Archive for the 'Birthday' Category


Rockwall climbing!

We went to Main Event that night to have Ella’s birthday dinner celebration!

(cell phone pic) I forgot my camera! ugh.

The highlight of the evening was rock climbing!


Go Ella go!

Can you see Ella in the middle dressed in pink! She is so high!

Asher almost made it to the top!

Rilyn made us so proud through with her rockwall climbing skills! She made it past an overhang with great skill! James even made a video because it was so impressive to watch her!

Get it girl!

Rilyn made it to the top several times! She was on fire!

Ella had a great birthday week which ended with a school celebration!

cell phone pic-Rilyn got to come in the class to join!

Her best friend completed her elephant family collection for her birthday! Thanks Anna!


Ella is eight!

Ella, you have been the best little sister, (and big sister)-bringing extra joy and compassion to Rilyn, and being extra silly with Asher (which he loves)! I promise to slow down, and snuggle when you ask me (everyday!) Love you!

Party night Ella had a sleepover with three of her best friends!

slumber party!

We started her birthday morning with our traditional “wake up to a birthday donut!” Since they had a sleepover the night before, she got to have all her friends watch her!

Not so sure of this sparkler…

Traditional run through the crepe paper birthday morning!

She got to open her presents from Asher and Rilyn!

Birthday girl all ready for church with her American Girl!

After church, her big birthday surprise was a new bike from mommy and daddy!

She was pretty excited, can you tell?


American Girl birthday party!

Ella had her 8th birthday party last Saturday and the theme was American Girl tea party!  We had 14 girls here, and they all were asked to bring their doll!  So fun!

I made this “photo booth” for the girls each to pose in as dolls!

Big sister, Rilyn!

I also used old American Girl boxes and Ella’s picture in one, as decorations along with the magazine pages to decorate our cupboards! To seat all 14 dolls, I duct taped bandanas to the counter, and they worked great as “seats”!

me and the birthday girl before the party

Ella and “Sophie”. I bought doll party goods at Michaels!

Grandma and Ella (with a photo bomb by James!)

Look at that cute cake my friend made her! Designed to look like an American Girl box!

It’s a tea party! I wrapped tulle around the chairs to make it more “fancy!”

All of the special guests waiting to eat! Their owners were busy making the party food for them!

I bought Sculpey clay, and the first thing the girls did at the party was make party food for their dolls! AFter they made donuts, cupcakes, cake, etc. we put them in the oven to bake during the party! 🙂

baking the doll desserts!

Next, the girls got their own doll dress to fabric paint! My sister in law sewed all of these for Ella’s party!

The girls then played American Girl Bingo using candy as place markers!  Click the picture for the link to the free printables!

The doll desserts came out of the oven and were ready for the dolls to eat!

That means it was time for the big girls tea party!

Happy Birthday to Ella, happy birthday to you!  Notice the pink flames on the candles!

Make a wish!

Yummy pink tea (punch)!

Party pic!

present time! Ella got Olaf, from Frozen. Can you tell she’s excited?!

Ella hugged each friend after she opened their present! So sweet!

Love this girl so much! My cuddlebug!

We ran out of time (our party was 2 hours), but I also had bought lots of duct tape so the girls could make their own dresses. See the easy instructions here.

Ella had a few girls stay and sleep over, so they got to make the duct tape dresses!


35th birthday!

James is officially “mid-30”!  This year I thought it would be fun to light 35 candles on his homemade cake.  I couldn’t even finish though, because the cake got so hot!  LOL

James lighting his own birthday cake! And I love Ella’s expression!

Happy Birthday to you!

James has still got it! He blew them all out in one breath! Again, I love how Ella is covering her ears like something will explode! Rilyn is shocked too!

James got a GoPro for his birthday, and I can’t wait to see what he can do with it! I’m sure the videos he makes will be “next level” now! Fun fact: the video James’ made for Ella’s Tangled birthday went to 15,000 views on his birthday!


Happy 60th dad!

The night of the fourth, we went to watch the George Bush library firework show. We had to drag our kids to it, because they were scared to death that another fire would start, but we assured them that these were professionals lighting fireworks!

reactions to watching the beautiful fireworks!

LOL…these are obviously FAKE reactions to watching fireworks!

again, fake reactions…maybe we need to work on our acting skills!

My dad turned 60 on July 6th, and we celebrated some more at the Octaranch, despite having almost burned down the place! 🙂 James and my brother worked hard on the ranch, doing as much manual labor they could for my dad! Even Ella joined in! Dad is a godly, hard worker, self-less man who is all about making fun memories with his grandkids!

Me. my sister, dad, and brother!

For my dad’s birthday, we transferred all our old VHS tapes and Super 8 reels into DVDs! It was definitely a good idea, can you tell?

happy tears…



On June 3, 2004 Rilyn Jalie Paquette made me a mommy!  And now, nine fast and furious years later, we are HALF WAY done with raising her in our home!  Does this make me sad?  A little, but more than anything, it makes me want to charge, and be that much more intentional in these last nine years.  I want her to be prepared as she enters college in 2022, with a faith that is HER OWN.  If she has that, nothing else matters.  I do believe she is a Christian, and James and I want to give her all the tools she needs to walk faithfully, even when no one is watching.

Enjoy the pictures of her special day!

Traditional “wake up to a donut and us singing to you” on your birthday!

Run through the crepe paper to your presents and cards!

Rilyn got matching dresses for her and her new doll, Serenity. Here she is about to go to school!

Rilyn chose Austin Park and Pizza for her birthday dinner!

Love the Laser tag game faces! Rilyn chose one special friend to go with her, Eveany.

Rilyn is a pro at the climbing wall!

This however was Ella’s first time, and she was a bit fearful and frustrated!

bumper boats!

Asher loves wild rides! He took a big swig of root beer before this ride and I really thought he was going to lose it. But, fortunately, it wasn’t the carnival scene in Sandlot, and he was great!


Rilyn loved racing around the track!

Asher could ride with daddy, and he loved it too!


Rilyn’s “cool” 9th birthday party!!

We had Rilyn’s 9th birthday party at a local ice skating rink!  Rilyn chose this because she had been to a previous birthday party there and loved it!  I thought the party ran very smoothly, and the rink gives the kids a lesson right at the beginning of the party.  However, one girl broke her wrist, and another twisted her ankle…so, maybe having an ice skating party wasn’t the best idea!  Rilyn had a “cool” time though!

Off to a slippery start (before the lesson!)

Lesson time!

Rilyn and her best friend (who sadly broke her wrist during the party!)

All her guests!

Gotta have the sparkler!

Reading a birthday card!

Rilyn opened her presents from grandma and grandpa after the party at home!

I love how excited Ella is! She knows she gets to play with Rilyn’s presents!

Rilyn finally gets the American Girl doll she has been wanting!



May is usually the busiest month in our household!  We’ve got my birthday, plus Mother’s Day, our anniversary, not to mention James and I have both our moms’ birthdays this month too!  Oh, and James’ sister got married two days ago!  LOTS of celebrating!!

Right at the beginning of May, I played a character in James’ 3 day staff retreat (from his work.)  It was a Sherlock murder mystery theme set in the Victorian age, and I was a suspect named Charlotte!  So fun!

This is my birthday/Mother’s Day in pictures!

Me and my momma celebrating!

First swim of the year!



Angry Birds party!

Asher had an Angry Bird birthday party! It was so much fun to plan!    Here is the link to James’ awesome short video he put together of the big day!

Here is the party in pictures!!

I made Angry Bird balloons using a template I found online.  Click the picture for a link.  (I drew my own orange and green Angry Bird faces though.)

For party favors, all the guests got sling shots! Inside the golden eggs, they got rubber bird balls they could use with their sling shot!

I bought all these eggs at Easter time for his party!

You can get Rubber Birds Bouncing Balls (pack of 12) here.  And sling shots here.

<“Foam “Wooden” Blocks“> found here.

While guests arrived, the birthday boy and guests jumped on the trampoline!

Asher’s sisters had an Angry Bird tattoo parlor too!

Before we started our first activity, James showed all the kids the golden eggs that they could win during a game. Little did the kids know who was behind them…

First activity was using “bird eggs” (Cascarones or confetti eggs) to throw at each other. I bought 6 dozen at Easter! 🙂

Next up was pinata time!

Then it was time for (Angry Bird) pizza!

After pizza, was the sling shot game! James and my brother built a 3 foot tall sling shot and we blew up 60 lime green balloons to use as “piggies”! James set up the boxes that the pigges were to be in with pins. I painted mini dodge balls with angry bird faces, and when a child slung a ball at the piggie balloon, the balloon would fall back on the pins and POP!

A pack of three mini dodge balls was $9 at HEB

Uh oh! The piggies are back and they’ve got our golden eggs!!!

Time to get those piggies!

See the blue Angry Bird flying?

Bam! Knocked out the top piggie!

Asher going for another turn! Every time a child knocked a piggie down, they got a golden egg with a prize inside!

We had a few crazy Angry Birds that had a little too much energy! LOL

It was getting hot outside, so we took a break for some cupcakes and ice cream!!

I love the sparkler candles! My kids are never too sure about them…

My kids always love the party blowers!

present time!!

After presents, the kids went back out to do some more damage to the piggies with the sling shot…this was what was left!

Piggie carnage! Lots of eyeballs and snouts!


Asher is FIVE!

Asher turned five years old yesterday!  He is an active boy, who loves to climb on furniture and  jump off of things.  He tests his boundaries constantly, and actually got his clip moved down to yellow on his yesterday for kissing a girl (on the cheek thankfully!)  He loves to cuddle, all things art, he is warming up to soccer (next up karate in the summer, and flag football in the fall!), has started to read, and still loves me the most in our family!  (ask him, it’s true.)  😉  I wouldn’t say he is an independent boy, but rather likes his sisters and I to do things for him, (and most of the time he gets away with it!)  What can I say?  He is the baby of the family!  Here is his special day in pictures!  (His Angry Bird party is Saturday, stay tuned!)
Traditional wake-up birthday donut!

Traditional “run through the crepe paper” on your birthday!

When Asher opened up his new mitt he said, “Look, I got a glove that holds a football!” And then he pointed to his new bat and said, “When can we play golf?”

He loves his new Angry Bird!

I couldn’t go up to preschool to eat lunch with him (because of standardized state testing), so I did the next best thing! I wrapped up all his lunch items!

We went to Chuck e Cheese for dinner to celebrate with his BFF!

I caught them in their “secret hideout” doing their “secret handshake”!

His favorite thing to play at Chuck E Cheese!

Asher and Caden! Friends since birth!

Every birthday, we like to make homemade cards. This year, I used his soccer picture and his Angry Birds party theme to create this:

My photography business!

March 2021