Saturday, September 27, 2014

Throwing a Graduation Party!

I really think throwing a party is fun.  I just wish it wasn't so much darn work! As this is our 4th child to graduate, this is our 4th grad party.  You would think that would make it easier, but it doesn't. Everything still takes time.  Time I don't have much of.

Plus Pinterest has changed everything!  Life use to be make a cake, cook some burgers.  But oh no! Not since Pinterest came in the picture.  It's worse than keeping up with the Jone's.  There are so many things to do on Pinterest and I personally try to do them all.  (Don't try this at home)

So how do I do it?  Planning, lots and lots of planning.  I have learned to get organized and whip out the things that can be done early.  Then the day of, it's just about the food and set up.

There are lots of party planning forms you can print for free.  Just search for them on pinterest.  I pinned a few if you want to check them out.

Memory Wall 

Pick a theme/color you can build from.  This party is for an 18 year old girl.  She is a golfer, likes chevron and looks amazing in green.  Plus the college she is going to has green for their colors.  I wanted to display memories so I started with a Memory Wall.  I took two old pieces of metal and we painted green and white chevron on it.  Leaned it against the wall and covered it with photos and memories from her childhood.  I used magnets and clips to keep everything on. 


We had a lot of fun with centerpieces.  I started pulling out momentos from her childhood.  We painted some little squares the same chevron.  Each square had something special: a trophy, her little teapot, a gold shoe from the pageants.  Then a picture of her.  


This was so much fun.  I used some old corrugated metal and created two backdrops.  One a giant American Flag, the other a golf scene of course.  

Props w/ the Flag: Red, White & Blue Beads, 
An Uncle Sam Beard (made from moss), hats, mustaches, etc 

Props w/ Golf Scene: Ugly sweaters, visors, golf clubs, mustaches, bow ties, Golf sign (you can't see because we didn't have good photographers)

Helpful Hints:

Get someone good at taking pics.  I don't need a pro but I wish I had designated someone to take photos.  Really the only thing lacking from this party.

Gluten Free Menu

This party was a total Gluten Free Party.  The grad is gluten free and I wanted her to be able to eat everything.  I'll list the menu here, but will be making a separate post for the recipes.  Make some cute labels and place in front of the dishes so people know what they are eating.

Grilled Chicken
Broccoli Salad
Brown Rice Salad
3 Bean Salad
Potato Salad
Ranch Beans
Veggie Tray w/ Hummus
Layered Cake
Best Banana Muffins
Lemon Aide
Sweet Tea
Ice Tea
Apple Nachos

Hope you enjoyed my post and this helps you plan your next party.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mirror Spray Painted Bottles

I have been wanting to try that wonderful mirror spray paint for some time.  It looks beautiful but I was a little worried.  I am not the best spray painter.  Usually my husband will take over the job and I just blink my eyes and say, "Honey, can you help me with this one too".  However, this time I did it myself.

First I started with a whole pile of old bottle. (I have a few projects going).  I don't even drink.  I collected these from a local restaurant.  The bottles I mirrored are from syrups, jams and iced coffee!

Step 1: Clean Clean  Clean

I soaked these bottles to loosen the labels.  After I could peel most of the label off I mixed up a recipe I found on pinterest. 

Goo Gone Recipe

1 part vegetable oil with 
2 parts baking soda. 

 Just mix it in a little dish.  This gives us an oily substance with a little abrasiveness for scrubbing power.  

Rub it all over the jar.

Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Wash it off.

Next I washed them in hot soapy water and let them dry.

Step 2:  Paint

Take your nice clean dry jars outside.  I seriously hate the smell of spray paint so I only use it outside.  For this project I used Krylon Looking Glass.  
I sprayed the bottoms first. It took at least 3 coats to get good coverage.  When the bottoms were dry, I stood them up and painted the rest of the bottle.  

They turned out great.  

Things I Learned

1. This paint surprised me at first.  It comes out a bit more powerful than most paint.  Hard to keep it from running.  I would advise practicing on something you don't have your heart set on.

2.  Looking Glass paint is suppose to be sprayed from the back side to turn out like a mirror.  On a skinny bottle this is not possible.  It still is reflective just not as much as if you had sprayed from the inside.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Homeschool Mom

As I sit here surrounded by stacks of books, I am really feeling the pressure.  It's the first day of the new school year and I feel behind already.  I am trying to create a schedule for four of the kids and my two year old is in the middle of my lap trying to do their school.;.

My husband calls and calmly asks"What's up?".

"I am stressing.  So much to do." typical comment from me.

He reminds me I've been doing this a long time. (21 years) "Why am I worried?"

I think it's just a Mom Thing.  I have a million things running through my mind.  I haven't planned dinner, the house needs cleaned, I start teaching Sunday School this week, I have projects uncompleted.  I could seriously fill 50 hour days without doing school.  Then there is school!

This is likely TiArra's last year of homeschool.  Sad face.  With one having just left for college (we won't get into that or I'll start crying AGAIN) I am really feeling sad about another one growing up. She is planning to start community college next fall.  But that means the pressure is on with her to have her ready.  No easy days this year.  Then she is also running for her local title in the Miss America Program.  She has to be ready for that.  There isn't even time to breathe.

Then the boys Titus 8th, Tuff 5th, and Tucker 1st.  Just keeping them on task and off each other is a feat in itself.  Counting to 3 while your brother is on the bottom is NOT math!

Tennyson wants to do everyone's school work.  She is constantly taking Tucker's books from him.  Everything that worked with the other kids is not working with her.  That baby just wants constant attention and from EVERYONE.

Add to that a couple of blogs and a new Etsy store (  I should be crazy by the end of the school year.  But I say that every year!

Somehow I manage to keep going.  I have given each child a binder with a schedule in it.  Especially the older ones, I am hoping they'll learn to look at the schedule, see what needs to be done, and accomplish it.  Even Tucker has a chart that tells him what to do and he is doing a great job marking off the boxes.  My biggest goal this year is to keep them on track.  Something we haven't done for the last few.

Most importantly I love my children.  I love homeschooling them.  All the days of school we don't get done don't matter later.  Being with my kids everyday of their childhood has made my life happy.  I know it will all be ok.  We eat every day, the dishes eventually get done and somehow they manage to grow up and move on.  Four of them already have!

Thank you Todd for being the most amazing husband and allowing me to have 9 beautiful babies and stay home.  I know it's hard for you to leave everyday.  You are wonderful!

If I can keep my focus . . .

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phillipians 4:13