Saturday, May 05, 2012

Angry Birds Party

Several years ago Kory and I decided that our kids didn't need a big elaborate birthday party each year. Birthday parties are fun but they are time consuming, can be expensive and frankly are a lot of work.  That being said both Kory and I grew up having birthday parties where many friends were invited and we wanted our kids to have this experience too. We decided that we would pick different ages and when a child of ours turned that age that would be the year they got a big birthday party that they could invite friends too. On the other years we'd still celebrate birthday's but it would be a "family" birthday party, just mom and dad and their siblings. So far this has worked out very well and the kids look forward to those "special" birthdays. Our "special" birthday's are when they turn 5 becuase that's when they start school. When they turn 8 because that's when they will be baptised and when they turn 12 since this is when they leave Primary to join the YW/YM.

Last year while living in Hurricane Hunter turned 8. This was his year to have his big friend birthday party. At that time he wanted a knight/castle theme. Unfortunatley Hunter had some friends that weren't behaving the way they should and Hunter was following in there footsteps. It got so bad that I even went and talked to his "best friends" mom about some of the things that were taking place. The mom already knew about most of them. She had even told her son that she was expecting some of his friends parents to come to her because of his behavior and what he was "teaching/telling" his friends. After several weeks and trying  different consequences, nothing seemed to be working. We felt like we were nearing the end of our rope and didn't know what else to do. After much thought we informed Hunter that any more of this unappropriate behavior and he would loose his birthday party. I HATE this part of parenting. It wasn't a terrible suprise when the behavior didn't change and we had to follow through with our part and took Hunter's 8th birthday party away. It was absolutely HORRIBLE. He cried, he was mad/ devasted and I felt the exact same way but something had to change. As horrible as I felt, this consequence worked. He quit playing with this friend at school and the lying stopped along with some of our other issues we were having. 

So a few months ago Hunter asked if he could "earn" a birthdy party this year, even though he wasn't suppose to have one when he turned "9". Kory and I both felt that since he was willing to "earn" it and wasn't expecting it we'd go ahead and give him one. After several days Hunter decided he wanted an Angry Birds Birthday.   We decided not to have his party during his birthday week as this was our Spring Break and knew many of his friends would be out of town. We picked a saturday 2 weeks ago but then we had a snow storm blow in. Trying to look ahead at the weather and finding a day that there wasn't too much else going on we chose yesterday.
Here is one of the 12 invitations that he and I made one day after school just using cardstock and googly eyes. On the back we had printed out all the party info. I loved the way it turned out.
 I'm not a fan of the birthday/treat/thankyou bags that the friends take home after parties. To me they are usually full of junk! There's usually candy, dollar store toys that break too easily and just stuff that falls on the floor and I end up picking it up.  My kids know that if I have to pick any of it up it goes straight to the garbage. The interesting part in this is that they don't miss what very quickly winds up in the garbage. It makes me sick knowing that someone's mom spent money on this stuff that I've just thrown away. At each of my kids pary I try to come up with something that the kids will actually like and use as their thankyou for coming party favor! I'd rather spend a few dollars on somehing they'll like than a bag of treats that will be thrown away too soon.
That being said, one of the games the boys got to do was a wrist rocket game. I searched for quite some time for some cheap sling shots/wrist rocketts. I was a bit amazed to see wrist rocketts going for $5-10 a piece. I couldn't spend that much and then I saw on ebay 20 wrist rockets for $40. This was a bit more than I had wanted to pay and I didn't need 20 of them however $2 piece sounded much better than $5-10. So I bought them and this became our thankyou gift to each of the boys. When the boys realized they got to take them home I won "the best mom of the year" award. During the party I heard over and over and over how I was the coolest mom or the best mom cause their mom wouldn't have spent that much money on wrist rocketts to pass around. I thought it interesting that most of the boys knew they were normally $5-10 a piece. I'm glad I found a party favor that the boys will LOVE!
 Here is our game. Uncle Jason was able to get me the canvas for free and then I spent a day painting on it to match our theme.
 The boys then were able to use their wrist rocketts and shoot giant marshmallows through the holes. Some of these boys had quite the aim.
 We borrowed some foam noodle swords and the boys had a sword fight!
 The biggest part of the party was suppose to be a "live" angry birds game. Kory and I made up a sling shot area using our swing set,
 We then piled a ton of boxes in the front lawn to build with. Unfortunately we had 30-50 mile an hour winds yesterday. We had an incredibly hard time keeping the boxes on top of each other to give the boys a chance to knock the tower over using the sling shot. The wind was just too strong!
 Another activty was a scavenger hunt. We ended up having a total of 13 boys including Hunter at the party. I split them up into 2 teams and sent them off with their 1st clue. It was this: When your up you want to go down. When your down you want to go back up. What am I?      Hint: I can be found at the _________ (I rhyme with spark). After their 1st clue I had the 2 teams going in different directions. I had 9 different clues around town. The clues would then lead them to the fire station, the school bus garage, post office, milking barn, church, etc. Their goal was to find the golden eggs that the green pigs had supposedly hidden. With easter being just a few weeks ago I took some of our eggs and spray painted them gold. The last clue lead everyone back to the house where they eggs were waiting to be found in our tire swing in our front yard.
 We had plenty of color full food to enjoy. I had a fruit tray with banana's, strawberries, apples and grapes. Then the fun part was gum balls, mini jaw breakers, mike n' ikes and a bowl of gummy worms with green juice to help wash it all down.
 I really really wish the dang wind would have stopped. I considered moving his party indoors but there was no way my house could handle 13 wild boys! So we stayed outside. I don't think the kids minded as much as I did. It was pain in the neck having plates and cups flying all over the yard. I put 2 rocks in the bottom of the garbage can and it still got blown over and I had to run around and pick up the blowing garbage.

Near the end of the party Hunter opened his presents.

 Afterwards I brought out his requested cupcakes instead of cake this year! I was impressed with the way my birds turned out. They were fun to make!

Every single boy whined and complained when there mom's came to get them after the party. It made me feel good that even though some of the games were harder to do with the dang wind that they all had such a wonderful time and didn't want to go home. Kory wasn't suppose to be working the day shift yesterday but ended up being called in. Not having the help I was expecting, yesterday ended up being a long day. I was ready for the party to be over. Hunter has told me many times that it was the best birthday pary ever. All that hard work was worth it!

I had to share this picutre when I saw it. Brayden being the typical little brother, ran around with a stick in his hand yelling, "Expeliomous" to all the boys. The boys were great with the 3 year old trying to tag along and play with them. All I can is he has watched Harry Potter a few too many times!


The Gubler Family said...

That is so funny. We have the exact same rules for our kids and birthday parties except we also do their 16th. My kids complained so much the first year they didn't get to have a party. We told them not to worry, we would make it really fun for them. The first year we kidnapped out kids and took them to a fun activity and then out to a nice restaurant. They had so much fun so this became our tradition. Each year we take them to a really nice restaurant they have never been to before. We started spending so much money at these restaurants every year I told the kids we were going to have to go back to just regular friend parties because they were cheaper. They all complained and said, "No way, we love these ones better!"

Janet said...

Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful mom, wife etc. you are. I love your blog!!!