Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Wreck-It Ralph 5th Birthday

Shae has been dreaming of his Wreck-It Ralph 5th birthday for months. We randomly grabbed this Ultimate Disney Party Book at the library about six months ago. I thought it was a story book of Disney character birthdays when it was actually a party theme book. The kids poured over this book for hours planning their birthdays that, at the time, were so far away. We only ended up using two ideas from the book and then made up the rest, but I think it turned out quite well if I do say so myself.

What I really loved about this party is how Shae and I planned it together and worked together to make everything for it. We started with the gold HERO medals. Instead of writing HERO on them, we chose to write the kids names.
 He really wanted a pinata at this party. I was not willing to spend money on buying one, and couldn't come up with a good paper-mache Wreck-It Ralph idea that wouldn't drive me to my grave trying to make, so we went with this simple shoe box building idea. We filled it with discounted Christmas candy that we'd been saving specifically for this purpose and then threw some construction paper and mod podge on there and called it good.
 Darin printed off a Fix-It Felix and Ralph for us to paste on for the final touch. Nothing fancy, but I think it was all the same to the kids and super easy for me. Win win.

We started the party with some Wreck-It Ralph coloring pages that kids could work on as they arrived. We then read two Wreck-It Ralph books. 

 We were hoping to play a Pin the Wrench on the Fix-It Felix game that was in the party book, but when I took it to Staples to blow up, they said that they couldn't because of the book's copyright. Which makes sense, but was annoying as well since the book specifically says to make a photocopy and blow it up. So instead we made up some "wrecking" games. Like throwing bean bags at a tower of plastic cups.

 The cheering section.
 Then we played a coin toss game.

The HERO badge pizza was one of the ideas that we took from the book that Shae was really excited about. Although, I was kindly informed that my pepperoni star did not look like a star. Child honesty at its finest. 
  After eating pizza we made Sugar Rush candy cars. We gave each of the kids a brownie base, a bag of frosting, and a bowl of candy. I was so impressed with their creativity! The cars looked great!

 Shae's car.
  Shae never eats cake at his or anyone else's birthday parties. He is an ice cream lover all the way, so we decided to go with an ice cream cake this year. He chose chocolate and mint chocolate chip ice cream with a sugar cone crust. He helped me throw it together (easiest cake to make) and I used a bit of the extra car frosting to decorate it a little before we ate. For the first time in his life, he ate his entire piece of birthday cake.

 We ended the party with the pinata! Which lasted on the rope for all the kids to hit it twice and then they just went to work whacking it on the ground.

It was such a fun party. I loved seeing how excited Shae was to be with his friends and celebrate his special day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

December Little Things

The kids got to be in the primary nativity again, during our annual Branch Christmas Party. Belén was assigned to be a sheep, but I asked if she could be a cow again since I still had the costume from last year. Here is Shae (wise man) waiting for his turn to go up.
The cutest little cow I ever did see. I love her shy face.
The wise men dropping off their gifts.
Always so fun to watch them up there.


We easily had our coldest December here in Ithaca this year. Snowy and COLD. I mean, cold to the point where we couldn't even go out and enjoy the snow. This was one of the rare days that the sun peeked out for a few minutes and we were able to go out--for like, 20 minutes.



While Ibu was here we took a super quick trip outside to check out frozen Ithaca Falls. Someone had used all the rocks to make chairs, which the kids enjoyed.





These poor freezing souls. It was really cold. But beautiful too. 

Just snackin' on an icicle. 
It was so fun to have Ibu here to celebrate New Years Eve with us. We kept it pretty chill, which was perfect. Shae and I made up a little plan for our New Years Eve food and then chose some activities/games to include in the party. We put out all the food around 5 and then spent a couple hours having our kid friendly party. 
Getting the Bingo boards set up...
....and poor Shae not getting the blue board. 

Ibu took the kids out to pick up these party hats and M&Ms and some silly string which they fully enjoyed.
Pretty sure that one of them was cheating at this point...hard to tell who it was, but I don't think it was Belén. Cheating at Bingo. Tsk tsk.








We had our first ER kid visit during December. Poor Belén got her finger shut in one of the big metal doors at church. It was quite the bloody end to church. They were very nice at the ER and gave her a big stuffed puppy to take home after shoving her nail bed back in to place, pushing the nail back down and stitching it in to place.

She was such a brave little girl. 
A big bandaged finger couldn't stop her mischief.
She did a great job taking baths with her finger on her head so it wouldn't get wet (sleeping was a bit harder for the first few days).

Shae learned how to make snowflakes and worked on them nonstop for a few weeks.
We went to a really cool live nativity in Trumansburg one Saturday evening before Christmas. They gave us a CD as we pulled in and had explanations of each different spot. At the end of the loop we gave them back the CD and they gave us cookies. The kids liked it so much that we did the loop twice. 


Some adorable toddler school dress up.
There was a week in December where Shae was always walking around with a note pad and pencil making his McDonalds menu. He would ask us what we wanted to order and then give us a paper with our order number on it. He even held on to it while watching tv, and of course Belén had to follow suit.
I loved going to Shae's school Christmas party with him. Belén was sick that day and stayed home with daddy. While I know she would have loved to go too, it was kind of special to just be able to focus on him and really enjoy singing Christmas songs with him and what not.
FHE before Christmas, making our presents for Jesus for the next year. 

We did FHE in a fort that night. The way Shae would do it every week if he had his way. The kids were enjoying their pudding pop snack:
Loved this book. It went along perfectly with our FHE that night.
My sweet friend Thao made hats and scarves for the kids for Christmas. 


We spent a couple days at my parents house before Christmas. Shae really wanted to make gingerbread men (more specifically, Gingerbread pirates, from one of his favorite Christmas picture books--The Gingerbread Pirates). 




A couple of the pirates that we saved for Santa (or Sinterklaas as Shae started calling him after reading A World of Cookies for Santa. That is what they call him in Indonesia).
The kids loved getting to open a few presents from their grandparents and Philip before the actual day of Christmas. They got some really great presents! Shae was especially excited about his set of lego people and paper airplane book and Belén loved her doll and shopping cart. 



So sweet to see Belén brushing Ibu's hair one afternoon. 

This Christmas present from cousin Rylan was a huge hit! The kids loved it so much that I couldn't help but grab another set when we saw it on a great after-Christmas sale at the Bon Ton. Now we can build even bigger things!




We finally went on our ice skating date!! We planned this date 2 years ago, and then the night before Darin crazy sprained his ankle. It was so fun to do something new with Darin. I haven't ice skated since college and he never has before, so it was totally outside our comfort zones, but a blast nonetheless. 

He's a quick learner.


First Belén selfies that I have discovered on my phone. I love these so much.

Belén's first distinguishable drawing. It's me and her. Cue my heart melting? 

Speaking of melting...it was SO cold for a few weeks in December (teen temperatures were high during that period). One day when I tried to lift the kids black-out blanket up, I couldn't because it was frozen to the window! The window was totally iced over and I ended up having to cut some of the yarn off the blanket because it was so stuck.