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On a whim...

We decided to get Mallory's hair cut last Sunday!

Mostly, I decided and then tried very hard to convince her.....but once it was done, it was so undeniably cute that she now loves it and everyone who sees her comments on how cute she looks. She loves long hair, but I think this cut suits her perfectly:

2 down (almost), 1 to go

Mariah is turning six in a few weeks! It's her "golden birthday" too, cause she's turning 6 on the 6th (Mallory's will be her 8th birthday and Arissa's will be her 17th).

I really didn't want to do a Hannah Montana theme again, but I told Mariah we could if that's what she wanted. Thankfully, she wasn't insistant one way or the other. We kicked around ideas of: an art party, a flower party, a pink party, a tea party, and finally settled on:

a beach party.

So I'm doing a beach/luau thing in Nana's backyard. The invitations went out today (no going back now!). :o) Here's what we did:

We took this:

plus this:

plus this:
added a little photoshop, and made this:

Mariah was so excited to hand them out to her friends! Of course she can't wait for the party.
Once that celebration is done, then it's on to start planning Arissa's sleepover. My Grandma is going to swap houses with us for the night...which is good because she doesn't have to deal with 11 screaming girls. But bad, because that means I have to clean up all by myself. :o)

mother's day gift

THIS is the video that Jesse & I spent precious hours making for moms/grandmas for mother's day:

Yesterday Mallory shocked me by giving me a note when I came home from work.....a note that she wrote with no help, and that actually made up semi-correctly-phonetically-spelled words!

At first I thought she had just written down letters like she always does. She can write the names of all her family by heart, as well as "love" and "hannah montana". But when i looked closer, I realized she had written specific words and spelled them just like Mariah does.

I couldn't believe it! I know she's 5 now, and a big girl, but she's still my baby (and not even in kindergarten yet) and I didn't expect this kind of writing for another several months!

All 3 of my girls are little writers...they love to just write and write. Sometimes to tell a story, or write a letter, sometimes just because they have a new notebook and pen and want to put them to use. I guess they get that from me. :o)

Here's her note (along w/ my translation of it):
(she had thrown a fit on Sunday night and that's what she's aplogizing for):

I'm back! Been gone for awhile....not on vacation or anything unfortunately, just gone from my blog. Don't really know why....I've just been sort of overwhelemed with birthdays, homework, my job, and life in general, and before I knew it, a month slipped by.

Last week was (I thought) teacher appreciation week. Each day the girls brought their teachers a gift. Monday: fresh cut roses from Nana's garden, Tuesday: brownies with a note saying "thanks for being so sweet", Wednesday: a flower in a pot that each girl had painted, Thursday: a note of thanks, Friday: a little box w/ notes of thanks in each "drawer":

These were so easy and fun to make that I also made a few extra and gave this one to my mother-in-law for Mother's Day:

Then yesterday there's a note sent home from Mariah & Arissa's school that says this week is teacher appreciation week, with suggestions on how to show our appreciation each day. But I know I didn't get the dates mixed up, because Mallory's school and several other people I know celebrated it the week I did. So now I have to come up with 5 more little treats, because even though my girls brought stuff last week, if all the other kids are bringing stuff this week I don't want them to be left out. Irritated!

Mallory had an open house at her school:

And a birthday!

Here she is giving a big hug to her sisters after opening their gift: a Hannah Montana doll that switches from Miley to Hannah with a twist of the head.

For her party, nothing else would do but a Hannah Montana theme. So for the invitations I took this:

Plus this:

And made this:

The party was a big success. Not very many kids, but I was secretly kind of thankful because I don't know if I could have handled any more!

We decorated our goody bags:

Played games:

We "fished" for little prizes (this is Arissa after throwing her fishing line in, waiting for something to take the bait):

This is Jesse behind the partition, attaching the prize:

We played muscial chairs with a twist (hopping thru hula hoops instead of sitting in chairs, and trying to all fit into one hoop at the end so all the kids keep playing thru the whole thing and no one is "out"):

And my personal favorite, picking up as many marbles as you can with your toes before the music stops. The winner was Arissa who picked up SIX!

Mallory opened her gifts (here she is posing w/ the Wares....we took a photo with each guest and included it in her thank you cards):

We had cupcakes....I had started to make some fancy ones but I didn't feel like frosting them (because that's always when they turn to crap for me) so at the last minutes I bought some from Albertson's, took off the little doo-dad they had on each one, and added my own cupcake topper. Each one had Hannah on one side & Mallory on the other:

And that was that. After the party all I kept thinking about was: I love my family & I love my friends. It was such a nice time. As tiring as it is for me to plan all these parties, I know it must be just as taxing on our family & friends who attend every single one.....and I'm grateful they make the effort and come. And I don't know how my girls always make friends with kids who have the nicest, coolest parents. There's never been a friend of theirs who had a family that was hard to talk to or not super polite and kind.

And then, came Mother's day.

Jesse and I had been working on this gift for weeks. When you see the finished product, it's hard to believe it could take so long or be so frustrating. But when you factor in a slooooooww tempramental computer, no time to spare, meticulous detail required in lining everything up right, buying a dvd burner to be able to burn the finished product and then finding out you need special software to run it, which costs more of course, it was a big nightmare at times. But we got it done, and I think it turned out really nice. I would like to post it here, but my luck hasn't changed throughout making it and I can't get it to upload right. But I'm still trying.

We brought a copy over to Jesse's mom and my Grandma on mother's day and watched it with them and chatted. It was a nice day.

Then the next day was Jesse's birthday!

His friends took him golfing, one of his friends bought him that software that we needed to work the dvd burner, the girls got him a "golf money" saving jar & all of us got him an Indiana Jones lego set. He's been wanting legos, I don't know why. So I think he had a nice birthday...even though he had to work. :o)

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