"Are you going to cancel the Beach Bash," Julianna asked me again.
"I guess I have to. The weather is supposed to be horrible all week," I replied. I consider any kind of weather where the sun isn't shining brightly horrible.
"It's supposed to be 80% chance of rain at New Smyrna Saturday," she informed me.
I have gone to the beach on the Saturday closest to my birthday every year for the last 18 years. I love the beach and it is so relaxing to be surrounded by my family and friends, hear the waves pound the shore, walk, and talk. It is a highlight of my year.
Unfortunately, this year, May was unseasonably rainy! I decided that I would just have people over for cake, ice cream, and games. We could play Headbanz, my favorite game!
Julianna, knowing I was disappointed, texted our friend Laura who shot back ten texts. She was full of ideas and hurried off to the party store where she bought a plastic palm tree and parrot, as well as other Luau decorations.
When I came home from a book sale Saturday morning, the house had been transformed into a tropical paradise with shells, bright colors, and Luau decor. A slide show of photographs was playing beach music from the Beach Boys. The menu was tropical. Julianna made pina colada smoothies for everyone.
I was delighted! We had a blast visiting and playing games.
Micah, who is fascinated with anything related to firemen and firetrucks, turned 5 recently.
Naturally, his parents had a firefighter-themed birthday party.
A red tablecloth with fighter-fighter toys like a plastic firetruck and ax heralded the theme for all the visitors.
The simple snacks and drinks were under a large tree on top of a firefighter-themed tablecloth. Games adhered to the theme, too.
My husband and I enjoyed the party. We chatted with friends and watched the children laugh and play. As the little ones arrived, their eyes brightened with delight as they saw the decorations. They got so excited as they played the games together.
I was so impressed with Micah's fireman party that I just had to tell you all about it and how Sarah did it at such a low cost.
Theme & Decorations & Food
I attended an engagement party this weekend and was excited to discover they had a cupcake bar.
You can see how pretty the display was in the photo. There were little flags in the frosting bowls and paper topping dishes to inform guests what they were looking at.
Guests could choose from vanilla or chocolate cupcakes, just plain cupcakes.
The next step was to choose chocolate or vanilla frosting for your cupcake. If you are having your own cupcake bar, you could also use decorator bags of icing so you could pipe the frosting on fancy.
Once your cupcake was frosted, it was time for the goodies to decorate. You had a choice of ten different toppings.
Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate with family after a joyful church service. Are you planning a festive meal for family and friends?
Wondering what to make for that special dinner?
Here are some menus to get your creative wheels turning. You can mix and match these menus to come up with your own perfect menu.
Easter Menu #1
Sweet & Sour Ham
Key Lime Pie
Easter Menu #2
Roast Lamb with Mint Jelly
Easter Menu #3
It's hard to believe that three years have gone by since we welcomed little Rusty into the family--the first grandson on both sides.
Mike and I have been friends with Donald and Laura for almost 20 years and were so excited when their eldest son fell in love with our oldest daughter. They got married and started having beautiful babies, our beloved grandchildren.
This past weekend, we got to celebrate Rusty's third birthday.
His parents threw a birthday party for him in their backyard. They invited friends and family to help celebrate!
The kids played games and we enjoyed snacks and birthday cake.
A New Bike!
Poppi and Lolly (Donald and Laura) got their grandson his first tricycle. A little red trike! He loved it!
In fact, Rusty loved all his gifts and had a blast opening each one.
It was so nice to see how excited and thankful he was, unaware of the price. He saw value in everything from little cars to a brand new trike.
It was so nice to see him playing nicely with his friends and little brother. What a blessing to have a good-natured grandson.
Let me tell you about the party theme.
Easter is my favorite time of year! I get so excited when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus who loved and died for us. I just have to worship!
Here are twelve of my favorite worship songs. These songs express the excitement and wonder of the Resurrection. I hope you will enjoy singing along as much as I do.
Here are 12 Easter Songs for Worship:
"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (Charles Wesley)
"Forever" (Kari Jobe)
"Victor's Crown" (Darlene Zschech)
"Resurrecting" (Elevation Worship)
"Christ is Risen" (Matt Maher)
"Resurrection Day" (Rend Collective)
"My Redeemer Lives" (Hillsong)
"Man of Sorrows" (Hillsong)
"I Will Rise" (Chris Tomlin)
"What a Beautiful Name" (Hillsong)
"Because He Lives" (Gaither Band)
"Up From the Grave He Arose" (Michael W. Smith)
So, set aside some time to worship the Lord this Easter. This songs will be a great start.
Enjoy! And Happy Easter!
I never understood as a little girl why Good Friday was called 'good' because of the torture and suffering Jesus underwent. Once I understood that He endured the suffering for me to pay the price for my sins, I called Good Friday 'good' too.
There are more songs than I could possibly share that are special, but here are my very favorite worship songs to sing to Jesus on Good Friday.
I hope you will enjoy these songs and enjoy worshiping the Lord who died for you.
Here are my favorite Good Friday worship songs:
"The Cross Has the Final Word" (Cody Carnes)
"This is Our God" (Hillsong)
"At The Cross" (Chris Tomlin)
"You Saw Me" (Hillsong)
"Here I am to Worship" (Chris Tomlin)
"Savior King" (Hillsong)
"Lead Me to the Cross" (Hillsong)
"Nailed to the Cross" (Rend Collective)
"How Deep the Father's Love for Us" (Stuart Townend)
The Old Rugged Cross (Old Hymn)
"Nothing but the Blood" (Old Hymn)
"Were You There?" (Old Song)
I hope you enjoy these songs and spend some meaningful time worshiping the One Who gave His life for you on Good Friday.
It's almost that time!
The most important celebration on the calendar. The day we remember the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to bless you with a gift this season to make Holy Week and Easter morning meaningful.
You don't have to sign up for our newsletter, though you are always welcome to sign up here. (scroll down to the bottom of the page)
Celebrate Easter Deovtions is 16 days of Bible reading, singing, and a family craft or activity.
Starting the day before Palm Sunday when Jesus is anointed by Mary in Bethany, in preparation for his burial, and following the story day-by-day until his arrest, death, burial, and resurrection.
The second week of devotions follows Jesus 40 days in His resurrected body until He ascends to the Father in Heaven.
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Easter that will draw the entire family closer to Jesus, this is it! Download your free copy of Easter Devotions here.
After 34 years, can you still slow dance with your husband in the living room by candlelight? I think so!
My friend Felice and I just recorded a radio show on date nights and it got me thinking about our romantic dates when we didn't have enough money to go out to dinner or see a movie.
Sometimes we would just bring a CD player to a romantic spot and dance under the moonlight. Other times we would slow dance in the living room with the lights down low.
As time goes on, you can forget to do romantic things because it's easier to go our to dinner or see a show.
I think this month, I'll find some songs on YouTube and slow-dance with my husband in the living room.
Here are some songs that are romantic and fun to dance to. Most of them are oldies, of course, because I'm getting to be an oldie myself.
One of my favorite songs. I sung this to my husband in church ten years ago on our anniversary. Says it all. Not perfect, but definitely happily ever after.
An even older song called Still the One. "Still the One" by Orleans. Can you remember Orleans, anyone? This was popular when I was in high school, or earlier maybe. My hubby is still the one.
In October, I found a cute little fire car on a great sale at Amazon. Amazed, I scooped it up and hid it in my husband's closet.
A month later, I found an adorable police car on sale at Kohl's. One more large gift added to the closet.
Christmas rolled around and I couldn't figure out how to wrap them.
So, we decided to have a treasure hunt for my two-year-old and one-year-old grandson.
We couldn't give clues with words but we could with pictures.
We snapped some photos of their crib, the fireplace, and the garage. We printed them on our printer.
Then we wrapped up the photo of the crib in a little box.
Rusty and Cooper opened the box and headed to the crib where they found another photo taped to the side of the crib.
Are you looking for hope this holiday season?
Are you hoping for a brand-new start?
Do you want your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep?
I have something important to share with you! You can have hope, a brand-new start, and your failures and flaws wiped away in one sweep.
But, wait. There’s more. You can start life over with a new heart. The old gone; the new come.
“How much does this cost?” you ask.
The answer may surprise you. It’s free! There’s no strings attached. No newsletters to sign up for. No comment to leave. No shipping to pay.
God’s gift of Eternal Life this Christmas season is FREE.
“The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 3:23).
Those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord will be saved. “If you declare with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified; and it is with your mouth you profess your sin and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
"What kind of cookies are you making?" Shine asked.
"I'll pick up eggnog at Publix on the way home from work," Julianna added, grabbing her purse as she walked out of the kitchen toward the door.
Tonight was our annual Decorating the Christmas Tree Night, a tradition started our first year of marriage.
We start with a special dinner: Chicken and Dumplings, Ambrosia, and Muffins. Afterward, we do our Christmas devotions. Then, we listen to Christmas carols, eat cookies, and drink eggnog while we decorate the tree. There are treasured ornaments we pull out each year to hang on the tree. Some are handmade. Many are decades old; some handed down from grandparents.
Back in 1986, I had my first baby, a little girl named Katie-Beth. I started an ornament collection for her that first Christmas. I made one little stuffed Christmas bear for her and one for our tree. Thus, began our annual ornament tradition.
Each year I make one ornament for the tree and one for each of the children. That way when they take their ornament collection to their new homes, they will have ornaments that are exactly like the ornaments they grew up with.
Sewing, rubber stamping, embossing, cross-stitch, painting, and more crafting methods were used to create keepsake treasures. The ornaments tend to reflect whatever hobby I was into that year.
Mom and I made quilted ornaments one fall when she and Daddy visited. They were so time-consuming to make, but we enjoyed chatting and catching up on all the family news as we worked.
One year, we went and chopped down our own Christmas tree. What fun! We slice off some thin round pieces of wood from the bottom of the tree and engraved the date. Looking at that ornament brings back fond memories of that special day.
When my kids were little, I made them Scripture Memory Books out of magnetic photo albums. I wrote verses on colored card-stock and cut out magazine photos to match each verse.
It had an amazing impact on my life. As I worked on the Scripture books, my mind was saturated with the Word of God in a positive way. Years later, i had my teens create Scripture books as assignments in various Real Men and God's Girls courses where they learned about marriage, homemaking, leadership, and growing in Christ.
Now I am a grandmother and I wantto carry on the tradition so I created Scripture Memory books in Word, took them to the printer, and created nice coil-bound books. The children love them!
I make sure to use lots of photos of the child I am giving the book to in throughout the pages. Children love to see photos of themselves.
It all started with putting a bright red towel under a punch bowl to catch the spills. The lush Christmasy red towel made the punch bowl shimmer shades of red. And the table was protected! Then, of course there was the towel sale at Kohl's.
In my house, I have lots of old furniture--hand-me-downs from grandparents. These beautiful wooden end tables and dressers are easily marked up, so I keep them covered with linens (another hand-me-down from my grandparents). This Christmas, I decided to replace some of these tabletop linens with towels to add a splash of color.
I liked the bright splash of Christmas color underneath my various Christmas decorations. And the great thing? These Christmas decorations can be tossed right into the washer to be fresh and clean again.
Another thing I do with towels at Christmas is to put them under the coffee pot and the tea things in my kitchen. I love the cheery brightness the red towel brings under the tea things.
If you are looking for an easy way to add a splash of color; consider red and green towels. It's a quick, easy, and fun way to decorate.
We have resources to add fun to your Christmas:
FREE Curtis Family Christmas Devotions
Celebrate Christmas with a Traveling Dinner
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies
Celebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study
Celebrate Christmas in Colonial America Unit Study