Saturday, May 30, 2015

Picnic Impossible

Jocelyn loves a new show called Wallykazam.

It's super cute and not annoying. Well, not unless you get some of the songs stuck in your head, as I'm prone to do.

If you are familiar with Super Why, this show is kinda like that. It helps kids learn pre-reading skills like rhyming and letter recognition.

We borrowed a Nick Jr. compilation DVD from the local library. The first episode was a Wallykazam one called "Picnic Impossible". This is now Jocelyn's favorite one, of course. And of course, we can't find it on the regular Nickelodeon channel. And of course, the library hasn't had the DVD back since we've returned it.

We were enjoying nice weather outside the other week when Jocelyn said she was hungry. "Do you want a snack to eat out here?" I asked. "YES! We can have a PICNIC! Just like on Wallykazam!"

So we did.

Wally serves Gina, in the episode, tomatoes, pickles, a sandwich, and pink lemonade. Actually, I think the pickles and tomato were ON the sandwich, but that's not how Jocelyn likes hers. :)

I love this one's imagination and zest for playing pretend :) She reminds me every day why I love this age so much.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Tie-Dye 2015

My husband was sincerely hoping that our last year's Memorial Day party would turn into an annual thing with our friends. However, our daughter's birthday falls around Memorial Day and we had a party for her on Saturday. That's enough partying in our house for one weekend :P

The only other tradition we have for Memorial Day is to make tie-dyed t-shirts. I'm not sure when this activity started, but its one we've been doing for a few years now. (just checked. 2011 was the first year, I didn't blog in 2012, but here's 2013). It looks like I didn't blog last year either so I might win an award for Most Slacker Blogger ever. Or something like that.

My mom found a link where it gave instructions on how to make a Mickey Mouse Tie Dye shirt. So, of course, that's what Jocelyn wanted.

First we traced out his head using a small tupperware bowl and two snack cups for ears.

Shaggy was distraught because we were at the kitchen table with no food in sight.

Then I spent about 15 minutes mad at my mom for suggesting a pattern that required sewing. I hate to sew. 

After you baste the outline of his head, you pull the strings to gather the fabric together. Then put a rubber band on it.

It was extremely hard to handle the dye, help 3 kids plus dye two shirts of my own, and hold my camera at the same time. So, pictures are scarce. 

Jaina and Jayce did a spiral for their shirts.

The next morning, I rinsed out. (We are totally getting soda ash next year).

 My mom wanted me to try this new vertical stripe pattern. So I used primary colors for mine.

 Then I used turquoise and fuchia for my mom's.

 Our neighbor came over and made a shirt as well.

As you can see, they were super bright before I ran them through the machine. I really really really am going to get soda ash next year. If I can find it.

And here's how they all turned out:

And that's the story of Memorial Day Tie-Dye Shirts 2015.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Spa Party (without the sauna, massage, or fluffy robes!)

Now that our kids are getting older (ugh, I have a TEENAGER now!!), I feel like they are getting a little old for having a big birthday party with friends. I assumed that Jaina would want something big and expensive or pick to have a very special fun day, like Jayce did, for her birthday. That's what we do here: you have a budget of $$ and you can either have a party at a place like Pump It Up, or you can pick to get a present from us, or you can pick to go somewhere special. In the past, both kids have picked getting a Trampoline or a Rainbow Play System in exchange for any kind of birthday celebration.

Jaina hemmed and hawed about it for weeks. "I just don't know! I really want a new North Face jacket! NO...maybe I want to go to Frankie's Fun Park like Jayce did! No.... maybe I want to get my nails done and have a spa pedicure!!" She was very indecisive.

6 days before her birthday, she decided she wanted to have a party after all. "I want to have a Pageant Party!" she announced. I quickly said no. I have a big distaste for pageants (no offense to any readers who have kids that compete).

"What about a SPA party??? We can paint our nails and wear cucumbers on our eyes! It will be so fun!"

Then she went and asked her dad if she could have "a few friends over" for her birthday. Like, 8, tops. (She invited 20). Now, we haven't had a party for kids in our home since Jayce turned 2. But Brian reluctantly said yes. I guess we both figured that 13 year olds are a lot less rambunctious than 5 year olds. Ha!

Our Spa party might not be Pinterest-worthy, but everyone had fun and that's all that mattered.

We gave cosmetic bags (filled with a microfiber cloth, eye mask, and emory board) as party favors. 

16 out of 20 invited actually came. I refilled this bucket with drinks twice!

Jayce manned the "Facial Mask" table. Yet, he was too impatient to wait for his mask to dry on his own. And Jocelyn ate all the cucumbers from his station.

Grandma was on duty at the Mint Body Scrub table. I found a link from Pinterest about how to make a fast easy sugar body scrub. My mom could tell you that it was messy but the girls had fun anyway.

Jaina taught her guests how to achieve an "ombre" look with your nails using make up wedges. 

We kept the girls, the noise, and the mess, outside for a full hour and 15 minutes. That was pretty good!

Then it was time for dinner and presents. I was worried about having too much food. I shouldn't have worried :P

Shaggy LOVED all the attention!

I am sincerely hoping that none of the body scrub turns anyone's bodies different colors!

Then it was time for cake. Cookie cake, to be exact.

She wasn't successful at blowing out the ONE candle the first time :P

The party ran a bit over by this time, so some of the girls had to leave as they were eating cake in my driveway. Other girls had texted their parents asking for a little more time.

I hearded the cats girls back out into the yard.

Goofy girls, all of them! But very sweet and fun :) Jaina's a lucky girl to have such good friends!

The next day, she let me take her picture outside.

My baby is certainly growing up :)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Jaina!!! 13!!!

It has been an extremely busy week and I promise to catch everyone up soon on our happenings, but first I need to wish my first born daughter Jaina a very happy 13th birthday!!

We had 15 middle schoolers over to our house last night and then went over to our neighbor's house to enjoy some time at their fire pit. Jaina said she had the best birthday ever!

More to come from her special day!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Countdown to Summer

Well folks, it's that time of the year again.

Those last two weeks of school fly by and drag on both at the same time.

Standardized testing is over. Homework and study guides fly out the door. But now it is time to cram as much fun/awards/programs/activities into the last two weeks as possible.

We started out with Jaina's Spring Chorus concert. She sang in both the 7th grade Chorus and the Honor Choir this year.  (She's third from the left in this Honor Choir picture).

I wanted to get a nice picture of Jaina in her new chorus dress in front of her middle school. Of course that means that her brother and sister refused to let me take one of just Jaina.

"Take MY picture, mommy!!!" I'm telling you: reverse psychology works every time with a 3 year old.

Then it was time to celebrate Jayce as a Terrific Kid. I mean, we already know he's pretty terrific, but when the school recognizes it as well, its pretty darn terrific!

Jocelyn's behavior was atrocious during the ceremony. I guess I should be thankful, though, that she sat through Jaina's chorus performance quietly. 

Next up, 4th grade awards, field day, and year books!!

And only 8 more days of getting up to an alarm and packing lunches. We can do this!!!