Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Samuel!

Four years ago today, twenty-one days early, Samuel Joseph joined our family! After only little girls, he has added a whole new dynamic to our home.

Samuel - you love cars, cars and more cars! You love sweets and helping in the kitchen. You have always loved to snuggle and still do and you love to be where I am. When I put a plate of food in front of you, you are usually instantly full of things to say though you are very picky about the food.

You love Angry Birds, football, Jungle Junction, reading books, playing trains and pestering your sisters. You love to make us laugh!

I love when you say things like:
Are you happy, Mama?
I want you to sit with me on the couch!
Will you read me a story?
Can I watch you? {and sit on the kitchen counter}

Your little moods sometimes drive me nearly to the edge of a cliff, but you also have a tender heart that I adore.

I love seeing little things sinking in when you talk about them again. I love seeing you concentrate on something. And, I absolutely loved your helmet in the yard the other day {a plastic flower pot turned upside down on his head} and it was a perfect green color. I love that you were proud of getting a lizard and found an airplane which you were so excited about.

When I've brought home things for your party - you have run to me and said thank you with a big hug around my legs. Oh, you are so welcome - it is my pleasure and privilege! I am so thankful to be your mama and to be learning all these crazy lovely little boy things that you are teaching me.

Happy Birthday, Samuel! We love you so very much!

{Photos: Becky Kyle}

Monday, January 30, 2012

Football Party

Samuel's birthday is tomorrow, but we celebrated on Saturday! It was a Football/Tailgate theme! So fun and easy since I shopped our house for most of the party props. David has access to a local high school so he borrowed a football, some gear, reffing attire!

We decided quite a while ago to do a Football theme as it is something Samuel has really seemed to have an interest in. But, I struggled with which direction to go with the party until I saw this.
I'm sure my family would've preferred Clemson colors! But, I don't have much that is orange and purple - ahem. What awful colors to pair together! So, I just chose colors that went with what I had and could use for a fun party. Plaids and vintage coolers/crates worked perfectly to create some tailgate fun.

I didn't do hardly anything to work ahead on this party like I typically do - I guess just coming off of Christmas it took me more time to get into this one. But, I was still pleased with how things came together! I stayed up late the night before to make the pennant garland and it turned out to be one of my favorite things. {It's now hanging over one of his windows!}

Several months ago, David came home from his mom's house with a box of old trophies of his and I immediately snagged three football trophies to use for this party!

Football paper cups were found at Dollar Tree! Popcorn, Peanuts and Chocolate milk {in the plaid thermoses} were served here. The only things I bought for this entire area were the cups, food and felt for the garland. The twill tape that the garland is sewn to was tied around the quilt I had bought for Samuel's room!

I found these fun favor bags at Michael's for $1. Contents were simple: coloring pages, some chocolate "footballs" and two ornaments snagged for 0.30/box on the after-Christmas clearance!

The girls and I painted this big paper banner {oh, cheerleading days - I had fun revisiting you this weekend!} for the boys to run through. For the record: Samuel hated this idea, he was in tears over running through the paper. Oh well, it sounded like a fun idea!

Our girls had fun putting on their thrifted cheerleading outfits! Go Samuel!!!!

Now, for the food: Samuel snuggled up to me one Sunday afternoon while I was perusing Pinterest for food ideas. So, this menu was entirely of his choosing (ok, I added the carrots!)

Football Juice Boxes inspired by this.

Great food inspiration here!
Mini hot dog recipe here.
I wanted to make these, but probably not great for 4-year-old boys so I'll try it some other time!
Samuel specifically requested, "football shaped brownies!"

David made goal posts from some scrap wood and painted stripes in our yard for a mini-field!

I think everyone had fun!

Oh, here are the invitations:

Let's see if I can figure out my cost for this party, I'm just guess-timating in my head here:

Paper goods (plates, napkins, cups): $15
Craft supplies (paper, felt): $7
Food: $30
Favors: $6.50
Total: $58.50

Happy Birthday, Samuel!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Extending Grace: The Beginning

Extending: holding out, offering, reaching out, puts my desires second, unselfish, thinking of others {Phil. 2:3-4}

Grace: undeserved favor or blessing, believing the best, non-judgmental, not critical

Yes, I know there are times I should extend grace to myself! Those times are there - but today I am thinking of extending grace to others. Jesus is our ultimate example of this. I cannot extend salvation like He can, but I can still follow His example in grace.

To whom should we extend grace? There are many examples in Scripture of who we should extend grace to - because of the grace that has been extended to us. This very moment however, I'm drawn to Proverbs 31 to look at the virtuous woman and how she extends grace and to whom she extends it.

~ vs. 10: she is a wife {she extends grace to her husband}
~ vs. 10: she has noble character {receives grace to be able to have this kind of character}
~ vs. 11-12: she extends grace to her husband
~ vs. 15: she extends grace to her family - she serves them; meal times are an extending of nourishment and are a wonderful opportunity for beauty and grace
~ vs. 16: the way she plans her finances and the choices she makes extend grace to her family
~ vs. 17-18: she extends grace to herself by working hard, diligence and taking care of herself; laziness does not match well with extending grace - it requires initiative
~ vs. 20: to those in need, the poor, she is ready to help and serve
~ vs. 25: she extends grace into the future
~ vs. 26: gracious words - she extends
~ vs. 28: to her children, to her husband
~ vs. 31: the extension of grace from her heart and life create beauty that pleases and glorifies the Lord and generates reward - eternal reward

So much grace that has been extended to us, we take for granted.

The mere fact that God has equipped us to do good things for Him. Our eternal security through His free gift of grace when it is especially undeserved.

Beauty extended to us, a warm quilt, a cup of tea, a beautiful flower, a prayer offered on our behalf.

All these thoughts bring me again to our perfect example ~ which is where we'll begin next time!

{Photos: enjoying my new camera and its ruffly strap!}