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.
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!
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!