Sick Memories…

my top ten sick memories:

1.  Anytime I was super sick growing up my Dad would give me warm sprite (that he stirred up until not a drop of carbonation was left) and (usually stale) saltine crackers and tell me, “Just take small sips and nibble slowly on the crackers”

2.  One of my best friends in high school would bring me an apple juice any time I was sick or sad.

3.  I’ll do just about anything NOT to throw up…. seriously

4.  I’ve suffered through many injuries just to avoid a Dr.  (or to not sit out of a sport)  such as I broke my ankle in High School (during track season) and my parents had no clue until in college when it was broken again and they saw the healed break that the Dr pointed out in my X-ray (that didn’t go over well with my mom)

5.  I’m a stay-with-me-I-feel-terrible type of sick person…. some people are my opposite, hide in a room and want everyone to go away till they feel better…. which are you?

6.  As a mom I have realized I am terrible at cleaning the kids up after they throw up… I almost always start gagging a bit, but I always mom-up and force myself to take care of them anyway (amazing what being a mom does to a person)

7.  As a wife I’ve learned that my husband loves to tell his favorite throwing up stories as if they were badges of honor and I’ve found I’m never impressed by them… just grossed out. 

8.  Even as I approach 30 I still call my mom and need to hear , “I wish I were there to take care of you”

9.  I do not like to take pills, and always drink an entire glass of water with them… long story

10.  Hardest reality of being sick lately..  mom’s don’t get sick days…

Birthday Party, Domesticity, stay-at-home-mom

Katie Turns 4 and Her Rapunzel Birthday Party!

Katie was an adorable happy birthday girl!

So this year Katie asked me for a Rapunzel party… at first I was a bit overwhelmed since we have been watching this movie all summer and its pretty amazing.  I knew she would want all kinds of details from the movie.  So I started by asking her which parts of the movie were important to her for her party.  She was quick to answer!  A tower cake, a tower in the house, floating lanterns, banners, and a Rapunzel dress and hair… tall orders and small budget.  So I wrote it all down and did some looking through my craft stuff. 

Banners:  I found purple card stock and cut it in half and found a sun stencil at Walmart for 1 dollar and I had gold paint.  So I stenciled suns on the card stock which I cut in half and hot glued to a ribbon every other horizontally and vertically to mimic the movie banners from the scene in the city.  I made two rows of 6 each, I saw that you could buy some online 6 per row for 12.99 each row, I made them for 1 dollar for two rows.  They may not have looked as professional but Katie loved them and that’s what counts.

here's a close up of the banners I made

Flower wall:  Katie loves the theme of flowers everywhere throughout the movie so I decided to make a flower wall that says happy 4th birthday Katie.  I had lots of old tissue paper that I kept from past gifts (I know its strange, and I don’t care… I use it and it saves us lots of money on tissue and my silly crafts like this one) .  So I gathered lots of pink, purple and green and twisted and taped and came up with a flowery wall with vines and wrote Happy 4th Birthday Katie in curly lettering on some paper and taped it up to the wall also.  Soooo, this was the result… not gorgeous but cute and she loved the girliness of it.

Katie next to her flowery wall
a closer look

 Floating Lights:  Now this was one I had no idea what to do and then just two days before her party I remembered in a box downstairs in our wedding stuff was the round paper lanterns from our wedding reception!  I went and found three of the white ones and got the cords and light bulbs that would fit and with my tall hubby’s help got them hung in the living room where her party was to take place.  When we turned them on they were just ok, so I remembered from the movie they were more cylindrical and different colors of purple, yellow and orange.  So back to the tissue paper (see, useful to keep 🙂 )  I taped purple, yellow and orange tissue to the lanterns and…. the glow they gave off was magical to Katie!  Again not professional or perfect but Katie loved it and that’s my goal.

these are Katie's floating lanterns she loved 🙂
a better shot of the tissue paper covering the lanterns

Rapunzel Dress and Hair:  Ok so this one we got some big help from Eric’s Mom and Dad.  They sent Katie a gift card for Toys R Us and she immediately wanted a Rapunzel dress and got it with gift card left over still!  Thanks Grammie and Grampie…. she adores it and wears it all the time!  Now, the hair.  That is one of my crafty free ideas… I went through all of my scrap fabrics looking for shades of gold.  I found three fabrics with gold colors, one was shiny gold satin and the other two were goldish tulle.  Each was just a thin long strip of fabric so I decided to braid them and then braid into her hair.  I’m glad two were just tulle because the braid is long but not heavy at all.  She pointed out that Rapunzel in the movie when her hair was braided there were lots of flowers in it.  So I went to her bow drawer and pulled out about 8 flower bows that I’ve made her and randomly put them throughout the braid.  She loved it and wanted to wear it everywhere, she even wore her outfit and braid the next day to church since I let them all wear whatever they want on their actual birthday.  🙂  Again not a professional wig like they sell in stores (20-40 dollars each) but it was free and she loved it!

The whole braid
a close up of the braid

 Tower in our house:  I needed to cover the cords from the lanterns anyway so I found some blue fabric and tacked it up to the wall and put a strip of silver satin I found up on the blue for a tower “in the sky”.  I also crumpled some white tissue paper (useful!) and taped it to the blue sky fabric as clouds.  I found some purple tissue paper and folded it into a triangle for the top of the tower and when I stepped back to check out my work, Katie said,  “where am I in my tower?!”  Well I had to remedy this fast so I went and got one of her school pics not in a frame and taped it to the tower.  She then said, “Where is all my long golden hair?”  OK, I ran down to my craft room and searched for something to make her hair long and come off the tower…  I found some gold satin ribbon I’d gotten for 10 cents at a garage sale a long time ago.  It was perfect, I tacked it behind her pic and trailed it out of the tower and spelled her name next to the tower with it.  Her final critique was, “Its perfect mommy!”   This made my heart smile 🙂  Again not professional wall art but my four year old to be loved it!

Katie in front of her "tower"

 Tower cake:  Ok so as for the tower cake, I tried and failed and finally succeeded…  I knew this would be a tough cake but I tried to do it the day of the party.  My biggest mistake.  I have seen towers online done with rice krispie treats, so I assumed I could do this also.  Well I tried it and when I put icing on it the tower just kept sliding downward and I learned that to do this properly I needed to let the rice krispie treats dry in tower shape for a few days so that the marshmallow isn’t so soft and holds shape better.  So plan B, I also saw an non-edible option of taking a paper towel roll and covering it in icing.  So I went with it a few hours before the party and was desperate.  The base is a large strawberry cake (Katie asked for Strawberry and chocolate) covered in a chocolate fudge icing and then covered in fondant.  I placed the tower on it and then positioned the characters we got her as a gift.  Next I decided that I wanted to spell out her name in fondant “hair”.  My immediate thought was to find the kid’s play dough press that makes the play dough into long thin strips.  Then I decided I had to have something similar that was only used for food.  I found my garlic press and it worked great!  My sweet husband even offered some muscle for the cause 🙂  So I wrapped the fondant “hair” around the entire cake and then spelled Katie’s 4 with it.  I also made small purple fondant flowers and shimmer dusted them and placed them all over the tower and cake.  She went nuts over the cake.  It was ok, not my best but cute. 

tower cake from the top
A farther away pic, sorta blurry...
a better up close shot
candles lit!
she was super excited!

So here are a few more pics from her party and afterwards.  I did buy a plastic Rapunzel table cloth, plates and napkins from Walmart, so after everything cake, food and all her party cost less than 30 dollars.  So even with a low budget Katie got a Rapunzel party that she still talks about two weeks later 🙂  I spend a lot of time and effort on my kids and that’s just the way I like it.  I want her to always know she is loved, I hope this is just one little memory among many that remind her of my love. 

just sitting at her table waiting for her party 🙂 so sweet...
ready to open presents 🙂
happy about a piggy book!
she got an adorable Rapunzel build a bear

 So she loved her party and felt like a princess!  Goal acheived 🙂  She got many more wonderful gifts but we got so into the party we didn’t get all the pictures we wanted.  That always seems to happen!  Maybe we need to ask someone to come that barely knows us and can focus on picture taking so we have the pics later but can be focused on the party 🙂  I love my brand new 4 year old!  She is so vibrant, artsy, happy, sweet and loving.  I’m blessed beyond what I deserve to be her momma. 

Happy Birthday sweet girl 🙂

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesdays….

OK, so this is a fun trend I’ve noticed among mom blogs that I follow, Wordless Wednesdays.  Each Wednesday they don’t write anything but let a series of pictures tell a story from their lives.  I’m going to start doing this and see how it goes!  Today’s Wordless Wednesday is something close to my heart.  My Katie’s first donation to Locks of Love, she was so excited and watching her compassion for others in need grow is priceless.  Enough typing, just thought I’d explain this first one so my readers know what it is.  Enjoy!

Domesticity, stay-at-home-mom

Nap mats for my girls!

I love this pic of Katie with her new nap mat!

OK so today is the first day of preschool……

Well in preparation for preschool we needed a few things.  Especially since this will be Bella’s first year.  Grandma Fish got her a backpack and matching lunchbox but she still needed a nap mat.  Last year we sent K with a 3 dollar roll out mat that looked like a yoga mat and her dora blanket and a small pillow.  This year I was determined they would have something more practical, simple and pretty.  So I started doing some nap mat research.  There seemed to be a few types ranging from ugly blue on one side red on the other plastic folded up ones like I had as a kid 20 something years ago all the way up to adorable built in pillow and blanket pretty fabric ones that rolled up and had a carrying handle.  OK, so the practical, simple (all-in-one, mat/pillow/blanket) and pretty was best represented by the most expensive ones out there.  These ranged in price from 40-80 dollars each!  Now with two girls that are almost twins (10 months 3 weeks apart) who want everything their sister  has…. the price would be 80-160 dollars… plus shipping!  OK well if you don’t know, minister’s families have tight budgets, and youth minister’s families have tighter budgets.  So I knew trying to convince my husband that these were a-dor-a-ble and simple and practical wasn’t worth my breath for that price.  Also I couldn’t justify the price to myself either 😦  so I was sad and frustrated by it all.  Until I saw that some crafty moms had attempted sewing their own.  I sew!  It looks semi-difficult, but I’m always up for a challenge! 

I was now a momma on a mission!  I decided I would not spend more than 10 dollars per child to make them and do my best to use some materials I already had.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went and found the sweetest corduroy in a chocolate-brown with bright flowers all over it. 

gorgeous chocolate brown fabric with bright floral print I fell in love with!

I was in love with the soft pretty corduroy but not in love with the price, 9.99 a yd.  and well I needed 3 yds of this.  Thank goodness I got 40 % off though because it was a seasonal (fall I guess) fabric  so it was really 5.99 a yd and cost 18 dollars total.  So with very little of my 20 dollar budget left I got a roll of matching hot pink/magenta ribbon (half off) for a dollar to make the ties with.  Now down to zero money left I had to come up with everything else from my craft supplies.  So I went home and found a fleece blanket in the same bright green as the fabric I’d bought cut it in half and used it as the attached blanket.  I found a barely used bag of polyfil, to stuff the pillows with and took two old baby blankets from the girls boxes of baby stuff and used them as the liner for the mat part.  There were a few more things like buttons, thread etc.  but you get the idea.  So after many hours measuring, cutting, pinning, sewing on machine and by hand, a little seam ripping, and stuffing…. the girls have cutesy, made with love, not-so-professional-looking nap mats for preschool. 

My girls with their finished mats
Katie wearing her mat
Bella wearing her mat
side view of both mats


this is the mat open with the extra blanket folded under
this is the mat open and the blanket unfolded so you can see how much extra I gave them to cover up with and snuggle
this is the open mat with the blanket open so you can see how its attached
Katie laying in her mat

I am happy with them all in all.  They aren’t perfect, but they only cost me 20 dollars and some time.  Total savings 60-140 dollars!  The girls love them and know I worked hard on them out of love for them, that is more important than buying them any day even if we could. 

Happy napping to my girls….  🙂


Birthday Party, craft, Domesticity, stay-at-home-mom

and 5 months later…..

my sweet kids... love this pic, Noah drumming on Belle's head.... so normal 🙂

Ok, wow!  Summers are super crazy in our house and just before the summer started our house experienced a very rough few months with our son.  He had ear infections constantly.  This meant very little sleep, lots of crying/fussing, and a very sad and in pain baby boy and with two girls 2 and 3 who had plenty of sleep…. this mommy’s sanity was definitely in question more days than not.  Praise God he had surgery to have tubes inserted (on his one year old birthday) and we have been ear infection free ever since!  Then the summer started, and if you are in the youth ministry you  know this is the craziest and busiest time of the year.  Trips, VBS, camps, conferences, splash days, concerts, etc.  Its crazy but wonderful and such a blessing in more ways than I can count.  Now that school is starting and the dust is beginning to settle I am excited for this new season of schedules, less trips, more family time, seeing my girls grow and learn in preschool, focusing on my son those 2 days a week the girls go to school, fall, college football, and so much more.  I’m going to try and be a more consistent blogger also.  Its something I enjoy and much like my many journals its relaxing.  It also saves me a lot of time catching friends and family up on our lives, and sharing photos of the the kids. 
So I guess I’ll give a quick review of the last few months:

April – Noah had ear infections and sleep deprivation and stress, is all I really remember

May – Noah’s ear tube surgery!  Noah’s first birthday (Noah’s ark themed, yeah yeah I know, I figured it was the only year I could get away with being corny with his name without him complaining about it 🙂 ) 

Noah on his birthday morning getting ready for tube surgery
Noah's Ark cake and two by two animal cupcakes 🙂
Noah's ark cake (the inside is a rainbow cake.... as I said corny but I love it)

June – Our 7 year anniversary, we celebrated in Austin, TX a very artsy city which I adored.  Lots of gardening!  Church softball (Eric injured his ankle…. I did too but not a cool softball injury like his, mine was my lame clumsiness).  Went to Joplin a lot to help with the victims of the tornadoes (gave me a new appreciation for how devastating natural disasters can be)  Got to see Taylor Mason for the 3rd time in person, loved it!  Made a fun spiderman cake for an adorable four year old boy.  Eric turned 28, we had a dinner mystery party for him in TX.  Went to Woolaroc kidsfest (amazing, seriously so much fun).  Got to see Hillsong United in concert, for free!  A great friend won backstage passes, dinner with the band, and concert tickets for Eric through a youth minister contest!  indescribable worship experience.  Girls attended a summer program at their preschool one day a week, which they loved. 

this is at the bat bridge in Austin TX on our anniversary... its the largest urban bat colony! It was breathtaking!
Our garden 🙂
One of our many huge and tasty cucumbers!
The youth group and college class with Taylor Mason 🙂 funny night!
Spiderman cake
Woolaroc kidsfest
I love the headlock K has B in, in the Woolaroc museum
My Beautiful Belle with her bug face paint (she has a thing for bugs)
hillsong united backstage passes!

July – My girls called american flags “a-miracle flags” all through the 4th of July season, it was so adorable I couldn’t bring myself to correct them. Bella turned 3 so we had a bubble guppies party for her.  I had two 3 year olds for a month and a week and can I say C-R-A-Z-Y???  We went to church camp, for a great week and I got to do some worship art and teach a class on  it.  We went to Lake of the Ozarks for CIY and it was a lot of walking but a powerful message.  We also did some mission work with a small church and then at a homeless day shelter called Hope Faith Ministries in Kansas City.  Life Changing is all I can say about this great trip with 18 teens and 7 adults.  I can’t wait to go back to Hope Faith and work there again!  We took the kids to Dallas and back in there too.  Lots of traveling and packing and unpacking.  Oh and an elementary kids splash day.

my favorite 4th of july pic of the kiddos
Noah's onesie on the fourth 🙂
Bella's bubble guppies cake
Annabelle's cake
at Hope Faith Ministries with our teens
August – Well so far we’ve had a week of VBS.  Katie turned 4 and asked for a Rapunzel birthday party (oh and that I turn the house into a castle and make a tower cake…).  She had a fun party and I got to stretch my creativity muscles and use items we already had to accomplish that castle/tower look she wanted.  We are getting ready for school now, vaccines, open house, paperwork, etc.  This will be my first year sending both girls to preschool, its only Tuesday and Thursday but I’m still feeling a little sad about it.  My kids are my heart. 
Katie as Rapunzel, I love this girl
my girls after vbs western night 🙂

More to come soon 🙂  I’ve been crafting and painting lately so I’ll post on those soon!