Saturday, September 17, 2011

We're back!

Hello again! Yes, we still exist. Life has been crazy and we've been enjoying it; regrettably, without posting any fun photos for our friends and family to enjoy. What have we been up to? Well, in a nutshell, . . . Phil has nearly completed our basement remodel, Tori is potty trained, Tate wrapped up his first t-ball season, we successfully completed our first campout since our kids were born, Tate learned to read, Shanon is now the proud owner of a digital piano (YES!), we celebrated 9 years of wedded bliss, Tate and Tori completed level 1 of swimming lessons, and Tate graduated from his first year of preschool and began year number two. Throw in work and church responsibilities, along with playdates; baby showers; ward, primary, birthday, family, and work parties; and a few visits to the zoo, the park, the dentist, the pediatrician, and the eye doctor, and I think that about does it. Life is fun!

While I don't have the time or patience to post pictures of all of our escapades of the past six months, I do want to share some photos of the culminating event of the summer: Tate's Fifth Birthday!

I can't believe I have a five year old. I feel like I am officially moving out of the stage of "young mom". But since Tate missed the cutoff for kindergarten and is not officially enrolled in school yet, I think I'll try to hold on to that title for another year. Tate has grown up so much this last year and I keep telling him how sad I am that he is growing up so fast. But he continually promises me that he'll always be my baby so I guess that will have to do. This year Tate became fascinated with pirates so it was easy to go with a pirate-themed birthday party. (This decision was also greatly influenced by the fact that my incredibly talented and creative friend from our old neighborhood threw a pirate party for her son a few years back which gave me a lot of ideas.)

Tate and Tori on Tate's big day. Just in case you forgot what they looked like :)

Tate's actually birthday was pretty mellow because his party was scheduled for the Saturday after. He did love his nerf gun, though!

With all of my efforts going into the party, I just didn't have the time or energy for a fancy cake. Tate had to settle for five cupcakes with a candle in each.

Now, on to the big party. After sending each guest a "message in a bottle" invitation, complete with an eyepatch for each of our buccaneers, we were anxiously awaiting their arrival. All of the preparations had been taken care of.

The cupcakes were ready, complete with skull and crossbones rings.

The pirate sword fruit skewers were ready and waiting.

Our pirate ship was just waiting for our first mates to come "walk the plank" and take a swim in the "shark-infested waters."

Captain Tate and Mom made sure the water balloon "cannons" were ready to go, in case any unfriendly pirates appeared on the horizon.

Our "swab the deck" slip n' slide was all laid out, complete with sea serpent (look closely in the uppper right corner.)

Captain's Cove was all set up for little pirates to come and relax after a hard day at sea.

Everything was ready . . . . And it was a good thing. Because before we knew it, we had little pirates everywhere!! They all enjoyed walking the plank and splashing into the ocean below.

Most enjoyed using the sponges and bubble bath to swap the deck, and a few even enjoyed sliding down as the sea serpent kept things nice and wet.

Captain Tate even got a little soapy during his time scrubbing the deck.

And then . . the unexpected. The Dread Pirate Roberts turned up, in the form of Daddy! Our little pirates were quick to act. They defended their ship by firing over 50 cannons (water balloons) at this pirate villain. (The kids all loved this.)

Here you can see how Captain Tate was especially proud when one of his cannons was a direct hit. He's running back excitedly to tell his Mom. (Even tough pirates still need their mommies :)

Time for grub and grog. Hotdog pirate ships accompanied our pirate ship fruit skewers and chips.

Buccaneers enjoying lunch in Captain's Cove.

Then it was back to work: Treasure Hunting!!

After following some clues, we found the "X" that marked the spot and started digging!

Loads of treasure was to be found. Even by the tiniest of pirates.

Captain Tate, taking a break from the digging to crack quick smile.

Then the faithful crew shared the treasure they had brought, in the form of presents, with their Captain.
And the unwrapping of the often told about, but rarely seen, actual pirate sword.

Yo ho, yo ho - a pirate's life for me!