Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An Old Fashioned Backyard Birthday Party for Zach

 This weekend we hosted our grandson, Zach’s, fourth birthday party in our backyard.  Lots of fun, lots of work and well worth it.  Zach is in a large preschool class and it is common to invite almost all of the kids and of course at this age each comes with a parent.  Then there are the families you are friends with and have multiple kids.  The first guest list was ridiculously long and my daughter whittled it down to 20 kids and 20 adults including us.  We always had at home and backyard birthday parties for our kids but when they were this young it was just a few kids.  The boys invited just boys and girls invited just girls.  Times have changed.  Kids all play together and everyone gets invited.   This was many more than I had in mind but we prayed for good weather and hoped for the best.  No wonder so many birthday parties are at venues away from home.

Fran, Zach’s Mom had chosen a camping theme with Zach and she was in charge of planning, decorating and hosting.  Josh, Zach’s Dad, did lots of the heavy lifting with set up and clean up. Check out the cool camping theme decorations and light - and mostly fresh and nutritious snacks available at the beginning of the party.  Food – other than grilling was my job.

The kids could choose among free play with tents, pirate ship, swings, fish in a pool, etc. and craft projects.  One Mom organized games of Giant Steps and Duck, Duck, Goose.  

While Pop grilled 25 chicken legs, 20 hamburgers and 24 hot dogs.  That’s right -  in the sweltering heat.  He’s a saint and our hero.

It didn’t rain but it was 90 degrees. Fortunately, the other grandparents called the day before and offered this shade canopy tent.  It made all the difference as adults stayed there and kids came there to eat.

Zach’s other grandma is a cake decorator extraordinaire and she pulled out all the stops with this cake with the camping theme.  She had the whole campsite including 4 kids in sleeping bags, tent, campfire, trees, lake with fish, a bear and a deer.  The cake was outlined in rock shaped candy.

The kids and adults were equally impressed by this amazing cake.  Zach looked at the cake in awe (arms crossed) as we sang Happy Birthday.

Everyone had a great time and people lingered passed the end time.  Then the big cleanup – over two days!  On Saturday, we cleared the food, washed down everything and when it was dry put away tables we didn’t want to be out overnight.  On Sunday Fran and Josh cleaned up the rest and Zach showed off all his birthday gifts.

My husband and I were exhausted when it was over. Have you hosted a grandchild’s birthday party or plan to?  Please post in the comments and tell us all about it.

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