Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthday Part Two: The Rainbow Party

The week before Easter was a whirlwind of birthday fun at our house.  It was busy, busy, busy in a really good way.  Ella and Zoe's RAINBOW PARTY was at a neighborhood school's gymnasium --- there were lots and lots of friends, three cousins, two aunties, one uncle, one grama (with one grampa waiting for us back home) and splashes of rainbow colors all over the place.  It was a fun theme and a super fun party!!

The girls helped with all of the party preparations.
Quite a few weeks ago they watercolor painted 20+ RAINBOW invitations ....

They helped paint the RAINBOW 'Welcome' sign ....

They painted RAINBOWS for decorations (Ella's is the larger one, Zoe's is the smaller one) ....

They organized crayons by colors and chose color sheets they thought their friends would like ....

They sorted colorful beads for the RAINBOW Necklaces (while I cut the ribbons) ....

.... and they used markers to decorate 20+ goodie bags with cute little RAINBOWS.

The girls also helped bake 2 dozen colorful cupcakes ....

.... and make, bake, layer, frost and decorate our amazing six-layer RAINBOW cake!!

The morning of the party the girls woke up extra early, and tried to keep themselves occupied until they were told they could get up ....

.... then Grama Dianne took a few photos of me with the girls ....

.... a family photo .....

.... and then it was time to party hard, RAINBOW style!!
As everyone arrived the kids made their RAINBOW necklaces and colored for a bit --- then we moved into the gym and the RAINBOW games began ~

First there was parachute play ....

Then the kids played RAINBOW tag, and a RAINBOW version of Duck, Duck, Grey Duck (and I am very entertained by how 4 and 5 year olds play Duck Duck Grey Duck --- they run ALL OVER the place).
Mia chasing Ella:

Zoe chasing Maddie:

Birthday Girl Zoe ~

Birthday Girl Ella ~

After games it was time for presents.  I was extremely impressed by how well all of the kids sat and paid attention, but this part of the party was stressful for me.  It felt like it took forever, and it always feels wrong to rush through reading handmade cards and opening gifts quickly just to get through the process.  But we made it through, and Zoe and Ella got so many really nice, really fun and very thoughtful gifts.  It was a great balance of toys (Zoobles, Zhu-Zhu pets, My Little Ponies, Little Pet Shop animals), dress-up play (crowns, wands, earrings, bunny ears), creative play (art kits and art project supplies, beading kits, jewelry-making kits, wand-decorating projects), an Easy Bake Oven, brightly-colored rainbow shirts with matching shorts, jewelry boxes, and two absolutely adorable, hand-made dolls with their own rainbow quilts, a change of clothes and extra ribbons.

Everyone was SO generous.

After gifts it was time for Ella to blow out her FIVE candles on the blue cupcake she chose ....

.... then Zoe blew out her FIVE candles on the purple cupcake she chose....

.... and even though the cake was lopsided it looked so pretty on the outside AND the inside --- and it even tasted good!!

The RAINBOW of tutus (for the girls) and RAINBOW bows on the stuffed animals (for the boys) were specially made by our family friend, Diane.  She did an incredible job bringing my vision to fruition, and I really appreciate her help.  She is so talented in ALL areas of sewing, so if anyone needs anything done (and I really mean anything you can think of, tailoring, upholstory repair, tutus, doll clothes, people clothes, etc.,), please let me know and I can give you her contact information.  Her prices are very fair and her quality of work is outstanding.

As the kids finished their cupcakes and ice-cream they headed back to the gym for more fun with bats and balls,

friends and balls,

and jumping around in the bouncy house .....

After the party there was time for a quick pic with cousins ....

..... and once home, trying out their new sleeping bags from Grama and Grampa was top priority ....

It was such a fun party and a great afternoon.
I am still shaking my head though, when I remember that Zoe and Ella are now five year olds ....

.... and the RAINBOW cake, that makes me happy.  It still tasted great a few days later, and it still looked so pretty, even when it was toppled over and picked at.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Birthday Part One: Celebrating at Preschool

Celebrating their birthday at preschool, with their teachers and classmates, was highly anticipated and a super fun morning for both Zoe ......

..... and for Ella.

They have looked forward to bringing the coveted Birthday Suitcase home since the start of the school year, and by the time it was their big day they knew exactly what special items they each wanted to bring in.  They both brought their new roller skates from Auntie Jen, Elise and Jack, and Ella also brought her President's of the United States of America place mat (also from Auntie Jen's family) and her monkey bank.  Zoe brought her little sheep from Grama Dianne that she just loves to pieces, and a little wind-up chick that Tom gave them before Easter last year : )

They also brought snack for the day.  Ella chose watermelon and Zoe chose green grapes, and together they picked out a chocolate rice krispy treats.

They loved getting their special Birthday Crowns and sharing the Birthday Mat while at school, and they LOVE LOVE LOVE saying that they are five years old now.  It was a fun kick-off to their birthday week.

Next up:  The Party .......

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ....

.... from my two silly and sweet bunnies (and me, too)!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Decorations and Colorful Eggs ~

We still have rainbow birthday stuff up, and we have Easter stuff up too --- our little house is very decorated.
The girls think their little bunny ornaments are so sweet .....

.... and they thought it was great to decorate branches with Easter ornaments ....

They LOOOOOVED dying eggs ......

.... and both girls ....

.... did a super job!!

Ella's expression in the photo cracked me up.

After they checked ....

.... and rechecked, to make sure the eggs were the colors they wanted ....

.... we were all very pleased with the final results!!

Looking forward to seeing what the Easter Bunny leaves tonight and celebrating Easter in Buffalo with the McLain side of our family tomorrow.  Happy Easter Eve!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Zoe and Ella!!

How do I love you, two?
Let me count the ways.

I love you on your very best ....
and very worst of days.

I love to see you laughing,

and dancing in the rain.
And even when you lose your shoes, 
I love you just the same.

I love to hear you singing.
I love to see you smile.

I love the way you take each day in your own unhurried style.

I'm happy when you're happy,

and I'm sorry when you're sad.
And even though it may not show, I love you when you're bad.

How do I love you, two?
Well, now, let me see ....

I love the way you act so brave when you fall and hurt your knee.
I love to watch you sleeping, tucked away in dreams,

I love to hear you whisper all your giant plans and schemes.

I love the way you wear your pants with the front part in the back, 
and the way you walk around sometimes with your head inside a sack.

I love to see you deep in thought. 

I love to watch you play.

And though I'm sure you both will never know,
I love you more each day.

How do I love you, two?
It's impossible to say.

For if I had a million days and time enough for all the praise,
I couldn't tell you all the ways ....

I love you both, so much.  (words by P.K Hallinan)

Happy Birthday to my BIG Five Year Olds!!
You two make my heart so happy.

I love your creativity, your kindness, your sensitivity and your sense of humor.  I love every single piece of who each of you are.

Keep shining Ella!!
Keep shining Zoe!!

Have a WONDERFUL Birthday!
XOXOXO  mommy ~