Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bike Birthday Party (Double the Fun)

     I'm finally getting around to writing about the big birthday party. I love planning parties! I love the creative process and the actual party. . . not so much the mad rush the few days before the party. We were so blessed to be able to have the party at Nonni and Opa's house this year. It's a beautiful, beautiful location. The weather was perfect and it was so much fun to hang out with friends and family.

     Let's start with the birthday outfits. I've made Sara Beth's birthday outfit every year, and I plan on keeping it up until she thinks it's not cool anymore. Nonni helped a lot with the shirt applique since I always mess it up. The shorts looked so cute and SB wears them all the time now. John David's outfit was similar. The shorts were longer but made with the same pattern. Look for it in some of the pictures below.
This is a terrible phone photo of the invitation so the colors are off a little, but I think the design came out nice.

     The cakes! This year, SB requested a cookie cake and this one turned out divine. It was about an inch thick, frosted with homemade butter cream. Mmmmm! I made John David's smash cake from scratch (can't have my little boy's first taste of cake come from a store), but I bought the cupcakes from Sam's. What can I say? I was tired.

This banner has gotten some serious mileage since I made it for SB's first birthday.

     These two bike wheels served as picture frames for the party. I absolutely love the way they turned out! I decorated the breakfast area in turquoise, orange, and navy for John David. The dining room was decked out in hot pink, turquoise, and navy for Sara Beth. With two separate areas, I was able to make it feel special for both my birthday kids.

     I love the "junky" (and very delicious) food that you usually find at birthday parties, but, having very little self-control when it comes to that kind of thing, I tried my best to provide a more balanced meal. We had 3 different kinds of sandwiches, fruit, carrots, chips, cookies, and bottled water. Guests packed their lunch in this awesome paper sack, grabbed a picnic blanket, and headed outside. The weather was perfect for a picnic!
These bags took way too long to get right, but I think they are my favorite party detail this year!

SB decided that John David's cupcake toppers looked best off-centered. 
Cute little water bottles as party favors
     I kept the activities pretty simple this year. After all, there was a huge play set to romp around on too. I made some handle bar streamers out of rubber bands and scrap ribbon. The kids could find some that they liked and decorate their bike. At the little table, the kids made a number plate for their bike. Adam and I had the number plates ready. I set out markers, stickers, and zip ties for the kids to use.

     We asked our friends to bring their bikes to the party. Adam used cones and sidewalk chalk to create a fun obstacle course. It was a big hit, especially with Sara Beth! She wanted to ride and ride. 

He's not quite ready for the balance bike yet, but he had to at least try at his bike party!
Time for the bike parade! 
Uncle Travis just had to get in on the fun! Too bad he didn't bring his own bike!
The birthday girl with her big cousins, Shelby and Maddy.
The best picture we got of the four of us.
     It was a great party! The bike theme was perfect for our big girl and our little boy. Fun was had by all, but I'm glad it's over. Let's do it again next year!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SB's Big Day

     Sara Beth's real birthday was a couple days before the big party, so we made it special for her. I LOVE birthdays! I LOVE making the people I love feel special! First, we got her a twin bed, along with some new bedroom decor. We surprised her with it earlier in the week. She loved it! Then, on her birthday morning, she had a super-delicious breakfast in bed made by Daddy. Let's just say there were Nutella and strawberries involved. Yum! She opened a small gift from us, three new Rescue Princess chapter books, and then we told her the big surprise---- We were going to the zoo in Tyler, TX! The original plan was to take John David along for his first zoo experience, but he woke up that morning throwing up repeatedly. Poor guy! He spent the day at Nana and Papaw's.
     After a fun day at the zoo, we headed home to one more big surprise. Sara Beth had specifically asked to have Counter Culture frozen yogurt for her birthday, so she knew where we were going. What she didn't expect was to have her grandparents and two of her cousins there to sing to her too. She even got to open a few more gifts. We loved every minute of our sweet girl's big day!
Breakfast in her new bed
Arriving at the zoo
Feeding the birds

Giraffes and elephants!

This is "her" goat. She is looking forward to seeing it again next week when we go back with her class.

Little brother was feeling all better by that afternoon.

Our family surprise (minus Nonni, who was playing photographer)

Yummy! Plain yogurt with gummy bears. What a great day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sara Beth is Four!

 Looking back at this blog, I wish I had written about Sara Beth at each of her birthdays. I will get to the party post soon, but I want to remember this year with our first born. At 4 years old, she is dangerously smart, classically beautiful, strong-willed, and silly. Here are a few milestones from her fourth year of life.

  • Two days after her third birthday, she became a BIG SISTER! At the time, she was very into babies. She loved holding her brother and was super-sweet with him.
  • In October, she went on her first plane ride to Las Vegas to visit one of her best friends, Owen Herbeck. She did great on the trip, but I think her favorite thing about the plane was that she got to have gum for the first time as well!
  • In the fall, she started taking ballet at Shreveport Dance Academy. She is a natural dancer and has great toe-point and an amazing way with her arms. The class is fun for her, but she really likes dressing up like a ballerina each week.
  • She also had the chance to go to several ballet performances this year: Fall into Dance, The Nutcracker, and Peter and the Wolf (twice). 
  • At the end of October, Sara Beth started preschool at Shreve Island Elementary. She tested into the preschool gateway program. Mrs. Flint and Mrs. Dupee do a great job making every experience a learning experience. Her class is a mixed-age group of thirteen 3, 4, and 5 year olds. She will stay in this class for one more year before she starts kindergarten.
  • For Halloween this year, we were a "Super Family". SB was "Super Sara Beth"!
  • This year has been a year of princesses at our house. Sara Beth is completely enthralled with all things relating to princesses. Every day, she dresses up in her royal costumes, and wants us to reenact the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, etc. 
  • She is AMAZING on her pedal bike! Seriously, AMAZING! Never had training wheels. No assistance required. Handles tight spaces and corners like a pro. I guess she takes after Adam. 
  • She continues to be a fabulous eater. Her favorite food is fruit (any kind). She eats pretty much anything we make. She tolerates some spiciness, but not much. Of course, like any kid, she would eat junk all day if I let her. I try to limit it, but it's becoming increasingly difficult. Her favorite lunch is a sandwich- ham, cheese, mustard, and mayonnaise with pickles and lettuce.
  • We don't eat out much, but her favorite restaurants are Golden Corral and Jason's Deli. Her great-grandfather takes her to Golden Corral when he visits. We opt for the salad bar at Jason's Deli.
  • She started soccer lessons this year. It's just a skills class. No teams or games yet, thankfully. While she is pretty good at the ball handling skills that they teach, that girl as no hustle in her. I guess I should have known that based on our morning routine at home. She is content to hang back or be the teacher's helper. Needless to say, soccer is not going to be her thing. 
  • She is also taking swim lessons. She was so afraid at first, but now it's her favorite activity. Hopefully, she will start learning to swim on her own soon. Nonni and Opa's pool is calling our name!
  • This year, she attended Bible Study Fellowship with me on Wednesday mornings. We studied the book of Matthew. She asks very deep spiritual questions sometimes. I pray that we can answer them in a way that helps her eventually accept Christ as her savior. She loves when we take out the Resurrection Eggs before Easter. The story of Jesus' death and resurrection definitely intrigues her.
  • This year, we haven't had as much time to hang out with her friends. We've had to be much more deliberate about planning time to play with them. Her close friends are Tristen Reneau and Nanette Kawanaka. She likes all of her classmates at school too, but her favorite is Magnus. 
  • She can write her name (and most of the other letters) and read simple words. She knows all of her letter sounds. She has a few books that she can "read", but she likes for us to read chapter books to her the most. Right now, we are deep into the Rescue Princesses series.
  • Sara Beth can count to 100 and understands the concepts of addition and subtraction. 
  • She is a good artist when she really wants to be. She colors in the lines and can draw stick people and simple shapes. She loves to cut with scissors and add glitter and stickers to things.
  • We haven't been to the doctor for her check-up yet, but she weighs about 35 pounds now. 
  • She is such a drama queen! I will leave it at that. ;)
  • She is not afraid of bugs or worms or snakes. Her Daddy lets her do all that yucky stuff and she loves it.
  • For her 4th birthday, we gave her a new twin bed. She is now officially a big kid.
Right after her 3rd birthday

Big sister and little brother (1 week old)
1st year of ballet

Our Busy Bear- Shreve Island gifted preschool- 1st day of school

Our first gingerbread house

She plays a mean game of UNO too!

With her best friend, Tristen

Breakfast in bed on her 4th birthday

Happy 4th  Birthday, Sara Beth! We love you!


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