Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Six Flags Adventure

In early March, we took a trip out to Six Flags on opening weekend!  Meme and Papa were in town for Anthony's birthday, and the weather was so, so nice.  It was such a great time of year to go--before it gets sweltering hot!  We didn't take too many pics because we were too busy having fun.  Here are the highlights...

walking up to the park pulling our little red wagon

meme and papa took the boys on the merry-go-round first

sweet anthony

little lucas

posing in front of the batmobile

i don't even remember the name of this one, but anthony wanted to ride it...
it ended up being one of his favorites

we all rode the mini mine train together

afterwards, mario tried to take anthony on the bigger mine train.  he's over there getting measured on the left.  if he stood up tall, his head skimmed the bar, but the worker said he didn't make the cut!  :(  he had such a great attitude about it though!

a picture of the big teacups--the boys' favorite ride of the day.

here they are inside the cup...all smiles!
meme and papa took them on this one while mario and i ran off to ride a couple of grown-up rides!

they met wile e. coyote, but they didn't know who he was...
they look a little confused, don't they?  haha!

anthony LOVED the antique cars.  he was very careful and very serious about his driving.  he would barely turn his head for this picture!  as soon as we got off this ride, he told us, "now i can drive a REAL car on the real street!"  haha!  nice try, buddy!

here's lucas driving his little blue car--so fun!

we all had such a great time!  thanks for taking us, meme and papa!  we enjoyed it so much and hope you'll come back to do it with us again next year!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lots of Lovin' in February

Here's a quick overview of our February...

we went to IHOP for a free short stack on "national pancake day"!
the kids thought that it was so fun to eat pancakes for dinner!!!

mario got on a ladder to take this photo of anthony's chalk artwork...
from left to right -- top row:  daddy, mommy
(he said, "mommy, i made you so beautiful" -- my heart melted!)
middle row:  anthony, james, lucas
bottom row:  aunt mandy, uncle justin
(sorry, i guess he forgot about little reese!)

my friend lacey hosted our playgroup valentine's party this year...
aren't her decorations so cute???

the kids loved decorating (and eating) their heart shaped cookies

about half of the party group winding down watching a show

anthony had a valentine's party at school too
they exchanged valentines and ate special cupcakes

some of the moms had organized games for the class
pin the nose on mickey was fun!

sweet ms. jenna even helped lucas participate

there was a mickey bean bag toss too

lucas loved hanging around his big brother's preschool class for the day

and they got to choose a duckling to win a prize
they had a blast, and all the kids came home with two brown bags that were bursting at the seams full of valentines, candy, playdough, popcorn balls, art booklets and more!

on february 14th, i made a scavenger hunt for the boys using heart shaped clues!  they LOVED it, and this was their treat after their final clue led them to daddy's shower!

lucas was supposed to be napping in our closet, and when i walked in my room, i found him in this position on our bed!  haha!

and this--well, you just have to see it to believe it!  a squirrel decided to randomly attack our birdhouse we had hanging on our fence!  i'm not quite sure what he was looking for, but i don't think he found it--it's a little disturbing!  haha!  maybe he was just wanting to chew on the twine...

Rounding Out January

Just a few extra reasons we had some more super fun in January...

dressing up for friends' Taylor and Hudson's superhero birthday party

having some art time at audrey and elle's house with crayons, markers, and stickers

playing dress up...
why, hello, "mailman" and "fireman"--our superheroes of the day!!!

anthony's "a little culture" art show at preschool--
here he is posing next to his work

His work is entitled "Chicken Pants"
each class did artwork inspired by a different famous artist

one homework assignment anthony had was to decorate a teddy bear using different mediums.
later that week, all the kids dressed up as explorers and went on an excursion to find the "missing" teddy bears!
so cute!

and some time after lucas' birthday party, the boys got to take this city scene outside and decorate it to their hearts' content with crayons, markers, and paint!

What a great first month of the year!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spiderman Birthday Bash

On Saturday, January 19, our home transformed into Spider-Man headquarters for Lucas' 3rd birthday party with all his friends.  I had soooo much fun putting this party together, and I have to give a HUGE shout-out to my mom who helped tirelessly (and long-distance, nonetheless) to help make my visions a reality!  It turned out to be such a special day.  Lucas was in complete awe over everything which makes all the work completely worth it.  I think that once a year on their birthdays, all kids need to be immersed in whatever they are loving at the moment!  And Lucas was!!!

So, here are the details...

First up, the decor

setting the stage with a web on the front door
i modified this tutorial from made to personalize it for Lucas
and i'm loving how so many of the decorations for this party can be repurposed for halloween!

spider webs cut out of computer paper, spray painted silver and sprinkled with glitter
i used this tutorial from A Fanciful Twist

loving my little man showing off his own spider webs!

beautiful gerbera daisies poised in bright blue water added cheerfulness
(as if there wasn't enough of that already with a house full of preschoolers at a birthday party!  haha!)

my mom covered these paper mache letters from hobby lobby with spiderman comic pages, as inspired by the AMAZING spiderman-themed party of our good friend sohan. (that was for you, mom!  haha!)
just paint the edges of the letters red first, then mod-podge the pages on, the seal with mod podge for a durable finish

craft table waiting for kids to come play...
i cut the masks from foam sheets using a template from a mask we already owned.  then i hole punched the sides and threaded a length of elastic through, knotting it at the ends.  (thanks, mandy, for your help with this!)  i thought the foam star stickers were fun--kinda super hero-ish, but not too boyish or girlie.  i had plenty of coloring sheets on hand too that i just printed off from the computer.

my sweet hubby brought home this HUGE piece of cardboard which i covered in wrapping paper.  then he was kind enough to draw some buildings from poster board which we glued on.  our "larger than life" spider man is just a sticker!  :)

i decided it would be fun to send our guests home with silly string so they could make their own "webs" at their houses.  our kids played with their silly string a few days later, and it lasted all of 5 minutes, but they thought it was the coolest.thing.EVER!!!

the outside of the cans were a little "loud" looking, so my mom helped me cover these with this cool scrapbook paper and some printable tags.  now they fit right in with the decor.  :)

Next, the food....

here's the dessert table
isn't the pennant banner ADORABLE?  My mom made it using seam binding and a roller adhesive--it was a great way to use up the leftover comic book pages!
and the big spider web in the background will definitely make another appearance come October!
the white spider webs on the table were made by squeezing elmer's glue onto wax paper in the shape of a web and sprinkling with glitter while still wet.  just peel/pry them off (carefully!) when dry...idea from redbook

LOVE how these cupcakes turned out!

the cake was a labor of love...
my first attempt at making homemade fondant using this recipe
and i combined a few tutorials on how to shape and decorate the cake, but this youtube video proved to be the most helpful.  i love how he recommends to paint the fondant with the red food coloring instead of dying the whole thing--much less artificial coloring these kids are ingesting!
many thanks to my twin sis mandy for staying up with me into the wee hours of the morning finishing this!  her artistic talents helped me make sure the webs were mostly even as well!

dipped and sugared marshmallows made a pretty addition
(does it bother anyone else that ONE STICK in this photo is leaning sideways?!?  that drives me nuts every time i look at it!  haha!)

but we did have some food other than sweets, i promise!
we had spidey sandwiches (star shaped), comic book chips, and "pick your super power" fruits, veggies, and cheese

close up of the super power food

Drumroll, please!  Let the party begin...

some of the kids (and my sis mandy) at the craft table working on superhero masks

sweet birthday boy busy arranging his stars

i think he's pretty pleased with the end result!

it turned out to be an amazingly beautiful day for mid-January!  I was so worried it would be too cold for the kids to enjoy the bounce house!

but as you can see, this is where most of them spent a good bit of their time!!!

birthday boy Lucas (on right) with cousin James, brother Anthony, and cousin Reese in the bounce house (right to left)
they get along so well!

everyone takes a break from playing to fuel up on some superhero food

and then it's time to sing "happy birthday" to my big three year old!
can you tell he's so proud???

he's a pro at blowing out those candles!!!

finally he gets to dig into that cake!
he even ate most of the fondant!  i was thoroughly impressed!

time for a few gifts!
friends seth and caleb look on intently

i love audrey's face in this pic!

hmmmm, wonder what this helmet and bell could be for?

wow!  a big boy bike!
now he can ride like brother anthony!
thanks, meme and papa!

oh yeah!
this little guy is super proud to be three!

after his guests leave, we take full advantage of the beautiful day by letting lucas take his new bike for a spin

getting the hang of it

great job, lucas!  you are a pro already!

Your special day was such a blast!  Hope you had as much fun enjoying your party as I had putting it all together!  Happy 3rd Birthday, my love!