It was so insane that we didn't finish getting kids to bed until 11:30 at night! As the person who adores the consistency of our now 7pm bedtimes (hey, a year ago it was 6pm for all children so I have let loose here), this was just insanity for everyone.
But I think it was worth it.
We started off with hardly any school, but enough to keep us on track.
Then I took some pictures of Belle on her birthday:
The time of day wasn't the best for the lighting (I don't quite understand that stuff when it comes to photography, but I think it is probably a big deal), but she still looks pretty.
And behind her is our Virginia Creeper doing its beautiful color change thing right now. I love it.
We did some errand running and such during the day and enjoyed visits from some family members and some phone calls and emails. Isabelle was really tickled by the calls, visits and emails so thanks to all of you.
I made the critical error of skipping Xander's nap so we could get everything done and it came back to haunt me around 4:40pm.
In the words of Phoebe from "Friends": Oh no.
I took this picture after I picked him up and moved him around about 57 times in the hopes that he would wake up.
Nope, he was down for the count. That count being about 1 hour.
This is a picture of Buddy sitting in a toy box. Because he can.
So, during all of this Sam was home and making Isabelle's birthday meal that she requested: Eggplant Parmigiana.
She chose it!
After all my piano we had dinner. It was lovely. Of course, there was a bit of a hiccup. The kids have had this meal in the past and they INHALED it, but for some reason (such as because he could) Buddy decided to dig his heels in and refuse to eat. I think he took all my mama zen through that one, but he did eat the meal eventually. Sigh.
That threw us a bit behind schedule (like an hour or so), and honestly I would have rathered put kids to bed, but it was Isabelle's birthday and I didn't want to let her down.
So, we loaded in to the car for the rest of our adventure.
We have a new way of doing presents. Instead of buying what we guess the kiddos want, we now give the kids $20 for their birthday and they can do whatever they want with it. You'll remember that Buddy lost his by throwing away that movie from the library and having to pony up some cash to pay for a replacement (something we discuss on a weekly basis still as Buddy can't forget the trauma). Belle had no such problems and has been talking about how she was going to spend her money for months.
But first we hit our local Deseret Book for a special gift we decided we will do for each kid when they turn 8. Sam and Belle picked out a CTR ring for her. (For those who don't know, CTR is a phrase in our religion. It stands for "Choose the Right". For the record, I have no intentions of telling you what is right, I think we are all smart enough to sort that one out on our own.) So she got a lovely ring and the boys got some really cheap ones too (buck fifty, hooray!).
It was a fun surprise for her and I think Sam had a lot of fun helping her pick out just the right ring.
But then it was time for the truly important stuff: spending that money!
Grandma Janes had given Belle $10 for her birthday so he had $30 total.
You had better believe we turned this adventure into a math lesson as we are learning about counting money right now.
First we went to Kohls, but the selection and prices were lame in in my opinion so we went over to Toys R Us. It was closed. (Yep, that late at night, pass the mother of the year award).
In a moment of genius/stupidity I suggested Wal-Mart. So we went there.
And hour later and a lot of number crunching on Isabelle's part, we emerged victorious with 4 toys for $30! You should have heard Belle bragging on how she spent less than $10 per toy overall. I have no idea where she gets these crazy frugal thoughts!
Because we are nice we let Buddy have a whoopee cushion (and by we I mean Sam because I never would have approved such a purchase). Buddy calls it a "woofie cushion" and I think it is too cute to correct him.
Xander got a tiny cheapo basketball game thingy and he loves it.
Best $2 we spent on the boys right there.
Here are her toys.
3 Barbies and some live pet thingy.
She was so happy with her selections and that was pretty adorable.
She had another gift she wanted me to take a picture of too so I got that shot last night.
My mom took Belle out last week on a nice adventures just the two of them which thrilled Isabelle beyond belief (and the boys griped and griped that grandma didn't take them too) and let her pick out her very own scriptures for her birthday. She even got her name engraved on them and a bag to carry them to church in.
Huge deal for Isabelle. She reads them all the time and after some discussion from us has been a bit more careful about taking them everywhere we go. After all, we don't want them to get ruined and out in the backyard while making mud pies is not the best place for them, hee hee.
Here is a shot of her CTR ring. I think she chose a really pretty one personally.
So, there you go.
The girl one is 8 years old now.
I have no idea how that happened but I am really stoked we managed to keep a kid alive that long. Truth be told when we had her all I could think was that I couldn't keep a plant alive and the squirmy squawky baby was going to be a mite more difficult on that front. So, this is a celebration for all of us.
Happy birthday to our only girl. (As she says, poor thing.)