Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This morning Olivia decided to be a ballerina butterfly for her preschool party and parade:

Tonight....she decided to be Cinderella...accompanied by a medieval princess, a jedi knight, and a jack-o-lantern dog:

Olivia and Finn made it up and down the street...then, they were both ready to be done.  We are currently passing out candy to trick-or-treaters while Ben, Allie, and Zach are hitting up the rest of the neighborhood.  We just might be taking the opportunity to indulge in some of Olivia's trick or treat candy in between doorbell rings....

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

Olivia, today you are three and you are so incredibly proud to finally be "FREE!"  When I asked you what I was going to do now that I don't really have a baby anymore, you responded, "Finn can just be your baby, now!" 

I know you can't wait to get big so that, in your words, you can be "Cinderella and a mommy and drive a car," but I'm in no hurry for you to grow up.  You are my favorite three year old. 

I love how much you talk to fact, you pretty much talk all day long to anyone who will listen.  Your friendliness makes so many people smile throughout your day.  I hope that you never lose the ability to bring so much joy into others' lives. 

You started preschool this year, and even though the first week was a little rough as you were learning how to play with others, share, and treat your new friends, you have seemed to settle in just right.  In fact, when I saw the class pictures hanging outside your room this week, I couldn't help but smile myself when I saw how happy you are to be in preschool.

I tried to make your day special today...having a birthday in the middle of the week can be a bit of a bummer.  So, after Allie and Zach gave you their special birthday notes, we had banana split pancakes for breakfast.  However, you were most excited about the PINK MILK! 

At Bible Study today you made sure to tell everyone it was your birthday!  You told me you learned about Jesus and a treasure hunt.  When I asked you where you can find the treasure Jesus was talking about, you emphatically replied, "IN HEAVEN!"  I hope you will always seek Jesus with such enthusiasm and treasure Him above all else as you continue to grow. 

After Bible Study, we picked up Zach from kindergarten and went out to lunch at Panera. 

Then, we came home and spent the rest of the afternoon playing, reading books, and looking at pictures from when you were a baby. 

Since no birthday is complete until cake is served, I made sure to have pink cupcakes on hand for dessert tonight!  You were beyond thrilled!

Now that Daddy and the big kids are at AWANA, we are snuggled up on the couch watching cartoons together. 

Happy Birthday, dear Olivia!  We love you and are so happy God chose you to be part of our family!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Olivia's Third Birthday Bash

Since Olivia's birthday falls on a Wednesday this year, we decided to have her party the Saturday before.  At first I felt kind of sad that she had to celebrate so early and was worried about her not feeling special on her actual birthday. seems my worries were unfounded.  Today as we were entering preschool, Olivia carrying her special birthday snack of pumpkin muffins, she proclaimed for all to hear that it was her birthday again today!  In fact, according to Olivia, she gets lots and LOTS of birthdays....there's her birthday party, then her preschool birthday, then her real birthday, then right after that is her Halloween birthday!

It seems by having her birthday party so early, we've created an entire week-long birthday celebration and Olivia is more than happy to be the birthday star. 

I'm not sure her "other" birthdays will be quite as fun as Saturday, though.  We made sure that everything was decorated with her favorite:  MINNIE MOUSE!

She was beyond thrilled when she awoke Saturday morning to all the presents and Minnie Mouse d├ęcor: 

My parents and brother came over for a pizza party...Olivia was especially excited about the Jack-O-Lantern pizza!

Presents were quickly opened after lunch.  In fact, Olivia barely took time to look at what was inside each package because she was too eager to open the next one.  I think it is safe to say she loved everything!

Cake time was next.  Olivia was especially excited to blow out her own candles!

The marble cake, complete with strawberry whipped icing at the birthday girl's request, was delicious. 

All the goofy kids agreed...

The rest of the day was spent visiting and watching Olivia play with all of her pink toys....and capturing moments like this:

We ended the day by attending church in the evening where Olivia told everyone it was her birthday.  It was definitely a fun day celebrating my favorite soon-to-be three-year-old! 

School Halloween Parties

Last Friday both Zach and Allie participated in their school's Halloween festivities.  I was able to help out with both parties...Zach's in the morning and Allie's in the afternoon. 

With Zach's class I operated the Smart Board to help the kids with a Fall Memory game.  Zach also played pumpkin bowling and pass the pumpkin.  They continued the Fall theme by counting with candy corn and enjoyed popcorn and apple cider.  Zach attended his party as a Jedi Knight.

Since Olivia came along to Zach's party to help me out (actually she was completely amazing...coloring the entire time and simply observing all the other kids!), she also dressed up.  More than one of the kindergarten girls came up to Olivia to tell her how cute she was...of course, she was thrilled!

Here's a picture of Zach's class after the party:

In the afternoon I returned to school to help Allie's class while Ben watched Olivia and Zach.  Since I was the only parent helper and the kids were WAY excited, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.

Allie attended her party as a medieval princess and I tried my best to adorn her hair appropriately before she left for school.

I helped Allie's classmates make ghost and candy corn Halloween-themed door hangers while her teacher helped them create ghoulish fingers and teeth out of string cheese, apples, and marshmallows.  The kids also enjoyed pumpkin cookies and some Halloween crosswords and word finds. 

After the party, all the kids headed outside for the annual Fall Parade.  Thankfully, the weather was a balmy 50-degrees!  Woohoo!  It was fun to see all the creative costumes and see how excited the kids were to be in a real parade, complete with a marching band, police car, and fire engine. 

Olivia's preschool party is this Thursday as well as Trick-or-Treat.  I'm not sure how the kids are going to make it through the school day on Halloween because they are soooo excited!  Thankfully, we have Friday off school...ample time for the sugar high to wear off before school starts back on Monday.