Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mimi Camp 3.0

Mimi continues to earn rock star grandparent status by helping us out every summer with some child care.  I actually thought we were going to send Joseph to Louisiana for a week of Mimi Camp this year, but I think Brent chickened out and convinced his mom to come here again.  One day they joined Maia, Ben, and Chloe at Six Flags on free guest day, and it looks like they had a blast!  No visit would be complete with a trip to Guapo's too!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

First Day of 5th Grade

Also known as the last first day of elementary school.  Oh my heart!  It wasn't easy to have to miss this, but as usual I work so early on Monday mornings that I just couldn't be there.

We are lucky to finally be back in class with Zara, so at least I know Jocelyn will keep me in steady supply of photos throughout the year when I can't be there myself, starting on day 1 with pics of the kids watching the eclipse! Joe Joe and Zara kicked off their time at Janney in kindergarten together, so they are bookending the elementary school experience now in 5th grade.

Tuesdays are generally my drop off day, so here are my traditional second day of school photos. Joseph specifically did not want a new backpack this year, but I suspect his lunch box will need replacing by mid year.

Now don't go thinking I'm going to skip all of summer!  I'll get to it, but they've been in school for a month already so I figured I should get this up before winter break LOL.

Monday, September 18, 2017

You've Been Targeted!

He had never played before, so I have no clue why Joseph was absolutely adamant about wanting a paintball theme for his 10th birthday party this year.  He was close to being swayed with a kayaking party, and even briefly considered a repeat of the video game truck from last year, but you know where this is going... I found the perfect invitations and t-shirt for the birthday boy on Etsy.  You know I had to dress up the invitations a little with various colored card stock backgrounds - ever the crafty dad!

The paint splatter and target were obvious graphics to repeat in the annual birthday banner, which wound up incredibly bright and colorful.

In the midst of house renovations, I didn't even consider making a cake this year, and Joseph was unquestionably happy to request our favorite lemon buttercream cake from Heidelberg Bakery.  I did at least design a  graphic that the bakery could print out onto an edible sugar cake topper.  (As an aside, fine, I did consider making a cake using our neighbors kitchen, but for once I realized I was taking it too far)

I also used the same image to make iron-on decals to customize t-shirts for each guest.  The paintball park recommended wearing long sleeves and I really didn't want anyone to ruin their own clothes, plus I figured it would be a fun party favor. (Sorry for the awful pictures!)  If you're ever in the market for bulk t-shirts, I totally recommend jiffyshirts. com.

(shockingly) Crafting was kept to a relative minimum this year!  In addition to the t-shirt, I only "made" one other party favor - a small paint can full of edible paintballs (i.e. gum).  Joseph absolutely loves gum, so it was a perfect fit for him.  I thought 5 pounds of gumballs sounded like a lot to order, but it just barely made it to fill them all.  I finally found another use for these plastic totes that I bought for Joseph's 5th birthday (!) and packed up all the party goods to transfer out to the paintball park.

Did I mention that it wasn't until AFTER agreeing to the paintball theme that I discovered the nearest paintball park is almost an hour outside of DC?!?!?  We piled all the kids into 2 SUVs and carpooled them out to Pev's Paintball in Aldie, VA.  We booked a low-impact party but the kids all still geared up in chest protectors and face masks.

After a thorough safety talk, it was off the the fields!  Since Brent and I wanted to play as well, we invited a few other dads to join in the games, but they wouldn't let us play kids vs. adults.  We played 3 different rounds on a few different fields.  here's a random selection of action shots in no particular order.

Uncle Matt: good sport.

Almost every kid cried at least once, because low impact does NOT equal pain free.  I was shot a few times myself, and I would agree, it hurts like a biatch.  But it was all fun in general, and all was forgotten by the time we were ready for pizza, fruit, Gatorade, and cake in the Watch Tower party tent.


I must give credit for all these awesome photos to the most amazing photographer, our dear Aunt Missy, who risked it all to get us 200+ great action shots (other than a few paintball selfies, that is).