"Family" Birthday Dinner

over the past few years a tradition has slowly started evolved with our friends/neighbors/idaho family - "family" birthday dinners.

since amiah and landon have birthdays only ten days apart we usually pick a date in the middle to celebrate both of their birthdays.  every year it is a big production for the two of them to come up with a plan for what to do for their birthday dinner. 

eat out or stay home? 

a place that will sing to them or one that won't?

what type of free birthday dessert will they get?

it is humorous to watch their negotiating and planning.

this year they decided to try a restaurant new to our family.

yes, that is the actual name of the restaurant.

morgan excited to check out this eclectic place.

the decor was so fun - 
license plates on the wall
shower curtains as privacy dividers at the tables
truck tailgate as countertop
a pool table as a table
an old car used as seating 
so many fun little details
 their menu is as eclectic as their decor... spaghettios out of a can served with a side of cheetos, mac and cheese where you can add in chili, hot dogs, etc... they also serve up "normal food" and a mean cheeseburger :o)

while waiting for dinner the kids played a few rounds of chess
 donnie mac's is known for the frozen custard. well the night we went they were out of their custard. they did give us coupons to come back for free custard... yeah!
instead of custard they made up a little plate of ding dongs for the birthday kids. i don't think they minded not having custard!
 while the adults visited after dinner, the littles were getting a bit restless.  they found a couch, took the iphones, and got busy playing games.
 before we left the dining car was open.  the kids loved exploring it and
writing on it.  
it's their goal to go back and try to get to eat in the dining car.

thanks berg's for a fun night out celebrating our kids' birthdays.


Finding Joy - Week 12

 i am going to apologize right away for the quality of some of the pictures. i took most of them on my phone this week. i am thankful to have a phone with a semi decent camera.  there is my first joy!

The joys:
- visit to powells candy shop in boise. it was our first trip there and it felt like being in willy wonka's factory.  it was fun!
 * ski day ... not for me. i am very happy to be a chalet mom.
 * we were out running errands one day and decided to have lunch at the new panda express in town.  apparently everyone else decided to have lunch there too.  thankfully it was super nice and sunny outside so we put down the back seat, opened up the back end of the car, and had a picnic. it was perfect.
 * a walk around our local wildlife refuge.   i have run out near here but i have never stopped to visit the visitors center or walked the paths. it was great.  it was a gorgeous spring day and the kids loved it. this little gem is only about 2 miles from my house. we will definitely be taking more trips out there.
 * having my niece hannah here for a week. she is a dog lover and harley found himself a new best friend.  he loved all the extra attention and took any chance he had to snuggle up with her.
 * itty bitty bowling shoes... i am dying over these. mauryn loved them and wants her own pair but in pink and purple.
 * first time bowling... she lasted about 4 frames
* i stole this pic off my nieces facebook page so it is really digitized but the cuteness of my boy throwing his bowling ball and throwing his leg up in perfect form is priceless. i will be getting a clear copy of this picture. love it!
 * landon got some water balloons for his birthday.  my boy LOVES water balloons. even though it wasn't quite warm enough for them he was ready to fill them up and use them.  he brought me in a water balloon to tie and it exploded all over me.  instead of getting mad or frustrated i just laughed and found humor in the moment.

* early summer plans starting to come together

* morgan had her state gymnastics meet this past weekend. her team took 2nd place. yeah!
 * morgan took 2nd place in the all around in her age group.  she took 4th on floor, 3rd on beam, and 2nd on bars and vault.
* morgan's team mates and their great families.  it is always a little bittersweet when the season ends... it is nice to have some saturdays free but i miss seeing the other families on a regular basis.

 * hannah getting to watch morgan compete and hanging with the little cousins
 * mauryn loves to go to the gymnastics meets and always wants to stay to watch the upper level girls compete.  the days can get long but she is a little trooper and never wants to leave when lance and landon go home.  i think she really likes to stay to get all the attention from morgan's friends/teammates and their parents.  on saturday she was starting to get tired so created herself a little fort to snuggle in and play during the competition.
* we had 80's day at our co op on monday.  the kids were totally excited to dress up.  i dressed up as well but don't think we got a picture. oh well :o)
* since 80's day mauryn's favorite thing to dress up as is an "80 girl"  she wore her 80's outfit two days in a row and then i forced her to let me wash it.  i am pretty sure it is her new favorite to wear while rocking a side pony and headband.
 * my boy fresh off the baseball field folding towels. he is a master at folding towels and socks. i am thankful for the help.
* sunshine,  green grass, chirping birds

* they were mowing the common areas of our development. it must mean spring is on its way.

* starburst jelly beans

* sonic diet dr pepper with cherry.  sonic ice... oh how i love thee. it is the simple things in life people.

* laughter

* a good book and a warm blanket

what were your joys this week?


Great West Gym Fest

at the end of february, morgan and i flew up to northern idaho for a gymnastics meet.  {yes, i am that far behind on some posts and i am hoping to catch up this week!}

this is the meet the girls look forward to all year long. 

over the years it has turned into a mother/daughter weekend. it is never restful but it is always so much fun.

the morning we left spokane had received 12 inches of snow.  we flew into a winter wonderland with chilly windy temperatures.  someone may have forgotten her coat in the car. i guess that's what happens when you are out of the habit of wearing a coat in the winter.

our first stop after we left the airport was the mall.  the girls were anxious to shop and with the weekend being quite full we weren't sure we would get their any other day.
 we spent friday at the meet watching the upper levels compete.  as we were waiting to get into the meet we saw former olympic gymnast mohini bhardwaj.  the girls were excited to meet her and get their picture taken with her.  she is adorable.
 in between sessions we lunched at the hotel right on lake coeur d'alene.  
on friday evening most of the team and the coaches went out to dinner. it was nice to be together as a group that night. coach eduard was a great sport as the girls dressed him up after dinner.  
 morgan competed on saturday morning. we were up fairly early to make sure the girls had enough time to eat and get ready.  we had two moms who did hair and make up for the weekend.  the girls loved being all "bedazzled".  when i uploaded pictures i think morgan had taken 20 self portraits {some with friends} so i am thinking she liked her hair and make up.  it was a bit of a rough meet for morgan on beam but the rest of the events went pretty well.
 after the meet and awards we grabbed a quick lunch as the girls needed to get back to the hotel to catch the boat for an ice cream social.  during the ice cream social the girls get to meet some former olympic gymnasts, get autographs, and indulge in an ice cream sundae.
it was a little chilly on the boat that day.
 we spent saturday night watching the big show.  the top girls on each event from level 8, 9, and 10 compete. it is always impressive and the girls love it.

on sunday we flew home exhausted and fighting colds but it was worth it.  the girls are already looking forward to the meet next year.


Lego Birthday Party

last week we celebrated landon's seventh birthday.  my niece flew in on his birthday {best gift ever} so after picking her up we went to lunch and spent the afternoon at a local game center where we played mini golf, laser tag, and the kids got their fill of arcade games.

i waited to have landon's party until my niece was here so she could help me at the party.  i was so thankful for the extra set of hands.

here is how the lego party went down.

the invitation
it was super easy.  i took a picture of a lego mini fig in front of a lego base, uploaded it to picnik to add words, and then printed the pictures off at costco.  i added some white tag board with party information the the back.

the front:
the back:
the decorations
 birthday banner - i found some cool lego paper at joann's , used the template found here to trace the little mini figs, and then cut letters on my cricut
the birthday boy in his birthday shirt. i used the same template from the banner but enlarged it to make his shirt. 

hanging legos
 i pulled in some of the food to add color/decorations.
- i used a lego tub lined with a slow cooker liner and filled it with cheese balls. they were a hit!
- blue and red gatorade
- mason jars filled with legos were on the table and had red/blue balloons tied to them
the cake
i was hoping i would get off easy and landon would pick cupcakes but he wanted a lego cake.  i used three loaf pans to make the lego bricks and made a few cupcakes to be the nobs on top of the legos.  we decided to stack them to make them look more like a lego creation. the boy loved it!
the games
i split the kids up into three groups and they rotated between the three stations.  it worked out really well to be in smaller groups and rotate.

- lego search. i took pictures of lego pieces, printed them off in wallet size, and put them on a ring. the kids took their ring and searched our lego pile for their pieces.  i had a few different combinations on the rings so once they finished one set they could do another one.  some groups worked as a team and some worked individually
- sara knew i was doing a lego party for landon so she sent me this link a few weeks before his party.  i knew i had to do this for landon's party.  i found a mini fig ice tray, made some salt dough, and created these little guys.  it didn't take long to make a big batch of mini figs.  i think this was one of the favorite activities.  they loved painting them.  while the kids ate the paint dried and we sprayed them with a gloss finish right before the kids left.  
- tower build.  i set up a bucket of legos and the kids had 5 minutes to create the biggest tower they could in that amount of time.  we played it a few times.  the kids enjoyed seeing how tall their tower could get and what things they could use to make their tower the tallest like using doors/windows.

- as a group we played lego creationary.  the kids stayed in their same teams and worked together to make something for the other teams to guess.
goodie bags/other details
 when i saw these lego builder passes i knew i had to make them for the party and joanna was kind enough to email me the template.  i put in the kids' names, printed them on cardstock, laminated them, and put them on a lanyard.  
for the goodie bags we printed lego bricks on card stock in red and blue and filled them with blue or red airheads and lego brick candy.  in the top of the box i put in a wallet sized photo similar to the invitation that said thanks for building some fun with me.  the girls got a lego clickits bracelet kit and the boys got either a lego creator helicopter or 4x4.
the birthday boy
 reading cards.. something made him giggle
excited about his cake...i am sure he is dreaming about the frosting. a boy after my own heart
some of the candles went out when the kids were singing and landon is definitely not happy about it
a little prep + whole bunch of fun and laughter = a very happy birthday boy