It's been almost a month since Jenna's birthday party! I haven't posted on it till now for several reasons. One, the weather was of the miserable Indoor Party variety, meaning no outdoor photos and only jaundiced-looking indoor shots. Two, I was too much of a coward to sort through all those jaundiced photos to edit, crop and pick the final ones. Three, looking at the photos reminded me of how challenging it was to have thirteen children in our house, with nowhere to go. Four, I forgot. Until Jenna asked me last week if she could look at the photos of her birthday party on my blog.
Er..... what photos?
So here they are. As claustrophobic as it felt at moments, we had loads of fun and Jenna most of all, which is what really matters. Happy sixth birthday, sweet one!
Cleverly persuading her away from her original Swimming Party birthday theme, we did a Halloween party (her second choice) and everyone was invited to come in costume. Which was convenient because it was four days after trick-or-treating night and everyone still had their costumes (which their parents were only too happy to get more mileage out of). This, incidentally, was the only outdoor shot.
We followed the sequence of events that has become the standard procedure at our parties. Outdoor parties allow more room for movement and set-up so that most of the preparation could be done before the guests even arrived. With an indoor party like this, our limited space for humans and furniture meant that the same table was used for food, games and crafts, with manic clearing-away-and-setting-up between acts while some other non-table activity was simultaneously going on elsewhere.
We opened the happy event with lunch
followed by store-bought, non-Halloween-themed cake (but requested by Jenna)
Then everyone adjourned to the very-nearby Chair of Honor for the opening of gifts.
(The lunch table, having been temporarily moved a whopping two feet away, was being cleared and prepped for games.)
The kids were then sent down to the basement to hunt for glow bracelets
which were much more visible with the lights off. We made it really easy, since there were little kids involved.
When they came back upstairs, they were handed their candy corn backpacks (tagged with their names)
into which to deposit the first of their loot.
Then it was time for games. Recognize that orange table? It had lunch on it just minutes earlier. This first game was (store-bought) Halloween bingo
with candy corn rice krispy treats as prizes. We wrapped ours in clingfilm so the kids could choose to take theirs home if they didn't feel like eating it just minutes after a huge lunch.
Then we got out the pumpkin pie pinata,
the one filled with fleece pumpkin goodie bags
and everyone pulled it apart.
And Kate, who didn't get the white pumpkin, cried. Poor thing. No photos of that. I think I should just do away with pinatas at our parties forever.
When everyone was calm again, we made luminous wands -
the kids picked their wand stems and a glow bracelet from their earlier hunt, and assembled their wands,
after which they decorated them. No photos, but it was on the same orange table as lunch and bingo, so it shouldn't take too much effort to imagine the scene.
Finally, we sent the kids back down to the basement to fill little takeout boxes (decorated by Jenna) at the candy bar.
All that candy, incidentally, wasn't leftover from trick-or-treating. We actually bought different candy for the party - so insane, I know. As if there weren't already enough candy in people's homes by then.
And that was part I of Jenna's birthday festivities!
This is Part II - the part where she celebrates with family :
Remember Jenna's first choice for a party theme?
We found a way to let her have her cake and eat it, too :)