Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sandbox morning fun

Sometimes you don’t have the camera when you have a near perfect morning. I guess that means we’re supposed to try to enjoy it even more since we won’t have the digital memories.

This morning was like that. The girls and I played in the sandbox in our backyard for an hour this morning. It was sunny and warm enough to not even need a light sweater. We pulled the leaves out, I raked the rain-trodden-down sand up so it was fluffy again.

We built a fish pond, complete with pretend water because my very wise 4-year old knows extra water in the sandbox messes up proper building. We built bucket castles. Some were near perfect. Others fell down before they got up. She also knows how to make doors and windows with her fingers in her bucket castles. I asked where she learned that and she replied, “Daddy teached me. Dad teached me how to make doors.” “Dad is a pretty smart guy, huh?” “Yeah, he is.”

Shoes were removed and sand was wiggled through little toes. Hands and feet were buried under cool wet sand.

Big Ive toppled over one time when she lost her balance and bumped her head on a cobble stone. But the spectacular somersault she managed to do in the toppling totally made up for it. Maybe I was a bad mother at the time because I was laughing so hard while she was crying. A half a minute later and she was laughing too. Proves once again laugher can be the best medicine. She does have a red spot on her forehead, which may turn into a bruise, but her bangs cover it well so most people won’t even know.

Playing in wet sand made us have to remove sandy clothes before entering the house and proceeding straight to the bath. Now we have 2 clean girls almost ready for lunch, naps, and a fellow 4-year old friend’s birthday party later this afternoon.

sweet simple memories of a regular day in the life of our adventure.

Party for Little E’s 3rd birthday

On Saturday we had a birthday party for Little E. This was the first birthday she has celebrated in the United States.  I thought it would be fun to have a cow and bird themed party for her since she loves cows and birds so much.

There is a take a toy to school day once a week at their Kindergarten and she brought at least one of her cow toys each week for a month.  And then she tried to take one of the cow toys from school home.  :)  Kid loves her cows.

We walk by some chickens on the way to school and every single time we have to stop at look at them.

Whenever she sees a bird flying in the sky or hopping on the ground she exclaims, “Der’sth a birdie!” (That translates to, “There’s a birdie!”  She still has a little bit of a lisp, which I think is pretty cute.)


Cow skirt made by Grandma.


The party went really well.  We had a boat load of people over.  A lot of our family who lives here, and a lot of friends from our church here in AZ.  My dad grilled burgers for us to go along with chips and salsa, avocado & black bean dip, hummus, fruits and veggies.  There were only a tiny bit of leftovers and no one appeared to be hungry when they left so I count it a win!


And I made over 6 dozen strawberry cupcakes from scratch.  I think they turned out really well for using 2 new recipes (the cake batter and the frosting).  I think we had about 12 left when the party ended.

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My sister filled about 100 water balloons for the kids to throw.  So much time was spent filling the balloons and it took the kids all of 3 minutes to throw and break them all.  A little bit later it started raining.  Just about every kid here was playing in it and completely soaked.  The rain was possibly better than my planned activity of water balloons!



DSC05606Buckets of water attract children like bees to honey.  : )

DSC05608Post water balloons.  She doesn’t look terribly happy in this photo but she did have a great time with the water balloons.


Opening the presents was pretty darn chaotic.  There were about 10 children helping Elsie and making her rush through them all.  Thankfully my sister was good at taking notes and wrote everything down on which presents came from whom.

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She wanted to sleep with this cow baby, but I said no because it moos.  I didn’t want to be awoken in the middle of the night from a mooing cow baby.2014-08-03_K_ipad_pics 796
You can see the excitement on her face in this photo.  I love it.

 On her actual birthday on Tuesday the 5th of August we had a slow day.  My mom made a batch of pancakes — maybe even her best since she used half-and-half instead of regular milk.  Little E was up before Big Ive and was able to eat all of the strawberries with her pancake.  And then she started on the tomatoes, finishing with raspberries.  I made sure to save at least a few raspberries for Big Ive.  She requested “frwench frwiesth and chickie bitesth” (french fries and chicken bites) for supper.  So I made some great baked chicken tenders, fries, and homemade mac-n-cheese.  It was a big hit from everyone who was over.  We ended the night with some frozen yogurt.  The girls loved being able to pick the toppings for their frozen yogurt.  All in all, a very fun birthday for a very special little 3-year old girl.