All posts in birthdays

Emery’s Birthday Party- The PAR-TAY

I shared the details of Emery’s Baking Party here. I thought you might want to see it played out….

Emery invited 9 girls to her birthday party.

Why 9 you may be wondering? Because we found some cute plates on clearance and there were only 9, so she decided she could only invite 9. Who am I to argue? Once it got close to her day, I began to get VERY worried that no one was going to show up.  She invited several girls from her class and I only heard from one…and she texted me the day before to say her daughter had gotten sick and wasn’t sure she would make it. Our other friends from church were at soccer and a family birthday party. I literally was praying, “Lord, please do not let her have the experience of having NO ONE show up at her party….plus I have gone to a lot of effort…so please let some girls show up!”

I am sooo spiritual, I know.

Needless to say, she had five little girls show up and it turned out fabulous!

Here are some highlights:

Here are these cute little girls with their equally cute aprons…

We started with decorating cupcakes. This is the instructional part of the birthday party where I am telling them all about icing cupcakes.

The girls were eager to get started with the icing of their cupcakes…

so they could get to the eating of their icing..I mean cupcake.

I seriously adore this girl.

Look how….pretty! It’s like the face only a mother could love.

Bradley and Parker were so sweet and were all about their sister. They let her enjoy her day (for the most part).

Next,  we made our jar cookie mix. I loved this. Each girl had their own bowl and was able to mix her ingredients together. It was fun to see them concentrate on the recipe and measure it all out. We made Emery’s mix for small group and they were really good! Measuring properly is such a learned skill, so hopefully they added the right amount of flour and baking soda.

We made an assembly line around the table and they really were so great and patient.

This is Abre’s finished product.

Lastly, they made their own pizzas…or I should say Jason and I frantically rolled out their dough and they piled on the toppings. The dough wasn’t cooked any before adding the sauce and cheese, so they were a little doughy. Oh well…buy pre-done crust is my word of advice.

We really had a fun two hours and I enjoyed having these sweet girls in our home. Their conversations are so interesting and fascinating. I was reminded that Emery is growing so fast and not a little girl. She is such a joy and I am so blessed to be her mom. I hope her party brought her joy and a memory for years to come.

Emery’s Baking Party…The Details!

I love planning parties…I mean seriously, I really love having people in our home, planning our family nights and prepping the environment. The web is just a plethora of ideas and information. I rarely come up with ideas from scratch, I just make other’s great ideas my own! For Emery’s birthday party, she decided on a Baking Party. She loves to cook with me and we had informed our kiddos we were going smaller scale this year, so a house party it was!  Here are some great sites I used for ideas: One Charming Party, TomKat Studio, and Pizzazerie.

This is how we greeted our guests, by inviting them into Emery’s Bake Shoppe…

Jason added the vase with roses from our rose bush…I know..I married a good man. I added white plastic eggs to my farmhouse basket. Don’t notice how faded my cushions are…

Here is the birthday girl with our Custom sign….I painted a canvas and then used  my awesome friend, Kristi’s, Sillouette to cut our the letters. It is kind of hard to see but really, so cute..

I also made these candlestick jars from old glass jars. I spraypainted the glass candlesticks from the Dollar Tree and glued them together. I was able to take advantage of the after Easter clearance sales to get some candy and these cute buckets. I also found some cute half aprons at Michaels. I had inteded to make these bandana aprons, but then found these and changed my mind!

I added some cooking supplies and the berries with chocolate and that was the dining room table!

Our first station was icing/decorating cupcakes. I made these sweet cupcakes and found these cupcake wrappers at Walmart after Easter and added them!

These are my custom cupcake stands that I made from the Dollar Store, as well. I got the glass candlesticks, silver trays and superglue. I spraypainted it all with these fun colors and then glued them together. FYI- the superglue did not hold and I am going to try a sturdier glue.  I found the tutorial here.  I also invested in the supplies for icing cupcakes/cakes. I bought the bags, tips, and couplers. We had 4 different bags of icing and it was perfect for the girls to decorate their cupcakes with. They each did two cupcakes.

Baking Station #2

Our next station was making cookies in a jar. I debated back and forth about what to make, but settled on these. We had an assembly line and off they went.

Here is the recipe I used:


  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar


  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, white sugar, and the chocolate chips. Place 1/2 of the mixture in a clean quart sized glass jar, and pack firmly. Place the brown sugar on top, again packing firmly. Place the remaining flour mixture on top. Cover with a lid.
  2. Attach an index card with the following directions: Empty contents of jar into a large bowl. In separate bowl combine 3/4 cup of butter, 1 1/2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add to dry mixture. Drop by tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 375 degrees (190 degrees C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

I just circles punched some scrapbook paper and glued it on the lids

I also put everything in a glass bowl or jar for easy and cute assembly. The girls each had their own glass bowl for mixing.

Here is the final product! I printed the recipe on cardstock and we tied it with a ribbon. We made some for small group last Sunday and they were yumm-o.

At this point we were running out of time!! I had pizza dough ready to go and the girls assembled their own pizzas. It was so chaotic at this point, just imagine a lot of girls decorating a pizza. I did have these cute glass jar sodas for their drinks…

Lastly, I had these cute little buckets filled with some goodies for the girls to take home…


All in all, it was a fun, successful party and our future baker LOVED every minute of it!!



Bradley’s Hot Wheel Party

For Bradley’s birthday party, we had a Hot Wheels party. He really just wanted to spend time playing Wii with his “frans.” We had gone bowling as a family, out to eat on his actual Birthday, had cupcakes for his class…it was really a little ridiculous. But, you only turn 5 once and so I am okay with it!  My wonderful friend, Kristy, designed some water bottle wrappers and Cupcake toppers to go with our Hot Wheel theme. We played Wii,  had some crafts for the girls and played cars…very simple and low key.

Our lonely bowling alley/hallway/coat closet/racetrack

Our water bottle labels…we are still drinking out of them!

I just bought plain cupcakes and then added the toppers.

I had easy sweets for the party. I made some chocolate and sprinkle covered pretzel sticks, oreos (wheels), the surprising hit of Pixie sticks and

Starburst jellybeans…who doesn’t love a s Starburst jellybean?

I decorated with glass filled hot wheels and hot wheel tracks!!

Girly car shaped melt a beads and car shaped DIY gummies…

My boy is in heaven right now!!

Playing Konnect…so fun.

Time to eat..

Again…the Pixie sticks were the big hit…

We had a fun afternoon and hopefully made a few memories for our boy!

My Boy is Five….how did that happen?

I can barely contain myself over the fact that Bradley is five years old. He seriously looked bigger to me today.We have had one fun day celebrating with Ice Cream Cupcakes, going to eat at Five Guys and Sweet CeCe’s and spending time playing outside and with your new toys!

I am so over the top in love with that kid….he is just pure joy to me.

Don’t get me wrong, he is active and we have our share of “moments” but….he is my boy.

Yesterday, in honor of his last day to be four, I let him choose four things he wanted to do. He chose the following things:

1. Eat cake for breakfast. I love birthday cake, so I get it…and I let him devour it. We had left over cake from his Family Bowling Birthday party….our extended family went bowling and it was sooo much fun.

2. Play Wii- he could play Super Hero Squad for HOURS if we let him…he asks for it first thing in the morning and then every 30 seconds until I cave in at 6:58 am. No surprise he wanted to play.

3. Open his new Lacrosse set. We are all so ready to play outside….it has been a long, cold winter. He and Parker ended up playing it in the hallway/bowling alley and I was reminded that our huge wasted space, is in fact, a blessing in disguise.

4. “Be wif you, Mommy.” Again, I point to the fact that I am head over heels for this boy…all of my children, in fact. But, those sweet little mispronounced words remind me that I am so very blessed to call him my boy.

Bradley, my prayer for you will always be that you chase HARD after the God of the universe. I pray that you seek HIS face FIRST and that NOTHING will sway you from your passionate, devotion to HIM. I pray that your GOD given charm and energy will be used to draw those who are far from HIS saving grace to an abundant life in CHRIST. I pray you LEAD when no one else is willing, when it is DIFFICULT and with the heart of GOD. You have a purpose and that is to bring GLORY and HONOR to the Name of CHRIST and I pray that we will are faithful to point you to that purpose by example, by leading you and teaching you what it means to be a MAN after GOD’s heart. I can’t wait to see your journey….I LOVE YOU PLUS ONE, Bradley.

Happy Birthday To Me…

For my birthday, my sweet Dad made me a beautiful dining room table… I am so in love with it!

I picked out the plan from Ana White.  She is amazing…I mean who doesn’t like a girl who can use power tools and gives you step by step plans on building knock off furniture that looks like Pottery Barn?

My dad and I picked out the wood, screws, and stain (Minwax Ebony Stain), Polyurethane and he got to working! I did do a little to help, mainly staining and applying the poly, so I feel like I contributed a little.

Here is the final product…

We were in the middle of getting the room set up when I took this picture…I will post more of our final table, soon!

I went with a whitish leather/pleather chair…I am loving the final result.

Jason and Dad also made a bench to match, which I helped stain, as well….I will post pics of it when I take them!

It was so nice on Christmas Eve to be able to seat 10 adults comfortably around our table…I love that we made it, and I know I will have it for years to come!!

We makeshifted our lighting because there is no existing overhead light, but honestly, I am totally digging the lights on the ceiling!

After 2 years, my dining room is back….and better than I expected!

Emery’s Sleepover

I had big plans for Emery’s birthday party.  We had talked through a Carnival theme or a Sweet Shoppe theme party.  She decided on the carnival but wanted a candy bar.

Works for me.

After Easter, I bought a TON of candy on clearance, in preparation of the festive day.

The closer it got,  she decided she wanted to have a few friends over for a sleepover…..

Works for me.

She chose three of her great buds, Delana, Charlie and Natalie.

Our first stop was at a Bowling Alley/Bumper Cars/Arcade place.

They decided to play some video games and ride the bumper cars.

They had such fun….for five minutes, at least, but fun was had by all!

Afterwards, we dropped Parker and Bradley at my parents, so Emery didn’t have to worry about including her siblings.

It’s her birthday and sometimes, you just need to have one kid be the center of attention! She was perfectly fine with ditching her brother and sister.

Our next stop was the Japanese Steakhouse.

For the record, the last time we went to the cook in front of you type restaurant, it didn’t go so well.

Actually, it is the stuff of legends…

Emery was crying while they took our drink orders, scared out of her mind.

Bradley was crawling up me trying to get away from the table.

Parker was not sure what to do.

After the big swoosh of fire…it went downhill.

At one point, Emery was in the corner behind our table, in the fetal position, Bradley was screaming at the top of his lungs.

and Parker was declaring she wasn’t eating anything…..I kid you not.

They ended up watching a movie in the van and we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home.

Not our shining parental moment, that is fo shore.

So to say I was a little apprehensive, would be putting it mildly.

Everyone needs their picture in front of a shiny gold lady in their life.

Our sweet chef, at least I think, I didn’t understand anything he said accept, “happy Birthday,” which he said no less 240 times.

Sweet girls, they were precious. They got soo much food and seriously ate four bites.

We had 6 to go boxes.

Check out all of our rice…

After dinner, we headed home.

I had set up the candy bar since I had $40 worth of 75% off candy and I apparently think candy, sleepover and 7 year old girls is a good mix.

When I was getting ready for the party, I passed this

at Walmart and decided….this will be great for summer, family nights and Emery’s sleepover.
I picked up a few flavors of syrup as well. I must say, this was one of the best purchases I have made lately.
I highly recommend them!
The girls played for a while and then decided to settle in for snow cones, candy and a little Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squekwel.
oh, and popcorn, we also ate popcorn….
The girls did a great, great. I enjoyed watching them interact and their distinct personalities.
They didn’t let anyone be the drama queen or let anyone be left out. I was so impressed with how they
treated each other and can’t wait to see how God shapes these young ladies into women of faith.
Emery, I hope you had a great 7th Birthday celebration!

My girl is 7….time please slow down

Today, my sweet, unexpected blessing that rocked my world, turns 7.

That sounds soo much older than 6.

I have mentioned once, or 896 times that Emery was not in our plan….her sister was 8 MONTHS old when we found out we were pregnant, again.

But, she was always in His plan and such a reminder of the amazing Sovreignty of God and His perfect plan for us.

This weekend was going to be all about Emery Kate, and for the most part it is, but there is also something we are dealing with called the Great Flood of 2010, so some things have shifted.  She loves to be out and about and we were able to go to church and out to eat.  My sister had to turn around since they live in Franklin and roads to our side of town were water drenched everywhere.  Please pray for Nashville….it is truly indescribable.

Emery is the child that I struggle to understand the most.  She is still a mystery to me in a lot of ways.  I think I have her figured out and then, she reacts or responds in a different way, and BAM, I am back to trying to figure her out.

She is shy but outgoing.

She is full of life, but a wall flower.

She is happy, but sad.

She is an attention seeker, but doesn’t like attention.

She is loud, but quiet.

She is passionate, yet apathetic.

She is laid back, but routined.

She is strong, yet vulnerable.

She is moody, yet joyful.

She is friendly, yet cautious.

She loves to joke, yet doesn’t like jokes (on her).

She loves to teach, yet loves to learn.

She is competitive, yet understands she can’t always win.

She is loving, yet, standoffish.

She is a giver, yet seeks to get.

She is confident, yet insecure.

She is all of these things…..and I wouldn’t change her for the world.  We are learning that she needs more of us, yet expects the least from us.  My greatest prayer for my typical middle child is that she will find her joy, her purpose, her security, her passion in JESUS.  I know that what she truly needs, I can not give her, I can only show her by example and point her to the One who can.  Then, isn’t that true of all of us?

Emery- you are pure light to me.  Your smile transforms your face and truly lights up a room! You have such great potential to be an amazing woman of God. He has gifted you in so many ways and I know that He has an abundant life planned for you.  I pray you chase hard after Him, that you turn neither to the right or the left of Him and bring Fame to His Name.  I am so excited and blessed to be your mother.  I feel such a burden for you and I pray that I don’t fail you.  Do great, hard things sweet Emery.

Bradley’s Superhero Party

To celebrate Bradley’s fourth birthday, we celebrated by hosting a Superhero Training Session.  He is beginning to exhibit all kinds of superpowers, as are many of his friends, so what better way to celebrate his day than to invite them over to hone their powers!

This party took some planning and getting ready.  I found a lot of ideas from this site.

I bought some black fabric and made capes for the aspiring superheroes.

I also bought a lot of felt to cut out emblems and masks.  I used sticky back felt and had letters for their initials to trace and cut out for their cape.

We had a cape/mask decorating table set up…

Some markers and coloring books…

I filled a bag holding a cape and mask with their initials on the outside, ready to grab and decorate.

When everyone arrived, they played on our bikes, power wheels, trampoline, and ran around until we were ready to begin our

First training session: Outfitting The Modern Superhero!

With a little help, they were able to decorate their capes and masks! This was fun to see

how everyone chose their own style or color for their superhero outfit!

Micah and Noah have been home from China for a few weeks and jumped right into Superhero Training….

Even baby Myles got outfitted….

He has the superpower of overwhelming his foes with CUTENESS…

Bradley was ready to show how serious he was about becoming a superhero…..

Ally Kate, likes to do things her own way…..

Our Second Session of Superhero Training: The Art Of Wall Knocking Down..

Bradley with his ready stance…


the wall of cardboard….

Who will win the age old battle??

Super Bradley, of course! The wall was no match for his superior strength.

Reese show the wall who was boss….

Ally Kate, uniformed up and ready to do battle…

and the wall fell with her gentle touch….

Bradley and Mason teamed up like good superheroes do and showed that wall who was in charge…

Jadyn went next and proved that the wall couldn’t handle her strength….

Our Third Session: Leaping Tall Buildings and Hand to Hand Combat…

They played on the trampoline and had a big time…

Reese proved she could hang with the boys…

She showed them….

Our Fourth Session: High Speed Chases

They were great at driving safely while chasing the bad guys…

They even learned the superhero trick of taking turns….

Our Fifth Session: Fuel for the Superhero

I went with superhero colors and not specific superheroes for decor…

Bradley showed his amazing ability to put fires out with one mighty blow….

We also had SuperJuice…

And, SuperSweets to give us a quick burst of strength..

We also had fruit and ice cream…

Our superheroes did a great job at their SuperHero Training Session.  They played so well together and it was an amazing afternoon.

We have great friends and I am so thankful for these super boys and girls that Bradley will be growing up with.

Family Night #3- Valentine’s Style

Here is our Valentine’s Family Night from last year…in case you needed any ideas!

We had our third family night this week and it was good.  It had been a really taxing day for me, and I was not looking forward to all I needed to do once we got home from school, but we did it!

We decided to have a Valentine’s Day celebration.  This was an easy one, because there are tons of websites, blogs and magazine articles related to crafty ideas focused on the Day O’ Love.  Heaven knows, I am not a Creative Guru, and our motto is “Originality is Obscurity of the Source.” (Rick Jenkins)

I decided to make a fancy dinner, decorate with red and watch our wedding video.  Our children have never actually seen it, and honestly, it had a been a while for me, as well.  Parker’s verse at school this week was 1 John 4:12, “No one has never seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”  So, we talked about it at the table some.

How pretty are these strawberries??

I started out making chocolate covered strawberries.

How pretty are these strawberries?


Check out that technique of dipping the strawberry into the chocolate!

dsc_07671This is so simple to do, but looks super fancy!

dsc_0770Our table, before I added the chargers, dishes and food.

dsc_07721Our pink drinks, to add to the look of love.

dsc_0776Our fancy dinner consisted of baked spaghetti, garlic toast,

strawberry applesauce and our drink!dsc_0777Again, be in awe of how good these look, especially in a footed pedestal server.

I also through in some Ritz/Peanut Butter crackers, dipped in chocolate!dsc_0796Eating her dessert!dsc_0784

Bradley went for the crackers.dsc_0791Loving the strawberry after declaring she would not like it.

Also, take note of the future orthodontic work that will be needed!!

During dinner, the girls told us what they love about each person in our family and a way they could show that person love this week.  Emery said she loved my hugs and kisses, which is funny because it such a game to see if she will let us kiss her!  They also loved that Bradley is wild, yet that is what they also get tired of after he tries to tackle them (out of his love for them) all afternoon!

Here are a few things I learned after watching our video:

  1. 1997 Video Technology- NOT SO GOOD.
  2. My music, while progressive at the time, or so I thought, included an organ.  Why?
  3. My bridesmaids were hot!
  4. I still get chills watching it.  Such an amazing day.  I have no doubt that I got a much better man than I deserved.
  5. I would wear my dress again, which is no easy thing to say 12 years later!
  6. It is a little confusing to an almost 3 year old to watch his parents get married. He kept asking “Where I are?”  Try explaining you were not born yet to an almost three year old!
  7. Favorite Line- Parker says, “I didn’t know LuLu had those kind of clothes!”

All in all, it was a good family night!  What have you done with your family this week?

Birthday that keeps on going…

We did a big party for Parker and her sweet friend, Ramsey.  Their are 5 girls in her class with December birthdays!  That is a lot of parties, so we decided to combine Parker and Ramsey’s party! It was a bounce party and sooo fun! We invited her whole class and it was WILD!



The boxing gloves was hilarious! This is Parker and her friend Ellen. The girls were as tough as the boys!


We also had a small sleepover with her BFF’s Peyton and Evan.  We surprised Parker with a trip to Build A Bear, her favorite place on earth.  I had some major coupons, so it was a really frugal trip!


Feel the love…


They are three totally different girls, but they manage to make it work….most days.  On other days, watch out! I can’t wait to see how God uses them for His Kingdom.


I can’t wait to do spa days on our birthday or a weekend trip somewhere!  I look forward to many more birthdays with this girl!


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