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We had a fun, busy weekend. Saturday morning the kids, Gramme and I went to our local Target and had James’ five year pictures taken. We also had a few pics of all the kids together taken. They all did so well! The pictures of James are adorable. I was a little worried how Levi would do. At his 18 month pictures a few months ago he was still in the middle of his stranger anxiety phase. This time though he was like a whole different kid! He was smiley and cooperative and followed all the directions from the photographer to the best of his toddler abilities. She would ask him to stand or sit or look this way or that and he did! There were a few adorable pics of all the kids. After pictures we stopped quickly at one other store and then Gramme treated us to lunch. I’m always happy that my kids are pretty well behaved at restaurants and this one was no exception. Annika saw a candy dispensing machine and asked me for a quarter so she could have some. I didn’t have any quarters but Gramme came through. She gave James and Annika each a quarter and they had the rare treat of candy from a machine. After lunch we went back home and put Levi down for a nap and then Gramme left to go to Krystle’s house.

Annika, James and I joined Gramme, Grandpa and Grandma along with Pierce’s family at Krystle and Pierce’s house that afternoon for Ayla’s first birthday party. We left Levi and Kris at home for a bit because Levi was still napping. They joined us an hour or so later. The party was great. There was delicious food, Ayla received some fun gifts and of course it was adorable to watch her ever so carefully poke at her cake. She didn’t eat much of it but she did get nice and dirty. It was immediately into the bath for her following cake!

Annika and Kris left the party at 6pm so they could go to the community education Daddy/Daughter dance. Annika wore her fanciest dress and Kris was dressed in his suit. They were so cute! Of course I neglected to get a picture of the two of them. I hope Kris ordered one at the dance. Kris and Annika both said they had fun though. Kris said they spent most of the night on the dance floor jumping and twirling. What a great night for them!

Sunday morning we went to church as usual then stopped at the grocery store for a couple quick things (like a birthday cake for James!) and then went home to get ready for James’ friend birthday party. After lunch we put Levi down for a nap and at 2pm we had five little boys descend on our house. Kris dropped off Liam and picked up Annika so Annika and Elyse could have a playdate while James had his birthday party. We had Liam, Jack, Rohail, Kyle and Logan over for the party. Jack is our next door neighbor and Rohail, Kyle and Logan are friends from preschool. I wasn’t sure what to do with six little four and five year old boys for three hours though. So Friday night after Kris went to work the kids and I went to Michael’s to try and find a craft for them to do. We ended up getting inexpensive bare wood birdhouses, some acrylic paints and some paint brushes. James was excited because he loves the birds at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and wants birds in our backyard too. We set up a table in the basement on a spread out old bedsheet with the six birdhouses arranged on it. Then we set out paper plates with one color of paint and one paint brush each. The boys had to take turns in their colors which they did surprisingly well with. Anyway, after the boys arrived Kris took them downstairs to play until we waited for the last boy to arrive. After he arrived, we put old t-shirts on the boys to try and save their clothing from errant paint and let them loose. Jack didn’t want to paint. He was too busy playing with cars and trucks so he went home with a bare birdhouse instead and that’s OK. The boys were pretty creative with their birdhouses and proud of them when done. And then I ushered them one at a time up the stairs to the bathroom to get washed up, asking them very nicely to please not touch any doors or walls on their way up.

After all the painting supplies were cleaned up we ushered the boys upstairs to have cake and ice cream, complete with candles and singing. Then we opened presents in the living room (great presents – not one duplicate or anything that James already has – and some of the presents were so generous!). The boys loved all the things James received so we took all the toys down to the basement and let them play for the rest of the party. Some of the boys wanted to play Mario Kart, others ran around playing tag or with cars/trucks or played Twister. It was a great party! Levi slept through most of it so Kris and I were able to focus solely on James and his friends.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. You knew that though. We celebrated it in low key married with kids style. Heh. Annika made Kris and I each a valentine. Mine is actually a book about how much she loves me. That is going in the keep pile! For Kris she cut a heart out of paper and wrote that she loved him on it. Both keepers I think. James made valentines in Sunday school but ran out of time to write on them so he just gave us blank pieces of paper with hearts stickered to them. He was so proud of them and received a big hug and kiss and excited thank you from me just the same. Man are they both some good kids! Kris bought me a bouquet of tulips, my favorite flower. I set him up for that one though, poor guy. Sunday evening Annika was talking about how excited she was for Valentine’s Day and I said that I was pretty sure I knew what my valentine was going to get me. I said my favorite flower! We were all in the kitchen so Kris was hearing everything and giving me funny looks the whole time. Annika asked what my favorite flower was and I told her tulips. Sure enough Monday night after work Kris stopped at the grocery store and along with milk and chicken and yogurt, etc. he bought a bouquet of tulips. He’s a smart guy that one. Hee. After the kids were in bed last night we sat on the couch together, shared a bottle of wine and watched DVR’d tv shows. True marital bliss. Heh.

Happy 5th Birthday James!

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Yesterday my baby boy James turned 5 years old!  I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up.  He’s going to kindergarten in the fall (that sentence alone is enough to make me cry).  We had a really nice afternoon yesterday.  All our (local) family was able to come over to celebrate James.  The birthday boy himself didn’t even arrive until his party started.  James and Annika spent the weekend (Friday night through Sunday afternoon) at Nana and Papa’s house.  I’m sure they had a blast helping with chores in the horse barn and petting the new barn kitty.  They always have a great time at the farm.  Our house was full yesterday but what a blessing that is!  First we opened presents.  Here is James with his haul pre-unwrapping:

James and his pile of presents

He was pretty excited by some of the Star Wars toys he got plus the 2 basketball hoops!  One is already set up in the basement and the other will be an outside hoop come spring.  How lucky is he!


Then he wanted to play a while before we had cake.  So while the kids played, a few of us toured some of the houses for sale in our neighborhood.  We were trying to convince Dusty and Mel that they needed to move closer to us.  I don’t think they’re convinced.  Somewhere in there we ate (so much food!) and then we had cake and ice cream.  Here’s James with his cake:

James and his cake

Those fingerprints on the cake are courtesy of Levi, of course.  He was eager to try the cake out.  After cake and ice cream it was just about time for the Super Bowl to start.  The adults gathered in the living room to watch while the kids continued playing, mainly in the basement.  And by the 3rd quarter everyone was gone – long drives, tired kids and long days made it an early night for everyone.  It was a great day though.


And because no post would be complete without pictures of my other two awesome kiddos, here are two more pictures:

Annika and I - self portrait - while James unwraps gifts

Levi and Auntie Krystle being photobombed by Ayla! Too cute!