Harry Potter Party Prep Pt.1

The stuff we do for our children.  That’s all I can say.

No, actually there’s more.

I love the Harry Potter books… not as much a fan of the movies although they are very fun, but the point is I’m a fan, so when Sam said he wanted a Harry Potter theme for his 10th birthday…  Well, it’s very hard not to go wild.  I’m trying to do it bare-bones-keep-it-cheap style with stuff around the house (for the most part).

I’m just beginning the real prep.

Candy.  I’ve been slowly collecting candies that I thought could be appropriate – Chocolate coins for galleons to be used throughout the party, gummy sharks, rattlesnakes, and the pop rocks will be used in conjuction with lollipops in a Honeydukes workshop “How to make Dumbledore’s favorite treat: Acid Pops.”  Sticks will be turned into Sugar Quills.

Kat had been given a mystery bean jelly belly machine  – into the machine the every flavor beans go!  A bean pops out and the kids need to guess what flavor…

Anabelle wanted to see what candy I had been collecting and tried a bean. She got pepper and WAS. NOT. PLEASED!  She also helped me secretly experiment with making the Sorting Hat talk.  Fun!

The trick in hosting a cheap theme party is to make it an experience.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it’s just some added touches that make the fun.  The guide for the party?  Sam wanted it to be Hagrid.

But how do I turn Sam’s dad into Hagrid without spending major buckaroos?

Enter two pieces of pipe cleaner.

See if it’ll stay and if it’ll be comfortable…. check.

Add a 2 dollar piece of craft fur!  Attach it to the pipe cleaner and voila!  Heehee… I think Mike will look much better in it than I do… ( ;

To be continued….

Astronomy Week & Dance Week

April is a busy month for International weeks!

If you’ve been following for awhile, you know that this little experiment of ours led to many fun astronomy moments that we would otherwise have missed.
The biggest find of the week? Astronomy Magazine’s section called The Sky This Week. The link will take you to this week’s list of things to look for at night! It’s detailed enough to let you know if you need binoculars and what direction to look in – I love it! A perfect way to celebrate Astronomy Week & to encourage my budding young scientists. We’ll be visiting this site frequently.

The second find is National Dance Week Curriculum. If you’re a visual person, this probably isn’t the site for you, but if you like to read directions at your own pace then you might like it.  There is different dance styles for different grade levels and if you scroll down the curriculum you get to the good stuff:  step-by-step directions to complete dance moves.   Anabelle is excited to learn some ballet steps.





Savers and World Penguin Day

I’ve always wanted my children to know the value of saving for what they want. To know that instant gratification is not something that occurs naturally in the real grown up world of money.

My children are never short on wishes.  Neither are their parents, for that matter.  But there is one thing that they’ve all never relented on. I even got pictures slid underneath my door, starting a year ago:

I wasn’t too worried; trampolines are too expensive for their pockets.

That was last year.  That was before they all started saving most of the money that came their way.  That was before they realized they could ALL combine their money.  That was before a big sale on a trampoline/safety enclosure package.

Savers can be dangerous, especially when they join together.

Even with savers in the house, I’m still the gatekeeper and was very nervous about safety.

I had read all about the injuries that happen on these things, and wasn’t sure I’d allow it.

Until I read comparable injuries with bikes and skiing and the like.  Then, I read about the major reasons WHY kids get hurt. Allow me to share our rules as a direct result:

No jumping off roofs, or any other structure, onto the trampoline.

No games that involve the eyes being closed.

No flips or somersaults WHATSOEVER.

A parent must be in the vicinity, watching, to stop you if you decide to do something stupid. Run all ideas that deviate from normal jumping by a parent.  The parent will tell you if it’s stupid.

Don’t get hurt.

The End.

I didn’t realize just how MUCH exercise the kids would get on the first day it was set up.  Wow.

Hubby said, “Think about all the peace and quiet you’ll get. You can stay inside, watching out the window.” That sounded nice.

We didn’t, but should’ve, anticipated the “Watch Me!”, “Watch this!” initial phase.

Or how entertaining it would be.

The thing is, even though they are jumping on a trampoline, they are still JUMPING.  Using their legs and core muscles A LOT.

So, for World Penguin Day they are honoring the penguins by waddling.  I think I’ll honor it by watching a Penguins of Madagascar, or my favorite humorous penguins video (It’s still National Humor Month!)






Happy Easter!

I love Easter morning. He is Risen!

This is the first sight my tired eyes met this morning.  A sleepy-eyed girl who had just discovered her basket and couldn’t wait to put on her Easter dress!

And since I had a day of flashbacks yesterday as my son had his tenth birthday, my mind immediately flashbacked to an Easter morning years ago:

Oh dear.  Except clearly, she wasn’t wearing this dress. She was wearing her sister’s dress from 6 years ago.

Oh dear.  Okay, back to the present day.

She RAN down the stairs to make sure her older sister was ready to start hunting!

You know that your son has just reached the double digits of age when he comes down the stairs and does his Easter egg hunt with headphones on.

That, and the fact that he finds it hilarious that the Easter egg dying kits come with stickers of rockets and chicks for your use.  Which is, I agree, pretty weird.

Oh!  In the shadow I think I spied the Easter bunny!

Poor doggie.