Thursday, October 31, 2013


This afternoon I was pretty sure that I suck at Halloween. I'd waited until the very last minute to sew the sleeve that ripped on Paisley's princess dress, our costumes didn't match, heck, I hadn't even tried Eliza's on her. Judah wanted to dye his hair black to be the "real" Superman and I'd forgotten to by hair dye. He'd been talking about this for at least a month, how could I have forgotten? I did however remember to buy potential trick or treaters candy, but I wasn't sure if I'd bought too much or maybe not enough. I was pretty sure that when it comes to doing Halloween, I just don't do it well, I should actually probably just skip it and move on into November. I can do November. Even the spider cookies that I made for preschool didn't turn out quite right, but you know what? The kids didn't care! Judah said they loved them!

When Daddy came home from work, he saved Superman's day with a can of black hairspray. The sleeve was sewn back on the princess dress while the kids ate their dinner and I gently stuffed Eliza into her costume that barely fit, by the way. We ended up staying out almost all evening so, we didn't have any trick or treaters and now unfortunately I'm eating that candy that wasn't supposed to be mine.

We ended up heading out to my husband's Grandma's for a short visit and then we went to the nursing home. I love trick or treating there. I feel like it's such an easy way to make those sweet residents day, plus it's so good for the kids to be around those elderly folks. We make them smile and just being in their presence is a blessing to us. When you're around them, you just can't help but smile.

When we got home, we visited with our neighbors for a bit and then headed inside to let the kids have a little candy and then wind down for bed. At the end of the night, Judah told me that it was one of his best days ever. So, I guess I don't suck at Halloween after all. And about those matching costumes? I'll save that for next year. Just wait, it's coming. Next year, I'll have it together.

So thankful that preschoolers don't judge my spider cookies.
All ready for his costume day at preschool.

About to head out for Grandma's!
The people at the nursing home were so sweet. I wish we could have stayed and visited with them longer. This tradition is definitely a keeper!

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween. Tomorrow is the first day of November and I'm excited! I've been working on our Thankful Banner and I'll be sharing about that tomorrow. I love that we're coming into a month where we can intentionally focus on gratitude.

Be a blessing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mission Fields and Weekend Scenes

We had a really interesting speaker from Converge International share with us at church today. Mostly he focused on long term missions and what he shared was really fascinating and encouraging. All over the world, in many previously un-reached areas, God is fervently working. Lives are being changed and hearts are being filled with hope even in the darkest areas!

As I sat there listening to him, I felt stirred up inside, that I'd like to make a change also. How exciting it'd be to reach people and see God at work, transforming lives. But I'm a Mom of 3 young kids, I can't go fly off to some foreign country at this very moment so, where do I start?

I'm reminded of one time when I was laying back in a dental chair. As my dentist, a beautiful Mother of 4 children was working away on my teeth, she was sharing with her assistant that right now her mission field is in her home, with her kids. She didn't know I was listening, but those words have stuck with me for years.

Why is it that sometimes, this doesn't feel like it's enough? At first glance, it doesn't seem very exciting, adventurous or maybe not very important, but isn't it a perfect place to start and so very important?

As I head into this new week, I'm thankful for fresh days, for endless opportunities and for a mission field of my very own, right here in my home. I may not know all the answers and most days I feel totally inadequate, but He didn't call us to be perfect, He called us to just show up and ask for His help. So, let's show up tomorrow and make it a great week!

 A few scenes from the weekend.

//Pumpkin Pie making. Our first time making one from a "real" pumpkin, sans canned pumpkin. Oh my, totally yum and so worth the extra work.

//Saturday morning walk. We were out there before 8:45 and back by 10am. This was the perfect way to start the day!

 //I don't know about you, but I am SO NOT over fall. The weather here has been out of control gorgeous and I just can't get enough of it. Look at those leaves, this isn't an optical illusion you guys. They really are way larger than his head. 


If you haven't entered the giveaway for the VTech Switch & Go Dino, go enter now! The giveaway ends tomorrow night and this toy is so much fun.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

She Turned Three

Something happens to me the night before one of my babies has a Birthday. I sit there, after all tiny toes are tucked in, heads are kissed and songs are sung and as I wrap the last presents and hang the last balloons, I get all messed up. I fight the tears, but they still fall. I'm that Mom, the Mom who just wants time to slow down. I want to bottle all of the sweet times and just sit there and soak in them. These days with my 3 little ones are such crazy busy days and sometimes they are so hard, but secretly I love this. I love having a baby and a little girl and a proud preschooler. I never wish for this season to be over. I might wish for my house to stay clean for just a moment or no more tantrums, but I never wish for these kids to grow up.  Never. 

So, Paisley turned 3 and we had a great day celebrating what a sweet blessing she is to us. For her party, I went the easy route this year. It just felt right to keep things easy and to still try and make her day extra special. 

I feel like there just isn't a "right" way to throw a Birthday party. Some years we do a big shebang and other years, we keep it special and simple. This was one of those special and simple years. It just felt right.
A few days before her Birthday, I decided to print off a few pictures of her first 3 years. Woah....I take way too many photos! We're talking thousands you guys. So yes, it took me awhile to narrow it down to these few. It was fun to look back and revisit many of the special moments that we've experienced with her.
Suddenly she is so big and she loves being a princess. Before I went to bed, I laid out her princess dress with a crown, wand and wings for her on the table. When she woke up, I wanted her to feel like she could immediately step into her special day. Come sweet girl, put your crown on and grab your we're celebrating you.
Balloons were hung across her doorway while she was sleeping. This was a fun surprise for her to wake up to in the morning.
As soon as she awoke, she wanted to color a picture for herself for her Birthday and so, she did. When you're 3, coloring yourself a Birthday picture is a great thing to do, right?
Later in the morning we painted nails with Auntie and drank hot chocolate.
And then, while the kids napped, I decorated her cake.

It's all about purple, pink and sparkles right now.
How is she this big?
When Daddy came home, he brought her flowers and a balloon.
In the evening, we had the Grandparents, my sister, her husband and their boys over. It was a really nice time with them and Paisley loved every moment of her party.

She is pure love, energy, excitement and emotion. She is smart, funny, great friends with her brother and so loving with her little sister. It amazes me that God hand picked her for our family and I'm so thankful.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Switch & Go Dino SkySlicer the Allosaurus Giveaway!

Hi Friends! How's your week going so far? I'm up to my waist in last minute party preparations for Paisley's 3rd Birthday, but I thought I'd take a break from the purple and pink princess craziness for a few minutes, and post this fun giveaway for you all. 

This Switch & Go Dino SkySlicer the Allosaurus is a toy that Judah, our 4 year old son has been loving lately. I love it too, because it's one piece (as in, we don't have lots of little pieces floating around the house), the volume has isn't too loud, and I really see his imagination go wild when he's playing with it. 

When he had Show 'N Tell at preschool for the letter D, he took his SkySlicer with him. Apparently all the boys in his class loved it. Now you can win one of your very own! Hey, it's never to early to start stashing away Christmas presents, right? 

The ultimate kid’s toy, Switch & Go Dinos® easily transform between a dinosaur and a vehicle in a few simple steps.
  • Each of the collectible Switch & Go Dinos® features high-quality electronics and a unique transformation feature to provide a 2-in-1 imaginative play experience.
  • In dinosaur mode, sound effect buttons emit realistic dinosaur sounds and phrases that teach facts about each dino, providing kids with fun and enriching playtime.
  • Additional Dinos in the Switch & Go line include Jagger the T-Rex™, Blister the Velociraptor™, MC Roar the Giganotosaurus™, Stompsalot the Amargasaurus™, Quiver the Stygimoloch™, Torr the Therizinosaurus™ and Akuna the Velociraptor™ - collect them all!
  • SkySlicer the Allosaurus transforms from a jet plane into a fierce Allosaurus!
  • Play in jet plane mode and choose your pilot on the 1.5" LCD screen and have fun with the high-flying wings and realistic jet plane sound effects.
  • Switch to dinosaur mode to see SkySlicer‘s animated dinosaur eyes, his powerful arms and big, strong tail.
  • Sound effect buttons play realistic dinosaur sounds and phrases that teach pre-historically awesome dinosaur facts!
  • Join SkySlicer on his favorite adventure…this guy loves to hunt!
To learn more, please visit the VTech website, find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

For this giveaway and review, I was provided with a sample by VTech. As always, these opinions are mine.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekend Adventures//Apple Picking

Today was one of those perfect Sundays, where it felt like the day was nice and long---in such a good way. It was one of those days where we were able to pack lots of fun things into one day, without feeling rushed. First we went to church. Our church has two services and we've been trying to make the early one. It's early, but it's the perfect way to start the day and we're always so glad to be there. I know I've said it before, but our church is years of answered prayers for us. We are so incredibly blessed to be part of that great group of people. There isn't a Sunday that we don't leave feeling thankful!

After church, The Husband, and our two big kids worked outside, while Eliza napped and I got some Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa into the crock pot. This soup was amazing and the perfect thing to come home to after apple picking. If you're looking for a new (healthy!) recipe, I highly recommend this soup.

Later in the afternoon, we all headed out to go apple picking. This is something that my Mom did with my sister and I when we were younger and it's something that I've been looking forward to doing with our kids. Apple picking with them today was everything I'd anticipated it to be, and more. At 4 and 2 (almost 3!), they were so into it. I didn't realize that apples around here could be so tasty. On our way home, we each ate an apple in the car and we have about 15 pounds of apples left, to bake with or just eat. They are so good! After we eat them all, we might have to go back for more.

Here's a little look into our apple picking adventure.....

 The apple orchard also had a corn maze so, after we payed for our apples and loaded them up, we headed into the maze. The kids ran ahead as far as we would let them and then after we were deep into the maze, we told Judah that he could try to lead us out. He totally got a kick out of being the leader and did a really great job, only making one wrong turn.

 I saw this sign when we were leaving and I thought it was cute, plus the recipe looks good. I hate to admit this, but I've never made a pumpkin pie from a "real" pumpkin. I've always used the canned pumpkin. Tell me, does it make a difference? Canned or fresh, which one do you prefer?
I hope your weekend was perfect.


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