June 2010

I somehow missed posting about our great adventure this past summer (July).  It doesn’t seem quite right to leave it unshared, so I’ve set about to make a post for it – about 8 months later.  Then I realized I hadn’t even posted about Jonathan’s birthday.  Yep, I’ve got a lot of catch-up to do.  So here’s summer – this post is part one, or June.  :)

Cleaning

My children love washing the table.  I’m not sure why – if I knew I’d use it to get them as excited about cleaning their rooms!  But the table it is.

On this particular day Jonathan really wanted to wash the table, so I let him.  Then Kathryn wanted to join in.  So Jonathan showed Kathryn how to wash the table.  :)

Posing for the Camera

Yes, this is a pose and not a candid picture. He prefers "silly faces" to the normal smiling poses.

Jonathan’s Birthday

Jonathan's sign. I'm not sure what made him think of this - I didn't know about it until I saw it posted by the front door. Apparently he was excited. :)

Jonathan had big plans for his birthday (complete with picture “to do” list for everything he wanted).  He wanted to go to the local bounce place and have a big party there, complete with piñata, and invite just about every single person from his Kindergarten and church class, as well as anyone else whose name he could remember.  Obviously, compromises had to be made.

First off was the guest list.  I told him he had to pick only a couple of his most favorite friends.  He started his list with Emma, Kathryn and Annie (my sister who had just come for a visit – and yes, the fact that those three were the top of the list really made my day!).  He also decided to invite Lainey and her sister Lily – some family friends who have almost always been invited to birthday parties over here.  :)  He did want to invite two or three Kindergarten friends, however that one didn’t work out as I didn’t have contact information for their parents (can’t get very far with only the child’s first name).  So the final outcome of the “great guest list whittling” left us with our family (including Annie) and another family of friends.  I could deal with that.  :)

Next came the place.  Even with a smaller guest list, a bounce place party is pricey.  Plus Kathryn was terrified in those places.  So we compromised – Bryan would take Jonathan and Emma to a bounce place separate from the party.  We’d intended for that to happen on Jonathan’s birthday but it somehow didn’t work out (it did happen the Monday after though).  But we had gotten an actual bouncy toy on clearance several months before and had been holding onto it for a special occasion – so this became the special occasion.  Needless to say, Jonathan and Emma were excited.

While they played, I put the finishing touches on the birthday cake – a mint chocolate cake, as Jonathan had requested.  I ended up baking a normal chocolate cake and then, while it was still warm, covering it in Andes mints and letting them melt.  It seemed to work well.

I discovered we were low on some of the decorating gel colors so the writing didn't end up nearly as fun as I'd originally intended. And in case you weren't quite sure, those are balloons in the upper right corner. Lets just say I'm not a natural artist. :)

While they were bouncing our guests arrived (and Annie woke up, kind of – she had just gotten back from girl’s camp and apparently sleep had not been on the agenda the night before).  So the children all bounced together a bit, then we brought everyone in for cake.  (We may have provided dinner too, but I can’t remember for sure.)

Jonathan had some issues blowing out the candles.  It’s a good thing our friends weren’t too bothered by the fact that more spit than air was coming out at times.

And… he finally got them out.  So we enjoyed cake and ice cream and were about ready to wrap up when Jonathan reminded me of the piñata.  Oh yeah.

So that was another area where we’d compromised.  We just couldn’t go for a full piñata.  Jonathan, the ever creative little boy, decided that was fine – he could just make one.  So we ended up getting him a white paper bag to decorate as he wanted and some bags of candy to fill it.

This is what we ended up with:

Close-up of the front - to be interpreted as "Too Much Junk Food." No, I did not tell him to write that. :)

So now it was piñata time.  We didn’t really have anywhere to hang one, so Bryan ended up as the official piñata holder.

The children were surprisingly strong and energetic in their swings.  Needless to say, Bryan was wincing with just about every one.

Kathryn was kind of nervous (plus we didn’t want her getting hit!) so she hung out with our friends on the side.

One handle side broken.

Now the entire handle.

Hanging by a thread.

Finally on the ground.

Just so you know, this picture story doesn’t do this “piñata time” justice.  The bag ended up being one of the most stubbornly strong “piñatas” I have ever seen!  And as you may notice in the above picture – despite the children’s strong and direct blows, the bag itself was still basically intact.  In the end, it was the handles that gave way.  Thankfully.  :)

Now for the candy rush.

By the way - the bags were specifically chosen by Jonathan to be the candy/"goody" bags for the party because they had his favorite colors on them. This was yet another compromise I was glad for - his original plan included rather large and ornate "goody bags" for his many friends.

What is a candy rush without some candy eating? Notice that Kathryn is still hanging out on the side. She actually got only a few pieces of candy at the very end. So, being the mean mom I am, I told Jonathan that he needed to share his nearly full bag of candy so that everyone (Kathryn included) got a fair amount. He took it well. I guess he's used to being told to share. :)

Then on to presents.  I only have a couple of pictures and somehow missed the present our friends got Jonathan – a Buzz Lightyear Operation game.  Very cute, and still enjoyed.  :)  (Which is actually impressive as it has about 10 very small pieces and somehow we’ve managed to keep it intact thus far.)  Here are some other presents he received:

A Cars thermos - to replace the one he lost about a year before, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Kofoed.

A ream of paper and some stickers. The paper has become a regular Christmas and birthday present. He loves it because he doesn't have to ask permission to draw for the week or so that he still has some of it left. :) Yeah, we go through a lot of paper around here. :)

Bug catchers. Unfortunately these didn't last long - but thankfully my mom was able to replace them with a higher quality set while we were visiting a few weeks later.

Playtime

These last pictures were taken June 29th.  That was a busy day for me as I was packing for a month-long trip, complete with multi-day drive.  Bryan stayed behind (and flew out a few weeks later to help us return home) and Annie played my wonderful helper as we drove the two days/~21 hours to Denver, CO, where we made our first stop in our great adventure.  And that both concludes June and leads in to my next post – July 2010: The Great Vacation Adventure.

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