Monday, February 2, 2015

Marshall Family Visits

At the beginning of October the Marshall family came to visit.  We met them while living in the San Francisco Bay area.  They moved to Cozumel, Mexico a year before we moved to south Florida.  The last time we saw them Daxton and Penelope were just turning 1 yrs old.  We have so many fun memories with the Marshall family and we were SO excited to have them stay with us.

Their travels had been pretty exhausting.  They took a ferry from Cozumel to Playa and then a bus from Playa up to Cancun.  From there they flew from Cancun to Fort Lauderdale where we picked them up.  The next morning Heidi wasn't feeling well and Sean needed to get some work done, so I was more than excited to get to play with all these cuties!  
We started with a little bit of morning wrestling and jumping on the bed...  
I loved watching all those bouncing curls!
Daxton was in absolute heaven playing with all these cute girls.  My favorite was listening to all the sweet giggling.

After breakfast I thought it'd be fun if we did a little art project outside.  Their oldest daughter, Abby, is very artistic so I thought it'd be fun to do an activity she'd be interested in.  I figured Daxton and Penelope would pretty much love anything we did as long as they didn't have to wear any clothes!

We started with sidewalk chalk while I set up the painting mural.

I loved watching how focused Daxton gets when creating something.  He is quite deliberate on each choice of color and stroke.

After the sidewalk chalk, I hung up a long piece of white and several bowls full of different colored paint.  I am madly in love with Crayola's washable paint.  It's super easy to clean off and safe for kids.  I also set up a couple buckets of water for them to rinse off their paint brushes.

It was so cute to see them all working together.  They didn't need me to section off a particular part of the paper for each of them.  Instead they all worked together to make a great mural.  They painted in different spots all over the paper often working off of something someone else had drawn.  It was seriously so much fun to watch such great team work.

I also LOVED watching Abby's creativity.  She asked me for an empty bowl so she could mix different colors together and before I knew it she had created a gorgeous teal green color.  She also came up with the idea of painting objects and then stamping the mural.  She taught her younger sister, Adri, how to paint her hands and then push them against the paper.  She was making all sorts of cool designs with her hands.  No joke, Abby's going to be a famous artist someday!

Making butterflies with their handprints

It was also super cute to see Abby teach Daxton how to do the same thing.  He was very meticulous about the project.

Aren't these murals awesome!
I didn't even pick up a brush.  This was all them!

At the other end of the patio I set up the water table and buckets so the kids could wash their hands and brushes in between the colors.  Daxton and Penelope were so cute playing in the water together.

I loved their matching little naked bodies and bouncing blonde curls.

I'm so glad Sean and Heidi are so laid back, because this is the point where the kids got really messy!  Paint ended up everywhere. Now that the kids realized how cool their bodies were to paint, they didn't need the paper anymore.

I looked closer at Penelope and she had the cutest streaks of red throughout her golden locks.  I'm not sure if she painted her own hair or someone else, but she seemed totally fine with it.

Abby at one point painted her hands and then placed big hand prints on Penelope's diaper bum, which all the kids started laughing hysterically.  After that everyone wanted to paint their handprints on other people and themselves.  It was so funny to see the little handprints start to appear all over.  I looked over at Daxton and he was pouring paint into his hands and then rubbing the paint on his belly.  Then he would go over and give Penelope a big hug.  She would also do the same to him.  I wasn't about to stop them since they were having so much fun.  I mean what can a little washable paint actually hurt anyway!?

It was super cute to also see Abby painting different designs on everyone.  She painted a big heart on Penelope's belly that she was pretty proud of.  Penelope later tried to paint more on her belly so you couldn't see the heart any more.

My favorite was watching Penelope and Daxton together.  They were cracking me up!  They were each painting the other at the same time and neither were really saying anything to each other.  Penelope would point to her arm or back of the leg and then Daxton would paint there.  Then Daxton would point somewhere on his body and she would paint it.  I thought it was so funny they were doing this all while not talking to each other!  At one point Daxton even took the entire little bottle of paint and dribbled it down Penelope's shoulder.  These two were hilarious!

Abby spent quite awhile perfecting her "Braveheart" inspired war paint.  She was quite intense about the whole thing.

My favorite picture is of Daxton below.  He had a scratch on his nose and forgot his hands were covered in paint.  Don't worry, right after I snapped a quick picture I had wet wipes readily available to fix his little predicament!

Did I mention I'm grateful Sean and Heidi are so laid back?  I realize that my tolerance of toddler play time messes may not be the norm for most moms, but I figure as long as everything is washable and they are outside, let the kids have fun.  They were totally fine with letting their kids get super messy and everyone had so much fun.  After we were done painting we simply hosed everyone down to wash off the paint and then took baths to clean with soap.  

That evening the Marshalls drove to Orlando to meet up with some buddies over the weekend to see Harry Potter world.  After spending a couple days there, they came back to our place for another fun filled day.  Sadly, when they returned I had gotten super sick and couldn't do much hosting.  I was so glad Sean was there to help Dallas give me a blessing.  Dallas was a sweetheart and spent the day taking them around Fort Lauderdale and on the water taxi.  I think they had a fun time, but I didn't realize at the time that he wasn't feeling well either.  Later that night he was up for hours vomitting as well.  Needless to say, I'm pretty sure the Marshalls were more than happy to head back to Cozumel and out of our sickly house!  I'm still surprised how none of them ended up sick.
I was super sad our trip together ended in sickness, but was comforted knowing we would be visiting them the following month in Cozumel.
Thanks Marshall Family for staying with us and letting me get your kids totally filthy!  We had so much fun and love you guys dearly.

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