Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jackson's 8th Birthday Party!

Jackson asked me quite a few months ago if he could have Knight party this year for his birthday. Of course I got right on Pinterest and started pinning things like crazy. This really was a fairly simple party...the food was my biggest challenge...Michael took care of most of the activities. 

I used my My Memories program and found a font that looked Medieval enough and then made his invitations, thank you's for the party goodie bags and then his birthday banner. 

I originally was just going to cut them into squares, but then I decided to make them look more like a banner.  

The backyard was all Michael's doing....he designed this fun cardboard box castle...

an area for the spectators...

and a jousting arena! 

What might the kids be using to joust you say???

Hopper balls of course and Dollar Tree pool noodles! 

The color theme for the party was gold and green as you can see by the hopper balls. Jack was a gold knight since that's the color his invitations were. 

First activity was to gather all the kids on the deck so they could design their shields. I had been collecting Costco boxes for months and cutting them up into shield shapes. I cut and taped stripes of cardboard on the back so the kids could slip their arm through. In the process I learned a valuable lesson....normal duct tape is much weaker than the colored forms of duct tape. All the tape just came right off so I had to completely re-tape each shield using colored duct tape and then spray paint them silver again! Lesson learned!!! 

I had found a bunch of crest designs online and then printed them out at the library. I thought it would be fun for the kids to make their shield unique. 

Owen's double dagger sword! 

Those girls were hard at work....Anna and Caleb were very detailed when it came to this craft! 

Jackson's shield was special because it was the same design from his invitations and it's the only one I printed out. 

Zeke chose the design that most of the kids thought was for the bad guys! 

Ella and her pretty cross! 

Addison chose a cross too! She was done lightning fast....I think she just wanted to go play! 

Ms Kim helping Caitlynn get her shield all pretty! 

Then I said, "what good are shields by themselves!" So I broke out the inflatable swords that I bought on Amazon. 

This is Jacob....he is Jack's best friend from school. Jacob even spent the night at our house a week ago. I hope these boys' friendship lasts and lasts....Jacob is a really good kid! 

The sword fighting moved to the backyard with Michael being the main target! 

All the knights lined up with their swords and shields! 

A few spectators....Pa, Zeke and my Dad's cousin Leo & his wife Nina. They were on vacation all the way from Wyoming. It was so nice that they got to stop by and visit for a little while! 

We let the kids play and get their energy out a bit before we separated them into teams. 

Here were the green knights! 

Here are the gold knights! 

Let the jousting commence! 

The jousting was so much fun! 

It's hard enough just trying to bounce on these balls and not fall off! 

Let alone try to bounce, hold and pool noodle and try to hit your opponent! 

The bigger boys were all for it! 

A few of the girls didn't want anything to do with it. 

I love the shots where they connected! 

It was so much fun and it was the first time I was super thankful that our backyard was in the shade. This was the hottest day of the year so far...92! 

I think the kids had fun and the best thing is no one got hurt! 

Sir Jack taking out Anna! 

Anna isn't going down without a fight though! 

Ga-Ga was the one that ordered the Hopper balls for us months ago. I hadn't inflated them because I wanted them to still feel new for our kids too. We got the two bigger ones for Owen and Jack and then we got too smaller ones for Ella and Zeke. Zeke's ball is the perfect size, but the ball that came for's supposed to be the exact same size as Zeke's...was so small!!! It was not anywhere close to the same size as Zeke's. It was even too small for Caitlynn, but she made it work. We ended up giving it to Reagan who just turned 2 and it's perfect for her. Needless to say I had to purchase a big one for Ella and have it shipped the same day so she didn't feel left out. 

Caitlynn wanted to hop on the ball, but she didn't want to hold the jousting pole so Michael did that part for her! 

Next up was the catapult! Michael spent all Friday night working on this. He just couldn't get it to function properly. Finally he rigged it where it had a quick release and it worked great! He's so talented! Originally he wanted to use water balloons since it was going to be so hot, but there just weren't shooting well. So he decided to use golf balls instead. 

Some of the kids were strong enough to just pull it down themselves, but others needed the quick release to help. 

They were so cute standing in line patiently waiting their turn. 

I think this activity was even a bigger hit than the jousting portion. 

I only snapped a few pictures and then rushed back up to prepare Jack's Birthday Celebration Feast! 

This is what the kids were shooting at. Michael had the castle pieced together so the whole thing wouldn't fall down if it was hit. It was fun when one of them connected. Also the gravel really helped stop the balls from bouncing. Uncle Ry was the ball retriever! 


After a while Uncle Ry decided he needed to act like an Ogre that was going to storm the castle! 

Here is Jackson's birthday feast! 

I knew early on this was going to be my favorite part of the party. I took inspiration from Pinterest, Medieval Times and The Lord Of The Rings - Two Towers movie. 

When I pictured the food in my mind I knew I wanted it to look a feast with overflowing plates of yummy food! 

We roasted 50 chicken legs! On the hottest day of the year mind kitchen was so hot! 

Side note: We did not have one fly or bee or any bugs mess with the food at all. We had the doors open wide, but I had my difusor plugged in and I was using my new Terra Shield oil from Doterra and it worked like a charm! 

The tomatoes were what I pictured from The Lord Of The Rings movie. There is a scene where this evil king is eating tomatoes and it's so disgusting because he doesn't just pop them into his mouth he takes bites of them and the insides squirt everywhere! 

Aunt Stephie brought the tomato bisque soup and I thought of that because of going to Medieval Times in California. I remembered drinking my soup from a metal bowl. That's what the silver cups were utensils were allowed at the feast!  

The celery and carrots just added a nice bit of color. I did had some ranch dressing in that gravy bowl although I'm pretty sure they didn't have ranch dressing back them. 

This area turned out exactly like I pictured in my mind. I wanted an overflowing area with yummy crusty bread and then red ripe apples. So yummy! 

I had to call everyone in for the feast! I didn't have any food set out at all when everyone arrived so it was fun for them to come upstairs and see all this beautiful bounty of food waiting for them! 

Dig in!!! 

Ga-Ga & Michael manned the bread and apple area. Ga-Ga had brought up her nice wooden cutting board since all I have are those plastic IKEA cutting boards....don't think they would have had the same effect! 

To make getting around the dining room table easier we had moved the benches out onto the deck for people to sit and eat on. 

Caitlynn enjoying her yummy food! 

Josiah posing for the camera! 

These kids were hungry! In fact Azmeriah...she's sitting to the left of Jack...she another friend from school.... had just come from soccer practice and she even asked if she could eat something before the feast was ready! 

I doubt this kid ate anything other than grapes, bread and dessert! 

Owen and Daddy! 

Kim and me!

Bill & Christina hanging out in the was much more pleasant outside than it was inside. They are holding these cute banners that Michael made for the spectators to use to cheer for the knights. 

Aunt Stephie and Uncle Ry enjoying the shade!!!

Jackson had requested that he open his presents before having cake so he got to do just that. Normally we have the kids open gifts in the living room, but it was almost unbearable in there so we moved the presents out to the backyard instead. 

Most of the time the kids open Ga-Ga & Pa's presents last since they usually buy the bigger gifts. Jackson had gotten wise to that and decided to open the present they got him first!!! 

He got the Jurassic World LEGO set that has the raptors and Owen in it. He's been wanting this set for a long time. 

He also got Poe's X-Wing from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He had actually been saving his money up for this set so now he gets to put his money towards something else! 

Azmeriah got Jack these awesome pool googles and a gift certificate to Dairy Queen. 

Jacob got Jack this Hot Wheels builder set. It's so much fun! You can set it up in all different ways and there are different jumps the cars make. 

Ms Kim and her kiddos got Jack a blue and green camo style watch and Andrew had also included some neat inventor stuff for Jack.

This was part of the gift from Uncle Ry & Aunt you can tell he's pretty stoked about it! 

It was a whole bag full of those fun foam planes! He loves those things! 

They also got him his very own real tool set that comes with a tool bag for everything to fit's been on his Amazon wishlist for a while and he's loving it! 

Jack's other friend from school Jordan gave him these Minecraft characters and a sword. 

I took Owen, Ella and Zeke to The Dollar Tree a few days before the party and they got Jack presents. Ella got Jack a pair of swimming googles, Owen got Jack this superhero puzzle and Zeke got Jack a 3D truck puzzle. 

Here's Jack with all of his gifts! 

Keeping with the feast theme we decided to go big on the desserts. We had that giant chocolate cake from Costco and also a Tuxedo cake and a Blueberry Cheesecake from there as well. Plus my Dad went out and got Tillamook Ice Cream in 3 different flavors. Oh yeah it was awesome! 

Happy Birthday Jackson!!! 

Blowing out 8 candles took some effort for sure! 

I forgot to get a picture of the goodie bags for the kids. They were little see through bags with a ring pop and then 3 of those gold chocolate coins. They of course also got to take home their swords and shields! 

What a fun and successful party all around!!! We are so blessed by all the people that came and celebrated Jackson with us!!!