If you ever hear those words out of your child's mouth, drop what you're doing and IMMEDIATELY run the other way. Or, instantly make up a rule that they can't have a party on their ____ (fill in the blank) birthday. Or, burn the house down. Become an astronaut. Do SOMETHING so you don't have to deal with the huge chaos that is now in your current future path. I did try to tell her she'd need to choose between a party and a present, but the party won. No dice. Needless to say, the party cost way more than what I'd ever spend on a present.
I had one thing going for me. I'm the second counselor in our youth group organization, and there is nothing those girls like more than a party. I had one big handful of enthusiastic volunteers. In fact, Tia (who's in the group) is the one whom I need to blame for talking Ari into picking the carnival party. So we gave out tickets, and had 8 different "booths" for the kids to go to. The picture above was from the "photo booth" where they got a picture of themselves with Ari in a carnival frame. I was a little worried Ari wouldn't dress up like a clown. I don't know WHY I worried....how long have I known her? She was all over it.
This was our balloon animal booth. We started out thinking one of my girls would make them an animal, but it was fun for the kids to learn how to make their own too. We got some pretty crazy hats too.
Here's the top of our fishing pond....
...and here's the bottom. Kai nabbed this job before anyone else could.
Of course Tia wanted the face painting. She made up a sign with all of the options to pick from first. In fact, Tia made all of our signs. I kept thinking about the posters I made in High School to run for Sophomore class president (which I won only because nobody ran against me) and they SUCKED compared to what Tia could do freehand at age 12.
Pig Trough. You find a piece of gum in a plate of whipped cream, and blow a bubble to win. The only catch was half of our guests had braces. So we modified it to say you could find a saltine and whistle a tune instead if you were braced up.
My girls had a little too much fun with the whipped cream. You should have seen their shirts after their whipped cream "fight" Their moms probably hated me yesterday...
This was the big expense: the cotton candy machine. I was originally planning on renting, but it was the same price to buy this small one from Bed Bath and Beyond. it worked fine...but needs some supervision. It was a little bit of a prima donna. It worked if everything was exactly right. It got a little frustrating for my helpers though.
The popcorn popper was free --borrowed from my catering partner Audrey. What a mess to clean up! I found out later my girls were adding some extra oil to flavor it up. Ah. That explained some things. Audrey, I can get you some more oil
Can you see the beautiful rainbow my girls drew me? This was a penny pitch "over the rainbow". Fun and cheap to do. My Mom in Law took charge of this one. (My father in Law was taking pictures of the whole thing for me!)
Here's everyone waiting for cake. Look at those cool hats! The cake turned out to be a lot more trouble than I thought it would be, but turned out pretty cute I guess. Not like the google images I WANTED it to look like....
It's a carousel. Here's the top canopy, which was card stock frosted to match the bottom.
Here's my little horsey. I started out thinking I'd just put animal cookies on there, but they looked like amoebas. They went on the sides instead.
Here's the whole thing. If you squint......not too bad.
Blueberry picking, in the Alaskan wild
3 weeks ago