Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday Parker!

Parker turned 4 today!  I set an alarm and got a photo at 12:10 AM, the time he was born.  The light usually doesn't wake him up, but he was trying to cover his eyes a bit.
Morning offered a better opportunity for a smile!  This was the first year I wasn't going to be with him all day, so I was a bit bummed.  We also are getting out first winter storm which caused a terrible morning commute.  Luckily it took a break for the afternoon and I got home in time for the evening festivities.
This was our regular night for our church life group.  We planned to go to Perkins beforehand and invited the group to join us.  They were all for it and we just decided to have our whole group there.  We didn't do any official Bible study, but had some great fellowship.  Our amazing group members also came with gifts for Parker.  He got some new animal toys and a gift card to Target.
It's not a birthday without sprinkles on the pancakes!
We finished with a bit of pie (free pie Mondays) with a candle on top!
We feel so blessed to be a part of this group.  They have become a lot like family and they have shown so much generosity to Parker and us.  Happy birthday Parker!  We love you so much and feel honored to be your parents.  We can't wait to celebrate more this weekend!

Birthday Party at Maple Maze

Parker's friend, Simon, invited us to his birthday party on Saturday.  It was at an indoor play area, Maple Maze.  We have been there a few times in the past and had a blast!  Parker wasn't as eager to climb up this time, but we found the tree that had steps to the top.  He loved climbing up the tree and going down the slide over and over again!
Derek, Daphne, (Simon's dad and sister) and Parker
Mitchell and Parker
Simon and Parker
I did finally force him to explore a bit more and he enjoyed it.
After wearing ourselves out, we went back to the room for cake and presents!
We also played pin the pizza on the mouth!
Buddies!  Happy Birthday Simon!  Thanks for inviting us to your cowabunga-riffic party!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had a busy Thanksgiving this year with 3 stops.  We woke up early to visit Jimmy's dad at the hospital.  It started to snow just as we got there and it continued off and on for much of the day with minimal accumulation.  We ate breakfast in the cafeteria and had a beautiful view of the snow over the city.
Grandpa Herrmann has got quite the collections of cars for Parker to play with when we visit.  He had fun lining them up and crashing them all together!
We had lunch with Jimmy's family.  His mom, sister, and nieces made quite the spread!  My favorite is the wild rice stuffing, I could eat that all year!
I try to get a picture of Parker and his cousins when we get together, but it doesn't always work.  At least a crazy 3 year old and stubborn 5 year old makes for humorous shots!
We headed to my parents mid-afternoon and got right in to the annual pool tournament.  My dad wanted to scrap it this year since it is just 4 of us, but I wouldn't let the tradition die!  It was a pretty quick tourney since there was only 6 games.
This is the first year Parker has been interested in the table.  He kept grabbing for the balls and even grabbed a stick at one point.  Jimmy helped him hit a couple balls.
My dad and Jimmy were in the championship and Jimmy got skunked by my dad!
We opted for an unconventional entree, pot roast and carrots.  We will had mashed potatoes and gravy, green been casserole and mac and cheese!  Dessert was pumpkin pie and no bake cheesecake.
Jimmy had to work Friday, so Parker and I stayed and spent the night.  Parker was so excited to get in the hot tub in the morning.  As soon as he saw grandpa Buxton in his swimsuit he knew it was time!  It was a short outing because it was pretty cold.
We went out for a little shopping after breakfast.  I worked in retail for 6 years so I usually don't go out shopping.  I certainly don't missing working in that craziness either!
We had a pretty great Thanksgiving and hope you did too!  Now it's time for Parker's birthday and Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sole Hope Service Project

A friend of mine, Rachel, hosted a service project night at her house last Saturday.  Sole Hope is a non-profit organization that makes shoes for children in Uganda and supports the economy by training and employing locals to make the shoes.  Our job was to cut the pieces of denim and plastic used to make the shoes. Emily (pictures below) helped coordinate the event.  She had gotten a kit from the organization that includes a video, instructions, and a template.  We used old jeans to cut the shoe pieces from.
There were 10 denim pieces and 2 plastic pieces for each set, which were safety pinned together for shipping.
Emily also made a delicious african stew for us to enjoy.
We made over 20 sets in just a few hours.  Emily has had several parties and will send all the sets together to be shipped to Uganda.  Thanks to Rachel and Emily to hosting such a great evening!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

16 weeks and random pictures

A couple months ago I announced we were expecting baby #2 and I haven't really mentioned it since.  I was officially 16 weeks on Tuesday and things are continuing to to go well.  We have has two more appointments where we got to hear a good strong heartbeat.  I am doing pretty good keeping my blood sugar in check and have gained minimal weight so far, which is good.  I am hoping to only gain 10-15 the whole time, so I am off to a good start.  We have our anatomy scan in 2.5 weeks.  I am so excited to see our little guy or gal and find out the gender.  We are doing a very small gender reveal with just our parents and will share after that happens.  I finally feel comfortable enough to share a "bump" picture.  It is still mainly pudge, but I feel like it is starting to round out a bit and look more like I am pregnant.
 In other randomness, the corn was harvested by my parents house, so we took an off-road trip on the twister last weekend through the field!  It was a bumpy ride, but Parker seemed to enjoy it.  We visited the cows as well and he is getting very good at mooing to them.
 My parents stopped by for some iPhone support on Sunday and my dad was really excited to get Parker up from his nap.  I pictured this exact image when we transitioned Parker to his big boy bed.  Grandpa loves to snuggle with the Parkman!
 We visited Jimmy's dad in the hospital again last week as well.  I am so happy that Parker has become comfortable there, it makes visits so easy.  Grandpa Herrmann always has snacks and lots of cars for him to play with.  He especially loves rolling them down the inclined bed.
Lastly, we had a morning movie date yesterday.  There are 3 big movies we want to see in the next couple months, so it was nice to check one off the list.  I love going on Saturday mornings because tickets are only $5.35.  I also had a gift card, so it only cost $4.75 with popcorn and a drink!  We saw the final Hunger Games movie.  It was pretty good, but didn't end in the dramatic fashion I was expecting (I never finished the book series.)  It has been a pretty slow couple of weeks, but with get busy again with holidays and birthdays.  Hope you have a great week!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Crazy 80's Work Party

My work's annual employee appreciation party was last weekend.  They do a fun theme every year and it was 80's this time around.  The party got postponed from earlier this year to allow us to focus on a major system changeover.  This has given me over a year to plan our costumes.  From the very beginning I thought of doing Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future.  This duo allowed me to be a little crazy, while Jimmy got to where mostly normal clothes.  The picture below shows the looks we were going for.
I have had a white jumpsuit laying around for a while and it made a perfect Doc Brown costume.  I added orange accents and a nuclear symbol on the back with duct tape.
I picked up some cheap rubber gloves and added my own nuclear symbols again.  I borrowed a few of Parker's plastic tools for safety's sake and my tool belt was finished.
My last accessory was a stop watch.  I couldn't stand the idea of spending $12 on an actual one, so I started looking around the house for options to make one.  I saw a toy tuna can and figured I could make it work!  I quickly drew a stop watch face (including messy DeLoreon Motor Company logo) and it was done.
I got a little creative trying to make a messy ratty hair-do.  The buns helped with a bit of back-combing and a lot of hair spray!
I combed it back and sprayed on some white hair color to finish it off.  Jimmy's look was pretty basic.  I got a red vest on clearance at Menards last year.  I took up the length and removed most of the batting so he was wasn't too hot.  I took up the length on a denim shirt to make it look more like a jacket and added a basic plaid shirt and jeans.  I thought we looked pretty great and we had an awesome time.
There was even another Marty McFly to take a picture with along with so many other great costumes!
Ladies of the 80's provided rocking jams the whole night.  They have two lead vocalists that rotate in dressed as famous ladies of the 80's including Cher (below), Tina Turner, and Madonna.
I feel so blessed to work in an environment that feels like family.  We can all just be our crazy selves and have fun!