He was really hoping that he'd get a basketball hoop and therefore asked if I'd make something "basketball" for his cake.
I did all the decorating after he went to bed one night. He walked into the kitchen the next morning and immediately opened the oven door. (That's my traditional spot to hide the cake so that nothing happens to it before the party.) He was super-excited and declared it, "AWESOME!" You might not be able to tell from the picture, but the basketball is actually 3-D. It's one of the coolest cakes I've done.
He chose to have a bacon-wrapped dinner that night. We had sunshine chicken (grilled chicken wrapped in bacon w/ a pineapple mustard sauce), green bean bundles (the beans are wrapped in bacon), and smash hot potatoes (topped w/ cheddar and bacon bits). I drew the line at wrapping the dinner rolls with bacon.
Afterwards, we made him hide while we wrapped his gift. It had been safely stashed at his great-grandmother's house a few hours away from here, and Tim's parents brought it when they came to celebrate.
It's difficult to disguise a basketball goal, even if it is still in the box and covered in wrapping paper. I think he figured it out right away.
The next morning we bundled up to go outside and assemble it. We eventually remarked that it was almost as much fun as putting together a new Lego set.
And finally, one of the first few shots the birthday boy took: