Sunday, June 6, 2010

Birthday Party #2: Big Backyard

Grady Lee's 4th birthday is just around the corner. Today we had a Big Backyard Birthday Party with a few of his friends. His guest list started off rather long - 14 little kids - and I was quick to shorten that and tell him that since he was turning four he could invite four friends to his party. I love kids, but heaven help me if I have 14 of them in my home at once!

The Guests
We practiced several times this week how to greet guests when they arrive. Usually when friends come, my boys are so excited they just crash into whoever is at the door and begin a wrestling match on the rug. Boys.

Here you can see Grady and Micah exerting great self-control and politely saying hello and refraining from a tackle.

This isn't quite everyone, but it's the best group shot of the kiddos that came. Lots and lots of fun with some sweet kids and wonderful parents.

The Games
As kids arrived, they signed or colored or scribbled on a giant Happy Birthday card for Grady. Grady has already asked several times today if the card can be hung above his bed so he "can think about my friends when I'm sleeping."

Everyone gathered around the dining room table to decorate a bucket with stickers of bugs and reptiles. The boys let out a roar when I told them that we were using these buckets to go on a bug hunt in the backyard, and the girls sighed with relief when I assured them there would be butterflies and lady bugs as well.

When the buckets were decorated, everyone headed outside to scavenger the yard for bugs and snakes and frogs.

After getting sufficiently hot and sweaty and dirty, everyone came back inside to play Stick the Tongue on the Frog.

By the time this game was over, kids were hungry and asking if it was time to eat. I'm not sure what they thought when I told them to find a seat at the picnic table and I'd bring out some bugs for them for lunch.

The Menu
Anyone care to have some butterflies, ladybugs, spiders, turtles, or worms for lunch? These kids did.

Here they are digging into their "green grass with a buried worm."

Next came ladybugs (strawberries with chocolate chips); spiders (crackers with peanut butter, pretzels, and raisins); butterflies (bread with jelly and grapes); and turtles (cheese cut out like turtle chapes). Yum yum!

It was funny to hear kids ask for "more spiders, please" or "can I have another ladybug now?" Not the usual lunchtime requests.

The adults? We stuck with the traditional deli sandwiches, fruit salad, and chips and salsa. Not nearly as exciting as bugs and worms.

The Cake
Since Grady Lee is wwaayy into frogs and toads right now, he gave me detailed instructions that he wanted a cake that looked like Freddie the Frog or Tony the Toad. (These are two of his dearest backyard buddies that hop his way every once in a while. In fact, Tony showed up during our bug hunt outside. Did you see him in the video?)

A friend of a friend was able to make the perfect cake! It was crazy adorable and tasted super yummy. (Charlotte friends: You *need* to give her a try next time you've got a party!)

If you can't read the cupcakes: "Hoppy 4th Birthday Grady." How stinking cute is that?! I'm telling you, this is my new go-to person for any cake I ever need in the future.

As if the frog cake wasn't cool enough, the kids flipped when they realized the actual cake was green too! I think I even overheard someone say, "I'm eating the frog's green guts!" Boys.

And, the absolute coolest thing? The green cake and frosting made some pretty neat green tongues.

The Gifts
Thomas the Train, baseball and bat (for the water no less!), DVDs, matchbox cars... it was all part of the fun gifts from his little buddies.

One would think that since this was the dear child's second birthday party, the celebrations would be over. Not so. Since his actual birthday is next weekend, stay tuned for more presents and cake. (Is anyone else getting sick of seeing my kid open gifts and blow out candles? Cause I kind of am...!)


  1. Soooooo cute, Sarah! Looks like such an adorable party! I love the creative food you served, SO fun! The cake is precious, you will have to give me her name!

  2. What a GREAT party! OK-- I love that I have my coffee in hand! ha-- always! and, I LOVE Zoe's close-up in the video!!! SOOO precious--I'm a little bias though : )

  3. Love the party ideas, so cute. It looked like Grady had a fabulous birthday. I can't believe you are having a girl!!! What a wonderful blessing, it is a whole different world.

  4. Sarah~ Happy 4th birthday to your sweet Grady!!! Everything looked GREAT!! Love all the pics! That cake is simply adorable!

  5. What a fun Party! A very Happy Birthday to Grady Lee. I LOVE the frog cake, is it green cake too? What fun-

  6. Sarah, what a fun party that was, you continue to impress me w/ your amazing creativeness...have i said that before? well, i don't think i can say that enough... ;-)