Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ellie Turns Eight - The Friend Party Edition

I'm falling painfully behind in blogging yet again. It seems that teaching, having a baby, working on the final class for my M.S. and serving as the visiting teaching coordinator makes blogging take last place in the list of my daily priorities. Not to mention birthdays and holidays and the other things that go on, or Jim working on his dissertation proposal. Life is cray-cray - as the kids say.

One of the highlights of this fall has been Ellie's eighth birthday. Her mom let her choose whether she wanted to get baptized in Cali or in Oregon. She chose Oregon since she "has more friends" here. We were thrilled, to say the least! Any time that little girl can be out here is a good time. It did mean that I was in charge of both her baptism and birthday party planning, which gave me ample reason to stress out. I am, after all, a "little bit Monica" as my husband pointed out. I felt a lot of pressure not the least of which was because I had never met her mother and naturally she would be here. I have always felt like I had to be extra on top of things because the way her mom felt about me could influence how she felt about Ellie spending time with us, and I didn't want to cost Jim any time with her.

Long story short, I spent a lot of time planning and trying to get things just perfect. I'm pretty proud of the fact that for the most part I rolled with the punches on the things that didn't quite pan out like expected.

She asked for a Lego party. We had a Lego relay race, played Lego bingo, and I spent way more hours than I'd like to admit drawing this Lego block photo backdrop. 

It's a testament to the fact that I let things slide that I didn't keep rehanging it so the seam was perfectly level and matched up.

We had a yellow Lego head pinata that made me cry because it wasn't as Pinterest-worthy as I'd intended, but when Ellie had a blast smashing it open with three wallops that was all forgotten.

I spray-painted baby food jars to look like Lego heads and filled them with candy blox to use as bingo markers, but the paint clearly hadn't cured as much as I thought because all the lids ended up glued on from the paint. We spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get them open.

We served pizza, fruit kabobs, juice boxes dolled up to look like Lego blocks, mini cupcakes, and way too many flavors of ice cream for one party.

The cousins were able to come down, and every single friend who was invited made it. We ended up with fourteen kids and it was a blast. Honestly, just feed kids and let them run amok and they are happy as can be. All the grownups behaved themselves and it was a really pleasant evening, despite some of the potentially awkward moments that could have surfaced with biological parents and step-parents, grandparents, and step-grandparents crammed into the same room. Ellie was spoiled silly and she was so happy that everyone had come. It turned out fantastic.

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