Sunday, April 20, 2014

Frozen-Swim Party Prep

Prepping for Kinley's party pretty much started over a year ago. 
We went to Mila & Ella's 3 year old party at the NRH Acquatic Center and pretty much they minute they left, Kinley and AG were asking for a joint party there for their birthdays the next year.  Leslie and I thought their enthusiasm would wane some during the year but, it never did. 
It was only when Frozen came out that they insisted on a Frozen-themed swim party. 
It was an interesting challenge for us. 
I, for one, have never done a character-themed birthday party OR a birthday party away from our home.  So, it was totally out of my realm.
But, with this Spring being as crazy as it has been, once again, God protected me and guided me totally by sharing the responsibility of this party with Leslie and by having it away from our new, totally in chaos, home. 

Leslie and I quickly transitioned frozen ice to swimming as best we could with our invitation. 
This invitation took some time to prep in itself. 
We knew we wanted a picture of both girls on it somewhere since people would be getting the invite as guests of one girl who might not know the other.  We had so much fun taking pics of the girls dressed like Anna and Elsa. 
We took pics inside and outside and added snowflakes in a tree when it just "needed something more."
(we're crazy) 
But, all in all, these girls love posing for pictures together and they had a blast. 
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Our first (of three) late night craft nights for the party was putting together the invitations.
 We had a foldable invitation and cut out glitter snowflakes on my silhouette (and as if that wasn't enough, we added rhinestone stickers on top) for the front.
 On the inside was a pic of the girls from their photo shoot and the actual party details.
 They turned out so cute.
 Definitely the most in-depth invites I have ever made (and without Leslie...probably won't do again :) but, we got so many comments on them and the excitement just started building for the party when the invites went out.
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Leslie and I worked on lots of separate projects from home.
 I made a slideshow of the girls with tons of pictures I have of them together since they were babies.
Kinley and I punched out circles and snowflakes and sewed some garland. IMG_0082 IMG_0083 I busted out some ruffled streamers.
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And we made some giant popsicle stick snowflakes and spray painted them with blue glitter spray. There are some very sparkly trees and bushes in our backyard still. IMG_0081 IMG_0080
 
Leslie worked on pretty much everything else...table décor, coloring pages, food labels, water bottles, ordering party favors, paper goods, stringing cotton balls for garland, and making these amazing door signs for each of the girls with pics from their photo shoot.   IMG_0668
 
We all came together for a second craft night/sleepover when the hubbies were both out of town and strung punch balloons on tulle and wrapped party favor necklaces with tulle bows.
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(side note...I have NEVER used tulle for a party until this one. Leslie is the queen of using tulle and could not ever even think about having a party without multiple rolls of tulle being used. I learned how truly simple and un-girly I am when it comes to party décor. Kinley much prefers Leslie's style)
 
 The girls love, love, loved having a sleepover at the new house and played and played and did their own version of a "bow hunt" while we were crafting. I had to text Ben these pictures while he was away actually hunting. Kinley and AG's version of a bow hunt is so, so different than his. IMG_0113 IMG_0112 IMG_0111 IMG_0114
We had previously ordered shirts for the rest of our families for the party but, we had to make our shirts that night.
 I am pretty sure every mom can channel Elsa with this shirt. IMG_0116
As a group, they were so cute all together. We are SO all wearing these one day on our Disney World trip. IMG_0118

The third craft night solely involved making our wall garland. There is a gigantic wall of windows in the party room at the NRH rec center and we thought and thought and thought about how to make an impact on that wall. We knew we wanted very layered garland and the giant popsicle snowflakes but did not know how we were going to hang it all, especially with the set up time we were given (only 15 minutes in the room prior to the party.)
That day it just came to me.
Lay one long piece (think 12 feet long) of packing tape down, tape everything to it and then put another long piece on top.
 Then, we just fold it in half, already assembled, carry it in and duct tape it to the wall.
 Amazingly, it worked and was so cute!
 We had to let it hang off a giant piece of furniture in my house for a few days. IMG_0151 All in all, I loved planning this duel party!
 It was so fun to do those late night projects with a friend and have someone to bounce ideas around with. It was such a fun experience and I think God knew we would need that special one on one time together post-move from Wade Ct. It was a way to keep us spending lots of time together even though we weren't living on the same street anymore.
 Thank you Lord, for your hand in every detail.
Party pics to come soon!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kinley's Birthday week, stats & questionnaire

Birthday week is not necessarily a tradition I am wanting to start.
 I mean, I feel like a whole day and a huge party to celebrate is PLENTY.
 But, we kind of made a "thing" of birthday week this year.
 Really, we just did all we normally would do during a week and just said yay! it's birthday week!
  We had frozen yogurt one night after dinner and Kinley picked all her favorite flavors and toppings. IMG_0132
Eden was in town the whole week and we spend days playing together. IMG_0138
One day we went to Jumpstreet and also ran into Alison and Jessica and their kids and that was so, so fun.
 How cute are all these kids!?
 And yes, Kinley and Ty voluntarily hugged it out like that during the picture.
 Melt my heart!
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After jumpstreet we ran over to Chickfila and Leslie and AG and SR happened to be there too!
 How fun!
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She got to be Star Student the week of her birthday and each day she got to take snack for the class and a special show and tell. The first day she took her American Girl Doll, Lyla, in her Jasmine that she got for her birthday to match Kinley's Jasmine dress. The second day she took her stuffed puppy, Buttercup, that she sleeps with and the third day she brought her Olaf toy that talks that she got from Kristen for her birthday.
 She said she let every kid in class push it once to hear Olaf talk. IMG_0419
Saturday (on AG's real birthday) Kinley and I met up with Leslie and AG at the nail salon to get our nails painted Frozen-theme and exchange matching birthday bubble snowflake necklaces.
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On her birthday morning I had set up a birthday banner and streamers and lanterns and we had fun-shaped birthday pancakes and sang Happy Birthday and opened presents.
 This is when we let Kinley open our box of Magic Bands told the kids that we were going to Disney World!
 They were ready to leave right then but, we would have to wait a few weeks.
 It has been so much fun anticipating our trip since then. IMG_0299
Sunday after church Kinley got to pick the restaurant and we went to and picked McAlister's. IMG_0298
I think she definitely felt celebrated!! It was such a fun week.
 
  One of my favorite traditions that I do every year with Kinley, since she turned three, is her birthday questionnaire. It is so fun to see how her world and answers are changing each year.
1. What is your favorite color? PINK
2. What is your favorite toy? MY ELSA DRESS
3. What is your favorite fruit? STRAWBERRIES
4. What is your favorite tv show? PEPPA PIG
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? STRAWBERRIES, GOLDFISH, GRAPES, CRACKERS & A SANDWICH
6. What is your favorite outfit? MY LONG SKIRT AND A SHIRT
7. What is your favorite game? CHUTES & LADDERS
8. What is your favorite snack? CANDY... "that's not a snack"... GOLDFISH
9. What is your favorite animal? AN ELEPHANT
10. What is your favorite song? LET IT GO
11. What is your favorite book? MY FROZEN BOOK
12. Who is your best friend? ANNABELLE GRACE
13. What is your favorite cereal? REGULAR CHEERIOS
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? PLAY IN MY BACKYARD
15. What is your favorite drink? LEMONADE
16. What is your favorite holiday? SUMMER (me too sweetie)
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? BUTTERCUP (my stuffed dog)
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? CINNAMON ROLLS
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A FASHION DESIGNER
 
When we went in for Kinley's 5 year old well check, Dr. Scott said she was healthy as a horse and that she could get a booster seat. She has been talking about it non-stop since then. She is 41 pounds and is 45% in weight and 85% in height for her age. As always, she is tall and skinny.
 
  Kinley, I truly cannot wrap my mind around the fact that you are FIVE years old. It is on the forefront of my mind lately that there is a chance that I could possibly live to be 80 or 90 years old and that I only get 18 of them with you.
And five of them have gone by already.
 
  You are about to enter into a whole new world going to Kindergarten in the fall and it will be full of new friends, and challenges, physically and emotionally. You are so strong. Your school teachers say you are ready academically and emotionally and even though I wish you could stay home with me, I am excited for you to go.
 
 You have such a strong will and although sometimes, that can be quite a parenting challenge, I pray that God uses that to keep your feet firmly steady in his will.
 
  You are so much fun! You make friends so easily because you are just tons of fun. Whenever someone wants to play pretend or dress up or do a craft or a game, you are ready for any of it. You just jump on board with bells on and go with it. It is one of my most favorite things about you. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with you because you are always looking for fun and you ALWAYS want to be with your friends. But, it is fun to jump on board with you and try to show you how fun your mom and dad and our home can be too.
 
Probably on that same note, you HATE being by yourself! You don't like to go to your room to play or pick out clothes or even go to the bathroom by yourself. Ty is super sweet and as soon as you say..but, I want someone to go with me...he usually says 'I go wit you Kinwee' and that works for you.
 
You still need either dad or I to lay down with you every night to sleep. And you want a story and a prayer every night.
 
You are the sweetest big sister. You love Ty so much and you already rub my belly and pray with me for the new baby. Sometimes you don't want to crawl on me and hug me too tight because you don't want to hurt the baby.
 
 You are so sweet and caring to kids younger than you. You usually physically get down on their level to talk to them and hug them and talk so sweetly. You laugh at Ty so much when he tries to make you laugh. It brings so much joy to your momma.
 
You definitely still have your own fashion sense. I cannot help you with your clothes without a battle. You still do not like wearing shorts or pants or tights without a skirt over them. You prefer dresses to everything and when you wear a skirt, you insist on having your shirt tucked in. You have pretty much mastered the front-tuck, which is a hard thing to master.   I think the hardest thing about our clothes battle is that you want me with you every single time you pick out clothes because you don't want to be by yourself but, you do not listen to one thing that I say.
 
You are still a picky eater but, you have really begun trying most anything at least once. You say "Try a bite to be polite." Some of your new favorites are edamame, greek yogurt, jello, oranges, and ham & cheese sandwiches. You still love the staple chicken nuggets, pizza, mac & cheese and yogurt but, at least you are trying some new things!
 
 You are also so much help in the kitchen. You LOVE to pretend like you are Tiana and set the table and carry multiple plates like she does in the movie. This usually involves an outfit change and insisting I call you Tiana and say things like "order up!" But, I love the help.
 
You are growing bigger and acting older and are so easy to do almost anything with. I love running errands with you and doing crafts together and cooking together and just talking with you.
 
 I love to pick your brain about friends and school and what makes you excited and scared.
 
 But, it is still my very favorite thing when you wake up in the morning and come see me in my room or bathroom and just let me hold you and hug you and cuddle with you like you are a baby. I know one day that will end and I am holding on to it with every fiber of my being.
 
  You are stubborn and have a very short fuse and sometimes yell and say some mean things to me. I get glimpses of what teenage years could be like and I admit I am a little apprehensive and drop to my knees and pray Jesus lets us get through it together on each others side.
 
 But, then you come back to me, the sweet, precious, angel girl that you are and I am so thankful for every part of you. Every moment and tear and apology...from both of us. I would not trade any of it for anything in the world.
  I love you, my angel girl.
 Happy 5th Birthday!
-Mom

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thomas the Train

One day at the end of March, Thomas the Train came to town to the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.
  Ty is totally in love with Thomas and all things "train" so, I took him on a Friday morning while Kinley was in school. 
I love my Fridays with just Ty. 
We only have a few more weeks of them before summer and the baby and I just want to drink them in. 
Alison made sure we bought tickets only to the very first train on opening day and boy, was she right.  We walked right up and on the train with our buddies and took our own pics with Thomas with no problem and once our train pulled back into the station there was a line hundreds of people long that I am sure never went away. 
I will never do it any other way. 

Ty was in heaven.
He spotted Thomas the minute we stepped out of our car.
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Who wants to pose with the conductor?
(who was surprisingly awkward when we asked to take a picture with him. 
Um, excuse me sir, if you are going to dress up like a train conductor expect to pose for pictures and yell "All Aboard." Duh. 
It comes with the territory.)
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Ty was so excited to go for a train ride
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They even gave each child a window sticker to decorate the window they were sitting by IMG_0239
So fun to ride with friends! IMG_0224 IMG_0240
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We got the ever-important certificate that we rode Thomas and had to pose with them.
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Not only was just riding Thomas so fun...but, there was a plethora of activities to do afterward.  You could get Thomas the train tatooos, play with lots of train tables, meet Sir Topham Hatt and even watch a miniature train. 
The boys LOVED this. 
How cute are Druz and Ty and Hudson!?
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Cutest conductor I know!
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As if that wasn't enough. 
There was another miniature tractor train to ride AND a petting zoo. 
Best day ever.
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We can't wait for Thomas to come back again!