Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Turning 7

This past weekend we had a birthday party for my now 7 year old. He is really into animals, especially sea animals. Since I love planning a party, this was the perfect opportunity to do some fun activities and an an excuse to be creative.
The kids had five activity stations including a water table blind animal search, a shark bookmark craft, a sandbox fossil hunt, music and a game of sharks & minnows. We all had so much fun! I am posting a couple of pics for you to check out; plus an outline of the party plans, in case you know someone wanting to have an Ocean Extravaganza!

Ocean Jello Cups- Blue jello, gummy sharks, and top it with a bit of whipped cream after it sets, so it will look like the sea foam!

Shark Bookmark Craft- Cut out sharks out of blue poster board, punch a hole at the tail for beading, a white crayon to draw on and add some googly eyes! So easy!!

Fossils for the sandbox search- These were a bit more time consuming. I used polymer clay balls and stamped small jewelry charms that I found at the bead shop in town;
Knead the clay so that it is workable; make quarter size balls and press with your thumb. Then press the charms on, bake at 275 degrees for 15 min. Pull them out, let it cool and brush lightly with black acrylic paint. I put these in the sand box mixed with shells. They got to take them home to use as pendants. Fun!

Quick Overview of the plans:

goldfish crackers
blue punch
ocean jello cups
some fruit and cheese for healthy options
cake (we ordered ours from a local grocery store)

shark bookmark
fossil hunt
sea animal search (used my son's sea animal toys)
sharks & minnows game (kind'a like tag)
acting out the "baby shark" song

Plus some fun decor, prizes and enthusiasm, it was a day to remember!
And don't forget to add a good play list- our music was all ocean related.

thanks for reading!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pulling weeds

Yes, it has been forever! Life really got a hold of me these past few months. Between writing millions of papers, family responsibilities, and waves of sadness and doubt, I felt the need to retract.

I have been hard on myself, pushing all limits that even I knew should not have been pushed. I disregarded my needs and drained the soil almost completely. Luckily, there is always spring, and with it a chance to renew, re-evaluate and prioritize.

I have let go of external pressures to be “the perfect mother” or “the perfect wife” or “the 4.0 student”, I know that much. But at what point are the demands I put on myself interfering with my ability to do what makes me happy without neglecting those I love?

Even further, I don’t want to settle for “not neglecting” my family, because that implies merely getting basic needs met, which is by no means the intention here.

Criticism comes from every direction but when it comes from within,
it becomes embedded in people’s minds like a weed’s root clinging to the soil.

Letting go of “what will others say?” is a huge step into maturing one’s individuality; however, breaking negative thinking patterns that sometimes consume the way you view and compare yourself to others, may be the toughest challenge of all!

If negativity is a weed, bring on the gardening tools, because I am ready to pull them out!

Thanks for reading!
allypye (glad to be back, by the way:)