I know this is sort of a cliché thing to say at each birthday, but . . . . whoa. I cannot believe Kembe and India are five. FIVE! That’s so big. I‘ve always thought of five as a milestone age. And even though it is my favorite age so far, it’s just a little sad to feel like more than half my kids are “over-the-hump”, gaining independence (yay) but also losing some of those adorable preschool mannerisms. I mean, just look at how cute and little they were last year. Wah!!! Also, hard to believe that this is only Kembe’s second birthday with us. Celebrating with him is still such a relief, after so many years of celebrating without him. This was an interesting birthday in that it was our first experience with inviting the whole class to a party. I’ve managed to avoid this with Jafta because he always chooses to do a bigger event with his one best friend. As an introvert, I’ve always been more than happy to spring for tickets to Medieval Times or Disney for his Jafta and his best friend instead of having to plan a party for a slew of children. India and Kembe, though, were not so easily persuaded. These two extroverts have been collecting a list of friends they wanted to invite to their party since last year. The birthday list is their favorite point of discussion (and threatening to un-invite each other from the party is their favorite bargaining tool when arguing). That list was getting longer and longer, because it included family friends, friends from church, friends from the preschool they attended last year, friends from Royal Rangers, neighborhood kids, and friends from the Montessori they started last month. And since they are new at school, I felt like if I invited one kid, I had to invite them all. So that’s what we did. Did I mention they are in separate classes? Fortunately Frogg’s Bouncehouse came to the rescue, with a bouncehouse venue big enough to hold 100 guests. We didn’t have that many actually come, thank goodness, but I was a bit overwhelmed with the guest list (mostly in terms of not knowing so many of the parents who would be coming). Despite the stress of the guest list that got away, the party turned out really well, and gave me a nice opportunity to connect with many of the moms I only see in passing at school. Still, I am really thankful I only have to do a party like this once a year, and get to knock out two parties at the same time. If you can work it out that you birth and adopt a child who are born on the exact same day, I highly recommend it for this reason alone (heh). Karis isn’t old enough to warrant a big party and Jafta has his sights set on a father-son overnighter with Ryder, so I’m in the clear until next year. You moms of several kids with different birthdays? I don’t know how you do this multiple times a year. I felt like I was keeping things simple with a destination party and take-out pizza, but it was still exhausting. My sister-in-law Sarah had the idea when our kids were small that we would do cupcake duty for each other’s kids birthday, just to take one thing of the plate of the party planner. That was a really smart idea. I think I’m making out, though, since I ended up with twice as many kids. Also, Sarah is much more crafty than I am, and always brings the cutest cupcakes. Another crafty friend, Ali Bray of the Salty Apple, made the adorable paper bunting for the cupcakes. Here’s the party in pictures . . . Yay! The party’s over! Thanks to Frogg’s Bouncehouse for providing such a fun day for our kids.