I blame the white butterfly birthday cake my Mom made me for my ninth birthday. It was decorated with colored orange coconut and bright candies. That was the cake that inspired me to learn how to decorate cakes and inspired me to throw parties my boys would remember when they got older.
My youngest son, Carsen, recently turned seven. (sigh) He’s getting taller. His legs are longer, his torso stretching… I judge their growth by the laundry going in the wash. Surely my boys don’t wear these jeans, the same jeans that inch their way higher.
Carsen, my Carsen, is bright and creative and sees his world through drawings and colors on paper. He is different than his brother in his own glorious way. My what a task it is to be entrusted with these boys!
This year CJ wanted a Minecraft Birthday. Yes, that god-forsaken game just about EVERY child is playing. I had refused to learn the lingo — to remain detached from this one fad but alas our conversations inevitably turned to the game and the exciting adventures of Steve. I knew I was done for when I started asking them for explanations and it only seemed fitting to do so because I was in charge of creating a Minecraft party.
Planning their birthday parties is my favorite thing to do. Enter Pinterest! BEFORE I wrote down a Guest List you can bet I scoured and pinned everything I could find on Minecraft parties and menus and decoration. My “Party Ideas,” board was brimming with eye candy.
Of course, not everything Pinned was going to make the list but I needed a colorful pallet to choose from. Let’s face it… the closer I got to game day the simplest, easier and cheapest ideas would make the cut. SO, after I got the ideas flowing I set about putting my plans into action.
1. Form a Guest List – Important to know how many children I will be stuffing goodie bags for.
2. Set a date, time and location. (Sorry boys we just don’t do Chuck E. Cheese)
3. Decide on a menu – Something simple and yummy
4. Activities – Games and goodie bags
5. Prepare an Evite and send it (get emails – make sure you have updated ones)
Now, around this time I was suffering from allergies BIG TIME. I was not only physically exhausted but brain exhausted. My voice was octaves lower and raspy. It was bad. Thankfully I had the wonderful help (and sympathy) from my best friend Tandi and my husband. Together we pulled off an awesome party, if I may say so.
There was a crafting table where kids could design their own Minecraft mask. We hot glued craft sticks to the backs of square paper plates and cut eye holes. Then we cut up square “pixels” out of construction paper, foam stickers and markers for the kids to decorate the masks with. Another activity involved helium balloons decorated as Ghast, Ender and Creepers that were secured to random objects in the garden for target shooting. It was quite tricky because it was kind of windy that day.
I think the hit of the party was Exploding the TNT, ak.a. Mentos and Diet Coke. We had three teams and gave each team five Mentos to drop in their 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke. We found the key to getting the best rise was dumping all five at the same time (as best you could).
And if that wasn’t excitement enough, Todd drilled into his finger while bolstering the homemade Ghast piñata hook. He immediately had to leave the party, insisting on driving himself to Texas Med Clinic where they stitched the artery in his middle finger (yes, artery) then stitched his finger. It isn’t a party unless someone is going to the emergency room, right?
Carsen had a blast, which was always the goal. It was worth the sacrifice. That’s why we do it. I want my boys to experience the best part of being a kid. I don’t throw these crazy parties to brag to friends and family. It’s not about praise hoping to it’ll be a Pinterest hit. It’s all about my boys.