many of you know that jackson celebrated his 8th birthday last week. we don't normally have large birthday parties, but we figured it was finally time for him to invite his friends from school and to have a full-fledged celebration, and so we had close to 40 people gather at the church for a "Charlie and Chocolate Factory"-themed party. we didn't get pictures of everything (how did i not get pictures of the fizzy lifting drinks?), but below are some pics from the festivities.
this is what you were first greeted with when you came in: a giant "jackson bar," a basket of good golden eggs, and a contract that we used like a guest book (much like the original movie). you can see a better view of the contract below.
this was the main table, complete with boxes of candy, faux chocolate cascading down the table, a real chocolate fountain, things for dipping into the chocolate fountain, tons of candy which the kids were able to take home in their little goodie bags, and, of course, the birthday cake, which you can see better below.
above you can see that quin was quite enamored with the chocolate fountain. he is saying, "whoa!" below is a place setting with an actual jackson bar, which contained an actual golden ticket. the fork, spoon, and napkin are held together with - what else? - a candy bracelet.
above is the centerpieces for each table, and you can also see the bookmarks on the table. rather than have people bring gifts, we asked everyone to bring a favorite chapter book, wrapped up. during the party we did a white elephant gift exchange with all of the books, so every kid went home with a new chapter book to read, a bookmark to color, and, they could put all of this in the bags you see below, which also included a little plastic card holder for a library card, if they want to use it as their library bag. of course they also took home tons of candy (what they didn't consume at the party - it was quite the community sugar high, let me tell you).
we set up a little "photo booth" with candy buttons as the background, and a variety of props they could choose from, including the "wonka vision" tv set you see jackson in above, as well as some oompa loompa hair, a willy wonka top hat, and a giant jackson bar. below you see jackson holding one of the real jackson bars.
as shy as jack can sometimes be, he certainly didn't show it at his party! he was lovin' every minute of it, especially when we sang happy birthday to him, and everytime we said "happy birthday to you," he would point at himself with both hands and demonstratively mouth "ME" instead, before he then blew out his candles, and we all enjoyed some more sugar, this time in the form of cake and icing. below you see shannon in the photo booth with oompa loompa hair.
we obviously had a great time, jackson was such a pleasure and was very well-behaved. there was lots that you don't see here, like several different games, such as a good egg/bad egg hunt, candy bingo, "you're turning violet, violet" balloon game, life-saver relay, and more. i got lots of pictures of all those events, but didn't want to put pics of other peoples' kids here. we ate pizza and veggies and had fizzy lifting drinks. the kids dipped swedish fish in the chocolate fountain, and most of them had chocolate beards by the time it was all finished, and a good time was had by all. a special note here to thank shannon's parents, her sister and her husband, and my parents for all the help pulling it off. we couldn't have done it without them, and of course, none of it would have happened without the unending creativity and energy of shannon.