Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas 2016

We had a wonderful Christmas again this year! I love watching our kids grow up and enjoy the spirit of the year and the time together. This year our son has really gotten into board games, so we spent a lot of time at the dining room table playing. We watched Christmas movies, made cookies and sweet treats for teachers, looked at Christmas lights and had a wonderful time seeing family. Our daughter had her first Christmas pageant which was super fun and sweet too.

She did so well!! This pic was taken at her pageant!

Christmas isn't Christmas until we see Santa of course!! This was outside his meet and greet area.

Stockings hung and kids excited for the holidays!

Our obligatory Christmas jammie photo! 

All in all we had a wonderful year, and a great Christmas! We look forward to the new year and all the exciting things to come. Like our son turning 6 in just a few weeks!! I hope to blog more and share so much more this coming year. Until next time...

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Harry Potter 4th birthday

This last week has been crazy! And all I wanted to do was get everything ready to celebrate my daughter turning 4! How did she get so big so fast? But instead, our oldest son got mono. Yes, I said mono. The kissing disease. Where does a 5 year old even get that? So after many visits to the dr, lots of medicine, several blood tests, we finally concluded that he had a very severe bacterial infection and mono. Saturday, was all about O though! And I celebrated with her all day. Her brother was able to come to the party, but he had to take it easy. This blog post is dedicated to a very special girl, who was patient and understanding with her mommy and daddy all last week taking care of her brother instead of celebrating her. Saturday was all about her and the very unique awesome party she wanted. I may not have been able to do everything I wanted to go ALL out, but I was able to hit some touches that made her smile and me happy to see that smile. Lets get started...

We had the party at a place called iCream. It was pretty awesome. A vase full of wands and some yummy food! And what better table runner than a marauder's map!

We had some purple candy coated pretzels.

I made #4's to go on her table of all 4 houses!

I used candy melts to make designs and then place them on some delicious cupcakes.

And a magical purple cake for my big sweet girl!

I wrapped some cake balls that I made in gold candy wrappers for snitches.

Gryffindor #4!

The back had Hufflepuff!

O got to make her own ice cream! 

And the mono kid was there and happy!

Happy Birthday!

I sure loved celebrating with this sweet kid! She makes us all smile. She is adventurous, rambunctious, beautiful, funny, kind and the sweetest little thing ever! I can't believe I have a 4 year old! I can't wait to see her continue to grow into a wonderful, amazing person! Until next time...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

Every year, we go to the same pumpkin patch and take pictures! I love looking back and seeing my children grow and enjoy the same place every year. This year, my kids were finally old enough to choose how to decorate their pumpkins, so we had a fun decorating party for just us as soon as we got home! But first, here are some of the photos from the pumpkin patch.

These people, the colors and Fall in general all make me smile!!

Then we got home with our favorite picks and decorated! Here are the awesome winners for this year!

O's Frozen pumpkin.

My pumpkin using her extra stickers.

Of course the boys had to have their Darth Vader pumpkin. An awesome fun kit, bought here.

An R for the Ray family.

I think our pumpkins look great this year! I love fall and cannot wait for the many more adventures that we will go on. Until next time...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daddy's birthday

I love that every year we get to celebrate the coolest, funniest person out there. Philip takes care of this family and is an awesome dad to my two munchkins. He's a pretty sweet husband too. There are a few things that he loves a lot, besides us of course, and that would be sushi and Boston cream pie. So for his birthday, to make it as epic as possible, we gave him two cakes: a sushi cake and a Boston cream pie cake. I also threw him a surprise party that I am so glad I pulled off.

I guess lets start with the sushi cake and planning of the surprise party. The first thing you should know about me is that I have a big mouth! I love to talk and I have a really hard time keeping anything from my husband. He's my best friend, so naturally I want to tell him everything! I prepped and planned, and secretly texted people until I finally had it all figured out. His sister was going to come over early the day of the party and take him away to go let him pick out his birthday present. She took him to a comic book store, which would keep him busy for as long as I needed him gone, to give people a chance to arrive. Then she said she had to be somewhere and got him home after everything was ready. We all yelled surprise and he almost fell over! It was amazing and I am really glad, that for once, I was able to keep my big mouth shut. His face was totally worth it! But lets back up to a few days earlier which was his actual birthday where we gave him a sushi cake and some delicious cupcakes!

I found this great bakery in Plano, Sugar Ray's bakery, that had a Boston cream pie cupcake. We also got a few others to try that were amazing! My kids loved our tasting party. LOL. We have top left, a peach cobbler cupcake, a nutella cupcake (my son's pick), a vanilla bean (my daughter's pick), banana pudding, the Boston cream pie cupcake (the birthday boy's pick) and finally, my pick, a chocolate caramel pretzel cupcake! I am not big on sweets, but I like to have a little here and there. I ate on mine for 3 days! It was so good, but oh so sweet!

As for the sushi cake, here you go! Super simple to make and a show stopper! I started with sushi rice, then a layer of sushi grade tuna, shredded carrots, then shaved ribbons of cucumber and then repeated the layers. Decorated with shredded carrot and a cucumber ribbon flower. This is something that can be done easily with any vegetable, meat and as little or as many layers as you like. I did it all in a spring form pan, refrigerated it for about 30 minutes, then carefully popped it out. It was a hit for sure!! 

This was the setup for his surprise party. Fruit salad, PB&J sandwiches for the kids, pulled pork in a crockpot in the kitchen and pineapple coleslaw. And for dessert, the Boston Cream Pie cake. It was all delicious and perfect! 

For the cake, I simply baked two boxes of yellow cake mix as directed in two separate pans. After the cakes had cooled, I poked holes in one of the cakes with the handle of a wooden spoon. Then I carefully put vanilla pudding on top, making sure to go slow and take my time layering it on, so that it could get into all the holes. I refrigerated it for about 30 minutes before I put the top layer on so that it had time to firm up some. Then after I placed the second layer on, I put it back in the fridge until party time. For the top, I simply melted some bittersweet chocolate with a little bit of milk to thin it out and then spread it on top right before guests arrived. This was the perfect combination of sweet and creamy. A little bit of chocolate, creamy vanilla filling and scrumptious cake made this the best cake for a birthday boy who loves Boston cream pie!

All in all, I think our birthday guy had a great day! He got to have a quiet celebration at home with cupcakes and a sushi cake. Then have a wonderful surprise party, filled with friends, family, laughter and his favorite dessert made into a cake. He said he had no idea and it was by far his best birthday yet. I can't wait to see what I pull out next year to make him smile. I love finding and doing different things that make this guy light up. Until next time...

Monday, September 19, 2016

College week

This week is college week at my son's school and as room mom, I had to come up with a theme for his teachers door and decorate it. I love being room mom and so far, I have loved being a part of the PTA. I'm enjoying being up at my kids school and being involved. But I also have a lot of other things going on. So I needed to come up with something simple, easy and quick so that when it was time to decorate, we could get in and get out quickly. Both of my kids are playing soccer, so we get very few nights off. We weren't allowed to decorate while school was in session, so I had to go in after hours with both kids. So, getting it done quickly, means getting home and spending one of our rare free nights doing something together. Isn't that what we all want? Time together, and an easy stress free life!

For my theme, I did a Dr. Seuss college collage. I took quotes from "Oh the Places You Will Go" and drew and colored the mountain and little guy from the front of the book. I actually enjoy drawing quite a bit. In another life, I would have been an animator, but here I am, in this life, cutting, drawing, coloring, gluing projects for my kids schools. :)

Here is my little Dr. Seuss man standing on his mountain!

Next was getting all the college logos together. I didn't want to just print them. I wanted some depth to them and color. So, I printed the logos, and cut and traced and cut again, and kept going until the logos were complete. I had construction paper that I used that had all colors!! It took awhile, but it was fun! (And yes, I am from the south, so it's hard to think of any schools outside of Texas. But I tried!)

Once all the cutting was done, all I had to do was tape it to the paper for the door and write my quotes out. Getting the paper to fit the door was harder than anything else. Cutting out the window and a spot for the handle, was by far the most complicated part of this project. Here's the final: "Oh the places you will go!", "Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!!"

You could certainly cut out letters, but I wasn't sure how much space I would have, and since my handwriting isn't terrible, I decided to just write it out. 
So if you have a project for school someday
No worries, let this help you on your way
No need to fear, it was quite easy
There's no need to get a bit queasy

I couldn't help myself. There's my Dr. Seuss for you. I hope everyone has a wonderful school year whether you are room mom, volunteer, on the PTA, etc. Until next time...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Day of school

I can't believe that it is finally school time again! We have had a wonderful summer full of lots of activities, fun times and laughs. But I am ready for some alone time again and school came just in time. I remember a few years ago when my son was starting Mothers Day Out, and now he is in Kindergarten!

As usual, X was so excited to start school, and I was sad, terrified, nervous and every other emotion you can think of. He was brave, independent and didn't look back once getting to his classroom. I wanted to hang on, cry and decide to start homeschooling! (Don't worry, I'm really not going to do that. Today.)

He survived his first day with no tears and was excited to go back. It was definitely a new thing not having him around all day. By the fifth day, I didn't know what to do with myself. I have never been away from him for that many days for school before. We are loving his teacher and all the new things that have come with a new school and a big boy grade! He now gets out of the car at drop off by himself! What?! I don't walk him in anymore. (pause for some tears). Actually, by this week which is the second week of school, I'm like "see ya buddy! Mommy's got things to do!" HA. J/K! (but no, kind of for real).

O on the other hand, started 3 year old preschool. She is only going 2 days a week and I am so happy to have her alone for 3 days of the week. We haven't had that in over a year and even then, she was too young to cherish it. She calls these days "sister days". I'm not sure why. I keep reminding her that its mommy daughter days, but she insists on calling our time sister time. She started a new school as well and has enjoyed it thus far! 

It took a good week to get into the swing of things. Both kids have different drop off times, different pick up times, different lunches and a few other changes. I finally quit feeling so scattered with who needs what, when, and how many. We are settled into a nice routine and I am enjoying my days off working out, getting things done around the house and having random lunches with my husband! I am looking forward to an exciting year of being room mom for Xander's class, joining and working with the PTA, and volunteering at both schools! Its a new year, with new opportunities and I could not be more excited about them. Until next time...