Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week #2

So today, I got to make two different gifts.  One for Katelyn's school teachers and another for Caroline's Mom 2 Mom teachers.  Every Tuesday I get the chance to go to Mom 2 Mom which is a Bible study/mentoring program our church offers.  If you're not in the Jacksonville area, you should look for a Mom 2 Mom meeting in your area.  Anyway, included in the yearly $60 fee is childcare.  So, I get to drop Caroline off in the nursery at church and head upstairs to my group.  It's such a wonderful program, but that's another post.  :)  Caroline has two of the sweetest ladies that take care of her, Mrs. Kathy and Mrs. Ashley.  I love them and I'm so thankful for both of them.  Since today was the last Mom 2 Mom until September, I wanted to do something to say Thank You.

Again I am stealing from eighteen25.  I love this site!  You should definitely check it out!  For Katelyn's teachers, I had bought 2 small Yankee Candle jars when I had a BOGO coupon awhile back so I pulled those out and they were perfect.  I cut out on of the printables from the site, glued it on pretty pink paper and taped it on the back.  Then I just tied a simple silver curling ribbon bow and Wah-La!  Two cute teacher gifts!

For Caroline's teachers, I cut out a another saying from the same eighteen25 printable page, glued it so some black cardstock and threaded it onto a piece of silver curling ribbon.  I then took a snack size baggie, filled it with candy and threaded it onto the ribbon as well.  I then wrapped it around an AW Root Beer and there you have an "AW"esome teacher gift!  Hope you're enjoying this and getting some good ideas!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at Katelyn's school.  I'm excited number one, because I really do believe Katelyn has the best teachers, and number two, I get to put some of my "copy-craftiness" to use!  A friend introduced me to a new blog last week called How Does She?  I've had so much fun looking through the site and getting some great ideas!  When you sign up for weekly email, she sends you a link to some free printables.  They have birthday, holiday, and even teacher printables.  You should check it out! 

Anyway, from that blog I found another blog called eighteen25.  They also have some really cute free printables, specifically for Teacher Appreciation gifts (though they really could be used for any kind of thank you gift.  This site gave some great ideas for inexpensive, yet creative gifts using things you might already have at home.  Today's gift idea come from eighteen25

I found the "fish" printable on eighteen25 and printed it on card stock I already owned then, using the bottom of my Starbucks cup, I traced a circle around the words and cut it out..  I looked in my bag of ribbon and found a cute black one.  I sealed the ends, hot glued the ribbon onto my red card stock then hot glued my circle on top.  I taped the whole thing onto a bag of Goldfish, again already in my pantry, the hot glued a bow I made out of the same ribbon as earlier and wah la!  A very cute, yet inexpensive gift!

I found some other great ideas that I will be attempting to make later this week!  Keep checking back to see what I'm going to do with root beer!  :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days?  Well, I did yesterday.  It started out with so much promise!  We were staying at my parents house while they were out of town visiting some family.  Dan has had to leave early every morning for the middle school's Super Servant Spring Break at church so I was still in bed.  About 8am both girls come padding into the bedroom and climb into bed with me.  We laid there and snuggled while they watched Mickey Mouse on the TV.  It was so sweet!

When we finally got up, we remembered it was a special day!  "Tangled" came out on video!  Katelyn and I had been looking forward to it for a while now.  Mimi had left their pre-buy receipt for us so we could go pick up their copy for them.  We were more than happy to oblige!  This was the beginning of the slippery slope of doom.

We get to the mall and head towards the Disney store and all is well.  We stopped at Charming Charlies, because what trip to the Avenues is complete with out a CC fix.  They were so cute pointing things out they liked or thought was "pity."  After CC, we got to the Disney Store.  The girls were playing with the little toys by the register while I waited in line to get the movie.  With movie in hand, we were trying to make it out the door to the play area when Caroline began to pitch a crazy fit.  I guess she wasn't ready to leave.  As I calmly tried to pull my stroller off to the side of the store with one hand while holding a convulsing 2 year old in the other, the looks I got from other people were not at all encouraging.  Many looked at me with those condescending stares like they had never had a screaming 2 year old.  I truly think people forget how it is to have small children. 

Anyway, I calmly got in my child's face and whispered to her, "Do you need a pow-pow?  If not, then I would get in your stroller right now!"  Thankfully she calmed enough to get into her stroller.  I should have cut my losses right there and went home, but noooooooo, apparently I was a glutton for punishment that day.  We headed to the play are so the girls could run around a little since it was so yucky outside.  Melt-down number two happened there.  The pay area was packed so neither girl really wanted to play that long.  Caroline wanted to stand by the stroller and watch.  Katelyn got bored so I told them it was time to go.  As Caroline was putting her shoes on, she noticed Katelyn touching her stroller.  Meltdown #2 commences.  Caroline is always funny about Katelyn pushing her in or even touching her stroller.  I think Katelyn does it just to get a rise out of her sister.  So as I dragging both girls and the stroller out of the play area, I am receiving looks of pity at this point.  To be honest, I think those are almost as bad as the condescending ones.  I would just love to be ignored during these incredibly happy times (note the sarcasm).

So, after we go to the potty for bathroom breaks and pow-pows, we head home.  It seemed to go like that all day.  Something was always setting Caroline off.  She had a melt down over me not putting on the diaper SHE unwrapped, though I had her out of her wet diaper, cleaned, and re-panted before she was done unfolding hers.  Literally, that tantrum lasted 20 minutes.  Thankfully Dan got home and took her outside to calm down.  So those times, along with 2 or 3 others and  our 7 trips to the bathroom during dinner at Chili's (which is a whole other horror story), I had had enough. 

Thankfully, my wonderful husband took the girls home and put them to bed and let me be by myself for an hour or two.  I did some shopping for the girls Easter baskets and looked at some fabriC for a new skirt I want to make.  Have I mentioned how amazing and kind my hubby is?

Today has been a much better day.  They have played, laughed, sung songs, and just been overall sweet to each other!  I guess sometimes we need those bad days to truly appreciate the good ones.  Thankfully we have more good days than bad.  Hopefully it stays that way!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Parents

Well, I said I would be better about staying up-to-date with the blog so here I am for the second time this week.  I'll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.  :)  Anyway, today is a very special day in the life of the Spurlins.  Forty-four years ago, my parents got married!  Fourteen months later my brother, Jeff, was born.  Ten years later came Dean and then another two years later came me.  Aren't you glad they didn't stop at two kids!  :)  Just kidding!  I'm sure there were days they wished they had!

Anyway, so back to my parents.  It is totally a God thing that they are together.  My dad grew up on a farm in Hopkinsville, KY until he left home to go to Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN.  He majored in Music Education and played percussion in the marching band.  His senior year, he met with a recruiter from Florida who was looking for teachers.  He decided to pick up and move to Jacksonville, FL where he knew no one to start a new life.  He visited First Baptist Church the first weekend he was in town and met a man named Bob Temple who invited him to stay with him until he found an apartment.  He began working for Duval County Public Schools the very next week (I believe-My parents can correct me if I'm wrong).

My mom grew up in Jacksonville, FL with her mom, a registered nurse.  They attended FBC as well.  When my mom graduated from high school, she went to live with her aunt in Pensacola, FL where she went to college to be a dental assistant.  She met her best friend while living there and they would become my parents oldest, and dearest friends to this day (they were my second parents and loved me like their own).  My mom moved back to Jacksonville where she began to work in banking.  She also returned to FBC.  One thing you may not know about my mom is that she is very musical!  She sang in choir at church all through high school and played the piano very well!  That leads to the exciting part!

My dad was at this point involved with the music ministry at the church.  At this time he was filling in as director for the Chancel Choir (he has lead every age choir except 2nd grade.  Just an interesting fact thrown in).  Mary Frances Whittaker was his piano player and one evening she wasn't feeling well so she asked my mom to go and play for the choir during rehearsal.  Needless to say, that was the first time they met.

I love hearing stories of the time they were dating.  Apparently my dad would hang out with other girls, then come watch TV at my mom's house.  :)  We give him a hard time about being a ladies man!  :)  Their first official date was to a parade.  It was a patriotic holiday of some sort (sorry, I forgot).  What I do know is that it didn't take long for them to realize they wanted to get married.  Hence today being their 44th wedding anniversary.

I am SO thankful that God allowed me to be a part of my family.  My parents aren't perfect, but I can promise you that I never doubted that my parents loved me and my brothers.  I am thankful for the example of their marriage.  Through the ups and downs that every couple face, they showed the importance of commitment.  They taught me the value of family.  To this day, I'd rather be with my family than anywhere else.

My mom is one of the most generous people I know.  She is always giving to others in some way or another.  She is quick to bake her famous pound cake, open her home to our friends growing up, and now to middle schoolers.  :)  She is the epitome of the word loyalty.  Once you are her friend, she is your friend to the end.  She is wonderful at keeping in touch with people and making them feel special.  God has given her a gift with people.  She doesn't always realize it, but she has a way of making people feel special and appreciated.  She prays for people and one of my earliest memories as a kid was walking into her office and seeing her Bible on her desk.  She is a Christian and has never been ashamed to say it.  She is always one of the first people you call when something goes wrong.  She is always proud of me and my accomplishments.  She was ALWAYS at my performances (and there were a lot) and she always invited important people from my life to be there too.  I don't know how many performances Rodney Brooks was at because my mom bugged him to come because she knew it would mean the world to me.  I love you, Mom!

What to say about my dad?  I love my dad!  My dad is one of the kindest, humblest, most gentle men I have ever met.  I can count the number of times I have heard him raise his voice on one hand.  He is so laid back and easy going.  He tends to take life just one day at a time.  Some of my favorite memories with my dad are from those summers growing up.  Since my dad was a teacher, he stayed home with us each summer.  I remember painting our house one year.  As a parent now, I can't believe he let us help paint!  I can only imagine what my house would look like if I let Katelyn help paint!  Yikes!  It would be pink, purple, and yellow!  :)  Anyways, I remember going to pool every day and begging to take a picnic lunch.  Even before that, I remember the countless nights he would rock me to sleep in the rocking chair in the living room.  I remember sitting in his lap and him falling asleep before I would!  I remember him singing "Angels Watching Over Me" every night before bed.  He would braid my hair in the evenings so it wouldn't be all tangled in the mornings (I had very long hair as a kid).  I remember singing with him in different Sunday School classes.  He taught me to use my gifts and talents for the Lord.  I remember thinking my dad could do anything and I still do!  I love you, Dad!

My parents put a high priority on family that I am now seeing the fruits of in my own family.  The love, the time, the energy, the money, and everything else they poured into me and my brothers is now being passed onto another generation.  I know this is long, but I want you to know my parents like I do.  I am beyond blessed and so very thankful for both of them!  I love you both more than I could ever express!!

This is only the beginning of the legacy you are leaving!  We love you!
Williamsburg, Virginia, 2008

Monday, March 21, 2011


Well, the Elkins family has had a fun and busy couple of weeks!  We have had birthday parties, Disney adventures, a beach trip, daddy/daughter dates, picnics, sleepovers at Mimi and Papas, trips to Nana and Grandpa's and overall fun times!  I thought I would share some quick pictures as a picture is a thousand words (or however that saying goes)!  :)

Katelyn riding the horse drawn buggy down Main St. USA at Disney World
 Katelyn and Cinderella, her favorite princess.
 Katelyn and her best friend Haley on our trip to MOSH.  They played in the whale exhibit and the new hands-on exhibit (magnets, force,, pulley, levers, etc).
 Caroline playing with the magnets.
 Katelyn and Elias

 Blake's 3rd birthday party at Ollie Koala's.  Caroline liked the air hockey game.
 We packed a bunch of stuff and took the girls to the beach.  We had fun building sandcastles, picking up shells, and not so much fun running away from the seagulls.
 A rare picture of Dan and I together.  Not the best, but it will have to do.  :)
 Mommy and Caroline.  Caroline sure does like to "Cheese."
 Mommy and my silly girl.  :)
 The whole clan!
 This is what happens when you leave your 2 year old alone for 3 minutes.  She so wants to be big like her sister!
 Katelyn had a farm day at school (which got moved inside the garage due to rain).  She got to ride a horse, pets sheep, goats, a cow, and a bunny!  The horse was her favorite.
 Katelyn's 4 year old choir was singing in church.  She's on the back row with the blue bow.
 I was excited she actually wore pants!!!  Who knew a ribbon belt was all it would take?!  These are two of her sweet friends, Kinsey and Haley.
 Caroline was putting on a show at another birthday party we went to.  "Boo!"
 The whole clan at Pump it Up for Kelsie's birthday.
 The Nocks came over one evening for dinner and fun!  We jumped on the trampoline and decorated cupcake shaped jewelry boxes.
 Best Friends!
 We went up to Savannah to see Nana and Grandpa for St. Patrick's Day.  They put on one of the largest St. Patrick's day parades in the country!  This was our third year going and we're planning on making it an annual trip!  We had so much fun!
 Dan and I waiting for the parade to start.
 Mommy and Katelyn.
 Mommy, daddy, and Katelyn
 Caroline saying, "Cheese!"
 After the parade, we headed to Forsyth Park (a smaller version of Central Park) for a picnic and some playground fun!

Well, that somewhat sums up the last month or so!  I promise to be better about keeping up to date!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Multitude Monday

Well to say I haven't been good at keeping up my blog would be rather redundant.  I seem to say it a lot!  I actually have a lot to talk about, I just have a hard time sitting down and organizing my thoughts.  That being said, lets see if I can at least randomly list some the blessings God has shown me in my life.  Here goes!

76.  The 30 minutes after Dan gets home.  The kids no longer say, "Mommy!"  Now, it's, "Daddy!"  Aaahhhh.  Peace!
77.  flip flop season is back!
78.  Our trip to the beach on Friday afternoon.
79.  Watching Katelyn SCREAM when a seagull came anywhere near her (or really even looked her way).
80.  Watching Caroline play in the sand with an old Starbucks cup.  She was having a blast!
81.  Watching Katelyn and Caroline get excited about climbing and playing on the big painted jaguar and sea turtle in front of Sticky Fingers at the beach.  Oh to be a kid again!
82.  Someone walking by and offering to take a picture of our whole family in front of said turtle.  We don't have many of all of us together!
83.  Relaxing Saturday mornings at home!
84.  Watching Katelyn riding her bike.  There is something about a kid in a bike helmet that is so cute!
85.  Pushing Caroline on her scooter around the block then realizing I'm wearing my slippers! 
86.  Thankful my "block" is small!
87.  Coming home and seeing the chalk art a la Katelyn and Caroline on our driveway.  :)
88.  Celebrating Katelyn's 4 1/2 birthday and hearing her emphasize to people she is now 4 1/2!  That 1/2 is important!
89.  Listening to Katelyn talk to Daddy on the phone when he is away on a middle school function.  She always tells him she misses him and she loves him.  It is so sweet!
90.  Listening to Caroline babble and blow kisses to her Daddy on the phone.  She used to not want to even listen to him talk.  Now she'll talk back some!
91.  Getting to sit in my sister-in-love's Sunday School class on Sunday!  I miss serving with her.  She is a GREAT teacher!
92.  Having a date night with my hubby!
93.  Eating one of the best steaks of my life at Bonefish Grill on said date night.
94.  My parents taking the girls for the night so we could go on said date night.
95.  Spending over an hour at Books A Million reading and talking (and not about kids books)!
96.  Getting my girls back the next morning!
97.  Sunday afternoon naps.
98.  Jamie Vaughn's facebook status updates!  She is so funny!
99.  Not having to wear a sweater!
100.  Listening to my girls giggle in the bath tub (even more so because my husband is one bathing them)!

Join me next week for more of God's little blessings!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Multitude Monday

I have not done real well keeping up with the blogging this past week.  We had our 25th annual Pastor's Conference (I'll talk about that in a later post) and things got crazy!  But, I am back in blogland and ready to go!  So, here's my list for the week:

51.  my hubby being willing to watch the girls so I can go out with some of my sweetest and oldest friends tonight!  Thanks, Babe!
52.  blankets
53.  fuzzy socks
54.  heaters
55.  old sweatshirts that are over 12 years old that are totally broken in and more comfy than almost anything in the world!
56.  warm towels when you get out of the shower (wasn't that sweet of my hubby?!)
57.  putting a towel fresh out of the dryer on my legs as I fold the rest of the laundry (are you guys seeing a pattern here?  I've been so cold lately!)
58.  grilled cheese sandwiches with sharp cheddar cheese!
59.  my free Taylor Swift album
60.  seeing Katelyn get so excited about seeing what today's surprise is on our Valentine's countdown Calender
61.  the joy my kids get from going to check out book a the public library
62.  new free books on my e-reader
63.  reading valentine's books to my girls
64.  Disney World!
65.  Katelyn discovering her love of roller coasters!  She hates It's a Small World, but loves Thunder Mountain!  Go figure!
66.  Watching Caroline see Disney World for the first time and take it all in
67.  Seeing how excited Katelyn got to meet the princesses (Cinderella, Belle, and Aurora)
68.  Watching Caroline eat cotton candy for the first time
69.  that feeling you get when all your laundry is done (not that it happens often, but man, it feels good!)
70.  macaroni and cheese, or Cheez as Caroline calls it
71.  salt.  Have you ever thought about how bland food would be without it?
72.  my insulated Starbucks cup with straw.  I take it everywhere and I love it!
73.  Our new Word of Life preschool daily devotional.  It's perfect for Katelyn and she loves it!  We really have enjoyed doing it with her too.
74.  Disney Family Fun magazine
75.  nap time!!