Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jack's 6th Birthday Party

We decided to invite Jack's class (24 kids) to his birthday party this year.  We rented a local place with inflatables for the kids to play on and then they would go to a party room for pizza and cupcakes.  All we had to do was bring the cupcakes.  Perfect.  Jack's party was scheduled for 4:00.  That morning, less than 10 minutes after Jim left for a 9 mile run, the phone rang.  The party place was closing early because we were expecting a snowstorm (we ended up with 12 inches).  Ugh.  The end of March!  Who could predict that?  I didn't know what to do.  Jim would be gone for over an hour and I needed to make a plan.  Cancel?  I was told we could reschedule the next weekend, but that was Easter.  I called my cousin Colleen and she convinced me we could have the party at our house.  When Jim got home, he agreed.  

So, with lots of help, we made it happen.  Jim took Patrick and Charlie to his parents' house while we got ready, then he went to a couple stores for supplies (remember...I only needed to bring cupcakes and had nothing else prepared).  Colleen stopped by my friend Kathleen's house to pick up some games and also managed to make it to 2 stores before they closed early for the storm.  Jim, Colleen, Jack, and I cleaned the house and set up activities to entertain 24 kindergarteners for close to 2 hours.  I was worried the snow would keep people away, but 17 of the 24 made it!  We had a lot of fun.  

There was balloon stomp:
Cheering on the winners of balloon stomp:
Freeze dance:
Pin the Tail on the Donkey:
There were a few other games, too.  The best activity was the pinata:
Even Patrick got a turn.
So excited for CANDY!!!

Finally, we had pizza, fruit kabobs, and cupcakes.

Happy birthday, Jack!  It was memorable!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Break in Colorado

 We were invited to spend spring break in Snowmass, Colorado with friends.  We were thrilled to say yes!
This is the view from the deck of the house where we stayed.
Charlie (talking on the toy phone):
Jack (playing music with his friend Andrew):
We skied four days.  On a day off from the slopes, we went to Aspen for the day.  It wasn't too cold outside so the kids were able to play on a snow-covered playground.

The scenery was fantastic!

These are our friends Jason and Elizabeth, who invited  us on this wonderful vacation.  Jason and Jim have been friends since kindergarten!
We visited the Aspen Fire Department. It is a volunteer fire department and one of the volunteer fire fighters gave us a tour.

The firefighter was so kind to the boys.  They really enjoyed the tour.
Nick, a friend of Jim's and Jason's from grade school, lives in Snowmass.  The three of them (and one other boy) were in a band called Chaos in grade school.  We wives were treated to a reunion concert of sorts.
The crew:
Chaos pretty good:
 Jack and Patrick both went to ski school 4 days, and Charlie went to daycare.  We were able to watch Jack and Patrick while they were in school.  Here are some pictures of Patrick learning how to ski.

Look at that smile!
 Jim and I had a blast!  The weather was perfect and we had some nice snow, including fresh powder!

We caught up with Jack's class as they were exiting the lift one day.  By the end of the week, Jack was taking the lift to the midway point on the mountain.  It was amazing to see his progress.
I think he was just as excited to see us as we were to see him.
I circled Jack so you can see which one he is.  
Did I mention the views were phenomenal?  And I don't just mean Jim.
On the last day, Jack's class participated in a race.  

By the end of our trip, Jim and I were skiing down moguls!

We had an amazing time and hope to go skiing as a family again!  When we got back home, Jack's track season was starting.  He told me he didn't want to do track, he would rather ski.  Hmmm....I don't think that is really an option, buddy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cookie Baking with Chef Patrick

We went on a ski trip during Jack's spring break in March.  Before we left, Patrick and I made shamrock cookies to take with us.  He loves to help me in the kitchen.  Check out his "Chef Patrick" apron my cousin Colleen made him!
He truly enjoys helping me cook and bake.  Someday maybe he'll even enjoy cleaning up afterward!
Chef Patrick did not skimp on the green sugar!
With piles of sugar on each cookie, they are ready to go in the oven.
I put almond extract in these cookies.  Recently, I made pound cake which also uses almond extract.  While Patrick was eating his pound cake, he remarked to me that it tasted like the shamrock cookies we made (2 months prior!).  I was impressed with his memory for tastes!