We celebrated with a fabulous pirate party. His actual birthday fell on a Saturday (just like the day he was born!), so the party was held that afternoon. Here is the invitation (I had made a birthday card for James's pal, Chase, like the front last summer, so decided to use that design again!)
We had a great crew of six boys join James to celebrate. A church friend, an "old school" friend, two neighbor friends, and one of his "original" friends and his little brother. (Baby John slept through part of the party, then hung with Grandpa and Grandma--out of the way.)
The party was held mostly in the "tennis room"/"music room"/"living room"/"playroom". We cleaned out the abundance of stuff that has been collecting there (including some of the random furniture), and created a great space for the kids to get their pirate on and the parents to watch.
I made the cake the day before the party. I was pretty pleased with how it came out, and James had a great time helping me apply the decorations.
After James went to sleep Friday night, I personalized the bunting he had helped me hang on the wall. Instead of having only Jolly Roger pennants, I added a special birthday message.
The morning of the party we had rehearsal for the Christmas pageant, so in the couple of hours between that and the party, we ran around putting out snack foods, hiding pirate treasure, and making the pirate map.
Speaking of laughs, Dan shared lots of great pirate jokes throughout the party. How much did the pirate pay for his hook and his peg? An arm and a leg!
The boys then played How Many Pretzels Can You Pick Up With a Hook Hand which was pretty fun. Then they made their own hook hands and swords. After a snack break, they grabbed their pirate gear and headed outside for some pirate play. This was kid-lead. They did a lot of running around the house and yelling "Argh!" My favorite innovation was when they stuck pieces of firewood between the slats on the deck as cannons from the ship. Clever!
Then it was time to head inside for singing and cake. (By this time most mustaches had been abandoned. They stashed any costume parts and/or swords in their goodie bags for safe keeping.)
Then the family (Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma and John) enjoyed watching James open his gifts (and joined him to play with some too!).
It was a fantastic day. I had so much fun putting it all together and having fun with my favorite little pirate boy. I can hardly believe he's five! Time certainly has flown. I love you, James!