Friday, June 6, 2008

Rachel's Birthday Party

When Jacob was two, we started the family tradition of parties for our kids only when celebrating even-numbered birthdays. I think they appreciate the special-ness more when the parties are not annual - I know I do!

Rachel was celebrating one dozen years May 19 & had some clear ideas about what she hoped to do. I think we did a pretty good job granting her wishes and even threw in a couple of surprises.

The party began Friday at 5 p.m. just as some dark clouds started rolling in. Initially, as the girls arrived, they ran out to the fort to get jumped-upon by Jessi squirrel. The more legs to climb and shoulders to hop upon, the happier she is.

An unusual incident: a large, seemingly friendly husky with no collar showed up in the yard, greeting everyone like he was our welcoming committee. The guests had no idea he was a party crasher. I tried to give him away with no success. As the rain started to fall & the thunder made a little noise, he tried to come into the house but was well behaved enough to obey "NO." Guess he went home because he was gone when we went back out.

First activity: Treasure Hunt

The thunder was fading into the distance but the drips were still drooling so I had the girls get into their water play clothes first. Clue numero uno was found playing a game of hangman on the whiteboard. "Climb up to Jessi's new home." And they were off! 12 clues in all that had them on every side of the house outside and several rooms inside. In and out, searching for that next clue. "Parts is Red parts" (Red mini-van) "Little men kick a ball." (foosball table) "Can't fish from me anymore" (NON-floating dock) "A - G makes beautiful music" (piano)

I had towels at every door.

The treasure was located in "Can't ski behind these jets" the storage area under a jet ski seat (our $500 lawn ornaments). They brought in the duffel bag & each chose treasure bags. Bracelets, pens, flashlights, highlighters, CANDY...

What is this? Each bag contained a can of shaving cream. Were we having a shave your legs for the first time party? No!

We were having a shaving cream fight!

The rain had stopped so I turned on the back yard sprinklers.

The girls began to shake those cans and squirt each other. How funny! They ran around and got covered. Some didn't think they were getting sprayed enough so sprayed themselves. They gave themselves beards and mustaches. Then they did each other's hair. Shaving cream works even better than hair gel.

I told them that once (upon a time) when I had a shaving cream fight at a slumber party, my dad told my friends that shaving cream has a special chemical that causes the roots of hair to disintegrate so that the hair falls out.

Wide eyes looked at me. Hands touched foamy hair-dos.

"Is that true? Will our hair fall out?"

"Of course NOT!"

After emptying the cans & slathering the shaving cream all over until they were almost unrecognizable, it was time to play in the sprinklers and on the slip-n-slide (thank you, Abby!)

I went inside & prepared for supper: Do it yourself french bread pizzas.

You'd have thought those girls had never made their own pizza in their life. What fun spooning on the sauce, adding the pepperoni and cheese. Double decker pepperoni. Triple layers of cheese. More sauce? Why not! They used (0r ate) all the pepperoni, and cheese was all over the table. Some say boys are messy, but in my experience, girls take the prize in that contest.

The pizzas cooked quickly while the girls got drinks and plates. After prayer as the girls started to eat, Rachel asked me. "Mom, Can we have a no-manners meal?" (I know, I know - she should have said "may" not "can" but I'm tellin' it like it happened. Call the grammar police if you must.)

Well, I thought just a second and figured it might be fun for them.

"This is declared an official no-manners meal. Here are the rules: There will be no throwing of food. Try to keep all food on the table and off your clothes. You may not mess with your neighbor's food. Everyone put your elbows on the table. You are required to have food in your mouth when you speak. Smacking is permitted (one girl thought I meant "slapping" each other rather than "smacking your lips" - had to clarify that one). Belches are encouraged."

Their faces went from puzzlement to surprise (true jaw-dropping) to huge grins. "I have ALWAYS wanted to do this!"

I passed out straws so they could blow bubbles in their drinks - then had a bubble blowing contest. One burped, said "Excuse me" then "uh-oh. Am I banned from the meal for saying "excuse me"?" LOL

Rachel opened gifts while I cleaned off the table & got her cupcakes ready. The girls came back into the dining room, sang "Happy Birthday" & the candles were blown out. Then they wanted to eat their cupcakes with their hands behind their backs. OK. When they were finished, I declared the no-manners meal officially over and reminded them that now they were to practice good manners.

As they played, they came up with a "program" to "perform" for the moms as a couple of the girls had to go home. Gymnastics, piano playing and parading around in feather masks and blankets had everyone smiling and giggling (after all, they are GIRLS). Then for the finale, plastic roaches (Yes, you read that right. Never mind where Rachel got them, they've been a source of practical jokes for several years now. sigh) were tossed on the unsuspecting audience. (Rachel claims it was not her idea but that of the daughter of the "victim". I apologised anyway.)

These three stayed the night. Here they were on-line showing Rachel the ropes on the site for her new web-kin.

There was a spin art craft that we did while they took turns on the PC. It is extremely easy and makes a cool little picture. (craft - done. Check it off the list.)

It was almost 11 when Jacob got home. Even though the girls were getting tired, they were happy to go outside and play with sparklers. I was happy to have my pyro-loving son in charge of this activity.

They crashed before "The Princess Diaries" was over. Rachel was actually the first to fall asleep. We will not mention SNORING.

We had baked eggs and toast for breakfast - with manners. Then came a surprise call from Ms. Cindy. Bonny had finally foaled so we took a spontaneous field-trip a couple of miles down the road to see the new baby.

This colt was born around 6 hours earlier. He is a beautiful tri-color paint.

The girls also enjoyed seeing a kitten that had followed Cindy to the barn.

What a perfect conclusion for Rachel's party.

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