Last night the kids got all dressed up in their costumes and we headed to church for our annual Family Fun Night. We had bouncy houses/slides, games, prizes, and even a hay ride. The kids all had a great time. Jackson and Parker decided not to wear their Halloween costumes, but they found alternatives. We still have most of Jackson's costumes from years past, so Parker wore his old Batman. Jackson taped smarties packets to his pants, so you can guess what he was. Mia was a ballerina and Everett was a football player. They all had a great time running around with their friends and winning prizes.
Jeremy, Everett, and Jackson on the hay ride
Mia and Kenzie
The 2 cutest Oompa Loompa's I've ever seen!
Laura Beth and Emily Jane
Oliver and Parker
Duel of the Batmen. This was the funniest thing ever!
Today is Mia's official birthday. She has been celebrating all week, and I have to admit, I'm glad it's over! I can't even think about what she will be like when she turns 16. We'll probably have to dedicate the entire month of October to her birth! Well, what better way to end your birthday than a fall festival at school with all of your friends? We played games, ate popcorn, spray painted hair, won a cake, won a book, and brought home more worthless junk than anyone can imagine. All the kids had a great time and we are all exhausted. After we got home the cousins came over for cookie cake and to meet Layla for the first time. Mia had a wonderful birthday and I'm sure we'll start planning for next year tomorrow morning!
This is Layla. She was Mia's gift from Pop and Nana. They surprised her with her Saturday afternoon (after all the company left thank goodness!). She has always loved animals, and she is totally in love with this puppy. She even went out and spent her birthday money she got from her friends on shampoo, food, and toys. Pop, Nana, and Jeremy went to get Layla while all the kids were napping after lunch. Poor Jeremy, his birthday was Saturday, but it was kind of overshadowed by Mia's party and this "surprise". I think the dog is as much for him as it is for Mia though. He called right before they got home with her, and I woke Mia and Jackson up and told them to come downstairs. They came in with a big blue box with a purple bow on it and said "Happy Birthday". She could NOT believe it! Let me just say, it's harder to name a pet than it is a child. Everybody had suggestions, but she settled on Layla. How fitting her name is considering she's got us on our knees cleaning up after her. Everett calls her "hey gawg". So, while everyone else is at work and school, I am at home potty training. The things we do for our kids, huh!
"How many more days now? How many now? How many NOW?" This is the chant I heard all last week as we got closer and closer to Mia's birthday party. This was her first big blow out with just friends and it included a sleepover. She drove us all crazy about it, but it's over now and I lived to tell the tale. Let me start with her party theme. She went from ballerinas to dogs to ballerina dogs to art to purple to butterflies, and finally to blue/purple/butterflies. So, we spent the last few weeks collecting anything that we could find that was blue, purple, or had a butterfly on it. I ended up making her cupcakes which is a stretch for me. I'm a pretty good baker, but I do not have a steady hand with decorating, especially with frosting, but they turned out alright. Mia has wanted to have a sleepover for forever, but we weren't really sure the girls would stay all night. We sat down and had a talk to make sure it would be alright if they all ended up going home, even if it was the middle of the night, and she said that would be fine. So we continued on with her plan.
Friday at 4 p.m. we met 11 friends at Lucy's Artsy Place to get our creative juices flowing. This is one of Mia's favorite places to be. She loves Mrs. Lucy and she loves to paint. Mia had picked out a butterfly to paint, so all their stations were set with paints, canvas, and brushes when they arrived. Mia was so excited she couldn't sit still. She had to wait outside and watch as all her friends cars pulled up, and then the squealing ensued. Nervous moms dropped off their 6 and 7 year olds for their very first sleepover. Most of them had only ever stayed with family members, but they were all excited to give it a try! Jeremy and Carley came and got all the sleeping bags and pillows and took them back to our house while the girls painted, opened presents, and ate cupcakes.
This is what Mia picked for her and the girls to paint.
Anxiously awaiting her guests arrival.
Paint color station
Yes, we had to squeeze 7 candles into one cupcake!
Finished works of art
After all the painting fun we loaded up 3 cars full of girls and gifts and came back to our house. The girls all piled out and ran inside to get started on their night of fun. As we unloaded the cars I could already hear the squealing from the driveway. My initial thought: "What was I thinking?". My next thought: "Mia only has one birthday a year. I can do this". Nana so graciously let Jeremy, Parker, and Everett spend the night with her. Needless to say Jackson wanted no part of this shindig, so he rode home from school with a friend and we didn't see him until all the girls had gone home on Saturday.
We got home and Carley came over to help out. These girls were LOUD. I remember all the giggling and screaming from when I was little, but I think these girls were 10 times noisier than we were! We filled up on chicken nuggets, pigs in a blanket, chips, and (caffeine free) soda and they weren't slowing down yet. Mia had borrowed all the dress up clothes from Nana's house and we set up a fashion show in the playroom. They had a ball dressing up and singing as they pranced down the runway. I told Mia I could show them a few dance moves, but she declined my offer. It wasn't long before Carley had a long line of girls waiting to get their hair curled. Then we painted nails and broke out the glitter face jewels. I told them all they could pass for at least 12, and they thought that was hilarious. After they used up all that energy it was movie time. Nana gave Mia Soul Surfer as an early birthday present, so they all got in their pj's and unrolled their sleeping bags while I popped the corn. I sent up snacks and glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces and the shrieks started all over again. After the movie we had a few start to miss their mama's. We lost 4 by 11:30 p.m., but no tears which was good. I cleaned up the obvious messes in the kitchen and then went back up to check on the girls. It was around midnight and Mia and 2 others were already out. At 1 a.m. the kitchen was clean, the dishes washed, and 4 little girls were still upstairs giggling. I told them it was time for lights out and I didn't hear from them again . . . . until 4 a.m. when I heard sniffles in the hallway. One of Mia's little friends had woken up and missed her mama. I picked her up and carried her to my bed and gave her my best "it's almost morning" speech, but she wasn't buying. I texted her mom first, hoping to not wake up the whole house. When I didn't get a message back, I called with no luck. By this time Mia had come downstairs and gotten in bed with us too, so I told them we'd wait for a call back before we tried again. I walked upstairs to check on all the others, and they were all still asleep. When I came back down I had 2 girls in my bed, both fast asleep. I prayed they'd stay that way at least until daylight, then went to the couch. Thank goodness they never woke up again! I think I probably got about 2 hours of sleep.
And I thought I packed a lot for a short trip!
Is there anything more exciting than realizing you have the same pj's as the birthday girl? AND you brought them with you?!?!
The entire squeal squad: Ashlyn, Maudie, Abby, Nevaeh, Sammi,
Mia, Kaylee, Rosie, Avery, Grace, & Kenneley
. . . and then there were 7
Luckily it was 7:30 a.m. before anyone woke up. We had gotten doughnuts the day before for breakfast. In anticipation of our looooong night, I didn't plan on cooking Saturday morning. I think I was already on my 2nd cup of coffee by the time the first sleepyhead came down the stairs. After breakfast the real fun started. Getting packed up. We found everything from hairbows to underwear to toothbrushes to lone socks flying all around the house. The girls finally got all their things in the right places and still had a little time to play. They all really had a great time together. Yes, they were loud, but they are a sweet group of girls. Mia is so blessed to have such good girlfrends and I hope they all stay close throughout their school years. It's not often we get rid of all the boys and just do girl stuff. I'm glad these girls were still young enough to want me to join in some of their fun!
We finally got around to pumpkins last Wednesday night. Everett had zero interest, so we let him play while we did all the dirty work. Parker had picked out every family member their very own pumpkin at the patch a while back, so everyone got to do what they wanted. Jeremy and Jackson got right to work scooping out all the guts. Mia was a little more dainty with hers, but she finally dug in and got it (mostly) taken care of. Jackson had been making sketches for about a week and his end result was pretty good. Jeremy had run some patterns off for the rest of us and Mia chose a cat face. Jeremy drew it on for her & she helped carve it. Jeremy did a ghost on his and Parker ended up just painting. We did cut the top of his off, but he had no desire to clean it out or carve it. To be all boy, he sure didn't want any part of those gross pumpkins! I guess Everett and I will be pumpkin "purists" this year, because after helping clean out, paint, and clean up after 4 others I didn't have the energy to do anything to ours. Jeremy lit them up after dark, and they really did look cool. The kids were very proud of themselves!
Jackson's on the left, Mia's on the right
This is Jeremy's. I never could get a good picture of it at night.
Jackson's pumpkin's head has been cut off, that's why it's bleeding.