Friday, June 29, 2012

Taekwondo Party: FUN!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I was a little reluctant to have Jonathan's party at a location rather than here at home. I must say, this was a good decision.  I did not have to do extra cleaning (before OR after the party!!) and the kids really seemed to have a great time. Mr D. was great with the children and everyone had fun, including guests who had never before attended a class. Here are some pictures of the kids in action.
Warming up

Learning some Taekwondo moves

Jonathan gets to demonstrate some kicks

Everyone kicks!

Jonathan's favorite: Dodgeball

I love this picture!

As a finale, Mr D broke a board for the kids. Jonathan got to choose whether he broke it with a punch or a kick. He chose a kick.

This is the board he broke!

He gave it to Jonathan after he broke it

The whole gang!
I think the parents had fun, too, watching their children enjoying the party. Next, I'll share a few final pictures of pizza and presents.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hai-Ya! It's A Taekwondo Birthday!

I can't believe my little boy is six! Once again, I had lots of fun planning his birthday party. This year, he really wanted his party to be at his Taekwondo academy. All of his parties have been at home, which (I thought!) I preferred, so I agreed rather reluctantly. So I will begin at the beginning and share the planning!
I began by searching for the perfect invitation, looking on eBay, etsy and Pinterest. I found this one on etsy and decided to go with it. It was designed by Elizabeth of Swanky Press, and she did some other printables for me to coordinate with the invitation. She was great to work with! I kept asking for just one more thing, and she delivered!

 Martial arts is not the easiest theme to find party items for. I gave it a lot of thought and looked for inspiration all over the 'net, but I found very few karate themed parties. Most of what I did find featured ninjas, and that wasn't what I was going for at all. I knew my space was limited at the venue, and I only had about a half hour of set up time, so I needed to keep decorations simple. I decided to go with a theme using the nine belt colors of Taekwondo. Once I decided on that, it was a matter of searching for items to fit the theme. I knew Jonathan would be a green belt by his birthday, so I made green the dominant color of the party decor.
As a take home favor, I made chocolate bars in a mold featuring a boy in a karate pose. These were packaged in clear bags, tied with a green grosgrain ribbon and had a tag with each child's name.

It was a labor of love but I was very happy with the result! I served small bottle of Hawaiian Punch (or water) to the guests, and it became "Hai Ya Punch" with these great bottle labels created by Swanky press.
Brightly colored straws were used with Hai Ya straw flags, another labor of love! They are shown here at the party, along with paper plates in all nine belt colors, stacked pagoda style.
I decided to have a table featuring bubble gum balls in clear glass cylinders (from Dollar Tree) in all nine belt colors. Have you ever tried to find brown gumballs? I finally found them, in the wedding decor section at Party City! The gumballs were bagged and given to the children as a take-home at the end of the party.
The table also featured balloons in the nine colors, and for the guests and parents unfamiliar with Taekwondo, I researched the meanings of the belt colors and made a "chart" explaining them.

From Martial Arts Party Store, I ordered this fabulous poster to use as a backdrop for the cake table. It was just paper, so I took it to Michael's and had it dry mounted on foam board to make it firm. I love it, and look for it somewhere else soon! It is being repurposed after the party.
Then there was the star of the show, the birthday cake! Once again, I worked with the fabulous Trish of Fantasy In Frosting. She used my design to make a simple, but simply stunning, cake! I wanted it to look like his gi, complete with the actual academy patch on it. With the Taekwondo America patch, we took some poetic license and put a "6" in the center. I must say, the cake looked like a real cloth uniform! Perhaps the best part was the fondant board showing wood grain, broken with "Happy Birthday Jonathan" on it. Loved it! I also ordered cupcakes, kept simple so as not to detract from the cake, using only green chocolate "6's" for decoration. I also opted (with Mr.D's permission) to use a 6 sparkler in lieu of candles, the kids loved it!

While the kids were busy with party activities, the table was set for pizza, delivered midway through the party.
It was centered with balloons personalized with "Jonathan", and a jar of fortune cookies with personalized "fortunes" inside.

The treat boxes were filled with black and red shread, then with the goodies. They were tied with black grosgrain ribbon and each had the child's name on it. They were placed on the ledge between the lobby and the studio for the kids to have at the end of the party.
Another special touch was this belt with "It's My Birthday" on it, from Martial Arts Party Store.
Here is the birthday boy, just before leaving for the party.
Next post, I will share some of the party fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Six Year Old

As of today,  my little boy is officially a six year old! His party on Saturday went great and was so much fun! Party details coming soon! I am waiting for the pictures taken by my niece Michelle to arrive and then I will share the fun.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Can You Spare A Dollar?

Almost all of my blog posts are about Jonathan and the things we do. I am so beyond blessed. My little guy is healthy, happy, well loved and well fed. Which brings me to this...unfortunately, there are children who are hungry in this world of ours. Right now. Right this minute.
Can you spare a dollar? Four quarters? Ten dimes? My blog friend, Angie, has a summer service project she is doing, for Life Today's Mission Feeding Program. She is especially seeking one dollar a day. Her budget, like most of us, is limited. She is not sure where her daily dollar will come from. She is trusting and proceeding on faith.
I don't personally know Angie, but I did go to high school with her mother Sharon. (Go BHS Pirates!). I will let Angie tell her own story, so take a look at her blog, Angie Acapella, and let your heart tell you whether or not you can spare a dollar.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catching Snakes......and Other Summer Fun

Yes, I caught the snake you see in the net. I chased it through a muddy creek and it swam right in to my net. Why? Because Jonathan and I were at our Park District's "Every Other Thursday Science" program. This week's program was "Critters in the Creek". The kids were given nets and we waded into the creek to see what we could catch. Don't worry, no animals were harmed and all were set free at the end of the program. It was so much fun! Except for the snake.
Other fun things we have done so far this summer includes a pirate cruise aboard Cincinnati's BB Riverboats. I purchased a season pass from Groupon for a great price. We can go on four various cruises as often as we like, which will be frequently!

The cruise included face painting, tattoos, walking the plank, and swabbing the deck. Jonathan has also successfully tested at Taekwondo and is now a green belt (with a shiny stripe!).
In two days, we will be celebrating Jonathan's 6th birthday, so I have been working on things such as as this:
And this:
And how is your summer going so far?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's That Time Of Year Again!

Someone around here is going to be six soon! A week from Saturday and it is party time! Last year at this time, I was busy preparing for a science party. This year, it will be at his taekwondo academy, the first time I haven't had his party here at home. It will be fun, but I can't do as much in the way of decorations as I would like.  However, I will pay attention to details where I can, and today I have been hard at work making "Hai Ya!" straw flags, More details to follow....