Monday, April 21, 2014

Liam's Dragon Party

One of the perks to being in charge of Mormon Prom was that I had access to tons of Chinese-themed decorations, and so I made sure to use them at Liam and Juliette's birthday parties later that month. It was only natural to zero in on a dragon theme for Liam's party, seeing how I had a giant dragon head hanging out in my garage! Luckily he was easily bought into this idea. His excitement was tangible!

We invited sibling groups from our neighborhood corner, which happens to be mostly girls, and we also invited a handful of his kindergarten buddies. The first thing we did at the party was make dragon masks, which a lot of the kids really got into. Others weren't as interested, but we had quite a range in ages, so I guess that should have been expected. Next Will lined up the kids and got them all pumped up to go on a dragon egg hunt. I wish that I would've filmed Will talking to them; he can be pretty hilarious sometimes (and a big kid at heart himself). This activity was a serious hit, and so easy! I just spray painted a bunch of Easter eggs, filled them with candy, and sent the kids a-hunting. Lastly, we played a little dragon tag before we topped off the party with cupcakes and presents.

It's always a joy to celebrate Liam because he loves every thing! He especially loves getting presents and is not bashful in his excitement. It's a lot of fun to watch. And I must mention how incredibly proud I've been of Liam this year. He is so well-behaved, sincere, hard-working and self-motivated.

I love you dearly, Liam, and I can. not. believe. you. are. SIX! I thank Heavenly Father for you every single day, my good, sweet boy.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Lephrechauns!

We didn't have leprechauns when I was little... sometimes I think the holiday expectations and traditions go a little overboard these days, but I will admit I get a huge kick out of the leprechaun visits we've had over the last few years. They are too funny! The leprechauns always pee green in our toilets, leaving nasty green footprints on the toilet seats. They write funny notes on the pictures. But they're not all naughty; they're also nice enough to always leave a box of Lucky Charms for us to eat at breakfast... a real treat!

This year our leprechauns got extra feisty and left green dots on each of the kid's noses... even on Baby Charlton's cute nose! When I discovered the leprechaun paint on their sweet faces, I immediately took pictures, but when I saw how Juliette's was smothered all over, I got very side- tracked with worry, and failed to get a picture of Isabella's green nose. Oops! I was just really concerned about it getting all over the bedding and things. I also worried about Liam having to go to school with a green nose, seeing how paint doesn't always come off too easily. But I shouldn't have worried because the next morning, Liam wouldn't let me even try to wash it off. He was so excited to show his friends at school and he's been dreaming up traps for next year ever since.

During homeschool that day, I had Isabella write a paragraph about St. Patrick's Day, and I got a kick out of her little summary. By the way, I don't know what she's talking about when she said the moms make the kids clean up all the leprechaun messes. I guarantee I did most, if not all, the cleaning. But I think she's on to something! Next year, the kids have complete clean-up duty! St. Patrick's Day just got even cooler.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Having a Good Time at Great Wolf Lodge

It was all Will's very spontaneous idea to take the kids to Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor resort with an awesome swimming park located just an hour or so away from our house. We've only ever heard rave reviews of this place, and it didn't disappoint! We wanted the kids to earn this trip, though, so we decided that whenever we caught them doing something good, we'd put a piece of candy in a large vase; and then once the vase was full, we'd go. It was really great for me to verbalize and reward all the good things going on around here. I notice how wonderful they are all the time, but I don't always think to comment on it, so this was fun! It definitely upped the positive vibes in our home when every little good deed was getting rewarded.

The kids were SO excited to go. Like hyper, crazy excited. I took some pics of them with my phone that morning in all of their excitement, but haven't figured out how to be organized about my phone pictures, and I'm too lazy to go find them.

Speaking of pictures, I didn't take a ton of pictures of our trip because my arms were pretty full. The first day we were there, the place was swarming with people. It made me a little nervous and stressed trying to keep tabs on everybody, but by the second day we were there, I felt like we were more comfortable with our surroundings and had found our groove.

Isabella surprised me and went on every single slide... I went down the scariest one with her after she'd already gone with Will, and I was scared for her sake! I kept screaming for her to hold on tight. She's such a tiny thing. I was worried she was going to lose her grip and go flying! Plus I'm a screamer anyway. haha. She didn't make a peep, although she did have a look of terror on her face at some points in that ride.

Liam had a wonderful time playing in all the pools, but he had no interest in going on any of the slides, even though he's been on bigger water slides before. It was kind of bothering Will and me because we wanted him to have as much fun as possible, so we kept encouraging him to try some slides out. At one point, when Liam was out of ear shot, I told Will that I thought he was being stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn. Will agreed, and so he had another little talk with Liam about how it's great to be stubborn in some ways... like being stubborn about choosing the right and following Jesus, but that being stubborn can be a bad thing, too, and that he shouldn't be stubborn about trying new things. We got a kick out of Liam's response to this little pep talk...

"Does Heavenly Father want me to go down the water slide?" he asked Will.

Will: "Uhhh, not necessarily. But Heavenly Father does want you to have a good time here."

"I am having a good time!" he said in a "how-many-times-do-I-have-to-tell-you voice." :)

And that was the end of that. We no longer pressured him to go on the slides because clearly he was having fun.

Juliette was Miss Outgoing, as usual. She kept going up to strangers and loving on their babies. It was cute, but also a little stressful to keep up with! Charlton seemed to like the water, too, and did a good deal of napping despite the chaos. I really feel like we made some wonderful memories on this trip. Juliette, especially, keeps talking about the fun we had there. Maybe we'll make it a post-Valentines Day tradition for our sweet munchkins.  I also loved hitting up the nearby factory outlets for some bargain shopping... we should make a tradition of that, too!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

XOXO

For such a "little" holiday, Valentines Day sure gets worked in our family. Will had another great year at the flower shops. It's always extremely tiring for him and his staff, but we're so thankful for this holiday and the business it brings.

 On "Valentines Eve" I took our design center employees a lasagna dinner and enjoyed being with my handsome Valentine for about an hour. I then came home, put the kids to bed and stayed up late finishing up the kids' Valentines. Valentines cards have become--for better or worse-- a Pinterest affair, so they were time consuming, but fun, especially since I rarely craft with my kids. It's definitely worth the effort since the kids enjoy it so much. They love Valentines Day and I'm always amazed at how excited they get.

Other  festivities included a super adorable party at Jen's with our homeschool friends, and I also got to visit Liam's Kindergarten party. So much fun all around!

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