Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

I took the lazy route and combined our family photo & Christmas letting into one. ;-) Best idea ever!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mulan Jr!

This fall we became theater parents for the first time.  ;-)  Nate auditioned with Center Grove Fine Arts Academy in August and was assigned a role in Mulan Jr. as a Son/Chinese Solder. It was a big commitment for him, and for us. Rehearsals were 2 days a week for 3 months.

 The cast was made up of wonderful kids and the directing team was incredible. I was amazed at the vision and execution they were able to have in a children's production.
One of the families posted their camcorder recording of the last performance of Mulan Jr on Vimeo. Click HERE to check it out.
 We were so blessed to be a part of this wonderful group. And were incredibly honored to have so many friends and family attend the show in support of Nate. Thanks to everyone who came!!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Paigey's Autumn Bridal Shower

As you might know, I like to get the most out of our projects. So, when it came to throwing a fall bridal shower for the lovely Paige, I knew I wanted to use the sunflower mason jar decorations again. They have been repurposed for multiple weddings, showers, parties, etc. We were able to combine our decorations with some from someone's fall wedding from last year and put together a pretty awesome shower. And of course Pinterest provided plenty of inspiration.

 The bride-to-be's mother shared a lovely devotional about marriage that brought both laughter and tears to the guests.
 One thing that we have gotten in the habit of doing is having a photobooth set up. Not necessarily the goofy kind (but we love those too). But it makes for a great way to capture the bride with each of her family or friend groups and always provides a lovely reminder of all the wonderful ladies that support and love her. I have known Paige since she was just a little girl. It has been a blessing to see her grow into a beautiful woman of God.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Waterman's Family Farm

If you didn't already know, my parents are a little bit carnie. When I was a teenager we started doing pony rides at company picnics and birthday parties, then we bought a couple of bounce houses, and it grew into something way bigger than we ever imagined. Eventually they sold off the pony part of the business to another homeschool family. Then the bulk of the inflatables they sold to a business owner from Chicago. Now in semi-retirement, my dad still has a few pieces of carnival equipment that he takes to festivals, including Waterman's Family Farm. We love to take the kids there in the fall and frankly, the best part is we get to do all my dad's stuff for free.  ;-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Big Boy Birthday!

Ten!  My firstborn son is ten years old! I can still hardly believe it!  As you know, turning ten is kind of a big deal. We offered Nate the choice of a party (like we usually do) OR a special outing for him and one friend to Kings Island. Having never been to an amusement park before, Nate hardly hesitated. Kings Island was the obvious choice!

We went on a Friday at the beginning of June (actually a month before Nate's birthday) to avoid the July heat and crowds. It was perfect. There were hardly any lines at all. I think the longest we waited for a ride was 15min!! Nate could hardly believe it when we told him that in the past when Daddy and I had been there we had waited in line for over an hour for rides!

Nate's friend Liam had never been to an amusement park before either so it was great for them to experience their first roller coaster rides together. Every ride the boys would hesitate, saying it was gonna be too big/scary/etc as we went through the line... and then they would ride and LOVE it!

What a wonderful day with a few of my favorite guys!! Happy birthday to my baby boy!!  ;-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Themed Baby Shower!

We had such a great time putting together a Children's Book Themed baby shower for my sister-in-law. Pinterest was such a help during the planning process!! I pinned tons of ideas on my Baby Shower board. But a few posts in particular played a big part in deciding what we did. ;-) 
This post inspired our invitations which were made using this free downloadable library card template.

And what is a party without awesome food? Taking notes from posts like this one, this one and this one, each item on our menu corresponded with a children's book.

 We printed cupcake toppers and mounted them on skewers and cardstock. These printables are similar to what we use.

 And of course... there were games. We loved the Baby Shower Price is Right!

The best part was having all of us all together and being able to bless the mom-to-be! Congrats to Jenny and Kyle!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

American Sniper DVD Giveaway

I think I was one of the last people to see this movie. I had mild interest in it at first but ended up seeing it on a date night with my husband. We were both blown away by Chris Kyle's story and Bradley Cooper's portrayal of him.

Word of warning, in case it isn't obvious, there are some graphic scenes of war and a lot of language. So, I wouldn't suggest watching this movie with children. But it could be a good conversation starter with teens.

I just have to call your attention to Warners’ pretty cool campaign to donate one dollar from each DVD sold to the Wounded Warriors Project. What a great way for them to give back to our wounded men and women.

I have the privilege of giving away a DVD/BlueRay Combo pack!  Check out the rafflecopter below to see all the ways you can enter to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the event that you don’t win the giveaway I’ve included an link here: where you can easily purchase the DVD or BluRay for yourself or a loved one.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Cinco De Minion Party!

This year we made the choice to combine Joe and Christine's birthdays into one party. They are 6weeks apart and I kind of go all out. So, that is a lot of planning for me to do in a short period of time. We decided to celebrate both kids on Christine's birthday which is May 5th - Cinco De Mayo. But an ordinary cinco de mayo theme wasn't enough, so we took a hint from Despicable Me 2 and we had a Cinco De Minion party!
 Because it was a combined party, our guest list was even longer than usual. So we asked my parents if we could have the shin-dig at their farm. Lots of space for the kids to roam around and plus they have some fun things for the kids to do including a "train" and bounce house. Another change we made this year was we made the party a pitch-in. So each family brought various Mexican dishes. Seriously, we ate GOOD! YUM!!

 We had a fabulous photobooth and got pictures of every family that attended the party. This is my crazy crew, including the two birthday kiddos!
 After dinner and games everyone gathered in the barn and we closed the doors... making it pretty dark, allowing us to project Despicable Me the movie on the wall and watch it like a cross between a movie theater and a drive-in movie.

I had been planning and gathering minion treats and such for quite some time. I kind of went a little minion crazy. This was the first party of ours that a few families had attended... they were really impressed. I am afraid that they will be sorely disappointed by the next party which is unlikely to be as extravagant! ;-)

  *writing this post reminded me of Arrested Development's Cinco De Cuatro... those who watched it will know what I am talking about.  ;-)