Thursday, February 18, 2016

Baseball Baby Shower

Baby Knox was not quite here yet, and we decided to throw a surprise shower for his Mommy in early January. The pulling off of the surprise itself was actually really complicated, involving bringing people in from out of town, and "casually" hijacking facebook conversations...and it worked. There were so many moving, it was scary. But we pulled it off! So rare. So wonderful. She was completely surprised!

The planning team (a few friends) decided on a baseball theme (because Daddy was a college baseball player), and they love the Red Sox, and have a dog named Fenway, so it all seemed to fit. Instantly, the ideas started flowing. It was perfect!

We decided to have all "ball game foods" served, and that was really fun...and our menu kept growing and growing!
We got those little hard plastic baseball hats on amazon, and used them as bowls for ice cream sundaes. We also had black forest trifles (in a cup)

Drinking Root Beer, Coke, and cold coffee from glass bottles...and plenty of peanuts in the shell for the taking too! Amy's 11 year old daughter (house host) made that chalkboard sign for us! So perfect!

A diaper cake!

The "Concessions" table - see the banner?
We had: Red licorice, and Baby Ruth (fun size)
warm, soft pretzels and mustard
popcorn & flavour toppings for it
nacho cheese dip and chips
Oreo cookie pops (made into baseballs)
Mini hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll
Cracker Jacks
Cheese ball and crackers
Veggies and dip in cups

A mini oreo dipped in white chocolate, a topper for the trifles, and I made big ones too from normal oreos and put them on a stick for a "cake pop". YUM.
We had a baseball for all the guests to sign, and I gave her a wooden baseball bat with "Knox" inscribed on it for a shower gift.

It was way cuter than what is portrayed in my lame phone pics. It was truly off the charts adorable, and super duper fun to put together.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bible Quiz and Winter Retreat 2016

Presenting two members of the winning teams from Colonial Baptist Church, for the Awana Bible Quiz 2016!

Our church participates in the Awana Bible Quiz each year, and Kenna and Brooks were both selected, and were members of a three person team. You compete as a team, and do a written test, multiple choice "paddles" questions, and then the "buzzer" portion where it's every man for himself (you have to buzz in first, and then correctly quote the verse/answer with no mistakes). Brooks was on a team (there were many teams, from our church and other local churches) for the "First Book" and Kenna was on a team for the "Second Book". 

They both won (along with teammates) in their age categories!! (Last year, Kenna and her 2 teammates got 4th place). They were pretty pumped - awesome for one of them to get first place, but for both of them too was really really great!!

During the "buzzer" portion - There were 2 members of each team participating (in each age group, so there were "4 sets" of everything), and then the 3rd team member would sub in/out as needed (if you buzz out in a good way, getting 3 questions right, or in a bad way, getting 3 wrong, or your coach can sub you out for any reason) - This was the "First Book" only up on stage. There were about 16 kids in each of the 4 age/book groups, and so it's hard to buzz in first!

It was a LONG day...from our 7:45 arrival, until it's end at 1pm. Grey and I took a couple breaks - and we had a starbucks together. It was the first time I've ever bought any of my kids a drink from there, and he loved it. Later in the day "Thanks for that hot chocolate, Mom. It was actually one of the best I've ever had". The moment called for a selfie using the photo props at the Starbucks:-)

First through Fourth place winning teams for Book One - Brooks' first place team on the first row

First through Fourth place winning teams for Book Two - Kenna's first place team on the first row. Her teammate (boy beside her) won an individual award for the highest scoring single person in the entire event with an absolutely PERFECT score (so very rare!!)
Brian missed watching it with us, and he was bummed about that - but scheduling conflicts!! We are involved in Youth Group at church, and Brian teaches on Wednesday nights. That weekend was the Winter Retreat, and Brian was teaching a few sessions there...
One of his sessions

Youth Pastor's baby, Zeke.
They were away Friday evening and came home Sunday evening, late. Brian said it was a super great time - he loved it! I hope that next year there is no conflict on the dates, and then I can go to the retreat too!

Dishwasher Detergent - DIY

I started making my own dishwasher detergent - and it works so well! It's a powder, and there are other recipes to be found online, and since each dishwasher washes in its own unique way, make a small batch of your recipe to test it on your machine and make sure it's doing a good job.

I've been using vinegar as my "jet dry" rinse agent for years, and I'm glad I now have an economical, and toxin free way of cleaning the dishes also:-) Essential oil drops can be added to the powder for scent, if desired

2 parts borax
2 parts washing soda
1 part salt
1 part citric acid

Use 2 T for each load.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Little Things

Last night at dinner, while helping himself to some butter, Brian said,

"I like this butter dish. It reminds me of you"

I just started laughing...

"That's so funny, because it reminds me of you!"
We needed a new butter dish this fall - not urgently (hey. small plates work fine), but we were definitely in need of one, since ours got a big crack in it during the renovations/packup/unpack this summer. While browsing Pier 1 for fun, I stumbled across this lil beauty, on clearance. There are few things that catch my eye more than "fun" and "pretty" and "on sale". While not a drastic reduction in price ($9.99 from $12.99), I still just felt like it was calling my name, so I bought it.

I brought it home and, my natural exuberance over the adorable butter dish could not be contained.

"I have to show you what I bought!! It's the best ever!!! Hang on..."

By the levels of excitement, he is led to assume I've purchased a new tv, or car, or pony for the kids. But he should know better by now.

"Look! Isn't it adorable!, and it was even on sale!!!"

He gives it a half heartedly delighted look and says "That won't fit butter"


Yes it will! It's a butter dish, it's made for butter.

Sure enough, he's right. It doesn't fit butter. Butter here comes in half cup "sticks" and this dish lid is drastically too slanted to fit a butter stick. Golly! Who sells butter dishes that don't hold butter?! Now I'm feeling ripped off. Cheated even. $9.99 for a dish that won't hold butter! But it's so pretty and eclectic and goes so perfectly on my table...

I'm currently on the lookout for *the perfect* napkin holder. It's been a long, weary hunt. And given my spacial orientation deficiencies, here's hoping when I do find one, it actually holds napkins without having to origami them into half their size.