Thursday, September 29, 2011

Music, String, and Jody Payne

Our family LOVES birthdays! We have a lot of birthday traditions in our family. I've written about some of them before.

I make my kids (and Dave!) whatever kind of cake they want for their birthday. Usually this involves many hours of decorating Teddy Grahams to look like hula dancers, scuba divers, baseball players, or some other craziness!

Some of our traditions involve the presents you get for your special day. For instance, when you turn 5, in our family, you get your first bike! Now THAT is a fun day!

When you turn 7, you get to start taking music lessons. The three oldest RiceCakes have already made it to that special birthday! Matthew has played the guitar for a little over 3 years. Abi's been playing the mandolin for 2 years. Jack started piano lessons about a month ago. They absolutely love it!

Dave and I love having music in the house. It doesn't matter that the kids don't always play perfectly. Missed notes aren't that big of a deal to us. We all just love music and it's a fun thing to do together.

The kids all take their lessons at the same place. It's this local guitar shop called Picker's Paradise. It's awesome. They have all kinds of really amazing guitars AND better customer service than any huge guitar shop. If you're ever in Stapleton, AL... you have to check it out. We've spent a LOT of time up there over the last 3+ years and the people who run the shop know The RiceCakes really well. Think "Cheers"! They walk in the door and everyone says "YAY! It's RiceCake Day!" Who wouldn't want a place where everybody knows your name?

Anyway, the guys who teach lessons are top notch... both in terms of their musical ability AND in terms of their character. I LOVE that my kids get to hang out with people who encourage them to tackle tough stuff and keep working hard when things are tricky. The lessons that hard stuff can be fun AND working hard has a great pay off is a great thing to learn when you're little! It's also fabulous to hang out with people who have a great sense of humor and aren't super serious all the time! (Hey, they're musicians... they're rascally!)

One of the people who recently started teaching lessons is Jody Payne. He's our very own local celebrity. Mr. Jody played lead guitar for Willie Nelson since 1973... and before that played with Merle Haggard. Mr. Jody "retired" and got off the road about 2 years ago. He's 75 and quite a character... like anyone who'd been on the road with Willie Nelson for over 3 decades would be! Over this past summer, he thought that he'd like to start teaching guitar lessons up at Picker's (he's friends with the owner) to have something to do.

He was a little nervous about teaching. I think that's sorta funny. The man has stood up in front of millions of people and played the guitar for decades but, the idea of sitting in a room with a little kid who wants to learn to play was intimidating to him! Go figure right?! Anyway, Mr. Jody wanted to "try out" teaching and see if it was something that he'd would actually like to do. Matthew's instructor thought it would be a good idea to have Matthew sit in with him (since Matthew is NOT scary and already knew a decent amount about playing the guitar, since he's been taking lessons for so long) and see how Mr. Jody would do. So, Matthew had a lesson with this legendary guitarist about syncopation. Wild right? I think they were both equally nervous but, they had fun together and Mr. Jody started teaching lessons.

When Lucy was this past summer, she taught Abi how to make friendship bracelets. (You know those floss bracelets with all the knots that we all knew how to make when we were 9 years old? Don't worry, I don't remember how to make them anymore either! One more reason that having Lucy around is so darn AWESOME!) Abi's made about 100 of them. No joke. All summer, she hung out making these string bracelets. When school started the other kids asked her to make THEM some too! I told her that she oughta make a bunch and sell 'em! (Can you say "Etsy?" ha ha!) Anyway, Abi wears about 10 of them all the time. She tied the knots so tight that she can't get 'em off! Not that she wants to take them off! She even has a couple of crazy ones that wrap not only around her wrist but, around her fingers too.

Anyway, Abi has lessons every week up at Picker's and usually Mr. Jody is there waiting for his next student to get there. We usually hang out a little longer than their lessons last because the kids love talking to everyone in the shop. A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Jody came up to Abi and told her that he liked her bracelets. She said, "Thanks." Then he asked her if he could have one of them. She said, "No way! I never take these off!" It was so hard not to laugh out loud. I didn't know what was more funny: a 75 year old hippie asking a 9 year old for a friendship bracelet OR a 9 year old girl telling a guitar legend that she won't give him a bracelet made out of string! Mr. Jody just laughed and went on to tell her a story about a guy he knows who plays the mandolin with a slide. (The guy is FULL of stories about cool stuff like that.)

Abi was mulling it over on the way home and decided that she'd make Mr. Jody a friendship bracelet of his own. So, she picked out a bunch of bright colored floss and set to work one afternoon making something wild just for him. When she went to her lesson yesterday, she showed Mr. Jody what she'd made for him and he got all excited. It was so funny! He took that string, wrapped it around his fingers and wrist (just like Abi's crazy one), and then asked her to tie it on him. So she did! They were both all smiles.

The store manager said, "Hey Jody that's an original Abi Rice bracelet. You better not take it off!" 

Mr. Jody said, "I don't think I can! These knots are really tight!"

A little later, I helped him trim the extra floss so he wouldn't set it on fire when he took a smoke break. He was so excited that she made one just for him. He said that his wife would be jealous because it was so pretty.

Who would've thought that some string from a 9 year old would mean so much to a guy who has (LITERALLY) the ability to buy whatever he wants? I think that just goes to show how much a handmade gift is valued. It wasn't that it was costly that mattered. It was that Abi took the time to make something just for him. THAT was what made her gift generous and special.

Deuteronomy 16:17Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Funday #3 at The Fence

Hey gang! It's time for Sunday Funday again! YAY!!!!

You know the rules:

Link up your favorite post from the last week! (No giveaways please!)

TURN YOUR CAPTCHA OFF!!! (Seriously, there's nothing more annoying than going to leave a comment on a post and seeing that darn thing pop up!)

Grab the Sunday Funday button from the sidebar!

Go visit the other posts and comment away!

Tweet your #SundayFunday posts and spread the word! The more links we get, the more fun we'll have!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Good Stuff

A bunch of my Mama friends have been talking about naptime lately.

About how it ISN'T happenin' at their house...

About how they think they may run off and join the circus because THAT would be less chaotic than chasing a non-napping preschooler all day!

Dude... I've been there.

Four times over. And for a season, sometimes all 4 at once!

I just want to remind you that the chunk of time that you're lovin' on those little people... changing diapers, potty training, insisting on naps, early bedtimes, Sippy cups, and dry Cheerios dropped by the handful on the floor... is really so short.

When you're in the middle of it, it feels like it's taking a LIFETIME!

Afternoons crawl by... fussing around 4 makes bedtime seem like it's gonna take FOREVER to get here!

The TRUTH: It's really so short. I hate to pull a Trace Adkins and say "You're Gonna Miss This"... but really... the truth is... you WILL.

Your little guy/gal is gonna get bigger, ditch napping, ditch Sippies, ditch needing help in the bathroom (even for showers y'all... seriously... it's coming... I PROMISE!)

They won't need or even WANT you around to snuggle so much. Your Mama-heart is gonna miss that.

Today, Joshy... who doesn't snooze much these days... opted to lay down, in the office, and fell asleep holding my hand.

He's 5 and a half (Don't leave off the "half!") and usually is my "Child of Perpetual Motion". Today he felt like slowing down for a bit... I think he's wiped out because he's GROWING, the little guy is a bottomless pit when it comes to food lately! It seems like just yesterday that he was tiny and I was planning our schedule around when he needed to be napping and when he needed to be eating. All that prepping and planning... and all the junk I had to carry when we left the house... isn't really necessary now. He's learned to wait and not get cranky.

Oh self-control... how do I love thee?!

But really... he's not a baby. The baby and even toddler/preschool years went by so fast. And while I LOVE being a Mama to a BIG KID... and not having to carry all that gear anymore! The snuggling... the intentional "I wanna be near you!" times (my kids used to say "Come be BY ME Mama!")... are less than they used to be.

Store up these days in your heart. Instead of looking at it like it's such a pain in the butt to rearrange everything around the needs of this small person... realize that you only GET to have this chunk of time, for a short season and it doesn't come back again. God gave you this little one to care for ON PURPOSE. You can look at it like it's a major chore... (Don't get me wrong, raising kids IS absolutely WORK!) or you can choose to find the small blessings, that add up into BIG blessings over time. It's not just a blur of snacks and naps and baths and bedtimes... it's moments in time that you won't get back.

This IS the Good Stuff!

Ecclesiates 3:1-7 (NCV)

There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.

There is a time to be born
and a time to die.

There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.

There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.

There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance.

There is a time to throw away stones
and a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug
and a time not to hug.

There is a time to look for something
and a time to stop looking for it.
There is a time to keep things
and a time to throw things away.

There is a time to tear apart
and a time to sew together.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clearing My Head

It’s amazing how a smell can move your heart and clear your head.

I spent a lot of time at my Grammy’s house in Fort Smith, Arkansas as a kid. We lived with them briefly when I was really small and lived pretty close (about 5 hours away) until we moved to California. Lots of things changed… my parents had different jobs over the years, my brothers and I got older, my interests in sports waxed and waned… but my Grammy’s house always stayed the same. Literally, the furniture was always in the same spot, the crystal ball-shaped bowl of potpourri was always on the same place on the coffee table, the house always smelled the same. The world around me changed a lot. Sometimes it changed drastically and traumatically but, Grammy’s house was always the same. It always smelled like a mixture of her perfume and that potpourri.  

I can remember getting birthday cards and Valentine’s from Grammy that smelled just like her house. I'd hold the cards close to my face, inhaling that same smell out of the envelopes. It smelled like joy… like peace… like love. Even when I was in a rough season of life, that smell would remind of what’s true. Instantly, I’d be back at her house…

Burying myself in the pile of coats on the 3rd step landing next to the front door…

Lying on the living room floor looking at the Christmas tree and all the years of memories hanging on it…

Sitting at the kitchen table, staring at the green and white plaid tablecloth, eating ice cream with my Grampa…

Running down the big hill in the backyard with Hildegard (the ugliest dog in town… seriously, she won Ugly Dog contests every year until someone entered a hairless Chihuahua or something!)…

Holding hands with Grampa and saying the Lord’s Prayer at mass…

Walking up the stairs and staring into all the faces of relatives in the photographs on the wall (my great grandparents, my Dad and his sisters in their childhood, my Grammy and Grampa’s wedding photo)…

Listening to Bill Cosby’s “Noah, how long can you tread water?” bit coming through the headphones Grampa’s hygienist gave me while he looked my teeth over for cavities at his office…

Sitting on the back patio, eating Triscuits and cream cheese with PickaPeppa poured over it while Grammy filled her bird feeders and talked about stuff going on around town…

Holding hands around the table and hearing 3 generations of voices saying, “Bless us Oh Lord for these thy gifts…”

Wondering just how much hair my Grammy had pinned up in that bun… until she cut it short and started “frosting” her hair instead of pinning it all up…

Years of bedtime stories read… baths given… hair blown dry and brushed… hugs & kisses… climbing into beds and under blankets my Dad and aunts grew up sleeping beneath...

My Grammy knits all the time. She made a blanket for each of my children when they were born. The kids loved them as babies because the yarn she chose is so soft! But they were soothing to me too because they smelled just like her house. On the nights that little ones were cutting teeth or running a fever or simply opting out of sleeping all night… the smell of those blankets soothed my tired and weary, new-Mama, heart. That smell reminds me that I am loved.

It’s amazing how a smell can move your heart and clear your head.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday Funday #2 at The Fence

Hey gang! It's time for Sunday Funday again! YAY!!!!

You know the rules:

Link up your favorite post from the last week! (No giveaways please!)

TURN YOUR CAPTCHA OFF!!! (If you don't know how to do that, please ask for help!)

Grab the Sunday Funday button from the sidebar!

Go visit the other posts and meet some GREAT people!

Tweet your Sunday Funday posts and spread the word! The more links we get, the more fun we'll have!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's a Big Day at RiceCake Field!

He's played baseball for the past two Spring seasons.

We've had so much fun at the ballpark watching him (and his brothers and sister) play ball.

"More bars, more places?"

There have been ups and downs... those just come with the territory. It's awesome when you make a great play. It sucks to strike out.

But there are some good life lessons in those triumphs and failings.

It's good to get up, practice more, and try again when you don't do well.

Slushies from Sonic frequently make life after a tough loss better.

There's nothing more valuable to a 10 yr old than getting a 50 cent Game Ball in recognition of playing a great game.

This year he's playing Fall Ball too.

The extra practice is a good thing. The games are just for fun... no one really cares who "wins"... it's about getting mechanics right and learning to follow the game a little more closely.

Daddy is assistant coaching. More time with Dad is never a bad thing.

Today will be another milestone.

Today, he's pitching.

He's lookin' more and more like a ballplayer!

I've linked up with Rusti from My Life as an Officer's Wife for her So Happy It's Thursday (S.H.I.T.) linky! If you aren't already keeping up with her, head over there and get to know her STAT. Rusti's one of the sweetest, most hilarious, people on the planet. She tells a GREAT story and is a fabulous Mama to Goose!

Also, you oughta link up a post about why YOU are So Happy It's Thursday!!!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lots of UNfollowing Landed me in #Twitterjail

In an effort to declutter my Twitter feed, I thought I'd do a little clean up. You know, unfollow people that I don't interact with AND aren't following me.

It's nothing personal, clearly we're not tweeting to each other so, why just add to the feed of people I actually AM having conversations with?

My feed's a little packed anyway. Following 1000+ people, not all of whom are people I'm talking to, is kinda stupid. My bad.

So, I used a site to track who isn't following me to help with the whole process. I'm not sorting through 1000+ people by myself! That would be insane. Why do that when a computer program will kick back the names, avatars, and links to their twitter page in a matter of seconds?

There were 400+ people not following me back. Don't get me wrong... I wasn't expecting Anderson Cooper and Jimmy Fallon to actually be following me back! ha ha! There were a few people that I was surprised to see on the list. (Twitter has somehow made me magically unfollow people without my permission before... I'll cut them slack.) Mostly, I just couldn't believe how many people I'd clicked that darn "Follow" button on but, who I couldn't even remember seeing in my feed EVER!

Anyway, I started unfollowing people left and right. I figured that I was "Spring Cleaning" (or rather, Fall Cleaning!) my Twitter following... and that's gotta be a good thing. I threw a couple of tweets out in the process and suddenly found myself in #twitterjail!

I'm no newbie! I've been to #twitterjail plenty of times before... usually during #wineparty. (You get locked out of Twitter for tweeting more than 100/hour... just FYI.) I wasn't tweeting that much this morning. I was mostly just unfollowing people.

Apparently, the Twitter doesn't like that.

Apparently, UNfollowing (at least via the program I used) counts against the hourly usage limit.  (I totally didn't know that.)

So, since I'm locked out... and not doing anything else... I figured I'd pass that little tidbit on to you. Don't go unfollowing people during a time that you actually want to tweet. You'll end up in the slammer!

If you wanna follow me on The Twitter, you can find me @MamaRiceCake where I'll be happily tweeting away without a care once I bust out of The Big House!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not So Little Anymore

Proof that the littlest RiceCake isn't so little anymore...

He pedals his bike while STANDING UP now!!!!


We went for a walk yesterday (since it was FINALLY not 115 degrees outside!) and he eventually got tired of pedaling circles around me. :)

He took off like a shot!
"See ya Mama!"

He totally beat me to the stop sign at the end of our street!

"I totawee kicked Mama's butt!"

He DID however stop and tell me that I HAD to take a picture of these mourning doves "Cuz they eat in our backyard and they look pretty with all those poofy clouds behind 'em!"

And so I did.

"How come they can sit on those wires but I can't?"
I hate that he's getting bigger because it seems like it's flown by SO FAST! But I love that he still stops to point things out to me that I would've missed without him reminding me to slow down. And I love that his slow downs usually involve him pointing out something pretty and then saying something that makes me laugh.

I LOVE that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toxic Friendships

A few weeks ago, I read this article at about how and why we keep toxic friendships. It really got me thinking. I have had two toxic friendships finally kick the proverbial bucket in the last couple of years. And while it was painful at the time, ultimately my life is better for NOT having the emotional drain on my heart anymore.

BOTH relationships were infinitely more toxic to my heart and mind than I even realized at the time. Both were people who loved to hash and rehash past drama between them and other people. Lucia Pattrito (a woman describing a toxic co-worker in the article) hits it spot on when she says, "We're a positive bunch at work, but she was like this emotional wet blanket. She wasn't just a pill; she was a suppository. You could practically hear the Debbie Downer music." That could easily describe BOTH of my toxic friends. They were suppositories. UGH!

There were loads of red flags that I just refused to give much weight to. They both said ugly stuff to me that I'd never say to a friend. They both talk all kinds of miserable judgemental stuff about other people. Can I just say.. while sarcasm can be pretty funny in small doses, in unregulated amounts it sucks the life out of my soul! Seriously, nothing puts a damper on a happy day like a truck load of sarcasm. One of my toxic friends actually says that sarcasm is her "love language". UGH! Really!? That's not ironically funny. That's actually SAD. If you can't even find a way to say something nice in a NICE WAY... that's just lame. You're emotionally stunted. Listening to someone cutting people with words gets old... really quickly. My heart is definitely NOT missing the perpetual harsh take on everything going on in the world at all!

Leila (from Don't Speak Whinese) has a humorous take on toxic friendships. If you're easily offended with talk about poop or profanity, the link might not be your cup of tea. The idea that we shouldn't have to force friendships... that sometimes people just don't mesh... and we should just let that crap go... isn't new. But her version sure makes me laugh! Ditching a toxic friendship and then inviting your "Febreze friends" over to celebrate life and help you forget the crappiness?? Count me in!

I was amazed at the results in the survey on TODAY. 84% of women responders (18,000 total) said they'd had a toxic female friend. That's a LOT. Apparently, I'm not the only one who's ever encountered the emotional black hole of a toxic chick friend. Having healthy boundaries with people is a good thing. I know that I say that a lot. But it IS! I'm the kind of person who really hates confrontation. If you bug me, I'll tend to just cut you slack and not bring it up. But, here lately... maybe I'm crabbier... maybe I'm just older and wiser... I'm just not willing to invest time into relationships that don't have a healthy vibe to 'em.

I realize that everyone goes through rough seasons in life... sometimes people get obnoxious because they're dealing with tough stuff and it just all comes out rough. I think that's where accountability comes in. I would hope that, if I started being a jerk, you would (as a FRIEND) tell me that you know that I might be dealing with some major crap, but that being a jerk to you isn't the way to handle it. I would hope that, since I knew you care about me and are vested in our relationship, you wouldn't say something like that just to make me squirm but, because you really care about me and our friendship. I would hope that I would take it the right way. Since I hate for people to think I'm a total jerk (Can you say "recovering people pleaser?"), I'd like to think that I'd straighten up and get back to being kind. I hope that's how something like that would go.

Here's what I hated about the toxic break-ups:

The Mud Flinging

Seriously?! When I'm in a friendship... especially one of the "BFF" variety... I expect a certain amount of grown-up-edness to come along with that. As BFFs, we vent and tell each other stuff that we don't share with just anyone. There's a certain amount of Vegas involved (meaning: "What is said within our friendship... stays within our friendship") and that shouldn't change because our relationship gets downgraded.

Using anything I've shared privately, as ammunition in conversations with other people... is wrong. Period. The reverse is also true... I won't use your private stuff. That's not fair. It's not respectful. Even if we can't agree or get over whatever the heck is splitting our friendship up... we ought to at least respect each other as fellow human beings. Don't be mean.

Equally stupid?

The Flounce (coined by Kate my uber-fabulous friend and coiner of "Family of Choice")

The 'tude of : "I'm right. You're wrong. You've always been wrong. Good-bye! Hmmph!" This is the way immature people deal with conflict. Everyone I know has dealt with someone like this. "I'm not going to tell you why I'm upset. I'm going to text another person close to you about our conflict, and then unfriend you on facebook without a word." Seriously? Who does this? I don't care about the unfriending part so much (that seems to be a bigger deal in the junior high/high school world) but, bringing another person into the conflict... is just stupid. It doesn't leave me with a heartbreak as much as it leaves me with an eye roll.

What if we just learned to deal with relational BS like adults? I like what the apostle Paul wrote to Titus.

"Stay away from those who have foolish arguments and talk about useless family histories and argue and quarrel about the law. Those things are worth nothing and will not help anyone. After a first and second warning, avoid someone who causes arguments." Titus 3:9-10 (NCV)

There's something wonderfully simple about making those kinds of choices. I'd be willing to bet that they'd lead to fewer toxic friendships. We wouldn't suddenly find ourselves in a relationship that was rotting from the inside out.

Toxic relationships have robbed me of too much time (personally and emotionally) and I'm over it. Non-toxic friends (Febrezey friends!) are the ones I want to invest in for the rest of my life. Who's with me?

Have you ever had to untangle yourself from a toxic friendship?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Family By Choice

My friend Kate is this amazing person who introduced the phrase "Family of Choice" into my brain. For personal reasons, her biological family is out of the picture. She now has a family built out of her husband and child AND a bunch of really great friends. She counts them as her family. She treats them like her family. And her life is richer for it... she'll tell you that herself. She's surrounded herself with people who really LOVE and support her... they might not always agree on everything, but there's a real unconditional love in each relationship.

I love it.

Dave and I have a good friend who is recently divorced. We've known him for years and really love the guy. He's in a position where his biological family isn't really in the picture either. He counts us as his family. He has a new girlfriend and wanted US to meet her and wanted to know what we thought about her. I think that's kinda funny. Not in a "ridiculously laughable" sort of way... but in a "WOW, I didn't realize that we meant THAT much to you" way. We care about him a lot and have tried to support him and his kids as best we can through this rough season. It's nice to know that the affection is returned. We know that if we ever needed help, he'd be Johnny-On-The-Spot with whatever we needed. We're totally family.

I love that too.

This isn't a rant about how much biological families suck. I don't think that's really very accurate.

OK, maybe SOMETIMES it's accurate.

But Kate's got me thinkin'... who's in MY "Family of Choice"????

My godmother is someone that I absolutely adore. She hears my heart when I'm stressed or worried... she isn't judging me based on past mistakes... she hears where I'm coming from even when I'm angry and I say crap that I probably shouldn't. She supports me as a Mom, daughter, and as a GIRL. She laughs over life's craziness with me... and grieves over the sad, hard parts along wtih me. She cares about my husband and kids and prays for us. She's also funny as all get-out and likes my Grammy's Bourbon Slushies as much as I do! ha ha! I'm not related to her biologically... but I consider her parents (now in heaven) to be another set of grandparents to me. Begonia (that's her nickname NOT her actually name!) is absolutely in my Family of Choice.

My friend Alison is definitely in The Family of My Own Choosing too. She somehow manages to hear my heart, keep me in check, AND not be judgmental all at the same time. We don't do everything exactly the same. We disagree about some issues... or give more weight to some things than the other does... but we LOVE each other. We love each other's kids. We might even give each other a kidney (God, please spare us from THAT sort of adventure!) if we matched. Somehow... I think we would. I don't have a sister. But I have Alison. Her kids are a little older than mine, she's been married a bit longer... and it's good to have someone, who's already been down certain roads in life, to learn from and grow along with. Also? She cracks me up on a level that few people reach. Alison's definitely in my Family of Choice.

Don't worry, I'm not running down my whole list. It turns out, as I've been thinkin' about it, the list is really pretty long. The list of people who love and care for my family and support us through thick and thin... it really surprised me. (I'm in the slow class... what can I say?)

It's really easy to let the people who get under your skin and drive you crazy get all your focus. They DO drive you nuts after all. I'm choosing to set my orientation in a different way. Rather than have my "list" of family members who drive me bonkers because of meanness or idiocy, I'm choosing to count my blessings... and the number of people who love me because they CHOOSE to rather than because they "have to" due to shared genetic code or marriage. Why waste time investing even "mental time" (versus personal time) paying attention to people and relationships who really are just a time suck? Why not count up the good stuff... the relationships that make life richer and fuller because they add to and back you up when you need it the most? I'm counting the people who simply share real life with me... the good, the bad, and the ugly parts... and see even the cruddy side of my shining personality and love me anyway from now on!

So... who makes it to YOUR list??

Let's BEE Friends

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Sunday Funday #1 at The Fence

My sweet buddy Carri at Mommy's Little Monster Blake is taking a breather from hosting Sunday Funday while she spreads her mad crazy writing talent around the interwebs. While she's out in the blogoverse being awesome, Carri's abdicated the throne for hostessing to me! Woohoo!


Link up your favorite post from the last week! (No giveaways please!)

TURN YOUR CAPTCHA OFF!!! (If you don't know how to do that, please ask for help!)

Grab the Sunday Funday button from the sidebar!

Go visit the other posts and meet some GREAT people!

Tweet your Sunday Funday posts and spread the word! The more links we get, the more fun we'll have!