Monday, May 16, 2011

Sammy's knight birthday

So, after cleaning up from party #1, we still had to put the finishing touches on Sam's knight birthday. All week we've been cutting out these shields for the boys...

...and painting them!

Every knight had a shield with his name on it, but Sammy requested that his be "special-er". That's a slightly obnoxious request in my opinion, but I put a gold rim around the edge anyway.

These shields were actually really pretty easy to  make except that when you are making a dozen of them it does get a little laborious.

We just bought a giant sheet of really thin wood from Home Depot, had them cut it into 12 pieces, and then brought them home and finished off the shield shape with our saw. Since the wood was so thin it was pretty easy. Then, we drilled holes for the rope handles, painted them red, and then painted the lion emblem on with a stencil. I tried to make the names look medieval-ish, but they were actually just kinda squiggly.

The only problem came when our 80-degree weather week turned into a 40-degree-and-raining weekend. So the 25 kids that were supposed to come to our "park" birthday party all ended up in my living room.

We gave the boys their shields (and foam swords) in the dining room and that was a hit.

See my six-year-old knight? He was pretty cute. You'll have to see his knight shirt from Aunt Laura in a few pictures down.

Then we left the parents at the house with lots of food and drinks and took the knights on their cold and rainy quest to the park.

I think the neighbors really liked seeing these little crusaders charging down the street.

Once there, Matt sent them on an obstacle course. "Run up the ramp, charge down the stairs, jump over a swing..." etc. Except the knights kept slipping and wiping out on the wet equipment so we quickly changed directions.

There was jousting. I held a metal ring tied to a broom stick up high and they had to run the "lance" (mop handle with foil at the end) through the loop. It was harder than they thought it would be. I love Charlie's concentration face in this last picture. See his tongue? Haha.

Then they played "attack the evil knight" (Matt) and all the boys killed him with foam swords.

The last game (before everyone's hands started freezing and we had to run back to the house for warmth) was catapulting 100 water balloons over the fence into the bad knight's "castle". I didn't get a picture of the catapult but it was just a long board, painted red, with a coffee can nailed to one end.

Then we headed home because the knights were starting to defect from the cold. I didn't get any more pictures for the afternoon but that was because I was busy shoe-horning 55 people into my teeny, tiny house. We actually ended up moving Sam's bed out of his room to make room for all the boys to play up there. Crazy! I haven't even mentioned the girls, but there were about a dozen little girls there as well and they mainly hid in Claire's room for the afternoon.

Here was the aftermath...

...empty pickle jars, half-eaten hot dogs...

...leftover beer. Leftover beer? How did that happen? :)

Abandoned princess cone hats. I ran out of time and didn't make a strap for the hats that would keep them on the princess's heads, so they weren't very popular.

LOTS of half-eaten cupcakes. I used cream cheese and cocoa (along with butter and powedered sugar) in the frosting which I think the adults liked, but I got a few "faces" from the kids. Maybe I should stick with canned frosting for kid parties.

This morning I went outside and discovered this. I forgot that at the end of the night when all but a few friends had left, I agreed to let Sam and his church friend, Josh, paint our outside fort. Anything to get the boy energy outside!

So they did. Blue!

They also, apparently, put a roof on the fort with the leftover wood from the shields.

These stairs used to go out straight from the fort, (and there was a slide) but a few weeks ago Josh decided the stairs should go up sideways (and the slide should be removed) so now they go like this. And they are blue. And a complete safety hazard.

I had told them to paint it gold because I thought that would blend in better and I wouldn't have to look at an abnoxious bunch of painted boards in the backyard. But I think they forgot what I said and decided blue and green would be better.

This is what that charming little fort looked like this time last year.

But the dishes are done now. And the living room has been vacuumed.

And the kids are busily assembling a lego firetruck so I'm not complaining. It was fun. But I'll never have another indoor party for Sammy again. And as luck would have it, it's about 20 degrees warmer and sunny today. Go figure.

Matt's small group party

Matt loves games. So every once in a while we invite his small group of guys (and their wives/girlfriends) over to our house for a game night.

This night happened to be Saturday night, which was the night before I had to throw Sam's birthday party, so that was kinda crazy. But still fun.

Babies roamed the living room, little boys watched videos with Sam, and the grown ups ate and drank and played pictionary.

Pictionary is actually NOT Matt's favorite game, but he'll play anything with these guys.

Lots of gesturing was involved, which I'm not sure is allowed, but it was done anyway. :)

Matt takes games very seriously, which is why I never play them with him. He's super-duper competitive.

So his team did their best.

I think they still lost though.

It was fun to see him so happy.
And it was REALLY funny when John Piercy drew this version of the phrase "model train". :)