Thursday, November 6, 2014

Amelie's Bowling Birthday

My Amie Jo turned 6 this year - it's blowing my mind!  In some ways she does feel more mature and advanced, but mostly, she seems like my little 5 pound nugget that just came home from the hospital.
She wanted to do a bowling birthday party this year (no idea where that came from, but no complaints here.)  She got to invite 5 friends and she picked Alisa on her own, despite having an agonizingly long list to choose from.  The others were twins in her class (Charlotte and Audrey,) a girl she described as liking but never getting to play with because so many other kids come and play with Amie more loudly (Layla) and the boy she likes (Gavin.)  Gavin's mom told us that they would be out of town during the party and that he was devastated!  He brought Amie a present at school.  So, Amelie invited another girl from church who was split out of class with all the other girls her age (Clover.)  Even her choices of party attendees make me so proud and remind me how blessed I am to have her.

We went to Big City Bowl and had a blast!  The 6 kids got to bowl, but by about frame 6, they were struggling so we had an open presents break, then bowled some more, then a pizza break, then bowled, then a cupcake break with intermittent bowling.  At the end of 2 hours, we finally finished the 1 game. :)  We had pink and black bowling ball cupcakes, pink and black balloons, and Amelie got some wonderful presents from her friends and later at home with family.  That evening, we had the family over for cake and ice cream, and they always have a blast! Plus, that night for her birthday dinner, she chose Olive Garden - score!

I, again, lost birthday pictures with my stolen phone, but here are the few I salvaged.

 Layla was in love with Acee Babe.

The whole crew!  Not looking, of course.

Lots of little-girl-fun happening.

The girl of honor, being all big and 6!

There was an abundance of bumpers and ramps going on.

Adoring every present as she opened it.

Our Amelie is such a joy!  She is an excellent helper, loves to get Acee out of the bassinet in the mornings and play wither her, she is so so smart and loves Alisa and Carson specially, too.  She is constantly loving and snuggling me.  Lately, her favorite things include drawing and writing (art of all kinds,) turkey or roast beef and cheese sandwiches, Caesar salad, chocolate, riding the scooter she got for her birthday and an Australian mermaid tv show.  Her latest obsessions are growing her hair long and doing extra chores for money to put in her piggy bank.  She also got her first loose tooth on her birthday - she said "It's like my body is giving me a present!"  It hasn't come out yet though!

Carson man's 2nd birthday!

The duder turned 2 in September - so crazy. All the games and food and party details pictures were taken on my phone, which of course, was stolen... Sigh. :(  But Jeff got all the presents, so those pictures survived!

We threw a Frozen party, as he is the biggest Frozen fan in our house - he particularly loves Summer (his name for Olaf) and so most of the stuff was themed after him.  We sent do you wanna build a snowman invitations, ate "We finish each others' Sandwiches", "ice blocks" (blue jello cubes), "Sven's carrots", "Olaf's snowballs" (marshmallows), aurora borealis juice and Anna and Elsa's Chocolate (fondue, with all the dippers!)  The cake was a beach with Olaf laying on it. Out in the back yard, we played pin the nose on Olaf and had ice block races. It was a fun party.

At 2 years old, Carson is very energetic, running and jumping just about everywhere he goes.  He loves chasing after his older sisters and gets very concerned for his younger sister when she is unhappy.  He is momma's shadow and wants to snuggle me every night.  His favorites are cheese sticks and spaghetti, Animal Mechanicals and Bo on the Go, "rolling down the hill" (our driveway), and Frozen of course.   He is just starting to sleep in his car bed some nights... let's get him out of that crib! He is average tall/heavy in his measurements and still wakes once at night. He is very sweet and happy, we all love him to pieces.

That Periodic Randomness

I got so behind on the blog, that now I have to do one requisite photo dump post so that I don't get bogged down in trying to blog every little thing, and never actually do anything.
 Summer parades!

Our Grahamster the hamster passed away last week.  He went in to hibernation, and since Hamsters aren't built for that, it was his demise. The girls were extremely sad for about... 16 minutes.  They wrote him love notes and we buried him in the backyard.

Messy boy - as usual!
 Cutie miss!  Not this small anymore.
 Family outing - Grizzlies game!
 Our life for the past year - finishing the basement by ourselves... now that has been a bit by bit endeavor...
 Baby belly!
 Visit from Liam and Mal - we hit the waterpark.

We're always finding surprise pictures on our phones that the kids took... like this one!

My mother's day present!  I've wanted a swing forever and spent many summer mornings on it with my babe.

Ruth's Chris in Park City for Jeff's 30th birthday.  It was an awesome evening!  We spent the night there in one of our condos and I had a surprise hot air balloon ride scheduled but it was too windy. :(

Pushing them on their little cars with the stroller.  They thought it was the best thing ever!

Amie's first report card, aw!  She did great!

Not happy.  Not happy at all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Lonestar State!

My sister Mallory and her family moved to Texas last year, and ever since Mal and I moved to Utah together almost 10 years ago (WOW!) that is way too long for me not to see her.  So, we decided to make our big summer vacation this year to the good old heart of Texas.  We took our minivan and drove straight through with our 4 kidlets and my brother, Ricky. It was really helpful having him in the back with the kids and especially the baby (Ace was only 4 months old!) We arrived at Mallory's and all kind of crashed for a bit. They made up the spare room for us and it was super fun nights for everyone in the house, when Ace would wake up... then Liam... then Carson... then Liam again... then Ace again...
We spent a fun day in Dallas, saw some historical spots and played in a great park/splash pad.

Where Kennedy was shot, and where he was shot from.

After church on Sunday (where we saw an impressive array of Texas mustaches) we all packed up and drove down South to stay in a condo (which was sweet) and check out some more of Texas.  We went to the Alamo and Riverwalk, where I don't know if I've ever sweat more in my life - and I'm from Florida!! We went back for a swim at the condo and some num barbecue. 

The next day - the beach!! Yay and woohoo!   Despite the 5-10 foot wide barrier of kelp between our car and the water, we had a great time and it was fun to be at a drive up beach.  We may or may not have gotten just a liiiiiiiittle bit burnt to a total crisp.

We intended to spend a day at a water park back in Wylie, but it was rainy-ish and we were just so exhausted from all the travelling and activities and HEAT that we opted to rest instead.  All the while, we ate at lots of lovely places that are unavailable to us in Utah, like Whataburger, yummmm.

The drive home... now that was a story.  The short version goes something like this... after about 15 hours in the car with 4 little babes and adults that were exhausted, I thought I'd get myself a speeding ticket.  That way, I'd already be in a really good mood when, at hour 17 or so in the car, my van would decide to self destruct.  Still 4 hours from home, by the way, and in a spot where there was no cell service.  It was magical.  We coasted our way back to Hole In the Rock, where we figured they at least had some things to look at while we figured out our rescue plan.  I called my mom who actually got in her car and drove 4 hours to save us.  Meanwhile, we got an expensive tow to the closest civilization - Moab - where the mechanic told us we'd need a whole new $5000 dollar engine.  Yeah, that wasn't an option, so we drove it off the lot down to McD's to wait for people, and our van was literally dropping pieces of the engine on the road as we went!  When we left with my mom, Jeff stayed at McD to wait for his brother, who also drove down to save us, to tow our van back to SLC. The kids and I slept at my mom's while we worked out the mess.  That didn't stop us from heading to the lakehouse the next day with our friends as previously planned, though!  We love those weekends.
Other than the dramatic ending, the trip was so much fun and Mal was a totes gracious host! Love you guys!