Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Traditions

I love Christmas Eve! We have several traditions that we love to do with our girls. Since we don't live near family and usually we are with them until after Christmas, we spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with our girls, enjoying this time with just them. We always go out to dinner, then head to our Christmas Eve service at church and then come back home and they open their Christmas PJ's. It's so much fun and a tradition I hope we continue for years and years to come!

This year, we went to Red Lobster and had a yummy meal. It's probably Macie's favorite place to eat - and one of my favorites, too! Our church service was really nice (although I spent about 1/2 of it out in the hallway with a loud 1 year old - HA! It was like a mini-nursery out in the hall, too, lots of restless babies!). Afterwards, we came home, let the girls open their PJ's and read the Christmas story with the older two. We want our girls to remember that while the gifts, dinner out, visiting with family and friends and all the excitement of this night is fun, the most important part of the whole season is Jesus! Without Him, there'd be no reason to celebrate. We are so thankful that He came here to us, as a baby, but even more thankful that that same baby lived a perfect life and died a painful death on the cross for our sins. Because of that, we get to spend eternity with him in Heaven someday! So thankful for a Saviour that loves us so much! I pray that you, too, know how much He loves you and that you have asked him to be your personal savior! There's no greater gift!!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Closet Hoarder

If you know me well, you know a couple of things.

1. I am an anti-hoarder - like, it's so bad that my kids know that I throw EVERYTHING away so they have a box that they have to keep things in that they don't want to end up in the trash can. They come home from school with something, I look at it and in the trash it goes. (I know - Mother of the Year).

2. While I like things clean, I am not very organized. I want to be, I love the look of organized homes, pantries, cabinets, etc., but I just lack something that organized people have.

So, last night, I'm texting my friend Holly (we kind of have this habit of night time texting - and it's always random and hilarious. I joke with her that she's my late-night rapid fire texting buddy). Anyway, I'm texting Holly, and somehow we get on the subject of houses/cleaning/organizing/weird OCD traits, and during our text convo, I tell her that my house is ALWAYS picked up before bed. Things are put away, dishes are done, toys picked up, bedrooms cleaned. I can't stand to wake up to a mess. Then I proceed to tell her that while I do all of that, she should see my closet/pantry. It's awful. Unorganized. Hideous. Picture the most beautiful closet you've ever seen. Now, picture the exact opposite of that. That's my closet. We laughed (via lots of LOL's) and sent each other a few pictures of weird things in our home and then we said goodnight. Yes, this is really what we do.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I got thinking about our texts and went in my closet to take a real good look. I was disturbed. My base boards in there - never and I mean in almost 7 years - been dusted. Piles of junk. Shoes EVERYWHERE. Boxes, that I thought I needed to save, still in there about 5 years later. A high school duffle bag that I used when I cheered (with my name on it) - yep, still up there. It was embarrassing. Something had to be done. Immediately. So, I go to the kitchen, grab a bunch of trash bags, and I went to town. I whipped out my vacuum and all the fancy tools that people normally don't use and I cleaned every nook and cranny in that place. It still wouldn't make the pages of a magazine, but it's better. I don't fear the Hoarders TV show and a group of friends showing up at my front door for an intervention anymore. I walk in there and feel so happy. I filled our giant trash can today with just stuff from the closet. I was on a mission. Landfills don't scare me. I'm filling the land with a bunch of old junk and I like it.

I expect Green Peace at my door soon. I may need an intervention after all.



Monday, December 19, 2011

Real Life at the Cash House

So, I could write a post on something precious that my girls did or said that made me feel like I was the mother of the year, doing everything right all the time. But, it's real life here. And sometimes it's just funny (and a little gross). So, here's the conversation I overheard last night between Macie and Mike after he had already tucked them in bed for the night.

Macie: "Daddy, Maddie keeps tooting and it really reeks!"
Mike: "Well, Macie, what do you want me to do?"
Macie: "I'm just worried that if she keeps tooting that she's gonna poop in the bed!"
Mike: "Macie, she's not gonna poop in the bed, but if you are that worried about it, go get in your own bed."

Around 10 p.m., I went in to check on them before I went to bed and Macie had moved to the top bunk. She wasn't taking any chances.

Just keeping it real. Toots, poop and all. It's how we roll. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staying Busy at Christmastime

Every year I'm surprised at just how busy we are between Thanksgiving and Christmas and how fast that month flies by! We have had a lot going on: We traveled the week of Thanksgiving to visit Mike's family, put up our Christmas tree, had our SS class Christmas party, visited with friends, had sleepovers, birthday parties, church programs, a Christmas parade, MOPS and so much more and it's only the 2nd week of December! WHEW! But, even with all of that, I wouldn't change a thing! We are so blessed to have family that we can go visit and great friends here that we love spending time with. At some point, I'll finish my Christmas shopping. This week, I'm determined to make it happen. :)

Here's a bit of our life this past month in picture form!

Thanksgiving with Mike's family

Putting up the tree

SS Class Christmas Party (Minus all the husbands)

Fun with friends!!

I don't have pictures of some of the other things we've been doing, but I have to say, we've had a wonderful holiday season so far. Looking forward to the next couple of weeks and praying that all of you have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My thoughts for today

So, Albert Pujols is leaving the Cardinals for another team and a lot of money. And people are MAD. Here's what has me fired up:

This is a baby that Mike held and loved on during his mission trip to Haiti in October. This child was going to be thrown away - YES, in a trash can, by his mother. He was starving, can't walk and needs someone to just love him.

And we are mad about baseball.

Perspective, people.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just a Bunch of Stuff

This will be kind of a random post, so bear with me. It's been a busy couple weeks around here and I haven't had time to just sit and collect my thoughts to put in a blog post, but I didn't want to forget about these fun fall events, so here goes!

First, you all know that I'm a fan of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Love her recipes and her blog and was SO excited to find out that she was the speaker at a luncheon here in Fort Smith. It was a fundraiser event for a local museum/Historic House and they booked her a while back, before she got really big - you know, like "I have my own show on Food Network" big. So, several girls and I snatched up our tickets and headed to a fun day of eating and laughing with Ree herself! They served several of her recipes and the food was really yummy! The main course was her chicken spaghetti - if you haven't made it, you need to! It's great! We had a great time together and had great seats - right up front! It was neat to hear her tell her story. How she started the blog in 2006 to where she is just 5 years later. It was fun to hear how it all happened.

Some of the ladies that were at our table - such a fun, sweet group of friends!

The Pioneer Woman :)

Then last week, we hosted a Women's Ministry event at our church and it was just awesome! We shared with the ladies some fun, but cheap gift giving ideas for Christmastime, and really all through the year - so many times we have people to buy for but just can't afford to spend a lot. Those are always the hardest gifts to figure out - at least they are for me anyway! I always think, "What can I get for $5-$10 and not look totally cheap?!" Well, we brainstormed and came up with so many fun ideas and just had a ball doing it! It's always fun to get together with a bunch of girls and eat dessert, talk, laugh and learn some fun ideas all on the same night! Here are some pictures of the event!

The dessert table

Our Sweet Greeters

Sarah and I

The gift ideas

And the cute Christmas Decor!!

That event totally got me in the mood for the Holiday season! Looking forward to seeing family next week and celebrating Thanksgiving together! We have so much to be thankful for - God continues to bless our family and for that, we are so very grateful!! Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pinterest Projects

So, you all know how much I LOVE Pinterest, right? It's been my go to for new recipes for the past month or so, my inspiration for cute outfits that I can put together for fall and most recently, it's been my how-to guide on craft projects that I can do at home. If you know me at all, you know that I am SO not crafty. I would love to be, but I'm just not. So, when I first started looking at these DIY craft projects on Pinterest, I was inspired, but very overwhelmed.

Then I spotted a wreath, made from a styrofoam wreath form, yarn, some felt for the flowers and those cute fall-colored picks that you can find at craft stores. I thought that it looked simple enough and decided to head to Hobby Lobby, armed with my 40% off coupon and a picture of the original wreath and started looking for my supplies.

I came home and began, and about 2 hours later, I finished with this little beauty:
Cute, huh?!

So, then last week, I pinned another great idea. It was a tutorial on how to turn a printed or enlarged picture into a canvas-type photo. If you've ever ordered those picture canvases from a professional photographer, then you know how expensive they are. I love the look of them, but not the price. When I saw this idea, it looked simple enough for someone like me to tackle. My friend, Olivia, (who is SUPER crafty) came over and did the project with me. I absolutely loved how they turned out! I still have to add the ribbon to the back of the pictures and get them hung up, but they are so nice and something that I will always cherish! Click here to get to the link showing how to do your own: DIY PICTURE CANVASES

And here are how mine turned out! Love, love them!

Are you on Pinterest? If so, what are some of your favorite things you've made or done that you found on there? I'd love to hear! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Fun

I love fall - it has to be my favorite season of the year. It just brings so many great things along with it - crisp temperatures (but still nice enough to enjoy being outside), open windows, boots, scarves, and cute sweaters, yummy smelling candles, pumpkins, hay rides, s'mores, soup and chili, and so much more. I just love everything about it!

Today, I decided to surprise my girls with a special treat when they got home from school. I swiped the idea from Angela over at THIS blog - and it's by far one of my most favorite blogs that I read. She has so many cute ideas that she shares, a great sense of humor, wonderful story teller, and an awesome Christian! So just don't give me too much credit for being all creative - because this was totally NOT my idea. But, I loved it so much that I had to give it a try. Here's what I did:

1. Buy 2 boxes of white cake, food coloring gel and 3 tubs of white (or vanilla) icing. Oh and you might need to grab a few of the throw away round cake pans. They came in very handy!

2. Mix up your cake according to the directions on the box. Then divide it into 6 bowls equally. I took a 1 cup measuring cup and scooped it into all the bowls, then went back and spooned in the rest as evenly as possible. It was about 1 1/2 cups of batter per bowl.

3. Color 3 bowls orange, 2 bowls yellow and leave 1 white.

4. Spray pans liberally with non-stick spray and pour batter into pans. Heat oven to 350 and bake anywhere from 12-15 minutes. Cool completely.

5. Start stacking your layers, starting with orange. Add a thin layer of icing between each layer to help them "stick" together. Then ice the whole cake and decorate with candy corns or use the Candy Corn White Chocolate M&M's, like I did.

6. At this point, I put it in the fridge to get the icing nice and stiff. When the girls got home from school and I pulled this out - they both screamed! :) They got so excited when I cut into it - just the reaction I was hoping for!

After dinner, we did one of the girls favorite things - carving pumpkins! They love digging out all the yucky stuff and the seeds! Mabrie was right in the middle of it, too. They looked at a bunch of pictures online to determine what they wanted their pumpkin to look like this year and the winning choice was a cross. I love it! Looks so pretty with the candle glowing from it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I just noticed that I haven't blogged in weeks! I'm sure you have all been on pins and needles waiting for an update - HAHA! It's been a busy month around here.

Mike left on September 30th for a 5 day trip back to Haiti. He went last February and was itching to get back and see the kids again. He had a great trip and said that they kids looked so much happier and healthier this time. When they pulled up to the orphanage and they got out of the car, several of the kids ran up to him yelling "MIKE" - he said that was one of the greatest experiences of his life. To think that they remembered him and remembered his name was just awesome. It was a fast a furious trip as there were just 2 guys (Mike and our Children's Pastor, Bro. Stuart) that went. They had a lot of business to take care of, but also tried to spend as much time as possible loving on those sweet kids. He's already looking forward to going again and if possible, I'm going on the next trip with him! I look forward to the day that these kids become more than kids that I know from pictures!

We've enjoyed the beginning of fall around here and while for the most part, it's been unseasonably warm, this week we have finally been blessed with that crisp, cool fall air that I just love!

Our Sunday School class had a get-together a couple weeks ago at a farm/pumpkin patch and the kids had a ball. They took us on a hay ride, let the kids go down a slide that was built on a mound of mulch, walk through a corn maze, feed and pet some farm animals and then picked their pumpkin from the patch. After they were done, we ate a picnic lunch together. I hated that Maddie had to miss out (she was sick and had to stay home with daddy). But, it was a nice day and a fun time with some great friends.

The girls are doing great in school. We had parent/teacher conferences this week and they are making us so proud. Straight A's across the board and nothing but great reports from their teachers. We are so blessed to have kids that have a desire to learn and that always strive to do their best. I pray that they continue to be good students that respect their teachers, work hard, show leadership and share Jesus with their friends.

The littlest Cash is doing well also. She's as feisty as they come. She's saying more and more words each day, it seems. She can now say: Daddy, momma, ball, nose, uh-oh, no, YAY, dog, baby and book. There may be one or two more, but that's all I can think of right now. She is running all over the place and doing what a 1 year old does best - MAKE MESSES!! All. day. long. But, she is also learning what "put that back" means and will go return things to where she found them. We are working hard on getting her whipped into shape as early as possible. I'll let you know how that works out for us. :)

I imagine that the next couple of months will be just as busy. Hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner and we'll be in full swing of shopping, decorating, traveling and spending time with friends and family. I'm looking forward to it. It's always a special time of year.

Happy Fall, Y'all! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


So, I'm seriously LOVING Pinterest. When I first heard about it, I didn't give it much thought. Didn't think it was really worth all the fuss. Well, I was wrong. It's totally worth all the fuss - it's genius! I love that you can find something online and quickly "pin" it to a board and have the link right there, nice and handy for the next time you need it. I can't tell you how many great recipes I've found and tried - and a bunch that I'm adding to my menu next week.

How many times have you gone online, done a search, found what you wanted, walked away and then had no clue how to get back to that particular site? This solves all of those problems. Have you joined Pinterest yet? If so, go to the top of my blog (under my header) and click the link to follow me! Then, when you do, I can follow you back! It's super fun - believe me, you'll be glad you did!

Happy Pinning!

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Workout and Update

First, the update. I bought skinny jeans. I wore them (with flats) and although at first I felt very weird, they quickly grew on me and I started to like the look. I got them at Old Navy and hope to get to Charlotte Russe soon for another pair. Thank you to everyone that gave such good suggestions!

Now, for the workout. I've been hooked on Pinterest lately. Have you heard of it?? If not, it's basically an online cork board. A place where you can "pin" things that are of interest to you - hence the name, Pinterest. You create different boards and pin things to the board that fall into that particular category. I have a recipe board, a clothing/accessory board, home decor, organization ideas, etc., etc. Click my link above to check out my stuff. :) Ok, back to the subject. I found a pin the other day for this thing called the 100 Workout. I read it and thought, "that looks pretty easy, I think I'll give it a try!" - and off I went. The first thing you do is 100 jumping jacks. Easy, right? Well, about 60 jumping jacks in, I was already breathing heavily, by the time I hit 100, I was sweating. Then you drop to the floor and do a "simple" 90 crunches, followed by 80 squats, and so on - check it out:

Now, the first day I did it, I didn't do the 10 minute run. Mabrie was napping and that night was church, so I didn't get home until late and I don't run alone at night. Safety first, people. The next night, I did the run first, because Macie wanted to run with me and we had to get it in before her bedtime. So I ran a mile and then did the rest. My body is FEELING IT! I thought that since there's no real arm work in this workout that I'd have to add in some weights, but oh no, apparently jumping jacks also work your arms, because mine are killing.

This might be my new workout plan. Most nights, I'll do more than a 10 minute run - I need to get back up to my 3 miles, so it might be closer to a 30 minute run, but the rest of this stuff is great and targets all the important areas that need toning. Give it a try if you are looking for something new. You can do it all in about 20 minutes or so and it really does work. I've got the sore muscles to prove it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Skinny Jeans

HAHA! That title just makes me laugh. I've decided that I want to try out some skinny jeans this fall - I'm slightly scared of them, though.

I know a couple of things:

1. By no means do I want these jeans to be skin tight - that doesn't look good on anyone. Well, maybe Giselle, but since I'm neither 5'10" nor 100 lbs., mine will not be painted on.

2. I'm not going to spend a ton on these. I can't. I won't.

So, that being said, I need some recommendations. Where can I find a cute pair, that fit well, that don't cost a small fortune and that don't make me look like I should be on a Ludacris video?

Any tips, girls?? Have you seen cute styles out there that you've bought or tried on that you like?

And if there's no such thing - no problem. I'll stick with my boot cut and call it a day. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fun Giveaway

Hey - Head on over to my recipe blog to get entered in a great giveaway!

Click HERE to check it out!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

1 Year Old!!

This time on September 3, 2010, I was sitting in a hospital bed at St. Edward's Mercy holding this little 6 lb. 15 oz., 19" long baby girl.

And just like that, here we are 1 year later and that tiny little bundle has turned into this sweet, busy, talking, walking energy ball of fire that we like to call Mabrie Clarie.

The first year of her life has literally FLOWN by. I don't even believe it actually. I woke up today and thought, "Whoa, she's 1 - what just happened here?!" It's been a great year. She's the final piece to our family's puzzle and she fits perfectly. I knew the moment she was born that our family was complete. And it hit me once she was born that I would have made a terrible mistake had I thought otherwise before that. She's a precious gift. She makes all of us smile every single day. She's a daddy's girl. He said he had to have 3 to finally get one that liked him! :) She's as loud as anything you've ever heard. She's impatient as all get-out. She's funny, silly and sweet. She throws things like she's practicing to be a shot-putter in the Olympics. She walks as fast as her legs will go if she spots her sister's bedroom door open and goes in there like she's on a treasure hunt. She sucks her first 2 fingers all day long. She will go to anyone and smiles at everyone. She has a temper - and I'm sure she'll see her fair share of spankings. (Yes, I said it. Yes, you'll get over it. :))

We love her more than I could put into words on this little blog post. I pray that God would bless us with many, many, many more years with her.

Happy Birthday, Mabrie! We are so thankful for you and are blessed that God chose us to be your mommy and daddy!

Psalm 127:3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Last night, our family had to do what I've been dreading for about 3 weeks now. We went over to see our sweet, dear friends and told them goodbye. Travis, Sarah and their girls are moving tomorrow to the Philadelphia area as they follow God's call on their life for Travis to service as Music Minister at his dad's church.

Saying goodbye to them wasn't just wishing friends well as they move, it was saying goodbye to people that are as close to us as family. It was heartbreaking. We cried, and cried, and cried some more. To the point I had a splitting headache when we finally got home.

We have grown to love them over the years. We both have 3 kids a piece and all of them are girls. And our kids adore each other. They played last night, made up songs and sang and danced for us, laughed, giggled, ran around and just had a ball. It was like they really didn't realize that was the last time they'd be playing together for a while. When it was time to leave, they all said their goodbyes and hugged and it wasn't until we drove away that it really hit all of them. Our girls cried all the way home and Travis said their girls went inside the house and bawled, too. It's like it was finally real. Travis and Sarah have precious girls. It makes me so sad to know our kids won't grow up together. But, I also know that God has something huge in store for their family and He is going to do great things through them. They are going to be terribly missed. Our date nights where we sit and quote old "Friends" episodes and just crack up over and over again, nights where we know finding a sitter is out so we head to one house or the other and have a fun (albeit, wild) night visiting and chasing around 6 kids, spending the day celebrating each others kid's birthdays, and so much more. We will just miss them. Like so many other people here will - they are loved by many, not just us.

Praying for you as you start your journey in PA. Excited for the times that we'll get to see you all again. Looking forward to a lot of time on Skype! We love you, Sarah and Travis - you'll be missed by the Cash family!