Thursday, June 25, 2009

Um...Excuse me? What?!? I was at Wal-mart picking up a couple of things and saw that our friend John (Erica's boyfriend) was working. Well, by the time we were ready to check out he wasn't in his lane, so I went to self-check out. While I was scanning my items I asked a lady where John was...if he was on break or something. She assumed he was and then proceeded to ask me if I was his MAMA! HIS MAMA? Are you kidding me? 19 year old John's MAMA? Do I look like the mother of a 19 year old MAN?


I think I am going to go get my nose pierced or buy a crazy pair of Jessica Simpson shoes or something.


Am I his mama? Pleeeze!

Monday, June 22, 2009


We've been telling Braelyn for several weeks now that when she's three years old she doesn't get to have her paci at bedtimes, so yesterday, as she was officially 3 years old, we sent her to bed with no paci. I have been dreading this, convinced that this would be the hardest transition we have had to deal with yet.

As always, she proved me wrong. The girl grabbed her teddy bears and her collection of diapers (yes, she sleeps with pull-up diapers, like a teddy bear, and she's very particular about what Disney character is on them and it's all very serious), climbed in bed with a smile and said, "I love you, Mommy." And that was that.

That girl never ceases to amaze me. I was truly bracing myself for total meltdowns and little sleep that first paci-free night, but she did great. I'm so proud of my big girl!
And while you're here...Just look at this castle!
It's pretty awesome! And while it is taking up about 1/3 of Braelyn's room, we love it! Right now, Braelyn's in there reading quietly for "rest time." We may have to do some room rearranging, but I am starting to wonder how I ever lived without a giant castle in my house. We've decided that if the economy really goes south and we can no longer afford our house, we can live in the castle. We'll have the fanciest house of anyone we know! ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Very Pink, Princess Party

Some birthday pics.

The night before the party:
An early birthday present...a pink guitar.

Her first jam session.

Before the guests arrive:

The bouncy-thing she wouldn't jump in. Not once. Wouldn't even try. Awesome.

The party:
Bounce fun.

Present fun.

Cake fun.

Closin' out the night with a song.
Hope you had fun, B! We love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Dig T. Swift

Well, thanks to my girl, Erica, I am officially a fan of Taylor Swift. She's cute as a button and a very funny girl. Check out this lil' ditty. Made my morning.

Don't have too much to report on, except that I'm knee deep in pink, princess party preparation. But the big day is tomorrow, so I will happily post some pics of the happy event and move on with my life! Not that I'm not having fun...I am! This is B's first big birthday party and I've loved planning it...but, it's literally consuming all of my time and brainpower. I'm just praying that all goes well and a good time is had by all. I'll let you know how it all goes. Until then...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kitchen Harmony

I don't know about you, but whenever I'm trying to get something done in the kitchen, that's just when Braelyn is most desperate for my attention. Today, while I was putting dishes away, I had this little idea...and it worked pretty well!

I did have to scrub a bit with a little all-purpose cleaner, but now...all clean!
Now mom and toddler can be in the kitchen harmony! :)

Any kitchen harmony tips you may have are quite welcome here! Just comment below!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Testament in 30 Days

Here's the plan, promised.
I'll post the Old Testament plan, as well. Just need to find it.


1. Mt. 1-10
2. Mt. 11-20
3. Mt. 21-28
4. Mk. 1-8
5. Mk. 9-16
6. Lk. 1-8
7. Lk. 9-16
8. Lk. 17-24
9. Jn. 1-7
10. Jn. 8-14
11. Jn. 15-21
12. Acts 1-10
13. Acts 11-20
14. Acts 21-28
15. Romans 1-8
16. Romans 9-16
17. 1 Cor. 1-8
18. 1 Cor. 9-16
19. 2 Cor.
20. Galatians – Ephesians
21. Philippians – Colossians
22. 1 & 2 Thess.
23. 1 & 2 Tim.
24. Titus – Philemon – Heb. 1-3
25. Heb. 4-13
26. James
27. 1 & 2 Peter
28. 1-2-3 John / Jude
29. Rev. 1-11
30. Rev. 12-22

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Makin' It During Camp Season

Perhaps I have discussed this before, but there are a number of things that assist me in getting through the week when Casey's gone, and since he's been gone for 6 days, I am feeling particularly grateful for them and feel obliged to publicly acknowledge them.

They are:
1. Large Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic. Everyday. A must.

2. Choc. Chunks. I opened a bag of these that I had on my baking shelf two days ago. It was a mistake. Nonetheless, they have been a delightful treat while I've been keeping myself busy late at night. In fact, I should go grab a few right now. Be right back.

3. Movies. Braelyn and I went to see Up today with Brandi and the kids. It was FABULOUS! Brandi and I probably liked it better than the kids but, hey...if I'm being honest, the movie was really for me anyway, being that we are on day 6. Adults...go see this movie...and bring your kleenex!

4. Reading. After I put Braelyn to bed, I do thoroughly enjoy doing a last minute chore or two and then getting in bed early with a great book. I don't do this too much when Casey's here, cause well, we like spending time together. But, when he's gone, it's a nice way to spend the evening. I've actually made quite a bit of progress on the book I've been working on for 6 months! I'm ready to finish it already!

5. Projects. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, that camp time is craft time. And my current project kept me quite busy this week. It was Braelyn's birthday inviations. I got them all done last night and Braelyn and I hand delivered a few of them today to friends around town. It was royally enjoyable. ;)
6. Cleaning. For some reason, when Casey's gone, I make a point to clean one room after Braleyn goes to bed. I am a much better housekeeper when my husband's away. Hmm? That's probably not how it should be. (*note- area for personal growth)

7. The Bible. Not to get too Suzy Sunday School here, but truly...The Word of God has been a treasure, a fountain of Truth and Life for me. I started a reading plan with Casey in May...ten-ish chapters a day in the NT and you can read it in a month. (OT in 3 months.) I have LOVED reading Scripture this way. Reading so much at one time, everyday, you get such a full, rich beautiful picture of Jesus. If anyone's interested in the plan let me know and i'll post it.

While there are things that are helpful, there are a few things that make me want to lose it while Casey's away.
They are:
1. The public pool. Disgusting! I will never go back. Understand...Brenham (15,000 people) public pool. It's crowded. So many teenagers. I've discovered that I don't really like teenagers unless I know them. I'm very suspicious otherwise. Too much skin. Too much PDA. Too much cussing. All in front on my 2 year old daughter! UGH!

2. Roaches. The flying kind. There are no roaches in our house until Casey leaves, then, inevitably, I see one crawling on the wall at night, when I'm all by myself and ready for bed. It's enough to make a girl pack up her bag, wake up her toddler and spend the night at a hotel!

3. Bad Phone Reception. There's nothing more maddening than talking to your husband who you miss and need to talk to and pout to and all you can say is..."What? I can't hear you. What? Are you there? Case? Hello? Hello? Hello? :| Meddening!

But, GASP! No more worries...he just got home! YEA! I'm O-U-T!
See ya!

Gymnastics Camp and a Great Summer Recipe

Well, Braelyn made it through gymnastics camp...with flying colors if I do say so myself! :) Wednesday, she still wouldn't do the roll on the wedge (they call it the cheese) or on a flat mat for that matter! Crazy! But she did feel okay about swinging from the high bar that's like 8 feet off the ground. Go figure.

At the end of class that day, I got an important phone call that I had been waiting for, so I went outside and left Braelyn with Brandi and her kids. During that five minutes, Brandi had Braelyn try a somersault on a super thin mat, then folded it to make it thicker and finally worked her way up to the thick, cushy mat. What a great friend! When I came back inside Braelyn demonstrated her new-found courage. I decided to take advantage of the moment and see if she would give the cheese one more shot...and she did! No problem at all! I was so proud of her! Thanks Brandi for all your help!

Here's some pics from yesterday and today.

Jonas somersaulting on the beam.
(Braelyn would not attempt this. :)

Braelyn, after a somersault on the wedge!
Ta da!
(And that's our friend J back there, being supportive.)
She even went for the backwards roll! What a champ! :)

It was really fun. I'm so glad we did it. There's a little mini-kid cheer camp at the end of the month. We might give that a try, as well.

Now for the great summer recipe...
You know I love me a CookingLight recipe and this one is delicious!

Chicken and Feta Tabbouleh.

You can get the recipe here.
It calls for bulgur, which I have never used before and couldn't find at my grocery store, so I just used some brown rice that I had on hand. I don't know if that's an appropriate substitution, but whatever, it was fabulous!

This is the kind of food I love to eat! Lots of chopped up bits of goodness mixed together with tons of great herbs. Mmm-Mmm.This one's goin' in the Cease family lunch/dinner rotation! You should give it a try!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer, Gymnastics Camp, and Money

Summer has officially begun! Casey left on Sunday for his first camp. Tennessee. It seemed a little harder than normal to see him go this year. Not sure why, but, like I do every summer, I've been cheering myself up with classic literature and late nights of crafting. My project so far...Braelyn's birthday party! We're giving her a real party this year, as opposed to the simple family parties we've had in years past. Homemade fairytale invitations should be completed in a day or two. We'll devote a post to that subject at a later date.

Anyways, as far as Braelyn's summer goes, she kicked it off with gymnastics camp. She, along with some of her best buddies are taking a class this Tuesday through Thursday for an hour and a half. Big fun! The first 20 minutes or so, I was fairly concerned that I had just wasted $35. The main objective was to do a somersault down a padded wedge. Braelyn, who can do a somersault was having none of it. I even did one myself to show her it wasn't scary. While it was wildly entertaining, my demonstration was not persuasive. So, while the other 3 kiddos were somersaulting away, Braelyn was marching down the ramps, with an occasional somersault safe and sound on the ground. But...soon enough, she was catching on to the whole idea of gymnastics camp and was participating in the balance beam, bar and parachute activities. I feel confident that by Thursday there will be a downhill somersault attempt. :) Here's a few (not very good) pics of this morning.

Feeling unsure about gymnastics camp.
By the end...she was all in!

I'll continue to take pictures and update you on her progress. :)

On a completely different subject...
We, like many folks right now are having to watch our budget and pinch our pennies. I read Femina, a blog by Nancy Wilson and she had some encouraging words to say on this subject. If you're in our same boat, you should check it out here. Perhaps I will blog about this in a day or two, but for now I'll just share Nancy's wisdom. Hope it blesses you.

Have a wonderful day!