Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We've got the photo...now what?

I LOVE walking to the mailbox during the month of December. I look forward to opening up the mail in anticipation of receiving some beautiful Christmas cards. I LOVE hearing from friends and family both near and far, and seeing how their family has grown or changed over the past year. Here in the south, Christmas cards are a BIG deal!
They really are a gift in themselves!
Each card our family receives is proudly displayed on our pantry door, so we can enjoy it through out the entire Christmas season!

Well, our family has our photo, now it's time to pick our fun Christmas card design.
December is here and I want to get these babies in the mail ASAP!

I am really lovin' Shutterfly y'all.
I use them all the time when ordering prints throughout the year,
and have never been disappointed.
I'm really excited about their many Christmas card designs they have to choose from.

Here are just a few of my favorites...
I really like this one...
It's simple and sweet!

Or maybe this one..
Who doesn't love a simple monogram right?!!?!
I think this one is especially FUN!
So...cute and I love all the colors.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Oh, and guess what y'all...
Shutterfly is offering 50 FREE CHRISTMAS CARDS to bloggers who blog about this giveaway.
Can you believe it?!?!
You can read all about it HERE!
Check it out and get yourself some FREE cards;)

Birthday fun times TWO

Two of Corban's very best friends (in the whole wide world)--Cor wanted to make sure I added that part-- celebrate their birthdays within a week of each other. Instead of having two parties (one for each) these sweet families decided to get together and just have one. Friday, we headed over to Plaza Fiesta to celebrate Jack and Tyler's special day.
Corban was so excited to party with his two sweet friends!

Plaza Fiesta is home to the Southeast's LARGEST indoor playground.

A PERFECT place to celebrate!
You can only imagine the FUN these boys had playing on this playground!

The babies LOVED playing too, and they did their BEST to keep up with the big kids.

Shane and I attempted to keep up with the babies as they crawled, jumped, ran, and slid through this jungle gym maze.
We were EXHAUSTED by the end of the night!

Sweet Jackson--ALL smiles!

Corban and Mommy!

After we had our fill of climbing and sliding, it was time for dinner and cupcakes!

Which Miss Sophie thoroughly enjoyed!

Happy Birthday Jack and TyTy!

We love you boys so...much!

Monday, November 29, 2010

T-shirt tutorial

Next to making dresses for Sophie, I LOVE making t-shirts for the boys. They are easy, FUN, and with Christmas just around the corner, they make the PERFECT gift.

What you'll need:
Wonder-under (ultra bond)
Thread to match your fabric
Sewing machine

1. Pick a design. I LOVE checking out Etsy for fun ideas to duplicate.
I'm not really that creative of a person, but I like to say that I'm a good copy cat.

2. Pick out your material.
You can use one or many different fabrics.
I chose this fun Christmas fabric for my t-shirt.

My project was made really, really, easy because I wanted a t-shirt to compliment a knot dress that I already made for Sophie lu.
Instead of creating my own design, I used the print on the fabric.

3. Cut a piece of wonder under according to the size of the shape you are making.
You may need one piece of wonder under, or several. It all depends on the number of fabrics you are using.

For me, I wanted to cut out three of the Christmas trees printed on the fabric I chose.

4. Iron the wonder under on the WRONG side the fabric.
(Follow the directions given in the Wonder Under packaging)

5. Trace your shape and/
or cut out your shape(s)

6. Peel off the top layer of wonder under.

7. Place your design onto the t-shirt and then iron!

8. Sew around your design. Depending on the size and detail of the design---sometimes I hand sew around it, but most of the time I use my sewing machine--it's MUCH faster!

The finished project.

A dress for my sweet Soph, and a matching t-shirt for Hud!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our elf returns...

For the third year in a row, our little elf Sam, has returned from the North Pole to spend the holidays with our family. The boys have anxiously awaited his arrival since, well...since June! He usually arrives the day after Thanksgiving, but this year he was almost a little late in making his much anticipated appearance. He was...uh, "stuck" in a tub in the garage, and poor Shane had to dig him out around midnight the other night.
He did not want to disappoint the boys!

Sam's job is to observe the kids behavior during the day, and then fly back to the North Pole each night to give Santa a report. Each morning he has "returned" and is sitting in a new and different place in the house.
The boys race down the stairs each and every morning in order to be the first to spot him in his new location.

Our Elf on a Shelf has become one of our family's most favorite Christmas traditions!
Does your family have an elf?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


My heart is so full right now,
it feels as if it might burst!

I look around me and feel so incredibly blessed.

The Lord has given me more than I could ever have asked for or even imagined (Ephesians 3:20) and I am humbled. As I sit and type this post, I have TWO HEALTHY little ones peacefully asleep in their cribs, one sweet little boy cuddled up on the couch next to me watching a movie, and another little guy snuggled up next to his wonderful Daddy..
Ahh...pure bliss!

We spent the afternoon at my parents house, celebrating this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

We're blessed to have much of our family just around the corner!

We ate until our hearts content...and them ate some;)

I LOVE my family, and spending time with them is always such a special treat!

Cousins are the BEST!
(Jake will be a BIG brother very, very soon.
We can't wait to welcome sweet Brooklyn into our family!)

And what's Thanksgiving without a few rounds of Skip-bo!?!?

Riley was crowned the Skip-bo king this year!

It truly was a wonderful day!
    Psalm 145:7
    They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

    Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Miss "A" update...

Thank you for your words of encouragement last week as we walked through the heartache of saying "goodbye" to our sweet foster daughter.
In many ways it feels like more than a week has passed, and in other ways it feels like it was just yesterday. I am still finding odds and ends around the house that serve as constant reminders to us that she was here. I've come across Polly pockets shoe, a barbie outfit, and several pieces of her art work proudly displayed upon our pantry door. We went to turn on the DVD player yesterday, and Strawberry Shortcake began playing on the screen. (That made my heart smile.)
I am always counting little heads, especially when we load up to go anywhere. So many times this week, I've looked back in the rear view mirror and some how been surprised when I only counted four.

Yesterday, we had a chance to talk with Miss "A" on the phone. She sounded GREAT and was so.......happy. She started back to school last Thursday, and really, really liked it. She was so excited to tell me about a new friend that she had made named, Jasmine. She also told me all about her new pink princess bedroom, and her pillow pet. She had her picture taken with Santa at the mall, and wants a unicorn for Christmas;) {SMILE} Corban and Riley chatted with her for a while too. She begged to talk to Sophie, but unfortunately she was napping at the time. I told her that next Sunday when we call again, we'll make sure Sophie is awake.

It thrilled my heart to know that she was adjusting so well and I wanted to share that with you all too!
Thanks for your sweet prayers on behalf of Miss "A"!
God is so....good!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey fun

Riley and I had some fun in the kitchen yesterday. Whenever I'm cooking or baking, Riley is always close by and eager to help out. Oh, I just LOVE that about him.

He's been deemed my little "baking partner"!

As different holidays approach, I'll begin searching for some fun, creative, ways to celebrate that upcoming holiday. Riley is usually right by my side giving me his input and advice on what we should or shouldn't do.

A few days ago I came across these adorable T.O.M. turkey cupcakes.

Sweet T.O.M. Turkeys
Riley gave his approval, and yesterday we rolled up our sleeves and got busy in the kitchen. We make a great team.

I do most of the baking, but when it comes to the decorating, well, that's definitely his department;)!

...and here's our finished product!

The BEST part was "GOBBLING" them up!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The "perfect" addition!?!?

Well y'all...the Bruce family is growing again, BUT wait, it's not in the way you may think.

Meet Molly, our four-legged, furry friend, and now new member of our CRAZY household.
We've been tossing around the idea about getting a dog for a while now, but weren't quite sure if now was the right time. We knew the boys would LOVE having a
pet, and thought it would make THE perfect Christmas present, however, the babies are still so young and needy. Did we really want to add yet another "thing" to our already busy home?!?!
Well, we started doing some research and began "just looking" around at some available dogs on Petfinder. In our search for the "perfect" dog, we came across an agency called Carolina PAWS.

They rescue animals from area shelters, give them some basic training, and then adopt them out into loving homes. They were so helpful as we searched for the "perfect" dog for our family. We told them what we were looking for and they helped us narrow down our hunt.

They introduced us to "Molly" and we all instantly fell in LOVE.

She's sweet, calm, loving, housebroken, doesn't shed, gets along GREAT with kids, likes to run (one thing I wanted), and not to mention is just simply ADORABLE!!!
Seriously, what more could we ask for!?!?

She's a precious five month old boxer-mix.
The kids are head-over-heels in love with her.

Poor thing, she's probably just a little over whelmed by all of us though;)
She's received A LOT of LOVIN' in the last 24 hours.
Bless her heart!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It was only for a moment you were mine to hold.

Monday, we had a going away party for "A" at school.

It was such a special time filled with lots of hugs and (of course) lots of tears!

She's gone now. Her grandpa picked her up late yesterday afternoon.
Oh, how our hearts ache
and long for her to be here with us again!
Letting go is so hard...

I just LOVE this song written by Mark Harris. The words have come to mean so much to me as our family walked this journey of fostering. This has truly become my hearts cry and prayer for our sweet "A".

It was only for a moment you were mine to hold.

The plans that Heaven has for you will all too soon unfold.

So many different prayers I'll pray for all that you might do.
But most of all,
I'll wanna know you're walking in the truth.

And if I never told you,

I want you to know that as I watch you grow:

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things.

I'm here for you whatever this life brings,
So let my love give you roots and help you find your wings.

May passion be the wind that leads you through your days.
And may conviction keep you strong,
Guide you on your way.

May there be many moments that make your life so sweet.

But more than memories.

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things.

I'm here for you whatever this life brings,
So let my love give you roots and help you find your wings.

It's not living if you don't reach for the sky.
I'll have tears as you take off,
But I'll cheer as you fly.

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage

To dare to do great things.

I'm here for you whatever this life brings,
So let my love give you roots and help you find your wings.