Monday, January 14, 2013

Amelia's Horse Themed Birthday Party!!

This girl of mine sure loves horses!!  Her 4th birthday party was a Woody and Jessie's Round Up Theme (horses). We did a fairy themed birthday party last year instead of horse/pony themed party. It was a nice break but I knew we'd be back in the saddle this year. ;)

I do not like to give out lots of candy as party favors. The kids are already having cake and ice cream, they don't need more sugar. I think it is more fun for guests to have props/things to use during the party that they can take home afterward.  At her 4th birthday party- that was also indoors- we gave foam cowboy hats to each child and everyone did a sheriff badge craft that they wore once completed.

For Amelia's 6th birthday I decided to give bandanas to each child. The only place I could find them was a party supply store (since I didn't think we could get them if I ordered them online) for almost $2 apiece. No thanks. I decided to go to a local fabric store and found a great fabric, bought a yard and a half of it, and cut them into triangles.

For a horse themed craft, I got paper grocery sacks from a store, looked online for a tutorial, and cut 17 bags into cowboy/girl vests. This seemed like a great idea until I figured it took about 7 and a half minutes per vest. The things I do for my children! ;) The kids had a great time decorating them. I also think it is a great idea to over plan for kid parties, so for those who wanted something else crafty to do, I had a 2D paper horse craft that they could color and cut out and glue at home.

For games, Amelia wanted to do Pin the Tail on the Horse, and I wanted to have a Horseshoe toss, at an indoor party. We also brought down Amelia's rocking horse she got for Christmas and the kids took turns with that.

For decorations we hung some pink balloons and for the table I decided to use a cute roll of polka-doted wrapping paper I found at the dollar store as a table runner instead of using a table cloth. (I can't handle table cloths at kid parties. Even when you tape them down they slide everywhere.)

Most of the guests invited were from her kindergarten class, and because of privacy laws the only way we could get invitations to friends who had parents I didn't know, was to pass them out in class before the bell rang.

I love planning parties for my kids!! I also love how fun it is for Amelia to help- read: lots of coloring and cutting- and how much she and her friends enjoy themselves. We had a great turnout! All of the kids had a great time!

Brodrick loving all the party action!
Pin the Tail on the Horse DIY: I found a color page of a horse Amelia liked that had a tail that could easily be removed for game purposes. I right clicked and copied the color page. Then I put it into a word document. I then enlarged the image to a size I liked and then traced the image onto the poster board with a pencil. I had to shift the poster board and the image on my computer screen in order to trace the whole image, but it turned out nicely! We did the same thing for the tails and then traced them with a sharpie and colored them in for all the guests.
...traced out on poster board...
Horse Cake using this tutorial for the general shape...
The kids had great fun coloring a 2D horse craft and decorating their paper bag vests.
More friend! Also, notice the table runner.
Tim cut out some horse shoes out of 3/4 inch particle board and devised an indoor stake for a game of horse shoes!
Some horse themed cupcakes. Toppers were from a coloring page,  sized in a word document, printed onto cardstock, colored, cut out, and hot-glued onto toothpicks.
Our politically incorrect game... the kids had fun shooting at the robber with a rubber band gun.
Miles enjoying the horse shoe game! Also check out his stylish bandana around his neck.
This party was much easier with mostly 5 and 6 year-olds. They are used to taking turns and waiting in lines which is golden for party games.

Happy Birthday Amelia!! It is a joy and great privilege being your mom!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Beginning of January

Having a New Years baby sure helps me put Christmas away before the first of the year. I do this to break up the months and prepare for Amelia's birthday and party!

On January 2nd Amelia turned 6 years old!! I say it every year, and I doubt I'll ever stop saying that time is going by so quickly!! I can't believe my baby is SIX! We celebrated as a family on her birthday with some cake and ice cream.
Ready to make a wish.
Tim's dad just flew back home today. We enjoyed his great 4 day visit, despite Tim having a sinus infection. It was a nice visit especially for Tim who enjoys spending time with his dad. The kids got in some good times with him too.
Tim's dad Shelly, and Miles were up late (for our kids anyway) hanging out watching some football and Miles passed out right nest to his grandpa.
Amelia and Lola
Saoir and Taylor (my niece who lives with us) both went home for a month to enjoy Christmas. They both come back in the next week. That will be interesting to readjust to a larger family dynamic and making meals for 7 instead of 5 again.

Friday, January 4, 2013

In keeping with the theme...

Like I said, dealing with lots of sickness over the Christmas break. Amelia and I were snuggling together and Miles snapped this shot of us together.

Of course sickness wouldn't be compete without a visit to the ENT. Two days  after Brodrick finished his antibiotic for a sinus infection, he started to complain of ear pain.  On Dec 28th, he cried all day asking to go to the doctor but we couldn't get him in until the afternoon. Little guy had an eartube that was either clogged or that fell out- but we couldn't for sure see cause of all the wax in his ear, so the doctor decided to treat it as an ear infection.

Not too happy, but relieved to finally be at the doctor's.

Monday, December 31, 2012


The tree on Christmas Eve in all her glory ready for the big day!
Christmas morning I woke up feeling aweful. I knew I was coming down with something. However the day would not wait. Since last year the kids woke up about 5am, I am convinced it was a Christmas Miracle that the kids slept in till 8:14!!

Amelia with her Horse Mosaics by Numbers craft.
With her rocking horse.
Brodrick and Miles loved all of the Imaginext Space set we got them. Tim and I joked that we didn't need to open any presents under the tree since all they wanted to do was play with what was up and ready for them when they came down stairs.
Miles with his John Elway Starting Lineup Figure. He also got a Alex Rodrigues and Brodrick got a Jerry Rice and a Lou Gehrig. Add them to Miles already beloved Jackie Robinson and they make for some pretty fun times!
A pretty cute story- because Miles already had a great love for his Jackie Robinson figure/toy, when he saw that Brodrick got a black athlete, Jerry Rice, and he did not, he was pretty jealous. Aparently he has it in his head somehow that black people are the best athletes. Watch any major sports team play and you know why. So crazy how kids get those ideas in their heads at such young ages.

After presents and breakfast I went to bed and didn't really get up all day. Thankfully the kids were happy with their new toys so not too much damage was done.  Brodrick caught the flu on the 23rd and thanks to some doTerra essential oils he got over it by Christmas. I got the flu on Christmas and got feeling better in about a day, but then ended up with a sinus infection and an ear infection. Boy do I have a new found sympathy for my children who have had reccurent ear infections. Ear pain is some of the worst I've experienced. 

Here I am with a fever of 103.3, doing my best to give love and attention to my kids while I fight off the sickness.
For the rest of Christmas break Tim, Amelia, and Miles all passed around the flu. It was no fun to be dealing with all the sickness but we are glad we are past it! It puts our blessings in perspective for sure.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Taditions

Gingerbread Houses:
December 16th we made gingerbread houses. I learned the hard lesson in years past of collapsed house mid project and opted to hot glue the graham crackers together this year. You heard right. Blasphemy or not, I wasn't in a condition to handle crying/screaming tantrums and chose using the glue over not doing the project at all. This year I also searched to find a special gingerbread frosting that worked more like cement. I had no plans in consuming said houses so I was undeterred when the recipe called for raw eggs. The special frosting worked like a charm. Sadly Brodrick missed out on the fun because he fell asleep early. I see a recurring theme of sleeping when candy is involved. This trend my prove beneficial in the future. The older kids and I had a great time putting together our houses and eating candy in the process.

sticky hands!
Miles LOVES candy canes!
The finished products.

Nativity Story:
Our family usually participates with all of our extended family in acting out the Nativity story at our family Christmas party/get together. It didn't happen this year so we decided to do a version at home with our little family.
On December 18th I printed off this little paper puppet nativity and let the kids color the characters and then we cut them out and mounted them on Popsicle sticks.We had a fun time performing the nativity while Tim read the story from the Bible.

Funny story about Mary- Amelia added eyelashes and bags under Mary's eyes. When I asked her, "Amelia, did you as the lines under her eyes?" Her reply was, "Mom, she JUST HAD A BABY." Apparently she's caught on to my question on how my friends with new infants are sleeping. It was so funny!

Lights on Temple Square:
On December 21st, the Friday before Christmas, we went for a visit to Temple Square! It was freezing! On our way to SLC I called the Texas roundhouse in Sandy and got in queue for their call ahead seating. We were at the temple for less than an hour- keep it short and sweet- then drove back toward home. We walked into Texas Round House and didn't have to wait at all, as soon as I gave them our call ahead number they took us back to our table. It worked well since the kids were saying they were hungry even before we got to SLC.

Meal at a Restaurant:
Eating out at a restaurant is something the kids love but we never do unless grandparents are visiting because it is expensive on a graduate student budget. It was definitely a special treat appropriate for the Christmas season. The children were ANGELS. Seriously, I don't think they have ever behaved so well at a restaurant before. It was wonderful to enjoy great food and each other!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Some Pictures with Autumn Leaves

I really wanted to have some family pictures taken while there were the lovely shades and vibrant colors of autumn leaves. We had originally planned to have a photographer friend do them, but some things came up. But since time was not to be wasted, I went ahead and took the kids up the canyon with my mom and her camera and we ventured to take a few pictures for posterity's sake. These were taken the beginning of October.