June 30, 2011

Show Me Your Teeth!

June 30, 2011

Colton is not a fan of the camera!  I think it is the flash that he hates so much.  Needless to say I have a hard time getting him to look at the camera and smile.  While riding the carousel at Dollywood this past week I was trying so hard to get a good picture – I said Colton, “show me your teeth” … and this is what I got:

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I have to say he did a pretty good job! ;)


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June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

June 29, 2011

 

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June 27, 2011

Mom’s Tips Monday–Keepsake Boxes

June 27, 2011

My children’s stuff is so sentimental.  I have held onto so much, but it is currently in a paper box and a Bloomingdales bag in my closet!  I have been searching for ideas of what to do with all the “stuff”.  I’m not the most creative momma in the world, but I wanted to do something more than just throwing the stuff in a Rubbermaid container – or maybe the Rubbermaid container is the best route?!

Below are some great tips from some fellow mommy bloggers!  Check out their idea and their blogs if you get a chance!!  You can also linky up your blog post about your children’s “keepsake boxes” by using the linky tool below!

  1. Amy author of His Treasured Princess - I take digital photos of a lot of my daughter's "creations" - I plan to scrapbook them for her. I have a memory box (photo storage box) of keepsakes from bringing her home from the hospital, her first birthday and etc.
  2. Rae author of Push Pops & Daisies - This takes a bit of work but my friends and I create memory boxes for each year of high school. We got a cheap box at Hobby Lobby. Mod podged it with pictures, scrap booking paper, and cut outs from magazines and such. They turned out really cool and unique looking!
  3. Chrissy D author of Today is a Treasure - Right now I have two under bed storage boxes for my two school-age daughters. It's working well for me right now. Big enough to fit odd size art projects and I can keep them tucked away.
  4. Mikaila author or And at the End of the Day - Personally, I love the boxes they sell at Michael's that are designed for photo storage. They have CUTE designs and several sizes.
  5. Karen author of Karen Dawkins - I keep a file for each of my kids for the school year. When they are really excited about a particular project, I write a note about its significance on the back. At the end of the year, we go through the file together to pare it down. If no one remembers why a particular item is in there, we toss it out. The elementary files are a lot thicker than middle and high school files. I include certificates of achievement, notes they got in the mail, etc. not just school stuff.  Once we pare it down, I stuff it into a giant manila envelope, write the year on the outside and tuck it in a box in the attic. Someday, maybe, they'll get into scrapbooks.
  6. Neatha author of A Twinkle In Time - I have digital scrapbooks right now since my son is only 20 months old but as he starts to grow I plan on keeping the stuff he makes and draws and small stuff that matters most to him as he grows out of it.  I would love to have a wooden chest for him but I think that I will try and have my brother make a custom cedar box for him. Who knows.
  7. Ainsley author of Inside My Heaven - All of my old school papers and projects are in a Rubbermaid container that my mom started when I was in elementary. It worked out pretty well over the years.  I also have a beautiful cedar chest that my grandfather made in his high school shop class. Both of my prom dresses are in it because I just can't bear to part with them.
  8. Christine author of Memories by Christine - I did a Rubbermaid container for each of my kids for their first year.
  9. Author of Random Thoughts by Me - I use the decorative boxes from Party America.  Quite a bit larger than a photo storage box, and then pick one that either matches what the kids are into at the time or perhaps a nickname.  We have a dinosaur box, one with bears, cupcakes, etc.  It's the kids' keepsake/waiting for mom to scrapbook box.
  10. Barb author of Albums to Remember - I like to scan items and put them in their scrapbooks although I haven;t gotten very far. As far as something to store them in, when I saw this I thought it would be cool. http://www.artscow.com/photo-gifts/stool
  11. Jessica author of Make Something Beautiful - I have decided that with 3 children that I can't save everything!  In fact, I have set up some "guidelines" as to what I save: I ALWAYS save stuff with hand prints or foot prints and always save things that have photos on them.  Everything else I either take my kiddos photo with the piece of artwork or project or I scan it and make it part of the background of a scrapbook page.  It sometimes makes me sad to throw away things, but if I take a photo or scan of it, we will always have that! It is the only way that I have found to keep my save pile under control!

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June 24, 2011

Favorite Fantastic Find Friday

June 24, 2011

Welcome to my very first “Favorite Fantastic Find Friday”.  It is here that I will share with you some of my Favorite Finds and I hope you will share yours too!

I will be the first to admit that I am a bit of a diaper snob.  I am very particular about what is next to my children’s bums!  This has a lot to do with why I enjoy cloth diapering so much.  Clothing diapering is certainly a love of mine, but it is not something that I do ALL the time!  When Colton was small I tried almost every brand and type of disposable diapers and decided to go with Huggies.  They were by far my favorite for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I felt like they were the most absorbent. 

Recently, I had a girlfriend tell me about the Target brand Up&Up diapers.  At first I was extremely skeptical, but she gave me a few to try and so on I went.  At the time Claire was wearing size 4 Huggies so I tried the size 4 Up&Up.  The Up&Up seemed to sag really bad and turned me off, but then I thought well maybe they run a little big and decided to go with the size 3.  The size 3 fit perfectly and I must say that I am now in love!  Yes, I LOVE these diapers!  In the past I have tried “off brand” diapers and they felt so coarse and uncomfortable – that is not the case with Up&Up.  These diapers are very soft, very absorbent and not to mention the most secure fit of any diaper I have tried!  Oh yeah, and the price is great too!  I buy these diapers for about 14 cents a diaper where as I was paying 21 cents a diaper for Huggies at Sams Club (the cheapest place I have found Huggies – even when using coupons).

Up & Up DiapersSo now for those times when I use diapers of the disposable nature I turn to Up & Up from Target!  Check them out!!

Please share a favorite fantastic find!


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June 22, 2011

Coloring

June 22, 2011

Over the past couple of weeks Colton has really gotten into coloring.  His little sister follows him around reaching for a crayon or hopes for one to fall in the floor so she too can color!

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No if I can just keep her from eating the crayons!


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Wordless Wednesday

 

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June 21, 2011

Straw Bale Gardening–Week???

June 21, 2011

Here is my first – and quite possibly my only tomato!

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Flood Waters

Chris and I were up all night Sunday night into Monday morning listening to the storm that was hitting us hard. At the time I did not think much about the rain because all of the lightening had my attention! I do not ever remember experiencing lightening like this – it seemed like one continual lightening bolt for several hours.  We were so concerned that around 3am we turned on the weather channel to make sure there were no tornado warnings.  At that time the only warnings that were going out were for lightening.

At 6am I woke to a river running through our front yard (cannot believe I did not take pictures) – we could not believe it… but we had nothing compared to what our neighboring town experienced.

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The picture on the right is of my church… the flooded parking lot is where we park our church buses.

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Picture 2 is my husbands great grandfather’s home – there was a stone wall that line the sidewalk – the wall was around a hundred years old.

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The waters have receded today, but the recovery effort is going to take a long time and unfortunately we are due to get more rain.

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Please be in prayer for all those effected by natural disasters.


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Vacation Bible School

We had vacation bible school last week at our church.  This was Colton’s first year!  I was super excited about starting this yearly tradition, but a little nervous about his reaction to going.  When were in church he does not like going to the nursery/children’s church so I was worried that when we got to the church last week for VBS he was upset because we were not going into the sanctuary.  However, he proved my worries un necessary… he LOVED it!  Each day he would say, “go to bible school today momma!”

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This was him the first night siting across the table from one of his future schoolmates!  There were several 3 year olds in the class that will be joining him this fall at Gateway.  It was a great opportunity for him to get to know some of the other kids that will be in his class.

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The teacher (Mrs. Bridgett) was absolutely wonderful!  She was the epitome of patient and kind.  She did such a wonderful job with tailoring the lessons to their age group.  Each night they had yummy snacks, fun coloring sheets, a great lesson, crafts and games!

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I think this game was his favorite!

The last night we went down to the family life center to enjoy some fun time in a bounce house and inflatable slide.

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As crazy as it may sound I think that the highlight of Colton’s week was riding in the church bus!  Seriously!  We got off the bus back up at the church and he said, “Oh mom that was fun!  I loved riding the bus!”

It only took 20 minutes and this little guy to convince Colton to get on the slide, but once he we did he had fun!

DSC_0216  DSC_0219 Normally I do not share pictures of myself on my blog and most certainly not the unflattering ones, but I know one day I will be glad I did share these:

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It was a great week and I was so happy to share in it will my little man!


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Get Ready For Week 2 of Mom’s Tips Monday

My first "Mom's Tips Monday" kicked off yesterday with a post about organizing and keeping your laundry under control!  There were lots of fellow mom bloggers who had some great tips!  You can check it out here.

Now for week 2 - What are your tips for creating a budget, staying on budget and organizing your bills!  I know I can really use some help in this area and I know there are many of you with some great ideas!!

As always if you leave a great tip I will try my best to use it and feature your blog along with it!  I will also have a linky tool set up so you can link up your own post!!


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June 20, 2011

Cleaning Tips & Secrets Take 2

June 20, 2011

There still are so many good responses coming in from my previous blog post that I wanted to do another post to share:

  • Sarah author of Yes and Yes - My trick is setting a timer for 15 minutes when I get home and spending that time every day picking up.  I find that if I just flop down on the sofa, it kind of sets the tone for the whole evening.
  • Kristin author of BonBon Rose Girls - I stick lemon or orange peels down the garbage disposal to freshen things up down there!
  • Author of Dumb Mom - My one cleaning life saver is that I sweep my floors every day.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Entire house.  I'm obsessed and it's the only way to combat the Dude dirt and dog hair.   And once a week, I spray a little wood safe duster on my broom and wipe that around.  Picks up even more dust and makes the floors shiny too!
  • Elissa author of Lila and Lub  - makes he own cleaning wipes, check it out on her blog!
  • Kaye author of Parrot Health Care and Diet - I use white vinegar and water all the time.  It cleans grime, wine, grease, finger marks, anything and everything.  Depending on how bad the marks are I use 30/70 white vinegar and water. Baking soda is great to use with it if the mark is really stubborn.  Not only that it is a natural disinfectant.
  • Michelle author of Green Earth Bazaar - Dr. Bronner's soap.  It's great for everything - cleaning, laundry, body, you name it.  Here's my recipe for making your own all-purpose non-toxic cleaner with it. ;)
  • Cheryl author of Cat’s Holiday & D├ęcor Passion - microfiber cloths for mirrors....that's my tip,  no streaks
  • Shereen author of Shereen Travels Cheap - I find that hot water and vinegar are fantastic for cleaning the floors. Even better is it's safe to use if you have animals and it smells pretty fresh after you're done. this is also a good thing to use on your windows with newspaper...although I have now found that microfiber cloths are GREAT on windows as well as stainless steel surfaces and mirrors. They clean with just water and they never leave streaks. Amazing!

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Mom’s Tips Monday–Organizing Your Laundry

Do you feel like laundry is taking over your home!?  Most days I do - I am either putting a load in, taking out a load, folding a load, or desperately needing to put a load away.  I do not mind doing the laundry, but I loath putting it all away!
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The biggest thing that helps me is my laundry sorter.  I bought a cheap one from walmart with 3 slots – one for my dark colors, light colors and one for whites.  I really need another one, but I have 4 laundry baskets and a hamper so I cannot justify buying another one (right now).  All of our towels and bibs go in the hamper and Colton and Claire's clothes go in a separate laundry basket.  I have always washed my children’s clothes in a more mild detergent that what I wash mine and Chris’s clothes in so they get washed separately – this helps tremendously when folding and putting away.  This way I do not have to sort the children’s clothes from the adults clothes – makes life easier in the end. 
My husband wears khaki slacks to work everyday so I try to wash all of those in one load at the end of the week – that way when I get them out of the dryer they can all be immediately hung and once again no sorting needed!  I once thought it would be a good idea to try to do all laundry on one day, but that never seems to work out for me.  What has helped me is I have started taking the weekends off from doing laundry!  Check out some of these great tips from some other mom bloggers and check out their blogs too!!  If you have a great tip you can add your post to the bottom of this post using the linky tool!
  1. Angie author of sevenclowncircus - I have 5 shelves in my laundry room, and use one shelf per child to fold their clothes.  It's then their job to take their clothes to their room and put away.
  2. Theresa author of transitionslifecoaching - My kids are out of the house already. I had two laundry baskets - one in the Master Bath and one outside the kids' bathroom.
  3. Kristin author of BonBon Rose Girls - I try to do all three of our laundry separate for the most part. Less things seem to go missing that way!
  4. Rebeca author of The Average Parent - I have a handful of small laundry baskets from the dollar store that I spread out on the floor in my bed room. (It takes up some space, but it's totally worth it.) Each basket gets it's own load of laundry. i.e. whites goes in one, pants in another, towels in one and the rest that can be washed in cold goes in the last basket. It makes laundry so easy because once a small basket was full, I carry it out and throw it in the washer. No need to dig through the big basket and sort everything out.
  5. Byn author of 365 Days of Clean Eating - I make my kids do it:)  That's about as organized as I get.  I used to be all organized.  When my kids were little, I would put one dot on the oldest kids' clothes, and when they got passed down to the next kid, I'd add one more dot... until it got to the last child and there would be 5 dots.  That made it possible for all the kids to sort the clean clothes and know which drawer to put it in.  We also keep all the clothing drawers (we bought the plastic stackable ones at WM) right across from our washer and dryer so everyone's clothes get put away as soon as it comes out of the dryer.  That cuts way down on baskets sitting around full of clothes waiting to be put away.
  6. Beckie author of Infarrantly Creative Craft Projects - Hmmmm well each of the kids have their own laundry baskets.  My husband and I have a dark and a light basket.  Once it is full I empty the whole thing into the washing machine.  I use all Shaklee products and their amazing Nature Brite gets stains out every time.  I don't pretreat at all I just put a scoop in the machine every time and I get stain free clothes all the time.  I also try and fold right away.  I bring the kids hangars into the laundry room and then put it away.
  7. Amy author of Mod Podge Rocks Blog - When I don't fold right away, that's when everything goes to h-e-double hockey sticks in a handbasket with the laundry. Then it takes a week to fold and put away!
  8. Melissa author of A Heavenly Journey - Basically, all dirty laundry is categorized - colors, whites, and reds (I wash my reds, dark pinks, and dark purples separate from other colors) in its own baskets so all I have to do is grab an armful and shove it in the washer. No sorting!!! I hate sorting. You can get big laundry baskets/hampers pretty cheap and they are soooo worth it to keep the laundry organized.Also, if you're having trouble keeping up with the laundry, think of it this way: How many times a day do you just walk past your washer and dryer? Really think about it. And then, every time you walk past them during your normal day, throw a load in the washer or transfer a load to the dryer. That really helped me get more regular at doing laundry.

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June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

June 19, 2011
When Chris and I were dating and before we were engaged I remember a moment when I said to myself, “wow He is going to be a wonderful father!” … I remember when that thought ran through my mind that I was caught off guard.  I certainly knew that I loved him, but it was in that moment that I knew I wanted to marry him!
Years have passed and our lives have changed dramatically, but one thing remains true – Chris is certainly a wonderful father!
Chris and I had been married almost 6 years when Colton was born.  Chris has always been extra attentive to me and that was ever so true through Colton’s birth.  Chris stood at my side holding my hand and encouraging me along the entire time.  After Colton was born I remember looking over to my left and seeing Chris hover over the baby and the nurses – he was beaming when he told me everything was great!   It was the first time in 4 hours that he was not holding my hand, but it was okay because he was holding our son.
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We had no idea what we were in store for and I had no idea just how wonderful of a father he was going to be!
The manner in which Colton loves him is a true testament of just how wonderful he is.  I could not ask for a better help mate!  I say time and time again that I have no idea how moms make it without good husbands.  Chris is as hands on as I am and anyone who knows him can testify to that.  He has does bedtime almost every night for the past 2 years which is Colton’s preference!  Chris has taught Colton them importance of prayer time and of family.
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And now he is a daddy to a little girl – a little girl who is crazy about her daddy!  When he get home from work in the afternoons she cannot wait for him to pick her up!  She is most certainly a daddy’s girl. 
Someone made the comment about how crazy my children are over their dad, I said, “yeah you would think I was a terrible mom” and they said, “no, its just a testament to how wonderful of a father he is!” – I could not agree more!
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Happy 3rd Father’s day to the most amazing man I know!


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June 16, 2011

Hot Summer Days

June 16, 2011
We kept cool Saturday by spending some time in the pool!  Both Colton and Claire enjoy the water!
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Claire kept trying to drink the water and Colton enjoyed swimming with his daddy!
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How have you been spending your hot summer days?

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Fishing

Colton had been asking to go fishing forever!  Papaw and Mamaw bought him a fishing pole for his birthday so that afternoon they all went down to fish!

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Here is my little guy catching his first fish!  First of many I am sure!

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Chris said he would not touch the fish and I was not surprised!

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June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday–Claire & Poppy

June 15, 2011
This is Claire and her great-grandfather.  Otherwise known as Poppy.
Those smiles tell it all!
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June 14, 2011

Tractor Girl

June 14, 2011
She thinks the tractor belongs to her!  We could not believe our eyes when she crawled up on it all by herself!
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Yep, we may just have a “tomboy” on our hands!
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June 13, 2011

Mom’s Tips Monday–Lets Get Started!

June 13, 2011

I want to start a new series on my blog called “Mom’s Tips Monday”.  When you need advice about anything involving your home, your children, or even life as a mom who is the first person you normally turn to?  Another mom of course! I have found that the best solutions and answers most often come from a fellow mom – this is usually the case because they too have had the same issue before!  It amazes me to see how creative and wise others women are and I love to glean from them!

When I posted on Blog Frog about sharing some of your cleaning tips and secrets I was so excited to see all the responses and so were so many of you!  Salt and baking soda on my carpet!  Who would have thought of that!?  Certainly not me, but I am so thrilled Lynne in the Savvy Living Community decided to share.  I will be trying it out later this week!

How will it work?

Each Monday we will have a different theme and you will have the opportunity to do your own blog post and then link it up to mine so that everyone can see your awesome tips with pictures and whatever else you have to offer!  I will also be opening the discussions on Blog Frog and posting some of my favorite responses right here each Monday!

We will kick it off Monday June 20th with your best tips and secrets to organizing and keeping your laundry under control!  I envy with delight those with amazing laundry rooms so I cannot wait to see pictures and hear how many of you do (or maybe do not) keep your laundry organized and under control!

Happy Blogging!


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Colton’s Birthday

Colton had a great birthday.  We had family in that weekend so we spent it on the lake with all of them and celebrated Colton’s birthday at his Papaw’s house!

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Colton loves all things farm animals so I thought it only suiting to throw a farm animal themed birthday party!  Here is Colton enjoying Pizza (that is his favorite) and the rest of us had yummy bar-b-q.

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My favorite part of the entire day was when everyone sang happy birthday to him!  It made me emotional – I seriously fought back the tears!  We are so blessed to be celebrating another year!

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I went back and forth forever on what to do for a cake.  Years past I have spent a small fortune on cakes that ultimately half end up in the trash.  So I knew I wanted to do something different and that gave me the idea of cupcakes.  I originally had planned on making cupcake toppers w/ farm animals, but I came across a picture where someone had made a cow out of cupcakes and knew that is what I wanted to do!  Luckily for me aunt Beth and aunt Kay-Kay were on hand to take over and create our birthday cow – they did a fantastic job!

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Colton received some great gifts.  He loves his farm and farm animals… he has been playing with it daily!

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The whole time he was opening gifts he kept eyeing the cupcakes… it was so funny!  Finally I told him he could have one – so he picked up the one that said “moo” (how fitting) and licked away.  He hardly ever gets sweets and really has little want for any, but he really enjoyed licking the icing from the top of the cupcake!  We had a hard time getting him to sit it down to even open gifts! 

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He loved his tractor!!  When he sat down on it he said, “oh just like Daddy’s!”  It was so cute!!

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He looks so big in this picture!

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And this is our attempt to get a family picture.  Happy Birthday Colton!


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