Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Turned 30!!!

I turned 30 this year! It's a huge milestone. I did not shy away from it. In fact, I decided to embrace it by having an 80's-themed birthday party. The birthday festivities lasted all weekend.

First, Craig got me a couple little gifts: a peridot (my birthstone) ring and a blue topaz (his birthstone) ring. They are so beautiful!!!

Saturday was the party. I really had to limit my guest list to those that I am closest to and have actually spent a lot of time with them. We went all out with streamers and balloons everywhere, a candy buffet, 80's music blasting, Name That Tune, tons of food, and a costume contest. I did not post my friends pictures for the sake of their privacy. But here are some other pics from the party.
My parents and sister came from out of town to help with the party. I had my mom bring some "cute" pics of me from when I was growing up in the 80's (but really, how "cute" are pics of little kids in awful outfits?!) I had them laid out on one of the tables.

Here is one of the candy buffet tables. There were candy cigarettes (a huge hit-no pun intended), Smarties, Kool-aid, Nerds, wax bottles, and gummi bears.

My friend Amy Armstrong from http://www.sugarexpressions.com/ made the cake. I sent her a picture of a cake I liked on the internet and she duplicated it exactly! The top layer was oreo cake with vanilla buttercream and the bottom layer was vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream. It was so delicious!

Here is the other candy buffet table with Reese's Pieces, candy bracelets, Sugar Daddy's, Pixie Stix, Pop Rocks, and Fun Dip.

Another view of the cake. The glove was made of edible glitter!

Craig actually grew his hair out for awhile just for the party. He really wanted that puffy look. This is hair naturally before he fixes it. Most people at the party thought he was wearing a wig or toupee. Nope, it's all real (he's already gotten a haircut).

The gnarliest looking family around! My parents, brother Marc, sister Dominique, and Craig and I.

I was so exhausted after the party and the exhaustion continued the next day. It was so much fun and every person that came was dressed up. The party actually ended early because we all had to be at church the next day. I love friends that can worship alongside me, pray with me, and then dress up in hideous outfits with me!!!

Tonight is my traditional birthday dinner at Olive Garden. I think the 30's will be a great decade.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of 1st Grade

Kaitlyn's first day of 1st Grade went well. We dropped her off in the classroom and nobody shed a tear.

Until we got to the car.

And the radio station was playing Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle.

Stupid song!!!

Here's Kaitlyn's new gear. She loves the Nickelodeon show iCarly. It's a very clean show and it even makes me laugh. Kaitlyn was very specific on what type of bag she wanted (iCarly Messenger Bag) and the type of lunchbox she got (iCarly only). I found really good deals on both of them, so we were able to buy them for her.

Here she is, standing outside of school with her "new look" and bag. She's making a silly face.
Kaitlyn entered class, sat down at her desk, and proceeded to write her name on her paper.

I always bake a special treat on the first day of school for their after-school snack. With the help of Betty (Crocker), Kaitlyn had peanut butter cookies and pink lemonade.

We also let the kids pick what they want for dinner on their first day of school. We can either go somewhere or I can make something (we do it for birthdays also). Kaitlyn wanted Chick-Fil-A.

I would say Kaitlyn had a great first day of 1st Grade. In two weeks, we'll do the same thing as Preston starts Pre-K (hopefully, no sappy songs on the radio that day).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

'Twas The Night Before School Starts

'Twas the night before school starts, when all through our home
Excitement was abuzz, in not just one person alone.

New clothes were laid out for the new day ahead
Everyone's anxious as bedtime stories were read.

Kisses were given and prayers were said
As children fell asleep snuggled up in their beds.

Mommy and Daddy were the last to lay down
So tired they were, they didn't make a sound.

When before they knew it, off went the alarm
The kids had to be risen from their beds that were so warm.

The sun shone brightly through the windows in their room,
Is this day really here? It seem to come too soon.

The children were dressed and ready for school,
Backpacks were ready and lunches packed full.

Parents walked their kids to class the first day
The kids were fine, would the parents be okay?

The teacher happily greeted them all,
Parents started sniffling as they stood in the hall.

The kids waved good-bye and blew them a kiss,
Did they really know how much they'd be missed?

As parents slowly returned to their car,
They knew their child wouldn't be far.

So they gathered their courage and began to drive away,
The whole time thanking God for giving them this day.

By Desiree Kelley

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet the Teacher-1st Grade

Back to school activities are well under way. Tonight was Meet the Teacher at Kaitlyn's school. We met her 1st grade teacher and she seems very nice. We found where she will be sitting and she has all of her school supplies labeled and ready to go. We found out one of her friends from church will be in the same class with her too!

I signed up for the PTA and got a free cookbook (yay for new recipes!!!). In fact, I signed up for just about all the volunteer positions that I could. I hope to have a very busy schedule this next school year.

Kaitlyn saw some of her friends from Kindergarten. Unfortunately, her class got split up since there are six 1st grade classes. However, I'm sure she will still see them at school and will not have a problem making new friends.

So, we've gotten haircuts, new school clothes, and met the teacher. We're ready for the first day of school.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake

I enjoy cooking and baking. I do it often. I cook 4-5 nights out of the week and I am always trying new desserts. Now, this wasn't something that I always did. When Craig and I got married, I didn't know a thing about cooking much to my mom's dismay. She tried many times to teach me but I wasn't interested. I could make homemade ranch dressing, my special cream cheese/Pace dip, and sweetened tea. That's it. But Craig married me anyways.

Once we got married, Hamburger Helper became my best friend. We ate that so much, in every flavor that they had, almost every night for dinner. Let's just say, Hamburger Helper is no longer welcome in my home and my kids don't even know what that is. In fact, most things, not all, but most things I make are from scratch.

So, every so often I will post one of our favorite recipes. I don't ever make anything that's difficult. I just thought I'd share them with you. Let me know how you like them or share some of your favorite recipes with me. I'd love to try them.

First is a recipe I got from BettyCrocker.com. It is called Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake and you're supposed to make the American flag out of strawberries and blueberries. My family is not keen on fresh blueberries, so I just used strawberries. I made this one night when we had dinner at my in-laws. It was an instant hit.

Here is the cake with just stripes of strawberries.

Here is what the inside of the cake looks like. You poke holes in a cooled cake and poor a gelatin mixture over it to get the red on the inside. (Pardon the cheap paper plate, I really do have nice dishes)

Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake

1 box white cake mix
Water, oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 box (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 box (4-serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/3 cup milk
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350°F. Make cake mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and egg whites. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack 1 hour.
Pierce cooled cake with fork at 1/2-inch intervals. In medium bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water. Carefully pour mixture over entire surface of cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until serving time.
In large bowl, mix pudding mix and milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Arrange strawberries and blueberries on top of cake to look like flag. Store in refrigerator.

This is delicious even without the blueberries. I'm sure you can experiment with different flavors of gelatin and fresh fruit toppings. Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New Cut

School starts in one week and it's time for haircuts. Kaitlyn was ready for a change. She has super thick hair (as the rest of the family) and we needed to make it more manageable. So we cut it. Short. This is the shortest she's had her hair since she was about 2 1/2 yrs old.

We have a wonderful hairstylist, Miranda Pittillo, that has been doing our hair for a few years. She no longer works in a salon, but will come to our house and do whatever we want done to our hair. So, we called Miranda to do our back to school cuts. I only took pictures of Kaitlyn since she has the most drastic change to her hair. Here are the pictures.

Here is Kaitlyn before her haircut. It's actually not the longest we've had it either.

Miranda is working her cutting magic.

Here is Kaitlyn's new haircut. She loves it and can't stop flipping it out with her hand.

Next up, shopping for school clothes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back To School Party

It's hard to believe in just over a week, the new school year will be starting. Kaitlyn will be attending 1st grade at the elementary school she loves. Preston will be attending Pre-K at the private preschool where I teach. We'll get back into the routine of things and our calendar will be full of activities.

To kick the new year off, a wonderful family from our church hosted a Back To School Party. We had hot dogs, chips, fruit, and yummy desserts. There were plenty of activities too. The kids played on the slip 'n' slide (Craig too). We all spent time in the pool with the water being a nice temperature since it was over 100 degrees outside. It was a very fun way to end "summer".

Friday, August 13, 2010

The New Age

Our family plans ahead. Way ahead. So Kaitlyn has been telling us what she wants for Christmas already. A cell phone. A cell phone?! Why does she want a cell phone for Christmas? According to her, it's so she can text.

Now, I have no idea who she is going to text. I don't know of any other 6 yr olds that she can text. I would find it awfully weird to receive a text from her too. When would she text since we're almost always together? Would it be during church? "Mommy du yu haf ofring fur me?" Would she do it after school while waiting in the car pool lane? "Mommy whar are yu? I'm hot!" Since she spells the way words sound to her, that's probably what the texts would look like. However, I know that's also how a lot of teenagers and some adults text also.

It's amazing the new gadgets that are out there now and how much kids actually pay attention to it. When I was her age, I was asking for a Cabbage Patch Doll. Cordless phones were not yet invented. In fact, rotary phones were still widely in use.

The other day I went to a consignment store to look for some 80's memorabilia. I found some used cassette tapes that I wanted to purchase. When I got to the counter, the young cashier dropped one of the tapes (I think it was Bobby Brown!). I watched him try to put the tape back in the case and he had no idea how to do it! Man, did I feel so old.

I guess we just need to go with the times and try to stay as up-to-date as possible with all the new technology. However, our family is always the last to get the latest thing. So, by the time we get something "new" it's already "old".

One thing we know for sure, Kaitlyn will NOT be receiving a cell phone this Christmas.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here It Goes

We've decided to start a family blog. We are going to allow you to take a peek into our lives and share in our adventures. Some posts may be boring, some posts may be exciting. Only God knows what is to come.

We are an average, suburban American family of 4. As much as I hate roller coasters, that's exactly what life is. One. Big. Roller coaster. We go through the same situations as anyone else, and also some unusual ones. However, our peace from God and sense of humor allows us to get through it all.

You will get to know us even better through this. The ugly side, the funny side, the silly side. I'm sure you will find that we are more similar than most people realize.

We know we are not promised tomorrow. We know God has given us a short time together to share in each other's joys and sorrows. Our family philosophy is to always let God reveal His plan, no matter what trial we may be going through. As you read about these moments, hopefully, you will also see God as He continuously shows himself to us one day at a time.

So, here it goes...