Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sports Spectacular Party

Meiners birthday and subsequent birthday parties were a few weeks ago.  As I think back over his birthday parties, I recall a trip to the bowling alley for preschool (why on earth we do [correction: did] friend parties in preschool is beyond me.  Well, at least that three-turns-four year-old one.  Turning five is a whole 'nother ball game IMO, but four?  Four should be relegated to family only.  And that's exactly what we're doing for Sash.  Poor girl.  She's getting jipped.  But c'est la vie.  Momma got wise, Girl.)

Anywho.  I did have a point.

Bowling when he turned 4.

When Meiners turned 5, we did a party at home and waited until June to utilize the backyard slip-n-slide and kiddy pools.  It rained and was freezing cold.

For 6, I took him and a handful of buddies to Chuck E. Cheese at 11:00 on a weekday and then drove them all on to kindergarten.  That was possibly my brightest moment ever.  I had one of those 'buy a kazillion tokens and a pizza for $4' coupons.  Cheap.  No mess at home.  No weather stressing out my I mean their fun.  WHoooowee.  Smart I was.

When 7 came along, I kept telling myself, "I really oughta do something big for Meiner's birthday.  He always gets the short end of the birthday stick."  (Ha - sorry again Sashi.)  Then, of course, I realized he's had a party every year since he was four.  I'm thinking he's been doing just fine.

So instead of making it a big shindig, I just asked him what he wanted to do.  (!!!!)  And God love the kid, he simply said, "A sleepover."

A sleepover?  Nothing gets easier than that.  You order some pizza and throw the kids outside til dark, buy donuts in the morning and call it a party, baby.  Right?

But I had to go and ask, "Meiners, do you want to just play and do your own thing at the party, or do you want something like well I dunno activities?"


Oh poop.

OK.  Activities.  What to do?  What to do?  I twiddled my thumbs and racked my brain. 

In the end, I'm pretty pleased with how the party flowed.  I'm not thrilled with how crazy wild loud a gaggle of active 6 and 7 year-olds can be, but in terms of activities - we chose simple, fun, kid-approved stuff to do.  In the scheme of things, it probably was best to have a series of structured activities planned.  I'm just pleased as punch that everyone seemed to have fun and the whole party was still pretty simple to put together (I tend to like to overcomplicate things most times).

For Meiners' 7th birthday, we gathered immediately for the obligatory group shot (learned from photography books that it's best to get these sorts of things out of the way.  Totally great advice!)

We headed inside for pizza once everyone arrived (before that, they climbed trees and ran around outside). 

Then we headed back outside to play kickball.  {In the street.  *gasp!*}

The kids participated in a homerun derby.

Yes, Meiners' best gal pal won - pretty much all night.  ;)

They enjoyed our first ever pinata.

Note to self:  Ring Pops are not good things to put inside a pinata.

They helped make sugar cookies from a bag.

Meiners opened presents while the cookies baked.

I'm pretty sure that if she weren't a girl, Meiners would admit that E is his best friend.  He's funny like that.
Then I threw them all downstairs to play the Wii while they ate cookies and popcorn and then we sent them to bed!  Originally, I'd planned a movie (Sandlot) but I decided two more hours was more than I could handle.  ;)  {At 12:30 in the morning, we still had two boys up, sneaking through the house.}

The next morning, I made Star Wars pancakes with strawberries and homemade whipped cream and a side of sausage.  Pooks and I took off before the moms came for pickup, but before they left, each kid took home a water-proof volleyball for the pool.  (One big take-away prize instead of a goody bag full of junk we all throw away in the end.  Although they did have a few things from the pinata to take home - a bouncy ball, a sports eraser, and a Cardinals pencil.)

Low cost, low stress, lots of fun.
Meiners' 7th birthday party =  Huge Success
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