In the weeks leading up to Gage's birthday he was quite often posed with the normal slinging of questions, "Are you excited to turn eight?" "What do you want for your birthday?" "Have you lost anymore teeth yet?"
"Yes, I am excited." "No I haven't lost anymore teeth." And "for my birthday I just want Mom to turn the house into Egypt."
Compromise time. Normally I find hosting a houseful of kids too overwhelming. We have a cozy space, and grade school boys need room to roam. However, as we prepare our new office building, I found we were at the perfect place in the construction process to have a party. Four walls, fresh sheetrock, no paint, no floor coverings. Bring on the mess. Bring on Egypt.
So on Easter, we decorated and turned my soon-to-be photo studio into the inside of a pyramid. I bought a giant roll of kraft paper, and we covered the walls. Here's a look at the finished result during the party.
I free handed this sarcophagus. Guys, I'm a terrible artist. This was most definitely divine intervention. Gage's eyes lit up when he saw the drawing and he spent an hour coloring it with his brother. We happened to deliver a reception sofa the week before, and put the human sized box behind this drawing in the doorway so it was like stepping into a tomb.
See the goofy shadows? Before we could put up new walls, we had to take down old light fixtures. The entire building is being lit with a couple of shop lamps. I think it added to the dramatic effect of our day. Also? Sheetrock dust everywhere. It was really like being in the desert.
Grandma Koreen wins with another extravagant cake, custom made to the birthday boy's specifications. The toys are TOOB toys that I ordered online. Gage's big thing is to have themed cake inside too. He chose lemon cake with some chocolate swirled around to make it look like sand. It turned out really neat - and delicious!
With a room full of kraft paper walls, I drew in some brick lines and turned the kids loose with markers to add their own messages. I had printed off hieroglyph codes to help with authenticity.
Why, but of course we wrapped them up in toilet paper to make them into mummies.
Even though Gage and his friends are so gracious to play with the little brother, Max invited a buddy over for the afternoon too. (I did their wrappings...it would have been a tall order for the two of them together.)
Party goers took turns wrapping each other up. This toilet paper tore fairly easily so it was an exercise in patience and standing still.
Gage and his spelling bee cohort - they competed just a couple of days later in the regional spelling bee. She spelled penny wrong and Gage slipped up on minister. They had a great time though!
Some of Gage's oldest friends - its been so much fun watching these kiddos grow up together.
Max helped push things right along.
After all of the kids had a chance to get wrapped up mummy style, I had them all pitch in to wrap up the birthday boy.
We had so much fun - I could tell by the pitch and volume of the shrieks and laughter.
Eight. I could not be prouder of this kiddo. He amazes me every single day in a new way. Watching his compassion and concern for others grow, watching his love of learning flourish, watching him socialize and maintain his quirky personality? A gift.
Embrace the grain...it was really dark in this room!
Hitting up the crafts table to make some hieroglyph messages to take home. Gage had gotten a hieroglyph stamp set as a gift so they used that to stamp on paper bags.
Food! Balloons! Fresh sheetrock! Stud walls! The renovation process has been a labor of love. Jack labors, while I love what he's done with the place. With the generous help of his (retired contractor) dad, we're getting closer.
I love Max looking over Gage's shoulder in this series of shots.
Happy Birthday Gage! He was so very thankful for the party. I am so very thankful he launched me into motherhood.