Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas 2016 is in the books . . .random post #1

Once again, if you are reading this - thanks for stopping by.  This post is one of those "I want to remember a few things" post so feel free to stay and read or to glide through the pictures - but come back and read again!!

I know that I posted this picture last week but she is so cute that I couldn't help posting again!!

Miss Tiny Tiger wore the cutest red shoes throughout the holidays.  I want some in my size.  Glenn and Lauren kept her with them for the Christmas Eve Eve service, the Christmas Eve service, and the Christmas day service.  I know that I am biased but she was really good - of course, it helped that we outnumbered her and passed her up and down the pew/row.

Our weather is always strange in Alabama but this year it has been REALLY strange.  A couple of weeks ago it was almost 80 degrees and today the temp never rose out of the 40's.  When it was 78, our cat was in heaven.  He loves the screen porch.  Look at his sweet little paws crossed over each other.

Here are a few of our decorations.  Wesley, one of our young adults gave us this Pottery Barn pillow last year.  It has red jingle bells on the corners and I love the pop of "cheery" that it brings.

We had the saddest little Christmas tree ever this year but when you put on lots of lights and ornaments, even the saddest tree become quite beautiful.

I loved our mantle this year.  Since "gold" has been making a comeback . . . and I love gold . . .guess what color I chose?  GOLD!  I'm so thankful that I kept my old gold decorations in a red and green tub in the attic.

We stopped hanging our stockings on the mantle a few years ago (when they fell and pulled down the garland, etc.!)  I think it is fun to hang them on the stair rail.  At the bottom right, you can see how I keep our Christmas cards - my daughter-in-love taught me this trick.  You use on "o" ring and punch a hole in each card as it arrives.  I put one of our cards on top.  I now have rings for 7 or 8 years.

I bought these little trees a long time ago - at Walmart, of all places!  They are one of our most loved decorations.  Yes, those are real antlers.

I also love our nativity.  It is Fontini and my mother-in-love started it for us. 

Last year, a day or two after Christmas, I was in (once again) Walmart!  They had marked all the Christmas merchandise down to 75% off (or more!) and I bought 5 little trees with burlap tied around the "root ball."  I bought them to use in the box that Brian made for me a couple of years ago.  I love changing up the stuff in the box for each season!  See . . .I told you I love gold -gold tablecloth; gold berries; gold ornaments; gold candles!!

On the Tuesday night before Christmas, we hosted our young adult group for a Christmas party.  I ordered the food from Taziki's and the group LOVES the Friday Special (pasta and chicken with an incredible balsamic dressing over lettuce).  We played Dirty Santa and had fun!

On Christmas Eve, Mark, Glenn, Laura, Lauren, Emma and I went to the 5:00 service.  It was packed and it was a beautiful service.  We needed a new tradition this year, so Mark, Laura, and I cooked a Blue Apron meal when we got home from church.  We were later than normal eating but that was ok because . . .Santa came through our neighborhood and we were able to go outside and wait.  Everyone dresses really nicely in our neighborhood and everyone was outside in their best clothes (or pajamas if young).  Mark was mortified because I was outside in blue knit shorts, flip flops, and a sweat shirt.  It had been so hot all day!  Laura had on pajama pants and a t-shirt.  We fit right in!

You would have thought we were both little kids by our waiting and waving . . .along with the kids in the neighborhood.  It was fun.  What can I say?  We are who we are.  I felt a little bit like Buddy, the Elf.  I KNOW him!!

I'll post more about our holiday fun later!  Today is New Year's Eve and I'm going to go celebrate!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We've been in our house for 2 1/2 years and I've desperately wanted to organize my craft room but there has never been enough time.  I knew it was going to be a multi-day project and I haven't had "multi-days" in my house alone since we moved here!  I'm not totally finished with the organizing - I want to sort pictures.  We finally found all my commentaries (they were in a box in storage!) and I'm going to add those to a shelf that I was able to clean off.  I also want to clean out and organize the closet that is in this room.  There are some craft supplies inside the closet and I want to organize better.  It is a fairly large walk in closet and we store the vacuum cleaner in there and I store all of the seasonal door decorations on hangers.

Just FYI - I filled two garbage bags with trash.  It doesn't "look" that messy but I had no idea where I had stored anything. I had opened boxes and crammed supplies in every nook and cranny.  (the arrangement of sticks on the desk on the right will go back on the mantle after Christmas - it is just hanging out for now in the room).

See the little bookshelf below - I've sorted the items in the baskets and put away in drawers.  This is where my commentaries will live.

All of the red bins in the big piece of furniture on the right contain photos - they still need to be sorted and I need to figure out what is hiding behind door number one and door number 2 in the bottom of the cabinet.  There is also a small bookcase behind the door with some DVD's and books - it will remain hidden behind the door.

I realize that the room has too much furniture.  For now, it is going to remain that way.  I don't want to use the big wooden desk but it won't fit in the attic and it is very old . . .

As with any project, you have to make even more mess in order to organize.  Say it ain't so!  It is!  Mark helped me and we moved the antique desk over to the right of the room.  While I was home alone, I removed all the paper from the cabinets and moved some toward the window (I have ordered three more and I have one in the garage).  I will have two stacks of four cubes on each side of the desk.  I moved the stacks on the right about 12 inches to the right.  I have to leave enough space to slide big tubs in and out of the attic.  Walk in attic is accessed through that walk in closet.  I would prefer for everything to be perfectly centered on that back wall but it would mess us access to that closet and we use our attic space.

I sorted paper into several categories - 8 1/2 by 11 - patterned and solid and 12 X 12 - patterned and solid.  The pile of paper below is a separate category . . .it is glitter.  I had no idea that I had so many sheets of glitter paper.  That is the problem when something is terribly unorganized.  You go to get something to work on and you can't find the correct supplies so you go to Michael's or Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's and buy more suppliesl

I finished late last night.  By moving the red desk to the back wall and the antique desk to the right wall, it somehow made the room feel bigger because there is a tiny sliver of wall without furniture now!  Please disregard items on top of bins on right side.  The red baskets and buckets are empty ready to be used somewhere else in the house for organization and the big tall thing will go back on the mantle.

Just that little bit of clean floor space and wall space over on the left makes the room feel less cluttered and bigger.  My paper is organized by color.  Until this moment, I thought I had used ROY G. Biv . . .but I used ROY B. Giv (sort of!)  The patterned 12 X 12 papers are sorted by checks and plaids; stripes; florals; black and white; holidays and specific events.  I couldn't decide the best way to organize those printed papers - whether by color, etc. so I thought I would try this method.

I organized and labeled all of my drawers so that I can FIND things!!!  If anyone borrows my stuff, they can hopefully put it back in the correct location!!!  Yes, if you read the labels closely, I have googly eyes!

As a new year approaches, I always feel a need to organize something - evidently along with the masses because in Home Depot this morning, they had storage bins and accessories stacked up at the front door!

Besides the other stuff in the craft room, I also want to clean and organize this closet - I assume it is supposed to be a coat closet because it is near the back door.  I have extra linens and some wrapping paper and tissue paper flowers stored in there along with some coats and jackets! 

I did buy one of these at home depot to store those rolls of wrapping paper.
Do you feel the need to clean out and organize at the end of one year before beginning a new year?  I would love to see some other projects by other folks!!
One thing I did realize when I was doing all this work . . .I haven't crafted a scrapbook page in at least 5 years. . . I've blogged.  I've made banners and invitations and other craft projects requiring paper and glue . . and I've blogged!  Does anyone still make paper scrapbooks?  I really enjoyed making them . . .I may have to do some of Emma's life!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wednesday Hodge Podge . . . once again on Thursday

I started this post on Wednesday but it is 10:00 on Thursday night and I'm finally trying to finish it!  Joyce at From This Side of the Pond has such fun questions every week for Wednesday Hodge Podge!
1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 

Tonight (Wednesday) is our service of Loss and Light (for those grieving) and I’m working as an usher/greeter (the service definitely made those who are grieving realize that they are not alone!).  Tomorrow (today!) is (was) our office Christmas party and after work, I’m (I did get) getting a hair cut (and I got a pedicure!!) !!  Mark is going to the farm and I hope to watch a SAPPY Christmas movie while he is gone (instead of watching a movie . . . I watched sitcom reruns . . .and worried about Mark because I haven't heard from him!).  Friday, I’m going tino work around noon because I will be at the church through part of the evening.  At 11:30, on my way in to the office, I have to pick up the food for the preachers/musicians/nursery workers/maintenance staff  to eat on Christmas Eve.  On Friday evening, we have our Christmas Eve Eve service which is one of my favorite services!!  It is called “Go Tell It on Red Mountain” (read here about Birmingham and Red Mountain).  Conecuh sausage will be served and our preachers will tell stories (the story) and the musicians will play and we will all sing Christmas music - all with a bluegrass/flannel shirt theme!  Christmas Eve will include some cooking for Christmas day and some family time (which includes pizza!) and our Christmas Eve service at church.  Christmas Day includes . . .drum roll . . .presents at our house; church; lunch and presents with Mark’s immediate family; HOPEFULLY, A NAP; and time with Mark’s BIG extended family.  After that . . .I REST!  I’m taking a week of vacation between Christmas and New Year’s and I may sleep all week!

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 

I don’t really like winter much at all.  So let’s look at it from a positive angle . . .I like hot chocolate!!  My favorite thing about the first day of winter is that from now on, each day gets longer - the LIGHT wins, y'all!!

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 

I would like to have my own way (like a little kid!) and I am sometimes unable to curb my comments and thoughts -- sometimes those things just burst forth.  I sometimes speak before I think . . I should have figured out how to control that by now!

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 

I learned that it is fun to be a grandmother (Gran!).  I wasn't too sure about this grandparent business but I LOVE being a gran to such a sweet girl!  If I wasn't so tired I might be able to think of a "bigger" lesson I've learned but this is a lesson that I'm glad I learned!!  I borrowed this picture from my daughter-in-law's blog - she wasn't too sure about Santa!!

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 

I LOVE shrimp – it is my favorite seafood!  I like it fried, blackened, boiled, broiled, on top of grits, with French fries.  I DO NOT like it served with heads on.  One time when we were at the beach, I ordered Royal Red Steamed Shrimp at the Gulf Shores Steamer.  I did learn that I do not like my shrimp with all of their "components" still intact.  I actually swapped meals with Mark.  My order was in a sandbucket with lots of shrimp hanging over the edges!!

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 
Our WHOLE family is addicted to sound machines!  We all sleep with white noise - even baby Emma!  When Mark and I first married, our next door neighbors had a dog that barked and Mark needed white noise.  We used a fan for years.  At some point, I purchased white noise machines and we've all used them ever since.

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 
A friend of mine who is a blogger said that the word of the year is surreal.  I think that describes 2016 quite well.  From Glenn's surgery in January to my January trip to Israel to the opening of our new church campus to our first grandbaby to this year's election (no matter which side you are on, people acted downright crazy!!) to our recent season of multiple deaths and illnesses at church - and now it is Christmas.  Surreal is all I can say!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I just saw on the news where a Santa went into a bank (or credit union) and handed out candy and THEN ROBBED THE DADGUM bank!  Of course, immediately following that story they showed a puppy story!  So listen to this Christmas story -- our sunday school class works directly with a mission here in town.  At Thanksgiving, we provided 40 full Thanksgiving meals to these families.  For Christmas, we provided Christmas for 52 children!!!  (this is in addition to the angel trees at church).  I know you asked for only one thought but now the weather is on and the weatherman just informed us that it will be 72 degrees on Christmas day.  I love wearing shorts and flip flops - they are my most comfortable clothing BUT IT IS CHRISTMAS!! 

Final thought -- A baby is going to be born this week - a baby that has and will continue to change the world.  If we are all so caught up in the tinsel and wrapping paper, we might just miss it.  Slow down . . .take a DEEP breath . . . stop . . . I think I can hear the clop clop of hooves as the Holy Family approaches.  A baby is going to be born soon! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Life at the Elliott Household

So . . .is it really Christmas week?  When you work in a church, you get so caught up in all the "stuff" that you can't really breathe and celebrate until AFTER Christmas!  So what have we been doing?

I told you about Hey Kat Bakes last week.  She made some Star of Bethlehem cookies for us and I made a cute label.  Laura gave these to her teachers and some other folks in her school. 

Does anyone know what this is?  It is two giant bags of cheese straws -- one "hot" and one "regular."  I've told y'all that I love "local" - this is truly local!  East Lake UMC is another United Methodist Church located in Birmingham.  There is a man who makes wonderful cheese straws out of their kitchen and he sells them - for $25 a bag -- 3.5 pounds of cheese straws - and they are delicious!  Check out their list of baked goods/treats.  I love when a place like a united Methodist church can have outreach into the community through different avenues!!

 I've packaged up a mixture of cheese straws to give to friends.  I found these cute little boxes . . .and when I ran out of boxes, I have cute little bags!!

We had our Sunday School party last weekend.  I pulled out an old recipe - chicken log - and made it into the shape of a Christmas tree.  The recipe is sort of a chicken salad but made with cream cheese and a dollop of steak sauce rather than with mayonnaise.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try it - I promise it is good!  I use fresh parsley and I actually bought the store brand steak sauce (like A1 -- a tangy thick steak sauce).  You can cook your own chicken, use a rotisserie chicken, or you can even use canned our "pouch" chicken.  I've done it all three ways and it is equally good.  I have friends who do not like curry but they love this recipe.  Chill before serving and serve with good sturdy crackers.

 This is a horrible picture (quality - not people!!) from the Sunday School party.  Some of us were getting ready to play Dirty Santa with our Christmas ornaments.  We are in a large class but only about 11 of us played this year.  I took home a really cute reindeer (bigger than an ornament!!).  We've been in this same Sunday School class since we were newlyweds!!

I took this picture last night.  I wanted to use the selfie stick to get a picture of Mark and me but I think the battery was dead because the clicker wouldn't work.  So - young friends - how in the world do you keep from crossing your eye - look at that eye!!  I was trying to look straight at the phone and I had one eye "cut" looking over at the phone.  Silly me!  It would have been a good picture otherwise -- I need advice on taking selfies!!

Our Sunday School class (again - see - they are a big part of our life!) participates in  "out to eat supper clubs."  If you want to participate, you sign up.  We have a team of two ladies who spearheaded the project (thanks Rhonda and Jean!!).  They randomly draw names and put everyone in different groups.  Groups usually have from 8-12 people and are oftentimes a mixture of married and single folks.  Our fall group met for the last time last night.  We rotate every four months.  Each month has an assigned "host/hostess" and the host picks a moderately  priced restaurant, picks a date and emails the group to see if the date works, makes the reservation, etc.  Each couple pays for their own dinner.  We've gotten to know some other couples much better.  Last night, we went to The Club to celebrate since it is Christmas.  The view is spectacular!  We had the weirdest thing happen.  It was FREEZING cold and we valet parked.  After dinner, Mark gave our ticket to one of the valets.  The other people in our group got their cars and left.  They brought up about 10 more cars and we were still standing in the cold.  Mark walked over to their room and asked about our car.  Our valet had lost our ticket!  I had to go in the little room and find my car keys on the board.  The valet apologized a million times.  Let me just tell you -- it was cold up on that hill!!  We missed one couple last night - they had out of town company and were unable to join us.  We will be assigned to a new group after the first of the year.

If you've received a Christmas card from us or if you are my friend on facebook, you've seen a few of our photo shoot pictures.  Brittany Sturdivant, with Love Be Photography, does mini photo sessions before Christmas.  Brian (my boss) gave us a session with Brittany so that we could have pictures taken with Emma.  Mark hates to have his picture taken but was a good sport because he loves Emma so much!!  We love the photos.  Here is just a small sampling!

We are crazy about this baby girl!!

So what have you been up to in December?  I've ordered all of my Christmas online and there are big cardboard boxes stacked in the family room and I plan to wrap gifts on Saturday afternoon and evening.  I'm headed to Auburn today with a car load of furniture for Laura and I'm going to spend the night with her.  I got new tires this week!  Life - even on the worst days - life is good!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This week . . .people or tasks?

Jump on over to Joyce's blog and answer her questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.

That is a tough question . . .according to my enneagram, I’m probably task oriented because I’m a perfectionist (we just did the enneagram on our last staff retreat).   I’m also judgmental according to that . . .and dang it, I keep seeing that in myself!  I try not to be!!  Back to the question – I LOVE people but I also LOVE my personal space and I LOVE some time alone every day.  I have said this before . . .I must be an extrovert with introverted tendencies . . .or maybe vice versa.   I love to make lists and mark things off (very task oriented!!) but no matter where I go, someone tells me their life story.  I had a colonoscopy a couple of weeks ago and I know the CRNA’s life story (she kept me very calm with her soothing voice!!). 

2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.

I love pearls.  I wear them often . . .around my neck and in my ears.  I think it would be hard to be a southern born and bred woman and not own/wear pearls!!

I shared this “pearl of wisdom” with a small group participant last night . . .and it is an oldie but goody and applicable to most all people – “God gave us TWO ears and ONE mouth.  We should listen FAR more than we talk – even when we want to talk – we often should JUST listen.”

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?

I have eaten one raw oyster in my life.  I was in Houston with friends (a million years ago!) and I had to have a drink to fortify me and I ate that oyster on a cracker with cocktail sauce.  I have no desire to eat any more.  My husband loves them!

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?

I think my person of the year would be someone like Terrie Shroyer, a friend of ours.  She works tirelessly in a ministry with children who don’t have very much at all.  Sometimes, she is just a warm body and a sweet hug to those children.  She has organized a full thanksgiving meal for 40 families for two years in a row – we provided green bean casserole ingredients, corn meal, spices, turkeys, pumpkin pie ingredients, etc.  Another person of the year, would be our friend Mollie – she also works tirelessly with those who might not have as much.  She invites them into her home, she offers the wonderful gift of friendship (and she does not judge – she evidently DOES NOT have the same enneagram number that I do!).  My husband and son both work/cook often at a local homeless shelter – they might be nominees.   I feel like I am surrounded by such good people – people worthy of being named Man or Woman of the Year for 2016!!

5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.

Wow – it is vibrant!  It reminds me of a green apple paint color from a few years ago.  I don’t have anything that color in my house and probably won’t add it anytime soon.  I think I may have a shirt or two that are similar in color.  My eyes have a lot of green and gold and this color would probably work well for me.

6. Today I've had too much________________________.

I’m not sure what I’ve had too much of today . . .On Monday, I had too much “people” – I even ate lunch at my desk.  That is a rare thing for me and kind of funny since the very first question today was about people vs. tasks!  On Monday, I also ate way too many calories/fats/junk food/etc.  Ho! Ho! Ho!

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.

I love this verse of Silent Night – I almost always get choked up at this point on Christmas Eve:

Silent night, holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I just can’t believe that Christmas is approaching so rapidly.  Working on a church staff sometimes sucks the joy out of holidays that others enjoy.  When we leave the sanctuary on Christmas Day, I will relax and enjoy a week of vacation (hopefully I will relax!!).  I need to clean out some closets and just hang out in my house and clean and organize!!  I know that doesn’t sound like that much fun but sometimes having things neat and orderly makes me able to enjoy the rest of life!  I also can’t believe that at this time last year, I was preparing to go to Israel in January!!  I cannot believe this year has flown so quickly.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The B.I.G. 30

I need to start off with a disclaimer regarding last night's blog post.  I LITERALLY fell asleep while typing.  I was sitting on a stool at the kitchen island and the house was totally quiet and it was after 10 (my bedtime!!) and I nodded off.  When I awoke this morning, I thought to myself, "I had better make sure that I didn't type anything really weird."  It was not the most well written post for sure and I skipped a question.  What is your favorite Christmas movie quote?  My two favorite Christmas movies are Christmas Vacation and Four Christmases . . .I'm not sure what that says about me (and Mark!).  I even googled quotes from the movies this morning and most of the ones I like have to be bleeped!!!  We do refer to all sorts of things as jump jumps!! (four Christmases)

On to today's post . . .It seems like only a few years ago when I turned 30 . . .how in the world could my "babies" be 30 years old????  When our kids were little, we planned one birthday party with sort of a "unisex" theme and we celebrated together - inviting both boys and girls.  It was simple back then!

I vividly remember their 13th birthday.  Laura had a million girls over to spend the night and we had just had our hardwoods put down and waited to put the furniture back in after the party.  We had wall to wall sleeping bags.  Mark and Glenn went to the farm with some of Glenn's friends.  Who knows what they did???

This year, Glenn and Lauren (who also has a birthday in November!!) celebrated with friends over a weekend at a cabin in the mountains.  Baby girl's other grandmother picked her up from daycare on Friday and kept her until noon on Saturday and then we kept her until Sunday at lunch . . .and on top of that, we had the stomach virus that weekend.  Even though we were sick, we enjoyed every minute.  We spent lots of time lying on the floor with her and sleeping in the recliner with her!

I had offered to host a party for both of them but Glenn chose option A above.  Laura and I came up with a plan for a fiesta 30th birthday party and we invited several of her Birmingham friends to celebrate with us.  I made a banner with my silhouette and created "day of the dead" banners much like you see in many Mexican restaurants.

I used bright colorful tissue paper pom poms on the mantle.

I made a taco bar banner using the same bright colors.

I bought wooden letters and painted those in the same colors.

I ordered cookies from Hey Kat Bakes.  Read all about Kat here - we go to church together and her husband plays in the contemporary worship band.  She did an awesome job on the cookies.  Look at the details on the piƱata!!  We loved the cookies so much that I placed my second order (different cookies for a Christmas gift!) with her this week and picked them up yesterday.

I used to have a whole Rubbermaid plastic tub of Mexican party decorations - our  youth department at church even used the decorations several years for Discovery weekend - but those decorations are no more - I have looked all in the attic for them!!  I bought a few new decorations.  I made margaritas and used the drink dispenser.  I ordered a caramel cake from Edgar's bakery.  They are also a local business!!

I ordered the taco bar fixin's from Moe's Southwest Grill and they delivered and set up the taco bar.  The girl who delivered was very nice and I talked to her (are you surprised!) and know all about her family now.  I didn't order their guacamole . . . .I made my own guacamole . . .because mine is really good!

Here is a picture of most of the group.  Katie had not arrived yet.  Her birthday is the same day as Laura and Glenn's!!

The 30 year olds - be still my heart - I love these two!

I even put 30 candles on the cake - we usually do sweet sixteen for the girls - no matter how old you are!

Of course, no birthday is complete without a Sunday celebration at Grandmother's house.  She made German Chocolate cake for Lauren, pound cake with icing for Glenn, and I made a key lime pie for Laura.

Laura's pie was still frozen so she had to hold her candles . . .and Glenn blew them out from across the table.  Oh my goodness - our family!!

We finished up with one last celebration last weekend.

We ate dinner at Bonefish Grill.  I found the elf hiding in the restaurant!  He was fishing!

Sweet baby girl is finally getting to eat something solid -- she was eating one of those baby cookies!!  (gumming it!)

I snapped just a few photos at the restaurant -- one of Lauren and Glenn

and one of Pops holding sweet baby girl

I know this post has lots and lots of pictures - this post contains lots and lots of memories.  Happy birthday to my sweet children.  May God richly bless you in the coming years!  I love you!