Friday, October 10, 2014

Christmas Castle

Lately, my stay at home mom brain has been swirling with thoughts of homemade Christmas presents for my kiddos.  I realized that I never posted about Charm's Christmas 2013 present from Lucky and me, and in the spirit of catching up (a la birthday party posts:)), here it is:

If it looks very similar to this castle, it's because it was my inspiration of sorts.  I found the unfinished castle at Michael's for $12 with a coupon, and I thought, I can paint that and save some money:).  It's funny now, because after buying action figures for the castle, I think I maybe saved $10, and painting it front, back and sides wasn't exactly a quick project.  Ah well.  I used acrylic paint and then sealed it with AFM Safecoat Acrylacq.

Lucky and I made this very homemade looking dragon puppet from scratch.  We didn't use a pattern or anything, we just went for it using fabric we had on hand already!  We thought Charm could use the puppet and castle together.

After we gifted the castle and puppet to Charm, we had him draw up some shields to put on the front door like a coat of arms.  I made a couple too.  We laminated the shields and attached them with some velcro stick dots, so they can be changed out.

Even though, this gift wasn't a big 'money saver', it still is a keeper!  Charm plays with it often, and we all love knowing we made it together.

Now, it's time to see about crafting presents for three kids this year!  I'm thinking about giving them all the same thing, but we will see if my mind changes in the next couple months.  Crazy to think that Christmas is only 2 1/2 months away.  This year has flown!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Charm's Outer Space Blast Off

First, you must know that the party I'm about to talk about took place about 13 months ago.  I discovered that I never posted pictures from Charm's 4th birthday here when I was working on pulling together pictures of past birthdays for Charm's baby book that has been sitting unfinished for 4 years now.  It didn't feel right to post pictures of his fifth party until his fourth was documented in much the same way it didn't feel right to start Clover's baby book before adding some pictures to Charm's.  In attempt to move a step forward, I'm taking a few steps back.  So goes this season of my life.  Perhaps I shall call it the turtle season, because I feel like I'm moving in sloooooow motion most of the time.

But for now, this turtle is going to focus on Charm's party from last year.  Here are some pictures from Charm's big day:

We gathered everyone outside and attached 'astronaut in training' name badges.  They played on the 'rocket' while awaiting launch time.

They were handed envelopes with their top secret training mission inside (Note: Stage numbers are off by one on the handout versus the stage markers in the yard.  I'm not sure why.  13 months is a long time to remember those little details but probably we fixed the handout after I took these pictures?.!)

We did a countdown on the 'rocket'!

 A few jumps each on the trampoline helped them to feel 'weightless'.

 Each child got to toss a few tennis balls at the alien...

 and then they got behind the photo prop and pretended to be an alien:).
(I painted the photo prop on a piece of eucaboard and Bill made the frame.)

Next up, they traveled through a black hole...

...only to incur ship damage requiring repairs which were completed at the space dock.

Each child was handed a piece of the ship, and they had to work together to put the ship back together:

(Again, I painted the rocket on a piece of eucaboard from Home Depot, and Bill cut it out after I traced puzzle lines using a yard stick for the straight edges and a small plate for the curves.)

Finally they completed star navigation training.

Each child had to create his/her own constellation using black construction paper, small star stickers and chalk to connect the stars.

Once the constellation was completed, they were handed flags to take to the moon!

Each child put a flag in the 'moon' and received a specimen bag to take home!

The bags contained 'moon rocks', astronaut ice cream and some outer space sticker sheets.

A cake, ice cream and pinata finished up the party fun!

And if you made it this far, here is a little bonus basement play fort fun.  Two winters ago, I started making play themes for the kids using the reading loft/fort/structure Bill built in the basement as a back drop.  I made this spaceship themed area to coincide with Charm's birthday.

The control panel was in our outside play set on the day of the party. 

And this concludes my trip back in time and space.

Have a lovely week!