Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1st Birthday - Cupcake Party

Not sure what is going on with me lately, but I feel

Love everything that has to do with making some with my own two hands. 

Lots to blame it on...
1) Having a Little Girl
2) Missing my scrapbooking time
3) Having no money to go buy stuff...
4) Pinterest.com....ugh!  So addictive!!

So when it came time to plan Paisley's 1st birthday party...
the ideas were running wild in my head!

She needed a CUPCAKE PARTY!!!
Cupcakes are all the rage right now. 
I personally have always loved cupcakes, but in the last few years they have picked up steam for the US. 

Here are some highlights from her party....

Birthday Banner
Made using the Cricuit Cutting Machine
(I so need one of these!!!  I borrowed a friend's while at my scrapbooking retreat in July.  Easy!  And Quick!!  Friends and Family - my 30th Birthday is in December and I would LOVE a Cricuit!!!!)

Here is a close up of what each pendant looked like in the banner.

Cupcake Table
Instead of having 1 big birthday cake in 1 flavor,
I chose to make 3 different kinds of cupcakes (see picture below). 
The cupcake table was easy....I wrapped 3 boxes in color coordinating paper and then taped a ribbon around the boxes.  Then I used cake plates to serve the cupcakes.

 All of the cupcakes were homemade!  Yes! 
I made most of them from scratch - cupcake and icing.
3 Different flavors to choose from
1) Chocolate with Nutella Frosting
2) Vanilla with cream cheese frosting
3) Strawberry with strawberry frosting

Treats For The Guests
My intention was to send them home with everyone,
but people dug into them before we even had cupcakes. 
Oh WELL....
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

 BIG CUPCAKE for Paisley!
Paisley's "smash cake" was a large cupcake made with one of the AS SEEN ON TV cupcake pans.  It was easy to use and looked cute for her.  However she wanted NOTHING to do with it!

I bought plastic wear in coordinating colors. 
Used a white napkin and tied a ribbon around them. 
Easy, cheap and cute!
Handmade Invitations
I made the birthday invitations this year. 
They even included a pieced together cupcake.
This was the first one I made, but once I started making them I changed it up just a little bit.
Very pleased!!!!

All thanks to this outfit....
(and little girl!)
I came up with the cupcake idea from this outfit I saw on etsy.com. 
I had to have the outfit for her birthday and the colors were just perfect!
Everything matched PERFECTLY!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Paisley! (a few days late!!!)

WOW!  Has it really been a year??
I CAN NOT believe my little girl is a
1 year old!

It really doesn't seem possible!

What a great week/weekend we had to celebrate!

Paisley's birthday was Thursday, July 28th.
She celebrated by wearing a new birthday shirt to school.

I sent pink cupcakes to school to share with her friends and teachers.

That evening we celebrated with just the family (me, Braxton and Parker).
We had cupcakes again -
but she really didn't want to have much to do with them.
Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday 

Time to blow out your candle!

Friday, July 29th, Paisley had her first official hair cut!
She had a few strands that just didn't look right - ie the one in the back
that looked like a rat tail!

 Bye Bye rat tail!!!

 She also got her first taste of a sucker!
Parker got his hair cut too so he got a sucker as well...

Saturday, July 30th, was Paisley's birthday party!
Paisley had a cupcake party
with lots of family and friends.

She was ADROABLE in her cupcake birthday tutu outfit!!!

(I am not posting too much stuff about the party now -
check back tomorrow or Friday for more pics!!)


On a side note....

I have a wonderful husband that loves me,
a handsome son that has a personality of...
well, Parker,
and a beautiful 1 year old little girl!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remembering...Summer Church Camp

Camp Utopia

For 12 years, I attended Alabama Church of God Youth Camp
at CAMP UTOPIA in Springville, Alabama!
For 1 week out of each summer, I thought more about
God, My Camp Friends, Boys
Softball/Kickball, Nucum/Volleyball
than anything else on the planet!

Know what...despite the fact that I was at camp
(bugs, no air conditioning, pitch black dark,
old cabins and very old bathrooms),
I wouldn't trade those 12 weeks for anything!

Seeing everybody talk about Youth Camp on Facebook
and hearing stories from students and friends attending
and working this summer,
right now my thoughts swarm around great memories
of my youth camp experiences!

Here are my top 15 memories...

1. Being called into "ministry" at the age of 16
Although I am not in full time ministry (and your idea of ministry is not God's idea of my ministry either!), God placed a ministry burden on me at youth camp when I was 16 years old.  To this day, I am still seeing His plans unfold in my life.

2. Church Services!!!
From the first years of camp sitting in a circle with your cabin members crying your eyes out because you knew you wanted to be saved and loved God, to the years when you just wanted to stand in the altar area for hours upon hours worshipping God and crying out to him.  One thing is for sure...you came back from youth camp changed!

3. Friends
Every year at camp I could guarantee that Larissa Stephenson (Banks) and Kelly Hubert (not sure of her new last name) would be in my cabin at church camp!  I know Larissa came all 12 years, and pretty sure Kelly came to at least 9 of those.  Most of the time there were 2 or 3 others that attended and then once Tish Hunter (Engel) was attending church she came along also.  Not only did you have your church friends, but you had your camp friends who you met because they were in your cabin or you just knew them from year to year.

4. Boys
From the minute we arrived at Camp Utopia, we were scoping at the boys!  We wanted to know where they were from and who they were dating.  For the most part, we nicknamed all of the boys - you had to because you didn't know their names yet!  I can recall "Duck Head" being one name and "Polo Guy" being another!

5. Fun Time
Fun Time was just that - FUN.TIME!  It was after service and you had the chance to relax and fellowship with friends.  Plus they always played really cool games like "WipeOut"!!! 

6. Thursday Night Banquet
Thursday Night Banquets were the best!  You would search and "negotiate" all week long to find your date for banquet night!  And used to - that was the night you wore the nicest outfit/dress, including panty-hose and all!!  Yeah, some things have changed!!!

7. Swim Time
This enjoyment died down the older I got...maybe it ended around the age of 13. We never grew up close to anyone who owned a pool, so swimming at youth camp was a big deal!

8. Canteen
This was your time to eat.  Yes they had regular meals, but you just didn't eat some of that stuff.  At the canteen you got the important stuff - chips, candy bars, sodas, sno cones!  That was your real substance all week.  And when you were younger, you had "punch cards" where your parent/youth worker would turn in your canteen money so you wouldn't use it all the first day!

9. Bath House
This is a bittersweet memory - cold showers comes to mind!  And to this day I blame Camp Utopia on my LOVE for cold showers!

10. Pen Pals After Camp
Back in the olden days!  HA!!!  We used to actually write letters to our friends after camp.  You would take a note pad with you to camp and get the addresses of your friends.  No Facebook or email back then!

11. Nurses Station
You never wanted to end up in the nurses station, but if you did, you knew you were in good hands.  And they also had something called the "Homesick Pill" if you were really homesick!  To this day I am telling you it was a RED SKITTLE!!!

12. Camp Staff
Once again this kind of revolves around boys!  As young girls we ALWAYS had crushes on the older camp staff members - most of them were in college.  We would talk about how cute they were and wanted to know what female worker the male workers would be taking to the banquet!

13. Spelling Out "We Love You Steve"
One year at camp - I was about 16 or 17 - we had multiple girls in our cabins that had to deal with mother nature during the week of camp....some we all tried to avoid!  Well we didn't avoid it and we needed feminine products!  We asked our youth pastor who was working at camp the same week we camped to got to the store and purchase items.  The next morning during clean cabin awards (see #14) the head counselor saw our message - "We Love You Steve" spelled out in feminine products.  SO FUNNY!!!  I have pictures!!!

14. Clean Cabin Awards
Each morning before Bible study you would clean your cabin in order to get the clean cabin award.  For the most part we tried to achieve this goal (once again I have my OCD to blame on Camp Utopia).  One particular year - maybe I was 17 - we wanted to play around with the head counselor.  On our made up beds, we laid out our undergarments to look like the rapture had taken place.  Boy did Sister Rouse have comments to make to us!

15. My last year of camp
My last year of camp I was awarded the runner-up award for Super Camper.  I mean I got a trophy and all!  I was 18 years old and decided that was my last year of camp. 

Unfortunately because of college schedules
and working full time jobs,
I never had the opportunity to work at Camp Utopia. 
BUT in the next few years when I send my kids off for church camp, momma may be tagging along! 
Not to just watch my child blossom and grow
spiritually and socially,
but to have fun myself!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BEHIND....oh my!!!

Yes...the Reno Family is still alive!  Wow - am I ever behind!  I guess I can play catchup, right???


* Parker's 3rd Birthday Party
We celebrated at Froggy's with friends and family.  The theme was Toy Story 3 with a cake including all of the Toy Story characters.  He got some great toys and a cute toy chest to go in his bedroom to hold all of them.  So hard to believe he is turning into a little man!!!  Here are a few picture highlights of the party.

 Parker with Mommy and Daddy

 Parker with his friends and cousins (minus a few who had to leave early!)

 Parker being silly

* 5 Year Wedding Anniversary
Braxton and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on March 18th.  I am so blessed to be married to Braxton!  He is truly everything a man should be - a loving husband, wonderful father, and he truly is the spiritual leader of the household.  I AM BLESSED!!!!  It is amazing to think it has been 5 years.  Who would have thought we would have gone through all we have?  And who would have thought we would have 2 amazing kids?? 

 Anniversary Date Night!

For the first time, Parker played an organized sport this spring!  We thought it would be best to try soccer first - before we try ragball/baseball.  He did okay.  He learned what it was like to have the ball "stolen from him" and how to listen (and not listen to his coaches).  He played on a team with his friend, Brayden, and Braxton helped coach his team.  The first game he did awesome - 3 goals!!!  But the other games, I can't say the same!  He was more interested in getting candy or Gatorade from the concession stand than playing.  I was frustrated and his daddy was REALLY FRUSTRATED!  All in all it was a good learning experience.  Here are a few pictures...from the first game!

 With his game face on!

Excitement after scoring a goal!!!

Parker and his friend Brayden - they are a mess together!!!

I will have to catch up on the month of April tomorrow!  ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Really?  Say it ain't so!  I can't believe that my sweet little boy turned 3 YEARS OLD yesterday!!!!

He went from this

to this!

And from this

to this!

It is amazing how fast 3 years will fly by in your life!  I am thankful that God gave this sweet and precious, yet unique and energetic, little boy.  No one will ever fill his shoes!

We celebrate on his birthday with cupcakes at school - homemade by myself (save your applause) and decorated with love.  We were supposed to have soccer practice (yes - can you believe he is playing??) but we got rained out.  Instead we had a birthday dinner with the just the family at Chilli's and he got his own scoop of ice cream.  Our real celebration will come Thursday evening at Froggy's.  He and his closest 15 friends and cousins will jump, run and play until they are worn out.

I love you Andrew Parker Reno!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Christmas Tradition

I LOVE Traditions!!  In all shapes, forms and sizes!  I think they make a person/family and provide you the opportunity to "tell your story" to your family and the people around you. 

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year to grow our family traditions.  Although my family has traditions other times of the year, our Christmas traditions are the best!

Our traditions include...
* Christmas Scrapbook: I created a scrapbook solely for Christmas.  Each year gets a 2 page spread and it includes a copy of our Christmas card, pictures from our ornament swap, and a family picture.

*Ornament Swap: This was something started after Braxton and I got married.  Each Christmas we purchase and ornament to give to each other and we write a note to go along with the ornament to tell why this ornament reminds us of the other one. 

* Duckworth Christmas Dinner Menu: Steak, baked potatoes, salad, and other items

*And many other traditions....

So, as Parker and Paisley are getting older, I want to help provide new traditions for them!  This is not a new tradition for everyone, but it is new to us! 
And here it is...
The Elf On The Shelf

I wanted to introduce the elf last year, but didn't really feel Parker was ready.  I think he would have understood but I didn't want to risk it.  I know this year he will get it and it will be fun!

I am really looking forward to reading this book to Parker tonight and naming our elf.  We are probably going to encourage Parker to name the elf "Drew" because Parker's first name is Andrew. 

And probably my favorite part about it the elf is ALL of the mischief he will get into.  I have had time to do a little research and listen to many stories from friends about what each elf has done.  I hope to post a few pictures and will definitely have to add pictures to our Christmas Scrapbook! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Paisley
(at 6:00am in the morning!!)

Catching a view of her bed head!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The last four weeks my husband, Braxton, has been teaching a series on Wednesday nights at our church entitled
"Modern Day Servant Hood".

He has challenged the class to think of how they can be servants in the community, to their family and to their church.  I have been helping (just giving him my thoughts) on his series and have enjoyed what he has had to say.  Little did I know that God would "test" my servant hood this week!

Tuesday evening I had a meeting at church after work.  So before the meeting Braxton and I met for dinner with the kids and then he took the kids home.  Once the meeting was over I ran to Wal-mart to pick up a few items.

I was tired...it was 7:45pm when I got to the check out line and I still had heels on my feet!  I got in a line behind a lady and her teenage daughter.  The cashier scanned her groceries and bagged them, and she paid cash for part of the groceries and started to pay the difference with her check card.

The check card failed the first time.  She was shocked that it didn't work and commented that she had just made a deposit that day.  So she tried it again...and it failed. 

At this point I felt a tug at my heart.  I felt that I needed to step in.  I told God,
"if this is you, you will have to do a little bit more tugging if you want me to do something"!

The cashier suggested she try the card as a credit...it failed again.  The lady even showed the guy her deposit ticket with the amount she had deposited!  He then suggested that she try the ATM that was right across from our check out line.

She tried the ATM...it failed again! 

I could feel my heart racing and God speaking to me, telling me to


The mother and daughter started digging through their bags, deciding what they could do without. 

And then I asked the question, "How much is the balance?"  The cashier responded, "$42.51".

Those were my words. 

I swiped my debit card, entered my pin number and smiled at the lady.  She thanked me and walked out of the store with her buggy of groceries.  As she walked out, I told her, "God Bless You".

What did I sacrifice that night?  $42.51?  Are you willing to sacrifice $42.51 to help out someone...to show someone the love of God...to be His servant? 

What did God sacrifice for us? 
He gave His son!  He sent His one and only son to earth so that we could have Everlasting Life!

I don't know who I impacted more.  Was it the lady and her daughter?  Or was it the cashier scanning our groceries?  Or maybe it was the customer standing behind me?  The one thing I hope comes from this is, is that God's love was evident in what I did. 

"Lord, teach us to sacrifice just as you have sacrificed for us!
Teach us to be your servants. 
And teach us to love!"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miss Paisley Madison Reno

She is HERE!!!  Well, she has been here for a week. 

Paisley Madison Reno

arrived on
Wednesday, July 28th
at 7:52am

She weighed 10lbs and 2 oz
She is 21 inches long.

Here are a few pictures taken at the hospital.  Mommy and Paisley are doing well!!

Mommy and Daddy with Paisley

Her first kiss!!

It took Parker 4 days to "want" to hold Paisley!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Kari Jobe singing "You Are For Me"

This video - I can't get it out of my head!  No matter what we face, God is ALWAYS For Us! When the world seems to be against us...when are circumstances seem unbearable...when WE are unbearable...God is there. Not just for the person next door, but for ME!

"You Are For Me"
sung by Kair Jobe

So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true…
So wonderful in all You do

You know me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

Lord, I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
forsake me in my weaknesses
I know that You have come now
even if to write upon my heart
To remind me that

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
forsake me in my weaknesses
I know that You have come now
even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are