Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Party #2 For Evan

A week and a half ago (I know I'm slacking again) we had Evan's second birthday party. I'm a fan of Groupon, and I ran across a great deal just before Christmas. The deal was for this place called the Lansing Hit Club. It's an indoor baseball place. I thought it was perfect seeing as Evan was into the Tigers themed birthday party this year! He had wanted to have some friends from school come to his birthday party, and since we already had a lot of people coming for his family/close friends party we decided to have another party. I normally don't do two birthday parties, but the price was good for this, and I didn't have to have 10 kids running through our house.

We had the party on Friday night. I didn't have a lot of options to choose from since I bought the Groupon so close to his birthday. It worked out good though because it didn't waste a whole Saturday. It was from 6:30-8:30pm which gave everyone time to get home from school and relax a little before the party. The Groupon included two hours at the Hit Club with decorations, pizza & pop, and an hour of batting cage or instructional time. We chose the instructional time and the kids got to play some baseball with one of the coaches there. Then they enjoyed the pizza & pop, and I brought in cupcakes which the kids really enjoyed! After we ate, Evan opened his presents and he got a lot of really nice things. We really appreciate everyone coming and thank them for all the goodies Evan got! The kids had a great time, and they all loved the place. I had done goody bags for the kids, and the Hit Club even had goody bags for them! It was so worth the price I paid for the Groupon, and I didn't have a mess at our house to clean up after. Here's a few pics from the evening!

Evan up to bat when the kids were playing a "mini" baseball game.
The baseball cupcakes I made with Detroit Tigers colors.
The birthday bunch! We asked the kids to wear their Tigers gear or come in blue/orange. They all looked great! I love this pic! (One of the girls couldn't make it because she was sick so Em and Evan's "girl"friend Jaidyn were the only girls. Em loved hanging with Jaidyn though.)
We are truly blessed that Evan has some great friends and parents.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Twitter & Spartan Love

I decided a few weeks ago to get on the Twitter bandwagon. I figured I'd check it out and see what it's all about. I actually had a twitter account from a couple years ago, but never used it. Now that I'm back on it seems to be more fun than it was before. I think maybe having a Smart Phone makes it more useful. It's a great way to get up to date news quickly. Click on the app on your Smart Phone and everyone that you follow comes up in your news feed. Sort of like Facebook, but yet different. I follow things like The Today Show, WILX (our local NBC News), NBC Nightly News, Breaking News, Ellen, Katie Couric to name a few. Then of course I follow MSU Football and along with that I started following some of the football players while they were down in Tampa for the week before the bowl game. I have to tell you, those boys are funny! I've gotten quite a bit of laughs from all the tweets. If you don't know, I've got a little innocent crush on former MSU football player B.J. Cunningham. He's got the all time greatest smile among athletes! :) He's even replied to one of my tweets. Let's just say the boy loves Chipotle! LOL. I also tweeted Keith Nichol when they were in Tampa asking for a birthday tweet for Evan on his birthday. Sure enough the boy tweeted me back "Happy Birthday Evan!" I couldn't believe it. Evan was so excited, as was I. Now I've got a little Twitter addiction. I can't believe all I'd be missing if I hadn't gotten on Twitter. If you're on Twitter follow me @Spartanfan4ever!

You all know how much I love my Spartans! There's nothing but green and white in this household. I want to go back for a minute and give a shout out to the Spartan Football team. On January 2nd, MSU played in the Outback Bowl in Tampa. Oh how I would have loved to been there. We weren't though so we watched in from our living room. Our friend Brenda came over to watch the game with us. It was a weird game, not the game I expected. I knew how much MSU wanted to win a bowl game, especially the seniors. It was Dantonio's fifth straight bowl appearance with the Spartans, but he had yet to win a bowl game. The Spartan's were down 16-0 at halftime, but I had this feeling that I knew it wasn't over. I had a good feeling that they would rally back in the second half. That's exactly what they did and took the game right up to the end to tie it up. After three exciting OT's the Spartans won the game with a blocked field goal. FINALLY, MSU won a bowl game with Dantonio. A much deserved win for the team, seniors, and Dantonio.

On Tuesday, Jan. 3rd the football team returned to East Lansing. Well, almost all the team. Some of the seniors that graduated in December went onto their hometowns, but for the most part a majority of the team returned. I was a little bummed because I thought there would be a celebration at Breslin Tuesday night like there was in 2010 after MSU won the Big Ten Championship. However, late that Tuesday morning I heard the team was coming back at 1:30pm and there would be a welcome back at the Skandalaris Football Building. I debated about going because the kids were in school. I didn't really want to take them out of school on their first day back. So after I dropped Em off at school I decided I'd swing by and see what was going on. There were a few people, but not many. I ran a couple errands and came back closer to 1:30pm. There were more people there, maybe 50 so it wasn't too bad. I happened to grab Evan's football and Kirk Cousins jersey right before I walked out the door. I was hoping for a few autographs and with not many people there I figured I had a pretty good chance. So with that said, the team was a little late getting back, it ended up being about 2:15pm when the buses arrived. It was so great to see the team and coaches and the big smiles on their faces still excited about their big win against Georgia. Evan's football already had some player's autographs, but their were a handful of names that I still wanted to get on his special football. Two of them were Keshawn Martin & Edwin Baker which I managed to get. B.J. Cunningham & Jerel Worthy didn't come back on the bus, and I missed LeVeon Bell. I also was able to get Ev's Kirk Cousins jersey signed which I was so excited about. I was so glad I grabbed it at the last minute before I walked out the door. Greg was there taking some pics for work so he also took my pic with Cousins and Coach D. I didn't really want my picture taken, but now I'm glad that I did. I was glad I decided to go to campus and check out the "welcome back" as well. It was definitely worth it.

When I picked Ev up from school I told him about the players coming back and he was so bummed he didn't get to go. So was I because I would have been able to get his pic with lots of the players. He was super excited though when I showed him his football and especially his #8 jersey signed by Cousins! Check him out!
Although MSU lost some great players with the seniors leaving, and a couple turning pro early, I can't wait to see what 2012 brings for the Spartan team. It's only January, and I'm already for college football to start! Go State!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Evan Is Seven!

New Year's Eve is a special day around here. It's not just New Year's Eve with celebrating the end of the year and ringing in the New Year. Since 1999 it's been a day to remember. It's the day that Greg and I got engaged. Crazy to think that was 12 years ago. Who would of thunk that five years later, that special day would become even more special? It's the day that Evan came into this world, and I am truly blessed that he did. I knew I would love my child dearly, but I never knew how much I was capable of loving. It hasn't always been sunshine and roses with Evan (we all remember how colicky he was as a baby), but it doesn't change the amount of love I have for Evan. He'll always be my little boy, but as of December 31, 2011, Evan turned seven, and I just can't believe it. Where have the last seven years gone? He's growing up way too fast! I'm such a proud mom of Evan. He's a good kid, he does well in school, he's kind, generous, friendly, loving, funny, and he's my Spartan buddy. I get to call him my son, and I'm thankful he's mine. I can only hope that as the years go on and life gets tougher he remains that same kid that he's become over the last seven years.

Evan's been wanting to have a Spartan room, so this year for his birthday I told him we'd redo his room. It's been a tough decision because since we built this house and did his room he had a very nice mural painted on his wall. His room was a "surfer doggy" room, and I really loved his mural. However, I've kind of know for awhile that it was time to move on. It seemed as though he kind of outgrew it awhile ago. So as much as I hated to paint over it, I stuck to my word and we painted his room over winter break. I originally thought of doing two walls white and two walls green, but with the white trim in our house I didn't want white walls with white trim. So then we thought about doing it all green. We had a hard time picking the right green, but finally we all decided on one that everyone liked. Evan didn't want his room too dark though with all green walls so we started with painting over the two blue walls and leaving the tan walls. We decided it didn't look Spartan enough so we opted to go with a light gray for the other two walls. I showed Evan a few gray samples and he chose one. We're really pleased with how the whole room turned out. It looks great! After three comforters, we finally found one that looks good with the walls and the bedding all matches. You would think when you buy a bed in a bag set that it would all match, but the one we had the shams didn't match the comforter. Ugh! Then the comforter he got for Christmas didn't match the sheets that went with it. Ugh again! I ordered one from JC Penney, and although it didn't come with sheets, it matches the sheet set he got for Christmas great and looks good with the walls so we're going with it.

The room is done for the most part. We've hung a few pics, and got his bedding on. I also found a new lamp for his table, and hung a new shelf for his autographed balls. I still need to get a couple of his jerseys framed and decide on which other pictures I want to frame. It's been a little longer process than I thought it would be, but it's getting there. I'll post pics soon.

We had his birthday party last weekend with close friends and family. Evan wanted a Detroit Tigers party. It was fun, and we appreciate everyone coming to help him celebrate. We're also having a second birthday party this weekend with his school friends. I don't normally do two birthday parties, but this was a good deal I couldn't pass up. More on that later. Until then... wishing my little guy some belated happy birthday wishes since I didn't blog on New Year's Eve. Here's to a great year of being seven Evan! We love you more than you'll ever know! Here's a few pic from his party!

The birthday boy all set for the party in his Tigers gear!
I discovered that one of the 1st grade teachers, Ms. Charnley, at Ev's school makes cakes. Evan and I looked through some pictures and put some ideas together and came up with this cake that she made. It was a big hit at the party! He loved his Tigers cake!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

End Of The Year Recap

Yes, I'm behind AGAIN, but now I'm back. I left off right before Christmas, and while I could go into a lot of details about winter break and Christmas, I'm not going to. It seems like it was so long ago. Since we're into the new year now I'm going to give you the very shortened version. Otherwise I'll never get back up to date. It seems like I've been busy non-stop with this and that since the kids were on Christmas break. So here we go:

The first week of winter break for the kids, I made it a point that the kids and I did something special together each day. I wanted to make some memories and share in some fun activities with them. We weren't going anywhere over break so I had to bring the fun to them! Day one, we made some more pretzel buttons (this was after I had already made three batches to give to teachers) and another batch of party mix (again after I had made three batches the previous week). Day two, we made our first gingerbread house together. The kids had a blast, and we'll definitely be doing it again next year! Day three, we made a Rice Krispie treat Christmas tree! Later that night we made peanut butter pretzel bites. I decided to try these this year instead of my Peanut Butter Pattie cookies I usually make. A recipe I found on Pinterest. They were o.k., but not as good as the cookies. Day four, we made some more Sour Cream Cut-out cookies like the kids had made with Katie a few weeks before. I thought we'd surprise my mom, sister, and Kaite at Christmas with some. Unfortunately though something went wrong and they didn't taste quite the same. Oh well. The kids still had fun making them. Day five, (Friday) Greg was off work with the university being closed Friday before and Monday after Christmas. He and the kids went to see his cousins that were in town, while I pampered myself with a manicure. We had family game night Friday night. Emmaline kicked our butts in Candyland three times! It was a nice way to end our week before we started our four Christmases!

Christmas Eve we celebrated Christmas #1 with Greg's mom during the day. Then she took us all to dinner. The past few years we've gone to Bravo!, but this year we decided to change it up and we went to Mitchell's Fish Market. Crab cakes and filet need I say more? Delish! Christmas morning we had Christmas #2. We've made it a point to have that time just the four of us Christmas morning so the kids can open their Santa stuff. The kids really didn't need anymore toys this year so we kept it low key with less stuff. I told them I'd rather save money on toys and use it towards a vacation this year. It would be nice some year to not have to travel and stay in our pj's on Christmas, but that's not how it works so after our Christmas we were off to my Dad's for Christmas #3. Thankfully the weather was decent this year so no travel problems on the road. My dad and step-mom made Christmas dinner and then we did presents with them. Later that afternoon we headed to my sister's and my mom came down to her house and we celebrated Christmas #4 with her. It was a busy couple days with family, nice dinners, and nice presents. Thanks to all our family for everything!

We came back home on Monday and Greg had the week between Christmas and New Year's off. It was nice to have him home and all of us together not having to run back and forth to school and activities! We spent a couple days doing returns/exchanges from Christmas. Then the rest of the week was spent re-doing Evan's room for his birthday. Stayed tuned... more about that and my little guy turning seven in the next post!