Monday, July 29, 2013

Laina is Three!

It's crazy to think that the sweet little girl we met in Rwanda two years ago is now this bubbly, vivacious, delightful three-year-old. She's hilarious, beautiful, smart as a whip, and all girl. For her birthday, she couldn't decide between a princess party with only boys allowed as guests, and a purple butterfly party with a co-ed crew. The butterfly party won out. :)

We held the party on the thirteenth, and had games, food, butterfly decorations, crafts, presents, and LOTS of fun. The birthday girl hardly stopped smiling.


Making the birthday banner:

Laina couldn't quite figure out how to do three fingers...

got it!

photobomb by Cory

Thank you, Nona, for the birthday dress! 

Let the party begin!

throwing butterfly beanbags into the center of the flower (beanbags: my mom. flower: Micah. How does anyone throw a party without family?) 

 two kinds of butterfly crafts

The Nelsons, the Burtons, Nan, Nona, Haylee, and the Whatleys came to celebrate.

Cupcake time! Laina requested purple cupcakes (with very specific wrappers), and sprinkles. LOVE that face!

Funniest moment of the day--
Kelly: Laina, how old are you today?
Laina: Um...let me check. Mama, how old is me?
Me: You're three.
Laina, turning to Kelly: I'm three!

The next day, Sunday, made it official. She's three. Love that girl so much.

Wearing her new stick-on earrings and birthday dress to church.

 After church, we let the birthday girl decide where to eat lunch. Her choice: Panda Express! Think she liked it?
Laina, your name means bright light, and that's what you are. You're our sweet, funny girl, and I keep coming back to the same word to describe you: delightful. We love you and we're forever grateful that you're our girl! Happy birthday, Laina Kate!

See first birthday pictures here, and second birthday here.

Laina at one:

Laina at two:

 Laina at three:

Monday, July 01, 2013

Staycation, Summer 2013

The first ever (annual?) Brannon Family Staycation was a roaring success. We had so much fun. We were exhausted at the end of every day, but what a great time we had.

Day one: We rode the Marta into Atlanta and had lunch. Went to Underground Atlanta, Centennial Park, and of course, the Varsity. 
Iain's favorite part of that day: "Playing with some girls at Centennial park."
Cory's favorite: "The Marta. I wish we could ride it until it just had to stop and turn around."
Laina's favorite: "Going on da Marta."

(Iain wrote this on the way home.)

Day two: church, and then Backyard Water Olympics. Games included water limbo, filling up buckets with hole-y cups, water target shooting, water balloon catch, an obstacle course, a slip and slide in the front yard, and then the best part of all: fishing for a hershey's kiss in a pie pan full of whip cream, and then smashing the pies in each other's faces. Oh man. Heaven for my boys, especially. 

Iain's favorite part: "I think it's between two. Water balloon fight, and coconut cream pies in the face." (note: they were just cool whip pies. But that's what we call them 'round these parts.)
Cory's favorite part: "Coconut cream pies!"
Laina's favorite part: "Doing the underslide one. (The water slide.) Oh, it would be the pies."

Day three: the zoo! A long, fun, hot day at the zoo. We got to see the gorillas being fed, which was a first, the rhino up close, and the Kori bird (a favorite) making a weird drum noise with his throat.

Iain's favorite part: "I think it was...looking at the otters."
Cory's favorite part: "Feeding the birds. Sometimes they were like a huge swarm of them, and they started flying lap after lap across the ceiling so it was like a bird tornado."
Laina's favorite part: "Going to see the gorillas. And to say hi."

(Cory and the Kori Bird)

(Cory with his "Zoo Roly Poly" which are apparently tame and trained to do tricks. So he said.)

Day four: Six Flags. This was the most fun day of all. We had three free tickets thanks to the reading program, and Laina was free, so it was a very cheap fun day! We left Mason behind with my mom and got there in the morning when it opened. And we stayed all day, leaving around eight at night. We did every ride we could, I think. The water rides were great (we got SOAKED on Thunder River, both times we rode it); the water park in the back was so fun. We split up once so Jeremy, Iain, and Cory could do some bigger-kid rides, and once so just Jeremy and Iain could go. Laina and Cory loved doing some of the little-kid rides together, although Cory told me it he was just doing them for Laina's sake (sure, right.) We hit the gas station for gatorade and CFA for dinner when we left and wolfed down both, and the kids have rarely slept so well. What a fun day! I'm guessing everyone's favorite will be the same thing:
Iain: "Thunder River and bumper cars."
Cory: "Thunder River and bumper cars. Because bumper cars were, like, a ton of people were in them all bumping, and one really big person had to warn another person 'cause I was coming. And I bumped him. "
Laina: "Funder River and the train."

(Waiting, soaked, to go on Thunder River again) 

What a fun four days!