Monday, November 30, 2009

SIX

I can't let November slip away without blogging about Emma's sixth birthday party... which took place in early November! So with hours to spare...

Emma wanted a Chuck E. Cheese party this year. As much as I wanted to give her the gift of swine flu, I was able to talk her out of it. After much deliberation, we came up with the idea of having an Artist Birthday Party!



She painted a birthday picture which we copied off and mounted on cardstock. We made the invitations together, so she felt included right from the start!


Emma wrote a welcome note on the easel out front to greet her guests.  Upon arrival, each artist got an apron with their name on it. Their own blank canvas, if you will.




As the artists came in, they joined in painting a birthday mural for Emma.
We meant to have them each sign it, but forgot!




After that, they took some time watercoloring some masterpieces of their own.




When they were finished with that, we had two different stations for them to experiment with. The first was a spin art station.

I bought a cheat salad spinner at Walmart and cut out different colored circles that fit just perfectly in the bottom of it.  Then, I put a put tempera paints in condiment squeeze bottles.   Gary helped them squeeze different colors into the salad spinner. After a few pumps, the paint sprawled in all directions and the kids had their own unique piece of art!

The other station was marble art. They got to dip marbles in different colors, drop it in a shallow box onto their paper, and roll it around to make another masterpiece. Every creation was unique!

Please note the lack of kids in this picture. Oh. My. Gosh. This station? A disaster. Fun, but messy. Messy, messy, messy. It is impossible to take pictures while retaining any hope that your curtains will not be splatter-painted.

We also played a couple of games. The first was "Paint the Nose on the Clown." They were blind-folded, spun around, and used a round sponge dipped in red paint to paint the nose on the clown.  They LOVED it!

Looking back, it might have been wise to put something behind it, but I think the red splotches add character to our siding.

After that we played "Rainbow Relay" where each team did a relay race to paint each stripe of the rainbow. What a hit!



The party concluded with gifts and an Artist Palette Cake.




My favorite part of the entire party was kind of a splurge, but totally worth it. The rest of the party cost next to nothing since we had all of the materials on hand. But to give the kiddos a unique party favor, we hired a caricature artist to come draw each of the kids.


She was AMAZING. She was so good with the kids (who held remarkably still for five minutes each!) and their pictures each turned out better than I'd imagined. And I think they LOVED seeing themselves drawn. We can't wait to frame and hang the girls' pictures in their rooms.

We found our artist on Craig's List, but you could definitely call an art student at a local college.  They'd probably love the practice!

I promised I'd give her a shout out, so if you're in the Denver area and want something fun and unique for your kid's party, HIRE HER! I was so impressed. Her name is Sarah Bergman and her phone number is 720-226-1751. Or email her at sarahb0914@gmail.com.



By the end of the party, all of the afternoon's masterpieces had been hung on the porch to dry and greet parents as they arrived. We had been BUSY but we sure had fun and celebrated hard.



I love you, Emma!
Happy 6th birthday, my sweet girl!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Tan lines

I was getting gas the other day at our local strip mall when I turned and saw that the tanning salon had closed.



Does anyone else think that's as funny as I do?

Ohhh the irony.

I laugh every time I think about it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We have a winner!

Sorry I'm late on this, everyone! I said I'd announce a winner Monday... and here we are on Thursday.

I have no excuse. I'm having issues accomplishing things this week. Anyone out there in my same boat?

It was fun to see the wide variety of guesses! I think a lot of you may be surprised by the answers.

Anyway, on to the big reveal...

ONE of you got all of them right!!!

But then?

SHE CHANGED HER MIND.

Kathleen, my BFF since 3rd grade... I can't believe you. So, I threw Kathleen's name in with the other SIX who got 2 out of 3 right... and drew...



I really didn't rig it! I promise. So congratulations, Sunny. I kind of want to keep the gift card until I can give it to you in person and use it together. But I'll send it to you if I must!

So, we'll do a recap. Stay tuned because I'm sure some of these need explanation. Stories to follow!

1. I love the smell of cow manure : TRUE
2. I was in a bar fight when I was pregnant with Emma : TRUE
3. I have met Beth Moore in person : FALSE
4. Tear gas has no effect on me : TRUE
5. I had a guinea pig named "Rabbit" when I was in elementary school : FALSE
6. I competed in the Colorado state spelling bee in fifth grade : TRUE
7. I played the part of a bladder in a play when I was in high school : TRUE
8. My first kiss with Gary was at a rest stop in Utah : TRUE
9. I have had my tonsils removed : FALSE
10. Last summer I lost my wedding rings : TRUE

Thanks for playing my little game with me!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last chance!

Your guesses about which things are false about me are cracking me up! Here I was thinking it was too easy, but your guesses are all over the board.

Leave a comment by 4:00 today to be eligible to win the $5 Starbucks card! And even if you don't like coffee, they do have hot chocolate you know. Because Fact #11? I don't like coffee. (That one is true!)

So comment on this post if you haven't done so yet. Join the fun!

I'll be back later today to announce the winner and crown my new best friend. Someone out there must REALLY know me, right? (I'm pleased to say that so far my mom, Amy and Gary have gotten the answers right. Good thing they were excluded, huh?)

Go comment now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Apology

Dear Ken,

We had good times together, you and I. Remember the time you and Pink and Pretty Barbie went to the dance and I accompanied you, making authentic smooching sounds every time you kissed? Or the time you drove her in the Barbie car to the giant Barbie mall and waited while she shopped? What a patient man doll you were, Ken.

I'm writing this letter to thank you for being patient once again. I understand now, why when I was younger my mom would only let us play (and I use that term loosely) with her childhood Barbie doll under close supervision and for only 2 minute increments before she swooped down and gathered it all up so our mere breathing wouldn't tarnish her.

When I handed you over to my girls to play with, I assumed you would at least stay in the less-than-pristine condition that you started with. I should've learned my lesson when they snapped the head off of poor, unassuming Pink and Pretty Barbie. Sure, you may have been missing some toes that my dog chewed off, but you were still a handsome guy. I can see what Barbie sees in you. It amazes me that after all you've been through, you continue to flash that winning smile.

I am sorry that when the girls left you out in the snowstorm two weeks ago and you were buried under two feet of snow, that we could not hear your unnaturally white teeth chattering. How cold you must have been without a shirt and only your linen pants to keep you warm. And not even Barbie was within reach for added warmth.

And when Addie brought you in and showed me how dirty you'd become in your absence, you never cringed when I sighed and just asked her to put you on the counter so I could clean you later. Minutes later, Tinkerbell was brought in from the tundra so that she too could be cleaned. Were you together? Does Barbie know?

A few minutes later when I walked back into the kitchen to restore your dignity, I couldn't believe my eyes.

A slug was creeping out of your pants.

A real slug. A black, gooey, disgusting slug. It was leaving a clear, gummy trail behind it. I watched it that long? Oh yes. I did. I was frozen with shock and terror.

Ken, I'm so sorry. So, so sorry. It shouldn't have come to this. I've mistreated you.

And yet, you continue to smile.


Even when I told the Facebook world what had gone down in my kitchen, you never blinked an eye.

"Angie Olson Osborne is not happy that her girls left her childhood Ken doll in the backyard for last week's snow storm and just brought him in to me, all dirty and yucky. What makes me less happy is that a slug crawled out of his pants and on to my kitchen counter. That is just all kinds of gross."

Some of the comments:
  • So that's what you call it these days...
  • The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out...
  • Not Ken! He always has it so together...
  • He's gonna need Barbie tonight to warm him up, if you know what I mean.
  • I hope you're doing something about his hypothermia.
  • You really shouldn't talk about Ken's slug so publicly.
  • I think he was just happy to see you.
Come on, Ken. The comments from my friends were funny. Right?

Well, at least you're still smiling.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An award for me, and a prize for you!

Last month I was given the Kreativ Blogger Award by my friend Mel. Thank you Mel! {Everyone - go visit her blog NOW. You'll love her beautiful kids, amazing pictures, and creative ideas. She's awesome.}



Isn't it pretty? Where should I put it? On my mantle? In my trophy case? Okay, I'll just keep it here on my blog.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated


- - -

But in the spirit of, shall we say, "Kreativity," I am going to mix it up a bit. I'm going to make a list of TEN things about myself. However, only SEVEN of them are true.

Leave a comment with the THREE you think are false, and I have a $5 Starbucks gift card with your name on it! If there is more than one person with the right answer, I'll have to draw a name.

Now, if you are my sister or my other sister or my mom or my husband, you cannot guess. You know me too well. TOO WELL.

Here we go!

1. I love the smell of cow manure.
2. I was in a bar fight when I was pregnant with Emma.
3. I have met Beth Moore in person.
4. Tear gas has no effect on me.
5. I had a guinea pig named "Rabbit" when I was in elementary school.
6. I competed in the Colorado state spelling bee in fifth grade.
7. I played the part of a bladder in a play when I was in high school.
8. My first kiss with Gary was at a rest stop in Utah.
9. I have had my tonsils removed.
10. Last summer I lost my wedding rings.

Start guessing! I'll reveal a winner on Monday!

And now the five friends I'm nominating:
Amy
Abby
Michelle
Christi
Amber

Now go leave a comment and see how well you know me. You might be surprised! Even if you don't know me AT ALL, just take a stab at it. You have nothing to lose! Happy guessing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Questions out of the blue

The conversation tonight at dinner:

Emma: Mommy, do grown-ups ever cry?

(I immediately knew where this was going... conversations that start this way always end the same.)

Mommy: Of course they do, Ems.

Emma: Even you?

(She's asking these questions with a slight smirk on her face, and looking at me out of the corner of her eye. Because she's planned out this whole conversation ahead of time.)

Mommy: Yes... haven't you seen me cry before, Emma?

Emma: Yes... but what makes you cry?

Mommy: Well, sometimes I cry when I'm happy...

(I know that's not the answer she wants.)

Emma: But what makes you cry when you're sad?

Mommy: Hmmm... let me think... ummm... (she knows... she knows. Should I let her say it or should I just go ahead and take this where she wants it to go?) When you guys are sad sometimes I cry. Let's see... what else...

Emma: Josh-u-a...?

(the babyish, lingering voice she uses gives her away.)

Mommy: Yes. Sometimes thinking about Joshua makes me cry.

Emma: Why? Because he died?

Mommy: Mmm-hmmm. Do you remember when he died?

Emma: Yes. And I remember we went to his spot and let balloons go up to heaven for him. But I don't remember what I was wearing and do you think I can buy a Webkinz with my birthday money?

Webkinz. Right. And with that, the conversation was over.

And I don't remember what she was wearing either.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that Emma was not even four yet when baby Joshua died, and her memories and reactions will always be different than mine. But it's still hard, because Joshua merits more than a 2-minute conversation for me. It's not easy for me to talk about the day we laid him to rest one second and Webkinz the next.

I often wonder how much Emma really remembers and how much she thinks about Joshua, but I'm afraid to bring it up. For now, I'll just keep letting her take the lead.

And yes, I'll let her buy a Webkinz with her birthday money. In case you were wondering. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 on the 10th!

I'm a little backblogged right now, with so many ideas and stories and pictures clogging my mind that I don't know where to start. So while I organize my blogging to-do list, allow me to bore you with a riveting edition of 10 on the 10th, a monthly blog carnival hosted by my real-life pal Meredith. When you're bored with mine by #3, go over to hers. It's much more entertaining and you'll be able to relate with her list!



So here we go... 10 Places I've Been in the Last 10 Hours. (alternate title: My Life is So Exciting!)

1. Bed. 10 hours ago I was in my bed, snuggled up warm and cozy until my alarm clocks (named Emma and Addie) woke me with their loud, high-pitched voices as they helped each other make their beds in their room. And I couldn't help but laugh when I walked in and saw how Emma made her bed:

"It's so people know I love to read, Mom!" You know, for the tour groups we bring through her bedroom each day.

2. Shower. Oh wait - scratch that. I didn't shower today. But I did pass by it and think, "Gosh, I wish I had time to take a shower today. *sigh*

3. Car. After seeing Emma off on the bus (we always wave from the front porch if we don't walk her to the corner - even Brody got in on the waving action today. So cute!), we hopped in the car and took Addie to preschool. She gave accurate directions how to get there. Smart cookie, that Addie.

4. Preschool. I walked Addie into her school where I kissed Little Miss Independent good bye and watched her blend right in with her little girl friends and start playing. Isn't it fun to watch your kids when they don't know you're there?

5. MOPS. Then I sped to MOPS for a great morning of fellowship and connecting. My friend Becky shared about her mission trips to Africa, and also told us about her friend's non-profit, Bajalia Trading Company. It was so inspiring. I encourage you to check out their website and do some Christmas shopping! In a nutshell, they train women in third world countries to make beautiful items (jewelry, purses, pillows, frames, baskets, etc.), then they buy the items from them, and bring them here to sell. They use the profit from the sales to go back and help the region where the products are from. For instance, I bought a pair of earrings this morning made by some Chinese women. The money from my sale will go toward helping women out of human trafficking in that region.

6. Traci's House. My girls both have school at the same time, 15 minutes apart from each other. Getting them both to and from school on time is impossible. Thankfully, my friend Traci is in the same boat with her two boys and so we carpool the kids home. So I dropped off her preschooler and traded him in for a kindergartner.

7. Grocery Store. With no bread in the house, a quick grocery store run was a necessity. $85 later, we came home with our bread... and a few other things. Isn't that the way it always goes?

8. Jennifer's House. We got home just as the stained glass workers were leaving my neighbor's house. Thankfully she invited me over to take a peek before I had to invite myself. So I lugged my three kids next door (they were delighted - Jennifer's house is such a special treat!) and took a look at her beautiful new stained glass windows. Gorgeous!

9. Brody's Room. After a quick lunch, I followed Brody up to his room for nap time. All I have to say is, "Okay, Brods, nap time!" and off he toddles up to his room. We read a story and I laid him down and out I went. With him, it's THAT EASY. He's an amazing, easy little guy.


10. The Bathroom. After doing the dishes and picking up a little bit, I went into the bathroom. Not because I had to go, but because I needed a break from my two little stalkers (my alarm clocks double as stalkers) who sometimes just follow me around and don't know what to do. So behind a locked door, I was able to just read a magazine for 5 minutes. They didn't even know where I was. I liked it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Snowdays, Scarecrow (and friends) on Saturday and Sunday Scare

A quick recap of recent events:

Last week it snowed.

A LOT.

Like, at least 18 inches a lot. The girls' school was even canceled on Thursday. Would you believe I don't have a single picture of the snow storm? What was I thinking? Oh! I remember. I was thinking that my kids didn't get to play in it since Emma left her coat on the bus and outgrew her boots, and since Addie was sick and I didn't want her getting sicker, and since Brody didn't have any snow gear. Was I heartbroken that my kids didn't get to play in the snow? No. There will be more snow. Ohhhhh yes, there will be more snow.

And the above picture (stolen from Mer's blog), reminds me of why it's just fine that we didn't play in the snow. As soon as I saw it on her blog I felt totally at peace with my decision to keep the kids in for hot chocolate and "puzzlepalooza" instead. I really, really don't like the aftermath of playing in the snow! (Bah-humbug, huh?!)


We had a little Wizard of Oz trio for Halloween this year and made a day of the Harvest Festival at church and trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Brody got the hang of it quickly and proudly toddled to the door and back with his treasured piece of candy at each house. It was adorable. (And no, he won't be eating a single bite of any of it!)


Oh! But first, Emma helped me make her scarecrow costume. She cut out all the patches and together we converted the overalls to a little dress, added the ruffle, altered a huge shirt, made bloomers and made a hat. We love how it turned out! She felt so important that she got to help with it. The girls fought over who would be Dorothy, but when Emma found out the Scarecrow would get to wear face paint, she was SOLD.

Finally, yesterday morning we were getting ready for church when the fire alarm in our house went off. Three things went through my mind all at once: 1) Is there really a fire? (I checked) Whew! There isn't. 2) It would've been funny (kind of) to call 911 since Emma and Brody each called them once last week... okay, not funny 3) WHERE'S EMMA?!

Emma is TERRIFIED of alarms. She won't let anyone near the buttons in an elevator for fear they'll push the alarm button. I had just slipped Emma's dress over her head when the alarm went off, and she bolted. We had just finished bath time, so Addie was naked, Brody had just been dressed, I was in my jammies, and Gary's mom (who was visiting this weekend) was wrapped in a towel after getting out of the shower. So it's a good thing there really wasn't a fire!

But I had to go search for Emma. I found her standing against the back fence in bare feet in freezing weather, crying. I finally lured her back inside (the alarms were still going because I couldn't get them to stop!!) and she ran from the back door, through the house and out the front door! Suddenly the alarms stopped and I went out (yes, still in my jammies) to find Emma on the corner, three doors down. That girl!

Oh... and all that snow? GONE. It was a gorgeous day yesterday, with hardly a trace of the snow that blanketed the yard just two days before. It'll be in the 60's with beautiful sunshine all week. Gotta love Colorado!
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