A Birthday and a Camping Trip

Stafford's day started with a few yellow streamers tucked here and there.
Years ago I started decorating for the birthday boy.
It is never fancy and really usually quite pathetic.
Not even close to Pinterest worthy, but my boys still like it - 
Probably because they don't have a Pinterest account and don't know what life could be like.

At school Stafford got to show some things from home that mean a lot to him.
He took our picture of our family from Sea World, a teddy bear from the dollar store that he loves, his new Pez dispenser from Grandma and the case of the movie Frozen that we just bought two days before.

He passed out cupcakes and the kids on his bus sang to him.

After school, we had a party with some of his friends.
It was an old fashioned party with no theme.
Just simple games and a cake and present opening.

Stafford's two wishes for his birthday was a football cake and Star Wars Lego anything.

As each child arrived, I traced their bodies with sidewalk chalk in any crazy position they wanted.
Then they played in the yard while we waited for everyone to come.
When everyone arrived we decorated our chalk bodies and faces and made them "funny".

Then they each picked an animal to draw and we played a game guessing what it was.

They were so responsive and well behaved.
A wonderful relief after this party.
Mia was a trooper with all those boys and didn't seem to notice.
James put his arm around her and said, "I love you."
Then one of the kids teased James that he liked Mia.
James denied it.
That's when Brock let them all know that he had a crush on her.
They all seemed to accept that just fine and we moved on.
James R., Kaleb R., Stafford, Daxton, Mia O., Cooper C., and Brock D.
(Three of the six kids are first cousins.)

 Then we played a game.
Called Job.
I told them that I needed to hire someone who danced really well and the way that I payed them was giving candy and toys.
I gave them bags that I called their Bank Accounts.
This is them decorating the bags before the game began.
Each time I paid them, they were to deposit it in the bank account.
Here's how we played.
I played music and when the music stopped, they rushed to a square with a number on it.
The squares were scattered around the room.
Then I drew a card with a number on it.
Think cake-walk.
If you're number was picked, you got paid.
I had one extra number and if the empty number got picked then everyone who hadn't gotten a toy got to get "hired" and they all lined up and then took their stuff to the bank and got ready to boogie again.
This kept their attention for a LONG time and they got all their wiggles out.
This became their goodie bag to take home.
After opening presents, we finished with the classic game of freeze tag.

Then I moved to the next thing on my list.
Packing to go camping.

Between Glenn's school and travel schedule, we don't have many weekends open these days.
We decided to take our new trailer up the canyon to a friend's property for the night.

Their property is GORGEOUS.  A piece of heaven.
The land is flat so the kids could drive the 4-wheeler around without worry.
And there is a large fire pit.

We brought a cake that got tipped upside down.
No one seemed to mind, but me.
So I got over it.
After reconstructive surgery, we sang to Stafford and he opened his family gifts.
At our tent kitchen table.
Then we played cards until it was time for bed and the next morning after breakfast (homemade Egg McMuffins), we played again.
Cards were a hit!
When we first arrived on the property, the boys mentioned that it'd be nice to have some other kids around.
From just one evening in the mountains, I heard comments from one brother to another like, "We're best friends." and "This is bonding." and "I love him so much."
That is worth the world to me.
Especially since while I write this, I'm listening to a bickering match.
Baby Steps.

It was a big birthday for this six year old.
But I'm glad he is still little enough that I can carry him inside after he falls asleep in the van.


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