Sunday, May 17, 2015

Calvin is 7!

Oh, Calvin!  How can you be 7 already?  It's just crazy how time flies!

Well, Calvin had a great birthday this year!  Calvin woke up to streamers and a big birthday sign and was pleased as punch!  He wasted no time getting ready super fast so we could open presents right away.  He was so excited!  We got him some shark attack cookie cutters, a shark helmet, some pokemon cards and a couple of art supplies.  He was one happy little dude, and wasted no time getting started on some artwork :)  For breakfast we had waffles with berries, Calvin's favorite!

Hannah helped with the whipped cream for the waffles.  This video is my favorite.

Then Calvin headed off to school where, lucky duck, he had a field trip to a farm!  He had such a great time being in a group with his buddy Nora and her mom.  Nora's mom even sent me some pictures of the birthday boy learning how to be a farmer back in the 1800's :)  He had a blast!

When he got home, he had a Pikachu birthday cake (picked out by Sophie, decorated by me!) waiting for him and he was so excited!  Then AnnaMarie and the gang came and joined us for playing around, having dinner and cake and ice cream and opening some presents from Grandpa Moore and from AnnaMarie and the gang.  Boy, was he one happy guy!

Since his birthday was on a Wednesday, it wasn't a great night for a party.  We planned his party for Saturday instead, and it worked out great!  Calvin decided that he wanted to have a Big Hero 6 party where we played a couple of games and then watched the movie, so that is what he got!  He had 8 little buddies come over and it was just heartwarming to see how thrilled he was that his friends were coming to his party.  He was just so happy!

So his buddies came and we did a "learn how to draw Baymax" coloring sheet, and then we went outside and played "Are you satisfied with your care?" (it was a Big Hero 6 variation on "What time is it, Mr. Wolf?" that we made up...) and the kids had a great time playing!  Then we hustled everyone inside for pizza, presents, cake and ice cream and then got the movie started in the basement.  I am telling you, a movie party is the way to go!  The kids were all watching the movie, so we cleaned up the mess, wrote out the thank you notes, and basically got everything even cleaner than it was before the party started.  It was amazing!  Only a handful of the kids watched the whole movie.  The others played soccer in the back yard, climbed trees, and played with Calvin's birthday gifts.  The weather was amazing, and it was just a beautiful day for a party!  Calvin had so much fun celebrating with all of his friends, and they were all such sweet kids.  It was a great day, and Calvin felt very loved.

Calvin's party balloons were a big hit:

Learning how to draw Baymax!


Bless her heart, Natalie let Ryan tell her all about his Star Car drawings:

Playing in the back yard:

Eating lunch!

Cake, ice cream and presents!

Here are a few things I want to remember about Calvin at 7:

-Calvin is still our tenderhearted little guy.  This makes him over-sensitive when his feelings are getting hurt, but it also makes his a big sweetheart.  He's understanding of others' feelings, and he is very affectionate.

-Calvin still adores Chippy the hamster.

-Calvin really loves doing art, and he's pretty good at it!  He loves to draw animals, and his recent favorites are parrots and snakes.

-Calvin loves animals.  He loves reading about them, drawing them, being with them, you name it.

-Calvin is turning into a great little reader.  He surprises me at his ability to read some pretty tough words!

-My favorite drawings that Calvin does are his self-portraits.  This one is my favorite.  He's wearing a shirt that says "Keep Calm, I Got This".

-Calvin is a great big brother, and a great buddy to all of his siblings.

-Calvin is now obsessed with all things Pokemon.

-When Calvin is sad he almost always can be found hiding under the fitted sheet on his bed or under the bed itself.

-Calvin loves to play soccer, baseball, running, almost any sport.

-Calvin is hard to please in the "what on earth should I pack in your lunch?" department.  He likes all the extras, like fruit, veggies, yogurt, but no main course was at all appealing to him.  It was pushing me to the breaking point until I discovered that he likes baked potatoes.  Now every day in his lunch, he takes a baked potato.  I put it in a baggie with a little water and microwave it for 5 minutes.  Then I slice it in half, slap some butter on, wrap it in foil, and then it's done.  They do not have access to a microwave, so this guy eats a cold potato for lunch every day.  It doesn't really have much in the way of nutritional value, but hey!  At least he's eating!

-Calvin's favorite foods are baked potatoes :), yogurt, waffles, kiwis, berries, beef jerky and ramen noodles.

-Calvin is my toughest child to motivate for chores.  When he's happy, he's ready to do whatever.  But his emotions turn on a dime, and if he is not happy, then it is almost impossible to persuade him to do something he doesn't feel like doing.  The only thing that I have found that works (sometimes) is when he sees that not listening is really hurting my feelings.  Then he starts coming around, and with some extra cuddles and hugs and reassurance, he can usually get back on track.

-Calvin has a big heart and always wants to help people who are less fortunate than he is.  I really admire that about him.

-When Calvin is serious about making his bed, he sets up all of his stuffed animals like they would be in the wild.  He makes a pond area for the turtles, an ocean area for the sharks, the birds go somewhere up high, and the dogs and bunnies are scattered around doing their thing (he has a lot of stuffed animals).  I think it's pretty adorable.

We love you, Calvin!  Happy birthday, Buddy!

Sophie is 5!

So, as you may already know, Sophie turned 5!  Like a month and a half ago!  So, I finally have that magical, blog-post-inducing combination: a peaceful afternoon/evening + an early bed time!  That means I have the energy and the time to do something other that clean and fall into bed!  Hooray!

Sophie had a great birthday this year.  I love birthdays when it works out to do all of the celebrating on the actual birthday itself, and this was just such a birthday!  We celebrated all day, and Sophie was just in heaven!

On her last night of being 4, Michael and I tucked her in and we took a couple of very last 4 year old pictures, and then Sophie drifted off to sleep.  I snuck in later to hang up some streamers around her bed.  She woke up a little and said "Oh, you're decorating my bed! I like the pattern you are doing!" and then fell back asleep :)

She woke up super duper happy and excited.  We told her we didn't know who she was, but we wondered where our four year old Sophie had gone.  She tried to convince us that they were the same people.

After we got everyone up and dressed, we had Sophie open her presents.  They were a hit this year!  We got her a little necklace from our trip to Brazil, the Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game, her very own big kid backpack and a coconut.  She was thrilled!  It feels good to get something right.  Although she probably would have been totally and utterly happy with just the coconut.  What is it with our kids and coconuts?

Anyways, Michael headed to work and I fed the kids breakfast.  Sophie's birthday breakfast request was yogurt berry parfaits with granola.  I love it when they pick something easy!  She was in heaven.  After breakfast, we headed out to drop the boys off at school.  I decorated the window of our car announcing that she was the birthday girl and boy, that was right up her alley!  She loved it all day long!

After dropping off the boys, we ran to Walmart to pick up a few things.  Every time we go there and exit the check out area, Sophie sees Jim.  Sophie LOVES Jim.  We always talk to Jim, say hello, ask him how he's doing, and then remark on how rude it always is that he never answers us back :)  But in honor of her birthday, Sophie decided to let bygones be bygones, and even posed for a couple of pictures with good ol' Jim!

After that, Sophie headed to preschool and had a great time there while I made and decorated ice cream cupcakes and picked up Jane.  Then we picked up Sophie from school, grabbed some lunch, and headed off to the Mall of America to meet up with Kelly, Lily and Cora.  Instead of a party with a lot of friends, Sophie decided that she wanted to take her two cousin buddies to Build A Bear. 

And oh my, did those girls LOVE Build A Bear!  They gave all the girls the royal treatment and made the whole experience super fun for them.  They were on cloud nine!  I love seeing Sophie, Lily and Jane together.  Sophie is so lucky to have her sweet cousins be her best buddies.  What a fun birthday activity it was!


After Build A Bear, we headed back home, got the boys from school, and let everyone play around in the back yard.  Later on, Tyler and AnnaMarie and the gang came over for dinner and even more cupcakes!  She also got to open her birthday presents from Grandma and Grandpa Walton--some ponies and a pony sweatshirt!  Woohoo! 

We had a great time celebrating with our little Soph -A-Doph!  And boy, did she have a great day!

A few things I want to remember about Sophie at 5 years old:

-Sophie is a good big sister to Hannah.  She has her moments, and sometimes I need to remind her to be kind, but she loves Hannah and the two of them have a lot of fun playing together.

-Sophie loves bath time, still, and would stay in there all day if I let her.

-She loves to pick up garbage everywhere we go.  It honestly grosses me out.  But good job, Sophie!  Way to love the earth!

-Sophie is a silly girl and loves to be funny and make people laugh.

-Sophie loves to help me and can be a great worker.  For the longest time I thought that Ryan was the only one big enough to take out the garbage, because I let Calvin try once and he insisted that he couldn't do it.  Well, we changed how we do chores and sometimes Sophie does the garbage now, and she does it just fine, no problems at all.  She is a confident little lady and if she gets it in her mind that she can do something, then, well, she can!

-Sophie loves all things nature--animals, plants, weather, clouds, you name it!  She is a sponge and loves to learn about all of those things.

-She is just barely starting to read basic words.  It is fun to watch her succeed and be so proud of herself!

-Jane is still Sophie's best little budddy.  

-Sophie's favorite foods are currently BLT sandwiches, yogurt, cherries, berries, goldfish crackers, and fish. 

-The other day Michael took her on a daddy daughter date to Red Lobster and she about died of happiness.

-She still plays so well with Calvin that it just makes my heart melt.  I love the games those two make up together.  Yesterday it was picking lilac flowers and leafy branches and hanging them up in their climbing tree so that they could make a lovely home for butterflies to come visit.  It's just the best.

We love you, Sophie girl!