Friday, April 27, 2012

Desert Beauty

Sometimes people have trouble seeing the beauty in our desert. When they arrive, all they see is the color brown. What visitors may not know is that sometimes you have to get close to the ground to see the color. When you do, you will be amazed! Check out the flowers on a barrel cactus.
There is a large variety of plants that survive our dry, arid conditions.
The yucca is New Mexico's state flower.
The occotillo shows off bright, orange blooms against a typical blue sky.
It is kind of mind boggling when you think about these hearty plants surviving in an area that only receives an annual rainfall of 8.5 inches.
As a native New Mexican, I revel in the vast, open spaces.
It is impossible for me to look at a rock formation like this one and not know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is a God who precariously positioned those boulders.
There is something thrilling about the wild beauty you find in southern New Mexico. The girls love it when they find flowers to pick!
Every once in a while we get these bright yellow poppies that cover the ground.
It is a treat to find such colorful ground cover.
Hope you enjoyed the view from my corner of America, the Wild West!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cowgirl Birthday Party

Does it seem like boys get to have all the fun when it comes to cowboy themed parties? Well, not at our house! This turned out to be the perfect theme for our girls because both their boy and girl friends had a blast.

First, we went to the Farm and Ranch Museum for pony rides. It was a cost effective way to give all the guests a pony ride.

It worked out well because the guests had other animals to see, bleachers to climb, and fences to perch on while waiting for their turn on the ponies.

Then it was back to the house for some more fun. Our friends had a lamb that was a couple of weeks old and she was the star of the party! We also had our thirteen chicks out to be held. They received a lot of love.

We were pretty chill about the games. The kids were taken with the animals so we didn't pressure them into playing the games in an organized fashion.

The biggest hit was panning for gold. We filled the wagon with sand and buried pennies throughout the sand (you could also use fool's gold or chocolate coins). The kids used a sieve to find the pennies in the sand. Several of the kids stayed at the wagon for quite some time. I project those kids are going to be future business owners!

We also had barrels set up to mimic barrel racing and let the kids ride their hobby horse around the course. This works best for kids who are at least five. The younger kids had a great time having a "race" on two rocking horses.

Along the sidewalk, we scattered bugs and snakes which made perfect targets for the water guns. We used this big snake for a game of "toss the snake in the boot" but not many of the kids wanted to touch the slimy snake (this one came from the dollar store and expanded in water).

We also had a hula hoop to "lasso" the rocking horse and some cowboy cuffs for the kids to decorate. To make a cowboy cuff, you fold a brown, paper sack in half and staple the top underneath the bottom flap. Then you cut the bottom section into tassels. Other games you could play might be a kid's game of horse shoes and "toss the biscuit into the pan."

The best way to decorate for a cowgirl party is to use a bunch of denim, cow print, and bandanna material.

The "loot" bags had a plastic horse, a sheriff's badge, and some gold, chocolate coins in them. The kids also took home their water gun and a few plastic bugs and snakes (hopefully not for hiding in their moms' beds). We turned our puppet stage into a bank.

I grabbed an old pair of pants from the Goodwill pile and they made perfect signs. Here are some of the food signs as well as a couple of other signs for the house. We also had "bug juice" aka lemonade (you could also use "prickly pear juice") and "rootin tootin beans."

The horse stable housed the rocking horses and the hobby horse when they were not needed.

And really, you can't have a cowgirl party without WANTED posters!

We kept the food super simple. Hot dogs are always sure to please at a kid's party!

The "campfire s'mores" are just jumbo marshmallows dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and then pressed into crushed graham crackers. Easy, peasy and even my husband liked them.

We needed a pair of boots so we could have a cake for each girl. My husband cut the boots out freehand and I did my best to decorate them. They could definitely be improved upon by someone who was more skilled with frosting!

I wish we had gotten around to making a sign saying "C & A's Dude Ranch" or something similar. You could use black shoe polish on an old sheet or some butcher paper to create a sign to hang over your front door. We had a blast with this party. Hopefully these ideas will help you plan your own rocking cowboy or cowgirl party! Good luck y'all!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Sleeping Beauties

My kids are pretty cute. They are especially cute when they are sleeping. Sometimes late at night, I just go in to their room and gaze at them.
Look at those chubby, rosy cheeks.
I just want to eat them up!
Those angelic faces make up for any trouble caused that day.
Except today the little one ate half a box of dark chocolate, turbinado-salt almonds from Trader Joes.
Good thing she is absolutely adorable and I love her more than chocolate.

Linking up to Missy at It's Almost Naptime.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Addie Turns Three

It seems like yesterday you were born. I barely blinked and now you are three.

Wasn’t it just yesterday the doctor was hooking me to Pitocin drip cranked up all the way? You were ten days late and your biophysical scores were a 2/8. The doctor said if the Pitocin didn’t do the job, she would perform a C-section that night. You finally cooperated and came in four intense hours. The doctor barely walked into the room in time to catch you (I guess she didn’t believe you were actually coming). You were 9lbs.5oz. and 22 ¼ inches. You have been off the charts for height ever since.

You have intense blue eyes and light blond hair. You have a smile that lights up your whole face.
You really have the sweetest heart. You pray for your sister who is in China. Apparently you don’t want a brother because you specifically prayed recently for “my sister, cause we don’t have any brudders here.”
You suck your third and fourth fingers. The dentist said we should break this habit when you turn three. Yikes! I don’t even know where to begin.
You can be kind of a stinker. Here is some of your handy work.
You love your sister with a fierce determination.
You have so much fun at school. They let you play in the mud and you come home filthy every day.
You are convinced you are six or seven (and you tell people that when they ask how old you are).
Happy Birthday Addie girl!