...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Ultimate Ninja Birthday Party...

Bryan (the Dad) giving instruction as only a true Ninja can do.
A brood of Ninjas!
It was one eleven-year-old boy's dream to have a Ninja party for his birthday. Lucky for him his mom -- and especially his dad -- were only too happy to give it to him. Thus started a collaboration of relatives from Georgia to New York to see a boy's dream come to fruition.

First, there were calls, instant messages and emails back and forth to decipher what exactly should be included. What should be on the menu. What games could kids with a wide range in ages play?

Party boy getting some refreshment.
The 'Sushi'
As the birthday boy's celebration day fell during the annual visit to the grandparents, it had to be decided where it would be held. With construction still underway in the Bell home, Grandma Jollie was asked to host. The Jollie household always made for an instant party with the usual brood of children that live there. Then came the pooling of items to make this as 'Ninja' as possible.

Food, of course, had to be the choice of the guest of honor. Sushi? Shushi? This family loves sushi but not all guests would. However Elijah's mom found the perfect alternative -- candy sushi! Other alternatives and input resulted in the menu of Pizza (easiest on all the planners), sushi candy (to double as a craft), and Ninja cupcakes (it was hard to not make them look like mummies, lol).

The real sushi was handled in a dinner out with other adults on another day.

Other fun accents included, black table cloths, red plates, 'sushi' condiments of soy sauce & wasabi (green icing and chocolate), chopsticks, origami, and red takeout boxes for each participant to take home his/her goodies in.
Homemade Pinata

But the highlight was the life-size Ninja pinata home-made by Elijah's dad.  That, along with masks for all participants, made this party a hit.

Hide and seek Ninja-style and opening of gifts only added to the fun and celebratory atmosphere.
I am not sure if anyone counted how many guests were in attendance. As some came others left and there was a constant flow of new faces to join the party. We planned on 15 kids and ran short...at least 10 parents also attended and the kids ranges in age from a few months to 18 years.

A warm gift from the Jollies.
EVERYONE enjoyed the party.
The little Ninja scribe (aka Asher)
Everyone seemed to have a great time, especially one very special eleven-year-old (and maybe his dad).

Thank you Mallory...

...who proves girls like to Ninjas too!
When asked by his grandmothers' if this was his best birthday party, Elijah answered, "So far!" As this was only the second party with extended family and friends he has ever had, he is now waiting to see if any can top this one!  

Kudos to his Mom and Dad who went over the top to make an eleven year old boy's dream of a Ninja Party come alive! 

Guess Bryan's work was done...as he appears to be texting here.

And so ends a wonderful day of fun with family and friends who wanted to make Elijah Bell's 11th birthday celebration a memory maker!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Autumn leaves.....

Things are a bit backwards this year...today we raked leaves...a LOT of leaves. Leaves that came down AFTER our first heavy snow last month.

Jim started yesterday with the front yard and it looked so nice to see a 'clean' green lawn, that I started on the back, then Jim came out to help....

I had to capture what looked like a MASSACRE of my bushes.

Sequel to Day of the Triffids???
I quickly grabbed my camera and ran to the side of the house where I could still hear the snip, snip, snip of the shears...  I wanted to snap photos of my burning bushes before they were disseminated...

Can  you see Jim Scissorhands hiding there???

Phew! He decided to leave the burning bushes to my skillful trimming.
As I slowly went back to my raking, I caught a glimpse of a sign of hope tucked away in our beautiful maple that lost quite a few limbs in the last snowstorm. (In October!!!)

A seedling sprouting in the moss on the tree in what appears to be a heart in the bark!

Hate to say that little sprout won't make through the winter, but it was interesting to see new growth in the midst of all the dying leaves and plants around the yard.

Amazing too, that the grass is still green! It's November! We have already had two killing frosts and heavy snow!

How come we didn't have leaves when we had kids to jump in them? Not to mention rake them. One son was a landscaper for Pete's sake and took away other people's leaves...we could have used him today or at least his power blower!

Too bad there's no little Bell boys to jump in those piles...

By nightfall the leaves were gone and these two country folk were heading in for dinner and to soak their sore muscles in an effort to fend off the rigor mortis that was trying to creep in...

Note to viewer: Yes those are snow shovels leaning against the house. We had snow in October!!! Heavy, wet, snow that brought down tree limbs and caused power outages for days all around us. Just 30 minutes from us, people got 12"!!!

Then two weeks later....we are raking the leaves that finally came down.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Halloween to Remember

Asher trying out the new wig.

This year with Bryan's family visiting, we went to Aunt Lynn's house in Kingston to experience a REAL Halloween. She gets over a hundred kids, where the folks in the mountains of Georgia and here in Glasco get zero.

First things first...the pumpkin carving. Actually this followed the decorating of the front porch...as we were pressed for time with the kids expected at 4 p.m. The first photo depicts Elijah's reaction after reaching into a pumpkin that was out in subfreezing temperatures over night.

Bryan puts a few finishing touches on the porch...

Elijah's masterpiece.                  

Witch Barbie Pumpkin? Really?
A neighbor's attempt at making the best of it...
The neighbor's pumpkin didn't exactly fit into our theme...

   But Aunt Lynn's creative hand did.
 The apprentice Grim Reaper awaiting the arrival of his victims...

In search of his master/trainer/father...
(yes, that is snow on the ground! from our Octsnowber storm.)

The Master sneaks up behind his young student.

The rest of the motley crew...

 Awaiting our first guests...

the Grim Reaper Greeters...

 Soon the big kitties arrive...

Later after darkness fell and 157 kids had been treated and teased

...it was Elijah's turn to trick or treat (his first time!).