Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

We love our college kids. 
We love the fact that they love to be with us as well.  
We love that they feel comfortable that they can bring anyone over that needs a home.
We also love celebrating every moment with them - birthdays especially!

We were so blessed to actually get to celebrate Ryan's birthday this year.

We love the idea that they think of our home as their home.

We love that they love our children and our children love them.

We just love these precious faces,

and the love they share with each other.

How can you NOT love this!

 Happy Birthday, Ryan!
Thanks for letting us be a part of it!

Homecoming 2012

I love homecoming for many reasons.  It means that basketball season is starting back up and it means that some of my former kids come back to see us.  I love that! Here are just a few shots of this year's homecoming . . . 

Nicole (the first college kid to call me Mom), me and Ashley (she knew better than to call me Mom)

These two have grown up right in front of my eyes!
 The proud moment of homecoming (yeah . . . right) is the fact that the baseball team dresses up in other attire and Carter, believing he is part of the baseball team, dresses up with them.  We are so proud . . .

Got to love flannel and jorts day!

Well . . . other than that one hiccup . . . it was a great homecoming day!

Run for MSYC

The kids have been wanting to run a 5K (don't ask why . . . I really don't know), so when the opportunity to run a 5K AND do it for MSYC came up they were ALL in!!!  The plan was for me to "run" it with them, but getting over strep nixed that idea real fast!!!  Needless to say, they were pumped and ready to go.  
LB and C with Madlyn, Max and MSYC counselors!!!

Carter, Madlyn, LB, Tucker and Evan
 The kids were ready to go . . . We really did not know what to expect from this race with it being their first, but they were ready . . . .

On Your Mark . . . 

Get Set . . . .


We were lucky to have some of our girls along the route to take pictures of the kids as they ran by.  Apparently, LB and Madlyn took it upon themselves to talk the ENTIRE route and run whenever they "felt" like it (or saw someone taking a picture of them!).

Carter, on the other hand, was a racing machine!  He took his job VERY seriously and actually loved doing it.

He pulled in 10th overall and second in his age group (14 and under).  He ran the 5K in just under 29 minutes.  Not too shabby for a beginner!

LB and Madlyn pulled in 38 and 39th right under 40 minutes, I think.  If there had a been a prize for most fun on the 5K - they would have won it!!!

 Afterwards, the Associates had a pancake breakfast and the winners got their awards.  Carter getting his medal for 2nd place in his age group.

Way to go, everyone, and way to raise money for MSYC!!!!

Book Review: A Perfect Word for Every Occasion

I usually don't like to review non-fiction books, but this one caught my eye.  Sometimes you want to be able to say the right thing for the right moment, but are at a loss for reason or another.  Bethany House sent me A Perfect Word for Every Occasion to read and I loved it.  The book was full of all the different scenarios you may encounter.  There are chapters for grieving, gratitude, sick and suffering, birthdays, weddings, encouragement and many more.  Each chapter is broken up into even more specific areas where you need the right word to help you find just the right word.  I love that the chapters were full of quotes, scriptures and sample writings for you to look at.  This is a wonderful tool for anyone who still writes letters and even emails.  It is a MUST have!

Book Review: To Love and Cherish

I just love a good book and when I find a good author - I read everything they have available!  Bethany House introduced me to Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller as a duo writing team and I have enjoyed everything they have written.  Bethany House sent me a book awhile back to read and review and again I really enjoyed it.

This time, they sent me To Love and Cherish, the second book in the series called Bridal Veil Island.  I adored the first book so much that I was ready to go to Bridal Veil (even though it is a fictional place), and could not wait to read the second one.  This one took me a little while to get into because the setting jumped around a bit.  Melinda is the main character of this book who works as a lady's maid for a prominent family in Cleveland.  They vacation on Bridal Veil where Melinda has met and fallen in love with Evan, a worker on the island.  Evan is not ready to promise Melinda anything until he is able to support a family like he should.  Melinda, about to give up, has to return early to Cleveland with her family.  Writing letters back and forth strengthen the relationship until a storm hits Bridal Veil and news is not good.  Melinda can't stand not knowing if Evan is alive or where they stand in their relationship.  She leaves her home and takes off with her brother, who is up to no good, to head back to the island.  
Once she returns to the island to find Evan is ok, but not ready for marriage, Melinda does not know what to do.  Work opens up as the island is ready for everyone to come back, as well as a visit from President McKinley.  Melinda and Evan find that it is hard to have any time together between others trying to come between them and their work.  However, when a plot to assassinate the president is revealed, they come to realize they can only count on each other if they want to save the president, themselves and the island.

Once I got into the book, it was great and a wonderful read for any relaxing weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Courage of Sarah Noble Book Club

LB's Book Club met recently to discuss the book The Courage of Sarah Noble.  This book is a true story of a young girl growing up in very young America.  She leaves her mother and siblings to go with her dad to their new land to help cook and care for him.  Once they are settled and ready for the rest of the family to join them, she stays with nearby Indians while she awaits her family's return.  We were going to celebrate with a picnic in the yard.  However, rain storms moved the party indoors.

My great grandmother's quilt graced the table
(with a clear shower curtain over it to protect it)

While we talked about the book and the courage Sarah had throughout everything, the girls made butter for the dinner.  We placed whipping cream (and a marble) in a mason jar for them to shake until the butter was made.

Our discussion was great this month.  We were able to talk about where Sarah got her courage (from her family and her God) and how that is the same places we are to get our courage.  The girls did a great job discussing how they can show and tap into the courage on a daily basis.

After our discussion, we enjoyed homemade bread and homemade butter, vegetables, fruit salad, simple sandwiches, cheese and crackers and hot apple cider.

We are so excited about our next book which will be Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as well as our next service project that goes along with the book.  We will be collecting items to send to St. Judes Children's Hospital for their gift room - a place where parents can go and shop for their children at no cost to them.  We look forward to spreading a little Christmas cheer!

Whitney's Senior Night

Damon and I missed Whitney's senior night at FHU's Josh Riley Soccer Complex, but Mom and Dad were great to take the kids (with posters in hand) to the game and even get a few pictures (thanks, Ms. Laurie as well)!  I can't believe Whitney is a senior and her time with us is almost gone.  We have been so blessed by all of our amazing college students! This one's for you, Whit!!!


Our seniors . . . 
Thanks for everything!

We love you, #4!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thursday Night Thanks to Pinterest

I enjoyed being able to do some crafty projects over Fall Break - not as many as I had hoped, but hey! I have not crafted in so long and I just missed being "crafty."  I made this banner for our mantle using the Billionaire and Mini Monsters cricut cartridges.  I thought it turned out pretty cute for my first banner.

Thursday night, some of my friends and I got together for a Pinterest Autumn party.  It was so much fun.  Everyone brought a food (recipe found from Pinterest, of course) and a pumpkin to decorate (idea found from Pinterest, of course).  We had a blast!

Deviled Egg Spiders
King Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders
Buffalo Chicken Soup, Pumpkin Humus and Smores Dip
Pinterest Party Menu
(The rest of the items)

We enjoyed a lovely meal with fabulous fellowship around gorgeous fall themed tables decorated by Kristen.

Then, we got busy.  It was so fun to see all the different ideas and supplies used to make the pumpkins.

A Child's Year cartridge inspired this pumpkin

Mod Podge and real leaves on a painted pumpkin

glitter and paint added to these pumpkins . . .
Chelsea was brave and made a Chevron pumpkin

Sasha's first work with vinyl
MY pumpkin!
I love that I did this on a fake pumpkin so I can bring it out every year!

I used the Storybook cartridge to create my pumpkin

Plans are under way for another night with food, friends and PINTEREST! 
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