Sunday, August 26, 2012


 Our firstborn is officially five.  Five, I tell you....FIVE!  (Sorry for the reiteration here.  Saying it once just doesn't seem to be convincing me.) 

We've had a very fun (and exhausting!) weekend of celebrating.  

On Saturday, we had a birthday bash for family and friends.  Caleb had requested a "pirate party", in honor of his love for some of his favorite DisneyJr characters - Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

treasure map invitation
Here are 2 of my little pirates before the party.  Caleb has a red bandanna on like Jake and Meredith is sporting a pink one, like Izzy.

 Caleb had a GREAT time at his party.  We packed a lot of people into our not-so-large house/yard (22 kids ages 5 and under, plus lots of moms and dads), and it was lots of fun.

As much as I appreciate a clean house, I absolutely love when my house is bursting at the seams with the energy and mess that little ones bring (you know, more than the usual energy and mess we have with just our 3!).  Floors covered in grass and wet/muddy footprints, random scraps of food and wrappers littered throughout, toys in all sorts of random places, and wet towels and t-shirts covering the chairs.  A smooshed blueberry here, a left-behind pizza crust there.  Dried ice cream puddles there, juice dripping here.  I LOVE it!

I'm also thankful for brooms and mops and vacuums and cleaning agents.   And a helpful husband who doesn't mind helping with the clean-up. =)

Caleb just loves people, so this kind of party is just his thing.  Lots of friends, lots of energy, lots of piratey-fun. 

 Pirate-y food and decor...

the spread

pirate pizza
pirate swords - small pretzel sticks & halved grapes
pirate boats - mini muffins w/ sails
bucky's fruit salad (bucky is the name of the ship that jake and his crew sail).  caleb was most excited about this!
walk the plank - crackers & cheese
fish & chips
pirate brew - juice & pop
pirate's booty - popcorn
 As the kids arrived, they each received a treasure bag with a map (created by Caleb!).  They were to search for golden doubloons (gold coins) that were "hidden" in the backyard. Think Easter Egg Hunt with fake gold coins instead of eggs!  I didn't get ANY pictures of the kids searching for treasure, darn.

kids' treasure bags

some were hidden in the dirt...
...and some in the grass.

I actually forgot to get these out, as the kids were plenty occupied with other things.  caleb and meredith and the last couple of kids went to town with them on the driveway.
Our littlest ones enjoying lunch...


We had some little pools set up for the kids to play in, and they spent most of their time in those....which was perfect since today was a hot one! 

The coolest pool was definitely this pirate ship one that Grandma found just this past wasn't huge, but it had a sword and a sail and a steering wheel.  Thanks, Grandma!

Caleb doesn't like cake, cupcakes, brownies or cookies.  What he does like is ice cream.  So, instead of slaving away to make this treasure chest cake that he wouldn't even eat, we just went with his favorite - vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.  Much easier, and he appreciated it much more!  We did have a couple kiddos wonder where the cake was, but most seemed pleased enough with the ice cream.

Singing "Happy Birthday"
Shane enjoyed his ice cream cone!
Pinata time!

 It was really fun to see the kiddos swing their hardest at the hovering treasure chest.  While a lot of them had never done a pinata before, it was clear that there were some pros. =)  

Eventually, we just had to break it open ourselves....but the kids gave it their best.  Next time, we might need a non-plastic hitting device!  Special thanks to Greg for retying the rope on more-than-one occasion.

Instead of a huge pile of candy dropping out of the finally-busted pinata, there were pre-made goodie bags, one for each kid, labeled with his/her name.  This seemed to be a much less chaotic version of the traditional way.  Or, maybe I am just a boring mom??  Most importantly, the kids had more "treasure" to add to their treasure bags - a ring pop, a chocolate coin, and a tattoo.

Our favorite 5 year old in his new cape, homemade by his Nana!

Today, his actual birthday, was a bit more low-key, but special nonetheless.

I ran out to get Dunkin' Donuts....Caleb loves their plain donuts.  Plain, really? 
And, a couple pictures of my handsome (and silly!) FIVE-year-old, snapped before church.

Speaking of church, today was promotion weekend in children's ministry, so all of the kiddos moved up a room.  Caleb is now in an upstairs classroom for the first time with other Kindergartners.  He even got his own binder that he'll bring back-and-forth between home and church that includes daily devotions for the week as well as his memory verses.

For lunch today, Caleb picked Noodles & Co.

 Thanks to a very generous friend, whose own children have outgrown this wonderful and like-new toy, Caleb now has his very own "vehicle".

 He has wanted one of these for the past year, and his dreams were fulfilled when he got to drive one this summer for the first time. Seriously, on that day, he told us that he had "been dreaming about this."  Our friend, who had read that blog post, emailed me the next day to let me know that she was willing to part with theirs if we would like it for Caleb.  We have one very happy boy in this house!

Caleb told sissy to jump right in for a ride!
 It was raining a little bit, that didn't stop them.

a little ride around the cul-de-sac
I love this one.  Caleb is all business, and Meredith looks a little fearful!
We spent the rest of the day napping and playing with lots of new toys, thanks to our generous family and friends.  

For dinner, Caleb requested pancakes.  Easy enough!

Mickey Mouse for the birthday boy
And, some more ice cream and singing to end the day...

 Happy 5th birthday, Caleb!!


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