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Birthday Butterflies

Monday, June 11, 2018

We bought our best girl a butterfly kit for her birthday because we went with the "experience gifts"! She has loved watching them change from caterpillars to chrysalis to butterflies! I honestly was a little nervous to even purchase this for her, because we don't have the best track record on keeping things alive. Flowers, plants, fish.. at least we're good at keeping tiny human alive, amiright?


We purchased the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden from our local Hobby Lobby!
It came with a coupon to purchase our Cup of Caterpillars from the Insect Lore website.

Step 1 was complete and I knew that we were hopefully headed in the right direction!

I loved that everything was self-explanatory and that the brochure was informational and clear on what to expect at each stage of the transformation.


We had 5 cocoons! 
They have to hang like this for several days to ensure everything is nice and secure and then we were instructed to move the lid to the Chrysalis Station.





We loved checking on the butterflies each day to see if they were close to emerging. It took the full 10 days for the first one to emerge from the cocoon, but then the rest quickly followed. We didn't purchase the feeding kit, so we just sliced up some watermelon and they seemed to like it fine.




THE RELEASE
This was a bittersweet day, as McKinlee loved checking on them each day and watching them flutter around the habitat. I told her that they would most likely come back to visit and that they need fresh air to survive. Once I talked her into it, the look on her face as they flew away was so priceless. I'm so glad she got to experience the beauty of these sweet butterflies up close.








We loved the experience and will definitely be repeat customers! We plan to try the Lady Bug Land next!

MCKINLEE GRAY | six

Thursday, May 31, 2018

She's six.

A huge piece of my heart has been walking around on Earth for six years. I can't really fathom, how the days seem so long, but years fly by.


She's truly the best person I know. She's so beautiful inside and out, which we've known all along. This year in Kindergarten we were aware that other people could see it to, when she received a couple of awards for being kind, a sweet friend and a leader in the classroom. We are so proud of her.

SIX things about McKinlee I never want to forget:

1. She's told me that when she's a mom, she wants to have twin girls and she would name them Eleanor & Darcy. I have NO idea, where this came from, but I love that she's already dreaming of being a mom someday!


2. She loves her brother. Don't get me wrong, they fight all. the. time. However, the times she wakes up first and goes to pick him up out of bed while he's still half asleep and carries him into the living room, puts him on the couch, covers him up and turns on Paw Patrol, melts me into a puddle.


3. Makeup. She's obsessed. I told her she isn't allowed to wear makeup until she's 13, so she pouts, huff & puffs, and says "I can't wait to be 13." She's such a girly girl and loves all things nail polish, dresses that twirl and posing for pictures. Mothering a daughter is about to get real, real.

4. I've dreamed of these days since we found out we would have a daughter. Days filled with small talk, girl secrets, couch cuddles, hearing about her day, the boys that she has crushes on (as we hear dad yelling "NOPE!" from the background), feeling left-out at recess, how someone hurt her feelings. These are the formative years that I will develop a trust that will slowly lead us into her teenage years. I try to be so patient and willing to listen, when she's ready to talk, even when it's in the craziness of trying to get dinner ready, go through backpacks, and keep Carter alive (cause boys!).


5. She loves anything artsy and loves that she knows how to write now. She writes us letters & cards all the time. She wrote me a note yesterday, and signed it "yor dodr" (your daughter), I die. She's the sweetest.

6. She loves her daddy. I tear up when I think about their relationship. I love him with all my heart and I can't reasonably explain her loving a man one day, who isn't the epitome of him. He loves her hard, they go on dates, probably more than we do, and she loves it. I'm so thankful for a husband/dad who's teaching her what real love should feel like. It's not a transaction, you don't have to earn it, you just have it. When I pray for her husband, I pray that he's just like Justin.


Happy Birthday, sweet baby! We love you so much!

LET'S PARTY | Sweet Succulent Party

Our best girl turned six and despite the fact that I'm devastated that she's practically a teenager, we had a great time celebrating her birthday! It was her first party that we were able to invite school friends, which as you know includes 22 invites to the whole class. In a world where no one RSVPs anymore, we just planned for everyone and had all of the party essentials ready to go!


Until this year, I have always had the kids' parties planned out several months in advance, so come party day the only thing left to do is pick up the cake & balloons. This year, however, has been crazy hectic and apparently May is THE busiest time when you have a child in school. Literally field trips, and programs, and field days, conferences, and graduations. So, I dropped the ball and was scrambling. Scrambling, as in, sent the invites out the Friday before the party. Yikes.

On top of being scatter-brained, McKinlee isn't really into one certain thing right now, so I didn't have an easy go-to theme I could just throw together. We talked about unicorns, then fairies, then a makeup party, but I knew on my time crunch, I couldn't pull something together that I was confident would be cohesive. I was scouring Pinterest during teacher appreciation week (teachers are rockstars!) and I came across something that said "thanks for helping me grow", attached to a succulent.

LIGHTBULB.



Honestly, every year Justin and I look at each other and we're like, "we did it!" We made it another year, raising a daughter to be modest, kind and a leader, in a world that doesn't always appreciate women. We'd be crazy to think we could do it alone, though. I thought we would do the theme "Thanks for helping me grow", because we're so thankful for all of the people that pour into her, and that pour into us as parents.
















Balloon Garland - DIY
Balloons are from our local party store
I used this tutorial from Momfessionals
Mini Succulents - Amazon
Mini Planters - Walmart
Plates, Cups, Forks - Premium Paper Products
Napkins - WithLove&Ink
Tablecloths - Favor Box Boutique
Confetti & Rose Gold Balloons - Sweet Escapes by Debbie
Striped table runners - Fabric Store LA
Lavender paper straws - Puppy Cat Crafts
Succulent Dress - Livanni

MENU
Chicken Tenders - Harps Food Store
Cake & Cupcakes - Haley Millis
Custom Cookies - Sweet Nothings Cookies
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Cucumber Sandwiches
Spinach Dip & Crackers
Raspberry Lemonade Punch
Fresh Fruit Platter

On the Menu: Resurrection Rolls

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!

Justin and I spent the week doing a devotional that focused on Easter and the reason that we celebrate. It was intended to be done with your children, but we just felt like the kids were a little too small to grasp the concept that way. I came across MixandMatchMama's Resurrection Rolls, and thought it would be the perfect way to explain to McKinlee the true reason we celebrate Easter. She loves to help in the kitchen and she loved this activity and really understood the story that went along with it.


YOU WILL NEED:

1 Package of Crescent rolls (8ct)
1 Package of Marshmallows (large)
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350°

Prepare the pan by covering in foil and spraying with non-stick cooking spray
*the foil is key, when marshmallows melt, they turn into a hard sticky goo, who knew?

PREPARING THE STORY:


Roll out the crescents flat This will represent the TOMB.
Melt the butter — This will represent the OILS, in which Christ was anointed. 
Mix the sugar & brown sugar — This will represent the SPICES, placed on Christ before his burial.
The marshmallow — This will represent CHRIST.

Take a marshmallow (Christ) and dip it in the butter (Oils).



Next, dip the marshmallow into the sugar mixture (Spices).



Place each marshmallow onto the crescent roll and roll up until completely covered (representing the tomb).
Place the finished tombs in the oven for about 3 days, or 10-12 minutes.




This is what the "tomb" looked like fresh out of the oven.


The tomb is empty, because He is risen!


Happy Easter!


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