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Saturday, April 21, 2012

6 years old

My baby boy is 6. How did this happen?

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Logan turned 6 on April 19. Each year I get a little better at planning special birthdays for my kids. I'm still a long way from perfect, but maybe by the time they are teenagers I'll have this figured out. I've learned that I need to start thinking about it more than a day or so in advance and that I should ask them what they would like to do. And so, aside from a few little suggestions from me, Logan's birthday went down just as he wanted it to.

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The night before, I blew up 6 balloons with money in them and put them in his room. Savannah woke up first and shouted, "Logan! Your birthday balloons!" Logan quickly realized there was money inside and started popping them like mad, despite his typical fear of balloons popping. Apparently a few bucks was enough to conquer that fear.

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For breakfast, he commissioned Dad to make German pancakes, his favorite breakfast. Since he had a few minutes to spare before going to school, I let him open his presents in the morning. He has been saving up his money for several months to buy a dinosaur Hot Wheels set, so he was thrilled to find it waiting under the wrapping paper.

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Mid-morning, the girls and I headed over to Logan's school to bring his birthday treats for his class (Oreos, another one of his favorites) and watch the hoopla they do to celebrate birthdays in his class. He had made a book with pictures of himself that he read to his class, then they danced around him and sang some rousing birthday song. Each student then colored a picture of a birthday cake to put in a book for Logan. He was seriously on cloud 9 with all the attention.

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After school we went to McDonald's, per Logan's request. He had wanted to go there for his birthday dinner, but I convinced him to do lunch at McDonald's and pick somewhere a little more appetizing for dinner. :) Usually when we go to McDonald's, it is because there is an organized play date at the playland. I think Logan just assumes there will be 10+ friends every time we go, so he was a little disappointed that we were the only ones there.

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After lunch we headed to Unpluggitz, an art studio/indoor playground. We'd never been before, but it sounded right up Logan's alley with lots of art projects and a big play set. The kids loved it and we had the place to ourselves so I enjoyed not having to keep such a close eye on them.

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Dinner was hosted by Red Robin. This was the only event of the day I didn't take pictures of, so use your imagination. The whole restaurant sang and clapped for him. He was so thrilled. Again, this kid LOVES attention. Not a shy bone in his body.

Finally, we picked up some Krispy Kremes on the way home to make a donut birthday cake. When I told Logan my idea for a stacked donut cake, I had pictured something a little more spread out and tiered. But he had other ideas. He wanted it stacked just like a tower of tires. And since it was his birthday, of course we complied.

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Happy birthday, Logan! I hope it was all you hoped for!

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P.S. I gave Logan the choice of a birthday party or a day at an amusement park. It was a tough choice, but he chose the amusement park. We'll do that soon and I'll post about it then!

6 year old stats: 45 lbs (40%), 45.5 inches (42%)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oklahoma bucket list

I've started a mental list of things I want to do with my family, yet whenever we have a free Saturday or afternoon, I can't come up with a single thing to do. For a lack of a better place to store it, I'm putting my list here on my blog, that way (a) I am held accountable to actually doing these things and (b) if anyone ever needs a list of family friendly activities near Oklahoma City, they can use my brainstorming as a resource.

1. The Cowboy Museum - Oklahoma City has a National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I've heard it's very well done and has a fun kids area. Apparently they have free days every so often so I'll wait for one of those.


2. Frontier City - OKC's very own theme park. It's no Disneyland, but my kids LOVE roller coasters so I'm sure it will be a hit. We're thinking of getting season passes here.


3.  Myriad Gardens - Located in downtown OKC, these gardens have recently been renovated and now include a children's park and an ice rink. Should make for a fun day!


4. Heritage Lanes - Just a regular bowling alley, but kids bowl free all summer, so we'll definitely take advantage of that!


5. Martin Park Nature Center - A fun nearby park that has hiking trails and lots of wildlife.


6. Camping in Red Rock - We were supposed to do this over Spring Break with some friends, but the flu and the weather had other ideas. We'll get there eventually.



7. Oklahoma City Railway Museum - A small outdoor museum for train lovers. We've already tried to go once, but they close when the temperature is below 45 and it was just a tad too cold the day we went.


8. The Science Museum - We've actually already been here once, thanks to a friend with some free passes. We intend to get a season pass when they go on sale in the fall. Hands down, coolest science museum ever.



9. White Water Bay - If we end up getting a season pass to Frontier City, it also includes a season pass to White Water Bay, our city water park.


10. Braum Family Farm - Braum's is a local dairy that also owns a chain of dairy and ice cream shops across the state. A friend mentioned you can go tour the farm. I know my kids would love it, but it's a bit of a drive, so we'll save it for a lazy summer day.


11. Starplex Cinemas Northpark - A dollar theater in OKC! I didn't know they existed here, so now I'm excited to give them a try.

That's all I can think for now, but I'll add to this list as I come up with more ideas. Now, who wants to come visit and do all of these things with us?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sweet Easter

I love this picture. Not because the kids are all (kind of) looking, or because they are clean and somewhat groomed, but because you can catch a glimpse in the reflection in the door of the song and dance that goes on to take a picture of these three rascals! Thanks, Jeff, for always being willing to put on a show each time I need a group shot. :)

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We had such a nice Easter this year. I wouldn't have changed a thing and I hope to have equally nice Easters in the future. About two weeks before Easter, a friend introduced us to The Lamb of God by Rob Gardner. It is a beautiful musical retelling of the last days of Christ's life. We listened to it nonstop on the drive to and from Utah, and every day after until Easter Sunday. It helped me remember why we celebrate Easter and to not get caught up in baskets and bunnies and egg hunts. Not that we didn't do all those things, but we had them all wrapped up by Saturday evening, leaving Sunday to reflect on our Savior.

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About two days before Easter, I decided I wanted to make the girls matching skirts. They didn't take very long and I thought they turned out pretty cute so I went back to the fabric store, bought some more fabric, and started making one for myself. NOT a good idea. It was a total disaster. The skirt is still sitting on my dresser, waiting for me to try and salvage something out of it. I should really just learn to stop while I'm ahead.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Family ties

I have a weird husband. It's one of the reasons I love him so much. I can always tell when he's been changing Isabelle's diaper because her pants are on her head. He also likes to pull up the kids' pajama pants like Urkel and I'm sure he's the one who taught them to wear underwear like a mask. So it shouldn't have surprised me when Isabelle came out proudly wearing his tie. She pranced around all afternoon in it until I took it off before she ruined it. Silly girl. Silly husband. Love my family.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Gaps

Notice anything missing?

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My first child lost his first tooth last week. Of all the parenting milestones I knew I would have to hit, this was one I dreaded more than most others. The thought of reaching in to my child's mouth and ripping out their disintegrating tooth just totally grossed me out. Lucky for me (and for Logan), his tooth fell out on it's own. One morning he came to me and showed me it was loose, and that day at lunch it literally fell out of his mouth between bites. He was so excited, and not scared at all, so my fears were immediately lifted. He looks so cute with his bottom gap (to match his top gap, my mom says). I'll enjoy it while it lasts, since the period between losing baby teeth and braces has to be the most awkward phase of them all.


I can't believe how fast my baby boy is growing up! He is capable of so much more than I give him credit for, and he really is a good kid. While trying to get a good shot of his tooth, he gave me this pose...

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which reminded me of this picture.


Has it really been almost 4 years?

Early Easter

On our second (and last) day in Utah, we celebrated an early Easter by dying eggs and having an egg hunt. I never have to worry about finding Easter egg hunts for my kids; Grandma Pendleton has come through every year.

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Isabelle caught on quickly. She loves collecting things and she loves candy so it was a win-win situation for her.

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The whole crew, minus baby Jack who was chilling off to the side.

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Dying eggs with nine kids was an event, but we only had one spill so I consider that a success.

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The next morning we loaded the car and started the 18-hour drive back home. It was a whirlwind of a trip but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. We can't wait to see all of our Pendleton family again in June at our second biennial reunion!

Amazing

Words cannot express how I feel about this man and the benefit that was held in his honor.

Jeff's dad, Bryan Pendleton and Jeff's aunt, Carolyn
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For the past 6 months we have come together as a family to support and aid and pray for Jeff's dad as he has endured grueling cancer treatments and surgeries. But we knew our help could only go so far. Very quickly the monetary cost of battling cancer extended beyond our collective ability to pitch in and we knew we'd have to look beyond our family for help. Jeff's sister had the idea to hold a medical benefit to raise money to pay his bills and make up for lost wages.

Jeff's sister, Amy, and his mom, Susan, collaborating as the event began.
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On March 30, we witnessed a true miracle as hundreds of people flocked to our benefit. The room was full to capacity and then some. We served 250 plates of food, but I'm sure there were more people there than that. The generosity we witnessed was truly humbling. I had no idea that people were capable of that kind of love and selflessness. Perfect strangers came and showed their support, as did friends and family from near and far. We had enough items donated to our silent auction to surround the room.  People gave of their time, talents, and means to support my amazing father-in-law. I wish I had gotten a picture of the room at the peak of the benefit, but Isabelle had a melt down and I spent most of the second half outside with her.

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This awesome plane is actually a kaleidoscope. This one was of the silent auction items.

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My cute sister-in-law Ashley keeping things orderly at the entrance.

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This amazing woman painted faces all night. And arms. And wrists. Kids want everything painted.

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The centerpieces captured two of Bryan's loves: family and golf.

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Jeff utilized his public speaking skills (and his new suit!) as co-MC for the night.

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We have the best family.

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