Tuesday, January 17

:: Rodeo Bday Party ::

Saturday we celebrated Parrish's 5th birthday party with a fun at-home rodeo. I really had a lot of fun putting this party together and decorating our new house for the occassion. The whole thing started with these PRECIOUS invites from LoraLee Lewis on etsy. Doesn't the little cowboy look just like Parrish?
I got a few yards of bandana fabric from Hobby Lobby and cut it down the middle to swag over our dining room chandelier. I was laughing with Cannon that we actually put tack holes in our sheetrock ceiling all for the sake of decorating for a 5-year-old's party. What can I say? When I have a vision I'll do just about anything to carry it out. Toothpaste will fill those holes in, right?
I've officially decided that cookie cakes are the way to go for homemade birthday cakes. I got 2 tubs of the Nestle TollHouse chocolate chip cookie dough, pressed it into a jelly roll pan and baked for about 20-25 minutes. After it cooled on a wire rack I used a serrated knife to cut out the shape of a boot - you can find a template here - and then decorated with icing till my heart was content.
I ordered a set of bottle labels that coordinated with the invites and placed them on bottles of orange crush for the kids.

I had a few left over and they doubled nicely as vase decals for the party flowers. I had some old jelly jars that worked great so I wouldn't have to worry about getting the sticky label off later.

CC, cousin Quinn and Parrish had a good time making signs to decorate with. This one pointed the way to the basement where the rodeo games would take place.
Each kiddo got a vest and cowboy hat. Well, most of them anyway. True to form I kind of forgot about the dress-up clothes until the very end. All the kids showed up already dressed to the nines like cowboys and cowgirls so I totally forgot!
Anyway, they also earned prizes at each of the rodeo games. Sherriff's badges at the stick horse races, pop guns and holsters at the tin can shoot out, and handcuffs at the cattle roping. I ordered these things from a great seller on ebay and they came in these cute burlap favor bags. I tied coordinating tags to them and filled them with candy.
We welcomed the rodeo fans with chalk on the front walk.
My good friend Jen and her sweet hubbie David and rodeo-fabulous girls Maddie Kay and Ryan brought their horses Chester and Spirit to the trail across the street from our house so the kids could ride. We marked the mouth of the trail with balloons, hay bails and a "Parrish Pass" sign.
For the cattle roping we stuck cattle heads and stick ponies into bails of hay then gave the kids ropes with hola-hoops tied to the end to try to "ring" the horse or cattle.
I printed individual letters in "mesquite" font on 8.5x11" red paper then glued them all to craft paper to make a birthday banner.
We covered a table in the basement with a red check tablecloth then sat empty tin cans on top. My friend and sticker-maker extraordinaire Dee printed the cute target and skull stickers for the cans. The kids used nerd guns with foam bullets to shoot the cans down. My sweet neighbor Logan helped Grandaddy run this game and it was wild and crazy. My biggest advice is to have a bucket full of extra ammo right next to you because each gun only holds 10 bullets. That saves you from running back and forth to pick up the ammo to reload!
I had "wanted" posters printed on vistaprint.com and the kids loved seeing their pictures on the wall and the various "crimes" they were "wanted" for. I got these for half price and free shipping. Vistaprint is always running some sort of awesome promo. Just search google for vista print promo codes.
Parrish and Mommy.
Trotter and Parrish
Riding Chester...the grin says it all.
Ms. Jen brining in the horses.
Parrish & Kaden
CC & Parrish
Parrish & (Cousin) Ada
The buckaroos enjoying the cookie cake.
A 6-gun shoot out. The truth be told, they probably had as much fun running around in the woods shooting each other as they did with all the other activities I had planned!
Happy Birthday my sweet Peeshie! I can't believe you are 5-years-old!

As much fun as this party was when it was over, a familiar sadness settled back over us as we look toward what would have been Olivia's 2nd birthday this weekend. I wish I was throwing myself into planning a big, pink, fluffy, party worthy of a princess instead of missing her so badly. I keep telling myself that I couldn't plan a party that would remotely compare to the celebration she's having with Jesus in heaven.

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