Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Lala Day!!

Fantastic fun at Chuck E. Cheese's...need I say more? Lauren has asked to have her party there for the last 4 months, so we choked down the pizza, forked out a pound of quarters and took a few tylenol to kill the buzz. I'd forgotten what a sensory overload that place is; perfect for the 4 year old mind. She's still talking about it today. (This is not of course the Wizard of Oz, turn our house into the Emrald City, home made meal and Todo cookies I'd envisioned...but then again it's not MY birthday.)
We took cupcakes to church today and her class had a picnic outside an sang the birthday song. Tomorrow we'll have pancakes with sprinkles and candles and an FHE all about the blessing of Lauren in our family. It's a week long celebration! This house is always having a party it seems...thank goodness for hard wood floors!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Princess Halloween!

Like a true surgeon, Nick carved every detail of our Princess Castle pumpkin with zeal. The girls were mesmerized and insisted on keeping it to show Santa. I can't begin to understand where they get all their crazy ideas.

We trick-or-treated with neighbors Ava and MaryScarlett. I really believe these are the best opportunities to get to know your 'real' neighbors. I was quite surprised and can't publish all my findings, but mostly gratified to see lots of families who love each other. We were quite the rat pack of princesses and fairies. The girls got at least 10 lbs of candy off just 3 streets and were ready for the bath tub pretty early. All that anticipation really wears ya out!

Who doesn't like Cold Stone??

FHE is never so good as when it ends at Cold Stone. My kids love ice cream in a way that leaves nothing to the imagination. I am thankful though, because an ice cream really can fix anything. But what do you do when it's all gone?....
"Mine all gone!" There was no substituting the half melted, blue cotton candy with gummy bear ice cream for all the world.

This was also the same day that I heard Lauren praying in her room to find her baby doll. Those sweet moments make every noisy FHE, wiggly sacrament meeting and ornery moment worth it.

Nature Center with Sophia!

Lauren and Sophia had a Halloween play date at the Nature center where they learned about bugs, spiders, bats and snakes. Then they made bats that could fly and spiders out of Oreo cookies. Savannah got to have an oreo too, but was a little young for the class. Age 3 is magical in so many ways...Savannah's countdown begins!

Biscuits and Bluegrass at Loveless Cafe

Those of you unfamiliar with Tennessee traditions, Loveless Cafe has been serving their famous biscuits since 1951. Frequented by stars, tourists and locals, it's a favorite spot for our family too! Their annual "Biscuits and Bluegrass" is free for everyone and full of fun, local arts and crafts, moonwalk, horse rides, jewelry making for kids and those famous BISCUITS, what else!!

Another free treat, they always taste the best!

I cut my own bangs (obviously), after watching The Devil Wears Prada. 11:30 at night not the best time for making these decisions I've come to find. I've since grown them out but enjoyed that "I'm 20something trying to look like I'm 12" look for a while. No Rachel, not everyone looks better with bangs.

Look Danielle, come to Vandy!!

Vanderbilt has a (very well funded) club called the Vanderbilt House Staff Alliance aka: VHA that I'm always talking about. It's for spouses/sig.others of doctors who come to Vandy. Jan Jacobson is one of the generous benefactors and had made VHA a life line for Resident families.
We have weekly playgroups, and monthly big events. There are lots of family activities, couple date nights (babysitting provided) and volunteer opportunities. With all the great examples of Copley Women to support me, I jumped right in and feel like we have a new family here.
Above, we're at Gentry Pumpkin Farm sponsored by VHA (so free snacks, drinks, and $15 admission). They have acre after beautiful acre of ponds, farm animals, tire swings, hay maze barn, chickens, bridges, boats, hay rides, grain play areas, pumpkin patches...
The girls loved playing in the outhouse next to the miniature log cabin. I can't quite see the appeal, but it did have a little crescent moon cut-out on the door...
Lauren in the hay maze going through the "mouse hole"

Over view of the hay maze. There were two slides, and tons to crawl through and over. Wow!

Playing in the grain.

Tire swings rock!

Savannah fell asleep for the first half of the trip, but helped pick out a pumpkin...

...She had to vacate her cozy ride to make room.

This was the VHA's September "Fall Fest" event at Granny White Park (one of my favorites). You can not go 4 miles in this town with out running into a park or family spot. I love it here.

Princess Crown! The balloon man was amazing. One kid was wearing the Eiffel tower.

Party favors of course. All the kids got flashlights, stickers, play dough, candy, Halloween cups and pumpkin straws. After the yummy lunch of course.

Lauren got her face painted (hello kitty, what else?) and the balloon guy you see behind her is the multi talented comedian who also does stand up on the weekends. He's so great with the kids and is a favorite at all the events.