Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013...Iowa and Galesburg

We were the only Bechtels who trecked it from Illinois this time and while we were sad not to have everyone together....we got lots of love and attention and we took full advantage of that!  Amara brought her dance outfit so she could have rehearsal with her cousin, Alinia!  
 They giggled and laughed and had a blast!

 Alaric was in heaven because Taylor brought his HUGE TUB of LEGOS!  Alaric played and played and played!
 A favorite tradition is heading to Auntie Doris' church for the annual Easter Egg Hunt!My cousin's sister in law brings real live chicks!

 Alaric and i got special time with Phoenyx, my cousin's foster child.
 Taylor and Amara had a special bond this trip too!
 The hunt begins!
 They got tons of eggs and candy and treats
 and loved the hunt more than anything!
 When we got back home, Brian and I took charge and directed all the children to help set up for dinner...The big kids moved tables
 Amara and Sam set the table.
 and everyone had a job in the kitchen!
 After dinner, Brian and I and Becky went to Brady's baseball game in the rain.  We found some goggles in the bag with the gloves and blankets and decided to see if we could embarrass Brady while he worked!
 Since our kids love the hunt so much, we continued at home.  What i love is that there is never anything in the eggs- just the hunt to find them.  All the kids LOVE IT!
 And then the kids hide for the adults.  This year it was just me and Bri!

 The evening was spent playing board games and playing together.  my two and their cousins, Brady and Maddie love being together!
 The Easter Bunny came Sunday morning.  As always, they got a book and something small just for them!
 Three pretty girls! Look how proper! 
 Shades of yellow and blue this year!
 Love these two to pieces!
 As soon as we got to Galesburg to celebrate with Brian's family, Amara found her Easter basket and started digging!
 Bubba was alittle more reserved, but jumped right in too!
 had to put in a picture of me and my sweetie
 Nothing like planking with your cousin!
 The whole family gathered to watch a heartwarming video about one of my friends with cancer.
 Then the hunt began!  First the kids....its just Amara, Alaric, and Tyler now but Katie Houston participated too as a "kid"

 Then the kids hid for the adults...even Great Gram participated!
 Uncle Dan had to ask for help from Amara to get one up in a tree.
 The girls ( yes, I wear gym shoes with skirts while doing running easter egg hunts)
 The guys!
 Love family games too!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Baby Snow Man!

Before all the snow melted, my niece and nephew HAD to build a snowman.  We opted for a mini version ( we had a few snowball fights too)
 They worked really well together.....
 and created this precious little guy!  Loved it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Sages Preschool

Now that I'm home all day with Mara and not working outside the home, I've gotten the incredible opportunity to babysit my nephew, Jack, every single day!  I love it!  AND....both kiddos get to go to the High School preschool, Little Sages!  What fun!

 Our neighbor, Eli gets to go too!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Alaric's 7th Birthday Party-Karate Ninja!

Today was the day Alaric had been waiting for- his party!  With each year of this birthday party business, we get alittle smarter and a litter wiser on things.  Only 10 friends.  Drop off.  Simple decorations, etc.  This year, I included Alaric on some of the budgeting decisions as he is old enough to understand there is only so much money available for parties and I wanted him to decide what it should go for.  He melted my heart when she said he didn't care about the napkins or stuff like that.  Just that his friends were there and that mommy and daddy played WITH them, not just watched!  DONE!  Playing with our kids is easy- and FREE!

This ninja was ready!
 As was his sister!
 One thing we've learned from all our parties is to have stuff to do for "filler" so 10 crazy boys aren't running around constantly.  Legos=perfect filler!
 Ninja star making

 Designed just for Bubba by Grammy!  Another masterpiece!
 This year, Bubba chose the Harvest Moon Drive In for his service project!  He raised $500
 Sensei for the day, Brian led the boys in warm ups!
 And ninja tag!
 The kids made ninja headbands for themselves and for kids with cancer at St. Jude!
See, I told you Legos are perfect!
 This was our ninja ropes course!  WOW!  Impressive!
 Super Cool Ninjas!
 Battling the kickbag!
 Each child earned their blackbelt!
Another successful party!  Phew!