Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy birthday Ryan!

Today we celebrated Ryan's 7th birthday.  According to him it was the best birthday ever.  Woo hoo!  At least we're doing something right around here.  
Ryan asked for a pitching machine for his birthday.  He has never shown any interest in baseball before, but recently we went miniature golfing and he saw some batting cages there.  He thought they looked awesome, so that is what he got (on a much smaller scale of course).  He was outside practicing hitting balls at 7:30 in the morning. 

And being the smart boy that he is, he asked to have Kneader's chunky cinnamon french toast with creamy caramel syrup and whipped cream for breakfast.  You can never go wrong with that.

I told Ryan he could have a friend party this year, and his big dilemma was whether he should invite his real friends, or if he should just invite his entire school class, because he would get a lot more presents that way.  I told him it was up to him (dumb choice on my part).  However, with only the slightest of nudging, did he decide that he would invite his real friends.  I was quite relieved.  We decided a Mario Brothers party would be fun, and being the silly "home-made" kinda gal that I am, I got started on a lot of work to make his party fun.  We played a few games like

Pin the mustache on Mario

and a bean bag toss game with Boo

stomp the goomba  (balloons)

and don't drop Yoshi's egg. 

Of course we opened presents.

and ate cupcakes that look like mushrooms.

A couple of other things that I thought made this party extra fun were these cute chocolate Mario mustache suckers,

and these coin boxes that we filled with chocolate gold coins as they completed each of their games.

I also thought these Boo balloons were about the cutest things I've ever seen.  I wish I had taken a picture of ours, but I forgot, so I'll just post the picture that was my inspiration for them instead.

We had an exhausting super fun time!  Happy birthday buddy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

About 2 weeks ago, we experienced our first Pinewood Derby.  Then last night, we experienced our second Pinewood Derby.  That's a  lot of car building for a first-timer, right?  Why, yes. Yes it is.

A few weeks ago we found out about Tyler's derby only 5 days before the actual race.  Apparently we were supposed to have been given our car kit a month before, but nobody ever got around to letting us know about it, so we were left scrambling.  

The car building duties fell to me, because I feared that if Greg was in charge it would end up looking (and racing) like the car Greg built for himself when the men had their own Pinewood Derby a few years ago.  Five minutes before his race, he grabbed his block of wood, colored it red with a magic marker, and hammer the wheels on.  I wish I had a picture to show you, but you'll just have to close your eyes and try to imagine it.  Not pretty.  Not very fast, either.  Just not his thing, I guess.

Anyway, I think Tyler and I did a pretty good job on his car.  He wanted to make it look like a Wii remote,  and here is what we ended up with.

However, looks aren't everything.  Unfortunately his car came in dead last in every race.  Apparently you have to put the graphite on, and then get those wheels spinning BEFORE you actually start racing.  After the official race was over, the boys got to race their cars just for fun, and Tyler's car started doing MUCH better, even taking 1st place several times.  Lesson learned.  At least we still have years and years of Pinewood Derbies ahead of us (oh, joy!) to get things figured out.

 Turns out I didn't have to wait a whole year to work on my next car.  Last night our ward had a Daddy/Daughter Powder Puff Pinewood Derby race for the activity days girls.  This time I did a little research and figured out the best way to weight the car and to get those wheels spinning.  Now keep in mind, we don't own any fancy tools, (a hammer, a few screwdrivers, and a drill are about the extent of our collection), so I am never expecting to have a car that even comes close to winning it all.  All I want is to help my kids build a car that at least won't cause them a great amount of embarrassment.  So here is what we came up with for Alyssa

So cute, and soooo easy.  I told her it may not be fast, but at least it will look good!

Turns out it was cute, and also fairly decent on the track.  She ended up tying for 4th place out of 31 cars.  Not to shabby!