Parker’s Ninja 6th Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Parker’s sixth birthday! Wohoo! He’s growing so fast, and I just love watching him year by year learn and grow. This year, he has really been into Ninjago, a lego ninja series that has lego sets, and a cartoon show, as well as books. So, we thought he would enjoy a ninja party at a local Karate center, and let a pro teach him and his buddies the ways of the ninja!

In addition to learning Karate moves, they learned about stranger danger, how to block moves, and Parker got to break a board, as well as cut his cake with a sword! As if that wasn’t enough, all the kids got to take a swing at Lord Garmadon Piñata, which they all loved!

We enjoyed every minute of celebrating Parker. He is SO worth celebrating. He brings us all so much joy. He has such a happy spirit, and positive attitude, and I am so thankful he’s apart of our family.


Chattanooga Day Trip

We made a last-minute decision to take a day trip up to Chattanooga’s Rock City. We have a season pass that will expire soon, so we decided to take advantage. The kids loved the trails, and we just enjoyed having fun at a new place to change up the scenery! The weather was beautiful, and the views from the mountain are always gorgeous! I am loving the new cooler weather, and I can’t wait for the leaves to change, and for fall to be here! We finished off our trip with a little visit to Cabela’s, an Outdoor store that has fun animals and a fish tank that the kids love. Overall a fun way to enjoy Labor Day weekend.

Grown-up Birthday Fun

We celebrated Dan and I’s Birthdays in August, and we had a nice time keeping it low-key with some family time as well as enjoying a date night sans kids {We love them…but sometimes its a must!}.

For my birthday, we enjoyed a dinner at Ichiban with the family and a few weeks prior Dan went with me paddle boarding for the first time with a few friends of ours. Everyone had a great time. Dan and the kids baked me a home made chocolate cake, which turned out delicious and Dan surprised me with a photo printer. I’ve been loving having hard copies of some of my favorite photos to frame, hang on the fridge, or give away as gifts. So nice!

For Dan’s Birthday, we enjoyed a date night and movie- the latest Mission Impossible. He got a new katana sword for his birthday gift that he had been wanting, so that naturally made him very happy. He also requested that I make a chocolate cake topped with his favorite icing that his Mom used to make for him as a kid. Well, I had some big shoes to fill, but I took on the challenge and found this recipe on pinterest and it turned out great! I made the home made chocolate cake they suggested to go with it.  The only thing bad about this cake is that the icing doesn’t last long, but other than that, it was a huge hit, and a new favorite of the family!

fluffy white icing

Fluffy White Icing-Marshmallow Frosting

yield: frosting for 2 nice-inch round cakes

1 cup of granulated white sugar (not powdered sugar)
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of water, sugar, cream of tartar to a boil. Do not stir the sugar mixture as it will cause it to crystallize. Boil until you have thick clear bubbles ( should only take about 5 minutes and reads a temperature of 245 F). Be careful not to boil even 1 second longer. *(If a mistake happens and you do boil the sugar too long and end up with an amber colored sugar mixture, don’t throw it away. Add some heavy cream and you have an amazing caramel sauce. soon as it comes to a rapid bubble, because it will turn amber, and than you would have to quickly make a different recipe, and add heavy cream, which would be “caramel sauce”).
In a metal bowl, add all the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until starts to get a little thick and forms soft peaks. Set your timer for 7 minutes. Now slowly (take care and do not let this boiling hot sugar syrup burn you) add the sugar syrup only a little at a time and beat on high speed for 7 minutes.

On the last minute, beat in the vanilla extract. The frosting will be fluffy and light. My mom recommends adding a drop of food coloring if you want to be daring.
Enjoy this fun, old-fashioned frosting on whatever sort of cake you love. It is guaranteed to be requested over and over again.;)

 

Dan turned 41 and I turned 34! Time flies! We are embracing this new year to come and hoping for many more days for God to bless us with good health and time with family and friends.

Preschool is in Session

Mason and Sienna started preschool a few weeks ago.  This is Mason’s last year of preschool before big kid school next year! This is Sienna’s first year, and she has really enjoyed going to school, making new friends and getting lots of attention from her sweet teachers.  It’s been nice having a few hours to myself a few times a week for the first time in many years!  So far, I have been volunteering some at Parker’s school a few days a month and running a few Thursdays with a friend, so that has been great to be kid-free for.

We have enjoyed the preschool quite a bit, but the only challenge has been that it’s (I feel) not ideal for families that have multiple children attending.  They have staggered pick-up times, and that has been an adjustment having it be a 10-15 minute process each time I pick up both kids, but hopefully as everyone gets into the groove of school, it’ll get easier.  We love the teachers so far and the kids, above all, are happy and love telling me about their day.  We are thankful for that, and looking forward to a great school year for these two {Super-cute} Preschoolers!


My oldest started KINDERGARTEN!

This back to school season was a big one for us because Parker started Kindergarten! Parker was super excited to go, but I was a mess. A. MESS! It’s yet another reminder how fast he is growing and how our time is so precious while they’re young. He’s so ready, with him approaching six, he waited as long as possible with the cut-off date being August first (thank goodness!) he had to wait one more year before starting.

So, with me having more jitters that Parker did about him starting this new endeavor, we thought it would be fun to make bracelets together so that he could remember me while he was at school, and so that I would feel comforted when I started feeling sad about him taking such a step in going to big kid school!

Parker's First Day of School

It also helped that he has lots of friends that joined him on the bus, too. I don’t think I would’ve been so accepting of doing the bus if it wasn’t for the fact that there were so many people we knew riding. Also, I heard that it was strongly encouraged because of the super long carpool line during drop-off. It was still really hard for me realizing the fact that I had to just let go of control and trust the driver of the bus, and his teachers and know that God was watching over him through all of it. I wasn’t so sure about the bus on the first day because the windows were so tinted on the new bus models, that I couldn’t even see where Parker went, much less wave to him as they drove away. Not exactly what I had envisioned. I called the bus driver mid-day (I know… I was THAT Mom) but it really helped calm my fears to talk through some of the things that made me nervous (no bus numbers, not seeing my son in the first few rows like he promised, no adult “helper” on the bus to help get the kids seated, etc.).

So far, Parker has loved school and has made lots of friends. That part usually comes easy for him! Maybe a little too easy, actually. There is a neighbor friend that is in his class that he didn’t know well, but they quickly became good buddies. The two of them had to be separated for excessive talking and goofing off in class. It doesn’t surprise me a bit because Parker may be the goofiest out of all the kids and he doesn’t miss an opportunity to make someone laugh or be silly! It’s almost to his detriment. While I love his enthusiasm and positivity, he lacks the self control at this age to harness it and only use during appropriate times like recess, PE or lunch. He’s working on it though, and I am confident that his positive attitude will serve him well as he grows and matures. So, the first few weeks we got a few frowny faces on his behavior chart, but we have since worked through these issues, and I am super proud of his recent efforts of self control and focus in the classroom!

I’m coming to terms with the fact that my boy is growing up. He’s going to be six in a few weeks, and he’s becoming more responsible and his sweet personality shining through. He’s a great helper in the kitchen and he’s doing great learning how to keep up with his chores and duties around the home. I honestly couldn’t be more proud of who my sweet boy, my first born baby is becoming!