Reminders...

Don't forget...

it's not too late to enter to win...

a $500 SpaFinder gift card  On growing old{er}.

a $150 Target gift card on 3M projector fun AND a chance to win $150 Target gift card!!

And for good reading...be sure to check out my Huggies posts all about babies and life with them! :)

Have a super day!  Come back tomorrow for a tour of my new house!!


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40 Ideas - Number 8 - Fabric Scrap Monograms!

 Welcome to my lofty dream of providing you with 40!!! fun activities you can do with your kids!  Many at the drop of a hat!  I bet for many of these you will have the materials you need on hand or can find them at the dollar store or on the cheap at the local craft store!  This list will contain simple, cheap and FUN crafts or activities that ANYONE can do!  And better yet, they will be kid tested and approved!

If you would like to be a guest blogger in this series email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail . com!  
Today's activity comes from Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy!


i'm pretty sure i've confessed it before, but i don't really love crafting with the kids (*GASP*). i think it may be partially because of my youngest's age (and general nuttiness), but it tends to be more chaotic than fun. and i think crafting should be fun!
but awhile back i decided to get off my tail and come up with a fun monogram craft. my kids love their initials and have since they were first able to recognize "their letter".
i found a bold font and printed just the outline of it on some white cardstock (i get mine from walmart).
i use every last scrap of fabric, so this pleased me so much to put to use the itty bittiest of pieces!
i helped guide silas in his color selections, but let the girls have free reign.
we glued inside the lines and i cut all the pieces small enough to fit inside, then let him place each piece wherever he wanted.
this was such an easy, quick craft that there wasn't even any time for crying or complaining!
gracie wanted all of her pieces to fit exactly within the lines.
i love how different they all are, especially lily's 2 random pieces!
you can frame them for each kid, or even make it a bigger project and print out a whole word, like S-U-M-M-E-R, and string them together for a super cute banner!

So very fun!  Thank you Lindsey!  Be sure to check her lovely self and blog at The Pleated Poppy!
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t-ball 2012

Moses did t-ball for the first time this year.  It's our first leap into organized sports.  As I signed him up, I thought, here goes the next 18 years or so.  Once you start sports, there's no going back.  When we took him to his first practice, he cried almost the whole time.  He doesn't do "new" too well but in the end we told him he wasn't allowed to quit, that he had made a choice to play and that he would see it through to the end.  And he did great.  I'm actually surprised with how much he learned and changed in such a short amount of time.

He had fun.  Learned about baseball and how to be on a team.  It was a good experience for him and I'm glad we refused his request to quit. 

This pretty much sums up t-ball. 





Too bad all sports games aren't limited to 45 minute games and practices once a week!
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40 Ideas - Number 7 - Water Balloon Pinata!


Welcome to my lofty dream of providing you with 40!!! fun activities you can do with your kids!  Many at the drop of a hat!  I bet for many of these you will have the materials you need on hand or can find them at the dollar store or on the cheap at the local craft store!  This list will contain simple, cheap and FUN crafts or activities that ANYONE can do!  And better yet, they will be kid tested and approved!

If you would like to be a guest blogger in this series email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail . com! 

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This is not only a how to but also a how NOT to. :) We made a spectacle of this activity but together with the boys I worked it out.  We had fun and we worked on problem solving. :) 
I saw a passing photo of this activity and knew that my boys would love it.  I did not look up a tutorial but I thought "It's water balloons tied on a string...how hard can this be?".   
The boys were excited.  I bought the bigger normal party balloons because I though they would be better (and prettier).  
I tied up a clothes line between two sturdy fence posts.  You could use tree branches.  Just make sure whatever you tie it to is strong because a lot of water balloons can get heavy.  
And I turned them loose.  They beat them with everything they could find.  NOTHING.  Water noodles, bats, hitting, etc.  Nothing doing.  
I let them poke at them with forks.  They thought it was funny.  I don't advise this method.  
Even if they did like it a lot.  
As you can tell from this face, it took a lot of work.  
So I started over.  I got out my cheap water balloons from the dollar store.  Filled them up and strung them back up there.  FYI: I filled up the balloons, tied them off like normal and then tied them up to the string.  You may be able to attach them with clothespins.  Mine were packed.   As you can tell, Aaron was over it at this point. 
Then I gave him a stick.   
Success!! The boys really did love it.  Despite our road to getting there.

So my tips...buy cheap balloons and give them a stick.  :)
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Good-bye Charlottesville!

On Friday we packed a 26ft truck full to the gills and on Saturday we said goodbye to Charlottesville for good! 

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite memories from our home of five years!

Enjoy reading some posts from the archives!

Moses turned one, two, three, four and five in this house!

We acquired an Aaron...who then turned one, two and three!

We had a three foot blizzard.  And then another one.  And then an Earthquake

We went to Florida a lot!

I started a business!  Hello Little Bit Funky!

Hohos were born! :)

We had the worst weekend of our lives

But best of all...we grew...as people, as parents, as a couple.  We will always be thankful for our "time in the desert".   We're off to new adventures and starting our forever life in our forever town! :)

Do you have a favorite post?
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On growing old{er}

Do you think about getting older?

I do but not in what I am assuming is the typical way a woman my age thinks about it. I'll be 33 this year. For some reason 33 seems MUCH older than 32 but not really OLD altogether. For me, getting older is more of a focus on what is going on INSIDE my mind and body than what is going on on the outside.

Some women in their almost mid-thirties may be researching botox and liposuction. Some start crazy diets and exercise regimes that take up huge parts of their days. Others look for ways to cover their gray(ing) hair and wrinkles.

To me, overall, much of that is a waste of my precious life.

I'm not saying exercise and a healthy diet are bad or any of the other things either. I'm just saying, as women, there tend to be segments of our lives where we focus on them more than we should, and the older we get, the more frequent the bouts of "too much" occur.

No, I don't give too much thought to these things past getting my 30 minutes of exercise a day and eating my veggies.

When I think about getting older, I think about Doug's grandparents. To sit with them and listen to stories from their combined 180 years on this Earth is an amazing testament to a life well-lived.

They are full of stories of how they have been helped by others and helped others. How they have made it through tough times and times of bounty. They are known as good, generous, God-loving people. They will be always remembered as a good example to our kids on how to live your life to the fullest and in wise and longstanding ways.

When I think about getting older, I think about how I will be thought of at 90.

Will my grandkids see the same in me as I can see in the grandparents above? Will I be a reflection of what it means to be a GOOD and deep person and not a reflection of vain battles against aging and old age? When I get to 90 how much regret will I have over things not done or done too much? What kinds of things will I miss about being 33?

Will my kids be happily settled with kids of their own? Will they love God with a deeper fierceness than I have? Will they look fondly on the years of ours that overlapped?

These are the thoughts that swirl through my head when I think about getting older. These are the things that keep me up at night, praying and hoping to be an amazing reflection of a life well-lived. Pushing through the opinions that society at large tries to convince me to embrace about aging and instead breaking through and learning to grasp what matters and pursue ways to spend my precious life that won't leave me as a 90 year old full of regret.

Pfizer's new Get Old platform is building a community to help all of us, whether we're 33 or 90 share our hopes, expectations, and practical tips and tools about how to make the most of our years as we age. Check out the stories and maybe share your own while you're there!

How do you feel about getting older? Leave a comment to win one of three $500 SpaFinder gift cards!

Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled and three winners selected.

For your convenience, here are highlights from the Official Rules for the Sweepstakes. Please note by submitting an entry you are agreeing to the full Official Rules, available here.

No duplicate comments.

Please do not mention or imply any pharmaceutical products in your posts. Posts that mention or imply a pharmaceutical product will be subject to removal.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt at the bottom of this post.*
b) Read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
*Note: if you want to comment but either (i) are not eligible or (ii) do not want to enter the giveaway, please include something similar to the following statement in your comment: “I do not wish to enter the sweepstakes.”

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Medical professionals who are licensed (or are otherwise authorized) to prescribe medications are not eligible to enter. While BlogHer encourages you to share your thoughts and experiences about getting older, comments discussing medical conditions and/or medical products are not permitted, may be deleted, and are invalid entries. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/18 to 8/31.

Be sure to check out the BlogHer.com Get Old page to find out more about the Get Old platform and read how other bloggers feel about aging!

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Happy Fathers Day!


Happy Fathers Day Doug!  
You are the BEST dad that two crazy boys could ask for and we love you SO much!

Fathers day awesomeness made with free printables from Paper Coterie!
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40 ideas - Number 6 - Ding dong donuts!

 Welcome to my lofty dream of providing you with 40!!! fun activities you can do with your kids!  Many at the drop of a hat!  I bet for many of these you will have the materials you need on hand or can find them at the dollar store or on the cheap at the local craft store!  This list will contain simple, cheap and FUN crafts or activities that ANYONE can do!  And better yet, they will be kid tested and approved!

If you would like to be a guest blogger in this series email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail . com!  
Today's activity comes from Julie who blogs over at Joy's Hope.

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Two of my favorite things ever, are feeding people and adventures.
Why not wake up early and do both?
 Saturday mornings are the best mornings of the week.  It is the only day that we are all together for breakfast, and the only morning where the kids sleep in. Imagine their surprise when I woke my big girls up early for a little adventure. They love adventures.
 First stop- the grocery store for a sunny balloon and some orange juice.
 Next stop our favorite little donut shop.  The only one in town that makes French Crullers.  Is there any other kind of donut worth eating? They picked a fun sprinkle filled assortment (with a few for themselves and their baby sister, of course...)
 Then back to the car to decorate the box.
Our friends surprised us with donuts months ago, and it was about time that we got them back. These girls however were not very sneaky at being sneaky.
Ding dong donuts, and a quick sprint back to the car.
(We totally got caught, but I think that is half of the fun.)
Who wouldn't love a little sunshine and sugar on their doorstep?
Yay for surprise adventures!
Happy ding dong donut-ing!

Hop on over to Julies blog to download the cute free printable she used!  


Thank you Julie, go say hi to her and get your printable at Joy's Hope.
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raising my ebenezer . part three.

You can read part one here and part two here. 

The funny thing about this series is that I didn't mean it to be a series.  I thought I could wrap up the whole long story in one post.  And then two.  And then three.  And now I will just keep writing it until God says I'm done.

This part isn't so much about the journey as it is about a lesson I learned through it.  Just today as I was in the shower running through the crazy list of things to be done before tomorrow when the moving truck comes, the utilities that still needed to be transferred, the things still to pack, the walls to still touch up, the email I need to write to our renters, etc, etc, etc.  Running through that list I nearly grossed myself out with a realization.

I am realizing a dream we have had for years now.  We are going HOME to a place where people I know and love will invest in my boys, where people know us and get us.  Where we belong.  We are getting something we have longed for and begged God for repeatedly.  All that and we have spent very little time savoring the good gift He has given us.  Its like we got what we always wanted, chucked it over our shoulders and said, now what's next on the list...pack, move, go, etc, etc.  Not that we weren't and aren't thankful and amazed by all He has done to get it all for us but we haven't spent nearly enough time being GRACIOUS. 

It's like inviting friends over for dinner and spending the whole time cleaning up after them immediately instead of being WITH them.

It's like being given a delicious cake for your birthday but not taking the time to eat it.

It's like begging my kids to put the toilet seat UP so I don't have to sit in a puddle and then grumbling when I nearly fall IN it in the middle of the night.  Hey, at least they're putting it up right?  Getting them to put it back down is step two.   

How often do we do this?  All the time I bet.  Beg for something and then not take the time to enjoy it when we get it.  Would I want my kids behaving this way?  No way.   

I don't think this makes us ungrateful, I just think we have to fight a little harder against the society standards of more, better, faster to STOP and enjoy a good gift when it's given.  Add to that my "type A" personality and the fact that I've been a single parent for the last month while Doug has lived 2 1/2 hours away and the fact that I've had zero help packing, cleaning, house prepping or with childcare.  Given all that, I still should be taking time to enjoy the dream that's coming true.  To slow down a little and breathe.

I read something some time back in a devotional that I've thought of a lot lately.  God has designed each and every moment of each of our days.  He has a plan for what He wants us to achieve and get done and He makes time for all of it.  If, at the end of the day, we find ourselves frazzled, crazed and with a huge to-do list still in hand, well guess what?  I can promise you that we are doing things that He doesn't want us to do because His plan never leaves us frazzled and crazed.    

Would we give our kids a gift and not want them to enjoy it, to play with it for hours and show it off to everyone who would listen yelling "LOOK WHAT MY PARENTS DID FOR ME?"! NO!!  We love it when our kids enjoy what we give them.  

Don't you just love it when you give the perfect gift and the person beams with Joy from the mere thought of it? 

If we, then, though we are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children (and enjoy seeing them enjoy it!!), how much more will our Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him (and how much does he love to see us enjoy them??!!)!  Matthew 7:11.

I'm off to savor a little.  To do some good for someone else as a way to spread good gifts and give others a chance to savor, too.  

I challenge you to do the same. 
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40 ideas - Number 5 - Sidewalk Paint!

  
Welcome to my lofty dream of providing you with 40!!! fun activities you can do with your kids!  Many at the drop of a hat!  I bet for many of these you will have the materials you need on hand or can find them at the dollar store or on the cheap at the local craft store!  This list will contain simple, cheap and FUN crafts or activities that ANYONE can do!  And better yet, they will be kid tested and approved!

If you would like to be a guest blogger in this series email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail . com! 

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Today's post is from Jodi from Everyday Beautiful
She also owns and runs The Fabric Shoppe!
(one of my FAV places to add to my horde of fabrics).  


Crystal at Little Bit Funky contacted me a while back to see if I would like to play along with her 40 Things: Activities To Do With Kids series. I said sure and have wanted to try out this make it yourself sidewalk chalk paint. This project was soooo easy! My kiddos love to paint. They like to paint on paper, pretend paint on the walls, pretend paint each other so I knew they would love this simple and inexpensive summer activity! All you need is corn starch, and food coloring plus a little water and some cheap paintbrushes! I had everything around the house so this project was FREE!  
 The recipe: Cornstarch and water 2:1 but {{Shhhh}} I didn't measure. I just kept mixing in until I felt it was a good consistency. You want it a bit thick but not as thick as real paint. Just so it will stay on the brush a bit. I mixed this all in a large bowl then poured into a muffin tin. Then started adding the food coloring. Took a little learning opportunity here to teach my 4 year old about mixing colors to make different colors:)
   
Then bring outside and paint away. This will wash away with rain just like chalk. You may want to bring a little kitchen spoon to stir up the paints outside if needed. Done! Kept my little ones busy for at least an hour and I think it would have been longer if it had been a little cooler out. I even had some fun painting it up!:) Thanks for stopping by and I hope your summer is filled with lots of summery fun!
   
   
Thanks Jodi!  Be sure to stop by and tell her hello at 
Everyday Beautiful and pick up some fabric for yourself at The Fabric Shoppe!
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40 Ideas - Number 4 - Straw Monsters!

Welcome to my lofty dream of providing you with 40!!! fun activities you can do with your kids!  Many at the drop of a hat!  I bet for many of these you will have the materials you need on hand or can find them at the dollar store or on the cheap at the local craft store!  This list will contain simple, cheap and FUN crafts or activities that ANYONE can do!  And better yet, they will be kid tested and approved!

If you would like to be a guest blogger in this series email me at ricracandpompoms @ gmail . com!  

Today's activity comes from Danett who blogs over at Art Lovin!

Another fun activity that I know my boys will love...in fact, I can totally see Moses taking this a step further and cutting them out, gluing them to popsicle sticks and making them into puppets!

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This is another fun craft that both of my kids thoroughly enjoyed. 

Straw Monster Supplies:
plain paper
paint
water
old ice cube tray
spoon
straw
permanent black marker
googly eyes
glue

1. Mix the paint with water in equal parts.

2. Put a spoonful on your paper and blow with straw.  
3. Turn your paper as you blow, so it spreads out on all sides.

4. Let paper dry completely.

5. Glue googly eyes on your monsters.

6. Draw your face on your monster with a black permanent marker. 






Ben's favorite monster.

Bro's favorite monster. 

Thanks Danett!  Be sure to go over and visit her at Art Lovin!
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