My wee man is 6 today!! So we had a mystery party. Being that all the invited guests were 6 or younger I didn’t think we were quite ready for murder mystery (and neither am I!)
But we did do a great old mystery party – one sweet guest said to me, ‘Mrs F********* (they call me this because I do parent help at school) this is the best party I’ve ever been too.’ Bless him – it was a lovely bunch of friends he invited.
I had rather a tight schedule for the party we missed a couple of games entirely but we had FUN!
When the guest arrived they did a Mystery Person sheet – a self-portrait with some extra info afterwards. The intention was to use these to guest who was who at the end of party but we ran out of time.
All the guests received a pack with a magnifying glass, a clues notebook, a clues pencil, a name sticker, a little envelope with colour swatches in it and they added their prizes to it as they went
We played -
The Mystery box – feel it, shake it and write-up your guess in box 1 then I gave them 3 clues – I am metal, I am found in the kitchen and you use me to eat with. Then they wrote their second guess.
Guess the Guest – each guest rsvp’d by email with month of birth, no. of siblings, favourite – food, colour and animal. They put their name stickers on (so people could write their names without having to guess spelling etc) and I read out the information about each person and they wrote the names next to the spaces.
What’s My Colour – time was ticking along so I did this instead of getting the kids up and giving them a go. Each child had 7 colour swatches and I gave them a clue and they had to be the first to hold up the colour e.g- I am the colour of grass.
What is My Number – 9 different number sentences and the children wrote which number they thought was the mystery number for each sentence. E.g – I am less than 10, I am even and I rhyme with 4
Then we had a mystery treasure hunt each clue was written on white paper with white crayon so they had to paint dye over each clue after they found it to expose its message
Food – we had mystery food bags. I showed them some very cute ‘food pictures’ then gave them a mystery bag filled with foodie bits which they had to make into a picture on a white serviette and then tell everyone what they made.
I also provided some extra bits, including plain bread which a few of them used and then ate!
Cake – a big question mark made from cupcakes – easy!!!
Mystery Box Punch – I saw this idea on pinterest a while ago and it was a neat way to give the kids a small prize to take home.I forgot to take a final before pic!!!
They picked a number out of a hat which determined their order. (Flip and I had already discussed he would go last) and then they punched through the tissue to get their prize.
The party was great fun the 1.5hours disappeared and we didn’t get to the Mystery Bag – put your hand in a bag and guess the item before pulling it out, Reverse Hide and Seek, or finish the Mystery Person Pages. I probably could have done 2 hours but I always like to keep things short and sweet before there are tears and tantrums!!
A great day, a simple easy themed party, all good! What is your best birthday party tip??
The other thing that worked well was a list of jobs that needed to be done today so that everyone could help with the jobs to get the party ready and I didn’t have to give jobs out constantly.
And I’m joining in with Simone’s great link because I love seeing what others are up to!
It was The Atlas’ birthday on 3rd of Jan so I threw him a little surprise pot-luck tea with some friends.
And even though I planned it before Christmas no-one ‘spilled the beans’.
So after a morning and a half surfing he came home to a tidy house and a bench full of baking.
(The tidy house hardly every happens – when my boys said daddy needed more presents I told them the tidy house was one!)
The lego cake is an idea from the Donna Hay kids magazine I got just before Christmas.
Super easy and suitably pleased with using a book/magazine I own to actually make something.
On my birthday I was very spoilt.
I wanted to share a few of the handmade gifts I received that might inspire you.
This amazing bag Juliet made.
This cute, cute purse/clutch from Nin made by Annie.
This gorgeous stitching made by my sis.
And this incredible cake that I was given at music group made with love by one of our mamas.
With all sorts of my favourite details made from handmade-fondant icing.
And I received a cake on my birthday from another friend too.
I know – so spoilt and that was all of the handmade loveliness either.
The 1st birthday of baby no.1 is very significant.
Not necessarily because it is the parents’ first opportunity to show off their superior party hosting skills (some celebrities spring to mind here!) but because of what they stand for.
1 year of massive change … the magical growth of a small, crying, milk drinking, sleeping, twitchy little person into a smiling, moving, possibly talking, personality filled person.
More than that though that first year with number one is such a huge transition to make – suddenly you are parents. There are sleeps and feeding and spending all your thoughts and money (if you have any left after fitting out the nursery!) on this person other than yourself.
A whole new understanding of selfishness is beaten mercilessly over the head at 3am and 5.30am and many other hours and
nappy changes moments over those 365 days.
Your relationship is stretched and challenged and strengthened.
You worry about crazy things that will probably never happen but just the thought of them is enough to almost suffocate you.
You become a whole other person you never imagined you had in you. No, I don’t agree that when you become a parent you leave your brain at the door and pick up mushy talk and conversations that only revolve around what was in the last nappy (although this may happen occasionally!) But parenting brings out some new skills in you – skills you wish you had more of at various times of the day and night – but skills you do have and have never needed the same way – patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control (ever walk into the side of a table while holding a sleeping baby?)…..
On Saturday we celebrated the 1st birthday of our gorgeous little god-daughter and I was reminded of what a massive, rewarding and tough year it is for the ‘new’ family. Her parents have done an amazing job, and she is, and will continue to be, a gift to all who come in contact with her.
These photos are from the day. The cake I made inspired by a picture on pinterest. And the little dress and rompers I made.
Another dress up party ‘Children’s Character’ we went as Barbie, Teddy, Penguin and Action Man. Some decisions weren’t finalised until we left the house!
If you are a parent what was the most surprising, challenging, wonderful moment in that first year?
Which means goodbye….. One of those ‘awesome for you fellas, not so awesome for us‘.
Last night we said good-bye to Aunty Nommy (my sis) and Uncle Alex who are off on a grand adventure to Holland.
I am very blessed in that I get to be in a family where my siblings are also very close friends.
So we made them a ‘kiwi cake’. It wasn’t until I travelled that I discovered how attached us kiwis seem to be to confectionery, especially chocolate with marshmallows.
As a non-pav eater I liked this as a kiwi send off.
When they arrived for dinner they played the boys a song uncle Alex had composed and recorded using their voices and Flip on the harmonica. Having a composer for an uncle is SO cool!!! Maximum street cred here.
I love that they are off on an adventure together… I love that skype means we’ll still get to see each other…. I love that I am ‘babysitting’ some jewellery, art, furniture and kitchen stuff….. I love that you only feel sad about goodbyes when you really love the people leaving.
N and A may you find in your adventures a welcoming horizon and a vista that surprises and delights you at every turn.
We love you. very. much. x
I have been cooking up some cakes – 3 to be exact – 3 cakes to make 1 large cake.
We have a friend’s birthday and I am on making the cake. I got this idea from the ‘original’ women’s weekly cake book (a classic from my childhood!).
Unfortunately I also used their butter cake recipe which only rises about 2cm – so it’s a bit pathetic looking – ah well, I guess perfection is not attained by many. I must remember just to use a cake recipe I actually like next time.
The birthday boy is a multi-talented and lovely person so I had rather a range of things to choose from but The Atlas and I settled on the guitar being the best choice. The hardest part was finding a flat old-fashioned licorice strap to make the frets.
Happy Birthday Stefan.
Today I am also remembering my Mother-In-Law whose birthday is today. We were always remembering at the last-minute and never getting her present to her on time. This was my year to get it right and I missed my opportunity because we said a permanent goodbye in January. Thinking of you today Cathy – as I often do and remembering you and the special part you played in making The Atlas the man I love.
4.35am 7.1 on the Richter scale a rough night – no power, no water.
We are safe. Our house is totally fine.
The baking tins are full.
The Heart cake for the baby shower I was SUPPOSED to go to will make a lovely dessert.
We had water in the freezer and we have plenty of bin liners for our lidded bucket so we can ‘go’ in the bin!
Thankful for boys who own torches that all had batteries, candles, matches.
Things have been very un-usual here but we are together and we thank God for a quake at 4.35am when almost everyone is with their loved ones.
I am thankful for a 4 year-old with a sense of humour who set the table with chopsticks and a 1-year-old who tried to use them. For Daddy’s ipod.
Although you would think after 32 years I would master the art of outdoor peeing – what can I say I wasn’t desinged for ‘roughing it’!
May we all always have something to be grateful for.
It feels an age since I last posted (3 days will do that to a girl!). I’m blaming it on all the excitement of turning 4!
Today I completed Challenge 48- to get a takeaway coffee for a hard-working friend. This friend is supremely dedicated and she inspires me with her passion for her job.
Master 4 had some fun on an adventure to the sensory rooms in Christchurch yesterday. We had a gaggle (love that word) of friends with us and came home for cake afterwards. I mean you never can have too many birthday cakes!
Another friend had a birthday and I made her a peg pinny. Considering the amount of washing I hang out I can’t believe I haven’t made myself one yet but it’s always more of a priority to make clothes if I am sewing for myself.
Today I totally scored! First of all I discovered I was the winner of a giveaway! Can you believe it??? As soon as it arrives I will post a pic and a link to the very cool blogger I won it from.
Then and I’m not sure I should tell you about this in case you a/get very jealous or b/go there yourself and clean them out!..I went to ‘Creative Junk’ which is a sort of shop in Christchurch with all sorts of junk BUT I got a whole big bag of fabric samples for (drumroll here) $5. Are you jealous???? One piece alone had a $129m price tag and there was about 0.5m there.
I also stuffed into my bag a hessian sack, a retro crochet book for a friend, some patterns and a little tub of foam chips to do collage with the boys (so I am not totally selfish!). Yes it has been a happy day.
Then…this afternoon the mama doing the 100 challenges with me came over and someone had gone to our church with an old suitcase full of fabric for us. So I have another pile of fabric to use. Please still love me at this point and don’t be too jealous!
Tonight I have lovely friends over to practise sign language with. I love today!
Tomorrow I will draw the giveaway so you still have time if you want to enter.
Now that we have had our party we officially think of ourself as 4 (not actually until Thursday but some technicalities aren’t worth negotiating). Our party was attended by family and god-parents. Special times.
The football cake worked well – thankfully Husband was available to do the field markings – like I would know! We had to substitute a giant Jaffa for the ball. I was pleased with the goals I made though – pipe cleaners and onion bag and a little stitching and there we are!
Tonight I have a couple of plans for friend’s who have birthdays coming up and a little snuggling with my lovely man as we think back over the last 4 years of parenting – oh what a ride!
Maybe it is psychosomatic or perhaps it is the new haircut that he came back from Ma and Pop’s house with – but he looks bigger already.
I love birthdays, I love the food and the presents but most of all I love the sense of celebrating a person because they are special. I love that we take time out once a year to celebrate a person we love – the fact that they have lived a year, that they are precious to us, the sense of sharing our lives and looking forward to an unknown future with a sense of anticipation.
I think celebrating people is so important. People are precious and birthdays of all days should give them a sense that there are people who think they are worth having a party for. Don’t you think that maybe a lot of problems that people face might be diminished by having a group of people to shout ‘hooray you are worth celebrating’ from the sidelines of life every now and again? Of course a large slice of cake would also help too.