Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Favorites: Mums, Candles, and Centerpieces

Fall is my favorite.

I love Mums.  Or, as Parker always says: "Mums for Mom!"

"Look Mom!  There are some Mums for Mom!"

I love pumpkin scented candles.

This one is left over from last year, but I bought a yummy smelling one at B and B Works and it is delicious also.

My friends, Jamie, and Julie, and I are comparing the less expensive candle from Michaels's to the one I bought at B and B Works.  I think they are equally cinnamon and pumpkin smelling.  Good buy, Jules!

I also love Fall Decor.

I made this after seeing something similar at a store in downtown Lawrence.  At the store, it was around $90...I made this for around $20.  {I also love it when something I have an idea for, actually turns out to be something I love.}

Some more things I love.  Cool evenings.  My brown boots.  Jeans and sweatshirts.  Leaves changing color.  Darker evenings.  Chili.  Chicken and Noodles.  And....Halloween decorations.

We just had to get ours out after soccer last Saturday.  Grandma J had given the boys a new one...this little fella...

And Parker was determined to get everything out.

Something else I love: Every time Andrew walks past this spider, he shrieks, "EEEEEEEEKKKKKWWWWW, a spiiiiiiiii!"  It's so much fun.  He thinks bugs are icky.  He knows how to squeal and screech and he has the best 'eeeek!" we laugh so much!

We have so many Little People holiday toys.  I love getting them out for every season!  Parker is always asking which one is next up - and he's ready to tell me every time a new holiday is coming up.

Another part of fall that I love: Brooketober.  It starts on Monday.  Are you ready?!

Happy Saturday, my friends!  Hope you're having a great {fall} weekend!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sweetie Boy

Andrew is my Sweetie Boy.  He completes my world.

You see why?

In less than two months, my Sweetie Boy will be two years old.  Really.

It seems like everyday Andrew is learning something new, whether it's reading a silly book, being able to point out all of his animals, knowing all of our names, body parts, and knowing all of the characters in Toy Story and what they say.

He's my spunky boy.  He's got a lot of it.  I love it.

So, while Parker has been experiencing all of these milestone moments in his life that require us to have a camera out, capturing every moment, Andrew has also been experiencing some pretty major milestones.  And, while photos can't capture all of these, I know they've been happening.

Andrew has new teeth, grew a few inches over the summer, has shorter hair, has learned to give kisses {instead of bite}, he can make our Riffel Family 'I Love You' sign, he ways 'good bye' every night before bed {instead of good night}, he knows that he needs to leave his Woody doll in his car seat every morning before he goes into Sherry's house and every morning we ask Woody what he plans on doing that day, he loves his brother with all of his heart, and he loves his DAD more than anything.  Of course, he loves his MA {as he is usually shouting}, although I'm usually loved the most when he's got a boo boo or is sad because his big brother is picking on him.

I can't believe Andrew will be two in less than two months.  My Sweetie Boy is growing up so fast. So fast.  Love you, my Sweetie Boy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Years Ago

Five years ago today, Parker was born.

And, last night before we went to bed, I made him watch this with me.

{I don't think I've shared this video since the day Parker was born.  I love watching it. Over and over and over and over.}

After 23 hours of labor, my sweet boy came into this world.  At 9 lbs. 4 oz. and with a head full of dark hair, Parker made me a Momma that night.

It's hard to believe that was five years ago.

Every night before Parker falls asleep, I tell him how proud I am of him.  And, out of the blue, tonight, he asked my why.  I think it's this new five year old mind...always asking questions, always full of answers, and always thinking and evaluating everything I say.

I answered him like this: "Oh Parker, I am proud of you for so many reasons.  I am proud of everything you do at school and how much you help out at Sherry's house.  I am proud of you because you are so sweet to your brother, your momma and dad, and all of your friends.  I am proud of you because you are so smart and you listen so good, and you always try your best.  I am proud of you for trying new things.  I am proud of you for making good choices.  I am proud of how silly you are and how much fun you have in life.  But, most of all, I am just proud of you.  YOU are amazing.  I am proud of you every day."

He shrugged and rolled over.  I think he was smiling.

Parker, 5 years ago, you made me a Momma.  I love being a Momma.  I love you.

And, not only did you make me a Momma, your Dad became a Dad.  Your Grandmas became Grandmas and your Grandpas became Grandpas.  Your Aunts and Uncles became Aunts and Uncles.  You even made your cousins become cousins. And, Grandma Elaine and Grandma Ruth became a Great Grandmas.

{They'd been waiting for almost an entire day to meet our Parker-Man.  They couldn't wait to hear your name!}

You make us all so proud.

Happy birthday my sweet boy!  You're officially five today!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wipeout: Birthday Edition

Some might say we go overboard with birthdays.

The boys getting everything set up.

But, what can I say?  We LOVE birthdays.

Ready to test it out...

To me there is no other day that should be BIGGER than your birthday.  Especially for my little guys.  I mean, c'mon, it's the day you were born.  The day, the Man upstairs decided you would become a little human being.

Birthdays are incredible.

So, a few months back, when my big guy asked me if he could have a Wipeout birthday party, the wheels started turning.
Andrew was ready for the party.
What is it about big balls?

I searched high and low {okay, basically on Pinterest} and I couldn't find anything, except for a few photos, of a Wipeout birthday party.

Love, love, loved this cake!

 So, we started from scratch...and yesterday...we celebrated.  Wipeout style.

The Grandmas got in on some Wipeout fun!

We had the best time.  Nervous at first that someone might get hurt, my anxiety quickly dissolved as I saw all of Parker's sweet little friends having the time of their lives.

Andrew loved the ball pit.

We had a slide, the big balls, and a ball pit to dive into, and it was awesome!

Cooper is ready to have his turn at Wipeout!

Parker woke up that day ready to go.  He was ready to get out there and set up his Wipeout course.  A little disappointment set in when he realized our entire backyard was not going to be full of water with the GIANT slides and big balls, but after he saw what we had planned, he was all over it.


And, as soon as his friends started arriving, it was the best. birthday. ever.

Parker is ready to go!

He's five.  Well, not technically.  But, don't try to tell him that. 


Caleb hurtles over the big balls!

Chloe had her turn!

I'm surprised the little pool survived Coopers Wipeouts!

Andrew loved celebrating with his big Bubs.

 And, it seems like, as soon as he blew out that candle, his whole demeanor changed.  He was walking a little taller, his tone in his voice changed to sound like he knew just what he was talking about, he became more tolerant of his brother, and he even drank an orange pop for the very first time.  A soda, as Parker would say.  Man, was he proud of that soda....yep, my child is five and he's never had a pop before.

Parker's going over...

Another Wipeout!

Parker's first taste of soda.

 I think he grew like a foot at his birthday party.  I think he is proud to be bigger.  I think this year of being five is going to be fabulous and fun, and full of great moments with my big guy.

We love our friends and family!

We're so thankful for all of our friends and family that joined us for Parker's birthday party.  I mean, really, I've never in all of my party planning days, had a party where everyone we invited actually showed up at the party.  This happened at this party.  Every one of Parker's little friends made it {or tried really hard to be there...poor Layton...his flight was delayed on his way back from a little vacation and he ended up not making it, but we'll make it up to him}.  It was an incredible day.

Wipeout: Birthday Edition was a success - Parker loved it.

And...don't get me started on this fabulous cake.  It was made by 'Just Sweets' and it was ahh-mazing!

Checking out the cake...which could have also been a toy, the kids loved it!

The sparkler candle wasn't as cool as I thought it would be...Parker couldn't blow it out!

 Perfect in every way.

Andrew was eating a big ball.

I love these guys!

Parker has so many wonderful friends!

I don't think I can describe in words how much fun these kids had.  I know, who would have thought that three red exercise balls, some tires, and a little ball pit would really be that fun.  But, it was.

We didn't even have the water turned was a little chilly for that.  But, no one noticed.
Addison is good at doing tricks on the bar!

Everyone keeps telling me that this was such a great idea and that we did a great job of pulling it all together.  To be honest: It was completely Parker's idea.  And, it was super easy and fun to put together.

Parker, I'm so glad that you enjoyed your party.  This is what being a mom is all about - watching my boy live it up on his birthday.  Wipeout style.

Happy {early} Birthday to my Big Guy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Table Tops & Back Rolls

Don't call it a back bend.

My little gymnast will correct you.  Parker informed me: "Mom, stop calling it a back bend.  It's called a table top."

Me: "Well then, what do you call the back roll?"

Parker: "It's called a back roll." {Duh.}

He loves it.

We weren't sure if gymnastics would be his thing.  Brandon was skeptical about his little boy doing gymnastics.  Because, let's face it, there weren't any boys in the class last year.  But, I reassured Brandon that gymnastics would help him in every sport he plays.  Plus, look at those awesome moves the guys had in the Olympics.

 Just like soccer, Parker looks forward to gymnastics every week.

It doesn't hurt that a few of his best buddies are in the same class.

This whole parenthood thing just keeps getting better and better.  It is so much fun to watch my littles grow and learn, and try new things.

{Parker: "Mom, today I did 100 chin-ups." I think he means 10, but whatever.  I know he could do 100.}

Like table tops and back rolls.

What an awesome experience for my little man.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Favorite: Soccer

I know it's not 'offically' fall.  But, in my opinion, fall starts with school, with cool evenings, and I love fall.  I have so many favorite things about fall that I can't get them all into one post.

One thing I love most about fall - soccer.  I've always loved soccer {not that I am all that good at playing it} and last year Parker got to play soccer for the first time and he fell in love with it also.

Today he had his first game.

And, for my big {little} guy, he is very good at soccer.

I believe he scored a couple of goals....

He ran, kicked, blocked, and scored.

He's tough.  At one point in the game, Parker was caught up in a dog pile and was stepped on.  He got up, had a few tears, and went back in the game.  Just in time to assist in another goal!

Every time I witness my big guy doing something new.  Something that I know I can't do.  Something that takes 'big kid skills'.  I catch my breath.  And, I think about how fast he is growing up.

He is really good at this.  As he is with most things he does.

My little bubs also enjoys soccer.

While wearing his Cars slippers {that he wore all morning...don't you dare try to take those get the loudest, heart-wrenching squeal you've ever heard}.  On a baseball field.

We had a fun fall morning.  A beautiful fall morning.

{A silly fall morning.}

A fall favorite kind of a day.