Thursday, June 20, 2019

Jack's Actual Birthday / Owen, Ella & Zeke's Baptism!

On Jack's actual birthday we had busy afternoon. 

Recently our church started having a church service on the first Wednesday of every month. This particular month they were also having a baptism during that service. Owen, Ella and Zeke have all wanted to be baptized since they saw Jack get baptized last June. All of the kids had already asked Jesus to come into their hearts and forgive them of their sins, but Jack was the only one that wasn't scared to get baptized. Once the other kids saw that it wasn't a big deal they wanted to be baptized as well. 

There was baptism last October, but I was away at a Women's Ministry Leadership Retreat so we couldn't be a part of that one. This time it fell on Jack's birthday. Thankfully he didn't mind sharing his special day with his siblings as this also became a very special day in their spiritual journey. The kids had to attend a class prior to baptism so we had to be at church by 5:30pm, but first we celebrated Jack. 

Another present that was too big for a gift bag! 

Jack opened the present and immediately had no idea what it was. Of course he was hoping that it was something BeyBlades, but he gets enough of those. Since he's my kiddos with the birthday closest to summer I thought it would be fun to get him something that he could enjoy in the sunshine. 

It's basically an above ground dunk tank, but instead of getting dunked you sit under this frame and there is a place that you can throw balls at and if you hit it the person sitting there will have a bucket of water dumped on them. 

This face cracks me up! He was NOT impressed at all! He was so disappointed that it wasn't a BeyBlade stadium. Thankfully I didn't get offended! :) I knew that he would like it and have fun with it...he just needed a minute to be sad that it wasn't what he was hoping it was. 

When we got home later that night he told me he did like it and he can't wait to try it out. The next day he pooled all his money that he got from his birthday and money that he'd saved up and he was able to buy the BeyBlade Stadium that he's been wanting for months. Now that makes 3 or 4 stadiums and yes he uses them all! :) 

We were on such a tight schedule we had to leave right after he opened his present. 

Jack decided he wanted MCD's for dinner. If we get MCD's we usually go through the drive thru and eat it at home. This time we ate in the restaurant. 

Jackson got his normal meal...two cheeseburgers. I ordered them without onions, but I didn't say no pickles. He was able to take them off and then I put them on my cheeseburgers....yay for extra pickles! 

We ate pretty quickly and then we are off to church. There were 4 kids getting baptized that night. The kids attended their class which is where they talk about what baptism is and why we take part in it. Here's what is says on our church's website...

Jesus committed to the Church two sacraments: **Baptism and Communion**. Through Baptism, every follower of Jesus publicly demonstrates their faith in Christ's death and resurrection by being baptized in water. It is through Communion that we remember the suffering and death of Jesus and proclaim his death and resurrection until he returns.

Baptism is NOT a requirement to being saved!!!  It is a public proclamation that you are a follower of Christ and it's a symbol of what Christ did for us. He died for our sins and then he was raised to life and conquered sin once and for all. When you are baptized you go down in the water...."dying to your sins" and then you come out of the water "being raised to life in Christ". 

My children were already saved because they called on the name of Jesus to come into their life and save them from their sins. Baptism is a command by Jesus, but if you aren't baptized that doesn't mean you won't go to heaven. Think about the thief on the cross...Jesus told him this..."Surely I tell you today you will be with me in paradise". He didn't say..."Hang on guys can you let us get down from the cross so I can baptize my new friend here so he can go to heaven?"

In their suits and ready to go! 

Oh...the water is nice and warm! 

We have talked about baptism with the kids for years, but once they decided that they wanted to take part in it we did act it out at home so they would know what was going to happen. They also did this in their class just prior to the baptism so it would be fresh in their heads. 

Pastor Brian was the one baptizing the kids. He also baptized Jack last June. 

Zeke was so short I had to stand up so I could see him in the tank. 

Yay Zeke Man! 

So proud of my 7 year old. Zeke is almost the same age I was when I got baptized! I was just a few months away from being 8 years old, but I have no doubt that he knows exactly what he was doing and he came to this decision on his own. 

Ella's turn! 

Yay Ella Grace!!! 

 Ella was going to be baptized with Jack last year, but then she got cold feet. So proud of my Ella Grace! 

Owen's turn...he was nervous! He doesn't like attention. 

Yay Owen Michael! 

All my sweet babies have been baptized!!!! I could not be more proud. My kids are absolutely my mission field. I have loved leading them and guiding them in their spiritual journeys. We have read the Bible to them in many different forms....Jesus Storybook Bible, LEGO Bible, Focus on the Family Devotionals and now we have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible for Kids. We have talked to them time and time again about the lessons we can learn from the Bible that correspond with our lives today. The Bible is most definitely NOT boring! 

It has been a pleasure to introduce them to Jesus and I'm excited for the years that are to come where they will start to be more in the driver seat of their relationship with Christ. I've always told them that I wanted to show them MY Jesus, but they would need to find THEIR Jesus when they got older. It's the same Jesus, but they need to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him! 

I love all my children and I a so thrilled with their decision to follow Jesus. I have prayed and prayed for them and I'm still going to continue to pray that they will follow Him all the days of their life. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Shopping Date With Ella!

After taking Zeke to get his pictures on Sunday June 2nd, it was time for Ella and I to go on a shopping date. Ella really needed new summer clothes. So many of her shorts are WAY TOO short. Plus I'm tired of picking out her clothes and then she hates them. This time she was going to pick them out, but there would be parameters! 

What kind of started this was that the boys are going to Awanas Camp in August. When I was signing them up for this I had to read the dress code to them. When I got to the girls portion of the dress code I realized that Ella would not be able to go to camp. You can not wear skin tight clothes to Awanas camp and that includes leggings or jean leggings. This is all Ella wears!!! 

I have tried time and time again to get her to wear jeans, but she hates them. I told Ella that she is going into 3rd grade next year...she's going to be on the older side of the school so it's time that she started dressing older. Sure she can still wear leggings with dresses over them, but we are going to make sure that all her shirts go below her bottom. As she gets older her body is going to be changing and we need to make sure she is being modest. I told her right before school starts we are going to try on a bunch of different jeans until we find a pair that she likes. This time around we were just focused on summer clothes though. 

Of course she had to model all her clothes for Daddy when we got home. 

The hat is not new, but her shirt and her shorts are. These are sporty shorts with butterflies on them. She loves shirts that sparkle and are ombre colored! Her shirt says. Dream Believe Achieve Repeat

This was my favorite outfit. I think Ella looks so cute in Capri leggings. She loves the tank top because there were these fun straps in the back. 

Here she is with a new pair of shorts with stars on them. 

Another sporty short outfit. 

This one also had fun straps in the back. 

At Zeke and Jack's party Ella's friend Anna wore these cute Bermuda shorts and I loved them. Ella tried them on and decided she would wear them. When we got home I reminded her that she had a shirt that would match the pretty lace accents that were on the bottom of the shorts and in the pockets. She tried it on with that shirt and loved it. 

I had so much fun with my girl and we only spent $54 at War-Mart for 4 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of Capri leggings and 3 tank tops.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Zeke's 7 Year Old Pictures!

While Michael was at home finishing up in the garden area, Zeke and I were on our way to JCP's for his birthday pictures. Zeke's pictures were originally schedule for May 25th the same day as our Date Night with Lance and Rachael. I decided to reschedule his pictures since Michael and I wanted to go to Lowe's to order all the lumber to rebuild our deck. My parents were watching the kids so I needed to get them down to their house and then get back so we'd have enough time to shop and get cleaned up for our date. 

The lady that ended up taking Zeke's pictures was actually the twin sister of the lady that took Jack's pictures the day before. The only reason I could tell them apart was because one has short hair and the other has long hair. They were both really sweet ladies. 

Zeke decided to bring his fox with him. He's such a handsome guy!! I just noticed his green socks! :) It's so funny how different my boys are. Owen likes long white socks, Jack likes short white socks and Zeke likes long colored socks. It sure makes it easy to sort the socks though! 

If this is accurate he's almost 4 ft tall. He's having his well check-up soon so we'll know for sure then. 

7 Years can it be?? Love this sweet boy of mine!! 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Ella Paints Penelope!

When Ella and I were working in the front yard she saw how faded Penelope had become and she asked if she could paint her. I told her that the first thing she needed to do was clean her. Penelope was disgusting slimy, moldy gross. Ella and Zeke worked together to spray and scrub her clean. Then we let her dry overnight. 

Very next day Ella wanted to paint her. I didn't buy any paints we just used whatever acrylic paint I had on hand. At first I was thinking that I wanted to try to paint Penelope all pretty with contrasting colors like she was painted before, but then I just decided that I wanted Ella to paint her and for it to be her own. 

Poor faded Penelope!!! 

Ella first painted the top flower pink. 

We chose to paint the flower where the water comes out orange. 

While that was drying Ella painted the base black. 

Living her best life!!! 

A couple days later Ella painted Penelope green and she was finished. 

Penelope hadn't worked last summer so Michael had to put her back together and he got her pump to work. Ella was so proud of her work. 

The next day I was sitting on my bench in the front yard reading a book when a couple neighbors walked by and they noticed that she had been painted. I told them that my 9 year old painted her and I loved how she turned out. The lady said to tell Ella and she did a terrific job!!! I certainly think so too! 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Garden Beds Makeovers!

On Memorial Day while Michael and the boys had a fun time mini golfing, Ella and I had some girl fun buying flowers. At first when Ella asked what we were going to do she was not impressed, but once we got to Lowe's and started picking out flowers for our yard she was enjoying herself. She told me later that when I said we were going to get flowers she thought we were going to take a basket around our neighborhood and pick flowers from other peoples yard. She's so silly! 

My main concern for the day that I wanted to address was this front garden bed. It's always been difficult. For one it's got less than 6 inches of dirt before you hit either concrete or rock. We have planted bulbs in here and none of them came up. We also got this ground cover plant that I wanted to just go crazy and fill in the whole bed, but what it actually does is thrive for a bit and then dies and moves on to the newer growth area. That's mainly what all that green stuff is. 

This is the pile of plants we bought. Ella had so much fun helping me pick them out all the while riding on the flatbed cart. 

I tried to find kid gloves for Ella, but all they had were toddler gloves. She just had to deal with wearing Dad's 811 gloves instead. Honestly I was super surprised that she even wanted to help. She normally doesn't like to do this sort of thing, but she really did stay with me and help. 

First we worked together and cleared the whole bed. Ella enjoyed getting to use a small rake to scrap out some of the harder weeds. We did stop at 7-Eleven for a slurpee on our way home as a treat for all the hardwork we were going to do. She was so cute...she'd work a little bit and have to take a break to drink her Slurpee. She did ask me why I didn't have to take as many breaks. :) 

That's a full wheelbarrow of weeds! 

Here is our finished work! 

I bought 10 of bags of mulch since they were on sale and I really wanted to put down new mulch in all the garden beds. The pavers I got from our backyard...I had to use a dolly to get them up to the front they were so heavy. My parents had just recently given me these nice pots to use in this area. 

We've had these pots up near the fence for a years, but they've been annoying me because they were crooked. The first thing Ella and I had to do was transplant the plant that's in the middle because it was in one of the darker pots. Ella and I bought the purple bushes and we wanted those to be in matching pots. After that we got to work using a level so we could get the pots to look nice. I'm really happy with how they turned out. 

We had a few extra petunias so we planted them in the ground by some lilies. 

We had actually bought too many flowers so I went looking for more pots in the basement. I ended up finding two of these shallow pots. But I needed more potting soil so back to the store Ella and I went. 

We ended up with these two pots with marigolds in them. Ella decided to put this pot next to Penelope. 

This is also when she asked if she could paint Penelope since she's been so faded from the to follow! 

Once we were finished with our work we sat out in the yard and enjoyed the beauty. I'm so thankful for all the men and women that serve our country so we have the freedom to do things like plant flowers in our gardens and play mini golf with our kids. We are truly a blessed nation! 

Fast forward to Sunday, June 2nd and we decided to go buy a few more plants this time at Carpinito Brothers. The only vegetable that I want to plant this year is tomatoes and the plants that were at Lowe's were not good. We had also been talking about redoing the vegetable area in the backyard. It's never been something that Michael's liked so we decided to make it over. 

We ended up buying 20 plants and 4 bags of topsoil. 

Michael is laying out the plants to see where everything should go. 

This garden bed was something we worked on a few years ago and we put a lot of bulbs in here, but during the winter months there's nothing there since everything dies. We really wanted to try to make there be a mixture of plants that are there around all year and those fun plants that come up in the spring and summer. 

In order to make the vegetable garden look less like a vegetable garden Michael removed the first row of blocks so the pavers are now at the same level as the yard. That made it so he could sculpt the soil so there would be a slope and we wouldn't have to add any soil to the garden to make it mound up. 

When Michael was planning where to put the plants I noticed that we had a couple branches that were hanging pretty low and they were blocking the sun from some of the garden space. Michael cut the first one and then the second one almost all the way until he let Owen finish cutting it. 

By this point it was time for Zeke and I to head out to get his birthday pictures taken so we came home to everything finished. 

Here's the new garden space all planted. Everything in here is a regular plant except for my 4 tomato plants. 

When Zeke and I were on our way home from getting his pictures taken we stopped at Lowe's to get 15 more bags of mulch. The very next day while the kids were at school and Michael was at work I went to work putting mulch down in this garden bed. I still have to put down mulch in the other areas of the backyard, but it's almost finished and it's looking pretty good! 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Zeke & Jack's 7-Eleven Birthday Party!

Even though I haven't been working I feel like this years birthday parties haven't been quite up to the standards of birthday parties in the past. Owen's was a little more simple because I had just had surgery so that was fine. Ella's was beautiful and a bit more work, but also simple. I knew that May was going to be CRAZY with Michael and I being gone in Maui for so long and then having to try to get back in the swing of things once we got home. So I made the decision to combine Zeke and Jack's birthday parties. We have only done this one other time when Zeke was 3 and Jack was was there LEGO Party and it was SO much fun!!! 

Once I decided to combined their birthdays I had to come up with a theme. I have a birthday party book that I use to write down all the party info such as type of party, guests, food, decorations, games and so on. I also title the entry with the child's name and age. That's when I wrote down...Zeke's 7th birthday & Jack's 11th birthday. Hello....I knew right away that 7-Eleven had to be the theme. I wasn't sure how I was going to do that, but I knew I would figure it out. 

I honestly didn't do a thing planning wise until after we got back from Maui. It all came together in just a short amount of time thanks to Amazon, The Dollar Tree and Party City. 

I made their invitations by copying an image online....

Oh thank heaven….

Zeke &Jack

are turning

Image result for 7 eleven graphics

Please join us as we celebrate this special occasion. 

June 1st@ 4pm 

One funny thing was the night before the party I mentioned something about the party being the next day and Michael looked at me like I had grown two heads. He figured out what I was talking about pretty quickly, but he started laughing and saying that he actually thought the party was going to be on 7/11 even though he knows that doesn't make sense since Zeke's birthday is in May and Jack's in June....he was really going all out with that theme! :) 

I have seen these awesome number balloons around at different events and I thought what a fun way to incorporate the theme. I ended up buying them off Amazon and then I took them to Party City to get them filled up. 

The 7-Eleven banner was something I just printed out at the library and put it together using brads. 

The main theme revolving around 7-Eleven was going to be food. That's why you go to 7-Eleven anyways. On Amazon I bought these paper hot dog holders. I used those to hold the hot dogs and the tortilla chips. Aunt Stephie and Uncle Ry brought individual sized bags of chips.  And I purchased a giant container of only cherry taffy taffy...Jack's favorite and those Sour Punch Sticks on Amazon. 

Outside we had the condiments and the Nacho cheese was in the crockpot. 

Thankfully it was a nice day so the kids could go outside and eat. 

Ga-Ga bought these mini cans of soda. They were seriously the cutest thing! I knew that the kids were going to be eating a bunch of junk food and I knew that we had to have soda, but I did not want them to have a whole can to themselves. 

In regards to games I didn't plan anything for this party at all. I figured the food was theme and mainly the kids just want to play together. When I mentioned this to the boys they were bummed that there wasn't going to be any structured games. That's when I thought about it and said..."Well you can just play Nerf Guns because that's what happens at 7-Eleven...they get stuck up!" :) They did not end up playing any games at the party! 

The partygoers!!! 

Papa & Ruth were there to celebrate the boys! 

Cute girls having a blast! 

Michael manned the grill.

Love these guys! 

Micah, Kim and their kids had just recently gotten back from a really long cruise. They were still feeling the affects of jet lag. It was fun hearing all about their trip.

We had been talking about our trip to Maui as well...that's why the girls are giving the Shaka sign. 

Christina, Bill and their kids had also recently gone on a cruise. They had such a fun time. It's crazy that we all had these epic vacations planned at exactly the same time. 

Jack hanging with his friends! 

Hot dogs, chips and soda...what more could you want! 

Kim and I hadn't seen each other in over a month! We definitely need a girls day so we can truly catch up! 

Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie. Aunt Stephie had gone on a school trip with her sister and niece. They went to Washington DC and New York. It was so fun hearing all about that trip as well! 

Me and my Mama!!! 

Jack had just been at Trevor's birthday party earlier in the day and now Trevor was at Jack's party. I asked Trevor to smile and then he stuck his hot dog in his mouth. He's quite the character! :) 

Zeke's friend Kaiden was able to come to the party an hour early since he had to leave early. We had Zeke open his present before Kaidan left. 

Yay for more LEGO's!!! 

After the kids played and the adults visited some more Uncle Ry asked if we were going to have the kids open their presents. I guess I get too lost in conversation. 

Hansi was quite adamant that the boys open his present first. And he had to record it. 

It was one of those gifts where you open it and it's another package and another package and another package. It ended up being...Beyblades of course! 

Owen, Jack and Ella all chipped in to buy Zeke this set of dinosaur Lego's...they were really knock-offs, but they are awesome and Zeke loves them! 

Jack's friend Trevor got him two Beyblades. 

The Kuch's got Zeke this paper airplane book where you can use straws to make the planes go. They also got Jack a Beyblade, but they ordered it online and it hadn't made it here in time. Probably because so many of them come from Japan shipping takes forever!! :) 

Ga-Ga & Pa got Zeke a card with $7 in it and the Jurassic World Lego set he'd been wanting with a T-Rex!!! 

Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie got Zeke a War Machine Lego set. 

Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie got Jackson the Beyblade Stadium he'd had on his Amazon list for quite a while. It's very cool!!! 

Other gifts included...Jack got $11 in his card from Ga-Ga & Pa, Papa & Ruth got Jack and Zeke each a $10 Walmart gift card, The Storer family gave both the boys cards with $20 in them. Jordan got the boys a ladder golf set and reusable water balloons. I think that was it!!! 

Cupcake time! 

I tried a new recipe this time. I wanted to make the amazing cupcakes that Rachael made for Owen's birthday, but honestly they were not my best. I don't know if I used the wrong cake mix or put too much of something in, but they were WAY too rich. It was hard to even finish one. Oh win some you lose some! :) 

After presents the kids just went right back to playing. 

Breaking in that new Bey stadium! 

When it was time for the kids to go...the goodies gifts for the kids were these tumblers that I bought at The Dollar Tree. Each of them had a ring pop, a blow pop and a pack of watermelon gum in it. Yay for the The Dollar Tree. 

You might be thinking how can you have a 7-Eleven party without slurpees??? I really did want to do slurpees, but I could not figure out how to do it. I thought about seeing if we could order a couple pitchers of slurpees, but who knows how much that would have cost and not to mention they would start to melt quickly. I thought about getting each of the kids a gift card to 7-Eleven, but I doubt they give out gift cards for less than $5 and I was not going to spend $5 per kid on goodie gifts. The tumblers seemed like a nice touch.

My sweet birthday boys! 

I'm always forgetting to get a picture of Michael and I will the birthday kiddos so we finally remembered to get one and the look on Zeke's face and the fact that his 7 is backwards is just hilarious to me!!! 

We had so much fun celebrate Zeke and Jack with family and friends!