Saturday, April 26, 2014

Molly's Horsey Birthday Party

When Molly's Aunt Rachel had a Western Themed Farewell party this fall, Molly decided then and there that she was going to have a REAL HORSEY party for her birthday.  We threw her a REAL HORSEY party at Cash Lovell Stables today, and it was everything she had hoped for and more! 

Molly adores horses.  She has two toy stables, toy horses, a horsey bedroom, and horsey clothes.  She does not ever remember riding a horse.  She LOVES the IDEA of horses, but when we actually tried to get her to stand next to a horse for a picture when we first arrived, she froze.  Exactly as she did when she met her favorite princesses at Disney World.  

Luckily, a talented face painter was on hand to help Molly relax.  

She loved her tiger face.  Horses and tigers on the same day = Molly Heaven! 

Her friends loved their cool designs, too.

Wilbur the pig dressed up in a Tutu for the occasion,  Molly got to feed him a peppermint.

Once our friends arrived, our party hostess taught us how to be safe around horses.

Then Molly and her guests rotated through an art activity, the face painting station, and riding horses.

Molly was a little cautious at first.  I was not sure she would ask to ride again.

But then she decided that the horse named Brass was "AWESOME" and wanted to ride Brass over and over again!

Ryan decided that riding horses was awesome, too.  He wants to return on Monday....and every day next week.  Not that you would know by the expression in any pictures, but he LOVED horseback riding!

Molly has asked all year if Emily would be at her party, since she was in Guatemala and missed last year's party.  She was so very happy to have her there.  (As well as her Nana and Papa).   She asked me several times this week if Rachel would be at her next birthday party.  She says it will be a Little Mermaid/Dolphin/Swimming Party, and that Rachel will "LUB" it.

We try not to use our kitchen for big baking projects right now, so my friend Aenea made these beautiful and yummy pink lemonade cupcakes. I seriously have the most amazing friends.  Really in serious denial about having to leave here.

It took Molly a few tries to blow out her candle.

Molly loved opening her presents from her friends.  She is very expressive in her gratitude.  She says that being thankful is one of her talents.  It is one of my very favorite things about her.

Molly gave each of her friends a cowboy hat, a bandanna, a Pony, and a free riding lesson.  If you live local and have never been to Cash Lovell Stables, I highly recommend it.  The party was so fun.  They were great with our kids.

Here is picture proof that Andrew was at the party, too.  Apparently he is now too old for face painting and decided that once was enough on the horse. Watching your kids grow up is hard.  But I am grateful that I have three wonderful children who grow even more incredible with each passing year.  My heart is full. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday and Molly's Birthday

We spent a beautiful Easter Sunday in Pinehurst with Grandma and Grandpa Scribner and the Swansons.  Grandma Mary was in charge of the beautiful Easter Musical program for their congregation's Easter Sunday, taught a great Relief Society lesson, and fed us an incredibly yummy Easter lunch.   She is amazing! 

 We also got to meet this little guy.  Ryan very tentatively asked me if he could hold him.  Eli is a very strong and wiggly guy and I couldn't tell how Ryan felt.  But when we got in the car, he talked about how cute Eli is all the way home.

In case any of you are wondering why I posted 3 different pics of the kids instead of a group pic, here is your answer below.  This one of Ryan pretending to throw up is honestly the best one we were able to get. All the others are pretty similar. Or worse.  These three kids just have way too much fun being silly and laughing together to pay any attention to us or the camera.

My Ry-guy has especially started performing for the camera.  Not many people ever get to see this side of Ryan.  He probably would not be happy if he knew I shared it.

We also ate cupcakes down there in honor of Molly's birthday.

In the morning she opened her presents from us.  She was so animated and cute as she opened them, we ended up video recording her opening presents, instead of taking pictures, so I don't have many of those.  :(  But she did get Molly and Emily mini American Girl Dolls.  Molly's best girl friend's name is Emily.  And Emily wears glasses.  So Molly took AG Molly's glasses, and gave them to AG Emily.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Flashlight Egg Hunt

Our good friends and neighbors hold a traditional backyard flashlight egg hunt each year, but could not do it in their backyard this year, because they had just planted grass seed.  So they asked if we would join them in our backyard.  We could not resist the opportunity to create new memories with friends.  And we definitely started a new tradition for our own family.  Flashlight egg hunts are here to stay!!!  Even if I couldn't get any good pictures in the dark.  (Did anyone else get some you can share)?

 I am so incredibly blessed with such amazing friends and cannot imagine our children not growing up together.  I cry every time I think about it, so I try not to think about it too much.  I am in denial.  As Mormons, there is no equivalent term to godparents, but I feel like these incredible children are so much more to me than my friends' kids, and I do not have a good name for it.   I love these sweet children as if they were my own nieces and nephews. 

Painting Eggs

We braved painting eggs in the basement while our home is on the market, but were a little too nervous to try out any dye this year.  We still had a great time and still ended up with colorful eggs, even if we did use washable paints. 

Easter Egg Hunt #2: Meeting My Cousin

We drove straight from the church party to my cousin Gina's house for an Easter celebration with my mom's family.  This year was especially amazing for a very special reason.  I got to meet my adult cousin for the VERY FIRST TIME!!!!  (He is in the top left of the pic).  My Uncle Billy died in a car accident many years ago, when my mom was a little girl.  Around the same time, his firstborn baby, my cousin, was given up for adoption.  Our family never knew where Billy's baby ended up, if he had a happy life, if he knew how much we loved him, how much my grandmother had wanted to raise him as her own.  My aunts and grandmother have prayed and searched for him many years, even hired a private detective to find him, with no luck.  Then a few weeks ago, my mom received a letter in the mail from a man who said he thought he might be her nephew.  They met and were able to piece together enough information to determine that he is my cousin!  He and his lovely wife came to our Easter Celebration to meet many of us who were able to make it there yesterday.  It has been such a comfort to my Nanie to learn that he has wonderful, loving, supportive parents and that he has had a very happy life.  I feel like this is a special miracle given to our family during this Easter season.  There have been very sacred experiences, that I will not share in a public forum, that have led my cousin to find our family.   I am grateful he was willing to search us out and meet our 94 year old grandmother, which truly was one of her greatest desires of her heart.  I am sure it must be a little overwhelming for him, coming into a huge group of strangers who have known about you and prayed on your behalf for many years.  But it felt yesterday like my cousin has just always been here, always been part of our family gatherings.  It was truly in a word, heavenly, or at least how I imagine Heaven must be.  There will be family members that I have never met in this life, but I will love, and know them, and feel like they have always been there, too. Great grandparents, aunts and uncles who have gone before.  Who have left a legacy of love, a heritage of hard work, strength, and compassion.  Who are part of me.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior, who conquered Death, so that yesterday is just a glimpse of eternity.  I am grateful to know that Families can be together Forever.  And grateful for answered prayers.  God's timing is perfect.

We also had a cook-out and hunted for eggs.  We hid over 540 eggs this year.

Molly spent most of her time "hunting" around the slide.  She kept going down it to make sure there were no more eggs to be found there.  She did not end up with too many eggs, but she had a great time!

We really need to get Nanie Too-Too her own Easter Basket!

Notice how Andrew is carrying a bucket to put his eggs into AND the bag that I was trying to hold for him to dump his eggs into once his basket was full.  Not sure he quite got the concept...or maybe he just knows too well how much his mom likes chocolate.

Molly shared a LEOPARD egg with a TODDLER all on her own!  A huge deal for anyone who knows how much Molly LOVES leopards and barely tolerates toddlers.   I think she is growing up!

Andrew did not slow down long enough for many pics.

Ryan counting his eggs.

Aunt Annie had special prize eggs for all of the great grandkids.  Ryan is still grinning!