Thursday, July 29, 2010

Confetti Events

So I have this friend. Her name is McKenna. Kenna and I have known each other since before my children ever even existed! She was living in Florida with a mutual friend of ours when we met, but has since moved back home to her native California.

She has a new website, a party planning business called Confetti Events. You can check it out to get tips on all kinds of things! After checking out the link myself, she has posted some pretty yummy cupcake recipes.

You might even be able to email her and get some ideas if you are planning a party. Speaking of which....isn't someone's birthday coming up?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So when I did my last post about bentos, I thought I didn't have any photos of my last Bento Box adventure, but I do, I do!

This is a box my mom got Gracie that you can actually use dividers for, which is nice when you have liquid stuff (fruit with juices, mac 'n cheese, etc.)

On the left, in the back, are PB&J star sandwiches and in front of that is pizza flavored Goldfish crackers.

On the right, in the back, are mandarin orange wedges and in front of that are ham and cheese roll-ups and a pickle! (Hey, I had to have something to fill the empty space!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Princess Movie Day

I don't know about anybody else, but the heat and humidity here in Alabama has been a little on the ridiculous side. Like, I break a sweat (no joke!) walking from my car to the door of my place of employment pretty often. It's insane!

So since the kids are in summer camp and just hanging out at daycare, I keep them home with me when I am off on Tuesdays. Most recently, I decided that Gracie and I would have a "Princess Movie Day" when we were home. Of course, movie day had to take place after James was down for his nap - who wants Babbling Baby to interrupt our movie time?

I went by the gas station closest to our house, bought some M&Ms, and asked the attendant if she would mind if I took two of her foam cups, lids, and straws (you know, for the complete movie experience!). I popped a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and poured it into a bowl.

I had a free code from Redbox, and we rented "The Princess and the Frog". I went through my closet, where my sisters keep some of their old dresses, and found a dress that belonged to Tina. Gracie put that on, and then her Cinderella slippers, and to complete it - her Fancy Nancy crown.

Gracie and I were not very impressed with the movie, but might be using our Movie Day ideas again. I liked that the music in the movie - the movie was based out of New Orleans - was authentic, but the story itself was kind of boring.

But we enjoyed having time together, sharing popcorn and M&Ms, and staying inside where it was nice and cool!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Man in the Tiny House

I saw this video on Yahoo the other day and just had to share! This just blew my mind!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Eyes Closed. Arms Out. Heart Open.

I don't know why I am so astounded at other people's actions anymore. Why should it suprise me? If I'm being honest, it really shouldn't.

Romans 12:2 says:
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

So after my Max Lucado post yesterday, I've made a few decisions.

And it's all because of what Joshua 1:9 says:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

I am done with letting the things that other people say and do affect me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I am done letting myself feel inadequate because someone else wants me to feel that way. I am a child of God!

I deserve to be loved.

I deserve to be happy.

And you know what the crazy part is?

I am loved! I am loved by my heavenly Father. I am loved by my children. I am loved by my family. I am loved by the blessings that are the friends that God has given me. I am loved because I am crazy, annoying, spirited, passionate, encouraging, hopeful, creative, wonderful-I AM LOVED!!

And I will be happy. I will find happiness in the every day of life. I will find happiness in my children. I will find happiness in my faith. I will find happiness in my relationships with other people.

I am going to be strong.

I am going to be courageous.

I will not be terrified or discouraged.

I am going to move forward in my life with my eyes closed. My arms out. And my heart open.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Choice

You know how sometimes, you have something to say, but you just can't put it into words to share it with the world? Today, I'm letting Max Lucado be my voice.

IT'S QUIET. It's early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now that I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love . . .
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy . . .
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace . . .
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience . . .
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness . . .
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness . . .
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness . . .
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness . . .
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control . . .
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

You let a child learn to feed himself, and that gets turned it into Art! I present "James with cheese on face"

I was just trying to figure out how he got the cheese on his face in that particular fashion!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud

I have no shame. I *heart* Zac Efron. I mean that in that I've seen all three super cheesy "High School Musical" movies. And then I saw 17 Again and I thought, "Wow, he's not just this super cheesy teeny bopper movie actor."

And then when I went to see "Eclipse", I saw the trailer for Zac Efron's new movie.

Needless to say, I will definitely be seeing it when it comes out in theaters!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hannah's Heaven Day

I post about my own children an awful lot. But I keep track of other people's children throughout the blogging world. It was only a day or two after Rachael and her family lost their sweet, wonderful Hannah in a drowning accident that I found her blog.

I just wanted to take time out to remember Hannah today, on what will mark her third Heaven Day.

I have been thinking about this post alot, because I asked Rachael's permission to post a picture of Hannah and dedicate today's blog to her. I began to ponder God's little miracle in Lily Murphy's complete recovery.

I wondered, why Hannah's life was cut short at the young age of five and Lily's was spared. I questioned what I didn't know about the God that I worship. And then it dawned on me. Lily's life is a miracle because she recovered. But I bet if you ask Rachael, Hannah's life was a miracle because Hannah was a miracle! Even in death, her life had meaning!

I won't go back and read through the posts where Rachael remembered Hannah on a good or bad day, but I remember emailing her once to tell her that Hannah's love for all things smelly (mainly, Bath & Body Works lotion) had encouraged me to allow my own daughter to explore that same love. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of fruity smelling lotion and not remember Hannah.

There was an instance once where I saw something unusual in our yard, a small flower in a spot where it shouldn't be, and found a "Hannah" in that moment.

Even in her grief, Rachael remembered Hannah and her overwhelming love of life and everything - and everyone - in it. I admire the courage, determination, and every ounce of strength it must have taken Rachael and Brien to move on in a world without Hannah. But she said it best herself:
"When Hannah died, we faced the biggest choice ever. Do we "die" with her or do we choose to live--I mean really live, not just be alive? We chose to get out of bed every day. We chose to remember her, to talk about her, to have her live on. We chose to find the joy that is there for us, if we only seek it. We chose to honor the sweet girl we lost, the sweet angel who touched so many lives even though she was so young. We chose to live."

Amen to that. And live she has!
I don't know that losing a child ever gets any easier, and I'm sure today will not be easy for them. Feel free to visit Rachael's blog and leave her some words of encouragement. And be sure to check out the newest edition to their family, baby Ellie!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not Your Same Ol' PB&J

I am all for being creative.

Heck, I'm all for pretty displays and packaging.

But I have nothing on this chic when it comes to making lunches!

With the school year slowly approaching, and my "Big Girl" spending half a day at "Big School", I am feeling a desire to start making her lunches again.

This summer, they consisted mainly of purchasing her lunch at daycare (which meant a hot meal, although not sure on the nutrition part!) or buying Lunchables, Mac 'n Cheese, etc to just toss in her lunchbox.

I tested out a few bentos last week (no pictures, sorry!) with a green salad with italian dressing in one box, and some strawberries, cube cheese, and little round garlic Naan sandwiches with ham and cheese on them.

Gracie seemed to love the sandwiches, and I even sent some strips of the Naan in James' lunch box and his teacher said he loved them!

So if you feel inspired, buy your child a Bento Box and give it a try!

Be sure to post pictures, so we can all marvel at your work!

Until then, I'll just keep drooling over Wendolonia's creativity!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Work or Stay Home?

So I was browsing through some posts on Jessica Turner's blog the other day and found a link to a post her husband, Matthew, wrote regarding whether or not it was unbiblical for moms to work outside the home.

I know mothers who stay at home and mothers who work outside the home. I even know some moms who stay at home with their kids, but have jobs that enable them to only work when they want to. They make their own schedule! And I even know moms who work from home!

The post that Matthew wrote was in response to what John Piper wrote about the topic. There is also a video included in Matthew's post as well.

My personal thoughts? I work full time outside the home. Sometimes that means I feel guilty because I don't get as much time with my children, so I try to make the most of the time I do have with them. Like planning trips to fun places, or having simple "movie dates" at home. Taking my daughter to a Princess Dinner at Jalapeno's. Doing things that they enjoy, and that we can enjoy together.

And when I do get time alone, I am usually trying to juggle getting things organized - laundry, stuff for daycare, internet time. I made a commitment to myself months ago to spend as little time on the internet when the kids are awake/at home, and I am pleased to say that it has worked out really well!

And because he said it so well, I'm just going to quote from the last part of Matthew's post (which I agree with a hundred percent!)

"I’m all for moms or dads staying home full-time! If that’s what works in your situation, then I think it’s great. But in today’s culture, it’s not realist for many. But because pastors and teachers with amazing influence like Piper “discourage it,” a lot of moms (and sometimes dads) working outside the home feel a lot of unnecessary guilt.

And in today’s culture, the last thing parents need is more guilt."


Okay moms - tell me - what are your thoughts on the subject?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes!

So a little over a week ago, I made a trip to Wal-mart with the kids. The kind where we went early enough to spend about 45 minutes wandering the store just "window shopping" and picking up things we needed.

Once I had gathered what I'd come for (juice for James, lunch needs for Gracie) we decided to head toward the check out line. Gracie was wonderful in demanding that "I can do it!" when it came to unloading the groceries onto the conveyor belt.

I opened my wallet to reach for my debit card and - uh oh.

You know that feeling of dread you get when you realize your debit card isn't where it was supposed to be and you're not a hundred percent certain you know exactly where it is?

Fast forward to ten minutes later when I get home, locate the debit card, and get back in the car.

My princess, from the backseat demands to know what took so long. I explained that I didn't know where the debit card was. To which she quickly replied, "You know where it should be? IN YOUR PURSE!"


A few hours later, while having a phone conversation with Amy Wade, she is venting to me that she is so annoyed about something that she is going to "throw her phone out the window!" (You should know, she was driving home from her parents' house at the time).

She continues talking to me, only to be interrupted by her little man, Jackson, who sternly informs her that "You are not gonna throw your phone out the window!"

Parents. Will we ever learn?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Days of Elijah

I am sharing this video with my lovely blog readers for one reason only: although our youth choir (who are a much adored bunch by my 4-year-old daughter) have returned from choir tour as of Sunday, June 27th, she asks me at least once on a daily basis:

"Mommy can we listening to the "shining on the clouds" song? Please?"

The actual name of the song is "Days of Elijah."


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oh my Stars!

I find it hard to believe that this sweet, beautiful boy....

....has turned into such a big, drooling mess of a monster!!

Who, exactly ONE MONTH from today will be....

Can I have my medication now? Please?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mommy Rhapsody

A hilarious tribute to all moms out there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Twilight Saga - "Eclipse"

First off, I spent about ten minutes laughing hysterically, not at the movie, but at the fact that my sisters gave blood. And right before we went to see a vampire movie. I was amused!


I'm always one of those people who rarely ever sees a movie in theaters just because of how much people rave about it. And when I was pregnant with James and we decided to name in James Edward, I had a ton of people asking me if I was a fan of the Twilight books. Honestly? I had no clue what they were talking about!

Until my interest was peaked and I rented it one night.

And then my sister took me to see New Moon for my birthday.

I have been hooked ever since. So there was no question when "Eclipse" came out, if I was going to see it in theaters. While the first movie seemed kind of blah in acting, New Moon was even better. And Eclipse? There just aren't words. And it didn't hurt that I got to see a whole lot of this:

And since I've seen the movie, now come the really important decisions on life.

Team Jacob or Team Edward?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A special video from our youth choir homecoming concert. This video has a powerful message.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Random Facts

I borrowed these questions from Jessica over at Domesticated Bliss!

- Name something you think is ok to wear even though Lucky says it's out of style.
I don't pay much attention to fashion trends. If I think it looks good on me and it's comfortable, that's what I stick with!
-Name something a random stranger can do to ruin your day.
Being rude to me for no particular reason.
-Name one food that makes you vomit in your mouth at just the thought of it.
-What is one 'roll-up-the-windows-so-nobody-hears-me-listening-to-this-song' song of yours?
The Climb - Miley Cyrus
-Name a very embarrassing thing you got caught doing.
Hanging out with my sister at the movie theater when she was dressed like a hobbit to keep from getting her hair wet in the rain!
-Guess what, I'm coming to visit, where would you take me first in your town?
-Name a charity/organization you proudly support?
Special Olympics
-What's one thing you're looking forward to this week?
Being off work today!
-First concert you ever saw?
Alan Jackson
-What was your childhood stuffed animal's name?
I don't remember his name. He was a stuffed monkey with a plastic banana!

Monday, July 5, 2010

"I'll Pray For You"

This is too funny to not post....

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

Here's wishing you all a safe and Happy fourth of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bottle Weaning

Okay moms, I need some advice!

James is down to three bottles a day as of right now. His pediatrician wants him to get at least twenty four ounces of formula a day, but at his age that seems a bit much to me.

So I've started making him a 4 ounce bottle of formula and adding two ounces of whole milk to it.

But I'm curious for a number of reasons. Number one being that his daycare will not allow him to have a bottle after he is a year old. Which means when he moves to the toddler room in August, they will only offer him a sippy cup. Which is fine, because right now he only gets one bottle at daycare - right after his nap.

He usually gets a morning bottle, the bottle after nap, and then a bottle before bedtime. But he has started refusing the bottle at night, so I'm beginning to think I should try offering a sippy cup of milk instead.

Personally, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he was done with bottles by his first birthday!

Any suggestions? Helpful hints? I'm all ears!

Friday, July 2, 2010

God's Little Miracle

This past Saturday, Gracie, James, and I got to drive to Montgomery and celebrate the homecoming of Lily Murphy.

What I may have forgotten to mention is that Lily's Mom, Heidi, and I have never once met in person.

It's kind of that whole "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" thing. Heidi found my blog through the blog of Leigh Graham, a church friend of mine who loves to make clothes for children. It just so happens, that is one of Heidi's passions as well. And then when Leigh and Heidi became blog friends, Leigh found out (through Heidi) that her husband, Buddy, had actual taught my sister-in-law, Tara, back in high school.

Small world, right?

Anyway, some friends of the Murphy family hosted a Welcome Home party to welcome one of God's little miracles home. I happen to walk in just as Buddy was speaking to everyone in the room about how appreciative the family is for all the prayers, the cards, and even the random acts of kindness. And Buddy says that those random acts of kindness still continue! He jokingly told us how he attempted to thank every single person on Facebook who had prayed, sent cards, driven all the way to the hospital to visit, and then how Facebook would terminate his account for "spam"!

Here are some pictures of the kids from the afternoon at the Murphy home:

Gracie, Lily, and James. Lily is wearing a cinderella dress. When we arrived, all the little girls that were already there were playing dress up.

Gracie and Lily enjoying playtime with some Polly Pockets.

We may have to invest in some Polly Pockets for our house!

James, trying on a hat! I snapped the picture just before he snatched the hat off his head.

It was nice to meet the Murphy family in person for the first time, and to see that Lily was doing so well. Heidi and I talked about getting the girls together for a playdate, which I am super excited about :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy birthday to... (#2)

Yeah, so my mom thought the best way to celebrate her birthday one year, about twenty-one years ago, was to have a set of fraternal twins...THE DAY AFTER her own birthday! And people wonder where I get my insanity from.

Anyway, I want to wish my little sisters Jessica (to my right) and Kayla (far right) a very happy 21st birthday today!

It's not so odd anymore that people discover I have twin sisters and think it's really neat, until they meet the two girls and realize that "twin" for these two just has to do with the fact that my mom carried them both at the same time. Oh, and they share a birthday.

Aside from that, these two girls are as different as night and day! But I love them both very much and want to wish them a happy birthday!