Playing "Catch-up"

                             I'm gonna play a little "catch-up" on my photo journal of our family.

    Makenzie's first dance competition in June.   
A duet with her great friend and cousin, Reagan.

and the great news is they won on their first time out

If you only knew how shy Makenzie was 1 year ago and how 
through dance she has blossomed.  We are so proud of 
you Makenzie Belle.  And of course you too, Reagan.

Christmas in July

On one of our friday night Dylan sleepovers, we decided to have a Christmas in July
party.  Mike and I love Christmas movies and if there are any of our kids or grandkids 
who share our love, it's Dylan.

First he picked A Christmas Story to watch and I told him he could choose what ever 
dessert he wanted.  He choose strawberries and cream with Christmas sprinkles.
He LOVES fruit.  He always chooses it over any kind of sweets.
Except candy of course.

For our project, he wanted to paint a Christmas tree with
a present for everyone.  Never too early to be thinking about 
your list.  ha

My four year old budding artist.

                                                For breakfast we had "Christmas Pancakes"
                                                                       with sprinkles.

After helping Poppy with his turtles we took a swim
in the pool.  It is Christmas in July and as
any of my fellow Floridians know, Christmas in July
is more fun with a pool.

I promised Dylan that I would let him pose the way he wanted in a couple
of pictures if he smiled "nicely" for me.  Well this is his couple of pictures.

My Illinois Trip

I usually go to Illinois in July around Makenzie's birthday.  

She had her friends over for a morning donut party then off to American Girl in St. Louis 
for crafts, a tour and lunch. 
So Much Fun!  This is the second year she has celebrated her birthday in 
some way at AG.  Last year her cousins came up from Florida and
they had a little party their.
(Separate Post Coming)

Brody stayed home with Dad but he was very happy for Makenzie.

We made several trips to the beautiful park.

Kelly's Dance Studio had a 
"Tractors and Tutu" party.

After that Kelly and Matt went away for a few days and it was just me
and these cuties.  We decided to have a celebration each day.
First Day:    Opposite Day

We made a meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans to look like a cake,

and a cupcake and cookies to look like a hamburger and fries
(Kelly look away at this time if you don't want to see all the sweets we ate)

Brody got a bunk bed for his birthday and while I was there
he let Makenzie have sleep overs.  Can you see by the look on his face how
much he loves his new bed.

Day Two:  Animal Day
We decided to venture back to St. Louis and go to their famous
Zoo.  I will have to say, best zoo ever and that includes Animal Kingdom.
It also helped that it was the end of July which is usually about 100 degrees at that time of year
and for the week I was there is was between 65 and 70.  The kids actually had to wear 
jackets some of the time.
(Separate post to follow)

We made treats for some of the neighbors 
(some of which may have fallen on the ground before we made it to their houses)

Day Three:  Birthdays

Since I'm usually not there on Brody's actual birthday, we decided
to have a day of celebrating their special days.
When they woke up they found the floors of their rooms filled with ballons.
Makenzie loved it.  Brody not so much.  Too messy for him so I strung 
them up as a banner over their windows and he liked that much better.

They loved having little individual cakes and doing craft projects. 

During nap time for Brody, Makenzie and I had several tea parties.
Nothing sweeter than little girls pouring tea.

They helped me make dinners at night.

Brody was in the middle of his swimming lessons that week so off the the pool 
everyday.  Remember the before mentioned 65 to 70 degree temperatures that we
were blessed with that week.  Well since I had to get into the water with Brody
it was not such a blessing for this 30 minutes each day.  I think the water temperature 
had to be about 50.  It was freezing but we had a great time.

Day Four:  Patriotic Day

We put on our red, white and blue and had a ballon dance party.
This was also the day Mom and Dad came home so we had a celebration.

It was such a great week.  I miss not seeing my Illinois grandbabies 
every week and feel blessed to have this special time with them.

Back to School Monster University Party
and a special lunch date

This is the year Dylan began Pre-K

and since he's a Little Monster I thought having a monster university party
at our weekly sleepover would be fun.  
Idea came from Dixie Delights blog.
One of my absolute favorites.  Go to the link and see the spectacular
party she put on for her littles.

To make our treat I just bought a box of rice crispy treats,
molded it into a circle, dipped it in melting chocolate in the 
colors we wanted and put the candy on the top.
Easy and delicious.

The cute "You Rock Pre-K and High School" print outs were found on
Dixie Delights Blog.  I love her blog and she is so sweet to 
let you download and "copy" her great ideas.  You have to visit 
her blog.  You'll love her too.  Thank you Amanda again as I've 
used so many of your ideas.

Poppy took Taylor, our oldest grandbaby out to lunch to
celebrate the beginning of her 11th grade year.

I wanted to get her a little token to let her know that
God loves her unending and she can count on him.
These three bracelets from Charming Charlies fit the bill.

and finally.......

A boy cousin sleepover

getting hot and "sweaty" at the park
with a pizza picnic

                                                                       Sweet smiling picture

the true boys

then home to the pool to  take a bath 
go swimming

monster donut treats

we went to redbox and the boys picked lego superheros movie

then I read them books and they crashed

we had a great time.

Rahel and Hermela, your next!

have a blessed day everyone

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