Thursday, May 17, 2012

Five, Part 2

*We finally celebrated Grace's birthday with her friends a few weeks ago.  Here's how we celebrated her actual birthday if you missed it.

Grace has been asking to have a birthday party like Sam's...including our blow up waterslide, sprinklers, etc.  Having an early April birthday makes having a water party difficult.  We compromised with a having a party at home {we had it at a local party play place last year}.  She requested that we have games, and she wanted Jessie from Toy Story as her theme.  I ran with that to do something along the lines of Toy Story Mania, but without the other Toy Story characters.  It was hard to find things that were just Jessie, so I turned to Pinterest for some ideas.

I designed her invitation with a picture we got of Jessie when we were on our cruise in March & printed them at Costco.  

For games, we had a balance beam & bongo board we made via Family Fun magazine, marshmallow guns with a target, hula hoops, balls as well as our swing/playground set.  And the older boys found things to entertain themselves as well.  

Grace, in her rolled up jeans & boots, with her BFF checking out the balance beam & bongo board

Walking the balance beam

Giving the bongo board a try

Sam was playing ball with the older boys.  The target for marshmallow guns is behind him {& one of his cousins, too}.
The kids had fun moving from activity to activity, but I think the marshmallow guns were a huge hit!  I picked up 2 bags of mini marshmallows not knowing for sure how many kids we'd end up with or how easy/fun it would be for them.  We kept the guns {& washed them good} to use this summer for Sam's party, so I will definitely get plenty of marshmallows for that.

Pete made a target for the marshmallow guns with some leftover PVC pipe, although I think there might have been a few stray marshmallows shot at other things - or people.  Pete.

In addition to the games, etc., Pete made a cow print backdrop for us to use to take pictures of the kids - kind of like a photo booth/gallery like in carnivals or parks.  Time got away from us so he ended up using spray paint to make the spots instead of acrylic.  We used the pictures to send out with thank you cards.

For food, we kept things fairly simple...cake, cake pops {many recipes out there but I used this with yellow cake}, ice cream {pre-scooped in cupcake liners thanks to an idea on Pinterest}, fruit salsa & cinnamon sugar pita chips, Texas caviar & chips, cheese cubes & meatballs.

I decided that I should finally make a cake for Grace's birthday.  I have made some for Sam in the past, but for Grace's birthdays, I have always used a local dee-lish bakery.  While I opted for homemade, I wanted to keep it fairly simple.  I baked & assembled the cakes using buttercream icing.  I couldn't find black fondant for the cow spots and the thought of making fondant black was less than appealing, so I used sugar sheets instead.  Pete free-handed the shapes for me.  They seemed to work out fine.  Jessie & Woody were secured with toothpicks.

Big cake!  3 inch bottom layer with a 2 layer cake on top

Blowing out the candles!

We used a styrofoam cone to hold the cake pops & decorated the bottom with Toy Story characters
For decorations & supplies, we again kept it simple.  We had some red balloons along with  some cow print balloons, red & black plates {value pack = cheap from Targret, as Grace calls it}, & red bandanna napkins.  Everyone went home with a bandanna filled with a Toy Story Pez dispenser & a couple of other small things.

This party took a little work, but I think it was one of the best parties we've had.  Trying to find "unique" things & do a DIY party was a lot of fun.  Like I mentioned, we'll be reusing the guns {as well as balance & bongo boards, cake pans, extra plates, etc.} for Sam's party this summer so we'll get more bang for our pun intended.  

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