Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Fourth Birthday Ella Chase!

This past Wednesday, Ella turned four (A little four or so she says. She makes sure to tell people that she is a little four unlike her cousin, Ava, who is a big four.) !

On Saturday, we celebrated her birthday a little early with an ice cream theme. The theme just kind of happened as I was making her invitations. Ella really wanted to have her party at Monkey Joe's, but after adding it all up a Monkey Joe's party was going to be outrageous! So, we settled on a two-part party: the first half was in Georgetown at Fat Katz and the second half was at Monkey Joe's. All of Ella's family and friends came to Fat Katz for pizza, presents, and ice cream cupcakes. It was quite fun!

All the kiddos had a coloring sheet to work on.

I was trying to go along with the ice cream theme and attempted these cupcakes.

Ella had a blast chatting with her friends and family!

After all the Fat Katz fun was over, all the kiddos who wanted to jump headed up to Monkey Joe's. They had a blast and stayed until they closed the doors! :)

Since Ella's actual birthday was the following Wednesday, her daddy promised her a birthday date with just the two of them. They ended up going to see Spy Kids, making a trip to the Aquarium, and lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market.

Of course, I received a picture text while at work of them eating at Mitchell's (no fair)!

After I got off of work, Grayson and I headed to met Ella and Kermie for a Mexican birthday dinner and a trip to the park. It was neat to see how much those two missed each other while they were apart!

We all had a blast celebrating another year of Ella's precious life!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nice Little Surprise

While eating lunch with my students Friday, I received a text message from Kermie saying to hurry home after school so that we could pack. I was confused at first because we had not talked about going anywhere, but was most definitely not going to complain! A mini-vacation sounded terrific!
Kermie refused to tell any of us where we were going, but instructed us to pack for at least two days and not to forget a bathing suit. So, pack for two days is exactly what we did. Once we loaded up the van and got on our way, he let us in on the surprise.... we would be staying downtown Cincinnati for the weekend.
We arrived at our hotel around 5:30 or so, sat down our bags, and headed out on the town! It was a beautiful night other than it being miserably hot! I am so ready for fall!

After dinner, we walked around down by the fountain and then headed back for a little swimming! The kids really enjoyed getting to swim again since we haven't been in several weeks! Ella also met the sweetest little boy (6th grader) ever! They played for quite a while together.
After a terrific night of sleep, it was time to get going with our day! The kiddos enjoyed some play time in the bath!! Grayson cracks me up how he will climb over Ella and sit on her lap to sit by the faucet!

A late breakfast at IHOP was scrumptious! Pancakes, omelets, hashbrowns, my oh my! Our tummies were full!
After debating on what to do the rest of the afternoon, we decided to do a little shopping at the Kenwood Mall and then head to the Children's Museum. I really enjoyed getting to shop without any interruptions!! It has been forever.
One of the highlights of the day was getting in the museum for FREE! When I asked the attendant if they did a military discount he said yes and then gave us 4 tickets absolutely free! YIPPIE!

The kids had SO much fun! There wasn't a part of the museum that they didn't love. Kermie and I really enjoyed getting to watch them play.

What better to top off a fun day of play than icecream? It was delicious! :)

I guess we wore them out because this is what we saw about five minutes after getting in the van!
Kermie and I have wanted to go to Montgomery Inn for a long time, but just have never made it for some reason. Once the kids woke up, that is exactly where we headed. I honestly think my California Salmon could have been my most favorite dish ever!!!! The others enjoyed their food too... as you can see!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and did a little more swimming. And, finally.... it was bedtime!
We woke up this morning and took our time getting ready and packing up. We had toyed with the idea of staying another night or even going somewhere else to stay, but Ella said she missed her blue home and was ready to go back! LOL
Lunch at Cheddar's was terrific and a quick stop at the Gap Outlet topped our mini-vacation off!

I love taking trips like this one: unexpected, no plans, rules or regulations! I am very thankful that Kermie decided to plan this one for us! It was perfect! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Converted Van Fan

Pretty much since I have been able to drive I have had in mind the "type" of car that I wanted to drive. Doesn't everyone have their dream car? Well, about 4 years ago my husband brought home my dream car or so I thought! I had always wanted either a BMW or Volkswagen Station Wagon (seems weird to some, I know). Due to the fact that nothing BMW is within our budget, I got the Volkswagen Passat Wagon! I was in love at first sight!!!

The Passat was wonderful for quiet some time and then we ran into issues. From lug nuts and recalls to side mirrors and deer mishaps, the Passat and I were not made for each other! Then, when the second kiddo arrived, we completely ran out of room! Driving 15 hours in a cramped car just isn't my style!

So, after much deliberation and going against my, "No way am I ever getting a van!" statement (not that a van is much different from a wagon??), I gave in! I looked at many different vans and finally decided on the Nissan Quest. Everyone in the Donovan Clan is enjoying the extra space and hopefully we will enjoy the Quest for many years to come!

One last picture with the Passat!

My sidekicks for the day! Yes, my mom, my sister and I did the car buying!! Kermie was brave! P.S. Notice Bekah's cute little belly!!!

Proud van owner!

Awww.. we have tinted windows and look at all of this space! The small joys in life :)

Yes, you've got it, this is my van!