Monday, April 25, 2011

An Egg-cellent Weekend

We have been busy with Easter activities. So be prepared for a long post and lots of pictures!

Thursday and Friday, Preston and Kaitlyn had their egg hunts at their respective schools. The eggs Preston had to find were numbered 1-12 and he had to find them in order. For Kaitlyn, there were math problems on each egg. Her class went from 12-1 while making sure the math problem on each egg equaled the number they were looking for. It was a lot of fun for the kids.

Then, we had the big Easter Eggstravaganza at church. The kids had sooo much fun. Our Children's Pastor did such a great job of organizing it. Unfortunately, Craig had to work so it was just the 3 of us (but Craig is on vacation all week now so it worked out okay).

Kaitlyn and Preston rode the train several times.

Then, they checked out the fire truck and Preston wanted to climb inside.

And there were bounce houses.

At 11:15 am, the massive egg hunt began. They were divided by ages for the preschoolers and grades for the older kids. There's Kaitlyn with the pink basket, bending down to get an egg.

Here's Preston in his signature hat collecting eggs. Notice the giant Sonic Slushie in the background.

Of course, an Egg Hunt wouldn't be complete without seeing the Easter Bunny. By the way, this is a HUGE step for Kaitlyn. She used to be absolutely petrified of characters. We've talked to her a lot about it just being people in costumes and at church, it's always someone she knows. We also told her we won't go to Disney World until she overcomes this fear. I think she is starting to understand now.

Our friends, the Morgans, bought us yummy sno cones, the kids got balloon animals, they each won a raffle prize, and it was finally time to head home.

Then, it was time to dye eggs. It's been several years since we've done this, but we thought the kids would really enjoy it. They loved seeing the eggs turn different colors.

Preston was so excited about the whole thing!

Don't they look cute and innocent?

Stickers make the final touch.

The Easter Bunny came to visit too! Here is Kaitlyn's basket (I bought these plastic baskets 2 years ago and just decorated them with ribbons and stickers. I love that they are used over and over again!). She got Tangled, stickers, a paint book, the traditional Peeps, Cadbury Eggs, and chocolate bunny. Grandma helped the Easter Bunny pick out a Nintendo DS too!!!

Preston got a new game for his Leapster, stickers, paint book, the traditional Easter candy and a Panda Pillow Pet (Grandma helped the Easter Bunny with that too).

Here they are with the kids. They were very happy with all their gifts.

Now they are ready for church!

After a great church service for all, it was time to come back home where the other grandparents were coming over for lunch. Of course, Granna had to bring some more goodies for the kids and provided eggs for an egg hunt at home.

We are blessed with a big backyard, so it was easy to spread out all the eggs.

For lunch, we had grilled steaks, sausage, corn on the cob, twice baked potatoes, deviled eggs, rolls, and white chocolate chip cheesecake. I'm still full!!!

As much as we all enjoyed the eggs, prizes, and goodies, we still made sure to take time and remember the real reason for the holiday. I received a box of Resurrection Eggs years ago and decided to put them to use this year. We like to countdown to holidays, usually with prizes, but we decided to use the Resurrection Eggs. Each egg contains a symbol that pertains to the Easter story. So every night, we opened one egg, read the Scripture verse and the story in the book that is provided. Some nights were hard for the kids to be still and listen, but towards the last few days, they were really catching on and could tell us what happened to Jesus.

One egg had a "crown of thorns". The kids didn't like that the soldiers put it on Jesus' head and made him bleed. Our favorite egg was the very last one. It was empty to symbolize the empty tomb. The kids fully understand that Jesus came back to life after dying for our sins and now lives in Heaven.

I would say we had a very busy, but very blessed Easter. We took the time to truly remember that Jesus is alive and can live in our hearts every day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Making Her Acting Debut...

Kaitlyn's 1st Grade Program was last night. Imagine our surprise when she came home awhile back and said she actually had a speaking part in the program. As a thespian myself, I was so happy!

The title of the program was Freddie The Frog And The Mighty Meter Gnome.

Here is the program. Kaitlyn was Abby the Ant. I am so thankful that her first and last name were spelled correctly.

Here is the entire 1st grade!

I know the pictures are blurry, but we didn't have the greatest seats and we don't have one of those fancy schmancy cameras. You get what you get...

Kaitlyn has the black shirt and standing below the boy on the top row, fourth from the left, in the red shirt. I'm so glad she didn't have to stand in the very front like I had to in school programs. Oh wait, I still do. :/

Here's another shot of the 1st graders!

Kaitlyn is on the right at the microphone. Her line: "But why? Work time is over." Short, but sweet.

Of course, as per Kelley tradition, the actress gets flowers on opening night. You may notice the pipe cleaners (excuse me, chenille stems as they are now called) sticking out of her head. The kids had to dress like ants by wearing all black, brown, or red. I made the antennae by wrapping the pipe cleaners around a headband.

Afterwards, we went with the grandparents to get some frozen yogurt and ice cream. It was a very cute program and Kaitlyn said she enjoyed it. Now to start making the audition rounds. (Just kidding!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fine Arts Results

We had 3 group presentations for Children's Fine Arts: puppets, drama, and human video. I am so proud to say that all 3 groups received the Award of Merit. That means they scored higher than 100 by going beyond the judges expectations. I am so proud of the kids!!! Here is their final human video pose. It's my favorite! Out of 100 possible points, Kaitlyn received a 90, 92, and 94 from the judges on her cake creation. As promised, here's the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix

1 pkg. instant Jello chocolate pudding mix

6 oz. chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup milk

1 tub chocolate frosting

Mix all ingredients well. Cook in 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes in 1 bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Melt desired amount of frosting until it becomes liquid and easy to stir. Pour over cooled cake.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Yesterday was our Missions Day at church. Since Craig comes from a family of pastors and missionaries (including his parents, who are retired missionaries to Mexico) we appreciate the chance to celebrate and honor those that are doing God's work. We have a big banquet where everyone brings food from different countries. The children have their own special time and dress up from different countries to parade around the main sanctuary. Preston is dressed Jamaican and Kaitlyn is European (Sweden, Austria, Germany-take your pick). A friend let us borrow the dress she had made for her daughter years ago. It fit Kaitlyn perfectly, I added braids, and voila! Here is one of the tables that my Care Group set up. It is Australian. I actually tried Vegemite and will never do so again. Yuck!!!
As we were eating, the kids came in and paraded around the room. Here is my little Austrian.

Here's my Jamaican, proudly holding his flag.

This is my plate with a smorgasbord of food. In the top right corner you can see the little piece of bread with some brown stuff on it. Yes, that's the Vegemite.

After we ate, the Men's Choir from Life Challenge performed for us. It was so nice to hear their testimonies about God changing their lives for the better. Someone reached out to them when they were hurting and helped led them down the right path. We don't have to travel across oceans or continents to be missionaries. We are all called to tell the Good News to others.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Children's Fine Arts

The Assemblies of God denomination, which we belong to, has a yearly event called Fine Arts. It's a chance to showcase Human Videos, Drama, Puppets, Sermons, Instruments, Baking, Photography, Drawing, etc, all within a certain Christian theme. There are so many categories to choose from. At the Youth level, it is a competition. I personally think sometimes there is too much emphasis on the competition part and not the ministry part. At the Children's level, it is a chance for them to become familiar with the different aspects of Fine Arts while simply getting critiqued and not having to compete against each other. This also gives them several years of experience so they can be fully prepared for the competition in Youth Fine Arts. Fortunately, this year I was privileged to be a coach to our children that wanted to be involved in Fine Arts. Performing is such a passion of mine and I am always so thrilled when I can share it with others. Along with our amazing Children's Pastor and his wife, I got to work with 11 kids in puppets, drama, and human video. We worked hard and had lots of rehearsals and it all paid off. Yesterday was the big day! We went to a big church in the area along with lots of other churches and the kids got to showcase their gifts. I was so proud of all their hard work and they were phenomenal. I know all the scores, but can't announce it yet. I'm just so proud of what they've accomplished. One thing that we were sure to emphasize was this is a ministry. This isn't to see if we're better than other churches. This was their chance to minister to others using their talents. I'm so sad it's over now. I wasn't the only Kelley to participate. Kaitlyn decided she wanted to enter the baking category. She actually picked out her own recipe, Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. The rules state the children have to do a majority of the work with minimal help. That's exactly what she did! Here she is mixing all the ingredients together. I helped her pour it in the bundt pan.

Then, we baked it. It smelled so good coming out of the oven.

Finally, chocolate frosting was poured over the top. Yummy!

We took the cake to the designated area at Fine Arts and they closed the doors as all the baked goods were being judged. I wonder how you become a judge for the baking category? When the doors opened, she had a Fine Arts medal next to her cake (all the entries received one). You can see the tiny slice the judges cut out.

After a long and busy morning at Fine Arts, we came home and had Kaitlyn pose next to her cake. You can tell she was exhausted! I can say that she received a Superior rating from all 3 judges and they commented how tasty it was.

It was an amazing day and I am so proud of the kids. I'm so thankful to the parents for allowing me to be part of their children's lives. Stay tuned for the scores and cake recipe!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Decorating

It's finally Spring and time for some new crafts at the Kelley house. The kids decorated their own eggs made from white cardstock. I attempted a 3D egg I saw on It's pretty but so time consuming. The kids tried to accordion fold the paper, but they weren't interested in it. The egg is supposed to be hung from something, but I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with this.
I also made a "Spring/Easter" wreath. This was the most time consuming project ever! I'm noticing a pattern on the projects I pick out. I originally saw a heart shaped wreath made of red felt circles on It was very pretty so I thought I would try my own variation and make one for Spring. It took forever!!!!

I picked out 5 different "Spring" colors in felt sheets and bought several sheets of each (4/$1 at Hobby Lobby). Then, I cut out about a million 3" circles from the sheets. Fold the circles in half and then fold again. Get a straight pin and poke it through the corner of the circle. Pin it to a foam wreath. Repeat over and over and over...

Here's a closer look. I just fluffed out the circles a little to give it a "full" effect. I pinned a ribbon to the back to hang it to my door. It's a very simple project but takes time. I like how it turned out. Perhaps I'll forget how long it took and make the heart wreath for Valentine's next year. :)

For a final "Spring" touch, I added some heirloom ceramics to some fake Easter grass and placed it on my dining room table. These ceramics were made by Craig's great-grandma many, many years ago.

The decorating is done and now it's time for some Spring events. We'll keep you posted.