Sunday, July 31, 2011


First of all, I'd like to thank every single one of you who have called, e-mailed, texted or Facebooked me about my brother. He is scratched up and sore in more places than he cares to mention, and his nose is broken in a number of places, but thankfully he is at home and he is recovering. (If you're my Facebook friend, you can see his picture in my profile.) His memory has started coming back in bits and pieces. One thing he is sure of is that it was indeed a hit and run... some irresponsible and inconsiderate soul hit him with his/her car while he was riding his bicycle, and just left him there. Seriously, what is is this world coming to?


I have been working hard trying to get as much of my inventory in the system for the consignment sale this coming weekend. Unfortunately, I still have quite a ways to go, and the deadline is tomorrow at 11:59pm. Yeah, no pressure!


I managed to get all of Isabella's back to school shopping done yesterday in about an hour and a half. It is nice that Isabella (a) wears a uniform to school every day. I honestly LOVE that! and (b) is about as low maintenance as it gets when it comes to shopping. She picked the backpack and lunch box that she really wanted and from there on she was fine with everything else I showed her. Major WIN!


As you can imagine, having art as your birthday party theme undoubtedly translates to a bunch of arts and crafts-type presents. One of such presents came from our dear friends and neighbors, Christie and Madison. It's Magic Fabric. Have you heard of it? I can honestly tell you I had no idea what it was all about out until we opened it up and started playing with it. Isabella, Tata and I had the best time putting all the pieces together to create these fun little animals. So much fun!


In case you noticed Isabella in her PJ's in the above photo, the kids declared last Friday Pajama Day. 
It was on our Summer Fun List. 
It was glorious!


My dear friend Rachel is expecting her third child.
She has two adorable boys.
Their new blessing is a GIRL!
I am SO excited for them!
If you happen to know Rach, be sure stop by to warn congratulate her!


My husband and I need a date. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday...on Thursday

(1) Isabella got a surprise mani/pedi at Sweet and Sassy for her birthday. This girl is just like her Mama in the pampering department... she just can't get enough. Needless to say, she was in HEAVEN!

(2) The summer art program Isabella attended at the beginning of the summer is having their art showcase reception this coming Sunday. Unfortunately, we'll be helping a friend celebrate turning 6, and we won't be able to make it. So we decided to go and check it out last Sunday instead. It was amazing walking into the lobby and SO fun looking at all the colorful artwork.

(3) The class Isabella took was called Sculpture Safari and she made the following two projects:
An elephant:

A cheetah in its habitat:
We are so proud of our little sculptor!

(4) I came across this recipe on Pinterest recently. Are any of you as hooked on Pinterest as I am? Oh. My. Goodness! Talk about an overload of fabulous ideas. It is awesome!!! Anyway, I made it for dinner last week. It was delicious!

(5)  Our boy is desperately fighting naps these days. Claims that he's not tired and doesn't need one. The result, more often than not, is that he totally crashes at about 5:00pm. Anywhere and everywhere! And it is nearly impossible to wake him up without him throwing the MOTHER of all tantrums. Yeah, this is NOT working for me. So we're going to have to reconsider the whole skipping the nap thing... like, PRONTO!

(6) Isabella had her cousin and our neighbor over for a sleepover on Tuesday night.  Sam was almost as excited as Isabella was to have the girls over. The evening consisted of pizza for dinner, donuts, dance battles on the Kinect, lots of running and giggling, makeovers, a movie and popcorn. It was lights out at 11:00 pm. Scott and I were exhausted!

(7) I don't know if it's just us, but my kids will watch a movie and pick that same movie to watch over and over and over for days... It gets to where I can recite them in their entirety. Yeah, I'm not kidding. Anyway, the movie the girls picked for the sleepover was Ramona and Beezus. And in true Butler children fashion, we've been watching it over and over and over ever since. But can I just say, I absolutely loved it. It is sweet and imaginative and funny and perfect for our 6 year old and her Mama to sit and enjoy together.

(8) I can't believe that school starts in a little over a week. I am SO not ready. Like, at all! I foresee some serious back to school shopping in the very near future,... quite possibly tomorrow?!

(9) And speaking of being behind, I'm participating in a consignment sale in a couple of weekends, and I still have not gone through the dozens of bins of kids' clothes, or entered them into the system or prepped them. Yeah,...

(10) I get to spend my evening with the very talented Marci Lambert at a photography seminar, and I am SO looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Arsty Fartsy Affair

So, as many of you know, I live for planning my kids' birthday parties. 
I spend months thinking/planning/shopping/preparing... 
OBSESSING, really! 
And I love every single second of it. 

This year, for her 6th birthday, Isabella asked for an art-themed party. 
In our family ART=FUN! 
So I wasted no time and quickly got to work researching ideas and projects. 

I finally settled on a party at home (crazy, right?) with five different art stations: 
Marble Art, Art Studio, Scratch Art, Bubble Art and  Freestyle Art.

The invitations were sent, RSVPs received and the fun began!

Upon arrival, everyone walked in through our huge frame (you can kind of see it behind the kids).
It was kind of like walking into a painting. 

Immediately to the right was the laundry line with all of the kids' personalized aprons.
I got the aprons at the dollar store.
Pink and purple for the girls, orange and green for the boys.
My Mom and I paid Jo Ann's a visit to buy a variety of fabric.
I cut out the circles and the letters, and she got to work sewing them on.
I love how they turned out. 
They were a HUGE hit with the kids (and the parents).

Here is the birthday girl with most of her guests:

I just love how they all look with their little aprons!
Right after this photo was taken, we counted down and off they ran to get their art on!

Marble Art:

 I bought two big containers of oatmeal and covered them with paper.
Filled the divided tray with 7 different paint colors.
Dropped the marbles in the paint.
Placed a sheet of white construction paper inside the containers.
The kids used the spoons to scoop the marbles inside the container.
Secure the lid.
And shake it to your little heart's desire.
Open container, remove paper and you have marble art!

Needless to say, marble art was a VERY popular station.

The Art Studio:

I purchased three tabletop easels, lots of 8x10 canvases, a bunch of brushes, paint trays, and paint in every color available. 
 The kids enjoyed the freedom of painting whatever they wanted.

We had some amazing masterpieces come out of this station

Scratch Art

All the supplies for this station came from Dick Blick Art Materials.
Have you ever shopped them?
They have everything you've ever thought of (and everything you haven't) related to art.

Bubble Art
It kills me that I didn't take a picture of the Bubble Art station before the party started. 
It was SO colorful! 

And SO fun!
So fun in fact, that some of the kids got a bit carried away when blowing...
Exhibit A:

HA! Just look at that face!
She's so proud of herself and her HUMONGOUS bubbles!
Love it!

Freestyle Art:
 I bought a good size poster board and nailed to the fence.
Then I picked up a bunch of cleaning tools at the dollar store that would add different textures.
And let them go CRAZY!
Unfortunately, once it was all said and done, the entire thing was covered in brown.
But Isabella has decided that she will use that as a background for a painting of her own.
We will then frame it (with the blue frame you've seen floating around this post) and place it in her bedroom.
That way she'll have something that all her little friends contributed toward.
Cute, isn't it?

Throughout the party, kids were constantly going up to 
the makeshift laundry line to hang up their art work.

Here are just a few fun random photos...

Then it was time to go inside and sing Happy Birthday.
Cake maker extraordinaire, Karen, made the cake, as usual.

 And as usual, it was adorable AND delicious!

When everyone was leaving, each child got an 8x10 frame to put their favorite art piece in.
Apparently I forgot to take pictures of those as well...

At the end of the day, her apron looked like this:
and when I asked her if she had enjoyed her party, 
with a HUGE grin on her face, she replied:
"Mommy,thank you for giving us the BEST parties ever!"

And that, my friends, is exactly why I spend months thinking/planning/shopping/preparing... 
OBSESSING, really!

Friday, July 22, 2011

She now needs TWO hands!

Today is our sweet girl's birthday! 
Today she turns 6 years old.
And today she is SO excited, because she now needs both of her hands to tell us how old she is!

There is so much I can say about my sweet baby girl. 
I so love that she is developing into a person who is...
courageous, yet cautious
delicate, yet strong
competitive, yet graceful

she loves God and Jesus
she loves her family
she loves her friends
she loves life
wholeheartedly and unconditionally

And that is EXACTLY how we love her!


Thank you for 6 wonderful years!
May God continue to bless you each and every day of your amazing life!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mom and Me Summer Crafting Class

- Note to self - 
Sign the kids up for this fun class! 

Join me this coming Tuesday as I walk you and your young ones through creating their very own dry erase board.  Each attendee will have a chance to personalize their board with their names and gender-specific embellishments.
Your kids can use these boards to keep track of their play dates, assignments and extracurricular activities. Or you could use it to sneak in a cute reminder of their chores every now and then ;)

This class is suitable for girls or boys. 



Attendees must be 6 years old or older, and must have an adult accompany them for assistance. 

In addition to your basic supplies, please bring a glue stick, pop dots and glue dots.

To sign up, please call us at 901-377-3705 or stop by today. But you may want to do it soon, since this class has limited spots available.

Date: Tuesday, July 19
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Cost: $18
I look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tennessee Safari Park

OK, so here we are, almost the middle of July and I'm working on my first post of the month. Pathetic, I know! But seriously, try as I may, I can't even begin to explain the lack of time and/or motivation I have for sitting and writing these days.

And even worse, after being a reading machine for months, even that has come to a screeching halt. I swear it took me almost a month to get through the book I just finished. And it's not because it was a particularly bad book, because it wasn't. It's all due to my severe lack of time/motivation.

All I know is that whoever came up with the phrase "Lazy Summer Days" was totally and absolutely clueless. Cause our summer has been everything but lazy! And truth be told, I need to remedy that PRONTO, or I will most certainly lose my mind!

Between art camp, swim lessons, VBS, and more swim lessons, my days are like a whirlwind of activity.

Anyway, I'd like to take a second to slow down enough to share with you some pictures of one of our latest outings. A couple weekends ago we decided to visit the Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, TN. We had invited my parents to come along with us, but when my brother and his family got wind of our plans, they decided this was an adventure they could not miss. So off we all went.

The first part of the visit consists of a drive-thru safari park, where you buy buckets of food and feed the animals while you drive through their "safari". I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty fun! The kids had a blast holding their buckets out the windows for the animals to come up to the car to eat.

This is my nephew, obeying the do not get out of the car rule...well, kinda!

These animals were definitely not shy.
They eagerly walked up to every single car on the path.

OK, so funny story. 
This ostrich ran up the car and after he ate out of Scott's bowl, 
he made his way to Sam, who was hanging his bowl out the back window.

Sam decided it would be so much more fun to actually hand feed this bird. The ostrich pecked once, and then again, and then decided Sam's fingers looked so delicious, he stuck Sam's entire hand inside it's beak. Well, needless to say our boy was screaming his head off. And once we realized he was OK, and was more shaken up than anything else, we laughed our heads off. And he looked at us and yelled: "THAT BIRD ALMOST ATE ME!" In hindsight, I think he felt a bit indignant at our laughing. But trust me, had you been there, you would have laughed too!

Anyhoo, we continued on our trek of feeding animals. 
Well, all of us, except for Sam.
He continued on, but refused to feed!

Luckily, after a very traumatic 5 minutes, 
our boy was fully recovered from his "near-death experience". 
Ha Ha Ha!
Oh, the drama!

Once you finish the drive-thru aspect, then you go on to their petting zoo.
We had to buy more food (we had saved some from the drive-thru part without realizing we couldn't feed it to the petting zoo animals), some carrots and some milk.

Here I am feeding the giraffe some carrots.
This was definitely my favorite part!

The kids were loving the goats, sheep and deer.

We took a little break to get some rest, shade/air (boy, it was HOT!), snacks, and photos.

Hello, Mr. Monkey!

 Are these two not the cutest?

Work it, girl, with yo' gorgeous self!

And then we decided since we still had food left over from our first go-round, 
we would drive around the safari again and then head back home.

We had some new visitors:
Some very persistent visitors:
Yeah, this bull followed us for the longest time.
Regardless of the speed we were going.
He would not stop eating the food.
He stuck his entire head in our car.
And even after we put the window up, he continued to follow us.
Even licking the window.
We were dying laughing!

And some return visitors:
Remember him?
Sam certainly did!
And this is what he looked like at that specific moment:
Did you notice his hands strategically hidden between his legs?
See? It's still funny!

It turned out to be a very fun day!
But let me give you a couple tips, in case you decide to visit:

(1) They only accept cash.
Good thing someone told me this beforehand, since we NEVER carry cash, 
and they do not have an ATM on the premises.
(2) You might want to pack snacks/drinks for your visit.
They actually do sell stuff there, but it is EXPENSIVE!