Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Celebrating Stevie & $25 Fandango Gift Card Giveaway


As most of you know, we have a dog named Stevie!  He is a shepherd mix that we rescued a few years ago now.  He is so fabulous with kids.  We got him when F was only a few months old and of course we have had Baby G and Stevie is as happy as can be.  He is also a mess!  But honestly, so am I most of the time.  The reason I say he is a mess is because he loves "people food" and he is constantly finding ways to get into it.  However, he is super smart so I am optimistic that he can be trained to stay away.

When A and I finally returned to Austin after our extended time in San Antonio last year I remember Stevie was such a source of joy.  A had/still has lots of late nights with various therapies and treatments and Stevie was and is right there by her side to cheer her up when needed.  He always seems to be available in that way - a true gift. 

 Kid Train with Stevie

I remember shortly after we adopted Stevie one day the kids were making a pretend train with boxes and laundry baskets in the living room.  I looked over and there was Stevie, a part of the happy train.  I knew then that he was truly ours.

You may remember me mentioning it before but there are just a few more days until A Dog's Purpose is out nationwide - January 27th to be exact.  I saw an advanced screening of it a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it.

Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think.

And now for the giveaway!  One of you will win a $25 Fandango Gift Card.  Just enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I received my own Fandango gift card for this post; however, opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A's 13th Star Wars Birthday Party

 A's Star Wars Cake

As you guys know, A turned 13 yesterday.  I am still trying to process that, our first teenager!  We celebrated her birthday on Saturday with a Star Wars themed birthday party.  She dressed up in her Rey costume and had such a good time with family and friends.  2016 was a really challenging year for our family, especially A, and it was so fun to celebrate her and her life.  I am so blessed to be her Mom.  Enjoy the photos!

David went with a 3D effect, so fun.

 A and her cake!

 Blowing out her candles in one breath...

The food spread

I had a lot of fun with the food for this party.  We served Princess Leia buns, green/blue/red light saber pretzels, Storm Trooper deviled eggs, fruit/veggie trays, various chips and dips, Strom Trooper Chex Mix, etc.

A and B actually made most of these!

Princess Leia Buns

I bought prepackaged Chex Mix and then used a food coloring marker to make Storm Trooper marshmallows and added them.

And of course there was Yoda Soda - just Sprite mixed with Lime Sherbet.

 We borrowed a projector and watched The Force Awakens.

 Thanks so much to everyone who made it!!  

And a huge shout out to everyone who has stood by us this last year and loved on us and our darling girl.  I don't think there is a way to thank everyone enough.  I always think of our birthday parties as a celebration of our children's lives and this one just seemed extra special with everything since the accident.  I am so grateful for family, friends, and a huge community of people who love!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy 13th Birthday A!

Happy Birthday to my now teenager A!  I want you to know that you are beautiful, bright and I love you more than I can express.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Dog's Purpose

A few weeks ago David took A, B, and C to see Rogue One.  Later that afternoon I took D and E to see Storks at the discounted theater near us.  I saw a movie preview that really intrigued me, A Dog's Purpose.  I remember thinking - well I don't believe in reincarnation but that looks really good.  I am a sucker for a good animal movie.  Then I was invited to attend an advanced screening for you guessed it, A Dog's Purpose.  What do you think?  Are you going to see it?  I'll come back and review it after I see it of course.  I know that our lives are enriched by our dog, Stevie.

Our dog, Stevie!

More about the movie:
Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog's Purpose, is a sweet and lovable family film that shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.  Told from the perspective of "everybody's best friend" the film highlights the importance of familial bonds, and the unconditional love we have for our best friends.  The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, and John Ortiz.

I love that the film partnered with the non-profit Best Friends Animal Society.

Check out the trailer below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

F's 3rd Birthday - Paw Patrol Theme

 Birthday Boy

F turned 3 last week and we celebrates on Saturday with a Paw Patrol themed party.  For those of you that know him, he absolutely LOVES Paw Patrol.  He knows all the pups by name and I love listening to him sing the theme song, it's so cute!

David made F a badge cake.

Here he is blowing out his candles.

 And afterwards, love that smile.

Food Spread

 Check out this awesome utensil caddy that I got from my in-laws for Christmas!

 A few of F's absolute favorites were included in the spread.

A decorated covered Oreos with paw prints.

 I love the activity table decorated by B.

I purchased a Paw Patrol themed coloring book.  B neatly tore out pages of the coloring book and matched up party favor figures (I found these at Dollar Tree) and party masks.  She also placed balloons on each chair.

 A closer view...

 E as Rubble

I think F had a swinging good time.

Thanks to everyone who helped make his day special!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Beginner's Bible Review & Giveaway

 D finished reading The Beginner's Bible!

I have a book to share with you today, The Beginner's Bible.  This Bible has been a part of our homeschooling curriculum for years as one of my children's reading books.  D just finished reading through it last month!  A, B, C and D have all read this Bible aloud to me - lots of precious memories indeed!  I love that it is easy-to-read so not only can it be part of our reading curriculum but it is easy for my toddlers to grasp and understand as well.  The chapters are short and the illustrations are fun and engaging.

 D reading to me while we are waiting for A to finish therapy.

 Another view of D reading

 I really enjoy the illustrations in this Bible as do my children.

When I asked D what she thought of this book she told me that she really liked it because it was a Bible, she enjoyed the pictures, and she loved the story of David and Goliath.  "Isn't it amazing that David was just a kid and did so much," said D - yes D it is!

Check out the trailer below.  And be sure to enter the giveaway.

More About the Bible
The Beginner’s Bible has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold.  Now it’s redesigned with fresh new art that will excite children for many more years to come.  Full of faith and fun, The Beginner’s Bible is a wonderful gift for any child.  The easy-to-read text and bright, full-color illustrations on every page make it a perfect way to introduce young children to the stories and characters of the Bible.  With new vibrant three-dimensional art and compelling text, more than 90 Bible stories come to life.  Kids ages 6 and under will enjoy the fun illustrations of Noah helping the elephant onto the ark, Jonah praying inside the fish, and more, as they discover The Beginner's Bible just like millions of children before.  The Beginner's Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children's Nonfiction.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of The Beginner's Bible!  Just enter below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant  per mailing address, per  giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."