We normally don't do a big to-do for birthdays.
There are a few reasons for this:
1. It's just unnecessary to do every year (in our humble opinions).
2. They're kids: tape a balloon to a wall, call it a party, and they're happy.
3. It gets costly.
Emphasis on #3.
When A was just born, we decided to set a guideline for our kid's birthday parties.
1. A family party at one.
2. A friend party at the house at 5 (or kindergarten...).
3. A destination party with friends at 10. (We said 10 because we're HOPING that by 10, they will have outgrown Chuck E. Cheeses and Bounce Party- two of the most expensive birthday party places. Think bowling alley, boys!)
Anyway....this was C's year for a friend party at home.
When A. was in kindergarten, we decided to use the weather to our advantage and have a sledding party.
This year was no different. Since this summer was so hot, we decided to do a sprinkler party!
I received an email from vistaprint.com in June for a really good deal, and scored 20 invitations with envelopes and sticker seals for less than $12.00. (Add in 8.36 for postage, and I don't think that's too shabby!).
Then, I scored a Lightening McQueen slip-and-slide on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory for $4.96.
This was in addition to the older slip-and-slide we had been given a while ago.
I thought it would be fun for them to race. :)
I purchased a dozen balloons from Party City for $10, and affixed them to the lawn with golf tees. (Thanks for the idea, Pintrest). The effect was cool at first, but we lost 4 balloons before the party began. No biggie. Each year, I also let the boys pick out a large character Mylar balloon for their birthday. They love that tradition. C. picked Batman....for $8.99. (sorry, no pic).
For a craft, and an addition to their goodie bags, we had DIY super hero masks. (It just fit, since C. is a HUGE superhero fan). My mom's school has a special machine to cut these masks. So, aside from the 3.99 self-stick stars and .99 elastic (both on clearance), this craft was cost free and had a high rate of return. See for yourself:
Oh wait...how'd that last one get in there? (hehe!)
A. came up with the idea of "Balloon-ie Ball" which essentially means keeping a balloon in the air. I added the "racquets" by taping free Home Depot stir sticks to some paper plates. Wah-lah....free fun.
I decided that I didn't want to deal with scooping ice cream along with serving cake, so I decided that an ice cream cake was the way to go. In accordance with my need to come in under budget, I decided to make it myself.
C. threw me a curve ball and decided to ask for a batman cake. This is what I came up with:
The Funfetti cake mix was on sale for 1.09 a few weeks ago, and so was the Blue Moon ice cream I used to fill it (2 for $5). I purchased the butter cream icing for a total of $4.13, and went to town. A professional cake decorator, I am not. But hey....homeboy was happy.
I purchased all tableware from The Dollar Tree (in plain red and blue- like spiderman colors), and spent a total of $6 on all of that. No one noticed that they weren't official Spiderman plates....so I think that's a win.
The most expensive venture of the evening were the goodie bags.
We had the lunch sacks, so I decided to go with those.
The spring water was from Meijer, bubbles from The Dollar Tree, Spider Man pencil from The Dollar Tree, and Gummi fish swimming in blue M&M's from Meijer. (Thanks Pintrest for another idea!)
Total cost for all these goodie bags ran up near $26. But, I didn't purchase a whole bunch of cheap candy, and it fit in with our sprinkler theme, so I was happy with that decision.
So, total monetary outgo for a fantastically fun birthday party was: $89.01.
My goal was under $100, so I'm VERY happy with that!
Here's a few picture highlights of the evening:
I LOVE Q's face as he hits the water. :)
Home base for the grown-ups. :) And craft zone, and gift zone, etc.
Thanks, Michelle, for all your help!
I know, I know...he's a bit blurry, but still so cute.
The "big boys" were trying to stay upright on the slippery slopes. :)
One of his best buds, Evan.
Dear C, If you ever want to marry Molly someday, that would be a-ok with me.
She's one of my favorites. :)
Look! I got my whole family in one picture!
How stealthfully awesome of me. :)
This is all the kids- sitting QUIETLY - AFTER being sufficiently sugared up - watching C. open gifts.
I was amazed. :)
By the end of the clean-up, the boys were wondering what to do with the balloons left over.
A. was itching to release one into the sky,
so Dave and I told them to release them all.
What a fun night!
Thank you to everyone who came out and joined the fun!