Spa Slumber Party

I'm sitting here listening to the giggles of my daughter and a couple of other friends that just can't seem to get to sleep.  I may be exhausted, but I sure do love that sweet sound.  I remember a day when I truly wondered if I would ever have a child.  And, once she was born, I couldn't put her down.  I held her for 4 straight months.  She also slept in the bed with me for 14 months.  I know, I know.... I realize now just how important sleep is... but at the time I didn't care (much).

She is a great kid - one of a kind!  I can't imagine my life without her and really can't remember much of life before her.  I may be the parent, but she teaches me a lot, too.  I'm proud of the big girl she is becoming.

Here are a few highlights from her first slumber party.  My battery died before it was over, so several of the group photos are on Nana's camera.  When I get them, I'll post more.  We had a spa themed party with 8 little girls.  :)  We painted nails (Thanks, Nana!), made our own bathsalts, decorated flip flops, and added colorful hair extensions.  A huge thanks to Pinterest for all the great ideas!!)  Enjoy!

The personalized water bottles - thank you, Oriental Trading!

A pic from her first birthday with her lollipops from her 7th.

LOVE my CriCut.  I finally put it to good use.  

I loved this idea that I found on Pinterest.  Each of the girls adopted an owl.  Each had its own personality.  I just ran out of time adding little embellishments to each one to make them unique.  The girls really loved it though.

This was the beauty supply shelf in the "spa".  I stored away all my baskets & "pretties" for the day.

A closer look at one of the shelves.  (Do you love the little chalkboards?  Another Oriental Trading find that I could not pass up!  They're perfect as reusable place cards, descriptions of food at a party or potluck, etc.)

Another awesome Pinterest idea!  That's $5 worth of decorations!

The sitting room turned into "Audrey's Spa".

Another view of the spa.

The Spa Menu & Reception Area

Just covered the large artwork with part of a tablecloth, printed out a sign, and added some scrapbook paper.

The cupcake, cupcake cake.  LOL

Picked up a super cute frame at Hobby Lobby at 50% off and took pictures of Audrey with each of her friends.

Don't let this picture fool you - the calmness didn't last long.

And, here comes the second wind!!

Grandma & Grandpa

Yes, I am about to post my third entry in less than 24 hours.  Record breaking.  LOL

I've been a little weepy today.  I've been seeing all the posts from family members about my Grandpa Rayburn's birthday today.  He's been gone for several years now and I miss him so much.  He and my grandma were two of my most favorite people in the world.  My family tells me that I never really got to know the real "Rayburn Kelly".  He had a stroke (and a heart attack?) when I was about 5 which left him paralyzed on his left side.  But, I do remember that handsome man that knew no stranger.  He was a friendly fella.  He did eventually walk again with his cane.  I can see him now adjusting his cane (he'd kinda tap on the floor to get it just right) and then drag his other leg over.  It didn't stop him from driving either.  He'd put his hat on and drive up town a couple of miles.  And, if you ever drove by their house, he was probably sitting outside in the front yard in his green chair waving at everyone that passed by.  If he wasn't outside, he was watching from his chair out the front door.  =)

Grandma Bett was always cleaning.  She would have breakfast on the table before anyone was even out of bed.  She'd have the kitchen cleaned and lunch on the table just a couple of hours later.  And, then be trying to feed you dinner before either of the other two meals had ever settled.  I'm pretty sure you could have eaten directly off of her floors they were so clean.  I'm not sure that she ever sat still for more than 5 minutes without jumping up to check on something or somebody.  She always had gum in her purse (or kitchen cabinet) for you.  And, she made the absolute best chocolate fudge I've ever eaten.  

I loved spending the night at their house.  Because of Grandpa's handicaps, they had two beds in the room - a twin for her and a full for him.  But, when I stayed, I got to sleep in Grandma's bed.  When we moved away and came back to visit, she always made the most comfortable "pallet" in the floor with tons and tons of blankets.  (Audrey now sleeps every night with one of those very blankets on her bed.  She asked for it when I told her the story behind it.  It is very special to her.)  Usually when I spent the night, we'd end up playing checkers and dominoes.  I also spent a lot of time playing in their backyard where the giant pear tree was.  And, at least one meal had to be a hamburger from the little store next door.  

I was so sad that neither of them got to meet my girls.  Grandma passed away about 6 weeks before Audrey was born.  She lives on through them though.  Audrey carries her name, Elizabeth, which is very special to both of us.  One night when Audrey was maybe 4 years old, she was sobbing on the couch.  I asked her what was wrong and she said she was very sad that she never got to meet her other grandmother.  It was a very sweet time and I got to share stories about Grandma with her.  I try to tell the girls about their family - either that have passed away or live far away - as often as I can.  We can never forget where we came from!  I was truly a blessed child - just as my girls are to have the grandparents they have.

New Classroom

If you know me well, you know that I am CONSTANTLY changing the basement.  It has been a playroom, Derek's office, a playroom, a few things in between, and now a classroom.  I loved our little classroom last year, but it was very small and had no window.  I think Audrey felt a bit claustrophobic.    She didn't want to do school in there at all the second semester.  (Here is a link to last year's classroom.)Couple that with the girls spending way more time playing in their rooms these days instead of the basement.  So, I thought the best thing to do for now was move the classroom into the large room in the basement.  Everything we need is now in here.  Yay!!  And, I only made one purchase.  :)  I still have some decorations to add here and there, but this gives you an idea.

This is a view of the whole room.  I have it divided into different sections:
art table, desk, space for games, and a sofa for reading.

Our new Ikea shelf that now houses all our new Usborne books and curriculum.

Our wall of info - calendars, white board, clock, maps, etc.

Other side with desk & computer; corkboard, etc.

And, when we need to mix it up a bit - we have the hammocks!

I love you. Do you love me?

I've been contemplating writing this post for several months.  It's something that has been on my heart and mind, perhaps sparked by recent online posts, conversations, and articles I've read.  I have many friends that will surely disagree with me and that's ok.  My words come from the heart and with the greatest of intentions.

I am a Christian.  I have conservative beliefs.  I usually, ok, almost always - vote Republican.  And, I do not apologize for any of it.

Because I am all of these things, it does not mean that I am ignorant, withhold from those in need, or hate everyone who feels differently than I.  Let me say that one more time.  I am not ignorant.  I am not greedy.  And, I do not hate anyone.  I am not perfect, nor do I think that I am.  Jesus is the only person to ever possess that characteristic.

I am not stupid because I believe in Creation rather than Evolution.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I choose to study and attend classes to better educate myself.  One has to have faith to believe in Evolution, just as I have faith in Creation.  We have the same sets of science and evidence.  It is how we interpret it that differs.  I choose to believe that God created all things in His own way and His own time.

While I'm on the subject, I also do not pick and choose what scripture I use or choose to believe in.   Everything in the Bible is in there for a reason.  I am totally guilty of taking things out of context before (again, not perfect).  But, I try my best to truly study and understand it.  You absolutely can not just pull a text from the Bible, rattle it off, and then argue it's validity without knowing and understanding the text in its entirety.  Here is a great example:  1 Corinthians 11 & 14 when Paul tells the women to be quiet and also makes references about the way men should wear their hair.  Those texts do not stand alone.   The backbone of these instructions are on orderly worship and relate mostly to the culture of people in the church.  He is teaching proper attitudes and conduct within the church.  It wasn't a spiritual command for women to pray with covered heads or to be quiet for the sake of being dominated.  The women were being disruptive and causing a division within the church because of their behaviors.  The same principles applied to the men and their hair.  In Corinth, men with long hair were seen as male prostitutes.  Paul is saying that we should avoid appearances and behaviors that distracts others or hurts our own witness.  This had everything to do with the culture of the people of the time.

Ok, moving on.  Why is it assumed that because I don't want the government to take more and more of my money, that I don't give to those in need?  Seriously?!  Where do you think the money comes from that supports all these government programs and such?  With that being said, I go to church with a group of the most loving, giving people I've ever known.  Our church alone feeds thousands upon thousands of people every year.  We raise money, give money, pack boxes of food, and deliver food to those in need every day.  We provide medical care, food, clothing, education, and much, much more to unwed mothers who have nothing.  We visit those that are homeless.  Where is the greed in all of this?

Why is it that because I disagree with the way someone lives or something they do, it is assumed that I hate them?  I hear all the time that Christians need to stop hating.  Since when did I say I hated anybody?  A sin is a sin.  Period.  I am a sinner.  I make mistakes.  I have several (yes, I said several) friends that have committed adultery.  Do I hate what they did?  Yes.  Do I hate them?  No.

Lastly, why is that because I'm a Christian, people assume I am closed minded?  Or that I'm a hypocrite (I'd love to mark this word from the dictionary it is so overused!)?  It takes an open mind to open a Bible and study the Word.  It also takes a strong person to stand up and make a choice for what is right.  It doesn't always happen.  People (um, I) make mistakes every day.  Does that make me a hypocrite?  No. It makes me human.

If you're reading this and feel as though I've slapped a label on you and put you in a box, then you know exactly how I've been feeling lately.  It goes both ways.  I do not judge you for your choices.  Please do not judge me for mine.  This life is too short to argue over petty things.  But, there is one thing that we can all agree on.  No one lives forever.  That is a fact.  The life on this earth is but a blink of an eye.  We must look to the future and where we will spend our eternity.

I love you, friends.  Each and everyone of you.

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