Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Beginnings 2014

Last Sunday, we held our New Beginnings program for the Young Women at church. The theme for the youth this year comes from Moroni 10:32, "Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness" Keeping that theme in mind, I came across an idea online for a Diamond in the Rough theme for our New Beginnings.
 
I really liked the idea, so we ran with it. A diamond in the rough, is a diamond before it is cut and polished. We are very much like unpolished diamonds. We are precious and valuable, but through Christ, we can be perfected.
 
For d├ęcor, I wanted it to be very simple, classic and elegant. I wanted everything all black and white with silver accents and red roses. Our YW president went a little nuts buying everything black and white she could find, but I think we came out with a good mix of the ideas.
 
For some reason, every time I take pictures inside the gym, they have a yellowish tint, sorry.
 
 
 fancy chocolates at each table (didn't last long with the kids)
 food table before the food
 covered the basketball net with a Halloween chandelier (we replaced the spiders with diamonds)
 
gift bags for the girls 
dessert table before dessert
 
 
We had New Beginnings right after church on Sunday so we had a light refreshments which included:
A veggie tray
A fruit tray
Little fancy tea sandwiches
 (one leader was so cute and used a cookie cutter to make the sandwiches into little hearts)
A salad made by me :)
 
Because I am the world's pickiest eaters, I like very basic simple salads with ranch dressing, but I needed something fancier. With the help of pinterest, I threw together a salad consisting of spinach and romaine lettuce with dried cranberries, candied pecans, gala apple and feta cheese as the toppings. I actually really liked it! I made a honey Dijon dressing too but the salad didn't even need it!
 
For desserts we had chocolate covered strawberries and cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory
Our YW president had a bunch of little plastic champagne glasses, so I brought a bunch of bottles of Martinelli's sparkling cider for drinks.



 
It was a fun time!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grandma and the Camden Aquarium

I took a couple days off from work to spend time with the family. Mom kept Audra's visit a surprise for grandma. We went to the nursing home Sunday night with the kids to surprise her. She was shocked. It was so funny. She asked mom if she knew they were coming.
Four generations
Caiden was way more interested in opening and closing her door than with her, but Kendell sat quietly on her lap.
He got ahold of my car keys and tried to open the door with them. It amazes me how smart he is at such a young age. He would take my iPhone and know how to take off the cover. He knows exactly what button turns it on and which turns it off. He even knows to swipe to unlock the screen.
 
Monday we went to the Camden Aquarium.
 
 
 
 
  The hippos were HUGE and so active! They were swimming all around. Caiden was more interested in climbing up and down the stairs.
 
 Little escape artist just wanted to RUN!!
 He had fun running around the shark tunnel. I stood on one end and dad took the other to keep him in there.

 
 When he gets thirsty, he will stop and just lay on his back, no matter where we are.
 





 
They had a fun play area for little kids that we didn't discover until the very end. The pictures are blurry because he is so dang fast!



 It was a FUN day!
 
 
 

Dallas

As many of you know, my sister lives in Dallas, Texas. My family had been planning to drive out to visit in January but decided that wasn't a great idea because of dad's health. Of course we still wanted to see her and the kids, so my parents decided to fly them here to NJ to visit. Her hubby, Trevor, needed to stay in Dallas for work and flying with a 19 month old and a 3 month old alone would be very hard. So I flew out to Dallas on a Friday just to fly back with her to Philly on Saturday.
The morning I left, there was a lot of freezing rain. It had just started when I got to the airport. The plane ended up waiting on the tarmac for an hour waiting to be de-iced. I had a stop scheduled in Minneapolis before Dallas. It wasn't supposed to be a real layover, just a stop where some passengers get off and new ones get on but I stay on the plane the whole time. Because of the delay out of Philly, that stop was messed up and we needed to change planes. I was glad for a chance to stretch my legs and get a pretzel.
 
I was so excited to finally land in Dallas and meet up with Audra and the kids. This was my first time meeting my cute little niece, Kendell. Both kiddies were asleep. I sent this pic to dad to let him know I landed safely.
Audra and I were STARVING and wanted to stop at Chili's for lunch, but the GPS decided to take us back to the airport instead. Apparently they are building one inside.
After lunch, we went to the mall to tire out the little boy at the play place.
 
(Sorry about the red along the outside of the pictures. I have a red iPhone case that keeps getting in the way. I need to remember to take it off before taking pictures in the future!)
 
Before heading home, we had to stop for pretzels. Yes, I ate Auntie Anne's twice in one day! You can't go to the mall without stopping for a pretzel!

Caiden is a good sharer.
He also loved to walk around with bags. He tried to carry mine around his neck but kept falling over because it was so heavy. Sorry buddy!
 
Saturday, we all flew to NJ. We had a Southwest flight from Dallas to Houston. Then we were to change planes and fly AirTran to Atlanta for a short stop (remain on plane) then finally to Philly. Flight one went well. The flight was not full so Audra and I were able to sit together in the same row with both kids and an empty seat between us for Caiden. The second flight was a little more challenging. Because it was AirTran, the seats were assigned. Naturally, we were seating 10 rows apart, and I had a middle seat. I took Kendell so I wouldn't completely torture the people on either side of me.
 
The row behind me only had one person in it so the sweet lady next to me moved back so I would have more space.
 
She was sooooo good and slept a lot. She was calmed easily every time she started to fuss.
When we arrived in Atlanta, we were informed that all the flights into Philly have been temporarily stopped. Rather than circle above Philly for an hour, they had us deplane and wait in the Atlanta airport. As much as we just wanted to get to NJ, the stop was appreciated. We were able to change diapers and get food and let the little boy stretch and run a little.

video
He loved the water fountain! He was laughing the whole time, until I take a video of course!
Originally, Audra and I had planned on switching kids in Atlanta, but Caiden was being a little difficult so Audra volunteered to take him again. Someone moved seats for her so that she had an extra seat for him which was great. I however was stuck in the middle seat. But Kendell was great and slept the whole time. I was even able to sleep a little.
 
Because it was a quick turnaround, I had planned on driving myself to the airport, leaving my car and just drive us all home the next day. The more I thought about it, the happier I am that I didn't. The heat didn't work and I just couldn't imagine driving over an hour with two babies and no heat and freezing weather. Pat drove me there and Mom and Dad picked us up. Pat used the time to work on my car (I have heat now just in time for this snow storm). And I am sooooo glad mom and dad both came to pick us up. We had a ton of stuff and there was no way Audra and I could have carried it all. We had the two kids, two carry ons, two large suitcases, a stroller, a pack and play and a car seat. No way that was gonna happen just the two of us.
I'll post more about their visit soon :)