Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let's have a ball

Nathan had a very special birthday. We of course continued our tradition of breakfast in bed, and we had lunch at Nathan's favorite restaurant, a local pizza place. I asked him what he wanted for supper, and without hesitation, he requested mac and cheese, quesadillas and grapes! It was nice to have an easy supper on the agenda, especially with the party immediately following . . .

"Let's have a ball" is what I wrote on the homemade football invitations I made for Nathan's party. I love using things I already have on hand, which allowed me to spend less than $10 total on food and other supplies for the party. For the invitations, I cut out football shapes from brown construction paper, and then used a white paint marker to draw the lines and stitches.

Because of our employment at the college, we have access to campus facilities such as the gym/rec center. I thought that would be a perfect location for a football/sports party. My plan was to have a couple organized games, then let the kids just run and play, and end with cake and juice.
For the first game, I put together a pin the football on a field goal game that I found here. Then Linkwe did an egg hunt. I remembered seeing Easter eggs last spring that looked like footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, and baseballs, and I was able to cheaply order a couple dozen on Ebay. I put a couple Skittles in each one, and we hid these in a large area of the student center. I used the footballs from the first game to label a paper sack for each kid to collect eggs. They could collect one of each of the 4 kinds of balls. I hid four eggs for Natalie, too, and hers were all pink. =)Eric took over the next portion, which was fun to observe, especially since his dad retired a couple years ago from being an elementary P.E. teacher! The kids had a great time throwing balls, and playing a variation of dodgeball. They even created their own racing game!

After everyone was sweaty and tired, we sat down for juice and football cake, and then Nathan opened his gifts. We still had time to play, so I corralled everyone for a game of Duck, Duck, Goose, which is a favorite of Nathan's. The kids thought it was hilarious to call me the goose!

I found it quite humorous to be planning a football-themed party since that is one of my least favorite sports. The things we do for our kids, right?! =) But I had fun thinking through all the details, and I'm glad Nathan had a good time.

So I just gave you the details of Nathan's party, but they only tell part of the story. The truth is that I didn't have so much fun at this shindig. Despite our best efforts, things felt chaotic, and there was a lot of selfishness being demonstrated. I wrote out some more observations last night when I was feeling the aftermath, but upon reading them again this morning, they sounded whiny albeit accurate. So there may be a post on that subject at some point if I'm able to articulate my thoughts a little better. I do know that we will take last night into account when planning future birthday celebrations. And that's a good thing, I think.


thehomespunheart said...

Hey Carrie, Your cake turned out great! I hope the party went well - glad Nathan had such a good time! Love you! Monica

Katie said...

I know that much fun was had, and it looks like you put a lot of effort into it! I'm sure the true appreciation will come even more in the years down the road. :)

I can relate to some of your thoughts at the bottom ~ I've been discouraged about some similar issues recently at a gathering we had. I'm praying the Lord will direct me to instill Acts 20:35 and Romans 12:10 into my children and to reflect this humility and selflessness in my own life before them.

Would be interested in reading any upcoming post on this! :)

Blessings upon your upcoming travels and celebrations!

erin said...

I am always impressed with your cake decorating! You need to share all of your tips someday (I am pretty hopeless in that department!). I would be interested in hearing your other observations about the party, we haven't thrown a 'real' birthday party yet, so it would good to know what we might expect or things we could talk to C about before the party starts.
Hope the weather is decent for your big trip!

Kristin said...

It was fun to see these pictures! Thanks for sharing and getting them up so quickly. Impressive, especially in light of a long day yesterday and busy day of packing today! It looks like you did a great job and the cake came out great! Sorry about your post-party reflections. After all the planning (no matter how simple), expectations are always high and can be easily disappointed I think. With kids this age, I think those attitudes easily express themselves in these settings, though not acceptable or enjoyable! I can definitely relate. Thanks for sharing. Have a GREAT time away and I hope you can really relax and get some rest!

Carrie said...

I hear what you are saying. But the children generally never remember that part. They only remember the fun. You learn as you go. And I definitely think reflecting and making corrections for the future is helpful!

I echo everyone else's thoughts -- your cake is amazing!

I hope you and yours have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Mom said...

I'm so glad to read this account of Nathan's birthday -- we were thinking of him (and all of you) that day! The cake looks great and the egg/ball hunt was a good idea! Love to all, Mom/Grammie