Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Grace!


I can’t believe our sweet girl is six years old today.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were opening jars of baby food and lugging around a diaper bag?  What a joy these years have been.  What a joy Grace is to us!

We celebrated today with a simple dinner at home with friends and family.  Dad grilled burgers and hot dogs while mom and I fixed some baked beans and chips and dips.  We had a Hello Kitty strawberry cake for dessert!  The Towns’ joined us….Will and Grace played together the whole time.


For months, Grace has been asking for an hourglass.  Weird, I know, but she was SO excited to receive one of her very own tonight.  She sits and just stares at it!


She was also excited about getting a Crayon Maker.  Kudos to Crayola’s marketing campaign for making every kid who watches PBS Kids want one for Christmas.  Todd found the last one in Fort Worth!


Grace, your daddy and I love you for so many reasons.  We love your sweet and gentle spirit.  We love your eagerness to learn new things.  We love what a good helper you are around the house and to others.  We love to watch you dance and sing.  We love to hear you talk about Jesus.  We love playing games with you.  We love that God gave you to us after so many years of asking for a child of our own.  How thankful we are for you, dear daughter!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Night On The Town


This weekend we had an awesome family outing in downtown Fort Worth. We ate an early dinner at Uno Chicago Grill. It was delicious and the first time for me to taste Chicago-style pizza.

Next we walked around downtown and enjoyed the huge Christmas tree and all the beautiful lights. There was a band playing Christmas tunes in the square, and we let Grace visit with Santa.

We wandered around a huge Barnes and Noble bookstore and finished our holiday shopping, then we headed to Bass Hall for the annual production of The Nutcracker. Due to a generous gift, we scored box seats on the first tier! We felt very high class with a private waiting room and beverage service. Grace had a clear, close, unobstructed view of the stage. She loved every minute of it! The production was AMAZING, and the ballet dancers were incredible. It was so fun to watch her face as she gazed in awe at the show. During intermission she entertained the other couple who shared our box by trying to imitate some of the ballet moves she had observed. So precious.

After the show, we capped off the evening at Starbucks and went home happy. It was an amazing night, and we are so thankful that we were able to have such a fun holiday outing. We hope to make The Nutcracker ballet an annual family tradition!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Homeschool Update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I have updated this blog!  Check out my Cakes By Joanna blog to see why I’ve been so busy!

My days are very full, and I love it.  Our mornings are spent in school, and our afternoons are spent doing household chores, baking cakes, visiting with friends, and field trips. 

Homeschool is going great!  We love it so much.  I thought by now the newness would wear off, and Grace would start to get bored or frustrated.  Just the opposite has happened…she begs me to do school on Saturdays, Sundays, and any day I decide to take off! 

The kindergarten curriculum I’m using moves fairly quickly, and I’m pleased that Grace is keeping up!  We are working on phonic blends and basic grammar rules.  She is slowly learning to read on her own!  I love to see her take an interest in all the words around her…on road signs, billboards, books, etc.  She is so proud of herself when she sounds out new words she has never read before! 

She is also making good progress on her scripture memorization and catechism.  I love that she does not consider this a burden, but she enjoys showing others what she has learned.  My prayer is that the words she learns will be hidden in her heart for her whole life.

Naturally, there have been moments of drama in our school days…especially when we learn a new concept.  But I will say that she is learning to calm her emotions and simply try again when she becomes frustrated.  What I DON’T want her to do is give up.  In my opinion, it’s a more valuable lesson than what she is learning!

Slowly, she is gaining confidence and growing.  We are so proud of her!  I am so thankful to be able to teach her, and I do not take it for granted. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Know You’ve Watched Too Much Food Network TV When….

…during Bible-time, your five-year-old describes how Ruth made bread from the grain she gleaned in Boaz’s field by “putting flour in a bowl and stirring in some milk and a clove of garlic.”

Emeril would be proud.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Joys of Homeschooling

Words cannot express how thankful I am to be a homeschool mom.  I realize that we are still in somewhat of the honeymoon stage…we’ve only been going for three weeks.  But, for Grace, there is NO doubt in our minds that we have made the right decision to keep her home with me.

Every morning she wakes up and eagerly asks what we will learn today.  She loves all the attention she is getting during our mornings together. 

Granted, there have been times of stress.  Even tears.  But I use it as a learning opportunity for her.  And me.  When she gets frustrated because she can’t do or understand something, I don’t let her give up.  We just try a different approach and she eventually learns that she CAN learn.  And she learns perseverance.  Then we take a break and do crafts.  Ha!

For Grace, this is a challenging curriculum.  I’m having to read and research different ways to teach some of the phonetic activities.  But, despite the fact that she struggles at times, she really wants to learn and is so excited when things start to connect in her brain. 

Today was so sweet.  When we finished our daily lessons, I went in the kitchen to make lunch.  I heard her in the school room pretending to teach a phonics lesson to another student.  She went through the whole lesson and all the activities we did today, pretending to be the teacher.  She even gave her imaginary student stickers and lots of verbal encouragement, “Great job, sweetie!”, etc.  My heart just melted and I knew today that we made the right decision for her.

I can only pray that she will continue to grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.  Being her teacher is a great responsibility that I take very seriously.  It’s also a great joy!  All those months of agonizing over our decision of the direction we wanted to go with her education have been put to rest. 

Wedding Cake

wedding cake 2

This past weekend was the wedding of a special friend from high school.  She asked me to make her wedding cake, and I eagerly took the challenge.  Thankfully, she knew exactly what she wanted…and she is nowhere close to a bridezilla.  So sweet.

Doing a wedding cake is so much more stressful than a birthday or shower cake.  The whole time I was decorating it, I was thinking that these pictures will be saved and looked at for generations to come.  I mean, my wedding album gets looked at pretty regularly since I leave it sitting out in my living room. 

I considered calling my doctor and asking for an anxiety pill.  Then I thought if I felt like I needed drugs to get through a job, maybe it was not the thing for me.  So I stayed in a continual state of prayer…l literally prayed without ceasing.

Anyway, there were a few scary moments, particularly during transport, but God is good and it all turned out well in the end.  When I saw the final product, watched the beautiful bride cut into the cake, and saw how much the guests enjoyed eating it, all the stress was worth it! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten


Grace’s much-anticipated first day of kindergarten finally arrived!  We have been literally counting down the days, marking them off our wall calendar.  I really had NO idea what to expect the first day, but it was great!  When we wrapped things up before lunch, she grabbed my arm and said, “Mommy, can we do this every day?  Please?”  Mission accomplished.

I know it won’t be sunshine and roses all the time.  There will be challenges.  We had a small one today.  But, I can already tell homeschool is going to be a wonderful experience for us both.  I am so thankful to be ABLE to do this.  I am so thankful for a husband who WANTS me to do this.  I am so thankful for a daughter who BEGS me to do this.  I am so thankful.

Many of you have asked what our typical day looks like.  We’ve only just started, and I’m sure it will evolve as we work out the kinks, but I’ll share what has worked for us so far.

I get up at 7:00 and exercise for about 45 minutes.  Grace usually wakes up between 7:30-8:00.  We eat breakfast and get dressed/ready for the day.  Grace meets me in the schoolroom to start at 9:00.  I like to start with Bible time.  We work through a simple devotional together.  Next I like to practice memory work with catechism and  Bible verses.  We finish with a short prayer time, asking God to bless our learning.

Next we have our calendar time where we learn the current day, date, year, etc.  We check the weather and record the forecast.  We post our letter, number, shape, and color of the day.  We keep track of how many days we have been in school, learning place value.  Calendar time takes about 10 minutes.

Next we move to phonics.  The curriculum I’m using has daily lessons with corresponding activities and worksheets.  We’ve been spending about 45 minutes on these lessons.  It’s a lot of oral practice and auditory learning.  I save the writing component for later.

Next we change gears and do math activities.  The curriculum is very hands-on, using manipulatives and games.  This is a great way to break up the more stressful phonics/language arts activities.  Math is Grace’s favorite part of the day!

Now that she’s had a break with math, we go back to writing.  We use dry erase boards and worksheets to practice the letters we have learned. 

Since writing can sometimes be frustrating for her, I like to move into a fun craft activity next.  I try to mix it up and use different materials every day. 

We end our school day by reading books together for a while.  Sometimes we might play an educational game.

All together, our kindergarten day takes 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  We finish before lunch! 

I love that we have our afternoons free to do other things.  Yesterday we attended orientation for her new ballet class, which begins next week.  Today we went to the science museum and played for a couple of hours.

I’m very happy with our schedule and I’m excited to see what this year has in store for both of us!

How To Make a Pillowcase Dress


A couple of weeks ago, I invited two of my SAHM buddies over for a sewing playdate.  Between the three of us, we had nine children from age 4 months to 7 years old.  Despite the chaos, I managed to teach my two friends how to make a simple pillowcase dress for our daughters.  It was a really fun time of fellowship together!

I promised to post step-by-step instructions, so here goes:

Materials needed:

  • 1 yard cotton fabric
  • All-purpose thread that matches the base color of fabric
  • 2 yards 1/2”-1” coordinating ribbon (Get more if you want to sew ribbon around bottom of dress above the hem)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Basic sewing machine
  • Fray Check (optional)

  0151.  Cut two identical rectangles of fabric.  Length should be the desired length of dress from neck to hem plus about  3”.  Width should be about 18”. 

0162.  Place right sides together.  Pin fabric together with identical pins 6” from top on each side for sizes Birth-2T.   Pin 7” from top for sizes 3T-6.  Pin 8” from top for larger sizes.  With right sides still together, sew 5/8” seam from marked pins (armhole) to the bottom hem. 

018 3.  Press both seams open all the way to the top, including the armhole opening.

0194.  Reinforce armhole by sewing down one side, turning sideways across bottom of armhole, then back up other side.  

020 5.  Make casing for ribbon.  With dress still inside out, fold back a double casing a little larger than the width of coordinating ribbon across top of dress.  Iron it flat to make the sewing easier.  Repeat for other side of neckline.

0216.  Sew  both seams very close to bottom of casing.

0227.  Make hem.  Fold a double hem around bottom of dress.  Iron and sew.

0238.  (Optional).  Sew extra ribbon a few inches above the hem.  It’s still just as cute without it!

0249.  Cut ribbon into two 1-yard lengths.  Thread ribbon through casing on both sides with a safety pin.  

025 10.  I like to cut the ends of the ribbons at an angle and seal it with a little amount of Fray Check to keep it from unraveling in the wash.


Here is Grace modeling the dress I made for her at our sewing party.


You could also add a coordinating strip of fabric around the bottom, separating with a pretty ribbon.  The possibilities are endless!


Happy sewing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zenni Optical

I’ve been long overdue for an eye exam, so I recently went to Sam’s Club optical for an appointment.  I have this weird sensitivity on my eyes.  I can’t stand anything to touch them.  I DREAD that puff of air they shoot into your eyes for the glaucoma test.  Seriously, I’d rather get 20 shots or drink the nastiest medicine than have that puff of air touch my eye. 

I finally sucked it up and went to the appointment.  After I went through the torture of that puff machine, they told me it wasn’t working because I couldn’t keep still.  I have to go back for a dilation test whenever I can get someone to drive me.  Uugh.

Anyway, a friend of mine once told me about Zenni Optical.  It is an online store where you can enter your prescription information and purchase glasses on the internet.  I ordered my glasses early last week and got them in the mail today!  They are perfect!  My entire order was $26.80.  That includes VERY cute frames, non-glare glasses, anti-scratch coating, attachable sunshades, a cleaning cloth, a glasses case, and standard shipping.  Rock on!  They also offer rock-bottom prices on bifocals, progressive lenses, Transitions lenses, etc.

If you decide to take your prescription and order glasses online, you need to have the optometrist write down your prescription, including the PD (Pupillary Distance).  Usually, they leave this off the prescription because they want you to buy in their store…they just leave it in your file or do the measurement when you order the glasses.  I kindly asked my optometrist to do the PD measurement right then and write it on my prescription.

I only wear my glasses when I read, do computer work, or play the piano.  I didn’t realize how old my other glasses were until I put my new ones on today.  What a difference they make!  Thank you Zenni Optical!

Tennis Date

I let my sweet friend Joy talk me into dusting off the old tennis racquet for a few shakes around the court this morning.  Of course Grace had to come along for the ride, and she was perfectly happy to show off her pink tennis racquet and new pink tennis shoes.  She also made a decent ball girl.

I made a very clear disclaimer to Joy and my other two friends who joined us that I had not played since I took a college tennis class in 1993.  And back then I was more concerned with flirting with Todd than working on my swing.  But, thanks to Wii Fit Tennis, I did recently refresh myself on how to keep score.

Joy and I went to a separate court to “warm up”, which is code for “chase balls around the court”.  Joy is much better than me, but we were both beginners compared to the two other women we played.  They mercifully split Joy and me, so we had a seasoned player and a newbie on each team. 

When it was all over, I was actually quite proud of myself.  Sure, I missed a lot of balls, but I also hit a lot.  I even had a few great returns and volleys.  I definitely want to do it again soon, if they’ll have me!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hurricane Harbor

To celebrate Todd’s last day of summer vacation, we went to Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor this week.  It’s hard to believe he’s already back at work!  Summer seems to get shorter every year.  Anyway, we’ve been promising Grace all summer that we would go to a water park, and it ended up being a fun day.

Of course, anything compared to Dollywood’s Splash Country is a letdown….that place is awesome.  I think I’ve figured out why Dollywood is so clean, well-run, and inviting.  It’s the employees.  The average age is about 70…mostly retired folk.  They actually care about doing their jobs well and have a sense of responsibility.  Even the lifeguards are older and more experienced.  At Hurricane Harbor, the 87-pound, 16-yr-old lifeguard is more interested in flirting with the bikini-clad crowd than actually watching kids in the wave pool.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, Grace didn’t know the difference…she just had fun!  We didn’t take any pictures because we didn’t want to risk getting our camera or phone wet.  They ended up staying in our rented locker all day. 

I’m quite adventurous when it comes to roller coasters, but not so much with water slides.  I don’t even like the smaller ones.  My idea of a water adventure is floating down the Lazy River, preferably with a cold beverage.  However, Todd finally managed to talk me into going on the Roarin’ Rapids “as a family”. 

After waiting in line for an hour, we grabbed our floats and started climbing the stairs to the top.  Grace was tall enough to ride by herself with a life jacket.  Despite my nervousness about the whole thing, Grace was thrilled to be on her own.

Sure enough, something happened.  A woman was injured on a sharp protruding object and the ride was stopped for the paramedics and rescue team.  A cheeky lifeguard jumped over a wall and stopped the progression of our floats to the bottom of the ride.  For a long time, we waited and waited.  You might think that floating on an inner tube for an hour could be relaxing, but I bet you’ve never done it with a 5-yr-old who is in constant danger of falling through the hole and wants to ride to finish. 

Todd was fed up with the waiting game and started eyeing the side of the ride and looking to the ground below.  He actually asked the lifeguard if he could jump over and get off the ride, and the lifeguard shrugged his shoulder and said, “I can’t stop you.”  So, Todd vaulted over the wall.  I pushed Grace over the wall, then started trying to figure out how I was going to do it.  About 15 other riders were watching us with interest, as well as the lifeguard.  No pressure.

I tried to boost myself up with my arms, but when I pushed up, the roaring water and undercurrent of the ride shoved my body off the wall.  It was hard, people.  I finally managed to do it (thank you, Jillian Michaels).  After the three of us were safely over the side, the lifeguard decided to evacuate all the other riders.  I guess we were the guinea pigs.

And that, my friends, is the final chapter in my life experiences with water slides.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Ready for School

Today was a special 20% off all educational supplies at my local Mardel store.  I decided to get there when they opened, but was naively surprised to see a full parking lot.  It was wall-to-wall people, no shopping carts, and for one panicked moment I relived my most recent Black Friday experience.

And let me just say that Kindergarten teachers are piranhas.  They look all sweet and innocent, but heaven help if you’re going for the same morning meeting book as them.  Or magnetic letters.  Trust me.

Anyway, miraculously, I managed to get everything I needed with the exception of a Saxon K-3 math manipulative kit.  (I’m keeping an eye on EBay and Craigslist for that.)  I set a budget between $200-$250 for my curriculum and I got out of the store with extra things not on my list for only $186.00! 

Grace was so excited to see everything I bought, and she wants to start Kindergarten NOW.  We’re going to wait to start the curriculum, however, until August.  I need more time to plan and get things ready!

Today, I bought our language arts curriculum.  We decided to use Alpha Omega Horizons.  I originally wanted to use Sonlight, but we just couldn’t justify the cost.  I’m going to supplement what I bought with some Hooked on Phonics and Scott Foresman materials I already own.  For math, we are using Saxon.    My sweet friend Julie Williams is letting me borrow her Kindergarten curriculum for this year!  I just need to find the required manipulatives.

For science, we will make frequent visits to the science museum, planetarium, and zoo.  We will check out science books from the library and learn about the human body.  For history, we will learn about different states in our nation and explore basic geography with our interactive globe and puzzles.  We will check out books from the library that describe other cultures and lands.  

We have signed Grace up for a weekly class with the Travis Academy of Fine Arts.  She will be so excited to begin ballet again!  Once she turns six years old, she will be eligible for other classes like drama, art, music, and bible study.  If there is room, we would love her to begin a couple of extra classes in the spring. 

We will start our school days with devotions and catechisms.  I have not been as faithful in teaching her the Westminster Catechism as I should have been, and I’m looking forward to getting into a routine of adding it back to our bible time in the mornings.  We will probably focus on one question per week. 

Even though this seems like a lot, I don’t expect our school days to take more than 2-3 hours total.  I hope to be done before lunchtime.  We are able to eliminate classroom hassles (i.e. bathroom breaks, learning rules and procedures, discipline issues, P.E., walking up and down the hallways, lunchtime, recess, and crowd control) to have a shorter day!  This leaves the afternoons free for field trips, shopping, library, playgrounds, and learning household skills. 

I spent the better part of today setting up our little classroom in our dining room.  I still have some things to laminate and hang up, but I’ll take pictures when I’m finished.  Grace watched in awe and wanted to play with everything I bought.  But, I told her it was only for kindergarten with mommy…gotta give her something to anticipate!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kitchen Makeover

When I was visiting my parents last month, mom and I caught the redecorating bug.  She’s been wanting to update her kitchen for a while, so we decided to do it while I was there.   

Mom wanted her kitchen to be bright and airy with a subtle tropical theme.  First we went to a fabric outlet and bought a gorgeous print in the clearance bin.  I sewed it into roman shades for her two windows.



We brightened up the walls with a fresh green color….kind of between mint and light sage.

The hard work came with the cabinets.  They are original from when the house was built in the 40’s.  Their condition is excellent…oak wood.  We removed and cleaned hardware, sanded, primed, and painted three coats of white paint!   It was a ton of work, but so totally worth it when we were done.


Since we were on a roll, mom decided to clean out all her cabinets and donate some older, less used items in order to display things that better match the new decor.  She even added new shelf liners.  We both love the result!

Spa Day

Earlier this month, I decided to take Grace to a salon that specializes in haircuts for kids.  Being the frugal woman that I am, I usually cut her hair myself, but I’ve had more trouble lately getting a straight line across the bottom.  Her hair is really thick and heavy, which makes it harder to look like a clean cut. 

Anyway, Grace was in heaven.  I really wish this was a video so you could hear her delighted “Oooohs” and “Aaaahs” during the shampoo.  The girl washing her hair was cracking up, and I suspect she scrubbed it longer because Grace loved it so much.


She keeps asking me when we’re going back.  I watched the girl really closely when she was cutting Grace’s hair, so hopefully I’ll be able to do it myself next time.  We’ll see!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Trip To Clinton

Grace and I got to spend some time at my parents house visiting with them and all the cousins!  I got to meet my beautiful niece Keira for the first time!  Grace was helping feed her little cousin.


The kids loved playing together and it was thoroughly entertaining to watch them pick right up where they left off the last time we visited. 


Even though they don’t see each other very often, they feel very comfortable together.  I think it’s because my brother’s families and I talk about each other all the time and share internet pictures as often as we can.  Although we are so far apart, I want Grace to feel close to her cousins.

This was my favorite picture from our visit.  My parents with all the grandkids!


Youth Camp 2010

Hello internet!  June has been a crazy month, full of travels and family visits and lots of fun!  We started off by traveling to Orange Beach, Alabama for youth camp with my dad’s church.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect with the oil spill. 

When we first arrived, there were itsy-bitsy tarballs on the shoreline.  Unfortunately, it got worse during the week and it prevented us from swimming in the water.  The Coast Guard was hard at work the whole time we were there.


The tarballs didn’t stop us from enjoying the beach, though!  Grace loved playing in the sand and searching for seashells.


The lessons at camp were wonderful and the kids were great!  It’s always such a pleasure to go every year, worship, and enjoy the beach!

This year two of Grace’s friends were able to be there, so they stuck together like the Three Amigos:   Claire, Sophie, and Grace.


On a serious note, it was heartbreaking to see the devastation that this spill is causing the Gulf economy.  Hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers were bare.  Several business owners and waiters/waitresses thanked us for not cancelling our trip and helping the local economy.  It was so saddening to see first-hand what the Gulf communities are experiencing.  I pray that the clean-up efforts go smoothly and fast so things can get back to normal!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Thoughts About The ‘Lost’ Finale

Lost title card.jpg

For a few torturous minutes, I thought we wouldn’t be able to watch the ‘Lost’ finale live, since our satellite dish decided to break on Sunday evening around 5:30.  I immediately got on the phone with Dish Network, where the rep calmly informed me we needed a whole new system due to wind and weather damage.  They would be out first thing in the morning.  That didn’t solve our problem! 

Todd fooled around with the satellite dish and the TV for a while after I got off the phone, and he actually managed to get ABC to work!  No other channels, just ABC! That’s divine intervention, people.

Overall, I was happy with the finale.  Many of my questions were answered (not all…) and the character resolutions were emotionally satisfying.  Here were my top 5 favorite moments of the finale:

  1. Frank’s plane flying over Jack as he lay in the bamboo field dying.  Talk about coming full circle.  I literally got chills.
  2. The Sawyer/Juliet reunion was my favorite.  Wow.  Charlie’s face when he saw Claire was a close second.
  3. Hurley becoming protector of the island and asking Ben to be his right-hand man.  Ben, to me, was the most interesting character on the show.  I loved watching his struggle with evil and his driving search for significance and acceptance.  This, my friends, is the heart of man.
  4. Kate shooting Smokey and professing her love to Jack. 
  5. Hurley’s Star Wars-related one-liners.  Classic.

Here were a few of my disappointments during the finale:

  1. Why did Sayid end up with Shannon instead of Nadia?  Weird.
  2. Why did Jack’s dad get the honor of being the “shepherd?”
  3. Ben didn’t go into the church.  Even though he asked forgiveness of Locke and presumably lived the rest of his life honorably (according to Hurley) while protecting the island.
  4. Many of my questions weren’t answered. 

And speaking of not finding out answers, let me say a word about that.  I understand that the writers want us to focus on the relationships between the characters and the bigger picture, blah, blah, blah.  And that aspect of the show is very satisfying to me. 


The writers built up the mysteries as such an important part of the series, hooking people in and making us think so hard.  They are fully aware of how important people consider these mysteries.  Just look at how popular the Lost message boards have become!  Considering that, it’s somewhat of a slap in the face to totally ignore so many questions.  In order to make the characters the central focus of the show, it is not necessary to throw the mystery resolutions under the bus.  Just sayin’….

Anyway, that said, I still feel like this is the most amazing and epic show to ever be created in the history of television.  I’m sorry to see it be over, and it will be hard to see these Lost actors/actresses appear in any other film or show! 

And I’m totally rooting for a spinoff to be created that shows what happens on the island while Hurley and Ben are protectors!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Keira Malie


My sweet little niece was born yesterday on Mother’s Day!  She came a little earlier than expected, but perfect nonetheless.  Keira is 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and 19 1/4 inches long.  She has a beautiful head of long, dark hair and is very healthy.  Mama is doing great, too! 

Jon is a proud daddy! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ballet Pictures

Yesterday, Glamourcraft Studios came to Grace’s ballet class to take pictures.  She was thrilled to be able to wear her recital costume for the first time! 


Her ballet instructor asked us to put a little make-up on the girls so they wouldn’t wash out in the photos.  Actually, they instructed us to put on eyeliner so their eyes would “pop.” I challenge any mother out there to put eyeliner on a five-year-old.  If only I had thought to take a picture of Grace’s face after I attempted the impossible…  She looked something like this:

Not fun.

So I scrubbed her up and started over, sans eye liner.  A little blush, pink eye shadow, lip gloss, and she looked fine.


Here she is waiting patiently in the hallway with her peeps.


The photographers (wisely) wouldn’t let any parents in the room during the photo shoot.  I would have paid money to see them take the group picture with 15 miniature ballerinas age 3-5.  Grace also had individual pictures taken, so I’ll be really interested to see what they look like and what kind of poses they did.  I’ll post them when I get them!

Monday, April 26, 2010

See the Resemblance?

lisa rinna


This is what happens when someone accidentally gives Grace a piece of Laffy Taffy coated with egg albumen.  It took two days for her lips to look Botox-free.



Last Friday, I got a phone call from my little brother, Jon.  He had an unexpected layover in Dallas on his way home from Afghanistan!  We were SO thankful and excited to have him spend a few hours with us.  He looked great, and we enjoyed the visit.

Jon was extremely tired and jet-lagged, but he was craving Gulf Coast shrimp, so we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Pappasito’s.  It was delicious and Jon assured us it was a great improvement over M.R.E.’s!

When we got home, Todd and Jon planned on catching up on DVR’d episodes of their favorite show, Burn Notice.  Jon laid down on a mattress for the first time in several months while we got Grace ready for bed.  He was out for the night!  We’re so glad he got some good rest on a comfortable mattress before he boarded the plane home to Hawaii. 

Todd took him back to the airport the next morning, and he arrived safely home to his family!

Jon's Homecoming

I love you, Jon!

Recent Cakes

Here are a few pictures of the cakes I made last week.  For more details, visit my new cake blog!





Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preschooler Quote of the Day


Grace:  (excitedly)  “Hey, Kie, did you know I went to the Cinderella show on Saturday?”

Kie:  (looking bored)  “Yeah, I know.  I saw it on Facebook.”


Free Samples!

Thanks to Deal-Seeking Mom for alerting me to this new program sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service! 

The purpose of the Sample Showcase is to get new products into the hands of consumers.  If you visit the Sample Showcase website, you will answer three brief questions to see if you quality to receive the free sample shipment.  I qualified and should receive my package in early May.  Happy sampling!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Every Little Girl Wants to Be A Princess

Our much-anticipated trip to see the musical Cinderella finally arrived!  Grace woke up extra-early and donned her special dress!
002I even let her wear a crown and put on an itsy-bitsy bit of make-up!  

009 First, we picked up her sweet friend, Natalie, who spent several hours in the ER last night being treated for a broken arm!  She wasn’t letting that stop her from today’s extravaganza!

012 We ate lunch in a beautiful tea room.  The girls sipped pink lemonade from a silver teapot and ate sandwiches and fruit.   These girls entertained everyone with their excitement, laughter, and dancing!

013 Despite the rain and bad weather, everyone still looked beautiful when we got to the theater!


After the show, the characters signed autographs for our little princesses!


Despite Grace’s disappointment that Cinderella had dark brown hair, it was a FABULOUS show, full of very talented actors and musicians.  The girls loved every minute of it, and we’re already planning our trip to see Peter Pan in a few short weeks!