For Michael's 8th birthday I thought it would be fun to do a workshop type party where the kids would build a little wooden project and then paint and decorate it. My friend Jo Ann and her sister had had Home Depot themed parties for their sons who are a few years older than Michael and I had always planned to do one when Michael hit the right age.
So, as his 8th birthday was approaching I asked him if he'd like this kind of party. He said he would and I proceeded to forge ahead with the plans. I searched around on the internet and found what looked like a good project. It was this tool box...
My vision was for the kids to sand the pieces, nail them together and then paint the box. Then while it was drying we would sing and eat cake and ice cream. After that they would go back and decorate the boxes with fun stickers and pictures. I even had all their names cut in vinyl (shout out to Kali and Monique) so we could put that on them and make them all nice and personal.
The party was to start at 2:00 on Sunday afternoon, June 7th, Michael's actual birthday. We had had a good response and I didn't want to do up a sample in case we had any extra kids come but around 1;15 I knew I would have extras so I went out to the garage to put one together so I could show the kids how it was supposed to look.
Uh oh. Big red flag. I started putting it together and was having a hard time. I thought, "I'm big and this is a bit difficult for me. What's going to happen when 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 year olds start doing it?" I went ahead and whipped this one up to show them. This was my vision:
Well the kids arrived and we had around 20 I think. They all found a seat and we were looking pretty good at this point...
The sanding went fine. The hammering was a disaster. The nails were bending. The kids were frustrated. This is what I was hearing, "Mrs. Tammy can you help me? Mrs. Tammy, can you help me after you help Maryn? Yes darling. Mrs. Tammy, can you help me after you help Maryn after you help Macie. Of course sweetheart. Mrs. Tammy, can you help me after you help Maryn after you help Macie after you help Deacon.?"
You get the picture. And Paul was steadily doing what he could at the other tables. It was H-O-T as all get out and we were all pretty miserable. Major FAIL!!!!! By 3:00 Paul said, "We gotta stop this and do something fun." This sums up what we were looking at:
So we moved to the cake...
Then we sang to Michael's friend Julia who was born the very same day as Michael, June 7, 2007.
We had cake and ice cream and Michael opened his gifts and a few of the kids played in the drive way on scooters, etc but I would not be defeated on this tool box project!!!! Paul and I went around helping to finish all that we could. And one of the dads came back a bit early and he was a big help repairing bent nails and completing unfinished boxes. The kids did get to paint them in the end but that was about it. Here's how far we got when the party was over at 4:00...
We took a group shot with everyone holding up the hammers they had brought and the party was over.
Kids were trickling out and a few got in the water hose and started playing with a water gun Michael's friend Deacon gave him. This was probably the only smidgen of fun they had. Bless their hearts.
Over the next few days I set up shop in the dining room and finished the tool boxes the way I had hoped the kids would make them. Ha, yeah right! I think this would be a fun project for like a father/son deal at church or something like that. But it was a total disaster for this type event. You live and learn. I am sharing here to spare you the heartache!!!
Here are a few parting shots of Michael's 8th birthday. I love my little boy so much. He is just so fun and sweet and it's true what they say about little boys loving their mommas. I am so thankful the Lord gave us a son and while I wasn't as old as Sarah I was getting up there. I had Michael at 41 and will be near 60 when he graduates from high school but I'm just glad I was given the great honor of being his mom. I look forward to seeing what the Lord does with his life.