Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Party Central

 This weekend was so much fun!  And so busy.  And loud, and bouncy, and sandy, and fattening, and funny, and .....  well, maybe I should start from the beginning.
It started with a mad dash to Birmingham Saturday, to meet up with the Lassiters, load the car FULL of balloons, and head over to my dear friend Leah's, where she had cooked up one amazing Mickey Mouse spread!
 Casey and I helped finish setting up, and tried to catch up as much as possible, man I hate being so far away from these girls!  And then the party got started for the sweetest twinsies I know, Mary Miller and Hayes turns TWO!!  And gimme a break, check out these cute pants pops Mama Leah made....Mickey himself couldnt have done better!
 Oh, Mary, she steals my heart every time with her big blue eyes!
 And yes, Hayes is just as sweet, but he does NOT like our cameras. :)
 Leah and Brian rented the biggest bouncy thing I'd ever seen.  And I've never seen kids have more fun!
 Like little Mary on the slide....
 And her Mama too!  Oh yes, you better believe by the end of the day, adults were all over it!
 Ooo, another highlight of my quick trip was loving on these sweet cheeks.  While sister and brother were tearing into presents, Miss Caroline was getting more attention than she knew what to do with!
 And there was plenty to keep them busy, believe me!
 Until MM opened her very own chair, at least.  Now Mama just says she's got to teach her to sit like a lady.  She cant wear a diaper cover forever....  ;)
 Oh, how I loved spending time with you ladies, and wish as always, it was much much longer!  Happy Birthday to the sweetest babies I know!  I cannot wait to watch your sweet selves grow into little people as amazing and special as your parents are to me!  Love you both!
 NOW....Sunday morning I woke up at Casey's WIDE AWAKE at 7am, and was ready to roll.  Thanks to the EST I'm living on, there's no stopping me once I'm awake.  So I hit the ground running, said my farewells, and was headed east for round two of party central. 
 Jennifer and Adam's son Garrett turned 3 and since he's all about Thomas these days, they thought they would put Thomas....and Garrett....in the spotlight on Sunday.  You can see just about how well that one worked out.
 Finally with a little coaxing from Daddy and Mommy, Garrett blew out the candles, and the party could start!  And I made it just in time to snap pictures of it all!  I would have died had I missed that pouting behind!  :)
 Presents were going well, though the spotlight still scared him, until he opened his $2.00 pistol and holster.  After that it was downhill.  He could have cared less about another box or bag.  Go figure.  This singing card held his attention for about 3 seconds before he turned and asked his daddy, "Where ah da bubbles for my pistol?"
 When he realized he got a sandpail and shovels, we managed to find the one dirt sandy spot in the yard (that'll teach Adam to procrastinate in putting that sod down!) to play in!
After adding a little water to dirt sand to create that "beachy" MUD effect, I showed the munchkins how to make a sand castle and they loved it!
 While the crowd of little clowns multiplied making mud pies.....

My big clowns chilled out in the shade and tolerated me snapping their pictures, and even smiled!  Wow, things....they are a changing!  :)
 Like I did more times that I could count as a kid, we lined those babies up, stripped 'em down, and hosed 'em off before letting them step foot in a house or car than evening.  And it was one more great birthday down, for a precious kiddo in my world.  Happy Birthday Little Man, I'm so grateful this is the second birthday I've celebrated with you now!  I love to watch you grow, and share these sweet moments with you and your family.

And Garrett pretty much sums up the weekend right here.  Exhausting, but so perfect, with everyone you love around you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Fun

Easter was a busy, but special one this year!  We were thrown a curve ball from the start, when a little change of plans had us hosting the family at Jeff's house on Sunday afternoon, instead of his grandmama's.  Which meant a weekend of cooking, and cleaning, and yard work to have everything just right.  Which is funny, since they all live two acres away, and are in and out all the time, but Jeff has learned by now "it's all about presentation" and he appreciates it just as much as I do!

Saturday, Adam came over with a prowler full of little ones to visit for a while.  I believe that's code for "my wife kicked me out with the kids so she could iron Easter clothes in peace!"  ha!  I would guess that's totally necessary too!  When it was time to head back home, Rani just wasnt budging, so I recruited her to help me with some shortbread cookies for Sunday.  As you can see, she's quite the little diva.....

This little bunny was a big help to me in the kitchen too!  Well, when it came to sweets at least.  Sunday morning we baked a chocolate sheet cake (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman) and being Easter and all, we just felt like chocolate icing wasn't enough.  And Emmy, being the cake-decorating queen that she is, took the challenge with pride!

 Let me tell you on Sunday morning I realized my camera battery was dead.  A little piece of me died at that moment too.  It's Easter, for pete's sake!  And cars (and 4-wheelers :) were pulling up that moment.  Ugh!  So I made do from here on out with my camera phone.  So you'll have to excuse quality.  I will admit the teens in the house weren't terribly disappointed.  Go figure!  But it made for less, and quick, photo opps.
 Jeff's parents, his two brothers, and their family's join us for lunch, and as always we over cook in fear of never having enough, and over eat in fear of our plates disappearing!  After all that food, the couchs, rocking chairs, and porch swings seemed to fill up faster than I could count to ten!
 But it wasn't long after than, the kiddos were getting antsy and there were eggs to be hunted!  The clowns range in age from 16 to 3, so it was only fair we split them up.  So we decided to kick it up a notch for our teenagers this year (aka:  be really mean) and host a blindfolded Easter Egg Hunt.  We convinced them to do this by telling them there was $1000 hidden in their eggs.  So Jeff took Kyle, 16, Emmy, 13, and Jake, 12, and darkened their world while the ladies prepped the scene.....
 This cracks me up.  Jeff is off to the left giving instructions,  which pretty much consisted of "go find the eggs.  Stay in the yard.  Don't touch your blindfold.  Oh, don't crawl into the highway."  I have a feeling Kyle is praying none of his friends drive by and see what he's doing.  Emmy is looking (well, facing) her dad as if to say "are you kidding me???"  Jake, the math genious in the family, is just trying to come up with a plan.  And little Abigail has that hand on her hip,as if to set Emmy straight any minute.
 What ensued was total chaos.  And the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life.  We all sort of flocked to a child, and began to direct them toward eggs.  More than once I had to say, your other left Kyle! 
 Uncle Stan thought it would be just too funny to put a rubber snake in front of Emmy's path.  Emmy however, did not. 
 They eggs were FINALLY all found, blindfolds off, and they soon realized they were shorted about $950.  But it was all in fun, they had to admit, and I'd venture to say, this might now be an annual race.  It was the most I laughed all day!

Next up the little ones hunted the back yard, and they're way too fast and serious to even think about getting on camera!  They know how to hunt an egg, yall!

 Well, except Garrett.  Garrett takes his time, accessing the egg, making sure he wants it, and drops it in his basket.  It definitely didn't help that the little man had a yuck cold, and all he wanted to do was snuggle!  Hopefully some of that loot he collected will perk him up soon!
 After counting more money and more candy, we spent the rest of the afternoon cooling off by the pool.  All and all, it was a great weekend, celebrating our Risen Lord!
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 
-- 1 John 3:16