We just wrapped up a ten-day vacation with the boys in California! I think I could happily live there – I can’t imagine tiring of all that sunshine and blue skies! After another visit to Legoland, we visited the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo’s enormous Safari Park on our trip. I can honestly say that I reached my limit for animal gazing. That said, all of the photos from our trip are going to be great reference as I work on more Ampersand Animals!
There is one more week left of Spring Break for the boys! Thankfully the sunshine has followed us home, so there will be bike riding and trampoline jumping going on over here… in addition to Volcano Building, and Milk Art, and maybe even some Eye Bombing. It looks like I’ll be catching up on work in the evenings this week. And post vacation laundry is commencing as we speak. Wish me luck.
Hope you’re having a good week so far! Are you heading anywhere warm this year?
We celebrated a very special little boy this weekend! Our baby turned 6! If you follow along then you’ve already seen all the prep and the invitation. This post is about all the fun and games that ensued once the kids showed up! Which, of course, is what it’s all about! It’s definitely not about my mad cake decorating skills! Ha! Any cake professionals out there, please avert your eyes. As you can see I opted to take the same approach as I did on the last cake I made, cutting shapes out of wax paper and shaking some icing sugar over top to make a design that matches the party theme. Dirt simple. No shame. At the end of the day the cake tasted just as good.
When the children arrived they received their super spy attire, consisting of a peel-and-stick mustache and a black hat. To make sure no imposters had made it through the door they were all asked to head straight to the table for fingerprinting… which they all thought was pretty cool. Then they played a game of “don’t let the bomb touch the floor or it will explode” (aka, work together to keep the black balloon in the air). It really doesn’t take much to get a group of six year old boys excited. The party favourite was an idea that is making its rounds on Pinterest, the “laser beam” obstacle course (aka, red neon twine). The boys were so excited to try and make it up the staircase without touching the laser beams.
I think that covers the highlights! Older brother has announced that he liked this party so much that he wants a complete redo for his birthday in the Fall. Sounds good to me!
I walked into Chapters yesterday and made up for lost time on the Christmas shopping front. Thank goodness! I have been sick for almost FOUR weeks people! My energy is slowly returning and there is MUCH to be done! Please don’t tell me if you’re done and wrapped already. If you are, I’m really happy for you… really. I know how good that feels! I am not there. Yet. But, in the meantime, I thought that I’d share one of my purchases, in case you are looking for ideas too!
I have a confession. I often buy children’s books purely for the pretty pictures. Gasp! Sometimes without even flipping through. Secretly (not so secretly anymore, I suppose) I feel that if a book is well illustrated that the story somehow HAS to be superior. You all agree, right? However misguided, I may be on to something, because the writing in the books is often very clever too! Our boys’ longtime favorite author/illustrator is Oliver Jeffers, with many of his books (Lost & Found, How to Catch a Star, etc) already gracing our shelves. So, when I saw This Moose Belongs to Me sitting on the shelf, it was an obvious choice! At the end of the day, when I get to cuddle up and read stories with the boys, the designer in me is happy that the boys love the “pretty pictures” as much as the story they are telling.
Do you have a favorite author/illustrator? Have you bought any fun books for your kids this year? If so, please share!
What a weekend! It’s hard to believe, but our oldest turned eight! Baking is not my thing, but I needed a gluten free cake and had the mix on hand, so I thought I’d give it a shot this year. I used his love for baseball as the starting point for the cake decorating… just added some icing sugar and m&m’s! And, do you notice that the two balls are touching so that it creates a subtle 8 shape?!! Yeah, maybe it’s not super obvious, but I love that it’s there.
The take home gifts this year were water guns, because we’ve had such great weather this September! I handed one out to everyone as they walked in the door, and then sent them to the backyard for “target practice”, which consisted of two saw horses and a 2×4 lined with empty containers. This was a HUGE hit! If you’re looking for game ideas for older boys, I highly recommend this!
I hope you had a good weekend too! What did you get up to?
I have to share some pictures of the adorable robot-themed birthday party we went to last weekend. Our fabulous neighbors are responsible for all of this cool stuff. So, if you’re trying to find some ideas for a child’s party, read on!
After that amazing cake, I think my favorite part was the giant robot built for a game of toss. The colored circles are taped onto the back of the plywood robot frame so that they break when the ball hits the center. Pretty great idea!
All the kids had a blast creating their own robots with the help of the adults. All you need is some empty tin cans and supplies from the dollar store. And magnets came in handy to stick on the bolts.
And no party is complete without a pinata, right?! This homemade pinata was amazing! I don’t know why I didn’t think to move the sunscreen out of the way for the shot. Ha!
My oldest son’s birthday is coming up next month, and this has inspired me to get going on the planning for it! But first I need to focus on the weekend ahead… so many exciting plans! Have a great weekend!
It all started when Ben wanted to play Lego inside, and Cole, outside. I broke the stalemate by introducing a water hose. Lego reached a new level of fun!
If you spray the hose just right it creates some major whirlpool action! The boys had a blast watching their figures whipping around, and taking turns throwing in extra figures. When the tub filled up I watered the plants to empty the tub, and the fun started all over again. By the end of it, everyone was wet, and happy!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend enjoying some summer fun!
Use a pin, or thumb tack, to poke the skin of the banana.
Wait. The image will slowly appear, kind of like a Polaroid image.
With the constant rain here on the west coast, I’ve been searching for ideas to keep the kids occupied indoors. This one was great because it kept their attention for at least a half hour, and they would happily do it again with different images!
Thanks to Cindy for the inspiration! I instantly thought, “The kids would LOVE this!” I hope you know someone that might like it too!
And for those of you that want to take it to the next level, check out this video to see some pretty amazing banana tattoos!
I thought I’d share a couple pics from the Elmo-themed birthday party that we went to on Saturday. Jamie did such a great job decorating! It’s fun playing photographer when I don’t have to worry about running the show!
This fabulous little guy may look sweet, but he was more than happy to put the smack down onto an Elmo pinata.
Yes, these are jello shots… for the kids. They were a hit!
This fruit platter looks just like Elmo. What a great idea!
And to top it off, each child was sent home with mini jars of fish crackers and some crayons. Elmo would be proud.
My oldest son came home with a Scholastic book order pleading to buy “fish”. Until that moment I had never heard of triops before. Have you?! Well, I said yes, but let me just say that these things are NOT fish. They are truly creepy prehistoric seamonsters. I’m not-so-secretly happy that the life span of these “pets” in 60 – 90 days. If I’ve tempted you to run out and buy some of these, I wouldn’t suggest this specific set. The plastic tank supplied is tall and narrow, and barely stands upright. I fear that the tank will wait until the triops are at their largest and grossest before it decides to fall over… I had better not be home when that happens.
How about you? Do you have any creepy pets hanging around your house?
Jason is such a great husband for me and father to the boys. He sets a good example for the boys with his loving gestures, like the tulips he brought home last week! I filled the base of the vase with rocks that flew home with us from California. I love how they remind me of sun and sand and holidays.
Last year, a couple of days after Easter, I woke to find this little note and eggs on top of my computer, left by my then six year old. So sweet! He has watched his dad leave notes throughout the house before he goes out of town and now he’s following in his footsteps. I’m looking forward to treating the boys to some chocolate of their own on Sunday morning.
I’m so excited to have a four day weekend! In addition to heading to church to celebrate true love, and the various family feasts, we’ll also be touring Home Depot to complete some projects around the house. What are you up to this weekend? Hope it’s a good one!