Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This is what I was dealing with yesterday... And, two more days til Blog Candy drawing

Hi all.. Yes, I'm okay. Sorry I haven't been around.
I almost had a heart attack (I did have a MAJOR panic attack) when I received the above property tax bill for 2007.
I've blacked out alot of personal info but you can see that the bill was for $5053.58. The original amount was actually higher ($6233.80) then they took some off because of a recent bill passed by the State for prop tax relief. Still, this bill is WAY off.

We were told when we built in this subdivision we had a TAX ABATEMENT (only on our home, not on the land itself) for three years. Basically, the first year nothing was due on the land, the second 1/2 of taxes and the 3rd year 3/4 then it would go up to the full amount which was around $2400 a year for our home/land.
Since we've lived here (May 2006) we've only received one bill for $30 something. We paid it, no big deal. I thought things were okay. We filed the abatement and homestead credit paperwork shortly after we moved in, we were sure everything was okay.
Til yesterday.
Anyway, long story short.. Because of some state property tax issues this past year the treasurers office here was running a full six months behind in getting the bills out so they were in a hurry as people have to have the info by TODAY in order to use them on their taxes. So because they were in a hurry, they did not properly apply our credits.. Nor did they have record that we should receive them!!! (sadly, this seems to be typical in the city government here).
But thank God, we had the receipts showing we filed for them. I am ANAL about keeping receipts and thank God I am!! LOL
Our friend and neighbor two houses down that got a bill for over $7k is not so lucky as he cannot find his receipts so we are praying that he finds them.. They just had a new baby and it would devasting to have to pay that amount.
Anyway, so Doug and our neighbor went down there first thing this morning, they accepted the receipts as proof and we now owe only $332.36 !!!!!
We will owe more in May (1/2 of a year) then again in November but it won't be anything horrible like the above number.
Another problem with this bill is that our mortgage company got it before we did and they paid it already so now they are jacking our mortgage up over $500 a month. So we have to get that all worked out and fixed but that's okay.

Anyway, so that's where I've been.
Oh the joys of paying bills and owning a home! LOL

Also, only two more days to comment for the blog candy drawing below :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

A layout and some cards :)

Here's what I worked on this weekend:

A simple Christmas layout. Just something cute for Caleb's Christmas album. There is hidden journaling behind the bottom photo mat:

More thank you cards for friends:

I've been working all day on trying to upload my messy scraproom video but You Tube is SO not cooperating for me today. Hopefully I'll be able to post it later.
If not, have a nice night, girls :)

Go here for more awesome blog candy

My friend Melissa is giving away more cool stuff. Go here to check it out :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

OMG.. How hilarious!!

Do you have an hour or two to...

help out a mother of three that just found out she has terminal Cancer by making her pre-made layouts? (and adding her to your Prayer list)
Please GO HERE if you are willing to help.
I personally just finished up making her three layouts tonight. It's so rewarding knowing that you are helping someone out.. Even someone you don't know at all.
Please join with me and help this family out :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blog Awards and last Blog Candy of the year!!

I received two awards today from the fabulous Sue. Love them! Thanks chica!

The rules are I must pass them on to five bloggie friends.
So let's see..

Jenn's still on vacay...

Jenny Boone
Beth P
Bethie J

Okay, so now that I know we are staying home this week and am not so busy, I'm offering up your chance for more BLOG CANDY.
I'm going to split it up this time and give away to TWO people.
All my Blog Candy/RAK items are NEW and some are from the fabulous FISKARS which makes the awesome Cloud 9 and Heidi Grace products :)
Here's what I have for Blog Candy:
1 package We R Memory Keepers "White Out" Blue Bird flocked lace

1 5x7 mini scrapbook - blue flowers with white inner pages
1 package CK rhinestone hat pins (greens)
1 package Cloud 9 "Christmas Is..." Epoxy Word stickers
1 sheet Cloud 9 "Christmas Is..." Cardstock Thought starter stickers
1 package Marcella by K "Butterbean" Chipboard alpha
1 Karen Foster "Giggles" word rub-on
1 acrylic owl stamp from Stampendous
1 acrylic calendar stamp by Imaginisce
1 acrylic Lucky Duck stamp set by Inkadinkado

and some odds and ends...

Leave me some love (comment) on THIS post for your chance to win and link this blog candy post to YOUR blog and let me know in your comments you did so. Also, in your comment tell me what Blog Candy item you most prefer to receive and if you are one of the winners I'll try to accomodate.
If both winners list the same item then I'll have to figure something else out, LOL.

I'll use an online number generator on Friday January 2nd to pick the two winners.
Good Luck!!

Check out this awesome Fiskars blog candy!!

Go here for a chance to win some awesome goodies :)

Anyone need help vacuuming your house?

I have the perfect little helper for you :)

He's strong and can move a canister vac all over the house.
He's mindful of monsters and makes sure not to vacuum Elmo..
AND, He can count one through ten (listen carefully to the 2nd video.. it's too cute!)

Caleb vacuuming 1 from Jenny Brannies on Vimeo.

Caleb Vacuuming 2 from Jenny Brannies on Vimeo.

And He even knows how to spell his name. "C-A-L-E-B - Caywub!!!"
(he doesn't do that in these videos, he did it tonight just out of the blue for Doug and I)

And here's a little card I made tonight.. Real fast and easy using some little personalized thank you notes I bought for super cheap off Etsy. I loooooove Etsy!
This card is going somewhere special this week along with a little token of love.. tee hee hee ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Okay so, help me out here, girls. (please) tee hee
This is the wall above Caleb's bookshelf. It was cute "as is" with just the train and other vehicles but I REALLY REALLY wanted to try out the red QK vinyl I've had for a few months so today I made some cute little wall words using the vinyl, my Expression and SCAL.
But it looks "off" to me. I feel I need another "transportation" sound word on the right side, between the airplane and the top of the train.
What word do you suggest and how do you spell it? Doug and I haven't been able to come up with anything that we actually know how to spell, LMBO ;)

Also, I'm not sure if I showed you yet but here is a 2 piece wall hanging I bought on eBay a few months ago for Caleb's room. I *heart* it.
If you want the name of the seller, email or comment and I'll get you her info. Her work ROCKS and it's VERY reasonably priced!
Anyway, thought I'd take a pic of that while I was taking pics of the other. TIA :)

ETA: Caleb's new horsie is named Happy the Horsie... tee hee. And, Caleb can now climb up on Happy by himself. Guess he got sick of having to come get Doug or I whenever he wanted up on Happy, LOL.

Hoawse Hoawse.. Daddy-o, Hoawse!!! Now!!!

Caleb's Mimi in Texas bought him a rocking horse for Christmas.. A TALKING, SINGING rocking horse (the horses' mouth even moves!).
Well, he looooooves that thing SO much but is still a bit too little to get up on it on his own so SEVERAL times today he would say "Hoawse Hoawse" over and over again (Horse Horse) and he would come pull on our fingers/hands and drag us over to the horse to give him a ride. It is SOOOOOO freakin' cute, let me tell ya!
This is then followed up by Caleb saying "happy happy happy!", LOL.

Mr. Caleb was definitely spoiled this Christmas.. We all made sure of that. But I think his most favorite toy is the "Hoawse".. Check out that darling face.. Isn't he just the cutest!

In other news, my homemade cinnamon pancakes turned out decent. Even Caleb gobbled up a few bites.
And Daddy got a new 32" LCD TV and some great gift cards, Mommy got some stuff for her Cricut Expression, some new slippers, two Yankee candles, a gift card to her fave clothing store and the first two books in the Twilight series (I've already read them from the library but wanted my very own copy for me to KEEP since I'm obsessed with them, LOL).
It was a great Christmas. And it was actually FUN with just the three of us. We ate good food, played with Caleb a ton, talked to long-distance family on the phone and watched a few good movies.
I don't think any of us could have asked for a better day :)

I hope your Christmas was blessed and I can't wait to see pictures from all of you. Have a great rest of the night!

ETA: Two more pictures. Here Caleb is right after we got him out of bed this morning. His jammies are hand me downs from his cousin Ryan. SOOOO cute! And the tool workshop/center was his big gift from Mommy and Daddy. He loves it.. Especially the drill.. I think we're going to go through batteries like crazy with that thing! LOL
And an FYI.. I'm not sure why Caleb's hair looks BROWN in the first pic. In reality, his hair is very blonde. Hmmmm.. Time to break out the Photoshop, I guess. tee hee

It's 2am....

And Doug and I are STILL up putting Caleb's Christmas presents together!!! Luckily Caleb decided even though he was put into bed at 10pm that he would play in his room until 1:15am! So lucky for Mommy and Daddy, he won't be up til 11am or noon so we'll be okay on sleep :)
I have NO CLUE why he wouldn't go to bed. He had NO sugar tonight and he didn't have a poopie. It's almost like he was waiting for Santa or something.. Too freaky. Especially since we don't talk to him about Santa. It's like he knows today has special meaning or something and he didn't want to miss out on anything, LOL.

Mimi Marsha sent him a cool rocking horse.. That thing took over two hours to put together. But once Caleb sees it in the morning, it's going to be so worthwhile. We didn't realize this but the horse's mouth moves and he talks and SINGS while riding him. How cool is THAT!!
Then we assembled the Black & Decker tool center we bought him. That's almost done then Doug and I are going to bed. Finally.

We let Caleb open two presents tonight. One from his cousins in TX and one from Mimi Marsha. He got a Thomas the Train interactive book and a Little Tikes tool set. He was SO thrilled with both!

Mommy also got to open her presents from Daddy and Marsha (Doug's Mom).
Check out what I got!!!!!

My sneaky husband bought the above on ACOT and had it shipped to our neighbors house!!! Sneaky boy! (but definitely a good idea as I am also very sneaky and have been known to peek, tee hee).
I'm over the moon excited. I'm going to spend part of my day tomorrow cutting chipboard and vinyl with that new blade. WHOO HOO!!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Brannies Family Wishes You...

A very Merry Christmas. We hope each and every one of you have a very BLESSED day and Happy Birthday, Jesus!

For Gracie:

GRACIE, GRACIE, GRACIE - CHRISTMAS EVE from Jenny Brannies on Vimeo

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The rest of my day...

Well, it was interesting...

About a half hour after my earlier post our power went out. And stayed out,
Till 10pm tonight.
Because of freezing rain/slick roads, someone ran into an electric pole about two blocks from our home and knocked out power to our neighborhood and the two neighborhoods on either side of us. We had no heat, no electricity and it was in the lower 30's all day. (Definitely could have been worse though as two days ago we were in the single digits so thank God it was warmer today! LOL)

Anyway, Doug had our only working vehicle, with the carseat in it.. At work, about 60 miles away. So I called him and he decided to come home, he left work at 2:30. I thought great, he'll come get us, we'll go sit at IHOP or Walmart til the power comes back on.. At least we'll be warm.
There was an ice storm in Indy, down where Doug works. It took him FIVE HOURS to get home. It normally takes an hour and fifteen minutes tops!
So Caleb and I were stuck here and my husband was out in horrible weather trying to get to us. Obviously I was more worried about him as I knew I could keep Caleb warm using blankets and getting him to run around the house. (but once it got dark, I really started worrying.. Lord, how am I going to entertain this normally rambunctious child?)
Several interstates in Indianapolis were closed down. I-69 (the interstate Doug takes in his final stretch home) was closed because of accidents.
Again, it took five hours for him to get home... Can you imagine!!!???
He finally got home at 7:30pm and when he got out of the car, he fell and did something to his knee. Our driveway was SO slick. He is having a hard time walking. We were going to go to WM and walk around but he was in too much pain. So now that has to be looked at. Poor guy :(
So then the temps warmed up a few degrees and the ice turned into rain and made the roads in our city bearable so we went and drove around for 2.5 hours to get warm. We ate fast food and had ice cream at Steak 'n Shake and Caleb was SO good. I mean, the ENTIRE day. I am SO proud of him! He even came up to me and took a nap on me, it was SO cute! Aweeee :)
Just when we were heading to a hotel to stay the night, we noticed lights on in our neighborhood. At 10pm.. Caleb's bedtime. How crazy ironic is THAT!?
So now we're home and Cay Cay is in bed. And it's warming up in here :)

It was a day.. Not horrible but not something I'd like to relive.
It's hard to entertain a two year old in the dark, LOL. I was crazy bored.
I made some videos after 4 hours of no power. I was so bored and the light on the camcorder was helpful when it was dark, LOL.
I might show one or two.. They're pretty hilarious. Caleb and I were pretty goofy in them :)

Anyway, that was our day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better :)

Stay safe and warm.
Merry Christmas Eve-Eve :)

Bummed :(

So I just talked to Doug on the phone and we aren't going to be able to go to Kansas City to see his sister for Christmas.
He has a million dollar deal on the line right now at work and there are complications.. He has to work a few days next week to make sure the deal goes through.
I was actually really looking forward to getting out of the house for a couple of days and Caleb really needs the kid interaction (Doug's sister has two boys, ages 3 & 6 that Caleb could play with.. And a HUGE house with a basement toyroom).

I suppose I should thank the Lord though that Doug's deal at work could help our financial situation in the long run.. But why does the disappointment of not going cloud that?

Oh well.. I guess more scrappy time for me, eh?
Gotta see the bright side, I guess and maybe now I'll be able to have Sheila, Jenny and their boys over for playdates next week :)

In other news Mr. UPS man came again today and brought a Colts sweatsuit for Caleb from his Grandpa Brannies. It's a 4T so really big but that didn't stop me from trying it on him. He is SO cute in it.. I'll post a picture soon :)
Caleb is a definitely a Colts fan. Whenever they score a touchdown he is right there lifting up his hands and clapping.. It's SO cute! We are excited to watch the IN/TN game this weekend. We think the Colts might actually be able to beat TN :)

Nothing scrappy to post today. I have been super busy cooking and getting ready for Christmas the last few days as we are having it here as a family and I want it to be special.. I really haven't had time to do much crafting.
I plan to get back to scrapping next week and I can't wait! I actually will have THREE Christmases to scrap and PLAN to scrap it ALL at the same time to get it over with. That will be a HUGE victory for me.. I hope I can get it done :)

Well, have a great day, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

JYAS Featured Scrapper: Jenn Lawlor and.. I was RAOK'd!!!

Check out Jenn's work here.

And if you'd like to be featured on JYAS, please email me directly through my blog or to
We've love to see some LOVE/Valentines Day and SNOW/Winter layouts.
Send them on in :)

Also, the RAOK fairy visited me today. I was supposed to just get a Christmas card but not only did I get a totally GORGEOUS Christmas card, I got some AWESOME goodies, too!!!
Thank You, Heidi, you really shocked me and blessed me. Thank you SO much! It was a really nice surprise :)
I've already started using my goodies so instead of taking a pic I'll just show you pics from the net.
These are definitely my favorite. I've already started using them. They are layered felt embellies from American Crafts. I'd heard about them but never seen them. They are SO cute and very dimensional. I can't wait to use them on V-day layouts!

And here are some bug brads from Around the Block. I'm going to give some of these to my nieces who love to scrapbook and then use the rest for a mini album for Caleb :)

This is a K&Co Embellishment Flip pack. Very cute and the flowers are 3D. Perfect for Caleb LO's.

And I also got a really cool Scenic Route chipboard album. I can't wait to fill this up with Christmas pictures!!!

She also sent a baggie of MME embellies and rub ons. I love MME, they are perfect, thank you :)

And here is the gorgeous Christmas card she made me. I feel bad now that mine doesn't come close to comparing to hers. It's just SO gorgeous!!

The inside is as gorgeous as the outside!

Thank you, Heidi! I will RAOK you back when you least expect it ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

But Ma, I don't wanna sit still for pictures!

Eleven shots later, I finally got a "money shot". Of course, not in front of the Christmas Tree but hey, he's two. LOL
I think God blessed Doug and I with one cute and perfect little boy :)

(Thanks cousins Kevin & Ryan for the hand-me-down Elmo slippers. He loves them!!)

Real quick.. Do you love Cosmo Cricket?

Go HERE for some awesome Cosmo Cricket blog candy :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm here...

Yes, I'm still alive ;)
Things around here have been CRAZY busy so I haven't had much time to blog or visit my MB's.
I probably won't be around much the next week.. Maybe two. We are thinking of going to Overland Park, KS to see my SIL and her family. We haven't decided yet. It's an 8.5 drive (plus stops) and I'm just not sure we should attempt that with Caleb, who has never been in his carseat for more than three hours, LOL.

I just learned I got Layout of the Week over on ACOT the week of the 15th. Thanks Day for telling me about it! ACOT is my very favorite online shop.. Check them out if you have time :)

Caleb's cousins Gracie (9) and Bree (5) came over to play yesterday.. Caleb loves them and took them to his room to see his big boy bed. I found them all in it playing.

Then they played in the ball pit hut thingy Caleb's Aunt Erin got him for C'mas.
Caleb had SO much fun playing with them in there!

And here's Mr. Caleb this morning sitting on the glider with his puppy friends and the blankets that he sleeps with watching The Backyardigans. We can't normally get him to sit still for two seconds so of course I had to take a picture of him SITTING, LOL.

Have a great weekend everyone and if I don't "see" you this week, I hope you all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year! Thanks so much for your friendship and readership the past two months :)
I am going to be giving away another RAOK (or RAK, as some people call it) if not next week, the week after. Depends on if we go out of town. Some items that will be RAOK'd are We R Memory Keepers Blue Bird Flocked Lace, a big "Giggles" rub on by Karen Foster, Lucky Duck clear stamps by Inkadinkado, an owl clear stamp by Stampendous and a calendar clear stamp by Imaginisce as well as several other items. So be on the lookout :)
Byeee and again, Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

DCWV "The Green Stack"??

Did any of you see the ad for the DCWV (Die Cuts With a View) "The Green Stack" in the January issue of Scrapbooks Etc?

OMG.. It's SO cute.. A MUST have!

Cute little birds, forest animals, trees. Really REALLY cute paper.

I can't find a picture of it on the net and it's not on their website yet... Or on

Anyone seen it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check out my little Counter!! And...

At (almost) 2.5 yrs old, Caleb not only says numbers 1-10 but also recognizes and names them AND put together a clock shape puzzle that we just opened for the first time this morning ON THE FIRST TRY (earlier with me this morning and then again several times today with Katy and Daddy)!! Four of the pieces are missing, lost in his toy box, I'm sure. But still, he got the 8 numbers we found right.. And has been asking me all day where the number three is.. LMBO.
Awesome job, buddy!
Pretty good for a kid that barely talks. But when he does, he says all his ABC's and 123's. It's SO cute people, let me tell you! I am so proud of him!
(btw.. the lady in the video with Caleb is Katy.. or "Miss".. which is what Caleb calls her, LOL)Check out this video of my little guy.

And tell me .. How cute is this?
I would have really loved one of these.. Um, a month ago.. Not NOW.. Not 8.5 days before Christmas! LOL
ACOT just got this in. It's adorable..
For next year...

Layout of the WEEK!!!

On SD4U!!
Thanks girls!!

Oooooh.. Check this out!!

Check out this awesome prize from Lainey's Alter Ego. She has awesome Christmas projects on there.. I'm going to try a few of them soon :)

Umkay.. My bloggy award from NJ goes to... Hmmm.. Let's see..

Cali Jenn
Pinky - who has an awesome handmade ornament tutorial on her blog today!
Ms Cherith
Um... How many do I have to do... ?? tee hee..

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Christmas Project and.. I won something!!!

This is for my Sister in Law, Lisa. It once was a box that had DCWV chipboard shapes in it. I'm going to put cookies or candy in it. I love it!!

And.. I *finally* got a punch I've been wanting about 8 months. The Fiskars XL scallop circle punch, aka the Seal of Approval punch.
Frugalities had it on sale for 45% off!!!! It was #1 on my Christmas list, I'm so excited... I can't wait to get that baby! WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!

And.. I just got a post from Angela, one of the lead Fiskateers that I won some really really cool scissors. Check this video out!! WHOO HOO!!! Thanks Angela!!

And then NJ (my local IRL scrap buddy) gave me a really cute blog award.

Thanks NJ! I'll pass it on tomorrow.. It's 3am here girl, I gotta get my big butt in bed.
Night all!

My two year old is brilliant!

I swear, my child is so smart sometimes!
Today he came up to me and said "I Pee, I Pooooo" and sure enough, he did!
He's said this before because his Aunt Erin sent him a "potty book" and in the book it talks about pee pee and poo poo but, he's never said it after the act. KWIM?
And then a few minutes ago I went into his room and without telling me he was tired or asking for a nap he had turned off his light, turned on his sound machine and laid in his bed and went to sleep!
Of course, he had a schedule doctors appointment at 3:15 which, we would have needed to leave about 10 minutes ago to get to in time so I just had to cancel it (again). But I think it will be okay as he is sounding much better.. I think it's just a simple cold.
Anyway, I'm blogging this because if you knew my son, you'd know that he rarely talks and that we just moved him into his own room six weeks ago and then his own big boy bed a month ago so all of this is a huge thing for him.
Do you think now that he is telling me he pooped in his diaper he might be ready for potty training? Anyone know?

I also think I have some other news to share.. Be back with that later.

JYAS Featured Scrapper: Tina Winkle

Annette's pick this time was Tina Winkle.. Go check her out and leave her some love in the comments section.
And if you want to be featured on JYAS, email me directly or at :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


ETA: A few days later I decided to revamp this album and added a ton more embellies and photo mats on ALL the pages. I love it much more now. Unfortunately, I was still finishing it up at 3am Sat morning in order for Mr. Postman to pick it up by 10:30am in order for the recipient (Tracy) to for sure get it by Christmas. So, no pics. It's cute though, trust me. Maybe Tracy will take pics of it for me once she gets it :)

Here are pics of the finished "Believe" album I made for a friend. I'd never done one of these kinds of albums before.
It's not as done as it would be if I had pics of her boys for it but still embellished and (I think) cute. It looks much better IRL. These pics of it stink, sorry.
T, I hope you like it. Don't be worried.. I PROMISE, it's actually really pretty IRL :)

OH.. And look what I won over at the Fiskateers site today! They had a online party all weekend and I won this awesome ornament punch!! How cool is that! This is like a $15 punch, I think??
Thanks Lead Fiskateers!!!