Halloween 2009.

To all my fellow moms out there – this post is for you!!!

Because Halloween is my favorite holiday (yes, it’s true, but Christmas is a close 2nd), last year I decided I would throw a Halloween Party for my little baby girl. ¬†She was only 2 months old, so the party was really for my family, but we pretended like it was for Jensen. ūüôā

Since I was on maternity leave there was plenty of time for me to dedicate to the planning of this party. ¬†After thinking about what we could do at this party for a few days, it hit me……we should make halloween treats! ¬†I searched online for a variety of recipes and continued to brainstorm what we should do. ¬†Then it hit me…….why don’t we have “stations” for each of the treat recipes and each station can have two people that are randomly paired up to make the treats……PERFECT!! ¬†I got Drew on board with my idea and we sat down to create our “invitation.” ¬†We worked on the invite for a few hours (I remember we worked while J napped and we even worked while I fed her). ¬†Because we were only inviting family to the party we only had to make 6 invitations, but come on, invites are pivotal to throwing a party!!!

I also started to envision what this party would look like and I wanted each station to have big recipe cards so that each person knew exactly what ingredients were needed and the steps to follow in making their treats.  Again, Drew and I spent a few hours creating recipe cards for each station.

Because we were making a variety of treats that called for several ingredients and this was really a party for the whole family to celebrate Halloween, I thought, why not have each couple bring 2 ingredients?!?! ¬†I went through each recipe and picked out a few ingredients that I didn’t already have and proceeded to have each couple bring 2 ingredients with them to the party, plus each person was told to bring an apple. ¬†Now, I didn’t tell anyone (except Drew obviously) what treats we were making because I thought it added a little bit of mystery to the party!

The night before the party, after putting Jensen to bed, I set up each of the four different stations in the dining room and kitchen.  Each station had a table cloth, recipe card, cooking equipment (cookie sheets, wax paper, spoons, bowls, etc) and ingredients needed for their recipe (minus any ingredients that were being brought the next day).

When everyone arrived to the party with their ingredients, I displayed them on a counter in the kitchen and told everyone this was the “grocery store”. ¬†Once we drew out of a hat for stations, partners went to their station and determined what ingredients were missing and went “shopping.” ¬†Drew walked around taking pictures of all the teams and Jensen and I went around and watched the teams as they worked together to make their treats. ¬†We did a lot of laughing as you can imagine! ¬†Everyone also brought a side dish and we munched on food all day!

Of course we also had to dress Jensen up in her costume……a ballerina! ¬†Oh how tiny she was!

We ended up with some good lookin’ treats that tasted yummy too! ¬†Everyone had a blast and left the party with a “to-go” bag with a few of each of the treats! ¬†We had so much fun doing this last year that we decided this year it would be Jensen and Ella hosting the party! ¬†Laura and I have been working hard coming up with new treats and activities and we are excited for our party in a couple weeks!

We had such a great time with this concept that I wanted to share it with all of you. ¬†It’s a fun way to bring everyone together and create some yummy Halloween treats! ¬†I will fill you in on Halloween 2010 in a few short weeks!!

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Carolyn’s Pumpkin Patch.

A couple weeks ago, my mom gave Drew and I a bunch of free admission tickets to Carolyn’s Pumpkin Patch. ¬†So I asked Rachel/Tommy, Laura/Kris and Lynette/Dave if they wanted to go (mom and dad went to Branson to see friends, so that is why they didn’t come with us)!

Lynette and Dave couldn’t make it, but everyone else could, so we met up at the patch yesterday at 3PM. ¬†It was a warm day for mid October, but it was a lot of fun! ¬†Jensen had a great time running around and listening to all the sounds. ¬†They have a train ride that takes people out to the pumpkin patch which fascinated her until the conductor blew the whistle, at which point she came running over to me scared to death!

Jensen was also much more afraid of the animals in the petting zoo than she was in August when we went to the Omaha Zoo. ¬†We walked over to the goats and Jensen grabbed on tight to my shirt and didn’t want to pet them – at the zoo a few months ago she walked right up to the goats and pet them.

She kept staring at the slide and all of the children going down it, so we decided we would let her give it a try.  I walked her up to it and aunt Laura and Rachel helped her down РWOO HOO!

The line for the hayride to the pumpkin patch was really long and Drew and I were the only ones in the group needing to get pumpkins, so we chose not get pumpkins. ¬†We have a little pumpkin patch right by our house, so we will go get our pumpkins there next weekend. ¬†The patch did have a “sound garden” with a bunch of pots and pans for the kids to make noise with…..Jensen LOVED it!

It turned out to be a really fun time and I’m sure next year will be even better especially because Ella will be older and able to run around with Jensen!

Jensen.

It has been a while since I shared all of Jen’s new adventures so I figured I would post about it tonight!

To date, Jen has 6 teeth!¬† She has two new teeth that have broke the gum surface on the top.¬† We have been dealing with a very slobbery baby girl and she has been doing quite a number on her index finger!¬† We also had a few nights where she had troubles going to sleep so I would rock with her until she fell asleep…….honestly, it is the sweetest thing ūüôā

She is most definitely “Miss Independent.”¬† She wants to walk by herself, feed herself and pick out her own clothes (well, I have been letting her help pick out her outfits for a while now).¬† She loves to play outside and will walk along with Drew and I in the evenings around the lake.¬† Don’t get me wrong, we carry her alot too because she also loves to lolly gag and pick up leaves, rocks, twigs, bugs….just about anything!

We are still working on her vocabulary.¬† She says “momma” and “dadda” and “ooohh” (this is a dead giveaway when she is about to be naughty), but all other words are still pretty unclear.¬† We have on occasion heard her say “bye-bye”, “no”, and “ball”, but not consistently yet.¬† She has a very good understanding of pretty much everything we say to her!¬† She knows what her sippy cup is and picks it up if we ask her to.¬† She also loves to find my cell phone and pretend she is calling dadda!¬† Every morning, when Jen gets up, we get dressed, drink some milk and call daddy to say good morning.¬† After a few weeks of this, one morning Jensen grabbed my phone, pushed some buttons, put the phone up to her ear and ran around my bedroom saying “dadda, dadda, dadda” – HA!

We are also trying to learn our animal sounds.¬† She can tell us what a dog, cow, lion and monkey say and we are working on pig, duck and sheep – she has attempted the oink for pig, but isn’t feeling these particular animal sounds!!¬† Her lion is the cutest by far……big open mouth with no sound….precious!

We are also working on learning body parts.¬† She can tell us where her foot is (thanks to our fabulous “Foot Book” by Dr. Seus!!)¬† She also can point to her head and when we ask her where her nose is she points to mine or Drew’s!

Drew and I decided to start “potty training” this week.¬† It is clear when our little Jen is going number 2, so we’ve decided that is the best place to start.¬† So far so good.¬† The past two nights, we have put Jen on her toilet after dinner and I ask her to “go potty”.¬† She will sit there and talk, wiggle, play with a toy, but after I ask a few more times, she goes number 1 and 2!!¬† We have a long way to go with this, but I am pretty excited about how things have started!

She still loves to dance and gets her whole body into it.¬† She will move her head, her arms and hands and of course she knows how to shake her hips!!¬† Wonder where she got that from?!?!¬† I’m thinking dance class is in her future! :0

She seems to really like other kids and is very intrigued by the things they can do.  When we are out to dinner or shopping at the store, she will watch other kids, wave, smile and try to talk to them.  She usually makes other kids laugh because she gets so excited she starts waving and screaching!

She is also quite the little love-bug.¬† Every morning when I pick her up out of her crib, she wraps her little arms around my neck to hug me…….. oh I just love it!¬† If Drew or I ask her for a hug or kiss, she comes running with her little tongue sticking out!!¬† She will also hug her baby doll and monkey…..such a good little mommy I tell her.

My baby continues to grow and change every day.¬† It is so hard to believe she is almost 14 months old.¬† Time I can’t seem to slow down, but with time come some of the best moments.

I cherish…… our drive to the babysitters in the morning where we share “I love you” – well I tell Jen I love her –¬† and we wave to all the pretty trees and practice our animal sounds……when I come home from work and my baby runs over to me and gives me endless hugs and kisses…….when she sits with me in the kitchen and watches me bake some cookies or make some cupcakes…….when we read books after bathtime and Jen is in her pjs with damp hair……when I turn the lights out in her room and rock back and forth with her little head lying on my shoulder before bed……..the quite as she drifts off to dream land……..the anticipation of seeing her again in the morning.

Celebrating Drew Turning Thirty.

my wonderful husband finally turned 30 last Thursday and¬† I’ve been waiting for his birthday since celebrating my 30th over a month ago! :0

Jensen, Drew and I went to Oklahoma Joe’s for his bday dinner on Thursday night.¬† If you’ve never been there, you are certainly missing out….YUM-O is all I have to say!

We had family and friends over on Saturday night for a BBQ and cupcakes.  Of course, this was just the beginning of all of the picture taking!

Then we went to Paradise Park to ride go-carts, play mini-golf and enjoy some of the Halloween festivities: the haunted maze and hayrides!!

Waiting to ride the Go-Carts!

Waiting for the hayride!!

A few pics before the hayride starts!

Happy 30th Birthday to my husband, Drew!  We had such a fun night hanging out with our family and friends!!

Weekend of Birthday Celebrations.

Had a great weekend in Wichita celebrating birthdays with wonderful friends! ¬†Saturday morning, Jensen spent time “talking to the fishies” in grandma and grandpa’s pond. ¬†She was fascinated with picking up rocks and giving them to us! ¬†For some reason she was also obsessed with hiding rocks in the flowers and bushes…..such a goof!

After J’s afternoon nap, we went to celebrate Elena’s 2nd birthday! ¬†Her party was Minnie Mouse theme and Jensen loved all the balloons that were swaying in the wind, in fact, she kept saying “ooooh” and yelling in excitement! ¬†Elena and Jensen played in Elena’s sandbox together for quite a while. ¬†It was so cute, Elena kept saying “baby Jensen” each time she talked to her! ¬†They were so sweet together.

Jensen loved swinging and playing with some of Elena’s friends…….she is such a social butterfly. ¬†The party was so much fun with yummy food and an adorable Minnie Mouse cake!

After Elena’s party, we headed back to pick up grandma and grandpa so we could head to Old Town for our next birthday party. ¬† This party was for a very good friend of Drew’s (who is a firefighter….hence the helmet decorations at the party). ¬†He is turning 30 and his wife planned a surprise party for him at The Brickyard. ¬†We only stayed for a couple hours because we had Jensen with us, but it was also a lot of fun! By the time we got back to grandma and grandpa’s Jensen was ready for bed.

Busy weekend and so much fun!!!  Loved spending time with all of our faves!!!

10/01/2005….Happy 5 Year Anniversary Drewby!

Today Drew and I celebrate 5 years of marriage!¬† We celebrated 11 years together this past June…..cRaZy!!!

I couldn’t ask for a better partner to share my life with…….you really do complete me!¬† This past year has been particularly special for us because we welcomed our first child into the world and I’m sure we both agree that she has definitely changed our lives, but it has been so much fun.¬† It’s amazing how much you think you love someone and then you have a child and the love you have cannot even be expressed with enough words!!

For this post, I went back through my photos from the last year and chose a few of my favorites.¬† I’m looking forward to many more wonderful years with you and perhaps, if we are lucky, another little addition to our family!

Thank you for all that you are, all that you do and all of the love and support you have for me and our beautiful baby girl!

XOXOXOXOXOXOX