Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Favorite Kid Pic Blog Hop

My buddy Rachel is hosting a blog hop showing off a favorite picture of your children. I am having so much trouble choosing! The quality is pretty poor on this one, but it melts my heart each time I look at it.
Mr C was born 6 weeks early, over Christmas, and in the wrong state!! Miss M was 3 1/2 when he was born and very excited about becoming a big sister. Due to a few complications, she was only allowed to briefly see him through the glass when he was first born. It wasn't until sometime later the next day that she got to see him up close for real - actually touching him and getting to hold him. This is that first shot, just after she came into the room. I think she was just letting it sink in that she had really and truly become a big sister.

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

This month has been the coolest July on record in my city, so the wee ones and I have been outside more than we usually would have been this late in the summer. We are always looking for new fun things to create outside and this book usually doesn't fail deliver!

The recipe is simple and made made with ingredients from the pantry.

1. Mix 1/4 C cornstarch and 1/4 C cold water in a small plastic bowl.
2. Add food coloring and stir.

Although it takes a little work to get good coverage from the lighter colors, we found that pink worked really well. We also experimented with brushes and decided that a soft, medium size brush seemed to work the best. We also have really bumpy concrete so I don't know if that made a difference or not.
Miss M's cupcake...what else would she paint?

I know some of you are waiting on the party mint post...it is almost finished I promise! Other fun things to check back for later...tea party pics, fun napkin rings and tea party cookie favors Cupcake Nana made and will be bringing when she arrives tomorrow or Thursday! Oh, and I think I will be getting back my mug from the pottery painting a few weeks ago - anxious to see how it turned out. I also will post a pic of a vintage gift that Miss M will be receiving from me.
The big party day is Saturday and lots to do before then!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thick As Thieves

I am not really sure what that means, but I think it is an accurate description of my relationship with the great friends we visited earlier in the week. You know that kind of person you love just as much (maybe even more!?) than your real family? Dwight and Judy are just those kinds of folks. They were our Sunday school teachers for a few years when we first moved here and we clicked almost right away. Their grown children lived away from our city, just like my folks, so we filled in for one another - so much in fact, we actually had people ask if we were mother/daughter. When Miss M was born, Judy was there! All was great until December 2006 when they retired and moved 4 hours away.
We try and keep in touch and manage quick visits when they are passing through, but it was time for a longer visit. The wee ones and I enjoyed two nights in the country at their beautiful place. We were blessed to have our good friend Jenny and her wee one as traveling companions. We stayed up WAY to late both nights, let the wee ones eat too much ice cream and cake, and just enjoyed the fellowship. We also promised that we wouldn't let two years pass between visits again. When we got home and the car was unloaded, I found Miss M sobbing in her room. "I just miss Dwight and Judy and Rosie and Rusty so much. When we can go see them again?" I am counting the days too Miss M.Miss M and Mr C got a ride around the yard. It was the first time Mr C has ever ridden but I think he liked it!
Even I got a turn on Rosie...reminded me of riding on my grandparent's ranch in Texas. Notice the beautiful surroundings...
Mr C is all grins with Dwight!
Fun times with Rusty - he was just a puppy during our last visit. Also, can you BELIEVE we are wearing jackets the last week of July?? We even wore long pants the next day.
Shucking corn with Judy and Jenny - everything tastes better on the farm!
Miss M is busy telling Judy some big plans, I'm sure!
Hi Rosie! I don't have any more apples for you today...eat this weed instead!

Another treat with some special folks happened today. The Stinkin' Bakers informed us they were about 1 1/2 hours away for his high school reunion. They don't really stink but we started calling them that when they moved to the other side of the world for 2 years. We met in 2001 in Dwight and Judy's class and have come to know and love them like family. Now they live in Florida, but return to our area a few times a year to visit his parents. Usually, they are able to drive on over and spend a night or two with us as well as attend church. This visit was already jam packed, so we made a day trip over the river to see them instead. I think Mr B got a few other pics, so check facebook if you are friends with either of us...maybe he will post there. Here is one good shot of Miss M reading to the little ones. As always, Mr B's parents were so hospitable...I would claim them as family any day!
If you are still with me, here is one more closing thought. My friend in real life posted recently about friendship and I really had that topic on my heart and mind lately. OK, honestly I was almost having a pitty party. Then I get to spend some time with very special friends and I was reminded of how God gave me a special gift in each of them - and not just one friend but FIVE in one week!
Also, at our MOPS steering retreat last weekend, I asked each leader to share with the group someone who was a person of influence in their life. Each story varied, but several qualities were repeated: encourager, generous, trusting God in ALL things, knowing what matters, positive attitude...I hope I can be those things to others. At the close of our sharing time, I encouraged each leader to contact their person and let him/her know how thankful they are for the influence. Why don't you do the same this week?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Country Mouse, City Mouse

The wee ones and I, plus a friend and her wee one, are back from a road trip to see friends who are just like family. Actually, they are better than some of my family! HA!! Once upon a time, these friends lived in our fair city but moved to the country a few years ago after retirement. They are too busy to come visit us, so we had to go to them.I will post pics later, but check back for:
  • recipe and directions on how to make THE BEST party mints
  • pics of a sweet horse named Rosie - with my two wee ones riding her!
  • pics and supply list for my latest project
I also had the best time with my MOPS steering leaders over the weekend. We wrote a vision statement and goals for our group. MOPS is gonna ROCK this year....excited God is allowing me to be a part of the plan!

OK, bags to unpack and then off to bed. I stayed up WAY too late both nights with my friends. I told them when I got up this morning that my bags were already packed - in reference to my eyes!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tie Dye Fun

Raise your hand if you have ever tried to tie dye something...I am betting there are lots of you out there. Last summer, Miss M was after me to let her try it. She got her chance at Cupcake Nana's house. Although you can certainly buy individual bottles of dye, kits are available. Since we were using several colors, a kit was a better buy for our project. The included squirt bottles were also helpful as well.

We decided to make matching shirts for the entire family, which included a bandanna for the dog Rudy! Our shirts came from Walgreens at a super cheap price, since they had slight imperfections although still a good quality weight. We didn't saturate our shirts for full coverage so I would probably be more liberal with my application next time.

I won't make this a step by step tutorial because I am guessing you already know the basics. If not though, there are good directions in both the kits and on the dye bottles. One important step, WEAR GLOVES unless you like having stained fingers for a day or two! You might also want to check here for step by step directions on making more advanced patterns.
Even Cupcake Daddy got in on the act!

Miss M was so happy with our shirts she requested we all wear them to her Carnival Party last year - and we were happy to oblige!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blog Hop - Children's Parties

Kelly's Corner has a blog hop going on about children's birthday party ideas so I decided to join in. As you know, Miss M will be 6 at the end of the month so she has had a few parties already. With the exception of #1 and #2, she has helped plan all the parties. We even have our own Valentine and Halloween parties at home for a few friends. What can I say? We like celebrating!!
Les you think that Mr C is left out, he has had a theme for both his birthdays so far, but just hasn't assisted with the plans in anyway...yet!

Be sure to keep checking back to see the progress on B-day #6 - A Tea Party!

Birthday #5: Carnival Theme

Enter through streamers and a bubble machine to enjoy hot dogs, popcorn from a real popcorn machine borrowed from church, and fun games as well!
This picture doesn't really show the cake well, but it was a rice crispy treat Ferris wheel on a cake base.
We had several games set up - knock the cans with a tennis ball, "shooting gallery", and drop the clothespin in a jar. Miss M helped make signs for every game.
Face painting by Nana - I also learned to make a few balloon animals on the internet!
The favors were GIANT lollipops (the old fashioned looking ones) that we found for $1 at Walgreens. Repackaged in clear cellophane and tied with bright ribbon gave them the homemade touch!

Birthday #4 was a Princess Theme complete with the doll cake I am sure you have seen before. We also decorated each chair with ribbon and beads left from other projects. each chair was also labeled with Princess ______. Favors included plastic crowns and Mardi Gras beads in a reusable Disney princess lunch tote from Target $1 spot. The girls also made magic wands/scepters from dowel sticks and foam stars.

Birthday #3: Hello Kitty
I can't post pics because my computer lost them after I printed them out, but a Hello Kitty is super easy to make from a 9 x 12 cake. Just round the corners and reposition the pieces to use as ears. Slap on some white icing and use black icing for the whiskers and flattened gumdrops for the eyes and nose - no mouth needed! We used fruit by the foot to make a bow for her head too.

Birthday #2 was Clifford and 1st birthday was Barney - she LOVED the big purple guy!

For all our celebrations, I try to follow a few simple "rules"-
1. Use what you have around the house - don't buy a bunch of stuff if you are only going to use it once!
2. If we don't own it, we try to borrow it.
3. Favors should either be consumable or useful. I detest favors that are similar to the junk from fast food places. (We do food items, cups, bubbles, and similar items often.)
4. After age 2, the birthday child assists with invitations and thank you notes in some manner. (example: For b-day #2, Miss M "colored" a Clifford and I wrote a thank you message on it.) Young ones can also put themed stickers on invitations, envelopes, bubbles....
5. Thank you notes are REQUIRED! I try to get every child in at least one photo then we print out extra copies and write the thank you message on the back.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Snake Bubbles (AKA The Foamerator)

After taking a few years off, I recently began subscribing again to Family Fun Magazine. The first issue came today and I was impressed by some of the changes they have made. Miss M enjoyed looking through it with me and already has a list of things she wants to try. But seeing how I am working on a MOPS retreat, her birthday, and a host of other things, we had to pick something very quick and easy to try for now. Enter "Snake Bubbles" - so fast, we did it after supper tonight and still got the wee ones to bed on time!

Materials needed: empty water bottle, old towel, rubber band, and dish soap.

1. Cut off the bottom of the water bottle.
2. Cut out a circle from the towel a few inches larger than the bottom of the water bottle.
3. Attach the towel on the bottom of the water bottle with a rubber band - like so...

Now blow into the bottle and make some pretty neat bubbles. A passerby slowed down as he drove by to check out what we were doing!
I had to take over for Mr C...I think he got a little dizzy! What fun we had with our bubble contest to see who would make the longest snake!

PS Family Fun gave credit for this idea to Betz White, author, designer, crafter, and mom. You can see more of her ideas here!

More Tea Party Plans

Miss M and I made the party invitations yesterday. This shot really doesn't show them off very well though. It was taken at night and all good bloggers know you don't post pics taken indoors at night! We printed out the party details on the computer and Miss M asked for "frizzy" words - "do you mean frilly, I asked?"
We mounted the info on pink cardstock and attached 3 strands of pearls and a pink bow in the corner. My spray glitter was acting up, so it just kinda came out in blobs. Not exactly the effect I was looking for, but the best we could do because they needed to go in the mail today. Nevertheless, Miss M was very pleased with the end result. Addressed with pink ink and a tea pot stamped on the envelope completed the project. I must also add that all the materials were leftovers from previous projects so we didn't buy a single supply!

One last note...I am heading to a paint your own pottery place tomorrow with some MOPS friends. I have wanted to try that for a long time and now I have my chance. Miss M is jealous and hopes I will take her in the future.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tooth Fairy Fun & Party Prep

Miss M has decided on a tea party themed party that will be held at the end of the month when she turns 6. I found these little espresso cups and saucers at Old Time Pottery for $1.49 a set; they were the perfect size and a good price, but of course the logo would never do.
So Nana and glass paints came to the rescue. We found a way to cover up the logo and personalize each cup as a favor for the guests. They are not completely finished yet, but we will be posting more about the party prep as the month goes on. Nana also suggested packaging them in Chinese take out cartons for a safe ride home after the party.

The paints are hand-washable as is, but the paints have directions on how to make them dishwasher safe as well. I think we will probably skip that step for this project though. Check out this post for another cute project using the same paints.

Miss M lost her first two teeth within the last week. We looked at making a tooth fairy pillow (because just shoving it under your pillow loose is SOOO boring!). When I mentioned it to Cupcake Nana, she was able to find my old tooth fairy pillow. It is in pristine condition and since Miss M shares her Mama's fondness of "vintage", she loved it! Now I have to decide how much your first two teeth are worth!

Miss M and Nana made a 4th of July cake while we were visiting. Between all the motorcycle riding, swimming, thrifting, and other fun times, it was hard to find the time! You can see Miss M is still happy with the results though! Her motto when using sprinkles must be "More is More!"This is not birthday related, but I finally got around to posting a picture of this cute hanger project - also from Nikki at Whimsy-Love!
I just sanded the wooden hangers enough to get the paint to stick, painted them a coat of pink, sanded it again to make it look "old". Then I used modge-podge to stick on flowers I cut out of some scrapbook paper. Miss M did all the arranging of the cut-outs. Both grandmothers received a set of hangers and a new shirt back on Mother's Day. Oh yeah, I already had the paint and modge-podge, the hangers were $2/set at Target, and the scrapbook paper was really cheap too.
Guess that's it for now...we have overnight guests tonight and I am tired! Our childhood friend is driving through with his wife and two wee ones to see family in another state. It's been fun catching up with them though!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

Is that even how it is spelled? Made it home Sunday night with two children who didn't sleep a wink the entire 8 hour drive! Now that I have just about unpacked and put away everything I promise to post a little more later tonight - with some pictures too!
While at home, my mom and I hit several thrift and consignment stores and I scored some great things for a little project I am working on. I can't wait to get started but first I need to clear off the work table in the basement.
We are also have company for one night this weekend so I need to get clean sheets on the guest beds - didn't do that yet from my parent's visit last week.
Lest you think this is just a teaser of a post, I will leave you with a funny:
Both my children were and sometimes still are thumbsuckers. Overheard in the car last week:
Miss M: Stop sucking your thumb.
Mr C: No! Me suck. Me suck big.
I try really hard not to use the word suck unless it relates to candy or thumbs so my children had no idea why they adults were laughing so hard. Nonetheless, Mr C has repeated the phrase more than once since then!


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