Ava's Tea Party

I don't know if you've heard of Ava's Tea Party, but I know I hadn't until earlier this week.  I read about it on another blog and I could barely keep in the tears as I thought of all the things her family would never get to experience with her (and of course I shared it with my emotionally fragile sister who DID in fact start crying).  And then I thought of how much I put off with my own family.  I think I'm pretty good at the BIG things, but sometimes I get bogged down in the day to day and forget to celebrate the everyday moments.  I vowed to have my *own* Ava's Tea Party, which is officially August 22nd (her birthday).

Well life goes on and I got busy "in the thick of thin things."  It's a really busy time for Art Masterpiece and sometimes I feel like it has taken over my life.  Seriously, one afternoon my e-mail inbox looked like this:
Usually it's much more fun things (I was going to take a picture of my e-mail inbox right now to show you all sorts of fun things, but I just looked and it's still 75% Art Masterpiece at the moment).

Wednesday was an early morning and I was going to tell you all the things we did, but honestly that's boring and sounds whiny and everybody will totally get it when I say it was a busy day and I felt like junk.  Dustin and I both had to leave for mutual at 6:15.  The kids were about to get home and homework was going to be miserable and I realized that I hadn't done anything to celebrate Ava's Tea Party.

But then those sweet little faces walked in the door with their funny school stories and piles of mess and I realized the whole point of the celebration is not letting life get in the way of your celebrations and not to let a minute go by when you could let someone know how much you love them.

And so Wednesday night my family dined by candlelight on china plates and with glass glasses (I have small children and I'm fond of things not breaking -- don't judge me that we usually use plastic for our meals!).  Unfortunately they were stuck with what I had already planned to eat, but homemade pizza can be fancy.  And luckily I had bought garlic rolls and cupcakes are Sprouts earlier in the day.

For some reason my children all looked pained in these photos.  I swear they had fun!!  And the lighting in my dining room is awful this time of night.
Sadie and Sadie Tyler wrote out menus out for us.
Ellie got dressed up as our waitress and took our orders. 

Nate carried a towel over his arm and served us water (I wish I gotten sparkling lemonade or something fun -- why must I reject all beverages other than milk and water in my house??). 
Luke still ate off of plastic.  But he ate!

Sadie told me it was better than the King's Crown (it made me giggle and I thought of how much I love that little face and I'm sad for you if you don't get the Fancy Nancy reference)!  And last night they asked me if we could do it again (no, but we did have a picnic because the Arizona weather is freakishly awesome right now).  I love my family.



It's 9 pm and in what is quickly becoming a new "normal," I am waiting up for Ellie to get home.  Well technically last week Ellie was suppose to be home at 8 pm, but I was out with some girlfriends and Dustin called at 9:30 to see what time he was suppose to pick her up.  Ummmmm, an hour and a half ago?

I seriously love Fridays.  Homework for 3 kids is akin to Chinese Water Torture.  You can only take so much whining, correcting, pencil sharpening, bathroom-breaking, snack eating, paper strewing, time wasting, doodle drawing, stinky feet smelling before

But on Fridays we play!!  I get to be "nice, fun mom."  Snacks for everyone!  Sometimes Fridays look like this:
Runway Show in Mom's clothes (and face painting for the baby brother)
 Beyblade Battles
  iPad playing
 Secret You-Have-No-Idea-What-We're-Doing-Behind-Closed-Doors things
 Barbie dolls and dance parties
Cars, dinosaurs, legos, Superheroes. . .

It's all good. . . as long as it's not the day my house cleaners come.  That Friday my house is not the fun house and *definitely* not the snack house.

Today was a relatively quiet Friday. Karen drives the kids home in the afternoon and the last few Fridays the kids have all just stayed and played while Karen and I catch up.  Nate disappeared to a neighbor's.  The girls all played in their rooms.  Luke floated in and out.  Sometimes in underwear, sometimes not.  Karen and her kids left around 5:30.  Ellie got picked up for her party.
 Nate came home sometime after 6.  We ate leftovers since Dustin is off at a Church youth retreat.  The FroYo Fairies appeared at my door.

Life is good.


Just thoughts

1. Sadie has Liberty Bear this week.  I asked her what they were going to do together: "Have the best days of my life."
2. Why are the wrappers I am pulling out of Ellie's lunch bag totally different than the food I am putting into it?  Today I pulled out a chocolate cupcake and a Nilla Wafers wrapper.  Obviously my lunches are not up to par and even I can admit they aren't super fun, so I'm wondering what people even want to trade her for?  Cheese sticks?  Apple slices?  Crackers??

3. Prediction: Luke's new obsession will be Super Heroes.
4. It's always fun when your friends are potty training at the same time.  It makes play dates so much more fun when everyone has a potty party and you don't feel awkward at all when you ask if your son can run around in just underwear.

5. Sadie came home from school yesterday and said, "You know, if you ever miss me during the day, you can always come to school and pick me up early."  I am raising Ferris Bueller.