This year was a bit more challenging when it came to organizing Sonny’s birthday. Since he is old enough to have an opinion, and is school age and has school age friends, he was full of ideas about how his birthday should go down. Of course, none of these ideas were practical, easy, or frugal.
His biggest idea was to invite his whole class, of 13, to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday. If you are a parent, or have been around kids a least a few times in your life, you understand that the land of Chuck is the Mecca for kids age 4 to 8. They love the nasty pizza, the scary mascots and the ball room that I’m is filled with E. Coli. Fun! The worst thing is that not only is this place, a pit of despair, it’s expensive to boot. We lucked out that within a month or so, he changed his mind.
Once we were down to decision time, Sonny commented that he wanted to have his party at my parents’ house. After having him call to ask permission. The venue was set. Next was deciding a theme. Yet again, my son with his expensive tastes, wanted to have an all Power Rangers Samurai party. Cups, balloons, plates, tablecloths, he wanted it all. Since I’m not hip to the game, I had no idea that not only were power rangers back, but they were yielding swords now. Great. Of course, he also requested all of the action figures as a present. And oh yeah, he still wanted to go to the Land of Chuck. Just not with his friends. This kid MUST think we are made of money all of a sudden.
Once the theme was shared with the family, my wonderful mother offered to make him a power ranger cake. She’s a professional cake decorator, so this wouldn’t be a big deal, but we get the cake for FREE. And it will actually be good cake. She has a program where she can turn any picture into an edible one and place it on a cake, so we researched the web for the perfect picture of Sonny’s favorite, the Gold ranger.
His invitations were made on this very computer and we used our color printer to print them. I even made up 2 different invitations, with pictures of him on some, to make it interesting for the families receiving them. Some families actually lived in the same neighborhoods and in some cases the same building, so I wanted them to be able to have different designs and get excited about the party. Plus, we were planning the party on a holiday weekend, so I wanted to really entice them to come. It’s hard to get people to come to kids parties on holiday weekends, especially if they are thinking of leaving town instead.
When it came to food stuffs, you know I had to look to my stockpile. Since we are planning two parties within the month, I wanted to have 2 different menus, similar to what each of the kids’ like and similar to the theme of each party. Luckily, with Sonny’s obsession with anything chocolate and hot dog related, I decided right away on a hot dog bar and a chocolate bar as the two main food events. Since May, I have been looking at hot dog deals and stocking up. Beef, turkey and chicken hot dogs are all stockpiled for the party. I’ll make my slow cooker caramelized onions, and slow cooker baked beans to add to the bar. Relish, ketchup, and mustard are also stockpiled. I’m also hoping to find some clearance ground beef so I can make some no bean chili to add to the bar. If I have time, I’ll even make a big batch of fried potatoes, as well. It all depends on what I can find at the stores and farmers markets within the next few days.
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the lovely chocolate bar and about the wrench in the works we’ve been experiencing with our planning.