Thursday, January 26, 2017

Natalie's 7th birthday party

Before N2 turn 8, I figured I should blog about their 7th birthday parties which were almost a year ago!  Oops!  Sorry long post and lots of pictures!

Natalie had a cooking party since she loves to cook and bake.  I bought small aprons at Michaels using 40% coupons and a big pack of colored Sharpie markers and let the kids decorate the aprons however they wanted to.  I had written their names on the aprons beforehand.  It was interesting to see how the kids decorated.  One kid started to put math problems on their apron so then other kids followed suit.

Once the kids had decorated their aprons, we made chef hats using poster board for the band and tissue paper for the puffy hat part.  The tissue paper had to be accordion folded and then taped to the inside of the band.  It was a little more complicated than a 7 year old could do.  Luckily we had a lot of adult helpers who could assist but the hats turned out really cute!

Prior to the party I bought various kinds of sprinkles that the kids could use to decorate cakes.  I split them up into small bags.  Then I cooked a ton of dollar store spaghetti and buried the bags in the spaghetti.  Then each kid had a turn to be blindfolded and search through the spaghetti to find their decorations.  I think I gave each of them a minute or two.  It was funny to watch!

Once all the kids found their decorations, we had them make their own pizzas.  Brian had already made the dough and gave each kid a piece on parchment paper to spread out.  Then they put sauce and whatever toppings they wanted on their pizza.  Since it was all on parchment paper, we just wrote their names on the paper so we would know whose pizza was whose.

While the pizzas were cooking, it was time for kids to decorate their cakes.  I had made several cake mixes in small loaf pans (I bought disposable pans just for their size) and then dirty iced them in white icing and put each one on a cake rectangle (I bought large ones and cut them in half).  This process took several days.  I froze the cakes in between and that worked fine.  I made a whole lot of icing and made various colors of icing with different piping tips.  We didn't change any piping tips while they were decorating so the green was always with the leaf tip, etc.  I showed the kids how to keep the bag twisted and then how to using pastry bags.  I'm pretty sure I had one pastry bag per child there and then the kids had to trade each other for the colors they wanted.

Their cakes were covered in frosting and sprinkles when they were done!  Charlie and Noah
 Noah had a round cake because there was a Cub Scout cake decorating contest for a banquet we were going to the following day.  I helped Noah make the trees.

 Megan and Sydney
 Natalie and Autumn
 Yasmine and Amelia
 Here are their cakes.  The one in the top left corner is one I decorated to show how to use the tips.  Noah ate off that one because the cake he decorated was for Cub Scouts.

We still weren't done by that point!  Then it was time to make the rest of their lunch (the part was from 10:30-12:30).  We had a lot of fruit and let the kids make their own fruit skewers and make a dip to go along with it.  I had fluffy peanut butter, cool whip, vanilla yogurt, chocolate pudding, and marshmallow fluff  Most of them mixed all of them together for their dip!

Then it was time to eat.  I had bought a variety of juices and let the kids make their own flavor of juice.
Here is our group of chefs.
While kids were finishing up eating and while the table was being cleared off, the kids played a game.  I had a cooking item or food in an empty Kleenex box and they had to reach in to figure out what it was.  I can't even remember what I put in there!

Then it was cake time.  Each kid go their cake back and they got to choose which part of the cake they wanted to eat.  We wrapped the rest up and they got to take it home (along with the rest of their sprinkles).

Natalie opened presents and then it was time for the kids to go home and the rest of us to get ready for the next party!  I appreciated having 6 adults there (Marcie, Lisa, my mom and dad, and Brian and I).  Thank you all for your help! Natalie's party was a success!

I didn't do traditional goody bags-their aprons, cake decorations, and cakes were their goody bags.  I also printed some recipes that Natalie really likes that are easy to make and made a small cookbook for the kids to take home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Natalie got a cookbook for kids for her birthday and we finally started using it this past summer.  I helped Natalie plan some meals and we made them.  Noah decided he wanted to help too.  Some of the meals were breakfast items so my kids are in their pjs.  They would stay in their pjs all day if we would let them!

First up was a meal of chicken satay with peanut sauce (I cut and cooked the chicken), cheddar herb muffins and peach crisp for dinner.  The muffins were REALLY dry and the kids wouldn't eat them.  We ended up freezing them and Brian used them for stuffing at Thanksgiving.

 Then they made a lunch of an open faced crostini with ham and cheddar.  The book showed the ham criss-crossed but they put it on however they wanted!
 Then they made pancake stacks with yogurt and fruit between them.  We didn't quite make them how the cookbook made them but they thought it was a yummy way to eat pancakes!

Here are 2 random pictures from July that have nothing to do with cooking.  I loved Natalie's dress that she wore when she was 2 so I asked Dan and Rachel to save it for me.  When Natalie saw it lying around, she decided she was going to wear it.  The second picture shows one of the ways that Natalie dresses up as a knight.  It is interesting to see her wear a skirt because she never chooses skirts!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Second Cousin Visit and Grandma's Birthday

After we got back from our trip out to Colorado, my cousin Amy and her twins Jaden and Cody paid us a visit.  They were in town for a wedding which Jason was in so Amy and the kids had some free time while Jason was with the wedding party.  We decided to take the kids down to our lake.  It was a little chilly for swimming in our lake but the kids were pretty insistent!  I think they all had a good time.  Natalie showed them how to jump off the pier (the water is really shallow!)

 Natalie looks a little cold here :)
My parents came up for dinner and Marcie and her family came down.  It was mom's birthday so we celebrated.

 We had the kids stand in age order like my cousins and I always used to do when we were together.  I love that Cody is holding Nathaniel's hand (Amy, did I get that right?)

Thanks Amy for coming and spending some time with us!