A Kitty Birthday!!

Last night before my baby turns 2 pictures!!  It’s always hard to send them to bed when you know they’re going to be officially older in the morning. haha

Of course, my kids never want to be in pictures until I want to do a picture of just one of them alone.  Then, the jealousy bug kicks in and they are all swarming over like flies. hahaha

The big birthday started out with a fancy dress and muffins.  Elly was pretty excited about that!

Breakfast was followed by a tiny photo shoot outside, because little miss turned 2 and that only ever happens once in your life you know!!  She spotted something very important and concerning.

Jellybean has been wanting a kitty themed birthday for a long time now (this was prior to us actually having baby kittens), so it wasn’t too long before she ditched the ruffles for her kitty shirt. Cool Kitten on her strider.  Rule #2 of being cool: never go anywhere without your shades.. B-)

Our kittens were born around April 14th, and I had told the kids they could hold them for the first time on Elly’s kitty birthday.  This was Elly’s first time getting to snuggle one.  Can you tell by her “I’m actually in heaven right now” expressions?!  So cute. ❤

One of our first picnic lunches of the year.  They’ve been a long time coming with this slow spring!  Keep those crumbs outside!  WOOO!!!!!!

We didn’t actually send out any invitations for Elly’s party, because we opted for just doing an immediate family celebration this time around.  Her birthday was awkwardly in the middle of the week and we were busy the Saturdays surrounding, so that’s how it went.  She didn’t seem to mind. 🙂  If we would have invited guests, the invites would have looked something like this. 😉

Kitty banner up and ready.

This was my hurried attempt at a kitty cake.  Elly thought it was great, but Evelyn critiqued it as looking too much like a tiger.  She wanted an orange kitty cake though, sooooo there is only so much one can do!!

These were the marshmallow paw print sugar cookies.

Kids didn’t know what to do when I let them have one of the cookies for an afternoon snack…. (not sure what I was thinking.  Sugar overkill never goes well hahaha)

What’s a kitty birthday if you don’t dress the birthday girl up as a kitten??

Present time after Daddy got home!  She got a doll pack ‘n’ play, which continues to be a huge hit.  She was instantly loading it up and carting it around the house.

Cake and song time fun!

Daddy didn’t get a pic of Obie as his was devoured before we could, but he enjoyed it as well. haha

Happy Birthday, big 2 year old!!  This was the best we got of us with her, courtesy of Abby. 🙂 ❤


A very Buggy Birthday!!!!! And a special “Mama Time”

Last night with my 4 year old!!!!  Still can’t believe she’s FIVE now.  Where does life even go?!

Peanut was feeling left out and needed in on the action. haha ❤

Soooooo, it’s Abigail.  She was set on a bug birthday, but toyed around with what she wanted the cake and focus to be.  For a while she was determined to have a stink bug birthday cake, but thankfully she switched that up.  Ugh.  Finally, she decided to dress up as a Ladybug Girl and have a bug cake with a praying mantis.  Whew.  The requests I get, I tell ya.  Here is your cute little Ladybug Girl! ❤

Alright, here are the cake pics you’ve all been dying to see.  Take a few deep breaths and remember this was fairly challenging for me. haha  All angles, folks.  Get ready.

Check out that praying mantis!

And the Oreo dirt sides with worms.

I considered it a success because the birthday girl approved after all.

Abby Joy had one major birthday request.  She wanted to invite “her” (my kids even steal my friends) friend, Callie (pretty sure my kids all actually call her “Cowie”) over for her birthday.  She had been dreaming of this for weeks (Abby, not Callie – clarification), so Callie got to come over and we had an extra special “Mama & Callie Time” with both of the big girls!

The fun started with some necklace making.  Abby loves flower/nature stuff and creating things with them.  She had been drooling over the fake flowers at Wal-mart for practically forever, so I let her and Evie each pick a batch out for the big day.  Pretty sure this scene below made one of Abby’s top 10 moments of her entire life.

This is Abby’s contained excitement, yes, I’m loving this face. haha

Finished products!  They wore these for days.

After necklaces, we fit in a little bug fun.  Create your own bug(s)!  Evie went with the blue theme, because she likes the color blue obviously, guys.  So, she picked out a blue paper and glued on a blue bug with blue eyes, a blue nose, and blue feet.  Yup.  She then proceeded to rip it off and reglue it like fifty times until it shredded. #3yearoldlife

Abby worked diligently, perhaps modeling a few ideas from Callie….

Mine was kind of a distracted one this time and didn’t turn out quite like I was hoping.  It kinda looked more like a bird than a bug.  Bummer.  Maybe next time.  I did really like my polka dot background though.  That kinda spiced it up.

I think Callie won the best job award this time.  Her alien bug was pretty cute and that distinguished caterpillar with the black mustache…. I mean, come on.

Abby got some bug finding and observing materials for her bday, which she was 100% thrilled over and immediately put to use.  Yes, apparently there were some boxelder bugs and stink bugs still lurking in our house this time of year.  Really!!

Birthday banner?  Reused from Evie’s, because leaves totally work with a bug theme too and we were in the middle of trying to buy a house and WHO HAS TIME FOR A NEW BIRTHDAY BANNER!?? haha

Oh, also?  Totally didn’t get the birthday invites done or mailed out, but here they are in all their glory.  At least the internet can enjoy them.

Pretty nifty, eh?  In addition to the buggy cake, I made some praying mantis and ladybug cookies.  I thought the praying mantis ones looked more like vipers, but Cabz reminded me that praying mantis heads really do like kinda viper-like up close.

And of course we had to have some ants on a log.  We also had chili, but that hopefully didn’t have any bugs in it. lol

We got to have a special guest for Abby’s part, Great Grandpa D.!!  He happened to be visiting right over party time!  We enjoyed getting to show him our house – it was our last chance before moving!  We all enjoyed his company. ❤

This is a little blurry, but us with our new 5 year old!!!!! ❤

A Zoo Birthday with a Special Cake

Just humor a sentimental Mama here for a moment.  You know my kids growing up always gets me right in the feels.  These were my “last night with my 2 year old Evie” moments.

Evie knows how to start her days RIGHT – with a nice big cup of “kef!”  You really can’t beat a good, healthy cup of keifer. 🙂

A traditional birthday walk on Daddy’s shoulders (a tradition that won’t last forever I’m afraid…).  With a stick of course….

Evelyn reusing the classic train outfit from Abby’s 3 year old party.

Little Peanut is getting so big!!  I can’t handle it!! ❤ ❤ ❤

I always let the girls pick what kind of a party they want, based mostly on their cake request.  Evie gave me quite the challenge this time around when she told me very decidedly that she’d like a chocolate zoo train cake – a blue chocolate zoo train cake that is.  I found some inspiration off of pinterest, but mostly came up with this chocolate graham cracker and frosting creation.  It was a bit more difficult to piece the engine together than I anticipated and I had to make the process take longer with chances for frosting to dry/harden, but it eventually was complete!

Yup, I’m doing all angles of the cake here.  It took me ten years to make, them five minutes to eat, and let’s just all sit and appreciate it for a minute now. haha

The good news is, it was 3 year old approved!!!

I also made some zoo animal cookies and a hummus platter lion (note to self: don’t ever buy garlic hummus.  I like garlic, but this was waaaay too much!)

The banner was sort of jungly, but jungle, zoo, eh….. it works, right?

Time to blow out those candles!!  I helped her out a little bit to avoid the cake being covered in spit. ha

Our birthday girl. ❤  We had fun celebrating with you today and being thankful for the gift of your precious life.  Thank you, Lord, for this undeserved blessing. ❤

Oh, also we took Evie to the zoo a couple days before her birthday.  We had some cool kids go with us. 🙂


Birthday Babe

Parenting win of the year.  We kept almost forgetting about Elly’s big FIRST birthday.  If it wasn’t for her older sisters, we probably would have! haha  Thanks to them, she didn’t miss out on her cake.  The morning of her birthday, they were asking me, “Is Elly gonna have a cake??  Does she get a cake or anything for her birthday?”  Oooooh, yes.  Yes, yes, she does.  Good thing it’s our Aldis day!  We’ll just add a boxed cake mix to the list! Woo!

I happened to have some leftover pink and white frostings in the fridge, so I made a round cake and tried to do a darker pink strip, a lighter pink strip, and a white strip.  So fancy, right?  haha  The sprinkled #1 on top made it all better.

Elly’s cake eating pictures were probably my favorite so far.

First, the cautious, “What is this stuff you put in front of me?”



That awkward moment when you look up and realize everyone is watching you stuff your face.

“Eh… oh well!  This stuff is too good to care!”

Double-fisting it!

*Sugar Coma*

Annnnnnd we’re done.  Mama intervention and cake time is over. haha

We didn’t have a present for Elly because, TOYS.  All over my house.  Constantly.  But I started thinking it would be kind of fun to watch her open one, soooo I wrapped up an old baby doll of Evie’s and we were good to go!  #regifting  #practicalparenting  #recycling  #toomanytoys

I wrapped Elly’s cute little present up and she took off running with it.  She thought it made a great accessory…..

….Until she became bored of the seemingly useless blob and threw it.

Our “sweet” little Eliana can be quite foul when she wants to be.  She wasn’t getting the “open it” concept very well, so I plunked her on the couch with it and gave her some extra encouragement.

She fiddled with it for a little bit….

And then got frustrated and kicked it to the floor while doing her squealy bratty yell thing.  So adorable, right?  Err…..

After practically opening it for her, she finally was motivated enough to pull the doll out.

She decided to be sweet again and gave her new baby lots of very wet kisses.

Then she ran her baby over to the window, but her chair (aka stepping stool) had books on it.  So she had to whack those off to the floor first.

Then she told her baby all about the outside world and gave her a few more kisses.

Time to open her present Emmy and Papa sent for her.

Well, that went well.  SHOVE.  KICK! haha

I opened it for her since she was being little Miss Attitude, and what did she do?  Shoved the clothes back in the back.  MMM!!

We still love you, Cutie! ❤ haha  XOXOXO



Abigail’s Princess Birthday Party

Trains… trucks…. the princess party is finally here!  I have waited long enough to have a more girly themed party. haha  Abby had actually been planning to have a princess party for her four year old birthday ever since last year.  She currently has the next two years’ themes picked out as well.  We’ll see if she changes her mind before then, but I kind of doubt it.  Here is one of the princess invitations I made, recreated from a version on Pinterest/Etsy. haha


Abby was hoping I could make a “castle cake” for her party.  I found some inspiration off Pinterest and came up with this.  I could have made it a little more appealing by using two layers for each of my layers, but that would have required more time, frosting, and well… throw some candy on there and Abby was going to be excited regardless. haha


I loved the idea of using sugar cones as the low maintenance castle towers.  I spread a light layer of frosting over each cone, and dropped sprinkles all around them until they were covered.  For each flag, I used half of a toothpick with a paper triangle taped on.  I was having some trouble getting them to stand upright on the cones, so I melted a little almond bark and drizzled it around the bottom of the toothpicks.  I had to do one at a time and hold them in place while they dried, but it went pretty fast.  I was worried they wouldn’t hold up, but they were actually stuck on pretty tightly when I went to break them off at dessert time.  I could have just used a glue gun for speed, but I didn’t want the kids getting glue in their food.  Ew.



Tasty sugar cookies with purple frosting and light and dark purple sugar crystals sprinkled heavily on top.  I used this recipe from my mom.


Decorating was so much fun!!  Abby picked out some princess colored rolls of tulle at Wal-mart, and I cut strips and knotted them around a string.  When it was long enough, I tied/taped it around our dining room table and voila!  A table fit for a princess!




I created this princess banner.  My favorite part about it was how the princesses were “holding” it up.



Oh my word.  My sweet, little four year old was inspired to create with all of my decorating going on.  I let her cut and glue with some of my scraps and I’m pretty sure she created a princess from my nightmares!  Awww! haha  She was so proud of it, and wanted to be sure we used it in our decorating!  Of course we had to find a prominent space on the fridge for it, but oh dear….. it is a bit frightening!


The table spread, complete with necklaces and wands for all the royal guests, and princess napkins of course.  They were from Wal-mart and they were the coolest.  Seriously, they were like little princess booklets with a different princess on each “page!”




In preparation for party time, we blew up some balloons and I painted the girls’ fingernails PINK!!  They were loving it.  Abs still gets uptight about me washing her hands, because she doesn’t want me to wash her polish off!  I told her we could repaint if needed.



Getting her “princess shoes” on.


She still needs her crown.



Our little princess all decked out.




Abby’s “princess dress” was one of my old dance recital dresses.  I actually wore this one when I was seven, but it was the most princessy one, so I pinned it a bit in the back to help it fit and we went with it. 🙂



Little sister, Evie, wanted to dress up like a princess too.  I’m not sure she ever realized this wasn’t her party…. ha


I asked Abby to show me how old she was and she went with the ol’ 3 + 1 method.


After a tasty supper of pizza and pink lemonade, Abby was ready for the long awaited CAKE TIME!!  Following a round of “Happy Birthday,” Abs finally got her long awaited ice cream and cake.


Quick picture with the birthday girl before the faces were destroyed….


Abby Joy loves to be prepared  and had picked out her two ice cream flavors (strawberry cheesecake and cotton candy – the real hot item) months ago.  Cotton Candy was a real success among the young guests.  Oh, and with my brother, Jake…. but, he is basically still a child. 😉


The party was great, but I was left wondering….. Are you sure you can’t stay my little girl forever?? ❤



Abigail’s party was a couple days before her actual birthday.  She was ready to enjoy another day by the time she really turned four though.  Evie and her were excited to start the morning off with some giant princess coloring pages!


Although Abs had to wait for Daddy to get home before she could open her present from us, she got to open her tiny present “from Evie.”  I think Evie was just as curious as Abby was to see what was in there.


It must have been pretty great, because Abby was excited to share her “Baby Rose” with Evie afterwards.


This precious little girl really is four years old!



Snack time = leftover castle towers!



Daddy finally came home and Abby got to open her new Lego set!  She was pretty excited.


For supper, Abby picked to have chicken wraps!  Excellent choice!  I just looked and I’m pretty sure I never posted the recipe I use, which is pretty tragic considering it is delicious!!  I’ll put it on my to-do list – yes, it’s actually real, also HUGE, and endless.








Evelyn’s Truck Birthday Party

Evie has been determined to have a truck themed birthday for the past few months.  We have three daughters and they pick trains and trucks.  Come on now, girls!  Give me a little pink and purple frills to work with! haha

I made some very etsy copied truck birthday invites, because it was fun.


Since Evelyn’s actual birthday was on a Friday this year, we decided to have her party the following day.  I’ll begin with an account of her actual birthday, followed by party festivities.

We started the day off right with breakfast shakes!  It’s a good day for Evelyn when she gets to eat a meal via straw.


Lamby needed something to drink too.


I sure do love my little two year old!!!!!!!!!!


Evie had a couple presents sitting on the table all day, waiting for her to open when Daddy got home.  I asked her, “Who do you think those presents are for??”  And she answered in wonder, “I on’t oooh!?” (I don’t know)  It’s been quite a while since we had any presents around, so she didn’t quite grasp the idea that there was something fun inside.  Abby was more impatient waiting for present time than Evelyn was.  Abby helped me wrap them and did a great job keeping everything secret from Evie.


The big two year old!!  She’s always sure to find the best sticks out in our yard.  Totally not a danger hazard at all in her hands…..


There were some extra trucks from the pack I got for cake decorating.  Evie put those to good use.


Finally Daddy got home from work and it was present time!  Abby jumped in to help a bit with the opening.



When we had asked Evie prior to her birthday what she was hoping for, her response was always, “I wan’ eggs!  And pizza!!  And ice cream!”  We were planning pizza and ice cream for party day, so the girl got eggs for supper on her birthday.  Chowing down on some turkey bacon.


After supper, we went for our routine evening walk.  We have to enjoy every chance we get at this point!  I asked Evelyn how she felt about being two now and this was her response.  Fair enough.


Our pony and calf (not so much anymore) friends were right by the fence to wish Evie a happy birthday of course.


It was a pretty perfect day to turn two.



Alright, birthday party time!  I was really excited to make Evie’s truck cake, inspired by some ideas I’d found on pinterest of course.  As I was setting out each cake decorating item, Evie kept exclaiming, “Thank you, Mama!  Thank you!” haha  I used yellow paper and electrical tape to cover a cookie sheet “construction truck” style.


The cake was your basic chocolate devil’s food cake box mix. haha  I wasn’t planning to decorate a cake AND make one from scratch.  I had frosted with the bottom layer a couple days ago.  I put on a second layer of chocolate frosting right before decorating.  First, I stuck alternating yellow and orange Reese’s Pieces around the edge.


Then, a row of crushed Oreo cookies – frosting removed – was the “dirt” on top.  I realized later that I should have tried to put them on around a two shape, vs. coating the whole top and then trying to scrape them off the two.  That got a little sketchy.  The cake kept trying to pull up and make a disaster.  I had to refrost the two for it to even show up and that was incredibly tricky with Oreo crumbs trying to stick all over.  It was a mess for a while there, but eventually I got ‘er done.  After placing a few “dee-gars” around, the cake was finished!!  Other then Caleb thinking I had made a “Z shape” on top the cake (come on now….) it turned out perfectly.


These traffic light treats were brownies with M&M’s frosted on top.



The girls enjoyed some pre-party balloon fun.  Elly was laughing so hard about all the balloons flying around!


My birthday girl was digging being two.


There were a lot of helpers making homemade ice cream for the evening.






They were especially available during the taste testing. haha



The kids all enjoyed playing in the yard before supper.




It was great to see this cute little brother of mine.  He is totally Opie Taylor’s look alike, right?!?  SO adorable.  He even mowed our yard.



We had a demolition site, complete with a wrecking ball.  The wrecking ball was a balloon filled with sand, wrapped in duct tape and hung by twine.  Evelyn was loving this, and cracked up laughing after she knocked over the boxes.  I just wrapped the boxes in packing paper with “bricks” drawn on.



I was in a hurry and had a little dumb-dumb moment with my wrecking ball prep.  I blew the balloon up, got a funnel spout in the opening, and dumped some sand in, hoping it would somehow empty in even though it was full of air.  Well, that turned out awesome.  The sand was just sort of sitting in the funnel and although I started realizing this was a really bad idea, I gave it a little poke…. still hoping it would seep in there somehow.  It seeped a little bit and then POOF!!!  It exploded out into my face.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I know.  You’re thinking it’s a bummer no one was documenting that moment with the camera.




Evie needed a tutu, just because, so I made her the only kind I could – an elastic band with tulle knotted around it. haha  I thought it was amazing because I can’t sew at all and it was something you could wear that I made myself.  Don’t laugh too hard.



This is how she was showing everyone how old she was.  Holding up two fingers on one hand was a little too tricky.


Two days of birthday festivities was starting to wear Evie out.  It’s hard to handle that much attention!


Birthday truck decor I made, inspired by (or completely copied from) the lovely pinterest.





Excited for cake time!!


The spread…..



It was worth the wait.


Balloons and presents in the house.



We love you, Birthday Girl!!  We’re excited to help you enjoy some good adventures and learn new things this year!  ❤









S Week

Okay, WOW!  So, this was from almost 2 years ago now…… yup. haha  And I am finally going to post it.  I had a friend kindly remind me that I never finished posting my letter of the week ideas and now I’m feeling motivated to work on them again. haha  It’s been so long, that apparently I misplaced the handwriting, tracer, and “What begins with?” pages for some of these letters….. if I come across them, I’ll update this.  Otherwise, you know the drill from my previous letter posts anyway.  This will have all the letter activities, crafts, etc. which is the exciting part.  Also, there were a LOT of fun things for letter S. haha  It was too hard to narrow them down.  Everything sounded like fun!

We started with some paper plate snakes.  These are one of the only types of snakes I can handle. haha  The girls got to use markers (which was super exciting, because I’ll be honest and say I rarely pull them out due to the epic mess that ensues – see giant tarp underneath to protect the house) to color their paper plates.

Then, I helped them cut them into snakes.  They got really into it and made a bunch, so we used thin string and tied them up to the ceiling to make a hanging snake pit downstairs.

S is for stars and stickers!

This was one of my favorite activities for letter S: Seed Match-Up!  The girls enjoyed it too.  Science lesson on seeds. Some of the seeds I bought, but others we saved up from foods we ate during the week (the girls really enjoyed that!).

Shooting stars with streamers!  Of course, Evie had to use a lot of blue on hers. haha

Debatably the girls favorite thing all week…… taking silly selfies.  This was their first time taking selfies and it was hilarious!  There were way too many amazing ones to choose from, so these will have to suffice.

Abby wanted to take a cute selfie with Elly.  Of course, Evie wanted to follow suit. *Dying*

Science experiment time!  *Sink or Float*  This was a simple activity that the kids had a blast with!  They filled a bucket with water, gathered up a bunch of nature items from our yard, and took turns testing whether their items sunk or floated.  Of course, they continued the activity with a million other things afterwards too.  It was great fun!

S is for Sisters!  I love these precious babies!  ❤ ❤ ❤

Snowflake Stamps!  These were really easy and of course fun.  The worst part would have been the ink all over, but it actually washed off really easily, so it was all good. 😉  Don’t ask me what kind it was – no idea.  Probably just some basic washable paint.  We saved some milk jug lids, peeled off some foam snowflake stickers, stuck them on, and voila!  Snowflake stamps!

Sock puppets!  These turned into more the girls picking what they wanted and me making it happen.  Sooo, they didn’t help a ton with production, but they (for a limited time) enjoyed playing with them.  This was definitely more cute than long lasting entertainment though. haha  I only recommend it if making sock puppets sounds really fun to you.

This activity was probably my other favorite of the week!  Sound Match-Up!  We went around the house and gathered up some things that looked fun to shake.  The girls helped me put them in some old Easter eggs.

Then, they took turns shaking the eggs and trying to locate the matching egg.  It was funny to watch them concentrating and finding the match.

We have some matches!  Yay!

“Swimming” at the spray park by Daddy’s work!  What could be better??

The girls were loving this one…. Sprinkle Sandwiches!  They spread a little peanut butter on the inside of two vanilla wafers, stuck a slice of banana in the middle, coated that with peanut butter, and coated it with sprinkles.  It looks like a child’s dream, but it has a banana and peanut butter so it’s basically healthy….. right?  These were fun and worked okay, but they didn’t hold together as well as one would hope.  Kids didn’t seem to care though and would have made a mess eating them regardless to be honest. (Abby’s face in the 2nd pic hahaha)

These were a surprisingly long lasting craft, that the kids gleaned from more than I anticipated.  We made sticker color books.  I did laminate the pages later to keep them lasting longer and then put a ring through to make little books.  Because I’m extremely late writing this, I can say that we STILL have these almost 2 years later and the kids still enjoy them from time to time.

Sunglasses and swimming to end the week.  We found some sunglasses for cheap and the girls thought they were hot stuff wearing them around.  We also still have these downstairs in our dress up. ha

Abs smuggin’ it up. hahaha  When I laughed at her, she couldn’t hold the look.