Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't Have Kids if you Can't Afford Their College Tuition...true or false?

"You shouldn't bring children into the world if you can't afford to pay for their college."

What?! This statement was made by a perfectly sweet well meaning relative over the holidays and I couldn't disagree more. The conversation went something like this:

"We need to cash in the savings bonds and put them in a 529 to get more interest. We need all the help we can get to help B with college. At this rate she will be lucky to get her books paid for by us."---Me

"You shouldn't bring children into the world if you can't afford to pay for their college."--Relative

"Well, even if we could save $50 a month until she went to college that would only pay for books plus a little bit more."

Conversation tapers off....I leave the room....

Later I asked my husband if he was offended, and he most definitely was. We are probably going to end up having a conversation with this relative.

So, here's the deal. I totally disagree with this statement and train of thought. I think if you are willing to make sacrifices to afford to meet the basic needs of a child, and you are willing to love them, and nurture them, and teach them then you can have children. I do not think being able to pay for college is a prerequisite at all! I had a close friend who had parents that COULD HAVE afforded to pay for her college but they didn't. This friend of mine is one of the most hard working people I know. My parents probably couldn't really afford to pay for my college but they did, and I am very thankful. But I also wasn't as appreciative and didn't have the best work ethic and didn't understand the value of a dollar until many years after college.

When my husband and I think about having children, we believe the most important thing is for them to grow up loving the Lord and loving others. We hope they will desire to glorify Him with the lives in whatever career path they choose, college or not. We pray that their greatest desire is to make disciples of all nations and live lives serving Christ. We are bringing children into the world as this being our greatest goal for them. We will love them, nurture them, affirm them in whatever career path they choose because to us that isn't the main thing. The main thing is Jesus and living for Him.

The reality is that by the time our children go to college it will be at least 20,000/year for a state school. There is just no way we could afford this for one child, let alone more. Maybe in the future our financial situation will change and we will be able to pay for a good portion of our children's college. And if we can't I can say to them, "Honey, I am sorry that we won't be able to help pay your college. Do you wish you would have never been born?" And I am most convinced they will say "No, I am very glad I was born." They can live at home and go to a community college, take online classes, or go to a local state school. And they can work their way through school, grow in work ethic and perserverance, and be all the better for it.

So yea, that's my two cents on that!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas at The Bondurants

Our Happy Birthday Jesus breakfast. Whole Wheat cinnamon rolls!


Christmas...Advent...Jesus' Birthday

The truth is I have gone back and forth about celebrating "Christmas" at all, since it isn't actually Jesus' birthday (most likely). BUT, I understand why Christians past chose to put a holiday focused on Christ right in the middle of the Winter Solstice..I guess. Regardless of how I go back and forth about celebrating the traditional "Christmas" at all, we do in our home. Because of course I look forward to reflecting on Christ's first advent every year, even though he was probably born some time in the dry season and not in December. I am okay with celebrating Jesus' birthday observed with the rest of the believing world. And let's just be honest, it is something to look forward to during those first dreary days of winter.

So, in our home we try to keep Jesus' birthday observed about observing Jesus' birthday and first advent. We choose not to do Santa. I have many reasons for not, but that is probably a whole other post for another day. We just do not want to lie to our kiddos about Santa, the tooth fairy, or the easter bunny. And I also feel like Santa has hijacked Christmas in a huge way, and the practice of playing Santa has led to tons of commericalism and materialism and selfishness, all of which are not how I feel we should celebrate Jesus' birthday. (for some great thoughts about Santa check out these blog posts) So we have chosen to keep our decorations focused on Jesus and mostly just Jesus. I LOVE nativities and have a small collection so far. Here they are:



We bought the one I keep on the piano for our first Christmas and that was about the only decorations we had. Well that, and our advent wreath which I love.

 There are kiddos representing all different nationalities (ALL NATIONS) and I just think it is so cute! Last Christmas Ben got me that tiny little nativity and we got B the Little People Nativity for her 1st Christmas.


This year we added a nativity to our bedroom. This nativity was Ben's grandmother's, who passed last October. It is so special that we have her nativity set!

Oh, and B has this one in her room...



This year we added to the decorations this advent calendar that I made. (Idea from this blog). And we also started a Jesse Tree.
I'm not sure if we will ever do a Christmas tree. I would want a real one, which is expensive, and we just don't have room right now in our tiny house. So right now our Jesse Tree is more than enough. We got the free downloadable devotional and ornaments cutouts from A Holy Experience. B has loved hanging the ornament on the tree every evening. It has been a great way to focus our hearts on Christ during this time of advent and observing his birthday.


gifts from us to B

As far as gifts we honestly can't afford much this year so we are giving B just a couple. One she can play with, and one more practical that she needs. Most other people in our immediate and extended family received home made gifts, like cookie mix or hot cocoa mix, along with coffee and pictures of B. It has been really fun doing homemade gifts so I think it might be a new thing for us. I am not sure how we will do gifts in the future or if we will at all. Honestly, I would like birthdays to be a huge deal for our kids and for them to receive their "spoiling" then, and to make Jesus' birthday about giving him gifts. This year we made a donation in B's honor to an organization benefiting children, and in leiu of cards through the mail (we did email instead) we made a small donation as well, and saved lots of trees. We did make some super cute cards for the neighbors with candy canes attached. B had fun decorating and coloring those, and we have really loved getting to visit with neighbors when hadning them out!

I so wish we had the money to celebrate Christmas like this family, that gives gifts to Jesus each of the 12 Days of Christmas. There are so many ways to give to Jesus for his birthday, and I think giving to the least of these is a great way to do that.

I have so many thoughts about the commercialism of Christmas but for now, why don't you just watch this moving video, and read this blog.

I should mention that we are trying to be more "green" this Christmas. So obviously homemade gifts meets that criteria, and for wrapping we are going to use paper grocery bags. I would like to get some fun Christmas stamps to decorate them with in the future.

What about you? What are your holiday traditions? What are some things you do to focus the holiday on Jesus? Any creative ways to save paper and be more "green" at Christmas time?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My New Business Adventure with Shaklee


Why Shaklee?

My husband and I have been brainstorming for quite some time about how I can make money from home. We are committed to doing whatever it takes for me to stay home with our baby girl. We have thought about a lot of different options, and even tried some, to no avail. When I heard about Shaklee it was a no brainer!

Shaklee has been around for decades and is proven to work! I love that they are a truly green company and cared about the environment before it was cool to. I love that they have amazing product lines and products that really work, and are SAFE and non-toxic. That is something that is really important to me. Also, I don't have to go broke buying their products. A major bonus!

I decided to start spreading the word about Shaklee to my family and friends and see if I have any success with Shaklee as a business to generate income. I figured I had nothing to lose so here I go! Please feel free to click around on the links and send me an email if you have any questions. (chalbond@gmail.com) I would be honored to have you as a customer. I am also looking to grow my team and I would love to talk about the possibility of working together!

Place Orders HERE
Become a Shaklee Member here

Welcome To Shaklee
About Shaklee
Shop Shaklee
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The Business Opp

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dear Friends, will you join me in eating Real Food for 10 Days?


So, there is this thing called a "10 Days of Real Food Pledge" that my husband and I are going to do (try really hard to do) starting November 1 and I am looking for some people to join us.

It is from the 100 days of real food website which was started by a family that used to be junk food/processed food eaters and they set out on a challenge to only eat real food for 100 days...and they succeeded! The website has recipes and 3 different week long meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner...and grocery lists to go along with.Check out the rules before you decide to accept the challenge.
I thought some of my readers/friends might be interested in doing it as well...for encouragement, accountability, and over all health! Let me know! If you decide to do it maybe we can swap dinner one night (for those in Memphis). You in?

Why do this? Why cut processed food? Here is what they say on 100 Days of Real Food...

Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.
Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.
Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now may reduce your healthcare costs later in life.
Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?
The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.
When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.
It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?
Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating,” simply eat whole foods that, as Michael Pollan puts it, are more the product of nature than “the product of industry.” It certainly is less complicated.
It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?
*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Life Right now...and why I haven't been blogging, and Books

You may have noticed that my blogs have been very infrequent. Well, for one thing, Baby Girl is down to one nap. I used to blog during one nap and spend time with God or do house work during the other. But now that she is down to one I really have to prioitize my time, and blogging isn't usually at the top of the list.

Also, we are basically down to one computer. My laptop is so slow I hate using it and at night my hubby is on the desktop working on his side business of coffee. So, I've been reading a lot instead.

I just finished up...



Great book. Love all of Joel's stuff! Great political, prophetic, Christian fiction














I think everyone has heard enough about this book by now, but if you haven't read it, read it!













Ah-mazing! I don't usually read best sellers but this was incredible. Should be mandatory reading for all followers of Jesus! Totally encouraged and challenged my husband and I to live more missional biblical lives.












Yea, so I am a big Swayze fan. My favorite movie used to be Dirty Dancing when I was a kid but since I've grown up and really understand the movie I can't really watch it because it is too sensual and sexy for my liking. But that is why everyone loves it and it launched his career huh? Anyway, I wanted to read his biography. I get sad every time I think about him dying at such a young age of pancreatic cancer, especially since he didn't ever claim to know Christ. A true tragedy indeed. But a great book!







Currently reading:



So good. I am learning so much about how to truly personalize the gospel, preach it to myself, and practical ways to share the gospel with baby girl in how I train her up and correct her. Must read for all parents!












Really great book. I struggle with blowing it when I try to explain my faith with my family. This is a truly great book for sharing about Jesus with family, friends, and anyone really.










Well, that is about it for me. Baby Girl is keeping me busy and we are really enjoying being outside in this beautiful weather so the last thing I want to do is sit inside on a computer. Please forgive me. I do have like 20 ideas for blogs that are started, but it might have to wait until winter. In the meantime, feel free to browse through the archives. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer 2011 Highlights

It has been a fun summer! Last summer we were enjoying a colicky baby and this summer we are enjoying a happy fun loving toddler. So yea, this summer has been much more fun! Plus, we get to go out and do fun things together as a family without worrying about our newborn overheating. This will be more of a bullet point recap to our summer, and I will try to go in order.


Over Memorial Day weekend we had her second 1st bday party in O'Fallon with my family. We had an outdoor pool party at Mimi's and the weather was perfect for it! Here she is enjoying her naturally sweetened sugar free cake! Yummy!


While in O'Fallon I did a lot of bird watching. These robins built a nest at my mom's and I got to watch them all week long. I loved it! It reminded me of when my baby was a newborn and she would root and open her mouth and look like a baby bird. Mamas and babies of any species are so neat to watch after you have your own. They flew off the day after I left.


Baby Girl with her Uncles Memorial Day weekend


My happy girl enjoying some spaghetti! One of her favorite meals!

At Memphis Pizza Cafe with daddy for Father's Day!


Father's Day 2011! That daddy sure does love his little girl!

Playing in her kiddy pool at Grammy's and Papa John's! This girl loves water!


A visit from my good friend Rachelle! So great to see her!


About to go on a date for my birthday. I turned 28 this year. Grammy watched the baby while my husband and I went to one of our favorite Italian restuarants, and of course Muddy's for dessert.




Over 4th of July weekend we went to Marion to see my second family and my bestest friend in the world, Annie Leigh. She has three kiddos that are soooo precious. Our kids had fun playing together and it was great to catch up. Thanks to her parents for hosting all of us! An extra bonus is that Baby Girl had just started walking on July 1st so they all got to see it!


Playing with Papa John. He was gone most of the summer working for FEMA and it is so great to have him home to play with Baby Girl!




Mimi came to visit in July and we went to the zoo. We love the giraffes so of course we went to see them. And this was the first time we had been to the zoo since she had been walking so she and I played in the "geysers" at Teton Trek. She loved it!

We ended the summer with a family trip to Oregon for a family reunion, which will be another post. That about wraps up our summer! It was a great one!




Friday, July 29, 2011

Winner of Little LadyBug Baby Giveaway



Last Friday I did my first giveaway sponsored by Little LadyBug Baby. If you didn't enter to win you really missed out on a great opportunity! Her stuff is too cute. You can go take a look at her Etsy shop though.

 
I used the True Random Number Generator from random.org to get the results.

And the winner is comment # 5 belonging to

Jamie said...


Follow you on google reader!


Congratulations Jamie! You have one week to contact me at chalbond@gmail.com to claim your $25 gift certificate to Little LadyBug Baby!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Random thoughts on Starvation, Obesity, and Organic Food

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/food_crisis_in_kenya/

RT @injusticefacts: 28 percent of children in developing countries are severely underweight while 45% of American children are overweight. My friend Stacy Leigh, over at My Messy Manger, had this posted as her facebook status yesterday and I've been thinking about it a lot.

Then I read this article from Samaritan's Purse about the food crisis in the horn of Africa right now and what they are doing to help and I couldn't help but think about that above quote again, and feel guilty.

I'm not obese at all but I do sometimes go back and forth about spending so much money on groceries. You see, I love to buy organic because of all the toxins, pesticides, and chemicals in just about all of our food here in America. It costs more. A lot of the reason it costs more is because it supports sustainable pracitices and provides fair wages and good working conditions for those harvesting the crops so this makes me feel good. But it also means that money I could be using to send to Samaritan's Purse or other organizations is going towards our grocery bill. I believe buying organic is worthwhile because it helps others and I believe it is a great way to steward the body God gave me and to take care of my family. But I just have these random conflicting thoughts that sometimes cross my mind and I sometimes wonder if its "okay" to spend so much money on groceries when there are so many starving. So that's my struggle. Can anyone relate? Ideally, one day we hope to learn more about homesteading and grow most all of our own food or participate in CSAs, etc. This would help bring the cost down immensely.

And then there is the obesity problem in America. It saddens me when I look at pictures like this:
And then I look at pictures like this:

There is so much wrong with these two contrasting pictures and scenarios that I cannot even begin to put my thoughts into words. Our country is so greedy and gluttonous it is sickening. We are so materialistic and consumeristic and ravenous really. It saddens me that parents allow their children to get obese and overweight because of the hazard it is for their health. (genetics just means you have to work harder at keeping the weight off, it is not an excuse for obesity) It also maddens me when I am reminded of the fact that there are children all over the world and even in our own country that are starving. How can this be?! It is not right! Even though I am not obese I am still guilty of over eating and indulging in food and goods that I do not need, while children die from starvation daily all over the world.

What will we do to help the starving children in Kenya, Somalia, and other areas in the horn of Africa? Will we turn away and pretend like it doesn't exist as we continue to stuff our faces and our homes with stuff we don't need? I am asking myself these questions as well. I know that the needs are so overwhelming all over the world and I am just one person. You are just one person. But one person + one person + one person, etc. can make a big difference.

Let us pray that God would open our eyes to our gluttonous hearts and our gluttonous stomaches and show us how He would have us help starving children all over the world and in our own back yards.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is it Wrong for Women to Not Want Children? A Christian response

Okay, I love the Today Show, at least the first two hours. This morning there was a story about a lady that does not want children and is proud to declare that. She has received a lot of support for her decision and also a lot of criticism. What do you think about women that do not want children? How should a Christian woman view children?

To read the article (and I think you should) you can click here. This of course is a secular, non-religious view and for those of us who follow Christ, we seek to view all things through the Word of God and what He says.

I don't have all my thoughts put together on this one because I think it can be a sensitive and tricky subject, but I believe the bible does speak about motherhood, children, and the role of women.

About children, the Bible says:

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalms 127:3-5 ESV)
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 113:9 Holy Bible ESV)
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10 ESV)
It is no shock that many women do not view children as a reward. As a society I don't think we should pressure a woman to have children if she genuinely does not want to. We see too many people become mothers that did not want to become mothers, and we see plenty of children neglected and abused because of it. We also see many career driven women who depend on others to raise their children and only see them an hour a day. ( i know sometimes wonderful mothers and especially single mothers do have to depend on others to raise their children because they don't have any other option) We see many woman who make a choice about their reproductive freedom and end the life of the baby in their womb. This news story came as no surprise to me. The family unit is under attack. Marriage is under attack. Motherhood is under attack.

Motherhood is hard. Any woman who says it isn't is lying! But it is also so rewarding. As a Christian mother I am not just raising little citizens who will grow up and contribute to society and live the American dream. I am raising little soldiers for Christ (trusting the Lord saves them young) that I hope will grow up to live their lives for Him and impact the kingdom of God for eternity. For generations women, and particularly mothers, have been the foundation of our society. (Fathers are extremely important as well, being the head of the family and all! :) Women raise the next generation of citizens and soldiers for Christ. We are told to be fruitful and multiply. As Christian women we need to let our minds be transformed by the Word and not conformed to the world. If we are not careful we will begin to think it is all right to not want children.

Now there is the issue of infertility and barreness, which I cannot speak to because I have never experienced it. I have friends who have gone through it or are going through it now, and I can tell you it is one of the hardest places to be in. It is very hard for a woman who wants to be a mother but cannot, hear about women who simply do not want to be mothers. For the barren woman, I would say that there are other ways to be a mother. God has a huge heart for orphans and for the fatherless and calls many of us to adopt, and what a blessing that it! So even for the barren woman, it is possible to still be a mother.

God does call some women to singleness as well. This can be a delightful calling for those he has equipped to be single. God also has some women in a season of singleness, although they very much long to be a wife and mom. They might read verses in the bible about children with a hint of sadness because God has not yet fulfilled their heart's desire. This article by Carolyn McCulley is beautiful and speaks to both infertility and singleness.  Also here is a great blog that Carolyn recommends for women who long to be married.

Okay, this blog was supposed to be about children and motherhood but I felt like I needed to be sensitive to those that are experiencing infertility, and those that are called to be single, or in a state of singleness. If you find yourself here there are still ways to make an impact in the lives of children and to serve other families. This is a beautfully encouraging blog written about single women being a blessing to moms.

I will end with a long quote or maybe a copy and paste of a blog written recently by Rachel Jankovic for Desiring God. She is the author of Loving the Little Years, which I plan to read. I have loved both of her recent blog posts at Desiring God. I would say if you are a Christian mom, this is a must read, so stay with me.

It is called "Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)"

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”
She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”
Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.
Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.
If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.
The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).
________
Recent post from Rachel Jankovic —
Her other recent blog is also wonderful, and called Motherhood as a Mission Field

Her book is called Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the trenches

Monday, July 25, 2011

First Birthday Party, Healthy but not so Green


Baby Girl enjoying her naturally sweetened 1st birthday cake. I wanted to make sure we didn't give her sugar on her birthday just because that was the thing to do, because we don't give her sugar any other time. Yes, I am a little bit of a health nut mama. The cake was really yummy though and you can find the recipe here. We did the sugar free applesauce and banana cake. And for icing we did cream cheese and 100% pure maple syrup.


Eating dinner! Turkey dogs, watermelon, and banana! Yum!
Some of the decorations. A 12 month photo frame, her giraffe (for our Safari theme) and some photo albums of her newborn session and her one year session. I took her one year session and they turned out great!

Some of the decor. I wish I would have been thinking more eco-friendly with the decor. Most of it was paper so I suppose that is good, but there was a good bit of plastic too. We did use all of it again a few weeks later and we saved it in case we want to use it for the next girl. Hopefully I can get in tune with my inner craftiness and make my own decorations next time! We got the decorations from First Wishes and it was a Pink Safari theme!

Our baby girl blowing out the candles on the adult cake from Whole Foods. That whole sheet cake was around $35! What a deal and oh so yummy with great ingredients!

Having fun playing with her cake!

Opening up gifts! We are trying to start a tradition of having people donate to a couple of different organizations instead of bringing gifts. This year we chose Life Choices of Memphis and Young Lives (youngLife ministry to teen moms), and a few people chose to donate. We still got a lot of toys that we are very thankful for as well. In the future I think asking people to bring tangible things to donate may go over better. I hope as she gets older she will want to continue doing this. We will do our best to encourage this! Her life is a gift from God and I hope she will desire to bless others with her life as we celebrate her birthday every year.

Her adorable safari outfit that her Mimi made her. That is a hat that goes with it too, but it was a cool overcast May day so we were inside most of the time. Isn't she cute?

Our family of three on baby girl's bday!

Happy Birthday baby girl! We had so much fun celebrating with you! Huge thanks to Papa John and Grammy for letting us use their house! And thanks to all the family and friends that came to help celebrate!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Little LadyBug Baby Clothes, and A GIVEAWAY!

My Baby Girl modeling her beautiful sundress from Little LadyBug Baby!




What doesn't Little LadyBug Baby sell? First of all, check out my baby girl modeling her adorable halter top sundress with matching bloomers and bow (headband too)! Too cute! I just love this fabric, don't you? You can buy it here if you want to! And you know you want to!

The lady behind Little LadyBug baby is a stay at home mom, or rather a work at home mom, who loves making cute stuff and sharing it with others. Her work is qaulity ya'll! And she is great about customizing orders too. You can go to Etsy to check our her page, but here are some of my favs!

 She does pajamas! All different prints!

 Totes, or diaper bags. They are one in the same when you are a mom!

 Love this fabric and these colors!

 This sundress is too cute!

 Love this pillowcase dress! The colors are great!

 A classic romper for all you classic type moms out there!

And something for the boys too!

She also has boppy covers, binky clips, hair bows, bloomer covers,and tons more girl clothes! She has tons of different fabric choices, and free shipping for orders over twenty dollars here in the US through the end of August.

So for the GIVEAWAY! My first ever I should have you know. Little LadyBug Baby is giving the lucky winner a twenty five dollar gift card to her Etsy store! I know, great huh!

Here is how you can enter...leave a seperate comment for each thing you do to be entered more than once.

1) Go click around in her Etsy store and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite item is.
2) Add her Etsy store to your favorites, or subscribe to the feed, and leave me a comment telling me you did it.
3) Add her store as a friend on facebook here, and let me know you did it.
4) Share about this giveaway on facebook, and let me know
5) Share about this giveaway on twitter, and let me know
6) Subsribe to Memphis Misfit Mama via RSS or email or google follower, and let me know

Remember to write a seperate comment for each of the six ways to enter! Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog, or follow me to be sure to see if you are the winner! Once the winner is announced you will have one week to get in touch with me. (You can also follow me on facebook here. )

Good luck and happy shopping at Little LadyBug Baby! Thanks Kelly for such a generous giveaway! Show her some love people!