Every year we have had 2 birthday parties for each of our kids- one family, one friends. Adding another child into the mix has made it too much. So this year we decided to start something new. The kids would still have a friend party on their birthday, but instead of individual family parties, we would put them all together and have one big party in the summer. Since K was turning one, she did have a family party on her birthday, but the other two waited to celebrate until this past weekend. We decided on a carnival theme, and spent last week in preparation. The kids and I painted signs for the booths, and went shopping to the dollar store, Target, and the party store for prizes and supplies. Friday I spent baking 5 separate boxes of cake mix, and then that evening Ed decorated them into a carousel cake (it was a 3 hour job, lasting until midnight). Saturday morning Ed left for Jersey to help his parents clean up the cottage while I stayed home and ran last minute errands (buy soft pretzels, ice, and balloons), and then set up the backyard with the help of Anna. Ed arrived home at 2 and had time to help us finish setting up before guests began arriving at 4. E and N stationed themselves at the end of the driveway in a ticket booth, handing out tickets and bags to their cousins. Once everyone got here, the fun started! We had a concessesion stand with watermelon, lemon icees, soft pretzels and lemonade. Then we had 7 booths- a duck pond (throw the ring around the duck to win), tip the ship (shoot toy boats with water guns to tip them), face painting, bean bag toss, knock the block (throw a ball to knock over the tower), spin art, big dig (dig in sandbox for a toy prize), and the favorite- lollipops and pennies (pull the lollipop to see what color is on the stick to match to a candy prize in jars and penny stack- stack the pennies as high as you can, the one who stacks it the highest by the end of the party takes home all the pennies). We also had the moon bounce going, and the kids went in and out throughout the afternoon. We let them play for a couple of hours, and then E and N opened their presents. E got to go first because her birthday is first, while N waited anxiously for his turn. We then had dinner before finishing off the party with the cake. Before the kids blew out the candles, we sang their special songs to them. E had "Great is Thy Faithfulness" because we prayed long and hard for a baby before God blessed us with her. N had "My hope is built on nothing less" as we pray he will build his life on the foundation of Jesus.
The guests left soon after, and Ed and I put the kids to bed before collapsing ourselves! Of course E woke up the next morning asking what the theme would be for next year!!
Since I took so many pictures I decided to create a slide show. Click on View all Images to see pictures without the little black box.