I've been missing... after Lydia's birthday, we used her money to get a mp3 player. It was what she really really wanted. I plugged it in to my trusty laptop, my security went crazy and said a virus was coming from my usb port...then CRASH.
Yes indeed...everything on it went to cyber heaven. Luckily I was smart and had most of the pics, documents etc.. on usbs or sd cards.
Today I spent 4+ hours working on it and got it to be re-newed. This means I have a fresh computer...with no links etc.. but it is working well and I get to start over.
So, as soon as I have some more time, I have lovely things to share. Maliea had an amazing birthday. We have created a cool outdoor fun area. There are beautiful things popping up in the yard. So many things to share! I will try to get pics etc.. loaded so I can show you all what fun we have been having.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Our hunt was amazing. The girls were running so fast, Lydia had a hard time keeping up but she was having so much fun.
Funny note: When writing in invisible writing...sometimes a letter gets left out by mistake. Luckily the girls were very forgiving.
Ohhhhh come on, you are so close to the clue. It took several times of looking through the books before they found the hidden vial.
Quayde played his part so well. Not only did he do the video clue, he welcomed them to the main office and congratulated them on being successful. Once they made it to the hidden room, they entered in the dark. We had flashing red lights and glow sticks all over the walls. It was really neat looking.
The camera couldn't capture all the flashing lights, but it really was a intriguing environment.
I got the sparkler candles, they really put off some sparks! The girls each got a bomb cupcake with a candle and I asked them when they blew it out to make a wish for Lydia. Lydia really managed to blow out all 11 candles. Can you believe it??? She made it to 11, it makes me so very happy!
There are so many more moments and pictures. It was truly an awesome party. Even though she was totally exhausted from the evening, she was running around, laughing and singing way past her bedtime. It was so fun and worth the work to have her so very happy.
Lydia and I put together 'debriefing packets' instead of traditional party goodie bags. We made a certificate for each girl saying that they had completed the basic agent course. These included a flash light, glow sticks, sunglasses, pen, notebook, torture device, magnifier and a decoder wheel. The evidence bags had tnt (pop rocks), ring pops, USA tootsie rolls, gold foil chocolate coins, and 1000 grand bars.
Sign to show where the house was. Important for the guest to know where to in-process.
We had the table decorated with specimen dishes and magnifying glasses. Lydia was so thrilled, she gave it a big thumbs up. The schedule was held to closely. We had invited 10 girls and Thayne was going to play too so everything had to be fairly organized or it would be chaos.
Our schedule was as follows:
5:00 to 5:30 In-Processing ( This included getting dressed up and their picture taken for their badges, fingerprinting and the Agency Entry test, the word search puzzle I made)
5:30 to 6:00 Dinner
6:00 to 6:45 Agent Training During this we covered Observation, Listening skills, Disguises, Concealment, Signals and deceit, and Codes.
6:45 to 7:30 The Mission - scavenger hunt to find the main office of headquarters
This clue held a "blank" piece of paper. They had to use the paint brush and watercolor vial they found earlier to read the invisible writing to find the next clue.
Our garden security was keeping track of another clue. First they had a clue saying that they didn't," Gno Me".
This one was up in the top of the garage. It took them a little bit to figure out to go out past the front to the big power box.
The balloons were bombs. They were each filled with a clue that the girls had to put together to make a sentence. I also had clues hidden under their cups that they had used at dinner. There was a treat with fruit snacks and another clue in the fireplace. The hollowed out book was where the watercolor was hidden. By the time they got to the last clue, it was a video tape of Quayde leading them to a room where the caged bird sings. They then had to find their way to our attic room.
7:30 to 8:00 We had bomb cupcakes and finished the celebration.
It went super fast the girls were very quick with the clues! More to come......
Monday, May 16, 2011
This year for Lydia's birthday she wanted a party. We thought and thought about what she liked and came up with a spy theme. I think that receiving an awesome invitation sets the whole tone for a party. So we took a picture of Lydia and I used Picnik to alter and create the Polaroid look. Then we made copies to go with the invite.
I used several free fonts from the DaFont site, one called CIA code and two different Top Secret ones. The black folder is just a piece of card stock folded in two then folded up two inches and secured on the sides with double stick tape. We added the picture of Lydia and a black balloon. They were exactly 1 oz so it only cost .44 cents to mail. I was going to hand deliver them but mailing was cheaper than gasoline.
I picked up the plastic badges and clips for less than $4 at a discount store. Using the CIA symbol as clip art, I typed up the badge and printed on card stock. When the girls arrive we will dress them up..take their picture and then finish assembling their badges while they eat dinner.
Part of their in-processing will be doing the word find. I just used an online word find generator
and included the girls' names in it for fun along with spy words like: case, document, undercover etc....
We are going to take their finger prints to use in a matching game later in the evening. The Boy Scouts site had a great page for fingerprinting.
During the evening, the gifts will disappear and be taken to a secret location. I have been working to create a hunt to find clues to that location. I am taking a book and hollowing it out to hide one of the clues. First I glued the edges of the book with white glue using a paint brush. Then taking a craft knife began cutting through the pages.
It took me longer to cut through than I expected it would and my corners are not clean. I cut through down about an inch and a half. It will hold a vial of watercolor paint to reveal the invisible writing on a clue they will find. I again used white glue to seal the inside of the pages where I cut. I am thinking of painting the inside silver. There are still many preparations and I will post more pictures as I finish them. We are having a lot of fun getting ready.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It's Chaiya's birthday!! The first stop was to get some decent Mexican food. When her plate came she thought that it was a lot of food. It was! Believe it or not she ate quite a substantial quantity of what was on that plate.
Me in delight...enjoying a chicken fajita! We also had fried ice cream then being quite stuffed we headed north. Took the Metro up to Chinatown to get to the Smithsonian's Gallery of American Art.
A seriously happy birthday girl!
Three floors with tons of different galleries! We got there about 2 o'clock and did not depart until after 7 pm! This was my favorite painting of the day.
See that line on the floor....Guess what happens if you cross it! Ask Chaiya how she knows. LOL
Isn't this amazing? I took this picture. I am very proud because it's the ceiling in the middle, looking out to the sky. So COOL!!!
Part of Chaiya's amazing day was finding the Art-O-Mat machine! I gifted her with three pieces of her choosing. The weird thing at the bottom is actually a cactus blossom turned into a mini basket with crystals in it. She already owns a few pieces from another machine back in Az. I think it is a quest for her to get many pieces from many machines.
I maybe wrong but I believe Chaiya loves impressionists best.
Tammy...look I found the ever elusive penny machine!
We had the best time. There was so much to soak in and discover! One of our favorites was a piece with moving lights by David Hockney. I took a long video of it and how it moved and changed color but I can't get it to load all the way. Amazing stuff!
Happy Birthday my amazing art loving girl. We had the best time together! Our evening was topped off by the local Haggen Dazs shop giving away free ice cream cones and we got the best soft pretzels ever from the street. After a quick stop into Urban Outfitters, we jumped back on the Metro and headed home to a birthday cake made by Maliea.