Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A Mushroom Themed 10th Birthday

Olive had her heart set on a mushroom themed birthday party and we made it happen!  It's the perfect time of year to find all these cute red and white polka-dot mushrooms in stores with fairy garden supplies.  I've been collecting things at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Amazon and more.  Olive was thrilled with her party.  She had the best time designing invitations with me to text out to family and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for her parties.  We hosted my family the first night and Kevin's family the second night.

Come see all of our mushroom fun!

I love grabbing fresh flowers for her parties and this mix of Alstroemeria was perfect!

We worked together on Canva to make her party invitations.  They turned out so cute!  And they were free to make and text out.

Welcome to the mushroom party!  I added some mushrooms to my boxwood wreath.  And our house colors just happened to match the party decor perfectly.

Then I added in mushrooms to all my regular decor.  Since her bedroom has a mushroom theme, the party decorations will end up being cute things like book ends in her bedroom.

I made the mushroom garland out of mushroom pot holders and it was darling!  It's still up on our mantle because I just can't bring myself to take it down yet.

We had a tray of s'mores ingredients for dessert plus my mom and sister brought Olive's favorite desserts - fried ice cream and molasses cookies.

We gave out big bags of bubble gum balls to all the kids as party favors.

I opted for mushroom lanterns instead of a balloon garland.

Then we had a pasta bar with salad, broccoli and bread for dinner.  I made the whole dinner and then asked for some help with dessert.

We played in the backyard all evening!

These cute cousins are all 10!

Perfect weather, perfect party, perfect girl!!

Olive got lots of adorable mushroom things!  My sister made her this mushroom purse.  She got mushroom pillows for her bed and a cute jewelry making set.

Party #2 was just as fun!

She requested carrot cake cupcakes and yellow cupcakes along with Snickerdoodles.  I made all the desserts and opted to order pizza for dinner.

She made us matching earrings to wear for the party.

We served pizza and bread sticks with fruit.  It was so easy and so good!

She got some really fun gifts again.  Her uncle surprised her by 3D printing her favorite animal - an axolotl!!  She loved it!

Her cousin Addy made sure to wear her mushroom tee to the party!

We loved getting to see Grandma and all of the Jordan side of the family.

Another night of perfect weather!

She got the veggie squad of Squishmallows, a birthday cake Squishmallow and the cutest mushroom blanket.

This pastel Lego set makes the cutest figures!

The mushroom parties were a big success!  She felt loved and loved how everything came together.  I love themed parties for the kids.  It's one of my very favorite hobbies.  

And this concludes the March, April, May birthday marathon for our kids!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Preteen Parenting: Episode 3 Birthday Surprises

Olive turned 10 yesterday and we've really enjoyed finding fun ways to celebrate her with family and friends!  Her favorite activity: A surprise birthday dinner date with mom and dad.


I booked our favorite Mimi & Papaw babysitters and surprised her with plans for a solo dinner date.  I had a family favorite dinner ready for the boys to enjoy at home so they wouldn't feel left out and then booked a restaurant that we usually only go to on date nights.  Olive was so excited!

We headed downtown to one of our favorite restaurants - Comfort.  We let Olive pick our seating.  Since the weather was perfection, she chose a table on the patio.  We had so much fun watching people go up and down Main Street.

She was thrilled with her pretty lemonade drink and the fact that the hostess didn't even consider giving her a kid's menu.  We examined the menu closely.  She did ask to see it just to make sure that she wasn't missing out on anything delicious.  But she ultimately opted to order from the adult menu.  BLTA - minus the A because she doesn't like avocado.  We enjoyed an appetizer, delicious food and we asked her fun questions, she chatted about things that were important to her and we reminisced about life with baby Olive.  It was wonderful.  We took a stroll around downtown to Self-E Alley where we snapped pictures, enjoyed the sights and sounds downtown and then we walked around the campus at University of Evansville.

I don't know where Olive will choose to go to college, but it was fun to talk about what college would look like at UE.  She requested Chick-Fil-A lunch dates with Kevin, grocery shopping and walks around campus.

She kept saying all night long - It's like I'm an only child for the night!  I don't have to share either of you!  This is awesome!  She felt really special and really loved.  I'm quite certain that she smiled the entire night long.  She thanked us a million times for the fun night.  She rode home with her head out the window to soak in every last bit of sunset magic.  We were all excited to get home to the boys, but we learned a good lesson - Make the time to enjoy your kids one on one!

The boys had the best night at home and we had the best night with Olive.  Fletcher is taking notes for when he gets older and Olive is planning her next night out :)

We surprised her with a solo dinner out, a giant bean bag chair for her bedroom and took seriously her birthday requests for a friend party and not to be sung to at a restaurant for her birthday.  We'd highly recommend planning some birthday surprises that your preteen would love!

This is such a fun age!!

Monday, May 29, 2023

10 Things We Love About Olive

Happy 10th Birthday Olive!


I can't believe our baby girl is 10!  She taught us how to be parents and has been patient with everything that life has thrown her way.  We have packed a lot of exciting adventures into the past ten years.  She was born in Utah and has since lived in Mississippi, Arkansas and two cities in Indiana.  She's been an amazing traveler, sleeper and always a great girl.  She didn't bat an eye when we added two boys to the family.  She's a leader and a perfect first born. 

We celebrated her birthday with family over the weekend and have plans to make her feel special all week long!


Ten Things We Love About Olive:

1. She loves to eat olives.  They're one of her favorite foods along with crunchy veggies, burgers with bacon, pasta, blts and popcorn.  Her favorite desserts are: anything pumpkin, molasses cookies, cinnamon or blizzards.

2. Olive won a 4th grade award for "Future Teacher" and was complimented on her hard work and quiet leadership skills.  She ended the year with her best grades and best efforts.  She writes books in her spare time and has plans for some summer writing.

3. She's loud and funny and silly and creative at home.  And quieter when she's around others.  Her good friends think she's silly and her casual friends would says she's more serious.  Squishmallows or accessories are the way to her heart.

4. Olive has learned how to crochet and thinks violin or piano might be fun next.  She is great at building Lego sets and stays up late reading her library books most nights.  She loves crafts and could live at the craft store.  She got bracelet making sets, origami kits, Lego sets and more for her birthday.  She hopes that I'll get out my sewing machine this summer and we can sew together.  My junior high/Home Ec sewing skills are a little rusty though.

5. Olive enjoys a plan and being organized.  She wakes up every morning and wants to know the plan for the day.  She keeps lists and calendars in her room.  She makes me lists (which makes this list lover so happy!) and rarely lets anything slip through the cracks.

6.Her dream of growing out her hair has come true and now she's dreaming of a getting her ears double pierced.

7. Olive loves taking care of things - plants, cats, our garden, her brothers, etc.  She's a great helper and pays close attention to details.

8. Fletcher loves playing outside with Olive, playing in the creek and they often end up in the same room together at night playing games or talking.

9. Leo loves anything having to do with Olive.  She reads to him, she snuggles him, she plays cars with him and she can't tell his cute face no.  She goes along with whatever he asks and he adores her.

10. Kevin loves her love of reading!


We love Olive and hope she feels extra special for her big double digit milestone birthday!

Friday, May 26, 2023

End of the School Year Favorites

Happy first Friday of Summer!  My crew finished up a great school year on Wednesday.  Olive was sad to see the year end  and Fletcher said he was ready for a break!  It's been a good week packed with all of our favorite things.

The best parts:

1 // Last Day of 4th Grade, 1st Grade and Age 3


Last day of 4th grade.  Olive became a better writer, reader, presenter and friend this year. She is organized and responsible. Choir was a highlight and the tears on her sign because she’s sad the school year is coming to an end.

Last day of 1st grade.  Fletcher is reading! He became a better reader, a better writer and math comes easy for him. He said he can’t wait for summer break because 1st grade was SO much work. Bring on the FUN for Fletcher.
Last day home solo with mom.  Age 3 is A LOT. A lot of big feelings, a lot of independence, a lot of bike rides, a lot of library books, a lot of opinions, a lot of snuggles and a lot snacks. Leo is learning so many new things every day. Toddlers are exciting and exhausting.

2 // Teacher Treats

I sent in boxes of cookie bites for the teachers on the last day!  They turned out so cute.

3 // Charcuterie Dinner Board

We love having this dinner on repeat in the Summer time.  It's the perfect way to use up all those last bits of food in your fridge and pantry.  My family loves something hot on the board like breadsticks for dinner.

4 // Last bits of fun at school

There was a school wide pizza party, extra recess, games, activities and so much fun for all the kids this week.  Olive's class got to do an egg drop where they had to invent a contraption to keep an egg safe.  They called in the local fire department to come with their ladder truck and drop the eggs.  Olive's device worked perfectly at home, but couldn't hand that big drop at school.

No more car line for this guy until August!

The 4th graders got to scrap book pages of their favorite 4th grade memories.  We sent in pictures and the teachers printed pictures.  Olive's teachers went above and beyond to finish the year strong.  She's really sad to be done with school for the year.

Egg drop container full of ballons and a parachute on top.  It seemed so promising, but she decided it was probably too heavy.

Design your own paper air plane and see which one flies the farthest.  They had a blast even though Olive's didn't win any awards.  She's been making paper airplanes all week long.

5 // Crumbl Cookie Delivery

Kevin loves Crumbl Cookies and loves to surprise us with them.  He picked out 6 different cookies for us to try and share.  We loved most of them.

6 // Egg-citing news!

We have more eggs in our nest!  It's a robin again and we are trying to decide if our last mama bird has returned for another round of babies or if that is even possible.  We need to do some more robin research.  We've got one egg so far and are hoping for 3 or 4 like last time.

7 // Biker Dude

This guy loves to go on bike rides.  He pulls over and waves at every single person he sees, pedals as fast as his little legs will allow and he's fearless.  The only way to keep up with him is to bike with him and be his body guard.

8 // Ruggable Update

I finally got around to washing my kitchen runner Ruggable rug this week.  I'd been spot cleaning it since I got it and decided it was time to give it a good wash.  I washed it once on my regular wash settings and it didn't look quite as clean as I hoped it would.  I washed it again on a heavy wash setting with a generous scoop of Oxyclean.  It came out sparkling!!  I'm shocked that it looks brand new again.  I am so so impressed.  Next time I wash it, I am just going to do the heavy wash with Oxyclean and skip the regular wash.

9 // Great Grandma turns 85

Kevin's sweet grandma turned 85 this week so we gathered a good crowd at a local pizza place to celebrate with her.  We had a great time and were so happy to shower her with love.

We all love Grandma Sharon dearly.  She's smart, sharp and resilient.  It's been a hard year for her dealing with the loss of her husband, lots of unexpected home repairs, health concerns and more.  But she is taking life a day at a time and figuring it all out.  She's learning new things and doing hard things.  We're so proud of her and lucky to love her.

10 // Backyard fun

Fletcher is working hard on learning how to roller blade.  Thankfully Kevin is super sporty and good at all things like that so he's a great teacher.

11 // Topher Time

I didn't have the heart to tell Topher that the kids are back home again full time.  He looks forward to his quiet peaceful afternoons so much.  Sweet old man turns 14 this Summer and somehow just keeps getting sweeter with age.

12 // Jordan Bakery Box

I launched a new cookie for Summer - Chocolate Chip Cookie bites - they're so cute!!  And I was busy with Memorial Day cookie orders for the weekend.

I hope you have a wonderful long weekend honoring all of the men and women who have died while serving the great USA.  We are so thankful for their service and sacrifice.  We will be celebrating Olive turning 10 all weekend with family, grilling, watching the Indy 500, putting out all the American flags and enjoying the beautiful weather.

I'm going to be kicking off my Summer 3 day a week blogging schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday in June.  I have lots of fun things to share with you, but I want to make sure that I'm soaking in all the fun with my family home this Summer.

See you back here on Monday!

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