Sunday, April 29, 2012

Life Around Here As April Comes To A Close

I suppose it was inevitable.  I took care of a sick Trevor for 10 days.  Then Madi got a nasty cold.  So now it is my turn.  Been feeling under the weather with some sort of cold/virus/something yucky that keeps knocking me out.  My house needs major attention but I keep falling asleep which is not like me.  It is so strange, we had a pretty healthy winter but April has been rough on us - but not just us - there has been a lot of sickness among our friends and in our community.  And I keep seeing posts on facebook and different blogs about sickness all over the country.  So unusual for spring!  Praying for a healthier May.  May is going to be a super busy month, I'm going to need my energy!

Despite the colds that struck later in the week, we've had some neat moments lately.

Last Saturday morning, the ladies in our church spent the morning in "Paris" for brunch, fellowship, accessorizing advice, and spiritual encouragement.  My mom and a crew of ladies did an amazing job as usual putting everything together!  I gave a devotion and have had some requests to share it here, so I will try to do that in the near future.  I talked about the armor of God and other things the Bible tells us to "put on."  Look for that post soon!

Last Sunday afternoon we celebrated one of my best friends at her baby shower.  Heather is a dear friend and I am so excited for her to have a baby girl this summer!

Since we had all been stuck inside for so long with Trevor's pneumonia, we picked Madi up from school an hour early on Monday and took the kids to the Magic Kingdom for a few hours.  We were experiencing unseasonably chilly temperatures and the evening was cool and beautiful.  We rode a few rides, ate a picnic dinner I packed, and just enjoyed being together out in the fresh air.

The Barnstormer is back up and running, so we rode it.  It is the shortest roller coaster ever but definitely fun, especially for Trevor!  I heard his giggle behind me the whole 30 seconds we were on the ride.  :)

Trev kept asking for ice cream, and I got this look when I asked if he would share it with me.  I guess that's a no.

I discovered something new about my son...he is incredibly good at arcade games such as basketball and skee-ball!

Love these photos Jimmy took as we sat by the castle.  Want to remember these motherhood moments!

I sure do love this man.  God is teaching us new things and growing us in new ways lately.  Thankful.

The rest of the week was business as usual.  School, work, lessons, church, etc.  The colds struck and we tried to press on, though Madi did have to stay home from school Thursday because she was just wiped out.

Friday I was feeling rough but tried to mask the symptoms with some meds because we had special plans that evening.  For Christmas, Jimmy's mom had given us tickets to see the musical version of The Lion King and the night had arrived.  My parents were keeping the kids overnight and surprised me with a new dress, which was thoughtful.  My mom left it at the house for me while we were at church on Wednesday, and Madi thought it was from "Misses Skirts" because of what was written on the tag.  She and I got a good laugh at that one when she realized what it meant!  Friday afternoon arrived and armed with ibuprofen and decongestants, I donned my new dress and Jimmy and I had a memorable date.

The dress was soft and simple, with lace that made it seem vintage.  I absolutely loved it. I could live in dresses and this is a new favorite.  So fun to be a girl!

With my handsome date.

We stopped to fuel up on the way, and the song Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King was playing at the gas station.  How perfect!

The evening was beautiful and we enjoyed a slow pace, eating a simple and inexpensive dinner of sandwiches and salads at Downtown Disney and treating ourselves to a cupcake, which we ate outside in the sunshine.  When we got to the theatre, we had an hour until showtime so we sat outside on a park bench in the courtyard near the fountain and talked.

The show was wonderful!  At intermission, I saw someone with some sort of icy, chocolatey drink that I knew I had to have.  We managed to get a Frozen Mocha just in time to get back to our seats for the second act.  So yummy!

Saturday we had a birthday party to attend and some errands to run, but I was feeling pretty yucky.  I rested all evening and went to bed early.  This morning we went to church but I was so wiped out I left a little early and fell asleep immediately when I got home.  Whatever this stuff is, it is really wearing me down.  I have rested all day and evening, and am praying my energy will return soon.  One fun thing about today though was that Madi and I were matching this morning.  She is at a phase where she thinks matching Mommy is the coolest, and I am trying to enjoy that while it lasts!

Another fun thing is that Jimmy and the kids came home with this tonight...a Cranberry Limeade, flowers, and the cutest almost-rhyming poem I've ever read.

Well, that's all for now.  I need to turn in.  Tomorrow we have a breakfast for Trevor's Pre-K class and I have got to find the energy to catch up on cleaning and laundry, then May will be here Tuesday, ready or not!  Jimmy came home this evening saying he wasn't feeling so hot so I think we better get some rest.

Good night!  Sleep tight!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Madi's 7th Birthday Cupcake Celebration!

Madi decided months ago that she wanted to have a cupcake birthday party when she turned seven.  That girl loves a good party, and loves baking we had the best time planning this one!  

We kept the guest list small - just four little friends - and my mom started collecting aprons and chefs hats with her Hobby Lobby coupons.  She had them monogrammed, then she and my sister-in-law embellished them for each little guest.  They turned out to be absolutely precious!

To make the flower embellishments, they used graduated cookie cutters to trace and cut different sized flowers out of fabric, then hand stitched them together.  The one on the top was attached by a small hair clip, so the girls can wear it in their hair later if they would like.

The one on the pocket was safety pinned on, and a touch of tulle added extra flair.

The aprons were a welcoming touch and hung on my apron rack, looking cheerful and inviting as the little bakers arrived!

I used three different sized cupcake wrappers, cupcake buttons, and hot glue to make paper flowers.

Then pinned each flower to the chefs hats!  These were also just darling, especially on the girls!

When Madi first mentioned the idea of a cupcake party, my mom saw an idea to make a garland out of cupcake wrappers.  At Christmas, she stuffed my stocking with cupcake wrappers to be used when the party rolled around!  I used a shoelace type string (on sale for $1 in the ribbon section of Hobby Lobby) and we simply put holes in the center of the wrappers and some small doilies (also from Hobby Lobby).   I strung the cupcake wrappers and doilies to make the most cheerful garland I have ever seen!  We all just loved it!  Surrounded by paper lanterns, it turned our kitchen into a dreamy area for our chefs to create.

I set out some sanding sugars and decorative icing on a tray.

Then set up a decorating station for each guest!  Madi really wanted each girl to have a giant cupcake to decorate.  My sister-in-law helped out so much and baked them for me as I was caring for a very sick Trevor!  They were made from a Funfetti cake mix.  I gave each girl their own can of frosting, but with a last minute idea took off the wrapper and wrapped each can with chalkboard paper marked with a chalk monogram. We found the pink spatulas for 40% off at Hobby Lobby.

A little tulle tied to each chair added some sparkle.

I set out a few other festive decorations that went with our theme.

And our kitchen was transformed into a cupcake wonderland and workspace!

For food I served the girls turkey sandwiches cut with a cupcake shaped cookie cutter that Madi's teacher (who shares her love of cupcakes) had sweetly given her.

I placed cupcake wrappers in a clear plastic punch cups and filled them with grapes.

I also mixed a little sugar with some grapes and froze them - I saw this recipe online as "spa grapes" and they were absolutely delicious.  Both the girls and moms went crazy over them!

Apple slices, caramel dip, and Cheez-Its completed our fare!

When deciding what to serve the girls to drink, I settled on miniature cans of Sprite.  Sprite is rare treat for Madi so I figured she would enjoy it.  Well, she opened the refrigerator the night before the party, saw those cans, and exclaimed, "Sprite??!! This is going to be the best party ever!!"  I had to laugh.  Never mind the garland that took forever to make, or the handmade embellishments we had all worked so hard on.  
We had Sprite.  This party was going to be amazing.  :)

For dessert I made cupcakes, of course!!

The cupcake candle we found at Hobby Lobby (where else?) was an unexpected, fun find!

The girls were receiving the aprons, chef hats, and spatulas as favors.  We also found cute little cupcake necklaces for 40% off at Hobby Lobby for them.  Then a wonderful lady in our church called me one day from Michael's saying she had run into a bunch of cute cupcake trinkets on major clearance and would we mind if she picked them up for us.  So we had more unexpected treats for our guests!  What a find and such a blessing - thank you Miss Debbie!!

Madi helped me assemble the gift bags.

And we set them next to a pillow from Justice that my mom found on super clearance weeks ago.  It plays Happy Birthday and came with a marker so everyone could sign it.  Along with the Sprite, this was also the best thing about the party in Madi's eyes!!  It really was a great find.  I remember signing pillowcases at a sleepover when I was little and thinking it was amazing, so I understood Madi's enthusiasm.

As the girls arrived they did a foam cupcake craft, ate their meal, and signed the cupcake pillow.

Then it was time to decorate some cupcakes!  The girls were sweet as could be in their aprons and hats, and really got into the decorating, taking time to add their own special touches.  We all enjoyed watching them having such fun together in the kitchen.

The end results were beautiful!

We hung the aprons and hats back up...

Then I straightened up the kitchen and got the cupcakes ready for serving.

Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed some American Girl time.

And the moms had a few minutes to visit.

Then Madi opened her fun presents.

And it was time to blow out her cupcake candle!

We all enjoyed eating the cupcakes, then Madi gave out the gift bags to her guests.  The girls all put on their necklaces right away, and loved all the little trinkets!

 At last we said goodbye to our guests, sat down, and Madi said (and I quote)...

"All riiight, that was fun, now let's start planning next year's party!!"

I am telling you.  She is a party looking for a place to happen.

Though the party was over, the next morning the kitchen looked so magical as the morning sunlight streamed through the windows that I had to take a few photos...

And I reflected on another special celebration of a very special little girl.

Linking to...

Tabletop Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesdays