Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Heading "Home"

Tomorrow the kids and I are on our way to DE to visit with my parents for about a week. I try and make this trip about once a year. I am really excited this year because I am going to be meeting up with a few of my friends from high school. Some of us haven't seen each other for at least 12 years. It should be fun to catch up and see where life has taken each of us. This trip has gotten me thinking about the importance of friendships and the time we invest in relationships. Since I moved away from "home" almost 11 years ago I have made the effort to keep in touch with a few girls I have known since high school and a few since jr high. I never really understood why that was so important to me. Was it a way to stay connected to a place I had lived my entire life before getting married and moving? I think maybe that was it in the beginning. Now I think it is because these people REALLY know me. They have seen me through struggles, joys, pre-marriage, pre-kids - I guess I feel as though they really "get me". Not that the close friends I have made since moving aren't incredibly important, because they are. I have been blessed with friendships here that have supported me in ways that make me feel like I have established a "family"here so to speak. I guess it is just nice to have friends that know your past and certain things just don't need explaining. So while it is always nice to visit with my parents - I have to say the best part of this trip will be reconnecting to those old "forever" friends.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's Party!!!

Kelly's blog is one of the blogs that I have been reading for awhile now. I don't even remember how or when I came across it but it was when she was pregnant with sweet Harper and have really enjoyed reading it over the last year or so. Her blog is one of the reasons why I started my own because I saw how it was a great way to journal your life and keep in touch with out of town family and friends. Anyway - Kelly has been doing this "show us where you live Friday" series and I thought this weeks would be a perfect one for me to participate in. I love to plan and organize my children's birthday parties. I could probably go way more over the top if I had all the $$$$ I would like to spend. I thought I would share Teresa's 4th birthday party. I actually got the idea from a friend of mine who did something similar for her daughter. Thank you Jen!!! She was nice enough to give me some left over supplies and it was definitely a help to keep expenses down.
Welcome to Teresa's Pizzeria

This is a banner I made to hang facing the kitchen. I wish the picture was better - I used red and white checked ribbon to tie the banner together and red paper for the letters. Thankfully I was able to use the Ellison machine at Gabe's school which made it so easy.

This was the table set up when the kids arrived. I had paper chefs hats for them to decorate. At each place there was their name in foam stickers. After they made their hats they were to make their own personal pizzas. I used individual sized pizza crust and each kid had their own sauce and cheese bowl to use.

Teresa and Gabe making their pizzas!!

While we were waiting for the pizzas to cook we made necklaces out of colored pasta. The kids liked this activity more then I thought they would. The younger ones enjoyed just trying to string the pasta on the string and the older ones enjoyed making patterns out of the colored pasta.

Gabriel making his pasta necklace.

The kids all enjoyed there pizzas and thought it was cool that they got to make their own. After they ate it was time for CAKE. I have to say this was the part I was most proud of. My friend Shannon had come over the night before and help me to make these and I think they just turned out great!!!

I had them in to go pizza boxes and I think out of everything these were the hit of the party!! The kids at a blast and I had fun planning it all. It was great to see the excitement on all the kids faces.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

God Bless America

I think this 4th of July was probably the best we have had in awhile. Jason was still on vacation so we were able to plan a lot of fun activities. The weather was just perfect on the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd so we went to the beach all three days. I absolutely LOVE the beach - everything about the beach - the sand, sun, water. I think there has to be something in the beach air that immediately puts me in a good mood. The kids all have a blast, even baby Lauren has the best time. These days made me realize how fortunate we are to live so close to such a beautiful beach like the Outer Banks. One day as I sat watching the kids play, I thanked God for blessing us with such beautiful scenery, awesome weather, and the opportunity for making such wonderful memories. What an awesome Creator we have!!! A few pictures from the beach:

On July 4th we made our traditional t-shirts. Last year we tie-dyed and this year I found this idea somewhere on the web. They were a little more difficult to make then I thought they were going to be, but I think they turned out pretty cute.

Every 4th a few neighbors shoot off fireworks, which is nice for us because we don't have to drive anywhere to see a pretty nice firework show. This year we invited Jason's parents and a few neighbor friends over for a bonfire. It was such a great time. The kids played flashlight tag, we made smores, and watched some great fireworks.
On the 5th we went over to Jason's sister's house to celebrate with family. I made my tradition flag cake - this year I changed it up and used Pioneer Woman's cream cheese frosting recipe - which was out of this world. I made a lemon cake and with this frosting the cake turned out DELICIOUS!!!

It was a wonderful weekend and a prefect way to celebrate our nation!!