Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Party

We ended up having two parties for Bennett, one for his friends and one for our family. A little overboard, I know, since we also made his actual birthday a celebration day as well. But he made so many great friends at preschool this year, I wanted him to be able to invite them. I was thinking of having our family come for dinner on the same day but my parents were coming into town the following weekend, so we decided to delay the family party until then.  (Jon asked if we'd be doing that every year and I assured him, no! I would love to hear your solutions for those of you with lots of family in town. Do you invite a few school friends along with all the cousins? I always like to make a meal for our family but want to keep it simple if he has a bunch of friends coming. What do you do??)

We had an ocean themed party and just let the kids swim and play in the backyard. They had a blast and of course, it was low maintenance entertainment :) I wanted to order a couple of bunches of balloons for decoration but apparently there's a national helium shortage.Who knew?? They were going to be $2 a piece! No thanks.

 Goldfish (of course) for a snack:
 Judie made cute little labels for the water bottles but I forgot to take a close-up of those. They said, "Freshly Bottled Ocean Water". Forgive me, Judie, for not better documenting your hard work!
Cake #1. Swedish Fish, cut up pieces of Fruit by the Foot for seaweed and crushed Graham Cracker sand. (Tip for any novice cake makers out there, like me: I baked the cake in a 9x13 with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom so it came out of the pan easily. Another trick I've learned, stick large pieces of wax paper overlapped around the edges when you're frosting a decorating. You can slide those off when you're done and your tray stays neat.):
 Finally, he turned 5, when he blew out those candles! (According to him):

The goodie bags in a bucket. A growing sea creature from the dollar spot at Target, a Go Fish game from the Dollar Tree, an "Octopop" (idea from this blog) and some swedish fish:
 And party #2 with all his cousins and a couple of our closest friends:
My parents and Claire were staying at our house and come to find out, Claire is a crafty sister. She was thrilled to help me with all the party details. I kept having to reign her in on more details she wanted to add. She was all about it! I'm glad to know she can be my party assistant from now on! I made jello cups with swedish fish swimming inside both times but the second time we added the lifesavers on top with a little writing icing detail. Judie found the fish net under the cups at Michael's. (Warning: if you ever make these, don't do it too far in advance. The fish get all puffed up and mushy overnight. I put the lifesavers on just a couple hours before the party but by the time we had cake, they were nearly dissolved!)
And the fun napkin rings with a Wintogreen Lifesaver (we just used a permanent marker for the detail on these). I'm sorry, can't find the source on these anymore :(
Cake #2. Claire did the shark on this one (she traced a simple shark silhouette onto wax paper off of the computer, cut it out, laid it on the cake, outlined it with frosting, removed the wax paper and filled it in). She even picked out a bunch of white sprinkles from the jar to use for the teeth :) The frosting ended up a little too dark on this one since I loved how the seaweed stood out more on the first one, but man, it was such a fun and easy cake!
Bennett's 4th party here and 3rd, here.


  1. SO much fun!!! Great job on the parties!! Super fun theme!!

  2. it looks like he had a wonderful party! i really like the theme and all of your ideas ... i love it when the food coordinates, and i'm sure all of the kids went crazy for their goody buckets. we haven't had a "friend party" yet, and i usually have mother's guilt afterwards (but promised one this year!) ... we have one big family party with cousins and a couple of friends who have children. thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, I'm super impressed! Love the cakes and party favors.

  4. WOWOWOW! I love every single detail of this party! Looks like it was a total blast and Bennett's 5th Birthday (with all 3 celebrations, actually 4 if you count the one we did with Ava :)) was definitely one to remember!I've looked at these pictures so many times, you did good mom!

  5. What a creative mommy. Good job. The number of parties is always a dilemma and mommies get tuckered out by the end by I always found better to keep the little friends and family and big friends parties separate. At least if you can combine both sides of the family along with adult friends into one it helps.

  6. What a fun birthday! Love all your details! And so glad you had 2 good summer trips. Love the zoo pics. And Channing is just adorable. Love his 4 month pictures. I saw you at church Sunday and I was wondering where Channing was...the nursery...way to go! Sorry I didn't get to say hello. We are headed to TX soon, but hope to connect when we get back. Blessings!


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