Monday, October 17, 2011

The Zone

I just realized I never posted this.  Here's a little peek into the end of our summer.

We live near the border and there are certain places you can only access with a special border zone pass. This year our family was able to get passes, unfortunately we haven't been able to use them like we thought.

A couple months ago Marvin went hunting for some good camping spots in the zone. Unfortunately he discovered you need a better vehicle to travel very far into the zone. Since the only one we know with this type of vehicle recently fell into this river with it, we were out of luck.

Marvin also discovered we have some pine forests in our area. The majority of our mountains are pretty rugged with lots of rock and cliffs, so this was a fun surprise.

He saw some paragliders.

Made it up to an old campsite.

Our backdoor is pretty spectacular.

You should visit!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yo Ho Ho

Our little pirate was SO very excited about his birthday party, and so was I. I love planning parties and told Marvin I'd love to do it as a job but only with a staff who could make all my ideas happen. Since that will never happen, I'll just enjoy planning my little guys' parties.

Since you couldn't make it here's a peek into what we did and a few of the details.

We had a full house in our little apartment. We had a total of 14 adults, 5 school age children 8 preschoolers and 4 babies in our apartment this past Saturday, yep that's 31 people in our two bedroom apartment. Since we had a full place I knew we'd have to keep things organized and utilize the playground outside for some games. Thankfully the weather was nice enough to do so!

As people arrived we had several activities for the children to stay busy with.
Dress up. We printed out some pirate hats and I sewed some elastic to a felt pirate eye patch that was free for the taking.

Make your own "spotting scope" as Calvin likes to call them.

Creating a pirate flag.

Treasure hunting.
I made an I spy bag for Calvin recently which worked great for this, but I ended up making another one out of an empty soda bottle for the party. For this activity I gathered small toys (several from Calvin's beloved kinder eggs), and then photographed them. I then cut open a soda bottle added the toys and taped it together with some packing tape. Next I filled it with rice (if you want it more permanent add some super glue to the lid). I printed off the pictures and had the kids hunt for the buried treasure circling the ones they found.

There were some various pirate printable coloring pages, along with pirate word searches and mazes for the older kids available to do.

After all our guests arrived we ate.
We enjoyed "Pirate Joes", fruit and veggie swords, salad and goldfish.

Then it was time for the treasure hunt. Marvin made a map and they needed to collect all the keys to open the treasure chest. This was a BIG hit, and it turned out to be more of an Easter egg hunt rather than a following the map activity. But they LOVED it and were the most excited about this game.

All the kids loved their treasure. I made little drawstring bags, printed off some coloring pages on the internet and sewed a few together for a custom pirate coloring book, we added some sweets and stickers, and boom we had a fabulous treasure to give out.

Next we played cannon ball war. We used crumpled computer paper for our cannonballs and the two teams had to throw the cannon balls to the other side, the team with the most cannonballs on in their ship was sunk and had to walk the plank.

Lastly we played sword tag, we made a soft sword and they had to use it to tag everyone making them frozen. Calvin's very into freeze tag at the moment so it was fun to incorporate this into the party.

We brought the cake down, sang happy birthday to our little pirate and were able to pass out cupcakes to all our neighbors who were outside playing or sitting outside. These cupcake wrappers were the way to go they made it very easy to give to our neighbors. It was fun for Calvin's neighborhood friends to share in his special pirate birthday too. We were thankful that most all of them were out that night.

After cake we headed inside to open presents. Then we let the kids watch the pirates who don't do anything which gave the parents some time to chat.
Marvin decorated the cake, didn't he do an amazing job!

It was so much fun. Of course I didn't have time to make everything I had planned on making but it was sure fun to see what I did have time for come together.

If you're curious, I printed the banners and cupcake liners from here
I made my own invite via photoshop elements.
I used this basic template for the food labels and added some words in Picnic.

I'm so thankful for printables, especially since we live in a place with zero craft supplies but I did score some fun pirate napkins and candles locally, so I guess we can find some stuff here.

We wish you could have been here.

linking up to

Tip Junkie handmade projects