Saturday, August 27, 2016

Let's Roll--Birthday Style

It was that time of the year again--party planning for the soon-to-be 7 year old and it was no easy task this year. So many decisions to be made---do we do a school friends party or a family/friends party. And if we go with his school friends, do we invite those from last year's kindergarten class or this year's first grade class? Will our friends and family be sad if they aren't invited? Or will Kaden be sad his school friends are there? What theme do we go with? Cake, Cookies or Cupcakes? What do you get a 7 year old?

SO MANY QUESTIONS & I was getting stressed out about trying to make it all happen so I sat the almost-to-be birthday boy down and asked what he wanted. He wasn't stressed at all and had it all figured out. He wanted a bowling party (Grammy and Daddy were excited about this) & he wanted to invite his school buddies. Oh and he wanted me to make a cake. 

Now that we had a plan, it was time to start planning. I reached out to our favorite bowling alley & secured space for 10 kiddos for 2 hours. We would spend a little time bowling, some time in the party room and then they kids would get to finish off the party playing games in their arcade. For the first time, I didn't make an invitation, I just used Punch Bowl and called it good. We decided that it would be best to have the party at 11:30 in case the boys had afternoon baseball games which partly worked out as Logan ended up missing his game so he could come to the party but he wasn't upset about that.  
From Amazon I ordered---plastic bowling pins to fill with candy, a miniature bowling pin game & his birthday shirt. 

From Target I picked up some plates, cups, & napkins. 

From Price Chopper Justin picked up the balloons. 

And that was it besides the cake and cookies! 

For the cookies I decided to reach back out to Icings by Ang and once again she came through for us---I mean, she never disappoints. And if you can believe it, the cookies taste better than the look--seriously. 

The cake I started a earlier in the week as I knew I would be tight on time so I made the cake and then froze it. As soon as I walked in the door on Friday, it was go time. I had icing everywhere, my hand hurt like hell but hearing Kaden go on and on about how awesome the cake was made it all worth it. 

Now how was I going to make this cake, seeing how I don't really have much experience with cakes. I did a trial run a few weeks back that when pretty good so this time around I just made the cake bigger, used two cake mixes and a larger cake pan. Then I wrapped it and put in the freezer. Once I pulled it out, I unwrapped it and then placed my drawing on top. 

I used a big knife and just cut around the shape and put the scraps to the side---they'll be used for a trifle of sorts later. I was having a little trouble finding an icing that I liked and could easily work with and then my cousin recommended a Crusting Buttercream frosting, she was totally on point! I crumbed the cake and then started starring the shit out of that cake. 

In the end I wish I would have put the "7th" at the top of the pin & then wrote Kaden alongside the bowling ball but you live and you learn. 

So now the party. It was a huge hit. Kaden had such a great time. We told each of the parents that they could drop the kids off for the party and come back at the end to pick them up & that's what they did. We had a great group of kids & they all got along so well with each other. They gave one another high fives as they arrived or a little "bro" hug--so cute. As everyone arrived our hostess got them all shoes and got them on their way with bowling. 

& that bowling ball you see, that just happens to be a gift from his Grammy. Janet heard that we were doing a bowling party and asked if she could get him his very own bowling ball and we of course said yes so on the Thursday before the party she dropped by, gave him his gift and then took him to get it drilled so that it fit his fingers perfectly. 

He even got to test it out at the pro shop. Talk about having the South form down! 

Once the kids were starting to show signs of no longer wanting to bowl---about 45 minutes in, we headed to the birthday room. And I could not say enough great things about our hostess at Park Lanes, she was fantastic. I didn't realize that Kaden would get a bowling pin--signed by all his buddies, nor did I realize that they would all be getting a gift baggie--all bonuses in our book. 

Although I think I should have stuck with lemonade and not fruit punch because Kaden had a red mustache for the rest of the day.  

Before sending the kiddos off to play in the arcade I had Kaden take a picture with each of the boys. Figured that I could send a Sticky9 magnet inside the thank you cards he is going to write. Most of the boys would walk up and stand next to Kaden and he would wrap his arm around them and I would snap the picture. That is until Logan came up, he ran right up to his brother and gave him the biggest hug possible. It was the cutest thing. 

Finally, it was arcade time. They were bursting at the seams to play. 

The kids all left doped up on sugar, with a handful of crap & hopefully with some great memories. I know this kid did---he couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Final Trip of the Summer

I won't lie, I didn't want to go. Not one single bit. I kept telling Justin that it was going to rain the entire time and that it would just make more sense not to go---and he reluctantly agreed and then I felt bad, so I gave in and said let's do it. We could make the most of it.

And we did.

My sister, Leah and Blake were joining us for the weekend but they weren't the only ones.  Stoli and Brodi got to make this trip as well. Brodi was a last minute decision because typically its too hot for him to go but not this past weekend, he was in doggy heaven. And Stoli, well, she knew exactly what she would be doing all weekend long.

The boys spent most of the weekend in the water while the rest of us sat around in our light jackets and pants. The water was seriously warmer than the air.

& on Sunday I woke up early enough to take the dogs for a little dock time on the morning and catch the last little bit of the fog roll out. The picture really doesn't do it justice.

Adam told Justin that we could take the Seadoo with us and while I was a little hesitant--I don't like borrowing things from people, especially something like this--I was glad we took it. Logan was all about it and ready to go on any ride that Justin or I would take him on. Leah and Blake of course had more fun with Justin than they did with me---it's the motherly instinct to protect that comes out in my driving. Kaden, well, he talked a big game but when it came time to get on, he froze. On Saturday I finally talked him into getting on with me and staying in our no wake cove which he agreed to. As I got closer and closer to the start of the cove and the buoy, his grip on my arms tightened. I asked if we could go and count slides and he said sure but his eyes weren't coming off the speedometer. I got to going a little faster and after a little while he relaxed & really seemed to be enjoying himself. We got back to the dock and he was smiling from ear to ear but the next day we were back to not wanting to go. I talked him into riding with me in the cove and then we ventured back out when he was ready, this time he got to drive a little which he enjoyed. When I asked him why he was worried or scared he said because he hit his head once on a big wave--well that would do it so we talked about how to keep his head up higher when riding. Hopefully it won't be as tough next year getting him on because we can't buy a couple if he isn't on board! 

We were planning on sticking around until mid day on Sunday but with it being as chilly as it was and a full week ahead of us all, we just decided to call it a day and packed up around noon. The Siebert clan headed south and we headed west but so thankful they came to spend the weekend with us and check out Justin's family's cabin even though they live the lake life everyday.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Family from the North

You know those friends you have, that when you refer to them as just your "friends" it doesn't really capture just how much they mean to you. Well, we have some of those "friends" and really, they're our family. We don't get to see them as often as we would like but we've been able to see them 3 times in the last 10 months which is unreal & maybe, just maybe, we will have to plan a trip to see them in October on fall break.

This past week they were back in town for a summer sales meeting. JG and I work together. & to celebrate JG turning 40. We got to spend time at the pool on Sunday as a family and the kids, really, they just played non-stop.

& pretty much every single not they crashed. And crashed hard. Although you never quite knew where they would all end up, it was like musical beds. One night I couldn't find Logan, searched all three room, nothing and then I found him snuggled up next to GG, safe and sound.

We did experiments.

And each morning GG helped get the boys off to school with me.

I love that being separated by 4 states doesn't stop how much these kiddos love each other. Sure going to miss the constant giggling that comes from our toy room. Hell, I'll even miss picking up the toy mess the four of them leave behind.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

And off they go. Together.

This day came all too quickly. It was one thing for Kaden to be headed off to kindergarten last year, it's a whole other story to see them both walking into school. Together. 

But more on that later, let's talk about how we prepared for this monumental day and for that we have to go back 1931 days, to the day this guy entered the world.

& forever changed our world for the better. Since the day he was born he has been a little nugget of sunshine and just continues to warm our hearts more and more each day. He's still small enough to sit on my lap, all snuggled up and fall asleep as if he was only 5 months old, not 5 years old.

Yet, here we are. Our littlest is off to school. Right behind is big brother. & he couldn't be more excited for the adventures that lie ahead. We finished off the night before kindergarten just like we did with Kaden, reading a little book--Kindergarten Rocks.

& when 8 o'clock rolled around, he was off to bed. He wasn't exactly happy about it but he had been given some magic confetti from his teacher at Sneak-a-Peek & was at least interested in finding out if it would work or not. He swears it didn't but I checked on him only minutes later and he was out. Cold.

Wednesday morning rolled around and of course Kaden was up and at it before anyone else. He was fully dressed and watching TV as I walked downstairs at 6:45. While was in the shower Logan came walking in to tell me good morning and to show me that he had gotten himself dressed and ready for school. Come to find out, Lil Logie, walked downstairs and Kaden said, "buddy, you have to get your clothes on today, we have school." & Logan ran right back up to get ready.

He was first up on my annual first day of school pics. So we stepped out back on our deck, took a few pictures and his kindergarten video & then headed to the front of the house.

Can we talk about his sweet voice for a second? I mean seriously, this kid can have anything he wants, he has me wrapped around those damn tiny and cute fingers of his.

& although it was a big day for Logan, it was an equally big day for his big brother who would be starting first grade--where oh where did the time go.

& this one. He just warms my heart too. He has such a huge heart and we love that he just wants to help people, nothing would make us more proud than to see him doing just that.

And of course we had to take the obligatory first day of school picture with mom and dad and for more reasons than just because too. This year I wasn't going to be able to walk the kids into their classrooms. I thought I had it all planned out but then the school sent out a correction stating that kindergarten was not in fact starting on Thursday but was actually starting on the same day as everyone else. Which meant that mandatory meeting that I had on Wednesday morning was going to keep me from joining them on drop off. Thankfully, Justin captured a few pictures for me.

 & since it was just a half day, I was able to get home in time to see them get off the bus for the first time. I had my camera read to go but then as Kaden got off the bus and Logan followed I noticed that he didn't have his backpack, the bus driver noticed too. Logan just replied, "my brother has it for me" & sure enough, Kaden was carrying it for him. I am sure having them back to back in school will present challenges but man I love how much love they have for one another.

They spent the afternoon at Grammy's and then I picked them up on my way home from work. Logan fell asleep just as we were getting ready to pull into our subdivision. You could tell, he was exhausted but GG and JuJu were at the house & there was no time for napping, he went straight to playing for another half hour or so and then Emily arrived.

We were headed to dinner to not only celebrate the boys' first day of school but also to celebrate Emily's 18th birthday & her heading off to college. So many changes happening all at once but each one couldn't be more exciting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sneak-a-Peek x2

Here we are, the day before school is to begin and this time, we have two little guys beaming from ear to ear, ready to meet their teachers.

We loaded up into the car and headed to their school, along with every other student and their family. We were there right at 5 so we could get in and get out--Kaden had baseball and it was the night before the first day of school so we had a lot of things to pull together.

Justin and I asked Kaden to allow Logan to show us the way to his classroom, he got Ms. Timmerman, Kaden's kindergarten teacher--we were beyond thrilled. & so was he. As soon as we arrived in his room we told him to find his name. He did and then he sat down and we read through the papers on his desk.

Magic confetti-check. Classroom number-check. Bathroom located-check. Pencil boxes in order-check. Cubbie found-check. Introduce yourself to the teach---double check.

He is in such great hands this year.

And then it was off down the hall to Kaden's first grade room. We had just found out that they added a new 5th teacher for first grade which was great, smaller class sizes is always a plus in my books.

He found  his classroom without any problems, read through the papers on his desk and said hi to a few friends he hadn't seen all summer long & then introduced himself to his teacher, Mrs. Downing. I can't wait to watch him grow this coming school year.

Sneak-a-peek x2 was in the books & these two are more than ready to head back to school. Here's to hoping this year is as great as last year.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Another One Bites The Dust

Only a few days after my sister turned 40, a very close friend turned 40 and we were lucky enough that it just so happened to coincide with our sales meeting and he and his family were not only in town, but staying with us.

JG, Tugce and the kiddos arrived on Thursday & on my way to pick them up at the airport I asked my Justin to put a cake in the oven. I would do a trial run on Kaden's cake for next week but use it for JG's cake---win, win.

The cake took forever & I was completely made fun of because it wasn't really looking like a bowling pin until the very end and then it all came together and everyone ate their words.

We decided that since we had candles and had a cake that was ready, we could sing happy birthday to him a few days early--well a day early. & after he blew out the candles, I then thought, man, I should have added a 4-0 to the cake. So I did.

On Friday he had about 25 friends and family members meeting us out for dinner to celebrate and then it was off to Top Golf. This was my only picture of the evening, an image of Tugce and I on the way to dinner.

And Saturday, his actual birthday, we continued the party & headed out to Gram and Dunn, one of my favorites. It was so wonderful being with the Garrett's celebrating such a good man with some of his dearest friends. & although I didn't know two of the partygoers at all and two of them just a little bit, it was a wonderful night and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to hang with. I can see why these people are so important to JG and Tugce, they are just great people and so much fun.

Happy Birthday my brother from another mother (clearly), I'm so happy we could be part of your celebration. Love you.