This is a 4th of July layout from 2005 (based on a sketch at PageMaps). I like that I was able to fit plenty of photos but it doesn't seem overwhelming. It's hard to see but there is some fun glitter glue and whatnoton here.

layouts {school}

Woooohooooo! I am officially caught up with 2nd grade in Spencer's school album (and he's less than a week into 3rd grade). Considering how far behind I am in regular pictures, it feels good to be caught up in something. Anyway...this is the last batch of layouts. The "pile" I did last week and the picture of two was done last night.


photos {shooting}

About two weeks ago, Matt, Spencer and I went over to my sister's house to shoot some clays. This was Spencer's first time shooting a shotgun. Though I had shot one before, it had been a long while. I normally just shoot pistols. Matt had experience from his younger days and apparently hasn't lost his touch. He did great (please note that he stands like a cop). The gun we were using was really heavy for me and Spencer. I could barely hold it up. Bo (my nephew) helped Spencer out with holding it. Spencer actually shot a clay! Both of my nephews are very good and are on shooting teams. (Please note how tall my nephews are compared to me - crazy; oh, and the "growth" on my stomach is the drawstring from my pants - looks funny). One more sidenote: look at my nephew's red shoes...wanna know what they are? Shoes he made from duct tape - totally from scratch, on his own. And he wears them all the time. Too funny!

photos {golf camp}

Just a couple of snapshots from Spencer's golf camp a few weeks ago. The camps are done on levels. He completed the first level at the beginning of the summer and was allowed to move up and take the 2nd level in August. He's made it to the next level also but we're not sure when those lessons will be yet.


photos {first day of school}

Here's a shot of Spencer from this morning. He's in 3rd grade now...he's really starting to look different. Not a little boy anymore!


layouts {spencer's school album}

I've been completing some challenges for a Scrap Off at Scrappin' Fun. My goal was to get Spencer's school album caught up before he starts next week, so I've been trying to do layouts for that book... not really pleased with some of these, but oh well.

Studying Native American - Challenge: Use 10 stickers

Cute pictures; hideous layout. Can't even believe I'm sharing it!

Stickers are Karen Foster

Feast - Challenge: Do a layout about food.

This isn't a favorite either. But it does look a little better in person because there is some glitter and texture.

Supplies: Orange letter stickers are by Scenic Route; Brown letter stickers are from the Target dollar spot (fyi - they don't stick very well); I think the epoxy stickers are Miss Elizabeth

Christmas - Challenge: Use complementary colors (in this case - red & green)

Supplies: the flower and word stickers came in a MM kit; misc. ribbon; red pen by American Crafts

Second Grade Teacher - Challenge: Use 3 striped patterned papers (and no other patterned paper)

The "T" sticker and one of the PPs is from Pebbles, Inc I think. I honestly don't remember anything else.

Caught Thinking - Challenge: Use 30 eyelets

Supplies: Misc eyelets; stickers are Pebbles, Inc; not sure about the PP; Zig Writer

photos {panthers fan fest}

While Mom & I were at the CK Convention, Matt & Spencer went to the Panthers Fan Fest. It took me forever to realize that Spencer's in both of these pictures with Sir Purr (the team mascot).

photo {me & my mama}

That's me and my mama at the CK Convention!!! We're a little squinty from the sunshine...

photos {hendersonville, nc}

My mom and I stopped in Hendersonville, NC on our way to Tennessee. We hit a few antique shops and I took some fun photos while I was there.

Photos {gamecock ladies football clinic}

A few weeks ago I attended Steve Spurrier's Ladies Football Clinic. This is the 2nd time I've gone, but I didn't go last year. A good friend of my sister, Connie met me there. We had a blast. We got a ton of autographs, met tons of players and coaches...and maybe even learned a thing or two about the game of football. Here are a few of the many photos that I took. The season starts in only two weeks...VERY exciting!
The photos below are:
1 - Me & Connie with Ryan Succop (kicker)
2 - Connie & I holding the helmets of the Brinkley twins (Jasper & Casper) in front of their lockers)
3 - Me and my "mean face" in Stephen Garcia's pads (he's a new quarterback)
4 - Me and Chris Smelley (another quarterback)
5 - Last, but certainly not least, myself with the man - Coach Steve Spurrier!


Photo {spencer playing with the dogs}

just a quick photo of spencer, cooper and rio playing...

Photos {laying out sod}

A few weekends ago, we put out sod in our backyard. We did the labor ourselves, which was hard work, but worth it. Spencer helped just as much as any of us, plus we had a friend over. So, a total of 4 people working at it. Thankfully, this was done before the 100+ degree weather got here! I got a few snapshots in the beginning before I got too dirty to touch my camera...

Vacation {final shots}

A couple more cute shots of the boys. The 2nd is them with their new hermit crabs.

Vacation {rock climbing}

There's a pretty decent sized rock wall at Broadway at the Beach and Spencer just loves these things. Spencer & Grant did the wall and were even allowed to do it twice - the 2nd time on a harder course. They did great, making it to the top on both!

Vacation {putt putt}

We always have to play putt-putt...usually only once, but Spencer would do it everyday if we let him! I stink at it!

Vacation {on the beach}

For whatever reason, this year we spent much more time on the beach, and less in the pool, than normal. I enjoyed the beach much more than usual. And I think Spencer & Grant had a really good time in the ocean...especially after Spencer got a new, larger boogie board! They also enjoyed trying to catch the tiny little fish, and having mud fights with Matt.