Monday, August 29, 2011

Community Days

This past weekend was the Sulphur Springs Community Days. Our church helps out with a lot of the activities, which made for a busy weekend for our family! Kristoffer is part of the Fellowship Branch at church, and several months ago he volunteered to be the chairperson for a church wide rummage sale. He has been advertising for people of the congregation to bring their unwanted items to the church garage, and on Thursday when we went to sort out everything we were very overwhelmed surprised by home much stuff people had brought! We spent Thursday and Friday evenings organizing (the best we could) all of the items, and then Saturday morning at we got to the church around 5:30am to get everything set out and ready to go!
(Yes, my hunky husband has two cookies in his hands...that was his breakfast!)

Kristoffer made some neon signs to attract the crowds!

Which way is the sale?!

It took every table the church had, and much of the pavement, to get all of the items out of the garage.

Our friends Ryan and Mikka, who gave up their time on Thursday and Friday to help sort, showed up to man the sale while Kristoffer and I ran our church's "Run in the Son" 5K. Neither of us had run any sort of race since the mini-marathon back in 2004, so this was a different experience for us. Kristoffer finished in 27:11 (I think...I'm sure he will correct me if that is wrong) and I finished in 31:04. We both accomplished our pre-race goals...Kristoffer a sub 30min time and me under 40!

After the race it was back to the rummage sale for Kristoffer and I had to get the church float ready for the parade.

The boys and I road on the Pandamania themed float with some of the kids from our church, while other adults passed out water as we made our way through town!

At the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but had raised over $700 dollars at the rummage sale! All of the proceeds are going back into the community...50% to the community fund and 50% into the education fund for two of our kids at church, who tragically lost their dad in an auto accident two weeks ago. Our church has had a rough couple of weeks as we cope with the loss of one of our own, so it was nice to join together, have some fun, and raise money to help out part of our "family"!

This was my first community days, and I had a blast. I joked that maybe next year I will get more involved, since this year I just eased into things...but I wouldn't of had it any other way!! Our family feels so blessed to live in this community, and to be able to raise our boys with so many people who love us...and who we love!! What a great community we live in!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Operation No-Pacifier

It seems like just yesterday we were forcing trying so hard for Mr. Kaden to take his pacifier to help him stop screaming at the top of his lungs soothe him. Now, fast forward 18 1/2 months and Kaden is desperately attached to his pacifier to sleep. Around the time he turned 1 we stopped allowing him to have his pacifier during the day. There is just something about a baby walking around with a pacifier in his mouth that rubs me the wrong way. Although he has been sleeping through the night since around 3 or 4 months, for the past few months we have had to get up several times a night just to give him his darn pacifier. Two weeks ago we had to get up SIX times in one night and the next day we decided that's it with the pacifier. So the following Monday when Kaden woke up, we said good-bye to the pacifiers and then through them away. Of course, he didn't know what that meant until nap time rolled around!

If you've ever meet Kado, you know he has a temper and is incredibly stubborn. So we were very nervous about how "Operation No-Pacifier" was going to pan out. The first day he screamed for 20 minutes. I had to go in twice to get his chubby little legs from between the bars of his crib, but after 20 min he was out....and napped for 3 1/2 hours! That night he cried for about 10 min. The next day he fussed for just a bit, but then we laid him back down and he was fine. We are still amazed at how easily he gave it up! Now, he really enjoys being in his crib, and we love the sound of his sweet voice as he talks himself to sleep on the monitor! And...we have all slept some of the best nights of sleep we have had in a LONG time!!!
Operation No-Pacifier = SUCCESS!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hard Working Man

Tonight I just have to brag about my handsome husband a bit! It isn't often enough that I thank him for everything he does for our family. Not only does he put in long hours at work, but then he also comes home and plays hard with the boys at night, allowing me a few moments of peace! He works so hard for our family so that I am able to stay home and raise our boys, and is setting such a wonderful example of a hardworking man for our boys...what a blessing he is!

On Friday Kristoffer got quite the surprise at work...the boys and I met him at his office after work on Friday, and as he was taking Karter into the bathroom he handed me a piece of paper and just told me to look at it. I was so surprised when I read the paper and saw had gotten a promotion!! His boss had just asked to meet with him and told him they wanted to reward his hard work...what a nice surprise!! I am SO proud of Kristoffer, and very happy that people at work are noticing all of his hard work too!

Of course, we had to have a little celebration, and Kristoffer got to pick a meal and enjoy it off of the "Special Day" plate!!

Congratulations babe...I am SO proud of you!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Olivia's 1st Birthday

A few months ago my sister in-law Joscelynn asked me to make some cookies and the cake for our beautiful nieces first birthday. I have been planning for this party since the day she asked me! I love making fun things for my boys, but there was just something new and exciting about making pink things!!

The time finally came after vacation to put my plan into action! Jos wanted a girly ladybug theme, so I made some white flowers with ladybugs on the petals and big pink ladybugs.

The theme for the cake was a ladybug leaving its tracks around the cake, so I made some #1 cookies to match.

The Saturday before the party I packaged the cookies, made a large cake, cupcakes and a small cake for Olivia to smash. Most of the major work was done, and all I needed to do was the finishing touches when we arrived at their house. So the next morning we woke up early and loaded up our van for our journey to Chicago. We arrived at their house while they were still at church, so I was hoping to finish up my work and be done before they got home....

...that was until I opened the cake box and saw this! I had made a ruffle cake (inspired by this one) for Olivia, and apparently the icing didn't actually adhere to the cake. With all of the shaking it had to endure on the drive, the icing slid off the cake!

While I was trying not to panic, Kristoffer was being super dad and kept the kids out of my way occupied the kids in the other room!

I didn't bring the tip I needed to redo the ruffle, so I used what I had and "made it work". I smoothed out the icing and made the flower/ladybug track pattern that the big cake had.

Thankfully the top didn't get messed up, I loved the Olivia in tracks!

The big cake was white cake with pink buttercream. The accents were all made of fondant.

Cupcakes with fondant/gum paste flowers and ladybugs.

The larger cookies were packaged as party favors for the gifts, and these were out as a platter to go with the cake and ice cream.

All ready to dive in!

I am so glad that we were able to be a part of our sweet Olivia's birthday. This little cutie is totally smitten with her Daddy, and was making googly eyes at him when I took this picture!

She wasn't scared a bit and started out eating all of the decorations!

Who needs hands when you can just dive right in, face first!

Olivia sat contently for a long time eating her cake!


She made quite the dent and ate all of the decorations!!

Happy 1st belated birthday to you, Miss Livi!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beach Time Part 3 - Family Time

Finally....the third installment to our beach vacation!! We have had some exciting and very time consuming things going on lately, and soon we will share some of our excitement (no, we are not pregnant!).

Besides enjoying relaxing and eating while on vacation, of course our favorite part was spending some much time together as a family. We loved having Kristoffer for 10 ful days and spending some quality time with most of our Gray family.
Kaden is a total Papaw's boy and loved playing in the sand and surf with his Papaw!

Papaw has a way of entertaining Kado that not many people can match!

Mama and her babe!

Ask Karter what his favorite thing was about the beach, and each time he will tell you something different. He really did love it all! But he spent most of his time picking up shells and throwing them in the water.

Kaden loves to honk noses, and Uncle Zach was his favorite target!

As the week went on, Karter loved being in the water more and more, but he hated to be knocked down by the waves. At the beginning of the week the water was real choppy and he got knocked down a couple times. Luckily Papaw was there to help him up!

We are read A LOT of books to the boys during the week. If you were seated in the living room, you were far game to read!

Brotherly love!

After dinner each night we came back to the house and took the boys back down to the water. Karter likes to keep attendance of where everyone is at all times, and asked everyone if they were all coming down to the water too. He was happy to play frisbee with Anique and Zach.

Playing in the sand with our little babe!

Karter and I spent a lot of time gathering shells together and then looking at them all, picking out our favorites. We liked to pretend that the broken bits of the scallop shells were chips! We had a little trouble convincing Kaden that we were just pretending, and they weren't actually food!

Daddy and his boys!

I was reading on the beach and saw Kristoffer heading to the water with the boys and thought I would go in the help him. As I got in the water, Karter told me to go sit back down, they were fine without me! The boys (and mommy) LOVED having Daddy around all the time!

Aunt Nique and Uncle Kamaron couldn't resist reading a few books!

Kaden destroying helping Daddy build a sandcastle.

Hanging out in our "pool".

Karter was showing off the curly shell Gramaw found.

We used to love napping on the beach "pre K", but that is a thing of our past! Both boys thought it was funny to harass those who were napping! Karter would always ask, "Mommy, why are they napping? It isn't nap time yet!".

Family time!

The boys had so much fun playing with Kamaron and Anique...we really wish we could see them more often!

Picking out shells.

Karter heading out into the water with Daddy.

What a wonderful week at one of our favorite places on Earth, spending quality time with our family!! Can't wait until next year!! :)