Monday, December 23, 2013

9 is Fine!

My big girl is 9!  We had a great week celebrating her.

Over Thanksgiving break, Chloe got her picture taken with her birthday buddy, Great Grandma Forsythe.  They've never been together on their birthday before, but very close a number of times.  We love this sweet lady!

The day that we left Pasco (one day before her actual birthday), we got to celebrate with Nana and Papa.

They got her a duct tape kit.  Chloe was so excited!  She has been wanting decorative duct tape for a long time.

The night before her birthday, Chloe asked me before going to bed, "Mom, if you got me like one or two pairs of shoes for my birthday, can I open a pair of them before school so I can wear them to school?"

How did she know??

So I let the birthday girl open a present before school on her birthday (Monday, December 2).
She has been really into shoes and fashion accessories lately.  She has a running list of all the shoes she'd like.  It's a lot.  Boots was on the list.

She set off for school in style that day!

She couldn't wait to open the rest of her gifts after dinner that night.  For dinner, I didn't even need to ask what she wanted.  I surprised her with her favorite dinner- shepherds pie and biscuits.

Grandma Cynde gave her the most stylish pair of long underwear I've ever seen.

She was thrilled with a new umbrella.  This girl has gone through probably 6 or 7 umbrellas in her life (no joke).  She loves them but they alway break.  Now that she and Mitch walk to the bus stop everyday, she has wanted an umbrella to stay dry on the rainy days.

My little fashionista loved her new scarf.  (I love it too and may be borrowing it!)

Grandma and Papa gave her two adorable little sewing projects.

Another pair of shoes- some Bobs- one of her dream shoes.

We love Grandma Cynde!

And we also love DQ ice cream cakes!  We all loved Mitch's choice of mint oreo for his birthday, so Chloe chose that for her birthday as well.  It was just as delicious the second time around.

Nine!  Really, Ms. Chloe?  I'm going to blink and she'll be a teenager.

She was so happy with all her gifts and thanked us all for them.  I'm so glad to have a thankful receiver.  Lately she has been so good to try and thank me for little things- for making dinner, for special treats the kids get, for taking her places, etc.

Before bed, we got a picture with the birthday girl- minus Livy, who was fast asleep.  (Never wake a sleeping baby).

The Birthday Girl with her mini-me.

The next day, my big girl rocked her new fashion accessories.  Sometimes she looks 9 going on 15.  It's kind of strange to have a grown kid sometimes.

Loving her new shoes!

With her birthday money from her great grandmas, we went out- you guessed it- shoe shopping!  Chloe picked out a super cute pair of Toms- her absolute all time dream shoe.  We also went to a kid clothing store and she picked out a pair of yoga pants. 

Chloe was especially looking forward to a friend party this year.  She was supposed to have one last year but with us just moving into our house days before her birthday, it just didn't happen.  I promised her that this year was the year!

We had decided last year that it would be fun to have an ice cream party.  Yes, we were well aware that it is December on the totally wrong season, typically, for an ice cream party.  But we are a family that firmly believes that there is no off season for ice cream.  And an ice cream lover should not be kept from having an ice cream party just because she was born in the winter.

Chloe's ice cream shop was open for business on Saturday, December 7th.

We sent out these invites.

An ice cream banner

The house was prepped for all things ice cream- lots of ice cream toppings was in order.

The first game was an ice cream scoop hunt.  Before the guests arrived, Ben and I hid these ice cream scoops all over the house.  When the girls arrived, we divided them into Team Chocolate and Team Strawberry and they had to search all over to find the scoops, and put them in their color coordinated cup.

The girls searched high and low

And behind and under.  Team Strawberry won!

Next was Scattergories, Ice Cream version.  We drew a letter of the alphabet out of a cup and all of the questions had to start with that letter.  

The girls came up with some hilarious answers.

Next they took an ice cream quiz.  One girl was quite worried- she told me "But I don't know ANY of these answers!"  Luckily, they were all multiple choice answers and no one else really knew the answers either.  

Next they played Match/Memory game, Ice Cream Version.  Each card was a different colored/decorated ice cream cone.

Ava was the big winner on this game.  She warned us all before that she was good.  And she was!

Present time next!  Ava made this adorable apron for Chloe. 

Chloe was thrilled with a webkinz and some duct tape from Carly.

Natalie brought a super cute blanket and some candy!

Finally the BEST part- making their own ice cream sundaes!

The girls piled on those toppings.


Each girl left with a colorful cone of candy.

The numbers for her party were less than we thought- more than half of the girls invited couldn't make it.  But Chloe had such a great time with the girls that were there.  

Some things about my sweet girl:

Chloe is a big, big helper.  Sometimes we have to remember that she's only 9 because her helpfulness at times is that of a much older girl.  She is the best second mom in the house.  She can help with Olivia in almost any way.  She changes diapers, gets her dressed, rocks her to sleep, can feed her a bottle when I'm gone, and on and on.  She can do anything we ask of her around the house (when she's willing) and helps with the rest of her siblings constantly.  We really don't know what we'd do without her.

She loves all things paper, crayons/markers, tape, glue and scissors.  She loves to draw and color and make any kind of art project or craft available.  

She also loves to write and has recently started writing stories.  This makes her mama very proud (I love to write too).

She is a very hard worker at school.  She has an area or two that she struggles with and has to work extra hard in, but she doesn't give up and puts all her efforts into every subject. 

In the past year or so, she has become very interested in style and fashion.  She loves shoes and has a whole wish list of brands and styles.  With birthday money and extra money, she usually chooses to spend it on clothes, accessories and shoes.  She has been styling her own hair for years now and will often spend an hour or more styling it for certain occasions.  It doesn't hurt that she has thick, gorgeous hair that looks great straight or left in its naturally wavy state.

Is becoming a great little athlete.  She had a great soccer season this year where things really clicked and all came together for her.  She was the most aggressive she's ever been and took charge on the field like never before.  It was so rewarding to watch her play. 

Has a wonderful heart.  Just recently she has really made a big effort to thank me and Ben for the small things- thanking me for making dinner, thanking us for letting her stay up late, thanking us for taking them to do fun, special activities, etc.  I love a thankful receiver.

Has always been my little surprise giver.  Over the years she, by herself or enlisting the help of the younger kids, has loved surprising me with breakfast in bed, surprised me with a clean house when I come downstairs in the morning, etc.  She knows the way to a mother's heart- food and a clean house!

Has really taken an interest in cooking this year.  She has always loved to help in the kitchen but has wanted to start doing more cooking projects on her own in the past few months.  She has shown great maturity in this and has surprised me with how well she's done.  She can make mac and cheese all by herself from start to finish and muffins.  Just those two things alone have made many meals for her and the other kids.  She loves to help with cookies and anything else we'll let her help with.  I can't wait until she can cook an entire meal for all of us!

She loves to be in charge- of anything.  She can be bossy at times, but means well most of the time.  She loves to play school with her siblings and cousins (she being the teacher, of course).

Has a great sense of humor and loves to be in on any fun or funny conversation or situation going on in our house (which is a lot with her two HILARIOUS parents-- ha!)

Is a very responsible little girl.  The school aged kids make their own lunches for school 95% of the time and she is very efficient about that responsibility.  She will often even surprise Mitchell and make his lunch for him.  She loves to make "fancy" lunches and loves taking leftovers.  I guess after weeks and weeks of just taking sandwiches, I can't blame her.  She is a great cleaner- she loves to vacuum and mop the floor and I especially love when she offers to do those two things without being asked.

Has always been our best eater and still amazes me with her willingness to try almost everything offered to her.  Even if she doesn't love something, she will still eat it and even eat all of it just to be good.  She LOVES vegetables and will request certain ones for certain meals.

She takes the longest showers of any child I've ever seen and has a messy room that drives her mother crazy, but this responsible, wonderful little girl is a blessing to our family.  Life with Chloe around is fun and never dull.  Happy 9th to my first baby!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend this year. 

Leah and Lexi made some adorable indian outfits at preschool.  They were very proud of them and very excited to wear them.  I love the feather!  The day they brought them home from preschool, we had to run some errands and they both wore their feathers to multiple stores.

I love all the Thankful turkeys that were made throughout the month.  Among some of my favorite things that the kids were thankful for was America, chocolate, ice cream, everyone (Leah really does love everyone) and school.

But my most favorite was finding Mitch's turkey hung up and school and seeing that one of his turkey feathers said God.  I was very proud of my boy for not being afraid to tell his teacher to write God on his paper.

We spent Thanksgiving in Pasco and had such a fun weekend.

On Thanksgiving morning, Ben's dad took all the kids for rides on the four wheeler.

It was foggy and FREEZING cold, but the kids had a blast.

Ben had his annual Thanksgiving cheese spread.  3 kinds of cheese (one of which tasted like feet), sausage and crackers.

I never knew how much I needed beautiful red headed kids in my life.

The men spent many hours on this couch eating cheese and crackers and watching football.

When the football games were on commercial, they'd switch to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The girls were fascinated.

Our fearless cook who made a delicious Thanksgiving spread.

The twins and Evie entertained themselves with coloring before dinner.

Mitch and Sam got hooked on a video game.  (As long as they're happy and quiet, right?)

The big girls set up a beauty shop and made greeting cards for everyone.

We have been giving thanks for this girl since she was born!

In this outfit, we just call her Owlivia

Two babies to snuggle all weekend long!

I'm sure thankful for this awesome guy.  I love him.

Ben's sweet Aunt Jenny had one of the two babies in her arms almost the entire day.  She is Queen of the Babies.

There was lots to snack on before the big meal- chips, dip, pickles, veggies, drinks and not to forget Ben's cheese platter.

We had 3 tables- the kiddie table (ages 2-9), the young adults (ages 20-40ish), and the "old" adults- 50 and up!

An appropriate poem for the day...

Everything was amazing.  So, so good.  I love all of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

The high light of the day for my kids was playing the traditional "Thanksgiving Bingo."  We played round after round after round until each kid had won at least one game.  Every winner got to pick a prize out of the prize basket.  My kids were not ready to be done playing.

After being patient for many, many rounds, Lexi finally won!  She was thrilled with her prize selection.

After dessert, the 3 muskateers put on their pj's to watch a movie and discovered they all had on pink jammies! 

We ventured out and did some Black Friday shopping- always an adventure with 5 kiddos in tow.  The cousins got lots of playing time together and I'm not going to lie- I ate a lot of pie over 4 days.

Cute red head cousins born just 5 weeks apart.  Livy is the older one!

The big girls with their baby siblings.  They are such good helpers!

Yep, we all did a lot of snacking all weekend long.

My baby lover, Ms. Lexi.  She is always asking for a turn to hold Miss O.

All good things must come to an end- Ben's vacation from work ended, school was ready to start again and the pie disappeared. 

 We have much to be thankful for, one of which was a wonderful weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!