Monday, January 30, 2012

Late Muffin Monday

So sorry for the late posting. It's been one of those Mondays where you just can't seem to catch up. Here is Muffin, enjoying yet another snuggle time in bed.  That's pretty much the story of her life:  eat, sleep, snuggle, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, snuggle.  Snuggling isn't at the top of her priority list, I promise you.  But I require it as part of her staying in my house. *grin*

Here are two pictures from my past week - dinner with Aunt Donna and Ellie.  I love the picture above, where Donna is explaining something to Ellie, I can't remember what, and Ellie was listening so very intently, with her arm threaded through Aunt Donna's. It was precious! I love it. The two of them have such a cute relationship. :)

Here to the side you see Ellie coloring on her children's menu.  She's such a smart girl, spelling her name and writing letters - she's only three and seems so much more advanced than where we were as kids. So I think she's a genius!  And adorably cute.

Hope you all have a GREAT week! If you are in the Southeast, enjoy this great warmer weather! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Muffin Monday!

Happy Monday!  Muffin decided to help me make up the bed tonight...thankfully I got the sheets on before she took up residence. She flat out refused to move, so the lower corner has no blankets. Oh well, that's her side anyway!

Hope you have a great week...looking forward to no more home phone calls and normal amounts of mail! Florida, they are all yours! ;)

(I don't know why my pictures that I upload from my moblie blogger app come in looking like that. It's really annoying and I apologize for it!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Prayer Peeps.

I *heart* my Prayer Peeps! 

What are Prayer Peeps? When Katie first became preggers and we saw the miracle and concerns at the same time, I asked five special people to be prayer warriors for her, her family and this wonderful little baby-to-be.  Only five people who I knew would actively pray for her and believed in God's power.

Over the past three months, Katie has seen some bumps in the road.  Emergency Room visits, sickness, more sickness, dropping weight... holy cow we have been worried. And through every bit of it the Prayer Peeps have responded immediately to any "all-call" I've put out there. 

What a great blessing to have these people actively praying. They don't ask questions, they don't judge, they simply stop and pray and send words of support to Katie, via me. It's amazing to see their love. 

In the past week, she has seen a major turn around in her well-being.  The Sunday before I put out a desperate all-call and within a week, she had a 180 degree turn around. She's feeling good, gaining weight, looking good and getting excited about the upcoming baby-to-be!

Thanks to all who have prayed for Katie. She's very thankful, I'm very thankful and we know God is hearing your prayers!!! Thanks so much!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Muffin Monday guest: Chloe!

Just when you thought I wouldn't come through, I bring you a sweet adorable pic of my furry niece, Chloe. She rivals Muffin on size but lacks Muffin's rather acidic temperament... She's a sweet and cuddly kitten. :)

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breathe. And again.

Get your reminder here
Sometimes it's hard to remember to breathe. Yes, it should come naturally, but in the whirlwind of life, breathing doesn't always happen without a reminder (or so it seems).

It's been a bit like that in our family.  We've seen some bumpy roads this last few months. Nothing too tragic but enough to make you want a hug and a little time to sit down for a second and process.  I think that's what breathing is about - taking a moment to process.

I'm reminded of the Bible versus, "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10  Honestly, how can we give our attention to God, listen to Him or see Him, when we are running 90 miles a minute with no letting up?  Even in the midst of the storms, shouldn't we take a breathe and look to the Lord? This simple word, "Breathe," is so much harder than it seems!

I know this is a problem of mine. I feel like I must occupy every moment of my life, from first waiting up and checking text messages, Facebook and Twitter, until the time I go to bed with phone in hand, checking text messages, Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally I will take a moment to write in my Thankful journal (which I adore doing!) and other times I just crash with no distractions whatsoever. My body just can't take anymore and I sleep.

So, I think this is my word for this year. To stop and breathe, and talk to God. I had chosen positive, but for some reason I just wasn't fitting right. But Breathe feels good. It feels like I'm heading the in right direction. It fits just right. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Muffin Monday

What do we have here? One bad cat that knows she shouldn't be in my closet...I love how she won't look at me. It's like she thinks she's invisible, or hidden really well, even though she knows I'm taking pictures of her. Gotta love her confidence.

Hope you have a great week...finally getting life back on track after the holidays! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sock Hop Party Ideas

When my sister and I decided to decorate for my Mom's 60th birthday party, we really wanted to do the "Sock Hop" theme.  We were, however, flat broke and couldn't spend insane amounts of money on decorations. Therefore, a little creativity came into play. :)

After searching and Pinning my ideas and thoughts, I came up with centerpieces, a birthday sign and a focal point for very little money.  Work - yes. But I can handle work.

** NOTE ** please use these idea and abuse these idea! I'm loading them here for you to steal and improve and enjoy! This way YOU aren't starting from scratch like I did! :)

1)  The centerpieces.  I found this picture online of records stacked up with a dancing couple on top. Loved it!

Surely I can re-create this, right?  Indeed, I can. And I did. I used one real record, purchased at a thrift store, for each centerpiece. If I would have had more time, I'm sure I could have stacked.

But anyway, I covered the labels using circles that I cut out from blue poster board. I used superglue to attach the circles to the records.

I also used spray glue and gold glitter to jazz it up, but that was a mess, smelly and a pain. I don't recommend it.

The templates for the people are below. I used their people for a guideline and tweaked it into what I liked just a bit better. Each person took up one piece of paper.  Then I traced it onto a flat box top to use as a template, placing their hands close together, like they were holding hands.  My template piece combined the two people into one solid piece, joined at the hands.  When you print these out and cut them out, you will need to flip one over, so they are facing.  I could get three couples out of one piece of black poster board, thanks to the sticker that I couldn't remove on each piece (otherwise, I could have gotten four). GRRRrrr....

A little note about black poster board - when you cut it, depending on how you cut, there is a white outline on one side of the poster board. This didn't bother me, however, if you are a perfectionist, I'm giving you forewarning.

The long tabs are where you will bend the paper and glue it to the record. (This is where the glitter caused havoc, making my people not want to stick to the record.) I also used superglue for this. I spread their legs apart a ways to help steady them on the record.  I also tied a piece of pink ribbon around her ponytail for cuteness.  My picture is on this page... one that I didn't glitter. I do recommend waiting until you get to your location to do this, because it is very hard to travel with these.

Don't make fun of my shoes and say it looks like a drunken monkey did it. I couldn't see their feet on the example, so ... yeah. Just make yours look better, ok?

I also used this same template and a projector to make life-sized people.  Instead of carting the fridge box everywhere, I taped wrapping paper to the wall with the white side up and copied the people onto that as a template. The girl requires two strips of wrapping paper because of her skirt. Then we traced it onto the cardboard and used an exacto knife to cut. When it got dull, we used an old bread knife, which worked pretty good!  Instead of tabs on their feet, I just made them into a large rectangle at the very bottom, so I could glue/tape a box to the bottom for steadiness.  It worked great. We did have to put a brick in one box, but that was pretty much it. For the girl, just to make sure she was ok, I used a piece of cheap pipe from Lowe's and taped it up her back. This was cheaper than dowel rods.  I also bought some yard sticks for .69, but didn't end up using them. Of course, you need to spray paint your people.  I also used a scarf to tie around her ponytail. Here is the entire focal point section below.

The checkerboard backdrop was purchased at Party City, 40 feet for $20.  I didn't use all of it. (The green you see is a chalkboard - our event was held at an old school/now community center). The "records" were huge pieces of round cardboard that I got from work. But with some spray paint and labels from poster board added, they made a great decoration. Superglue didn't work well for paper-to-paper, so hot glue and spray glue was used. The Rock and Roll sign was part of a set of "Scene Setters" at Party City, which included a huge jukebox, 2 guitars (which I didn't use) and the Rock and Roll sign.  The jukebox is at the far side of the stage, but I didn't get a picture of it. Sorry!

For the Happy Birthday banner, I did buy a "make it yourself" type of banner at Party City, so I would have the vinyl background and sticker letters.  Then I used black poster board to make records and orange paper for the labels, so Mom's name would stand out.  So it wasn't quite as cool at my original idea (see below) but it was an acceptable substitute on short time.  Another thing that you want to finish assembling at your venue. 
The original idea...

My substitution

I found this great decoration idea somewhere that was a clock/record that had this "Rock Around the Clock" theme. I had to have it. But not at that price.  So, with another piece of round cardboard, I tried to be creative and do a shortcut. I glued a black plastic tablecloth to the circle.  Just don't do that. It's wrinkly and messy.  Spray paint instead. Oh well, live and learn.  However, I found these record plates at Party City on sale!!! Small ones and big ones, which was perfect! More blue poster board and some hot glue and we have our very own Rock Around the Clock theme!  Again - finish it at the venue. This was a very last minute thing, so make yours look better, ok?

Their clock

My clock

In honor of mom, we did a photo collage of pictures throughout the years.  Added a record from poster board from the top with the words, "Barbara's Greatest Hits" on the label.  This cardboard came to our office with posters inside, so it was a solid back and the two sides folded to meet in the front. Perfect - it would stand on its own. You can get these display boards at Wal-Mart, too.  I glued a themed tablecloth from Party City to the cardboard and made the border from black poster board.  We glued each photo to black or blue paper to make it stand out on the background. This is what people loved - photos of mom from baby to 60!  I'm so glad we did this.  Thankfully, I had already scanned in many of her baby pictures of 20's pictures for another project and could just print them at Walgreens for quick pick up. 

For the tables, the venue had white paper tablecloths and we just used cheap plastic ones for the dollar store, cut into diamond shapes, to add some color.  Add the centerpieces and you are good to go! We later added the smaller records (45's) to each side.  The kids loved them - they had never seen records!!

I really hope this helps someone have a great party - at least using this as a jumping off point.  We had a great time, add some oldies music on an ipod with some decent speakers and my Mom and her family danced half the night!!! It was great!

If you do use any of these ideas, or if you have some great ones of your own, PLEASE SHARE some pictures or just the ideas themselves!! I'd love to see in case I ever do this again! :) Thanks!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas and Birthday 2011

Because you wouldn't want to miss seeing my family's Christmas... worry no longer! I have you covered right here! :)  We had a very blessed Christmas, presents galore, but more importantly, very wonderful family-time. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, aunt and I for a breakfast feast.  Then, a good ol' present rippin' open time which included a paper fight (of course).

Mom and Linda with her Fur Real bear
Roger and Katie opening the pregnancy pillow maybe?

Angela and her annual ornament
Dad with his squirrel ornament... he loves squirrels... HAHAHA
Clay and his annual mouse ornament
Mom kissing Dad under the mistletoe candle, purely to gross AH out
AH and her Clemson Tervis cup
AH and Roger. ... she's wearing her tiger hat from Clay and Angela
The two hat people - AH and her Tiger and Dad and his Grinch!
OK, I could add mom's birthday here, but you'll probably never visit my blog again.  I'll add those at another time.  Included with those will be some templates and ideas for decorating your very own sock hop. I took ideas and created my own. :) 

OK, It's time for me to call it quits tonight. :) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Holidays in Full Color!

Finally!  Photos to enjoy of the holidays in my world.  Lovely people, lovely times!  Beginning with a visit from Ellie Bellie at my mom's house, a holiday tradition.  It's amazing to see how she has grown each year! 

Then to the annual holiday tradition with Donna - searching for tacky Christmas lights! We just happened to learn of a housing development in Rock Hill that totally gets the concept of decorating for Christmas - Stafford Park!  Join in the fun next year if you are anywhere near the area:  click here to learn more!

Slight sensory overload... but it was lots of fun. Some played music, some changed colors and all were very impressive.  So thankful we stumbled upon this - it was the best display in this area!

Next stop-Christmas Eve with my mom's family!  Literally a few days before Meghan had the newest addition to our family, Rylan! At this get together, we have a gift swap where you draw numbers and have no clue what you'll get... well, my brother put in a beautifully decorated box, which my aunt Ann promptly drew out of the pile of presents.  When she opened it up - It was the Pussy Cat Dolls Dancing Workout! HAHAHAHA! Too funny, but at the end she discovered it also included a $25 gift card. :) He always manages to cause some excitement. (One year it was a Playboy bunny lamp.)

Angela & Clay


Roger & Katie

Ann & Eddie

Wade & Meghan (and Rylan!)

Josh & Rebecca

Katie & Roger

Mom - and her present, the drill! HAHA
OK, I'm ending it for today. More photos later of Christmas morning. :)  Too much excitement and so I'm going to call it quits for the day.  Also, today is my mom's birthday! So we need to go home and CELEBRATE 60 years of the most awesome woman. :) Happy birthday, Mom!

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Muffin Monday of the New Year!

Happy 2012 from me and my sidekick, Muffin!  We rang in the new year sleeping soundly in bed. :)

Here we go, on another year of Muffin and friends adventures every Monday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello imaginary friends! I hope you blew a final kiss goodbye to 2011...and I hope instead of focusing on all the downs of 2011, you said thanks for all the blessings!

And I hope you embraced 2012 with wide open arms, ready for a new adventure!

Pictures coming soon of Christmas and my mom's 60th birthday party, so be forewarned! :)
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