Monday, June 2, 2014

Nolan's Ninja Party

May was a crazy whirlwind.  We packed about three months' worth of life into one month's time.  Plus Jared was gone for two weeks of May.  Needless to say, I'm happy it's June.

Let's start getting caught up since I didn't have time to blog in May.

Nolan had his 8th birthday, and since we knew Jared would be gone on Nolan's actual birthday, we had the family party before Jared left.

Nolan loves many things right now:  the color orange, origami, ninjas, the word "awesome," Legos, geology, magic, pranks, science.  We chose "ninjas" as his birthday party theme.

My oldest baby, 8 years old

Ninja chopsticks

Ninja napkins

I ordered the ninja chopsticks and napkins from Oriental Trading.  Those gave us the red and black color scheme.

I was going to get solid red or black plates, but then I found these on Oriental Trading:

Technically, they are University of Nebraska plates.  To us, they were the right colors and had "N" for Nolan (or "Nolan the Ninja," according to Nolan).

I bought red Chinese take-out boxes from Deals and used them to hold cutlery and napkins.

I bought red and black tablecloths to cover the tables.  I cut out various ninja shapes from red, black, and silver cardstock with my Silhouette.  Since it was super windy out, I used scrapbook adhesive (the kind you just roll on) on the backs of the shapes to stick them to the tablecloths. 

We always do a cookout for Nolan's birthday party, and this year we decided to grill marinated chicken breasts.

I cheated and bought a veggie tray.  I'm not proud of it, but a girl has to take help where she can, ya know?  I also served fresh strawberries, one of Nolan's favorite foods ever.  I sliced up apples and put the apple slices in a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

We also bought chips, including our new favorite Veggie Straws.

It was funny to watch the kids try to eat with the ninja chopsticks.

After our meal everyone relaxed in the back yard while the kids played in the old tennis court behind our house. 

When I was a little girl, I rode this little red tricycle at my grandparents' house.  Now I have it and my kids ride it.  This picture shows our niece Addison taking it for a spin.

The golf course behind the old tennis court stores their sand (for sand traps) in the corner of the tennis court.  My kids, as well as a couple neighborhood kids, love to play in the sand pile.  In this picture several of the cousins were playing in our little makeshift beach while Jared's mom ("Ammaw") supervised.
One of Nolan's favorite tricks is turning a t-shirt into a ninja mask.

For dessert, Nolan requested strawberry cupcakes.  I baked them in red and black cupcake liners, frosted them with vanilla buttercream, and topped them with plastic ninja toys from Oriental Trading.

At each of my kids' birthday parties, we pass around a birthday book (each child has their own book) and have family members write a message to the birthday boy/girl.  It's really neat to look back and read them years later!

Great Grandma Parsons writing in the birthday book

I have always loved Nolan's birthday parties because they are relaxed and cozy with the family gathered in our yard.  Too bad we can't have backyard cookouts for the other two kids because they have December birthdays!

My sister-in-law Bree with their littlest baby--our newest nephew--Harvey
Jared's dad and grandma
Our nephew Charlie (Harvey's big brother) and Grandpa Dave (my dad)
Nora and Grandpa Dan (Jared's dad)
Nora and Nana (my mom)
Nora telling Nana a secret

Our niece Addison
It was a fun party!


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