Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Secret Garden Party

A few months ago, Waltzing Matilda had a post about her daughter's Secret Garden Birthday. Mary Clare was looking over my shoulder when I was reading it and took to the idea immediately and never went back!

We are still adjusting our birthday party plans for the kids. We have 2 birthdays very close to Christmas, a host of homeschooling friends (where 1 or 2 families could be a party in and of themselves), and a bunch of relatives and cousins on the other side of town who usually aren't able to make the drive up north for the parties.

So, my initial idea was to have a larger friend-party every other year and a family outing/party on the off years. Well, now that they are getting older and have many ideas themselves, this isn't working out quite like I'd hoped! After a huge party last year, I told Mary Clare that this would have to be a very small party with only a few friends. She had already had a lunch and Claire's Boutique outing with the family, along with an ear piercing afternoon with friends. She got a whole week of celebrating this time!

She reluctantly agreed to the toned-down party and just had her cousin and 2 friends attend (plus a few siblings). I had lofty ideas and had even found a book at the library that had been recommended called "Inside the Secret Garden," which we somehow managed to lose until the party was over! Oh well, it turned out nicely and was a great motivation for me to (almost) finish up my mom cave, ie "the Garden of Eden!"

The "garden" door was "locked" closed with some flowery ivy and a lock (made of cardboard painted gold) tied to the doorknob.

I created a scavenger hunt to find the key (also gold-painted cardboard with pretty ribbons tied to it) about half an hour into the party, nothing like last minute creativity! Mary Clare said it was her favorite part of the party, and she enjoyed videotaping it!

I made rhyming clues that sent them all over the house.

To ultimately find the "key" in the piano bench!

"Unlocking" the garden!

To find a garden-y table set for the girls in the mom cave!

Eating lunch

It turned out to be a gorgeous day for playing outdoors.

She wanted a cheesecake for her cake, and I also make a silly Oreo castle for those who didn't care for cheesecake. It was gone in a matter of minutes!

She waved out her "8" candle with a plate! One unique girl!

Some favorite gifts were a stepping stone to make,

a table and chairs set for her dolls (which was put together immediately to use with a tea set she received),

and some charms to go on her little charm bracelet that she got at Gap Kids last weekend.

I didn't get photos of our craft. We made flower pins and barrettes in the garden room.

Our last activity was a little drawing my mom did with the kids. They chose a type of flower on a slip of paper and when the matching one was drawn, they got to choose a prize bag.

Aunt Kathy did the drawing! Such fun!

As a special treat, her cousin got to stay with us all weekend, which made for a lot of fun and a lot of tired children today! We had a fun day celebrating our big 8 year-old and can't wait to see what God has in store for Mary Clare this new year! Happy Birthday!

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