Monday, March 14, 2011

Cricut Cake 02/18/11

We needed a cake. One that would feed 250 people, have 3 tiers, be teal, and have a peacock on it. We were having no luck finding one for under $700. That's right, $700 for a cake! So, I got this crazy idea that we could make the cake if we bought the Cricut cake machine. I went to Libby with this epiphany so she could talk sense to me, but instead, she hopped on my Crazy Train!

The machine sat in my Overstock cart for two weeks before I was brave enough to hit the 'Buy It' button. With $100 from the wedding budget and $50 put in from my sisters, it was much easier to push the button!

We tried it out on the Bridal Shower cupcakes.

This is the Cricut Cake Machine.

Peacock themed cupcakes for Manda's Cafe Rio "I'm the Bride" lunch


Libby's food blog pictures to make sure you see all the fabulousness!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Manda & Tony's Wedding 2/25/2011

Crazy Aunt Manda got married!
Married?
Yes, married!
Married?
Married! Sheesh!


Tony and Manda after the Wedding Ceremony
Tony and Manda at the Gateway on our way to dinner at Tucano's
No party is complete without a Sister Picture!
Tony and Manda at Tucano's.
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Our Valentine's Day

I wish I had pictures!
But, I didn't know what was happening when I left the house!

Around 4PM, Jared called me and asked me to go outside and look in the car for something. Before I could get to the car door, I saw a plate full of chocolate covered strawberries on the hood. They came with a note that told me to "take a break and go to Hart's for a sodie".

I got to Hart's and the lady behind the counter gave me my mug (that Jared had dropped off there 3 days in advance) and told me that my drink had already been paid for. I wonder by who? Inside the mug was a stuffed frog and a note sending me to Lisa's house.

I got to Lisa's house and she gave me a note and a box with a pair of earrings that I thought I had lost along with two new pairs of earrings. A week before, I had lost one of my favorite silver earrings when I got my hair cut. Or, so I thought. Jared bought me new silver earrings and then found the lost one in my car, so he wrapped them all together. I stayed and visited with Lisa until he called and said I could come home.

I came home to a tablecloth and candles on the table which had been moved into he front room. He had made us a steak, salad, baked potato diner and even had music playing in the background. Music being Reba! He banished the kids to the basement with pizza and a movie and we had a nice, quiet dinner. After dinner, we watched Bed of Roses which was my favorite chick flick from college and required that he dust off the VCR and hook it up!

It was a fabulous Valentine's Day. Jared went so far above and beyond to make me feel special and it worked!

Valentine's Day in Kindergarten 2/14/2011

Every holiday is super-sized when you're in Kindergarten! It doesn't matter how you've celebrated for the last five years, this year will definitely be better!
Josh came home from school wearing his "Special Delivery" valentine costume. He was so funny trying to get out of the carpool van and get his heart on over his coat before coming in the house!
These were his Valentine's that we made for his friends in his class.
And, his Valentine box which had to be the best thing we've EVER created!


Jake and Cam celebrated Valentine's in their classes, too, but they're not up for all of the memory-making photos. Jake's box looked a lot like Josh's. He made it completely himself. Cam's looked similar to the Love Boat, but we left off the frilly pink junk and put S.S.Cam on the back.
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Sometimes... 01/22/2011

Sam is really cute.
And, he asks for a prize after going to JoAnn's.
For the fifth time in one week.
And, I oblige.
Then, we glue popsicle sticks together instead of working on our 'wedding jobs'.
(Don't tell Manda!)

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Jr. Jazz (Jan-Feb 2011)


Joshie playing ball

All three of the big boys played Jr. Jazz basketball this year. I should probably say all four of the big boys since Jared coached Jake's team! We had games every Thursday and double games on Saturdays! That's a lot of basketball!

Jake & Jared's team did really well. They won most of their games. The 5th-6th grade league plays full court and calls things like traveling & fouls. Jake has enjoyd playing 'real' ball. He even went so far as to declare his career path on his Jr. High registration as NBA All-Star!

Cam played in the 3rd-4th grade league. There aren't many rules and his team didn't have practices outside of the 20 minute warm-ups before games. Cam is ready for rules and fouls - he got a little discouraged, but he stayed with it. I went to the first couple games alone because Jared was coaching at the same time. But, that kid really put on a show for his dad during the third game! He was so excited to steal, shoot, and rebound for Jared!

Josh played his first year of basketball. I was so surprised at how well he could dribble. And run. At the same time! He definitely didn't get that from me! I loved watching his games for so many reasons, but the biggest one was watching all these cute boys and girls smile and wave every time they ran to their parents' end of the court!
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Wedding Kitchen

This is what our kitchen looked like for most of February!
OK, I'm lying.
I picked up a few things before I took the picture.


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Sam's Happy 3rd Birthday! 1-19-11

Sam loves the Wonder Pets! You know these guys, right? They're Sewious!


So, naturally, we had a Wonder Pet party. We gave all of our friends Wonder Pet capes and then got busy answering the phone calls of animals in trouble! Jake and Cam giggled their way through phone calls from Jared's phone out on the porch and we listened to their calls for help on my phone inside. Once we knew who needed help, we set off the rescue them and get our reward.


First, we saved the Poodle that was stuck on the Statue of Liberty's nose. Just an FYI, I went into the tax place in the AF Costco parking lot and told them what we were doing and they gave us enough lady Liberty crowns for all of our guests! They're awesome!
Next, we saved the poodle that was stuck on the Eiffel Tower (colored by Josh). We all got a little poodle puff for that one!

Then, we had to save the dolphin that was stuck in a net. Our dolphin looked a little bit like a goldfish, but he was a dolphin! We shared gummy dolphins/sharks as a prize.
Lastly, we had to save the chimp that was stuck in space. (We love this episode because the chimp tries to use a banana for a phone!) Our reward was glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls.

The Birthday Boy with his Wonder Pets cupcakes


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Water Beads - 01/15/2011

We found the most fascinating thing to put in the centerpieces for Crazy Manda's wedding! These little water beads are tiny (see the bag by Sam's hand?) but when you add water to them, they grow to the size of marbles! The little white thing in the corner of the picture is a light that we put down inside of the marbles to make them glow. It may sound mundane, but in a house full of boys, this is
pretty amazing stuff!




The part that's not so amazing is the slippery sludge in my driveway that reappears each time there's precipitation! I guess that's what happens when Sam finds the 5 gallon Gott jug full of these things the day after the wedding and decides to pour them out!
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Happy Birthday to Me! 1-11-11

On the way out the door to my Sister Party, I found these!

Well, actually, Sam and Jake had already been here and Jared returns every night so I didn't really find them. But, I did find a chocolate cake, a dozen roses and a new dryer.
A dryer that dries clothes in one load, not three!
A dryer that has a light inside - have you ever seen one of those?
A dryer that has a cool buzzer to let me know it's time to pause my stories and change the laundry!
I love it! Be jealous.

We went to Godwood for my birthday dinner. I'm pretty sure all four of us got brisket. And don't let your eyes fool you, that IS a Diet Coke brownie cake!
A better shot of the cake. Be double-jealous.
And you can be triple-jealous because my ever-thoughtful sisters got me a Jake Ryan t-shirt for my gift!! Could you want anything else?

After dinner, we went and tried on wedding shoes. You don't have to be jealous of this fabulous shot of me.


Then, we went home and had giant chocolate cake for dessert!

Happy, Happy Birthday to me!

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New Year's Eve

You really can't go wrong on New Year's Eve with Wii, party food, and balloons!


The boys played Wii most of the night. Dance Party was a big hit (and helped them to sleep well later).


We had lunch bags to open on each hour to make the waiting not take so long. One bag had noisy horns to blow!



One bag had stuff to make NYE crowns to wear for the evening. The other bags had goal setting lists and Favorite Things from the Past Year games.


Earlier in the day, we hung tablecloths from the upstairs banisters to the high window sills in the Family room and filled them with balloons and confetti. The plan was to cut the string at midnight, of course, and let it all fall down on the kids. Sam got a little overeager and cut the string at 10:30 for us, so we had a balloon smashing contest!


When midnight finally came, we celebrated with our 'cheater fireworks' - we danced on bubble wrap!

Christmas Morning 2010

Every year, the boys beg to open 'just one' gift on Christmas Eve. We try to keep Christmas Eve about Baby Jesus and the scriptures, but in the end, we always cave and let them open one. This year, we made a rule that we get to choose which one they opened. Like dogs with their eyes bulging and tongues wagging, they agreed.

(As a side note, I hate that all of the anticipation of Christmas morning, shaking boxes,
the hours of shopping and wrapping are all over in 30 seconds of mass chaos and confetti
rain comparable to NYE at Times Square.)

So, we let them open one gift - oven mitts. They were a bit confused until we told them that they had to wear them Christmas Morning to open their gifts so it would last longer. They were, um, somewhat amused by us...I guess.

Christmas Morning came and we woke up to the buzz of excitement around 7AM. I wish I had a picture of everything before the boys went downstairs, but we don't. Instead, we have a bunch of pictures with a bunch of toys, a bunch of wrapping paper, and a bunch of smiles.


I almost forgot : one of Sam;s favorite gifts was a little Thomas train from his stocking. He is so cute singing Choo, Choo, the Big Train is Coming Down the Tracks (*cough, cough*)
Sorry it's sideways!

video

Friday, March 11, 2011

Year in Review

This is a slideshow we made for Gigi (my Grandma) for Christmas. We took pictures from the entire year and tried to show her what we had been up to for the last 12 months. It's a great Year in Review for our family!