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Blake's Nerf Birthday Party...

It's soooo hard to believe that my baby boy is EIGHT YEARS OLD!!! A few weeks before his birthday, we were trying to figure out what kind of party he wanted... if you have kids, you've hosted a birthday party and you know that it's always hard to figure out what to do! Swimming, roller skating, Chuck E Cheese, etc, etc, E.T.C... there are a TON of options! Oh, internet... what to do, what to do?!
Alright... let's back up a minute.... BEEP, BEEP, BEEP... (sound effects... I know, my blog is super fancy.) So, the day that T got his cast, we had another appointment later that afternoon, so we dropped by Kids Space to waste a little time... while there, we saw a bunch of teenagers with Nerf guns... they were there for a birthday party... and if it hadn't been daytime, you could've seen and heard the light bulbs over our heads go "DING!" like a 1981 model microwave! So, a party was born!!

It was absolutely without a doubt, the easiest party ever! Trey's almost 13, Blake is now 8... so that means I've done 21 parties in all... this was THE easiest and a TON of fun!!! All the boys (and one girl!) loved it!!

In the days leading up to the party, I was searching for ideas on what to give as party favors, what to serve, basically what else would the kids 'do'??  Well, turns out there wasn't much information about a Nerf party online... so, that's why I'm writing on my bloggity, blog, blog about it! Who knows, maybe there's a Mommie out there in internet-land that just had a 1981 microwave DING at her and she's looking for information!! (I'm telling you, Internet... soooo fancy.)

So, here ya go...
Everything revolved around the colors, orange and lime green because that happened to be the colors of the Nerf gun that Blake picked out to use on his invitation (see above!)... so check out the cool balloons...

This next photo is chock-full of information...I'm sure you noticed the cupcakes and plates, etc... I'll tell you more about those in a sec... at the 'idea' party, the kids were using different colored bandannas to signify the teams... that was an awesome idea until I started looking at the cost & shipping time of orange and lime bandannas... I looked online and found where I could purchase large lots of them but I didn't need that many... so I took a look at local stores at Michael's and Hobby Lobby, well, I wasn't willing to pay that much AND they only had like 2 in stock of the colors I needed... so, while getting plates, napkins and such at Party City, I found Duck Tape in orange and lime!! So, check out their sleeves...we made 2 teams... it was cheaper and the kids thought it was pretty cool!

Now on to the food...
We decided pizza would be easy and cheap...

Cupcakes... at Wal-Mart, you can get a pack of 10 cupcakes for $5.00, so I requested 1/2 of them to be white cake and 1/2 of them to be chocolate cake... of those, 1/2 had orange icing and the other 1/2 had lime icing! We also mixed up the ice cream and got the little cups... 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 chocolate... PERFECT-O!! I bought orange plates, lime napkins... and clear treat bags!

We made a BUNCH of treat bags...

Inside the treat bags... were round lime and orange slice candies plus 2 Nerf bullets.. we then tied the bags with the same ribbon used on the balloons...

BTW, speaking of the balloons... don't buy those little helium tanks unless you don't have a florist that you can get to on the day of your party... at Party City, the tank was going to be $30 to blow up 30 balloons... my local florist blew up 30 balloons for only $10!! No joke.

I looked up rules for Nerf gun, airsoft and paintball wars... but it turns out that we didn't even need them! Their rules were:
1. NO hits to the face.
2. No running over kids that were not with our party.
3. Have fun!

Here are a few pictures from the war...


Even the little bitty boys had a great time!!

Well, I hope I've helped you Internet-land Mommies & Daddies!! You're more than welcome to email me at karenwlong[at]gmail.com if you have any questions!! I didn't provide a link so I don't get spammed...

Happy Birthday Blakers... I love you. ~Mom :-)



What did you do on Memorial Day?! I woke up at 9, then played around with my website design! Hope you like the new page!! Check it out here! (If you're a BBC'er, you'll recognize a few folks on my site!!)

Then we headed to VBS Family Fun Night at BBC... the kids had a blast! Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS is this week at BBC!! Everyone is welcome!! Hope to see ya there!


Baby Phillips | Fayetteville, TN Baby Photographer

This baby girl is just precious... I hope to get to watch her grow over the next several years!! :-)

There are even more photos in her slideshow:


My Generation...

I got this email from a friend of mine and boy, it made me feel old... and I'm only 33!!! I've changed a few things and added my thoughts... leave me your comments!! :-)

Adults used to tell me all about how hard things were when they were growing up... like walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways… yadda, yadda, yadda.
  I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to tell kids about how easy they've got it and how much they've grown... but now that I'm over the 30, I can't help but look around and notice all the changes and well... how much they've grown...   

When I was a kid we didn't have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
There was no email!!  We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen!
Then you had to walk it all the way to the mailbox... then it would take like a week to get there!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us.  As a matter of fact, grandparents and the parents of all my friends also had permission to spank my

There were no MP3's or iTunes!  If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the
record store and shoplift it yourself!
But the best way was to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players!  We had tape decks in our car.  We'd play our favorite tape and when we'd eject it, the tape would come undone or get twisted up... sometimes you'd get lucky and could use your pinky finger to roll it back up! Most of the time, it was so wadded up, you'd have to throw it away and BUY a new one!!
We didn't have fancy stuff like 'call waiting' or 'caller ID'!  If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal!
And when the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!  It could
be your school, your parents, your boss... you just didn't know!!!  You had to pick it up and take your chances!

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your friends. OH MY GOODNESS !!!  Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!  We

had the Atari 2600 and Nintendo! With games like 'Space Invaders', 'Asteroids', 'Pong', you actually had to use your imagination!!! Those games just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!  The best had to be Duck Hunt, though... I could play that for hours!!

We had to use a little book called a "TV Guide" to find out what was on! If you were super organized, you'd highlight and dogear the pages to make sure you didn't miss your favorite shows! Channel surfing?! Oh yeah... You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! Thankfully remotes came along when we were in middle school and high school!!

And quite possibly the worst was that we could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning!!  Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait
ALL WEEK for cartoons!

Our parents told us to stay outside and play, do chores or read! No electronics to soothe and comfort us!
Car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky like me, you got to stand in the front seat as your daddy took you to the store and you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if they had to stop suddenly!
See!  That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!  
Regards, The Over 30 Crowd

That email definitely brought back memories!! I had to post it, my kids will never believe I had to wait a week to watch Tom & Jerry!! 


Happy Mama's Day!

Well first off, Happy Mother's Day!! :-)

Mine has been awesome! We started off Mother's Day at church this morning and it was TERRIFIC! Mom invited Memaw to come to BBC with us! Much to my surprise, we sang many of my favorite praise songs, "This is How We Overcome", "You Said", "Jesus, Lover of my Soul", etc, etc, etc (If you know anything about me, you know I lerrrve me some praise!! anywho...) all the Mama's received a pink carnation and Pastor Lon had a great sermon about the many women that accompanied Jesus to the cross... it was a great mornin' at th' church house! :-)

After going by Mom & Dad's to change clothes, we headed to the cemetery to put new flowers on my Grandaddy's grave for "Decoration"... (maybe you're wondering what Decoration is... well, basically it's tradition... deep tradition... many cemeteries hold it on Mother's Day, others just hold it on any ordinary Sunday... for us, it's on Mother's Day... I suppose it's because that's when folks used to come home to visit and it was stamped in time forever to be on that day...)

Well, then we headed to Red Lobster for lunch!! It was me, Steve, Trey, Blake, Mom, Dad, Memaw, my aunt Phylliss, uncle Frankie and cousin Jr... we were missing 8 of our crew. :-( I hate they couldn't make it... Even though we had to wait for about 45 minutes, it was soooo good! The talapia was YUMMY!! Let's back up a minute though... while we were waiting, there were other people outside sitting around chatting and all of a sudden, we hear a guitar and a voice singing... yep, right there on the grass outside the Red Lobster! That kid was really good! I don't know what songs he was singing, but since they were "PG", I let Blake go over to watch and listen... I wanted soooo bad to take a picture, but I was one of only a few chickens at the seafood restaurant... I was definitely the only live one. Believe me, I won't let that happen again. I had my camera in my purse and was too chicken to get it out! I don't know what was wrong with me... lesson learned.

*This is where a picture of a kid playing guitar outside Red Lobster should be. When that happens again, I'll post a picture for you. I know, I know...

Steve & the boys gave me a gift card for Kohl's!! Steve put on the card that it was only $10... but I know him better than that! I told him with only $10 I'd have to stay in the earring section 'til I picked out a pair!! :-) Turns out it's a $200 card!! WOOO HOOO! Looks like I'll be goin' shoppin' this week!!

We gave Mom a food chopper... that's what she asked for, I promise!! Her 'old faithful' broke, so she needed a replacement... I had no idea of what else to get her, so instead of getting another little cheap one like she had, I went to Williams Sanoma and got a good'en...
So after lunch, we (me, Steve, Trey, Blake, Mom, Dad & Memaw) went to a movie... "Letters to God"... it was a fantastic movie, but so sad! I don't want to ruin it for you, but let me warn you... TAKE A BOX OF TISSUE!! I looked terrible when I came out of there!! The kids love to watch me cry during a movie and believe me, they got an eye-full today! Sheesh!! It was so good, though... I highly recommend it!!

On the way home, we stopped by Arby's for a milkshake... Life is good today...

So here's my Letter to God for you...
God, Thank you for the person reading this post... there's no reason that they should want to take time to read something that's written by me... but maybe they need to know You. Maybe they're reading this to see what I'm up to, but I pray that they only see You." Love, Karen


Pattie & Michael | Alabama Wedding Photography

I've known Pattie for a long time... we first met at BBC, I don't remember a specific 'meeting' because it seems like she's just always 'been there'... her kiddos, Kennedy and Casey, were on Next Generation (BBC's kid's expressive worship team) for a couple of years, and her oldest daughter, Nekeshia would chase and aggravate Blake by telling him that he was her boyfriend!

Pattie and Michael actually met a long time ago, as she said when I asked who she was dating, "You wouldn't know him, he's from 'back home'." They actually dated 'back in th day'... then life happened and they went their separate ways... but now here they are, several years down the road, their paths cross again, but this time, it's for keeps.

Pattie's cousin had a blanket made of one of Nekeshia's senior portraits.
She was beautiful outside and inside... she's greatly missed.

Kennedy has always been a beautiful girl, but now she's a gorgeous young lady!

Bless his heart, Casey has had to grow up in a house full of girls...
he's definitely tried to keep 'em straight! Ain't he just a cutie patootie?!

The cake and decorations were just beautiful!

I love it when couples choose to do a "First Look"! It's so sweet to see their expressions
and such an intimate time for the bride and groom to settle their nerves about the ceremony!

It's always a great time to check for b.o. too...

Casey and his sisters gave her away... so precious!!

I was so blessed to hear the wedding vows they wrote...
Pattie expressed how grateful that Michael had come back into her life
and thanked him for being a shoulder to cry on over the last year,
as she has dealt with Nekeshia's tragic car accident.

Michael told her that he loves her "more than a fat kid loves chocolate cake"... As I watched them on their wedding day, I was so excited to see my friend so in love with the one that has made her life complete.

"At Last...."

Michael is such a mess!

Congratulations and best blessings my friends!! I love you!!

(Check out their slideshow)