3/24/15

Ella's Camping Sleepover!

Turning 7 can be In-Tents so that's exactly what we did and it was SO much fun! I can't believe how great our first sleepover went. Way better than I ever could have imagined. Ella's group of friends are just the sweetest and they made the party so fun and easy going. (makes me get a little teary eyed thinking about her moving away from them soon)
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My awesome husband helped me turn our living room into The Great Indoors! We moved the furniture into the garage a couple of days before the party and then began to make the night sky.  I bought two rolls of navy plastic table cloths. I cut them into strips and Bob used a staple gun to attach them to the walls. It took us a while but it was so worth it. The room was dark and felt so cozy under the stars. I loved it!PicMonkey Collage
I painted the trees on white butcher paper. I used an overhead projector to help me with my lack of art skills.PicMonkey4 Collage
Campers arrived at 6pm. It was so fun to see each girl's excitement walking in and setting up their tents.
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Everybody went straight to the bounce house so we jumped a little bit before eating. Right before we ate all the girls got a big surprise. Ella's teacher walked in and it was like Taylor Swift stopped by. I wish I had gotten a picture of them all running up to her and hugging her. Every girl at the party either had her as a teacher last year or is in her class now so it was so special.  She brought silly string, nail polish and lip gloss for the girls! Best. Teacher. Ever. 
The weather was beautiful so we did the pillow decorating outside after pizza. I ordered some pillow cases from Amazon and had the girls decorate them with fabric markers. They loved it!
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Camp Counselor Jackie (and Andy) were so amazing and helped us out so much during the party.
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After that we all went inside and played Camp Bingo. I had a bunch of candy and glow sticks so when they got a bingo, they got to pick out their candy for the movie later on. 
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Anytime Bob wanted to get the campers attention to make an announcement he would yell, "Camp Ella can you hear me?!" and they would all yell back, "Yes crazy Bob!" It was awesome.
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Once the sun went down we went outside to make s'mores!
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I put on the movie Parent Trap around 8:30 and everyone loved watching it. Well everyone but Crazy K. McKenna was hilarious and will defiantly be that kid at slumber parties that is the last one asleep and will have your socks frozen in the freezer when you wake up. Did y'all ever pull that prank? I sure did. You take peoples socks when they are sleeping, get them wet and then stick them in the freezer. Classic.
McKenna would go from tent to tent pretending to ring the door bell and would sit with each girl for a little bit. They were all so sweet to her! At one point McKenna went around and asked each girl if they had anything that needed to be washed. I didn't realize she was actually collecting their dirty clothes and putting them in the laundry room until later on and I was cracking up! That girl never sat still.
Everyone was asleep by 11 which I thought was a huge success!
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Andy and Jackie stayed over till midnight playing Rummikub with Bob and I so it was a dream night. I pulled a mattress in the room with all the girls and slept with them just in case anyone woke up in the middle of the night. Everyone slept all night and we started the morning off bright and early at 6:30. Everyone ate donuts while Ella opened her presents and then we sang since we never got around to the cake the night before. It worked out perfect since Saturday was her actual birthday anyway.
The giant s'mores cake is something I saw on Pinterest forever ago. I think it might have been my very first pin actually. I thought it was just so cute. I'm not much of a baker but decided to give it a try. The giant graham crackers were from this recipe and they were surprising easy and even tasted great. The middle of the cake is just white cake. I had made everything the night before her party and started putting it all together a couple hours before the party started. Everything was going great until I attempted to layer two white round cakes. They didn't come out of the pan evenly on the bottoms so when I stacked them and iced them, they just cracked and crumbled everywhere! I baked another cake real fast and just stuck with one layer the second time. It worked so much better and turned out so cute!

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Instead of trying to cut it into pieces I just let the girls break off pieces of each layer and make a s'more. They just laughed and had so much fun with it. Cake success!

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I ordered these cute All About Camp pages from Oriental Trading Company. It was a great morning activity for the girls to do. They colored them and filled out all their favorite parts about Camp Ella.
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Each girl got to take their tent home with them and some popcorn that my awesome neighbor Andy brought over. His mom has a popcorn business in Round Rock and it is amazing! Did I mention that Jackie also made Ella the Camp Ella banner that hung on the fireplace?! I mean, best neighbors of all time.
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Happy 7th Birthday my sweet Ella! I love seeing your heart grow each year. I love seeing your enthusiasm for the simple things in life and your loyalty towards those you love. You have such a kind heart and we are all so blessed by you each day. We love your sense of style and eye for creativity. You always strive for what is right and your determination is something I admire so much about you. You are one special kid. I love you Ella Reese! 

3/10/15

Party Prep!

It's the most wonderful time of the year in our house right now. Party prep time! Ella turns 7 on Saturday (what?!?!) and I am having a house party for the first time in 2 years. I love a house party so much but as the list of people grew bigger we had to take the parties out of the house. Ella's ice cream party was the last time we had it here. 
This will be the last party we have before we move so I wanted it to be extra special for Ella. She is inviting a few of her close friends and we are having an indoor camping sleepover! I am so excited! Months ago after a trip to Poppa's deer lease, Ella couldn't stop talking about a camping party. I ran with it and have had so much fun creating Camp Ella. Turning 7 can be in-tents so what better way to celebrate! 
I saw the idea of an open tent for the invite on pinterest and loved it. I made them on my silhouette.
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My vision is to turn the family room into the Great Indoors. Like move all the furniture out, cover the walls with trees and ceilings with navy tablecloths and stars kind of vision. I was a little nervous asking Bob if we could move our ginormous couch and coffee table out for the party but he was great with it! Whatta man.
I wanted each girl to have her own tent and Bob rocked it with his tent making skills. He busted out 10 pop up tents in no time and I am so excited about them! Hopefully each parent will feel the same when I send them home with each kid. 
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I bought a white twin sized top sheet from IKEA and then brightened them up with some Rit dye. I was going to attempt to tie dye them but it was an overwhelming amount of fabric so I just dyed them all pink and then dip dyed them in orange. 
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I still need to tweak a few things but here is the one I put together. I was going to staple the sheet on but hot glue did the trick. I keep going back and forth with staining the wood but Ella wants to leave it raw so I guess I'll go with the birthday girl's wish. I can't wait to get them all set up in the room! 
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Party tees in the works!
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Having our house on the market while turning it into a campsite has been a little in-tents too. Luckily (or not so lucky I guess) no one has looked at the house this week. I gave my Realtor a heads up and told her that Wednesday through the weekend might not be the best time to show the house to potential buyers. I will start moving furniture out tomorrow so you know someone will want to come look the second it gets crazy. 
I'll be back with pics of Camp Ella and hopefully a report of all Happy Campers! 

3/4/15

Snow Baby

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Just, you know, a super cute baby in the snow for your viewing pleasure.
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She couldn't even walk she was so bundled up.  In Avery's snow suit from when she was a baby, which was super fun.
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And though it seems that I only love one of my children, I begged and begged my other kids to go outside with me on every occasion that it snowed.  They were not up for it.  It crushed my spirit, but luckily I have very busy toddler who is up for all of my shenanigans until we both had frozen toes.
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The snow baby also is a huge help with homework.  She gets verrrrrry excited.
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annnnnnd she got overalls.  I mean.  The second allison asked if I had seen the polka dot overalls from target I was in the car on the way.
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And we happened to get our new pins that we are attaching to all of our shirts (instead of the balloons.  Just for a change of pace) and I had to cover her in flair.  I mean, one can never have enough flair.  I am trying to figure out how I can attach them to everything I own without looking like an old camp counselor.
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Just a #sheaselfie to take us out of this post.  Nothing too exciting going on besides snow, ice, canceled school, stomach bugs that won't end, and new overalls.  The flair really pulls it all together, though.
(Same rule applies to the overalls as with the snow. I asked the big girls if they wanted overalls too and they declined.  I clearly have no control.)  
Now, let's all pray we go to school tomorrow so we aren't in school making up these snow days until the end of June when my kids will actually play outside with me.

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ANNNNDDDD we did not have school.
So my kids got a chance to totally redeem themselves and play with me, and it worked.  They are back on my good side.
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These crazy haired kids are my people.
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We got outside, picked up our neighbors and sledded until the baby couldn't take it anymore.
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Best snow day EVER.  Or at least the only one we haven't been sick.  Ill take it.
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