Thursday, May 17, 2012

Florida Visitors

Here we are, living in sunny, beautiful Florida, and so excited that it's a place that our family and friends enjoy visiting!!  Many of our family and friends are snowbirds, who like to come down south when it's way too cold and snowy up north!   We LOVE it!!
Grammy came for Eve and Blake's birthdays in January  (see previous blogs)!   This beautiful picture of the sunset is my "picture of Grammy" for this blog!!    Isn't she lovely??  :-)

Neighbor-O and Neighborette --- Randy and Melanie --- our first neighbors as a couple!!!   We lived next to them in New Jersey and have been fortunate enough to keep in touch with these awesome friends!  They wanted to come visit this crazy household full of chaos and kids so we said, "come on down"!!   
Randy has always been such a goof and fun to play with -- the girls enjoyed his youthful energy!!

Beautiful Melanie  gives the best hugs and kisses.  She is pregnant with her first kids -- TWINS -- and will be the most fantastic, loving mommy!!   I only wish we lived closer so we could help with those kids coming soon.   (I'm there in spirit Mel :-)

 It was Randy's birthday while they visited.  So, we figured, since they didn't make it to Germany to visit, we'd treat him to a German style dinner and BEER for his special day!!   The evening came complete with BIG BEERS and a BIG spanking with a wooden paddle --- HA!!   Randy was such a good sport, but he was walking funny the rest of the night -- HA!!!  

 We also spent some quality time in beautiful Seaside -- where I ate the best "smoked tuna dip" ever!!  YUM!!!    We miss you guys!
 Then, our sweet niece, Jordan, came to visit!!!   YA!!  :-)
We ate dinner at Dick's Last Resort -- a restaurant where the staff is paid to be a D**K towards the customers --- it was hilarious.  It was all good, clean fun --  doesn't the hat very much show who Jordan is??   So funny!
(It says, "Can you hear me now?" -- in case you couldn't read it.)

 How can you not run over to New Orleans when you're in town for Mardi Gras!!   It was Jordan, Eve and Anna's FIRST Mardi Gras  (unless you include "Fasching" that we loved in fun Germany), and my first one in many years!!   So, we picked up NaNa and headed over to Jay's house for the weekend!!   Jay cooked us some FABULOUS food - as always!!!   (He creatively used Jordan's fruit drink to make a glaze for a pork loin -- HUBBA  HUBBA!!!  Such yummy food and wonderful hospitality!!)
Then, it was OFF TO THE PARADES!!
(No parade is complete without a beautiful Mardi Gras mask.)
 Oh - goodness gracious -- Eve has learned the "pucker face".  YIKES!!   I blame it all on you, jordan!!
 Eve and Anna also enjoyed some big cousin time, by having their hair curled and feeling all dolled up!!  Jordan is always such a pleasure to be around!!  We are blessed with wonderful nieces and nephews!!   (Here's hoping they will ALL come visit one day!!  :-)
 My beautiful godmother -- Aunt Jackie -- came down south for a family visit from Florida all the way over to Texas and back!!  Nana was her chaffeur and as they pulled into my driveway, I couldn't have been more excited to see my  mom and godmother coming!!  (I hadn't seen Aunt Jackie in about 5 years -- way too long.)   We played a lot of cards and enjoyed some casual strolls while talking about this and that and simply enjoying each other's company!!!   She says she may not be down south again for awhile -- but I beg to differ -- she'll come again -- or we'll go kidnap her and bring her back!!   I love my Aunt Jackie!
 Isn't this just the best picture of her and Scott??    Such beautiful/handsome people!!
 And, my dear Angela...............  It may have only been a dinner date in a cool little dive in Grayton Beach, but it's always a pleasure to catch up with some of our favorite people!!   Angela, Chad and Beau happened to be in Florida -- so Wayne and I made it a point to see these friends!!  There's something special about our friends who have become family that we would drop anything at the drop of a hat for the chance to hang out!!   Here's hoping they make it to Florida again or we make it to Arizona to hang out again.  I am sending blessings out to her second beautiful baby boy coming soon!!   (You should name him Grayton :-)
Lindsey and Chris had come to Florida to visit with family, so we managed to meet up with them in Gainesville  (I made sure not to wear my LSU shirt so that I wouldn't get beaten up in Gator country)!!!
It was a short, rainy weekend together, but 
full of laughs................

 and silliness..................

 and more silliness............
(Linz will kill me for posting these pics -- love you girl :-)

 Then, Susie, Harbour and NaNa managed to come our way after Easter!!  Casual time spent together playing, eating, running around after boys were the events on the calendar.  A very relaxed visit -- much needed for all 3 mommies and the kids too!!   
 (This pic wasn't from their visit -- but I think it's a good picture of Susie and mom!!!)
So beautiful!!
 US Pattersons LOVE hanging out on the beach, whether it's for dinner or strolling.............  that's what the locals do here in Florida!!   It's made even more fun when family is gathered around the table and sharing thoughts and smiles!!  I LOVE my family and enjoy every visit!!  COME AGAIN POOPSLA!!  :-)

 I leave you with a picture of NaNa -- the Easter bunny!!!   :-)  :-)

Visitors,  Visitors,  Visitors..............we LOVE them and WANT them!!   Thank you for ALL of you who came this way and to those of you that may want to, but can't!!  We look forward to those of you coming back and those of you who will visit us at our next destination!!    
And, then, there are those of you who reside in my HEART  (you know who you are)........  always visiting. Always!

Much love...... Di

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My CRAZY little peanut - Anna - is FIVE!!!    She is such a QT and a blast to have around!!  Always doing something nice or very silly - Anna makes us smile a lot!!   The past 5 years with her have been so fantastic!!  I know that this year to come will prove the same - wonderful!!
 We got to celebrate Anna's birthday in Houston with Nana, Uncle Scott, Uncle Todd, Aunt Carrie, Stephanie, Jonathan, Isabel and Allyson!!!    Throwing an impromptu celebration, complete with cupcakes and cousins, was a blast!!

(This cake turned out better than Eve's "horse corral" cake!!  yeah!!)

Then we got to visit a historic ranch just south of Houston.  Eve and Anna LOVED seeing the horses and cowboys while running around roping "bulls" and eating some chuckwagon grub!!   GOOD TIMES!!

FIRST TOOTH LOST.................... yes, on the drive home from Houston, Anna popped out her own tooth.... literally, it flew across the van -- WOW!!     She was/is so proud. 

Now for a party perfect for any princess..................

The neighborhood friends all came over  (LOVE these sweet girls!!).   Off the top of my head, I managed to come up with "princess games" that didn't cost me anything -- YEAH!!   We learned how to....
 walk like a princess (by balancing books on our heads)
dance like a princess (by playing the "freeze" dance game)
talk like a princess (by playing the "old" game of telephone)

dress like a princess  (by playing a quick dress game wearing tiaras, necklaces, purses, skirts and mom's HIGH heels).
This was sooooo much fun to watch!!!!   Little girls in high heels trying to hurry to win (even though there was no prize) --- so funny!!!!

Then of course, many sweet and thoughtful gifts.  THANK YOU FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!

Anna ended up her birthday "week" by playing dance games on the Wii!!!  Can you tell that she and Eve love their cowgirl hats??  Perfect when dancing to cotton eyed joe!!!
 It was a wonderful birthday for my sweet five year old Anna!!   It made us also reminisce about past birthdays.   Her first birthday was celebrated with Susie and Jeff out in California and also at Lake Tahoe with Scott, Todd, Michael, Charles and Carrie.
Her second birthday was celebrated in Germany in  Kelly's hotel room with our new friends!!
Her third birthday was fun, spent in Ireland with Grammy, Aunt Nancy and a few more Irish relatives!!  (how many kids get to say they've spent a birthday in Germany, Ireland and the states??!!)
And, last year, her fourth birthday, was shared with her good friend, Tate!!  A super hero party at an indoor "fun house"!   ALWAYS FUN when surrounded by our best buddies!!!

And, like with Eve, I leave you with one of Anna's first pictures.   Here she is only days old.... so quiet, so peaceful, so Anna!!!!    I LOVE YOU PEANUT!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

EVE MARIE is 7 !!!!!

I cannot believe that I've been a mother for 7 years already!!!   It seems like just yesterday that Eve came into our lives and brightened our days from the start!!!   It has been 7 years of fun and lots of adventures!   We are looking forward to a million more years with our sweet seven year old -  Eve Marie!

So - here's how she spent her birthday.  Since her actual birthday was on a Wednesday, I made cupcakes (with grammy's help) and we brought them to Eve and her classmates for lunch at school.  She was a hit!!!  (But, of course she was playing shy in front of her friends, so, no pictures of her at school.  :-(  )

And, when you're military, how often is it that you live in a place where it's warm on January 25th??  Warm enough to play on the beach??  So, after school, we scooped up her friend, Lauren, and went to the beach here on base.  Blake mulled around in the sand with me, while all 3 girls splashed in the waves and even "swam" a little bit.  :-)    It was only for about 30 minutes -- but Eve was THRILLED!!

I'm only posting this pic because you can't "really" tell who this is ..... and she does not like her picture up on the internet.  Ssshhhhh.......... if you know who she is, don't tell anyone.  :-)    (We LOVED your visit that week, you nameless, wonderful lady, whomever you are.  :-)  :-)

GIFTS!!!   Thank you to all of our friends and family for sending wonderful birthday cards, gifts and money (which will be going straight into her savings account) !!!   You are all so very thoughtful!   Eve has enjoyed all of the presents she received and continues to use them all of the time --- while sharing very nicely with her sister!!  :-)

Ok --- Eve's 7th birthday party............
Thanks to Vivian - her best friend in Germany - Eve has quite an affection for horses.  So.... a horse themed party it is!!   Eve helped me to find a cake pan in the shape of a horse's face.   So, step one --- coat the pan --- ooopppssss, mommy already messed up.  The cake came out in pieces and all crumbled up.  YIKES!!

Luckily, Eve had expressed interest in putting a "corral" around  a grassy area on her cake -- hence the green frosting - grass.  Part of a place mat cut up for the "fence".

Then, we would strategically place 7 horses/ponies on top of the cake in their corral.  (One of which had to be her new, but favorite, unicorn.) 
All I can say is ---- GOD BLESS  seven year olds who love me for my talents OTHER then cake baking.  Amy, Farrah, where were you when I needed you??   HA :-)

Anna --- prepped in her cowgirl boots and ready for a great party!!!  
 (LOVE the pose -- Anna thought of it herself -- such a dancer already.)

Here's the birthday girl!!
Great cowgirl outfit...... borrowed hat from our neighbor completed her style. 
(Thanks Jack!!)

We had 10 little friends come over to play horse games.   We started off with some horse drawings and pictures.  All of the girls are so sweet and enjoyed showing their creativity to each other!!

Love the poses!!

(Gotcha Denise!!!   THANKS so much for all of your help for the party!!)
The girls played a game of tossing the hat onto the horse.  It was actually harder than I thought it would be -- but, hey, it made the time pass.  They also had to throw some horses into a tire.   Another game was played while "riding horses" and dropping sugar cubes into buckets -- so fun to see 10 little girls galloping down the driveway and cheering each other on to victory.

Action shot

Emma -- THANK YOU for letting us use your horse.  So cute!!
 Then, we tied black balloons to our ankles (flies following the horses around) -- and had to stomp on each other's balloons to see who was left with theirs on.... Emma won.   So much fun that we did it twice!!

Eve got to open her gifts while sitting on a cowgirl's true throne!!

And, to finish off the party -- a "monkey" pinata!!  I know, I know, it was a horse themed party -- but, hey when a friend gives you a pinata to use -- you don't ask questions!!  And the kids' enjoyed it!!   (Who's the SMART mom who thought to hang it on the plant hanger??  I'm brilliant :-)

What a wonderful, wonderful birthday for my dear sweet EVE-AKINS!!!   I love her to pieces and know that she will continue to make our lives so happy and so full!!!
I'll leave you with a picture of my "Boo Boo" at 3 weeks old.   What a sweet pea!!!
                                Stay tuned for a birthday blog for my sweet Anna - coming in March.
                                                         Love to you all.   Diane