Thursday, July 31, 2014

Before Bed...

Ben is CRRRAZY right before bed.  He and Lakin run laps through the kitchen and living room and wrestle until giggling leads to the inevitable tear.   This night the kittens had just been bathed.  Nothing winds the kids up more than a bath.  Seriously, sometimes baths undo me.  There's the chasing of naked, slippery wet children throughout the house and the pleading to get dressed and let me lotion them.  Followed by the clean up of a massive flood on the bathroom floor.  Aren't baths supposed to be calming?

Also, Ben's been wearing his over sized Mizzou t-shirt to bed.  I just adore.

In other news, Bennett needs a haircut.  The mullet is long enough to blow a little in the wind.

Monday, July 28, 2014

It's My Party, and I'll Cry if I Want To...

So, when you're four, things can get a bit emotional... FAST.  Saturday we had a little birthday party for Lakin.  She had four other little girls over for the morning to play and eat donuts.  The time leading up to the party Lakin was bouncing off the walls in excitement for her friends to arrive.  We'd picked up a bunch of balloons and Chris and Bennett ran out to get donuts that morning and Lakin was soaking in all the birthday glory.  Many times she reminded us that it was her birthday.  She was the special one.  According to Lakin, birthday girls can do whatever they want.  It was about this time that I could feel us veering into some dangerous diva territory but figured she'd calm down once her party started and her friends were around to distract her.

Enter her sweet friends.  Each little girl Lakin selected to invite was from different pockets of her social life so while she knew each guest very well, many of the girls were meeting for the first time.  For the first hour I let them play and it was very interesting to see her guests each choose something different to do and play.  We had three different games of imaginative play going on in three corners of the house.  Lakin was also asserting her birthday entitled bossiness and it wasn't sitting so well with her guests.  Chris and I figured maybe a donut and some present opening would help the girls all come together.

 Sweet Annabelle.  This girl's smile is contagious.
 Lakin and Emily.  This photo is classic.  Why can't my children make a normal face?  Am I to blame?
 Lakin lovingly dreaming of her sprinkle donut just before the birthday song.

 Bennett had himself a good ole time with his lady friends.  His favorite part of the morning was the donut.  Boy can eat.
 Cora girl.
 Donut demolition.
  It was silent for like 5 minutes.  Check out Ben scarfing in the background. 
Audrey was relieved the donuts had sprinkles.  I mean, is it a donut if there are no sprinkles?

 After a little sugar rush the girls had bonded and were ready for Lakin to open their presents.

 I thought it was precious how they all crowded around and were excited to tell Lakin about the gifts they'd chosen.  I used to be anti-gifts at birthday parties but I think there is something very important and special about choosing a gift for your friends.  

 One of Lakin's new gifts was a styling kit with blow dryer, hair straightener, perfume, curling iron, and lipstick.  The group played with this forever.  I was the first to take a seat in the "styling chair," but they each took a turn getting styled.

 I love how Bennett got in on the action.
 After everyone had been properly styled, the girls attempted a nice game of Candy Land.  Lakin had a fit when the game didn't go her way and had to spend a little birthday time out in her room, crying.  Minus a few hiccups, the party was a success.  All her guests graciously overlooked some of the birthday drama and I think everyone went home happy.

We're so thankful for the many friends Lakin has in her life.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday, Lakin!

Four years ago this little one made me a mother.  She exploded onto the scene, much like she does each morning.  Her fast and surprising birth were only the first indicators that we had a little firecracker on our hands.

Lakin, you have grown up so much this last year.  You are continuing to become more and more independent and I am floundering, realizing that there's probably many things you're ready to do and try, and I have continued to view you as my baby.  I love seeing you figure things out for yourself and watching you attempt new feats.  You amaze me with your tenacity and your curiosity.  I am trying to hold loosely to your baby years and embrace the growing girl before me.  

You are still silly as ever and love a good joke.  Right now you think potty humor is hilarious.  Your brother thinks it's pretty funny too.  Your mother, less so.  I really enjoy watching you try to make Bennett laugh.  It's one of the many ways you care for him.

Speaking of Bennett, you two are becoming little buddies.  You still have your fair share of fighting and sibling squabbles but you look out for him and make sure he has someone to play with.  You often point out things like trucks and trains that you know will make him excited and you consider his needs in a way I feared you never would.   Because, let's be honest, you were not super pumped to have a brother in the beginning... but God works those things out and you and Bennett are truly becoming friends.

This last year you loved preschool at Kingdom Kids and your teachers and classmates.  You had a blast every Monday morning with your preschool play group and loved spending time each Tuesday and Thursday with Miss Cathy.  We just joined the Rochester Athletic Club and you get excited to spend time in their Club Kids and visit the pool.   You are happiest on the go, doing and exploring.  We rarely spend a whole day at home anymore.

A Quick Birthday Interview...

How old are you?
What's your favorite thing to do? 
Do everything!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What's your favorite food?
Who do you like to spend time with?
Every kid I know.
What do you do really well?
What makes you laugh?
What's the best time of the day?
My birthday.
What are you afraid of?
Nothing. Just spiders and ladybugs.
Who is your best friend?
Every kid I know.
What do you like to do with your family?
Just play on my own, by myself, in my room.
What's your favorite book?
Elephant and Piggie books.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
Ice skates.

A small disclaimer: She was really uninterested in answering these questions.  Breakfast was on her mind.  So take these answers with a grain of salt...

Happy fourth birthday to our spunky little lady.  Lakin, we love you!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Sometimes this is my view after I exit the shower.

Harmoniously using an ipad together.  Quickly followed by howls and tears, but, you know how that goes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Grand VBS Reveal

This year marks three that I have worked alongside a friend to create the atmosphere and decor for our church's VBS.  It's a huge job that starts in the spring as we brainstorm and plan and order oodles of materials.  Last year we transformed CCC into a castle... this year's task was to create a jungle safari.

Here's what we created.

 A tiki hut...
 ...jungle canopy...

 ... the friendliest little snake...
... lagoon and bridge entrance ...

 ... butterfly covered vines ...

 ... an inviting jungle space for parents to wait ...
 ... the stage backdrop ...

 ... sprinkle with animal print as often as possible ...
 ... and finally, a safari tent to walk through ...

Lakin is finally old enough to attend VBS.  She's loving her week.  It's also making her an emotional wreck.  But all the bedtime tears are worth the late night adventures.  Right?