With two big brothers, she will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with, and she already has her Daddy wrapped around her pinky.
God is so good.
With two big brothers, she will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with, and she already has her Daddy wrapped around her pinky.
God is so good.
With six of my eight grand-babes in attendance, we corralled the little ones for my annual babes-in-bed photo shoot before the Christmas Eve festivities got too far along, and, as in the two previous years, it was like herding kittens.
This will be forever remembered as the year that Grand Number Seven had croup. Poor little man didn't feel well at all and was not about to give up his pacifier, nor was he having any part of his Gramma Cupcake's let's-all-wear-Santa-hats-and-sit-in-a-row-in-bed annual event.
I wouldn't trade this tradition for anything in the world.
I shared a few months back that grand-babe number nine was on the way. We now know that this latest little bundle of love is a girl!
Baby number three for my oldest daughter and her husband, she will arrive in January to meet her two big brothers, and we can hardly wait.
I have no idea where the time went, as it feels like he was just a little guy riding his bike up and down the street a nano-second ago.
Way to go, Sugar-man. Your Mama is thrilled for you!
So, after lunch, it was time to create our peanut butter and birdseed bird feeders.
Some of us were eating more peanut butter than putting it on our pinecones.
Everyone wanted prime placement on the only tree with branches that would work for the bird feeders....
Camping Bingo was another huge hit.
(Goldfish crackers make great Bingo markers)
Suppertime at Camp Cupcake arrived, and we all helped to build the campfire.
Everyone grilled their own wiener to perfection.
We then made s'mores.
...and then we made some more s'mores.
My Rock n' Roll bUddy did a few Beatles tunes, because it turns out we all like rock n' roll, and some of us love to dance.
Badges were awarded for various challenges, (I found mine on ebay) and everyone went home with a pennant that will continue to be filled with badges year after year.
All the campers were tucked in their sleeping bags (All five of them insisted on sharing the quest room at my cottage.) and were fast asleep before 9:00 and then up with the sun on Sunday morning, ready for pancakes.
Best. Time. Ever.
This past weekend was my last chance before my fun get together with the grands at Camp Cupcake, and I wanted to make the most of it. Friday evening and all day Saturday were already spoken for, so that left Sunday for accomplishing all of the nearly-down-to-the wire details I wanted to create in preparation for the upcoming big event.
(Life is full!)
By day's end, I had added the finishing touches to my once-upon-a-time-carport turned backyard-side-patio now turned Camp Cupcake outdoor-recreation-and dining-hall, (oh, my! Just wait until you see it!) and completed the camper's "essentials" bags.
(I am especially proud of the wooden name tags I cut from a little log with my chop saw.)
I created a camp logo, which I had printed (by Vistaprint) on the shirts for all the campers....
....as well as the the camp counselor and campfire musician. I am carrying out this year's logo on several other items, like the little burlap goodie bags in the first picture up above.
I mirrored the logo and printed it on transfer paper...
....then cut them out and ironed them on to fabric and attached it to the bags.
In case you can't tell, I had a wildly productive (and fun!) day prepping for next Saturday's camp with my grands! More details to come tomorrw....
The theme for Farm Chicks this year was adventure, and Serena had set up the cutest pup-tent I had ever seen, which sparked the idea for me.
(It's the "If-you-give-a-moose-a-muffin" thing all over again.)
One thing lead to another, and by the time we left Spokane, I had 6 assorted vintage camp stools, a great assortment of badges, a boat oar, and enough inspiration that the Other Tracey and I stayed up until oh-dark-thirty in our hotel room talking about it, and planning and brainstorming all sorts of ideas for the big event.
Camp Cupcake will be an over-night camp-out in my backyard, and I have games, crafts, a campfire sing-a-long, and even a scavenger hunt lined up so far on my activity list.
For those who do not know it, I became "Gramma Cupcake" when the first two grand-babes arrived over six and half years ago. It has since been shortened to simply "Cupcake" by pretty much all of the eight (and one on the way!) grands...hence the name, Camp Cupcake.
I loved Serena's tent, but I am a bit torn on which way to go, as I also love this tent idea...
Which idea do you prefer?
So much to decide!
I am sending out the invites tomorrow, and I am so excited that I can barely stand it.
Oh, yes. This is going to be so. much.fun.
Otherwise we all would have been sipping lemonade inside the air-conditioned house.
Before I share this entire post, let me back up-
First off- thank you for the oh-so-kind words from last night's post. I appreciate you all, and knowing other friends sometimes go through these kinds of things as well is comforting too.
Crazy day today, as The Sewing Queen and I spent the bulk of the day helping my son-in-law and daughter number two their moving sale. Daughter number one arrived early to help out as well, and she brought along her two boys so the kiddos could have some cousin time.
Grand number one was holding his first lemonade stand, (He is very entrepreneurial.) and he asked his slightly younger brother (Grand number three) to be his assistant.
He helped paint his workstation, including his menu board, and helped bake cookies to sell as well. All in all, a pretty slick set up.
One thing lead to another as the yard sale started and my son-in-law ended up in charge of the four Littles as we call them. To put it mildly, it was rather like herding kittens, and he came up with a perfect solution to keep them corraled. He took the four of them out back to the trampoline.
The trampoline sits in the shade of the huge pine trees and the protective netting around the edge kept everyone within eyesight.
Grand number three soon tired of the lemonade business (And the heat) and joined the crowd on the shady trampoline as well.
I took a break and popped back there to get some pictures and a short video.
So much fun to watch them all!
I came home a happy kind of tired, looking forward to the air conditioned comfort of my living room while I watch the Mariners play and write to you.
I don't think I'll move from this spot until bedtime.
He is currently into robots, and loves to put a colander on his head, and use his tongs to grab things, talking in a robot voice.
Of course, his tongs are also great for tossing the soccer ball.
Oh, how I love these babies!
Let me close with one last shameless Gramma Cupcake picture of his younger brother....
I was hanging out with some of my most favorite men last night, and I drove over in Old Blue specifically so we could take some fun pictures. It's been beautiful weather, and so it was no real surprise to me that all four of them were shirtless and barefoot when I arrived. (They are known for their naked dance parties, which now include the youngest little mister, who copies literally everything his big brothers do.)
First off, let me say that trying to photograph four little boys aged one through six by yourself is very much like herding kittens, and I was laughing the entire time I was trying to repeatedly corral and coax poses out of them, counting heads to be sure I hadn't lost anyone since the last shot.
In the end, I actually managed quite a few precious shots and I just knew you would want to see them.
(You saw this shameless Gramma Cupcake brag post coming at "naked dance parties", didn't you?)
Here is my favorite picture. Being the fourth of four boys, the baby has pretty much decided he needs to holler all of his words, and proudly yells out "Cheeeeeee!" every time he thinks you're taking his picture.
(I know, right? It melts my heart too!)
Oh yeah, I am seeing plenty more photo-ops happening with all of the grands and Old Blue this summer.
(Mmmm hmm. I thought so.)
I got to spend Easter with my sweet grands in the biggest little city, and I have been meaning to share a few pictures.
(Indulge me, please.)
It's hard not being able to see these two cutie-pies as often as I see the ones here in town, and this last visit I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked.
Less than a year and a half apart, they are best friends. She's a little Mama,always wanting to help, and he's a wild man, who isn't afraid of anything. I adore them and they are perfect.
(Just like the rest of my grands.)
(But you know that.)
One of my daughters had her gallbladder removed this week, and while it was outpatient surgery, it still has quite a little bit of recovery time.
Especially when you have a one and two year old at home.
And everyone in your house has had the nasty flu and then colds this season, and you're ready to be doing something fun, but instead, you find yourself having your gallbladder taken out.
When it rains it pours sometimes.
I wanted to do something to make things better. To help things run more smoothly. I'm taking the day today to help with the little men. (Really, it's to get my Mom/Gramma Cupcake fix)
Anyway, you feel helpless when someone you love so much is going through this kind of rough patch, and all I know to do is...cook. (....or bake.)
So....I made my Hunny Bunny and her family a batch of my homemade spaghetti sauce, and added a pack of noodles. I picked up a nice baguette of french bread, and I added one of my sweet little Weck jars filled with shredded Parmesan cheese. I finished off my basket with a potted hydrangea and a couple of new dish towels. (Just because.)
Tonight's supper will be easy, and yummy, 'coz a whole lot of love that went into it.
While helping to get ready for last weekend's birthday party, I went into the bathroom and smiled to myself when I saw this basket sitting on the floor.
Memories and emotions ranging from to frustration-on-the-brink-of-tears to doing a happy-dance-around-the-living-room came flooding back into my mind.
Oh, the dreaded potty-training stage. I remember thinking my first born was never going to be out of diapers. We went seven incredibly long and painful days in a row without ever once making a successful trip to the potty. On the eighth day, the sun aligned with the moon and the stars, and my prayers were answered at last. She made a pee-pee in the toilet and was rewarded with an M & M. I am pretty sure I called every single person in my address book to share the accomplishment.
One of life's rights of passage moments.
I want to know where the time went, that I am now finding my children's children at this stage in life. It's going far, far to fast for me.
Still, seeing those books in the basket there make me smile as it reminds me that a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
And can bring back a million memories.
As expected, we had a fabulous time at number eight's first birthday party. (Don't you love his birthday crown? My daughter found it on etsy!) The little cousins were running through the house, chasing one another with helium balloons, and we watched an incredibly sweet and touching video that my son-in-law created showing his first year in pictures and videos.
I created a chalkboard look poster, and my daughter added some adorable table decorations....
His cutie-patootie shirt was an etsy find as well...
The birthday boy had revolted against taking his afternoon nap, and so he was pretty chill during the party.
As you can see in my first photo in this post, he was far more interested in the paper straw flags and little candies on the cake than eating the cake or frosting.
We had a decent rain shower in the morning, but by the time the party began, we had sunny skies. The cousins were then able to run around in the front yard for a bit before the party ended.
A good time was had by all!
At least about the visit with the big grands.
My Rock n' Roll Buddy came up with a few fun ideas for the boys and one of them was to make s'mores in the fireplace. This proved to be an especially perfect idea because the day we planned to do it, the winds were ridiculously high here and the power went off.
We built our fire and gathered our ingredients. The boys took turns roasting the marshmallows and then I helped them with the assembly.
Mmmmmmm. So yummy.
I gathered candles so we'd be ready for a night without electricity, and just as we finished roasting the last marshmallow...the power came back on.
At first we all squealed that the power had returned, and then Carter shouted, "Turn the lights back off!"
That made Gramma Cupcake smile.
(At least by four and five year old men.)
We decided to bake sugar cookies yesterday, the grand-boys and I, and I had an idea that I knew would be easy and fun for them. We rolled out our sugar cookie dough, and cut it into random length skinny-ish strips, then cut the long strips at various spots to make a lot of rectangles. We then placed them all on the cookie sheet and popped them into the oven.....(Maybe I am the only one impressed with our handy-work, but don't they kind of resemble oven baked fries, even on the cookie sheet?)
When they cooled after baking, I slid them into those polka-dot french fry holders. They mimicked real fries, all right.
The boys were wildly impressed.
A couple of summers ago, I got ridiculously carried away one day while online shopping, and bought cute little cardboard french fry boxes in several colors. When they arrived a week later, I wondered exactly what I was thinking.(setting the table like it's fast food for my gal-pals? Um...not happening at my house.
So, the cute (if you could find a use for them) little fry boxes ended up tucked into a drawer in my craft room, waiting for the moment of inspiration to hit me.
Each time I opened the drawer, I would see a sliver of bright orange, yellow or turquoise polka-dot paper peeking out and I would be reminded that I need to not let clever marketing sway me into tapping that silly "Add to my cart" button. (I do not even remember what the clever marketing was at this point in time, but I know me, and I know that is how this occurred.)
Fast forward a couple of years, give or take. As I shared a few days ago, I have two of the bigger grand-boys staying with me while their parents are on an anniversary trip. We were working on a handmade bookmark for a contest at the library, and I went into one of my drawers to get the paper punches out, and what did I spy with my little eye, but a sliver of turquoise polka-dot paper peek-a-booing out.
The teeny tiny light bulb in my head flickered and I realized the moment had (finally!) arrived to use the little fast food fry boxes. (Four of them, at any rate.)
Yesterday we picked up some potatoes at the grocery and I set about to make a fabulous boy-friendly meal. I whipped the place settings together very spur of the moment, and looking back, now see a multitude of other possibilities that would have been even cuter. (Things like cute name labels on the fry boxes...)
I used my roll of freezer paper with crayon names written on them for placemats, and paper plates. When the little men (and my Rock n' Roll Buddy) came to the table, it was hard to tell who was the most impressed.
I laughed out loud as I listened to them ooh and aah over the french fry containers, and the littlest man, who was even more impressed to see his name on the placemat.
I've spending time at my cottage with a couple of the bigger grandsons this week while their parents are out of town. We started off our Saturday with bunnycakes.
I saw them on Pinterest, and I figured it would be easy.
I was wrong.
It took me several attempts before getting any pancakes to be remotely ear or foot shaped. (The first two griddles full tasted fine, but they were pretty odd looking, so I took the rejects for my plate.)
Little whipped cream tails, and sliced bananas for the pads of their feeties.(Syrup and butter added later, with sausage links and hot cocoa on the side.)
We've got one more first birthday coming up in a couple of weeks for grand-babe number eight. (Oh, how time flies!) I'm helping with some of the details, including little mister's smash cake, which will be topped with a little banner, and a teeny tiny elephant. (I found him for two bucks at Michaels Craft Store. Who knew little plastic animals would be found there? Not me.)
Last night I had some fun getting my petite pachyderm celebration-ready with a party hat made from a small scrap of scrapbook paper and some little stamens from a silk flower, and an eensy-weensy bow on his tail.
I'd love to have a little balloon floating up toward the sky from his trunk, but I haven't found anything that will work quite right just yet....
Even without a balloon, I think he looks like he's ready to party, don't you?
Have you seen the Disney movie, Up?
(A delightful movie, especially if you get to watch it in 3D!)
Grand-babe number seven loves balloons so much that his Mama decided to focus on them by doing an "Up" theme for his first birthday. (She out-did herself...again!) The birthday boy wore his "1" tee shirt with suspenders and a little Carl (from the movie)-like cardigan.
As guests arrived at the party, they followed the arrows and signs to Paradise Falls and when they entered the front door, they were greeted with this...
The buffet table was set up with Dug the Dog,(borrowed from a friend!)
...pictures of Carl and Ellie (free images on the internet in dollar store frames)
...plenty of tennis balls, and the big jar of coins, being saved for that trip to Paradise Falls.
The little guests made their own boyscout sashes with merit badges...
...and probably my most favorite detail of the party was that everyone got their own special Grape Soda-pop Adventurer bottle cap pin just like Ellie gave Carl when they met.
Everyone had so much fun!
If you haven't seen Up, you should. There is a great message in this movie, a lot of giggle-out-loud spots, and sweet moments.
Where did the time go? Can it really be..?
My two first-born grands, just a month apart, are heading off to kindergarten. Their respective younger brothers are heading off to pre-school.
Oh, I am so excited for them all! I have some special little somethings for them to make the big day even more special.
(Okay, I got them all underwear.) My grand daughter will be wearing a uniform at her school, and I was stumped on what could work universally for all four of them...underwear seemed like a logical choice at the time.
Don't judge me.
They're Super-heros underwear....for the boys anyway. Ms. Cutie-Patootie got fun prints in various shades of pinks and her favorite color...purple! That should garner a small amount of hoopla I am thinking.
(I am hoping it does, at any rate.)
I thought it might turn out to be another new family tradition.
(Although, I am not sure how this will be going over when I am buying boxers for 15 year old grands.)
A Gramma can hope, you know?
For now, I am looking forward with eager anticipation to hear how those first big days go! (and having really cool underwear from your Gramma Cupcake just might be the icing on the cake.)
Okay, probably not, but I want them to all know I am thinking of them on their big day.
He would almost rather read his books than play with his bulldozers and diggers, and cars.
His Mama takes him to the wonderful library here in Vancouver, Washington, and he loves every minute of it.
He can't wait to go through each new book, page by page. (over and over, and over, again.
Mark Twain was right when he said, a good book is a good friend.
(I am so very, very blessed!)
I managed to snap a few pictures of our newest family member last time I was at his home. (The natural lighting in their home is the best!)
He's a week shy of three months, and he's smiling, and cooing, and oh! He's discovered his hands...(he's gonna be a chatterbox like his big brother, I think.)
I plopped him down on the bed, and started talking to him, and he was trying his very best to talk back to me.
We had a moment, he and I.
Heaven on earth, for sure.
Here's my favorite photo of the day....
It's so good to be Gramma Cupcake.
Okay, I may be a teensy bit partial.
But still...how sweet is this photo?!
I know I have told you that my eight wonderful grand-babes all have a cousin within months of them.
And that makes for some pretty precious moments, like this one.
You remember these two, right? They've been hangin' out since...way back when...
Oh my. Time flies.
My camera caught these two cousins taking a little stroll with one of the Daddy's on Saturday, as we were all gathered at T-Ball game.
It makes my heart spill over.
Aaah, our first T-Ball season has arrived here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and that means the opening game was postponed due to rain.
(Which was like a little gift from God to me, because I was out of town, and hated that I was going to miss it.)
A couple of weeks passed and the sun is finally here.
(at least for the time being.)
I couldn't resist this latest sign I found at Camas Antiques for the frat house. With four boys sharing a bathroom, this was a definite gotta-have for above the toilet, don'tcha think?