Day one of our #HillFamilyRoadTrip2015 is off to a strong start. A nice 4.5 hour drive from Modesto to Fort Bragg and we were playing in the sand and water. We are tired but excited for Day 2.
Happy 4th of July weekend! I hope everybody had a fun and safe holiday weekend. Between enjoying time with my family, I had to get some last-minute work done before leaving for vacation.
Vlogging is hard work when you try to stack it on top of an already busy life. The goal of producing two of these videos each week is going to take a lot of work and hopefully, I can stay committed to it.
Vacation is right around the corner and I look forward to being able to step away from work and focus on time with my family. Don’t worry, the vlog will continue over vacation. I plan to enjoy my camera equipment while on this trip.
Liam’s 5th birthday was quickly approaching and we had no plans. I remember my wife and I sitting on the couch about 2 weeks ago contemplating just having some close family over for pizza or something. Something about that didn’t sit right. I mean it was my first born son’s 5th birthday. That’s kind of a big deal. The idea of getting a bounce house for our backyard sounded horrible. There’s a time and a place for easy entertainment, I kind of wanted to do something fun.
I remembered watching some 3-Gun Competitions on Youtube. 3-Gun Competitions have become really popular over the last few years. This form of shooting sport requires you to go through a course hitting targets while switching between three different types of guns. I began imagining how cool that would be to do in our backyard with Nerf Guns. It was decided that Liam would have an Epic 3 Gun Nerf Battle Birthday Party.
With little actual time to plan this between work and traveling to Seattle for 3 days, I took to Amazon to load up on Nerf arsenal. We didn’t have much, to begin with. Our kids have very few gun-related toys. A year ago I bought four small Nerf guns to my wife and I could battle with the kids, but some of them are too hard to shoot. Today, some of the six-year-old kids even had a hard time with them.
I wanted the backyard to be fun. My wife took to Pinterest and I worked on some ideas of my own. I had a bunch of moving boxes from when we last moved and some wood. We went to Home Depot to buy the wood stakes we used to hold everything up. It took more time to gather and buy everything I needed than it did to set it up. I set up the entire backyard in about 3 hours including painting things camouflage and cutting the wood stakes to size.
List of Nerf Guns & Darts:
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire Blaster
- Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster
- Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18 Blaster
- Nerf N-Strike Mega BigShock Blaster
- Nerf Darts
- More Nerf Darts
The kids had such a great time. Most of my son’s friends are his age with a few of them a year or two older so this was a hit for everybody. My younger son enjoyed it just as much as the bigger kids.
As you can see, the set up was pretty simple. I used a bunch of yard marker sticks I got in a bundle from Home Depot and crossed twine over and around them to simulate razor wire.
The real bottleneck was reloading guns with Nerf darts. I purchased a few extra clips, but the main gun had to be reloaded each time. A couple of parents helped in that process which kept things moving along quickly.
Pool noodles worked great. I just stuck sticks in the ground and slipped the pool noddles over them. I bought these pool noodles.
I had some boxes and boards laying around so I used spray paint to add camo to the boxes and targets to the wood panels. It’s nothing fancy, but for a moment, the boys thought they were in a war zone. I even bought a couple of inflatable tire tubes pool floats that I turned up on their side and made into targets.
The party kept my wife and I pretty busy. I don’t remember standing still for even a moment. I wanted to get more photos of the action taking place, but the sun was kind of at a weird angle and made it hard. With so many kids running around and my focus on them having a good time, I ended up just putting my camera away.
After the somewhat organized portion of the event was over, we handed out little single shooter Nerf Guns that were part of the party favor for each of the kids and they went to battle in the backyard. With plenty of Nerf darts all over the place, there was endless fun to be had.
I have attended a lot of little kid birthday parties and at each one, the Pinata gives after the first few kids. My wife picked out this Avengers Pinata and filled it up with tons of candy. The problem is that this thing would not break. Each kid hit it and then we let Liam at it again, it would not break. I had to hit it as hard as I could with the plastic bat 3-4 times. Next time I will make sure we have a metal bat.
Of course, Liam fell this morning on the playground at church and gave himself a nice goose egg on the forehead. Either he or his brother does that often the morning before a day where many photos will be taken.
Liam’s 5th birthday party was a huge success. After all of the friends left, it was time for baths and the boys fell right asleep. They played hard today, and that is what it’s all about.