Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hosting My Little Sis's Bridal Shower with Some Pinterest Projects

This past weekend was a busy and blessed one as I celebrated my birthday (37 years young!) on Friday, August 24 and then on Saturday afternoon I hosted a bridal shower for my younger sister who will be married on October 13, 2012.
I attended this shower in June in PA which was hosted by my sister's future mother and sister-in-laws and we had a great time.  This past Saturday I threw a shower for my sister with family and friends and it was another fun and special time!

I've attended bridal showers, but this was the first one I was honored to host so I gathered ideas from friends and where else? the Internet and Pinterest of course! :) It took me quite a while to understand what Pinterest was all about, but once I discovered how this virtual bulletin board is a life saver and fun, I realized I can rely on it to plan my sister's shower.  So I searched "bridal showers" on Pinterest and found this idea. And since I found the idea a few days before the shower (and very late at night) I didn't have time to purchase a pre-made banner so I made one myself on my computer and used clipart for the flowered heart.  I laminated the banner at Staples (my favorite office supply store) and bought sheer white and plum/purple (my sister's wedding colors) ribbon.

So "S-O-O-N To Be Mrs. V" was created and pinned to my mantle during the shower:

I decorated the Bride-to-Be's seat of honor with purple/plum ribbons and tied bows at the end:

The plate of bows/ribbons on the seat was created by me from all the packages at my sister's shower in June in PA and she'll carry this bouquet of ribbon at the rehearsal.

We played several games at the shower and one of them was "Guess the kisses in the vase".  As each guest arrived we asked them to fill out their address on an envelope (so my sister wouldn't have to address them for "Thank You" notes) and then on the back they guessed how many kisses were in the vase.  The person who was closest without going over was the winner of the vase filled with kisses and flowers. Can you believe 111 kisses were in there?


I served veggies, fruit, chips and salsa, punch and cake.  It was a group effort to prepare for this shower and prepare the food!  Thank you to my dear husband, mom, mother-in-law, Erin, Hilary, and my neighbor for ALL your help! 
 
The top serving platter had rainbow fruit kabobs that I made that I got from where else?  Pinterest!
Red (strawberry-cut up), Orange (cantelope-cut up), Yellow (pineapple-cut up), Green (grape), Blue (2 blueberries), Purple (grape)
The middle tray has the plum/strawberry/blueberry salad that I blogged about HERE

Purple Punch with vanilla ice cream on top...Another Pinterest find.

This beautiful and delicious cake was not made by me :)  (I'm not that talented :) ) , but by Larita at Carolina Cakes and Confections.  She is a sweet friend of my sister's and does AMAZING cakes!  She will also be making my sister's groom cake and wedding cake too in October.  Can't wait to see her work of art that not only looks great, but is so good! Thank you Larita for such a yummy and delicious cake! Buttercream icing on top with marble and chocolate mousse on the inside!  Oh my! So yummy!

Since the Spring my mom and I have been collecting recipes from family and friends and I typed out all the recipes and put them in a 3-ring binder. 70 pages full of recipes!  A labor of love for sure, but so worth it for my sister! Then I slipped each recipe into page protectors. My sister is opening her recipe book in this photo above and I'm holding the book stand that I bought so the recipe binder can rest on it while she's cooking. 
Here's some close up photos of the recipe binder that I made:

"Recipes from our Home to Yours with Love"
One of the many recipes I included was my Crockpot Lasagna that I blogged about HERE.

The binder displayed on the counter on the book stand.
 Here I am showing another gift I made my sister which was a Servette tray with a recipe for a happy marriage.  I received a gift similar to this at my own bridal shower from a good friend and I have made the same gift for others, including my sister.  

"Servette, Serves and Stores Marriages for a Lifetime!  Look Inside for the Recipe for a Successful Marriage"

"Nick and Jeanne, May your love and marriage be filled with....Lots of Love and Laughter, Forkful of Forgiveness, Cups of Kindness, Overabundance of Offspring, Plenty of Prayer, Piles of Patience"
I gave friends this gift as well and blogged about it HERE.

Here I am with my mom and sister.  I love you Mom and Jeanne!  

Most of the friends and family that gathered to celebrate with the Bride-to-Be!  I think everyone had a wonderful time and I was so glad to honor my sister in such a special and fun way as she prepares for her wedding date and marraige!

I linked this post to Pinterest Party with David's Mommy
pintrest party


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Friday, August 17, 2012

A Slice of Smith Life in the Spotlight!


My blog was featured today at Catholic Bloggers Network (CBN).  Go HERE to see my spotlight post where I answer some questions and post links to my most popular posts and list some of my favorite Catholic blogs.  

If you haven't had a chance yet to check out Catholic Bloggers Network, be sure you do, because it's a wonderful site with so many great bloggers and resources.

 Monica, one of the Administrators of CBN, not only is busy with a large, beautiful Catholic family and administering CBN, but she also has her own blog and Catholic shop called Arma Dei Shoppe where she sells wonderful books, paper crafts, and quizzing cards to teach the Catholic Faith.

I have reviewed a product of Monica's HERE if you want to see what great ideas she has to equip Catholic families. 

Thanks Monica and CBN for the Spotlight! 

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother and Craft


The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary 
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, where Mary's body and soul was assumed into Heaven when she died.  Would you like to learn more about this holy day?  You can go to this link HERE.

This morning we are going to Mass and my children will wake up to this arrangement as a visual reminder of this feast day. 

This idea came from Jennifer at Crafolic and you can find her post and the printable images HERE.  

I added the cross in the center that we made out of our palm branches one Palm Sunday because with God all things are possible, including Mary's body and soul being taken to Heaven! 

Thanks so much Jennifer for this great idea and inspiration! 

May you have a blessed day!

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum

Our first day of school will be tomorrow and below is a list of all that I hope to accomplish this 2012-2013 homeschool year with my 4 Cupcakes! I have included links in each subject area in case anyone is interested in finding out more about each resource.  Just click on the text link to get further information.  If you want to peek into our homeschool classroom go HERE since our room continues to be set up the same as years past.

To start off our 2012-2013 we will make and decorate our cross cake that has become a new school year tradition.  We will draw and decorate our "Tee-riffic Summer" t-shirt cut outs at the start of our day too.  I also like to have my kids fill out this All About Me sheet that I slip into the front of their binder that holds all their lesson plans.  My older kids enjoy doing this simple, but fun activity too and it's neat to see how their interests change or stay the same year to year as they fill out the sheet about themselves. 

Family Morning Devotion I call this time "Couch Catechism" because the children and I plan to start each day around 8:30 AM (that's my start time goal anyway) on our family room couch to say prayer intentions, say the Morning Offering Prayer, read a devotion from Jesus Calling while my children look up the scripture to go with each devotion (thanks Melissa for my Jesus Calling book win 2 years ago , we are enjoying this book!), read the saint for each day from Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. I and Vol. II, and read a Friendly Defenders Catholic Card.


Curriculum for Cupcake #1, 7th grade daughter

Handwriting: Better Handwriting for Young Catholics from Seton

Grammar: Easy Grammar Plus Student Workbook

Religion: Faith Formation for Families, The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, No. 2 and HERE is a review of the Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechisms from Cathy Duffy Reviews

Math: Teaching Textbooks 7

Spelling:  Spelling Wisdom, Book 2

Reading/Literature: using Literature suggestions in RC History, Vol. 3

Writing: IEW Writing class

History: RC History, Vol. 3, The Kingdom as the Body of Christ Medieval Through Renaissance History

Science:  Apologia General Science with Companion CD ROM.
I found these great lesson plans for this General Science course from Donna Young's site

Latin:  First Form Latin with Cupcake 2

Map Skills: Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level G


PE:  recreation soccer in the Spring and my daughter enjoys archery too so we hope to get her into some archery classes/lessons since she has her own bow.

Music:  weekly piano lessons with a friend of ours who teaches piano

Curriculum for Cupcake #2, 5th grade son

Handwriting: Cursive Writing Skills for Left-Handed Students

Grammar: Daily Grams Grade 5

Religion:  Faith Formation for Families, The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, No.1, Faith and Life (Credo: I Believe)

Math: Teaching Textbooks 5

Spelling:  Spelling Wisdom, Book 2

Reading/Literature: using Literature suggestions in RC History, Vol. 3

Writing: Writing Tales Level Two

History: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Science: Apologia Zoology 3: Land Animals of the 6th Day, with Notebooking Journal 

Latin:  see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Map Skills: Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level E

PE:  recreation soccer team in the Fall and Spring

Music:  weekly piano lessons with a friend of ours who teaches piano

Our son will continue to be involved in his local Boy Scout Troop.

Curriculum for Cupcake #3, 3rd grade daughter


Handwriting: Catholic Heritage Curricula, Level 3 /Cursive and Prima Latina Copywork from Memoria Press

Grammar: Grammar 3 workbook that I bought at Barnes and Noble

Religion:  Faith Formation for Families and Faith and Life (Our Life with Jesus)

Math: Rod & Staff 2/3

Spelling:  Rod & Staff Spelling 4

Reading:  Memoria Press Literature Guides  (The Courage of Sarah Noble, Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Tales from Beatrix Potter)

Writing:  WriteShop Primary

History: listening to read alouds with Cupcake 1 and 2

Science: see Cupcake #2 Curriculum

Latin: Prima Latina

Map Skills:  Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level C

PE:  recreation soccer team in the Fall and Spring

For Cupcake #4, Pre-K, age 4 year old daughter 

Faith Formation for Families and Memoria Press, Classical Junior Kindergarten Curriculum



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Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Friend's Special Baby Shower

Today we celebrated a baby shower for a mom in our homeschool group.  Her baby was born at 32 weeks and weighed 4 pounds at birth.  He is a fighter and getting stronger each day.  He is still in the NICU so he couldn't be with us for our celebration, but so many friends and family continue to pray for T's miracle baby and the sooner he reaches all the necessary milestones he will be able to join his 3 older brothers and big sister at home.

A mom in our homeschool group organized the shower and she thought instead of having the sweet cake as the centerpiece she would carve this creative baby out of fruit that we saw on the internet.  A.R. did a fantastic job!  It's adorable isn't?


The blue punch was so cute and creative too!

 Other pictures from our special shower:

Just a few days before the shower I found this idea on a blog that featured a wonderful religious gift idea.  As the post suggested, we asked each guest to bring in a holy card/prayer/scripture verse and while our guest of honor was unwrapping her gifts, I assembled the collective cards and prayers into a frame.  We then presented the collage and frame to T.  She really liked it and she said she was going to display it in her son's hospital room.  We hope that each time she reflects on this, she will be reminded of the love, thoughts, and prayers that so many continue to offer up for her baby and family.



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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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