Glowing Green Smoothie

I’m not a big podcast listener except for my absolute favorite Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.  Recently she had RadioAmy on and I loved it.  She talked about her mom dying so of course I was all ears.  I mean, she was speaking my death language.

They also talked about other different things including Amy’s favorite smoothie…The Glowing Green Smoothie.  I have made many a smoothies for the Kelley kids, but I have never partaken myself…minus the one time I tasted a friends smoothie in an airport.  I’m kind of weird about fruit and dairy blended together…I don’t even like fruit ice-cream.  I was intrigued enough about The Glowing Green Smoothie to at least check it out and turns out there’s no milk, but water.  I can get behind some water and decided to give it a shot.

Since I had never had a smoothie before I decided to break the recipe down into an individual serving just in case I didn’t like it.

Here’s how mine went:

Big handful of spinach chopped

2 big romaine leaves chopped

1/2 cup water

BLEND

1/3 of a pear chopped

1/3 of an apple chopped

1 large celery stalk chopped

1/4 of a lemon wedge juice

BLEND

I pour mine over ice.  And that’s it.

I left out the banana because I don’t like bananas.

Once I decided I shockingly really liked this smoothie I started pre bagging my ingredients.  I go ahead and chop up all the ingredients and bag them so all I have to do is pull them out and dump them in my blender.  One pear, one apple and one lemon give me 3 smoothies.  And I just have a small ninja blender and it totally works.

I type before you a reformed non-smoothie drinker.  I’ve seen the light and have been having this everyday…obviously we have quite the straw collection.  It’s no homemade chocolate chip cookie, but I really love how it makes me feel.  Give it a shot…Josh Kelley says it tastes like salad :)

And we leave tomorrow morning bright and early for the airport.  We will not have internet access so I will be MIA until June 8th.  Would totally appreciate your prayers as we travel.  I will miss you guys and cannot wait to share about our trip!  And check back because you know there’s sure to be a big Timbali Crafts giveaway when I get home.  Holla!

Happy Friday.

Owning Her Trip & Rainbow Utensils

We leave for Africa in like 2 full days.  I wish I could explain how excited we are, but especially Harper.  She CANNOT wait.  Our bags are packed and we’re slowly adding to our carry-ons as we think of new things.

I’ve been talking to Harper about how I’ve been praying for her heart as she meets these amazing kids and people and as her eyes take in beautiful and hard things.  She has been a part of this carepoint for a long time…just as long and Josh Kelley and myself.  I still remember her small body sitting on stacks of photo frames full of precious Ngungwane kid’s faces as we prepared to launch the carepoint at our then church in 2011.  For months upon months after the launch Josh and I would stand in the lobby with the kids running around our feet talking to people about how they could become a sponsor and be apart of Ngungwane.

Swaziland and Africa have never been foreign to her…they’ve always been apart of her life.  She has prayed for our Swazi friends and helped raise money for projects and given her own money and helped bake goods for bake sales and helped organize fundraising yard sales and waited patiently for Josh to return home from Swaziland and Facetimed with me while I was in Swaziland and helped pack supply bags and written letters/drawn pictures to our sponsor kiddos and listened to our stories and seen pictures and videos and shopped for supplies and hugged my neck so hard when we hit the playground goal.  Harper’s not just any kid going to Africa…she has been looking forward to this day for years.  She has been hoping to go to Ngungwane and meet our friends for a long time and her time has come.  Her excitement is contagious and makes me even more excited than I already am.  This will be her second trip to Africa and I foresee many more in her future.

I’ve been encouraging her to listen to God while she’s there.  I hope He speaks so clearly to her little heart.  I hope she soaks up every last bit of this trip and more.  I hope she sees the joy and the beauty at every turn.  I hope she makes new friends she can visit for years to come.  I hope she sees God’s goodness everywhere.

We wanted her to take great responsibility and ownership of this adventure.  She brainstormed ways to raise money for her trip and then set to work raising all her funds.  She helped pick out supplies and craft items and new outfits for our sweet go-go.  She helped me pack our personal bags.  She’s learned new hand rhythms to do with the kids.  She got her travel shot like a champ and even paid for her updated passport.  She’s sending thank you notes to all her donors with a little Swazi goody she picks up while in country.  She has her list all made out of who to buy souvenirs for…to which she said “I’m not going to buy you something since you’ll be with me.”  And then this past weekend we set to work on one last item.

Each year we get the honor of going and visiting community members homes.  With each home visit we take a big bucket of goods to thank the family for letting us visit.  This year I wanted something a little more personal to add to the buckets from Harper and myself.  After pursuing Pinterest for forever we finally decided on painted wooden utensils.

Our team is going on 6 home visits this year so I ordered 6 sets of THESE on Amazon and then read 5 bajillion tutorials on how to paint and treat wood utensils so they would last.  Seriously, there are a ton of tutorials on this.  After reading I decided to do a mix of lots of them.  Ha.  Here’s how we did ours:

*Taped off the handles.

*Painted however many coats of acrylic paint until the handle looked good.  Darker colors we only needed one coat.  Lighter colors needed 2-3.

*Once the paint dried I sprayed the handles with Rust-Oleum’s all-natural, non-toxic Clear Shellac Spray.

*Then we used Butcher Block Conditioner Food Grade Mineral Oil and Natural Waxes to treat the unpainted area of the utensil. (Heated the wax, rubbed it on the unpainted wood area, let sit for 20 minutes and then wiped off excess.)

I read several tutorials that mentioned baking the utensils to further help set everything, but after reading through comments and seeing some people had trouble with the heat making their painted handles bubble, I opted out on the baking.

In the end, Harper and I we’re super pleased with them.  I also loved after talking about what colors we should use she chose rainbow.  Be still my heart.

So our final project/supply/gift is complete and packed safely in a suitcase.  About 2 full days left and we will be in route for Africa.  We really cannot wait to see what all God has in store!!

Happy Thursday!

*Amazon affiliate links

Last Call

2 posts in one day.  Whoa now.  This is a friendly housekeeping reminder.  Just got word from my BFF Ashley that tomorrow…Thursday May 26th…is the last day to place an order on our Noonday Collection show.  Wanted to pop in and share one last time in case there are any last minute orders.  CLICK HERE to place your online order.  Just make sure Ashley Mills is listed as your ambassador and Laura Kelley as the hostess.  Thanks guys!!!

Westward Bag

Acai Rope Necklace, Fuchsia

Revelry Earrings 

Hey Summer!

Well, it’s here.  Today is the last day of school and summer is officially here.  The big kids have a 1/2 day and the little kids have a full day.  I can’t even believe it.  I am a mix of “woo-freakin-hoo” and “holy #*@% five kids will be home 24 hours a day for 2 months”.  Maybe you can relate ;)

The past two years I’ve ditched first day of school pictures because my brain can’t keep up with remembering ALL THE THINGS, so I’ve opted for just one picture of all three and I must say, I’m quite smitten.

2014/2015

2015/2016

First, what the heck happened to Hudson Kelley?!?!?!  Second, Solomon is going to age amazingly well…I mean…for real.  He will be carded until he’s 75.

So I’m going to have my last 2 1/2 alone hours alone for two months and then I’m grabbing the big kids for lunch with Josh.  We’re going to celebrate because well, it is summer and no matter my internal conflict there’s still something super exciting about the start of summer.  Sun.  The wave pool.  Sleeping in.  Leisurely days and nights.  Bottle after bottle of sunscreen.  Swimming.  Faded bathing suits.  Tan skin.  Feeding children all the live long day.  Movie nights every night.  A summer of possibilities.  It’s going to be grand I just know it.

Happy Wednesday!

Viola 1/2 Marathon

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4am.  I got up, threw on my running clothes and hit the door.  I met up with Alissa and Marcie and we headed out for our half marathon.

This was my third half and Alissa and Marcie’s first.  We picked the Violia Half because it gave us enough time to train, but also finished before our Africa trip.  After seeing the elevation map I was a little nervous and sent it to a runner friend who knows all about those kinds of things and he confirmed my suspicion of it being quite the hilly course.  Although after surveying my pictures it appears this is the flattest course ever!!!!!

As we drove into the tiniest, cutest town ever we all laughed.  The race topped off at about 300 people and was super sweet.  That’s really how I would describe it…small town sweet.

The actual course had hill after hill after hill, but was gorgeous.  I took so many pictures.  The weather was awesome…really overcast in the morning for a while, then some sun, then overcast, some shade spots here and there and then the sun came out for the last few miles.  Perfection.

At one point a tractor was making it’s way down the road with us.  I laughed out loud when I looked over my shoulder to see it tailing Marcie and Alissa.  A dog also spent some time with us.  He followed us for quite some time.  There were also cows and horses and old barns and flowers.

I loved how the course was marked with each mile.  Missed the mile one marker though.  Alas.

There were lots of water stations spread through out the course filled with friendly & encouraging people which was so nice.  They had water and gatorade, hard candy and orange slices.  Afterwards I hammered some BBQ sliders and RC Cola.  You read that correctly.

And no one died.  Despite some people thinking they might surely perish…not one of us did.  Everyone lived to tell about this super hilly 13.1 miles.  We even got a shirt and metal to prove it.

I ran my two other 1/2 marathons for time…alone…and after training with friends I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to running one for time because this was too much fun for me.  I really loved it and would love to do another one.  Now I just need to talk Marcie and Alissa…or other friends…into signing up for another one :)

Happy Tuesday.

All Aboard the Crazy Train

I can get behind some Ozzy Osbourne…especially some Mama I’m Coming Home :) but Crazy Train is our life this week.  Harper and I leave Saturday morning for Africa, Hudson is having a medical procedure this week, last day of school is Wednesday, Harper has her dance recital, Amon has a MDO program, our van is in the shop so we are a one car fam for a few days PLUS regular ole’ life and holy cow…the crazy is on.  Last night I went into a full on packing frenzy because the stress was rising fast, but more than anything we are crazy excited…especially about heading to Swaziland…Harper and I are beaming.

In other news, the 1/2 marathon is over.  It was great.  I’m going to do a whole post on it because it was the prettiest race I’ve ever run.  I took about 1000 pictures.  There were even cow spectators.  The most important thing though…no one died.  Holla.

 

We did a movie night outside this weekend.  It was so much fun.  We watched Evan Almighty which we got from the library…The.Best!!!!  I love that movie and the kids loved it too.  Plus I’m crushing on some Noah right now thanks to Genesis.

Hudson and I went down the street to get some treats for the movie.  I watched him picking out treats with his monkey Duncan and ahhhhhh, I just love him.  I love who they are growing into, but sometimes I want to freeze time just for a bit.

There’s a community park and pavilion at the end of our street.  We picked up some Sonic this weekend and enjoyed the weather.  I love eating there because A) I love that all the crumbs fall on the ground and  B) There are several big swings.  Josh and I made this one a no-kid swing.  Muhuhahahahahaha.  And Harper snapped a picture for us.

Josh’s sister Jen lives on our street…maybe 6 houses down…so close.  She’s an elementary teacher and always sharing fun stuff she does with her students with our kiddos.  They came over last night and we all made ice cream in a bag.  A milk concoction, ice and ice-cream salt and then you get your shake on.  We all had amazing arm workouts.  I got tickled watching everyone shaking their bags.  And the ice-cream was delish.

And lately time together solo is rare, but today we snagged a few hours together all thanks to a broken van.  I will take it.  We even hit up the gym.  Marriage is hard and takes work and we don’t always get it right, but that Josh Kelley is most definitely my favorite human.

Hope your Monday is off to a good start.  It’s going to be one crazy week!!!

Happy Monday.

Pre-Race Thoughts

My alarm is set for 4 am.  Tomorrow is race day and we’ve got a good drive before the 7am start time.  Right now we’re watching How To Train A Dragon 2 which we love.  We ran out of microwave popcorn so we made our own.  First time popcorn popper here.  I used THIS recipe, but tossed the popcorn in 2 TB spoons butter and sea salt.  Popping your own popcorn is surprisingly easy and the popcorn was delicious.  I may never go back.

Last night’s Noonday party was crazy fun.  We met new ladies and laughed so hard and ate all the things.  I love seeing everything in person and trying them all on.  I have quite a wish list going now.  The following are on my radar hard.

 

So many incredible pieces.  Crushing hard on all the bright colored beads with my tees for sure.  Our show is still open online so if you’d like to place an order head over HERE.  Just make sure Ashley Mills is listed as your ambassador and Laura Kelley as the hostess.

My friend Jess knows me so well and gave me my new favorite pens.  I used them all day today making lists.  Jess loves a good pen just like me and I am sold on this Stabilo Wallet Set of 10
This whole set is going straight in my purse and I shall never use another pen for my every day use.

We leave next Saturday for Africa…hence all my list making.  Harper is also missing her ballet recital because it’s next Saturday too…when we will be at the airport.  It was really hard for her…there were tears, but her dance teacher which was also her 2nd grade teacher is letting us all come to her dress rehearsal so we can still see her dance.  I love good, kind and thoughtful teachers.

Amon and I had some solo time together so we played checkers, ate lunch on the counter top and cut lots of paper.  It’s what we do.

Solomon is our huge reader.  Harper loves to read too, but Solomon is right there with her now.  Amon says he can read too.  These are the things I hope I never forget.

    And Genesis is making we cry rivers…everyday.  So much about trust.  So much about faith.  So much about hearing God and then doing.  I love how God equips completely ill-equipped people to do His work.  It’s hard to walk those unknown roads especially when you can already feel the pain, but beauty is waiting…God’s goodness and growth are waiting.

 Alright the movie just ended and there are 4 smallish human Kelleys still awake and I need to get to bed asap.  Here’s to a grand weekend.  Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Friday!

Noonday Party Tonight!

Tonight’s the night party people.  Food is fixed.  Drinks are chilled.  Our toilet has been baby wiped :) Chalkboard art is complete.  Kroger flowers are in pickle jars.  Giveaway items are ready to go.  Ashley is here with all her Noonday goods.  We are ready for you and all are welcome so grab a friend and come on.

I would love to see your sweet face and for you to eat all the foods!!!!  This is what I do…I get excited about a party, menu plan hungry therefore over making food and then hope 432 ladies show up so I won’t be left with mass amounts of cookies.  This is the truth.  On the menu tonight…ham and swiss poppyseed rolls, sausage balls, gooey butter cake, sugar cookie pie with almond butter frosting, whoopie pies, chips, salsa & queso, chocolate chip cookies, hummus and crackers and carrots…for good measure…I have priorities you know.  Oh, and there’s wine and water…we’re going all Jesus on our drink choices.

So even if some Noonday isn’t in your budget right now, no worries.  Come out and eat and drink and hang out and laugh.  Seriously, I’d love to see you.  We’re partying from 5:30-8:30…if you need to come a little early you know we’ll be here.  Shoot me a message if you need more details.

Noonday does have an amazing Shop The World Sale going on now with some crazy good prices on awesome items along with their regular SALE ITEMS.

 And if you can’t make the party tonight, you can still grab some goods ONLINE HERE and they will be shipped straight to you.  Just make sure Ashley Mills is listed as your ambassador and Laura Kelley as the hostess.

Thanks everyone!

Happy Thursday.