Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jackson's 4th Birthday Party

Jackson's birthday party was a splash! Literally! I was a little worried all morning because it POURED down rain all morning, which left me scrambling for plan B just in case it didn't stop. Fortunately, the weather cleared up just in time for the big event. We'd rented a bouncy house/water slide as the main event, but we also had sprinklers going in the backyard, water balloons to bust, and visors to decorate.

I stuck with the water/beach theme for the decorations, so I used sand buckets and shovels to serve the food and made the cupcakes like a little beach with a fish swimming in the water. We had flip-flop nutter butters, peanut butter and jelly-fish sandwiches, and fruit under an umbrella. The party favors were also sand buckets filled with goggles (to wear while playing if desired), visors (to decorate at the party), and fish food (gummy sharks and goldfish).

The water slide was so much fun! I loved the expressions of pure joy as each kid landed in the pool of water at the end. Here are a few of those happy faces that made the day so much fun!

Eventually, we took a break and brought everyone inside for some snacks, cake, and presents! Jackson loved every moment and every gift.

After the party wrapped up, we weren't ready to be done! Our friends, Emma and Chris, grabbed their suits, and we all joined in the fun. There was a little splash competition, which I believe Chris and Ross tied for the biggest splash. The kids would line up at the bottom to get soaked by one of the dads. Then they'd run back around for their next turn. The giggles and laughing were endless!

We ended the evening with some pizza in the driveway while we soaked in the last few moments of sun for the day. Then everyone crashed! This party was definitely one of the most fun things we've done yet!

There are lots more pictures in the album!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bring Your Children to Work Day

Last Thursday was "Bring Your Children to Work Day" at NASA, and Ross' new group had a demo of Robonaut set up for everyone to enjoy. Audrey was too busy having fun with splash day at school, but Jackson got to check it out. He even volunteered to test how strong Robonaut's fingers are and got to watch Robonaut lift weights. Then Jackson joined us for lunch before heading back to school for the day.

Jackson's 4th Birthday

I can hardly believe our little boy turned 4 last week! Some people say not to make a big deal out of birthdays, but I don't get that philosophy...I like to make a big deal out of something any chance I get, especially birthdays! This year was no exception.

We started the day with a little pretend play since we weren't going to actually have cake for breakfast. We sang Happy Birthday, and then he "blew out" the candles and served everyone a piece.

Then we moved on to presents from the family...I think he liked them. ;-)

Jackson has decided he wants to be an "Astronaut Doctor" when he grows up. He says he wants to fly into space and be a doctor for people when they get sick. Sounds like a great plan to us! He already has some doctor toys, so now he can really pretend to be an Astronaut Doctor with his Astronaut flight suit that Mommy gave him.

Audrey picked out the Spiderman mask that talks, and Daddy gave him a really cool remote control stunt car that you control with a light ray. He was genuinely excited about each one and thanked everyone very sweetly.

After playing with the toys for a little while, we had a moment of grumpiness that we all tried to help resolve in our own way...

Jackson's birthday fell on a Tuesday, so I took the day off work and arranged for a friend of his choosing to spend the day with us. He choose one of his best friends, Clara, and he decided on the zoo for his birthday destination. Ross took Audrey to school,and Jackson, Clara, and I made a quick stop at Riley's for donuts before heading to the zoo, which quickly solved the grumpiness problem.

We got to the zoo just in time to watch the elephants get their bath and learn a little more about each of them. Then we made our way through the cats and bears and into the African forest exhibit where Jackson and Clara got to feed the giraffes!

After feeding ourselves too, we wandered through one of the gift shops where Jackson picked out a couple of small African drums to add to his music collection before we headed to the carousel for a quick ride.

We wandered around a little more and decided to cool off with some ice cream and a 4D Dora and Diego Adventure film. Then the kiddos changed into their swimsuits, and we headed to the newly opened splash pad. It was a blast and just what they needed!

To round out our long, fun day, we met up with Ross, Audrey, and Clara's parents at a fun restaurant for dinner where the wait staff sang happy birthday, and we had a real cake! The kids each made a wish in the fountain before heading home and crashing hard.

It was such a fun day! There are lots more pictures in the album, and more to come about the actual b-day party!

Carnival Day

Two weeks ago was carnival week at Jackson and Audrey's school. Each room sponsored a game/event, and Audrey's creative teachers decided on a photo booth! Can you guess who got to be the photographer? Me! (I bet you aren't surprised).

Jackson and Audrey were my helpers until Ross arrived, and of course, I made Ross participate too...

I honestly didn't even get a chance to walk around to see what else there was, but they got their faces painted and had popcorn and snow cones and seemed to have a great time!

There are more pictures from the photo booth in the album.

"Just Popped" Baby Shower

My friend, Emma, recently helped host a baby shower for our friend, Lauren. I had the honor of helping out a little and taking pictures. The theme was "Just Popped" since Lauren recently had her babies, and it was adorable. I thought I'd share a few pics from the event, and here's a link to Emma's story about the shower. The cake was from Cakes by Gina, and it was incredible!

It was a beautiful shower, hosted by beautiful ladies, for a beautiful friend! Thanks for letting me be a small part of the fun!

There are more pictures in the album.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stone Family Reunion 2012

Memorial Day Weekend brought with it the Stone Family Reunion, which we always look forward to! There are three standard events every year. The first is dinner at Aunt Dottie and Uncle Jim's. This year there was a bouncy house, bubbles, soccer, baseball, and more. To top it all off we celebrated Great Uncle Alan's 80th birthday!

The second big event is brunch at Susan and John's, which for the last two years has also included a fun-filled puppet show with the kiddos lead by Aunt Carol. You can just see how much fun the kiddos had with it this year.

The final event each year is swimming and fajitas along with jumping on the trampoline and playing a little soccer. This was actually the first time Jackson's been on a trampoline since he broke his leg last year, and he was ready to go! They both had fun cheering Daddy on from the trampoline as he played soccer with his cousins.

And of course, a lot of karaoke! Jackson and Audrey both loved it this year. They were a little timid at first, but eventually didn't want to stop! Here's the progression of the singing that afternoon...

And the real reason we look forward to this event every year is the opportunity to spend some time with these incredibly fun and loving people!

There are LOTS more pictures in the album!