Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year for Halloween, I suggested to the kids that they be Mickey and Minnie with the clothes I made for our Disneyland vacation. They thought that was a good idea......for a while. That saved me having to make or find new ones!!!
We were invited to a Halloween party at Groll's house and I went to D.I. to find a robe to finish off Chris' wizard costume. I found a graduation gown for $2. Good enough! I also looked at a lot of the kids costumes too. They were cheap ($2-$4) so I bought some for dress-up. Cooper LOVED the Spiderman costume and Cadence loved the skeleton. Her friends, Jack and Piper, were skeletons this year and I think that she wanted to be like them. They switched their costumes to skeleton and Spiderman. I ran out to the barn and grabbed some of my mom's clothes from the 70's. I should have put on Cadence's Minnine ears because then I could have been a Minnie from the 70's instead of "being my mom 30 years ago".

It rained on Halloween. We went to the church for dinner and Trunk-or-treating and then knocked on about 15 doors. I think trick-or-treating is the best thing about Halloween. I love snitching a few candy bars from the kids:) Here the kids are posing in front the big wooden bear Justin and Ruth (our former neighbors) left for us. The kids put spiderwebs all over it.

Carving pumpkins was a huge hit. The kids painted some at Montessori and carved one at home. They loved the candles inside!

Since Halloween was on a Sunday (and we participated in most Halloween celebrations on Saturday) I decided to make Dinner in a Pumpkin for Sunday. I was a little nervous, but it turned out great. Basically, I made this casserole type mixture and then baked it inside a pumpkin for 2 hours. The pumpkin bakes down. When you scrap out the mixture, you also scrap out the pumpkin and eat it. It tasted good. Pumpkin tastes a lot like squash! HERE is the recipe I used. I think I will make Dinner In A Pumpkin a yearly tradition.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Other Going Ons!

We go up the canyon to Second Dam for BBQ's a lot. Sometimes we invite people we visit teach/home teach, neighbors, friends or people we haven't seen in a while.

The kids love to roast marshmallows, play near the water and walk on the pathway around the lake. Second Dam is my favorite place to BBQ in the canyon! It's so beautiful and accommodating!

The kids love to play with fire! We get to keep a close eye on them all the time!!!

The kids attended the Nibley Days parade. They were right at the beginning and got SO MUCH Candy! I love parades (especially after I eat the cinnamon salt water taffy!)


When Summerfest rolls into town, we take a night to head over to look at the arts and crafts, eat some food and listen to the music. When we first got married, Chris would never come dance or be crazy with me. But now that we have kids, he will relax and have some fun! It was a salsa band and the music was awesome for dancing!

Cadence didn't love the loud music in the beginning, but she warmed up to dancing and had a TON of fun moving on Dad's shoulders. Cooper didn't love the loud music and stayed in the back. Chris and I took turns dancing in the front and the back!

At first, we were some of the only adults up dancing, but I saw some lovely ladies from my ward and pulled them up to dance! They had a ton of fun! I don't get why people are so afraid to get up in front of a crowd and be crazy! It is fun! You gotta love Teri and Estella!
You go to love Summerfest!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Kids' Gigantic Carnival Birthday Party

Both of the kids birthdates are around the 4th of July. We celebrated with family, but I didn't have a party for their friends due to many reasons. (I had surgery, Chris was out of town, we had a vacant apartment we had to clean, fix and rent, and vacation.) I decided a few weeks ago that with school starting soon, I couldn't delay any longer. I threw together this party in less than a week.

Because the kids have a lot of friends and are very social and we love to be inclusive, we had over 45 kids at the party. The ages of the friends ranged from 15 months to 14 yrs. Most kids were between 2 and 6 yrs. I divided the older kids (7 or older) and the younger kids into "helpers" and "participants." When I made the invitations, I taped on a little piece of paper saying I needed lots of helpers for this party and invited the older kids in the families to be my assistants. I got a great response from everyone. The older kids definitely wanted to be involved. Some even came over to my house throughout the week to ask what they were going to be able to help with. Some gave requests to be in charge of certain games.

Before the kids showed up, I set up nine stations, divided the younger kids into nine groups (based on age and friendship), decided where each helper would be stationed and wrote each participants name on a lunch sack. When the kids came, I had the participants play "Duck, duck, goose," while I explained to the helpers their duties and places. I had one helper assigned to each station and one helper assigned to each of the nine groups (they would rotate with the groups and keep the small groups together.) The groups had only 3-4 kids in them. That way there were 2 helpers at each station.

Instead of doing tickets that the kids would redeem for a prize at the end, I just gave each group leader a treat or prize to put in the lunch bag right before the groups rotated. There were a few kinds on candies, a balloon that could be blown up at home, a band aid, stickers and some little cheap trinkets I bought at the dollar store. After I had explained to the helpers how the party was going to work, we divided the participants into their small groups with their leader. (Luckily some moms stuck around. It is a little difficult for 7 year-old to keep a group of 2-yr -together and moving to each station.
I had each station placed strategically throughout our yard so we just had to rotate counter-clockwise when I blew my whistle. The first couple of rotation were a little rough, but after the helpers became a little more familiar with how it worked, things went much more smoothly.

At most of the stations, I had two activities. If one was inappropriate for the age group, they could do the other OR if they finished one activity, they could do the other. Back-up plans are a great thing.

These are the stations.
1. Knock-down-the-cans/Sandbox

I saved the food cans we emptied for a couple weeks, washed out the insides, took the labels off,
and had a birthday game. We put two piece of OSB on the dirt in shade - one to stop the balls the kids threw and the other for the kids to step on!
The helper set up the cans, gathered the balls and cheered the kids on!
If they got tired of the can game, they had the option of playing in the sandbox. The kids LOVED the sandbox!

2. Ring Toss

I checked this ring toss out from a resource center where my kids go to storytime. It was free and easy! I love that!
The helper gave the rings to the kids and told them where to stand! The kids loved this station!
3. Face Painting

This was the station my kids (and every other kid - even the helpers) were thrilled about it! Face painting!!!! I asked a couple of moms to do some simple faces. I used Halloween make-up I bought on clearance last November.

The birthday boy loved being a cat!

Mustaches, beards and eyebrows were the most popular requests for the boys. Butterflies around the eyes where what the majority of the girls wanted!

4. Bowling

I set the bowling (which I also checked out from the family resource center) on our front porch. It is enclosed so the ball and pins would stay in a contained area. Sorry! This is a great picture.

I had to two helpers here to set the pins up, and direct the activity!

5. Tin Can Stilts/Sidewalk Chalk

My husband was asked to make peach cobbler for a funeral a few days before the party. I saved all the bigger tin case he used for stilts. I'mnot sure what else to call them. This was on a sidewalk so they had an even place to step. The older kids liked walking around on them.
The younger kids just did sidewalk chalk. I didn't want anyone getting hurt!

6. Bubbles

I had a bunch of bubbles! One of the oldest helpers blew bubbles for the kids to pop and chase. The kids could also blow bubbles too.
7. Dress-up

I set up a tarp with a whole bunch of dress-ups on them. The kids could dress up how they wanted and get a picture which I need to get developed and take to them with a "thanks for coming" paper.

I had a floor length mirror outside so the kids could see what they looked like! I checked out a lot of the crazy hats from the resource centered and borrowed a few more dress-up from a friend in addition to what we had. There were plenty of dress-ups to try on!
8. Ball Toss/Balance Beam

I think this was the favorite of the activities. I jsut cut shapes in a piece of OSB and got some small balls the kids could throw through the holes.
The helpers decided to make it interesting by kneeling behind holes and trying to get the participants to hit them. Who doesn't want to throw balls at silly people?
My husband also made a balance beam. He took a 4x4 and nailed two 2x4 on each end to keep it from turning over while the kids walked on it. I forgot to take a picture!

9.Tape The Nose on the Clown/ Hit-The-Ball

I drew a clown without a nose on a posterboard. I cut out some round circles for the nose. We taped the clown onto a fridge that just died and hadn't been taken to the fridge graveyard yet. It worked great!

The kids wore a blindfold and taped the nose on. The older kids got turned around a few times before they got to tape the nose on the clown.

When they were done with that, they could hit the wiffle ball with the plastic bat. My husband tied a rope between two trees. From that rope, he tied the wiffle ball hanging from a string to the middle of the rope. Every kid who comes to our house wants to hit the ball. This is perfect so we don't have to sit and throw a ball constantly. Plus, the kids can swing until the hit it!

After we rotated all the groups through all the stations (about 5 minutes each), I brought out popsicles for everyone to eat. I had some water and lemonade out the entire party that people could drink from if they got thirsty! The cupcakes were just normal cupcakes. I had to make 5 dozen and didn't have the time or money to make them fancy.
On the invitation, I wrote that presents were NOT expected. My kids have a ton of little toys and really don't need more. But most people still on insist on bringing toys so I wrote not to spend more than a $1 or $2. After the cupcakes, the kids opened presents. Because of the number of kids, I didn't ask them to sit and watch. The helpers could go play the games they helped with and the younger kids could do whatever they wanted to!
For party favors, I had a big box of books. Kids could take one or two. I'm a teacher and books are so much better than candy or toys (in my opinion). The books were used and I got them free from this book company in my town. I love using my resources!!! This was in addition to the little goodies they got at each station.
The helpers got a book and a Lik-A -Stix. They thought that was the bomb. Here is the only picture I got of me!

Here are the birthday boy and girl with their painted faces!!!! They are just so cute!!!!

Cadence and her very best friend. They are inseparable. She lives next-door to us!

Here is the picture of most of the people at the party! A few had already left and some chose not to be in the picture! This was a big, fun party and I am glad that we could include so many people! I'll have to come up with something like this for next year. Once my daughter gets in Kindergarten, she probably won't want to share a party!

I only spent about $40 on this party! I didn't have fancy decorations or extravagant favors, but the kids loved it. I also think that if I would have put parents in charge of the groups or stations, it may have gone a little more smoothly, but the kids would have missed out on a great opportunity. I was exhausted after it was over, but it was well worth it!
Happy birthday kids! I love you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Snowbird Part One

We went on our yearly vacation to Snowbird in June! I'm so grateful that Mom has timeshares that are close because these are our vacations and most of the cousins can meet us there!

Of course, we went swimming at least once a day! I'm glad Chris stay with us for a couple days.
Cooper is not afraid of the water. And he loves to "cheese" every picture!
Unfortunately, Cadence is a little more cautious in the water. Though she put her face in the water, she doesn't like splashing or getting her face wet often. All the progress she made in swimming lessons was lost:( She wouldn't attempt to float on her back or stomach!
But she did like to lay on the tile and model. Isn't she a cutie? Maybe too cute!

They loved Dad playing in the pool with them!

I love this picture! My three loves!
Cooper loved the balls, noodles, and his floatie. He didn't want me to touch him. When he would lose his footing and go underwater, we had to teach him to put his feet down and stand up. I had to pull him out of the water quite a few times. I can see how a little kid could drowned in shallow water very easily without supervision:(

He had no problem with splashing! He liked it quite a bit!
Riding the big horse!

There was lots of fun with the cousins! My kids LOVE their cousins!
We went exploring. The kids liked the Cliff Lodge and all the fancy things there!

On vacations, there are always a lot of snacks. Cooper had fun eating spaghetti!
All the kids enjoyed making flowers, and designs out of play dough. It doesn't matter how old they get, play dough is always fun!!!

Because there was still snow on the trail, only some of us walked over to the look out point.
Breelle hadn't been to Snowbird in years and thought it was so beautiful!
Cadence loves to take pictures! She had to take 20 of me being goofy!
My girl! I love this princess!