It was party central at our house over the weekend. It started with Member's Night at the club on Friday - a movie for the kids, a free flea market, and dinner. Saturday morning we were up bright and early because Bear had scouts. Mike took both kids to scouts so that I could finish up preparations for Bear's birthday party. He had requested a detective party like we did a couple of years ago, so I have spent the last couple of weeks coming up with a party plan.
The "Birthday Bandits" have infiltrated our neighborhood and have been ruining birthdays by stealing presents and the like. I needed the help of Bear's friends to stop the thievery. First thing, we needed to do some secret agent training. To test their observation skills, we played the game where you put a bunch of objects on a tray, have the kids look, leave the room and remove one object, and then see if they can figure out which thing is missing. Secret agents need to be handy with a gun, as well, so we did a little target practice.
Once they completed training, the kids were qualified to receive their secret agent packet, which contained a notebook and pen, and one other object that might be helpful as they embarked on their mission.
Then, to our dismay, we discovered that the Birthday Bandits had struck again! All of Bear's presents were gone! In their place was a nasty note, and a letter written in code.
Luckily, one of the kids had a key in his packet to crack the code. The message said to go to the sandbox. In the sandbox was a letter X made with two sticks. Of course, everyone knows that X marks the spot, and one girl had a shovel in her packet, so they dug into the sand and found another clue. Unfortunately, the writing was so small, it was impossible to read! Good thing one of our secret agents had a magnifying glass. Next were two notecards taped back to back with four letters on each side. One agent had instructions to make a thaumatrope. By punching a hole in each side and inserting rubber bands, they could spin the cards to make a rudimentary motion picture and were able to see that, when put together, the eight letters spelled "back gate." At the back gate was another clue with compass directions, so the agent with a compass in his packet led us to a tree, where another clue was written in backward writing.
Our agent with a mirror was able to decipher that clue, which led us to the mailbox, where there was a blank piece of paper. Bear had instructions for revealing invisible ink in his packet, so it didn't take them long to figure out what was up. Once revealed the invisible ink said "toolbox" so they ran to the garage, only to find the toolbox locked. Our last agent pulled a key out of her packet, and discovered the final clue that led to the place where the presents were hidden! Success!
After the presents were opened, we had Bear's favorite cake - an ice cream cake roll. The only problem was that it was frozen so solid we couldn't get candles to stick into it. Oh well.
Most of the friends left after the party, but we had Bear's friend from church stay to spend the night. Since my birthday was Sunday, we went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant that Mike knew about. It was good, but Beaver cried because he didn't want to try any of the food. Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. They had spent the week in Australia on vacation and gotten back late Saturday night, so I thought it would be nice for them to have a dinner to come to on Sunday. My friend was so sweet and brought me flowers that she had gotten at 10:30 the night before because she knew that my birthday was Sunday. The rest of us had forgotten about it all morning. By the time we get to my birthday, I'm about birthdayed out.
It was a fun, but busy weekend. Today I am relaxing at home and not going anywhere!