Monday, October 6, 2014

Family Photos

Finally!  At long last, we finally had some family photos taken that included ALL of us!  So long overdue!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hannah's "Frozen" Party

I just knew, given Hannah's obsession that just won't die, that we'd be doing a Frozen birthday party for her this year.  She's been planning on it since...well...since the movie came out, really.
Since any creative idea I have comes from Pinterest, I found myself there - searching, searching, searching through pin after pin for Frozen party ideas.  After a few searches I had to snap the laptop shut and go take a long bubble bath to ward off the depression that was creeping in.  That little Pinterest voice that sometimes pops into my head was telling me that I'm a terrible mother for not doing these unbelievably magical parties that might include a live Elsa and Anna and decorations that could easily trump Disneyland.
Once I got over that, I went back to the basics.  I don't have to do anything grand.  My daughter just wants a fun party with Frozen attributes, simple.  I had a discount offer for a bounce house rental, so I started there.  Lucky for me, they had a Frozen themed bounce house - so I booked it! The majority of the party was set!  After that a plan began to formulate, and I never went back to Pinterest.
We sent out invitations, which I got off Etsy and printed at Costco.  We invited several little girls, probably too many, but Hannah has so many friends these days, she was stressing about leaving someone out.  I figured with the bounce house, a large group of kids wouldn't be that big of a deal since we'd be outside for most of the party.
We turned the backyard into "Olaf's Summer Land."  Along with the bounce house, we had a game of "Pin the Nose on Olaf," a Frozen piƱata (I found online), danced to Frozen music, and played "Elsa-style" Freeze tag.
The party was perhaps a tad on the chaotic side, but the kids all had fun, so that's what matters right?
As they arrived they got to color a Frozen picture of their choice (most of them choose Elsa). Then we went out back to play in Olaf's Summer Land.
After bouncing until we thought we'd drop, we came back inside for presents and Frozen cupcakes.


 I think the pictures make it pretty clear there was a lot of excitement at this party!  Hannah was overjoyed to have all her friends at the party and have the day focused on her.  She's been perhaps a tad jealous at the fact that Adell's birthday preceded hers and it seemed like it would NEVER be Hannah's turn! Finally she got a day to shine.
She's been talking about her party for weeks now, so it would appear she loved it.  Her friends at school keep asking when her next birthday is so they can plan on it.  Let us forever be known as the "coolest parties" house.
Happy Birthday to our Frozen princess, Hannah!

Adell's "Wild Kratts" Birthday Party

This party was so incredibly awesome that I had to dedicate an entire blog post to it.  Months and months ago I casually had asked Adell what she was thinking she wanted to do for her birthday party this year.  She mentioned she wanted to do something with animals, and so the planning began.  I thought about everything from the zoo to Thanksgiving Point, but nothing seemed to really fit.  Then one day we were watching an episode of "Wild Kratts" on television.  Adell has always really enjoyed that show, and coincidentally, it's all about animals!  I asked what she thought about having a "Wild Kratts" party, and she loved the idea.
Pinterest was full of ideas, some really do-able, some completely impractical, but I slogged through a few pins to try to come up with some ideas.  I was toying with the idea of having live animals at the party, but had no idea how to make that happen.  I searched online to see if what I wanted even existed, and sure enough - it did!!!  I found Wild Wonders and immediately, I knew I'd found what I was looking for.  It was a collection of animals brought directly to the party!  Not only that, but they will do an educational program so we can learn all about the animals they bring!  Perfect!!!  I booked right away!
The party was amazing.  We invited practically the entire neighborhood and most of Adell's school class, so we had a lot of kids, but I wanted as many kids as possible to be able to enjoy the animal show.  In the backyard we set up a shade maker stocked with "wild animal" snacks.  We had "Cheetah Cheetos" (just Cheetos), "Monkey Munch," (Chex mix - Muddy Buddies), and "Bear Bites," (Popcorn).  We decorated with all the safari/wild animal type stuffed animals we could find.  I sent the girls to work, and they created a fantastic "wild animal" display with the stuffed animals.
After everyone arrived, we ate snacks until the show started.
The show was incredible.  We saw amazing creatures and even got to touch them! Sarah (who does the show) was perfect!  She was even clever enough to add a little "Wild Kratts" flavor into the show, talking about each animals "creature power."  The kids were completely mesmerized by the whole thing.  We had both sets of grandparents there also, and we all watched the show in amazement.  Seriously, it was awesome!  I can't say enough good things about Wild Wonders!  If you are thinking about booking a party with them - do it!!!  You won't regret it!

After an amazing show, we had paw print cupcakes and Adell opened her many, many presents.  She was so grateful all her friends came to the party, she just kept saying "thank you, thank you!"
After it was all done, she confidently declared - "Best. Party. Ever."