Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Lunch and Photos

Miss B is getting old my friends...which means I'm getting even older! Yikes.  For her upcoming birthday, I took her and her good friend to lunch at one of our very favorite Vietnamese restaurants.  It was delicious as usual.  Afterward, we wandered around the quaint neighborhood, enjoying the many thrift, antique and boutique shops.  We browsed and found some very pretty little spots in the area and ended up having an impromptu photo session.  We couldn't help ourselves with the luscious green we found.  'Twas very fun taking overly dramatic pictures followed by lots of laughing...especially when I had to bend way over and/or crouch with my baby belly. :)

Next year this beauty of mine will be driving and dating.  I have no words.  I don't know what happened to my sassy toddler who loved Dora, tea parties and lizards (well she still likes two out of three of those).  She is turning into a beautiful (and still sassy) young woman.  She knows who she is and isn't afraid to speak her mind.  I love watching her create things, play with her brothers and laugh.  When I pulled up these photos, I almost couldn't look at them...she looks so much older, it's almost impossible.  Luckily, I get a new baby to hold right?!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for my first beautiful baby.  It will be amazing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Knight in Shining Armor

This guy has been a rock star, a knight in shining armor, my hero etc. etc.  It is no secret that this pregnancy has hit me hard.  My excellent hubby has picked up the slack big time.  He has done 90% of the grocery shopping and dinner-cooking for the past 5-6 months.  Not to mention keeping the house stocked with special foods for me and making late night runs to the store for medicine or whatever it is I might need/want at the moment.  He did most of the school clothes and supplies shopping, fills up my gas tank, puts kids to bed every night, and on and on (including listening to my whining and pity parties).  He gets a little shy of being on the blog, but I really wanted to send him a giant public thank you!  I really don't know what I would have done without him stepping up and taking over a lot of my typical mom duties.  It's good to have him around. :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon Birthday Party

Q decided on a How to Train Your Dragon Party.  He loves the movies (well we all do), and so he's been really excited about planning the whole thing.

I love themed parties, but I also like to be pretty simple and frugal and use what I have or can make. I like to focus most of my efforts on the party activities and some reasonable food items (not too much candy).  I found these awesome banners and used them for decoration, gathered up some leftover burlap and a muslin drop cloth for a table cloth and some rustic bowls and containers for the food. I also used some chalkboard paper for the Dragon 101 sign.  That stuff is so versatile and fun, I quite enjoy having it around.

The cake turned out much better than I had anticipated.  Q and I decided on a dragon arena and I found a tutorial for fudge rocks here.  They were super simple and turned out so great and realistic.  I was just going to add a few, but they looked so awesome, I decided to add more and stagger them with the pirouette "logs".  We used chocolate covered pretzels for a fence and some yummy chocolate butter cream frosting for the dirt. I grabbed a few How to Train Your Dragon figurines from Target for the top of the cake.

We served bugles (Dragon Talons), grapes (Dragon Eggs), pretzel rods (Gobber's Peg Leg), hot dog viking ships and goldfish (Dragon Feed) for dinner.  They ate dinner in old tin pie plates that I've collected.

For invites, I just printed on brown kraft paper, burned the edges and rolled them into scrolls.  I love how they turned out and how simple they were...also now I am wishing I burned the edges of the food labels (curses).

I really wanted to incorporate the sheep into this party, because they are hilarious in the movies.  I found this tutorial for a simple catapult and then thought and thought about how I could make sheep.  I finally just used cotton balls, cut out faces and ears from black paper and used googly eyes.  They turned out great!  So for one of our activities, we handed each kid their own catapult and two sheep (we threw two black sheep in the mix for fun).  They had to try to catapult their sheep into the basket.  You can't see in the picture but the sheep sit in a water bottle cap that's glued to the top of the catapult.

We had a simple obstacle course outside and then they had to find a dragon egg hidden in the yard.  Mr. C and Dennis dressed up in their Viking gear from last Halloween and directed the activities.  They were awesome helpers!  Q dressed as Toothless but took off his wings and tail right away.  

I was going to send the dragon eggs home as favors, but we decided to break them open right then and there and it was so much fun! I am so glad we did.  The kids' faces were priceless.  We made them following this tutorial.  I bought the small plastic dragons at Michaels with a coupon.  To break them open, the kids had to throw them at the block wall a few times and then kind of dig the dragons out.  They LOVED it.

So after completing a dragon training obstacle course for agility, hatching a dragon egg (patience) and testing their catapult aim (precision), they each earned their own stuffed dragon (that I found on eBay for a great price).  Which they loved!  We sent them home with their new pet dragon, the dragon they hatched from an egg, their catapult and two sheep, a cardboard shield and some gummy fish (dragon food). 

Q helped me every step of the way with the planning and production...he was so very excited about it.  I think I created a party monster! :)  He also got his "6" candle that his little heart desired.  Happy Birthday to my creative, school-loving, loud, energetic, full-of-life six year old!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Baby and a Handmade Quilt

I had a very quick session with this little lady the other night to show off her pretty blessing dress.  She is growing up so fast, I can't believe it.  I'm glad we finally snapped these photos, because the insane weather and sick kids have kept us rescheduling for quite awhile.  But I think it was worth the wait, because I found a beautiful little spot and some gorgeous light... and mix that with a sweetheart on a quilt her mom made years ago and you have a perfect combination.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple Picking In The Desert

On Saturday, the kids and I decided to go apple picking.  Dear dad was gone for the weekend, but we didn't want to miss our window of opportunity, so we weighed our options and ultimately decided to go without him.  It was only 90* which was good...toasty but not insanely miserable.  We packed some snacks, waters and sunscreen and headed out.  

Once we got to Date Creek Ranch, we grabbed a wheelbarrow and fruit picker (is that what they're called?) and started out on our adventure.

We lost Miss B for awhile when she went to find some tissue (her allergies were giving her fits).  She never came back and we finally found her as we were heading back.  Poor lost soul had searched the orchard over...even though we were basically in the same location the whole time! I am glad we found her though. :)

Here's the belly at about 28 weeks...things are moving along.  I was quite proud of myself for attempting this adventure alone.  As I have mentioned, this pregnancy hasn't been the easiest on me, but I was so so tired of not doing much and I decided to give it a whirl. I have missed adventuring!  I LOVED taking pictures of everything, as I haven't done much of that lately either.  It was a giant breath of fresh air for me to get out and conquer!

Luckily I have a lot of boys...especially Mr. C for all of the heavy lifting, tricky wheelbarrow maneuvering and stuff like that.  It's nice to have a strong older boy around.

When we had picked our fill (and found Miss B) we headed back, weighed and paid for our fruit and then enjoyed a wonderfully organic bratwurst and some snow cones at the barbecue that was being held at the orchard.  It was delightful and Mr. C thought he was in bratwurst heaven.

Then we went home and made Apple Crisp.  Perfection in a day. Now for the weather to cool down, so we can have a REAL fall atmosphere. :)

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