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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Electrolux Live Cooktop Challenge

This post has been sponsored by Influenster. I have been compensated by the sponsoring entity. However, all opinions are 100% my own.
I don't know about you, but I think Kelly Ripa is just too cute.  And, she really makes me want to buy Electrolux appliances when I see her in the commercials.  Seriously.

I guess I'm thinking that I can be that cute, too. 

Ha!

There is a chance to WIN an Electrolux cooktop, though.

Next Wednesday, November 6th, at 1 PM EST someone will win one just by tuning in to watch and participate in the Electrolux Live Cooktop Challenge livestream on Food52.com.

Totally awesome, if you ask me. 

You can tune in and see celebrity chefs and learn a thing or two about cooking. 

Electrolux's Induction Cooktops boil water in 90 seconds (it only takes mine about 10 minutes...) AND you get the control of a gas cooktop in an electric range. The temperature control allows you greater accuracy, especially at low temperatures. You can melt chocolate more easily and keep foods warm without continuing to cook them. 

And, they're beautiful, too.


It makes me sigh, just looking at it. 

Their electric cooktops have Flex-2-Fit elements so that the burner will fit the size of the pot, instead of having to dig in the cabinet to find a pot to fit the size of the burner. Nice.

Also, if you notice in the above photo that there are no knobs. The burners have a Glide-2-Set control panel so you can just slide the temp up or down with the touch of a finger. The smooth surface makes cleanup a breeze. (Wish mine was a smooth top!)


I know you would love to have one as much as I would! 
So, don't miss out on the opportunity to win one! 

Remember to tune in to to the Electrolux Live Cooktop Challenge on November 6th at 1:00 PM EST (12:00 PM Central) to see your favorite celebrity chefs, get some great cooking tips and ideas and enter for the chance to win!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Fun and Spooky Halloween Gathering

The last few years we have made it a tradition to have friends over on Halloween.  
Our neighborhood is a great place for trick or treating and a big group of kids and adults will make their way from house to house, while some of us stay and pass out the candy to all the cute kiddos coming by. 

Usually, we just have a few snacks and drinks, while enjoying our time together. But, this year, I want to kick it up a notch and do something a little more special. 

Happiness is Homemade-Spooky punch
Spooky Eyeball Punch-Happiness is Homemade

I really love this Spooky Eyeball Punch from Happiness is Homemade.  It is super easy and looks so fun.  Imagine a whole punch bowl full of those creepy eyeballs! 

The Graveyard Cupcakes that are in the same post as above, are too cute, and look pretty easy, as well. 

Dracula Dentures via PopSugar
Dracula Dentures via PopSugar

These Dracula Dentures only take 4 ingredients and don't you know that the kids would love them! They are scarily cute!

No Halloween Party would be complete without a mummy or two.

Mummy Oreos from Queen Latifah
Mummy Oreos from Queen Latifah

These Oreo Mummies just look tasty and don't look like they would take much time.  That's what I'm all about; quick and easy, but too cute. 

Funny Bones from Spoonful
Funny Bones from Spoonful
I love the combination of sweet and salty and these Funny Bones use chocolate and pretzels, along with marshmallows.  Yes, please.

Of course, you can't just have sweets around. You need something else for all those who don't love chocolate and candy (although, personally, I think there is something wrong with those people). 

Mummy Dogs from licouponqueen
Mummy Dogs from licouponqueen
Pigs in a Blanket are one of my family's favorites, and these Mummy Dogs go right long with the spooky theme. They are easy to make and sure to be a hit. 

When everyone has had their fill of spooky fun, I want to send the kiddos home with an extra special treat.  These Hand Halloween Party Favors would top off the fun nicely!

Halloween Hand Party Favors
Halloween Hand Party Favors
Even one or two of these fun treats would make the night special.  Being with friends and spending time together is what makes it so much fun.  

What treat are you looking forward to making for a spooky Halloween gathering?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Fall Centerpiece

I love to add fun fall touches throughout the house for the whole season.  Even though it doesn't really feel like fall until well into October.  Now, the cool weather is finally here and I'm loving it. 

I was walking in the yard one day after a storm the previous night and there were a few branches down in the yard, and I knew I had to bring them inside. 

Fall Branch Centerpiece

I love the way they look in the vintage milk jug. At first, I just had the bare branches, then I knew I had to do more.  I cut out leaves from my stockpile of scrapbook paper and taped them on. 

It's really huge!


It reaches up and around the light fixture, so they sort of mingle together nicely.


The vintage Borden milk jug is one that my Daddy gave to me.  I have no idea how old it is.

And, who says that glass balls are only for Christmas? 


What have you created with scrapbook paper for the fall?

Have you brought nature inside your home for the season?

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm Back With 31 Days of Family

Hello, all!  

I am among the land of the living again. Thank goodness!

I sincerely hope that you don't suffer through the flu this season. It's really no fun, especially when it's followed up by Strep and then the mother of all migraines.  

Geez. Not a fun week. 

I quarantined myself to the bedroom and just waved to the kids from the bed. For a week!

Ah. Enough of that. 


I am going to carry on with my 31 Days of Family, even though I am woefully behind.

My mom is talking about the family today.  
And, leave it to her to come from the most unique angle of all.  

My sisters and I have always joked that the in-laws are her favorites. Who could blame her if they are, they are the best husbands and wives for her sons and daughters.

Here are a few of her feelings about them.

******************************************************
When we are asked to talk about our family, the first that comes to mind is your children and grandchildren; and I do have a lot to say about mine; but with this writing I want to tell about the amazing men and women that  my children have married.

My daughter-in-law,Polly, has been part our family for so long (she was just a baby when she married my son, Mike).  She is the perfect wife for him, a wonderful homemaker and exceptional mom to Miranda and Michelle.  She has always treated me with the utmost kindness and respect.  I love her like my own.

Then there's Garry who takes care of my yard and worries whether I am eating right or not; he is kind and funny.  I appreciate him more and more as time goes by. He and Lori have raised beautiful children.

After some troubled times I know Ricky has found the love of his life, Connie. I don't  know her very well yet, that will come with time. I can say though, I know her to be very smart and funny. I like her a lot.

David, we have known him and his family since he was about five.  He was raised in a Christian family just as Lisa was.  I know him to be a dedicated Christian, husband and dad who earnestly wants to be the very best he can be.  He looks after my house and car and does the "honey do" things I am not capable of.

Rex is a Godly man who adores Amy, spoils her and is and amazing Dad to their three boys.  He is always ready and willing to help me do chores that need to be done when they come for weekends. I know in my heart he genuinely loves our family and we love having him as part of us.

This may sound unusual but I cannot write about my in-law children without telling you about Roy.  Reason being, even though he is not married to us any longer he has been in our family since he was just a boy and I love him like my own. I know if I need him he is there.

These are my in-law children and I know how blessed I am to have them.

******************************************************************

My mom is the matriarch of our family, we all love gathering at her house and just spending time with one another. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

THE Pin It Party #27

I'm so sorry that this is so late going up! I have really been out of it with this flu.

Get your links posted so that you can get pinned!

Welcome to THE 27th week of THE Pin It Party Link Up!

Please take a second to update your THE Pin It Party button! You can either grab the code below or just link your current button to the new Creative Geekery site (www.creative-geekery.com). Thank you for taking the time to do this!

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Have you been "pinned" at one of our TWENTY FIVE parties? If you can't remember, be sure to check our THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best Pinterest board. We have a surprise for you! Go here to grab a special badge Ellie made just for you!

Are you interested in co-hosting THE Pin It Party? It is a WHOLE lot of fun and a great way to grow your Pinterest following. Go here to get more information and to reserve your spot now!
RULES
Completely Unfinished - Summer Lovey Dovey Road Trip Playlist One Organic Mama - A Robot Party What's Up with the Wilhelms - Anywhere Workout

1. Please follow the host and co-hosts on Pinterest.

2. Send out a tweet about the party! Just click here:

3. "Like" THE Pin It Party on Facebook by clicking on the button below.

4. Grab the party button above and add it to your blog's sidebar or link up party list.

5. Post 1-3 links to your blog's most "pin-able" posts from the last few weeks. (Please, no links to other parties, giveaways or shops please. If you are an ETSY shop owner, come back this weekend and link up at the Weekend Blog Block Party!)

6. Mingle! Reach out to somebody new and pin their stuff. You never know when you will meet your blogging bestie!

7. Have a FABulous day and come back next week for more Pinterest fun.

Host: Ellie @ Creative Geekery
Co-Hosts:
Kristin @ One Organic Mama
We will each choose our three favorite posts from the party and pin them to this party's collaborative Pinterest board: THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best! Woot woot!






Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Quick Pop-In To Update

Hey, my friends!

I just wanted to pop in and give you all a quick update.

This past weekend The Littlest and I went on the Cub Scout Mom & ME Campout and had a great time. I'll tell you all more about it soon.

The main reason you haven't heard from me in a few days is that I have the flu.

Ick.

It's pretty awful.  

I hope to be back to normal in a few days.

This is day 3, so I should be on the downhill side.  

Thanks for everything and I'll see you back here soon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days: Big Brothers Are The Best


Families come in all shapes and sizes.  My husband's family is small and my family is pretty large.  
I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters.  

When I came along, my brothers were already out of the house, so it was just us girls. In a tiny house with only one bathroom.  My poor Daddy! Ha!

So, I don't have the memories of bonding with my brothers. 

When I read the essay sent to me by another of my nieces, Hannah, it brought tears to my eyes! She and her big brother are so close, and I love that.  (I did, by the way, ask him to participate, but he is a pretty private guy!)

I call the big brother in question, "my first baby boy". It's probably because of him that I decided that I only ever wanted to have sons.  Since both of my sisters are older than I am, he was born when I was 16, and I loved on him all the time. He is the one who gave me my family nickname, "Nanny". 

Usually, that is a name reserved for a grandparent, but it stuck and I have been Nanny or Nan ever since. 

Hannah is a culinary student and loves to cook and create delicious desserts.  She has been baking since she was very young.  I am so proud of her!

Here is her view on what it is like to have a big brother.

*************************************************


I’m notoriously clumsy, it’s probably safe to say that I have spent almost as much time on the ground from tripping on my own two feet as I have spent actually upright on my feet, I even fell at my high school graduation. And it’s not just falling that is the problem, one time in the eighth grade I ran into the metal door of the gym at school and knocked half my front tooth off, I know…who does that!?

It didn’t happen immediately, but about 2.5 seconds after realizing that half of my tooth was no longer attached I started bawling, like out of control, ugly, full on wailing. And it wasn’t that I was in pain, it was just that I knew I was going to be a half-toothed hick for the rest of my life, that’s all I could think about. I didn’t know what to do at the time, so I started walking inside the school, somewhat disoriented from the ridiculous emotional mess I was, and made my way to the high school library where I knew my older brother was, who was a senior at the time, and just stood outside the door. I didn’t want to actually go in because my blubbering was loud and I just knew the librarian would kick me out and I really didn’t want to embarrass my brother.  So I stood there not really knowing what to do until the door opened and one of my brothers friends came out, she took one look at me and I’m certain she wanted to run from the unstable mess that was standing there, but instead, she turned back in the door and said, “Colby, your sister is out here crying.” So much for not embarrassing him…but if he was embarrassed he didn’t show it. He came out in the hall, and let me know things were going to be okay, he’s always been good at that, not like he has any experience with dramatic girls after growing up in an almost all-girl family. Needless to say, he called my dad and I ended up getting my tooth fixed that day and only had to show four people my ‘half-tooth hick’ self.

Isn’t this is what family is about? When you’re down, your family is there to pick you up, help you dust your rhinestones off, and help you on get on your merry little way. Our family in particular has always been so very good about this, no matter what the case, family is always there to help you pick yourself up, and to laugh it off. That’s the biggest blessing about our family, no matter where we’ve been or what has happened in the time we were there, we are always able to pull each other up and bring joy back to each other’s lives, because after all, in the words of Princess Diana, family is the most important thing in life.

***********************************************


We do pick each other up and do our best to keep each other up, too.

Yes, that is what family is all about.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

THE Pin It Party #26!

Welcome to THE 26th week of THE Pin It Party!

Please take a second to update your THE Pin It Party button! You can either grab the code below or just link your current button to the new Creative Geekery site (www.creative-geekery.com). Thank you for taking the time to do this!

Grab button for Creative Geekery
Grab the code for our button here!
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Have you been "pinned" at one of our TWENTY FIVE parties? If you can't remember, be sure to check our THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best Pinterest board. We have a surprise for you! Go here to grab a special badge I made just for you!

Are you interested in co-hosting THE Pin It Party? It is a WHOLE lot of fun and a great way to grow your Pinterest following. Go here to get more information and to reserve your spot now!
Completely Unfinished - Summer Lovey Dovey Road Trip Playlist One Organic Mama - A Robot Party What's Up with the Wilhelms - Anywhere Workout
1. Please follow the host and co-hosts on Pinterest.
2. Send out a tweet about the party! Just click here:
3. "Like" THE Pin It Party on Facebook by clicking on the button below.
4. Grab the party button above and add it to your blog's sidebar or link up party list.
5. Post 1-3 links to your blog's most "pin-able" posts from the last few weeks. (Please, no links to other parties, giveaways or shops please. If you are an ETSY shop owner, come back this weekend and link up at the Weekend Blog Block Party!)
6. Mingle! Reach out to somebody new and pin their stuff. You never know when you will meet your blogging bestie!
7. Have a FABulous day and come back next week for more Pinterest fun.
Host: Ellie @ Creative Geekery
Co-Hosts:
We will each choose our three favorite posts from the party and pin them to this party's collaborative Pinterest board: THE Pin It Party - The Best of the Best! Woot woot!




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

31 Days: Gifts Come In All Varieties



I am so excited about today's post!

You have met Rex (the hubs), and my niece, Kaley, so far.  I wish I could introduce you to each and every person in my family, but that would take way more than a month. And, I would be a little nervous that you would like them better than you like me.....seriously....;)

Today I am introducing you to my big sister. She will probably have some comment about me calling her my "big" sister, but she IS my big sister.  She is the oldest of the 3 of us girls. I don't know what we would do without her to keep us all in line. And, I really mean that.  She keeps us focused on what needs to be accomplished and we get it done, in all situations from organizing a garage sale, to deciding what to have for dinner when we all randomly gather, to planning the funeral for my Daddy.

She's pretty awesome.

Just don't get on her bad side. 

I know I don't want to be there.  

Ha! Really.

This is my Lolo. 

Her given name is Lori, but since I mispronounced it as a little girl, Lolo has stuck. Everyone in the town that we grew up in, and where she still lives, calls her Lolo. Even some people that have never met her.  They will say, "Ohhhh! You're Lolo!" 

True story.

Here we are quite a few years ago.



From left to right it's my sister, Lisa, me in the middle, and Lolo.

I had some serious hair happening.  It was the early 90's, after all. 

We were laughing our heads off about something and then had to get all serious and hold still for the photo. I have no idea why we struck this pose. 

Now that you have been introduced, I'll let you get to know her!

*************************************************


Is THIS my gift?

I know that the Lord gives every individual person a special gift, but for the majority of my 55 years I couldn’t define exactly what my gift was. I’m a good mother and good at my job, I can sew and craft and can make a comfortable home.  But when others talked about their gifts I would wonder, is this what I’m supposed to do? Is this my talent? Is THIS my gift?

I’m a good cook, not fancy and not trained but I know what tastes good and what makes my family happy. Large quantities and lots of variety for large family gatherings are my favorites. As our extended family plans a get together I generally will make the menu and assign the dishes to the ones who do them the best.  Whether it’s a control issue or the fact that I’m bossy, ( I can’t imagine why they say I’m bossy) but  I tend to take the majority of the menu on myself. One exception to that is that Mom always makes the Thanksgiving dressing. It can’t be beat. I like foods made from “scratch”. How can you stir in the memories and love if it comes from a box? But still I wonder, “Is THIS my gift?”
Several years ago while grocery shopping with a sister-in-law she made the statement that I was “feeding the whole world”. Of course, she had never shopped with anyone who bought more than one onion at a time or potatoes in a 5lb. bag.  Dinner that night was BBQ chicken from the grill, potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls and dessert, for fifteen to twenty family members.  Days later I was pondering her statement. Maybe, just maybe she had hit upon something. Is THIS my gift?

It’s hard to explain the joy I feel when our family comes together. The occasion never matters.  Whether it’s Soup Tuesday, a wiener roast, softball game or holiday some of my greatest blessings come when we gather at the table and I hear/feel/see the happiness that my food brings.  Just last week hubby told me that he’s most happy when he sees me cooking. While some would find this a rather chauvinistic way of thinking, I took it as a compliment. My heart was singing! Hmmm. Is THIS my gift?

Mom, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, three children, one son-in-law, one grandchild, thirteen nieces and nephews, some married with children of their own. More to come. Family. My family. And someone is always hungry. So just maybe, possibly and even probably this in more ways than I can count is MY gift.   

***************************************************

She really is gifted in being hospitable and showing love to her family.

When I was a little girl, she was my world.  She is 13 years older than I am, so she was kind of a second Mommy to me. She played Barbies with me (and put them away), put me up on the kitchen counter so I could hang my head in the sink while she washed my hair. I hated to get soap and water in my face.

I remember when I was in college and I got a box full of Morning Glory Muffins in the mail. I love those things! She told me to freeze them and pull one out and pop it in the microwave before heading out to class. It was awesome. 

When she got married, I was five years old.  I was the flower girl and cried through the whole wedding.  She kept sticking her tongue out at me to make me smile.  

Yep, she's a pretty awesome big sister. 

Love you, Lolo.

31 Days: Family Meals



Family meals are a really big deal for our family. We have dinner together at the table at least 4 nights a week.  It is such an important time for us because we can connect with all three of our children and they can connect with one another.  I try to keep meals interesting and satisfying.  I do get into ruts where I can't think of what to make and we end up with the same thing over and over, and I hate it! So does the family.  

We have a ritual where we ask them each to tell us something good that happened during the day. And, it can't be what they had for lunch! We find out about their day and learn about their relationships with friends and teachers. It's so important for kids to know that their parents want to know what's happening in their lives. 

When I find a good recipe or a product to help me prepare a meal I get really excited.  

That's where Kraft Recipe Makers come in.




You find a huge selection of Kraft Recipe Makers on the pasta aisle in your local grocery store.  The price is really great considering that you get everything that you need for meal prep except for 1-2 ingredients.  There are recipes to create in the skillet, oven, or slow cooker, so they've got ya covered not matter what.

I chose the Verde Chicken Enchilada package.  I have prepared it before and it was a huge hit with the whole family.  We are a Mexican food loving family so I was initially quite skeptical that any product from a box could live up to our standards. I was oh so wrong!


I saw the Velveeta Toppers next to the Recipe Makers, and I thought it seemed like a good combination.  I top the enchiladas with grated cheese and I thought that the addition of the smooth melty cheese would be perfect.



This is everything that I used to create the whole meal! Oops, except I added avocados to the enchiladas. I didn't go by the recipe on the box , exactly, I tried to create something a little different.  And, it was yummy!

One onion
12 corn tortillas
one avocado
1 lb. chicken breast
Kraft Recipe Makers Verde Chicken Enchilada Mix
Velveeta Toppers Queso Blanco

I boiled my chicken and then chopped it up with half an onion and an avocado. Then, I sauteed it all in a little butter.



After I sauteed the mixture, I added in the Filling Sauce that's included in the package.


It already looked and smelled delicious!

Then, I filled the warmed corn tortillas. 


I filled them, rolled the tortillas, then placed them rolled side down in the dish.



I ended up with a little of the filling left over and I certainly didn't want to waste it. So, I tucked it into a corner....


Sweet.

I topped them with the grated cheese and popped them into the oven.


During the last 5 minutes of baking, I topped them off with the Velveeta Toppers Queso Blanco. I'm a sucker for the white cheese!


Here's the yumminess hot out of the oven!


I completed the meal with the Spanish Rice and black beans and a jar of Peach Iced Tea.


It was a big hit!

The Littlest had not been feeling well, but he even gave it two thumbs up.


And, this guy had two helpings!


This is seriously good and I really can't wait to try another variety.

The onion really filled out the enchiladas and the avocado added some creaminess. And, avocados are so good for you and I try to sneak in extra veggies any time that I can.

Follow Kraft Foods on Facebook for more great recipes to try out.

Have you tried Kraft Recipe Makers yet? Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 Days: Silly Songs, Amazing In-Laws, and Charlie Parker


I may be crazy.

I'm pretty sure that I am.  

I am giving the hubs access to the blog. The ability to say anything he wants to the world.

I have a little case of the nerves over this.

Nah, not really.  We're all crazy and weird, why not share it with the world, right?

As we continue 31 Days of Family, I had to include him.  He has a unique perspective because he comes from a very small family, and his first encounters with my large and noisy family didn't discourage him.

I'm going to make a shameless request here...  If you're reading my 31 Days Series, I would love it if you would leave a comment. I love hearing from you and I know you're out there, I see you in my blog stats! (Ok, end of shameless plug...)

Don't forget to catch up on the past posts HERE.

And, don't forget to get your most pinnable posts linked up to THE Pin It Party while there is still time.

Now, without further adieu, meet Rex, otherwise known affectionately as The Hubs!



*****************************************

“Do you know anyone named Charlie Parker?”  This was the funniest, most embarrassing, and perhaps scariest question I’ve ever been asked…but I’ll get to that.
I grew up in the most conservative of homes.  Vanilla was a daring flavor.  Conservative.  Mom and Dad were amazing parents, and I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything…it’s my story after all; however, to say I was sheltered would be a colossal understatement.  My family was quiet, calm, and predictable.

Amy and I started dating in 2002.  We had both been previously married.  My divorce was the most traumatic thing that my ultra-conservative family had ever faced.  I’m sure they were nervous when I began to date again.  Amy’s family was like nothing I’d ever known.  Her family is HUGE (by my standards anyway).  The first time I met her family in July, 2002, was interesting to say the least.  We drove to her parent’s house in Mt Pleasant, TX, for the Fourth of July weekend.  When we pulled up I was greeted by her parents, who were standing on the back porch looking like the farmer and his wife from the iconic painting “American Gothic”.  All my future father-in-law needed was a pitchfork.  We entered the house and I met a sister and her husband and two of their daughters, a brother and his wife and one of their daughters; and within 5 minutes the group of 11 were whisked off to a local restaurant.  This group was LOUD!  This group had BIG personality.  Despite my conservative upbringing I fell in love with this group and my soon wife-to-be even more (I met another sister, brother-in-law, and 3 more nieces/nephews –to-be by the end of that weekend).  This group of people did a lot to bring me out of my shell.  They taught me to loosen up and have fun.  They allowed me to truly be myself.  They may have created a monster!

Amy and I each brought a son into our marriage.  Matt and Christian became best friends while we were dating…over 10 years later this hasn’t changed.   My new-found sense of family (fostered by Amy’s family) led me to interesting father-son interactions.  The conservative guy was gone.  I made up tons of silly songs about the boys…so many that the boys to this day don’t know the difference from songs I made up to actual nursery-rhyme songs (they’re a little warped in that regard).  Matt (now 15) and Christian (now 13) still sing many of these songs to this day.  These two boys grew accustomed to my silliness; sometimes they weren’t sure when I was being goofy or needed to be taken seriously.  This caused many hilarious moments over the years.  I built a fort in our back yard when Matt and Christian were 6 and 4 years old, respectively.  Our back yard was not completely fenced in at that time (across the back only).  One fall day the two boys were playing on the fort where they’d been pouring buckets of water on each other’s heads.  I stuck my head out at one point and hollered for them to strip down buck-naked on the back porch before they came inside (so they wouldn’t get the house filthy with muddy clothes and shoes)…and I went back inside without further supervision or explanation.  I mean, that was straight forward enough for a 6 and 4 year old, right?  What could go wrong?  I got busy and actually forgot about them (Dad of the Year!!).  About 45 minutes later I hear Amy laughing hysterically.  Matt and Christian had stripped down and continued to play on the fort.  Our back yard backs up to a busy road that feeds multiple subdivisions, and this fort was designed like a tree house (several feet off the ground)…so lots of folks could see these two kiddos playing buck-naked like a couple of Aborigines.
Just doing as they were told. 

Caleb came along in 2005; now we had a truly blended family.  He grew up on silly songs just like his brothers.  Now, every family with small children uses some simple non-offensive term for a child’s private part(s).  Boys for instance, often are taught to refer to their business as a tee-tee.  Harmless, innocent, simple…but not very original, right?  And that’s where the aforementioned Mr Parker comes in.  When Caleb would get out of the bathtub as a little boy I would sing one of my silly songs (that had been sung to Matt and Christian when they were little)…the song “We Wraps Him Up Like an Eskimo” was a big hit at our house.  One night I told Caleb to get his PJ’s on…he preferred to run around naked laughing hysterically (don’t all little boys…why is that?!).  I made the comment, “You better get your Charlie Parker covered up buddy”.  And the name stuck.  His boy-business was Charlie Parker from then on.  I know…it’s awesome! (I mean shameful…this IS my wife’s blog after all…shameful indeed).  One day when Caleb was 5 years old I was picking him up from daycare after work (Church daycare, mind you).  Caleb’s teacher said he’d had a good day, but asked if we knew anyone named (you guessed it)  Charlie Parker!!  I stammered and said, “no”, and got out of the daycare with my child as quickly as possible (before the Church deacons and possible Child Protective Services swooped in).  A little family discussion that night settled the matter; but it remains a funny memory for our family. 

We know how to laugh at ourselves.  That’s important.  My family is my rock.  They will always be the people I most want to be with.  My extended family took this vanilla conservative guy and showed him it was ok to be silly.  They loved me unconditionally, and in the process made me a better man.  I’ll cherish the silly songs, and I’m sure I’ll come up with a few more in the years to come. 

*********************************************

AWW!

Isn't he sweet?

I really am surprised that we didn't scare him off.  

What he doesn't mention, is that once we got past my parents on the porch, we entered the house to see my family lined up in a receiving line to meet him.  They all had huge grins on their faces, and he literally had to go down the line and shake hands or get a hug.  I was slightly mortified.

And, I don't think that we had to do much to show him that was okay to be silly.  He was already pretty good at that on his own!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days: Artwork, Family Style


Hey, Everyone! So sorry I missed getting to hang out with you yesterday. The Littlest was sick and I was tending to him and dealing with a migraine. Yuck.

I hope you got to read the guest post from my niece.  It's too cute.

You can go HERE to read all of the posts in the 31 Days Series, too.

Today is all about artwork for your home that can really showcase your love for your family.
There are so many ways to do this and I want to share some of my favorites.

This Scrabble Family Art from One Creative Housewife is great, and it would be really simple to do with scrapbook paper and scrabble tiles.  She used a stencil to create the background, but I'm a sucker for using scrapbook paper in projects to simplify the process!

via One Creative Housewife

Here is a great idea from a lady that I don't think has a blog. But, she knocked this gallery wall out of the park! Also, she explains what she did in her description on Pinterest. I'm linking here to her board on Pinterest that is all about her craft room.

via Pinterest

This Family Tree from Leaves of Love would be a great idea to create when your whole family is together. And, it would make a neat keepsake for grandparents.

via Leaves of Love

I still love all the different interpretations of Important Dates artwork, and there are so many to choose from on Etsy.  I like this one from A Custom Design with the "First Comes Love" rhyme included:

via Etsy

This one that has the "family" math is really cute, too.

via Etsy

There are just all sorts of ways to display your love for family in your home. 
What is your favorite?

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