Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Anna Claire Turns Six!

Our little Anna turned six last Saturday, the 13th, even though she is really not that little, 48 lbs and about 46 inches tall. I am not sure where the time is going.  Anna is still a big "Frozen" fan and wanted that to be the theme of her party. So, one day at Hobby Lobby, I got a little carried away with the decorations offered over there and had dreams of turning our house into a snowy, frozen, wintry land. She also wanted to make a snowflake ornament so we did that, along with Play-Doh Olaf's and two games, Pin the Nose on Olaf and Frozen Bingo. We didn't even have time to make our Diamond Ice bracelets but the good news is one of Anna's friends has a birthday in February and also wants it to be Frozen themed. So, I am selling all my decorations and unused craft to her!

Anna woke up on her birthday bouncing off the walls knowing it was her birthday (she has been dying to be six!) and that it was her party day as well. We gave her our gifts right after breakfast and then got to work setting up for her party which was at 1030am.

 In the above picture, Kyle mistakenly thought it was Christmas morning and we were ALL opening gifts. Poor guy.

 She has been wanting a sleeping bag so badly. She got one and she has been sleeping on her floor every night since!
After breakfast, she was crazed and couldn't wait for everyone to arrive for her party. I love that she loves her birthday because I know there may come a day when she thinks it stinks that it's 12 days before Christmas...I did not mean to do that to her, promise!

Let the party begin!
 The Food:
 Troll Balls (go ahead and laugh, everyone else did, especially the dads!) and Anna's and Hans's Sandwiches
 Elsa ready for her Coronation Day, she is always creating something lately.
Coronation Salad
 Olaf's Noses
We also had Sven's Snacks (fruit, cheese, and crackers) as well as Olaf's Arms (pretzel sticks) and Frozen Waters for drink (ginger ale with blue jello mix). I thought I had taken a picture of these but I guess the party began and I forgot!

 Snowball Ornament: super easy and cute styrofoam ball and then pinned with pearled straight pins sequins on top of punched out snowflakes. Then add a simple white ribbon to hang by. Thanks to the grandmothers and other moms who helped with this.

 Here are some of the completed Play-Doh Olaf's. They all enjoyed this activity because what kid doesn't like Play-doh??
 Below you can see all the ornaments hanging on the tree.
Here is the ornament up close.

Opening Gifts and Decorations
 December is such a busy month and I was so excited for Anna that most of her friends were able to come, friends from ballet, from Kindergarten, from Pre-K, and neighbors and family too!

 I tried to get her to do something creative for the "cake" but the girl wanted a Publix cake so, that is what we got! Her day, her cake.
 After all the friends left, we opened gifts from family. Here again, I missed having Larry's and Robin's mom there to watch her open her gifts.
She received awesome presents! My parents gave her the pajamas for her American Girl doll, Julie and then are taking her to the store to pick out pajamas of her own.

 Here she is opening Aunt Kelly's and Uncle Greg's gift which was a very chic purse and some jewelry, in the picture below she is explaining to Pa that they are just stick on earrings.
 The boys watching...and a big Happy Birthday to that guy in the middle. Thankful he is always willing to share his day with his granddaughter. And, starting next year, I am going to have them take a picture together each year. I think that will start a cute tradition.
 So, from Nana and Pa, she got a "Fancy Nancy" dress. In case you don't know Fancy Nancy, she is right up Anna's alley! Always dressed up and trying to be fancy by using French words and be so mature. Anna saw one of her friends in this dress (at the friend's Fancy Nancy birthday party) and asked for it. I think she kind of forgot about asking for it though.

And, here she is the following day in her dress which she wore to church class and then to Natalie's birthday party!
 Here are the decorations from the party, I hung snowflakes from some of the doorways and two mantles and then put icicles on the bannisters. It looked pretty "Frozen" to me!

 Anna had a great party and made sure to thank me afterwards which made me feel good about putting it all together. I had so much fun planning and executing but I will tell you, five and six year old girls are a tough crowd and I was nervous! Justin overheard one girl say that "this was the best Frozen party ever!" and she herself had a Frozen party with a two young ladies dressed as Anna and Elsa from the movie! Woot! Woot!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving and Santa

Yes, we did celebrate Thanksgiving! Here are some pictures to prove it as well as our visit to see Santa this past weekend. We did celebrate Thanksgiving at both my and Justin's parents houses but I failed to take the camera out of my bag at the Reynolds's house. Sorry! Both of our moms prepared an awesome meal and we left extremely full!!  As for Santa, he was kind of a bummer for us this year. He was too young and didn't really talk to the kids. Just wanted to make sure we got a good picture, which I appreciate but, I want them to have the experience mostly. We only have a few short years left of it. Brice is so far gone, I felt badly for him this year. Anna is going to put it all together soon I feel like from the fact that I told her we aren't getting an Elf on the Shelf. Anyway, Kyle enjoyed the experience and was so excited to go see him so that kept me smiling through the line. He is SO excited about Christmas this year.

Thanksgiving this year brought the good with the bad emotions. Mom celebrated one year of being cancer free on November 1st and I think for the first time in a long time has felt like herself again. What a ride she has been on. We are so thankful for the doctors and nurses that cared for her, especially my Dad who was probably the biggest rock star for her throughout the year. And then the hardest part was the beginning of the holidays without my grandfathers and without Justin's grandmothers. I haven't blogged about it at all but when Justin and I got married, there were five grandparents between the two of us. This is quite remarkable to say the least. Well, this year, we lost four of the five between April-Larry's mother, June-my dad's dad, August-my mom's dad and September-Robin's mother with my maternal grandmother being the last living. Their legacies live on as do memories...My side didn't always spend Thanksgiving with grandparents but we did with Justin's side and there were two sweet ladies that were very much missed this year.

Okay, Santa pictures! And what do you do when you stand in line waiting? Make crazy faces of course...

 Yep, too young looking. And, this was on a Saturday morning. Wouldn't you bring out the best of the best on a Saturday morning in December??!? Oh well. Kids were able to place their requests so we should be all ready for the big guy's visit!

Monday, November 3, 2014


Anna, my girl. My kindergartener. My light, my sunshine. This girl has grown leaps and bounds in the past year. She has matured so much. She is so very independent and loves how much she can do by herself. She gets herself up every morning, gets dressed, brushes her hair and comes down for breakfast. She then packs up her school bag complete with snack and water bottle. She is loving and rocking the kindergarten world. We have also discovered just how competitive Anna can be when it comes to school! While I want her to be driven, I do hope this does not lead to unwarranted stress. She can be quite boastful when she wants to be so we try to keep that in check as well. She is reading on a first grade, four month level and loves reading. She initially had trouble and still does some weeks with the full days of kindergarten and going five days, along with ballet and tap on Thursday afternoons. She is enjoying those classes so much as well, as tap is new for her.

Anna remains full of drama on most days (lots of prayers from me going up because some days I just don't know how to handle her!) but she is also such a wonderful sister to her two brothers. She will help Kyle with most anything and the two of them play so wonderfully together and giggles are constantly erupting from whatever room they are playing in. She does also try to mother him just a little too much here and there which frustrates him and leads to tiffs! He stands his ground with her just as much as she stands her ground with anyone. This girl is not to be messed with and yet still can be shy and not want me to leave her if she is uncomfortable somewhere.

Anna has been dying to lose a tooth and well, last week, October 28th, it happened! It was kind of loose one day and then the next day she wiggled it quite a bit but I could tell it wasn't going to come out no matter how much she wiggled it that day. Then over that weekend, I could tell it was uprooting. Monday went by and then Tuesday morning when I was dropping her off at school, she opened her mouth for me to look at it and I knew right then and there she would lose it at school. I prayed all day that she wouldn't misplace it, or swallow it, or bleed when it came out. She said her friend Landon (who hasn't lost any teeth) told her to move it with her top teeth and then she said it just popped out into her mouth and then she spit it into her hand. Her teacher had her take it to the clinic and they gave her a little tiny treasure box to keep it in. She was just busting at the seams when I picked her up from school that day!!! Couldn't contain her new smile! And, of course, she was super excited for the tooth fairy to visit. So that is the big event I was referring to in the last post about Anna! Our little girl who is rapidly becoming our bigger girl.

This past weekend, along with Halloween, brought Anna's Christmas performance for her ballet studio. They had a little trouble getting a better day for their performance so it was super early. However, this production is so beautiful and I just love it. The first half is excerpts from the Nutcracker and then the second part is the Christmas story complete with the dancers becoming the Advent wreath themselves. It is just a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season, even if it is only November 1st. This does not mean that we overlook Thanksgiving. I put out my decorations today and love enjoying the month of November!

So, as you can tell, Anna is doing just so so well in her little life. I am so proud of her and she continues to amaze me daily with her energy and light and yes, even her sass!  Below are pictures from the performance and the tooth! Her class were Sugar Plum Fairy Angels....her best costume yet which unfortunately we don't get to keep (the studio reuses them every year). Seriously, they just looked beautiful onstage and this was the first year of these costumes.

And, the tooth. I only had pictures on my phone from the day it happened.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

We just finished up another successful and fun Halloween night. No injuries, no crying, everyone waited for the little guy and there were no complaints. The weather turned cold pretty quickly this afternoon and so the adults were all bundled up. And, yes, Brice wore the same costume again. He enjoys being scary. Anna was Queen Elsa from "Frozen" and Kyle chose to be a shark this year. I'm not sure where he came up with this idea but we have had the costume for quite some time so...

I am also including on this post some pictures from our "pumpkin patch" that we went to on Monday afternoon in the 85 degree heat! No kidding. Quite ridiculous but we needed some pumpkins. Every year I want to go do a fun festival and pick pumpkins and do a hay ride. Life is crazy though and we always end up at the church down the road. The kids enjoy it enough and it has become tradition without it meaning to be. I know the money goes to a good cause so that makes me feel a little better about the cost!