Called to Birthday Duty


If you’re a Mom, you know the sinking feeling in your heart when your child drops the bomb about the birthday party they are planning in their heads.  I mean, you want to make them nothing but happy, but where are you supposed to find a Spiderman stand-in or a flying pink unicorn?  If they can dream it up, they’ll ask for it and it’s not going to be pretty if you don’t deliver, right?

Over the years my kid’s parties have consisted of petting zoo’s, Star Wars geode hunts, clowns, a luau, and a mad scientist party complete with an exploding volcano cake, and many more.  Each one of them specially designed to capture my child’s current interests (or obsessions) depending on how you look at it.  I’ve expelled buckets of blood, sweat, and tears in our backyard, creating magical birthday scenery to make my kids’ day the best birthday ever.  There’s been wind, there’s been rain, there’s been swimming pools that won’t blow up, cakes that get a little too hot, and balloons that have popped before I could get them home.  It’s been a bit painful at times.

But it was all worth it.

Now that the boys are 13 and 8, there really aren’t a lot more themed birthday parties left on the horizon.  In fact, I wonder if this year’s was the last one.  The boys would prefer to have pizza with friends and Xbox marathons rather than venture out to the backyard for kitty pools and bounce houses.

So, I told Luke that he could have any kind of party he wanted to this year.  Yep, I went there.  I just outright asked what he wanted.  It was an answer that came easy to him.  “I WANT A CALL OF DUTY PARTY MOM!  IT WILL BE SO AWESOME!”

“Ummm, yep, it will be awesome, ” I say to myself as I get the strangest feeling of doom in the pit of my stomach.  “Just how in the hell will I pull this one off?”

And then I get to work.

I knew Call of Duty was an Xbox game that had to do with war, so I built on that and went with a military theme.  I won’t put you through a lot of pain with every little detail, I’ll just show you some pictures.   After all, if I got the theme right it should speak for itself!

We started out with an ENLISTMENT OFFICE.  As people came into the backyard, they received a dog tag with their name on it.

enlistment office

As you can see, I’m good a using things around the house to enhance a party theme.  Cardboard boxes and black sharpies are a must.

We had a boot camp style obstacle course and I got the Call of Duty logo off of Google Images to make the signs.  I used wooden dowels to make posts for the signs marking each obstacle.  Here is the TUG OF WAR sign.

tug of war

I used pool noodles and dowels to make a an ARMY CRAWL.  I named the pool THE TRENCHES, and the bounce house was the ARMY BARRACKS.


There was a COMMAND POST with ARMY themed treats including camo corn, rescue rope, and All American Hershey bars.  The command post was outfitted with a bunch of sidewalk chalk so they could compose artwork on the patio.

command post

Luke’s gifts were wrapped like care packages.

care packages

The tablescape is always where I put the most work in, well, that and the food.  I think it turned out just fabulous.


All of the food was army themed.  There was Bazooka Beans (baked beans), Bullet Bites (baby carrots), Shrapnel (potato chips), Hard Tack (Doritos), Slider Bombs in three different kinds, and SOS salads.

But of course, there was one very important thing that made this party truly THE BOMB:


My sweet, little eight year old cutie.  Isn’t he just the sweetest thing?  I would conjure up a hundred more birthday parties, just to make his day



  1. I am beyond amazed at the creative ways you design your parties. Looks like so much fun!

  2. What a fun party.

  3. You are amazing, every year something new.

  4. Dawn Miller says:

    It was fun. And the food was amazing as usual.

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