Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a beary fun party...

On Sunday, the 25th, we celebrated Ben's 6th birthday at Build-a-Bear, along with 5 of his friends (and one of Emm's).  We all had a beary fun time! :)

The birthday boy:
Ben decided to build a dog instead of a bear:
Getting ready to go make their new stuffed friends:
For the first half hour or so, only two of Ben's friends were there.  (Then the other 3 showed up, all at the same time.)
Ben stuffs his new dog, Spots:
Fluffing Spots:
The boys all chose ribbons to put on their new friends:

The whole group ~ Taylor, Emm, Nick, Dominic, Ben's friend Ben, Xander, Jasper, Ben, and Nicolas:
Promising to take good care of their new friends:
Ben and Spots:
When we were done at Build-a-Bear, we all walked downstairs to the Rainforest Cafe, for cake and presents: 

 We got two volcanooooooo cakes, yum:
 Ben didn't like the smoke coming from the sparklers!:
 Gift time!  A toy car!
 Another new dog!
 Hot Wheels!
Ben loved all his presents, the yummy cake, and spending time with his buddies ~ what a great party! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

school spirit, six years old, and sedum!

Today's blog post is brought to you by the letter S. :)  First, we have School Spirit.  Last week was Spirit Week at Ben's school.  Monday was Luau Day, and since I spent the afternoon volunteering in Ben's classroom, I got dressed up, too:
Tuesay was Pajama Day.  Ben thought it was great fun to wear his pajamas to school, and to take HopHop!
Wacky Wednesday... one orange sock, one blue sock, shirt on backwards, a scarf made by Aunt Christine, and wacky, gelled hair:

Thursday was Rainbow Day.  Each class was assigned a color to wear ~ obviously, Kindergarten was red:
And Friday was School Spirit Day.  Luckily, we had this sweatshirt (that used to be Nick's):
On Saturday, it was time for Emmalie to show her school spirit!  This year, her high school is having a Haunted Homecoming theme.  All the choir kids were invited to help decorate the choir room on Saturday ~ Emm went, and spent several hours decorating:

Monday was Pajama Day for the high schoolers:

Also that day, Ben helped me make birthday cupcakes!

Tuesday, the 20th, was Ben's 6th birthday!  (I can't believe how fast time has flown!!)  He helped me make his cake in the morning:

In the afternoon, we took the cupcakes to school, and Ben's teacher invited me to come in for the mini party at the end of the school day.  The kids were so excited that Ben brought treats!

Also on Tuesday, Emm's school had Super Hero Day.  Emm made use of the Polaris costume Aunt Christine made for her several years ago:
 That evening, the five of us went to Portillo's for supper, Ben's choice:
 When we got home, it was time to open presents!

 Ben was excited about all his gifts: a new bed (not shown here), Cars 2 sheets, a Cars 2 blanket wrap, a Cars 2 toy, 3 new Trucktown books, and a tiny cat that Emmalie knit for him:
 Ben talking on the phone to his grandmas, who called to wish him a happy birthday:
 The birthday boy:
 Time for cake and ice cream!
The new 6-year-old in his new bed with the new sheets (he told me that they were the best, coolest present ever!):
Wednesday was Decades Day at the high school.  Sophomores were supposed to dress up in 90's clothes.  Emm says that's what this is, though it didn't seem "90's" to me:
 Thursday was Haunted Day... spoooooky...:
Friday was Black and Gold Day at SHS, but I didn't get a picture of Emm before she took the black stripes off her face!  (She also wore black and gold/yellow.)

Last of all, here are some pictures of our sedum in bloom.  Some of our plants bloom hot pink:
 And some are a more muted pink:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

suddenly september

I'm not sure how it happened, but, here it is... September, again.  Over Labor Day weekend, we headed to Mendota to see my grandma and my parents, who were visiting her.  We had a good time, and played several rounds of the card game Golf.  Ben has inherited his love of games from his great-grandma, I think! :)
 Emm, Nick, and Ben with their great-grandma:
 With Mom and Dad... showing just how tall the kids have gotten!
 While we were there, Emm worked on her latest knitting project ~ little sachet animals.  These bunnies are filled with lavender:
 And so is this cat:
After spending several hours at Grandma's, and going out for supper, we headed to a nearby hotel.  The kids swam in the pool for awhile, and then we went up to our room to watch movies and sleep.

The next day, the 5th, we drove down to Starved Rock State Park and hiked for a few hours.  I had to go very s...l...o...w...l...y, but I survived. :)  The scenery, as always, was beautiful.

The Illinois River, as seen from the top of Starved Rock:
 The Illinois River and Plum Island:
 A bit of fall color in the forest:
 The kiddos, taking a break:
 Heading back down Starved Rock... lots of steep staircases there!:
 Goldenrod... pretty, but, oh, it makes me sneeze!  Achoo!!
 Along the trail to French Canyon.  There was not much water there this time of year:
George and Ben, walking through French Canyon:
 French Canyon (sometimes there's a waterfall here):
 The crew in French Canyon:
 More stairs, on the way to Wildcat Canyon:
 Boardwalk trail through the forest:
 Looking across Wildcat Canyon from the overlook, to another overlook:
 A very fuzzy caterpillar:
 Wildcat Canyon... we'd like to see this when there's a waterfall sometime!:
The kids in Wildcat Canyon:
 Wildcat Canyon, looking up at the overlook where we'd stood a few minutes earlier:
 George and the boys along the River Trail:
 Ferns along the River Trail:
 Beehive Overlook and the Illinois River:
 Pretty flowers by the Visitor's Center:
We got back home around 3:30pm, and later on George grilled us some Labor Day hamburgers, yum. :)  All in all, it was a good start to September!