McKenna's Art Party

This was a fun party to prep for. Lots of splatter paint and lots of help from the Bday girl! I will forever think of this party every time I go in my garage. The drop cloths didn't so much catch alllll of the paint. oops! I would definitely classify it has an improvement to the garage floor though.
I ordered the aprons on Amazon and McKenna loved adding a splash of color and her hand print to each one. I then screen printed McKenna turns 5 on them.

I originally made everyone's party shirt say something different but when they saw how cool my ROY G. BIV one turned out, they all wanted that one too! 

We had her party at a place called Van Grow and it was fantastic! The room was so cute and the girl who helped run the party was so so sweet and fun. All I did for decorations was a table with a few snacks. 
My cousin gave me a genius tip on making the eatable paintbrushes. I would have been the sucker who made rice crispy treats from scratch and cut them all into rectangles. She told me to just buy the already packaged rice crispy treats and then just dip them in colored chocolate. Duh! 

As the kids came in, they could go to a table and do bead work or decorate a party hat. Once everyone got there, each kid got a cardboard letter of their name.

Legacy Cakes once again made the cutest cake ever and it was absolutely delicious!

You know I can't have a party without some kind of giveaway! 
143 was the lucky number. If you haven't read the book Purple, Green and Yellow, you totally should! It's one of our favorites and so funny.

For the party favors I ordered these clear paint buckets from Oriental Trading company. I filled them with art themed goodies. I ordered most of the things from Amazon and a few from Oriental Trading company.

Thank you so much for everyone that came and helped McKenna put the ART in PARTY!


Barstad Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas from the Barstads!
Everyone got a (stuffed or robotic) animal!
(I want to say that no real animals were harmed in the making of our Christmas, but there were a few squirrel deaths...)
Sarah and her family came in town for a very sad reason, but we were so so thankful to have them here for Christmas.  It just MADE the holiday season and we love them so much.  The kids couldnt contain their excitement to go play with their cousins every morning when they woke up.

Chuck e cheese is kind of a tradition now.
And seeing baby Eli and baby Kai back to back pretty much made shea's entire life.  She was in heaven and wanted to hold them both non stop.
We made kringla with Grandma, which is the most delicious cookie/biscuit thing that just melts in your mouth that is a tradition she has passed down to all of us.

We went to Christmas Eve service at our church and it was so moving and beautiful when we all sung a cappella to candle light at the end.
Then we had christmas with my family and went skiing.
It was amazing.
And this year we went ice skating.  
That seems like a normal thing to do, but in all of our years going to Utah, we never ever stray from the routine of skiing, hot tubbing, watching sports, eating too much and going to bed- just to wake up and do it all again the next day.  This time we went wayyyyy out of our comfort zone and tried something new (for about an hour).  
And it was SO MUCH FUN!

Then, we went straight home and played Pie Face.
And Ben made Kai laugh the cutest laugh in the world!
And came home and played with all of our new toys.
I would say it was the best Christmas ever.


McKenna turns 5!

It doesn't seem possible. 
I remember when Ella turned 5 like it was yesterday and there's no way McKenna is that big now too. 
It's so bitter sweet. I always tell my girls to stop growing. I was saying it over and over to McKenna the other night and she was just giggling and saying, I'm sorry Mom but God is making me turn 5!
That kid is such a light and loves life and God so much. 
We witnessed some bullying the other day at a park with some older kids and on the way home I was talking to the girls about the situation. We were not involved in it but close enough that the girls knew something was going on. Parents were there and things were handled but it was just so sad to see a group of mean girls laugh at the pleasure of bringing another girl down. It really gets the Mama Bear fired up in me. Before I go off on a rant, I'll get back to my point. 
My girls kept asking me why the group of girls would be so mean to the other girl. I told them how I didn't understand or know either and that we should pray for them to have a kind heart.  McKenna then says, well I can be the one to tell them about God if they don't know him. Amen McKenna. Amen.
I love when my 4 (well now 5!) year old reminds me how simple life should be and that the answer to all questions and situations is always God. Always.
One of our bedtime routines is family prayer time. We started this years ago and it's become one of my favorite things. The prayers are short and sweet but always so thoughtful and sometimes hilarious. When it comes to McKenna for her turn, she asks the same thing every single night. "Does Dad have work tomorrow?" Yes he does. "Does Dad have study?" Yes he does. "Does Dad have long extra hard work or normal work?" That answer varies on his call schedule. She then prays for Dad to have a good day at work and a good study. It's like clockwork and so so sweet! Another thing during our bedtime routine is sometimes we lay with the girls for 2 minutes. Every time I start to scratch McKenna's back or rub her head, she doesn't just lay there and relax, she immediately puts her hand on my arm or back and rubs mine too. It melts my heart every time. This kid is pure joy and has a heart of gold.
Even when McKenna was much younger, Bob and I could already see how wise and smart she was. She has most of Bob's genes in her and I love to see how her busy body just goes and goes and never wants to stop. Just like her dad. Even when she's not at school learning, she wants to be learning or growing in some way. She loves to be given a job or task. She loves completing something and seeing the finished product. She does not love to sit still and watch a movie. She will sit still but only with something that she can concentrate on and be hands on with. She loves a craft like all the girls in this house and will create with me all day and into the night. Still, her all time favorite thing to play is baby dolls. She is going to be the perfect mommy one day.
Both my girls have always been so great at just jumping in and rolling with whatever new situation is in front of them. Something I admire in them so much. Moving to a new town this summer and having them both start school with knowing no one about did me in, but not them. Neither one of them are afraid to walk in a room or school full of complete strangers. They do it both so differently though. Ella takes the slow and steady approach and adjusts herself to a new group of friends when she feels comfortable. McKenna dives in head first and basically has the new group adjust to her. I don't mean that in a way where McKenna takes over and is the boss. It's not like that at all. She is actually very quiet at school. What I mean is that her personality just makes friends fast and before you know it, she's got 5th graders saying hi to her down the hall. She is such a hoot and just has a way about her. 
McKenna is very tender hearted and kind. She loves to see everyone happy, including people on tv. She can't watch something unless she knows whats going to happen first. Even after I tell her she still asks a million times whats going to happen next. Full House, Yo Gabba Gabba and Blues Clues are about the only shows she will actually sit down and watch. Everything else, she usually just leaves the room to play.
 I have recently realized this more sensitive side of her. She is my kid who cries in movies, big moments in life or from something or someone that just means so much to her. Happy tears, sad tear, all the above. She doesn't like you to know it though. She tries to fight it and hold them back but sometimes she can't. It's the absolute most sweetest thing to see. She loves people and things in life so much that sometimes it just makes her cry happy tears. Before her class went on stage to sing Happy Birthday Jesus for their school Christmas program, she ran up to tell me something. She whispered in my ear, "I love this so much that my eyes might water." 
You make my eyes water McKenna Leigh. I love you so so much! Happy Happy Birthday my big girl! Now please just stop growing. 

We are celebrating McKenna with an Art themed Party next weekend so I'll be back soon with pics from that!

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