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October 31, 2010

Our Halloween!!!!

What a fabulous time we had this week!
My in-laws came into town and they are always super fun and then we did a Fall Festival and then...Halloween!  Each year we go to our church's trunk or treat and volunteer our car to hand out candy.  Super crowded but super fun! 
  Awwwwww...posing in front of our house.  
My Ballerina and Minnie Mouse.
 Trick or Treat! 
Ella's official first time on her two little cute feet.
She was amazed that those 3 words...worked EVERY single time.

Speaking of feet... 
I think my favorite part of their outfits were the shoes.  
They had some sparkly sparkle going on.
Sorry it's blurry bit the girl needed to get her trick or treating on.

And then a dear friend of mine decided to come up with an amazing and creative theme for their trunk.  And to be honest, most thought I would be creative but  
Um, I threw some pumpkins on a table and recycled Fall decorations from my house and called it a day.

But my friend Jenny did a theme.  A THEME! 

The UP movie.   

She tied balloons to the top of her car...MADE THE HOUSE, and dressed as Mr. Fredrickson down to the cane with tennis balls!  BRILLIANT!  I took pictures of her like I was a tourist or fan of a celebrity!  But my geekdom is renowned so no one flinches. Her son was Doug the dog and her 1 year old daughter was Russell. 

My photos don't do it justice but enjoy...
 The house with balloons on top.
Jenny as Mr. Fredrickson and her son as Doug the dog.  
I am cracking up now just looking at it again.  So stinkin' adorable I just can't stand it.
Kevin, the Bird.
Creative genius is what I say. 
I mean, a rainbow colored boa for feathers?  I am in awe. A pillow for the back? Amazing.
 I mean, is this not the cutest little girl in the world? Yet she totally pulled off the Russell look while still maintaining femininity. 

So awesome.  By the way Jenny has a great blog.  Click here. She is a close friend of mine and I love her dearly. So funny, warm, and loves Jesus.  And the funniest part about this is her outfit truly transformed her.  She is the epitome of style and so beautiful...inside and out.  So honestly I had to give her props on my blog for such creativity.

Off to unpack my creative pumpkins and pine cones.  Woop de doo.  :)

October 26, 2010

Fourteen Years Ago Today...I met Jesus.

It was mighty hard coming up with that title.  But I realized I wanted to be blunt and to the point. I celebrate this day every year to remember where I have been and how far I have come.  I often shy away from talking about my faith on my blog for fear I will offend someone.  Which is silly since I am pretty up front about it .  But I figured you might find it interesting to know how I came to believe what I do and why my life needed saving.

So let's travel back to the night of October 26, 1996.

I was a junior in college, 20 years old and that year I was the Resident Assistant for my dorm hall.  And when you are an RA, you have some weekends where you are on duty and can not leave your room since I had to do rounds and check the halls and such. Someone can visit you but you can not leave.  It can get BORING.

But one particular weekend, my friend Ben was on duty and he invited me to watch a movie.

Ah yes, but Ben was my secret crush and this invite meant that crush had decided to crush me back and we would partake in some kissy kissy-smoochie smoochie.

Let us rewind some more...

My first 20 years of life were typical and normal. My parents divorced when I was 6 months old and I lived with my mother and stepfather who married when I was 3.  My father was VERY much a part of my life and though he lived 3 1/2 hours away, he traveled every other weekend to pick me up and drive me back to his house.  We are still incredibly close and I love my father so much.

But as I grew up I was a normal girl. I could be shy but I could be bossy too. But starting around 2nd grade, I became an easy target.  As I got older, I was always on the cusp of popularity but never quite "a popular girl."  There was always a few girls who bullied me and I will never forget the day I more.  I was 13 when I decided that I was going to get tough.  I don't know how or what happened but I became kind of  a bully of bullies.  It was not right but it was a survival mechanism that seemed to work. But with it, came a very outspoken sometimes volatile attitude.  This was due to other factors in my life but the main point was I was someone who would rather strike first them be beaten more time. This was also the time I first started smoking...getting high...and drinking in the woods after school.

This went with me into high school but then I began to grow up a bit more. I even started standing up for myself in a more dignified fashion. I had lots of friends, played field hockey and lacrosse, wrote for the school newspaper, name it...I did it.  But I was also kind of a loner.  Self inflicted isolation.  Oh, I had the friends.  But I walked alone, hung out with people from all walks of life yet never committed to a group of friends.  I was never quite able to fit in anywhere.  I seldom dated but I thought a boy...any boy...would be my knight in shining armor and whisk me away to bliss and happiness.  I knew if someone loved me...really loved me...I would find meaning in this daily fog I trudged through. This system of life that seemed to be pointless yet I pressed on because what else do you do?  

Then. during high school I lost my virginity. 

There it is.  The beginning of my belief that I was worthless.  I had clung to my purity merely because my parents told me I was supposed to.  But following the mandate of fallible man is difficult since parents let us down, disappoint us, become shockingly imperfect, and for me, the catalyst to drive me towards rebellion. 

I cringe at the thought that my parents do occasionally visit this blog. And may read this. This is not the holiday topic of conversation that is revisited for nostalgia's sake.  Nope, this is just not discussed. No one wants to think of their little girl making choices that were not their choices for her.  

But I was craving something and looking for it in the depths of the pit and mire.  I wanted to be...Wanted.  Loved.  Accepted. Pursued.  Cherished.

So I gave away the only thing that should have been given to the man reading his book behind me. I was on a quest.  And I kept looking and giving away chunks of me.  Over and over. Because I believed I was worthless yet I kept searching for the one who would tell me otherwise.And giving myself away in the process.

During my junior year of college, something began stirring within me.  And early in October I started going to the church nearby that was the denomination I grew up in.  I felt joy and peace while there yet when I left, I felt bereft of the pure joy I had.  I somehow could not take it with me.  For weeks, I felt on the verge of something life changing but I had no idea what it was.  

So back to the night of October 26, 1996.   

I arrive at Ben's room, looking cute and knowing that this may well be the night I conquer my crush. He shall be mine because why else does a BOY invite a GIRL over to watch a movie?

First thing that happened...he left the door open. Say what?  Where is our privacy to talk?  Anyone walking down the hall could walk right in.


You see, Ben was probably the most popular guy at our small little college.  He was outgoing, CRAZY, fun, sweet, and nice to everyone, smart (pre-med biology major) and more importantly IN LOVE WITH JESUS.  Some would say he was a FREAK for Jesus. He would probably concur.

Well, on this night we got silly and began dancing to this song a friend of mine had just introduced to me.  Some band called DC TALK singing a song about being In the Light After we jumped around the room like 3 year olds, he sat down next to me and asked me if I understood what it meant to be in the light as He is in the light. 

Um, no.  But I answered yes anyway because, helllooo? I needed to look smart and make an impression here. But he explained what it means for Jesus to be my light and salvation.  And funny as it seems, my eyes did not glaze over. But my spiritual interrogation began.  And sadly, I must confess it was not because I was on the verge of a Holy Spirit Awakening.  It was because I needed to find out if he would date someone who did not believe as he did. Oh, the humiliation. 

But my very first question that came out of my mouth surprised even me.  "Ben?  Why do you have so much joy?"  I don't have that.

His answer?  Simply and succinctly.  "Jesus Christ."

And so began the conversation that changed my life. At one point he asks me a poignant question that I answered as a complete lie because hope was to appear smart.  He asked me if I believed in heaven and hell.  So I told him I believed in heaven but only a personal hell (whaaaat?) of your  own making.

As I am talking  I am thinking, "Well how philosophically ridiculous of you, Jessica. You don't even believe that."  I had no idea what I was talking about yet this pseudo intellectualism kept rolling off my tongue. 

And Ben's response still gives me goosebumps.

"I can assure you there is a hell." Y'all, he said it with such authority that I became absolutely still.  My heart beat slowed and I remember wondering why he stopped me in my tracks.  If you have ever read about Jesus in the bible, you know that people kept wondering at how Jesus could talk with such authority.  And I believe right then and there that Jesus got my attention through this man.

And Ben told me all about what it means to know God personally.  And I remember in the midst of it asking Ben the very question I wanted to know..."Could you ever be with someone who did not share your faith?"

His answer?  One so chilling and brutally honest that I thought him incredible to utter such words.  He said, "No I could not.  I could not imagine a life with someone where whenever I laid down next to her each night, I would cry myself to sleep knowing that our eternities were different."

Wow. If he had not captured my attention before...he had it then. Could I really be destined for an eternity APART from God?  Why?  I was a good person.  I made mistakes but I was no different from anyone else.  I lived morally.  Trustworthy.  I did not shoot people for fun. I had a heart for the elderly for crying out loud!  Why would I be lumped with murderers, rapists, and thieves?

Because I cherished my sin and never let Jesus pay for it for me.  

As Ben began explaining what it means to be saved, I began realizing that this was not for me. I began thinking about my list of wrongs.  All the things I had done up to that point.  Drugs.  Drinking.  Sacrificing my purity.  My anger.  My selfishness. My poor decisions.   Why on earth would God want me?

Ben actually took one of those little tract things to explain it to me.  To this day, I wonder at his methods since he was someone who not only knew verses...he could quote chapters of the bible. He was wise beyond his years and God blessed him in area of exhortation and truth.  Yet, he used a little book to explain to me that God loved me.  

When he got to the end where there was an example of a prayer to receive salvation from Christ, He asked me to read it 3 times to really understand the words.  Then asked if he could pray for me.  I said of course, since who turns down prayer?

What I did no realize was he was going to pray for me in that moment and then he did the most courageous thing I have ever seen...right then and there he got on his knees in the middle of the room.

For me. I was so stunned.  I kept thinking, I could laugh at him. I could walk out. I could even become angry.  But I was incredibly moved by an act so selfless.

And as I read that prayer I sensed a change.  The first time I read it, I knew Jesus would not want me.  Why would he?  I was filthy with sin and undeserving.  

And Ben still prayed.  On his knees, head bowed, eyes closed.  For me.

The second time I read it, I thought, "Could God really want me?  Sin and all?"

And Ben still prayed.

The third time I read it I knew.  I wanted Jesus.  Not because of Ben and my little crush.  Not to impress anyone.  I just knew I wanted what Jesus was offering.  Jesus was assuring me that I was...

Wanted.  Loved.  Accepted. Pursued.  Cherished.

Ben raised his head from prayer and said..."Do you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?"

My response?

"I just did."

And I began to sob this cleansing sobbing that comes from being renewed.  It was the most exhilarating, precious moment of my life.  Suddenly all the chaos and aimlessness of life vortexed into the truth that Jesus Christ died for my sins.  And loved me.  Just as I was.  I needed no prepping, no fixing up.  He took me as I was. I then knew the true meaning of peace.

And Ben cried.  He cried!  For me!  And all of a sudden I knew my life would never be the same.

I told Ben not to tell anyone what happened.  So he told everyone because he was BEYOND excited.  You see, I found out the next day from my friend Pete that Ben had told a bunch of people to be praying for me.  He had said that God spoke clearly that I was going to know Christ and be His. Still gives me God bumps. So for 2 weeks, all these people on campus, who I only knew a little...prayed for me. 

And I can assure you my life has NEVER, EVER been the same.  I want so desperately to explain in detail what I was delivered from.  My story seems so mild.  Yet my parents do not believe as I do and breaking their hearts is something I do not want to do. But I am a changed person.  Drastically changed.  You would not have wanted to know me. I had an edge about me that Jesus softened.  I was guarded.  Constantly held high expectations for friends. Easily angered.  So selfish that it bordered on narcissistic. Obnoxious.

But God tempered me when I realized He made me for a purpose.  And that people were not who I was to live for.  But for Him.  Now I rejoice that I am no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness. That I have life eternal with my heavenly Father who has never, ever let me down. I am as imperfect as they come.  A constant work in progress.  But no one in this world can 100%, every second of the day and night make me feel...

Wanted.  Loved.  Accepted. Pursued.  Cherished.

Like my Jesus does.

October 20, 2010

Help Bring A Little Boy Home!

I am amazed at how I have come to know so many of you in this world of blogging.  I have been overcome with emotion with the way you have responded to my infertility story, my husband's job loss, and me just being transparent with all of you about the highs and lows of life.

Your love, friendship, and genuine care is something I will hold near and dear to my heart for always.  Because people I have never met and who never have met me chose to forge a friendship and commitment of prayer...for me. It is incredibly humbling.  I love that the some of the stories I share about my girls or my family delight you.  And even more special is how you become vested in the lives of others.

So I would like to share with you about a family.  Actually, 2 families.  Families with whom I feel immense connection because of...yep, you guessed it....ADOPTION. And they happen to be lovely people who are my friends. First, let me tell you about Mark and Nancy...These precious people adopted...seriously, one of the cutest boys on the entire planet...
He is the sweetest little boy and every time I see him I melt.  He was a special needs child from China and my family and I had the privilege of watching them bring this sweet boy home through a BIG church and community effort.  They launched HUGE initiatives like an adoption walk with amazing sponsors and even a huge garage sale.  Through these efforts, they helped raised around $6800!

Everyone partnered together to bring this boy home to his family. And I also have to mention this fact too...Mark was our realtor and tirelessly helped us find our house. :)  If you want more of their story, please click here. Because this post is not about them but about another family they are trying to help.

This family, dear friends who actually spearheaded all the efforts to help Mark and Nancy bring their son home, now find themselves in the midst of adopting. So it is time to return the love and generosity they gave so selflessly.

My friends, Jon and Kari, have been waiting to meet and bring home their son Elijah from Russia. And they were able to hold, hug, and love on this precious boy! I can only imagine the emotion and joy as they had anticipated this moment for so long...
Meeting their son ELIJAH! So sweet!

But apparently, they need 2 more in-country visits before actually bringing him home which makes this a most costly endeavor.
They need to raise $9000 ASAP! 

If they can, there is a good chance they can bring their son home by Thanksgiving.

And I can't think of anything more special then helping this amazing family bring their son home for the holidays.

Also, National Adoption Awareness Month is in November and we happened to adopt Cati on National Adoption Day.  We were even interviewed by the local news and made 2 evening news segments.  I totally wish I had looked prepared to you know...BE ON TELEVISION.  It was 4 months after giving birth.  The camera is one honest contraption and can NOT tell a lie.  ANYWAY...sheesh I can get off track... It was one of the most amazing days of our lives...ADOPTING OUR CATI!

Now this precious boy needs his family. And his family needs him.

Do you feel a tug on your heart to help? You can actually donate (any amount you wish) through paypal by clicking on this sweet face...
When you reach the site, click donate on the bottom. I made this button to get the word out so you are also welcome to grab this button and link it back to

 I also thought of  another idea for you Crafty McCrafterson's out there. 
How about a Craft Auction to raise money?  

I can hold the auction here at TSOP on a certain date and those who are crafty can donate their craft for auction and others can bid on them.

But this all depends upon the response I get from you.  

I am still unsure about the logistics of it but I am willing to give it a shot if you are. And so many of you have incredible talents that could seriously give this family the child they have been waiting and praying for!

So what do you think?  Can you help?  If so, leave a comment so we can get that sweet boy home!
Thanks Friends!

October 16, 2010

No Crafts Here...Just Family & Me-Me Stuff :)

I know I mentioned earlier this week that I would update you on our family happenings.  I actually said in an email to someone recently that I have been doing all these craft posts to avoid dealing with my daily life.  Not that it is awful...not at all. In fact, I am so glad that God has provided for us these past 2 months. But sometimes not digging too deep is a way to escape.  Does that make sense? Yet here is what is amazing...

Did you know that Brandon's part time job as a football official and unemployment equals to our previous income?  I know!  We lived on very little!  Yet we are provided for and we have learned over the last 4 years to do without a lot of things.  So honestly, we can only go up from here!

At the moment I am writing this, my husband is on his second interview this week!  Yippee! They are contract positions but some include benefits and God is working everything out according to his purpose and perfect will.  He will be in front of a panel of people in 4 separate interviews (EEK!)  As many of you know, I used to be a Resume Writer and an Interview Coach.  I helped people prepare for this stuff for a living. But I think this situation can frazzle the most seasoned interviewee. He looked rather pale when he left this morning so I am praying for him all morning.

To this point Brandon, has been out of work for 2 months.  Sometimes, this seems like an eternity and then other days, it seems like it was not that long at all. But here is some GREAT things that have been happening.

Remember when I told you that homeschooling was tough...It has been AMAZING!  I really examined my heart and began making a choice each day to pray, be patient, and give Cati plenty of grace. A dose for me too.  And all of a sudden, something clicked and she is doing so well and we get done so quickly.  I am over the moon excited about it!

Oh and I have to tell you something that happened that was hilarious.  Cati is learning to say the pledge of allegiance at school so I really wanted to include this into our home school day.  But I have yet to get a small flag to hang up where we home school.  So my next door neighbor has one hanging off her house. Totally convenient. I trooped the girls out Wednesday morning to say the pledge of allegiance. In the driveway.  I patiently explain to them that we are to put our right hand on our heart and as we say the pledge, we look at the flag in respect.  I leave it at that and listen to both my daughters say something that SOUNDS like the pledge but the words are all messed up.  It was so cute, I wanted them to say it 5 times over.

As we finished up around Under God and invisible (you know you said it like that too), my neighbor, the owner of the flag, is doing her morning speed walk and walks by as we are standing in a row, facing her house with our hands on our hearts staring at her front door.

She looks at me like she is already adding a call to her realtor to her morning to do list.  So I call out an explanation to her (prefacing it with a disclaimer that I AM NOT CRAZY) and she is just so precious because she said, "I think that is great."  She actually just got her citizenship (so cool) and I think she thought it was extra special.  Phew.  Dodged the crazy neighbor label one more time.

Speaking of  We have taken the initiative to wave at every car and passerby. We play outside each day in the front yard with bikes, trikes, balls, chalk and bubbles. And if you play...they will come.  I heard it in the sky.  Really.  I did. Because kids started coming with parents in tow.  It has been awesome to meet neighbors, chit chat for awhile and realize that making the first move may mean doing it over and over.  I have learned that being a neighbor is expecting nothing in return.  And when I realized that,  I saw the blessing in just trying to be kind to others. Just awesome.

And these cute little girls.  I must say they are doing and saying stuff to crack me up. Oh, oh and get this!  Ella learned to ride a tricycle!  She looks so cute!  Here's some pics on one of the three riding contraptions we have lying around...
 And here is my favorite...Cati wants a big girl bike with training wheels so bad she could taste it. So she decided to make one out of her current trike (which is the coolest thing in the world and I wished I had one) and sit higher on a...
Soccer ball! 
I'm still laughing about it. I also think it's genius.
And there are more girly girls...playing bumper trikes.
 I love this picture.

Want to hear some Ellaisms and Catiisms?  'Kay.

Cati and I are doing math the other day with these teddy bear counters.  She has construction paper with 5 little bears sitting on it, pretending the paper is a playground.  So I say 5 are on it, 2 need to go home, how many are left? That type of thing. After we do this for awhile, we make up another scenario and I ask Cati where her teddy bears are and she says,

"A big, black, hole."

Huh.  I'll go with it.

"OK. So what are your teddy bears doing in your big, black hole."

"They are all dead."

Sheesh!  Kinda dark for a four year old, doncha think?  I think her alarming imagination can be linked back to the one day we decided to tell her that the squirrel lying on the road was in fact, NOT sleeping. 

While I debated on stopping home school for Cati to color rainbows and sunshine, Miss Ella was keeping herself busy with Cati's drink on the table. I look over and see her drowning placing several of these teddy bears in the cup along with a little fish.
 "Ella, what are you doing?  That is Cati's drink!"

"Mommy!  Dey are in da swibmin pool! Dey swibmin, Mommy!"

LOVE her.

Then the other night Cati comes out of her room with her pajamas on. The pants are at her shins and the sleeves are just past her elbows.

"Uh, Cati.  We really need to find those jammies a new home.  They are so small on you!  We should put them in a bag for good will or something."

"Will?! Will from my class?  Will he wear them?"

No, honey.  Not Will.  GOOD WILL.  You know.  Like Charity.

"Yeah.  They may fit her."

Is that not just darling?

Love those peanuts.

OK.  That is all for now.  Obviously, it took me an entire 24 hours to write this post.  We went to the beach after Brandon's interview (it went great but we won't know anything until next week) and had lunch, flew kites and the girls swam in freezing water.  Good times.

Have a great weekend!

October 11, 2010

Yarn Leaf Mobile Craft

Let me first preface this post with an apology because I had the hardest time photographing this craft. I basically just threw all of the photos in here.  So this will be more of a photo album then a post.

I have been itching to make a fabric tree but I am totally short on time and patience as of late so I decided to make a leaf mobile instead. And I don't crochet or knit or anything like that yet I am loving working with yarn.  It feels cozy and Fall-ish. I like how the rustic twine works with the pop of color. And the best part? It was free.  I used what I had on hand which was:
Cardboard cut into leaf shapes
A branch from the yard
Glue Gun
Different colored yarn
Twine to hang the leaves and create the leaf vein
Fishing line

I wanted the leaves to have some dimension so I chose cardboard because it is thick.
I just started by gluing the yarn to the edge of the leaf and gluing as I went around the leaf.
I wound it all the way to the center and snipped it off and then did the other side the same way.
To be honest, the glue gun got a little messy even with precision.  I would probably use fabric glue next time.
I tied twine to the branch with the desired length and glued the other end halfway up the center of the leaf to mimic the vein in a leaf. Each leaf is tied at varying lengths.
I so Love how the it turned out!  The colors make me super happy! :)
It was fun hanging it off the tree. It felt like art putting a tree branch with yarn leaves on a real tree.
Yes.  I am a nerd.  I have embraced my inner nerd.
I used fishing line to hang it so it looks like it is floating.  

I will be linking up to some fun, crafty parties this week.
And I hope to update you all on our family happenings this week too!  
Come on back later and peek in!

P.S.  Do leave a comment.  They make me so very happy.  And I get sad when I don't hear from some of you. All of you bless me so much and I hope I can write you back to say hello!

October 4, 2010

Lunchbox Notes: Printable Links

When I was a little grade schooler, I remember the first time I got a lunch note from my mom.  As I opened my snoopy lunch box (oh yeah) I saw the familiar napkins from home but wait...what was this?

A love note on the napkin in my mother's handwriting telling me to have a good day and she loved me. Awwwww!

I remember the next day, being so excited to see the sweet note my mom left me on my napkins and...GASP!

NO NOTE!  Just a blank napkin.  Mocking me.

OK.  My mom worked hard to take care of me and I am sure this little thing was easily forgotten. I do not harbor resentment well into my 30's over this. Really. I have forgiven her. :)

But the positive impact it left stayed with me.  There is nothing more special then getting a little note from mom in the middle of your day just say I love you.  She is not even physically there and she can still communicate how she cares.

So when Cati started school this year I was adamant that she would get a lunch note every day.  So I just cut some hearts and circles out of scrapbook paper and kept them in a drawer in the kitchen.

She was beyond ecstatic!

Everyday she would tell me about her note and carry it around.  And when she sees me packing her lunch the night before, she brings me the note from that day and reminds me to put it in there.  And I always give her a big hug and tell her. "Look for a NEW NOTE in your lunch."  She gives me a huge smile that makes it so worth it.

But I got to thinking.  She can't read.  The PA's (parent assistants) at her school read them to her but I thought if I could give her some that are more visual and pretty, it would be that much more fun to get one in her lunch.

So began the Internet Hunt. And I was NOT disappointed!!!!!
Here's what I found!

Cute and happy food theme lunch notes at Oliebollen 
I absolutely HEART these simple and adorable love notes from Frog Prince Paperie

These gingham cuties so sweet and they give you room to write a personal note. 
I found these via Executive Homemaker

Alphamom has notes you can personalize and print or just write a quick note.

These are great for Fall and still have bold and fun rainbow colors.
The illustrator, Tricia Rennea has a great blog called Trillustrations that I follow with terrific free printables.

So make your little one's day with a love note!
Happy Lunch Making!

October 2, 2010

The Apple Party

This sweet little party was so much fun.  The kids loved all the decorations, cupcakes, and us parent's loved it too!  I know I did not show you some of the other details I did for the party so here they are!

Apple cupcakes!
Don't they look like shiny red apples?  These were super easy to make.  I used cake mix from a box because we all know most kids only eat the tops anyway so I wanted something easy!  The icing was ready made icing from a can (the color red) and to make it shiny, I topped it off with a bit of red cookie icing so it would dry hard.  The stems are pretzel rods and the leaves are made from a licorice candy called Rips.

This is what Rips look like.
I just took kitchen shears and cut them into leaf shapes and squeezed the bottom of them to give them the dimension and shape of a leaf.

I also made these apple tags with all the kid's photos on them in black and white.  We hung them from the twine vine I made from my previous post.
This was the other side of the tag with each child's name on it.
I wish all these photos looked as good as the classroom did after we decorated but it was difficult to capture it fully on camera.
All the pom pom apples were hung up by little clothespins and the photo tags hung from the vine too.
 The tissue paper pom poms look kind of wonky but it was my first time making them. 
Next time they will look better!
Me and my shy girl, Ella.
My big Pre-K girl!
This sweet little All About Me book was so cute.  One of the questions asked was: 
"What is your favorite thing to do?
  Her answer?
To play with my mom and hug and kiss her.
Seriously, that girl got a lifetime supply of ice cream for that one.
And those faces seal the deal for me.

Yes. Yes I actually did match Ella's dress to the theme of the party.
 OK, this is hilarious.  
All the kids had to make a picture frame for another classmate.  So I helped Cati make that frame for her friend (the only other girl in the class...there are 8 boys).  Well, she thought it was for her.  I told her it was for her sweet friend, over and over.  So either I was a victim of selective hearing or she thought she wrapped her own gift.
And there is her reaction for all to see as proof.
"Wait, what?  I wanted that frame!!!!"
Hugs from my sweet girls!

Hope you enjoyed it...and hugs to all of you!