Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ninjago Birthday Party

Ian turned EIGHT this month (how did THAT happen?!) and  he had a few friends over to celebrate. This year was all about Ninjago (though after presents, it was all about Minecraft).  Most of the ideas from the party came from here (or from a blog she links to).  I did have another game I totally forgot about- using chopsticks to carry marshmallows in a type of relay race.

Frosted brownie for his birthday cake. 

Some of Ian's Ninjago Legos and the take home boxes (fruit ninja fruit snacks,candy sushi, and a rubber throwing star). 

The game that was played over and over- throwing rubber ninja throwing stars (from here) at a bulls-eye. To make the bulls-eye, I bought a circle foam from Michael's, traced a bowl for the center circle, plate for the middle circle, and then painted it.  
You should see this bulls-eye now. It's more white than colored there are so many chunks out of it.  Totally worth it, though.  

In the story of Ninjago, the ninjas develop the power of spinjitzu.  Here the boys are playing with Ian's spinner set.

I'm a sucker for pin-the-_____ games (love watching how far astray they go).  Darrin drew the white ninja for us, I printed out some eyes, and they pinned away.  This will probably be the last year for this game, the kids were feeling for the eyes instead of just the paper to know how close they were for the correct placement. 

The kids used their ninja strength to break a balsa wood board.  

Using ninja skills to navigate a laser maze.  

It was the year for Minecraft Legos.  

Both sets were assembled by the time the party ended. 

Blowing out the candles on his brownie cake. 

Assembling, then eating, the candy sushi (rice krispie bar with a Swedish fish on top and wrapped in some fruit-by-the-foot). 

This is how they were when the party ended- either watching or playing Minecraft.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Week Six | February 2 - 8

Starting to return to a bit of normal here after a crazy month of February.  Ian had friends over for his 8th birthday, we had family visit to celebrate both kids' birthdays, and Darrin, well, he broke his leg.  Not all that happened in the sixth week of the year, though.  Here's what did:

Ian had three friends over for his 8th birthday. It was Ninjago themed, though I think it ended up being more minecraft-esque. 

The game that got the most play (other than the Legos and XBOX) was throwing rubber ninja stars at a bullseye (a painted piece of craft foam). 

Me, playing with composition... 
Another game was using your ninja skills to get through the laser hall. 

He requested a ninjago face for his cake. I ended up making frosted brownie instead.  
This is what they were all doing when parents came to get the kids; either watching or playing Minecraft. 

I needed chopsticks for one of the games for his party, so we headed out for Chinese Thursday night. I am ashamed to admit this, but this was the first time they have had Chinese (though I was in college the first time I had it...).  They ordered peanut butter chicken.  Ian attempted to use the chopsticks with a two-hand technique.  He loved the chicken. Annaliese loved the crab rangoon.  I loved the fact we can all go out to eat Chinese now.  
Other than Ian's party with friends, the story of this week was snow.  This was our house on Monday.  It had snowed 8 inches the day before, though it's hard to know if that's exactly right because it had drifted so much.  

We ended up with a snow day on Monday, which was a sunny, but very cold day. I wandered around our yard taking pictures of the beautiful snow.  

I wish I had the skill to capture on camera how beautiful things are to my eye.  
Did I mention we had a second snow day on Wednesday that week for more snow...  Throughout the week, the kids tried sledding down our hill.  It was frustrating for them because they kept sinking in or had to work really hard to get it back up the hill. 
Ian did have luck on his first sled of the week, but that was about it.  You can see the start of his track in the bottom right of the picture, and he made an almost 90-degree turn as he went down the hill, ending up on the left side of this picture.  

So Monday we woke up to 8 inches of snow. Added  a few more Wednesday morning. And Sunday... this is how it looked Sunday. It was melted. Forget sledding.  
Instead, they were out playing football, riding bikes/scooters, and I sat outside and read a book in a sweatshirt.  
Sunday night, I had to play handbells at the memorial service for one of the founding members of our church. As I got out of  my car at the top of the hill, the clouds were a beautiful color from the setting sun.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 Week Five | January 26 - February 1

This week started like any normal week, so not a lot of pictures during the week, but it ended with hanging out with friends, a pinewood derby, and lots and lots of snow!

This week's story will be told in reverse. Sunday we couldn't make it to church. There was too much snow  from overnight and the wind was terrible. Luckily it calmed down in the afternoon, barely, and we were able to get out and enjoy a bit of it.  The ground was bare before this fell, so we got a lot, and it drifted like crazy. 

It was a wet snow the clung to the trees.  It was so deep and drifted that sledding didn't work that great, but Annaliese found she could goo down on her but in the tall grass section pretty well. 

This would be my backyard. Love it!

Saturday morning, while the rain that would eventually turn to snow was falling, Ian had his first pinewood derby race.  He won third place for craftsmanship. Darrin cut the car shape out with a saw, and then Ian sanded and painted it. I cut some vinyl decals out with my silhouette. He picked the number 8 for his upcoming birthday. 
Luckily he won a trophy for craftsmanship, because it was definitely not breaking  records on the track. His is the silver car way behind the others... It was good  to go, though, because now we know what is allowed for next year.  
Annaliese entertained herself at the derby playing with her Frozen characters. 
We hung out with Marlena, Noah, and the boys Friday night. There was lot of Lego assembly before a dinner of Noah's chili and chicken and dumpling soup. 
After dinner, there was some climbing on Noah, along with sliding across the floor in the green thing.  
Annaliese and Walter curled up on my lap for a reading of Jan Brett's Trouble with Trolls. 
Thursday we had an impromptu trip to the big city and the doc's office.There was a confirmed case of measles at day care, and as Annaliese didn't have her second immunization shot, we had to go get it. While we were at it, we got all her kindergarten shots. She was NOT smiling while it was happening.  We distracted her from watching the nurse with watching Netflix on my phone, but nothing could distract her from actually feeling the shots.  There were some big tears and crying.  
It was very fun to eavesdrop on this conversation (a little hard not to when it's on speaker phone).  Ian got his first official phone call from a friend. They chatted about what they had spent their free time doing (video games and tablets) and what Ian wants for his upcoming  birthday party.  
Walked in to day care to pick Ian up and found him all by himself reading.  Apparently the Percy Jackson series was REALLY good because he asked to take the 5th, and last book in the series, to school so he could read it every spare minute he got.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Layout | Sibling Snuggles

I currently subscribe to Ali Edwards's Story Kits. January's kit was called firsts and I knew instantly I would use the pieces from it to tell the story of the first time I discovered the kids were sneaking in to each others rooms to snuggle at night. The only reason I discovered it was because on this night, Annaliese didn't return to her room but fell asleep in Ian's bed.  Of course, I didn't know she was there when I went up to her room to check on her.  That lead to me freaking out about where she was until I found her there with Ian.  

Journaling reads: The story begins with a noise. I got up from the living room couch to investigate.  Headed up the steps and glance in to Ian's room. He was out cold.  Next up was Annaliese. She usually sleeps right on the edge of hers, so I went in ready to scootch her over. Instead, she wasn't there.  Pat her bed and under her quilt. Nope, definitely not there. Call down to Darrin- he suggest she's hiding.  Start searching her room. open doors to her closet. Look behind her door. Run to the bathroom. Not behind the door. Not in the tub. nerves, nerves, nerves kicking in.  Yell to Darrin again. Try to rationalize the fact we were at the bottom of the stairs means she's somewhere and not kidnapped. Doesn't work. still freaked out.  Turn on the hall light and head in to Ian's room, hoping not to wake him, to see the best sight ever. Both sound asleep. inhale and exhale a sigh of relief then grab the camera. snap a few then carry Annaliese back to bed. Found out in the morning they've been snuggling every night for awhile.  1.14.15

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Week Four | January 19-25

Fourth week. Lots of sibling love this week.  They're putting on a "puppet" show under Ian's bed; Annaliese with her Baby Belle and Ian with his Karma.  
For one if Ian's cub scout badges, he had to help cook a meal outside. The weather on Monday was gorgeous, so we had burgers on the grill.  Ian used more of a high drop or even a toss to get them on the grill, but loved using the spatula to flip them.  

And then while eating his hard work, he bit in to his hamburger and lost his front tooth.  By the middle of the week, the other top tooth was very loose dangling by only one side right in the middle of his mouth. It may have brought about some redneck jokes...  He still had it in there by the end of the week, though.  

Saturday the weather was gorgeous. The kids went outside without any urging and played out there for hours.  They were collecting all the sticks in the yard and pretending to have a campfire when Darrin decided they might as well have one for real.  

Our neighbor Mary walked up to our house after work one night and said she had something for Annaliese. Turned out it was this dollhouse that an old neighbor had made and given her.  

 She was going to throw it out (her kids and grandkids being too old) but thought Annaliese would like it. Darrin put it together on Saturday and then they both had to play in it.  

Annaliese's Kiwi Crate for this month contained a chef's hat and apron, along with crayons to use for decorating them.  Well, the apron was decorated beautifully, but isn't of the best quality (I think I can sew on different trim to fix it), but we dug out Annaliese's apron and she helped us make every meal this week. I often ask her to help and she never takes me up on it, until now- all thanks to getting the chef stuff in the mail. 

This kid always reads like crazy, but spent MANY hours this weekend in this position reading his Percy Jackson books. He started book four Saturday morning, and finished it before bedtime on Sunday.