Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Life has felt extra busy lately.  With summer coming to a close, county fairs, vacations, church and community activities – we’ve all been on the run!  When Sawyer said all she wanted for her birthday was to do Legos with her friends,  I was sold!

She’s really gotten into building Lego sets in the past year (and even worked through a chore chart to purchase a Lego house!  It was huge and she has had a lot of fun putting it together and playing with it).

We kept things pretty simple and played a little Lego Friends bingo, painted boxes to store our Legos in and then built a Lego set.  She hand-picked a set for each of her friends and she did a great job – no one had any of the ones she picked for them!

We all had a really good time!  It was a nice, fun birthday party with some nice, fun girls!

Of course, I had to make her a Lego girl shirt for the occasion.  She looked precious!

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The Lego bunting made the whole party! It was a cheap, easy wow factor!

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We used all of Sawyer’s Lego sets for decor.

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We got Sawyer this little set for her birthday – the classic Lego man in a birthday cake! She loved it!

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Bingo was a way bigger hit than we imagined! These girls were Bingo queens!

The winners got edible Legos - what could be better?

The winners got edible Legos – what could be better?

After bingo, it was time to paint!

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Painting their boxes

Painting their boxes

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl's brush water...I'd call that a success!

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl’s brush water…I’d call that a success!

Next, it was time for Lego building!

DSC_0123DSC_0121Then, it was time for cake and presents!  She had such generous friends and got some really fun things!

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Lego cake from mom's kitchen...  Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that's all that matters!

Lego cake from mom’s kitchen… Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that’s all that matters!

Her smile in this picture melts me.  She's not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

Her smile in this picture melts me. She’s not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

I bought a silicone Lego mold and we froze pink and purple Kool-Aid to make ice cubes that we put in our Sprite!  The girls had more fun mixing up their drinks and making them change colors.

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

We sent this girls home with Lego necklaces and rings made by Sawyer and a Lego cup, like the Lego characters hold in all of the sets – super cute!

DSC_0120And then?  They each got a kitten!

DSC_0131 HA!  We tried to find them all a home, but only one got to become a house cat.  ;)

We are so proud of our sweet Sawyer girl and would do just about anything for that little sweetie!  She felt so loved this weekend.  She is such a great friend and we pray she always has a good group of friends around her that point her to the Lord.

Happy birthday, sweet Sawyer!  You are so loved!

Summer So Far

Today is the *official* first day of summer…but we’ve been calling it “summer” for well over a month now.  Lucky for us {insert sarcasm here} summer is really showing off and it’s supposed to be over 100 today.  Gag.

Despite the heat wave, we’re really enjoying our summer!  The kids are at such fun ages and we’re in a season where life is relatively easy again.  (I know, I know…it’s time to have another!  We’ll have to see about that…)  We’ve tried to take full advantage of our time and resources and do some fun things!

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We started June with a birthday party for the big guy!  He turned 35 this year and has been wanting to have a Minute to Win It party with some of our favorite friends so, that’s what we did!

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

We played silly, ridiculous games – and had a blast while doing so!

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game...

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game…

At the end of the night, this team DOMINATED the competition…which, I mean, look at them.  Bonafide athletes, all of them!

Minute to Win it Champs!

Minute to Win it Champs!

We made their trophies out of something from each of the games we played.  If they made it home, I’d be impressed!  HA!

Trophy time

Trophy time

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Sawyer got a new horse from her friend Mr. Jeff.  This sweetie’s name is LuLu and we. are. in. love!

Sawyer and LuLu

Sawyer and LuLu

LuLu is strong and stout and as sweet as they come.  She loves to eat treats from your hand and will stand all day where you tell her to.

On her first ride!

On her first ride!

These two are going to make a lot of good memories together…  We just have to keep the fighting down when it comes to who gets to ride her!

We love LuLu!

We love LuLu!

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A mobile Children’s Museum came to town so we checked that out!  It was fun enough inside.  The kids got to build and color and explore…

Testing out his foam house

Testing out his foam house

Playing with tops

Playing with tops

Petting the buffalo

Petting the buffalo

Making a magnet house

Making a magnet house

The best fun was outside!  They had a chore challenge race that was a LOT of fun!  They had to move the cow, throw the “cow patties”, haul the corn, churn the butter and shoot a buffalo!  The kids had a BLAST at this station!

Moving the cow

Moving the cow

Tossing those patties!

Tossing those patties!

Hauling her corn

Hauling her corn

Churning some butter

Churning some butter

Sayble's turn!

Sayble’s turn!

She loved every bit!

She loved every bit!

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Of course, we’ve already hit up Cody Park!

First ride on the carousel

First ride on the carousel

Sweet sisters

Sweet sisters

These two had a ball!

These two had a ball!

Sayble loved the train

Sayble loved the train

Love this pic...

Love this pic…

This is their favorite ride because it's FAST!

This is their favorite ride because it’s FAST!

Sayble loved holding the tickets

Sayble loved holding the tickets

I’m sure there will be a few more trips here for some good, cheap fun!

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We celebrated Father’s Day with this sweet guy!

He is so loved!

He is so loved!

We had yummy food (his love language – ha!), watched shows with snacks (Wryder’s idea), rode horses and played outside!

Daddy's girl

Daddy’s girl

Silly goose!

Silly goose!

Twins

Twins

My kiddos are so incredibly blessed to have this guy as a daddy.  He received two different father’s day cards in the mail that BOTH said, “I believe you are the kind of father that the Lord intended men to be.”  I couldn’t agree more…

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We just got home from a mini-vacation to Kansas!  Wrex had to go to the feedyard down there so we tagged along and had some fun when he was done!

Cute as buttons!

Cute as buttons!

We stayed at fun motel that had bunkbeds for the kids, checked out the local zoo (it’s free!!) and then went to the new indoor water park called Parrot Cove.  It. Was. A. BLAST!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sassy cat

Sassy cat

This one just wanted to roar...

This one just wanted to roar…

At the water park

At the water park

They had 4 little kid slides, a lazy river, several pools, a rock climbing wall, 4 big water slides – it was a LOT of fun!  We can’t wait to go back!

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Sure do love these littles…and they’re only little once.  We do our fair share of work around here…we kinda like to work hard and play hard.  Can’t wait to see what the rest of summer brings!

Mesa Is Growing Up Up Up!

I had the privilege of throwing a birthday party for a SA-WEET little one year old today!  I adore her and her little family and we couldn’t wait to honor her – we are so glad that she was born!

She sure is!

She sure is!

We went with a hot air balloon theme…and I’m not really sure why except that I thought it would be cute?!  Is that a good enough reason??

Those cloud balloons, though...

Those cloud balloons, though…

Everything was pink and white and minty blue/green.  We made hot air balloons out of paper lanterns and berry baskets and I found the cutest cloud balloons and cups to go with our dinner ware.

The spread

The spread

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

We made cloud and hot air balloon bunting and had it hanging in the window…

Happy birthday, indeed!

Happy birthday, indeed!

We had 12 months worth of pictures of our little sweetie hanging on the mantle…

Sweet baby Mesa

Sweet baby Mesa

It was so festive in here!

It was so festive in here!

We made giant hot air balloons out of, well, giant balloons and apple baskets!  They turned out so cute!

The big kids had fun in these!

The big kids had fun in these!

The whole shebang!

The whole shebang!

We got to hang out with Mesa and her momma most of the day – always a treat in my book!

Pretty girls!

Pretty girls!

The kids were so excited to give her her gift and kept wanting to pose with it themselves!

Take my picture, mom!

Take my picture, mom!

She finally got to play with it and I think it was a hit!

Tea time!

Tea time!

Good gravy, she's cute!

Good gravy, she’s cute!

Once the daddies got home from the sale barn, we played tea party, a few Wii games and then the real party started!

Sayble got to sit in the booster so that our guest of honor could have the high chair.  Needless to say, she thought she was big stuff!  I don’t think she was quiet the entire dinner!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

Mesa really loved the balloons on her seat…and the pancakes, too!

Where's Mesa?!

Where’s Mesa?!

There she is!

There she is!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

We made her a hot air balloon cake and she was so cute trying to blow that candle out!

Cake time!

Cake time!

Wondering what the heck this thing was!

Look at that face!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Let's do this thang!

Let’s do this thang!

Eatin' it by the fistfuls!

Eatin’ it by the fistfuls!

Startin' to get full...

Startin’ to get full…

One more little bite...

One more little bite…

Oh, Mesa Moo…we sure do love you!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

We bless the day you were born!  May you embrace your role as the daughter of the Lord of the Lords, the first born, a princess of the King of Kings.  We pray you run to Him all the days of your life.  He is worthy of your adoration and you are worthy of His love.  Can’t wait for number two!

A Little of This, A Little of That

The kids got Wendy’s coupons for free Junior Frosties a while back and we decided to use those puppies for Fun Friday!

This girl loves her sweets!

This girl loves her sweets!

She ate the whole thing by herself!  (Don't even think of helping her with that spoon!)

She ate the whole thing by herself! (Don’t even think of helping her with that spoon!)

These 2 enjoyed theirs as well!

These 2 enjoyed theirs as well!

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Earlier this week, as we were rushing around getting ready for Awana/Cubbies, I looked at the calendar and with about 12 minutes to spare, saw it was a “crazy hair day.”  Normally, we would fall under that category anyways but we wanted to go with something a little more purposeful.

We decided upon a donut..on a donut plate.  I made a quick bun and an even quicker donut frosting with sprinkles out of foam.  (Have I told you how much I love foam??  LOVE that stuff.)  Thankfully, this had a sticky back and we stuck it right to her hair!

Cute as a button and sweet as...a donut!

Cute as a button and sweet as…a donut!

Of course, with all the picture taking, Wryder wanted in on the action.

Ready for Cubbies!

Ready for Cubbies!

One handsome rascal!  He picked out his entire outfit all by himself.  Swoon.

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We got a new game for Christmas called “Life on the Farm.”  The kids couldn’t wait to bust it out and it really is fun to play, for a couple of country kids especially.  You get to buy and sell cows for the most part – right up dad’s alley, too.

Dad had spread himself kind of thin and had to pass up an opportunity to buy cows for a really cheap price.

Sawyer:  “Wait, why in the world would you pass on a cattle auction?”

Oh, yes, a girl after her daddy’s heart…

Life on the Farm

Life on the Farm

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We’ve started school again (after a lengthy and well-deserved Christmas break).  This time around, Sayble is only napping once a day instead of two, so we’re all trying to figure out what that looks like as far as school (and mom’s sanity) goes.

Lately, there’s been a lot of this:

Pen thief!

Pen thief!

This sweet little thing LOVES to write!  As long as we can keep it on paper, I’m A-ok with that!

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Over New Year’s, we all traveled to North Platte to do some post-Christmas shopping/errand running and Wrexy insisted on pedicures for the girls!  (We didn’t object much!)

Time for our toes!

Time for our toes!

I sure love this girl...

I sure love this girl…

Sawyer had her first one before her 5th birthday and has loved them ever since!

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We also took a tour of the Perkins County Museum!  It’s in a beautiful, historic home right off Main street and she’s been wanting to go in for a while.  That morning, I just happened to see that they were open so I surprised her with a visit!

She loved the phonograph!!

She loved the phonograph!!

The icebox was pretty cool, too!

The icebox was pretty cool, too!

It was really neat and our tour guide was just as sweet as pie!  So many cool things to see but I loved the old school house, but didn’t get a picture.  What the what?!

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We have the privilege of throwing a sweet one year old’s birthday party this next week!  I’ve been working on cutting and stringing and all kinds of little paper crafts.  I can only give you a sneak peek for now but I’ll make sure and post lots of pictures after the fact!

Someone's growing up...

Someone’s growing up…

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It feels like we’re getting back into our routine again after the holiday season.  We’re currently bracing for a snow/ice storm that we’re all hoping isn’t as bad as the meteorologists are predicting.  I’m hoping to get get my fair share of football games in if the electricity will stay on!

PAW Patrol Party

Little Wryder Roo turned 3 last week – a monumental occasion for him!  He has been SO excited about his birthday (because birthdays are AWESOME) and has been asking for a Paw Patrol party since last year sometime.  We had a busy weekend (that got attacked by every child having the nasty cold/upper respiratory infection we’ve all been passing back and forth) so we didn’t plan him a big party, but we still pulled out all of the Paw Patrol garb I got on sale at Party City.

We set it all up on Thursday evening so that when he came downstairs on Friday, he’d have a good start to his day.  Sweet boy was so excited!

I'm THREE!

I’m THREE!

We made a quick trip to the clinic on Friday and then went to birthday lunch.  Originally, I had told him he could choose anywhere he wanted for lunch and, lo and behold, he chose McDonalds.  Now, I’m not one of those haters that just absolutely can’t stand the place because it’s non-ogranic or they serve GMOs or whatever…I just don’t like it because I don’t think it’s very good.  Except their fries.  Enough salt and grease makes ANYTHING good.

Thankfully, our sweet friend Traci got to talking about Mexican food and he decided he’d rather go there instead – hallelujah!

He made a good choice!

Free dessert!

Free dessert!

It was good.

It was good.

On the way to town, he opened the birthday card he got from GooGoo and inside was a ten dollar bill!  He was so excited and so we went shopping after lunch and he bought the one pup he was missing – Rocky!

Look at that face...

Look at that face…

He was so excited to pay for it and get his bag, all by himself!

Big boy!

Big boy!

He had a few dollars left and he used it to buy a root beer float!  Can you have too much sugar on your birthday?!  Nah.  Not when you’re three.  :)

Fridays are usually long days so we waited until Saturday to open presents.  He is SO much fun to buy things for 1) because he has certain things he just REALLY, REALLY like and 2) he’s so expressive, it’s just flat fun to see how excited he gets!

A school bus!

A school bus!

The pickup and trailer he's been wanting!

The pickup and trailer he’s been wanting!

He was a happy camper!

He was a happy camper!

He loved the Air Patroller too but he was blurry with excitement so the pictures wouldn’t mean much to anyone but his parents.  :)

PaPa and RaRa sent him one of his other favorite presents…

a wheelbarrow!

a wheelbarrow!

He used it all day today.  Pretty sure we’re gonna have dirt EVERYWHERE around this place…

Sayble was quite fond of the wrapping paper.

Isn't she cute?!

Isn’t she cute?!

Pretty sure her first birthday is gonna be a ball, too!

We had his “party” Saturday at lunch.  I always let the kids make their menus and he went back and forth between steak and hot dogs (quite the spectrum, I know) but finally settled on hot dogs, which worked well for the dog theme.  ;)

PAW Patrol on a roll - get it?!

PAW Patrol on a roll – get it?!

He also wanted french fries, fruit (very specific about what berries), punch and pumpkin bread.  I turned the pumpkin bread into dog chow, so it worked out.

He got his pumpkin bread!

He got his pumpkin bread!

Pupcakes

Pupcakes

The spread

The spread

Official Pawty water

Official Pawty water

Birthday boy!

Birthday boy!

Sweet sister, representing Skye!

Sweet sister, representing Skye!

We even had Paw Patrol tattoos!

We even had Paw Patrol tattoos!

and masks

and masks

He's three!

He’s three!

and decided to eat his pupcake like a dog...of course.

and decided to eat his pupcake like a dog…of course.

I think he had a really good couple of days.  As he was eating one last cupcake on Saturday night, he said, “Mom?  Thank you so much for my party!”  Melt my heart.  Anytime, kiddo.  You are why I do what I do….

Later that afternoon, our sweet neighbor got married.  Despite the icky colds, we couldn’t say no to watching such a Godly couple vow their forevers to each other.  It’s so nice to attend a wedding where the couple really gets it, ya know?

The rain was relentless that afternoon and Sawyer didn’t want to mess up her cute hair so we did this:

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

And yes, I need to do laundry.  ;)  I’m working on it, ok!?!

Wrexy had a pretty cute wedding date!

So sweet!

So sweet!

We came home and called it an early night.

I keep saying that I think three is his year!  Just today, he’s put on socks and pants by himself AND pooped somewhere other than his pants!  (It was outside on the sidewalk but it WASN’T in his pants!)  Seriously, I think it’s gonna be a good one…

WD is Three!

Wryder Douglas is THREE today!

Swoon.

Swoon.

As I logged on, I was thinking that it took my sweet boy to get me back on the blog (we’ve had a litttttttttle bit going on lately)…but as I had that thought, it was exactly right.  THEY are why I do this.  They are my legacy and my reward and why I keep this written history of His goodness in our lives.  And Wry Wry?  He IS good.

You came bounding into the world a little past 5 in the morning – momma’s quickest labor by a landslide – and you’ve been running circles around the rest of us since!

Just minutes old!

Just minutes old!

You are still in love with dirt and rocks and sticks and tractors and cannot be outside without coming in absolutely filthy.  (Today, you got into spray paint and painted your face and hands!)  You are constantly showing mom and dad where our attempts at safety have fallen short.  ;)

You and Ernie!

WD and Ernie!

You love all things PAW Patrol and Marshall is your favorite!  Colors are no longer just green or blue…it’s Rocky green and Chase blue, etc.  You’ve been dreaming of an Air Patroller for weeks and I can’t wait to see your face tomorrow when you get your very own.

You have grown SO MUCH this winter!  You’re no longer a toddler, but a little boy – or so it seems.  I am constantly having to remind myself that you’re just 2…because sometimes you seem much older.

:)

Little man

You are still highly emotional – in good ways and bad.  ;)  Your face is so expressive and I love when you ask questions that you’ve really been thinking about or stretch your mouth into an O when you’re excited.  I never have to wonder what kind of mood you’re in because it’s written all over your face.

Mischief

Mischief

You have stretched me and tested me and pushed my buttons and made me cling to Jesus more than just about anything in my life.  I really thought I had this parenting thing figured out until you came and walloped me.  I feel like I’m still learning how to navigate our lives – please don’t give up on me!

One of his favorite places to play

One of his favorite places to play

More than anything this birthday, I want you to know that you are oh so loved.  Truly.  All of our lives are better because you are in them.  And?  Jesus loves you, kiddo.  Unconditionally.  No matter how many times you go to time out or how many times you have to be corrected or how many times you take your shoes and socks off outside, He still loves you.  Perfectly.  Better than we ever could.

You are a gift to us on your birthday (kind of backwards, isn’t it?!) and as much I don’t want you to grow up, I’m excited to see the man you become.  I’m proud of ya, kiddo.  I truly believe three just might be your best year yet…

Here’s to PAW Patrol cupcakes, wedding dancing and miles on your knees with your new birthday surprises!

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A Ridiculously Rad Night

Our church turned 30 years old yesterday!  Their very first church service was on March 2, 1986 so we celebrated with an 80s theme party – totally rad!

Wrex and I got to come up with a photo booth for the event and since we had a 3 piece backdrop system, we decided to do three different backdrops for people to choose from.

Didn't they turn out cute?!

Didn’t they turn out cute?!

We, of course, had to do a splatter paint background.  I didn’t know how easy it would be to do but let me tell ya – it was easy.  We didn’t even end up using brushes, we just kinda dabbled our paint containers and it worked out so well!

Cutest little 80's girl I know!

Cutest little 80’s girl I know!

The other easier one we did was the one with bright colored lines.  We just used neon duct tape and went to town laying down strips of color. I really liked how it turned out, especially for the photo booth.

Simple and fun!

Simple and fun!

The favorite of the night was the PacMan backdrop!  It is pretty cool, isn’t it?!  I dyed the sheet black (and got it grey -ha!) and then my mathematician husband took the photo I found online and scaled it and we got to work.  We used duct tape for the game board and then I just used cardstock for all of the characters and circles.  It really turned out great for not a lot of cost, just time.

Pacman!

Pacman!

We wanted a few bigger props so we made a giant rubix cube using a cardboard box, poster board and a LOT of black tape…

Awesomeness...

Awesomeness…

a giant Etch-a-Sketch out of an old red frame we had…

Oh man, he's cute!

Oh man, he’s cute!

and no 80’s party is complete without a boombox, courtesy of a Pampers box, some duct tape and some cardstock!

Boom.

Boom.

We blew up some pictures at Staples and did our faux canvas work and hung those up for everyone to giggle at…

Back in the day...

Back in the day…

A fellow church goer decorated the fellowship hall and turned it into a totally bodacious space!

Fun!

Fun!

There was cake and live music – just a lot of fun!

Yum!

Yum!

It was just a REALLY fun night!  It was easy and laid back and people totally got into the 80s spirit…it was just a really nice night to fellowship and be thankful for such a wonderful church family.

My crew got all dressed up for the event, of course.

It's 80s night!

It’s 80s night!

Sawyer looked so cute, she could be in style no matter what the decade…

So cute!

So cute!

Same for Sayble…

:)

:)

and Wryder, too!  His outfit was hard for me to come up with…but then I remembered that I had some of Wrex’s clothes FROM 1986ish and so Wryder wore Wrex’s old shirt and jacket and looked CUTE.AS.A.BUTTON!

Oh man, he's cute!

Oh man, he’s cute!

I was the last to get dressed of course and did the best I could!  I’m pretty sure the 80s color palette is not my favorite, but I worked it!

One of every color...

One of every color…

The winner…hands down…was Wrex!

He's all mine, ladies....

He’s all mine, ladies….

I found this windsuit at the local thrift for $3!!!  The tag said it had been there since September.  THANKFULLY, I snatched it just in time!

His beard had been bothering him for a while now but we all really like it.  He decided last night was a good night to shave it off…and leave mutton chops. *ahem*

Yeeeeaaaahhh...

Yeeeeaaaahhh…

I’m pretty sure some people will never be the same after seeing all that…

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was a ton of fun, despite the facial hair madness that he STILL hasn’t fixed yet.

Yesterday was also a special guy’s birthday!  One of our favorite friends and pastors had a birthday yesterday and Sawyer wanted to make him a cake, so we did!  She did 98% of the work herself!  He wanted chocolate cake so we turned Grandma’s delicious chocolate sheet cake into a layer cake…

Making the batter...

Making the batter…

Letting them cool...

Letting them cool…

She REALLY to do sprinkles and candy hearts so we tried to limit them to just a few :) and then she made a birthday banner for the birthday boy and delivered it with balloons, to boot!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bill!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bill!

Today, we’re all recuperating.  I did the math and Sayble’s about 6 hours of sleep behind schedule – ha!  Don’t call us between 1-4…we’ll all be napping!

Birthday Questionnaire

So, the bestie and her family are some of the best birthday do-ers I’ve ever met!  Their family has taught us so much about honor and they always do unique and meaningful things for each others’ birthdays.

Here lately, they’ve been putting the birthday person in the center of the room and letting each person ask them a thought provoking (usually) question.  On my birthday, I got an e-mail doing just that so I’m going to take the time to attempt to answer them here!

1.) If you could give yourself a birthday gift, something you could have forever that would enable you to fulfill your greatest potential, what would it be?

Oh, geez.  This one is hard for me…maybe because I have to be a bit vulnerable to answer it.  I guess I would have to say a spirit of confidence.  I’ve alluded to the fact that I’m a bit fearful and that rears it’s head into lots of areas of my life.  I fear failure.  I fear coming off as a know-it-all (because those people drive me bananas).   I fear looking silly or missing the mark…so a spirit of confidence – an honest assessment and belief in what I was putting my mind to, would be a good start for me.

2.) What’s your favorite family tradition?

Growing up, I always loved everything about Christmas.  My parents and grandparents always made it fun and exciting.  We would make homemade decorations and put the tree up together…my mom always recruited me to wrap gifts and there was always a viewing of Christmas Vacation.  :)   While I still LOVE Christmas and love the things we’re doing with our kids (Jesse Tree, Christmas pajamas, The First Noel movie, etc.) I love our little tradition of camping out in the living room on Halloween night.  That started by accident when we first moved to Holyoke.  We had no furniture, as we hadn’t gotten it from Denver yet and so that first Halloween here, we all slept in the living room…which was where we were sleeping while we worked on the bedrooms.  The next year, we did the same thing – but for fun – and have yet to stop!

3.) What book has influenced you most (besides the Bible)?

Hands down, “Walking With God” by John Eldredge.  I’m sure it was a combination of where I was in life and who was leading the study and what the Lord had for me at that specific time in my life, but I learned so much from this book that I still recall and recant to this day!  The title seems to leave a lot to be desired but TRUST ME when I say IT. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE!

4.) If you could pick up and move your family somewhere for a year, and then come back (and not have to worry about work the entire time) where would it be?

The selfish side of me would say Alaska.  I have dreams of visiting there one day…  Seeing it on television or in photos it is just breathtakingly gorgeous and I’d love to just camp around and explore all it has to offer!  The missions-minded side of me would say our church’s care point for orphans in Kayango, Uganda.  The trip I took to Venezuela shaped me and molded me and changed me in a way few other things ever have and I’d love to have the opportunity to dote on and serve the least of these again…

5.) What is one thing you will never do again?

Drink until I get drunk.  Not worth it.  Not appealing.  Not wise.  Not an option.

6.) If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A really good cheeseburger with lots of extras (read – jalapenos!) and some good, salty fries!

7.) How would your best friends describe you?

Probably like this:

What I’ve come to understand about you in the 7-8 years that we’ve been friends is that you are a wise woman beyond your years, loyal to the end, passionate about those you love. You are creative, resourceful, an excellent gift-giver and a skilled event planner. Generous to the bone and loving beyond measure. You’re an incredible mother and a deeply devoted and encouraging wife. You have always been the very definition of a hospitable and wonderful/competent homemaker. You are a chef and an artist. You are beautiful and always fashionable. You are organized and thoughtful. When you set your mind to something, you carry it through all the way, in excellence. We, your friends and family, are so very lucky to have you!

(That was written by the bestie and posted on my Facebook wall for my birthday).  That may or may not be cheating to answer that question.  ;)

8.) What’s the most interesting thing you see out your kitchen window?

Currently, a little red wagon that Sawyer planted wheat and marigolds in all by herself.  How cute is that?!

9.) If you had the ability to time travel, would you travel to the past or to the future and why?

Definitely the past.  Mainly, I would talk to the old me and tell me that I’m not fat or as fat as I thought I was…I would tell myself that I was worthy of love…I would tell myself that I didn’t have to vie for the attention of certain people…I would tell myself to prepare for the attacks of satan that I knew would be coming and I would bolster myself with the truth to combat those…I would redo my wedding and make it as magical as I always hoped it would be – I got my prince so that’s really all that matters…

10.) Three sentences looking ahead to when you’re twice the age you’re turning now, describing who you are as a woman and what you’ve accomplished by then so far…

I would be 66…  I see myself still as bat-crazy in love with my handsome husband as I am today if not more so.  I’m assuming I’ll be a grandma – hopefully to lots of little grandcuties that I can spoil rotten!  I’m hoping that all of my mothering and parenting and falling on my knees begging for wisdom will result in children who are all walking closely with the Lord and teaching their families to follow Him, all while living within 15 miles of me. That’d be a pretty great life…

Birthday Bonanza 2015 – Part 2

In case you ddin’t see that late post yesterday, here’s the link to Part 1 of the Birthday Bonanza post.

We made sure and had an actual birthday party during the birthday weekend…

IMG_6918IMG_6910IMG_6908We found the majority of the fabric for $1/yard and scooped it up immediately!  We just made some simple bunting and table runners and Wrexy sewed the backdrop.  God bless him…

IMG_6905Grandma LOVES her family and LOVES pictures, so I made bingo cards with family faces and we played that during her party.

IMG_6906That project, honestly, was one of the more time consuming.  Each card had to be different and random…glad that one’s over.  :)

IMG_6913I covered some tin cans with cute paper and scrap fabric,  attached a few horses and filled them with flowers for centerpieces…

Wrex made a barnwood plaque and we shaped an M out of a rope (for Maxine) and hung it on the backdrop…this was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.

IMG_6902

Seeing it all for the first time...

Seeing it all for the first time…

My fabulous friend Stephanie (who also made Wryder’s tractor cake) made me some flower cupcakes and they turned out sooooooooo cute!

Delish!

Delish!

IMG_6921Since we couldn’t fit 80 candles on a cupcake (or even a larger cake) we made a cake plate full of candles for her to blow out.  Apparently, the fire/smoke detector is INCREDIBLY sensitive at this place and before we even had them lit, the fire alarm went off!  THAT was something we’d never forget!  Thankfully they got it shut off, the building was still standing and she got them blown out in 3 tries!

It does look like quite the blaze...

It does look like quite the blaze…

Big breath!

Big breath!

Got 'em!

Got ‘em!

We ate and drank and played games and then watched the video I talked about yesterday.  I didn’t intend to make everyone cry but there were a few wet faces in the crowd…it’s been a life well-lived for sure…

The other thing Grandma really wanted to do was to have a talent show.  She thinks she has one of the grandest, most impressive families on the planet and she wanted to see us do our thang!

There was ribbon dancing…

IMG_6928IMG_6923Vocal performances…

IMG_6948IMG_6952Skits…

IMG_6941IMG_6942Bedtime stories…

IMG_6938and a lot of smiles and laughter!

IMG_6944IMG_6936We played a little more pitch and then went to bed far too late, yet again.  :)

We worshiped together on Sunday morning and Clint shared a message with us about family…a good word!  We took communion together and remembered what the Lord has done for us….oh. so. much…

IMG_6961We ate one last meal together, packed up, cleaned up and went our separate ways…  We sent the troops off with some trail mix and a hand stamped keychain.

IMG_4683IMG_4640I found all of these vintage boots and guns on Etsy…

IMG_4641and then we bought some metal blanks and memorialized them.  I LOVED how these turned out!

Our prayer has been for Granny to feel so loved…to honor her…for her ideas and imaginations about her birthday weekend to be met or exceeded…and for this to be a catalyst for future and more frequent get togethers.

We pray we have countless more years together with our sweet Granny but none of us are guaranteed our next breath.  We get ONE family; one crazy, imperfect family that most likely loves the stuffing out of us.  Carve some time out of your schedule for them.  We all make time for what’s important to us – it can’t be disproved – what does your schedule say is important to you?

All-in-all, it was a magnificent weekend!  We had so much fun with the family and we had so much fun working together.  There is no one I’d rather do all these crazy projects with than this handsome man of mine…  There’s been lots of talk of doing this whole reunion thing again and these Phipps are on board!  :)

Grandma, we love you.  This was just one tiny little way we could bless you back for all of the countless ways you’ve poured out your love for us.  Happiest of birthdays, sweet lady!

IMG_6917Oh!  And one other memorable moment from the weekend (besides the fire alarm scaring the heck out of everyone in a 100 yard radius?!)…Sawyer lost her first tooth!  She was so excited and the tooth fairy found her even though she wasn’t in her normal bed!

IMG_6914Pardon her poor eyes – it was early!  There’s one more that is just hanging on by a thread!  I better get to the ATM….

Birthday Bonanza 2015 – Part 1

So, I’ve had just a few things on my plate here lately, the biggest of which (so far) culminated this weekend in Kansas.  Wrex’s Grandma Rusk turned 80 years old on Sunday and her only request was to have all of her family in one place…to spend time with them and make new memories and to share with them her love for the Lord and her desire for them to know and love Him, too.  Why in the world would ya not show up for that?!

Granny is a ranchy thing, but you’d never know it just by looking at her.  She’s always put together – never a hair out of place – yet tough as boot leather.  I went with a vintage cowgirl/shabby chic theme for her invitations and party decor.  Maybe I say this every time, but HONESTLY, this was my favorite party that I have thrown.  It’s probably because the woman for whom I threw it is just out of this world lovely…  I can’t say enough good things about her here, so you’ll just have to watch the video I made regarding her life.  It sums it up to the best of my abilities.  (It’s not perfect but after 36 attempts – not even kidding – to read it without crying, that was the best I could do).

Birthday Bonanza Invitation

Birthday Bonanza Invitation

RSVP Card

RSVP Card

I found the kids some little plastic spurs from Party City that they wore the first night.  They. were. ADORABLE!  Wryder had already lost his rowel at this point but still cute!

IMG_6885Leading up to the event, our family committed to covering it and everyone invited (Grandma, her 5 kids and spouses, grandkids and great-grandkids) in prayer.  It’s hard to get 30+ people in one place at one time and we know that satan hates family and does everything in his power to attempt to divide them and we refused to let him.

Prayer calendar

Prayer calendar

That alone was such a rewarding time for our little family…something we plan to continue.

Grandma was so excited the day of the event, she woke up at 5:30am, got around and left even sooner than she needed to – she just couldn’t contain herself!

Getting welcome hugs from Sayble

Getting welcome hugs from Sayble

We gave her the grand tour, as we had all kinds of little surprises planned for her.

Checking out the entry way

Checking out the entry way

IMG_6652The only thing missing was the guest book because a certain 2 year old decided to sign the cover himself.  *ahem*  Thank goodness Granny thought that made it even cuter…

We bought a bundle of cheap cedar shingles and I painted them all to use as signage as the weekend.  We had each person’s name on their respective doors and used them for directions and welcomes, etc.

We wanted to make the birthday girl’s room a little extra special so we had a few little things up our sleeve to do so.

IMG_6643When we sent out the invitations, we also included cards for each family member to fill out regarding their favorite thing about and favorite memory with Granny and asked them to send them back with their RSVP cards.  We collected all of those and then tied them to the ends of balloons so when she walked in, she had a room full of love waiting to greet her!

Favorite things...

Favorite things…

Tis true...

Tis true…

Checking out her room....

Checking out her room….

IMG_6647IMG_6651In everyone’s room, we left them a little goodie bag with fresh fruit, water, an itinerary of weekend events, the jelly belly bean-boozled game for late night fun and a name collage of our entire family.  The family hadn’t been all together in a quite some time and we just wanted to make everyone feel as welcome as possible – we were so excited to be together again!

IMG_6648

We really were!

Friday night, Grandma wanted to have a pitch tourney and we couldn’t say no to that!  This is quite the competitive group and there was quite a bit of whooping and hollering!  :)

We had the idea to make Grandma the star of the show for this event and we made her the queen of the cards.  I printed some pictures of her and photoshopped some crowns on her head and then mounted them on foam board.  We loved the way they turned out!

IMG_4613

Isn't she a beauty?!

Isn’t she a beauty?!

The queen in the flesh...

The queen in the flesh…

Waiting to move to the head table

Waiting to move to the head table

Some serious card playing - see the shuffler?!

Some serious card playing – see the shuffler?!

Wrex’s sister gathered prizes for the top two highest scores, one of which was Wrexy – no surprise there – and we used some old acrylic plates we had from a display case that we took apart and made plaques to go with them…

IMG_6982The losers got a little something, too.  When we hosted pitch parties in Denver, we always tried to make the loser trophy completely ridiculous.  I was at the dollar store before our trip and set out to find the most ridiculous looking thing I could find and I happened upon a glittery pirate owl.  What the heck?!    So I consulted the bestie on what to call the trophy and she came up with “Aye didn’t play my carrrrrds right!”  Yes, she’s a genius. 

Ashley took home one and Waco the other…he with a little less excitement than she.  ;)

IMG_6899IMG_6900Saturday morning, we took professional family photos and then we all gathered to sit at the feet of 80 years of love and wisdom.  Grandma shared her heart and her deep and abiding love with us and we got to tell stories and laugh and cry and reflect upon 80 incredible years…  It was a really, really good time.

We had some lunch and then we reconvened for a little Minute to Win It showdown.  This was so much more fun than I even hoped it would be!

Stacking sugar cubes

Stacking sugar cubes

Keeping balloons in the air

Keeping balloons in the air

Putting pasta on pasta

Putting pasta on pasta

Stacking blocks

Stacking blocks

M&M Elevator - good watchin'!

M&M Elevator – good watchin’!

Tossing marshmallows

Tossing marshmallows

Oh yes she did!

Oh yes she did!

The elephant march

The elephant march

The big winners!

The big winners!

Seriously, that was SO much fun!  The Phipps’ are hosting a Minute to Win It night SOON – get ready!

That afternoon, we had an official birthday party for the birthday girl…but I’ll save those for tomorrow…  You’re not gonna wanna miss it – trust me!

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