I'll post on their developments soon, but for now I'll just reminisce on their party.
Being a military family, I know my kids won't be able to celebrate with friends every year. We'll move, friends will move, it just won't always be able to happen. With that knowledge, I wanted to do this party up a little bit.
After much discussion, the kids and I decided on a pirate theme, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, to be exact. Last year we didn't have a party (had only lived in Texas for six weeks by their 2nd birthday) and so "splurged" on Step2 items for the backyard. This year the gifts were way scaled down (hello, IKEA!) and we "splurged" on the party.
We ended up having decent weather, an amazing feat for a July day in central Texas. Grandma, PopPop, and Uncle Chris drove up early and were able to help with set up, like the essential awnings and loads of camp chairs in the backyard.
As soon as the guests came in the front door, the kids got to chose a bandanna for their pirate wear. Next we had the inside activities of coloring pages and Pin the Tale on the Croc. Can you believe that out of the 17 kids age 6 and down, none of them had played pin the tale on the anything before?
After attempting to give the Croc his tail, we unleashed the rapscallion horde into the backyard.
I organized several stations and the young pirates flitted around to their hearts' desire.
They "walked the plank" - balance beam.
They "escaped the tentacles" - ran through a wiggly arm sprinkler.
They loved the "ship wash" - PopPop transformed our backyard slide into a ship and the kids swabbed the deck (soapy water in buckets and kitchen sponges)
They had "getaway practice" - slip n slide.
And, another favorite, the kids got to "dig for buried treasure" - makeshift sandbox (under-the-bed rubbermaid filled with sand and stuffed with doubloons, plastic jewelry, etc).
The outdoor fun wound down with some pizza and fruit salad, just what every young pirate needs to keep up his/her strength.
Finally we all headed inside for clean clothes and then for cake and ice cream.
The dog was very helpful in vetting all guests. And then cleaning up any spills or crumbs.
Eventually guests drifted away until it was just family left. And we spent the rest of the weekend recuperating and enjoying the blessings that come with good friendships.