Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jonah turns 3!!

Jonah's birthday always seems to creep up so quickly after all the Christmas/New Years busyness and we had an extra trip planned for right at the end of the month, but with a little prep work we were able to celebrate our sweet Jonah!

We don't usually have big production parties for our kiddos, we like to keep things a little simpler but make sure they know how special they are on their special day.  One of those details is letting them determine what kind of cake they want and Mommy does her best to create it.  Jonah had been insisting for awhile that he wanted a Jake and the Neverland Pirate cake, complete with Jake, Izzy, Cubby, Captain Hook, and Tic Toc Crock.  And Bucky.  Yep, he was bound and determined that he wanted a cake that looked like Bucky, Jake's ship.  And no amount of deterring him would work.  So I searched a ton of images online for an inspiration cake that I could work off of.  I think I've realized that I can be a decent 'copycat' artist but can't figure it out on my own.

So, I took a few ideas, tweaked them a bit and spent a day creating Jonah's cake for him.  It's fun and special for me to take the time to do something just for my birthday boy even if cake decorating is not exactly my forte.  Thankfully my kids don't expect perfection and seeing their excitement is awesome!

Here's what I came up with....

The day before his actual birthday, we decided to have Auntie Amanda and Nana over for dinner.  He chose macaroni and cheese.  So of course I let him have what he wanted (and made BLT's for the adults!)  He was pretty excited to see his cake and have a little attention just on him!

And just in case you think that my cake worked out perfectly, here's what it looked like once you touched it at all....there was very little support and it sort of crumbled.  Ha ha!

After dinner, Jonah was ecstatic that is was time to open up his presents.  And I have to admit, its fun to spoil our little boy with a few things we know he'd love.

Benjamin had picked out some special presents by himself for his brother and it was adorable watching his excitement for Jonah and Jonah's gratitude towards him.  Brothers are the best!!

Jonah has been obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon lately and I actually had him look at all the different dragons and pick his favorite.  He settled on Hookfang but then I told him that I would make a note of that, but a lot of times we aren't able to get every toy we want for your birthday.  I wanted to get him exactly what he wanted but also wanted him to be a bit surprised so I played it up like he might not get Hookfang.  And the look on his face when he opened it was awesome.  He couldn't speak actually....he kept saying, " said.....maybe not....get him......but......"  It was pretty cute and fun to watch.

On his actual birthday, it fell on a Sunday, so we went to church in the morning and then treated him to his yearly Happy Meal at McDonalds.

I will do a whole other post on everything Jonah is up to these days as a 3 year old, but it is safe to say that he completely stolen our hearts and we adore everything about him.  He is funny, energetic, stubborn, kind, ornery, loving and the perfect little part of our family.  Jonah Caleb, your whole family loves you gobs and gobs.  Never stop lovin', yeah, yeah.  Happy Birthday sweet boy, 3 years old is going to be a great year for you :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas with kids is awesome.  Christmas is such a wonderful time of year where it seems like everything is warm and cozy, you spend lots of time with family and friends, we sing joyful carols in church that celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus.  It's all great.  And with the pure joy and simplicity of a child's take on it's just so fun.

I think there's always this weird pressure to try to make the holidays 'perfect' for our children for fear that they'll grow up to by dysfunctional if they don't decorate sugar cookies, pose nicely on Santa's lap, open exactly 5.7 presents all perfectly wrapped, and memorize all the verses to Joy to the World.  But really, I think our children can allow us to stop all the craziness that we fill the Christmas season with and just focus on the simplicity of all we are given and all we have to celebrate.

Our boys didn't care that the Christmas jammies they wore on Christmas Eve were too short in the legs, the sheer excitement they had over going to sleep that night didn't even let them notice.

So what if we didn't purchase every toy on the 'hottest toys for boys' list!  The giddiness they displayed as they opened their light saber toothbrushes and lego set they've had their eye on forever makes a mama's heart skip a beat.  I adore giving my boys presents I know they'll love but its always good to look back at these pictures and realize that a zillion toys aren't what my boys need or even want.  A family that loves and knows them enough to find them a gift that's perfect for them....and watching them wait in anticipation for the child's reaction as they open the gift because they know how much they'll love it?  Those moments....those are the gifts.

We had a lovely Christmas this year.  We attended our Christmas Eve service at church, ate our traditional meats/cheeses/crackers/fruit/soup dinner afterwards and implemented a new family tradition.  Growing up my dad would always give us kids one present from him with our meal on Christmas Eve, so Peter carried on this tradition with our boys.  Such a little thing, but so special.

Christmas morning we didn't let the boys get up too early, but they were so excited.  We took turns opening presents and stockings and just enjoyed the time together.  My mom and sister stayed with us for a few days during the holiday break and it was so nice to spend time with them.  We made monkey bread for breakfast and once all the presents were opened we just spent the day building lego sets, playing with new toys, watching Christmas movies and finished it off with a yummy ham meal.

After Christmas we spent the next few days just doing a bit of shopping, relaxing and then prepping for our trip back to Spokane to spend the next week with Peter's side of the family.  We had a fabulous time at Poppy & Gong Gong's for a week.  The boys played in the snow, we watched a lot of Bowl games, celebrated New Years, and enjoyed spending time together with the Larmores too.  Peter and I were also treated to a wonderful date night at a super fun hotel in downtown Spokane.  His parents gifted us with a yummy meal there and watched the boys so we could have a few hours together.  It was delicious and fun to enjoy the festive lights downtown.  And my sweet hubby had flowers at our table when we arrived, so, so thoughtful!

Remembering the week in Spokane I think about how awful Ethan slept most of the time, our yummy food, our Christmas celebration at 10:30pm, taking our nieces and nephew to Big Hero 6, staying up late at Anita and Nate's just like the good old days, Benjamin throwing up in a ziplock a few hours into the drive there, and leaving early because of the snowstorm coming in and our lack of snow tires.  We love spending the holidays with family and this Christmas was no different.

This sweet time of year always seems to pass by so quickly, but these pictures remind me of how richly our lives are blessed and how simple, intentional efforts into our children, our family and others can be so wonderful.  A very, merry Christmas indeed!

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