Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Luke's Handyman Birthday Party!

It's party time!

I love planning parties and designing party printables has become my part-time job.  {No really, it is! Go check out my ETSY Shop SewInLoveBlogShop, where you can find the printables from all my parties!}

My newest party is Luke's 1st Birthday "Handyman" Party and you're all invited!

Coming up with a theme for a 1st birthday party can be really difficult.

4 Years Olds ask for birthdays at DisneyLand.
3 Year Olds ask for their favorite character, Thomas the Train!
2 Year Olds love anything, especially when it's a Sock Monkey Party with their best buddies!

But, how do you come up with a theme for a little guy?

We chose Owen's 1st birthday theme because we were taking him to the Dallas Zoo. For Luke, I decided to see what he was drawn to.  One day, after helping Daddy work in the garage, I realized that Luke's favorite toys were all TOOLS! He would crawl around with a hammer in his hand, chew on a little toy screwdriver, and he was constantly playing with his Playskool tool bench toy.  Then, one weekend, Brendon built a tool bench for the garage and a light bulb went off! 

A handyman party! 

Originally, we considered having the party in our garage, using all of Brendon's tools and his new workbench as the backdrop.  But... then we remembered that we live in Las Vegas--- and Luke was born in July--- and it's 107 degrees outside, in the shade.  So, the party took a little detour to our dining room.  Brendon volunteered (no really, he did!) to move the gigantic tool bench into the house for me. I did my part to help by holding up the door ... after it was removed from the hinges! Yes, we took down the door and the tool bench just made it into the house!  

*We moved the tool bench into the house a few days before the party and Owen loved it.  He thought it was brilliant that we replaced the buffet table in the dining room with a useful piece of furniture, like a tool bench.  I think he really thought it was staying there forever and that we'd be hammering, drilling, and working on projects inside from now on.   I may be the only girl in a house full of boys, but I draw the line at storing power tools in the dining room.  Now that the party is over, we've moved the bench back outside.  

The party theme was a perfect fit for our little man and so much fun to plan!  I spent a few weeks creating all the party printables-- Banner, High Chair sign, favor tags, and a few extra decorations. Plus, hours and hours baking and decorating his cakes.   The kitchen was such a mess, but the finished product was worth all the work.  

I had two cakes --- a "paint can" smash cake with green chocolate paint dripping down the sides, like a real paint can would.  The second cake was a wooden chocolate buttercream cake with chocolate tools! 

The food table fit the theme, too!  There were large paint trays with fruit salad, Chex Mix, a veggie tray with a small paint tray holding ranch dip, and Rice Krispies Treats Paint Brushes.  

These paint brushes were delicious and so simple.  
*Premade Rice Krispies Treats with a popsicle stick poked in the bottom and colored chocolate drizzled down the top. 

Brendon moved the toolbox inside for me and it became our serving station for all the plates, napkins, and utensils. 

I added a little sign to Luke's chair and, keeping with the theme, used zip-ties to connect them!

I used my new embroidery machine to create aprons for all the kids.  There were three families at the party, so I made coordinating aprons for all the siblings.  

Bryce and Kyle were given red aprons with a hammer and saw appliqué. 
Kylee, Kaleb, Landon, and Olyvia got white aprons with paint buckets that had their favorite colors as the paint.  
This was probably the most time consuming part of the party, but were totally worth the work! 

The kids looked adorable as they built toolboxes... this simple project was actually a little more complicated than expected.  The dads ended up completing most of the work -- the sides wouldn't stay together and the nails bent constantly.  The kids didn't mind and enjoyed watching their toolbox being built. They also enjoyed writing their names on the chalkboard paint!

Luke ate the hammer while the guests waited for their toolboxes to be built!

The new toolboxes were a great favor holder.  Each of the kids left with a new apron and two types of favors.   There were tool shaped bathtub water squirters and chocolate tools. Each were put in baggies and had a favor tag.  

Owen is still in love with the water squirters! 

We were so happy to have a house full of friends and it was the perfect number for a 1st birthday party.  I loved that I had plenty of time to talk to friends, play with the kids, and enjoy watching Luke eat his cake! Luke loved seeing all of his friends.  His little buddy, Kyle, took a nap during the first few minutes, slept through all the hammering, and woke up ready to party! 

We had a bounce house set up in the backyard.  The kids (& adults) loved it! 

Luke smiled the entire time he got to jump!

After walking around the garage, looking for ideas, I found a game ... ring toss!  We set the game up using our 4 cones and diving rings.  David and Brendon played a serious game of ring toss ---the kids used the cones as hats.  Either way, it was a fun game! 

Luke loved his cards and new toys! 

His toy bench, from Grammy and Poppa, came with a toy phone.  Luke immediately used it to call his friend, Kylee. 

Must have been a great talk because Luke gave her a HUGE kiss after! 

All those sweet kisses later, we moved onto the real sweets... CAKE! 

Luke had no idea what was in store!  Just like his brother, Luke reached for the candle and Brendon quickly blew the candle out.


While Luke ate his cake, Landon shared a little chocolate saw with him.  The sugar high hit hard and fast after all the cake and chocolate! 

He was super giggly as he squished the cake between his fingers! 

He even offered to share with Jess!

This party is my favorite theme yet!  I loved that we used so much from our garage, the kids loved it, and the new things we purchased are all reusable! The garage now has a fresh stock of buckets, paint trays, paint tarps, and 1 cinder block.  

The Handyman Birthday Party printables are available for purchase in my ETSY shop! 

Follow this link to the listing:  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Luke is ONE!

Luke is 1 --- ONE!!! 

It just doesn't seem possible that our sweet, sleeping, snuggly baby is now a walking, squawking, playing toddler. 

Everyday, I see more and more clearly how true this statement is...

  Here's a look back at Luke's first 12 months.  I can see the mischievous, independent, smart, life of the party, will do anything to make you laugh, little boy was in there right from the start and I'm so thankful that God chose me to be his Momma!  

Our little boy is getting BIG!

At his 1 year check up, Luke was 22 pounds 10 ounces (47th Percentile) and 29.33 inches tall (35th Percentile).  We feel like he's SO big.  He's a full inch taller than Owen was at 1 year and he's always being called "Big Fella" and "Solid" by people we meet.  We were really surprised to find that he's right in the middle of the growth chart.  I'm glad I don't have to pay the grocery bill for the kids on the higher end of the growth chart because this guy eats more than a preschooler! Seriously, he eats more than Owen  {{Sigh}}  He hasn't cut any teeth, but that's not slowing him down. 

He even eats his toes! 

Oh, the cuteness! 

And, the mischief!  Yes, that's where we found him... UNDER the bed!  You can't take your eyes off this guy for a minute! 

I mean it... He's figured out a way to escape the baby gate, open the door latch on the baby gate, and spent several minutes more than the average baby's attention span trying to figure out the childproof cabinet locks!

Luke is a busy guy --- always looking for the next thing to figure out! He's had lots of opportunities to see and do new things this month.  It's been a busy month full of celebrations, travel, and lots of shopping trips to Hobby Lobby to prepare for his birthday party! 

The boys loved seeing the Flamingos, fish and ducks at the Flamingo Hotel.  

Brendon and I went to the 14A Weapons School Graduation, while the boys stayed at the Flamingo (or "in the city" as Owen would say!) with our babysitter. She watched our boys and our friends' kids, Grayson and Adelyn, while all the adults went to the event.  

Everyone had a fun night - Adults and kids! We came back to the room to find all the babies sleeping! 
* It cracked us up that Owen was clinging to the edge while Grayson slept diagonally across the queen size bed! 

Brendon was able to take a few days off after graduation, so we went to Arizona for the 4th of July weekend.  The boys loved playing at PlayGrounds with Bryce and Kyle! 

Brendon and I took Kyle out for a morning of shopping at Target while Bryce went to the dentist. 

We couldn't believe that all three car seats fit in our car and that we made it through the entire shopping trip without any tears! 

Jessica and David knew we'd be great babysitters... because we're awesome parents! Only the best parents let their kid walk around with his underwear on his head... and take pictures... and then post them on the internet. Boom! We're blowing this parenting thing out of the water! 

Luke loved playing with Kyle and practiced walking.

We watched the 4th of July fireworks at Luke Air Force Base with the Rapers. 

We took these pictures before we all started melting --- it was SO hot, even after the sun set.

Luke cooled down by pulling all the baby wipes out of the container and rubbing them on his head, my head, and Kyle's head. It kept him busy for a long time! He stayed awake for all the fireworks and really seemed to enjoy them. 

The next day, we took all the boys to the Home Depot Kids Workshop and made a bug box. 

Luke didn't get to do any construction, but he did a great job modeling Wood Glue!

Owen and Bryce made their bug boxes and went hunting for bugs that evening. They also really enjoyed the Matchbox Car Wash that Jessica set up for them! 

We went back to reality after the holiday, with an extra full car.   I had to play a little game of Trunk-Tetris (in 110 degree temps at noon) so that I could fit my new embroidery machine in the car, but it was worth the sweat!  I would have stayed out there all day to figure out a way to bring that beauty home. 

We then spent 3 days rearranging every single room in the house to make room for the new machine.  I'm so happy with my new "MomCave" and have had so much fun embroidering gifts, party favors, and shirts!   I did have a slight HUGE meltdown when the machine was finally unpacked, set up and .... BROKEN!  Before sewing a single stitch, I realized that the machine was not calibrating correctly and the software wasn't updated.  The new broken {grrr} machine took a trip to JoAnn's and lived there for the next sad sad week.  Once I couldn't stand another minute without the machine, I camped out at JoAnn's until they gave me a replacement machine.  That one has been running like a dream! I can't wait to post pictures of all my creations.  I'm so excited the have an embroidery machine of my own!

The rest of the month was filled with just as much excitement.  

We surprised Daddy with a water balloon attack!

Went hunting for flies! 

Played with water in the kitchen sink... and the back yard, too!

Both boys had so much fun at, their friend, Landon's birthday party.  Luke climbed through all the tunnels and stairs just like Big Brother!  

To top off a great month, we celebrated Luke's first birthday!  Can you tell how excited he is?!?! 

Our family, plus Jessica, David, Kyle & Bryce, went to dinner and movie.  That's not what all 1 year olds do to celebrate their first year? 

Ok, we know it wasn't the most 1 year old friendly activity, but it sure was fun for the entire group to watch "Planes: Fire and Rescue" at the drive in.   Luke surprised us by staying up for the ENTIRE movie!!! He didn't go to sleep until 10PM and was partying the entire length of the movie.  I don't think he actually watched a minute of the movie.  Instead, he played with the windshield wipers, pressed the radio buttons, adjusted the volume, and danced around the front seats of the car.  He had a blast!

Who wouldn't want this as the backdrop for a night at the movies?!

We had a big day planned for Saturday --- Luke's Handyman Birthday Party!!!  He helped me make the cakes.  He must have known that something delicious was in his future because he stayed in that spot watching the entire time I prepared and baked the cakes. 

Luke's 1st Birthday Post will be coming soon....