Here are Adam, Quinn, Caleb, Sammy, Tyler, and Reese.
They all brought sleeping bags to either campout in the tent in the backyard (since the weather was unseasonably warm) or campout inside. They voted for the tent outside, but before the night was through- they were all tucked in upstairs. We started off the evening with a scavenger hunt with brainy clues such as: "Use this when you get out of the tub, it will dry you off after you scrub." Which led them to the bathroom in search of a bath towel and another clue. The boys had a blast figuring out what the clues meant and racing to find the next clue. Finally at the end of the hunt, they came to a basket full of flashlights and gummy bugs. With a message telling them to take their flashlights outside for a game of flashlight tag.
I am sure our neighbors were wondering what was going on with six 7-year olds hooting and hollering in the backyard for several hours. We are usually very good about being quiet outside after dark, so they deserved one night of loud, raucous fun. The boys ran around in and out of the humongous tent and backyard. Ben started a campfire in the chiminea for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. Some of the boys ate smores, others preferred hotdogs, and others thought it was great fun to catch marshmallows on fire. OK piros, back out to the yard and play!
We turned the light on by the garage for the boys to play basketball and they took turns jumping on Caleb's new pogo stick.
Since 3 of the 6 are in Martial Arts, Ben got out the breaking boards. They had a big time trying to break them and some did really well.
Reese had to go home at 9:30 pm because he had ball practice early the next morning. But he made sure he got in several shots at the breaking boards before he left. I love the look of excitement on his face in this picture.
About 10 pm, the boys all had the pj's on and were out in the tent snuggled up in their sleeping bags telling ghost stories. They got themselves spooked and all ran back inside saying they needed a snack. I pulled out some chips and drinks, sending them out to the deck. This settled them down for a moment, until they heard "coyotes howling"! Ben didn't help matters by telling them, that yes indeed coyotes did live around here and we do hear them at night quite often. This is true, but the "coyotes" they were hearing actually turned out to be an owl hooting in the trees behind our house. The 5 little boys didn't want to hear anything of it and were thoroughly spooked after that, "I just saw something moving in the backyard! What was that sound? Did you hear that?" I could picture myself at 2 am dragging pillows and sleeping bags into the house with 5 boys clinging to my arms, so I decided at 10:30 pm to save myself the torture. I asked if they still wanted to sleep out in the tent and got a unanimous "No!" So out we went, gathering everything up and dragging it all upstairs. It took them awhile to choose who was sleeping in which room/bed/floor. They all ended up in the guest room with 2 in the bed and 3 on the floor.
Needless to say, I did not get much sleep the early part of that night. I thought I had them settled down around 11:30 pm., after an hour of what Ben called "playing steamroller". They rolled around over each other, wrestled, giggled, snuck out of the room and brought toys back to bed, tickled, pinched, stole pillows and blankets, and were just boys. Ben and I went to bed at 11:30 pm, after Adam conked out from exhaustion on the floor (I was sure that the others would follow suit very soon) HA, HA, HA!!! I had to get up 2 or 3 more times to tell them to settle down or get back in the guest room. At 1:20 am, I was awakened (or was I even asleep, it was hard to tell), by a loud crash. I jumped out of bed for the last time to find that the 4 remaining boys were wide awake. They had pulled out every tinker toy, lego set, Bionicle, and K-nex set then had them scattered among various stages of being built all over the boy's room and the upstairs hallway. The crashing was one little instigator who had begun to toss his tinker toy creations over the balcony!
That was it...mama's head began to spin and boys began to run. I put 2 in the boy's room in the bunk beds and the other 2 in the guest room. I told Caleb to get in the bed and instigator on the floor. Then I told them that I was sleeping up here with them. "What? You are sleeping up here too?" Oh yes, and you guys are going to sleep this minute. Lights were turned back off and everyone tucked in. They were asleep in 5 minutes and thankfully slept till 7 am.
All in all, except for the wildness and excitement trying to get them to sleep, they had a great time. It brought back memories of when I was a little girl. I LOVED slumber parties! Spending the night with a bunch of friends, painting toenails, playing with Barbies, eating warm cookies with milk, staying up whispering till late in the night...fun memories. Only I forgot, I have boys!