Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Monday, Friends!
How was your weekend? If it was anything like ours it was a little crazy mixed in with a lot of fun, family time and laughter. Our castle was filled with crazy little boys this weekend-- all celebrating Mason. It was such a special time. I learned a lot of new things about little boys and birthday parties. Juice boxes, pizza and a football game was truly all this castle needed. Who knew the hours of decorating and party planning really would go by the way side? It was all worth it to see a bunch of little boys laughing, running, jumping, tackling and simply doing what they were created to do at this moment--be little boys.

This week I am saying yes....
... to spiderman, a soccer player and a super hero
... I am saying yes to sneaking candy out of my boys bags when they fall asleep
...  yes to getting ready for our Family Christmas Photo Shoot
... yes to making props
... yes to family get togethers
... yes to more birthday parties and soccer games
... yes to enjoying another Halloween with my three little men
... I am saying yes to confidence in my ability and calling to be a mom  
... yes to less stress

So tell me, What are YOU saying yes to this week? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things I Love Thursday {Weight Watchers Edition}

Does this blog make me look fat? Growing up I struggled with my weight. I was never the skinny girl. Most all of my girlfriends weighted 100 lbs soaking weight. While they would be eating Taco Bell after school everyday I would be counting points. I have been on so many diets throughout the years it makes me sick to even think about it. I found the one thing that always worked for me was Weight Watchers. It allowed me to actually eat and not feel like I was starving myself. Being a teenager and struggling with your weight is miserable. Weight Watchers for me was a blessing. 

I forgot how much freedom I actually had while doing Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is an amazing plan, a change that you are willing to make so that you can have a healthier and happier lifestyle. You re-learn what is good to eat and do, but also learn how to let go of 'diet rules' and actually relax and enjoy birthday parties and the occasional sweet tooth.  

Which brings me to one of the best desserts EVER. It is like heaven in your mouth. Yep, I said it. Friends, if you like snickers bars here is a healthier alternative.

The biggest difference nutritionally between this bar of goodness and an actual Snickers Bar is that the ice cream bar contains 3 grams of fiber and less than half of the grams of sugar. It is a ton lower in calories as well {271 vs. 150}. 

So, the next time you crave a candy bar try the Weight Watchers Candy Bar. Your waste line and taste buds will thank me. What are your go-to healthy desserts? 

linked to Things I Love Thursday

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


You my sweet Birthday boy are simply a wonderment. You are an example of children being born with that certain something. It is not learned or practiced it simply is part of who you are. To say that you bring joy to our family would be an understatement. To simple say that you melt my heart with your curly blonde hair and deep blue eyes would be an injustice.

You my sweet boy have grown so much in the last year. I am amazed at what a great boy your are. I am blessed that for the past five years I have been able to wake you up every morning and tuck you into bed every night. I am blessed that for the past five years I have seen you develop into the sweetest, charming, loud, never know what you might say, joyful, kindhearted, hard working little boy.
 You are the one who will say to me, "Mom, two wrongs don't make a right." You humble me. I continue to be amazed at how much you know. You watch your brother all the time. You watch the way he plays sports, the way he reads, the way he tells stories and you mimic him. You are by far his biggest fan. 
 One of the biggest things I have learned about you this year is you are an encourager. I watch the way you encourage your brothers and cheer them on, I see the way you help out in your pre-school class and you amaze me. You are a gift my sweet boy.
 If I had a $1 for every time you have made me laugh till I had tears running down my face or for the times Nana and I have told and retold hilarious stories about you-- You my sweet boy would have your baby elephant that you asked for this year.

You have this immense capacity to love and make others feel loved. You are my snuggler. My fake like you have a cough in the middle of the night so you can come into bed with me snuggler. Yes, I know you're faking but I act like I don't. Because I know that this time is short. You are growing and I need you to stop that. I don't know if my heart can take it. 

My sweet boy your are sound asleep, snuggled next to your brother in bed. The streamers are up, the balloons are hanging, your presents are wrapped on the table and I can't wait for you to wake up so I can celebrate YOU. 

Happy Birthday My sweet sweet boy!

Monday, October 24, 2011


We have been eating, sleeping and breathing soccer this weekend. It has been intense and given me as a mom some unexpected teachable moments. You know those moments as a mom where you hurt for your kids but you hug them, praise them and use these moments as a teachable, character building time? My Brady has been playing on a U8 select soccer team {who knew it was so intense} it has been perfect for him. We as a family have loved every second of it. This past weekend we were at a tournament. The boys made it to the Championship Game. I found out many things about myself. First of all, I am that mom. The one who yells. I can't stand 'that mom' and I am her. I try to not say a word when he is in. Maybe it was all those years of cheering or yelling for my husbands basketball team. Whatever the case if you see me at a game I take no offense if you act like you don't know me! Second, I saw a group of 6, 7 and 8 year olds come together for one purpose. No parents, No coaches. It was a group of little boys encouraging each other. When I slowly walked up to take a picture my heart was filled with joy. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, 
in love, in faith and in purity.
~ 1 Tim 4:12" 

Did I mention that this week I have a blonde hair,
 blue eyed little man who is turning 5?! 

This week I am saying yes....
... to party streamers
... to bouncy balls, candles, cake and lots of icing
... to celebrating my sweet Mason
... yes to waking him up with a room full of balloons
... yes to 400 gumballs {i know, i know}
... yes to filling our bellies with lots of sugary goodness 
... yes to bowling with a bunch of little boys
... yes to pizza and laughter
... to presents, party decorations and smiles
... yes to hugs
... yes to laughing loudly 
... yes to remembering that God is in everything.
... yes to praying for all of the men in my castle while I fold their laundry
... yes to learning to be content in all situations
... yes to be thankful for the sweet gift of being a mom to my boys 

As our Birthday week begins... What are you saying YES to this week?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday Planning 101

Strike or Spare, 
We don't Care, 
Just as long as YOU are there!

Yep, it's that time of year here at our castle. As you know, we always make birthdays a big deal. The boys look forward to their birthday parties every year {i kinda do too}. Starting next week we have one birthday a month. Why are all of my kids born around the same time of year? Clearly, there was not a lot of planning going on.

In the past we have always had one huge birthday bash. Last year, we had a candy bar and about 30 kids running a muck. It was chaos but the boys love it. This year I let the boys decide what they wanted to do. My sweet Mason turns FIVE on Wednesday and it hurts my heart that he is growing up so fast. It's not a shocker that he has decided to have 3 parties. One at school were he wants to take his class and Brady's class all goody bags and cookie cake. A bowling party for him and his three best friends and a Chucky Cheese party with my mom and some friends. {Side Note: I get hives at the thought of entering that place}. He knows it's soon and this sweet little love is so ready for his birthday week to start.

I must say this has been the most laid back time with party planning. I love decorating and going overboard for all of their birthday's. This year it is going to be a little more low key until Brady's party {which is in 2 weeks}. My sweet Brady will be SEVEN! Oh. My. Heart. He wants to have one big party with all of his friends. He wants to rent out a football field {no joke} so everyone can play football. He said I can do something fun with the girls just in case they don't want to play. That works for me. With having three little men I would love to spoil some sweet little girls! I am still working on were to have this party. Remind me again why I do these things?

Here is where you all come in... My boys have never been real toy kids. They always are playing sport games, the Wii... Because they like to make me crazy they decided to ask for toys this year. I have three boys so I should be a master at knowing what toys to get a 5 and 7 year old. However, I am not and I need your help. Are there any toys that your boys love and just can't do without? Do share. It's down to the wire and I need you help! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fostering Christmas Care

I am so excited and humbled to share with all of you a way that you and I can be involved in making some special little girls very happy this Christmas. Foster care is a near and dear subject for me so when my good friend, Jeni asked me to be a part of this and to help spread the word I was 100% in. Jeni has been a foster parent for awhile and what I love about Jeni is her passion for the foster children in Greene County, Ohio. She is not only the owner of an adorable business Carabella's but she is also a momma to three adorable kids.  

I am going to let Jeni explain how this beautiful idea came about. "Our family recently attended a county foster family picnic. Not thinking a thing about it, I let Abby take her American Girl doll and stroller. She quickly had a couple of little girls following her around. It became awkward and left me feeling very sad when one little girl (age 7 or 8) said to her Foster Mom, "See, she has an American Girl doll. That's what I want." I listened as her Foster Mom explained to her that they probably weren't going to be able to get her one and I felt like a great big idiot for not thinking ahead of time that it might not be a good idea to bring it.

When we got in the car I told Jeremy, "We're going to get those little girls some American Girl Dolls." 

You have to go check out the rest of her storyI love Jeni's heart and desire to put a smile on these children's faces. In short, we are committed to buying the little girls in our county foster care American Girl dolls for Christmas. We can't leave anyone out so we will be purchasing gifts for all the boys in our county foster care as well. What a blessing for these children. 

This is why myself and some other fabulous bloggers are donating and asking our readers to give as well. Our goal is to have all of the money raised by November 6th which is Orphan Sunday. As we begin to bake pumpkin pies and start thinking about baking gingerbread houses, decorating our trees and homes, buying gifts for loved ones or sending a card to a friend; I ask you to think of these sweet boys and girls in foster care. I challenge you to give what you can. 

Above all, these children need your prayers. Praying for the families that come along side them and impact their lives. With the holidays approaching it can be a heart breaking time for these children. Whatever the donation may be it will put a smile on so many of these children's faces. I can't wait to see how much we raise together and I am truly thankful that we get to be a part of this. xoxo

Here is the button to donate to paypal!

Monday, October 17, 2011


 I can't believe it's already the middle of October.  These past few weeks have been flying by. This past week we have been enjoying the unbelievable gorgeous weather, photo shoots, soccer games, markets and each other.  It was nice to take a little break from blogging but I do miss this place when I am gone! 

This week I am saying yes....
... to HIS will and not my own
... being present wherever I am at 
... to picking out Halloween costumes
...yes yes yes to mini pumpkins 
...yes to meeting a friend for coffee
...yes to candy corn and peanuts
...yes yes yes to planning my sweet Mason's Birthday Bowling Bash
...yes to wearing my favorite boots and scarfs
...yes yes yes to looking fear in the eye and defeating it
...yes to my heart bubbling over when I see my boys in their feety pajamas
...yes to simply enjoying life soaking in HIS grace being a part of Fostering Christmas Care
 {I can't wait to share what that means for YOU}
...yes to another busy week
...yes yes yes to making memories with my boys
...yes to joy, belly laughs, goodnight prayers and morning l

Each week we are given many different opportunities and challenges we will face. Will you say 'YES' to embracing your role? You will speak with, smile at, drive by, and laugh with many people. I challenge you to say 'Yes' to being real, to owning who you are, being proud of who you are and showing grace this week.

 What are YOU saying yes to this week? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Woman I Want To Be.

She is trustworthy.
She is full of character.
She has inner beauty that only comes from Christ.
She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty
 in her life and the lives of those she loves.
She is a bargain hunter.
She is a planner.
She uses her time wisely.
She nurtures her children with the love of Christ.
She is a money saver.
She is an early riser.
She is a hard worker.
She sees a task and completes it.
She is domestic.
She has a heart for the needy.
The Proverbs 31 Woman...
Is not a worrier.
She is graceful.
Is married to a respected man.
Is an entrepreneur.
Watches over her home
She speaks worth while words and says them kindly.
She's respected by her husband and her children.

When I read of this woman the one thing that strikes me everytime is that this woman knows contentment. Contentment in who she was created to be, what she was created for and who she was created by! This is the woman I want to be. 
What are your favorite characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman?

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda.
 Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Oh Friday!

I have been counting down the days for you to arrive.
 This has just been one of those weeks.
A. Long. Week.
  Thankful to spend some quality time with my three little men.
To run, jump, dance and play with them. 
To be part of their world this weekend.
Filled with birthday parties, soccer games, laughter and a lot of fun!

  Oh Friends, I am ready to take a deep breath, slow down for a bit 
and enjoy my boys this weekend. This stage of life can be crazy.
I am ready to get lost in this weekend with them. Enjoy the beautiful weather and changing leaves. Soak in their joy
In their laughter and see life through their sweet sweet eyes!
Are you ready for this weekend like I am?
So do tell, what are your special plans

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

It's been one of those weeks....
Pulled in a million different directions. 
Wishing I had a clone of myself so I could be everywhere I need to be.
I keep telling myself to enjoy this time because I know one day I will want this crazy, sleepless time back. So, here I am at 10:58 pm finally sitting down to write one of my favorite posts of the week. Linking up with Lindsey and the crew for another week of 
What I Wore WednesdayThe weather here has been insane. 
One day it 40 degrees the next day it 70. So, this week I have been dressing in layers. What else is a girl to do? 

Skinny Jeans~ Forever 21
Cardigan~ Express
Tank~ Gap

Can I just tell you these Nine West shoes feel like I am wearing slippers and what is even better I got them from the Clothing Swap!

Dress~ Forever 21

Shoes~ Steve Madden 

Guess what? I have box tickets to So You Think You Can Dance. I am feel like a sixteen year old school girl. My sweet friend send me a message on FB and asked if I wanted to go. There was NO question. The only question I have is for all of YOU.
What should I wear? 
It's Tuesday so ladies I am counting on you. {By the way, I am totally practicing my dance moves just in case. You never know when I might be called to show off my moves}

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10 Ways To Give Back

When is the last time you gave back? Did you know that there are literally billions who don't have access to clean water. To bring it a little closer to home that means that over 2500 kids in Africa are dying daily. Ways to give back our embedded in our shopping trips, our coffee stops, our normal day to day life.  Here are 10 ways you can give back, support your favorite causes, and simply make a difference. 

1.  Go to Samaritan’s Purse‘s gift giving catalog and purchase something. From clean water filters to Honey Bees, they have it all for people who truly need it. 

2. Help your local food bank. Some of us have time and others just want to give financially. Go to the store, buy $100 worth of groceries and then go drop them off. How many people would you feed in your community? 

3. Give the gift of time. Set aside a day and spend the entire day with your family {no phones, no computers}. Let everyone pick one thing to do that does not cost money, go for a walk, play a board game, take a drive, play some soccer or basketball, read a book together, play a board game, watch a movie on the couch. Whatever you do just do it as a family.

4.  Give an anonymous gift. This is my favorite. This is one of the best gifts ever! You can choose the place, the time and even he person. You can pay for a single mom’s tires/oil change when you go to get yours changed/replaced and do not let them know.  Pay for the family behind you in the drive through lane at the fast food restaurant. You can even leave a note with a small gift card on the door step of someone you know who is hurting.

5. All you doll lovers. Did you know that a portion of sales from karitokids {modern day dolls} goes to a child-relief charity. This is a great way to give a gift that keeps giving.  

6. Do you send out cards for Christmas or just a drop a note to let someone know you are thinking of them? The Orphan Card Shop offers four different lines of fair trade greeting cards. Each purchase will directly benefit a Russian orphan. 
7. For all of you organic lovers out there. Erbaorganics is eco-friendly organic mommy-to-be and baby skin care line. The best part is 15% of baby body oil and wash benefit Worldwide Orphans Foundation. You can purchase this line also at Target.
8. The next time you go to Starbucks grab a bottle of water. Did you know every time you purchase a bottle of Ethos Water, you contribute 5 cents to the Ethos Water Fund, part of the Starbucks Foundation. What an easy way to make an impact and help. 

9. There is a place called Gifts That Give Back . What  I love about this website is that you can search for all different kinds of things. Glassware to clothes, you name it. One out of every Five dollars you spend goes to a cause of your choice. 
10. Who doesn't love shoes? This is one of my favorite organizations ever! TOMS-- with every pair of fabulous shoes you purchase with them they will turn around and give a child in need a pair. One for One. They even have eye wear now. I am getting ready to purchase two pairs. They are not only adorable but more importantly it is putting a pair of shoes of a sweet kid who is in NEED. 

We all need to do our part. What are some ways you are giving back? I challenge you to think of a practical way to give back this week.  

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda.
 Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

How to keep off the 7-10lb weight gain this Holiday Season

Happy Monday, friends! Did you know that many people gain anywhere from 7-10 lbs over the holidays (from Halloween through New Years)?? I k...