Sunday, July 31, 2011

To my sweet boy

Dear Mr. Gray Gray, 

You, my son, amaze me every day with the things that you do and say.  You are talking so much lately, even if only Momma and Mamaw can understand what you are saying.  I like that I can understand your words.  It makes me feel good, and special.  That only Momma knows what you want or need or are trying to say.
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My favorite moments that I don't ever want to forget are when you first wake up from your naps when Momma is home with you.  If Daddy's home, forget it.  Momma's chopped liver.  But when it's just you and me, I love how you bring your BB and snuggle up.  Just me and you.  And I love how you move all around until you are comfortable.  Just right.  And we snuggle.  It usually only lasts for a few short minutes, then you are jumping up, asking for juice or snack.  I cherish these moments.

Your pure "boyness" overwhelms me at times.  But I love that you are rough and tough.  You are just like your daddy and I know that he thrives off that!  You can't get enough super heroes, sports, or guns.  You are shooting stuff with your fork, hand, and even princess wands. Throwing your apple up in the air and catching it in your bowl. You make me laugh with your silliness. 
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You watch daddy so closely and I'm always catching you mimicking his actions.  If his legs are crossed, yours are too.  If he is getting a shower, you have to get in too.  If daddy's itching his ear, so are you.  My favorite thing lately is the way you look in the full length mirror after getting your clothes on, just like daddy.  And you look at your sides and your back, and adjust your sleeves, fix your shirt tail.  And then when you think everything looks just right, you do a little dance.  {Daddy swears he doesn't do a little dance.  Right, babe.} It's the best thing ever.

I love you more than you know.  And I look forward to all of the fun ahead.
Love, Mommy

Welcome to Sew Chic Upcycling Week!

Who out there loves to take something old and make it new again!?!

This event is for you!
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We have such a fun 12 days planned!  First of all, this event is being hosted by here at This Crazy Blessed Life and by Jenny on Seamingly Smitten.  Monday though Friday for the next two weeks, we have guest posts lined up on both blogs to share some awesome ideas using upcycled clothes.  That means 20 posts!!!


And at the same time, we'd love to see your creations!  


Dig through those closets.  Hit the closest Goodwill.  And start repurposing!

We are also leaving this linky party up for the next 12 days for you to link up your upcycled clothing posts.  Use our guest posts starting tomorrow for inspiration!  Or come up with your own thing!  

If you don't have a blog, but would like to submit a project to be featured, just email one of us at rah1515@aol.com or Seaminglysmitten@gmail.com.

Are you ready for the best part?!?!  We are judging the linky party projects and email submissions and selecting our top 3 favorite projects.  And the winners get some awesome prizes to be announced on Saturday!  Check out the lovely event sponsors on my sidebar!

Only rules....


Follow us, please!


And add this button to your post!
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Go ahead, show us what ya got!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dear Laynie...

My Sweetest Laynie,

I'm so proud of the little lady that you are becoming.  You are sweet and polite.  Almost always saying your pleases and thank yous.  You love dresses and it is such a challenge to convince you to wear some shorts, Sister.  You have a beautiful confidence about you that makes me so proud.  I love that you aren't too shy or worried about what others think.  

Your latest dilemma has been over your hair.  You want long, Rapunzel hair, but you also want hair like mommy's.  Several times you've been ready to take the plunge and chop it off, but backed out at the last minute.  It's adorable too see the conflicting things you want and watch you make your own decision.  And I love that you have an opinion on your hair style daily.  "Just two braids momma, they worked good yesterday."

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I love that you are learning about God.  And that prayer is so natural to you.  It made me so proud when Mamaw told me that she caught you praying for the little kids in the Mountains that we were buying school supplies for.  "That those little kids in the Mountains have all the things they need for school.  And that they have enough food."  And when Tiffany told me that you jumped in and started off the prayers the first day at Bible School before she could start praying.  It makes momma proud.  And feel like maybe, just maybe, we are doing something right.

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Your persistence is our biggest challenge.  I know you get it honestly.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish you would just give in. That you were just a little less stubborn than Mommy.  But you're not.  And I end up agreeing with you, even if you aren't right.  Because sometimes it just isn't worth the fight.   I think about your husband one day.  He better be a easy going guy that loves you whole heartedly.  Because he will never win a fight or argument against you, Sister.   

And you are smart.  So smart.  I can already tell you are going to excel in school.  You remember things that happened nearly two years ago.  And not just, saw pictures and remember (because we have those moments too), but out of no where you'll say, "Hey mom, remember when..." And you'll remember something that I had long since forgotten. 

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I love you forever, my big girl.  I'm so very proud of you.
Momma

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WINNER!!!!

And we have a winner!
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Cheryl's Cute Creations graciously donated the winners option of the following items.
Green & Yellow Tutu with a 20" waist and Yellow Ribbon Closure


Set of Six Pink Flower Alligator Clips
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And random.org picked Beth Anne McCann!

Congratulations to Beth Anne!  I'll be sending you an email shortly!

And a special thank you to Cheryl for her giveaway!  Go on over and check out Cheryl's Cute Creations Shop and Cheryl's Creative Collection on Facebook!

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And since we are having the Sew Chic Upcycling Week starting August 1st, we won't have our normal giveaway at the beginning of August. But we do have a super fun linky party with prizes for the winners!
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If you have a business or blog that you'd like featured, it's free to sponsor a giveaway at This Crazy Blessed Life.  You just provide the giveaway (and something to me to review the product too :)).  I'm looking for end August/September giveaway sponsors.  

You get your button on my sidebar for the entire month too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Freedom Parfait

I had the honor to guest post over at the Red, White & Blue Round-up at My World - Made By Hand a few weeks ago.  Wanna see what I shared?


I'm going to share a super easy, super delish summer recipe with you! It's definitely not a cheap dessert...but it's worth every penny!

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The goods:

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1 box white cake mix {and eggs, water, & oil to make it}
1 box vanilla pudding {and milk to make it}
1 can pineapple {crushed is best, but I chopped my own}
2 pints blueberries {washed}
1 pint strawberries {washed}
food coloring {red & blue}
2 containers whip cream {really about 1 1/2 containers}

Mix up your cake batter & add blue food coloring until you get the color you want to acheive. For this recipe, I left it lighter {I made it for a baby shower}, but to get USA blue, I'd add more!

Bake the cake & let cool. You could even do this the day before if you are short on time.

Carefully cut off the very top layer of the cake where it was browned from baking and crumble the rest. {Great job for a little one to help with!}
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Mix up your pudding & add red food coloring until you get a good red color. {I only had about 1/4 of the amount of pudding that you'd normally have}
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Now it's time to start layering! I used a pedestal bowl, but you could use any glass bowl if you don't have one.

This was my order for layering, but feel free to change it up!
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Cake Crumbles
Whipped Cream
Chopped Pineapple
Whipped Cream
Cake Crumbles
Pudding
Blueberries
Whipped Cream
Cake Crumbles
Whipped Cream

For the top of the parfait, cut strawberries and create a border around the edge. Then "draw" a star with blueberries & fill the center of the star in with more blueberries.
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Finish the top by filling up the rest of the top with cut strawberries.
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And there you have it! A beautiful red, white, and blue parfait. That everyone will ask for the recipe for!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Those we love.

A dear friend of mine once said, "We treat strangers better than the people that we love the most."

And isn't that the truth.  We are so polite to the bank teller, person that we accidently walk in front of at the grocery, and greeter at Walmart.  Yet, I catch myself yelling or being rude to Matt and my kids many times daily.  

These are the people that we love so much.  Yet I know that you wouldn't know by my actions.  Sure, I tell them I love them.  I show them love and affection in many ways.  

But I also told my daughter to "shut up" this evening.  And those are "bad words" in our house.  She wouldn't listen, Grayson had just fallen asleep, and she was out of her bed for the umpteenth time.  And it just blurted out.  I saw the hurt in her eyes and I felt horrible.

As I was thinking about my "mean" words and behavior, I thought about how often we don't listen to God.  How often we resist what he's telling us.  Or sin against him over and over again.  And you know what?  He's patient with us every time.  He forgives us every time.  And I don't think he'd ever tell us to "Shut Up."

This week, I want to be more like Him.  The have patience and keep my cool the 1st, 5th, or 99th time that I ask my kids to do something.  Or tell them not to.

Aren't these the cutest faces ever?

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And don't forget the Cheryl's Cute Creation Giveaway!

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It ends Wednesday!!

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And lastly, want a sneak peek at what I've been working on?  I can't wait to share my little bedroom makeover with you guys in a few weeks!  It'll be coming after the Sew Chic Upcycling Week (which is really almost 2 weeks :))

Project #1
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Project #2

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Friday, July 22, 2011

*Free Print* This Little Light of Mine

I love it when I find free prints!

Some fantastic bloggers, like Eighteen25 and KikiCreates, are awesome at sharing beautiful, free printables for their readers.

So, I thought I'd try my hand at it...
And here's what I created!
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I made the print available in four colors.

To print it, click on the links below & it will take you to Photobucket.  Download the original size image to your computer and print it out
on 8.5 x 11 paper.  

*If you decide to print it out, please follow me as a token of appreciation :)*

Turquoise
Lavender
Pink
Green

So, tell me what you think...any suggestions for improvements?


And leave me a comment if you print it :)  I'd love to know if you do!

Check out the linky parties I participate in!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DIY - Liquid Hand Soap!!

So, I've mentioned it on here before, but my husband is kinda, sorta a germ-o-phobe. 

And this means he probably washes his hands constantly.  Like at least 10-15 times in a few hour period in the evenings after he's home from work.

Which also means, we are ALWAYS running out of hand soap.  And hand soap isn't that expensive, but I hate paying $1-$1.50 for 8 oz. of handsoap.
In the past, I've gotten creative and used diluted body wash {free from couponing}.  And that worked good.  But then I ran out of free body wash.

So, I headed to my trusty computer to find a way to make some.

And who came to my rescue??   TipNut!!


Tipnut is "Your online guide to the Crafty & Clever."  And I've found so many useful tidbits on this site!

The recipe was super easy..and it worked just perfectly!
{modifying slightly from Tipnut}

You Need:
Bar of Soap {any kind...we used Safeguard}
Water
Glycerin
Honey
Blender
Grater
Something to put it in
Funnel {optional...but way helpful!}

*1* Using a cheese grater, grate your soap into small pieces directly into your blender.

*2* Add 1 c. boiling water & mix well.  {expect some foaming}

*3* Walk away for a while & let it cool and the foaming "calm down"

*4* Add 1/2 c. room temp water, a chunk of honey, and 1 tsp. glycerin & blend again.

*5* Add 3 c. room temp water & blend yet again.

*6* Pour into containers.  Now here's where a funnel would be handy!

Tips
We didn't have a funnel, so we poured the soap into a gallon ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the bottom corner.  Then squirted into our dispensers.  I filled 2 10-12 oz. bottles and have enough to probably fill another 3-4.

Shake it up every few days.  Ours was white creamy looking, but around day 3, it got watery.  Shook it up, and it was just fine again!

And my cost....

bar soap - $0.03 {tax on free 2 pk}
glycerin - $0.22 {$3.50 for 8 oz....used 0.5 oz}
honey - free
water - free
Total = $0.25 for 40 oz. liquid hand soap!


Check out the linky parties I partcipate in!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giveaway - Cheryl's Cute Creations!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

I'm so happy to introduce you to an adorable business!
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My friend Cheryl, started her business just a few months ago and it has blossomed for her!  Cheryl goes to our church and is the momma of 6 kiddos.  I totally admire her patience!  And to top it off, she's such a sweet person.

And her model's are super cute too ;)

Cheryl's shop features mostly hair bows and tutus, but she has other fun things here and there too!



And she is constantly doing fun games and auctions on her Facebook page!

Cheryl is giving the winner of this giveaway your option of one of two following items:

Green & Yellow Tutu with a 20" waist and Yellow Ribbon Closure

Set of Six Pink Flower Alligator Clips

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To win, you must be a This Crazy Blessed Life follower!
{So, go follow me!}

For each entry, please leave a separate comment! 
And make sure I have a way to contact you via your profile or something.

Head to Cheryl's Cute Creations shop and tell me your favorite item.
{1 entry}

{1 entry}

Share this giveaway on your Facebook, Twitter, or Blog.
{1 entry}

Sign up for This Crazy Blessed Life email alerts for new posts
{over on sidebar where it says "email"}
{1 entry}

Winner selected Wednesday, July 27th @ 9 pm!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tips for Baking with Kids ... and Nutella Cupcakes!

Have you seen this delicious looking recipe?


{Via Pinterest}

I found it on Pinterest and I've been dying to make it ever since.  Nutella is a staple in our house.  If you know me, you know that I am a cheapskate very frugal.  This is one thing that I will gladly splurge on.  

And after working up the nerve to bake with both of my children by myself {you have no idea how huge of a task this is}...we made them!

I do have a few tips on baking with two little ones.

Tip #1 - Make sure each child has a task to work on.  My biggest struggle is keeping my kids from fighting. So if they are each busy with a task, they can't be worrying about what the other one is doing.

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Tip #2 - Expect a mess.  And don't try to clean it up until the cupcakes/cookies/cake is in the oven.  This keeps mama from stressing.  Messes can be cleaned. {Easier said than done.}

Tip #3 - Let them try tasks that you think they are too young for.  They feel so big when they are doing it...and it prevents tantrams :) Ex. Grayson (2 years old) using the mixer above.


Tip #4 - Let 'em lick the spoon {no raw eggs, of course :)}


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Tip #5 - Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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Linking up at these linky parties!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am Blessed...with Great Friends!

So, I am constantly reminded how blessed I am in so many aspects of my life.  I figured I would do some posts where I randomly post things that I am grateful for.  Because God has given me so much.

And after a great evening with our friends on Friday, I realized how blessed I am with great friends.

We have an amazing circle of friends, who have similar values and beliefs as we do.  They generally have the same parenting styles and it's awesome to have friends to bounce things off of.  I'm so lucky to have someone to call to chat about just about anything.  We've been pregnant together, had babies together, and now have toddlers and preschoolers together.

I think one of the things that I love the most is that we are "the village."  You know in the proverb...It takes a village to raise a child.  I know that I can help one of our friends kids or correct them, just like I would my own.  And I'd expect them to do the same with mine.

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We take vacations together {like to Gatlinburg}, have girl's nights, get the kids together for ice cream,  have date nights and family nights and the occasional boy's nights too {although those haven't been as successful}.  

The older four kids are all four years old {or just about}.  They were all born within five months of each other.  And when they don't see each other at least once a week or every other week, my kids are seriously missing their friends.  Amazingly, they all get along really well.  With two boys and two girls, they have the perfect balance :)
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The younger two are four months apart.  And they are perfect for each other.  They're both our little ruffians!  If there's trouble to be had, they are likely in the middle of it.

Then we have Miss Lucy.  She's all by herself and I totally see her as our little Miss Priss.  Layne ADORES her!  But what's not to adore?!?
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Grazianis, Nelsons, and Barnes'...we love you guys :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Attention Please....

I am so excited to announce an upcoming event on my blog!

Together with Seamingly Smitten, I am hosting
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August 1st - 12th

During the week, we will each bring you a guest post with a clothing refashion idea.  That's 20 posts!

And, we're also hosting a linky party for you to link up your upcycled clothes posts.  Don't worry if you don't have a blog.  You'll have a chance to email us your photos & we'll post them here.

And...there will be prizes for the top 3 projects that are linked up/emailed in! 
Prizes will be announced later! 

If you are interested in guest posting, we each have a couple of slots left!

And if you have a business that you would love to get some publicity for and be willing to donate something as part of the prize for the winners, let us know too!

Here's some buttons for participants or if you want to advertise for us!
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