Monday, February 27, 2012

Kiera turns 6!!!

What a crazy fun last couple weeks! We returned on Wed. from spending an incredible week at my sister Tami's in Duluth along with my sister Lisa, daughter Rylee, and my mom. Ryan had his annual Winter retreat, Kiera had no school, so we headed North! We picked up the WA folk in Minneapolis on the way and decided that relaxing was our only agenda for the week. The kids had a blast playing together and the adults had fun just catching up on life and sharing many side splitting laughs! It was so fun to go ice skating, roller skating, sledding, eating meals out together, having movie nights, and just enjoying family. It was so fun to see my niece who wasn't walking the last time we saw her. She was so much fun to play with and cuddle! They grow up way too fast! Oma spoiled us tons and we look forward to seeing them again this summer sometime! We headed home to a weekend full of birthday celebrations!

Kiera turned 6 yesterday and was one spoiled little girl! We decided that since this was her first year in school, we would have a party and invite the girls in her class. Since Kiera brings home 2 Fancy Nancy books every week from the library, we decided on throwing a Fancy Nancy Tea Party. I am proud to say it was a HUGE success!!! The girls arrived in their fabulous attire and had a divine time! We had a photo booth, lots of crafts to do, some games, and finished the party off with parfaits! I really enjoyed getting ready for this party and it was fun to see the girls having such a fun time together. On Sunday the Link clan came over for spaghetti (Kiera's favorite) and parfaits. It was fun being together and celebrating Uncle TJ's birthday as well as Kiera's.

The highlight of the weekend for Kiera was being able to get her ears pierced on Saturday. The tradition in the Rouw family is that at age 6 you can get your ears pierced. I decided to continue this tradition and Kiera and I had been talking about it the past couple months. I wasn't sure if she would follow through and told her she didn't have to get it done, but she really wanted to. I was so proud of her and she looks so grown up now in her earrings!!! Even Grandma got to be a part of the experience and we so appreciated her help this weekend!

Enjoy these pictures!!!

Our Teapot cupcakes

Fancy Kiera

Brothers who were not too excited to be in the picture...they just wanted to eat cupcakes
Our Fancy Nancy tea party set up
They got to decorate their place mats, each utensil had a jewel on it, Kiera made name tags, and they made their own fans to add to their ensemble.
I was very proud of the photo turned out really cute!
Most of the girls (Ryan's mom brought hats for them all to wear)
These 2 girls just cracked me up. They asked if they could pose for the about some attitude!!!
My plan is to use the pictures as thank you notes
Playing the "Packing for Paris" relay...pretty excited!
Decorating their placemats

Opening gifts
One of the parfaits
Getting ready for the ear piercing
The finished product!
The Van Hulzen cousins singing cha cha cha rah rah rah....
Kiera and her Mrs. Hight at her birthday celebration at school. We brought popcorn balls to celebrate! They were a hit!
Her brothers enjoying the school snack at their own table...they thought they were big stuff!
Our precious birthday girl! We love you so much Kiera!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What? It's February???

Oh my...where does the time go? I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since I've posted. I can't really say we've been doing a whole lot of exciting things, but we have been staying busy. It's always hard for me to get back into "life" after the holidays and I think God knew this so he sent us lots of sunshine! January is on record for being the warmest ever in this area! We had so many 40 and 50 degree days, it was incredible! I finally put the bikes back in the garage and left outdoor toys more accessible since we've been going outside practically every afternoon since the New Year. We have received maybe one bad snowstorm and it amounted to about 6 inches that melted very quickly. The kids got a couple days in the snow, but now we are all brown again and bracing for cold weather. Yesterday I was freezing and could not get warm. Ryan just laughed and said "Hon, it's only like 20 degrees"...I guess we've been a little spoiled. I just hope warm winter doesn't mean we will have snow in July. Yikes!

Kiera has been staying busy with school and we were able to attend another great parent/teacher conference at her school this week. She is a wonderful student and is progressing so well. It made us most proud to hear of her kindness to others and respect for authority. We're pretty proud of our little girl! She continues to spend her afternoons entertaining her brothers and nurturing her imagination. Her favorite activity right now is coloring. She loves to get all her crayons and books out when the boys go to bed and then we sit at the table coloring while she literally talks my ear off. I have learned so much about her and her world through our little coloring dates! I must say that coloring is actually very stress relieving as well!

The boys have definitely left the terrible twos and entered a much more content era. Boy are we happy! Some days I feel as if "I have arrived" because I'm doing less and less for them and enjoying them more because we aren't so busy doing the day to day stuff. Not sure if that makes sense, but all of you with multiples I'm sure totally get it or will get it someday! For example: they met the height and weight requirements for a booster seat with a back. My errands used to take so long because I would have to buckle all the 5 point harnesses, shut all the car doors get kids in and out etc etc. Now I open the doors, sit in my seat and wait for Kiera to buckle them (if she's around). They can unbuckle on their own (so far haven't had issues while we are driving) and climb out on their own! See! I have arrived!!!! I know, I know...I rejoice over the little things....

We have had a fairly healthy winter until last week. All 3 kids decided to get the stomach flu AT THE SAME TIME! YUCK!!!! Ryan and I just laughed because there wasn't much else to do. Thankfully that meant they were done together and we didn't have to hold our breath for the next one. Unfortunately I got it a few days later but Ryan has managed to escape it thus far. I am not so thankful for the 9 loads of laundry that I did the next day. Ugh.

We continue to keep busy with church activities, story hour, and outings with friends. Opa & Oma got us a year pass to the Children's Museum here in town, so we are enjoying that a lot. We are looking forward to Kiera's birthday in a couple weeks and a much anticipated visit from my Mom and sister Lisa and niece Rylee. It's been over 6 months since we've seen them last so we are super excited to get together! We appreciate all your prayers for good health for all so we can enjoy our time together!

I'll leave you with some funny conversations from the boys. I love this age of innocence! Never a dull moment in our house!

~Joel says to Caleb after Caleb sneezed and got snot all over his face "Caleb, you have sneeze on your face"

~After Joel made some very distinct sounds in his diaper Caleb says to me "Mommy, Joel burped in his diaper!"

~Joel: "Mommy, I don't want to go downstairs, there's lions". Me: "Lions only live in the zoo. You don't have to be afraid, Jesus is always with you." Joel then heads downstairs while Caleb and I watch from the top...Caleb yells down "Do you see Baby Jesus?" I think my boys are going to grow up thinking that Jesus doesn't live in our hearts, He lives in our basement. (And thank you big sister for telling your brothers there are lions in the basement.)

A few weeks later we repeat the same scenario and as Joel heads down the steps he asks Caleb, "Is Jesus on my back?" Caleb replies "Yep, he's on your back!" Good thing to remember that God always has our backs, doesn't he?

This is generally how the kids sit to get books read to them. Doesn't Caleb look thrilled?
One Saturday morning the kids had set up the coffee table with all party stuff to say "thank you" to daddy for all he does...very sweet and they were very proud of their work and made sure we all wore our hats! We had strawberry muffins to celebrate with. (Not sure why mom never gets these parties...guess I have to work harder ;) )