Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Because She's Awake...Theres NO place like home...details 3

After sleeping for 22 of the last 24 hours Ashley Kate is awake this morning (at 4am!) and she's shopping.  I'm laughing at her as she navigates from commercial to commercial(she LOVES commercials) on youtube.  She's made it abundantly clear this morning that she needs some glow pets to add to her pillow pet collection!  I guess I'll be figuring out where to order some today:)

Anyway, since we are up I thought I would work on another party detail blog and try to make some progress there.  It may be a long one because she's rested and now we are up for a little while.

I'll start with a few close ups of the decor and room layout.  Remember you can always click on these collages to get a larger, close up view of the pictures.

We created large clouds out of foam core and painted quotes from the movie on them.  We hung 12 of these large clouds randomly around the space.  We also created 6 "rainbows" by making chandeliers from crepe paper and embroidery hoops.  The streamers were left long to hang from the ceiling down toward the floor.  You can see one of the rainbows in the middle picture on the top row and again a few are seen in the large picture on the bottom that gives a view of the layout of the room.  I was SO please with the final look of the clouds and rainbows.  I think it added a depth to the space.  
If you look at the back of the bottom picture you can see the gingham covered tables where we served up Auntie Em's down home cookin.  Dinner was so yummy.  Comfort foods of fried chicken, potato salad, beans, yeast rolls, and deliciously warm apple and peach cobblers with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  We offered tea, lemonade, and water to our guests all served from a mason jar complete with a striped paper straw in colors that represented aspects of the movie.  Red for the ruby slipper, yellow for the yellow brick road, green for the Emerald City, etc.

The two bottom pictures along with the top center show a fairly good representation of how the forest was put up.  It sat in the enter of the space and the Lion and the Tin Man could be found inside the forest.

I added a few pictures of signs that were painted to add just a little something extra to help tie in the theme. We had directional arrows that said things like, "Watch out for flying monkeys"," The Emerald city," "follow the yellow brick road", "there's no place like home", and "the wicked witch of the West".

We also painted signs for the outside leading our guests into the venue.  You could find large yellow arrows that said follow along the drive.  Another sign that said "watch out for tornadoes".  It was painted just like the one you see here in the picture that says, "I have a feeling were not in kansas anymore."

When added all together I think these elements just made the whole thing work.  I was so nervous about the whole thing not knowing if what I had dreamed up would actually work in the space.  I kept thinking it may be too much to try and work in the different areas of the movie all in the same room, but in the end I LOVED it all.   

We designed a little game for the party.  It was a scavenger hunt of sorts made out of riddles that led each of the guests to a different character of the movie.  
Blake and I worked on writing these this summer while we were on the road.  A few of the phrases I found on line, but most of it is original and the fun we had while trying to figure out what to do next is such a great memory.  We laughed a lot with some good friends late into the night while on the road playing ball.  

If your interested in seeing the whole thing just email me and I'll write them out for you.

This next picture shows a few of the little details we created for the party and our guests to enjoy.

For the boys we made axes out of foam core and tin man funnel hats.  I bought the funnels in the automotive department at Walmart for. 88 cents each.  My mom attached a stretchy cord to them and we had instant party hats.  Too cute.  For the little girls we hand glittered and stoned crowns and wands just like Glenda the good witch had.  We used very long dowel rods to make them more like the one she carried in the movie.  They were really beautiful with long ribbons and jewels attached to them.  Each of the guests were given either a picnic basket or tin man pail to play along during the party.  They followed the riddles in the scavenger hunt and approached each character to collect a piece of their favors.  I'm searching for pictures of each individual piece they were given and I'll show those in a later post.  They received a heart from the Tin Man, a basket or pail from Dorothy, the badge of courage from the Lion, a diploma of thinkology and a smarty from the Scarecrow, a lollipop from the Mayor of Munchkin land, a crystal ball from the Witch, a certificate of completion and an Emerald City rock candy.  In each basket was a gingham liner embroidered with the words "thank you very sweetly".

The riddles led the kids on an adventure to meet each character and receive their prize.  I loved the interaction between the guests and the characters.  Some characters asked them to complete a task or play a game before being awarded the item.  Others, like Glenda, they just had to figure out who she was and then introduce themselves to her to receive their crown and wand or axe and funnel hat.  It was sooooo much fun and a great way to get everyone involved in the party.

You can see a few images of the games being played in the collage above.  We put the heart back in the Tin man by playing the Tin Man Heart Toss. We took a garden shepherds hook and made a base for it so it would stand freely.  Spray painted it with silver and then we hung two pails high on the hooks.  The kids took wooden hearts and tossed them as high as they could trying to land them into the buckets.   When you successfully landed a heart into the pail you were awarded with a "heart".  A necklace for the girls and a heart sucker for the boys.  The Tin Man may also have given you a little "kiss".  Blake had a pail of Tin Man kisses to hand out(hershey kisses)  to those who came to meet him.  You can see the Lion loading a bucket of water in the top photo and then see my niece throwing it on the wicked witch to melt her in the center picture.  It was sooo much fun to watch the kids be "brave" enough to melt the witch.  They then had to grab a crystal ball from her basket and run it back to the lion to show that they found enough courage to earn their badge.  Emily aka the Lion would then pin the badge on their chest.  You can see our bucket of water was actually paper party shreds.  Allie the Scarecrow is shown handing out diplomas and congratulating the guests for being such a smarty and figuring out the riddle. I've also shown an image of the lollipops handed out along the yellow brick road from the Mayor.

These next images were captured by Katie our photographer.  I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE every one of them.  My sweet Ash wanted to play the Tin Man game and her daddy's hands can be seen holding the pail down close enough to her so she could place the "heart back in his chest".  Precious girl.  I cried buckets of tears over these images.  My favorite moment in the entire night.  She was so brave that night.  Trying so hard to enjoy what she could even though her body was struggling.  We were grateful for this moment and I'll never forget watching her play at her party.  

I'm going to finish this post with a few of my favorite pictures.  I love nothing more than to see those who attend Ashley's birthdays having a good time.  The smiles on their faces bless me so very much.  I hope you enjoy seeing them too.

These are just a few of our 99 guests who came to celebrate Ashley Kate's 8th birthday.  Each one is loved so very much.  They are precious to our family and we were honored to have them all with us that night.  


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