Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Big Birthday Weekend

We had the BEST weekend! Tim's 30th Birthday was on Sunday but we started the celebrations a bit early with a birthday BBQ on Friday night with our friends the Gibbons (it was also Chelsea's birthday)! Tim had to work Saturday but got off in the early afternoon so he could spend some time with the kids before we headed off for Tim's birthday date at the ball park! We had so much fun at the game! We actually ended up car pooling/double dating with some friends, Zack and Robin, from our ward. Our seats weren't together so we spilt for the first few innings.  I fed Henry, we ate dinner, and Tim explained the joys of baseball to Henry! It was Henry's first MLB game! The DBacks played awesome and took an early lead over the Padres. Just after 8pm we got Henry in his jammies, I fed him one more time and just liked I had hoped I laid him in his carseat and he went to sleep for the rest of the game. He is seriously the best baby! We then moved to seats right behind home plate and met up Zack and Robin. It was just a great night! It was so nice to go out, the girls were happy at home with our favorite young woman babysitters, Henry was amazing and there is few things that Tim and I love more than a good ol' baseball game! It was about 100 degrees outside but they keep the roof closed until just before the games starts and then open it up...thus they said it was 75 degrees inside the stadium. And I think that was accurate. With the roof off and windows open it was a perfect night for baseball with my birthday boy (and baby boy)! 

Sunday was Tim's actual birthday! AND he had the day off!!! The girls were so good during sacrament meeting (a real treat), Tim got to take a 3 hour nap and we had a hot dog BBQ that evening with a bunch of his co-interns and had a blast (Although afterwards I did complain how much I miss our old Iowa crew)! I made Tim's his traditional ice cream cake and it was delicious! It was fun to have so many of Tim's classmates over!

Wish I would have gotten a least one good picture of the event...oh well
Just loved this pic from that nigh while Tim was reading stories to the girls...check out Millie headband!
Then Monday we hit up Sodalicious! Tim had to work but he did get off early! I've been meaning to go to Swig each time I've been in SLC but just never made it. I recently found out that there's a similar place called Sodalicious in Mesa and Gilbert so we trekked over to get me a dirty diet coke and some delicious sugar cookies. When I asked Kate if she liked the cookie she gave me a big thumbs up and wink. Cute Millie tried to do the same...check out her sweet attempt! She's adorable.

Kate was so bummed to not get to go take any flowers to the cemetery. We had a couple good discussions leading up to Memorial Day and she distinctly remembers going to visit and put flowers on my Sokol grandparents headstones. On Monday Kate asked if we were going to go take flowers to the graves I had to explain that we didn't have anyone to go visit here in Phoenix to which she replied, "nobody dies in Phoenix?!" I guess I should have still taken her to go honor some veterans but I did promise her we could go when we go up to Utah at the end of June. She was especially excited when I told her we could go visit her great great grandma Kate's grave.

Monday evening we headed over to our dear friends the Wrights for a BBQ and swim party! The kids all had SO much fun! The burgers totally hit the spot and Tim and I just enjoyed visiting with Sydney and Tom! They are such good friends. It was a perfect day to spend Memorial Day and end our fun weekend of celebrate!

Happy happy birthday Tim! The big 3-0! Thank you for being such a supportive husband, involved daddy, and for working so hard for our family! Tim is always there to listen to my worries and although I give him a hard time about how he's always falling asleep when he's finally home he really is the best and I am forever thankful we get to do this thing called life together!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last Day of School

This grown up girl finished preschool today! I can't believe it! She has learned and grown so much these past 10 months. We are sure thankful for her two teachers Miss Whitney and Miss Cerise! Kate was really excited to start preschool but after the initial novelty wore off Kate started seeming a bit anxious and didn't want to go. When I talked to her teachers about it they mentioned how Kate didn't seem to really play with the other kids. I was shocked. Kate had never struggled to make friends. I figured she was just bored and wasn't being challenged enough or something. They told me Kate was more interested in talking to her teachers (that part didn't surprise me). In September we took a family trip and upon returning Kate made a 360 a preschool. She LOVED going and started talking endless about two girls Iris and Lola. And she never looked back since. So although it took a few weeks to get comfortable I am extremely thankful for Kate and her ability to make good friends.  Because of her becoming best friends with her two best buds I also gained some dear friends and particularly one of my best friends, Chelsea, here in Phoenix. I knew that preschool would be a really good thing for Kate and was extremely grateful to find The Growing Place but I didn't realize what real blessings were waiting! It has been so fun to see her excitement, to see her make friends, to pick her up at the end of each day and have her run to me and give me the biggest hug, to have her tell me about her day as we drive home (she especially liked telling me what they had for snack each day), and to see her joy as she created masterpiece of art and describe her drawings.

Happy Last Day of Preschool Miss Kate! You are going to do awesome in kindergarten!

Last minute end-of-year teachers gifts!

Miss Whitney, Kate and Miss Cerise

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kate's Strawberry Shortcake Party

Kate has always been our planner... especially an amazing party planner! She said back in November that she wanted to have a Strawberry Shortcake Party...for some reason I wasn't so sure not it would stick. I should have known better because yes indeed it certainly stuck. As her birthday got closer Tim tried to convince her otherwise but there was no stopping her. My favorite part is she came up with most of the activities that we did all by herself (I mean a lot came from her party last year but oh well). My favorite though was the "Fruit Taste Test!" Kate had us cover each friend's eyes and give them a piece of fruit. They were then supposed to guess what fruit they were eating. A funny game but I tell you what the kids totally loved it. I think it was the favorite game that we played. 

Here's the awesome invite that Tim made! Kate was over the moon about it. She has hung onto each invitation that she has received from her preschool friends parties that she's been invited to since we moved to Phoenix. If you've ever seen Strawberry Shortcake you may recall that there is only one boy in it, Huckleberry Pie. Because of this Kate wanted to only invite one boy. I however, tried to convince here that Nolan, the token boy she wanted to invite, might like to have another boy come. So we invited another boy friend but last minute his family went out of town so Kate got her wish. Nolan was a good sport...and actually it wasn't that girly of a party aside from the overall theme :) 
The whole party was just so much fun! It can certainly be tricky trying to keep 8 little kids entertained and doing the same activity but we truly had a blast! Kate has some super sweet, super fun friends! 

Oh man, here is the cake! I initially was pretty excited about making the cake...but after finding Kate had very specific ideas about I was worried she'd just be disappointed. Initially I logged onto the computer and showed her some pretty awesome ideas online...but none of them there the "right" one. I couldn't believe it...there was some pretty spectacular cakes that I was willing to try to recreate. But apparently they weren't right. She said she wanted all of Strawberry's friends houses on the cake. So I ordered these cute cake top figures and decided to wing it and came up with this design on my own. I looked up each friends' house and tried my best to pipe them around the bottom layer. Fortunately Kate totally loved it! And I was pretty proud of myself with how it turned out!

Decorations by Kate...that is Huckleberry Pie on the left and Strawberry Shortcake on the right
Coloring Pages
SS Coloring Book party favor
Millie especially loved the Custard the Cat Pin the Cupcake on Custard (SS's cat) that Tim created

Pupcake Bean Bag Toss (Pupcake is SS's dog)  With limited time we decided to scratch it...but Kate was so sad that Tim decided to make one out of a cardboard box. It was a hit. 

The Fruit Taste Test

Make Your Own Fruit Kabob

Check out that smile

The rainbow layers were a hit! Strawberry's house was made out of a pink and purple layer that we didn't cut.

Opening presents. It was so fun to see each child be so eager and excited to give Kate their present. Everyone was so generous! 
Kate's Crew

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kate's Birthday Week

Birthdays are a big deal around here! We made big plans to celebrate Kate's birthday with a week full of fun activities each day! Festivities included: Jamba Juice, a visit to Target to use the birthday money Grandpa and Grandma B sent, the Children's Museum and Zoo with friends, ice cream cones at McDonalds, favorite meals and snacks, Chick-fil-a complete with the lady that comes once a month to paint faces, Panda Express for birthday day dinner, PRESENTS, balloons and an epic birthday party!

So excited about the tea/cake set she picked out!
Proud of her chalk drawings at the museum

Kate loves this McDonalds play area...it's huge...and there's a least 5 McDonalds closer but this one is pretty awesome! Plus ice cream cones are always 59 cents so we go too often!

One month we just so happened to be at Chick-fil-a when this lady comes and paints faces and does a storytime/magic tricks for the kids once a month. It worked out perfectly that the second Wednesday of the month when she comes just so happened to be the day before Kate's birthday!

Birthday breakfast...french toast! Kate actually chose to eat breakfast before opening presents!

Tim leaves at 5:30am to get to the hospital and he worked till 9pm the night before Kate's birthday...so figuring out when Kate could open our presents would be tricky. Fortunately Grandma and Grandpa were very generous so Kate opened their presents that morning and Kate opened our presents when Tim got home from work. 
Zoo Splash pad complete with cupcakes

And cotton candy
We stopped by the hospital so Kate could see Tim and open 1 present from us! Tim didn't have much time clearly evidenced by us driving up to the main entrance so Tim could hop in. We only saw him for a few minutes but it was totally worth it!
Tim ended up getting off a bit early and brought Kate some favorite treats from the hospital!

Kate got a big Frozen bike!
Kate mastered her balance bike so I wasn't so sure I even wanted to let her see the training wheels but since the bike is so much bigger and Kate needs to learn to pedal we figured we'd leave them on for a little bit.
Kate's big request was she wanted a basket on her bike...for some reason the Frozen bike with this doll sleigh was like $40 cheaper than the one with a bag/basket so I got it AND Kate adores it!

Kate loves the noodles from Panda Express.

Kate's sweet friend Iris surprised her the morning of her birthday dropping off balloons and glowsticks!
Our Birthday Week calendar