Last weekend, for General's 12th birthday, we were all swept off to Middle Earth for a day or two, while we celebrated his birthday with a Lord of the Rings theme. :)
It's been a busy few weeks in our home, between soccer practices, catching up on dental appointments, long hours at work for Chris, and getting everything ready for school (meanwhile trying to declutter and deep-clean). So I was happy (and a bit surprised!) to discover that General had been busy thinking through all the details of his birthday! Inspired by this fun post, he had already worked out almost everything for me!
I guess all of his help this past year, in planning and prepping for his younger siblings' birthdays, was a good learning-experience in many ways. :)
Here are a few highlights and pics from our little party....
~ A Middle Earth Dinner ~
For every birthday, we've made it a tradition to have the birthday-person choose their favorite dinner & dessert (which almost always ends up being homemade spaghetti & meatballs!). But this time, General requested something different, since he really liked the idea of picking a dish that would match his theme ~
Sam's Stew with Po-Tay-Toes
(Chicken & Dumpling Stew, with potatoes added)
Rivendell Salad & Bread
(forgot to take pictures....ah well!)
And dessert was birthday cake - decorated to look like the One Ring (posted more about that here!)
His friend Dillon joined our family to celebrate with us, and to have a boys' campout in the backyard. However, the weather ended up being cool and rainy...so they camped inside - and watched Return of the King on DVD. I forgot how long those movies are - the boys were pretty tired the next morning, lol!
~ A Middle Earth Breakfast ~
Most of General's plans involved food - which made me smile a little bit! (Doesn't that seem about right for a 12-year-old boy's birthday party?!) Although, he didn't have specifics here - and just said that he loves all of the themed food we make for our school tea parties and Liturgical celebrations (which about made my day!).
A quick google search for LOTR themed food provided more than enough ideas to choose from! This site was especially helpful for coming up with fun names.
So, for breakfast, we had...
The cocktail swords were leftover from last year's Michaelmas cupcakes. Everyone had fun trying to think of all the sword names from the books!
"Elvish Lembas Cakes "
~ A Middle Earth Craft ~
This was definitely not part of General's planning ;)...but the idea sounded like fun, even for the older boys. We made some (very simple) capes, similar to what is worn by the characters in the movie. I had a leftover remnant of faded forest-green canvas in my craft closet that I thought would be perfect for this - but it turned out to be way too stiff to hang properly over the shoulders (and, you know... to flutter properly while you're practicing a duel or shooting your bow and arrow. :) Thankfully, I also had an old green tablecloth that I'd been holding onto (but doesn't fit my table). Not as serious of a color - but definitely a better weight of fabric!
The boys (and Rose!) were able to do this craft completely by themselves, since there was no sewing involved. They each cut a piece of yarn, measuring from the top of their shoulders to the capes' desired length. Then they used the yarn to draw and cut out a semi-circle from the fabric.
The next (and last) step was to cut another semi-circle in the middle of the cape's straight edge to fit around the neck. We just cut a second length of yarn, measuring from the middle of their necks to the clavicle (about 6") and used it to draw this cut.
And that's it! It would definitely be much sturdier and more realistic to sew a hem around the edge (or add a hood). But it did make a fun & fast craft for the day - and I think the boys enjoyed wearing their capes for the main event of the party....
~ A Very Serious Game of LOTR Risk ~
General and my husband both love this game....but as a family, we usually choose games everyone enjoys (like Settlers of Catan, or something that the little ones can join in).
So for his birthday, General's main plan was to play a few rounds of his favorite game....and an intense game, it was. ;)
I'm not really sure who ended up winning. This was Rose's first time at playing Risk on her own - and (with a little help in the beginning from her brother) she really did very well! In fact, I think her army was ahead for some time...which may have added to the seriousness of the boys' game ;)
We had a few more fun snacks during the game, and before General's buddy had to go home:
Fellowship Quest Mix (trail mix), Gollum's Goodies (Swedish Fish), the Council of Elrond (Keebler Elf cookies!), Dead Marshes Dip (guacamole with blue-corn tortilla chips), Galadriel's Elfstone (green grapes), and The Ring (peach chewy candy)
Happy Birthday, General! We love you and are so proud of the young man you are becoming! May God bless you and lead you to grow in wisdom and strength in this coming year.
And may this birthday mark the beginning of many new and exciting adventures. :)