Beach Birthday Party Extravaganza

So my big plan to blog more while I was home recovering from surgery kind of got squashed.

Here’s what happened.  I was flipping channels on a particularly bad there’s-nothing-on-TV type of day and came across Grey’s Anatomy.

Now I have never in my life watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  My college friends used to have viewing parties when it first came out so I would catch glimpses every now and then, but I think I was still too engrossed in ER to get caught up in another medical drama.

So there I was last week – eight years late to the party – watching my first episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

And then my second.  And then my third.

And THEN I looked it up on Netflix to see if there were any seasons uploaded and – lo and behold – there are seven seasons.

GAME. CHANGER.

You can only imagine what I did the second half of last week.

Anyhoo, in between episodes, I did manage to help Holly plan the kiddo’s birthday party.  Their birthdays are within two weeks of one another, so it just makes sense to have one big party.  She wanted to do a beach theme and we did not disappoint!  Here are some of the fun pinteresting things we did.

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This was the main attraction and it was worth its weight in gold.  The kids had a blast bouncing and sliding all afternoon.  They also have a nice swing set and a sand table and Holly and I set up a little table with some crafts for the kids to do.  It was plenty to do, but not overwhelming and no one ever complained of being bored. My only regret is having surgery a week and a half before the party and not being able to go down the slide. 🙂

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The tent was simple – we just hung paper lanterns from Oriental Trading.  Some of the lanterns came with LED lights in them, but because the party ended at 4 pm we didn’t bother putting the batteries in.  That would be a cool effect for a nighttime party, though!

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Holly did the centerpieces with some sand and marbles and cards that I made up.  I designed them in Power Point and just printed them on cardstock.  I’m sure if you googled around you could find some free printables – it was just easier for me to make them myself!

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The food was so much fun!  We got the bucket idea on Pinterest and I made all of the place cards – again, I designed them in Power Point and printed them on white cardstock.  We got most of the cute names for the different snacks on Pinterest (of course!).

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Candy for the kiddos.

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And candy for the adults (Adult Swim = Rum-Soaked Pineapple).

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We did fruit cones for the kids and put a sign next to it that said “Kiddie Pool” so parents knew that the pineapple in the cones was not soaked in rum. 🙂

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Meal food was simple – burgers and hot dogs on the grill, potato salad and pasta salad from BJs.  I wrapped the silverware (that Holly bought at Christmas Tree Shops) with twine and gummy lifesavers.

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Dessert!  The cake was from LaSalle Bakery in Providence.

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I got the recipe for Summer Sand Pudding here.  I actually doubled the “sand” and used a little less Cool Whip than the recipe called for.  I probably didn’t need all the sand, but for some reason one batch didn’t seem like enough.

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We saw these on Pinterest and made them on Friday night.  It was a group effort, because by the end of the night …

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… we had the guys making them.  They really love us!

Or the kids.  Jury is still out.

They were relatively straight forward, though.  Large marshmallows, graham crackers and goldfish at the grocery store. Blue Wilton melting chocolate, white lollipop sticks and sugar pearls in the baking section at Michaels.  Melt the chocolate, dip the marshmallow in the chocolate, then in the crushed graham crackers and then decorate with fish and “bubbles”.  We found it helpful to put the marshmallows in the freezer for a few minutes before dipping them in the hot chocolate!

In the end, the kids had a blast and we had a blast fussing with the details!  I pushed a little too hard and was in a lot of pain on Sunday night, but it was nothing that a good night’s sleep and a subsequent nap on Monday couldn’t help.

And an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Or two.

Children’s Day Games

Okay … can someone help me out?  How in the world is AUGUST ALMOST OVER?!

I feel like just yesterday I was saying, “We had an amazing Children’s Day celebration!  I can’t wait to blog about it.”

Yeah … that didn’t happen.

I never actually pulled my camera out on Children’s Day.  I haven’t really figured out how to be both pastor AND photographer yet … I feel like I am always missing things!  Ugh.  Anyway, my plan was to pull the games out and take photos of them at some point this summer, but then we started painting classrooms and my life became consumed by that.

Did I promise y’all photos of the classrooms?  It’s official – I’m the worst blogger ever.

Anyway, at this point I’m planning Rally Sunday and if I don’t blog about Children’s Day now I never will.  So I grabbed some photos off of our church Facebook page and have decided that I will just do a better job of documenting and blogging about the next thing.

Well … I’ll try.

Anyhoo … we had a big carnival-like party on Children’s Day.  The church provided hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream and we asked the congregation to bring side dishes.  We rented a bouncy house and set up all kinds of games that I found on Pinterest.  We also pulled together a lot of fun and inexpensive props and set up a photo booth – THAT was fun!

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You have to be careful with a bouncy house.  We checked with our insurance company before we ordered it and made sure there was always an adult at the door bringing the kids in and out.  We didn’t let too many kids in at once and had them take their shoes off.  The kids were so thrilled that they were happy to follow the rules!

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Pinteret-inspired games.  We actually wanted to put more together, but ran out of time in the end (doesn’t that always happen?).  We saved everything and are hoping to just add to it for next year.

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Truth be told, this game looked cooler on Pinterest!  It was supposed to be a javelin throw made out of pool noodles, but the target wouldn’t stand up and the pool noodles did not throw like javelins!  So we improvised and still had fun.

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One of everyone’s favorite parts of the day (besides the bouncy house) was the photo booth!  We gathered fun and inexpensive props and let people take as many pictures as they wanted!  We had someone on hand to take them (and we posted those on the church Facebook page) and some of them are hysterical!  It was a blast and will definitely be making an appearance at upcoming church events.  I think it will be a fun way to capture our community throughout the years!

In the end, it was an amazing day, but a lot of work.  I’m hoping to streamline the process a little bit next year so the staff isn’t as stressed going into the weekend.

What do y’all do for Children’s Day?