Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boy's Airplane Themed Birthday and Neighborhood Memories

At age two and three my boys loved construction vehicles, click here to see their Construction Birthday Party, and by age four, they were all about airplanes. I know my husband's love for airplanes may have had a little influence on them. After all, one of our favorite activities was getting coffee and blueberry muffins, then heading to our airport's fantastic viewing area to watch the planes land and take off. We did this during the hot summer days and cold winter months. When it came time to plan their 4th Birthday, it was a "no brainer" as to what the theme would be.

I started planning a few months ahead of their late summer birthday because I was pregnant with the girls and knew they would arrive close to that time as well. Both sets of twins actual due dates were one day apart! The other reason I began planning so early was because I knew this would be their last birthday party in town with all our family, friends, and neighbors before we moved out of state the following year. So yes, it was going to be big, in many ways.

My first "big" idea was to have the boys be able to get on an airplane and meet the pilot since they had not been on one yet and they were fascinated with all those buttons and levers in the cockpit.  My husband's best friend happens to be a commercial pilot but he is based out of another state and would be nowhere near our city during that time, and of course with all the airline regulations this idea wasn't looking too promising.

That "big" idea was laid to rest and I began to focus on the location of this party. I knew that I would be very pregnant and possibly on bed rest so I did not want to host this party at our house with the large number of guests we were planning on inviting, When a new business opened with a ton of great inflatables, a large climbing structure, and party room I knew this was going to be the place. I was a little disappointed because I had a ton of great decorating and food ideas for an airplane themed birthday party that I would not be able to do at a business. However, I was also relieved not to be responsible for every single detail. We didn't have much of a choice when it came to the food selections as they do not allow you to bring in food (other than a cake) so pizza, bread sticks, and cake it was.

I did make a birthday banner...

and the gift bags which included: an airplane sucker, airplane fruit snacks (both from Oriental Trading) two small airplanes, and bubbles...

I got these bags at Dollar Tree and the stickers from Michael's Craft Store.

We used a local bakery to make this cake...

Fortunately, just about everyone we invited was able to come and play. The kids and parents had a great time on the inflatables and the boys made their rounds to greet everyone and play.

Birthday cheers!

Happy to celebrate with their friends

We had a solid hour of play time before lunch, cake, and presents. In all honestly, I always get so involved in the planning and hosting of the few birthday parties we have had for the kids that I almost overlook the fact they are about to receive some generous gifts. And generous gifts they were. The boys had so much fun playing with their friends, eating cake, and of course loved every gift they received. However, the ones that topped their list that year were the bikes, yes, I said bikes that a few of our neighbors got them! I had no idea they had done this and was just as surprised as the boys were! The boys were very excited to say the least.

While our neighbors at "the Hills" did get the boys some amazing birthday gifts, that's not what made living there a wonderful five years. When I eventually did need to rest on the couch the last couple weeks of pregnancy, they helped out by watching the boys play outside, and again when we first brought the girls home. They brought over delicious dinners and precious baby gifts. We had girl's night outs and instant evening "play dates" for the kids and moms since the whole street consisted of kids the same age. You could count on them for anything, whether it was a helpful driveway plow during the winter when your husband was on a work trip, a much needed last minute baby outfit for pictures, or an egg for the dinner that was already underway. We are so blessed to have lived in such an awesome neighborhood with neighbors that I could also call friends.

At one of the neighborhood holiday parties
Watch out for these guys on the road!

So many great memories!
 And, not only did these two little cuties have an amazing birthday party at the bounce house with all their friends but the next day we had a"family only party" for the three birthday kids (the boys and their cousin who is exactly two years younger)! My husband grilled out, my parents who did not attend the previous party gave the grand kids their presents, we had cake, and let off the traditional Chinese wish lanterns on our front lawn to conclude the big, fun-filled birthday weekend!

Enjoying their own personal Birthday cake

Opening presents from Aunts and Uncles
Family silly string battle
Sending off the wish lanterns

Not only was it a fantastic end of the summer, but two short weeks later we welcomed our beautiful twin girls into the world!!

To see more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things "Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Egg Letter and Numbers Game

Busy looking for matches
At least once a week I try to do a fun learning activity with the kids whether it's doing a few pages in their Kindergarten workbooks or making a fun science experiment in the kitchen. Last week we did the celery stalks in food coloring and water experiment. They set it up and made predictions as to what would happen. The next morning they awoke to colored celery leaves and we had a discussion on how it happened.
At the beginning of our experiment
Today I dug out the plastic Easter eggs and wrote an uppercase letter on one side and the matching lower case letter on the other. This is not my original idea (I actually saw it on Pinterest awhile back) and as one of my five year olds' pointed out, he has these in his Pre-K class with numbers on them. What a great idea! Since I had 36 eggs, I decided to use the remaining for numbers.

Then I simply took the eggs apart and put them all in a bag for them to get busy and find the matches. 

Here is N counting the dots to see what number he needs to look for
They had a lot of fun doing this and breezed through the letters and numbers so next time I am going to make these with some simple sight words. 
N with his pile 
S with his pile
Also, my intent was not to have this as a competition, however, one of my guys thought otherwise and was a little miffed that his brother had more. I told them after school we would do it again individually, but when I picked them up from school S's teacher told me she heard all about this activity and they did a little work on some of the letters and numbers so he was ready for a rematch!

I may have given them a small piece of chocolate in return for their patience so I could work with the boys :)
And because I can't leave out the girls, once the boys went to school we did a practice egg hunt in the house and worked on learning colors with the eggs. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring has Sprung

Hello again! I took a little hiatus from blogging due to a couple of busy months. We were blessed with back to back visits from Yia Yia and Papou (Greek grandparents) and Grandma and Grandpa! When the grandparents are here, it's fun for everyone! There are extra arms to cuddle in, another lap to sit on, lots of projects to create (homemade catapults and paper mache Easter baskets), and fun outings to be had. For me, this means time at the gym exercising, running errands solo, and date nights with my husband! I have also been busy revamping our play room (a post to follow once it's complete), decorating the boys rooms, the master bedroom, and putting on a Valentine's Day party for my kids.

Grandma and three of her six grand kids!
 In early March we still had snow on the ground but I decided it was time to finally haul in the winter planters from the front porch and add some touches of spring around the house.


While browsing my favorite local home and floral design store, I spotted a beautiful spring wreath and fell in love. However, I wasn't crazy about the price tag, $95.00. And this was for a basic grapevine wreath with two different colors of  peonies, ivy, and ribbon. Right there I decided I could make a similar wreath for a fraction of the price. Not only was it easy to make, but I had fun doing it and couldn't believe I only spent a quarter of what the other wreath cost.

I already had the grapevine wreath base and ivy so I didn't need to purchase those. However, those can be found at any craft store. I found the flowers and ribbon at Hobby Lobby all on sale. The types of flowers and color are not the same as the wreath I found at the other store, but I was happy with these. I cut the flower stems with heavy duty kitchen scissors and threaded the stems through the branches, added the ivy, and the bow I made out of the ribbon and that was it! It literally took about 20 minutes. If people really pay $100.00 for something similar to this I think I found my new business venture :)  And just between us, I like mine better.

To see more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things "Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.