Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dad Turns 60 And We All Benefit!

Well, it was another long weekend in the Blue ridge Mountains as we all came together to celebrate my Dad's Big 60th Birthday.  Mom made sure it would be a night to remember and she no doubt succeeded!  Sev flew in from Colorado to surprise Daddy and Knox had to work, but all in all, we were there together.
It was the most perfect fall evening we could ask for and the party planners in us took off!  There was a large white tent brought in just for the occasion (you would have thought it was a wedding!) and a 6 piece band showed up with their sound guy in tow to treat us all to some great hits from the 60's and 70's.  Dad's buddy Bobby Mentzer has a roaming BBQ trailer called "Bobby-Q" and he was there to spoil us with pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw and home made mac n cheese (we love our Southern food, if you haven't caught on by now...)

 It was quite possibly the biggest shin dig we have thrown up there!  Mom, Robbie and I also went to town decorating the inside of the tent and surrounding tables.  We went with the whole Festive Fall theme and had a ball doing all of the tables and center pieces!  Mom even had a table full of pics of Dad through the years.
I also used a larger version of our wooden tray to make a yummy cheese platter to hold folks over until the main course was served.
It was such a fun filled night and many of Dad's old high school buddies showed up, as well as a bunch of the younger generation, who love him almost as much as we do.  He's a pretty awesome guy and we were lucky to celebrate such a monumental birthday with him!  Thanks Pa Chunk for all you do for us and know how much we adore you! (Now, can we do it all again next year and just say you're turning 60 again?  I've done it with 29 for 3 years now!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Daughter, Another Birthday

So in the last post you got to see the super cute Halloween Birthday Party we threw for Miss Ella and that kind of made me realize, ummmmm, may need to start planning for her party this year! Geesh, the time is flying by!  She is going to be 4 and I just cannot believe it!

She is very into her ballet and princess world right now, so when we were thinking of a theme we decided to go with "Ella Bella Ballerina."  For those of you who have not had the joy of meeting Ella Bella Ballerina, she is a magical little girl brought to life in a series of wonderful stories by author James Mayhew.
He has written on Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and as much Ella adores him.  We found an invite on Tiny Prints that resembles her quite a bit and ordered Ella her own PSA Essentials "Princess" Stamp.  We also added the "Cupcake" Peel and Stick pack to the order as it is the ultimate in girliness with cupcakes, lady bugs, purses, ballet slippers and, of course, a tutu.  We stamped our hearts out on the outside of the invite in order to let the guests have a sneak peak of what the theme would be and we are pretty pleased with the turnout if we say so ourselves!
We also had a good time changing out the inks and playing with both the grapefruit plain and the grapefruit/espresso dual ink pad.  That's what was really fun about this craft, Ella is old enough to get involved and PSA Stamps are a real no mess way to let your kids just stamp away. (And believe me, I am a no mess kinda Mom!)

Probably the coolest part of this whole theme was that I wrote an email to the author himself and he was so thrilled by the idea of it that he wrote a blog about it himself.  Make sure you check it out and read a few of his books, he truly is a gifted writer and illustrator.

Monday, October 3, 2011

How Do I Love Halloween, Let Me Count The Ways....

Halloween may be one of my favorite holidays of the entire year.  Why, I truly cannot figure that out but I will tell you that is has been a life time obsession of mine.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not all into the fright night, gothic, ghosts and goblins thing...it's more like carving the pumpkins, roasting the pumpkin seeds and making the pumpkin bread.  And now that I have kids, its all about finding the perfect costumes for them.  We also love to break out all of the fall decorations for inside and outside the house.  There is a whole tub in the attic waiting to be brought down this coming weekend!

Last year, Rick went all out for Miss Ella's pumpkin and carved her a Tinkerbell Pumpkin.  It was quite the beauty compared to the other three in our family patch out front, but she deserved it...it is pretty close to her birthday after all.  As much Ella had a Halloween themed third birthday last year.  We had it on Halloween, so all of the kiddos came in costume and ready for some treats (and tricks....)

Soooo cute, right?  The pumpkin buckets had double duty as they were filled with favors and had all of the invitees names on them to use that evening.  This year the girls will both be collecting their goodies in our personalized buckets
These will look so adorable with their matching Strawberry Fairy costumes (don't worry...plenty of pics to follow!)  But back to last year's birthday party, the tricks came out when we played quite possibly my favorite party game EVER!!!!  We tied donuts to a string, hung from another string, made the kids stand with their hands behind their backs and eat their donuts....
It was epically hysterical and required about three boxes of baby wipes to clean off their faces, but we all adored it!  Afterwards, we went our separate ways and gathered up enough candy to fill their buckets a few times over.  Maybe that is why I love Halloween so much, it is always so memorable.  Last year more than ever so, as it was our first holiday as a family of four.