Southern Fried Parties: The Wipeout ZoneAugust 4th, 2013
Welcome to the first edition of “Southern Fried Parties”! A monthly (well, I probably shouldn’t promise monthly since if you haven’t noticed I tend to fall behind with the blogging), let’s just say, a feature I HOPE to get to once a month in which I show off the amazingly creative mind of my little sis who lives down south (hence the “Southern Fried” headline). I’ve mentioned her party planning prowess before (the mind behind the “Greatest Baby Shower on Earth”) and now I invite you all to attend one of the greatest parties she’s every pulled off. Be warned, I was on hand for this one and took a ton of pictures which means you are once again in for a very long post.
The occasion? Kambel’s 9th birthday. The inspiration? The T.V. show “Wipeout”, the amazing wet and wild obstacle course full of bounces, smashes and splashes. Kris’ goal? To create a “Wipeout” course in her own backyard. First off were the invitations which she designed using the “Wipeout” logo and CD sleeves as envelopes.
Kam then handed them out to all of her classmates at school. Kam’s birthday always coincides with the last week of school which means Kris generally invites the whole class to her parties knowing that they will either be a fun end-of-the-school-year event or half of the kids will already be gone on summer vacation by the day of the party. So plan for the whole class, but generally expect less.
If you read my previous post, you know we were up until the wee hours painting signs for the obstacles, so when I awoke from my comfy recliner the next morning this is what I saw…
I had one more sign to outline and while I was working on it this bright, little ray of sunshine walked in…
carrying a wooden arrow that coincidentally was painted the same color as the signs I was working on… hmmmm … wonder what that means? “Kerri, mom forgot about this sign last night. I’m supposed to ask you to paint “Wipeout Zone” on it.” Sure, send in the cute kid with the bad news. My sister’s no dummy.
So while I worked on the final sign there was a whole lot of hot air being blown around in the backyard. The inflation process had begun.
There was a string of inner-tubes…
a child-size inflatable pool, with a few more inner-tubes suspended above it…
and finally… the “Big Balls”, three, bright red exercise balls perched upon those free tires Steve had rounded up the day before.
Weaving their way between and around all of these obstacles were a conglomeration of hoses, sprinklers, “Wiggly Water” devices and a good old school “Slip n’ Slide”. And finally, the piece de resistance (I know that’s not the correct French way to write that phrase, but I can’t ever figure out how to make those little lines above all of the ‘e’s’)… the “Sucker Punch”.
The “Sucker Punch” was created by hanging water-filled balloons at various lengths from the frame constructed by my Dad and Steve the day before. I mean come on… who wouldn’t want to run through that thing!!
It was all hands on deck during the construction of this backyard water world.
Apparently we almost wore out the birthday girl before the party even started.
While “The Zone” was under construction, Kris hauled out the party favors and started setting up the back porch.
She had of course made a “Happy Birthday Banner”, which I didn’t get a great picture of because it was a bit windy that day and it was just blowing all over the place. She had bought some big, red, crepe paper balls which she then wrapped in red and white striped ribbon with a “Wipeout” logo. The plan was to hang them above the food table but the wind posed a problem once again and she had to find another location for them.
And then came the old Henderson Municipal Pool pool baskets (procured by me many, many years ago during my lifeguard days) filled with party favors. She wrapped the baskets with red and white polka dot ribbon and a “Wipeout” logo and then filled them with red foam visors for all of the partygoers…
medals that said “I survived the Wipeout Zone” that she made out of clear, plastic button covers, bought at either Michaels or Hobby Lobby and red and white polka dot ribbon…
and finally, Ice Pops wrapped in bunches with a “Wipeout Zone” logo tied around them (see how she carried that theme through on everything, I’m surprised we weren’t all required to wear “Wipeout Zone” logos tied around our necks).
Oh, and I have to give credit where credit is due. In my earlier post I stated that my sister Kelli had just kept us company and entertained the night before while we were painting signs. I forgot about the fact that she solved “The Great Ice Pop Dilemma”.
Kris had bought the kind of Ice Pop’s that are all connected and have to be cut apart. She had decided not to freeze them before putting them in bunches since they would just thaw out in the Texas heat. So when she gave Saylor the job of cutting them apart to put into bunches the night before she accidently cut one open and sticky, red liquid spilled all over her new craft room floor. Kris then tried to cut some apart and had the same thing happen so she decided to throw in the towel on the Ice Pop favors until Kelli piped up and said they sold another kind of Ice Pops that were singles, the ones that came in the net bags. So she hopped in the car and headed to the 24-hour Wal-Mart and returned home victorious.
Everything was ready, now we just needed some partygoers. They started trickling in and soon the “Wipeout Zone” went through it’s first test run. Saylor went through the course to demonstrate the route and set a time to beat.
First off was the “Wigglin’ Water”. Contestants had to swim under and through the first tube and then down through the next until they made it through the entire string of tubes.
This challenge proved to be pretty difficult.
Some of the girls ended up “Groundhogging it”. They just swam under and popped their head up in each tube. What can I say, we’re pretty “loosey-goosey” with the rules.
Oh and by the way, it helps, when creating a “Wipeout Zone”, to have a pool in your backyard.
Next up… the “Sucker Punch”.
The girls had to run through the sprinkler posted at the gate and then through the “Sucker Punch”.
We had laundry baskets full of extra water balloons ready to hang up on the “Sucker Punch” but ended up not needing them.
I think if there had been boys running through the “Sucker Punch” we would have had to use the replacements, but the girls went through somewhat gingerly.
On to the “Big Balls”!!!
The girls had to leap-frog the “Big Balls”.
I’m happy to report that everybody made it over all three balls without any face-smooshing, limb-bending injuries.
Look at all those little “leap-froggers”.
Next up was the “Ring-A-Ding” where contestants had to dive through a suspended inner-tube and then swim up through a second floating inner-tube.
The water inside the “Ring-A-Ding” pool was getting a little muddy by the end of the day.
And finally, the “Slippery Slider” which consisted of the old school “Slip n’ Slide” that ended at the finish line.
The only thing missing from our “Wipeout Zone” was the snarky commentary of each contestants attempt at the zone. Believe me I would have loved to commentate but was too busy trying to run the timer and take good pictures at the same time.
Once everybody had gone through the course a few times we decided to use up all of the extra water balloons.
We pulled an old Swan Lake Christian Camp game out of our sleeves. You know the one, where you partner up, toss a water balloon to your buddy and if you safely catch it you each take one step back.
The girls had tons of fun playing this game.
Kam and her partner had one really good string of throws going…
Marli and Saylor gave up on the throwing concept and decided to burst their water balloons a different way.
Marli and Shelby (Kam and Saylor’s big sister) were our official lifeguards for the day and helped corral kids all afternoon.
After the last balloon was tossed it was time for a snack and presents. On the menu was ham sandwiches, cupcakes, a goldfish/pretzel mix and some popsicle drinks…
I mean how cute are those???
Kris also had a plastic floaty filled with ice and bottled water available all afternoon.
After the last present was opened there was time for one last dip in the pool.
It was then time for the medal ceremony where Kam presented each of her guests with their coveted “I Survived The Wipeout Zone” medal.
And then everybody posed for a group shot of the “Wipeout Zone Warriors”…
and of course they had to do a goofy shot as well.
Whew, I finally made it through the “Wipeout Zone” post. It’s been haunting me and only took two months to get to. Luckily the next birthday isn’t until February, can’t wait to see how Kris tops this one.
That’s it for the first edition of “Southern Fried Parties” next month we will take a look back at Saylor’s “Who-Done-It Super Spy Party”. Ta-ta for now and Big Balls.