(Warning: Exclamation Point overload...) When my 10 year old grandson, Max, asked for a birthday cake, of course I said I'd make it...then I heard what he wanted...it had to have something from a National Park and the front end of a Prius and street lamps. I kid you not. I managed to talk Max out of the Prius, since he had that on his cake last year. I even managed to talk him out of the street lamps - he loves to go outside right before dusk and watch the lights come on. But try as I might, I could not talk him out of a National Park theme...and since he loves the Delicate Arch, I did my best to make it! The Delicate Arch is located in Moab, Utah, in Arches National Park. It happens to be one of Max's favorite places - and National Parks are his latest obsession. He loves everything about the parks and if you ask him what he wants to do when he grows up, he'll tell you he wants to be a park ranger, and possibly an astronaut. Max loves the hoodoos in the parks (rock formations) and there's a Paiute Indian legend that says if you are bad in this life you are turned into a hoodoo...you've been warned!
I flew to SLC on Tuesday evening, got up Wednesday morning and made the cake, then ran around all day picking up the rest of the stuff with the girl, raced back to the girl's house and we decorated for the party that started at 4:00...TIME was NOT on my side. So the cake is not exactly like the Delicate Arch...but all I had to work with were marshmallows, toothpicks and a soft frosting...however, Max was impressed! Max was super excited about his party, it was his first real "friend" party...kids with Autism have a hard time making friends so this was a really big deal for all of us! Max invited kids from his neighborhood, church and school and all of them came! Every time the doorbell rang he ran to answer it and was so surprised to see the kids! If you had been there you would never have seen a happier boy in all the land!
We found the salt lamp at a thrift store - Max loved it...and when he walked in the door from school and saw his party set-up - he actually jumped up and down! We also bought a book on National Parks for $1.50 at the thrift shop - we took the pages out of the book and stuck them around the house for the kids to find...kept them busy for about 5 minutes. I gave Max the Ranger shirt he is wearing - which he's probably out-grown by now - he's getting SO tall! I ordered the shirt from Amazon, and the patches and sewed them on - just look at his face - he lovvvvvvved it! Elsa was happy to be by his side throughout the party!
Did you know you can purchase 25 lb. bags of red rocks at Home depot? I bought two bags for 12 kids, it was just the right amount. The rocks were perfect for making miniature hoodoos! The kids spent about 30 minutes stacking up their rocks, trying to make the tallest hoodoo, without having it fall over. ( I thought that little project would last about 5 minutes, too, but they really had fun and didn't want to stop!) Making hoodoos was right up Max's alley - he takes hoodoo making very seriously!
Max is the sweetest child - such a big heart, so smart, so kind to his sister and family. I love him. Like really, really love him. My mom gave Max this picture and we hung it up on their wall in their family room - Max is "showing" us the picture - he was SO happy when he first saw it! I asked him to give me a "Vanna pose" and he did!
Once you learn to pose like Vanna it's hard to stop! I can hardly believe Max is 10...time truly is flying by and I'm holding on as fast as I can! I don't get to see Max and Elsa as often as I would like, which would be every day if I had a say, but I'm very grateful for the time I do get to spend with them.