When we were in southern Utah for a family reunion this summer, we went to a county fair. The area is dry and desolate, with only pasture lands and sage brush. The fair was several miles from my grandparent's farm where were were staying. As we drove through the nothingness, weaving in and out of sloping hills, it was quite something when we rounded a curve, and in the middle of nowhere, an artificially bright and colorful bustle of carnival rides and games was growing unexpectedly out of the dull landscape. Calvin gasped and yelled, "Look! It's a carn-da-bull!" He then spent every second that we were there trying to escape to the bouncy house area. It was that night that we decided that for Calvin's birthday party we would have a carnival.
We decided to have it the week before Halloween so that we could enjoy the outdoor fall weather, and so that Calvin's Grandma Hazel could be here for the party and for Halloween. The week of the party was beautiful, clear, and warm. The day of the party we woke up to massive thunder showers. I was incredibly disappointed. I had walked off the yard a dozen times, deciding where every little activity would take place. Besides, I had no idea what to do with the twenty 3-5 year olds who would be showing up at my door in the afternoon.
When I called the bouncy house lady to see what my options were for maybe setting it up indoors, she said it would never fit inside of a home. But she suggested that a couple of other people that morning had arranged to have theirs set up in church buildings instead. I had Andy call our Bishop and a few other people to arrange scheduling and keys, and we were set. The party wasn't quite as magical as it would have been on a nice fall day in our yard, but all things considered, I'm glad it turned out as well as it did. Here are the highlights:
Presents and Cake:
The clean-up and post-party dance-off:
We had a great turn out of family and friends. Calvin had a melt-down during the cake cutting because a little girl beat him to blowing out the candles, but eventually he perked back up. It was one of those events that I was glad when it was finished, but it seemed like everyone had a great time. Thank you to my family -- I couldn't have done it without all of your help!
Happy Birthday, Calvin! These have been three amazing years and we adore you 100%.