Two Birthdays, Two Days Apart

The first week of September is always a little bit hectic. My birthday, followed by Joseph’s birthday, followed by a party for Joseph…but we survived another year of it. 😉 For my birthday, we had take-out and Paul picked up a little cake at the store. For Joseph’s, he and Paul went and saw a movie together. Then for his party (the next day), we had a few of his friends over for pizza, cake, and an epic super-soaker battle (the boys got to take their super-soakers home as party favors). Let’s see…what else? Oh, we had Orientation for Joseph’s class (Abigail’s class still doesn’t have a permanent teacher, so Orientation for her class will be another time). Outside the classroom, his teacher had put up their “all about me” papers. One fun thing I learned about Joseph is that he wants to be a beekeeper when he grows up, but only for carpenter bees. At first I was wondering about the distinction, but then I remembered that carpenter bees (for the most part), don’t sting. Smart kid. Oh, and I can’t forget to add that I saw my first hummingbird moth. They’re huge. One got into our garage just as Abigail and I were getting back from dropping Joseph off for school. It buzzed around us a bit (they actually make a buzzing sound and they flap their wings fast, like a hummingbird) before it (thankfully) found its way out. I was glad, because I had no idea how we were going to be able to get it out without harming it. The joys of Texas living!

I added one more candlestick to my collection (the tall one). This one is extra special, though!
It’s actually signed by Clint Harp, who is the wood working guy from the show Fixer Upper. The two smaller candlesticks are the ones that I purchased in his shop in Waco when Tracie and I went last October, but this taller one I ordered during a special weekend where Clint said that he would sign every candlestick purchased that weekend.
She used her animals, monkeys (from the Barrel O’ Monkeys game), and trees to make a campfire. I love her imagination!
Pretty birthday flowers.
Fun birthday cake and a cute llama candle.
My birthday presents: rain boots, a sun hat, and new Crocs. I also got a powered USB hub so I can consolidate a few of my charging cables.
One thing I’ve been trying to do the last few days (and ideally I would like to get to the point where I’m doing it every day) is taking a walk around the neighborhood. I love the area I walk along. It’s got some pretty scenery. Paul had the day off yesterday, so after I dropped Joseph off at school, I left Abigail at home and off I went!
The beginning of Joseph’s birthday cake. I used gel food coloring to make the different colors so that he could have a tiered cake with two different colors.
Out of the oven! They got a little browned on top, but that’s okay. 😉
Cooling off! I love my stackable cooling racks!
All frosted!
He wanted a symbol from one of the Legend of Zelda video games. The symbol starts out orange but turns blue when activiated (hence the two colors of the cake). I looked at the picture of Joseph’s backpack (which has the same symbol) to make sure I got it done correctly.
I snuck in an extra walk last night…the cicadas were sooooo loud (I should have recorded them), but I could also hear crickets chirping and frogs croaking. It was nice!
I decided to start off my Saturday with another walk. I’ve decided that walking outside is way more interesting than using my elliptical.
Breaking in my new sun hat while I watered and did a bit of pruning this morning. I really like that it’s open on the top so that the heat can escape…and yes, I promise to remember to put sunscreen on my part so that it doesn’t burn. 😀
Opening presents…
Nerf gun for the win!
Books, Pokemon cards, and candy…
A new SD card (for much needed storage).
Legend of Zelda gaming stuff.
Cake time!
I actually put ten candles on there this year. Usually we get number candles, but the store I went to didn’t have any zeros in stock (so that I could make a 10).
Cake and ice cream! I was so happy with the vibrancy of the colors. Gel food coloring is amazing. I only put eight drops in for the blue. For the orange I had to use a bit more (I think I put in twelve drops), but that’s still way better than having to use a ton of regular food coloring (and trying to combine the red and yellow to get just the right orange…the gel food coloring already had orange pre-mixed).
Super-soaker battle! They were using the boxes and slide as extra cover.
 

Nineteen Years, One Week, and a Couple of Outside Friends

This week was a momentous one. Not only was it the first week of school (and Abigail’s first time at school), it also contained our nineteenth wedding anniversary! It seems almost surreal when I realize we’ve been married practically twenty years. We celebrated by having a lunch date while the kids were at school. That was super nice! The kids had a great first week at school. Joseph likes that his classroom has a Harry Potter theme. Abigail loves getting to play with all her new friends, but she says that sometimes she’s a “liiiiiittle crazy and wiggly” (a direct quote) and that she sometimes forgets to share the toys. It’s all a learning process, so I’m sure those two things are going to get better with time. Oh, one funny interaction between me and Abigail that happened this week:

Me: Abigail, what do you want for bedtime snack?

Abigail: No, he’s Pikachu!

M: Pikachu, what do you want for snack?

A: He doesn’t talk.

M: Abigail, what does Pikachu want for snack?

(a bit of back and forth banter as she plays both herself, asking Pikachu what he wants for snack as well as pretending to be Pikachu and making little noises)

A: He wants pretzels!

M: Well, alrighty then.

This kid cracks me up!

I was happy to finally find a longer dress for her. She’s rather tall for her age, so the shorter dress trend that seems to be happening for little girls means that the dresses are super-short on her. She was happy because the dress has horses on it and she was allowed to wear her boots to church. 🙂
She squealed joyfully when she saw that I decided to wear my boots as well. Living in Texas definitely has its perks, haha.
First day of school! Abigail has afternoon pre-k, so she doesn’t go as early as Joseph (who is in fourth grade this year), but she still wanted a picture with him. 🙂
All things video game-related for this kid this year: Minecraft shirt and Legend of Zelda backpack and lunchbox.
She has all her favorites, too: Paw Patrol shoes, Frozen II backpack and lunchbox…
…and a Stitch (he’s the crazy alien from Lilo&Stitch) shirt. I had to get a picture of her in front of the school, since it was her very first day. I dropped Joseph off using the parent drop off, so no picture of him in front of the school.
Our first outside friend: I love finding praying mantises!
I started to head outside to bring our flag in and found another outside friend…
…a little toad!
She asked to snuggle after school (I think this was…Thursday?)…I think school makes her tired. She’s been sleeping really well all week.
Paul got me a fitbit (fitness tracker) for an anniversary present. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize he was getting me one and I got him one, too. 😀 I like that it tracks my steps, heart rate, calories burned, etc..
 

The Final Countdown

We’ve survived another summer vacation! We’re in the middle of the last weekend before school starts on Monday. I can hardly believe it’s already here! We made the best of the last week of vacation and scooted over to the zoo for one last mid-week visit. Some kids are already back in school, so it wasn’t crowded at all, which was great. Thursday, we had Meet the Teacher where we picked up the kids’ school supplies and dropped them off in their classrooms. We got to meet Joseph’s teacher, but the teacher they had originally assigned to Abigail’s class received another assignment at the last minute, so Abigail will start her first day with a sub. Hopefully they’ll get her situation figured out soon so that she can get settled in with one teacher soon. We also squeezed in a spontaneous trip to Buc-ee’s, which the kids were pretty excited about.

She used the Target bag to carry down the train tracks for her zoo train to drive on. She was not bothered in the least by the fact that the wheels didn’t fit on the tracks because the tracks still made it so that the train had to follow along them.
This was a pretty cute sight to stumble upon.
He conquered the Komodo dragon!
My sweet butterfly.
I don’t often take pictures of just animals, but I couldn’t help it with this anteater. He (or she) was just so cute all curled up asleep. I mean, look at those paws…
The hippos were really active, which was fun for Abigail. She followed this one from one window to another.
They even got to see each other really close up.
It was a rare moment where nobody was on the lions (usually there are kids crawling all over them), so I had to snap a quick picture.
She was really tired when we got to the train, so she was more than happy to snuggle up with her big brother.
My new year-round door decoration. I wanted something that wasn’t going to block the peek-hole, but also wasn’t specific to any holiday or time of year. This wreath is perfect because it also matches the general decor of everything I have going on in the downstairs rooms.
I love it when Paul brings home “just because it’s Thursday” flowers. 🙂
She made herself a nest of couch pillows. 🙂
I snapped a picture, saw that they were both looking at the camera (a feat in and of itself), and we went inside. After we got home and I looked at the picture, I realized they look…less than enthused. 😂 I promise they were excited to be there. 😄