The older boys were gone all week attending Quo Vadis Days, our diocesan vocations retreat/camp, and we thought about saving the themed birthday party until they returned, but on the morning of his birthday we decided to just have it on his actual birthday, as we always do, even though I hadn't even started preparing. I loaded all five of the younger children into the Suburban and we headed to town for supplies. I don't go shopping with all of them very frequently anymore and we had a fun morning. Our first stop was at the coffee drive-thru for his free birthday smoothie, then on to the party store to pick up a piñata (they were out of dragons but she sold me the store display at a discount!), and our last stop was the grocery store for drumsticks, veggies, candy/snacks for the piñata, and some cake decorating supplies. Sometimes the best and most enjoyable celebrations are thrown together at the last minute!
The girls covered the table in a red table cloth and set up the little boys' Medieval Castle and some of their Schleich Crusaders as decorations, while I hung up the banner I made for our last Medieval Birthday party (you can download my printable Knight Banner document here), adding some Fleur De Lis Whirls (see first picture) to it this time as well.
.: Medieval Crafts :.
Back in 2012 I purchased this Cardboard Adventure Knight Kit (thinking it would be perfect for Blue Knights but we never got around to using it) so I pulled it out for the birthday boy to assemble and decorate while I got started on his cake.
.: Castle Cake & Brave Knight Cupcakes :.
Next the birthday boy came back inside to check out the cake and add the final touches.
He said "It turned out better than I even imagined!"
.: Birthday Gift :.
At that point they were all asking when their dad would be home for work so I decided to give him one of his gifts (which had thankfully just arrived!) to entertain them for the next hour or so.
It was a hit!
.: Decorating Goblets :.
One of the birthday boy's requests was to decorate goblets like we did at his older brother's party. Can you believe that five years later I still had a leftover package of glasses and some acrylic gems?! I pulled them out and set them on the patio table for the kids to decorate while I finished dinner and their dad grilled the drumsticks.
.: Feast for a King:.
"Oh, noooooooooo! Not another one of THOSE dragons...." - Bud, age 4
made with strawberries, green grapes, and plastic sword food picks
BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
I also made some hamburger patties and mac-n-cheese.
MOM! After we say "Cheers!" you have to take a drink!!!
.: Slaying the Dragon :.
After dinner it was time for the piñata!
I picked ours up at a local party store for around $12 but you can find a similar one here.
Bud especially loved the dragon and has requested one for one of his next birthdays...
"After the soldier birthday!"
He also named the dragon "Chocolate!" I thought it was because he was filled with lots of chocolate, but that wasn't the reason... "Because he is the same COLOR as chocolate!"
We filled the piñata with fruit snacks and some chocolates that the kids picked out:
DUKE OF YORK Peppermint Patties
Hersheys GOLD Nuggets
It only took Twinkle Toes one swing to take the head off the dragon.
We tied the rest of the body back onto the rope and the kids insisted that Sean and I each try as well.
.: More Birthday Gifts :.
I'm going to skip ahead to presents and then go back to the cake and candles...
The birthday boy's siblings raided their piggy banks for dollar bills and made cards. I loved that Chiquita happened to choose the same font that was used on as his birthday banner on the letter she typed. Twinkle Toes spent some of her babysitting earnings on a Bunch O Balloons for her little brother. Rose has been making everyone cards this year with the Scratch Art Notes my parents gave her last Christmas. He loved all his gifts!
I loved how excited he got (and how excited all his siblings got!) every time he opened a present. In addition to the game he was given earlier in the day, and the Super Soaker I let him pick out while we were out shopping that morning (it works even better with a large soda bottle!), we also gave him two LEGO sets that I had (thankfully) stashed away in my closet. His birthday really snuck up on me this year!
The first set he opened was the LEGO Van & Caravan. (Note: It's 26% off right now and only $14.82. With how excited ALL of my kids got when he opened this set, it might be a really great one to have on hand for any friends birthdays they are invited to this summer.)
The second set we gave him (also on sale right now!) was the LEGO Creator Lakeside Lodge. The kids all pointed out the moose which immediately reminded them of our trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone last summer. Such a great vacation!
He was so funny to watch as he opened and read aloud his card from Grandpa and Grandma G:
For a Grandson
who's the very best,
(while fist pumping)
a really good sport, too...
Here's hoping that
is a winner -
just like you!
"I'm a WINNER!!!"
.: Happy Birthday :.
Happy 9th Birthday, Snuggles!