Junior Ranger Party

The Two Peas recently turned 9 and we had a hard time deciding what to do for a party.  We finally were able to come up with the idea to have a "Jr. Ranger Party" and invite all of their friends to come along on a winter hike, etc. You could do this theme anytime of year and gear it for boys or girls.  We were lucky in that the two peas Dad happens to be a park ranger and the boss at the park where he works so we had "built in expertise!" for our event.

Invitations

A scrapbooker I am not.  I did have some scrapbook paper on hand and a few other do-dads.  I cut the paper and added some cardboard to the inside.  We decided we would stick to a nature theme.  I sewed on scraps to make a butterfly on the front and used some tags to write the number 9 and the two peas names.  We also personalized each invitation and put an initial sticker with the name of the girl being invited on the cover.

Cakes and Cupcakes

We had two parties.  One at home with family.  One at the park with friends.  For our friends party, we had cupcakes that I decorated with owls.  Yes.  Those are owls.  Kind of goofy looking.  I used gumdrops sliced in half for the eyes.  I put a chocolate chip in the middle of each one for the eyeball.  Then I sliced a candied fruit wedge thing in half for the wings.  And used Twizzlers rope for the talons and beak.

For our family party, we had owl cakes.  I used oreo cookies and chocolate chips for the eyes and the Twizzlers rope for the rest.

Decorations

For our family party, I just used some paper lanterns we had from our party last year. I found these in the wedding stuff from Martha Stewart  at Walmart in the craft section.  Near the scrapbook stuff.  I use them alot for parties.  I found the butterflys at our dollar store and pulled one inside of each lantern.

At our friends party, the ranger station was full of cool critters.

A balloon on each childs chair, bowls full of gummy worms on the table and we were all set.  Kept it simple.

Activities

For our friends party, the two peas Dad took everyone on a winter hike to look for signs of wildlife in the snow.  They were lucky enough to come upon a deer that was nestled down, they saw lots of birds and squirrels.  Hikes are easy to do.  You could ask your local park if their naturalist would offer a special hike for your group.  Or you could do it yourself.  Nature bingo is one fun hike theme.  Make a bingo card for each child and they have to search for what is on the card: a bird call, a large tree leaf, a small tree leaf, a nut that has been eaten on, something shiny, a bark rubbing, etc.

Once inside, we had some fun crafts to make.  Sticking with our nature theme...we used those fuse beads to make critters.  I had an owl, snake, flower and more as patterns for them to follow.  

We also made some pins to wear.  I twirled some crafty fur things (I'm not sure what they are called) into a circle, hot glued on a pin on the back and a little stick.  The girls then glued on the eyes, wings and a beak to make owls.

We planned our party to last for 2 hours.  We barely got it all in.  Another half hour would have been good.  By the time they hiked, crafted, ate cupcakes, rootbeer floats and yogurt tubes and opened gifts...we started to run out of time.

Party favors

I made a field bag for each girl.  A very simple bag.  Serge stitched and folding the top down to the outside, I put a decorative stitch around the cuff.  I put each childs name on the strap and appliqued and owl to the bag.  Each child got a monogrammed notebook to take on their hike and record their sightings.

It was a great party with very little preparation.  Easy to do, loads of fun.

xoxo,

Trish

Seriously? Could my life BE a bit crazier...really? Really.

I complain a lot here don't I?  I am SO glad you all are out there and just let me unload my woes.  Yeah, seriously.  I'm taking the day off of work tomorrow to clean house.  The MIL is coming to hang with the little one so I can zoom around and sort through junk that has been deposited...well, everywhere in my house so I can put some order in place.  And quite frankly, I'm looking forward to it.  Really.  I mean it.  I have a lot to look forward to this Spring and a good place to start is an organized house.  I have 4 bins of clothes and 2 bins of junk to go through and I can say...I am done.  I have gone through every closet, corner, nook and all of our house.  Started when I was pregnant...ah, in the fall of 2007.  Sprout is 9 months...I'd say I was fairly efficient, right? Don't laugh!  I hear you snickering out there...you got junk laying around too, don't you?  Come on,  you all email me on the sly and nobody ever wants to comment out in the open but hey, don't be shy.  You can own up to it.  Makes us all feel better to know we are not, gasp, perfect.

Anyway, still have some major cabin fever going on.  The kids are back in school..and guess what, they have Friday off!  Let's see, snow day, snow day, snow day...oh yes, let's have another day off.  I don't even know why they have it off but I for one, am headed off to our local science museum where we have a membership with the girls.  I can't take not even ONE more day in the house with them and their - oh I hate to admit this - crafting everywhere.

What have I done?  My little designers...they each made a quilt this week.  With scraps.  And a lot of glue.  A LOT of glue.   Once they dried, cute...and they put their new quilts on their sock monkeys (see sock monkey post) you should see the mess they left behind.  Now, they'll clean it as best they can but really, right now, my nerves are just frayed.  I'm crazy anxious about this whole - sewing industry leap - I'm about to take and...I don't know.  Is it just me?  Am I over sensitive?  Oh whatever!  :>)

I did get out on Sunday. 

Sprout took her first whirl around the park in the backpack.  Check out the thumb in the mouth.  Her top tooth just cut through that day.  We all enjoyed the sun although the trails were covered in ice so not so good for hiking.  It just felt good to get out.  And who would have guessed that it would 45' and everybody would be running around town with their car windows down and no coats.  Does that tell you how much we've become accustomed to subzero temperatures.  The 40's and we are all..."it's like Spring!".

And Thursday, I'm off to a meet and greet with Amy Butler. Like a stupid starstruck fan, I'm packing my camera along for sure.  My husbands aunt invited me - she's a buyer with the Limited brands.  She travels ALL the time to Paris, Rome, New York, Milan, etc for Limited in the textile industry and she's been trying to find me some connections to get my fabric line looked at.  So, she invited me to this little event and I'm really very excited and also nervous.  Will I get to talk to her?  If I do, what do I say?  "Ahh, hi.  I wanna be just like you."   No, that's stupid.  True, but stupid.  I'll just carry my bag I designed made with her fabrics and stare, I'm sure.  Listen, hope to glean off some secrets that will help motivate me to move MOVE MOVE these fabric patterns off to the testers and off the printers.  I just feel like I'm paralyzed though.  As long as I don't move, nobody has said no yet.  This is the whole anxiety thing.  See what I mean?

I'll end with this - there are much greater things in this life to fret over than a messy house and my nerves over my artwork.  My dear friend Kris, from LivyMarie handbags - you hear me chat about her once in awhile with her 5 kids she homeschools?  Well, her husband is having some heart issues and having surgery tomorrow morning.  Please lift them up in prayer as you read this.

Along with that, we have a local twins family who had their sweet peas born much too early.  They have been in the NICU and I made some quilts and hats for them last week.  My peas will deliver them next week and I'll share a photo later.  Please lift them in prayer.  Visit their journal and send them warm happy thoughts of the life to come for their family.

4:17pm.  I was going to leave the office today at 2:30 so I could work on some orders.  4:17pm.  Ugh.  Aprons are the hit lately...here's some more on their way to Morroco (is that how you spell it) to travelinmama who bought these on my etsy site.   She does some seriously cute paper crafts!  And I hope her little one likes the american girl set.

NOW I'm really, seriously, really...no I mean really, going home.  Really. Seriously.

Slan Leat, (a new one for me - goodbye in gaelic - a little nod to my Irish father)

Trish