Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of 1st Grade

Today we went back to school and entered the first grade!  I can't even believe summer is done and over with!  Gabe did such a great job getting up this morning, taking on all of his new responsibilities and schedule.  He did a great job!  We shall see how day #2 goes.  

He rocked his Super Mario backpack, lunchbox & pencil bag!  He even thought about his teacher and brought her a water bottle with a "P" on it for the first day of school.  He was so excited to get to his class...always a little apprehensive to have me leave though.  I waited a little while until he got settled.

He was so excited about his new DESK this year.  He went right in like a pro and hung his backpack up & his lunch box and learned where his cubbie was.  We found his desk, put on his name tag & said hi to all his old friends from Kindergarten!
I was so proud of Gabe this morning and I didn't even cry!  This year was much smoother & easier than last year.  Gabe's teacher seems so sweet!  I'm looking forward to a great year!  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gabe's 6th Birthday

We celebrated Gabe's 6th birthday at night since it is so hot here so early we thought it would be better at night.  Well, I don't know if we were or not but at least we had some water misters on our patio that helped keep us cool.  I appreciate everyone who came out & sweat with us to celebrate Gabe's 6th birthday!  It really means a lot to us!

We kicked it Phineas & Ferb Style

I thought a rainbow theme would go good with the Phineas & Ferb theme-so I guess it's like a theme in a theme-kind of over the top but I like to make things complicated!  :-)  The show is so bright & fun and rainbows can be so girly and I loved them so I just tied the two together and I think it turned out just great! 

I made him a phineas & ferb birthday banner of course!  I also made some fun felt bunting to hang up on the patio and on the gift table!

We scored big this year with the theme because Target had a bunch of items in the dollar section where we scored lots of locker posters which dressed up the pati & yard.  We also got most of our favors for the boxes there as well.

We served pizza, salad, fruit kabobs (in a rainbow pattern), and beverages.
For dessert we had oreo pops, chocolate covered marshmallows and a cookie cake made by my sweet & talented friend Melissa!  Isn't it amazing??  I LOVED it!
 We played games like pin the tail on Perry and You're so Busted (balloon pop).  What would a Phineas & Ferb party be without making something, right?  So everyone got to create a marshmallow shoot-inator!  How fun!  While in Colorado my wonderful husband cut all the pvc & spray painted them so when I got home I just had to bag them up, throw in some marshmallows & we were good to go!  Everyone got a bag and were told how to construct them.  Then the REAL fun began!

Needless to was HOT HOT HOT out but we had a GREAT party & LOTS of fun!

Colorado Trip

Here's a few pictures from our Colorado trip!

 Lily playing in Gea's makeup-getting ready for the day!

 AMAZING bagels!

Hiking Horsetooth Falls

The City Pool
(wish our pool looked like that)

A FUN, & YUMMY Italian Restaurant we went to.

Playing in the back yard!

Took a visit down town.

Driving Home!

 It was a fabulous trip!  A long drive but we did it!  I survived, ha!  We can't wait to go back when there is some snow on the ground!

Back To School Banner Printable

I am totally printing out this for our back to school dinner tonight!  I already decorated our table with school supplies, colored pencils in a mason jar, scissors, glasses, and sight words.  I'll post pictures on how it went!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home-Past Few Weeks

Once we finally got back home to Texas-my house seemed just perfect!  It seemed so much bigger, spacious...maybe it was because it was all cleaned I don't know.  :-)  That was shorted lived-the cleanliness part!  We unloaded all of our stuff and I swear it took a few weeks days to get things unpacked!  Check out some of the fun things we did when we got home!

I learned this trick from my friend Darea & I LOVE it!  Give your juice box "wings" and the little ones can hold the "wings" while they drink so they don't squeeze the juice everywhere!  Perfect!

We ate out almost every meal (except 2) the whole time in NY!  I didn't want to see another french fry for a LOONNNGGGG time!  So, I made fish!  Yummy, yummy tilapia!  You should give it a try!

Fresh peaches & necterines with fresh squeezed lime juice & a dallop of honey greek yogurt for dessert!

I also made this fabulous pasta salad.  On a different night!  It makes a TON so fix it for a crowd!  You could even throw in a little protein like chicken and call it dinner!  

I was very anxious to get my craft on!  It had been weeks since I picked up any double stick tape and a paper trimmer.  I got to workin' on some new things for Papercutz and filling some orders for some local people.  I also made a few things for my craft room & my house.

I made this quick & easy rag wreath for my door.  Papercutz will be creating more of these but a little fancier :-)  This is the quick & easy method-your kids could even do it for you.  Gabe loved helping tear the fabric strips!  This is what you need to do.....

Pick up a wreath at the dollar tree, craft store, or even use a metal coat hanger and bend into a circle.
Purchase some fabulous fabric you love about 1/4-1/2 yard of each depending on how many patterns you have.  I did 3 patterns.
Cut your fabric into 1" strips-make 1" marks and tear it to get a frayed edge or use a cutter/scissors to have a clean edge.  I like the frayed edge better.
Get tying!  Just double knot around the wreath (this is where the kids come in) and voila!  A new wreath for your door, or grandmada, sister, auntie, me.... :-)

 Bill hung up my new shelf we picked up at the Christmas Tree Shop in NY!

We had a baby shower for my friend Becky!

We kicked off Gabe's birthday weekend with going to see the Smurf's!

We celebrated Gabe's birthday on the 31st by going to Chuck E Cheese's.  
We also gave him a "ticket" to Colorado to go visit his good friends!  

For our Colorado trip we decided to make our friends some Oreo Pops!  
Chocolate Covered Oreo's

Cute Assistants
Double Stuff Oreos
Lollipop Sticks
Melting Chocolate (I prefer 1/2 milk & 1/2 semi sweet)
Wax Paper
Cookie Sheet

Melt the chocolate on the stove or in the microwave.  Once melted I would dip the stick in the melted chocolate and then stick into the oreo and place in the fridge for about 5 minutes.  This will hold the cookie onto the stick better-we've done it both ways now.

Once cooled remove cookies and dip into melted chocolate and lay flat on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Once finished dipping, place in the fridge to harden.  Optional: Add sprinkles, white chocolate drizzles...etc. before putting in the fridge to cool.  Once harden remove from tray & put in a plastic storage bag or container.  They are SOOO YUMMY!  A big hit!

Road Trip Home

So, I forgot about all the pictures on my phone too.  So, the first collage is just that!  A whole bunch of pics from my phone that I am too lazy to go back & put with the coodinating "parts."  They are some of the places we ate at, some from the great escape, Lily eating a donut from dunkin donuts, (which we had often) dyncing up DS' with the cousins, and a fabulous scrapbook shop I ooohhhhed & aaahhhhed over right in the little town that my husband grew up in.  It was beautiful-one day I might get to do that in our little town-we shall see!

After breakfast we hit the road for another 4 day trip home.  I think being on the road was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  It was just us & the kids, my sweet family.  we weren't trying to accommodate everyone's schedules, plans, routines, habits, personalities...we were just driving on the open road...playing games, watching movies, talking, eating, telling our kids to hold really was great!  We got to see & explore fun little communities!  We saw a hot air balloon water tower, and huge bridges, and found license plates from all the different states.

The first day was a short drive to NJ where we attempted to go to Carlo's Bakery from TLC.  Well, they were filming the day we went, seriously?  So the line to get in was re-dic-u-lous!  I have 2 small kids-I didn't want to wait.  So, we watched from outside the people shove in & out in large crowds-didn't look fun.  That was after they waited in the block long line (2 hour wait) to get into the teeny tiny bakery.  I'll just take my pictures & get back into my air conditioned van-thank you!

We ended up finding this great little bakery called The Gaston Bakery!  Totally YUMMMMM!  We picked out like one of everything to bring to our friends' house: the Hastie Family!  Seriously, I wish we lived closer to them because our kids actually PLAYED together.  PLAYED-no fighting-no name calling-PLAYING!  It was so much fu!  They LOVE JESUS too!  It was such a great visit.  
(fyi-Andy is looking for a youth pastor position if anyone knows of anyone, haha)
We got to have yummy pizza, antipasto salad, house dressing, and yummy desserts from the bakery!  Cannoli's, eclairs, cookies....yumminess!  We got to listen to the girls argue about bedtime & the boys finally fell asleep in the tent downstairs (thanks Andy for putting it up)  We miss them so much!

The next day we took off early hit up some dunkin donuts (yes again) and hit the road for Pennsylvania!
We went to the Hershey Factory & toured it that day!

Then we hopped back into the van & drove all the way to Roanoke, VA where we finally crashed for the night!

The next day we drove through Knoxville where we visted the World's Largest Rubki's Cube...

and we went up in the Sunphere!  How fun!  I would love to go back to Knoxville!

Nashville however I was unimpressed!  It's quite a dirty little town!  I couldn't wait to leave, lol!
In the meantime, we had some Joe's Crab Shack & Gabe took his picture with every figurine on the strip!

We finally stopped around Memphis!  Before calling it a night.
The last night we stayed in Dallas, had pizza in bed, went swimming, and then finally hit the road to head back to Midland!

Overall, we had a fabulous trip.  We LOVED the road trip and hands down I would do it again.  I loved that our kids got to see America and not just from the clouds.  I am so glad we got to take in God's beauty and allow our kids to see that too!  We had an eventful trip in NY and a blissful time on the road. God blessed us with safe travels & no problems on the way.  We love Midland & know this is where God has placed us & are excited for what He has in store for our journey!

New York Vacation Part 4

Two random pictures, right?  The mixer was the oldest mixer I have ever used to whip up my banana pudding for our cookout.  Gabe is rockin' an Indian head-dress that used to be Uncle Chris's (I think) and he insisted that he brought it home.  But some how we ran out of room and it just didn't fit.  (wink, wink)

We got to have a fabulous cookout with all of Bill's family!  It was so nice to get to see them, visit, & share stories.  We also got to visit with my sister-in-law's folks who came in from Sweden!
 We had lots of steamed clams & the kids loved playing with the shells.
We just relaxed, enjoyed the great NY weather, played outside and devoured watermelon!

My sweet little niece....

One night while home we had a bad storm and we lost power at Papa's house so we decided to play Gabe's new monopoly game outside!  Delightful!  

 Our last night home we hit up Mechanicville's Family Day followed by some ice cream at the Country Drive-In!

One final snap shot of Gabe & Lily sleeping in Uncle Chris's bedroom where he grew up.  Neat, huh?

We hit the road bright & early the next morning-kicking it off with breakfast of course-at Friendly's!
We started road trip #2.....


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