Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween!

I can't believe we have made it through another calendar year and are right back at Halloween once again! Our kids are super excited for tonight, as usual. We had a packed weekend with various activities leading up to today. I feel like posts are going to be very out of order this week, but what can you do? Too much fun!
Evelyn and Grace are back to school after being out since last Wednesday. We have made it through Blueprint (hallelujah!) we visited a favorite local attraction, and we kept up with some traditions this weekend as well.

Last night, with every last ounce of energy we could muster, we finally carved into the family pumpkins for this year. I was very curious to see what Charlotte would think about digging into the slimy innards. She usually likes gross stuff, so I thought we might get one of her typical "EW!" responses as she squished through it. But...nope. Refused to touch it! And so did Reagan. In fact, I'm pretty sure Reagan held his nose most of the time. He is a very enthusiastic bystander, he just is not interested in participating in the least bit. Evelyn and Grace, however, were all about it!

This year we decided to express ourselves creatively through the one thing that is on all of our minds right now...Disney! So our pumpkins are the faces of Minnie Mouse and Jack Skellington. Or I mean, our best attempts, haha.

I had seen so many cute ideas for using little pumpkins for Minnie's ears, but we didn't have any little pumpkins. So we just slapped on a pair of our own ears.

As usual, they aren't perfection but I think they turned out quite swell. We had one little mishap with Jack's stitches and it looks like he has a snaggle tooth, but...adds character, right? Haha.

It's going to be very interesting trying to get Charlotte to sit still for holiday photos this year!

We set these guys on the front porch in anticipation of the festivities tonight!

My kids don't get out of school and off of the bus until 4:20, so our afternoon is going to be a little bit nuts today! It won't be long before we are donning costumes and getting ready for a night of fun! If you are friends with me on Facebook then you probably already know that our house got toilet papered over the weekend. :) It gave me a great opportunity to ask the neighbors that came to help us clean up what Halloween is like in our new neighborhood.

"Oh, it's absolutely crazy...."

Haha, I believe it. Based on our experience with the 4th of July and the fact that we have already experienced some mischief ourselves, I think we are in for one wild night! We were informed that we probably won't make it to all of the houses, but we're going to try and see how far we get. I have lots of picking up and some outside decorating to do this morning, so I'm going to get to it! I can't wait for tonight, and I can't wait to see some of your little ones all dressed up!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Confession Friday: Halloween Edition

It's the last Friday before Halloween, so we're adding a little spooky flair to some of our confessions this week. Do dee do do, do dee do have now entered the confession zone.....

I confess that I was asked this week, "What was your best or most memorable halloween costume from when you were a little kid?" and I could seriously only think of two things I ever was. I distinctly remember the year I was a spider with eight connected legs, and then there was the year my mom dressed me up as a "sleepy person." I wore a nightgown and carried a teddybear. Haha. Really, Ma? Clearly we were out of ideas that year! But I suppose it was memorable. :)

I confess I really wanted to dress my kids up in a "theme" this year. Had five Wizard of Oz costumes in carts and ready to go. And then I realized my kids were only agreeing to appease me, and Reagan was only happy because he thought the tin man was a robot, and well... I asked them what they really wanted to be. We're going to be an interesting assortment of characters, but they are only little once!

Plus, I already have a ton of costumes saved up for Charlotte from her big sisters! This year, she's sporting Evie's old peacock costume....

Halloween 2010

I confess that coveted chocolate bars are not my favorite candy to find in a treat bag. I'm a fruity girl. Give me all the skittles, starbursts, and airheads!

I confess that in high school I dressed up as a haunted prom queen and walked around with a friend one halloween, only to be called some very inappropriate names all night long by fellow high school boys. I'd call them out, but I don't agree with public shaming...and some people I know are now married to those little turds. :D

I confess that kid halloween movies are as scary as it gets for this gal, and I can never pass up a good Roseanne halloween special.

I confess that the scariest/creepiest moment of my life was when I came home from cheering at a basketball game one night, and no one was home for some odd reason. A storm had just started rolling in, and the phone rang. I picked it up, and a breathy man's voice on the other end was speaking some sort of eerie nonsense just as thunder clapped and the power cut out. I did NOT stick around to find out what was going to happen next. I dropped the phone, high-tailed it to the neighbor's house, and left our front door wide open! Haha. My parents came home and thought I had lost my mind. I could have been KILLED okay??

I confess that I don't believe in ghosts, as in - great great grandpa didn't stick around to clank around that old house or something. But what I do believe in is probably scarier anyway, so I still don't mess with that junk. :) No Ouija boards for me!

I confess that I absolutely do still run up the basement stairs at night. I mean...nothing is there, right? So why do I FEEL someone on my heels every time??

I confess that, while I don't believe in ghosts, I still hold to this day that something was not right with one of the houses I grew up in. I know other people who have lived in the same house, and they concur. Something really icky must have happened there at one point....

And thanks to Google Maps, I can show it to you!

Looked a little different then. :)

P.S. To all of my Red Bud friends...if you drive by that FS building at night, you will see cast on it's side the shadow of Frankenstein kissing his bride. Really, use your imagination and do it!

I confess that haunted trails literally make me sick to my stomach. No. Thank. You.

I confess that I will never understand why some people enjoy feeling scared. Have fun with that! :)

I confess that watching one too many Dateline specials will leave a person convinced that they are being stalked and/or watched through the windows at all times. That person will begin living a slightly paranoid life, and they will seriously consider just who would sit down for a television interview on their behalf should they mysteriously go missing one day. Don't ask me how I know these things.

I confess that when Eric is gone and the kids get scared of something they heard or saw, I bolster their courage with reassurances and sing them a rousing round of Veggie Tale's "God is Bigger Than the Boogey Man." And then I spend the rest of the night slightly freaked out myself. Thanks, kids.

I confess that when my children ask where all of their candy went this year, I will probably say I have no idea. Was it the switch witch? Is it in landfill land? Maybe in my belly? The world may never know....

I'm sure we'll do a little check in on Monday, but for those of you attending Halloween events this weekend, I hope you have a great time! Stay safe and make some memories. :) We get Eric back late tonight. Thanks to our friend Brianne, I have a few videos of him on the stage from this morning. Great job, Eric! Gracie is like, your biggest fan. :D Alright guys and ghouls, happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday, Reagan!

We took Reagan on an audition to be a Baby Gap model.


No, actually it's his FOURTH BIRTHDAY today (wahoo!) and his mother dragged him outside this morning to snap a few pictures with a prayer and a point and shoot. :) I do think we got a few good ones!

I remember when I was pregnant with this kid. I was really hoping that someday I would get to be a boy mom. I mean, if he had been a girl it would have fulfilled every childhood fantasy of having three daughters a la Full House. And I did eventually get that third girl. But I really really wanted to be the mom of a superhero, dinosaur, cars loving little rascal.

So on the day we opened that box and it was blue balloons that came floating out, my heart was very pleased. :) A tiny boy of my very own!

Even though I was excited to shop for little boy clothes and little boy toys and dream of little boy things, I was also sort of hoping I would get one of those quieter, slightly less rambunctious varieties...and that's what we got, haha. We dreamed of Reagan for quite a while, before we had any kids at all, and he was everything we imagined him to be!

He was our one and only boy for a short time. Now another little brother joins the crew, and I don't think anyone was happier about that than Mr. Reagan. A brother sandwiched between all sisters, who spent most of his first years being dressed up in tutus and trying to find his trucks and swords buried in giant piles of baby dolls. I like to think it made him a sweetheart, and I hope he stays that way. :) A sweet spirit who grows into a fine young man. That's my prayer for him!

He really likes to throw those fours around now!

I pray for good friendships to come his way as he grows, to pull him out of his shell and to be a positive influence for him. I pray for good mentors and examples to be placed in his path, to model what it means to be responsible and a gentleman. As much as I want to coddle him and keep him as my own forever, eventually I'm going to have to let this one go. So I pray that when that time comes that he is strong and independent and resourceful and ready to take on the world. Whew, that's a big undertaking...and we have a long way to go! For now, we'll just let him be four.

He's already pretty good at that.

I hope our little man has a great day today hanging out at home with all of his siblings who are now officially on fall break! If there's one good thing about having a bunch of sisters, it's that they definitely appreciate birthdays and making sure the birthday kid gets recognized for everything. He's pretty much king of the castle today, haha. Happy Birthday, Reagan! We love you!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Parties!

My heart is SO filled with thankfulness that I am even able to sit down and write this post today. Sometimes in life it really is the little things that bring the most joy. I shared last Friday that our schedules are pretty crazy this week. There are school things and kids going on fall break mid-week, but the biggest catalyst is Blueprint - Stifel's huge annual conference. Eric has a few pretty major roles in the conference this year, and he is super busy. It's likely he won't even be staying home by the end of the week but just sleeping in St. close yet so far away, haha.

Yesterday was a special day at the the girls' school, a day that they had been looking forward to for weeks. It was the costume parade and fall party day, where all of the younger elementary school kids parade around for the big kids in their halloween costumes and then get to spend the afternoon having fun. All parents are invited to this day, and I'll tell you what just about all the parents show up, too. There was special parking roped off in the grass and people outside directing traffic - for classroom parties! I've never seen such a thing. :) Anyway, it was really looking like neither Eric nor I were going to get to go. You would think as a stay at home mom I would be the first in line to come to school events, but that really isn't so when you consider that I have more kids still at home than I do skipping off to school each day. If Eric can't arrange to be here, I can't be there.

And it's Blueprint week and all. The girls were pretty bummed that their parents weren't going to be able to make it.

But...Eric is a pretty swell guy, and he went to work yesterday morning and rearranged his entire afternoon schedule so that he could work from home and let me surprise the girls at their parties. Neither of them had any idea I would be there...I didn't know I would be there! But I'm so glad that I was able to go.

I stopped into Gracie's classroom first! There she was, playing games, proud as a peacock in her shiny peacock costume that she just had to have this year!

I got instant smiles and hugs when she turned to see that I was there. And was back to playing games. There were prizes to be won. :) Each of the girls' rooms were set up similarly. There were a couple of games stations, a snack station, and a craft station in each one. And there were just about as many parents there as there were kids.

It was crowded chaos, and those kiddos were loving every minute of it. Grace made it a point to tell me how the big kids LOVED her costume and gave her high-fives as she walked down the hallway in the parade earlier. And one of the moms who showed up early told me that she stood and spun like a beauty pageant contestant when they introduced her...haha! That's Gracie. She adores the spotlight.

I was dividing my time, so soon I made my way to Evelyn's classroom. She was busy enjoying her party mix snack and didn't even notice I was standing near her until I said her name. It took her a second to realize that I was actually there, and then it was more hugs for me! Just fill my mom love bucket right up!

Evelyn decided to be Batgirl this year. It must have been a popular trend in her age group, because there were several other girl superheroes in her class. I think the costume suits her!

One of the great things about popping into school occasionally is to see your kid with the other kids. Evelyn enjoyed introducing me to her classmates. It occurred to me that Evelyn probably knows more people in our community now than I do! And there are some seriously sweet kiddos in her class - like Aubrey, who helped Evie find the slime in her goody bag. :) I like Aubrey. I think we shall have a playdate. Or I mean...the girls...they will have one. I keep telling Evelyn now to make sure she asks Aubrey to play at recess, haha.

She found her slime!

By the time I was hugging Evelyn goodbye I was feeling pretty darn good about the day. As much as I enjoy this stuff, it wasn't about me of course but wanting to be there for my kids. Sometimes one of the hardest things about being a parent isn't the things we have to do but the things we can't always do. The disappointments. The times we just can't be there. I remember how important and exciting it was to me when my parents could show up, and that's why I am so thankful for that one hour I had yesterday to make my girls happy.

Really I have Eric to thank for that. He cancelled meetings and went out of his way so that I could go make some memories with my oldest children. So thank you, dear! I'm glad you're my partner. :)

Tonight it's parent-teacher conferences and tomorrow is not only the start of fall break, it's also one special little guy's 4th birthday. We are definitely not running out of things to do! Now let's see if my sanity holds up while I have all five kids here and Eric is gone for a couple of days. I think some grandparent time might be in order. Ha! I suppose the sentimental part of parenting drops out somewhere between one-on-one time and mass chaos. Sentimental turns into survival.

One day at a time. :) Love!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Confession Friday 10-21 that you? My kids wore coats for the first time to school this morning, and this weather has put me in a very good mood! I think it calls for a round of Confession Friday. If you feel so inclined, you can go ahead and confess your little heart out.

I confess that I purposely did not purchase bubblegum for the kids' birthday piñata last weekend, because I did not want to be finding gum stuck around my house for days. So I bought blow pops instead. Brilliant.

I confess that a sweet friend is taking my kids once a week to hang out with them for a few hours, and I have NO idea what to do with myself when they are gone. What is this freedom?? It is foreign to me. Yesterday I just came home and cleaned, haha. Next week, I might go to Hobby Lobby. Whoa.

I confess that I love Hocus Pocus just as much as the next whimsical fall loving gal, but I'm not sure if I understand all of the hype of obsessing over when it's going to be on TV when you can pick up your very own copy to watch any old time you want for $5. You know, because the mood might just strike at any in July or something.

I confess that my entire family is FULL of POOP today...and I do mean that quite literally. Someday I won't be the chief hineykeeper around here. Oh what a day that will be!

Speaking of....

My kids were getting ready to pose for a cute picture just for me when they looked down and saw a giant pile of dog poop on the ground in front of them. Moments after this there was yelling and running cute pictures. But I did get this, lest we should ever forget this moment. :D And no, this photo wasn't staged. I had no idea what they were hollering about until after they ran away, haha.

Let's see if I can dig up some more from that day. Ah, yes.

Evelyn sneezed right as we snapped this family photo....

....and apparently Gracie was really amused by that.

This cracks me up every time I see it. :)

I confess that I have discovered the official 2016 election slogan...we're going to get it printed on t-shirts, okay? You might have heard it before, and it's entirely fitting no matter who you are. Ready? "2016: Put your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye." You can substitute your own less PG verbiage, if you please.

I confess that I am in love with a woman. Her name is Wendy, and she makes great chicken sandwiches.

I confess that Eric wants to hire a cleaning service for me, and I keep finding reasons to put it off. I have issues with strangers seeing our mess. I'd seriously be that person that cleaned for the cleaning person. The thought of it all stresses me out, which I'm pretty sure makes me a weirdo.

I confess that I frequently find roly poly bugs in our house. I've seen ants, I've seen spiders, I've seen pesky fruit flies, but never in all my days have I seen a roly poly take over. Missouri, you're strange.

I confess that this blog space was almost no more. Dun dun dun. Our domain registration expired. Whoops! Eric saved the day, but it did lead to some questions like, "Just how long am I going to keep this up, anyway?" And the answer to that is, I have no idea. :)

I confess that yesterday I misplaced one of my children. It took me a long time to find her, and I almost had a panic attack. Charlotte can get just about anywhere she wants to go these days, including up and down stairs. I finally found her curled up on a princess sofa in the basement with a book, snoring away. She's such a big girl now, but seriously! Honey, you scared the crap out of me.

So, to my little sister Shannon I would say, clearly you should not take any parenting advice from me! I confess that we're so excited to be expecting a new little person in the family:

My baby sister is having a baby...I can't believe it. :) You have a year or two on me, Shannon. So that means 10 years from now you could have like six or seven little ones, no problem!

Also, my children insist that they get to see their cousin on the regular, so tell Tyler mmkay? Also also...that is going to be one cute kid!

I confess that I am sitting here eating an entire cake with a fork and that has, so I'm going to peace out here now. I have no idea what our weekend looks like, but I hope we can find the time to do something fun. Our next week is looking absolutely nuts, and I don't know how much Eric and I will even be seeing each other. I hope your life is a bit less crazy than ours at the moment and that you have a great weekend yourself! And if you happen to be getting married tomorrow, I hope it's all you dream it to be. ;)  Peace!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Happy Birthday, Grace! What's New With the Crew

We are very pleased to announce that we have a brand new six year old in the family!

But if you ask Gracie, she has already been six since Sunday. She simply cannot wrap her head around having a birthday party before your actual whole day of birth thing is just a formality. She is at least three days deep into this six year old business.

I'm sure we'll be doing something special to celebrate our October birthdays with a family day coming soon. Until then, it's off to school for the girls today! I hope Gracie girl has a great day in kindergarten. I'm sure she will - she loves it! She whines when it's the weekend...I'm not sure who she belongs to.

So it has been a very long time since I have just done an update on life and the kids and what they are up to and into. I usually start this back up again when a new baby in the family is born. It's a good way for me to keep up with the monthly development of my smallest and to remember all of their milestones. Well, Lincoln is two months old now, and if I'm being perfectly honest....I forgot.

I'm pretty sure the mind starts going somewhere around the third or fourth child, but by baby number five, just forget it. You are destined to live life a little more by the seat of your pants at this point, or so I am learning. Complete mush for brains.

So, in honor of Gracie's birthday, let's start with the older girls shall we?

Grace and Evelyn continue to really enjoy their new school. I adore it, myself. It's such a good fit for us. The girls joined the "Mini Jags" dance club that meets before school on Tuesdays, and they are pretty gosh darned excited about that. I wasn't sure exactly what type of dancing they would be doing, but I'm assuming it's more cheer oriented, because yesterday they came home and were showing off their "cinnamon buns." If you were ever a cheerleader then you know exactly what those are, and if you weren't, has nothing to do with your backside, haha. They have a performance on field day which seems like a really far way off, so we'll see how that goes!

Evelyn auditioned for and got a speaking part in the second grade musical that will be performed later this fall. She's going to be a dinosaur, hehe. Words cannot express how much I am oozing with giddiness over the whole thing. A dinosaur musical. That is perfection. We have to get a costume. Happy elementary nerd mom alert.

As most kindergartners do, Gracie is blowing me away with how much she learning in such a short amount of time this year. She is getting very good at lettering, and she tries SO hard to read anything and everything. "Hey mom, I know what this says." "Hey. Mom. Do you know what this says?" "Mom? Mom? Hey mom? Did you know I can read this?" Haha. She just loves to learn!

Then we have Mr. Reagan, who is my little buddy still this school year. He is ALL every typical way imaginable. He's really into superheroes, loves youtube and video games. He's a very quiet child, comparatively speaking, which is a good thing for me, because I don't have many of those. My girls are LOUD. :) He keeps to himself a lot until he comes to me saying, "Mom, I want to play a game." Or..."Mom, I need a snack."

Or my favorite. "Ugh! It died! Mom, can you plug this in?" That's probably the most used phrased in this house.

He's going to be four one week from today. Four years old. His hair gets sandier every year, and he gets funnier and funnier. He's a trickster, and he tries to fool me all the time and play little pranks. He thinks he is sooo clever. Like when he sticks his hand under the bathroom door and says, "Oh mom! It's Gracie! It's Gracie here mom, let me in." And...he doesn't go away until I call him Gracie. If I say, "I know it's you, buddy!" he'll just stay there forever saying, "No it's not!" And when I finally give in and call him Grace, I can hear him run away giggling, "Oh man, she thinks I'm Gracie!" What a nut!

Charlotte has officially moved up and taken the spot of "family firecracker." She is super strong willed, just like Gracie was. Though, she is much more easily quieted with something to eat or drink, usually. :) While she has Grace's stubbornness and temper, she has inherited Evelyn's goofball side. Charlotte reminds me SO much of Evie at the same age. They have so many of the same mannerisms, and Char jabbers our ears off. I think she's going to be an early talker, which I LOVE. There is nothing better than hearing elaborate stories from a young toddler. The things they come up with!

I still have to watch Charlotte super closely around Lincoln, because she is a stinker. Pretty sure she's convinced she should still be the baby in the family, and who is this little runt anyway? She tries to grab him and scratch him when she thinks I'm not looking. Ay yi yi. I spend my days playing bodyguard. Although she can be quite a handful, my goodness is she cute. That red hair, those dimples, and the cheesy grins she flashes us. We're completely doomed. She can be the loudest, most shrill child we've ever had, but then she'll do something so cute like kiss and cuddle a stuffed animal and say, "Aww" and the whole family says "Aww" and that's it. She wins.

Lincoln is literally just trying to survive one day at a time in this household, haha. I adore this baby. He is so cute and cuddly and good. He sleeps so well, he eats like a champ. At his two month check-up last weekend, he grew like two more inches and he's still at about 97% for height and 50% for weight. Tall and lean...nothing like any of our other kids! But clearly, he's getting enough sustenance.

I never want to forget that little head of dark hair with the sweet swirly cowlick in the back. The thin curvy lips he has that remind me exactly of Christian Bale. I call him my little Batman baby. :) His dark blue eyes that look up at me like a baby bird. The way he squeals when his attacker is coming near. Haha. I hope he ends up looking just like Eric. I think Eric is a pretty good looking guy, so one of our kids needs to look just like him! This kid has completely stolen my heart, all over again. He's the most precious unexpected blessing I've ever received. As I have said with all of our children, I can't wait for him to grow and to do life with him. Happy to have one more little love to share our traditions with!

Naked little sister insisted on jumping in a picture with the birthday girl this morning. :)

If I had to guess, right about now Grace is probably wearing a birthday crown and being doted on. She took some treats for her friends, and the school has a special program to recognize kids on their birthday. The birthday kid chooses a book to donate to the school library ahead of time, and on their birthday someone comes to the classroom to present the book, put in a special name plate in the child's honor and get their picture taken for the library bulletin board. Then the birthday kid gets to be the first one to check the book out and bring it home. I think it's a neat way to give back to the school and make the kids feel special at the same time!

It's tradition to let our birthday child choose what we have for dinner, so Gracie takes the reins tonight. I'm going to laugh if, given all of our options, we end up at McDonalds again this year. :) I'm so thankful for happy days with our family and special moments to share together! 

Hope your day is special, too!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Triple Birthday Bash!

I am still very much in recovery mode from the weekend, which was equal parts super fun and very exhausting. Our kiddos did not get Columbus Day off last week; instead, they had an early dismissal on Thursday and they had Friday off of school. So they went skipping off to grandparent's houses for a sleepover while Eric and I did a little cleaning and shopping to get ready for some birthdays around here. (Sigh...that was wonderful. Thank you grandmas and grandpa!) Eric and I still like each other pretty good, so it's nice to have some time with less kids every once in a while. ;)

I spent every night staying up much too late decorating and putting things together. I just can't hang like I used to. I remember staying up half the night in the past to ready things for the girls' birthdays when they were little. Now I'm tired just thinking of it. But, we made it!

Gracie is turning six this week, and Reagan will be four next week. Evelyn has a summer birthday, but she didn't get a party this year since we were moving, so...we did three in one! I had a few people wondering how we were going to pull this one off...three kids, three birthdays, three themes, one day. Well, it's simple really. We divided up the house, and we traveled around to different rooms to celebrate!

Reagan wanted a Spiderman themed birthday, and that is what he got!

He was all set up in the office, which is still mostly unfurnished. So it was a good space just for running around in. :) The kiddos looked cute trying on their Spiderman masks.

It was a web-slinging good time in the superhero set up. I loved the cityscape and the colorful signs. It just so happens that Mr. Reagan has a superhero bedroom, so some of the decorations are being repurposed there now. It helped to justify the cost when I was doing maybe just a little too much shopping for this day, haha. Across the hall was Gracie's Unicorn themed birthday in the dining room....

I really loved all of the bright and pretty colors in this room!

If you ever throw a unicorn birthday party, you HAVE to get that balloon. It's awesome! And HUGE.

The tablecloth was amazing and bright, too. I can send you links. ;)

Then through a small hallway we come into the third and final party room: Evelyn's Mario birthday.

I didn't do a ton of crafting for these parties, but I did put together a few things for this room. It was a fun theme!

Giant Mario says "Hello!"


After all of our guests arrived and had gotten a little something to eat, the birthday games began! We gathered in the living room to see just what kind of fun was in store. I tried to come up with an activity that would incorporate all three birthday themes. How do you tie together Spiderman, unicorns, and Mario? Haha, well....

Sitting on the fireplace was a locked treasure chest and a message from one of Spiderman's enemies, The Green Goblin. He told us that we could only have the treasure inside of the chest if we brought him 50 golden Mario coins which we could find inside of rainbow unicorn colored eggs hidden outside. 

There was a catch to our game. Unlike a normal egg hunt where you can just run and gather as many eggs possible as fast as you can, our kids could only get one egg at a time and bring it back to the basket that we were all collecting in. This made the game a little more exciting and challenging, and it totally wore our kids OUT. (Score!) 

So our entire party crew went outside in search of our elusive Mario coins!

We took a group "before" shot of all of the big kids.

The adults were saying some pretty goofy things to get John to smile, but he wouldn't budge, the little stinker. :)

Soon we counted down, and they were off! 

They ran their little hearts out! When it seemed like we had found every last egg, we went back inside to count up all of our Mario coins. 

"47, 48, 49...."

Uh oh. 

We were one short! So back outside everybody went!

Now, I have no idea what happened to egg #50. Maybe it's still out there somewhere. Maybe there never was a number 50. Haha. But just in case, I took an egg out with me and conveniently dropped it when no one was looking so that the "50th" egg could be found and we could unlock that darn chest!

In the end, we successfully paid the Green Goblin and earned our reward.

It was the typical piñata scramble and craziness. 

Next up it was time to travel throughout all of the birthday lands to serenade our guests of honor. Everyone moved from room to room to room to give each of the birthday kids their special moment. 

Here's a look at their cakes. One bonus of having three birthdays in one? Three kinds of cake to choose from. We had oreo, red velvet, and vanilla!

I love that Grace's unicorn looks like it was trudging through the mud. :D

That thing was pretty heavy and it sunk in deep!

Spiderman's eyes lit up for a cool effect.

 And it's always a party with the Nintendo crew!

We went in backwards birth order to sing "Happy Birthday."

Reagan is so funny. It takes him forever to blow out his candles, because he takes short little huffs and puffs. :) Love him!

Then we moseyed to the unicorn room.

Gracie tried to play it cool while we sang to her. Her toothless bottom makes me giggle.

We had barely finished singing when she jumped up and said, "Onto the next room!" Haha.

So we gathered around one last time for Miss Evelyn.

Got them all in one blow!

As you might guess, after cake and ice cream cups there was some present opening. Each of the kids received their special requests, and I think everyone was pretty happy!

Especially this kid, who FINALLY got a diamond Minecraft sword.

I mean. Don't ask me. It's foam sword, but he wanted it more than anything in the entire world, haha. 

All three of the kids received a combined gift from Grandma and Grandpa Robert.

I'm sure they'll have fun driving that thing around!

We hung around outside and played for a while after this, and I've gotta tell the time we closed up shop I was out cold for the day. I wish we had a photographer that followed us around and just documented our life. If there had been any pictures of us after this, you would see nearly every member of our family passed out in the living room. :D I would have assumed having three birthday parties in one day would just streamline things and make it easier, but really I think it took all the energy of three birthdays anyway and knocked me out!

Not complaining, though. It was worth all of the effort. The kids had so much fun! They had been looking forward to this day for quite a while, and I think we accomplished what we set out to do. Now I don't have to think about another party again for quite a while. There are other things coming up on the horizon that require my attention, and boy am I excited for those! I sure hope you'll stick around with us!

Thanks for checking in, and have a great day!


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