Category Archives: Birthday

Happy Birthday, Chubbs!

Today my youngest daughter, aka Chubbs, turns 8. I have been her Mom for a little over 7 years now, and it has been such a blessing. She is beautiful both inside and out. I pray that she has a life full of laughter and joy, that she sees the positive side in trying times, and that she shines bright with the light of God each and every day. We won’t be having her party until next week (today is our weekly swap day), so we will be celebrating 3 birthdays (Chubbs, Big Puppy, and mine) at once next weekend…hopefully we’ll have some awesome pictures!
Join me in wishing Chubbs a very happy birthday by leaving a comment below. Thanks & HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHUBBS! =)

Party All Night Long! (or not)

Trinity’s birthday party was a huge success! We began actually prepping for the party the week before by making the invitations and planning the evening out a bit. The invitations were simple to make, turned out very cute, and Trinity was quite proud of them. The plan was for her to bring the invitations to school on Monday and give them to her friends. We were only inviting a few girls because of the birthday party being a slumber party, and I wanted to survive the weekend with my sanity intact. There was to be a total of 8 girls (including my 3), one didn’t go to her school, and 2 were sisters, so she really only had 3 invitations to deliver. The last day of school being 2 days before the party wouldn’t pose a problem since she was handing the invitations out on Monday, right? WRONG! First, she ‘forgot’ to bring the invitations to school on Monday…then on Tuesday she informs me that the school won’t let her hand them out. What?! Evidently it is against school policy to hand out invitations…not sure why, but whatever. So, I then had her call her friends to invite them…none of which answered, so I now had a very discouraged birthday girl leaving party invitation messages on voicemail.

Fast forward to Friday…Party Day. I had purchased pizza, pre-made Banana Punch, and was putting the finishing touches on the Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. Kids were set to arrive after 4, with my girls coming at noon. Trinity completed her pre-party preparations, and I sent the girls outside to play. 3/5 girls had RSVP’d, so everything was going smoothly. The 2 sisters that were coming live in our neighborhood, so when they saw our girls outside at 2pm, they came over early…not a problem. I began setting up for the party. Nothing fancy, just getting the craft ready, setting the punch out, bringing out the presents, etc.
Our third and final guest arrived at 4pm as planned, and we began the craft. They decorated tote bags to take home, and had a great time. They also made a special one for Trinity that they all added something to for her birthday.
Greg got home around 5:15, and I put the pizza’s in. We got a phone call about 5:30 that one of the girls that was invited would be coming sometime after 6:30, so our count was up to 4/5 guests. I let the girls go ahead and eat pizza and cake and then we waited on our final guest to begin opening presents and finally start the movie.
Trinity got some great stuff for her birthday, and was glowing when she read cards saying how good of a friend she was and how much her friends loved her. It was really wonderful to see how this affected her.
Trinity chose ‘Hotel For Dog’s’ as the movie. We laid out some blankets and had them bring in their pillows and small blankets for what began as a quiet time.
Several of the girls had already seen it, so it was a bit wild in the game room during the movie. After the movie was over, I gave them all glow sticks to play with in the game room…we’ve never had a problem with them before, but of course we would at a slumber party with sugared up kids. A glow stick burst on Trinity as she cracked it and sprayed her in the face. Thankfully it didn’t get in her eyes, just on her forehead, chin, and her blanket. We cleaned up the glowing mess and continued on with the evening. Our late arrival announced she was not having any fun and wanted to go home around 10:30. Since she lives in our neighborhood, I let her call her mom and she came to pick her up. I told the girls they could stay up as late as they wanted as long as they were quiet and stayed in the room. I fell asleep on the couch around 11:30, and when Greg woke me up to go to bed at almost 1am, they were all asleep.
The plan was for the kids to be picked up by 2pm on Saturday, but they were all gone by noon.
Trinity had a great time with her friends, and overall had a wonderful birthday. I was very pleasantly surprised that there was hardly any fighting the entire time. Since I did survive the weekend with my sanity intact, I think we will do this again. I will most likely plan a few more specific things for them do next time, but the party really was a success.

Date Night!

Since our anniversary, my birthday, and Greg’s birthday are all within about 2 weeks of each other, we attempt to get away and celebrate ‘grown-up style’.  This means, at least one night away…with NO children, dressing nice (which I did, but had to change because it got cold), eating out, and doing something fun.  This year we returned to Branson, MO, and had a wonderful time…again.  It did rain the entire time we were there, but we enjoyed ourselves regardless.

As most of you know, I am ‘frugal’ so, after searching online for a decent hotel for a good price, I stumbled upon the Scenic Hills Inn.  At first, I planned on booking a regular room because they had good reviews, and on their website they appeared to be nice and a good price (under $50 +tax).  Then I noticed for about $35 more, I could have a jacuzzi in the room.  How could I resist?  I, of course, announced a disclaimer to Greg as we were arriving at the hotel, ‘If this place isn’t what we are expecting…it’s not my fault.  You okayed it!  And…you left all the planning up to me…AGAIN!’  I can honestly say that every get-away/vacation I have planned has been a raving success…this was no exception.  The room was very nice (smelled a little stuffy, but not bad), the bed was very comfortable, and the jacuzzi was wonderful (a little noisy, but that was to be expected).  We plan on booking that room again next time.
For dinner, we once again visited Wasabi.
   
They had remodeled a little on the inside, and the food and service was fantastic.  I had been looking forward to eating ‘real’ sushi this year, and decided on a spicy tuna roll.  I was a bit nervous at first, but LOVED it!  I also had to order California Rolls which were as awesome as I had remembered.  We avoided Saki this year…once was enough for me.  
After dinner, we stopped at Walgreen’s and picked up some ice cream.  We headed back to the hotel, where we enjoyed a romantic evening filled with laughter and eating ice cream while relaxing in a steaming jacuzzi overflowing w/ bubbles.
Breakfast took place at the Cracker Barrel (also one of my favorites), and everything was delicious.  My eyes were bigger than my belly, and Greg finished off his breakfast plus about half of mine.  
He then drove me to Michael’s…a store that if I lived closer, the employees would probably know me by name…where I bought little goodies for the kids and a couple things for me.  
After a few more stops, and me throwing a fit, Greg agreed to take me to play a round of mini-golf.  We went to Branson Family Fun Factory, where I proceeded to sink 2 ‘hole-in-one’s’ and claim a victory over Greg in their indoor ‘Glow-in-the-Dark’ 18-hole mini golf course.  The artwork in there was fantastic…there were 3 different areas if I remember correctly – a forest, dragon’s lair, and an underwater area.  After the 2 stroke massacre I inflicted on him, he challenged me to a game of air hockey.  It was so close…tied 6-6, and he scored for the win.  (I had a picture of Greg putting, but decided not to include it…considering it was glow-in-the-dark, you can’t see anything but a big orange blob.)
Finally, we drove home (in the rain…still), and just talked about our life.  We are beyond blessed.  I am so thankful for a husband with dreams, ambitions, and goals.  We are in sync on most of what we want out of our life, things we want to accomplish with our time.  I can truly say I am happy, and am totally in love with my husband.  We had a wonderful time in Branson, and I look forward to many more birthdays where we can celebrate the year.  Not just the laughter, but also the tears…not just the accomplishments, but the failures as well.  You have to take the good with the bad.  Life is good even when you think it stinks because God has a plan, and it’s bigger than yours. 

Funny Story Friday

Last year, I decided to pool my resources with my brother & sister and get my Mom a birthday present she would really love.  She is a big American Idol fan, and had been rooting for David Cook since the beginning.  I did a little research to see when the Idol Tour would be near her, and we pitched in and bought her 2 tickets.  We, of course, enjoyed teasing her about her ‘Best Present EVER’ for weeks before her birthday.  She was given vague clues as a hilarious form of torture…even her cake was a clue. 
Her guesses consisted of total randomness…appliances (after the cake her friends were sure she was getting a gourmet oven-which is hilarious considering I had to practically squeeze the money I did out of my siblings.), cooking classes, a frozen margarita maker (because she really wanted one), and various other guesses that I can’t think of at the moment.
To continue the torture, we wrapped the card containing the tickets in a box which was then placed in a larger box.  A huge, heavy chain was placed in the largest box to confuse her even further.  
Once she got down to the card containing the tickets, she correctly guessed the gift.  
She was quite excited and confirmed that this was one of the best presents she had ever received.  The torture continued since the concert was several weeks away, but she said it was worth the wait.  Her and my step dad caught the tour at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and had pretty good seats.  They didn’t actually get to meet any of the Idols, but had a wonderful time.  (I planned on including pictures of the actual concert, but someone *cough* my sister *cough* neglected to send me the link.)
For a look at some of my other ‘confection creations’ you can go here or here.

Trinity’s 8th Birthday…Part 1

I have been stressing & working my behind off over Trinity’s birthday. The original plan was to have a big party at our house with all her friends from school on June 7th. She wanted an “Arctic” Webkinz Party, and I had most of the details planned out. We then get a call from Amy saying she had to have the girls (Kylie & Kara) for a family reunion that day, so we changed the party date to the 8th after church. About a week later, we received another call from her stating she would need to keep the girls until Sunday night. So, after talking to Trinity, we decided to have a small family party on May 29th, then take her to Branson on the 7th for a day all about her. (I was very frustrated that I had to change my daughter’s birthday plans repeatedly to accomodate her plans – even though it was our weekend – but we finally got it all worked out.) Trinity was happy with the change…she got her Arctic Party that her sisters were able to attend, and she will get a day all about her.

The cake took me 2 days total to bake, make the fondant, and create the finished product…which I was very pleased with. (Plus, it was delicious!)

She LOVED the gifts she received, and she really enjoyed spending time with her family. She is growing up so fast…I am astounded at how she has grown. She is an amazing kid – I couldn’t imagine a better daughter.

Part 2 (Trinity’s Day in Branson) will be posted sometime after June 7th.

Cakes

After planning Kara’s birthday party, and it turning out so well, Trinity has requested an arctic Webkinz party for her birthday. I am planning on making an igloo cake using the fondant to cover a cake baked in a pyrex bowl. I figured I needed some more practice with the fondant, so I am in the process of making Greg a football cake for his birthday today. I have had experience in the past with making a rounded cake from Kylie’s princess cake. The part I am nervous about is the fondant. Not sure why I am on this cake thing this year, but here are a few pictures of the other cakes I have made.

The first one was made using an 8×8 pan and 4 mini-loaf pans for Grayson’s 1st Birthday, the second one was made using the pyrex bowl, and an 8″ round cake pan for Kylie’s 6th Birthday. These both used cream cheese frosting. The last one was made using 2 8″ round cake pans and marshmallow fondant.

Below are pictures of the completed cake for Greg’s birthday. If I ever do another football cake, I have a totally different plan on doing the fondant. It actually turned out decent. Oh, and the little footballs around it are just candies made from the fondant.

My Big 3-0

Well, I have had a wonderful weekend. My darling husband planned a weekend away to celebrate our birthdays. Planned may not be the right word…either way, it was a perfect weekend. We began our weekend on Friday after he got home from work. We had Ray & Tina watch Grayson Friday evening & all day on Saturday, and Doug & Rebecca keep him Saturday night through Sunday afternoon. We drove to Branson, checked in at the resort, and went down to Branson Landing. We enjoyed one of the most delicious bacon cheese burgers I have ever had the pleasure of tasting (at Garfield’s), and just walked around checking out the different stores.


On a totally off topic side note…I have noticed that I seem to fall deeper in love with my husband with each passing day. It’s not because of anything in particular that he does, it’s just him being him, and me noticing. I LOVE HIM!

Okay, back on topic…


On Saturday, we “slept in” (I put that in ” ” because for some reason, I am unable to sleep past 8:00…sooooo frustrating), ate breakfast at IHOP – the caramel banana french toast is AMAZING, went to the time share presentation… I know, I know, but 2 nights at the resort & 2 2-day passes to Silver Dollar City for $79.00 was worth it. Plus, during the tour, Greg had to help push the golf cart thing up a hill…it was great! We went back to Branson Landing to shop, then ate sushi at Wasabi. Well, not exactly sushi…the waitress recommended since we had never eaten sushi, that we try California Rolls. “They good for beginners.” she said. It was awesome. For someone who doesn’t really like fish, I sure did put away the California Rolls. We also ordered sake. For those who don’t know…it is rank. It is a heated alcoholic beverage, that tastes like a cross of wine & moonshine. UGH! It doesn’t pack near the punch you would think by the way it tastes though. Everything else was delicious. I even had Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert…just to get the entire Japanese taste experience. I can safely say, we will be going back for more. After eating at Wasabi, we went to the Kirby Vanburch magic show. It was very impressive. He and his wife were VERY good at what they do, plus it was quite a long show…well worth the cost. I was a little disappointed that after paying over $60.00 for us both to get in, they tried to sell us a photo they took of us on the way in for $18.00. I mean, come on! It cost what, maybe a quarter to print, and a buck or 2 for the frame? I would have paid $5.00 or so for the souvenir, but $18.00? No thanks.

On Sunday, after getting several calls wishing me a “Happy Birthday”, we grabbed some yummies at Krispy Kreme, then headed to the outlet mall. Here my oh-so-generous and loving husband purchased for me a beautiful diamond necklace. I have never been given such a beautiful & thoughtful gift. We then had a fantastic ride home, just talking about our family and enjoying each other’s company. After arriving home, I was able to pick up Grayson…we missed that kid tremendously! He seemed as though he missed us as well. Good thing since he’s stuck with us for at least 17 more years. =)

Tonight, I plan on spending my 30th birthday evening with my dear husband and son (my beautiful daughters are here in my heart, but physically with their other parents), eating pizza, watching a movie, and enjoying the first evening of Life @ 30.

Party! Party! Party!

Well, I survived the weekend…barely. =)

On Friday night, we had a Hershey’s Bliss Party. This party was sponsored by Hershey’s/Houseparty.com. They sent a party pack.

This was the first party I have hosted, and I think it went pretty well. The guests were James, Tera, Conner, Ray, Tina, Makenna, Brandi, Keegan, and our crew. It took a little bit to get going, but I think everyone had fun. The kids watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and the adults played the Wii. Ray won the “Guess how many” game…the vase filled with bliss chocolate. He won a yummy smelling candle and then traded it back to me for the contents of the vase…which was fine by me. I actually wanted the candle for myself, then decided I had to have a game with a prize…plus, like I need anymore chocolate! The food turned out really well. I made a chocolate fondue using the Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate (which was delicious), a fruit dip, a chip dip, and strawberry slush punch.

On Saturday, I worked on cleaning up and preparing for Kara’s birthday party on Sunday. The most difficult thing was the Marshmallow Fondant. It turned out awesome, but making it is a chore. I also finished the Wacky Zingo Pinata…which I must add turned out perfectly. It was a bit tougher than we thought it would be, so Greg ended up having to whack it to release the candy…the girls did do a good job of denting it though.

Kara’s dog bowl cake turned out better than expected, but I had to improvise a little on the “dog food” because I didn’t have any food coloring. I used powdered cocoa to color the fondant as “dog food” and it looked great. I also served chex mix in an actual dog bowl, banana slush punch, and “dog bone” cookies. We also had a craft activity where the kids got collars for the stuffed animals they brought…they turned out really cute. The kids played outside for awhile…mainly chasing the balloons (it was a bit windy). Her guests were Erin & Erica, Sarah, and our crew…which was plenty! I don’t know what I would have done if everyone invited showed up…

Overall, I had a good weekend. A little stressful at times, but so worth it. I’m now on to planning for Trinity’s birthday party in June…wish me luck. =)

Party Pooper…

Well, I’ve been planning 2 parties for a couple weeks now, and the time has come. Tomorrow, I am hosting a Hershey’s Bliss chocolate party…sponsored by Hershey’s (they sent me free chocolate and gifts). This is mainly an excuse to hang out with our friends. We haven’t had anyone over to the new house yet, and I like company. =) Then on Sunday I am throwing Kara a “Webkinz Puppy Party” for her 5th birthday. This is the one that has taken extensive planning. I’m not really sure what about this party has been so difficult, but after all this planning I am actually dreading it. How terrible is that!? I have made a pinata in the shape of a “Zingo” (still working on it), have a small craft planned, will be making a “dog bowl” cake, and “dog bone” cookies. I really hope everything turns out the way it looks in my head…if so it will be fantastic!

I may be slightly insane for planning 2 parties in the same weekend.