Sunday, September 30, 2012

Preston Trip and Birthday Party #1

We knew it was going to be a while before we could travel again to Preston as we neared the end of the pregnancy and the beginning of the school year, so August 9th - 14th we headed to Preston to visit family.  That also meant that we were in Preston for Ellie's 2nd birthday.  

Here was what Amanda and Ellie looked like Sunday the 12th after church.

The tradition on Steve's side is to make a birthday cake, and it's been a lot of fun the last two years to make a cake with Steve's mom, Reva.  I would never attempt something like that on my own, but with her help I get to enjoy making Ellie's birthday cakes and learn in the process.  This year we decided to make Whyatt from PBS's Super Why.  Ellie LOVES Super Why.  This is what he Super Why looks like on the show.
Here was the beginning of our process.
 And here is how Super Why turned out.  I think he turned out really cute and so far have loved the two cakes we've made for Ellie.  (Last year was Elmo.)

After we finished the cake, we worked on making lunch for everyone coming to the family party.  Reva continues to help me learn anything remotely domestic, so she instructed me while I made her famous rolls.  And I proved that pregnancy plus math does not work out very well...

Once Ellie was up from her nap and we had all enjoyed a really tasty lunch of dutch oven bacon and cheese potatoes, rolls, salad, and some other goodies, Steve had the idea to take all the kids outside to let them ride horses.  A neighbor houses her horses at Steve's parents' house and lets the kids ride them when they like.  Ellie was SO EXCITED.  We had a couple of meltdowns as our only child learned about taking turns, but she did really well with it in the end and had a blast riding with Amanda and on her own.  Good call, Daddy.
 Ellie also tried her hand at "driving" the tractor when she was waiting to ride horses.  She had watched Papa driving tractor and ridden with him some earlier in the week and learned that it was fun to do.

It was really hot out, so after some horse rides we headed inside to let everyone cool off with otter pops and then had Ellie open presents.
 She did Grandma Reva proud and knew just how to tear those gifts open this year.
She made out like a bandit, of course.  Thanks to all of the family who came or sent gifts!

Then it was time for cake and ice cream.  I was proud Ellie recognized who the cake was supposed to be right off.
Ellie also loved being sang to, but as usual was not exceptionally pleased with the sudden cheering at the end.  One day we'll get her to realize blowing with your lips curled in doesn't work so well...

But she definitely enjoyed her cake and ice cream.

As well as a few other highlights from the trip:

Like spending time with Papa and the kittens around the house.
 As well as heading to the beach to throw rocks in the water with Amanda and Grandma and Papa.

 And we can't forget spending time with her cousin Amanda who she absolutely loves.

Once again we loved our time in Preston.  We've been fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time there this past summer, even if they were mostly short trips.  And we look forward to our next visit over the holidays - only this time with two little girls in tow!

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