9.14.2009

So a Jedi Knight You Wish to Be...Hmmm?

Annelise decided she would like to celebrate her 6th birthday with her friends in a galaxy far, far away. A couple of weeks ago we sent out these invitations to her friends at school and church inviting them to a Jedi Training Academy.

After much planning, preparation and a small dose of fear, the morning arrived. Prayers for no rain were lifted up (and answered!), supplies were set out, Star Wars music was playing in the background and several deep breaths were taken before the doorbell rang.
Her friends started to arrive bit by bit, soon out numbering the adults. The final count turned out to be 18 children ages 3-10! Being fueled by coffee and adrenaline, I pulled up my big girl panties and jumped right into the crazy.

As her friends arrived, she asked them to sign her Jedi story book (sorry, no picture) as a keepsake. Then we put on their Jedi training robes and rope belts. Most of the kids wore them, but I was surprised that some wouldn't put it on at all. What? I went to THREE different Hobby Lobby stores to make sure we had enough brown fabric and you don't want to wear it?!?!? I held myself together and said, "Oh, that's all right sweetie."

Next, they decorated favor bags with Star Wars stickers (once we rounded them up from playing in Annelise's room and going up and down the stairs).

Soon it was time for them to meet their Jedi Master, Obi TWO Kanobi, otherwise known as Scott, and be told their first mission.
They had to face their fears and enter the Dagobah Cave (a refrigerator box painted black and draped with black crepe streamers and a black plastic tablecloth) to collect Dagobah rocks (candy wrapped in foil). They each had a small glow stick to help guide their way.
They all got to go through at least twice, and LOVED it.

After conquering their fears, it was time for their second mission, the Jedi Agility Course outside. They all lined up on the porch,
and waited patiently for their turn,

chatting and watching everyone else take a turn along the course.

First they walked across the Dagobah Swamp.

Carried Yoda on a wooden spoon to safety.

Jumped across Dagobah Swamp rocks.

And then swung across burning hot lava.

The last thing was to help free Han Solo who was frozen in carbonite,

by pouring water over him. Some of the boys were fascinated by this and monitored the progress very closely.

The Birthday Girl herself managed to free Han to big cheers all around.
Then we herded them inside to cool down and meet Yoda. They watched a small segment from Episode V when Luke trained with Yoda on Dagobah.
While viewing they enjoyed yummy Yoda Sodas (lime sherbet and Sprite).
Then it was time to play Pin the Light Saber on Yoda. They each had a small foam light saber and took a turn sticking it on a homemade Yoda poster. By the end the poster looked like it was covered in green spaghetti!

After all of that it was time for the grand finale. We passed out light sabers (made from pool noodles cut in half, the end wrapped in duct tape and a small square of electrical tape for the power switch). They. were. excited. They practiced a few moves, then...
it was time to destroy the Dark Side (black balloons). Needless to say, the crowd went wild! There was much swatting, stomping and popping (no one was hurt and nothing was broken, except for the balloons).
The Force prevailed and evil was destroyed!

The last event was the Medal Ceremony. In my mind I thought it would be an orderly presentation followed by a group picture in front of the Star Wars backdrop. Ahem.
I just passed out the medals to each child as best I could. They were all now official Jedi Knights!
We ended the festivities with cupcakes and ice cream. I searched for cupcake decorating ideas, you know that I could actually copy, to no avail. I ended up making toothpick toppers with Star Wars stickers and my paper punches.

After singing Happy Birthday and passing out cupcakes, Capri Sun pouches and ice cream to all the little Jedis, it got very quiet. Those Jedi Knights had worked up quite an appetite and were focused on their rewards.
After all that sugar, we gathered around to watch Annelise open her presents.
Soon it was time for all the newly knighted Jedis to go back to their home galaxies as the party drew to a close (only 10 minutes over schedule, not bad!).
It was quite the whirlwind, but I know Annelise and her friends had a great time! I felt bad that I didn't get to chit chat much with the other parents, but I guess that's the nature of a party like this.
Scott and I were so pleased so many of Annelise's friends were able to come along with her Aunt Karen (and Uncle Bill, not pictured) and Uncle Ron.
and I was thankful to have the help and support of my girlfriends. Thanks for jumping right in and passing out plates, cupcakes, Yoda Sodas, taking pictures, gathering up trash, etc.!!
After a Tex Mex lunch and visiting with family, Scott and I eventually managed to get our home back together (ahhhh...peace restored) while Annelise played with her presents.
Annelise declared it was the best party ever. Thank you sweetheart, you are worth it!
FYI: We planned this party in about 3.5 weeks, working on the bigger things as early as possible. I found a ton of ideas online, the most helpful were from Marie at Makes and Takes, Laurie the Tip Junkie and this party site. We tried to keep costs down by making a lot of things ourselves, serving only cupcakes and ice cream and using the party props as favors (robes, light sabers (pool noodles were on sale this time of year), Dagobah rocks, and medals(spray painted paper plates & 50% off ribbon). Even though it seems like a lot of work, I love the feeling of a birthday party at home, the personal touches, the hospitality. It saddens me that parents are moving away from home parties and to the party places. I was a bit intimidated, but I'm truly thankful we did it.

16 comments:

  1. Amazing! That makes my Star Wars parties (my older son had 4 in a row) boring! It looks like you guys had a blast!

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  2. What a party! What a mom! What a dad! What a birthday girl! I'm exhausted thinking about it.

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  3. Looks like so much fun! We have done a couple of organized parties at other places, but I love home parties too. At this point, we have so many kids with birthdays close together that we don't really do a party for friends anymore. We have one big family party. We call it Scottoberfest b/c we have lots of October birthdays.

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  4. Okay. You? Are Amazing.

    Incredible! How sweet that you all did this for her...looks like the best party ever.

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  5. Oh stop, amazing I'm not--but I copy well. :) Thanks though.

    It was fun to plan all the different games--and most of those ideas were from those sites. Scott was really into all of it too since he's a big fan of Star Wars.

    I can't say we'll do a big themed party every year, but we'll see...

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  6. That looked like so much fun! congratulations on a great party :) Love your hair by the way... :)

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  7. FUN!!!!!!!

    I'm glad that all went well and A. looks like she could just burst with JOY!

    Big Theme parties are so much fun, but you feel like you have been hit by a mack truck when it's over...Whew! Go Momma, Go!

    Ok, how did it go with school friends and church friends. I have been so spoiled because at church I know all the parents. School friends...Not so much! Did all the parents stay? Seriously, your home looked packed (wonderful she has so many friends-Yikes on planning a party!). What would you do different.

    Ok, I am just a Momma that is trying to figure this stuff all out!

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  8. That is a party to remember! I loved reading about it and your Star Wars references were super fun. You are such a great mom!

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  9. Yes, I think a Mack truck hit describes it perfectly. But a happy Mack truck.

    This was our first year to invite school friends. Since it's still so early in the school year you know, I had not met many of them, but some we knew from PreK. We were prepared for the possible drop-off (I personally can't believe parents do that at such a young age, or any age, but I've heard they do). All of the parents stayed, so that was good and one less worry. Several of the parents jumped right in and helped with this and that, which was GREAT!!

    I did feel bad that I didn't get to chit chat with them much, but they got to talk with each other so I guess that's okay.

    Yes the house was packed! Somehow we managed just fine and nothing was broken. Our numbers went up with school siblings and surprise friends--but they turned out to be delightful additions, so the more the merrier.

    I don't know what I'd do different. I talked the schedule into the ground with Scott, but I think doing that helped us tweak the timeline, order of stuff. We probably could have nixed Pin The Light Saber on Yoda just for time, BUT they all were eager for a turn, so I don't know. Saving the light sabers until the end was a MUST.

    I also felt bad leaving the parents to fend for themselves as far as getting a cupcake or ice cream, but that's the way it worked out.

    Does that help?

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  10. AWESOME party! There are two little boys that are still wearing the robes and having fights with the noodleSabers. It was all so perfect! And it was obvious that A had a blast! Home parties ROCK!

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  11. Wow, you really went to town for this party! I love the Jedi training robes, what a fun touch! What's up with some of the kids not wanting to wear them?

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  12. Jill: Most of the kids wore the robes and seemed to really like them; some wore them for a while and then got hot; one or two did not even want to put one on, not sure why.

    I cut a yard of brown fabric (the cheapest I could find), folded it in half and cut a V with pinking shears for the neck. The belts were jute.

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  13. sounds like you rocked it, girl! love the photos and your awesome recap. craving some yoda soda myself...

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  14. FUN!! love the noodle light sabers! I love(d) home parties too.

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