Nov 30, 2010

Sippy cup struggles and a giveaway

Recommending a product to you today...this could pertain to those of you who scramble around in the mornings attempting to find Sharpees and any kind of tape to label your child(s)' sippy cup... But the tape won't stick because there's condensation on the cup. And the marker won't write because it's from the bottom of the junk drawer, and markers from the bottom of the junk drawer are useless. This is something I super-loathe about getting ready for MAPS or church.

Until I was sent some AppliedLabels to review.
Here's some info on them:

"Our labels have twice the adhesive strength of most labels. It is so strong that it is classified as permanent. The labels can be removed but it takes deliberate action. That means your labels should stay put until you want them removed.

We use a proprietary print technology to produce durable, long-lasting labels that easily withstand harsh environments (such as your dishwasher). The image is permanently affixed onto the label, providing a durable, robust marking. This simply means that the ink won't wash off."

They are the stickiest stickers of all time. AppliedLabels has made it a little easier to give them a try by offering one of you a $25 gift card to be used in their online store.
Three chances to enter:

1) Leave a comment here
2) Follow me on GoogleFriends; leave a comment stating you've done this
3) Follow AppliedLabels via Twitter or Facebook; leave a comment stating you've done this

I'll close the giveaway by week's end. Winner chosen through random.org.

Nov 29, 2010

The tree is up!

Thankful for a beautiful Christmas tree hangin' out in the corner, brightening up the house though the weather is cold and overcast outside.
Was excited to incorporate some estate sale finds this year!

The wooden "Mindy" stocking was made in the 80s by my late paternal grandparents. My grandpa carpentered and my grandma painted. So it is very precious to me. The Seasons Greetings sign is from an estate sale. I have two and may list the other on Etsy.
The ornery Santa's also from an estate sale.
How's your decorating coming along? Hoping I can convince Shawn to string some lights outside.

But it's soooooo cold!

Nov 28, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

Though it didn't work out to host an Operation Christmas Child shoebox party with friends, Wilder and I had our own celebration for the overseas child who would be receiving the gift.

I did the dollar store shopping myself because I didn't want the struggle of telling Wilder, "no, you can't have that." When I got home we looked at all the items and I said, "this is for our friend in Africa," and, he understood (because I have mailed some items to our sponsored child before).

After cozying everything in the box, we held hands and prayed for the little boy who'd be on the receiving end.
Wilder is very good at sitting still and praying; it melts my heart.
And we had to get some photos to remember the first year of doing this. I think Wilder looks like a teenager (in the face) here. So grown up.
This was a really special project that glorified the Father and began the planting of a generous heart in my boy.
I am thankful for opportunities like this.

Next year, I plan to have a little money saved up so we can do at least two boxes. It was hard to pass up all the girl stuff!

Nov 26, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Treats

These cookies were on the Betty Crocker homepage last week and I was so excited to try them! What drew me to this recipe is that they are reminiscent of the puppy chow chex mix treat.

Typically I prefer to make cookies from scratch, but Betty Crocker's cookie mixes taste nearly so. And I had scoped out a peanut butter cookie recipe, baked them, but didn't care for their less peanut-buttery taste (I was going to use those cookies for the base for this recipe). So rather than hunting down another peanut butter cookie recipe, I figured the cookie mixes would work fine as the base for this treat. The chocolate coating is from scratch, afterall.

Warning: this is a messy project (dipping cookies into chocolate then powdered sugar), but so fun!
Baking is a mode of relaxation for me. What do you do to relax?

By the way, the server is for sale in my Etsy store.
Who knows, I may give you a deal on it if you really want it!

Nov 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our little pilgrim girl and curly-haired Native American boy.

Many blessings as you spend cherished time with family & friends!

Nov 24, 2010

I read this in Friendship for Grownups by Lisa Welchel (Blair from The Facts of Life!) and it resonates so deeply:

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the breath and life of my kids. Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, heart of my heart. Somehow, the more I love from a reservoir I never knew I had, the greater my capacity to hold even more...to hold ever closer. Each child is nuzzled up within my soul, and I will nestle in theirs as they cuddle my grandchildren. With them I pray severely, hurt profoundly, love sprawlingly, and exhale thanks with every waking breath. My days are filled pouring out my life for them.
Can you relate? She says it so perfectly. It's exactly how I feel. Exactly how I behave. There's a tinge of desperation in it all. This fierce drive to love, nurture, and protect. We spread our wings beyond the length and breadth of anything we've ever done before. It is the blessed sign of true calling. Things that once held so much significance fall by the wayside, for they might slow down the flight.
Whatever your calling, I pray you are blessed in it today. And even though this is a little cheesy, please remember there's a bigger picture to the mess of life.
And it's awesome.

Nov 23, 2010


In attempts to make room for our HUGE Christmas tree, we rearranged the living room. Well, it's the best arrangement we've had to date, and we're keeping it this way.
The pictures show some messes (rug rolled up against the wall, kids' stuff, kitchen set in hallway), but, you get the idear.
And here's Story's latest post-bath picture:
I love it. And her.

Nov 22, 2010

Gingerbread Village

The Assistance League of Wichita hosts a Gingerbread Village fundraiser each year.

Of course I wasn't privy to this awesome event until I became entrenched in the mommy community. My friend Nicole told us about it:
You pay a small fee to enter, and that includes a gingerbread house kit. It was a joint effort on my and Shawn's parts to get even two houses completed between holding Story and keeping Wilder out of the candy (at least a little).
Story played with her hands for awhile. Who knew they could be so fascinating?
Here's one of our houses, happily displayed on our mantle. Now I catch wafts of graham cracker in the living room:
We also gawked at the gingerbread houses that had been entered in the contest:
Wow, right?
Here's my favorite:
One of the houses was "green" and even had a recycling bin in the yard:
Here's TidBit, a screech owl. It was pretty cool to talk about the owls we read in books and say this was the same thing:
So grateful for family adventures. They should be more a priority. So often it's Daddy to one child and Mommy to the other.

Nov 19, 2010


...is definitely happening this weekend.

We've reason to celebrate in that Evie's chest has been closed and she's on the road to recovery! So we will eat chocolate for her. And keep praying for her (blood pressure normal, no swelling, body to receive the changes to her heart, oxygen levels, etc).
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Ephesians 3:20

Nov 18, 2010

Update on Evie

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
We appreciate the throngs of people praying for little Evie. Due to some complications during the surgery, her chest cavity remains open and they are running more tests. Pray specifically that oxygen and blood pressure levels stay normal and that her heart "receives" the swip-swapping of the arteries.
"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrews 4:16

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress." Isaiah 33:2

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined and to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3

Nov 17, 2010

Giblets and gizzards

Evie's surgery is today at noon. She will be in the operating room until 8:00pm. Please, please keep praying for Evie's heart and for her to pull through the surgery with no complications. She is all I think about.

I saw this cute project on Toddler Approved and thought to try it with Wilder.
I am out of primary colored construction paper so his turkey doesn't have as many feathers. So cute to trace hands and feet, though.
Wilder did well with this project; much simpler than a lot of our other ones. He likes gluing.
What fun Thanksgiving crafts are you doing? A cute Thanksgiving-themed book to read with your children is Off to Plymouth Rock by Dandi Dali Mackall. It's very rhymey.