Friday, October 31, 2014

Birthday Brunch and all-about-CEREAL Birthday for our oldest!

Birthday Brunch

Our oldest turned 14 this October. Cameron Skyler is a true blessing for our entire family.  He is solid and secure, everyone depends on him.  

 birthday loot!

Chris and I made an acronym on his birthday gift this year for the wrapping paper.  Chris, my extra sharp and witty husband, came up with most of these words.  They are OH so appropriate for our Cameron Skyler.  

Cameron is CONSIDERATE, always conscious of other's feelings and always polite.  
He is AMAZING and ANALYTICAL, he analyzes everything!  Why isn't his brain worn out?!
He is MATURE and MUSING,  always reflecting and full of thought.
Cameron is ENTERPRISING and EAGER, ready to step out into this great big world.
He is RESPECTABLE,  I love this about him!
He is ORDERLY, ORIGINAL, and ONE-OF-A-KIND,  his uniqueness is unmatched.
And finally, Cameron is NOBLE,  NOVEL, and NOTEWORTHY, if you know him, you know this to be true.

Our household holds tightly to traditions.  We have MANY on birthdays, little ones, details, but big in each of our hearts.  We anticipate, wait for, and appreciate the traditions that cycle through the calendar.  I have a past blog post about easy 5 Minute Birthday Traditions.   I need to do an new updated one to include new ideas we've incorporated these past few years!   The most-loved tradition is walking out of their rooms to decorated stairs.  Titus' 8th birthday took the cake for this one, Waking up to a Giant Maze of Balloons!

I didn't get a clear shot of it, but I printed a picture poster for his birthday banner this year.
His birthday cheer waiting at the bottom of the staircase...

Birthday message in the kids' bathroom.

Another tradition is setting their place at the table with our old "special bear", a special plate, and breakfast morning treats.  I always set up different breakfast treats.  This year was all about the CEREAL.  Cameron is the biggest cereal lover I know.  He literally goes to bed at night, excited to wake up for his morning cereal feast.  Cheerios is his top favorite.  So, for his birthday this year, I themed it all out on cereal.  

Our Cheerios lover in a candid spontaneous shot with his custom birthday spoon gift!

Since Cameron is a bit older now, I slowed down on the big themed birthdays.  (However, I still had to squeeze a tiny bit of theme in there so the theme was breakfast and cereal...k?k. ) 

Instead of a birthday party, we had a family celebration with my parents and brother and we also took the boys to the pottery place to paint.  Cameron made a custom cereal bowl. 

This is his hand-painted cereal bowl with his morning breakfast surprise loot!

He painted his bowl with cool trees!

Then, he made the inside of the bowl the SKY.

I ordered Cameron a custom cereal spoon to follow along with our lil birthday cereal theme.

I let Cameron pick his birthday menu from a recipe board I have on Pinterest.  We celebrated with a birthday BRUNCH!

His menu selection was:
Smashed Edamame Toast
Baked Onion Ring Eggs

and for his cake, he chose a Cinnamon Roll cake
(yes, it tasted like a sweet roll!)

Basically, the theme of this birthday was

Onion Ring Eggs
I baked homemade onion rings 
then just cracked an egg in them and baked them until the eggs were set.

I had some leftover baked onion rings too for a side dish.

Birthday brunch is served!

This is such an easy birthday cake to make!
It's not my favorite, but it is still tasty.

fresh fruit

I found the cutest breakfast juice!
100% tangerine juice,
and it zips!

Happy Birthday Cameron!
We love you so very much!

 Make 14 wishes,
if you don't tell,
they'll all come true.

See here for pictures of Cameron all super cute grown up!

Cameron's past birthdays:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming HOME to Lake Powell to PLAY: annual houseboat vacation PART TWO

This is Part 2 of a two part blog series.  
Please see here for Part 1.

Yesterday I shared clips and minutes of our annual Lake Powell trip.  Chris and I were born and raised at incredible Lake Powell and it's our hearts' desire to show our kids the exciting life on the lake.  Each year we are blessed to have the chance to bring them home.

Carrying on from yesterday's lake stories:

Chris and Titus talk in the stillness of the evening.

At night we build fires on the beach, Chris and Guy play beautiful guitar songs, we sing, and just hang.   

S'mores are always fun but this year I also packed stuff to make sweet stuffed bananas.  They are SO GOOD!  I shared a how to on how to make them in a past camping food snack blog post

Foil-wrapped banana goodness in the fire.

Chris loves fire.  He turns into this excited kid when he builds a fire.  It fascinates him for hours.  Last year he brought magnesium along to make our fire light up the world.  He did it again this year.  These magnesium fires are legit!!  Once Chris has it all worked out, these fires light up the entire beach! It is incredible to see and so much fun.  You can tell by these photos that we are lit up as if staring at a camera flash...but no, it's just a crazy fire. ;)

Kathy and Titus

My babe and me

Nighttime on the lake is some of my most loved memories.  It is magic.  Black magic with the biggest twinkling star show you've ever seen.  We sleep on the top deck of the houseboat, outside, right beneath the stairs.  The view leaves me breathless always.  I can't take my eyes off of the vast sky.  God is fancy!  His work leaves me in awe. 

This is the first year our entire family 5 slept up on the deck.  I treasure these memories and loved every second!  We pull mattresses up, load up on blankets and settle in for our star dreams.

The sun pushes upward, 
breathing a new day into this vast land of peace.  
Sunrise on Lake Powell is a gift. 
 This non-morning girl wakes up early every day I'm here to experience it! 

I quietly sneak away and dip my paddle into the soft water in early morning.

Our camp circle in the early morning light.

Each year I make homemade muffins to start our day.

Hans and Guy whip up some 
delicious hot breakfasts for us in the mornings!

Then it's..."hello beautiful world, let's play!".

So we get to it!
The still lake quickly turns into a giant outdoor playground.

My hot man of the family

family five

I didn't get any photos, but I had the chance to water ski on Lake Powell again.  This has been a wish and desire of mine for a long time!  It makes me cry and swell with so much emotion.  I spent my life waterskiing over these waves.  I traveled a great journey and made a full circle back.  I thank God for my body and the opportunity to use it in the ways that delight my spirit!  Water skiing here again was actually on my after 30 bucket list!

Ready to ski!
My heart is full 
and I can't ask for more.

Here I am!
At home...
ready to ski again!

The boys had lots of playtime on the water too

Kotah on his wakeboard!  He is a water boy, like his mama.
We had a jet ski lake party for his birthday this year too!

Titus tears it up on a kneeboard!

Lots of paddle boarding adventures too...

The show off in me...

Go, go, go
all day long!

Beach play.  

I have countless memories on these beaches building sand towns and using my imagination all day long.  It makes me smile wide inside watching my boys do the same thing.

My sun kissed angel.
I love him so much, it hurts.

And always more exploring...

Our fun in the sun changes to indoor houseboat play when we pull anchors to move to a different beach.

Lots of games were played!

Poker Face!

Our amazing friend Kathy always brings the boys special surprises that encompass learning.  I so appreciate this about her!  This year, she brought owl dissecting kits for the boys to learn with.  

A BIG thank you to Hans and Kathy for your generous hearts.  We treasure this vacation and love you both!   You color our lives!

Our time in this land always ends too soon and it's time for the Moore family to pack it up and turn the boat back.

Thank you Chris-foot-through-the-floor-Moore
for making all of my dreams come true,
every damn day.  
How do you do it?
I am always grateful.
Love you like crazy.

This moment is over...

...and tomorrow may never come.

So, I'll keenly and passionately remember these days.

...longing for them to never end.  
But when they do,
it will be

Because, I have these moments lining my heart
layers and layers of memories
insulating my soul within
delivering me a promise that some things can never be taken away.

So we'll keep making moments,
gathering them in our hearts.
Until the fullness overflows.
And even when it does,
we won't ever stop creating the beauty 
that draws us to the people and places
that have our hearts.

This is the final post of a two part blog series.  Please see here for PART 1.

Annual Lake Powell Houseboat trip archive:

*Many of these photos are compliments of my talented friend, Kathy.  Thank you!