4.16.2012

Edison's Camping Party

This might be a little overboard for a first birthday party but I really enjoyed planning it. I am going to write an exorbitant amount of details because I am not very good at winging it, so if someone else wants to plan a camping party, here's what I did.

This party was on March 24, 2012, which is funny to me because it was exactly one year after Edison was expected to be born. But he decided to be a stinker and come late.

I was probably the most proud of the invitations. They were cute! I would love to be invited to a party with invitations like this!

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I started growing the wheat grass 10 days before the party. I think that may have been a little early though because it was starting to get moldy.

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All you do is soak the wheat in a bowl of water overnight. Then sprinkle over the top of dirt. I watered twice a day at first, and then once every other day after it was a couple of inches tall.

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This was the table outside of our front door. Everyone got a name tag and the adults could guess how many marshmallows were in the jar and then there was a prize for the closest guess.

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I woke up two hours after my alarm went off on the morning of the party. Thanks to that, I was running behind and didn't take pictures until after guests had arrived. Luckily Catherine arrived a little early and she made the wraps while I took some pictures. All of the food labels, the banner, and the signs on the invitations were made from paper grocery sacks.

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The s'mores on a stick were a hit. I only made 20 and they were gone in less than five minutes. These are so easy. I put semi-sweet chocolate (I combined chips and bars, because that's what I had) in a glass bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water until it melted smooth. Then I put the marshmallow on the dull end of a wooden skewer. Dip into the chocolate as much as you want, then allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Dip into crushed graham cracker and stick in the "fire." I do wish I had used sucker sticks instead of wooden skewers. Little kids were carrying them around and I thought for sure someone was going to lose an eye.

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The cups for the dirt and firewood were prepared a few days ahead. I tied twine around the cup and then used a hot glue gun to make it stay where I wanted it to be.

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The dirt cups are chocolate pudding with crushed Oreos and gummy worms.

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I put the dip in the bottom of the cups so there wouldn't be kids digging into a bowl and making a mess. It required more ingredients, but I think it saved a lot of trouble.

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Ants on a log. Classic kid food. Celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins.

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Happy Camper Crunch was an idea I got from pictures of another party. I have a bad habit of overestimating how much food to buy. This jar has one box of Golden Grahams, one bag of mini marshmallows, and one pound of milk chocolate chips. I bought twelve boxes of cereal for this. Luckily I really like Golden Grahams!

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Basic trail mix. I bought three huge bags of trail mix and people ate 1/4 of one bag. I bought the small foil pans online here.

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These wraps are the most delicious things ever. Spread cream cheese on a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with dry Ranch seasoning. Add sliced deli meat and cheese (we used swiss and a spicy cheese). Roll up and slice.

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I bought camoflauge duct tape to cover the waterbottles and then decided I didn't really want to introduce camo into the party theme. So I returned the duct tape and instead made my own water bottle wrappers. I peeled off the one that came on it, then stuck mine on. They stayed right where I put them because it was still sticky from the original wrapper. Then I wrapped it with tape. I was worried that they would start running from the condensation, but that did not happen during the two hours they were out.

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Everyone kept talking about the cute bears and their sign. This solidified in my mind the importance of details in a themed party.

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Sam was a big help. He hung all of the Christmas lights, he set up the tent, and he built two fires! He has to use his Eagle Scout skills somewhere! The fires just use regular fire wood and red, orange, and yellow tissue paper.

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We decided to not mow the grass in the backyard because it was an indoor party. But of course, that is where all the kids chose to play. It was a fun to visit with the adults. Since it was a party for a one-year-old, it gave us plenty of time to talk to each other.

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A few of Sam's friends from the MILR program at Cornell now live in Houston and they were able to come as well. It was great to see them.

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 Alex thought it was a party for him.

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I made a cupcake for each person which meant tripling the recipe. Only 12 cupcakes were eaten even though there were 37 people there. I need to remember that not everyone likes cake. I dyed three bowls of frosting - one yellow, one red, and one orange. Then I put them in three separate piping bags. I put those bags into a large bag with a icing tip on it and then frosted the cupcakes. The red looked kind of pink though.

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I made Edison his own carrot cake with buttercream frosting. He loved the frosting and hated the cake. Seriously. Every time he put some cake in his mouth, he would pull it out with a disgusted look on his face and then go back to the frosting. I hung mosquito netting over the cake and it looked awesome. It also kept the kids out of the cupcakes until after we were ready to eat them.

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We played a few games. The first game we did was hot potato. These kids were too young for this game. Every time Edison got it, he just held onto it and tried to eat the aluminum foil. I took it away and pretended like it was burning him and then he started crying. So it went around the circle twice, which took about two minutes, and then we were done.

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Another game we played was a scavenger hunt. We made two teams and they went outside and tried to find everything first. This awesome poem was written by yours truly.

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I found a tent pinata and I had to get it. Even though Edison is a little young for a pinata, it was still very fun for the older kids.

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Edison got one candy. He actually sucked it out of the wrapper which was a lovely mess.

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Sam helped Edison open his gifts. Everyone was so generous and these are the only toys the boys play with now!

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One friend was so thoughtful and brought a gift for the big brother so Alex didn't get too jealous.

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The party favors were very fun to make. I started with making the s'more kits in cellophane bags.

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Then I put other things into a lunch sack with a Red Cross symbol bearing the words "Camp Survival Kit."

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They were a big hit.

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The aftermath of the party.

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All that mattered was that Edison had fun. Which he did. So it was a success.

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It was a very exciting and fun day. That night, Sam and I watched a movie and then slept in the tent.

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Sam also deserves another special mention for being amazing. He never cared how much I had spent on the party, and he just went along with everything because he knew it made me happy to plan it. Someone at the party asked how long it took me to get ready for the party and I responded, "One month." It's true. Sam went along with all of it. He is a pretty good one.

15 comments:

The Monsons said...

I loved planning Hailey's 1st Birthday! Of course it was overly themed and decorated for a 1-year-old, but like you said--it was so FUN for me to plan it all! This was a really cute idea, and it all turned out pretty perfect! I'll have to remember this one when we ever have a boy...!

Kristi said...

It was a hit. You did a great job.

Carolyn said...

this is amazing!!! can i copy it for Bay's first birthday??? HAAA

Jershelly said...

You are awesome Emily! Great job on everything. Your skills amaze me.

TrebleClef said...

Emily, each person is born on a rocker, and I believe you have fallen off of yours.

Geevz said...

I love it! My favorite picture is Alex opening up the smores.

Over the top parties are fun!

Holly Decker said...

you and my friend Betsy should be BEST FRIENDS. she seriously does this stuff. i think i will set you two up. long distance. :)

glad you got pictures so that all that hard work won't be forgotten. Edison will feel loved for sure.

i wish Jeff enjoyed movies in tents, cuz i dig tents. so much in fact, i guess i should have my own camping bday party.

oh, and please send me all the leftovers, especially the sleeping bags. thanks.

Paxton said...

Holy Buckets Emily! You are an amazingly cool mom! I tried planning a big birthday for Mak when she turned 3, but out of all the people I invited, only one family came :-P so I decided to wait on the big party planning till she had her own friends... But now I am rethinking... That is one astounding party! Thanks for all the details! It looks like it was amazing! You did a spectacular job with it!

Janet said...

Oh my gosh your party is so awesome!! Seriously, you deserve your own tv show with how creative you are. Edison is so lucky to have such a dedicated, creative Mom :)

Apple said...

It was seriously super cute! I could tell you put a lot of work into it! How are you going to top this one?

MeganandClaudy said...

that impresses me and stresses me all at the same time! I don't think I could ever put that much detail into a party--not that good at planning events. So, can I pay you to come do my kids' parties?? :) Great job. I'm so glad you put all of the details down, so maybe I can steal them when I get super human strength!

Holly June said...

Best party I've ever seen!

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

Um, this is a ridiculously cool party. I'm really impressed with all the details!

dustin chandler said...

did you use a template to cut those invites out? i am doing blue n gold banquet for cubscouts and our theme is camping. i like those invites that u made, it would something simple enough that the boys will be able to make. thanks.

Merkley Jiating said...

Dustin - I am guessing you already had the banquet. Sorry! I didn't use an official template. It was a lot of trial and error. I sketched it on paper then fiddled with it. I printed a few and worked on spacing then finally got it right. I hope your blue and gold went well!

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