In two days, my middle child will be able to use one full hand to show how old she is. Yep, Hannah will be turning 5! We had her party this past Sunday, which is why our weekend was on the crazy side with house guests. Thanksgiving was actually on the relaxing side for us this year, LOL. My friend Mary came up on Saturday with her 2 kids and my mom and brother also drove over from Detroit and Ann Arbor that day, thinking the party was on Saturday instead of Sunday. Oops... So we had a very full house Saturday night! :)
The 3 guys (Ron, my brother Donnie and Mary's son Matthew) spent the evening playing a new card game that Donnie had brought - called 'Set'. I won't go through the mechanics of how to play, but let's just say I am not good at this game. Even the 10-year-old (Matthew) was beating me. I think Ron has a new addiction though - I foresee this game showing up in his stocking on Christmas morning... :)
With all 3 of our girls having cold-weather birthdays (the closest we get to spring is Abby's on April 3rd and that one's a hit or miss, and pretty much impossible to predict for any particular year...) we are unfortunately restricted to indoor birthday parties. We've done many of them in our house, but I had decided for Abby's 5th birthday party a couple of years ago to take the whole shebang on the road. I liked several things about that - no having to clean my house beforehand and afterwards... No coming up with
boring annoying fun games and other ways to keep the kids from tearing the house apart... The down side is, of course, the cost - so it's not an option for every party. But since we'd done Abby's first off-site party for her 5th birthday, we told Hannah she could do hers at the same place as well.
All of that's a very long-winded (sorry!) way of explaining why Hannah's party was done at a local place that has inflatable stuff for bouncing, ball pits, climbing structures, play houses, games and lots of room for kids to run and make noise. Perfect for birthday parties!
One thing I learned after Abby's party, where we'd invited friends, family and all of the girls in her preschool class (9 plus Abby), was that a large party is really, really hard to manage in a place like that. So I limited Hannah's invitations to a total of 10, figuring that some of those kids wouldn't be able to come anyway, especially on a holiday weekend.
The fact that I never actually got invitations mailed or sent out? My fault... I did e-mail or tell people in person, but there were a few kids from school that Hannah wanted to invite and since I didn't know their last names or how to get a hold of them (and didn't want to send invitations to school since not every kid in the class was being invited), I just let it go.
So in total we had 6 kids, plus our 3 girls. A couple of the ones we'd invited couldn't make it. It really turned out great though since it was a small enough number that all the kids could really play with each other.
And play they did. They ran, they bounced, they swung on rings over the ball pits, they slid down slides, they drove plastic riding car toys... We fed them cake, opened the 3 gifts (we had 3 sets of siblings who came), and then ran and played some more.
By the end of the 2 hours, we had a group of very exhausted, tired, worn-out but happy kids. And one toddler who hadn't napped and was pretty much wandering around in a sugar-induced haze by the end of the party. :)
All in all, it was a really good time. And I enjoyed talking to my friends Mary and Kristi (we don't all get together in the same place very often anymore), playing air hockey, not chasing Becca around (it was nice to have Ron there!), and (of course) taking pictures!
Here's the photos we took of all 7 of our kids - it's been about a year since the last time we were all together... Not the best pictures, but considering that there were 7 tired out kids at the time, not too bad either!
(Front from L to R = Abby, Emma, Hannah. Back from L to R = Noah, Aaron, Becca, Matthew)