Monday, January 28, 2013

Landon turns 5!

Landon turned 5 last week! 
We threw him an Airplane themed birthday party!
We invited friends from church and preschool. And somewhere I remember that only about 70% of invitees usually attend a wedding.  Well, apparently, those statistics aren't quite the same for kid's birthday parties. They ALL said they were coming! Which means we were expecting 16 friends!
And on the invitation, I said that the children could "fly" alone and parents didn't need to stick around. 
So adventurous, aren't I?! 
(2 parents did stay)

The party was for 2 hours and my goal was to keep us busy the whole time and not allow any "free" play if possible.  There were games, a craft, snacks, cake, a short movie, etc. I tried to keep it organized and detailed, but yet also pretty simple and frugal to plan. 

This was one of the moment's where I had their attention. 
We encouraged our friends to bring $1 instead of a gift and then Landon could go to the store and pick out one special gift from everyone.  That way parents didn't have to stress about a gift....and we don't have an even greater excess of toys around this place.
Another calm moment as they watched a 5-minute short movie. 
I drew a plane and took a picture of Landon waving and pretending to be a pilot.  Then I made little copies of his picture for the kids to try to "pin," thus "Pin the Pilot on the Plane."  Landon said his favorite game was "Lost in the Clouds".  We filled our small inflatable pool with shredded paper and packing peanuts.  Kids then worked with partners to see how many toys they could find in it during the allotted time. 

Here's a few things I'd like to mention: 
1) I had asked 2 teenage girls to come help with crowd control and dubbed them as "flight attendants".  Sooooo helpful. They were from church so they knew all of the church kiddos already.  One of them snapped pics for me the whole time. So helpful to have them available to help with the squirrel-y kids. 

2) We definately had some squirrel-y kids.  And what kid isn't going to be excited to be at a birthday party?! None of the kids were awful.  I knew which ones I had to watch closer.  One upon arrival walked over to my couch (which isn't necessarily that nice) but literally started to trampoline jump on it! 

3) One of the party favors we sent home was a little baggy of blue cotton candy.  Originally, I had put little marshmallows in with them.  The idea was that it was a sky with clouds in it.  I had an airplane sticker on the baggy.  I put these together the day before the party. (Got the idea off of Pinterest) Several hours later, I looked at them and apparently you can't mix marshmallows and cotton candy!  The marshmallows had drastically shrunk the cotton candy and made it hard.  There's a science experiment waiting to explain what happened. I had Adam pick up some new cotton candy and I made new bags.  I was mildly annoyed, but quickly convinced myself that it was not a big deal.....especially since on that same day we found out some good friends of ours had a housefire.  My little inconvenience was nothing compared to what they were having to deal with on that day. 

4) Teachers are wonderful and gifted people.  After spending 2 hours with these kids, I was exhausted! EXHAUSTED! Literally drained. How do they do it 5 days a week and for much longer than I did?!!!!  

5) That was a lot of kids.  I don't regret it necessarily. Our house is pretty good-sized and we moved to multiple locations to keep things interesting. My least favorite part about that many kids is that I had to give extra attention to keeping some of the children in line with what we were doing and I feel like I hardly was able to interact with the children that were quieter.  We love to have people over. Our home is our ministry. And I loved having all of those kids in the house and being able to engage with them.  We got to know 2 preschool parents that we did not previously know.   

6) Having a "baby whisperer" on the job was important.  I handed Heath off before guests arrived and didn't have to worry about him again until every last guest was out of the door.  

Overall, I hope the kids had a fun time.  Landon said he did and that's who it was for! 
Here's a snapshot of Landon at 5 years old:
- He really likes playing with small toys. Small cars, marbles, little army men.  He's very into details and organization. 
- Still loves anything with wheels. 
- He still naps almost every day. :) (Don't hate me)
- His preschool teachers recently described him as observant, cautious, discerning, and a good friend to the other kids. 
- He asked for a scarf for his birthday. Yep, when asked what he wanted, he said a scarf. You better believe I made sure that sweet kid got a scarf.  Grandma Vig made him a cool fleece soccer scarf. 
- He wants to kiss me goodnight. Gonna cherish that as long as I can. 
- He is very interested in learning.  He frequently asks how things are spelled, how things work, what day of the week it is, etc.
- He struggles to eat things with foods mixed together.....soups, chili, casseroles, etc. He'll eat them eventually (because we don't give another option), but its often after it's cold and everybody else has left the table. 
- He's a sweet boy who is thoughtful, happy most of the time, and we are so blessed to be his parents!