Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chloe's 7th Birthday

September 6, 2013 

Chloe requested a Taylor Swift themed birthday party.  I was able to create an invitation that looked like a concert ticket so we were in business.  The rest of the details fell into place with decorations. 

Royce and I actually left for our 10th anniversary vacation on Chloe's actual birthday.  So that meant preparations beyond our comprehension in advance of us leaving, and pretty much throwing three parties for her (not to mention packing ourselves for vacation, four kids to go in three different directions over the weekend, and two school days).  Whew!  We were determined to not let Chloe feel cheated on this birthday since we were leaving so we delivered quite a series of events for her. 

Preparations for school on Friday done on Wednesday (eventually Party #3)
Who doesn't love chevron-paper-covered juice boxes? 
(Thanks Aunt Robbie for the help on this one!)
Chloe's party with her friends and her party with family had to be on Thursday night.  Royce and I were to leave Friday morning after taking the kids to school.  I am so thankful all of Chloe's friends could make it to her party at Pottery Works on Thursday evening.  Chloe had requested Royce's BBQ pulled pork for her birthday dinner.  Who can say no to that?!?  But that also meant we needed to have everything ready for the family party before the friend party as the family party was immediately following the friend party.  With pork on the menu Royce took care of most of the meal.  I had to run to the grocery store for more BBQ sauce and a few other things and I was doing this last errand with about 15 minutes to spare before the friend party (which I had luckily already set up for).  I was so rushed, running like a mad woman, worried about packing, parties, and MOST of all making sure Chloe didn't feel neglected the following day.  When I hurriedly got home from the store, the bag that the BBQ sauce was in ripped and the sauce fell out. 
See where my shoes are compared to the broken 2 lb 10 oz jar of jagged glass? 
I NEEDED this moment.
I NEEDED to    S   L   O   W  down. 
I needed to relax and realize that whatever didn't get done would be OKAY. 
This little warning sign was God's way of making me realize that.
He was gracious enough to allow this little warning sign to occur on the garage floor instead of my kitchen floor.  And He was also gracious enough to allow the jar to fall beside my foot instead of on my foot.  No doubt that jar would have done some damage to my foot. 
I took a deep breath, thanked God for opening my eyes, jumped in the bath tub to rinse my feet & legs from the splattered BBQ sauce and then got in the truck to take Chloe to her party.  Royce cleaned up the mess and Robynn came through with another jar of BBQ sauce.  Royce and I don't sweat over stuff like this and we all worked together as usual. 

Girls ready to paint!
Brook, Shaylee, Eleanor, Tessa
Macara, Chloe, and Grace 



With a very successful friend party behind us it was time to enjoy our family.  I was (and always am!) extremely thankful for the group of people who were at this party.  Not just because of how much they all love Chloe but that night in particular everyone got their 'role' for taking care of the kids on our vacation.  Seriously, why was I worried about Chloe feeling sad on her birthday without her parents?!?  She was surrounded by the best group of people all weekend! 

For Chloe's family party she requested an ice-cream cake with LOTS of gel icing. 
You got it, Babe!
Sweet wishes, my dear!

On Chloe's actual birthday she got around for school and was extremely understanding about Royce and I leaving that day.  I took the kids to school and we took her treats into her classroom.  She gave me a big hug and was on her way.  Her friends were happy to see her as some of them had been at her party the night before and the others were excited to wish her a Happy Birthday.  Robynn joined her for lunch at school (what a cool Aunt!) and Chloe went with the Wentling crew after school.  She got to get a Snoball, play at their house, and eventually go swimming at their grandparent's pool. 
Royce and I called on Friday evening after landing in New Orleans and I asked Rachel if Chloe wanted to talk to us.
"No, she wants to keep swimming!"
You got it, Babe.
Her answer didn't surprise us one bit.  She was surrounded by people who wanted her to have a fantastic day and I was fine not talking to her.  It probably would have made me sad anyway, right?!?  She is such an independent girl and we love her so much. 
So while it was a birthday a little off the beaten path, Chloe got three fantastic celebrations out of the deal and as usual while we were away from her .......she grew up just a little bit more. 
Seven was tough for me this year regardless of all of the events.  I've reminded Chloe several times this last year about her being the "first baby".  Not just to us, but to a LOT of people.  She was not only our first child, but to many she was the first grandchild, first great-grandchild, first niece, and to a lot of our friends she was the first baby to them too.  Chloe was a trial run kiddo to all of our Kansas City friends who babysat her often.  Brian & Courtney Austin, Cale & Jessica Wiehe, Cameron & Megan McGown.  Our circle of friends have watched Chloe from day one and I know they are all just as proud of her as we are. 
Chloe is seven and we're not getting any younger.  She's closer to 10, closer to more responsibilities, and getting cooler and cooler along the way.  
We LOVE this girl.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday K-State game

Friday, August 30th was K-State's first home game.  Chloe and Isaac were excited to get out of school at noon to attend.  Amelia & Caroline got to spend the night at Aunt Robie's for the first time.  I think they all had fun! 
A&C still sported their new outfits for a while before going to daycare. 

The new West Stadium.

The game was HOT.  Tailgating was HOT.
Everything was HOT. 
K-State opened up Bramlage Coliseum before the game and had
"Willie's Fun Zone" for the kids.  It was a great way to kill time and stay out of the heat. 

Chloe even had purple streaks in her hair!

Blue sno-cone anyone?

One of my friends from college was at the game.
Becky Sager and I keep in touch and it was nice running into her again!

Did I mention it was hot?
Too hot for this little guy to handle. 

We spent the night at the Deines Estate and Dan kept the kids
busy feeding worms to the fish in the morning. 
What a beautiful place to spend the morning! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Chloe's first horse show event!

At the end of August, Megan & Justin brought their three girls and horses to WaKeeney for a horse show.  It is a well-known fact that if there are family horses in the area then Chloe wants to be there! 
Since one of the horses is EXTREMELY kid-friendly Chloe got to ride all day long.  I'm not sure she got off the horse more than one hour each day of the horse show.  She loved it.  She was in control and got to go wherever she wanted in the parking lot. 
Chloe and Caroline
Carlee and Amelia 

Carlee with Amelia

Chloe even got to ride in Figure 8 with Papa!
Papa walked along, then they decided that they could let Goble trot. 
Papa kept up and they jogged to the far stake. 

After rounding the far stake, Papa pointed to the first stake so they could execute the proper figure-8 pattern.  Well Goble didn't acknowledge the pointing to the other stake, he assumed it was a signal to head home.  Off he went--headed to the finish line!

"So-long, Papa!"

Goble was stopped at the end of the arena by another dad, and Chloe was perfectly fine.  Everyone the next day told her they could see her smiling the whole time Goble galloped to the finish line.  Chloe loved every bit of it and is so proud that she galloped in a horse show event.  It didn't even matter that she didn't complete the course! 
There are videos below, but of course I had stopped the video to take a still-shot when Goble took off.  So the second video continues after he is headed home!

Growing up

I've noticed lately how much these darn kids of ours are growing up.  Chloe is reading books now, Isaac has come so far with handwriting, and the little girls are just that -- little girls.  They aren't babies anymore and they speak very clearly.  We are still busy as ever, the kids still cause as much trouble as ever, but they are definitely growing up. 

Never underestimate the entertainment value of toilet-paper-roll binoculars.  

Daddy reading about bats. 
Chloe & Isaac always check out the animal books from the library. 

Amelia getting Isaac's back-pack ready to go. 

Where are you going, Amelia?
"Ummm, Tessa's."

I don't know how long this will last.
PRETEND hair cutting with ROUNDED scissors. 

My guess is that it won't last very long. 
And floating at the lake at the end of August.