Steven, David and Jessica did not have school and since their mom did not have the day off, they helped me with the party plans. It was so much fun! First we went shopping for decorations. It was such a group event! I loved hearing them decide what colors to use—blue and orange because “I know Grandpa loves the Bears.” and because “My Dad is totally going to love these colors.” David looked all through the store for something that had 70 on it. He came up with candles and a balloon. We also bought party blow horns—just for fun. I loved hearing the kids talk through whether to get helium balloons or just the kind that you blow up. “Helium balloons cost more money and are not that much fun anyway. One would be nice but that is all we need.”
I was surprised to hear David say, “I will blow up the balloons!”
My jaw starts to hurt thinking about it. “Oh, come on, Grandma!”
I didn’t even tie any balloon knots! And none of the grandkids get upset when a balloon breaks! No nostalgia for me over either of those blasts from the past.
Next we went to Dollar Tree to choose prizes for the game. What a joy to do this with the kids! It was so fun to see what they chose and why. They were thoughtful--finding things that others might like. Steven, picking up a bow and arrow, “I know Hale will like this!”
Jessica picked a colorful daisy for the yard and said, “I know my mom or Aunt Susan are going to LOVE this!”
While decorating, jokingly, they decided to tape some of the better prizes to the bottom of the prize table so they would still be available in case they were not one of the first winners.
Via email, I told Kathi, “I am planning on a simple party game—no skills—no strategy.”
She replied, “I hope it is not Twister!”
“Nope not a chance!” That also hurts (not my jaw) just to think about it.
I happen to have the neighborhood Bunco box at my house because I am hosting in March so I taught the children how to play. I knew that we would need four tables and that way Steven, David, Jessica and I could each teach one table.
We ate in the basement for two reasons—we have someone stripping wallpaper in our kitchen so it is pretty torn up. Also, in the basement, we could all fit around one table which was very nice.
The three children decorated the basement with no help from me as I was finishing a few dinner preparations and frosting the cake. They hung streamers, decorated the stairwell and made a sign and hung it. The basement looked great!
It was while the kids were decorating the basement that I vetoed using the birthday blowers altogether. It was certainly a weak moment when I bought them but reason prevailed. I knew the noise I was hearing from three, let alone multiplied by five, would totally destroy whatever hearing Grandpa and I were still enjoying. David figured out a way for us to still use the blowers. I'd like to claim that those innovative and persistent genes came from me but there is not a chance! He carefully went through the birthday blowers one by one and destroyed the horns but the blowers still worked!
I asked everyone to give Grandpa a verbal gift after dinner—either something that they liked about Grandpa or a favorite memory. When I mentioned earlier, that I was going to do that, everyone groaned. However they rose to the occasion chiming in more than one time. Many of their favorite memories involved beekeeping, or fishing or water skiing behind the fishing boat. Grif said, “I really look forward to the day each summer when we extract honey. I really like that day!”
Kathi, Andy and Kevin entertained us with some new and old stories. A personal favorite is about the time Kathi did not want to leave for a Nebraska family trip until evening so that she could get a suntan. Her Dad told Kathi that he could tie her to the roof of the car and they could stop every now and then and she could turn over. Then he told her that they had better do a trial run. He actually tied her on top of a mattress on top of the car and gave her a short ride—but long enough so that she decided not to ride on top of the car.
After our “Happy Birthday” song, Bob received a lovely book in which everyone had completed a page of memories or something special. Our Bunco game was successful and everyone that wanted a prize got a prize. We finished the evening with ice cream cake, visiting with the adults and the kids playing with bows and arrows and pop guns—I am not sure what all—but there were not any injuries and the house is still standing. Does it get any better than this?
Happy Birthday, Honey!