Monday, May 26, 2014

Heading South and Doing a Loop (Part 2 of 2)

On Saturday evening, we got a babysitter for the boys and we went out with the Bendecks to a yummy italian restaurant in downtown Atlanta.  It was Brad's birthday too!

Patrick said he enjoyed the family time on the trip, but it was really nice to get out and be with friends he loved and just have some quality time together.  It was nice to have a date night in a hip city, too!

On Sunday, our highlight was attending Andy Stanley's church Northpoint.  Unfortunately, he was in Buckhead that day, but still our experience was amazing!  The boys came out of Waumba Land and UpStreet and said they didn't want to leave church.  Wow.


 Alas, it was time to say goodbye to our friends and that was sad.

On our loop back, we stopped by Greenville, SC for lunch and it was this strip of riverfront restaurants on hills and it felt like Great Falls meets San Francisco. 

Our final stop on Sunday was back to the Hessels.  After some family time, we hired another sitter and went out to another birthday dinner. 

What a wonderful weekend.  I'm so glad we did it.  It took some coordinating, but worth every minute.  It was especially wonderful to see old friends and just spend time together as if we weren't miles apart.  That's the great thing about good friends, you just pick up where you left off.

Heading South and Doing a Loop (Part 1 of 2)

I'm behind on our blog, but I'm going to keep at it until I'm up to date.  It happened to fall on my birthday weekend, but we were invited to a wedding of a former RBC Shepherd Group member.  So.... as part of an extended celebration, we decided to make it a long weekend to visit good friends. 

So Thursday, we drove 6 hours South to Mooresville, NC to see Luke and Christi Hessels.  They bought a beautiful single family with a great backyard and Luke built a tree house for the boys.  They have a dog now, too!  They also have a boat because they are about 5 minutes from Lake Norman.

On Friday, we drive four more hours South to Alpharetta, Georgia to visit with our friends Brad and Lindsay Bendeck.  We just chilled and hung out.  The boys loved their backyard.

On Saturday, after a great pancake breakfast that Brad made, Patrick and I headed 35 minutes west to Woodstock, Georgia.  The Bendecks watched our kids while we attended Joey and Laura's wedding. Apparently, Tristan slept for like 3 hours.  Perfect!  Our former Shepherd Group Leader, Jason Goetz officiated the ceremony.

Gorgeous Georgia day to be getting married!  .....more on part 2

Monday, May 12, 2014

Explore! Rescue! Protect! OCTONAUTS!!!

Tristan loves the Octonauts, and so do the other two brothers who enjoy learning about underwater creatures.   Is that Peso, the penguin, with three candles?  Wow, my baby turned three!  We had a backyard neighborhood celebration.


Easy tip for most moms who want a special cake, but don't enjoy baking: buy a chocolate or vanilla super sized muffin from the grocery story and decorate it well!  It's super special and it was a hit!  Another creative shortcut is to go to the internet images of the Octonauts and save the jpeg and add Tristan's name and age.  This was the sign in the front!

I feel like these birthdays get a bit easier because we figured out short cuts.  And well...we're becoming a well-oiled machine.  I do the creative stuff, he brings out chairs and tables from the garage.  Loaded on this table, was Octonaut food.

We just ordered pizzas, cut veggies, bought goldish and blue jello, filled up the beverage jug with blue coolaid and and called it Captain Barnacle's "Ocean Water".  Super easy!  Now onto activities.  I always like to do three.  The first is crafty.   Soctopus anyone??


Craft items:  socks, old grocery bags for stuffing, rubberband, fabric glue and little googly eyes.  The kids even named them.  For $10, I bought a bag of pirate patches because Kwazii, he's a pirate-cat explorer.  (You can see him below on the starfish favors.)

Next up is the jawfish egg hunt.  Apparently, male jawfish are the ones that have to hold their baby eggs in their mouth until they hatch.  Who knew??  Tristan did and so this egg hunt to find the lost jawfish eggs.

After the egg hunt, we did our third activity - they had to race the lost eggs back to the jawfish.

But they couldn't get stung by nearby jellyfish.

Finally, the favors were easier this year because I used sugar cookie made by Nestle and with a starfish cutter, I was able to decorate with leftover icing and I had some white crystals from a previous baby shower.  I only had to make 15 too, and that was cheaper than buying a whole bunch of useless favors.

Happy Birthday Tristan!  Your parents and brothers celebrate your life because you are worth the celebration, and we just thank God for you.  Try and smile about it. :-)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Eggstra Wonderful Neighborhood

Every year that goes by in our neighborhood is a nice reminder of the traditions we started and the community of friends we are building.  I didn't really have a good neighborhood growing up, so to me this is eggstra special.

Especially when my children will look back at their childhood and not remember the house, or the bedroom they had, but how they loved to live here because of all their great friends. 


And not just for my kids, I get one too.  She's fabulous.  My co-planner and I just basically send out evites and put each other's name on it while one sort of takes the lead.  This year, Julie did the Easter Egg Hunt.  I think we had over 500 eggs!

My job was to bring out some tables and serve mimosas for the adults.  Done!

And they were off!


Afterwards, with heads huddled together, they compared and traded loot.

So Egg-errific!