Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Josiah's WWI-Themed 9th Birthday Party

Whew, this was the trickiest themed birthday party I've ever done. When Josiah told me he wanted a WWI themed birthday, I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. We did some research and came up with some fun things to do. Josiah always loves to wear his kilt, so he was happy to represent the Scottish soldiers in the British army during the Great War. He was fortunate to learn all about them a couple weeks before when saw the WWI 15th Scottish Division reenactors at the 2012 Celtic Festival. As always, we like to incorporate homeschooling into everything we do!

We turned our wall tent into a Red Cross field hospital, draping cots with wool blankets.

As the guest arrived, my friend's daughter, Riley, represented a "Salvation Army Doughnut Girl". They became famous for keeping up the morale of WWI soldiers by serving doughnuts and coffee. 

We found the original Doughnut Girl recipe. They got creative when making them, using whatever was available to cut them out, even coffee peculator tubes for the small holes. We used a large mouth canning jar, then a shot glass to cut the hole.  We even used lard to cook them in and they were delicious.

Josiah and I put together a display about the Salvation Army Doughnut Girls. Sometimes the girls didn't have a kettle to cook them in, so they used a helmet. We didn't cook them in a helmet, but we served them in one! Riley did such a good job :)

Red Cross field hospital. I love the little details the kids came up with themselves. Josiah has a glass bottle collection, which actually came in handy as medicine bottles. 

My friend, Carrie, helped rip up some old sheets and splatter some red dye on them. I showed the guests how to roll the bandages at the party before the trench warfare started.

Busily rolling bandages.

We set up some straw bales facing each other and used a bunch of tomato cages in "No Man's Land" to represent the barbed wire obstacle they would have faced. We had a whole bunch of water balloons that looked like grenades, squirt guns and water grenade soakers. We split them into two teams and let them loose.
It was a nice hot day for it!

After the battle, the walking wounded came into the Red Cross to get patched up by the pretty nurses. 

They thought they looked pretty cool with their "war wounds".

After the battle, we had a quick lesson in WWI weapons and learned about Sergeant York. Our friend brought his collection and let the kids carefully hold the weapons so they could see just how heavy they really were.

Josiah helped me make a display about WWI's most decorated American soldier, Sergeant (Allen)York. What an amazing man. I would highly encourage you to read up on him. Our friend did a great job telling the kids about him.

This little guy was wearing his WWI great-grandfather's actual Doughboy uniform. He looked amazing and it was nice for everyone to see what an American WWI uniform really looked, smelled and felt like.

Mom was a Red Cross nurse. She and Larry made the homemade, hand-cranked ice cream.

I made beans and bacon. WWI soldiers complained of how much they had to eat beans. There were a lot of jokes about it. If they were lucky they might get a piece of rancid pork or beef with it. I was kinder to my guests :)

The bakery humored me and made a plain battlefield cake with two trenches. 

Josiah made a WWI trench battle scene on it.

It was nice that Josiah was old enough to ready his cards by himself this year.

He got all kinds of neat things, but his favorite was the plastic practice sword he got from our friends, Billy and Kay. Billy is getting one, too, and is going to teach Josiah proper sword fighting techniques. Too fun! 

So, the WWI party came together better than I expected and I was quite happy with the results, thanks to the help of friends and family, especially my friend, Carrie who came the night before with her boys. I was so blessed to have her there to help me with all the little details. 

So Happy 9th Birthday, Josiah! I can't believe I'm half way done raising you. It is going much too fast! I'm so pleased with the young man you are becoming. May God continue to bless, keep and grow you during the next 9 years you are in our home. Love you so much! As I always say, "God made one Josiah, and we got 'im!"



Krissi said...

Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey did a really good episode about Sgt. York, my kids loved it.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I will have to look that up, Krissa. Thanks for letting me know :)

Nadine said...

What a fun birthday party! You always come up with such creative ideas...I am sure your children will always remember their birthday parties!


Paula said...

What a fabulous party! You went all out. I'm thinking of moving Ella's b-day party to the summer time. It's hard to do cool things like that in February in Northern Ontario :)

Camille said...

What a creative Mom you are Jackie! And...ambitious too!! Wow!!! I agree with Nadine...your children will have fabulous memories of their special days with you. :)


Denise @WholemadeGoodness said...

I happened onto your blog while looking for some cheese making info. Just wanted to share that I *loved* the theme and pics from your son's party. What a fun theme and great experience for the kids. Happy blogging from another Scot family!

Jill said...

Absolutely amazing! love it!
Have a wonderful week!


Anonymous said...

Oh my, you are AMAZING!

What a fun event....way to throw in education with ice cream. :)


Fruity Doughnut said...

young soldiers...

Frances said...

This certainly is one of the unique themed birthday parties I've seen yet! It's like a history lesson while having lots of fun!


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