Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coffee Themed Birthday Party

My sweet Bethany turned fourteen today and her request was a coffee themed party followed by a trip to Starbucks.  Here are a few pictures of her special day!

Here are the party invitations we made out of scrapbooking paper.

Coffee cup cake.  Four - 8" round cakes stacked on top of each other.  The handle was made out of styrofoam.  Chocolate syrup drizzled on top!

Coffee filter flower signs!
Coffee lights!  Coffee beans in a jar and a small tea light.  As it warms it gives off a delicious coffee smell!
I served the punch in some old Starbucks jars that I saved.

Coffee Filter Poofs for decorations.

Maybe just a little sip!

Short-Straw Bride - A Book Review

If I can't sleep at night because I can't wait to find out the next twist or turn in a book I'm reading then I know I've found a good book.  That is exactly what happened when I was reading Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer.

When Meredith Hays is a young girl she crosses onto Archer land.  The land that no one steps onto, at least not if they value their life.  She gets hurt by a trap and Travis Archer helps her out and sees her safely home.  Years go by, and even though she has not seen Travis since that day long ago, he has remained in her thoughts and dreams.  When she overhears a plot to burn the Archer brother's off their land she decides she must warn them.  While she is there she is injured, but even worse is the damage done to her reputation.  The only answer is marriage.  The brother's draw straws.  Will love ever be hers or will she forever be a short straw bride?

Travis Archer makes a promise to his father when he is on his death bed.   A promise that he has no intention of ever breaking.  As the oldest of 4 boys, Travis shoulders the responsibility of keeping them and their land safe.  They shut themselves off from the world and live a very reclusive life.  When Meredith comes to warn them of impending danger their lives are forever changed.  Will Travis allow anyone into his heart and onto his land or will he continue to live a life sheltered from all outside contact?

I love the character of Meredith.  She is so full of spunk and fire.  I loved reading of her antics and found her to be so entertaining.  This story has so many encouraging messages in it.  I love how it portrays the message of helping and loving your neighbor and trusting in the Lord instead of yourself.  This is the first book I've read by Karen Witemeyer but it won't be the last.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Be sure to watch this video clip for more information on this great book!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bountiful Blessings

Been busy filling up our shelves with canned goods from the garden!  Thank you Lord for your blessings!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recall Notice

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.
This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed. 

Some of the symptoms include

1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.
The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.
The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. 
No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with: 
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control 

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes. 
WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus
DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention! 

- GOD 
P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'!  
Because He Lives

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things I Like about Summer

I was going through some of my old papers and found a list that my sweet Bethany wrote when she was 10.   It made my heart smile. :)  

Things I like about Summer by Bethany Rose

 1.  I like to catch frogs.
 2.  I like to catch bugs with Daisy.
 3.  I like to find worms.
 4.  I like to go swimming.
 5.  I like to swim with my cousins.
 6.  I like to go camping.
 7.  I like to go on bike rides.
 8.  I like to go fishing.
 9.  I like to walk in the woods to our special spot.
10.  I like to lay on the hammock.
11.  I like to cut grass.
12.  I like to smell fresh cut grass.
13.  I like to play hopscotch.
14.  I like to play the game I made up called circle hop.
15.  I like to play with the bunnies.
16.  I like to play with the ducks.
17.  I like to play outside with Daisy.
18.  I like to take Daisy for walks.
19.  I like to play baseball
20.  I like to swing.
21.  I like to play catch.
22.  I like to play Frisbee.
23.  I like to shoot my bow and arrow.
24.  I like to go on walks.
25.  I like to read outside.
26.  I like to work in the garden.
27.  I like to have fires outside.
28.  I like being outside at night and looking at stars.
29.  I like feeding the ducks worms, frogs, and lizards.
30.  I like to walk outside barefoot.
31.  I like to be barefoot inside.
32.  I like to hula-hoop.
33.  I like camping in the backyard.
34.  I like watching flowers bloom.
35.  I like helping mam maw with her flowers.
36.  I like when it is hot.
37.  I like shucking corn.
38.  I like picking vegetables.
39.  Lying on the ground and looking at the clouds.
40.  Having picnics. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Homeschool Graduation

Back in May we celebrated the Homeschool graduation of my son.  It was such a joyous occasion!  A lot of hard work and planning went into it.  I was so thankful for all the ideas I found on the Internet to help me plan the special day and I thought I would share a few of the things I did.

We invited close family and friends along with our church family.  It was a great turnout and I was so thankful for those who came out to support Dakota in this important milestone.  We planned on having the entire ceremony and celebration outside, but since it ended up being so hot we changed it a little and had the ceremony outside, food served inside allowing people to choose to eat inside or out.  We also did presents outside. We would of moved the entire thing inside, but did not have the space.  

For the ceremony I had our pastor open with prayer.  After that I shared a little bit about our decision to homeschool and some special memories I have of that first year.  I then asked those that were there to share some of their memories or to offer words of wisdom/encouragement to Dakota.  This was one of my favorite parts.  I loved hearing every one's words of love.  After that I shared a short story on persistence and offered some biblical words of encouragement to the graduate and then turned it over to Dakota for him to deliver his commencement speech.  If you would like to see what he said you can click here.  He posted it on his blog shortly after.  After he completed his speech I had him stay up with me, I said a few more words and then presented him with his High School Diploma.  After that we ate, visited, opened presents and just enjoyed ourselves.

I had an 8X8 photo album (with blank white pages) and asked everyone to write words of congratulations and/or encouragement. (Kind of like a guestbook).   I haven't done so yet, but I plan on fixing it up with a pictures and memorabilia of the day as a keep sake for him.

Food and Decorations

I purchased a small cake from our favorite bakery and then made some cupcakes to go with it.  
I loved this idea of chocolate graduation caps.  I made the caps using mini peanut butter cups and a half of a mini hershey bars and the tassel is made with Airhead Extremes and Mini M&M's.   I had a table set up with the cake and the cupcakes next to it on a cupcake stand.  It looked really nice.  Not sure why I didn't get a picture of the display. : /

I used some old  encyclopedia's as accents on several of the tables.

I prepared the plastic ware with a graduation stamp set and some card stock!  Perfect for grabbing all your utensils at once.  

Here is what the outside decorations looked like - minus the picture display boards.  I had two picture boards.  One very large one for display on an easel and then a poster board sized one for on the table.  Thanks to the wind they didn't stand very long, but we were thankful for the cool breeze! 

I made little diplomas out of smarties and set them around in bowls.  The kids that were there loved these!

Here is a picture of Dakota giving his speech.

Part of one of the picture boards. 

I made little sandwich diploma's by removing the crust of a piece of sandwich bread, rolling it flat with a rolling pin, rolling it up with sliced turkey inside and tying it off with a piece of chive.  We also served chicken salad on croissants, sub sandwiches and crock pot pizza.

Another picture of Dakota giving his speech.

Miscellaneous Tidbits

I purchased the Diploma and the announcements from HSLDA.  If you have a membership with them you get a discount! 
I purchased his tassels here.  They have every color imaginable and tons of other homeschool graduation supplies including diploma's and announcements.
If money is tight, try doing your own senior pictures.   Spread out the purchase of your items so it is not a huge expense all at once.  Be creative, make your own decorations and food!  

I have a few more years, then I get to do it all again!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby Ducks

We are so SUPER excited!  This is the surprise we found when we got home from church this afternoon!  Only one has hatched so far!  Three more to go!

Here's a short little video clip of Dorothy and her new arrival!

My Week in Pins

My favorite pins from pinterest this week!

All pictures are linked to my pinterest.  Keep on clicking for the original source!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BLT - Bacon Baskets

Sometimes I wonder how I ever did anything before pinterest. ;)  I can't tell you how many times I see a pin and think...huh, why didn't I think of that?  When I seen a new way to make bacon for BLT's I had one of those moments.  It is so simple.  All you do is weave 6 pieces of uncooked bacon together and cook it in the microwave like you normally would do.  When it's all done you have a perfect bacon square (or a bacon basket as Bethany calls them) that fits perfectly on your bread.  Every bite you'll get a taste of bacon and no more bacon falling out of the bottom of your sandwich.  It is a bacon lover's dream come true. :):):)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Canopy Fun

This past spring I found a canopy at a yard sale and I couldn't resist getting it!  As soon as I seen it I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for.  I wanted a little outdoor retreat!  A sweet little place to relax and read.   It was as perfect as I envisioned!   I hung the hoop part on a tree, blew up an air mattress, added some sheets and pillows and.....viola'!

Bethany loved it too!