Friday, September 28, 2012

Hop Hop Hop!

Mackenzie received a foam hop scotch game for her birthday, so last week it stayed in the entry hallway until the day before the party.  Both girls really like it and Mackenzie is getting much better at hopping.  Meredith even tried to hop.  Well, she tried to say hop while walking on the foam. ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our New Toy!

Brandon and I bought Mackenzie a new toy a few weeks ago.  We are a little behind in joining the bandwagon, but we finally bought a Wii.  We thought it would Mackenzie would enjoy it and it would help to make her a little more active during the really hot or rainy days.  Brandon picked out a swimming/diving game where she can move around the ocean and look at fish...

And I chose the dancing game for kids...

First of all, I'll be honest, she's not quite as into it as we thought she'd be.  Both of us are a little bummed, but since we both like video and computer games, we'll be using it too!  She kind of likes the diving game, but it's not as easy to do as we thought it might be.  She really likes to watch me dive/swim around and will sit and watch me do it or dance around while the music plays.  The other day she said, "no don't go that way, it's going to be scary - can you hear the scary music?"  The music was intense, but nothing happened.  I was just surprised that she could infer what would happen based on the music.  So, Brandon's selection - not a hit with Mackenzie, but I LOVE it! ;),

We've tried the dancing game a few times, but even at the lowest setting it's a little hard for her.  I usually have to stand behind her and move her arms for her to match the movements!  She seems to enjoy it except that she's not actually doing anything herself.  Again, she likes to watch me make a fool of myself dancing around, since I'm not a dancer!  So my pick is also a bust, but I think she'll like it as she gets older and a little more coordinated.

Anyways, I've really liked playing the games we have and I'm looking forward to getting more active games for Brandon and I to play.  If a kids dancing game can wear me out, there's no telling how worn out I'd get with an actual fitness "game"! ;)  So, do any of you have a Wii?  What games do you like?  What games do your kids like?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Candyland Birthday Party

I survived another birthday party!  After months of planning, the Candyland themed birthday party for Mackenzie and Meredith's birthday has come and gone!  I really do mean months of crazy planning.  I'm talking a spread sheet with 5 tabs, including a shopping list broken out with the dates to buy certain things.  To some, that might be surprising and to others, that's probably old news!  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love planning the girls' party.  What am I going to do when they don't have the same friends and I actually have to plan 2 parties with in weeks of each other?!  Crazy me, I'll probably be even more excited! ;) 

I've had a Candyland board on pinterest for forever and did use a lot of the ideas I found, but just didn't have the time or money to do EVERY idea that I loved.  Other than the candy table, I kept it simple with all other decorations and activities.  Guests knocked on the door, played and visited, ate lunch, sang happy birthday, ate cupcakes, filled their goody bags and said goodbye.  No games this year...and I kind of liked it.  I actually got to visit with friends which I don't recall doing with Mackenzie's last 3 parties! ;)

I made a pom pom wreath for the door, but forgot to take a picture of it on the actual day of the party.  I'll do a detailed post later this week about the wreath itself, but for now we'll just start with the sign in table.  On Mackenzie's first birthday, I had everyone sign a picture frame mat for her room, so I did the same thing for Meredith's first birthday.  For Mackenzie's subsequent birthdays I've stolen an idea from my friend Kim and had guests sign a book with a theme similar to the party.  (2nd birthday - an elmo book for the sesame street theme and 3rd birthday - a Dr. Seuss Circus book for her circus themed party.)  This year's book was Silverlicious, which is a little bit more about losing a tooth, but also about candy and being sweet - "sweetness come from the inside.  When you are sweet, the world and all the delicious things in it will be sweet too!"  With that said, I had a sign in table when you walked in with both of the girls birthday pictures and sign in book/mat.

Again, I missed a picture of my entry way with my homemade rainbow pom poms, but that's ok.  I guess since it's still hanging up, I could take a picture of it tomorrow for scrapbooking purposes!  Across the entry from the sign in table was the candy and sweets table:
It was filled with sooooo many delicious treats - many of which are still in our house!

Even Meredith wanted some!  Although, Meredith shouldn't really be the guide, since she'll eat just about anything!
Also in the dining room were the goody bags to be filled with anything and everything on the table!
The entry area is where most of the decorating took place, but I did have a few other areas that I decorated.  Above the mantle I had the birthday banners I made and some pictures of each girl from the past year.  Each girl already had one of these pink boards in their room, so I just took it off their walls and filled them with my favorite photos of them from the last 12 months.
The mantle still looks like this.  Not sure when I'll take it all down since I love having pictures of them around the house.

Remember the garland I mentioned in this post?  I was a little nervous about how it would turn out, but I'm pretty happy with it. 

The girls tried to fit in between each strand while the boys ran through it and swatted away the strands.  Just as you might think they would act.  We may have lost some of the circles, in the 2 hours it hung, but it stayed hanging with 12 kids running through it over and over again, so it was a success!

Other miscellaneous decorations - my streamer chairs.  I think I've started a new tradition!
And my pom pom centerpiece!  This is one of my favorites!
As I said earlier, we were really laid back this year, so basically everyone just hung out and played at our house for 2 hours...

When it was time to blow out the candles, each girl got a separate turn.  Can you tell Mackenzie had been playing outside a full hour before we did the cake? 

Meredith was a little unsure...

However, both girls loved their cupcakes!

But then it was naptime for a certain one year old. 
The great thing about having a party at your house - you can put said one year old in her bed without having to leave the party.  It helps that she's a great sleeper and that she was really tired.  It was 11:15am and she went straight to sleep with a house full of 39 people talking, laughing and playing separated by only 2 walls!  (She slept for 2 hours without a peep!)

But this little girl was having a blast and there was no nap in sight!
And finally, to wrap things up, guests took a lap (or two) around the table to fill their goody bags.

Some might have also just plopped themselves right on the floor to eat their loot! ;)
Here's the aftermath...
12 kids (not including the babies) played in the playroom.  Can you tell?  It was well loved in the 2 hours everyone was there, but it actually took no time to pick up.  Yay!

Unfortunately, I may have gone a little overboard on the candy/sweets table and these pictures prove it!  Everyone is gone and this is how much food and candy I still have left!

So, there's the party for you. We opened gifts after everyone left and played in the living room with all the new toys/presents until bed time. That would be a total of 5 or 6 hours and they loved every minute of it! Another year gone and I now have a 4 year old and a 1 year old! I'll take a six month break and start planning the next birthday bash! ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm busy...

I've been in full party mode this week.  One of my friends will be in the exact same place I am next week.  So, at Ladies Bible Class this week, we talked and laughed about the things we are doing for our girl's birthday parties.  We are crazy moms!  (I hope she doesn't mind that I've called her crazy.) ;)

I have 25 hours until the party starts...and I'm blogging. ;)  The cupcakes and brownies are thawing, all of the candy dishes are waiting to be filled, the mantle is decorated and the goodie bags are made.  So, what's left?

ice cupcakes
make sausage balls
cut up the fruit
decorate entry way
decorate dining room 
clean out ice coolers
wrap gifts
hang garland at playroom
make brownie kabobs
make veggie tray
blow up balloons for popping game
clean bathrooms

wash dishes
vacuum/clean floors
set up table and chairs outside

And I'm pretty sure this isn't everything!  To top it all off, we have dance today, so there's 1 1/2 hours gone from the day.  Plus, I can't ignore my kids the whole day while I clean and decorate - I still have to be a mom. ;)

I know I could make this easier on myself by not having such a large birthday party, but to be very honest - I LOVE this!  I LOVE being creative.  I LOVE baking treats.  I LOVE decorating the house.  I LOVE having the time to do all this.  I LOVE creating these memories for my girls.

Well, I better get back to my cleaning and decorating!  Birthday post(s) to follow next week, but for now, here are a few sneak peeks...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mackenzie is 4!

I have a 4 year old in the house!  What!?  So cliche, but where has the time gone????

From this:

To this:

So many changes in 4 years time and I wouldn't change it for the world!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preschool K3 - Week 2

Of course, I'm already a little behind posting about school. We're in the 4th week of school and I'm just now posting about week 2!  We continued our bible lesson from week 1 with days 4 through 7 of Creation.  Our memory verse stayed the same - Genesis 1:1, but we added new sight words, but I'll get to those in a little bit.

There were a couple of items from week 1 that we didn't complete, so we did them first on the first day of week 2.  Tracing numbers:

The other task we hadn't completed was coloring our own continent map, so we colored it together.  The original map I showed her was a bad map and didn't include Antarctica, so I told her I was going to throw it away since it was wrong.  She said "wait, I'll draw it." (right picture).  When she was finished, she said "now you don't have to throw it away!"  Thank you sweetie!

Daily Activities:
We did our typical daily activities that I posted about in the Week 1 summary.  She doesn't do everything every day, but we do a lot of it.  However, we do talk about our states every day that we have school  To keep track of the states, I placed a map from 1+1+1=1's calendar printables for us to color each time we talk about a new state.
This week's states were Arizona and Arkansas.  I try to tell her if we know anyone from a state we study or if I've been there.  this time I was able to tell her that Granny and Papa and Moshi (my mom) were born in Arkansas and she thought that was pretty cool.  I guess if I had thought a little more ahead, I could have pulled out a few pictures from the many trips I took to Arkansas to visit my great grandparents.  And actually, as I type this I realize I could have showed her my picture of the Grand Canyon from the airplane on our way to Vegas last year.  I guess I could always go back for a review of those states and show them to her.  Anyways....

Day 4:
On day for God made the sun, moon and stars.  We continued our daily collage/picture sheets for each day of creation, so we (I) cut out a sun and moon and she added the star stickers.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a finished picture of day 4.  Just imagine about 20 more star stickers on this picture! ;)
Since yellow was our color for the day 4 lesson - a yellow color sheet from Preschool Palace was appropriate.

We also made a sun for art.  She painted the plate first and then once the paint was dry, she added the glue.  I think the extra lines on the bottom left are supposed to be teeth.  The spots on the right and left are the suns cheeks.

Day 5:
On day 5, God created the animals that can fly and swim.  We had plenty of items for this collage - maybe a little too many flying animals. ;)
The sorting flying and swimming animals from Hubbard's Cupboard was a bit simple for her, but she still enjoyed telling me what each animal/insect was.
We also glued feathers to a bird cut out, but the picture I took was too blurry - just imagine a very colorful, feathery bird! ;)

Day 6:
On day 6, God created all other animals and Adam & Eve.  Mackenzie protested a bit at adding foil to the center of the collage, but once I taped it on the sheet and showed her how it's supposed to be similar to a mirror, she was ok with it.  Silly girl.
Day 7:
On day 7, God rested.  Per Hubbard's Cupboard suggestion, we glued a picture of the world on our paper and then put hearts all over it because God loves the world and all that He created.
As a review for all 7 days, we played a few matching and sequence games from Christian Preschool and Bible Printables websites

Sight Words:
Our sight words this week were "big" and "and".  Since we learned 20 sight words last year, I'm trying to use a repeat word and a new word each week.  "Big" was our new word.  She didn't really enjoy the see it, build it, write it activity this week, but we'll keep trying it.
She LOVES the color by numbers from 1+1+1=1!
And finding the words is also a big hit!

Miscellaneous activities:
She played with this alphabet wheel from Confessions of a Homeschooler over the course of 2 school days!  26 clothespins is a lot of pinching for this 3 year old!  She had to match the lowercase letters written on the clothespin to the uppercase letters on the wheel.

My mother-in-law brought Mackenzie a magnetic wand and small clear magnets this last visit, so we pulled out a bunch of magnets to play with.  We made our names first with the alphabet, but eventually just played with the wand and tried to see how many chips we could pick up.
Our science for the week was learning about the different parts of trees, flowers and leaves.  I found a coloring sheet of a tree and we just colored it while talking about it's roots, trunk, branches and leaves.  The flower activity was from 2 teaching mommies.
The parts of a leaf activity also from 2 teaching mommies was fun because we took a look at our leaf and flower collage from week 1.  We were able to see the veins in the leaves like the worksheet talked about, so that was nice to have it already on hand.

Well, that was week 2.  We actually just finished up week 3 today, so of course I'll be a little behind posting about that, but I'm ok with that! ;)

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