Sunday, September 25, 2011

Roughing It

We took our first official family tent camping trip this weekend. We packed up our van (literally every inch of our van) and headed to the Hillsborough River State Park. We even brought Gordon with us! We had an absolute blast! The girls are not too keen on bugs or being dirty, but they did pretty well. It was so nice to have some family time away from the fast pace weeks we've been having. We were a little concerned about the weather forecast. It only rained once the whole weekend, and it was perfect timing. We got to take an afternoon rest with the sound of rain lulling us to sleep, plus as an added bonus we were able to test our tent for leaks. I'm happy to say it passed the leak test and we all stayed dry! :)

Here's a few of my favorite moments from the weekend:

Belle brought a board game for us to play so she and I took on Daddy and Rose.

Daddy and Rose making strategic moves.

Our dining room

Love my sweet Rose!

Daddy's fancy stove

Rose found a great way to kill the bugs- with a tent stake!

Belle kept telling us she wanted to "marsh" (roast) marshmallows until she tasted one,
 and then she decided she liked them better straight from the bag.

Silly Daddy liked his marshmallows well done.

I'm so thankful for weekends like this. I am feeling so blessed and rested :) I look forward to many more family camping adventures!


Sunday, September 11, 2011


My heart broke today as I thought of all the families that are grieving remembering the loved ones they lost because of that fateful day 10 years ago. I sat this morning at our local baseball stadium as our church had what we called "A Day to Remember". It was such a great time to pause our busy lives just to pay tribute to those who were killed that day and to those who continue to put their lives on the line daily to be sure that we as Americans are safe and can enjoy the freedom God has blessed us with. I sat and listened as the many speakers read lists of people who had been killed and as our praise and worship team sang songs of remembrance and praise. I couldn't stop the tears that streamed down my face. Then our pastor stood up and said something that really struck me. He said, "Today is a day for remembering, but also a day of celebrating." That might sound a little strange on a day like today, but Pastor Willy was so right and blessed me so much this morning because he reminded me of why I should celebrate. I celebrate because in a world full of tragedy there is a hope, and today we celebrated that hope. My hope was confirmed when at five years old I realized I was a sinner in need of a savior. I asked Jesus to take over my life and become my savior. My life has not been perfect since then, but I know no matter what happens to me that I have hope in Jesus and that's all I need!
Here's a couple of my favorite moments of the day:
My mom interpreting for the Deaf. She's one of my heroes.

This was a piece of the World Trade Center.
Now I have a question for you- where do you find your hope? I pray that it's in JESUS!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feeding my obsession

I've been dying to share my newest creations, but had to wait until today a) because I am a procrastinator and didn't have anything finished until late last night and b) because the baby gifts I made were for someone who follows my blog and would see her gifts before opening and that takes all the fun out of it! So...I am super excited to share some new BABY gifts I made. If you know me at all, you know I am obsessed with making baby gifts. I like to try new things each baby shower I attend. This time it was for JC's cousin. She's have a little princess in October, and the family got together today to help her celebrate. I had to run an errand the other night that just happened to take me to one of my most favorite stores: Joann Fabric. I just happened to walk past the nursery print fabrics, and I fell in love. There was not just one, not two, but THREE adorable fabrics sitting there on the shelf and conveniently they were all coordinating. Of course they begged me to take them home with me and make something adorable so how could I say no? Here's what I made:
I love personalized bags!

These little cuties came from one of the 3 fabrics I bought. I just hand stitched them to some white bibs.
They were super easy to make and turned out super cute! :) 

This is my first ever attempt at a taggie blanket. I think it turned out well. Especially considering I got it all cut out, pinned, pulled out my sewing machine to finish it, and discovered my sewing machine is in need of major service so I ended up hand sewing it together. I love how it turned out. I will definitely be making more of these.

I got a soft yellow flannel for the other side of the taggie blanket.

I like to be sure to remember the siblings at these parties too. :)
 We had a great time. The girls love being around their cousins! Here's what happens when you try to get 5 cousins to sit, be still and look in one direction:

I can't wait to meet Jessica's new little princess Liliana Claire. (I love that name!) I hope she enjoys her things as much as I enjoyed making them.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

Well, our nice relaxing summer speed has officially been kicked up a few notches. We are now in full swing fall mode. The girls and I have finally adjusted to our back to school routine, but today marked the beginning of a busy fall. The girls started back to dance today. They were both super excited about getting back to dancing. Now, today was just the start of the official classes. Dancing never actually ceases in our house. At least one of the girls is always spinning or showing off her new moves :) Of course I had to capture their superstar dance looks to share with you:

My sweet little tomboy actually asked to wear a skirt! I love that she looks so 80's :)

My little Diva! She's always ready to pose.
She does not go anywhere but school without her white "tapper shoes" as she calls them.

I did squeeze in a little crafting time last night after the girls went to bed. In between folding the baskets and baskets of laundry that just seem to grow out of my bedroom floor (does anyone else have this problem?!) I pulled out my ironing board and a sparkly applique I bought at Michael's a few months ago. I've been trying to jazz up my work wardrobe. (Remember I teach Pre-k so that means jeans and t-shirts) Here's a look at my newest Bobcat shirt: (Rose has already requested one in her size)

 This is only the beginning of our busy fall schedule, but I am excited to see the ways God is going to bless our little family. I may end up painting racing stripes on my minivan to keep up with everything, but I plan to enjoy every minute!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Family Fun

We had a great long weekend! We had one of those rare weekends where we got JC all to ourselves with no work! :) When we get a weekend like this we often try to get away so we headed to Orlando for the weekend. We spent a day a Sea World, played at the pool/ water park area at our hotel and shopped at one of JC's favorite spots: Bass Pro Shop. It was an awesome time, but pictures say it much better than words:

We always make sure to visit our dear friends the dolphins.
 I love watching the girls interact with them through the glass.

Our Sea World tradition: tattoos.
I told them these are the ONLY tattoos Mommy will ever approve of b/c they wash off in 3 to 5 days.

Rose loves the rides.

The girls are starting to get brave. I wish I could include sound with pictures b/c Belle "Woohoo'd" the whole ride :)

My little redneck girl...

... and her redneck sister!

This pretty much sums up the weekend. We were all exhausted! We planned ahead and made Monday our day of rest.

Loving my life and counting my blessings! Thank you, Lord, for weekends like these.