What is a Betty?

Betty is the term used to describe an amazing person who you can depend on. Betty is also a term for "sweet and loving girl." The more you get to know her, the more you love being around her. She has a good sense of humor and has a cute laugh. She's chill yet hard working as well as kind and considerate. Betty lights up the room and lights up my life. She's always happy and cheerful. She's also cuddly, independent and smart. She appreciates the simple things in life and can make anything good out of a bad situation. -Urban Dictionary

Friday, June 29, 2012

Baking cookies~ Vintage style!

With vintage being all the rage, we decided to do a photo shoot with the kids using some vintage baking props. We had a lot of fun finding pieces to use. Most of them were purchased at an antique store in Chandler and the aprons were found at Marshalls! The shoot took hours, deciding on lighting and posing, but the end result was worth it! The kids had fun making a mess (I mean cookies :) and we got some great shots! The shoot was inspired by photos Stacie saw on another website, but it is always neat to see how differently it turns out when you put your own spin on it.

Introducing S, Stacie's youngest duaghter.  Dana will say it, "She is adorable and sooo photogenic!"
Wow, what an amazing model as we posed her and propped her for a very long time!  This girl has a future in modeling....hmmmm sounds like she may follow in her mamma's footsteps!  Stacie used to spend her time in FRONT of the camera...

Big sister H, steps in to show the group how to do it right.  She is the ultimate big sister role model!  Beautiful girl starting HIGH SCHOOL in the fall.  Girl, you are making these Betties feel OLD!  You show them how it's done!

Let's not forget the Bettie with all the boys....she is trying to raise little gentlemen who can find their way around a kitchen...little cuties indeed.  R, the oldest of the dynamic twin duo is all business as he tries to figure out this vintage flour sifter.

And where there is cookie dough there is T.  Dana'a youngest by 10 minutes!  

                                                                          -The Betties

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"One year old" photoshoot

As photographers we are always trying to come up with something unique! It might be a new prop or pose, or clothing that makes a great shot! One of Stacies clients saw an image she wanted to create with her son when he turned one. She bought an older style high chair and spray painted it bright orange! She added some balloons and a small cake to capture that first birthday theme. The little guy is super cute and cooperated nicely! The distractions of the props usually helps when your photographing kids, so your more likely to get a natural smile!

She also purchased some large cardboard letters (at a craft store) and painted them to match his birthday party theme. We used those in the photos and they turned out so cute!  What a fun way to remember the milestone of turning one!

     The Betties

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Service Project Time!

Do you ever feel like your life is all about you, your children, your spouse, and YOUR life?  What are we doing to really make an impact?  How can we give our kids that worldview Christian perspective of being the hands and feet of Christ?  It's hard when everything we have and need is within an arm's reach.  When we are hungry we go to the fridge...when it's empty we go to the store a block away and stock up!  Often times we can't even get our kids to eat the food that's on their plate..they aren't hungry!  Well perhaps that's because they just drank a soda and ate a Twinkie an hour before dinner?   Generally speaking we NEVER think once about being without or the pains of an empty stomach.  In fact, our country has ever increasing rates of obesity; living each meal from an easy to heat box or grabbing that fast food bag from the drive-thru window.  How did we get here and how do we teach our kids the flip side so that they can be grateful?

Well, to help with this dilemma we recently volunteered at an amazing organization called Feed My Starving Children in Tempe, AZ.  This is a nationwide organization with packing sites in a few different spots throughout the country (so definitely take a look at the locations if you reside in another part of the US http://fmsc.org)  At Feed My Starving Children our entire families were allowed to serve side by side boxing food that would be shipped to third world countries.  We have found it very difficult to find service projects that allow young children into their facilities to do the work. But here,  the youngest little workers (age 5 and up) are welcomed and valued for their time and effort.  Our kids really felt like they were contributing and helping to solve a huge problem.  A real sense of purpose was achieved and they set to work like we've never seen before.  They were saving lives!!!

Feed My Starving Children provides life-saving meals to people who need them most all over the world — from countries affected by natural disaster to places enduring economic despair.  FMSC meals are distributed in nearly 70 countries through missionary partnerships at orphanages, schools, clinics, refugee camps and malnourishment centers.
FMSC believes in sustainability – we don’t simply send one shipment of food to a country. Instead, we continue to provide our mission partners with the food they need to maintain their feeding programs.

So what did our time at FMSC consist of?  Well, we actually were able to pack each of the ingredients into bags, seal them, and box them.  In the hour we worked, our group of 50 volunteers packed 32 boxes of what the organization calls "MannaPacks."  These packs contain the following ingredients that were spooned and scooped in individually.

  1.   Rice, the most widely accepted grain around the world.
   2.   Extruded soy nuggets, providing maximum protein at lowest cost.
   3.   Vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian flavoring to give growing children the critical nutritional elements they need.
   4.   Dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition.
Our 32 boxes with 36 MannaPacks each is enough food to feed 24 children for a WHOLE YEAR.  One hour feeds 24 kids for a year!  Wow, not bad, especially considering half of our workforce was under 4 ft tall!

A single bag of food—which provides highly nutritious meals for six children—costs around $1.32 to produce, and 93 percent of all donations to FMSC goes directly toward the food program.
This product name was chosen to capture both the nourishing qualities of the supplement and FMSC’s spiritual mission by using the word manna, which the dictionary defines as:
   1.   In the Bible, the food miraculously provided for the Israelites in the wilderness during their flight from Egypt.
   2.   Spiritual nourishment of divine origin.
   3.   Something of value that a person receives unexpectedly.

After the clean-up we gathered together to pray over the food that would soon be shipped.  The prayer was led by 8 year old J pictured above without any coaching!  She asked that the food would bless the lives of the kids it would feed...and although we couldn't hear every word she spoke in her little voice, it was truly one of the most amazing little prayers I've ever heard!  Way to go J!

If you would like more information on serving at FMSC or to make a financial contribution you can go here to http://www.fmsc.org/page.aspx?pid=465.  We made reservations about 6 weeks prior so that we could round up friends and make it a group effort!  It was really a great opportunity and we cannot wait to return again in the fall.

The Betties


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4th of July Door Decor.

So, our husbands have one gripe against us when it comes to holiday decor.  Too much of it!  So in an aim to please them, we are this year trying to stick with one basic wreath that we change out for the each season.  By simply adding greenery and a ribbon to the same wreath we can change out the colors for each holiday for a fraction of the cost.  Plus by keeping the same wreath on the door,  it eliminates storage issues and those trips to the attic to retrieve those seasonal items.  Especially in the heat of summer.  

For spring we started out with some basic greenery and wrapped it around the vine wreath with a cream colored ribbon.  Easter colors were easy to mix in and when the holiday was over we took those items out and put them away in an easy to reach bin. The greenery and ribbon remained the same.  Soon came Memorial Day, so the patriotic theme that runs through the summer took over and will stay through July (or maybe even Labor Day)with this decorative star in the middle along with red, white and blue flowers over the greenery.

Can't wait to see what our two wreaths do for the fall...

Here are some other fun 4th of July wreath ideas floating around Pinterest.
These wreath ideas came to us from  http://naptimecrafting.blogspot.com
Thank you for these creative ideas for the 4th!

Blessings from the Betties!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Boys' Haircuts - A How-to.

Cutting hair at home is a great way to save a bit of money and create those memories of good 'ole mom coming at ya with scissors on the back porch.  Also, it gave us one more opportunity to train our kids at home to sit still while we wiped the tears away and started another Thomas the Train video.  Ah, the lollipop has hair on it...just rinse it under the faucet and continue on.  We have been there! Now that the kids are elementary age, you don't even need to use bribery or candy...good news.  

Both of the Betties cut their sons' hair and have for many many years. They were all born with a ton of hair and haircuts started very early (one of Dana's son's had his first haircut at 1 month of age...little monkey pictured to the left and in the video below).
We get asked a lot by friends with boys, "How do you do that?  I would love to come watch some day."  or "I wouldn't know the first thing about cutting hair!"  Well, neither did we! So eleven years later,  here we are encouraging other moms to get their frugal on and start cutting.

 Good luck and if it doesn't turn out the way you wanted...well it's just hair and will grow back!  It will get better with time, keep practicing.  Start with your youngest kids...they won't mind some unevenness. And we are sorry for the length of this video, we tried to speed it up, but it really does take about 10 minutes and we didn't want to leave out any steps.  Grab a drink and get comfy...oh and laughing at our homemade video is encouraged!  The ho-hum expression of the kid is pretty funny too.

-The Betties

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Father's Day Fun

We are looking forward to celebrating the wonderful dads in our lives next week.  We love humor and odd gifts that really get a laugh.  One of my sons said, "It's like Mother's Day, but you don't have to try as hard or spend as much money...and you can joke more."  Insightful and a bit true.

The first printable comes to us from http://aproffittablelife.com.  This would make a great card or wrapping paper.  And who doesn't love a good Dad Quote?

And for the 3-8 year olds...these are always so fun to do.  A keeper for dad to pull out years from now.  Thank you to http://site.pinkpeppermintpaper.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/meet-my-dad-yearless1.jpg
for providing this clever questionnaire.

And now for some unique gift ideas from our own internet shopping experiences...

Let's make dad a mixed tape!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful daddies out there!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making Memories!

We both really feel that making fun memories with your kids is so important and that sometimes it is the simple things that they remember the most. We took the families and enjoyed a fun day on the lake, complete with fishing and tubing. The kids had a blast being pulled around by the boat and the boys caught their first fish! The dads really enjoyed seeing the look on their faces when they pulled in the "big" one! They will talk about it for years to come and it wasn't a trip to Hawaii or a cruise to the Bahamas, just a fun day at the lake with hotdogs on the grill and a pole in their hands!

The big one!
Another one!
buddies forever

He had too much fun!

It was a great day with good friends and a lot of memories!
The Betties


Little Big Town's Pontoon