Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caleb's Birthday

If it's really the thought that matters, let's just say that this party would have been awesome. As it ended up, it was exactly what it needed to be, and Caleb loved it.

We have had a tradition around here to have big parties. Either the entire family is around, or the whole church is invited. However, following the advice of my mother, I decided that a party for a 3-yr-old needed to have three guests. I invited 5, but only 3 could make it, so it worked out just fine.

Caleb was pretty determined that he wanted a train party. He would even mention the train cake that I made for him last year! I couldn't believe he still remembered it!

I didn't particularly mind doing another train party. It was, after all, his party. But it would be fun to do something else, so occasionally I'd ask him about something else. Underwater? Explorer? Dinosaur? Castle?

Well, at the mention of Castle, he changed his tune. A castle party! Yes!

This boy loves kings and queens. His blanket is--among other things--his majestic robe. And how cool could a castle party be?!

First order of the party: the cake. Let's just say we had more than a few difficulties with it. What should have been a castle with turrets looked more like a hippo gone belly-up. And the inside was a mine of toothpicks.
My fork is there to keep the turret from falling.
I didn't know what to do. His party was going to be after church on Sunday, and it was 9pm on Saturday, so it wasn't like I could order a castle cake on such short notice. In short, I gave it up for lost. I told Caleb that I really tried to make him a castle cake, but that it just wasn't going to happen. I let him eat one of the turrets the night before his birthday, and let the others fall off.

When the turrets fell off, things started looking better. I decided to tweak it, add some flags for visual distraction, and it seemed to work! Caleb loved it! I will never make it big with my cake decorating skills, but as long as my boys are happy, it's fine by me.

On to the party! Our first order of business was to make a crown for everyone...moms included!

Posterboard and glitter sheets with adhesive backing cut into shapes. Tada! No glue, and no wait time for the kids to wear them!

Beth and John
Maggie and Amber

Caleb, Tyler, Adrienne

Then it was time for a game. We played Pin the Tail on the Dragon. Which the kids were all for except for the covered eyes part. Tyler did it, but everyone else thought they should just put their tail on the dragon they way they wanted. Worked for me!
 By the end of the game, there were six tails all around the dragon. Two were wings, the kids told me. Of course, every dragon has wings!

On to the cake! No one let the sub=par decorating stop them from eating it!

 The men (Zach with his daughter Lauren, and Jon with Adrienne's boy, Jake) doing bottle duty.

Caleb opened his presents before cake, and I was thankful for the small number of kids. Just a few gifts was just right. He plays with each of them very often, which is great. Here is his new play=doh set.

I had ordered books to give as party favors. The books, of course, came in the day after the party. So we passed them out with our thanks. The book was called "Good Night, Good Knight" and is a funny book for new readers about a knight who has to get 3 little dragons ready for bed.

I think it was a great party overall. Caleb loved it and his friends had fun. He may, however, not be requesting a castle cake next year!

(James, by the way, slept through the entire party, if you were wondering where he was in the pics!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sock Hoarder

A few weeks ago, I noticed that I was constantly running out of socks for the boys. At first, I didn't think too much about it. Both boys take their socks off all over the house, and drop them, throw them, catapult them everywhere. So...maybe I just hadn't found a few of those.

As the days went by, I got a little more concerned. Where WERE all these socks going?? I pulled James's crib out from the wall--no socks. I checked inside all of Caleb's shoes--no socks. I peered inside the washer and dryer--no socks. Hm.

So, for the sake of warm feet on the cusp of cooler weather, I bought a big pack of socks for each boy. They're Hanes, with the non-skid writing on the bottom. Caleb calls them his "rubber socks" and he loves them. James gets a little more traction for his walker. All in all, a good deal, but still a little mystifying.

As we got ready for Caleb's birthday party, we rearranged the living room. The couch got moved away from the wall.

Lo and behold, a pile of socks. And a missing kitchen towel! I can imagine that one day, after all the laundry was folded and ready to be put away, a little boy found a ball of socks. He wondered what to do with that ball, because it couldn't remain where it was (a little boy's mantra). So he looked around and spied the couch. He'd put things behind the couch before, and it seemed the perfect spot. Plop! Went the little ball of socks. How very satisfying! And look, there's a whole pile of socks and sock balls! Plop, plop, plop! There they all go. Now there are no more socks.

Oh, well. That was fun.

And off he walked, never to think of those socks again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A new friend

We have a new friend! Her name is Cara Grace. Her family recently moved here to work at the school. Cara Grace is a year older than Caleb, and they play together so well! I've even started watching Cara Grace twice a week. She's a little bossy pants, and I love it. What I really love is that the two big kids entertain themselves without my needing to be involved. I can be pretty sure that when Cara Grace comes over, I can fold laundry, get some work done, who knows! And having two older kids in the house inspires me to be a little more crafty. They've had lots of fun with their projects.

Can you believe they all smiled at the same time??

One of my favorite photos of James.

Isn't she beautiful?

One of my favorite ever photos of Caleb.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


I'm posting this in November, after Halloween, but writing this the following January. Meh...life happens. To keep things simple, I'm just going to add captions to each of the photos. Caleb LOVED his leopard-dragon costume that Great Grandma made him (at his request). But every time it was time to put it on, he threw a big fit...residual from the Homecoming fiasco, I think. Once it was on, he loved it, and "rawred" to everyone...but evidently leopard-dragons do not like being photographed.

We had two events that we attended for Halloween. One was Hope-O-Ween at Hope Landing, where James receives therapy. It was held in the barn, with lots of activities. Neither boy was too interested in activities, but the worst part is that I didn't get any pictures of the barn and all the other people!

The second event was our church's Fall Fest, which was held in our new Family Life Center. Tons of fun!

Nooo...don't take my picture!!!

You can take MY picture!


Me and my boys

Hot dogs at Hope-O-Ween

Look at that cute little dragon!

We pause the Halloween festivities to go to a football game!

Caleb wanted me to make a scary Jack-o-lantern.

Heading to Fall Fest

Caleb running to tell his Daddy hi.

Marsha and Diane, who won the Best Costumes Ever award in my book. I couldn't even tell who they were!

Halloween fuels our love of suckers.

Caleb only ate the purple icing off his cupcake.

Caleb and his friend, Cara Grace.

Caleb and his favorite person in all the world, Miss Debbie. He didn't want to do any of the games until he saw Miss Debbie with the basketball.

He shoots...he scores!!

This was Caleb's first year to really "get" Halloween, and he had lots of fun. James was the cutest giraffe ever, and was happy wherever we were...even when I might have accidentally, maybe, just possibly, walked to the next activity in the gym and left him at the previous one. Boy was my heart beating when I realized his stroller wasn't right next to me. But there he was, enjoying the bean bag toss. Whew.