This morning when Brooks finally awoke from his slumber, the first words out of his mouth were not any of the following: Good morning. Hi, Mommy. I’m awake. What are we doing today? Those are all usual for my boy, all depending on how sleepy he still is. The, “Hi, Mommy” is pretty commonplace.

Nope, this morning Brooks, still rubbing sleep out of his eyes, gleefully informed me that he only had three days left until his birthday party. Then he promptly went into the bathroom to take care of his morning hygiene.

On that note, I spent most of my day working on party related tasks. The build up to his birthday is pretty exciting, and is one of the days we both look forward to most every year. As excited as I am about this party I’m a bit sad Brooks will miss the whole thing. I’m a bit worried I’ll be so caught up in running the thing that I’ll forget to take photos. And, if we’re lucky enough, maybe we can get D.Brooks on the phone via Skype so he can see his boy blow out eight candles.

So after homeschooling, the kids and I tackled making homemade streamers to decorate the trees outside. I saw a post on a website a few months ago about creating homemade streamers out of rectangles of paper sewn together into long strands. A few weeks back The Boy and I created streamer wands with the same concept (I got that idea off another blog). Little Brooks was super excited to help sew again today, as was Marilyn. I spent a few minutes cutting all the paper and then creating stacks of them for the kids to have available to feed into the sewing machine. Too much fun!

It’s so windy in Texas that I feared using regular streamers outside as I figured they would probably tear. These streamers should hold up pretty well! That’s my hope, at least.

We also painted various B’s that I purchased at Hobby Lobby made out of cardboard or wood. We chose a different color for each B and tomorrow we will hang them from the ceiling near the prize redemption table.

Two years ago Brooks chose a Carnival theme for his birthday. I’ll be honest, I kind of pushed him into picking that theme because I wanted to work on that theme so badly. I know, shameless! But here’s the thing. During that party the kiddos earned tickets at each “booth” they completed. At the end of the party the kiddos turned the tickets back in and redeemed them for prizes. The prizes are similar to stuff you would stick in a kid’s party goody bag. But the beauty of it is that the kiddos are able to pick out their prizes themselves and they get so stinkin’ excited about it. They really check all the different prizes, figure out exactly what they can get, and then walk away super thrilled. I love it! And the kids love it, so last year we repeated the same thing again with the same happy kids results. So we are doing it again this year.

I’ll be sure to take a picture of the set up, but it’s pretty easy. I took a whole bunch of glass jars, filled them each with one type of prize each, and then set them on a table in an appealing way. I bought about half the jars I’m using this year, with some saved from last year. But honestly, if I would have remembered, I could have begun saving glass jars to use for this very purpose. It’s too easy t0 soak glass jars and peel off the labels.

The last party related thing we worked on today was making homemade wrapping paper. I always save the paper Hobby Lobby uses to wrap breakables. I keep it tucked away in a corner for gifting purposes. It’s too easy to give Brooks a few sheets and tell him to paint on them or draw on them and then use it to wrap someone’s gift. So I pulled out some pretty blue paint, styrofoam plates, and bubble wrap and we did some bubble wrap printing with a twist.

I squirted a small amount of blue paint into each plate and told the kiddos to spread the paint only to where the plate began to crest upwards. They ended up with circles, obviously. Then I handed them a piece of bubble wrap and they lightly pressed it into the plate and then made their prints, in the shapes of a circle, onto the paper we were re-purposing/reusing from Hobby Lobby. It was super easy, super cheap, and the kiddos had fun and were excited to help out.

After all that the kiddos begged to play with the leftover Gak from yesterday. I have to say the stuff is a bit addicting. The texture is amazing and kind of mesmerizing. So we all sat down and played for quite a bit with it. I told Brooks that maybe we should make up a big double batch tomorrow and break it into pieces to give to the kids as  souvenirs on Sunday. We might just do that!

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