Rainbow Production

happy birthday dear Bug.... make a wish!

A great big color explosion went down in our house this weekend to celebrate somebody turning FOUR. I cannot even believe it myself. Where did my baby go?!! She’s FOUR and that means I’m OLD and stuff. Just kidding.

all in a row

I can handle four. I hear it’s the magic age. This side of three has definitely been fun so far. I think the rainbow theme matched her personality pretty well. Happy, bright, colorful with lots of rain and drama mixed in… If you’re looking for a way to liven up a dreary winter day, I cannot recommend this theme (or 3.5-year-olds) enough. It was really fun to put together.

rainbow balls!

rainbow of food

it's raining rainbows on the food! swirly

I tried to make this year’s party low-key and not go crazy like other years but somewhere along the way, I got inspired by rainbows and then went a little teeny bit over the top. But! I did keep it small and only invited nine little girls. Which didn’t seem like that many at the time (just cousins and girls that we have play-dates with regularly) but it probably wouldn’t be considered a small party-guest count.

No boys were allowed. Which was tough because Bug has a huge crush on a boy at school named Jake and she asked me nearly every day if Jake was coming. Bug hasn’t been in school for nearly half a year now (due to it being expensive and the fact that we’ve been out of town so much that it’s not worth paying for days she isn’t there) so getting an invitation to Jake would have been impossible. I don’t know him or his parents or his last name. Bug suggested I walk up and down the street knocking on doors until I found him but I convinced her that it would be super cool to have an all-girl party, like it was a secret club or something. I’m not sure she bought it but it did cut down on the guest list and my costs and possibly the craziness. From what I hear boys bounce off the walls and run around like wild turkeys. I could be wrong.

Anyway we got plenty of crazy without any boys in attendance. Rainbow-colored candy may or may not have been a factor.

sugar gang

peek-a-boo!

toss game

There was a ball-tossing game—thanks to the marvelous rainbow balls that Bethany crocheted mere days before the party. You know you have a great friend when you randomly decide you need rainbow-colored hacky sacks to fit in your flower-pot party favors and she volunteers to make puffy round fiber-filled ones for you instead because the hacky sacks at the store were not acceptably rainbow-y enough.

There’s more to that story but it exhausts me just trying to think of a way to explain it. Just imagine a crazy inspired person realizing that her plan A was meh and this other plan B was super-exceptional, causing her to completely switch gears on the party favors one week before the party. That’s how inspired people work. You gotta be flexible and have friends who are very laid-back and understanding.

coloring! rainball

There was coloring, of course. If I’m going to go crazy making all these graphics, I might as well turn them to black and white outlines and make a coloring page too. Girls love to color! I’ll share that here if you’d like to play along at home. No contest this time. Just have fun.

seeds/beans for the mosaic craft

We also did a craft (because that’s what we do) involving seeds. (Beans are seeds, right?) We glued beans onto a paper plate to make mosaics. This was actually really fun and easy for all ages. I thought it would be a huge mess but all the little girls were quite meticulous, some of them spending a long time getting their plates just so.

selecting seeds Mols

Bethany crafts painting glue

The big girls were meticulous too. I think there is something soothing about sorting small beans. Maybe being a bean counter is not such a bad job after all.

favors

Annalie Calee and A

My Mom (not pictured above, that’s Calee) headed up the seed-planting activity. She’s much better at that than I am. As you know, I struggled with the seed part of this party theme. I love it that my kid has her own original ideas and she picked something outside the box for her birthday-party theme but I really didn’t really want to have a gardening party.

While I like gardening, I’m not very good at it. But you can’t have a seed party without planting something so I let my mom be in charge of that. Thank the Lord for my green-thumbed mother. I think she did a great job because everyone was very happy and quiet while they planted (besides my kid who had a crying jag when I tried to rush off and do dishes while she wasn’t looking) AND there wasn’t a giant hose-water mud mess when they were done. Amazing, no?! Not that a muddy water-fight party wouldn’t be fun. That would be a blast. Just not so much in January. And not so much for me who might have to clean it all up at the end of the day.

planting seeds helping

Anyway, I think the seed planting went splendidly and everyone took home a nice little pot of freshly-planted sweet peas. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I wanted to share about the decorations.

dingle dangle mom

They were SUPER easy!!! All I did was cut out circles from some brightly colored construction paper with my handy dandy circle cutter. Then I sewed them together with my sewing machine and some white thread. I left this bit of the party to the last minute and I was so worried that my machine would just chew up the paper but it didn’t! It worked better than I imagined and within minutes my house was transformed into a disco of giant rainbow-colored dots.

If you’re looking for a quick easy way to decorate for a party and you are not afraid of a sewing machine I say get down with your circle-making self! I thought the candy bar I set up would be the biggest decorating feature but these simple cheap circles stole the show.

grouchy ladybug 18 cupcakes standing like soldiers

Serving a rainbow of food was pretty easy. Seeds were a bit trickier. We had lots of different kinds of nuts, bagels with seeds on them, peanut butter and Nutella for spreading (we made sure no one was allergic), hummus (of course) and even some rainbow-colored chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. I was pretty proud of myself for finding those.

Bethany made the cupcakes with this recipe. They were very yummy. I decided to be selfish and choose a flavor I liked instead of going for the wow factor of the rainbow batter since we’ve done that a few times already. The little lollipops came from here.

an Olivia book! dancing with Olivia

Of course there were presents. Toby and I wanted to say “no gifts” on the invitation since Bug is quite spoiled with every toy imaginable already but I knew that would ruin the fun for my mom who has been buying her stuff since last year anyway. So there were presents after all. And I have to say she got the most thoughtful, wonderful gifts. There are a few I haven’t taken pictures of but everything she got just melted my heart. You guys really know my girl.

rippity rip rip

sweater from Auntie Jaynette! Rainbow Brite!

And that’s pretty much it.

drinking my cold coffee

Party done! Now let’s get on with the rest of the year!

All photos taken by CC or Bethany. Thank you guys!

And We’re Back

DEC 27

Bug and I just got back from a bible conference that we try to attend every year. It’s something I did with my parents when I was a kid and now I’m finding myself doing as a parent. It’s a very strange journey I’ve been on to get there. I could go into a lot of back story (and I have in the past in ways I’m not proud of so I won’t be linking) but I don’t really want to dwell on that. Just know that this is a something of a struggle for me. I was very happy to be there though.

I did take notes during the meetings too. No, I was not sketching during meeting! I tried very hard NOT to doodle and to listen instead. I’m glad I opened my ears up, even if my heart was wrapped up in protective duct tape. Because my ears heard a lot of things that my heart needed.

So, what I’m trying to say is what you see here in these illos is everything BUT what the conference was about. Not that I’m trying to keep what conference was about secret. I’m not. I have notes. I will share! I just don’t know if I should share here. I know that Christians should expect to be hated for their faith and I should embrace that but I’m scared. Plus, I don’t think preaching from a blog is exactly the best way to help others, even if it’s just scrawled notes from a moleskin. So I’m keeping it private but if you want to know more email me.

DEC 28

In other notes: I did not know that so many meeting people read my blog. It’s a bit unnerving! I feel like I should clean up my language (even though I hardly cuss) and talk a bit less about drinking alcohol (even though I rarely drink) but I guess if you read this blog it’s a bit late for me to go around cleaning things up now. Besides I’m already trying really hard not to be snarky and hurt people’s feelings so if I get any more wholesome I might just write myself out of existence.

What else…. hmmm. How about some photos?

Sleeping in the car

This is Bug asleep on our way to the conference. It was a two hour drive to Burbank (I think. I didn’t time it) and she just couldn’t stay awake. Which is fine except her hair got mussed up a bit. I tried to do her hair everyday (unlike at home where I let her be a raggamuffin everyday) but her hair is so fine it just slips right out of whatever hair-do I’ve done it in and flies away of it’s own accord. Sort of like our human nature. Anyway!

My Dad Knits

This is my Dad, knitting. He’s a such a sweet old man now. I love how he is aging. I hope I age like him. You know he’s a trucker right? A knitting trucker!!! Ha ha! We all love that about him. He’s working on slippers and trying to perfect the toe that has some problems. If you bought some slippers from him and you have toe-poking-out problems, please contact my Mom so my Dad can fix them! (He doesn’t have internet in his truck yet.)

McDonald's to the rescue

Here is Bug eating McDonald’s. She wasn’t a fan of conference food. She did like the deserts but unfortunately I have a no-desert policy if you don’t eat your dinner so it was a bit of a struggle for both of us. I thought the food was fine. She starved. And then one day I broke down and walked across the street so she could have a happy meal.

drawing

This is me sketching. I love the pictures Bug takes of me. Even if they do capture my bad posture. They give me a glimpse of what I really look like and now I know exactly what my back will look like when I’m 60. I really should straighten up.

I don't match

I really do dress like this. I don’t care what you think, obviously.

in red tights like Mommy

I dress my kid like that too! Actually the only way I got her to wear this cute red dress instead of the thin t-shirt weight pink one that is covered with hearts was to bribe her with matching-mommy tights. Phew! That was a close one. I don’t even know why I packed that silly pink heart dress. I’m so sick of it.

Rapunzel

Here is my niece, Rapunzel, the day after conference. We walked to Starbucks together just her and I. Bug stayed with Grandma and bounced on the bed with her cousin SuperChic. Rapunzel is growing up so fast. I just want to squeeze her before the little girl in her is all gone. But she sort of looks little here. Maybe it’s the angle. She is ONLY eleven after all.

bouncing cousins

Little enough to join in the bouncing when we got back to my mom’s hotel room. What’s the fun in staying in a hotel room if you can’t jump on the bed a little, right?

cousins

They bounced themselves silly and then they plopped down and were quiet for one whole minute.

that bottom picture

Since we’re going through the pictures one by one, I might as well ramble about this one. That picture on the bottom scared me sooo bad. You don’t see a face there on the right do you? Let me explain.

Bug and I had our own room and I slept fitfully because we happened to be on the same floor as a band from Guatemala who were performing in the Rose Parade. They were great kids except for the fact that the guy next door to us didn’t have a key and had to pound on the door every hour all night long. I’m not even kidding. I guess his buddies slept soundly because they never opened the door right away. What he was doing up all night, I have no idea.

Anyway it’s a good thing the meetings were about how the world will persecute us and how we should be thankful for the good things and the bad things because I think I would have gone out there in my pajamas and given those tuba-playing band members a piece of my mind if I hadn’t have recently decided to take up praying more often. So I prayed and I prayed and only broke down and called security twice. Which did nothing, really.

Later on that night I had a terrible nightmare all about werewolves and vampires and friends who turned into red-eyeballed clawed creatures. I woke up in a sweat and right there on the wall was this creepy photo of a theatre staring back at me. Except instead of buildings and palm trees all I could see was a masked man wearing a fedora and a dead body where the street lights hit the road. I stared at it and stared at it and the face would not go away. In fact the face was so strong I didn’t know why I didn’t see it in the day time. It even seemed like the masked guy was smiling at me with a wicked grin. It creeped me out so bad I almost called my Dad on the phone to come over and sit with me until the nightmare would shake itself free from me.

God works in mysterious ways because just then as I sat in my bed shaking with fear over some silly picture on the wall, the guy in the band next door started to bang again. I have never been so thankful for stupid high school kids who like to stay awake at three in the morning. I don’t know if they were on drugs and I should be thankful for that but their banging comforted me. They didn’t speak English but just knowing that they were there and I could scream out if the masked man in the picture suddenly came to life comforted me.

kids

So that’s my story. Let’s just say I was very glad to wake up one last time and see that the sun was finally up. I stared at that photo in the light and I couldn’t for the life of me see that scary face again. I guess I should have taken a photo of it at night. I did think about doing that at the time but I was too afraid to get up and get my camera because everybody knows if you get out of bed when you have a nightmare, the bony hand under the bed will grab your foot!