Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ali Cat turns 2!!

My... where has the time gone? Alia is becoming SO grown up! The things she remembers AMAZES me, and she is just the best little helper! She's an absolute delight to have in our family and I can't imagine our lives without her!

On Sunday we had an afternoon birthday party to celebrate Alia's life! All day Saturday and all morning Sunday, she was bouncing off the walls with excitement!! She remembered what birthday parties entailed from her "mini birthday party" we had when my parents were out. I would name some of the things that would be at the party (balloons, birthday banner, etc.) and she would make triple sure that I hadn't forgotten the birthday cake or candles or ice cream or... you name it!

The original plan was to have the party on the verandah... but typical to the prairies, it was SUPER unreal crazy windy! So, we moved the shindig into the garage after we got home from church. Thankfully Jon always keeps his space organized and tidy, and in less than 1/2 an hour, we were ready to roll!

The theme this year was "butterflies". Here's the invite!

We used Jon's work bench as a serving table, which worked wonderfully! The menu was simple this year and consisted of chips, cheese and crackers, and veggies!

Making the garage a little more festive

Our party favors this year were butterfly cookies. This was my first go around with royal icing... and I have to say, I LOVE IT! I only wished I would have had more time to go fancier instead of doing simple lines on the butterflies! Now I wanna make cookies for ANY occasion!!! "It's Wednesday... time for a cookie celebration!" :)

My homemade birthday banner

We decided to go with cupcakes vs. a birthday cake this year... and I'm pleased with how they turned out! Though I'll admit, I bought them! For the price of buying them it was hardly worth the money for ingredients and my time! I added the white chocolate "designs" on top!

Can ya tell that those are butterflies on top?! I guess I should have used a stencil because several people were stumped!!

More cupcakes...

Since it was too windy for the kids to play outside, I tried to think of some activities for them. I wanted to do "pin the spot on the butterfly" but just ran out of time! And I thought a pinata would be a little too dangerous at this age! So... coloring sheets it was!

Plus we drug in a few of Alia's outdoor toys to keep the kiddos occupied...

Our birthday girl!! Yes... she chose that hat, and she chose to wear it sideways!

Mingling with her some of her favorite people!

I had bottles of bubbles for the kids to play with, but Alia was the only one who got to enjoy them! By the time the other kids arrived, I completely forgot about them!


Coloring with her best bud, Jesse! Thankfully he doesn't mind the extra help... notice her hand!

Our party guests...

Blowing out her birthday candles! She knew just what to do... and chose a bright yellow cupcake from her very first glimpse of them!

We asked people not to bring gifts... and for the most part that request was honored! (But I understand that loved ones should have the opportunity to spoil their dear... just a little bit!)

We wrapped up a few gifts for Alia but her main, big gift isn't out of the woodworking shop yet. Hopefully it will arrive soon!

Our littlest love with Gramma...

We tried getting all the kids together for a picture... but they had more fun things to do!

As did the guys!!! At one point almost every guy at the party was browsing through Jon's tool box... oh boys and their toys!

What a fun celebration we had! Alia is still talking about her party, so I think she enjoyed it as well!! At random moments she'll break out in an energetic randition of "Happy Birthday!!" So, we may be hearing her version of it until her next birthday... I can only hope so!

Tea Please

Alia LOVES her "Lukey"... but, he comes with rules attached! Lukey is not allowed to be played with outside of her crib/bed (with very FEW exceptions). Anyhow... a few days ago I allowed Alia to play with Lukey as long as she kept him upstairs!
She wasted no time (for fear I'd change my mind, I think!) and ran downstairs to prepare a tea party! She made three trips upstairs to carry all the necessities, and chose... of all places... to entertain her favorite friend on our bed! I guess there's lots of space, and provides the opportunity for jumping if there's a lull in conversation!

Lukey must not have been drinking his tea fast enough!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Potty Training

We had it... we were on our way there. But - we've taken a step or two back!
Just look at all those stickers:

She was on a roll. And now, Alia could care less if she "pees in her Pull Up". I dunno. Maybe I need to push her harder. Or maybe she just really doesn't see it as a big deal.
At any rate, I'm ready for her to use less diapers... whether she is or not!

Cadillac Trike

Every time Alia spots a bike lately she can't help but point out to Mom and Dad that she would like one! "Aia bike, Aia bike..." And, it just so happens that when we were in Calgary, one of Mom and Arnie's friends asked if we would like one that their girls no longer rode. SO.... the original plan was for Mom and Arnie to bring it on the plane when they came for Alia's birthday this weekend. But, due to a sudden (very sudden!!) change in plans, Jon picked it up in Calgary this past Saturday!
It was going to be a surprise for Alia at her birthday party, but she happened to be eating breakfast and gazing out the window, when she saw Daddy unload her dream bike!! Breakfast was no longer a priority and she raced to the door, in her PJ's, to take a closer look at her new ride!!

She would ride DAY and NIGHT if we let her! Seriously... she loves it!!!

This tricycle is decked out TO THE NINES!! There's a canopy, a little bell, a special bag for all her treasures, a handle so we can push her complete with pegs for her feet to go on, and a cushy padded seat with safety straps!

We've been cruising up and down the roads of our little community every day this week! She stands on the pegs just a waving and chattering away... not a care in the world! One of our neighbors calls her "Queen Sheba" in her Cadillac! And I'm guessing that's about the way Alia feels!!

Needless to say, the other birthday gifts we've got her probably won't hold a candle to this one! She is pleased as punch... and the fun has only just begun!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Just Have to Say...

we're coming to Ohio in a little over a month! I can't even tell you how happy that makes me.... maybe I'm just over emotional today, but it makes me tear up!!!!
Bring on the patio conversations, hot tub late evenings, hammock naps, walks around the "block", and the lovely breeze blowing through my parents house... I don't know why, but it's never quite as wonderful as it is there!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wedding Day Tag Along

My friend, Tara, is a photographer and graciously offered me a "tag along" position at a wedding she was shooting! It was a wonderful opportunity to get a little more familiar with my camera and to see her in action! She does a great job and it really makes me appreciate a good picture when I see one... even more than I did before!
I shot manual the whole time... so I have no one to "blame" for these pictures but myself! But it was good practice... and I'll leave it at that! I am SO GLAD that I could just play... and leave the "perfect shots" up to Tara!

*I'm not a fan of "over editing" (which I've done here!) and am still learning where the line is, or even how to edit at all, for that matter. So... just look quickly with eyes half shut!!*

The sun was lovely... just not for picture taking!

The couple loved to fish so we took a few pics by the lake...

So... I've learned a whole pile of things that I need to work on today. And that's okay. I'll spare you the list... though it is tempting to point out everything! But... I'll just walk away and leave it at that!

"Thanks again Tara for asking me to join you. It was so very sweet of you and I'm beyond blessed! I had a lot of fun... even though I may have looked "pained" at times!!"