And Just Like That He's Seven {A Dwarven Birthday}

Our Michael turned the big seven on Sunday.  I feel like seven is a big birthday...the age of reason, the number of that weird?  Probably.  Anyway, after much debate over the last few months, he chose to celebrate with a dwarf-themed birthday.  Not cute dwarf.  Tolkien dwarf.  The ones that carry axes and drink beer and forge things out of gold.  For some reason, though he's never seen the movies or even read all of the books, Michael has taken a liking to Gimli.  (Actually, I'm fairly certain it's because of the axe.  And the gold.  Thankfully, not the beer.)

Let's talk about this decor (and not my lack of photography skills) for a moment, shall we?  In my head (always a dangerous place to begin...) I had pictured making our home into the inside of the Lonely Mountain of Erebor.  It involved several black tablecloths hung from the ceiling and draped to the corners of the room.  Simple but cool for a seven year old, right?  Also much better in theory and not in practice.  So we had to settle for an abstract black and gold streamer "mountain".  Lamer but the birthday boy didn't seem to mind one bit.

And the cake.  A battle axe cake.  Because seven year old boy.

It actually wasn't all that hard to make and I finally was able to get a gray look to the frosting using only natural dyes.  (And all the crunchy folk shout hooray!)

Very threatening.

A Lord of the Rings banner provided by Jessica at Shower of Roses, one of the most generous women on all the internet.

And some very very simple decorations.  A few more streamers, some gold and jewel-y stuff scattered around the house.  I could have gone way overboard (and it would have been fun) but time and funds were limited this time around.

Earlier in the afternoon, John Paul gave Michael his first clue to find his gift for him.  It led him on a treasure hunt around the house involving a series of clues he had written all on his own.  It's so fun that I remember doing this for my younger siblings years ago.  

And some gifts later on...

His face cracks me up in this one.  A book on Michaelangelo!

And the big gift from Mama, Papa, and one set of grandparents...

Rollerblades are clearly of high boy interest.

After a dinner of chili and beer (root beer for the kids which was crazy special), we planned one game before letting the kids run wild (which may or may not have involved sending them upstairs and closing the door so that the adults could actually converse).

We hid gold (chocolate) coins all over the downstairs and the kids were sent on a mission to find them.  And the one to find the homemade arkenstone was considered the winner.  (Pretend there are more chocolate coins there.  I took this afterwards.  I'm not that stingy :)  Michael and John Paul are the creators of the arkenstone masterpiece.  I also had the idea of a toss the (paper) plate game a la the dwarves at Bilbo's hobbit hole and the unexpected party which the boys think is the most hysterical thing ever.  But that lost out to just running crazy and doing who knows what upstairs.  

A simple but fun day for our Michael.
Happy birthday, sweet boy!


  1. You can plan our birthday parties anytime! I recently made a hobbit cloak for a friend's son - I can't wait until my little Hobbit is big enough to know about Tolkien!

  2. What a fabulous theme! I love it all, but especially the cake!

  3. What a fun theme and party! I always love your ideas.

  4. That cake is epic! What a great birthday for your son!

  5. How neat! The cake came out awesome! Happy Birthday, Michael! =)

  6. can i rent you out for my kid's birthdays?

  7. Ahhhhhhh!! The cake!!! It's awesome!!!! The day looked perfect! Small and special.....nothing better in my book. Good job mama! Happy Birthday Michael!

  8. Great pictures. I love how a few special touches spread around the house can change the place you have be holed up in all winter into a magical space. Great job Mary! Happy Birthday Michael!

    Grandma in Chicago.

  9. and...mike, the kids and I just looked through all your cake posts just now. the whole fam was thoroughly impressed. don't know how you do it...or come up with the ideas for these cakes. they are really good! your family is really lucky to have such a thoughtful mom :)

    1. I told Brian that I may decide that they get a special cake up until they're ten, then they just pick out a's lost some of the fun after doing so many! But knowing me, I'll probably cave. The boys pick out something they'd like but I get veto power :)


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