Getting caught up!

Getting caught up!

Wow! I’ve really fallen behind on my blog! I’ve had a lot of blog posts floating around in my mind the past few weeks, but I haven’t taken the time to type them. With a new year just hours away, I wanted to get caught up on writing at least a few of the things I skipped.

Here are some of my back posts, if you want to catch up on what’s been happening:

light

In a different light: I wrote this post about six weeks ago, but talked myself out of posting it. It was a little intense. 🙂 As I look back at the past few months, I now see this as a defining moment for me. I’m hoping to write more about this at some point!

door

Birthday tradition: Ahhh… How I love traditions! Decorating my kids’ doors for their birthdays is one of my faves! Check out our Rainbow Dash inspired birthday decor!

My Little Pony party: Jayda’s fourth birthday party was one of my favorites so far. I had a ton of fun decorating for this one!

Fun on the ice: It wouldn’t be winter without an ice rink in our back yard.

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Fun on the ice

Fun on the ice

This is our third year to build an ice skating rink in the back yard. We took last year off because we had such a mild winter that we didn’t think it would be worth the effort. This year, in contrast, we were already getting some super cold days in November, so we decided it was time to once again transform our backyard into an ice rink.

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Building the rink is a simple process. But it IS a lot of work. CapableDad has it down to a science at this point. He keeps the same wood each year to build a large wood frame that is about 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. Then we buy a large sheet of plastic to lay inside the frame. The plastic is sold in rolls that are 100 by 20. That means, we have to roll out the plastic, cut it in half and then very carefully tape and glue the two strips together to make it wide enough. This was the first year I helped with this process. It’s really not hard, but it is a major pain. We put two strips of duct tape on each side and fill the overlap with caulk. After about an hour of crawling along on my knees, carefully pushing the air bubbles out of the duct tape, I was seriously wondering if it could be possibly worth so much effort!

A few days later, the rink was full of water and frozen over and the kids went out for their first skate. I immediately decided it was totally worth it!

broomball

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jeremy

We already have had many weekend games of broom ball on the ice rink, and lots of skating time. I put Christmas lights on the back of the house this year, and my husband got a sound system that can withstand the cold so I can listen to music while I skate. He also built a homemade “zamboni” to smooth out the ice after it snows.

It’s been so cold already this winter that we have had lots of time on the ice! It definitely makes our winter a lot more fun!alayna    group

jayda

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My Little Pony party

My Little Pony party

Tucked in between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the last of our four children’s fall birthdays, it always seems that Jayda’s birthday sneaks up on me. While the other kids have been having birthday parties since they were 1, I haven’t managed to put together a birthday party for her YET!… Until this year.

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Less than a week before her Dec. 1 birthday, I e-mailed a few friends to see if their daughters would be free to come over for a birthday playdate. Jayda has a really sweet collection of friends and if I had had my act together, I probably would have planned something for more guests. But in the end, it was really nice to have four little girls come over to celebrate My Little Pony style.

ponies

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pony

I had a blast decorating in rainbows, a la Rainbow Dash. I have never really been a fan of My Little Pony, but I will admit that after buying her presents and decorating in all things pony, I agree that my 4-year-old’s passion is adorable.

cupcakes

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For the cake, I used Air Head Extremes to create rainbows on cupcakes.

water

skittles

I grabbed some My Little Pony images from the Internet to create labels for the water bottles. We emptied out more water bottles and created a rainbow of Skittles for one of the party favors.

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food

The food included pizza, crackers and cheese cut in cute shapes, carrots, apples and marshmallows that I found in cute, colorful shapes.

punch

The girls went home on a sugar high after the “drink” I served with the cupcakes. I cut open freeze pops and poured them in a bowl one color at a time to create a rainbow freeze. (Just make sure to allow each layer to freeze completely before pouring in the next color.)

coloring

We had a few planned activities, such as My Little Pony coloring sheets, temporary tattoos, and this Rainbow Dash game that I created throughout the house.

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The game could not have been any simpler. The girls threw a large die that I had from another game. Each side was a different color. Whatever color it landed on is the square they had to go to. If they passed over a pink square, they had to shout out, “Happy Birthday, Jayda.”

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At the end of the path, they came to a box wrapped in rainbow paper with prizes inside. Each child got to reach in and grab a My Little Pony figure. (They sell these in mystery bags, sort of like Lego mini figures so you don’t know which one you are getting.)

box1 box

The girls were hilarious during this game! I thought they might get bored because it was so simple, but halfway through, one little girl announced , “This game is REALLY hard!”

candles

The party was super fun both for the girls and for me! Happy birthday, sweetheart!

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Birthday tradition

Birthday tradition

Our baby is 4. This child has been such a gift to our family. She amazes me more and more everyday with her sparkling personality and loving nature. She is sweet, cute and cuddly. She loves beauty. She loves her friends. She loves her brothers and sister. Especially her sister. She brings so much joy to everyone in our family.

When the big kids were little, I started a tradition of decorating their doors during the night before their birthday. I would usually cover the doorway in wrapping paper and write a “Happy Birthday” message on the side facing them. When they opened the door, they would have to run through or crawl under the door.

Over the years, it has become expected that each child’s doorway will be decorated when they wake up on birthday morning. However, this was the first year the 4-year-old was old enough to really appreciate her birthday door.

She is absolutely obsessed with My Little Pony, so I decided to go with that theme for a small birthday party I planned for her. I looked for ideas on Pinterest, and loved the idea of using rainbows, as in “Rainbow Dash,” one of the main characters.

So, this year, I decorated not only her door, but pretty much the whole house in rainbows made from balloons and streamers.

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stairs

presents
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It was so cute to see the look of amazement when she walked out of her room and down the stairs to the kitchen. “This is so pretty.”

Her day was filled with My Little Pony surprises. And mama got even crazier the next day for her party!

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Do you have any birthday traditions?

 

 

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