Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Circus Time

This past Sunday we joined Marlena, Noah, and Walter at the Shriner's Circus. Noah's dad is a Shriner and so generously gave us tickets.  Both kids sat fantastically through the first half of the show.  The second half was also about the time we usually have supper and close to bedtime, so it makes sense to me why they started to get fussy.  Here were some of our favorite acts:

Marlena had heard they turned the lights down and that glow sticks were a must.

Ian's favorite thing was watching the bikers do flips.

This is a man riding a motorcycle on a wire with a girl sitting on a frame below.  The spun 360 around that wire.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


While back home, Grandma Diane, Darrin, and I took Ian bowling for the first time. It was such an awesome thing to watch him experience. He'd get to the line and try to roll the ball, though sometimes it was throwing/lobbing the ball. Then he'd put his hands on his hips and start to bend at the waist, leaning the direction he wanted his ball to go. He'd get so excited as it got close to the pins, putting his hands up and jumping up and down. He even managed one spare. We played two games, and as they progressed, he started to relax more between his turns, sitting with Darrin or lounging on the floor. Ian wanted it to be a competition; boys against girls. As I looked through the pictures, I took shots of our scorecards. Turns out, we tied both games, the first at 192 and the second at 211. Can't wait to take him again sometime.

Hoping for a spare

And the pin falls- spare!

Celebrating with Daddy

The point here is not to notice my form, but the cutie in the right corner watching me.

Another observing pose.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Carnival Time

After the kids' birthday party, we took Sara, Marlena, Noah, and Walter to eat at the Irish Shanti in Gunder, our favorite place to eat back home. From there we parted ways with Sara and took the rest of the group to our high school, where the music boosters were holding their annual music carnival. As it turned out, not too much had changed since we were in school helping host the carnival. Still, it was a great walk down memory lane and I so loved watching Ian and Annaliese play the same games I did as a child.

The throw looks good, but he just missed. Got a prize anyway. 

We had trouble getting Annaliese and Walter away from the duck pond.

The yellow blur is a football, that he got right through the hole.

Cake walk... we were on four and they called seven.  Oh well, this was one they both wanted to do and got to do together.

Ring toss. Ian had 8 rings and managed to make one of them, which means Mommy and Daddy won a pop.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Birthday Food

The theme for the parties were this year was Disney Cars for Ian and Baby Dolls for Annaliese. I've never done thematic food before, but after going to Walter's party with its thematic food, I wanted to do that, too. I've also linked all the recipes I used for reference next year when I go to make cakes and wonder what recipe I used. 

On the right is Pasta with "Tow Mater" Sauce. Next to it is Chicken Parmesan Meatballs that I modified from this meatloaf recipe . 

In the red crock is "Mack" and Cheese based off this recipe from Panera. 

Garlic Bread "On a Roll"

"Baby" carrots and other veggies

Baby Spinach Strawberry Salad.  Next to it, covered, is my childhood doll crib, lined with a crock pot liner, and filled with fruit salad. 
Ian's cake was to resemble a dirt track for his cars. He added some more cars after I took this picture, trying to get all the cars he has on top.  I thought this was the tastiest cake, chocolate thin mint cake with cream cheese frosting

It took him three huffs and puffs, but he got it blown out.  Before, when everyone was singing to him, he was all smiley and shy. Adorable!
Annaliese's cake was a stroller based on this image.  I used donuts from our local bakery for the wheels. The cake didn't come cleanly from out of the pan, so that was the corner I removed, and there wasn't enough left to make a baby face from.  When baking the cake, I had trouble getting the middle to set, and it took longer than anticipated, but by all accounts, the cake was yummy.
As soon as the candles were lit, she started blowing them out. We had just practiced a few days before so she'd know what to do.  Then everyone started singing to her and she got smiley and would run her finger/hand through her hair.  It took her lots of tries to get the candles out because she wouldn't get too close to them. In the end, we raised the cake to her and she didn't have a problem then. 

Birthday Bash

I had so many pictures I wanted to share that I had to split this post in two- one for all the food and one for the presents and playing. We had a joint party for Ian and Annaliese in the party room at Freedom Bank.  Perfect place for a party. 

Grandpa Dave with his two youngest grandkids. I wonder if his hands weren't busy holding them, would his fingers be in his mouth, too?

Annaliese, Oliver, and Brady have fun with Walter's gear toy.

Ian super excited about his pirate shirt.

But then he opened his Star Wars present next and was even more excited.

In his last present, he had THREE Star Wars sets.  He hasn't stopped playing with them since they were opened. 

Annaliese loved her balloons (so did the other little kids).  Notice the baby in her arms, it's never far from her side.

Annaliese was most excited by her clothes. She got lots of them, and I was happy, too.

Ian was busy flying his Star Wars fighter while Annaliese was opening gifts.

She loves her chair and Snow White.
Thank you everyone for all your gifts (I'm particularly excited by the clothes- saves me shopping!).  We're so thankful you could all come and join us on this day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ian is FIVE!

Like so many of his previous birthdays (the year he was born and 2009) it snowed, but unlike those years there wasn't a snow day.   This year we had a mini-celebration on the actual day, with a bigger party to follow this weekend. 

His present was waiting for him when he woke up. Annaliese was ready to help open it (she is so ready for her own presents).

The very happy boy with his Mega (mini) block Pyrates Ship.

After his fun-filled day at preschool complete with Disney Cars cupcakes, he rushed up to his room to assemble the pirate ship.
For supper,  we met Marlena, Noah, and Walter at Summer Kitchen.
Walter loves lemons.
Ian loves pancakes, though instead of syrup, he likes to choose a packet of jelly to have spread on them.

Annaliese likes her pancakes, too.

Ian loved his presents Lego caterpillar tractors and the Death Star (he latest obsession, thanks to preschool, is Star Wars.  Darrin and I couldn't be happier with this obsession. There's been lots of light saber fights and Ian pretending to be Yoda and Darrin is Chewie).

His free slice of birthday cake. He shared a bit with his sister and didn't eat it all.  I'd hate to track how much sugar he eats this week, with cake and cupcakes today, Valentine's Day tomorrow, and a party this weekend.
He was so hyper and excited tonight. While Darrin was tucking him in, he said, "I can't wait to be six!"  We quickly reminded him not to wish 5 away (he's very excited for a new backpack and kindergarten). We told him he has 366 days to wait, to which he replied, "That gives me a long time to figure out what my next cake will be! Maybe Star Wars, or a pirate ship, or Peter Pan!"    Made me smile. So many interests and so much excitement when you're five. I love this kid!