Weekend with the kids

Katie and Nathan dropped the nieces and nephew off at our house on Saturday--a first in our freshly formed family! We were excited and a little nervous. But as my Dad always told me during my jittery-nervousness before piano recitals and the like, it's ok to have butterflies in your stomach, as long as you make them fly together.

I'm happy to report our butterflies flew in formation. 

First things first--we started the overnight with a little birthday celebration for the teen. Since Hunter had already had a traditional birthday cake, I opted to make a dirt pudding trifle. Layers of vanilla pudding/cream cheese, chocolate pudding/whipped cream, oreo cookie crumbs, chocolate rocks and gummy worms made a delicious treat.  You're never too old to play in the dirt.
Mike led the girls in a chorus of "Happy Birthday." He was an enthusiastic maestro.
Anika thought he was hilarious. She was laughing too hard to be able to sing, not that she can even say "happy birthday" yet. 
(Note: We made do without a high-chair by strapping her in with a dishtowel and keeping a close watch. Worked like a charm.)
We girls played "fire" in the backyard while the guys had a little man-cave bonding time.
Elissa is intensely interested in taking photos. Understandably so. Every other woman in her life does it, so why shouldn't she? The photo of Anika and me is one of hers. Pretty great for a two and a half year old!

Photo by Elissa.
And another by Elissa. I think we have a budding photographer in our midst.

That evening we took the kids down to the beach. Mike and Hunter jet skied (a first for Hunter) while the ladies hung out on the beach. It was quite an adventure for all of us. Put it this way--we had no trouble getting everyone to bed.
After Sunday morning breakfast, we went to the school playground a few blocks away. (No, I wasn't brave enough to try taking three kids two kids and a teen to church. Mike worked Saturday and it would've been me flying solo. Their parents didn't advise it, so I didn't try it. Next time though, I think we'll give it a go.)
Anika liked walking and playing with everything--especially the pebbles underfoot.
Hunter helped Elissa with the glider. Of course she loved it. He was such a great helper. I don't know if I could've taken care of the girls without him!
Pure bliss.
And then Elissa noticed I had the camera and decided it was her turn to take a photo of me. Hmm...better luck next time ECJ.