William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

William, Charlie, Ikey, Benny, Henry

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Moll Bros. Circus

Ladies and Gentleman, Children of all Ages....we are DONE with birthday season! William's circus obsession never waned throughout the winter, so I fully expected his request for a circus-themed 4th birthday. Due to our ongoing housing situation (update in next post) and because our church basement worked so nicely for the triplets' celebration, we reused the location, replacing our barnyard with a bigtop. As much as I hate to admit, I bit off more than I could chew in the planning phases of this party and had to abandon several of my ideas during set-up and even more once 24 kids filled the room. Still, William's eyes said it all. To him, it was the Greatest Birthday on Earth.

Finishing the set-up. Mom and Auntie Sonja to the rescue. As always. 

Our guests starting to arrive...
I have 15 years'-worth of old dance costumes saved in the attic so my imaginary daughters can play dress-up someday. So many tutus and no ballerinas...what a waste! Luckily, this was a perfectly acceptable occasion to break them out for my boys and their friends. Party-goers were encouraged to visit the dressing room and emerge as a circus performer or animal. The kids came up with the best costumes and I loved seeing my old duds resurrected circus-style!

The riveting Miss Rachel!
The stunning, stupendous, and sensational Miss Simone walking the tight rope!

A menagerie of wild animals! Lion Rowan, Tiger Jack, and Elephant Sawyer.

The remarkable and renowned Miss Ruby!

Cousin Jaxson

A friendly lion and his mama clowning around

One tall birthday boy!

Everything about this picture makes me smile. Miss Nida, stylish on the tightrope!

I love this pint-size performer. And I also love that she chose the ballet skirt her mama and I wore when we were her age.

I don't really like it when people confuse "circus" with "carnival", but for entertainment purposes, I felt a few midway games weren't out of line. I'm pretty sure Plinko is universally recognized as the most awesome game on the Price is Right, so we constructed our own circus version. Land on a "C," win a prize! If you want better odds, spin the circus wagon wheel and claim your prize from the color-coded baskets!

Looks like we have a winner!

Tanner giving it a try. I hear his mama got lucky on the first drop, but Tanner had to work for that "C"!

Jack and Simone. Where is it going to drop??? Pretty nerve-racking from the looks on their faces!

Yana and Ruby
Look what I won!!!

Playing games like the big kids!

Nida getting ready to spin. Benny is interested in Ruby's prize!

Hmm...so many cool choices in the aqua basket!

Love these dollies!

Good choice with the magic wand, Nida! Nola digging in the red basket.
Sweet girls tossing bean bags. Yana, Rachel, and Maeve.

Action shot!
The cut-outs were good for peeking, too! Jack and William.
Or playing peek-a-boo! Charlie and Auntie Sonja.
My circus skills obstacle course was supposed to be an organized event, but the kids jumped right into several of the stations, so I let them go to town on their own...it seemed to be just as fun. Challenges included: a trapeze, balance beam tightrope, tiger climb with hoops and obstacles, a juggling ball pass (game I gave up on), and classic clown gag (my personal favorite...I saved this activity for the grand finale of the party).

She swings through the air with the greatest of ease! The Marvelous and Mesmerizing Maeve the Magnificent!
Look at Yana's perfect form on the balance beam! Just like a little gymnast!

Miss Yana

Jaxson tip-toeing across the tightrope

Benny and Jay taking the tiger challenge

Benny's hoop artistry, Charlie upside-down...honestly, my life is a 3-ring circus!


Ringmaster. How fitting for Ikey!
Our large clown was the backdrop for two games. First, pin the nose on the clown...

Then, lunchtime! Circus food for the kids...

And cake, of course....

First cake from Neat-O's...what great artwork! Every kid wanted the "lion piece."

When I was in the circus there was a little boy who came to the show several times a week dressed as our ringmaster. I always thought it was a little nutty....look at me now.

Happy Birthday, William Henry!

As organized as we get these days!
Cake line!

I love that Simone is still wearing my old dance costume. And the watch she won.

Great Grandma and Grandpa
Uncle and Auntie with John John...the next birthday cake will be his!
I like lots of sweets at a birthday party, so after cake we played real life Candyland modified for the circus theme. Kids reused their food boxes from lunch to collect circus treats of popcorn, animal crackers, circus peanuts, and clown cookies as they moved along the colored path. If you're ever wondering how far in advance you can make cotton candy, the answer is not 24 hours. I bought this little cotton candy machine for $29 (that worked like a dream) and spent 3 whole hours making big, beautiful, puffs of pink cotton candy on paper cones the afternoon before the party. Imagine my horror when I walked into the church on Saturday morning and found ugly little deflated lumps of pink crust. I kind of wish I would've seen the humor in the situation and taken a picture, but I guess I didn't find it funny at the time. Bummer.

Gathered for the instructions...

Away they go!

Grandpa Jim caught Benny at the finish line with a handful of clown cookies!

We had one last activity (leftover from the circus skills obstacle course) for their way out. Every kid knows what happens when a clown has a pie in hand! We made shaving cream pies and let each kid smash one in the clown's face as our finale. Don't worry, there was a big sheet of plastic down to protect the church floor!

Shaving cream pies all lined up...

Hmm...are you sure this is okay?
Maeve getting ready to go for it.

Brody's great smash!

Charlie and Yana

Lined up and ready to make a mess of that clown.

Why am I not surprised that Benny has his hands in the pies?!?

Charlie REALLY liked this game. He never needs encouragement to get messy!

Happy Birthday, my sweet 4-year-old. May all your days be circus days.

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