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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Best

On any given Sunday morning you will find me going back and forth between three closets piecing together coordinating outfits for the kids to wear to church. I only shop garage sales, Goodwill, and resale shops so truly matching outfits are rare - especially with one girl in 7/8 and the other in 12/18 months. Sam is the one who is picky about what he wears where as Julia will wait for me to pick out her clothes and never complains about my choice. I'm going to savor that as long as I can!

This particular Sunday we had plans to visit the zoo after church, hence the denim. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pirate Party - Poolside


I decided that I was ready for a break from the stress of throwing birthday parties at home so this year we searched for different venues where we could have parties for the kids. We knew the themes months in advance (a HUGE key in keeping the costs very low) so when I learned I could host Julia's at a local restaurant for FREE, I felt we could splurge a little on a pool party for Sam at a nearby hotel pool - the perfect place for a pirate party! See?

He invited all the boys in his 2nd grade class and a friend he's known practically his whole life.

Google helped out with the wording for the invites and I aged paper using tea.  I found bottles where I bought our garden plants that are meant for making homemade vinegar with the intention of rolling up the invite and putting it in the bottle for Sam to give to his friends but I neglected to unscrew the top to make sure the opening was big enough to get the invite in. oops! So instead I laid them out on Saran Wrap until they were mostly dry & wrapped them with jute rope instead.



 The invites were free because I already had the heavy weight paper, so I didn't feel bad about spending a little money on 9" black beach balls from beachballs.com to serve as cannon balls. The kids LOVED them and I loved the fast shipping, low cost, and durability of the beach balls.

 The littlest pirates thought the cannon balls were fun too. They also had a blast with the pirate swords I found on clearance at Target over the summer. I wasn't sure if they would hold up in the water, but they were good as new after 2 hours in the pool.




I offered to lead Captain Says (like Simon Says) but they were plenty busy on their own. 

 
After two hours in the pool we went next door to the party room (aka hotel breakfast room) for snacks, cupcakes, & presents.  The dollar spot at Target had these fun dishes earlier this year so I confirmed with Sam that in fact he did want a pirate party and we packed them away until yesterday.


Our local grocery store sold these little sword toothpicks we used to skewer the watermelon. Aren't they perfect for our pirates?

I had a blast coming up with the menu for the kids and the theme names for the food/drink. I used the same technique for the food signs as I did for the invites.



The kid's favorite thing to eat was the Swedish Fish sea creatures. (No I didn't spend $20 on Swedish Fish - this is a budget FRIENDLY party.) Our grocery store sells small packages thank goodness, but I did get two bags since I had the bowls to spare.

The fact that the sea creatures were easy to spear with the swords from the watermelon might have had something to do with why they liked them so much.

Note on the party hats: We've had these hats for a while, but they are still in perfect condition. (I set them out at Elsa's rainbow party but nobody wore them.) A pack of pirate stickers from Target and plain hats are a perfect way to keep the first guests to arrive busy while you wait for everyone else to arrive.


Instead of cutting off the tops of celery I left them on to resemble palm branches.

Pirate ships had rats so of course rat droppings (chocolate covered raisins) were necessary. If ever there was a time I took a theme too far. This would be it, but what 8 year old boy doesn't love a little gross humor? :)
Speaking of gross, we served apple juice labeled as bilge water. You know, bilge water? Blech.


The loot scattered on the table are coins from my travels to South America and Europe. I love being able to decorate with things we already have (like the red fabric remnant).

This Pirate Cupcake design is all over Pinterest, but the specific link I used is this one. It was super easy other than having to wait until the last minute to decorate to make sure the Nilla Wafers didn't get soggy.


Sam loved it, and that's all that matters.


8 candles. Time sure flies when you're having fun!



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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Three Little Bears

I have a backlog of posts to write about birthdays, orchard visits, halloween costumes, weight loss, milestones, camping trips, and other things I won't remember unless I look through the 3,000 photographs I've taken in the past 6 weeks. But tonight I'm simply sharing one photo. One photo of my three cubs - my loud, silly, giggling, kitten snuggling, doll playing, leaf jumping, chapter book reading, stair climbing, growing cubs who I love.


How have you been keeping busy this fall?

* The hats the cubs are wearing from the Blue Yodey Boutique. I'm so glad Elsa's still fits!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Babywearing - Cell Phone Edition

In honor of International Babywearing Week I went through the photographs on my phone and pulled out the babywearing ones. It was fun to look back at all the different things I was able to do while wearing Elsa. I've pulled favorites before for her Alphabitty Moments book as I used Babywearing for the letter "B" page.


I printed Elsa's baby book in time for her rainbow party in July so I found some new ones on my phone that were taken since then. (sorry for the reverse order)

 Naptime on our boardwalk. September 2012

 Sibley County Fair

Witching Hour

Love the Ergo!

Didn't love the fish.

I bought the Ergo specifically for the easy of a back carry, but it's not as comfortable as I had hoped. Elsa liked it though. (I do LOVE the front carry with the Ergo.)

I wore in the Ergo when we went out to collect maple sap in March.

Saint Patrick's Day 2012

Winter hike.

Did you know that slings and wraps are great for putting together costumes?  Sam is wearing my purple Sakura Bloom ring sling and Julia is wearing my Sleepy Wrap for Bible Character night at Awanas

Nap time!

I'm not the only one who loves babywearing in our house. She started young.

 Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America.

An evening snooze that reminded me a lot of these two photos.  Can you tell who's who?


Fall 2011 walk in the Kozy.




Steamboat Days Parade, September 2011

Errands are so much easier with a sling!



Walking on the new Dakota Rail Line trail.


FIRST time in the Sleep Wrap  at 3 days old. We took a walk in our campground when we got home from the hospital. I quickly learned to tie the wrap much tighter.
And just like that 14 months of babywearing is history! This has been a good reminder to use my carriers more - this special stage of childhood is going to be over before I know it! Did you babywear this past year? What is your favorite carrier?



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Canoe camping with kids

I've been sharing highlights from our recent trip to the BWCA on Instagram . The spot we go is perfect for families with young kids beca...