Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adventure with Grandma

Our plans for today ended up falling through so I had to think of something to do with my 4 kiddos. After partying like an old rockstar I was beat so I called my mom for some ideas. She said to just come down to her and she'll plan something fun. So after getting ready in record time (15 minutes) we headed down to her house.

We started the day at Garner's Village.
 Again....Lily won't look at my camera.
Ducati was excited to be here. 
Side Note: Ducati is almost 3 years old and this Christmas she's really getting into everything. Perhaps it's due to her being old enough now. But the lights, trees, ornaments, and Santa
 ( I've had to have the talk a couple of times about him). But it's truly amazing to see the joy of Christmas on her little face. There's no words to describe it.

 Anyways back to my mom being silly for my kiddos.

 Would have been a great photo if my kids would look at me. One day they will :)
 Ducati's look after 3 attempts so I gave up. Oh well.....these are my kids:)
 Mason and Lily enjoying a drink at a local cafe/bakery. The bakery we went to for the drinks had nothing GF which was surprising since most places try to accommodate.  So Cati, Hailey, and I just grabbed a drink from the stores cooler.  Cati and I are use to this sort of rejection. Hailey being the newest gluten free person in our family isn't use to this yet. So after we left this bakery we walked around and found a bakery that sold gluten free cookies. Everyone had smiles again as you can see on Ducati's face. Hailey was busy eating her cookies on the other side of Mason.
Next a  not-so-quick stop to a candy shop. My mom said my kids could pick out 1 candy. I've never seen my kids stress over which candy they should pick. 

 After this we headed to our next adventure- the movie theaters. We seen Wreck- It Ralph.
photo source

I was alittle skeptical since the movie is all about video games. But this movie was really nice. It was kid friendly, no crude adult humor, easy for our little ones to follow along, and great story line.
So even though our original plans fell through we all still had a great time thanks to grandma's help. :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

3rd time for our 4 year old

Lily is such a sweet, strong willed, smart, and adventurous little girl.
And it surprises me that she's made it to be 4 years old without any major medical expenses. :-) (just joking (: )
When I asked Lily what she wanted to do for her birthday activity on the day of her real birthday she wanted to go shopping.
So what better day to do this than on her birthday, Black Friday!

Her grandma gave her $20 to buy whatever she wanted and I had a gift card from a while ago. Best part of Black Friday shopping was the great deals paired with coupons. It was so adorable while at Target she handed the cashier her coupons for the candy and Barbie Princess. The cashier even thought it was cute AND smart that she's learning to stretch her birthday dollars. After all her purchases she put aside her money for tithing and was excited to come home to watch her new movies and play.

(Total for all Target $17 for Barbie movie, 2 M&M's, My little pony toy, and Barbie princess. Walmart Madagascar 3 was free with gift card and coupon. Brave movie Mike purchased her since that's where they went for their date night... so that one doesn't count)

After a few hours of shopping we came home, had a few friends come over and join us in our movie watching luncheon ( she wanted fruit and Cheetos...haha)
After a quick nap Mike was home and went out 1 more time. (At this time we were all pooped but we wanted to make Lily's birthday special still)

We headed to Boondocks!
With Lily's free birthday pass, Hailey's report card game card, and a coupon the cost was within my cheap-o budget :)
 This place was crowded but that's OK. We enjoyed this fun time.
 We have a tradition to play as many ticket games as we can. Then pull together all our tickets so the birthday person could get an awesome prize.
 With the exception of a few non-ticket games like this moving car game and dance revolution we were scoring big time ticket amounts. See her smile...she loved this game!

See Lily's dancing so fast she's just a blur. :-) ( I changed my camera setting after this photo)

 Miss Cati loving the merry-go-round.
 Lily had so much fun. She loved that she had her own card to do whatever she wanted.

 (one day I'll get her to look at my camera)

"Off we go" says Lily.

 Hailey had to try this out as well. I love this funny girl!
 After pulling together all our tickets Lily walked out with a huge stash of candy and a pair of sticker earrings. While she enjoyed the bigger candy we all snacked on the bite size starburst which was fine with us.

After Boondocks we picked up some dinner and drove around looking at Christmas lights. (something she wanted to do) It's actually really me...since this was the first time Mike and I were grateful for all those people who put up Christmas right after Thanksgiving. We usually murmur but tonight we were thankful since Lily wanted to see the lights. One house in our neighborhood put a smile on every single one of my kids. This family went all out with lights on every inch of their yard which included a Christmas countdown clock. She loved it!
 When we got home we continued on with our little celebration. From the look of her face I don't think she expecting a gift from us. She was really shocked.
After singing to her ♪ Happy Birthday ♪, we enjoyed some special birthday pie, and playing with her Strawberry Shortcake bath toy we headed off to bed since we were all exhausted.

Lily has celebrated her birthday 3 different times these past week. With her Phineas and Ferb party, the Grocery Store party, and now today. Normally it's a one day thing but perhaps she needed that extra loving from us. But it doesn't matter much to us...our Lily had a fantastic birthday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Mike's-giving!

I've known this could happen. With Mike and Lily's birthday being so close to Thanksgiving there's a chance it would land on this holiday every once and a while. And today it happened. So....

Happy Mikes-giving everyone!

Our kids were excite to be able to celebrate with us Mikes-giving.  After setting up everything in our living room the kids went and woke up Mike. After that they all ran into our living room to hide so they could yell, "Happy Birthday" to him once again.

Silly kids :)

 Mike's soda cake. Easy enough to make (soda and hot glue). Along with his birthday cards, gifts, and a few Redbox movies that he wanted. When I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday he said, "Nothing!" So I took that as he just wanted to rest and relax :)

Our kids were so excite to hand Mike his gifts. Ducati instructed him to just rip the paper.

 Our cute kids!
 A watch that Mike really wanted. It looks like a black bracelet but those small silver buttons light up the LED lights inside just for a few seconds to show the time. China sure knows how to make awesome techy gifts.

And my gift for him. With Mike's birthday on Thanksgiving I wanted to share with him why I'm so thankful for him. But I wanted to take it a step further. Why others were too? So I sent out about 100 emails, give or take, asking for memories of Mike. About lessons he helped teach, advice that he had given, service he might have helped out with, or just a special story that this person shared with my hubby. And I got back 11 stories! Hey it's better than the 3 from before. 

 He really liked reading all these notes. Personally I think it touched him to know that these 11
(1 note is from me) value him the same as I do. Some notes were from family, old friends, families he home teached, or old co workers. Not everyone wrote me back but those 11 people's note really touched his heart. So I guess there wasn't a need for anymore. Plus something amazing/unusual happened to him. He made more family call him to wish him Happy Birthday than ever before. He might get a few family members calling him to wish him a Happy Birthday  But today the phone kept ringing  non stop that we could barely watch our movie. Such a great sight to see :)

But since today's still Thanksgiving I made a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey, potatoes, carrots, rolls, and tons of pies. So by the time cake came around everyone was sleepy and stuffed. But who doesn't have room for a small bite of carrot cake.
At the end of the day Mike told me that he felt so happy today. He felt remembered and special. This is a big thing for him. And as for what he wished for.....he won't tell me. But I bet it's a good one.  :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Breaking Dawn Date Night

I am a Twi-hard!
And I'm OK with this :)
With the new movie coming out Mike knew he didn't even have to ask me if I wanted to go. But for me- I wasn't unsure about it. Mike works so much and doesn't get much sleep except on weekends. So I didn't want to go on a date during his prime sleep hours. But Mike loves me and said I was worth 4 hours of sleep. His version of sweet talking me ♥

So with a gift card he got from work we seen the most amazing movie of this entire year. A few friends said it had alot of action. I read on FB that others thought it was so GOOD!
And they were right to a point. Twilight is a love story (in my opinion). And this last movie just showed that love will always prevail.

I admit that I cried when it was over. At the end the movie showed a reel of all the actors who played a part in Twilight from all the way back from James to current characters.  Mike looked over at me and I was crying. I told him, "It's all over." He just giggled at me. It's one of the many things he loves about me :)

Now I can't wait to get the movie when it comes out on DVD and have a Twilight marathon.

Grandparents Breakfast

Mason and Hailey had an event at school last week. The school was holding a VIP Grandparents Breakfast. So they got to take Grandma and Papa to their school, show them around, meet their teachers, and eat breakfast with them in the cafeteria.
My mom says the breakfast was pretty small but for $1....hey it works!
Anyways Mason and Hailey loved it!

Ducati's haircut

Ducati's going on 3 years old and in that time span I've never taken her to get a haircut. Her hair is so thin and brittle that she never really needed a haircut. I've trimmed her bangs but that's all she's ever needed. 
Until two days ago....

Ducati found Mason's school scissors and made the choice to cut her hair. She cut a few strands here and there but then she cut her entire right side of her head,by her temple, so short it looked bald. All I could think of was how to cover it. A simple comb over and a head band and it should be ok until her hair grows back. 

But it was just looking so funky no matter what I did that I just threw up my hands. 

Luckily my new neighbor is a hair stylist and when I told her what happened she came over the next day to check it out.  She told me 2 options that would help. Try to cover it or start over. 
Mike and I agreed to start over. 

Next morning I took Cati over to her house and here she is...

 It's so short but you know what Ducati has the face to pull off super short hair.

 See....she's just so stinkin' cute!
 She's showing off for my camera.

I'm really loving the fact that my neighbor is a hair stylist. Next time something happens like this (I'll cross my fingers that there won't be a next time...but with kids there might be) that I can just go to her. PLUS she's so affordable. Most salons charge $11 for a kids cut and $13 for adults. She charged me $5! Mike's going to start going to her since he needs a more clean looking haircut due to working for the church. (He actually got spoken too that his hair is too long ):  )

Monday, November 19, 2012

Grocery Store Birthday Party

I enjoy watching, learning, and getting to know my children's personalities.
Each one has their own likes and dislikes.
Each one has their list of "Awesomeness".
And this is one of them.

When planning for Lily's birthday I asked her what sort of activity she wants to do. Her reply,
" Go to Smith's with little baby carts!"

For weeks she kept saying the same thing. And I've learned this about Lily. If she gets her sights on something there's no swaying  her. So I tried to set up a grocery store tour at a couple of different stores. A few didn't ever call me back. 1 tried to fluff me on why they were saying no.

So I gave up and started making plans on her Phineas and Ferb party.
But a few steps into making her party happen I relieved a call from 1 Smith's about 10 minutes away from us. I spoke with the store director and I guess he loved the fact that a little girl wanted to come to his store for her birthday that he had the HR lady call me to set up a tour date.


But I was uncertain what to do since her Phineas and Ferb party invites were already handed out. So instead of canceling everything and I planned a smaller tour with just our kids for a few days before her birthday.

Today, the day of the store party your, I pulled out Mason and Hailey from school 30 minutes early and headed to Smith's.
The  HR lady was so kind. She must of told every worker ahead of time that we were coming. Every single worker stopped and wished Lily a Happy Birthday.

On the 45 minute tour we went into the backroom where she showed up where they store the Christmas trees. Lily ran threw them  yelling ,"I'm in a forest!"

Next was the backroom of electronics. I was alittle nervous to see walls of TV's so close to my kids. But they actually did a great job.
 We went into the freezer and seen all the ice cream. Lily loved that part.
 Hailey loved the wall of soda. Mason liked that dairy cooler. We can see the customers on the other side of the glass picking out their milk. Lily thought it was so sneaky that they couldn't see us.
 After our backroom walk we went up front and she was given so much free stuff/samples. She got stickers from most everyone. Cookies, sushi, olives, gelato, a Smith's balloon, a free photo (which she got to go in the back of the photo center and see where the photos come out of) and a chocolate orange candy from the HR lady.
 After the tour I took my kids back to the little Cafe for a birthday snack. After singing ♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪  we enjoyed some yummy gelato. (which was Ducati's favorite part)
 Lily picked out a flower from the floral dept. that she kept with her entire time.
 My kids had so much fun on the store tour. Mason and Hailey asked if they could do this for their birthday as well. :-)
 And as for me I love this feeling that I was able to grant my little girls' birthday wish; of going to Smith's with little baby carts. It might sound alittle odd to some. But to Mike and I it goes to show that our Lily goes against the grain. That she's unique  in her own special way.

And the birthday girl had so much fun at her grocery store party. And I truly appreciate this stores willingness to grant my LilyBear's birthday wish. I can tell you one thing- the store that lied to me and tried to fluff me will not be getting my money anymore. I'll be taking that drive to the Bountiful Smith's more often.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Little Extreme Shopper

 One of the many things I teach my kids is the value of saving money. So with Lily's birthday she got a first hand lesson on extreme toddler shopping.
She received a coupon  in the mail from Toys R'Us for $3 off of $3. So the best way to save the most bucks is to pick something in their $1,$2,$3,$5 bins. She loved the feeling that she got to pick whatever she wanted. And she picked up these sparkle princess shoes for free since they were $3. She loved telling the cashier that she's getting something for free.
Afterwards we went to Wingers for her free kids meal. She had this look of satisfaction on her face knowing that she can pick whatever she wanted off the kids menu. I guess the best way to describe it is a small sense of independence.

So with her coupons she saved herself $7. Not bad for an (almost) 4 year old.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phineas and Ferb Party

That's right we had a Phineas and Ferb party for Lily. 

*A few strikes against this momma: I did not check the weather so I planned on outside games. C'mon it was 65 degrees outside last week. And I know this isn't Lily's actual birth date.  We really don't like celebrating birthdays on other days of the week BUT to ensure that her guests would come I planned her party a week early. Alittle confusing for her but oh well....

Back to the party....

I got this easy to make comic invites from
And instead of spending about half my budget on ink I just ordered a few 4x6 photos from Walmart. Super easy. The lady in the photo center seen that they were party invites and threw in some envelopes for free. Excellent! Lily came home and started on her invites.
She later hand delivered them to some other 4 year old's from around the neighborhood and church.

Now day of party.....
I only planned for this party to last about 1 hour. But there's plenty to do in 1 hour. 
First up the ACTIVITIES
When the kids started to show up I had everyone color a Phineas and Ferb sack.
  This was alittle more frustrating than I thought. I picked up these white paper sacks from Walmart and just wanted to print off some pictures onto them. However either my printer isn't equiped for that sort of project or the sacks were too...something. Anyways after yelling at my printer a few times I finally found a way to print these cute photos onto the paper sacks. (FYI- tape the sack onto a piece of paper)

I wanted everyone to have a sack since they would be using them throughout the party.
 Everyone loved the coloring sacks.

Now a game-
Pin the tail on Perry. 

  Ducati wanted to help me draw Perry so she drew his butt. See the black butt stink lines. haha:)
 It was so cute to hear all the kids laughing and squealing while playing this game.
 One of Lily's friends was tapping the poster board trying to hint to her where to put the tail. But she couldn't see his fingers so she did the best she could.
After playing this game everyone won some Phineas and Ferb fruit snacks.

Next game.
You're so Busted!
( I don't want to pat my own back now but my kids said that my handwriting looks like cartoon writing. I took that as a compliment. )

The basic theme of this game bust the balloons.
 Lily and Ducati loved helping me set up for this game.
 The night before Mike stood up with me putting little Phineas and Ferb stickers and tattoos into each balloon. But they didn't know this little fact until later on.

When the kids walked in and seen what they had to do they thought it was so awesome.
 Until no one could bust the balloons with their little bottoms.
 So I quickly grabbed some pens and that turned everything around.
  All I could hear was, "POP"....."Look it's a sticker."....."Look I got Candance."

This preoccupied them for alittle bit while I set up the last game. However at the end of this game the kids had their bags filled with stickers and tattoos. 

Last game-

 To find the monsters

While at Walmart they had these monster bubbles marked down to 25 cents so I took the whole lot. And while the kids were busting the balloons I hid the monsters in our living room under toys. So they had to find all of Dr. Doof's monsters before they took over the Tri-State area.

Warning: Scream Overload! 
Everyone went running looking for the monsters. It was so fun to watch them all enjoy themselves. 

After the games I brought out some snacks.
Grapes, Jello cups, and Phineas & Ferb juice boxes. After snack we had birthday cupcakes. 
 Lily loved every second while everyone sang to her.
 Excuse the birthday girl she's enjoying a yummy gluten free cupcake. Sneaky mom moment: everything was gluten free and not 1 kid noticed! wins again!
 She's showing off how much fun she's having.


 Her guests ran to grab their gift off the counter so they could give it to her.
 1 little boy couldn't stay since he needed to get to preschool but he was nice enough to drop off his gift to her. Sweet kid!
 This little boy wanted Lily to read the birthday card he picked out for her. She felt so happy to get a card. It's now under her pillow.

After presents we opened everything up. Bubbles, games, and dolls. And just had some free playtime. 

But before anyone could leave I passed out their party favors.
I made Agent P hats and Isabella bow headbands.
(The hats are from Dollar tree with a black marker strip. But the headbands I made myself. I picked up a package of headbands from dollar tree 5/$1 and the purple ribbon from Joann's and sat down watching one of my favorite shows and hot glued the ribbon around the headbands. A great way to pass an hour away)

 I'm taking from all the smiles that the kids enjoyed themselves.
 And it just goes to show that one photo all the kids are looking at the camera but Lily. And then Lily's the only one on the next photo. I love 4 year olds!
Now don't mind Miss Lily. She needs to gather up all her things before Mason and Hailey come home from school.