Monday, April 14

:: Chalkboard Bunny Bins ::

In the 11th hour this year I present to you, chalkboard bunny bins!  These are so simple to assemble and useful for everything from teacher happy's to Easter baskets for your littles. 

I filled mine with shredded kraft paper and Reese's eggs for my sons' teachers, but the possibilities for filling are endless!

If you're rolling your eyes at this point because it is mere days before Easter and you have a schedule that would make a grown man cry, never fear!  These can be done in the twitch of a bunny's tail. (Seriously). I know that's corny, but it's true!

DIY Easter Bunny Bins 

Step one: go to walmart and purchase bunny chalkboard stickers. They are in the Easter section and come one to a pack for .97 cents!  

Step two: go to lowes and purchase mini galvanized buckets ($3.48 each)

Step Three: adhere bunny label to bucket and write teacher's name, your child's name, or "Happy Easter!" in chalkboard marker

Step Four: fill with shredded kraft paper or Easter grass and your choice of Easter treats!

So there you have it-for around $5 you've got yourself a pretty cute gift, Easter basket or container for your floral centerpiece this Easter!  And not a moment too soon! 😉

I hope your Easter is filled with friends, family and fun while remembering the awesome hope we have in our RISEN savior, Jesus Christ!

God has laid this verse on my heart countless times over the last two weeks after being reminded of it during community group, and I wanted to share it with each of you:

The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel

14 “But then I will win her back once again.
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
    and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
    as she did long ago when she was young,
    when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.

I pray daily that he will turn our "valley of trouble into a gateway of hope!"  What a beautiful image of hope and renewal we can have this Easter, even in the midst of our heartache. 

Happy Easter, Livy!  We love and miss you so!

Friday, February 7

:: Picture Post ::

I have been seriously negligent about uploading family pictures to this blog.  When January rolled around and I realized that it was almost time to print this year's posts to book form (because I've decided this is the only way any of our pictures will actually ever BE printed) it dawned on me that I had not uploaded Thanksgiving, Christmas or Birthdays.  So, I'm doing picture post with just brief captions in an attempt to get them in the book.  **Note-these are in random order-not sure why my computer uploaded them this way, but I don't have the courage to try to rearrange!  So if you dare to read on, prepare to skip from thanksgiving to christmas, to birthdays, to new years, and back again.

 Winner, Winner turkey dinner!  These guys won their age division for the school turkey trot this year and each rec'd a cornish game hen! :)
Mrs. Thompson's 1st grade class Thanksgiving party at school.
 Knox was a hit-Parrish enjoyed showing him off!
 Had to post this so we'd remember - not that we really want to - but poor baby Knox was allergic to amoxicillin and broke out in an all-over body rash the day before Thanksgiving!  He also had a double ear infection.  Enough said.  :)
 The boys and their Henderson cousins at Reynold's Plantation.

 Pap and Tappy got them all matching Auburn sweatshirts.
 Elves with blinking rings and Ritz hot chocolate...what more could you ask for?

The Linger Longer Express.

 Santa visit at the hotel - Knox was NOT a fan.

 They had the coolest swings on the grounds of the hotel looking over the lake.  Beautiful!

 Cousins on the hammock.
 Knox C running around outside the ice skating rink.
 He loved the full-sized gingerbread house and train in the lobby.

 At Jay and Kate's house before the Auburn/Alabama game.
 War Eagle!  He was so excited and interested in this game.  He is growing up!  Sniff!
 Celebrating an amazing game and au-some victory!!  War Eagle!

 Ice Skating at the Ritz
 After the win!
 PJ clad kiddos.
 Picking out our Christmas tree.

 MLES Christmas Musical at Samford's Wright Center!
 Tiger Walk.

 Pre-game excitement.
 Ellie and Parrish - big buds!
 Roasting marshmallows at the hotel.

 My elevator monkey!
Watching the "top chef" award be created during the show at Thanksgiving brunch.
 He found one!
 Gathering greenery for mama.
 Santa visits Mt Laurel.  Whoa!  Hold on to that baby there santa! :)
 Complete with elves making balloon santa hats and wreaths!
 Our little climber "helping" big bubs.
 Parrish's note to santa along with his snack.
 Santa's loot!
 Christmas morning reveal!

 No drinking and driving, Knox!

 After breakfast we headed to our family compound on the Coosa River for more Christmas fun with Aunt Jacky, Uncle Patrick, Frances, Cindy, and baby Maroney #3!
 Dallas giving Parrish a ride on his new 4-wheeler.
 Cousins loving on baby Knox.
 Cousin gift exchange.

 Knox felt that he should have rec'd a four wheeler as well!
 Sledding down CC's ice hill on a kayak!
 Family hay ride.

 Knox C finally found a ride-on toy that was all his!
 CC had the place decked out because it is being featured in a magazine next year!

 Battery-powered lights in the deer antlers.  So cute!
 Fresh wreath with lights in our room.

 After fun with the Pricketts and McCains at the Coosa River we headed to Andalusia to visit Pap, Tappy, Glorio and E.  While there Knox took a load off in Tappy's old chair.  :)
 Parrish loves his Glorio!
 And his E!
 No tree was safe with Knox C around!
 After Christmas we celebrated Parrish's 7th birthday!  For some reason seven just seems SO OLD!  How did he get so big??  Wishing time would slow down.
 The kids had so much fun climbing the rock wall and swimming in the pool at the UAB rec center.  It was a great place for an active party!

 Me, Tappy, CC + Knox.
 CC and Parrish created the dual-theme cake.  I thought they did a great job of representing the rock wall and the lazy river
 At the lazy river with our bday boy!
 Kick, splash!  Waiting to jump in the pool after the lifeguard talk!

 Our Christmas craft via Pinterest.  Just added the green square background and gave them to teachers, school mates and friends.  They made precious bag tags and additions to wrapped gifts.

 Decorating gingerbread men with friends Kaden and Davis.  :)

 Our annual kid's Christmas light pictures...

 Parrish wrote his Elf Rudy a note this year asking if he could hold him.  Rudy wrote back and gave him permission to hold him for the entire weekend.  He was thrilled and got to take him on our Prickett family vacation to Opryland in Nashville.  He slept with him every night, gently propping him up on top of pillows so he wouldn't "get smushed."  So sweet.
 Opryland ICE! adventures with cousin Quinn!

 It was so cold in there!
 Prickett, McCain and Maroney cousins with Aunt Christy.
 About to slide down the ICE! slides!
 Corraling Knox in the ICE! tunnel!

 Life-sized ICE! nativity was gorgeous!
 Afterward at Gingy's decorating a family gingerbread house.
 ICE! taxi

 Playing on one of the atrium bridges at the Gaylord Opryland resort.
 Last day "holding" Rudy and heading home!
 Knox C was 16 months during this trip and started using utensils to pick up his food.  So sweet.
 Slightly embarassed to say this is Baby Jesus' birthday cake!  It's the thought that counts, right?  If you look closely there is a stable, star, and baby Jesus.  You have to look REALLY closely.
 Christmas Eve at the Cash' much fun!
 Courtney's dad dressed up as santa claus and delivered gifts to all the kids before dinner!

 Santa and Mrs. Claus.  :)
 Us grown-ups got gifts, too!  Red solo cup...I fill you up.
 Christmas eve snuggles for daddy.
 Christmas morning go kart ride...

 More from the Coosa Cabin...

 And Glorio's...guess Knox thought one of us had to wear the big red bow.

 And sweet little Parrish having a breathing treatment at the doctor's office while we were in Andalusia.  Poor baby developed bronchiolitis while we were there and was so wheezy.  Thankfully he recovered quickly!
 Knox riding in his Audi convertible from Tappy and Pap.   I thought it would take a while for him to figure out how to drive it, but of course, he figured it out on the second day trying.
 My boys love anything with a motor!  Dare-devils!
 New Year's Eve at Mel's.  The boys photo bombed us and apparently I was quite hilarious in that dunce-looking cap.  HaHaHa!

 Knox is pretty obsessed with all the cousin's new 4-wheelers.
 Nancy, Karl and the kids came to stay at the cabin with us the weekend after new year's and Cannon shot a 10-point buck.  He was very proud.  They loaded all the kids up into the truck and took a field trip to the processor and now Parrish has a real deer head replacing the stuffed one in his room.  Sigh!  I  live with all boys, so I guess I better just get used to having dead animals up in my house!
 The grands and great-grands surprised Parrish as his mystery readers for his birthday.  He was so excited.
 The kids got to hear not one, but four stories that day.  Glorio read a book that she used to read to me.  Love!
 Parrish and Reeves at the Lego Expo at the BJCC later in January.  They had a blast.
 And more birthday pics!

 Birthday celebration #2!  Kaden wanted to get Parrish a cake to have at his house.  Sweet friends!
 Birthday morning with candles in his favorite powdered donut.
 Love how he turns away from a gift when he opens it so he doesn't spoil the surprise.
 Eating donuts through his new catchers mask.  Not sure that one worked out.

 Parrish and I had a birthday date to Air Walk and then had his favorite chocolate dipped strawberries and The Melting Pot that night.  He's the only kid I know that would rather have that over cake!
 My little monkey.  Every time I turn around these days he is on top of something-the dining table, the bathroom counters, his cozy truck, you name it!  This baby boy is keeping me on my toes.
 Parrish and Drew aboard the USS Alabama for a cub scouts camp out with Daddy.

And we ended the month of January by celebrating our precious Livy's 4th birthday.  It hurts my heart each time I try to imagine her as a four year old little girl and can't come up with a mental image. I am missing so much. Sometimes the days here missing her seem drag on for eternity, then I look up and yet another year has past. In some ways our wounds are still as fresh and raw as the first day without her and in other ways we are resolute, soaking in every happy, not-so-happy, ordinary, and extraordinary moment with our boys while always striving to let her light shine through us and on us. 

We sent balloons to her in heaven again and each of us had our own balloon to write a personal message to her. Parrish had just learned a new knock, knock joke so he wrote it out for her on his balloon, drew a picture of Jesus and Livy, and wrote that Knox loves her too. 

We lit her candles and sang at her grave-side and per Parrish's instructions, left a piece of cake there for her. These moments are always so gut wrenching, but it warms my heart that he is so brave, so strong, so loving and sure. I am so proud of him. He has endured loosing his sissy but never forgets her. They had a special bond that can never be broken and she lives in his heart just as she lives in ours...forever.
A birthday tulip for our Livy. 
The pink sky as we left the cemetery that night. We felt her there with us.  
You know, I went on a church women's retreat a few weeks ago and one statement that a speaker made really stuck with me. She said, "our primary purpose on earth is to glorify God.  That is what we were created for."

It is so easy to think that we were created for our own happiness and to get down when things don't go our way in this life.  But when I keep this in mind I find it easier to make it through each day-some of them filled with joy, and others filled with pain-in this life which is really but a wisp.  James 4:14