Friday, January 28, 2011

The View

"I learned early on that how you see the world depends on what lens you're looking through."
~Thomas Kinkade

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's On My Mind

I recently watched a sweet little movie on the Disney channel that contained a song called "The Climb", and while I am not going to advertise or endorse this song, I have to give the writer credit for creating a song about pure determination and persistence. I am going through a period in my life right now that seems to be throwing me a few mountains and valleys... so the song sort of stuck.
These are some thoughts I had and a few photos I took over the course of the last few weeks.

When life gives you mountains, as often it will, just roll with the hills, push to the top and coast on the slopes... But never give up, try not to get discouraged, don't listen to the nay sayers, the ones who don't beieve in your dream... get around positive people who believe in you... and remember, it isn't about getting to the other side, it's truly about the climb! ~ Jenny

There comes a time when you are given an opportunity.
Decide what you want for your life, in every aspect.
 Then weigh the pros and the cons and be honest with yourself,
because the facts are not going to change just because you want them to.
Life isn't about what title you achieve, but rather about what you
can do to make a difference in others lives, in some manner.
It doesn't have to be moving a mountain...
Often, it's the little things that make the biggest impact. ~Jenny

Whether you take advantage of an opportunity given to you or you are creating your own, self made opportunities, remember this... doing great things is never comfortable,
 just push your limits, give it your all, and for crying out loud...Enjoy the ride! ~Jenny

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Oriental Trade of Science

I mentioned about our oldest daughters "explosive" science birthday party celebration coming up this weekend, and now I am beginning to feel a little more prepared.
The wonderful and expected UPS delivered all of my party goods yesterday promptly and nicely.
I ordered all of the special goodies from The Oriental Trading Company, a great one stop shop to find all your party needs. I was pleased. Here are the "goody bags"!

So I found these cool canvas eyeball totes on Oriental Trading for less than it would have
cost me for just some plain gift bags. I think I got a steal on these paying just $4.99 per dozen!
All of the gift tags were hand made in less than an hour!
My hand made gift tags were simple. Microsoft office word, a few clip art copies from photo bucket,
a printer, some construction paper and fancy scissors... it was a piece of cake!

I am just using these little butterflies as decor for the chalkboard goody bag table.
 I also found a couple of dinosaurs. The kids just had these lying around in their bedroom.
 I thought they were cute and added that feminine touch this party so greatly needed!
I also found these disgustingly neat test tube candy things, filled with gross items like severed fingers, eyeballs and other body parts of which I am unsure. I couldn't pass them up. They were perfect for the "Mad Science" party theme.

Each custom made gift bag includes 5 critter tattoos, one roll of eyeball bubble gum, 
one test tube candy,  one package of pop rocks, and one pair of google eyes glasses.
 Each of these items came in packages of a dozen... Perfect!
The total cost of these goody bags was about forty bucks, roughly $3.30 cents per child... not bad!
 I also picked up a few other cool things for the party spending a total of $55.00,
which means I got free shipping! YAY :)
 I can not wait to share the cake and the rest of the party with you in future posts...
This is so much fun!

My husband tends to think I go overboard on the birthday parties.
But for me, as a child, I remember my birthday parties being
such a big hit and so much fun, incidentally,
my husband doesn't remember any of his... go figure!

Do you think birthday parties should be great, celebrated events,
 or do think they deserve to be treated as any other day?
 I love the organization of it all.. It's a curse :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ideas are Everywhere!

Every now and then I run into an idea that has been carried out by someone else,
and made into a something wonderful.
Okay , I do it a lot! Last night, in fact, I did just that!

I am still (half way through the year) working on making our school room a place we love and want to be! I went through the chalkboard paint stage but I really prefer white walls in the school room because it's the smallest room in the house. I want it to look as large as possible. White paint is a good way to create that feeling in a smaller room.

Anyway, I ran into a website that offered one of coolest inventions I've seen in home improvement in a long time. It's genius! White Board (or Dry Erase) paint.
It's brilliant and I love the idea. However, it is quite pricey.
I may have to wait a bit on the remodel (unless I can find it a little cheaper),
 but I just had to share the information.
Very cool stuff!
Check out the website here!

I also found some by Rustoleum here! 

Has anyone had experience with or know anything about the dry erase paint?
I am always looking for the advice of knowledgeable others,
 tutorials on how to make you own, that sort of thing... Let me know :)

Birthday Bash Explosion

This week I've been racking my brain for ideas on how to celebrate my daughters 6th birthday this year.
After a ton of researching and talking to my daughter about the things that really interest her,
and I came up with this... A Mad Science birthday party.
My daughters favorite subject so far in school has been science.
It's what she loves and wants to spend her school hours doing.
 It's the one subject I NEVER have to fight her on to get work accomplished.
It's the one topic that inspires her imagination and excites her daily learning goals.
It's what she lives for!
So why not spend a few bucks to have an awesome memorable,
and educational birthday bash for my special girl?

I found this awesome place online called Mad Science Group.
This is a worlds leading Science Enrichment provider for kids all over the United States.
I loved their unique, hands on approach to learning, and when I saw that they also did birthday parties,
 I was ecstatic at the opportunity. So, I jumped on it!

Go to the site and click our services, then click Mad Science Parties.
Double check before hand if your area group has the "goody bags" available... Mine didn't :-(
So I went to to create my own!

It's nearly impossible to find party gear to match this party topic, so I had to create everything for myself.
With only two weeks til the party I had to work fast to get the invites made and sent out.
After a bit of inspiration from a few other places, I finally came up with my own invites!
Can't wait to share them with you.

I can't wait to get out my camera and take some shots of the scientist in action...
This is sure to be a great time.
My husband seems to think it's more of a boys party and lovingly complains
that I try to make everything educational.
 He's right. I do! I fully admit my "dorky-ness". 
 But my daughter assured me that this was the kind of birthday party she wanted.
Can't wait to share the results with everyone.

Any of you have a birthday party from your childhood that you will never ever forget?
Would love to hear about it. What was the age and party theme?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Photog Giveaway?... I'm So Going To Enter!

As usual, I woke up this morning, well ready for my first cup of coffee.
I opened the laptop and went straight to facebook, where I ran into a post that led me to this very exciting post you are reading right now! 
Which leads me to my next sentence...

Not only did I get to enter this awesome giveaway, but I also found some fantastic websites from which I can draw inspiration. Reading anything and everything I can find on photography and cameras is one of my favorite things to do as a new, self taught amatuer photographer.
This blog is chalk full of gorgeous photography and amazing links!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Do you have a favorite local bookstore?
We have a few. One of them is Barnes and Noble.
Our local Barnes and Noble Bookstore has an awesome little area for children.
Sometimes (and I think on a regular basis) there is a storytelling hour in the back of the store,
where the children's area is located.

On this particular day we were doing a bit of shopping
 and ran in for a few minutes to look for a gift.
It was a Saturday, so I really didn't think anything about the place being overly busy...
I just assumed this was a normal thing.

 We were sitting to the side of the "stage" when all of the sudden a jolly,
delightful lady carrying a large tote bag full of books, and wearing a smile from ear to ear
came quickly strolling up on the stage greeting a room full
 of attentive children in a foreign language.
She was speaking almost solely in Spanish.
 Very seldom did she speak English and when she did it was only a word or two,
when the children would not answer her or seemed to be lost momentarily.

As she began to read her books to the children,
 my girls became glued to the atmosphere of the room.
The lady was a superb story teller, full of wonder and excitement.
I couldn't take my eyes off of her.
We enjoyed the famous Dr. Seuss book, One Fish, Two Fish.
Then as the next book began, I got the subtle hint of a nose pinching odor
 that could only have come from one place.
Every Mom knows it!

Needless to say, we had to leave because the baby had done a number two in her diaper...
What else can you do?
 I didn't have a clean diaper with me in the store
(but I ALWAYS have my camera, go figure) 
so we had to go to the "Mom Mobile" where I always keep an emergency stash
 of diapers and wipes in the hidden compartment beneath the passengers seat.

 I hope to run into another one of her story telling hours again.

Do you enjoy storytelling?
 If so, where do you go for the best stories in your town?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Us, Bored?... Never

When faced with a few days of winter hibernation, there comes a time when every mother must ask herself this question : "What on God's green earth can we possibly do now?"

When all else fails we go to our "Game and Craft" closet.
 This a the place designated especially for all things fun and creative.
This is the place where all the board games, paints, crayons, markers, and anything crafty
(usually from my favorite fun store, AC Moore) can be found.
The kids know when I open this closet, they will no doubt be engaging in a ton of fun!

For Christmas we received several boxed and "ready to create" cool things like:
 "Making Sock Puppets Kit",
 "Create With Clay",
 "Make Your Own Tutu",
"Loops and Loom",
 "Create your Own Jewelry",
 "Weaving Loom",
and none other than the fun fabulous,
 "Face Painting Kit".

During this time of pure desperation, we chose...
of course,...
 the fun and fabulous "Face Painting Kit"!

The kids had so much fun with this.

This kit came with all the paint and a brush and sponge and a book with sample photos.

Here we have the Disco Diva. Very fitting for this child! The sample pic actually had a lot of glitter. Unfortunately the kit didn't have the glitter with it. A little disappointing since I am sure it would have a made a significant visual difference. But hey, we had fun any way.

This was so much fun the girls even got into costume and into character mode. We were barking and crawling, singing to the top of our lungs, and dancing like there was no tomorrow!

The next day, the girls decided they liked it so much they wanted to use the paints again.
Only this time, I gave them free reign with the paints and their own brushes.
(Except, of course, the 2 year old at the bottom of the page!)
This is what they came up with!

Here we have a fish tank.

This one started off as an angel and then turned out to be,... well,... to this very day,
no one actually knows what she was!

I started off doing another puppy, then changed my mind and decided to do a bunny. I need a lot of practice!

Do you have a designated "fun" closet?
What sort of things do you find yourself putting in there and using for those "rainy" day's?

This was so much fun, but be prepared for a major mess :)
Worth it!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm Into Boots

After a day's play in the snow.

Picked these cuties up at a consignment store a few days ago for only $4.00.

Love the colors.

These are hand me downs from my niece to my oldest daughter.

Total Comfort!

These were given to us by a friend. Practically new. The kids pulled off the antenna.

I'm in the market for some great boots.
Comfortable, year round, "goes with everything", well made boots.
Do you have a pair of boots that you just love and could wear every day?
 Any suggestions on websites or stores to buy a pair that fit that description?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Whoa the Snow!

 The snow we have had in the south is no longer new news.
It won't last long, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can! 

Today, we spent some time in school work, because we homeschooling peeps can do that if we want to, then we had a play break, an hour or so of that is enough to do you in for the rest of the day.
 Every school in the Carolina's was closed today, however, Davis Academy remained in session!

We then came back inside for a cup of hot chocolate, (I, of course, had coffee)
 and proceeded to finish our school day! A productive one indeed.

She actually asked me if they could go swimming in that pool behind her! Um, NO!

We played out there for over an hour!

I take pictures of this tree every time I go to the playground. I can't help it!
Snowflakes, snow angels, and snotty noses!

Below, I attempted some Black and Whites... "attempted",
although I am rather proud of the last shot, I call it "The Love Seat Rocker"!
A great tree around the corner. This shot doesn't do it justice. It's huge!

The playground.

"The Love Seat Rocker" by JWD. I liked this one quite a lot.

I was so glad to have captured a few moments in time while making the best of cold weather conditions.

What a great evening for some soup and a movie with popcorn!
Did you get any wonderful wintry weather this season? How did you spend those days?
Snuggled up with your kids, your dog, or a good book by yourself?
Did You get out and play in the fluffy stuff?
Enjoy your surroundings. Whatever they may be!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stay At Home Moms Get The Snit From Friends

I posted this once before, but since it is no longer in my archives I will re post it because I simply loved this article. As a work at home Mom who has had , in the past, a few friends who have been less than understanding about why I can't talk on the phone for hours during the day, or go shopping and out for "dinner and a cocktail" every week, this article was one I could relate to.

Do moms use their kids as an excuse to relax?... Um, NO NO NO!!!
Are you serious? Did those words actually come out of this lady's mouth? Unbelievable!
Relaxation is a dream for most stay at home moms with small children.
Most of us choose to be SAHM for many important reasons. But relaxation is not of them.

For all of you stay at home moms (or perhaps, confused friends of stay at home moms),
enjoy this read.
It is to the point and keepin' it real!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Back in the Saddle Again"

Here (shown in the photo above) is my inspiration for writing
 and just about everything else in my life!

I love these little boogers like a fat kid loves cake!
(I consider myself a fat kid and I don't take offense to that comment.
 It only brings complete understanding to the parallels!)

I have neglected my blog so terribly that even as I sit and struggle
 in the writing of this post I feel guilt and inadequacy.

 I have been completely uninspired to write since the
 "mysterious disappearance" of my blog several weeks ago.

I have taken very little time to try and teach myself
all I would like to know about my new camera.

  I spent two whole weeks away from everything in which I find comfort. Not so much fun!

But all in all, as the week comes to an end, I am certain of a few very important things:

~ Time is the most important thing I have. I will use it wisely every day! ~

~ My husband and children are my world.
I want my world to be Happy... and I know I have a major role in that goal! ~

and finally...

~ When seeking quality time alone.
 Every sound, noise, or thought surrounding you has a major
effect on the quality of relaxation and overall pleasure! ~