Saturday, April 27, 2013

Outdoor Fun

This morning I had big plans to get some projects and cleaning done around the house. But.. by 8:00 the kids all wanted to be outside and who am I to say no to fresh air and fun?

We dragged some of our cars down out of the garage attic.
They needed gas after a winter in storage..

We were playing some baseball when the t-ball shirts were dropped off for my team. Obviously Braeden had to change immediately into his "uniform" and pose for a picture. We have our first practice on Wednesday. Thank goodness. I don't think the kids could have waited another week!

Then Daddy came home from work and played a little basketball with us. 

We spent the afternoon playing with our friends who came over to visit. It is just delightful to finally be able to be outside every day. Tomorrow we are looking forward to a baseball game of girls vs. boys with The Thayer's. The kids have been talking about it for days!! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Fun-Filled Glorious Day

Today was a day that was simply glorious for me. It wasn't the warmest, though it was quite lovely, but it was filled with all things spring and reminders that the seasons are changing and summer fun is not that far away. I adore summer. Late nights, barbecues with friends, day trips, swimming, fresh vegetables from the garden.. It's just all good!

We started out this morning with a typical routine and it was even a bit chilly. After school drop-offs, Maggie and I headed to Five Acre, our local garden center, and picked up some bigger pots and soil so I could try to transplant the boys sunflowers that were grossly overtaking their teeny pots. We also got some extra sunflower seeds just in case the transplant was unsuccessful. Moms always need a back-up plan. After that we got some cleaning done and played outside. Swinging is my girls most favorite activity. I really think she'd do it for hours at a time if we let her. But let's be honest, no one wants to push a baby swing for hours. This afternoon Evan and I decided to create a new flower garden in the yard so that we had a place to plant our sunflowers when the nights get warm enough. He and Maggie and I found many worms who Evan decided needed to go live in their playhouse. I don't understand the things they do, but I sure do love to watch them explore and carry out their own plans. We played with worms for quite some time. If that doesn't say country folk, then I don't know what does. We also found some interesting rocks that sparkled in the sunlight. It was so much fun!

I intended to go pick Braeden up from school and come back home to finish creating the new "kids garden", but in not unusual fashion, we got sidetracked along the way and didn't make it home until dinner time. I knew that I needed a raffle prize to donate to Evan's school so we visited a local store, Dala Bird to find something wonderful. The owner there is such a lovely woman and she put together a really wonderful basket of goodies that I'd really love to keep for myself! Oh well, maybe I'll win it back. Then since the coffee shop is right there and all, it seemed like the perfect time for some ice coffee and lemonade. The kids then started begging to stop at Brayden and Riley's house to play since they still hadn't forgiven me for what they found to be my missing out on playing for them yesterday. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing baseball, shooting hoops and swinging. The weather was great and we had a blast. Then we finally returned home to finish our garden. I must admit, more worm playing was done. Braeden was just as interested in finding them new homes as the other two were earlier in the day.

What a wonderful day we had! I hope this is the real start of our outside season. Two days in a row of decent temperatures seems like a good sign. I am loving it and can't wait to get some flowers planted to keep all of those worms company!

Spring Parade

On Sunday, Stacy invited us to join her family to watch the Spring Parade that passes her Grandparents house. My kids were so excited! A parade means balloons, candy and the little Shriner's cars. What's not to love? It worked out perfectly to have my oldest nephew Jacob's birthday party at the same time. He was pretty excited to have a parade for his birthday celebration.

Waiting for the parade to come with candy collecting bags ready to go!

The parade arrived

Maggie woke up halfway through the parade so I wasn't as able to take pictures anymore, but it was a luau theme and some of the houses on the route were decked out with full blown luau parties, including sand on their front yards! The house with the most people and best party won a prize. 

After the parade we ate and ate and ate! It was yummy. The kids all had a blast playing baseball and basketball and playing on the swing set. 

Jacob opened his presents which included lots of baseball and Red Sox gear. Then it was time for cupcakes and ice cream sundaes. There are few desserts I like more than make your own sundaes. It was the perfect way to end such a glorious day outside celebrating Spring and my favorite 11 year old!

Now if it would only get warm and stay warm so it actually felt like spring! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Evan's Actual Birthday Day

Evan turned 4 on the 12th, but I've been so busy that I am just getting to writing about it! I L.O.V.E. my kids birthdays. I like to celebrate from the moment they wake up until they go to bed and then all the way through their party day. It actually snowed, or in more technical terms, we received accumulating sleet on his birthday which was crazy!

First thing when he woke up

Golf clubs from Braeden..

..and a new bat and ball from Maggie!

Then he saw his big present!

 And this was his reaction!!

It was a school day so he took some strawberries and blueberries to share with his friends at snack time. While he was gone, Auntie Stacy and I started the "great wipeout bus project". By the time I picked him up at school at lunch time the driving was horrendous. But we made it home safely and made some cupcakes to share with the family at pizza night that evening. Chocolate on chocolate goodness. I love that child's sweet tooth. He definitely got that from me!

Celebrating with Daddy after he got home from work

I love this four year old more than Mouse loves cookies!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Have Hope

It is so frustrating to know that the world has come to such a point where people can so blatantly disregard life and let a focus on their own personal quest blind them from the good old Do Unto Others philosophy. I am a very firm believer in this for myself and I work hard at teaching my kids that life is about treating others the way you would like to be treated. We all have tremendous value and I don't need to agree with your personal views to respect you.

While I was, along with the rest of our country and hopefully the world, horrified by what I saw in our beloved city last week, I also saw incredible positives in the response of the people. We are one nation, oh yes we are, when it comes to trying times like these. And that is incredible. When you see millions of people reaching out to others, lending a hand or even a place to stay because you can't leave the city, and celebrating the spirit that our country was founded on; that is a good day. There is so much hope here. We have a chance to show our children what it means to help others. We have the opportunity to reflect on how we live our lives and if we focus enough on doing good and supporting the good that we see around us on a regular basis.

I have hope.

I have hope that the country will continue to pull together and once again, fight for the same causes. Maybe after the atrocities that happened on 9/11 and now at the Marathon, our people will really, really get it, and hate less and love more. I have hope that we can do this. I have hope that we can bring America back to a place where we feel safe and prideful. I have hope that we are raising a generation who can take on the challenge set before them to do the right thing even if it's not exactly what they desire.

I have hope.

I also know that it will be a long time before any one messes with Boston again. We started a revolution with a lot less to fight with than these monsters have today, and won. We can and will beat you (whoever you may be) too. I have hope that our city will continue to recover and become even stronger in the wake of tragedy.

Despite the bad, I am choosing to focus on the good.

I have hope.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Evan's Wipeout Party

I am so behind! Vacation week's are supposed to be a break in the hectic schedule of life but it never works out that way. We are always so busy during vacations. I'm not complaining because it was a great week of fun, but whew, I'm tired and seriously behind.

Last Sunday we hosted Evan's Wipeout party. He was so excited and had been talking about having a Wipeout themed party forever. I found an invitation on Etsy and went from there. I knew that we could make our swing set into part of a Wipeout course and then decided to add some big balls and a bounce house as well. About 4 days before the party Evan announced that he really wanted a school bus in his course. He had seen it on the show once and was determined to have one. I thought about it and solicited Stacy's help and ta-da, a school bus sucker punch wall came to life.

It was such a fun day. The weather wasn't great, but there wasn't rain so we went with our outside course plan. Evan invited a few kids from school along with our usual group of family and friends. There were people everywhere inside and outside our house - just the way I like it!

The cake! Chocolate on chocolate - perfection!

Sucker punch wall with ball pit

Up the monkey bars or rock climbing wall and down the slide

Then over the big balls!

To the bounce house and when they came down the slide their time stopped

This picture is from the next day when it was remarkably warmer.

After the wipeout course, we ate, the kids bounced, and then bounced some more, and then we had presents and cake. Evan's guests knew him pretty well. He got lots of bubbles, basketball gear and games. All favorites of his. 

The poor guy was so tired before we got to cake that my mom saw him walking towards his room, followed him, and found him laying on his bed with his blanket. I think the chocolate cake must have given him an energy boost because he was right back at it for more after he opened presents. It was a wonderful day and I was so glad that we were able to have such a fantastic time celebrating my amazing little four year old. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not Again

I wanted to blog pictures of our Wipeout party yesterday, but I can't bring myself to do it tonight. It was lots of fun, but I am Massachusetts born and raised and lived in the city of Boston after college. Our beloved city and most sacred of events, the Boston Marathon were attacked today. There really aren't words anymore to describe my feelings about these continuing situations around our country. Prayers and love to all those who were and still are there dealing with this tragedy. I know tomorrow will come, but once again, the world will be different. I'm pretty tired of adjusting to this kind of different.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Auntie Love

When Roman and I were faced with a decision six years ago about where to raise our kids, the answer was obvious. We knew we needed to move home (for me anyway) so that our children grew up around family and feeling like they knew their grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins as well as they knew each other. And days like yesterday are a true example of why that decision was so important.

Evan is having a Wipeout themed birthday party tomorrow. We knew we were going to do some type of obstacle course, but about 2 days ago Evan announced that he really wanted a school bus sucker punch wall as part of the course. I thought about it for a few minutes, came up with a plan and sought out my most valuable creative partner, Auntie Stacy.

We began yesterday morning.

In the sleet.

In April.

But despite the weather, the school bus turned out amazingly and will be perfect for the party.

Drawing the bus

 The painting begins

Halfway there!

I'd say he's excited

Now he's supervising.. 


Now we just have to put some holes in it so that we can poke the kids with pool noodles while they walk by it on a platform. I really hate to make holes, but that was the purpose of the whole project! Evan is so lucky to have an Auntie who loves him so much that she spent a day making his four year old dreams come true.