I had hoped to get this post done before now. But I finally had a few minutes this evening to pull the pictures over to the computer. So, here it is--a review of three!

Three is a great number!

Heading out to school on her birthday!
Finally, she gets to open a few packages!

A birthday treat at DQ!
The awesome cake Auntie Joyce made for the party!
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Another Week in the Books

A week already! I keep promising myself that I am going to get better about keeping this updated. So, here's the scoop since I last posted. Princess Pigtails had a great birthday and enjoyed her party at Grandma and Grandpa's on Saturday. DH's mom and brother and his family came up. My brother and his family as well as my mom's sister and two of my cousins. My cousin Shawna's husband came with her and they brought their little guy, Cason who is almost exactly two months younger than The Little Man. There were seven kids 3 1/2 and younger. It was crazy and so much fun! Huge thanks to my parents for offering to host the madhouse--I mean party! I'm not sure their house will ever be the same!

DH and I went to the wake of a friend's mother last night. We never had the opportunity to meet her, but went in support of our friends. DH and I agree how important it is to just be there for your friends during such times. I asked our neighbors to watch the kiddos for the time that we needed to be gone, which was so helpful and allowed us the few moments to speak with our friends with out trying to corral Princess Pigtails and console The Little Man. Mike and Kris seem to be doing well given the circumstances. Mike's mom was 85 years old and, bless her heart, had been married to Mike's dad for 67 years.

As we stood in line to speak with Mike's dad, it was a perfect time to reflect as well as people watch. I find that weddings and funerals always bring out some interesting behavior and/or choices in wardrobes. I do not mean this to come across as flippant or snobbish, as I sometimes have difficulty determining how dressy or casual to be for an event such as this. But seriously. While we were in line, I noticed a gentleman several people ahead of us, was wearing a blaze orange cut off shirt. To a wake. As the line moved I was able to get a better view of the lovely choice of attire. The shirt had a bikini clad woman and a motorcycle on the back of it. Nice. To a Wake. Really? Does fringe dress something up or down? Hmm.

Today is picture day at Preschool. So, I best keep moving and go figure out what the darling is going to wear today. Something that doesn't require ironing hopefully. I suppose I should see if I can find that payment envelope. I'm sure it's upstairs in one of the piles on our desk.


Princess Pigtails Year 3

Dear Princess Pigtails,
Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl. I can hardly believe that it has already been three years that you have been bringing joy and laughter into our lives. Sweet pea, your smile warms my heart. Your tender heart and caring spirit is the essence of your being. God has truly blessed us with a precious gift.

This fall has been a whirlwind of big experiences for you--dance, preschool, Sunday school and you have gone into each one with enthusiasm and confidence. I pray that you will continue to carry that zest for life.

You have been so excited about your birthday instructing me and Daddy that there will be party hats and balloons for your party. Yesterday afternoon, while we were out running errands you told me that you would like your cake to be chocolate and that I should "cut it in half and put part of it in Tupperware". When I asked you why, you replied "so we can eat it later". Alright then.

You have adjusted very well to having a baby brother. Thank you for being so kind and gentle with The Little Man (most of the time). Thank you for loving on him even though your hugs look (and probably feel) more like "headlocks". Thank you for sitting on the floor and dragging out toy after toy after toy to "show" your brother. I love that you call him "smiley boy" or "buddy boy". He is blessed to have you for a sister.

You love pink and purple. You love wearing dresses and "fancy dancy" shoes. You are typically happy and energetic straight out of the gate in the morning. You have a lot to say. I frequently over hear you "playing" (in your imagination) with your cousins, Doodlebug and Mogey. You love to sing (both songs Mama knows and ones you make up yourself). You love to read books. You love to "cook" and to be a helper. You are obsessed with schedules, agendas and what is going happen next.

My lovebug, you have such a sweet spirit. I am beyond thankful for you and the opportunity to be your mama.

Happy Birthday!


Things I Love Thursday--Easy-on Shoes for Kids

One item of business first--Happy Birthday to my dear friend Jill!

Here's the deal. With now having one more person to get ready before we can walk out the door I need all the help that I can get. Finding shoes that Princess Pigtails can easily put on and off herself are key. And I'm really not all that interested in shelling out $40 for a pair of shoes for a three year old! I can be convinced to spend a little more than $15 or so if I perceive more value. In the past, I have bought something from Target or Payless...Late last summer I bought a pair that were the whole velcro closure assuming they would be a cinch for her to put on. Umm, no. I don't really know what the issue was, but they were obviously a waste of money. DH and I could hardly get them on her! Arg...so she wore her Crocs into the fall as her "outside play shoes". Which are super easy, but not terribly practical in sloppy weather or as it starts to cool off.

This spring I went on a hunt for something easy, washable and that didn't have little holes all over! Here's what I found:
The Croc's Pelican style has been PERFECT. More of a "tennis" shoe style, yet easy on-easy off and durable canvas. I order directly from Crocs--the best pricing I have found for any of their products. And because of the sizing, they have lasted through the whole summer and she still has some room to grow!

On a side note, I also love Bobux for the little ones! (Thanks to my friend Jill for telling me about them when K and Princess Pigtails were infants! They really stay put and keep the socks on--which is huge as it starts to get cold. Princess Pigtails wore Bobux when she was an infant and they proved their durability. The Little Man is sporting these...

So, that's something that I love. Shoes that do their thing, do it well and don't cost a fortune! For more things that folks love, head over to Diaper Diaries!


Works For Me Wednesdsay--Quick Breakfast

Among the millions of things that I learned from my mom, are the easy things you can do to provide a great breakfast for your family and a quick alternative to toast or cereal (again).
I know lots of people buy either frozen pancakes or frozen waffles. This can get expensive and here is where my tip comes in...Anytime that I make waffles or pancakes (breakfast or breakfast for dinner), I freeze what is leftover. Right now there is a bag of pancakes and a bag of waffles in my freezer. Reheating the pancakes is super quick, pop them in the microwave for 30 second-1 minute. It could be just as easy to reheat the waffles, but I like to microwave them for 30 seconds or so and then drop them in my toaster to crisp them up. (Which is still quicker and with less mess than whipping them up fresh!)
For more great ideas and tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer!


All by Myself

"I can do it all by myself."

As the mom of a preschooler these are words (or some variation of) that I hear over and over. Princess Pigtails is becoming more and more independent with each passing day. She is learning quickly and gaining much confidence with each new experience. As her mama, I know that she still needs me. I know that she can't do everything alone. And yet, I know for her to learn and grow, I need to set aside my perfectionist tendencies. Save the scolding and step aside and allow her the opportunity to try. I suppose through those experiences she will learn that there are times she needs me. What she can do and can not do on her own is so obvious to me. To her, it is not.

How much am I as an adult like an over confident three year old? I insist that "I can do it all by myself". I stubbornly forge ahead and fail to turn to God, to rely on Him and seek His ways. Thankfully, I have a Father that is full of mercy and grace. He is there waiting on me with out a scolding or an "I told you so".

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4 & 5 (emphasis mine)

The Potluck Cake

Here's the recipe for the before mentioned cake I made for the potluck:

Cherry Jello Cake
1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) pkg of cherry flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 (16 oz.) container Cool-Whip

Prepare and bake cake mix according to pkg. directions for 9 x 13 cake. Remove cake from oven. Poke holes at once down through cake with fork at one inch intervals.
While cake cools, combine water and jello. Stir and pour mixture over cake. Top with the cherry pie filling. Cover with Cool-Whip. Refrigerate cake at least one hour before serving.


And We're Off to School

Princess Pigtail's First Day of Preschool

Her breakfast of choice--waffles and a plum.
Already for school!
Do you think I could get this one to look at the camera once we got to school? Absolutely not! Too much going on, I guess!

A Week of Firsts

So, I am coming off a short self imposed bloggy break. It's been a busy few days and this week will be filled with milestones. Princess Pigtails is heading off to her first day of preschool today, tomorrow she begins dance class and Sunday School starts on Sunday. She is fired up about all three and her mama? Well, I'm not sure I'm ready for this. I'll check in later with pictures.

Remember my insistence on trying new recipes to take to potlucks? We had another potluck thing at church yesterday and I made a new cake. Way easy and you'll want to try it. I'll post it later.

I'll be back soon. Off to take Princess Pigtails to school.