Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LEGO Birthday!

Finally after waiting a few weeks we were able to celebrate Brooks' birthday with a party!  Daddy was in Singapore for a week and the weekends were full of other stuff.  So after a little planning and organizing we managed to get his friends over after school on Tuesday.  The American School has a 1/2 day every Tuesday so its the perfect day for an afternoon activity, like a birthday party!!  Some of the party people came home with us and others came over after getting off the bus in the compound.  Brooks has been planning on a Lego party for months.  We thought ahead and bought a few things in the States before coming back to Doha.  After some research I was encouraged to do lots of fun Lego party ideas but Doha limited us a bit.  We pulled it off and Brooks had lots of fun! 

Funny thing about Doha...they don't sell big bags of M&Ms.  So I ended up with 48 small bags.  At least we have the blessed peanut M&M, its just funny what ridiculous conveniences I'm used to.
Marshmallow Lego Head Pops 
#1 fan of the pops! 
  After lots of thinking and web searching I decided that making a Lego cake wasn't going to happen.  Challenging for sure...unless you're a fondant pro.  One day I'll take the plunge. So instead we made white chocolate toppers from molds I bought on Etsy.  Unfortunately Doha doesn't sell almond bark.  Only white chocolate that's pric, sweet and very difficult to color. 
Thanks to Duncan Hines and Lindsay's incredible icing recipe, the cupcakes were gobbled up.
Mr. Birthday!
 As soon as we were home with the crazy party people they inhaled some pizza and were ready for what was next!  This was the first time for us to host our own party without other entertainment.  What I learned is that this age and BOYS need constant activity.  They finished their pizza in less than 5 minutes.  I was thinking more like 20 minutes, while we waited on the bus riders.  And lets just say 5 and 6 year old BOYS are NUTS after school.  One day I won't be surprised by the wildness of a boy!  I need more of it obviously.  They 
While we waited for a few others to arrive we played "Lego Lego...Where's the Lego". Bit hit for these NUTS!
  Every 15 minutes we kept looking at our watches thinking, "surely its been an hour".  It was really fun maybe but we should set the time for and hour or hour and half next year :)  A few planned Lego games and a few off the cuff since this group was on the move and ready for what was up next!  We played a game to move Legos from the table to the plate by sucking through a straw.  Also built letters with the Legos.  Anyone, got another Lego game?  Anyone?
 Georgia and her party keeper, Mrs. Lindsay
Barrett playing the "Lego Drop"

Still innocent and precious.  He says she is his best friend!  I guess we'll all know when things change and he turns gross and she turns too girly.
Passing the time with a little outdoor play.
Most of the friends invited were from his class last year in PreK along with a few buddies from the compound and T-ball team.
Mrs. Kim and the crew!  Thank goodness for Kim, Lindsay and Nick they were awesome help!
Variety of expressions...
  Doha moment...the Spiderman pinata I bought for on sale about $10 (orig. $50) was absolute rubbish! Candy poured out of it before we even started.  I had originally planned to make my own pinata but for obvious Doha reasons I decided to simply turn the circle shape Spidey piece of junk into something Lego"ish". It wasn't lego"ish" at all but after a serious repair we were up and runnin'! 
Most of what we gave for favors came from the US of A including mini Lego sets especially made for birthday party favors.  Sorry no pic. 
Candy Legos that actually lock together.  Taste like Runts or maybe Smarties and are fun to play with. 
We made crayons with our Lego man mold.  Great but lots of crayon peeling.  And time consuming since you can only make 8 men at a time with only one mold. 
We also made soap which was the easiest project of all.  Melt the glycerin, add some color and fragrance.  Easy and a lot of fun for Brooks to help with. 
  A few days before the party I had intentions of putting cute little tags on all of the treats inside the favor bag.  Well after searching for a few resources to get that underway, I quickly decided it wasn't worth the challenge and not necessary since Brooks could careless!

Turns out I should have labelled the goodies.  Funny to us but not to the poor little boy who seriously chomped down on a bar of soap...AND KEPT CHEWING!  Bubbles coming out of his mouth! "Seriously?"  That's what we all said..."surely my child wouldn't do that".  It smells like soap and with one touch of the tongue you might gag plus I tied the little soap baggie with a knot!  
That's my hand in his sweet mouth performing the emergency choking care exercise of swiping the mouth.  It took some serious mouth washing and sloshing to get all the soap and bubbles out of his teeth.  The soap did look a lot like a big gummy lego.  Tears finally stopped and he ate the real candy.
And Mr. Nick fully explaining the favor bag and what not to eat
 Lets just say I found my foot in my mouth yesterday when Barrett came hysterically crying to me after chewing on a tube of super glue....Really? Yes, really!  Thankfully his lips weren't glued together but I found glops of superglue on his teeth and around his mouth.  fyi...saliva breaks down the glue. I left the superglue in our crayon container after working on a project with Brooks over the weekend.  Lesson learned...boys will do whatever you don't expect them to do and put hazardous things away. 

Happy Lego Party for Brooks. We had lots of fun and were blessed to share it with great friends!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Sunday we were up for school and so excited the day had finally arrived....BROOKS' SIXTH BIRTHDAY!!  No more count downs, no more begging to open a card and present that had been tempting him for about a week!  The day had come and it was a great one!  
First up, a loaded card from Colorado. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa! And instead of wearing his boring old P.E. t-shirt he got to wear a "6" shirt sent all the way from Texas. Thank you Honey and Poppa. 
Birthday BUS!!   This was a last minute idea but it was a HUGE hit.  So funny how many people saw the Birthday Bus that we didn't see.  I wasn't even sure it was legal...better to ask for forgiveness!  We got lots of extra birthday wishes!  
Checking out the Birthday bling with our buddy and carpool-er Cayden.
 Big SIX!
After dropping off the car full kiddos I ran to Krispie Kreme for the requested birthday donuts.  His class celebrates birthdays during snack time.  Brooks is the oldest in his class so this was their first birthday to be excited about.  Mrs. Heney and crew sang happy birthday with a few extra verses and 6 bumps on the bottom to wish him a Happy Day!
Finally Georgia was out of the stroller and popped up right next to Mr. Big 6. Happy as can be to have a birthday donut with him!
After school we rushed home to then turn around and meet Daddy for an early dinner at Brooks' restaurant of choice Sakura (Ramada Plaza).  He wanted to go where "they cook the food in front of you".  The boys were highly entertained.  It was such a fun night and really great food.  We'll be back.  
 Georgia had a little runnin' room behind our table...

The reserved birthday boy and his brother the enthusiast!
After stuffing our faces and being stuffed in ridiculous Doha traffic, we finally made it home for birthday cake.   
Brooks specifically wanted Bumpity Cake aka my mom's buttermilk pound cake.  The odds were truly against me on this one.  First of all, I'll never be the cook she is but live in Doha and your cooking confidence is shot!  I used laban instead of buttermilk.  Enough said...
Thanks to my sweet friend and neighbor, she actually baked it in her oven while I did the usual Birthday Bus run that afternoon.  Brooks told me it tasted just like Honey's cake which was a great feeling but no where near the truth.  And my pan isn't bumpity!
Bear picked out a very special Lego set for Brooks and Tatty sent the beloved Legos and clothes that arrived just in time!
Brooks asked for Legos, a watch and a Bible.  He was a happy camper and fun to shop for. We have lots of children's Bible story books and of course adult Bibles but he wanted his very own real Bible to read and take to church.   God is stirring something special in him and we are praying that his heart will be open to trusting Him.  For now his enthusiasm is a gift I wouldn't trade for anything.  He wanted to take his new Bible to school and has been just as excited about finding his memorized verses as he has been about the plethora of Legos that now abound! 
My dad always says you just keep loving your kids more and more the older they get and its so beyond true!!  I have so much to learn as a parent and I'm so thankful Brooks is our oldest.  God knew we needed him first.  He challenges us in a way that seems patient and forgiving.  He is a simple little boy.  He wants to please and succeed.  He's still very innocent and I pray we can preserve the sweet spirit God placed deep within in him.  Just when I think I've got him figured out I am amazed at the finger prints God left on him and the special characteristics I'm starting to see as he grows.  Its easy to try and tag our kids for one or the other parent instead of just waiting to see who they were created to be.  This is only the beginning.  Lord help us lead, develop and teach him has he grows. Impossible without God!

This last year I have so enjoyed watching him be a big brother to Barrett and Georgia.  There has yet to be a day he's resented his little sister and he's the best encourager and teammate Barrett has or will ever have!!  This year I've also been so blessed to see him grow in confidence in simple and important things like initiating friendships or boldly placing an order with the waiter.  He's mostly interested in school work, all things sports related, getting dirty or wet, being challenged by or getting creative with Legos and seeing new movies (in or out of the theater).  My cup runneth over. I don't deserve such joy!