Recent Posts

Donovan’s 6th Birthday! Skylanders!

by Chrissie Wainright on September 11th, 2017
Comments Off on Donovan’s 6th Birthday! Skylanders!Comments

Donovan’s Skylander Birthday Party

This year Donovan really wanted to play Skylanders for his party.  And he didn’t want a Skylanders theme, with lots of people and games inspired by skylanders, he wanted to play the actual video game with a few close friends, ideally as a sleepover.  Since his friends from school are a little too young to sleep over yet, we decided to do his party in two parts.  He had Carson and Barrett come over in the evening for video games and a sleepover, and had his friends Hatcher and Trip over in the morning to play Skylanders.  Since his party was so simple, we got a new X-box to replace the one that kept dying in the middle of the game, and got the Superchargers for the x-box and Supercharger racing game for the Wii that’s been in our closet for five years.  Eric picked up a bunch of guys off E-bay and Donovan was THRILLED!  It was such a good idea of Eric’s to wait to get a game until it had been out for a few years, you can get them so much cheaper and our kids don’t care that it isn’t the latest version.

Superchargers Surprise! DZ was so excited with all the guys he got!!!! He especially likes Splat and Stealth Elf =)

Decorations =) The masks were handy! And DZ suggested we decorate the birthday poster with Skylanders stickers.

I arranged his Skylanders by type on this shelf… we had never done this before so I had no idea his collection was this extensive!!!! Thanks Carson and Barrett =)

For his birthday treat, of course Donovan chose donuts!  We got them in the shape of the Life, Air, and Water elements.   Yummy as always and so cute!

Stealth Elf Goes Pop (Ring Pops)

Whirlwind Rainbows and Pop Fizz’s potion bits

DZ loved Chop Chop Chips =)

Donovan had a blast with both parties.  I set up a candy table and got little Skylander lunch boxes for the kids to fill with treats.  It just seemed like junk food and video games go really well together.  I tried to have a variety of things, and Serenity helped me out making labels and giving the food Skylander names.  I put out slightly different candies in the evening, so Carson got his favorite Reese’s peanut butter cups, which made him very excited.

Donovan had fun introducing Hatcher and Trip to Skylanders.  I don’t think they had played video games quite as much, or at least not Skylanders, so they learned a lot about it very quickly.

The evening party was very different from the morning party.  When Barrett and Carson get together they play rough!  They chased each other around the house in Skylander costumes attacking with foam swords, and DZ was fascinated!  They had a pillow fight too!  He had fun playing with them too.  I had made a portal out of one of our big floor pillows and some cardboard, and the kids all took pictures in Skylander costumes.  I got Donovan a Spyro jacket, which doubled as a costume, and also SnapShot and Wallop costumes from Party City.  The kids were so cute in them!  I accidentally ordered them in boys sizes instead of little kid sizes, so they were really big!  I had to shorten them so DZ could wear them at all, but that means they fit his cousins too!  Oh, they sat on the portal to play the game some too which was cute =)

Donovan loved his presents.  He got a cool new lego set from Carson that he put together with me and loved.  He was crazy excited about his present from Barrett.  Jen ordered him a new Skylanders lunch box and thermos.  He was screaming and jumping up and down.  Later, Amazon asked Jen for a review of those products and she said she just didn’t know how to translate DZ’s reaction to them =) lol!

As expected, falling asleep didn’t happen quickly or easily, but everyone had fun even the next day, so it went as well as can be expected =)  They all slept on beds and couches and watched some Inspector Gadget.  We all went to the pool and the kids had a blast swimming with their cousins the next day.


Prism Break

Gil Grunt



Serenity’s Moana Birthday Party!

by Chrissie Wainright on June 13th, 2017
Comments Off on Serenity’s Moana Birthday Party!Comments




Serenity’s Moana Party!

Serenity’s initial idea for her birthday was to have a nature party, with a hammock, outdoor scavenger hunts, and other fun outdoor ideas that didn’t seem like a great idea for July.  Plus, our July is crazy with travel and a family reunion, so we decided to have her birthday with her friends in May!  As we started planning though, she thought it would be fun to paint rocks like the Heart of Te Fiti from Moana, and suddenly her party was Moana themed!  She wanted a scavenger hunt to find the Heart of Te Fiti, and to paint rocks for necklaces, and most of all, a sleepover!  We also thought it would be fun to sing the music and learn to dance the hula.  Actually, Serenity’s only seen the movie twice, what she really loves about Moana is the music.  We have the soundtrack and we listened to it in the car all spring!

Since we were going to dance to the music, I thought it would be fun to have costumes!  I started trying to paint sarongs for the girls, but eventually ended up with a very simple wrap skirt made from muslin fabric painted with flowers.  I left the selvage edge to give it a little bit of the fringe feel that Moana’s skirt has.  That was going to be it, but then I found orange tank tops on clearance at Old Navy for just two dollars each that were PERFECT!  It was awesome.  The girls were so cute in their costumes, with little plumeria hair flowers!  They had a blast the night of the party, yelling, “Come on Moanas!” and changing the lyrics of the song from “I am Moana” to “We are MOANAS!”  So funny and adorable =)  And the boat Dad built in the yard was adorable for pictures, and they all played on it too.  Maia’s been using it all week, and telling everyone her Papa built a REAL boat =)

We are MOANAS! And DZ is Maui =)

The hammock! Serenity originally wanted a nature party in the yard, and we thought it was the perfect time to get a hammock at last. It was still a good idea for Moana =)


All the costumes were hung and ready for the girls when they arrived!

Dressed as Maui for Serenity’s Moana Party

The week of the party I started to get nervous because there was some severe weather in the forecast.  We have an in-ground tornado shelter, so we would have been safe, but I was not excited by the idea of getting ten children into it in the middle of the night.  We had a tornado drill in the afternoon just so they would be familiar with the shelter, but fortunately all the bad weather missed us.  We only got an hour of rain even, and no hail!  So lucky!!!!

We got to have our scavenger hunt for the Heart of Te Fiti outdoors after all.  I painted 30 rocks with glow-in-the-dark paint, and the swirl pattern.  They LOVED finding the rocks!  Everyone got three to keep, and there were a few extras that they found hours later.

We found the Heart of Te Fiti! Plus some rocks with bioluminescent algae =)

We are MOANAS! And DZ is Maui =)

We also had a necklace painting craft.  Originally they were going to paint rocks, but we decided the wooden pendants would feel better to wear.  They knotted cord to add white beads like Moana’s necklace that she got from her grandmother to hold the heart of Te-Fiti.  They were really cute!

For food, we got donuts in the shape of the Heart of Te-Fiti.  OK Country Donuts are our birthday tradition, so delicious and they make just about any shape you could want!  I made Kalua pork, we had Hawaiian roles, and lots of tropical fruit.  Pineapple, mango, watermelon.  Mmmm.  I also got chicken nuggets.  So technically we ate Hei Hei and Pua…  shhhh.   I bought coconut cups for the girls to drink from… and then I bought juice boxes.  So I turned the coconut cups into Kakamora decorations, which turned out to be a good thing because the lids did not want to stay on.

Heart of Te Fiti Donuts =)

Moana is funny!

We watched the movie too and I got snuggles from a happy birthday girl =)

The sleepover went really well!  I decorated the room upstairs to look like an ocean, and I hardly had to buy anything!  It turns out I own a LOT of blue bedding and fabric, I just got a few more blue pillowcases to finish it off.  We reused pvc pipe that was from previous projects, the photo backdrop from her third party and the Kid Wash dad built a few years back.  Easy and awesome!  I had bought some of the blue projection Christmas lights on clearance, thinking I’d add them to our Christmas decorations this year.  They made it look so awesome!  Like you were really sleeping in the ocean.  Add an ocean soundtrack and it was just right.

Serenity thought the painting of Bahari Bay from last year’s Animal Jam party was perfect for this year, the colors are a lot like the Realm of Monsters. So I hung it on the door to the new Ocean Room. =)

Testing out the new Ocean Room =)

We set up a nice assortment of legos and put out Maia’s Moana set.  The girls spent quite a bit of time playing that too.  And Serenity got Exploding Kittens as a gift from Abby and they played that late into the night.  We had invited seven girls, although only five stayed the whole night, I was really happy with how well they got along.  I hope their class manages to stay kind to each other through the middle school years. =)

In the morning, the girls had cinnamon rolls, Tamatoa slime, and Fishing to look forward to!  Fishing off the boat Papa built was so much fun!


Because of the storm, Moana’s canoe got blown off course, but she joined us for breakfast the next day!  She taught the girls some hula moves, and sang with them, and painted their faces.  It was the perfect finish to Serenity’s Moana sleepover 9th birthday!

Moana did some face painting after the dancing

Donovan’s Birthday Update!

by Chrissie Wainright on June 7th, 2017
Comments Off on Donovan’s Birthday Update!Comments

DZ in April. This is our favorite tree in the neighborhood greenbelt.

My sweet Donovan is six years old!!!  He is such a joy to be around.  He is a peacemaker, always trying to make others feel happy.  Even today he gave away his first pick of Happy Meal toy and then proceeded to have a ton of fun with the one that wasn’t his original choice, and the whole family had fun the rest of the afternoon.  He is silly and funny, and his laugh just lights up your heart.  He still loves to cuddle in the rocking chair with me and has said he is best friends with his sisters.  I am so lucky to be his mama!

Totally Awesome Costume January 2017

When you think about Donovan’s favorite things, the first thing that comes to mind is GAMES.  He loves games of all kinds, and is truly his father’s son.  He plays board games with complicated strategies and really figures them out, like Legendary, Forbidden Desert, Mice and Mystics, and Above and Below.  He loved reading chess strategy books when his sister joined chess club.  He can even play reading games now, like Epic Duels.  A lot of it is memorization, but he is determined to play!  He is really good at 7 Wonders too.  He decides on a strategy and can follow it through.  He can also do surprisingly complicated math if it has to do with figuring out his score. =)

Epic Duels!

He also loves computer style games like Skylanders on the X-box or Animal Jam on the computer.  He has great focus.  On the ipad, he loves Angry Birds 2, Toca Boca Stable, and building games like Gardenscapes.

Ipads and Snuggles are a big deal in this house =)

He says his favorite toy are his roller skates =)  He also uses his scooter a lot.  He loves doing Legos too!  They are always first on his wishlist for birthdays and Christmas.  He did a couple of really big sets this year, like the Emperor’s Throne Room and the Battle on Tanodaka.

Angry Bird lego!

Lego Ninjago with his cousin Barrett =) I love his tongue sticking out when he’s working!


Since Legos are one of DZ’s favorite things, for our winter class party at our house I planned a lego party! All the kids got penguins and I put out all the white and blue legos so they could make penguin habitats. There were other stem activites too, like building a zipline car and racing lego vehicles.

Donovan joined a baseball team!  It was called T-Rex.  He really enjoyed himself, and improved so much!  At the beginning, he was a little scared of the ball, but by the end he was having actual warm ups before the game where he and his partner caught about 25% of the balls.  He could hit pretty often off the coach pitch, and he loved playing shortstop best.  My favorite part was that he was always the first kid out of the dugout with his glove on, ready to get his outfield assignment from his Daddy.  Eric was a big help as Assistant Coach.

Go T-Rex!!!

March 2017

He says his favorite show is Umizoomi, and he also watched a lot of Paw Patrol this year.  All of them enjoy the same shows, which is convenient.

Donovan loves superheroes!  He always begs for the boxed sets of I Can Read Batman, Avengers, and other superhero books and probably read more of those than any other books that he read on his own this year.  He also loves to be read 5 minute Avengers and 5 Minute Superhero stories.

Building all these superhero figures at Lowes was a big event for us last summer. DZ loves superheroes!

Donovan climbing rocks on a fun hike in Cali

Donovan loves mini golf, and he’s a good sport!

DZ still enjoys dress up, especially with his sisters =)

Chocolate Ice Cream. Sour Worms. Happy DZ.

Working on Christmas legos with sis. The reindeer jammies are one of my favorite things ever!

DZ loved working on this gallery wall with me. It has shelves for lego minifigs, especially the little ones from his Advent Calendar, and pics of his last two Halloween costumes. =) So fun!

DZ loves getting new clothes, and he loves that he gets so many from his cousins. He always asks in amazement, “Carson GAVE me this? Barrett gave this to me?!? ” Like he can’t believe his cousins love him this much =) He picked this shirt out of the newest batch of cousin hand me downs to wear first.

DZ is the Perler Bead King =)

Donovan Month by Month Pics:

Donovan in June

Donovan in July =) Sopapillas are delicious! He is my Mexican Food buddy, he is always up for burritos from Ted’s!

DZ in August. Getting ready for school!

DZ in September Lego Duplos are still fun too =)

Donovan LOVES playing Pokemon Go so much, he wanted to be a Pokemon for Halloween. He was Vaporeon. So fun!

Donovan in October. This butterfly landed right on his face. So funny!

DZ’s School Pic, September 2016

Haircut day! November

Showing me his favorite playground moves. November 2016

December 2016 DZ has an impressive pajama collection, and these Star Wars Christmas jammies that match his Daddy are a favorite! He also has the matching reindeer jammies, tigers, Darth Vader, wolves… So many cute ones!

Hugging Boxy the Snowman =)

December, dressed up for the Winter Concert

January 2017, Christmas Tea

Totally Awesome Costume January 2017

February 2017, Showing off the daffodils in his fox mask.

March 2017

DZ in April. This is our favorite tree in the neighborhood greenbelt.

Emoji Eggs! April 2017

DZ in May. At Creative Producers showing off his school work.

A little fancy for the last day of school. May 2017

Dressed as Maui for Serenity’s Moana Party

Donovan decided he wanted taking out recycling to be his chore. I didn’t realize until today that he can’t actually reach the lid on the big trash can, so this was his solution. 😍

Ready for his Skylander 6th Birthday. June 2017

Today was DZ’s actual birthday! So he got the fun of planning what we did. We had donuts for breakfast, some Forbidden Desert, a little time at the pool, a visit to the library, Ted’s with Grandma for lunch, and happy meals for dinner. Plus plenty of playtime with Serenity and Maia =) He even put Maia to bed. =)thda