Monday, February 28, 2011

One Week

I simply cannot believe that my precious boy will be one week old tomorrow. I don't know that it would bother me so much, except that I know this is my last and I'm holding on as tightly as I can to this newborn phase. It breaks my heart that in the blink of an eye he will no longer need me like he does now. Gosh, it makes me tear up just thinking about it.

At the same time, I would not want to miss out on seeing his personality develop and discovering who God  has designed him to be. He has already stolen my heart and I'm certain that he will continue to as he grows.

Don't worry, I'll resume posts on subjects other than my baby soon. It's just that I'm inspired by nothing else right now. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Newest Addition

How is it that no matter how many children you have, there is an unsatiable capacity to love each newest addition?  May I introduce you to my newest love. 

I haven't had a chance to look at the thousands of pictures that have been taken; this one just happened to be on my computer's desk top. I'm sure I'll have no shortage of posts with pictures of this little man and his sisters. I think far more tiring than keeping up with this newborn's schedule, is going to be protecting him from his sister's who might very well nibble him to pieces.  They love him without limits!  Thank you all for your well-wishes and prayers. We are going great.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday Party Idea: Tea Party

I know a tea party is nothing new, but I love how simply you can do a party and still make it so festive with certain color combinations. I've had the plastic tea cups you see below for a really long time. I have no idea where I got them or why, but I sure am glad I did. They helped me set my color scheme. 

Here's the food table. Simple: strawberries stuffed with cream cheese, mini pie shells stuffed with chicken salad, turkey and cheese sandwiches in the shapes of flowers and cake.  I also had little cereal sticks that were stuffed with yogurt (I don't know if they still make them anymore, but they were such cute colors that I had to get them).

Our activities were simple too. As kids got there, they each got a little bag with a necklace, a ring and a feather hair clip to dress up a bit. Then they strung fruit loop necklaces (it was a three year old bday party) and then they ate. At the end, I read them their party favor - Gigi and the Royal Tea Party. I spent more than I usually do on the favors, but I only had six little girls, so I didn't mind doing so. Plus, it has such a good story that is fitting with the tea party theme. 

Speaking of birthdays, I'll be taking a little blog time off to celebrate the birth of number three.  But, I'll be back!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Boy Update

Yes, I'm still pregnant. I feel like I have been pregnant FOR-E-VER.  But, the end is in sight. I'm going to be induced on Tuesday, the 22nd. Woooohooooo!!  The reason for the early induction is that this kid might just be huge. He's weighing 8 lb. 5 oz. right now and he hasn't even made his debut yet. I really hope this means he's getting a sports scholarship to college.  

All that to say, if I'm somewhat MIA, you'll know why. It's because I'm trying keep the guy full and keep my girls from kissing him to death. Needless to say, they are beside themselves that his arrival is so near. If you think about it, please say a prayer for a safe delivery for both of us and a smooth transition from 2 kiddos to 3.  

Enjoy this beautiful weekend weather!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bargain Gift Idea

I saw that these darling little monogrammed mugs are on sale at Anthropologie for $1.95. I can envision them filled with a small pot of mint (or any other herb) and sitting by the kitchen sink. This would make a great gift for an upcoming birthday, a teacher's gift or just a little sussie for someone you love.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Birthday Party Idea: Garden Party

This spring like weather gets me thinking about just that....Spring. I don't know about you, but Spring brings lots and lots of birthdays in our family and amongst our friends. 

I LOVE to throw birthday parties. Specifically, I love to make them personal and special without breaking the bank. So, I thought I'd do a series on some of the birthday parties we've had in the past. Perhaps it will give you some ideas for any upcoming parties you might be planning.

I always do a family party for the 1st birthday.  So, first big party was my oldest's 2nd. Her birthday is in June, so we did a morning garden party to try and beat the heat. 

Below is our food table. My favorite thing was the donut hole topiaries. They were an easy and cute project that consisted of a pot, two Styrofoam balls, dowels, donut holes and lots of toothpicks. 

We had a bubble machine and a little bounce house in the back yard. The kiddos caught bubbles in nets that I found in the Target dollar spot. This occupied them for a loooong time. I highly recommend the investment in a $9.00 bubble machine. It provides for a lot of Summer time fun!

If you have any kind of play house, it makes a great garden center. Ours had little window boxes that I planted, as well as some pots around the perimeter. The great part was that I got to enjoy the flowers all Summer long.

Finally, my dad made that little flower sign that the kiddos stuck their heads through for polaroid pictures. They loved it!  If you have a handy man in your family, it's an easy project. I also think the pictures would have made great cards for thank you notes.

I hope you're enjoying these fabulous temperatures.  Here's to party planning as Spring and Summer fast approaches!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We're contemplating the idea of getting chickens.  Funny, I know.  Not only do I love the idea of fresh eggs, but I'm also preparing for further down turn in the economy. I just did our taxes and if we keep making less each year, you'll probably see me and my kiddos pushing a cart selling our chicken eggs. I hope I'm kidding, but am not so sure.

All this to say, I thought I'd give you a sneak peak into the kind of chickens that I'd like to have. They are called silkie bantam chickens.  I figure if we're going to have them, they might as well be fun to look at. Here they are:

We've got some planning to do and should probably get in the swing of things with a new baby (who is coming on Feb. 22 if not sooner) before we add taking care of chickens to our daily routine.  However, if nothing else, you can bet the chickens will make for some interesting blog posts.  

If you happen to have chickens, I'd love any tips or advice you can offer. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be 
called children of God! And that is what we are!  
1 John 3:1

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What a little paint can do...

I thought I'd take a break from all the Valentine's posts and show you a recent DIY project. I did this last weekend in hopes of sending myself into labor. It didn't work, but I do like the way the mirror turned out none-the-less. 

First I'll show the the mirror the way I received it. I have no doubt (given the source of the hand me down) that this is a very nice mirror. I've been looking for something to hang on my dining room wall that would make a bit of a statement. When I saw the mirror below (sorry for the cluttered picture), I thought it might just have the potential to make a big ole statement. The only problem is that gold isn't really my style (I'm more of a pewter girl).  But heh, we all know what a difference some paint can make. 

I was a bit delinquent in my picture taking, so I'll have to fill in some gaps. The first thing I did was sand all the gold parts on the mirror so the paint would stick well. Then I taped away. Here it is after painting.

Next, I antiqued over the paint to give it a more rustic look. Antiquing is so easy. Just take a little stain, dab it on a cloth and rub it over the paint. Then just rub it off until you have the look you want. It is very forgiving too.  Here is a small section that's been antiqued.

Here is the finished product. I'll reveal the entire dining room later. I still have a few more re-dos in the works.  

Did I mention that the mirror makes quite a certainly does. The new paint just softens the fancy feel of it and the color I chose ties it into my living room which is connected to the dining area.  So, if you ever run across something that might work, don't forget to envision it a different color - that might just make it the perfect piece. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keeping it Simple

Here is another cute way to celebrate Valentine's Day with your sweetie. It's sweet and simple and won't cost you nearly what a dinner out would (we gave that up a looooong time ago).  This involves take-out, a rented movie and some popcorn. If you want to do a fun (and more dessertish) Valentine's Day version of popcorn, go here.

(I've had a couple of questions about the heart shaped pretzels I used in this post. I guess they are not actually hearts, they are just your typical knot shaped pretzels that look like hearts around the perimeter.  I got mine at Walmart, but I'm sure Target or Tom Thumb has them too. Sorry to confuse!  Also, if you want the cute recycled cutlery you see above, Whole Foods carries it).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Repurpose: Left Over Candy Canes

I'm tackling two of my favorite topics in this post - repurposing and candy!  I had several small candy canes left over from Christmas and I just can't bring myself to throw away perfectly good candy. But, I did think of way that I could use them for our Valentine's Day family dinner.  

First I got all my little candy canes unwrapped and heated my oven to 250. 

Then, I put them together in little heart shapes and baked them for 2-3 minutes - just long enough to make them warm and malleable. Once they are soft, you can pinch the two candy canes together into the shape of a heart.

Then, try to get them off your cookie sheet without them breaking....good luck!  I forgot one very important thing.....

.....parchment paper to the rescue!  

Here's what you get in the end.  

I plan to use them for our valentine's day dessert. My hubby's favorite dessert (and one of the only sweet things he'll actually consume) is brownies and ice cream. Needless to say, we have it for every special occasion. Anyway, I think these will look too cute sticking out of the scoop of ice cream that is sitting on an ooey, gooey brownie.  I might just need to make a prototype to try (someones got to do the dirty work, you know). They would also be so cute on top of red or pink cupcakes or served with hot-chocolate to add a little minty flavor. 

If you try them, let me know how you used 'em. If you don't have any this year, remember to buy them at 75% off after Christmas next year!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Organizer Sheets

Has anyone's year gotten off to a hectic start? Ours has and it will get even more crazy with the arrival of baby Jack in about three weeks.  I'm so ready to have this baby that I forget about all that comes with that major life change.....sleepless nights, dirty diapers, morning/afternoon/evening naps and feedings.  I'm thinking these free printable family organizer sheets might really come in handy as we adjust to a new way a life. 

Below are a couple of my favorites, but as you peruse the site, you'll find pages for baby-sitters, meals, groceries, even one to track an infant's schedule.  I hope one of these is useful for you; I'm sure many will be useful for me.

Here's to trying to stay on top of things when life just isn't so simple. 

(I have to mention this snow.....I can't wait for my girls to wake up and see some snow man potential out there. I'm hoping daddy get's to stay home to help roll the three big balls because I'm not sure this baby belly can do it.  I just wish there weren't a bit sheet of ice under it all.....enjoy it none the less and stay warm!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Valentine Yummy

We've been home-bound for a couple of days, so we're all getting a little stir-crazy.  But today brought some relief in the form of sugary goodness.  You'll see that I had a very serious little helper making our after dinner treat. 

If you'd like to make the same concoction, you'll only need three things: heart-shape pretzels, Hershey's Hugs, red and pink M&Ms.  

Step one: Heat your oven to 250.  You just want to soften the hugs, not melt them (ours melted a little too much). 

Step two: Place a hug in the center of each pretzel. 

Step three: Cook the pretzels for just a few minutes or less. Just watch them and when the look soft, pull them out.

Step four: Push an M&M gently into the melted hug. Let them cool (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process).

Step five: Enjoy 25 a few.

These would make such cute valentine treats. Ours melted a little too much, so you don't really notice the heart shape of the pretzel, but it's there. And most importantly, they are y-u-m-m-y.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Vday Fun......

If you're like me, you were stranded in doors yesterday and will be again today. What better time to tackle some Valentine's Day crafts and games.

Just click on the link below the picture to be taken to the instructions. 

If you have any fun games, activities or crafts, I'd love to hear about them. We're always looking for new ideas around here.

Stay warm and have fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Product Plug

Is it beneath me to plug a product that I don't even have yet? I guess not because I am about too.  

First let me say that we drink a ton of water around here. I try to reuse water bottles quite a few times before throwing them out.  I just don't like to see a huge pile of unnecessary plastic in my trash.  I also think filtered water is extremely important. I just don't trust what is in our drinking water these days.  
So....may I introduce you to these water bottles with built -in filters.  Love them!  Now, I know I don't have one yet, but it's merely because I haven't been by the Container Store yet.  I spy a color for each member of our family. 

Do you have any reuse/recycle items that you just love? I'd love to know what there are.