Tuesday, December 31, 2013

a 40th luau birthday

Kyle and I thoroughly enjoying a night out together.  I took a lot of pictures on my phone so the quality is terrible, but I didn't want to pass up the chance to document our fun night!
My sweet friend, Sheri.  We enjoyed several lava flows ~ a festive, yummy drink!  I had a prime spot on the comfy family room couch and was able to sit and chat with lots of folks.  It's so rare that we have a fun night out with friends, and I treasured every moment of it. 

Kathy put together this fun montage on the dining room wall.  I helped her start it one afternoon, and it was so fun to look at lots of old photos of Dan.  A super cute idea and a fun conversation piece for the party.

Oh Shannon...we had so much fun!  I don't think it's often that Shannon really lets loose and it was a blast getting to kick off our heels and party!  She did a wonderful job as bartender for the evening, she kept the lava flows coming...and I think measuring might have gotten a little subjective as the night went on.  I had so much fun with you, friend!

Kyle and Zack with the birthday boy himself!
Happy Birthday Old Man!

Rachel and I ~ love you sweet friend!

There are so many things that I love about this picture!  Kathy and Shannon look blissful, Kyle is just being weird and then Rachel is jumping for joy in the background.  I think this was getting towards the end of the evening and everyone was feeling very happy!

Nothing like partying with your pastor...I love Fitz and his wife, Laurel, and it was great to have an opportunity to socialize with them.  I think I asked for a silly picture and this is what they came up with!

the ladies
me, Kathy, Shannon, Sheri, Amy and Jina

It really was a super fun evening, getting to celebrate a great guy!
Happy 4oth Dan!!!

Disney on Ice

Later in the afternoon, right after bible Sunday at church, my sweet friend, Kathy and I took our girls to see Disney on Ice.  We had never been, and I knew that Kennedy would be excited.  After a quick costume change in the church bathroom, we were off! 
(kind of a funny side story here...Kathy and I decided that we would surprise the girls with the news of where we were going once they were dressed and we were on our way.  Well, as they were dressing in the restroom, a high schooler came in and asked where we were going.  Without thinking, Kathy casually says that we are going to Disney on Ice ~ it was so very funny, we all just looked at one another, the girls wondering if they should be excited or not and Kathy and I simply laughing at our "attempt" at a surprise!  It really was a hilarious moment)

We got the girls sufficiently pumped up on our drive over and arrived with plenty of time to get in our seats and take lots of pictures.  As you can see, we got there a little too early and were nice and settled but then had to get up half a dozen times as people arrived to sit in our row.
Sadly there were so many distractions (people arriving late, getting up and down many times throughout the show, lots of loud talking, spinny light toys going the whole time, etc.  It was crazy!) all around us as the show went on...I know it bothered Kathy and I immensely, as it was so hard to concentrate, although thankfully the girls were so enthralled with the performance that they didn't seem to mind much.

our sweet little girls
These two have come a long way in their friendship and really enjoy so many of the same activities.  It was special to be able to experience the magic together with dear friends.

posing by the ice at intermission
The show was very well done, typical Disney magic and I loved it.  Just wish we would have had better seats!  Or at least a better audience surrounding us!

And what would a special outing be without a fun treat afterwards?  The girls were thrilled with a stop at Menchies before we headed home.

Our two cute princesses

Such a fun day, spent with wonderful friends!

Bible Sunday

At our church, it's tradition that in second grade all children are presented with their own bibles.  It's a big deal and we were so excited to experience this milestone with Carter.  The second grade class is very large, so it was extra special to be sharing in this meaningful day with many dear friends.
During the 9:00 service, the children were presented with their bibles and were blessed by one of the pastors.  Pastor Matt performed Carter's blessing.

Such a special group of boys
Four out of the five families in our small group have boys in second grade (we're missing Samuel in this picture) so it's been a lot of fun getting to share in these milestones together.
I feel so very blessed by our church family and look forward to watching these boys grow!

So very proud of our boy
Carter loved getting his own bible and has been eager to read it, both on his own and together with us.
Carter, I pray that you will find guidance, comfort, peace, love and many answers to your questions in your new bible.  I pray that you will turn to God's word in times of happiness and struggle.  May it be the compass that guides your every choice in life.  We love you very much, Carter man!

After our church service, we gathered for a celebration with the second graders and their families.  One of the activities of the hour was a fun game looking for biblical pairs in the group.  Once we found our partner, we were lead to a passage in the bible to read together.  It was a great way to meet and connect with other members of our church family.

Kyle and Ella were paired up ~ Mary and Joseph, I believe
Kyle really is so wonderful with kids...he just has a natural way of connecting and making them feel comfortable.  Just another quality that I admire in my sweet husband.

I was able to work with Avery, such a sweet girl

I absolutely loved this special day and feel so grateful for this environment that we are able to be a part of.  I feel so very blessed that our children get to be a part of this amazing faith family.

a little bit of life ~ fall edition

Just some random phone pictures to wrap up the end of fall...
I have really enjoyed having Wednesday afternoons with Carter.  Not since he was 2 have we had any significant amount of time together, just the two of us.  One Wednesday, we headed to Big Al's for a bowling.  Such fun with my boy.

A sushi dinner date with Lyla and her family made for very happy girls

kindergarten picture day

my girl is growing up!

reading to Pops

another fun Wednesday afternoon...a marathon Monopoly game!
Carter won :)

Carter has been participating in the children's choir at church and was practicing his song for the weekend's performance (his first in front of the congregation).  He couldn't be any sweeter.  And so very serious.  I don't know why I am surprised, he is serious with everything that he does.

November saw Carter's first sleepover with his friend, Samuel...Kyle and I were at a friend's birthday party and Kennedy was staying with Grandma and Papa.  Carter and Samuel are in choir together and had their first performance that following morning, so we decided to give a sleepover a try.  The boys did great and had a ton of fun.  Unfortunately, Carter didn't sleep a whole lot and was pretty wiped out the following day.  I think we'll hold off a bit before making these regular happenings but were so grateful that the Grices were willing to have Carter over night.

A fun and full fall!

Halloween 2013

Halloween fell mid week this year, so we kept it simple and enjoyed a festive breakfast, an easy dinner with friends then a crazy hour of running around the neighborhood trick-or-treating.

thanks Nana for these super cute place settings

as if we needed more sugar...I saw these cute little dessert pudding cups on Pinterest and made them for the kids for after dinner.  

Snow White was ready to head off!

Harry Potter wanted to rush off too, but was willing to humor me with a few pictures

I was very thankful this year that both kids were happy to wear outfits that we already had...I think Carter might be Harry Potter for the next five years!  He has absolutely no desire to be anything else.  Kennedy simply wanted to be a princess...easy peasy!

Carter carved his very own jack-o-lantern this year and was quite proud of it!

Our crew, all dressed up and reading to go
Kennedy, Emery, Brevin and Carter
It was so fun having the Pikes join us for trick-or-treating

Kennedy never lasts quite as long out trick-or-treating but always enjoys being at home to hand out candy.  She was so cute and sweet watching out the window, waiting for kids.

all jammied up and ready to watch "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", our Halloween tradition.

Spider Party

For Halloween, Carter's class had a pajama spider party.  They had been studying spiders in their science unit over the past several weeks, and I was amazed at all that they knew.  They were able to name all the body parts, using the proper scientific terms ~ I was impressed!  (I am sure that I could not do that in second grade!)
I was manning the spider cookie making station and the kids had to use the candy in proper ways - even number of eyes (from 0 to 8), Mike & Ikes for spinnerets, etc.  
Again, I was impressed by how Mrs. Hanson is able to incorporate learning in a super fun, very controlled way.  It is a great class, a wonderful group of kids, blessed with an amazing teacher.  I am so very thankful that Carter was placed in this room for second grade.

constructing his spider hat

my little spider boy

Carter and Lola 
Lola is one of Carter's closest friends this year and it's been a fun relationship to watch grow.  He is typically a "boy's boy" and enjoys doing fairly typical boy things, but  I love that he is able to make friends with everyone and do all types of things.

A very fun morning spent with 25 great second graders!
I love being a part of this classroom and am so very thankful that Carter is having such a wonderful year.

Fall Harvest Party

Kennedy's class had their fall harvest party at a local farm.  
Thankfully the weather was sunny, although it was awfully cold.
There were several fun activities planned and I was happy to be able to help out with many other moms.
It was such a fun way to spend the morning.
Kennedy and the two Maddie's, Maddie Z and Maddie R, decorating foam pumpkins

the girls and their finished pumpkins

waiting for their turn to gourd bowl!

bowling with a gourd is serious business, look at that face of concentration

having fun in the leaves!

Yay for fall fun!

cookie decorating and some fun snacks
A fun day on the farm!