Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Jackson!

Whoa!  Time flies.  One day you are rocking a sweet baby, and the next you're bringing him donuts to share with his 2nd Grade class.  Seriously!  I have no idea how he is getting so old.  Does that mean that I, too, am getting old?  Surely not.
I'd seen these donuts and knew that we needed to get them for J's next birthday.  I think they turned out SO cute, and he did, too.

I dropped them off for him to celebrate with his friends at school,

and then took lunch from Wendy's down to the cafeteria for him and his daddy.  What a lucky boy--it was his birthday AND his dad was the WatchDog for the day!  After Cami and I dropped off the donuts and lunch, we ran back home.  Gigi stayed with her while I ran to Toys R Us and Kroger.  Jackson had a big birthday wish for some Pokémon cards and spaghetti dinner with the fam, so I obliged.

All four grandparents and one cousin made it to our house for the celebratory dinner.  We feasted on salad (thanks, Memaw), spaghetti, garlic rolls from A Taste of Italy (thanks, Gigi). 
Everyone was full and happy!  The birthday boy asked to open presents before cake, so that's what we did.  What do you think was the first thing he opened?  Pokémon cards!  Go figure.  He was so happy about them:)

His daddy got him his first bebe gun, which he loved...
and I got him a USA soccer jersey and toboggan.  All were big hits!

Little sister's favorite part of present opening was climbing on this big box. 
So pleased with herself.


After he opened all of his gifts it was time to light the candles.  I made him a Texas Sheet Cake and it was so good!  I was very happy and he said it was "really good."  Great success.

Happy Birthday to you!

We love you, Jackson, and hope you had a wonderful day!  You are a very special little boy. 
8 Year Stats:
61.2 lbs. (75th percentile)
54 1/4 in. (over 100th percentile)
Body Mass Index - 25-50%
Blood Pressure - 104/65
20/20 vision
Perfect hearing

Happy Valentine's Day!

Like I mentioned before, this year Valentine's Day was all about family.  We started off the day by going to watch the Golden Strikers in action.  This season, the Strikers are being led by Jared and Uncle Andrew--so cool.  Photo credit goes to Matt Gomez with Focused On Fun Photography--such a great job of catching these boys in action!
Daddo--Aka, Coach Jared, had the boys warm up first...

Then he broke out his white dry erase board and went over a few plays.  So prepared!

The first half the boys were all getting used to the game and settling in.
Gage showed Coach that he's a heckuva goalie and made a lot of good saves.

They made some good plays...


but the other team hung in there, too.

Sweet header, Jackson!

By halftime, the scored was still tied, though--0 to 0.  The boys talked it over and their coaches told them to just keep possession on their side of the field.  And ya know what?  It worked!  The boys did exactly what was asked of them and they came out scoring quickly.  Tucker got the first goal,

and then Jackson got the second one.  Left-footed! 
They went on to score three more goals and won 5-2!
It was the perfect way to start the season.  Way to go, Hays Boys!

A few hours later, it was time to go watch the Mavericks at their last game.  They got down early, and at one point were losing 15-5.  But they didn't quit and in fact, started to gain momentum by the third quarter. 
They pulled ahead with about two minutes left and got the win!!
28-24--Mavericks Comeback Victory!
It was so neat to watch and our whole family was proud of Jackson.  He played his heart out at the end and helped his team win.  A very happy valentine's day indeed!  We celebrated by having the fine folks at Carrabba's make us a delicious dinner--and we didn't even have to go there to eat it.  Daddo picked it up, we dined at home, avoided all the crazy crowds and had the kids in bed by 9pm so that we could watch a movie.  Nevermind the fact that I couldn't hold my eyes open by 10:00, so we just went to bed!  This mama was flat worn out.  But it was a good day, spent with the ones I love most, and I'll take that any day:)

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Sweet Valentines

This year Valentine's was all about parties and being with family.  The kids started off with Friendship parties at school.  (Not sure why "Valentine's Day" isn't PC anymore, but whatever!)  Unfortunately, Lila's teacher had the flu, so she had to miss it.  We made her a present that had this class picture in the middle of it.  All the kids had Valentine props and Lila and Calley held the signs that read "We love Mrs. Rains."  I think it turned out so cute!
I interviewed all the kids and had them complete the sentence "I love Mrs. Rains because..."  My favorite response was, "she has nice hair."  Lol.
  The sweetest response was "because she loves me." Awww.  They have such a good, kind, loving teacher, who we are thankful for every day.
Friday morning we arrived at school with the teacher gift, homemade chocolate chip cookies for the NSLC staff and Valentines for all of Lila's classmates.  She immediately joined her friends, Brooklyn and Maya, and began handing them out.
This year, Lila's party was at the same time as Jackson's, so I had to call in reinforcements.  Gigi was my pinch hitter and Lila was so pleased to see her there.  She said they had fun playing
Heart Bingo...
some other game with straws...

eating good food and making this cute craft.
While Lila was busy at her party, Maddie was busy collecting many Valentines at school!  She worked so hard on her box and did a really good job and even got a special homemade valentine from her crush, Adam.  Oh, my!

Cami and I were at J's school and she was much happier when I finally let her just crawl around under his chair.  Thank goodness she didn't get into too much trouble down there.
They played a game first, and then iced their sugar cookies.

Then it was time to hand out Valentines.  He was so pleased with his sports-themed box that I had scrambled to make that same morning.  Thanks, son, for giving me so much time to prepare!  Maybe he knows I work best under pressure!  I think it turned out pretty cute and he definitely approved.  Next year, maybe I'll even try to come up with cute valentines instead of just the generic ones.  Maybe.  No promises, though!

It's harder than you might think to get 21 seven and eight year olds to stand still.  "Put your hands down.  Get out from under that desk.  Stand up. No jumping.  Look at the camera." 
All phrases that were said.  And I still couldn't get a great shot!
Right after Jackson got home, we made a quick run over to deliver some goodies to Meme.  
She was so glad to see the kids...

even if the littlest one would not entertain the thought of sitting on her lap!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Soulful Sunday

Sometimes, you just gotta take a deep breath, step out of the mayhem, and get outside for the day.  We are beyond lucky to be able to run up to my parents' ranch whenever we get the chance.  And I'm so glad--it just does my soul good.
After getting a little nap on the way up, this little girl woke up with a huge smile on her face.  And it was with good reason, too--we were at the ranch!

Her cute cousin (fancy in her hot pink lipstick) ran out to meet us and helped me push her on the horsey swing.  They love each other--another thing that makes my soul happy.

Then it was time to run on down to the barn.  We found a shaggy Mr. Dub who told us that he still doesn't want to be saddled and rode, so we settled for just chit chatting with him.

Giddy up!

We led the kids around the arena--Maddie rode Princess,

Daredevil Lila rode Emma--"Look Ma, no hands!"

and Jackson rode Doc.  But my favorite part is that the little barn kitty, Blackie, also went on the trail ride.  She followed right along the whole time, making a few spins around with all the horses.  Such a sweet little kitty!

Miss Cami was sure wishing that she could ride, too, and was SO happy to sit on Doc with Maddie.  Just look at that face!

Of course, big bro also wanted to show he could keep Cameron in her saddle, so he asked for a photo op, too.  Competitive at all?  Nah.  Not my kid.

After the kids rode, it was time to break out the four wheelers.  Cami actually rode with her daddy and sister and went all the way down to the road and back.  After they brought her back, they joined Jackson and Maddie for a "big kid" ride all the way to the Red River.  A little bit later, Lila went on a trail ride with her daddy and Boom Pa.  They had the best time--her daddy loves it that she's such a brave girl, and she said it was the "high" of her day.  While they were gone, Gigi and I watched Jackson and Maddie play Hide-and-Go-Seek while Cami played with leaves in the front yard.  Her finger nails and hands were covered with dirt, as was all of her clothes, but she had such a good time.  We ended the afternoon with drinks on the front porch.  Sunshine on our faces.  Kids playing outside.  Perfection.  It is good for my soul.

Sportacular Saturday

 This past Saturday was much like all the others--very busy, with sports and a birthday party thrown in the middle.  And the kids wouldn't have it any other way.

Lila and Henlee's preschool teacher, Mrs. Rains, surprised us by coming to watch the girls play soccer--how fun!

It was the last Bumblebee game of the indoor season, and these kids were ready to rock it.

Lila ran onto the field, struck a pose for me (ha!),

pointed towards their goal,

and then was all business.  She even scored a goal!  Yay, Lila!!
After lunch, we ran back up to cheer on Jackson and the Mavs before heading out to Frisco for Riley's birthday party.

The kids were so happy that we did!  They loved playing in this ball pit.
Where's Cami?  There she is!
They always enjoy hanging with Riley and his sister Samantha,

and there were smiles all around:)

After pizza, cake and choosing one of the cool Ninja Turtle cookies for their party favor, we hopped back in the car.  Riley's mom had Aunt Lyndsie bake these cookies--bonus! 

The Hulks had a fantastic season and ended it with winning 3-2 against a tough team.  Go Hulks!

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