Sunday, August 1, 2010

Our Own Little Wonderland!

We just celebrated Tinsley & Avery's birthday parties. Tinsley's birthday was July 17th & Avery's, well, here's isn't until August 13th, but we decided to throw a join party for the both of them & decided on July 24th. For those who don't know me well enough, I can't seem to do anything the EASY way. The last several years, I've picked a theme, bought decorations, & made the girls' cakes myself. This year was no different. Though it's not old, the girls saw the movie Alice in Wonderland for the first time this year, followed by the new version starring Johnny Depp. Avery's a little too young to care, but Tinsley loves the movie. It got me thinking...Why not have a Madd Hatter Tea Party...
Tinsley loved the idea & I ideas had already started flowing. Mom & I hit local flea markets, Helping Hands, & Good Will looking for the perfect "real" teacups, saucers, & tea pots. I was lucky enough to score some great decorations such as tea pot & flower shaped flowering pots & fake flowers. The last bid detail was the characters. I called my old boss to borrow his projector. Mom & Dad came over one afternoon & helped me trace characters we found on the internet onto foam board. Next, was the painting. All in all, drawing, painting, & cutting them probably took us a good 2 days...
Even John got in on the action. He's a pretty good helper. There he is helping paint Alice.
The Red Queen
The Cat
The Smoking Catepillar
The White Rabbit
The Madd Hatter
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
We bought about 12 teacups & saucers in all. Each one was completely different from the other & we got some GREAT deals on them. I wasn't sure what I would do with them afterwards, but some of them are so pretty, I think I'm going to hang onto them.
Our "EAT ME" cupcakes in Chocolate.
John helped make "DRINK ME" tags for the fruit punch.
Trini & Tinsley posing w/ Alice. We had the party set up in the yard. It was so hot, but I don't think the kids cared one bit. At least there was shade & we set up a few canopies for the adults.
I saw Avery checking out the March Hare & had to snap a picture of her. She loved them.
Miss Ella
The kids enjoying sweet tea, fruit punch, mini sandwiches, fruit, pinwheels, & laughing it up with each other.
Avery's Cake!
The AMAZING cakes. With all the prep work that we did this year, I just couldn't take on the cakes. I contacted this kid that I heard did awesome cakes. His name is Dylan & I think I put him to the test. I sent him some ideas to work from & told him about our theme. He did a great job. Each was Strawberry cake & tasted delicious!
Tinsley's Cake
Each one was topped with a sparkler instead of candles. We handed out little poppers to all the guest. We sang Happy Birthday to the girls while the sparklers were going & ended the song with a bang & streamers from the little poppers!
Avery playing with the streamers. I think both the girls had a blast. After most of the guests left, we had a good old fashioned water balloon fight to cool us all off. John convinced Tinsley to go get my Mom. When he wasn't looking, she came at him with the bucket of ice water that the drinks were chillin in! Needless to say, she took him quite by suprise. I wish I had gotten a picture of that one! What a great day for two of the best girls in the world! Happy Birthday Tinsley & Avery. We LOVE YOU BOTH so much!

Big Time in Branson!

So, we were supposed to go to Destin, FL the week of July 12th with some of John's family. Everyone knows all too well about the oil spill in the gulf. We had been watching the news, checking the internet, & staying in touch with John's aunt in FL. Tar balls had been sighted on the beach & so we made decision to cancel & just spend some time locally. We didn't want to chance takign the kids to the beach & not even getting to enjoy it & after all, we can have just as much fun hanging at a pool locally as we could there. So, we all decided to spend a few days in Branson instead. Boy, did we have a group...The four of us & John's cousins & their family. All in all, we had 7 adults & 9 kids. Think we're crazy? Maybe just a little bit. Anyway, we decided to take the girls a day early to spend some time together. Tinsley & I started the day off getting our nails & toes done & they we headed off!
As soon as we got there, we checked out one of the local activities on the strip for the kids. Avery was still too little to ride herself, so I crammed myself into the teacup with the two of them. I was a little worried since this is the first time Avery had rode anything, but she loved it! In fact, she was laughing it up while I was starting to feel a little queasy at all the spinning.

Next, Tinsley checked out the swing!
Tinsley & Avery on the bouncing bunny ride. They looked so hOppy!
Avery got a little upset that Tinsley got to ride the go carts & she had to watch from the side with me. :(
Look Mom, no hands!
Mom's turn. By the way, I totally wore the wrong shoes for this. You can't see, but I had on 3" heels. What was I thinking? Oh well, we still put the petal to the medal & passed a few folks!
The next day, we met up w/ the rest of the crew & headed to Silver Dollar City. It was so stinkin HOT! Tinsley rode THREE roller coasters. I was so nervous for her...
but she did GREAT & LOVED it! She even rode Fire In The Hole. Now, I love roller coasters, but something about that one always scares me just a little.
After a long day, we headed out to Chateau On the Lake. This was our view from the room. Much more peaceful than settling in on the strip. We spent every afternoon at that pool. They also have a great Spa. John was awesome. He booked me a facial one morning. I think the kids really liked getting room service too!
The next day was spent at White Water & the kids had a blast! Tinsley got to ride all the rides & she loved it. Her, John, & I even had a race down the big slides! Avery had fun in the wave pool & the kiddie pools. It was so fun to see the non stop smiles they had on their faces. Goes to show you that no matter where you go, as long as you're with your family, it's all good.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

It's been way too long since my last post, so I'm catching up here. We had been hearing great things about our very own Naturals baseball team in Springdale, so we decided to check it out. We had the whole gang there: Mima & Papa, Melissa, Josh, Trinity, Payton, John, Tinsley, Avery, & myself. We got there early because we heard about a free concert taking place before the game. The kids were so excited! After walking around a bit & listening to music, we grabbed some grub & then took our seats before the team took the field. I never thought the kids would be so pumped to cheer on the boys. Tinsley & Trini were cheering, clapping, & dancing away!
Thanks Papa for bringing the binaculars.Trinity, Papa, & Tinsley
John & I
Avery was all good until they shot off a few fireworks.
Tinsley living it up!
Cotton Candy is oh so good!
They don't look happy do they?
Trinity, Mima, & Tinsley
We loved the fireworks at the end. It was a perfect end to a perfect night!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Petit Bistro

John & I love food & are always looking for somewhere new to eat (preferably, not a chain). We had seen a new little restaurant pop in what many would recall as the old Ozark Smokehouse, a cute little rock house off 71B in Bentonville-The Petit Bistro! I had never been to the Smokehouse, but thought it was a cute little building for such a place. Our 8th Wedding Anniversary was Tuesday, May 4th, but John's parents had the girls Thursday, May 6th, so we decided we'd try it out. The weather had been beautiful that day. As we entered the restaurant, we noticed they had a patio out back w/ tables so we didn't even hesitate to ask to be seated outside. John ordered a beer & I had a glass of wine. It was so nice to be able to sit outside, have a drink & a conversation without having to yell over the noise of a crowded resteraunt. We looked over the menu & as the name was PETIT. A nice list of appetizers, a few salads, only 5 entrees, & a few desserts. Since we didn't see a whole lot on the entrees that peaked our interest, we decided on a few appetizers that we could split & then dessert. They were great! We even took a little walk out back while waiting on our dessert to check out the old barn. However, beware of the price. It's a bit steep, especially if you do consider the entrees. I was impressed by the food & the atmosphere thus far, but have heard disappointment about the service from a few. Perhaps we got lucky. I'd definately go back again, but probably for just a nice quite evening w/ a glass of wine & an appetizer. If you plan on drinks, apps, dinner, & dessert...bring your wallet!
Flowers from John!
Complimentary Breadsticks & Sweet Pepper Dipping Sauce
Salmon Pizza w/ Capers & Dill
Mini Kobe Sliders w/ Caramelized Onions
Sea Scallops w/ Rice
Crab Cakes

Tinsley Tries T-Ball...

Springtime what does that mean...Baseball Season! Well, T-Ball in this case. We got word that sign ups were taking place & asked Tinsley if she wanted to try it out. She said yes. As you can image, John was pretty excited. Tinsley is already in gymnastics, so when she said she wanted to give this a try, he was all in. He even got recruited to help coach!
John & I eagerly headed off to the store to buy her first glove, pants, & even a hot pink & white t-ball bat! Her practices were every Monday night, with games every Saturday. Keep in mind, we have gymnastics on Tuesday night already, so our week just got really crazy. What are we going to do once Avery is old enough? Anyway, we headed out to the first practice. She was a little shy, especially considering there was only one other little girl (Bella), but she did pretty good. John & I took turns helping her out while the other watched Avery (it's always a family affair). She learned to catch, throw the ball, & hit. I must say, it was HIlarious watching all these little kids. Talk about chaotic! It's hard enough to hold a 4 year old's attention for long, much less tell them to stand in the outfield & wait for the ball to come their way. Most of them played in the dirt & started picking grass!
Practice ended & coach pulled everyone together in a huddle. He handed out hats & jerseys & taught the kids their team name & cheer...THE ORIOLES! Imagine my surprise when coach also tells us their first game is that Saturday!!! Um, what did you say. They've only practiced once & most of these kids have never even practiced before today. This should be interesting...

Avery got a little bored watching practice & decided to check out the stroller basket...

What a good stance!
So, Saturday comes along & our first game is at 9:00am. Of all days, it had to be cold & sprinkle here & there. It had been nice all week. The kids were freezing & Tinsley's teeth were chattering. Not sure if she got intimidated by all the people watching/cheering or the combination of mostly boys & miserable weather, but she did not want to play! Poor girl. We tried & she did get out there (with Daddy not far away from her). She had a pretty good hit once we finally got her get up there. I had to promise her a cupcake. In the end, I think she had fun, but decided she didn't want to play anymore. She said she wants to play with girls. So, we're gonna wait for a girls t-ball next season. Soccer starts this fall...Maybe we'll give that a go!
Go, Sissy, Go!!!