Sunday, May 15, 2011

LEGO LAND Birthday Party

My kids are growing up a lot faster than I want them too...of course parents have been saying that since the beginning of time. Micah turned 7 this past week and we have partied ALL week long. Today, we had his LEGO LAND Birthday party. While mommy is exhausted, I have a very happy little boy sound asleep in his bed...worn out from the sheer excitement of the day!

Last night when I put Micah to bed, all he had seen was his cake. After getting the kids in bed, we transformed the basement into LEGO LAND...when Micah woke up this morning I took him downstairs to see his kingdom for the day. I know I can get a little caught up in the details of the party being perfect, but when I see that precious smile, it makes every moment of my planning worth it. He smiled all day long and I cannot count the number of times he told me "Thank you for an AWESOME birthday party!" As a mom who LOVES planning parties for her kids...I smile at that compliment from the birthday boy...because after all it was his day and if he loved it then it was perfect! So now I share with you Micah's LEGO LAND!

His invitation was double sided and turned out so cute.
I designed it as a part of a party collection with my Heart to Hart Stationary Designs...
check out my Design Blog or my Etsy Store for more designs.

As the guests came down the stairs they were greeted with the words "LEGO LAND" on the wall of the stair well. Once downstairs everything was red, yellow, blue and green...balloons, streamers, Legos, etc. We borrowed these large legos from a friend and Daniel built Micah a throne to sit in while he opened presents. The boys getting involved in the decorations might have been one of my favorite parts about this party. They have been building things all week long! I made the 7 plaque using a Lego base plate and all different lengths of Legos.

The table was set for lunch. I took square yellow plates and made them look like LEGO Minifigure heads. I wrapped the green forks in a blue napkin and secured them with a piece of striped paper and a LEGO tag. The juice boxes were wrapped in a paper too look like LEGO bricks. I took a piece of bubble wrap and spray painted it green to look like a long LEGO plate and it was down the center of each table. On top of this there were several jars filled with LEGOs, wrapped with a piece of paper and a tag. Inside each jar was a stake with a 4" tag on it.

As I mentioned above the boys spent all week building with LEGOs. We displayed their creations throughout the family room. The kids enjoyed looking at them and playing with them.

We had a sperate table set up with 8 bowls of different colored LEGO pieces. They were sorted by color and ran down the center of the table. In the very center was a huge LEGO Minifigure head. The kids were able to create their own car (which became their main party favor at the end of the party) and then we raced them. We took a long white table and put piece of yellow streamer down the middle to resemble a road. We put the legs up on one end so that it would slant like a ramp. Then I made some white and black checkered flags tapped them to the side of the table. As the kids finished their cars they raced them down the table. I had several other activities planned, but it rained and the kids were having so much fun racing and rebuilding their cars that we just forgot those other ideas.

The cake table was filled with lots of yummy treats. We had candy coated pretzels with sprinkles, LEGO Minifigure Head marshmallow pops, homemade LEGO gummies, 3 jars filled with candy (gumballs, sour patch kids, and M&M's) and of course the cake.
Since the kids built and raced Lego cars, I decided on a Lego Race Car Cake. I made a seven out of homemade fondant...and made it to look like a road. The Race Cars are made out of fondant also. They were a little tricky, but they turned out pretty cute. I made a pedestal for the cake to sit on out of Lego Duplos. Around the edges of the cake were some Lego Fondant Bricks. The trophy was actually from a Lego Race Car Set.

The birthday boy sat on his throne to open presents. He received lots of LEGOs as well as gift cards to buy more LEGOs with...and many other nice gifts!

No party is complete without a treat bag to say thank you. I found a cute download for a LEGO Minifigure box. Inside the box was a 4 pack of LEGO soap, and a 4 pack of LEGO crayons....I made both of these (and the gummies above) using a LEGO mold. (We also had LEGO soap at each sink.) The kids were also given a paper bag with a little candy in it and they were able to put the cars that they built in the bag to take home with them.

It was a fun party! I cannot wait to begin planning the next party, but I am glad it isn't until November so that I can take a little rest!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Power of a Positive Mom..Day 1

I have had this book titled Power of a Positive Mom for several years. I have read a few chapters in it over the years, but never really studied the book. Recently, I have begun to notice that I spend a lot...A LOT of time correcting my children when they don't act right and very little time praising them when they do as they should. With Mother's Day being this weekend I thought it would be a good study for me to do! So I got out my book, dusted off the cover, opened it up and began reading chapter 1. "Influence beyound Measure...Never Underestimate the Power of a Mother".

Proverbs 31:25-28 (English Standard Version)

25(A) Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Being a Mom is a full time job. We are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year...

We don't get vacation days, we don't get sick days, and we don't get a salary. But we get so many more benefits than we would get from any other occupation. We get paid with kisses, hugs, and smiles...and those are priceless!!!

In the first chapter of her book, Karol lists 3 myths that society tells us.
1. Genetics and peer pressure-not mothers-influence children most
Parents Matter! Despite what the world may tell us, our job as parents matters! It matters to us, it matters to our children, and it matters to GOD!

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (English Standard Version)

4"Hear, O Israel:(A) The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5You(B) shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And(C) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7(D) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Gos places the responsibility of teaching children to love HIM on parents. He knows how important it is for parents to teach and train their children.

2. Motherhood causes women to miss out on the exciting things in life
Our society has become very selfish. We are told by society to look out for ourselves, and to put our needs above everyone elses. We are not missing out on life as begins when we become moms. I cannot remember a time in my younger years when I didn't look forward to being a Mommy. I remember playing with my baby dolls and pretending to be a mommy. I remember thinking up names for my children when I was still in elementary school...none of those names stuck, for which I am sure my children are thankful! Becoming a mom was something that I looked forward to. Are there times we have to say no to an activity because we are moms? Yes. Are there times that we have to put what we need or want aside because the needs and wants of our children come first? Yes! Are there times when we say yes, but everything inside of us is screaming "I DON'T WANT TO!!!"? YES!!! But, the truth of the matter is...I am a mom and my children are my top priority! I don't mind making sacrifices for them. I don't mind giving up activities for them. I don't mind doing the things that they need and want.

3. Being a mother is a waste of a woman's talents and abilities
I am a stay at home mom. That is my job. I went to college for 3 1/2 years to get a teaching degree and I only taught school for 2 years before starting my family. And I can tell you with out a doubt, that being a Mother is the most rewarding job I could have ever been given. My job description is as follows: Chef, financial manager, office clerk, nurse, childcare worker, housekeeper, bus driver, dietitian, property manager, social worker, recreation worker, animal caretaker...the list goes on and on. I do not believe that in order to be a successful mother that you MUST be a stay at home mom. Do I think it is the right decision for my family? YES! I would give up everything if it meant I could stay home with my kids. I always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was about 4 years old. I never changed my occupation of choice. But about the same age I decided that I wanted to stay home with my children...and that too never changed. I loved my years teaching, but if I never set foot in another classroom as a teacher, that is just fine with me.

"The truth is, mother describes not only what we do, but who we are".
Wether you work outside the home or you are a stay at home mom...your employer is God! He gave you the title of mother when that newborn was first placed in your arms.

Colossians 3:17, 23-24 (English Standard Version)

17And(A) whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,(B) giving thanks to God the Father through him.

23(A) Whatever you do, work heartily,(B) as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord(C) you will receive the inheritance as your reward.(D) You are serving the Lord Christ.

Our work is for the LORD! As christians we should strive daily to be pleasing to HIM...not society. We should work with all our hearts to raise our children in HIS ways. We may not see any big pay checks from our jobs as Mothers, but one day we will be rewarded by our God for the job we have done.

At the end of this chapter, Karol encourages us to read the verses below and apply them to your role as a mother.

Romans 12

1(A) I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God,(B) to present your bodies(C) as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2(D) Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by(E) the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may(F) discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]

3For(G) by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you(H) not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment,(I) each according to(J) the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For(K) as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we,(L) though many,(M) are one body in Christ, and individually(N) members one of another. 6(O) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if(P) prophecy,(Q) in proportion to our faith; 7if(R) service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity;(S) the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with(T) cheerfulness.

9(U) Let love be genuine.(V) Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10(W) Love one another with brotherly affection.(X) Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal,(Y) be fervent in spirit,[g](Z) serve the Lord. 12(AA) Rejoice in hope,(AB) be patient in tribulation,(AC) be constant in prayer. 13(AD) Contribute to the needs of the saints and(AE) seek to show hospitality.
14(AF) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15(AG) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16(AH) Live in harmony with one another.(AI) Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h](AJ) Never be wise in your own sight. 17(AK) Repay no one evil for evil, but(AL) give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you,(AM) live peaceably with all. 19Beloved,(AN) never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written,(AO) "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20To the contrary,(AP) "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.