Monday, July 13, 2015

Survivor - By saving one life the AHA saved FIVE!

Some ask what survivor means in my ABOUT ME section - while here is what it means to me.

Stories From the Heart

EVERYTHING is why....

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sleepover Under the Stars - the perfect 13th birthday party for my little adventurer

So, it's seems fitting that I FINALLY get around to writing about Aubrey's 13th birthday since she will be 14 in a few short weeks.  I actually still want to write about her Beach Olympics Birthday Party when she turned 10 H-E-L-L-O!

Marshmallow & Hot Dog Roasting Sticks

Anyway, Aubrey is my adventure girl.  She loves to get lost outside, build stuff with things found in nature, get wet in the creek, catch creatures, you get the point.  For her birthday last year we had the MOST perfect party for her and ten of her BFFs.

Upon arrival everyone was given a MASON JAR (one of my favorite things!).

They used Sharpie Paint Markers to decorate their very own lightning bug jar.  I had poked holes in all the lids ahead of time.  The girls were so excited because not only did they get to use them that night but they brought them home as party favors!

Then after most of the girls had arrived and they were done decorating their mason jars the girls started by dressing up for a silly photo booth type photo minus the booth.

Followed by a little Slingshot SEED BOMBING... (you can get the bombs on Amazon

Then the girls divided into two teams and were off on a Nature Scavenger Hunt in the woods.

Followed by dinner - they cooked their own hot dogs over an open fire.  Also on the menu was watermelon and chips.  Pretty easy food preparation for me (smiley face).

No camp out would be complete without making smore's!  I like to make a smore's bar if you will. As far as marshmallows I am a purist. I like Jet-Puffed but could be persuaded to use the Jet-Puffed Stacker Mallows.  On the smore's bar I like to put several types of chocolate - milk, dark, white & cookies n cream. (sometimes I even do a spicy chocolate with chilies) I also do a few types of graham crackers like honey, cinnamon and chocolate grahams.  If I see a nice flat cookie that might work I will add those to the selection.  I have been known to use waffles and Girl Scout cookies in the past!

The girls sang fireside with guitars and ukuleles into the night!

Each of the girls got a cool LED glow bracelet which they used to designate which color team they were on for MANHUNT!

After an AWESOME game of Manhunt it was time for dessert!  I love a CANDY BAR!  Aubrey loves to BAKE so she made her own birthday cake.  Again easy food prep for me!(smiley face too)

Then after ALL THAT SUGAR it was time to get settled in for snoozing under the stars.  Before the girls arrived my husband and I cleared the deck of all the furniture and laid down a bunch of large throw rugs for the girls to set up their sleeping bags on.  I also decorated the deck railings with white lights and LED Light Up Balloons!  It looked so F-U-N out there!  I wanted to spend the night.

After much giggling and even a few screams.  They fell asleep around 1am (not too bad) for a bunch of TEENAGERS.  They woke up so happy.  I think there were several of them that had never slept outside let alone directly under the stars!  I think we should all do it at least once a summer.  I think it reminds us how beautiful this world is that God made is.  

After a full night of being kids!  Like in the "old days" - smore's, lightning big catching, manhunt, scavenger hunts, being outside ALL NIGHT!  They woke up and just wanted to play more.  It did my heart good to see all these beautiful girls smiling, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
Swinging away on a perfect morning while they waited for their moms to them pick up

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine's Day Family Favorites Game

So we ALL know I L-O-V-E games AND I also L-O-V-E holidays!  Valentine's day is kind of a special one for Chris and I.  Our first "date" was a group date at my friends house back in 1988 where the girls cooked dinner for the boys.  I think the menu consisted of Chicken Parmesan and spaghetti.  We were in 11th grade.  The following year I made heart shaped hamburgers for him, set up a little card table near my parents fireplace and even placed our ketchup bottle in a champagne bucket to make it fancy.  Pretty sure we have kept V-day a special holiday throughout the years - almost positive one of our four kids was a result of a Valentine's Day evening many moons ago.

Last year's was a great one.  It was a super sweet romantic night (all 6/7 of us - we had Emily our fabulous family friend over ~ CAUSE WE LOVE HER).  Ordered HEART shaped pizza from zpizza.  Got some yummy heart shaped treats for dessert.

Played this great family game I came up with.  We had so much fun that quotes from that night are still used today.  So everyone fills out one of these forms below with their favorites.  These are then kept secret - SHHHHH!
*To print right click on image and then OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW- print & cut in half!
Then everyone gets a copy of the family favorite chart - and they are supposed to fill out as many favorites as they can guess correct for the rest of the members in their family.  This takes a little time and a bunch of thought.  How well do you REALLY know each other?  In our family one of our favorites from that night was when my brilliant husband put down CARROTS as his favorite fruit.  To this day when I am serving carrots the kids say "look dad your favorite fruit!".  Another item that brought much mayhem was when Chris (my brilliant husband) put down Summer as his favorite season and NO ONE else did.  He was genuinely insulted - how could none of us love the season where we get to spend the most time together he said which made us laugh harder.
*To print right click on image and then OPEN LINK IN NEW WINDOW and print one for each family member!  Write in all family member's names on top row.