Monday, March 8, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- Schut celebration.

We got to go to Des Moines to my parent's house to celebrate Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday! Everyone except Rose (my SIL) was there because she was visiting her sister in TX, but so wonderful to have almost everyone together! We hadn't all been together since Christmas. We got to see our newest niece, Averie, again too, which was so fun. Babies change so fast- what a cutie! It's so fun to watch the girls with Jorie and Murphy too, as they are getting older and able to interact more with them.

My mom makes special cakes for the grandkids birthdays, so fun! 

Love family pictures! So fun to compare over the years and see the family grow- the biggest blessing!

Six cousins! :)

It was 54 degrees there on Saturday- felt incredible! The girls really love playing outside and it's amazing!

Averie is so cute! I had a cold, so I couldn't hold her this time unfortunately, but admired from afar. Next time I will be scooping her up for sure!

Usually, my family comes to our house for their birthday, but due to COVID reasons it was easier for everyone to meet in Des Moines instead, which was okay because I'm just happy we could get together! Lucy and Ellory, celebrating you is a joy! Happy 4th birthday!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- family celebration.

One of my favorite family traditions is our family birthday celebration! We let the girls choose where they want to go eat and what activity they want to do on the night of their birthday (or very close to, if for some reason it doesn't work to go on the actual birthday). When Lucy and Ellory get older, we will let them choose their own night if they want something different, but at this age, basically anything is super fun and they quickly decided together on McDonald's and swimming! Unfortunately the McDonald's dining room was closed for supper, so we went to Culver's instead, but thankfully they didn't mind since they could still get chicken nuggets, fries, and ice cream there too. :) They were so excited the whole day that it was their birthday and it was so special. Their excitement is so unfiltered and beautiful and it's so joyful to watch. Earlier in the day, they got to bring treats to preschool and get their birthday hat and sticker, we went out for lunch with the De Jongs, and played outside in the snow. They were very into the fact that it was their REAL birthday and they were REALLY four now. 

Everyone had fun at the pool! My sister Kayla got to come too, since she goes to college in our town, which was a treat! They thought it was great to be able to do the deep end, diving board, and big slides since we had three adults there to help! (When it's just me taking them to swim, we have to stay in the shallow kid area, which is still fun, but it's special when we can do everything!) 

Lucy was super brave and willingly went off the board all by herself (with Kley catching her) several times! Wow! Ellory didn't want to  jump, so she was swimming with Aunt Kayla.

Norah went several times too. She's becoming such a good swimmer!

Slide pictures are some of my favorites!

Happy happy birthday, Lucy and Ellory! Being your mom is my absolute favorite. You are true blessings!

What a special day celebrating our four year olds! I will bottle up these sweet memories in my mind forever.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Lucy and Ellory's 4th birthday- Paw Patrol/flower friend party.

Our sweet babies are four! Lucy and Ellory had their first friend party! Lots of work, but absolutely worth it to see them enjoy it. I actually really like party planning and think it's fun, so it was special to do it together! Lucy wanted a flower party and Ellory wanted Paw Patrol, so they each picked their own plates, napkins, and balloons. We got some flowers as centerpieces, had a flower and Paw Patrol banner, and it was cute and pretty easy! They chose to have noodles, chicken nuggets, carrots, and grapes for supper. We invited their preschool class and a few friends from Sunday school class. It was a full house, but everyone had a good time! No tears from anyone at all the entire party- impressive!

Happy birthday and candle blowing!

Lucy and Ellory, you are the best and this age is so fun!

Making a birthday board every year is one of my favorite things. I love looking back at pictures over the year! So special. 

I am by no means a professional, but last year I made a 9x13 cake and cut it in half, and this year I got two round cake pans and it looks SO much better. I'm pretty proud. :) Trying to frost an already cut cake is very hard and didn't look good. Here's my attempt at a Paw Patrol and flower cake! (I've read from multiple sets of adult twins that they really appreciated having their own cake and birthday song, and I love that! A neat, easy way to individualize their shared day.)

I also ordered them a flower and Paw Patrol shirt, which they loved!

Happy birthday, sweet girls! We ate supper, sang and had cake, free played, played pin the tail on Skye (a Paw Patrol character), colored a picture, and Kley led a sing along guitar session!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Butterflies and breadsticks family date.

What a fun family date! Last summer, Norah won tickets to the Butterfly House & Aquarium from our library's reading program (she was so thrilled to win!) and we finally made it happen to go! We would have made it sooner had it not been for COVID, but thankful for a fun indoor activity to do on this incredibly cold winter week!

Neat to be in a special little paradise for a bit! The girls loved seeing the many butterflies flying all around.

They thought it was so funny that one landed on Kley's head!

Norah had won five tickets, which works perfectly for our family, and we really wanted to wait for an open Saturday so Kley could join us and it was worth the wait! The girls really love Kley and it's well deserved- he's the best! :)

It was interesting to see the different feeding stations they had set up.

The aquarium portion was neat too! 

The girls loved this little bubble thing you could go in. I think Ellory will be a marine biologist or something like that when she grows up at this rate. The few times we have gone to aquariums in her life, she has absolutely loved it. She asked tons of questions and got excited over every display and tank. So precious! (And yes, Ellory still wears glasses, but they fog up so bad in the winter with a mask on and she hates that. Otherwise she usually wears her glasses really well, but for this activity we just let her take them off so she could enjoy it. If anyone has any tips on mask/glasses wearing without fogging, please let me know!)

We made a quick trip to Target and then had supper at Olive Garden! We had an OG gift card and we really wanted breadsticks. :) We are grateful to have had a very healthy winter as a family so far! We definitely haven't done as many activities as usual in the last year due to COVID, but we are gradually doing a few more yet also trying to be as careful as possible while doing so. I'm thankful we could have this time together on a super fun Saturday!