Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Family's Electric Run

Over the summer The Boy participated in a track program. He did really well. Because of his ADHD I think it works well for him because it's one sport that he doesn't really need to concentrate on but instead just run until he's all out of energy. As a sort of reward for a great track season I signed the family up for a 5k called the Electric Run.
We had an amazingly fun time! The kids called it the "best night of our lives!!!"

We came home with dozens of free glow sticks!

And in the end it was a pretty big party! That night they were filming an episode of The Bachelor. We got to participate in the fun of that and at one point along the race route P got to give Juan Pablo a fist bump and a kiss on the cheek. I'm so totally jealous! :)

We are definitely doing this race again when it comes to town! I loved that we were able to show the kids how being healthy and active can be so much fun! Later that night I reminded The Boy of this and pointed out that there was no drinking, no drugs, and yet we had a really awesome time and partied way past bed time :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hobbit Party

Here's my promised Hobbit Party post. Pretty fitting since September 22nd is Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday!
In years past the kids and I have celebrated Harry Potter's birthday (see my post HERE for Harry Potter party ideas and printables). It was just a fun way to cure some boredom in the middle of the summer. Us Fransons can get a little geeky sometimes... ok all the time.  
Here we are at the Salt Lake City Comic Con a few weeks ago...

(Not LOTR, but Doctor Who...another Franson favorite)
I've always loved the Lord Of The Rings books. I first read them in high school, and when I met my husband and we were discussing books I recommended he give them a try. When he told me how awesome he thought they were I knew he was the man for me :)
This year I decided to skip Harry's party (we did still make a birthday cake for him) and throw a Hobbit party instead. We took the kids to see the movie when it came out last winter and they loved it. They came home and watched each of the LOTR DVDs. I was worried, they are pretty violent, but the boy was then inspired to read the books which made me very happy!
My favorite part of our party was my dinner table, which I actually thought resembled more of a dinner at Elrond's home in Rivendell or maybe Galadriel's meal by the river (oh jeez, I'm embarrassing myself with how nerdy I am!)

I created some invitations to give to the kids in the morning before we started our party day. Daddy was at work but he joined us later in the day. I took the wording for the invite from the contract the Dwarves gave Bilbo before they set off to reclaim their treasure from Smaug the dragon.

It reads...
"Thorin and Company to burglar [child's name], Greetings!
We accept your offer of personal assistance. We have proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations, and shall await your respected person on [date of party] at the Green Dragon Inn, Bywater at [time of party] sharp. Trusting that you will be punctual. Terms: cash on delivery. All traveling expenses guaranteed in any event. Funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises. We have the honor to remain yours deeply, Thorin and company
You can find some pretty cool, free Hobbit fonts HERE.
So for our first set of adventures we headed to the backyard for some games. I picked up these cute little dragons at the dollar store for prizes for the kids...

 "Part of your share of the Lonely Mountain treasure" You could also have some chocolate coins waiting for them. It was a super hot day so I didn't want a chocolate puddle on the table.
I found a LOTR map online and added some of our games for the fun of it with photoshop.

"Flight of the eagles" See how far you can jump off the swing set...

"Spider web rescue" 3 legged race, we pretended we were tied together with a spider's web....

and "barrel roll escape" we did summersaults across the lawn...

After playing outside for awhile on a very hot summer day we headed inside for a snack, lunch, and to watch the Hobbit movie. For lunch we had "second breakfast" ... Eggo waffles, and for a snack during the movies we had some Gollum's goodies gummy worms...

I actually wanted to attach gummy fish but couldn't find them at the store that day. Worms are yuckier anyway.

After the movie daddy came home from work and he got to join us for the rest of our party. My kids have recently taken to archery and so we created some quivers for our arrows from some mailing tubes and duct tape. We also learned how to write our names in Elvish (thank you internet) and added those to our quivers.

By this time I'm feeling a little burnt out so I hand the kids their next Hobbit snack, Bilbo's trail mix, and send them off with daddy to the field near our home for target practice and to defeat the dragon Smaug.

Bilbo's trail mix "It's a dangerous business going out your door. You step on the road, and if you don't keep your feet there's no knowing where you might be swept off to"


The kids on their quest to defeat the dragon. Bruce carried the heavy target for them.
While they were gone I started on a true Hobbit style dinner...
We had pot pies for our main course, sausage, cheese, apples, root beer and apple pie for desert. 

My picky eaters refused to eat the pot pies so they got fish sticks instead. Their loss.

After dinner and on their way to put on their pajamas they had one last task: to cross through to the other side of Shelob's Lair....

I pulled out the box of Halloween decorations and some yarn to create a super spooky hallway.

Before bed we had story time, like the elves do after dinner in the evenings. We read a picture book created from one of Bilbo's poems called Bilbo's song. After that we tucked the kids in bed a cleaned up a big mess from a fun day.

Today at dinnertime when I told the kids it was not only the first day of autumn but Frodo and Bilbo's birthday they were seriously disappointed we didn't do more to celebrate. One of the greatest things for me about being a parent is sharing the things I love with my children.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Football Weekend

Tomorrow football will be on our TV. I'm sure my husband, Bruce, wishes he was going to the game. Instead I'll try and make a good time for him here at home.
Bruce went to both of the biggest universities here in Utah, The University Of Utah for his undergrad and Brigham Young University for his law degree (he also went to Utah State so we get to watch ALL the football). Tomorrow they play each other. My husband will probably route for the U of U, I seem to side more with BYU, maybe because that the school that made us the most money ;)... we also owe them the most money though so it's a bit of a draw.
I was checking out some ways online this morning to the game day extra fun for our family tomorrow and this is what I came up with...
(these are all completely FREE!)
My favorite were these Utah printables, I loved the hearts!
I thought these were the cutest and I liked that they aren't team specific...

Football Party

My favorite treat idea were these chocolate strawberries. I could watch the game for hours enjoying these...

It's hard for me to watch football on TV but going to the games with my husband is one of my very favorite things to do. I love how excited he gets!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Quilt #2

Here's the big project of the summer I talked about. My mom and dad recently moved and mom commissioned me to make a queen sized quilt for her bed in their new home.
The pattern for this quilt is called a disappearing 4 patch and it's actually really simple. (you can find it for free HERE) It just took me so long to make because of all the many things we had going on this summer. But I was able to wrap it up quickly when the kids went back to school and my mom loved it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mini Charm Pack Project

Mini charm packs... so dang cute but what to do with them? Is that really enough fabric for a project?

I've bought a few of them simply to stack on my shelf, but I decided I needed to come up with a plan, especially if I wanted to buy more. My first thought was a small table topper, but I have a lot of those. While looking at it I realized there was enough there to make a little Trick or Treat bag, even something cute to hold a few candies on the counter (because now a days my kids go out with huge pillow cases and don't return until they're full).

To make the bag...
Sew all the tiny squares together, 4 rows with 11 squares each, and then add some batting on the back to make it stiff. I quilted a few lines to hold the pieces together.

After that cut a lining piece the same size from a fat quarter...

You'll need a 7 inch circle for the base. Cut 2, one for the outside and one for the inside of the bag.
Join the 2 short ends and sew your squares into a tube shape with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Attach batting to the circle that is going on the outside with a little spray glue. Then as you can see below, pin the circle to the bottom of your tube. 

Sew your circle in place and turn the whole thing right side out.

At this point you'll basically make the same thing again, only out of the lining pieces you cut earlier...

Leave a little hole in your seam to turn your bag right side out.
Leave your lining piece WRONG side out for now, and slip it over your outside piece.

Sew the two pieces together all the way around the top...

Pull the outside piece through the hole that you left in the seam of the inside piece...

And tuck the lining into the bag...

You can top stitch around the top to hold the lining in place and give it a finished look.

I thought it looked cute with the top folded down while it's sitting on the counter.

Almost as an after thought I added handles. These are just top stitched to the side of the bag.

Opened up it can actually hold quite a bit of candy.

Now I have a use for those adorable and affordable mini charm packs. Wouldn't this make a cute gift basket out of Christmas fabrics, or an Easter basket out of spring fabrics!