This past weekend was my daughter’s birthday party.

Picture by Mensatic

Because of the opening weekend of baseball and garage sale weekend, we put off her party by a week. Personally, I think we had better weather this past weekend and everything worked out well.

It was one of those parties that flowed together. I did as much cleaning up as I could during the week so the house was presentable. One of the girls came early so she and Sara played upstairs.

Once I got home from work, the three of us made the replacement cupcakes since Storm had eaten SIX CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES the night before. I was hoping he would get really sick and feel a little remorse. (didn’t happen). Luckily, I got them out of the oven in time. No burnt cupcakes. (I am easily distracted)

As the other girls began to arrive the level of noise rose as well. Then they all went upstairs again. As more girls came and I told parents pick up time (9 am tomorrow morning), I was given a few looks of sympathy and comments on how brave I was. Well, I had already put the kabbash on the girls sleeping in the tent because of the rain but in reality once you have done youth group lock-ins, a group of girls is less scary.

What they and I did not know is that my husband had given permission for our son to have his friends sleep over in the tent. Four middle school boys who can eat their weight in pizza. The next disaster would occur when we found out one package of pizza crust – purchased the day before – was a sea of mold.

Picture by Cohdra

So we moved on to the girls decorating cupcakes. They made their own colors and one girl has brought more  sprinkles, which was really sweet thoughtful and a lot of fun. Only 6 pizzas crusts were made into cheese or pepperoni pizza, drinks were passed out as the girls ate sparingly. They opened the gift envelopes and my daughter is very happy to know she has more money for that unspecified American Girl Doll matching outfit she has been dreaming about.

The end of the evening was to be watching a Selena Gomez movie as the girls settled in to sleep in the living room. Well, they started watching early in bits and pieces. We turned off the TV for pizza, cupcakes and then we go outside for s’mores.

This is the big hit. Girls and boys are interacting as they experiment with the s’mores. Some are working to make the perfect roasted marshmallow and others are going for the flame out. Soon all of the kids are playing soccer and finish off with a Ghost in The Graveyard game in the perfect amount of darkness and warmth.

At some point one of the girls said her favorite birthday parties end up being at our house. I ask why because I am running a no-thrills operation here. I haven’t ordered a big cake, the food is simple, there are no entertainers, there are no goodie bags to take home. I have a few set activities but let the rest go as it will. The girl states “it’s because we are always doing something and it is fun.”

Hmmm, I know there was a small movement to make kid birthday parties less of a fancy affair, less presentation and more back-to-basics. Plus with pocket books getting leaner, it is hard to make those goodie bags or fantastic cakes. Who knew that the kids would like it that way as well?

Karyn Bowman lives in Kankakee County with her outdoor writer husband and four children. Become friends with Karyn on Facebook.