Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's the Great Pumpkin Picture, Charlie Brown

I absolutely love taking pictures of my kiddos with our family pumpkin outside our front door each year.  It's so fun to see the how the children change year after year.  Some days feel like they drag but looking back at these pictures, it reminds me that time is flying.

Here is how much Bennett has grown, pumpkin-style...
2010: 1 Year Old


2011: 2 Years Old


2012: 3 Years Old


2013: 4 years old


2014: 5 years old



Here is how these sweet brothers have changed:

2011: Brothers (Bennett, 2 years; Oliver, 4 years)


2012: Brothers (Bennett, 3 years; Oliver, 5 years)


2013: Brothers (Bennett, 4 years; Oliver, 6 years)


2013: Brothers (Bennett, 5 years; Oliver, 7 years)


And here's how much they all three have changed from last year to this year:

2013: All the Gamel Kids (Avonlea, 3 months; Bennett, 4 years; Oliver, 6 years)


2014: All the Gamel Kids (Avonlea, 1 year; Bennett, 5 years; Oliver, 7 years)


Friday, October 17, 2014

Avonlea's First Birthday Photo Shoot

Fall is birthday season in our house.  Since our immediate family all have birthdays between July and November, we find ourselves celebrating for five months straight! :)  These birthday pictures are from Avonlea's first birthday photo shoot back in August (HOW is it already October?!!).  

Thank you to Khimberly at Snaptastic Shots for these gorgeous pictures of our sweet babe! :)  Khimberly is an absolutely magical photographer!!  I love all of the details and unique facial expressions Khimberly was able to capture of Avonlea.  If anyone was ever able to make time stand still, Khimberly finds a way to do it with her photography.






Avonlea had 5 teeth by her first birthday.  She gained her 4 molars shortly after.


Avonlea's newest trick at the time.






Our sweet little baby doll.  Avonlea has literally had random strangers (on a plane, in a restaurant, in a museum, etc.) ask to take pictures of her (just her) on their cellphones because she looks so much like a live baby doll.  The first time, it was funny.  The second time, it was creepy.  But, by the fourth time, I just accepted it.  She's a sweetheart who considers everyone her friend.  :)






We love her chunkiness.








This is what Avonlea does when you ask her to "wink." She squeezes her eyes shut really tight.


Trying the icing...not really sure...


Avonlea gets her curly hair from me but her long eyelashes from her Daddy.


When you ask Avonlea, "do you want to eat?"  She replies, "hmmmmm!"





Why limit your cake being a finger food?  Get your whole foot in it!


Over the last year, we have come to know Avonlea as a very happy, social, loving, easy-going, peaceful yet strong-willed, independent, fearless child.

Avonlea has a special place in her heart for her brothers (Oliver is a caregiver to her.  Bennett is a playmate).  She absolutely delights in her Daddy.  But she's a Mama's girl.  We are incredibly thankful for her.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bennett's Bug Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, Bennett celebrated his turning five years old with a "bug themed" birthday party with five of his little friends!

Bacteria found in dirt and decaying matter are not good for Bennett's Cystic Fibrosis lungs so his bug birthday party involved no real dirt or real bugs.  Instead, we allowed giant plastic bugs to "fly" and "crawl" all over the place.




The kids enjoyed dirt cup desserts!  Since the guests were all tiny people, I thought these clear shot glasses were perfect for an individual serving of oreo cookie and chocolate pudding "dirt" with a "worm" on the side!






I made a similar decoration from ribbons for Avonlea's birthday.  I just love making these.  So easy and fun to brighten up a space!


The kids enjoyed eating Garlic Breadstick Dough Snails, an idea I found here.  


We also ate strawberry "ladybugs"... (apparently our giant fly liked eating them too. :))


...and grape "caterpillars," which nearly ever child ate like they were eating corn on the cob. ;)


Bennett's birthday cake was a gift from our friend Paola.  Paola has made Bennett a birthday cake for the last three years.  Bennett *loved* his creepy crawly cake!!  And, it wasn't just adorable on the outside, it was SO delicious on the inside too!!





I'll be honest, the creepy gummy spiders on the side of the cake kinda freaked me out. :)


The kids enjoyed kool-aid "bug juice" to drink.


The kids enjoyed going on a "Bug Hunt" where they had to find plastic bugs hidden in our yard. Each child was given a jar to put their bugs in.  The jars and plastic bugs served as party favors.


Sweet baby sister loved playing outside with all the big boys running around.


Make a wish...


May you have many more birthdays, our Bennett-bug!!  We love you!