Friday, February 28, 2014

S Is For

Space Shuttle!

And, as excited as we are about Show & Tell today, we are so excited that next week is the letter "T!" We have been counting down until "T" week.  He has tried to be patient since we got to about letter "B" (for Bryce) and realized that his letter was way far down in the alphabet.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Library Friends

Thomas is Paige's friend.
Paige is Caitlin's (in blue) friend.

And, thus these three musketeers have played happily each Thursday before and after (and some times during--gaining some "focus and be quiet" looks from their grandmas and me) story time with Ms. Carolyn.

I managed to make them sit still for a moment to capture this picture, and I assure you that is no easy feat. Thankfully at our library, the children's section is apart from the library and the architecture allows the (loud) sounds to stay in that wing.  These three like to hide among the books and play with puppets and puzzles provided.

Usually there is just a handful of kids at Thursday preschool story time, but today there was a PACKED HOUSE! I bet the library, and Ms. Carolyn loved that we all barely fit in that room.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Little Advice From A Friend

You may know that on my 36 before 36 list was to "listen to Jill."

In many ways Jill and I (who have gone to school together since elementary--she's a year older) are a lot alike, and then there are just as many where we are nothing a like. She is out going and "cool" and laid back and she doesn't sweat the small stuff. She loves to laugh and poke fun at my...well...uptight outlook on life.

Now, there have been many who have had no problem poking fun at me, usually in a nasty "I know better than you" kind of way. But, Jill, has this amazing way of pointing out that life is worth living and not spending it worrying away or hiding myself or children. And, she can do it with a smile on her face, a chuckle, and all the while not making me feel one little bit bad about myself. She is one of those people that whether she means to or not--she lifts you up while making you take a long hard laugh at yourself.

So, I have come to embrace her opinions, and she is not one to hold her tongue--so she has plenty.  But, they are more often than not, things I need to hear.

With such a wealth of knowledge being an email away from me, I couldn't help include her in my steps to a great end to 35. 

As I mentioned, she doesn't hold her tongue, so when I asked her via email to send me a piece of advice to to use a foundation for my 36th year, she (briefly) clammed up! I couldn't help but chuckle as she floundered at the idea.  Of course, less than a few hours later, she not only had a piece of advice, she had several and she wrote them all down on her blog for me.

I encourage you to read the words of wisdom she has for me, all of them good--as usual.  And, all of them I struggle with and hope to tackle and survive win.

Click here to read Jill's blog post written JUST FOR ME :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bryce's (Other) Birthday Party

Best bud Bryce has been blessed with such a big and loving family, they had no choice but to celebrate him this afternoon in their church gym! Of course, the fact that he wanted a basketball party made it the perfect local as well :)

This was their family birthday celebration, as you know he and Thomas shared their "friend" party on Thursday at Jumpology. Thomas had a "family party" too, we just don't have that many people who live close enough to celebrate with us!

And bonus points to Grace and Jason on their brilliant idea of the pinata! (I know Bryce wanted one, but you made it happen :) It was our first pinata experience, and Thomas loved it!

Thank you for inviting us Bryce, we had lots of fun and were so glad to celebrate with you and your amazing family! Happy (almost) 5th Birthday!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Great Family Saturday

As you know Gracie didn't get to go to Thomas' party on Thursday at Jumpology since she was in school. So, her daddy decided to make up for it by taking her, and the rest of us, this morning. Of course the plan was for afternoon, but we got the ONLY remaining open hour to jump which was 10-11am!!

Eh, we had fun anyway.

And, we did a Chick Fil A lunch and later that afternoon, daddy popped for ice cream at Brusters (which we had never had before), making it a pretty good family day!

Friday, February 21, 2014

R For Race Car

Daddy took Thomas to preschool this morning, so I didn't get my morning Show & Tell shot, so I kind of had to re-make the moment this evening.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Your Birthday Party JUMP, JUMP!

Well, it finally came--a week late, but no one seemed to notice the delay. All of the kids who were able to come to Thomas & Bryce's 5th birthday party last week, were still able to come this week. And, what a great time they had!

Jumpology is a pretty epic place to begin with, so you add in birthday fun and it is awesome!

I think I have explained before that it is just one big warehouse full of trampolines and kids can jump and jump until they can't jump any more. Or, for an hour, which ever comes first.

The kids jumped before we did the party portion of our morning, and I think they all genuinely had a great time. Plus it was a weekday morning, so it was almost as if we had the place to ourselves! And, as predicted, most of the kids spent a great deal of their hour in the foam pit line. That is always a hit for kids and adults alike.  But, they didn't stay planted the whole time, Bryce's dad Jason--being the awesome dad he is--played dodge ball with the kids (mostly the boys) and was a ruckus-enabler much to their delight.  The kids also bounced and ran up the trampoline ramps before we herded them all together for group pictures.

The kids even got to jump in the pit all together after we snapped that awesome shot, and I got even greater pictures of a pit full of kids! (The rules state one at a time and you can't jump until the person before you crawls out of the pit, but our birthday coordinator was awesome, and as I said, we practically had the place to ourselves!)

After jumping until exhaustion, the kids piled into our party room where they were very excited at the presence of a birthday doughnut cake!  Grace's idea was a hit!  They also had water and applesauce to go with their birthday breakfast treat. We had decided when planning the party that putting a lot of food on a belly that just jumped for an hour wasn't the best plan--so this seemed perfect!

We of course made the birthday boys pose for pictures, and they each got a birthday song sung to them.

Being the evil mommy that I am, I made the decision to not open presents until we got home, but I did let them open the superhero capes I had made for them for their party.  Of course my kid says "I don't want to wear that," after I put on the cape I HAND MADE him! There went several hours of work! Oh, well, I will put it with the dress up things.

Both boys really did have a great time and seemed to enjoy sharing their special day with preschool friends.  So, Grace and I kept the party rolling.  We took the boys to McDonald's for lunch and a little play time after.

I am so glad Grace suggested the boys sharing a party back in December. This was the perfect plan for two best buds who turn 5 within weeks of each other!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mommy's Little Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You'll never know dear how much I love you--

So, don't take my sunshine away!

Soaking Up The Warm

We are getting a winter break. A break from the snow and the terribly cold temperatures. A break from Jack Frost and his icy games.

It won't last long. It is February after all.  But, this mama is going to soak it up!

And, Grace is on board with me. She may like the snow slightly more than me--but not by much. (Probably because she has trendy cute snow clothes ;)  So, when she asked if we wanted to do a picnic and play date at the park after school I was completely on board!

Now, the wind was still very cold, but when it died down and the sun came out. Oh, I felt like one of those lazy cats you see in the sunshine.  I was loving every minute!

Now, usually my camera does pretty well outdoors, so I don't know if the camera was having an off-day, or it was user error, but I didn't get many good shots. Once again most of them came out blurry (reason #44 to get a camera like Grace has!!).  But, the afternoon was fun with Thomas and Bryce and Addison and Emmy, and that is really all that mattered. That and the sunshine!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Preschool Valentine's Day

Oh how I am going to miss the little things--like Valentine's Day parties at preschool. It just isn't the same in big school as they aren't allowed to have parties, and any celebration is abbreviated and glossed over.

Valentine's Day is my FAVORITE holiday, so I am glad, despite the snow on Friday, they were willing to reschedule the party for today.

I got there a little early and I was able to sneak a peek (and some pictures) of a few kids passing out valentines into name bags. I got to see Thomas pass his as well--so I was super pleased.

Once the kids lined up and headed to library, we moms got to work making the whole room sugary pink!

 Grace asked me to plan a game, and since there wasn't a BINGO online for 12 kids, I made up my own. They came out pretty cute.

The kids also decorated their own cookies and I read them a story while we waited, and waited, and waited for the pizza to arrive.

 But, once it arrived the kids dove into their party food.  Since the pizza was a little late, we got to stay a little late at school.  And, of course like all events, we attempted to heard them into a class picture. :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Mommy

I had just a few birthday wishes this year sure to make my day the best it could be, and I got most of them, and I was truly blessed.

If you know me (or you read this blog a lot), you may notice I like lists. Yup, I am a list maker, and I am very determined when it comes to completing lists, so I made one for my birthday.  Each year, well meaning people, insist on Facebook that I "do something for yourself."  I never do.  But, this year, I decided: "why not?!"

So, I left the kids at home after making my house super-duper tidy, and I went to Goodwill and bought myself a happy pink purse. I went to A.C. Moore and used a great coupon to get me a watch for those awesome beads that you use to make your own story bracelets. (The bracelets are awesome, but the beads always fall to the back of my arm, so I was hoping the watch would be a better way to display them)  I also got new beads :)

I stopped by my favorite Chinese food place and got hot and sour soup to go and I came home with all of my treasures.

My family took me to dinner at my favorite place: Red Robin, and I ate my favorite burger: the Bleu Ribbon.  They even brought me a birthday ice cream sundae and ran out of servers to sing so no one was embarrassed!

My day was good, and I would like to say it ended well. But, it ended with a rare meltdown by our youngest, so I didn't get my cake, and I had to open my cards all alone. I watched NCIS reruns (that always make me happy!) and read my cards I noticed the full moon shining down on me and remembered that birthdays are not about ice cream cakes and cards and gifts and those wishes that don't come true when you blow out the candles (oh yeah, and candles)--it is about those you love loving you back on your special day, and I dear friends, got LOTS of love today!

Now, while I am talking about lists, I am sure you are wondering about my 36 before 36.  First let me say that I am impressed with how much I got done. Secondly, I want to do this yearly, but I HAVE to give myself more time. Thanksgiving to February sounds like plenty of time, but after you add in THREE major holidays and TWO family birthdays, and snow--well, it was a rush.  But, here is a gift I am giving to myself; I have a handful of things left on the list (look on the right hand side of the blog page) and I am giving myself until the end of February to get them done. I am not going to stress over an unfinished list, and I am going to complete what I started (except the living Nativity--stupid snow, and the teeth thing depends on my next visit, but they ARE getting done!).

And, I am going to share the journey with you (as best I can, I wasn't awesome about the pics!) when I get them completed.  (Grace, I need you to take some good pics of me this month with your awesome camera!)

I have gotten lots of encouragement and great feedback on my list and wanting to complete it, and I want to thank all of you for that. It made me want to keep at it--and I have done so many things I would not ordinarily do! I am very proud of myself!

Happy Birthday to me!

**UPDATE: I made asked my pretty family to do a family picture after church 2.16.14, and Grace (who is super awesome!) brought me ice cream cupcakes Sunday evening! So, list complete!!***