Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Boo Day!!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Memories made with Granddaddy and Mimi

I mentioned several days ago that we had family in town for a visit. Granddaddy and Mimi were with us for just over a week...a week that went by way to fast. I was thankful for the time that we were able to spend with these two. It was a first visit to see us, so we were very grateful for the opportunity to show them a glimpse of our little Minnesota. I was giddy every day waking up knowing that our little men were going to get to spend time with their great-grandfather that day making memories that I pray they will always remember. There certainly won't be a lack of documentation to commemorate the occasion. I got everything. ;)

Pictures of our trip to Emma Krumbees and the pumpkin patch. (above)
Pictures of the boys snuggling up for story-time just before bed.

Pictures of sugar cookie Halloween cut-outs and decorating.

Ultimately, we let Parker and Cooper do most of the decorating themselves (with a little assistance of course); I thought they did a really good job. Although, we believe more icing went in Cooper's mouth than on his cookies!

Pictures of the fun birthday celebration at Chuck E Cheese.
(Clay's dad's birthday happened to be during their visit, so Granddaddy treated us to Chuck E Cheese that day. We made a Happy Birthday sign, had a waiter take our picture and then sent it to Poppie back in Texas.)

The boys played hard...all 4 of them.
...and took the games quite seriously sometimes.

Pictures out at a local restaurant.
After lunch, they were able to steal a glance of a few of the Minnesota lakes and parks that we frequently visit.
Pictures from our trip to Downtown Minneapolis.
(I ended up not taking very many pictures outside, due to the fact that dear hubby was slightly concerned the camera might disappear quickly with a few of our nearby bystanders. I agreed.)

Pictures of our excursion to the Mall of America.
While there, a ski and snowboard event was going on, featuring local ski hills and and stores. (Cue angelic praise choir for my husband). He disappeared for a few moments. ;) We found him here soon after his departure...with Parker on his shoulders, they were watching a nationally recognized  trampoline travelling group performing stunts. I did not get pictures of it, but I do wish I had taken shots of them performing with the snowboards on their feet...u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e. You wouldn't catch me jumping that high without boards attached to my feet. After hubby had a chance to go around and enter all the drawings for free ski passes, we continued on our merry little way.
We made sure to show them Lego Land at MOA.
Pictures of togetherness.
We cherished our visits after the boys went down for bedtime, our mealtimes, and all of the outings. What meant so much to us was that we were able to show them so much of our everyday life...our church, Parker's pre-school and teachers, our bedtime routine...they saw it all. Now, when we chat with them and mention things, they will be able to picture it. Many more pictures were taken and many many memories made; the boys ate up every minute of them being here. We all did.
Granddaddy and Marilyn, THANK YOU for coming to see us! We loved having y'all here and we will expect another trip in the near future...during the warmer months. :) Love y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bumblebee the Transformer and the Littlest Peter Pan

Last night our family ventured out to the Chan Rec Center's Halloween Party.
One child as Peter Pan and one little boy as Bumblebee. Happy little boys they were. (Well, before leaving the house, Peter Pan did have a minor breakdown...he did not want to wear his Peter Pan shoes but his froggy boots instead. It was a slight battle to get the Peter Pan shoes on. A rather hilarious ordeal truthfully. Once we arrived on site, all sad wishes for the froggy boots were forgotten however. :))
The center was decked out with fun carnival games for the kids, a Magic Show, a Hayride, juice and cookies for a family treat, and of course lots of trick or treating. Clay and I enjoyed watching every little expression that crossed Cooper's face throughout the evening. He would stare in wonderment at all the costumes (especially the adult ones - the Superman, the zebra and the clown entertained him the most). Parker was just all smiles the whole night! :)
Though Cooper was not quite sure of what was going on at first, he totally got the hang of it quickly. Instead of saying, "trick or treat," he would walk up to the large characters, open his bag and proclaim, "Mohr! Mohr!" (for "More"). It was hilarious! The entire time we were walking around each of the carnival games, Cooper had his little hands inside that treat bag trying to grab out goodies to either eat or play with. His daddy and I had to keep a close eye on that little one!!

Parker had his first face painting experience; he opted for a bat. I loved getting to see all of this; I am so thankful I got to see their happiness, their expressions, their curiosity. What a special evening it was for Clay and me! We feel as if our boys are growing up so so quickly!!

Cooper finally snuck a Tootsie Pop out of his bag before we could stop him. After inhaling some juice and cookies, this little stinker popped this thing in his mouth and very happily started dancing and looking around the room enjoying himself quite immensely. (We did have to take the sucker away eventually, and unfortunately, tears were shed...until we left the room and saw more "treat people" who he immediately ran up to and asked for "More, More!" which they added sweet candy to his bag. He was happy again.)

Family photo:
(Cooper was not smiling because we made him put down his treat bag. ha ha! The little stinker!!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a visit from the "greats"

We are blessed and thankful to have Granddaddy and Mimi in town with us for a visit. The boys are happily enjoying the storytimes, playtimes and special time with their "greats." We are enjoying sharing in Fall festivities with our family while we make memories that we, and our boys, will cherish for a lifetime.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cooper's Little Red Wagon Party

Last weekend, we had Cooper's 2nd birthday party. I was sooo excited about this event, because it had been awhile since I had "planned" a birthday party. (Parker has had his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese the past two years and Cooper's was very last minute last year. :( ). I started thinking about the party months ago and knew I wanted it to be outside if the weather allowed. My thoughts kept going toward a Little Red Wagon theme, so I allowed all the natural ideas to come into play and decided to have fun with this!!!
Invites were ordered from Etsy; I thought they were adorable!
I kept going back and forth on having the party at an Apple Orchard/Pumpkin Patch or a park and decided on the park venue so that the kids could play hard on the playground. :) What I did not plan on was after not having rain for like months, it raining the DAY OF OUR PARTY. Option B went into effect at 8:30 Saturday morning when I looked outside at the overcast sky and few sprinkles. I decided to split the party...half the time at the park and half the time at our house. The rain actually held off while we were at the park but the temps were rather chilly. Each of the kids had a blast climbing and running on the large and complex playground area then were all ready to get inside to warmer temps and food within an hour. Approximately 35 friends and their children drove over to our house where I had the toys ready for the kids to play downstairs while I prepped lunch. Clay was manning the grill and I was in the kitchen. Thanks to our wonderful friends, it turned out fantastic! Some helped me in the kitchen while visiting and others promised to watch the kiddos while they played with the toys downstairs. They were sweet in understanding that things were a little bit crazy with the party plan change-up.
In terms of preparation for the party, we already had a Radio Flyer wagon and a miniature Radio Flyer wagon, so that helped with props. Gifts for the birthday boy filled the large wagon and the small version sat beside the party favor bags.
Party favor bags consisted on a variety of items depending on age and gender of child. Some of the items included sunglasses, small playdough containers, Disney playpacks and Halloween Fruit Snacks. Each family was to take a carton of Cracker Jacks to snack on on the way home.
A few nights before the party, I asked dear hubby to take on the project of the drafting and cutting out of the pieces for the little red wagon cut out for the favor bags. He totally exceeded my expectations! I loved the way they turned out! My original idea was to use muslim or burlap bags with a simple wagon stamp on the front, but this idea was neither affordable or workable into our time frame. However, after seeing these in their completed form, I might like the brown paper bags better. :)  

The night before the party, I put together this banner that showed a variety of pictures of Cooper that spanned the last two years. The banner was hung over the bar area where the food was; the red wagon displaying the gifts was placed on the floor below the banner.

For lunch, we kept it simple with burgers, chips and dip, veggies, and fruit kabobs. Old fashioned lemon drops and Twizzlers rested in Mason jars for the guests to munch on throughout the party. Drinks were served in large mason jars and topped with red striped paper straws.
The food was totally devoured, which Clay and I loved to see. :)
The cake came from Sam's (we LOVE the taste of their cakes and they are priced great!). The tasting of the cake was fabulous as usual; I was disappointed with the "look" of it though. Instead of an icing or 3D decoration of a red wagon, they used an edible image...totally not a fan. Note to self: will not EVER use edible imaging on cakes again unless printing a picture off of someone to include on cake.

Here are all the precious children. It was a joy having them all here!

The downstairs living room got put to use. ;) (I should have included a "before" picture. ha ha!)

And the "after" kitchen shot. I did not get to spend more than a few minutes total behind my camera during this party, so the pictures were not at all the quality I wanted. However, I was so excited that I captured the important stuff that I want to remember about the day. I am totally fine and happy with the prints I got. The Little Red Wagon Party was fun, loud, busy and memorable for Clay and me, and hopefully for the birthday boy as well.
 Thanks to all our wonderful friends who came out to wish Cooper a Happy Birthday! We hope you each had the wonderful time that we did!
...we love you so, sweet Cooper!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

our little mr. mr. is TWO!!

Last week, our precious little Cooper turned TWO!! Time is flying by waaay too quickly around here. As I type this, I am listening to #1 on my playlist, "Blink" by Revive...getting a little teary-eyed over here! :) It is Tuesday afternoon and I have a TON of things to cross off my "to do's" during the brief naptime today, because this morning I chose to hold Cooper instead of working on the house. I am determined to briefly record a few thoughts on our mr. mr. before another week goes by though. Before I know it, he will be two and a half and the thoughts still won't be recorded. :)
Cooper Bennett at Two:
Weight: 29 lbs (60th %)
Height: 36 3/4" (94th %)
Clothing size: 2T
Shoe Size: 7 1/2
Size 4 diapers (probably not for much longer)
Food: somewhat picky. Loves spaghetti and lasagna, cheese, broccoli and cheese, peanut butter, honey, grapes (any kind of fruit really), sweets and juice (though unfortunately for you, you aren't granted them very often ;))
Food you rarely will eat: tomatoes, raw veggies of any sort
Your daddy and I have started grating veggies into your meals so that you get more of it because that's sometimes the only way you will eat it.
Favorites: Tractors!!!! Trucks & cars, balls, playdough, blankie and paci (aka "kee kee" and "b"), stacking blocks, walks in the stroller, doing big things with "the boys", wrestling with daddy and Bubby
Personality: Social, outspoken, strong-willed, flexible (unless it comes to sleep), very happy (when you are especially happy about something, you will run around chiming, "appy, appy aaapppy!" with this huge grin on your face)
Other randoms about You:
You still like to put almost everything in your mouth. You still pick at and eat fuzz. You like to go on walks in your stroller and relax. You take your best poops when you run off and shut yourself off in a closet or a room alone for a few minutes. (everyone really wanted to know that I am sure.) Bedtime: you and Parker are currently sharing a room and you are still in your crib sleeping great most nights. This summer bedtime was later...around 8:30 and sometimes with it getting darker earlier, we have backed it up to 7-7:30 most nights. Tv shows that get your attention (although it is rare that you sit and watch them): Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins (Disney)...and a few others off of Disney Jr and PBS. You sleep till anytime between 8-9:30am most mornings so you miss the shows that "Bubby" watches like "The Cat in the Hat" and "Curious George". About two mornings a week you are up by 7/7:30am (you are usually fussy on those days for most of the day.) You take anywhere between an 1 1/2-3 hour nap every afternoon. It is an extreme rareity if you miss. You had tubes put in recently!! Yea! So far, no more ear infections! Mama will affectionally call you little mr. mr. or her "Angel B" and she has no idea where they came from.
Words Cooper says all the time: "Mo!" (for "No!"), "Up peas" (please), "Move Peas", "Mama" or "Mom", "Daddy" or "Gaddy", "Bubby" (for brother), "E-I-E-I-O" stands for anything having to do with tractors, a farm, or construction trucks ha ha!, "Mohr" (more), "ow-ee" or "oww" for a booboo, "moo moo" or "awrf awrf" for just about any kind of animal he sees, "juice" (watching him shape his little lips for this one is adorable), "milk", "bye bye", "nigh nigh," "gah gone" (all done), "why,"  (said in quite the whiney voice,  might add!) "baby," "keese" for cheese and please," "geh down," "Mine," "Hol me"...he says a lot of other random words to repeat what we say but these are the ones most frequently heard around here.
You love stacking blocks. You love making things with playdough. You love mommy holding you. You like us to read books to you (as of this summer). You still have extremely sensitive skin. Busy, Busy, Busy. You love making Big Big messes :) Love riding "horsee" that Nana and Poppie gave me last Christmas. Love dressing up with Bubby. You like comfy, soft things like stuffed animals, satin and fuzzy blankees, sweaters, coats that are warm, and your froggy boots (handed down from Parker).

Love you so much, Cooper.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Harvest Hoedown at Gale Woods Farm

This past weekend, the boys and I met up with some friends at Gale Woods Farm for their annual Harvest Hoedown. My little men were all smiles on the way there and all smiles on the way back! Cooper knew we were going to a farm and would see animals, so the whole way there all Parker and I heard was Cooper's rendition of "Old MacDonald had a Farm"...which is literally "Eeee-Iiii-Eeee-Iiii-Oooooohhhhhhhh" over and over and over. Turning up Wee Sing in the Cd player totally did not work; Cooper just sang louder and more confidently. ;) 


Running, jumping and climbing over hay bales at sunset, seeing chickens and roosters clucking and strutting in their cages, taking a ride on the tractor trailer after dusk, "twirling" apples and then dipping the juicy fruit in flavorful honey dip, and sipping mulled cider...we crossed quite a few things off of our "Fall Bucket List." It was rather fun!