On the eve of St. Patrick's Daytwelve years ago, we welcomed our second baby girl into the world! I never would have guessed how amazing she would become. It's such a blessing to have daughters that are sweet and kind and so aware and helpful and just so in tune with what is going on all around you. I'm just in awe at how blessed I am to have such great kids!! We had a blast celebrating Ariel's birthday - started off with a fun breakfast of monkey bread, eggs and strawberries (she's known as our "Spunky Monkey"!). Then I took Rose on up to our local homeschooling ice skating day, totally planned last minute and all by God!!! It was rescheduled from a snowy February day when they had to cancel it. So how perfect was that to land on our sweet girl's birthday?!! ++thank you, God!!++ Then in the evening, I took my middle bunch to A Wrinkle In Time, since that's the read aloud we are currently reading. Here's a peek at our wonderful day together...
**ICE SKATING FUN**
Melody gave the sweetest gift to Ariel for her birthday.... and that was by being such a good big sister to Rose (only 5 years old) and sticking close to her and helping her skate. Melody knew that since it was Rose's first time ice skating, she would need a big sissy to help her out. Wasn't that so sweet?!! I love my big kids SO much! They are the BEST helpers!!
And I have to send out a huge shout out and thank you to my wonderful hubby, who stayed home with the littles the whole day since I was out running the town with the birthday girl to celebrate her special day. Such a great daddy and husband!!
++Thank you, God, for the last 12 years with our beautiful Ariel! Please bless her abundantly over this next year and bring her even closer to You!++
We have another driver in the house!! Well, a driver-in-training, I mean...
++St. Christopher, pray for us!!++
Mario turned 15 last month. (He's the second of our February birthdays)
As our kids get older, the celebrations become more simple. Still a great reason to celebrate, but not the fanfare of big themed birthday parties. They are growing up and it's just not the teenage-in-style thing to do. So Neil took Mario out with some cousins and friends to go see one of the new Marvel movies and out to eat to celebrate, along with our own celebrations here at home and making the day all about him.
++Thank you, Lord, for Mario!! Please help him feel your love and presence all throughout the next year!!++
Our fifth young one, Max, turned ten last month! He's officially in double digits!! What a blessing he is - he's so calm and sweet and helpful and I can't say enough sweet things about him!! I thank God for him every day!
It's so much fun every year throwing our kids a fun themed party with their friends. And it's always chosen around their interests and likes. Our kids love playing and building and being creative while playing Minecraft, so it was no surprise that Max chose that as his theme for this year's party.
Slime Balls (green grapes)
TNT (red licorice)
(not so) Raw Fish
(fish sticks, which was perfect since the party was on a Friday)
Water (blue jello jigglers)
Healing Potion (Gatorade)
(you can find many free printable versions online, like the one I found)
Knock Over the Zombies
Minecraft on the Wii
++Thank you, Lord, for Max!! Please help him feel your love and presence all throughout the next year!!++
This past weekend, a couple friends and I got together and assembled some salads in a jar for the upcoming week for easy ready to go lunches. They not only were healthy (like 5-6 servings of awesome veggies!) but also so pretty and colorful.
The night before I chopped up my veggies. I brought these 3 toppings and had the best helpers (including my awesome hubby!)....
My friends brought these toppings for their salads:
And we each brought our own dressing to share.
Here's a look at how we laid everything out during the assembly. We started in the bottom left (looking at the picture) and worked our way around clockwise...
Here's the order of putting things in your jar: 1. dressing 2. crisper veggies/toppings - we had carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers 3. less crispy veggies/toppings - we had tomatoes, eggs, cranberries 4. cheese and nuts (proteins) - we had sliced almonds, pecans, and feta cheese 5. salad - we had spring mix and spinach, but you can also include iceberg lettuce and romaine
And a look at the final product....
Aren't they SO pretty and colorful??!!
I'd say it took an hour or less to assemble them, but of course we chatted a bit, so it was probably an hour and a half total. Not too bad, I'd say!! Two of us made up 5 and our other friend made 4 of them.
Today was day 3 after making them, and it was still fresh as ever and SO yummy! Definitely going to keep making these and it's a great reason to get together with friends.