Hooray for October!

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Isaiah & Samuel’s Star Wars Birthday Party

As I have been planning Isaiah’s 6th birthday party (coming up at the end of the month!), I realized that I never blogged his 5th birthday party. Oops! Yes, it’s almost been a year, but I want to still share it. Better late than never, right?

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Isaiah and one of his best buds, Samuel, both wanted Star Wars parties for their birthday. Rather than having two of the same themed party 3 weeks apart, my dear friend Holly (samuel’s mom) and I decided to combine forces and have a joint birthday party. It was so much fun planning a birthday party with a friend and we were thrilled with how it turned out.

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The birthday boys, all dressed and ready to party:

 

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Luke & Yoda:

 

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Hudson killed me in that Yoda costume (that his head was WAY to big for):

 

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A big focus of the party was having all of the food be Star Wars themed. We got lots of ideas from scouring Pinterest and then came up with a few of our own as well.

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Geoff, Samuel’s dad, made all of the fun labels. We got the free printable for the lightsaber napkins here.


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Boba Fruit:

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Leia buns:

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Vader Tators:

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Falcon Ship Dip:

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Pizza the Hut (instead of Jabba the Hut… I know, kind of a stretch, but just go with it):

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Ewok snacks:

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Yoda Soda: (recipe found here. We searched all over for the lemon lime Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch- I ended up finding it at Wal-Mart)

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Holly made the cute R2D2 cups (modeled by a cute little Luke), using a free printable we found here.

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The dessert table:

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I made the banner (The V means “Happy Birthday episode V) and it can be custom ordered through my shop.

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How stinkin adorable is the cake that Holly made?

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The little peg dolls are from Bubba’s Basics (who will be at The Queen Bee Market!!):

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We made marshmallow stormtroopers (so easy- found the idea here) & I found the big Yoda marshmallow pops at Michaels:

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To make them stand up, I got a cheap tray from the Target dollar section, put a piece of styrofoam inside and spray painted it all black. Then just stick in the pops and they are ready to go!

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Holly had the Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters, which are awesome, and Isaiah and I made the cookies together.

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I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which is great for things like this because the cookies don’t spread out while baking.

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We also had Han Solo Rolos. This one made us giggle.

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Geoff let us use all of his awesome childhood Star Wars toys as decor:

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Each guest got to pick a pool noodle light saber:

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They also got a Jedi Training certificate, which Geoff & Holly made personalized for each child:

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For favors, we put together little buckets for each child. Since it was around Halloween, I was able to find black buckets in the Target dollar section & I just spray painted over the jack-o-lantern faces. We filled them with big glow sticks that looked like light sabers (also from the Target dollar section), Star Wars pez (which we had to hunt down online), Star Wars fruit snacks (sold at Stater Bros), coloring sheets we printed from the web and little R2D2 crayons.

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We made the crayons using a silicone mold we found on Amazon. We chopped up old broken crayons and then baked them in the molds. It was tricky getting them popped out without breaking those little legs- Holly was way better at that than I was :)

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I loved Abby’s Leia costume:

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We did a couple of games. The first was attack Darth Vader (aka my husband) with the foam lightsabers. I think this was their favorite :)

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We also had a meteor shower. The adults threw crumpled up balls of foil at the kids and they had to deflect them with their lightsabers:

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For the last game, we tied a balloon on each kid’s leg. They had to try to stomp on the other balloons and pop them before someone else popped their own. We told the kids that their balloons were death stars and they had to try to get rid of all of the other death stars :)

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Geoff & Holly made a death star pinata by covering a soccer ball pinata that was on sale with foil.

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We forgot a blind fold, so we made the kids where a jedi robe backwards while trying to hit the pinata :)

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We had so much fun planning this party and the boys had a blast, which is the most important thing to us. On his 6th birthday last week, Samuel told his parents that the highlight of being 5 was his Star Wars party. And that, my friends, is why we do what we do. Yes, it is fun for us crafty moms to plan detailed birthday parties, but we do it for our kids. Because they remember those details. It’s all about creating memories for them. I still remember little things about the parties my mom threw for my childhood birthdays and I hope to create the same treasured memories of celebrating my boys.

Last call for custom orders!

Because we are busy prepping for The Queen Bee Market, we will be putting a hold on custom orders for a few weeks. The last day to place a custom order will be this Wednesday, October 2nd. We will be accepting custom orders again at the end of October.

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Our normal items will still be available in the shop throughout the month. If you are thinking of ordering a custom order, contact me through the etsy shop today or tomorrow.

Instafriday!

Goodness that week went by quickly! It’s friday, which is always awesome. Not only is it my husband’s day off and the kickoff for the weekend, but I also get to share moment from my week and link up with my friend Jeannett at Life Rearranged.

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Apparently, Sunday was sparkly shoe day at church. My sweet friend Melissa and I were sporting our matching gold shoes and I noticed about 5 little girls sporting their blingy shoes :)

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It was a big week in our house: the boys moved into the same room and got a bunk bed! Hudson had never slept out of his crib before as well, so this was huge. They were so stoked!

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They did so great! The first night, I said goodnight and did not hear a peep! As I was walking out, Hudson said, “Isaiah, close your eyes!”. It melted my heart to see their joy in getting to room with each other. Sure, they have been up at the crack of dawn every morning, but I am so relieved by how well they are handling the transition. I woke up yesterday to see them running down the hallway, Isaiah helping Hudson out of his PJ’s and taking him to the bathroom :)

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A couple of people asked where I got the bed. We found it on Walmart online of all places! Cheap, fairly easy to assemble and seems well made. The price went up $40 since we bought it, but it’s still a good deal. You can find it here.

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I made this set of custom fall mini banners for a customer who is going to use them in wreaths. How cute is that? If you are interested in ordering custom mini banners, contact me through my shop.

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We will be selling our mini banner stands and banners at Queen Bee Market coming up in a little over a month!

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In 2 weeks, we will be in Nashville! I am so excited. The hubs and I have a couple of days to explore before our conference begins, so if you have any recs of things we should do or places we should eat, I’d love to hear them.

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Last night, we had date 35 of 50 (more on our 50 dates project here). We saw The Last Goodbye at The Old Globe. AMAZING!! It was romeo & juliet turned into a musical using the songs of Jeff Buckley. We loved it! Jeff Buckley has always been one of my husband’s favorite musicians, so this was the most excited for a musical he’s ever been. If you are in Southern CA and are a Buckley fan, a romeo & juliet fan or a modern musical fan, I highly recommend you see it. It’s playing through the beginning of November.

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Today, we are getting the boys room finished and taking down the crib and twin bed. I am excited to have a black canvas of a room to design :)

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Happy weekend!


Queen Bee Market!

I’m excited to announce that I will have a booth again at the Queen Bee Market! It is coming up this November 1st & 2nd in San Diego. You do not want to miss it- it is one of my favorite weekends of the year. So much fun stuff to see and buy :)

 

I’m so ready!

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And in Southern California, add that: temperatures all the way down in the high 70′s! Woo-hoo! :)

Fall sale!!!

To celebrate the beginning of fall, take 20% off of any item in our etsy shop! Today and tomorrow only with code: hoorayforfall

Halloween banners!!!

Halloween banners are now available in my shop!

 

 

I won’t be making any more, so once they are gone, they’re gone. So you better grab one now :)

Instafriday!

Every friday, I link up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged and blog the photos I have shared on instagram throughout the week. It’s a become part of my weekly routine and gets me to actually blog at least once a week :)

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David & I both graduated from UCLA and pretty big Bruin football fans. We had season tickets for a few years, which I miss, but we still try to make it up to Pasadena for one game a year. We are happy to report that our boys have caught the bruin pride as well :)  We all were decked out in our UCLA gear last saturday and loved watching the team beat Nebraska. Every time we scored a touchdown (which was a lot!) Isaiah would lead us all in an 8-clap. Yes, we have trained him well :)

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On Sunday, our church held it’s annual beach baptism. It is one of my favorite things we do all year.

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Isaiah and his two best buds. He informed them the other day, though, that Hudson was his “bestest friend”. Then he assured them that they ranked right after his little brother :)

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On Tuesday mornings, I get the house to myself for a couple of hours. I opened up the windows to let the rare cool air in, lit my favorite candle, put Andrew Peterson on the record player and got to write. It was amazing. It is rare that I have time to myself, so I think Tuesdays may just become my favorite day.

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I got to work with these cute guys this week for a custom baby banner:

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My friend Emmy is in the process of adopting for the second time and has been doing some fun & creative fundraising. I participated in her hoop art exchange, which was super fun! This was the hoop I made for a bride to be:

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And I got these three beauties in the mail:

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Right now, she is doing another crafty exchange fundraiser: this time, it is garlands. If you want to participate, today is the last day to sign up. You can find the details here. It is only $5, and you make a banner and send it out and then you will get on in return. It is SO fun and it will help Emmy’s family bring home another baby!

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I’ll end with another installment of #placesHudsonhasatimeout. This time: at our local frozen yogurt shop:

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Happy weekend!

Remembering Summer

As a kid, I remember how magical summer was. There was an indescribable feeling that day school ended: the world seemed limitless and there was so much joy in what waited in those two and  a half months ahead of me. Summer days were thrilling- even if I wasn’t doing anything particularly exciting. Swimming in the pool, chasing the ice cream man down with my best friend, walking to get ice cream after dinner with my parents. There was a simple freedom, an everyday excitement. Even as a high schooler or college student, when work filled some of the time, that magical feeling was still there. The late night movie watching, the day-long beach excursions, ending with bonfires late into the night. Calling friends every day to see what their plans were. That freedom, that feeling- it was still there.

 

Then, the first summer after I graduated college, it changed. A few weeks into June, I realized that I didn’t feel it. The magic of summer was gone. Nothing changed in my life when mid-June rolled around- in fact, as a wedding planner, summer was my craziest season of the year. Sure we snuck a few beach days in there, but the magic of summer had been replaced with normalcy. That excitement constantly in the air changed to stress. I longed for the summers of my youth- carefree days and the break from routine and responsibility. I mourned that I would never again feel the joy and magic of June, July and August.

 

I was wrong. Little did I know, it comes back. The magic and joy returned through my kids. Not when they were little- summer activities were fun, but I still didn’t feel it. It wasn’t until my oldest started school. A couple weeks before school ended, I started to feel the itch for summer break- not just in Isaiah, but in me also. When the last day of school finally came, it took me by surprise: the magic of the beginning of summer had returned. I saw it on my son’s face and felt it in my heart.

 

I was committed to keeping the joy alive throughout all of his break. The main way I did this was through our summer fun list. Some people told me that I was crazy having such a big list of things to do for our summer. I’ll admit, looking at that poster of 50 things we dreamed of doing was a little overwhelming at times, but I am so incredibly glad we did it. It kept me committed to making memories, to filling our days with adventure instead of sitting around lazily (although we did have some days like that, which was necessary and wonderful).

 

Honestly, it was one of the hardest summers we have ever had. Between my miscarriage and my husband’s extremely full workload, it would have been easy and okay to cut myself a lot of slack and give up the list. To take it easy all summer long. But the joy in Isaiah’s eyes every time he read the list or got to cross an activity off kept me going. It kept me encouraged, it kept me present with my kids and it kept our days fun.

 

In the middle of the summer, we took a trip to a lake in Northern California with a group of high school kids from Santa Cruz. It is the second year my husband was hired to lead worship for their retreat and the youth pastor, being wonderful, invited our family to come along both years. It was just over a week after I had my miscarriage and was at the worst possible time for my husband’s work, but we had committed to going, so off we went. It was such a sweet time for our family to rest and connect and to also hang out with a bunch of kids in God’s creation, worshiping Him together and having fun on the water.

 

One day, we were out on a boat and Isaiah was on a tube with a few of the other kids. He was brave and nervously excited. As the boat took off, the thrill on his face burst my heart. Seeing his joy as he bobbed along, clinging to the handles for dear life, reaffirmed for me why the summer fun list was worth it. Some of my dearest summer childhood memories were of our lake trips- riding jet skis, tubing, feeling the wind in my hair while speeding along in a boat. As I watched Isaiah take in every second of that tubing ride, I knew that he would remember that trip and that moment for the rest of his life. I saw him experiencing the same thrill I treasured from my youth and it filled me with gratitude. After about 10 minutes, one of the high schoolers jumped off so that I could ride with Isaiah. As I sat next to him, I could hear his happy screams, I could fully take in his huge smiles and I could treasure the looks he gave me. Looks that said, “I’m so glad we are doing this mom and I love that you are here doing this with me”.

 

We weren’t just having fun this summer, we were making memories. I think that is one of the most important things about parenthood. Yes, we are nourishing, protecting and teaching our kids, but we are also giving them opportunities to make memories that they will carry for the rest of their lives. That is a big deal to me and I want to  continue challenging myself to provide those opportunities to my kids. It doesn’t have to be big trips or exhausting days at amusement parks. Those are awesome and definitely big memories for kids, but I think the things that we enjoyed the most this summer were the little activities: having a book reading marathon one day (cuddling on the couch reading 25 library books at once), having a picnic dinner and then going swimming at night, having an outdoor movie night with our best friends, mini golfing, making cookies and delivering them to our neighbors, and walking to get ice cream after dinner, just like I did with my parents.

 

Will I always do a summer list of 50 activities? Probably not. But I always want to do all I can to capture the magic of summer for my kids and to be present with them, making memories that will hopefully, one day, impact how they parent their children.

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That being said, I was ready for school to start again and I am anxious for it to finally cool down and feel like fall. But before I break out the pumpkin scented candles, I want to recap our summer fun list briefly through pictures so that I can have a record of our 2013 summer activities. There are a couple I did not get pictures for, which I’m trying to not be too bummed out about :)

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Here we go:

 

1: water gun fight

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2: walk to get ice cream

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3: go to yosemite

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4: swim lessons

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5: join the summer reading club at the library

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6: book reading marathon

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7: go to the beach

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8: board game day

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9: have a picnic (we turned this into a dinner picnic by the pool followed by an evening swim)

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10: outdoor movie night

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11: get snowcones

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12: go to the fair (we ended up going to both the San Diego fair & the Orange County fair)

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13: play with water balloons

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14: make smores

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15: go to the zoo

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16: go to a Padres game

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17: vacation bible school

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18: make cookies for our neighbors

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19: go to the lego exhibit at the discovery science center with Aunt Lois

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20: get an ice cream from the ice cream man

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21: go to a museum

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22: make a star wars craft (out of a book we checked out from the library)

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23: go to a kids workshop at home depot- we ended up not doing this one because we couldn’t go on any of the days that they were held. Instead, we surprised the kids with their first trip to Legoland, thanks to generous friends who let us use their guest passes :)

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24: have a treasure hunt

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25: make homemade pizza

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26: go to a movie

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27: go camping

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28: watch fireworks

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29: play tag (my 5 year-old insisted this one should be on the list)

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30: go on a hike

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31: go to the lake

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32: science experiment day

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33: play mini golf

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34: have a sleepover with a friend

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35: make homemade ice cream

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36: craft day

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37: go to the pool (ours & grandma’s in Orange County)

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38: go to Ruby’s on the pier and get a milkshake

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39: do sidewalk chalk

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40: play baseball with friends

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41: make juice popsicles

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42: make a fort

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43: run in the sprinklers

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44: ride on a boat

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45: go bowling

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46: go to sea world

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47: make & play glow in the dark bowling

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48: make rocket straws

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49: go to the splash park

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50: ride the train at Old Poway Park