Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth Be With You

What better day to talk about Gavin's Star Wars birthday last year than on the day labeled, "May the Fourth Be with You."  Today we started the morning with Star Wars pancakes and are ending it with Jabba the Hot Dogs, Vader Tots and Yoda Soda. I think in the thirteen years I have been married to my husband, something is rubbing off. Even Ava was sporting a Star Wars shirt this morning, albeit a pink one.
 
 Back to a galaxy and time far, far away, Gavin was dreaming of a Star Wars birthday but I think his daddy may have been dreaming of it for even longer. We started by taking pictures for Gavin's invitation in his Darth Vader costume with six red balloons tied to his light saber. 
 
 
There was a lot of work put into creating things for the party, but thankfully that and the fact that we had so many props in the attic saved on cost. I think besides the food, the biggest cost was the fabric for the jedi costumes but those also doubled as party favors. I am definitely no seamstress, so I'll just say the ruggedness made them more realistic. We also made light sabers out of pool noodles and electrical tape. 
It's kind of nice to have something for the kiddos to do while waiting for all of the guests to arrive. We made an R2D2 pattern and cut out all of the shapes for the kids to make their own. 
 
The "real" R2D2 greeted everyone at the door.
There were a few suspicious Storm Troopers and a Boba Fett.
We also managed to snap a few family pictures before the party began. This doesn't always happen, but at least there is proof of just how entertaining (weird) our family can be.
 
 
 One of us is wearing a wig while the other watched YouTube tutorials on recreating Princess Leia's hair.
 
Later on, I also took pictures of our guests in front of a backdrop created with a black table cloth and a cut out Storm Trooper. When Gavin sent his thank you notes, he was able to include a keepsake picture.
 
The first game the kids played was pin the light saber on Darth Vader. Dave enlarged a picture of Darth Vader which we pieced together and then cut out individual light sabers for the kids. 
 
We got the crew dressed up, took a few pictures outside and then they were ready for jedi training, aka the obstacle course. The jedis had to strap Yoda to their back, go through an obstacle course and fight Darth Vader with their light saber silly string.
Once the jedis earned their light sabers, they took down the storm troopers.
 These jedis worked up an appetite. We served:
 Carbonite jello
 
 Princess Lays, Light Sabers and Hans Rolos
 Wampa Dip (not shown but ranch dip) and Vader Veggies
 
 Obi-wan Kabob-ies
  
Yoda Soda- Some cups I added Star Wars stickers and others I taped an R2D2 print out.
 
 Princess Leia cupcakes were made from icing and Oreos while the Storm Trooper Cupcakes were created using marshmallows and a cake pen.
For the cake, I just bought a chocolate cake and added the decorations including action figures on top.
  
 
  
 The kids took home their Jedi Knight certificates and a popsicle holder made out of felt to look like a light saber. My kids still use theirs all of the time for their yogurt.

 The party was a lot of work, but to see the birthday boy's smile made it all worth it.
 
 Oh wait, there's that smile.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Fall Tradition

I love family traditions and one of my favorite ones is going to the Dallas Arboretum.We made our first trip when Gavin was just 16 months old. We have gone back every year with the exception of about two. Some years we make a weekend trip of it, but like this year, we just went up for the day.
This was our first family picture at the Arboretum.
And here's this year's picture. Things have changed quite a bit since 2009.
So I realized I did not take many pictures of the landscape like I usually do, but I was too busy coaxing these crazies to at least look at me.
I got lots of silly faces like these.
But eventually, I captured a few good closeups.
 
 
 Because we have been here several times, I noticed a few similar pictures. Same pond, two different years and two different kids.
Ava is in the same flower garden, but what a difference two years makes.
 And of course, here are the kids in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 
 
 Gavin pretended he was a "squarecrow" as Ava would say and he attempted to pick up a giant pumpkin when he wasn't running like the Flash.
 
I love this one of Dave and the kids plus Dave and Ava. She clearly loves her Daddy.
 
 
I think they kind of love me too.
 And just because these two pictures are sweet to me...
 
 
 I hope we have many more years of carrying on our tradition of going to the Dallas Arboretum and maybe we can continue holding hands a few more years.