Wow, so I know I've been saying this every year, but when did my boy get so old?? I cannot believe that he's already six! Totally cliché, but it just seems like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and now I'm picking him up from school. Yesterday he was sitting up for the first time and saying 'Da-da'; today he's asking for his own phone and inviting his friends over to 'hang out with' after school. Sigh.
Still, and I know I say this every year too, I love the age he is now. He's so inquisitive and his thirst for knowledge is inspiring. Whether he's asking about Saturn, the theory of relativity or if the Japanese have sign language, his mind is always going. And, now that he's in school, I get to hear about all the cool stuff he's learning there (although he says his favorite part of the day is recess., haha!) and see all the fantastic projects he brings home.
Since Zavion's birthday was in the middle of the week this year, we decided to celebrate with just the four of us, at home. He requested his favorite meal, pizza soup (you may remember he asked for this meal on his birthday last year too, and we actually hauled our Crockpots all the way to California just to make it. And, since it's a widely requested recipe of mine, I've included it below!), and a Funfetti cake (has anything better come from a box since Jack himself??).
After dinner and dessert, we let him open up presents from us. It was low-key and quiet and I loved it! I felt a little guilty about the grandparents not celebrating with us, but we planned for them to come over the day after his birthday party.
He got his very first video game and was completely enamored...haha!
Am Optimus Prime mask!
His birthday party itself was a little different then in the past too. Usually we invite everyone; family, friends all party together. But, this year he had quite a few school friends he wanted to invite, so we decided it would just be a friend party. He was pretty excited to have some of his buddies from school plus some other friends that he hangs out with in our mom's group.
We had decided on a science theme months earlier (maybe even 11 months earlier, haha!) and I had been prepping for weeks. Besides the usual decorations and food I make by hand, we were also adding in several science experiments. This meant testing, buying special equipments and putting it all together for the day of the party. There was a lot of time put into it! Zavion contributed with his own ideas and between the two of us we came up with five different experiments; make-your-own-snow (using a kit I bought with a 50% coupon from Michaels), erupting volcanoes (using baking soda and vinegar), slime, pudding creations and the Mentos/Coke geysers. I tried coming up with experiments that wouldn't cost a lot or even some that I already had everything around the house. The biggest expense was the Mentos experiment, but that was well worth it!
I had already asked my best friend and mom to help out the day of the party, and besides being some of the hardest workers ever, they also know me pretty well (which means they know hoe to talk me down or when to just back away...hehe). I made sure to have all the experiments ready to go, so they could just be set out for the kids when we were ready. We were able to do all but one experiment in the driveway (it started sprinkling so we moved indoors) which gave me a little piece of mind (since 5-7 yr olds+food coloring=disaster) and helped me maintain my sanity a little longer.
All of the experiments went off without a hitch and the kids seemed to really have a great time. The favorite seemed to be the last experiment we did which was creating geysers by adding Mentos candy to Diet Coke. The kids all got a kick out of the exploding soda!
After our last experiment, we came in for cake and gifts and the day ended with a very happy six year old. When I asked him if he enjoyed his party, he said, “Yes Mom! Thank you! You give the best parties!” Aw, what more can a mom ask for? :o)
--1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
--3 empty jars full of water
--1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
--1/2 red onion, chopped
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters)
--1 cup cooked & crumbled Italian sausage (or 2 links)
--1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters
--1 tbl dried basil
--1 tbl dried oregano
--2-3 tbl minced garlic
--1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (the mini pastas work the best; I use mini Farfalle)
--Shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)
-- Garlic salt
Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4.
Add sausage & pepperoni to crockpot.
Add basil, oregano and garlic.
Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really
only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.
Thirty (20 min if using mini pasta) minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high.
Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese & season with garlic salt.
We like to serve this with homemade breadsticks too...YUMM!
*Stay-tuned for the next blog which will include all the birthday party details!*