Saturday, February 28, 2009

What a Happy Birthday Party!

I am super tired after a long and fantastic day...  but I had to post just a few (of the 360 I took today) photos from Kaya's Rainbow Cookie Cupcake Party (with a little High School Musical thrown in). That is what she picked and I made it happen. It was one of those parties that was either going to be fabulous or horrendous and happily, it was really wonderful. Everything about it worked...  from the dress I appliqued for Kaya with a big 4 on the front and a backwards 4 on the back
To the aprons we had the kids stamp/paint their names on (they were not bad quality for what I paid). got them at Oriental Trading...  they were small, but decent and the kids LOVED them. 

Every time Kaya saw me about to take a picture of her, she was PROUD to shoot up her four little fingers...  it was just so cute. She is SO EXCITED to be four!
This is a shot of some of the 84 cupcakes and 48 cookies I made last night (from box mixes, NOT from scratch)

I am SO HAPPY I picked up this little tower thing at JoAnns with a 40% off coupon. I was really on a tight budget for this party...  but this was a very good decision and my friends promised to borrow it from me because I would NEVER pay $13 for something I was only going to use once!
The decorating in the bags with the tips was a HUGE hit. I mean, they LOVED it!

Even Kalli's boyfriend (long story there...  but they went to school together at age two and have called each other boyfriend and girlfriend ever since, and he is such a nice kid) decorated cupcakes and had a really good time.

We found out that my neice, EJ has a hidden talent for Cake Decorating that did NOT come from my sister!! 

Kaya was gracious and kind and loved every present...  even every piece of clothing. She held every single thing up for me to take a picture. It was just sweet. I could not have planned it more perfectly. She was great and shared everything right away with her sister and friends...  I wish she could always be so appreciative.

The cake (purchased by my Mom's best friend Mrs. J because I was not going to have a cake since we had all the cupcakes and she said we needed to have a cake to blow out the candles on. So, she brought a stunning cake in Kaya's rainbow theme.

And, without knowing, Mrs. J's daughter, our good friend Mari, had her husband pick up the candles and he got trick candles (yeah, for a four year old - I am SURE he did not get them on purpose) so she blew her little heart out trying to get them to stay out and the room filled with smoke from them. She was so cool about it and she just kept making these faces and blowing. Her dad starting helping her and it was just really funny. Neil took out some of the candles when they seemed to be out, and they started again IN HIS HAND and someone noticed...   they almost caught a balloon on fire. Mari was so mad that her husband got those, but MAN, it made us all laugh and Kaya was the best sport about it.

Here is Kaya loving Mrs. J. This lady makes my world a much better place. I wonder if my Mom knew what an amazing gift she was giving me by picking Mrs. J as her best friend. 
And it ended with an awesome Karaoke event to HSM2 in the basement on my dad's big screen TV with two of Neil's mikes set up so they could sing together...  they were jumping around and just really really enjoying it all. I loved it. I was so proud and peaceful even amongst the chaos that goes with having 16 kids painting and decorating cupcakes and getting out and spreading out every toy you have in your home!  It felt fantastic and I felt like this was something they would never forget. I never had kid parties when I was little. My best friend threw me a surprise party with friends for my Golden Birthday (turning 14 on the 14th) and I thought it was amazing. Even on a tight budget this year, it turned out better than I could have dreamed. I am SO LUCKY to have good friends who take great care of me (by cleaning up the ENTIRE mess from the cupcake decorating while we did presents) and brought amazing things to help me (food, cakes, etc). My sister provided so much stuff.....  it looked so nice and stayed in budget and best of all, was what one kid called, "the best party ever." Cannot ask for more than that. I feel very tired and very very very blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For Kaya to wear at her party this weekend!!

I got this idea and was dying to do this for Kaya for her birthday. I picked up the dress and a shirt that coordinated for only $11.40 at Kohls. I used the coordinating polka dot shirt like material for the applique so it perfectly coordinated. I printed the 4 off my computer for a pattern, used Heat and Bond (from Threm O Web where believe it or not I worked in 1998) and my sewing maching to make this fantastic. I am so excited about it. It will look incredible on her. And, I have the 4 backwards on the back so when she is walking away from you, it looks like you are looking through the shirt at the backwards 4. It is adorable and I cannot wait to see her in it on her party.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Kaya Sikora Blankenship

You are stunning and I love everything about you. 

I hope you enjoy every single minute of being four my baby. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kaya's last day as a three year old...

I am stunned that in a few hours my baby will be 4!! 
How did she get so big? These are a few terrible quick photos of a few pages I made (darn, why did I not go digital sooner so I had her birth digital instead of in boxes in the basement???).
This is her still in my belly - we are at the hospital checking in.

These are her first photos. We missed these with Kalli because she was an emergency C and Kaya was a planned C (so much calmer the 2nd time). I love these photos. I love them so much that looking at them hurts my heart.

And this is Kaya meeting my Mom. My wonderful Mom who I miss SO MUCH every day and especially on special occasions that I know she would have LOVED. She loved her grandchildren more than earth. Thank goodness she was here to see them be born. But I cannot help but think about how much I wished she had at least made it to see Kaya turn one. Much less four. And, how can it be that she has been gone that long??  Ugh. It breaks my heart.
Sorry for the glare on these photos..  I have too much to do to take them out of the page protectors, but you get the point.
And this is her this weekend more than excited to show me her BIG OLD FOUR fingers. I beg her daily to "stay little" and she says, "But Mommy, I have to turn four and then five and then six and then thirty seven like you." And when I pretend to cry she adds, "But don't worry, I will still love you and waffles when I am four." 
Ahhhhh, I love that kid and I love being her Mom.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I hope you have a day full of love

No matter where you are, I hope you know that you are loved. I am not a big fan of mushy "Hallmark" holidays, but I do love when life encourages you to make sure you take time to tell the people you love that you love them. Sometimes we forget to make the time to simply let them know. I hope you let someone know today how much you love them.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our very own ice skating princess....

Kalli took ice skating this winter instead of winter indoor soccer to try something new. She loved it, and she did a great job staying on her little feet! I told her I would not take her home until she landed a triple Lutz...  she thought I was insane. I got out my BIG lens (70 - 210) which I had not done since I went digital. It worked SO WELL at the rink, and I am stunned at myself for not getting it out sooner. I loved it and the pictures were great. Here are just a few of the tons I took that day:
And never one to miss out on a photo opportunity....  Kaya wanted me to take some of her: 
And I caught her cheering on her sister giving her the THUMBS UP while yelling "Go sissy. Go faster. You can do it sissy!!" I love that Kaya has spent her lifetime on the sidelines with Busia. Never complaining, just cheering on her big sister. 
On the way out of skating, we ran into Kalli's boyfriend since she was 2 years old (they met and fell in love at daycare when they were both 2). They are both so much taller now...  and they are even shy around each other now. It was cute and sort of sad that they both grew up so much. 
And, here is the downfall to having a zoom lens on the camera. Kaya desperately wanted to take a picture of me....  and I moved as far back as I could, and this is all she got: 
Hope you all have a great weekend. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A couple more birthday party shots

Here is a good one of Mindy getting kissed by her kids...
Dad and Matt

The four of us....  this photo reminds us all of the four of us at the SuperBowl a couple of years ago (what a happy memory that is, even though the bears got killed and it poured rain)
 Here is a cute one of papa and Kaya with the cake that I missed posting the other day

And here are a few of the kids and Auntie Mindy at the mall. She always spoils my kids at the mall. Merry-go-round rides and ice cream. The things we love but cannot afford. It was an all around great day full of happy memories. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We Love Busia

How cute is this little old lady anyway??  We are lucky and blessed every day that she is here with us. She is going to give up her apartment and move in with us in May. I feel honored that my children will get to be surrounded by her love each day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photos make a wonderful gift...

My sister brought her kids into town on Saturday early so we could sneak to the mall and get the first photo ever taken professionally with all four of Dad's grandchildren. I was so excited. I had a FREE 8 x 10 coupon so that was my contribution to the gift, and Mindy bought the amazing frame. It came out incredible. I cannot wait to see it up at his house. He used to be surrounded by photos of the grandkids when he lived with Mom in their house. Now, there are no photos of the kids in the new place. I felt happy that he would soon get to see their smiling, happy faces every day in his home.

While we were waiting for the people at Picture People to wait on us, the kids played with their props and I took a few photos.... 
Kaya is soooooooooo excited to turn four - she was THRILLED when she found the number four props! I cannot believe my baby is turning four in 15 days. How fast did that time go??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rainbow Cakes Rock

We had a party at my house on Saturday to celebrate my dad turning 60. He was out of the country on his real 60th, but all the kids wanted to celebrate with him. It was a fun, relaxing day.

Check out the cake he made with all four of his grandkids....

Here is the link Shannon sent me to the recipe for this fantastic rainbow creation. And, we used SPRITE ZERO to make it and fat free cool whip for the frosting, so it was not even ALL THAT bad for us to eat.

I thought it totally looked like he was hosting a cooking show in his little Yellow Fence  Scrapbooking Apron in this photo
And I just loved this shot of the five of my little bakers
It was a fun day. Even my brother Matt and Rahul made it in for the celebration. 
More photos from it later...  just wanted you to see that rainbow cake.