Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Think It's Genetic...

In the last couple of weeks Avery has become obsessed with Christmas. I think it's genetic...because all of you know how I am a little crazy about the Christmas season. And I'm not even sure how she got on this kick, in the middle of July, when it's over 100 degrees outside.

It is normal for us now to watch Frosty the Snowman 2-3 times a day (it's only 20 minutes long). And it is normal for Avery to go outside to our garage, get the tree stand out, and parade around it in a circle singing, "Frosty the Snowman" with gusto. The other day she wanted to put on her coat from last year. And then she was fairly insistent that she wear it outside, but I put my foot down on that one. I don't want her to get heatstroke. And then while we've been busy packing boxes Avery came across her princess snow boots. I was in the loft packing some things and Avery came out of her room, in the boots, and declared, "I'm Santa!!" Every time we drive around town in White Rocket Avery will point out the 'Christmas Trees' that she sees in peoples yards. Another favorite past-time is to gallop around the living room and belt out, "Jingle Bells."

And, just because I knew she would absolutely love it, I took her to the Hallmark store because they already have their Christmas ornaments on display. We spent over a half an hour checking them all out. They even had a Frosty the Snowman ornament that played the Frosty song. I'm pretty sure that Avery thought that was about the best thing ever. Luckily she's not to an age yet where she asks when Christmas is, how many more days, etc. Because it would be one really long countdown for her.

This has nothing to do with everything I wrote above, but today I made Avery a cheese sandwich for lunch. She promptly took the cheese out of the sandwich, took a couple of bites, and then held the remaining cheese up to her mouth and said, "I'm Donald Duck." Then she quacked a few times. It was hilarious! And maybe the funniest part was that she got such a big kick out of it herself. I hope she does it again so I can get a movie or picture of her with her self-created cheese duckbill.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

St. Charles aka Paris

Sometimes in the car we play this game where I will call out "I see a gas station!" and then Avery will look for it and go, "There it is!" So today we were driving to the mall and we were playing the game. "I see the American Flag!" "There it is!" "I see a McDonald's!" "There it is!" and so on.

We drove past the St. Charles police station and outside the police station is a big radio tower. All of a sudden Avery yelled from the backseat, "I see the Eiffel Tower!!" It took Al and I a couple of seconds to catch on, but then we got a good chuckle out of it. It does kinda look like the Eiffel Tower...

I also thought it was so neat the other day when we were outside playing. There was an oil stain out on the street and Avery said, "Oh look! It's a turtle!" I studied it out for a little bit and then saw exactly what she was talking about. The oil stain was in the shape of a turtle!

She's a visual little thing...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Al's 3 Other Sisters

Monday, July 14, 2008

More About the Cake

I don't think it really shows up in these pictures, but I love how Jen put little green lights on the cake. I was amazed when we came back after getting ready and saw what Jen had added to the cake. It looked fabulous! The colors were so bright and pretty.

Thanks to Becky and Sarah for helping keep me company and lending moral support on the cake. Poor Sarah got stuck with the bad jobs of cutting the dowels and grating the chocolate :) But she did a great job!

I think my favorite part was transporting the cake from Jen's apartment to the golf club. I was super nervous about it, but it turned out to be not a big deal, and kind of fun. It was like a relay. Brian would stand outside the van. We would pass our layer to him to hold while we got in the car, then he would pass it back to us to hold while he drove us there. Allen had the big layer on the platter. And he kept cracking jokes about how Sarah was ruining her layer by sticking her fingers in the sides, etc. Becky too. So funny! Then when we got there the relay started again and Brian went and stood by the door to do the cake hand-off.

Grandpa Allen and Grandma Louona

Avery hasn't seen Al's parents for a while and so I wasn't sure how this meeting would go, but Avery was a doll and warmed right up to them. They watched her most of both of the days we were there because I was on cake duty. I think she had a lot of fun with them. When I finally got back to the hotel to get ready for the big event and they brought Avery back to me so I could get her ready, Avery wanted to go back with them! Even though I hadn't seen her all day! I tried not to take it too personally :) I really like these pictures.

The Flowers

I thought the flowers were just amazing! Jen (she's a florist)did them herself and they were absolutely beautiful! I loved the color combo. When I walked into Jen's apartment to frost the cake the scent of the flowers was incredible. I don't think I've ever experienced something like that. I'm not sure which flowers were scented like that, but it was amazing. I caught a few pictures of the flowers, and they look really good, but they were gorgeous in person.

Kids at the Waterfall

All the kids seemed to really love this waterfall. And it was so pretty. I'm not sure who started it, but I think they all tossed their rose petals in and watched them travel down the little brook. They are all such cute kids!

Getting Married!!!

I was really surprised at how pretty the location for the ceremony was. It was just beautiful outside, and so green. The waterfall in the background was perfect.

Jen looked absolutely gorgeous! I tried to get as many pictures as I could to capture the moment...but I started getting all emotional! I still managed to get quite a few, but I think these are the best of the ones I took.

The Flower Girls

Here are my favorites of the flower girls walking down the aisle. They are just too cute and loved their little baskets. And Sarah looked so pretty walking down with them. Her outfit matched perfectly, and that wasn't even planned! I still get a smile on my face when I think about the girls tossing out the rose petals and then bending down to pick them up and put them back in their baskets. What a great moment. I think everybody loved it and was smiling and laughing. In the one picture you can tell that Sarah is getting a kick out of the girls...I think that is really cute.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Wedding Cake...

Here is the finished wedding cake. I think it turned out well...

Avery and I just flew in this afternoon and I am exhausted from the quick 2-day trip. So this is all for now. More pics and comments on the wedding later...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Sold One!

I sold a cake! After I made the practice wedding cake for Jen, I had a bunch of friends over to help us eat it. My friend Carolyn called me the other day and asked if she could hire me to make her sister's birthday cake! She picked the chocolate chip/chocolate shavings cake (otherwise known as BTS cake).

I switched to chocolate icing for the birthday cake and added some pink dots and writing to jazz it up a little bit. Anyway, I wish I were better at taking pictures of food...I can never seem to get the lighting, angles, etc. right. I think a better background might help too :)

Thanks Carolyn, for the job! You'll have to let me know how Rachel likes it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More 4th of July Pics

4th of July

We had a great 4th of July! In the morning we took the kids to a giant outdoor playground. It was multi-level and there was a ton of slides and things. We came home for lunch and then Jen and I took Avery and Allison shopping while the boys stayed home to watch movies and play games. We went to an outdoor mall by their house (like Gateway) and that is where we got Avery's ears pierced. Al has been talking about doing it for a while and I knew that it would be something that Jen would love to be involved in, so we decided to do it there. After that we shopped around for a while and then came home so Avery could have a nap.

Jen and I made a big BBQ dinner for everybody that night and the kids played outside again. Avery loved driving around in the little John Deere jeep. One of the neighbors has a car as well and so there were two little cars zipping up and down the street. The guys watched carefully to make sure no big cars came by.

The fireworks were a lot of fun. We got together with a lot of the neighbors and Derek put on a firework show. Avery didn't like the noisy, screechy ones so much and she cried. Al had to take her inside and then it took a bunch of coaxing from us to get her to come back out. But when she came back out she was fine and she loved the 'sparkly' fountain ones.

We put the kids to bed pretty late, after all of the fireworks were done, and then we stayed up and played games again.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Check out the ensemble :)

Dylan was all ready to go to the beach and while he was waiting for the rest of us he went down to the basement to play. When he came upstairs he was all decked out and ready for anything with his sword, suitcase, piece of bread, and red cowboy hat. Not to mention the swim trunks.

More Beach Pictures

The Beach

On Thursday we went to the beach!! Well, it was really called Lake Elmo, but it is a man-made beach. It is about the size of a couple of very large swimming pools put together and there are life guards on duty there. I have never been to anything like it and thought it was great! Avery loved playing in the sand. She wanted to walk all the way around the beach and so Al took her. She was very determined and made it all the way!

We stayed for a couple of hours and Jen and I enjoyed relaxing while the kids and Al all played in the sand and water. It wasn't super warm that day and so the water was a little on the cold side, but the kids didn't mind. Every once in a while Avery would come running to me with her teeth chattering and I would bundle her up and hold her until she was warm and then she would run off to play again.