Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Whole Hand!

After my last post where Ava and I had our back to school shots, I had to include this one of our favorite HLS on his very LAST first day of school.  (Yes.  The very last one.  I had him sign a notarized paper promising that this is, indeed, the end of his student days.  Well, not really, but now that I've typed that it sounds pretty good.)

After a busy week with family trickling in starting Tuesday and a mid-week trip to Tulsa to see The Civil Wars in concert (eek! amazing), we were ready to get Ava's birthday party started by the time Saturday rolled around.  Pops and Ava played a few rounds of Hangman while the decorating began.  (If you have kiddos you absolutely must buy this version of Hangman by Melissa & Doug.  Aunt Jaryn bought it for Ava for Christmas and we have played it constantly.  I love it because all of the pieces are attached with stretchy cords so you can't lose them.  Ideal for the car, restaurant, or anywhere really.)

Everyone pitched in to help decorate

Hooray for removable 3M hooks.  No mess, no remnant, but still super sturdy.

Balloons and a new front-door banner let our guests know that it was time to party.

Inside Mimi and Baba, along with Coach and Pops of course, worked their magic.  There is no way this party would have happened or been nearly as cute without their help.  This mommy is still trying to figure out how to get regular chores done between 5:00 and bedtime - a party was really pushing things.

Thanks to MLML and PLPL for this sweet Paris picture - perfect in her room and to decorate for the party.

This precious decoration was made by Mimi for my hospital door when Ava was born.  It has all of her stats written on the ribbons, and inside the cone is a nest and a single pink egg.  Ava means little bird.  We've always hung this on Ava's bedroom door, but moved it down to decorate for the party.

Our family's favorite cupcake

The birthday girl!

We had a few scheduled activities during the party, but mostly we gave the girls time to play.  I think next time we'll just dedicate the entire party time to playing - it's what they really want to do anyway.

Since Ava requested a chef party at home I limited her invitees to seven.  Many of her friends were out of town this weekend, but it ended up being the perfect size.  I think adults outnumbered the kiddos at least three to one.  I like those numbers.

Dipping pretzel sticks in chocolate and adding sprinkles

Making their own pizzas

Little chefs enjoying their pizza

Happy birthday to you, 

happy birthday dear Ava,

happy birthday to you.

Again, they really just wanted to play.  
Thanks to all of our sweet friends who came and made Ava's birthday so special!

Ava actually turned five on Sunday.  She was so excited to be 'a whole hand'.  After church she chose to eat sushi, shocker, and then wanted to play at nearby park.  Some silliness ensued while we all changed into comfy clothes.

Despite the crazy wind that came 'sweeping down the plain', we all enjoyed some fun at the park.

Later Ava requested to watch The Music Man, a favorite for the past few months.  She serenaded us with her own renditions of 76 Trombones and Goodnight My Someone.

Baba and Stacy helped me prepare Ava's birthday snack for school on Monday.

We filled snack-sized bags with colorful snack foods, then twisted them in the middle and clipped them with a clothespin.

Baba hot-glued the googley eyes and pipe cleaner antenna onto them.

Voila, butterfly snacks

So fun

As a final birthday treat we prepared Ava's favorite Swiss dinner:  Alpen Macaronen, Bratwurst, and Broccoli. 

What a lovely weekend spent with friends and family to celebrate our precious girl.

We are so thankful for her life and the light she constantly brings to our lives.  Happy fifth birthday Ava James!