Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Life as a Jedi

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Sometimes you just embrace what they love, and you make it your own (or at least you try!).  Bradley has been in love with Star Wars for as long as I can remember now!  He has watched the movies multiple and any trip to the library will bring back two to three different Star Wars books.  Chris and I have read the entire series over and over again.  What better way to celebrate turning seven than with a Jedi Training Party?!

Bradley actually helped me plan the entire party.  He helped to pick out the invites, the activities and even the party food.  I think he is starting to like Pinterest as much as I do!  We would just search for “star wars party food” and sit there in awe of how awesome and creative people are.  Bradley would pick out the food he wanted and we were done! 

Bradley’s big present this year was getting a bedroom makeover (more to come on that).  So the morning of his birthday he actually got two smaller gifts from us, the more recent Star Wars movies, and a Star Wars figurine set.

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After he watched one of the movies we set up the house for the party!  As each child came over they received “Jedi Training Badges.”  Each badge had their “Jedi” name, which was actually their name spelled backwards.  They thought this was hilarious!  I found the badges on Etsy of course!  Bradley helped me come up with all of the Jedi training activities:

1.  Attach the helmet to the Clone Trooper

2. Build a Star fighter

3. Complete Light Saber Training

4. Help the Jedi Escape from the Manaan Planet

5.  Test Your Force Game

6. Save Han Solo from the Planet Hoth

7. Destroy the Death Star

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We started with “make a star fighter.”  Bradley made a model star fighter and then we made little boxes for each child with the pieces inside to make their own.  That way as children came to the party they could work freely until everyone arrived.  Kids got really creative with this activity!  I also provided a large bowl with Bradley’s Star Wars figures for kids to use after their planes were complete!

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Next was “Pin the Helmet on the Storm Trooper”  I really don’t know squat about Star Wars.  I drew a large picture of a Cone Troopers body, but on accident made Storm Trooper helmets to tape on.  The kids thought this was hilarious that I mixed up the two troopers.

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Then we split up into two groups: some kiddos headed to one area of the basement for Light Saber Training.  I made Light Sabers out of pool noodles cut in half and duct tape.  Then I got balloons blown up from the store and attached them to weights on the ground.  We pretty much let the kids go for it and they didn’t disappoint!  You better watch out!!!!!!

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Then the other group headed into the preschool art studio space for some sticky fun.  One of the planets in Star Wars is the Manaan Planet.  I made a humongous batch of blue gak and then we hid a bunch of Lego men inside of the gak for the children to dig through and find.

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I think the big kids had just as much fun as my preschoolers playing with and exploring the Gak!

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The next activity we did were getting Hans Solo from the Hoth Planet.  I printed out pictures of Hans Solo and laminated them.  Then I froze the pictures in pie tins with Green colored water.  The kids worked two at a time with little chisels to free him from the Frozen Planet!

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We then tested our force!  Bradley came up with this activity all by himself.  I printed pictures of all of the Star Wars Lego characters.  A child would come up and pull out a picture and describe the character without saying their name.  It was his own Star Wars version of 20 questions.  They each tried to guess the character and then the winner took a turn describing the person.

Here is everyone gathered around for the game.

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Bradley demonstrated and went first for the Test Your Force Game, love their seriousness! 

I love that he wanted such a big boy party, but wasn’t too big to dress up as Anakin for the party, and that his has a wrist full of rainbow loom bracelets that he made himself!  Love this boy!

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Then we headed upstairs for some Star Wars party food.  We had…

Pretzel Rod Light Sabers

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Yoda Soda: Lime Sherbert and Sprite mixed together (big hit!!)

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Princess Leah Rolls (cinnamon buns) and Wookie Cookies (Oreo cookies)

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Jar Jar Links in a Blanket (pigs in a blanket)

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Death Star Donuts (Chocolate Donuts)

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We also had:

Droid Parts (Chex Mix)

Padawan Popcorn (just plain old popcorn)

Jedi Juice (juice boxes)

Vatorade (Gatorade)

The kids were so cute, they really embraced the names of the Star Wars food.  They would come back to request more “Yoda Soda” or “Vatorade.”  It just made me smile!

The last part of the party was knocking down the Death Star PiƱata.  Bradley and I started working on this thing about a month ago. I found the directions online to make it from scratch.  We bought a beach ball at the dollar store and started putting layers of paper mache on it.  I was so worried that it would crack open on the first hit that we put five layers of paper mache on this thing!  Well it ended up a lot stronger than we had anticipated!!

Once we got the paper mache finished and dried we cut out a circle and pulled out the beach ball from the inside.  Then I painted it with silver/gray craft paint and filled it up with candy.

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I added a rope to hang it up and then sealed up the hole with silver duct tape.  The last stage was glitter, lots and lots of black glitter.

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Our plan worked!  We couldn’t get this thing to bust open!  The good part was that everyone got a turn to hit it down.  The bad part was that the fishing line gave way and the Death Star ended up hitting Ellie in the head.  Whoops!  Next time a think three layers will suffice.

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It finally did break open after we let the kids wack it on the floor with a whiffle bat.  I think they liked destroying the Death Star the best of all!

Everyone left with little finger flashlights and their own container of Star Wars Galaxy Goo!

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I love you so much Bradley Boo!!  Please don’t grow up too quickly!  7 is just too close to 10 for me!!!  Love, your star wars wannabe mama

Monday, December 9, 2013

Girls Dream Getaway

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A few weeks ago…oh back in October I got to get away for a long weekend to the this beautiful place!!  We made a long trek to Hilton Head Island for a long overdue sorority reunion!  One my old housemates and close friends started up a group on facebook that was interested in going on a reunion.  After generating interest, Retta sent out a survey to help narrow down the location and ideas for what people would want to do on the trip.  It was so fun to see the whole trip come together thanks to Retta’s hard work. 

She blocked off our rooms, booked yoga on the beach, spa treatments, the works!  It really was such a great break and treat for all of us, but especially the mommies who are so busy.

Here we are all dressed up before dinner on Saturday night.  My neck looks like a giraffe neck, but anyway it is the best picture I have of the whole gang!

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When do you get to dine out with your girl friends, breakfast, lunch, and dinner?  Hanging out by the beach and the pool all day wasn’t so bad either!  Getting to see everyone and talk was truly priceless.  Some of these girls I haven’t been able to catch up with since college.  It felt like a million years had gone by, but also that nothing had changed at all.  My roommates and I stayed up until all hours of the morning talking and laughing.  You just didn’t want to sleep when you had so much to share and hear from people that had seen you through your most formative years. 

These girls are some of my favs from college!  Retta on the left was a pledge sister, and Ginny on the right is her real little sister and my sorority little sister.  If you followed all of that you must be a greek…

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Somehow the single women in the group met up with a group of golfers.  So, after dinner we headed to a real “hole in the wall” for beer pong action and a serious round of flip cup.  I guess we really thought we were 19 again…sigh!

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It was fun while it lasted!  I would love to go back in time and visit school again, just for a week.  I want to really embrace the feeling of no worries or responsibilities except studying and getting my butt to class on time.  Don’t you miss that part of it?  Love, Clare

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

I’m All Mixed Up

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Wow! It is really bad when you are posting about Halloween in December!  But, I am determined to catch up, this week or next on all of the fun things we have been up to!  Starting with a quick little look at my sweet children trick or treating! 

I kept things simple for Grace with her costume.  She absolutely LOVES Dora!  I looked around for a costume, but they were all $40 for a little t-shirt and a pair of shorts??!  Really!  I bought this Dora outfit for $13 and then I bought her a Dora backpack complete with some sweet Dora, Swiper, and Boots beanie babies.  I think she liked it?!

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She thought that Boots should hide out in the pumpkin for a bit, then she took him out to tell him that the pumpkin isn’t a good place for boots of course!

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Belle joined the party and was all about her costume and the whole idea of trick or treating this year!  She was all business.  Ellie marched my Dad and I around the neighborhood, house after house, long after Grace and Bradley had given up on candy.  I couldn’t believe her stamina!  Love this little lady!

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Ellie greeting her sweet friend Maya at the neighborhood Halloween party.  They were discussing dresses!

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This sweet little one was Anakin Skywalker.  Poor thing didn’t feel well and was fighting a terrible cough and cold.  Bradley didn’t want to stay home though, he joined us for the party and went to a few houses.  He had a great time handing out candy though too!

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The kids wanted to surprise Gigi and Pop Pop and trick or treat at our own house!  My parents came over to hand out candy and see the kids!  It was a fun night at our house this year. 

We just made a trip to our little apple orchard and pumpkin patch this year by our house.  The weekends were busy for some reason and we didn’t get a chance to go to the big pumpkin patch by my sister’s house that we adore.  It was still a gorgeous view and the kids loved picking the very best pumpkin!

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These two photos might be some of my favorites from this year!  Bradley’s sweet smile in the wagon!  I love that he is almost seven, but still willing to ride in a wagon with his baby sister.  I wish I could just package his sweet spirit sometimes, it is contagious!  Then the picture below is just amazing, my family, in one of my favorite places to visit, with the mountains in the background, life is good!

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Compared with the photos above, when I try to stage a good photo, this is what I get!  Come on little ones, just ONE picture of everyone looking at the camera and smiling!  This is my life right now for sure!

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Love these three so much!! Now stay with me, I’ll be back soon to talk about other happenings, I promise!