Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Camping-Themed Birthday Party

I tossed around a few ideas before finally setting on a camping-themed birthday party for Carter.  Even though he's a just little guy, some of his favorite things are playing in our tent and making s'mores (or "'mores" as he calls them).

Decorations were easy-peasy, since almost everything were things I already had.  I used some free printables to make a sign for the door.  (It says, "Camping Party," but you can't read it very well here.)


 In the backyard, we had the firepit, the tent, and a little banner that said, "Camp Carter."


Frank tended the firepit


while Uncle Brian worked the grill.


We had hamburgers, brats, and hotdogs, along with "camp food" like corn on the cob, chips, fruit, and baked beans.  I saw this cute idea where you float plastic bugs in your punch bowl, but my plastic bugs sank!  I guess that made it an even bigger surprise when you got to the bottom of the lemonade and found a bug?  I'll tell myself that, anyway.





 The one idea that did work was the gummy-worm centerpiece.  I couldn't find a tackle box in good enough condition to serve food from, so I bought a little grey pencil case that served as a tackle box.


I made a Dirt Cake for his birthday cake, and I was a little nervous because Carter has never had Dirt Cake. How sad would it be if he didn't like his own birthday cake?!  Fortunately, he loved it!  He was a little unsure about the gummy worms at first, but then he decided those were pretty cool, too.


As we were finishing lunch, it started to sprinkle.  Not good news for the campfire or s'mores.  We got really, really, lucky though, and it turned out to be a brief shower that didn't even extinguish the fire.  Soon, we were headed back outside for s'mores making!



When Carter was ready to unwrap gifts, he got some help from his BFF Jenna and, of course, Jacob, who I might add, spent most of the day telling Carter he didn't like two-year-olds.  Jealous much?!



The best part of the day, though, was just all of us hanging out and having fun together.  For days, the kids had been so excited about playing with all of their grandmas and grandpas and cousins all at once.  And it was no small fete, either, since Gary, Anna, Rachael, Jenna, and Brett had to drive 3.5 hours one way... and 3.5 hours home in the same day.

Carter (and Jacob) loved playing with everyone, and we all just had the best time.



















All the fun eventually caught up with the Birthday Boy around mid-afternoon, and he went down for a nap shortly after everyone left.


Carter had a very fun-filled day, and he's a very blessed little two-year-old to have so many family members remember him on his special day!



Friday, August 8, 2014

The Friday Five

I don't care if it's August; it's still early August, and I'm not ready for all this fall/back-to-school stuff!  I love summer, and this one has seemed too short.  I am not going to think about fall decorations, fall clothes, or fall activities for at least another week or two.  (Notice fall food isn't on that list? You'll understand why when you read #1!)

Here are the five things making me happy today:

#1  Apple BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw.  This is currently in my crockpot, and the smell is AMAZING!  If they taste half as good as they smell, we have a winner.



2.  Curtains.  I'm not getting new curtains any time soon, but I'm thinking about them.  I have Project ADD. Remember the gallery wall I want to make in the hallway?  Yep, I still want it, but I haven't done any more about it.  

Now, I have curtains on the brain.  I don't want pattern, but I don't want solid.  Something like this might be cool. 


3.  More inspiration rooms.  Look at these gorgeous spaces.  How can you not feel like you have projects when you see these rooms?





4.  Carter's new job.  Every day, at least twice a day, Carter gets out all of the cars and lines them up.  Sometimes he plays with them, but sometimes the fun is just in lining them up.  Eventually, he puts them all back in the drawer.  (It's the putting-them-back part that makes this a happy thing for me!)  He is so serious about it, too, like it's his job.


5.  This quote:


Happy Weekend!




Monday, July 21, 2014

Fair Fun

Last Saturday afternoon, we met the Tuttles for some fun at the Iroquois County Fair.  When we were younger, Emily and I would spend hours at the fair riding rides, drinking lemon shake-ups, and looking for boys.

Fast forward about 20 years, and we have all the boys we can handle!

Ethan, Caleb, Jacob, and Carter

First on the afternoon's agenda were the rides.  I was surprised (and a bit concerned!) that there were almost no height requirements for the rides.  Jacob was so excited to go on rides with just "the guys."





Speaking of wanting to be one of "the guys," Carter refused to sit in his stroller.  Yes, we've now entered that fun stage of pushing a stroller (because it's inevitable that he'll get too tired to walk the whole time) and also keeping up with a toddler whose on the loose.  His neon yellow outfit was no accident-- it was so he could be spotted easily!



Then Frank decided to get in on the action...




After rides, we saw some animals. Jacob held some baby chicks, but Carter just really wanted to be in the pen with them.  He really, really wanted to.  So he had to go back in the stroller for the rest of the barns!





And what's a fair without fair food and some tractors?





The boys and Matt watched a few minutes of a dog obedience show.


It was so neat to see my kids enjoying an event that I used to look forward to all summer, and being able to share the day with friends made it even more special.