Luckily, Pinterest backed me up with some great ideas for invitations, decorations, party favors, and sundries - I was pin-winning right and left! We scheduled our time so we would use up our 3 hours of party without being booked solid but also without having so much time everyone was hounding me to call their parents to pick them up early because they were bored. We nearly had to call a mom early because one of the boys freaked out about seeing a bee (SEEING it, nothing more!), but fortunately that happened right at the end anyway. Mom confirmed that he goes psycho about bees (and no, he isn't allergic, just psycho) and she didn't try punching me for subjecting her child to such emotional trauma. Perhaps we could egg him on and plan a bee-themed party next year... but I digress!
First up was painting t-shirt with puff paint. The puff paint was supposed to take 4 hours to dry, and sure enough everyone went home with messy, wet t-shirts. I suspect t-shirt painting would go better at a summer party where the sun could speed along the process.
Next we played some Twister and Pin-the-paint-on-the-pallette. This was thanks to Facebook, where I borrowed 2 Twister games from people I would never have suspected owned one! We had 6 guests and 4 of my own kids so we needed 2 sets of twister dots, which worked out great to fit everyone in to one giant round of Twister. Added bonus: the new, improved Twisters have "air" as a spin possibility, meaning even crazier positions that are unsustainable! Good times, good times.
While we were borrowing one of those Twister games we were also given a "pin the paint on the palette" game - they'd thrown an art party just a few weeks prior and couldn't bear to throw away their hard work on their poster, so I swooped in and snatched it for our party, then threw it away without remorse (they asked to me to. I'm not completely heartless). Two girls at the party were sisters and their mom stayed to help out (never expected but always appreciated) - her most helpful contribution was taking pictures while I was helping out kids! This was the only "pin the paint" photo she took, but it's better than my big-fat-ZERO pictures.
After games the crowd was getting rumbly for some food so Joe ran to get pizza and we got started on pillowcases - no puff paint, I was aiming for something they could actually sleep on - and then we took a food break when lunch arrived.
The cake was not so much a real cake as individual cupcakes that the kids got to decorate by themselves - yet another art activity! And I'm glad it showcased my baking skills on the small screen, as I managed to forget to put eggs in one of the batches of cupcakes (it was a box mix! There are only 3 ingredients to add, for crying out loud! Fail).
After pizza and treats we opened gifts - always fun! Always impressive! I set a personal gift limit of $10 per gift for parties the kids are invited to, which I think you can meet while finding some really great stuff. I seem to be the only with with such a limit, though, and he was showered with everything an 8-year-old-boy could ask for. My contribution (besides throwing a party) was a microscope - it has a nifty carrying case, some pre-made slides, some blank slides for creating your own, and other activities and instructions for making the most of your kit. Patrick has a friend who has a microscope and he frequently asks for playdates with her, just to use the microscope.
And that is how WE get down at the Jacob's house!