Sunday, August 21, 2011

Arrrrgghh....Happy Birthday Matey!

Andrew turned four last week and we celebrated...pirate style!

He's been talking about having a pirate birthday party for months and was so excited when the day finally arrived! In true over-acheiving Grandpa style, my dad converted his old fishing boat into a pirate ship! It was so awesome, thanks dad! My mom made the pirate pants/skirt and also helped with the sails on the boat. I'm pretty sure they deserve the Grandparents of the year award for all their help! Once all of the friends arrived and were transformed into pirates (bandanas, eye patches, swords, and tattoos) we headed outside to search for their hidden treasure. The first stop was the swamp. They had to search under all of the "swamp creatures" for treasure...

I think Abby looks a little more like a gypsie than a pirate, but either way she was darn cute! Next, they went to a deserted island that was booby trapped with water balloons. They had to pop the water balloons to find the pirate coins inside!

Then they got to dig at the "beach" for buried treasure in the sand. (Whoever buried that treasure did a very thorough job, they've still been digging it up all week!) Finally, they ended up at the sunken pirate ship where they each found their own treasure chest full of goodies!

The pirate brothers...they were so cute!

They also played pin the treasure on the map...I'm pretty sure Sam was cheating :-)

Here's the very simple but oh-so-cute cake!

"Don't bother me, I'm eating!"

Andrew was very clear that he wanted chocolate cake and green (mint) ice cream for his birthday and he would not be distracted from his dessert to smile for a picture!A good pirate never puts down his sword...even when eating birthday cake! And here is the best daddy/pirate in the whole world! He took the day off just to help with the party and celebrate Andrew's birthday.

Just like all birthdays at our house, the celebration lasted all day and into the next. We started off the morning by letting him open presents from G&G Lodge that had come in the mail. He loved everything and got especially excited about the pirate painting projects they'd sent. For breakfast he requested Cocoa Puffs and bacon :) We spent the morning getting ready for the party and Andrew worked on his new projects (some of which we ended up using for decorations). For lunch, Joe took the kids to McDonalds...mostly to get them out of my hair so that I could get all of the last minute stuff ready! The party was a blast and all of the kids really got into the pirate theme...except Ela! She wasn't so excited about it at first, but eventually she loosened up and bit and ended up having a good time. For dinner, we had pepperoni pizza and root beer. The following day we had all of my family over (except Mike and Madison who live in Utah) for dinner. Since it was Andrew's "fake party" as the boys called it, they got all dressed up again in their pirate costumes! It was such a fun birthday and Andrew really enjoyed everything about it. A few days later, as I was finally getting around to taking down the streamers around the living/dining rooms Andrew came out and stared at me with a shocked look. I explained that his birthday was over and it was time to clean up. He said, "But Mom, it's still August!"

Happy Birthday to my little Pirate!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Swim Lessons

We decided to put the boys in swim lessons this year. After Sam's bad experience, two summers ago, I couldn't bring myself to have them do it last year, but this year we decided it was time to try again! They were both very excited about it and it went...fairly well. We signed up with some friends in the ward so both boys had a friend in their class with them. It was fun to hang out with the Osborns everyday.

Here's the gang (minus Abby, she didn't want to be in the picture with all the BOYS!!)...

On the first day they were both willing to jump right in and do what they were told, including jumping off the diving board. I was shocked and relieved that it could really be that easy!

Unfortunately, it went slightly downhill from there. Andrew had and AWESOME teacher, Brandon, who was super patient with him. He really earned Andrew's trust. At the end of the first week Brandon was gone for a day and the substitute had a very different style. She took more of a you-are-going-to-do-it-my-way-like-it-or-not approach and that does not fly well with my Andrew! He came away from that 20 minute lesson with a completely different feeling about swimming, and it wasn't good! Brandon was back the next week, but the damage had been done and Andrew ended the week more afraid of the water than when he'd started! Sam, on the other hand, tried really hard and made some progress. Because of his the tubes in his ears a couple of years ago, he's still really sensitive to getting water in his ears. But he toughed it and learned to overcome that fear. He was still afraid to jump (after the first day when he did it without hesitating) but he did everything else his teacher asked and tried to learn the skills. I was really proud of how hard he tried and his good attitude!

Abby and Grant were both too little for lessons so they hung out together. They were pretty cute, we even caught Grant sneaking a kiss on her cheek once or twice!

Neither of the boys passed their levels so they'll be in the same classes next year. But, I do have some glimmer of hope after watching Sam's progress that eventually they will learn to swim...someday!!