Saturday, January 28, 2012

CLEAN Black Light Party

Sonshine turned 12 a week ago today, and I am pleased to announce that he is not yet taller than me. We know it's coming, we've been expecting it for months, but the big moment has not arrived! Kylen measured in at a mere 5' 5 1/4", 3/4" short of 5' 6''. HA!

We settled on a black light theme this year, which proved a bit of a challenge. Apparently black light parties often involve dancing and/or substance abuse. Those obviously weren't directions we wanted to go, but between bits and pieces gleaned from the net and adapting a handful of common games, we managed to get good results. And it may have been one of our easiest parties!

A huge advantage was our pre-owned arsenal of glowing gadgets: black lights, laser machine, plasma light, moon nightlight, and left-over glow sticks. We figured there was a treasure trove scattered 'round the house just waiting for illumination. This part actually proved to be a lot of fun, especially when we began our hunt in Kylen's room. A good portion of his LEGO collection was in the middle of the floor. We flipped the switch, plugged in the black light, and went scrounging. Greg and Kylen turned up enough glowing bricks to build some models while I looked around for other potential decorations.

Our search continued into the basement where we had some significant finds, not the least of which was dice and golf balls. I decided to use the crystal as a unifying base: an interesting combo with the neon. My plan was to light the pieces with glow sticks, though in the hustle and bustle they didn't quite get activated.

Uncolored velvet posters are great. Highlighters are incredible, particularly yellow, orange and pink. (There were enough girls there to justify a sprinkling of that color, with our options being so limited.) Kylen requested a visible schedule of events, which I created with highlighter on white cardboard. It looked fantastic -- wish we could have gotten a decent shot! A couple of his posters had enough white to serve as wall space filler. We purchased a small, portable black light for testing items in stores (with lots of hurriedly mumbled explanations, since it looked a lot like a gun): candles (all white was best), crepe paper (white again), tablecloth (white!), napkins (guess what color?!), and neon orange plastic cups called "Brights." Also, blue plastic spoons. The tablecloth was paper on plastic, so kids could doodle using highlighters in the tried and true colors. We also found neon plastic stars to scatter 'round.

Guests arrived to see the laser in its full glory. Everyone with vaulted ceilings should try one of these. The effect just can't be described in words. We gave demos of the aforementioned gadgets complete with a lecture by geeky Hubby on the science behind black lights. They played classic games of Hide and Seek, Heads Up 7-Up (with light sticks), Thief (a modified game I learned at my uncles, which I will post on sometime), 20Q (glows in the dark), and a quick dice game. One of our talented young guests gave us an impressive card/magic show that garnered lots of laughs!

All too soon, it was time for dessert and gifts. We served chocolate cake with homemade chocolate icing on an orange glowing platter. After a few final rounds of thief, the kids took home a clear bag with glowing noisemaker, stretchy ball with light, and highlighters (from Michaels), glow sticks, a mini black velvet poster, and a few plastic neon stars. This really was a fun theme!

I went crazy on the pictures.  Here is a sampling:

Crystal & Neon


Decorations & Favors

Invitation in Day

Invitation Under Black Light

Piano & Stars

Otherworldly LEGO Landscape

Greg's LEGO Creation

Under Black Light

Moon Nightlight

Kylen's LEGO Creation

Laser Machine

Velvet Poster in Day

Velvet Poster Under Black Light


Crystal & Neon


Blowing Out Candles with a Straw

Loved Our Guests' Table Art!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Post

I've been wanting to do a post, but life won't let me!  I have TWO typed up, but I need to do something before I can put them up.  And between birthday party, the art class I'm teaching at Kylen's co-op, and now being sick (appears to be a mild flu), I haven't been able to!  Hopefully I'll feel all better soon and return to my normal schedule.  ~Blessings!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Understanding the Times -- Book Review

A little over three years ago, Karla and her husband kindly invited us to their home Bible study. They were about to begin a curriculum from Summit Ministries called Understanding the Times. We were a little hesitant at first, because the title sounded a lot like prophecy dogma, something we weren't interested in. When we discovered it was actually about worldviews, we gave it a try. And we've been going ever since!

Of course, this particular study ended ages ago. The group portion was spent watching videos and discussing, while the reading was to be done at home. Obviously, I fell behind, since I just completed the book today!  It's large and crammed full of information with a chapter each devoted to theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. In each of these chapters, Christianity is compared and contrasted with several other worldviews.

I often found myself wanting to cheer or share what I learned. It helped me understand better why Christianity is superior to other worldviews. Not that I needed any convincing, but it's wonderful having my beliefs reinforced with lots of solid arguments and facts. Unless something better comes along, I plan to go through it again with Kylen in upper high school. (It's designed for 12th grade and addresses many mature topics.)

From David Noebel's introduction:

Competing worldviews are breaking out everywhere . . . They are propagated at newsstands and on the evening news and played out at the United Nations, in the halls of Congress, and most assuredly at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, UC Berkeley, and yes, even the local community college.

When we consider the tug-of-war between and among worldviews that currently rages in America and around the world, we tend to think of the battle mostly in terms of political and ethical issues that divide those who hold traditional Christian ideas and values from those who hold various liberal/radical Humanist views (i.e., Secular, Marxist, Cosmic, and Postmodern) or who espouse the beliefs and practices of historical Islam.

But this battle for the minds and hearts of young people encompasses much more than politics and ethics. As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we need to consider how our commitment to Him affects not only our political and ethical convictions, but also the way we think and act about theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. This collection of convictions is what we call a worldview. And it is in the arena of worldviews that one of the greatest battles of our time is now being waged 24/7 in each of the ten areas of thought listed above.

This book is about these competing worldviews. Its goal is to help Christian students recognize the significance of some of the most influential ideas and values prevalent in our non-Christian culture and to understand the unbiblical, unrealistic, and yes, even irrational assumptions about reality from which they arise. If we understand the real differences . . . we will be better prepared to love, live, and defend God's truth as revealed in the Bible and in His Creation. A clear understanding of these six worldviews will not only help protect us from deception by grounding us more firmly in the Christian faith, but it will also give us tools to more effectively witness for Christ in these conflicting times.

Monday, January 9, 2012

He Still Brings Me Cadbury Eggs

It's my favorite candy, but they must be original. Only original will do.

My grandma won't eat them. She says the yellow center reminds her of a real yolk. There may be a back story in there about a baby chick lost during childhood, but I can't recall for sure.

Some men bring their wives flowers. Mine did that for a few years, but he switched to Cadbury Eggs. Probably because he was the one who got stuck arranging the flowers. Don't they look too long? I'd make him trim them. Then, I'd rearrange them myself. Don't they still look too long? He'd cut them again; I'd rearrange. And so it would go, poor man.

Besides that, Cadbury eggs last longer -- I can pack 'em around for months (as stored energy around my middle). And now that Easter candy is being sold at Christmas, the season for consumption is long indeed! Sweet!

My hubby loves me. He brings me Cadbury Eggs.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thank You, Lord, for a Good Year!

We thank you, Dear Heavenly Father, for a good year rich in blessings. Be with us through 2012, help us to glorify you in all things, and please be with our friends and loved ones in their trials. Draw them closer to you. We praise you, Lord! We praise you!