Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Jewell

How did these two hand-holding babies...
turn into these super sweet six year olds?!?!?
Today our sweet friend Jewell turns 6!  She and Parker are only two months apart and it seems like just yesterday that we were gathered in the hospital welcoming them into our families. Time sure does fly!
We were able to help Jewell celebrate her birthday this past Saturday with a fun party at the skating rink.  Parker had already been skating at another friend's party, so I knew he would love it!  He laced up his skates as soon as we arrived and was off!
Eden was another story.  I knew she would like it if she would just give it a try, but she wouldn't even think about it.  She was happy to watch Parker make his laps around the rink, but quickly said "I don't want to skate" anytime I asked her if she wanted to join him.  Even Parker begged her to come try (which I thought might make her change her mind), but she stayed firm with her "No!". 
I have learned over the years that if I will just sit back and be patient, my kids who are not risk takers will eventually come around and give things a try.  The less I push them, the more likely they are to try something new. 
Just as I thought, right before pizza and cupcakes, Eden looked at me and said, "After I eat a cupcake, I want to skate.".  
Sure enough, after she finished, she laced up her skates and was off.  She started off using the walker, but after only a few laps around the rink, she handed it to me and told me she didn't want to use it anymore.  She spent the rest of her time skating (walking) around the rink without any help from me.  I couldn't believe it and was so proud of her for trying!
Parker was so excited when she started skating with him.  He truly is one of her biggest cheerleaders!
They both had a great time and were sad when it was time to leave.   They both told me on the way home that they want their next birthday parties to be at the skating rink, which means you probably need to dust off you skates because we might be seeing you in a couple of months at the skating rink for Parker's birthday party- ha!
One other fun thing that happened... at one point during the party, they made an announcement that anyone who wanted to participate in a race needed to go sit in the center of the rink.  I looked out and guess who was there?  Yep.  Parker not only raced with two other boys his age, but he actually WON his race!  He was over-the-moon excited about his accomplishment!

We had so much fun and were so glad that we were able to help Jewell celebrate her special day!  Happy Birthday, Jewell!  We love you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Creed!

Last Saturday, Parker got to help his friend, Creed, celebrate his birthday with bounce houses and pizza.  Another one of Parker's favorite friends, Matthew, was there too and they had a great time running, jumping and bouncing.  Parker was worn out by the time we left the party.  
Yes, that orange blur is Parker jumping off the top of the slide.  Boys are so fearless!
Happy Birthday, Creed!  We hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our First Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Guess who lost his first tooth?!?!?!
Parker has been asking me for months, "When am I going to have a loose tooth?".  He has a couple of reasons for asking- 1) many of his friends have already lost several teeth and 2) he REALLY wants to sign the tooth chart at school! (Whenever you lose a tooth, you get to put your name on an "I Lost a Tooth" chart.) 
Last Tuesday at breakfast, he casually said, "Mom, I think my tooth is loose."  I didn't believe him but checked it just to be sure and was shocked when it really was loose.  I don't know who was more excited- him or me!  (*Side story-  I never got the thrill of losing my first tooth.  My two bottom permanent teeth started coming in behind my baby teeth so the dentist had to pull them out when I was in first grade.  In some ways, I feel like watching Parker experience this milestone helped me fulfill something that I never got to experience in my own childhood.) 
For three days, Parker wiggled and wiggled his tooth and by Friday night, it was barely hanging on.  He finally let Cory try and pull it Friday night but they had no luck.  Saturday morning, my parents stopped by with donuts and Granna took a try.  This time, it popped right out! 
He started running around the house and kept telling me. "Mom, I'm so excited that I can't even eat my donut!".  He couldn't wait to call Cory and tell him!
Parker was so excited to put his tooth under his pillow and was even more excited when the tooth fairy left him two dollars! 
He's already been checking his other teeth for another one that might be loose and I have a feeling that it might not be very long!  He looks like such a big kid with his missing tooth.  Just one more reminder of how quickly he is growing up!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Happy Valentine's Day (a few days late!)
We had a very busy day with lots of celebrating!  I tried very hard to get a picture of the girls in their matching outfits but Lily wasn't having any of that, so I just got one of Eden instead!
The kids started the morning with a little Valentine's treat from me and Cory.  I found the cute mailboxes at Target and the week leading up to Valentine's Day, the kids got a little treat every day with a note telling them how special they are to us.  They loved waking up every morning to see what was in their mailbox!
Eden had her party at preschool with some fun treats and valentine cards from all of her friends.  She couldn't wait to get home and look at all of them again. (Notice the way Eden is sitting- I've had several people tell me to not let her sit like that because it could hurt her knees, but she's done it ever since she was a baby and as much as I try, I just can't get her to stop.)
While I was trying to get lunch ready, Lily continued to throw a fit because she didn't want her picture taken.  She's at such a fun age- ha!
I finally got her calmed down and was able to get one valentine smile out of her.  Sweet girl!
After lunch, I headed up to school for Parker's party.  They kept things pretty simple with Big Red floats and trail mix.  After snacks, they opened their cards from their friends.  Parker was most excited about receiving 6 FunDips from his friends! 
After school, our neighbor Jolea came over to play and brought them all suckers that were attached to lips.  So cute!
For dinner, I tried to keep everything simple but fun.  We had pizza with heart shaped pepperoni, red jello in the shape of hearts, and red soda. 
It was a busy but fun day!  I feel so blessed that I get to be showered with love from Cory, Parker, Eden and Lily not just on Valentine's Day but every day of the year!  I am one lucky momma!

Friday, February 15, 2013

AWANA Derby Races

Wednesday night was the derby race for AWANAs.  Thankfully, we had finished Parker's car before we left for Beaver Creek.  This was our first year to make a car and it was a little harder than we thought, since we didn't know anything about adding weights to make it faster.  We decided not to worry too much about making it fast and instead chose to paint it to look like Spider-Man.  We figured if it didn't win, at least it would look cool!
The night of the race started with all of the kids gathering for prayer and a few last minute instructions.  I assumed that Eden would not want to go up with all of the other kids, but I was completely wrong.  She (and her newly found confidence) followed Parker and all of the other kids up to the front.  I knew she was nervous by the way she was chewing on her fingernails (which is what she always does when she gets nervous) but she never cried or got embarrassed.  I was so proud of her.
First up to race were the Cubbies.  They did not make cars but brought matchbox cars from home to race.  Eden picked Holly Shiftwell as her car to race.  They let them each race about three or four times.  Eden was so excited each time to watch her car come down the ramp.  After she was done, she ran over to me and said, "Mommy, I did it and I didn't even cry!".  It was such a big moment for her! 
After the Cubbies finished, it was time for the real races to begin.  Each racer was given a driver's license with three boxes.  After each race, any racer that didn't finish in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place got an X in one of their boxes.  After three X's, the racer was eliminated from the race.

Parker's first race was not good- he came in last place and received his first X.  He was so disappointed.  His second race wasn't much better- 6th place out of 7.  Second X.  His third race ended better than the first two- 5th place out of 7 but unfortunately earned him his last X and eliminated him from the race.  As soon as I told him that he couldn't race anymore, the tears started.  He was so sad and kept saying, "I just want to race my car again.".
After a lot of talking (and one threat that if he didn't stop crying we would have to leave), he finally accepted that he was not going to win the race this year.  In the end, Parker had a fun time and learned a lot about being a good loser.  And Cory and I learned that we need to research how to make a faster car next year!

Literacy Night

TGIF!!  This has been one of the busiest weeks we've had in a long time and I am very happy to see it come to an end.  We had a different activity every day/night and my level of exhaustion is at an all time high.  I pretty much collapsed into bed every night this week, which means that blogging was put on the back burner.  Hopefully I can catch up this weekend since we don't have much planned.
Tuesday night was Family Literacy Night at my school.  It was the first time we have done this at Gerard and I volunteered to be the event co-chair with my friend Emily.  We have been planning and preparing for this night for over a month and were extremely busy on Monday and Tuesday getting all of the last minute details finished. 
It ended up being a big success and it seemed that the students and parents that attended all had a fun time.  Cory brought Parker up for the event and even though I didn't get to go to all of the activities with them, I was able to sneak away for a few minutes to get a couple of pictures.  Parker's favorites were the Book Walk, BINGO, and the Book Swap.  He left literacy night with several new books and couldn't wait to read them.  Overall, it was a big success!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eden's Pajama Day

This week at school, Eden is learning about the letter 'P', which means her class got to enjoy a pajama picnic. 
She was so excited about wearing her pajamas to school and even more excited that Lily and I got to join her for her picnic!  I am so thankful that my job is flexible so that I don't miss these special days with her.

Beaver Creek 2013

Cory and I just got back from our annual ski trip to Beaver Creek.  As always, the Ranelles were gracious hosts and we had a great time!  We ate and ate and ate until we didn't think we would ever be able to eat again... and then we ate some more!!  The food was fabulous and I'm pretty sure I gained at least 10 pounds from all the desserts we had!
The skiing was pretty good too.  MS tried to steal some of our fun on the first day, but Cory, being the courageous (and stubborn!) person he is, didn't let it stop him.  He skied until he couldn't go any more and we really had a fun time skiing together this year. 
The weather was perfect on the first two days- sunny and no wind.  The third day was full of falling snow, so we opted to shop and go to the spa for a massage instead of ski.   It was a great getaway that I always look forward to every year.  We cannot thank the Ranelles enough for the generosity they show us year after year.