Thing One decided that she wanted to celebrate her 12th birthday with a laid-back BBQ (a mini meat-a-palooza). Hubby suggested we show a movie in the back yard, so the plans were formed. Yesterday was the day, and I think it was really successful (though we did miss all the cousins who were attending another family birthday party).
Middle school friends, elementary school friends, church friends, and family all mixed together well. BOYOHBOY are 13 middle-schoolers LOUD! BOYOHBOY can they eat; they're like locusts, I'm telling you! The only time they got quiet was when the movie was playing. The movie worked out great, as you'll see in the pictures, and the weather was great. We used a plastic tablecloth as the screen, and Hubby hooked his laptop up to a borrowed projector from work, added in some outdoor speakers from an old friend, et voila - outdoor theater for watching Percy Jackson. All the friends from elementary school days had read all the Percy Jackson books and seen the movie one or more times already, so they were super into it. Those who weren't familiar with the story seemed to enjoy it, too.
All in all, Thing One declared it a success and the best birthday party she'd ever had. Woot! Music to this mother's ears! Me, I was really happy to finally get to meet her "gal pals" from middle school. I was also tickled to see how well everyone knows her: She received EIGHT Barnes & Noble gift cards, totalling $152 (plus three books)! Too funny. This afternoon, I took her to Barnes & Noble, where she bought eight books, a DVD, a CD, and a hot chocolate, and still has more than $50 left.
Here are highlights from yesterday. The full Thing One's 12th Birthday album is on Flickr.