Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Big E

Right now, I'm comfy in my favorite spot of my two-seater chair, with just a few sips of Pepsi left in the can to my right. My dog is snuggled in by my side, and my loaner cell phone that is temporarily replacing the one that went through the laundry last night, is by my other side.

My daughter is dancing around freshly showered in fresh pjs with a freshly pulled tooth in a Ziploc baggy.

My son, who is almost at his daddy's shoulder, is standing shirtless beside his daddy, who is just back from having to make an evening trip out for work in Mullens, as the two of them make the most of borrowed Wii time.

Ah...the goings on of a Saturday evening.

Hard to believe the view from this same comfy spot last night looked like this...

Ethan turned 10 on November 3rd. Can I just say that it is strange when your baby boy hits double digits? Being Ethan's mom is an absolutely joyful, and amazingly rewarding experience. Ten years ago, I was at a very difference place in life. You can kinda get the picture by reading about his beginnings here.

Even after writing that post a year and a half ago, things have changed. I have changed. I am sitting under teachings of grace that He has used to open me up and show me grace in an entirely new light.

What does this have to do with Ethan's birthday? A lot.

He is using grace to teach me so much about parenting, and discipling, my young man.

And I must just say, I love who He is forming Ethan to be. And I thank God that out of my rebellion, He could build us into the family we are today. Praise be to my God.

Okay, with all that being said, last night we had 8 of Ethan's bestest buddies over for a sleepover. We don't buy Ethan or Emma birthday gifts from us, don't worry, they don't go without! The grandparents did a fantastic job, and supplied him with a new DSI and a MP3 player this year!

So anyway, because we don't do gifts, we do provide the actual party. We live on a single income, so it requires me to be a tad more creative than buying the most popular party favors, ordering a cake, and inviting everyone and their mama for a "different" kind of "wow" birthday party.

Well, let me just say, I guarantee my boy didn't feel this was a sacrifice AT ALL!

I looked at lots of different ideas for party favors. Something the boys could play with here, and then take home. Last year, we did small Lego toys. They were about $5 a piece. Well, I just couldn't afford that this year. So, we went with insulation foam lightsabers covered in duct tape. Each lightsaber was about $1.89 a piece. Not too shabby. The boys got creative, and had double sabers before you knew it...I was impressed.

Between borrowing the Wii from my sister, and having a friend bring their controllers, too, we were able to supply sufficient entertainment for our 9 fun-seeking guys.

So, what's the other big cost to throwing your kid a party? Food.

Well, with a little effort, and some extra dish washing, you can cut cost there, too.

I made 3 pizzas from scratch. I'd say each pizza probably cost me about $2.50. I only bought 3 2 liters of pop, each were $0.79. Once they were gone, we just did water. For dessert, Ethan asked for hot fudge brownies. So, from my mawmaw's Betty Crocker cookbook, I whipped up a 9X13 pan of some unbelievably scrumptious brownies. Then drizzled a bottle of microwavable glaze I picked up at Wal-Mart atop, since I couldn't find an ingredient to make the icing I wanted to on my first I was bummed, but then I realized the bottle of glaze for a few bucks wasn't so bad after all!

One gallon of vanilla ice cream was about $3, the brownies and icing would probably be just under $6, and then poor guy had to settle for just 3 candles since that was all we had in the cabinet!

This morning, we had cinnamon rolls from scratch, couldn't have had more than about $3 in all 24 rolls.

So, if my calculations are correct...

Party favors for 9 boys = $17.01

Food to feed 9 boys = $19.50

Entertainment for 9 boys = free

Watching 9 boys fight to near death with foam, wrestle fairly to the 3 count out, and giggle uncontrollably over each other's antics...

yeah, you know it...priceless!


  1. Looks like a great party! I love that you take on what some people think can't be done...all those boys! Very encouraging.

  2. Thanks Jena! It was fun, and we can't wait to do it again next year :) Granted, we skipped church this morning to sleep in, and Greg is cleaning the kitchen for me after just finishing breakfast about 30 minutes ago! It is almost 1pm! So, it isn't like I did this without feeling it! haha

  3. My kind of party. Great job, Jamie!