Tuesday, August 21, 2012


we've moved! join us at benandjanie.wordpress.com. thanks!

Monday, August 20, 2012

parties, parties, everwhere

my parents are so blessed to be celebrating 40 years of marital bliss this month. so, we, as their children, decided to throw them a big ol party to show them just how much people love them. i'm so blessed to have them as parents and to have been raised with Godly parents. their marriage represents Christ and the church in so many different ways. and i for one have loved watching their love for each other grow more and more as they age. what a blessing to love your spouse more after 40 years of marriage than you did on the day you married. gives me chills.

when we were choosing a theme, i googled 40th anniversary and realized it is the ruby anniversary. so, we decided on a ruby and burlap color scheme. my mom has a wonderful friend that is so good with flowers. we asked if she would be willing to help us with the centerpieces. she outdid herself. most of the flowers were grown in her garden and she took off with the ruby theme. we just wanted some snacky things for the food, so we opted for cupcakes (made by your's truly), cucumber sandwiches, watermelon, junior mints in monogrammed cones, bagel chips with hummus, and fruit tea and water to drink. simple, but classy. (that's a great way to describe my parents, too)

here are some pics from the party. enjoy!

"guest book"

what a great day!

photo booth with props. i love my boys!!!

my mom, sister, and me. if i have a fourth of the wisdom that these ladies do, i'll be doing well in life.

40 facts from 40 years done by my amazing sister in law

wedding party...40 years later!

 my moms wedding dress displayed

flower arrangements done by anna clifford
table scape

my wonderful family

ruby cones filled with junior mints

oreo cupcakes and blueberry cupcakes

the whole crew

 through the years with sam and dottie

my parents wedding/engagement photos, along with their parents' wedding pictures and a picture from last year of my parents.

through the years with mom and dad...adding 3 children, 3 children-in-law, and 11 grandchildren. whew!!!


Monday, February 13, 2012

a tutorial :: skinny snowmen

so, for sammy's winter one-derland party, i wanted to make some snowmen out of bottles. i had seen this and thought "oh, the kids would love this!" BUT i don't drink frappacinos and i didn't want to waste $6 on some bottles. so, my friend runs a coffee shop here in town and she gave me some old syrup bottles. so, i made skinny snowmen! they are very simple, and i love them so much, i still have them displayed in my kitchen.
here's the toot.

white paper
medium sized styrofoam balls
construction paper
permanent marker

1. wash the bottles with warm water and let them air dry
2. wrap the bottles with white paper and hot glue so it adheres well
3. fold up the top kind of like you're wrapping a present. it will look a little more like snow this way and you can cover the whole bottle.
4. cut a 2 in. strip of white paper and wrap it around the neck of the bottle.
5. press the ball into the top of the bottle, but not too hard because you don't want to break the ball. there's no need for glueing the head since it will be pressed into the top of the bottle.

6. draw eyes and a mouth on to the ball with your marker.

7. cut a 2 in. wide strip of felt and wrap around the neck of the bottle, glueing every so often. snip the ends to make a scarf.
8. cut out an orange triangle (or a mustache!) and glue on for the nose.

9. cut out a hat shape of any kind and glue on the top.
10. add buttons to the bottle

sammy's birthday

i can not believe my baby boy is one! i'm sure every mom says that at some point in her life, but i feel it. i mean, i really feel it. anyway, the day that sammy was born, jackson got about 4 inches of snow. what should have taken a 7-8 minute drive to the hospital took us 25-30 minutes. it's a good thing sammy waited to come! ha! anyway, the idea entered my head that we should have a winter one-derland party. i had seen a few pictures on pinterest and other blogs, and my head just went into high gear. we invited family to come celebrate sammy and his wonderful joy. anyway, here's some pictures and i'll post some tutorials soon about some of the decorations.

with sweet marie
hot chocolate bar
the spread
frosty the snowman cake

snowmen banana kabobs

chocolate covered oreo penguins
the snowmen centerpiece (tutorial here)
the birthday boy!!!
birthday donut

happy birthday, little buddy!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

my first tutorial::a table runner

well, i am slowly being inspired by all these other blogs that i read (like this one and this one mostly) about sewing and even with lots of boys, enjoying my girliness. i have also realized that a blog post does not have to be a novel. it's way too overwhelming when i think about that.
anyway, tomorrow i'm having a baby shower for a friend of mine. she's obsessed with strawberries right now, so we decided to have a strawberry shower! also, i think it's fun because she has two older boys (about dillon and isaac's ages) and this is a girl :). so, i made a girly table runner for the shower. here's the tutorial.

you need some muslin or linen fabric, and then a contrasting color for the ruffles, thread, and scissors. i like to rip my fabric to the right size because i am a horrible cutter. also, i don't know definite dimensions, because i totally eyeballed it. my table is about 4 feet long though and the runner just barely hangs off the side. i believe i got a yard and a half, and it's about 12 inches wide. if you like a more finished look, you can iron down hems and sew them so that it's a little cleaner. i just stitched a seam down the sides so it wouldn't fray anymore.

next, i used this tutorial for making ruffles. you basically start a stitch down the middle of your fabric and don't backstitch to secure it.

then, when you have stitched all the way down, you pull one of the pieces of the thread (the top thread or bobbin thread, whichever has a little more give) and ruffle. ruffle away.

after i had ruffled both of my pieces of red fabric, i sewed them, using my ruffle stitch as a guide, onto my muslin. easy peasy.

then, i used this tutorial to make a few fabric flowers (did i mention i liked this blog). my fabric wasn't solid, but i really like how it turned out. after i made my flowers, i hand-stitched them onto the runner.

there you have it! a nice, girly table runner!

sorry about the bad picture...it was taken with my phone

Thursday, May 19, 2011

did i mention we had a baby ;)

three months ago! i am so HORRIBLE at blogging!!! i am really going to try to be better. like the slinky post and i'm going to make a table runner this weekend that i think is blog worthy. we shall see what happens. i always think it's a good idea, but yadda yadda yadda.
so, we had a baby!!! samuel evan was born on february 7, 2011, at about 2:15 pm, weighing in at 7 lb 10 oz, and 20 inches long. the labor was a little crazy. the short story is that i was up from 1:30 am for the rest of the night with contractions that were nowhere near normal. we went to the doctor at about 10 that morning and i was already more than halfway there!!! we drove to the hospital in the pouring down snow (made a 20 minute drive what should've been an 8 minute drive) and was still having irregular contractions when we got there. long about 12:00, the nurses asked me if i wanted an epidural or anything else for pain. they told me if i didn't have anything, then i'd probably have sammy in just a couple hours, but if i did have something, it could be at least 3 hours, if not longer. well, my dream team (ben and my mom) and i decided it was time to just do it! by a little after 2:00 i was ready to start pushing and the doctor wasn't even in the room! they started paging the doctor over the intercom. he finally got in there an sammy was here about 10 minutes later!! it was so great to finally meet our beautiful, dark headed, screaming baby boy. he has been nothing but joy and is such a laid back baby. you can check out all the pictures of sammy here. enjoy!!!

everyone loves a slinky

the boys both received slinkies from grandpa and granny when they stopped through on a trip to missouri. last time we got a slinky, it ended up all twisted up and we wondered if the slinky would ever survive the williams house. well, i can tell you truthfully that a slinky is a lot of fun, and i can show you through pictures of my boys ;)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


when i think about what all has happened since february of 2010, i'm blown away. seriously. i'm sitting here and 9 days away from my due date with little sammy. what in the world?!? anyway, i just want to list some things that i've walked through and been thankful for over the past 12 months. ok, here goes:
  • this time last year, my granny was on her death bed. i summed my thoughts about granny here. even though it's been a year, it's amazing how much i still think about granny (daily, i think) and how much i want to run by her house, call her and hear her sweet voice on the other end. to hear her tell me how much she's praying for my whole family and how much she loved our little boys. the thing i miss the most is her unconditional love for me...not just me but for my whole family. i hope i'm becoming more like her every day.
  • the month of may consisted of going to florida with ben's family and having a FABULOUS time. right before we left, we put our old house that we loved on the market. it was shown several times, but it wasn't time for us to move just yet.
  • june - i called ben about the second week of june and said "well, the boys are either going to have to move upstairs to the tower (in our old house) or we're going to have to move before we sell our house." he was confused and didn't get it. so, i said "we're PREGNANT!" mercy, can we have another blessing for this year?!
  • the summer was filled with the boys swimming with friends, mimi and papa, visits with grammy and pawpaw, fun with friends, and playing outside. did i mention is was the hottest summer EVER!? and we completely re-landscaped our yard, with the help of grandpa and pawpaw, and totally kept all of our plants alive during the whole summer. for those of you that know us, that is a HUGE accomplishment!
  • in september, ben and i celebrated our 5 year anniversary in nashville! it was SO wonderful. it was the longest we had been away from the boys ever, but it was so worth it! two weeks before we went to nashville for vaca, we got a contract on our house! let's talk about things happening all at one time!! so, we go to nashville, leave boxes all over our house, and enjoy staying in a hotel for a few nights. then, we get home, have an amazing yard sale, close on our house, find out baby #3 is indeed another boy, and move...BAM, BAM, BAM! really, those last three things happened in three days. oh my!
  • since september, we have been settling into our wonderful home. izi turned two (with a monster party) and dillon is our big 3 year old (complete with a mr. mets birthday party bash). in the middle of their birthday parties, i turned the BIG 3-0 and my AMAZING husband threw me an AMAZING surprise party! one of my bffs, glenna, came in for the party, i got to skype with my friend, jackie, and she gave everyone a wonderful memory of us. my mom, dad, and sister were there with memories in tow. then, i got to chat with my other bff, hannah. it.was.the.best.EVER!!! not to mention that all of my friends were there, too. anyway, it was wonderful. then, we had Christmas for two weeks straight, celebrated ben's birthday (he's 33 now), celebrated new year's (did we make it to midnight), and now are just waiting on sammy to get here!
  • oh yeah, WE'RE HAVING A BABY ANY DAY NOW!!!!
i can't wait to meet sammy and see how much hair he has and just to hold him and love him. it's going to be interesting to be a family of 5, but i think we're all ready for him to get here. i like reflecting. it's so good to be thankful for what you've been given and for allowing the Lord and others to impact your life. i'm thankful for that.