Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fire Pit Fun!

For Father's Day, I bought "Big D" (that's his nickname) a fire pit along with some campfire marshmallows and glow in the dark roasting sticks.  Of course, that part wasn't for him, it was for the kids, but other than relaxing by the fire, we needed another way to enjoy the pit, hence the reason I bought them.  
And yesterday, we went to Lowes to enhance our bottom patio a little bit.  All we did was buy new cushions, a few candy holders, two plants, two pots, and two new tiles for our "end" table.  I want to do so much more back there, but I am trying to have patience and see if we actually use it first.  In addition, I am not a fool to how gorgeous the furniture looks in the stores and how quickly the weather destroys it.  So... it's a bitter-sweet decision. #chevron #citronellacandles #glowinthedarkroastingsticks #firepit #cozy #ournightlife #funtimes 
Last night, we decided to try out the pit.  It was a perfect night.  The rain showers ended.  It wasn't hot.  No humidity. Limited bugs. We invited Jake over to join us.
While we tried to start the fire, the kids played on the trampoline and played fetch with Sadie.  
We are new to this.  Not quite outdoorsy people, so starting the fire didn't come as easy to us as it probably does for so many. I'm thankful that my husband is a determined individual because I think after 15 minutes of trying I would have given up.  
Eventually, we chose to use our little helper...gasoline. We were trying to stray from using that because it is so dangerous, but it really did help ignite the fire.
Next up... time for smores! I bought all of the necessities that I felt would help create a fantastic scores. I had NEVER had a smores before and quite honestly was just going to let the kids enjoy them. I was going to live vicariously through them, but then so many of my friends on instagram said it was a crime that I had never had one and that I should indulge just this once. I really wanted ice cream.  Haha.  #icecreamtrumpseverything
A roasting we will go!  The fire looks weak, but it wasn't.  I was having a hard time capturing it on camera.
YUM! Now, although I really dislike marshmallows, ewe, I do enjoy a burnt one.  
I'm thankful that marshmallows are in the recipe for smores because this guy despises chocolate.  Now THAT'S a crime.  Haha.
Even Darren ate a roasted marshmallow.  However, he chose to refrain from making a smore.  #selfcontrolled.
There's the fire!!!! After we were done roasting roasting marshmallows  and pigging out on smores, Darren pulled up our new patio chairs and we sat by the fire to relax.  Meanwhile,  the kids caught fireflies.
I, personally, was not thrilled about wasting so many calories on this after dinner snack.  I don't see what the hype is all about. The kids REALLLLLY enjoyed it though and that's all that matters. Plus... we are making memories! Right?!!?!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wind Blown!

After a hard day's "work", playing in the hot sun and pool, Lilah passed out, as we ran one quick errand, to Starbucks.  This video footage was taken compliments of Jaxey! 

Stepping Stones!

Material gifs are nice and if you are anything like me, they come with MUCH thought.  However, homemade gifts are extra special because it shows the receiver that you took the extra time out of your time, to sit down and make a gift, for them, yourself. It has meaning, value, and talent that store bought gifts do not.  The kids and I went to Michael's Crafts specifically to pick out some kind of craft to make for Darren.  We ended up with these stepping stone kits.  Normally, $12.99 each, but that particular week they were on sale for 40% off.  PERFECT! Lilah got the one below.
Jax picked out the one below.
The kit comes with EVERYTHING you need to create your own beautiful, mosaic masterpiece.
1. A mold.
2. Clay.
3. Gems and stones.
4. Stampers.
First, you mix up the clay with the suggested water, creating a smooth cement.
I did this part because I was fearful I would have cement powder all over my house if I didn't.
Next up, decorate!
 Jax is definitely interested in painting and crafting.  I love that about him.
Lilah is too, but she gets very upset if something doesn't look right or someone else's craft looks a little bit better.  She is really self-critical and will say, "I just want to throw mine away because [so and so's] looks better.  I guess she is her mother's daughter after all.  
Working hard for daddy!
Each piece was carefully chosen and had a specific spot.
The kit also came with a pick.  The pick could be used to move the gems and stones around.  Pushing each stone deep enough into the cement, so that when the cement dried, the stones/gems would stay put.
Lilah wanted to create a heart for her daddy, so I placed one of my heart-shaped cookie cutters into the center of the mold. Liley used her skittles stones to create a heart. Don't those stones look like skittles? Haha.
 Jax's stepping stone before drying.
After the cement dries almost to completion, we used our stampers to create a message.  Jax wanted to write a "#1".
Lilah chose to stamp the word "dad". The below photo, of the stepping stone, appears messy.  I took Sadie to the dog park and brought the stepping stones with us so that I could stamp the stone at the right time.  The air conditioning, from our van, caused some of the cement to rise on top of the stones.  I had to wipe the top of each stone with a baby wipe otherwise the cement would have dried on top of each stone.  The directions specifically state to be careful of the temperature you allow the stones to dry in.  Clearly, I didn't follow directions.  
The kids were so excited to give these stepping stones to Darren, on Father's Day! They now reside in our front yard.  Eventually, I will take a photo of the final result and place it in this post, but I haven't gotten around to doing that just yet.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Remnants Of Father's Day 2015!

While planning Father's Day for Darren, in my head, I thought about the idea of making him "King For A Day!" I didn't plan on really asking the kids if they liked the idea, but I did ask Lilah what she wanted to get her daddy for Father's Day and she said, "I think it would be cool to get daddy a king's crown, for Father's Day!" My mouth of course dropped because I hadn't told her my plans yet and low and behold #greatmindsthinkalike!
I printed this scroll after adding our KING's information.  Then, framed it!
Here is our king!!!
Our highness woke up to framed printables and unwrapped gifts scattered throughout the kitchen and kitchen area. We don't make a practice of drinking alcohol, but on occasion, the king enjoys a "night cap", so I thought it would be nice to purchase him a personalized decanter and monogrammed scotch glass.  These items were purchased at Home Wet Bar.  This was the first time ordering from this company. I highly recommend them.  Even with personalization and monogramming, I received these items in 4 days, no expedited shipping.
As you saw earlier in the week, we did these "We [heart] you dad!" photos.  This was the first time Darren had viewed these prints.  He loved them!
Mr. Royalty has been wanting a fire pit for a while, so since "[His] every wish is OUR command!", we chose to make that his main gift.  It's NOT quite the one that he probably had in mind.  We will start with a small one and see if we use it before having a really nice one custom built.
We also bought him his favorite, freshly ground peanut butter from the Fresh Market. #honeyroasted
After receiving some material gifts, daddy received the best gift of all...hugs and kisses, as he ate his bowl of oatmeal.  I made Darren a fantastic breakfast, the day before Father's Day. Sundays are just too hectic to be fancy in the kitchen.  
I love the photo below.  Daddy holds up a #1.  I guess he knows he is a #1 dad!
After church, Darren took the kids to the pool and I began preparing the table for dinner. Obviously, a king is not a KING without a crown.  Do you recognize the crown?  Why re-invent the wheel, right?  I drove to Burger King's drive thru and asked if I could have TWO crowns.  They said, "Sure!" I hot glued the crowns together, back to back, and added some masculine colored sequins and a homemade sign, which read, "King Darren".  
I love the way it turned out.  
The coolest part about the table setting is that EVERY single item, minus the BIG king's crown, in the center of the table, was from the Dollar Tree: the glasses, plates, chargers, napkins, and table cloth.
The King's seat.
Each of the kids' seats had a cute photo of the lion KING with it's cub.  The lion represented their daddy and the cub represented them!
Our "starter" was shrimp cocktail.  YUM-O!
 Then, it was time to start cooking! Darren LOVES meat, so I chose his favorite steak, ribeye.  
The spatula is also a gift that we bought for Darren.  It has a #1 on the metal part and the word "dad" on the wooden handle. LOVE IT! #hallmark.
I also made homemade garlic knots, candied sweet potatos, and fresh asparagus.  
+Add+ cesar salad.  Man, this is making me hungry, just reliving it.
Everyone was so ready to chow down!
After dinner, I gave Darren a few more gifts.  This time, they were wrapped bagged.
He received a #1 Dad magnet for his car! A new bathing suit from AE (American Eagle).
A daily devotional book!
And a book titled, "Be the dad SHE needs you to be!"
Darren is an EXCELLENT father to Lilah, but since Lilah is his ONLY daughter and he never grew up with sisters, I thought this book was perfect for him.  Just gentle reminders of how sons and daughters are different and how they also need to be treated more gently.  It's also a great reminder that the...
"relationship that matters most to [a] daughter isn't the one with her mother - it's the one with [her daddy].  Her self-esteem, choices, behavior, character, and even her ideas about or choice of marriage partner are all directly tied to [daddy], the most important representative to her of the male species."

Last, but not least, we made sure to document our annual, fascinating pandemonium.  As I stated on instagram, "Sometimes I cease this moment to laugh and other times, it makes me feel like I am drowning. a GREAT day!" And I think the KING would agree it was too! We love you Darren!
Oh those goofy faces just make me laugh!
The night ended with more snuggles from the greatest dad ever.  I am SO lucky to have him in OUR lives.