Last weekend we had a birthday party for Jonathan. We decided to go with a theme of "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles" since that encompasses so many things Jonathan loves. Here are some of the highlights:
A masking tape road went in a circle around the room. The kids just ran and ran and ran pushing their various big vehicles. They loved it!
We also had a bean pool which the kids loved. They played in the beans with various cups and small trucks. It was a popular station.
We had really yummy food. We (by which I mean Greg) grilled chicken in a yummy marinade. There were so many compliments on the chicken. We also had chicken nuggets (for the kiddos), fruit, caesar salad, crackers and cheese, chips and artichoke dip, jello salad, and bread. I tried to make a variety of things that would please both the kids and the adults.
The piece de resistance of the meal was definitely the cake. My friend Lori and I made the cake. Actually, I did the grunt work and Lori was the cake artist. She sculpted the cake and did all the decorating work at the end. Isn't it amazing? I helped her until we had gotten all the train cars frosted. Then I left to get set up for the party. When I first saw it at the party I couldn't believe how good it looked. The kids loved it too. On the caboose door you can see where a little finger tried to get in. :-)
When we sang Happy Birthday to Jonathan he sang along. He even inserted his name in the proper place. So cute. For a few weeks beforehand we had been singing Happy Birthday at lunch or dinner time and then Jonathan and Leesi would dip their fork into their applesauce, or ketchup, or yogurt and hold it out, saying "blow-out-the-candle." And we would all take turns "blowing it out". I'm not exactly sure how this got started, but Jonathan had plenty of practice blowing out the candle. So when it came time he blew out his candles, no problem.
We put up pictures of Jonathan on one wall, along with our happy birthday banner. And I put out his first year photo book for people to browse through. I love looking back on old pictures and remembering! We had a gorgeous day for the party. It was warm and sunny. You can see the beautiful sunlight streaming in the windows in this picture.
Greg and I spent a few hours (while watching t.v.) folding red and blue paper airplanes for this garland. I was trying to think of a cheap way to bring something festive to a large white room. I think it worked pretty well. Although, the picture doesn't quite do it justice.
At the end of the party we had a competition for the adults. A paper airplane contest: one piece of paper, one throw to see who could get the farthest. Everyone got into it. The kids loved watching too. It was hilarious to see all the airplanes that only made it a foot or two.
We had the party in a room on campus that's across from our apartment. It worked out great. Plenty of room for everyone and for the kids to run. But it was a little bit of a challenge in that we didn't have much time ahead of time for setup. We also had to bring everything over from our house. I was running a little behind (of course), so it was craziness right before the party started. I enlisted the help of everyone who showed up early. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, Wanda, and my friend Becca all helped with the crazy set-up process. We couldn't have done it without them. And then at the end, so many people helped us clean up. I ended the night feeling so thankful for friends and family. (And feeling like next time we're going to have a simpler party!) Overall, the party was a fun time to celebrate a little boy who has charmed us over the last two years with his smile and his funny little ways. Happy Birthday Buddy!