Friday, December 19, 2014

All the Pieces of My Heart~ Five Minute Friday: Adore



 Christmas preparation, decorations, photos, early morning twinkling lights, pre dawn and before the house awakens. All the pieces of my heart.:

 The handmade ornaments, the sticky foamie crafts, the felt and glitter, the spilled glue, the most glorious ornaments on our tree, yes, more so than the crystal and the storebought........and the  long days of childhood we knew would someday be a memory, but not so soon. Not yet.  

And the photos, our memories in print, that line, that grace, that adorn our walls, our stairs, our counters, that spiral us back in time ...... Spilling the stories......  

Of laughter and fishing and mountain trails and docks at the lake. You  almost inhale the aroma of a barbecue starting up........ motor boat gasoline, too. 

You feel the tippy canoe under you as you gaze into the smiling faces. You remember the sand in the sheets and the sunburned shoulders under your heavy sweatshirt that night roasting smores.

   There is laughter and there are lingering summer suppers. Citronella candles burn to stubs as sun dips below horizon...

 You know that no matter what gets done on that last-week-before-Christmas to do list, it will all be okay because, truly, this is the important stuff of our lives. 




  
And with that, my 5 minutes are up....  I'm so happy to join Katie at FMF and the tribe of writers, who scribble, or type ( ! ) on one word each week. Please visitAll the  Kate for more glimpses into FMF.


Friends, while you're here, 
may I ask that you whisper a prayer for 
a dear friend? 

Mary is losing her daughter.
Her time this side of heaven, as Mary says,
 is numbered in days as of now.
~Thank you~
Our hearts are breaking for sweet Courtney.


Before I close, may I share some good news and ask a favor!?
Campfires and Cleats has been nominated in THREE categories
 at the Homeschool Post Blog Awards #HSBA2014 and
I. Am. Thrilled!
It is truly an honor and I'm blown away!
May I ask you to please click over and vote?
It's quick and easy. 
I promise.
Here are the three links...
just click my blog name and then scroll down a touch to 
click on the "vote" button.




 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                            
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link?
Here it is:

In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Dozen Years, A Golden Heart, A Birthday


This little boy who is  the kindest, gentlest, 
most empathetic person I know?
Someday, hopefully, we'll have the opportunity to 
 ask the Lord what we did to deserve him.

Twelve years ago today, the world became a better place because now,
he's in it.
Yes, I know, all children are beautiful inside and out.
All children are a gift.
There's something special about my little man, though,
and we are certainly blessed beyond all comprehension, that he is ours.
Here are some shots through the years  ....

I'll be back tomorrow with today's fun.
Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with us! 


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6


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7



8



9



 10

11






~The birthday tree~
I create a birthday tree for my boys to display  photos of them
throughout each year and "charms" depicting their hobbies and interests.
It's easy and they love a special tree dedicated to them!
This post gives the how-to.
Here's a quick shot of the almost- birthday boy's 10 birthday tree:


Blinkies courtesy of Gif paradise .

Friends, while you're here, 
may I ask that you whisper a prayer for 
a dear friend? 

Mary is losing her daughter.
Her time this side of heaven, as Mary says,
 is numbered in days as of now.
Please visit Mary's home on the web to possibly offer a kind word...
bu most importantly.please pray.
Our hearts here, as we celebrate our little sweetheart, are breaking..


Before I close, may I share some good news and ask a favor!?
Campfires and Cleats has been nominated in THREE categories
 at the Homeschool Post Blog Awards #HSBA2014 and
I. Am. Thrilled!
It is truly an honor and I'm blown away!
May I ask you to please click over and vote?
It's quick and easy. 
I promise.
Here are the three links...
just click my blog name and then scroll down a touch to 
click on the "vote" button.





 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                            
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link?
Here it is:

In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Pirate's Life for Me! A Pirates of the Caribbean Party Done Frugally: Invitations, Treats, Favors, Decorations & Even a Shipwrecked Cake!


Hi there and thanks for stopping over!
You must have pirate-crazy kids if you're here;

 the whole Jolly Roger / Black Pearl scene is pretty cool, huh?
When it's not ruthless, bloody and inhuman.
But let's focus on the, well, fun of the seafaring life, shall we?
My son turns 12 tomorrow~ yikes!
How did a dozen years go by already?
And honestly, he's one sweetheart, stand out kid.
....you've 'heard' me gush, if you're a regular here.....
His birthday post with photos through the years is coming soon.... :)
A couple of weeks ago,
 we held a Pirates of the Caribbean party for him.
Since then, Thanksgiving,  living our advent traditions 
and preparing for Christmas have all  taken precedence.
I've not had time  til now to really organize the bash in words and photos.
My little man may seem a  bit on the older side for a
pirate theme, but as a budding thespian who 
performs in much community theater,
he's heavy into and  oh-so hooked on
.....ha, see what I did there.....
the actors in both
 Once Upon a Time, namely the "devilishly handsome" Hook,
aka Killian Jones~ 

and  ne'er do well, but hilariously self deprecating 
 Jack Sparrow, one of his all time
 favorites, Johnny Depp...


In fact, I personally can't stand the POTC movies, but 
my crazy kid has seen each of them only
about twice and has. each. movie. memorized. 
I kid you not. The entire movie.
He memorizes whole movies, tv episodes and plays "by accident," he claims.
So since he's been a walking wiki on all things OUaT and POTC,
a pirate birthday theme was a no brainer!

The birthday boy pretty much came up with all the aspects of the pirate-y theme,
from the invitation ( we made a cool one
and if you, too, are having a pirate-y themed party, email me and I'll
be happy to send it to you)
to the decor, to the treats,  the favors and the music.
We even salvaged a shipwreck of a cake.
Ok it looked far from impressive, but it did look authentic pirate.
Extra icing and a wealth  of paper  and candy 
skull and crossbones  decoration do wonders.
And luckily big brother had the honor of DJ-ing!
So here we go~



~Decorations and preparations~

We bought a box of banner letters and paper fasteners 
at Walmart
to string up pirate expressions!
ARRRG
and
AHOY MATEYS


Next came the Dolloar Tree skeletons with the AAA battery operated blinking green eyes
which we had on hand from Halloween....
hung with a gruesome warning.......

...apparently depicting a morbid movie scene!

Lots of candy making in the kitchen!
Chocolate molds of the skull and crossbones, etc were artfully crafted....


...And the day of, we iced, labelled and set up the pirate bounty!

Do ya love the rigging we have going on  with the crutches holding up
our turtle's nighttime lamp?
I've said it before, we've got decorating style....!

Anyway, all of the serving accessories save that pretty cupcake display,
were purchased at the Dollar Tree.


Pirate-y photos, fish nets and blue lights strung around the house
gave a nautical "glow."







~Pirate treats~

Sorry I can't  turn these few shots, no matter what I do!


All the food was Pirates of the Caribbean -inspired and
 conjured  by the birthday boy.









A close up of the handmade chocolate~




...and more goodies concocted with yellow chocolate and dark chocolate:

...with Dollar Tree pirate coins strewn around~


Blue jello and candy skulls~

~~The cake~~

What we used to decorate and make, above and
what came out of the pan, below~!


With a lot of patience and time, we salvaged it:



 ~~The favors~~



This year they were simple, frugal and very appreciated.
Clear favor bags from Michael's, decks of cards--- 2/$1 at Dollar Tree,
pirate themed pencils and skull and crossbones bandannas

tied up with red ribbon.



~The music and fun~





Ghost stories and marshmallow roasting~



Older bro provided music, complete with garage-sale bought disco ball!



And THAT pretty much sums up the revelry among the local pirates~!
I don't share pictures of kids other than my own here on my blog;
so all the group shots around the cake, campfire and the "dance floor"
are still on the memory card.
Great,smiling faces and tons of fun with all his friends.
He's very lucky to have them...and they, him!

For my little guy's actual birthday, we have a quiet but fun day planned
which includes a trip to IHOP, strolling around a local port town which is super festive at this time of year, his brother's track meet,  cake, simple gifts 
and  a Christmas-y movie/video of his choice.

~The birthday tree~
I create a birthday tree for my boys to display  photos of them
throughout each year and "charms" depicting their hobbies and interests.
It's easy and they love a special tree dedicated to them!
This post gives the how-to.
Here's a quick shot of the almost- birthday boy's 10 birthday tree:



Friends, while you're here, 
may I ask that you whisper a prayer for 
a dear friend? 

Mary is losing her daughter.
Her time this side of heaven, as Mary says,
 is numbered in days as of now
Please visit Mary's home on the web to possibly offer a kind word...
bu most importantly.please pray.
Our hearts here, as we celebrate our little sweetheart are breaking..

Before I close, may I share some good news and ask a favor!?
Campfires and Cleats has been nominated in THREE categories
 at the Homeschool Post Blog Awards #HSBA2014 and
I. Am. Thrilled!
It is truly an honor and I'm blown away!
May I ask you to please click over and vote?
It's quick and easy. 
I promise.
Here are the three links...
just click my blog name and then scroll down a touch to 
click on the "vote" button.





 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
And hey:

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:


                                                                            
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

If you are shopping at  amazon this Christmas season,
would you consider clicking through my link?
Here it is:

In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
a few pennies per dollar.
If YOU are an amazon affiliate, please send me
your link and I will do the same!
THANK YOU!


Until next time,

~Chris

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