Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Madness...

More madness and mayhem....

The vintage frames on the "eat me" flags are from Graphics Fairy and the raspberry-lemon buttercream frosting is from moi.

These chocolate rocks were by far the most popular party treat! Every kid that ran past me had a handful of rocks. The little mushrooms are made from plain old salt dough, baked in the oven and then painted with acrylic paint.

The kids colored butterflies to hang in the trees.

Sparkly candles and cute little birds that we got from the Dollar Store (two per package). I made a little stuffed doormouse, but in the haste of getting everything on the table before guests arrived, I forgot him. He spent the party in the craft cabinet...oh well.

Chessmen cookies. They just happened to fit the theme, so I picked up a couple of bags from Walmart the night before the party.

Mad Hatter Tea Party

My amazing friend Laura took pictures at Ashni's birthday party. Her eye is SO much better than mine. I really appreciate it Laura. Here is her view of Ashni's Mad Hatter tea party:

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

The decorations were so whimsical!

Everything was so colorful.

March Hare: Have some wine.
(Alice looks around and sees no wine, only tea.)
Alice: I don't see any wine.
March Hare: There isn't any.
Alice: Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it.
March Hare: It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited.

But this was no ordinary mad tea party...

... it was a birthday (mad) tea party. Or was it an un-birthday?

Alice wasn't fortunate enough to have her very own chair at the Mad Hatter's tea party.

Queen of Hearts: Who's been painting my roses red? Who's been painting my roses red? Who dares to taint with vulgar paint the royal flower bed? For painting my roses red someone will lose his head.

There was tea and terrariums.

And adorable little mushrooms.

"It was all very well to say `Drink me,' but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. `No, I'll look first,' she said, `and see whether it's marked "poison" or not'; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later."

Fortunately, this bottle was labeled "Pellegrino," so Ashni was more than happy to take a sip... or five.

Alice: If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

In other words, there were rocks... chocolate rocks.


"Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words `EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants. `Well, I'll eat it,' said Alice, `and if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door; so either way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which happens!'

"She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, `Which way? Which way?', holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.

"So she set to work, and very soon finished off the cake."

Of course, it wouldn't be a mad tea party without hats.

Much better

Time to eat...

And drink tea...

While wearing hats.

And dads rejoiced
But better than scavenger hunts, and hats, and juice, and chocolate rocks, and cake, and hummus sandwiches, and Pellegrino - yes, even Pelligrino - were friends.

Shy friends.

Baby sister friends

And make believing.

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

And bubble blowing.

And an abundance of birthday smiles.

The King: ...go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Thank you, Laura, for capturing our day so well. We could not have asked for a better afternoon. AND after two days off from school, I think I am finally recouperated. Whew! No more birthdays until August...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mad Hatter Tea Party Spoiler and all around birthday weekend

March 26th was Ashni's 7th birthday. We were lucky enough to have my older brother and his two children visiting for the weekend. We took all of the kids to Tupelo to let Ashni spend her $25 gift card. Before she actually bought anything, she felt like $25 meant she was RICH! She learned quickly that $25 in 2010 doesn't get you a whole lot. But she enjoyed being able to pick her own things to buy and she tried to be very frugal. She wouldn't even consider anything that cost more than $10. Despite her frugality, she wanted to buy her little sisters (just her little sisters, sorry Jena) gifts. So she let Bijou pick a pair of flip flops and got Zion a glitter filled bouncy ball.

This was a VERY welcomed sight coming bag from Tupelo. She does not do well without a nap (and neither do the rest of us)

Zion was trying out a new look at Old Navy. I think it works!

I mentioned before that this year's birthday party was going to be the Mad Hatter's tea party. Hopefully I will have some really great pictures to share soon (thanks Laura!) but I thought I'd share just a couple of the ones that I have. I have to say that this party was a LOT of work, but the kids had a blast. We made mad hatter paper bag hats and had an awesome scavenger hut. There were little tea sandwiches, eat me raspberry lemon cupcakes, chess men cookies and a variety of tea in a variety of tea cups (from tiny toy tea sets to cow cups with utters). A mad time was had by all.
This is the cupcake tower and birthday banner in the works. The cupcake tower was surprisingly easy. It's made with scrap cardboard that I had around the house. I used the same book pages as the invitations and trimmed it with some lace that we had in the craft cabinet. The letters for the banner are just printed off and colored with colored pencil.

The tower complete with cupcakes and Ashni's little cake on top. The little birds and sparkly candles came from the Dollar Store.

I made tissue paper pom poms and got paper lanterns from the Dollar Store.

I will post soon with the good pictures, but you get the idea...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Candy from Ancient Greece

We are studying ancient Greece right now for history. We're just starting out and so far we have listened to Homer's The Odyssey, worked on Zeus' family tree and made these little treats (that apparently were popular during symposiums in ancient Greece). They were very simple and the kids really liked them.

Here's the recipe:

7 tablespoons of sesame seeds
4 large tablespoons of honey
(That's it!)

Add sesame seeds and honey to a small saucepan. Simmer on low for 15 minutes stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool stirring occasionally. Let it cool until it's almost room temperature. It gets really stiff, so you may want to pour it onto a piece of wax paper while it's still warm and let it cool there. When it's cool, wet you hands with cold water and roll small spoonfuls into balls. You can wrap them in squares of wax paper.

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, March 19, 2010

Warm weather and making kites

The kids have almost cleared the backyard of who knows how many years of leaves. Thank you 70 degree days. Inspired by the wind billowing through the lawn and leaf bags as they were being filled, the girls decided to make kites and take them to the park. We used plastic grocery bags and bamboo skewers. We really couldn't get them to fly. I think they may have been too small. So if the weather permits, we will make bigger ones tomorrow and try them again. Despite the kite failure, the kids had a great time at the park and I enjoyed my bare feet touching the cool grass.

And, just because it was such a nice day, I thought I'd get some pictures of the girls all together. But to start you off, here's the best picture that anyone has ever taken of any baby EVER! Well, probably not, but I think it's pretty darn cute!

Now on to the pictures from the park....

The four ladies. It was pretty much impossible to get everyone to look at me at the same time, so I gave up trying.

There were big huge blossoms of some sort on the trees. Bijou is sporting hers as a hat.

The oldest and youngest of our little tribe. They have lots of moments like this. Jena is like the second mother.

Ashni was trying to get her to smell the flower not eat it.

She is still wearing that blossom hat!

Just the ladies today.

It was a good day...