Mother of Boys · Party Planner

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because there are no expectations and no gifts involved. It’s simply a fun day to wear a weird color and celebrate. It falls on our Spring Break so it’s even more fun that I get to include the older boys and their friends in all the festivities.

We played several games which you can print out for free over on Executive Homemaker. This is my Green Day Memory Game that I made into a poster board with ribbon to hang the cards.

Today little Emily asked me why the Memory Cards were all attached. I giggled and told her because I used to have a lot of time and enjoyed making things like that. However, the real reason is that I’m a complete control freak and when D1 & D2 were toddlers they made games very difficult to play. Attached to a posterboard, all the cards stayed where I wanted them to. {{LOL!}}

All the kids drew silly faces on green balloons. I was amazed at how much they got into this, especially the older ones. Turns out they thought there was a prize involved for the craziest face. {{Note to self next year}}

We played St. Patrick’s Day Bingo with rainbow Skittles.

I also read a short story about the Legend of St. Patrick and then ask them questions which are on the back of a puzzle of a Leprechaun.

While the younger kiddos were playing games with me, I had the older girls hide 6 pots of gold for the older boys to find. Once found – the boys hid them. Afterward, we took them outside to play Red Rover. They came in hungry and thirsty, ready to eat green food and drink.

I just love having these little people in my home. One of them commented that I have a party for every holiday. I told her, “I’ll take any excuse to have you in my home sweetie!” That pretty much sums up why I love to do what I do – I love creating memories. Good and happy memories are very important to me and if I can do that for my kids and maybe someone else’s kids to; count me in baby.

It was a wonderful day and I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have spent it with friends.

Party Planner

Couples Valentine’s Day Dance Party

Every year our church hosts an adult Valentine’s dance that we look forward to, as it’s our only time to really boogie down and let loose on the dance floor. However, last year there was an issue with the DJ as he wouldn’t play “Thriller”.

Um, that’s a deal breaker for us and decided to make other arragements. Therefore, I reserved our neighborhood club house as it’s the perfect place to host a dance party for 20- 30 couples.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to be amongst fabulous friends once again!

3 events a year is just not enough time to spend with these lovely ladies. I cherish their friendship. Even though we don’t get to hang out as often as we’d like, every time we’re together I feel like time hasn’t passed at all. We just pick right up where we left off and have a ball.

We let loose, dance, laugh, are silly, and just have a flat out great time. No judgments, no competition, and egos are left at the door. This is a time to just be yourself and enjoy the company of fun friends.

Thanks to Ryan for bringing his speakers and amp, the music was loud and everyone had a great time.

I decided to mix the party up a bit and invite several different groups of friends that I know from around our area. This was the first time that I’ve tried to introduce friends to each other and it worked out beautifully. Everyone did their job as a guest to mix and mingle and get to know each other.

What more can a host ask for? The food was yummy and thankfully there was plenty, the music was great, and the company was even better.

Tricia invited several families over for Valentine’s dinner on Sunday and we were reminiscing about this party and how many fun people where there. Honestly, I just feel blessed to have so many wonderful and fabulous people in my life. It’s not by accident – I scout them out. People are very important to me and when I find someone who I click with and truly adore, I try to hold on to them as long as I can.

So huge thanks to everyone who came to the party and who really put themselves out there to meet new friends and have a great time. I had a blast!

If you’re interested, you can see more pictures on my Flickr account.

Family Cruise Director · Party Planner

Happy New Year!!

We hosted a family New Years Eve bash this year with several of our favorite families. My brother and sister (and their families) were both able to come as well. So it was a par-tay!

Lisa, Wendy, and Tricia

My brother and his wife and daughter

You know Lisa (my sister) and Billy

You might recognize this devoted couple {wink}}

John taught us a new slap game. It got pretty wild – watch out!

This year we had a bunch of tweens. {{Holy Hannah}}

There were nerf wars and all kinds of antics going on upstairs.

However, a night with fabulous friends, loud music, and a lot of laughter is my kind of night. I’m honored to ring in the New Year with these lovely ladies.

Chanda was the photographer for the evening trying out her new camera. Thanks babe – you ROCK!

The little kids had a blast and we rarely heard from them. Now I know why. HA!

There was Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk Staking, dancing, eating, and all kinds of fun going on all around the house.

The balloon drop is my favorite part of the night.

The night wouldn’t be complete with out a little silly from the Turks. {{holla}}

I’m so glad to see 2009 end – you have no idea. It was a terrible year for me on so many levels. It kicked my butt and I so there’s no love loss here. Good riddance!

Happy New Year!!

May 2010 be the year we meet in real life, make many happy memories, are financially stable, have good health, hang out with friends more often, eat yummy food, and get our craft on.

Bring it!

Family Cruise Director · Party Planner

Christmas Round Up

It’s painfully obvious at this point that I’m never going to catch up on my posts. Therefore, here is one massively long one that briefly gives you an idea on how we celebrated the Christmas season. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family!!

Merry Christmas from Laurie, Jason, Davis, Dylan, and Drake

Drake participated in his first pre-school performance. His teacher should have known better than to put Tyson behind Drake. I think Drake was more concerned about what Tyson was doing and getting his hands in his pockets.

They sung J-E-S-U-S and Jesus was his name-o. The entire performance I couldn’t help but feel sacrilegious! Putting Christ’s name in a song about a dog. Geeze Louise. {{shaking head}}

The kiddos had a hard time dealing with the paparazzi outside their classroom after the performances.

We have had a LOT of friends over to play the past several weeks. Davis and Dylan both had their first sleep overs! They each went well and therefore they’ve convinced me that they’re responsible enough to have the privilege.

This year we decided to forgo the traditional Gingerbread House and try a rice crispy one. Had I known that I would have had to make it first, I wouldn’t have bought it. You know I can’t cook! I was so worried I was going to mess it up and it would be ruined.

Luckily, Davis was in charge and everything turned out wonderful.

It has snowed TWICE this year!! Whoohoo. We had a white Christmas as it snowed Christmas Eve. They boys thought that was seriously so cool.

Christmas Eve we did all our traditions as well as had the boys open up their Christmas pajamas. I wasn’t feeling well and had been battling the stomach flu for 2 days. Therefore, the day was not documented very well.

Since the boys were getting one really big gift this year, we decided to have them play a little game and search for it! They each had a ball of string that started from their stocking and ended somewhere in the house where their big present from Mom & Dad was hidden.

They really got into it. Of course, Davis cheated and eventually just followed the string with his eyes (cutting corners and walking around the house) and found it pretty quickly. Drake’s string was short and I helped him.

Dylan took it the most seriously and played exactly by the rules, carefully winding up all the string before he allowed himself to find his gift. {{bwaahaa!}} They are each so predictable. 🙂 Needless to say, they loved the game and the anticipation of finding their gift.

Drake hit the mother load with all his gifts from grandma’s & grandpas. His age is the easiest to buy for and the least expensive.

HUGE thanks to all the grandparents for making this Christmas a wonderful one for the boys. We have 7 sets of grands & great-grands which really helped take off the financial burden this year. You ROCK!!

The big family gift from Jason and me this year was a Casio keyboard. It’s seriously so cool. I went to the music store and bought piano books for the boys. Davis has already taught himself to play 3 songs. Dylan and Drake just love having it play for them and enjoy all the gadgets and cool noises it makes.

It was a wonderful Christmas considering the devastating year we’ve had. I’ll be way to happy to ends 2009 and put the struggles and trials behind me. {{said in complete seriousness}}

I hope that you are also ready to ditch 2009 and enjoy the New Year. Bring it on, baby!!

Home Decorator · Party Planner

Christmas Decorating

The next morning, after returning home from Branson, it was time to decorate the house for Christmas.

My darling friend Emily was over to play with me and Drake and lent a helping hand with all the decor.

She took it really seriously and let me know when I moved something that she didn’t appreciate. HA! It was so cute. I had to convince her that this “wish” needed to be with the other silver stuff. She finally agreed.

Drake and Emily squealed in delight at the opening of every box. They finally settled on playing with all the Nativity sets. Sadly, I had to do the rest by myself.

Formal Dining

Tip Junkie is hosting a Holiday Viritual Tour of homes, so head on over to link up your decorating post as well as get some new ideas for next year. {{giddy}} Here’s my home all decked out for the season.

Most of my Christmas decor I either made or received as gifts. So they each have a special memory associated with them. It makes decorating more of a “blast from the past” experience for me.

Entry Way


Living Room – back view

Living Room – front view

Entry Way

The house glows at night! (Man, I’m a bad photographer!) It really does glow. HA!

We also had our first snow fall last week.

The boys thought it was seriously so cool!

Family Cruise Director · Party Planner

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Branson We Go!

This year for Thanksgiving we joined our “vacation friends” and headed over to Branson, Missouri. We rented this huge cabin and the 4 families all stayed in it together. It made the vacation a real one since we were able to put the kiddos to bed and the adults stayed up and played games.

It’s seriously the ONLY way to have a family vacation. It has completely changed the way we travel. Friends for the kids and friends for me! {{brilliant!}} It’s also nice that we’re all together in a cabin because the kids are free to roam and explore together.

This was our view from the back porch.

Thanksgiving morning the boys had their Turkey Bowl.

Laurie & I (yes we have the same name) took the younger kiddos on a hike to the lake. Getting to the lake was a breeze – hiking up back to the cabin was a doozy. 🙂

I was in charge of Thanksgiving activities with the kiddos.

We made apple turkeys,

and Oreo turkeys.

This is the kids table with little Chippy.

The adult table.

Drake really got into it this year and found new friends. He had so much fun hangin’ out with these two darling boys.

There was impressive food (not cooked by me).

And the men cleaned up.

More games after dinner.

Then we took a drive to see the Festival of Lights.

The next morning the kids went on a gold rock hunt where we had a little store set up where they could buy candy with their gold rocks.

Drake thought that was really cool.

We had a little time to kill before our first show, so we went and hung out with Santa.

We watched this really cool outside water/fire show. It was short but impressive.

We went to the Duttons and the Island Fire shows. During the Dutton show all the kids were invited to come up on stage. Drake was chosen to sit on Santa’s lap. To my surprise he didn’t freak out and actually loved it. He told Santa he wanted a “Lighting McQueen Color Movie”. It was really cute.

We saw also the Hamner Barber Show.

It was a beautiful week in the mountains and with dear friends. This post doesn’t even seem to cover the memories and bonding times we had as a family. I truly feel so grateful and blessed.

Mother of Boys · Party Planner

Halloween Recap – ‘Bout Time

You can always tell life is completely insane when I don’t update my blog for a holiday. Especially to commemorate my favorite one – Halloween!

I took the boys to Dylan’s school carnival. The PTA seriously outdid themselves this year as it was completely OTT with a variety of things to do. Drake loved the petting zoo.

We all had a great time. Drake had a hard time trying to decide what prize to pick after each game.

The only problem we encountered was when Drake discovered the bounce houses. He ran me ragged running from one bounce house to the other the rest of the time we were there.

Davis has the best luck of anyone I know. The little guy was banned last year from the cake walk because he won EVERY TIME he participated. He was completely devastated last year when it happened.

This year he took things into his own hands and after winning twice in a row, told the principle that he was banning himself this year. This way all the other kids would have a turn to win. Such a sweetie – looks like we’re growing up. 🙂

Unfortunately, Dylan has my luck. {{Poor little guy.}} He finally did win something (after like 8 tries) at the cake walk but it was a 4 pack of muffins. He was stoked until he saw the Halloween cookies and huge pumpkin cake Davis won.

For Halloween we went trick-or-treating with Lisa & Billy, and Wendy & her family.

Davis went as Duke from GI-Joe, Drake as Lightening McQueen’s pit crew chief, and Dylan went as a ninja. Can you tell I let them each pick out their own costumes this year? {{giggle}}

I broke out my brunette barbie pony tail for the occasion. Dude, I love that hair. Although not as much as I love the man in the picture. {{smooches}}

Here’s the gang all together ready to get juiced on sweets.

They had a complete blast! I actually did too. The men stayed at home and passed out candy while Lisa and Wendy kept me thoroughly entertained as we went from house to house. Drake really got into it this year and went to each door with the kids. I was able to hang with the adults which made things a lot easier and more fun.

Lastly, here is the Beyonce, Kanye, and Taylor Swift spoof that my sister, Billy, and I did for our mandatory Halloween party skit. We completely nailed it during practice but got a little distracted by all the laughing during our live performance.

Oh well. And yes that’s a little girls leotard I’m wearing. $13 bucks baby! Enjoy and I hope it gives you a good laugh. Billy nailed it!!

Party Planner

The Annual Halloween Party

There are 3 parties that I look forward to every year. The Halloween party is one of them! It’s a crazy fun time where not only is it mandatory that you dress up BUT you also have to have a skit prepared.

It makes for an eventful night full of laughter and complete irreverence. I LOVE it!

This year we had quite the characters, here’s Indian w/ feather and dot.

Kate & Ozzie

My sister Lisa went as Beyonce, I went as Taylor Swift, and my BIL went as Kanye West. It’s not a stretch what our skit was. {{wink}}

Leslie & John’s magazine costumes where a huge hit!

Ozzie got a little out of “hand” and started it all. It’s totally Ozzie’s fault.

Next thing you know the party really got going.

Yep! Even I couldn’t resist getting in on the action. {{fotfl}}

Here’s our skit! I wish we had our practice round recorded because we rocked it but got a little disctracted during the final show. Enjoy!

{{sorry the video wouldn’t post. I’ve been working on it for HOURS. I’ll try again in the morning.}}

Family Cruise Director · Party Planner

St. Patrick’s Day Party

If you don’t already know this about me, I’m a HUGE St. Patrick’s Day fan. Yep, that’s right. It’s one of the holidays that totally gets lost in the shuffle and I think it’s a major bummer.

The only problem is that Drake’s birthday is the 14th, so the 17th is a little quick to get the house and everything ready for another big party. However, this year nothing was going to stop my Green Day plans!

I invited the families that have really helped my family out the past several months. It was my way of saying “Thank You” for your sacrifices of watching Drake one day a week for 3 1/2 months and being an incredible friend.

I feel very blessed to have these women in my life and watching over me during such a traumatic time. {{hugs to them!}}

We started out the party with the Legend of St. Patrick’s Day and a fun story about Leprechauns. After the story each kiddo took a turn picking a puzzle piece and answering the question on the back. As each answer was given we made the picture the puzzle formed, a leprechaun.

We went ahead and split the groups into 2 and one played Green Bingo with me.

While the other group colored and made finger puppet Leprechauns and hinged Leprechauns.

Next up Green Day Memory! You can print it out from Executive Homemaker.

Drake was so excited to have another party at the house. He thought it was for him and asked me where his presents were. HA!

We ate green food and treats, played outside, read ‘Green Eggs & Ham’, and had a great time! The kids were having so much fun I had to send the Leprechaun foam craft home with them because we ran out of time.

It was my easiest St. Patty’s Day party to date. The older kids are at such a great age that they actively participated in all the fun. What a great day!

Party Planner

Thanksgiving in the Mountains

This Thanksgiving we headed out of town with 3 other families and celebrated the holiday in the mountains. It was so nice to get away and celebrate such an important holiday with close friends.

Our kids were so excited to be surrounded with friends and I was just as excited to be with my friends. {{giddy}}

We started off Thanksgiving day making Apple Turkeys.

Drake really got into it.

Then we made Oreo Turkeys.

As you can imagine, they were a big hit.

I went nuts over the table decor but kept it simple since we traveled a long distance.

Here’s a picture of the kids table setting.

They kiddos had such an amazing view.

Everyone loved the maze, even Drake.

2 thumbs up on the food and it was such a wonderful day. I have much to be grateful for.

The kids did a lot of exploring and hiking.

And just had a great time being together.

Davis found a new game that he enjoys, Stratego.

We went a bit OTT with pictures on our hike.

Me and my Boys

Wendy and her family

Laurie and her family

Tricia and her family

We sang songs around the campfire and had smores.

The boys got plenty of use out of their army knives. They widdled branches for days!

I got addicted to Sequence as we played several tournaments over the weekend. I’m hoping Santa brings it to me for Christmas. {{hint hint}}

It was such a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by some pretty amazing families. Everyone has so much fun that it actually felt like a vacation instead of a family trip. I adore these Ladies and feel very blessed to have them and their kiddos in my life.