Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Harry Potter Party

Anyone who has spent 5 minutes with Kirsten in the past 4 months will know that she is completely obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has read the first 3 books already – I am making her wait awhile for the fourth, much to her dismay.  In June she carved an amazing wand with Grandpa Alleman.  She decided three months ago that she wanted a Harry Potter Birthday Party.  I was a little worried, because big parties are not my thing.  I am a “come over and play and then we will eat cupcakes” kind of mom.  So Kirsten did a ton of research finding ideas on the internet and put together a plan of what she wanted.  So we started executing.  We had to make a lot of the things ourselves because you can’t really run out to the store and buy Harry Potter things any more.  Kirsten sewed bags out of black starry fabric all by herself to be the goody bags.  She also sewed smaller gold bags that we filled up with jelly beans to be Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.  I made spell books for each of the kids and Jeremy made wands for everyone.

 By the time the day came, I had a 4 page scripted, two hour birthday party planned.  The invitations were Hogwarts letters.  We awaited the owls for RSVP before the big day!
 We also had a ton of help from my dad and Patty in executing the plan.  Presenting Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, posing here with their favorite student, Hermoine.
 I was the Minister of Magic, Jeremy was Professor Snape, Katie was Ginny Weasley and Gingy was Hedwig.
 The journey to Hogwarts Castle started by passing through Platform 9 ¾
 Then each student received a wand and a bag.  
  Our newest class of First Years
 After a welcome by Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore officiated the Sorting Hat Ceremony.
 After everyone was sorted into their houses, we proceeded to the Great Hall for the Beginning of Term Feast.

 The first class of the day was Transfiguration.  Professor McGonagall distributed their spell books
 Practiced the “swish and flick”, as well as a few spells.
  Then they were allowed to practice spells on each other,
and on Hedwig
After Transfiguration, it was time for Potions class.  Professor Snape had everything prepared to brew Poly Juice Potion
 Everyone had to help in the brewing process, it is a very tricky potion.
 Oh my goodness!  Is that 8 Harry Potters that I see?!
 The highlight of any term at Hogwarts is of course, Quidditch.
 Kirsten was the first one to find the Snitch.
 Watch out for that bluddger!
One of the greatest surprises was the cake that Amy Burr made.  She asked if she could do a special cake for Kirsten and she really out-did herself.  We did not tell Kirsten, and Saturday morning she noticed we did not have a cake.  I could tell she was about to cry, then took a deep breath, smiled and told me it was fine, we had jelly beans.  I could have cried - I love this girl!  Just then, Amy rang the door bell and came in with this amazing cake!


 It was so beautiful I thought we could never eat it.
Of course we did though, and it was amazing.  Thank you Amy!
 That is one happy Kirsten!
I think that this party was one for the record books in our family.  It was so much work, but completely worth it.  We had so much fun and will remember this special day for years to come.

8 is Great!

The day before Kirsten’s birthday we were not feeling well and headed to the doctor.  It turned out the Kirsten, Katie and I all had strep.  Not fun.  I felt so bad for my little girl being sick on her 8th birthday.  She was supposed to give a talk in Primary on her birthday too.  She took it in stride though, I was so proud of her.  We still let her open her presents that night though.
 Daddy got her a Cowgirl hat to wear to the Western-themed Daddy Daughter Dance in September at church.
 We also got her a purse
 And her very own Harry Potter Robes
 She was pretty excited to say the least
 Since we all had sore throats, we bought an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins
 On Tuesday we were finally feeling better and finished celebrating her birthday.  We started with her favorite breakfast – Biscuits and Gravy
  We put a candle in the biscuit, but since it was still hot, the bottom of the candle melted.  Oops!
Then Tuesday night we had my dad and Patty and Alison and Owen over for dinner and cake.  Gingy apparently thought my dad’s bald head tasted good!
  She got a wallet for her new purse, some pencils for school, and earrings.  The best present of all was getting to spend time holding her favorite little nephew.
 Owen is getting so big and is so completely adorable.  We are totally in love with this little guy!
 Then we topped off the night with the chocolate cake that Kirsten was apparently very excited about.
I can hardly believe that eight years has passed since I became a mother and held my baby girl for the first time.  I had no idea that my heart could be so full of love.  She has filled our lives with joy every day. I love watching her grow and develop.   She is very loving and has the biggest heart of anyone I know.  She has such a strong testimony of the gospel and a strong faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am thrilled that she has made the decision to be baptized later this month.  I feel so blessed each and every day to be her mother and to call her my daughter.  Happy 8th Birthday Kirsten!

Gymnastics

Kirsten wanted to take the summer off of dance and explore other activities.  Her activity of choice was gymnastics.  After three weeks, it became apparent that chasing Katie for an hour during Kirsten’s class was a new form of torture.  I was lucky enough to find a class later in the evening when they could go at the same time.  So now every Thursday I get an hour to myself to read while they are in class.  It is pretty wonderful.  Oh, and they like it too.
 Katie’s favorite things to do are jump on the trampoline and jump into the pit of foam blocks.
 Kirsten did not really like it at first, but she is enjoying it more now.  She has become very good and back bends and back walk-overs, handstands and cartwheels, and has incredible balance on the balance beam.
I am not sure we will keep it up once school starts because Kirsten just made the Petite Stars Dance Company.  So she has a lot more dance every week and competitions on the weekends now.  Although, that hour to myself is pretty tempting….

The Rest of July

The rest of July was spent trying to find ways to keep busy and cool and entertain two kids with very different interests.  One of our favorite places has been the indoor trampoline park

Katie got a Doc McStuffins dress up set for her birthday.  She loves playing doctor, 
especially when we are actually at the doctor.
Our morning starts each day by me going to the gym before the kids wake up, then stretching with Kirsten and then taking the dog for a walk.  It definitely takes longer with both kids, but we sure have a lot of fun!
 My dad and Patty have become avid bikers this summer.  It is actually pretty impressive.  They have gone from riding a mile to my house, resting, then riding the mile home, to riding 15 to 20 miles every day.  Kirsten has started going with them on occasion and loves riding with her Grandma and Grandpa.
 We also spend time every day dancing – both of my girls’ favorite activity.
Katie like to pretend that Gingy is a baby doll and swaddle him in blankets, dress him up and try to make him snuggle.  
It is a good thing he is such an easy going dog and takes it in stride!


Although it is a little taxing on all of us to be together all day, every day, we are having a great time this summer.

Pioneer Day Celebration

We had a fantastic Pioneer Day Celebration for our stake this year.  We started out by dressing up as Pioneers and taking pictures with a handcart.  Jeremy did not feel like getting in on the dress up action, but Kirsten and Katie were thrilled!
There were all kinds of fun activites for the kids to do like Pioneer songs and stories by the campfire 
 Playing Marbles with Grandma and Grandpa
 Three Legged Races
Stick Pulling 
 And of course walking on stilts


 Sorry, I was not willing to put my life in peril by suspending my body in the air on two wooden poles.
Our favorite was watching Grandma and Grandpa square dance together.  It was really fun, there was a caller and everything.  So fun!
 The Kirsten was able to do some square dancing with Grandpa

We had such a great time spending time with our friends and family celebrating our heritage.