Friday, January 29, 2016

Look Who Came To Visit!

Last Friday I got a text from Jen asking if they could come over the next day....if you don't remember they moved to Spokane back in October. They were over here because Logan had some audiology appointments. I was thrilled and I knew Ella would be as well. I wanted to tell Ella, but at the same time Kendra was coming over to play and I wanted Ella to focus on her friend that was here now and not being focusing on Logan coming the next day. 

On Friday night while putting Ella to bed I told her I had a secret and she could here it now or wait to find out in the morning. Of course she chose to hear it right then. So I told her that Logan was coming over the next day. At first she looked at me and just stared. Then I said it again and waited. She took a deep breath in and then screamed....then screamed again and again and again! I'd say she was excited! 

Richard, Jen, Logan and Connor got here around lunch time and they even brought stuff for to make lunch. Logan and Ella escaped upstairs and started playing like they had just seen each other the day before. I love that they have such a good friendship it's like no time has passed at all. It's almost like sisters! 

Once lunch was ready they came down to eat and then went right back upstairs to play. Richard only stayed for a few minutes because he needed to go shopping to find coats for the kids. Jen and I got to sit and chat and catch up. Michael just hung out and played on his phone and then went upstairs to finish watching a movie. Us ladies were having lots of fun talking! 

It wasn't until it was time for them to leave that I thought to take pictures of these cuties! They should all be coming over again for more appointments for Logan in April so hopefully we'll be able to meet up then. It's not the same as seeing each other fact it's probably better since they would get annoyed with each other when they saw each other every day. I love the relationship these girls have! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

LEGO Club Finale!

For three weeks in December and 3 weeks in January the boys got to attend LEGO club after school on Thursdays. Each week they were challenged to do something different. Sometimes working as a team and sometimes working individually. They did a free build, they worked together to build infrastructure, they learned about buoyancy by building a boat and seeing if it could float, they worked as a team building animals from a - z and one other thing that escapes me at the moment. 

The last day of LEGO club was a challenge to build the tallest tower. Whoever build the tallest tower that could stand on it's own without anyone holding it would win a small LEGO set. 

At first the kids started out on the tables but they get pretty wobbly with people bumping into them and then a few of the kids towers got too tall and had to be moved to the floor. Owen really loved this challenge and even though his tower collapsed a couple times he didn't get frustrated he just built it back up again. 

Jackson didn't have as much luck with making a very high tower, but he still enjoyed himself.

The kid that ended up winning somehow made a tower that was actually taller than me! I was sure it was going to come crashing down at any moment, but it didn't. The funny thing is that the two kids that were neck and neck at the end were actually twin brothers! 

LEGO club was so much fun and the kids and I are looking forward to Mr. Heintz having it again next year! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snack Shop!

A couple weeks ago I went online and found one of my favorite toys as a kid and I bought it! 

Last week is came in the mail! 

At first I was going to wait until all the kids got home from school, but then I thought better of it. I figured if I let Zeke play with it by himself than when the other kids got home maybe that would be one less kiddo trying to play with it. 

I made Zeke all sorts of things...banana split, pizza, ice cream cone and a hot dog. 

Zeke really played and played with much so he started to yawn. I thought I was going to find him passed out on Owen's bed like I usually do when he puts himself down for a nap! 

Cute cut up little hot dog pieces! 

He very much enjoyed scooping out ice cream and making pepperoni for his pizza. 

On this particular day Ella came home on the bus, but we had to go pick up the older boys from school later since they were attending their after school learning program. Ella got to play with Zeke for a bit, but I forgot to take any pictures of her playing. 

When Owen and Jack walked in our creations were still all out on the dining room table for them to see. 

As you can see someone was a little excited! At this point I didn't really get to play with them since I had to start making dinner, but the enjoyed themselves. 

One thing I do know is that we seriously need to invest in some new Play-Doh. Also we need to make sure we get the 5oz containers since they will be the right size to fit in the snack shop. There is an area in the front that you can put 3 containers of Play-Doh so it's like you are scooping ice cream at an ice cream shop. We only have the smaller containers of Play-Doh so when you go to scoop from them they slip and fall out.  I'm so glad I purchased it and I love seeing my kids have fun playing with a toy I loved playing with when I was there age! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Owen's 9 Year Pictures!

Last Saturday I took Owen in for his 9 Year pictures at JCPenny's. He's so easy going when it comes to pictures. 

I really wanted to capture is his cool dude attitude in at least one of the pictures and I think this one did just that. He's cool, but not cocky. 

9 years old....and yes I plan to keep going with the numbers for the kids annual pictures until they are 18! 

Handsome growing boy! Love him to pieces!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Owen's 9th Birthday Party!

Usually I'm super on it when it comes to planning my kids parties. I typically have Owen's birthday all planned out and the prep work finished by September. This year has been so crazy that I didn't even really think about his birthday until the end of October. At first we were going to throw him a Back to the Future party which would have been fun since we just passed the point when Marty and Doc came to the future. The more I researched and the more I thought about it I just didn't see it working. First off Owen is the oldest of all our friends kids. Second we let our kids watch movies that other parents probably wouldn't feel comfortable letting their kids watch. Since they wouldn't have seen the movie the activities and decorations wouldn't really have had the full effect. Plus while I was checking Pinterest a lot the activities were more geared towards adults. Back to the drawing board! 

One night I was laying in bed thinking about all the things Owen likes. He's not big into any TV shows and he's never been a fan of characters...what he really likes is computer games. While I was laying there I thought...he really loves to read. I got to thinking about that and could think of a few ideas right off the bat. I figured I would ask him what he thought since it did seem a bit young for him and he is turning 9 years old. The next morning he seemed to enjoy the idea so I got to work. 

I used My Memories program to create his invitations. I thought it would be fun to make them look like old library card holders. I know the kids don't know what these are for, but I figured the parents would get a kick out of it. Kim had made cards using this same pocket holder before so I asked her if she had the instructions and she texted the link to me. 

For the inside I used this fun school paper pattern and did a little play on words. 

 Owen's all ready for his party to start...even though he looks a little grumpy!

When it came to food I really had a lot of fun ideas. I knew that there were books that had to do with food so I thought that all the food would have a book to go with it.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.....I made oatmeal, craisins and white chocolate chip cookies.

For the apple slices I set out Scooby Doo And The Apple Thief!

At first I wasn't going to have any veggies, but then I thought we needed some carrots. Creepy Carrots is such a cute book! 

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry & The Big Hungry Bear was a perfect excuse to have a platter full of yummy strawberries!

This was absolutely my favorite! Aunt Stephie made the green eggs and Ga-Ga made the ham & cheese rolls. To the left of this were the hot dogs, but I forgot to take a picture of them....they weren't out yet when I was taking these pictures. Those went with The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!

We didn't eat right away so I gathered the kids in the garage so they could do the first activity. 

Kids left to right back row....Addison, Anna, Kendra, Jack, Ella, Caleb, Lake & Owen. 
Left to right front row....Lilyann, Josiah, Caitlynn and Andrew. 

 The first activity was a fill in the blank sheet with a bunch of popular book titles. Quite a few of the kiddos aren't super good at writing or spelling yet so us Mom's had to help out a bit.

 I used the same school paper pattern that used for his invitation. The fill in the blank books were....Goodnight _____ & The Cat in the _____ & Percy Jackson and the _______ Thief...etc! 

Then it was time for food so we all gathered in the dining room to pray.

 Zeke man does not seem thrilled! 

Bill & Christina and their cute kiddos were able to join us...although not for as long as I had hoped...they had a wedding to go to in the afternoon. 

Rachael and Reagan...she's always got that cute finger in her mouth!

See this is who Zeke wanted....he loves his Pa! 

Enjoying his grub!

After all the kids had a chance to finish their food we went onto the next event. I had two separate tables set up in the garage. I explained to the kids what each table was for and let them choose where they wanted to go. 

This was the bookmark table. I have a punch that can make the paper look like a bookmark. I took a bunch of scrap paper in all different colors and punched them into bookmark sizes. Zeke and I also made a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some fun stickers. The kids could also add ribbon to their bookmark if they wanted too.

This was the book making table. I found a website that showed me how to fold and cut one piece of paper into a cute little book. I made lots of them and the kids got to use colored pencils, markers or crayons to create and illustrate their own book. Then an "editor" that would read the books and pick the winner. 

Christina & Kim both brought out their teacher side by writing the words next to the words their kids had written. Very helpful when it came to reading the story! 

Ella's book was so cute it had a bunch of different stick figures drawn on each page! 

Andrew's book was my personal favorite. It was about Aliens and how they needed to come to Earth to get their underwear. One page even had two pairs of undies hanging from a clothesline. The Aliens had a little too much fun in their undies and that didn't make their mommy happy so they weren't allow to come to Earth anymore!

I figured the kids would really rush through these activities because they just love to play with each other, but they really took their time and enjoyed creating. All the books were so hilarious to read...I love how kids use their imaginations! 

My goofy boy!

Okay the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! 

Since Jim and Norean moved to Minnesota I had to pick another person that doesn't have kids since of course we need the editor to be unbiased. Aunt Stephie promised that she could do it so she was the editor. Anna's book ended up winning the book contest....Aunt Stephie liked that it had a kitty on the front since she has a cute kitty of her own. 

Last week I went to two different Goodwill's and picked up 10 books at each store. It was fun going through the books trying to keep in mind the ages of the kids and their reading levels and also trying to get a good mix of both boy and girl books and some that either would like. Since Anna won she got to pick her book first. Then we went from youngest to oldest. All the kids found a book they liked and got to take home. Love encouraging young readers! 

Per Owen's request he wanted to do presents before cake so that's what we did. 

Kendra was so sweet she got Owen a little container and filled it with some homemade sun catchers, a Hot Wheel Car and a seashell. He also got a card with $10 in it. 

Owen and Jack's friend Hansi from church was late to the party, but he got here just in time for presents. He got Owen a cool Nerf Gun with extra darts. 

One of Owen's presents from us I didn't even had to pay for. Last year one of the Mentor Mom's at my MOPS group came into a meeting carrying this awesome B-17 Bomber model. She said that her husband didn't want it and was offering it to anyone who did. I snatched it right up knowing that Owen would love it. He was a little disappointed when he found out a model isn't something that you can actually play with, but Michael and him have had fun putting it together. There are a lot of steps though! 

Back in November when I had an Usborne Book Party I decided to buy some books for Owen for his birthday. I got him this fun WWII Sticker book and a bunch of Extreme Adventure books. 

The Kuch Klan got him a LEGO Idea book! So many fun ideas. Since Hansi was late to the party and he wanted to play they stayed for quite awhile after the party was over. Hansi's Dad had a ton of fun taking pictures of the different ideas and watching the football game with us. 

This gift requires 4 pictures....last year Aunt Stephie wanted to get Owen this Battleship that was on his Christmas list. Well....Owen hadn't talked about it in quite a while and it had been on his Amazon list for a long time. I figured he wasn't too thrilled about it and gave her a different idea for him for Christmas. Of course...2 days after that Owen starts going on and on about how he hopes he gets his Battleship for Christmas. Good grief! 

So I knew when Aunt Stephie wanted ideas for his birthday that I would only tell her about the Battleship! 

To say that this kid was thrilled is a total understatement! 

He was over the moon!!! 

Owen's friend Lake from school got him another Nerf gun with extra darts. It was super nice for him to get two new guns since we just recently went through all our guns and threw away a lot due to them being broken. 

The morning of Owen's party I took Jack and Ella to Target since they really wanted to get Owen a present from them. A few years ago we started the tradition of having the kids draw names at Christmas, but for birthdays we haven't required them to get each other gifts. I love how Jack and Ella wanted to do it without any prompting from us. I did talk about how if they pooled their money they would be able to get him something nicer than if they each bought him something separately. We ended up finding this cool Air Hog Rocket. It's a lot like the stomp rocket he got a few years ago for Christmas that got tons of use and finally gave up the ghost. They each paid $5 and I paid the rest. 

Other presents Owen received were $15 from Papa & Grandma Martin, $10 from Uncle Jon & Aunt Becky and $9 from Ga-Ga & Pa for a total of $44 in cash altogether! 

Then it was onto Ga-Ga & Pa's big presents! 

Ga-Ga tried to find camo sheets, but they don't carry them in the store so she got a Seahawks blanket instead. It's so soft and Owen has been sleeping with it every night since his party. 

All ready for the unveiling! 

It's a BOX!!! 

Well it's a box with a bike in it! The delivery didn't come soon enough for Pa to put it together so Daddy got that job later on after the party. There was a picture on the side so he could see what it was going to look like! 

Instead of cake I went with Dirt Cups. We've had these before at Owen's 4th birthday party when it was a bug theme. This time I thought they would be cute because of the saying, "Book Worm", but then I remembered we had this book so it was even cuter! 

Big 9 Year old boy! Since the Dirt Cups aren't very big we couldn't possibly fit 9 candles in there so we put 3 instead. 9 can be divided by 3 so we figured we were good! He didn't mind! 

Party guest! 

Uncle Jon & Aunt Becky are so sweet....they came even though their kids were skiing with Becky's parents. That's commitment right there! I'm thinking she was in it for the Dirt Cup! :) 

Uncle Ry & Aunt Uncle Ry's new Batman sweatshirt! 

Michael with his parents! Papa & Grandma Martin were able to stay the longest they have in a long time at one of the kids parties. It was so nice! Michael's mom is now in the 6th stage of Alzheimer's so she's a bit more laid back and doesn't try to run away anymore. As long as Dad is holding her hand and sitting next to her she's good!  

Later in the evening after everyone but Ga-Ga & Pa left we got some pizza for dinner, watched the football game and watched Michael put Owen's bike together! 

Big Boy on his big bike! If you've ever read The Berenstain Bears and The Green-Eyed Monster you will remember that Brother Bear gets a bike for his birthday with super sport wheels, hand brakes and 3 speeds. Well that's just what Owen wanted, but he got 7 speeds! And unlike the book Jackson most definitely did not have a case of the Green Eyed Monster....he was SO excited to get Owen's old Lightning McQueen bike...even though it's the same exact size as his Buzz Lightyear bike! Whatever makes him happy right! 

Thank you to all of our friends and family that came to love on our boy! I can't believe he's been in our arms for 9 years! He's such a treasure!