Friday, April 13, 2012

Star Wars Birthday

I love a great party especially planning a great party. Daddy has wanted to watch Star Wars with the children for a long time. I had my reservations about letting a 4 year old and a 7 year old watch Star Wars due to the well...hmmm...all of it. I prefer a "life is all roses type of movie"; however, I gave in and my kids have been hooked ever since. So naturally when it was time to start planning Cooper's 5th birthday his first choice was Star Wars of course! 

I searched the Internet high and low and struggled with trying to find suggestions for a 5 year old and Star Wars (hmmm, maybe others had the same reservations I had and stood their ground). None the less, I like a good challenge to throw a fun and creative party so we jumped in and took off with the Star Wars ideas. My favorite challenge of planning a party is to see just how much money we can save and still make it super cute. Hope you may be inspired for your own Star Wars gathering, Enjoy!

First step: Invitations! The kids love to get dressed up into character each year for their invitations. It's fun and simple and includes a digital camera, existing Darth Vader costume from last year's Halloween, daddy's white shirt worn backwards and tied to give the Princess Leia look, light saber toys which we borrowed from Oma & Opa, black card stock, white paper and a printer.

Next Up: Drinks! C3PO H2O. We used gold spray paint to cover the bottles. Caps were left on so that it would give the bottle a paint free area to put your mouth to drink. Cooper was responsible for drawing C3PO's face on all the bottles.

Can't leave the OJ glasses out. Peel and stick chalk board vinyl cut out to
look like Darth Vader's mask and a chalk marker.

What's a party without themed food? Food labels were made with flattened foil cupcake holders, black card stock, and white vinyl cut out with my Silhouette.

Yummy Cinnamon Rolls

Fruit Light Sabers. Red and Green Grapes on wooden skewers and duct tape at the end for the silver handle.

Waffles - a family favorite!

Yoda Yogurt: Vanilla yogurt mixed with a little green food coloring.
Boba Berries and Jedi Super Food (granola) to build your own fruit parfait.

Hans Solo Sausage Casserole (i.e. breakfast casserole). Not a family breakfast without one of these present.

One of the best finds for the party was the AT-AT walker for $3 at a local garage sale.

Found this great utensil holder and cut out vinyl lettering from my Silhouette to match the party theme. Best part is that the vinyl can be pulled off and the holder can be re-purposed for later parties. My daughter was quick to point out though that the holder should actually say, "May the fork be with you". She's Good!

 Games & Activities! No party is complete without games (at least according to my 2 party people). What's a Star Wars party without light sabers? We cut pool noodles in half and covered the ends with duct tape and black electrical tape. Bubble wands ($1 each) got the same duct tape treatment around the handles.

New Episode: The Cousins Strike Back!

 For a fun activity, the parents used the bubble wands pictured above to create flying Death Stars that the kids  could pop in air with their light saber noodles. Let the fun begin!


Party Favors: In addition to the light sabers, everyone received a bag of  Wookie Cookies! No bake chocolate and oat cookies to look like a mini chewbacca, cellophane bags, and a thank you note printed on card stock and folded in half and stapled. Super yummy and sweet.

C&C = Cousins & Best Buds!

Birthday Boy enjoying the fruits of his labor!

New Chewbacca Doll from Maw-Maw & Pa-Pa!

Coop picked his cake out himself. We actually googled pictures to find what he liked. Took a huge sigh of relief though when he picked the cake from Publix, go figure! His smile in this picture was enough of a thank you for me!!

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Jedi and Happy Party Planning to All of You!
Next up...Parker's 8th Birthday next week. Her party of choice: Littlest Pet Shop.
Stay tuned for more party fun!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Who's Keeping Score?

My washing machine is oddly quiet today for a Monday. It is this peace this morning that I thought for sure was setting the right tone for a Monday morning.

After a little quiet time at home with my favorite little man, it was time to pack up and head to the pediatrician for our 5 year old check up and…dum, dum, dum… vaccinations. Ugh! I had already softened the blow with the little man by promising a stop by the new Donut Factory on the way home. Soothing all hurts with food? You better believe it!

Now to my defense, I thought his vaccinations were all caught up until he turns 12 years old. I was surprised when I received a note in his cubby at school stating that he needed updated vaccinations ASAP. I made the call and got the first available appointment, no problem. Our favorite nurse practitioner, who has truly been a blessing in our lives, came in happy to see us but I could tell there was something different in the way she looked at me this visit. I realized quickly that it was the, “Oh bless your heart” look. She saw my ever expanding belly and quickly gave me the sympathetic smile and kind explanation that Cooper does not need any vaccinations until he is 12 years old and in fact, our insurance won’t cover this visit because we were there for our physical less than a year ago….oops. She was so kind and sympathetic and we agreed that she never saw me and I could graciously leave out the back door and pretend that none of this ever happened.

Cooper’s response? “Baby Brain”. Of course!

So although I was slightly embarrassed, I was actually more proud that I had remembered that Cooper was all caught up until 12 years old. Given my batting record lately, I say 1 point for Mommy!!

The rest of the day was somewhat uneventful until dinner time. I am pretty sure that Mommy earned her second point when I remembered to buy light bulbs at the store today to replace the light over my stove. In fact, there may even be a bonus point for this one because I remembered the light bulbs even though they weren’t on my list. Oh Yeah Baby! She shoots, she scores! 

I thought I would multitask and change the light while I started browning the meat for our dinner. As I was unscrewing the bulb, I started to think, “I should probably move the meat off the stove just in case the casing around the light happens to F-A-L-L-L-L-L…Nooooooo!”.

Not completely surprised that the casing shattered in my hand given that it is the same casing that has been there since the house was built in the early 70s. So what happened to the dinner below? It unfortunately became victim to not only the plastic shavings but also to (and I am so embarrassed to admit this) a large amount of small bugs that apparently gather in that plastic because they are drawn to the light. This is the point in the post that you are free to excuse yourself and go clean out your light casing. No really… I can wait!

The sad thing is that I actually starred at the meat for an excessive amount of time trying to determine if I could scrap off the top layer and still justify serving it for dinner. No worries, I discarded every last bit of it and decided to go to the “back up” frozen chicken nuggets in my spare freezer. I was quite proud that I remained so calm, cool and collective and quickly moved to plan B. Another point for Mommy!

After awhile in the oven, I was thinking that the nuggets just weren’t getting as crispy as I had hoped for so I decided to put them under the broiler while I took care of a few details in the garage. Lesson number 1: NEVER walk away from food when it is under the broiler. The nuggets were quickly transformed into blackened hockey pucks that not even the most creative mommy could have disguised. The burning smell must’ve alarmed my daughter as she appeared from nowhere patting my shoulder saying, “That’s OK mommy, we like burned nuggets”. Ha! Laugh or cry? Good question. We had a good laugh over the ever changing dinner menu and everyone was great sports about carefully choosing which pucks they wanted and which ones they thought were not as burned as the others. Even my husband was gracious about the whole event when he arrived home, especially since he starred at the nuggets from a "safe distance" saying, "what's that?".

After airing out the burning smell from my kitchen, my mind quickly revisited my devotion from earlier today. Here is a quick exert from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

April 2nd
I have promised to meet all of your needs according to my glorious riches. Your deepest most constant need is for My Peace. I have planted Peace in the garden of your heart, where I live; but there are weeds growing there too: pride, worry, selfishness, unbelief. I am the Gardener and I am working to rid your heart of those weeds…..Thank me for troublesome situations; the Peace they can produce far outweighs the trials you endure.”

Remember my “peaceful” morning? It’s still there; however, if anyone is keeping score I think I may have lost all of the points I earned throughout the day. Thank you Jesus for never taking a moment away from pulling my ever growing weeds in this foggy brain of mine! I guess it’s good no one’s keeping score…especially you Lord!