I like to plan parties based on my kid’s current interests. We could not have a party for Hunter and not have it revolve around sports. He is all about any sport that has a ball. We created a sports theme birthday party to include all the sports he loves.
For the decor I focused on black and green with some leather sports ball texture. I picked up some fake grass from Home Depot and cut it to be a table runner as well as cut some into triangles for a banner.
I purchased Lofthouse sugar cookies and inserted a topper made using the same textured paper as the banner with a polygon punch. We also served chips, popcorn, green grapes, green mint M&MS and the powdered donut cake.
Markers for our punt, pass, kick game, so we could see where everyone’s ball landed.
The invite for the party. I planned on crafting them out of textured paper and making them grand and then I realized, boys don’t care. I sent a text to the mothers with this graphic instead. Just as effective and saved me a lot of time!
For party favors, we filled Gatorade bottles with candy and tied a football whistle to them. Target supposedly carries these – but all the Targets I contacted hadn’t ever seen these in their store. Local sporting goods store would have them as well as Amazon.
The boys played and played hard. They played soccer. They ran conditioning drills. They played football. They competed in a punt, pass, kick competition. They played 500. They left tired, sweaty and full of sugar. It’s great to be 8!
Hallie was up for a birthday party this year and she was ready. Her birthday fell right before Halloween and my mom’s visit so we pushed it off just a little bit. As we talked about different ideas for her party I quickly realized she’s still young and she’s our only girl so it only made sense to make everything glitter.
We made glitter playdough that we used to play sculpterades (from the game Cranium) as teams – and then the girls just enjoyed playing with it.
They decorated sparkly cookies.
And sparkly letters! I bought a paper mache letter for every girl at Hobby Lobby that they were able to decorate with glitter, sparkles, washi tape and other decorations. There was glitter everywhere!
In the end, they spent time giving each other manicures with nothing less than…glitter polish.
And they went home with little goodie bags that sparkled. Plain white bags from Joanns that I made polka dot with glue and added glitter.
They sparkled from their heads to their toes by the time they were finished. I’m just glad that the party was outside because even then – I’m still finding glitter throughout the house!
Navy Tablecloths – Amazon
Table runner – Target holiday line
Plates and Napkins – Target
Scrap garland – made from 1″ fabric strips from Joanns
Drinking jars – dollar section Target (tied with glitter tulle)
Paper Mache Letters – Hobby Lobby
Glitter Playdough – made from this website
School is back in session tomorrow which meant we had an our annual back to school dinner this evening. Steve and I decided on our theme for the school year: The more you read, the more you know. We’ve got an early reader and a budding reader and one that can read well and doesn’t fancy it. We keep reminding them that reading is power and there’s endless books to enjoy and to go on an adventure with. We went around the table talking about our favorite books and things we learned from those books.
Although I’m not headed back to school it was still a good reminder for me to pick up a book. I used to love to read and made time for reading. I haven’t done so in years. So while we were making reading goals for the kids, I added a few reading goals for myself – perhaps reading more than the instruction manuals for my tools!
I called several bakeries to find school themed cookies and no one had any! I asked Hallie if we should make cookies or make some brownies. She insisted on cookies. I can’t remember the last time I made a sugar cookie. In fact, I didn’t even have a recipe for sugar cookies. The worldwide web did not let me down and I found dough and frosting recipes that were great. They were easier than I thought they would be but definitely not something I’m going to be making on a regular basis. I’ll have to start calling around earlier next year for school themed cookies! (can you see a couple fingerprints in one of this cookies – hence the blog name!)
Dinner was a family favorite – bacon wrapped chicken kabobs with fresh pineapple from the grill. It was a little slice of heaven and the kids came back for seconds and more. The only meal catastrophe was the half bottle of teriyaki sauce that ended up on Mr. B’s plate as he so carefully tried to pour just a little on his rice. Cannon could’ve finished off more than his fare share of jello if given the chance and there wasn’t a single drink spilled using the fancy glasses. A success on all accounts.
The cookies were so large each kid only got through half the cookie. I see baggies on the counter with half-eaten cookies with names written in marker. I’m sure they’re saving them for their first day of school lunches, a special treat from mom.
See our previous back to school dinners here and here.
People often wonder what its like marrying into a large family – its loud!
One game we always play when we’re all together is “three deep” and it’s the loudest of loud games. We played it over Memorial Day weekend and I came across this video footage of us playing. It makes me laugh because it’s full of chaos and screaming and laughing.
Here’s how you play:
There’s a little prep work for this game; someone types up multiple categories and each category has three related subjects. (We usually have several extra categories so after playing a couple rounds you can retire one category and add a new one.) Everyone gets a slip of paper that has two “counterparts” you have to find. For instance, if you have the word “red” on your paper, you are most likely looking to match up with people who also have colors. If you get a paper that says “Strawberry,” you are probably looking for other people with fruit.
Before you start looking for your partners, you “mingle” with everyone to switch the papers all up. Then someone yells “go!” and you take your little paper and yell out what you have until you find three things that go together.
Once you find each other you sit down “three-deep” according to the letter on your paper (“B,” “M,” or “T” which stand for “bottom,” “middle,” or “top.”)
Last group to get seated is out and you remove the category and play another round. The group gets smaller and smaller until you one group standing.
This is what marrying into a big family looks like.
I avoid Target at all costs. Not because I don’t love it – because I do – I just can’t seem to walk out without additional items I forgot that I “needed”!
One thing I’m a sucker for at Target is tablecloths. Not your everyday tablecloths – but their outdoor line. They usually show up toward the end of April and it’s hard to find once their back-to-school stuff hits the shelves. They’re nestled in the back of the store in between the bocce ball set and the picnic ware. There’s usually a couple designs to choose from and they’re made of polyester – easy to clean and even easier to throw in the dryer to get wrinkles out.
Every year, I treat myself to their new line and buy two tablecloths with the same print; I’ve done this for several years and I’ve accumulated quite the collection. (we often entertain with two long tables which is why I buy 2 of each print) And before you think I’m crazy – I use them all the time. In fact, on the last day of school I was gearing up for the party we were hosting and I went to my beautiful linens closet and pulled out two tablecloths and thought to myself, I love all of them.
Each one has been used and loved. Every birthday party I throw I walk to the closet and look through to see which tablecloth I can decorate around. Often times I’m layering tablecloth on tablecloth, not to mention the solid red ones I have are used the most. I’m convinced red is the universal party color!
Have I mentioned that we host a lot of gatherings and parties?? Here’s just a few examples of how I’ve used them:
Because they’re polyester they look just like they did the day I bought them. They’re perfect for fun parties – however, you can probably give them a miss for your fancy holiday dinners!
I tell you all of this because they’re currently in stores and I just picked up this years print. In the past I’ve stayed pretty consistent with basic geometric shapes and this year it is not quite as universal, but I really loved them. It just means I need to start throwing Memorial day and 4th of July parties.
Everything is branded “Peanuts” this year for their outdoor line – but I assure you there are no characters on the actual fabric.
There’s another print that I have my eye on, and only if it’s around when they start marking everything half off will it end up in my closet. Fingers crossed.