Sunday, August 7, 2011

long absence, huge request

I realize it's been ages, literally months and months, since i've updated this blog. I regret that for lots of reasons and hope to be back in bloggy land one day soon...

but for now, i'm posting for a purpose.

For a blog-friend turned In-Real-Life friend.

More specifically, for their 5-day old son, Caden.

Long story short, Caden's much-anticipated and very-celebrated arrival was quickly dampened by news of a previously unknown and very serious heart condition. Due to the severity and urgency of his weak heart, this little tiny, not even one-week old will be undergoing open-heart surgery tomorrow morning (Monday, August 8th).

His family, our friends, are the most incredible people you'll ever meet--they are full time missionaries filled with an incredible passion for the very people Jesus himself was most passionate about--the poor, especially those living in the inner-city of Atlanta. 

It is very apparent that Becca and Adam are being thrown all sorts of curves to test their faith in the Lord and His plan for their family. Caden's heart condition is no exception. But their faith is being strengthened even in this crazy whirlwind of adversity.

Please join me in praying for peace and hope for Becca and Adam, wisdom and steadiness for the surgeons, and safety and healing for Caden. 

For more details, please see their blog: The Stanley Clan

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giveaway Winner...and thoughts

Thanks to all who took my survey and were kind enough to leave comments. I keep thinking that it would be so fun to come back to this blog. I miss it and I miss the schedule it gave me.

Thankfully, God answered my prayer for wisdom on re-opening this blog--the lack of survey responses and comments clearly told me that this blog is over...for now.

In the meantime, we have a giveaway winner to announce!

Congratulations to the 12th survey respondent, Katie C.! I'll be contacting you shortly about a hat!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monkeys on the Bed! Redux

Hi friends!

Wow! it's been more than 6 months since my last Monkeys on the Bed! post. So many great things have happened--especially the birth of our second daughter. (If you'd like to catch up, there are 6-months of posts just waiting for you at our family blog: {life with} the Cuties)

I'm thinking about blogging on Monkeys on the Bed! again because...
  • My new camera is giving me lots of great images to enter into iheartfaces (Monday); 
  • Sewing, photography, and baking, are putting lots of Tutorial Tuesday ideas in my head; 
  • Being involved with another Beth Moore Bible Study gives me incredible inspiration for Word of God Wednesday
  • Thankful...doesn't even begin to cut it--overflowing with thanks for Thankful Thursday;
  • Friday--well I just love giveaways and finding fabulous items online to share with you on Fabulous Friday

I'm not going to start blogging just to take up space in the blogosphere--i want to make sure that this is something that my readers (Y-O-U) want, too.


Please consider taking this (very short) survey to tell me your thoughts on Monkeys on the Bed! making a comeback. I promise it will be worth your time--your completed survey will give you one entry to my first 2010 giveaway--a fun reversible toddler sunhat made by moi just for your kiddo or a kiddo you know. 

here are the cuties modeling the same style hat in the giveaway!

Click here to take the survey and enter the giveaway!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Fond Friday Farewell

Dear Friends,

After a lot of thought, I've decided to end my blogging career on Monkeys on the Bed.

I have so very much loved getting to know you all through your sweet and thoughtful comments on my posts.

I have also loved writing my various daily themed posts like Word of God Wednesday and Thankful Thursday. And Tutorial Tuesday has definitely pushed me beyond my usual crafty-self to be more creative!

Sadly, this blog has also consumed my life at times and taken time away from Cutie Face and J. I have even prioritized writing a blog post over doing daily Bible devotions and quiet times.

I wish I could carry on with this blog but I really want to refocus my priorities in 2010 and I think it needs to begin with being online less.


I am not leaving the bloggy world completely!

I most definitely still want to keep a daily record of my life with Cutie Face and our impending arrival (6 weeks left!) so you can still find me blogging on {life with} Cutie Face.

I've also started a 365-day picture journal blog called "Picture a Year". Nothing exciting at all--just a place to record a moment of our day for one year.

I welcome you to check both of those blogs out and continue to be a part of our small little world. I also promise not to neglect YOU, my faithful readers--I'll still be keeping tabs on you :)

Happy New Year! Many blessings in 2010!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday: 2009!

I have a lot to be thankful for this week but I also wanted to highlight a few BIG things that I was thankful for this year.

So this week I'm thankful for:

1. My bloggy friend Kelly who gave me a gift subscription to Picnik Premium. If you read my i❤faces posts, you'll know that most of my photos are edited in picnik. Well, they can be made even cooler by upgrading to Premium status and that is what Kelly gave me! THANK YOU SOOOO much, Kelly!

2. J let me sleep in while he fed Cutie Face breakfast this morning. Now that was nice!

3. Fun times with Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins (we have five cousins that are down here celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve with us)

4. A great Christmas celebrating the birth of our savior and watching Cutie Face open presents

5. Wonderful weather in Florida!

6. Less than 43 days left with this pregnancy! I'm very excited by that and very thankful, too!

7. That the USPS delivered J's mom's Christmas package ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Yes, you read that right--they were delayed due to a lot of snow but spent their CHRISTMAS Friday morning delivering packages to people. WOW. that is impressive.

Now onto this year!


We celebrated Cutie Face's 5th month by starting to use cloth diapers--I'm very thankful that we use them and save money, waste, and (usually) no diaper rash!

Thankful to have many family members to see our pastor baptize Cutie Face

I'm thankful that I started this blog (!) in february--I've met so many incredible people thanks to it!

Thankful for an extra visit to see my grandparents in Florida--this was pre-brain cancer diagnosis

So thankful for my sweet niece--Lil Miss--who turned 1

Cutie Face let us know that she was a good teether--what a blessing!

We were able to visit my Grandpa again! I will be ever thankful that we had this time with him

We also visited J's mom in Hillsdale and are grateful for that extra time with her!


Wrapped up a wonderful year at CBS (Community Bible Study) I'm so thankfu for all that I learned from these ladies and the book of Genesis


Thankful and shocked that I found out I was pregnant!


We celebrated my Grandma's 80th birthday in Kansas! Our family is very thankful for her and Cutie Face is soooo thankful for her because GiGi made Cutie Face her security blanket (we'd be lost without it!)


Ever thankful for our marriage--we celebrated 6 years of marriage on the 2nd

Felt incredibly blessed by the first year of Cutie Face's life

Very thankful for the time spent with my grandpa before he passed in the middle of the month


We were so happy to be able to spend time with Uncle Noah and old college friends in Oregon

but equally thankful that we survived our first (two) ER visits for Cutie Face--and that she was completely healed by the time we got home!


Enjoyed a trip to Hillsdale for Homecoming and to visit J's mom


We celebrated Thanksgiving with many members of my family which was wonderful!

Sweet Pea arrived on the very last day of the month!


We had a fantastic family Christmas celebration

Soooo thankful we found a wonderful HOUSE to rent (can you tell how excited I am about the extra space?)

I would love to devote more time to this post because 2009 was just a wonderful year full of thanksgivings.


it is now past midnight so I'm going to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2010 be equally full of thanksgivings for you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

W.o.G Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 5:17

In honor of the NEW year that is quickly approaching, I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite verses...

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Cutie Face is my photo representative for this week's verse.

She was less than an hour old here, definitely a new creation!

The amazing thing is, we, as Christians, can be viewed as "new creations" by our God and Creator TODAY, many many days after we were first born into this world.

As His Word teaches, a person becomes a new creation upon accepting that through the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son (Jesus!) we (as sinners) are reconciled to God.

In God's eyes, we are made acceptable, pure, and righteous!


Of course, no one is perfect--not even one (Romans 3:10-12) but, through our belief in Jesus, we, as Christians are assured that God's mercies will be new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

So, if you're looking for a NEW way to start the NEW year or just a way to be a "whole NEW you", I'd urge you to consider these verses -- a life given to Jesus is the only way to truly be 100% new!

*Side note: I admit there is an annoying factor to this post with all the "new" references but I got on a roll once i posted the verse and couldn't stop. Thanks for indulging me :)*

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Making New Year's Resolutions

Well let me just say that I am NO expert in writing, making, or keeping New Year's Resolutions. But I thought I'd let y'all know how I go about making my resolutions every year...

and I'd LOVE to hear your ideas or goals for 2010!

1) Get out (at least) several pages of paper and a pen/pencil--I do a lot of computer work but prefer to do my "thinking work" with a paper and pen.

2) Jot down all the things you are happy you accomplished in 2009. Maybe you lost weight, found a new job, started a blog, journaled every day, became more fit, etc.

3) Write down all the things you WISH you had accomplished in 2009 or maybe things you regretted doing (2009 NYE resolutions that didn't quite make it, fitness goals you didn't reach, bad habits you started, etc.)

4) Analyze and compare your two lists. Does anything overlap? Do you see that something in list #2 hindered you from accomplishing something in list #1? For example, maybe you wanted to get better sleep and exercise more frequently BUT you failed to get more rest so your ability/energy to workout was diminished. Feel free to circle and draw lines! I love making correlations

5) Look again at your two lists. Do you want to carry any resolutions over to 2010?

6) Add new goals to your 2010 Resolution list.
Keep in mind the following:
  • Be realistic!
    • Example: If you want to get more sleep but just had or are expecting a new baby, this goal will most likely not be met!

  • Think about what will aid in accomplishing your goal--maybe these aids should be the first resolutions you make!
    • Example: If you want to eat healthier this year, start by making a resolution to not buy junk food or to take a nutritional class, etc.

  • Think about what will hinder your resolution.
    • Example: If you want to boost your blog readership but don't have time to devote writing new posts, etc., perhaps time management or something else should be the primary resolution.

  • Do you have a certain time limit for these goals to be reached?
    • Example: You want to lose 2lbs a month or drop 1-minute off your 10k time in 6-months.

  • If you have a BIG resolution, it really helps to break the resolution into mini-goals (especially monthly goals)
    • Example: You just received a new sewing machine but haven't ever sewed before! Despite that fact, you aspire to sew a quilt in 2010. In January, you should practice sewing, in February, you should take a class on beginning sewing, in March you should pick out fabrics, in April you should take a class on quilting, in May you should start working on your quilt, in August you should be half-way done and in November you should be finished

  • Life happens!!! There could be sudden changes to your family dynamic--someone could be born, someone could move away, someone could lose a job or take one on with more hours. You name it, it could happen so be prepared to be flexible!!! These should be considered more as goals than as things you are "resolving to do from this day forward"
7) Make your 2010 resolutions and goals visible. Print them out and place them on your fridge, your cubicle at work. Download them to your phone. Post them to your blog. Ask a trusted friend/spouse/relative/etc. to hold you accountable.

Here is what I came up with:

I have two main goals for 2010:

1) To read through the Bible
2) To become a more accomplished photographer

(i'd also like to run a sub 3-hour marathon in 2010 but that depends on a lot of things and we'll get to that after Babette #2 is born!)

In order to achieve these goals I have several "sub-goals":

1) To read through the Bible I'd like to:
  • read it every day by using my 365-day Bible
Knowing that I am more likely to read my Bible in the morning...
    • I resolve to go to bed earlier! That way I can wake up refreshed and ready to read the Bible before Cutie Face wakes up.
Knowing that I'm easily distracted, I need to resolve to avoid reading a blog or checking my email before I read my
    • I resolve to keep my computer turned off until I have accomplished my daily reading goal!
2) To become a more accomplished photographer, I'd like to:
  • Take a photo every day for a year--a 365-Project to showcase how I grow in my photography skills (okay--hopefully i'll develop new skills and you'll see a difference in January 2011!)
  • To be held accountable, I resolve to make a 365-Picture blog!
  • I will also sign up and take an online photo class
So there you have it. A quick and easy way to make a few new resolutions for this coming year and a preview of my goals!

What about you? Do you make resolutions each year? Do you have a method for doing them and accomplishing them? Have you already made any?

I'd love to hear your tips and goals!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

i ❤ faces: Outtakes

Wow! This is the 51st week of i ❤ faces contests! That means next week marks their 1-year anniversary! Crazy coolness.

In honor of their birthday that is coming up, they wanted to make this week all about F-U-N photos...typically deemed "outtakes" these are photos that are just funny or humorous or just make you smile.

Here are mine in chronological order...I didn't have to go too far back to get some of my favorites...though, I'm sure if I did, I'd find some priceless ones of Cutie Face!

Ah, well, I hope you enjoy these top 5 from October through December:

In October, J decided to see what weighed more, Cutie Face or a bushel of apples:

In early December, Cutie Face hugged {very tightly} a sweet, innocent girl at J's company's Childrens' Christmas party (please excuse the iPhone quality but I just think this photo is hilarious and had to include it!):

Mimi (my mom) gets to know her newest granddaughter, Sweet Pea, born November 30:

Cutie Face makes a million hilariously expressive faces, especially during dinner, and especially after eating a lemon!:

and, finally, Cutie Face was "pottied" by her unsuspecting Uncle. He took his daughter (my niece, Lil Miss) to the potty and Cutie Face followed them in to the bathroom just to declare that she needed to "POTTY!" too. I love the exchange of looks here:

There are going to be A LOT of entries this week, I just know it--especially because everyone can enter FIVE (yay! 5!) photos! So be sure to check out i ❤ faces for more outtake fun!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Christmas Edition

This week it goes without saying that I am thankful for the Birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

But! We have so many blessings from Him to be thankful for, too, that I didn't want to leave these out:

2) We are going to rent a house! We finalized it on Sunday. I'm soooo thankful that we have a place to move to in 2.5 weeks!

3) A safe 10-hour drive from Atlanta to Florida with two cats and a toddler!

4) Kitty cats to occupy our children...

...and keep us company at night

5) A beautiful home lit up with love and light and life...from the inside out!

6) A sweet niece to remind me and J of what is to come and prepare Cutie Face for life with a newborn (She loves it)

7) a Wonderful pre-Christmas celebration with J's dad and step-mom. We loved seeing them and Cutie Face really bonded with them (and still keeps asking for Papa!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

W.o.G. Wednesday: Isaiah 9:1-7

J and I had the privilege of attending a college that performed Handel's Messiah every 4 years. The college did this every four years so that everyone who attended our school could either sing it as a choir member or watch it as a viewer once in their collegiate career...Needless to say, I chose option 2 but J chose option 1. It was wonderful for both of us!

Here is one of my favorite parts (12):

Enough Said {Sung}:

Isaiah 9:1-7
To Us a Child Is Born
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death; a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: Easy Stocking Stuffer (personalized beanbags!)

I wanted something fun, homemade, personalized and educational to put in Cutie Face's stocking this year.

Tough order? Nahhh...

...not when you can make (homemade) beanbags that spell her name (personalized) on one side and have numbers on the other side (educational) that can also be used as a game (fun).

This is a super easy tutorial if you have a sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine it will take you longer but it is totally doable.

What you'll need:

  • Fabric--I used 4 different fabrics to give Cutie Face some variety...maybe she can even learn how to match them (more educational uses every time I think about it!)
  • Sewing Machine (or needle and thread)
  • Beans (BAKED--you don't want your beans to sprout or get moldy so make sure you BAKE them on low for about 20 minutes)
  • Something to personalize your beanbags with. I used an applique on the letter/name side but felt it was a bit too time consuming so I used a permanent marker for the number sides
1) Cut out fabric for the beanbags. I wanted to make 9 beanbags (Cutie Face's name has 9 letters) so I cut 18 squares of fabric, 6x6. You can make them any size but I wanted it to be manageable with Cutie Face's small hands. (Side note: this step would have been much easier had I used my rotary cutter and healing mat. Oh well)

2) Personalize each side (or one side or NO sides). Make sure you do this before you do any sewing!

3) Once your fabric squares are ready, match them to each other (for example, Cutie Face's name starts with a "C" so I matched the "C" and "1" fabric squares). Put the "good" side of the fabric squares together, on the inside

4) Sew nearly all the way around (i used a straight stitch) making sure you leave a large enough space to turn the fabric rightside out. I made the mistake of making my hole too small in the beginning and turning the fabric was very difficult. So go easy on yourself and leave a nice big space!

5) Turn the fabric right side out

6) Sew a border around the square, making sure you leave that original hole open! Don't sew anything closed yet!

See? there's my hole!

7) Make a funnel. I tried using a cooking funnel but the hole was too small to allow the beans to pass through so I just used a rolled up piece of heavy magazine paper.

8) Place your funnel in the hole, allowing it to unfurl a bit once it is inside the bag.

9) Pour the beans into the beanbag. Make sure that you don't fill it too high--you need to be able to sew it closed!

10) Fold the opening of the hole under and sew it closed.

11) Voila! You now have one beanbag!

12) Repeat steps 1-10 until you've made all your beanbags:


Friday, December 18, 2009

CLOSED: Fab Friday Giveaway: Life Verse Design

This week's giveaway truly is fabulous!

When Julie Chen, the creative mind behind Life Verse Design, contacted me about featuring her amazing Etsy store, I didn't think twice! I know you all will love the things that Julie offers!

Life Verse Design started when Julie was pregnant with her 3rd child (and had an almost 2 & almost 4 yr old running around!. Julie had the foresight to realize that she would not be having good quality devotional time with God when #3 came along so she started placing index cards of Scripture around her house.

At the time, Julie was going through Beth Moore's fruit of the Spirit study & thus memorizing the fruit of the Spirit (which her pregnant brain could not even handle) so, one day while brushing her teeth and looking at her index card, she asked herself, "why am i not designing these cards since i am a designer?!" Voila! a new idea was born!

Life Verse Design began as a simple act of worship between Julie and God. She not only found a new way to use her creative gift but Julie also found that creating these cards helped her hide His Word in her heart. What a great way to glorify God!

Julie decided to give the art to her bible study and they, in turn, encouraged her to participate in the craft show at her church. Julie's first show was in November 2007 and she almost completely sold out! It was there that Julie learned about Etsy from another craft show vendor. In late March 2008 Life Verse Design opened. Two short months later, DEMDACO (the creators of the willow tree figurines) found Life Verse Design and contacted Julie to be licensed! Her art is now being licensed nationwide and she can still sell her prints on paper through Etsy.

Julie loves getting to know her customers and hearing their feedback on her art art: whether it is a personal story of why the verse meant so much to them, or just their excitment when they open the package; it continually amazes Julie that her art is hanging on people's walls all over the world!

Outside of Etsy, Julie's first love is being a wife and mom, She says, "I have the best hubby in the world & love spending any moment with him. Ialso have the most adorable kiddos, with whom I love to be outside. We love the zoo, the arboretum, and going on the train into Chicago."

On top of all that, Julie has another "other" job as a book designer. She was trained as an illustrator, but her entire career has been spent designing books for Tyndale House Publishers, Zondervan, and Willow Creek Association.

Some of you, my readers, may have heard the BIG titles that she has worked on: the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins (creating books 4-12), Bringing Up Boys by Dr. Dobson (and she just finished Bringing up Girls!).

However, Julie's all time project was designing The Jesus Storybook Bible <--that is the Bible that our church uses in Sunday School. It is GREAT!
Seen and heard enough that you want to go out and buy a print right now?!


You can find on Life Verse Design Etsy. These are great gifts for new parents, long-time or new Christians, teachers, and friends looking to be inspired!


Julie is generously giving away one free 8x10 print of the winner's choice.


Mrs. McFadden said... 13

ordered 4