Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lord of the Rings Birthday Party


When my almost 12 year old son asked for a Lord of the Rings themed birthday party,
truth be told-- I went into panic mode.  What?!?
My kid had just finished reading the book series and couldn't get enough of the stories.
I had never read the books or seen the movies.
How was I going to do this?

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 Well...I did a bit of research (aka Pinterest) and watched a few of the movies,
and this is what we came up with.
 
 
 
I downloaded a Lord of the Rings front called Ringbearer, from Fontspace.
This allowed the invites, party agenda, menus, labels, nametags-- everything-- to come to life!
 
All materials were printed out on brown paper, ripped along the edges and inked with brown ink.
(I totally impressed my kid when he thought I had been burning edges!)
Invite inspiration came from here.

A Party Agenda was planned down to the minute with lots of Lord of the Rings activities...
perfect for 12 year old boys.
 
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The table was set.
 
Lord of the Rings Pez figures sat at each place setting.
(I found these on clearance at Cost Plus.)
I mod podged the names of each guest onto a stone for place markers.
Bamboo trays with gold chargers worked well with the brown plastic plates.
Gold rings were sprinkled about. (Rings found at Party City in the wedding section.)
Long lengths of ivy and burlap decorated the table.
Gold colored take out boxes were waiting to be filled with goodies.
 
 
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A Birthday Banner was hung.
 
I made this burlap banner with the Ringbearer font.
I cut out the stencils on my Silhouette and painted them on the burlap with black craft paint.
Each burlap pennant was hot glued to the jute rope.
I hung a brown tablecloth for the backdrop using safety pins and Command hooks.
Gold bracelets (found at Party City- look for the Egyptian mummy accessories)
were tied onto the jute using fishing line.
A long length of burlap hid the Command hooks at the top.
 
 
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Once the guests arrived, we showed the 7 minute prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring movie.
 
This gave each kid the background of the stories and built up the excitement with some cool music...
However, most of the kids were very familiar with this story.
 
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Archery practice was next. 

Bows and arrows were found at the Dollar Tree.
We tightened up the elastic to make them more secure and added duct tape to secure the handle.
Balloons and 'rings' (hula hoops) were hung from the ceiling.
(I wrapped one hoop with gold duct tape to make a gold ring.)

The boys practiced their aim trying to hit the balloons, targets and hoops.
The white board with vinyl targets has been such a hit at the last 2 boy parties, that of course we pulled it out again for this one.

When handed a bow and arrow, one boy replied, "I just love your parties!"
 
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After archery practice it was 11 o'clock.
In the Shire (Hobbit land), that means it's time for Elevenses.
Hobbits apparently eat many meals throughout the day...
breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, etc. etc.

 
Our 11:00 Ring Buffet


I set out 'ring' shaped snacks for the boys to snack on.
Onion ring chips, gummi rings, donut rings, pretzel rings and of course Pop Rings were included.
I covered the white nut cup containers with faux wood contact paper.
Bamboo picks were used to hold the food labels.



The gold take out boxes (from the Dollar Tree) were the perfect container to load up with treats.
 
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Next on the schedule:  Dagger and Axe Throw


Plastic daggers (we called them axes to go with the Dwarves' weapons from the story) were purchased at the Dollar Tree.
Each kid practiced throwing their dagger at the Orc buckets.
We printed out 'very' ugly Orc pictures and taped them to the front of each bucket.
The buckets were placed around the yard at various heights. 
Our leveled backyard was perfect for this!
The goal (of course) was to destroy the Orcs by throwing the dagger into the buckets.
 
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After all this great weaponry practice, the boys were ready for their Quest.


I couldn't find packs to buy, so I made my own out of felt.
Each boy was given a backpack to hold their bow and arrows, daggers and treats.
The packs were very simple to make using my sewing machine and lots of green twine.
 
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AH (Awesome Husband) and I made a map around a portion of our neighborhood.
We chose various locations from the Lord of the Rings stories for the marked points.
 


The first clue was to find the ring (it was hidden in the old trunk) and then wear it on their Quest.
(I gave each boy a ring tied on a string.)

They set out carrying their packs and choosing a sword/walking stick for their journey.
(All sticks were hand chosen by my son, found on the beach at Camano Island.)
 
 
AH and I followed the boys in the car, taking pictures and setting out baskets of directions at each marked location.
It was quite the sight to see a gang of boys walking down the street carrying sticks!
 
 
The Quest

At Rivendell:  The Council of Elrond told them they must be on their way.  Elf cookies awaited them.
At the Mines of Moria:  Water bottles were ready as they slid down the mines 'stairway rails'.
At Gondor:  They were told to nourish themselves with Lembas Bread (bagels) a gift from the elves--
since the Orcs were waiting for them ahead.
Orc Battle:  Orc buckets in the backyard were ready to battle.
Mordor:  Our Fireplace-- the boys destroyed their rings by throwing them in the fire.

 
Of course the kids were ready for more food after that journey!
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Second Breakfast


 
 
Menu included:
 
Hobbit Houses:  Leggo Waffles with a pineapple ring for the door.
Orc Sausages & Bacon:  Pork sausages and bacon
Samwise Po-Tay-To Taters:  Tatertots
Eleves' Fruit Arrows:  Cut fruit threaded on skewers.
Bilbo's Cinnamon Cakes:  Mini Cinnamon Rolls
Gollum's Juice:  Apple juice

Just like Hobbits, the boys had no trouble finishing their food.
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And then it was time for cake.
A Hobbit House cake with Lord of the Ring LEGO minifigures.

(Cake inspiration from here.)
I made a double layer sheet cake with a round cake cut in half for the hobbit house.
The pathway was created with candy rocks and cookie crumbs.
Chimney: wafer cookie.
Door: fudge striped cookie with a yellow M&M. 
Windows:  mini Oreos.
 
 
My kid was pretty excited about his cake!


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If you're a fan of the Lord of the Ring series, then you'll understand why we had to finish the party with Gandalf's fireworks.
Thankfully we had some leftover fireworks from July 4th.
 
 
 
Now, that's the way to end the party....with a BANG!

 
Whew!  We did it! 

Later when I asked my son which part was his favorite he replied, "All of it!"
 







Want to see more of my son's parties?

Click here for the Spy Party.


Click here for the NERF gun party.


Click here for the Knight party

 
 






















Click here for the Army Party

























Click here for the LEGO party




Linking up to: LinkPartyPalooza-IHeartNaptime,


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Believing the Truth Printable

So many thoughts running through my mind are lies.
 
 
 
LIES.
 
I'm constantly battling lies that creep into my mind every time I click on the computer or the TV. 

"I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough." 
"I'm not a good parent, or a good wife, or a good friend."
"I'm not talented enough, creative enough, strong enough."

Pinterest and Facebook can really get my mind racing...
"I can't do that, create that, cook that, look like that, etc. etc. etc.

I'm been listening to my teen daughter talk about what she's been hearing at school and what she feels about herself.  It pains me to see her hurting.  She's such a joy!  How come she only sees and hears the bad?  I want her to know and believe the truth. 

Tears roll down my face when I hear my tween son say to himself, "I'm so stupid." 
Stupid?  We don't use that word in our house.
Where did he learn it?  Who ever said that to him?  The kid is sharp, so sharp--how can he believe that he's stupid?
 
I'm leading a Beth Moore Breaking Free Bible Study this year at our church.  Our group has been studying God's Word and Satan's pull on our lives.  We are ready to break free from the garbage that Satan fills our minds with, and instead be filled with real truth.
 
Want to know what's real truth? 
God's Word.
Really. Truly.
The Bible is the true Living Word of God.  We can believe it and claim it and trust it.  We must!




There's nothing more powerful than studying the truth of who God says I am.
God says:
I am forgiven.  (Romans 3:24)
I am a child of the King.  (Romans 8:17)
I am set-free. (Romans 8:1-2)
I am accepted. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
I am a confident. (Ephesians 3:12)
I am victorious.  (Romans 8:37)
I am made-new.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am created by God for His glory. (Ephesians 4:24, 1:12)
I am the apple of His eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
I am never forgotten. (Isaiah 49:15)
I am a friend. (Proverbs 22:11)
I am His. (Song of Solomon 2:16)
I am loved.  (Ephesians 3:12)

*Source: Lysa Terkurst, Made to Crave, (NIV)


I want to keep these truths right in front of my eyes...and my kids' eyes.
So I made a little subway style printable to view.
 
 




 
Click here to print full page copy. 




Click here to print 5 x 7 copy to frame.
 


I placed this copy front and center on my daughter's desk.  (Think she'll notice?)

 
 
When the lies slip into your mind and take over your thoughts, tear them down.  Choose to focus on what's true.  Recite His words and claim the truths...


We are loved.









*Click here to read some past posts of God at work in my life.



A Spiritual Bathroom Remodel



In the Closet-- With Scripture


A Step in Humbleness



Angels- A Prayer for the Car



Anxiety Help Notebook

Friday, February 28, 2014

Recovered Dining Room Chairs-- Finally!


I did it!  I FINALLY recovered my dining room chairs! 
It only took me about 11 years.


 

We work really slow around here...


We have had the white fabric for over 13 years. 
I don't think I can call it white with all the stains...maybe more of a speckled tan?
I never really liked the white chair fabric, but never got around to changing it up.  The dining room set is now a bit outdated and not really our style anymore, but we are not replacing it anytime soon...so I knew it needed a little update.
 

These chairs have been through party...
 
after party,
 
 
 
 after meal.



This table has hosted many distinguished guests of honor,
 
 

and of course many holidays and celebrations!
 
 


 
 
Walking through JoAnns Fabric Store, I just happened to see this gorgeous black/white/gray modern, leaf print-- and fell in love.
My JoAnns gift card had been burning a hole in my wallet since Christmas...plus I had my 50% off coupon!
 
 

The fabric isn't really reversible, but I liked the pattern on both sides.  Bonus for me! 
AH (Awesome Husband) unscrewed all the chair cushions for me and even helped me staple on the new fabric.
Seriously simple!
Why didn't I do this sooner?
 

What a difference!
 
 
 
 
 I think it's time to host another party!