Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Big Party

Greetings friends and family,

We are two days away from being parents of five-year-old twins.  I sense this is a milestone worthy of celebration because the foundations are basically laid.  The concrete is dry and now we get to start guiding them in the way they should go.  One of the most important concepts is "the force" and the dark side.  OK, it's not really on the top of our list, but we've been introducing them to the Star Wars characters through cartoons and a montage of kid-friendly clips in the movies.  Kendra described the Snow Speeders and Luke's brilliant idea to wrap the tow cable around the AT-AT legs.

Easton's mind was blown.  Layla was mildly concerned about the guys who died.

One night we took a trip to DQ for some chocolate badness.

They noticed the advertisements with ice cream cakes and asked me to get one for each of them.  We decided to give separate birthday parties this year for the first time.  Their friends and interests are too divergent for a single party and we want them to be individuals.  For the past year when one of them asks me for some item in a store I say, "maybe for your birthday?"  I don't like to say "no you'll never have that" and I also don't buy them everything they ask for.

I found out the hard way that Easton and Layla's memories are good enough to remember each and every item I ever said that about.  They also are smart enough to match those things I said with my consistent promise that I am a man of my word.  That's why Easton got one of his birthday presents early.  The Shell Raiser Turtle van.  When we walked out of the store he beamed with a smile saying, "I've been dreaming about this for my whole life!"

Another weekend, another birthday party.  This is getting to be routine and I don't see that changing anytime in the next several years.  Easton's best buddy, Elliot, turned five.  His parents hosted a train-themed party with about 20 kids.

One of the games they played was hilarious to watch.  A fan with a hose attached blew dozens of plastic butterflies into the air while the kids caught them with bug nets.  That lasted about 10 seconds, then the kids would spent 5 minutes picking up and reloading all the plastic butterflies that blew all over the room.  turn it on for another 10 seconds of laughter and repeat until the magician arrived.

Layla hung out with her old friend from pre-school, Isabella.  They were inseparable during the party.  I'm glad Isabella was there because it made the party worthwhile for Layla.

The magician was good with kids and they seemed to enjoy his antics.  Layla sat right next to him to be part of the spotlight.  Easton sat on the other side of the circle and was amazed by his magician abilities.

At the end of his performance he made balloon shapes for every kid.  Layla requested flower... of course.

Easton requested a sword so he could play fight with the rest of the rowdy boys.

Five seconds after he received the sword it popped.  Easton nearly fell apart thinking he'd never get another balloon. ever. ever.  I don't know why kids go to extremes like that, but I was close by so we worked through it together.  I assured him the magician would make another one if he asked.  He pulled it together and kindly asked for another one, but in blue this time.

Layla made the magicians act so easy because she played right along with his questions and requests.  She may be a bit of an over-achiever, but I certainly won't hold her back from reaching her potential.

We spent about three days of our life preparing, hosting, and cleaning up after the biggest Super Bowl party we've ever attempted.  The invite list was comprised entirely of church friends because...  well, that's where we invest our time and friendships.  Anyway, about 40 people mingled between the den, great room, and back patio to watch the game.  Our couch was a big hit as always because of how comfortable it is.

The light rain and overcast skies prevented us from having any outdoor fun during the big game, but the patio provided an overflow area for those who like it a little colder than inside our house.

The great room couches were arranged for optimal TV viewing and we left it that way after the party was over just for a change in scenery.

I consider the party a huge success because everyone enjoyed being here and no lives were lost.  Some scratches on the walls and cake smeared on some chairs is about all the damage we took, but it was worth it to spend time building relationships and "doing life" together.

During one of the commercial breaks I turned on some dance music for the kids to give us a performance.  They did much better than Beyonce and were appropriately dressed for family entertainment, unlike Beyonce.

They danced to Psy's Gangnam Style and that little boy knew way too many moves from the video for a 4 year old.  I was impressed.  They also danced in the big room for the whole crowd.  Easton wanted no part of the dancing, but he did take this picture:

He'd much rather learn how to take pictures than get his boogie on.  Whatever works for him!

I wanted to take pictures of the entire house and do some before-after comparisons of what it looked like before we remodeled.  It's been over a year now so I should probably get started on that...  Here's a picture of half of the great room Kendra and Jenny recovered the cornice board.  She is much happier with the color scheme.

We're gearing up for Easton and Layla's birthday parties over the next few weeks.  Not sure what we'll do for their actual birthday though.  I'll probably just spend time playing with them because that's what they want more than anything.

See you soon!

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