A Rainbow/Pony Birthday Party

Thought I’d share few photos from my daughter’s 4th birthday party.  We had decided on doing a rainbow birthday which I was happy about because it could be very simple to pull off and look cute. I prayed a ton for the weather to be nice since we’d have about 14 kids and having them outside running around would be much less stressful than being crammed in our house.  Thankfully, God was gracious and the weather was pretty perfect.  And crazily with the high being 80 that day, the next day it was wet and the high was probably 40.  It seems it is like that every year for my kids’ parties since they are in the spring and fall…one day it is lovely the next it is miserable…some years we get the good day and some years we don’t.  It makes it hard to know how to plan things.

I’ll go ahead and share the pictures here and if care to read more about the party and the simple ways I made it rainbow-iffic then you can read on afterwards!

Because we were doing rainbows, Audrey kept mentioning it was a Rainbow Dash party (which is a character from My Little Pony).  So, it morphed into being a pony party too.  I kept that part minimal or pretty non existent for the decorations but the Monday of her party I did see a picture of a child riding a pony on Pinterest and wondered why the idea of renting a pony to ride had never occurred to me.  I think it is because no one in our circle of friends has done that before so it wasn’t even on my radar.  Because it was unusual, it felt a bit indulgent, but really it cost about the same as doing a party at a jump house place which people do all the time around here.  The people we ended up using were great and very professional.  The pony was a little bigger than my original vision but it did allow for some of the older kids to ride which a shetland pony wouldn’t because there is like a 45 pound weight limit..or something like that.  This pony had over 100 pound weight limit. I just wanted something that wouldn’t be too huge and intimidating.  There were quite a few kids who were very scared at first but then loved it and the littlest ones seemed happy to avoid it.  But it was definitely a hit and worth the money.

To make it rainbow-y I hung streamers from the trees in our yard.  Our poor yard is pretty bare in March since everything is just thinking about waking up from winter so this added some nice color and was super easy.  Plus Audrey was able to help me with some lower areas.  We did this 20 minutes before the party started since it was super foggy and damp in the morning.

I had also made 3 of the easiest mobiles to hang from our pergola. I bought 3 embroidery hoops from hobby lobby and then just hung streamers in rainbow order from them.  The two hoops are what held the streamers in place and after the party was over I just pulled them out and can now use the hoops again for something else.  I tied yarn to the hoops and quickly hung them to the top of the pergola.  It was very simple but was very pretty blowing in the breeze.

I also used some foam core I had and drew a big 4 on it and cut it out.  I found tissue paper at The Dollar Tree that came in all the colors of the rainbow.  I cut the pieces in squares but didn’t worry about perfection and then hot glued them on.  Oh, and I figured out how big each stripe should be to make them equal and then measured that out and drew on the board since it would be covered up.  I did get burned a few times from the glue but it was a lot faster than trying to use regular white glue and I worried I wouldn’t have enough of that glue anyway.  I was very happy with how it turned out.  I ended up hanging it by a suction hook from our back window that had the table with presents, favors, and other stuff.

I also found a cute horseshoe game set at Hobby Lobby in their summer section.  It was originally around $6 or $7 but was on sale for 50% off.  All the pieces were different colors so it added to the rainbow and pony aspects!  And since it’s made from plastic I didn’t worry about anyone getting hurt from a rogue horseshoe!

My kids got a trampoline for Christmas and that was actually I think the biggest hit of the party.  The kids loved the pony but would have probably been equally happy just jumping the whole time.  We already had blueish/greenish ball years ago and I bought two more from Walmart for $2.50 each that were nice and big.  There was a yellow one with white polka dots and then a pink and orange one with a chevron pattern.  I threw them all on the trampoline to be bright and cheery while the kids jumped.

I almost forgot about the cake!   I kept it simple and bit of a surprise by buying a mix at the grocery store that had everything you needed to make it.  You could totally do it without it though by using your own food coloring.  I also ended up making two cakes so there would be enough for everyone.  I used my bundt cake pan so that when each slice was cut it’d be the shape of a rainbow.  After you make the batter you make six separate bowls of colored batter and then spoon them in one layer at a time.  If you don’t mess with it they stay separate and have nice bright rainbow colors inside.  I just frosted it white on the outside with some candles.  So it was pretty plain until I cut it and wowed everyone.  I had thought of putting one of her plastic ponies on it or next to it but ran out of time and decided it was fine simple.  I tend to mess things up, especially cakes, if I try to do too much.

And that was about it.  Some years I’ve gone a bit crazy with all the food options so this year to really try to keep it simple we went with pizza and some fruit.  The fruit was of course laid out in rainbow order of colors.  And somehow I didn’t take a picture of it.  I seem to always have grand plans of taking pictures and enjoying all the moments with everyone there but spend most of the time running around making sure it is all running smoothly.  Oh well, as long as everyone has a good time, then I am happy.  And I did leave out the pictures of all her friends because I hate to put them out on the internet without permission.

Next year’s party will definitely be more low key (or at least no horses). But it was fun making some great memories with the kids.

So, do you do birthday parties for your kids with friends and go all out?  Or maybe just a couple special friends?  Just family?  Have a favorite party that you’ve done in the past?  I’d love to hear!

Custom Baby Outfit Ornaments

custom bunny outfit

I was approached recently about making christmas ornaments from treasured baby clothes.  I thought it was a wonderful idea and just finished the first one.  This is a little bunny made from a sweet little dress.  I hated to cut it up to use, it was so cute!

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What a special way to remember those sweet baby outfits and actually see them.  We’ve kept a few of our kids cute outfits for them to look back at one day and see what they wore and how small they were but they are all sitting in a tub in our attic.  This way you actually get to display them.  This ornament along with others I’ll be making soon will be left without any wording on them and are intended to be used on the children’s little Christmas tree.  I’ll also be making a baby’s first christmas ornament from special baby clothes with words embroidered on it.  I’m looking forward to this project.  It’s nice to have something a bit different to work on especially without the stress and hectic-ness of the holiday season.

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I’ll share the others as I make them.  Question: would you rather keep your baby’s clothes intact or turn it into some time of special keepsake?

P.S.  Sorry for the lack of posts, I knew it had been a couple weeks but didn’t realize it had almost been a month!  Where does the time go?  We just celebrated my daughter’s fourth birthday with a rainbow/pony party so I’ll share a couple pictures from that and also my husband and oldest son just got back from a trip to Haiti so it’s been pretty non-stop around here!

Update on the Doll High Chair

Well, this is a bit embarrassing but I never gave an update to the doll high chair I bought back in December of 2011!  I’ve actually taken pictures of it twice since then to show you what I did but didn’t like the photos.

So, here is the before.

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And here is the after.

doll high chair

I was so torn with all the great color options out there and many of you gave beautiful suggestions on here and Facebook.  But in the end I went with red because I felt it was a classic color that would go with the period of the piece.  I also like that it isn’t too girly.

red high chair

lamb in doll chair

Of course it’s been so long now I can’t remember how much paint it took – either one or two cans.  I spray painted it slowly with lots of thin coats.  I also sanded it the best I could by hand before hand.  But boy was that a pain with all those little knobs. There seemed to be a little lacquer or sealer on part of it in the crevices which was really hard to get off so I just painted over it after having roughed it up and it covered it pretty well.

doll high chair

My daughter is finally at the age where she is enjoying playing with dolls and being mommy.  Last night she couldn’t go to sleep because she had taken a nap.  We could hear her awake until almost 10:30 and in the morning we discovered that she had been dressing all her stuffed animals, including the lamb in these pictures, with her doll clothes.  This is why we don’t let her nap anymore!

By the way, the little kitchen is what Santa brought Audrey last year.  We love it!  It looks so nice and is a great size.  We saw other kitchens that were really cute but when we saw the dimensions they were really short and didn’t seem like they’d would grow with a child.  We did have to put it in baby brother’s room because that was the only place it would fit, but he loves opening up all the doors and pulling out the play food.  I also love that it isn’t gender specific and doesn’t even scream kid so it’s easy on the eyes.

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Free Children’s Valentine’s Day Printables

valentines

1.I Only Have Eyes for You 2.Tiny Animal Valentines 3.You A”Maze” Me 4.Pirate Valentines 5.Yoda Best Valentine

We’ve got a week until Valentine’s Day. With my son in Kindergarten we’ve got our first official party that he’s got to bring cards for. I’m still debating whether to print one of the many pretty options on line or just grab a pack at the store. But while I think it over I thought I’d share a few of the fun printables available on the internet. Here are just five but you can see more on my Pinterest site.

Do you have a personal favorite?  Do you give the traditional candy or do you try to give some healthier or non food all together?  Please share in the comments!  I’ll take all the ideas I can get from more seasoned parents.

Gratitude

I’ve been wanting for months now to put down in words how grateful we were/are for everyone during our ordeal with Josiah in the hospital.  If you missed any of that you can read about it here, here, and here.  It has been so hard to wrap my mind around all of those events so it’s been difficult to truly convey our gratitude.  I started this post back on November 4 and then hoped to at least get it done for Thanksgiving and now here it is at the end of January.  Of course, I still haven’t written William’s birth story down yet and he’s now 16 months!  So, this is actually pretty good.

hospital stay

This was after he was extubated and was no longer sedated. He was just sleeping and had only a high flow nasal cannula in. This was a huge improvement from before and a couple days before we left.

Back on November 3, I read this blog post from A Bit of Sunshine and Rebekah had just been through a trial with her youngest son.  I am not always good with words but she said a couple things that really nailed it on the head for what I was thinking.  The first was when she said:

The text messages and phone calls and prayer chains, the warm meals that friends brought over that night, the tears of joy that baby Zeb is totally fine…those things “wrecked my heart for good” as I put on Instagram.

I completely understand what she meant by “wreaked my heart for good”!  We were so overwhelmed with people reaching out to us that it tore up my heart, but in a totally great way.  I was so amazed by family and friends and even those who we haven’t talked to in a long time who sent us cards, gifts, and money and came to visit and bring us meals while at the hospital and afterwards.  Our sweet friends took our other two kids in with their family.  Others drove the kids up to Austin so I only had to make the 40 minute drive (one way) once a day to nurse my baby instead of twice like I had been doing.  Josiah’s schoolmates, most of whom didn’t even know him since he is a kindergartner and this was 2 months in, wrote him cards and pictures and prayed a ton.  That was what we appreciated the most- all the prayers and words of encouragement from everyone.  One of the good things about Facebook is the immediacy with which you can get information out.  We were able to give most everyone updates throughout the day and even a couple times when we needed immediate prayer for certain rough situations people could find out about it instantly and pass the word on.  I know that people from all over the world were praying for our sweet boy and it is what got us through such a hard time.  The hospital has a free service where you can fill out a card online and it gets delivered to the room.  We left the hospital with a stack as thick as a novel along with all the other cards and signs to look back over and thank God for such caring people.

You wouldn’t know by looking at him now that he had ever had any problems.  Thankfully, he hasn’t had any breathing issues at all since we left and so hopefully when we go for a check up with his pulmonologist in February he’ll be able to lower his medicine dosage.

gymnastics

This was taken in December and as you can see is doing much better!

Another thing Rebekah said in her post was:

And during the ordeal on Wednesday we talked more about how amazing it is that through trials and attacks love suddenly floods to the center of all relationships. The silly differences and quips, the things that really don’t matter at all but keep us from being close to one another – they fly out the window and we cling to each other in hope. I have a new view on trauma, on inner trauma on the things we battle silently each day. How would we treat each other if we knew what was going on on the inside for our friends. Would we reach out differently? Would we love one another and listen more intentionally would we cast off our own need for acknowledgements and hurts in order to embrace one another in our humanity?

Thankfully, we were blessed to come through the ordeal with a great outcome.  God had mercy on us and healed our son.  But being in that situation gave me a glimpse into what others go through when they have a loved one that is sick or have some kind of trauma happening in their life.  It has shown me just how important and appreciated small gestures are to those in pain and has made me want to be more purposeful in being there for others.  I have often wanted to do things in the past but haven’t always had the best follow through.  Hopefully as time passes and the traumatic feelings and memories fade I won’t lose the desire to reach out to others in their time of need.

And as Rebekah says in the quote above, we should also think about those around us who may be battling something quietly right in front of us.  It is so easy for me to be wrapped up in my own little world and pass others by without much thought or get annoyed when they act unfriendly, but do I stop and think about what might they be going through and how I can help make their day better?

I also cannot write this post without giving praises to the nurses, doctors, respitory therapists, and other staff at the hospital including the women who worked so hard at keeping the rooms clean.  They were all simply amazing.  I have always had so much respect for people in those professions but after seeing what they do day in and day out I am an even bigger cheerleader.  We were able to go back to the PICU a few weeks ago and see some of the staff that worked with us and thank them.  I know it can be a very discouraging job at times and they often don’t get to see the kids all the way healed since when they leave the PICU they are going to a less intense room in the hospital.  So I hope our visit gave them some encouragement.

So, to sum it all up.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  We are forever grateful for all the love and care from all of you.

It’s Good to be 35

Well, it happened.  I turned the big three five.  And of course life feels no different than when I was 34.  But I thought I’d pass on some goodness to you guys to help celebrate.  So, for a week you can purchase all the prints in my shop for 35% off using the code below!

birthday code

Picture Source

I’m going to temporarily take the ornaments and the bulk sales listings out of the shop so that people don’t try and use the code for those.  But they’ll return when this sale is over.

This has been a week of sick kiddos but it looks like they are on the mend.  I took my little one to the doctor to confirm Roseola which thankfully is no longer contagious.  Hopefully he’ll be back to himself soon.  And after listening to my daughter’s cough the Dr. thinks she might have had RSV which apparently has been going around.  So as you can guess I haven’t really left the house in a while.  But I have gotten lots of great snuggle time in, so that’s been nice.

Okay, enough about that.  Please pass the word on about the sale!  Valentine’s Day is coming fast and a sweet print might be just the thing to show someone how you feel!

P.S.  For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I post sales there that aren’t  mentioned anywhere else!  So, it’s a smart idea to “like” my page.

Going to Space

Well, I was just about to sit down and write a post about how I was one of three people selected to travel to outer space!  I was so excited and was looking forward to this amazing opportunity, and then I woke up and discovered it was just a dream.  I know,  what  a bummer!  I wish I could have slept a little longer to get to experience it, but maybe next time.

In the meantime I have two new prints in the shop that I haven’t shared on here yet.  The first one I just realized is coincidently spacey.  Maybe it’s a sign!  You can find my “I Love You to the Moon and Back” print right here in my shop.

I Love You to the Moon and Back art print from The Nesting Spot

The next print is new to my shop today, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Faux Bois has been a trend for awhile now and it is sweet to stumble across someone’s love declared on the trunk of a tree (although I always feel a bit sad for the scarred tree). But if you get my print then there won’t be any tree scarring happening…ok, well, the paper is from a tree. Sorry.
But let’s get back to declaring our love! You can keep the print as is or I can personalize it for you. It’d make a great gift for the love in your life or even to hang on the wall of your wee one’s nursery.

You + Me = Forever, Faux Bois Print from The Nesting Spot

By the way, I have 6 prints in my shop now that help you share your love with others. Come take a look. It’s not too early to be thinking of Valentine’s Day. It’ll be here before we know it!  And don’t forget there are discounts for buying more than one print!