Our Five Ring Circus: November 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Friendsgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I'm thinking about all the things I'm thankful for.  Obviously, my husband, children, and family top my list.  Good health, a warm home, freedom, an abundance of food, clothing, transportation, and entertainment are also on my list.

I'm going to be honest.  I'm very thankful for Netflix, too! We watch Netflix daily, and I am so thankful I was asked to be a member of their #StreamTeam.  It's such a wonderful opportunity!

One of the things I am incredibly thankful for, which is at the top of my list along with family, is our friends. We are blessed with an amazing support system.  We do so much together, and we made some wonderful memories!

Jocie and I met in 7th grade, and became best friends in 8th grade.  We stuck together through the years.  We vacationed together, stood by each other as we got married, spent many late nights hanging out, and stayed close as we became moms.  We've gone through so much together.  I am so thankful for the person who has been by my side since we were 13!


Tracy and Amber were childhood friends of my husband, and I met Steph through blogging.  Our families have a lot in common, so we do everything together, including backyard camping!  I am so thankful I got to know Amber and Tracy better, and so thankful I met Steph.  They are like family to me!


Amy is another friend I met through blogging.  She, Steph, and I were pregnant at the same time, and now we're in this together as we parent our young ones. Amy is a special ed teacher, and is one of Liam's best cheerleaders!


Dylan, Lexie, Lily, and Liam are learning at a young age what a gift friendship is.  I am so thankful they are surrounded by such an incredible group of kids and supportive parents.  They have so much fun together and they are going to have so many amazing memories of their childhood. 


We're not having Thanksgiving dinner with our friends this year, but we had many "Friendsgiving" dinners over the past few months! Our friends are a vital part of our lives, and I want my children to value their friendships.  I am constantly explaining the importance of friendship to them.

Netflix has a great selection of movies and TV shows to watch that showcase the importance of friendship!

One of the first chapter books we read to Dylan and Lexie is Charlotte's Web.  We recently sat down (with a big bowl of popcorn, of course...they are very thankful for that!) to watch Charlotte's Web with them on Netflix. It is the sweetest story about the friendship between a pig and a spider.  Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider are such a cute dynamic duo! Wilbur is a pet pig who has an inevitable fate, but Charlotte intervenes with a plan to help keep him alive.  Their friendship is pure and true, and keeps you captivated until the very end.  Even though Dylan and Lexie knew what the book was about, they both enjoyed the movie!

Dynamic Duos aren't just for kids. Grant and I are big fans of shows that feature dynamic duos!

One of our favorite shows ever is Gilmore Girls.  Grant used to hate this show, then got sucked in while he was recovering from an appendectomy.  We started watching it regularly after that, and purchased all the seasons on DVD.  The show is about the evolving relationship between Lorelai and Rory, who are mother and daughter.  It is a feel good show that makes you laugh and cry, and the back and forth banter is hilarious!  Even though we watched every single episode from start to finish TWICE, I have to admit I cheered when I saw it featured on Netflix.  I just may have watched a few of my favorite episodes since then!

Another show featuring friends, that is guaranteed to make you laugh is New Girl! Grant and I watched the first season, then fell behind in the second season.  We recently got caught up on Netflix, and we were quickly reminded just how much we love this show! New Girl is about a girl named Jess who moves in with three guys, after a breakup. Hilarious antics ensue!  Nick, Schmidt, Coach, and Jess will make you laugh from the very first episode!

Netflix offers so many great choices that feature Dynamic Duos!  Check out this great list of titles:

For your little kids:
Veggie Tales in the house
Sesame Street Elmo   Friends
Bo on the Go
Justin Time
The Fox and The Hound 2
1. Bob and Larry: VeggieTales in the House
2. Bert and Ernie: Sesame Street: Elmo and Friends
3. Bo and Dezzy: Bo on the Go!
4. Justin and Olive: Justin Time
5. Tod and Copper: The Fox and the Hound 2
6. Clifford and Elizabeth: Clifford
And your big kids:
Phineas and Ferb
Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated
Wild Kratts
Adventure Time
Mario Bros Super Show
Charlotte s Web
1. Phineas and Ferb
2. Shaggy and Scooby: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
3. Vada and Thomas: My Girl
4. Martin and Chris: Wild Kratts
5. Finn and Jake: Adventure Time
6. Mario and Luigi: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
7. Charlotte and Wilbur: Charlotte's Web
Plus a few for mom and dad:
Gilmore Girls
New Girl
how i met your mother
30 Rock
Breaking Bad
The X Files
Wayne s World
1. Rory and Lorelai: Gilmore Girls
2. Schmidt and Nick: New Girl
3. Ted and Barney: How I Met Your Mother
4. Liz and Jack: 30 Rock
5. Walter and Jesse: Breaking Bad
6. Mulder and Scully: The X-Files
7. Wayne and Garth: Wayne's World

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our family tomorrow, and we will be listing our friendships as something we are thankful for. Having a supportive group of friends is just as important as having a supportive family.   Our friends truly bring so much happiness into our lives!

*Disclaimer: I was offered free service and a product in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Double Digit Birthday

On Saturday, the boy who made me a mom turned 10 years old!  I honestly can't believe an entire decade has passed since he was born, but it feels like he has been with us forever. 

Dylan came into the world a month early, at a time we needed some joy in our lives.  I wanted a girl so badly, but when I heard the words "It's a BOY!" and heard his first cry, I immediately fell in love with him.  He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. 

santa hands dylan

Bringing him home and taking care of him felt natural.  The transition into parenthood was seamless.  My fondest memory is from our first morning home from the hospital.  Dylan woke up at dawn to eat, and I brought him into the living room to feed him.  The sun was just beginning to rise and at that moment, the first snow of the season began falling.  The world was so quiet, peaceful, and beautiful, and I was so in love with the little miracle in my arms. 

I remember thinking that 10 years felt like it was ages away, but I blinked, and he turned 10. 

Dylan is a beautiful person, inside and out.  He has always been a loving, compassionate, kind, friendly, and polite kid.  He loves his family fiercely and is extremely loyal to his friends.  He genuinely cares about people and greets everyone he passes.  He always holds doors open for others, and loves to help people in need. Every teacher he had raves about how sweet and polite he is. He still hugs and kisses me when the bus pulls up, and doesn't care what others think.  He is a wonderful big brother, and an amazing son. 

This double digit birthday was bittersweet.  Dylan's growing up so quickly, and I admit, I cried several times throughout the day! That being said, it was a wonderful day devoted to celebrating our sweet boy's 10th Birthday!!!


Lexie slept over in the boys' room the night before, so they woke up to a roomful of balloons.  Dylan and Lexie were so excited that it was Dylan's birthday!


Soon after, Lily joined in the fun!


Donuts for breakfast are a family tradition.  I just may have sent Grant to the store at 1 AM because I forgot donuts (and balloons, napkins, plates, and a card)!  Singing happy birthday first thing in the morning is important to us.


After breakfast, we let Dylan open his presents.  He opened his card and his new birthday shirt first.


Next was a gift from each sibling.


Finally, he opened up his gift from Grant and I.  Obviously, something he never expected to get!


We only had a little bit of time before his family birthday party began.  We had a great time celebrating with our immediate family!

The cake made me laugh this year!  It's tradition for my mom to make every birthday cake.  The kids look forward to it every year! Dylan is into WWE and requested a wrestling cake.  My mom, who only had daughters, interpreted that as mud wrestling.  She created a mud ring by filling the cake with chocolate pudding, and sunk the WWE figures into the mud.  It was funny, and the cake was absolutely delicious.  This was the first year we didn't have any leftovers at the end of the day!


Dylan was thrilled with his gifts this year.  He is always so thankful for every present he receives.


He was also happy to spend the day with the people he loves most!

Nina and Papa, he loves his Kindle Fire HD!


Mawnaw, he loves his hoodie, Call of Duty building set, and wrestling cards.  He built the set that day and is wearing his hoodie today!


Thank you for the wrestling toys, Aunt Annie, Uncle Daryl, Brady, and Brandon!  They're a huge hit!


He's so excited about buying new books, Aunt Pam!  Thank you!


Aunt Sis, Uncle Mack, Michelle, Ryan, and Aubrey, thank you for the money and gift card.  He is saving up for something big!


It was a busy afternoon, full of fun!


After everybody left, we headed out for Dylan's birthday dinner.  Unfortunately, we had a change of plans. Dylan was so excited to go to his favorite restaurant for dinner, but there was an hour wait.  There was no way we could keep Liam and Lily occupied for an hour, in a tiny lobby, so he had to pick another place.  We ended up at Long John Silver's, and promised Dylan we would go back to his favorite restaurant next month.  He was bummed at first, but bounced back quickly!


That evening, some friends stopped by to wish Dylan a happy birthday.  We pulled out the cake remnants, and sang to Dylan one more time!


Dylan's best friend, Jack, spent the night, and Lexie's cousin, Aubrey, slept over, too.  The four of them joined up for a midnight Lego building session!


I honestly can't believe my baby boy is TEN!!!  We love him so much!


Dylan had a wonderful 10th Birthday!  He deserved it!