Tonight while I was tucking Addison in for bed she asked me if Jason’s sister (who had been in a terrible car accident) was doing any better.  I told her she miraculously was, and that I’m sure her prayers helped play a part in that.  I thanked her for her prayers and then left her room. A minute later she asked if she could say another prayer (she had already said her prayer before bed).  I told her she could pray anytime she wanted.

I then went to my room to hang up some clothes and a few minutes later heard her quite voice praying.  I stopped what I was doing to stand outside her door to secretly listen in.  She prayed for about 10 minutes, pouring out her heart and her gratitude for everything and everyone in her life.  She was so specific in her requests for help for other people and even prayed for those people who made bad choices that they could be good. Her thanks to her Father in Heaven was so sincere and so innocent that it brought me to tears. 

After her prayer I went in to tell her what a beautiful prayer it was. Her heart was as full as mine and she told me she felt “the gospel” in her heart. I explained it was the Holy Ghost.  And we talked about how exciting it will be to turn 8 and be baptized and get the gift of the Holy Ghost all the time. She was quite emotional after that and needed a lot of snuggles and love.  What a priceless moment with my daughter.  I knew I needed to write it down so as never to forget.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.  She is MY example of how to be more Christ like.  Thank you Addison for teaching me tonight what it means to truly pray and communicate with our Heavenly Father.

We had a pretty laid back Father’s day this year. We had church in the morning and then DJ wanted to go on a hike at St. Edwards Park. So we took a picnic lunch and hiked down to our favorite beach. It wasn’t exactly warm out, but we all ended up in the water anyway.
That night we had brie fondue for dinner and I made him a peach pie. We also made DJ “King for the Day” and gave him a crown and remote control wand. 🙂

A party is nothing without the people!  So many thanks to those who helped make it happen. DJ, Marc and Julia, Bonnie, Kahly, Mom, Dad, D, Tara and the rest of the family that came to help man the booths.  You guys are the BEST!


There were so many fun shots of everyone having a great time, and I tried to slim the pictures down to a reasonable amount but I just couldn’t.  No apologies.


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I love all these pictures of the kids hauling around their “loot”. 

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My favorite shot of Austin. Smile


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The stars of the show!!!


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The wind was blowing too hard and it made singing and blowing out candles a bit tricky. Especially since the special candle I bought were junk and wouldn’t light. But they sure loved eating their special cupcakes, Ethan picked out the cupcake with the sucker “balloons” on top and just ate a sucker instead of a cupcake. Smile

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And that’s a wrap folks!  Until next year! Smile

We had 5 game booths, one face painting booth and one photo booth.  Each of the booths was covered by an awning.  I borrowed a couple of them and then found a great deal at a local grocery store for the rest of them.  I loved how each game had their own space and look.  The kids all walked away with a overflowing box of prizes.


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Duck Pond – They had to match two ducks with the same number on the bottom to get a little glow in the dark ducky prize.


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Ring Toss – We had to drink a LOT of root beer so that I could make this ring toss board.  The prize was a large punch ball balloon, you can see them all hanging from the ceiling of the tent.


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Plinko – My Dad built this AMAZING Plinko game for me, SO THANKFUL!!! I then painted it and pounded in the pegs.  I glued two old CD’s together and painted them for the round disks that plink, plink, plinked to the bottom of the board.  This was a big hit for all ages!


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Ball Toss – I bought a traditional apple bushel basket and painted it and then set it on an angle.  The kids had to throw the waffle balls in for a mini beach ball prize.  For all the games that required the kids to stand behind a line, I made “age line” boards so that they knew how far away to stand.  You can kind of see them in the grass in this pictures.


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Milk Bottle Pyramid – I painted 6 empty baby puff cereal containers gray and then filled them with rocks and stacked them in a pyramid. 


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Face Painting and Tattoos – Marc and Julia were rock star face painters for me.  There were some pretty amazing designs on the faces of the kids at the end of the party.  Thanks guys!

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Photo Booth – I used a refrigerator box to create the photo booth.  We hung a curtain backdrop and then covered it with red and blue wrapping paper.  I made some lip and mustache props and then raided the kids dress-up stuff for the rest.  Oh, and I bought a whole bunch of clown noses that all the kids got to take home with them.


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That sure is a cute boy sitting in the photo booth!

Pictures of my cake and cupcakes.  I made most everything out of gum paste.  The cake on top was rainbow colored layers since that was a specific request from the kiddos.  It all turned out great!


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This party was SO BIG that I have to split it up into multiple posts.


CARNIVAL was our theme this year for Ethan and Addison’s 6th birthday and Austin’s 4th birthday.  It was a theme that all three of them could easily agree upon.  And the party was a HUGE hit.  It took a lot of planning and work, but I loved doing it and the kids loved every bit of it.  Totally worth it.


First up, a look at the decorations. 


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As you walked into the back yard, there was a ticket booth and party favors stand.  The ticket booth I found on Craigs List, and it was an all black Puppet Show Theater.  I painted it white and red stripe.  Then I created a 3D marquee style Tickets sign for the top using this tutorial from Oh Happy Day.  The Tickets sign was one of the first things I made, so it got a little saggy and sad looking by the time the party day arrived.  Still loved it though!


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Behind the booth look.


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As you walked into the backyard, the grass was lined with flags made using this tutorial from the same blog.  In the background you can see all the game booths.  I’ll show pictures of each of the booths in the next post.


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After playing games, you could wander up to the concessions area.  We had the pennant flags strung all over the party, purchased from Oriental Trading Co. and there were about a hundred paper flower balls hanging in the trees.


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I painted the concessions sign that hung right under the awning.


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We had a sweets table set up with all kinds of carnival colored candies.  We (and when I say “we”, I mean Kahly) hand made all the cotton candy for the party using an awesome cotton candy machine I bought.  It was all different flavors and colors and the kids LOVED it.  All the little tags for the candy jars were designed by my sis-in-law D and put together by myself and my friend Bonnie.  I couldn’t have done this party without the wonderful help of family and friends!!!


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For the food and drink table, we had hot dogs on the grill with grilled onions.  Thanks DJ for being the master chef!  I bought a whole bunch of plastic hot dog holders that you can see in the picture with DJ.  This was one of my favorite purchases for the party.  They are perfect for outdoor hot dog BBQ’s and we can use them over and over again.

We also had Soft Pretzels with hot cheese dip, Nachos, a Fruit Salad and Popcorn.  All the popcorn was popped in a vintage popcorn machine that I borrowed from my friend Bonnie.  And a huge thanks to Kahly and Julia for popping an ENORMOUS amount of popcorn.

The drinks were Lemonade, Orange water and Orange Soda. 


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I borrowed and rented tables and chairs and made four centerpieces for the tables.  I didn’t get a good shot of the centerpieces, but they had a large popcorn bucket filled with popcorn and a bundle of balloons weighted down in the center of them.  Then there were vintage Coca-Cola glasses filled with popcorn kernels and a flower.  I loved how this turned out.


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On the other side of the back yard we had a Bounce House (which was totally ghetto cheap, as you can tell by the sagging candles on top and the tears in the mess sides) Smile.  I also bought the Body Boppers from OTC and the kids had a BLAST bopping each other around in them.  Another favorite purchase.  Thanks to my friend Jenna for the cute pictures of Ethan and her boy Logan.


And finally just some pictures from a distance of the whole party.  It turned out almost exactly as I envisioned it when I started this whole adventure a couple months ago.  WAHOO!!!


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We went out to support my Dad, running a marathon, and Kahly, running a half marathon, a couple weeks ago.  This was my Dad’s second marathon and he wanted to try to quality for the Boston marathon.  Unfortunately he didn’t make it, but he did finish the race faster than his first time and he finished running, which was great!  I’m not sure if he’s decided whether or not to try again next year.  When we asked him at the end of the race it was NO, but we’ll see. Smile

Kahly finished her race under the goal time that she had set for herself, so she was happy too. Fun day, for us at least.


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My guess is that this pic is going to be my parents Christmas card. Smile We are all looking at the camera!


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Kyra decided to dress like Green Lantern and run the last few miles with my Dad.  I’m sure she will be thrilled I posted this picture.  Love ya Kyra!


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Post-race recovery time.


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The two CHAMPS!

Austin started preschool this year.  He’s going two days a week at Miss Rosie’s Preschool.  She is a lady in our ward that has been doing preschool out of her home for over 20 years.  So far he loves it!  And when he is gone for the those two hours of school, I am kid free for the first time ever.  It’s a bit surreal.  I miss him A LOT while he is gone.  I also am afraid of “wasting” that alone time and not using it to it’s maximum.  I have too much I want to do all at once!

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My boys being super silly.  They insist on having their hair in a pointy spike in the front now. Who knows where they picked up that style from.


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My babies started Kindergarten!  I’m not sure where the time has gone, but they are all grown up now.  This summer they seemed to grow and mature so much.  They are so smart and inquisitive and love to try new things.  They play together, and with Austin, SO well and are just the bestest of friends.  I’m so lucky to have them all so close in age and to have them get along so perfectly. 

They are doing morning half day Kindergarten and their teacher’s name, get ready for it, is Mrs. Higgenbothom.  That’s a mouth full.  But they’ve already mastered her name and adjusted to their new environment just fine.  The first day of school I walked them to the line of kids waiting outside, stood with them until it was time to walk into the classroom, gave them a big hug and kiss and then they said BYE and didn’t look back.  It’s obviously much harder for Mommy than it is for the kids with this transition. 

I loved our summer break and am already looking forward to the next summer break.  I enjoy having my kids at home with me and miss them when they are gone.  Not to mention, the getting up and out the door early in the morning, driving kids to and from all kinds of activities, etc, is NOT my favorite thing in the world.  I’m officially a Taxi cab Mom.  At least it’s only 4 days a week this year and we get our Fridays together.  Love these cute kids!


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Of course Austin wanted to get in on the “first day of school” action that morning too.  He didn’t start until the following week but we let him pretend with his big bro and sis.


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We also decided to start a new tradition on the first day of school.  Makayla came over and we had donuts for breakfast.  I also set out a balloon and special note for each of them, so they got to come down to a little surprise party that morning. 

Austin and Ethan both played TBall for the first time this summer.  We did it through the YMCA.  It was a great program to just get them familiar with playing and they both had a blast.  Ethan’s team name was Angry Birds, which is the name he suggested.  Austin’s team name was Orange Crush.  They had a couple practices the first 2 weeks and then played “games” for the rest of the season.  The games let everyone bat each inning and run the bases. Not outs, no scores.  It was pretty cute.  My favorite part was the giant helmets they had to wear when batting and running the bases. They looked like bobble-head kids because the helmets were way too big.  Austin’s team was the funniest. 


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After Ethan’s last game, his coach and wife through them an awesome pizza party.  All the cool angry bird plates, bags, toys, masks and cupcakes were all from them.  SUCH nice people.  They made the season so fun for the kids.  Ethan has a great arm and really loved the game.  I think next year we’ll try to find him a coach pitch league, he’s definitely ready for the next level and for a more competitive type of game.


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This is Austin’s best bud Colden.  They spent most of their time in the outfield kicking dirt on each other.


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Austin’s team decided to do trophy’s at the end of their season.  Gotta love their first ever trophy!