Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ben's Birthday Party

On Sunday after Ben's birthday we had his birthday party. I may not have had much creativity for the cake I made for his actual birthday, but I had big plans for his cake for his party. He wanted spider man, so this is what we came up with!

Then we made these cupcakes as well.

I think they turned out pretty cute and they were pretty easy to do too. A big thank you to Paul who cut out all the eyes from the sugar edible paper while I was doing all the webbing.

Then it was time for the party! Ben really wanted a gymnastics party this year, so we went to the American Academy of Gymnastics and had a blast. Here are the kids warming up.

It's important to stretch before getting started...

Look at how great Juju is at stretching (she is in the pink polka dot skirt) - she knows all about this from her gymnastics class.

Most of the party. They took the picture at the very beginning and some kids weren't quite there yet, but this is most of the kids.

Juliette loved the gymnastics party!

Ben had a lot of fun on the running trampolines.

Abbey did too...

Juju quickly found Cousin Andrew to help her run around and play on the equipment.

They had a huge foam pit that the kids could jump into...it was a big hit!

Paul actually got into the foam pit to take some great action shots.

Caroline came prepared in her gymnastics wear and showed off her expert moves...

Besides Ben's whole class, we also had several family friends come to help us celebrate. Here is Kasey enjoying her snacks.

Then it was time for cake!

After a quick bite at Grande Jake's (our favorite local Mexican restaurant), it was home to open presents. I really wanted to open presents at the party, but time didn't allow for it unfortunately. But a big thank you to everyone for the amazing gifts - Ben is currently working on his thank-you notes so you should hopefully get them soon!

Belle was sad to miss the party, but she very much enjoyed getting into the presents...

Happy Birthday Ben! It was a wonderful week of celebrations! We love you so much buddy!

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Ben's Birthday!

Well, we have had some technical problems over here, but luckily my amazing husband could fix it and now we are back in business, which means I have a lot to catch up on! So, let's start with Valentine's Day. We had a great celebration. Patch sent these amazing flowers to me and the girls (thank you) and the kids and I all made cards for each other and Daddy. We had a fun dinner and celebration after dinner. Thanks to everyone who sent cards - the kids love opening up cards specifically sent to them!

Around here, Valentine's Day is also known as the day before Ben's birthday! On February 15, 2006 at 10:55 am, our baby Ben was born! Luckily, I was already scheduled to volunteer in Ben's class that day for computer class, so I came early, brought treats for the class and was able to read the class a story. Ben picked out "The Lorax", which is his favorite book. Here he is (with his birthday crown and sticker) getting ready for everyone to sing to him.

Later on at home, Ben wanted to help make his cake...Ben loves to help me cook or bake!

Ben came up while I was icing the cake and requested I put Lightning McQueen on the cake. I told him that unfortunately I wasn't that talented. He then asked for penguins. So, I steered him towards a football themed cake because I figured I could do that without much planning (considering this was right before dinner on the day of his birthday). Here is how it turned out...not too bad considering I was just planning to ice it with white icing!

Singing to Ben...

Then it was time for presents! The girls had worked very hard on home-made birthday cards for him and he was so sweet about it. He really took the time to look at each one and point out to the girls what he liked about it - it was super cute and made the girls feel really good. Here he is looking at Juliette's card, which was basically a bunch of stickers put on paper and some scribbling :)

Then Abbey showed Ben the card she had made. Ben really likes pop-up cards so she wanted to make one for him and it turned out really cute. He definitely appreciated her thoughtfulness and effort!

Then he got to open cards from other family members, which sometimes included money! And he opened up some gifts as well, which he seemed to all really like.

He got right to playing with his gifts.

And Juliette got right to asking me to read one of Ben's new books to her!

It was a very fun family celebration. We are so proud of Ben! I will post later about his growth and achievements over the past year.
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Belle Meets the Family

We had Aunt Domi, Uncle Brandon, Andrew, Hunter and Caroline over to meet Belle! Here is Hunter holding her...

And Cousin Andrew...

Then it was time for a cousin rendition of ring around the rosie...

Then they all fell down!

Having the Acuff's over also marked the start of Ben's birthday week, which we celebrated with the delicious cupcakes they brought - thank you!!

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Catch Up

So, besides the puppy, we have been doing a few other things. On Super Bowl Sunday, we went over to the Kurby's for some fun. Sadly, we had not seen them since before Thanksgiving, so we had a very late Christmas celebration too.

Joey and Juliette playing with the pyramid blocks...

Our little Buzz Lightyear (with a feather boa to accessorize of course)....

Uncle Phil and the pyramid blocks...those were partially for him too :)

Ben has been taking Karate class and seems to really enjoy it!

Juliette likes to help me clean...

And do arts and crafts projects...

(Edit from paul: I should add that this particular arts and craft project was all juju. I came down and she had gotten all the supplies out and squeezed out an entire plate of paint.....She actually didn't make too big a mess though! Neverless I got the dog house for letting it happen unsupervised :) )
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Well there are two things I forgot to discuss in my last post...1) Part of our exciting trip to go get the puppy was that we got to add Michigan to Abbey's and Juliette's map! And 2) We named the puppy Belle! We wanted to keep with our french naming system and thought Belle was cute. It has all kinds of fun nicknames (Bella Babe, Tinkerbell, Belle Belle, Dinner Bell). Anyway, as soon as we got her, Paul went out of town for work for the whole week, so things got pretty hectic (hence, no blog posts). But he is back now and we are getting into a routine with Belle. She is a very good puppy so far. We are still working on house breaking her. She knows when she is outside that she is supposed to go potty, but she doesn't necessarily stop herself (or let us know) when she has to go if she happens to be inside when that hits her. So we are getting there. Two things she already pretty consistently knows are "sit" and "kennel up", which is consistently met with a treat so she usually pretty willingly will go into her crate expecting that. The other command she is slowing learning is "off" because she hears it about 10,000 times a day! Ben is still having a blast with her though!

Just some cute pictures of Belle...

Love this one...

Such a sweet face...

And she is getting into everything! You have to watch her ALL the time...

Abbey is warming up to her. She asked to hold her with Paul, and now will go up behind Belle and scoop her up to hold her in her arms. Belle loves trying to go upstairs, but she slips on the hard wood and it really concerns Abbey. She starts to cry every time Belle tries to go upstairs! It's very sweet.

Happy girl with her pup!

Cuddle pup!

Here is Abbey holding her!

And picking her up!

So she is doing pretty well and we are all adjusting to having a puppy!
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