Friday, July 27, 2012

Appreciate The Cow

Every year Chik-fil-a celebrates Cow Appreciate Day.  It's a blast--dress up like a cow, get free food.  Um, yes?!   We are huge Chik-fil-a fans.  Love their always pleasant, excellent customer service, delcious food (they've (never once messed up my order or given me food I didn't love), generosity, company policies, and family values.  As a teenager I read a biography on Cathy Truett + his company and I was extremely impressed with his business as well as his values.  This is one generous, kind hearted man.  Once his sons were looking all over him to get his advice about a business decision.  They couldn't find him in any of the offices.  Then it struck them, they knew exactly where to find him.  Sure enough, there he was playing with the foster kids at the children's home he opened.  They said that was a perfect description of what kind of man Truett is.  And it shows all the way down to the employee who serves my delicious lemonade or cookies 'n cream milkshake.  Since I love the company so much I *almost* felt guilty taking free food from them...but then they did offer and I must admit we are rather avid supporters year round.

While Jason wasn't too sure about the cow shirt, I think he appreciated it when he went to pay for our meals and his card was slid back across the counter to him.  4 free meals?  Yes, thank you.  Korban promptly wiped his cow nose off + Micah refused to allow his cow ears near him.  And my two oldest drew the line at cow hoofs on their hands.  But, they're still pretty darn cute. 

We plan to make this an annual tradition (two down--lots more to go!).  We really enjoyed the fun these past two years with our friends Sabian, Melissa, and Addie.   little cows -- check out our tails! Little cows loving the play place.  Love that moment between Ivory + Micah while Addie runs to climb in and join the fun.  So sweet.  We also enjoyed a spontaneous outing to Under the Oaks by the Bay after dinner.  The kids enjoyed a very spontaneous romp in the salt marsh (yuk!) where they had an absolutely completely messy blast.   

And for fun:

Thanks for the smiles Tim Hawkins.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ahoy It's A Boy

This sweet family, Charlotte, Caroline, + Eric, will soon be welcoming a little boy into their family.  So, of course we had to celebrate with a baby shower!
I'm just loving these nautical theme baby showers and jumped at the chance to host one.  Here's the invite I created in Print Shop (love that program!  Details edited out).

I e-mailed a few of those out but we mostly relied on the evite.  I wasn't aware this amazing site existed until Caroline suggested I use it for invites.  Love it!  Simple, time + money saving, and saves that many more trees!

Caroline's Mom + Dad recently retired and moved to a gorgeous condo complex with a lovely gulf view.  We were able to host the shower in the condo's complex.  Ideal.
Since the clubhouse was already dedicated very nautical I kept the decor to a minimum.   Of course I drew inspiration from my pinterest board.  And Target had *perfect* nautical decorations in their little dollar section in early June (the colorful signs + little tags + square boxes + pens + note cards).  Print Shop + my scrapbook box supplies the signs, paper banners + paper boats.  The burlap + twine wrapped candles were inspired by nautical decorations seen at World Market.  *Loved* this decor but wanted to save money + keep it simple.  And love the feeling of a DIY! 

And of course burlap is all over the internet these days.  Love it.  Cheap + simple.  Just wished I hadn't run out of time to take an iron to it...
I didn't get a great picture of the paper banner.  You can catch better glimpses in the background of other pictures.  We had a fabulous prep team of sweet ladies.  Thanks to everyone who pitched in last minute and helped make the party a success. 
Caroline's Mother-in-law, Rita + younger sister, Meridith in the forefront.  In the background you can see her sister, Shea + Aunt Rhonda.

I made the burlap banner (Used a stencil and outlined the letters with a black permanent marker then filled it in with black fabric paint using a paint brush.  Then used a zig zag stitch to sew the squares onto a piece of twine.  Also zig zagged around each square to prevent excessive fraying since I play ot re-use it often.) neutral so I can use it for all kinds of celebrations.  The ribbons are just tied on so it can be color customized for each occasion.  Melissa graciously shared her gorgeous shells pictured in the glass vases + I found the tall blue glass pillar candles for $1 each at Wal Mart.  I just used a hot glue gun to wrap twine around each vase. 
We asked each guest to write self-address an envelope to make thank you notes easier for the mommy.  Then, we did a door prize drawing with the envelopes. 

Flowers + door prizes.  Bath + Body work had some amazing sales a couple weeks before the shower so their hand soaps made perfect door prizes. 
Each guest was asked to write a prayer for baby on a note card so Caroline could put them in baby's scrapbook and read them to him at a later date.
I failed to get a picture when all the gifts arrived--the table was overflowing.  The beautiful Smith girls.  Caroline with her sweet mother, Jackie.

Caroline + some girls in her family.

The shower was in the morning so we had breakfast foods which was super fun. 
I tried a new recipe found on pinterest for the shower and it was a huge hit.  So delicious.

We had juice, water, coffe + creamers, as well as Shea's delicious frappe.   

They received some great gifts for baby! Big sister, Charlotte, enjoyed helping open some gifts.  
Caroline, Eric + Charlotte with Eric's mom, Rita + stepdad, Rex.  Caroline + Charlotte with longtime friend Megan. The sweet ladies who came. Love this sweet family!  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention.  They made the big name announcement at the shower: Jude Anthony.  Love it.  JAG.  Best intials ever.

Caroline + I met my first day of college orientation.  She came bounding into my room the next morning asking if I wanted to go to Waffle House.  We bonded over waffles and have been fast friends ever since.  She's been an amazing prayer partner, source of spiritual conviction + encouragement, and most of all a very loyal, patient friend over these last nine years of friendship.  I'm excited to see her and Eric parent another child.

And just in case anyone else foresees a nautical baby shower in their future here are some downloadable PDF files from the shower.  Feel free to use/share them as much as you want.  Just please don't sell them.  UPDATE:  For those unable to download these in the past I have updated the links.  Sorry about any inconvenience!

Ahoy It's A Boy Sign
Coffee cup wrapper
Blank Invitation
Prayer Notecards

4th of July Celebrations

Yes I know this is a little late in coming...

Daddy had off on the 4th (hooray!).  We had big plans of a family day.  Well, the kids woke up crabby and I was a wreck.  Jason staved off the kids while I pulled my emotional self together and then took a nap.  After we all had some rest and food we pulled ourselves together and did end up with a really nice family evening at the beach where we watched fireworks.    + Korban loved the fireworks and didn't act scared even one bit.  The kids loved the fireworks being set off all around us as much as they did the big ones put on by the city.  We saw some church friends and a beautiful sunset.
The awed expressions as they watched firecrackers set off all around us.  Daddy had to stand with Korban to keep him happy as he was super sleepy.  So these two were my fireworks-watching-snuggle-buddies.  I wasn't sure how Micah would do as he's easily scared by loud noises but he loved long as Mom was close by to snuggle him.  Mom didn't mind even a tiny bit.

Our town had a delayed 4th of July celebration on Friday, July 6th.  While the circumstances were unfortunate (the man who sets off the fireworks passed away unexpectedly) we were grateful for a chance to celebrate America twice.  The kids were thrilled that they could see fireworks again!  We arrived a little early so the kids could run out some of their energy and enjoy the playground. Ivory is becoming more coordinated and a little braver as she attempts to climb + explore a little higher and a littler further. Micah must take his matchbox cars *everywhere.*  They're especially fun to send down slides. Korban love! The kids loved seeing Joni, Addie + her parents, and Bobo + family.
We enjoy our tradition of watching fireworks with Addie, Melissa, Sabian, MikeMike, Bobo + Cassie.  The kids especially love the glow bracelets Melissa always thoughtfully brings to share.  Grateful to live in this country.  Mostly grateful we can worship boldly without fear of physical persecution.  We are awfully blessed.