Monday, October 23, 2006

Cowboy Birthday, Yee Haw! — by Guest Mom Emily C. Spencer



First of all, thanks to Gabby for inviting me to be a guest on her blog. I have been reading her blog faithfully for the past couple of months and I love it! Since I only get to see Gabby in person every couple of years or so (has it been that long?!), it is nice to read her great ideas and glean from her design talent a couple of times a week. Thanks Gabby!


We recently celebrated my youngest daughter's and my son's birthday. Their birthdays are only two days apart and since my daughter just turned 3, I was able to combine their parties into one celebration (I know that won't last too much longer!). Since we only do "friends" parties every other year, we invited some family over for what was supposed to be a low-key, simple birthday party with a western theme. I started to look for ideas on the internet and was delighted to find so many great ideas that we ended up going all out with decorations, games, dinner, attire, and more. It was a huge success so I thought I would share just a few of these ideas with ya'll!


1. Decorations: Bales of hay decorated with bandannas, old cowboy boots, hats, pumpkins, multi-colored corn cobs, fall leaves etc. We downloaded an "Old West" type font and made signs for the food — "Grub," the drink table (which was a big tin bucket full of ice and rootbeers) — "waterin' hole," and the bathroom — "outhouse." We had a sign at the front door stating "Hey ya'll, come around back for a rootin, tootin, good time! It's a birthday party dagnabit!" We burned the edges of all of our signs on the stovetop to add a more rustic effect — very cool!. We also made "Wanted" posters for the two birthday kids with pictures of them in their cowboy get-up. They were "wanted" for things like "sleepin' in," "runnin' around neked," and "leavin' their britches on the floor." Of course, we all wore our cowboy duds. I also had small brown paper bags filled with peanuts in the shell to crack and munch on before dinner.

2. Games: Since my kids were the youngest ones there, I had to gear my games towards the older kids and folks. When everyone arrived, we had a big tin bucket full of water and squirt guns and the guests ran around playing with these for awhile. Then we had a balloon stomp where a balloon is tied to each ankle and then everyone runs around trying to pop each other's balloons. The activity that was the biggest hit was the tin can shoot. My husband made some marshmallow shooters out of PVC pipe and we set up a ladder with rows and stacks of empty soda cans. The kids lined up and fired away! Even the adults got into it! See here for more info about the marshmallow shooters. My husband's design was a little more simple — but this truly is a great toy! Squirt guns or rubber band shooters would work as well.


3. Meal: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, salad, chips, and vegetable plate. I really didn't want to do two cakes so I made cupcakes with chocolate cowboy hat toppers (see upcoming post for more info regarding this idea). Although I did find some darling cowboy boot candles at a party supply store that we used for the singing and blowing.


Overall the party was huge success! There were more ideas that we didn't even have time for — caramel apple dipping, roasting marshmallows and making smores in our fire pit — and more ideas from birthday party sites for all ages.
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9 Comments:

Blogger Factotum said...

What great ideas! I'm starting to get excited for my son's second birthday in June which will invariably be cowboy themed now.

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 11:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Design Mom said...

Love the wanted posters. Love the peanuts-in-the-shell. Love the balloon stomp. What great ideas!

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 11:47:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

I don't even have any kids yet, but this is on my list of ideas for parties in the future. Thanks!

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 12:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

what a great party. love how the theme was everywhere! could you design a detective themed party for me?

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 12:36:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

The marshmallow shooters sound awesome. It sounds like a great afternoon project for four boys I know.

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 9:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bek said...

Emily.... you are amazing....

I remember that we had to miss your "friend" party one year b/c Lulu's was the same day....too bad!!!

:-)

Monday, October 23, 2006 at 11:29:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Emily said...

Rebecca,
Your boys would love it. Let me know if you want instructions for Wes' simpler version. Lots of harmless fun!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 10:29:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Emily said...

bek,
We missed Lulu but as I remember it you were giving your own amazing friends party - complete with complimentary homemade fairy costumes!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 10:30:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous paisleesmommy said...

We did a birthday party like this last year for my daughter. The kids had a ton of fun - we ended up with a miniature donkey for them all to ride and had a hard time getting them in the house for cake and presents. The donkey provided for some awesome photographic memories, and all the kids went away with smiles on their faces. Just wanted to mention that we bought a bunch of stuff from birthdayexpress.com (we used the Little People farm theme) to go along with the party! ;)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 12:39:00 AM EST  

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