Sunday, July 26, 2009

McConnell Family Reunion

We wrapped up the 2009 McConnell Family Reunion just about a week ago. We have had a pretty crazy week so I am just getting to posting the pictures. It was a blast!! I always hate for it to end!
The McConnell women... and Matt. :) Lemons, "fold overs", "big butts", OH MY!Matt and Shannon with Matt's famous bacon wrapped jalepeno things. They are so YUMMY!!
Another reunion must-have... NO BAKES!! YUM-O!Aiden and Emma wore out Jeremy!
All the girls after the Girls Brunch on Friday. Bev and Christy were very sneaky and made it a surprise birthday party for all of us. We were all celebrating BIG birthdays (Emma - 5, Maggie-16, Erin - 21, Lindsey- 25, me - 30, Shannon - 45, Becky - 60, and Virginia - 80.) It was a lot of fun and "the big enchilada" at Jose's made it even more fun by giving us all these t-shirts for FREE!! 

Maggie and Erin at the Ladies Brunch.

Then a fun day at the lake house. Emma's first time to tube! You can tell that Daddy is pretty proud! We all were!!
Shannon and Aiden. This was before they shucked corn together and got "ticky icky" hands.
The golf game on Sunday. 
Maggie and Erin sporting their hard hats.
Shannon and Becky with their hard hats...
Lindsey and Curtis on their 1 year anniversary!
Uncle Tom :)
Our team. me, Alex, Bev, Matt and our mascot, Emma.

Over all, it was a super fun week! We can't wait until next year... I heard it was going to be at Disney World!! Oh... you were kidding?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Show us your life - Wedding Dress

A little late... but today I am participating in Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life - Wedding Dress Edition. Matt and I got married on June 6, 1998. It blows my mind how old we are! We didn't have any digital photos so I just took pictures of the photos from our album. You know... 'cause I'm a dork like that!I really did love my dress because I am super Plain Jane and it that's what it was. I think the only criteria I had for finding a dress was that it be "Cinderella-y" and I think that it was. There are a million things that I would have changed about the day, but I am so happy to say that a couple of the things that I wouldn't change are the groom and the dress!  
We were so young!! 

Me and my Nana. She is so cute how she always finds the perfect dress to match an occasion.  I had red, blue, green and yellow as my colors - mostly just in the flowers that I used... it wasn't like a circus or anything ;) But bless her heart, she found just the dress to match.
My flower girls, Kaylee and Chasity. They are 16 and almost 15 now. Did I mention how old I am!! They are so cute!! They were one of my favorite things about the wedding (except the groom of course!)
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Kelly's Korner Blog is showcasing birthday parties this week. YAY!!! I am so excited to get to do the linky thing. I love to plan my kiddos birthday parties!! And I try not to, but I am usually thinking about the next party the day after their birthday. I know... it's a sickness!

Emma's 2nd birthday has been, by far, my favorite! Cinderella!! My mom made each girl a ball gown and each boy a cape. Then we also gave the girls little high heels and the boys swords. We didn't really have any games planned because they were still pretty little, but they all just had fun pretending to be at the ball. I loved it all!! We checked into having carriage rides, but since it was January it was too cold and it was very expensive!!

Go Hogs Go!
Aiden's 1st birthday was another favorite. It was right after football season, so of course we had to have a Razorback theme! Go HOGS!! At both of the kids first birthdays I did a slide show of a lot of pictures from their first year. I really loved watching them. I especially love seeing their "month pictures" (one month, two month, etc...) after their first whole year. We took each month in the same little white onesie in the same chair. It is crazy to see how much they change in just one year!!

Our "concession stand" where we had hot dogs, pickles, and nachos (even with the cute little trays and the yucky nacho cheese like they have at the games).
Aiden's cake. The cup cakes had A's and 1's and some hog faces. WE loved them!
Except for this one... It looked really cute and innocent enough. But it wasn't!! Here is what I learned from this party... DO NOT GET A SOLID RED SMASH CAKE!!!!!

He may have red icing up his nose until he starts kindergarten, but he can still CALL THOSE HOGS!

The Little Mermaid
For Emma's third... the Little Mermaid! This one was a swimming party at the Jones Center for Families (FREE!! Aiden's 1st was also there - it was the best, but now you apparently can't get the big rooms for birthdays and we have to have a big room to fit all of our families). This one was kind of thrown together. I mean, not like at the very last minute, but close enough. I had been planning from about the day after her 2nd birthday to do a Wizard of Oz theme for her 3rd birthday so when she switched to the Little Mermaid in September it kind of threw me off!

So we had a swimming party and had the Little Mermaid cake and goldfish crackers (aka fishy crackers). We had a "Go Fish" game that I made from a refrigerator box and that brings me to my next piece of advice...REAL GOLDFISH ARE NOT GOOD PARTY FAVORS!!! It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Go Fish game... (by the way... Aiden started walking that day! He had taken some steps previously, but he really started walking a lot that day! There he is with Nanny.)

Emma with her Little Mermaid Cake and cup cakes with E's and 3's. This was the beginning of her Fake Smile era.

Dora and Diego
The last party we had was Emma and Aiden's Dora and Diego Christmas Safari Adventure! They were both really into Dora and Diego at the time and since their birthdays are exactly a month apart I convinced myself that it would be great to have the party together. The weekend before Christmas was the day right in the middle of her 4th and his 2nd. This one seemed like it would be really neat in my head, but having it at our house and in the middle of the winter did not make for the best party conditions. We had everything we needed... the Grumpy Old Troll - check, Swiper- check, safari train, Backpacks and Rescue Packs- check, pith helmets, binoculars and inflatable jungle animals- check... but we also had a 12 degree day 4 days before Christmas and so even though over half our guests couldn't come (and didn't RSVP) we still did not have enough room in our house for everyone. Plus, having the parties together made the present opening crazy. Thank you cards were next to impossible. I had no idea who got who what (so if you got a very vague thank you note, sorry about that!) So lessons learned from this party...(1)LISTEN TO MY HUSBAND AND DON'T HAVE THE KID'S PARTIES TOGETHER, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE MIDDLE IS 4 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, (2) ALWAYS WRITE DOWN GIFTS AS THEY OPEN THEM BECAUSE YOU WON'T REMEMBER THEM ALL and (3) NEVER HAVE A BIRTHDAY PARTY AT HOME AGAIN - EVER!

We had to wake Aiden up to do the cake. Poor little guy!

So I guess that is it for now. It is only July, but Emma says she wants a Sleeping Beauty gymnastics party and Aiden wants "piderman" (aka Spiderman). So I am already planning...

I thought of a couple of other things too... I always like to check out they have tons of ideas about any type of party you could ever think of. Also, I have gotten invitations from They usually have specials where you can upload your own design and get 50 large post cards for free so with envelopes and shipping it is usually less than $10.

Sorry that this is forever long, but I thought of one more thing... You can't really tell it from any of the pictures, but Emma and Aiden each have a birthday table cloth. I had each one monogrammed Happy Birthday____ and then each year I have the year and their age monogrammed somewhere on it and have them put their handprints on it. I think that by the time they are all grown up, it will be a really neat keepsake. 

Kelly, good luck with your party planning! Harper is so lucky to have a creative mom like you and I'm sure she will have the best first birthday ever! Thanks for organizing the tour of birthdays!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bible School Dropout

When I found out that Matt's Mema's church was having Vacation Bible School for those age 3 to 6th grade, I was so excited. Our church (and many others) usually only have it for Kindergartners and up. So I signed us up (me as a volunteer) and got to work making little cards for memory verses. Last Friday we arrived promptly at 5:30 and we were pumped (well, I was pumped and Emma was ok with the fact that we were going because our cousin Katie Beth was going to be there. It all started well enough...

She  and Katie made crafts...
 They played on the tire swing...
They parted the Jordan River...
They had snacks...

And all God's people said... AMEN! It was all good!!
Then came Saturday. She didn't want sing... (Katie and Aunt Susan did though!!)
She hid behind the door... 
She didn't want to go into the camping room (aka nap room). 
She didn't get to open the frankincense
Then she hid behind the door some more...
It was supposed to last until 5:30 but we only made it until about 1 or 2 (depending on if you count the hour that I sat with her outside by the fish pond trying to get her to go back in). Poor baby girl... she just kept saying "but I miss my Dada and Aiden" (she never says she misses Aiden!) That was really one of those tough parenting moments. I didn't know if I should stick it out and make us both miserable for the sake of "consistency" and "not quitting" or cut our losses and call it a good try. We opted for the latter and decided to go swimming. Amen!  
(But on a side note, I did feel really terrible for ditching Katie Beth!! But I was thinking that she would be ok since Susan was there and she had signed up for it before she knew that Emma was going to. I'm trying to make myself feel better  - Can you tell?)

McConnell Family Reunion - Day One

Today marked day one of the McConnell Family Reunion. Granny Bev and Aunt Shannon arrived today. The rest of the gang should arrive throughout the week. After a quick hello, we made a mad dash to Emma's gymnastics, which was a mini reunion in itself since our family took up half the viewing room. Then we headed to the Naturals game. Notice we are being carefully watched by the law! You never know what us McConnells will get into! Also notice that I said "our" and "us" above. That means that I am officially a step McConnell and I totally get as many bacon wrapped jalepeno things as the rest of ya'll! ;) 
Granny Bev and Aiden, the chocolate cheeto face boy!

Seventh inning stretch. We didn't win anything! :(