Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My 14th Anniversary

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary!  Looking back I would have never predicted that we would have six children but I wouldn't change a thing.  Every one of our children is a huge blessing in my life and I am so thankful. 


It has been an amazing 14 years, not perfect but a beautiful work in progress.  I love you David!  May the Lord continue to refine us.

Monday, August 24, 2015

School Has Begun

Today was our first day back at school.  The kids were so excited and they did fabulous.  We are still getting into our groove but I am extremely excited about this year and the many fun things we will experience together!  Below are our first day photos.  Thanks so much to homeschoolinmama for the awesome printables!

Mister F, age 1

Miss E, age 3

 Miss D, age 5

 Mister C, age 8

 Miss B, age 9

 Miss A, age 11

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Find Encouragement in Be The Best Mom You Can Be

My Wonderful Kids

Mother's Day is over but there is something that remains.  There is a bond and an underlying drumbeat that we as mothers are all trying to march to - we all want to be the best Mom that we can be!  At least I know I do.  Now we do not need to hop aboard the sinking ship of comparisons.  I think mothers are already too hard on themselves as it is and we don't need to look at the best qualities of everyone in the world and expect ourselves to have them all, no friends - this is about embracing our own strengths and differences and rising to the occasion. 

I have spent a lot of time with my kids in this rocking chair!

I have enjoyed reading Marina and Gregory Slayton's book, Be The Best Mom You Can Be: A Practical Guide to Raising Whole Children in a Broken Generation.  I love that this book is solid and encouraging.  I don't know about you but I don't think I need a book telling me what I am not doing - I want a book that is encouraging with helpful direction and advice.  Be The Best Mom You Can Be does just that.

You can read more about Be The Best Mom You Can Be and/or purchase it from Family Christian.

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with my own copy of Be The Best Mom You Can Be to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Happy Left Handers Day

Here's a shout out to all the lefties out there!  I have numerous left handed friends and family including my Mom.  We are not sure yet but we think F might end up being a lefty, the first one for our immediate family.  He always throws with his left hand.  I suppose time will tell.  Who do you know that is left-handed?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

TobyMac This is Not a Test Review & Giveaway

We love TobyMac in our home!  He is real, authentic and his music is just plain awesome.  Our family listens to his CD Eye On It all the time!  Guess what?  He has a new album that is about to be released, This Is Not A Test is to be released tomorrow August 7th!  I have been listening to this album and it does not disappoint!  One of my favorite songs on the album is track #9, Beyond Me.

Here are the lyrics to Beyond Me

Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe
That You gave me the stars put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I've never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It's way beyond me
It's way beyond me
Yeah, it's out of my league
It's way beyond me
It's way beyond me
It's way beyond ...
Anything that I got the strength to do
In over my head keeps me countin' on You
I'm leaving the sweet spot, sure shot
Tradin' it all for the plans You got
Is it so crazy to believe
You take me to the place where I know I need You
Straight to the depths that I can't handle on my own
And Lord I know, I know I need You
So take me to Your great ...
Take me to Your great unknown

I cannot say enough good things about TobyMac's music.  It is relateable, extremely enjoyable and it glorifies God!  I love that David and I can jam listening to TobyMac and our kids can join in the fun.

More About TobyMac:
Toby McKeehan (known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman.  Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music.  While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk.  Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001.  Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008).  This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released.  Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and - perhaps most relevant of all - the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going.  "It's the truth," he says.  "I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart.  I believe God can use a song to open someone's mind and heart."

You can order your own copy of This Is Not A Test on iTunes.  You will receive 4 songs instantly with pre-orders.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of This Is Not A Test by TobyMac.  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of TobyMac's This Is Not A Test CD for this giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive my own digital copy of This Is Not A Test CD 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.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The Spirit of Giving: Quick Ideas to Give and Brighten Someone's Day


People talk a lot about Christmas in July, you have probably heard it mentioned at some point.  Mompact has teamed up Boogie Wipes, Spin Kindness, and Kandoo for a Summer Spirit of Giving event that is sure to bring a little cheer to all who participate!  There are lots of ways to join in - virtual giving tree, huge sales and community kindness projects.

Speaking of community kindness projects, there are tons of great ideas for you to jump start your kindness now.  Why wait for December?  Here are a few ideas: volunteer, gather cans for your local food bank, read at a nursing home or set up a winter volunteer project during the summer handing out socks, make welcome packs for new teachers, have a mini summer toy drive, have your kids make cards with messages of hope and hand them out wherever you go....

It is fairly hot in the summers here in Texas.  The kids and I decided to hand out water bottles during a hot day for our Summer Kindness project.  We printed out labels and the girls made pictures to give them a personal touch.  We attached them to 24 water bottles and we plan to give them out this week as we are out and about.  We hope to bless people as we distribute these bottles!

 The labels B made.

 Water bottles ready to hand out.

 A close up view...

Please join Mompact for a Twitter party next week on Thursday, August 13th.  You will get to discuss the spirit of giving and ways that you can be involved and more!  They will be giving out lots of prizes from their sponsors so be sure to show up and participate, use #SSofGiving.  I hope to see you there!

Oh, and be sure to enter the awesome #SSGiving Giveaway going on now.  Support the event sponsors and awesome mom business owners by following them on social media and gaining entries into the giveaway, a win-win.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

DIY Personalized Minion Shirts

Dozen Cousin Minions

We just returned from Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We had a fabulous time.  My kids look forward to their cousin trip every year!  This year our theme was Minions.  I brought the supplies for all 12 cousins (yes, a dozen) to each make a Minion shirt.  My fabulous sister-in-law is an art teacher and photographer so she was able to come up with easy ways for the kids to create their shirts, and then she took some fabulous photos of the minions together!  I thought I would share with you what we did so you can make your own awesome Minion shirts!

1. Gather the supplies needed for the shirts.  I purchased everything at Michaels except for the XS yellow shirts which I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The smallest size Michaels had was a small.

You will need a plain yellow shirt, fabric paint (I purchased white, black, blue and metallic silver), paint brushes, t-shirt board (or cardboard would work) and paper plates, paper cups and paper towels as needed.  To make the eyes we used a few paper cups, a small circular toy and the cap of a water bottle to get the circle sizes we needed.  My sister-in-law ended up getting some red paint at the store so that we had more color options for the eyes and the some of the girls wanted pink embellishments.

Yellow Shirts

Fabric paint, paint brushes, t-shirt board and Minion goggles for fun photos

Here you can see the blue paint as well.

2.  Set up your shirt on the t-shirt board or cardboard and begin making your shirt.  We used a paper cup to dip into the white paint to obtain a perfect circle for the outside of our eyes.  Then we filled in the eyes using a paint brush.  For the kids, we made the initial circles and they filled the paint in themselves (except for F).

Begin with the eyes

Outside of the eyes

Filling in the eyes

 E filling in her eyes

D filling in her Minion eyes.

3.  While the white eyes dry, begin making your mouth.  For some of the shirts the kids made the hair at this point and some of them, they made the hair last. 

making Minion mouth

making Minion hair

 A making an open Minion mouth.

4.  Make the side goggle straps and fill them in.  For the kids we made the outline of the straps and they filled them in themselves. 

Filling in the goggle straps.

Filled in straps

5.  Decide what eye color you want your Minion to have and make the next inside layer of the eyes.  We had a small, circular toy that was the perfect size for this.  We dipped the toy in the paint and applied it to the center of the white eyes.  We then used a paint brush to fill it in. 

Blue eyes that need to be filled in

 Filling in the eye color

6.  Make the outside of the goggles around the eyes.  We used the same technique that we used to make the outside of the white eyes.  We dipped a cup into the silver paint to obtain a perfect silver circle around the outside of the white eyes.  Then we used a paint brush to make the goggles thicker.

making the silver goggles, you can also see here how the eyes are filled in

7.  Next we dipped out water bottle cap in the black paint to create the pupil.  Fill it in using a paint brush as needed.  It is important to remember when layering, especially the eyes, you need to let the bottom layer dry before adding the next layer.  We added a small dab of white to the top left pupils using our pinky finger.  My sister-in-law also wrote the kids names and year on the shirts for even more personalization.

Making the pupils

 F's shirt is finished!

More photos of shirts that were made on our trip!

 D wanted blue Elsa hair, love it!

 Check out my nephew's awesome mouth with a tongue!

 A added bows.

There were 12 different Minion shirts that were made by the kiddos.  The younger ones had more help than the older ones but I love that they each had a part in their shirts.  They had fun choosing different mouths and different hairstyles.  My sister-in-law was awesome with mouths and hairstyles!  We didn't always go in this exact order as you can see by the photos.  Sometimes the goggles were added after the mouths, etc. but you get the idea.  Hope you have fun making your own shirts!  I would love to see them.