Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Pinktastic Pinkalicious Party!

My daughter loves the Pinkalicious book series, she loves tutus, wands, & of course PINK! I was so very excited to do a Pinkalicious party for her! I got many ideas from here. I love everything she did! I decided to go into the cupcake thing too since Pinkalicious turns pink from eating too many pink cupcakes! Also Mia is a little baker & loves cupcakes. She plays Cupcake Wars with her brother all the time :) So I got cupcake & pink stuff & made the decorations myself! I made the cupcakes & frosting because I wanted to use natural colors for the pink. I think it all came out awesome :) I loved having little giggling sweet girls all dressed in pink running around with wands & candy! We had a sign to have your picture taken with a pink wig in front of a Pinkalicious poster! Even all the moms did it too! They had a big art table with hundreds of pink accessories to create whatever they wanted! Everyone made the birthday girl something sparkly & pretty! 2 of her older friends & then the birthday girl herself all read a Pinkalicious book. Of course they got to decorate cupcakes too :) She got wonderful presents too! What a great time, everyone stayed late & sipped pomagranate soda, had Boursin & crackers & chatted & played! Here are a few of the over 100 pics taken :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Laundry Helpers!

My kids are such great little helpers around the house; give them each a Swiffer duster & they are thrilled to dust! ( Which is great because I very much dislike dusting & I think it's pointless). Mia loves to help vacuum & she has her own "jurisdictions" as well as Eli who also has a few simple small things they are responsible for around the house as a part of our family. Well each day we do at least one load of laundry. It's neverending, a forever cycle (pun intended lol) I always had like, 19 piles around the living room of kitchen, bathroom, Mommy, Daddy...and so on for each child. So I thought of a way to get the kids involved & would be a better system. I already had these cute little baskets so I found a new home for the outdoor toys & under cabinet stuff in each box, cleaned them out & gave one to each of the older ones. When I take up a load of clothes, they pick thru for their own things first, put it in their own kid laundry baskets, put it away, then come back to each take a room & help but those away, then I fill the blue with Daddy's & the purple with Mommy's & the 2 babies clothes get taken in the big basket t their room, since they always have a lot! Works great! When the other 2 are older, they will all have their own baskets & they will be responsible for all their own stuff. Gives them a sense of independace sorting & putting away their own stuff & it's great to have the extra hands! Quoting one of my best friends Abbey "There is no cure for laziness, but a large family helps!"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walking Together Every Step Of The Way!

I love my family :) Look at those shoes! How cute are they?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cute Way To Reuse & Reduce!!!

Well I have been consciously trying for quite some time to make small changes in our home to reduce waste &save money. With a large family, I find I have to constantly find better cost efficient ways to feed, clothe & care for my family. Swapped cloth napkins for paper, cut down on paper plate use, recycled all my plastic stuff & swapped it for glass or another safe product. I use facecloths to wipe up the kids' faces & hands that are not old enough to go in the bathroom & do so themselves. Little things here & there. Here's my new thing I'm lovin'! Reusable sandwich & snack bags! What an awesome idea that seems to be catching on; I saw some at a few stores around my area lately. I actually bought the fairy one from a local store that was made by a mom in my area but proven safe. The others were bought on & Amazon. I reccomend both brands! We love them all & they are super easy to clean & wicked cute to use! I even got a cute argyle one for my hubby! :) Try them out, build up your collection & save a lot of plastic & money!!!!!! * By the way they are all safe :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been making my own laundry soap for probably about 3 years now. I follow the Duggar recipe. While on Pinterest one night I found a new recipe that looked great, supposedly smelled great, was super easy & reasonable! I always made a liquid laundry soap but this one was powder & I thought it was worth a try. So I pinned it & headed to a few stores to gather the supplies needed! First of all, I love, love Pinterest so I will be posting about it again, as I make some recipes & crafts & other awesome ideas I get from their site. Second, I love chalkboard paint; I am walking around the house with the "look" in my eye. You know the look, where nothing is exempt of the creative juices flowing, in this case, being chalked :) So I jazzed up the glass jar & I lurve the way it came out :) Yeah, I am loving pinning & playing! This is the original source. We love it! It smells fabulous I'll tell you! We estimate it should last about 8 months & it cost around $22! I had some ingredients on hand from the liquid gel laundry soap we make & I picked up this great glass jar for $10; it's the perfect size, & a 3 pack of scoops; the medium size does nicely. It cost a little extra because of the jar & scoops I bought to get started. Looks awesome & smells about the same! Why not give it a try? You can use any soap you want & may also add essential oil. It will save you so much money & you will know exactly what is in & on your clothes & it works great for sensitive skin! Try it & let me know what you think! :)

Gave This A Home For $3!!!!!!

What a beauty! First I saw the red rustic heavy plate. Then, gasp! A red clearance sign above it....Flipped it over & lo....saw a little red sticker that made smile....$3 orig $12. Sold! Took this awesome dish home & can't wait to fill it with homemade baked goodies!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Amazing Story From Beginning To End!

The past few years have been full of pregnancy & babies. I have struggled on & off with feeling inadequate & wanting to do & be more for God. I am home; cooking, cleaning, teaching, being a mommy & wifey. I have been praying that God could meet me where I am, & use me for His glory by using my life's lessons, trials, laughs, pain, experiences, tears & smiles to help someone else. I firmly believe we all go thru what we do for a reason, & I want to use my life to be a servant. Keeping my heart open & knowing God will equip me should He call & should I be needed, I wait. I have had the privilege to be able to connect with others & share in their struggles by revealing mine. I am learning to be content where He has me because where I am is right where I should be & my little family is so important to me. I am still learning, changing & growing & always will be. I am finding a peace in knowing as they grow I can help more & serve more as long as I am open to it. God will always use us, no matter the age, financial status, location or weaknesses. He will meet us where we are, provide & sustain & give us such joy in every day where we are, caring for our homes & families. God used Colin & I last week in an incredible way, a "chance" mistake encounter that changed us & the other person in many ways. She has impacted our life & blessed our hearts more than she could ever know.

Last week I was out with my sister for a few hours. I got a call from Colin shortly before I was heading home. He told me he got a text from a number that is in between our #'s. Right in the middle of the two of us! This has never happened before, it's also very rare his # & mine are only 2 digits off. We "met" the one who got the number in the middle the other night. It was 2 words; "I'm pregnant". He wrote back & said " I'm so very happy for you, but this is not who you were meaning to text, you have the wrong number". Minutes passed & then another text. "THIS NOT HAPPY". He immediately thought of me, since my passion is pregnant Mamas, specifically pregnant teens. He called & asked what he should say. I said; "God does not make mistakes". Wile I said goodbye to my sister & asked her to pray for this girl. She prayed the whole way home as I did in between texts from Colin. He started praying. The 3 of us lifted her name & this unique situation up to Him. She could have chosen to not respond or to write & say to leave her alone, or something of the like. Instead, we had an almost conversation going & we did not know how long it would last so we had to choose our words wisely & try to impact her somehow should it be our last connection. "I'm an atheist" comes in a couple of agonizing moments later. I am now nervous she will make a hasty painful decision & we feel instantly protective & drawn to this girl. So I coach Colin on the way home with what to say & they talk back & forth a couple of times. When I get home he says the last text was "do you have any children?" I say text her back & say yes we have 4 in Heaven & 4 on earth & how we would give anything to hold them again. She texts back which excites us that she is open to talking & responding with us. We are amazed at what is unfolding & praying for God to use us & help us know what to say. She says she is scared because of her age. At this point Colin hands it over to me as he is feeling it is inappropriate & he is feeling uncomfortable & knows this is "my thing". So I text & say we thought she might be because of how she was writing. Her & I then text back & forth & I start witnessing & ask a few questions. She starts to change her mind & the texts encourage me more & more. Then she says "You guys have been the most support I've gottenso I want to say thank you so much. It was God who made me text the wrong number & contact your husband" At this point I'm crying & write back & say among other things that she has made my night & she says "Thank you also, you have made more than my night". I ask how old she is & we chat about that, babies & pregnancy. She then writes "The world would be a better place if there were more people like you". She is so uplifting to me & has no idea! I tell her a bit of what to expect & the stages this will go thru with boyfriend, parents & such & offer my support, whether to get her to the dr, give her maternity clothes & books, pray, listen & just be here. THEN I GET THE BEST TEXT I HAVE EVER IN MY LIFE RECEIVED; "AWWWWW YOU HAVE CHANGED MY WHOLE VIEWPOINT ON THIS! MY BABY WILL BE LOVED"!!!!! I am so thrilled & teary & joyful, doing a little happy jig around my kitchen. (It was late & her & I had texted back & forth for over an hour). I tell her we should stay connected & to save my number should she ever need me I promise there is hope, that against all odds she will be fine & I will be there...She writes & says she has faith she will make it!!! She also says she saved my # & thanks me for being so kind.She tells me she won't forget me. I know we can't ever ever forget her. We talk a little longer than she says "You're an inspiration, I don't even personally know you but I'm hoping to be half the person/parent you are"....Wow. Seriously! First she is scared, not wanting this child & doesn't believe in God. Then she wants & loves this child & has courage & faith! How incredibly awesome to experience this. I felt so insignificant & wanting to make a differance & waiting to be used & do something for God. Struggling with feeling the monotony of wiping bums, faces & floors, with dishes, laundry, not sleeping, discipling, all the duties of a stay at home mom that are thankless. Then something like this happens & she has not even a clue of how much she blessed us, & encouraged me & just filled my heart with joy. Her name & number are in my phone & perhaps I won't hear from her again. We were there when we were supposed to be & she knows we are genuine & are here to support & love her no matter what. Just so she knows...
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