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Thursday, November 22, 2012


I have been wanting to jot down some favs of my girls...to help myself remember the current everyday convos and the things we often forget or take fore granted. I love Thanksgiving holiday. Why? I love that it doesn't involve much. Food. Fam. Friends. Whipped cream. :) and celebrating what we are T-H-A-N-K-F-U-L for.

- This morning she came into our room at 6am ready to play....so us being the cool parents let her play while we tried to catch some extra z's. For the first time, she came into our room with a chalk board and took our order for breakfast. precious.
- Our new thing to get Z to eat her meals is tell her that her hair will grow really long if she eats. It works....sometimes. :)
- When we put Zion to bed at night, she often shouts to us when we are are going downstairs, "You're the best!" So we go back and forth. I will say, "You're the best!" and Zion responds with, "I not best, I a big girl." love.
- The other night, after work, I was rather tired and short with my mood. Zion came up to me and put her hands around my neck and said, "mom, you are my favorite." melt.
- Everyday, and I mean everyday Zion wants to do a "par-jeck" -project. Art is her fav. activity. She likes to use her scissors and cut paper. Color, play with stickers, paint. Every painting is for Auntie Nell.... (Danielle) She loves that lady. As do we.
- Z loves underdogs on her play set.
- "Mommy, I see rainbows" for her class. "cass" for class.
-  "ronis" for pepperonis. We make homemade pizza every friday night. love.
- "Mommy, I tell you something."
- When Kiyah is upset in the car, she goes up to her and says in a high/concerned voice, "Its ok Kiyah."
over and over.
- calls Kiyah, "honey"
- Kitchen, "kiss en"
- Christmas, " kiss-es"
- "I not tell." I am not going to tell.
- "I hold my brush teeth mom." she has a new electric toothbrush which she loves.
- Church. "terch" Everyday daddy is a "terch"
- Minnie Mouse "Mittey Mouse"
- Z doesn't like it when I put her hair up anymore. She wants to "wear it yong". "long" aka wear it down.
- Favorite baby: Stella.
- Fav Cartoon: Barney
- Fav snack: Z bars.
- Fav Color: Purple.

- Z smiles all the time.
- You love your mamma! 
- Really close to giggling. You are ticklish on your thighs. You grunt when I tickle you there.
- You like to be swaddled with your Aiden&Anais blanket. We swaddle you with your arms on your sides. 
- You are sleeping 8-11 hours a night! Halleju! Mama is happy.
- You love your swing! 
- You love holding your blankets and rattles. 
- Every morning you play on your activity mat and hold your toys. 
- You are wearing all 3-6 month clothes. Big girl:)
- You are a fast eater compared to your sister. It only takes you 20 min. to eat. Your sister took an hour!
- You love being held, bounced, butt patted. I use my Moby wrap/ Baby Bjorn way more with you.
- You spit up from coffee, onions and peppers.
- hot pink and purple are my favorite colors on you. 
- You have dimples in your cheeks. 
- I have to cut your nails every 5 days. You have a very tight grip and love scratching your daddy and I. 
- You hate your car seat. We have to keep the car moving otherwise you cry. 
- Zion makes you smile a lot. sister love......xoxoxo

Monday, November 12, 2012

Organizin the Kitchen

I have been on a huge kick as of late. ORGANIZING. Maybe it is the cold weather that is coming, or just my first born type A side. It just makes me so happy to have a organized space. I have a big goal of going through each room in our house and organizing/purging/ and making it work for our family. So this week I started with our kitchen desk drawers. They were a hot mess to say the least. Between being busy and stuffing the drawers with whatev to having my 2 year old open them daily and pull stuff out. They have been neglected.

Here is a shot of my desk before I started. I have a camera, jar of pens, clipboards I made 2 years ago, magnetic board and a file that is a mess.

 My embarrassing drawers....so ridiclous.

I have the organizing systems somewhere tucked underneath all the mess.
I started with completely emptying out the drawers and starting over.

more before shots.

finally empty drawers.

Here is my AFTER! I love it! I went to Staples and bought the Martha Stewart organizing systems. I heart them. I love the vintage blue color. I still really want to paint my kitchen a pale yellow/pear color. We will see. So the organizer on the right is still in progress. the white file system is for our yearly papers/reciepts we need to keep. It is from The Container Store. My calendar is target. I kept 1 clipboard up for pix/papers.

a close up.

my goal is to put weekly papers/bills/mail in the bottom drawer so it is kept away until I get to it. I still want to add a stapler and some other items to this. But I must say it makes me happy walking by it everyday. It is the little things......that make this girl happy.

my center drawer with a new home for the clip boards. and I got the 3 vintage blue boxes from Staples too. I have one for business cards, one for gift cards and the third for Zion's stickers/tattoos.

 Here are the drawers now all organized. I got my organizers at Target a couple years ago. They work great. I just re-organized them. It was time.....

I still want to get cord organizers. Next.....

When I was at Staples, I also purchased the amazing chalkboard stickers for jars/containers. These jars are on my kitchen counter....

Now with the pretty Martha labels. Bliss.

 So if that wasn't enough I hit up my baking cupboard and pantry. Here are the before's....

This cabinet is to the right of the microwave. I cleared it out and got my labels out from Martha. I rearranged and tried to make more use of the space.

Here is after!  I love it. I used some organizing tools: labels and a tiered 3 step shelf on the bottom for the cans and spices. 

the top is baking supplies: flour/sugar/flax seed/oatmeal etc. 

the middle shelf is more random supplies: pudding/jello, chocolate, corn starch, vinegar etc. 

The bottom shelf has the tiered shelf with canned goods/sprinkles/cupcake liners/seasoning. I also have salt/measuring cups etc. 

 Here are some pix of organizing the pantry. I love using my tupperwear and containers. I used my Martha labels on a lot of them as well.

 Here are 2 shots of my laundry room. I just recently put a piggy bank in there. It is so nice to have it there for all the change that comes in.....ha. Why not,right?

next up...my desk area .....enjoy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gate Girls Night

Can I just say that we are so blessed with such an amazing ministry. The Gate is the best youth group around. AMEN.  This past weekend we had a much needed girls night for our youth gals. It has been obnoxiously long since we had a girls night. I used to plan them very frequently but have been a little pre-occupied with my babies and Tala. So once school got started, some of our leaders organized this much anticipated event. We went for girly colors: pink and purple! Our food was focused on this theme as well. We did low budget decor. It was an all day event of prep and baking. I was at church for over 12 hours while my other dedicated leaders were there 15 plus hours. HC (hardcore). love you all....

I mod podged scrap paper hearts on lunch bags for the girls to be able to load with candy and popcorn. We had our GGN in our youth room. cozy. intimate. fun. Our leaders crimped the paper to make wheels. Are they just not the cutest? I totally think it would be awesome to have in a nursery or kids room? cheap. fun. high on impact!

Here is a shot of the bags. I heart!

We bought the jars at target and Walmart. They will be used for many Gate events. Love myself a good big jar...the possibilities are endless.

The tissue paper flower balls are from at party supply store. They were hanging over the welcome table. We also blacked out the lobby with Christmas lights to have the entrance be more grand/intimate. I loved it. We lined the lights outside too.

We had a fun night planned for the ladies. We had fun music playing...the essentials...One Direction. some Biebs. Carrie Underwood. etc. The beginning of the night was social. One of our youth guys, Isaih led worship for us followed by Jenna speaking on --Being Desired by God. It was awesome. So often, we seek man's approval and attention when God longs for us to desire him. Especially, teen girls....it is so easy for them to get wrapped up in the drama of life and desiring attention from guys. parents. friends. sibs. etc. It is so easy for us to forgot God's love for us. It was a challenging word and real. Just what we needed. Here are some shots of my lovely ladies.

 Jenna sharing from her heart.


We had 40 girls come! It was the first girls night out of many to come. Can't wait to continue to do life with these fab. young women. People always talk to Andy and I about our ministry or their curiosity in working with teens. It is funny to us cuz it just comes natural for us. We love TEENS! They are a blast. They are REAL. They are passionate. They are loving. They let loose. It is a pleasure, a blessing and an honor to share life with them.

fun fact:  This is the infamous purple couch. love! Every week at the Gate we draw a name of a student that is VIP or (Big boy on campus) and they get to sit here with a friend of choice...winning at iTunes gift card.

my lil buddy came to say hi to me! I was away from her all day so it was a treat to see my little Zi Pie. love that kid!

After Jenna shared, We broke out into smaller groups to chat about what she shared. To dig deeper. to share. be transparent. It was great to connect and realize we are all in this together. 


After chatting in our small groups we hit up snacks round 2! We had hung balloons over the snacks. love the impact of lots of balloons. so fun. 

We had Panera goodness all over. yum-o. wafer cookies, cupcakes, pink Oreos! puppy chow. and pink almond bark pretzels with sprinkles. HEAVEN.

Zakiyah was the baby that got passed around from all my lovies. This is gangsta Elizabeth bonding with my babe. She flew out the following morning for NYC. We will and already miss her.

 Our lovely Davina working away in the kitchen. She rocks! One of my favorite people. The Gate wouldn't be the same without her! And aren't those flowers amazing!!! they are Flowers by Jerry. Love.  Our friends hooked us up with the beautiful arrangements. We appreciate you!

We had nail polish set up for some painting action. This is Noelle painting straight up leopard print on Nikki. So cool. Pinterest inspired projects were going on as well. We used old tee shirts for headbands and necklaces. so fun. love myself a creative night.

 Lizzy lovin Kiyah

My beautiful ladies. Hayley-Jenna-Zoe.

Tee Shirtin it.

So yah. What a night. So worth the long hours. Thanks to all who helped. We love you. The Gate couldn't make it without you. 

I thought I would share a couple random pix of what is going on at the Cass Casa. 

Last night, I headed down to Fagan Studios for a ART night with some friends. We started this a few years ago. It is a must for sanity and the creative juices to flow. We try and get together quarterly for the most part. Sometimes it is less or more. I made some pumpkin bread (Pinterest) for us ladies to enjoy.We come to paint. write. read. scrap. make jewelry. you name it, it happens.  I had the plan to paint two canvases for my 1/2 bath on the main floor in my house. So here is a preview! I will post pictures soon of them up in my home. I loved how they turned out. 

Andy and I pulled out the activity mat yesterday for Zakiyah. She is loving it. She is officially grabbing at things now. My baby is 11 weeks old already. Zion wanted to lay with her this morning. Precious. 

Blessed- we are so blessed.