Archive for March, 2012

For Addison’s sixth birthday last summer, we spent months planning a pirate themed buccaneer bash.  The time we spent together creating the party was all the more special because what we were really creating were memories together.

We spent countless mornings at the fabric and craft stores choosing supplies.  Afternoons were filled walking the yard, mapping out the perfect spots for activities such as a treasure hunt, a pinata, a puppet show, balloon animals, and face painting.  We planned swimming, playing, and interactions with a real pirate and mermaid.  Our evenings were spent cutting, sewing, gluing, and imagining.  More than once, he woke me in the middle of the night with another fabulous idea he wanted to add to our notebook filled with other such fabulous ideas.

In the end, my entire family came together to help us pull it off.  My parents, my sister and her whole family, Patrick, and even Hayden, all played invaluable rolls in helping Addison have the best Sixth Birthday Buccaneer Bash ever!

Here are a few pictures of what we came up with.  All photos are taken by Daniel Stagner.  You can find a link to his Facebook page here.  Want to see even more of our pirate party pictures?  Check out the rest in my public Facebook album:


We used pirate themed fabrics and colors to make the bunting that we hung above the cake table. The happy birthday banner in front was made with pirate scrap papers and LOTS of ribbon. Easily the most time consuming project!

The Pirate Shaped Birthday Cake.  We also adorned glass jars with red and white polkadot ribbon and then filled them with red and black licorice ropes, Hershey’s Gold and Silver miniature chocolate bars, and served Red Velvet Cupcakes.  A wooden placard read, “Silver, Gold, and Cupcakes…. A Pirates Best Treasure!

We used authentic fish net, net cork, coral, and decorative glass floaters.

With tons of help from Addison, we managed to make 36 of these gift bags for the kiddos to take home with them. They were filled with pirate themed treasure.  A wooden pedestal sign read, ‘Take One… If Ye Dare!’

Somehow I ended up without a decent shot of these, but we decorated our concrete flower boxes with fabric cutouts of waves. We attached sails to bamboo, and turned the flower boxes into little pirate ships.

In the background is a larger version of the cake table bunting. This one had larger pennants, and stretched 20 feet. Gifts and Balloons adorned the wine barrels for added decor.

A ‘Shipwreck Island’ Sign (complete w/ spinning arrow sign) pointed the way to the party.

The treasure chest dates back to the 1850’s. It may have belonged to a real pirate!

Kids and Treasure!

Arrr! Dang face paint stands in the way of an otherwise perfect picture!


Read Full Post »

Life with Boys

I almost ran off the road this afternoon.  A little voice from the backseat uttered three little sentences that literally flustered me into complete and utter oblivion for a second or two, and it was only the vibration of my tires spinning on the graveled shoulder that pulled me back into reality.   For the first time in his short and sweet little life, Hayden announced his love for a girl other than his mommy.

Mommy, I a little bit in love for Mariana. Her got pink Legos. I think I marry her next day or Saturday or somethin’.

I am resisting the urge to run to every retailer this side of the river to buy up every last pink box of Legos I can find in an effort to win back his favor.  I thought he was going to marry me, right after Addison and I get married, which will happen sometime after they finish college.  Huh.  It’s looking like I’d better not put all my eggs in one basket.

In related news, it came to our attention earlier this week that Addison, at the wise old age of six, is involved in a love triangle.  According to his good friend Ellexa, and confirmed by his own blushing cheeks, there is a little boy in their English school who likes all the girls, but all the girls like Addison.  Yet he insists he just wants to be friends with everyone, and why can’t they all just get along?  If this isn’t a preview of things to come, I don’t know what is!

At least I had Hayden all to myself tonight.  After his declaration of love for another, I found it quite serendipitous that Addison and Daddy were having a sleepover with the Spanish school at the Oregon Zoo, leaving me ample time to dote on my youngest and try to gain back my rightful role as his future bride.  I told Hayden we could do anything he wanted on our special date night.  He chose a trip to Target, to bake cookies, take a bubble bath, and to read stories.  Hello!  Tell me that is not the perfect date!

Now on to Addison and his trip to Zoo Snooze.  If you read my last post, you know that he managed to talk Patrick and I into letting him start his own little Scentsy Business.  If you haven’t read about it yet, please do!  Anyhoo, he gets to go on a fabulous behind the scenes tour of the zoo, have all sorts of up close and personal interactions, do a bunch of fun activities, and spend the night at the zoo!  This is all very exciting, but as he is packing his bag for the overnight, he slides in a few Scentsy catalogs.  “For the zookeepers, you know.  Just in case they want to buy some Scentsy.  Because there are a lot of things that smell not so good at the zoo.  In particular, the elephants.  They can be pretty stinky, so it might be nice to have a warmer, or at the very least, some scent circles, in their yard.  You know.”  Okay, what was I stifling laughter for more, the fact that he wants to Scentsify the zoo, or that he used the phrases, ‘in particular’ and ‘at the very least’?

Oy.  I guess I’d better get busy.  I’ve a wedding to plan, after-all.  And a hunch that it just may be the best smelling wedding ever.

Read Full Post »

Addison’s Big Dreams

Every morning for months I trudged up the stairs to our playroom, half asleep, with empty mug in hand, to Addison’s Coffee Shop.  While I received the sweetest customer service I’ve ever experienced (nobody at my favorite Starbucks ever greets me with a good morning hug and kiss!), I sometimes took that flight of stairs a bit begrudgingly. I’d change my attitude now, if it weren’t too late.

Sadly, despite my unwavering loyalty to his fine establishment, Addison’s Coffee Shop seemed to struggle from the beginning.  He tried all sorts of things to increase his customer base, but nothing seemed to work.  He tried switching his location several times, redoing his signage, and even, for a brief period (thank God it was brief!) ringing a cow bell to announce he was open.  It seemed that no matter what he did, he was never able to draw in more than his one regular customer.  Like so many other small businesses, the day finally came that he saw no other choice but to close his doors forever. 

I won’t soon forget the morning my foot hit that first step on that familiar flight of stairs and I heard him call out, “I’m closed, Mommy.  I just don’t have enough customers.”  It’s true, there is a tiny part of me secretly relieved that my Keurig is back in its rightful place in the pantry, but that was a very sad day just the same.  He needed a new venture.

Not too long ago, Addison rediscovered a few Scentsy warmers I had stashed away in a cupboard.  He pulled them out and began smelling the assortment of waxes, sorting, organizing, and arranging according to his favorites.  He would melt one wax, then clean it out and melt another.  He had several plugged in at any given time, and soon our house smelled like some sort of tropical paradise at Christmas time, with all the guava, passion fruit, and coconut blending with cinnamon, cloves, and evergreen.  He soon took over our living room, renaming it the Scentsy Room.  It wasn’t long before he came to me saying that we were almost out of wax and could I please get some more.  I called a childhood friend who is a consultant, and while talking to her, learned about a new product line of stuffed animals.  I ordered a couple for the boys, and when they arrived, that was all it took to put Addison over the top.

He began pouring over the Scentsy catalog.  Any morning or evening you could find him in the Scentsy Room studying the catalog or sampling the waxes.  He can tell you the process of making a warmer, how the company got its start, and how it has exploded into a wildly successful business.  He was determined to become a part of it.  He began begging Patrick and I to let him become a consultant and start his own business.  We told him he would need to come up with a business plan, a sales pitch, and some marketing strategies.  He did!  And then for good measure, he stopped watching TV and started cleaning up after himself and Hayden without being asked.  Finally, Patrick and I agreed, and ordered his starter kit.  Now it’s all Scentsy, all the time!  This weekend we got his website up and running.  Here is his bio:

“My name is Addison.  I am six and a half years old, and I love Scentsy because it just smells so good!  If your house is stinky, you just turn on a warmer, add some of your favorite scent, and before you know it, your house will smell good!  My mom says we need Scentsy because she lives with all us boys, but I say even girls can be stinky, so everyone can use Scentsy!

Plus, now you can buy these really cool stuffed animals called Scentsy Buddies, and even smaller Scentsy Babies.  They are really cute, and soft, and my brother and I love them because they smell good, too.  We want to collect them all!

If you don’t want to spend very much money, you can buy some really good smelling hand sanitizer, or a travel tin, or even something to make your car smell good.  I really like the room spray.  I have to use that a lot for my little brother’s stinky toots, but don’t tell him I told you that or he will get really mad and probably start crying or yelling or something.

I really want to win one of the trips you can go on if you sell a lot of Scentsy.  That’s my big dream.  So please buy lots of Scentsy stuff, and support my new business!  Thanks!”

If you would like to support Addison in his new venture, please visit his website at https://addisonsbigdreams.scentsy.us.  You can purchase through any ‘Open Party’ shown beneath his picture, or simply by clicking the ‘Buy’ tab toward the top of the page.

Those of you who know me, already know that doing something like this is hugely out of my comfort zone.  But at least I don’t have to trudge up stairs at the crack of dawn for a cup of coffee anymore!

Read Full Post »