Sunday, July 3, 2011

Going Away/Last Hurrah/4th of July/Start of Summer Sleepover

This week the girls were away at our Church Girls' Camp.  I will post more on that later (I have to have the girls tell me what all the pictures were about).  It was a pretty busy time for us.  They ended school on Thursday, had the weekend to get packed, hang out with their friends and then leave for a week to camp.  Then the Friday they got back, they needed to pack up over the weekend to leave to the States on Monday morning.  I just knew they were going to miss their friends. They have really gotten close to a good group of girls.  I thought they needed one last hurrah.  It just happened to be July 4th weekend, the beginning of summer and a few of their friends were leaving as well. So, we called it the Going Away/Last Hurrah/4th of July/Start of Summer Sleepover.

Their friend, Christine, was awesome to help me surprise plan something for them since they were gone and wouldn't be able to help me plan it in time.  And who doesn't love a surprise. I love planning them AND receiving them.  It got me even more excited to do this.  Between talking with all the parents, it just seemed like there wasn't a good day the entire weekend where everyone was free. Then I had the thought... "The girls are gonna want a sleepover no matter who we invite over for the day."  Xoe and Xanthe never ask me if a friend can come "hang out." It's always, "Can so-and-so sleep over?" I'm trying to get them to understand, you don't always have to have a sleepover. But they LOOOOOOVE it. So I knew the sleepover was the way to go.  When I suggested it to Christine, she jumped all over that idea.  Maybe it's all girls this age loving sleepovers.  I think they just all love to be together so it doesn't matter what we did.

So, we planned a whole weekend before the girls even came home.  And here is the report of the fun that was had by all!

First off, when I picked up the girls on Friday at noon, they were trashed! They had been tent camping for four days and I could tell were ready to just go home and vegge.  Until... I asked them if they wanted a sleepover with "a" friend.  They said yes! So I said, "Good, cuz I've invited 6!" They freaked out. Then I told them the entire plan and you could just see their mouths drop open. Xoe said, "Mom, you are the coolest mom ever!"  haha.  That made me so happy cuz I don't feel like it sometimes.  A lot of times I feel like I could do more during our every day life to make life fun.  But health and busy-ness get first priority sometimes.  So... I have to re-prioritize sometimes.  I gave them the entire weekend without so much as opening my laptop or answering more than a handful of emails on my phone. For as much work as it was, I was actually enjoying myself... and happy. :)

Army 4th of July Party

The Army base does a big 4th of July bash on the airfield runway.  This year didn't have as much as last year but it was still a good time.  We planned to meet all of the girls at Christine's house and then walk over.  She lived on the same "installation" as the airfield.  It didn't quite work out that way (girls forgetting their sleepover stuff, one girl didn't have a ride, etc.).  It was a lot of running around, but all 8 girls made it and we started our 4th of July party (on Friday the 1st) with a bang!

L to R-Xanthe Villa, Emma Busby, Grace Campana, Ashley Busby, Katryn Brown, Christine Arnold, Xoe Villa were recruited to make buttons for other people to wear. The craft department (whatever they were called) actually were "paying" people in red, white and blue poker chips to do their crafts.  Then you could cash in the chips for toys (more on that later). We were missing Jazmine Brown at that point (her parents brought her with them as a family), but we linked up with her later on. The girl standing in the background was Ramona but she didn't come to the sleepover.

Brian and Brittany met us later on and Spencer couldnt' help but stare at this for quite awhile.
Spencer didn't really want to play the games. For most of the time, he found all the puddles and were jumping and running in them.  But one thing he freaked out about was when he noticed Mr. Bruce and Mr. Ricky.  He pretty much monopolized Mr. Bruce and Mr. Ricky's attention. He couldn't stop staring at them and wanting them to play. Mr. Bruce and Mr. Ricky are two of his favorite (if not his only favorite) caregivers at the Child Development Center where he goes to Hourly Care (not his regular toddler school).  You'll see in the video after these pictures that for at least an hour (the video isn't that long), he just walked circles around the game Mr. Bruce and Mr. Ricky were manning.  When they gave him toys, he would stand right next to their station and play the toys on the bench. At one point, Bruce gave Spencer and all the girls handfuls of chips to go cash in for toys.  They had so many freaking toys and gadgets and crap doodads. But it was so fun! He also took Spencer behind the "cash in table" and loaded up a bag full of toys just for him.  We seriously now have every kind of car, train, dump truck, inflatable ball, musical piano, paddle ball, etc., etc. that they had there.  The girls were stocked up too. :) It was so awesome.  Bruce and Ricky have a special place in my heart because they just truly love Spencer. Even after Spencer's 3-month absence from Hourly Care to go another class, they were the only ones he got excited to see (Virginia is no longer in his class, if you remember my post about her).
Mr. Bruce

I did this picture too cuz you can see Bruce better. He's German but speaks really good English.  Even though Spencer is distracted, he was in heaven that Bruce was taking a picture with him.

This video captures so much of Spencer's personality.  At the beginning he does his "pouty walk" that he does all the time.  It's so funny, you can't help but laugh. His Early Development Teacher totally cracks up all the time when he does this with her. Then he kind of walks around Bruce's station, and then when Bruce finally acknowledges him toward the end of the short video, Spencer does a happy walk dance. :)

Some of the girls with Brittany waiting to go on the pillow fight.  It goes from L to R: Ashley, Katryn, Christine, Xanthe, Brittany, Xoe and Makayla (another girl who couldn't come to the house)

Xanthe and Christine pillow fighting.  Brittany and I got up there and it actually is really unstable.  Until the guy started moving it around again and it got even more freaky.  I kind of kicked Brittany's trash.  haha. Actually, both of us were pretty kick butt!  We couldn't knock each other over. :)

Xanthe getting ready to ride the horse

Xoe Horseback Riding. These girls love horseback riding.

The shock of the century. Spencer actually wanted to ride. At first we tried to get him to go up there but he didn't want to.  we thought he had forgotten about it until about two hours later he grabbed my hand and made me follow him all the way across the runway. I had no idea where he wanted to go until he pointed to the horses.  I told him (thinking it would for sure deter him), "You have to put a helmet on, okay?" He gave his "Uh-huh" noise and I was like, "Well... okay!"  I really didnt' think he would.  So, I walked him over the horse and lifted him up and he was giggling and laughing the whole time. I was so shocked that I didn't know what to do. I HAD to get this on camera cuz no one was going to believe me that he got up on the horse.  I literally handed my camera set to video mode to some random lady I didn't even know and asked her to record us.  haha!

He went around twice and then he was done.  haha.  He didn't cry to go more, he had gotten his fill.  Amazing.
(Sorry. Bad picture.  It was the best I could get from my iphone.)
Daddy and Spencer

Later on, they had a huge fireworks show.  It was pretty awesome. Spencer and Brian and Brittany had left so it was just me and the girls. It didn't start til 11:00 p.m. cuz it doesn't even get dark here until then.  Needless to say, we got home very late. :) But it was a blast.

Xanthe & Christine

Jazmine, Katryn, Xanthe, Xoe, Christine, Ashley, Grace

Xoe sportin a grin. (Sorry phone picture again)

Sportin our double chins.  I LOVE this picture of me and her even though the coloring his horrid. :)

So, we headed home!

Ice Cream!!!
What better way to start a sleepover than ice cream sundaes?

Xanthe, my resident photographer, took these artsy pictures.  Just keep going through this post... You're going to be amazed at how good she is. She's so much better than me.  I think I might recruit her for the magazine. And if the pictures look like a 4 year old took them, those are probably mine. :)

Katryn, Grace, Emma, Jazmine and Christine

Jazmine Reed

Christine Arnold

Board Games, Cards & Movies
We made a huge bed on the floor  with all of our memory foam mattresses in our living room and even had some kids sleeping on couches.  They started the night off with "Uno," then moved onto "Apples to Apples," and then they fell asleep watching the two CSI episodes starring Justin Bieber. I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. so I'm not quite sure what time they all ended up falling asleep. I don't normally go to bed before the kids do at a sleepover but these kids were all very trustworthy so I figured it was okay.

Of COURSE we had to make white chocolate popcorn. I made red, white and blue cones for them to eat their popcorn out of, but no pictures.  They were addicted to this stuff. Ate the entire batch that night.

Saying goodnight and "Peace Out."

Zombies in the Morning
They all woke about 9:30 a.m. and when I opened the door, they were all kind of just staring at an episode of  "Ghost Whisperer" (random that they love this show).  I started breakfast about that time and we ate about 10:15 a.m.

We had blue pancakes with strawberry syrup, white whipped cream, red strawberries and blue sprinkles to fit the 4th of July theme.  But we also had eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls and french toast.

Craft Time!!!
For those of you who know Xoe and Xanthe, you know they love to "get their craft on" (as their aunt Ruthy so lovingly coined for them) so I thought as a morning activity we could decorate some picture frames. Then take a picture of the whole group to go inside so everyone could remember their friends, those who were leaving for good, and those who were just going away for the summer.  

Here's how we started:

Grace Campana getting her hands dirty. :)

Christine and Xoe

Jazmine Reed


(From bottom left: Emma Busby, Xanthe Villa, Christine Arnold, Xoe Villa, Katryn Brown, Jazmine Reed, Grace Campana)

And here we again have resident photographer, Xanthe's pictures of the event.  I'm seriously going to send these to our magazine photographer to see what she thinks.

And these next pictures are of a craft Xanthe started making after she was finished with her frame. We had her transfer it to a canvas so we can frame and hang. I thought it was pretty amazing.

Emma posing for Xanthe!  Gettin her red, white and blue on.

Spencer was involved in the fun.  He pretty much just played with trains the whole time until we went to take pictures outside. That's when he wanted to get involved in the fun. Just ignore his diaper-only pants. Kinda gross but he was a little bit forgotten that day. :)

Friends Pictures

We went out in our backyard to take a group picture.  Spencer decided to get in on the action.  I love these pictures with Spencer in it even though his diaper is gross. Check out Xanthe's awesome smile in this picture and then Spencer sporting a huge smile for the camera too. :)

Brian did a great job taking these pictures I thought. These are the ones we're going to develop and put in the frames.

Train Tracks
A few weeks ago we all walked to the local train station and took the train to our downtown city.  At first the girls didn't think it would be fun but once I showed them to safely put coins on the tracks to get smashed, they've been going at least once or twice a week. They LOVE it. So when their friends were looking for something to do they decided to ride bikes down there.  It was quite interesting watching them figure out how to get too many people down there with not enough transportation.  


The only bummer about the coins is that sometimes they get thrown off the tracks and they can only find about half of what they put on there.  We've lost quite a few coins in the process, but luckily the girls had a whole stash to offer all their friends.

After the train tracks, they all were feeling a bit burnt from staying up so late.  They opted not to go to the movies and decided to curl up on the couch and watch some episodes of Ghost Whisperer.  

And that was the end of our sleepover.  They had a blast and we were all trashed the rest of the day!  We knew the next day was our only day to pack up for their visit to the states.  we couldn't really vegge because we had company over for dinner, as well as a visit with our landlord, so we were pretty dang busy. I think I went to bed at 9:30, which is early for me.  It was such a blast though! I hope the girls remember it for years to come. :)


Randi said...

Wow! I am tired just from reading that! You are such a fun mom. I love that you have such a great understanding of what the girls like and what would be cool to them. I need to make sure and take notes for when Brenna is older so she isn't embarrassed of me!

Raenbows and Mud Puddles said...

the pictures are fantastical and what a great mom you are for putting on such a fun couple of days for the girls hurrah!
The picture frame idea is awesome! and you can tell how much fun the girls had! I would call it a huge success! ♥