Donut/Face Painting Party!

We celebrated Ellie's 7th Birthday this past weekend and I thought I would share some pics with you. She had it in her mind that she would have a donut party at Lamar's Donuts- so I went with it! We had 25 kids and it was a blast! Here are some pics: 

{The Table- I ordered glass milk bottles (HERE) and used chalkboard paint on them so that we could write the names on them. Paper Straws, Plates and Napkins from (HERE) I used chalkboard paint on a plain banner from Kraft paper for her "Ellie" sign}

{The Donut Hole pops were a hit- I just used floral foam block and painted it white for the sticks- next time I will just get ribbon that is the width of the foam and glue it on}

{I did a milk bar- they were (sadly) out of the strawberry flavor and the cotton candy flavor- but we had white, chocolate, root beer, banana and coffee milk- Shatto Milk is the best!!}

{The favors- I had my girl Maggie from LilyCole Designs make the tags for the favors- the little bags, washi tape and twine are all from Shop Sweet Lulu}

{I heart Washi Tape- any excuse to use it is delightful!}

{We had the BEST Face Painter- Ellie chose Peacock, Izzy wanted a rainbow mask and Milly got a heart on her cheek and then melted down after it was on her!}

{The Crew (not all done with the face paint yet)! My nephews were troopers being the only 2 boys!}

{I made a custom word search HERE- the kids loved that. I also googled "Donut coloring pages" and printed a bunch of pages for the girls to color}

{Again, my girl Maggie (LilyCole Design)! She made these Thank You notes for us- so cute!}


Parenting During Tragedy

I don’t know how many of you have heard about the TRAGIC abduction and death of the 10-year-old girl in Springfield, MO (Article). These things always hit home when that Amber Alert comes across my phone and I realize that it is so close. I think our culture has desensitized us to these things a lot of times because we watch so much of it “acted out” on television- the lines of reality get blurry (see my article on movies here). But when it is in your backyard, you can’t help but be affected. Praise God when it still SHOCKS us. We are not supposed to be numb to it. My heart literally breaks for that little girl and her family- several things have come to my mind when processing something like this and I wanted to share them with you (you know I love bullet points!). The ONLY good that can come from tragedy is, if we as humans learn and grow through it. 

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

  1. God Wins: That evil man DID NOT WIN. Just because that precious girl died in the end, He loses. She is in the arms of her creator and savior for eternity. I cannot Biblically back this up, but the very nature of God would not allow an innocent child to perish for eternity, I have no idea if she knew that Jesus was “THE way, THE truth and THE life” (John 14:6) but I guarantee that when she saw His face...she knew! Let’s find peace that while her earthly body perished...she was renewed in the Heavenly's! (2 Corinthians 4:16) Let’s pray for her family to receive peace and comfort from the only ONE who can truly provide them with that (John 16:33). We can take heart, God Wins. (Philippians 2:10-11) In the Eternal Perspective, that little girl wins- she is in eternity with God in a place where there is no pain, no hurt, no strangers, no flesh- perfection. God alone will take care of the evil doers (Romans 12:19), trust Him.
  2. Hug Your Babies: Let’s stop and hug our babies. Let’s take a deep breath and thank the Lord for them. Life is short and we are only promised today. These things are reminders that anything can happen in this crazy world and we do not need to "sweat the small stuff". "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34
  3. Open Our Eyes: Lord open our eyes! How many people saw that little girl and did nothing or how many people were in the area and were too distracted to notice. Let’s beg the Lord for his vision for the hurting- there are so many hurting people EVERYWHERE and most of the time we are too busy to SEE. Lord open our eyes and give us courage to be Your hands and Feet! Pray for discernment- John 7:24 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” 
  4. Use our Minds: We need to be smart, sisters! This world is not like the world where we grew up- countless hours playing outside with no parental supervision; sleeping over at people’s homes; technology; being dropped off at the mall. We need to be smart where our children are concerned and we need to protect them, NOT fear for them. We need to be smart when something doesn’t feel right. The Lord places these things on your heart. Do not let the pressure of what everyone else does with their kids dictate what you know is right for your kids. The pressure comes early so be prepared for it and pray about it. Pray that God would give you wisdom and courage to say “no” to something that everyone else says “yes” to. "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)
  5. Talk, Teach, Train: We need to discuss the ever present reality of evil in this world and how it makes us yearn for eternity where no evil exists (God himself set eternity on our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We need to talk to our kids about the reality of this world and teach them how to react to each circumstance that may arise. Train them up in the way they should go...(Proverbs 22:6)
  6. DO NOT FEAR: The Bible says Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)- he doesn’t just want this little girl to suffer and die, he wants people (Christian and non-Christian) to FEAR. Satan wants us to want to lock our children up and fear for them. Satan wants us to doubt the God of the Universe and His provisions for us. Satan wants to steal our joy and kill our faith and hope in God.  Satan wants to destroy us. Let’s stand up and say- I will NOT fear, I will trust My God! 
Here are some of my favorite verses on “Fear” - Hang them on your wall if you need to because we are NOT to live in fear, we are to live in freedom from the bondage of fear! Let's teach these to our children and give them tools against Fear! 

15 Verses to Fight Fear!
1. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)
2. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
3. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4)
4. "The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)
5. "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
6. "For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7)
7. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
8. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
9. "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 )
10. "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
11. "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” (1 Peter 3:13-14)
12. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) 
13. "For I am the Lord your God, the one who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you." (Isaiah 41:13)
14. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1b)
15. "So we say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 )



We have a fun giveaway today- my girls LOVE playing in the bathtub, so they were so excited to receive the MEGA BLOKS® FIRST BUILDERS™ BUILD ‘N SPLASH set! Here is some information for you about the product (my girls LOVE it!):

Bath time has never been this fun! Build with the stackable friends made for watery adventures with Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Build ‘n Splash. Your child can now build in the bath with First Builders blocks! Use the suction cup to stick the friendly red octopus to the bottom of the tub and stack his fishy friends on top of it to create a fun waterfall for your little one to watch! Pour water on the squid’s head and watch the cascading effect as the starfish spins, the shark dips and the fish catches the water. Combine with other First Builders sets to raise your seaworthy friends out of the water and make your waterfall higher than ever!

When bath time is over, place all of the Build ‘n Splash friends inside the handy draining basket that can stick to any surface thanks to its own suction cup.

Ideal for kids ages 1 to 5.

      Stackable underwater friends designed for fun bath time building
      Red octopus, yellow starfish, blue shark, red snapper and purple squid
      Suction cup secures the build to the bottom of the tub
      Handy draining bucket with suction cup for storing all of your Build ‘n Splash friends
      Compatible with all Mega Bloks First Builders sets for bigger builds, longer waterfalls and endless building possibilities

©2014, MEGA Brands Inc. All rights reserved. MEGA BLOKS and FIRST BUILDERS are trademarks owned by MEGA Brands Inc.
Mega Bloks® First Builders™ Build ‘n Splash!

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True Love!

On this Valentine's Day I thought I would share one of my favorite portions of scripture on the topic of Love (I love "The Message" version- but look up other versions- amazing). I think we have made Valentine's day a little bit of a cheesy celebration of love, where people who have a "Valentine" get to celebrate and those who don't are maybe a little bitter, maybe a little sad, maybe a little depressed, maybe they don't care about it, maybe a little lonely, or maybe they celebrate friendship and life. I know I have experienced all of those emotions on any given Valentine's Day. It is very rare for my husband to be home on Valentine's day (as we speak, I am getting ready for Kid fest because he is out of town), so I still go through the emotions of...not feeling so "special" on this "special day". What I want to do, and encourage ALL of us to do, is to celebrate TRUE love that we ALL have eternal access to! I hope ALL of you have someone to say "I Love You" to and someone who will tell you they love you- but always remember, you have a creator who loves you enough to send His only son to die for you and His very definition is "Love" (GOD IS LOVE)- He loves you whether you love him or not....unconditionally. So let's celebrate THAT today and lets teach our kids that God's love is a love worth celebrating- whether they have a "valentine" or not!! We have a great opportunity on V-day to show our kids what TRUE love is!! Happy Valentine's Day!    {Print above from Dear Lillie}

1 John 4:7-21
The Message (MSG)
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.


Family Photos!

My precious SIL (Brittany McMaster: Britt McMaster Photography) hooked us up with a little family photo shoot while we were in AZ over Christmas- they turned out great and I thought I would share! If you are in the DC area call her for your photos- she is so much fun and so great with kids!


Kids Valentine's Day: Featuring Lil' Rhae

You may remember my super talented friend Jai from THIS POST. She makes all of her products from repurposed t-shirts! She has some new fun Valentine's Day products on her Etsy Site- I am personally going to get the girls some of the darling heart hair clips- love how simple and sweet they are! We have the flower headbands and the girls love them! I wish you could see her darling little boys wear her shirts- you would be sold! 
Again, all handmade from t-shirts! Check it out:
1. Robot t-shirt
2. Heart t-shirt
3. Heart Headband
4. Onesie
5. Heart Hair Clip 
6. 4 Heart Headband
7. 2 Heart Headband
8. Pink Roses Headband

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