Friday, February 28, 2014

Logan's 2-Year Pictures

We went in yesterday to have Logan's 2-year pictures taken.  At first, he was extremely shy and wouldn't leave my lap, but eventually warmed up to the camera and produced a stellar set of photos to choose from!  I can't get over how grown-up he looks in some of these pictures.  He is all toddler--there is no baby left in him!  I chose to put Logan in his moose sweater since he fell in love with this piece of clothing a few months ago.  I have no idea why, but it is his favorite and he will often asks to see it hanging in the closet (by saying the word, "moose") and insists on wearing it to church every Sunday.  Oh, how I love this little boy!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lia's Birthday Weekend

We wrapped up Lia's birthday weekend tonight.  It was a busy three days full of baking and cooking, wrapping gifts, hosting parties and people, and overall merriment.  Lia seemed to thoroughly enjoy all of the festivities and I am happy to have made her sixth birthday a special event, but I must admit that I am bit exhausted.  I think it's going to take me a few days to recover from it all!

I made mini cupcakes and frosted them in Lia's favorite colors of turquoise, lime green, and lavender for her class snack on Friday, February 21st.  She loved wearing her birthday crown in class that day and getting to be the first person to take a bite of her cupcake!  Here is Lia with her goodies before we headed out to school that morning--please notice Logan lurking in the background eyeing the cupcakes!

On Saturday, February 22nd, we hosted Lia's friend birthday party.  We started hosting friend birthday parties last year when she turned five.  I allowed Lia to invite as many of her little friends as she wanted  thinking that several would not be able tome come.  You can imagine my surprise when 16 out of 16 people R.S.V.P.'d with a "yes" to her party!  Needless to say, I was a bit worried about the large number of little people we would have under our roof at the same time!  However, I had the full two hours planned out and Ron was a great help the entire time.  So I am happy to say that we survived and the party was an overall success!  Lia had a ton of fun and got many wonderful gifts, but Ron and I were absolutely exhausted by the end.  I think we will reconsider how lengthy we will allow Lia to make the invite list in years to come!  Anyways, pictured above is the massive table set-up for Lia's Merida-themed birthday party.  We really fit 17 chairs and place settings around two tables.  Thank heavens for a kitchen that is big enough to fit this many people and wonderful friends up the hill who are willing to loan us their folding table and chairs!

We had the girls color a variety of Merida coloring pictures when they first arrived at the party.  Here is Lia coloring with Aliza, Alyssa, Eve, Suzette, and McKenzie.  

 Next, we had the girls line up to have two Merida tattoos put on their arms or hands.  Ron is putting one on Molly's hand while Kyrsten, Sienna, Mila, Kaylee, and Isabel wait their turn.

We then moved the girls back into the Family Room for our one craft of the party.  We had everyone make their own arrow out of a pencil.  They then put a little eraser on one end of the pencil as the tip of the arrow and cut out a piece of card stock as the feather and slipped it on the other end of their pencil/arrow.  They turned out quite cute!

We finished off the activity portion of  Lia's party with two games.  The first one was called, "Keep the Wisps in the Air" and was my favorite activity of the party!  The girls had to keep 15 balloons in the air during the duration of one song from the movie, Brave.  Ron started out with just five balloons and kept on adding one at a time until they were all up in the air.  It was so cute to watch these girls running and frolicking around the room while listening to my favorite song from Brave!

We finished off by playing a game where the girls had to toss three beanbags into a hole in a large target that I had made.  The girls advanced to three different rounds (each father away from the target than the previous) one until a winner was announced.  

Lia then got to unwrap all of her wonderful gifts.  She had the idea to ask each friend to come join her at the front of the room while she opened their gift.  It was a fun way to involve everyone and make the friend feel special.  I think we will continue this tradition at every party from this point on. Here is Lia opening up her good friend, Alyssa's, gift who she met this past summer in our new ward.  Alyssa also happens to live up the street so the girls have a play date almost weekly.

Here is Lia opening up Amarah's gift who is one of her friends from her Kindergarten class this year.

And here is Lia opening up an Ariel Barbie doll from her best friend, Kaylee, who moved an hour away this past August, but still came down for the party!

We finished up this marathon of a event with cake and ice cream in the kitchen.  I made Lia a Merida cake with an edible image that I ordered online and was much easier to make than other birthday cakes that I have made in the past!  Here is the group singing, "Happy Birthday," to her.

The birthday girl blowing out her candles!

The entire group eating around the table!

A  close-up of "Lia's table."  From left to right:  Suzette, Lilah, Molly, Lia, Sienna, McKenzie, and Kaylee.

We completed Lia's birthday weekend by hosting my parents for dinner and gift opening on Sunday, February 23rd.  I thought that Lia would appreciate her family gifts more if they were on a different day than her friend party.  As a result, I separated the two events.  After a nice dinner on the fine china in the Living Room, Lia opened her gifts from us and my parents.  The biggest highlight HAD to be getting a second American Girl Doll--Caroline Abbott who is the one doll that Lia has wanted ever since she started getting the catalogues in the mail over a year ago!  She immediately had to run upstairs and grab her first doll, Marabella, so that they could meet and become "sisters."  Here Lia is posing with her two, beloved dolls and her beloved grandma.

Lia opening up Caroline Abbott's pet cat, Ink Pot, who she has also wanted for many months.  For the first time ever, Logan was very interested in the gift opening and wanted to play with all of Lia's new toys which caused a bit of drama later on! 

Lia opening up two more Fancy Nancy books!

After Lia opened up her other American Girl Doll gift, a wheelchair to put her doll in and push around, Logan totally lost it!  I never realized in advance that this would be a toy that he would love because it has wheels on it.  After Lia totally refused him the right to play with it, he had a full-fledged tantrum on the floor that eventually caused Lia to have a meltdown.  So, by the end of evening, we had two crying kids!  Personally, I think that Lia was just exhausted and overwhelmed by too much stimulation and excitement that weekend.  Good thing she made it until the very end before breaking down!

As a result of the meltdown, Lia had a hard time getting to the table to blow out her candle after we sang to her.  Here she is being rather silly while her apple crisp and whipped cream patiently wait for her.

Grandpa eventually coaxed Lia over to the table and helped her blow out the candle.  Such a silly, six-year old girl!

With his newly found sweet tooth, Logan thoroughly enjoyed eating his dessert from his corner of the room after his tantrum was complete!

Happy Birthday, Lia!  We sure do love you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monday at the Museum

Lia and Ron both had school off yesterday for President's Day and we decided to do something fun as a family.  After brainstorming a couple of different ideas, we decided to try out the Children's Museum in Tacoma for the first time.  We headed out in the morning and had a great time there!  The children loved exploring all of the different areas and playing with the water, the paints, the scarves, etc.  We wrapped up the morning with lunch at the cafe before heading home for Logan's afternoon nap.  We will definitely be visiting this place again in the future!

Lia coming down the stairs from the wooden playhouse.

Logan checking out the clubhouse phone.  He loved pushing all of those buttons!

Lia and Logan LOVED the water play area and spent many minutes splashing in the water and playing with the toys.

Oh, how this boy loves water!

Papa helping the kids run some "machines" in the water area.

This museum had the coolest art section where Logan could paint a little house to his heart's content!  He looked so dang cute in his painter's apron with two brushes in hand.

The funny event of the morning was running into Molly, one of Lia's good friends from school, with her sister and mother.  The girls enjoyed playing together from that point on.  Here they are painting away!

Logan LOVED putting the balls and scarves in the crazy machine that sucked them up, pushed them through an elaborate tubing system, and then pushing them out through a different hole.  It was a hoot to watch!

Logan descending from another play area.

Ron helped Lia and Molly make a blanket fort that the girls played in for quite some time.  Here are Molly and Lia gathering pipes and blocks to make the frame of the fort.

Molly, Lia, and Gabriella enjoying their fort from the inside.