Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today is brought to you by the letter P

Yesterday was a teacher planning day in our county so both kids had the day off of school. It also happened to be a day where I didn't have to work! This doesn't happen all that often, especially during my busy holiday season so I thought I would come up with something for the kids and I to do together. Now that the kiddos are getting a little older, I am not their first choice to hang with so I normally have to come up with a gimmick. Not sure what made me think of this but I ran my idea past the kids and surprisingly they both loved it and had a great time planning the whole day with ME!!!!
The idea was this...everything we did had to start with the same letter, yesterday we picked the letter P. So everything we did and ate all day long had to start with the letter P. And they had to come up with everything!

Now if you have young kids or old kids this idea would work. Obviously there would be a different level of activities but same concept. We didn't do it as an educational game but it certainly could have been for pre-school aged kids. The kids loved it so much, they have planned the next 2 teacher planning days as B day and W day!

Breakfast they chose, what else....pancakes!


Next up, pumpkin carving. This was a first for them. In past years, they have painted pumpkins but never allowed to carve their own. Proud to say it will be a new tradition because we all still have 10 fingers.








For lunch, a picnic. I took them to the grocery store and they picked out everything that started with a P...PB&Js, pudding, pickles, potato chips, peanuts, pistachios and pepsi (a treat because we don't drink sodas at home).






Afternoon activity, ping pong!





Then a little Pictureka!




Finally we met Dad for some tasty pizza!



Some of the ideas that didn't make the cut this time around: pedicures, planetarium, pet store, paintball. I'm sure it was even more fun for them because they got to plan it out but it was fun for me because they were really into it and there was NO complaining...a first in the Updegraff household.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Ghosts of Halloween Past

Halloween is my favorite holiday...always has been and I'm sure it always will be. There are so many reasons...October is my birthday month, pumpkin patches are everywhere and the weather starts to cool off (a little). I love to decorate my house for Halloween, even if the color orange doesn't match a single thing I own! This year I was pulling out the decorations and saw a picture of my son's very first Halloween, 13 years ago. It got me feeling a little nostalgic. I pulled the family together and quizzed them to see if they could remember what they had been for every Halloween. We got all but 2 right (as their mother, I totally should have remembered but I couldn't!!!). So I got on the computer to pull up pictures and I even had to pull our scrapbook albums because when Preston was little we didn't own a digital camera!!! ***gasp*** I found one picture of each of them on Halloween and we set out to add this trip down memory lane to our Halloween decorations.

I had each of the pictures printed as a 3.5"x5" from www.mpix.com. I picked up these ready made bows, cardstock and ribbon from Michaels.

I sewed each picture onto a piece of cardstock to give it a little durability. I used a criss-cross stitch but you could use a straight stitch too.

In our kitchen we have a wall of pictures (sometimes artwork) that we hang with clothes pins...I just switched out the every day pics with these pics, in chronological order.

Ta-da! The kids love looking at pics of themselves when they were little, they giggle every time they pass this. Now that Preston is too big to trick-or-treat, it's nice to have a reminder of those days of excitement & anticipation!!

For a close up of my Ghosts of Halloween Past:


Monday, September 30, 2013

Survivor Party- Bella turns 10

My little girl turned double digits last week and we had so much fun celebrating with friends and family this weekend. A few months ago when we started talking about what kind of party she wanted we came up with the idea for a Survivor party. My family has been huge Survivor fans from the very beginning and it seems to be a good match for Bella's outgoing personality! It was a ton of fun planning and I have to admit, I would have loved to have been a guest at this party!

Cake by Love & Sugar Kisses. Sugar cookies by Bambella Cookie Boutique. Survivor Flag template by Chica & Jo.

My mom made this amazing wreath for the party!



 On the show they live on coconuts, fruit, rice & water so we tried to stay as close to that as we could.
 The cake & cookies were over the top amazing!


Chicken wings are Bella's favorite food so we figured the tribe could use a little protein :)
Coconut drinks for the kids and tropical water for the adults...although the adults really wanted to drink from the coconuts too.

The birthday girl!

 I made these survival bracelets for each of the kids to take home.



Our host for the games was Bella's uncle Brian who has quite the resemblance to Jeff Probst!


Our tribal counsel area!

 The two tribes, Jalapao and Zapatera (which were actual tribe names from the show)
Everyone arrived at the island and introduced themselves.
Then each guest had to draw a buff out of a bag to see which tribe they would be on.
 These are the Zapatera  & Jalapao tribes!
 There were 3 challenges, each one earning the winning tribe a prize. The first challenge had 2 parts. The first part sent 4 tribe members racing down to untie a series of rope knots that would release 5 buckets.
 Once the buckets were released they would give them to the remaining 5 tribe members who had to pass water with those buckets down a line.
 They got wet...really wet.

 At the end of the line, the last person had to use what water they had to fill a pipe. There was a ball inside the pipe and the first team to get their ball to come out of the pipe won!
 The second challenge was a food challenge. There were 4 rounds of competition where they had to pick tribe members to eat: large earthworms, ostrich eggs, alligator eyeballs and pig brains. The first tribe with a clear mouth won that round.









 The last challenge was the obstacle course. The entire tribe started out by walking over a balance beam (looks easy but it was wobbly and more challenging than anyone thought).
 Next they had to belly crawl under a rope course (did I mention that it had rained all day and the yard was nice and soaked).

 Then they had to dig up 6 bags of puzzle pieces that were buried in a bucket of sand.
 Then they had to unscramble and solve the puzzle...the first tribe to do this, won.
 The secret message was, Happy Birthday Bella.
 Before everyone headed to tribal counsel, there was a pinata that needed to be busted open!


 Finally everyone gathered around at tribal counsel to vote. Instead of voting anyone off the island like they do on the show, the kids were instructed to vote for the person they thought had Outsmarted, Outlaughed and Outfunned the rest.



 A few of the votes...
 Our host ready to tally the votes!
 Chloe was our winner! She won Jeff Probst's book for kids, Stranded.
 Then our guest of honor was awarded the Immunity Birthday Necklace while the tribe sang her Happy Birthday.
The whole cast of Bella Island, Survivor 2013!!!