Sunday, July 01, 2007

Jackson's 1st Birthday Party

{warning:: very long post! only read if you have alot of time on your hands!}

Our weekend has been busy, to say the least! It all started on Friday morning. The Grandmas and Aunt Tacey came over in the morning to help me out a little bit and to pick Jackson up for the night. I had decorations to put up, cakes to decorate, my house to clean, the yard to mow before it rained, the rest of the food to prepare...yikes. It seemed like a lot. But the Grandma's came to the rescue and mowed my lawn (in the rain, might I add) which saved Adam and I alot of time! After that, they packed up Jack Jack and took him away, not to return again until his birthday bash!! That was a huge help--I got so much stuff done without him under my feet!

Friday night, Adam and I worked hard to get everything ready to go--then we crashed, only to start all over again in the morning. Adam started cooking at 7:00am! I had to run to Kroger to get the balloons filled--and on the way, stopped and got my toes painted (hey, momma needed a little TLC from all the effort I put into the party!) We got everything ready to go by 3:00--and then prayed that it wouldn't rain! We got VERY lucky!

Jackson and the fam arrived at 4:30...he was super shocked when he walked in the house and saw all the balloons and the "jungle" we created for him! He was fascinated by all the animals! He looked so cute in his little "Make a Birthday Wish" outfit (although he would not keep that hat on, so it had to be backwards all day!) Here's how the party broke down: name tags, party hats and visors. We had the food and drinks in the garage, my office was turned into a photo booth, all the play stuff was in the backyard (including the mini-moonwalk that Uncle Clint and Aunt Rickie brought!), and volleyball and horseshoes in the very backyard. We also had a DVD slideshow of Jackson playing throughout the day. The cakes were set up in the kitchen. Once it was all set up, the guests began to arrive!! And one of the best things, Adam's friend Greg (who had been away at boot camp for 8 months) got into town at 3:00 and came straight to the party! Sadly, he will be deployed in 14 days, so we are going to try and get in as much Greg time as possible. We've missed him and will miss him even more in the months to come! Be safe Greg!

We ate dinner (kudos to Adam on the meats--very good!) of brisket, sausage, chicken, cheesy potatos (see recipe at the bottom), green beans with bacon, baked beans, asian cole slaw (see recipe at the bottom), and rolls (and we had just enough to feed all 40 people that were here!) then it was time for presents! (although Mommy royally screwed up, and it was all my fault. I THOUGHT I had changed the settings on my camera to automatic, and handed it to Dr. Stowe (Chuck, Charlie's dad) so that I could open gifts and he could get the pictues of it. Well, I hadn't changed anything, so most of the images were over-exposed and didn't turn out! Oh well! Aunt Tacey to the rescue--she got a few with her camera)! And, we got all the gift opening and the cake on video, so we're covered! Sorry Dr. Stowe--I completely messed up! You took some great shots, I just can't correct the exposure enough to save them! Sorry!) Jackson got some really fun toys: a toy box from Grandma Netty and Grandpa Scott (that will arrive someday!), PJs and a really great book from Clint, Rickie, and Marley, the coolest toolbelt from Elliott and Kayla, a swing from Aunt Tacey, a mower from Rachel, some great clothes from Lindsey, James and Keely, Jeff and Alicia, a tee-ball set also from Jeff and Alicia, a K-state outfit from Goph, a Cozy Coupe Convertible from GG Jane, a gas tank from Charlie, Chuck, and Laura, a drum, telephone, and piggy bank from the neighbors, a travel blanket from Aunt Peggy, and money from Grandma Patty, Grandpa Doug, Grandma Vera, Shawn, Abby and Keith, cars from Janice and Avery, and an outfit and balls from Brian! And, of course, Mommy and Daddy's gifts were fun too: a swing set, a ball pit, a Kangaroo Climber, and a Sand and Sea Table! The funniest part though, Marley took the tools from the tool belt, laid on the ground under the Cozy Coupe, and started working on it like she had seen her Daddy doing earlier in the week on his car! Then, she moved on to the mower, where she informed me "it's broken, I fix it!" And regardless if there is two of anything, Marley always wants the one Jackson has, and Jackson wants the one Marley has...they go in circles! It pretty funny b/c then they both start whining (for no reason!) It will be like this for 18 years, I guess!!

After presents, we ate cake! We took the balls out of the ball pit and stuck Jack and the cake in there together. I was very shocked when he really didn't know what to do about that cake! We sang, and he blew out the candle, then just sat there staring at it! Then, very carefully, he took little bits of frosting off and ate them--my sister-in-law says I've trained him well in trying to stay clean! So Grandpa Scott took his hand and shoved it in the icing! And again, didn't know what to think about that, but he didn't like the messy icing on his fingers--so he reached out for Grandma Netty who licked it right off his fingers! HA! But, I was very proud of myself: I made all of Jackson's cakes myself. The first lion cake was a practice cake, so that became Jackson's smash cake. Then to go along with that (now stale) cake, we had another Lion and a Palm Tree! (these were actually my best friend Rachel and Adam's friend Keith's cakes, since there birthdays were the same day! Happy Birthday guys! Thanks for sharing it with Jack Jack!)

Jackson was a little overwhelmed by everything--but at the end of the night, after almost everyone had left but the neighbors and their kids and Clint and Rickie and Marley (who stayed the night with us) the party really got started! Jackson LOVES LOVES LOVES to dance to the song "Hick Town" by Jason Aldean--he will stop dead in his tracks when that song comes on and dance and shake his butt and put his hands in the air and spin! So I got the video camera and got everyone on camera--Marley, Bella, Braden, Austin, and Jackson all dancing with the blow up animals! Too funny!

Needless to say, we are exhausted and sore. Jackson had a really fun time (mostly with the grandmas and Marley!) and will hopefully look back on the pics and video and see what a great day it really way! Thank you, everyone, who came to the party! It's so nice to know that Jackson is loved by so many of you! We love you guys too! Hope you had a good time! (the beer probably helped, huh!?!)

Jackson got in his swing for the first time today! Aunt Tacey--good job!

Cheesy Escalloped Potatos

2 pounds frozen hash browns
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 cups sour cream
2 cups corn flakes, crushed, mixed with 1/4 cup melted butter

Heat over to 350 degrees.

Thaw potatoes. Combine them with the rest of the ingredients, except corn flake mixture. Sprinkle buttered corn-flakes on top. Use 3 quart casserole dish. Bake fore 45 minutes.

So easy!!

Asian Coleslaw

2 pkgs. Ramen Noodles (it calls for beef but I used Chicken)
1 bag Angel Hair Coleslaw Mix
1 Bag Broccoli Slaw Mix
1 bunch green onions
1 cup sunflower kernels
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar

Crumble uncooked ramen noodles in bottom of bowl. Put bags of slaw on top.
Cut up green onions (whites & greens), sprinkle on top of slaw.
Sprinkle nuts on top of that. Mix the 2 seasoning packets from ramen noodles
with oil, vinegar & sugar. Wisk really well together. Pour dressing on top. DO
NOT MIX. Cover with saran wrap and put in fridge for at least 24 hours.
Stir right before serving. Put in a BIG bowl it makes alot.

Again, so easy!

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