Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Holiday Party Tradition

For several years now, I've been hosting parties for Joey and Johnny and their friends for most of the major holidays. Well, some folks might not consider Valentine's Day a major holiday, but if it's worth celebrating, we celebrate it at our house.

So, today was party day. Joey and Johnny and their best friends got together to do crafts, eat too much sugar, and have a blast.

First the kids helped decorate picture holder magnet heart frames. The moms put the pics in, and the kids put stickers on the outside.

Second, we decorated cupcakes. It was a small snaffu on my part to put the undecorated cupcakes on the table where the kids could see them. A few got eaten before there time. No big deal, really, but we decided cupcake decorating was definitely the second activity.

Third, we made their Valentine's Day Bears out of spray painted paperplates. I like texture, so there's an undercoat of cinnamon-colored paint and then a top coat of rough stuff. There are so many neat crafts you can do with paperplates. At Christmas we made a Santa Claus complete with arms and legs. Anyway, we used brads again. I think they are just great for attaching things together. I never have any luck with glue and staples are ugly. Plus, the brads make for movable joints. The kids did real good on this craft. Even the youngest participated. Now, if they would just make a hole punch that a preschooler could really punch with, we'd be in business. Mostly the problem is that it's hard for any of us to punch through the plates, and each plate needed 4 holes.

Fourth, we played Bingo. Joey decided Bingo was next;-) He had even made his own Bingo cards. Problem was that he doesn't quite understand what's needed to make a 'real' Bingo card. Oh well, they were pretty, and a few of the older kids went along with playing a game with them. Everyone's a winner at our house. Single elimination if you win. Thankfully the kids have not caught on that I sortof help the winning process along a tad if you get my gist (I can see everyone's cards).

Fifth, we made these glass heart ornaments. To make them, you pop off the top loop hanger and pour in paint and glitter. Don't expect them to dry anytime this year unless you turn them upside down and let the excess paint drip out;-) But, the paint and glitter sure is a pretty combination.

Sixth, the kids AND MOMS went wild to Disco Inferno and other songs from OUR youth while dancing with Valentine-themed scarves. Long live Disco!

Seventh, we did one final craft. I just love kid handprints done with paint. Sometimes just for the sake of handprints, but sometimes turned into animals or angels or other cool things. Today was a basic print of both hands upside down in a heart with the sentiment, "You Touched Myt Heart" on them. I call these heirloom crafts because they are more for the sentiment of the mom or grandmom than for the kids although they do enjoy the tickling sensation the paintbrush makes on their hands!

Wow! It was fun, and I'm tired!!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Pics are here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lake Wheeler Park and Ducks

I promised Joey yesterday, that we'd go to Lake Wheeler Park today. We drove through it on our way home from Yates Mill Pond, and he saw the playground and ducks and really wanted to visit there too. So, off we went around 10:30 this morning with bread.

When we got out of the car, the ducks ran for us! Serious! They were very friendly, and the kids were super excited to feed them.

After some shots on land, I started throwing bread into the water to get some water shots.

Now, all the ducks in the pics so far are mallards. But, we also saw some muscovy ducks. See the big white guy with red on his face below.

Both boys had the thrill of this male muscovy eating a cracker right out of their hands. He was actually pretty gentle about it.

I bought a loaf of cheap white bread at WM today, and we'll be going back soon!

Many more duck pics are here. The Best Of album is here.

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Superbowl...Kid Style!

When the guys play, so do us moms and kids. Faith, Eli, and Sophie came over to play and have dinner.

Johnny loves Baby Sophie, and here you can see him laying a big kiss on her.

In honor of the Superbowl, I made a football-shaped chocolate cake.

I also made Ree's chicken spaghetti casserole.

As you can see, happy kids!

Rest of the pics are here.
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Fancy Cooking

After a fun day at the park, Joey and I were hungry for some good food. We made PW's Chicken Legs and PW's Cobbler #2. Yum! No go cook you some!!!

Rest of the cooking pics are at the end of this album.

Yates Mill Pond

The boys and I spent about 4 hours at Yates Mill Pond yesterday. We walked the Creekside Trail which is a deep forest trail and then the Mill Pond trail which circles the pond and goes to the mill. Those trails amounted to about 4 miles of hiking. The Mill and falls were just gorgeous as was everything else about this park. I took tons of pics. But the Best Of pics are here.

It's free, and it's good exercise. If you haven't been, I'd recommend it.

More information on Yates Mill Pond is here.

We're off to Lake Wheeler today...