Saturday, September 5, 2015

Annie Turns 3!


My goodness. Where does time go? Annie turned three on August 29th. Since my mom and I were traveling home from Oregon late on the 29th, Cody and I made a deal that we wouldn't celebrate Annie's birthday until the 30th. So, this year, she turned three on August 30th. How is that for being a manipulative mom? Nonetheless, she didn't know the difference (probably the last year I could get away with something like that, so like the wonderful mother I am, I milked it).

With feelings of guilt for doing so, I contacted my wonderful friends at the Great Plains Zoo. All Annie wanted in the world for her birthday was to buy a monkey. Well, GPZoo (and I) were not up for that challenge, no matter how much she would have been delighted. Instead, we arranged a giraffe feeding at the zoo. Wow! What an experience. Their heads are enormous, their tongues can be 18 inches long, and their mouths are the softest, most velvety feeling ever!



Sweet Annie, happy birthday to you. I hope your year is filled with delights, happiness, loads of laughter and learning. You have brought a great joy to our family. You're teaching me more patience (well, trying to's a hard sell with me) and to open my heart to new heights of love. You my dear, are bound for greatness. May all of your wishes come true (except of course that one major wish of yours to own a monkey...that will never come true, just sayin'.).
I love you more and more, every day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Paint Party!

It's official. Grace's 8th birthday is finally wrapped up and tied with a bow...and splattered with paint. 

Last weekend we (finally) hosted Grace's 8th birthday party with friends. She had already celebrate with all of her grandparents and great-grandma and grandpa. But, to an elementary aged kid, what's turning another year older without the fun of a friend party? Nearly one month later, we gathered some of her besties in the park and hosted a party. It was a PAINTING in the PARK PARTY with POPSICLES and POPCORN. Oh, and PRETTY cake and watermelon too. 

I bought some canvas pieces for the kids, paint brushes, and a design from a company that I just traced on the owl design onto each canvas. Then we just went through step by step mixing colors, taking sections at a time painting! It was a blast, and best of all the kids were super entertained. ACTUALLY, scratch that, the best part was I did this in the park so my house wasn't messed up and we came home to a clean house at the end of the party. 

The kids painted, we opened presents, and then they ran around and played. Genius. I am giving myself SOME props here considering it was a month late, many of the supplies didn't come on time so I ran around town after traveling for a week in Indiana, and I did little to no pre-planning for this!

Yup - a friend smashed her face into her cake. Perfect!

Little Sister had a blast painting too. (dont be surprised if you see a similar game plan for her birthday party coming up too! :) )

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Grace is 8!

This "little girl" turned 8 in July. Can't believe it. 8 years ago we held her in our arms rocking her to sleep. She depended on us for everything in her life then. Now, she's growing like a weed, has the longest (and tannest) legs imaginable, a bright brilliant personality, and practically can self-function without us (or so she wishes! :)).

She's grown into a beautiful young lady who we are so very proud of. She's funny. Full of life. Spunky. Sassy. Independent. Still snuggles us at night. She's an athlete. A dancer. A reader. A source of happiness for many. She's driven. She wants to be in the middle of everything. All of those things I just adore about her. She's ours. 

We spent her birthday in the Black Hills. We had a cabin out there and were Gator riding (more on that later). She was lucky to have all four of her grandparents out at the cabin for dinner one night. We sang birthday wishes, laughed, visited, and rolled our eyes - yes that happens a lot being a parent of an 8 year old girl, and it goes both ways!

Later we celebrated her birthday with her great-grandparents in Onida with dinner and horsing around the house. She received so many phone calls from aunts, family, and friends. She received loads of birthday cards in the mail and was just delighted with her birthday. The morning of her birthday we were awoken by a call from her birthday buddy and friend Nick. It was early in the morning as he was heading out to golf for his 9th birthday. I love that relationship, and I full anticipate them calling each other or seeing each other every birthday for the rest of their lives. 

Enjoy being 8 beautiful girl. I hope your day was as magical as you are to us!