Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hey Batter, Hey Batter Swing!

As promised I would like to show you the Baseball Shower that Lauren and I planned. We were back together...like Batman and Robin, Snoopy and Charlie, or Laurel and Hardy...you know what I mean...Tab and Lauren. Partners in crime and boy did everything come out amazing. I hope that you enjoy the pics!

The shower was for my good friend Heather (Lauren's sister). Her baby's name is Keegan. Don't you just love that name? Lauren made this adorable banner. It came out perfect.

This was the main table. Let me highlight a few things:
1. I bought these red baskets to use as plates at the webstaurant store. I love them!
2. Lauren made this adorable table runner. It is so versatile. She used it at a party the week before!
3. Lauren's friend let us borrow these jar glasses. The best thing is...they are just frappuccino glasses from Kroger with the label taken off!
And Lauren ordered the striped paper straws off of Amazon.
4. We used the green outdoor carpet as the placemats. (They have been cut and hot glued to prevent fraying.)
5. The centerpieces came from Michaels. They are simply shadow box frames that I painted white and turned over upside down. I just stuck the green outdoor carpet on the top. The best part...I can use this over and over for other centerpieces!

This is just a close up shot!

I found these baseball gel window clings at Michael's in the dollar bin. We put them on the vases. It turned out really cute! Tip: Sometimes, you just have to buy things even if you don't know where you will use it. I love how things come together when you are flexible!

Is this not the cutest 3-D picture! Ugh! I could just squeeze him. I found this picture frame at the dollar spot at Target. Do you notice the baseball glove and ball in the background? Thankfully, I have a son that loves baseball and I had plenty of authentic baseball gear at my fingertips!

To go all out with the theme, we served hamburgers, hotdogs and french fries. However, we also served cotton candy, cracker jacks, fresh popcorn from my popcorn machine and peanuts.

Of course I couldn't throw a party without some cakeballs. So, I made baseball cakeballs. My mom made a beautiful cake with Keegan's name on it.

The beautiful mother to be and the amazing baseball cake that my mom made.

My favorite three girls in the whole wide world! Aren't they fabulous? I made baseball hats with the letter "B" on the top. It stood for Team Blake! But it could be baby or boy, too!

These ladies are like family to me. The mother to be is in the middle (Heather), her sister (Lauren) and her mom (Michele). I love these three so much! Three of the most kind, giving, and loving women I know. I am so blessed to have them in my life!

I hope that you enjoyed our baseball shower. We had a blast!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peep Show!

Are you ready for a peep show? Well, my mom made these for Emma's birthday party a couple of weeks ago and they have become quite the hit! So, I thought that I would ask her to demonstrate how to make these adorable Flower Peep Cupcakes. Please note, these are not difficult. Anyone can make them, I promise! So here goes:

***What you will need:

-a couple of Peeps (any color)

-a cupcake

-a knife

-clean scissors

-sprinkles for the center

Start by smoothing out your icing. Make sure to get it all around the edges.

Pick up a peep. Cut the Peep's ear in half. This will help you determine the size of the petal but, you CAN use chicks and other shapes as well.

Cut the two sections of the first ear.

Hold these two pieces by the sugar side. Otherwise, your fingers will get very sticky! I know this from experience! The marshmallow will curl up a little bit on the sides. You have made your first petal.

Cut the rest of your Peep in wedges that are about the same size as the ear cuts.

There is a natural curl that appears from making the cut with scissors.

Only cut a few petals at a time. Otherwise, it will get very messy!

Begin placing petals around the outside edge. Place the "fatter" edge on the cupcake, leaving the more pointed side to the outside.

Begin a second row. The petals are placed inbetween the petals of the first row.
They sit up a bit.

Continue with a third row. These petals almost stand up straight.

Finish by putting sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. in the center.


Emma doesn't care for cake. I put a crumbled cookie in the bottom of a cup and filled the rest with ice cream. I used fluffy icing on top and made sure it was all VERY frozen before I began to do the flower. Then, we left them in the freezer until time to serve. They were yummy and for kids that didn't like marshmallows, we just scraped off the flower before eating.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patty's Day

I know, I know, it is over. But, I wanted to show you some of the things that I did on Saturday to help make the day special. Am I super big on celebrating St. Patty's Day? Not really, but I am super big on making memories with my kids!

We started out by creating our centerpiece the day before. I bought some white carnations at Kroger for $4.00. I had the girls add green food coloring to the water in my flower vase. I cut the stems at an angle so that the flowers would want to drink up the water. Over time, as the flowers drink the green colored water, the flowers turn green! So beautiful!

Here is the table. I inherited the hat from the preschool that I work at. I found the cups at the Dollar Tree and the napkins were left over from the year before. Sweet! A cheap table setting!

We had a green breakfast, too! Green eggs (Stuart had to close his eyes while he ate these!), green pancakes, grapes, green apples, and kiwi. The kiddos loved this festive breakfast.

I found this really cool website that had all of these free printables. I decided to use the mustache printable for some really cute pictures. How cute are these little Leprechauns?

Lastly, we had the best treasure hunt!

First, I bought some chocolate golden coins. I wrote on each of them an amount...$1, $0.25, $0.10, $0.05, $0.01. I pulled actual money that matched these amounts. Then I hid each of these coins around the house.

Secondly, I used the free printables from this website. I printed and cut out 2 copies of the party circles. On the back of each of them I wrote a number and a phrase like "pick 2 or pick 3" depending on the item in the bag. Those numbers coordinated with numbers on white lunch bags. Inside of each bag I had different items:
#1 had green gum
#2 had green certs
#3 had green pencils
#4 had scratchers
#5 had green andes mints
#6 had small reese peanut butter cups (gold to represent gold)

I hid all of the circles around the house as well.

The only rules that we had were:
1. When you find either a gold coin or a shamrock party circle, you must come claim your prize. You can only find one item at a time.
2. Each child could only collect a certain number of coins and party circles.
3. No complaining about the prize that you got! Ha. That rule actually worked!

I know that this is kind of a weird picture, but Emma painted my toenails for the special occasion! She decided that she wanted to paint a pot of gold (my big toe) and a rainbow (my other toes). I think that she did a fabulous job and super creative!

Isn't it fun making memories!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Make Memories and Mark a Moment

My mom is guest posting today. I hope that you will read this! It has me super inspired!

Tabitha was telling me last Friday that she was at the store buying some gum and other things for a leprechaun hunt to celebrate St. Patty’s Day as a family. Toni tells me in church on Sunday evening that Reed had to go and get Anna’s offering for our new building because she was so excited about giving to our new WEC location. And it occurred to me that this post should be about the benefits of making memories with your children.

Good memories are important to me. They represent fun times. We always went to Lake Gaston in the summer. We always welcomed loads and loads of kids in our home. We had traditions like Christmas Eve parties with family and friends. Ray’s mom read to them every day. I played with them in the floor. We laughed a lot. Ray took them anywhere and everywhere. My memories are the special times we had together as a family.

Memories are powerful for marking a moment. Who gave you your first kiss? Where were you during 9/11? What exactly was that feeling that God gave you the moment after you gave birth? For the brain, it’s called encoding….It’s the stuff that stays in the brain without practice, association, mnemonics, and all the other things that help us remember. Adding to a child’s autobiographical story (with great memories) helps them to understand their world and make connections to new learning. It, simply stated, increases comprehension because it adds to their “data bank” of information in a quick and easy way. The best teachers that I’ve met are committed to “hands-on” learning, giving children opportunities to experience an idea….make a memory….mark a moment.

But, that’s not all. There is research that supports the concept that (Memory Lane and Morality: How Childhood Memories Promote Prosocial Behavior by Gino & Desai, 2011) adult behavior is actually strongly influenced by nostalgic memories. This research indicated that adults were more helpful and more giving to others. Who wouldn’t want that for their child?

Toni and Tabitha do not always remember the small details. It’s just like thinking back to 9/11 and realizing that even though we will never forget the event, some of the details are not encoded in our memory. Sometimes they remember details that I’ve forgotten but, in the end the, results are the same. They are selfless adults and I’m proud of how they “turned out.” I’m going to bet their childhood memories had something to do with that.

So, your challenge is to mark your calendar with at least one “purposeful” memory each month. Share what you are doing and anticipate great things as a result.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday Recap

Oh man! I can hardly stand it. Yesterday was so fabulous. We had a great day of giving at Waters Edge Church to fund our 3rd campus in Newport News! We concluded our series UNSTOPPABLE with our 9th Birthday. Happy Birthday Waters Edge! I was just thinking this week that Waters Edge is very different than what it was 9 years ago and yet very much the same. I can remember sitting down having lunch with a family that wanted to help us start Waters Edge and they asked this question, "what do you want to look like 5-10 years down the road." Stuart very definitively responded, "I want to look like we do now." And, for the most part we do. Our buildings may be different and the number of people may be different. However, still today EVERYTHING that we do, we do so that people that are far from God will come to know Him. Momentous days like today remind me of just how proud I am of my husband for being so laser focused with the vision that God has given him. He is by far the best leader that I know. He carries a spiritual weight of Waters Edge that is indescribable. When I look at how God continues to use him,UNSTOPPABLE certainly comes to mind!
So, I know that you are all waiting on pins and needles to find out just how much money we raised. I sort of have the inside scoop. And the total is...................................................................................................
Just kidding! I really have no clue! But, I am anxiously awaiting to see the fruit of what God has done in the hearts of His people too!

God has built greatness into you so that He might use you to build something great!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How To-Balloon banner

I promised that I would do a tutorial on how to complete a balloon banner. Well here goes! Here are the balloon banners that I made. This adds punch to any party at a really small price! You can do any colors! It just takes a little time and hot air! ha!

I was inspired to make a balloon arch from this website. I think that she did a fabulous job! So, I have included both the link and I have also included her instructions on my website. Again, these are not my instructions...but I did follow them to get my balloon banners. So, they are tried and true! Why mess with perfection, right?

1) Start by grouping balloons in to groups of 4. We used rainbow colors, but using all the same color, or lots of different shades of blue would be neat too.

balloon banner DIY

2) Blow up each set of 4 balloons and tie the ends. No need for helium, your own lungs should do the trick. Do your best to get the balloons fairly equal in size.

3) Thread some good twine (I used a waxed kitchen twine) on a big needle — upholstery size is perfect. Technically, a small needle would work too, you just need the eye to be big enough to pass the twine through. (From TAB-I used a doll needle in the sewing section and this made it really easy. I also just used embroidery thread because it is all that I had.)

balloon banner DIYballoon banner DIY

4) Pass the needle through the tail of all 4 balloons in your set. Be careful — needles are known for popping balloons. : )

balloon banner DIY

5) Slide the balloons to the end of the string and trim off threaded needle and remaining length (you’ll use them to thread the next set of balloons). Leave a 2 or 3 inch tail on either side of the 4 threaded balloons.

balloon banner DIY

6) Cinch the four balloons together and use a square knot (right over left, left over right) to keep them nice and tight.

balloon banner DIY

7) Do the same thing for all your sets of 4. For our banner, we made 18 sets of 4. Three sets of 6 colors.

balloon banner DIY

8) When you have all your sets made, thread the needle again, but don’t trim the thread from the spool.

balloon banner DIY

9) Pass the needle through the center of a balloon set. Use the point to go through at least of couple of the balloon ends so that the set is secure on the twine.

balloon banner DIY

10) Use the needle to add another balloon set, push each set along the twine at intervals of 5 or 6 inches. If you’re going for the same rainbow look we used, you’ll thread all the red sets first, then all the orange sets, then all the yellow sets, etc.

balloon banner DIY

11) Keep adding sets with the needle and sliding them along the twine till you’ve completed your banner. Leave a long tail of twine on either side of the balloons so that you can tie the banner to a wall or arch or window. Then cut the twine from the spool.

The banner is so light that it’s easy to hang. We used push pins in the wall and then wrapped the twine around the push pins.

balloon banner DIY

If you give it a try, please send pics! I would love to see!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Arty Party

Emma had a slumber party with her friends from school. Wow! Nine year old girls are loud! We decided to do an art party. It was supposed to be pretty simple, but I had to add alittle extra spice. With the help of the lovely world wide web the problem these days isn't trying to come up with ideas for a party but rather it is having too many options. I tried to narrow them down to a few key special things. I will take some time in future blogs to show you how I did some of these things. Take a look:

To go with the theme, we crafted our own cakes. We made cakes in a jar. They actually turned out quite beautiful. The girls loved it and I think that because they made it, they enjoyed it even more!
I asked a friend in my Community Group to help with the party as well. Her name is Holly Conjolly--not really, but that is what my kids call her. Her name is Holly Conradi and she did an amazing job. I told her she should go into business! The kids each had a canvas and she taught them to paint a Monet-ish type painting. They all turned out so beautiful in their own way!
This is Holly with her teacher voice on!

This was Taylor hanging with the big girls(these are fake glasses by the way)!

How gorgeous are these! They are absolutely amazing. I love, love, love the color!

Here is the first of two balloon arches that I made.

Here are the paint palette placemats (say that 3 times fast!). They turned out really cute and they made a great impact on the white tablecloth. This one is alittle jagged because Taylor helped me cut them out when she was home "sick" (yeah right), but I think she did a fabulous job!

Here is the table all together. I just have random yards of colored fabric in my garage. They can be used for so many things! Here, I stuffed the fabric in a vase and spread out the fabric. It turned out really cute...and cheap!
I bought this clear palette as part of the centerpiece for this table at AC Moore for $5. The next morning, I had Emma's friends sign the palette as a memory.

Here is the other balloon arch that I made. I hung the streamers behind them and they turned out great. I really wanted to try a different look that I found online, but I just couldn't put it together in time.

One of my last minute finds were these oversized crayon banks at the Dollar Tree. They added such a statement to this food table. I wish I would have seen these earlier because I would have been much more strategic in their placement. I also now have 2 picture frames to use as decoration at any party and they always make for great pictures when people pose with them.

These super sweet girls woke up at 5:00 in the morning! So, we practically had another party when they woke up. We did a marble craft and a bubble craft. I was so excited when I found these crafts online and I just had to try them. I will definitely show you how to make these soon! Then the girls did a scavenger hunt and soon after they all went home. Whew. I need a nap just retelling this party!