Sorry folks, no new recipe today. I tried. I got one about 75% right but it still needs more work. In the meantime, I keep writing down more ideas and ideas. I just need to find the time and more time to work on them. Meanwhile, life still goes on and little boys have birthday parties…
I never understood the small family party. Growing up it didn’t exist for me. Sure, sure, some parties are bigger than others with friends, godparents and their families, and if I was lucky friends from school but my smallest party ALWAYS at least included my mother’s own nuclear family with her four siblings, their kids, and my grandparents. 30 years later the tradition continues…
When my husband and I discussed what we would do for our son this year, the word was always “something small”. We even discussed *gasp* not doing something but my aunt and grandma wouldn’t have it (even offering to make food). I mean we did that whole football themed party last year with family and friends with all the Super Bowl type goodies that I made where I hardly got any sleep but still had a good time and managed to pull it off. And even though it ended well, that is not what we were going for this year. We even thought Chuck E Cheese and back to our house for cake and piñata. But then I thought, if I still have to clean up house for guests we might as well just have the darn thing at home again but just invite family. But therein lies the conflict. My kids, my sister’s kids, my uncle’s, my nieces…our small family party not including a new baby cousin is already 9 kids. I love it and I hate it. I hate eliminating friends too because that means most of my husband’s side because his side is only friends because his dad’s family lives in Texas and his mom was an only child. Suffice to say my husband’s upbringing was way different than mine with my mother’s four siblings and my father’s thirteen (who, sure we don’t get to see ALL of lots, but even split up into smaller nuclear family groups that we see more often still adds up to a lot of people).
So we didn’t have family friends THIS time (which adds about 9 more kids) but speaking of my dad’s family, I was so blessed to have my cousin and his wife come to the party. They live several hours north of us and were down south for the usual sights with his wife and kids. We were going to meet up but then I invited them to Bob’s birthday instead hoping they’d come and they did. There are a handful of cousins that live up north that I would say I am close to and my cousin Robert is definitely near the top of that list. We married weeks apart, we both have three kids, and his wife is just as much my cousin as he is. So the addition of them was fantastic and I like it when my mom’s family gets excited about seeing some of my dad’s family. I always did, even back before my mom passed and even when they were still married. It feels like that is what family is supposed to feel like (to me anyway)…BIG.
So while I complain about the work, it is always worth it. Where we cut back was regular food. We went with Costco pizza and salad. Way less work, and it made for a happy host. This was my last chance for something small too. My husband and daughter who usually celebrate together had a smallish one last year so I think we are going a bit bigger this year. Then we are going to combine my oldest with her middle school graduation so…even bigger. I don’t know if I’d have it any other way…or if I could?!
My GeekyLink for this week, I had bookmarked awhile ago but hadn’t read through it till today. Oh my goodness, this list of Free Stuff from NASA will provide hours upon hours of fun for my 9 year old! They have paper models with instructions! She had asked for big kid legos for Christmas and Santa obliged. She even bought a set herself with Christmas money. She is beginning to get into experiments. So I think she could get into the idea of a paper model. Especially if I make it clear she could work uninterrupted for most of it. There are links to free printable posters. She’d love them. I need to go back and look at the lists of apps and audio files that you can make into ringtones.
The dip that I made for the strawberry Red Angry bird with blueberries for eyeballs and eyebrows and grape kiwi snouted Green Pig was a Brown Sugar Fruit Dip from Half Baked. I found it pinned as a cheesecake fruit dip so I thought it was perfect for the strawberries.
For the pineapple Yellow Angry Bird, I made this Coconut Cream Fruit Dip from Dessert Now, Dinner Later! This recipe was a revelation! I had never heard of using whipped coconut cream before. It was hard not to finish off the leftovers.
While, both recipes call for Cool Whip I used homemade lightly sweetened whipped cream, just my preference.
The Crafting Chicks link for Angry Birds Cupcakes that I loved! Can you believe I had every other chip in my cupboard except minis? I had to use individual jimmies for the eyeballs instead and poke them into the eyes of the birds. It worked. I used colored sugar on all of them. About those snouts…frosting a cut marshmallow is no easy task.
All the leftover fruit and veggies that I only used a few of in making the faces, made its way onto extra platters so nothing went to waste.