Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Octopus Pinata

I decided to try and make a pinata for the party. I got the idea you can tell I pretty much copied all the details. She does give a step by step tutorial for just the round part of the pinata here and you could use that as the basis for so many different pinatas. I get excited just thinking about the possibilities. Ha!! Making the pinata was extremely easy but it was time consuming. Mainly because you have to let each layer dry completely before starting a new one. I did a total of 4 layers of newspaper and then two layers of paint. I did one layer a day so all in all it took almost a week. Probably could have squeezed it to four days (maybe less if you are using something to speed up the drying process). We (the kids and I) had fun making it. I wish I would have gotten a good picture of it hanging outside...but I had a little issue.

I only threaded a single piece of the 6 lb tested fishing line through it and it wasn't enough for it to hang. Had I been smart enough to think of using a sewing needle to assist when threading--I probably would have threaded more layers...or like I will do if I make a pinata again...use a heavier dutier (I think I am making that phrase up?) string/ribbon/stronger material. Thankful my friends were able to perform a little surgery so we could try and hang it again. (My sweet friend Sarah is not pictured but was very helpful...her arm is in the first picture if that counts. (c:) Unfortunately we had to do "surgery" a little too close together for it to hang without tearing.

But Mike saved the day and held the pinata. He was a brave man. (; The kids loved it and it really was worth all the effort.

Taking a swing! Both Reid and Lilly hit it so softly every time. Precious!

Will meant business!

Brody taking a crack at it.

At some point it suffered an eye injury. Ha!

After all of the little ones had several turns...

We let Caleb at it. It took him a few HARD swings to bust it all of the way open. I was pretty impressed with the strength of the pinata since we didn't even mess with a blindfold.

The kids gathering up all the candy! Just a helpful hint if you decide to do a pinata-do NOT waste any money on anything that isn't candy because it will just be left scattered on the ground. Ha! Lilly LOVED it and is still talking about her pinata and getting to hit it and find candy. Worth it! (:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Testimony Tuesday. Random.

Testimony Tuesday...

1. How is it already Tuesday again?? This past week has flown by!!

2. I saw this on twitter and then our pastor mentioned this quote again last Sunday. "The grass is greener...........where you water it."--Rick Warren Seriously, this quote could be used in marriage, in friendship, in prioritizing, etc. I can't tell you how many times it has popped into my head the past few weeks-usually to convict me about some aspect of my attitude.

3. My biggest struggle is balance. I don't feel like I can successfully budget, coupon, keep the house clean, work out regularly, menu plan and cook daily, and spend adequate quality time with my husband and children. (Oh yeah, or blog consistently.) I feel like I can only do 3 of the above at a time. Oh sure I have a rare week every here and there when I am rocking it and get all of it done. But it is an exception and definitely not the rule. This is really just a confession so that I stay "true" in where I am at in my life right now. I am praying about it and hope to be able to testify to God's glory one day that I have made major progress...but that is where I am at right now.

4. At bible study today there was a "marriage panel" of women that had been married 30 years or more and I thought I would some of the answers that spoke to me.

What do you think the two most important things in a healthy marriage are?

  • Respect. (Many recommendations for reading Love and Respect--said it is marriage changing...I put it on our "next" list.)

  • Be intentional. When life gets crazy it is easy for quality time (or whatever love language you/your spouse are) to take a back these times it is especially important to be intentional. (That last sentence is really me paraphrasing what I got out of this point today.)

  • One of the ladies said Billy Graham's wife always said the key to a successful marriage is "two people that have learned to forgive".

What are some things that have been challenges in your marriage?

  • Overcommitment--she said that she would often over-commit with doing "good things" but with doing so many that her husband and children weren't the priority and that when faced with the choice to not choose good over best. In other words, choose what is best for your family. That doesn't mean to not do any good things. This is one I struggle with because sometimes I have signed us up for too many "good" things and then other times I have not been wise with my time management and therefore feel overcomitted when really if I was being wise with my time management we could do all of our things without being overcomitted. See my dilemma? (:

  • Lift up any issue you are having in prayer.

What is some advice for when you just aren't "feeling it" (the "in loveness feeling")

  • Remember that your commitment is to God first and then your spouse.

  • Remember you are a team with your spouse and he/she is not the enemy. The enemy is Satan.

  • Grace--give grace to your spouse just as you want he/she to give you grace. In the moments where you just don't feel like it, CHOOSE to show love to your spouse. Again, lift that issue up to God in prayer and ask Him to help!

Healthy tips to keep marriage fresh (and favorite marriage verses):

  • Date night (Proverbs 24:3-4)

  • Do "sweet-nothings" for each other (Ephesians 5:31-32)

  • Something just between the two of you. Example hide love notes in random spots for each other to find...they had a special word that the note would say that was just between them. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

  • Ask your spouse, "How can I pray for you today?"

So this week is pretty random but that is just a few things that have been on my mind lately that I am trying to use to grow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Few Word Wednesday

Matt and I came out of the bedroom after getting ready for church to see this: Ha! Matt said he looks like Elton John. Haha!

We never know what we are going to find when we come back to a room. Love it! (-;

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Testimony Tuesday: Speck & Log-Marriage Style

Okay so let me apologize for the lack of blog posts and cute kid pictures. I kind of had to take a little break and catch up around the house and spend some family time just relaxing and being a family. Some times you just need that, you know??

Matthew 7:3 "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?" How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye?"

I had heard this verse before...and it has spoke to me and convicted me before today. But today we were talking about marriage...and using this verse in regards to your spouse. (I.e. Why worry about a speck in your husband's eye, Sara, when you have a log in your own eye??) Oiy! Sometimes it is a love/hate relationship with the sting of conviction!!! Ha. Funny. But true.

The truth is lately we have been crazy busy. We haven't stayed on schedule and by the time we get the kids to bed (late!)-we have been so tired that we either fall asleep right away or just lay and zone out watching tv until we are ready to fall asleep. The house was becoming a place of chaos because we didn't have the energy to clean anything that wasn't necessary and we were pretty much surviving on just doing what HAD to be done. If it could be was. When the house gets chaotic, my mood gets grumpy. Also when the house gets chaotic, the kids become more challenging (i.e. getting into everything that is out but that they are not supposed to be into.) (Hang with me-there is a point. I am not just confessing here. (c:)

Matt and I had not really gotten to spend any quality time together either. I started to get irritated with him. Why wasn't he helping around the house? Why wasn't he making quality time a priority? Why was he? Why was he? Why was he???

Saturday we sat down to do a chapter together in Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy ...and I was getting my loooonnnng overdue quality time that I was so excited about(!!!) and I....

FELL ASLEEP while Matt was reading!!!

That is when I realized that HE was NEVER the problem. It had been ME the whole time. I had packed our schedule so full that we were not being left with any time or energy. Neither one of us. I had not been cleaning either. I couldn't even stay awake for the quality time I wanted so desperately. Had I just looked at the log in my own eye first and removed it...I would have saved myself a lot of misplaced frustration!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday Party Details!!

This past Saturday we had Lilly and Reid's birthday party. We had a beach party! In my opinion it turned out super cute and the kids had a blast! (I will be doing a separate post with party-goers and such.) Here are the details! The invite! My talented friend Laura designed them. The crab is really holding the address and phone number so I had to blot over it...but when trying to get the full image...imagine that. (: Of course the CUTEST details of the whole party will always be the birthday girl and boy!!! Ladies and gentlemen-she really is as sweet as that smile! And so is this guy!!

Guests were "welcomed" by this sign at the door. Lilly's is on the left and Reid's is on the right. That is correct...his hands and feet are at least the same size as hers if not bigger. Gulp.

Ok...confession...I didn't get a picture of the happy birthday sign until later that night after the party when some of the balloons had already fallen and the banner was sagging. So, again, just picture the ceiling covered and banner hanging straight at the end. I drew the letters for "Happy Birthday" in the sand at the beach and then took pictures of each letter to make the banner. I thought it turned out really cute!

The overall view of the this side of the room.

A picture of Reid from each month of the past year was to the right of the door. Thanks to DeDe for putting most of these together!

And a picture of Lilly from each of the past 12 months was to the left of the door. I can't believe how much they have grown in the past year!!!

The dessert table. All the labels had an ocean animal made out of the kids' handprints on them. I LOVED that detail!!! Of course, I LOVE all things made out of my kids' handprints!

The Sandcakes, Beach cupcakes, and Jumping Dolphin Jello. Thanks to my mom for figuring out this cute way to arrange them! It turned out adorable!

Beach cupcakes. I saw the idea for these on pinterest. Sam's made the cupcakes and frosted them (with a little urging on doing two colors) and then we stuck the umbrellas and beachballs (mints) on them.

Sandcakes. This is supposed to be the summer version of a "dirt cake". I got the idea/recipe here.

This was just made with blue jello and some dolphin suckers I got from Oriental Trading Company.

Clam cookies. These were pretty much a double doozie with a marshmallow and eyes. They were a BIG hit. There were none left over.

I forgot to get a close-up picture of these while they were hanging on either side of the light above the dessert table but I thought they were too cute to leave out. The kids each painted one and then I just added the ribbon and eyes. (Instructions here.)

"Sand dollars and Seaweed Spread"--aka chips and spinach dip.

Again, I didn't get a picture of this totally set up but our "Ocean Potions" were Kool-Aid and Sweet Tea.

Our Seafood Snack-Bar...We served all of this kind of food out of sand pails.

Sweedish Redfish, Goldfish, Whales, and Beach-ball mints.

Submarine Sandwich Bar

I just thought it was a cute touch that my mom set the napkins and forks up to look like waves.

Outside we had the sandpile (Wondering how in the world we got a huge pile of sand??? Check the post below this one!) for the kiddos to play on. It was a huge hit!! So thankful we were able to have this!

Our "Ocean". Ha! Complete with sea creatures. Haha! We also had a ton of beach balls because no beach party is complete without them.

The octopus pinata I made. I wish I would have taken a picture before we started trying to hang it. More details on that in another post.

Sea Urchin Sponge Bombs. This was our first experience with sponge bombs and we love them. I didn't really advertise that they are really to be thrown at one another for the party but the kids seemed to have fun just playing with them.

Ocean animal water squirters. I got these from Oriental Trading Co.

Color-Your-Own Beachballs for the kids to color and take home. (From Oriental Trading Co).

Make-Your-Own Oceans (They just put sand and seashells in a bottle of water). To be honest, the kids were really to busy swimming and playing in the sand to do much of this. But the idea is still cute!

I thought it all came together (with the help of MoMo and DeDe) and turned out awesome!! We had such a fun time and my babies are still talking about their party. (:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Testimony Tuesday: God Provides

This week's Testimony Tuesday is just going to be me describing 2 of the ways God chose to bless us this week. He always provides for our needs. Always. But this is not a post about him providing for our needs...this is a post about him just providing a silly "want" in our lives.

On Saturday we had Lilly and Reid's birthday party. A "Beach" birthday party to be more specific. Matt and I wanted to have just a big pile of sand for the kids to play with/on/in. But when we went to Wal-Mart to check sand prices we realized sand was more expensive than either one of us thought...almost $3 per bag. Per little bag. At that cost we may have been able to get enough sand to fill up a kiddie pool.

Matt mentioned that it might be much cheaper to just have a truck load delivered to the house. He said he noticed that the builder got sand delivered to our neighborhood all the time. So I emailed the builder just to see how much it costs to have a truck load delivered. Our builder emailed us back and told us the price but also said that if we were just wanting it for the party...

he would have his sand delivered to our yard for the party and then come and get it after the party and use it for his houses. It gets better...for FREE!!! PRAISE THE LORD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!! This is the sandpile that was in our yard Saturday for our beach party and the kids had a BLAST! Please join me this week in praying for blessings for our awesome builder and his family!!

The second way the Lord chose to provide a blessing for us was by giving us perfect weather for our party. Everything was planned for OUTSIDE. The sand, the pools, the pinata, etc. etc. etc. I chose not to even look at the forecast all week long and just prayed for good weather. Saturday morning it was raining and I just kept saying, "It won't be for the party. I have been praying for good weather for weeks!" And the Lord answered my prayer and gave us great weather for the party.

So there you have it...not only does God provide for your needs...he also blesses us with our wants. (:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Lilly!

Lilly I just can not believe you turn 3 today!! Your daddy and I often try and remember what on earth we did before we had you and we just can not figure it out. I don't remember feeling so bored but I just know that is how life without you had to be! You are so funny and sweet. Last night I told you I was cold and needed to snuggle to keep warm and you ran and snuggled me and started patting my back and saying in a high-pitch soft voice, "It's okay, It's okay!" Oh, and by the way, I wasn't cold...I used it as an excuse to get to cuddle you. I just had to snuggle you on my last night with you as a two year old!

(September 2010) We asked you what you wanted to do on your birthday and you said, "I don't sink (think) so. I don't want to talk so much now." Ha! I think most of the time when you say something funny it may only be funny to us because we are trying to figure out where in the world you came up with it.

(October 2010--aren't you just precious in this picture?!!) You love your family and friends and talk about them all by name. You also have a great memory. We will be talking about something and you will say, "Mommy, you member (remember) when..."

(Halloween 2010) You know all of your shapes. Mostly because of the Toddler Teaser Shapes app on my phone. You even know the random ones and "crescent" is your favorite. Everytime a crescent moon is outside you say, "Look, a crescent!" You also know your colors and body parts, and recognize some of your letters and can say some of the sounds with the letters.

(November 2010) You love to pretend shop in your playroom and are always pushing around your cart full of things. I have a feeling you are going to be like your mommy and love to have a bag full of little things to play with...that was mommy's favorite too. You love to care for your baby dolls. I find them in beds you have created for them all over the cabinets, in Reid's bed, on the couch, on the rocking name it and you can make it into a baby bed.

You also like to take care of everybody else and can be a tad bossy. The other day Reid was pushing a cart and it fell over and the balls that were in it fell on the floor. He picked up the cart and went to take off but didn't pick up his mess. There you went after him saying, "Bubby, pick up these balls" but he wasn't listening. So you stepped in front of him so he would have to stop, put your hand on his shoulder, and leaned down the whole 1 1/2 inches to be on eye level with him and said, "What did I tell you? I said to pick up these balls please!" Your dad and I were rolling on the couch laughing. You "sink" you are so big!

(December 2010) You L-O-V-E love your Daddy. Before he leaves you HAVE to have a kiss or you get just downright upset! You will either yell after him, "I didn't get my kiss!" or if he has already left you will say, "Daddy didn't kiss me!" It is just precious to see the two of you together.

(January 2011) Your favorite things to eat include cheese pizza, quesadillas (or as you pronounce it "case-a-dill-uh"), grilled cheese, grapes, spaghetti, chicken nuggets (especially from "Chick-a-lay"), raisins, fruit snacks, crackers, shredded cheese, yogurt (both frozen and regular). Your favorite flavors of yogurt are "pink" and "white". We have just started letting you get Sprite sometimes and you think it is such a treat and love it. You call it "fright". You always replace the "sp" at the beginning of a word with the "f" sound. However today you were actually saying s-p-rite. You were really concentrating on saying it the correct way. I want you to be able to do that but I just LOVE the way you say each and every little word. I will probably cry when you say quesadilla correctly. Fair warning.

(February 2011) You still love to wear bows, ribbons, flowers, and barretts in your hair. The more the merrier in your book. You are really starting to love playing "dress-up". When somebody compliments you by saying something like, "Lilly you look so pretty today!" You respond by saying, "I know!" Ha! Lord help us!

(March 2011) You are a kid that loves to go places. You love to go the library, KDO, razorback events, the park, on walks, anywhere to play with friends, the zoo, etc. You are a social butterfly!

You are a sweet sister 90% of the time. You ALWAYS get two of for you and one for bubby. You keep tabs on him and you two are usually together. If he falls down you run over to him and say, "It's okay Bubby. You fall down? It's okay."

You have a ton of facial expressions. You also have several different laughs from belly laughs to happy laughs to mischevious laughs to silly giggles. You keep us rolling because the way you tell a story (with motions and voices and laughs and facial expressions) is just as sweet and funny as the story.
You are full of energy. You never think it is nap time or bed time. You always say, "No. We still have ONE more Dora." You still nap for at least 2 hours and sleep at least 12 hours at night.
I still have a whole post to write on this...but you are potty trained!! You have been since the week after the 4th of July and you have done so great!! You still sleep in your crib and if I can help it you will continue to do so until kindergarten. I can't help it. It is your LAST baby thing!! In all honesty you can get out of your crib by yourself now anyway and you are probably ready for a "big girl" bed...but I just don't like the sound of that. (:
Lilly we love you so much and are so very proud of you. You have such a sweet spirit and we just delight in you! We have enjoyed these 3 years and are so thankful for them and can't wait to see what this year has in store for us! Love, Mommy and Daddy