Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sweet home Alabama

Dave's brother is in flight school in Fort Rucker, Alabama so we decided to take our first family vacation to see him and his wife Mindy. It was so much fun for the entire family. After a long day of traveling we arrived late at Nate and Mindy's. First thing in the morning McKenna, Reeve, and I went with Mindy to the gymnastics center that she works at. McKenna had so much fun being with Mindy and showing off her gymnastics skills to her. Reeve even had a good time bouncing on the trampoline and climbing over mats. After gymnastics we went to the best barbeque place ever. It was a small place called Big Daddy's. I have never tasted anything as good as their pulled pork!

One of the main things Dave was looking forward to was going with Nate to the flight simulator on base. Dave had a ton of fun but he says that he is still okay with sitting in the back seat. We'll leave the flying up to Nate. They talk about someday working together with Nate flying a medical helicopter and Dave being the Nurse/Paramedic in the back. They are so fun, they deffinatly keep Mindy and I on our toes.

The next day we went to the Ft. Rucker Flight Museum. It was really neat to see all the different helicopters. We were able to see the helicopter that Nate was flying and the one that their Dad flew. McKenna and Reeve especially like being able to go inside some of them.

Later that day we packed up and headed for the beach. Reeve was so excited to go he kept crawling into the bags.

We were so excited to get to the beach in Destin, Flordia. McKenna had so much fun playing in the sand and water. Even Reeve had a good time, he just kept eating the sand. We had such beautiful weather and all got sunburned. Mindy and I especially liked going shopping at the factory outlets across the street.

Nate was able to get a condo at local Airforce base. It was so awesome, it had three bedrooms and kitchen and was even right on the beach. One night Reeve couldn't sleep and Dave took him out on a walk. When they were out looking at the water he saw some dolphins swimming in the inlet. I was so mad that he didn't wake me up! What I wouldn't give to be back there now.

It was such a fun trip. Dave loved going back to a place he called home when he was about McKenna's age. Everyone was so nice there, McKenna made friends with all of Nate and Mindy's neighbors children. The best part was being with family and spending quality time together. Of course we can't forget the biggest McDonald's playland we have ever seen in Birmmingham.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My silly little Valentine.

We were in Washington for Valentines Day this year and McKenna and her Grandma thought it would be so much fun to go get a mini pedicure to celebrate. McKenna was so excited to go to the nail place. She picked out the colors she wanted (a bright red and sparkles on top.)

She so enjoyed being pampered, all the while sucking on her heart lollipop Grandma had given her. She was especially excited to put on her new shoes I had gotten her because they have a little heel on them and she calls them "my high heels." She is so fun and I just adore her!

He's been doing this lately.

Reeve loves to eat and play. Sometimes after he has eaten and played a little too hard this is what happens...

The first picture I was bringing in groceries and in the second one he had just finished his lunch and I was doing the dishes. I remember McKenna doing the same thing when she was his age. They are so cute!

Sledding Salisbury Style

Dave had a random Monday off and it had snowed the night before (almost a foot and a half) so we decided we would go sledding. We bundled up the kids and headed up to the college baseball fields because they have really steep hills. Dave had picked a hill that was much bigger than I thought was safe for Reeve's first sledding trip. Of course being the good dad he is, he went down first to make sure the sled wasn't going to tip over or anything. Reeve, McKenna, and Dave all went down and Reeve loved his first time sledding.

It was so cold so we took turns sitting in the van while McKenna went down the hill over and over again. She got so brave that she would run and jump on the sled head first down the hill. I was really surprised because McKenna is usually pretty cautious. At one point she even convinced Dave to roll down the hill with her while I enjoyed the heated van. We had so much fun and it was just nice spending time with our little family.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Building Forts

McKenna has really been into building forts lately. This particular day she was building a "doghouse". I remember as a kid building them in our basement with my brothers. We would make them into mazes with dead ends and hide in them or we would make houses with our own rooms. I even remember decorating my "room". I have heard it said that, "Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons." I think that is so true. I know that it has been a beautiful season for me watching these two little ones.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reeve's first haircut.

The day after McKenna's birthday party things had calmed down. We had our friends Heath and Stacey and their two kids come over for dinner. I had asked Stacey to give Reeve a haircut because it was getting so long on top that it was looking like he had a baby comb-over. I was scared that Reeve would cry like most babies do when they are getting their hair cut but he was only interested in eating the clipper attachments. I of course kept some of his hair to put in his baby book. He has had a few haircuts since and everyone seems to love the crew cut look on him (especially since his hair stands straight up). Sometimes we even put a little gel in his hair and give him spikes. He is so fun!

The do's and don't of planning a birthday party for a 5 year old.

I can't believe my little girl is 5 years old. It really seems like yesterday that she was just a little baby. I don't know if it is just me but the same way I am having anxiety about my 30th birthday quickly approaching, I had a really tough time with the fact that McKenna was turning 5. Not to mention the fact that she will be starting Kindergarten in August.

Well, McKenna's birthday is three days after Christmas and I decided that I was going to throw her a big birthday party this year. Up until now she had only had her birthday with family and a friend here and there. I thought I would do it a couple weeks later to give everyone a break after the holidays. My wise mother-in-law told me that that the rule of thumb was, "to invite as many kids as the child is old." Just let me tell you that is very good advice. Of course I didn't take this advice and invited three times that amount (don't number 1). McKenna wanted ALL of the kids from her preschool and all her friends from church plus some. I thought, "yeah, I can do this, how hard could it be?" So we planned the party McKenna wanted, a princess theme, and since there were boys coming we added pirates as well.

The invitation said:

Hear ye, hear ye.....
Come one, come all from across the kingdom.
Her Royal Highness Princess McKenna requests
your presence at her 5th Birthday Party.

Please join us at the Salisbury castle:
Our address, time, date, so on...

Please RSVP the Queen Tia
(phone number) by Thursday, January 8th,
A royal lunch will be served.

The party started and I was still half asleep from staying up late making gift bags for all the kids. When they arrived I had princess crowns and diamond and jem stickers for the girls to decorate and pirate hats with gold and silver pens for the boys.

After they were finished we served pizza for lunch. Did I say that I planned the party to last three hours, yes three hours (don't number two). By this time craziness had set in so I thought it would be a good time to give the kids a bat and some candy. Thank goodness the only thing that was mangled was the pinata.

We came in and had more sugar in the form of cupcakes. I know the parents loved not having their kids for three hours on a Saturday but I'm not sure if they were happy with the condition I sent them home in. She opened her presents and loved all the gifts.

We had just gotten new couches downstairs that came in huge boxes. I decided to save them for the party. We had one box be a princess castle and the other we cut into a pirate ship. I gave the kids crayons to decorate them and they absolutely loved it. I had the pirates invade the the castle and steal a princess and the girls loved going into the pirate ship to save their "sisters".

By this time I was exhausted. I looked at the clock and still had thirty minutes until the party was over. I picked out a gender friendly movie (Aladdin) and had all the kids sit down to watch it until their parents came.

All the parents came and picked up their children unharmed but definitely with a bit of a sugar high. Even though I will never do this again McKenna had the best time and it was worth all the time and energy (do number 1). She is such a little doll and we are so grateful have her in our family.