Monday, September 30, 2013

Family Time!

How is it that Monday creeps up on us so fast?!?

Oh, well!  It's a new day.  I woke up feeling like an old lady today!  My friend, Mary, coerced me into joining her dance act for our parish's variety show and we had practice last night.  This is the variety show's fourth year and until now I have either been pregnant or had a young, needy baby so I got out of couldn't join in the fun.  This year there was no valid excuse, so I stepped out of my comfort zone.(and hopefully I won't completely humiliate myself!  Luckily, most of the routine is in the dark...for special effects because we are going to be wearing clothes that glow and have glow sticks in our hands....Mary is a master choreographer and it's going to look really cool!) body is not happy with me this morning!

Dance practice was only a small part of my weekend.  We had a busy Saturday of taxi rides, cleaning and painting the house,(still!), and a Rosary party at night with a bunch of friends.  Sunday morning was busy with Mass and Sarah helping with a CCD class then going to her own Confirmation CCD class, while Jon went fishing with my parents and Andrew and Ellie went to breakfast with my grandfather.

Since the Patriots played on Sunday night, (and won..woo hoo!:), I took advantage of the beautiful afternoon and we did a little road trip to the Roger William's Zoo.  Mike and I had taken Luke, Peter and Kate during the summer, but the other kids hadn't been in years.  I bought a family pass for the year so we can try to go a few times.  It's less than an hour from our house and it's a pretty great zoo.

It was just nice to have a little adventure...and some special family time:)

Daddy and Kate looking at the zebras.

Mom and Luke:)
 The zoo had some fall decorations out that just begged for family pictures!  Getting a good shot of everyone isn't easy....or always possible!  Here's our blooper reel!:)
Not bad...Sarah's eyes are closed...but Jon is obviously enjoying himself!

Jay told me to hop in the picture....then Kate was crying because she wanted me and Sarah fell off the hay!

Everyone looking at Sarah and Kate as Jay continues to click away, laughing!

Yeah...time to cut our losses!
 Roger Williams has this super cool area called "My Big Backyard"!  It has water activities, a huge tree house, cool mini forts, some swings, a tunnel cave, and mini mazes.  The little kids could have played there for a really long time....but the older kids were getting a little bored(and hungry) and were ready to move on!
Love those sprinklers.....

....until it gets you right in the face!  Kate is telling me it got in her nose:)

In the tree house, they had music activities and these cool wheels that controlled.....

...a kaleidoscope wall of bright colored leaves!  Peter especially loved it!

Kate looking cute(and wet) in the lookout!
 Andrew picked up Courtney at PC and met us at the zoo.  Andrew loves to take picture(add sarcastic voice and eye roll here!).
 Occasionally we can coerce him into smiling!

Luke...also all wet....having fun with the kaleidoscope!
 I think the little kids had as much fun climbing the trees as they did seeing the animals!

 Jon is obsessed with the Geico commercial with the camel saying, "Humpday!"  He had gotten all the younger kids into saying it to.  So it wasn't a total surprise when Peter walked up to the fence saying, "Camel...guess what day it is?"  That made us all laugh!
Jon "nosing" Sarah..

Ellie didn't get the memo that she was supposed to smile nicely...not sassy!
 Luke was having a great time walking around with Andrew and Courtney!  He kept asking Courtney if she could hold her hand, which made Courtney melt:)  I told Andrew he might have some competition!(lol)...and Luke likes to take pictures most of the time!

When we got back in the car, most of the kids promptly fell asleep.  I kept Luke entertained so that he didn't sleep so late in the afternoon and then stay up until 10!

It was a fun day with some nice family memories:)

I hope you enjoy the last day of September!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wrapping Up the Week

#1:  Playground Fun

I have been wanting to spend more time with Luke at the local playground he likes to go to.  On Wednesday, I picked him up from preschool and we headed right to the park.  Luke and Kate were really excited to be there!  Luke was running up onto all of the big slides and Kate was wandering around taking it all in.  Surprise, surprise...Kate wanted to follow her brother up to the big slides instead of staying on the slides that were more age appropriate!  I thought for sure that once she got to the top and saw how high it was that she would turn around and head back down the stairs.

That's not how it went!

She got to the top and turned around and said, "Up" and wanted me to go down the slide with her!  I was so afraid that my hips were going to get stuck!  (Thankfully they didn't!  That would have been sooo embarrassing!  The things we do for our kids!)

Halfway down the slide, just as I was having a "feeling like a good mom" moment for taking my kids to the park and even braving a slide(!), I heard Luke calling for me, "Mommy, I need to go potty!"  

Really!  We had only been there five minutes tops and there were no bathrooms at the park so we had to go home! 

That sure popped my 'good mommy' moment pretty quickly!  We will have to try again next week!

#2:  The Football Feast

I did try that upside down apple pie I mentioned last week...but I made it on Saturday for a cookout with our friends, the Teixeira's.  (That's the family that I got to have the gender reveal party for 2 weekends ago...and their daughter, Ava, is still beaming!)  The pie turned out really good!  Next time I want to try it with my regular pie crust instead of the crust from the recipe.  But, it was all gone by the next morning!  (Jay finished off the last piece for breakfast:)
My favorite part was the glaze on top!

For our Sunday football feast, I made cheeseburger sliders on waffle fries, crock pot chicken wings, and Minestrone soup.(because Sarah mentioned that we have a 'soup of the weekend' all fall and winter long!)  We finished off Sarah cookies for dessert by making them into cookie ice cream sandwiches!(Yum!)

We also had the pleasure of having a visitor!  Andrew's girlfriend, Courtney, came for the day!  It was very nice to have another girl in the house!:)

#3:  'Old Fashioned' Fun
Jay runs the senior youth group at our parish and their kick-off meeting is tonight.  They are having a video game tournament.  Last night, Jay, Andrew, and Jon were hooking up old tv's to old video game systems to make sure they would work.  They did...and an exciting game of Techmo Bowl ensued! (Jay likes those old fashioned video games where you can only move forward and jump!)

#4:  Disney World's Policy Change
I was really sad this week to read an article that Disney is changing their policy for people with disabilities.  They are changing their policy because there was a big scandal when they found out that some families had been hiring people with disabilities to escort them through the parks and get them to the front of the lines!  So now, all the families that the policy was created to help are going to suffer for it!  So.wrong!

One of the biggest draws for us to go to Disney was of their exceptional treatment towards disabled people and the way they cater to people with food allergies of all kinds!  Having a disability pass meant a lot to a child like Peter.  It's so frustrating that people abused the policy!  I wish Peter was 'normal' and could tolerate standing in long lines!  But, he can't...and the disability pass made Disney a magical place for him, and for us as a family able to enjoy something all together!

And, seriously, Disney!  Come stand with Peter for 5 minutes and you will see that there's no way in you know where that anyone would be hiring him to escort their family through the park for the entire day!  I hope that something gets worked out to tweak the policy to protect it from abuse without punishing the people that need it!

#5:  Random Pictures From the Week
Kate wants to join in when anyone is snuggling on the couch with a blanket!

Andrew helping Luke with a small Lego creation that Grandma and Pa surprised him with...and Kate wanting to be in the center of the action!(as usual!)

Kate in her new fall outfit! Love, love, love baby/toddler girl clothes!

Luke snuggling up with Ellie on the beanbag chair while Ellie plays video games and Luke pretends to play!
Luke and Kate snuggled up with Daddy reading a book together:)

#6:  Cross Country
Sarah is running cross country for her high school this fall.  She had an away meet this week.  I couldn't make it that day and Jay didn't think his work schedule would allow him to get there.  During the day, Jay's schedule imploded and, instead of seeking out more per diem work, he finished up early and made it to her meet.  (Which is a real struggle for him because he works so hard to pay for my Gymboree addiction to provide for our family, so turning down work makes him feel guilty....)

The guilt melted away when he got to the meet and Sarah ran up to greet him.....
A giant hug from your 14 year old daughter because she is so glad you came to see her run....priceless!

#7:  Super Sisters
Speaking of Sarah...and Ellie...they are both 'super sisters'!  On Wednesday, Ellie spent a ton of time playing with Luke and creating acts for a circus that they put on for us after dinner that night.

On Saturday, Sarah didn't have cross country practice because she was resting a very sore hip flexor.  After she woke up and got ready for the day, she really wanted to make chocolate chip cookies for everyone for the weekend.  I hesitated briefly because it was mid-morning and you know what happens when there are freshly baked cookies in the house.....but, of course, I wasn't going to turn down her offer.(and of course everyone ate warm cookies out of the oven before lunch...or even before they were out of their jammies!)

This one is my favorite!  So stinkin' cute!

I hope your weekend is filled with sweetness!

Also linking up with ladies blog share only live and create with joy:)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Night at the Circus...well, sort of!

Ellie is a great big sister!  She loves her little brother and sister and really enjoys making up games with them.  Last night, I asked Ellie to entertain Luke and Kate in the backyard while I got dinner together.  She ended up spending an hour and a half playing with them and creating a "circus" complete with tickets and decorations.

After dinner, Jay and I went outside and were ushered to our seats to watch the performance.  Luke and Ellie each performed a couple of acts.  They were both so happy and proud!

It was brief...less than 10 minutes....but taking the time to watch something that they worked so hard on was important!  The dishes waited for me...still haven't figured out how to get the 'dish fairy to our house!'

They were so cute!  Luke did everything Ellie told him to do and giggled incessantly the whole time.  I love these moments that remind me that Ellie is still a little girl despite her 5' frame!  With all the older kids and all the little kids, Ellie tends to get lumped in with the teenagers more often than not.  Even though she is younger than Peter, it is easy for us to forget that fact because of Peter's much younger cognitive age.

Last night was a good reminder that I need to try harder to create some "younger" memories with Ellie.  She gets short-changed a lot because the older kids outgrew activities that she would still find fun.....and with the addition of the little ones we were have been mostly home bound for a while.  She is so easy going, that it can be easy to forget to carve out some special time for her.  The good thing is that, now that Kate and Luke are a little older, we can start planning a few more special outings.  Thankfully, Ellie is still young enough to enjoy them and we can make more special memories for her childhood!

Tonight was a special memory for all of us:)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Just in case you were worried, everything here is not as dismal as it felt on Monday!  Kate has been much better yesterday and today with only a minimal amount of tantrums.(Thank-you, God!)

I let my fear get away with me.  Kate had been for a well check-up two weeks ago and she had her first vaccination.  (We do a very, very drawn out and abbreviated immunization schedule because of Peter. It's what we feel comfortable with.)

Anyway, Luke got sick 2 days after her appointment and Kate came down with it 2 days after that.  So, in my head, I had this fear that Kate was having some kind of reaction to the vaccine.  ( head is a very scary place to be sometimes:)

Kate is fine...just had a rough day.  (Me, too:)

I am just trying to play catch up a little around the house and somehow, writing about how I finally dusted all the ceiling fans (because the dust has accumulated to the point where it was starting to spill over the sides of the blades!), didn't seem like a very interesting blog post!

I've also spent some time looking up info for college open houses for Jon (be still my heart!)...and trying to find some fun fall festival to go to.  I'm really itching for some kind of mini trip!  Trying to coordinate everyone's schedule and find something fun(and affordable!) is the real challenge!

Hope you're having a great 'Hump Day'!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Remembering to Breathe!

Kate is in a difficult phase!  It is apparent that she has a strong-willed personality.  In the last few weeks, she has gone through a big cognitive growth spurt and is talking a ton and understands so much!  With this new found understanding has come the appearance of the 'dreaded temper tantrum'!

When Kate gets it in her head that she wants to do something, it's a real challenge.  It becomes even more challenging when there's something she wants to do but doesn't have enough language to tell us what that 'thing' is.  She is no longer easily distractable.

And, lately, she wants to nurse all.the.time!

Last night, she went to bed at 8:45 then woke up crying at 10:30.  She fell back to sleep but woke up crying at 11:30 and didn't want to nurse or lay in bed.  She wanted to go in the living room!  I tried to just lay in bed with her but she wouldn't stop crying and if she woke up Luke then I would just have 2 kids crying:(  So, I took her in the living room and left all the lights off.  I sat on the couch and she laid on me and eventually dozed off and went back to sleep.

I dozed off, too, until Luke started calling me at 12:30.  Thankfully, Kate stayed asleep when I laid her in bed and Luke just wanted a little snuggle to know he wasn't alone.

Someday I'm going to miss this, right?

This morning, I wanted to go to church.  The school Ellie and Luke go to goes to Monday morning Mass and I like to go because 1. it's always good for me to start off the week in prayer and 2. I get to give Ellie and Luke a quick hug before they head back to school.

Kate and I walked in just before Mass started.  We sat in a pew in the back near the cry room because, realistically, I always end up there.  Kate lasted 5 minutes, and then wanted to walk around.  So, I picked up our things and walked in the cry room.  But, Kate didn't want to be there.  She wanted to walk around somewhere else which obviously wasn't ok to do at the time.  I tried snack distractions...pointing to the colors on the stained glass windows....even an offer to nurse didn't work.  She was just crying and yelling.

So, I left.....because I honestly couldn't hear a thing and she was distracting the back several rows of younger students.  Kate just wouldn't quiet down.:(

I'm finding that transitions are hard for Kate.  She wants to play in the car, not sit in her car seat.  Sometimes I let her play in the car when we get home from somewhere, but I can't always do it!  Even when she does play in the car, she still cries when we go in because she wasn't done.

That whole "one more minute then we go inside" just doesn't really work, yet!

21 months is just a tough age for Kate!

None of my other kids went through the terrible two's.  It was always the 'terrible three's that I had to work through.  I'm thinking that Kate might be forging a new path!

It's just frustrating when kids go through difficult stages.  It makes me feel like a terrible mom when it's my child "acting up" and having a tough time.  It's just me and Kate in the mornings, and instead of being out and about doing things, the possibility of meltdowns makes me wants to just stay home.

There's always an element of fear when my younger kids go through difficult stages.  When you have a child with special needs, behaviors that resemble in any small way those of your special needs' child bring to the surface a post traumatic stress disorder type of fear.  I can go through all the ways Kate is completely "normal" and it still doesn't stop the anxiety from bubbling to the surface, threatening to spill over into all the other areas of my life!

As I write this, I look over at Kate sitting with her snack next to me, contentedly watching Dora and pointing to the screen and responding to Dora's questions....often with the right answer!...and I know she's ok.  This difficult time is just a opportunity for extra grace and to practice patience.....(Or add more items to my list for confession depending on the moment!)

I just need to remember to breathe...and love...and not freak out...and breathe!

It's going to be ok....

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Fall"ing Into the Weekend!

#1:  Post Party Smiles
I'm still enjoying the feeling of hearing the 'happy roar' from the gender reveal party I put together on Saturday!  It was truly a roar, too, because it shook the house!(Think...a house full of people with your favorite team in the superbowl catching a winning touchdown as time expires to win kind of roar!)  It was such a great experience!

#2:  Virus Fun wasn't really fun!  It was a long few days of kids being sick!  Thankfully, the virus we had was quick moving!  I'm doubly thankful that not everyone got it!  (I'm triply glad that I didn't get it!  I don't think 'triply' is a word...but I'm tired and I'm going with it!)

#3:  Cutie Patooties
I wrote yesterday about how much I love the love between Luke and Kate.  When Kate was sick, Luke felt bad for her and wanted to give her a hug.  Definitely a '"Kodak" moment...well, actually, a "Sony" moment....but you know what I mean!

#4:  Lovin' the Veggies....

....VeggieTales I mean!  When the older kids were little, the loved VeggieTales.  Jay and I recently had the discussion that we needed to start putting on more VeggieTales for Luke and Kate.  We love VeggieTales as much as the kids!

Just talking about VeggieTales made Sarah and Jon animated and they started singing classic VeggieTales tunes.  I love that those videos are special memories for them...and that they are excited to share the videos with their younger siblings!:)

#5:  Bring on Fall!
I am loving this cooler weather!  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year!  I love putting on a sweatshirt and feeling snuggly warm!  I love the crisp cool temperatures and the bright blue sky!  I love football Sundays filled with family time and fun foods!

I just really love Fall:)

#6:  Football Fun
Our older boys are all sports fanatics!  Football is their favorite to watch!  They each have their own favorite college team:  Mike, Michigan; Andrew, Michigan State, and Jon; Notre Dame.  When it comes to the pro's, our house is filled to the brim with Patriot's fans!  They will all be sporting their Patriot's jerseys on game day...and let's hope that the team plays better than the last two weeks!  They won...but it was ugly!

#7:  Fun Football Food
Every week, I try to add at least one new food to our football fun menu.  Last week, I made piggies in a blanket and taco dip and chicken nuggets...which is a little more blah than usual because the Patriots had played on Thursday night.  They are back to the Sunday schedule this week, though, so I'm hoping to bring my "A" game to the game day menu!

I'm planning on trying a new dessert this weekend....Upside Down Apple Pie!  It looks pretty good to me!  Jay loves my regular apple pie...I have a great pie crust recipe that is sweet and kind of taste likes sugar cookies!  It is yummy, but sometimes it is good to try something new!  Sarah is going to make a lemon meringue pie, too.  I will make some actual food to go with it, but I haven't looked at the grocery store flyers to see what's on sale so I can make a menu.  There is a new wings recipe I want to try....and mini taco "pies" recipe made with Grands biscuits...and a few others that have peaked my interest!  I really like to cook...and Sunday afternoons are a fun time to munch on some new treats! 

I will let you know what I decide on and how they turn out!

I hope your weekend is filled with family time and all the flavors of Fall!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our Dynamic Duo

I have a dynamic duo....Luke and Kate!

They are so great together!  Kate wants to do everything that Luke does.  If he jumps, she jumps.  If he runs, she runs.  If he pretends to be a puppy, she pretends to be a puppy.

Yesterday morning, Kate was grouchy and wanted something for breakfast and nothing for breakfast all at the same time!  Everything we offered she cried about and rejected until we just took her down from the stool and put her on the floor until she could stop whining and choose something!  Of course, she just stood there and cried.  Luke got down from the counter and said in a very big boy voice, "Let me talk to her."  And he gave her a hug and tried to calm her down.  It was really cute!

They just love each other so much.  Luke is such a great big brother and, at least for the time being, doesn't mind being followed around.  He is even patient with her when she tries to take his toys or breaks his legos.

Last night, Luke was laying on the couch with his truck pillow and "Snoofy blanket" to fall asleep.  Kate wanted to do the same.  (Surprise, Surprise!)  Instead of having her own pillow and blanket last night, she wanted to lay right next to Luke!

Luke was really tired!  He actually asked to lay down last night and it was early for him!  But he still slid over and made room for his sister....and didn't get angry with her when she was poking at him or stealing the blanket!

They are so blessed to have each other...and I am so blessed to have both of them!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just an Ordinary Day

Can I just tell you how much I love this weather!  It is perfect!  Sunny and not too absolutely beautiful, cloud free, blue sky!  Then, the day ends with weather cool enough to wear long pajamas and snuggle under a blanket!  There is nothing better than that feeling:)

We are mostly on the mend here.  Kate and Luke are both back to their normal playful selves!  That makes me so happy!

Jon is a little under the weather at the moment.  He had a low grade fever last night and a cold.  He stayed home to rest today.  He should be good enough for school tomorrow.  At least I hope so, because he has a double period of AP Calculus tomorrow!  That's not a good class to miss!

Since he wasn't feeling well, Jon has hung out on the couch today.  He watched a movie this morning and enjoyed watching Kate play.  (In his words, "Mom, Kate is so cute.  Is this how she plays every day?"....and all I can think about is that it seemed like just yesterday that he was the toddler playing at my feet!)

Mid morning, Jon asked what the lunch plan was.  (He takes after his father!  The day revolves around food!)  Jon looked at me with his big puppy dog eyes and said, "Well...we could get a pizza?  How often am I home not feeling good?  It would make me feel better........"

Jon is addicted to a local pizza restaurant's bbq chicken pizza!

Yes, I caved.(Sorry, honey....and no, there aren't any lefovers:(....)

Other than that, it's been a quiet day.  I got a walk in with a friend, which is great!  Kate doesn't want a nap and is, at the moment, eating an ice cream cone with Luke.(Luke's idea)  But it's the perfect ice cream cone day...and they are both so stinkin' cute!

Sometimes an 'ordinary day' feels just right!

Hope you're having a great 'hump day', too!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stumbling into the Week

This weekend went by in a blur....and today started in a blur because I was up all night taking care of a sick little Kate.:(

First, the weekend!  If you haven't gotten a chance to read my posts from Saturday and Sunday, I got to throw a gender reveal party for a friend!  It was so much fun and I am so happy with the way it turned out!

While the prep and the actual party was going on, Luke was sick.  Friday after school he was extra whiny and he kept wiping his nose......(With his sleeve no matter how many times I asked him if he needed a tissue!)  I knew he was coming down with a cold.  In the middle of the night, I could also tell he had a high fever.(It was like sleeping next to an oven!)  Saturday, amidst decorating the cake and making spaghetti sauce for the lasagnas I made for the party and cutting up fruit for the baby bassinet fruit bowl and all the other many preparations, I was doling out Motrin to try and keep his fever down.

For a bonus, every time his fever got high, he puked!  Lovely:/

Luke's fever broke early Sunday morning.  He was wiped out Sunday but better.  During dinner on Sunday, I thought Kate felt warm and when Jay took her temp it was about 102.:(  After motrin, she wanted to nurse and fell asleep at 7. I got to be a little after 11.  Kate slept fitfully until 12.  Then she was awake until 1.  We slept from 1 to 3, when I woke up to her vomiting in my bed.:(

It took me an hour to clean her up, clean the bed up(where Luke was still sleeping!  I still don't know how I managed to change the sheet without completely waking him up!), and then get her more medicine and nurse her back to sleep sitting in the living room chair.

A little after 4, Andrew raced out of his room and into the bathroom and was sick.  I waited to make sure he was ok before I finally took Kate back to my bed.  By that point it was almost 5.  Luke was up at 6:15 with a cheery, "Mommy, it's time to wake up!  The sun is awake!"

Ugh...I sent him to go find daddy and stayed in bed for an extra hour!

For all of you that have had experience with a sick little one, I spent most of today on the couch holding her in my lap.  At some point this afternoon, we both passed out from sheer exhaustion!  I had a hard time waking up.  Thankfully, Andrew was feeling a little better and resting on the couch and kept an eye on Luke.  (Who is feeling all better and has a ton of extra energy from being quiet the last 2 days...literally bouncing on the furniture!)

Not quite how I planned to start the week!

I hate it when my kids are sick:(  It's so sad to look at their droopy, glassy eyes!  Hopefully, Kate's virus will be as short lived as Luke's and she will be feeling better tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will take advantage of the extra cuddling she wants to do!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's a ....................

Yesterday was a fun day!  I hosted a reveal party at my friend, Pam's, house.  On Friday she had her ultrasound and delivered me a sealed envelope with the results in it.  She and her husband wanted to be surprised and find out with their four children(3 boys and 1 girl) who the new addition will be.

It was a lot of fun planning for the party.  I needed to keep it somewhat simple because I am far from Queen Crafty!  Simple but fun is what I was going for and I'm happy with the way things turned out!

I didn't do it all alone, though.  Sarah was a big help and made the Oreo cookie truffles and the frosting for the cakes, Ellie dipped the oreos in chocolate, and my mother-in-law made the bottom layers of the cake for me!
Team Pink or Team Blue?

Homemade sugar cookies cut into baby feet:)

The table set up...half blue/half pink!

Pam's youngest kids, Ava and Luke, were very helpful helping me set up!
They were soooooo excited!

Baby bassinet fruit bowl

The pink and blue cake:)

Blue Oreo truffles

Pink Oreo Truffles

Pink and Blue dipped Oreo cookies ala Ellie:)
Just behind the cookies is the flower vase.  I added sliced lemons to the vase
because of a pinterest pic I saw earlier in the summer.  As I was putting the lemons in at home, Jon
looked at me and said, "Why are you putting perfectly good lemons in a vase when you could
give them to Sarah to make pie?!?"  Boys just don't appreciate details!

For the actual reveal, I decided to get the appropriate colored balloon and I put them in a big, black garbage bag.  Then I wrapped the bag with baby paper and tied the top with a ribbon.  The idea was that the bag would open and the balloons would float up.  The balloons were a little "shy" coming out, but that just added to the anticipation:)
Pam untying the bow...

Ava was so nervous and excited that she didn't know what to do with herself!

It's a GIRL!  
I love Dad's(John) face and Ava's eyes couldn't get any bigger!
The house was filled with family and friends and when those balloons
came out, the cheer shook the house!

My favorite pic!
Ava was so happy she jumped into John's arms and started crying!  The boys were grinning,
Pam was tearing up and John reached over and put his hand on Pam's belly in such a
loving and tender way!
So much happiness:)


A very excited big sister!
 It was so much fun!  It was extra special because they were adding a little girl...Ava soooo wanted a sister!

Originally I had wanted to have a dark balloon filled with pink confetti and then have the family pop it.  But, when I went to the balloon store, they said they didn't do that anymore:(

The afternoon of the party, I came up with a different idea but it was too late to change things at that point!  With older kids, how much fun would a pink filled pinata have been!?!

Well...maybe if I ever do this again....(What do you think, Coleen?:)

Hope your weekend if filled with fun!