Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday, Grant

Our oldest son turned 11 this month!
Just a few snapshots of his special day.
We let him take the day off of school 
(one of the perks of homeschooling!)
and he had several friends over playing with him later in the afternoon!
Nothing makes this child happier than sharing cupcakes, Minecraft, Legos, and a game of hide-n-seek
with all his buddies!

We love you, Grant, and are praying for God to work in a mighty way in your life!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A girl's 13th birthday party idea

It's birthday season at our house!!
We start celebrating birthdays in January with our youngest, and have one birthday every month through May.
During April though, we have 3 birthdays in a span of 10 days in addition to our wedding anniversary and extended family members birthdays!!

This year our second born turned 13!!
We now have two teenagers in the house.
(And actually, I reeeeeally like having older children in my house!!  Lots of perks and fun!!)

So when she told me awhile back that she wanted a sleepover this year, I knew I would have to have a theme!!
Birthday party ideas for 13-year old girls can be tricky.
They are too old for a lot of the typical girl stuff, but yet fun enough to still be willing to do something out-of-the-ordinary.
So I got onto Pinterest right away.
When I saw this idea, I knew we probably had a winner!!
Ashlyn was all for a "Camping Party" it was!!

***WARNING:  Lots of pictures ahead!**

 When the girls arrived, this little table was set up with some snacks for them before we left on our scavenger hunt.  These cute little favor boxes contained trail mix for the each girl.

 I thought for sure I took pictures of the entire table and the cute picnic basket set up to hold water bottles.......

I was totally inspired by the idea I saw on pinterest to come up with cupcake display.
Can you tell what it's supposed to look like?
We just made the cupcakes ourselves and spray painted them (with Wilton's edible frosting coloring spray)
to make them look like fire!!

The first activity we did was a scavenger hunt at our local shopping mall.
Ours is all outdoors, so I let the girls go in teams with 5 things written on index cards they had to find.
Here the girls have found a sample of s'more flavored popcorn.
They also had to do things like try on a pair of hiking boots and take a picture to prove it.

When we got home, we were all starving and I made pigs-in-a-blanket, baked beans,
and tator tots.  I served them in recycled tin cans wrapped in a strip of pretty paper and tied with twine.
I'm kickin' myself for not getting a picture of that either!!

Movies came next, followed by making real s'mores in our fireplace!!

The girls did actually start out in the tent in the backyard, but I woke in the morning to find this:

Happy 13th Birthday, Ashlyn!!!
We love you!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fun spring art!!

This adorable little art project is not original with me.
It was, indeed, a pinterest find.
But it looked like a winner to me, so my plan was to do this at our "Celebrate Spring" party.
I loved how easy it was for my little ones to do.

Let me just say though, not all soda bottles are created the same.
But don't just take my word for it.....

So here's my tip-of-the-day.....
This project works best with Diet 7-up or Seven-up bottles.
The pattern on the bottom of the bottles is flat so the paint sticks to the entire
flower pattern on the bottom.
If you look at the bottom of Coca-Cola bottles (or Dr.Pepper or Sprite), you'll notice
that the points of the flower patterns are raised and will take the paint
and not the entire flower pattern.
We used the smallest size 6-pack bottle available,
and were extremely happy with the results!
Happy painting!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Easter Weekend Recap

I won't lie.
I think I love Resurrection Sunday more than Christmas anymore.
Not that the Christmas season is not meaningful and bursting with Scriptural teachable moments,
but that what we're celebrating (the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death and the grave) is the pivotal doctrine on which all of Christianity is based!
His resurrection is proof of all that He did and who He said He was and why He came to earth in the first place.
If He had not risen....then He would be a liar.
I am so profoundly overwhelmed with gratefulness that He defeated death, returned to Heaven, and is seated "at the right hand of the Father," interceding on our behalf.
That's reason to celebrate!
In reality, we should see the words like, "JOY," and "PEACE" at the Easter season!

Since January, my husband and I have been in rehearsals with our church choir for an Easter Cantata.
The weekend finally arrived, we felt prepared and confident, and I end up with a throat infection.
Could hardly talk, much less sing.
But with the Lord's help (and a good microphone!) I was able to perform a monologue as the Samaritan Woman.
My husband performed as Peter.
He was also able to sing along with our choir, though I was not.

(My part starts right around the 20:00 minute mark.
My husband's part is right around the 30:00 minute mark.)

Easter morning we woke to dark overcast skies which added to the ambiance of a "quiet" breakfast
by candlelight reading the scriptures about the women who went to Christ's tomb early in the morning.

(I was only mildly disappointed that the grass seed we planted on our Easter Lenten Garden
refused to grow.)

I hid our "Resurrection Eggs" around the house and after the children scurried to find them all,
they received one of these.
If your not familiar with "Resurrection Eggs" you can find information about them here.
They are one of my very favorite object lessons to teach children the details of the death and resurrection of

 Family pictures followed!

Later that afternoon, we had lunch at friend's home.

We capped off our day of celebration with the final performance of our Easter Cantata,
"Calvary's Love."

I hope you all celebrated with those you love the greatest expression of Love the world has ever seen!