Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday Boy #2

To celebrate Konnor's birthday, we had a football party.
We decorated with all things sporty: trophies, footballs and of course mini Toomer's oaks covered in TP.
Instead of a cake, we thought cupcakes would be easier for hungry little boys. The football toppers were made from scrapbook paper, a little cardstock and some toothpicks. I used a piping tip made for creating hair to make the green icing look like grass.
We made football shaped chocolate sugar cookies for favors.
For the past three years, Konnor has wanted to play a football game at his party, but the weather didn't cooperate. This year, we planned to have his party inside a gym so the weather wouldn't be an issue.
We were actually able to fit 9 candles in a cupcake!
He had a great party and I think he will always remember his 9th birthday as being a great one.
I don't even want to think about having a kid in the double digits next year. Wow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birthday Boy #1

We recently celebrated Brady's 3rd birthday! We met up with family the day of his birthday to exchange presents.
Later on in the week, we invited friends over to celebrate. That boy loves trucks so it was an easy theme.

Anyone who knows Brady, knows that it is very tough to get one of his smiles on camera.
This was our attempt to get a pic of all the kids at the party. Brady is not even looking at the camera.
He had a great birthday and has started his 3rd year of life out with a bang by moving to a big boy bed and potty- training. I am so thankful for this sweet but tough little guy.
Since Brady really only plays with cars, trucks and the iPad, we really did not want to overload him with more toys that he probably wouldn't play with anyway. So, instead of gifts, we asked his friends to give a small donation to help buy formula for a mother-less baby in Africa named Alama ( a name given to babies whose mother's die in childbirth). I met Alama's parents when I went to Africa last year and stayed in their village.

I was told by the missionary there that many times when a mother dies during childbirth, the baby "goes away." I don't really want to think about what that implies. The missionaries agreed to help with the cost of formula for the baby and they found another woman in the village who would care for him. The monthly cost of formula for Alama is around $140. The missionaries have had a few donations but are now pretty much paying it out of pocket. Alama will still be in need of formula for about 5 more months. Maybe you feel led to give and make a difference, not only in this little guy's life, but also in a village who have heard the saving gospel of Christ, but not embraced it. If so, leave a comment or send me an email and I will let you know how you can help.

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."-John 13:35

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to the old routine

Well, summer break is officially over although the weather stuck around! : ) My kids had lots of fun this summer and of course, every year, it seems to go by faster and faster.

This summer, we made our first summer list.

We marked off MOST of them. There are still a few left- one of which is potty-train my new 3 year old.

We spent lots of time on the waterslide.

We had our Back to School family night a couple weeks ago. We did this last year and the kids loved it!

Emma was in charge of decorations. She drew placemats on the paper tablecloth.

She also taped up little pictures she drew of school supplies.

I scored some lunch trays at GW several months ago.

Of course, we had to have rectangular pizza and corn.

Konnor always tries to close his eyes when I take a picture.

Brady said the blessing.

We talked about the new school year and how K and E could be an example of Christ to their friends and teachers.

After dinner, we made pencil cups out of old soup cans and scrapbooking supplies.

Then, the first day of school arrived. Emma started 1st grade and Konnor started 3rd.

Little Brady is still in pre-school!

We are looking forward to a great year ahead!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


That's right! I entered my kitchen makeover in the Before & After weekly contest and I won!  Now, go here to check it out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer is here!

So technically summer starts tomorrow (which also happens to be my birthday), but our summer activities have been in full force for a few weeks now!
We wrapped up school with my little girl graduating from kindergarten.

Right after school was out, we went on a summer vacation with some friends to the beach!

We had a blast!
The week we got back from the beach, we had VBS- which was also awesome!
Now that we have been home, we've tried to organize ourselves a little.
I've seen the idea of a summer list around blogland a lot. It's such a great way to plan the summer. I also wrote the verse we are going to try and memorize. Can you tell that I am trying to reinforce being KIND and FORGIVING? : ) We also created a reading list. My husband is already reading something, I just forgot the name so, it's not on the list.
In an effort to give the kids a little bit of a routine, I made to-do lists for summer. 

There are reminders of things they need to do everyday. Instead of our usual Thursday chore days, I decided to give the kids a chore to complete every weekday. I even made myself a daily to-do list, weekly and monthly. It feels so good to have it laid out for me and to be able to check it off! I LOVE LISTS!
We celebrated the best dad in the world yesterday! I love this pic we took at lunch. Brady did NOT want to take a picture. For us, if two out of three kids are looking at the camera and smiling...well, we call that success.
So, that's how our summer is going so far.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Disobedience Chores

It is always a good thing to have clear consequences for disobedience. In the past, when my kids have disobeyed, I would threaten them that if it happened again, they would be in trouble or I may have...just a few times.... resorted to yelling. I think we have all been there before. Until I had a plan in place for dealing with disobedience, I often got frustrated and didn't handle the situation in the best possible way to teach my kids why it is important to obey. So, I decided to make a plan. This may look like an ordinary mug, but it is not.

It is full of little folded pieces of paper each with a chore written on them.

My kids have age-appropriate weekly chores that they do to earn money like taking out the trash, bringing in the mail and cleaning their rooms. We have chore day on Thursdays when they complete these weekly chores.

When they make a bad choice and disobey, they have to go to this mug and pull out a disobedience chore. There are times when we use other disciplinary actions, but this seemed to be a great quick consequence to disobedience.

They do not get to choose which chore they want to do. So it is the luck of the draw whether they get to wash the windows in the living room or clean the toilet in the upstairs bathroom.

I tried to put chores in the disobedience mug that would be less than desirable, but helpful for me to have done. I must say that since we have been using disobedience chores, I have been much calmer and more effective in my parenting. My kids have been happier because they know the rules and consequences to breaking them. And- my house has been a little cleaner!

For the record- this is my daughter doing her weekly chore, not a disobedience chore!

You should check out Lifeway's Homelife Magazine this month. There are some great articles (one was actually written by moi!) and more family jar (mug) ideas. I can't wait to try out the "Caught Doing Good" jar for my kids this summer. I'm hoping it will help my two oldest see the good in each other!

I'm posting on the Homelife blog this week, so check it out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Most days look like this:

The boys are wrestling. Yes, my youngest still has his pjs on in the afternoon.

E is doing her homework. Eventhough she has all week to get her work done, she insists on doing it all in one night so she doesn't have to worry about it the rest of the week. Can't blame her really.

This was a rare occasion when her big brother wanted to help her and she allowed him to. Had to get a picture of that one.