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IMG_7729new space party8I forgot to post photos of the Levi’s party favors. I bought a bunch of these little cotton muslin drawstring bags for another project and they have worked great for party favors. I just used a Sharpie to draw stars on them. I was going to tie the “to the moon” circles on for tags, but we ran out of time. Just try to imagine because it would have been cute. πŸ™‚ We filled them with Milky Ways, a foam space shuttle and play foam (we thought the packages looked like planets). They were a hit!

*amazon affiliate links used

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  • McKenzie - I don’t have any kids but I always pin your parties for future! You’re so inventive. p.s. did we ever get a tour of Tiny’s room?ReplyCancel

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  • Nee - Amazing as always!!
    I LOVE to see your parties and gatherings.
    So much talent and you make a big splash without spending a lot.
    Pinned your party too!
    Happy Birthday LEVI!ReplyCancel

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  • Cindy - Could you please share your sister in lawa sugar cookie recipe? I love frosted sugar cookies. I love reading your blog & watching your boys grow.
    Thanks,
    CindyReplyCancel

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  • Kimberley Key - Hi Jess! Such a cute party! I may steal some of your ideas for my son’s upcoming party, he just informed me he wants a space theme, i love these detail – super cute! Curious, do you have helium in the inflatable astronaut? Just wondering how you have it hanging? Thank you!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Hi Kimberley! Thank you so much. It was a super fun party to plan. There is no helium in the astronaut. We just tied him to the lemonade stand. πŸ™‚

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    • Jess - Hi Kimberley! Thank you so much. It was a super fun party to plan. There is no helium in the astronaut. We just tied him to the lemonade stand. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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IMG_7833newLevi turned six this year. Celebrating birthdays has always been such a gift to me. Especially my kids birthdays. This year was no different…although six seems SO BIG!! Now that the boys are getting a little older, I love hearing their party ideas. They have some pretty creative and crazy ideas! Levi wanted to have a space party this year. I wasn’t so sure about the whole space theme, but it turns out that cute posters (thank you, Caravan Shoppe!), hand drawn stars and moons, an inflatable astronaut and a few balloons make a pretty cute space party. The space party was so fun!

IMG_7723newA January birthday means the party table and cute little chairs stay inside. We even brought the lemonade stand inside too. Levi is always trying to think of things he can sell at our parties now. Haha.

space party7I taped one poster to a big IKEA frame that I already had and taped the other one to the wall. I stuck flags we had from our Fourth of July parties in buckets with sand.

IMG_7728newThese cute little astronaut cupcake toppers were so fun!

IMG_7729new space party4My sister in law made the moon cookies. I wish you could taste her sugar cookies. They are so good. At the end of the party I was whining to Joel about not getting a cookie. It truly is a tragedy if you don’t get to eat one of these cookies, they are that good! Joel got a little smile on his face and told me he had hidden six cookies in the cupboard. I love him.

IMG_7731newMy mom made the moon cake. Levi thought it was so cool!

IMG_7739new IMG_7780new IMG_7792newI don’t know what we are going to do when Levi starts wanting to invite friends to his party too. Good thing his cousins are some of his best friends because they already fill up the table…and they weren’t even all able to come!

IMG_7794new IMG_7799new space party3Six!

IMG_7807newLevi was so excited about every detail of his party. The presents were pretty exciting too.

space party2I am so thankful for the six years God has given us with this sweet boy. He overflows with joy. God has used him in so many ways to restore our joy and fill our home with laughter since the day he was born. I love seeing him make so many others smile and laugh now too. He is a social one. He loves people, family, school, and is always ready for a party. He is smart. He is quick to learn, remembers everything, somehow already has a sense of direction (he puts me to shame), and loves to create. He is always up for helping me with a craft or project and I love having his company. He is all boy. He loves getting dirty, building legos, farming with dad, wrestling, and sports. He loves watching football and has become quite the avid Denver Bronco and Kansas State fan this year. His brothers are his best friends and his cousins come in a close second. We are so proud of our tenderhearted boy and can’t wait to see what the next year holds for him. I think six will be pretty great!

IMG_7829newSources:

posters – Caravan Shoppe

astronaut cupcake toppers – Amazon

inflatable astronaut – Amazon

foam space shuttle gliders – Amazon

stars, moon confetti – hand drawn by me

***Amazon affiliate links used

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  • Brady Wilhelm - Ha! And here I thought my husband was the only Denver Broncos fan in Kansas πŸ™‚ Happy birthday, Levi! Looks like a cute party!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Brady – Oh no…there is a group of us in Newton! The Bronco blood runs deep in my family. My boys have already been brainwashed! πŸ™‚

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    • Jess - Brady – Oh no…there is a group of us in Newton! The Bronco blood runs deep in my family. My boys have already been brainwashed! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • Meggie - This is the cutest space party ever! Happy Birthday Levi!!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Meggie – Thank you!

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  • Kim York - I can remember waiting to hear “read” that this baby was born πŸ™‚ Hard to believe he is 6. Love Love Love reading your posts and your parties! My family continues to be blessed by you and your sweet family.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Kim – I know, I can hardly believe he is six! Thanks for reading and for your kind words!

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    • Jess - Kim – I know, I can hardly believe he is six! Thanks for reading and for your kind words!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - Awww Happy Birthday Levi!! Gosh, I’ve been reading you a loooonnggg time! Haha. Looks like he had a wonderful birthday and the theme was super cute.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Toni – Thank you! He did have a wonderful birthday!

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  • Kelly - That inflatable astronaut is adorable! Great idea to turn the capri suns backwards! I also like that you guys wore clothes in colors that coordinated. πŸ™‚ I do that too. πŸ™‚ Yay for family who makes cakes and cookies!! The six candle – David’s bday isn’t until April but he specifically asked the other day if he could have a six shaped candle on his cake. I do love them thinking of their own party ideas. πŸ™‚ Makes the planning even more fun to me. KellyReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Kelly – I love when they come up with their own party ideas too. So fun! And the matching outfits were just a coincidence. Ha! I hadn’t even noticed. πŸ™‚

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    • Jess - Kelly – I love when they come up with their own party ideas too. So fun! And the matching outfits were just a coincidence. Ha! I hadn’t even noticed. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - Happy Birthday Levi!! Six is a big deal. I love all the party decorations, food and the cake. WOW…such fun. You never cease to amaze me with your birthday events. I love all the smiles and this will be a wonderful memory for a long time to come.ReplyCancel

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  • Sarah - Haha, Joel! Peter would hide cookies, too!ReplyCancel

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  • Amanda - So cute!! I always love your parties!! I need a sugar cookie now. Points for Joel on that one! Levi is such a cutie and always makes me smile.ReplyCancel

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Better late than never…

jess front

jess back

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to dusting off this little old blog and sharing more with you (Lord willing!) in 2016!

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  • Tiffany - Beautiful!! Love this so much and my oh my are your boys looking so grown! Many blessings to you all in the New Year!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you, Tiffany! Yes, the boys are growing too fast!! Blessings to you in the New Year as well!

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    • Jess - Thank you, Tiffany! Yes, the boys are growing too fast!! Blessings to you in the New Year as well!ReplyCancel

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  • Micah - Oh my! I cannot believe how those boys have grown! What a beautiful family! Hope you had the merriest of Christmases and that the new year is filled with many blessings for your family <3ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you, Micah! I hope your New Year is filled with many blessings as well. Thanks for reading!

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    • Jess - Thank you, Micah! I hope your New Year is filled with many blessings as well. Thanks for reading!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni :0) - Beautiful family! Many blessings to you in 2016!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Blessings to you, Toni!!

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  • Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2) - Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Happy New Year, Stefanie!

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  • Eryn - Beautiful boys. I do find it interesting that you don’t include Cora’s name in your Christmas cards.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Eryn – Thank you! Christmas cards are so hard! We hate that Cora can’t be a part of our family photos each year and we definitely feel the hole that she has left. Our family photos always feel a little incomplete to me. We have felt like our Christmas card photos are a reflection on the past year and what God is doing in our family at the present time. Right now that means that we are a family with three little boys…that is our everyday. We wait in hope for the day when we will all be with Jesus together, but for now we press forward without Cora and hopefully that is what is reflected in our Christmas card each year. Now, I know we could add a photo of her or do something to symbolize her part in our family, but this is just what seems right for us. Everyone is different and I totally respect that! Hope that makes sense!

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    • Jess - Eryn – Thank you! Christmas cards are so hard! We hate that Cora can’t be a part of our family photos each year and we definitely feel the hole that she has left. Our family photos always feel a little incomplete to me. We have felt like our Christmas card photos are a reflection on the past year and what God is doing in our family at the present time. Right now that means that we are a family with three little boys…that is our everyday. We wait in hope for the day when we will all be with Jesus together, but for now we press forward without Cora and hopefully that is what is reflected in our Christmas card each year. Now, I know we could add a photo of her or do something to symbolize her part in our family, but this is just what seems right for us. Everyone is different and I totally respect that! Hope that makes sense!ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - Great photo. I hope you have an amazing 2016. Your boys are as darling as ever. I love your blog and the many wise words and encouragement you always manage to provide. Happy New Year!!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Mary Ann – Thank you for your sweet words! Blessings to you in the New Year!

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    • Jess - Mary Ann – Thank you for your sweet words! Blessings to you in the New Year!ReplyCancel

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DaySpring Gift Guide

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Β There is still time to shop at DaySpring! Here are some of my favorites at DaySpring right now. A little gift guide for those of you who still have some shopping to do…

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JOY Letterpress Block Set – The letterpress blocks are such a fun gift idea. Pick a favorite word or phrase in a set or customize your own set! Such a perfect personalized gift!

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Lisa Leonard Hope Anchors Necklace – This necklace is new at DaySpring and I love it so much. I love everything Lisa Leonard and the verse on this necklace is my favorite…one I have clung to many times! Β We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 Keep reading to find out how you can win one of the necklaces for yourself AND for a friend!

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Lisa Leonard Gold Chevron Necklace – This is one of my favorite necklaces to wear. I love the chevron and gold!

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Daily Grace Dessert Plate – Really, anything from the Daily Grace line would make a perfect gift. Fill these little plates with cookies for neighbors or give as a hostess gift. I have given lots of Daily Grace as gifts this year!

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Together Dessert Plates – I love these dessert plates so much. I have a set and have given them away too. Perfect for family or friends!

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We All Belong Globe – This is such a beautiful globe to display in your home. I love the lettering and message!

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Better Together Pennant – I love the pennants that I see popping up everywhere. Such a fun way to display a message in your home.

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Part of God’s Story Leather Journal – I saved this beautiful journal for last because it’s one of my favorites. Such a sweet gift to remind someone that they are part of God’s story.

Β *Β  *Β  *Β  *Β  *

I am giving away TWO Lisa Leonard Hope Anchors Necklaces (one for you and one to give as a gift!) over on Instagram. You can find me @jessmcclenahan for all the details and to enter the giveaway.

If you are finishing up your Christmas shopping, make sure to check out these deals that are going on right now. Remember you can only use one coupon code per transaction, so make sure to pick the one that gives you the best deal:

Use code STOCKUP to get 50% of clearance! Deal ends Friday, December 18.

Today is free shipping day! Use code FREESHIPDAY to get free shipping on any order. Deal ends Friday, December 18.

There are still some Deal of the Day promotions going on. Find those here.

Use code JESS20 to get 20% off anything in the store (clearance excluded). Deal ends Thursday, December 31.

Happy last minute shopping!

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I first heard about Star From Afar while listening to The Happy Hour Christmas Special. Jamie Ivey’s podcast is so fun…you need to check it out if you haven’t already. I love listening! Anyway, Star From Afar was part of her 2015 shopping guide. In the past I have done a felt Advent calendar with the boys. They have always loved it and so have I. But this year I had visions of Jake tearing it off the wall everyday and stealing the pieces and the big boys screaming in dismay and I just couldn’t do it. So when I heard Jamie and Jen (Jen Hatmaker is on the Christmas Special too!) talking about Star From Afar I knew it might be my answer for Advent this year.

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I had a feeling that you guys would love Star From Afar too so I contacted Natalie Ard (the mom who created this meaningful Christmas game) to see if she would be interested in partnering with me and she said, “Yes!”.

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Star From Afar is just as amazing as I expected. It comes with an activity book, a wooden Star, a full wooden nativity scene that matches the artwork of the book, and optional scripture to use throughout the month.

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The wooden nativity is beautiful. I love it so much! I think we put some of the stable pieces on backwards because those little black words shouldn’t be showing. We like it that way though. πŸ™‚

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It is hard to find a nativity that the kids can play with and that is pretty to have sitting out. This definitely is both.

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On the last day of November I read the book to the boys.

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As I read, I introduced the pieces of the nativity. The pieces match the artwork of the book which I think is so great! At the end of the book it tells the children that every day the Star will be hidden in a new location and it is their job to find it. Once they find the star they are to move the Wise Men close to that location and wait for the Star to move again the next day. There is a page in the back of the activity book that explains everything.

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The boys thought this game sounded awesome. They were really excited!

IMG_7412newThey set up the nativity in their room and have played with it a lot ever since.

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I took the Star and told them that I would hide it and the next morning it would be their job to find it. I was really surprised that they both remembered right when they woke up the next day.

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And then the fun part began. The star has been traveling all around our house ever since.

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The boys love searching for it….minus a few tears that have been shed when they weren’t the first one to see it. But you have to have some tears with every Advent activity. Am I right?!

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I love that this is not only meaningful but so easy too! I need easy these days. If I forget to hide the star the night before, I just tell the boys to close their eyes and hide it somewhere that morning.

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The Star even has a hook on top so you can be creative and find places to hang it too.

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On Christmas Eve I will place the Star on the stable roof above Baby Jesus. The boys will know exactly where to find the Star that morning!

I love that this game is fun and helps my boys focus on Jesus throughout the Christmas season. There is so much you can do with this game too…stick the daily Scriptures in your Advent calendar to read daily, work on memorizing a Christmas passage like Luke 2 each day as you find the Star, or incorporate this game with other traditions you already have established. Natalie dreamed of finding a way to bring a little more Jesus to Christmastime fun and I think Star From Afar does just that.

Make sure to check out the Star From Afar website for more details, videos, resources, and ordering information. I noticed right now they are offering free gift wrap and a hand written note using the code BESTGIFT. I think this would be such a fun gift to give to a family or to grandchildren. I would have loved receiving this!

Natalie is letting me give Star From Afar away to one of you over on Instagram! Head on over to my Instagram account (@jessmcclenahan) for all the details and to enter! Yay!

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  • Michelle from Australia - Great pics Jess! But I do love the picture of the globes. With the little one showcasing Australia πŸ™‚ Please tell me it was specifically like that and not just an accident?? xxReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Michelle-Yes! Just for you. πŸ™‚

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  • Ashley L - Hello, I loved this so much, I just went ahead and bought one. We will love it through the years. I was wondering if you could share where you got the print with the sword on in, -O power of my power- just above the nativity? I looked on etsy and couldn’t find it, I LOVE that. Thanks so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Ashley-Thank you! You will Star From Afar! The print is from Lindsay Letter’s shop. It is one of my favorites. It is from this set: http://lindsayletters.com/collections/art-prints/products/be-thou-my-vision-print-set or you can buy it individually too! Hope that helps!

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