This year's party was very similar to those in years past (2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011). John Isaac planned and (mostly) executed it. The highlight was an obstacle course, as has been the case since he turned 3. This year I didn't make a fuss about the cake but did add a bit of extravagance with signs. The signs really were an afterthought that I made the morning of the party with tempera paint and paper sacks.
A friend let me borrow her fancy schmancy camera that I took a bajillion pictures with - and the ones below were snapped on my phone. For ease in blogging, these pictures are not the best but will do.
When the kids arrived we had stations set up. My husband manned the "roll call" table where he acted the part of a drill sergeant and had the kids sign their names on a clip board. He also assigned them a number that he "tattooed" with a Sharpie on their arm - for identification in the event of disaster. He gave them ammo (3 Nerf darts) and pointed them to the field bag table and the next station.
The Field Bags
My dad found these really cool WWII era bags (FREE! -
headed to rescued from the trash) but there were only 9. There were 13 boys coming to the party, so I made a few more. I was nervous the homemade ones wouldn't be as cool as the Army regulation ones but thankfully no one complained. (no pictures of the bags).
This was Hubby's roll call table, which in the picture has accumulated a few more treasures.
My mother-in-love sat at the "Rapid Deployment Kit" table where she asked the boys to sign a note of gratitude to overseas soldiers. Of course the note below was my favorite. :) Underneath his note you get a glimpse of one of the bags I made - from the bottom of a pair of his pants that had holes in the knees.
The picture below sort of gives an overview of things that the soldiers were asked to add to their field bags. Night Vision Goggles were glow sticks left over from the 4th of July. Bandages were strips of an old t-shirt that were eventually used on a wounded man (stuffed animal) on the obstacle course. My father-in-love camo painted the boys' faces, as he has done in years past.
New this year - Meals Ready to Eat: homemade popcorn and a mini-twix bar.
Canteens were bottled water.
I wasn't sure if it would all fit in their field bags but the boys were up to the challenge! Below you see a blurry child at the end of the obstacle course, rushing his wounded lion to the hospital.
"Hang time" was an element where the boys tried to hang as long as they could on rock climbing pulls (I'm sure there's a more technical name for "rock climbing pulls" but that's what I call them.) You can hardly see them in this picture - they're on the right, green and look sort of like footprints with 3 hand grips.
It took 5 extra adults to pull off this party. I ran around taking pictures and Hubby was directing chaos. The extra adults stood at different stations to ensure safety and timing.
The boys all had an incredible time and wanted to go through the course again. We let them.
I tried to figure up the total cost of the party and I think I was able to keep it under $20 = SCORE!