Ethan's birthday party was wonderful. The guys ate tons of cereal and a gallon and a half of milk at breakfast. They woke up at around 5am, but I told them that it was too early. Oddly, they all laid down and went back to sleep until 6:15am. Even more oddly, they played quietly and let the two youngest, Arden and Ryan, sleep until 7am.
After that, it was all playing all the time. They went on the trampoline. They run through the house. They played with their DS's. They decorated the yard with streamers and balloons. I have to say here that Ben was especially helpful. He organized the decorating, helped make sure the little guys were included, and helped calm people down when people had conflicts. In addition to the 10 boys that slept over, another 10 kids came for the party.
Here's a small part of the crowd at our place today with Ethan front and center opening his gifts.
He got so many wonderful things. I honestly can't pick out a favorite gift he got this year.
Of course, no birthday is complete without a cake. Since his theme was Pokémon, it's only fitting that the cake was a Pokéball. Ethan was extremely pleased that he thought of having the cake color match the colors on the Pokéball. The red has strawberry cake. The white was vanilla cake, and teh brown has chocolate cake. I baked teh cakes and Esther formed them into the Pokéball.
The kids really liked playing on the swing set and the trampoline, but the grown-ups seemed to prefer sitting in the shade.
Now it's 8pm and all the kids but Doran and Amory have gone home. They are staying until tomorrow when their dad will come to take them back to Salem, MA.
I know a lot of people would boggle at the thought of having that many kids, and I did too at first, but it's really a lot easier to watch 12 kids than 3 or 4. With 3 or 4 kids they seem to brake up into 2 with 1 left out or 3 with one left out, but with 12 they formed groups that formed, reformed, shifted, and changed. It was easy enough to keep them occupied and happy. The downside is that having 12 would cost far more than our budget allow. I guess I'll have to settle for occasionally having an extra 10 spend the night.