Saturday, June 26, 2010

West Texas Peeps!!!


Be sure to stop by Nana Bear's Notions on the west side of the Square in Snyder to see the Simply Pink calendar quilts up close and personal! They'll be there Monday through Wednesday!!! (And you might just catch Kait and I in there, too!)

We. Are. Family!

(You've gotta sing that title in your head, or better yet out loud, for full effect.)

The Lloyd cousins met in Granbury at Aunt Dot & Uncle Lane's (a couple of weeks ago) for our annual family reunion. We had a fantastic visit. It would have been better if Laura Kay had been there with the Wiggins crew. And it would have been MUCH better if Robert and Gary had been home from Afghanistan. And it would have been EVEN BETTER if Aunt Vell's gang had been there.

But we suffered through (ha!) and spent our time eating some way yummy food and watching those crazy Beaty kids beat each other up on Wii Boxer.

Here's the gang. As a family that's extremely proud of OUR troops -- and the long-standing military heritage that the Lloyds have -- we all sported red, white and blue for the occasion!


Have you ever seen anything this cute????


The girls loved seeing Grandpa Weldon. Abs, of course, had to ask how her cow and calf, Rosie and Ashley, are doing.....


We took some generational pictures. Here is Dad's batch of Lloyd Cousins....


And mine. That's Danny on the cell phone on the left-hand side of the picture. No, that goofy hat is on George. Danny is really on the phone.


Maybe this is the cutest thing ever.



Or this....



This totally cracked me up. At reunions past, games such as dominoes might have been the entertainment of choice. At this reunion? I-Phone Apps.


Danny did make it in after all. With his signature hat, of course.

Friday, June 25, 2010

VBS Rocks!

video

HUGE thanks to everyone who helped with VBS this week! You rock!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Like Sands Through the Hour Glass....

For those of us who grew up on a steady diet of Days of Our Lives, the last couple of weeks have been pretty darn cool. The show has been honoring the late Frances Reid with visits from past characters. The list is long, the memories are sweet, and the few episodes I've been able to watch have been a joy -- at least the parts about Grandma Alice.

Life imitates art, unfortunately, and we've spent some time honoring our very own hero this week. The first time I remember hearing mention of Milton Stephens was when Abbie was born -- and Mom shared that her new friend had a granddaughter named Abby as well. She may have said things about him before, but that's the first I remember.

Milton came into Mom's life at a time when she needed him so very much. This big, strong man had the biggest hands I've ever seen. She said when he held her hand, it made her feel safe. He made her feel cherished and loved. I can't imagine a better man for my Mom to have shared those last years with. "Warts and all," as they always said. He was good to her, and she loved him dearly.



Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a Year!

I Love, Love, Love comparing pictures of the girls and how they change. This school year has definitely brought about changes in our household!! Check out the picture from the first day of school....

And this one from the last day of school -- pretty easy to see Abbie grew 4 inches this year, isn't it???

This really was an incredible year for both girls. Kait had Mrs. Book -- the perfect teacher for her. Kelley understood perfectly that Kait needs quite a few hugs every day. "Huggie!" is what she squeals. Thankfully Kelley was happy to comply!
This really was a great year for Kait. After being accepted into the GT program on a "probationary" basis last year, she is now in for keeps. At the Awards Ceremony on the last day of school, Kait received the "Terrific All-Around Student" award. Her buddy Finn got the same award in the "boy" category.

Abbie had Mrs. Evans for the second time around. I just love Liz. She's such a great teacher for these kiddos. She understands that they all have little quirks, and she manages all that so well. Abbie did a great job in her class. We got through TAKS without a wimper or a worry. Abs got 98% on Math and 100% on Reading. Not once did she seem stressed or panicked, and I think that was LARGELY due to the leadership of Liz and the rest of the 3rd grade team. Our kids were so well prepared!
Abs won the Radiant Reader award in her class. And that she is!





Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Princess Guide: Flocking 101

Whew!

It's been a wild ride around here the last few weeks, and I haven't had that much time to spend on The Princess Guide.

And you know what? It's going to continue to be crazy here for the next couple of months. Updates may be few and far between, so to get you rolling, I'm going to share my all-time favorite 3-Day Fundraiser with you.

Flamingo Flocking!

Please note: In no way, shape or form was this an original idea.

That being said, it's a tried and true fundraiser that I absolutely love!!!



Step 1: You'll need to have signs made. It usually costs me about $35 to have two signs made. I'm sure if you were really resourceful you could get someone to comp the printing, but I've always just ordered mine. I get them from Signs Now, and I get extra stakes when I pick up the signs. The stakes don't always hold up so well. The signs hold up REALLY well.

2. On the back of your sign, you'll want to glue some kind of waterproof, zipper pocket. I get the clear zipper portfolios at Office Depot. Waterproof really is the key here. Between rain and water sprinklers mositure can be a problem.

In the folder, you'll want to add several flyers that explain what you're doing. You'll want to print off several of the donation forms from your personal fundraising website and staple one to each Flamingo Flyer. This is so neighbors can find out what you're doing and make a donation.



3. You'll need to "dress" your "Girls." You can decorate them however you want. It's fun to get crafty with pom-poms and glitter and all that jazz. I buy my flamingos at Garden Ridge. Two Girls will cost you about $25.

4. Once your Girls are all gussied-up, you will plant them in a friend's yard -- preferably someone who you haven't hit up for a donation. Put a letter in an envelope that explains what you're doing. Include a form that allows them to designate where The Girls are going next. Be sure to explain how they can donate. Put your friend's name on the envelope -- written clearly. Either tape this to their front door or place it in the very front (where they can clearly see it) of the clear envelope / portfolio on the back of your sign.

Ideally, your friend will call you immediately to rave about how cool the flamingos are, will make a quick donation and will give you the name of a friend they are flocking next. The really cool thing is that this will often get you donations from people you have never met.

Sometimes you have to call the hosts to spur them on a bit. Sometimes they beg to have The Girls stay a few days.


5. From my past experience, it's best to do this with a partner. First, it's a lot more fun and things get kind of silly. Second, it's good to have someone who can cover you if you can't get the Girls.

Really, 1-2 flocks per person is all that we were able to manage. You may be a Superstar, but I couldn't handle more than that.

6. The Girls are really motivated by Money. If you are given $50 to get them moving, your sponsors get 60 days of Flocking Insurance. If they donate $100 or more, they get full-season insurance.

7. Very rarely, we run into grumpy hosts. Just go over, kidnap your girls, and move on. Start over with another friend you know and go from there.

8. Whenever possible, the girls need to be moved under the cover of darkness. This adds to their mysterious arrivals and really contributes to the fun and silliness.

Seriously, though, this is my absolute favorite fundraiser.
One last note, pink Pom-Poms make fantastic Flamingo Poop. Use this at your own discretion.

Wow.

A whole day with nothing (really) on my plate.

Nothing pressing.

A whole day.

Okay. I do have stuff to do. Like organize the Annual Flamingo Migration. And get the mildew out of the shower. And start baking for this weekend. And laundry. Always the laundry.

But today is unscheduled. No rush.

Wow.

I needed this.

This morning, the girls and I got up (earlier than planned -- thanks, Biggsy!) and rode our bikes over to Central Park. They kicked around the soccer ball awhile. I offered suggestions. Then, we rode around the lakes at the back to the see the ducks. And back home.

About 3.5 miles total. In an hour and a half.

Not exactly a big calorie burn, but how precious was that time spent with the girls. I am loving this time we have right now. It's still cool to hang out with Mom. And they're big enough to ride their bikes without riding into the lakes.

I needed this. Just like I need a quick trip to the Outlet Mall. If I thought buying myself a swimsuit was hard.... It's nothing like buying one for Abbie.

We found a couple, as well as shorts for Camp.

I needed this time.

I have to admit, the last couple of months have been a beating. And this blog, where I used to love to hang out, hasn't seemed all that fun.

That KFC Campaign about did me in.

Some of those people were way too angry and way too personal. And frankly, the fact that they could make ugly comments like that, and do it anonymously, just ticked me off.

I'm pretty freaking non-confrontational. And feeling attacked by those Ya-Hoos for trying to make a difference kinda took me down a notch.

But the campaign is over, and school is out, and I'm getting this time I needed to recharge.

And pray. A Lot.

For Milton -- who's still in Rehab and has a long road to travel.

For Skyler -- who's now fighting pneumonia in addition to the meningitis.

For Mimi -- who didn't get any magic answers at her appointment on Monday. This is the one that hurts me most of all -- the one where I'm most desperately needing God to intervene.

And for so much more....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tapped.

Put a fork in me, I'm done.

I can't even begin to tell you how done.

I'm not sure where to begin. I could go back and try to let you know what's been going on the last few weeks, months. Or I could just start from here.

For now, I'm going forward. I'll try to post some softball pictures and that sort of thing in the next day or two, but for now, I've got to press forward.

And forward is coming to you with two HUGE prayer requests.

Chris Seidman, the preacher at our dear church in Dallas, needs you to help storm the gates of Heaven with prayer on behalf of his son, Skyler. Skyler has meningitis and is a very, very sick little boy. You can follow Chris on Twitter with the "handle" (All I know is CB-speak.) of ChrisSeidman. Please, please be praying for this precious family.

And now, what is heavy on my heart.... this is one of those times where you struggle with the "blog or not to blog" question. But believing in prayer the way I do -- and believing in the blanket of prayer available through your extended family and friends, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you.

Our Mimi has been having troubles for at least 18 months now. Those of you who know her know that she's been in a lot of pain for many years because of her back. But for a long while she's been having some other problems as well. I'm not going to go into the full-out details, but please know that effects of this are quite serious and that she needs your prayers. She's seeing a neurologist today. Please pray that he will recognize how big an issue this is and that he will do everything in his power to help find a way through this. Please pray for all of us as we work our way through it as well.

Having lost my Mom way too soon, Mimi is the only grandmother our girls have. We need her to get well.

Thanks.