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Monday, October 12, 2015

A Small Birthday

This blog is mainly for my family who did not make it to Rhi's birthday party b/c of the torrential rain in SC!

Rhianwen turned 9, and her party was actually smaller scale than previous years! I think she may be to the point of having close friends and enjoying the thought of a shared experience with them, but maybe not! We'll see if next year she requests a huge bash.

This year she wanted a Carmen Sandiego mystery birthday party. This ended up being quite fun and an easy way for the kids to feel like there was a mystery without it being really sinister. Plus, geography to boot....yes, please!

We started out with an easy craft: making secret agent badges with fingerprints.

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I'm not sure what Boom! A7: Boom! is, but it sounds like a pretty intense skill.


Then we had snacks featured from various parts of the world...pretty easy and normal since the US really is such a melting pot.

The main part of the party was the hunt for the stolen detective gear. Carmen Sandiego left cryptic clues and obstacles along the way to the goody bags/detective kits. Each clue was left in a different "country", and they had to guess what country each clue was talking about and find that country somewhere in the house (I printed out pictures from each country along with the picture of the country highlighted on a world globe and stuck them up in various rooms) in order to find the next clue.

This is a list of the real clues, there was one point where there were multiple clues with only one real clue. They had to match Carmen's fingerprint to the real clue to find that one. Of course, I did not have the answers on their clues; yes, I know, the poetry, when existent, is horrendous...Carmen is better at theft than inspired writing ;0):

*From this city are people forbidden. If you come after me, a dragon will meet you. (Forbidden City China)


*I’m not a little girl walking in line, but I do say poo-poo to the tiger in the zoo. If you should come, I will say “Oui” as you chase me over this capital city. You will have to crack my code to find the next place I’ll be. (Paris, France)


*You’ll need oxygen to get to me, a guide, snow gear, and determination. There is not mountain taller that you could climb to get to me; you’ll have to detonate the bombs to find the next clue! (Mt. Everest Nepal/Tibet) detonate bombs to find clue


*Next you’ll find tigers and perhaps Babaji, but certainly you will never get to me. Find the fingerprint of Carmen left from henna to identify the clue she left. (India) fingerprint clues


*Now it’s “down under” where you’ll have to come, be careful not to hit the reefs, get eaten by great whites, or crocs. If you’re lucky, you’ll find koalas but not me! My next clue to read is also tricky (invisible ink). (Australia)


*These ancient kings left curses, traps, and wires to prevent robbers from stealing their treasure in their tombs. You can find these tombs in the desert and a little trap of my own! (Egypt -- laser course)

*Here you will find the Amazon (no, not the store), the large river through the jungle and Sugarloaf Mountain. Watch out for piranhas and anacondas...but you won’t see me! (Brazil) (dropped map leading to the USA & the treasure)

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Here they are having to break Carmen's code to read the clue that will lead them to the next destination.

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The clue was hidden in some bombs (balloons) that had to be detonated. Wally hid this one so well, that it almost got thrown away.
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This was a laser field that they had to cross to get to the next clue.
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They did recover their detective kits and loved the invisible ink pens. These things have been used on almost every surface they thought appropriate...if you ever come to our house with a black light, you may find some inappropriate surfaces with invisible ink on them as well! 

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Got them out all in one blow.
Thanks to my friend Alexa for all of the photos! She grabbed my camera and became the official photographer of the party!

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Love at first sight...her own Kindle, thanks family who helped with the purchase...she was totally thrilled and uses it daily. I think it makes her feel very grown up.

Rhianwen's actual birthday was the next day. 

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She got serenaded in bed, poor girl.
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The boys picked out a Lego Friends Lighthouse for her. She was SO excited, as you can see.
Things she loves to do: write, she is always in the middle of at least 3-4 writing projects...plays, ballets, stories, poems. The other day I found her trying to write a story in the notes section of her Kindle...I have yet to mention Amazon's self-publishing angle. She loves crafting things out of paper, glue, and tape. She loves drawing; she can generate so many pieces of paper a day that it's really difficult to know what to do with it all...as I've said to multiple people, just think, if she draws 5 things/day over a year, that would be over 1,500 pieces of paper that I have to find a place for. She loves music and has written her own compositions over this past year. She loves discussing, questioning, and arguing. I keep reminding myself, this is a strength in the correct circumstances. Teaching her when that is is always a challenge. She loves involving others in her life...and often assumes that everybody else will love doing what she does and WANT to be involved. She loves dancing...ballet, modern, and jazz! I'm thankful for some fun Christian jazz dance type music that she can have fun with at home. 

So thankful for this girl who first made me a mommy. Our personalities are so opposite in many ways, but I just pray God will continue to refine me as I parent this intense energetic outgoing emotional girl! And I pray that she will continue to give me grace each day and get to the end of it knowing she is loved so very much. 



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