Tuesday, November 29, 2011


i'm thankful, first and foremost, for my family.  family is the reason for my being, and now, it's the reason i have the greatest love i've ever known: ben, jack & dylan.  and because there's ben, there's lynn and paul.  and dear, sweet lory.  the sister that i didn't even know i was missing.  i guess this time of year always makes me reflect, and i'm really just so thankful for my "other" family.  my new family.  it doesn't feel like in-laws; it feels like the other half of what should have always been.

you know what else i'm thankful for?  diaper wipes.  pepperidge farms goldfish.  tootsie pops and no-drip sippy cups.  my front-loading washer.  clorox wipes.  hand sanitizer.  books on cd, especially if you give a moose a muffin.  i'm thankful for the ipod, melissa & doug toys, stickers and orange juice.  all these are just things, but they are things that make my children happy and, well, sanitary.  (ok, so maybe that last one is for my benefit.)  sometimes it is just the little things that make us most happy and thankful.

we spent our thanksgiving between ben's grandparent's homes.  a few hours here and few hours there - it makes for some hours on the road but traditions are important when it comes to holidays.  and next year... who knows where we'll be.  so many things around the corner to be thankful for... {BIG smile}      

the kiddos discover a new way to go fishin at the miebs'

 perfect wooden train made by {great} granddad
 a rare snuggle moment

 love this of {great} granddad
{great} grandma shirley 

sweet boys.
 stair steps!  
(dyl was snoozing...)

finally! the party!

how cute is everyone?!  because jack was sick (and then dyl) we had to push the 4 year old's party back a few weeks.  ok, so a month.  and, because jackie's birthday is right before halloween, we were planning a costume party.  it's always fun to dress up, right?  (and you might as well get as much use out of the costume - since they're not gonna wear it next year.)  everyone participated, except the two older girls, but we'll give them a pass.  this year.  repunzel (mimi) and the white horse (gaige) came, a ladybug (kaylee) and a blueberry (ali), pebbles (dyl) and bamm bamm (jackie), david the fisherman, olivia the cheerleader and dalton the red dinosaur.  or maybe he was a dragon.  i guess i need to ask these important questions.

again, my halloween theme could no longer be since thanksgiving was just days away, so i decided the kiddos would make turkey handprints.  i'm sure you remember a version of this, yes?  well, these costume-clad babes all jumped in, hands first of course, to the chocolate pudding that would be their turkey.  they added googly eyes, yellow sticky-back foam triangles for the beaks, red shop towels cut into tiny strips (thank you, dear husband, for find that something) for the wattle, and square pieces of tissue paper for the feathers.  there were some great turkeys, and then there were some rather picasso-looking ones as well (jb).     

great start, kyrsten!
 that's the nice thing about pudding versus paint - they'll want to clean themselves up!

beautiful blue-eyed david

 this was the best i could get of the "birthday" boy...
 cousin olivia
 not-so baby kaylee
 wonderful dada and duey
 sweet kaylynn was just as excited as the little ones to make her own turkey!
whatta sport!
 auntie lory and cousin dalton
 ali was hoping for a faster activity
 the niessink's
 awesome turkey!

 even sarah dressed up!
 love the wattle!
 gobble gobble
 another great shot

the only request from the birthday kid was i want mater cake.  i asked about balloons, and it would change from day to week.  for months, anything he saw in the stores, on television (or in his mind!), would be i want dat for my birthday surprise.  he was very clear that he wanted most things.  got it.  he's an easy one to shop for.  cars?  thomas?  any truck?  playmobil?  jammies?  yes, the kid is even happy to get clothes!  for now...  back to the cake - through my girlfriend lesley, i found the perfect person to take my cake request.  wicked sweets in palmer.  how great is this?!  

 and then dyl just about toppled the tray over!
lemon cake with chocolate.  yum-mo.
 tissue poms...
they looked great when i made them a month prior.  
 it's hard to dress up a garage to look like something other than, well, a garage with decorations.
 the ladies in attendance

it's really hard to orchestrate a party and take pictures.  i think of that movie multiplicity, which i know i've mentioned before.  there'd be an annie to cook, me to clean ('cause i'm crazy like that) and an annie to snap pictures.  i didn't even help my own child do his turkey since i was trying to capture everyone else working!  ahhh!  isn't there always regrets though?!  so once our guests cleared out, and dylan fell into a sweet slumber, i looked around the house and realized i never snapped a picture of the decorations.  i'm sure you've noticed the color theme?  as in, like, all colors... the poms, pennants, balloons, even the plates and napkins (which i didn't get a picture of).  ben was a huge help hanging up the pennants {i so painstakingly made} and even happier to take it all down!.

long over-due party for our little (big) man.  it's still hard to say i have a four year old.  just doesn't seem possible, and yet, here he is.  40 pounds of delicious boy.  i can't even believe how much i love him.