Sunday, April 29, 2012

Calvin's 4th Birthday

I already posted about Calvin's birthday party, which was last Saturday, but then last Sunday was his actual birthday. He had a great day!  We knew Calvin wanted waffles for breakfast, and since Sunday mornings are always crazy (9:00 church!), we wised up and made the waffles on Saturday night and then just toasted them up in the oven in the morning.  Brilliant!  Calvin was thrilled.  We even had time to open presents before church!  Hooray!

Calvin has the most wonderful teacher at church.  She said he always ends up somehow working "great white sharks" into the conversation during their Sunday school class, so she made him shark cupcakes!  Seriously, they were amazing!  And he totally shrieked for joy when she pulled them out.  He was so very happy, and he felt so special and so loved.  Thanks, Missy!  You are the world's greatest sunday school teacher!  And Calvin also LOVED being sung to in Primary by all the kids.  And he has been looking forward all year to getting his "chews the right" birthday gum at church, and he even shared them with all his friends.  Nice kid.

So we got home and then we grilled up some hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch, and we even personalized them, thanks to this pretty awesome meat branding iron that James got us for Christmas.  Calvin's first move was to nibble his name right off the top. 

We all took naps, which is the mark of a great birthday in my book, skyped with Grandma and Grandpa Walton, talked to lots of wonderful family members on the phone, and had an all around great evening.  Calvin had lots of fun playing with his new toys. 

So, it was a good fourth birthday, and Calvin was a happy little guy. Here are a few things I want to remember about Calvin at four years old:

-He still loves to share.  I think it is so sweet that he almost always offers to share even the things he loves the very most.  Especially if he notices that someone is sad, he will run right over and share whatever it is post haste.
-He loves to run and he thinks he is very very fast.  He pumps his arms like crazy when he runs. I think it makes him think he is going even faster.  He still often strikes a pose before beginning a run, especially if he has someone to show off for. 
-He LOVES to bring me flowers.  They are almost always dandelions, but I still think it is so sweet.  Whenever he sees one, he pretty much HAS to go pick it and give it to me.  The other day he tried to convince me to stop the car and let him get out to collect dandelions for me from a little grassy area next to the freeway off ramp.
-He is a mama's boy through and through.  I don't think he has ever sided against me.  I hope he never does!
-He loves Diego, MarioKart Wii, monster trucks, hotwheels, sharks, legos, toy guns, playing baseball, taking baths, and playing anything with a screen.
-He would never admit it, but he loves to be little.  He is very smart and very capable, but he insists that he can't put his shoes on by himself or tear his sandwich in half by himself, etc., etc., and I am 100% certain that it's because he loves the attention he gets from still acting little. In fact just last night he was putting on his jammies and it was the first time I have ever heard the phrase, "I can do this all by myself, Mom.  I don't need your help."  It kind of made me a little sad!
-Calvin has a very strong sense of injustice.  He still wears his consternated/grumpy face most of the time, and it's usually because he thinks he has gotten the short end of the stick somehow. 
-He is my most affectionate kid, and he will always have a special place carved out in my heart. 

We love you, Calvin buddy!  Happy Birthday!

Here are some pictures from his actual birthday:

Calvin with his shark cupcakes.  Seriously amazing, right?  There were sharks, buoys, life preservers, wave-like frosting, it was so cool!

Blowing out his candle:

About to take a bite of that shark:

Personalized hotdogs!  Awesome, right?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Fish of The Year

The whole family went out fishing tonight. We went to Silver Lake in New Brighton, but didn't catch anything. Calvin and Sophie were a little too impatient and the dock railing is pretty tall, so Ryan kept getting his line tangled as he tried to cast. We still had a good cold time though.

When the little ones had had enough, I decided to take Ryan to another spot. We went under the 694 bridge where it crosses the Mississippi. After about an hour of nothing we moved to a new place under the bridge where Ryan caught this 11 inch small mouth bass on his third cast.

It's the first fish of the year, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer fishing buddy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Calvin's 4th Birthday Party

ell, my gigantic little Calvinator Gator turns 4 tomorrow.  My oh my, time flies!  Today we had a little birthday party for him.  It was a nice little group (much easier to manage than Ryan's party of 15...) and they were all so sweet and polite.  What nice kids!  Anyways, we decided on a Hotwheels theme for his party, and he was in little boy heaven.

We decided to start out the party with cake and ice cream and presents, since I always save them for the end and then we run out of time.  And it was great!  I was pretty proud of Calvin's cake, and he loved it!  He requested vanilla cake with raspberry filling and vanilla frosting, and it turned out very yummy.  Although I would have preferred just a giant bowl of the filling...

Anyways, after cake and ice cream and presents, we made some race car t-shirts (the kids colored in a race car outline with some fabric markers), and then we broke out the big guns--Michael made a gigantic pvc pipe race track that ran from the kitchen table all the way down the stairs to the basement floor.  It was awesome, and the kids LOVED it.  It kept them busy for the last full hour of the party!  Michael even made a starting gate so the cars would go at the same time.  It was pretty fantastic!

Also, I have officially decided that 4 friends at a party is the right number.  It was so fun!  We had a really great day celebrating!  Here are some pictures of all of the fun!

Calvin got to wear a race car driver outfit for his party.  He was SO excited!

Here is his cake!

Mom, Dad and Calvin:

Listening to his friends singing him "Happy Birthday":

Digging in:

Calvin and his friends eating cake and ice cream:

Happy boy:

Opening presents:

Ryan bought Calvin this cool eraser pen from the kiosk that sells pencils, etc., at his school. He brought his piggy bank money to school for a week waiting to find a time when the kiosk was open so he could buy something for Calvin.  Then he lost it at school the day he bought it.  I had to go back to school to look for it and miraculously found it on the sidewalk outside the main entrance.  I guess it was meant to be!  Ryan is a sweet brother.

Calvin trying out his new baseball glove and ball from Grandpa Ernie!  He is super excited about this one, since me, Michael and Ryan each have our own and have been playing catch lately.

Calvin's friend Carter really loved Jack and Aiden.  It was pretty cute.

Trying out the race track!

Calvin really loved it!

And here is a video of the kids racing cars on the track:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dry Ice From Grandpa

Grandpa Ernie sent us a box of Omaha Steak burgers and sausages. Inside the Styrofoam cooler was a big block of dry ice!

The kids had never seen dry ice before so we did a couple of things with it. We put it on a ceramic plate and listened to it screech and scoot around. We cut it with a knife to hear it squeak, and we put it in cups.

I think Ryan's face in this picture captures the essence of what everyone was feeling.

Calvin quickly started enjoying the experiment. He kept saying "we should do this experiment at my birthday party!".

The kids really like blowing the clouds around.

Sophie didn't know what to make of it at first. She started by listening.

And looking
 And finally started drinking it.

After the initial thrill wore off we added grenadine syrup to the  cups of now fizzy water to make a sort of home made pop. The kids enjoyed it a lot. 


Calvin Being Big

I just like the happy look on Calvin's face in this picture. Caroline took the kids to the park. Calvin made it about 3 houses on the scooter before he wanted to run and Caroline had to carry the scooter the rest of the way. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter and other fun stuff!

We had a lovely Easter weekend!  We had so much fun doing egg hunts and dinner with Grandpa, Benjamin, Christy, Carolin and AnnaMarie and Tyler's family on Saturday and then having dinner with Ken and Kelly's family on Sunday.  It's so nice to live so close!  I love that my kids all love their cousins so much and get to see so much of them!

Easter Sunday was lovely.  It was a nice, relaxing sort of day.  We did Easter baskets in the morning, and then after church had a nice time having lunch, relaxing, napping, and getting ready for dinner.  My favorite part was taking some time to sit with the boys and talk about why we actually celebrate Easter.   Another one of my favorite parts was singing with the choir at church.  I love singing Easter songs.  This one, in particular, really touched me, and reaffirmed to me that our Savior, Jesus Christ, really did take upon himself our struggles, our pains and our sins.  He died for us, and He rose again, and so will we.  What a remarkable time of year.  It was a great day!

The rest of this week has been lovely as well.  We've had friends and cousins over to play, we've spent lots of time at the gym, Michael and Ryan and Tyler planted a cherry tree in our yard, I took Sophie to her 2 year checkup, the list goes on.  By the way, I thought Sophie was tall, but I was wrong.  Her stats are 30th percentile for height, 60th percentile for weight and 80th percentile for head circumference.  Go figure!

So here are some pictures from Easter and then from hanging out with cousins this afternoon.  Enjoy!

The kiddos on Easter Morning:

Sophie, checking out the goods:

Calvin and Ryan loved their yo-yo balls:

Ryan was very pleased with all the treats, most of which came from Carolin!  Thanks, Carolin!  You're the best!

Calvin decided the best way to survey the goods would be to line them all up:

The kids after church:

Me and my girl:

Michael and Sophie, having a good ol' time.  I love these smiles!

Calvin holding Aiden when they came over this afternoon:

AnnaMarie and Aiden:

Sophie was a little wary of Jack:

We finally convinced her to get close enough for a decent picture:

I'd be scared too, Jack.

Sophie trying to run away.  I love Jack's face!

Me and Jack.  Look at that worried little face!

Here's me trying to mimic Jack's face.  I think I look more crazy than worried, though.  I'll have to work on that.

Me and Sophie and Jack: