I don’t typically like to duplicate themed parties that I’ve thrown for my kids. Every kid is different and they all have different themes. But sometimes it’s necessary to break the rule. Like when your baby is born on Dr. Seuss’ birthday – it’s necessary to have a Seuss themed first birthday even though you threw a Suess theme party for your oldest boy. (how was I ever to know I would be put in such a situation?!)
But as is usually the case, I’m now on my 5th first birthday and I’m starting to lose steam. Perhaps it’s because his birthday was sandwiched between a busy “Project week” and spring break. Steve was calling for simplification and yet I couldn’t let the last one come and go without some sort of celebration. I’m sure somewhere down the line, in some arguing match we would hear how everyone else got a first birthday…
So I simplified and with help from Hallie and Hunter and a trip to the party store – Briggs got his party/nacho bar with family that he will never remember, but we have pictures to prove that it happened!
I found the large 24″ balloons at party city. They might be my new favorite party decor. I cut one inch strips of fabric and tied them to the balloon string. The blue polka dot is wrapping paper from Party City that we cut and put on the center of tables. We gathered the Seuss books in the house and stacked them in the center. We made blue jello and put a swedish fish in each one (one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish). We gathered several red candies for the tables. No, we didn’t find a bag of red/white gummy bears. But when you buy a large enough bag you can pick out enough red and white to fill the tables. They were the first things gone.
His stranger anxiety is starting to get the best of all of us. His cousins are good sports and they keep trying to win his love. One way to do that is by feeding him!
After people were done feeding him, he found the spoon and started feeding himself. And once the spoon was in his mouth, it’s almost as if he couldn’t figure out how to get it out! He just sat there looking around, sucking off as much of the frosting as he could.
And while we were celebrating a first birthday, we might as well celebrate a 50th birthday. We should really start holding monthly family birthday parties!
Hunter’s baptism two weekends back seems like forever ago.
I was able to reuse the #8 marquee I made three years ago for Hallie’s baptism. It’s been stashed in the corner of my garage and it was good to pull it back out and bring it to life again.
I made the #8 marquee and the other #8 signs were picked up at Hobby Lobby. I sewed the buffalo check table runners made from this fabric at Amazon. We’ve used Hallie’s baptism runners over and over and over again. But I think these are my new favorite. I want buffalo check everything right now! Each table had a wood slice with some greenery and a succulent, all from Hobby Lobby. I’m finding it’s harder to decorate for a boy than it is for a girl!
Gathering everyone for a photo proved to be very difficult. We had gathered this group when we realized several people were missing including my mom and Briggs. By the time I gathered them, we were missing a new group of people. Between the two photos it shows the majority of the people! With our family and friends, we had a full house and Hunter could feel the love from all the support. I love this family and community with all my heart.
We hosted a soup and rolls dinner afterwards and enjoyed the beautiful weather. There was a moment that night that stood out among the others. The family was gathering their food and sitting down to eat. The backyard was lit only by the string lights hanging above. There was a TV that scrolled through pictures of Hunter Birth to present and music filled the air. And I paused. I stood to the side and watched for just a minute. I soaked it in. It was a thin place. Everything was right and my whole body felt peace and gratitude. If I could collect moments in a jar like people collect sand – this moment would be sitting on my mantle.
I like to plan parties based on my kid’s current interests. We could not have a party for Hunter and not have it revolve around sports. He is all about any sport that has a ball. We created a sports theme birthday party to include all the sports he loves.
For the decor I focused on black and green with some leather sports ball texture. I picked up some fake grass from Home Depot and cut it to be a table runner as well as cut some into triangles for a banner.
I purchased Lofthouse sugar cookies and inserted a topper made using the same textured paper as the banner with a polygon punch. We also served chips, popcorn, green grapes, green mint M&MS and the powdered donut cake.
Markers for our punt, pass, kick game, so we could see where everyone’s ball landed.
The invite for the party. I planned on crafting them out of textured paper and making them grand and then I realized, boys don’t care. I sent a text to the mothers with this graphic instead. Just as effective and saved me a lot of time!
For party favors, we filled Gatorade bottles with candy and tied a football whistle to them. Target supposedly carries these – but all the Targets I contacted hadn’t ever seen these in their store. Local sporting goods store would have them as well as Amazon.
The boys played and played hard. They played soccer. They ran conditioning drills. They played football. They competed in a punt, pass, kick competition. They played 500. They left tired, sweaty and full of sugar. It’s great to be 8!
Hallie was up for a birthday party this year and she was ready. Her birthday fell right before Halloween and my mom’s visit so we pushed it off just a little bit. As we talked about different ideas for her party I quickly realized she’s still young and she’s our only girl so it only made sense to make everything glitter.
We made glitter playdough that we used to play sculpterades (from the game Cranium) as teams – and then the girls just enjoyed playing with it.
They decorated sparkly cookies.
And sparkly letters! I bought a paper mache letter for every girl at Hobby Lobby that they were able to decorate with glitter, sparkles, washi tape and other decorations. There was glitter everywhere!
In the end, they spent time giving each other manicures with nothing less than…glitter polish.
And they went home with little goodie bags that sparkled. Plain white bags from Joanns that I made polka dot with glue and added glitter.
They sparkled from their heads to their toes by the time they were finished. I’m just glad that the party was outside because even then – I’m still finding glitter throughout the house!
Navy Tablecloths – Amazon
Table runner – Target holiday line
Plates and Napkins – Target
Scrap garland – made from 1″ fabric strips from Joanns
Drinking jars – dollar section Target (tied with glitter tulle)
Paper Mache Letters – Hobby Lobby
Glitter Playdough – made from this website
School is back in session tomorrow which meant we had an our annual back to school dinner this evening. Steve and I decided on our theme for the school year: The more you read, the more you know. We’ve got an early reader and a budding reader and one that can read well and doesn’t fancy it. We keep reminding them that reading is power and there’s endless books to enjoy and to go on an adventure with. We went around the table talking about our favorite books and things we learned from those books.
Although I’m not headed back to school it was still a good reminder for me to pick up a book. I used to love to read and made time for reading. I haven’t done so in years. So while we were making reading goals for the kids, I added a few reading goals for myself – perhaps reading more than the instruction manuals for my tools!
I called several bakeries to find school themed cookies and no one had any! I asked Hallie if we should make cookies or make some brownies. She insisted on cookies. I can’t remember the last time I made a sugar cookie. In fact, I didn’t even have a recipe for sugar cookies. The worldwide web did not let me down and I found dough and frosting recipes that were great. They were easier than I thought they would be but definitely not something I’m going to be making on a regular basis. I’ll have to start calling around earlier next year for school themed cookies! (can you see a couple fingerprints in one of this cookies – hence the blog name!)
Dinner was a family favorite – bacon wrapped chicken kabobs with fresh pineapple from the grill. It was a little slice of heaven and the kids came back for seconds and more. The only meal catastrophe was the half bottle of teriyaki sauce that ended up on Mr. B’s plate as he so carefully tried to pour just a little on his rice. Cannon could’ve finished off more than his fare share of jello if given the chance and there wasn’t a single drink spilled using the fancy glasses. A success on all accounts.
The cookies were so large each kid only got through half the cookie. I see baggies on the counter with half-eaten cookies with names written in marker. I’m sure they’re saving them for their first day of school lunches, a special treat from mom.
See our previous back to school dinners here and here.