Well, we have officially welcomed in Summer 2011 for each of our kids and their friends! And after 3 parties in 9 days, I'm happy to say that a good time was had by all!
Early on into our parenthood adventure, John and I decided that we wanted to create the kind of home where our kids and all their friends liked to hang out. Our theory was, the more welcoming and fun our house is, the more time we would be able spend with our kids and their friends. We have worked hard to make this goal a reality. We host lots of parties for our kids and try to keep the door open for gatherings as much as possible. Luckily, I love, love, love hosting parties. I'm always up for coming up with a theme for their parties and I love planning all the little details. Even more luckily, our kids love and appreciate the parties we put together for them. The best part is that we know all of our kids' friends and feel good about who they are hanging out with. In the past, we hosted lots of big, huge combined parties. However, with our oldest now a sophomore, and our youngest in 5th grade, the gap seems pretty huge. Last year's Halloween party will probably be the last group party for a while. Fourth/fifth grade boys just aren't as fun to hang around with when you're in high school. : ) We decided to go ahead and plan three over-lapping parties to celebrate the end-of-the-school-year; one for each child. Maddie and Emily wanted to take their friends out on the boat, and Jack wanted a sleepover. No problem, right? : )
Party #1: Maddie//June 8th.
Maddie wanted to have her party on the last day of school. The plan was I would pick up all the girls, bring them to our house for lunch and then they would go out on the boat. Unfortunately, Maddie's day ended up being freaky-windy and we were under a thunderstorm warning. Safety man (John), said "No" to boating. : ( I decided to offer up a Plan B--a trip to The Fire. After an extremely hot lunch on the deck,
Party #2//Jack, June 10th.
You know the other big difference? Lots of pairs of stinky gymshoes:
Party #3//Emily, June 17th.
I pretty much re-created the table from Maddie's party for Emily's party, because she loved it so much. There were a few changes, though, Emily wanted cupcakes instead of lemon bars and make-your-own-subs instead of hotdogs off the grill.
Emily and her friends lucked out--they got a perfect day for the boat. So after lunch, they headed out to enjoy the sunshine and lots of tube rides (thanks John!!)
There it is--three parties in 9 days! The secret to staying sane was definitely re-using the same decorations and treats for all three parties. They only thing I made from scratch were the cardboard letters that spelled "summer." I purposely used colors that matched other decorations I already had.
I filled the candy jars once and let the kids eat the same treats at all three parties. (Except for the chocolate covered Oreos on a stick--those only lasted for the first two parties--sorry Emily!).
The menus for all three parties were super-simple, which also helped. Finally, the kids were each in charge of making the house look good for their own parties, and because they were all so close together, things didn't get too messed up in between. Hooray!
So far, I'd say Summer 2011 gets two enthusiatic thumbs up.
Yay for summer and making memories with my kiddos!
Linking up with the fabulous Heather over at Life Made Lovely