Simple Easter Treats

I’m on a big “Let’s simplify our entire lives!” kick and it’s kind of taking over my brain.  Less, less and less.  When I was thinking about what I wanted to get the kids for Easter I knew I wanted it to be easy and simple.  They don’t need a whole bunch of new stuff and they really like just the whole fun surprise part of waking up to a little treat.

We go through eggs like nobody’s business, so I set aside 4 of our leftover egg cartons and then used some paint I had on hand to paint the tops of each carton.

This paint dries super fast so it was very easy to cover the tops in no time at all with just a few coats of paint.

Every year I keep a small box of empty plastic eggs because every Easter we have to send in stuffed eggs for school.  I always keep the really obscure eggs too the kids get from their Easter egg hunts…animal shaped, sports themed, girly ones and this year the camouflage ones I kept from last year are beyond perfect for the boys.  So I already had some extra random plastic eggs leftover to use.  I also already had some Easter grass.  I’m really weird about certain things, but the Easter after Mom died one of her friends gave the kids all these amazing Easter baskets with the prettiest paper grass and since then, I have reused the grass and plan to continue to do so.  So yes, I’ll toss Amon’s crib which all 4 of our kids slept in without even thinking, but I plan to keep and reuse a small bag of paper Easter grass for years to come.

I went to Target and picked up a few items to fill their cartons with:  one bag of pretzel M&Ms, 1 bag of sour patch kids, a small transformer trinket & a $1 bin measuring tape for Hudson & Solomon, a lip gloss & earrings for Harper, one $1 bag of carrot chocolates and a fun chocolate egg for each of them.  I put some of the M&Ms, Sour Patch Kids and chocolate carrots in the leftover plastic eggs for each kiddo and filled their cartons with their treats.

And just like that, I’m ready for Easter.  Easy, simple and fun.  And they are going to totally love these!

Happy Tuesday!

I Kind Of Dig…

*Purging.  I have been on a crazy spree.  Going through and getting rid of.  Josh Kelley may have called me “impulsive”.  Who me?  Impulsive?  So what if I told Josh I wanted to take apart and get rid of Amon’s crib as we walked the boys up to bed the other night.  So long crib…hello floor.  Impulsive?  Me?  No way.

*Baseball.  It’s true…so very very true.  We have become totally smitten with the world of little kiddo baseball and just being at the park.  It’s just all far too adorable and fun.  I love the concession stand…even loved working the concession stand…helping kids decide what candy to buy and always recommending the fried Oreos…what has our world come to, but it’s delicious.  The friends, the sun, the game, the kids, the Icees & candy, just everything.  But honestly, other than watching the boys play a game they love with Josh as one of their coaches, I think one of my favorite parts is Josh’s dad.  Big Daddy (as the grandkids call him) doesn’t miss a game.  And baseball is pretty much his love language, so I honestly think it’s a pretty special time for him watching his son coach and Hudson & Solomon play.  I just like it all.

*Running.  I love a good run.  It makes my head clearer and I feel, not only physically better, but mentally better.  But then throw in Harper, and hold the phone.  Things just got better.  She is doing a local kids marathon with her run club so each week we add to her milage and I love running with her.  And she loves talking as she runs.  It’s so fun to hear what all is going on inside her head.  It’s a privilege to be her mom.

*Hudson’s creations.  Enough said.

*This little arm party.  I received my Noonday order the other day and I have worn this gig for not one, not two, but three days in a row now.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.  It’s true love.

By the way, taking pictures of your own arm with your non dominant hand is super awkward.  And typically results in lots of awkward arm pictures.  At this point in the post I really wanted to throw in all the awkward arm outtake photos.  But, I shall spare you.

*Working.  My work just so happens to be creating and I deeply love it.  A friend is hosting a little girls sale night at her house for friends and asked if I wanted to come and sale some items.  Well of course I would.  Friends + crafty items = I’m in!  This weekend I finished up several mini buntings and started a huge batch of key fobs.  All my leftovers I’m going to post here for a Saturday sale.

*Warm family dinners outside.  The weather is rockin’ my world…in the best way.  Crossing my fingers spring is here to stay.

*This quote.  Josh Kelley added it to our board and I forget what book he said it came from.

*And this canvas.  Like I said, I’m purging.  And there sat this lonely canvas in my office still with no home.  If you are interested in purchasing it CLICK HERE for the details.

Happy Monday Friends.  See you tomorrow.

Oh Hey There.

Well I didn’t mean to take a couple of days off.  Life has just been…well…life.  And we just so happen to be going pretty hard and there was some allergy/sinus sickness going on accompanied by doctors appointments and lots of random sleeping, not only by just Amon and baseball and I’m really really tired.  Oh, and then I up and decided to paint all of our kitchen cabinets and walls while we had an extra sweet baby girl for the day…and her momma found dried paint on her…and 3 days later I finally finished.  And life…isn’t it wild and crazy sometimes.

We have been looking for a house for well over a year now…closing in on two actually.  There is always something new we want to do to our current home, but we just keep thinking we’ll find something.  Turns out there just isn’t a lot out there in our price range.  Soooooo, we keep waiting. And not making the changes we want to our house.  And I finally had had it up the here {insert stern parental stare}.  I was just incredibly tired of living like I thought we belonged somewhere else, when really I needed to be embracing exactly where God has us now.  So I bought paint and got busy.

I didn’t take any good before pictures…you can kind of see our kitchen in the background of this picture…brown cabinets & green walls.

And this is when I had taken all the top cabinet doors off.  I may have manually removed all of the top cabinet doors along with every last stitch of hardware with a little hand screw driver.  Then as I watched Josh Kelley later that day remove all the bottom cabinet doors and hardware with his cordless drill and I cursed.  #sometimesIjustdonotthink

Then over the course of three days I got to painting.  And painting and painting and painting.  And today I finished.  And I’m a bit smitten.  Just a bit.  I wish the lighting was better, but the sun was going down when I snapped these.

I am sooooooo glad it’s over.  And now I’m laying on the couch and can barely keep my eyes open to finish this post.  It’s quite redonkulous.  I’m off to bed.

Happy Friday night!

Happy Weekend!!

April

My April craft class is set for Friday, the 25th from 5:30-9:30, but I’m kind of thinking about canceling the class for this month because it seems April is a busy month for all of you who are interested.  I wanted to put one more post out about the class before I officially cancelled it and sent out the May information for my wait list ladies.  So here you go…think it over…and let me know by this Friday if you would like a spot/spots :)

Here are the dates and times and the number of spots available.

Friday, April 25 from 5:30-9:30

Location:  Our house.

Price: $100

I will provide all the instruction, craft supplies, food and drinks.  All you need to bring is yourself…and maybe a friend or friends.  What a fun girl’s day or night.

We will do two crafts…a letter canvas and a fabric wreath (pictures posted are from some examples).  Each craft is very adaptable for each individual.  You can create the way you create…use your unique individualities.  They can be as much or as little as you desire…you can change and add and take away…create how your heart desires to create.  And a wide variety of supplies are available to you.  If you are interested or have any questions please send me a message HERE.  Spots will go first come, first serve and are limited to 12 due to space.

The goal is you will leave with two crafts you can do again on your own.  No special equipment required…you can do it!!!  Hope you will consider joining me.

Hope you guys have an amazing day.

Happy Tuesday!

Excuse Me While I Ramble

The weekend was nothing short of just weird and unexpected.  Well laid plans went awry and the only thing which even resembled what I thought it was going to was Sunday…a few consistent constants…church, Cheyenne taking our first set of 2014 pictures and Bible study.  Everything else was haywire.

And that’s life.  All those curveballs and hurts and scars and love and kindness and letting go and realizing this is just another season…and you pull in real close to the ones you love the most…even though they are the ones you hurt the hardest sometimes…and the ones who are so familiar…and the ones who make you laugh and think hard thoughts…the ones who push you to be better…and like you for just you…incredibly flawed & all.  You dig your heels in and decide to stick this thing out because you know it will be the adventure of your lifetime.

After I finished up Scarred Faith it absolutely left my heart stirring in the most real and cultivating and “holy crap” way.  I know God is right there.  I know He’s stirring my heart and I’m just not quite sure what to do with it all.  So I have conversations with Josh Kelley in the dark and I wake him up just one last time because I just need to say one more thing…I need to run one more thought by him.  I hope my flesh doesn’t let the whirlpool of motion settle.  I hope my flesh will act.

Lately I am absolutely craving simplicity.  The simpler the better.  The simpler the easier my heart feels.  I need less.  Not more.  More makes me all anxious and so if it’s not nailed down to the floors in our house, there’s a chance it’s getting the boot.  Things I’ve been holding onto because they were Mom’s or things which were sentimental to me…I’m now realizing the joy in finding them new homes…in giving them with purpose.  They are truly just things…items…material possessions…the memory remains in me…not in the item.  Simplicity is singing my song…and it’s my jam.

I had a chance to talk about Mom last night at Bible study and I could have easily broken down into a big gushy puddle of tears.  It’s not often enough when I get to share about her.  To share about the ways she molded me.  Mom was easily the crazy parent when I was in school…the dorky mom.  She was known as “over protective” and she always knew exactly where I was and if I didn’t call when I was suppose to you better believe she was tracking me down and she asked all those far too personal, prying questions middle schoolers and teenagers don’t want to be asked.  And she prayed hard prayers.  And she did not shy away from her passionate love of Jesus or the fact that she needed His grace and forgiveness just as much as the next person.  And as I talked about her, the overwhelming emotion of how good, how really really good she was could have smothered me.  All those things I didn’t like about her then, all those things that made me cringe with embarrassment, I now absolutely adore and appreciate and will aim to be the very same way with my children.  Because I knew she wanted me to make good choices…”just do the right thing Laura”…and I knew she wanted me to love Jesus more than anything else in this world.

And honestly the weekend was hard…and today wasn’t too much better.  Things all awry everywhere.  And in those hard moments I’m thankful for a God who provides hope…and not just any kind of hope, but sometimes this hope that makes you laugh and then all weepy at the same time.  Today it came in the form of Amon using the potty.  And I got all weepy as I took in the moment as I watched Harper, Solomon, Hudson and myself all standing around our bathroom watching and waiting and encouraging Amon to just pee.  And you know what, he did.  And then he did again later.  And then, what the what, the kid even went number 2.  And every single time we cheered like crazy yahoos and ate treats and gave hugs like we just won the super bowl.  All we needed were our goggles and bottles of bubbly.  With all our communication struggles I feel like God just reached right down today and gave me a high-5.  Like, hey, you can do this…everything is going to be alright.

Just when you feel defeated…just when you start to really lose it…in those moments I feel like God likes to be all, “Hey.  Wait just a moment.  I am still good and therefore you’re life is still crazy good.  So why don’t you just soak Me up and rest in this hope and grace and mercy and unconditional love I’m handing you.”  And it’s hard to do that sometimes, but I did, just for a moment.  And in that moment all the junk just melted away and I saw again how amazingly gracious God has been to us.  How He really is so good and how He loves us just perfectly perfect…even when things seem to go haywire.

So long Monday!

Taking Orders & April Craft Class

Happy Friday!

I am officially totally all caught up on custom orders and open for more.  If you are interested in placing a custom order just send me a message HERE.

I loved working on this graduation gift 10×10 canvas that’s headed to Louisiana and this custom shirt which headed to a customer here in Tennessee.  I have not done a custom tee order in quite some time, so this was super fun.  Thank you ladies so much!

If you are interested in Mother’s Day gifts, end-of-the-year teacher gifts/key fobs or graduation gifts, please get you order in as soon as possible.  It never fails that this time of year just gets swamped.  Cannot believe we’re almost to summer.

And April is apparently a super busy month for everyone.  I have 12 spots available for my Friday, April 25th 5:30-9:30 craft class.  If you would like to claim a spot(s) please send me a message HERE.  Spots for the class will go first come, first serve.  For April’s class we will be making a text canvas and a wreath.  All supplies will be provided along with food and drink.  This is a really fun girls  night.

And yesterday we had major fun.  Things like bike riding right after school and book fair action and Mom & Harper/Dad & Hudson & Solomon dates.  The dudes went to baseball practice first and Harper and I went spring/summer clothes shopping because I realized she had zero warm weather clothing.  Amon got to stay home with our lovely babysitter Anna.  No Amon meant we stayed out late and did crazy things like eating out in the actual restaurant of choice after bed time and getting dessert afterwards in a different location.  I’m not going to lie…things were crazy good.  We love Amon…to pieces pieces, but it was really sweet being with just our big kids and having one-on-one time with just me & Harper.  And they loved every minute of it.

It’s been a pretty decent week.  And it’s Friday.  Here’s to a great weekend.

Happy Weekend!

9 Things.

1.  These two.  All day, every day.  They’re crazy fun…fight hard…play hard…love hard.  Glad I get to be their momma.

2.  This app.  Killing it.  Susan has been making me log my food and I’m so glad she has.  Love seeing what all I eat looks like.

3.  Still doing the 21-day fix because I love it so much.  But realized it has now turned into the 46-day fix…and that just makes me laugh.

4.  This book is crazy guys.  My cousin Amy sent me a text a while back and basically said I HAD to read it and she was SO right.  I bought more copies to share.  This is a most excellent book in general, but also so good for those who have lost a loved one.  It’s honest and real and redeeming.

“Jesus doesn’t stand on the other side of life, waving us over when the coast is clear.  Likewise, he doesn’t stand next to us patting us on the back and wishing us good luck as we trudge through life.  The story of the good news of Jesus is that he enters.  He enters.  He enters into the world.  He enters into human flesh.  He enters into the suffering of people.  He enters into the brokenness of life.  He enters into all forms of pain.  He enters into the margins.  John declared, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  In The Message, Eugene Peterson gave it this twist:  ”The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”  It does something to my soul to know that when I feel like I’m as low as I can get, God’s grace can get lower.”

5.  March was a tad lacking in my running department.  Not April…I’m shooting for 70 miles.  April is a super busy month for our family so if I get 50, I’ll be pleased.  If I get 70, I’ll do a jig…and it’s sure to be jaunty.

6.  Thank you to everyone who bought Noonday items.  Seriously.  For realz.  I cannot wait to pick out all kinds of fun items and then turn them into $610…5 tables and 30 chairs for some crazy sweet kiddos all the way in Swaziland.  I love what can happen when people come together to help one another.  Love is amazing.

7.  When friends say they’ll go to Africa with Josh and me, it makes me smile…wildly…and dance…and cheer really loudly.  But my first response is always, “Really?  Like for real?”  If everything comes together, this will be one of the best trips ever.

8.  And these are my new favorite earrings from Dobee Designs.  Love them.  Thank you Sara.  Adorable little boy courtesy of Solomon.

9.  And after sitting down and looking at our family calendar with Josh, I’m only going to be able to do one craft class in April…Friday the 25th.  I sent out emails to all the ladies on my wait list and all remaining spots will be made available this Friday here on my blog.  Crossing my fingers we can fill a class.  Apparently April is a busy month for everyone :)

See you guys tomorrow.  Again, thank you for reading.  I’m always amazed you stop by.  You make my day!

Happy Thursday!

Stuck

At baseball practice the other day Amon got stuck in the base of his stroller.  And as he squirmed and got himself even more stuck, I had a good hard chuckle…and didn’t help…and took pictures…because that’s what all good moms do.

Happy Wednesday!