Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What...No Candy?

Getting a little jump on today's post...guess that morning Butter Pecan flavored coffee gave me just the boost I needed for the morning! I better keep that pot filled today because it certainly was a long night. Anyway, as promised yesterday, I'm sharing with you my Easter egg fillers. I like to put non-candy things in my eggs...What? No Candy? You may ask yourself if I'm off my rocker...got screws loose...one crayon short of a full box...Bless her heart, she has left the farm!!! Ok, so here's the deal...I'm not a no-sugar nature nugget who never gives her children sugar and deprives other children from the joy of a good ol'fashioned sugar rush but, from October to December my children are LOADED down with candy. Between birthdays, parties, festivals, and stocking hanging, we have LOTS of candy. I put it in a big box in the top of my closet and my children BEG me daily for candy. I really just think that (maybe) there are other parents out there like me that love the fun little egg hunts and favors but dread the massive amount of gooey, delicious, ant bait that their sweet little dirty faced, sticky fingered kids will bring home. And the funny thing is...as much as we dread it...we are guilty of filling those eggs with the same stuff, right? 
I mean...those eggs are so small...what else can you fit in them? And sometimes you have to fill SO many that it could get expensive to fill them with anything else, right? WRONG! Think outside the drugstore candy aisle and more toward the dollar stores...or even think a year in advance (again, back to my "I'll need it one day" mentality). Last year, Walmart had some little stretchy rubber bunnies on the seasonal aisle $1.97 for 16 bunnies...I thought that was a pretty good deal so I bought a pack and filled some of my eggs with them...they were a huge hit! After Easter, I found them at 75% off...I'm not one to pass up a deal like that, so I bought 4 packs!  
The dollar stores usually have a party aisle with little toys for birthday party goodie bags...it's like a goldmine for occasions like this. I pick up stickers, bouncy balls, silly bandz, necklaces, and little things that will fit inside those little plastic treasure eggs. Here's the loot for this year...
If I've learned anything through motherhood (and even remembering my childhood) its that the simplest things can mean so much more to a kid (and these won't give them a belly ache or rot their teeth)! But the cool thing about my kids is that it doesn't matter if there is actually anything IN those eggs or not...they just love the hunt! For weeks after Easter, we are still hiding and hunting eggs in the house or the front yard...empty...and still just as fun :)
Easter 2012

Sometimes things are better empty anyway!!!

Matthew 28

King James Version (KJV)
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, 
lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yummy Treats...

I'm preparing for our family's Easter Picnic this weekend and I always like to do something special for all the kiddos...usually special snacks packaged in some kind of cute little way. So while browsing the store the other day I happened across these super cute little "Bunny Grahams". They're like Teddy Grahams but shaped like bunnies instead...oh then the ideas started flooding my mind! I picked up 2 boxes of Bunnies, a bag of pretzel bits, white chocolate M&M's and my favorite...Peanut Butter M&M Eggs :)

I'll make a "Sweet and Salty Mix" for the younguns...but how will I package it for them? For me...the way a gift is packaged is just as important as the gift itself. I looked at printed cellophane bags, cupcake boxes, cookie tins and printed ziplocks...but it just didn't do it for me :( I'd all but given up when I went in search for some more plastic eggs to fill with non-candies (I'll share my ideas on that in tomorrows post). I found these adorable little "eggs" with flat bottoms so they'll stand up right!!! PERFECT!!! They were 3 for $0.97 at Walmart....I could not resist and I could not wait to get them home and start filling them with my yummies!!! 

I got a big ol' mixing bowl and started pouring in the goodies (...not without quality control tasting of course...this is a must...DO NOT skip this step ;) Doesn't this look like a yummy treat?

Not only do I love to package things in pretties...I love just as much to present them in super fun ways :) I found a basket in the back of my "save it cause you'll need it one day" section of my supply closet. (I've been saving this basket for over 3 yrs...lol...it was part of a baby shower gift from my cousin when I was preggers with my now 3 yr old daughter). So to my husband, "Yes, I will have a use for it eventually!" But I did not have any grass and I was NOT about to make a trip back to the store for plastic string! I remembered having saved (yet again) those little plastic leis that we used as party favors for my babies' birthday party this past year. I cut them in half and unraveled them and it made this really cute curly looking stuff...perfect! All piled together in the basket looked just like green grass.

Ok, so...yes...I know that up there ^ its purple...but I forgot to take pictures of the process in green (I just got too excited in the moment) So I went back and for all of you...demonstrated this process in purple, per request from Sissy (for those that do not know...this is what my daughter thinks her real name is).

I hope the kids love their bunny treats as much as I do! I know that Bubba and Sissy are dying to get their hands on them...

Even our demon (cat) Sundae got in on the lei action today. Wyatt said it was cold today and she needed a scarf...so here she is for your viewing pleasure...
(please excuse the dust...my husband has been doing some sheet rock work
and apparently has no idea how to hang plastic to protect the rest of the house
and keep it from looking like a winter wonderland!!!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You don't need expensive things...

My little girl is 3 years old and wants SO bad to be big like her 5 year old brother. He starts school this year and loves everything about learning! He knows how to write his ABC's and Morgan tries so hard to do it too but hasn't quite mastered the shapes of the letters. So the other day while Wyatt was up in his room playing, Morgan asked me to help her "make letters" like Bubba. She knows her ABC's but hasn't learned to recognize all of the letters yet, but she insisted I help her write them. I tried showing her but she got frustrated not getting the results she thought she should have and cried that she was just too small and couldn't "make letters". 

I thought to myself, there must be something I can do to help her. Maybe some flash cards or one of those books that you trace the letters with. Then I remembered "tracing" shapes with dry beans in kindergarten when I was a little girl. But there is NO WAY I'm giving that child dry beans for ME to have to clean up out of my floor, under (or in for that matter) my couches, or for the cat (demon) to find and play with in the middle of the night sounding like a wild cougar. NO WAY! I almost gave up the idea. But wait a minute...don't you have a box of old pompoms stashed away in the back...far back...in the 'I know I'll need them for something one day even if I have no idea for what right now' section of your craft closet? Why yes, yes I do! And the clouds broke back and I heard cathedral music!

So this is what I came up with...

*terribly sorry for the typo ^ there...that is to be 'yields' not 'yeilds'...but I was not going to redo that whole photo for one horrible, shameful, elementary, no good, rotten  mistake ;)  *


13 sheets of paper (or cardstock if you want it to last longer)
Scissors or paper trimmer
PomPoms or cotton balls (at least 20)

Cut sheets in half and write one letter on each one...
(preferably in purple marker on lavender paper ;)
Give pompoms and papers to child...
and show her how to do it...

...then sit back and watch her swell with pride and burst
with excitement when she finally gets to "make letters" on her own!!

She played with this for over an hour!!! So I'd say it was a complete success! (And Mommy got a little coffee break in the meantime too)...

So here's my lesson for the day...I was completely prepared to head out to the dreaded Walmart to purchase flash cards or books or something in the "learning" section to help my little girl feel bigger. But with a little imagination (and thankfulness for my craft supply hoarding tendencies) I spent no money and became an Insta-Hero! My alter ego Super Save-The-Day Mom resurfaces once again...hold on a second...I need to tuck my cape back in...and we all are once again (in the words of Phil Robertson) "Happy Happy Happy!!!"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It comes from the unexpected...

"I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown..." you could catch my Granny Broome singing or humming this song everyday. The words ring clear and true in my mind and I can still see her smile that big ol'smile every time I hear it. I learned about faith in God from her, not from church or books or teachers, but a little heavy set woman with grey splashed auburn hair and soft little wrinkles. She faced many troubles and trials throughout her life but she ALWAYS laid her faith in God. Just watching her cry while singing songs to me, or reading the Bible to me as a small child. I miss that woman more than anything in this world, she passed away in Aug 2004 and it gives me great solace to know that one day I will be reunited with her and other loved ones that have gone on to that great "exchange desk" in Heaven. I won't need to bring a receipt, Jesus already has it. He holds a book that has "Paid in Full" stamped beside my name. He'll say "Come on my child, lay down your cross and pick up your crown." If not for her showing me her faith and love of God, I may not have been as receptive to hearing the gospel when preached in May of 2005! I may have walked out of that church thinking those people were CRAZY! But thanks to my Granny's faith, the Holy Spirit's convicting power, and God's Grace and Mercy...I got washed in the blood of Jesus...and I've been born again! I pray that I'll have a testimony like that for my children and grandchildren one day...that through my faith and trusting in God...they can see that Jesus is the ONLY way!

I had planned on posting today about a little activity that I did with Morgan last week but God changed my plans. I was getting ready to enter a chance to win 1/2 off a photography session with a local photographer Jeff Woollam. The instructions were to go to his webpage...look through his photos...pick out my favorite and post a link to his facebook page on my timeline. So I hurried off to this site thinking I already knew which one I was gonna choose (my friend's little boy wearing a superman cape, seemingly flying through the air...adorable!) and it would only take a minute. Then a barn caught my eye and I started browsing through some of his other albums. I happened across the most simple photo...yet stunningly beautiful...a warmth came over me and I felt tears stream down my face. Here is what lead my mind to that old song Granny used to sing and the meaning behind that "Old Rugged Cross"...

...It truly captures the essence of living in WNC. You see...here in the buckle of the "Bible Belt"...these crosses stand on roadsides, hilltops and in yards across the valleys of this great land and serve as a reminder to me and all that pass that "...God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life...For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."- John 3:16-17

So, I'll say "Thank you, God, for giving me a blessing in an unexpected way...and for changing my plans for my blog post today!" and Thank you Woollam Imaging for giving me permission to post your photo.
(I would also like to add that this in NO WAY increases my odds of winning that session because it is totally random!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Let me introduce myself...

 Good evening! For those that do not already know me...My name is Savannah Lynn. I grew up in an abandoned old mill town in the piedmont of SC. Lived the life of a small town girl and learned very early as an only child that if I wanted to stay entertained...I'd have to get creative. I was always making something out of nothing...clover flower jewelry...honeysuckle crowns...cardboard castles...bed sheet forts...chocolate mudpies...magnolia berry soup...hand drawn birthday cards...model cars with my daddy...painting with my aunt...you name it, I was probably making it. My Granny Broome instilled a love of photos and albums...you know...GASP!...the self cling ones. But the only way you knew who they were or what they were doing was if she was storytelling :) And a lot of those stories disappeared when she passed away.

a two year old me around 1987

Then, as a teenager I discovered scrapbooks. I saved movie tickets and party napkins and photos and some of the most random things you can imagine, took picture after picture of everywhere I went and everyone I was with and kept them in a box until I could glue them down on paper. And in one little 3 ring binder with cardstock and page protectors I kept my life experiences. With dollar store stickers and Elmers glue sticks I was on the way to preserving my memories. And that created a brand new kind of monster :) The older I got, the more advanced (and more expensive) the supplies and techniques got. I then discovered Michaels Arts and Crafts. And I became a scrap addict. Yes, an addict, it was like a gateway drug. I began making elaborate layouts, then greeting cards and somehow that lead to hand stitching on my cards and layouts so that lead to learning how to sew on a machine and that lead to a fabric obsession and that lead to making a purse and then to wanting to learn to crochet...the list goes on and on!!!

Me in 2004 

Flash forward to 2013! I live in the beautiful western mountains of NC with my husband and our three adorable babies...5 year old Wyatt, 3 year old Morgan and 6 week old Raylan. With the birth of our first child...my crafting obsession became even more ridiculous! If the store didn't have something I wanted in the theme or color I wanted...I would MAKE IT!!! Because nothing was good enough for my little man. Then came our sweet princess...she needed the cutest stuff on the planet but we couldn't afford it...so I would MAKE IT!!! Now we own our very own home sweet home and we've been updating, renovating, refurbishing and decorating. But with our new family completing baby here...the budget is even tighter, so when I find something old that needs an update and doesn't quite fit my themes...I MAKE IT fit!!! And when things get boring around here and my kids get rowdy...we MAKE IT fun and entertaining!!! And through it all I've realized that Life is only what you MAKE IT!!! :)

Me, Morgan, Wyatt & Matthew Oct 2011

Raylan last week :)

Well, I've done it...I am officially a blogger! This is all completely new to me because until a few days ago I did not know a thing about blogs. A friend of mine brought it to my attention that I'm always posting my crazy endeavors, crafty items, kid projects, and refurbishing things on facebook and the same ol' people were seeing my things..Why not share with others? Well, I thought, I know nothing about blogging but I'll give it a shot. So hang with me while I figure this out :)