Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Birthday to Daddy

Matt turned 30+1 on a Saturday this year...  We had a soccer game on the docket, and then planned to meet up with our life group camping trip for the rest of the day.  It was a unique, full, and festive day to celebrate Daddy. :)

We woke up and got ready for soccer, but not before Reed and Molly gave Matt his handmade (scribbled) cards and fruit snacks for his treat jar at his office.  (Most assuredly for "him" to eat!)

It was beautiful morning for a soccer game.  Matt is an a-team Daddy and coach!

We had signed up to bring game snacks, so we got to celebrate Matt with little red dragons too!

With a team victory (or not) behind us, we got some starbucks and hit the road for North Georgia and switched to our camping birthday theme. :)

We got Daddy an eno, and I couldn't believe Reed kept it a secret.  I didn't think he would know the word hammock, or how it was used, but I was wrong!

Matt looks less than thrilled in this picture (not sure what face this is!), but we're pretty sure he actually likes the eno! :)

The campground was beautiful.  What a pretty day!

We arrived in time for lunch, and celebrated a camping "Happy Birthday to you" with our sweet friends.

I was so excited about the fun camping cake!  I'm not much of a baker, but used the spring-form brownie idea from Reed's birthday (with 2 layers this time), iced it in between and all around, and added easy camping themed decorations inspired by a quick Pinterest search.  (I used broken pretzels and cut leftover candles (in red, yellow, and orange) to make the campfire.  The tent is graham crackers, and the trees are from Reed's train set). :)

We spent the afternoon playing, exploring, talking, and enjoyed a giant game of volleyball before dinner.

After dinner, the campground offers an awesome hour-long hayride.  We rode through fields, pastures, and down streams!

I'm pretty sure it was Matt's first Happy Birthday serenade on a hayride in a pasture. :)

We stayed until dark and ended the day with a campfire and HBD smore's, because a birthday means you have to squeeze in as much chocolate as possible, right!?

It was a great day to celebrate a great guy!  Happy birthday to the best Daddy, friend, and soccer coach----and my man!  I love you!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hoppy Birthday Party

This year Molly turned two on the day before Easter, so we planned a "Hoppy Birthday" celebration with her family, friends, and fans! :)

We started with polka dots and a color scheme from Molly's birthday shirt (pictured above, a gift from Grammy!), and went from there.  I made the invites in Pages, and used a scrapbook paper pack, (which has seen us through parties and showers for about 6 years now!), for the banners. :)  We even got to do some early decorating since most of the fun doubled as Easter cheer!

Molly greeted some guests as they arrived, and we gave out bunny ears.

We started our celebration with a picnic lunch, although none of the colorful quilts made it onto the wet grass.  {But I'm not complaining because we got the only two hours of sunshine the whole weekend!}  We served croissant sandwiches, bunny rabbit-shaped PBJs, carrots and ranch, fruit salad, bird's nest pretzels, Easter goldfish, and carrot patch brownies.  Loved the Easter punch idea found on Pinterest, and that we found peeps in the exact color scheme!  So fun. :)

Cameron & Evie
Sarah and Baby Luke
J, Mason, Grant, & Reed

We had some ongoing activities set-up, including a guess-the-jelly-beans jar, Molly's birthday book guest book, fingerprint art and coloring pages, pin the tail on the bunny, and of course, just playing in the yard.

Next, we played a quick Easter shapes game in the driveway while the older kids hid all of the Easter eggs in the yard.  We talked about how the symbols point to Jesus and the Easter Story, and then took turns drawing shapes out of the basket and all doing the motion for each one.  It was really more like mass chaos, but whatever. :)

Then we had the Easter egg hunt!  I really wanted the egg hunt to last for a little while and be more of an activity where the kids could help each other (as opposed to just a free for all/grab any eggs you see).  I also wanted to be able to pick out specific prizes and know that each child would get one of everything.  So I planned two separate hunts, one for 2 and under-ish (Molly's little gal pals), and one for the bigger kids (all brothers!).  We found all kinds of fun stuffers... necklaces and hair bows for the girls, and ring pops and other snacks/candy of course.  We also hid egg-shaped sidewalk chalk and carrot bubble necklaces, and scattered a hundred camo army men throughout the yard for the boys to find.  The little girls each had a designated egg color, and the boys had "egg maps" to follow.  I think it turned out cute, except that I didn't explain well to the bigger kids to separate the boy/girl eggs and had to do some egg recon missions. :)  (Note: To replicate this hunt idea, you also have to be on top of your RSVPs or just plan for extras).


Enjoying some loot...

Last we sang "Happy Birthday," and had cake.

I think it's safe to say the birthday girl had her cake and ate it too! ;)

We had so much fun celebrating our little Easter chick with special people who love her and our family well.

Hoppy Birthday, Molly girl!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Happy Easter from the Morgans!

On Saturday Molly was having trouble deciding what to wear...

But I think she figured it out. ;)  Here are our little sweeties ready to head to church.

Sunday was a beautiful day to celebrate Easter, and a beautiful service worshipping Jesus-- the Resurrection and the Life.

It is always an extra Easter treat to get to see college buddies who are home for the weekend!

Leading up to today, we did our story baskets again (herehere, and here).  As with each year, we've adapted to age.  Reed was very into the stories and activities, while Molly was... not. :)

I don't know why I haven't done this in the past, but we waited to hunt for surprise Easter baskets until after naps so that we were all home together.  I loved how it was fun and celebratory, but also more of an afterthought to the day!  After a full weekend, we spent the rest of Easter afternoon and evening relaxing and enjoying the lovely day.

These new Rend Collective lyrics have been appropriately bouncing though my head today...

Oh Your resurrection power
Burns like fire in my heart
When waters rise
I lift my eyes
Up to Your throne

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Molly!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Molly!

You are a delight!  You're sweet and snuggly and FULL of personality.  By the numbers, you are just over 31 inches, and you weigh 22.4 pounds-- Ms. Mary was pleased with your growth! :)  We're not surprised, though, because you're quite the little eater, calling out for a "snacky" several times a day.  You also love/need your sleep, often nodding off for some beauty rest in the car.  You usually sleep from 8:00 to 6:45, and nap from 1:00 to 2:30/3:00.

You have really seemed to "turn two" this last month; you have become such a big girl!  Your talking has taken off, with new words each day.  You like to tell stories using single words or short phrases, and as we fill in the pieces you nod and say "yeaaah."  Your favorite tale is usually retold on the stone steps by the driveway and goes: "Head." ("Molly fell and hit her head?") "Yeah... sad." (Molly was sad when she fell?) "Yeah... Daddy."  (Daddy came and picked you up and hugged you?)  Yeah... Mommy" (And then Mommy held you?)  "Better." (And now you're all better?)  "Yeah."  (And then it starts over every time you are on the stairs!) :)  We especially love when you say: "Oh man!" and "Bad Guy!" :)

Your smile and laugh are just precious.

You have a little sassy side that is hard not to laugh at.  You can cross your arms, stick out your lips, give stinky eyes, and say "no!" with the best of them (and sometimes even a "NEVER, mommy!" courtesy of Reed).  You also think "no, no" is the best game ever... until it's not, and then you have the saddest little cry face imaginable.  And of course, in your growing independence, there is a lot of "my do it!"  We love every part of who you are, Molly, and look forward to seeing you become even more the unique you God created you to be! :)

You love to play "stay on the mat" with Daddy, where you and Reed sneak off of the front rug when Dad is not looking and he chases you back.  You are very into taking care of your babies-- strolling them and changing their diapers... (I think you owe me two whole packs of wipes!)  You also love to read books, especially Big Fish, Little Fish and Goodnight Moon--you love to find the little mouse on each page.

You have no trouble keeping up with Reed, as you are pretty much fearless.  You will climb and slide down anything!  You are always amusing to onlookers at playgrounds and jumpy places, especially because you are small. :)  You are into everything, and love to make messes! :)

Unfortunately, this is pretty typical...

You show lots of love to both Mommy and Daddy, and of course to your "Reedy."  You are pretty much a little Reed copycat these days, for better or for worse. :)  You have a sweet attachment to Papa and Grammy.  Of course, you're always loving on bunny. Your little gal pals are Ava, Wynnie, Evie, Olivia, Saylor, and Brooklyn.

Molly, Molls, Molly Bette, Molly Boo... You're such a doll, and we can't get enough of you.  Today you are two, and we love you, love you, love you.  Happy Birthday, little darling!