May 12, 2013

Shiver Me Timbers! Garrett is Five!

This is my third son, Garrett.  He is one of those people who does not require any introduction, however.  His dynamic personality has allowed him to develop quite a reputation 'round these parts.  People know him to be spunky, animated, energetic, and feisty.  I get to witness first-hand his intrepid, fearless nature as I try to keep him relatively "reigned in," a task that requires unusual amounts of energy on my part.  His conquests are not for the faint-of-heart-mother.  I have watched him scale perilous heights, jump over treacherous terrains, and forge on into the unknown without a thought of looking back.  He wants to explore the world, and he does it in his own high-spirited and self-determined way.  Garrett lives life on his own terms--he lives it.  I'm telling you, this kid lives life.   And we...well...we love it.  We love his passion, we love his exuberance, and we love his big, giant heart.  And let's face it. This kid is a total crack-up to be around. Don't believe me?  Just watch this:

Garrett's Pirate Party

I can't tell you how thrilled I was that Garrett wanted to have a pirate theme for his friend birthday party.  I'd already done one for Brevin, and I had all of the invitation designs, the treasure hunt clues prepared, the palm tree decorations, and I even saved the sails that I used on his pirate ship cake.  Recycled parties are the best.

The invitations were such a hit the first time around, there was no need to change them. The party information was made into an authentic-looking treasure map that was printed off on postal packaging paper that had been cut to fit through the printer, the map's edges were burned, and then it was rolled and placed into an empty IBC root beer bottle for delivery.

Having a second shot at making the cake proved to make a big difference in the end result.  I was able to find a really good tutorial online with detailed step-by-step instructions and photos.  As I was baking the cakes according instructions, I realized that the cake example I was following was intended to feed a massive group of people. I decided to cut the cakes in half and saved the left-over cake in the freezer for my next child's birthday, so no harm done.  Let the party begin.

Garrett oppened gifts just after guests arrived.
A quick game of Pass the Skull was played (similar to Hot Potato).

We went outside to participate in a number of tactile activities.

The last game we played was a treasure hunt that had clues
 leading everyone to the party favors and cake and ice-cream.

This picture makes me laugh because I realize that I don't 
look like a pirate quite as much as I look like Bret Michaels.

"Drink up, me hearties!  Yo ho!"

Each of the children got a handmade pirate hat, bandana, and eye 
patch in their favor bags. One of the girls didn't want to wear hers just yet.

For our final activity, we let each child take a whack at the pinata with a 
pirate sword.  When that didn't prove too successful, we switched over to a bat.

When the last buccaneer "shipped out" at the conclusion of the party, we were left with a sight that would have made someone think they were on location in the island of Tortuga.  I think that is a sign of a really good time, don't you?

Garrett's Birthday Dinner #1

Garrett had told us he wanted to have his birthday dinner at Sonic, and he wanted to eat outside on the restaurant grounds. We were confident that his reasoning had everything to do with the one airplane toy that was out on the grass in between the tables.  Our suspicions were confirmed when playing on the toy was about all he did while we were there. I did manage to get him to sit down for a bit of eating. When I asked him how his hamburger was, He gave me a thumbs up and flashed a food-filled smile for the camera. We took him on the night of his friend party so I wouldn't have to worry over dinner that night, and his request would be acknowledged.  Jason convinced him to have a second birthday meal on a different night at a slightly nicer location, and we'd invite Grandma and Grandpa Park to come along.

Garrett's Birthday Breakfast

It just so happened that Garrett's birthday fell on Mother's Day this year, so both of us were treated to breakfast in bed.  Jason made Belgian waffles, and Ella joined in on helping me eat mine. 

After breakfast, Garrett got to open his gifts, which included books, Hershey chocolate bars, Pringles chips, a fishing pole, a golf frisbee game, and a jumbo plastic blow-up ball that three small children could fit inside.

Garrett's Birthday Dinner #2

Pizza Pie Cafe has quickly become the restaurant of choice for my children on their birthday.  I think it might have something to do with the Oreo pizza.  Garrett's birthday dinner seemed to be a perfect Monday night activity, and it was fun to have Grandma and Grandpa along for the meal as well.  It was a delicious meal and a fitting conclusion to the week-long celebration of Garrett's birth.

Happy 5th Birthday, Gare-Bear!

This post authored by Amber

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