Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to School

With September comes the glorious return to school. The kids were decidedly less excited about it and frankly so was Crystal which was surprising since the kids were R-E-A-D-Y for some structure in their lives again.

The bus stop gang - note the orderly row of backpacks by the curb. The kids have developed a system whereby whoever's backpack is first in line gets to board the bus first and this determines which friend gets to sit with whom. This also sometimes means that we have friends knocking on our door 30 minutes before the bus comes.

Kellen started school about a week after the big kids. He's already showing signs of being the class clown...at least in this picture.

That's more like it...

Wilson Valley Mall

Gabby wanted a "shopping party" for her birthday this year and so her slightly insane mother re-created the mall experience at our house. Even more insanely, Crystal allowed Gabby to invite 14 friends to the party and all but one was able to come. I will admit that the party went off well and that the girls had fun, but I still question the 98 hour commitment to preparing the party...

The first stop - the salon for pedicures.
Next stop: the pretzel shop to make your snack
On to the Lego store...
A visit to Claire's boutique to make some jewelry
The absolutely most over the top element - Build-A-Bear. Yes, Crystal handmade fifteen separate teddy bear forms for the girls to stuff and then forced her Mom to work in the sweatshop sewing the bears closed after the girls finished stuffing their bears.

Not pictured:
  • The personalized "credit cards" each girl had to use while shopping
  • The Purse Cake
  • The Candy Shop / Cold Stone - the girls got to add their own mix-ins to their ice cream bowls (typically that involved multiple heaping scoops of M&Ms, Nerds, mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc.)
  • The See's candy shop - for take home's Crystal made 4 or 5 chocolate suckers
  • The Game Room in the basement
  • John rolling his eyes many many times while having this described
  • John feeling sorry for Crystal because she was feeling overwhelmed - this one was not pictured because it didn't exist.

Gabby's Special Day

Gabby was very excited about her baptismal day - "it's my special day," was a frequent refrain, usually accompanied with a beatific smile. It was a great day and we were honored to have grandparents and friends attend to acknowledge Gabby's decision. We celebrated afterward with a chocolate party - chocolate cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate cupcakes, and more chocolate.

Gabby & Dad at the baptism

The whole family in the backyard

Kerry, Steve and the special girl

Carol, Doyle and the special girl

The special girl and her tired of pictures baby sister

Special Girl and little bro

Big brother and the special girl
Crystal and girl with the special day

Finally, just the family