Vacay in Pictures

I’m back from my little mini-vacation with my best friend Ashley.  I flew down to Orlando on Thursday night and we boarded a cruise ship headed for the Bahamas on Friday.  Of course I took a slew of pictures to document everything.  I had the best time with Ashley, but was glad to get back home to Josh and the wee Kelleys.  So here’s our little excursion in pictures…and a few words.

Airport/Airplane:  Only in Nashville, Tn will you have the chance to get a Taylor Swift afghan…best cheddar popcorn ever…and yes, this was the magazine in my seat and it may have spurred on quite the cry on the airplane…I have no shame.

Before the board:  A good drive to Port Canaveral & some yummy snacks.

Away We Went:  Welcome & Check ya’ later Orlando!

1st Stop Nassau, Bahamas

Atlantis:  Gigantic…elaborate…amazing aquarium…amazing water slides that went through the aquarium…beyond FUN!

Some Firsts:  First time in a casino…I won $9…first towel animal.

Fun Cruise Perks:  Fruity yummy drinks everywhere…Bingo night…mirrored ceilings…way to fancy for me dining, but with way delicious food.

2nd Stop CocoCay Island, Bahamas:  Gorgeous weather…crazy cool beach…fun couple doing some killer yoga/meditation moves…lots of swimming in the ocean.

Best Part:  This lady.  LOVE you Ashley!

And I’m back home.  I have decided that if someone out there were to make a documentary on cruise life or cruise workers, I would totally watch.  It was a very different vacation…great people watching and just all around interesting.  I think everyone could tell we were first timers and you could definitely tell those who cruised a lot.

Great trip with Ashley, but glad to be home.  Getting back in the groove and back to reality :)

Tomorrow:  weekly craft day.  I think it’s a pretty cute one.

Hope your weekend was as good as mine.

Thursday {Feels Like Friday}

I am leaving in just a few hours to head to Florida to see Ashley…my best friend of, oh, 14 some odd years.  A real good friend is pretty rare in my opinion.  She’s the best.

This morning Sol and I celebrated…not quite sure what…but we celebrated something with Chick-Fila breakfast.  Pretty confident their chicken minis will be in heaven:)  I even sprung for the cherry coke at 10am.  That’s how we rolled this morning.

We then hit up Target.  Sol received the sweetest card and some birthday money in the mail yesterday from my mom’s very best friend Roy.  He purchased 3 new superhero books.  We may have to have a superhero intervention.

I rocked out some cat woman masks this afternoon for some sweet little girl cousins.

I buy lots of fabric for all kinds of things.  I was super excited to re-discover this little batch of fabric I bought about a year ago.  It made my heart happy.

I like when I find this kind of mess in the boys’ room.  Harper is easy to sway into the craft world…the boys not so much.  So I get excited to see this.

I have had lots of books given to me and recommended.  I am a super slow reader, so I am slowly making my way through them.  This has been the best book so far.  I actually discovered this one randomly with my friend Susan while in Books A Million.  I highly recommend it.

And my bag is packed and ready to go.  I’m a little nervous, but super excited to see Ashley.  I will be away from my computer, so if you email me, I will get back to you on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Flipper Painting

Yesterday while Harper and Huddy were at MDO, Sol and I ran a few errands including some grocery shopping.  He is an absolutely wonderful shopping partner.

Harper begged and pleaded for to buy her some Shredded Wheat cereal.  When it comes to cereal choices my kids are more like 80-year-olds.  Shredded Wheat, plain Cheerios, Special K, Raisin Brand…the list could go on and on.

Sol spotted this magazine while in the store.  I LOVE him!

My friend Karen is going to Uganda soon with Sweet Sleep.  She told our small group Bible study girls that they still needed soccer balls to take with them.  I went over the Academy Sports to purchase some for our group.  Not only did they deflate all the soccer balls for me so they would travel easier, but they also gave me 10% off.  Now that is the kind of place I want to shop at.  Made me cry :)

This morning this huge pile of pillowy, stuffed animal goodness appeared outside our bedroom.

These two were the creators.  They said it was their “pile of leaves” and they were taking care of some baby chipmunks.  Kids are cool like that.

In keeping with my “one planned craft a week” 2012 goal we did a little flipper painting this morning.  When I taught kindergarten this was one of my favorite craft projects during winter.  The kiddos experience what it’s like to paint like an animal with a flipper.

Here are the supplies you need:  Paper, white paint, scissors, glue, crayons, walrus and penguin print off from the internet, socks, plates for the paint and sponge snowflakes.  As always, adapt this to what works best for you.  In my original from my teacher days, I did not use the sponge snowflakes, but I knew my kids would really dig them, so we used them.  And you can find a ton of penguin and walrus, or other flippered animals on the internet using Google image search…these just so happened to be the ones that were still in my teacher folder from way back when :)

First the wee Kelleys colored and cut out their penguin and walrus.

Some people have inquired about how I store all our craft supplies.  I put most everything in a larger tupperware box, but jars are also used for just about everything…crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, stamps, stickers, etc.

Next they socked/flippered their painting hand.

And got to painting their snowy scene.

After they finished their snowy flipper painting, they glued on their penguin and walrus.

And lastly, they added sponge stamped snowflakes.  I cut these out when I taught, so they are pretty old.  I just used a cheap pack of sponges and drew snowflakes on the outside and then cut them out.

There you have it…beautifully, flippered painted snow pictures…and a messy table.

And just so you know, this 10×10 Theodore Roosevelt flower canvas is up for grabs on my PPA Facebook page.  Head over and enter to win.  I will draw a winner tonight.

Monday Rambles

Zumba was awesome on Saturday…super success.  Thanks to everyone who came out and got sweaty.  I have been telling anyone and everyone about the classes.  Janet is super cool and it is just a great class.  I highly recommend it for you locals.

I told Jessica, Ashley and Courtney I would photoshop their sweat off, but I don’t have photoshop :)

The weather in Tennessee has been crazy.  Cold, then warm, then tornado weather.  It was so nice this weekend we rode with our windows down.

The amount of laundry we do seems semi-crazy sometimes.  I am very, very ready to add another kiddos dirty clothes to the pile.  I NEED more small, dirty clothes :)

I made up some gifts this weekend.  A pretty new Africa tee and a cute little 5×7 canvas.  I hope the sweet, lady recipients love them.  I like fun gift giving.

Homestudy updated paperwork…done, done and triple done.  Super glad that’s finished.

We’re gearing up for Sol’s 3rd birthday.  How, oh how, can he be 3 already?  It’s just not right.  He is currently a Batman fanatic.  I think he’s kind of in love.

He completely melts my heart.  I really like him!

And our cardboard “waiting” sign has been all over the place.  And come Thursday it’s headed back to Florida.  I’ve got a weekend date with my best friend Ashley and a cruise boat.  Our little sign is headed to the Bahamas for the weekend.

I love Chris and Ashley…and maybe their dog Tucker too.

Hope you had a great weekend and your Monday was good too!

14 Months Waiting Winner

I have to be honest…I chose the question about “why God was good” because I so wanted to hear others words about why He is so good.  I know He is good…I really, really know this.  Life can be so strange sometimes and there are always those curve balls, but one thing is for sure…

“God is good, the world He made is extraordinary and His comfort is like nothing else on earth.”

I cannot say thank you enough for all the encouraging comments and emails.  I truly loved reading each and every one of them.  Thank you for making me feel so loved and thank you for sharing with me a piece of your heart.

THANK YOU for blessing me with your words.

And for the winner…drum roll please…

Comment #269 Stephanie Havener.  Stephanie, check your email for a message from me.

I cannot say how awesome you guys are.  Thanks for reading this little blog and for being just crazy awesome.

And thank you for celebrating with us being another month closer to our little guy.

And if you have been one of our “waiting” art giveaway winners…I would totally love to see a picture of you with your canvas.  If you don’t mind…please snap a picture of you and your piece and email it to me.  It would totally make my day.

Thanks again and have a rockin’ good weekend.

Mitten Craft, Valentines & Fabric…oh my!

On the 20th of each month I want nothing more than to just stay in bed and cry…seriously.  Obviously that is not an option because if it were…the bed is where I would be :)   So I had a good cry in the shower this morning and just a few tears here and there through out the day.  I know this may sound really stupid, but I still cannot believe Mom is gone…my head DOES.NOT.GET.IT.

I chose to do our weekly planned craft today, just so we would have something fun to look forward to.

I have really been missing her lately, so I ventured up to her house the other day.  All of my files from teaching kindergarten are at her house.  I decided to bring a few home.

Today we decided to do a craft from my “winter” file.  The kids were stoked to make mittens.

As with most of our crafts…these are super easy.  I like to keep it easy.  Here are the supplies you will need:  Drawn mitten pattern, colored paper, white long rectangular strips, smaller white squares, ribbon, string, scissors and glue.

I love for my kids to practice cutting, so I usually trace the main pattern and then let them do the cutting.  Plus is gives them ownership over their project.  So trace the mitten pieces, cut them out and glue together.

We then picked out ribbon and glued on a piece of ribbon the bottom of each mitten.

Then we got started on the snowflakes.  The kids glued down the long rectangular pieces down first.  Cross shape and then X shape.

They then glued on the smaller white squares to the ends of the snowflakes.  At the end, I hot glued a piece of string to the back of the mitten to connect them.

And there you have it.  Super easy winter craft.  Display and enjoy!

Harper also finally finished her Valentines today.  She has been working and working on these things.  She picked out some little treats to put in the bags and today she filled out all her tags.

These are totally her.  She cut all kinds of jazzy things out of magazines and used a bazillion stickers and stamps and other cut out hearts.  I just like her.

And we used my mom’s stapler to attach the tags.  My mom’s stapler is pretty doggone awesome.

I also have been doing a little fabric shopping lately.  I am still closed for orders, but these will be added to my inventory and will be available once I re-open.

And our 14 Months Waiting Art Giveaway ends tonight at midnight.  GO HERE and enter to win this 11×14 canvas.

And don’t forget ZUMBA tomorrow morning from 8-9am at the SWG Studio STARS (Formerly A Time to Dance Studio) at 113 West Cedar Street in Goodlettsville.  This is directly beside Goodlettsville City Hall.  And it’s only $3.  Proceeds go to our adoption fund.  THANK YOU Janet!  Come get your groove and sweat on :)

Have a great weekend!

Zumba Anyone?

Our 14 Months Waiting Art Giveaway is still going on.  This 11×14 canvas with, “The Lord will fight for you…” Exodus 14:14 is up for grabs.  Giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight.  CLICK HERE or scroll to the post below to enter to win.

A couple of weeks ago I started a zumba class.  This was a big step for me because I have zero…yes, zero…rhythm.

I have been training for my next 1/2 and thought zumba would be a fun extra little cardio and I was right.  It is so much fun and such a great workout.

I found a class that is literally a minute from my house and only $3.  Janet, the super nice, very coordinated, instructor is way fun to do class with and is just all around kind.  We ended up having a good friend in common and became friends on Facebook.  She read some of my recent posts and sent me the sweetest message saying she would love to donate the money from one of her Saturday classes to our adoption fund…WAY nice!  And I accepted.

So if you are local and want to check out zumba or you are already a cool zumba kid, then this Saturday, January 21st is the perfect class for you :)   The class is from 8-9am at the SWG Studio STARS (Formerly A Time to Dance Studio) at 113 West Cedar Street in Goodlettsville.  This is directly beside Goodlettsville City Hall.  And it’s only $3.  I will be there ready to get my sweat on, along with several friends and would totally love to see you there.  I’ll be the one without any rhythm :)

And in other Kelley randomness…my friend Jessica’s birthday was Tuesday.  We went out last night, after zumba:)  to celebrate.  I made her this 12×12 canvas.  I think she dug it.

This little dude finally got his date night and I totally forgot to send my camera with Josh.  I was ticked, but Josh did take some pictures on his phone, so at least it is somewhat documented.

He chose bowling and then pizza and games at Chuck E Cheese.  I like his mind.

This wonder basket is making it so much easier to tote a crazy amount of things to and from the car.  I like it…like a lot.

Asthma is not Huddy’s friend in the winter…nor ever.  Tight chest, hacking and weezing = doctors visits, but cool games and color sheets, make it totally cool for him.

Does anyone else keep up with their dating anniversary?

14 years ago today, my mom took Josh and me, along with our best friend Tyler, on our first date.  We were 15-years-old and yes, Tyler accompanied us on lots of dates.  We went to see As Good As It Gets and then to eat at Steak n Shake.  That seems so long ago and what a really great memory.  My mom was beyond good…and I still like Josh.  Mom always said he was different and a keeper.  I think she was right.

And yes, I do still have the ticket stub…I’m a collector in Josh Kelley memorabilia :)

And check out the movie only costing $3.25…wow!

That about wraps up my random thought process for today.  Don’t forget our 14 Months Waiting Art Giveaway ends tomorrow night and if you want to zumba Saturday morning…I’ll be there sweating and with a smile.

14 Months Waiting Art Giveaway

**GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

A few really important things have been going on a the Kelley house lately…and when I say important, I mean important.

1)  My friend Courtney let me in on the “Chick-fil-A has Chicken Tortilla Soup” secret.  You should really have this for lunch.  You will thank Courtney later.

2)  Myself, Josh and Harper have been battling to the death over the game of checkers.  We just may all have a competitive streak and turns out this sweet, small, lady Kelley does not take losing in the game of checkers lightly….who knew?!?

3)  Indoor soccer is now my all time favorite sport to watch.  If Coop’s playing, I will be there.  Super fun to watch and I am a yelling aunt…I just can’t help it.

4)  We had another mini bake day with my friend Courtney.

She wanted to learn how to do sugar cookies.

A few unfortunate things may have happened during our mini bake day:

A)  I may have dropped almost an entire tray of freshly baked cookies into the bottom of the hot oven and onto the floor

B)  The proposed dropped cookies may have started not 1, but 2 fires in my oven.

C)  The two above things, may have led me to realize we have no smoke detector in our kitchen

or

D) All of the above.

And 5)  The wait continues…

Dear God,

Please, oh please, help this to be the last waiting giveaway.

I would love to see my son’s face today.

That would rock.

Love, Laura

And again, like each month, we are celebrating being another month closer to our boy with an art giveaway.

This months pieces is a 11×14 canvas with “The Lord will fight for you…”  Exodus 14:14.

I had such an overwhelming response over the recent canvas I posted with this verse, that I decided it would be the perfect giveaway for this month.

I don’t have anything super fantasticly insightful to write for this month…I just want to see my kids face and get him home…like yesterday.

So here are the deets:

Please leave a separate comment on this post for each entry.

Entry #1 Leave a comment…any ole’ comment will do.

Entry #2 Leave a comment about about how/why God is good.

Entry #3 Share the giveaway on your Facebook status

Entry #4 Share the giveaway on your Twitter status

Again, please leave a separate comment on this post for each entry.

Giveaway will end this Friday, January 20th at midnight and I will announce the winner on Saturday.

And of course, if you are the winner, we will mail your canvas directly to you.

After this wait is over, I would love to see pictures of each of the winners with their canvas…that would make my heart too delighted.

So another month down and another step closer to our boy.  That call and day just cannot get here quick enough.

**GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**