Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pirate invitation...

When it comes to my children's birthday parties - I usually have a plan well in advance. They get a party on their even years starting at four years old, so Hunter was ready for his first friend party.

For some reason, it snuck up on me quickly, leaving much less preparation time than I'm used to. I had to design a quick invitation that we could deliver and I had already determined we would have a pirate theme. I searched the internet in hopes of finding something I could quickly duplicate. I came up short and decided I would have to design one myself. Hallie and I made a run to the scrapbooking store and without a plan I bought red and white stripe paper.

That evening, Steve and I attended a party where they had some skewers sitting on the table. It hit me - create a ship sail invitation. I borrowed 8 of those skewers and within just a few minutes we had a unique invitation...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh how they grow...

Every year, on our children's birthday, I shoot a photo next to the growth chart (which hangs in the play room). I love looking back on previous years photos to see how much they change but also to see how their little personalities shine through at such a young age.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A day in the life...

of a four-year-old birthday boy.

Birthdays are very important and they are to be taken very seriously. As such we have documented all that a fourth birthday entails for one very excited little boy.

Upon waking up - Hunter was greeted with the birthday bucket; complete with his favorite cereal, pop-tarts, candy and a small toy. The birthday could have ended right there and he would've been happy.

But the day must go on...
Isn't it every kid's dream to go to school on their birthday. All the attention and love is enough to make any kid explode! He was in charge of snack today: He came home from preschool beaming. Not only did he bring the snack, but he was also the teacher's helper, they sang to him, gave him a shnazzy hat and a slew of little trinkets: As he walked up the stairs after preschool I told him to pick any place for lunch, after a cute fist pump and a "yes" he stated McDonalds was his choice. Shocker.

A nutritious lunch was followed by play land. Once again - a child's dream...at least my children's dream. It is a rare occasion and he loved every minute.

After a brief "rest time" we had a visit from some cousins who brought Hunter a special treat:

We shot our annual growth chart picture (which shows he's a good three inches taller than Hallie at the same age):

As soon as Steve was home from work we celebrated with cake and presents. We have a slew of decorative cake pans but it came as no surprise he chose cars.

This is the face of a boy that sees a bike coming down the sidewalk just for him. His exact words, "What the...", it was pretty cute:

And that my friends is how we do a fourth birthday. I think I saw 10 fist pumps from him today, it was that good of a day. And the fun doesn't end - he is talking non-stop about his first friend party this Saturday. Birthday weeks are awesome!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homecoming Dance Photos...

My nephew Paxton called me and asked me to shoot some photos for his homecoming group date this last weekend. I am always a sucker for shooting photos- especially people that are all dressed up. But more importantly I love helping my nieces and nephews. Just the fact that he was willing to have his aunt be a part of his evening is awesome. I eat that stuff up. Paxton in particular is just great- I'd do just about anything to help him out and I love that I get to know his friends. The night we shot photos, they were all sorts of fun: Paxton and his date:






As everyone left and filed into their cars - these two lovely ladies happened upon two small frogs in the grass. And naturally, in their semi-formal attire, they picked them up. It was comical to watch them as they attempted to hold them for a picture. One kept jumping out of the hand just as they got ready. You can see in this picture it hopped right onto her arm: From what I hear the dance did not disappoint - as you can see, they guys clearly know how to have a good time!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scorpions continued...again...

We had a youth activity for church a couple weeks back - the annual scorpion hunt. We armed them with gloves, blacklights, pinchers and jars. They each took different areas in our neighborhood and they canvased the area. Surprisingly the girls got into it much more than I had imagined (they clearly share my passion for hunting!). We hit one house where we caught almost 20. It was a gold mine and everyone was giddy with excitement. With each additional scorpion we dropped in the jar we'd step back and admire our work with pride.

When we met up with everyone at the end of the night, we all dumped our jar of 50-100 scorpions in one large jar. It was disturbing. Hundreds of scorpions crawling all over each other glowing in the blacklight. It made my skin crawl watching them. I like to kill them as soon as I see them, not collect them and watch them move around.

We didn't make it to our house the night the youth went out and it had been a couple weeks since I had personally gone hunting, so we were due.

Our brother-in-law asked us to do a little experiment before we hunted the scorpions. He's testing some diatomaceous earth and wondered it's effect on scorpions. So he asked us to go out one night and count them - but not kill them. Then we were to spread some DE and then go back a couple days later and count again.

Friday night I reminded Steve of our obligation, so we went out together. The pool area always has the most and it did not disappoint: we found 7. We made our way around the rest of the house and we were shocked at how many we found. (another word for shocked might be disgusted.) We found 30! That is more than 3 times more than any other time we've gone out. When we first started counting, I was okay with not killing them - the more we came across the more I wanted to run into the garage and grab my trusty can of brake cleaner. I did not want to chance any of those suckers coming into my house, but we didn't kill a single one. The next morning Steve went out and applied the DE. We've got three more days until we can go count again.

It's made me a little paranoid. I refuse to walk around the house without any shoes on because something tells me out of the 30 we saw, at least three of them will make their way into our home. Shivers down my spine...

Homecoming parade...

It doesn't matter how lame the parade is - if they throw candy, it's a win in every kids book. So although the 9 minute high school homecoming parade this weekend was far from anything glorious, they threw candy. We were supporting our neice who is a cheerleader for the high school. Sadly enough, I never saw her. I think I saw every other cheerleader, but not her. Oh well. I'm sure she was fantastic.

The kids could care less who was in the parade, they were in it for the goods and spending time with their cousins. It's probably a toss up as to which they prefer; cousins or candy. This guy is awfully fond of Jaylee. She knows just how to snuggle him and give him just the right amount of attention. Obviously, he eats it up! He knows a pretty lady when he sees one! Major bummer of the night: the ant hill we just happened to be standing next too. I realized I had ants crawling all over me and I quickly brushed them off and moved to another area. But they followed me and I had several bites. They itched like crazy and immediately they started to swell. (I swear I'm allergic to anything that bites because I swell at the smallest mosquito bite as well.) I dealt with the pain the best I could throughout the night. Around 2 o'clock in the morning, Hunter comes into our room complaining his legs hurt. We take a gander and he has bites all over his legs. 20-30 on each leg!! The poor guy was miserable and itching like crazy.

The first thing that came to my mind...the candy was totally not worth all the itching!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Project reveal...

I've been building for 2 years and yet it always amazes me that something like this:

Can turn into something like this:

I've been saying for 8 months that I wanted to build a headboard for the guest room. And when Steve recently axed my life-size haunted house idea, my fall back plan was a bed. I had put it off for a while because I just wasn't sure what kind of bed I wanted. And then one day while surfing pinterest, I saw a bed that my friend Laura had pinned.

It was perfect and just what the room needed. But for the life of me, I couldn't find the original source for the photo. I was hoping to find some plans to build the headboard. I looked on and off for over a month when I happened upon the original source. I wanted this bed that cost over $2000:

www.vivaterra.com

At first I had plans to build a headboard - but when I saw the entire bed I knew I couldn't just stop at the headboard!

I got it all set up this morning and immediately upon setting it up I realized I wanted to see more of the headboard - I may be removing the boxspring in the next couple days like the first picture above...we'll see. Steve says he likes it how it is, but something tells me he's just saying that because it's already done and we don't need to touch it again!!

I usually follow someone else's plans which I would then link to here - but I created this bed from scratch which means I should supply the plan. I'm awful at plans and the details of what I did...I'd much rather just build and forget about the camera. But I'm working on writing something up- we'll see if I actually finish it.

I completed this bed just 7 days shy of my two and a half week goal - I can start on another project that much sooner! :)

All the wrong places...

There was a good chunk of time that we were worried about Bennett's mobility. He had broken his hip - he didn't move at all, no rolling, no crawling. We worked and worked with him and not too long ago we finally got him walking. It was a joyous day, a day we had worked hard for. We took video and laughed with him as he became excited. Then the newness of walking wore off and all the sudden all this mobility is not working out to my benefit! He spends a lot of time upstairs getting into things he shouldn't - the kid has a permanent toothpaste ring around his lips!

Walking is old hat, so climbing has become the new craze. I always find him on top of the kitchen table. Just sitting, holding his blanket. I take him off, he climbs back up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 15 times a day, maybe 20. By the time Hallie comes home from school, I'm numb to it. "Mom, Bennett is on the table, you have to get him off." Eehh...whatever.

He also loves the bathtub. Once he hears the water running, he is there, making sure he gets in on the action. The other day, Steve drew a bath for Hunter and let him play for a bit. Bennett was there in no time and wouldn't you know it, he was bound and determined to have a bath himself. It's really quite scary - he's at the "have no fear" stage and it's killing me. Just when I think I've blocked/barricaded anything with potential danger, he finds something new. It's a losing battle, he's bound to hurt himself. I pray the damage is minimal.
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