Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Charley 4th Birthday- All the Rest

Well I've posted showing of Erin's train cake, Jeremy's train table, and the awesome track made out of painters tape. What's left is just pictures of everyone enjoying the party. It was a lot of fun. A relatively small crowd, and a perfect cold day to stay inside and play. Most importantly, Charley loved celebrating his birthday...and that makes it all worth it. 

Above you'll see our snacks in the 'freight yard'.  I quickly painted some small cardboard boxes set for recycling and glued Oreos on for wheels. I only decided to do this the day before but I'm glad I did...it was a cute touch. 

Note the Animal Car full of animal crackers, Lumber Car with pretzel rods, Train Wheel Car with Oreos and Coal Car with black licorice. For a healthy touch, there was also a broccoli forest and ranch lake.

We printed out a logo on parchment paper and stuck them around. The Service Station?...why, the bathroom of course. 

I made a little warning size about the hazards of toy trains. If you click the picture it will be big enough to read. And yes that is my foot x-ray. 

I made these pretty simply out of foam board, paint and duct tape. 

And everything after this is pretty self explanatory. Friends and family having a good time at the party. What a good day. 

They're all watching Charley's video here. 

Charley's 4th Birthday- The Tape Track

This is one of those ideas that was so simple, but I never would have thought of it if it weren't for Pintrest. I was trying to think of a game or activity we could do at Charley's party (aside from play with the train table) and came across this.

It was fun and the kids liked it, and because I'm not great at planning pin-the-tail-on-something type games, I loved it's simplicity. Painters tape track!

Of course I can say simple because I wasn't the one on my hands and knees laying it down the night before the party...but I was up making cake with Erin until 1:30. Let's just say Jeremy had a knee ache the next day.

Who needs a pinata? 

Jeremy even made a train station over by our toy area, and we pulled out all our ride on toys. The toy cabinet was also full of fire trucks, tractors and other assorted wheeled items. 

And everyone enjoyed it.

If it weren't for fear of hurting the carpet, I would have voted to leave it up for several week...but alas, it's gone now. We did leave it up for Monday's small group meeting so the kids could have one more crazy race night on it, and then utilized all those tiny little hands in the deconstruction process.

But you know, next time we're bored or snowed in...this might show up again.

Charley's 4th Birthday- The Train Table

The train theme to Charley's birthday party all started with Jeremy. We had decided to move Charley up to a full size bed, when Jeremy was able to haggle an almost free mattress from Value City when they screwed up our couch order. Silver lining indeed.

One we were settled on a full size mattress, Jeremy got working on specs to build an electric train table that was low enough to slide under his bed when he's not playing with it.

And well we all know Jeremy....he went overboard.

I asked him for a proper description for the blog, so that I don't get it wrong. It went something like this.

A 55x58 inch piece of plywood treated and covered with green grass carpet, with carpet sliders on the bottom for easy rolling. The track is MTH brand designed in a pretzel shape with an extra loop, O guage with MTH and Lionel brand train cars. The transformer is a vintage Lionel one that was restored an purchased online. The control box all hand made and wired by Jeremy.

It's pretty darn cool. 

Everyone thought so. Most of the party was simply spent playing with the train. Who needs pinatas? 

In lieu of gifts, we asked everyone to bring something less than 6 inches to contribute to the train village. People brought trees, animals, little people and buildings. It's all perfect!

One of my favorites is a bird feeder from my cousin Kelly that looks like a camper and fits perfect into the town. I love the creativity! 

Rafe even brought Charley a couple of trains from his childhood and they still work. What a sweet contribution. 

At the end of the day, Jeremy is very proud of his work and everyone really enjoyed the theme. The best part is that he can continue to play with this and add to it for years to come.....oh and Charley liked it too. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Charley's 4th Birthday- The Cake

Mom took pictures yesterday of Charley's 4th Birthday party and then sent me about a million good pics to sort through. To make it easier, I'm going to break it down into several posts.

The Lionel train table that Jeremy built was pretty darn exciting, but I think Erin's cake tied for the award of awesome achievement this year. She really outdid herself with the coolness. I think she should go on cake boss...the non-fondant edition.

The night before these parties, Erin always comes over and we destroy the kitchen. She is creative genius and I'm in charge of setting her up, assisting her, washing dishes, and making drinks. Sometimes I make something cool like a tree or lump of coal. That's my wheelhouse.

Why no pictures of the cake making? Because we're usually pretty dang busy and have icing on our fingers. This year we were done at about 1:30am.

Since trains and railroads was the theme, we made an old fashioned locomotive. Everything on this puppy was edible except the popsicle sticks and paper signs. The grass was coconut, the gravel made out of white chocolate chips, the tracks out of kit kats and the trees out of upside down sugar cones. 

It was all delicious and the kids LOVED it.

Erin used loaf pans to make the train cars, and artfully carved the first one to be the engine. The smokestacks were iced rice krispy treats. And my favorite part was the smoke, made out of popcorn and wire by me at an hour way past midnight. 

The CBR stood for Charley Bennington Railroad, and the 444 was an obvious nod to his birthday. 

It was nearly too pretty to chop up and eat but we did. That's what cakes are for right? 

What I really should take a picture of sometime is how we always manage to cover these things with plastic wrap to keep them moist overnight. Let's just say that this year there were 8 tall wine glasses involved. 

There's the cake goddess herself, enjoying her celebrity status at our birthday parties. Funny, she only had ice cream and no cake. Too much of a good thing?