Being someone of the sanguine persuasion, I tend to love parties! I love going to a party, planning a party, throwing a party and looking back with satisfaction at the party’s success.

Over the years I have thrown my share of parties. For years, I threw an appreciation party at the end of each school year for the entire teaching and administrative staff of the Verdigris school district.

Devin and I often host huge parties, for a hundred or more, to appreciate different ministry groups within our church. We also open our home at Easter to our extended family and anyone else who might need a place to land. This is such a fun time! We open the doors and extend the party out onto the lawn. We eat, laugh and cap it off with an Easter egg hunt!

One of my favorite parties, however, are birthday parties!!! I love them because there is no limit as to what you can do and no theme you have to stay within… can be as creative, outlandish or traditional as you like. I love the fact that friends and family gather together to celebrate you and the day of your birth!!! What a fantastic way to say I love you and I love the day you were born!

With four children, Lord knows I have given my share of birthday parties…..almost 60 to date! Devin and I do not buy a lot of stuff for our kids throughout the year (remember the tightwad?) so christmas and birthdays….well…..they’re BIG! Caleb and Kelsey have birthdays in February. Cassady has one in April and then Colton’s is in July. This year I really racked my brain to come up with something unique for each child. Something that reflected who they are, without breaking the bank.

This is what I came up with.

Kelsey is no longer a teenager….thank the Lord!!!! We didn’t throw a party for friends to attend this year, it was just the five of us and it was a PERFECT night!! My Kelsey is an animal fanatic…..especially exotic animals. Her dream has always been to pet or play with a lion or tiger. Well, as chance would have it, Devin is friends with a man who has just that and so much more. On her birthday we all hopped in the car and kept the destination a secret from her for the almost hour drive to the exotic animal rescue. When we drove up to the compound and told her she was gonna fed a baby white tiger, she went nuts! When we entered the compound we found out he also had monkeys, lemurs, cougars, a lion, a python, lamas, a leopard, a Bengal tiger and some other stuff I can’t recall.

She was in hog heaven!!!
You can tell by her face….she is about to pop with excitement!

See the baby bottle in the background? He didn’t want to eat so they just played!
We all took turns letting the lemur sit on our shoulder.

Caleb got to give him his favorite treat, a lollipop!

I kept trying to get him to hop over on MY shoulder but for some reason he kept going to Devin! I thought to myself, he is not even a fun person! Why do you keep going to him? Come to me! Devin thought it was so funny, I didn’t! I said, “I hope he pees down your neck!” I was not happy!

Finally I lured him over with a lollipop, I was sure hoping he didn’t pee down MY neck….gross!

We all took turns wearing the python and loved every minute of it! I am just glad they didn’t bring out a South African Hissing Cockroach, yuck! That was even hard to type!

All in all it was an absolute perfect night for all of us!

Next was Caleb. I started about three weeks before his birthday asking him what kind of party he wanted to have and do you know what he said to me?? “I don’t want to have a party mom, just my family birthday dinner.” What? No party? I was shocked and a little disappointed….I love parties remember? I let the subject rest for a few days and asked him again. Again I got the same answer, nothing. So finally I said, “well, what if I have the ice-cream truck come to your school? His eyes lit up and said, ” wow, that would be great. Can you do that?” “Sure!”, I said. I walked away mumbling to myself…oh Lord, I hope I can do this. By now it was only two days before his birthday and it is the middle of February…it’s gonna take a miracle to make this happen and I prayed for just that! Finally I found an ice-cream truck that was willing to come out of hibernation and make this party happen!! Caleb was the most popular kid that day and I was coolest mom [for about ten minutes]. It was the perfect non-party!
All the kids from his class lined up during recess to pick out the ice-cream of their choice. Man it brought back memories!
A little celebrating, with Caleb in the front as the ring leader. This is BEFORE sugar! I bet the teachers wanted to ring my neck after this!
Caleb, taking his rightful place in the front seat. It was a great day and fun was had by all!

Last but not least was Cassady’s birthday. Of corse when I asked if she wanted a part she jumped on it with all fours! What started out as an over dramatic headache (not her fault) that almost sent me to the loony bend, ended up being one of the best parties ever! Thank the Lord!

It started out with a surprise limousine parked outside of the school (it helps to have friends).

The party started the moment our behinds hit the seats! Before I knew it the music was bumpin', hair was being brushed and the testing had begun! This was worth every cent! We took the limo to the mall where we ate and shopped and shopped and ate! After the limo ride was over, we headed out to the house for pizza, cake and movies. After the pizza they all made fun t-shirts using spray paint. This was a really fun idea that doubled as a party favor. It is defiantly an outside job but really fun for all ages.
We put out some old sheets in the lawn, placed the t-shirts on the sheet with a variety of spray paint colors and stickers. You could also use masking tape…anything to make a design. Now let them have the paint cans and start creating!!

This is the end result! So cute!

The rest of the evening was full of laughter, junk food and late night chats. The next morning I heard one of the girls say, “this is the best party I have ever been too!” Ahhhh success is sweet.

So in a nutshell, I love…..parties! The next one is mine. I bet Devin has everything already planned 😉 NOT! Who knows, maybe I will plan my own!!