Oh my dear heavens, I own a five-year-old.
Not really. I mean, I don’t technically own him. But he does belong to me and ohmyword, he is FIVE. On April, 8th, my dearest Will….my first born….the one that taught me how to truly love….that serious and silly and amazing child….he turned the big FIVE years old. That is just crazy to me.
We told him that this year we would do a family party and not a big party….we try to alternate years of big vs. family and last year he had a big superhero party….but then he looked up at me with those brown coke-bottle eyes and those freckles and that dang dimple and asked ever so sweetly if he could have four friends over instead of a family party. Of course, I gave in. And honestly….I’m so glad he asked. It was ridiculously easy. Way easier than a family party would have been. I love my family but adults (us totally included in this statement) are more maintenance sometimes when it comes to food and drinks and general comforts. Kids….take what you give them.
So this is a recap of his big day with just us and then his little five person party that was completely adorable.
He woke up to having a streamer doorway. He was supposed to run through it and have an epic time. Instead he woke up, and then we heard him calling for help because he was ‘trapped’. It was hilarious but also gave us time to run up and capture him on video breaking through it all! I posted it on Instagram if you want to see him smash the streamers. Click on the sidebar Instagram thing and scroll back to see that video.
That day we went to the park and then back home and played baseball with him.
Later that evening we did the whole birthday gift and cake thing.
He requested a football cake 🙂
I can literally feel the oxygen leaving the room just by looking at that first photo.
This year we decided not to give him loads of toys. Not that we have ever given him loads of toys….but ever since the basement clean out, we have realized that our kids have SO MANY PLAYTHINGS. So we gave him some things that were a little different. His brothers ‘bought’ him a set of five match box cars. We got him new sneakers (seriously he just got new sneakers at Christmas and they are already too small!) and a Spiderman suitcase (he has never done a sleepover without Mommy and Daddy and now he says that because of the suitcase he is ready! ha!), a fish aquarium and a couple new shirts.
Our neighbor Brantley, who is six and we get to babysit several days a week, came over the next day with a present that made Will giddy….a pizza shooting ninja turtle. Brantley and Will are hilarious together. We love having him over and we get a glimpse into what life is like with four boys 🙂 (you can see an old photo of Will and Brantley together when they first met here!) Later, he got a package full of presents from his friend “Little Clara” all the way from Richmond and he is now obsessed with his spiderman socks and the paint pens. And Gramps and Grammy sent some “dollar money” so he is saving that for a speed boat. Him and Jeremy both 🙂 Grandbee gave him a lots of goodies…including bike wheel lights that we haven’t yet installed. #parentfail And Nana and Pappap gave him clothes and a potato shooter. We won’t have potatoes available for dinner after that gift 🙂
A few days later, our Camp Will-derness party began. It was so fun to organize. Seriously, if anyone would hire me to be a party planner (and I didn’t have three little ones and one on the way) I would totally quit my nonexistent day job and do parties for kids. THEY ARE TOO FUN.
Okay…so I should preface this entire party with the fact that both Jeremy and I were questioning if we could handle five five year olds, a two year old, and a one year old. Especially since the boys that Will chose to attend can become more and more wild when they get together (they are all church buddies). But at the end of the day, I WAS SHOCKED. It was by far the easiest party we have ever done. BY FAR. All of the kids were so well behaved and the next day at church when we dropped them all off, we told all the parents of how great it went and they were like “Don’t lie in church Bowers.” But it’s true. It was awesome.
Okay…so you know the DIY tall planters we made from fence pickets? The leftover scraps made our Camp Will sign! It was a snap to make and it wasn’t even started until an hour before the party began. In fact….NOTHING WAS STARTED UNTIL AN HOUR BEFORE. I set everything up in one hour….including the cake.
Speaking of cake, it was a funfetti cake that I made mini size and tried to make it look like a camp fire. I used the Pepperidge Farms Pirouette cookies to make the ‘logs’ and then cut up strawberries for the flames.
The cake stand we made from our neighbors stack of logs (thanks Larry and Charleen!) and we glued the two together and finished it off for a rustic way to showcase the cake. I popped a holly in the red bucket just for ‘table decor’…it always helps to have those metal buckets for parties! They are great for drinks, cleanup, everything! The s’mores tray was thrown together and the boys loved the endless combinations!
The boys also loved the dirt cups! These were super fast since I bought the pudding pre made and then all I had to do was crush a few oreos on top.
I didn’t know if the kids would be more cupcake-people or cake-people so I made the extra cake mix into half a dozen cupcakes (they were cupcake people!). And I told them that the bowl in the middle was deer poop. Yeah. I wish I had their reaction on film. It was hilarious.
So when they first arrived, all the kids were hungry so we gave them some cheese puff balls and told them they were gonna go on a scavenger hunt. In actuality, we were gonna go pick trash out of the woods….but I didn’t tell them that 🙂 I had a list on my phone of stuff they were gonna collect and they all did awesome helping one another find each item!
Weston got to tag along and he was SOOOO excited to be with the big boys.
And I have already decided they need to recreate this next photo in ten years 🙂
On the way back to the house a few of the boys didn’t have all their
trash items, so they teamed up and helped their partners out. Once we got back to the house, we checked everything off the list and they got to throw the ‘nature’ stuff back into the woods. Telling the boys that they were allowed to throw rocks was like telling them they were going to Disney. It was great 🙂
When we got back, the pizza had arrived (we planned for hotdogs but then the rain forecast made us change our minds…plus pizza is easier). I had set the table earlier and they got their Camp Will-derness gear (aka a bandana and a flashlight).
If you decide to plan a party for little boys….think about these cheap pie tins as plates. Both Jeremy and I said that they were a great decision because it was hard for the food to get messy this way. I washed them after dinner and they used them again for breakfast….I’m telling ya…they were a really fortunate decision.
Dinner was a breeze (hand washing before that was a little difficult but we got it done and prayers took like five minutes since each boy wanted a turn…a very hilarious turn….I think they all thanked God for different things…food, friends, house, bugs, monster trucks…the list goes on and on).
Once they were done with dinner, we headed back outside and the boys got their bandanas on. They kept calling them “boy-scout scarfs”. Here is Will with his best little buddy Wyatt. Obviously they have shared interest in superheroes.
We also did a bow-n-arrow competition which the boys loved. They tried out the old-fashioned bow first and then we did the Nurf bow-n-arrow….both were big hits…literally and figuratively 🙂
Afterward Jeremy took them all on a four-wheeler ride through the woods. Of course, they loved it and did that a few more times, switching seats and ‘seeing ghosts and wolves’ when the sun went down. Then came time for our camp fire….
Both a big one in our fire pit and one on the cake 🙂
This is the only picture I have of the s’mores….Wyatt said the black crunchy part was delicious but only if you don’t taste it 🙂
Jeremy took the little ones upstairs to get them ready for bed while I did glow sticks with the big boys.
After that was presents….my personal favorite was this book….
And then the weirdest thing happened. We did jammies and I went upstairs to get all the sleeping bags and pillows and I saw this weird thing on the floor. It was a frog. Upstairs. Just hanging out in the hallway. I actually thought it was a toy and bent over to pick it up and just about peed myself when it jumped out of my hand. I screamed just out of pure shock….scared the pee outta Jeremy…and the boys, of course, thought it was the best thing ever. Here they are ‘frog-hunting’ on the front porch.
We let them all vote on a movie….Lego Movie won…and they had popcorn as a midnight snack.
The movie was near the end when we set up the tent and piled them all inside. Since the tent had a ‘window’ some of the awake boys finished the movie before falling off to sleep. Jeremy slept on the couch that night 🙂 ‘Preciate-cha Jer bear!
The next morning was filled with race car video games…
and pancakes, bacon and strawberries. Then we got them all ready for church and wrapped it all up!
Overall, we loved it and so did Will. He kept saying it was the best party ever.
We think this kid is the best five year old ever. We aren’t biased at all. Nope. Not one bit 🙂
If you are interested in seeing more of Will’s birthday parties, here are some past posts….(just click on the picture to read more!)
Oh my baby! You are such a big boy and we are so proud of you! What a sweet big brother and good friend you are becoming. We are so excited to see you grow bigger and bigger and become a man that loves other people and loves God! We adore how sensitive your heart is toward your family, toward other boys and girls and how you soothe our aches and pains! You really are a strong willed superhero! You try very hard to do what is kind and what is right and that is very important! Mommy and Daddy love hearing that you want to always “be the good guy…the superhero good guy” and that you try so hard at school and at baseball and help us so much with the babies! It makes our hearts so very happy! Our hearts get bigger and bigger and we are so happy that God made us your Mommy and Daddy. We are super duper lucky ducks! Happy Birthday Baby! We love you so…sooo….soooooo much! From Mommy and Daddy (and Weston and LJ and Sparky!)
you are so good at party planning. Hope to steal all your ideas in the future. Great work momma!
Allison Cooley says
I totally agree-I would quit my “non-day job” to become a childrens party planner. I am actually planning my daughters second birthday as we speak! They are just so much fun! What a great party! If I lived closer I would totally have you come and help me plan mine! Plus your extra lucky because you get to plan 4 a year!
I love this idea.theme for a party! My first son is turning 5 in June and I would love to do this…only, I don’t have cool woods to walk through! Thank you for sharing! I really love all your ideas! xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright
You have the best ideas for decorations and cute ideas for the parties!
This is super cute! I totally pinned it for future birthday parties, because I think my son would absolutely love it.
What a great time for the kids. Good job parents!
Is the little girl Clara?
Love the reusable pie plates!
You get it right…all the time!
I just started following your blog and I SO enjoy it! Everything from your craft projects, room designs, party ideas and sense of humor. Thanks so much for sharing it all! You have a talent and it’s so appreciated!
lindsay @ VAUGHAN says
This is very sweet and what beautiful pictures you have taken!
Lindsay | http://www.ReadTheThread.com
So cute! Thank you for sharing, I love it. You and Jeremy are super parents- that is a lot of young boys to keep safe and happy, especially with the sleepover! Did any of the kids get homesick? I think that would be my only worry!
Caryn Casterline says
This is pure GOLD. Loved each detail. Simple, with WILL and his friends in mind. Looks like they had an amazing time, and your little boy will remember this party and how much fun he had with his buddies, and his family! Awesome job!
Ginger Noble says
CUTE PARTY!! Loved the cake, the pie plates with bandanas, and the tent!! You were certainly ambitious to do a party when you had to get everyone ready for church the next day!! Great Job!!
I never comment but this is so cute, and I also have a boy that just turned 5. Will will be attending kindergarten in the fall?
xo – kb
There was only one boy that was here for his first sleepover and he did awesome. I talked to his mama the next day and she said that she considered calling at 2 am to check on him 🙂
xo – kb
There wasn’t a little girl that attended the party…but Clara did send a super sweet package to ‘her Bower boys!’
xo – kb
What an adorable party, you did a great job! My oldest will be 5 next month. Those 5 year olds will steal your heart in a second 🙂
You really are one of my most favorite party planners. I always love your resourceful, inexpensive yet super creative ideas. Pie tins for plates? So smart and cuuuute. Such a superstar party for Will, way to go mama!
Aww thanks Jen. I will plan all your parties if you organize my closets 🙂
xo – kb
Daisy - émoi émoi says
Looks like such a fantastic party! Love all the activities you planned 🙂
I’m 53 and I want a Camp Wilderness party. Such fun!
Happy birthday to your biggest kiddo! My youngest will be 5 in December and I’m sure hoping I remember this idea then. I love all that you did and especially love how simply fun it is.
There are some pretty precious memories being made at your home. 🙂
ohmygoodness, the picture of the two boys holding hands walking in the woods warms my heart. My 5 year old is VERY affectionate and is totally indiscriminate about the gender of the target of his affection. nothing wrong with a little bromance! looks like a great party!
I think the activities were well planned and age appropriate. Who doesn’t love a partay! Loved the simplicity but thoughtfulness of everything, that campfire cake was too cute. Good narrating (and photos) too..
Oh my goodness… this is awesome! I have a 9 month old boy, and this makes me so excited for our future!!!! I just LOVE that everything was so chill and “thrown together” (even though it was all amazing). You are such a smart momma to recognize that you don’t have to bend over backwards if you don’t want to! Kids like the simple things, like throwing freaking rocks, so it is totally not necessary to do a bunch of crazy over-the-top games. Anyhow– mad props. You and Jeremy rock as parents!
Oh my goodness, that bonfire cake is wonderful!
You guys are officially the coolest parents EVER. That party sounds like boy heaven! I loved the dirt cups and tent sleepover. And I can’t believe you pulled it all together in the last hour! Will is so lucky.
I absolutely love reading about the things you do with your boys! Thanks for always sharing! 🙂
That campfire cake is so dang cute! I would totally go to a party like that… and I’m 35. LOL
Tear! Your lil guy is getting so big! I’ve always wanted girls because I grew up with a sister. I seriously worried about having a boy because I don’t think I’d know how to bond with him. When reading this post (and your others about your boys) it looks so fun to be a boy Mom! This party was awesome and I loved the bandana, flashlight and pie tin idea! Great ‘give aways’ and decorations! My fav was your sign and fire cake though! Amazing job!
You are so creative!! What an awesome party! I love the cake! I also love your blog, you write as I think you must talk, and I feel like you are one of my dear friends.
Wow, what a great party! You two are amazing parents! I love the bonfire cake all lit up–looks like a real log fire with the candles lit. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the amazement in all the boys’ eyes at the party. So sweet!
Is it weird that I totally want to throw that party…for myself? I don’t have kids, but this party sounds like a blast!
I am so going to the store to buy stuff to make these tonight, I’ve been drooling over them ever since you posted them. Just so I make sure I cute things correctly to get everything done with 8 pickets, how did y’all cut them out of the pickets? did you do multiple sizes per picket to maximize the use of each picket? I’m sitting here at work trying to figure it out, but thought asking might just be easier 🙂 I’m an accountant and my brain is completely fried after tax season, I’m not sure i trust myself with anything to do with numbers right now, lol.
Amazing recap! What a great party! So many great ideas and I can tell, so many great memories created. Way to go Mama! Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂
Kayla AKA Kilo Bravo says
What a great party – that campfire cake!!! Our William is only 9 months, but I think we will definitely be stealing this entire party when he is a little older. Every.single.detail. 😀
These are my favorite posts of yours – what creativity! I love your entire blog in general, but your party throwing skills are amazing! The campfire cake was my favorite touch!
We did the sides straight up…one next to one another. Nothing too fancy 🙂
xo – kb
Barbara Moore says
Absolutely adorable. You are such a wonderful mother. I truly envy your energy!