Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who Are You?

I am Marianne Dashwood!
If you don't already know, I am huge a Jane Austen fan. Olivia was almost named Emma Jane, but we went with Olivia Jane instead. I saw this quiz today and couldn't resist. I know Kiahna and Kerri love all things Jane as well and would appreciate this.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Well, I am still in my scrapbook room/office creating away. I decided to do a 30 minute challenge-take two. To save you the scroll down to read about the challenge, Jessica Sprague asked us (her students) to create a one Page layout with an off centered photo in 30 minutes. This includes taking the picture. In the last post, I shared "Jack's to do List" layout. Today I am sharing the "Jack and his Daddy" layout. I am sad to say that this one took an hour. But I am happy to share it with you because I love it! Damian even asked me to print a smaller version for his desk at work. On a non-digital scrapbooking topic, Jared got an A+ on his Science Fair project. Yeah !! He chose to study seed productivity in fruit. We kept it simple since this is his first project. It errrks me when you see a project, but you know the parent did it. As a teacher, I'd want to see something that you know the child did, and is age/grade level appropriate. I wanted Jared to have as much ownership of the project as possible. I'll admit, as a mom, the thought crossed my mind a few times to take over, but the teacher in me refrained. I helped with computer tasks and cutting the title letters on my Silhouette Digital Craft Cutter (love it!). Jared completed the experiment, found the averages, and assembled the board. We are very proud of him and glad to report it's over!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Layouts to Share!

So I have been consumed with Jessica Sprague's Photoshop class! I am having a blast! Damian has been really great about letting me "Do my thang". I could, however, do without him being a Nosey Nelly and trying to give me advice (i.e. "not that color Jen"). So today, I had to complete a 30 minute layout challenge for the class. Honestly, it took me longer. Damian was so interested with what I was doing that he was a total distraction to me. My final product for today is the "Jack's to do List" page. For our midweek challenge, Jessica gave us a huge kit to use in creating a layout. My final product for that was Nick's "First Day of School" page. Note to my scrapbooking friends- I know I may sound like an info-mercial, but you've got to take this class! It's worth every penny! For those already planning to take the class, tell your husbands I'm sorry! Okay not really, I am happy to have more digi-scrapping friends!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sick Day

I've been sick since Saturday evening. I am not sure what I have, but the room spins. If I ate, I'd probably barf. I couldn't hardly get out of bed this morning, so I called for a sub. You know it's got to be bad if I 'm staying home as I'm all out of sick time. So this one cost me, I had to pay for my sub. I rested until I was bored out of my gourd and then decided to complete the assignment for my photoshop class. As long as I sat very still, the room would stop spinning.I thought I'd share my layout with you all. On an off note, I read today that Heath Ledger died. So sad!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Long Time, No Post!

So sorry peeps! I've been busy! Jared had a Science Fair project due today so we've been working on it for quite a while now. It's done! Woo Hoo! We had two fog delays this week. What a gift from mother nature. We haven't had one it about two years. I slept in today until 7:30. I still made it into school early enough to prep my lessons for next week.

So as many of you know, our ward (church) recently split again. Last night was our enrichment meeting. It was weird because there was about 20 people there. I am so used to a full room of ladies. I very much enjoyed myself! The project I chose to make had pictures on a mat around "The Proclamation on the Family". I loved how it turned out! I was supposed to use sepia pictures. I love sepia, but more subtle than those old fashioned western pictures that families take at Knott's Berry Farm. So I toned it way down in Photoshop. If you want instructions how to make it, let me know. Our Aaron Brothers had a sale this week "Buy one, get one for a penny". I split the cost with a friend so my project was about $20.00.
I was tagged by my digi friend, Heather to share some things about myself.
According to the rules of the game, I need to:
• Link to the person that tagged me and post the rules on my blog.
• Share 7 random and/or weird facts about myself on said blog.
• Tag 7 random people at the end of my post and include links to their blogs.
• Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. I was a varsity cheerleader in high school and captain my senior year.
2. I've had several unique and interesting jobs since I was 18. I've been a police dispatcher, a group home educational counselor, a massage therapist (still certified), a school teacher (still am), and a public display of art coordinator/wedding shooter for local photographer and friend (still am).
3. I love pedicures! In fact, I am leaving to get one after I finish this post.
4. I love Thai food! Phad Tai (excuse my spelling, I know how to say it). It'll be the first thing I eat when I'm done nursing.
5. Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I am a mommarazzi. I stalk my children regularly for photos. I've had to give Olivia a break in order to coax her out of the "I refuse to look at the camera" phase.
6. I am half Mexican, but very few people believe me. I like to shock my Spanish speaking parents at school by speaking Spanish with them. My dad (who is Mexican) refers to our family as oreo's, dark on the outside, but white on the inside. My Grandma (dad's mom) calls my children "beanerschnitzels" since they are 1/4 Mexican and German. It's fun to see people's reactions when my dad is with my daughter and she calls him "Poppy".
7. I have officially been off Dr. Pepper since before Jack was born (about 6 months). It's a miracle!
OK, now I tag;
1. Kiahna- I know you've been tagged by others, but humor me.
2. Karen - You too!
3. Syndy
4. Tam- (have you?)
5. Willow- (just use someone's comment section as usual)
6. Steph - (If your bored)
7. Nicole
My brain is fried! I am pretty tired, so I'll provide links to sites tomorrow after scrapbooking.
Wolff Out!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Yumm-o! Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Recipe

Okay guys, Here's the recipe for those who have asked for it. I swear it tastes the same (if not better) than the real thing! I think it's heartier and I also made some healthier choices regarding the ingredients (i.e. cutting out the oil, using a lean ground beef). I ate this for lunch and dinner for last week straight (by choice ,of course) and I lost four pounds! I wasn't really trying that hard to lose weight. Also included, a picture (of the last bowl from Sunday). Enjoy!

Ingredients: 3 tsp oil (I cut it out),2 lbs. of ground beef (I used 10% fat),1/2 an onion chopped, 2 large carrots (slivered)- I like more, 3 stalks of celery(diced), 48 oz. canned/diced tomatoes, 2 cans of red kidney beans, 2 cans of white kidney beans -if you can't find it, any white beans, 88 oz. of beef stock, 3 tsp. oregano, 2 1/2 tsp. pepper, 5 tsp. fresh parsley (chopped, 1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, 48 oz. spaghetti sauce, 8 oz. dry pasta shells (macaroni, or other)

Saute' beef in oil in a large 10 qt. pot until beef starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain beans and add to the pot. Also add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce, and noodles. Add chopped parsley then simmer for 45 minutes. Celery and carrots should be tender and the noodles cooked. Don't taste test to early like I did ;0(. I was scared for a bit that it would taste bad, but the flavor is at it's best after it simmers. Recipe makes about 9 qt. of soup. Cut recipe in half for a smaller family. I say make the full recipe and freeze for a later date or eat for a week. Top off with some grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Photoshop Class

Here's a post for all of my friends who got Photoshop Elements 6 for Christmas (I believe that there's six of you). The Up and Running with Photoshop class begins registration February 11 @ 9:00 pm EST. You do the math for your timezone. Registration is for 24 hours only and these classes fill up fast. Apparently if you go to the blog at www.jessicasprague .com and sign up for her Photoshop Friday Newsletter, she'll send you coupons for discounts on classes. It's $45.00 (and worth every penny). The skills you learn from this four week-self paced course will allow you to digital scrapbook, make really cool blog headers, as well as Christmas cards or birthday invitations. She also teaches basic photo editing skills ( converting to B&W, brightening up under exposed photos, color balancing...) You watch videos online, print the written transcript (if you like) and complete the assignment. All materials to complete the assignments are free with the course. If you don't have Photoshop and are interested, you can download a free trial from Adobe for 45 days. You'll need an unzip program and you can download that for a free trial as well. If you go back in the archives of my blog, I posted my assignments to share if your curious.

I will be taking the intermediate course this month. I'll be sure to post my completed projects for you all to see. Let me know if you'll be taking the class:0). I can refer you to some inexpensive places to print your beautiful projects.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Here's to the New Year!

Damian and I have been talking/contemplating our New Year's resolutions. I read Kiahna's blog about what she'll try and do for 2008. I felt inspired to blog them as well. So, for the record...

Jen's New Year's Resolutions:
1. I need to lose the stubborn baby weight! I miss my pre-baby clothes and really can't afford new ones. I've got to get to work. We're thinking about joining the gym. Damian has some baby weight too!

2. I need to get ahead on my scrapbooking. Olivia is a year behind, Jared and Nick are about 2-3 years behind and Jack is already behind. I'm hoping being on design team at the scrapbook store will help me keep on top of things. This month, I'm hoping to do a layout a day. After that, I'd like to do about 2 a week.

3. I've already learned alot about my new camera (Canon Rebel XTI). I'm going to Steph's house this week and she's going to help me become better acquainted with manual mode. I want to know everythnig about my new toy!

4. I want to take the advanced Photoshop class this year! I've loved all I've learned (which is only the tip of the iceberg).

5. To read the scriptures daily. Being a working mom, it's hard to find time to do this when you come home exhausted. I am hoping that by doing this more regularly, that I might become blessed with more energy.

Damian's New Years' Resolutions:

1. To run a mile everyday with the exception of Sunday.

2. See Jen's number 5.

3. To get a better paying job!! I am pursuing the possibility of getting a job with the fire department. I'm enrolled in some fire courses that may hopefully help me acheive that goal. While doing this, I'll be looking for other employment opportunities in case it doesn't work out.

4. To set aside time each Sunday to help the boys with their scouting requirements.

5. To get the garage cleaned out and organized (Jen loves this one).

Here's to a happy and healthy New Year! Jen and Damian:0)

Party Poopers!

Happy New Year! We usually play games or visit with friends for New Year's, instead the kids had the fine dining experience of McDonald's cuisine, played Wii sports with Daddy, and I watched the Jon and Kate plus 8 marathon on TLC until I fell asleep. I love that show! I think in part because Jon and Kate's relationship remind me so much of mine and Damian's. It's also kind of like a train wreck, you can't help but be a Looky Loo. I appreciate their honesty as well. What fun! I can't wait for their new season! Anyway! I think Nick tried to stay up as long as he could last night. I found him asleep on the living room floor in his sleeping bag. Damian said Jared fell asleep well before 10 o'clock. I woke up thinking "Oh crap! I picked out 2008 design team paper to make a layout for the scrapbook store". I quickly hunt down the kids and fortunately found the big ones sleeping (and of course took the photo opp.). I guess I'll just title my layout "Party Poopers". Hope you all had a great New Year!

Love, The Exciting Wolff Pack!