Jett's Backyard Birthday Bash

In case you're unaware, for our family, the month of May rivals December for having the most birthdays and events.  A couple weekends ago we celebrated my brother Ben's birthday and this past weekend was Jett's birthday party.  We'll party for my other brother tomorrow night.  Add that to mine and Doc's anniversary that was yesterday and my parents' that's in a couple weeks and we've got ourselves a busy month! So, like I said, this past weekend was Jett's birthday party and let me tell you, it was the ULTIMATE party.  His parents have a friend that rents out those huge inflatable bounce house things so they rented a couple for the event.  They were ginormous!  My parents offered their yard for the party since they have the swingset too.  Beth asked me to be the official photographer for the event, which made me very nervous.  I was scared I wouldn't get any good shots so I went a little overboard and took over 500 pictures.  Don't worry, I won't show you ALL of them, just the really cute ones.

As with any other party, let's start with the details.  Beth did a really good job with the theme.  It was a Soccer Cup birthday theme and everything coordinated.  This sign welcomed you to the backyard.

Beside the sign was Jett's soccer goal.  Beth said it was a complete after thought and she grabbed it at the last minute.  It ended up being a big hit, though.  Jett spent the majority of the time over in the side yard kicking goals with his buddies.

Right inside the backyard was this Donation Stand.  Jett's invitation asked that in lieu of gifts, each guest bring $1 to give to either our church's Hope For The Holidays, Japan, or St. Jude.

Also on the donation table was a basket full of favors.

I thought this sign in Jett's handwriting was so sweet.  Since when is he old enough to know how to write?!?

"Thanks for coming to my party!  Take a treat with you!  Love, Jett"

Speaking of Jett being old, I asked him how "many" he'd be this year.

SIX years old!  I can hardly believe it.  I feel like he should still be a tiny baby.  This means that I've been an aunt for six years - definitely my favorite job yet.

Since I'm still working with just one camera lens (my zoom one is in the shop) I had to go upstairs and take a picture out the window to get a full shot of the inflatables.  This one is a bounce house.

And this is the giant slide.

Because the weather was a little rainy, the food and cake table had to be set up inside the wood shop.  The birthday cake and cupcakes were soccer themed, of course.

Beth also made a couple of giant party hats covered in pictures of Jett playing soccer.  Doc modeled one for me.

I think that sums up most of the details.  We were able to snap a few quick pictures before the guests started to arrive.  Here's one of the birthday boy and his family.

I'm still working on getting a good shot of Beth and Bren.

Me and my mama.

Me again, this time with the hubby.

Beth and her sister, Shea.

Parker was at the party sans parents, so we all took turns looking after him.  This picture of him and Doc cracks me up.  He was too preoccupied to smile for the camera.

Finally, the first guest arrived!  He headed straight for the donation table to drop off his gift.

Things got crazy from there!  In a matter of minutes the whole backyard was full of kids and parents.  It felt like the whole town was there!  I'll refrain from posting all the pictures of cute kids since even I don't know who half of them are.

Parker was mesmorized by the bigger boys.  He just stood and watched.

Here are some of my favorite shots of Jett going down the big slide.

This one, too.  I think he looks just like my brother Ben (his uncle, not his dad) in this picture.

Poor Henry didn't know what to think around so many strangers.

Like I said earlier, Jett spent a lot of time playing soccer.  I stood taking pictures for about five minutes and I've never heard the rules to the game change so many times in such a short period of time!  Also, notice Parker (in purple) still just watching.

After a while we rounded everyone up to sing and eat birthday cake.  Can't you just see the "recess smell" in this picture?

Mom grabbed her a piece of strawberry cake and headed out to the swingset to eat it away from all the excited kids.  It seems as though some things, like sitting down on a swing while holding a piece of cake, get a little harder to do the older you get.  This is mom's cake after she dumped it right into the mulch.  I so wish I had an action shot!

Parker and Bren spent some time swinging, like they always do at Mimi and Poppy's house.

About halfway through the party I looked over and noticed Jett sitting all by himself.  He said his tummy hurt.

My mom followed me over and we spent a few minutes cheering him up.

Mom coached him on some fun faces to make.  This is his "It's my birthday!" face.

His "mean" face.

This one is "My mimi loves me."

I threw one out.  "Who's your favorite aunt??"

Sorry, Shea.  Better luck next time.  (I kid, I kid.)

We sent him on his way to go play with his friends.  I wandered inside to look for Doc.  It had been a while since I had seen him.  Hmmm...

Busted.  Guess he can't handle a bunch of screaming kindergartners.  Taylor was on the other couch keeping him company.

Poor girl.  She had to stay locked inside during the whole party.  She was practically drooling at the mouth wanting to get out there.  It's like she could smell all the kids!  We did decide that if the party started running long we could just unleash her and that'd probably clear everyone out pretty fast.

Back to the party.  Bren and I climbed into the fort and played telephone.

With all the toys in the backyard, we never expected the hammock to be so popular.  We should've known given how many little boys were there.

Sadly, the hammock stand didn't survive the party.  Anybody know how to weld?

Parker finally warmed up and decided he loved the bounce house.  It was perfect for all the little brothers and cousins that came.

Parker also got brave and climbed up to the top of the big slide, but then wouldn't slide down by himself.  Enter Mimi.

Up she went (right behind Bren)...

...and down they all three came!

She survived!  I guess grandparents really will do anything for their grandkids.

Not to be outdone by his wife, Poppy decided to give it a go.  Is he having second thoughts on his way up?

And down he comes!

Now, at this point in the afternoon, I hadn't even been up the slide for myself yet.  I was too busy taking pictures.  But if my parents could slide down and survive, then surely I could too.

Y'all, the picture below shows why I'm never asked to babysit.

That's right.  I took a no-relation-to-me two-year-old down head first.  See the look on my face?  I seriously thought I was probably killing him.

Here's what happened.  I started climbing up the stairs and Jack, the victim, wanted to go up too.  His dad passed him up to me and I helped him up the stairs.  He immediately sat down at the top.

But then he didn't slide down.  "You want me to go with him?" I yelled down to his dad.  Note the rubber shoes on his feet.

So I sat down next to Jack and Parker plopped down on the other side.  I wrapped my arms around each of them but before I could really get ready, Parker (a pro by this time) pushed off the edge.  Let me tell you something here, once you start going down the slide, there. is. no. stopping.  Parker started pulling me down but Jack didn't go anywhere.  Remember his rubber shoes?  They wouldn't slide.  So as I started going down with Parker, I never let go of Jack and ended up yanking him down head first.  And his dad was at the bottom watching the whole thing.

You've been warned.  Never leave your precious children under my supervision, I may try to kill them.

All kidding aside, Jack was fine and thought it was so fun.  I, on the other hand, have some serious burns on my heels from digging them in and trying to brake.

See?  Jack even went again with his dad and brothers (and Jett).  He's the little one throwing up the fist pump.

I did climb back up to go with Parker again and this time, to hopefully enjoy it.  At the last minute, Jett jumped on top of both of us, making us weigh more and thus go faster.  The look on my face tells me I didn't enjoy that one either.

Can't see my expression?  Here's a close up.

Once the last guest left and our hosting duties were over, it became a family free-for-all on the slide.

(I'm glad Beth's facial expression on her first time down was similar to mine.)

Jett and his daddy raced back up the slide instead of using the stairs.  The first time they went up, Jett grabbed his dad's let for support but ended up sweeping his foot out from under him, making his dad face plant and slide back down.  I wish I had THAT picture!

Parker finally went down by himself!

My dad burned both of his elbows on his first trip down.  He was determined not to let that happen again!

(This is becoming the longest post ever, but there are still a lot more pictures to go.  Must press on!)

After the slide and bounce house were deflated and taken away, Jett got to open his presents from all of us.  He got this cool electric scooter from his mom and dad.

He was too scared to ride it by himself after falling the first time.  I found some bandaids to patch him up and make him feel better.

If these pictures don't make you want to come through the computer and give him a big hug and kiss, I don't know what will.

Luckily, opening the present from us (a nerf bow and arrow) cheered him up.  I wish everyone would make this face when opening presents from me.

I'm excited about the two-lane slip and slide he opened.  I see some races in our future!

Most of his friends brought their dollar donation in a card, so he still had all of those to open up too.

Can I just say that I'd like for all of his friends to be invited to my birthday party because they made him the sweetest cards!

"You are nice and a swieet boy."

"You are the bestest friend ever made."

If the card didn't specify which charity Jett got to decide.  He did a great job of dividing it up evenly.

After all the cards were opened and the money was divided between the three cans, we totaled them up.  For his 6th birthday, Jett raised $18 for Japan, $40 for Hope for the Holidays, and $45 for St. Jude.  I am so proud of him!

I'm pretty sure we all slept really good that night after all the fun we had.  Rumor has it that the big inflatable slide has a pool that can attach to it so you slide down into the water.  Fourth of July party, anyone?