Friday, October 21, 2016

Ella's 5th birthday

I know I say it at every birthday but I cannot believe my baby is 5 years old! Ella's birthday fell on a Monday this year and we planned a camping trip the weekend prior so we had her party 10 days before her birthday. It is pretty hard for a 4 year old turning 5 to understand why she still is not 5 yet for so many days after her birthday party. But that day did finally come.

The weekend of her party my mom, Neal's parents and the girls cousins Will and Caroline came in for the celebration. Reese happened to be cheering as a "mini Mountie" the Friday night before Ella's party at the Rogers High School football game. So everyone got to go watch her.

The bond that these girls have had for 6+ years (even though they are now at different schools) is so sweet.

Ella wanted her party at Chuck E Cheese this year. We have avoided that place until now but surprisingly it was a great, well run, pretty laid back party. Granted it was on a Saturday morning before it got busy and our CEC is pretty new so it is nice and clean still. Almost all of her friends showed up and she had a blast. She really loves having her friends around and is such a little social butterfly.

She was really nervous to do the ticket blaster and began to cry just before it started but she pulled through and because of it, along with her determination to only play games that give a lot of tickets (she isn't interested in the photo booths, horse rides or anything that doesn't give tickets), she collected 2900 tickets!

The tradition of photos in front of the bedroom window before leaving for the party.

My mom was able to stay through Sunday so she went to church with us and we went to a fun little pumpkin patch afterwards. The girls also got to paint pumpkins with Emmie that evening.

On her actual birthday her daddy got her a donut and put a candle in it. He stuck around for presents and then headed off to work. He later met us for her favorite meal, McDonalds. She ate an entire happy meal and then asked for another cheeseburger. This child normally is not interested in eating but loves McDonalds. We then went to Dilly Dallies to pick out a birthday toy, another birthday tradition. Then went home to make a rainbow cake. It was a mess to make but turned out pretty cute.

We planned to go out to dinner too but she fell asleep on the couch around 5. So we picked up pizza and played outside. Sine there were so many neighbors out playing we did cake and ice cream outside. She loved having some of her favorite people to celebrate with and it meant no leftover cake and ice cream in the house, we all won.

At 5 years old Ella wears a size 5 or a girls size small. She wears a size 12 shoe. She weighs 40 lbs. (50th percentile) and is 44.5" tall (90th percentile). She hates to wear a jacket and I only fight with her about it when it is really cold & she's always begging to wear flip flops even when it's freezing. She is super fancy and loves the color gold!

Ella is such a special little girls with so much personality and is loved by many. We tried hard to make her feel special on her birthday and I think she had a great day!

Ella's 5 year questionnaire

1. What is your favorite color? Golden

2. Who is your favorite friend? Katie and Emmy

3. What is your favorite snack? fruit snacks

4. What is your favorite thing to do with Reese? doll house

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? McDonalds

6. What is your favorite drink? apple juice

7. What is your favorite thing to do outside? swing

8. What is your favorite sport? soccer

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? work at McDonalds

10. What is your favorite animal? Giraffes and zebras and elephants

11. What is your favorite book? My Little Pony

12. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? go to his work

13. What is your favorite thing to do with mommy? play with the dollhouse

14. What is your favorite song? the Wonder Woman theme song

15. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Pasketti

16. What do you take with you to bed? Celestia and big kitty

17. What is your favorite holiday? summer

18. What makes you happy? playing with my neighbors and my friends and my family

19. What makes you sad? when Reese is mean and won't hug me and kiss me in front of her friends

20. What do you think about before you go to sleep? my family

21. What do you like to do as a family? play with them- doll house

Random updates on a Monday

I meant to post this weeks ago and just realized I never did. So, it's a Wednesday but I'm going to go ahead and put it out there now 😳.

1. Life has been crazy and I have struggled to keep up lately. Last March I started a small business/hobby doing mostly vinyl decals. I never imagined people liked decorated cups so much but I sure am glad that they do. This has been such a fun somewhat creative outlet for me and a way to earn a few extra dollars for the family to have fun on. The Christmas season was overwhelmingly busy...and I'm thankful for that. However, I mostly failed to cook, clean, do laundry and make lunches (lots of lunchables) for about a month. My family complained that they never saw me unless they hung out by the cutting machine. I'm just about all caught up and am glad to be back to normal life!

Due to the above I have done a terrible job at keep up this blog for my family. I will attempt to catch up a bit here and plan to post separately on Christmas...hopefully soon.

2. Back in September we took this little bit to NYC. It was such a fun trip. She and I trapesed all over the city. We went to the Museum of Natural History, some shopping, Central Park, Madison Square Garden, out to the beach to visit my high school bestie, the Disney Store, subway rides and a few fun restaurants. In the evenings Neal would be with us and we took her to the top of the Empire State Building, to eat at a café where they sang Broadway tunes, Grand Central Station and in the photo below we are at the Broadway production of Aladdin.

This was really sweet time with our littlest. There was a bombing while we were there as well as a knife slashing and shooting outside of a store we were in. So parts of this trip were really unsettling for me. But I am really thankful for this time with her and the experience of NYC that we have gotten with both of our girls.

3.This one lost her 4th and 5th tooth! She has fun stories for all of them. Different fun dogs/people that she loves have assisted in pulling her teeth...Mr. Pickles, her kindergarten teacher, Gigi, Pop Pop and her 1st grade teacher.

4. She asks me daily if I can eat lunch at school with her. This is one of her favorite things. She is definitely a quality time girl and eating lunch at school with her means so much to her. I need to carve out time for this more often.

5. How cute are these lemonade saleswomen? They wanted to contribute to the profits at our last garage sale so we let them sell lemonade. They had a blast!

6. This one won a character award for Joy. She exudes joy and I am glad she was recognized for it.

7. Everyone in our family is riding their bike now!!! Reese and I rode to a park nearby and had dinner one evening and below that is Ella riding while I went for a jog. I am so glad we can all ride and seem to love it.

8. For the 3rd year we took a fall family camping trip with friends. Each year seems to be a little more fun as the kids get older and can do more. We have decided that the food plan we have done the past few years is perfect and we will probably stick to that plan every year. Our kids love being outdoors and look forward to this fun trip.

9. This picture below is a photo booth at the girls' dentist. They again had to have cavities filled. I promise they brush twice a day but we cannot seem to keep cavity free. They tell me that it is probably genetic as they have really deep grooves that they get from their dad but I wish I could keep them from having to do this again.

10. This is the most snuggly dog I have ever known. I'm thankful for the time I get to spend around my house since quitting full time work and that I'm able to take a coffee break on the couch every once in a while and have this crazy dog lay all over me.

11. Reese won a ROAR award! She has wanted this so badly for so long. This award is for character and I am so glad her school emphasizes the importance of character. She (as well as her whole family) was so proud and wears her shirt often.

12. Ella is so brave and decided it was time to get her ears pierced. She was pretty nervous but she didn't even cry. When it was finally time to switch her earrings she was so excited and without any hesitation chose "the big diamonds".

13. We had our annual friendsgiving as well as our friends Christmas party. This year we did our Christmas party in our pajamas (or most of us did). I think this may be a new tradition (we may have to buy the Owen's some pjs though). I love these people and love having so many fun traditions/events to look forward to with them.

14. Every year we go out to dinner for Neal and Jill's birthdays, they are a day apart. This year may have been my favorite. We ate good food, drank good wine and laughed so hard. It was a really fun night with special people.

15. Reese had her 1st sleepover with her friend since itty bitty Reagan. She was so cute packing her bag and telling me all of the things she needed, like 3 outfits, 3 pairs of shoes and a water bottle...I gave in to the water bottle but had to remind her that she would be there for less than 24 hours and she needed to pack a bit less than she was planning. She had a fun time but came home and told me she may not be quite ready for sleepovers and that she missed me. She said she would try it again when she's 8. I'm totally fine with that and was happy I was missed!

16. This dog loves his girls.

17. New Years was spent with some special friends and all of the kids. We had a lot of fun with this group and we rang in the New Year at around 8. Oh how things change once you have kids (not that I ever made it to midnight pre kids though).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Destin vacation 2016

I'm so thankful for the (annoying) daily posts I made while we were on vacation this year. I'm going to post each one of them in this blog post (plus others) because they are such a perfect memory of each of our days spent there this summer. 

I am also thankful for the extended period we had there this year. We had so much fun! Neal is so fortunate to have such a generous boss who opened his home to us while he was also on vacation, and we were able to spend over 2 weeks in sunny FL.

My huge family is so amazing and the girls had a blast with them (night after night parties with Mau, jewelry making & ice cream with Grizzy & endless fun with Emmie & Jacob- my cousins have also made a mark in these girls heads too), we did too. And Neal's sweet parents came down too and the girls and us made such great memories with them too. It was probably the best vacation we've had yet. 

The 1st week, just the 4 of us, was nothing short of wonderful but if we had done it the week after the family was there the girls would have found Neal and I to be rather the timing of it all worked out perfectly.


Most days I was able to capture it all in a collage but some days required some extra shots because they were too special to pass up. It was such a great trip with a true highlight being blessing my mom with a fun 60th surprise party. I look forward to 2 years from now when we do it again with my big crazy family!!