Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Garrison's 8th Birthday Party

We celebrated Garrison's 8th birthday with a fun, wild and crazy party with all of his friends on Saturday and the birthday boy LOVED every second! Yay for another year of birthday party success!!

I am struggling a little with him turning 8 because HOW DID WE GET HERE SO FAST??!! Eight just feels like a really big one. We're almost to double digits!! Time goes so fast and I just want to slow down and enjoy the childhood days so much. Even though it's tough on my mama heart to watch him grow so fast, it's also the best thing ever to have a front row seat for. But before I get carried away and emotional, he's not 8 yet so we're going to soak up this last week of being 7 big time!

Garrison decided right away, without hesitation, for the first time in his life (haha!) that he wanted a Pokemon birthday party. So that's what we did! 

Megan designed the PERFECT invite!! She is the best at making every detail personal and we love her work. She's famous to us. =)

Things were a tad stressful leading up to this party because of our busy week last week but thankfully we pulled it off! Garrison was even a little apprehensive and nervous because he wanted everyone to enjoy his party and have fun. Bless him. Our little thinker and pleaser. So the pressure was on! Especially given I wasn't on my A-game! Sooo thankful everything turned out so fun for him!!

Our traditional pre-party family picture is a must!

And since Austin didn't smile for the first 10, we had to make a few more until we caught him in the act! =)

The cake table!

After much viewing of cakes and much indecisiveness, the birthday boy finally decided he'd like to have a cake like a Pokemon card... but he decided on all of the details. And it turned out perfect! 100% personalized for our Garrison Cade. =) He picked every number, damage, and feature and was so impressed with the final product. Also, for the 4th year in a row he went with chocolate. Yum-O!

Pokemon was an interesting theme for me to work with. Super easy in some ways, but pretty challenging in others. How do you decorate for Pokemon?? Haha. We rounded up every little thing we had (even though I have no idea what any of it is or means) and used it all!

Garrison's reaction when he saw his cake in person for the first time. =)

The favor table! I framed his party invitation, had the boys round up a few more things, and then put out the packs of Pokemon we later gave our little guests. We also added to our favor table thanks to Little Cesar's Pizza giving us tons of packs of cookies with our pizza and Terrell's Granny donating a bowl full of suckers (her Bingo winnings from the night before!). I think the favors were pretty big hits.

One of Garrison's main requests for his party was an opportunity to trade with his friends. Since trading and Pokemon in general typically aren't allowed at school unless it's a special day it's pretty rare that friends get to trade. And of course that's their favorite thing about Pokemon! So we set up 2 card tables in our dining room to be designated as the trading tables. Plus we had them available to use as extra seating for lunch. 

We also set up a long table in the basement where the kiddos could eat. Given it was on the chilly side on Saturday we planned for all the kids to eat inside and the basement turned out to be perfect for them! I'm not sure where we would have put them if we didn't have the basement! 

Our first guests of the party ready to trade!

Once the majority of the kids arrived everybody was all about trading and almost immediately they divided into a table of boys and a table of girls. So funny!

I'm so glad we made the trading tables a top priority! For a while there I thought they might trade for the whole entire party! Haha!

After kicking off the party with trading we had lunch.... and I'm pretty sure this crew enjoyed their kid-only, unsupervised meal. =) 

These 2 cuties enjoyed their semi-private lunch as well...

They had some serious conversations over pizza and bread and made sure to cover the topic of weather as well. Hahaha. I can't even handle the cuteness!!

After lunch everyone played outside and fun was had by all. =)

After we managed to round everybody up and gather everyone inside, it was time for cake! Singing Happy Birthday is one of my favorite parts of every single birthday party. #allthefeels 

The cake was DELISH and I am not letting this cake lady go! She can't move or retire or give up making cakes for me. Haha! We moved right from eating cake and ice cream to opening presents. I think all the friends were just as excited as Garrison and he received some super cool gifts along with cold hard cash. =) 

His birthday list this year was super specific and unique and I think our families covered it all. A Fit Bit, Pokemon toy, construction paper, Power Ranger figure, word search book, Pokemon book, terra climber, a kids dictionary, and a "weird but true" book of facts. He was spoiled good. =) 

Our birthday boy had a GREAT party and loved his massive play date at home. After presents everyone went back outside and played until their parents were ready to go. We are so thankful for such a sweet and special group of friends for our firstborn and all of their sweet parents and families. We loved our friends in Covington but hometown living and raising our boys here is the best. 

Thank you to everyone who helped us pull off the party and came to celebrate Garrison's upcoming birthday with us!! It just means so much to us to celebrate birthdays with our boys and to make their special days fun and memorable, and we so appreciate our families and friends helping us do that year after year. 

We're on countdown to the big 8th birthday now!! Super Bowl Sunday should make for a great one!!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites: Party Prep Edition

This week shaped up to be super busy. We're in full blown party prep mode right now, plus we've had several errands and appointments we've squeezed in, along with a couple of meetings, along with me working on Wednesday... soo things have seemed a little, or make that a lot, hectic. Because you know what stresses me out when it comes to party prep and getting the house cleaned?? NOT BEING HOME. Sighhhhh. Thankfully we're making a little progress and Terrell Selph is awesome. =) Hopefully we'll be ready to party come tomorrow!

Here's a look at my favorite moments during our week of party prep...

*Probably my most favorite moment of the week came Sunday watching our Falcons play for the NFC Championship. And then celebrating the win and savoring the fact that we're Super Bowl bound!!! We are all so excited! #riseup

*I introduced my littlest man to The Letter Factory this week! I *think* Garrison got it for his birthday when he was 2 or 3 and it was a great supplement for me when I was teaching him letters and letter sounds. Then it was passed down to Austin, and now it's passed down to Layton. =) And he's a fan! Yay!!

*Zingo has been a big hit this week. We played as a family (or the boys played while mama put on pajamas and took a breather... and later joined the fun, ha, Layton played with Papa on the day I had to work, and then the boys all played with Nana one afternoon while I tutored.) I love how they're all on the edge of their seats ready to pounce even though you don't grab anything. Haha!

*After a full morning serving with the PTCO earlier this week I picked up Layton Thomas and he was ready for some quality time with me at the table. All of my boys have loved some good, structured table time. =) He chose his number boxes and we had a great time practicing a little one-to-one correspondence. (For future reference or for anyone who's interested we dump out all of the pom poms in a pile on the table first and then I arrange the boxes in order as shown, 1-5. Maybe one day I'll mix up the numbers but while he's still learning I'm going to keep them in order. Then I ask him to find ONE fuzzy orange ball and place it on top of the number 1. Then I ask him to find TWO fuzzy green balls and place them on top of the number 2, etc. until we're all done. Once the pom poms are in place as pictured, I let him count each one and place it in the box and put the top on. So he picks a color and then counts each one as he drops it in the box...if he goes too fast or miscounts then I have him start over.... and then I show him that number on the lid to reinforce that the amount he just counted equals the number shown, then he puts the top on. We do it until we've done them all and then we usually start over. =))

*Part of my party prep this week was finding some decor to "complete" my new buffet. I finally hit up Hobby Lobby when what I needed was half off, and I was able to use a gift card from Christmas! Mission accomplished!!

*I love the lantern and think it's the perfect addition. =)

*I was pretty torn about the tray but decided to go for it and at least try it out and it's starting to grow on me. 

*I wasn't confident it was the right fit at first, but after searching high and low for some things to go on it, I think it's come together pretty nicely. We keep extra frames that we use for birthday parties and such stored away in the playroom closet so I found a frame and one of my favorite pictures of us from the beach to go on top of my Bread and Wine book....a neat book about loving Jesus and loving life around the table... so perfect for our dining room. The candles and candle holders I've had for years. 

*We are almost ready to call this room DONE! Yay!! The only thing still missing is something to hang over the buffet. Slowly but surely it's changed from our most bare and bland room to one of our most inviting. I'm enjoying it lots. =)

*My mom sent me this picture of The Layton Express on yesterday. Hahaha! So adorable. The passengers are my favorite. =)

*Just me and my guys last night. Grace, grace, God's grace. Oh so thankful.

*Favorite Not-Pictured Moment: Reading through the book of Joshua and each morning's devotional on my First 5 app. Is it possible I've never read through the whole book of Joshua? Never made it past chapter 1? There is so much to learn from it! When I think of the main characters of the Bible I usually overlook Joshua. Not anymore. Joshua the person, and Joshua the book have amazed me. I'm excited to keep reading and learning. 

Today is going to be another busy one. Buying groceries, picking up the cake, dusting, vacuuming, windex-ing, scrubbing, and decorating are all on the agenda. And tomorrow it's party time! We're super excited to celebrate with our biggest boy and friends!! Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekend Celebrations

This weekend was a fun one! We enjoyed some big celebrations together and had a great time on our days off! 

Friday night we had leftovers for supper before cozy-ing up on the couch and watching Toy Story 2. Austin picked it out for us to watch and we hadn't seen it in a long time so we'd forgotten most of it. It was so good! We laughed a lot and had the perfect movie night. 

Saturday morning we slept in a little and then had a super lazy morning at home. The boys basically played with legos the whole morning. We need a whole 'nother box of the duplos! Once they all 3 start building something elaborate we run out fast! Ha. The big boys enjoy the smaller, more complex lego sets too but honestly they can't be as creative with those and make whatever they want. Duplos are still most popular at our house. They don't mind the duplo sets that make something specific but they really just love a whole box full of assorted ones to make whatever they want.

This was my devotion Saturday morning while the boys were busy playing. I needed this reminder and confirmation lots. I know I keep saying that I'm loving Jesus Always and my new First 5 app but seriously they are making a huge difference for me. I can't get enough! 

After a pretty scary tornado warning around lunch time in which we took cover in our basement (soo thankful we never had one touch down here but praying for those families in our state who were effected by the storms and tornadoes that came through) we ate lunch, had a short nap/rest time, and then made a quick trip to CFA to pick up a nugget tray for our upcoming Falcons party.

 Then it was time for my Nanny's birthday party. My parents hosted and we had a fun night celebrating with lots of family. She turned 82 and the boys loved helping her blow out 8 tens and 2 ones worth of candles on her cake. =)

I love this little series of pictures Terrell was able to get while they were blowing out candles together.

We are so thankful for her and the celebration of another birthday!!

Saturday night Terrell and I didn't sleep that great thanks to more storms... it was mainly just heavy rain and flashes of lightning that kept us up. Thankfully we didn't have any super severe weather. We went to church and the boys decided to help Terrell serve as greeters. We're training them to become gentlemen and they enjoyed greeting... saying good morning, opening doors, and offering handsome smiles. =) Meanwhile I got our preschool hall ready and I was actually able to rock babies with my bestie the whole morning! It was such a blessing to catch up with her!

We left church early to head home and get ready for our Falcons party! After our party last week and a Falcons victory Terrell declared everyone had to come back. Ha! So we hosted again and we all wore the same thing as the week before. You know, anything we can do to help out our team. =)

Since the game started around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon we went with appetizers so we could munch and graze throughout the game. Of course I could hardly eat anything until the 2nd half thanks to ALL THE NERVES. We had leftovers from my Nanny's party plus everybody brought something. It was all sooo good! I'm glad the Falcons were so dominant so I could relax and partake of all the deliciousness. =)

This was near the end of the game when we were all relaxed and just about ready to declare our Falcons officially Super Bowl bound!! (Don't you love our RISE UP decor? My parents got those over the weekend and there's one for each of the boys. Terrell decided to use them for decoration and they were perfect. =))

We had the best time cheering on our team and spending the afternoon and evening with our families! We are SO excited about watching them play in the Super Bowl!! And this year Super Bowl Sunday is on Garrison's birthday! So he'll get to have a special Super Bowl party as part of his celebration. 

Our weekend of celebrations mixed with down time was the best. We enjoyed every minute. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Favorites: Short and Sweet Edition

This week has been short and sweet so my favorites are pretty short and sweet too. =) I feel like I'm still adjusting to the post Christmas Break back to school routine but hopefully I'll find my groove soon. I'm off to call out spelling words and make sure everybody is ready on time and then spending another day with my favorite PreK-er and his class. I'm super thankful I've been able to sub for both of my big boys' classes this year. They are both with super sweet groups and I'm extra grateful. =)

Here's a look at my short and sweet faves...

*Our long weekend was definitely a favorite. We loved our extra time together and our Falcons party was the best! So much fun!! We have another one coming Sunday afternoon and I hope we get to celebrate again!! #allthenerves 

*This little man had a TERRIBLE meltdown on Tuesday morning while we were getting ready to leave for some errands. It had to be his longest ever and I thought I might lose my mind and throw myself down with him. It was awful. Nothing helped, nothing worked, he couldn't decide what he wanted, he couldn't control all those emotions, he couldn't get calmed down, he couldn't STOP. Two and a half to three and a half has been when we've experienced "terrible twos" and meltdowns galore with all 3 boys. It's a trying stretch to say the least. But he finally went to sleep and my heart melted and I exhaled and enjoyed my favorite radio station. =) When he woke up he told me my nap feel me better. And all was well again. Being almost 3 is tough! =)

*Speaking of our almost 3 year old... He is in love with this batting helmet. He plays outside in it all the time... including off roading. =)

*Uno with my big boys while daddy put Layton to bed was pretty fun. We're trying to squeeze in some games with them too that require a little more thinking than Hungry, Hungry Hippo (Layton's current favorite). Haha. 

*I love this. We have some changes coming soon that have me a little (or a lot!) nervous and this was such a great reminder for me. I am loving both of my devotions so much. And being intentional about focusing on one day at a time has been very helpful!

*My little old men dressed up for the 100th day of school! You can't see the gray hairspray in Garrison's hair as good but we gave them gray hair, glasses, a cane, and pulled their pants up high to help them fit the part. Ha! There were tons of sweet 100 year olds roaming the school yesterday. So fun!

*This is hanging outside of Austin's classroom and totally cracks me up. He is so into the temperature and weather right now. He asks to see how many degrees it is on our phones all the time. He's now become the official weather reporter for his class. Haha!

*Last night Terrell had a dinner to attend so the boys and I were on our own for supper, bath time, and bedtime. I loved settling in with them before bedtime with a show. It was definitely one of my favorite moments of the week. 

Favorite Not-Pictured Moment: Garrison's prayer/blessing before supper Wednesday night. It was so sincere, simple, and PRECIOUS. He thanked God for the good food his mama made and for his family and for loving us. It was so sweet.

We have a pretty fun weekend planned filled with family time, parties, and extra rest (always a weekend favorite)! Happy Friday!!