Monday, September 23, 2013

A Dinosaur Party

Cadence loves dinosaurs, so she wanted a dinosaur birthday party. In fact, she started planning this party in October, before her birthday in February. She wanted all black, with lots and lots of dinosaurs, especially brachiosaurus, with a black brachiosaurus cake. I cajoled her into giving me another color to work with, and she grudgingly said a little bit of purple would be ok. Here is what we wound up with.

Cake table.

Gift Table

I love fork holders - just wrap a small box with tissue paper and add embellishments :)

Gumballs for dinosaur eggs.

My attempt at a brachiosaurus cake - I really like using smashed oreos for black instead of icing, since it tastes so much better than black icing.

Tyrannosaurus Rex guarding the cake. Is it sad that I've spelled these dinosaur names without looking them up? That's how many times we've seen them this year!

Cake for the second party, while the beloved Pelletier family was here. Rice Krispys are so much easier to shape! This one I sprayed with black spray food coloring. Super easy!


My first attempt at subway art :D

Dangling stuff makes me happy inside ;)

Of course Cadence loved her party. Once all her friends arrived she wasn't so much worried about the decorations anymore, she was ready to have fun, open gifts, eat cake, and most of all, play!

Oh, she also loved her shirt, which was just an iron on transfer of her invitation basically. 

Thank you for the gifts!

Snitching a lick of icing... the little stinker.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Guitar Birthday Party {Watercolor Crayon Art & Rice Crispy Cakes}

This was so fun to plan! Our son loves guitars, and has since he was teeny tiny. In fact, guitar was his second word, at seven months! So for his first birthday, we did a guitar theme.

Fun things at this party:
Invitations with a guitar on the back
Guitar shaped rice crispy cake
Guitar art
Music makers, maracas, kazoos, etc. for favors


Rice Crispy Shaped Cake
I love working with Rice Crispy cakes. They are gluten free, and are so easy to mold!They also don't crumble while being iced, and if you make a mistake with the icing, it usually wipes right off to start again!

1. Draw an outline of your shape on a cake board or sturdy surface.
2. Cover with plastic wrap or press and seal.
3. Make rice crispy treats using the original recipe, but insyead of pressing in a pan, dump them on your outline while they are still warm and soft.
4. Butter your (clean!) hands.
5.  Shape to your outline, and allow to cool and harden.
6. Decorate as desired! You can also put icing around your design just for fun.
7. Cover with foil if it will be a while before the party. I always make mine a day or two in advance, and they are still yummy at the party.

P.S. If there will be candles involved, you might want to have something pointy to make a 'pilot hole' for the candle, since the 'cake' will be stiff!

Gift Table

Cake, Party Favors and Guest Page Table
For the kids' first birthdays I like to have a scrapbook page out and ready to go, and all the guests are forced urged to sign it for their scrapbook later.
Cake Table

Fun Watercolor and Crayon Art

Watercolor and Crayon Art

I promise our wall is not purple! Not sure what happened there... Anyway, this was such a fun art project for me. Confession: This was solely for my playing pleasure, not because I thought my son would particularly love it. There. I had never worked with watercolors before, so here are step by step instructions for this project too.

1. If you want, (I did) very lightly draw your design on a poster board in pencil.
2. Draw your design on poster board with crayon. Even white will show up once painted over, so have fun! I used a white crayon for the music notes and ones, and dark brown for the guitar.
3. Squirt a little watercolor from the tube into a cup or bowl, and dilute a lot with water.
4. Dip your paintbrush, and lightly cover all of the surface you want that color. Go right over the crayon! The watercolor will just slide off the waxy surface. Fun!
5. Allow to dry completely. The end. Easy peasy.

And one just for fun - birthday boy lovin' his cake and all the attention!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to Style a Coffee Table - the Chancellor Manor Way

So the other day I saw a pin on Pinterest - "How to Style a Coffee Table."

I thought, "Whoa, people need tutorials on how to put stuff on their coffee tables? My kids totally already have that figured out!" 

So here you have it, a step-by-step tutorial on how to style a coffee table the Chancellor Manor way.

Step 1. Add some color. With crayola.

Step 2. Cover with puzzles and art supplies.

Step 3. Remove all previous decorations and add hot wheels.

Step 4. Drive hot wheels off .

Step 5. Have a tea party.

Step 6. Compulsively scrub with entire package of wet wipes.

Step 7. Repeat

Friday, September 13, 2013

What We're Up to These Days {Chancellor Manor Randomness}

I thought I had better post some recent pictures of the kids before my mom and sister mutiny! I considered dumping all 366 pictures straight from the camera to here and letting you sort them out, just for fun, but... thought better of it. Aren't you glad? So instead you get 29. I even made it a nice prime number. Wasn't that sweet of me?

So here's what we've been up to... journaling in age order, pictures randomly interspersed:

Tony has been spending a lot of time at school, a lot of time wrestling with two little munchkins, and a lot time reading to said munchkins.

Pure joy!

Shes finally big enough to easily pedal.
 I have been trying to spend as much time playing with the kids as I can. I've also been making a couple bows, letting the kids paint, and trying out a little art myself - some painting, cake decorating, a little bow making. I am also still trying to balance wanting to be a hermit with wanting to reconnect with friends and family.

J's first night to sing withh the children during church - at our temporary, borrowed location.

Cadence has been learning to read, writing her name quite clearly by herself (along with anything else you will spell for her), drawing and painting, running around outside, swinging, playing, taking care of ReC as much as we will let her, and laughing and shrieking with James. She's been very tired recently, although this last week has been infinitely better. She's also been a lot more even keeled this last week, and it has been so wonderful to have our happy Cadence back! She is the sweetest thing, so eager to have fun, play, and please. She loves books of all kinds. She and Tony are on the second book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Again. For the third time. In the last two months. We pretty much have them memorized.

Cadence, with a bucket over her head like a helmet, brandishing a spear: "I am a fierce and mighty knight, and I have come to rescue you from the dragon Kazul!"

Tossing the bucket and spear aside, and twirling around: "I am the Princess Cimorene, and I don't want to be rescued!"

That's my girl!

The other day I was making supper - when I came around the corner to check on the kids, Cadence was lying very, very still. I thought, "Wow, she's almost limp! In fact... no way. Is she asleep?!"

Yup. Our picky non-sleeper fell asleep in the middle of the evening, in the middle of the living room, lying on a chair turned on its side. Wow.
James has been very busy - turning two, going through a clumsy growth spurt, starting to talk in sentences, then getting over his clumsy growth spurt in time to learn how to climb up the slide, climb on the turned sideways video rocker chair balance beam and jump from it to the couch, and make the swing go crooked at will. He's still our love bug, and always eager to do housework. We're trying to adjust his schedule a bit later to accommodate our routine a bit better - we'll see how that goes. This boy is intense, and has strong circadian rhythms!

First day of smiles!

Enjoying books with Pa-pa.


Still his favorite. Thing. Ever. This boy loves blankies, and especially this one.
ReC has been busy growing and changing at the speed of light. She is so sweet and laid back! She loves to swing, listen to the kids play, talk, and walk around. She clings to our arm like a little monkey when we hold her on our shoulder....

And she smiles! Hooray! 

First walk with all three. Apparently its been way too long since we went on a walk. J was so confused at first, and kept asking why we weren't putting the stroller in the van and going bye-bye. That's what happens when your Mama is a puny pregnant woman in the middle of a hot Oklahoma summer! Thankfully they all loved it, even ReC. I promise she's yawning, not crying.

Six weeks - old enough to notice there is something next to her, and want to look at it instead of the camera.

Whoops. I didn't look at the font size when I processed these photos - I was trying to hurry and throw them on here while ReC ate... so they're all weird and big. Oh well, life's rough ;)

This was my art project. I wanted to do something special for Tony to celebrate his new stage in life, and... I'll be honest, I really wanted to let my creative juices flow a little. James kindly provided the water color sky background, then I used sharpie for the music notes, drew the little conductor outline and cut it out of black cardstock, then painted in each music note. It was fun!

Typical James. Taking advantage of an empty plastic tub and distracted parents... COMPLETELY empty the silverware drawer.

Balance beam trick. He can walk the length too, even though it wobbles.

Babe Ruth - and my body will land.... THERE!

My sweet girls at bedtime. Cadence pretending to be a baby, and ReC watching her every move. See how long she's getting? Those legs just keep on going forever.