Drawing for Birthday gift today.

Update: And the Winner of the birthday gift in Mathew’s honor is…photo 1
Karen! Email me and let me know if you’re looking for pink or blue!
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AND… Just Because… when I posted this today, I realized this was my 617th post! Quite significant to us. God has gently reminded us over the years with this number. our anniversary! This past 6/17 was our 19th year married! I had been telling myself, I’d like to give something away whenever I hit my 617th post, so, the additional winner for this drawing is….
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Sarah Mason!! Congratulations on your new bundle due in January. Email me and let me know when you find out if you’re looking for pink or blue!

Thank you to each one of you for celebrating Matthew’s short life here with us.
To email me type in emilysnowATmeDOTcom and change the caps to symbols.
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Your comments to be included in Matthew’s birthday giveaway needs to be submitted before noon, CST. I’ll be posting the winner sometime later today. I realized I forgot to include the date for the drawing after the fact. So today marks one week of saying goodbye to Matthew. We will draw a name later today and let you know. The winner can let me know if they are wanting a pink or blue gift! Thanks for your comments!
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Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday Party!

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Cookie’s sixteenth party was so much fun to plan and prepare for. Nana generously made all of our girls poodle skirts as well as Cookie’s best friend a poodle skirt! They loved twirling and being girlie throughout the party! The guests all arrived wearing 50’s style clothes and enjoyed being together and playing the games.
We made strawberry and chocolate sundae style cupcakes and served sliders, fries, and coke!
We also made a homemade chocolate cake.. just because!
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Here are the girls all lined up showing off their attire!
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And the guys in their letterman sweaters and leather jackets!
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Here is Cookie and her best friend who came down from Kentucky to share the occasion. They loved their skirts Nana! This really made the party memorable!
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More twirling twirling twirling!
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We played an icebreaker at the beginning of the party. I taped names of famous people on everyone’s back written in either red or blue ( to split them up into two groups for the following game)
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They had to ask yes or no questions to figure out who they were by process of elimination. The first one to guess their name got the most points for the game.
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We split the group into a blue team and a red team for a scavenger hunt. The kids had 16 items to try and collect asking the neighbors if they could spare simple things such as a post it note, a pencil, and even a paintbrush. The kids had a 15-16 minute time limit. It was really cute to see the kids running door to door in their 50’s attire! When they got back, each item the collected had a point value that was added to each child’s tally.
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We also played a simple game that gave each guest the chance for more points. We took two cups and filled one cup with skittles and a straw. The party guests had 20 seconds to transfer one color they thought held the highest point value from the filled cup to the empty cup. Once they transferred all of one color, they could move onto a new color using the straw to transfer them. After the time was called, I told the group what color each point was worth and recorded their points. At the end of the party, we gave away what most kids in this age group loves.. a gift card for music!
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The birthday girl and the guest enjoyed all of the food! I didn’t photograph the cute root beer floats we served along side the sundae cupcakes.

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All of the guest went home with goodies appropriate to the party theme. The girls went home with nail polish remover, pink polish, and emory board, and gum!
The boys all had Grandma’s cookies, gum, and a hair comb.
Each bag had a Sweet 16 mint candy tucked inside.
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Sweet Sixteen

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Our sweet Cookie is turning 16 tomorrow. I’ve had the flu now for 7 days and am hoping to feel better tomorrow to help make her feel special! She and my husband have planned her whole Birthday menu down to the icing on the cake.
We are planning on celebrating next weekend with a few close friends and family with a 50s theme. Nana has generously offered to make the poodle skirts which I am grateful since I can’t even make dinner right now. We will share pictures from this party and hopefully everyone will be well in attendance!
We love you Cookie! You’re a delight!

Pink for a Cupcake

Cupcake from “Waltzing Matilda!”


I just so happen to know Cupcake’s sweet mommy and family from our time in Texas. When I asked Charlotte what color dress would her little one like…pink was the all around reply! I love working with pink!
Of course what is cuter than a Mary de dress in pink with pink floss?

I am so glad she was able to wear it for her birthday.

I added a cute cupcake button with a safety pin so her mommy could remove it later.
Here it is from start to birthday!

I know, Cheryl right now would tell me I started too far down on the fabric… she’s right, I ended up trimming quite a bit off the top of the first row. Darn, I just hadn’t used my Amanda Jane pleater in quite a while. I had forgotten the hang of it.


( Click on the pic to see the smocking up close!)

This dress is just not as cute off as it is on!

Thanks, Charlotte, for being such a sweet friend!

Matthew’s Feast Day 2012



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Today marks the third year our baby boy, Matthew Karol, left our world to enter into Eternal Heaven. I won’t tell you today was easy, but I will say it’s getting easier. I’ll also tell you my ideas of how today was going to be was completely different than what God’s plans were. After a beautiful Mass, a few sweet friends who didn’t even know us three years ago, remembered Matthew. Thank you. A drive home to prepare for about 7 college students along with Fr Kevin stopping through on their way to a college retreat for dinner, led me to a trip to the ER with Cookie, who was trying her best to help us get ready. While I was in the ER room, I was texting John what needed to be done the most while I was gone. Cookie cut open her thumb on a can and it was just enough to lead us to say, “yep, you might need stitches…” well, to her relief they were able to seal it shut with Durabond. So grateful it was able to be a quick fix. Luckily for her, she can’t do dishes for a while. 🙂
While the college students were a delight to have in our home, along with our dear friend, Fr Kevin, all of the kids had a chance to visit with them and share some of our home with them.
My sister and our sweet Godchild, Christian, are on their way up here for a weeks visit, so be prepared to see pictures of this adorable 4 month old in days to come.
For Matthew’s Gift to you, we did a drawing before all this happened.

We wrote out each name from the comments left in the Giveaway post and folded them in half. Then I put them all in a small basket and had both girls draw out a name since both smaller girls wanted to “help.”

From those two, I put the two names back in had John make the final draw.

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Congratulations to Melody from Blossoming Joy, (Mamma’s Little Ditty)! Melody, we are so excited to send you this beautiful planner and hope that you and all of you who visit here have a wonderful New School year. Sanctus Simplicitus does offer free downloads, so if you’d like to hop over to their blog, you can still get your hands on this beautiful planner. Thank you CeAnn for your generous offer!
I really enjoyed every comment with ideas and each prayer that was sent to us. You have no idea, even how small a note it was this year to hear from you. Charlotte, thank you for your kind post remembering Matthew. I am grateful for your friendship and miss you guys in Texas so much!
I had real plans to get this post published before the end of the day but, God was in control of our day, not me.
Have a wonderful year, St Matthew, pray for us.
(Melody, email me at emilysnowATmeDOTcom)

Matthew’s Birthday Giveaway


For the past three years, since the summer of 2009, someone here has searched or read a post on our baby Matthew. The top searched posts here are Fiat, and Mass of the Angels. These two posts have been read every day since they were written. We are humbled. How could a little bitty guy affect so many people? Obviously God had a plan when He sent Matthew to us and allowed people like you to love him even though he spent most of his time here on earth inside only showing his presence by growing (very) big, kicking, hiccuping, and rolling around. People knew he was an active little thing.

Well, time has gone by now with a move from Texas to Tennessee, a year goodbye and hello again with a deployment to Afghanistan, a new puppy, and countless weekly activities. You’ve been beside me all the time and I am grateful for your friendship. The homeschool community has been a great place of friendship and support. I honestly can say I thank God that we homeschool, sometimes I look back on those dark days following July three years ago and think homeschooling is what kept me going. I can only imagine how I very easily could have remained in a depression had our children left all day for school. Instead, they were right there beside me each day keeping me from sinking. I am thankful for our homeschool program we follow as it arrives so organized and ready with plans and all. Without that organization, I’d have been treading water. I praise God for saving me from the depression I was in for so long. Grieving I think takes on several stages. I want to think I’ve made it to the final stage. First is shock, then abandonment and depression, then a gift. Matthew’s life was a gift and I know that. I no longer feel depressed. I no longer feel as though my prayers were abandoned.

The anniversary of Matthew’s birth and death is approaching. Even though he’s gone to a better place, he very much has remained in our daily lives. His hand and foot prints remain on our bulletin board. When I take them down, the kids ask, “where is Matthew’s card?”
Now that I feel as though I can actually take charge of our homeschooling year, I’ve found this beautiful fresh planner. One that will keep me motivated and on track. I decided to order not just one, but two. One for Matthew’s gift.
This year in honor of the anniversary of little Matthew Karol’s birthday and life into Heaven, I want to give a birthday present away. I am offering a Holy Simplicity Liturgical planner from Sanctus Simplicitus I know for me, the more I had to keep my days straight, the better our homeschool day went.

To be entered in the drawing all you need to do is leave me a comment and let me know what your family does to make ‘back to School” special. Whether you homeschool or not, you are my friend and I want you to have a chance at receiving this beautiful Planner. Between now and Matthew’s Birthday anniversary, leave me a message and you’ll be entered. On July 29th, We will do a random drawing and announce the birthday gift winner.
Here is a peek inside the planner, Isn’t it simply beautiful?

Twelve in 2012


Happy 12th Birthday son! Your nickname on here back when I started was Opie.. your personalities have always been so similar to Opie on the Andy Griffith show. Things haven’t changed..I’ve thought about changing your name on here, but you still are that polite young boy you’ve always been. You are such a great kid, growing into an awesome young guy!.. ( just not too fast okay?)
You still love the piano and can rock the keys playing Toccata, as well as canoe down the river with the boy scout troop, while managing to achieve the next karate belt.. all with straight A’s!
We surprised you with on the 22nd with a few friends waiting to shout “Surprise!” when you came in from Karate class. You had no idea we planned to surprise you, but I am so glad we did! Happy Birthday Opie!