And we thought that the 5th birthday was going to be the best birthday ever. We may have jumped the gun by a year.

Hyrum's birthday May 11 was the start of the 2013 BRAVES Tee ball season. Hyrum's coach, Val Winward, is a die hard Atlanta Braves fan and has been itching to have his son's ( and Hyrum's) team be the Braves. And this year was his year.  Derek has also always been a Braves fan (albeit not as die hard) so he too was excited about the team choice.

Hyrum was #10. We were told it was Chipper Jones number. (He retired from the Braves last year and they retired his number this year)

The start of the Tee ball season means the Tee ball parade through Mapleton. Always fun.  I decided this time that I wasn't going to run all over trying to see them but just sit along the parade route and watch the proceedings. Noah and I found a place to sit (with Eli too, of course) and he tried to open a fruit snack with his "baseball gloves" which didn't work to well.

and had to cover up when the firetrucks came by

but it was fun and we scored on candy.

It occured to me as I sat down to the game that this would be his last year in tee ball. Next year it would be coach pitch and they would add more rules to the game. It was a bitter sweet moment. But we would also likely have TWO in tee ball/coach pitch next year too.

But as has become tradition, his first at bat was an in field home run! (or in other words he was last up to bat and they were simply clearing the bases for the other team to take to the plate) And he also got to reprise his role as first baseman.

It's going to be a great season.

After the game it was home to prepare the house for his birthday party!! This year Hyrum decided he wanted a Ninjago birthday party.  Don't what that is? Not surprised, but ask any 6-9  year old boy and chances are they know. There were no commercially produced party supplies for this theme so it left me with one option.  PINTREST!  Thanks to a dozen incredibly creative women out there (most of which were throwing a 6 year olds birthday party) who love their boys enough to make it happen I was able to get some good ideas.

I organized the ideas into a training course relying heavily on the story in the two Ninjago books that Hyrum had. I busted out the Chinese New year decorations I bought in February and set them out. They started out coloring pictures of the Ninjago Ninjas.

Then came a message scroll from Master Wu. Informing them of their mission to train to be ninjas. The first task in their journey was to discover their Ninja name.

Which took longer and was harder than I thought it would be. As they were doing that I put my camera down on the counter and then put something on top of it and didn't find it until the end of the party. FAIL! I did get some pictures before and took some videos during so that will have to do.

After they found their ninja names there came a new scroll telling them about their next mission. This mission was to learn the skills of ninja star throwing from Zane the Ninja of Ice.

When they completed that task they opened the scroll to send them to their next task which was to learn "Spinjitzu" from Jay the ninja of Lightning.  They just spun around 6 times and then ran from one side of the backyard to the other and back. Some spun 6 times...others 3 yet others 1 and others the whole way down and back.  It was kind of a free for all really.

The next scroll led them to the front yard where they trained with Cole the ninja of earth to learn how to defeat the Serpentine. They practice on the wiggly "snakes" on the sprinkler I had going in the front yard.  It was a hot day and the water was welcomed.

It was all I could do to lead them toward their next challenge which was in the backyard with Kai the Ninja of Fire. Since they had completed their training to this point they were now easy to face Loyd Garmadon to retrieve the stolen candy. (Loyd is the son of the ultimate bad guy in the series who just goes around stealing candy- and controlling the Serpentine-snake like creatures that hypnotize people) Hyrum always wants a piñata at his parties but finding a Ninjago pinata was a tall order to fill so in my searches found a different way of making pinatas.  It was done using a paper bag. Loyd Garmadon steals candy so who better to have a pinata made out of.  I decided to make it happen. After spending the better part of the evening designing, free handing the face and putting it together I was impressed how it turned out and was excited to show Hyrum.

The next morning after I made it Hyrum walked into the room took one look at it and said "That looks dumb" Awesome. I wanted to cancel the party right then and there.

I also made wraps for the drinks that had things like "Kai's fire punch" and "Coles rock ade" etc after I spent quite a long time on them Hyrum came home from playing at a friends house and immediately started slipping the wraps around saying "Why do these slip right off?"  It was another near cancellation of the party.

But needless to say that despite the initial irritations the piñata was a smashing success, although I don't think any one appreciated it like I did.  They each went home with a bag full of piñata candy. Everyone was happy.  After they defeated Loyd and retrieved the stolen candy they were ready to fight the serpentine....the real Serpentine.  Ok ok it was really a chalk drawing they were going to throw water balloons at.  I had envisioned some simple chalk drawn snakes but as the party got closer I ran out of time and asked Derek to draw them. But I forgot ( again! ) that my amazing husband is an artist and he had something a little more elaborate in mind.

Amazing huh?  Oh this is what they look like.
                        Slithraa   Rattla2
After they destroyed them

(which I have to say kinda pained me to see) they got the last scroll which lead them to the final challenge Cake and Ice cream ( and those unsatisfactory wrapped drinks )We did cupcakes instead of cake and put Ninjago paper toppers on them. They were a hit.

After that it was more playing in the water and going home.  A good birthday for the big six year old, who probably can't wait to see what next year brings. It just keeps getting better.

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