Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Zeke's 4th Birthday Party!

Last year when I started planning Zeke's 3rd birthday I wanted to do a Toy Story theme. Then things changed and we had to have Jack and Zeke's parties together so we went with the LEGO theme since Jack had already had a Toy Story themed party. I figured I would just use the Toy Story theme for Zeke's 4th birthday instead. Then Zeke started not being interested in Toy Story that much so my whole planned changed to Hot Wheels. Zeke loves Hot Wheels! He's not brand loyal or anything, but he just loves any type of little car he can drive around or on a track. 

I downloaded the Hot Wheels font and the logo to use for his invitations. 

I also used the same font for his birthday banner. The flame letters were a bit much and it was actually kind of trippy to look at the sign. 

Even though we had Pit Passes for Zeke's 2nd birthday when we did the Cars drive-in I decided it was worth it to do them again. The kids always like to know what's coming next. 

To 'Study For the Race' I had the kids gather in the garage and I read them this Shark Attack Hot Wheels book. I hadn't even let Zeke look at it since I didn't want it to be an old book for him. I had ordered another book that I felt was a little more was called "Let the Races Begin"....but it was on back order so this one had to do. The kids seemed to enjoy it just fine! 

The 'Paint Job' portion of the party was the kids getting to color Hot Wheels pages from a coloring book I had purchased. 

All the kids wore their pit passes around their necks. I would have them look at them and tell me what was the next thing on our list of stuff to do. 

It always surprises me just how much the kids love to color. It just goes to show you it doesn't have to be this super detailed, extravagant thing for kids to have loads of fun!

Pa got a picture of me helping out the kids. 

They are serious about making their pictures look top notch! 

Miss Kim had to miss this part of the party since Caitlynn had fallen asleep in the van on the way to the party. Josiah and Andrew had no problem having a blast while there mom was in the van. 

Nice paint job Andrew!!!

So pretty! 

Birthday boy had some help from Daddy. Ga-Ga & Aunt Stephie were sick the day of Zeke's party and I was hoping that would help Zeke not be so clingy. He usually spends pretty much the whole time at a party in Ga-Ga's arms. During the coloring he really wanted me pick him up and I knew I couldn't haul him around when I had things to we are trying to get him to be more social. That's when Daddy had to come out and help a little. 

Nice work Owen! 

Very colorful Samantha! 

Normally for our parties I serve dinner, but for some reason I just didn't feel like I wanted to do that for this party. Of course I made that decision months in advance and I'm so glad I listened to myself. A couple weeks before Zeke's party I got sick and it was taking me some time to fully recover. If I had to make dinner for everyone that would have done me in for sure. We didn't let everyone starve though! The party was at 2pm so we had....

The Grand Stand Snacks! 

I had tried to find white and black table cloths at The Dollar Tree, but they were out of black. I think people were buying them up in preparation for graduation parties. So instead I went with the traffic light theme. The ribbon for the kids pit passes were also these colors so it fit in well. 

I can not take the credit for these cuties....I found them on Pinterest. Everyone thought they were super cute. 

Since I didn't have either Ga-Ga or Aunt Stephie to help me prep the food I did get a little stressed right before the party. Thankfully Michael helped a little and mainly just kept the kids out of my kitchen so I could work. Cutting the cantaloupe into triangles was a bit more time consuming than I had imagined. 

Thankfully I had done a bunch of the prep work the day before. These chocolate dipped pretzel sticks were waiting in the frig to be set out. 

At first I was just going to serve the cheddar snack mix that I buy from the bulk section at Winco, but then I ended up having all the stuff for normal Chex mix as well......I did have to make the bagel chips at home since I couldn't find them at any store. 

Ga-Ga had bought these for the party the Thursday prior when we watched Zeke. She got 4 boxes and we went through every one of them!

Here are the kids all ready to 'Get Fueled Up'!

Speaking of fuel...the Racing fuel was in the was yummy sweet ice tea. Thankfully not super sweet since I had time to brew more prior to the party. Oops! 

Onto the party guests! 

Uncle Jon and Aunt Becky...Uncle Jon particularly loved the Indy Cars! 

Uncle Ry riding solo....later after the party Michael and Ry got to have a guys night out and go see a movie. 

Pa & Bill had lots of time to chat! 

Once Caitlynn woke up she was able to jump right into the festivities. 

Like I said before we are trying to get Zeke to be more social. A few weeks before his party he told me that his only friend was James from his class at MOPS. I was SO excited he actually was saying he had a friend. So of course we invited James and his Mom. Kara and I have known each other for years through MOPS. The hilarious thing is when I went to introduce her to my friend Christina they actually already knew each other. Small world! 

Papa and Grandma Martin. I really like this picture of Mom. She normally isn't looking at the camera so it's nice to see her eyes! 

Camryn is almost a teenage....seriously! 

Finally it was 'Time for the Race'! 

I hadn't really figured out exactly how this part of the party was going to go so I literally pretty much just went with it. I did grab a piece of sidewalk chalk thinking I'd need it and it did come in handy when I needed to write where the different groups needs to stand. 

We actually had exactly 12 kids that were going to race so that worked out perfectly since only 4 cars can race at a time.

The first thing we did was have the kids pick a number out of a bowl so they would know when it was there turn to pick out their car. I had bought a pack of 20 random Hot Wheels from Amazon. Of course Zeke got to pick first since he was the birthday boy. Then we went to number 2 and so on. I loved how the pack of cars was really quite diverse. There were even pink and purple cars! 

Then I counted the kids off by threes and had them stand in their sections. 

All the number 1's....Samantha, Owen, James and Zeke! 

The number 2's....Caitlynn, Jack, Josiah and Addison!

The number 3's...Ella, Caleb, Anna and Andrew!

Time for the heats! 

Group 3 was up first! I taught the kids the rules of how we say..."ready" then we check the track to make sure it's ready, then "set" and we check to make sure the cars are all set and then we say "go" and I was the one that pulled the lever. I figured that was the best since I knew there would be bickering over who got to pull the lever. None of the kids even fussed about it since it was my job. 

Group 3's qualifier was Caleb! 

Group 2 was up next and Addison was the qualifier from this group. 

Group 1's turn.....Owen was the qualifier from this group. 

The final race came down to Owen, Zeke....because there were four lanes we figured we'd let the birthday boy have another turn, Caleb and Addison. 

Owen's car WON!!! He was so excited! He had spent a bit of time choosing his car. He was trying to find the heaviest one and I think that was a good strategy. He was so happy about winning he didn't really even care about the was Hot Wheels coloring book. 

After the races some of the kids ran off and played and a few stayed behind to play with the track. As I'm sure you can tell from the pictures Zeke had no trouble at all sharing his birthday present from us. So thankful we let him play with it before the party! 

I asked Zeke earlier in the week if he wanted to do cake or presents first and he said presents. 

From Papa & Grandma Martin he got these painting sidewalk chalk markers. We had actually bought these for Jack's friend Azmeriah and I almost bought them for us as well. They are super duper messy and don't really work like you'd think a marker would, but the colors are quite vibrant and the kids love them so that's what matters!

James got Zeke a Spiderman track and an extra Spiderman Hot Wheels car. 

Aunt Stephie and Uncle Ry got Zeke some stuff off his Amazon wishlist. He's been wanting this horse chariot that goes with the Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle for a quite a while. 

They also got the Battering Ram that goes with the castle too, but I didn't get a picture of that. It's amazing how a couple new toys can make an old toy feel new again. For the whole week after the party the kids were taking out the castle and playing with everything. 

I got this book on Amazon for Zeke...I figured I would save it for his actual party so he'd have one more present to open. It comes with a car and it is actually a history book about Hot Wheels. It has tons of pictures in it. He doesn't really have the patience for me to read it to him, but he LOVES to look at all the cool cars. 

Ella painted Zeke a picture and got him a T-Rex puzzle! 

Miss Kim and the kids got Zeke this awesome book that was on his Amazon wishlist. We haven't actually tried it out yet, but I love stretching out gifts for a while so we'll open it and give it a go at a later date. 

The Kuch Klan got Zeke this fun Mosaic sticker craft. He's finished the digger and he's working on the fire truck. He loves this gift! 

Then came the big gift from Ga-Ga & Pa....this was also on his Amazon did we ever do birthday lists without that! 

It's another Imaginext Castle. This one is a lion and he also got the flying lion that goes with it. He was pretty excited! 

Next up were his cupcakes. He was very certain he wanted cupcakes and not cake. I didn't really have anything special decoration wise and then a couple days before his party I was looking through my stamps and found this fun trophy and thought I would use those. 

Cute glowing 4 year old face! 

He did good with blowing out his candles and only needed help with the last one....Owen was so happy to step in and assist him. 

Side note: This was the first time we actually really used the dining room benches for a party and I love that 5 cute little kids can sit on one side! 

I actually think this was one of my favorite parties ever. It was so simple and yet so fun! It really seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves. 

Thank you to all the friends and family that came and helped us celebrate Zeke's 4th Birthday. 

Next up is Jack's 8th Birthday and then I get a 7 month break from throwing parties! YAHOO!