Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Birthday in the Shire

Today is Samuel's 9th Birthday! We celebrated on Saturday with a Hobbit/Lord of the Rings gathering! And his best pals came and celebrated with him.

This post was an invaluable source of ideas and inspiration!

The invitations were made out of brown kraft paper with burned edges and rolled into scrolls tied with twine! This was probably the most labor intensive part of the event - getting all those edges singed!

Brown kraft paper also hung over our front door and said {in elvish}, "Speak friend and enter." They had to duck to step into the hobbit hole!

We served "second breakfast" of cinnamon rolls, strawberries, muffin sized quiche and apple juice. Table decor was almost all things we had on hand - I bought gold plates and striped napkins plus the gold dot confetti and punched a number of them out to look like rings.

The ivy needed a good trim anyway in our front yard and you can't tell we even cut any! Wood slices are a hurricane remnant! They are still wet in the middles and are starting to crack - but worked great for this.

David already had this ring that a friend had given him and my Mom made the great cloak for Samuel to wear! Rachel and Emily invaded the dress up bins and came up with costumes also! Emily was helping me set up the scavenger hunt and by the time I realized I hadn't gotten her photo, she had already changed clothes.

The girls helped by being posted at different places on our scavenger hunt! Rachel was at Rivendell with the Council of the Elves {Keebler elf cookies!} and she gave the next clue to Emily who was in Lothlorien with swords for each hobbit.

David made the swords for free using wooden garden stakes we found in the shed, spray paint and electrical tape! He bought a gold Sharpie paint pen and I wrote each boys name in the language of the elves. And they're off!

When they returned David's brother had brought this catapult he made for them to launch water balloons:

They also had to defeat the Nazgul {David!} and his costume was made of things we had and a few dollars of thrifted black fabric.

They were victorious!

David really was the star of this party as he helped me so much! This felt very out of my comfort zone in even understanding all the characters and knowing what to do! He made a cool pinata that was the lidless eye of Soron {spelled right?!} and the boys collected candy from inside.

They threw paper rings {couldn't find any plastic ones!} in the fire to destroy the ring {as in the story} and then had fun sword fighting and throwing water balloons!

Samuel requested chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting! I found these LOTR sugar toppers on Amazon. They are edible! {affiliate link used}

Party Budget:

I know many of you look forward to seeing how much I spent on a party. Years ago I came up with the number $50 and have tried to keep my parties below that amount. This year was very thrifty!

Invites: free
Swords: $3 Sharpie marker; each guest took a sword home
Paper goods for table and confetti: $7
Cupcake toppers: $5
Food: $10 or less
Candy for pinata: $9
Thrifted black fabric: $3
Total: $37

Happy Birthday Samuel! We love you buddy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Strength and Dignity

Just as God brought this verse to my attention, a friend gave me this beautiful journal. Those words: strength and dignity: they have lept off the page at me lately and I'm enjoying some slow time thinking through what they mean and how I apply them.

The first place way I am finding refuge this year is by spending time in God's Word and pausing to really think it through and apply it to my heart, home and life. I am finding refuge in being reminded of what is really important and re-ordering some of my routines and priorities.

As I'm mulling this over, I want to hear what you think of when you hear the words strength and dignity: go!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Childhood Fun

One morning recently, I went outside to put a letter in the mailbox and came upon this art left by Emily. She made the paints from ground up sidewalk chalk, water color paints and water and "borrowed" one of the stones from our garden edging.

I know it will wash off, but it reminds me that my children have the time to be creative outside and make their own paints and create something fun and beautiful. Home educating is hard and sometimes we feel like giving up but then I see things like this or Samuel doing his spelling along the arm of the couch propped up on a pillow with sunlight streaming in the window and such a calm, peaceful, beautiful and inviting home atmosphere - what a glorious learning environment!

I am grateful for these reminders and for God giving the strength and courage {and calling!} to keep going. Seeing this rainbow on our porch gently reminded me of such beauty. Yes, I probably wish that the paint wasn't smeared all over the arm of our rocking chair - but it will wash off and isn't earth shattering. Creating and exploring and having time to come up with these things is a gift in childhood and yes, even in adulthood.

When school and chores are finished and these three in my care ask if we can go to the beach after the library, I agree. The breeze is a tad chilly for enjoying playing by the water but they seem not to notice, a tree near the library seems a bit confused on which season it is, and I should've taken a photo of the black mud they were in up to their knees that smelled like the marsh. Rachel was so pleased with the large piece of shell she found! And, then the sky while I sat in the car during ballet and read a book!!!

We don't handle rush, hurry or frazzle very well in this family - slow is our pace and it brings peace and beauty which I am grateful for!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Slow Day

A pretty morning with dew on a dandelion fluff and sunlight streaming through trees.
I wasn't feeling well - so school happened mostly from my bed.
A tea time break for my students fixed by them!
Emily fixed leftover soup and grilled cheese for lunch.
And, then she also fixed me a tray of cookies and milk after dinner while I watched Sophie Scholl {hard but good}

Monday, January 23, 2017

Open Tabs

This quote. Yes!

Hospitality Study on She Reads Truth starting January 30th. I'm hoping to read {for free!} right on their website each day.

I've been wanting a letter board - but they are SO pricey! Found a tutorial and am going to try and make my own: stay tuned!

My mom, sister and I have been keeping lists of thrifty things we've done lately and exchanging by email: so inspiring and motivating! Tell me your top thrifty successes lately!

After mentioning that I want to love tea, I tasted this and it is delish!

Watching: Victoria on PBS

Reading: The Royal Nanny

Trying to walk one mile every day for the next month {hopefully it will last longer than that but I usually fizzle out in the heat} and this is my raining option.

Working on a Lord of the Rings theme birthday party for Samuel coming up soon! Some of my inspiration ideas are here

I have a Slow Living Pinterest board that is full of cozy inviting photos and inspiration!

Let's Stay Home free art print!

Do you have any fun open tabs to share?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slow Day

Eye dr and then an adventure walk - a few coins in the parking meter and explore! We found an adorable coffee shop where we split a "Bi-Polar hot chocolate" which was a scoop of ice cream with hot chocolate over it!
Orange Spice Cake from a past issue of Deeply Rooted - I am not great with icing decor but nature decor is more my thing! A fun little connection is that the leaves on the middle of the cake are from when I was at the Deeply Rooted retreat!
Watched a Christmas movie - not sure I would recommend so I'll not post a link!