Twelve is coming way too fast!

This handsome fella is turning twelve tomorrow and I a feeling very guilty about our complete lack of plans. I told him we wouldn’t be doing a big party this year, but I was hoping for a day trip or an activity with a friend, or something! But, alas, life is busy and 12 is coming up fast! He wasn’t very interest in any of my ideas, and tomorrow, his big day, I have a meeting after school, Alan has a meetings, and Eve has a concert. Everyone is busy, but him! We are going to sneak in a dinner at Panera between my meeting and Eve’s concert.

I was looking for presents to wrap yesterday and, though I swear I had a pile for him… umm… I guess I do not. :/ We have little toys that Eve bought and I bought him some PJs the other days, but nothing exciting. Alan decided to order him a big present (laptop! shhhh… don’t tell!). He had it overnighted, but that still leaves me with not much excitement for the big birthday morning. :/

Can we just skip birthday’s this year? He can be eleven for a bit longer. Next year I’ll have more time and brainpower to focus on him. I love him forever though, even if life is busy! I hung his birthday collages just now. He was such an adorable baby, and turning into a super handsome young man. <3

PS. Apparently 12 is the year the gross jokes birthday cards start arriving. He laughed and an unsure sort of way. :)

Busy birthday weekend

We have had a busy birthday weekend celebrating Eve.  Double digits.  End of a decade here.  No more little ones.  *Sniff* and sigh and on we go!

Friday Eve was home with a fever.  She missed out on birthday at school and getting to be Governor of her class (government unit!), but she did get to watch TV and eat ice cream with daddy, so all was well.  Her party was supposed to be Friday night, but we postponed due to her fever and the impending storm.  I couldn’t let the day go by without a candle and song though, so a quick improvise and voila – ice cream sundae with a sparkling candle on top!

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

At bedtime Eve gave me a little gift by asking if I would read to her.  She hasn’t wanted me to read to her at bedtime in ages and I was almost giddy at the invite to snuggle in her bed and read to her.  Of course mid way through I remembered the measure-on-the-wall thing and we all got up (me, Eve, dog, cat) and headed to Lex’s room where both boys joined in the fun.

Saturday morning I gave her the gift of staying home alone while I took Lex to karate.  When we returned I found her in her room with a mirror and all her hair supplies out.  She asked if I would do her hair (yay!) and we had a lovely time talking about jewelry and hair and girly stuff.  She had on a beautiful dress, jewelry, and lip gloss.

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She's all ready to party at 11am! Sadly the party didn't start until 5pm and by then she was back in her play clothes.

She’s all ready to party at 11am!

Sadly by 5pm when the party already started she had changed back into regular clothes.  At least she kept the beautiful hair-do!  :)

Pizza and silly friends!

Pizza and silly friends!

We did a sleepover again this year, but with fewer friends and even fewer planned activities!  I told Eve that she’s old enough to entertain her friends now and we didn’t plan and crafts or projects or anything.  Just pizza, ice cream cake, and dancing!

Presents!

Presents!

Just Dance!

Just Dance!

Eve asked me to make an ice cream cake this year.  I used the Stoneware bundt pan, three gallons of ice cream, and lots of guesswork.  I’m pleased to say it came out really great!  I poured hot fudge on the top right at the end, stuck 10 sparkling candles in there and it was perfect!

I'm very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

I’m very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Only two girls ended up staying over night (because we had changed the date at the last minute), so around 9:30pm, after we watched Moana, half of the party headed home and the other half went to bed… and talked and giggled and carried on until midnight!  I only had to go up a few times though and they fell asleep eventually.  :)

Today was spent in a sugar/tired haze.  Her friends left at 10:30, I had homework to do and school work to do so Eve and I spent a few hours in the library while Lex and Alan spent a few blessed hours in a very quiet house.

Happy Birthday to my baby who is growing up so fast.  I look forward to many, many more years of giggly girl sleepovers, braiding hair, and cuddling with stories.  <3

 

I put up all the pictures from the past few days in a Google Album.  

10!

Happy birthday to this beautiful girl!

10!

Presents

I’ve had all the feels over the past few days. She is so amazing and independent and sweet and wild and moody and snuggly. I feel blessed every day that I have her in my life.

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And these two together. Pure love.

I love everything about these two! I hope they always love each other too!

Sadly Eve will be spending her birthday home on the couch. Her fever is down this morning, but still there a bit and she went to bed last night with 100.7 so I don’t think she should be in school. I think her birthday brownies should though! (they are in the freezer until next week instead!) I stayed home with her yesterday and Alan will be with her today. I imagine lots of snuggles on the couch, TV, and maybe even lunch at Panera if she’s up for it. :)

Studying up on being cool. :)

Happy 40th to ME!

We celebrated my big 4-0 this weekend and what a celebration it was! Family from all over the country came to visit (and I can pretend it was all for me!) and Greg rented a big house and we called it the party house and a party magically appeared while I was home with sick kids. Lucky me! :)

This wise wizard turned 40 this weekend.

This wise wizard turned 40 this weekend.

Sisters!

Sisters!

Sisters!

Sisters!

I love these ladies!

I love these ladies!

Yummy!!!!!!!! (good thing there aren't 40 candles on there!)

Yummy!!!!!!!! (good thing there aren’t 40 candles on there!)

Sisters! There was an amazing super moon behind us, but the camera sucks.... or maybe we just shone brighter! :)

Sisters! There was an amazing super moon behind us, but the camera sucks…. or maybe we just shone brighter! :)

This guy threw me an awesome birthday party!! I'm a lucky lady to have him.

<3 This guy threw me an awesome birthday party!! I’m a lucky lady to have him.

The next day we gathered in the beautiful sunshine to say a final farewell to Popcube.

Cousins!

Cousins!

Does it get any better than this smile?!

Does it get any better than this smile?!

Spreading ashes. We had such a beautiful day to say goodbye to Grandpa.

Spreading ashes. We had such a beautiful day to say goodbye to Grandpa.

Afterwards we went to brunch at Mickey’s. We were a pretty big crowd! :)

Sibs. I'm so lucky to have these people in my life. <3

Sibs. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life. <3

This post is not deep, but full of love nonetheless. I have an amazing family and I’m so happy any time we get to spend time together. There are lots more photos here and here.

Goodbye family. I love you all so much!

Goodbye family. I love you all so much!

My kiddos are still sick, so we took the day off for some rest and relaxation. Hopefully tomorrow finds us all well and back to school.

Lex’s 11th Birthday!

Hey all. Lex turned 11 last month. I’m still not loving my blogging setup and, well, I guess I’ve been busy too, so this post is a little delayed. I love the boy all the same though and I’m sure he’s fine with the delay. :)

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Morning presents.

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Happy Birthday!! Eleven years old and handsome as ever! <3

I made brownie bars for school and cake for the party, so I asked Lex if maybe we could skip a cake on his actual birthday. He said sure, then asked for cookies instead. How could I say no?! :)

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Candle in cookies, better than cake!

This year we had a birthday party at the rock climbing place. Lex invited a bunch of boys and it was so much fun!

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Packing up goody “bags” for the rock climbing party.

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It’s party time!!!!

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Happy Birthday Lex!!

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Lex had a great time! We sang and joked about how many candles the cake needed and all his friends were so nice and happy to be there celebrating with him.

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Presents time. (I think Alan just said something funny. Love the look he’s getting.)

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Hey, there were a few Colliers there too! :)

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Alan decided to give it a try too! He’s a natural, of course.

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Everyone was all worn out by the end!

The next day we went for a nice walk to the playground. It’s always great when Rosy is around. She drags us all out for fun and exercise!

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Eve decorated the dog with lovely dandelions.

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Lex has mad ball skills! :)

So there’s Lex’s 11th in summary. I love him more than the world and it’s amazing and overwhelming and just plain perfect that he has become the young man he has. I want to keep him in my arms forever, yet also look forward to what the future has in store. Life is good. Happy Birthday my boy!

Thank you notes

Lex did a great job with thank you notes this year!  Not only was he prompt, with a little encouragement from me, but he wrote clever and funny things too! 

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Is it weird to post his thank you notes online?  Some of you may recognize some of these. 😊

The best part though is that he did them with no fussing or arguing!!  That’s what I’m thankful for!!  Maybe I should write him a note! 😄

A Birthday Weekend

We had a long weekend full of birthday fun for this growing girl.  Thursday night we went out to a fancy dinner at Jesse’s.  I encouraged her to pick somewhere other than the usual Panera Bread.  :)  I think we were all happy with her choice!

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How is it possible that she’s nine already?!

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Tic-tac-toe is always popular at classy places that give you crayons. :)

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Mema and Grandpa Tom came too!!

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I love this girl!

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This super silly girl!!

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The restaurant staff brought her a big birthday brownie sundae and sang her a birthday song. The best part is that our waitress was her teacher last year! A teacher that she loved. :)

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She and I shared this brownie sundae and together only got about half way through!

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We got distracted by the big rocks on the way back to the car. We were all a little hepped up on the excitement (and sugar!) of the evening!

The were pretending to be rock hopper penguins.

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The sign is so big! They were amazed! It does not look that big from the road when we drive past all the time.

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Strike a pose! It took us a long time to make it to the car. :)

Friday Aunt Rosy came to town and stayed in a hotel with a pool! Eve invited our neighbor to come along and we enjoyed pizza and swimming at the hotel.

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They played an interesting game of basketball in the pool.

On Saturday Aunt Mandy joined the party crowd. She and Alan took Eve out for a birthday lunch and bike shopping! Eve has been riding a series of yardsale bikes these past few years and although she loves them, we decided it was time to get her a new “from the store” bike that was just her size.

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Still pink and streamers though, of course. I wonder if she asked Alan to put her basket on it. She loved having a basket on her old bike.

We hung out, played, relaxed, cooked, ate a delicious dinner, then did presents and cake.

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One roller skate?! I wonder what’s in the next box!

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My last minute, on-the-fly, cake for Eve using box cake mix and leftover frosting. It came out delicious, with a mysterious hint of mint.

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Happy Birthday my big little NINE year old!

On Sunday everyone went home, I took a nap, and this happened! She has been wanting to color her hair for weeks now and has been asking me to take her to the store to buy purple hair dye. It never happened, but she mentioned it on her birthday list and Aunt Rosy delivered. I’ll have to dig up an old picture of Aunt Rosy with her orange hair sometime!

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We were going for just the tips, but I’m not much of a stylist and she’s a pretty wiggly customer, so it ended up being the lower three inches or so. Plus that part in the front that always hangs down. She calls it her “wish curl.”

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Punky Purple Curls! I wanted to take a picture of the ringlets, but she brushed her hair before I had a chance.

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She was pretty low-key about it last night. I’m not sure if she didn’t love it or if she just wasn’t feeling well. Along with all the presents she also got a nice head cold this weekend and her ears are full of sinus pressure. I’m curious to hear what everyone in school thinks of the purple curls today.

So that was Eve’s 9th birthday, plus her friend party from a few weeks ago. I feel like we’ve been celebrating all month and guess what just came in the mail?! A birthday present from Joyce. Let the celebration roll on!! :)

Slumber party fun!

Last night we celebrated Eve’s birthday with a friend-filled slumber party! We had seven girls (eight, including Eve) come for dinner and fun. Two went home at bedtime and five (six, including Eve) stayed over night! It was wild and silly and fun! She has a nice group of friends.

When they arrived we had perler beads and Just Dance running on the XBox. A calm craft and an energetic activity. The girls bounced happily between the two.

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Perler beads are plastic beads that you arrange on a little pin tray and then use a warm iron to melt them together. They take lots of concentration and fine motor skills!

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I bought a dance game for the XBox and it was a HUGE hit! So worth the money!

When Alan came home from the gym he brought dinner with him. Pizza for all! Eve did her best to avoid all photos during this party. :/

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Pizza and fruit salad for dinner. Yum! Duck Eve, duck!

Then time for presents. My phone camera was really lousy for this whole party. Dunno why. None of the pictures came out well. Maybe I need to clean it or something.

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Presents and pjs.

Instead of cake, I made mini cupcakes and we did a fondue type thing.

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The candles got a little interesting. :)

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Everyone had fun using the tiny forks and dipping the cupcakes into frosting and toppings. I put out lots of options so there was something for everyone.

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What’s a party without a giant cake bite picture?! :)

Then back to dancing! Gotta dance off the sugar. I found them running back and forth into the kitchen, eating cupcake toppings by the handful. I put a quick end to that!

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Dancing the night away.

Just in time I remembered that we had a pillow case project to do as well! I had white pillow cases, stencils, and fabric markers for all the girls. They had a great time decorating them and signing each other’s pillow cases. It was really cute.

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I found a cute poem on Pinterest and several girls used it on their pillow cases.

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Now I lay me down to sleep… I’ll count friends instead of sheep…

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Lots of hand tracing, well wishes, and positivity.

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Her pillow case is all stenciled and so pretty.

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Quick break for a game of darts. It’s good to have a receiver at the bottom to throw the darts back to you! They are magnetic darts, btw, no sharp objects flying around here!

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I tried for a nice group shot, but where’s Eve?

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Oh, there she is!

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Things got a little silly.

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Silly birthday hugs for Eve.

After the lateover girls went home everyone else brushed teeth and settled in for a movie. Eve chose to watch Duck Soup, a Marx Brothers movie that we had watched as a family last weekend. She loved it then and we had paused it a bunch of times for everyone to laugh. She was certain her friends would love it and said we would be pausing it every minute or two for laughter. Sadly, that was not the case. She loved it and laughed, but they were mostly just confused. I eventually made Alan and Lex turn off Minecraft and watch the movie, hoping their laughter might bolster Eve’s.  Two loyal friends stuck it out for the whole movie, but the rest went upstairs to play.  Eve didn’t seem to care.  She was happy to be watching a movie that made her laugh.

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I think Marx Brothers wasn’t what this Disney-raised crowd was expecting!

Everyone went to bed after the movie. In bed around 10:30, lights out at 11pm, and time for the serious voice at 11:30. They were all asleep by midnight! Thankfully! This morning I heard footsteps walking around at 6am, and when I got up at 6:15 I heard giggly little voices. Everyone was downstairs and dancing again by 7am!

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Pancakes for breakfast, of course. With chocolate chips and syrup. But, wait, where’s Eve?

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Oh there she is, avoiding my camera again. :) Silly girl. I try hard to respect her wishes and not take as many pictures, but it’s hard to resist at a birthday party!

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Let’s keep this party going with an early morning dance-fest!

I learned from our past two sleepovers (Eve’s and Lex’s) that things are less fun in the morning and an earlier pick-up is better than a later one. Things went well this time, maybe because we had enough kids that no one had to work too hard to entertain anyone else, but still by 9am everyone was ready to go. Parents came, hugs and thanks were exchanged, and everyone went home.

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I want to say she fell asleep at the table, but not really. She did get a Little Live Pet and had fun taking care of it and “feeding” it this morning. That head definitely went down on the table many times while she was playing though. :) Tired girl.

Alan went to work today (poor guy) and the kids and I are taking it slow. I just dropped Eve off at Girl Scouts and apologized to the troop leader that half her troop was up until midnight partying at my house last night. I hope they all survive.

Overall a super fun party though! Eve has great friends and I think everyone had fun. There was no fighting and only the slightest bickering. Everyone played together and no one seemed excluded. There was plenty of sweets and toys and balloons for all. Another successful party on the books! Now we have almost two weeks to recover before her actual birthday! :)

Last night

I went up to check on the kids before I went to bed last night and found sweet surprises in both room.

Eve had a really hard time falling asleep and was up very late last night. This might have been partly why. I think she’s getting excited for her birthday. :)

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I’ll help translate a few:

1. Little Live Pets (official website, Amazon)
2. Mechanical dog. I think she saw one at KMart one time.
6. Non-permenant hair dye. She wants to dye her hair bright purple.
10. Surprises

I think the rest make sense without translation. :)

Lex, on the other hand, had no trouble falling asleep!

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When I showed him these pictures this morning he was surprised he’d fallen asleep that way. He said he only meant to cuddle her for a few minutes then planned to put his head back on the pillow. I guess he was pretty comfy.  ♥