A Birthday Party!

On Saturday we had Cora’s greatly-anticipated Hello Kitty birthday party! She was SOOOOOOOOO excited to have her party with her friends and cousins!!! She could hardly contain herself! We had invited all the girls from school (about 7), her  cousins and also friends from our small group. All said we had 17 kids (and that included Micah and Rebekah). The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, they were so well-behaved, and Cora was showered with a lot of wonderful gifts. I was shocked at what such nice things she got! She was blessed greatly by her friends!

Cora and I printed off some Hello Kitty coloring pages for her friends to color. It seemed to be a big hit!

Cora and I printed off some Hello Kitty coloring pages for her friends to color. It seemed to be a big hit!

Bekah with Grampy!

Bekah with Grampy!

My dad built this awesome soccer goal for Cora! It was a lot of fun for the kids to use at the party too!

My dad built this awesome soccer goal for Cora! It was a lot of fun for the kids to use at the party too!

"Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty"

“Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty”

I had planned another game, but it went over like a lead balloon, so we did "ring around the rosey" and "duck, duck, goose!" Those went much better!

I had planned another game, but it went over like a lead balloon, so we did “ring around the rosey” and “duck, duck, goose!” Those went much better!

I love these Hello Kitty ear muffs!

I love these Hello Kitty ear muffs!

Blowing out her candles

Blowing out her candles

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Micah! Last year at this time we were anxiously awaiting HIS arrival!

Micah! Last year at this time we were anxiously awaiting HIS arrival!

Our always-a-ham Ben!

Our always-a-ham Ben!

Sophia, my beautiful niece with her youngest cousin

Sophia, my beautiful niece with her youngest cousin

Riley! He asked my sister, "will there be running at Cora's party?" Yes, there was running... :)

Riley! He asked my sister, “will there be running at Cora’s party?” Yes, there was running… 🙂

The usual, obligatory cousin photo! Haddie had celebrated her 4th birthday the day before and Micah will be turning ONE this week!

The usual, obligatory cousin photo! Haddie had celebrated her 4th birthday the day before and Micah will be turning ONE this week!

Birthday Celebrations

Thursday was Cora’s b-day, as I mentioned last week! We had a lot of fun for her big day. We got donuts for breakfast, and she requested pizza–ordered, not made by me–for supper. We invited Grandma to join us, and then after supper Grandma treated us all to ice cream! I think our birthday girl had a great day, and she said she had a fun day and felt special at the end. We had a lot of fun celebrating her too!

We started the day by giving her her gift from us--a camera! She was SO EXCITED!!!

We started the day by giving her her gift from us–a camera! She was SO EXCITED!!!

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Happy 5th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday DEAR Cora! Happy Birthday to you!

I can NOT believe I am not the mom of a FIVE YEAR OLD!!!!!!! HOW has this happened????? Where have the last 5 years gone? How is this even possible??? But, here we are, March 27, 2014, five years after Cora was born! What a wonderful 5 years it has been with her. She is such fun, such a delight, such a sweetheart. We feel so blessed to have her as our daughter. To have her part of OUR family! She is sensitive to the needs of others. She’s a good friend and sister. And, she is just so much fun!

I have really enjoyed this past year. Cora has reached a point of such maturity. She’s more self-sufficient and more capable to help in ways that are actually helpful! It’s fun watching her personality develop, her likes and dislikes take shape (and sometimes change on a daily basis!). She is really into picking out her own outfits, doing everything on her own and wants to help out with everything!

We have also noticed a real softening of her heart toward the things of the Lord. We can see the wheels turning, and her questions about Jesus and how we’re to live are becoming serious and more introspective. We pray she makes the choice to follow the Lord at an early age.

We will have a day full of stuff Cora loves today–I’ll write about it later. Saturday we’ll celebrate her with a party with her friends, cousins, aunt/uncle and grandparents! I’m excited about that! Be prepared for a blog post full of Hello Kitty birthday fun!

To you, my dear daughter. I love you more today than I ever thought possible. I’m so proud of you! You are beautiful, both on the outside and the inside. I can’t wait to see what all the Lord has in store for you. I love you so very much!!!! HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY CORA ANN!

This was yesterday at preschool. She has her helper badge on AND the birthday badge! She was SO PROUD of them!!!

This was yesterday at preschool. She has her helper badge on AND the birthday badge! She was SO PROUD of them!!!

The Festivities Begin

Cora LOVES Hello Kitty. And so, we’re going to have a Hello Kitty birthday party on Saturday! More on that later…However, we’ve already started some of the festivities and preparations. At preschool each child gets to be helper on the school day closest to their birthday. That just happens to be today for Cora! And, they get to bring the snack, which of course is always a more special snack than usual. I thought it would be fun to make Hello Kitty cookies for her to take as the snack, and the rest will be taken to her party on Saturday. I will say that I understand now why one pays so much for decorated cookies. Very time-consuming. I have done a lot of cakes, but these were my first cookies I did more than slap some icing and sprinkles on. In fact, Cora said, “Mom! Can I put the sprinkles on?” She was so perplexed we were not going to be doing sprinkles! HA! In any case, I got most of the decorating done before Cora was home from school but left the eyes and nose for her to help. We had a good time, and she was so excited by the outcome. I have to say, for my first cookie-decorating attempt I was pretty proud, too! Oh…and it took me a couple hours to do 25…I think I have 34 left to do for the party. I may resort to sprinkles…

Make sure you have a very lovely assistant!

Make sure you have a very lovely assistant!

They came out a bit puffier than I was expecting...oh, and these are just good ol' sugar cookies.

They came out a bit puffier than I was expecting…oh, and these are just good ol’ sugar cookies.

I made a thick glaze and shmeared that on each cookie for the trademark white Hello Kitty. It was smooth and hardened pretty a quickly, which is what I wanted.

I made a thick glaze and shmeared that on each cookie for the trademark white Hello Kitty. It was smooth and hardened pretty  quickly, which is what I wanted.

I bought black gel icing and used that to out line the head, the bow (which consisted of 2 big circles and a small one in the middle) and the whiskers. This is what took so long. When I do the rest of the cookies I'm going to cut the tube so the opening isn't so big.

I bought black gel icing and used that to outline the head, the bow (which consisted of 2 big circles and a small one in the middle) and the whiskers. This is what took so long. When I do the rest of the cookies I’m going to cut the tube so the opening isn’t so big.

Then I made pink frosting and used a large star tip for the big circles of the bow and a smaller star tip for the middle.

Then I made pink frosting and used a large star tip for the big circles of the bow and a smaller star tip for the middle.

My LOVELY assistant then put a chocolate chip for each eye and a Lemon Head for the nose. I put a dot of the glaze down first to act as glue.

My LOVELY assistant then put a chocolate chip for each eye and a Lemon Head for the nose. I put a dot of the glaze down first to act as glue.

The finished product! I know the Lemon Head is a bit big and round, but it works well, is the right color of yellow and according to Cora tastes GREAT!

The finished product! I know the Lemon Head is a bit big and round, but it works well, is the right color of yellow and according to Cora tastes GREAT!

One Collllllllld Birthday!

My 36th birthday was on Monday! Yes, I was born 4 years and 1 day after my parent’s anniversary! Makes it easy to remember how long they’ve been married…anyway! We didn’t have a whole lot planned, and I suppose it’s a good thing because we had to cancel what little we did have planned due to the extremely cold temperatures we experienced! Nonetheless, we managed to have a good day, and my husband and kids made me feel loved and special. I started my day by rolling over in bed to see Cora running at me, arms opened wide saying, “Happy Birthday Mommy!!!!!” And then we cuddled while David was in the shower. So. Sweet. I love this child so much. She has a heart of gold, and I love how excited she gets to celebrate birthdays even when they’re not hers. We decided to brave the cold and went out for lunch as a family. We figured it was only going to get colder, and David wanted to do something! We had a nice lunch, and in the hour we were in the restaurant the temps fell dramatically. Cora and I made brownies and hot chocolate and well, it was just a great day. I knew things wouldn’t go exactly how I had thought they would, and so I asked the Lord to help me have joy, no matter what. And, I did! I took great joy in the simple pleasure of making brownies with Cora, having lunch with David and the kids and then sharing the brownies after supper with everyone. The Lord has blessed me greatly and I want to live in such a way that others see that! Here are a few pix I took to document the day!

Makin' brownies in pink camo! Recipe to come tomorrow...

Makin’ brownies in pink camo! Recipe to come tomorrow…

The tea light candle is the only candle we could find! :)

The tea light candle is the only candle we could find! 🙂

T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

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Turning NINE!

Nine years ago (on Nov. 25) I was sitting in a hospital with my parents, my sister’s in laws, and my grandma, all of us waiting to hear that she was here! It was Thanksgiving day, and there was NOTHING open except 1 random donut shop to offer us any kind of food. Even the hospital cafeteria was closed! About 2 hours before she was born, my mom and I got to go into the delivery room and be present during the 2 hours of pushing, and the final arrival of our precious Sophia Ruth! She was so beautiful! I cried, my mom cried, we jumped for joy and well, it was just such a blessed time. I was so honored and excited to be present for her birth, and the only other births that have topped it have been those of my own children. After we snapped lots of photos we looked outside to see snow falling for the first time too! What a wonderful Thanksgiving! And now, my beautiful niece is nine years old. How did this happen????? Well, it did happen, and she’s nine.

We celebrated over this past weekend, which was a lot of fun! All 7 cousins got to be together. All the celebrating happened at my parents’ so the kids and I left early in the morning so David could have a quiet house to write! My BIL and mom watched all SEVEN kids while my sister and I went out for brunch and much-needed sister/adult/no children/quiet time! 🙂 We partied in the afternoon after my dad, Gma, David and my BIL’s mom and Gma joined us. It was a good time, and we all parted ways tired but in good spirits! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOPHIA! I can’t believe you’re NINE!!!! I love you so much!!!

The kids watching a video after playing hard in the snow!

The kids watching a video after playing hard in the snow!

Cora helping Aunt Ruthie whip the frosting for the cake...

Cora helping Aunt Ruthie whip the frosting for the cake…

Miss Haddie! I love her EYES!!!

Miss Haddie! I love her EYES!!!

Bekah Boo!

Bekah Boo!

My handsome boy!

My handsome boy!

My sister...still trying to get the icing to whip...took forever, she ended up scrapping the 1st batch and trying again, which was successful!

My sister…still trying to get the icing to whip…took forever, she ended up scrapping the 1st batch and trying again, which was successful!

Riley! He's so much fun and Cora's bestest friend!

Riley! He’s so much fun and Cora’s bestest friend!

Sophia's 9!!

Sophia’s 9!!

Cutie Patootie, Micah! He is now sitting up, crawling and eating "real" food! Can't believe that either...wasn't he just BORN???

Cutie Patootie, Micah! He is now sitting up, crawling and eating “real” food! Can’t believe that either…wasn’t he just BORN???

Purple, Blue and Ducks

Over the weekend we headed down to the city my MIL and her husband live. we, along with David’s step sister and her husband gifted my MIL by having photos taken with my her and her husband. We all met at a park, wore some combination of purple or navy blue, and the kids loved watching the ducks. I was nervous about the kids because the photo shoot wasn’t until 6 pm, and this is usually when they’re at their worse. However, I prayed all week, and they did quite well. I do believe the photographer got a lot of good shots, and I can’t wait to see them! While we waited for the photographer I took some shots with my iphone. I didn’t take my “real” camera with me, for obvious reasons, but I couldn’t help and capture a little bit of my kids’ cuteness for myself. Enjoy the photos–I sure think they’re cuties!

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