Sunday, February 21, 2016

LL's (7th) Campfire Birthday

For LL's birthday party this year, we tossed around several different ideas.  Last year, we did a trip to Disney for her birthday.  The two years before that, we did a swim party (with Tiny Bubbles) and a gymnastics party (at the Y).  We haven't had a "home" party in quite a few years!  She did talk about wanting to do another gymnastics party, and we even talked about maybe doing a "girl's day" party where she invited just a few girl friends and we would do pedicures, movies, etc.  In December, I saw on facebook where a someone I know did a "Glamping" party for her girl, and they had horses come to their house.  I contacted that business and got the details from her.  That's how LL's "Campfire birthday" was born!  After talking about several different activities we could do, this is the itinerary for the party that we came up with: horses, roasting hotdogs and s'mores over a campfire, and fireworks (and obviously lots of playing on our playhouse and trampoline).  We ended up doing her party the weekend after her birthday, and it also kicked off our week-long winter break.  It was perfect!  

Here's a look at a few of our decorations.  Since it was outside, we kept it minimal with decor (not much was necessary anyway).

We took Christmas lights and strung them all across the top of our fence.  Then, I took more Christmas lights and used buffalo check material and burlap to tie all over it to hand under our covered porch.  This was so pretty once it got dark.

I ordered a large "7" balloon from Amazon and just got it blown up in town with a few other solid colored balloons.  I really wanted to get a picture of LL holding just the 7 balloon, but it was so windy on her party day that it just didn't work out.

We kept it really simple for the food.  The day before, Matt smoked a big Boston butt for everyone to have pulled pork sandwiches.  For the kids, we had hotdogs for them to roast over the fire.  Then, we had chips, cake, and drinks.  We kept it so simple, but I don't think it was an issue!

For the favors, I decided to go with some personalized cookies for everyone.  The same lady that I know that did the "Glamping" party also has her own cookie business.  I ordered a large platter of cookies from her, and they turned out so adorable.  She did Lorelai's name, some campfires, some horses, some round cookies with the buffalo plaid and the number "7", some s'mores, and then a few other cute designs.  They were perfect!

Once I got the cookies from her, I bagged up enough for favors and then just tied some of the same fabric that I used for the lights around the top of the bag.  We had a few cookies left over, and LL loved eating them for the next couple of days.

The party started at 3:45, but the horse people were scheduled to come at 3:30.  This was perfect because it gave them time to get here and get set up, and it gave LL some one-on-one time with the horses before all her friends started coming.

They brought three horses with them.  Two normal sized horses and one miniature pony.  This is Aunt B and LL got to brush her, tie ribbons in her hair, and help saddle her up before all her friends came!

She was in Heaven!

She got some help tying ribbons in her hair.

While LL got her time with Aunt B, Cooper and Ben were perfectly happy to just play on the trampoline!

Even Uncle Gino got in on the jumping!

LL was a big helper!

We had a fire going in the fire pit to help keep everyone warm.  The day was absolutely beautiful, but it was windy and cold.

The kids took a few minutes to check out the chickens!

LL's friend from school, Kylee, came to the party!

Meemee claimed a spot by the fire.

Ben has an extreme allergy to horses (I know - I'm a terrible Aunt for picking this party), but he had a blast anyway playing outside!

LL got the first ride and she picked to ride on Aunt B!

Not a cloud in the sky!  And a little girl on a little horse.  :)

This is a happy girl!

I love how you can see her joy on her face!

The boys loved the trampoline!

After LL's ride on Aunt B, other kids started riding, and they started riding the big horses.

This whole party, LL was just so happy.  It was perfect.

Kayla has an extreme dislike for animals, so she was a big trooper for coming!  Aunt Laura loves animals as much as I do, so she was as happy as can be!

Gigi and Cooper

Cooper wanted John Aiden to come to be his friend at the party, but they spent most of the party apart - haha.  Cooper wanted to jump and JA wanted to ride!

Boys being boys!

Kylee taking a turn.

For the longest time, Cooper wouldn't get on a horse.  He kept saying "she will kick me".  Finally we talked him to getting on Aunt B, and then he started to take more turns!

The kids started to figure out that they could double up!
Kylee and LL

Maddie (LL's best friend) and LL

They took a break from riding and got to paint one of the horses!!

My best girl having the best party!

I was surprised at how much the kids liked riding the little horse!

I love this with Luke in the front and LL in the background.

Cooper liked riding with LL!

Cooper finally took a turn on the big horse by himself!!

Luke on the big horse...

...and Logan on the little one!

Sweet brothers.

My handsome husband!!  He was not feeling his greatest this day, but he still did so much to help at this party!

Photographic evidence that yes, I did indeed take a turn riding a horse.  And, yes, they led me around too.  :)

Last ride!

The horses stayed for about 2 hours.  After they left, we started on food while the kids played!

All the boys on the trampoline!

We initially planned to let the kids roast their own hotdogs, but they were more interested in playing.  Matt ended up just putting the grill top on and cooking them all together.

All those boys can't be without a few tears.  He was up and playing in no time!

A lot of the kids sat around the play house to eat.

Kayla is always sassing me.  Someone finally got a picture of it.  ;)

Sweet girls!

This one refused to stop playing and eat.  He finally ate dinner around 8:00 when everyone left!

Best friends since Kindergarten!  She's been stuck with me for the last 27 years - she's surely stuck with me for the next 27!

After the food, it was time for s'mores!

I bought these extremely huge marshmallows thinking the kids would love them.  What I didn't think about was how it was going to make a huge mess when you tried to actually eat a s'more.

It.  Was.  Everywhere.  And Meg, I love how you're just laughing at me in the background of this.  True friends.  ;)

All of the kids actually had a good time roasting their marshmallows!

LL requested that Grammy make her a horse cake.  So just in case the kids didn't have enough sugar with the s'mores, we had cake after we were done with that.

I loved the lights!

Everyone sang to LL, and she got super embarrassed.

My favorite sister!

After cake, we all sat down to watch the fireworks!

We even got some sparklers for the kids!

We headed inside to the warmth for LL to open her presents.

LL making sure everyone gets their favors.

Madeline and LL!

LL and Kye!  These two have been friends for 6.5 years - since they were 6 months old!

LL and Kye at 6 months and at 7 years old.  So sweet!

My KK's!

I'm already planning a trip to Atlanta soon because I did not get to see my sister enough!

I can never get enough of this girl!

This man.  He has my heart.

This boy.  He ate a late dinner, got a bath, and had a few minutes to cuddle on the couch.  He was exhausted!

After everyone left and the kids were asleep, I snuck outside for a few minutes to enjoy the quiet and the lights.

I loved the lights around the top of the fence.

It really was such an amazing and fun party.  It's been a week, and we're all still talking about how much fun we had.  LL said it was the best birthday party ever!

Here's a look back at LL's other parties here:
Trip to Disney (LL's 6th Birthday)
Tiny Bubbles Swim Party (LL's 5th Birthday)
Gymnastics Party (LL's 4th Birthday)
Rapunzel Party (LL's 3rd Birthday)
Owl Party (LL's 2nd Birthday)
Jungle Party (LL's 1st Birthday)


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