Monday, March 31, 2014

Callie's 4th Birthday

Say it slowly..."You have a four year old."

It is true, there is 100% no denying it.  Callie turned four in the blink of an eye...except I was there to see it, I have been there to remember these four precious years that I would not give back for ANYTHING in the world!  Her laugh, her giggles, her words of wisdom, her sweet innocence and kind - ever so kind - heart.

Callie wanted to have a Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday party with her friends!  Such wonderful friends she has too :)  I really hope she keeps these girls as friends for a long time, because they are WAY too sweet!

Callie's 4th birthday party was from 11-1pm.  We started the party out with some painting.  Callie LOVES to do arts and crafts more than ANYTHING - seriously this girl is constantly asking to do more and more crafts!  I like to think that one day she may be an architect for how much she likes to build, or an artist for her love of painting, or a designer with her great coloring skills.  Regardless, we knew the birthday craft would have to be something Callie loved doing!

Aubrey was having such a fun time that she was double fisting the paint brushes!

Callie was letting her colorful side come out!

Aurora was painting a seriously inspiring painting.

Ella was painting shapes and butterflies!

Ashlynn painted a perfect spring picture
(I think it worked too, because our weather has been more spring like!).

Clara blended pinks and purples!

Maddie used different painting strokes to create a beautiful painting!

Lunch for the ladies!  We served pizza with strawberry juice boxes, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries!  All the berries for "Strawberry Shortcake!"

While we cleaned up their lunch, the girls played downstairs!  Oh were they having fun :)

Afterwards, Callie opened her birthday presents from her friends!  Such a fun and exciting time for all the girls involved.  All of their faces were lit up, anxious to give their gift to the birthday girl.  I have seen this side as well - as a parent - watching your daughter hand over her "gift" to the birthday really is a magical moment.

The party girls!  I love this picture :)

Callie's Birthday cake!  Strawberry Shortcake themed...of course!

It was a delicious "HyVee" cake that I bought last minute, 
because I didn't want to fuss over the cake :)

Singing Happy Birthday to the birthday girl :) :)

I always get nervous when a preschooler blows out candles...she did great!  

I just laugh, as parents we are always trying to keep our children away from candles and fire.  Yet on their birthday - a day of celebration, we are throwing fire in their face and telling them to "blow this out"...and each year they get older, we add another candle...

Seriously - has anyone else ever thought about that?!?!!?

The dessert table!  Strawberry & Vanilla Wafer cookies, Strawberry Licorice, Dessert Skittles :)

The boys came back just in time for dessert :)

Our saviors for the morning!  Our amazing babysitter, Taylor and her friend picked up the boys and brought them to Taylor's house so Josh and I could give Callie the birthday attention she deserved!  Thank you so much for being so wonderful to our children!!!

On Sunday morning, it was Callie's official 4th Birthday!  I took her to church, and when we got home, Daddy had set up her room with her birthday present!  

She is so excited!  She also picked out her rock star outfit :)
(Ignore the pampers box - I reuse them to store clothes that no longer fit)

She was so excited for her Fairy Garden!  She is able to paint the pieces (which she LOVES), plant a garden, water it everyday, and watch it grow!  We have been doing this now for a couple weeks, and she is more and more excited everyday her plants grow larger and larger!

Callie's Birthday Dinner of choice was to Applebees!  She wanted Lemonade, a Corn Dog and French Fries...I love these two :)

Collin LOVES the fries!

While Carter loves the ketchup!

Secrets to Daddy :)  I believe she told him how much she loves him :)

"Oh My Gosh - they're singing to me :) :)"

Happy Birthday Callie!  I thank God every single day that he chose your daddy and I to raise you and for you to be our daughter...a lifelong member of this crazy, wonderful family!  You have brought more laughter and happiness to our hearts than we ever imagined.  I'm sad you're growing up, but I am so thankful to be your mommy!


Monday, March 10, 2014

The small celebrations with a crazy family...

When your life is fast paced like ours, you celebrate the small things that become HUGE accomplishments in our life!  When I say fast paced, I don't mean we're never home and never with our kids...I simply mean that we both work full time jobs and try to soak up every minute we can with our children.  When we get home from work - we are WITH our kids.

When 6:00 PM hits every night we either groan or celebrate!  Tonight, we groaned...Bath night!
Not that we dislike bathing our children - I actually LOVE it!  The kids have fun in the bath, we get to hear Carter freaking out because once again, I have to wash his hair!  Collin gets mad because even though his fingers are prunes, he has to get out of the tub!  The moment he is out he says, "brrrr" over and over...while clinging to you for dear life!

Callie just loves to play in the warm bath.  Tonight she was excited because her Ariel doll finally has a playmate - Belle has joined the tub (Thanks Sandkuhlers!).  Callie rotates her wash cycle - leaning back in the tub or having the shower...

Every other night we have a small celebration..."no bath" - extra time!

Tonight, I very quickly realized one other celebration!  All the kids were in bed, asleep.  Josh was helping the Denzer's with something.  I had folded all the laundry, put it away, picked up the living room, finished the dishes and gathered lunches for tomorrow...I walked downstairs to the cold basement to grab the laundry from the dryer...when I opened the dryer door and the light lit up the large bright bin, I smiled and had a mini party inside...NO LAUNDRY TO FOLD!  No laundry in the washing machine, and only a couple towels on the floor (dirty - but not enough to be one load).

I'm done!  I am done for the night!  Sure I could clean the bathroom - it needs it...sure I could wash the kitchen floor - it also needs it...

Instead, I made hot chocolate, buttered popcorn, grabbed my laptop and sat down on the couch...relaxing and watching the movie Uptown Girls.  I forget how much I love this movie :)

Enjoy the simple pleasures in life...they're amazing!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Callie's 4th Birthday - A Frozen Family gathering!

I know we celebrated Callie's birthday a week early with our family, but it worked out better in our schedules...but the problem with this, is that I have to face the fact that I have an ALMOST 4 YEAR OLD...Where has this time gone?

I know in our four years with this amazing Princess, she has brought more happiness to our lives than I have ever imagined!  My childhood zoomed by so quickly that I can't remember some of the amazing small moments, and I think sometimes, that is why God gives you children that are so much like you can relive those moments in their eyes - which is ten times better!

We are able to have so many Disney experiences right here in Minnesota...freezing cold, MN!  Thanks to our family and our friends :)  

We celebrated Callie's Frozen Family Birthday Party today at my mom and dad's house!
We didn't go crazy with decorations, but we had a beautiful cake and a delicious brunch :)

Princess Anna with her cake!

Our make-shift cape :)

Carter was so happy to see Grandma Lynn!

Auntie Heather knows exactly how to win over Collin's heart...with food!  He was on her like glue :)

YUMMY YUMMY Egg Bakes that my mom baked!  DELICIOUS

Callie playing with her cousins Claire & Andrew :)

Auntie Kayla wanted to make Callie's birthday extra special and memorable, and she did JUST that!  At 11:15 AM on the dot, there was a knock on my mom's door...Princess Anna from Frozen was in my mom's house!  Callie stood at the bottom of the stairs star struck...mouth open...not really sure what to say!  Princess Anna walked down the stairs and Callie immediately went to her!

I do believe this was love at first sight!  Such a precious moment to witness and see with our very own eyes!  These are memories that are stitched into my heart forever!

Anna gave Callie a book (okay I placed it outside in hopes that she would see it to give to her - which she did!  And I googled how Princess Anna autographs her name and signed the inside of her book).  Princess Anna sat right down with Callie and read her this story - they were in their own little world these two!  And all the adults just watched!

Next, Princess Anna made a necklace with Callie - of course Collin & Carter had to get in on the mix :)

SERIOUSLY - she melts my heart!  Callie was quiet, and didn't talk much, but both Josh and I spoke on our way home how excited she was, how in awe she was, and how she is going to remember this party forever!  This beautiful young woman plays the role of Princess Anna and makes beautiful memories for children...what an AMAZING job :)

Callie wanted to hold her hand!

Collin was singing along to the music!  Princess Anna sang for Callie as well!  Callie knows all the songs from Frozen, but I think she was too in awe to sing along...she was sure singing them on the way home :)  See videos below to hear Anna sing :)

Princess Anna painted a snowflake on Callie's face (which stayed on her all day!!)

Callie wanted to just cuddle up and sit with her!  They read books, looked at Callie's Frozen dolls and listened to music from Frozen!

A special "Frozen" gift...
Sven & Olaf (small stuff animals) :)

Hugs for Callie's new best friend!

Princess Anna, thank you for taking time out of your day to fill my daughter's heart with so much joy and inspiration!  You are REAL to her and we are so blessed you were apart of her special day.  She was talking about you all day on her way home and wants to celebrate your birthday next :)

After Princess Anna left, it was time to eat :)  Egg Bake, donuts, mini muffins, mini bagels and fruit!  It was all so delicious!

Collin & Carter finished off about 2 dozen mini chocolate donuts throughout the day...

Callie's Snowflake :)

Thanking Auntie Kayla for "writing a letter" to Princess Anna!
Thank you Kayla - you went above and beyond and gave Callie something she will NEVER EVER forget!  You mean so much to us - thank you for being so wonderful!!

Auntie Heather & Collin ready to watch Callie open her gifts :)

Rule # 1 with gift opening, read the card before opening the gift :)
Thanks for reading all the cards Kayla :)

She was playing with this table top easel all night!  It's awesome!

Frozen PAINTS!

Kite, big coloring books and adorable outfits!
Games, dolls and money to shop :)

Rule # 2 applied when we arrived back home - Callie wanted to play with her Belle doll from her cousins and auntie Heather, but the Thank You needs to be completed before we can open any toys!  

4 Candles on her Frozen Cake :)

My baby girl is growing up so fast!

My cookie monsters - or cake monsters!

Sure Grandma Lynn, I'll eat your cake as well ;)

Andrew finished off the frosting for me :)  Thanks AJ!

Thank you everyone for coming (last minute) to celebrate Callie's 4th Birthday!  I know it means a lot to her to have you there and celebrate her big day!  Thank you mom for hosting and for helping with everything!  Thank you Lynn for helping with the food as well!  Thank you Kayla for arranging Princess Anna, and thank you Princess Anna for your magical and memorable appearance!

Here are a couple videos from our day :)

A special Happy Birthday to Papa Don...we celebrated his birthday today as well :)