Monday, June 12, 2017

Peyton's Birthday

We started Peyton's birthday off opening presents. From us she got a Rapunzel dress and an Anna dress for Samantha (want), a princess bike (need), a Moana dress and a Little Mermaid dress (wear), and Aqualicious (read).

She also got to open her presents from Grandma Dixie and Grandpa Mike. From them she got Life Junior and Mermaid Island.

Then we had donuts for breakfast. I had gone to yoga that morning, so I stopped and picked some up from Fred Meyer on my way home. (They were unfortunately not the best, but she was happy with them.)

We sent Corbyn off to school and dad off to work and got the rest of us ready for the day. Then we went to Barnes and Noble for story time. I can't remember what book they read and what craft they did (maybe a robot?), but I do remember thinking it was too bad it wasn't a very girly book/craft that day. Some of their crafts are picture worthy, but this one sadly was not. I thought they were having story time at 11:30 at the Disney Store, so we killed time at the mall waiting for that. Peyton and Logan played at the play area...

We got her free birthday cookie from the Barnes and Noble Kids' Club and we stopped to look at the fish.

Then we went to the Disney Store and apparently they were not actually having story time because we were there on time and nothing happened, but we had fun looking around for a bit while we were waiting. I had told Peyton we could eat lunch at the food court and ride a few of the rides they have there or go home and have mac & cheese. Well of course she decided she wanted mac & cheese, but she still wanted to ride the rides. They only took cash and I didn't have any, so we went across the street to Target where I let her pick out something from the dollar spot (an ice cream sun catcher to paint) and got cash back when I paid with my Target debit card.

Peyton and Logan rode the carousel...

And Peyton rode this ride.

By then it was well past lunch time, so we hurried home to make mac & cheese and put Logan down for his nap. Peyton got to watch shows while I made dinner and her cake. For dinner she wanted Corn Chowder and Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits. For her cake she wanted a chocolate cake with white frosting, so I made this Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting. I accidentally undercooked the cake by a few minutes and ended up with raw sections in the center of each layer, so I scooped that part out and filled in one layer with pieces from the other layer. It ended up being a single-layer cake instead of the double-layer cake I had planned, but it still looked cute and tasted amazing.

We sent Rog to pick up Grandma Lori and Papa George from the airport while the rest of us went to Corbyn's t-ball game. We had missed the email saying the game was cancelled, so we got there only to find that no one was there! So we went home and waited for Rog to come home with grandma and grandpa.

Peyton opened her gifts from them (a Rainbow Fairy dress, an Amulet Princess dress, and a Seafoam Mermaid Ball Gown dress - all from the Little Adventures Outlet Sale). The Rainbow Fairy dress was an immediate favorite and she had to try it on before blowing out her candles.

The next day she got to go to Build-a-Bear with them to make Fluttershy.

Rog met us for dinner at Red Robin Express and then Rog and I left for a weekend in Seattle to celebrate our 10 year anniversary... And that was Peyton's birthday!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Peyton's Birthday: Party

After I finished the Relief Society Birthday Celebration, I only had 3 days to pull together Peyton's party. The invitations were out, Peyton and I had purchased all the party favors for the girls one day at Party City, I had ordered the piñata ahead of time, and I had picked up the sheets to make temporary tattoos... But other than that I had a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time! 

My sewing table was quickly taken over by rainbows and all things My Little Pony.

These crate paper rainbows were fun although they didn't stay up particularly well.

I used the Equestria font to make this banner.

This is my favorite way to do balloons because you don't have to pay for helium!

All the heart eyes for a rainbow of paper straws. 😍

We started the party giving everyone a cutie mark. I made them using this tutorial. (You definitely don't need a Silhouette to make them. I have one and I didn't even use it because it was easier to just cut them out by hand.) I definitely earned my Pinkie Pie cutie mark!

After everyone got their cutie mark, we sang to Peyton. 

And did a cake walk with the cupcakes (Peyton's request).

Mini cupcakes were perfect because that way everyone could do the cake walk a few times.

While half the group was doing the cake walk, the other half made rainbow bracelets and then they switched. I may have bought a few too many beads, but they are good to have on hand for various projects and many many bracelets have been made since the party. 

Then we played Pony Bingo.

These Brightside Skittles (found at Walmart) were perfect for our color scheme. 

Peyton had been talking about having a piñata at her party pretty much since her last party. I did not want to make one, so I ordered this one from Amazon. Rog and I feel kind of meh about these new pull-string piñatas, but Peyton was happy about it and that's all that really mattered.

And you better believe everyone was pretty happy when the candy came out (even if they didn't all get a chance to pull a string).

Another thing Peyton really wanted was to have Pirate's Booty at her party, so we finished off the party watching an episode of My Little Pony and snacking on Pony Puffs (aka Pirate's Booty). I bought these fry boxes forever ago on Pick Your Plum and was delighted to finally find a use for them! I printed off these cupcake toppers to put on them.

We also had drinks in every color of the rainbow (with coordinating straws), but somehow I only took a picture of a yellow one. I used the cupcake toppers on those too.

Peyton watches My Little Pony all the time, but this was really the first time I'd sat down to watch an entire episode.

I used some of the leftover bags from the RS Birthday Celebration for the goody bags (again with the cupcake toppers).

The boys got Play-doh and a punch balloon. The girls got a My Little Pony cup, camera, comb, sticker sheet, and a couple rings. Party City has a huge collection of party favors to choose between for pretty much every party theme you could think of.

We didn't get a picture of the whole group since everyone showed up at the beginning, but many had to leave early. We had Kinley and Emery Martyn, Sofie White, Ryah, Delainey Giotta, Wren Tutt, Sebastian Locker, and the Yates boys. One huge benefit of being moved into the Happy Valley ward was a lot of new friends for Peyton. The Sunnyside ward did not have a lot of girls her age. Everyone was so generous with their gifts and she ended up with a lot of new My Little Pony toys (and a few other fun things too). 

We had a fun time celebrating our favorite 5 year old!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Relief Society Birthday Dinner

When we got moved into the Happy Valley Ward in February, I quickly was called to be the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society presidency. My first task was to plan the birthday celebration. Technically it was supposed to be in March because March 17th marked 175 years since the organization of the Relief Society. We pushed it back to April 18th since the ward's March calendar was already pretty full and I couldn't have put it together that quickly anyway. I didn't have a functioning committee, so it was basically all me. The rest of the presidency helped a lot.

I decided to do a favorite things theme and did a lot with "brown paper packages tied up with strings". I designed the invitation in Photoshop. (I basically copied this one.) I bought this pack of digital baker's twine from Etsy which was the best thing I did because I ended up using it so much!

I had the invitations printed at FedEx Office on paper that was a little better quality than regular printer paper. I used the paper cutter there and had major paper-cutter envy by the time I was done!

Then I taped the invitation to a brown bag for everyone to bring their favorite thing wrapped in.

I included some string in the bag to tie the package up with.

I bought some small items (all $1 or less) for anyone who didn't bring a favorite thing to exchange and had a table set up as they were walking in where they could pick one of the items and wrap it up if needed.

We're going to be forming some small groups for monthly activities (and only having a large activity quarterly) and we wanted to see which small groups would be popular, so I made a survey for everyone to fill out. Many had already filled out the survey, but we had them there for anyone who hadn't already filled one out. After the favorite things gift exchange, we had a drawing for the leftover items I had purchased.

I made a little display table to highlight some of our favorite things about Relief Society - sisterhood, friendship, visiting teaching, Relief Society lessons, service, learning new skills, and diversity.

We had everyone sit at the table of their birth month to mix things up a bit.

I kept the decorations pretty simple. We just tied a rock to a balloon and put it inside a gift bag with some tissue paper.

We had a salad bar with many different topping and salad dressing choices. If you are ever in charge of buying salad for a large activity, don't trust the serving size on the Costco container of lettuce. 5 servings is seriously misleading. I bought 8 containers (after texting both the president and 1st counselor for advice) and I ended up returning 4. (The Costco employee was not happy about it and said they would have to just throw them away, but she took them back. I told her they should fix the label, so people aren't misled and end up buying way too much!)

We also had croissant sandwiches (turkey and Swiss, ham and cheddar, and chicken salad). Costco had croissants for $1 off which saved us some money. I bought 8 dozen and we only used 6, but we just divided up the extra 2. (And no one was too sad that I bought too many of those!)

We had Italian Sodas which was fun. They were a huge hit! This printable from Our Best Bites is perfect for explaining how to make them. I had raspberry, peach, and blue raspberry syrups already and I bought blackberry, strawberry, and mango. Sadly I didn't think the blackberry was very good, but the rest are 👌.

I had people sign up to bring their favorite cupcakes and I made one of my favorites, orange cupcakes.

I took these picture before all the other cupcakes arrived which worked out well since mine were the only ones that matched the color scheme I had going. 

The cupcake I finally painted for my birthday coincidentally matching perfectly. (Apparently I'm really into these 4 colors together right now because I didn't plan that.)

After we ate, exchanged our favorite things, and did the survey drawing, the Relief Society president and the bishop said a few words and then we ended the night with these words from President Utchdorf (from his talk Living the Gospel Joyful given at the October 2014 General Women's Session of Conference):

"My dear sisters in the gospel, whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know:

You are loved.

You are dear to your heavenly parents.

The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you.

Yes, God loves you this very day and always.

He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.

And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own.

He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!

Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe?

He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.

More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny—to return to your heavenly home in honor.

I testify that the way to accomplish this is to place selfish desires and unworthy ambitions on the altar of sacrifice and service. Sisters, trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; keep His laws and commandments. In other words—live the gospel joyful.

It is my prayer that you will experience a renewed and an expanded measure of the beautiful love of God in your lives; that you will find the faith, determination, and commitment to learn God’s commandments, treasure them in your hearts, and live the gospel joyful.

I promise that as you do so, you will discover your best self—your real self. You will discover what it truly means to be a daughter of the everlasting God, the Lord of all righteousness. Of this I testify and leave you my blessing as an Apostle of the Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

We really wanted the sisters to know how much Heavenly Father loves them and President Uchtdorf's words couldn't have been more perfect.

I was worried no one would show up, but they did. 😅 Other than forgetting to put out the salad dressing at first 😂, everything went off without a hitch and everyone seemed to have a good time. I was glad to have my first activity out of the way. It really wasn't that bad pulling it off without a committee, but I'm still hoping by next year I'll have a little more help!