Time to celebrate

 - by Brittany

Monday, we had lots to do. We had Kevin’s birthday dinner to get ready, and I needed to get a few things done before my Tuesday night Young Women activity with the girls. Our activity was planning the camp fundraiser, which meant I had a few craft I wanted to finish to display for the girls. I saw an idea Sunday on Pinterest…yes I finally caved and signed up. But then, I needed the supplies for that project. So, Monday morning we got up and got going. We were out the door before 10 am, which is an accomplishment around here. We headed to Michael’s first for supplies. I needed medium transfer gel, and it was no where to be found. I had 2 ladies helping me look, and we finally found it facing the wrong way under the wrong sales label. Meanwhile, my kids were rearranging the opposite side of the isle. Anyway, it was finally found, and we pressed forward. Next stop was Home Depot where we got our wood and had it cut, along with a sander. I thought about wrapping it for Kevin, but really… I wanted it. Next stop, post office. Rose (the kids favorite post office worker who always gives them candy) was off on break so we were able to make it in and out pretty quick.

We continued on our was to the bread outlet store. The kids love going, because I let them pick out a box of donuts. They’re only $1, and I let them eat them as soon as we’re in the car. As you can see, Ella loves the powdered donuts.



Then we headed to Staples to get pictures printed. For the project, I needed pictures printed with a laser copier instead of inkjet. I got a few pictures in case I messed up, and they were pictures mostly of the kids, and my sister’s family. The girl handed me the pictures and told me, “These are the cutest pictures ever.” Why thank you. I think our kids are pretty cute, and it is now justified. We left Staples and as we walked out, a man came up behind us asking if I could get him some food. The fact that he asked for food an not money… sure, no problem. We walked into Safeway next door (which was our next stop anyway) and bought him a sandwich along with one for myself. Then we started our shopping excursion to get stuff for Kevin’s birthday dinner.

Are you tired yet? I was. We got home, put Ella down for her nap, made the birthday cake, and then started vacuuming while I waited for the cake to cool. I was determined to get rid of any trace of dog hair around the house, so everything was vacuumed, dusted, and febreezed. In the process, I realized I was supposed to go visiting teaching at 3:30. So we hurried and finished, then woke up Ella, and headed out. Made it back home, realized we didn’t want to have dinner by ourselves, so invited some friends to join us last minute. As I was cooking dinner, Kevin text me to let me know he was going to be late. Really!? On your birthday? I was far enough into dinner that I needed to keep going. So, we ate Kevin’s birthday dinner without him.

Kevin managed to get home in time for cake and a present. The kids helped him blow out his candles.

Kevin was able to get a nap in after dinner festivities. His friends had planned to come over with cake later on. They did their run for the night, and then had their own little celebration. While they were gone, I started my project. I know, you really want to know what it is. 🙂

So Happy Birthday to my man who is finished up his twenties. It was a long busy day, but we got everything accomplished. I’m glad we were able to take a family vacation the weekend before to help celebrate his birthday, because Monday wasn’t the best day for him. Maybe next year, we’ll do better.


She’s about to Pop!

 - by Brittany

A good friend is due next week, so it was time to give her a baby shower. I didn’t have too much else going on while planning, so I was actually able to put lots of time towards this shower. Not that I don’t always put lots of effort into each shower, but I had lots of fun with this one. I went with the ever so popular “She’s about to pop!” theme, and the color scheme of blue, green, and orange. I happened to find ribbon in the dollar bin at Michael’s that would work perfect, and got going. These invitations were sent out…

So, I’m too lazy at this moment to scan the actual invitation, but the pregnant girl was put on with foam stickers so she popped out from the page. The little verse at the top of the page said

“Lauren is about to POP!

And it’s time to put her on the spot.

This little boy is almost ready to arrive.

Let’s hope a few more weeks, she can survive!”

I went to the local thrift store and bought a bunch of vases of all sizes. Then, I picked out a few and painted them taken from this idea. Basically, add water to your paint to thin it out, and then coat the inside of your vase. Easy and effective, right? Then I shoved that green stuff you use for flower in each vase to hold everything in place. The water bottles were redone using this method.  My wonderful friend, Brittany, took pictures for the evening. You should check out her website.  So, if they are really good pictures, they are her’s. Mine are the small, slightly out of focus ones, but you get the point.

**I get my ideas from pictures on other people’s blogs, so I’m including all that I have for you. If you have a question, though, let me know.**

I made banana orange slush mixed with Cherry 7-up. If you want a recipe, just ask.

On the menu:

Vegetable Pops

Fruit Pops

Chocolate covered marshmallow pops

Pizza Pops

Pie pops (modified pot pies)

Rice Krispie Pops (Scotcheroos)

Popcorn Chicken Caesar Salad

Pop Rocks

Ring Pops

For decorations, I hung balloons above the food for a false ceiling look. Then I bought plates in my color scheme, and made my own design on the walls.

See, her pictures are way better. Anyway…

I also made some onesies for her and hung them on the clothesline. These were made creating a template on freezer paper, then ironing it to you’re onesie. Then, just paint to you little hearts desire. The next day, have your 4 year old help you pull paper off of the outfits laying all over the floor before your 2 year old runs all over them.

The last bit of decorations were made using some yarn, glue, cornstarch, and water. I made these yarn balls to hang over the party treats. I also created the baby’s name, Benjamin. That one is kind of hard to read, though.

For a game, I filled a bottle with things related to a baby. I used it as an “I Spy” game. I had a list of everything in the bottle, and then it got passed around as everyone was eating and chatting. A nice way to incorporate a game without putting anyone on the spot. And, a time filler.

Surprisingly, I only ended up with one person who got every object in the bottle.

The next game did put people in a funny spot. I had them blow up balloons to compare their bellies with Lauren’s actual belly. The problem is, she is not that big. So it was really funny watch people let air out of their balloons after the first person went.

Brittany took some great shots of Lauren, but we didn’t get any of her. Oops.

(I’m holding Brittany’s baby. We actually had 3 small babies there.)

After presents, there was popcorn for the way out. Actually, it was being eaten the whole night, but that’s ok. There was a choice of kettle corn, rootbeer, or carmel. I bought the rootbeer and made the other two. I still don’t know how I feel about that rootbeer flavored popcorn.

I cut the popcorn holders with my Silhouette. Makes things go by so much faster. Also, my friend made all the labels for a baby shower she threw and so kindly emailed me the file. That cut out a bunch of work, because I am not so good on the computer. Plus, I don’t have the programs to create such cuteness. So, I am so thankful to her for emailing these. We had a great time, and had lots of fun.









A few things forgotten

 - by Brittany

We had a cookie swap about mid December. I attempted to make these “melting snowman,” but my turned out to look rather sadistic. Or hulk-like. Maybe I shouldn’t talk on the phone while attempting frosting. Plus, I’m not a fan of sugar cookies, so I didn’t know if they were good or not. I heard the cookies were good, though. At least they tasted good, because they didn’t look like it.


Once we swapped cookies, the next day, the kids and I took them to the neighbors. Jameson and I got about half the neighbors while Ella took her nap. This year, they knew who we were. We even met one that I’ve only seen a few times. One neighbor even gave us a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates in return. We scored there! The new wagon made our adventure even easier. Later that night, we finished up a few neighbors with Ella in tow.


She is not a great helper. Some of our baskets were missing cookies. Ella!

A friend and I made a trip to Ikea for a few Christmas items. She needed another bookcase, and the girls decided they needed a ride. We each had a cart, plus one hand pulling them. Yah, we’re awesome shoppers.




Christmas Eve

 - by Brittany

Christmas Eve, I told the kids they could open one present. Of course I had them marked, which ones to open on Christmas Eve that is. We always opened pajamas Christmas Eve, so that’s what I had wrapped for them. Kevin is as bad as the kids, and wanted to open one, too. Actually, this year, we both messed up. He ordered my present online, and I was the one who received the package. The box was labeled with what it was. Then, I waited all week for his to be delivered, and Friday, I left the house for about 2 hours. Guess what came while I was gone. His box was also labeled with what was inside. So, we both knew a few presents. Oops.

This is our tree, Christmas Eve, with all the packages from family stacked behind it. The mail is always so much fun in December. It also takes about half the presents out from under our tree, because we have to ship our family presents. In the past years, our tree was overflowing, just because we had so many presents for family and friends.

Jameson dug right into his presents…

Kevin had to help Ella at first, but she figured it out.

Ella got some reindeer polk-a-dot pajamas while Jamo received some lego Star Wars pajamas. He was so excited, since he and Kevin play it like every night. Since I had been taking pictures, Jameson wanted to take some. He turned to me and said, “Say cheese.”

Then it was Dad’s turn for a picture. He pulled his “cool” pose.

Then, Dad told Jameson to look as cool as he can. Like a superhero.

What am I to do with this boy? We got settled down, and put the kids to bed. Once we were sure they were asleep, Santa made a visit.




Snowflake Lane

 - by Brittany

This December got a little busy and we did not make it to Snowflake Lane until Friday night (December 30th). Never again will we go that late in the month. It was crazy. Trying to make it down the sidewalk was beyond ridiculous. We finally made it to an open space just in time for the music to start.

Snowflake Lane is a sidewalk celebration in downtown Bellevue. The drummers play along with the music while people dressed up in costumes walk the sidewalk passing out peppermint suckers. At the end, they have a “snowfall” of bubbles and paper mache’.

The drummers came out, and got on their posts. The kids enjoyed it. Both wanted to be on Kevin’s shoulders at one point or another.

The drummers even come down the sidewalk. At one point, both kids wanted to be with Kevin. Worked out well for me to not have to hold a kid.

After the drum line left, and the show was over, Jameson had his own fun on the stand.

We needed to wait for the crowds to disperse before trying to get back to our car. So we headed into a store to get one more quick present for myself. By the time we got out, we had less foot traffic to get through. We made it home, and put the kids to bed. Glad we went, but next year it will be much earlier in the month.