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.  ♥

The Big 4-0!

Oh, what a weekend it’s been! For starters, a big Happy Birthday to Alan, or HBD as he likes to put it! We celebrated in style! At least for one evening. Friday night… well, I forgot what Friday night was, it was too long ago. Saturday came and he took the kids to karate and himself to his favorite diner. The usual Saturday morning routine. Then I took the kids roller skating and he stayed home watched a movie he’s been dying to see that is 100% not kid appropriate! :)

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Lex and his buddy ROCKED the inline skates! He’s better on them than he is on roller skates. (They practice in gym class.)

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Eve did pretty well as well. It’s great to see them gaining confidence on wheels. Grandpa Tom, of course, was our inspiration!

Then the party began. Lex went with his friend for a Minecraft lateover, Eve went to her friend’s house for her first ever sleepover, and I went home to join Alan at his surprise party already in progress!

Yep, I managed a surprise party for Alan and he actually liked it!! :) I coordinated with five of his best buds to come over at 5pm. He was watching the last ten minutes, the most exciting ten minutes, of his movie and didn’t even hear them come in the house! Well, I guess he heard but thought it was me and the kids. His friends were walking around, talking, and even began throwing clementines at him before he noticed their presence! I picked up Indian food for everyone on my way home (plus wine and mac&cheese from the Co-op for me!) and got home to find everyone enjoying their chips and drinks and elbow deep in a game of Cards Against Humanity. A game of which I had heard, but had not yet had the pleasure of playing. Oh, my, what a game!

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There were tears of laughter all night long!

During the game a mishap occurred, a wine glass was broken (my glass, but not my fault!), and wine splashed down, right onto my phone!! There was a collective gasp and three people lunged for it! I laughed, afterwards, at how everyone reacted because they were all Alan’s co-workers and had heard the ongoing saga of my broken phone just a few weeks ago! Alan took it apart and dried it immediately and FORTUNATELY, it works just fine! He wanted to leave it apart for the night, but I had one kid at a lateover and one kid at a lice sleepover, and I was not ready to be without texting for the evening! :)

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I should have taken a picture of the whole crowd. That would have been fun. Oh well. Here’s the tidied-up aftermath though.

We played Cards Against Humanity until Lex came home, then switched to poker. Meanwhile, I start getting texts from Eve’s friend’s mom saying she found a lice nit on her daughter’s head and did I want to leave Eve there or come pick her up. They all wanted her to stay and I REALLY did not want to deal with head lice that night, so I carried on with our carefree evening and left the parental worries for another day.

Sunday. When I picked Eve up she was scratching her head like crazy and I saw a whole village living among her little hair follicles. UGH! I checked Lex and he had them too. I can’t even blame it on her friend. In fact, her friend can probably blame it on Eve. Ugh! So we began the process, again, of delousing the kids and the house. (I just tried to find a post from the last time we did this and apparently I didn’t write one. It was back in November 2015. I guess I was up to my eyeballs in lice shampoo and cranky family — no time for blogging!) Eve was grumpy, but sat patiently for the whole process. Lex practically hyperventilated at the thought of bugs on his head and had the worst ten minutes ever waiting for the shampoo to do it’s job. No fun for anyone! We have a very clean house now though! So, that’s good at least!

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He complained, but I was the one doing all the work! No fun for anyone!  I gave him the option of shaving it off, thereby eliminating the the need for tedious delousing.  He quieted right down!  :)

Alan and Grandpa Tom also got a chance to attend a community solar event today and they both came back feeling the Vermont solar love!

What saw us through the weekend — Birthday Cookies!!  Delicious enough to make everything better!  I’d like to say I froze a bunch for later, but truthfully I made a double batch and we finished them in a weekend!  :)

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Happy Birthday Alan!

I realize as I come to the end of this post that I have no pictures of the birthday boy himself! Oops! I promise he’s here and as handsome as ever! Like a fine wine, he only improves with age!

Happy 10th Birthday Lex!!

It’s hard to believe, but this little guy is suddenly ten years old!!

Lex’s first birthday. He is so adorable!

My, how time flies! Today we celebrated with presents in the morning, a Memorial Day parade, lunch at Popcube’s house, and a slow, tired afternoon at home. Overall a great day and a great way to celebrate our favorite little boy who is not so little any more.

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He’s a balloon guy! I have a very similar picture from his 4th birthday. I’ll try to find it for a “then and now” post. :)

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A special birthday greeting for our special ten year old.

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Happy Birthday Lex!!

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Morning smiles with the birthday boy.

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I got a little artistic while waiting for him to open presents. He got side tracked a bit with a book. This big box contains the game Clue.

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Waiting for the Memorial Day parade to start. I embarrassed the family by asking a stranger to take a picture for me. Totally worth it! :)

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I think my kids are a bit too big for this toy, but boy did they have fun! I have this same picture from a few years ago. I’ll try to dig it up. They were a bit smaller then. :)

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An ice cream cake for his family birthday party. Cool Whip and chocolate chips make perfectly excellent decorations.

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Lots of birthday Legos. Everything is awesome!

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Happy Birthday Lex! I like his choice of shirts for the day too. :)

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The candles are casting a glow on his sweet face. <3

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Cutting the cake.

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This was an “upcycled” cake using the leftovers from Saturday’s karate cake. Lex wanted an ice cream cake for his family party, so I took layers from the karate cake, relayered them, and added some Fudge Tracks ice cream in the middle. Then I slathered the whole thing in Cool Whip. It came out really tasty!

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The cake was tasty, but frozen pretty hard. Lex had trouble cutting into it with his plastic fork so he resorted to eating it caveman style.

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She’s looking pretty classy. :)

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The photogenic side of the family. :)

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The ride home from Grandpa’s. Proof that she does indeed stop moving, sometimes, even if only for a short ride in the car.

We were all exhausted when we got home so everyone went to their rooms for awhile.  After an hour or so of quiet time we regrouped for a few family games of Clue.  It was fun to teach the kids a new game and they both enjoyed the mystery and secrecy of it.  Then we ordered pizza for dinner and watched the movie Clue!

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Lex got to choose his birthday dinner, so Ziggy sticks it was! I served him on this birthday plate, but he wasn’t happy about it. He transferred everything to a normal plate instead. Oh well. He’s ten now, but still the same boy we know and love!

After the movie, when we were all exhausted and getting ready for bed, I remembered that Lex needs birthday treats for school tomorrow. Birthday treats round three! I think we need to sugar detox again!

I feel pretty fortunate to have such an awesome boy in my world. Lying in bed tonight I said, “Ten years ago right now you were less than one hour old.” Around birthdays we like to talk about “ten years ago” or “eight years ago” and reminisce about their actual birth days so many years ago. He replied with, “Mom, I’ve been wondering, just how exactly do babies come out of the mother’s belly?” Yep, he’s growing up! So we had that conversation tonight, all snuggled up in bed, and we were happy.

Karate Party!!

We held Lex’s friend party this year at their karate dojo. The sempis (teachers) did a wonderful job and the kids had a blast!! The karate studio provides the space, and the table set-up, and I brought the rest.

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Happy Birthday Lex!!

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The cake. Lex wanted a yellow belt on the cake because he has a yellow belt, and the purple patch is similar to the patch on their uniforms.

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The kids started by finding their ninja names (using the letters from their actual names or initials). Some kids had more fun with this than others. Some, I think, thought it was too much work for a birthday party! :)

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Like my birthday banner?

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The dojo also had a birthday banner!

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Goody “bags” (wrapped books, with a cookie attached), cake, and presents in the back row. Fortune cookies, strawberries, gi cookies, Goldfish mix, and carrots in the front row.

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The party favors this year were books. My friend suggested it and I thought it was very appropriate considering the birthday boy and our family. I found two different easy-reader chapter books, both with karate themes, and bought six of each. I taped on a karate gi sugar cookie and wrapped it all up with a “black belt” ribbon. I hope the kids like them. In my opinion it’s better than cheap junk they just throw away anyway.

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Some “human bowling” aka Rolling Bombs.

Once the kids all arrived they went into the main dojo for lots of high energy games led by the sempis.

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The kids all love this game. If you get hit you have to go to the side and do push-ups or jumping jacks.

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Then some actual karate! They started with punches.

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Power punches!

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Then kicks.

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Then flying side kicks! For this they have to run down the blue mat then jump up and kick the pad that the sempi is holding. They were encourage to make loud kung-fu Hollywood style noise while running and jumping. Everyone loved this one!

After awhile of karate and games, the kids came into the small dojo for snacks, presents, and cake.

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The dojo provided free floating balloons and Alan provided the snack time entertainment.

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He is quite entertaining.

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It was a very fun atmosphere. :)

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Present time. Lots of Legos and books! :)

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Right here he’s opening karate nunchuck pens. Super fun! His classmates will have to watch out now!

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One of the kids gave him stick-on mustaches and everyone had fun with them! One kid said the mustache on Alan made him look more manly. :)

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The whole crowd, some with stick-on mustaches, others with balloon mustaches, and everyone full of silliness!

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One happy boy!! (The karate gi cookies with black belts left everyone with black tinted lips and teeth. Not the most attractive look!)

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In a throwback to the sawzal party, Alan decided to cut the cake today with a samari sword! Everyone had a good laugh. Then boring mommy kicked him out and used just a plain old knife to do the job.

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I cut very large pieces. One kid asked what kind it was, referring to brand name, I believe, and commented that the cake is much more dense than usual. I had to explain the whole “made from scratch” thing. :)

When they were done with cake they went right back to the big dojo for more fun! Time to burn off the cake energy!

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Time for some dodge ball, dojo style!

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They finished with an “everyone throw the ball at the birthday boy” game. Like the dojo version of birthday spankings. Lex laughed and laughed.

After two hours everyone was hot and sweaty, and full of sugar and fun! It was a great day! We sent each kid home with a little present and a handful of fortune cookies.

Happy almost birthday Lex!

10?!

Lex’s birthday is coming right up and I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the number. I don’t know why, but 10 just isn’t sticking in my head. Eve and I were at the party store the other day getting supplies and I had her pick out eight balloons. I even grabbed a “8” balloon to go with the “Happy Birthday” balloon. I was just about to check out when it hit me that he is not turning eight!! Duh! We had to grab different balloons and sadly discovered that they don’t make “10” balloons. :( This double digits thing is going to take some getting used to.

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Lex goes bionic for his birthday! He built himself a bionic arm with a ball shooter on the elbow and various sensors on the fingers. He’s pretty pleased with his creation. :)

Today, the 17th, was actually my due date with him, ten short years ago….. big belly, but no baby. (I love my blog!)

Eve is Eight!

I thought it would be fun to do an “eight for eight” post with the eight best pictures of the day… but then I thought, “who am I kidding?!” I take way too many pictures and like to share them all. So, here is a look at Miss Eve’s 8th birthday.

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My customary birthday display. The kids now come to expect them. I like to add my own gifts, but also little things from other people, like the cat card from Greg and Kathy, and the Happy Birthday note from the Kirkwoods. Lots of love for Eve from around the country.

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Happy Birthday Eve!!

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I got her some books, some science and craft idea kits, and an American Girl matching outfit. Lex got her a Lego Friends set.  She was pretty happy with all of it.

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I love Lex’s look in this picture. :)

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I tried several times today to get a nice picture of the two of us together. This one obviously didn’t work out.

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This isn’t quite right either! :)

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After school we had two friends over. I fed them all snack then we headed to the science museum!

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I mostly like this picture. Great sunlight and color. However, where are Eve’s eyes?! Pictures with glasses are tough!

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The museum has several great new exhibits! We had a great time!

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Buddies.

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Eve wanted to go to Panera Bread for her birthday dinner. I told her she could get a birthday treat and she chose a strawberry smoothie “all to myself!” Normally when she gets a smoothie the rest of us share it with her, but tonight she had one, with whipped cream, all to herself.

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I really wanted a nice picture of us together so I finally recruited Alan to help. The back camera on my phone is much better than the front camera!

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We all got a little silly.

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Daddy wanted in on the picture too! :)

Happy Birthday to Eve! We are pretty lucky to have her in our lives!

Eve’s Birthday Sleepover – Part 2

The sleepover went well. I sent the girls to bed at 8:30pm and they continued to play and be wild. At 9pm I turned off the lights. The silliness continued (in part it was my fault because I provided them with glow sticks!) I was typing last nights blog post and wondering what to do next. What is proper sleepover protocol? Do I just let them stay up until they pass out? Do I insist on quiet? Separate them? Then I realized that it’s my house and I can do whatever the heck I want! I took away the glow sticks and reminded them it was sleeping time. Later I heard crying and discovered that Eve had bitten the one remaining glow stick in the room (bitten?!) and broke it. She had glow stick filling all over her hands, her PJs, her sleeping bag, and her mouth! Normally this would be a panic-inducing moment, but actually it happened once before so I did all the necessary panicking (and Googling) last time, so this time I was calm, cool, and collected. Secretly hoping that Eve’s tears would be the final straw before sleep. But nope, they rallied! :) Finally they fell asleep around 10:45 and I went to bed. Not to bad for a first sleepover.

I was hoping they’d sleep in a bit, but of course, nope! All three kids were up at 6:30am. Alan and I made it until 7:00. Not too bad, right?! :) I made rainbow pancakes and everyone just hung out.

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Rainbow pancakes! Yum! 

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This isn’t a very good crop and I can’t edit on the computer… and my phone is in the other room… so anyway, Eve and her Girl Scout friend loved the Wizard Of Id comic this morning.

Also this morning I got a text from a friend asking if I could watch her boys for a little while. Sure, I said, why not?! Eve’s friend left, and I had time for a quick shower before the boys came over. Fortunately my kiddos kept it together and played very nicely with the boys. They ended up staying for quite awhile and everyone had fun.

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These two decided to start a “Save the animals” club and spent quite awhile making invitations for other friends and making info cards about endangered animals.

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Save the Animals.

After everyone left (including Alan who went to the gym), the kids and I crashed. We had lunch and read some Percy Jackson until I fell asleep on the couch. Then the kids retired to their rooms for more reading.

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I just want to take a million pictures of this beautiful girl laying in the sunshine.

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She made a nest of blankets and read in the sunshine. I love this girl! I can’t believe she’s almost eight!

And so wraps up our first birthday celebration. One down, two to go. :)