Sunday, November 23, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

We're down with this. Are you???

I wanted to blog about this now because in actuality, it may take some preparation on your part. It's not as simple as running into the mall for a few hours and coming out with gifts for everyone on your list. It might take some work.

I don't have to do much shopping, but I have some preparation, much working with my hands (and getting the kids involved "helping") so that our Christmas might be meaningful this year, especially at a time when a 2 1/2 year old is actually "getting it." She's at a point where she understands what it's all about.

I'm undertaking a project of making an Advent Calendar so that in the 24 days leading up to Christmas we are taking focused time everyday to talk about the meaning of Christmas, the events that led up to that historical day and talking about how those things can have meaning to us today. I'm also including things that we can do to prepare for Christmas together, such as: bake cookies, deliver them to neighbors as a family, plan a Christmas neighborhood social to meet more neighbors and build a closer relationship with others, make gifts together, go on a Christmas hayride as a family, choose gifts from the Samaritan's Purse catalog together, buy shoes for kids in need and much more! I am excited that the month of December will be focused, NOT frazzled, planned, NOT full of last minute scurrying through the mall, and meaningful, purposeful, focused on Christ.

Will you join our family in making the most of Christ's birthday this year?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cutesy Badge Album

I recently came across this idea to make a mini scrapbook out of name badges. My best friend from elementary school all the way through high school just had a birthday and I made a mini album for her, thinking it might be an inexpensive, but special gift.

Here's what I did: designed the inserts in Photoshop with cute digital scrapbooking kits that I found online. I put in cute pictures of us from college, as well as more recent ones of our little ones. The great thing is that I can definitely reuse the templates that I made, so although it did take some time to make them, I can use them again and it should take much less time. Each badge is 3.25" by 2.5", so I just designed each template to be that size, emailed the final inserts to Copy Corner and had them print them, cut them out and put them inside the little badges. Voila!

You could definitely print these on your home printer if it prints high quality. Ours happens to be out of ink right now.

I decided to add some ribbons for decoration after attaching the badges together with those little metal rings that open and close.

This could make a really cute Christmas gift for someone you love!

I want to see pictures if you decide to make this!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Cody and Chelsea told me about Pandora Radio and I just had to share it because it's AWESOME! You can just type in your favorite song or artist and it cooks up a station especially to match those types of artists and songs that you like. Then, if you want to add some variety you can continue to add artists and songs that you like AND let them know which songs you like and dislike to make it just perfectly to your liking.

I am REALLY enjoying this. It's like they are in my head and know just what I want to hear. Crazy! I don't know the logistics of it all, but I love it! Listening to it on my computer and my iTouch is delightful and it gives me some exposure to songs I may want to buy. Oh, and it's free!

Here is the website and here is the Pandora application to download to your iPhone or iTouch.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Renaissance Festival

Taylor and I had a mother-daughter day a few weeks ago at the Renaissance Festival during its' annual School Days in Plantersville, TX. I had hyped it up to Taylor Joy for awhile because I was so excited to go and spend the day with her without worrying about that precious little needy boy who often takes most of my time and attention (aka Beckett). Taylor was very excited to spend the whole day with Mommy. We made some special memories that day. Here are some pics:

All the kiddos

On the giant swing! I was afraid Taylor might get scared when they cranked it back, but she never did! As a matter of fact, she kept asking to go on the big swing again!

Taylor Joy and Ariana

Annika on the bungee!

Easton on the bungee! He wasn't scared a bit!

Sweet friends

Birds of Prey demonstration:

Marylou loving on Taylor Joy

Watching the joust

Another big swing...Taylor wanted to ride on the same side as me.

This is Taylor's newest smile...we say "smile for the camera" and this is what we get. Precious.

I could go on for days about what a blessing this child is to me. She's always been a blessing, but truly I think we've reached another milestone in the process of training her and bringing her up where she is actually "getting" it and she is such a pleasure to be around. She helps in any way that she can and loves to do it. She says things like "Okay, Mommy knows what's best for me" when I tell her that she can or can't do something she has asked to do. She brings smiles to my face all day long.

I know there will be other bumps along the way, but I am just enjoying this time with her so much. Praise the Lord for the all the discipline and training paying off! To Him alone be the glory!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Kendra's Cinnamon Cider

Okay, it's definitely NOT secret (Cate!).

It IS yummy.

It IS essential to the cool weather.

It IS going to be our family tradition (Taylor tried it and likes it!).

And here it is:

Kendra's Cinnamon Cider:

4 quarts (2 large cans) of apple juice
1 quart (1/2 bottle) of cranberry juice
3 sticks of cinnamon
3/4 C. of cinnamon candies (aka Red Hots)

Bring all ingredients to a boil, lower heat slightly and stir continually until all candies have dissolved. Turn heat to low and let simmer for several hours.

My favorite thing to do is transfer it to a crockpot and just let it sit on warm and that lovely smell permeates my house all day. Mmmm...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Good Post for a Confusing Time

Allen showed me these posts and they really encouraged me toward the future.

Thoughts on the abortion issue have overwhelmed me, saddened me and put knots in my stomach, but as I read through the post as well as 50 Ways to Help Unborn Children and their Mothers, I was brought back to the reality that it's so not over.

It's Over; But it's Not Over (One Day it Will Be)

Al Mohler

Monday, November 03, 2008

Taylor Joyisms

It's that time again. Taylor Joy has been saying some hilarious things around our house. She pretty much makes me laugh every time she opens her mouth. The way she talks is about as funny as what she says. She has the cutest little raspy voice.

  • One day when we were sitting at the dinner table I asked Allen something using his name and Taylor said, "Daddy, you're Allen?" and we both kind of looked at each other and smirked. Allen replied with, "No, Taylor Joy. I'm Daddy." So then I asked Allen if he thought she knew my name. Without another word from us she said, "Mommy, you're KENDRA!" and just started cracking up!

  • She got a dress-up cheerleading outfit for her birthday and one day I was teaching her some cheers. The main one being, "Daddy Daddy he's our man, if he can't do it, nobody can!" Well, when she went to show Daddy our cheer it went something like this:

"Daddy Daddy he's our man, if he can't do it, EVERYBODY can!"

Way to make a Daddy feel special.

  • Her Nanny had given her some dollar bills for her Dora purse and wallet and one day she was in the backseat pulling them out of her purse. I asked her out of curiosity of what she would say, "Taylor, can mommy have your money?"
She said, "You can have my money, Mommy. You can have it when we get to the store."
I replied, "What do you want me to buy with your money?"

She said, " Hmmm...I wanna buy....(long pause)...MILK! I'll buy milk for yooooouuu, Mommy!" (very excitedly)
Such a sweetheart.

She's such a matter what I'm doing, she wants to help. Here are some examples:
  • "You need help with your coffee? Be weel cehful, Mommy!"
  • She saw me putting a new shirt on Beckett one day and she went to get scissors to cut the tag off.
  • She LOVES to help cook and will go get her stepstool so she can stand up there with me and help me cook.
  • She even asked me if I needed help going to the potty one day!

She is very appreciative (most of the time):

  • Aunt B came in town and took Taylor to Chic-Fil-A (Chickel-A) one day when Beckett was sick. On the way back she told B, "Thanks for taking me to Chickel-A. That was such a blessing to me, B. Thank you!"
  • I went to get some meat out the deep freeze the other day and as I walked in I heard, " Mommy, you got meat for us? Oh! That was nice!"

I felt like the Proverbs 31 woman rising to get the food and the kids calling her blessed. She brings such a big grin to my face.

  • A prayer that I enjoyed sounded like this: "Lord Jesus, help us not to fall down and give us band-aids and he's prayin' for us."

  • One day I put on a Baby Einstein for the kids to watch and headed to the kitchen to start dinner, thinking that I could get some time cooking without kids crawling up and down my legs and asking when it would be ready a million times. Wrong! Taylor Joy starts roaming around the house looking for me and within a matter of minutes of not finding me cries out saying, "My Mommy went to Sachse!" I immediately reassured her that I hadn't gone to Sachse, (my hometown) I was just in the kitchen.

  • We have been doing a children's catechism with Taylor and it starts off really simple asking questions like, "Who made you?", "Why did God make you?", etc. Well, one day we were going through her questions and got to the question, "How can you glorify God?" and Taylor answered, "when I jump up and then I fall down."

  • A couple of weeks ago I was in McAlister's ordering to-go and we were in the main area waiting on our food. Well Taylor Joy decides that is the time to start belting out the songs that we have taught her. More specifically that is the time to sing the line, "death is coming, Hell is moving" from the hymn "Brethren We Have Met to Worship over and over again." I laugh just thinking about it. Our little girl preaching repentance at McAlister's!

I hope you made it that far. She had some good ones this month and I guarantee you that's not even the half of it!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Reformation Day & Halloween Pics

Ever since Halloween (a whole day) I've been getting threats from my family to see pictures from Halloween. Family... (who will go unnamed)...the kids are in bed and I'm now able to upload pics. Be entertained. Laugh. Smile. Here below is your heart's desire:

Our family: The Reformation Fairy, The Pope, a maiden (NOT a Renaissance Barbie, which I was called), and Baby Spidey.

Luther (aka Jason) and the Pope

The Reformation Fairies

Sully and his mommy

Now onto Halloween pics:

Taylor Joy, Annie and PJ

Beckett and his G-pa

My sweet little Spidey

Superman Treston playing with our Fairy Princess
Pirates Nathaniel and great.

Wizard of Oz crew

Napolean and Deb (aka the Garratts)

I'm not writing much...I told Allen I would be done in 2 minutes. Enjoy! I may elaborate later.

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