Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carson turns 12

 Birthday month begins. From the end of July till the end of August we have all 5 male birthdays in our house. Carson kicked it off by turning 12 last week. This handsome son of mine is such a delight and I am loving watching him turn in to a great young man.

Carson wanted a party with friends this year and seeing as he didn't have one last year it seemed like a great idea. However, parties are expensive! So let me tell you how we broke every etiquette rule and threw a very budget friendly party.

It started with me emailing around a link to the moms of the other kids where they could go to sign their kids up for free bowling. I then asked if they could please send their child and coupon with me to the bowling ally. How is that for bad manners?! No invitations. Fortunately, my friends are amazing and no one turned me in to Miss Manners.

I used scrapbook paper I already had to make a banner for the birthday boy and just bought a pack of balloons for a dollar to decorate...
For favors I bought some gift bags (also for about $1) and then popped homemade popcorn to fill them (already in the cabinet so that's free!) and then picked up a 3 pack of gum at Walmart for $2 while I was grocery shopping.. They may not be the greatest favors but I was happy with them and they were so inexpensive, which was the best part...


Now, keeping the guest list down was a big part in helping the budget but that was a fun part too. You see, because of homeschooling and how we interact mostly as a family with other families there is very little age segregating that goes on. My kids have no concept of "I'm a 5th grader so I don't really play with that 4th grader." or "Those 7th graders are so cool - can't wait till I'm there." The kids all play TOGETHER and they do so very well. I absolutely love that about our times with friends. But Carson was hoping that for his party- maybe it could just be the big kids. Well, I needed no persuading when it came to keeping the guest list short and really thought it would be super fun for those older kids to just get some time to themselves. Carson is on the tail end of that "big kid" bracket but that didn't bother him in the least. So, Madison, Carson, JC, Abigail, Grace and I headed to do our free bowling...

It was really fun. The kids were horrible bowlers and it didn't bother them at all.




Carson and Abigail tied for the lowest score in round one...
Then they started doing goofy things in round two - like spin before rolling the ball, bowl through your legs and who can get their ball to roll for the longest time but still hit the pins. They had fun. Gutter ball after gutter ball didn't discourage them and each of them at some point got either a strike or a spare.

After round two we went back to our house for pizza and cake (again - Little Caesars $5 pizzas - can't beat it!).
They mentioned how quiet it seemed to not have all the little kids around - and they were right. It was so fun to get to be with these awesome kids. There at such a sweet age where they are growing up but still kids. I listened to them talk about things from politics to video games. It made my heart full and caused me to thank God for these sweet friendships.

While they ate they had me pull out the laptop and they watched Tim Hawkins clips. If you want a good laugh check him out.

Carson picked tacos for his birthday dinner. Afterwards we skyped with our sweet Lees. Carson and Mitchell were able to play chess together - what a treat! And the whole family joined us at the table as we sang happy birthday...

but we did lose our skype connection once so we had to wait to get them back - which meant the candles got pretty short... (oh, and that's Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake - Carson's favorite)

 Check out the precious coupons sister Ally made for her brother. She is so sweet and really loves her brother...
 I sure do love this boy. I am thankful for my 12 years with him and hope to be an even better steward of the next 12.  He has a sensitive heart to the things of the Lord. He is brave and wants to take the gospel to unreached peoples with his best buddy, Mitchell. He is smart. He is funny. He will be a great leader to his siblings. He is the greatest 12 year old I know.  Happy birthday, Bud.

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