Sunday, October 30, 2011


We went to see my favorite photographer today. I had high hopes for adorable pictures of my little people. Cory did pictures of the kids two summers ago  and then our family pictures last fall. I love his work and have always been so happy with the pictures he's taken for us. 

We had a little bit of a challenge today, though. A cute little blonde pig-tailed challenge. Pictures are always easier when your child will actually look at the photographer. At least look at him without crying. 

But I think he might have managed to get a few sweet ones. We'll see.

But I know there aren't any with that sweet Gretchie smile I love to see. The little scrunched up nose and squinty eyes.

So I figured I would snap a few pictures when we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

I had to document this serious cuteness.

But, what do you know? She wouldn't really look at me, either. No tears... but no big smiles, either.

Stubborn little monkey...

Anxiously awaiting the professional ones!

p.s. Thanks so much for the adorable outfit, Meagan! You seriously have the sweetest hand-me-downs ever! =)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

art party.

Sophie has always been a little artist. She loves to draw and paint and create. My sister-in-law went to a painting party here and was showing us her finished painting and talking about how much fun it was. She said they did birthday parties, but that it was pretty expensive. But it got me thinking... 

 Since we only do friend parties every other year, I had been planning this one for a year. (Which for me means writing ideas in my little green notebook.) The actual work almost always happens a few days beforehand. That's just how I work. (and how the month of October works.) 

Meet Beth. She's the Art teacher at our school. And she's awesome. The kids love her. Teachers love her. She's just easy to love. She's fun and creative and encouraging and tells each child that they are an artist. I knew she would be the perfect person for our party.

The aprons were from Dollar Tree. $1 each. My neighbor, Amy D., ordered us a roll of iron on vinyl for her Silhouette machine. Sophie chose a font that she liked and Amy helped us make our little purple ladybug aprons super cute! (Thanks again, Amy! They turned out so great!!)

I borrowed music stands from school. They were the perfect little easels! Michaels had a pack of 7 16x20 canvases for $20. Add on one of their 40% off coupons and my 15% teacher discount and you've got a really good deal! (Plus, I bought all the paint when it was 50% off)

I loved how all the girls were given the same directions, but each had their own unique painting. So many happy colors!

The "internal perfectionist" may have come out in this little miss at one point. She wasn't loving how her flower looked. She was so focused on the lines and brush strokes and all the little things she thought looked wrong with her painting. So I had her take a step back and come look at it from where I was standing. Then she could see the beautiful flower that I saw...

 We left the flowers to dry and headed inside to continue being artists. But this time... on cookies! I first saw the idea here, but changed it to cookies, since I wanted each girl to be able to decorate her own. I also didn't want to waste time using fondant that they wouldn't want to eat. So my friend Holly sent me the link to her favorite fondant recipe. Nothing but marshmallows and powdered sugar. They loved it. (and I was amazed at how easy it was! And fun!)

We used a fancy bowl of frosting for Sophie's candles. =)

And it happened to be Mrs. Burn's birthday that day, too! So, of course, we had to sing to her, too!

The mommies had fun decorating leftover cookies that evening... 

Love this girl...

Thank you again, Beth, for all the smiles you helped put on these sweet faces! We all had a great time!

p.s. For those of you that are local... Beth is available for future art parties! Find her on Facebook or leave a comment on her blog! Your little artist would love it, I know! =) 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

family party.

I loved celebrating these two sweet girls last weekend. My favorite oldest daughter and my favorite youngest daughter. (Who I'm pretty sure will always be called baby... no matter how old she gets.) 

Ignore the ballcap and no makeup. We got home from Branson at 10:30 the night before and we had early morning soccer games. It was a crazy busy day and I managed to get everything except for "shower/do hair/makeup" crossed off my list.

I decided on the way home from soccer that Sophie would love an ice cream cake just as much as one that Mommy made. Probably more, actually. And then we didn't need to buy ice cream. Bonus! =)

Such a fancy cake for my little cow loving girl. =)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

resort fun.

The last of our Branson posts... (then we start on all the birthdays!) 

We were so happy with our resort. I would definitely recommend Stillwaters Resort to someone and we would definitely stay there again. (Our Groupon was an incredible deal!) 

The kids wanted to swim so badly! The weather was perfect fall "outside at Silver Dollar City" weather, but it was just a little chilly for swimming. (The kids didn't think so, though!) We let them splash around here one day and they had a ball!

Doesn't it look like we're at the beach?!

They had these comfy beds along the outskirts. I could have stayed there all day.