Monday, October 31, 2016


Happy Halloween!!
 Love, Ariel the mermaid & her shark buddy brother

We spent the whole weekend doing Halloween things so it seems like we've enjoyed an extra long Halloween this year.  It's fun to say yes to all of the Halloween things you can when you have kids.  

I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls for my family and they loved them.

I put together these Halloween Trays for my kids to play with on Friday.  I was thinking they'd sort, count, make patterns and play with it all.  The lacing monsters from last year were still a favorite and I was surprised at how interested the baby was in all of the items.

Fletcher's 1st Halloween
SHARK trying to look scary :)

The scary shark is stealing the mermaid's crown

We headed home to visit our families and have our 2nd annual Halloween Cousin party (last year's Halloween party) with my side of the family!!  We planned brunch, yummy treats, games, costumes and lots more.  The big kids loved my silly Halloween jokes, the cousins loved seeing everyone in their costumes and a good time was had by all.

Mummy games & cupcake decorating!

We added a new tradition to our Halloween party this year.  My mom wanted our kids to get to fill Operation Christmas Child boxes together so we did all of our shopping ahead of time so that we could fill boxes to donate at the party.  My kids loved shopping for gifts to give to kids about their age.  Then we got to tlak about the gifts we bought with our cousins.  It was a great service project to get to do with the whole family.  Have you ever participated in Operation Christmas Child?
Here's what we picked out for a boy and a girl.

 Mimi & Papaw and the 9 grandkids.
It was so sweet to see all the kids dressed up together.

 We watched Notre Dame win, went to a bonfire in the evening, got to see lots of family 
and had a nice weekend!

The weekend ended on a sad note.  My parent's sweet dog, Maxx, passed away Sunday morning.  He was 15 and has been a part of so many of our fun family memories over the years.  We always joked that he was the little brother my brother always wanted.  We're going to miss this bearded pup!!

Hope you had a great weekend.  Happy Halloween  :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Best Parts

Happy Friday, Friends!  Hope you had a wonderful week.  We packed a lot into ours.  We saw friends, did lots of fun Halloween things, worked on some things around the house and my husband fixed our ice maker.  It had been broken since we moved into the house and I was so proud of him for figuring it out.  He's learning to be handy!  I love lots of ice so this simple thing was super exciting for me.  We're gearing up for some fun Halloween parties this weekend and looking forward to seeing our families.  What are your plans??

// 1 //
I got two great Target deals this week - two $5 off coupons on this mailer AND a $20 Target Groupon for only $10!!  Hooray!!  I've got a Target trip planned for this weekend and have a list of things to look for.  I'm not sure how or why I got the Target coupons in the mail - but THANK YOU TARGET!!  Then, I was randomly scrolling through Twitter and someone mentioned the groupon deal. 

// 2 //
We had a great time at our Country Club's Fall Festival.  It's our second time to go so it feels good to be getting settled in our city and starting traditions with our family.  We got to meet some new families so that was nice, too.  We enjoyed s'mores, hayrides, hot chocolate, a bounce house and beautiful weather.  We picked out pumpkins with the kids and it was cute to see them in the middle of all those pumpkins.  Fletcher's 1st Halloween is going to be so much fun. 

// 3 //
I've been collecting special things for Fletcher's nursery for months and it's so fun to start decorating.  My Dad helped me so much by hanging things on the walls and so the space is coming together nicely.  I've got a few more projects to finish and then I'll do a whole nursery reveal.

 // 4 //
I've been doing a good job of reading in my spare time and just finished up Raising An Original by Julie Lyles Carr.  It was a great read that really emphasized the importance of focusing on the traits your child has been given.  The tips were great from this mom of eight and I posted my review of it yesterday!  Have you read it before?  I'm ready for a new book - any great ones to recommend??

// 5 //
I've completely given up on making delicious HEALTHY muffins.  I think it's impossible.  So I've opted to just make delicious UNHEALTHY muffins a few times a year and enjoy the heck out of them.  These are my favorite pumpkin muffins.  We wolfed them down and I'll probably make them again in November.  I try to include my toddler in any baking we do and she loved these muffins.  The baby hangs out in his high chair and is happy to munch on cheerios while we bake.
This might be my new favorite picture of Fletcher!  He looks so cute in his arrow moccasins :)

 // 6 //
I've always loved the holidays, but holidays WITH KIDS are so much fun.  We try to do festive things all month long and the littlest things are so fun for kids.  We did some hand print and foot print art earlier this week, colored, went to a monster story time and I have a few more things to do with the kids on Halloween.  We mailed the I love BOO! cards out to family and friends this week.  I love sending snail mail so it was fun to include the kids.  Over the years I've done various hand or foot print canvas art projects with the kids and they are some of my favorite decorations  All of the instructions are here

What was your FAVORITE part of the week??

I hope you have a really great weekend!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Raising an Original #oholive

It's been a few months since I did an #oholive post so I figured it was time.  The silly stories are wracking up on my phone list so I've got to share them before I forget them.

Things Olive says:

patter-in = pattern
strustrated = frustrated
sammy-itch = sandwich
lie-berry = library
balla-ka-rina = ballerina
a-dor-dable = adorable
Reese Pups = Reese Puffs
Puppy Clouds = puffy clouds

She's currently loving Cinderella, mermaids, Sheriff Callie, Daniel Tiger, books, art projects, singing, play-doh, going on walks, helping in the kitchen, snuggles and her baby brother.  She is starting to draw people with circle bodies, arms and legs.

She's recognizing logos and signs for things around town - Target, Jimmy Johns, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Sams, Square Donuts and Panda Express.

She loves to tell stories.  The longer the better and facts are optional.

She has a favorite floral sun dress and thinks she should be able to wear it everyday.

Favorite foods: cucumbers, apples, carrots, noodles, pretzels, goldfish, dry cereal, soft serve ice cream, sprinkles, donuts, bread, meat, berries, granola bars, fruit snacks and pizza.

Dislikes: getting dressed, wearing layers, 

Funny Stories:
We went to get our flu shots last week and I went first.  She reached out said, "Here I'll hold your hand, Mama.  So you don't be scared."  Then she claimed she did not need one of those "blue shots".  When it was her turn she was pretty brave.  Cried for just a few seconds and then ripped off the bandaid the nurse put on.  She said, "I don't need this thing!" and tossed it on the floor.

She helps me decorate the house for the holidays and then I find her rearranging things on her own.  She grabbed all of her hair clips, attached them to a fake flower arrangement and insisted I come look at her "decoratin". 

If she falls or makes a mess she yells NEVERMIND and doesn't want us to look her way.

She goes around singing random songs and her current favorite is from Sheriff Callie: "Pesky little critter we thought you was cute.  Now you're just a pain in our boots!"  haha

We went to the zoo and the Tiger was very curious about us.  He kept walking right up to the glass and Olive said, "He looked right into my EYEBALLS!"

Olive has started asking us questions - How did you sleep?  How was work today? How was your food?

We were grocery shopping one evening and Olive spotted a man with a bandana and a big hoop earring walking our way.  She said, "That man is a PIRATE!" at the top of her lungs.  We just kind of laughed it off and kept going.  I think he was probably going for more of a biker look than a pirate look.

She's learning how to do jobs around the house.  We tidy up her bedroom every night before bed and she's memorized which things go in which drawers.  She refills water bottles to the fridge when we are running low.  She's started checking this all on her own.  She refills the cat food bowl with one scoop a day.  If I fold the laundry she can take it to her room and put it where it belongs.

We were having a play date with friends and I gave her a heads up that we were leaving in 5 minutes so it wouldn't be a shock when it was time to go.  She shouted, "I AM NEVER LEAVING!!" in response.  She's also started referring to her friends as her best friends.

We went to an anniversary party and they had Hershey kisses on every table.  Olive went from table to table sampling chocolates and walked out with a handful for the road.

She feels all the feelings and wants to talk about them.  "That really hurt my feelings.  I miss them so much!  I don't like it when..., I feel shy, That makes me so sad, etc."

She's completely potty trained and has been for months.  She now thinks that everyone gets a scooter and helmet when they get potty trained since that was her reward.

She lassos, rides her horses and talks like a cowgirl often thanks to Sheriff Callie.  I caught her lassoing our lamps and asked her why she was doing that.  She said, "Mama, How am I going to get better at lassoing if I don't practice??"  Good point.

We walked into the library and she was so excited to see her favorite teacher leading story time.  She yelled out "Mr. T!!!!"  It made his day to see her so excited and then she hid behind me and wouldn't say hello to him.

My favorite Olive pictures from the last few months:

Three is such a sweet age!!

I was excited to read Raising an Original by Julie Lyles Carr after reading that she is a psychologist and she has eight children of her own.  That's a lot of real life experience to draw from and her background in women's ministries was evident in her Biblical take on life.  I really enjoyed the book and learned so much about valuing the God given talents your child is born with.  Carr helps you to reevaluate your schedule, your time commitments, your definition of normal and your extracurriculars to best benefit your family.  I loved her focus of spending time WITH your children, not causing them to stress because you've packed their days full of activities and to really listen to what activities your child is interested in doing.  There is a personality assessment included to help you identify the different personalities of everyone in your family.  She gives tons of practical advice, has very relatable parenting stories and it was a really enjoyable read.  I was inspired to really acknowledge the personality differences in my children and to help them thrive in the real world.  This would be a great book to read with your spouse, your book club or another friend because there are so many different things to discuss. 
*This book was gifted to me from BookLook bloggers in exchange for an honest review.