Tiger Birthday Party

Birthday Party #2.  We wanted to do three “friend” birthday parties in a two month period.  Since we’re both working now, we savor our Friday nights and Saturdays.  Plus we often have church events, fellowship group events, or school events at least one of those nights in the fall/early winter.  I said to my husband:  “Do we really need to take up three weekend nights for three parties?”  Then my husband had this great idea to do a party ON their birthday even though it was a weekday.  Why not?    

Child #3 does not go to school yet (I homeschool her for preschool) and neither do her best buddies from church.  Plus she loves breakfast food (and who doesn’t it?) and it’s easy to make for a large group of people.  So we decided on a brunch party.  Since she totally loves tigers right now especially white ones, we picked that as our theme.


The colors were orange, black, and white (which was so easy to find with Halloween being so close to her birthday).  I have a close line made of jute string hanging in my eating area that I use to display artwork.  I simply used it to make a “Happy Birthday Sign” and put balloons on the end.


Zebra print seems to be all over the place right now.  I bought zebra print plates but said they were “white tiger.”  No one could tell the difference.


Our menu was very simple:  pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit, and bacon.  Very kid friendly.


For favors, I tried to find things that were orange and black.  Each child got a peanut butter cup (again easy to get cheap candy right after Halloween), tiger striped candy stick, a bag of Cheetos or Doritos, and a sheet of stickers.  IMG_8911

I have stated before I am not a cake decorator and it’s not a huge interest of mine.  But I always make a cake because it is more personal (and cheaper!).  I simply made a round cake, frosted it, put crushed cookie on it for dirt, and put a tiger and trees (I found at the dollar store) on it.


Since most of the kids who attended are three or four, I only planned a simple craft for them to do.  I didn’t do any organized games with them.  I set up different play areas around the family room with Little People, trucks, books etc.  They really enjoyed “the free play” and the moms were able to talk.

It was a busy morning with all the children in the house, but it did not feel chaotic at all.  My daughter loved being able to play with all her friends at once.  

4th of July

I LOVE the 4th of July–fireworks, hot dogs, parades, and friends.  When the 4th occurs on a Thursday like this year, it feels like a long weekend as my husband takes Fridays off.  Last year was the first year we went to a 4th of July parade…I think it was my first 4th of July parade ever.  I do not remember going to one as a kid.  The town of Independence, Oregon always has a huge celebration complete with a parade.Image

The parade begins with a “mini marathon” aka a 2.6 mile run along the parade route.  My oldest and I decided to run it for Team Winter, the charity I have run for in the past.  Team Winter supports the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Hailey wanted to run in honor and celebration of my dad who had recently underwent prostate surgery which was successful.  I chose to run for Team Winter a couple years ago in memory of my grandpa (my dad’s dad) who passed away from prostate cancer in 1989.





We chose to sit at the end of the parade route so my oldest and I would not have to walk very far to find my husband and my other two kids.  Little did we realize we wait for the parade much longer and we get “what’s left of the candy.”  My husband found a used book sale along the parade route and stocked up.


Everyone still enjoyed the parade anyway…and thankfully it was not as hot out as earlier in the week.  The heat wave subsided.ImageWe ended the day with friends from church and enjoyed hot dogs, swimming, fireworks, and sparklers.  Good day!  We were so tired we slept in until 9:30 on July 5th.


My husband’s dessert blog

Some people make a New Years resolution to lose weight.  My husband’s resolution was to make a new dessert every week.  I told him since he was taking the time to try brand new recipes and take pictures of every single one (and I still laugh when my nephew said–“Why do you have all these pictures of food on your computer?) he really ought to create a blog.


So Weekend Dessert is officially launched.  You will find some gourmet delicious desserts on it.  I have always been a hot fudge sundae type person.  My husband has helped me expand my horizons.


December Photos #25 Merry Christmas


And now here concludes 25 days of Christmas and 25 posts of photos.  This Christmas season has truly been one I will remember dearly.  Maybe it is because my kids are getting older, I am getting much better sleep, and my mind is functioning more clearly.  🙂  Or maybe it because I am wiser and understand the deeper meaning of Advent.  Or it could be because we have now lived here for six years…and it is more home than it ever has been.  We have created ongoing traditions and celebrations.  Whatever the case, I am grateful for this Christmas season and looking forward to 2013…whatever it may bring.


December Photos #24 Christmas Eve


Since we moved to Oregon we rarely spend Christmas Eve with extended family. It is not possible with the distance and the need for my husband to be close to home at Christmas with his worship leading responsibilities.  For the first time in a long time, I am OK with that.  We have been blessed to have wonderful friends here we can share holidays with.


We are thankful for this season of life when we have dear friends working their way through the toddler/preschool/early education years alongside us.  Who we can laugh with, cry with, and celebrate with.


We are grateful to not just fellowship together but also to spur one another on in our spiritual journeys.  As we seek to be men and women of faith and godly parents to our little ones.

December Photos #12: Middle School Laser Tag

Yesterday we celebrated 12-12-12 by participating in a nation wide “Random Acts of Kindness Day.”  We kept busy all day long by bringing hot chocolate, lunch, and treats to various people.  We made crafts for others.  We prayed for friends going through difficult times.  It was a wonderful day and something I need to incorporate more than once a year.  I did not take a bunch of pictures because I did not want the glory to go to us.  I want to be more secretive and humble about helping others and not a huge spectacle of it.

So my picture today is how I ended the day.  My co-leader in our middle school group and I took nine middle schoolers laser tagging for our Christmas meeting.  It was a great time to all be together in a fun and competitive atmosphere.  I think working with the middle schoolers is one of the most fun and exciting ministries even among the challenges.  I pray for these kids often and I am thrilled I to be their youth leader (even though they figured out last night I am old enough to be their mom.)


December Photos #8 Fellowship Party

DSC07753Last night our fellowship group from church had our annual Christmas party.  It is typically well attended and we always have a white elephant gift exchange. Some of the games gifts reappear year after year.DSC07762When we first moved to Oregon it was the desire of my heart to have a close network of friends.  I am not a loner by any means and I love being around people.  God has truly answered that prayer.  DSC07768I think one of the highlights of the night was looking through the Awkward Family Photo Book.  Quite hilarious.DSC07764God has truly put beautiful people in our lives and within our church.  Such a tremendous blessing.