Sunday, February 1, 2015

Assemble the Minions!

We first began chatting with Drew a couple weeks ago about what he wanted to do for his birthday.  I tried to emphasize doing something different; he's been to a few "destination" birthday parties (bowling, arcade, swimming) so I wanted to throw out the idea of inviting just two or three friends to do something along those lines to celebrate turning eight.  After his party last year, I know he's to the age where a party at home (snacks, games, etc) isn't the thing for him any more.  He friends would much rather just be together to be crazy and do whatever they want, than have some kind of organized extravaganza to attend.  And it's getting a bit exhausting, the Christmas hustle followed so closely by Drew's birthday, which is then closely followed by Reed's birthday (and now, of course, with Ruby's birthday kicking it all off in November).  Unfortunately, after some (minimal) discussion...he didn't take the bait.  Instead, he did the exact opposite, telling me he wanted a Minion party and making a list of 12 friends he wanted to invite.

Oofta.

This was tough.  Drew considers all of his friends "good friends" or even "best friends" so he couldn't even take to the task of minimizing 12 to six, nevermind down to two or three.  He has such a loving and well-intentioned heart and he just couldn't leave anyone out.  So, in trying not to squelch said loving heart, we took his lead on this one, sending out 12 invitations.

{Found THIS ONE on Pinterest and modeled mine after it.}

In trying to find an activity to keep all these kids occupied while they'd be here (and knowing that organized party games wouldn't do), Drew and I decided that watching a movie would be a great option.  Drew loves movies, especially Despicable Me 2.  So we planned on a dinner party time - watch a movie, order pizza, done!  And you bet your bottom dollar I hoped and prayed that only half of Drew's buddies would be able to show!

I had six RSVPs by Thursday.  Whew.  Totally manageable.

And then four more came in, including #10 just yesterday morning.

This does not include my own three children.

Oy.

So last night our house was full.  And it was loud.  And there were a few brief overwhelming moments (even for Drew - not that he flipped out or anything but you'll see it on his face in one of the pictures below).  But all in all, it was fine.

We'd just started the movie, and *I wish* this stillness had lasted the whole time.  But alas, 12 boys in the same room at a birthday party will not be kept idle.  About half sat still and watched the movie in its entirely, and the other half were up and down and playing and bouncing and moving and, welp, being boys.

Pizza, picnic style...

followed by cake and ice cream.  (This is the picture I was talking about.  He looks a little overwhelmed if you ask me!)

The night ended with Drew opening some pretty awesome gifts from his buddies.

It was a lot.  A lot of boys.  A lot of noise.  A lot of activity.  And it is likely that Drew's birthday party days are over (we will be strongly encouraging him to do something different when #9 rolls around), not because of this party in particular but because it is just time to do something different.  But I have to say --- I am so grateful and so impressed with (most of) the boys Drew has surrounded himself with.  (I'm a little confused about a couple of the boys that were here - I don't know them as well as the others so I'm not quite sure where Drew's friendship connection with them comes from.  And that aside - boys are just odd creatures.  There's still a lot I need to learn!)  Some that are so different from him, that push him out of his shell and encourage him to do things he wouldn't ordinarily do, and others that are so much like him, that they meet each other right where they are at and can sit together comfortably in their sameness.  I can see some of these boys still being Drew's best friends when they graduate from high school.  

After all of his friends had been picked up, I asked Drew if he had a good time.

"Yeah, Mom, I did."

Good enough for me.

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I knew going into the "party planning" stages that there wouldn't be much to prep.  Pizza and a movie took care of both the food and activity plans for the night, so that just left some kind of "thank you" goodie bag for the guests.  I took a few queues from Pinterest and we threw this together. 

A Twinkie wrapped with THIS free printable, fruit snacks, and applesauce (because the Minions like apples...I think.  I really have no idea but it sounded good at the time).  I typed up a thank you similar to the invite and attached those to the outside of brown paper sacks.

As for decor, I reused the birthday banner from Drew's Sonic party when he turned six, and in the small amount of Pinterest browsing I did, I found THIS and showed it to Drew.  He found it hilarious and wanted to post it on our front door.  So I whipped one together and Drew loved it!

{For those that don't know, this is an exact quote from the movie.}

As for the cake, I modeled it after THIS ONE and it turned out pretty alright.

And with that, birthday #8 is in the books!

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