Monday, July 23, 2012

Secret Spy Training Camp (Mason's 4th Birthday)

 About 4 months ago, Mason told me he wanted a Secret Spy Birthday Party. Not just any secret spy party, a Pixar's Cars 2 Secret Spy Party. We talked about where the party would be, birthday's in July are hard- it is HOT, two weeks before his birthday is was over 100degrees. But he insisted he wanted the party at home. I searched everywhere, etsy, pinterest, even Google, but all Cars 2 parties still focused on McQueen. I soon realized I would be flying solo on this one. He also told me wanted to use the colors blue and orange (which coincidentally worked well since Finn is blue and one of the bad cars is orange) so I got to work.

I started with the invitation. I tried to use as much spy lingo as I could. I wrote Top Secret on all the envelopes (we hand delivered most, but two went through USPS- I wonder what they thought!)

I was worried about the weather so I kept the party early- 10 a.m., it made choosing food pretty easy.  I loved how the table turned out. To me, it's all about the presentation.  

 I made the grapes into caterpillars (aka grapes in disguise), sausage balls- regular and gluten-free (we had a friend coming who is gluten free), watermelon stars, Allinol Punch, stop light rice krispies, and of course, the cake!

I couldn't find a cake that I liked- so I came up with this idea myself. Mason LOVES Finn and Holly, so I had Target decorate the cake with a half land/half water theme. Then I put skiing Finn on the water side, and I took a toy Big Bentley and hot glued Holly to the top and placed it on the land side. Overall I thought it turned out cute.

You can't have Secret Spy Training Camp without some activities- so we played "Disguise a Spy." I made paper sunglasses for each guest with their name on them. Then they were blindfolded and had to get the glasses over either Mater or McQueen's eyes. It was a lot of fun and the kids did pretty well!

You can't attend training camp without a "Master of Disguise Mustache" station. I bought chipboard mustaches, and provided markers, stickers and sticks for the kids to decorate their own mustache.

And what would a party be without a Pinata?!? (or as Mason calls them a PEEYata) Again everything was geared toward McQueen and I couldn't pay $55 for a Mater pinata on Etsy. So I made this one, bought a Cars 2 movie poster and let Mason pick out what part of the pictures would be featured on the Pinata. So one side was dedicated to Holly, the other to Finn chasing Professor Z and two other bad guys. I did a pull string just to be on the safe side. And it worked out that everyone got a turn before it popped open!

Mason gave his stamp of approval before the party started.

After opening his presents he spent some time "inspecting his loot!"  

And finally, no secret spy party is complete without an "Anti gravity Chamber" (aka bounce house!) We had it the entire day so after the party- the kids jumped, and jumped, and jumped!

Even Steve enjoyed the bounce house!
Reagan's attempt at a handstand (with the help of dad!)

Seriously, the best money I could have spent on the party. Mason was in heaven.


Look at the face!

Happy Birthday, Mason- make a wish! We love you. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week at Papa and Grandma Kathy's

This past week the kids and I, along with my sister, Leslie and my nephew and niece spent the week at my parents farm in Belvidere. This is the second year we have all spent a week together and I love the cousin time our kids get! Mason and Reagan ADORE their cousins and I know memories are being made. The main reason for our visit was swim lessons for the older three (Reagan is still too young), but the time together is priceless. From the minute they woke up, until they went to bed, they all played hard. Thomas and Maggie were very sweet to always include Reagan too. (I think Maggie liked having two younger kids to boss around a little HA!) And Mason looks up to Thomas so much- since we've been back home all he wants to do is go hit some baseballs (Thomas plays baseball) It was a great week and one I look forward to repeating next year!

You can't control when the garden comes in, so while at my folks we shelled 25 gallons of Lima Beans and 15 gallons of Zipper peas. These two were in heaven. They loved it!

We don't waste anything in the country. 
SO- all the shells went to the donkeys. Who in turn, were in heaven. 

A week in the country isn't complete without helping Papa mow the lawn. (just a note- Mason was riding his bike before hoping on the lawn mower- I don't make him where a helmet on the John Deere)

And the reason we were here! Swim Lesson. Reagan is so ready for next year when she can go!

Friday was safety day at swimming. Mason had fun "saving" his swim partner!

The week ended with some free time in the outside pool. 
The kids loved the slides, but it had rained all week so the water was a little chilly. 

I can remember spending a week with my mom's parents and some of my cousins. I still cherish some of those memories and laugh at some of the things we did. I can only hope that my kids will look back 20 years from now and laugh at their week in Belvidere.