Back to Back Parties

On Monday, Ann hosted a Halloween party, (this was the day after a great toilet explosion detailed earlier, but you wouldn’t have known it except the wood flooring was and still is somewhat warped in the hallway—I call it “character”).  Ann planned it all from decorations to activities to snacks to the invite list.  The latter was a bit of a struggle for her as I capped it and she wanted an equal number of boys and girls so neither group would “feel awkward”.  As it turned out, she had an almost full turn-out with one boy and one girl not able to make it—thus meeting her desired gender split.  The important thing is that everyone seemed to have fun just hanging out.  Ann had started a strict schedule earlier, but abandoned it somewhat, (although it was reported that at one point Ann said something like, “come on people we have a SCHEDULE to keep!”)  But that night at our bedside chat, she told me that she liked “hanging out” parties.

For ambiance, there were colored lights, a “pin the face on the pumpkin” game, some crafts that we just never got around to, (thankfully I kept receipts), dry ice in the cider bowl to make it bubble, edible (fake) severed fingers, pumpkins and pumpkin tablecloths and roasted pumpkin seeds, S’mores in the driveway, a few Ghosts in the Graveyard games as well as Guitar and Band Hero, and even some Trick-or-Treating.  How they managed to fit all that into a couple hours is beyond me—too bad Halloween was on a weekday and workday this year so we couldn’t extend it a bit.  Anyway, she was really happy with the end result.  Way to go Ann!

The kid’s costumes turned out great.  Ann designed and implemented her own and it looked awesome.  William for some reason wanted to be a zombie, (this was funny as I have a thing for certain zombie movies, but the kids don’t know about that yet).  So, I found myself cutting up perfectly good although outgrown clothes.  This felt wrong, (doubly so as one shirt I maimed we picked up at the Salvation Army store).  Ann and William and their grandmother did makeup and additional creative touches.  William decided to go out with one of his friends that night, which was probably best, and came home with literally 10 pounds of candy…most of which got donated.

But before we have a chance to catch our breath, it’s time to turn things around for William’s birthday party.  Last year, William wanted a party at the house with a few close friends—more of a play date.  This year, he wanted the same, but with a stop-over at Laser Tag.  So, out with the Halloween decorations and in with the birthday ones!

I think it’s pretty cool that the kids want to have friends over to the house and hope that’ll continue into their teen years.  First it’s neat to have the place full of activity.  Second, it lets me keep an eye on things.  I mean, I think that the kids have made good choices with the company they keep, but as a parent, it’s nice to be actively yet unobtrusively around.

William’s celebration spanned two days as his actual birthday was on Friday and the party Saturday.  On Friday it was the regular “special” lunch at school, (where all the kids sang Happy Birthday—thanks Ben for starting that), then dinner out, (a rare treat), a stop-over at the house for a present, (a multi-purpose net contraption for soccer, baseball, etc. practice), and finally ice cream (sorbet) at Coldstone and a (brief because it was cold) walk around Cherry Hill Village.  Saturday was full because Ann wanted to decorate William’s cake before dance class, (during which William and I picked up the forgotten candles, threw the football around some, and picked up other groceries for the next week), then off for lunch arriving just in time to Laser Tag.  Two hours slipped by there then it was back to the house.  The new net was set up in the back yard and well-used for soccer then inside for refreshments and games until parents started arriving.

Now it’s on to Thanksgiving.   The turkey is ordered, invites sent out, and, well, we’re on a roll.  I love this time of year second only to the Easter season.  I hear complaints about Christmas decorations going up too early, the 24/7 Christmas music channels, (two this year in Detroit—100.3 and 105.1), and people forgetting the “reason for the season”.  But you know what?  Our outside decorations are going up the weekend, the kids and I are already listening to the radio and singing along, and we remember what it’s all about…

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