Thursday, April 30

Finley's Lego Police Party

Finley requested a Lego Police Party for his birthday this year--he slowly added that it also needed to have science experiments and Star Wars... but I managed to keep him focused on Lego Police.

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This party was thrown together a lot quicker than Braden's--due to Keaton getting tubes and a last minute flight out of town, I didn't have much time to plan. It ended up looking a lot like the boys' parties from last year... and reusing a few elements of Braden's party. To be honest--I had a lot of stuff we didn't even get to use. We decided reusing Braden's donut pinata was acceptable... but we forgot to put it out. And I had a lot of decor from lats years black and white Batman party that never went up. Whoops! My number one party tip--don't do it all yourself. If you want a fancy party and want it to be photographed well, you need a partner. Thank God Jenn is moving back to Texas in a month!

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I do looove this dessert table. I made the same veggie cups as from Braden's 1st Mustache Bash--and the same hug pretzels that we used last year. Those are always a hit! As were the lego brick juice boxes.

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The cake was a storebought white cake that I threw some candy and printables on and called it a day! I love the way it turned out and think it looks adorable in front of the lego brick backdrop.

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Black and white donuts... oreos... quick and easy food matching the color palette that looks cute in a tower. Yellow and blue were the other main colors--pineapple and blueberry fruit salad helped add a bit of nutrition to the spread.

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Normally my favorite thing is setting a table for the kids to sit at... but I didn't quite have enough time to fully execute my Lego Police centerpiece. The kids had lots of fun playing with it! And I continue to love these plates from Zazzle--Finley was thrilled with them!

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We got hats, handcuffs and badges for all our little crimefighters to play with--and they all got fingerprinted when they arrived. That didn't make a ton of sense since they were supposed to be police officers and not criminals... but they didn't question my logic too much.

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It was too windy to have the candles stay lit for more than a few seconds, so the cake part of the party was somewhat anticlimactic.

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Apparently one of the things that comes with being six is making questionable choices--like repeatedly sticking his head in his cake. Oh dear.

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I meant for this activity to be done at Braden's party but we ran out of time... so our little police officers ate donuts while handcuffed! They thought it was super funny--although most of the donuts broke and fell off after a few bites.

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Recognize the truck? Yep, it's the donut truck. I slapped some more paint on it so we could get a little more use out of it! Our other activities were hunting for robbers (ping pong balls illustrated by Sol) and disarming bombs (black balloons!) 15 balloons was NOT enough.

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All the kids enjoyed pinning the mask on the robber! Finley nailed it on his first try--after that my bandanna tying skills improved!

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I'm so glad we have all these sweet pictures of Finley with his pals! They were a bunch of crazy kindergartners--and Finley had a blast. When I asked him what his favorite part of his party was--he said when Riley came. So clearly, he appreciated my efforts. :)

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Braden and Keaton had a blast too! Keaton loved to have his picture taken on the wall--anytime someone went over to it, he tried to go lean on it too. So big. And you can see Finley was elated to take pictures with his brothers!

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We got a decent picture in the truck--the boys were getting pretty tired by this point.

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Sol was not too tired to take a picture with me! He's such a trooper--willingly moving things around and only pointing out that I'm ridiculous a few times.

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Monday, April 20

Braden's Donut Truck Party

When I asked Braden what kind of birthday party he wanted to have he (of course) said he wanted a donut party. This is, after all, the boy who wanted to be Cinnamon Toast Crunch for Halloween.

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So we had a donut party. I found a cute donut truck image on Etsy that became the inspiration and started planning different donut themed treats. It was a very sugar and carb heavy party!

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I custom printed some fabric with donuts on it that my neighbor embroidered on to his shirt and found these little paper hats I embellished with some printables--and we were ready to start selling donuts.

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Since we couldn't have an actual donut truck (they certainly don't exist in Beaumont!) I constructed this PVC pipe awning to be a stand in. If anyone asked at the party, I proudly told them I made it ALL BY MYSELF after the man at Home Depot cut all the PVC pipe.

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I tried to have a few breakfasty type treats (pancake kabobs, fruit) to break up the plates of SUGAR. But it was hard. I commissioned a local macaron baker to make cute donut macarons and they were a big hit! And they were adorable. I ordered a large custom mix of sprinkles that matched the party and gave her a little baggie of them to sprinkle on top.

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The cake was probably my favorite part--it was so simple to make! And so cute. I think this may have been my first party without cupcakes--but we certainly didn't miss them!

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Have you heard of fairy bread? It's an Australian treat--bread with nutella and covered in sprinkles! I cut mine into donut shapes and snacked on it for several days after the party. I love making towers out of storebought treats that take up a lot of visual space but are cheap and don't take any time to make--so donut towers! I think I singlehandedly ate all the chocolate donuts. And Victoria (of course) made her famous sugar cookies in donut shapes. I served the extras the next day at bible study and everyone was literally in awe of their deliciousness.

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Seriously, the cake and the bunting. It was my fave. I sent Vic a picture of the cake mid sprinkle to have her help me not go overboard. I tend to go overboard.

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The cute little kids table was my favorite part. I normally buy the boys a melamine plate to match the party--but we have a TON of melamine plates, so I opted to print paper ones this time and LOVED them! They were so cute and made the table look even more coordinated.

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And another donut tower as the centerpiece. The donut shop didn't bat an eye when I asked them to make my batch of white sprinkle donuts with my custom colors.

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Braden was so excited about all parts of his party--when he came down in the morning he said, "WOW! WOW!" and was thrilled. Mission accomplished. It just made my heart so happy to see him enjoying everything so much!

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Coloring walls are another of my cheap, large visual impact faves. This one was $4.78 at the UPS Store--it served as a wall decoration until we were ready to color it!

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The balloons (while still one of my favorite parts) were a bit of a fail... I bought them last thing Friday night to paint them and by Saturday morning they'd lost just enough helium that the added weight from the pain made them all droop forwards. I wouldn't have had time to do them Saturday morning--so it was good enough!

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I was so thrilled with how this donut pinata turned out! I was dreading making it--but once I got started it was way easier and more impressive than I thought! Not to mention free--I already had everything on hand! We were a little worried it was too well constructed to actually break--but it did! And the kids all grabbed leftover Easter candy. #resourcefulness

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I think everyone's favorite activity was decorating the donuts! The birthday boy ended up just eating spoonfuls of candy. And I let him.

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I tried to get a picture of all the kids with the donut truck... but that was like taking a picture of a bunch of animals. Literally. Still love the picture, even though I think only two kids looked at the camera! You may see this truck show back up next week as a Police truck... if I find some time to paint!

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Happy birthday Braden! I hope you come down from your sugar high soon. You are just as sweet as all the donuts.

Friday, April 10

Easter 2015

Easter accidentally snuck up on us this year. I kept reminding myself to start our Resurrection Eggs 12 days before Easter... but I miscounted and was a week off. Oh well.

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We had Braden and Keaton's pals over to dye eggs and grill out--and the kids had a blast. We dyed eggs, made resurrection rolls and ate hot dogs with much zeal.

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All three of the boys had Easter eggs hunt the Thursday before Easter--pretty much all at the same time. I went with Braden and Keaton and Sol went with Finley. Braden had fun--he collected his eggs very slowly and deliberately. I was a class act mom and couldn't find an Easter baskets--so the boys all brought Halloween buckets. No one seemed to mind... but I felt a little ridiculous next to all the kids with their fancy embroidered baskets.

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I wasn't sure Keaton would know what to do with the eggs--but he did! The babies either collected the eggs or they would crack the first one open and be finished. He got quite a few and was so delighted with himself! Then all the babies went back to the classroom for cookies.

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On Easter Sunday, we hunted for eggs in the backyard with our neighbor, Sophie. We recycled all the eggs from the previous egg hunts... no one needed more sugar. And--spoiler alert--the candy is going to be recycled again in Braden's birthday pinata tomorrow.

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We managed to take a decent picture in the drizzle after church--I wore the dress from my rehearsal dinner and managed to fit a small bump in there with me. Happy Easter to all!

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Monday, April 6

Last Day at Disney

Sol managed to make it back for our last day--we took our little ducks to Animal Kingdom for the morning then took a break before heading to Magic Kingdom for the evening. I was exhausted from 8 days of Disney magic... but Sol was ready to go. :) Lunch at Tusker House is probably my favorite character meal. You get to meet the Fab 5 (except not Minnie this time!) and the food is really good. Daisy and Donald appropriately fussed over my little ducks.

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Those kids are skinny. Someone needs to throw them a loaf of bread.

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Disney might be the magic that can occasionally get my kids to take a decent picture.

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Castle picture! I need to figure our some way to get the Disney photographers to pay attention to what's in focus--90% of the time they focus on the castle instead of us. Even when I manually select the focal points. Grr.

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Enchanted Tales with Belle is so fun--Finley loves it even though it's about a princess. The kids all get cast as roles (he's normally Maurice or Chip) but this time he was committed to being the Beast. He practiced his roar in line and we kept gently reminding him he may not get to be the Beast... but lo and behold, he did. This video is actually from a previous day--so its super long because I wanted to make sure Sol could see his son's theatrical debut.

Considering my children don't like Toy Story... they were awfully excited to see Buzz. I mean, he is a cool guy. He can fly. We stuck around to see the Electrical Parade and the show they project on the castle--which really was amazing. Sol really wants to squeeze in one more trip before our Annual Passes expire in November... and I really want a nap.

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Thursday, April 2

Epcot and Animal Kingdom

Epcot gets a bad rap--its maybe my second favorite park, and the kids always seem to love it too. Our Epcot day happened to be Cory's birthday--and we kept telling him we had a special birthday lunch planned. And we did--with princesses! We were a little boy heavy to full appreciate the princesses--but the food was so good and all the moms liked seeing them... and that's what really matters. Poor Edmund was having a rough day and spent the entire meal sleeping on the floor. No princesses for him.

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We tried real hard to get a picture of the kids in their Target Mickey shirts. It was hot and sunny.

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We were at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Show--and while we missed a lot of the fun things they had set up, we did spend some time at one of the parks they had brought in for the event. It was a really cute park--with chairs for the parents and rocks for the kids to jump off of. In typical kid fashion--we take them to a park with fast rides and fun shows--and they have a blast jumping off stuff and drinking from a water fountain.

Animal Kingdom was our shortest day--we did the Safari, the Lion King show, the Dinosaur ride and the grown ups went on Mt. Everest. Our main goal at Animal Kingdom is always to meet Russell and Dug--and this was one of our favorite meetings. I love how they fuss over the boys! And Dug showed them his toys and pretend squirrel. I tried to coach Finley on his character interactions by brainstorming questions to ask them--he asked Russell where Mr. Frederickson and Kevin were... his answers were pantomimed "sleeping" and "babies."

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I love that they'll still all dress up--even if Keaton refuses to wear the hat that matches his outfit. I'm guessing these days are numbered.

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