Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Finally Did It...

I made my first outfit for my sweet Baby Jude!
I picked out my pattern (thanks to the $0.89 sale at Hancock Fabrics) and found some sweet Fall plaid on sale at Hobby Lobby...  then got to work!

I had been wanting to sew an outfit for my lil' man FOREVER now, but never really got around to it.  Well, thanks to all the crafty inspiration I've been getting from the Fall Festival at This Blessed Nest I decided to get some sewing courage from my Mama and make that outfit.

Speaking of my Mama... she gave me tons of tips, but the best one she gave was a tip to get my needles through the thick material so much easier... and I just had to share her secret.

That's right... my Mama uses a bar of soap as a pin cushion.  I couldn't believe the difference it made!!

 So I spent some time late last night and during nap time today to work on what would hopefully be an outfit that was almost a cute as Jude, himself.

I also had to stop with the OCD and remember my Mama's sweet advice:
 It's homemade, not perfect, but beautiful! 

Luckily my sweet hubby came in and played with Jude so I could finish
(minus the buttons) Jude's Fall Longall.

Isn't it too cute?!?!  Add a black turtleneck and we are ready to go..
Oh.. and I have just enough material left to make a sweet lil' girl a matching pillow case dress!!
(If you know anyone?)

Thanks for letting me show off my latest project!  Now that I have a little confidence under my belt, I am going to make many more little cute outfits for my Judey Jude.
And yes you will probably have to suffer through reading a post for each one ;-)

Happy Fall, Y'all!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall in love... with a lil' Pumpkin

This is my third post on why I love Fall so, so much...  If I haven't been proven guilty, let me just give you some more evidence.. 

I LOVE FALL because I get to dress my lil punkin as a pumpkin...

This was Jude's first "Fall Festival"...  I say that because before we had Jude, Lane was very anti-Halloween.  Lane said he never celebrated the holiday and neither will his children.  Hmm! 

(It was actually Jude's second Halloween, but he was in the NICU for the first one and weighed a whopping 5 pounds-- they just don't make costumes that small)

Well, I saw this pumpkin suit at Babies R Us and had to have it for Jude..  When I came home with it, Lane rolled his eyes and sighed- he knew he lost the battle!

Then Lane saw Jude dressed up for the Fall Festival at church...  Do I need to exlplain the next part or will I be stating the obvious? 
Jude was so adorable in his costume, that Lane hasn't complained about Halloween since.

 We had a great evening at the church's Fall Festival trunk or treating!  I even got Jude's two cousins to pose for a quick picture... 
I actually think that Jude resembles Katie Marie a good bit in this picture.  What ya think?

And I enjoyed being the Mama to the cutest lil pumpkin there!  

Fall is a very sweet time of year for me, especially that Fall.  It had been a whole year since our lives were changed forever.  The previous Fall, I wasn't sure if my sweet pumpkin would get to see the next fall.  And I was certain that life would be too sad and hard to ever enjoy anything as simple as a Fall Festival at church.  

But, praise God, He was, is, and will always be so much greater than any circumstance we face!!!

I can't lie to you and tell you that our journey from Fall of 2007 to the Fall of 2008 was an easy one, but do you see that smile on my face?  My joy is in the Lord and our life is filled with happiness!  Sure, I didn't think we'd be there, but we were and I was going to enjoy every minute of it!!

This sweet lil' pumpkin (with fat creases on his wrists :-) is God's perfect plan for my life!!!

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in you.
Psalm 5:11

Now maybe you have a little better understanding of why I love Fall so much!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy First Day of Fall!!!

Guess what?!?

It's Fall, y'all!!

That's right.  Today is the official First day of Fall!  And to celebrate, I made my sweet family my favorite fall recipe.

It's my Easy Apple Crumble.

With beautiful green apples in season.. who could resist making something sweet with them?  So I hit the kitchen to bake..

Simple Ingredients
4-5 granny smith apples
1/2 box yellow or butter cake mix
1 tbsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar 
1/2 stick of butter or margarine

**1 tsp of vanilla or rum extract for an extra mmmm**

Simple Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cake mix with sugar and cinnamon.
Melt butter and add rum or vanilla if you like.
Add melted butter mix to cake mix until doughy.

Peel and slice apples and place in baker dish.
(Sometimes I add another 1/2 stick of melted butter to the apples)
Crumble the cake dough over the apples.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Pull it out the oven, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with some caramel sauce, and watch it disappear!

It isn't the most beautiful dessert, but it tastes wonderful!

These are your only dirty dishes to wash when the crumble is baking...  or throw them in the sink for later like what usually happens at my house ;-)

Try the recipe and let me know what ya think...

Happy Fall, Y'all!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Such a Sweet Tuesday

Today was a great day.. so full of accomplishment...

First, Jude had a wonderful physical therapy session and an awesome speech therapy session this morning.  He participated with little to no fussing whatsoever.  He has WONDERFUL therapists and  I adore those sweet ladies.

Then Mommy had a productive evening working on some baby gifts and picture frames for a friend.  Of course, this productivity was possible thanks to nap time.  (My sweet boy let me rock him to sleep for his nap.  That is a very rare occurrence and it totally melted my heart.)

Then came dinner, which I need to give a little foreword...  a couple of weeks ago, we saw Jude's GI specialist and we decided to try an appetite stimulant after a little treatment for reflux.  So yesterday we started Jude on periactin, his appetite stimulant.  Now remember, Jude was not eating ANYTHING at this point...  Well I got a little optimistic today, even though we are only two days into the new meds, and I decided to feed Jude some dinner.


Jude ate everything I gave him, and he enjoyed it!!

What was on the menu? Mashed potatoes and gravy from Popeye's. (The graduate student observing Jude's speech therapist gave me the idea.  A lot of children with eating issues prefer stronger flavored and spicy foods)  He would have eaten the whole container, but I only gave him a little of what was on MY plate.  If his tummy tolerates seasoned food well, I'll keep those mashed potatoes in the house.  We finished up with a whole jar of bananas as a dessert.  

I am so proud of him!!

It is times like these that I am reminded of the "birds in the air" and the "lilies of the field" in the book of Matthew chapter 6 verses 25-34.  These scriptures have always been so dear to my heart.  We are told not to worry about what we will eat or wear because the Lord promised to take care of us.

The mailman must have known that today would definitely provide cause for celebration.

Because he left these in my mailbox.  Two of my favorite stores!!

I sure hope that Wednesday will be as good as Tuesday!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Because I have been so fortunate enough to make some friends in this blog world, our little family blog has gained readers outside of my local social circle.  Therefore, I have decided to change the domain name of the blog.   You can now see what's going on with our family by logging on to 

If you follow the blog, or have a link to my blog, you will have to update it because the previous blog name no longer exists and will lead you down a dead end road.  

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.  Just to clarify: this is the same blog, just a different name.  You will also see some design changes going on the blog until I can get it set just the way I like it.  

Thank you for reading our blog and tagging along on this journey with us!

Hugs and Kisses,
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall in love... with each other

Another reason I love fall is because the season holds a very special day for Lane and me:
our Wedding Anniversary!!

Lane and I were married on Friday, November 10th of 2006!  "Fall in Love" was actually the theme of our wedding and we covered everything at the church with fall decorations. 

We even had our flower girl (Lane's sweet niece, Katie Marie) drop fall leaves down the isle instead of rose petals.  She was adorable dropping one little leaf at a time.

Our reception hall fit our fall theme perfectly.  It was a very rustic plantation house.  The wooden floors and walls created the perfect backdrop for photographs.

I loved our cake and hot chocolate roses!  *People's Magazine even showed interest in our cake for their wedding issue in 2007.  Even though someone else's cake was chosen, it was still such an honor!

I tried not to miss the smallest detail.  I had fall touches EVERYWHERE!

I just loved those tables with the antique sewing machine bottom.  Added so much to that rustic feel.

For wedding favors, we gave personalized Christmas ornaments.  They were a hit.

Even the napkins commemorated the special day with an embossed fall leaf.  And these bring me to my little Fall Craft!

I had about a box of napkins left over after the wedding and I didn't want to just throw them away.  But I did want to save a couple as a keepsake.  So this is what my little brain came up with...

A little Fall picture frame wedding keepsake..  
Now all I need is a wedding snapshot to put in my new frame.

My super simple supplies

add a gold ribbon and you have a simple sweet keepsake

(sorry about the lack of natural light. my madness occurs at night when the redhead goes night night)

This would be a great keepsake for special events.

Happy Fall,

a BIG personality

Jude has always had a big personality, but lately it seems like it's getting even bigger!  (this is the nice way of saying, "Please help!  My child has hit the Terrible Twos")

In August I took my very first girls only trip since I got married.  We had a blast in Florida for five days!  When I got home, my little redhead openly displayed his displeasure with my trip.. and it lasted for days.

Just watch this sweet kid transform before your eyes..

Pretty cute and happy when Mama is playing with him or holding him..

Then, I put him down or leave the room to answer the phone, cook dinner, fold clothes, or whatever and these are the events that unfold..

Jude turns into Rudolph and his eyes tear up..

He pokes out his bottom lip.. and by this time the nose and the eyes are pouring everywhere.

And he lets me HAVE IT!  He will sit there and cry and scream until he completely wears himself out..

Then I pick him up, and the world is perfect again.  So rotten, that one is.  And he only does this to me.

I remember crying on the phone with my own mama several times because I thought Jude couldn't or wouldn't understand that I was his Mama.  He never reached for me to hold him or cried when I would leave a room.  How silly I feel now for having those thoughts!  Jude definitely knows who his Mama is and he loves her very much.  

Hugs and Kisses,
Angel and Jude
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feelin' a Little Creative...

So what has been going on with all of y'all, my friends?  Have you been gettin' up a little earlier in the morning to drink coffee on your porches while enjoying this touch of Fall weather??  I haven't had the time yet, but I hope to soon.  "Haven't had the time" has been my personal catch phrase for the summer.  I put all of my energy into geography and english papers, and as of today, I AM DONE!!! I took my my English Final today!!

To make today even sweeter, my sweetie was feeling so much better.  Jude was back to his happy self today.  This was the highlight of my day which went not quite as I had planned.  In my head, I had envisioned my day to be something like this..

English final at LSU around 9ish.  Then rush home to pick up my lil guy from my mother-in-law's.  Then, I would swing by Hobby Lobby or Michael's (they have both been calling my name).  After a little reward-for-my-academic-accomplishment shopping, I would get home with my treasures and spend some one on one time with my favorite redhead.  Put him down for a nap and work on some crafty projects or start some fall decorating around here until my hansome hubby gets home..  Pretty perfect, huh?

Well let me tell ya what really happend...

On the way to LSU, my truck starts making this awful scraping noise, so I called Mr. Fix It (Lane, he's pretty handy) and he was convinced the truck was undrivable.  However, this Mama was on a mission to finish my English course; wasn't no way I was missin' this test today even though driving through LSU with your truck making a loud shrill scraping noise does wonders for your security.  It's bad enough that I already feel like I'm the oldest student on campus.  Anyway, I finish my final and follow Lane's directions to get the truck straight to the shop, go slow, and BE CAREFUL. (his concern was so sweet and cute) He even arranged for his mom to bring Jude out to me and pick me up.  So I get to the dealership and it turns out it's only a rock caught between the rotar and the dust plate (does that make sense).  So my mother-in-law and I hit up Hobby Lobby while waiting (gettin to the creative part) and five hours later, my truck was FINALLY ready.  There went my entire day..  :-(

Even though I did not get to my lil' projects, I found some goodies at Hobby Lobby that would be perfect for my current craft ventures..

  Any of you who have who are family or have been my facebook friend for a long time will probably remember these from last year...

I made these and a few more for my sweet neice, Kenadi, and a friend's sweet baby, Mallory, that were both born in August of last year.

I did not make anymore because the sewing maching I had at the time was a machine my day had bought for my mom almost 35 years ago and it was trying to kick the bucket on me.

Then my sweet mom gave me my own sewing machine for Christmas!!  Unfortunately, I have been to tied up with school and other things to really have the time to sit down and use it.  Now that I have more free time, I'm feeling a little creative which comes in handy because there some sweet Mamas I know that have either a sweet new baby or are on the nest right now.

I found a few goodies at Hobby Lobby like 1/2 off ribbon and few good remnants.  Even a yard of burlap for a $1 which is awesome cause it's on sale right now for $2.99 a yard!!

I just loved the aqua fabric.  I got that remnant for next to nothing and I think it's going to make a darling fabric rosette on something. (Kellie @ This Blessed Nest is rubbing off on me with her love for rosettes) I'm starting to get a good collection of ribbon for these burp cloths.  Now all I need is an embroidery machine so that I could monogram them myself.

I can't wait to get started on these baby gifts!!!  Check back to see some once they are finished! 

I'll be back tomorrow for the Fall Festival at This Blessed Nest!  Hopefully with some fall decor up by then!  Hope y'all have a great Wednesday!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

my heart's desire

It's early, early Sunday morning, and I just cannot find sleep.  What's on my mind?  More like on my heart...  As most of you know, my son has an extremely rare chromosome pattern that has caused him many delays and health issues.  What some of you might not know, is that rare genetic disorder was inherited from me.  (Praise God I have been freed from the wrongful guilt that followed this revelation!!)  If you know anything about genetics, you might have guessed where the problem with this comes in... more children.

I never pictured my adult life with less than three or four children.  I never pictured my adult life with one "special needs" baby.  Who does?   I didn't know about my genetic predisposition when we decided to start a family.  And believe it or not, I am SOOO THANKFUL that I didn't know.  Jude has not ruined anything for me and my husband.  Jude has only improved the quality of our life.  If I would have known about genetics, I probably would have been too afraid to ever have children and never know the blessing I have!!  Besides Jesus, Jude is truly the greatest gift the Lord has ever given me and Lane.

But where do we go from here??  Lane and I desperately want to add to our little family but the risks are somewhat discouraging.  We have a 50% chance of conceiving another baby like Jude, but only 5% chance of delivering that baby.  What does that mean?  Well, first and most importantly, it means that Jude is a miracle defying the odds everyday.  Second, it means that I could face multiple miscarriages; 90% of all babies with a chromosome abnormalities are miscarried.  (interesting to know that 1 out of every 10 pregnancies have a chromosome abnormality) Third it means we could have another special needs child.  Finally, it means we could also have a healthy baby.

Where does that leave us?? Well, we don't exactly know yet.  Our great Christian geneticist, Dr. Superneau, has informed us that, with the high miscarriage rates of babies with chromosome abnormalities, we have a 95% chance of having a healthy baby!!  Pretty encouraging, right? For most onlookers, but come try my shoes on for a minute...

Lane and I conceived Jude only three months into marriage; no previous pregnancies and no known miscarriages.  The pregnancy seemed absolutely normal until the ultrasound showed an abnormally developing baby.  Raising Jude has been quite a challenge.  In the beginning, I compared Jude to every baby: you just can't do that even with a healthy baby.  Jude will need care for the rest of his life.  Now, this might surprise you, but Jude's delays are the furthest from my concern.  I love Jude for who he is and what doctors call "abnormal" is this family's normal.  The constant stress over Jude's current or future medical problems is what gives me anxiety.  You never know when a routine appointment with the ophthalmologist or the cardiologist will turn into complete devastation.  *speaking from experience*   I never worry about Jude's development; it's the constant medical "surprises" that wear me out.

Not such an easy decision to have more children, is it?

I know people always say "God will never give you more than can handle."  While I appreciate the sentiment, that is the biggest lie ever told.  I have definitely had more than I can handle on a few occasions.  But the beautiful thing is that God handled it all for me.  You see, I believe that the Lord puts us in situations where we have no other choice than to cry out to Him.

I still want another baby more than anything.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

So the awesome thing is, that the Lord gave me a scripture for this very issue right when I began my journey with Jude.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
Ecclesiastes 11:4-6

So..  now I know what God says about all of this.  Now I just need to be obedient.

Please pray for my family.  Pray that I am faithful and obedient to step out on the Lord's Plans for my life once again.  Pray for peace.  Pray for guidance.  Pray for a healthy baby.

thanks for reading my heart tonight,

**This blog was started as to take place where Jude's Caringbridge site leaves off.  That site is home to some very endearing stories.  If you ever want to get more of a background on our journey with Jude, you can always stop by his Caringbridge site.
Saturday, September 11, 2010

a Purple and Gold legacy...

Well, it's Saturday in Baton Rouge and you know what that means...  TIME FOR SOME FOOTBALL!  Tiger Football is not just a game that happens on Saturday night, it's a way of life.  Some of the best times I can recall occurred while doin' some Tiger Tailgating.  

You know you are a Bengel Belle when you..

you have LSU home decor,

you have a Tiger Tailgate mat that usually resides in your truck, but also doubles as a comfy palette for your little one or a picnic blanket,

your baby has a limitless supply of LSU gear including t-shirts, blankets, burp cloths, hats, stuffed animals, jerseys, and a pair of jon jons that need ironing,

you have a closet full of purple and gold outfits, accessories, and shoes, and your husband has LSU fishing shirts (which he likes to consider as dress clothes, ugh boys)

and you have a LSU themed birthday party for your baby (which you had to plan around the LSU-Florida game... we even had a Gator helmet for the youngsters to bash)!

I even had to plan my wedding around an LSU game!  We had set the date for 11-11-06, but it was the night of the LSU-BAMA home game.  We couldn't do that to our friends, so we got married on the Friday night before.  Sad, huh?

Well if you didn't get the idea, I can always find more proof..