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Friday, November 4, 2011

Things to come!

It's been awhile, I had a family death that threw me off my creative game for awhile, but I'm back and have started working on some projects for Christmas.

I have also started on my Boy's rooms and am so excited to see how they turn out. Here are some pictures to give you a taste of what to come.





Also I wanted to show my mom opening her nutcrackers! so enjoy!

video

Monday, October 3, 2011

LDS Missionary Nutcrackers

My mom has a large nutcracker collection she put out in her home every Christmas season. I also have two brothers a year apart in age, who have chosen to serve religious missions for the LDS church (AKA mormons). My mother is very proud of them so I thought of this idea last Christmas season to make missionary nutcrackers. Honestly I thought that maybe someone had thought of this already and I could just buy some, but I could not find any. I decided I would make some. I went to all the craft stores I could find to get a unpainted nutcracker, but had a really hard time finding one that would work, because they all had crowns or hats on them. well to make a longer story shorter I did not find what I was looking for. Then After Christmas I went to Target and checked out their clearance Christmas items and came across what I wanted.



Before


After
 LDS missions are two years long so my brothers will be overlapping a year. One left last year about this time and the other will be leaving a few days after Christmas this year. I am posting this now because I gave them to my mom yesterday for her birthday (Happy Birthday MOM!) so she could display them this Christmas season.



The above photo has a hat and a belt buckle, which are not worn by LDS missionaries, but I could not resist the belt buckle because my youngest brother is known for his many large belt buckles. He is going to be serving in the Ghana, Accra mission.


 

 This nutcracker seemed the most ironic to work as a LDS missionary. Mormons do not believe in gambling (see above photo). It was fun to replace the face cards with a Book of Mormon and pass-a-long cards. This brother has been out almost a year and he is serving in the Uganda, Kampala mission. yup both in Africa.

The ties are made from ribbon, the name tags, book, and cards where printed off my computer and mod-podged on. I sewed the pants onto the nutcracker (a lot harder then you would think. because I did not disconnect the doll from the stand I had to hand sew it onto the doll. It is on the inseam so it was not as noticeable). I used the buttons from the one nutcracker and I painted the years, name of brother and name of mission onto the base of each one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Other birthday party ideas

We have had a party every year for each of my boys, even the day I came home from the Hospital with toad 2, we had a party for toad 1 (my mom helped a lot with that one). Here are some cakes and ideas from the past birthdays at our house and one from my sister's house, because it was so cute I had to throw it in.

snake cake

dinosaur cake

pin the horn on the dino or a pinata.

drum cake

ducky cups

duck snacks and cakes

ducky cake

ducky cake

ducky cake

Here is a cute carnival birthday party.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dinosaur Train birthday party

I did this party when the show had only been out for about a year. they were just coming out with the first dinosaur train figures the week of the party. So keeping that in mind this is what we came up with.

The invites were made to look like the train tickets off the show. On the back we put: come have a train-tastic time at (child's name)'s birthday party. All aboard the Dinosaur train at (place of party). Departure is (time and date) come travel through the time tunnel for a dino-mite of a party.



As the kids arrived they were able to color dinosaur train pictures. They are available on PBSkids.org. they received conductor hats to match Mr. conductor's hat on the show. 



We had three activities/ games for the kids. They played toss the lava rock into the volcano (we used tin foil for rocks and a trash can and black garbage sack to make a volcano.) they then played hatch the dino (we put small dinosaurs in black balloons and blew them up. the kids had to step or sit on them to "hatch" pop the balloons). lastly we had them dig for dino-bones. (we bought skeleton dinos from Oriential trading, but i have sense seen them at the dollar store. we put out a tarp and put dirt over the dinosaurs (you could use sawdust also) we then gave the kids paint brushes to dig for the dinosaurs.




We then had cake and ice-cream and opened presents.  My sister made the cake.



In their goodie bag they got a wooden train whistle, dinosaur fruit snacks, dinosaur suckers, magnifying glasses, notebooks. and they got to keep the dinos they hatched and the ones they dug up, and the brushes they used to dig with.

 Things we liked, but cut out : I was planning on making fossils with play-dough and plaster of Paris, but I couldn't get it to work well on the trial run. also I was going to make a balloon arch as a time tunnel, but after the party a few days earlier with the wind I decided not too. I was also going to make large paper mache dino eggs for the goodie bags.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Superhero Capes



There is a lot of cape patterns out there, but after looking at them all you can not beat this one. It's cheap and easy and fit well enough it doesn't choke the child.
All you need:
mens XL t-shirt (I got them at the thrift store)
scissors
sewing machine or Velcro

Here is the tutorial I followed. I sewed the neck shut to the size a regular t-shirt of the child wearing it, instead of using the Velcro.




even puppies like them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The very Hungry Caterpiller birthday party

The invites to The Very Hungry Caterpillar party were made with finger prints. I attempted to use my one year olds, but got to messy so I had my four year old help me with the rest. My finger print was the head. Inside It said "COME VERY HUNGRY!" for dinner cake and ice cream



We had the guest wear antennas to look like bugs.



For dinner we served Pizza, we had a few side dishes which were a fruit salad made with plums, strawberries, apples, oranges (mandrine), and pears. We had a platter with pickles, sausages, and swiss cheese with holes that looked like the caterpillar already ate through them. (I made these with a straw). We had a spring mix salad which is made of many different types of leaves. I also had a watermelon. we had about everything from the book.



For decorations I had red and green balloons down the center of the eating tables to look like the caterpillar. The wind made it hard to use the tables to eat, but I did get one good shot of them. I also made caterpillars out of egg cartons for the food and gift tables.




I also do a new shirt for the birthday boys each year. they have started to become part of the theme.

We played two games. We had a caterpillar beanbag game, which we handed dum dum suckers out for prizes. The big hit was the cocoon making contest. we had everyone pare up into groups of two or three and raced to see who could get one of their team mates in a cocoon first (toilet paper) the prizes were gummy worms and lollipops. It was a lot of fun! (it would be a fun game for a Halloween party as well and call them mummys)

 



My sister made the cakes. we follow the tradition of having a cake for the birthday child on their first birthday. toad 2's cake was chocolate and the rest of us had cupcakes, chocolate and white cake. After all the hungry caterpillar ate through a chocolate cake and a cupcake.
















Here is another cute Hungry caterpillar party.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quiet books

I needed something to keep my kids attention at church in the car where ever. I found many quiet books out there. the one's that stood out to me are here, here, and here. This is what I made:


Counting:

I started with these two treasure chest pages. each chest has a number on it and the matching amount of gold beads hanging on it. I hand sew the chests together and onto the back sheet. I soon learned to use hot glue for the rest of the sheets. It looks nicer, easier and way faster!


 Buttons:
I wanted each child to learn how to use buttons.


Toad 2 needs to also learn his colors so we did gumballs.

Snaps:
This page combines learning to use snaps and getting to know our "family tree".

The apple doesn't fall from the tree!

There is a nut in every family tree!
 Zipper:

learning to use a zipper. Toad 1 also gets to use his creativity to dress Mr. Potato Head.
Mr. Potato head 



Noah's Ark

 Toad 2 gets to play with finger puppets. I got them at Ikea.

 Paper Activities:

For toad 1 I added some other pages. I made a color book picture of him and cut out some hidden picture pages and other activity pages, from a kid's magazine. I put them into a sheet protectors and added some dry erase markers. (be careful these do not come out of clothing or off chairs etc.) The markers work great on the sheet protectors just add a scrap of felt as an eraser.


Tie your shoe:
I also added this page to Toad 2's book. He is at that age he should be able to start tying his shoes.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Superhero birthday

My two boys birthdays are 3 days a part. last year my youngest turned one and we tried doing two parties. This year we got smart and threw one big party for the both of them. Super hero themed.

Invites: 

the letter states:We here at the CRIME FIGHTING SUPER HERO LEAGUE have noticed you and your special skills. Skills that are necessary and vital to crime fighters. Do you think you have what it takes to be a Super Hero? Super Dean and his side kick Super Brig seem to think so. They have invited you to our SUPER SECRET SUPER HERO TRAINING FACILITY at (address). Training begins at 17:30 hours (5:30) on the tenth day of September 2011. Please come in your Super Hero uniform (if you don't have one, one will be provided for you) and be prepared to work hard. Becoming a super hero is not for everyone, but it could be for you. We hope you decide to become a part of the CRIME FIGHTING SUPER HERO LEAGUE.
Regards, Justice Forall

As guest arrive we had felt masks and plastic table clothes (cape) available.



We had a jar of Peanut M&M's for everyone to guess how many where in there.


We also had a photo booth area. There were props; dumbbell, wham, pow, bam signs, and the backdrop had a speech bubble that said happy birthday super(so-n-so).

 

We then had dinner and served Superhero sandwiches, sidekick sides, Hulk juice (green kool-aid and lemon-lime soda), and iceman water.
After dinner we had a trivia sheet for the adults, to test their superhero knowledge. And the kids went out to train to be a superhero. 
 

First: they must cross a lava pit (water and red kool-aid in a pool)
second: they must find the kryptonite from the bat cave. ( blankets over chairs to make a dark cave. We then put glow-sticks in there.)
third: they had to learn how to dispose of hazardous material. (using tongs they moved green painted rocks (kryptonite) to a cooler labeled hazardous material.
Fourth: vaporize a villain (we put villain faces on Helium filled balloons and gave the kids cans of silly string (spiderman webbing) to take down the villains. You could also use a person dressed like a villain.)
some ideas I did not get around to doing were: jumping over buildings (made of boxes, blocks, or legos) learn to fly. (Jump off stool into pile of pillows), getting yourself out of a sticky/stringy situation. (have yarn strung into a web. Have each child take an end and follow it to the other side. We were going to have the silly string on the other side.)


After training we went inside for cake and Ice cream. Most years I've had my sister make the cakes, sense she is a pro, but she move across the country this past year so I took what I learned from her and went for it myself, this year. In case you cannot tell what it is we have a city scape on the bottom with the bat-symbol in the sky. Then the top is a web for spider-man with a superman cape draped off the side. The two figures on top are hulk and ironman.

While everyone ate cake and ice-cream we read off the winner of the candy jar and the answers to the trivia questions. We then opened presesnts.