Monday, February 01, 2016

Landon = 8

Landon the great turned 8 this past week.

We had a good family celebration on Monday, the day he actually turned 8. He got to choose between a home-cooked meal or a family meal out. He choose a pizza dinner at Uccello's. No offense taken by mom. I didn't mind having a night off.  Haven't tried their Signature Pizza yet?! You should! Loaded with meat - hands-down one of our faves! And then we opened cards and gifts at home and followed up with brownies and ice cream. A few of his favorites.......a handmade crocheted penguin from Grandma....a Star Wars Chess Set from Kenny and Parker.....and his very first real bow from mom and dad (ok, let's be was from dad). Thanks to family from near and far that sent cards/gifts for him to enjoy!

And then we geared up for his Star Wars themed birthday party with friends on Saturday! (cue theme music)

The kid hadn't even actually watched any Star Wars movies yet....but somehow he still knew an awful lot about the storylines and characters. He knew enough to be certain that is what he wanted his 8th birthday party to be themed on.

(Ok....before we make any other parents feel bad....we don't do big parties for our kids every year. He hasn't had a party with friends since he turned 5. And well, I L.O.V.E. planning themed kid's parties! And the internet is so helpful for ideas and inspiration. I found it incredibly fun to think of the details and to see my kiddo running around with his friends having a good time! I really tried to keep it on the cheap and not get carried away with a bunch of decorations....because, really, what 8-year old boy is going to be impressed with my efforts?! Anyways. I had fun. :)

The invitation read as follows.....(just imagine it all Star Wars scrolling script-like on a starry backdrop)

8 years ago in a galaxy not too far away, 
a special boy was born.
It was soon discovered that 
the force was strong with this one. 

All young Jedi's are invited to report 
to the Jedi training facility to celebrate
Landon's 8th birthday

And included them to need to RSVP to the Jedi Master (a.k.a. me)

We had the party at our church in the gym and youth room so that we could more adequately conduct a Jedi training.....and so our house would not be torn apart!

When the young Jedi's arrived to the party, they received a Jedi tunic and belt.

Then they picked what color they wanted their lightsaber to be made. The boys LOVED this. Obviously.
(Lots of Pinterest ideas showed pool noodles made into lightsabers....but its January and we live in Michigan. I found one idea of using pipe insulation with pex tubing inside of them and then covered in duck tape. I liked the look of this a lot better as well)

And the food!
Pit Droid Pizzas
Jar Jar Links in a Blanket
Galactic Grapes
Vader Veggies
Padawan Popcorn
Droid Parts (Chex Mix)
and Yoda Soda and Wookie Water to drink!

Tried to have menu items with minimal prep....that kids would like...that didn't require silverware....and that was somewhat healthy.

We conducted a number of Jedi training activities that focused on controlling their lightsabers, using the force, knowing how to use blasters, having to find their droids, and teamwork.
(They would have loved to just run around whacking each other with their lightsabers for 3 hours....but like I've shared before, I'm not a big fan of chaos. :) I like order and a plan.)
Here's a few pics of some of the activities:

Plus, we had cake. 
(Non-Star Wars fans....that is the name of the droid in the newest Star Wars movie.....but we also discovered that it could stand for Birthday Boy-8!)

And presents.

I think the boys all had a GREAT time!

I must job was easy. Most my role was done in the weeks leading up to the party. Adam did a lot for this party. In his words: "more than what he signed up for." :) But he was a great sport and he did a great job making all of those lightsabers and leading the Jedi training activities.  Plus, we put Kenny and Parker to work as much as we could.  Kenny had to battle each one of the boys in a lightsaber battle. And Parker, and another student we had with us, Vincent, had to keep hiding the droids that helped us put the boys into teams/partners for the different activities. 

Here's what Landon is like at 8:
- He is a voracious little reader. I'm having trouble having books on hand for him. 
- Doing great at school! Leading his class in reading and math. Still loves recess and gym best though.
- Loves meeting new people and being with friends....but also shows some signs of a homebody at times. "Mom, when I'm in high school....I don't want to play sports because then I will be gone too much." (Still not sure how I'm supposed to respond to that.)
- We watched a school play recently. Afterwards, I asked the boys if they would ever like to be in a play. Landon quickly responded and said, "No." Then he thought about it and said, "Maybe if they did The Wizard of Oz....I would want to be the trees that throw apples at the people." 
- Is starting to have an opinion about his hair. Doesn't want to have it short. But he also has no desire to tame it when it is longer and CRAZY. 
- Likes penguins, Star Wars, Legos, and soccer. 
- Is always wondering when he will be old enough to...[fill in the blank]. (Have a pocketknife....ride in the car without a booster seat....get an iPod....go hunting...see Star Wars movies.....ride around the court on his bicycle by himself....have his own room....)
- Is showing that he doesn't always want to hold my hand in public anymore. I'm dealing with it OK. I don't force him. But the other night, he still grabbed for both of my hands when we were praying at church. 

He is loved immensely and we feel so, so blessed to have him as ours!