Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Cousins!!!!

I have three very special cousins that live in town. They all have birthdays within a month and a half of each other. And this year, we got to celebrate all three of them!! We also had the honor of making the cakes for all 3!!! I can not say how excited the kids were about this.

First was Stephen. He got a rectangular cake with orange accents.
I LOVE this picture!
The cake was delicious.
Next was Mariah. At her birthday, Uncle Hal busted out the popcorn maker. He is awesome!
Andy shared his with Buzz.
Mariah got a circle cake with spots of sprinkles. And that cake says 17, not 11, just for the record.

Most recently was Jordan, and he got a triangle cake.....Julie's pick.
Jordan thought it might be a state, I agree it looks a lot like Vermont or New Hampshire.
This is just a cute shot.

With the birthday boy.

All this partying makes us tired!!
I am so lucky to have awesome cousins who such great people and always there for me. Happy Birthdays Stephen, Mariah and Jordan!! We love you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tonight at dinner we were taking turns talking about our day. Both kids go to school on Tuesday, I go to work, and John works his rear off to keep the house habitable and do other projects, as it is the only day one of us is off without little helpers. Andy had told us how he played in the sandbox and finger painted. John helped Uncle Sean fill a hole and cleaned the house.

Then it was Julie's turn. Today they learned about the word "and". They are learning the sight words, or high frequency words, right now, and she is really catching on and doing great, but while she was telling us about it, this is what was said:

Daddy: "What did you learn about the word and?"
Julie: "you use it when you talk about 2 things."
Daddy: "Did you learn to spell it?"
Julie: "A-N-D"
Daddy: "What does that almost spell?"
Andy: "ME!!!!!"

Seriously. That boy is so smart. I didn't even know he was listening and not just shoving quesadillas into his mouth!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Father Daughter Dance

Last night John took Julie to the Father Daughter Dance. I don't think Julie really understood what was in store, but she was excited. Even though she is not much of a dress up girlie girl, she picked out a dress from the stash of hand-me-downs.
And she sat still while I curled her hair. Her hair is really thick and has a lot of texture, so it took to the curls beautifully.
When her date was ready we took a few pictures.

Then it was "See ya Momma!!" and off they went!
Lucky for me, Beth sent Tyson with a camera, so I got an action shot!About two and a half hours later, they came home. Julie was half asleep and shoeless on her Daddy's shoulder. A successful night, I would say!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Party like you're 4!!

Today we celebrated Julie's birthday with bunches of family and friends! It was a beautiful day, in the 70's (sorry east coast relatives) and it felt so good to be outside.

The kids had a blast playing together, everyone seemed to find a buddy. These two were definitely the most cooperative when it came to getting their pictures taken.
So were their Mamas. Christina and April with their boys Everett and Eli.
Mason was stylin while his Uncle Tom pushed him around the yard.
There was a pink and purple bounce house thanks to the magnificent Memere! To say it was a hit would be a huge understatement.
The birthday girl!!! (as she called herself all day)
Yeah, they are that cute in real life too.
See what I mean with the cooperation??
Again, with the adorableness.
Dawson and Julie shared a nice shady lunch.
Then it was time for cupcakes.
Everyone gathered around to sing.

She was so happy.
It looks like I am having story time, but all the kids helped Julie open her gifts. It was really sweet how they all helped and ooohed and ahhhed over everything.
And Julie was so excited about each gift. After everyone left, we went through everything again and again. And read most of the books. I LOVE new books, and so does Julie!
Auntie Arlene had a turn in the bounce house. Actually, quite a few of the grown ups did, but most of the pictures are very hard to see.
And since I didn't have the camera while we were saying goodbye to all our wonderful, amazing friends, I got my picture taken with some of them! YAY!

That never happens!

So happy 4th birthday to my beautiful, smart, loving, inquisitive, sassy girl. Can't wait to see what the next year holds!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Elephant Seals

This is not Rachel. This is Ann Jutras, the blessed grandmother to two amazing children who fill my life with joy. I have them each and every Friday, and it is the favorite day of my week. Today, we traveled to San Simeon and visited the breeding grounds of the elephant seals. As we approached the area, Julie looked toward the view below and commented "there are so many rocks out there". So I proceeded to explain.....

All of what was offered was only fodder for more questions. And I had so much fun answering those inquiries. Julie never misses a beat. "What are they doing?", and "Doesn't that hurt?" and "Whose baby is that?" was just the beginning of the questions.
So we went to the basics and explained. And with a new cousin born just a few days before, Julie seemed to understand. Andy was just having too much fun climbing and loving being outdoors.

So Andy ran around, made friends, hugged unsuspecting children and ran some more. Julie was poised just like this in about seven different vantage points. She was engrossed in the activity that Mother Nature offered. The seals flipped sand over their bodies to shield the sun; the males fought for territory, the females nursed their babies, and the pregnant ones dug holes to deliver. Julie caught every little thing that was happening.

And while the girl child reflected on the cycle of life, the boy child amused himself with one little pole in the whole boardwalk and sang "ring around the rosie...."

And it was an amazing experience. The children were enriched. Then we dined at the Moonstone Grill. Julie told everyone there she had eaten there before. So worldly. They were perfectly behaved, ate like they had never before and entertained every person in the group. They all wished us well when we left, for they all knew Julie's big 4th Birthday Party was Sunday.
And here we are approximately three minutes outside of the Moonstone Grill. My goodness, did we have fun. It took me (long way) an hour to get home and I just couldn't stop. I continued on and drove for another hour. We then played at the park, cooked mommie her dinner and took a bath. Another perfect day for Memere. It just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Can't believe my big girl is 4! I am not sure how it happened, but this morning, she ran down the hallway into our room asking, "Mommy, am I 4 now? Is today my birthday?"

She quickly got dressed, so excited to go to school and tell everyone it was her birthday. She helped Daddy pick out her outfit.
John, Memere and I went to her school at lunch time with a large amount of cupcakes. Her classmates all sang happy birthday to her as she danced in front of the class.
Then she helped pass out the cupcakes and napkins.
After school we went to players for dinner where they brought her an ice cream sundae. She was surprised and very excited!

Grandma, Pop-pop, Mimi and Uncle Sean all joined us for dinner.
I asked her as I was tucking her into bed if she had a good birthday. She said, "Yes! Can I have another birthday tomorrow?"