Sorry for the quick departure without any reason why….I have taken these past two weeks and have been busy preparing my children’s schooling for the entire year. I have scoured the internet looking for FREE resources so that I didn’t have to spend anything on education:) If it is out there, and you have the time, I think its wise to use it. Look for it later this week.
On to the fun that we had……………………………….
I also took the time to plan our 4th of July party. Our daughter, Jadyn has her birthday at that time and this year we decided to have a big party to help celebrate with friends and family. Jadyn is in the pink star shirt, she turned “9” this year. Her good friend on the right, Jediah also turned ” 9″ a day after Jadyn. They have celebrated their birthdays together ever since they were “1.”We had much planning and making to do, to get ready for this party. I made a list of all that we had to get done and then broke it down daily over a week and a half that we had to get ready for the party. That way things weren’t overwhelming and it made for an enjoyable time. Plus it was “fun” doing it.
The only bad thing that I did wrong was to not take pictures of all of our creating. I wasn’t really thinking at the time, I was just trying to get it all done. I will make do with the pictures I took and then include links to other sites of ideas that we did as well.
For our inexpensive decorations we decided to make poms. I did them for my daughters 16th birthday party and they were super easy to make.
I think we made 9 total and used the colors red, white, and blue. We bought the tissue paper at Hobby Lobby and they were less than $1 a package.
We also had an abundance of hoops that we acquired so we decided to make streamer hoops. It cost me the price of streamers $3 and we made 10 of these to hang around the yard. We used fishing line to hang everything.
We also made this American Flag out of a FREE wood pallet and some spray paint. Found it here on Pinterest. We put ours at the road as a marker for guests to arrive.
Our tables we covered in red table paper–which we picked up at a Garage Sale a few years ago for 25 cents. We also made people cut outs for a school project from this same roll.
I received a flyer in the mail for Gordon Food Service and they had heavy duty plastic colored plates and cups for $2.99 for 50. I was able to get red and blue for our table wear. They also had silverware and napkins inexpensively also. I had never shopped at that store, I will definitely be going again.
Another inexpensive decoration that we decided to do was one I found off pinterest. These votive candle holders were perfect. We have an abundance of canning jars and we picked up 3 bottles of acrylic paint which cost under $3. My girls had fun designing and painting them. They did stripes, polka dots, and flags.
We placed them on the window sill in front of the house and along the tables for night time. They added a nice glow when the sun was down.
We also hung Christmas lights outside around our hammock and sitting area. This was one of the best things we did, because as soon as it was dark, out here in the country, its dark. This enabled us to be able to sit and swing on the hammock and sit around and enjoy talking late into the night.
For our games, my daughter was set on wanting to make a pinata. Last year we made one, as you can see here and it went quite well. Was messy and took some time, but it turned out. Well this year, when I went to make my pinata I only had one girl with me and I had little ones to watch. We started making them and of course everyone wanted to help, well it turned into quite a mess. They started making hand prints across the tables—which just an FYI, flour and water will stain the table tops and will take a few extra hard scrubbings to come off. I hurriedly made my first layer, let it set to dry and went about scrubbing off the paste from my picnic tables. Well during that time, our balloons popped. Too much weight on them. We had made 3. Another one, a child got a hold of and dropped it, popped. The other one was being examined and dropped, then popped. I gave up. Said not a big deal we don’t need to do them.
Then while doing our birthday party shopping with my daughters Jadyn on left, Brooklyn on right we were looking at pinatas in the store. I felt the box and it felt to me like posterboard. So I get the great idea of, “I can make this.”
We decided to make a present box pinata. We cut four rectangles and made a box. We folded the sides to create a bottom. Taped it with packing tape all around it, a million times. Then my daughter decided to cut strips of tissue paper and put them on the box.
Here she was, late into the night stuffing toys and candy into the box. We filled it with:
- fruit snacks
- Dum Dum suckers
- party poppers
- slap hands
- party blowers
- mini bubbles
- glow necklaces
After reading on the internet, we found that they recommended alternating bunches of tissue paper and candy/toys. To help balance out the box. Definitely worth doing. We made a pom for the top bow. We just used multiply pieces of colored tissue paper and folded the pom in half.
Now after you make the pinata, I didn’t think of how to hang it?!?!?!? Thankfully my wonderful husband, Mr Visionary can figure that stuff out. We went to Menards and bought some eye bolts and washers and screwed them into the top of the pinata. We hung it up with hemp twine and let them give it a whack!!
It was all in good fun, no one was injured. Everyone shared their goodies with all the children to make sure everybody had something.
Lauren, is our daughter in the pink with friends.
Here are my two oldest daughters, enjoying some relaxing time.
Then it was time for another game:) We did a water balloon toss. Well, whenever you have a large group of people, especially teenagers, and water balloons it usually will result in a water balloon fight. They tossed it for a few minutes and then they attacked the cooler full of water balloons and had fun smashing them on each other.
Then it was time for Dad to get out his pride and joy—–his homemade potato gun!!! This is much fun to shoot. He made it out of PVC pipes.
He made sure to let everyone, who wanted a turn, have one. It was great seeing the younger children, realize that ,”Wow, I can shoot this.” Was a fun time. Thankfully no neighbors across the street from us:) Guy on the right is my son, Collin.
Then the last activity that we do every year is an obstacle course. Now usually it involves just our family. I can tell you that being 9 months pregnant and trying to do an obstacle course is not much fun. I was glad to just be a spectator in this event:) We just had them pick partners and they did the course against each other. No winners or losers, everything done today was in great fun.
For the first part of the course, you had to ride the razor 360 down the hill. It doesn’t matter that these bikes are made for about a 10 year old, not a 16 year old. Fun watching the older ones try and pedal down the hill.
Next you had to take a water balloon and smash it on the ground. We had pre painted a large target on the ground for them to hit. Here Lauren was tossing her balloon to Austin. I believe she was supposed to be hitting the target?!?!!?!?
Next you had to make a cup tower out of stacking cups and then put them down again. Then crawl under the table. It didn’t matter if you were 3 feet or over 6 feet, it had to be done:)
We then made some cute bean bags out of jean pockets. We took and cut around the pockets, filled with rice and then sewed shut.
We painted some pie plate tins with different red, white, and blue designs and the children had to try and make it into at least one tin.
Right before the finish line, we put the kiddie plastic slide. It is hilarious watching a grown child try and slide down it—I remember trying to do it 9 months pregnant:) fun, fun, fun.
Then they ran through the finish line. Good times.
For our food, which I cannot believe I did not take a picture of!!!! It was a busy time:) Here is what we had:
- BBQ chicken
- hot dogs
- baked beans
- taco salad
- macaroni and cheese
- potato salad
- italian noodle salad
- hummus and pita
- brownie strawberry skewers
- sliced up watermelon
- chocolate popcorn
- gluten free chex mix
- garbage bag snack mix
- jelly belly jellybeans, licorice, taffy
- cupcakes and Popsicle for birthday
With so many children it made for a smoky area. We had bought some candles for them to light their sparklers onto. It made things much easier then lighting with a lighter.We all lined up waiting for the big event. It was the first year that I was able to stay outside the entire time. Most years, I have a little one that does not do well with the noise. But everyone enjoyed it. It is the little milestones that makes having so many little ones much easier.
Most of the teenage boys helped light the fireworks, it was a beautiful show. Daddy really likes to go all out for them. Here is a video of our grand finale.
Thank you for understanding why I wasn’t here. I am excited to be able to share all of the FREE goodies that I found for school later this week, stay tuned.