Saturday, December 26, 2015

ADVENTures Days 19-25

Day 19: Granny and Paw-Paw's Christmas

Granny and Paw-Paw host a Christmas celebration every year at their house. There is always plenty of food, fun, presents, and cousins. The boys love it and pretty much spend the entire day outside.

Such a poser.

The kid table.

He got a couple of Lego kits.

Day 21: Benjamin's 7th Birthday!

Benjamin officially turned 7. He got to pick our activity for the day and he chose to hang out at home and play with his new Lego kits. He also had a couple of friends come over for a playdate.

Day 22: Watch a Christmas movie

The boys and I chilled out and watched Elf. They loved it.

Day 23: Go see Christmas lights

Grandpa Joel took us to the Gaylord so we could see the Christmas decorations there. 

Day 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Day 25: Christmas Day!

Surprisingly, I have very few pictures from Christmas Day. We spent the morning at our house letting the boys open their gifts from mom and dad. After lunch we headed to Gammy and Grandpa Al's for more presents.

Benjamin was in heaven over this HUGE Ninjago kit. The thing had almost 1300 pieces and an instruction book as thick as my Bible. We spent hours on it and still had to finish it up the next day. He loves it.

Caleb got an authentic Houston Rockets jersey. 

Later that night Grandpa Joel and MeMe came over with even more presents for the boys! My house looks like a toy store exploded in it. 

So that about wraps up our ADVENTures for 2015. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Lego Ninjago Birthday Party!

My baby turned 7 years old today. SEVEN! Sigh. We had a small party at the house yesterday with a couple of his friends. The theme: Lego Ninjago. There are a ton of ideas for a  Lego Ninjago themed party and I borrowed from several sources and came up with my own ideas as well. I love this kind of thing and I had a blast planning and preparing.

I made each child a headband with their name on it. I printed out the names using a font in PicMonkey and laid white ribbon over the name. I used a small paint brush and black paint to copy the name onto the headband. It was a bit tedious but they came out really cute and they were a big hit at the party. I tried tracing the name with permanent marker but that bled too much, I found that paint looked cleaner and neater.
You know I'm the queen of cardboard so I had to make something out of my favorite material! Using a Lego Ninjago minifigure as my inspiration I sketched out a design on a large sheet of cardboard. 

I am so proud of how this turned out ya'll! I cut out holes so we could use the cardboard cutout as part of a ninja star throwing game at the party. You'll see how that worked out in a minute.

I bought cheap black gift bags and added the circles to make them look like Lego bricks. The goodie bags contained some chop sticks, origami paper with instructions on making a ninja star, a Ninjago coloring book I put together, and some Lego brick crayons I made using a Lego brick mold.

To make the crayons, you just put pieces of crayons (without the paper) into the mold. Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until the crayons are fully melted. Then put into the fridge to firm up. They are really cute when they are done.

I used small takeout boxes filled with fortune cookies as another take-home treat. I got the printable from this site.

When the kids arrived they had to figure out their Ninja name using the code above. They got a kick out of that!

I went simple with the cake and cupcakes.

Benjamin had the idea of using Ninja sword toothpicks.

The dining room was transformed into a dojo for the party. I went to Dollar Tree and bought several black and green tablecloths for $1 each. I used the black to cover the walls. I covered the chairs with tablecloths as well. 

I made the sign in PicMonkey. Easy-Breezy.

This is my favorite and I wish I could take credit for the idea...but I can't. I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was adorable. It's just Rice Krispie treats that I cut into rectangles, put a Swedish Fish on top and wrapped fruit leather (or a fruit roll-up) around it. I made the food labels using PicMonkey and added Ninjago stickers.

Kai Kabobs was Benjamin's idea. We took the Ninja swords and added fruit to them.

For Cole Cookies, I just dipped fortune cookies into melted chocolate.

Ninja fuel = Drinks.

I got the juice box and water bottle labels here

I ordered these paper lanterns from Wal-Mart for $2 each. I printed the ninja eyes (from the site above) and taped them onto the lanterns.

I cut out a bunch of ninja star shapes and taped them all over the wall.

The boys ninjas are ready for the party. See how cute the headbands came out! Each kid also received a black belt (just black ribbon I bought at a craft store). Benjamin wanted to be this Ninjago guy:

You know that awesome Ninjago cutout I made....see him just cast aside on the ground? The boys found Benjamin's Nerf guns and spent most of the time in the backyard shooting each other. No one threw ninja stars at my Ninja. I have to laugh because I think I could have just passed out Nerf guns and bullets to all the kids, skipped everything else I did, and they would have been just as happy. Lesson learned. I may like to craft and plan, but boys just want to run and play. They don't care about all the bells and whistles. Oh well. Benjamin had a blast and that is what matters.


You can check out Benjamin's wild entrance into the world by clicking here. He was forced into the world 8 weeks early and has been causing trouble ever since. I love this kid.

Friday, December 18, 2015

ADVENTures Days 11-18

Days 11-12: Head to OKC for basketball tournament

We had to travel out of state for a wheelchair basketball tournament over the weekend. Before we hit the road we had to follow-up with Benjamin's ortho to see how his broken arm was doing. He had a quick xray and everything looked good so they added one more layer to his cast to hold everything in place. We head back in 3 weeks to get a short cast. He can't wait to get his short cast so he can finally move his elbow.

He chose neon yellow for the color. He loves it...well, he loves the color...not so much having a cast. He really is doing great though. I know it's been hard on him but he has handled it like a trooper.

Getting comfy at the hotel in OKC. Because of his broken arm, he hasn't been able to suck his left thumb (which is his favorite thumb) which caused some tears at the beginning. He has managed to make his right thumb fill the void. He's such a mess.

Best part of hotels? Yummy cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Thumbs up while we chill and watch bubba play some basketball.

Day 13: Go see the new Peanuts movie

Sorry no picture. The boys enjoyed the movie though.

Day 14: Compassion Experience

I took the boys to the Compassion Experience. It is a really neat event hosted by Compassion International. It provides an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like in other countries. We have sponsored a boy in India for over 12 years so I thought this would be a neat experience for the boys. I highly recommend it. 

You get headphones and an Ipod so you can listen to the story as you walk through the experience.

You go room to room as you listen and learn about the life of a child that was impacted by Compassion International. It took the boys a little bit to realize what we were doing...even though I explained it several times but I think they got something out of it anyway. 

Day 15: ....this one didn't happen...

So I had something planned for this day...but then our fridge/freezer broke the day before and kinda turned my life upside down. It turns out that it is really hard to do life well without a working fridge and freezer. Life happens. Luckily, we were able to get it fixed and life returned to normal.

Day 16: Make sweet treats to share

We made some treats to give to their co-op teachers and Caleb's therapists. This is such an easy and yummy treat to make. You need pretzels (I like the snaps), Hershey kisses, and mint M&M's.

First have your kids unwrap a million kisses while you heat your oven to 250 degrees and lay out a layer of pretzels on a cookie sheet.

 Put a kiss on each pretzel. Bake for about 4-5 minutes (until the kisses looks shiny). Then press a mint M&M on top of the soft kiss. Put in fridge to cool and harden.
Salty. Sweet. Minty. Yummy.

Day 17: Take a toy and a treat to the fire station

Every year our local fire stations collect toys to pass out to local kids. We made a quick stop by there to drop off a toy for the collection and leave some yummy treats for the firefighters.

My boys.

Day 18: Game Night!

We have a really busy weekend ahead of us so we stuck to the simple for today's activity. 

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