Thursday, August 29, 2013


This guy turned seven at the beginning of the month, but due to camping and family events, we didn't get to celebrate until last week.

Bryn is such an easy-going child that he didn't seem to care what kind of party he'd have, so I tried to come up with some suggestions. Since his birthday is in the summer, it's a bit easier to plan, since we can go outside. And since he is more adventurous, I thought it would be fun to do a Man vs Wild party. I had seen a great one here.  But then that didn't seem to work, so I decided on something more to do with his interests: Minecraft!

 If you have kids, you have probably heard of Minecraft. Abi learned of it when all the boys in her class used it for their presentations and such, which got Hunny to look into it, which meant that our family got a copy too. It's like a LEGO computer game. Maybe that isn't the proper way to explain it, but I don't play it. I don't "get it". I can't visualize it like everyone else can. But you get to create a whole world using blocks. My kids like playing in Creative, which means they get to make whatever they want. But you can also play in Survivor Mode, which has all of the Mobs full of Creepers, Zombies, Endermen, and such that can kill you. I found a few great ideas in my searches and came up with a great birthday party!

The only problems we encountered were that we couldn't get many of his friends to attend since a  lot were away then (that's the downfall of having a summer birthday), and I wasn't able to go out and pick up a lot of the supplies until the day before, and I was out until 2am the night before the party going night sliding with Abi and the Youth Group. (which was a BLAST, but didn't give me enough sleep!)  I am good at planning parties but not good at executing them. I was begging Hunny to help me out! He is good at it! He knows how to command a group of kids. He really does have a talent with them. I love it!

We did Mob target shooting

 Check out our lovely handmade targets. The kids and I had fun making them. I should've taken a better picture. That's a Creeper, and Enderman and a Zombie, if you can tell!

Rhys had a lot of fun shooting the guns!

After the kids shot those a few times, we went outside to play Creeper Tag. (I found the rules to it here)  Originally we had planned on hosting the party at the park, but the weather forecast spoke of rain, so we decided to move it to our house. (which meant a mad panic cleaning spree!)  Of course, it did not rain in the end! But having it at home made it easier in that we didn't have to haul all the party supplies to a park, have to find a place to set up, and have to keep an extra vigilant eye on wandering and curious children!  It also meant that we would have shelter if it did decide to sprinkle us with liquid sunshine.

Since our front yard is not nearly as big as the park we were anticipating running around in, the game didn't go quite as I imagined it would! The Creepers were tagging out the Miners must too fast! I was so grateful that Hunny was able to come up with new rules and he changed things up. Instead of splitting the teams into two, he made Bryn and his friend, Josh, the Creepers, and set up Night/Day Mode. I the game, when the sun is up, the Creepers attack, but at night, they sleep. I didn't know this! So whenever he called out "Night!" the Creepers had to walk super slowly and couldn't tag anyone out! I was worried this made it an incredible disadvantage for the game, but the kids all thought it was fun! So there you go! A tip if you ever decide to play!

After that, the kids were all tired so we went back inside for something to drink! That's when Hunny also decided to wander from my list of Party Activities!  He had all the kids surround Bryn, and each grab and arm or leg, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to him while giving him Birthday Bumps!!! He loved it! So did the kids!

(Kai made Bryn his Creeper t-shirt! I had seen it online, done with stencils and fabric paint, or with iron-on transfers, but we didn't get that far. Instead, as a last minute, we found the green shirt at the Dollarama near us and picked up cheap black electrical tape for decorations. Kai used the tape on the shirt! It lasted great all day...but didn't hold up in the wash!)

After singing and gift opening, we sent the kids into the spare bedroom for a scavenger hunt, telling them they had to find 12 blocks each. Bryn didn't have much of an opinion on what type of party he wanted, but he was clear that he definitely wanted to have a scavenger hunt! I found a great idea on a blog that incorporated a hunt with the mining they do in the game. Sweet! I also used her idea on the wiki-craft table.  She had better blocks than we did, but I was proud of my creativity of using LEGO pieces into blocks! We were still short a bunch though, so I picked up a bunch of dice sets and the kids and I wrapped each one in coloured electrical tape! *big cheesy grin*

Abi and her friend, Bethany, had fun making up the Minecraft wiki poster!  I wish I took a more clear picture (and had them outline things and write bigger!)

We offered a whole bunch of different things for the kids to trade in:  dart guns, jump ropes, candy (which was by far the most popular, and easiest to trade in for), bubbles, flying discs, marbles, goo (which my kids fought over), temporary tattoos.  About half of the guests had already played Minecraft, so we still had to explain the process of how you "mine" and collect items and get to trade them in for real items in the game to the others. With the many coloured blocks they found, they could put them onto the craft table to get their own prize, or they could trade amongst their friends for blocks they wanted. I thought this would go over well as it made their take-home goodie bag up to them! The kids were a bit perplexed by it though and took a long time trying to figure out colour combinations. In the end, we had leftover prizes, so we handed them out to whomever wanted them!

Abi wanted to "man" the craft table and hand out the prizes! She thought that was pretty cool!

After all the cake was eaten and the blocks all traded in, we took the kids outside for one last fun game. I had seen this Blow Up The TNT game online and thought it totally fit with my kids' Minecraft interest and Mythbusters fascination!  I didn't do up a box like TNT though, I ran out of time, but the kids still thought it was awesome! My Hunny gave them a brief scientific explanation of how Diet Coke and mentos react to eacher, and then gave them a demonstration!

He called on a brave volunteer to try it out as well! This boy is the second youngest of 6 boys, so I don't think he minded being sticky or exploding pop all over the place! 

My Husband wanted to know what would happen if you could get a mentos into a bottle, and get the cap on, and shook it up. So he and Abi played toss for a little bit! 

 Abi got a bit sticky, but she secretly loved it! 
Next year I think we'll have to do a Mythbusters party! Thanks to Pinterest, I'm sure I'll find someone who's already done it!

All in all, it was a great birthday! Bryn had fun and so did his friends!

I really am blessed by this boy. He is different than the others in many ways. He has a confidence and adventuresome spirit, is always making jokes and being silly, and will do what he can to make someone laugh.  He is kind and sensitive and thinks of others and wants to include his siblings. On his birthday, his dad took him out for a special breakfast treat at Starbucks, and he came home and shared his snack with everyone!  He did the same thing later when he got to go out with his Grandma Lynn for  special birthday shopping and shared his treats with everyone. I love his heart. No only does he share his toys and snacks with everyone, but he also is brave and shares his love and beliefs of God with his friends!  He is matter-of-fact about it too and I love that he isn't too caught up in worrying if he should be ashamed or about the reactions of others. He can really teach me a thing or two!

It's hard for me to believe that this crazy fun seven year old started out as a tiny preemie born 7 weeks too early!


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