So we decided to do something really adventurous this year, completely out of the ordinary and hopefully a lot of fun! David got his thinking cap on, his brush cutter out and got to work in the back yard. Soon, little barriers started to emerge involving pallets, stakes and piles of deadwood...
We didn't have to buy anything new for these temporary structures, as we had a lot of stuff laying around. It's amazing what you can hide on five acres. Especially on slopes, where you can always have a good lookout in case you need it...
There were plenty of footbridges to cross too, for the necessary escapes - as you never know what's lurking in the Australian bush...
And many a fort was built to defend, in case of marauding zombies from the apocalypse - or kids just high on adventure....
Don't let the birdhouse fool you
The day came and went. Madness I tell you...every step of the way! But it was worth it. For the first time, we actually got to use the back yard as a play area, even just for a day. A day where we could pretend to be adventurers, out to get one another with lazer-tag guns...
Click to enlarge
We even had green face-paint for camouflage. Sarah is in the middle, wearing a red headband, and black shirt. Little Peter was the team mascot, but spent most of his time inside, sometimes playing with a little present he got from one of his aunts and family...
Soon to turn one
His birthday is not that far away, and David is vowing to have another round of laser tag, in about nine years time - when Peter may enjoy the experience. Although one of his uncles has joked he may be too old by then, to crawl around on his belly. He literally disappeared into the bush, and couldn't be found, although I'm sure he tagged quite a few unsuspecting participants.
Casualties in the battlefield
The funny part was at the end of the day however, when he decided to charge the faux-wall David built with styro-foam boxes. David didn't tell his brother, they were half-filled with water, so they wouldn't blow away in the wind. In his mad charge to capture the enemies flag, he got a wicked drenching!
Even I had a go with a lazer gun, and didn't realise how engaging the game would be. Just when I thought I found the perfect position to tag someone - I discovered I was being tagged multiple times by an invisible assassin. It's maddening, trying to locate where they're hiding, as you duck for cover. Even more so, when you cannot locate them, but their perfect shots just deactivated your weapon.
The kids went outside many times to play, as it was too engaging to let lie. But I must say, when it was time, we had everyone mesmerized inside with David's birthday cake creation....
It's normally my privilege to make the birthday cake, but what good is being a chef, if you don't once make your daughter a profiterole tower! He doesn't look too confident, lighting a candle on top of all that chocolate gnash though. Like his iron will, it withstood the test.
Embarrassment is hearing everyone sing happy birthday
Sarah loved her birthday cake and so did everyone else! By the time we were halfway down eating the tower, kids started arguing who was going to eat the metal cone in the middle, because it was covered in chocolate gnash!
I can't believe her special day has come and gone. So much preparation and work went into just this one day, and right down to the wire in some cases. The profiterole tower was finished not long before guests were due to arrive, and I had a sink load of dishes to get done too. The dishwasher was already full and cycling. But I guess, that was part of the adventure too.
We don't normally do extravagant parties, but I guess with her brothers arrival last year, we realised the day our daughter entered the world, we changed completely as a couple. Her presence broke us from being self interested adult-children, and made us more giving. And seeing how generous she tries to be with her little brother now, well it brought the children out in us again. Only this time to celebrate new milestones with a sense of adventure and unity.
Happy birthday sweet Sarah, thanks for taking us along for the ride.