Sunday, April 29, 2012

Easter Sunday Afternoon

I never did finish my Easter posts!  Tsk tsk tsk.  Life gets too busy at times.  Anyways, in the afternoon after church and naps, our family went over to Aunt Nancy and Uncle Fred's house for dinner.  It's always fun to hang out with family and there's one thing about Steve's family... they can cook!  Beforehand, there was the usual craziness caused by little people hopped up on chocolate...

 And there was some time for some cute posed pictures of the kiddos in their Easter finery!

And there was some time to reminisce about the loved ones who weren't there to celebrate with us.

And after an amazing meal, there was some time to work off all those extra calories.  Here's Brody and his Uncle Danny having a competition to see who could hold their legs in the air the longest.  I won't tell you who won, but let's just say it was the little one...

 It was the perfect end to the perfect day.  We were so happy that we could celebrate with family!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Sunday Morning

Since we were out late the night before Easter, we were hoping that the kids would sleep in a little.  But while we were putting them to bed, Molly was literally vibrating with excitement.  That wasn't a good sign.  So, while we were getting their teeth brushed, Steve snuck into her room and put her clock a half hour ahead.  She knows she can't come out of her room until her clock says 6:00 a.m., and sure enough when her clock said 6:00 (and ours said 6:30... LOL) she got out of bed and woke us up!  According to her, she had been up since 5:20.  Good thing Daddy fixed her clock!

The favorite spoils from the Easter bunny were the Nerf dart guns that they all got.  In fact, we broke out into a full out, giggling, chasing war at one point.  Garrett loves shooting at targets.  Molly likes shooting Garrett.  And Paige likes laughing at them.

After the twins had a chance to wake up and check out their baskets, they all moved to the living room to hunt for Easter eggs.  Here's Paige pointing out the yellow egg on top of our wedding photo!

It didn't take long for the kids to find all the eggs and get completely sugared up.  What parent invented this tradition anyway? 

After a high protein breakfast (to counteract all that sugar), we got everyone ready and went to church.  I got to play/sing with the band, which was a pretty awesome thing to get to for Easter.  But, that meant poor Steve had to deal with the sugared-up kiddos.

Here's all the kids enjoying their Easter message.  As you may notice, Garrett is still flying pretty high at this point, and is more interested in performing than listening.

After church they held the annual egg hunt... which would be the FOURTH egg hunt of the weekend for our kids.  By this point, they knew what to do and quickly lined up and were ready to roll

Molly was quick out of the gate, which was REALLY surprising because she is usually so timid and shy, especially in large groups.  It must have been the sugar...

Garrett and Paige however were a little more selective, with Paige hunting down the pink and purple eggs and Garrett preferring the green and blue eggs.

All in all, it was such a fabulous morning at church.  It was so wonderful to hear from the mouths of our children that they understand what Easter is truly about... that Jesus died and rose again!  In fact, Molly even said to me "Mom, Good Friday isn't "good" because Jesus died... it's "good" because He died for US!"

Easter Saturday - Part 2

After naps on Saturday, we joined some other families from Molly's school to have a big potluck dinner and egg hunt at the park.  The family organizing the event BBQ'ed two huge hams and let me tell you... they were the best hams ever.  Needless to say that with all the families there, there was a LOT of food.

Then some of the dads took the kids on a "nature walk" so the moms could put out the eggs for the hunt.  Each parent brought 12 stuffed eggs for each of their children; therefore, each kid could only pick up12 eggs.  And when kids had reached their egg-limit, they would help the smaller kids find their twelve too.  They were such a great group of kids that worked together!  I love the first picture of Paige saying "Mommy... I found one!"

And here's Molly with the other kids that were there from her kindergarten.  We are so happy with how nice the kids and families are at her school.

And the last picture gives you an idea of how many families were there.  These are all the kids that were present!  After the egg hunt everyone went out on the field and played a massive game of kick ball.  It was such a fun evening and a great way to get to know some of the families at Molly's school better!

Easter Saturday - Part 1

We definitely had a full weekend this Easter.  So much so, that I need to split the weekend into separate posts.  We took the first half of Saturday to do something special as a family.  The kids decided that they wanted to go to Fairytale Town.  So off we went, without knowing that there was actually an Easter celebration happening there that particular day.  We started the morning partaking in the usual slides and tree houses.

And then we found out that the Easter bunny was there and you could get free pictures with him.  We were pretty excited about that!  The kids, however, were not.  I guess there's something kinda freaky about a person in a giant bunny suit.  Needless to say, none of them wanted to get too close to him, let alone sit on his lap.

Then we decided to take part in the Easter egg hunt, along with 50 million other people.  Okay... maybe that's a bit of hyperbole... but it sure felt like it.  They announced that the kids only had to get one egg, which they could turn back in for a prize. That obviously didn't quell their excitement because when they said "go", the hoard thronged into the area (parents too... which weren't supposed to go in) and I instantly lost sight of Garrett.  But thankfully he screamed so loud that I quickly found him and got them out of there.  Neither of the twins got even one egg and thankfully another mom saw that and made her daughter share with them so they could get a prize.  Worst egg-hunt ever...

Despite the egg-flop, they all enjoyed their prize and our entire morning spent together as a family.  And, when we were all said and done I asked if Molly could put her arms around her brother and sister for a final picture... and she strangled them. Can you feel the love?

When the cat's away...

While I was on my trip to Canada, I was away from my children for five days.  That's the longest I've ever been away from them, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn't leaving Steve in a lurch.  So I made sure there were meals lined up for him in the freezer, and clothes laid out for the kids for each day I was gone.  I wasn't really worried though because Steve is a VERY competent father.  And he didn't disappoint.  While I was away he took all three kids to the Children's Museum.

He even went out, purchased egg decorating supplies, boiled eggs, and decorated them with the kids.  That's no easy feat managing two 3-year olds with food dye.  Didn't the eggs turn out pretty?

And as if that wasn't enough, he had the kids help him bake chocolate cookies and took them to his cousin's house, to give to her son who had just broken his arm.  They even hung out for a while and had a great visit.  Here's our three plotting a war with their Nerf guns.  Paige was just about to take Steve out with her rocket launcher...

Needless to say, Steve confirmed my suspicions.  He had no problem holding down the fort while I was gone.  Makes me think I need to leave more often!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mom turns 65!

Back in January my mother started dropping hints about what a BIG birthday it was for her to turn sixty-five this year.  Being the observant family that we are, Dad and us daughters decided that we'd better do something special for her to celebrate and went into planning for her Diva Diane Party.  Three months later, everything was in place and it finally happened last weekend.  And what a success it was!  Trish and I left our families at home, boarded planes, and landed in Victoria a couple days before the party to help put together the final details.  This was no small task, and included making props for a photobooth area, making caramel wrapped chocolate-dipped pretzel favors for 70 guests, getting decorations and picking up the most "Diva" cake you have ever seen.  Oh... and getting manicures and pedicures of course!  Here we are making around 180 pretzels (two for each guest and then extras to bring home to our families).  Don't you love the cute zebra-print favor bags Michelle found?

Saturday was the day of the party, and in the morning our Aunt Cathy joined us to go decorate the banquet room at their golf club.  It was a beautiful facility with an amazing view.  We decked the room out in complete Diva style, with black, white, hot pink and zebra-print decorations.  Even the table's were numbered as different divas.  We were sitting at the "Cher" table!

After decorating, we went back to Michelle's place to relax and get ready.  We were so nervous about whether or not she had figured out our surprise.  Obviously we weren't the only ones excited, because when we arrived 15 minutes early there were already quite a few people there waiting for the hostesses!  Guests arrived at 5:00 and our mom was scheduled to be there at 6:00.  So while we were waiting, guests enjoyed some cocktails and got their picture taken at the photo booth that I was running.  The photo booth was such a fun idea, and it was a great way to capture pictures of everybody who was there sharing in that special day.  And everyone had such a blast with our diverse array of photo props, including US!

When it was time for mom to arrive, Michelle watched from the front door of the golf club and then ran back to the banquet room when she was spotted.  Everyone got quiet and waited for her to come through the door and then shouted "Surprise!"... at which point the DJ started playing "Happy Birthday To You".  And we are happy to say that she was DEFINITELY surprised!  Here's her expression as she walked in!

And here's her expression when she saw Tricia, who had flown in from Ottawa!

From there on the party really got rolling.  There was a fabulous buffet dinner, a complete dessert buffet and, of course, Mom's amazing Diva cake!  We were all so happy how the cake turned out! 

After dinner we had speeches and a short open mic time.  Mom got up and thanked everyone for being there and shared her misery over the last couple months when she assumed that everyone forgot her "big" birthday.  She was pleasantly surprised that wasn't the case.  Here she is making her speech.  Behind her you can see the slideshow that I put together that ran all night with over 200 pictures of mom's life... from birth to the present.  It was a huge hit and everyone got such a kick of watching it!

After the speeches we opened up the dance floor and enjoyed the tunes rolled out by the DJ.  I was so happy that everyone got up and dancing.  It was so much fun!

At the end of the evening, all that was left were my die-hard relatives.  It was especially nice to catch with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents!

It was really special to have so many of them there in one place that I forced them to get together for a picture.  I'm so glad I did that!


It was truly a fabulous evening and I know that my mom left feeling very loved and very celebrated... which is exactly what we were hoping for!