Nerf Party

Big Buddy turned nine this month! Every time another birthday of his rolls around my emotions are so mixed . My heart could burst with pride when I think about the young man he is growing in to; but I also wish motherhood came with a pause button. 

This year to celebrate he wanted to have some of his favorite friends over at a local forest preservse so they could shoot each other with Nerf guns. 

I like party planning and going big with themed food, decorations, and favors. Those aren't Big Buddy's things though so we kept this party pretty simple. I found the invite on Etsy. For favors each of the boys received a small Nerf gun, safety glasses (to help put the moms at ease), and a carabiner with a bag attached to hold bullets. 

The food was really simple: pizza, carrots, apple pouches, and gatorade or water. Big Buddy is not a huge fan of cake but he raves about this simple ice cream sandwich cake. It really is very simple; him and Mini Man made it pretty much all by themselves.

The stuff you see coming out of the side of the cake is caramel syrup...the boys loved it, they thought it looked like blood. 

I brought some cups that I had planned to stack for target practice but the boys really just wanted to shoot each other. They created their on games of Nerf dodgeball and capture the flag. 

So thankful that Big Buddy as developed so many solid strong friendships. I know many of these boys will be some of the iron that God uses to sharpen him. 

Lance Park Beach

A couple Sundays back we drove up to Lance Park Beach after church. I was really excited to check out this beach because the reviews looked pretty positive. With a large family, full of younger kids, I keep my eye out for beaches with close parking, nearby restrooms, and a bit of shade. This beach had all of those things. It's also small and a bit closed off so you don't have to worry about loosing kids.  It was so close to perfect that I'm sad to admit it had one huge negative - there was a crazy amount of dog poop in the sand. Therefore, I can't recommend you go check it out. We might venture back some day; there is a part of me that hopes that maybe the messiness was just a one day fluke. 

We still made the best of our afternoon, just making sure to steer the kids toward cleaner areas. All my kiddos love water and with their eager earnest hearts they do a good job of overlooking most negatives.

My heart lights up every time I look at this picture of Big Buddy's little-big foot sticking out of the water.

Baby Z really surprised us by how much at ease he was in the water. He felt so comfortable he even took a bit of a nap!

It didn't end up being the perfect beach...but I'd say it was a pretty perfect day.


About a month ago we finally decided to check out our local drive-in. We saw The Secret Life of Pets and BFG. The older kids were on cloud nine! This was their first drive-in and they were so impressed with the large screen, the little radios, sitting on top of the car, and getting to stay out past midnight? Baby Z was pretty happy doesn't matter where you are as long as mommy is holding and nursing you. 

Crabtree Nature Center

Early in the summer we had a family day and went to the Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington.

If you have elementary school kids in your family this is a perfect forest preserve to visit. Less then half-a-mile up the trail is a nature play area with a plethora of actives to engage young learners. 

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