Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One birthday party down....

As I mentioned in my last post, my most recent challenge with our resolution was a birthday party. The birthday party was a success... but we still had to complete my son's gift... his room remodel.

As you can see, it was a total success! My son had a number of gift cards that were unused... so we used them to get the paint from Walmart, the top blanket of his bed to match the room... and some storage bins. We figured that gift-card money was already money spent and we might as well use it. Other than that, EVERYTHING was used. My husband painted the city scape on the wall. Some dear friends painted pictures to accent the walls. And we are waiting on one painting that we will get to add shortly. It was so neat to see it all come together. My son LOVES his room (as I'm sure you can imagine).

I also got a bunch of hangers free from a fellow-Mops Momma :) THANKS Bergann!

Having four kids means... I have three more birthday parties (plus my husbands) to plan with this same sort of creativity. My daughter is turning ONE at the end of April and we decided on a Luau theme... which has been super easy to find things for so far! Im very excited about this one. Plus, I dont have to have a gift for her because she's one and won't remember anyway!

On a slightly separate note, I was putting together the kids' Easter baskets today. It struck me how much I was enjoying putting my creativity to use. Normally I would have gone out and bought a couple baskets at Target or Walmart. Today I scoured my house for old but still nice gift bags. I found one that was Tinkerbell themed... perfect for my 9 year old daughter. I found a solid red one that I added superman stickers to for my oldest son. I had one bucket that I'd won from MOPS for my 2 year old son. And a blue gift bag with a boa accent (which I'd purchased at a thrift store) for my almost-one-year old. I filled plastic eggs (thank you, Salvation Army) with candies and filled their little Easter bags. Ill post a pic of these soon too. Anyway, I found myself enjoying creating these things for my children and putting to good use things I already owned. It will be a fun day, regardless!.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Parties

Wow, its almost been a month! Clearly, living on used things hasn't been an over sized challenge worth writing about... until yesterday.

I knew that when the birthdays of my children approached, I would have a harder time with this resolution. Up until now, we have had the delight and challenge of providing GIFTS for the individuals who have invited us to THEIR parties. That was minor compared to planning a whole birthday party of things used... not to mention the gifts for my OWN child.

That said, I am thrilled to say that the birthday party AND our resolution remained a compatible success of which I'm excited to share the journey.The day was approaching quickly. I had posted a number of "wanted" and "looking for" ads in various internet locations in the hopes of finding things to use for our son's room remodel. That is our gift to him- a newly painted and decorated bedroom to the theme of his heart's content. My daughter had hers done last march for her birthday. Fortunately, that means no other material gifts (and, as we found with my daughter, ends up being more expensive than if we just bought toys and wrapped them!). These two older children are my foster children who shall be adopted ANY DAY NOW (Lord willing) and so we are especially thrilled to do whatever we can to make this place THEIR place.

That said, I was getting no response. All of a sudden it began to come together! I found a nearly new set of twin bedsheets, superman themed, on for $5! This was from a VERY nice and clean home and couldn't have been a better deal. I wouldn't have found that in a thrift store for that price! In addition, a number of guests to his birthday party presented him with things to accent his room... hand painted superman art, etc. BEAUTIFUL! Finally, I went into Salvation Army one day just to see what they had. I found still-new-in-wrapper streamers (one that actually said "happy birthday" and the other RED). PERFECT! I also found a big bag of plastic Easter eggs... which is nice because I love to use these for Easter but had taken all of mine to Haiti last year when I taught our students how to make egg shakers. I also found a blue valance and red fabric to make a curtain. All of that (plus some other little gems for myself) for only $7. I'll be going back too... tons of Easter baskets, GRASS for baskets, etc. Ya know, they got used once and ended up at the thrift store! Perfect, Ill use them once more and send them back! LOL :)

Needless to say, it was such a blessing to see friends, family, and thrift stores unite to make an amazing airplane-themed birthday party happen from scratch. We made paper airplanes (from the free LEGAL sized paper I'd received) and had races. I made airplane favors out of lifesavers, gum, and rubber bands... and hung airline themed signs all over the house. I HOME-MADE the ice cream cake (that was a first and lots of fun). Our next challenge will be completing his room by his ACTUAL bday.. this weekend. Debating on paint... may use some of what we have in storage or buy some of the "mistake" paints from Lowes or Home Depot.

One final blessing to mention... my church, The Bridge is doing a series on Heroes. The designed backdrop of the series is a very large painting, (designed by Chris Pitts) of a cityscape. The amazing part is days before I found this out, my son told me how he wanted his room painted... with a city scape. I thought Id ask about getting the template from the church so I could use it for his room... better yet, they offered to give me one of the paintings at the end of the series! What a "coincidence" (if I believe in coincidence) that would line these two events up at the same time and bless my son! Not to mention that I'm currently writing a book on humanity's search for a superhero... More to come after his room is complete! Enjoy the pictures!