Monday, September 22, 2014

An Interview with Bennett

Happy Birthday, Bennett!

About a week ago while in the car we asked Bennett a few questions.  Hopefully we will remember to do this every year.  It will be interesting to see how things change.

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Toy: Doc and Blue
Favorite TV Show/ Movie: Cinderella
Favorite Outfit: Pirate ship shirt (but he also said "regular socks" because at the time he was in dress socks.)
Favorite Game: Zingo Bingo
Favorite Song: Hokey Pokey
Favorite Book: Farmer Brown (which is actually a character in a series of books.) He then clarified with Giggle, Giggle, Quack
Favorite Friend: Caroline
Favorite Thing to do Outside: Go down the slide
Favorite Drink: Milk
Favorite Food: Nachos
Favorite Fruit: Watermelon
When I Grow Up I Want To... be a Daddy

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Peter Pan Birthday Party- AKA, Bennett Turns Four!

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  (Ok, I know.  Wrong show.)

Anyway, here's a look at the invitations that we sent out.

So what did they see when they got to the party?

First they had to follow the second star to the right and go straight on 'till morning.  I think these got lower throughout the party as the weight of them pulled on the fishing line.

Once in Neverland (which, by the way, can correctly be written as Neverland, Never Land, or Never Never Land), there was a sign post directing them to the various areas.  I made this with a mix of pallet wood, an old fence post (complete with rusty hardware), and some old scraps of wood from Andrew's house.  It's nice to know people with old falling apart barns.  :)  The pile of rocks at the bottom is purely decorative, covering the functional 2x4s.  And who knew we had so many random rocks hanging out under our porch!

This was the only place that we had a sign but didn't have depicted anywhere at the party.
The star fish was decorated by Bennett at school over the summer during Beach Week.

We had wanted to have a noose hanging from the Hangman's Tree (the swing set) sign but we ran out of time.

Cannibal Cove is also sometimes referred to as Pirate's Cove.  I burned the left hand side of the sign with a kitchen torch.
Overview of the ship in Cannibal Cove.  There was a bow, sides, and also a wheel.
The wheel came from Chris' work, although he did make the lighter colored handles on his lathe since the originals had fallen off.
View of the mast, sail, and flag.
We started referring to the ship as "the set".  As in, "Daddy has to stay late at work to build the set for your birthday party."

And the final sign, which pointed to London, which wasn't really represented, but that's where people started.
The mileage is based on the distance from our city to London.
We also had a Tattoo Parlor (sorry, no pictures, but it was a small table with a bowl of temporary tattoos), and a station where people could catch their shadows.
I love that Victoria, the woman who cut the shadows, (who we know from Sturbridge) came dressed as Wendy.
Getting the little kids to sit still was tricky, but luckily Victoria was able to work really quickly.
Wendy, John, and Peter

And of course Bennett, Chris and I had to be in costume.  What was great about this is that whenever Bennett saw us in costume he would call us by our character name.  This got slightly confusing because we had a guest named John, and a guest named Peter, and they would often be confused when they heard us calling people by their character's name. 

The ship in the background was another prop from Chris' work.  We'd originally thought about making it fly like the ship at the end of the movie, but we didn't have a good way to rig it up.

I ran out of time and wasn't able to make Peter Pan shoes (shoe covers) for Bennett, a fact that he keeps reminding me about.  I keep telling him that he'll have them for Halloween.

We also had a few guests who came with pirate hats or Indian headbands, and a couple of friends came as Tinkerbell and a bee.  And for those who didn't bring their own costumes, we had a trunk full of dress up clothes.


For games we had a mermaid sack races, hook ring toss, and walk the plank.  We had also wanted to have a cannonball water balloon toss but had issues getting the balloons filled.  We also had talked about playing Follow the Leader, but nixed that one as well.

I think Walk the Plank might have been a favorite.  The kids (and some adults) played throughout the entire party, and miraculously we only had one person fall in the water.  Some of the kids also started walking backwards and doing other tricks.

Hook ring toss was also played throughout the party.
Since the party started in the mid-afternoon we didn't need much food, just some snacks.  And of course then cake and ice cream.

The bowl in the back has "fish and chips" (potato chips and goldfish crackers) and my favorite was the watermelon pirate ship-fruit bowl.  It was surprisingly easy to make, although it did take a little bit of time.
As Bennett would call it, "Pirate Booties".
An overview of the food table.  There also were chocolate coins and pixie stix (fairy dust).

Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael were flying above the cake.
Of course the wind picked up right before it was time for cake which made lighting the candles a little challenging.
 In addition to the cake, which was yellow cake with strawberry preserves between the layers with buttercream frosting, there were pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Plus chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

Drinks were in these barrels.

Other miscellaneous pictures
Props at the bow of the ship.

More props, plus this shelf at the bow was perfect for keeping gifts out of the way while the kids were running around.
Wendy greets an Indian Princess
Peter steers the ship.  

Eating cake in a tent
The guests were all extremely generous.  Bennett is going to have a blast with all of the toys and books.  I think Chris and I will also enjoy playing with some of the gifts.  :)

Overall, putting this party together was a lot of fun.  And yes, we spent more than we should have for a party for a four year old.  Our justification?  We have fun doing it.  We budget for this throughout the year so it isn't a strain on the overall budget.  And really, there were only a couple of bigger $ aspects- the pirate ship and the shadow cutting, which together accounted for almost half of the overall budget.  Most other things were made with free or inexpensive items.

Most of the inspiration for the party was once again based on other people's parties.  I did a mix of searching for Peter Pan parties and also pirate parties.  There were lots of other ideas that I liked but I had to keep reminding myself that they were pirate, and not Peter Pan.