Now he is 11

There was little fanfair because he had friends over and with a bit of attitude and shenanigans with tattling about a machete, we didn’t end up singing happy birthday, either. We gave him his present last week so there’s not been much birthdayness, it feels like. Anyhoo. Today will be better.

Except there’s a wind warning and rain up the yin-yang on the way, 😣. I will make it work but ffs, it would be great if things could just chill, including the two knuckleheads beside me trying their darndest to hurt each other.

His obsession with minecraft persists so that’s what we’re going with. Much as he would love to just play screens with friends for hours on end, my idea is a real-life minecraft adventure. Pinterest is the go-to, of course, coupled with my brain and the resultant lovechild is a life-size zombie villager getting the stuffing (gold coin chocolates) beaten out of him and archery target practice on a cardboard creeper. Let me tell you, give yourself a bit more than 4 days to pull this shit together and if the kid can’t make up his mind well beforehand, it’s curtains for this sort of thing in the future.

I put these guys together with string – punched a few holes and tied them together

Painting those squares was a pain in my ass. I also don’t have black paint so no bastard has eyes.

Our yard is on a hill, so the plan is to hide stuff along the way down the hill, including potions, gold, string, power ups and wooden planks. Husband eventually cut the pieces for the crafting table, so, let’s see how that goes.

🎶We sang Happy Birthday when opening presents🎶

The weather held off and there were excited squeals and static through the walkie-talkie when they finally took down the zombie and found the chocolate. 

I’m assuming he is in pieces after the fact

The boys collected the carrots, strawberries, potions and arrows, and wood for the crafting table. Let me tell you, the craftmanship of 10-11yos leaves much to be desired but the thing was put together and sticks and stones were on the surface in various patterns in short order.

Minecraft recipes resulted in the conjuring of a cake, gold nuggets and a bow for those arrows. 

And then the rain came, and that was fine. Boys were only slightly rumpled and muddy, but with cake and chocolate in their bellies, so no big deal. No one cares for hot dogs after slugging creepers and getting rained on, but I guess that’s okay.


8 Years Old Tomorrow

We had a great time on our spring break driving holiday, if there is such a thing as a holiday whilst driving with one’s family. However, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me for would-then-be-8yo’s birthday party. Partly because of the amount of actual things to organise, but also because we went back to our normal routine of gyming in the morning, school for 4yo twice during the week, and a good amount of whining and fighting in between. Plus yard work, laundry, wine, unpacking, and general pottering.
I thought about making a list of everything I wanted to do, but really that is just more procrastinsting. So I made a few lists, combined lists, whittled down lists, etc. I did a bit of shopping during the week for odds and ends that I wanted, but did most of it the day before the party. I also did most of the printing the day of, after much cleaning and tidying the day of. About an hour before the party I became philosophical about the timing, and then pulled it all together pretty well.
I also made the cake the morning of – risky!

But I remembered that I had broken the large glass bowl a few weeks before, and hadn’t been to Goodwill to find a replacement. I had to use a random mixing bowl and hold up the beaters – yay biceps! I wanted to have reversed lettering for the icing so we could use a mirror for the “secret message”, but the icing did not cooperate.

So a few things didn’t work out, but I had a secret weapon, a top secret weapon.


A Top Secret stamp! It legitimized everything, including the food signs (secret snacks)


Devilish double agents

and some of the clues.

I found some of the ideas on pinterest, of course, but I’m sort of awesome for birthday party ideas, too.


Everyone made spy ID cards, ate that cake, did a laser obstacle course,



ran around like the kids in Lord of the Flies, then regrouped for a Secret Mission.
I shredded the message so the kids could piece it back together, like an episode of The X Files I had seen, but the shredder actually shredded it, so…


…I just cut it up myself. It took a while but eventually the message was reconstructed, and they were off looking for more clues.




The gist was gold was stolen and it had to be found and given to the birthday boy (duh). The cool thing was the gold was actually Gold Lego pieces, which I got from thinkgeek.com and 8yo’s secret spy name is Gold Lego Bar, haha!


We couldn’t have had better weather, and we had a group of awesome kids and great parents hanging out for a campfire after everything. If I had had more time, I could have made “evidence” for everyone to burn.
This year we had no presents at the party, those days are gone for us now, and I managed to have NO CANDY, awesome! We had a bunch of brown paper bags left over from I don’t know what, and so the kids took home an invisible ink pen, their I’d card and a spy-sized telescope. If I hadn’t left absolutely everything to the last minute, like “hiding clues 3.5 minutes before guests arrived” last minute, I could have scrambled the clues and made decoder wheels

for all and sundry, but those things are a lot of work.
Anyhoo, it was a great day and thank goodness it’s over.