Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Planning a "birthday bonanza"

We generally start talking about our annual birthday party sometime at the beginning of the year.
When we are planning our yearly calendar out, we start thinking about a good date, check with daddy's schedule, and pick a theme.
We already have next year's theme decided, and have a couple other ideas on paper for future years as well.

This year's theme was "A Hula-Hoopin' Hawaiian Luau".

Several weeks before the actual date, I got a few things nailed down:

1. I reserved our church gym and kitchen so there would be no conflicts with other church events.
We like doing it indoors for now because our spring weather is very unpredictable.
Another great idea is finding a local park shelter that already has a great play equipment
that would cost nothing to use.

2. I hunted down the CD of Hawaiian music that I knew we owned but was having a hard time finding.

3. I searched around online and found some really creative games and ideas that we could
incorporate into our party.

4. I also started formulating in my mind how we were going to do the cakes this year.
Last year I caved, and went to Wal-Mart at the last minute and spent $25.00 on one cake large enough for the entire party, but I embellished it with some items that incorporated our theme.
This year I was determined to make it myself. I knew we were going to have a table for each child and his/her friends, so I thought it would be GREAT to make cupcakes and set them up on cupcake stands and they would double as the centerpieces at each table.
Trouble was.....I only had 2 cupcake stands.
So I got onto Facebook, and asked if anybody local would mind lending me their stand
for the party. I ended up with 3 more that way, and that's all I needed!!!

Two weeks before the party:

We made our own invitations and printed them out on colorful paper, and then sent or hand delivered them.

The week before the party:

1. I typed out a "Party Planner" that included a shopping list and a schedule for the party.

2. On Monday, we went shopping and bought the candy, pinata's , balloons, and all the game items. I don't recommend waiting as long as I did on this, but this was the day I reserved our bounce house too. Fortunately, it was available. I would normally recommend you reserve any rentals at least 1-2 months in advance!!
3. On Tuesday, we went and picked up all the cupcake stands we needed, as well as some decorations we borrowed from our former church's children's ministry.

4. On Wednesday, we baked 6 dozen cupcakes.

5. I asked the "ladies-in-charge" of our church events and supplies, if I could borrow some
tablecovers. I just need to wash/dry them and bring them back on hangars.
She also told me to check in the closet for any Hawaiian decorations that I could borrow.
I found lots of great stuff!!

6. This thoughtful lady also asked me if I could use two huge punch bowls of chips leftover from some other event, as well as 4-5 gallons of punch. Know what kind?
HAWAIIAN!!

7. On Thursday, we baked the remaining 4 dozen cookies and frosted all 10 dozen. This really did not take as much time as you would think. More on this tomorrow.
We also finished packing our big plastic storage container full of everything we needed.
(**One big "sterilite" storage bin holds all the cups, napkins, game supplies, decorations, etc. It's great for storing all the stuff you can use again for next year too!!)

8. On Friday, 3 hours before party time, I took my M-I-L and oldest daughter up to our church, and we decorated the gym. Everything was ready to go by 5:00 pm.

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