Thursday, March 31, 2011

Listen to my Thirty-day song challenge (+ a few extra... )

Well, my 30+ days are over, and boy, it's been a lot of fun! In case you couldn't join us on Facebook, or just would really like to hear them again in order, I've created a playlist of all the songs I posted. You'll still have to check FB to find out why I posted them though.... ;)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

how to have a harry potter birthday party

Some handy tips to keep in mind:

Have the proper attitude. You'll need to not be afraid to get really silly, to be a big enough fan that you enjoy messing around with all the minutiae, and to know when enough is enough and you're getting obsessive and it's time to stop.

Read the books. Especially if you've only seen the movies. You might even want to read a bit of it while everyone is arriving, or needs a little downtime. The books are so rich in detail and humor, and when you read them together as a family, it really adds to the fun.

Plan, plan, plan. Our day involved the guests getting sent an acceptance letter to Hogwarts on the school letterhead, and when they arrived, they were handed a notebook with the day's schedule and some activities to do until everyone was present. We made many, many, many things in advance: workbooks (Google "Harry Potter coloring pages" or "Harry Potter activities" to find loads of free resources), capes made out of trash bags for the kids to decorate and wear, pretend Potions supplies that we gleefully labeled - (like "powdered lacewings" that was really the contents of a jello packet), their wands, and the homemade packages of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans that Sophie chose the flavors for from this list. Fonts were from The Daily Prophet (Harry P and Lumos) and were printed on big Avery labels and cut out with fun scissors.

Have a schedule. The students were greeted by Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, got sorted into their houses with the sorting hat, chose their wands, decorated their capes, and went to Potions class (messy things in the kitchen), Transfiguration class (Shrinky Dinks; we pointed our wands and yelled "Reducto!" at the toaster oven while they were cooking), and Divination class (we pretended to read their palms and predict funny things). As they completed each class, they got a sticker to put next to the subject in their workbook. At the end we had a graduation celebration with Butterbeer (root beer) and cauldron cakes (cupcakes). All of this took about an hour and a half but could have been longer if we'd wanted. The awesome thing is that we're doing it again this weekend for Peter's birthday!

HAVE FUN! I suspect a few of the parents thought we were nuts. We didn't care.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Labyrinth in New Harmony
Labyrinth in New Harmony by chrisjuno

I went again on the amazing Mother's Retreat this past weekend (with my amazing Mother!) At the retreat center they had a prayer labyrinth! I've wanted to walk a labyrinth for ages!

The story of the prayer or mediation labyrinth is said to have its roots in the faithful who couldn't make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, so they would walk the path of the labyrinth in a prayerful state - some say on their knees - and follow its ways.

I was fortunate enough to have lovely weather, and the whole area to myself. I picked up a small stone from outside the labyrinth, and began to follow the path. As I slowly wound my way in, I began to pray for my family, friends, and even people who I was upset with. When I finally got to the center flower, I stood quietly for a while, just enjoying the peace and the lovely view.

Then I left my stone in the center of the flower, and made my way back, this time thanking God for blessing me with all the people I had prayed for on the way in, and letting the others go who I needed to forgive. I could have spent hours out there. But I believe I left my cares back in the center flower with my small piece of quartz.

I'm planning another trip back - this time with my family - when the weather gets warmer. I'm interested to hear from others who have ever walked a labyrinth. What was your experience?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

the Thirty Day Song Challenge

Starting late, but doing the Thirty Day Song Challenge!

I'll be posting this on FB only - so if you're not already on the list, come join us! And watch this space.... I'm working on a big post about something very cool!

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - your favourite cover song
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to hate but now love
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year