We saw the eclipse at 90% from our Utah home. The twins, their friend Gavin and I all watched at home. Greg took his eclipse glasses to work with him to watch. Palmer and Brody viewed with their classmates on their first day of school. We all thought it was a really neat experience.
We decided to do a mermaid theme for Violet's first birthday since she loves to play in water so much. We invited both family and family friends to join us in celebrating. We had our blow up water slide and a wading pool (the pool was Violet's birthday gift) inflated in the backyard for the kids.
We served lunch: chicken salad sandwiches, Uncrustables, grapes, pretzels, goldfish, chips and water. All food items had a mermaid themed twist. Violet opened her presents with the help of her siblings. We sang happy birthday to her. And then we let her have at it with her own cake. I made the cake and cupcakes. I am much better at making cupcakes than whole cakes. She didn't go too crazy with her smash cake, and was done fairly quickly, but she did enjoy the part she ate.
Happy first birthday to our sweet baby Violet! We all love and adore her so much and are so happy to have her in our lives!
Pappy, Grandma Betty and Katie came to visit us from Florida for a few weeks. It was so very wonderful to have them here. We have missed them so much!
They stayed in our home for the visit, which was great because we were able to spend a lot of time with them. Betty spoiled the kids royally! She arrived with a large suitcase full of presents and told them to pick a couple each day. She continued to buy them toys. art supplies, treats, new backpacks for school, and clothing through out her visit. She also treated them to Chuck E. Cheese's for the twins' birthday. Betty helped me clean the house daily. Dad fixed things around the house we hadn't been able to get to. They both babysat the kids. They were the best house guests ever!
Katie struggled throughout the visit. She was very agitated and was hyperventilating often. She also was having stomach issues. Dad and Betty said the one thing they wanted to do while they were here was go to the temple together. I was worried that wasn't going to be able to happen because Katie was having so many problems. But all aligned one day and I was able to watch her without incident while they went to the temple to do work with family names.
During the three weeks of their stay there were able to join in a lot of family get togethers and events. We held family dinner every Sunday with Sariah, London and her boys. There were here for the twins' birthday, Sariah's birthday and to see Palmer's and Brody's play. On their last day in town, Betty asked if we could throw and impomptu birthday party for Violet, so they could celebrate her first birthday with her before they headed home. We were happy to oblige; our family is always good for a party!
We all loved having them here and were sad to see them go. I found Brody sobbing in his bed after he had gone to bed for the night, a couple days before they were scheduled to leave. He was so sad that Pappy and Grandma were going back to Florida and that he would not see them again for a long time. It took me quite a while to calm him down and comfort him. Violet even took to Dad and Betty, from day one. Which was very surprising. She is very timid and nervous, and even scared of adults she is not familiar with. But Violet, Dad and Betty were buddies from the get go. She went to them to be held and for cuddles and played peek a boo for her first time with Betty. The visit was just wonderful, and we all miss them so much now that they are gone!
Archer and Avonlea chose to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for their family meal out. Grandma Betty joined us for the fun and very kindly offered to treat us all. The Smiths joined in on the fun too. Not a lot of food was eaten, but the kids sure had a good time!
Archer and Avonlea are so excited to be starting Kindergarten this year! They are going to be in the same class, which I requested. They have always been with each other, and I thought having their best buddy by their side as they start school would help them feel more secure. They still play together often and well, but they are starting to have different interests and different friends. They choose to play separately a lot of the time now too. I asked them the following questions as newly turned five year olds. Here are their responses.
Archer: What is your favorite color? - Orange What is your favorite food? - Macaroni and Cheese Where is your favorite place to go? - Chuck E. Cheese'sWhat is your favorite TV show? - Puppy Dog Pals What is your favorite movie? - Sing What is your favorite book? - Everybody Poops What is your favorite thing to do? - Play Animal Jam Who is your best friend? - Gavin
Avonlea: What is your favorite color? - Pink and Purple What is your favorite food? - chips, fruit snacks Where is your favorite place to go? - Jump Around Utah What is your favorite TV show? - Bo on the Go What is your favorite movie? - Trolls What is your favorite book? - Pinkalicious What is your favorite thing to do? - Play Barbies, color, play dress up, Play Doh Who is your best friend? - Hope
Archer and Avonlea chose to have a PJ Masks themed birthday party for their fifth birthday. There were about 10 friends who joined us for the celebration, along with Auntie Rie, and Pappy and Grandma Betty.
All the kids were told to come in their pajamas. We provided the masks and bracelets to complete the costumes. They could pick from Catboy, Gecko or Owlet.
We did some super hero training where the kids went through an obstacle course to perfect their PJ Masks skills. They jumped and run fast like Catboy, to use their super strength like Gecho and to fly like Owlet. Then we played duck, duck, goose, but with hero and villain names from the show.
We had fruit, Kool Aid and cupcakes for refreshments. Then we opened presents and each kid was sent home with some chocolate popcorn and a PJ Masks blower.
Thanks family and friends who joined us for the fun!
I struggled to get a good picture of Violet for this month's photo shoot, because the girl would not stay put or look at the camera for a moment. She is so busy! I finally had to ask Greg to pick her up and hold her still so I could get a picture. Violet is on the move, exploring the world nonstop. We all have a lot of fun seeing her find joy in the little things. Her very favorite thing this summer has been playing in water. She loves swimming and splash pads. She cracks up when she gets splashed; she has no fear of the water at all. Pappy and Grandma Betty are staying with us right now. She has taken to them so quickly! I was surprised because she's very cautious with people she's not used to. But from the morning they showed up, she went to them and held her arms out for them to pick her up. This is what is going on with Violet at eleven months old.
She's learned: to hold herself up
She likes: table food, self feeding, ice cream, water play, toys, remotes, phones, playing with her siblings, binkies, being held, cow's milk over formula, sippy cups, Mom, Dad and Palmer especially
She dislikes: being alone, blueberries, peas, getting her diaper changed, being confined Things about her/she does that makes us laugh: growls, high pitched baby babble, squeals, toothy smiles and big belly laughs