Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Little Gathering

Some highlights from Ripley's small gathering of family and long time friends to celebrate his 4th birthday. Also, SIMPLE FUN GREEN birthday party ideas for autumn. Since his celebration was planned for the day after Halloween, we made it into a costume party. Here is Victor. Normally he isn't very eager to dress up, but after 5 years with my family we may have won him over. He asked (30 minutes before the party) "What am I wearing?" I gave him a mustache and a sombrero and PRESTO!
Here is my dashing father-in-law Mario.

Victor's younger sister Michelle and Mom, Dulce.

Friends Vivian and Michelle ... and more importantly (to Ripley) mother's of Kaleab and Ian.

Nephew Reese and our pooch "Church"

We made an obstacle course out of hay bales - and at the end the kids had to jump into a big pile of leaves.
This was one of the main attractions of the whole party. After awhile, my brother (always the inventor) moved the
hay bales around the pile of leaves to cut down on raking maintenance.
(Of course later the bales will come in handy in my garden!)

Not knowing what to dress up as, I threw on an "old lady" costume, glasses and powdered my hair -- PRESTO!
I was Spiderman's Aunt May. Here is Ripley's spider cake.

Here is the little obstacle course. The kiddos had to climb over three bales of hay and then finally jump into the big pile of leaves. They had a ball! I marked out the "trails" they were supposed to follow with flour on the grass.

We had a pumpkin rolling race. Pumpkins, soon to be pumpkin bread!
Starting line and Finish line made with flour on the grass.

Spiderman left a big mess in the basement! I learned about this game from my mother who did it for one of my birthday parties. At the end of a long length of yarn tie a little prize (we did two tootsie roll pops) then wind the yarn around the room. Roll the free end around a piece of cardboard a few times. All of the kids (with their parents guiding them) roll up the yarn and untangle the web to get to the prize at the end. I was a little worried that the 4 year olds wouldn't be able to handle it, but it was a big hit! Thanks Mom!
Great party favor idea: My girlfriend Katie had a brilliant idea. In lieu of purchasing and giving plastic "throw-away" toys that are broken within 24 hours, she gave out a bag of sugarcookie mix with a cookie cutter attached. Good clean fun for the kids, creates a "family moment" at home, and gives everyone a little treat. Needless to say, I copied her brilliant idea - wrapped them in newpaper with a colorful ribbon and a few Spiderman stickers. Fun.
Thanks Katie for the fabulous idea!

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