Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday fun

Wow...what a whirlwind birthday weekend we had.

It's been fun. But busy.

Meredith's tea party on Saturday morning with 4 of her best friends was a lot of fun.

It was funny to see how a few of the girls preferred to play with Jesse or help me in the kitchen instead of playing with the other girls. I'm not sure if it had to do with a pecking order amongst the girls or what. But I enjoyed the help anyway!

Meredith of course got lots of fun presents.

And all the girls enjoyed the grown up tea party complete with butterfly-shaped PB&J sandwiches, fancy dishes, and hot tea in regular china teacups and tiny china teacups.

Jesse wasn't so thrilled that he couldn't eat lunch with the girls. He also wasn't thrilled that he got the leftovers of the PB&J sandwiches after I used cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Oh yeah, and he also got a cupcake without frosting. I know, I know...what a cruel mom I am!

Fire crisis averted - her hair was dangerously close to those candles.

Note to self: put Meredith's hair up in a ponytail for her next birthday!

Sunday we had a lot of fun with my family celebrating her birthday. Once again she got a lot of fun presents - everything appealed to her girly-girl self! How well everyone knows her! :) She also had time to play with her cousins - something that she totally loves to do. And at this party Jesse had other boys to play with and older girls to dote on him. So he was happy too!

I made my first layer cake for the party - it was a really easy recipe from here, so it turned out pretty good, actually.

What is it with my kids and blowing out birthday candles that makes us laugh so much? It seems like every year they do something how it took Meredith probably 5 or 6 tries before she got all the candles out.

Yeah, now I'm glad I didn't watch the episode of Food Detectives that discovered just how many germs are passed along from blowing out birthday candles on a cake!

Anyway, we had a great time and Meredith had a pretty special birthday weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Have you ever heard of the book, Pinkalicious?

It's one of Meredith's favorite books. The little girl eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink. In order for her to turn back to her normal color, she has to eat only green vegetables.

Anyway, Meredith's having a bit of a pinkalicious birthday. Last night I made pink cookies for her to take to school as a treat today. (The recipe was one that I blogged about earlier this year. They are the easiest cookies ever to make! I got the recipe from here.)

The cookies were a hit with the class. Seriously - who doesn't love pink cookies?

I also made pink (strawberry) cupcakes. That will be frosted with pink frosting for Meredith's tea party with her friends tomorrow.

Meredith chose a purple cake for her family party that we are having on Sunday. I think I'm going to make a lemon cake with purple frosting. She'll just have to settle for having purple frosting instead of the whole thing being purple. (Maybe she was channeling Purplicious??)

In addition to taking snack to Kindergarten today, I got to visit the class this morning, and Meredith got a birthday present from her teacher. She got to pick out a book and a pencil, and also got a birthday certificate from her teacher.

I had a great time in Kindergarten for the morning. We had Chinese class, 2 recesses (where I totally froze outside) spent time learning about the letter and sound "x" and had lunch together. The kids really impressed me. When you have 25 or 26 kindergartners in one room with one teacher, I thought it might be chaos most of the time. But they were all really well behaved and seemed to really enjoy school.

I do know, however, that I definitely would not have the patience to teach Kindergarten!

Stay tuned to see how Meredith's tea party goes tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meredith's turning 6

Can you believe that Meredith will turn 6 years old on Sunday?

Seriously. How is it that in just a few days I will have a 6 year old daughter?

Like, wasn't it just yesterday that she was born?

Now, I know that I'm not old enough to have a child that will be in 1st grade next year.

It must be some fluke.

Because there's no way she's that old.

Is there some way to keep her in this cuddly, so excited with life (and her parents) stage?

I guess I'm OK with her growing up. (Or rather, I guess I have to be OK with her growing up.)

I just don't want it to happen quite so fast!

the little things

It's the little things in life.

Like wearing your sister's princess helmet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

do you have days like this?

Do you have days when you just let loose and dance with wild abandon with your kids?

(So the picture doesn't really show dancing with wild abandon...Kent made me delete those pictures, but trust me...all four of us were groovin' to the music!)

Yeah, we like days like that.

They make me smile.

P.S. I know the picture of Meredith is horribly blurry. But even so, I love how she is just so into dancing!

What I've been up to

For Christmas I got a bunch of fabric and gift certificates to fabric shops, and I've been having so much fun in my craft room just sewing away.

My first project was this purse.
I wanted to make some of these purses to sell, but I needed to make a trial one first. I happened to have enough of this fabric in my stash. I'm not overly excited about the fabric choice, but again, it was what I had to work with.

I love it because it's really roomy. And I hate it because it's really roomy - usually I have it so full that it's waaay too heavy for me, and then I can't find a thing! But I guess that's more of an organizational problem, and it's not the bag's fault!

My next project was this fun purse.
I'm totally in love with it. It makes me feel like spring is in the air - regardless of the temperature outside! I bought the fabric with the intention of making the purse and selling it. But...I loved it too much to sell it. So now it's mine. (Yes, Kent, I really can use yet another purse!) It's reversible, but I don't know that I'd ever reverse it. but since it's reversible that means that there are no inside pockets...bummer!

So then I figured I'd branch out into making aprons. And I made this one for me...

And this one for Meredith.
The best part was using fat quarters that I got for Christmas. (Meredith's is made from Tula Pink fabric - for all of you who know how excited I was about getting Tula Pink fabric this Christmas!) The 2 best things about hers is that it's totally reversible and way cute either way, and that I was able to make it in one evening. With no pattern. This, coming from the girl who uses a recipe for everything and who religiously sticks to patterns and instructions.

So what am I working on now? I can't show the whole project because 1) I'm still working on it and it's not yet close to being finished, and 2) it's a graduation gift for my awesome niece, Taylor.
She chose the fabric, so on the off-chance that she reads this blog, she can see the work-in-progress...but yet she won't know how far along I am and when she'll be able to get her present. The purse is the pattern of the first purse that I made, just in fabric that she chose. I think it will turn out really cute. And hopefully it will be great for all the fun things that she will do when she's away at college in Virginia!

Anyway, I better run because my sewing machine and Taylor's purse are calling my name...

I wonder how much further I can get on the purse before Meredith gets home from school and Jesse wakes up from his nap...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

Oh Florida, how we miss you!

We especially miss your white sandy beaches.

When we went to Siesta Key in Sarasota, it was actually hot that day, so we could get in the water without freezing.

And play in the sand without freezing.

And chase after seagulls that were attacking our chips and blankets without freezing.

And gather shells without freezing.

And play some more in the water without freezing. get the picture that we were really enjoying both the beach and the warm weather!

And now we're back home, safe and sound.

And already planning the next time we can go to Florida and get back to the beach (but the next time will be with Kent and Jesse too!)

(OK, OK, enough with starting a sentence with "And." I'm sure all you teachers who read this are cringing with each and every new sentence! Kim, there goes my readability score for the blog!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Letter to Kent & Jesse

Dear Kent and Jesse,

Sorry it's taken so long to write to you again. We've been busy "beaching" it here. On both the East and West coast of Florida. Tuesday we went to Cocoa Beach on the east coast of Florida and played in the Atlantic Ocean. I believe that's a first for me.

It was extremely cold, so I'm glad that you weren't here, Jesse. Because I'm almost positive you wouldn't have liked the cold wind and the even colder water. Meredith and I braved the water - but as you can tell from the pictures, we didn't brave the water for long!

The afternoon was spent picking up shells, building a small sandcastle, writing love notes in the sand,

and watching and helping Dad fly a kite.

On our way home from the beach, we had our traditional seafood meal that we have to have every Florida vacation. However, we had it at quite a non-traditional place. Mom and I were impressed with the food and I thought the ambiance was fun. Except, of course, for the half-naked mermaid hanging from the ceiling!

If only it wasn't so cold, we could have sat on the patio and smelled the fishy smell while viewing the million-dollar homes that were across the river and right by the coast.

Today we went to Siesta Key in Sarasota on the west side of Florida. Pictures will be coming sometime soon...but here's a taste of what's to come. This is what Meredith spent a lot of the afternoon today working on.

We miss you and will be home soon!
Theresa and Meredith

P.S. Meredith was quite upset with me after my last post because I didn't include either of the pictures that she so carefully planned. She took great pains to pick out the background and to set everything up. So here are her My Little Ponies...

and here is the white tiger (named Sweet Berry after the My Little Pony of the same name) that Grandma got her at Busch Gardens.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letter to Kent & Jesse

Dear Kent and Jesse,

We are missing you terribly while we are in Florida and you are home in Iowa.

We missed you on the plane ride here. (We got to see the sun setting at however many thousand feet high. It was pretty cool!)
Well, actually, you probably didn't want to ride on the plane and get in late and then still have to wait another hour and a half until your luggage got that time it was after midnight...

...and we missed you while we froze yesterday in our thin sweatshirts at the flea market, and then again while we picked tangerines and oranges. The tangerine trees are totally loaded with fruit, but it's not very good because they are so seedy. However, the fresh orange juice totally made up for the not-so-great tangerines!

Today we had a great day at Busch Gardens in Tampa...but again we wished you were here with us!

One of our favorite things (or actually 4 of our favorite things) was the jungle "animals" that walked the sidewalks around the Jungle section of Busch Gardens. The "animals" were really men or women on stilts that were dressed to look like either a frog, birds, or some sort of spidery creature. They were really, really fun. And Meredith was totally taken with them...she would have spent the whole time right there, I think, had I let her.

The spidery guy was on stilts that were so tall, he could walk right over everyone. He would weave his way around people so effortlessly, you forgot that he was on such high stilts. Meredith loved to stand there and get his attention so that he would walk right over her while she stood there.

Then there was the bird that liked to get in your face.

And the other bird that would eat your head...

And finally, the tree frog that would jump up and down on his stilts...and maybe take your visor and try it on his head for style!

Then there were the 2 places in the park where kids could climb in and on and around all sorts of things. Forget about using Wii Fit for me - my legs got a great workout climbing on and through everything, trying to keep up with Mer!

Yes, it does look like she's giving me a "Hurry up, Mommy!" look right there!

We also loved seeing all the animals.

Like giraffes,

(don't ya love the roller coaster in the background?)

and Clydesdales,

and elephants, (who, incidentally, like to eat apples and sweet potatoes...)

and flamingos everywhere,

and even a ginormous butterfly,

and so many other animals, it's too many to even count.

All in all, a great but exhausting day.

Give Jesse hugs and kisses from us and tell him that we'll be home before you know it!

Theresa & Mer

P.S. Kent, thank you so much for letting us bring the ipod. I know that it's yours and mine to share, so we are grateful that you let us bring it along. It has come in handy a lot for both Meredith and I!