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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

DIY Halloween Carnival

Every year I think about having a Halloween party for my kids & every year it doesn't happen.  Largely due to the fact that throwing one party (Jack's bday party) is a big enough job that it's too overwhelming to think about throwing a second party days later.  This year was going to be different.  But then when it came down to it - again - it was going to just be too much.

Enter my brilliant idea (I think so anyway).  A DIY Halloween Carnival!  I asked the friends who I or my kids hang out with on a regular basis to come & for each mom to be in charge of a game/activity.  They had to bring anything they needed for it, whether it was candy, prizes or a table to set up on or whatever else they could need.  It was so easy for me to plan!  And fairly stress-free too.  I told my friends to let me know as soon as they decided on a game/activity bc whoever called something first got first dibs.  My phone was blowing up! It was kinda fun! 

Our carnival included:
Bobbing for apples.  Gross. Unsanitary. I know! My kids were dying to try it though since they'd only ever seen it on tv or read about it.  And it is a classic!  My mom added a small amt of bleach to the water to help kill germs.

Face Painting.  After the booth "closed" the kids painted their own/each other's faces.  Callie especially loved it!

Spooky Bowling.  This was a hit.  The kids came back to it over & over again.

Doughnuts on a String Game  
Cupcake & Cookie Decorating
Pumpkin Toss.  Knocked over stacked Halloween cups.  I didn't get a picture. :(
Spider Craft.  Pony bead pipe cleaner spiders & webs on a paper plate.  I'm bummed I didn't get a picture of this, but here's where Jessica took the craft idea from.  Click on the pictures & it will take you to their different websites ;) :

Another Spider Craft.  Wish I had more pictures of this.  Katie was in charge & she gave the kids a black piece of construction paper, put it in an empty can flat, dropped some white paint on the paper, then gave the kids a marble to roll around in the box so that it made a "spider web" all over the paper.  After the papers had hung to dry for a little bit they glued plastic spiders (cut from rings) to their webs.  Both spider crafts were awesome!

Mummy Dogs.  I think this was the kids' favorite.  Stacie helped the kids wrap hot dogs with dough like mummies & they got to roast them over our fire pit.  Even after they were done with their mummy dogs the kids went back to the fire pit over & over again just to hang out.
It was a fun afternoon.  We did the carnival after school on Thursday & since our kids were basically fed :) most of us moms went out to dinner afterwards!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Ninja Party (Ninjago Style)

Jack LOVES all things Ninjago right now- and has for a while.  He told me AT HIS PARTY last year that he wanted a Ninjago party for his next birthday! Jeesh! So when I saw little Ninjago sets that were on sale or clearance in JANUARY I bought 14, knowing we'd have a Ninjago party come October.  And Jack never changed his mind. 
I'll have to come back later & add the links to the sites I got my inspiration from. 
The party was from 4-6:30 (the longest party I've done - usually they're 2 hours).  Since it was basically right after school for most of the boys we started with a snack.
"Burning Snake"
Fushi (fake sushi)
After a snack the boys went outside & Jeremiah timed them going through his "ninja" obstacle course.  Okay, there wasn't anything that ninja about it, but kids love obstacle courses.
After their obstacle course they came in for the Fortune Cookie Toss game.  The winner was the ninja who had the most points.  They each got 3 fortune cookies to toss into take-out boxes that were worth 3, 5 or 7 points.
Next up: Pin the Beard on Sensai Wu.  Jack really wanted Pin the Sword on Kai's Hand, but since I'd decided on the pin the _ while he was at school & had already spent a bit of time photoshopping Sensai Wu to get rid of the beard, I told him he had to be happy with it.  And he was.   Jack walked right up to it & put it right where it belonged.  I'd double wrapped the scarf & checked under their cheeks to see if they could see & he couldn't.  He is just a true pin the __ ninja!
The game that Jack was most excited about was the Throwing Star Game.  I ordered rubber throwing stars from Amazon that they threw into this foam insulation board that we already had.   
Hard to see but that's Ellie in front of Jack taking a turn.  She was better than a lot of the boys!  
Jack's 2nd turn.  He didn't do so hot on his first one so he had to redeem himself! ;)  
While we waited for my dad to bring our food the boys went crazy outside with dollar store ninja swords I gave them all.  I was really really hoping to find foam ones but I couldn't so they were flexible plastic.  I bought a couple blow up punch bags from Kmart & they had one of them popped in seconds.  What a waste of $7!  If they weren't attacking the punch bag they were attacking each other.  I had to take one boy's sword away because he just couldn't seem to remember to not hit PEOPLE with it.  Poor Ellie got a big welt on her arm from him!   Here's a few pics of party stuff:
Food's here!
For dinner we had non-spicy orange chicken from Panda Express with fried rice.  We also bought frozen pot stickers & egg rolls that they ate.  So I've thrown quite a few kid parties now & I couldn't think of a single one that the kids had eaten much.  So when I was ordering the orange chicken I thought 1 pan would definitely be enough for the boys (12 of them!) plus the rest of the family, including Grandpa & Grandma, Papa & Nana, and Uncle Jonny & Aunt Ann & Taylor.  The boys LOVED the orange chicken and almost every one of them had seconds.  By the time I got a chance to eat there were 2 puny pieces left.  And Jeremiah & his mom didn't get any!  I guess I should have made sure the rest of us had our food before I gave all the boys seconds.  It's not like I would have been starving them if they couldn't have seconds! :) I was shocked but glad it was a hit!
After dinner we let Jack open his presents.  Our friends are all overly generous! He got lots of Ninjago stuff.  He was thrilled!  
For his cake, I'd seen on another blog a cake the mom made that was simply rectangle cakes & a paper pagoda on top.  The paper pagoda is a free printable from HP that I printed.  So on the assembly directions it says it will take about 2 hours to assemble.  But I have a paper trimmer and I've done a lot of paper crafting so I knew it wouldn't take me 2 hours to assemble.  WRONG! It took me 2 1/2!  That put me behind schedule on the morning of the party!  I'm SOOO thankful that Jeremiah's mom had offered to make cupcakes for Jack's class & that my mom picked them up from her & delived them!  Even with that I was still behind schedule (an absolutely regular thing for me)!  When Jeremiah's mom got to my house to help me finish getting ready she made the frosting for the birthday cake & frosted it for me!  I have to say, the paper pagoda was very impressive looking!  Jack couldn't find any of his Ninjagos to put on the cake so he found one of his skeletons (enemies on Ninjago) and stuck it on!
As the boys were eating/finishing their cake & ice cream the parents showed up to get them.  It was a great party but it was great that it was over too! :)  We sent each boy home with a take-out box that had their name on it (I can't believe I forgot to take a picture).  Inside was a little Ninjago set (the sets I'd bought in January), a mini rubber ninja (like the ones in the quarter machines), and a fortune cookie along with a pair of chopsticks & the chopstick helpers they'd used to eat their dinner with.  They also got to take home their ninja swords and a ninja mask that we were working on even as the boys were arriving!   
After all of Jack's friends left he got to open presents from us, the grandparents, & aunts/uncles.    Jack had an awesome party!  I'm so grateful that Jeremiah's mom & my mom both saved the day again & helped me with his party!  Jack's very sweet & has thanked me several times & he likes to tell people that his mom throws the best parties ever!  (Not true, but I'm not too shabby!)   Happy Birthday Jack!

Happy 7th Birthday, Jack!

(with his requested birthday breakfast of crepes with strawberries & whipped cream)
I can't believe Jack's 7! (Oct 17) He's such a sweet boy & also tough.  Except for where feelings are concerned.  He's pretty sensitive.  Could be that he's outnumbered by girls, but it's probably just who he is. 

Jack had an awesome birthday this year.  Besides his birthday breakfast, my dad took him Del Taco for lunch & ate with him at school.  Jeremiah's mom made cupcakes for his class birthday treat & my mom took them in to him.  He had a pretty great birthday party & he got lots of awesome presents!  I don't think his birthday could have been any better for him!

Jack loves LEGOs, Ninjago (I know they're LEGOs but they get their own category), pizza & pasta carbonara, Eggo waffles for breakfast, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, video games - esp. Mario Bros., gymnastics, reading, drawing, hunting, camping, going to the lake, cooking, and spending alone time with Jeremiah and/or me (and grandparents). 

Things I love about Jack:
His voice/the way he talks.  He's always had this adorable, lilting way of talking.  I love that he hasn't completely outgrown it!
His wit.  He's very smart and also very funny.  His mind amazes us!
His drawings.  I just love them.  He's a really great artist & I want to save every one of his little drawings.
His sweet personality.  He is SO sweet with Adelyn (usually) and other toddlers/babies.  He talks to her in a higher than usual voice and wants to help her & make her happy.
His craftiness.  A little more than a year ago he got a hot glue gun burn while he was using the glue gun that he decided all on his own he needed for a craft he was making for me.  He was sitting on the ground with it & somehow got hot glue all over the top of his foot.  It was a 2nd degree burn! But he still wants to use the glue gun.  And tape & staples & regular glue.  He once made me what I like to call an Anthro inspired necklace out of paper, jute & staples.  He's pretty amazing!
His love of good food.  He's usually very willing to try food & he can sometimes be a little picky.  I'm sure part of this is that he's used to food/treats that I make, but sometimes he tells me that other cookies or other foods aren't as good as what I make. :)  One thing that made me laugh was that he wanted spaghetti & meatballs for his birthday dinner.  I thought that was sort of funny on its own because I MAYBE have made spaghetti & meatballs once ever.  Maybe.  I might not have at all.  But since we were having Chinese food for his birthday party dinner (on his actual birthday), I surprised him & made him spaghetti & meatballs the next night.  He didn't seem that excited when he saw me making the meatballs & said we should have sloppy joes.  He only ate the meatballs okay when we had dinner.  We were having leftovers for lunch the next day & he said he didn't want any meatballs with his spaghetti.  And in fact he doesn't really like meatballs!  LOL!

I love my Jackson boy SOOO much!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Traditions: Halloween Pajamas 2012

This is the best picture I could get.  But this is on September 30th & the kids are ready for bed in their new Halloween pj's so they can wake up in them on October 1st!  I love Halloween! Sadly enough, this is probably the last year I'll be able to get matching pj's for the girls from Carter's (my go-to pj place), since Callie will outgrow their largest size.  Boo.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Do you know the muffin girl?

For some reason Callie had got it in her head that I was going to be making good homemade breakfasts this weekend.  Callie was really annoyed with me for not making breakfast on Friday, so on Saturday she asked if she could make muffins all by herself.  This was her first solo flight!  I supervised but really was totally hands-off other than putting the muffins in the oven & taking them out - her arms just aren't that long yet!  I was SO impressed that she was able to make muffins completely by herself, and she was extremely proud of herself! And I was really proud of her too!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Addy problem - like an ant problem

It's a fairly typical morning.  Except the older kids are home from school because of Labor Day.  But Adelyn climbing on the counter & helping herself to food is a common occurrance at our house.  She's as bad as ants- we can't leave any food out or she's into it! I love that she's just chilling - eating her donuts & watching Jack play a video game.  She's growing up too fast (19 months)!
And no, I didn't buy those donuts.  Ew! Gross! For some odd reason my sort-of-foodie husband likes those!  Although there is something about the mini powdered donettes that I just can't resist! ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School Dinner

School started on August 13 for the kids.  I've always wanted to do a fun Back to School dinner the night before school starts, but when you don't plan ahead that makes it a little difficult.  This year I was able to throw it together though!  I made the kids' favorite - CPK Pasta Carbonara!  And I tried a new recipe for a cheesecake that was supposed to be amazing.  But it turned out to be an epic fail.  It's always sad when you throw away the leftover half of a cheesecake cause it's not worthy of being eaten again.  Even though I baked it as long as it said to, a little longer even, it was underbaked.  By a lot!  And the entire center sagged.  I don't know if I'm brave (or stupid) enough to try that recipe again.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What do you get when you don't unpack after a trip?...

...An oppurtunity for a silly photo shoot! Duh!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beginning of the School Year Surveys {2012}


Age: 8
Height: 51"

54 lbs
Hair color: light brown

Animal: "Peacock. The males have cool feathers & I like that they're blue & greenish/silverish."
Food: Pasta Carbonara
Game: Monopoly
Toy: McKenna (her American Girl doll that she got for her birthday)
Thing to do: shopping, makeovers, playing with McKenna & reading
Book: Magic Treehouse books, American Girl books, Judy Bloom books and Ivy & Bean books
Color: Blue
Movie or show: Movies- McKenna & Monte Carlo.  TV show- America's Got Talent (funny bc she's never watched it at our house)
Song: Selena Gomez songs, especially Love You Like a Love Song.  And TTYLXOX by Bella Thorne
Primary Song: I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus

My best friend is: Corinne & Rachel
Other friends I like to play with: Emily Burger & Kaelene Alleman
Things I like to do with my friends: "Makeovers, make up stories & act them out.  Just play around and have a fun time."
If I could have any pet it would be a: dog
named: "Coco, cause it would be a white little dog & I'd call it Coco."
What people like about me: "I'm nice.  I'm always trying to help out. I think that's all."
Things I can do really well: "Dance! Singing, piano, be kind... never mind.  I'm good at riding bikes.  I'm good at playing soccer, but not as good as Jack & Dad."


Age: 6 1/2
Height: 46"
Weight:  43 lbs
Hair color: dark blonde

Animal: chameleon
Food: Trout.  Pasta Carbonara is my 2nd.
Game: Monopoly City
Toy: Ninjago LEGOs
Thing to do: Play Wii video games (which are fairly restricted)
Book: Ninjago: Rise of the Snakes

Color: black
Movie: Disney's Robinhood
Song: "Teddy's Tuba on the piano (he started piano lessons over the summer). I like I throw my hands up in the air sometimes (Dynamite by Taio Cruz)."
Primary Song: Praise to the Man

My best friend is: "Tyler, Ethan, Spencer, Tyler A.  They're all my best friends."
Other friends I like to play with: "I already play with my best friends."
Things I like to do with my friends: Play LEGOs and video games
If I had a pet it would be a: Eagle
named: Eagle-eye
What people like about me: "I’m talented at video games & LEGOs.  They like me 'cause I'm nice.  And they like me 'cause I'm funny & goofy!"
Things I can do really well: "Video games & sports: soccer, pickleball & gymanstics.  And training dogs with Grandma (Darcy).  I like training Kingston with Grandma."


Age: 4
Height: 40.5"
Weight: 34 lbs
Hair color: dark blonde

Animal: Elephant
Food: Pasta Carbonara
Game: "I love Candy Land!"
Toy: "My baby doll.  I mean my green turtle and my glow-up (glow in the dark) one.  All of them."
Thing to do: play outside on the zebra & slide
Book: Goldilocks & the Three Bears
Color: "Pink & purple mixed together."
Movie or show: movie- Rapunzel (Tangled); show- Dora
Song: “Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are."
Primary Song: I Am a Child of God

My best friend is: Hadley & Liberty.  And Zack.
Other friends I like to play with: Koko, Ashlynn, and Cohen & Camden & Avery & Troy (Troy is Avery, Cohen & Camden's dad!)
Things I like to do with my friends: "Whoever has a trampoline or a play set I like to play on it."
If I could have any pet it would be: a kitten
named: "Roseabelle.  Roseabelle Heart."
What people like about me: "They like my dresses and my bows.  I'm nice & I say everybody's bows & dresses are beautiful."
Things I can do really well: "Homework, and soccer practice.  And soccer - the game soccer.  And I'm good at picking flowers.  And gymnastics, and singing and ballet.  At the Pease's."


Thursday, August 09, 2012

The girl scout cookie monster! (that would be Adelyn)

At 18 months, Adelyn has become quite independent & a real handful! 

Exhibit A:
I'd found a box of our favorite Girl Scout cookies hidden in the pantry and Jeremiah & I were kinda excited about it.  So I was both annoyed and amused when I discovered Adelyn with our cookies!  She would get one out of the package, have a couple little bites, and then drop it on the pantry floor.  And she kept one in each hand!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Picnic Baby Shower

My good friends Miyeko & Kayla are both due with babies soon.  Miyeko in a matter of days & Kayla in a little more than a month.  My friends Katie, Abby, Lacey, Tawny & I threw them a picnic baby shower.  We shamelessly copied many details from a super cute picnic shower we found via pinterest from Bump Smitten.  And Katie found a cute invite online that I used as inpiration to make Miyeko's & Kayla's.
The shower was a major group effort.  Katie made all the accordian-fold paper medallions & cut the pennants for the banner (that will go in Katie's new baby's room!).  She also made the cute crepe paper chandelier.

The food:
We had cute boxes for everyone to pack their own box lunch in & take it to the lawn where we'd set up quilts (and shade!).  We offered chicken salad on croissants, pasta salad, watermelon on a stick, Kettle Cooked potato chips, and cubed cheese on little toothpicks.  We also had strawberry lemonade in mason jars & water to drink.

We had one activity/game.  We asked attendees to bring a baby picture of themselves.  We hung it on twine and attached the pictures with little clothespins.  Everyone spent a bit of time trying to match the baby pictures to their owners.

 Three of the girls tied for second place (unbelieveably I got a perfect score, but I couldn't be the winner!)  After our game Kayla & Miyeko opened lots of presents.

For dessert we had raspberry pie squares & homemade ice cream in waffle bowls.   
We sent our guests home with Fresh Market Apple PocketBacs from Bath & Body Works, along with a PocketBac holder. 
It was a fun shower to plan & the party itself was great!  Everyone lingered for a long time enjoying the beautiful afternoon & laughing together.  I think it was a perfect party.  Congratulations Kayla & Miyeko!  Love you girls!