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Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra (An Extra-Special Weekend)

16 Jun

After a super-busy week last week, the kids and I spent Friday and Saturday in Mt. Airy, visiting with my dad for an early Father’s Day celebration (And giving Jason a little present-a couple of days with nothing to think about but playing golf!)

We had a great time seeing everyone, especially my step-sister Brie and her friends who were visiting for the week. We don’t get to see them very often.

Charlie and his cousin, Kellan, are “best buds.”  They love playing together and just run to each other and hug when they get to see each other.  Charlie now wants to move to Papa’s house so he can play with Kellan all of the time!

The kids rode up and down Daddy's driveway a million times-they loved walking around the garden and through the vineyard.

The kids rode up and down Daddy’s driveway a million times-they loved walking around the garden and through the vineyard.

 

Charlie and Kellan on their scooters.  They were so funny pretending to wreck and help each other up!

Charlie and Kellan on their scooters. They were so funny pretending to wreck and help each other up!

 

We went up on Pilot Mountain on Saturday and had a picnic and walked around a little.  This was extra special to us because we used to go up there all of the time when I was growing up, but I haven’t been in probably ten years.  We would take lunch up there and walk around the knob.  I haven’t taken the kids up there yet because I have honestly been too scared that they would fall off the mountain, but they are big enough now to have a little fear in them!

We had a great time.  The only thing missing, according to my sisters, was a bucket of KFC fried chicken!

Here are some pictures from our day:

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And can’t forget a picture of this wonderful daddy!

Spending some cuddle time with his Baby Girl on Father's Day.

Spending some cuddle time with his Baby Girl on Father’s Day.

 

Grilling out some burgers in his new "Daddy set. 2009 " shirt.

Grilling out some burgers in his new “Daddy since 2009” shirt.

 

Jason moved on to a new stage in his life-the kids are now picking out their presents for him!  Don’t worry, he didn’t get  a tacky tie-He got an iron man toothbrush from Charlie and a cow mug from Maddie.

Add in a couple of cookouts to celebrate Kitten and Ed, and we had a busy but good Father’s Day weekend.  I hope you did, too!

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/extra-extra/

Easter Sunday Picture Fail!

20 Apr

Am I the only one who just CANNOT get a good picture of the entire family at the same time?  It just seems to be impossible for us!  Either someone is looking away or crying or has their eyes closed or has hair blowing all over the place.

Here’s what we came up with today:

Maddie is looking up in this one.

Maddie is looking up in this one. I think she was staring at me wondering why I had run from the camera (which we had set up on the hood of the truck-explaining the lopsidedness of the pics) to them, yelling, “Smile, smile!  It’s going to take a picture! Get ready!”  And why do I have a bubble wand in my hand?  That is so random.

 

Charlie is beginning to show his massive lack of patience.  (This was the second picture we took, after all!)

Charlie is beginning to show his massive lack of patience. (This was the second picture we took, after all!)  Plus, I was struggling to peek around Maddie.

 

And by this time (the third picture) the kids had just had it.

And by this time (the third picture) the kids had just had it.  Plus, not sure what’s going on with my eyes.

 

One thing I will point out, in case you didn’t notice: Jason looks PERFECT in all of these pictures! What’s up with that?  How does he do it?

Aside from our lack of a family photo when we all looked so great, we had a great Easter, and I hope you did, too.

O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15: 55-57

Mod Podge Easter Eggs

9 Apr

If you remember, last year the kids and I dyed Easter eggs the old-fashioned way, and I promised myself that this year we would try something new.  Today, we made these gorgeous Easter eggs using Mod Podge and scraps of magazine paper.

All you need are some old magazines, scissors, sponges or paint brushes, Mod Podge, and some eggs.  I had these white plastic eggs, but you could use any plastic eggs or even real eggs.

All you need are some old magazines, scissors, sponges or paint brushes, Mod Podge, and some eggs. I had these white plastic eggs, but you could use any plastic eggs or even real eggs.

 

Cut colorful paper out of your magazine into small squares and triangles, then "paint" the paper scraps onto the eggs with the Mod Podge.

Cut colorful paper out of your magazine into small squares and triangles, then “paint” the paper scraps onto the eggs with the Mod Podge.

 

Mod Podge Easter Eggs3

 

Some of our finished eggs.

Some of our finished eggs.

 

I love how they turned out.  The Mod Podge makes them shiny.  I would advise that you use plastic eggs so you can save them to use for decorations next year.

I love how they turned out. The Mod Podge makes them shiny. I would advise that you use plastic eggs so you can save them to use for decorations next year.

 

Even though we had a great time making these and I think they are just beautiful, I do think we will also spend a morning dying eggs.  The kids love it, and it’s just a tradition that I want to keep alive!

Cute Little Valentines

10 Feb

The kids and I spent the morning working on some Valentines to give to their friends at Bible Study tomorrow.  Maddie was so happy to get into her makeup to make these sweet Valentines!

We just cut a wavy border around some construction paper, added a cute message, then the Madster got to put on her lipstick and give out some kisses!  I love them so much, I don't know if I can give them away!

We just cut a wavy border around some construction paper, added a cute message, then the Madster got to put on her lipstick and give out some kisses! I love them so much, I don’t know if I can give them away!

 

Maddie was glad to put on some lipstick.

Maddie was glad to put on some lipstick.

 

Full disclosure: these are the Valentines Charlie and Maddie will be handing out to their friends.  We don't have enough time or lipstick to make that many, plus I just couldn't get Charlie to put on the lipstick!

Full disclosure: these are the Valentines Charlie and Maddie will be handing out to their friends. We don’t have enough time or lipstick to make that many, plus I just couldn’t get Charlie to put on the lipstick!

We made some nice homemade Valentines last year, but didn’t get around to that this year!

If you are making last minute Valentines and you have a little girl willing to do it, these are quick, easy, and precious!

 

Chocolate Marshmallow Hearts

7 Feb

The kids and I made these wonderful, sweet white chocolate marshmallow hearts for a special Valentine’s Day treat.  They are so good and so easy to make!

Start with these cute strawberry-flavored marshmallow hearts.

Start with these cute strawberry-flavored marshmallow hearts. (Note the tiny hand reaching in to steal a marshmallow!)

Melt white chocolate chips then drizzle the melted chocolate over the marshmallows.

Melt white chocolate chips then drizzle the melted chocolate over the marshmallows.

My assistant, Charlie, sprinkled red sugar over the hearts.

My assistant, Charlie, sprinkled red sugar over the hearts.

Marshmallows and floats8

Aren’t they too cute?  These would be perfect for any Valentine’s party you are going to, and are fun to make with the kids.

Valentine’s Strawberry Floats

5 Feb

Isn’t February such an oxymoron?  It is the shortest month of the year, but it sure FEELS like the longest!  It’s cold and wet and dreary, with long nights and short days.  I don’t know about you, but I miss the warm sunshine.

Then, right smack in the middle of the month, is Valentine’s Day, the day of love.  Some people hate Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s a good distraction from this long winter month and a good excuse to love on your friends and family, plus eat lots of chocolate.

The kids and I got an early start on our Valentine’s celebrations today by having yummy strawberry ice cream floats after lunch.

Add a couple of scoops of ice cream (I used strawberry, but any flavor would be good) to a pretty glass.

Add a couple of scoops of ice cream (I used strawberry, but any flavor would be good) to a pretty glass.

I added some frozen strawberries, then poured some Sprite over the ice cream.

I added some frozen strawberries, then poured some Sprite over the ice cream.

The Sprite and ice cream fizz up and make a yummy combination.

The Sprite and ice cream fizz up and make a yummy combination.

Maddie definitely approved!

Maddie definitely approved!

This was a fast, easy treat, and we need all the treats we can get to make it to the end of this month!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Maddie (a little late)

4 Feb

There is something BIG coming up next month on Mommy in Bonlee, ya’ll.  I can’t give it away just yet. You’ll have to wait, but here’s a little hint:

1abackbluelacey3col

Anyway, I have been working so hard on my plans that I didn’t make a post for Maddie’s 3rd birthday, which was yesterday.  I had big ideas for a sweet letter I was going to write her and lots of pictures from her year, but between her birthday party, plus a baby shower and super bowl and my mom’s birthday, I just didn’t get around to it.

She did have a really great princess party on Saturday, and now has tons of new princess toys to play with!

Maddie in her Cinderella gown, coming down for her party.  Isn't she beautiful?

Maddie in her Cinderella gown, coming down for her party. Isn’t she beautiful?

Happy Birthday, Madster!  We love you!

 

Looking Back on 2013

31 Dec

Can you all believe that 2013 is over?  I can’t say that I am sorry to see it go.  It has not been an easy year, but one thing I have learned is that God works through all of our struggles, so I don’t regret any of it!

I have been looking back through some pictures that I took this year, and thought I would share some of the highlights with you.

This was taken at the beginning of February, right after Maddie's 2nd birthday.  Now I am preparing for her 3rd birthday party, and can't believe how she has grown and changed!  She won't wear the cute onesie outfits that so loved anymore, but her bangs are still in her eyes!

This was taken at the beginning of February, right after Maddie’s 2nd birthday. Now I am preparing for her 3rd birthday party, and can’t believe how she has grown and changed! She won’t wear the cute onesie outfits that I so loved anymore, but her bangs are still in her eyes!

This photo is from March, and these pajamas are now too small for the Chachinator.  His batman costume, however, is not!  He still loves everything Batman, and has added several other costumes to his collection.

This photo is from March, and these pajamas are now too small for the Chachinator. His batman costume, however, is not! He still loves everything Batman, and has added several other costumes to his collection.

We spent a lot of time this spring and summer playing outside.  The kids loved blowing dandelion seeds everywhere, and would run to them anytime they saw one, no matter where we were.

We spent a lot of time this spring and summer playing outside. The kids loved blowing dandelion seeds everywhere, and would run to them anytime they saw one, no matter where we were.

Charlie turned 4 this year!

Charlie turned 4 this year!

We had a big garden this year and loved working out there with the kids.  Charlie and I walked out to the garden spot today and talked about looking forward to our next garden!

We had a big garden this year and loved working out there with the kids. Charlie and I walked out to the garden spot today and talked about looking forward to our next garden!

Charlie and Maddie have gotten along pretty well this year.  I am glad they are so close in age....

Charlie and Maddie have gotten along pretty well this year. I am glad they are so close in age….

...but they certainly have their moments.

…but they certainly have their moments.

Pee Wee is still with us, and after being blind for a few weeks, can see!  We love our Wee Head!

Pee Wee is still with us, and after being blind for a few weeks, can see! We love our Wee Head!

We have gained some new additions to our family this year.  Gaga Kitty, Bat Kitty, and Baby Kitty (who is show as a kitten in this picture) have grown into big, beautiful cats.  They are wonderful mice-catchers and are much-loved additions to our family.

We have gained some new additions to our family this year. Gaga Kitty, Bat Kitty, and Baby Kitty (who is show as a kitten in this picture) have grown into big, beautiful cats. They are wonderful mice-catchers and are much-loved additions to our family.

Charlie feeding Baby Kitty in July.  Baby Kitty is big and fluffy now, and Charlie and Maddie love him so much.

Charlie feeding Baby Kitty in July. Baby Kitty is big and fluffy now, and Charlie and Maddie love him so much.

Charlie and Maddie took swimming lessons this summer and did great!  Charlie is a great swimmer, and Maddie just does what Maddie does!

Charlie and Maddie took swimming lessons this summer and did great! Charlie is a great swimmer…

...while Maddie does what Maddie does!

…while Maddie does what Maddie does!

We were lucky enough to spend a little time at the beach this summer!

We were lucky enough to spend a little time at the beach this summer!

VBS at Bonlee Baptist in August was GREAT!  So much fun.  I am still not recovered, though!

VBS at Bonlee Baptist in August was GREAT! So much fun. I am still not recovered, though!

Emma has continued to grow into a beautiful almost-2 year old.  She is precious and we love her.

Emma has continued to grow into a beautiful almost-2 year old. She is precious and we love her.

We celebrated Jason's 37th birthday at Myrtle Beach.  He is such a wonderful man!

We celebrated Jason’s 37th birthday at Myrtle Beach. He is such a wonderful man!

Charlie entered into a lego airplane contest into September.  He actually asked me TODAY if he won, and I had to tell him no.  I wish I could tell him he wins everything for his whole life, but that wouldn't be good for him, I guess.  :(

Charlie entered into a lego airplane contest into September. He actually asked me TODAY if he won, and I had to tell him no. I wish I could tell him he wins everything for his whole life, but that wouldn’t be good for him, I guess. 😦

We got to hang out a lot with Jill and Addison this year, including a great day dressing up as pirates to get free doughnuts!  It has been a joy to get to know Addison this year and see Jill become a mother!

We got to hang out a lot with Jill and Addison this year, including a great day dressing up as pirates to get free doughnuts! It has been a joy to get to know Addison this year and see Jill become a mother!

The kids and I traveled to Mt. Airy quite a bit this year to visit with our family there.  This pic is from the Doby reunion in October.  Charlie and Maddie love their cousins in Mt. Airy and even have a new cousin-Samuel!

The kids and I traveled to Mt. Airy quite a bit this year to visit with our family there. This pic is from the Doby reunion in October. Charlie and Maddie love their cousins in Mt. Airy and even have a new cousin-Samuel!

Jason has been doing a LOT of hunting this fall.  This pic was taken by his deer cam. Hahahahaha!

Jason has been doing a LOT of hunting this fall. This pic was taken by his deer cam. Hahahahaha!

We had a great time at the state fair in October.  Charlie and Maddie are getting to the perfect ages to do lots of fun stuff!

We had a great time at the state fair in October. Charlie and Maddie are getting to the perfect ages to do lots of fun stuff!

Batman and a princess for Halloween.  One of the highlights of our Halloween this year was Trunk-or-treat at our church when about 150 people from our community showed up to join us!  WOW! It has been so great to see God working this year.

Batman and a princess for Halloween. One of the highlights of our Halloween this year was Trunk-or-treat at our church when about 150 people from our community showed up to join us! WOW! It has been so great to see God working this year.

Charlie, Maddie, and Noah riding on an elephant at the Shriner's circus in November!

Charlie, Maddie, and Noah riding on an elephant at the Shriner’s circus in November!

We wrapped up the year with a great Christmas!  This is at the Doby Christmas Tree Farm, where we get our tree every year.

We wrapped up the year with a great Christmas! This is at the Doby Christmas Tree Farm, where we get our tree every year.

This has been quite a year, full of ups and downs.  My nephew Sam has spent the year fighting cancer, and is starting out 2014 a hero.  We lost my grandma the day after Christmas, but I am finding great comfort when I imagine her in Heaven and all of the wonderful things she must be doing.  A lot has happened this year.

I have hope for the coming year.  God is with me and everything will be used for His good!  I have a wonderful husband, healthy children, and a close, supportive, loving family.  I have great friends and a close group of praying women who support me.  

Here is a wonderful prayer that I found here.  (Author not known)  I pray it for all of you.

A Prayer for the New Year

What shall I ask for the coming year
What shall my watchword be
What should thou do for me, dear Lord
What can I do for thee?

Lord, I would ask for a holy year
Spent in thy perfect will
Help me to walk in thy very steps
Help me to please thee still.

Lord, I would ask for a trustful year
Give me thy faith divine
Taking my full inheritance
Making thy fulness mine!

Lord, I would ask for a year of love
O let me love thee best
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.

Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer
Teach me to walk with thee
Breathe in my heart the Spirit’s prayer
Pray thou thy prayer in me!

Lord, I would ask for the dying world
Stretch forth thy mighty hand
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.

Lord, I would ask for a year of joy
Thy peace, thy joy divine
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.

Lord, I ask for a year of hope
Looking for thee to come
And hastening on that year of years
That brings us home to you.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy (Christmas 2013)

27 Dec

We finished up with our various Christmas celebrations last night.  While this Christmas has been very bittersweet for me, it has also been very special.  I had a great time with Charlie and Maddie throughout the month of December, working on our advent calendar and making ornaments and teaching them about giving.  I also did an advent study of my own, which was a real learning experience for me.

Here are some pictures from my family’s Christmas!  I hope you get as much JOY from looking at them as we did making them!

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/weekly-photo-challenge-joy/

Keeping Focused on the Cross

23 Dec

As the month of December progresses and we get closer to Christmas day, it has become apparent to me how many things we have fighting for our attention, this month more than any other month of the year. In addition to our normal life, there are so many other things to do.  I question myself…

Have I bought enough? Have I bought too much? Did I remember to ship everything on time? Should I get a present for my 3rd cousin’s husband’s aunt?  Have I wrapped everything that I bought?  Does my wrapping paper match my Christmas decorations?

Did I do enough with the kids? Did they see Santa and get a perfect picture in his lap with matching outfits?  Did we do all of the Christmas crafts with glue and cotton balls and paint and cinnamon extract and paint and fingerprints that I pinned?  Did we do enough random-acts-of-kindness?

Did I DVR all of the Christmas cartoons?  Did the kids get to see A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and Prep and Landing?  Did they get to eat popcorn while they watched them?

Did I forget to send a Christmas card to anyone who will be offended if they don’t get a Christmas card?  Was the picture of the kids on the Christmas card good enough?  Did I spell everything on the card correctly and spread the love of Jesus in 10 words or less?

Add to that the ridiculousness of what is in the media, plus the baking and cleaning that is required this time of year, and it is easy to lose focus.

To all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, Let’s not do that!

All of these distractions are things of the world, not of God.  Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, and nothing more.  Santa Claus and cartoons and Christmas cards are awesome and fun and I love them, but they should not distract us from the true meaning of Christmas.

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.  Isaiah 9:6-7
For the next 2 days, I am going to stop worrying about the things of this world that the devil is putting in my way.  I am going to know that I am good enough because Jesus has made me good enough.  He left his home in Heaven and was born as a human and lived on this earth so that I can live without fear of sin or death. I am going to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and make sure that my kids do, too, and I will know that that is more important than any cartoons I have DVR’d or crafts I have pinned.
Merry Christmas to you all!