Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Posts!!

I went pretty crazy today catching up. Here are the links in order:

Margie's 30th

Finger Painting

Meeting Johnny

The Woodbury's are Going to London

Camping

Ellie's Birthday Dinner

Ellie's 4th Birthday Party

Ellie’s 4th Birthday Party

I’ll admit that it was a little confusing to Ellie to wait until today for her birthday party. She had a party at school with cupcakes 3 weeks ago, our camping and birthday dinner weekend last weekend, and she even had her first birthday date night with Daddy on Friday night. We kept telling her that the party was today and she asked whose party it was! Ha! But, when the actual time arrived, she was ready to go.

We went with a Safari theme. Here’s the invite that I designed with my super remedial graphic design skills. I was happy with how it came out, though:

Ellie's 4th Bday Invite blog

Obviously, we went with a safari theme. We had animal print balloons all over the house, and I used some green crepe paper in hopes of making the table look a bit more jungle-y. I also spent a large amount of time on the cake. My dear sweet friend Sue Duke allowed me to go over to her house on Friday night to learn from her cake-making expertise. I was so grateful! She gave me some great tricks on how to smooth the cake and how to make roses and lots of other little tricks along the way. She’s the best!! I didn’t want to use black icing, so I went for pink zebra stripes. Here’s the end result, and note that the roses are Sue’s not mine. :)

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By the way, Ellie made me add the W since there was another Ellie in her preschool class and she goes by Ellie W. there. I appeased the birthday girl by adding it. :)

I also had some fun with the labels for the food. We went a little “wild”:

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That’s all code for hot dogs, cheese balls, chocolate pudding with oreos and gummy worms, Cool Ranch Doritos, Doritos, grapes, Lime sherbet and Sprite punch, Ketchup and Mustard. :) There’s the whole table below:

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All of the guests ate lunch, and then the kids decorated their animal masks:

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They seemed to enjoy it. Here are some photos of the end products:

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Jade and the birthday girl

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Haley and Cruse

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That’s what Matt was doing the whole party. (Just kidding – thought it was funny that my dad snapped that photo, though!)

Then, after the masks, we did a little giraffe-a-laugh limbo game that I found at Toys ‘R Us and couldn’t pass up. It plays a cute little song and then it laughs hysterically if it falls on the ground. It seemed to be a hit as well:

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Then we cut the cake:

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Most of our friends left, and then we opened gifts with just the grandparents. As usual, Ellie was hugely blessed by the generosity of her friends and family. She was thrilled with all of her gifts, and she was especially excited by her bike from Mom and Dad.

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We heard before we opened this that Quinn picked out her gift himself. In case you can’t tell, it’s a pink soccer ball. It was a MASSIVE hit. She LOVED it and picked it to play with first after her nap. Thanks, Quinn!!

Below is Ellie closing her eyes and waiting for her surprise from Mom and Dad:

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And her new (to her) bike:

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It was a great day, and we wish our sweet girl a fabulous 4th year!

Ellie’s Birthday Dinner

We returned from camping on Sunday night which was the day before Ellie’s birthday. (By the way, she didn’t want to leave camping at ALL. She LOVED it.) So, on her actual birthday, we went to a nearby water park called Hawaiian Falls. The girls love it there, so we have season passes this year. Then that night, we met my parents at Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner. Ellie was shy when the waiters did their first dance, but when it was time to do her birthday song, she danced around the whole restaurant on a play horse! It was so great. She had a fun time, and enjoyed a build your own ice cream sandwich at the end.

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The birthday girl in her tutu and polka dot tights. :)

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The horse she rode around on.

Camping

We took the girls on their first camping trip over Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day was Ellie’s birthday this year, and we didn’t want to have her party that weekend because of the holiday. We delayed it until the following weekend, but we still wanted her birthday weekend to be special. She has said several times that she wanted to go camping, so we decided to do that for her birthday.

As a bonus, we decided to go to Arkansas, and Aunt Becka and Uncle Daniel met us there and spent a night with us. We found a great state park that had campsites all on a lake, and we pulled out our huge family tent that we bought last year. James and Ellie did some fishing, we did some swimming in the lake, and of course s’mores.

I was a little nervous of how the girls would do, but they did great! They slept until almost 7 both mornings, and they did great in the tent. I was so proud of them! We’ll definitely go again this fall if we can swing it.

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Emma in front of our huge tent. The girls slept in the half on the left, and James and I had the whole right side to ourselves. It was great!

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The view from our campsite. That’s the lake right there through the trees.

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Heading down to go fishing.

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We had Ellie’s bug kit with us, and she put two Daddy Long Legs in her container. Pretty brave, eh?

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Even though Daniel’s eyes are closed in this one, I still chose this one since the kids look semi-happy. The other two, they weren’t cooperating. :)

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Lots of rocks were thrown in to the water that weekend.

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How sweet is that?

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There’s nothing like kicking off your shoes on a warm summer day and putting your feet in the edge of a lake.

The Woodbury’s are Going to London

Our good friends Geoff and Shelley are heading to London for a two year assignment for PwC. We get together most Thursday nights with them to watch some of our favorite shows. When we first started, Ellie was the only kid, and even she was a baby. It’s been a long time, and we’re going to miss them for sure. Here’s all of the kids as of the last time we got together. Needless to say, our TV nights are a little noisier than they were when we started. We're going to miss them a ton, but we now have our webcam all set up for visits! We also plan to go visit them in London at some point in the next 2 years. :)

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Meeting Johnny

I realized that I wasn’t going to meet my newest nephew until Christmas if we didn’t do something drastic. Jennie suggested I just go visit her on my own. I had been focusing on figuring out a way to get the whole fam up there, and I realized this was a great alternative. We had a great relaxing weekend enjoying the boys and getting in some sister time.

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