Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bennett's 4th Princess DIY Party

So, I normally get sappy around birthdays. But fortunately for you all I will spare you my sentimental cheesiness. If you are just feeling like you have to have a good dose of sentimentality, you can you read my post last year when Bennett turned 3. This year, I will save my thoughts for my personal journal. And I will sneak in Bennett's room tonight about 6 times to give kisses to my little girl on her last night as a 3 year old.

We had a princess party for Bennett today. She had asked if Ariel could come to her party and so of course we obliged. I called Disney World and asked if Ariel could come in on the afternoon carriage, and they were extremely accommodating.

We had Bennett's castle decorated and ready for the festivities. I made a bunch poms out of tissue paper and we wrapped tulle around all of the chairs. We did all of this when Bennett was asleep and when she came downstairs the next morning she said, "Oh, Mom! It's just like I imagined it would be." That sentence alone made any effort completely worth it.

 I made flags to line the walkway to the house so the little princesses would be greeted properly.
Plus Balloon Wreaths on the doors.

And I made a castle cake for the party. I am not a cake baker by any stretch of the imagination, but I have fun trying. The gel for the windows started sliding down and it wasn't as smooth as it could have been, but I love doing it and love making something special for my daughter.

  Then it was party time!! The princess was ready for her guests.
And Prince Charming was ready as well.

The royal family.
And my wonderful parents drove all the way from Alabama to be here for the party. It meant so much to me to have family members here and Bennett and Will were so happy to have their grandparents here.
Yay! Our friends are here!!
And then it was time for the big moment!! Princess Ariel came to see Bennett and you couldn't have found a happier 4 year old anywhere on this planet. Seeing her face was absolutely priceless.

Bennett even got to dance with her real Prince Charming.
Ariel is so awesome she even does face painting.
Sweet friends.
Prince Levi and all of the princess with Ariel.
Okay, I just LOVE this picture!! Love it, love it, love it!
You know why? Because it looks oddly reminiscent of a photo we took at Disney World a year and a half ago. Do you think someone loves Ariel?

After Ariel left it was time to cut into the castle cake!!
Someone was ready. Isn't this an absolutely beautiful shot of her? Has it really been 4 years since she was a tiny baby? Sigh.... okay, veering into sap. Pull it together Webster.
I love Bennett for so many reasons and this is #6590. She made her own little cake with her piece and stuck her candles in it as well as her favorite princess. :-)
Whew! Levi is relieved here.Will finally decided to stop playing trains in the basement and join the party. Levi was happy to have another guy around to discuss the problems of being little boys surrounded by girls.
Bennett with our dear family friend, Mary Haines.

Time for presents!!
Flowers from her best friend. Melts my heart.
Thank you wands for all the guests.
What a wonderful party celebrating my 4 year old. Three aren't enough words to express my love for this beautiful gift that God has so graciously given to us.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Remember when I used to blog?

I have no excuses. Okay, I have one really big excuse. After letting my 2 year old play another game of starfall, this is now what my computer looks like.
And yes, we bought an external keyboard (which is what I am using now) but I just don't like it.

So, I just don't type that much anymore. I am horrible at returning e-mails. And I have blogged once in 6 weeks. Oh, well. I'll try to get better for all 3 of you who read this blog. (Hi, Julie Oakes!!)

And also, we have all been sick. Like, really sick. Only Bennett was diagnosed with the flu, but I know we all had it. In fact, today is Day 11 of the plague that would not end and there are still plenty of lingering coughs to go around. This thing took out our family in a major way. Fevers for 9 days straight, dizziness, sneezing, fatigue... yuck!

Family members even sent flowers to cheer us up. Actually, Bennett asked if she was going to get flowers because in her words, "When you're sick you get flowers. I just know these things."
We spent a whole lot of time sitting in forts and watching movies.
Tea parties made the days stuck inside pass by quickly.
Naps together in the same bed were requested. No wonder we spread it around the family.
And we had lots and lots of serious cuddle time. None of us look particularly fetching in this photo. In fact, we all look like we had been running fevers for a straight week, but Rob snapped this shot with his phone without me knowing it and I love it. I love holding my babies.

Instead of trying to recap all of January, I will just do one of my handy dandy family updates and get it all out of the way at once. Hmmm..... who should I begin with? How about the baby of the family?

Will- Oh my goodness. Has there ever been a funnier 2 year old? Ever? He is just so dang funny. His vocab is through the roof and he just loves to make silly faces and crack everyone up.

He is also a pro at tantrums. An absolute pro. He can melt down faster than any kid I have ever seen. He doesn't even need a whole second. That's for amateurs. Will can hit the ground and be in full blown come apart mode in a nanosecond. That kid is good.

But he does love his big sister so much and would spend all of his time following her if he could. They would sit for hours and just watch the trains go by.
And he would even follow her to see a princess movie in the theatres. But he draws the line at dressing up.

Bennett- We are enjoying the last month of our little girl being 3. She is loving school and is learning so much. She loves to write words and is starting to sound them out to read. Just a little bit. She still loves princesses and horses. Give her an Ariel dress and a palomino and she is all set.

One thing about Bennett that I think is so unique is her imagination. She doesn't need toys. She just needs a towel, a box, and a piece of string, and she is set for hours. She has about 6 pretend horses and she writes songs to them. A new classic is her composition called, "Come back to me, Jorna." Jorna is her favorite horse today. Every time I look around Bennett is an astronaut blasting into space, a cowgirl riding Jorna across the plains, a conductor taking tickets for her magical train ride, a princess being chased by a dragon, and so much more. And of course Will is her faithful sidekick in all of her adventures. He just does whatever she tells him to do and becomes the accomplice or the foil on all of her adventures. I love this age. it is fascinating and delightful.

Here she is with her school friends having a princess playdate.
Such a beautiful little girl.
 And here is she is working on her letters and attempting to teach Will how to write his name.
Me- I actually got to get away for only the 2nd time since becoming a Mom this January. That's right, I have now been away from my kids a whopping total of 6 days in 4 years. Progress, people. I went back to Carson-Newman College for an Alpha Psi Omega reunion. Alpha Psi is a national Drama Fraternity that I was a member of  all 4 years in school. I cannot even tell you how good it was to be away from my kids. It was barely 48 hours but I needed it. And seeing dear friends and professors was just the icing on the cake.

Here I am with my first director at CNC, Dr. Welton, and two of my dearest friends from college. I love Jen and Barrett so much and I miss being surrounded by artistically brilliant and just plain crazy friends.
Two of my directors while I was in school- Dr. Welton and Kyle.
My favorite music professor who was also in a bunch of musicals with us- Dr. Milligan.
Even though so many people were able to make it in for the weekend, even more simply couldn't get away. So we had to skype with them. Here is one of my favorite friends who now lives in North Carolina with his beautiful wife, Heather, and their two adorable kids. I just adore Jonathan Bundon.
 Group shot. Really fin to be standing on the stage of Phoenix theatre again. So many memories.

Dr. Welton even led the group in some of our old theatre warm ups. Here he is leading a bunch of thirtysomethings in the magic ball of light. We also got to circle up and have him tell us our pre show speech always starting with, "There's magic in the theatre." I won't try to explain it. Somehow words cheapen the beauty of it, but I will always be grateful that I got to stand in one more magic circle with, "Papa."
I also got to reunite with the Dean of Student Affairs, Dean Cathy Brown. I LOVE her and her whole family. I worked at a daycare in college and kept both of her boys. There were my favorites. I never tried to hide that fact. :-)
For reference, here is Dean Brown with me and my sister back in 1997. Dean Brown had been at Montevallo University when my sister was there in the late 80's so she crossed collegiate paths with both of the Suttle girls.
One of the best parts of the weekend was that my Dad drive up from Alabama and met me in Tennessee. He spent 4 years his life going to more shows than he ever cared to see and he loved my little college town like I did. We had been talking about going back together for years to ramble around and reminisce and so we the opportunity presented itself, we both jumped at the chance. In addition to going back to my old campus and seeing the theatre I loved so much and a lot of my friends, I got to spend the weekend with my Dad. How close to perfect is that?

Rob- Okay, enough about me. Moving on to the other tall redhead in the house. J. Robert is currently packing for a 9 day trip to Israel. He is going to film a DVD study companion to a book about the life of Jesus. How awesome and talented is my husband? I am excited for him and jealous of course. I would absolutely love to go along, but I think Child Protective Services might arrest me if I left the kids for that long so I guess I'll stay. Rob will get amazing footage as he always does. But we will miss him around here, that's for sure. And Bennett will miss her tea party buddy. Not Sarah Palin. Just Daddy.

So, life here is good. I am determined to get back into the swing of blogging because my baby girl turns 4 in two weeks, so you know what that means. I am a sentimental ball of mush and must recap her first four years like the weepy sap that I am.

I will end on an incredibly positive and joyful note. Thank you to all of you that have read this blog and prayed for my cousin Elliot and she has been battling ovarian cancer. God heard our prayers and his answer was beyond anything we could have hoped for. I'll let you read her journal here, but thank you all so much for your prayers.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

Oh, and one last thing? Did I happen to mention that ALABAMA WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP??????? WHAT??? ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!