Sunday, April 29, 2012

My favorite birthday party ever?

For Whit's birthday party this year, I was not up for planning a big shindig.  I was just in charge of planning our beach getaway.  And her baptism. I just didn't feel up for it.  But we wanted to do something fun.  So, I gave her a few options that were not labor-intensive.  She opted for a mani-pedi party.  Yippee!

She invited two of her best friends to join us.

It was SO cute to watch 8-year-olds get pedicures.

This was Whit's first visit to a nail salon.
She handled it like a pro.
Her friends, however, both have VERY ticklish feet.
They had the whole salon laughing along with them.

The girls also had fun peeking at each other 
through the slats in the drying table.

The finished product!
Each of the girls chose two colors for their feet.

And two different colors for their hands.
We used just about every bright color they owned.
So. much. fun.

Afterward, we came home to decorate cupcakes,
sing to the birthday girl,
and eat.

Now that is my kind of party.
(Actually, stress-relieving, because I got a pedicure, too!)
And lots of fun.
I would love for this to become a new birthday tradition.  :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whitney's Baptism

Our sweet Whitney turned eight this month and chose to be baptized.  Since Brandon's baptism took place out in Utah as part of a multi-person event, this was the first time we had to actually organize and plan one of these.  And, phew, it was a lot of work.  But it was SOOOO worth it.  While we missed having more relatives attend, it was a joy to have our ward family share this special day with her.

One of the bad things about being in charge....I either forget or am too busy with hostessing duties to take many photos.  Boo.  Wish I had grabbed my camera sooner, but here's what we got.

Pretty Whitney, ready to go.

Jumping for joy
(pretty impressive vertical in a dress!)

Whit and her Daddy, all dressed in white

Our little family,
after the baptism.

SO glad Gigi and Grandpa could be with us!

Some of our friends who came:
Brianna, Savannah, April

Pam, Christian, and Shelley

April, Olivia, Erika

A lot of little friends entertaining themselves after the baptism!  :)

The hot water in the baptismal font was not working.  It was super cold.  But those watching would have never guessed because Whit handled it like a champ.  Gigi, Shelley, Natalie, and Greg all did such wonderful jobs on their talks.  I was reminded of what a special girl Whitney is.  She is so loving and people notice that.   She has a talent for making others feel good about themselves.  There was such a sweet spirit at the meeting. We're excited for this step in Whitney's life and look forward to watching her learn and grow even more!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Beach!

The beach was calling.
"Come, get my sand in your toes
and let my waves crash over you."

We listened.

Our destination:
 Carolina Beach.

Specifically, this adorable pink beach house:

And, unbeknownst to us, a family from our
same subdivision rented the other half!
Small world!

And, lucky, lucky us.
We got to spend it with not one, but BOTH sets of Grandparents.

We spent three fabulous nights.
Here's how we entertained ourselves.

*Flew kites.
Caroline adopted this panda as her own.

Look at that concentration!

B getting a little advice from Grandma.

He managed to get it all the way to the end of the string.

Then we broke out our two-stringed kite.
It was tricky.
And FUN to fly.
*The girls showed off our best model poses



Care Bear also showed me her sweet dance moves.
There's nothing like dancing in the sand...
to the rhythm of the waves.

It was chilly.
A little too cold for most of us to get in the water.
But not for these two!

 This was as far as Care Bear was willing to go.

*Whit and B-train spent some quality time with their boogie boards.

 They caught some perfect kid-sized waves.

Too bad both of Whit's sessions ended like this.  Oops.

*We also spent lots and lots of time in the sand.
Have I mentioned that I love sand?
Whit got buried.

We worked on group projects.

Whit and our neighbor-friend dug a "hot tub."
THAT took some work.

 Look how deep they got it.

Check out these sweet catches
by Andrew,

Grandma S,

and Grandpa S!

*We enjoyed strolls on the beach.

*Did a little geocaching.

*Explored the Boardwalk.

*Sat in our beach chairs, reading and relaxing.

*We visited Ft. Fisher, a civil war battle site.
The girls hung out on a cannon.

Caroline was ecstatic to find B-train after his fifteen-minute
absence while geocaching with Grandpa G.
(How cute is that???)
 *And we found a secret hideout/enchanted forest to explore.
C kept looking for magic wands.

B climbed some impressive trees.

 Grandpa and I thought it was a short-person hideout.
But after ducking through the entrance,
we found it was spacious enough for our tall bodies.

*I took lots of pictures of B-train jumping off things.

Love these!!

*Visited the NC Aquarium.
I'm always a fan of throwing in some education on your vacation.

They had sea anemones in the touch tank.
They would kind of try to pull your finger into their mouths.
Whit and I were fascinated.

Care Bear loved the HUGE tank.

Yep, the one with sharks. Awesome.

Whit got to dress up as a land turtle.
We learned how dangerous her hot tub is to sea turtles.
Found out we were supposed to fill it in before we left.
Another oops.

*Ate AMAZING seafood at The Deck House.


and more crab.
Brandon made another comment about "heaven on a fork."

*We also spent lots of time playing 25 Words or Less
and Wits and Wagers.  But I didn't take any pics of that.
LOVE board games!

Before we left town, the guys and the girls split up.
The guys went kayaking/chowder-cook-off-tasting.
The girls headed into Wilmington to drive through
their beautiful, historic downtown.

We ended up at the Cotton Exchange,
where they were celebrating the Azalea Festival.
We had lots of free entertainment from dancers and cloggers.
AND, they had free bounce houses.
W and C would have stayed all day if we let them.

Most random part:
The "Elephant" ride.
When we first saw this, I thought it was two people in costume.
Turns out it was a robotic elephant.
Crazy stuff.
Also saw an Elvis impersonator working the revival tent.

HUGE thanks to both grandparents for flying all the way across the country to spend this wonderful vacation with us.  Thanks for all the memories!