Brooklyn's 4th birthday party

We had Brooklyn's 4th birthday party on Friday the 21st at our neighborhood pool. Everyone had a blast. We were so excited that all of daddy's family could come down from Indiana to help celebrate. PeePaw, Grandma Sara, Grandpa Roland, Auntie Kelly, Uncle Dave, cousins Caroline and Spencer, and of course all of my family too. She also got to invite a few friends from school. It was a bug themed party because she is so into bugs right now. I found a really cute caterpillar cupcake idea online that I copied. It was alot of fun to make and the kids loved it.

Everyone had fun going swimming. We were fortunate that the rain held off and it turned out to be a very hot day.
The swimmers worked up a hearty appetite so it was time for pizza and yummy cupcakes.

After the party the family headed back to our house to open up presents. Brooklyn was blessed with a lot of neat gifts. Thank you to all who came and made Brooklyn's 4th birthday a day to remember.

"Tuesday's Tip" (Reuse idea of applesauce cups)

Yesterday was Brooklyn's birthday and I decided to write about her than do my regular Tuesday's Tip. I hope you understand. I didn't want to put it off another day, so here is today's tip. This one I actually thought of last week. We love natural applesauce in our house. The girls had finished their applesauce and I was rinsing out their cups when I got an idea. What if I reuse the cups to put the kids paint in? Normally I just recycle them, but this would be a perfect way to reuse them instead. Usually I just put the paint on a plate and let them go at it, which means all the paint gets mixed together. This way if I put them in the cups the colors will stay somewhat the same. So I gave it a go today and it worked out great. They loved it and so did I. I washed them out so I could reuse them again. The nice thing though is if I didn't have time to wash them I could just toss them into the recycling bin and have the girls eat more applesauce. :)
I am sure there are countless ways you can think of to reuse these. You can serve a small snack like raisins in them. You can use them in the office to store thumbtacks, paperclips, loose change etc. The skies the limit. Email me if you have a clever way to reuse these cups. I would love to hear about it. Stay tuned for next Tuesday's tip. It's one of my favorites.

Happy 4th Birthday Brooklyn Sophia!

Dear Brooklyn,

Today is your 4th birthday. It's hard to believe that 4 years ago today I walked into Baptist Hospital early in the morning with you in my belly. I had waited so many years for this moment and it was finally here. Your daddy and I were admitted into the room and they gave me some medication to help me to have some contractions so you would come out. You were stubborn and didn't want to move. You were very happy in my belly. The doctor came in and broke my water, but still nothing. Then your heart rate started to go down so we decided it was best for you to come out through a c-section. I was a little scared, but so excited to finally meet you. Daddy sat right beside me and held my hand and talked to me the whole time. Then at 4:06 p.m. I heard the most amazing sound in the world, your cry. Not a little wimper, but a huge scream. I just began to cry. You were so beautiful and big. You were 10 days early and weighed, 7 lbs 9 oz and were 20 inches long. You had a little bit of blond hair and blue eyes. The first thing I noticed was your dimples. They were so cute. I couldn't wait to hold you. I couldn't believe that everything your daddy and I had been through was finally in our arms. You were a miracle and God's greatest gift to us.

I am so blessed to be your mommy. You are growing into such a beautiful little girl and I am so proud of you. I love how you take care of your sissy, how you love to give hugs and kisses and the joy I feel when you say, "Mommy I love you". You are so smart just like your daddy. You love to read maps and learn about bugs and you love to sing. I love when you are in the car and you sing "Jesus Loves Me" at the top of your lungs. That is what matters most to me sweet girl. That you walk with Jesus and love Him with all of your heart. I pray that He will keep you safe in His loving arms and that you will continue to grow into a beautiful young woman.

I love you with all of my heart Brooklyn,


A trip to the dentist

Today the girls had an appointment with the dentist. It was Brooklyn's third time and Sydney's first. I made them for the same time which was nice because I could sit in between the two chairs in case either one of them needed me. Brooklyn was an old pro. She didn't ask for me once. She did such a good job. She even picked out her flavor of toothpaste all by herself. Her flavor of choice this time was grape. I didn't know how Sydney would do because the child never wants to sit still for even 1 minute, but as soon as she laid down on the chair she was fine. Maybe it had to do with the blinding light in her eyes. The glasses they gave her to wear were too big, so they didn't help much. I sat with her and held her hand. She took blanky along for comfort and found a doggy in the waiting room that she wanted to hold onto. I had to keep reminding her to open her mouth because she kept closing it. Her favorite was the strawberry toothpaste. She kept trying to lick it while the hygienist was trying to put it on her teeth. Everything checked out great for both girls. They each took a little rubber snake home and a new toothbrush and floss. We'll see ya in 6 months Dr. Buzz.

Here come the brides.

The other day I got my wedding stuff out of our storage room in the basement. My youngest sis, Heather, is getting married in November and I was looking for some stuff for her to borrow. It was fun reminiscing about that day and pulling out my wedding dress, which I still need to get cleaned and boxed. Later on that night, the girls came down to the basement and wanted to try my dress on. They were so excited to play dress up. I couldn't help but grab my camera and snap some pictures. One day I will be able to show these pictures at their weddings. One day way, way, way down the road. I get teary eyed just thinking about my babies getting married.

Sydney loved hiding under the dress while Brooklyn was in it. That bump is her head. They had so much fun.

Happy Birthday Brian & Tuesday's Tip.

Today is Brian's 34th birthday. The girls and I made him a chocolate cake this morning. The only time the girls are allowed to sit on the counter is when they are baking with mommy. I had their aprons made by a friend of mine. They are so cute and the girls love to wear them. Also one of my tips for a great gift idea for a child who loves to bake or cook with their mommy. You can check out her site here:

Daddy came home on his lunch break and we had a cake, balloons, cards and a DVD waiting for him. He was so surprised. The girls love it when daddy can come home for lunch. One of the many advantages of working about 7 minutes from home.
Happy Birthday to the best husband and daddy in the world. The girls and I love you very much.

Ok, on to Tuesday's Tip. Thank you to all those that have told me they look forward to reading my tips on Tuesday. I'm so glad you enjoy them. I will try to keep them coming and not disappoint you. This one I have been doing for about 4 years. When I run across an article or something I see in a magazine that I want to keep, I rip it out and put it in my file. That way you can recycle the magazine and not have to keep it collecting dust. The categories are endless. From time to time I go back and take out the ones that are of no interest to me any longer.

My last tip of the day is coupon websites. I try not to buy things at a store without a coupon. Yesterday I needed a 40% off at JoAnn's and so I started looking. Low and behold I found one at "Mommy Saves Big Blog My other favorite is There are so many websites that can save you money. You just have to look. is another one that I like. Kelly lives in my neighborhood and her daughter was in Brooklyn's class this past year. Her savings at the grocery store are truly amazing. She offers classes where you can learn about how she's able to save so much money on groceries. Happy saving!

Brooklyn's first Mighty Tike Triathalon

Bright and early this morning, 7:30 am, we headed down to Spring Hill so Brooklyn could participate in the 2nd annual Mighty Tike Triathalon. She was so excited. As daddy was putting her in the car she says, in all seriousness, "I'm gonna fall down, scrap my knees and it's gonna hurt". Daddy said, "Well if you do, you just get up and get back on the bike and keep going". We got to the Rec Center and all these little kids were there riding their bikes. It was so cute to see about 100 3-6 year olds warming up. Brooklyn was hesitant to start warming up and riding her bike because she didn't want to hit anyone. We convinced her to start riding and she was getting the hang of it, until all of a sudden her bike tipped over and down she went. Brian ran over to her to make sure she was ok. She was fine, but she did scrape her knee. I was such a proud mama, because then, just like daddy had told her, she got back up on her bike and started riding again. We had to wait about 20 minutes for her heat to start, but then they lined up and got ready to go.

And they were off. Down the track they went. She got to ride with her cousins. (Maiya, in the orange helmet and Sammie, in the red helmet). She was slow getting started but then she got the confidence she needed to speed up. They went around the track twice, on the second lap she saw daddy cheering her on and said, "Daddy I am getting sweaty". She kept on going and finished the second lap and then came the transition to the running part of the race. She had to run through hoops and over and under hurdles. (I don't have a picture of the running portion because I was video taping too.) Then came the swim portion. Which as you can see from the pictures, they had to run through the sprinklers. She got soaking wet, but she loved it. The lifeguard in the background makes it all the more classic.

She crossed the finish line and received a medal. We took a picture with all 3 of them and Brooklyn was raising her hands. I didn't get it until Brian told me that she sees people raising their hands after a big race. (She likes to watch marathon's and triathlons on t.v. with daddy). They had lots of snacks for the kids when they were done, just like they do after a race for the big people. It was great. They had so much fun. After the race we took them to Donut Palace to get a post race donut. A good time was had by all. Good job #83. We are so proud of you.
Sydney didn't get to participate because she was only 2. Next year Siddo.

A trip to the eye doctor

Today we had Brooklyn's yearly check up at the eye doctor. I told Brooklyn we had to go and she just started crying. She did not want to go. She was holding on to the banister on the stairs and just saying no mommy it will hurt. I tried to explain to her that it wouldn't hurt and that the doctor just wanted to look at her eyes. All she had to do was look at letters and pictures. She wasn't buying it. She cried all the way there and didn't want to go in when we got to the door. It took her about 10 minutes to finally calm down and cooperate. She finally started to lighten up and actually enjoy it. She kept asking the dr. what all the instruments were for and how they worked.

The doctor said her eyes were healthy, but she did have an astigmatism in her right eye and she was farsighted in her left eye. She would probably have to get reading glasses when she entered first grade. I think she is secretly wanting glasses. I am sure she will be thrilled.

Tuesday's Tip (Label maker)

Today's tip is keeping a well organized pantry. I have found that if you do so you will save time and money. One of my favorite things to help me keep organized is my P-Touch label maker. This is about the only thing Martha Stewart and I have in common. If you don't have one, you need to invest in one. They are not very expensive at all and they will help you in your pursuit to be organized. The other thing that I love is see through containers. I am not a fan of cardboard boxes. You can ask my hubby. We've moved twice and the first thing I do is unpack everything so I don't have boxes all over the house. They are usually unpacked within a few days. I love clear plastic containers, especially in a pantry, because you can see what is in them and you can tell when things are running low. Cereal for example, is great in containers. Otherwise if you have them in the boxes you have to open the box to see how much is left, or just wait for your child or hubby to say, "Mom we need more cereal".

Now let me say I am blessed to have a big walk in pantry. I know not everyone has a big pantry. I think it's all the more vital to be organized with a smaller pantry. We had a very small pantry at our old house and hardly any cabinet space. I had to make good use of every square inch. So it can be done with a small pantry.

I also keep my chips, crackers and breads in different small bins. That way all the like items stay together and I can see what I am running low on and what I actually have. Otherwise they would be all over the bottom shelf and I'd have to sort through to find what I am looking for. We have all of our recycling at the bottom. As you can see I need to make a run to the recycling center.
The other thing I do in my pantry is make zones. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I have little laminated white cards on the shelves. They read, candy & nuts, baking, canned goods, oil & spices, pasta, etc. You can really make yours whatever you'd like. This also helps the hubby know where to put stuff when unloading the grocery bags. :)

I have some storage on the other side as well. A place for grocery bags, which I recycle and reuse, plastic wrap and aluminum foil and my aprons. Use every inch of your space. Go high and use the back of the door if you have to. There are so many cool organizing tools out there for you to get started. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either. If you are fortunate to live near an IKEA, they have very inexpensive containers. Also check the Dollar Tree or Walmart. It might cost you a little money up front, but it will save you money in the long haul.
I hope this has been helpful. If you live near me and would like some help and suggestions I would love to help you. In case you are wondering, I have always loved to clean and organize. I think I get it from my mom. She's super organized. My first guinea pig was my best friend Christa who lived down the street. I was in 6th grade at the time and I basically kicked her out of her room to make it over. I spent all morning cleaning and organizing her room and when she came back she loved the results. Thus my love for organization was birthed way back then.

All Grown Up

The other day, Brooklyn and I went for a mommy daughter date. This is something I like to do with the girls. I love my one on one time with each of them. We went to one of my favorite places to shop, Target. I needed to get her some new panties so we headed for the girls section. It's weird to walk into the girls section and not the baby section that I am so accustomed to. We walked over and she started laughing and saying, "boobies". She saw all the little bras hanging up and she just thought that was the funniest thing. She said, "Mommy can I get the polka dotted one?" I just smiled and said, "Honey you have a few more years to wait". I kid Brian that I am gonna make him take her shopping for her first bra. He was mortified. I think the thought of his little girl growing up and needing an over the shoulder boulder holder as I called them, was about enough to make him faint. I couldn't resist taking a picture to remember this moment. One day I will embarrass her and show it to her boyfriend.

A Glimpse From Heaven

Yesterday I took the girls to the mall with my mom, Stacy and her girls. We let the girls play on the playground and then we went up to the food court to eat some Chick-fil-a. Daddy met us there because he had to do some work stuff at the computer store there so he ate lunch with us. The girls finished up and I let them get out of their seats. I continued to sit with Brian and chat and then I happened to look over at the girls and they were holding hands with a little girl. They were playing ring around the roses. It was so cute. At first I thought, do they know this girl, maybe from school or church? Then I realized they didn't. She was a complete stranger. My girls are outgoing, but they’ve never just gone up to a little girl before that they didn’t know and hold hands with her. I was fine with it. Her mom was right there and she didn’t seem to mind either. The little girl looked to be a little older than Brooklyn, probably 5 or so. She was a darling little girl with long blonde hair, which she wore in a ponytail, and she had bright blue eyes. It was so cute to watch them play. Then the mom called her daughter over. She said, “Zoe come over here honey and eat”. What did she just call her? I couldn’t believe it. At that very moment my eyes started to well up with tears. I knew that God gave me a glimpse of what life here on earth would’ve been like with our precious Zoe. He knew I needed to see what it would have looked like for my girls to play with their big sister. It was not by chance her name was Zoe, or that my girls took to this complete stranger with such ease. This was a divine appointment from God. One I didn’t ask for, but one that the Lord knew I needed at that very moment. It will be 5 years in October that we lost our sweet baby. Some days I can’t believe it’s been that long and other times it feels like yesterday. I love you and miss you everyday my sweet baby girl. Thank you Jesus for giving me a glimpse from Heaven.

"Tuesday's Tip" (Good Fats)

I apologize for not posting last Tuesday. It was a long week and I just didn't have time to blog. I hate that. I have so much I need to write about, but with my computer down, I have to use Brian's Mac and I am just a PC girl.

I've been into food lately. Nothing new really, I LOVE to eat, but lately though I have been thinking and learning about the foods that go into my body. I've checked out some books from the library and bought a couple from Borders and when I get a free second I read. I ran across a list in one of my health magazines that I thought was really helpful. I cut it out and stuck it on my fridge.

So here is my tip for today. You should try to eat "good" fat with every meal. This helps you lose weight and get rid of belly fat. It also makes you feel fuller longer so you eat less. The following foods are also heart healthy. The idea would be to have one of these on the list with every meal.

Raw Almonds- 1 ounce (23 nuts)
Chopped Walnuts- 1/4 cup
Avocado- 1/4 California avocado
Olive Oil- 1 Tablespoon
Smooth Peanut Butter- 1 Tablespoon
Green or Black Olives- 8 jumbo
Unsalted Sunflower Seeds- 1/4 cup

Some other things to think about when buying some of these products. First let's take peanut butter. I prefer almond butter because it has been found to have more healthy properties than peanut butter and is a good source of boron, which is great in maintaining bone and joint health by making the enzymes stronger. With all the allergies kids can have to peanut butter, I started keeping Almond Butter in the fridge when Brooklyn was little and we all love it. Either one you decide to use make sure it is all natural. No Jiff or Skippy. :) Costco sells a huge jar of Maranatha Almond Butter for $7. You can't beat that price.

With Olive Oil you want to make sure you use Extra Virgin Olive Oil that says Cold Pressed on it. I have just come to learn why. When it says Cold Pressed it means it was extracted using no heat or chemicals. This is really important to get the most benefits out of the oil. Another tip you might not know is that you should not cook with Olive oil. Strange I know because if you watch the Food Network you will see them do it all the time. When you heat Olive Oil almost all the healthy benefits are destroyed. It can also cause chemicals to be released into your food. The best thing to cook with is a little water in the pan or organic butter. I use just a small amount of organic butter when I cook.

I will share more later about my journey to better health in later blogs, but I hope you have found this post helpful to you. I have been reminded lately that our bodies truly are a temple. I am blessed to be alive and I want to do my best to live the life that God intended me to live. I have found that hard to do when I am feeling tired and sick. Something I read the other day really stuck with me. It was talking about how when we pray before a meal we ask God to bless our food we are about to eat. It went on to say, "We believe God is going to come down and miraculously remove the physical toxins from the food we are about to consume or cancel out the effects of those toxins on our bodies". Hello. So true. Why do I believe I can fill my body with junk and think that the Lord will keep me from getting sick? It was a "ah ha" moment for me. I have to ask myself daily before I eat, is this something that will work for me or against me. If it will work against me than it's just not worth it. It's a battle and one that I am determined to win for me and my family.


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