Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

A Few of My Favorite Things for Summer

I haven't done this in a while so I thought it might be fun. Here are few of my favorite things for Summer (next to Jesus and my family, of course!).

Have you tried the new Bounce Dryer Bar? Oooooh! I am loving this thing~and not just for summer. No more having to pick up those pesky dryer sheets. I have had mine for 6 weeks now and my clothes still smell incredible:

This is my scent for the summer. Do you have a summer scent? I took this lotion with us to St John last summer and everytime that I wear it this year, my girls tell me that it reminds them of our vacation. I always try to take a new scent when we go somewhere. Do you ever do that? Somehow the scent brings back memories. I am stuck on this delightful coconut lime verbena from Bath and Body Works:
And this! Oh, I heart Photoshop! I never loved it more than after the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens Photo Shoot.

I thought that I had carefully set my white balance on my camera but the shade and the clouds kept changing and did I remember to change the white balance for different areas? No! A lot of my photos looked like this one. A little too warm for my taste:

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Photoshop to the rescue!

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Have you tried Lash Blast Mascara? I think it is pretty awesome:



Or the new Pretzel M & M's? Our school secretary introduced us all to these. She made prescriptions bottles from Dr. Summers Coming filled with these m's and offered refills for a nickel during the last few weeks of school. They are different but delicious.




Do you like Skinny Cow ice cream? We do!




And we always look forward to watching the next Food Network star on Sunday evenings. We like Aria and Aarti. Do you have a fave?






And I am crushing on my new lens. It's light on my camera and it somehow has a wide angle...so cool!







On our trip to Ft. Worth, I stopped in Sephora for some lighter summer makeup. This tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier does the trick. It is is oil free and feels like I am not wearing any makeup at all. Oh, and it doesn't melt off my face in the hot Texas weather...bonus!






We like to frequent happy hour at Sonic...but even at happy hour prices, it can add up. So, I picked up a can a marachino cherries at the grocery store to add to our crystal light lemonade...delight in a cup!



Whew! That's all for now. What are your favorite things for summer?

My Giggling Girls

Did you know that making dinner can be funny? Did I ever tell you about the time that I burned my .....on my double oven? No, well I'm not going to today either. Ha!

Or have I told you that I cannot make take-home-and-bake-it-pizza? I really can't...I burn it almost everytime. Yes, I am skilled! My girls laugh everytime I try to put a pizza in the oven. Without fail, a piece always breaks off and hits the bottom of my oven with a delightful burned smell. Blackened-pizza! I can make the homemade kind just fine, but there is something about a take and bake. Funny? Yes, but that's not what I'm talking about today.

Last week, while Mr. Incredible was in Chicago, the girls and I cooked dinner together. We were trying to make Hannah smile in spite of her hurt hip. Rachel was being crazy which made Hannah and I both laugh out loud...and then the giggles began. It was a blast!

My giggling girls! I am blessed!

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A Summer Scarf

A few months ago, I watched the Martha Stewart show where she made spring ombre (my spell check would really like for ombre to be Hombre~ha!) scarves. I thought that they were so adorable and since my girls and I like to sport a scarf, I thought this would be so fun. Here is a link to her instructions.

I went back to Hobby Lobby for cheesecloth, tie dye, and soda ash a few months ago and once again stored them in my craft closet for a rainy day craft project. Again, I was trying to keep my baby girl happy and off of her leg so this was the perfect day. I carefully washed the cheesecloth and dried it and then soaked it in soda ash for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I covered my kitchen island in black trash bags and used little post-it (oh, how I love Post-its!) tags to mark every 6 inches. After the soda ash soaking, it was time to wring it out and then begin the dye process. It was fun but messy.

I kept thinking as we were creating, that Martha makes everything look so easy! My beautiful white sink was now all manner of colors and I even had some dye on my tile floor and on my cabinets. So not-very-Martha! Oh, well, it was fun!

We let our little scarves dry for 24 hours and then I began rinsing them...individually of course. I looked like Smurfette when I was done. La, la, la, la, la, la (remember the smurf's?). My hands were a nice shade of blue. Note to self, put the gloves back on when rinsing dye out of the scarves! Oiy!

I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed until I looked like I had dish pan hands. I washed each scarf and then dried them on high. The colors held so well and they sort of look like Martha's Ombre Scarves, but not quite as perfect. Fun times together!

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Sweet Em

Sweet Shot Day

I'm loving looking at everyone's talent on this fun blog hop. It happens every Tuesday at my3boybarians.com All you have to do is submit your favorite photo for the week.

Naturally, my favorite photos are always of my girls but ya'll have seen a lot of them lately so I chose this one of our friend's granddaughter:

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This is "Em." Isn't she the cutest thing? She is the granddaughter of some of our dear friends from church. We have had "Em" in children's ministry since she was a little bitty. Her momma had fixed her hair in pony tails with double braids in each one. I knew when I saw them that it would be a fun shot.

I asked her if I could take a fun picture of her and she giggled. This was the first photo that I took and we both loved it! Thanks, "Em" for being my supermodel!!!

A Little Tote Bag Makeover

I saw this idea few months ago but carefully tucked the idea away in the back of my brain somewhere for a fun, summer craft project. Here is where the fabulous ideas came from: http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2009/11/21/diy-doily-canvas-bag/

Since the nurse told us to keep Hannah off of her leg for 2 weeks, this was the perfect time to craft. Just FYI, it turns out, the nurse was mistaken...can you believe that? After the Holy Spirit's prompting, we again called to talk to the doctor. He was a little upset when he heard what his nurse told us to do! When I explained to him that she was able to play for the rest of the basketball game after her fall, he was more than reassuring that her hip does not have a fracture and he wants Hannah to walk on it as much as she can. Yippe!!! But, during the 2 LONG days that I kept Hannah off of her leg and at home, I tried to be creative.

I bought canvas tote bags from my favorite craft store, Hobby Lobby. I bought them when they were on sale and just kept them in my pantry until the perfect craft day. I already had craft paint and doilies and a fabulous assistant.

It was really easy. I lined the inside of the bag with newspaper, sprayed elmer's spray glue on the back of the doily, placed it on the canvas bag, and then used a foam brush to stencil the doily to the bag. After we were done and while the paint was still wet, we removed the doily. Easy-peasy! I would like to paint a K or a cute saying or verse on the inside but my helper was getting tired and I like the simplicity of just the doily so we called it a day.

Here are our pictures:

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Thanks, Ashley for a great idea!!!

I Skinned my I-Phone!

I'm still thinking about that photography part-time thing and then I take 200 photos of my girls at the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Ft. Worth and they ALL turn out in hues that are too warm. Oiy! Thankfully, I have some Photoshop skills that rescued them. So, yes I'm still on the fence about the whole thing.

Anyway, I found a cute idea for possible clients that have I-phones. I think it would make a nice thank you gift for them or even as special father's day gift (don't tell Mr. Incredible...his Motorola Droid will be so fabulous on Father's Day). But, I wanted to try it out myself first.

I uploaded one of my recent favorite photos and placed an order for an I-phone customized skin hoping that I would love it.

UPS dropped by my house today with the skins and they are so cool!

Here is my I-phone before:

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The skins just waiting to be applied:

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And the after. From drab to fab!

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I don't know how well they will protect my I-phone; I may have to purchase a clear protective cover but I certainly like seeing my photograph on my phone. What do you think?

A Photo Shoot in the Beautiful Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens

On our trip back to Ft. Worth for Rachel's MRI and follow up with Dr. Roberts, I remembered the beautiful Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens and knew that it would be the perfect place to take some senior pictures. Thankfully, the girls were excited too!

After the great news from Rachel's appointment, we drove a few miles to the Garden. It was a beautifully overcast day. The sun was still tucked behind the enourmous clouds, and the temperature was very comfortable. We started taking photos among other professional photographers who were taking bridal portraits....just like I had mine taken 20 years ago. It was fun to be among them and to see what kind of equipment they brought along on photo shoots and how they handled their clients. I smiled at the girls and told them that we would somehow just try to act like professionals too. Game on!

One guy had a huge artificial light box that he brought along and an enormous lens. I had my girls, my big girl camera, a few extra lenses in my bag, my girlie new camera strap, and my brand new, very small, 35mm lens on my camera. But, I wasn't intimidated. The girls and I giggled and laughed and tried different poses; it was an absolute blast!

After a few beautiful poses next to a small waterfall, Rachel explained that the "professional guy" was watching what we were doing and after we left that spot, he had his client do the exact same thing! And that made me smile~delight! Oh, but if he only knew! Ha!

We finished in less than an hour and just as the scorching sun started peaking through the clouds, we retreated to the air conditioned, rattlesnake-killing-suburban. The girls decided that they were hungry so we headed for La Madeline to eat brunch and then to the Parks at Arlington to do some shopping. It was a fun day with my girls!

Do you want to see some of the photos? Naturally, I took over 200 photos! But, don't worry, here are a select few of the photos of my girls:

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Trying to Smile

The orthopedic doctor did call me late yesterday afternoon to answer my bazillion questions. He wanted to let me know that Hannah fell in an area where there is a growth plate. He said, "the odds are very low that this could be an issue but I just wanted to share that with you so that you would understand why I am being cautious." He went on to explain that yes we could go on our vacation to St John, USVI but that he mainly wanted Hannah to take it easy getting her tan on and lounging by the pool. She loves to snorkel, almost as much as her mother does, so I asked him about that. He paused for a second and then added that he didn't want her to do strenuous snorkeling and definitely no scuba (not a problem there).

We will see him in 2 weeks to find out more. In the meantime, I am trying my best to carefully decide if our trip is really in Hannah's best interest. We have to drive 4 1/2 hours to the metroplex to catch our first flight, catch a second flight in Georgia to St. Thomas, ride in a taxi cab (that is not a very smooth ride) down to the dock, ride by water taxi over to St. John, and then get into our waiting jeeps to drive the hills to our house for the week. Getting to St. John is not easy nor is it quick...but it is always so worth it. I just don't know if we can do it on crutches. And if there is a hairline fracture, we certainly don't want to make it worse. UGH!!!!

In my mind I keep trying to sing the old Twila Paris song, "I will trust you Lord." Part of it says, "Sometimes my little heart can't understand what's in Your will, what's in Your plan. So many times I'm tempted to ask You why,But I can never forget it for long.Lord, what You do could not be wrong.So I believe You, even when I must cry." The song finishes by saying, "I will trust You, Lord." So, I'm trying to trust that His plans are always best, I know that they always are, and asking for guidance and wisdom.

And in an effort to be totally transparent and real with you, I need you to know that I still want to throw myself on the floor like a toddler and have a little fit! Okay, a big fit! We have planned this vacation since this time last year and it is our favorite place on earth! I know that sounds a little spoiled~sorry! But, the trip is paid for, for crying out loud and we have counted the days since January! UGH!

I hope you know me well enough to know that I want Hannah to be well and to not further injure herself and if that means staying home then we will stay home but if we don't get to go she is going to be crushed!

I'm trying to pull up my big girl panties and get on with my day and maybe even smile a little. The fall could have been so much worse. So, in an effort to smile, I thought I would share some pictures from the Monday night games that do make me smile.

This is my youngest nephew who just has one top "big" tooth. He was being ornery at the game eating starbursts. He said, "Aunt Kiki, here is one for you" and he watched me carefully put it in my mouth as he smiled. The starburst wasn't a regular starburst it was the sour kind. Yikes! My eyes watered and I made a funny face and he giggled:

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This is my oldest nephew kicked back at the game. I love that smile:

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I bought a new lens for my camera and I really like it. I debated about buying a 50mm but instead bought a much lesser expensive 35mm nikon lens. It's a prime lens so I can't zoom but it really captures most of the court instead of only part of it. I'm really liking this lens!

Hannah's team had 2 games Monday night. The 2nd game is the one where she was hurt against a "thug" team (yes, I am still a litte bitter-can you tell?) but the first game they divided our junior high girls into 2 teams and they had to play each other. Here are Hannah and her buddy "S" jumping for the ball. They are both smiling...which makes me smile too:

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They even smiled while they were defending each other:

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I'm going to try to look at these photos all day long as I try to smile and thank the Lord that things could be much worse then not being able to be on my favorite beach next week if we can't go. Please, excuse me while I go sob!

Waiting on the Orthopedic Doctor to Call

*Update: Hannah had a x ray this morning and the nurse just called. The doctor, who is in surgery all day was able to look at the x rays, and doesn't think that Hannah has a hairline fracture on her hip but the nurse cautioned that it is often difficult to see on the first x rays. They want Hannah to be on crutches for 2 weeks and to not put any weight on her leg and then they will see her again on July 1st for another round of x rays. Hannah's health is my number one priority but my mind is reeling because we are suppose to leave for vacation on Sunday...the vacation we have had planned for a year. I asked her about our trip and she paused and told me that she would have the doctor call me back. So, we will be waiting for his phone call and praying for wisdom. Thanks for praying.


Good Morning,

It has been a long night! I am waiting on the Orthopedic Doctor to call me back. Hannah is playing summer league basketball and she took a terrible fall last night. A "thug" from the other team maliciously swiped her feet out from under Hannah when they both were trying to get the ball and Hannah's legs went flying up in the air...she was parallel to the ground, like a straight line, and she landed completely on the left side of her hip. It was awful.

True to her brave self, she got up and tried to shake it off. I thought she was going to cry so I knew that she was hurt. Hannah has a very strong tolerance for pain. I really wanted to walk on to the court to make sure that she was okay but I knew it would embarrass her so I tried to patiently wait for her to look up at me and then I would know what to do.

She didn't look at me until several minutes later so I knew in my heart that she was hurt. She continued to play the rest of the game but she was visibly hurt and MAD! The other team had her number and they were trying to keep her from playing her game. I think she ended up scoring 16 points in spite of their efforts.

Look at how they double or even triple teamed her the whole game:


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After the game she hugged me and started shaking. I took a look at her hip and it was clearly swollen where she had hit the ground. I debated about taking her to the emergency room but just decided to try to let her rest and ice it.

She didn't rest at all last night...not even for a minute, and she is in more pain this morning. So, here we are waiting on the doctor to call us back and to tell us what to do. She is pale and her stomach hurts and I'd like to give those referees a piece of my mind right now! This is summer league and the girls are not suppose to get hurt like that!

Good News Part 2

Happy Monday to you! I am sorry that this post is up a little later than normal. I had to go to the grocery store because my family thought they were starving! Just this morning Rachel looked at me and asked what she could have for breakfast. I'm sad to say that we were out of cereal, milk, bread, and even the old standby for when my pantry is running low-granola bars. Oiy!

I looked at her and suggested a frozen waffle...I think there are a few left. She popped the rationed waffles (Hannah needed breakfast too) into the toaster where she promptly burned one. The kitchen smelled delightful. Ha! So, she ate her one waffle with sliced almonds, see I have some things to eat around my house, before she went to work. Hannah had her 2 waffles and then I headed to the grocery store where I could have filled 2 carts. Goodness!

I texted Rachel to let her know that we have food again to which she responded, "Yay!" Oh, she will have choices for tomorrow's breakfast and lunch too.

I wanted to thank all of you for your sweet comments to Rachel's post on Friday. She was the cutest thing about posting for me while I drove...and I love what she wrote. We are so thankful for all that God has done for her!

She was a little nervous about this appointment. The MRI on Thursday afternoon was especially loud so she didn't rest during the hour long scans but she wasn't afraid either and I am thankful. I was able to stay in the room with her the entire time where I just focused on her sweet little eyes that I could see in the MRI mirror and just prayed for her.

We had fun shopping that night...we even did the dreaded swim suit shopping thing and survived. I always wonder if there is someone in security watching us as we try on bathing suits. And as a teacher I sometimes wonder if it might be one of my students manning the dressing room security cams. Do you ever wonder that? So, being in a different city, my mind was set at ease...well as much at ease as is possible when you are trying on bathing suits. Ha!

The girls and I laughed a lot on this trip together. We had dinner at the Macaroni Grill in Ft. Worth before we went back to the hotel for the night. We were in before dark so Mr. Incredible was happy.

The next morning we went back to Cook Children's for Rachel's appointment with her pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Roberts. He could not have been more pleased with her MRI and her news that she feels so much better than she did this time last year. He smiled as big as Dallas as we explained that she has really only had 1 headache since her surgery but that we believed it was allergy related. He asked about her choking to which we exclaimed that she has not choked once since before her surgery and he rejoiced along with us.

He explained that her MRI looked totally different compared to the MRI we had this time last year. Where once you could not see brain fluid, you can now see it! Glory! It was a blessed visit for sure as we all delighted in all that God has done and continues to do.

We are thankful that God led us here and to Dr. Roberts:

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What are 3 girls to do in the metroplex after just receiving amazing news? We called Mr. Incredible to tell him the great news and then the grandparents and then we...went shopping! Here are 2 pictures that I took with my I-phone of the girls:

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We also stopped by the beautiful Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens for a little photo shoot. I'll try to post a few pictures of that later this week.

Thank you so much for your prayers for us while we travelled and while Rachel was having her MRI and thank you for sharing in our joy over the great news! God is awesome!

Great News!

Hey this is Rachel! My mom is driving us back home from Ft. Worth, but she wanted y'all to know the great news. The MRI went well and we are rejoicing that we can now see brain fluid where once there was none due to the Chiari. Dr. Roberts was so pleased with the MRI and to hear how well I'm doing. I will not have to go back for a whole year which is so awesome! Thank you so much for praying for me, I have so much to be thankful for. There is nothing too big for God! Our impossible situations are Gods specializations!

-Rachel

Our VBS Room 2010

It's been a fast and fun Vacation Bible School week. We used Lifeway's Route 254 curriculum which took us on a road trip around the country where the students learned about worship, being thankful, salvation, belief, and obedience. Our classrooms represented our campsites that we stopped in along the road trip. Mom, Rachel, Hannah, Mr. Phil (a family friend), and I had the blessing of teaching 3rd graders. Want to see our room?

Welcome to 3rd grade:

This was our entrance. Mom and Dad made this:

Dad found this great tent which fit perfectly in our room. The students LOVED it!


The "Groovy" sign and car, I made when Rachel was an 8th grade cheerleader for one of her pep rallies. We thought they were fun additions to our "road trip" theme:

Hannah and I made the tree out of brown bulletin board paper and green construction paper. We started to use fishing line to hang the branches from the tree but quickly switched to large paper clips that were much easier to poke through the paper and then clip to the ceiling frames. Of course, I hot glued the leaves to the tree. :-)




Toucan Sam liked the tree. Mom made him out of paper mache. Isn't he cool?!


My girls having a little fun:


I LOVED getting to teach the Bible stories each night and just having fun in recreation and crafts with the students. They absolutely adored my girls! A couple even asked the girls for their phone numbers....and Rachel and Hannah gave them their numbers. Isn't that cute?

One of the little girls asked me if Rachel and Hannah and I were friends. I smiled and told her that they were my daughters and yes, they were my friends too and she just smiled. It was fun to see them put together how their leaders were related. They had a hard time believing Mrs. Barbie was my mom because I am so much taller than she is and they called Hannah "Taylor Swift" all week which Hannah loved!


We will miss being there on the last night. The girls and I are taking a road trip of our own for Rachel's post-op checkup at Cook Children's Hospital. She has an MRI at 4:30 this afternoon and then we will see her neurosurgeon in the morning. Rachel is feeling so good...completely back to normal and we are so thankful. MRIs are a loud and long. If you think about her, would you please pray that she would be able to relax and possibly even go to sleep during the MRI? Have a blessed day!

I am Sew on a Roll!

I am having so much fun taking pictures with my "Big Girl" camera. Mr. Incredible blessed me with my Nikon D60 over a year ago and I love it! But, after seeing so many cute camera straps around blog land I started to want one too. I finally decided which one I wanted to order from SheyB and when I started to order it, I realized that it was going to be at least 4 weeks before it would be mailed. Shey B camera straps are gorgeous but patience is not my strong subject, so I decided to make my own very simple version.

This is what my camera strap has looked like for the last year:

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I looked in my craft closet and found this beautiful black and white damask-like curtain material that was left over from Rachel's bedroom makeover. I found some cute pink ribbon too:

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I like all things girlie, so I wanted a ruffle on my camera strap. I sewed a somewhat straight stitch down the middle of the ribbon. I didn't back sew because I wanted to be able to pull the strings tight to form the ruffle:

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Then I carefully sewed the ruffled ribbon to the material:

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It isn't perfect, but that is okay.

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I then turned the material insides in and wrapped it around my camera strap. I pinned it close the edges of the camera strap...I am so good that I didn't use a ruler~I hope you heard the sarcasm in my voice. And then I carefully sewed the length of the material.


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The hardest part was turning it right sides out after sewing it. It's certainly not perfect, but neither am I. I like having some girlie-ness on my camera strap and it only cost me a little bit of time...as in 20 minutes.

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I might just have to hot glue something over that double crazy-stitch on the pink ruffle. Ha!

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