Monday, September 12, 2011

Sage's Super Mario Birthday Party

Sage and I like to plan his birthday parties. He begins the day after his birthday, planning what he's going to do for the next one. At first, he thought he wanted a Goosebumps (R.L.Stine) party because that's what he was into a year ago, but shortly after Christmas he changed his mind and decided he wanted a Super Mario Bros. party. 

So we did. 

The first hour was a pool party, then we served pizza (in honor of Mario and Luigi). Next up, games!

I made these Mario, Luigi, and a Wario hats using a pattern I found here. I made them in a 2-hour sewing frenzy  the day before and I can't believe I didn't stop to take any photos of the cutting/sewing process or close-up pics of the finished products. I only had enough yellow felt to make one Princess Peach crown, but luckily only one girl wanted it. The rest wanted to wear the stick-on mustaches! 

First, the kids played a game called "Toss the Bob-omb" where they stood around the pool and threw three small balls down the floaty thing and got points based on where it landed (a sneaky way to get them to do math). The winner got a trophy and the 2nd and 3rd place winners got medals.

I was afraid the kids would think the chintzy plastic trophies (bought at the party store) and medals (found 2 days before the party at a thrift store for $1.29) were lame, but they LOVED them and oooed and ahhed over them and carried them around proudly.

Next the kids played "Find Princess Peach." I hid two princess peach figurines in the yard and the kids hunted for them (sadly, no pictures of this). After lots of looking and a few hints, Sage's friend Dylan found both of them and was deemed the Peach hero. He got a trophy and a medal.

The next game was called "Pop the Bob-omb." Before the party, Sage  made all these little notes with Mario symbols on them and designated prizes to go with them.

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies got, you guessed it, trophies. The star coins won you medals, the power-up mushrooms won chocolate coins, the stars won the star-shaped balloons we had as decorations (gold foil helium balloons with simple eyes hand-drawn on them). I can't remember what the turtle shell got but the flower got a real flower and the GAME OVER got nothing. Next, we rolled the notes up and inserted them into blown-up balloons, tied them, and put them in a safe place for later...

When later arrived, the balloons were scattered in the yard and after I replaced the ones that spontaneously popped in our too-dry grass, each kid ran to a balloon and popped it, then ran to me to redeem their prize. Sage's sweet friend Abby got the GAME OVER and I felt bad so I let her pop the extra one.

Now it's time for water balloons!

  Are you exhausted yet?  Wait! There's presents and cake!

(Bowser-shell cake instructions blogged in the previous post.)

I love that picture. Everyone looks happy. 

The kids ate their cake on quilts on the hill.

and Kali ate their leftovers.

Now for the final hurrah... a pinata! Sage made it in the week before the party, though we'd been brainstorming it for months. We spray painted a Costo Waffle box white (to hide the words) and then yellow, then Sage painted question marks on every side. We filled it with candy, chocolate coins, and medals and folded it closed on the bottom and taped for added security. Then the kids lined up and went at it in an orderly fashion.

One hit each for the first round,

Then two hits. Mild-mannered Simon smacked it like a pro and the candy went flying.

And the kids promptly scooped it up into their hats. 

and then the party was over. It was a success! No one got hurt or cried and everyone seemed to have a great time. It's hard to believe that this time last year we had a house full of moving boxes and today we had a yard full of friends.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to make a Bowser Shell Birthday Cake

For those of you who aren't familiar with Super Mario Bros., this is Bowser:

He's the bad guy. After months of deliberation, Sage decided he wanted a Bowser shell-shaped birthday cake. The night before his party I made it. Here's how:

First, I mixed 2 boxes of cake mix and poured the batter into a cake pan, a larger pie pan, and a shallow metal mixing bowl. (Note: Bowl-shaped cakes take longer to bake.) Then I let them cool separately. Here they are before the icing:

Next, I iced the bottom layer with whitie icing...

 and the other two with green...


and stacked them again,

and smoothed out the icing.

Now for the spikes. I used sugar cones that I coated with light yellow icing.

It was and experiment that kind of failed at first, but I got the hang of it. (Note: Don't just try to ram the cone in. Carve circle with a spoon first and then slowly push the cone in deep.)

Bower has 10 spikes - 4 down the middle/top and three on each side.


(Note: Have extra cones available, there may be some casualties.)

Next, I filled a freezer bag with orange icing, cut a hole in the corner of the bag,

and squeezed an orange ring around each spike at the base.

I dyed some shaved coconut green and scattered it on the tray to look like grass, and here's the end result:

I defeated Bowser!

Friday, September 09, 2011

DIY Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday Party

Until this year, McKenna had never had a real birthday party. Last summer we were living in a hotel on her birthday. The years before she didn't really have any friends to attend a party, so we just had small family affairs with presents and cake. Luckily no one ever remembers their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd birthdays, so it was no big deal, but this year we were determined to make up for it. After talking her out of a SpongeBob-themed party, and a Strawberry Shortcake-themed party and a few other licensed characters-as-mascots, she decided she wanted a "Teddy Bear Picnic Party", so we ran with that theme.

I spread a few quilts on the hillside in our yard, Erik grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, we had chips and a vegetable plate, pool games and balloons - it was an easy-peasy  DIY picnic/party. The morning of the party, I decided we needed a game, so I got out all my felt and put together this felt board:

And then got out my fleece and faux fur and made this bearface blindfold and ears for everyone:

And they played "Pin the Bear on the Blanket."

 The night before I made the cake. McKenna requested a "Teddy Bear Carrot Cake," so this is what I came up with:

Made with two carrot cake mixes (my great aunt Betty Crocker's recipe), 2 cake rounds and one rectangle-shaped cake carved and reassembled into a bear body form, then slathered with coconut pecan icing which successfully hid the imperfections and looked kind of like fur, albeit moist and sticky fur. I almost attempted icing eyes and a nose until I realized I had something in my studio that would look way better - the eyes and nose I use in my kokoleo monsters.


 The kids were all begging for a piece of the face until I cut into it and they changed their minds and asked for arms and ears and feet instead. I found out later that Sage had told them I used deer eyeballs. Ew!

For gift bags, I made each kid a picnic pack. I wanted to put them on sticks like they do in old timey cartoons, but I didn't have enough sticks, so instead I just stuck a pinwheel in each one. They contained packs of gummie bears, Teddy Grahams, honey sticks from the farmer's market, handmade bumblebee-shaped multi-colored crayons from happy delusions, a jar of ice cream cone-shaped bubbles, and some tiny plastic ants.


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

 For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Monday, September 05, 2011

Oh summer, I barely blogged you.

Whoa, where did the summer go? And why did my blogging stop?

I should have blogged about all the camping trips we went on - Deception Pass, the Washington Peninsula, Kachess Lake, Orcas Island.

I should have posted pics of kokoleo projects I've been working on - sundresses! skirts! pillows! and I should have posted pics of my yard sale scores.

I should have posted summer photos of the kids at their swim lessons or riding bikes or plucking garden vegetables or picking berries or making crafts at the dining room table. It all went by so fast and I forgot to stop and blog about it.

Suffice it to say, it was a good summer. Much better than last summer when we spent 6 weeks in a hotel fighting banks to get this house. This summer we simply enjoyed the house we fought so hard to get. Now I know it was worth it.

But I want to get back on the blogging bandwagon, so I'll start tomorrow with a recap of the events that consumed much of our August - planning and throwing birthday parties, plural.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...