Friday, January 29, 2016


For Patrick's 8th birthday we threw him an art party! Because really, if I had to throw him another dinosaur party I think I would die, and his only other passion is art. Boom! Art party!

Luckily, Pinterest backed me up with some great ideas for invitations, decorations, party favors, and sundries - I was pin-winning right and left! We scheduled our time so we would use up our 3 hours of party without being booked solid but also without having so much time everyone was hounding me to call their parents to pick them up early because they were bored. We nearly had to call a mom early because one of the boys freaked out about seeing a bee (SEEING it, nothing more!), but fortunately that happened right at the end anyway. Mom confirmed that he goes psycho about bees (and no, he isn't allergic, just psycho) and she didn't try punching me for subjecting her child to such emotional trauma. Perhaps we could egg him on and plan a bee-themed party next year... but I digress!

First up was painting t-shirt with puff paint. The puff paint was supposed to take 4 hours to dry, and sure enough everyone went home with messy, wet t-shirts. I suspect t-shirt painting would go better at a summer party where the sun could speed along the process.

Next we played some Twister and Pin-the-paint-on-the-pallette. This was thanks to Facebook, where I borrowed 2 Twister games from people I would never have suspected owned one! We had 6 guests and 4 of my own kids so we needed 2 sets of twister dots, which worked out great to fit everyone in to one giant round of Twister. Added bonus: the new, improved Twisters have "air" as a spin possibility, meaning even crazier positions that are unsustainable! Good times, good times.

 While we were borrowing one of those Twister games we were also given a "pin the paint on the palette" game - they'd thrown an art party just a few weeks prior and couldn't bear to throw away their hard work on their poster, so I swooped in and snatched it for our party, then threw it away without remorse (they asked to me to. I'm not completely heartless). Two girls at the party were sisters and their mom stayed to help out (never expected but always appreciated) - her most helpful contribution was taking pictures while I was helping out kids! This was the only "pin the paint" photo she took, but it's better than my big-fat-ZERO pictures.

After games the crowd was getting rumbly for some food so Joe ran to get pizza and we got started on pillowcases - no puff paint, I was aiming for something they could actually sleep on - and then we took a food break when lunch arrived.

 The cake was not so much a real cake as individual cupcakes that the kids got to decorate by themselves - yet another art activity! And I'm glad it showcased my baking skills on the small screen, as I managed to forget to put eggs in one of the batches of cupcakes (it was a box mix! There are only 3 ingredients to add, for crying out loud! Fail).

 After pizza and treats we opened gifts - always fun! Always impressive! I set a personal gift limit of $10 per gift for parties the kids are invited to, which I think you can meet while finding some really great stuff. I seem to be the only with with such a limit, though, and he was showered with everything an 8-year-old-boy could ask for. My contribution (besides throwing a party) was a microscope - it has a nifty carrying case, some pre-made slides, some blank slides for creating your own, and other activities and instructions for making the most of your kit. Patrick has a friend who has a microscope and he frequently asks for playdates with her, just to use the microscope.

 And that is how WE get down at the Jacob's house!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I'm not fluffy

Caroline was quizzed on who she loved better: me, or our bunny Shadow. She took a minute to think about it and said, "I love you the same."  Alright, I rank the same level as our bunny. Then she retracted and said, "No, I love Shadow because she is fluffy. I don't know why I love you."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Photos to finish up 2015

Because the blog was actually created for the grandparents, not for me (thought I do love it myself), I thought that they deserved a post that actually had pictures of the grandkids and a whole lot less of my literary clutter. So don't cut me out of the will just yet! And for John and Debbie, don't print these - there just *may* be some prints already on order for you. So now, in no particular oder (SOME order, not not exact), are the photos of the last 2 months of 2015!

School Halloween parade - Elsa and Bumblebee. Our first foray into face paint, since no masks were allowed.
For the real Halloween we did Elsa's hair up right and turned it white(ish). She was very pleased!
 I even indulged in some makeup. She looked AND felt like a queen!
 Ethan was a pirate. He only wore the hat for pictures, though, and the rest of the night he looked like a scruffy prince not-so-charming
 Patrick's finished dragon costume - it was lots and lots of work, and he was very proud of the result

Eli's full costume. We particularly loved the mask!

 Ethan's pumpkin was "Frankenstein," according to him
 Eli wanted a bat. It looked awesome for 12 hours, but when left outside the sneaky neighborhood squirrels had a pumpkin feast. The next day we were forced to bring the pumpkins inside, where they suffered the fate of warmth and already being carved, becoming too moldy to light come Halloween. Dang. At least we got pictures of their hard work first!
 Caroline's owl. The 3-D beak was the first thing to be squirrel-ized
 Patrick drew his pumpkin himself. I loved the classic Jock O Lantern look!

Eli turned 6! We enjoyed a night out at Dunkin Donuts.
 He wanted an owl-themed birthday party, so I made an owl cake and decorated balloons to look like owls. We had a few friends from church over and ate (this) cake and ice cream.
 He got some great presents....
 ...including a new bike! He's a master at 2 wheels and ridiculously tall for his age, so he has a 20" bike.

Thanksgiving at Joy school - the kids got the entire week off elementary school so they all joined in at home preschool and made lovely turkeys.
 Our Joy School group - Brycen, Eliza, Eli, Jaxen, Caroline, Patrick - Ethan undoubtedly finished his turkey after 10 seconds and decided it was "free play time" instead.
  Christmas - we spent the morning at our house in Pueblo, then went to Parker where my parents, Karl, and Tom and Melody were all visiting. Kari and my mom made a delicious Christmas ham and all the fixin's.
 Same table, different view.
 Same meal, at the kids' table. The cousins are so cute together!
As long as we were already in Denver we made it a point to visit Joe's grandma, Eva. She had fortunately made chicken noodle soup the day before - our kids' absolute favorite!

For Christmas the big kids got costumes - I found them on after-Halloween clearance, but there wasn't anything great in Ethan's size. He just loves wearing the boy's old dinosaur costumes, thuugh, so that works well. The boys are Power Ranger Dino Charge, a new P.R. show that merges their obsession with dino's and Rangers. Caroline is, of course, Anna from Frozen Fever.
 FANTASTIC personalized pillows for each kids, plus great books to read while they snuggle the pillows - from Debbie and John
 Street signs from Joe's aunt Sherrye - so cool!

 We did Christmas Eve pajamas, then drove around town to look at lights. Unfortunately I misjudges Caroline, who was too big for her size 5 pjs, so we bought another pair the next week.

Christmas Eve for mom and dad. A silent night...
 Our Christmas tree

Eli showing off his new kitty ornament from Debbie and John
 Caroline placing her kitty ornament
 There it is! A cat angel

We enjoyed our Christmas advent Calendar! So special

Mom's homemade Christmas advent - each envelope contained an activity, like making gratitude bags, learning verses to Christmas songs, reading scriptures, shopping from the Angel tree at church, cutting out snowflakes, etc.

 Sledding in Parker the day after Christmas. This is Ethan flying off the disc!

Flying or not, he had a great time!

Grandpa giving Amelia a push

Patrick gets a good start down the hill

Joe and Caroline about to take the plunge

The sledding crew before heading out - it was sooooo cold that day!

Ethan playing in the snow back home

Patrick, Eli, and Amelia
 Super-cute cousins

Snuggeling at home in the couch. I couldn't believe they all fit!

This was Thanksgiving week at the Zoo Lights in Pueblo. We went with my parents on the last night of good weather that week, and it was a great show!

Not even cold enough for a real coat!
If you made it to the end of this, you have my respect! Hope you enjoyed a ridiculous amount of pictures of my kids and family being regular kids and a regular family, because we sure had fun making the memories together :)