Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Me Monday - Favorite Alone Activity

I know I know, your thinking  "What the heck is ALONE time?" AND "How is it a favorite?" I mean anytime I do have alone time I'm cleaning house, running errands, making bows, filling orders, working on projects.....how is that a favorite? ok slow down, let's consider this topic, What is a favorite alone time activity, not a must do chore. When I have absolute uninterrupted time by myself it is pretty obvious what mine are.

There are 2 things I really enjoy doing and that's talking with God and SLEEPING.

If you ask anyone that knows me what my favorite hobby is they will all tell you sleeping. I think sleep is the most fun activity in the world. I get all giddy and excited when I know I'm going to get a nap. My bed time is no later thn 9:00pm and if I'm up later than that I immediately become unhappy. I like to get up early even on the weekends so that I can be tired enough to get an afternoon nap. I love road trips because I get to sleep in the car and I love renting movies because I get to sleep on the couch.  There are pics in my high school annual of me sleeping.  Sleep is one of my favorite alone time activities.  I think it's one of the best things to do in my spare alone time.

The other is talking with God. I love this alone time with just the Father and I, I can spill my heart and mind with no weird looks coming back at me, no interuptions, no opinions from others, and in those alone quite moments with Him, I can be still and know that He is God. I can get clear and concerned on what actions I need to take in my life, I can get peace and understanding on what's going on in my life, and I can get mercy and grace bestowed upon me. I know that I can and do get this even when I'm not alone, but when I can put all my focus into Him and me, it's easily understood why this is a favorite alone time activity.

So what is your favorite alone tme activity?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baby Shower Fun

Showers are such a memorable and joyous time, whether it's for a mom to be for the first time or 10th time, or it's for that blushing bride.  It's a time to celebrate and congradulate, a time to make memories and share laughter. 
I've had the wonderful opportunity to host and throw many showers and parties over the years.  I love the details and planning and putting it all together.  I'm small town so the end result isn't what you'd call professional or Extravagant but it's sweet and special for that special lady.

As much as I love to do the planning and putting it all together, I must admit, having one done for me takes the cake.  I just got to show up and receive and enjoy, no work at all.  I am so blessed to have wonderful ladies in my life that planned a sweet and special shower of my very own.

This is me with my wonderful hostess ladies. BTW I'm 8 month's pregnant here.

This is the yummy foods they served

AWWWW the wonderful chocolate fountain, I spent most of my time here at this table.

This is the wondeful tables of gifts and blessings from all of the wonderful folks in my life.

This is me and my big self wearing a tent for a dress in front of my beautiful diaper cake my Aunt Sissy made me.

My cousin Crala measuring my big ole belly for a game.

Getting some practice time in with my cousin Landrie

Adorable clothes line filled with Casey Marilyn's clothes and bibs

One of my favorite gifts, my aunt Lynda made this bear for me for Casey Marilyn but what's so special is it's made out of my baby blanket. Now when I say baby blanket I mean the blanket that I finally stopped sleeping with when I went off to college so you can imagine the shape it was in. Now it sits in the monkey's crib and it's precious.

Next is my shower in Dallas which was at my house and more intimate with my church friends and co workers and some family.

This is the gift table and set up

This is my mom and my ever growing belly by none other than the food tabe.

Some of the precious outfits I received

Hope you enjoyed looking at pics of my shower and maybe you'll pull some sweet and easy ideas to do for someone you know.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ribbon Topiary

In planning my monkey's birthday I knew I wanted to handmake everything I possibly could and when I found these adorable ribbon topiaries I knew I had to try my hand at it.

I saw this adorable deocorative center piece on line and just had to make one or 2 for my monkey's birthday party and could later use them in her room. You can go to
Polka Dot Birthday for instructions on how to make these who got it from Vacuuming in High Heels and Pearls.
Matierals Needed:
Styro Balls
Push Pins
Shredded Paper
Floral Foam.

Basically you're just going to cut your ribbon ( a lot of it) in about 7 inch lengths.  Form a circle and push in the styro balls using the pins.  Repeat until your ball is full.  Add Your painted dowel to the ball and plant it in floral foam in a pot.  Cover with the shredded paper.  That's it!

So try your hand at these, the color combos are endless and link them back to me so I can see them. Have fun.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Me Monday - 1st Day of "school"

My baby is one and isn't in school yet but she did start a new daycare school on Monday and I don't want to forget this week or that 1st day

It's a great little day care program that has a school structure with set schedules, activities, meal times, nap times, all the things that are important in my opinion to help a child flourish under a schedule. I know what she's doing at each time of the day and that is comforting to my heart since I can not be with her at this time.

She is in the toddler group since she can walk and is already making friends and gotten familiar with her new teacher's faces. She does cry when I drop her off but by the time I'm leaving she has stopped and when I pick her up she's always playing and smiling and shows me what she's doing and that is just what I need at the end of a long day.

Don't you know I'd give my right arm to be at home with this child of mine but for now my heart is at peace knowing she is happy and healthy and learning new things daily. And I know that she and I will grow and learn together and prevail through this and God will give me the strength I need to be an excellent mother to Casey Marilyn teaching her the ways that are right in the eyes of our Lord and to be an excellent worker giving praise to God in all of my works.

Psalm 18 is one of my favorite chapters of the whole Bible and it is stocked full with promises and encouragement to face anyting Satan and this world may throw your way.

Psalm 18 :29 and 30

29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

So clinging to this I know that each morning will get easier for both of us and each afternoon will be sweeter every day and my working does not make me a bad mother but my teaching my child to love and serve God all the days of her life makes me an excellent mother. (Thanks Janelle)

So my trip down memory lane is just more of a reminder to myself that with God all things are possible and I can be comforted daily even if I'm not at home with my monkey.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yummy Buffalo Dip

I love dips, chips and dip, fruit and dip, crackers and dip, I dip my pizza in ranch, fries in ketchup, finger in chocolate, if it can be dipped or is dip, I'm all about it.  One of my favorites is this dip, OMG, the drool is starting all ready. I always get requests for this recipe and it's so easy. The key is using Frank's Hot Sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 package of Cream Cheese
1 Bottle of Frank's Hot Sauce
1/2 Bottle of Ranch Dressing (can also use Blue Cheese)
1/2 cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1-2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Throw all ingredients together in a crockpot, set to heat and serve once heated through. Serve with crackers, pita chips, veggies, etc. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Me Monday - Being a Working Mom

The past few weeks I've found myself sad more often than not and crying more than a normal person should. If you know me you know that's not like me. It can be quite disturbing to have this kind of feelings on a daily basis. I've known all along why and what's bothering me but I haven't voiced it to anyone and that hasn't helped either. I kept willing it away but it wouldn't budge. I finally came out with it last night to Casey and I feel so much better, why I didn't do it weeks ago I don't know. It's not like the issue is fixed or resolved but having him in my corner and working together to figure it out is much more peaceful then going at it by myself.

So what's wrong? Well I don't know if it's the fact that my baby just turned 1 and this year has flown by or if it's realizing how precious every minute spent with her is but I am sad that I am a working mom. I am sad that I don't get to spend every day with her and watch her flourish and grow and learn new things. No I get told by the person staying with her what new thing she has done. I put on a smile and say oh yeah? But it hurts so bad to not have been the one to witness it first hand.
She starts a new day care on Monday which I think will be really good for her to be around other kids and learn new things but there's not a part of me that wouldn't give anything to be at home with her. I find myself very envious of the moms who do get to stay at home. And when you start comparing yourself to others, or wishing for something that you don't have without getting help from your spouse and the Word of God, it goes unchecked, well those negative and wishful thoughts ensue your mind and I found myself no longer thankful for what I did have. That can be a very scary thought as well.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I came across this verse yesterday after talking things over with Casey. I realize that I stopped trusting that God had a plan for us and would take care of my heart and desires of being a mom there for CM all while I work. In the meantime, Casey is more aware of how much I need and want to stay at home and together we can work on coming up with a solution. So I see very clearly that when thoughts arise to take it immediately to my husband and to my God and I'll get results a lot quicker.

So yes I'm still having to work right now but we have changed up the budget and spending to accomodate the idea of me staying at home. It will mean a lot of sacrafices, no new shoes, new clothes, no vacations, etc until Casey graduates but I think it would be worth every bit of sacrafice we can make. She is so worth it.

So today I feel much better, all thanks to God and Casey.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Monkey Themed Birthday Party

Well a year has come and gone faster than I ever imagined. I really wish I could freeze time but I will try to soak up every kiss, every hug, every milestone, every moment with our little monkey. Saturday was her birthday and birthday party and here is a picture heavy, very long post of the recap, maybe it will give some of you some party planning ideas for yourself.

My family going to the party.

This was her invitation which was glued to the back of a monkey face that we made.

We of course did a monkey theme with colors in pink, yellow, and brown. We did a mural on the wall of a little jungle scene and I hung her picture timeline on this.

2 posts were decorated to look like banana tress with monkeys and bananas hanging from them.

This was the table as guests arrived where they could sign a mat for her, write her a note for her time capsule, and turn into a monkey with a monkey mask.

This was the main food table with a homemade banner for the back drop. I also had balloons tied to bananas. I made the tissue paper pom poms and hung them over the tables.

These were the prizes for the games we played.
We made chocolate covered rice krispy treats in the shape of monkeys for the monkey walk and then various toys and goodies for feed the monkey.

This is a shot to show all of the balloons and pom poms hanging.

I did a Monkey's corner that was all about Casey Marilyn. Pictures, decorations from her room, her clothing over the year, baby book, etc.

I did homemade suckers from candy melts and decorated bags that were filled with banana flavored candy, bubbles, pencil, a beanie baby, and their photo frame that they decorated. I also had little loaves of banana nut bread for the adults.

I had a table set up where they could decorate their very own monkey photo frame.

Ok, here is where I have decided that from now on I will hire a photographer to come and take pictures of the party for me. I would love to have nice professional pics of my hard work but also to make sure that I get pics of evertything. I treid to make sure I did but I missed a lot of stuff due to hosting. Like the kids playing the games, I'm hoping someone got a few shots of that. It was so funny seeing the kids in action. WE had monkey walk, just like cake walk but with monkey feet. And we had feed the monkey. I painted a monkey on foam board and cut out the mouth and the kids tossed plastic bananas into the hole.

Once again I want a professional because a lot of my pics turned out blurry.

I had a big blow up monkey that guests could take their picture with and put in their monkey photo frame they made.

Did I mention that my family is full of monkeys?

My little monkey

FOOD and Cake
We served peanut butter and banana sandwiches for the kids and chicken salad sandwiches for the adults or actually they were labled as monkeywiches. There was chips, fruit kabobs, dip, monkey munch in cones, monkey juice with monkey cups, cupcakes in yellow, pink and brown frosting, jelly beans, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. Everything down to the toppers and labels was homemade, even the cake and stand by me, my aunt Sissy, and my mom.

I had a lot of fun decorating her smash cake. It was pink with fondant circles. I anticipated her really going after it as she loves to make a mess with her food but she just had a big lunch and we've never given her anythig sweet outside of fresh fruit so she really wasn't into it. She didn't seem to like it and made some funny faces which is fine with me because she will not be having anything sweet outside of fruit until her 2nd birthday. :)

She kept picking off the cirlcles and giving them to me. Oh and side note, this is her 2nd of 3 outfit changes. THe first was her brown party dress, then this cute monkey onesie, and then her birthday tutu, monkey bow and shirt for opening presents. I made the tutu and all of the bows.

I tried to feed her a piece of cake but she wanted to feed me instead.

I love this, she did not like fondant, but really who does?

She was done

She got so many wonderful and adorable things form friends and family. We are so blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives. She got a wagon from Aut Sissy and Uncle Bud and a train from Grams and a learn and ride horse from Aunt Kelly along with so many adorable items below.

She got so many cute outfits.

The party was great and I think everyone had fun, we sure did. Now I'm off to start planning for the 2nd one. LOL

A huge thank you to Aunt Sissy and Uncle Bud for all their help with set up and clean up, fixing us meals, and going and taking keys to my husband in Dallas.

A huge thak you to my mom for all her labor and help in making my vision for this party come to pass.

A huge thank you to Nana for her help making things and watching CM so we could work.

A huge thank you to Eric and Kristin for making sandwiches, cutting paper, hanging balloons, and all of the other little things you did.

A huge thank you to Kelly for coming 1st of all, and for set up and clean up and running errands and sonic trips. Stay away from the glue tape. :)

A huge thank you to all of the resources available on the web where I got so many ideas for his party and helping me put on this event with very little money spent.

Linky Love


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