Saturday, October 10, 2015

All in a Day

When you only see family a few times a year, it is necessary to fit as much as possible into each day. And given this particular time of year, it was necessary for one of those things to be to get closer for balloon viewing. By chance, we happened past the temple and paused for the photo op.

We still didn't go into the Balloon Fiesta Park, but we found an excellent spot to watch for a while.

Really, it's an awesome thing. Maybe next year we'll actually attend, for real, on purpose.

Then lunch and a nap...

After all that, we took advantage of the swimming pool at the hotel. Good times.

Simon discovered the hot tub. He LOVED sticking just his feet into the water, right in front of one of the jets. He spent the majority of our time at the pool right there.

We had a few minutes to kill while everyone was getting changed out of swimsuits. Audrey read aloud.

The whole point of this trip was to celebrate Megan's birthday. My parents came to visit for Audrey's fifth birthday, one month after we had very first moved to Albuquerque. Megan has never forgotten that and finally, she got her turn this year. That meant that we had to have a birthday party! Lucky for Megan, it's Grandpa's birthday, too. Double celebrating!

We took over the breakfast room at the hotel for dinner and presents. Grandpa was a good sport and wore the birthday crown from Burger King.


You might say that you're getting old if you ask for staplers for your birthday...

Since Ben had his turn to sleep at the hotel last night, tonight we left Audrey and Dalton at the hotel and took the other four home with us. We had gotten everyone bathed and ready for bed when Chris looked outside and noticed this balloon. So close!

We piled our pajama-clad little people into the car and drove over the park where this balloon was demonstrating the "balloon glow."

It's not safe to fly a hot air balloon at night, but the fire lights it up impressively when it's dark. We have yet to see such a thing up close, so this was a fun treat.

The kids really enjoyed it, too.

I picture this framed and displayed in each of their college dorm rooms.

Thanks for a good surprise, Albuquerque.

Friday, October 9, 2015

We Love Visitors

Since we moved three months ago, the first out-of-town relative to visit our new house was ...*drum roll please*... Dalton! Of all people who could come to our house, he's not the one that I would have expected to come very first.

But don't worry, he didn't actually come to Albuquerque alone. We were all quite excited to welcome Grandpa Jeff, Grandma Karrie, Dalton, and Nicole to our little corner of New Mexico. We saw them all for just a few minutes on Thursday evening, then Dalton came to our house to spend the night while Megan stayed with Nicole and Grandma & Grandpa at the hotel.

On Friday morning, we took an adventure out to the Botanic Gardens. Lots of fun with the trains, yet again.

Since it's right next door, we also went to the aquarium.

It was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we met up with Grandpa again to go out to lunch at Golden Corral. And it was there where Simon won the All-Time Worst Blowout Award of all of our four children. Seriously. I won't go into great detail, and I wisely opted not to photograph said accomplishment, but I will say that it was a really good thing that he was sitting in this kind of high chair.

One word: containment.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at our house until it was time for a date. The Dickersons generously offered to watch our 4 kids plus our 2 extra so Chris and I could go out to dinner with just my parents and no little people. It was fantastic--even if the Mexican restaurant we went to didn't serve rice. Sorry, Dad.

Day one of our visit was great. More excitement to come!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Treasure Box 8: Greatness in Smallness

I'm not the tallest person in my family. Of seven children, I am third in age but, now that 17-year-old Michael has passed me up, I am seventh in height at 5' 2".

That's okay with me (though I did tell Chris once that I would like to be resurrected at 5' 5"--doesn't that just seem like a delightful height?). I don't have a problem with being on the shorter end of average. And it works out for me, too, because I really like little things. This picture frame is a good example.

I don't really like gold as a decoration, and I don't care for the design or the coloring at all really, but I love this frame. Why? Because it's tiny and therefore adorable. There are so many things that I love simply because they are small. More of those will show up in this month of posts, I'm sure.

The quote here is funny, too. It's a Dove chocolate wrapper and given my height, it just seemed too perfect to not frame it in an adorably small picture frame.

I do feel somewhat obligated to mention, however, that we had an underwriter come to our house earlier this week in preparation for purchasing life insurance. He very kindly rounded down my weight and rounded up my height--he said I'm 5' 4", though I've never had a doctor's office come up with that number.

Day 7: A Waving Care Bear

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Birthday Success

We don't do birthday parties with friends every year--just every once in a while. So when Megan asked for a friend party this year, I thought back to figure out when she last had a party...and I realized that she never has had a friend party. Ever.

We fixed that today.

Megan invited six friends, because she turned six years old. Conveniently, she asked to invite three pairs of sisters, and they were all able to come. Our theme was Teddy Bear Picnic.

Festivities began with making Honeycomb necklaces while we waited for everyone to arrive. I had also made these teddy bear ear headbands for everyone to wear.

Everyone had their own teddy bear, so we played a game of "Don't Drop It!" Teddy bears had to stay balanced on heads while I gave random instructions for different movements. Last bear standing wins. It was pretty amusing to watch, especially Chris attempting the giant new one.

Then we went for a few rounds of Hot and Cold with my little Care Bear.

Instead of musical chairs, we played Musical Bears. They walked around in circles while the music was playing, then as soon as it stopped they picked up a bear and did the action written on the back.

A Teddy Bear Picnic is nothing without, well, a picnic, but it turned out that the Teddy Bears had lost their picnic basket. Luckily, there were clues to help us find it.

And then we ate.


Finally, strawberry shortcake for dessert.

We had a few minutes left before parents came back to pick everyone up, and that time somehow turned into a major balloon war. No pictures, though. I was worn out by that point.

Aside from the ear headbands, we also gave each of the guests one of these treat bags. I think they turned out really cute!

I think this qualified as a good friend party, don't you?