Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Official Start!

Thanksgiving is over.

My little Pilgrims and Indians are all gone . . .

We can officially begin singing carols.

Decking the halls.

Jingling the bells.

We kicked of the season by going to cut down our Christmas tree!

We headed slightly north this year and after a scenic drive up a dirt road, we found a sweet farm with great trees!

Keeping with tradition, we cut our own!

After s'mores and the drive back down the mountain, we headed to Brevard, NC for lunch, shopping, and dessert!

It was a great start to the holidays!

Tomorrow we'll pull out the ornaments and start decorating!

Monday, November 21, 2011


For the past five weeks, Ella Grace and Annabelle have been taking an art class from The Greenville County Museum of Art.  To end their class, "Animals in Art," their work was showcased in an art show!

They made Eric Carle inspired animals by making collages out of painted paper.  Annabelle's is a fish with the sunset overhead.  And Ella Grace's is a dog with complete with a food bowl and a rug.

They used canvases to paint (which they both thought was so cool!) an animal of their choice.  Annabelle painted a lion and Ella Grace painted a blue dog.

They also made sculptures out of wood scraps glued together.

Also, not pictured, they worked with pastels to learn how to blend colors.  They each drew a bird and they are amazing!  I love how the class used many different mediums and types of art for each project -- I feel like the girls were exposed to a lot in a short period of time!  The teachers were amazing and I think it's pretty incredible that they finished 4 projects in only 5 weeks!  The girls are already planning which class they want to take next!

As for me, I'm trying to figure out how to display all of it --
 it's so amazing that I hate to hide it all in a box someplace!  



Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks, Dad

"My grandpa was in the army.  
He traveled to Vietnam.  
He flew in a helicopter.  
He killed a big snake."

by Annabelle

Thanks, Dad, and all the other men and women who have fought and are fighting to keep this country free!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Give Thanks Banner

I had visions of making our family a banner for Thanksgiving using fabric scraps that I have laying around (Eric would write that sentence:  "that she has EVERYWHERE!"), but it's just not going to happen this year.  Instead, we spent a family night last week putting this one together!

We used card stock to cut our flags and stenciled the letters on each.  I love how it turned out!

Each year we make a "Thankful Tree."  I'm not sure exactly why we call it that because it has never actually looked like a tree.  We do, however, write something we are thankful for on a leaf, so maybe that's where it gets it's name.  This year is the first year that each of the girls understands fully what it means to be thankful for something.  If you look closely, you can see our leaves clothes pinned to the twine that we left hanging from the banner:

A few things the girls have been thankful for so far:

that God loves me
my sisters
fall fun
that I can give to others
that i have teachers who love me
that we can go to church

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jenn's Baby Shower

A friend and I (with help from many others) hosted a baby shower for Jenn -- our friend who was surprised a few months ago to find out she was due with TWIN GIRLS at the end of December!  It was a complete surprise to she and her husband -- no drugs, no history of twins -- just a total God's in control surprise!  We are all so thrilled for her and can't wait to meet Babies A and B!

(remember i blogged about making this!  turned out so cute -- i'm planning one for Christmas!)
(my amazing friend, jess, made these lollipops for favors!  don't you think she should open a shop?)

Thanks for giving us a reason (or two!) to celebrate, Jenn!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Recap

Our Annual Pumpkin Party!

Roper Mountain Science Center's "Green Halloween" -- way, way better than Boo in the Zoo!

 (they were watching this lady make yarn or thread or something cool)

 (in the garden, "Charlotte's Web," perfect for my little bugs!)

(love this!)

And a few Halloween Night Candids:

We will now move on to the next holiday!  NO--not Christmas--despite what all the department stores may tell you!  Thanksgiving!  We are helping our girls to focus this month on ways our family has been blessed, ways we can bless others, and the significance of this holiday in our country's history!  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as the next guy, and, yes, I have started shopping (actually, started months ago), but I hate that Thanksgiving gets lost in the hype of all the Christmas "stuff"!  Will try to share a few things our family does during the month of November!  To get you started, here are a few ideas!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Crafts

In case you need some crafty-ness to fill your Halloween weekend:

Wood Block Pumpkins (with nails for stems and scrap fabric for leaves):

 Inspired here but definitely a different project!

Felt Beanbags (with ribbon stems and ric-rac leaves):

I'll be using these on Monday for a game with Katie's preschool class!

Tie Dyed Leaves:
Instructions found here!

Happy Halloweening!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Links . . .

. . . for your reading enjoyment:

on parenting:

I Don't Want My Children to be Happy
Summer Reading Idea
Printable Lunchbox Notes

on orphan care:

Am I a Hero?

on women's ministry:

In Which I Write a Letter to Women's Ministry


Monte Cristos (haven't tried these yet, but purchased everything; will letcha know . . . )
Bacon Ranch Chicken (have tried this -- it was a hit at our house!)


Pennant Banner (making a variation of one of these for a baby shower -- can't wait to see the finished product!)

Leave me some comment love with suggestions of other links I should look at!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Pun'kins


October is halfway over and I haven't even posted once.  Is it just us, or is your October super-busy?  Going to type whatever comes to mind . . . it's sure to be random!

The girls just had two days off of school.  Days like that make me realize how much I miss having them home!  Don't get me wrong ~ they love school and I'm adjusting to having some time to myself (if you count myself as me and Peanut)!  I have been surprised at how hard it's been for me to adjust having actual time to get something  done.  It was really like I went from 5 kids to half a kid in just a few weeks and it's been a challenge to figure out how to do life this way.  Weird, I know.

Reading some really good and really challenging books right now! My "mom's Bible study group" is going through  When God Weeps.  Our small group is reading Radical.  Scared of that one!  And some sweet women in my life are reading What Women Fear with me.  All convicting especially coupled with our church's study through 2 Corinthians.

The girls slept in sponge curlers last night.  There is one in the toilet upstairs.  I imagine one of them went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and it fell in.  Gross.  Told you, random!

Can I end on that note?  More random to come this week, I'm sure!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celebrating 60

Warning:  This post is packed with photos.  Proceed at your own risk.

My parents both turn 60 this year.  My mom's birthday was in July and Dad's is this week.  Since it's kind of a big deal, my brother, sister and I wanted to do something for them.  After much deliberation, we decided to book a weekend away with all 17 of us (that's right, 2 parents/grandparents, 3 "kids" and 3 spouses, and 9 grand kiddos)!

We didn't have to look far for the perfect family get away.  My Uncle Steve (my Dad's brother) builds and sells/rents luxury cabins in the mountains of NC.  It was a memorable weekend for our kids (and I think Nana & Papa enjoyed it too)!

There was fishing . . . with actual fish caught, although I failed to capture that with a photo!

 Uncle Steve, Archie (the dog), Ella Grace & Papa
 Annabelle & Daddy
 Annabelle & Papa

We spent time at what our kids call "Uncle Steve's Farm" ~ they think it's magical ~ who wouldn't with things like:

Bowling balls in trees
A 3 story barn housing Steve's "museum"

Full of all sorts of treasures:

 Indian Arrowheads (many of which he's found during construction)
 Crystal Chandeliers in a barn?
 Lots and lots of antiques.
If there is an earthquake, he's in big trouble!

There are baby chickens:

 Christian, my 6 year old, handsome, nephew

And, of course, momma chickens with eggs to collect:

Ella Grace & Annabelle

Potatoes to dig:

 5 year old, Noah
Sweet Allie, 3

Raspberries to pick:

 Christian & Noah
Ella Grace; enjoying eating!

As if all of that isn't magical enough; there are tractors to be driven!

 Allie (I love that the expressions on their faces are exactly the same!)
Ella Grace

The kids love being together.  In the cabin we stayed in, there was a ladder in one of the upstairs closets that led to a loft/attic area.  Upon discovery, the kids claimed it as their "cousin club" and no adults were allowed! 

 These two are only a few months apart and loved being together!
These are our three kindergarten-ers!  One day we'll take this picture again with graduation caps on!

One of the highlights was meeting our newest nephew (and cousin), Levi:

So perfectly sweet . . . 

Of course, we had birthday cake!

And more silly moments than serious ones!

Mom and Dad,  Thanks for giving us a reason to celebrate; and I'm not referring to your birthdays.  I mean, thank you for letting us celebrate you and this family that you have loved, nourished and watched grow!  Your investment in each of us contributes to making us the men and women that we have grown into.  The love you have for our children is like none other ~ they adore you and it is a joy to watch you invest in them.  

Happy 60th Birthday!  

We love you!