Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yes, The Boy Is NOW 3!!!

Last Friday my little ray of sunshine turned three.  He is such a huge Pixar fan and it all started with Toy Story.  He has most Pixar movies memorized by heart and quotes them as he watches them.   When he plays he tends to re-enact the movies with toys.  This past Saturday we celebrated his birthday with a party. This was his first party where he invited friends as well.  We were planning to have it outdoors like last year's party.  You can click here to see his Sesame Street Birthday Party.  I made foot prints out of purple construction paper in the shape of Buzz Lightyear's feet with "TAJ" in black ink on the right foot.  Out of brown construction paper I made boot foot prints for Woody, again on the right foot I wrote "TAJ" in the black ink.  Finally with black construction paper I made horse shoes for Bullseye and wrote "T" "A" and "J" on three of the four prints.  I had planed on staggering them like I did with the Sesame Street foot prints last year.
Problem was Mother Nature was not cooperating with us this year.  It looked like we were going to be lucky enough to get the first 30 minutes or hour outside before the rain hit.  We then had to quickly go with plan B.  The table and chairs will have to be set up inside and we would try the games outdoors.  We set up the game area.
 Todd thought a little basketball would be nice while they waited their turn with some of the other games.
We had The Claw game for the children to play.  Each child would be able to get at least six things with The Claw.  We had planes, bracelets, Tootsie Rolls, and Tootsie Pops.  You can click here for more details on how to make The Claw.
 Next we had a coloring station.  We made coloring books for each child and a box of big crayons.  We thought the books could go home with the child and a package of crayons.  We found the crayons at The Dollar Tree and Mr. Potato was on the box too.  How perfect right?  You can find the coloring book pages by clicking here.  We chose 16 of the simpler images since they were three year olds.  The covers were cardstock paper and we printed an image of Woody and Buzz.  We took a three hole puncher and punched holes on one side of the covers and pages and then tied ribbon through the holes to use as binding. 
Finally we had our photo booth set up.  You can click here to read about how we made the Toy Story Photo Booth.
 Our little birthday boy playing hoops while he waited for his friends.
Man I just love my grandson so much!

We removed most of our furniture from our porch and set up two long tables and chairs for the guest to sit.
Each of the tables had a centerpiece I made.  Click here to see how I made them

We also removed our ottoman and moved our chair to make room for one table in our small living
room. I made this centerpiece originally for the food table but we used our counters instead so I used it for the kitchen table.

Mother Nature did not hold out so we had to move all the games quickly inside and set them up in our main living room on the first floor of our house.  The children played The Claw and Mr. Potato Head Craft Station.

 We had fun with the photo booth.  Click here to see how we made our Toy Story Photo Booth.
 Above: My step daughter Emily with my husband.
Below: My husband and me.

 Above:  Taj the birthday boy (in the middle) with a couple of his friends.
Below: My older two boys, Matthew and Joshua.

 Above: Joshua and his girlfriend
Below:  This little friend loved the photo booth. 
I think I took a picture of her with every prop.
She was so adorable.
 Our cat, Tilly (nearly 21 years old) joined in on the fun for the day.

 His guest had a choice of hamburgers and/or hot dogs.  My husband, his Papa braved the rain and grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs. 

We also had Ham and Beans (I forgot to take a picture of them.  They had a cute sign with Ham from Toy Story.  Taj loves baked beans with bacon in it.) We had a fruit tray and veggie tray as well as...

 The Slinky Dog Pasta was a hit.  
Recipe will be posted at the end.
I did not have any leftovers.  It was well liked.
The children played with toys some while they waited for the cake.  Originally during this time we had planned on the children using giant bubble wands we bought for them.  After a little while it was time for cake.
 The cupcakes I used a Sugar Free Cake Mix and Sugar Free Frosting.
This way my husband could have some and worry less about his diabetes.
The Aliens' antenas were green Mike & Ike candy 
and the ears were green Fruit Roll ups I cut into triangles.  
Everything else was frosting I piped.
Decorating both the cupcakes and the Buzz cake took 9 hours.
I am definitely not a fast cake decorator.
Taj loved the cake I decorated for him.  He tried and tried to stick his little fingers into it to taste it.  I think I caught him over a dozen times attempting to reach the cake.  Finally it was time for his taste after we sung to him.  He is so funny, he did this last year too, he becomes so embarrassed when everyone sings Happy Birthday to him.

Taj of course had a piece of cake and a cupcake.

After cake it was time for the presents.  We went to the porch to open the presents.  It was so nice and cool out there with the windows open and the ceiling fan going.  The rain had stopped as well by that time, not that the rain would affect anything.

 Look at his lips in the above and below picture.
 He received so many fun gifts and he wanted to open up all the toys right NOW!  When you are three you do not have a whole lot of patience, especially if someone missed his nap time too.  Nana and Papa bought him a Cars Tricycle and it has all the whistles and bells too.  Seriously, the tricycle makes noises, has lights, and music.
 Below is a picture of Taj playing with Rex from the Toy Story.
You can nearly hear him ROARing.
Before each child left they received a Goody Bag from Taj as a thank you for coming to my party.  Click here to see how I made the bags as well as the Mr. Potato Head craft station. 
The goody bags had crazy straws, cars or a little pony, bubbles, a small board book, Toy Story fruit snacks, and Toy Story stickers

He definitely had a great birthday and seemed to enjoy the party.  When it came time for him to go, he ran up to me and thanked me for his party.  I just love that little guy.

Slinky Dog Pasta

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution
(For the party, I doubled the recipe.)

  • 1 pound of uncooked rotini pasta
  • 2 cans of evaporated milk
  • 2 cans of condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of shredded jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of  pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups of hot water  (You could add 1/2 cup of hot water before serving if the consistency does not look right to you.  Mine was just perfect.)
  • 1 package of hot dogs
Now you see why it was so appropriately named slinky dog pasta.  You have the rotini pasta and the hot dogs.  *wink*

  1. Spray insert with non stick cooking spray. 
  2. Add milk, soup, hot water and salt to crock pot insert and stir together. Only if your insert can fit into the microwave.  If not then you will need to add this to a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Next you will need to heat the mixture in the microwave for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Carefully removed from the microwave and slowly add both shredded cheeses to mixture and whisk until melted. 
  5. Next add uncooked pasta and mix well.
  6. Cut the hot dogs into pieces and add to the mixture and mix well.
  7. Cook on low for about 2 1/2 hours. Slinky Dog Pasta could possibly be thick, if so add 1/2 of a cup of very hot water after cooking and stir together to smooth out the sauce.  
Temperature on slow cookers can really vary, so if yours runs hot or cold adjust cooking time accordingly.  Enjoy!



  1. Your photos are so perfect. The one with his head down is priceless. What a fabulous Grammie you are! The weather didn't cooperate but it really didn't rain on your parade after all!

  2. What a sweet party! The Mr. Potato Head crafts are the cutest, Jolene. I Cannot Believe that Ty is three already! WOW!


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