Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Laser Tag Combat Party

For Stinky's 8th birthday, we hosted a laser tag combat party. It was two hours of adrenaline pumping fun! So, what went into planning?

Typically I start with the location for the party. We decided on The Battlefield. Its a bit pricey, but it was great fun for kids and grown ups alike. (Not to mention a week's worth of working out!!!) The Battlefield is equipped with two non-operational helicopters that serve as home base (and awesome picture backdrops), a sniper's nest, dug outs, etc. It's a little boy's dream. Here are a few of The Battlefield's shots for clarity.


Next comes the cake. I found this one on Pinterest:

I had my cake lady swap the fondant helicopter with one of Stinky's actual toys (mostly to save money but also because it matched the helicopters on the field) and she came up with this:

I love her!

Then onto invites. I'm not the most creative invite person so I find one I like then recreate it. Again, Pinterest proved to be a valuable resource.

My version:

In the snack area, the d├ęcor was simple: a few army men and helmets I scored at Dollar Tree.

After several scares, the weather cooperated and we had a great time. Stinky couldn't be more thrilled with how everything turned out. I even had a few Dads tell me "BEST PARTY EVER!" on their way out. Total score! Even the DH, who is normally a low-key birthday guy wants one in the fall, but at night. Be sure to keep an eye out for that post. Should be epic!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Quote of the Week


DH: "Stinky, one of my graduate assistants said in India, they go to school six days a week for far longer than just 8-3."
Me: "What do you think about going to school on Saturdays?"
Stinky: "I think I would die from stress!"

The Easter Story

In my previous post, I mentioned that I planned to make crosses out of twigs with my group for Children's Church like these ones from Lehman Lane.

However, I went with this idea for this Easter booklet from Ministry to Children after realizing that my own two kids had forgotten some of the details of the Easter story from last year. I still plan on making the twig crosses, but will save that for another occasion.

What I liked best about this booklet is that it worked for a group of about 13 kids, with an age range of six years old to 11 years old. I had each child read a page, starting with the younger ones. This kept the older kids engaged as they read along to correct errors and kept them {somewhat} patient while awaiting their turn. The picture on each page represented a part of the story which will hopefully help with recall. The reading took the entire 40 minutes, which was great for me as playtime after Children's Church can get a bit wild. Finally, the kids took their booklets home which I encouraged them to color in their spare time, thereby reinforcing the story.

What I leaned through this process is that the Easter Story, the Christmas story, etc. should be taught more frequently than just on the occasion. It was unreasonable for me to expect Stinky and Blinky to know and remember a story that they only hear once a year. So in a few months when we make the crosses, we'll reference the Easter story accomplishing just that.

Monday, March 21, 2016

He Is Risen

My sole decorative item for Easter is this chalkboard art piece in our laundry room.

Usually I decorate the yard with eggs and bunnies, but the holiday crept up on me. I simply ran out of time. But that's ok since I think this one piece is more symbolic of Easter than anything else I would have put out.

This Sunday is also my turn to teach Children's Church. I found a booklet I would like to make with the kids but it doesn't seem sufficient to fill 40 minutes. That got me hunting for simple crafts when I came across this:

I think the boys especially would enjoy making crosses out of twigs and twine. It's simple but to the point and requires absolutely zero wood working skills on my part. I figure I may even make a few with my own kids to adorn the mantle at home.
That got me hunting for other rustic Easter cross ideas. All of the pictures below are sourced from Pinterest.

If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Have a safe and very happy Easter! And remember, He is Risen!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Letter A

It seems I have a thing for the letter A. What started as a cute door hangar has grown into a mini collage wall.

My favorite is the horseshoe A I purchased at a local art show. Fun!
Can't wait to get my hands on a few more.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Wild Kratts

Over President's Day weekend, the fam and I hightailed it to Jacksonville, FL to see Wild Kratts live. It was a bit of a trek, but we missed them last year when they were in Atlanta. And since the kids are HUGE fans (see a recap of Stinky's 7th birthday party theme here), it was worth it to see them on stage before they outgrow their interest.

The event was held at the Florida Theatre which is beautiful. As we headed in, there were several interest booths set up, one of which featured snakes and skulls from the local zoo. Fun!

Pictures and videos were not only allowed, but encouraged, so I was able to capture some really awesome moments from the show.

The on-stage format was similar to that of the show, with the Kratt brothers having to stop an evil villain from endangering animals. However, they would occasionally ask for the kids' help, which was hugely popular. And of course, creature power discs were used to transform Chris and Martin into whatever animal they were depicting.
Stinky and Blinky had a great time! I was so pleased the DH and I were able to pull this off.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Life Full of Surprises

The DH and I signed girly-girl Blinky up for softball. She has no t-ball or softball experience, but at six I really felt it was important for her to get a feel for the game before she gets too old and dismisses it forever. I was totally prepared for her not to like it as much as ballet or gymnastics, and to whine a bit that she didn't know anyone on the team. But to my pleasant surprise, the little stinker got out there, armed in head-to-toe pink, and knocked my socks off.

Isn't it awesome with life dishes out pleasant surprises!