family picture

family picture
We "want our very serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Christmas Crafts

It's been a month I know but thought I would share some of our Christmas crafts.  First was our advent calender I got it from the Family Fun.  I then found a free printable for the days of the week here (thanks to MK for sharing this find).  I then printed out the Christmas story cute it up into 24 strips and put one strip and 3 Hershey Kisses (one for each big kid)  into each cone. FYI the tiny trees will not hold 3 kisses so I just stashed them away and when we opened that day up we pulled out their portion. Our kids LOVED this and looked forward to every day.  They were wonderful about keeping up with the day and what was going on.  I think I would probably do this again next year. The only thing I would do different is have a piece of foam board out for us to put the strips of paper on so that we could glue them on after we read them and then we could refer back as we progress through the story/month. 

Next we made two little trees for the mantel. They were just cardboard trees we picked up @ Michael's for like a dollar.  I then let the Josiah and Elaina paint one and then put Korinna in charge of glitter.  I think they turned out super cute and I might even try to add another next year.

Next we made a wreath for the Kitchen.  I have dreams that when I build my "dream house" I am going to have a candy theme in my kitchen along with a tree full of Smore's ornaments.  Do you ever do that "when I build my dream house"? My parents always played (still do) that game.  It was something that they just loved to pretend, dream, wish, plan.  Whatever you want to call it, so I do it's just what I know. I found this on tater tots and jello and forgive me for not linking it but I just got tired of trying to find it. But I know it is from there. We took two bags of large marshmallows, one bag of gumdrops, a box of toothpicks, and a round foam wreath form and this was our  finished product.

I then took the left over gumdrops and put them in the sconces next to the window.  I loved this wreath.  FYI it did not hold the kids attention very long and I wish I would have put a HUGE red ribbon and red bow.  Anybody got any ideas on how to store this wreath?

On a serious note I wanted to share something with you guys from my homeschool meeting last Thursday night.  When we started our meeting we were given a post it note, we were then instructed to write down 5 things that we wanted to teach our children before we die.  We were also instructed that we had to be specific so we couldn't put "Christ" we had to put what we would want them to know about Christ. After filling out our sticky notes we were asked, "How many of you taught your children that today." WOW! I was amazed and humbled.  I will admit that I tried to teach one of the 5 things but not everyday.  We were then challenged to put those in our lesson plan.  Whether you homeschool or not I challenge you to go get you a sticky note and write down what you want to teach your children before you die and then DO IT! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Leila needs your vote

Okay guys I knew I only have a hand ful of followers but I'm still gonna post it.
One of Leila's portraits has been chosen as on of the "Top 20 of 2010" by her photographer.  They are having a little contest for the favorite.  The one with the most comments wins a 16x20 and another session.  WOOHOO!! so can you please follow the link  and comment that number 13 is your favorite.  One vote per person make sure you tell all your friends and get the husbands and boyfriends to vote as well.  Voting for the contest will end Friday the 14th @ midnight central time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Leila's Birthday and Awesome finds at Hobby Lobby

First, let's discuss the super cool Fall finds I found at Hobby Lobby.  I might just make this a frequent post.  I don't know what I should call it. Anybody got any ideas? It seems that I am always finding really cool deals from Hobby Lobby and love showing of some of my finds.  So here we go.  I needed some orange food coloring for Leila's cake.  I walked in to notice that all Fall was 80% off.  SCORE!
Everything in this picture was on sale.  I even got the orange plasticware and the gorgeous paper napkins on sale.

This sweet little picture frame was in the cents range.

and these awesome things were only a couple of dollars.  I love them because it reminds me of an interesting memory from the hubs childhood.  When E was young he had pet crows.  Yes folks, pet crows. I did not know him during this time and every since then I can't look at a crow without thinking about that cool little time in E's life.
Okay moving on to the first Birthday of Leila.  I decided on a Pumpkin theme and discovered a cool and somewhat easy instructions of a pumpkin cake from family fun.  I thought it was something that I could do so we started with this and unfortunatly I do not have an completion pic of the big pumpkin.  Mom if you do will you email me and I will post it.

 I did use a spice cake and I made a butter cream frosting.  It was so yummy.  Be aware that this is a ton of cake and seeing that we did an intimate gathering of family meant we had a lot of cake left over. 

 I made this sweet little tutu also found on family fun. To say it was easy is an understatement.  In fact forget I said that.  It was very difficult and only I can make them so if you want one I will make you one for 40 bucks.
Look at those sweet curls.  Just like Elaina.  O I hope they last longer than Elaina.  She had hers till she was 5 and she still has some shorter pieces that curl. 

Now these next pictures might seem a little overboard but I want to make sure they are documented.  The presentation of a smash cake.  Leila had already had a trial run on her one year pictures with Stephanie Fisher. (Warning Shameless Plug) If you are not familiar with her work you need to be, she is awesome. She also did our Christmas picture which I might say was AWESOME.  So make sure you go check her out. Okay take a look at this sweet girl attacking her sweets!!  

 This first year with this little one has been nothing but amazing.  Let me tell you.  GOD knitted her perfectly for this family.  She is funny! Her own little person finding her own way among all of the chaos.  She is the first one out of all of the kids that walks into the room and tries to gain all of the attention.  She enjoys showing out and showing off.  Funny, is the key word.  She also likes to play her youngest child card, she doesn't talk much with so many others around her talking for her and she knows how to throw a temper tantrum.  Leila is a Daddy's girl and a Korinna's girl.  I truly think she looks at her as another mom.  We have had several instances where Korinna has been able to settle her down.  Just sitting in Rin's lap and cuddling up against her has calmed her.  Should it surprise me that Ethan and Korinna have very similiar personalities. I often look at them as the calm in the storm.  I can see why she might seek them out in our house. We had and have had a lot of fun and look forward to seeing how God unfold's His plan for your life.  I love you sweet girl.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yes I realize it is Januarary but I have to write it all down

Okay so I left you at the wreath which is still such a favorite of mine.  But we also had a really cool Thanksgiving idea too. So I originaly got this idea from  I tried to find it but lets face it I'm highly distractable.  If you go over there you probably would find it in the begininng of her November blog posts.  Any hoo, she painted a tree on a large piece of canvas and then put a wooden dowel at the top with some string then she had all of these leaves that she would write what she was thankful for and then attach them onto the tree form through out the Thanksgiving season.  I loved it but again let me remind you I am highly distractable and I wasn't going to do all of that.  Well, low and behold, I remembered that I had an iron tree (do you remember those hallmark trees that you hung pictures on?).  I saved it even though I had zero use for it but I just knew I couldn't throw it away. E would have killed me.  It wasn't something that was bought with a 40% off coupon.  So, I pulled it down out of some closet and used a leaf stencil I had in my scrap book stuff and waa-laaa.  The Blankenship family Thankfullness tree.
It was a hit.  I put the leaves in a cookie jar with a sharpie and whenever a thankful thought hit we would write and attach it.  Even LaDonna and Pam (the two ladies that help me with my house) got into idea and one day we came home to find that they had written thankful thoughts and left it to be attached.  Here is the tree laden with our praises of Thanksgiving.

One of the things that we had Thanksgiving praises for was a emergency situation that arose in the early part of November. Picture this:
A beautiful fall day. 
 Monday for the Blankenship's is a busy one.
  Two sweet women, LaDonna and Pam are coming over to help Mrs. Blankenship out with her housekeeping, Mr. Blankenship's father is having surgery in the next town, Korinna has lots of therapy to do and of course the children will need to be feed, naps taken and errands ran.  It is a difficult task but not an impossible one.  The ladies of the family take off to start completing the days tasks and Mr. Blankenship heads off for the one hour drive to the hospital to be with his family.  Things were running smoothly.  Bank check, Physical Therapy check, Chick-Filet check. Picnic at the park so Leila can nap and Elaina can play UMMM..... well this is were things went awry.  
Elaina finished her meal and asked to go on the playground.  Ms. Blankenship warned her that we were running short on time so don't be disapointed if she doesn't get to play for very long.  Elaina skipped off ran up the steps climbed the ladder to the slide only to stop and wave at Ms. Blankenship.  One slide down the swirly slide. Two sweet six year old feet touch the mulch and quickly run back to those steel steps that lead to that wonderful slide.  Ms. Blankenship's waits to see Elaina since her view of the steps are slightly blocked by the gigantic pines that are prevalent through out the park. All of a sudden SCREAMING.  A mother knows that scream.  It is the scream that triggers a Mom's emergency switch. This is bad this is very bad.  
Ms. Blankenship runs towards the playground to find Elaina leaning over screaming and a small dribble of red coming out of her mouth.  Her first thoughts are busted lip, bit tongue, busted chin. "Spit it out baby, spit it out!" Ms. Blankenship calls out.  "It is okay"  Ms. Blankenship arrives and even though she is scared to pieces on the inside she keeps a calmness about her as she asks Elaina to open her mouth. It worse than she thought and yet simultaneously it could be lots worse.  There is a huge gap in her mouth two of her teeth are missing.  At this moment, the two hear a male voice.  "Ma'am, do you need this." To their surprise a Cintas man was in his truck having lunch and had seen the fall take place.  Climbing over the fence bearing a kitchen towel with ice wrapped up inside.  By this time Ms. Blankenship had Elaina on her hip and was staring at the mulch ground as she responds,  "Thank you, Thank you". 
This man was a sweet man.  He mentioned something about his niece had just done the samething and that he had saw her fall.  Ms. Blankenship never got his name but just kept on staring at the ground obviously looking for something.  The Cintas man finally puzzled by her asked if he could do something. "I'm looking for her teeth.  They are baby teeth." realizing that she needed to move on she quickly thanked the man again and loaded up Elaina into the car.  
At this point Ms. Blankenship's mind was swimming with thoughts. "This is the worst time. Korinna has communication therapy in 20 minutes.  I have to call and cancel.  Were do I take her?  I can't take her to Birmingham.  How am I gonna do this with all 3?  Crap! Josiah, he needs to be picked up in 45 minutes.  I need to call Ethan.  Yes! Yes!  Jamie is off on Monday.  Dr. Lamarouex's that is were I will take her. 

 A quick call to a close family friend quickly agrees to help out and meet them at dentist.  Another call cancels communication therapy.  This now finds Ms. Blankenship pulling into the dentist office.  Jamie (the close friend) is still another 10 minutes away.  She will have to go into the office with all of the kids. All of these were just thoughts. Ms. Blankenship never stopped but just kept on working.  There were many questions on how this would work but she knew what was being asked of her and she just kept on working in faith as she unloads the car.  Korinna in stroller chair, Leila on her hip and poor Elaina is gonna have to walk in holding the kitchen towel now blood stained up to her mouth. 
The door of dentist office is very heavy and Ms. Blankenship has to do a maneuver only her and other people with multiply children in various degrees of devolopment understand.  This is the point were she is starting to feel the weight of her job and the lies from the devil are slowly trying to bring her down.  He is SCREAMING, "HOW ARE YOU GONNA MAKE THIS WORK!"
It was one of those moments were most people would scoff at but it is true.  As true as I live and breath.  As she opened the door the mid afternoon light filtered through the waiting room only to rest on a familiar face.  Not the family friend instead on another friend.  One that she sees and one that has even helped them advocate for the rights of their daughter Korinna.  There she was Krista, sitting and looking @ the whole Blankenship clan.  All Ms. Blankenship could get out was, "Thank You GOD!" She truly meant it, this was not said in some overwhelmed worldly vain way but in true thankfulness for HIS provision.  "Hey, Um we have had a slight emergency at the playground will watch them?" as she strolls Korinna and passes over Leila.  "Of Course" said Krista in a reassuring voice.
 Ms. Blankenship arrived at the desk and quickly informed the women that we had a small dental emergency.  She then filled them in on only the facts, which for Ms. Blankenship's close confidants would have known that this was work mode for she never deals in just the facts.  At that point Ms. Blankenship was drawn to her right and there signing out was another friend.  In fact, it was Leila's Sunday School teacher.  Immediatly Ms. Blankenship was drawn to tears.  Look at God's provision.  Look at how He provided for me.  Here on this day there are people all over the world who are dying, hurting, needing Him and He took the time to orchestrate THIS. 
After that it was really quite simple.  With ease and comfort in the care for the other children, Ms. Blankenship carried Elaina to the back office and focused on that child.  One dentist felt comfrotable with the injury but wanted a second opinion.  Back to the waiting room were Jamie (close family friend) awaited.  Ms. Blankenship loaded Elaina up in her car and the other two in Jamie's and then headed off to the second opinion.  On that trip Mr. Blankenship was finally able to be contacted and plan was made for Josiah. A call was put into the school for Josiah.  With all of the encouragment flowing in and the knowledge of her partner here on earth coming to join her in the battlefield made the energy and rejuvenation flow from her.  Second opinion was still positve. Clean inury.  Where the injury incurred allowed the teeth to fall out cleanly and there was no bone left behind. Lastly, Josiah picked up by Mr. Blankenship. Korinna and Leila picked up by Mr. Blankenship. One trip to the pharmicist for Ms. Blankenship and a trip to Target to bless the sweet trooper Elaina with a gift and pick up something quick for dinner. 
It was a difficult one but not impossible!  

Thanks to MK for letting me know that there was a newer blog version.  She was right it is so much better.