Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Spa Party (without the sauna, massage, or fluffy robes!)

Now that our kids are getting older (ugh, I have a TEENAGER now!!), I feel like they are getting a little old for having a big birthday party with friends. I assumed that Jaina would want something big and expensive or pick to have a very special fun day, like Jayce did, for her birthday. That's what we do here: you have a budget of $$ and you can either have a party at a place like Pump It Up, or you can pick to get a present from us, or you can pick to go somewhere special. In the past, both kids have picked getting a Trampoline or a Rainbow Play System in exchange for any kind of birthday celebration.

Jaina hemmed and hawed about it for weeks. "I just don't know! I really want a new North Face jacket! NO...maybe I want to go to Frankie's Fun Park like Jayce did! No.... maybe I want to get my nails done and have a spa pedicure!!" She was very indecisive.

6 days before her birthday, she decided she wanted to have a party after all. "I want to have a Pageant Party!" she announced. I quickly said no. I have a big distaste for pageants (no offense to any readers who have kids that compete).

"What about a SPA party??? We can paint our nails and wear cucumbers on our eyes! It will be so fun!"

Then she went and asked her dad if she could have "a few friends over" for her birthday. Like, 8, tops. (She invited 20). Now, we haven't had a party for kids in our home since Jayce turned 2. But Brian reluctantly said yes. I guess we both figured that 13 year olds are a lot less rambunctious than 5 year olds. Ha!

Our Spa party might not be Pinterest-worthy, but everyone had fun and that's all that mattered.

We gave cosmetic bags (filled with a microfiber cloth, eye mask, and emory board) as party favors. 

16 out of 20 invited actually came. I refilled this bucket with drinks twice!

Jayce manned the "Facial Mask" table. Yet, he was too impatient to wait for his mask to dry on his own. And Jocelyn ate all the cucumbers from his station.

Grandma was on duty at the Mint Body Scrub table. I found a link from Pinterest about how to make a fast easy sugar body scrub. My mom could tell you that it was messy but the girls had fun anyway.

Jaina taught her guests how to achieve an "ombre" look with your nails using make up wedges. 

We kept the girls, the noise, and the mess, outside for a full hour and 15 minutes. That was pretty good!

Then it was time for dinner and presents. I was worried about having too much food. I shouldn't have worried :P

Shaggy LOVED all the attention!

I am sincerely hoping that none of the body scrub turns anyone's bodies different colors!

Then it was time for cake. Cookie cake, to be exact.

She wasn't successful at blowing out the ONE candle the first time :P

The party ran a bit over by this time, so some of the girls had to leave as they were eating cake in my driveway. Other girls had texted their parents asking for a little more time.

I hearded the cats girls back out into the yard.

Goofy girls, all of them! But very sweet and fun :) Jaina's a lucky girl to have such good friends!

The next day, she let me take her picture outside.

My baby is certainly growing up :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Jaina!!! 13!!!

It has been an extremely busy week and I promise to catch everyone up soon on our happenings, but first I need to wish my first born daughter Jaina a very happy 13th birthday!!

We had 15 middle schoolers over to our house last night and then went over to our neighbor's house to enjoy some time at their fire pit. Jaina said she had the best birthday ever!

More to come from her special day!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Countdown to Summer

Well folks, it's that time of the year again.

Those last two weeks of school fly by and drag on both at the same time.

Standardized testing is over. Homework and study guides fly out the door. But now it is time to cram as much fun/awards/programs/activities into the last two weeks as possible.

We started out with Jaina's Spring Chorus concert. She sang in both the 7th grade Chorus and the Honor Choir this year.  (She's third from the left in this Honor Choir picture).

I wanted to get a nice picture of Jaina in her new chorus dress in front of her middle school. Of course that means that her brother and sister refused to let me take one of just Jaina.

"Take MY picture, mommy!!!" I'm telling you: reverse psychology works every time with a 3 year old.

Then it was time to celebrate Jayce as a Terrific Kid. I mean, we already know he's pretty terrific, but when the school recognizes it as well, its pretty darn terrific!

Jocelyn's behavior was atrocious during the ceremony. I guess I should be thankful, though, that she sat through Jaina's chorus performance quietly. 

Next up, 4th grade awards, field day, and year books!!

And only 8 more days of getting up to an alarm and packing lunches. We can do this!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Berry Pickin'

Down here in the South, the month of May definitely brings flowers after all those April showers. This is also the month that strawberries are ripe for picking. My northern friends tell me that this time frame is "early" but since I've only lived in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, I would have no idea when strawberries are "supposed" to be ready to harvest.

Jaina and Jayce have been multiple times. In fact, Jayce's first time at a strawberry patch was when he was just 2 weeks old. I searched for a picture but didn't find any. Probably because I had my hands full with a 3 year old and a newborn. And I was strawberry picking. What was I thinking??

But I did find these gems :)

I never tire of looking at old pictures of my big kids. I can't believe I have a 10 year old son and an almost 13 year old daughter!

 Jocelyn had never had this experience herself. U-pick farms are harder and harder to come by. Our MOMS Club found this one about 30 minutes away from us so we decided to give it a try.

She got the hang of it pretty quickly.

The sun was out in full force and very bright. Its difficult to shoot in these lighting conditions so I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

It took her all of 10 minutes to pick a quart size basket full of berries. Unlike the other kids, she refused to eat any until we were home "and the green things were cut off".

While we waited for our friends to finish picking, she found joy in the tree swings next to the strawberry patch.

Swinging, hands down, won out over strawberry picking.

We had a lovely time chatting with the other moms and kids. There was even a dog named Cupcake that came over to play.

I'd call the outing a success. Even if big sister Jaina did come home from school and eat half the strawberries in one sitting.

Next time we'll get the gallon size :)