Thursday, March 19, 2015

Budget Party Favors

Over the past few years, I have worked hard to reject the Insane Birthday Party Norm for Kids. Don't get me wrong, my kids and I both enjoy a good party. But over the years I have come to discover that at my kids' age (4, 5, & 6) it really doesn't take much to make them happy. Mine are totally happy that they see their friends and get a cupcake. =) And the amount of money that is spent on aforementioned Insane Birthday Party Norm is just crazy. That's just not in my budget. Nor do I want it to be.

So, since we have two birthdays in the same week in March, we did a little playdate birthday party in the backyard. We rented a jumper (which, on a weekday morning is REAL cheap) and invited their friends to come play. We also made our own cupcakes, offered fruit and vegetable snacks and everyone was happy! Thankfully the South Texas weather was awesome and we enjoyed a fun time outside to play with friends.

Last week my husband was trimming the backyard trees and I decided that I could use his scraps to make some birthday party favors. So, may I present to you the $.25 personalized party favor...




 If you have some tree scraps, paint, magnets, and a shred of artistic ability, you can make some too.  And kids will leave your party with something they can keep instead of a bag of sugary junk or choking hazards. Win for everyone! 

So, start planning your Anti-Insane Birthday Party now. You can start with the favors.
You're welcome. =)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Brothers = Best Friends

I love that my little boys are the best of friends. It warms my heart to see the sweetness of their brotherhood. Here they are perched on a bench watchin' the river go by. This is a happy place for them - outside and together. The best!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baptism

Our girl got baptized this past Saturday and we had a big pink party day to celebrate. It was a really special day to celebrate her first sacrament. One of the things I love about the church is that each celebration is full of biblical symbolism and tradition. Call me an Old Soul, I guess. I love being a part of something that is thousands of years old. The priest was 30 minutes late, though, due to traffic, which served as a great reminder that we do, in fact, live in 2015. =) Thankfully it was a beautiful day and the extra time allowed the kids to run around on the church lawn before the ceremony. I dare say we couldn't have planned that any better!


We had a small celebration with friends and family in a private baptism ceremony at the church. It helped that it was not part of a longer Sunday mass. Keeping my three boys quiet for an entire mass is challenge enough, without adding a special celebration for their sister. Save the huge toot my three year old let out during the ceremony, all went well. I suppose such is life in a family with three boys! Anna did wonderfully during the ceremony. She didn't fuss the entire time and was happy in Daddy's arms. Then we had a quaint little party at home with friends, family, good food and buttercream white cupcakes - perfection!

Her dress was handmade in Rome, which made a very special gift from her godparents, Quincy and Wendy. Quincy is a friend from my Istanbul days and his wife, Wendy has become a very dear friend to me and our family. We felt so blessed to have them join us in this special part of Anna's life. 

Here are some photos from the day - enjoy!

 Her sweet little dress had lots of hand stitching and embroidery. I made her put it on a day later for a short portrait session.

 Sweet girl and her daddy.

 The back of the dress as she crawled away from her portrait session. 

  Lovely white bow - yay for girly stuff!

Baptism.

Nothing sweeter than the cross + white buttercream icing.

The party table.

 Her candle and a great reminder to "walk in the light as HE is in the light" (1 John 4:7)

What's a party without a favor? Again, I am an Old Soul. I went out on a limb and assumed that SOME people still read real books these days. ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Garlic

Yes, Garlic. So recently I read the 100 Days of Real Food (great book, by the way) and started making a few of the recipes at home. We have already made huge progress with what we eat at home, but I needed to add a few new things to my recipe rotation. Many of her recipes call for fresh garlic. I have a love/hate relationship with garlic. I love the taste and how it makes my cooking so much more yummy, but I HATE chopping it, peeling it, and basically getting it into my food. I can never get the smell off of my hands. I hate that. I decided to solve this problem by taking a break from fresh garlic and buying that nice little jar of already minced garlic. Perfect solution to my problem, right?

And then this happened...

Epic fail! Nothing like trying to avoid garlic smell by buying a jar of garlic and then proceeding to accidentally drop it on its way back to the fridge...requiring me to clean up ten times the amount of stinky garlic with my bare hands. Bleck!

Needless to say, looks like I am going to bed tonight with garlic scented fingernails.

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four to the Store

Sometimes I have moments of craziness. Like taking four to the store on a Saturday morning. Obvious I bribed them to participate in this fun little outing with a promise that they could wear whatever they wanted. They picked wisely and we rolled into our local grocery with three Superheroes and a girl baby superhero - the boys rationalized that this WAS in fact her costume and they made sure to tell any strangers who asked about it...

Most of the strangers smiled and gave me the knowing "I have been there" looks. 

Of course, the secret to making this strategy work is to make it in and out of the store in about 27 minutes flat. Watch out, Y'all, here comes the crazy circus with a giant overloaded two-kid cart! =)

Three cheers for a happy Saturday morning ending!

I suppose that Henry is now technically the Second Oldest kid, but he still photographs like a Middle Kid, don't you think? =)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas


Wishing you joy this season!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I love you Mommy

There are many days that my job as a mommy of four very small children feels thankless and demanding. Not to mention that I feel like the Team Captain in a daily professional Bum Wiping Contest.

Then there's days like today when my oldest kid hands me this:

If you are a mom of young little people, hang on! Someday they will be able to draw you pictures and write you notes - and you will hardly remember the sleepless nights, endless time outs, and bottom wiping.

I promise. =)