Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mommy School - A Little Computer Fun

Lets be honest.  I've let myself off the hook and am no longer pushing the school stuff but rather moving with the flow of what my kids want to do and on Wednesday, I introduced a computer game to Josh.

To say that he loved it would be an understatement.  He played the "fish" game all day long off and on and he would just laugh and laugh when it made sounds. The CD is Charlie the Church Mouse - Preschool and has quite a few different games that tie into different Bible Stories.  He was playing the one that went with the Loaves and Fish. 

We have an old computer that I'm hoping still works (it worked recently!) because I want to put this CD game on THAT computer so I don't have to worry about my computer getting messed up. 

Other then that, we've just been hanging out.  I have been working on a birthday party, family Christmas plans and a bridal shower.  Plus with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming . . .well, that's lots of planning :-) 

Down on the Farm - A Third Birthday Party

When I first started planning my now three year old's birthday party, the theme was "John Deere" and slowly evolved into "Down the the Farm".  I'm not sure why, other then I had a hard time finding ideas to fit the John Deere theme and the ideas I found that were the cutest had to do with being down on the farm.  The whole idea stemmed from the fact that he loves tractors. . . .
Our parties are still pretty simple since it is all adults :-) But I still love to plan games, great food, and picture opportunities.  I did a lot of searching Pinterest and found some cute ideas or, at least cute inspiration and then went from there.  I just say, as I pulled this party together I often wondered how some folks have the money time to get those over the top parties completed! 

Lets start with food!

My original inspiration came from Giverslog and it is based on a BBQ in a Jar.
Doesn't that just look fun?  Well, it did to me but I happen to know that there are some people who do not like their food to touch.  So, I nixed the jar idea but decided that I liked the food idea so we had
Root Beer Pulled Pork sandwiches, 3BC (The Best Baked Beans), Cole Slaw, Macaroni Salad and chips. I served Lemonade and Sweet Tea for Drinks. (I will be posting the recipes this coming Friday and will link back at that time)

I do like to have snacks out when guests arrive and put out a few fun things.  I saw an idea for a Caramel Apple Bar over at The Best Wedding Blog Ever and fell in love with that idea. Well . . .I decided that doing this was more then I needed to do so this morphed into . . . Caramel Apple Dip with Apples. I made some cute dipped marshmallows and also had fresh made bread and Apple Butter

As far as dessert - I really struggled with this because there were so many great ideas that I came across that I wanted to make. Originally I planned on purchasing the latest fad - Push-up Pops to use for Cake Pops but, in the reality of the budget, I decided to just make cupcakes using John Deere Colors for the frosting.  I used my a great new cupcake and icing recipe for the cupcakes which got RAVE reviews (and I will share, I promise!).  . Finally, the all time favorite Chocolate fountain was also running.  This is always a big hit. 
Check out Kellys Cottage Shoppe to order printables like the cupcake wrappers and toppers.

Next Up is the Decor:
One of the first ideas that I saw had to do with decorating with Pinwheels and I fell in love with the idea.  It didn't hurt that Josh also loves pinwheels.  Over the course of a few months I picked up lots of the old fashioned pinwheels (they were everywhere around the house because the kids kept finding them) and I secured them all around our fence. I thought it looked super cute. Plus, I used an idea from a Too Cute Not to Toot Post and made the large Pinwheel and I saw this cute idea for balloons over at Snippit's from a Happy life I knew I wanted to do something on our porch too.  Using kitchen string, balloons, and crepe paper, this is how our porch looked !  

I just tied the balloons to the string, had Tall Man (I.e. Darryl) attach it to the roof and stretch it down to the porch railing.  I used the crepe paper for added decoration (I forgot how fun crepe paper is!!).  Do you like my Halloween decor too?  I made that little fence last year, picked up a hay bale and, of course, pumpkins :-) 

Then, I saw this cute idea over at Pizzazzeria and totally stole it - a Hay Wagon!  I threw a little hay in the boys red wagon and attached a sign (made by Kelly's Cottage Shoppe - she does great work!).  Plus we had the boys John Deere Gator in the yard as well.   I covered the tables in simple table clothes and used Green and Yellow Plates, Napkins, etc for the tables. Can you guess where I got this fantastic birthday banner??? You guess it - from Kellys Cottage Shoppe.  I just loved how it turned out!!!

And, of course, activities!:

I had a few games set up and everyone had to work their way around the games, keeping track of points.  One game was "Drop the spider in the "boot"",  Farm Animal Bowling, and Ring the Cow. (Yes, my family just goes along with my games even if they don't all love them!)  We ended with a friendly game of "toss the udder" hahahaha   The person who got the most points . .. got to take home a pinwheel :-) Hehehe
Check out the link above to learn about these cute characters!  I printed them and attached them to bowling pins we had for a kids bowling game.  It worked perfectly!

Instead of sewing horseshoes out of felt, I used rings from a ring toss game to make this a Cow Ring Game.  I spray painted the board and had my husband attach a dowel.  My kids enjoyed this game a lot.

The original idea for this game is to drop a toy snake into a boot.  I used a green vase and the guests had to drop spiders into the vase.

Finally, the "Udder Toss" was a water balloon toss. 
Of course, how could I not post just some snap shots from the party.  I realized too late that we never got my normal huge group shot but that's ok :-)  My niece also was taking pictures with her fabulous new camera so I'm sure she got even better pictures then I did!

This is the birthday Boy!  Don't you just love the shirt?  I ordered it from Frills 'n Frogs.  She was fantastic to work with and was able to get the shirt to me on short notice too. 
My nephews, Seth and Breadon being their normal fun selves :-)

"Nana", Josh and Nate dancing to the music.

Josh sat outside with Grandma LeBeck eating "Fruit" (strawberries)  It was just so adorable!

Josh (and Nate Too) LOVED being outside all day.  We could not have asked for better weather - it made it possible for people to be inside and outside during the party (and gave the kids LOTS to do since they were able to play outside!)

Papa and Nate just hanging out.

Josh enjoying some snacks - specifically those wonderful Marshmallows that were covered with caramel and chocolate.

Yes, they even enjoyed the hay wagon.  My niece, Kate, and her friend Ashley, took turns pulling that wagon all over the place.

It was so cute to look outside and see Josh hanging with his cousins, Micah and Breadon.  I don't know if they realize how much he looks up to them.

Time for the gifts :-)  He is a "careful" opener of gifts!  One tiny piece at a time.  This was a Thomas the Train Track.

He also got this awesome kitchen that he and Nate took to right away. 

Finally, we enjoyed Cake!  And yes, he did blow out all three candles.
Yes, it was a fantastic party!  And to think, Darryl and I still have our "Family" birthday activities to do with Josh - some gifts, which we'll give Josh today,  and even a fun lunch that will come next weekend.