Friday, February 26, 2010

There IS Such Thing as a Free Dinner

The Patterson family loves Mexican food. All of us. Seriously, my kids beg for it (and they don't have to twist my arm too hard!)

Last night we hit our favorite Mexican place, Las Fajitas. It had been a crazy night of piano lessons, basketball practice, a trip to the post office, get the idea. Mom had been sort-of-kind-of finishing a book (The Last good!) which was way more important than planning dinner (or cleaning the house for that matter!)

So we sat down together for a late dinner and woofed down our favorite cheesy, crunchy, salsa-y yumminess.

Then we asked the waiter for the check.

He handed it to us and it looked like this:

He pointed to an empty booth in the corner and said that those people had paid for our dinner. They wrote a little note on the top "Beautiful kids! So very well behaved!!"

I couldn't help but look around the table at my four little munchkins and think...really? (I mean, I know they're cute...but well behaved enough for someone to notice?)

Then I looked a the empty booth and tried to picture it's previous occupants. I had noticed a man sitting on the side that was facing me, but I hadn't even seen the people sitting across from him. How horrible! I didn't remember them getting up and leaving. They didn't come over and say hi to the kids (lots of people stop and talk to Adeline, so it wouldn't have really been out of the's an occupational hazard of being THAT adorable!) They didn't make eye contact or wave. They just quietly left the restaurant after showing us this act of kindness.

I drove home with tears in my eyes. Admittedly, it doesn't take much for me to tear up...but this really touched me. Complete strangers plunked down $31.55 to buy dinner for my family. And they didn't even hang around to hear my "thank yous". What kind of people do that????

I think that's the kind of person I would like to be.

I have heard of people paying tolls for the car behind them and things like that, but I have never been the recipient of such a "random act of kindness".

What a good example these complete strangers were to our family. We have decided to find a way to do something similar for someone else.

I know the chance of these nice people reading my little blog are, well, none. But I would like to say "thank you" anyway. That was such a fun surprise. You really made our night, and it is something none of us will ever forget.

Of course, there is always the possibility that they recognized us from the paper!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anna's 5th Birthday: Puking and Pedicures

Anna's 5th birthday started out a bit rough...mainly because she was throwing up every 5 minutes! I felt so bad for her. We weren't able to have her friends over, I didn't make her birthday dinner (since she wouldn't be able to eat it), and she had to miss preschool the next day (as a precaution, she was actually feeling better) so she wasn't able to hand out her birthday treats.

The good news was that this lovely little girl was all better by Friday night and ready to party with her best buds.

We had a pajama party (not a sleepover...a 6-9 party where they wore their pajamas). I had a blast! I love my boys, but girls are so much fun!!!

We had a chocolate fountain. The girls thought this was great. It was all for them and they could dip whatever they wanted and make a huge mess! My apologies to all of the moms that had to clean the chocolate out of the pajamas!

We also did some pampering.

We soaked our feet

and our hands

Then painted our fingers and toes with brightly colored polish

Then we danced and danced and danced! Their favorite was the "Ice Cream Freeze" by Hannah Montana (or Miley Cyrus...who can keep track?) Here is a little clip:

These girls could really get down!

After pigging out on the chocolate fountain, the girls weren't really into the cupcakes, but Anna enjoyed her "Happy Birthday" song.

Carly wanted to take a picture with hers. That girl really cracks me up! Notice the fingernails! She wanted a red/pink alternating pattern.

Anna had so much fun. Her party made up for the yucky birthday. She was a happy little princess!

The five things I love most about Anna:

1. She is so great about sharing. She will give everything she has to her brothers and sister.
2. She takes stubbornness to a whole new level. I used to look at this as a I am learning to see that she is just learning to stand up for what she believes in.
3. She is so girly! She is dedicated to learning how to match shoes and bows to her outfits. She loves makeup, purses, and anything fancy and girly!
4. She is so loving. She isn't overly touchy-feely, but you know that Anna loves you. She is great about complimenting people (especially mom!) and telling us that she loves us.
5. She is so smart and talented. Anna can do anything that she puts her mind to. I know she is going to be incredibly successful because of her drive. Right now her passions include
drawing and gymnastics.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Patterson family had a great Valentine's day!

The boys made treat boxes for their parties at school.

Here is Aiden's

Abbott's class had a "contest" so we went for something a little different. His cute Mr. Potato Head ended up winning! (and we are very sorry that it beat out the Graham's Spongebob Square Pants!)

Dropping a load at Build A Bear is our Valentine's tradition. I'm so glad my boys were still excited about it this year. I know that will eventually come to an end, but this year it was still fun for everyone.

Abbott's Darth Vader Monkey

Anna's Black puppy in a fancy red dress (with purse)

Aiden didn't get an animal...he opted to get extra clothes for the bear he already has. Here he is decked out. He's wearing his Percy Jackson shirt because we went to the movie before heading to BAB. It was great...I could pick apart a few things I didn't like...but no movie is ever as good as the book, right?

Adeline's naked bunny. She refused to let us put any clothes on her. I eventually gave up fighting her and decided to be happy about saving a few bucks!

My beautiful little Valentine's angels after church today. I love mixing pink and red on Valentine's Day. There is something that just feels so wrong about the mix every other day of the year, but on February's perfect!

They wanted to pose again with their new friends (and when I say "they" I really mean Anna. That girl is quite the little model!)

And just so the pictures above don't make you think that the Patterson home is all Valentine bliss, here is Adeline shoving Anna out of the picture. We sure love that spunky little girl.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

White Trash Family of Six

I'm a thrift store girl and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

In high school a bought a vintage floor-length floral gown at the Salvation Army. I chopped it off and wore it to school with a pair of silver platform sandals. I probably looked ridiculous, but in my memory, it was awesome.

I have frequented thrift stores ever since. Mainly due to my love of costumes. Incredible homemade costumes don't grow on have to create them!

I have also found some great deals on clothes and toys for my kids (and myself). Aaron does NOT share my love of thrift stores, so I generally avoid buying anything for him.

So when I heard that Bentonville was getting a Goodwill...naturally I was excited! (We have a Salvation Army that is gross and a Helping Hands that is way over-priced.)

I decided that I was going to head to the Goodwill on opening day last Thursday to dig for bargain-priced treasures. We had a 70's party to attend the next day and I still didn't know what I was going to wear. What luck!

The next day, this picture ran in the local paper. I have to add that this was the one and only picture with the article.

Besides the fact that Adeline and I are both making funny faces, it's not too bad.

Until you read the caption:

Adeline Patterson, 2, kicks back in a shopping cart Thursday as her mother, Aubrey, searches for clothes for their six-member family during the grand opening of the Goodwill Store and Donation Center in Bentonville.

Really? "Searches for clothes for their six-member family".

Thank goodness we now have a Goodwill in town so my kids won't be running around naked anymore.

If Adeline wasn't so darn cute, I wouldn't get stopped for this sort of thing. I would be able to slip inconspicuously in and out of the local Goodwill like everybody else.

I guess it doesn't bother me too much since I was back at the Goodwill again today snagging some deep blue velvet for a Medieval Party this Saturday. This time I made it out without being caught by the paparazzi :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm in love with a boy named Drew...and my husband's happy about it

It all started in the fall of 2008...

My Fantasy Football team was hot- with Tom Brady leading the way. Then in the very first play of the very first game...Tom Brady was out for the entire season. I wasn't feeling so hot anymore.

Luckily, I had a backup quarterback. His name was Drew Brees and it was love at first game. I watched every Saints game that I could that season and discovered that my backup quarterback who I had known little about WAS AWESOME!

So I became a Saints fan and Aaron got to watch more fotball then he ever dreamed.

In the fall of 2009 I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to draft my Drew, as more and more people were becoming aware of his awesomeness. Luckily, in the end he was all mine!

So I did what any girl would do...I signed up for NFL Sunday ticket.

I was not going to miss ANY Saints games this season!

You can probably imagine a husband's delight the day he finds out that his wife has subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket and every single NFL game of the season will be available at the click of a remote.

My sister became a football fan before I did. (Aaron thinks her husband is a genious for getting her involved with Fantasy Football and therefore securing football season bliss and he is forever indebted to this brother-in-law for getting me addticted as well.) Anyway...this sister and BIL are die hard Colts fans. Early in the season, we started hoping for a Colts-Saints superbowl.

And what do you know!

So of course we had to get together and trash talk last night.

Here is me and my Colts fan sister Lindsey. You can tell that this picture was taken BEFORE the game...because she is smiling!

My kiddos had so much fun getting ready for our little party. They wanted to decorate the whole house. I am so pround of my little Saints fans! I warned them that Uncle Brett and Aunt Lindsey would try to lead them over to the dark side...but they resisted!

Here is our table display. Very fair!

My football shaped cheeseball

Here are three of my cuties in front of the Saints shrine that we made. They really wanted to wear black and gold...but I made them put on their pj's.

Aiden and Anna

Abbott and Adeline at the "Peyton Manning Table". Brett loved my little nickname!

Me and my honey...he'll cheer for the Saints if that's what it takes to have a football loving household!

Abbott made this little "flag" to use during the game. It is a yellow plastic cup with a couple of straws attached to a yellow balloon. Whenever there was a flag thrown, he would toss it in front of the TV. It was pretty cute.
And, of course, the best part is that they WON! Most people thought the Colts were sure to be holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy. I actually had a random guy come up to me at Barnes and Noble (I was wearing my Saints tee) and asked me if they were going to win. I said "heck yeah!" and he said "no they're not!"
Well here you go!
Isn't he cute?

I love you Lindsey and Brett...but ole' Peyton just couln't get it done! Go Saints!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Abbott the Wrestler

Abbott started wrestling this year and he LOVES it! It is exhausting- physically and emotionally- and he is doing great!

Saturday was his first tournament. He put on his singlet (did you know that's what the leotard-thing is called? I am learning so much!), trudged through six inches freshly fallen snow, and entered the world of wrestling tournaments.

His best buddy Henry was there. Here they are warming up together.

They don't wrestle each other...Abbott is in an ummm "higher" weight class. He used to be a bean pole like his brother, but now that kid eats more pizza than his dad! As a side note...this is particularly annoying because all of Aiden's "slim" jeans (that he wore with the tabs cinched all the way in) don't make it all the way around Abbott (with the tabs let out). We told him that if wrestling is his future, he will have to "manage his weight class", which means less pizza.

Isn't he the cutest little wrestler? Don't tell him I said that!

Here is a video of one of the matches:

He was a little bummed that he didn't win his matches, but he was thrilled to learn that 4th place gets a medal. So here he is (post shower) beaming...ok, maybe hulking is a better word...with his 4th place medal. We're so proud of you Abbott!