Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Leo Baby Dedication

Leo was born just a few weeks into the world shutting down with 2020 Covid chaos and closures.  Very few things about his first years were normal and that makes me sad.  We did our best to keep life going like usual, but there had to be modification.  Baby dedication was one of the modifications.

We missed the usual window to do a baby dedication.

We moved.

Life got busy.

But we were determined we weren't going to let this milestone get missed.

Both Olive and Fletcher participated in a family dedication service at our church in Terre Haute. 

Leo: Age 2

We had the opportunity to participate in baby dedication at our new church.  They said it was for kids 0-2 so we jumped at the chance to dedicate our sweet Leo.  We opted for participating in the Saturday night service and I'm so glad we did it.  This cute head shot was up on the screen during the service.

Things weren't easy like they would have been with a tiny baby.  

Leo had to patiently wait in the crowd through 3 songs, go on stage with bright lights, insisted on holding onto my phone and cried at the end.  Poor guy wasn't sure what was going on - he always goes straight to his sweet preschool class and not in the sanctuary.  But, mom and dad knew.  We powered through and got it done.  We promised alongside our church members to help him to know Jesus and grow in his faith.  There's nothing more important to us!


If you're like us and have a little one that ended up missing out on some things these past couple of years, you can still make those milestones happen!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

4 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Unpopular opinion: Pumpkin is delicious year round!

My crew loves pumpkin any time of year.

I tried a new muffin recipe for a friend gathering over Thanksgiving break and they were so good!  And who wouldn't be enticed by a 4 ingredient muffin recipe!?  I have these 4 things on hand all the time.  Which means homemade muffins are always an easy breakfast option for me.  This recipe would be so fun to make with your kids.  Or give your older kids the task of making them on their own.  It's so simple!  It would be a great confidence boosting recipe for a new baker.

Look how pretty and tall these muffins turn out!


1 yellow cake mix

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 T cinnamon

Brown sugar

Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a bowl.  It'll be a perfectly fluffy, thick mixture.  Scoop the batter into a mini muffin pan and sprinkle a generous sprinkle of brown sugar on top of them before you pop them in the oven.  Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Let them brown slightly and the muffins should bounce back when you touch the top.



I was skeptical that this muffin recipe would be delicious because there are no eggs or oils.

Let me assure you - they were SO GOOD!  The kids and adults loved them.  They tasted best the fresh out of the oven/same day, but my kids still ate them on Day 2.

I hope you put this easy recipe on your radar this holiday season!

Would your family enjoy these?

Monday, November 28, 2022

A Pretty Perfect Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you did, too!

We had a low key morning at home watching the Thanksgiving parade and getting ready for the day.  Then we headed 20 minutes away to lunch with Kevin's family.  His 84 year old grandma still loves hosting at the holidays!  I tell her often that she is amazing.  We ended the evening by hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house for my family.  It went so well!

After a wild and crazy last year, it felt so good to be home for the holidays.  We loved having everyone over to our house.  Kevin was super helpful getting everything set up and ready.  We worked on things all week so that Thanksgiving Day wasn't too crazy.  We got to debut our fire pit, the cousins had tons of fun playing, we enjoyed family time and dinner was delicious!  It made me so happy to see the kids comfortable and having fun at our house.

Lunch time!

I love making pies.  My crusts turned out so pretty this year.  I think it was because I made them a few days in advance and they had days to chill in the fridge.

I made chocolate covered pretzels, Monster Cookies for lunch and Hershey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for dinner time.

I loved how all of my decor came together.  It was fun to find the perfect spots for everything.  My sister had the idea to use disposable plates, we drank out of disposable cups and used real silverware.  I had very few dishes to do at the end of the night!  I'll remember that for next year.

Olive decided our mantel needed to look a little more festive so she made me this darling banner.  She wrote out all the letters and then recruited Fletcher to help her decorate each letter.  I was putting Leo to bed and came out to find it.  I love it so much!

We took out any extra furniture - bar stools & ottomans and brought it tables and chairs to make the kids table.  I also removed anything that wasn't essential from the counters.  It worked out perfectly.

We set up the island as our drink station.  Adult drinks on one end, appetizers and then regular drinks on the other end.  It worked out great!

The dessert table was packed full of goodness!

Dinner is served!  Everything turned out delicious.  My mom and sister helped with bringing sides.  Olive commented that the nice thing about hosting is that you are left with all of the leftovers!  YES!

I'm drooling!  The food was SO GOOD!  I was proud of this pretty plate :)

My sister snapped some sweet pictures of everyone.  The kid table!

Mom & Dad

Tyler & Tabitha

Haley & Kevin

and us!

The forecast did not look favorable for a night around the fire pit.  But it ended up only sprinkling a little bit and it was the perfect night!  Leo kept asking us to go out to "the pit".

Love this Cousin Crew!


Thanksgiving 2022 was a good one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Friendsgiving Donut Turkeys

We hosted a sweet Friendsgiving at our house this week.  The kids were so excited and I had an easy turkey treat for everyone to make.  I wanted to gather our friends and instead of waiting for an invitation, I was the one who initiated the invitation.  Let this be an encouragement to you to get the ball rolling on gathering your people.  Everyone was excited.  You don't have to host a huge meal.  Just come up with a festive treat or festive activity to do together.

Is this not the cutest donut turkey!?

I grabbed a dozen glazed donuts, a dozen chocolate donut holes and then had candy corn, candy pumpkins, edible eyes, pretzel sticks and M&Ms for turkey toppings.  We just poked the toppings into the donut, but you could use something like Nutella to help glue everything together.

They turned out so cute!

Look at this yummy assortment!  I made chocolate covered pretzels to send home with each family and then put all the turkey toppings in little ramekins. 

Each kid had a coloring place mat.  I didn't put names on them - everyone got to pick their own seat and color.

Olive's turkey masterpiece.

Fletcher's turkey masterpiece.  He was very into the Nutella glue.  And Leo had no interest in making a donut turkey.  But he ate his weight in candy corn :)

And if someone has to cancel last minute, it's easy to pack a treat to go box to drop off to them.

I 10/10 recommend making a cute invitation through something like Picmonkey and then texting it out.  It's easy and makes your gathering seem a little more official.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love most!  I'm taking the rest of the week off - wish me luck hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  I'll be back here on Monday with a full recap.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Birthday Recap

My birthday was lots of fun!  I hope and pray that year 41 is going to be WONDERFUL.  We spread out festivities throughout the whole week and still have a few more friend gatherings to look forward to before November is done.

Kevin picked up a DQ ice cream cake and it was so good.  I usually go for cheesecake, but this year I picked desserts that I knew the kids would also enjoy.  Can you tell that we're fully embracing all the purple in our lives with Kevin's new job!?  We barely owned any purple before this last year.  I hope that Kevin feels loved and supported with all of our school spirit :)

I got some really fun presents from family and friends.  I've always wanted this Beautiful Boards book!  I got some special deliveries all day long - flowers, chocolates, home decor and more.

We went to the home opener basketball game on my birthday.  We made it to half time and Leo was done.  We had dinner with Kevin's parents before the game at our favorite local pizza place Turonis and then sat with my parents during the game.  I think I've mentioned this before - Kevin and I grew up going to Aces basketball games so it's a fun full circle moment to be there with our kids now.

Made some birthday wishes!

I got to go to Bible study with my friends.  It's a germy time of year so I am always really thankful when all the kids are healthy enough to go to school and childcare and I can go to Bible study.

I got to have a MNO dinner & a show with my cousin.  We saw Cabaret and ate at a favorite spot before the show.  We were so busy chatting during dinner that we almost missed the show.  Whoops!  We had to run from dinner to the show.  It was hilarious.  The UE students are so talented.  It was neat to see them in action.

My mom fixed a feast of fried chicken and all the sides for my birthday.  I requested fried chicken and fried ice cream for dessert.  Everything was delicious!

Kevin got me some beautiful birthday roses.

Leo and I strolled through Target.  He kept pulling things off the rack and calling them CUTE.  He is always a cute shopping buddy.  I didn't find any new clothes, but I did find some fun things for the holidays.

Kevin and the kids surprised me with a foot massager.  I would never have bought something like this for myself so it was sweet.  We have all enjoyed it, but Fletcher seems to park himself in this spot the most.

My biggest gift was finishing up our fire pit build.  It's taken months to finalize and weeks to build, but it's done!  We are already enjoying it so much.  Stay tuned for a fire pit tour soon.  Now I'm in full Thanksgiving prep mode!  I can't wait for all the yummy food and fun times to come.