July 1, 2013

Raiders of the Lost Park

This good-looking fellow just turned nine years-old.  If you think he looks charming in his pictures, you should see him in action.  Spencer is outgoing, cheerful, and highly charismatic. These qualities naturally draw others to him, and he is happy to assume a role of leadership among his peers.  He has demonstrated an increased measure of maturity at home as well.  Now, don't get me wrong.  He can still be quite spastic and silly at times.  I do not think he will ever outgrow his tendency to be an attention commanding personality, but he has developed an increased responsible and thoughtful nature, too.  He's bright and talented, with a wide range of interests in academics, sports, and the arts.  While he has gotten much better about finishing books that he has started reading, creative writing still remains to be one of his greatest strengths. He is quite the storyteller and writes with fantastic expression.

I could go on and on (it's easy to get carried away when you're a mother), and it would be extremely difficult to pinpoint just what I love most about Spencer.  I can say I really enjoy that he still consistently requests that I sing him a song every night at bedtime.  For all his growing and maturing, that is the thing he does that reminds me that he truly is, and always will be, my little boy.  Watching his year-in-review birthday video, however, reminds me how quickly that "little boy" is growing up.  See what I mean:

An Indiana Jones Water Party

I decided to allow the boys to do friend birthday parties this year, and Spencer requested an Indiana Jones themed water party.  I had found some great ideas via Pinterest and especially loved the invitations described on this post.  I ordered the suggested book from Amazon, but while awaiting the  delivery, I made some "save the date" movie posters (thanks to the magic of Photoshop) to give to each of the party guests.  The posters were really fun, and could have stood alone, but I was absolutely giddy at how cool the lost journal invitations turned out.

Party favors consisted of a hat for each child and a felt satchel. I found the hats at Deseret Book.  I admit I felt a little obnoxious wiping out the store's complete inventory of pioneer trek hats, but at $4.95 a piece, I couldn't pass them up.  The satchels were made of felt and I sewed them the night before the party using the pattern idea I found on this website.  Inside the satchel, there was a prescription bottle filled with M&Ms and labeled as a poison antidote, to be consumed after one of the party games.

Once the guests arrived, Spencer opened his gifts before we played water games.  I love how excited he was about receiving this box of Reese's Pieces candies.

We headed outside to play a number of games that included water balloon grenades and water blow darts (wet Q-tips shot through straws).  I got the ideas from this other party, including the idea for the poison antidote.  The children were then given an "archaeological challenge" to see who could find and collect the most darts and grenade "shrapnel."  Once that task was accomplished, they were allowed to slip 'n slide away from the giant boulder.

The water games were so simple, yet they turned out to be so much fun.  Even Jason got involved and quickly became the target for all the blow darts and water grenades.

When the lawn was sufficiently saturated and the grass completely matted down, we all came in for cake and ice-cream.  Spencer had an Indiana Jones birthday cake some years ago, but this time he really wanted a giant boulder for a cake.  A boulder?  Really?  That's it?  I tried to make it a little more interesting by adding a fondant figured Indiana Jones, but I laugh when I see the attempt.  It turned out looking a little less like Harrison Ford and a little more like George Lucas, in my opinion. It must be the hair.

Well, as most parties tend to do , this one turned out to be a really great time.  It was quite a treat to entertain this cute group of children for an hour and a half.

Spencer's Birthday Breakfast at Home

Spencer's party was nearly a week before his actual birthday, and we were going to be at a family reunion on that day, too, so we let him have his breakfast of choice on the morning before we left for our trip.  He wanted french toast on homemade bread.  He got it.  After he ate, we let him open his gifts from our family.

 Spencer's Birthday Breakfast at Red Cedar Lodge

On Spencer's birthday, we were in southern Utah staying in a cabin with extended family.  My brother Lance made a Mickey Mouse shaped pancake just for Spencer for his breakfast.  Wasn't that so sweet!  Unfortunately, Spencer became sick and had some awful-looking sores quickly develop on his legs, accompanied by a spotty rash that had cropped up all over.  He was running a fever as well, so Jason and I decided to "medically evacuate" him in attempts to make the three and a half-hour drive back to Springville to catch our pediatrician before the clinic closed for the weekend.  It turned out he had impetigo and hand, foot, and mouth disease.  What a wonderful birthday surprise (drip sarcasm)!

 Spencer's Birthday Dinner

When the illness was finally "at bay" we took Spencer out to his favorite restaurant for his annual birthday dinner.  He chose Pizza Pie Cafe.  I think that is three years running, now.  That Oreo pizza must be something!

Happy 9th Birthday, Spencer!

This post authored by Amber

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