Where has the time gone? My baby is three. *sigh, wipe tear* I cannot believe he is a big boy now. Goodness sakes!
We were excited to have some of his friends over to enjoy his Monkey Jungle birthday party! He LOVES monkeys so naturally his theme revolved around them. His birthday was on the 3rd of March which was a Monday. We had to wait until Friday to have his party and all he talked about having his “birs-day cake” with his friends.
We had only planned on having his “GMa”(grandmother) and her family over for cake after dinner. The evening before, he asked if his friends were coming and we decided to invite a few of them. When more people are coming, naturally, you have to make more snacks. When you have a bunch of snacks, you have to have somewhere to put them. When you have your snacks laid out on decided place, it looks much better decorated. I started the morning of the party gathering the supplies needed and then getting everything set up.
First I started the banana pudding. We used my mother-in-law’s recipe. Yummy!
First you start out by whisking milk, 1 egg, 3 egg whites and sugar constantly until it thickens up. Then you add vanilla flavoring.
Then you slice a banana into coins and crush vanilla wafers to be used in the layering of the ingredients. Ripe bananas work best.
Once the pudding on the stove has thickened, put a layer of pudding, a layer of Nilla Wafers and a layer of banana coins.
I chose to make them into individual servings with spoons in them to make serving his guests easier. As you can see the top is sprinkled with the crushed Nilla Wafers.
While my middle son was whisking the banana pudding on the stove, I was working on the double chocolate cupcakes with banana flavored buttercream frosting.
First you mix up fudge brownies per the boxed directions. I have Pampered Chef scoops so I use the small one to put one scoop into the bottom of the cupcake paper which you have already placed in the cupcake pan. Then you mix up the cake mix of choice. We used milk chocolate. Use the medium scoop to place one scoop on top of the raw brownie mix.
Turn the oven on to the temperature recommended for the cake mix and bake as directed. Pull them out of the oven and place on wire rack to cool before piping the frosting on.
Speaking of frosting (or icing…what do you call it?). Excuse me folks from the south. I wasn’t raised here, I was raised in Kansas. It’s frosting there. 😉 Typically I use buttercream frosting and then doctor it up for my needs. In this case, banana, for my little monkey.
1/2 cup stick butter with salt, 1/2 cup shortening, 1T milk, 1/2 bag of powdered sugar. For the banana flavoring I put a few drops of almond flavoring and a few more of imitation banana flavoring. I also added a slight amount of Wilton’s Lemon Yellow gel coloring (not shown here).
After putting a star tip into my piping bag, I rolled the bag down and put the frosting in the bag and piped away in a circular motion. I start at the outer edge and pipe in toward the middle, slightly overlapping each round of frosting to make it “cone” when it’s finished.
Then I shook on some white large sugar sprinkles and placed them into cocktail cups.
I have to stop here and give credit where credit is due. A friend of mine who’s son I care for during the week made beautiful cupcakes for her daughter’s Valentine’s Day party at school. I told her I would definitely be using her ideas for how she packaged them sooner than later. I mean seriously people these cupcakes looked like they would have been like $15 each if sold out of a bakery. She did an amazing job. She was sure to let me know it wasn’t her idea instead the results of her laboring searches on Pintrest. I don’t have the exact link for where she looked but wow! I was very impressed.
Basically you place your cupcakes which are now in plastic cocktail cups (of which I purchased from Dollar Tree!) into clear birthday treat bags. Then tie ribbon that matches your theme close to the cup and there you have it!
Jennifer had added a cute tag with a witty saying on it for Valentine’s day that she used her Silhouette machine for. *DROOL* If anyone has one laying around they don’t have a use for I’d gladly take it off of your hands! 😉 It was worth a try, wasn’t it?
As we are getting ready to wrap up I realized I made way too much frosting. I really hated to throw it. I started put the Nilla Wafers away but then suddenly my brain exploded with a way to use the left overs of both! Don’t worry, nobody was hurt by flying pieces of valuable knowledge flying everywhere when that happened.
Two rows of Nilla Wafers were lined up. One side got a nice star of frosting, the other side did not. My older boys helped me to put the side without frosting on it onto the side that did to make….
Monkey Sandwiches as the birthday boy ended up dubbing them.
I found burlap ribbon on sale in the clearance section of Wal-Mart for $3. I bought a green plastic table cloth for $0.97. The baskets came from my entertainment center which holds toys and movies. I used clear plates where further organization was needed to finish up the decorations. Add a few balloons and you have a birthday party!
Ta-da! We were actually supposed to have chocolate covered bananas, too, but I ran out of time. That’s ok, those bananas just added to the décor on the table.
But wait, there’s more! Here’s what I did for the goody bags for the kids who came.
They were a little green, but each child got to take home a baby banana and a glow stick. I had my oldest cut strips of tissue paper to represent the bottom of the jungle, the glow stick was supposed to represent the vines the monkey might swing from, and naturally, a banana.
They were put into brown lunch bags. I had had big plans to make cute tags like Jennifer (Ms. Martha Stewart’s idol I’m nearly certain) would have done but there are only so many minutes from the time one wakes up to party time. remember, it was just going to be GMa just a day before!
Then comes singing time. I have to pause again to tell you about a blessing that happened at this point. From the day I met my husband he has been a smoker. His mom was a smoker. His brother and uncle were smokers. Shoot once upon a time, his grandmother was a smoker. When it came time for cake and ice cream at birthday parties you never heard, “Does anyone have a lighter?” because EVERYONE had a lighter. Well guess what? This year not only did we have to ask around to all of the guests for a lighter, nobody had one! I am not kidding, in 11 and 1/2 years, this was a first. It nearly brought me to tears. Neither Josh nor my mother-in-law smoke anymore! I must confess and rejoice that we had to use the gas fireplace to light my son’s three candles. I nearly cried. Anyone who knows me personally, this shouldn’t surprise you.
Happy 3rd Birthday my strong-willed monkey!
What’s a gathering without food, right? I’m told it’s a must if you want to be a decent hostess. Good think I love food as much as the next gal!
Lyla and KP having cupcakes
KP chowing down! Girl after my own heart! Why be proper with it? It tastes so much better if you cram it down!
Oh KP, I love that you are enjoying it so…!
Olivia and her daddy sharing a little bit of cupcake and banana pudding! How cute are those piggy tails!
GPa partaking in some banana pudding goodness!
As the first picture showed, we had a small photo booth that some guests participated in.
Emma and her brother Camp posing!
Aunt Jania and Peyton Posing!
Mrs. Chenoa and Joel posing!
He got a couple of other gifts too, but for some reason I didn’t get pictures of them. One of his friends, Olivia, brought him his own bunch of bananas of which he didn’t have to share with anyone. The kid can put down several at a sitting so they were gone very quickly. Another friend Addie and her brother Ryan gave him PlayDough and jungle themed stickers. Those came out the very next day. I have pictures of him putting the stickers on his hands and feet, but they are cell phone pictures and even worse than the ones above. What is up with my camera?? His GMa and his Great Granny gave him a toddler tablet. Naturally he spends a great deal of time on there. His Papa Lanny gave him a Cozy Car, ya know the red car with the yellow roof? Huge hit. He gets in it and watches movies. His own private drive-in! Grandma and Grandpa from Kansas gave him a Dr. Seuss book and a stuffed puppy dog that comes from the book. We have read it many times already and I fear the neck of the dog may tear in half (that’s how he carries it around).
What can I say, every member of my family has way more than we need. I cannot get over how much God allows us to have. I only play we can do something with all of this STUFF to serve him. If no, then what’s the use of having it all? I can’t help but thank him for my feisty little boy who somehow fast-forwarded his life to three without me knowing. He was always in God’s plan for our lives even though he wasn’t on ours. I am so thankful that God is in control and we aren’t. Otherwise we wouldn’t have him and my word how different our lives would be.
Thank you to everyone who made his day, week really, very special. Thank you for loving him!