This year, my favorite little guy turned 9. Like most 9-year-old boys, he loves Star Wars, Legos and anything that involves pretending to be in some sort of battle. Phil and I are on a bit of a tight budget this year while he finishes his degree and we wanted to give Brody a fun birthday without breaking the bank. I think we pulled it off! Thought I’d share some photos to give you an idea of how it went.
First, we started with a family party, hosted by Grandma Shari. Brody got many gifts he had been wishing for, including a new bike & helmet, Legos, basketball backboard and a special mug to enjoy hot cocoa. Who wouldn’t want a Chewwie mug?
The next day was President’s Day, aka NO SCHOOL, and also included the beautiful coincidence of being the opening day of the West Side Market. After a recent fire, this historic market in Cleveland was reopening to the public and we were eager to go spend our money and help the vendors who had been without income for many days. The kids love the West Side Market. They see it as an exotic, fun place to get some treats that Mom doesn’t always let in the house (i.e. caramel corn, fudge, and giant pizza bagels). They always bring a bit of their own money to spend and it’s a blast watching them debate which booth has the best treats.
Finally, we had a friend birthday party on the books and I needed to do some easy planning and preparation to host a handful of 3rd graders. We decided that a sleep over would be fun (and cheap!) and I scoured the internet for some Star Wars ideas. I found some great suggestions, the best of which included making your own battle-friendly light sabers.
I wanted to save the house from destruction, but also let the boys have fun. Found this idea on one of the 93 websites I visited. Pool noodles cut in half with the end covered in shiny silver Duct tape. I crossed my fingers and ventured in to Wal-Mart and found a lonely box of noodles in the back corner of the toy department. At $2 each I was able to make 8 light sabers for $8. These would double as the boys’ party favors and I was excited that I was only spending $1 a piece on them.
Next up was a cake. I contemplated handing Dairy Queen $20 for an ice cream cake with a Star Wars logo on it, but then decided to keep looking for ideas online. Found a great set of ideas that included making cupcakes and arranging them in the shape of a light saber. So, my $20 cake became a $2 box of cake mix and a $2 jar of frosting. Add some food coloring and some M&Ms and we had ourselves a dessert. Mine did not come out nearly as nice as the blog I was reading, but I was hesitant to add a ton of food coloring to the frosting. The boys got the idea and seemed to like them.
Finally, it came time to greet our guests and let them play. As an extra treat, I followed the directions for making Yoda Soda. Basically, pour a bottle of Sprite over a container of lime sherbet and you’ve got the best party drink ever. I may start serving it at all my family parties. It was also inexpensive and the boys liked it. We served pretzel sticks, ordered a pizza (my big party splurge!) and got the boys to sit down long enough to eat before they returned to their (safe) light saber battles. Brody later told me I was “the best mom ever.” I’ll take it!