Monday, June 29, 2015

Anniversary Plaque to Honor 50 Years of Family Memories

My parents recently had the joy of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. While we wanted to honor the event with some traditional gifts, I also wanted to make something that celebrated the family legacy their marriage created. My son's girlfriend Lisa came up with the idea of adapting the 'birthday boards' she had seen on pinterest. I liked this idea because in addition to displaying important dates, it would visually represent the legacy their union created as the family continues to grow.
If you would like to create one of these plaques for someone special to you or to hang in your own home, you will need the following supplies:

~1 wooden plaque
~1 wooden circle for each birthday you want to commemorate
1 wooden heart for each anniversary you want to commemorate
~S hooks
~12 screw eye hooks
~acrylic paint
~sharpie markers or paint pens        

The wooden circles and hearts that I purchased were not pre drilled with holes in them, so my son drilled the holes in ours. We then painted the plaque gray and the hearts and circles were painted white.

The eye hooks were then screwed into the bottom of the plaque and a month was written above each hook. We wrote the family name on the plaque and Lisa had painted a Fleur Di Les in the center. We also chose to write the year my parents were married and their family was established, but you can add any additional decorations that you wish. On each circle we wrote a family member's name and the date of their birthday. On each heart we wrote the initials of a couple and the date they were married. The hearts and circles then got hung under the appropriate corresponding month.

My mom got a bit teary eyed when they opened the gift. It turned out to be a great way to display how their love for each other has grown from the marriage of two young people to a family unit  that 50 years later includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We were sure to purchase extra hearts and circles so that we can add to the gift as the family continues to grow.

 Linking with:
Tabler Party of Two
Three Kids and a Fish
My Pinterventures
Between Naps On The Porch
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home
Meatloaf And Melodrama
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Hope In Every Season
A Delightsome Life
Embracing Change 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Empty Nests

Do you remember the photos of the robin's nest with the eggs that I shared recently in a previous post?

Well today I have some exciting new photos and a video to share with you! My family and I had been checking the nest daily, waiting for signs of new life to appear. First the sad news. Although there had been 3 eggs in the nest, the day we noticed the eggs had hatched, there was only 1 baby present :(

Since the nest was located in a shrub at the end of our deck, we had the pleasure of being able to check in regularly and watch how quickly the baby grew...

and grew!

I can tell you that for a little guy, this baby ate a lot and kept his momma busy looking for food...

He would chirp quite loudly when he was hungrily waiting for his next meal...

He would get louder ...

and louder..

and louder..

At other times he would rest quietly however ...

A few days after the baby robin left the nest, we heard chirping in a boxwood shrub that was located on the other side of our deck. Upon close inspection we found another nest well hidden inside the shrub. This nest was much smaller than the robin's nest, but it was home to three tiny babies! We weren't able to get a close look at this mother bird, so we are not sure what type of birds these babies were, but they were so sweet...

After these birds left the nest, my daughter said she was amazed at the short amount of time the babies were  there and how quickly they grew. She commented on what little time the momma birds actually had with their babies and how sad that is. I just nodded and was reminded about the book I reviewed in my last post. With my daughter's high school graduation ceremony quickly approaching, and my son about to begin his senior year of college, I could fully relate to how quickly a mother's "babies" grow, and what little time she gets to spend with them. A mother's job is to protect her young, to nurture them, to provide for them and to teach them well. While the ability of the babies to learn to fly independently is a sign of a mother's job well done, I could also relate to the mixed emotions that go along with an empty nest.

Linking up with these great blogs:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Just 18 Summers by Michelle Cox and Rene Gutteridge

     Things have been a little busy around our house lately and the month of June will have a lot going on as well. Tomorrow is my daughter's senior prom and she will be graduating 3 weeks from today, with my niece graduating the day after. My husband's birthday, my mother's birthday, and my parent's 50th wedding anniversary are also happening this month. They are all happy events, exciting milestones and times to celebrate, cherish and enjoy. However these are also the kinds of events that can cause me to become a little more reflective and think about how quickly time passes. It is often very easy to get caught up in the busyness of day to day activities, work schedules, and long "to do" lists, and forget how important it is to take the time to slow down and enjoy the little moments that each day has to offer. Otherwise, years from now you could look back with regret and wonder where the time has gone.
     June is traditionally a month filled with weddings, graduations and the end of the school year. Since I am being a little sentimental (okay VERY sentimental) as my youngest child is about to graduate high school and start college, I decided to share a book with you today that I had read almost a year ago. It is a story that touches on how these types of events can impact the way you look at life. The book is called Just 18 Summers by Michelle Cox and Rene Gutteridge. This is a thought provoking story that asks you to realize that while the days may seem long, the reality is that the years go by quickly. In the end, we all have a limited amount of time to spend with our children and the ones we love. It is a reminder that while it can be a struggle to raise kids and have a career, it is important to prioritize, and to make sure to spend quality time with your children, teaching them, guiding them and most of all, creating loving memories. It makes you think about the fact that while you will always be a part of their lives, you are technically only given 18 summers to spend with them before they are officially adults and starting on  the journey of creating their own independent futures. The story reminds you to not get so wrapped up in the day to day things that need to get done, but rather to make the most of the time you have been given.
     The book tells the story of four families who are connected, but are at various stages in life. Butch Browning is a man whose wife Jenny was recently killed in an automobile accident and now he is struggling as he faces raising his daughter Ava as a single parent. The O'Reilly's are a young couple expecting their first child, and the pregnant wife Daphne is driving her husband Tippy a little crazy as she tries to prepare them for parenthood. She is reading every book and watching every video she can find on raising children.  She is letting her fears of trying to become the perfect parent overwhelm her. Helen and Charles Buckley have worked hard to give their children everything money can buy. The mom expected a lot from her children and wanted to have the perfect home, while the dad worked long hours and was often traveling for business. Their oldest daughter is about to leave for college, and Charles is starting to regret all that he may have missed while his children were growing up, so he becomes determined to create the best summer ever. Larry and Beth Anderson are facing becoming "empty nesters" as their son is about to leave for college and their daughter is about to marry a man that they don't approve of. The four couples are connected either through marriage, work, church, or the scrapbook group that Jenny had formed before her death. Their parenting styles are different, but their stories and lessons are interwoven. There are funny moments that will make you laugh, touching moments that will bring a tear to your eye, and insightful moments that will make you think about how brief the first 18 years you are given with your children really are. So as this summer is about to begin, I recommend getting this book to read as you lounge on the beach, enjoy the fresh air in your backyard, or just sip some lemonade on a sunny afternoon. But most of all, make sure you take time to enjoy some quality moments with your family and create the memories that you will all treasure forever. How will you spend this summer?