Saturday, June 1, 2013


I'm ready for my close up.
Here is a photo montage of our trip to California.  Not much to talk about really.  I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to cram in all of this in one week with three small children: Disneyland, Legoland (twice), Family pictures on the beach, visit cousins, play in the sand all day, and then clean sand out of a rental house on the beach that will charge you an extra fee if there is extra sand on their floors.  Which I don't get...You're a beach house for crying out loud.  Beach houses get sandy.  So yes...a lot to cram in.  I'm already exhausted and haven't even posted the pictures yet.  Here goes...

Lilly's favorite spot.  She did NOT like the ocean.
We even tried putting her in a kiddie pool by the ocean.  You can see how she felt about that.
Tanner on the other hand is a fish.

And Daisy?  Well she just liked sitting on her potty (which she affectionately called "My Crap"--or my crab.  It was actually a pink frog potty, but she thought it looked more like a crab.  We found it in the garage of the rental house.  How gross is that?
Here's another picture of her clothed.  Yes her eyes are really that blue. Wowzahs!
I got lazy...and life got ahead of me.  So a year later, I just made a photo book of all our adventures.  You can view that photobook right here to get the full experience:

Click here to view this photo book larger
Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Once Upon a Time...

The Princess, Ballerina Room
Once upon a time, there was a princess named Lilly.  And she lived in a magical land where everyone danced and wore pink!  And Today, was Princess Lilly's 3rd Birthday party.  So her crazy Queen mamma and really nice babysitter--Lady Michelle, put together the most grandest party there ever was. And the kingdom rejoiced.

(Ok.  Here are the pictures.  It really was a "grand" party.  That tu-tu table cloth alone cost me about 340 yards of tulle and 3 days worth of my time.  But hey...anything for my little princess! ((enjoy))

First of all, I need to send a shout out to Joreen at Bon Vino's Bistro and Bakery .  She made this cake for Lilly.  She's the best because she did while in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  And it looks AMAZE-balls.  Let me attach the picture that I got the idea from.  I can't remember the actual website unfortunately.  But I took a screen shot of it on my phone months ago.  So here it is.  I love how Joreen puts her own twist to the cake, making it her own work of art. She's a talented lady.

Joreen does Lilly's cakes for us every year.  It's sort of a tradition.  She has a special place in her heart for Lilly because they are both from Holland.  Let me clarify:  Joreen is "literally" from the country of Holland and she makes all kinds of Holland desserts from recipes passed down by her grandma.  AND Lilly is "figuratively" from Holland.  Meaning, she has Down Syndrome.  If you're new to the Down Syndrome world check out this poem "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley  It'll explain why we say that Lilly is from Holland.  Joreen brings back all kinds of jewelry and trinkets for Lilly whenever she goes to Holland to visit.  She's a pretty neat lady.

Ok.  Onward!!!

So, did I mention that this dang table skirt took me forever to make?????  Why. Do. You. Even. Do. THIS. TO. Yourself.  you ask?  I don't know why?  I have some weird addiction to planning parties for my kids.  I don't do it for anyone else (anymore)...just my kids (and my husband, occasionally---ok, and my babysitter too.  She does the grunt work for most of these parties, so she deserves a little party of her own every couple of years. I'll be doing her wedding one day).  Anyway, don't go getting any ideas. I'm not making this into a day time job or anything.  Here's the link to the Pinterest pin that I got the idea from for the table cloth. Called "Oh One Fine Day"  Theirs looks better, I think.

I don't think there's a tutorial on how to make this table skirt on her blog, so I'll just tell you how I did it.  I basically safety pinned a rope onto a table cloth.  Then looped strips of tulle around the rope, just made sure there was enough safety pin reinforcement so that it didn't sag in the center.  I probably used three bolts of tulle and about 100 safety pins.  That thing is NOT coming off.  We might have to use it for Daisy's birthday too.  ((Tinkerbell party--in June)) 

You can see the safety pin here.  But I found that it looks better if I put the safety pin in back of the material, behind the table cloth, so it's hidden. You'll get lots of pin pokes if you're not careful. 

Here's the front.  I did it in sections.  And would pin about every 5-8 loops of material. 

So here's the invite that I sent out.  Like all my ideas, I took this from a party that I saw on Pinterest. So I made my own invite using the same concept.  I bought the little carriage image at VectorStock .  Then I just changed the colors to look more gold-ish.  Photoshop is my friend.  Probably my best friend at the moment.  OK, I am in love with Photoshop.  Then I just found free fonts that I liked at and made it look all princessy.  Turned out cute.  Here's a pic of the final product:

And here's a picture from the party on Pinterest that I got the idea from. Celebrations at Home blog.  Again...their stuff is ALOT cuter...but hey.  I'm getting there.

Oh, and while we are talking about the above blog...we also stole some other ideas from it.  Just freakin' visit this blog, that's all I'm saying.  It is like an explosion of eye pleasing images.  I die everytime I visit that blog.  SO. STINKIN'. CUTE!!!!!  Just go and you'll see what I mean.  Here's the link again: Celebrations at Home .  

The party girls got to wear tutu skirts from Lilly and Daisy's dress up closet. Tanner helped with that.  What a guy.  Always surrounded by women...and has no problem with that.

Jaxon decided to dress up as a "prince" to get into the party mood.  He just came as the Prince of Darkness.  No prob.  Lookin' good!

Clockwise:  Party goers getting their food while Lilly was playing dodge the camera; The inside of the cake as Mariel (Lilly's little Holland buddy) and Charlie looks on; All party goers got a crown.  Found the ideas from this pinterest link: DIY lace crowns .

We even had a dance class, taught by a professional dancer.  ME! (hahaha)  Well, wasn't that great of a class.  But the kids look cute in this picture.  We used these to dance with.  Michelle made them from another pinterest pin.  Imagine that.  Here's the link:  Party Craft Secrets

Yep.  There I am in all my glory.  Thanks Cori, for this shot!  I'm actually demonstrating a very important move in the world of dance.  And that is the "Popcorn" step.  So basically you crouch as small as you can on the floor, count to 3, then jump as high as you can and yell "Popcorn".  The kids actually love it.  Believe it or not.  Except for Jane, who's frowning over there to the right.  She was too busy being princess Jane and didn't want to get involved.  Love ya Jane!

Ahhhhhh...cake time.  Yes the candles were "Trick" candles.  Lilly got frustrated.  Because she prides herself in being able to blow out hot things.  But they were the only candles I had.  I'm always forgetting some small detail.

Yey!  Candles!!!!  Wait a sec...these things aren't going out!  daggumit!

1. Present time!  I love how Lilly opens presents.  So intense!  2. She loved looking at her homemade cards from friends back behind her wardrobe when most of the guests left.  She was so content.  3. "Ooh! Look at my pretty new crown!  Thanks Charlie!" and thanks to Solomé and Mariel for the cute hair clip!!!!!!!

And this shot is sooooooooooooooooo precious!!!!!!!  She really loves her crown. Looking at her self in the mirror.  What a princess! Thank you Cori, for capturing this beautiful moment.  What a doll!

Bye Everyone!  Thanks for coming!!!!

Then Mom-mom and Papa called to sing happy birthday to Lilly!  Look at her expression.  She is not impressed.  Even though they did harmony and everything. Long day, I suppose.  By the way, that lady singing in that picture is my mom.  And she is the one that does all the "vinyl" stuff for me, for parties.  She's a genius with that stuff.  So, I'm gonna throw in a plug for her business: More than vinyl .  She'll do anything you want!  She's super good at it.  Here's a picture below, of one of the princessy things we did for the party.

The End.  Whew. This post was long too....  It's cuz Cori took so many amazing pictures.  Wow.

Friday, February 22, 2013

LEGO ninjago party

The invitation.  Tanner thinks he's pretty cool, cuz he's the blue ninja.

Yet another LEGO party that I had to plan. ((yey))  I'll tell ya what, I'm kinda burnt out with the whole party thing.  It's like...why do I keep doing this?!?!  I don't know.  I think my friend Michelle thinks I keep doing it to torture her, because she's the one who picks up the slack and then has to deal with a  crazy lady when I get all stressed out.  But whatevs...I only have three kids.  So I might as well make them feel special.  The good news is: I had most of the decor saved from last year.  I just added about 19 million new ninja wall decals all over the house, special ordered from my mom's vinyl business: More Than Vinyl .

So here's how it went:  Kids arrived and got their "Ninja Name".  Just a little decoder sheet of paper that helped them find their ninja name.  I got the idea here: catch my party Ninjago .

Decoding their real names for their ninja names using actual ninja pens.  Fancy!

Everyone got to wear a name tag with their ninja name.  Some were kinda long...

Then the little ninjas were led to the living room where a photo booth was set up.  The kids had a great time with that as you can tell from all the pictures below.

Lord Garmadon was a fan favorite, it looks like.  He's like the coolest, evilest, guy around.

Except for the "Daisy-a-sauras".  That one is pretty adorable.

Then our hungry little ninjas and ninjettes ate.  Mmmmmmmm, what a feast.  Here's what we had:

The cucumber is supposed to look like a snake with cherry tomato eyes and carrot tongue.  I didn't take the picture until after the kids got into it.  

Got the idea of food from several blogs out there.  Here's a shout out to all those blogs: "Thank you!" I don't think I could actually plan a single party if it weren't for google and pinterest.  And thank you to, Michelle, who made all the food.  I thought she did awesome on the sushi!  It looks so real!  You rock, Michelle!

So after our bellies were full, we went straight for the ninja training.  Our original "Sensei" was busy being a chiropractor, so his son, Ben-sei Wu, led the kids in the first part of our Spinjitzu training.  Look at Luke in the back there...totally getting into it.  I love that!  He's like "Hi-ya!" And everyone else is just standing around.  Ben was a good Sensei. Very patient and very knowledgable.  Good Job, Ben-sei!

Next was Lloyd's Shurikin Training.  I think shurikins are like chinese stars...maybe?  Well, let's just say that's what they were for our party--except our version of chinese stars were suction cup balls.  I got a 12 pack of  these suction cup balls and then had my mom print some bad snake guys on butcher paper.  Then I attached the bad guys to the other side of the glass doors.  The object of the game was to throw the "shurikins" at the bad guys and see how close they get to "killing" them.  The kids actually liked this game the best.  No. they loved it.  We now use the same suction cup balls to help Tanner with his reading skills.  We'll put up letters of the alphabet on the windows with painter's tape and ask him to throw one of the balls at whatever letter a particular word starts with.  He would play that game all night long if he could.  There's just something about throwing things that kids like.  You can't go wrong with these suction cup balls.

I think they like the sound of the ball as it hits the window.  It's kinda therapeutic, I must say so myself.
The bad guys.  I think this guy is named "Fang Shui".  Funny.

After that excitement and everyone had like a billion turns. We moved on to: Cole's poisoned Takkyus. Again, I'm kind of shootin' in the dark here, cuz I have no idea what takkyus are.  So, we just pretended they were like a dart or something.  I blew up a bunch of balloons and drew evil snake eyes on them.  Then attached them to a cardboard back drop.  This made my husband a little nervous to have a bunch of small kids throwing darts in our new house.  So he was in charge of this game, watching the kids like a hawk.

This was actually hard for the kids.  Except Tanner.  Dang that kid could pop a balloon each shot he took.  Couldn't believe it.  Hmmmm, I might actually have a future athlete on my hands.  Don't hold your breath though.

Here's the enthusiastic line-up of the kids waiting their turns.  Luke as always, is over-enthusiastic.  Funny.  He cracks me up.  He's like "Yesssssssssssss! Take that!!!!!" As the little Kannaly twins look on in wonder.

After that awesomeness, we went back to the living room for some pinata fun.  This part of the training was called "Zane's Sword Slice".  So the kids used a "sword" (a.k.a baseball bat) to destroy the evil snake guy.  And here's what the evil snake guy looked like:

Pretty amaze-balls, eh?  Of course, Michelle came through once again.  She created this amazing replica of this guy in her spare time:

The kids loved it too. As you can tell by the scene below:

Almost there...we had one final test before the cake ceremony.  Kai's final test:

The kids had to show me their best "Ninja Move" before they got to pass through into the cake room.  Where Jay, the blue ninja, was (Tanner's favorite ninja).  The kids mostly did the same thing, and that was whatever the kid in front of them did.  So I got a lot of jumpy karate turns--which usually just ended up face down on the floor.  Oh well, so much for spinjitzu training.  We handed out sticky ninjas and inflatable swords as their parting gifts.  Yippee.

Here's the cake fun.:

Thanks to Joanna for making this cake for me.  I'm a tired mommy and don't have the time to do everything.  She did a great job though.  I had the intentions of  molding a blue ninja guy out of modeling chocolate.  But that didn't happen.  So we found LEGO candles instead.  Good enough.

That's the back of Tanner's ninja shirt that Mom-Mom made for him.  The front is the front of the
guy. It's the blue ninja, his fave of course.

Blowing them out!  He's officially 5!!!!!

Here's the inside of the cake.  She did a little checkerboard pattern.  Good job, Joanna.  That's Michelle dishing it out.  Nice form.  The cake was gone in 30 seconds.  It was yums.

Is it over yet? Nope.  We opened presents next, blah blah blah...and that was it.  Let the kids watch a ninja episode and then they left.  Over in 2 1/2 hours.  Piece of cake.  The end.

That's Noah.  He's very proud of the gift he gave Tanner.  So cute. 
Whew...long post.