Tuesday, January 08, 2008

We have a 4 year old????

Ethan turned 4 on Sunday (is this really possible??), and he chose to have a Diego birthday party. For those of you without 4 year old boys, Diego is a cartoon on Nick Jr. with a Spanish-speaking boy (Diego) who is an animal rescuer in the jungle. My kids can't get enough of this show. They have learned what a tapir is, a scarlet macaw, and jaguar, and even a marmoset. It makes me laugh when Simon tries to say jaguar - he says, "Aaaa-arrrrr" and then he grins. He is trying lots of new words these days.

Coming up with ideas for this party, I was a little lost at first. The party store in town didn't have much, just plates and cups, stuff like that. So I got on www.nickjr.com and found all kinds of printable crafts for the show FOR FREE and an idea for making a Diego costume. Since I did all that sewing for the Christmas program a few weeks ago, I have been in the mood to sew, so this was perfect!

Diego Vests
Walmart had tan cotton fabric in their clearance bin for $1/yrd, and I made 14 vests out of 5 yards. For a pattern, I just used a vest that my boys already had, folded it in half in the middle longways, and laid it on the fold of my fabric. On the website were printable Animal Rescuer Center badges to iron on the front.

No Animal Rescuer would be complete without his Rescue Pack! I used pieces of felt to make a bag for each of the kids to carry their rescue supplies in. This was so easy! It took about 20 minutes to sew up all the sides, and then Ethan glued on the eyes and mouth. He had so much fun!

To start the party, our Animal Rescuers geared up to save animals. First, they made a spotting scope out of toilet paper rolls, construction paper, and Diego stickers. This is how Diego sees an animal in distress.

Then my *staff members* (AKA Merikate and Brooklyn) handed out a
Diego video watch that I had printed on my computer and laminated for each kid. Everyone picked an animal to place on their video screen, and this would be the animal that they would rescue later!

Next, Dave designed a 4 part obstacle course for the kids to go through to rescue their animals. Keep in mind that these are little kids. It was nothing fancy, but they loved it. First they had to go under the bridge (a bar taped across the doorway), over the slide, through the jungle (vines taped over a doorway), and over the mountain (the ottoman covered with a blanket).

And they did it over, and over, and over again. :)

Then each Animal Rescuer grabbed their flashlight and headed to the dark basement to hunt for snakes. Rubber toy snakes, that is. Here they all are, after a good hunt.

I can't believe that Ethan is 4 - it seems like we just brought him home from the hospital! He has grown up so much this year, learning to talk, potty training, sleeping on the top bunk, learning to ride a bike. And he is developing a compassionate heart too. I've treasured the moments I've seen him show concern for his brother and others who are hurt.

This little boy never stops for a minute, but we love him so very much. Thank you, Lord, for sharing him with us! Like his dad prayed at his party, help us to raise him to seek after You and become a man who loves and lives for You.

Happy 4th birthday, Ethan!


bandanachick said...

Happy Birthday E!
I can't believe you have a 4 year old either...!
That party you put on looks like so much fun, you are SO creative. What a fun mom you are. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are creative! Looks like they were having a wonderful time. Mom

Eryn said...

holy cow! what a party! it looks so fun, i wish i could have attended. i cant believe you did all of that. way to go. did you make the snake cake too?

Kelly said...

Your party turned out so cute, rach! You did an amazing job and it looks like the kids loved it too! I can't believe Ethan is 4 already! Wow! I am praying right along with you and Dave that Ethan would grow to seek after the Lord with all His heart and serve Him. Love you!

Reagan said...

Wow those are great ideas! Everything you did was spot on with the theme Ethan chose and it sounds like they had a lot of fun!

Christina said...

Your kids birthday parties must be the event of the year for all their friends! Was this how birthday parties were thrown at your house?
I love how creative you get with the kids. Getting them involved in crafts and games while following a theme is such a great idea.

Andy & Jenica said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one so impressed! I was feeling guilty about the parties I've thrown.

You usually enjoy what you're good at, so I'm sure you had a great time also.

Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Michelle said...

WOW! Congratulations to the big 4 year old.

Do you mind imparting some of your creative ideas my way? I'm going to be doing a Valentine's theme for Patricia's first birthday. Even with such an easy theme, I'm sure it'll be NO WHERE near as neat as your's was.

dave & rachel said...

Haha, my husband makes fun of me too. :) I am just into this kind of stuff, I guess. And yes, this is the kind of birthday party we had growing up. My mom is very creative!

Yes, I made the snake cake. It is 2 bundt cakes, each cut in half. www.familyfun.com had the idea for that. That site is where I would start for an idea for a Valentine's party, Michelle. They have the best theme ideas!

A friend of mine recently threw a princess party, and she made little felt purses out of felt for the party favors and then cut out a heart out of felt and glued it to the front. That might be something you could do! And if you don't sew, just cut 2 pieces of felt, and hot glue the sides and bottom instead. That should work just as well.

You could also have a craft time and let the kids make their own valentine's cards or boxes or something.

I am not sure on games? Maybe the website would have ideas. Hope that helps! You are brave to throw a party in the midst of moving!

Kim & Dave said...

Love the cake! That is TOO cool!

Super creative, I'd say!

Beth said...

I'm definitely impressed. I have a party to throw in a couple of weeks for Nate's first birthday. I'm inspired to put a lot more effort into it now!

erin said...

um, hello coolest mom ever! you rock.


meesh said...

Wow! I can't imgaine throwing a party like that! Lucky boys!! So fun! You are SO creative!

Rory said...

What a fun party! What a FUN mom! Thanks for the Family Fun website.

earthchick said...

Oh my gosh, this is FANTASTIC. (found your blog by searching "Diego rescue pack pattern") My twin sons will turn 4 in May and now I am seriously thinking of copying everything you did. Really cool stuff - esp. love the vests and rescue packs you made. So fun! (and I love that you had your son help with making the rescue packs). Awesome.

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