Sunday, May 31, 2009

Feed Your Brain

This wonderful program starts tomorrow. The kids participated in this program from Half Price Books last year and it was such a blessing! We read to our kids (as per usual) and we got free books just for doing what we normally do!

Taylor Joy thought it was great fun to be able to pick out a new book every week and now Beckett will be able to as well.

I highly recommend doing this with your kids this summer.

You can download the reading chart from the website and print it off and then just bring it in weekly to redeem your $3 towards a book (MANY are $3 and under).

Have fun investing in your kids as you read together! It is such a privilege and honor to teach these children and finding great books is half the fun.

Fabric Bulletin Board

For awhile now I had been wanting to make one of these, but just couldn't justify spending $30 on a frame to put it in. And THEN, on one glorious day, I found this wooden frame (unpainted) at Hobby Lobby for $2 on clearance. I was ecstatic!

It makes a wonderful practical addition in our hallway and I just LOVE practical when it matches my decor.

Here are the steps if you want to craft one of these of your own:

1. Purchase a frame in the size that you want. Paint the frame if you'd like. You could make a mini bulletin board for your kids' rooms or for wherever really. It would be a cute gift too.

2. Purchase a plain corkboard (no frame) from Hobby Lobby and use your 40 % off coupons, ladies. Never forget about those. Mine ended up around $8.

3. Use one piece of beautiful fabric to cover the board or sew up a little patchwork piece like I did if you would like to incorporate more than one fabric. These were fabrics I had on hand.

4. Get a nice big brush and brush Modge Podge or some other kind of liquid glue onto the corkboard and slowly (as in small segments of a time) press the fabric to the corkboard and ensure that there are no wrinkles. You'll do this to make sure the fabric doesn't get bubbly and lays flat. If you fail to do this step your fabric may look a little sloppy if you don't staple it tight enough in the next step.

5. Have hubby staple gun the cork board with the fabric covering it taut to the frame all the way around.

All in all, mine cost around $10 total because I already had some materials on hand.

Voila! A beautiful, practical, cheap way to display artwork, pictures, chore charts, daily agenda or whatever your heart desires!

Friday, May 29, 2009

5 Incredible Years

5 years ago we were preparing for a wedding and a marriage and we had no idea what that would entail.

I can tell you right now it’s been more amazing, more joyous and more maturing than I could have ever imagined. I’m so thankful for every year with Allen…I’m so thankful for everyday with Allen.

I love you, baby!

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: 5 Incredible Years
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Guy's Guide to Marrying Well

Allen came across this wonderful resource yesterday and we read through it last night.


We were thrilled to see a resource like this that goes through so many of the struggles that guys have with friendship, courtship and dating that lead to marriage.

It's a series of articles about specific topics and is attributed to writers such as Al Mohler, Joshua Harris, and Gary Thomas, among others. It's around 50 pages but you can skim some articles and delve into others, it's such an easy read.

Some of my favorite articles were: Don't Stay Stuck in a Friendship, Don't Wait for a Burning Bush and Should You Settle? I think all of them are ever-so-helpful especially in our church culture where guys want specific instructions regarding how to pursue girls and quite honestly, need help because the biblical way of going about it is far different than the world's way.

I hope you find this resource as helpful as we did. We can't wait to pass it on to the single guys in our life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taylor Joy's 3rd Birthday Party

We had a great time at her pool party...what a sweet girl with such sweet friends.

Here are the pictures:

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Taylor Joy's Party
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Vacation/Anniversary Trip

These past 2 weeks have been ah-mazing.

We normally take a summer vacation in July and we won't be able to this year since baby #3 will be due that month, so we decided to take it this month in conjunction with our 5 year anniversary.

We stopped through Dallas so that we could drop the kids off with the grandparents (they switched off) and we headed straight for Charlotte, NC with our frequent flier miles. Woo hoo for those!

I haven't been away from both of my children ever and certainly not for a week, but it happened to be THE magical summer when I wasn't nursing a child so we took the grandparents up on their offer and headed out for some refreshment in the mountains.

Once we got to NC, our dear friends Will and Janette Bridenstine picked us up and we headed out on a road trip to the mountains in northern GA. I don't think we could go 12 months without seeing these precious people. We try to see them as often as we can but it is usually about once a year.

We arrived at our beautiful lodge and began the most relaxing, wonderful week I could have asked for.

We slept in. Yes, you read that right. Me and Allen. The two of us.


We didn't have to listen for cries.

We weren't in fear of little ones waking up.

We got up at our leisure. We read, we prayed, we sat on the patio and looked at the beautiful surroundings, we sipped coffee, we journalled (oh how I miss this lost art in my life!), we listened to and watched the hummingbirds, we spent sweet fellowship together and pretty much did whatever we wanted.

Now that's what I call a vacation.

No plans. No schedule. (can you believe it? If you know my husband, I know you are having a hard time)

The second day we went on a hike to Ravencraft waterfalls that was a 5 mile round trip. It was beautiful and well worth it, but perhaps not the greatest decision I have ever made at 7 months pregnant. My doctor would probably keel over if she knew I did that. I had sore ankles and calves the rest of the week. But, like I said, it was worth it. Such a beautiful hike.

The next day we went to a little German town by the name of Helen. It was a cute little area and we ate lunch by the river and had a great time with our eccentric waiter, Johnny C. It was providential in that Allen was able to share with him the Gospel and answer some questions he had about the Trinity. Praise the Lord for random opportunities that He has planned!

We also stopped in at Babyland Hospital which was the birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Now, I must stop and say, we knew it would be cheesy. We knew it would be hokey. I still wanted to go. I had a Cabbage Patch doll named Joyce growing up and I absolutely loved her! I wanted to get some for the kids, especially for when the new baby comes. I think they will love them.
But, back to the story...this place was a bit odd. Walking through the place was a little bit cute with all the dolls doing their cribs, at school, on the playground...but then there was the funny part.

A baby was going to be born while we were there! How exciting! We were to gather around the "Crystal Tree" to see it being born. Okay...out came a nurse and she checked the cabbage's leaves. Yep, dilated to 10 leaves. The baby was about to be born. And out came a healthy little cabbage patch boy FROM the cabbage leaves. A pale white baby boy I might add. So when she held up the boy and asked the diverse audience what the boy should be named, someone yelled out "CARLOS!" The nurse very calmly said, "Okay, Carlos. What will his middle name be?" After what seemed like minutes of silence a young boy yelled out, "DELEON!"

So this little white baby boy from the cabbage patch will be called Carlos Deleon. Will and Allen had to leave they were laughing so hard.

We headed over to the gift shop to purchase our babies and when we checked out the man was sure to let us know that in a hushed tone that we could go online and change the names of our babies, which were Dean and Maryam. Such a funny experience.

The next day we headed out on a canoeing trip down the river. At first I was a bit leery since my husband ran me right into the bank after we had been in the water for a whole 2 minutes and I was SURE that we were going to tip over before our trip ended. And it didn't help that the guide had mentioned that there were lots of snakes in the water. (shiver. gag.) It also didn't help that the other guide had asked me what trimester I was in and then when I told him 3rd, he said, "Great! You just made it!" Like, I had made the cut and 2nd trimester ladies weren't allowed to take this trip. I laughed because it was funny but then I pondered it in my heart. Hmmm...

Well, once I loosened up and let Allen take us through the tiny rapids instead of around them, I started to have fun. It was such a nice day and I felt like I was in that scene from the Notebook. It did rain a little on us, but not much. Just sprinkles. And I wasn't wearing a dress and pearls, so we were good. ;)

After that we headed out to the outlet malls for some shopping and the next few days were history. We went to a little church on Sunday, grilled out, enjoyed the nothingness that the day afforded and began to miss my little ones.

On Monday we went back to Charlotte and went to the Billy Graham museum because Allen had to get some history in there somewhere. It was really neat! Such a nice facility and they had transported the house that he grew up in to that property. It was really neat to see. Allen thoroughly enjoyed it.

We got back to Dallas late Tuesday night and went in and woke up Taylor Joy because we missed her so much. It was such a sweet reunion with that little girl and then with Beckett the next morning. Sometimes I feel like a better mom when I've been away from my kids for awhile. All I wanted to do was play with them, hug them, kiss them and tell them how much they meant to me. They had plenty of fun stories of their own. Staying with the grandparents was a far greater vacation than they could ever ask for! Thank you so much, Mom, Dad, B, Mima, Lizzie and Cathy for taking care of our precious ones. We love you so much!

If you made it this far, here is the slideshow! Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: A Duty Vacation
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthday Girl

Today is my darling Taylor Joy's 3rd birthday.

Have I mentioned lately how precious she is?

I mean, everyone who knows her already knows this, but for those of you who don't know her, she's adorable in every way.

The things that she says leave us in stitches of laughter.

The way that she says everything in that raspy voice is beyond cute.

The enthusiasm with which everything is said makes life so exciting...even the smallest tasks or toys are brought to life by her excitement.

That big smile and precious dimples light up the room wherever she goes.

That sweet red hair and blue eyes have people talking everywhere we go.

The way that she helps me around the house and with Beckett really blesses my socks off. I couldn't do it without her. Her spiritual gift is definitely to be a helper.

And for 3 short years this little blessing has been a part of our lives. I can barely remember life before her.

Here are some shots of the birthday girl (a post later to come on the actual birthday party!):

The day we brought Taylor Joy home from the hospital

1st Birthday

2nd Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday, Princess!
We love you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Little Phrase-Maker

Lately Beckett has surprised us by stringing words together. At my parent's house the phrases just started spewing out...

Until now, he's said few words in general, so to hear them strung together was just about the cutest thing ever.

Here are some examples:

Git da bah! (get the ball)
Git da phone! (get the phone)
Bounce da bah! (bounce the ball)
Want da bah, mama! (Want the ball, mama)
It's da bubba! (it's the bubbles)
I did it!

At 17 months (today actually, Happy 17 Months, Buddy!), he has no idea that he is about to be a big brother. He's completely oblivious and I am quite sure it's going to rock his world. He loves his mama but he and Sissy (Taylor Joy) have been playing together wonderfully and I am encouraged by that.

It's so funny that I have gotten all kinds of different stories...some women say the transition from 2 to 3 is the hardest and others say the transition from 1 to 2 was harder. Since the transition from 1 to 2 children took me about 8 months, I'm praying this will be a bit easier and quicker for me. Since Taylor Joy and Beckett can keep each other entertained, it may be a bit easier in that aspect, but I can see going ANYWHERE out of the house to be a complete campaign to get out the door. In that aspect, it MUST be harder.

We have 11 more weeks and I am looking forward to each and every one of them. I know first time moms think I'm crazy...I need all the time I can get to prep around this house, cook and freeze meals, spend lots of quality time with my kids and just be ready emotionally for another newborn.

Until then, if have any tips for this soon to be momma of three, pass them along my way!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We have been laughing with this video all week. Especially since we've been flying and been in airports for several days.

Snap it SHUT! That's my favorite part.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

HOPE group fun

Last week we did a Mission Night to help our dear Rivers and send her off to Africa with some fun stuff for the kids she will be ministering to.

We made t-shirts, painted crosses and crafted a few cards as well as buying supplies for her to take. We had so much fun. Who knew these people could get so crafty? Check out the pics!

The t-shirt crew...

The baby-holding crew...

The painting crew...

What an attractive hope group we have! We'll miss ya'll this summer! Love you!

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