Friday, December 20, 2013

Kids' Christmas Craft Party 2013

We are so excited for our party today!!

My kids' annual Kids' Christmas Craft Party is this afternoon! We have 20 some kids coming,
three craft stations, including this one for these yarn stars:
 and a treat station which includes making edible marshmallow snowmen on a stick! :-)
 Plus, games, prizes and a white elephant exchange - WooHoo! Let's party!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Please Pray for Saeed

December 4th is a day those of us with a "platform" have been asked to join together in support of American Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran for being a Christian.
Please visit this Facebook page for more information: "Free Saeed", or read this letter written by his wife. Thank you for indulging me with this diversion from the usual postings on my blog.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fill a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

It's that time of year!

I know there are so many wonderful charities and organizations doing great work out there. Just wanted to mention one in particular that helps my kids as we set a tone of sharing for the Thanksgiving & Christmas season. They really get into packing a shoebox for a child of their age as a Christmas gift.
Operation Christmas Child sends millions of shoeboxes, filled with toys, school supplies and toiletry items to needy kids around the world. Collection week begins today. If you'd like more information, please visit Samaritan's Purse.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanksgiving Paper Craft - Indian Corn for Fall

In a festive fall mood the other day, the kids and I did some paper crafting:
 Indian corn! We used orange, brown and burgundy heavy tissue papers:
The kids glued the "corn kernel" papers onto brown cardboard using pencil ends, topped each with shredded and wrinkled tassels and completed the project with a ribbon bow.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rubik's Cube Birthday Party - Part 2

If one of your kids or family members are in a Rubik's Cube phase, here are some more ideas from my son's recent birthday party. (for the cake and other party ideas see my first party post here.)
 The centerpiece of the fiesta was this homemade pinata I made.
Assorted Rubik's Cube puzzles decorated the lunch table:
Paper cubes that coordinated with the invites hung from the lights:
 The first activity after my son's kids arrived was a contest to melt a frozen popsicle the fastest. Here's a group of them holding theirs against the hot patio:
 And first place goes to:
Next we formed two teams and did a relay of filling a bucket using a sponge and water:
Then we were ready to jump in the pool for more racing games:
WooHoo!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Roses on Display

The cool air of September is making my rose bushes bloom magnificently! We had to steal a vaseful from the hidden sides to bring indoors to enjoy.

A shallow rustic candle vase is transformed with a bit of brown and pink satin ribbon. Mmmmmm - they smell fabulous!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Free Printable: Apothecary Bottle Label

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."  ~ Proverb 17:22
Beautiful vintage art of blue hydrangeas accents an uplifting Bible verse. I printed this on glossy label paper, cut out with a scalloped edge scissors and adhered to an aqua colored glass apothecary bottle.
Feel free to download and print this art for your own use. Enjoy!
apothecary bottle labe

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rubik's Cube Boy Birthday Party!

We recently celebrated my son's 7th birthday with a colorful Rubik's Cube themed kid party.
He LOVED his cube cake! It was really easy to make, but all the kids were "wow'd" by it! Stack four square strawberry and cherry cake layers to create the cube shape. (I didn't even bother to level it into a "perfect" cube.) Frost with chocolate and spray black.
Then simply sort out M&M's by color and set into your pattern of choice. Here's a photo of the cake table. The Rubik's Cube birthday cake is surrounded by the kids' favors.
The 2x2 Rubik's Cube thank you gifts for the boys:
 Personalized drinks for the kids:
 More birthday party fun next time!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Fun Recipe - Fairy Fudge

Ahhhhh! Summer!! My favorite season! Lots of time for relaxing, swimming, reading, biking and playing. Also, the kids and I are taking advantage of our free time to create, explore, discover and experiment. We tried a recipe in my daughter's Usborne Fairy Cooking book this week:

PRETTY FAIRY FUDGE
They both loved it - tastes like frosting! :-) Since this recipe is already readily available online, I'll post our version but it is ©Rebecca Gilpin and Catherine Atkinson. The book is really cute and from Scholastic, so support your school when it's back in session or your local Usborne rep and check out this neat kids' cookbook!

Ingredients:
• 16 oz. powdered sugar
• 4 oz. large marshmallows
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
• food colouring
• small cutters
• small sweets for decorating

Instructions:
1. Sift sugar through a sieve into a large bowl. Make a small hollow in the middle of the sugar with a spoon.
2. Using clean scissors, cut the marshmallows in half and put them in a small pan. Add the milk, butter and vanilla
3. Gently heat the pan. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until everything has just melted.
4. Pour the mixture into  the hollow of the sugar. Mix everything together until it is smooth, then mix in a drop of food colouring

5. Leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then make it into a flattened round shape. Then, wrap it in plastic food wrap
6. Put the fudge mixture in a fridge for three hours to go firm. Then, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on a clean work surface.
7. Roll out the fudge with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Then, use the cutters to cut out lots of shapes
8. Squeeze the scraps into a ball, then roll out the ball and cut out more shapes. Then, decorate each shape with a sweet
Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July America!!

Celebrating our freedoms today!
My daughter was inspired to create her own float after viewing our town's parade this morning ... and my son contributed to our red, white and blue patriotic decorating at home with his abundance of Legos:
Happy Independence Day to all in the U.S!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Fun - Around the World

My kids and I just began a summer travel adventure around the WORLD!! All from the comfort and convenience of our living room! :-) When we recently sat down to read the latest issue of Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Jr. we discovered this neat summer idea already put together for us!
You can go to Thriving Family and get your own map, passport and travel guide to print out to do this with your own kids. (We also discovered that MY subscription to Thriving Family actually contains the fold-out map ... which I'd probably have noticed had I been up-to-date on my own reading.)
Anyhoo, the idea is you read about different countries all around the world, a biblical application, activity idea and prayer for the people of that region. Then the kids can put the applicable stamp in their passport book. We printed out the travel guide and made each child their own passport. I printed the custom stamps on label paper, so they can really stick them in their booklet. 
The kids first find the country and put their "plane" on it, then we read the very short "guide." Look up the Bible verse and do an activity. Then we find an actual travel video on YouTube so they can get a great idea of what the country is really like. Then we say a little prayer for the people in that country. (Also, since we started late, we're doing one country a day, instead of how they have it spread over two.) Visit the Thriving Family website to check it out and take your kids on a worldwide mission trip!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fashion Barbie Aqua Zebra Stripe 8 Year Old Girl Birthday Party! (part 2)

The Fashion Party fun continues! The table is prepped for the first craft activity:
 
The girls got to create a work of art to take home! I painted a sample canvas using the dress art on the birthday party invitation as our model:
I cut out a dress form template so each girl could trace the dress outline onto their canvas as a starting point. I went around and sketched the hanger for those who wished.
Then each little artist designed their own fashion using acrylic paint, glitter glue paints and gel tube paints.

We offered buttons, mini silk flowers and ribbons to embellish their art masterpiece as they liked.
While the last artists finished their dress fashions, we sent the girls out to jump on the tramp. When all were done, I told them they could hunt for blue eggs hidden around the yard. They all contained little zebra striped candy mints and a couple had other prizes:
Meanwhile, we cleaned up the paints and readies the table for the next activity: bottle cap jewelry:
I had bought a kit so it was really easy. Just pass out the supplies and everyone could make at least two items of bracelet, necklace or earrings. We then moved on to the snacks and cupcakes.  Next up was opening gifts, followed by Fashion Bingo!
I threw together these bingo pages the night before when we thought it might be too windy to swim, but was pleased with how they came out.
Mini-marshmallows were a fun marking item:
The prizes were "the latest" fashion accessories! :-) Assorted animal print hair bands.
To see the fashion party decorations, zebra-striped theme accessories, birthday cake and snack foods visit the first post Fashion Barbie Aqua Zebra Stripe 8 Year Old Girl Birthday Party!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fashion Barbie Aqua Zebra Stripe 8 Year Old Girl Birthday Party!

My daughter recently celebrated her 8th birthday – playing and creating with 8 sweet friends. She chose a festive aqua and zebra stripe color theme for her "Barbie Fashion" birthday party!
We gave her this dress form jewelry holder for an early gift / party decoration. She decorated it, the coffee table and mantel herself and was SO excited! We used aqua tulle, silver disco balls and turquoise and zebra stripe napkins liberally. A name banner made from large printed letters in aqua and zebra stripe and strung with shimmery aqua ribbon hung below the mantel display.
 Here's the invitation on which I sketched a dress for our theme:
Personalized water bottles are a long-time staple at all our parties:
 
The turquoise frosted cake is accented with zebra striped sugar paper cut into a strip to wrap around the cake side. Elegant pearls create a simple embellished top.
 Cupcakes with [again] store-bought zebra stripe sugar cake decorations:
Plates and napkins carry out the color scheme:
We took a break midway through our activities for treats:
Birthday girl chose her favorite fruits: strawberries, kiwi and Cuties [sweet mandarin oranges]; and favorite snacks: Chex snack mix, homemade Puppy Chow [chocolate peanut butter Crispix] and Cheetoh Puffs. And heart-shaped sandwiches:
Teal candy sticks were a parting "Thank You" favor for the 8 girls.
We played fashion themed games and the girls sure got their artsy craft on, too! I'll post those photos next time so this one doesn't get too long. [Note: the stores all have TONS of zebra stripe stuff right now!]
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