Friday, July 29, 2011

Our New Toy

The girls were both anxious to try this out and were sad when we ran out of regular pencils and colored pencils to sharpen!  Who knew a pencil sharpener could be so much fun? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Fun-Filled (Free) Day!

Today was a big day.  It was Arin's 5th birthday, plus the start of my third trimester, plus Andrew's day off.  Any of those things on their own would be awesome, but all three together seemed like a reason to celebrate!  We had a birthday party for Arin a couple of weeks ago, but still wanted to do something fun for her today.

No school for the girls today.  Instead, we headed to the free summer kids' movie this morning.  We saw Yogi Bear.  This was the first time that any of us had seen this movie.  Arin loved it!  She was cracking up throughout the movie.  It was so cute to hear her giggling so much!

After lunch, we needed to stop by the bank, so we asked for the free lollipops for the kids and we let them eat them in the car, with the windows rolled down.  Yup, we're super fun parents like that.  Hahaha!

Next, Arin went with her daddy and her Uncle Todd to dig at his house.  Todd is getting a pool, but before that can happen, they have to get this massive stump out of his backyard.  It's a lot of work and may not seem like a fun project to the average person, but Arin loves being included in this activity.  Ella and I stayed home and napped :)

Before dinner, we took Arin to Toys-R-Us, where she got a paper birthday crown to wear and a balloon.  Plus, they announced her birthday over the store's intercom system.  Yes, Arin felt super special!

Next, we headed to Chick-Fil-A.  Arin had been invited to a special birthday celebration where she was given a free kid's meal, a special present, a cow stuffed animal toy, a balloon, a craft, her face painted, a cupcake and ice cream!  Wow! 

Chick-Fil-A included Ella in the special dessert :)
After dinner, we had planned to take the kids to the park, but the rainy weather prevented that, so we took them to the mall's play area.

Finally, we took the girls to the pet store to look at the animals.  They love this!

It was a super fun day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Princess Academy

Friday afternoon, I took the girls to Princess Academy, which was a free event celebrating the kick-off of Disney's Dare to Dream Tour.  The girls were so excited!  They loved being able to wear their party dresses - that was until we got there and several of the other little girls were wearing dress-up clothes, so Arin immediately wondered why she wasn't also wearing dress-up clothes, especially her dress-up shoes.  After a little heart-to-heart, she was happy again about wearing her party dress and regular shoes!

Even though they don't look like it, they were super stoked to be here!
The city's mayor came to kick-off the event and each of the girls took an oath for stuff like, using their best manners, protecting the kingdom, etc.  Then the real fun began!

There were seven stations set up with activities.  The girls were to complete each activity to get a sticker on their report card.  Once their report card was completed, they went through Princess Academy graduation, where they received a diploma and became a real princess.  Oh yes, my girls were super excited about this!

The girls decorated tiaras.

They constructed castles.

We took a carriage ride and the girls practiced their royal wave.  This was also my first time on a carriage ride and my favorite activity of the day!  Arin said her favorite activity of the day was when I let her dance in the rain! (It's the simple things...)

The girls learned a few dance steps.  I didn't get a real good picture of them dancing, but here they are with their dance instructors.

They learned how to curtsey. 

Ella thought it was  more fun to eat her dress than to curtsey!

The girls went through cake designing class.  Each were given a cupcake and then let loose to decorate it with every kind of junk food imaginable: sugary cereals, M&M's, gummy bears, marshmallows, sprinkles, chocolate chips, jelly beans, animal crackers, lollipops, and I'm sure I am forgetting some things.  We don't eat gummy bears or marshmallows, so I gave Arin a quick reminder about that, which she was completely ok with, especially since there was SOOO much other stuff to choose from.  And to wash down all the sugar, the girls had a pink lemonade drink.  Yes, they were on top of the world.  Funny thing was they both had a bowl full of sugar and they both chose to eat their lollipops first!

The last activity they did was Princess Glamour.  I didn't have my camera with me at this point, so no more pictures.  The princess glamour consisted of the girls having glitter sprayed in their hair and sparkles applied to their faces and lips.  Next, was graduation and diplomas.  We had a super fun afternoon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Homeschool Blog

Next week is a big week around our house.  Arin will be turning five and we'll also begin our new homeschool year.  With the start of a new homeschooling year, I have decided to start a new blog, so that we can keep our learning activities separate from our family activities.  I will continue to post on this blog, but it'll be all family life stuff.  Our new blog to document our learning activities is called Sandbox Scholars.  By the way, it was REALLY hard to come up with a new name.  Everything I thought of was already taken (you can see how creative I am!).  This was the first name Andrew came up with.  It happened to be available, and I think it's a cute name, so that's what we're going with :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Arin's Party

We celebrated Arin's 5th birthday several days early with a family party, which was so much fun!  Including us, there were 29 people in attendance.

The night before the party, the girls helped their daddy blow up several balloons.  It was Arin's request that we had lots of balloons. 

That night, the girls had a ton of fun playing with the balloons.  They enjoyed sitting in the big pile, tossing them around, and running after each other with the balloons. 

Who knew the adults at the party would find the balloons equally as fun as the kids did?  The grown-ups sat around and played a game of keep the balloons in the air.  There was so much laughter.  Lots of fun!

We had set up a family-sized blow-up pool and a baby-sized blow-up pool in the backyard, along with a slip and slide.  These kept the kids busy for several hours throughout the afternooon.

For lunch, we served take-out pizza, along with several other snacks.  I made deviled eggs, a platter with carrot, celery & ranch dressing dip, black olives, cream cheese and pepper jelly with crackers, tomatoes topped with mozzarella and fresh basil, strawberries, and cherries.

After we ate, Arin opened her presents.  She got lots of fun, new toys!

Next, it was time for Arin to give presents.  She gave each of the kids at her party a wrapped present, which also doubled as an activity.  We had ordered horse hats from Oriental Trading.  The kids assembled them.  They were a bit more challenging than expected, but they made for a good laugh.  Even the teenagers were good sports and got in on the fun!

Next, we moved the party to the front yard where all the kids got giant bubble blowers.  I've seen these bubble blowers all over the internet.  They look like so much fun, but unfortunately, our's did not work as great as the ones we see on other people's blogs.  I think it could have something to do with too many kids in too small of an area?  We gave the blowers to everyone, so hopefully they will try them again at home and have better luck with them.

Next, we enjoyed dessert.  I made three flavors of cupcakes - chocolate, strawberry and confetti.  Along with the cupcakes, we set up an ice cream sundae bar.  The bar included vanilla ice cream (of course!), whipped cream, chocolate, strawberry and caramel syrups, nuts, cherries, chocolate and rainbow sprinkles crushed Oreos, Mini Reese's Cups, Mini M&M's, jelly beans, and bananas. 

Arin had so much fun with her family.  She cried when it was time for them to go home.

And though completely unrelated, I thought I'd share a belly pic of me at twenty-six and a half weeks!  Almost to my third trimester :)