Well, I never did redo that cleaning supplies gift, and some bridal showers snuck up on me, so now I have a new go-to bridal (kitchen) shower gift.
This is the third set I've put together, but the first I've recorded (probably need at least two more this summer! It's a busy wedding summer around here apparently).
Cookie sheets from costco, parchment paper from costco, and dish towels (ordered in big sets) usually stamped or stencilled.
This time was Zelda themed:
I always put a note under the parchment paper that just says 'Line cookie sheets with parchment instead of greasing them, handwash, and they will last forever.' Because not everyone is familiar with the magic of parchment paper. I've also included a Sycamore Street Press Art Card with these, those are gorgeous and go over well.
To say that I'm 'not an animal person' is an understatement. I like WATCHING animals, but I don't ever want to touch or smell them*. I definitely don't want them in my house.
So you'll never believe what's in my house right now:
But let's back up, shall we? To when we went to the farm store and they shoved chicks into two paper bags and I was carrying a squirmy bag around the store.
Yeah, that happened.
Some were already a couple weeks old (we think). Some were still super fluffy. We got Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, and Americaunas.
First we had them in a clear box. Much more fun to watch.
We quickly moved them to a bigger box, though (cardboard to prevent roosting on the feeder!).
Guess what? Chicks dig tunes. They noticeably calm down or go to sleep when the kids play piano. Also they seem to like Arcade Fire.
My favorite (the tiniest/fluffiest with cool eye-markings) has quickly become everyone's favorite. Also she's the smartest.
She better be a she...
The kids LOVE watching them (they can be pretty funny), and the redhead has sketched them all, learned the breeds, and checked out a couple books from the library. We've never had pets, so they are all LOVING having animals of any kind. Me? I'm putting on a brave fake-smile.
I HAVE held a chick. Not for too terribly long, but I did it (I AM trying, but this is REALLY hard for me!).
Boring, they are definitely not. And they sound like songbirds with all their chirping.
Sorry, ladies, you are getting booted to the garage this weekend while we wait for you to grow enough for your new coop.
We have been looking at getting chickens for years but stuff (including home disasters) kept coming up. We are grateful our city allows us to have them.
We have had a couple books about them (for years!) that are great if you are interested:
And here are the books we found at the library:
We finally did it.
I can't wait for fresh eggs!
*no lie - I have to hold my breath in the pet aisle of the store or I gag.
Monkey is all about being unique. He has never wanted to copy anyone else's (including his brother's) party ideas. However, my party planning mojo was lacking this year, and he wanted too many guests to really pull off the mad scientist theme we'd been talking about for a while.
Finally he agreed that a Lego party would be awesome - especially for his group of friends. But it wouldn't be exactly like his brother's party back in the day. It really suits Monkey so well, as he is a SuperFan and aspires to be a Lego designer one day!
Doesn't hurt that we've done this theme before so I knew it would be easy!
He helped me stage the invite photo op. There was a moment of worry when 'his hair' piece (the one that looks kinda like his mop) couldn't be found immediately. But it surfaced.
We made minifigure buntings using cardstock and stickers (stickers from this book we already had).
And some cardstock bricks with my circle punch. Hard to see in this photo.
We made builder badges, and used more minifig stickers on the goody bags.
We displayed some duplo creations that my boys put together.
Cupcakes again, but this time we topped them with chocolate minifigures we made!
As guests arrived, they were pretty occupied with the train setup.
See how Monkey set up the 'bad guy' so he will get knocked into the bridge? That was replayed over and over. Boys.
We had separated all the wheels we could find from our lego stash and everyone grabbed a pair and started building. This was the extent of my activity planning. :)
A sheet was spread on the floor instead of using the lego table this time - figured it would work better with more guests.
We setup the 'ramp' again and the boys did test runs and races.
Very casual and open-ended. It fit the boys different personality types. Some wanted to build fast and race, some wanted to work forever on their designs and didn't care about racing so much. Some wanted to just run the races, and some made mars rovers and stuff instead of cars. Several boys mixed lego with duplo pieces to see how that would go, too.
We had the Lego Movie soundtrack playing (heard 'Everything is Awesome' about a million times, but I kind of love it), Legoland photos on slideshow mode, and Lots of lego books out to peruse.*
Oh yeah, on the mantel was a photo of (little!) Monkey with a mascot at Legoland, and a selection of his mixels, MBA sets, and other things he felt like displaying.
About halfway through, we paused for cake and snacks (chips, grapes, water - pretty low key) and presents. Then back to building, this time with the Lego Movie on.
Here are just SOME Of the boys' awesome creations:
They had tons of fun, but eventually I kicked them out. :)
We sent them home with goody bags including m&m's (chosen for their color mostly!) with a little Benny tag I made for top.
Also little souvenir photos! We printed out wallet size photos from our trips to Legoland, and everyone got a few.
I whipped up this cute Lego Movie quote.
(I think this is the first time we've done photos/prints in goody bags - I hope they go over well!)
Oh, and we made plenty of chocolate minifigs, so some were packaged up for the bags, too. Some are cookies and creme (thanks, half-price Easter chocolate!).
Some glo bracelets and ring pops rounded out the goody bags.
The boys had fun! That is the biggest party we've thrown, but I think it went well.
Two things about 'boy' parties, though:
You will have to vacuum at least twice.
There will be a distinct 'boy' smell.
*After we were setup, my husband looked around and said "Lego should be paying us."
This was the first year we managed to get snow tires on both vehicles. And there were about 2 times when I needed them. All winter! We finally managed to get them switched out last weekend.
The past few days has been in the 70's. We're talking shorts, parks, sunblock. You saw our peach trees blooming (hoping we don't lose our fruit!), and we planted new perennials recently. And then this.
Well, weather, you are nothing if not unpredictable.
Yeah, that way works for me. Not only did I get more out of the talk as I read it, but I remember it way better than if I would have just read it AND I am more likely to go back and re-read notes because they look kinda cool. And I wasn't taking notes so much that I was stressed out trying to record every detail, you know?
I tried taking 'live' notes during a lesson at church. Again, I got more out of it!
At first I was just using what I had - gel or ball point pens, neon hi-liter. For my bday, I got some nice highlighters and a micron02 pen. Like those MUCH better! Who would have thought I'd have such strong feelings about a grey highlighter... but it's my fave.
Another re-read - trying to get all of October's conference read before this one coming up! I often sketchnote at the library (that is also where I prepare Sunday School lessons) and it's working for me.
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the women's session of conference at the conference center. Instead of filling a page per talk, I filled one page for the whole session.
Not that there weren't as many awesome things said (there were!) but I tried harder (cuz live) to just focus on main points and not worry about filling the space. By the way, Sister Oscarson killed it last week. Wow, her talk was amazing.
We had REALLY good seats.
My daughter and her friend tried out sketchnoting as well while we were there. While my daughter's brain doesn't work anything like mine, she found a way of sketchnoting that worked for her, and is excited to do more of it.
Last week in Sunday School I was talking to my 12yos about General Conference and taking meaningful notes, or finding a way to organize thoughts/impressions they had during the talks. I am hoping they all try it!
You don't have to have fancy notebooks or pens, you don't have to be able to draw, but I think this method is so amazing, so I thought I'd put this out there if anyone wanted to look it up before this weekend (Easter PLUS conference - yay!).