Monday, November 26, 2012

Mind, Body & Soul

"God is our life and our health. We receive by His grace everything we need to sustain us, renew us, and restore us." -- Roy Lessin

Lately, I have been planning and/or taking intentional steps to better myself: mind, body and soul.  For example, I love to read.  I want to read more.  I know that my first priority of all reading should be that of the Bible.  I feel the strong desire to learn more from God's Word and, through that knowledge, grow closer to God in my daily walk and, as a natural extension, better be able to show His love to others in my life.  So I am intentionally making an effort to read the Bible everyday.  That's not to say I am perfect and I don't miss a day here or there.  I am in a women's bible study where we are supposed to read through the whole Bible by the end of the study and that really has kept me on track with assignments everyday.  We are on a break for the holidays now, though, so I have really had to be disciplined to keep up with it on my own.    

I got this journal to write notes as I take this journey and to use as a prayer journal so I can look back and see what God has done with those prayers (since I do have a bad memory).  It's a pretty cool journal actually because it really does deal with the body, soul, and spirit.  Each page has places to check off your daily servings of food and track your exercise, as well as write notes about what you learned and things you prayed.  It also provides inspirational scripture and quotes daily.  In fact, the quote I posted above is from today's page (funny how it fits in perfectly with what I've been dealing with lately).  

However, I want to read books outside of the Bible as well.  This is where it gets tough.  I have a limited amount of time in the day in which to do anything on my own, as much as just read.  I have many things, including cleaning, blogging, and making Christmas presents lately, that take up that time.  So it really is difficult for me to have the time to do all those things and read the Bible (in a non-rushed, prayerful manner where I can actually learn from it) and then read other books.  But I have been trying at least.  

Normally, I'd read fiction, but recently I've been on a non-fiction kick.  I just finished reading "5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Sons," by Vicki Courtney.  The title says it all.  It is basically about how to raise your son to be a godly man and the common stumbling blocks and pitfalls this world presents to that goal.  It was a little repetitive at times, but overall it gave some good advice (much of which is for kids older than Graham, but some of which I may be able to start implementing in these upcoming toddler years).      

Right now, I am reading a book called "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism," by Timothy Keller.  I am not far into it yet for the reasons I gave above, but so far it is pretty good.  The beginning of the book delves into the top issues that skeptics have with Christianity and the end of the book is, as the title of the book suggests, supposed to give the top reasons for God/Christianity.  I may give a more in depth review of this book in a later post if I can get through it before I have to return it to the library.   

I know I mentioned bettering my body above but I won't get into that in detail in this blog post or it'd be way too long.  In short, my goal is to continue to strive towards healthier eating habits and regular exercise.  This is an area where, if I'm being perfectly honest, I've done more planning than executing in recent months... one where I intend to start turning those plans into action.  More to come on that in future posts. 

Until next time, 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Neat November

The Webers have had a fun and eventful November so far and I wanted to catch you in the blogging world up on what we've been up to.   

I have been working on buying some and making some Christmas gifts.  I'll do a post after Christmas (for obvious reasons) about some of the gifts I made and how they turned out.   

Graham is doing and saying new things every day.  He has taken his first steps, though I wouldn't consider him a walker just yet.  We're working on it!  Dustin and I were talking last night about one of our favorite things that he does.  Most of the time it is when he's getting tired, but we love when Graham lays down on the floor next to us and looks at the ceiling and cuddles.  Though is becoming more and more vocal everyday when he is happy and when is not happy, he has a very sweet spirit and we love that about him.  

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Dustin's parents in Bella Vista this year.  We ate good food and spent fun time with family... and we didn't even have to pack and travel!  Though we missed the family we didn't get to see, it was pretty perfect.  Here are a couple of pictures from that day: 

Thanksgiving night, I spent my first night away from Graham...eek!   Dustin's parents watched Graham that night and the next day when we went to the Arkansas vs. LSU football game.  I had mixed feelings about it; I was very grateful that Dustin's parents watched him for us and it was nice to have quality time alone with Dustin, but I also missed my little man!   

Dustin and I thoroughly enjoyed the Arkansas-LSU game.  Of course we would've enjoyed it more had the Razorbacks won the game, but they really made me proud.  Despite the very tough season they've had and having every reason in the world to not play to their best abilities, my Hogs played their hearts out to the very end of the game.  It was a close game to the end and we had a blast and were so lucky to be able to watch it.  

We also got our pictures back from Kelsey Tice Photography today.  They are so great; Kelsey is amazing!  She was so patient and despite a runny-nosed, somewhat cranky baby and a dog that was running in and out of the photo shoot, she still managed to get great pictures.  Now that is talent!  I will do a post later and share some of the pictures with you.  I also have to choose one or two to put on our Christmas cards and get the ball rolling on that. 

Until next time,  


Monday, November 12, 2012

A Blonde Moment

Graham had his first play tonight, ... and I didn't even know it was a play until I had arrived at the church with Graham in tow!  I'm not sure whether this is in my defense or not (you tell me), but this is what they sent him home with right before Halloween: 

So yes, hindsight being 20/20, there are a few clues that this is a play (such as drop your child off early and EVERYONE is dressed as pumpkins... I just thought "huh, that's odd but I guess it is fall-themed").  However, for some reason, I just thought this was a Thanksgiving/Fall party where we were asked to dress the kids up!  I guess this was a huge blonde moment on my part? 

Anyway, here is the program; so neat to see Graham's name in his first play program! 

Just to be clear, I chose this costume thinking it was a costume party.  I thought "Gee, since everyone is going to be dressing as pumpkins, this sock monkey pumpkin outfit will stand out a little and be cute!"  Little did I know that we didn't want him to stand out necessarily!  But it turned out cute and you could tell he was somewhat pumpkin-like.  

All in all, it was a success.  Graham played a riveting pumpkin, sitting in a wagon just like the pumpkin we picked out at the pumpkin patch did.  Well... let's be honest... he played it a little more gangsta than a real pumpkin.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monster Utensil Holder Tutorial

I got this idea off of Pinterest, so I cannot claim the creativity, but I will show you how I made it.  If you know me, you know I'm not very crafty so rest assured that this was not difficult to make.

  •   Tissue box 
  •   Egg carton 
  •   Acrylic craft paints (3) 
  •   Tape 
  •   Scissors 
  •   Foam paint brushes 
  •   Permanent marker 
  •   Glue/hot glue gun
Supplies.  Not pictured: the permanent marker and hot glue gun. 

As you can see, I didn't spend much at all on this project.  I already had everything except the paint and the brushes.  The paint was about $0.50 each at Wal-Mart and the brushes were either $0.97 or $1.97 (approx.).  So cheap!   

The paint colors I chose.
 You can obviously choose whatever colors you want for this project.  These just happened to go well with other decorations that I used.

After the first coat of paint.

Painting the kleenex box was the most time-intensive part of the project.  I chose the lightest color kleenex box I could find, but I still had to paint five or so coats to cover up the decorative flowers on the box.  There are probably other ways you can do this that are easier, like cover the box with construction paper and paint over that.     

Cut the egg carton and get two "eyes."
The "eyes" after painting them with the white paint.

I used a permanent marker to make the eyes.

FINALLY... the box looks orange enough and you can't really see the flowers anymore!

"LW + DW 4EVER" 
 Some of the artwork I did while waiting for the tissue box to dry.  I think the paint fumes were getting to me at this point. ; )

Polka dots!

After the orange paint dried, I painted the polka dots.  This was not SUPER easy to do with those big foam brushes, so you might want to get a smaller brush if you want it to be really defined.  The good thing, however, is that monsters don't have to be perfect... they're monsters, after all!   

After the eyes are attached. 
I used a hot glue gun to attach the eyes securely.  Finally, I cut the teeth out of plain white copy paper and attached it with tape.  The final product:




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Graham's First Birthday Party

For Graham's first birthday party, I wasn't sure what to do because he isn't old enough to just love certain character or themes.  However, I found a lot of cute ideas on Pinterest and it happened to work well with his Halloween birthday, so I chose a monster theme!  I decided to try to make almost everything for the party even though I'm not particularly crafty, as I've mentioned in past blog posts.  I'm also not that creative, so Pinterest saved the day! 

The first thing I did was make the invitations.  My sister, Christa, helped me make these.  Here are some pictures of the fronts and back of those:


The day of the party, we decorated some.  Here are some pictures of the decorations: 

A monster face on the door; I thought it went well with the theme. 

We had some decorative hanging balls and a banner I made.  

This is a close-up of half of the banner I made.  It has a picture from each of his monthly pictures (1 month, 2 month, etc.)... as well as monsters on the ends, of course! 

I got monster books from the library and decorated with those.  I thought they were very cute.

We also worked on making lots of yummy treats for our little monster and his party guests.  Here are some of those:

I had some more books lined up in the kitchen.  Here are the cups.  I put our guests' names on each cup, ... as well as some wiggly monster eyes!  


 Ingredients to make monster pizzas.

 Our plates, napkins and monster utensil holder (previously a tissue box).  I'll do a blog post later on with a tutorial of how I made this monster utensil holder. 

Monster munch, made by Dustin's mom.  It was SO good!  

Monster toes (a.k.a. pigs in a blanket). 

 Peeking monster cupcakes.  My mom helped me make these.

Monster eyeballs (a.k.a. oreo balls). 

Monster sandwiches and monster bones.  The monster bones were made using pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows on both ends and that was dipped in melted white chocolate chips. 

 Dustin brought these late so they stayed in the bucket, but they are monster fingers (a.k.a. chicken fingers). 

Finally, the monster drool, or punch.  I liked the green coloring and it was pretty tasty if you ask me.  

We tried to have activities the guests, Graham's cousins, would enjoy.  First, we did a monster egg hunt.  Here's a picture of the monster eggs before we hid them:

 They had candy, and some of them money, in them.

 Here are the girls on their hunt for eggs! 

We also did a monster making station.  Here is one monster that was made.

Graham's cousin Maggie was proud of her monster... and I don't blame her!  It was pretty cool. 

 Here is Emmy's monster.  I loved it!

We also had a coloring station.  Here are the results of that.

Of course, we had a smash cake for Graham... monster style!

He was cautious at first but by the end, he was really enjoying the cake and making a mess.  I thought he looked like a gnome or something with the cake frosting beard.

We had favor bags for Graham's cousins and they included monster stickers, monster tattoos, their favorite candy, monster candy bars, jack-o-lantern fruit cups, and Mold A Monster Kits (Play-Doh and wiggly eyes to make their own monsters with).  Thank you, Everyday Mom Ideas, for the Mold A Monster Kit printables!

 I decorated the favor bags with monsters on the front.  I could have sworn I took a picture of the front of the favor bags because they were super cute but I couldn't locate it!  So sad.  But you can sort of see 2 of the 3 them in these pictures.

Planning a monster themed party was very fun, but it wouldn't have been a success without the presence of all the loved ones who truly made it so special: Graham's grandparents, his Aunt Lori and cousins, Maggie, Marin and Emmy, and his Aunt Christa and her boyfriend, Charles.  Dustin, Graham and I are so blessed to have these wonderful people in our lives.  Thank you all for making Graham's first birthday one to remember!  

Here's the electronic thank-you note we sent out via the Red Stamp app:

Oh, and here is Graham's Halloween costume: he was a little monster, of course!

Here's to many more fun birthdays for my sweet little monster!  

Until next time,