Friday, 28 September 2012

Project life:10-16 Sept

Amazingly my Project Life has been up to date for the last two weeks so I can actually blog what I've done!

This week was a completely manic week (all of September has been manic here!) and I hadn't taken too many photos so I decided instead to journal most of my week, day by day to explain why they weren't many pictures. On the whole, I think this worked. I  spent time journalling quotes from the children such as when Emma planned her birthday party and then declared very seriously, 'I need people!'. Rent a crowd, anyone?
I also documented more birthday party shenanigans as well as memories such as the scent from a bottle of shower gel that reminds me of my time in hospital when Jack was born.
 On this page I used a cutdown piece of packaging from Jacks birthday as a photo replacement. Again, just plenty of journalling about the non stop manicness of our lives!
I certainly haven't missed sifting through a load of photos this week and equally, focussing on the journalling, and doing the week at hand as it happens has lead to much more meaningful pages. I think I'm going to try to be much more focussed on stories in the future, rather than events. Does that make sense? How do you approach your PL album?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Around Here & Project LIfe

Around here... We've been enjoying the final few days together when school isn't an issue and we can just play and relax. We've been reflecting on how life might change when you start school and how this makes me feel both happy and sad.

Around here.. We've noticed how quiet the house is when you guys aren't here and how strange that feels. I think it might take some getting used to.

Around here... We've been busy preparing for school, making sure uniform is ready; lunches are made and bags are packed. We've been talking lots about what to expect and who will be doing what. Organisation has been a huge factor in this week.

Around here...We've been taking our first days at school. Admittedly, just half days to start with but school nonetheless. You've loved it and have so far (re)learnt the phonics for S, A and T. We've had lots of singing the Jolly Phonics songs and asking questions. Curoisity is good, Jack. You need to foster that enthusiasm for learning.

Around here: We've had lots of telephone calls to Daddy. To wish you good luck. To see how you're doing. It's been good to be in touch.

Around here: Whatever one is doing, the other is not far behind copying. We'd hate you to feel left out!

Around here: We've been pottering in the garden, doing the autumn tidy up and being amazed by how much is in bloom or is blooming twice. I cut the roses back after they finished flowering in July and now they're at it again!

Around here: We've been projecting lifeing. We've been documenting the ups and downs of trying to juggle family and work commitments and how grateful we are for good friends who help us out when we need it. We've been grateful for long distance friends sending extremely kind gifts and reigniting my 12x12 mojo:

 Documenting a colour copy of the first piece of work Jack did for school as an insert page along with another random drawing on the reverse:

Lots of journalling to document my feelings alongside an insert with pictures of J doing his school prep and his school tray:

Friday, 21 September 2012

Superhero party!

The summer around here has been very busy. We've unpacked from the house move; worked on the garden; prepared for new starts at school and preschool as well as working hard at our jobs.
September has brought all new kinds of routines in our house to which we are still adjusting.
To start, this bundle of loveliness turned 5! I really can't believe it! Given his birthday is so early on in the month we knew that we'd need to organise and invite people early as we might not see them too much over the holidays. J kept changing his mind over his party theme choosing Ben10, Spiderman, Batman etc so we talked it over and decided to roll it all into one theme: Superheroes!

I spent ages looking at ideas on Pinterest and thinking about what we could do. I knew I really wanted it to be based outdoors; 17 children running loose in my house is not my idea of fun! Luckily, we've always been really lucky with the weather around his birthday and we chose the final really sunny weekend of the year. If anything it was probably too hot as after a while all the children had to strip off their Superhero costumes for fear of melting!

We hung decorations that K designed at work around the garden: off the trees, fences and our wooden gazebo area. I added some streamers too for the party effect.

 Kev found this red, white and blue bunting reduced to £1.50 in the ELC so he snagged up 2 packets which was easily enough to do one long side of fence and around the front of the house. Again, it really added to the party atmosphere.
 We turned the gazebo area into a superhero den with more superhero words hanging from the ceiling and paper streamers attached. Underneath and out of the way of the sun, we had a couple of tables with Superhero colouring sheets I'd printed out and a craft table with some paper Superhero masks and things to stick on them as decorations. The kids really loved this! It kept them entertained as they were arriving and meant that parents didn't need to worry about their child missing out if they weren't dressed up.

Once all the children were here we played a few games including Musical Superhero statues (Chn ran aorund like Superheroes until the music stopped and then had to stand like a Superhero) and Pass the Parcel. I'd chosen some Superhero themed prizes from places like Poundland and The Works, which were a big hit!

Once lunchtime came (we held the party from 11-1 to coincide with lunch) we had hotdogs and potato wedges which went down well and were really easy to do.

The cakes are always the bit of a birthday I tend to plan first. They're pretty much the only thing I insist on doing every year. This year we had cupcakes with Superhero cake toppers that I found on Ebay. These were easy to give away at the end of the party rather than having to worry about cutting into the main cake when I really wanted to be outside with J and his friends.

 For his main cake, he wanted a chocolate sponge, so using a pattern guide from an old family friend, I cut a circle and loaf cake into the shape of a number 5 and then iced it with blue ready roll icing before decorating with an icing pen and some Spiderman figures from the toyshop.
All his friends came dressed as Superheroes which was really cute! I was so pleased that all his friends (and their parents!) made that effort as it really added to the day. We had Spiderman, Batman, Supergirl, Buzz Lightyear, Superhero Minnie mouses... They all looked great!

As an additional surprise the REAL Spiderman also paid a visit to play with the children. My nephew, C, was SO pleased to see him! I've since heard other children are now asking for Spidey to make a visit at their parties!!

 As Spiderman came towards the end of the party, I used this point to take a group photo of all the children with Spidey so that I could print it out and attach it to J's thank you cards as a reminder of the day.
 Before the children  went home, I had again made some party bags for each child filled with Superhero themed gifts such as some Avengers Candy sticks from the local shop; Superhero Chupa Chups; Spiderman stickers etc. I personalised each bag with a Superhero character cut out using my Cricut and made to look like each child with their own inital on the front. These type of touches seemed to make the day even more special.

At the end of the day, J told me that he'd really enjoyed his party and tiredly said, 'I love my Spiderman cake' so I know all the effort was really worth it.

I have 2 months to recover now before I have to think about E's party!